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An NYU thesis film following Sky, a rising musician, whose career is forever entangled with the guilt of her brother's death.
An NYU thesis film following Sky, a rising musician, whose career is forever entangled with the guilt of her brother's death.
67 backers pledged $11,275 to help bring this project to life.

About

SKY - NYU Thesis dir. by Jonas Berry project video thumbnail
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$11,275

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STORY

Our film follows Sky, an up-and-coming musician trying to break into the record industry. However, on the eve of her “big break,” Sky’s younger brother Tyler accidentally drowns in their bathtub, forever linking tragedy and guilt with Sky’s passion.

Sky’s internalized guilt leads her to believe that the sexual harassment and eventual assault she experiences at the hands of her manager is acceptable. However, the combined traumas quickly become overwhelming, and Sky must find a way to come to terms with her grief and break free of her guilt in order to realize her passion.

visual references
visual references

DIRECTOR'S NOTE

The story of Sky is one that is inspired by my own personal experiences as well as those of several people whom I love and look up to. From a young age I lived as the oldest in a single parent household with a neglectful and abusive mother, and thus I found myself a pseudo-parent to my younger brother. When it came time for me to attend university and begin my adult life, I was forced to choose between furthering my opportunities or staying behind to look after my brother. This film is my way of working through the emotional hardships that accompanied that decision.

Furthermore, my entire adult life has been dominated by women, whether it was mother figures, romantic relationships, friendships, or colleagues, I have time and time again been lifted up by the women in my life. It saddened and angered me in exploring these relationships to find that every woman I knew had dealt with some form of sexual harassment or assault in their life, the majority having experienced extreme forms. Sky is an homage to the strong, driven, and resilient women in my life who have inspired me to be the person I am today.

BIGGER PICTURE

As a collective of young filmmakers in an ever-changing climate, we are constantly evolving our vision of the future to ensure it’s a place in which we can all work, create and thrive. The film industry is historically and currently dominated by white men. Although corporations are quick to make the appearance of progress in order to keep up with the demands of society, there cannot be long term change without ground-up restructuring and active choices. It starts with everyone, but it also starts with us, the new generation of filmmakers.

We are structuring our production 80% women, and our lead actor and several of our supporting actors are non-negotiably people of color. We endeavor to add our voice to the growing evolution of the film industry as some of its future leaders. Women belong in film and people of color belong in film. It’s not until we take action that we will find ourselves in a better world.

THE TEAM

Jonas Berry, Writer/Director
Jonas Berry, Writer/Director

Writer & Director: Jonas Berry is currently working towards a BFA in Film and Television Production at NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a concentration in creative producing and directing. He is interning at Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music.

Jeremy Truong (left), Owen Lazur (center) and Celeste Erlander (right), Producers
Jeremy Truong (left), Owen Lazur (center) and Celeste Erlander (right), Producers

Producer: Originally from San Diego, Celeste Erlander is a NYU Tisch Film & TV Major with an Entertainment Business Minor and a ravenous passion for producing. She has produced a dozen student films and an independent foreign short, and is currently a Development and Sponsorship Intern for the Nantucket Film Festival. Recently, she won the 2018 First Run Film Festival Craft Award for Producing for the short drama The Spinning Man.

Producer: Jeremy Truong is a San Francisco transplant in his senior year in the film and TV program at NYU Tisch. Working as a camera assistant on over 100 productions, Jeremy transitioned into the more logistical side of producing and enjoys applying that knowledge into informing visual styles and creative problem solving. Jeremy has produced work with London based VFX powerhouse The Mill+, BuzzFeed NY and handles press coverage at film festivals including SXSW, Tribeca, and the New York Film Festival as an executive producer for “The Close-Up” radio show.

Producer: Owen Lazur hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota. His skills as a director and producer stem from his years of experience in nearly every department of film production, from production sound to set lighting to visual effects, which give him a strong foundational understanding of what it takes to make a good movie. He has a fervent passion for story, and is attracted to projects with vivid characters and engaging drama.

