Auld Lang Syne
When a couple drops a bombshell at their friends’ annual New Year’s party, a chain reaction of revelations spectacularly implode the lives of everyone present. A film about old friends and artistic passion, Auld Lang Syne is a meditation on the creative class, global warming, and damn fine pie.
About The Project
The Concept (or, wait, you’re doing WHAT?):
The jumping-off point for Auld Lang Syne was a question: what can we make with $5, a hand-held camera, and some duct tape? OK, that’s an exaggeration, but the sentiment is right—we wanted to see just how thrifty we could be while still telling a compelling story, and how quickly we could shoot it without short-changing aesthetics. It’s an experiment. 7 days of rehearsal, 7 days of shooting, a tight ensemble and a single location. It’s lunacy.
But then again, you have to be a lunatic to make a film. It’s never been less expensive to make one, and never harder to get one seen…or sold. So, what if we didn’t need to sell it? What if our film could be funded by our community, and then delivered to our community, system be damned? That’s the idea.
The price of admission to a film in LA is $15, and let’s face it, all you can see at the theatre right now is superhero flicks and bad re-makes. The perk for donating $15 to our film is a digital download. It’s like a pre-order—and if enough people do it, we don’t even need larger donations. (But we’ll gladly take them. Good lord, we’ll gladly take them). THIS is how independent film could work. It’ll just takes a little faith, and a little teamwork.
If you’re reading this, you’re likely an artist yourself—or a friend of an artist, family, fan of an artist… You’ve either experienced the creative process yourself, or you’ve witnessed it firsthand: It’s a slog. But man, it’s an easier slog with friends. This film is a love letter to all the sloggers, and to their family, friends and fans–this film is a love letter to you! So won’t you join us? With some ingenuity and luck, our little team of lunatics promises to deliver a story you’ll love.
The Lunatics (Johanna, the Kims, J.T., Elisabeth, Lucy, Caleb, Blake, and Amanda)
The Story (or, where Kim locks 6 characters in a cabin and finds out who they are):
I’ve always been fascinated by the tales—the myths, really—that we like to tell about Hollywood. The story of the actor who gets his first break at 45 and wins an academy award, the young actress who flames out and dies young… We like to believe that all of this work—all of this striving and sacrificing on behalf of a dream adds up to SOMETHING—either something spectacularly good or spectacularly bad. But for every artist who gets a big break, there are 10 brilliant souls still slogging it out, still delaying adult milestones—marriage, home ownership, children, retirement funds—adulthood really, according to our society–in service of pursuing their dream. And I’m interested in that story because it’s complicated, and human, and bizarre, and occasionally heartbreaking. The constant negotiation of “how long can I keep doing this?” — of society all but saying “when are you going to get a REAL job?” is fascinating to me. Because for many of us, we consider filmmaking (or play making, or visual art, or dance, or music) not only our REAL work, but our calling. …But how long can someone wait for their “break” before the cost is just too high?
The other theme that worked its way into the script was inspired by our current cultural climate… Our species is living in a moment when science tells us that we’re perched on the precipice of global disaster, and our leaders seem determined not only to let us sail right over the edge, but to deny that anything is wrong in the first place. As an artist and as a human being, I grapple daily to define the responsible action… Some days it feels like I should be shouting to the rafters in my work and in my life, “wake up! Wake up, everyone!” On other days—the ones when I hear that another species has perished, or that the reefs are doomed, or that it’s actually too late to stop global warming from becoming catastrophic—I’m overwhelmed with feelings of helplessness, and my instinct is to laugh. Laugh, because I’d rather go out laughing than crying.
So, this film is silly. It’s a silly tale about the silly creatures who attempt to make art for a living. It’s about the struggle to make that living, and about our response to crisis, and about pie. Because when words fail us, and there’s naught but despair, there’s always pie. …At least, there is for now.
Lunatic #1 (Kim D.)
About This Team
Director: Johanna McKeon
Johanna is Associate Director of Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway starring John Cameron Mitchell. She served as Associate Director of Green Day’s American Idiotboth on Broadway and the international tour. Other Broadway credits include Grey Gardens, ‘night Mother, and the Rent National Tour. As a stage director, credits includeTokio Confidential (Atlantic Stage 2), Anne Washburn’s I Have Loved Strangers (Clubbed Thumb), Comedy of Errors, Schmoozy Togetherness (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Sam Forman’s The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, Cymbeline (Vineyard Playhouse), Sam Forman’s The Moscows of Nantucket (Nantucket Theater Workshop), Semi-Permanent (NY Fringe Festival Award, Outstanding Solo Show), Functional Drunk (Ontological-Hysteric Theater), Hatful of Rain (ITS Festival, Warsaw). Recent Musical Development Workshops: Golden Motors (Derek Bermel and Wendy Walters), Rosie! (Music by Larry Gatlin), Biederman’s Match(Book by Beau Willimon). Guest Faculty: Bard College, Strasberg Institute. Fellowships: Drama League, Boris Sagal and Fulbright. MFA, UT Austin.
Cinematographer: Kimberly Culotta
Kimberly Culotta is a cinematographer, filmmaker and painter recently relocated to Arcata, CA from Los Angeles. Her work has included four Independent feature films, work for National Geographic, The New York Times, Glamour Magazine, PBS and MTV and numerous commercial and music video projects. Collaboration and quality of content are her driving forces, although making beautiful images is certainly the fun part.
Producer: Amanda Pomeroy
Amanda has been a freelance writer in Los Angeles for over ten years. She began her career writing scenes and monologues for actors at Warner Loughlin Studios, which led to a self published “Best Of” book a few years later. Her first professional job was being commissioned to write the audition material for actors considered for lead roles in “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” and “Star Wars 2: Attack of the Clones”. Amanda’s varied background includes a turn in reality programming as a producer/writer for the Style Network’s home make over show, “Clean House Comes Clean” and National Geographic’s “Do or Die.” She is currently collaborating on a non-fiction project and most recently sold her first original TV show to 20th Century Fox under Rob McElhenney (creator of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”).
