Inclusion StatementInformed by the main character Esme's particular history, coming of age with two fathers at the tail end of the worst of the AIDS crisis, the project considers a familial vulnerability – a longing for visibility in a parent’s world – that while readily relatable is unique, not often represented.
About The Project
Imagined yet informed by personal experience, Garden DayZe explores the “daddy issues” that manifest between the daughter of a gay man and his young lover in the face of unexpected tragedy.
UNIVERSAL EXPERIENCE / UNIQUE LANDSCAPE
Having received a call that her father has been in a terrible accident, Esme returns home to find not only changes made to the house where she grew up, and where her other father passed away, but Jack, a new, young love in it.
Set in one location, we follow Esme and Jack, thrown together, navigating their exhaustion in the space between long hospital days, waiting for calls from doctors, struggling to understand their place and significance in the home and life of the man they both love and are terrified of losing.
As the daughter of a gay man, writer and director Evie Hammer was curious about examining the rather universal experience of longing for approval - wanting to be the “apple” of a parent’s eye - in a unique landscape, and under the stress of trauma that can reduce even the best of us to our most childlike and arrested selves.
“Growing up between divorced parents and two daddies, and losing my other father to AIDS, vulnerable questions of inclusivity and visibility in terms of our family’s loss have come up for me now and then. And I wanted to start a conversation from that point of view and need."
Gone may be the days of the child of a gay parent referring to their other parent as “dad’s roommate” or “mom’s partner” without “partner” prompting the question “Oh, what business are they in?” but I suspect there are generations of children of gay parents that we haven’t heard from or thought about, children who have wonderful, funny, and heartfelt stories they’d like to share.
I hope they and we will! Let's keep talking, writing, shooting, collaborating....sharing our stories.
Unique but the same.
Evie & Team Garden DayZe
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About This Team
The Gals Getting It Done!
While we are an all inclusive cast and crew, of course, our lead members are female.
Our goal on set was to foster open and organized collaboration.
MEET our KEY PLAYERS:
Director of Photography
Cailin is a New York City-based narrative and documentary cinematographer. In 2011, she partnered with director Ani Simon-Kennedy to start Bicephaly Pictures, one of just a few female production companies in NYC - shooting narrative films, music videos, web series, and commercials.
Cailin shot her first feature film DAYS OF GRAY with Ani Simon-Kennedy on location in Iceland in 2012. She is currently in pre-production for Ani Simon-Kennedy's second feature film THE SHORT HISTORY OF THE LONG ROAD, and in production for award-winning director Cynthia Lowen's (BULLY) feature documentary NETIZENS on women and online harassment.
Coming to Garden DayZe through Cinematographers_XX , Cailin was a champion of our story from the start contributing not only her fierce expertise on set, but her generous spirit and style overall.
Assistant Director / Associate Producer
Co-Founder and Executive Producer of Instaminiseries, Nikki is an actress, director and producer. At the end of 2015, Nikki executive produced and directed, UNBOUND, a sixteen part Instaminiseries for David Bowie's final album, “Blackstar”. Most recently she’s directed Chris Rock, Tariq Trotter, and Questlove for a series of commercials that she also produced.
Upcoming projects include her roles in the feature film Elsewhere and in IFC’s new series, Commuters, as well as several new and exciting musical collaborations through IMS.
As AD on Garden DayZe, Nikki brought her infectious passion, purpose and creativity to set keeping our team spirit high and our schedule on-time! A true powerhouse!
On-Set Acting Coach / Cast-Member "Officer Miriam"
Liz is an actor, comedian, and writer, living in Brooklyn. A graduate of Yale School of Drama, she has appeared on Broadway in Other Desert Cities, off-Broadway in The Servant of Two Masters (TFANA), and regionally across the country at such theaters as Yale Rep, The Guthrie, Seatlle Rep, Old Globe, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Two River, and Williamstown. She recently appeared as Sherlock in Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery (Dorset Theatre Festival). Upcoming projects include The Winter's Tale (TFANA), and Kate in Taming of the Shrew (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival).
Liz came to Garden DayZe as a cast-member, joining further as acting coach, assisting director Evie Hammer transition from her writer / producer / director role to actor role in front of the camera, collaborating with Nikki and Cailin behind it.
"Esme" / Writer / Director / Producer
Evie Hammer is a NYC based actress, writer and producer. She has written one feature and two short films developing and producing Garden DayZe over the spring and summer of 2017. Bringing truth and personal perspective to her writing and performances is a guiding priority, as is attending each project with creative openness and collaboration.
Evie is immensely grateful to the talented team she assembled for this story especially her key players Cailin, Nikki and Liz, who facilitated the solid on-set partnership that allowed her to fully embrace the vulnerability of "Esme" and her relationship with co-star Mathew Dunlop's "Jack."
CAN'T HAVE THE DAUGHTER WITHOUT THE FATHER AND...HIS LOVER
MEET our OTHER PLAYERS:
"Jack" / Associate Producer
A dear friend and beautiful talent, the character of "Jack" was created specifically for Mathew Dunlop. Matt is an artist and actor working between Los Angeles and New York City. He shared his personal experience and perspective in the Garden DayZe script development stage and worked hard as an Associate Producer to connect the project with key contributors.
With numerous Broadway, Off-Broadway (Obie Award), film and television credits, welcoming Steven to the Garden DayZe cast in the role of "Harris" was an exciting prospect for the project. Drawn to the script and story, Steven was one of the first artists to join the team and we are grateful to have had him aboard.
AND WHAT WOULD WE HAVE DONE WITHOUT...
DREAM TEAM MEMBERS:
Gaffer / Master Moonlight Maker
Best Boy / Swing
Assistant Camera Operator / "MVP"
Production Assistant Extraordinaire
Still Photographer / Producer
Trailer & BTS Video Editor
ANNA LAUREN TUFEKCI
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