About the Film
“When Sunny Gets Blue” is my thesis film for the Columbia University Film MFA program.
It is the story of Jonathan, a jazz pianist who suffers from an ongoing stress injury in both his hands, which prevents him from playing the piano. Thinking everything that defined him has been taken away from him, Jonathan sinks into a dark place, losing all hope that things can be brighter again. When a mysterious girl appears in his life one day, he is swept into a strange journey with quirky characters, a journey that will restore hope for Jonathan.
The story was inspired by my own personal experience with repetitive stress injury. As an animator and an illustrator I was constantly drawing, doodling, sketching. When the injury took its toll, much like the character in the film I went into a dark place thinking that I can no longer be the same person, as even the simplest tasks were accompanied by pain. But with support, physical therapy, and time, I found that things are not as bad as they seemed.
That moment of complete hopelessness, thinking you have lost everything that illustrates who you are and what you do is the core emotional arc of this story. Jonathan’s journey to find hope is inspired by an outside force, which reminds him that you can always redefine who you are.
Inspired by the storytelling style of Haruki Murakami, Etgar Keret and Neil Gaiman, I created a magical realism story, with a touch of noir and whimsical attitude. This story deals with grand ideas like music and destiny, but it is mostly about Jonathan’s emotional private journey – a broken pianist who needs to rediscover hope.
The title of the film, “When Sunny Gets Blue” is taken form the 1946 jazz standard by the same name written by Jack Segal and Marvin Fisher. The piece features beautiful lyrics and a moving melody, which serves as the emotional soundtrack of the film.
How Can You Help?
This film is a personal project with a unique vision, and we need help raising the funds to produce this film.
What will the money be spent on?
- Renting and moving a piano: our talented lead actor will play the piano on camera, and for that we need a piano on location.
- Licensing the song “When Sunny Gets Blue”: this song is the emotional thread of the story, and we need to pay the publisher for the right to use it.
- Arranging the song “When Sunny Gets Blue”: We will need to pay a jazz arranger to create our own unique version of the song.
- Taking care of the cast and crew: food, travel, etc.
- Paying vendors and crewmembers: we’ll need to buy or rent equipment and props, and people who will put this movie together…
- Renting locations: The script calls for filming in an apartment, a bar, kindergarten and a physical therapy facility, and we will need to rent these locations.
Aina Segui Prats
Director of Photography
We start shooting on November 27th, and any donation counts.
Anthing you can do to help us reach our goal is great. if you can't donate - please spread the word.
Visit our facebook page and share it and this campaign with everyone you know.
We would like to thank you in advance for being part of this project.
* The campagin video's soundtrack: "When Sunny Gets Blue" - Chet Baekr Quartet, When Sunny Gets Blue, 1986