The Lady from Long Island City
The Lady from Long Island City is a modern day noir. Julie, a TV exec, is being blackmailed by her ex-husband. Feeling trapped, she decides to hire Sam, a contract killer, to take him out. When Julie and Sam meet for the first time, there are surprises at every turn that neither could have expected.
Inclusion StatementWe want to highlight complex women in a genre traditionally centered on the dangers of "women of questionable virtue". Our mostly female team will take that moniker and own it; our female leads have "questionable virtue" because they are human, and humans are complicated.
About The Project
We love movies. We love the classics. We love the look and feel and mood of classical American cinema. We love the sexiness of noir and the smoky, drippy, late-night back-alley urban ambience. And while we love the beautiful femmes in classical Hollywood cinema, we don’t love that there is no place for the non-traditional woman in this canon. Two (and a half) types are represented in traditional noir: the beautiful, loyal, victimized woman, making a home for and supporting the complicated male hero, or the dangerous, femme fatale, trying to break up that home or (best case scenario), who reforms herself for the male hero.
As feminists and film enthusiasts who love this canon, can we make a modern noir that respects the genre but also makes a space for non-traditional women? Can we, as modern female characters, live in this sexy, smoky, urban, classical world of film and represent all of the characters above (seductress, hero, and innocent)? We certainly think so.
Our film takes a traditional hitman storyline and gives it a twist; the ambitious protagonist gets entangled with some bad people, and does dirty business... as the risk of losing everything looms large, the character decides to hire a fixer to take care of the problem… the twist, and a pivotal one for us, is that that both the fixer and the person doing the hiring, are women.
Why have these characters never been seen? Because women aren’t seen as dangerously ambitious or as potentially violent? We’ve got unsettling news for you - they are. In fact, it seems obvious to us that a female hitperson would actually be better at her job than a male: less suspecting, more subtle, less hotheaded and (sorry) just generally more clever.
Marlowe Holden & Olivia Jampol in The Lady from Long Island City
What began as a short play written for the lead actresses in a ten-minute play festival in NYC, Rule of 7 X 7, evolved seamlessly into a screenplay. It was a natural transition for us to take our cinematic play and our same team of artists (most of whom work regulary in film) and make a beautiful and moody short. The Lady From Long Island City, while noir in visuals and tone (moody, sexy, dark and thrilling), it is also decidedly modern (our two dangerous and mysterious protagonists are complicated, sinister, and non-traditional women). We are upending a cis-male “macho” genre, while still paying homage to the classical films that inspired us.
Our protagonist, Julie, is diving into a world of which she's ignorant. However she's got intelligence, confidence, and a knowing charm that's gotten her this far in life, so here goes nothing. Enter Sam, expert killer and woman of few words and strict rules. Our story is just another day at work for Sam, she's calm cool and deadly no matter where she finds herself, however the person she used to be still exists below this steely exterior. She's about to be surprised at what the conversation ahead reveals. They meet at that in-between time: in-between work and home, in-between the happy hour and dinner crowds, in-between daylight and the dark of night. They're meeting somewhere decent (Julie's a woman of taste after all), yet intensely private - think a contemporary speak-easy on a not-too-busy early evening. The lights are dimmed as the place readies for the dinner rush, the conversation turns to secrets both these women hold, and their world grows even smaller.
We'll set a look that slices our two subjects out of the tapestry of this secret place and puts them in a bubble of privacy for their illicit conversation. In the moment of this film these women are floating between worlds; Julie stepping into the criminal underworld, and Sam stepping partially into mainstream society to take another contract and continue her spotless career.
The camera will be a conduit for telling the audience who holds sway as the conversation progresses. The tension will rise and fall tidally, with these two complex protagonists pulling it between them as the film progresses. The camera will move, always with the intent to draw the audience further into their world and lend insight into what each woman is thinking.
These two women are never in the same mindspace, they share many similarities but are truly from different worlds within our own. The composition of the piece will exhibit this not-quite-mirrored aspect of the two characters.
While we are filming in color, we hope to embody the monochromatic vibe of the classic noirs with a limited palette. A warm gold tone embraces the interior of the restaurant while the sun sets from orangey-pink to the cool city night sky outside. This is an entrenched place of privacy, the outside world begs to come in and expose the seedy activities within, the light from the outside creeps in wherever it can.
