2004 BBIFF

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JESSE SCOLARO BIO & PRODUCTION INFO

DEPRIVATION
78:00 TRT
Drama-Improvisation
Oklahoma Premiere
 
JESSE SCOLARO
Writer, Co-Producer, Director
Co-Writers-Leon Grodski, Pearl Gluck
Co-Producers-Allen Bain, Darren Goldberg
Didier Gertsch-Cinematographer
Pete Beaudrea-Editor
Bradford Reed-Music
THE 7th FLOOR PRODUCTIONS
New York, NY
 
KEY ACTORS: NEIL DISCOLL, JR. JEREMY DAVIDSON
 
A story about 2 dysfunctional friends being reunited after years apart.

SYNOPSIS
 
When Thomas (Jeremy Davidson) unexpectedly drops in on his friend, Steven (Neil Driscoll, Jr.), the excitement of their reunion quickly ferments into the childlike bliss of friends at play.  Still, it is clear that the two have changed since the last time they met.
 
Steven, now a twenty-something loner, lives a rather detached, isolated existence in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.  Thomas, however, is full of energy and eager to help his friend regain  a lust for life.  Yet Thomas' zeal seems a bit too concocted as it becomes increasingly apparant that his visit may be a quest for escape, not reunion.
 
Together, they provide each other with a momentary distraction from the reality of their troubled lives, that is, until their friendship winds itself into a knot of tension that quickly unravels, descending into a much darkwer reality where actions and values are questioned and put to rest.

DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT
 
Using techniques of improvisation, along with scripted material, Deprivation is a performance based character piece.  The screenplay was written without dialogue, however, the action of each scene was precisely scripted as to ensure the overall arc and themes of the story.  The actors rehearsed without ever being shown a script and focused primarily on their character's history, particular mannerisms and relationships to the world around them.  Throughout the sequential shooting of the film the actors remained in character and not until we wrapped the final scene did they actually have the chance to meet one another out of character.
 
The concept behind shooting in a cinema verite style was to ensure realistic dialogue and the constant evolution of character and story.   We incorporated aspects of the actor's lives with that of the character and story.  We incorporated aspects of the actor's lives with that of the characters, thus eliminating the need to memorize any scripted material.  By drawing upon actual memories and living as the characters for several consecutive weeks, it was the goal of the film to evoke truthful performances and honest moments.
 
When it came time for post-production we wound up with 150 hours of footage and incorporated similar ideas and techniques during the editing process as we did in pre-production and production.  The only footage that was used in the final version of the film had to adhere to the same conceptual demands that were placed upon the story and actors.
 
My primary goal was to make a collaborative film that continued to evolve from concept through finished product, and which was honest, dark, gritty and unpredictable.
 

FILMMAKER BIO
 
JESSE SCOLARO graduated from the film conservatory program at SUNY Purchase in 1997 and, in 1999, co-founded The 7th Floor, an independent film production company.  His award-winning short film, Togetherless, played at film festivals around the world.  Jesse has written several screenplays including a Sicilian drama entitled, Francesco (based on a true story), a teen psychological horror script, Cocaine (co-written with Didlier Gertsch), and In the Valley of Life, a story about three friends trapped in the desert.
 
Jesse has also produced several projects under his company banner including the award winning feature film Manito ( Syndance-Special Jury Prize, SXSW- Grand Jury Prize, TriBeCa-Grand Jury Prize, Gotham Awards- Open Palm) and Cry Funny Happy (Sundance-Official Seclection 2003).
 
Deprivation is Jesse's feature film debut.

PRODUCERS & PRODUCTION COMPANY
 
ALLEN BAIN/DARREN GOLDBERG & THE 7th FLOOR
 
Allen Bain graduated from the film conservatory program at SUNY Purchase in 1997 and, in 1999, co-founded The 7th Floor with partner Jesse Scolaro.  In 2000, Darren Goldberg joined the team as a Partner.
 
Since its inception, they have produced several projects including the feature films Manito and Cry Funny Happy

The 7th Floor has also Co-Produced  and Associate Produced numerous projects including 29 Palms by award-winning director Bruno Dumont (Humanite and The Life of Jesus), Shelter Island  (Starring Ally Sheedy, Patsy Kensit and Stephen), XX/XY (IFC Films, Starring Mark Ruffalo, Official Sundance 2002), K (Official Selection Venice 2002), Logic of the Birds and Soliloquy (Directed by Shirin Neshat).
 
The 7th Floor's development slate includes projects by the award winning director Ziad Doueiri (West Beirut), Brant Sersen (Sick of it All and Release), and Bret Stern (Road to Park City).

LEON GRODSKI (Screenplay/Producer) is currently at work on The Points of Contact, a four part film and video installation series on the relation between cognition and security (Photo District News Magazine's Digital Imaging Contest-First Prize).  His international award-winning video Great Balls of Fire continue worldwide exhibition (Oberhausen, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Harvard University).  Recent works as a producer include the helicopter climax sequence for the touring version of the Broadway Musical Miss Saigon, David Solow's Untitled Dreaming Project (Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, NC) and Shirin Neshat's Logic of the Birds (Walker Art Center, Lincoln Center).
 

DIDIER GERTSCH (Screenplay/Cinematographer)  came to the United States from Switzerland in 1993 and graduated from the film conservatory program at SUNY Purchase in 1997.  Didier was the cinematographer on the award-winning feature film Manito and is also a writer and director of theatre and film.  His short film...to be with me played at film festivals worldwide adn was distributed in Switzerland.  Didier was the cinematographer on Jesse's short film Togetherless, and the pair also collaborated on a screenplay entitled, Cocaine.

PEARL R. GLUCK (Screenplay)  was awarded a 2000 Sundance Producer's Lab Fellowship and a 2001 Sundance Festival Mentorship Fellowship for Divan (2003), a feature length documentary about her great grandfather's mystical couch in Hungary.  In addition, she co-directed and co-produced the award-winning short, Great Balls of Fire which screened at the European Media Arts Festival, the New York Video Festival at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and was awarded a Grand Jury award at No Dance 2002, a Juror's Choice Award at teh ASU Museum of Arts, and opened the DIG.IT festival at the Walker Center for the Arts.

PETE BEAUDREAU (Editor) graduated from the film conservatory at SUNY Purchase in 1997.  His editorial debut, The American Astronaut (directed by Cory McAbee), played in competition at the Sundace Film Festival in 2001 and went on to a theatrical release in the U.S.  Pete's second feature XX/XY, competed at Sundance in 2002 and will be released  by IFC Films in 2001.  He was also involved as the post-production supervisor on Manito which played in competiton in Sundance in 2002, winning a Special Jury Prize.