"HOLD ME!" COMING IN 2017
Principal Photography has wrapped on "Hold Me!", an adaptation of selected vignettes from Jules Feiffer's play by the same name. Written & Directed by Ryan Caraway. Produced by Jonathan Custodio. Get Back Here Productions.
Synopsis: Father Bernard's sermon goes a little off track.
BY JINGO (2015)
HEADLINE CLOSING NIGHT FILM
NOVEMBER 1: 4:45PM
SCANDINAVIA HOUSE ON PARK AVENUE
NEW YORK CITY
NORDIC INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
BY JINGO (2015)
Written & Directed by Ryan Caraway.
Starring Ryan Caraway, Ashleigh McCloskey, Matthew Scanlon and Mark Coffin.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a disturbed laborer struggles to rebuild for his wife and their unborn child.
Find out more at BYJINGOFILM.COM. Scroll down for 'Notes on the Production'.
NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION
BY JINGO, which began Principal Photography on February 2, 2013, was shot on unique areas of the Long Island coast where small seaside communities were dealing with and living in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The effects of the storm—socially, economically, and environmentally—are addressed in the film’s story and help to capture the disparity and devastation of local sceneries and used in juxtaposition to the film’s stark narrative. The heart of BY JINGO lies in its characters’ struggle to provide on the fringes of society and come to terms with the life they were born into.
Ryan Caraway and Jonathan Custodio met at as students in Boston, Massachusetts. Their friendship and desire to make personal films was the basis for the production, which began in October 2012. “We were never really part of any group, we were always kind of at the outside of things, so it was always easier for us and I guess natural that we went off and did our own thing in the way that I, and especially Ryan, felt they needed to be done,” Custodio explains.
With a working script, Caraway set out to form what would become the BY JINGO family—a group of ambitious men and women from different career trajectories who were eager to put their thumbprints on the world of feature films. A young director of photography, Stefan Fernandez, was among the first to join the project. Caraway met Fernandez on the set of the short film, “And That’s What I Call Love”, establishing an instant rapport. They shared a passion for film, literature, and a desire to make personal work that would simultaneously be filled with life and illuminate contemporary times. Meetings were held in coffee shops throughout Manhattan and Hoboken until a simple visual pattern developed.
Looking to create a working environment that reflected the immediacy and spontaneity of theatrical rehearsals, Caraway assembled the majority of BY JINGO’S cast out of relationships formed while in the conservatory program at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and the group workshops led by Cotter Smith in Tribeca. The remaining players were either former collaborators or close friends who were looking to contribute their own voices to a narrative that was open to change.
Three months after Hurricane Sandy, when ocean waters crossed the barrier beaches, eroding protective dunes and leveling the populated neighborhoods that are adjacent to Shinnecock Bay, the cast and crew moved into the dilapidated house that served as the film’s main set at the end of Bayside Avenue in East Quogue, New York. “We wanted the most authentic set possible, which, in this case, was moving into a house that was destroyed with the furniture that was still in it, with water stains on the couches and patio furniture as your dining room table”, Caraway elaborates.
The production reflected the living situation. Circumstances were often harsh due to the unpredictable winters that occur along the South Shore. The four-man crew, comprised of Caraway, Fernandez, Custodio and Nick Fugazy, worked around the clock to capture every nuance of the story, including the local landscapes of East Quogue, Southampton, and Sag Harbor. Shooting days usually began before sunrise and often went late into the night or even the next morning.
To capture the authenticity of local sceneries and Long Island’s agricultural bed, the production shifted to a working farm off Route 104 in East Quogue, New York. Run by Ed Densieski, whose family has had stakes on the South Fork for over ninety years, Densieksi Farm provided the perfect backdrop for the film’s counter-narrative. The cast and crew were granted full access to the structures and facilities that populate the 256-acre property, allowing for a wider range of storytelling. “We needed a counter-balance to the confines of the house and being able to film the farm from a variety of vantage points allowed us to show the full scope of this world and open up that part of the narrative to a much wider sense of space,” Fernandez explains. The cast and crew would regularly jump into the middle of operations to provide small glimpses into day-to-day functions. Mr. Densieski provided invaluable contributions to the film, not only in his generosity, but also in his ability to provide a realistic sense of detail.
After a dawn to dusk shoot on April 28, 2013, principal photography completed along the beaches of Southampton, New York.
Post Production began in Los Angeles the following September. Caraway and his editor, Alexander Harrison Jacobs, first worked to lay the entire narrative out and then deconstruct it to its emotional core: the relationship between Sean and Cassie. The process took seventeen variations of the film, with scenes constantly being placed, shifted, cut or re-cut to match the methodical pacing of the script and bring new life to the story. Because Caraway used alternate setups and altered dialogue for many of the scenes, the additional material could be blended together to form new sequences or be left to stand on its own. One scene in particular appears in all three variations in which it was filmed.
Across the entire production, through all the setbacks and small victories, one unfaltering credo remained: that every single person in the BY JINGO family was trusted to translate Caraway’s vision the way they felt it needed to be expressed, to use their voices and their craft to tell a story that never could have been told by one person on his own.
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