Use the WishList to pledge cash and loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an incentive directly.
About This Team
Donaldo Prescod (Writer) - Actor, writer, and award winning filmmaker from Boston, Mass. After receiving his BA in Cinema at SFSU he moved to New York to earn an MA in Acting at The New School for Drama. As an actor Donaldo has appeared in: The New York premiere of The Recommendation (Craig Noel Award, Best New Play, 2014 Ovation Best Play) by Jonathan Caren, The Wundelsteipen by Nick Jones, True Bible Tales by Rob Asksins, Patrick’s Story and The End: When God Gave Up by Golden Globe winner Kyle Bradstreet. As a writer Donaldo has written numerous plays for the late night episodic #serials@theflea including The 1’s and 2’s, now a full length which had its NY premiere at The Tank, and 2014 semifinalist for the Eugene O’Neill center’s National Playwright Conference. His film Black People Are Dangerous won the Honorable Mention Award at the 10th Annual Bushwick Film Festival. www.donaldoprescod.com
Kristan Seemel (Director) - Before coming to New York seven years ago, Kristan was a freelance theater director in Oregon for the better part of a decade. Kristan came up in the theater working on new plays, serving as dramaturg on a score of productions and developmental workshops. Passionate about new American writing, he has directed the premiers in the city of Mary-Kate Olsen is in Love by Mallery Avidon and The Electric Lighthouse by Ed Himes. He has developed new writing with Playwrights Horizons/Clubbed Thumb (SuperLab), The Lark, Brave New World Repertory Theater, Spookfish and The Barn Arts Collective. He also directed the first season of the upcoming web-series Hampton 10-10 (Goal Mind Films).
Brendan Swift (Director of Photography) - Brendan Swift is a seven year veteran of the camera department working as a freelancer in New York City and across the country. His director of photography credits are a long and varied list of online series, short films and music videos. He works as a commercial camera operator and first assistant camera with credits including the upcoming feature Kingfish, BET late-night talk show The Rundown with Robin Thede, as well as innumerable product and political advertisements. www.brendan-swift.com
Clea DeCrane (Producer) - Clea is based in NYC, born and raised in Santa Monica, CA. As an emerging filmmaker, Clea has written and produced five short films and two music videos. Her short film Girl Friends premiered at the 2017 California Women's Film Festival in Hollywood and earlier this month at the Nasty Women Film Festival in Connecticut. She is a founding member of Station26 Productions. www.station26productions.com
Olivia Jampol (Actor/Producer) - Olivia is an actor, writer and filmmaker living in Brooklyn, New York.
She spent her childhood on a coffee farm in Costa Rica and studied filmmaking and literature at Harvard University. She is a former member of the Bats, the resident acting company at the Flea Theater, where she met Marlowe, Clea, Kristan (director) and Donaldo. As an actor she has performed in dozens of new award-winning plays, short films, web series and two features. Next to acting, her main love is filmmaking and her short, JEANNIE, shot on 16mm, is in the permanent collection at MoCAD and has garnered accolades at numerous festivals across the country. She is also co-founder of Five Minutes Late, a production company and sketch comedy group currently in development of their first narrative film. www.oliviajampol.com
Marlowe Holden (Actor/Producer) - Marlowe is a New York based actor, writer, and producer from Bartlesville, Oklahoma. As a kid she grew up around her mother's work as the director of a domestic violence shelter, which forever changed how Marlowe values women's narratives and the importance of telling those stories. Her credits as a theatre actor include: The Dudleys! A Family Game (HERE Arts Center); A Piece of My Heart (IATI); Shelter (ATA); Malefactions (Cradle Theatre); The Tower (AntiMatter Collective/HERE Arts); The Feast, Agnosiophobia (The Flea); ENCOUNTERS: The La Ronde Project (IRT); and Long Distance Drunk (Distilled). She is a co-creator/writer/actor for Hat Trick Bitches web series (Official Selection, Austin Web Fest; Audience Choice Award Winner, Seattle Web Fest; Featured on FunnyorDie.com). Season 2 of Hat Trick Bitches was released by Seeka TV in August 2017. She is a producer and founding member of IngénueWitty Films.