RCN is an ambitious film combining elements of Film Noir and the Rock Musical. The trailer is Step #1 toward eventual full production. Read more
This project's funding goal was not reached on September 18, 2013.
About this project
Rock City Noir: an ambitious new film, embracing elements of Film Noir and Rock Musical genres.
The first step of getting “Rock City Noir” made will be to film the trailer and that’s where you come in!
My name is Harry McCoy, and I am a veteran filmmaker (writer, director, editor, producer). One of my films was nominated for a Grand Jury prize at Sundance – just putting that out there, that I have done this before, and my experiences have enriched my talents greatly. In addition to features, I’ve created music videos, documentary shorts, and advertising spots. You can see some of my work here: www.harrymccoy.com/hmfm.mov .
I’ve felt a new film percolating for a while. When I set out to make another film, I had to ask myself what it is that I really want to do? What would I really want to see as a movie lover, and look at as a filmmaker? What is the project which I can spend many years and not lose faith or traction? Because once you make a film it is always with you.
I am attracted to projects that have many lives, like Hairspray or Chicago or Tommy or Death of a Salesman or all of Shakespeare - as well as genres that still entertain, like Film Noir. These are the movies we watch over and over; they are entertaining with just the right amount of “think” in them.
I am drawn to Noir as you can see from some of my earlier work, and found the catalyst for my next project in listening to a trio of songs by my musician brother, Tim McCoy. These songs inspired the writing of the script, the vision, the fire to bring this project to life.
Rock City Noir will eventually be a feature film, written and produced by me, featuring 10 songs written by my brother Tim.
Rock City Noir is not camp and it does not include songs from other artists re-done in questionable style. Glee and Rock of Ages appeal to some, but this will not be those: what we're doing is of whole cloth, completely original, with potential mass appeal.
Once the script was completed and we had our first table read, it was evident that without people hearing the music, the project would be difficult to sell. So we are going to have a public reading with our 8 key actors and full band, shot with 2 cameras and top notch sound recording, all in one night, to create the elements we’ll need to go from concept to trailer to feature film. We are in pre-production mode and we have begun casting for the live event.
This recording opportunity and effort is why I’m here, asking you to help me fund this show.
Risks and challenges
There are risks and challenges in any creative endeavor.
I am going to stand atop what I have learned after 25 years in production and tell you that there is little in this project that fazes me.
I designed it to be made, to be completed, to be enjoyed by a broad-based audience.
As with all creative endeavors, Rock City Noir will grow and change as a natural process as it progresses towards completion.
If you don't like what you see, it's not for you.
Its eventual audience will be as ferocious in defending it as I am - and will continue to be - as we create it.
The casting notice that went out recently had an end date of August 16, and we have had many, many submissions. Since our funding cutoff is September 18, we have decided to push back our Casting Submission Deadline to Friday the 13th of September, which sounds pretty final to me.
To make it easy, here it is:
Petroleum Films is accepting submissions for a Public Reading of their upcoming feature Rock City Noir. Compensation will be as instructed under the SAG-AFTRA Demo Agreement. Both Union & Non Union talent may submit.
Please see the details below and respond as requested to email@example.com if you are interested. All submissions will be reviewed, and the client will contact those they would like to see for an audition. Audition location will likely be the seacoast area of New Hampshire. Date is TBD.
The Public Reading is being planned for sometime between late September and mid October, in Dover NH. There will be one day of rehearsal. The reading will be filmed, and clips will be included in the film’s trailer, which will be used to help advertise the project and raise funds.
This project is in the style of the classic films noir of the 40's and early 50's, set in a rock and roll nightclub which is a big enough tent to welcome every outsider who ever longed for a place to fit in. It features a classic love triangle, a mas macho car race, and as is the case in the best noir tradition, it will not end well for a majority of the characters.
Character descriptions are below.
If you are interested in a role for the Public Reading, please respond to: firstname.lastname@example.org with:
Your name & phone number
What role(s) are you interested in?
Attach your headshot & resume
Include a link to an online portfolio if you have one.
