For the first part of the production on PERSEPHONE, we spent an amazing three days with cast members Melissa Leo (Demeter), Gilles Malkine (Hades), Lindsay Andretta (Persephone), Richard Rodgers (Zeus) and Mark Brownlee (Charon) on our location for Mount Olympus and on the shores of the River Styx.
We hope to be able to film part three sometime in February to capture the dead of winter. The tales of PERSEPHONE deals with many topics including the reason why we have different seasons. We were lucky to get out to film some pick up shots during the recent snow that took place while the leaves were still gold and crimson.
We're excited to report that Chris Stein (co founder of the band Blondie) has offered to write music for our scene in hell. The rest of the score is being written by our Hades (Gilles Malkine). Did you know that Gilles performed at the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival as part of the Tim Hardin Band?
We're so grateful for the remarkable support we are getting from so many talented people.But, we really need your help to make the rest of the production and post production a reality. By April 2012, we hope to have a finished film ready to screen at theaters and film festivals across the world.
Our budget is restricted to covering only essential costs including:
- Production Insurance
- Equipment rentals including grip truck with generator
- Location fees
- Props (and we need a LOT of props)
- Costumes and fabric
- Select cast and crew salaries
- Peripherals and expendables including hard drives, data cards, gaffers tape, etc.
- Post production costs
The short film PERSEPHONE is a modern retelling of the Greek myth. It's a story of divorce and how two parents struggle to control their most beloved daughter just as she is growing into a woman.
Demeter is portrayed by Academy-Award winning actor Melissa Leo (The Fighter, Frozen River, 21 Grams). She rules over the gardens and all the land at Mount Olympus. The story begins on a perfect day in August. Demeter has gathered her brothers Zeus (the county executive) and Poseidon (who's usually sailing off to some island in his yacht) with a few friends for her daughter Persephone's sixteenth birthday.
Persephone, portrayed by Lindsay Andretta (Far From Heaven) is not cooperating with her mother's plans. As a rebellious teenager, she would rather be anywhere but at home at Mount Olympus and she refuses to dress according to her mother's wishes. She steals away to the arboretum and looks out over the River Styx yearning to travel and explore life away from the trappings of home.
Demeter's ex-husband, Hades (Gilles Malkine) makes matters worse. He arrives at Mount Olympus in his red convertible after years of estrangement, for his daughter's birthday celebration. When he learns about her yearning to be elsewhere, he hatches a plan to take her away.
Hades surreptitiously steals away with his daughter across the River Styx to his estate in the underworld. There, she discovers a world filled with temptation and spectacle. Hades spoils her with anything she wants. Persephone enjoys the power she has in the underworld but she starts to miss feel out of place.
Demeter is tormented by her daughter's disappearance. She suspects Hades but is unable to find any recourse. Her distress and anger are evident as summer ends. The trees lose their leaves and the earth is encrusted in snow and ice.
Zeus realizes that he needs to help his sister recover Persephone. He sends his Poseidon to the underworld to broker a deal with Hades - they will share custody.
When Persephone is reunited with Demeter, summer has returned in all its glory but as the story comes to an end, we see Hades driving heading towards Mount Olympus. He is coming to take his daughter Persephone back to be Queen of the Underworld - but she has other ideas."
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Team on This Campaign:
Director Laurent Rejto's credits include music videos for Blondie - “Mother,” and The Felice Brothers - “Frankies Gun” and “Trouble Been Hard.” Other projects include “The Boneman,” “Reaching Out With Theatre,” and “For Love of Julian.” Laurent Rejto is the founder and co-director of the Woodstock Film Festival and the commissioner of the Hudson Valley Film Commission, which creates sustainable economic development by attracting, supporting and promoting regional film production.
Producer... With varied experience, some of her choice credits include: Associate Producer for the documentary film “She’s the Best Thing In It,” directed by Academy-Award nominated screenwriter Ron Nyswaner (“Philadelphia”) and produced by Neda Armian (“Rachel Getting Married”), Production Manager for the feature length film “Family Tree,” and Production Manager for the Blondie music video “Mother."
Director of Photography... Bryan Cloninger is a Cinematographer and Photographer specializing in Digital Acquisition and workflow with a background in film. Recent credits include DP and camera operator credits on “Lilith” by Ophelia Kolb, and camera operator credits on Bruce Beresford’s “Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding “with Jane Fonda and Catherine Keener, and 2nd Unit DP & Camera operator credits on Vera Farmiga’s “Higher Ground.”
Costume Designer Ingrid Price has had a 30-year love affair with costume design, which gets more passionate with each project. The interplay of lighting, set design, and camera work with the costumes is endlessly fascinating. What she enjoys most is collaborating with actors and directors to help create characters that are memorable and true. Clothes make the man or woman, and its exhilarating to find the shirt, hat, or shoe that suddenly pulls the outfit into focus.
HADES... Gilles Malkine studied the Sanford Meisner acting technique with Brad Dourif at the Woodstock Film and Actors Guild. Gilles has appeared on stage (and film) with Melissa Leo, Blondie, Charles Grodin, Chevy Chase, Mercedes Ruell, John Glover, James Stephens, Andrea Martin, Mikhail Horowitz, and many others. He is a musician and writer as well, and is currently a commentator on National Public Radio.
PERSEPHONE... Landing her first film debut in 2002, she played the daughter of Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid in Todd Haynes' Academy Award nominated film, Far From Heaven. For her big TV credits, she landed a guest starring role on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and had a vocal solo on the Tyra Banks Show during its Glee-themed episode. Lindsay is currently studying Musical Theatre at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in the New Studio on Broadway.
DEMETER... Following several films including 21 Grams, Leo received critical acclaim in the 2009 film, Frozen River earning several nominations and awards, including an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. In 2011, Leo earned several awards for her role as Alice Ward in the critically acclaimed film, The Fighter. For this role Leo won the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award and Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Hair and Make Up - Currently located in the beautiful Hudson Valley, Erica Pearce trained at the Make-up Designory (MUD) near Los Angeles, CA. Although she worked steadily in Los Angeles and NYC for 10 years, she decided to relocate to the Hudson Valley and currently works as a freelance make-up artist in and around the area on local and location productions, commercials and photo shoots. Visit Makeup by Erica for portfolio, resume and contact info.