Zoë Yi, Director of Photography
Zoë Yi, Director of Photography

Director of Photography: Zoë Simone Yi is a New York based cinematographer. Her work has screened internationally and won awards at festivals such as Madrid Art Film Festival, Girls Impact the World International Film Festival, and has been published on Forbes, HuffPost and more. She has photographed numerous short films, music videos and commercial projects as well as been a part of multiple feature films. Most recently, she has shot for Vogue Thailand. She strives to create images that are both technically exceptional as well as emotionally driven, to create a visual bond between audience and the story of each film she shoots.

Saanya Ali, Production Designer
Saanya Ali, Production Designer

 Production Designer: Saanya Ali is a senior at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. Studying mixed media storytelling with a focus in film, she has has been production designing and art directing indie short films and music videos for the past three years. With a background in writing and photography and an interest in art theory, she loves to explore different methods of visual storytelling and enjoys building characters through the external elements that you see on the screen.

Joanie Educate, Editor
Joanie Educate, Editor

 Editor: Joanie Educate is a New York City based filmmaker whose love for editing came from a lifetime of being told she took too long to tell stories. Since graduating with a degree in film & television from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, she works full-time as a freelance editor. Her body of work includes countless short films, as well as music videos, a TV pilot, branded documentaries and commercials. Languages she's worked with include English, Spanish, German, Turkish, Mandarin and French.

WHERE WILL YOUR DONATION GO?

There are four key areas of our production that are highest in cost:

Production Design: We have a series of complicated sets to build and designed spaces to create for this project. A major portion of our budget will be allocated toward the resources necessary to achieve this. Also, due to the significant presence of music in our film, a level of authenticity must be upheld, thus another large piece of our budget will go towards renting the myriad of musical instruments and equipment that we plan to showcase throughout the film.

Stunts and Practical Effects: Throughout our story, the element of water consistently invades Sky’s life. Specifically, we plan to film a series of scenes in which sets and props are flooded with water, and in one scene in particular an actor floats face down in a bathtub filled with water. All of these scenes require stunt coordination, water rigs, and specific materials to safely and properly carry out the effects. - Locations - Due to the new age and modernist aesthetic of our film, the locations are spaces that tend to be more expensive, such as a recording studio or an urban apartment. Although we are using our resources and contacts to pull a few favors in this department, the spaces our story calls for will significantly raise our budget.

Locations: Due to the new age and modernist aesthetic of our film, the locations are spaces that tend to be more expensive, such as a recording studio or an urban apartment. Although we are using our resources and contacts to pull a few favors in this department, the spaces our story calls for will significantly raise our budget.

Camera: The camera equipment necessary to capture the visuals of this film is of higher quality and, thus, of higher cost. The specific style we want to create, which includes filming in lower lit environments, playing with slow motion, and using a variety of camera lenses for different moods and effects, will lead to a visually compelling story.

THE FUTURE OF THE FILM

We plan to submit our film to a multitude of films festivals, from larger ones such as SXSW, Sundance Film Festival and LA Shorts Film Festival to smaller and more niche festivals. We see this story as one that can connect with individuals from numerous walks of life, and we hope that the story moves others like it’s moved us. After a festival run, we plan to release Sky on a digital platform where it will be available for streaming.

Risks and challenges

The potential risks and challenges that come with completing our project include accomplishing a more ambitious production design, pulling off our stunts and special effects, and capturing performances that best tell our story.

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    You'll receive a download to the soundtrack created exclusively for the film! Made by the director, you'll receive this unique track as well as all of the previous perks.

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    Bro Hug with Extra Taps on the Back

    You'll receive custom designed vinyl coasters in the style of the film! These chic little accessories will liven up any living space. You'll also receive all of the previous perks and 12 tattoo tickets!

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    Choreographed Friendship Dance

    You'll be credited on screen as an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER for your contribution to making this film a reality! Join the director for a Skype call or a coffee in NYC so we can show our thanks! You'll also receive all the previous perks.

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    You'll be credited on screen as an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER and receive a ticket to the festival premiere of the film! We can't thank you enough and would love to share this moment with you. You'll also receive all the previous perks.
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Funding period

- (23 days)