A battalion of dancers is stranded on Earth and they want to get back to their home planet. A ship is coming to their rescue but will they be able to catch it in time?
Here's a sneak preview of what the choreography might look like. Try to visualize it with 6x the dancers and shot on an Arri Alexa!
My name is Jaclyn and I'm directing a music video for Holland Patent Public Library's song, Astronauts and Stuff. The first time I heard the song I couldn't help but listen to it again...and again...and...After speaking to my incredibly talented choreographer/dancer friend, Esme, I came up with this crazy idea.
It starts in the forest; a bright corner that a dancer stands in, alone, singing, "So we were clung, stuck firmly back to back..." Suddenly, with her small movements (a sway, even), other feet and bodies appear behind her. Three dancers, in a line behind the leader, start mimicking her pedestrian movements, exaggerating them, bigger and bigger as it flows through the line. Three other main dancers are revealed at different locations in the lush Northeast nature-scape; a hilltop, a pond, a field. Each, has their own company of 3 dancers spanning out behind them. "And I said I always wanted to be an astronaut..."
As the parts build, the homesick troupes start moving and eventually all meet in an expansive field, connecting and working together as one large "organism." The dancers hail their rescue ship, just as it's about to take off, nearly throwing themselves up to it. But it lifts off, leaving them on Earth. They're left to accept their fate, to "sit back and enjoy the park."
It's a bittersweet interpretation of the song but something that I think remarks upon it's playfulness and urgency. To me, in the end, it's a love story, about "home" which takes place in a fantastical world that says, "be reasonable" but leaves room for hope.
Astronauts and Stuff is an amazing song, that gets better every time you hear it. Don't believe me? Give it a listen...
You might be wondering what exactly we would use your generous donations for. Let me break it down for you...
Your $20 donation could be...
Wardrobe and make-up for 1 cast member
1 day’s transportation for one cast/crew member to and from location
1 day of meals for one cast/crew member
Your $100 donation could be...
1 day’s pay for 1 cast/crew member **
10 hours of rehearsal space rental
1 day’s worth of snacks to keep all 37 of us alert and energetic on set
Your $1000 donation could be...
2 day Dolly rental
Vehicle rentals and fuel expenses
We could put many more examples but you get the idea...
**All of our cast/crew members are professionals in their field and it is very important to us that their time is valued.
Thank you so much!
Meet the Creative Team
Jaclyn is a Brooklyn based Director and Screenwriter, a graduate of NYU. Her newest short film, Downtown, has thus far garnered a great response and just had it's world premiere in the Short Film Corner at the Cannes Film Festival. She was recently highlighted by Miramax as an emerging filmmaker to watch in their blog (http://www.miramax.com/subscript/guest-blogger-filmmaker-jaclyn-gramigna). This past March, she received the top prize for "Best Play" and "Best Director" in NYC's growing "Take Ten" theater festival, for her interpretation of a new play called, Disappearing. Jaclyn is also hard at work on two feature-length screenplays, hoping that one of them will become her directorial debut. Jaclyn loves to collaborate with all types of people and experiments, often, with music, photography and the culinary arts.
Esmé Boyce is a New York based choreographer and dancer and a graduate of The Juilliard School. Esmé presented The Particular Premiere of a First, an evening length multi-media performance piece, at The Howard Gilman Performance Space, Baryshnikov Arts Center in October, 2011. Esmé's choreography has also been presented in DanceNow's Raw Festival at NYU and Spring Movement at Center for Performance Research, STUFFED at Judson Church as well as alternative spaces such as Picasso Machinery in Brooklyn, NY and The Grand Ballroom at The Peninsula Hotel in Chicago, IL.
After earning her bachelor’s degree with a double major in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Janelle went on to earn her master’s degree in Media Studies from The New School. Since that time, she has been working to use film as a medium to share the stories and artists that move her.
Born and raised in Paris, France, Vlad is now a New York City based photographer and producer, specializing in street photography and documentary-style filmmaking. Often working with a wide variety of media, Vlad is always ready to accept new challenges and meet artists with whom he can collaborate. He studied at the New York Film Academy, fine tuning his filming and video editing skills. Thus far, throughout his career, Vlad has been mentored by acclaimed filmmakers and photographers, including Ernestine Ruben and Michael Galinsky (Rumur Inc).