Producer: Kim Matras
Kim Matras is a California Entertainment Attorney/Film Producer/Event Coordinator/TRX Instructor. In other words, a random, or shall we say, well-rounded individual with big dreams and the inability to say no to new things. Kim has her Bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctorate from WVU and her LLM in Entertainment Law from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. She is from the beautiful state of West Virginia and is currently living in Charleston. Kim was the Production Attorney and Associate Producer for the film, Angel’s Perch and currently is one of the managing members of her own film production company, Queen Bee Productions, LLC.
Writer/Producer/”Vanessa”: Kimberly Dilts
Kimberly Dilts is a Los Angeles-based writer, producer, and performer most recently known for producing the independent feature film Angel’s Perch. She has worked off-broadway, at a hedge fund, in Haiti, on TV, and in Film, sometimes all at the same time. On TV, Kim can be seen in episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Dirty Sexy Money, 90210, and in some crazy Anime. She holds an M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in theatre from the University of South Florida. Special skills include dreaming, playing the fool, and passing the goddamn Bechdel Test.
Producer/”Steven”: J.T. Arbogast
J.T. Arbogast is a Los Angeles-based writer/producer and actor. Most recently, he wrote, produced and starred in the independent feature film Angel’s Perch. As an actor, J.T. has been seen in all mediums including film (When In Rome), TV (30 Rock), web (Puppy Love, Office 2010: The Movie) and on stage across the country. Prior to arriving in Los Angeles, J.T. spent four years as the Associate Director of the critically acclaimed National Comedy Theatre in New York, of which he was also an original cast member. In 2008, J.T. also produced Love Jerry as a part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival (4 Best of Fest awards and 3 Talkin’ Broadway Summer Citation Awards). In addition to his work as Assoc. Director at NCT, J.T. also served as a lead facilitator for WITS Teambuilding, an improv comedy based corporate training program. He holds a B.A. from Penn State University and an M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.
“Jude”: Caleb Bark
Caleb Bark is an actor and producer, known for The Exquisite Corpse Project, The Choctaw Funeral Cry, and Other People. In lieu of an extended bio, please enjoy this passage from The Diary of Anais Nin: Volume 3: 1939-1944: “Bijou felt heavy and drowsy, but not unconscious. Her eyelids felt heavy, and she could not make the effort to open her eyes. But she felt her dress so lightly lifted that she could not be certain. It could have been a breeze. Lifted by a breeze. No human touch. The air was lifting her skirt it seemed, and exposing her silk-clad legs. Where the stockings ended, she felt a light touch. As if a feather had been brushed against her skin. The touch was so light that it was as if the skin had a thousand tiny eyes and the touch had lifted their eyelids, and light and heat fell upon them, waves, currents, vibrations of response. Each tiny cell instead of contracting at the touch, expanded and became twice as sensitive. She never moved. Her deepest fear was that the hand should stop, grow timid, withdraw.”
“Sadie”: Lucy Walters
Lucy met Kim, JT, Johanna and Blake at the University of Texas at Austin, where she double majored in Theater and Dance and a Liberal Arts Honors degree called Plan II with a focus on Economics. She graduated summa cum laude and was awarded the Marcia Gay Harden Theater scholarship. After moving to NYC, Lucy gained notoriety as the Woman on the Subway in Steve McQueen’s film Shame. Other feature film credits include the Brass Teapot, Growing Up and Other Lies, B-Side, Big Words, Bastards of Young, Lies I Told my Little Sister. Lucy has appeared on Bones, The Good Wife, 666 Park Avenue, Do No Harm, Rizzoli & Isles, Smash, White Collar, Army Wives, Blue Bloods, Gossip Girl, and Lipstick Jungle. Currently she plays sexy, bad-girl Holly Weaver on Starz’ Power (from Executive Producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson), now filming it’s second season. When not acting, Lucy finds joy in making music with her friends, writing, and learning. She is beyond thrilled to be making this film with auld friends, not forgotten.
“Jodie”: Elisabeth Hower
Elisabeth is an actor and writer out of New York, currently residing in Los Angeles. In 2010 she guest starred opposite Louie CK in his critically acclaimed Louie on FX. Shortly after, Elisabeth became a series regular on MTV’s scripted comedy I Just Want My Pants Back” produced and directed by Doug Liman. In 2012 she completed an arc on USA’sSuits, and in 2014, her feature Hairbrained, starring Brendan Frasier, was released. As a writer, Elisabeth co-wrote and starred in the webseries Public Relations, and has worked with Funny or Die to create original content. She is currently developing several independent features for production. Elisabeth earned her B.A. in theater from Marymount Manhattan College, and has also studied theatre, writing, and clown extensively in France with legendary Philippe Gaulier.
“Bryce”: Blake DeLong
Blake DeLong is a displaced Texan, now based in New York City. When he’s not prowling the confusing, psychedelic aisles of the city’s strange delis and bodegas in search of Velveeta with which to make his beloved Tex-Mex queso, he works in film, television, and theatre. He is best known as the star of Matt Muir’s critically acclaimed independent film Thank You a Lot, which premiered at SXSW 2014. He also originated the father/son dual-role of Andrey and Old Prince Bolkonsky in Dave Malloy’s Off-Broadway sensation Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, for which he was nominated for a 2014 Lucille Lortel Award. Other credits include Lynne Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin, Piaget Award winner Chris Ohlson’s short film Expecting, and NBC’s hit drama The Blacklist.