Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A message from Sylvia

As we continue on the paths that our work as artists keep us on - Chris finishing his novel and producing music, sylvia devoting her studio time to solo projects that increasingly get attention from curators, Sapna shooting her co-starring role on NBC's 'Awake' - among other things, Keskarel seems to have ended, as successful collaborative projects are supposed to. We hope our project continued just long enough, and is not ending too soon or too late. Look for us, each of us - sylviatoyindustries, Chris Arthur-Henly Robinson, Michael Lewis, Diana Slampyak, Nidal Yousef, Nima Nejad, Steven Lewis & Sapna Gandhi - in the future. We will be there making art.

- sylvia

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A message from Directors Mike Lewis and Chris Robinson

The KeskarelAMovie project has evolved. The frozen chicken, sadly, has gone the way of the Dodo. The evolutionary process that began the first time one of the characters changed the storyline in the middle of an improv session, continued when the Storyboard was complete and AD Chris began writing the script, with Mike as dramaturge, and sylvia, as she promised Mike + Chris, hands-off in her new role as only-the-producer. Mike  summarizes status:
The two of us, Mike and Chris, have decided to reduce the scope of the project to a short film derived from one piece of the Keskarel screen play.  Our plan is to focus on the Therapist and two of his clients/patients as they attempt to work through a marital dispute (Note: This scene has not been published in the blog in order to preserve Chris' copyright. As scriptwriter, Chris opted to replace Hamlet + Ophelia as the noisy neighbors.).  The climax of their therapy is interrupted by the intervention of their disgruntled neighbors, Keskarel and the videographer.  This preserves much of our original planned ending for the feature length film, and does not exclude the possibility of eventually filming more from the feature length storyboard of Keskarel.  However Mike and Chris are not interested in working on that story at this time.

This change in plans was agreed upon by Mike and Chris for several reasons.  One reason being the amount of work and finances needed to produce a feature length story.  On top of these practical hurdles, Mike and Chris are still not happy with the current version of the Keskarel screen play.  It is really more of a character study than a story with a plot.  And without an interesting plot, we feel there is not a compelling drama.

Mike and Chris both believe that the story arc for the Keskarel character could be developed.  And we have specific ideas how to do this.  However, neither Mike nor Chris are very interested in working on that kind of story.  We prefer to work on the part of the story that we find the most interesting, which is the Therapist sub-plot.

One strategy we are currently discussing is to build up the "Keskarel" project as a group of short stories which are interwoven or loosely connected.  Each short story can be approached as it's own short film project.  These shorts can either be edited together into a feature length film or presented separately as stand-alone short films.

In addition to the Therapist story, we want to film another short segment involving a character from a short story by Chris.  This segment is surrealistic and may or may not connect well to the other story by the time we complete it.  However, the point of this is to make short films that are complete and finished rather than to continue making storyboards.
sylvia is busy with solo projects and likely will only be producer and crew on the Keskarel Project in its new incarnation, but, we hope the rest of our cast - Diana, Nidal, Nima, Sapna & Steve - will like the new scripts for shorts.

Congratulations, Sapna!

Congratulations and break a leg to Sapna Gandhi, who has landed her first gig in an episodic, NBC's new show, Awake. She shot her first scenes this past week. Yay!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A message from sylviatoyindustries: Keskarel Evolves

apologies for our recent spotty updating. while i have been trying not be a micro-managing producer and as well, distracted by my solo projects, Mike Lewis & Chris Robinson, in their planning and critique of Chris's script, have taken the project to new levels.

Mike and Chris will compose their own summaries for posting here, but, briefly, they have stripped the story of its core and are building one of the subplots - the noisy neighbors - as the heart of the story. There are new characters, new conflicts and the other night, i heard something about animation.

we also have a new intern, Nick, whose wonderful stories have a lot of potential for visual storytelling. i hope to put Nick behind a camera on one of my solo projects to get him started, so when Mike and Chris are ready to shoot, Nick will be more up to speed.

as always, thanks for reading.
- sylvia

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Keskarel: Update this week

Gmail keskarel navapeac <keskarel@gmail.com>

Studio space
3 messages
keskarel navapeac <keskarel@gmail.com> Sun, Jan 15, 2012 at 12:02 PM
To: Christopher Robinson, bymikelewis
hey.  as the last shoot Sapna & I did was a nightmare trying to do so many different scenes in my living room, light changes, special effects and all, i am going to try to find a space (read empty room with plain, neutral walls) that i can rent cheaply from time to time. i know from theatre and voice study that such rooms exist. it is likely that if rented for a block of time, a person could bring in necessary furniture, etc. just for the rental time, just like you can do for theatre.


The Keskarel the Movie production team

Christopher Robinson Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 1:18 AM
To: keskarel navapeac <keskarel@gmail.com>
Okay, so far I have two ideas for a movie, the first is extending the piece I wrote about our therapist, the second is about an ape that is born with human hands. He becomes a doctor (The incredible Doctor Guthrie) His wife dies, after a controversial marriage, that inspires some politicians to say, "see look what happens when you let the gays get married." He also meets a man or woman that is dying of cancer to make money in order to pay for their kemo treatments they somehow hatch up the idea to sell him to the zoo. Since our incredible doctor is addicted to drugs and suicidal he ends up getting tricked into going cross country with this person. When they get to the zoo our kemo character cannot go through with it, consequently signing their own death warrant. I am working on a third that can connect with these two. I am thinking maybe it could be a series of shorts where all the characters are at the same bar confessing something about their lives.

Also, I got an intern to help with the movie - he really wants to help with a possible new project. I had him send me a couple of his stories and he is in an improvising troupe, I forget what they are called, but he is very motivated and reliable and I want to send them to you. I hope you are doing well Sylvia. I have the day off tomorrow and I would love to meet up and discuss all these things with you.

keskarel navapeac <keskarel@gmail.com> Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 7:18 AM
To: Christopher Robinson
hey. let's talk today. i have holiday today. let's first work on your resume, okay?  i am starting a new performance art project that i have to do starting about one in order to have the best shooting light. we can meet before or after.

also, mike seems to think if you develop the therapist story to be big enough to be pivotal, the rest of keskarel may be doable around it. not sure what he means ...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A message from sylviatoyindustries: happy 2012

Happy New Year. I hope that you have good things to look forward to in 2012. We sure do - especially now that co-directors Michael Lewis and Chris Arthur-Henly Robinson have begun their collaboration to realize Keskarel. They are energetic and excited about working on the movie, and highly motivated - Chris wants to shoot a scene as soon as possible and Mike is dedicating a lot of creative thought to making a real person out of Keskarel, by developing the story of her relationship with her husband, Mikhail, giving her goals and put simply, a little backbone.

When Mike and I met, I jokingly asked him how many flashbacks Chris wanted. Without blinking, he said "two."  I was taught and have difficulty letting go of the philosophy that flashbacks are inherently something to be avoided. But Mike had the same dramatic writing teacher that I had, and handles flashbacks like a virtuoso. I do agree with the boys that Keskarel and Mikhail’s relationship needs to play more deeply and real, since what went wrong between them not only led to the inciting incident, but also is a major clue to their respective characters and motivations.

Ironed out: Mikhail is an ambitious young lawyer pursuing the "American Dream." Keskarel was not mature enough when she got married. They are not newlyweds. She is flaky, creative, spatial and way too artsy fartsy not to frequently collide head-on with her upwardly mobile husband's plans. Mike and Chris are still developing what leads up to the inciting incident - namely the beaning of Mikhail with the frozen chicken.

After Mike and Chris meet again later this week I will have a better idea of what and when our first shoot will be.