Caitlin is a Brooklyn-based, Chicago-born cinematographer and Local 600 camera assistant. When she is not making movies, you can often find her in a museum or out shooting stills on Brighton Beach.
Ryan Dann spent the previous year in Syracuse, New York, delivering pizzas, living in his parent's basement, and writing an album. He developed a gray streak in the process, which he's come to accept is now just a part of his head forever. His doctor told him that the only cure to premature aging was to move to Brooklyn and do something with his life, dammit, which he has since done.
The Cosmic Lead Cast
Giulia Carotenuto hails originally from the eternal city of Rome, Italy, where she trained as a young dancer until the age of 19. Four years after moving to the States, Giulia graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA with a BFA in Dance Performance, Magna Cum Laude. Since moving to New York in 2008 to chase of fearless dreams, Giulia has had the honor and pleasure to work with companies such as Mark Dendy Dance Theatre, Douglas Dunn and Dancers, and Monica Bill Barnes & Co., having the opportunity to perform on beautiful stages all over the country, including the Lincoln Center in NYC, the New World Center in Miami, and the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Currently Giulia is the company manager/rehearsal director for Da-On Dance/JinJu Song-Begin, a member of Esme Boyce Dance, the Faye Driscoll Group, and Palissimo, directed by Pavel Zustiak, and is a fierce advocate for the Arts.
Michelle Simone trained as an actor and philosopher at NYU through the Gallatin School where she also started her career as hair/makeup artist for film/TV. She developed a love of film production, and today she has performed in several independent films, music videos, and comedy sketches, and is a member of The Complete Theatre Company.
Moving to the city that never sleeps at age 13, Nicky was accepted to attend the "Famed" Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts. While there, he became the youngest founding member of the NYC based theatre company, The Group Theatre Too. Immediately after graduating HSPA winning the LaGuardia Theatre Award, Nicky began working professionally with such theatres as The Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, Gateway Playhouse, Arkansas RepertoryTheatre, West Virginia Public Theatre, The John W. Engeman Theatre and Such film companies as AMC, Sony Pictures and many more.
Aurora Heimbach is a Brooklyn based actor originally hailing from New York State. Theatre credits include Fahrenheit 451 (Round House Theatre), The Loves of Jack London (Marvell Rep), Sicks! (Gobsmacked! Productions), The Tempest (American Theatre of Actors). Film: Downtown, Sheep, Alone. Aurora is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design where she earned her B.F.A. in Performing Arts. She is very excited to be a part of this collaboration!
Risks and challenges
After we're funded the real challenges arrise. By that I mean, we are going to be as prepared as we possibly can be--and with such a talented and committed production team and cast you can be damned sure we will cover all of our bases.
However, sometimes things happen that are out of our control, Murphy's Law, if you will. We are going to do our best to plan for everything we could encounter, like bad weather, broken cameras and dancer injuries (god forbid...) so that in the off chance anything like that happens we will have a back up plan.
On set, you constantly have to be problem solving in creative ways and we are excited and ready for the challenge.
PEGASUS DWARF 2- You're all encompassing. Draco Dwarf through Andromeda plus a beautiful, professionally taken dance photo of the choreographer (or one of our dancers), signed by the photographer and dancer and an original Haiku thank you on Facebook/Twitter.
CAMELOPARDALIS- You're a vision. Draco Dwarf through Andromeda, the HPPL t-shirt, an invitation to the private screening party in NYC, an Associate Producer credit and a walk on role in one of Jaclyn Gramigna's next films.
ENDOR- You're stupendous. Draco Dwarf through Andromeda, the HPPL t-shirt, an invitation to the private screening party in NYC, an Associate Producer credit and an invitation to our set, in July. (travel not included)
GANYMEDE- You're stunning. Draco Dwarf through Andromeda, the HPPL t-shirt, an invitation to the private screening party in NYC, an Associate Producer credit and a space themed dinner party with the band and key cast/crew, cooked for you by the director. (travel not included)
EARTH- You're our favorite planet. Draco Dwarf through Andromeda, the HPPL t-shirt, invite to the private screening party in NYC, Associate Producer credit AND an exclusive invite to a "donor only" show, previewing the choreographer and director's new works in progress. (travel not included)
UNIVERSE- You're everything a human being should be. You get the works, Draco Dwarf through Ganymede plus an Executive Producer credit and HPPL will play a private concert for you and your friends at your house.