Please ensure the Subject Line of your response is formatted as follows:
SUBJECT: RockCity/Role Name: Your Name
(Ex. SUBJECT: RockCity/Tom: John Actor)
Submissions are requested by Friday, September 13th.
Nils Cross: 30-ish all American guy, grew up in the car repair business, loves rock and roll and old cars. Still wears a leather jacket despite being married with two kids. Works a corporate job now that he hates, and is brooding, mysterious and quiet when it comes to talking about himself.
Tom Cowper: 27 year old mechanic with a rock band. He looks like a rock and roll L’il Abner, with Elvis hair and swagger. He wears the uniform of the rocker – tight jeans, tshirt and leather jacket. He plays guitar and sings two numbers in the show, as well as races a vintage car and all the girls swoon at his feet.
Wid Robinson: 40’s night club owner. He is elegant and of questionable sexuality, although he is definitely marrying a woman. He is soft spoken and a powerful presence. He may have visual scars.
Scarlet: 27 year old femme fatale, and all that implies. She is a blonde knockout one-named club singer. Scarlett is a principal role, appearing in most every scene. She has three songs she sings in the film.
Murray: aka Henchman #1. 30’s tough, mean and articulate. Talks like he’s gargling gravel. A scary presence.
Mac: aka Henchman #2. 20’s-30’s. Muscular and small, he doesn’t say much. He probably has a large cross tattooed on himself somewhere, possibly on his neck.
Doll: 20’s tattooed brunette bartender with a thick accent from somewhere you just can’t place. She’s funny and funky.
Why yes, yes I do. Check it out:
“Modern film noir plays like real life, classic film noir plays like fevered memory”
-Eddie Muller, film noir historian
In my long quest to find a project I can believe in, I turned to the question, why do I love the movies to begin with?
To answer the question, I had to look at the movies that I love, the ones I can watch over and over and always find something new or at least strive towards unlocking the mystery of why some things are truly etched in the memory, while the latest blockbuster is forgotten moments after leaving the theater.
I have spent the last couple years watching and taking notes on about 200 movies in the Film Noir genre, from the beloved 40’s to the present, collecting title screens as a way to keep the films alive as I dreamt up my own noir story, which eventually became Rock City Noir.
“Noir is style in search of substance” - Richard Schickel
Many folks think immediately of the shady detective figuring out the crime, usually involving some gorgeous dame at the heart of it, when they think of Noir. Although it’s true that’s where the genre got its start, it’s equally true that any story can be told in the style of Noir, as long as certain key elements are retained: the Everyman protagonist, the Femme Fatale, memorable settings, a central moral core, and an often preposterous plot that usually needs to be re-watched to be fully appreciated.
And, strikingly, there is always at least one song in every classic noir, and occasionally many, but no one ever calls them musicals; above all, they are entertainments. Bringing the style of the 40’s forward to the present was an initial dilemma, until I realized it’s all around us now: classic car clubs, suits and fedoras, an appreciation for rock and roll played in its classic stripped down form of bass, guitar and drums: this is happening now. The term Retro Cool doesn’t exist for nothing, the generation coming up wear it as a badge of honor, a hook to hang meaning upon, an appreciation for a simpler time when we created things with our force of will and love of life itself.
Welcome to Rock City, where life is disappointing, but because of it, and to spite it, we’re going to have a good time. Even if it kills us.
I've been right here, reading a lot of scripts that did nothing for me, working on a few ideas that didn't take off, shooting and editing things for friends and money.
Also watching: some amazing films, and our old way of doing things crumble in a pile of digital dust (but what pretty dust it is!)
But mostly I've been raising my son and experiencing Life, which had its own plans for me.
Now that my son is 16 and some things have settled, these ideas just started popping up like Nature in the Spring.
Rock City Noir hit me like a bolt from the blue. In a way it's the movie I would have made if things went differently for me around 1988, and I couldn't be happier about everything that has happened to educate me and bring me to this exact spot.
Out of darkness, light.
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- (30 days)