Madison Casting Call – The Nursery

TheNurseryTempPoster1

Production title: The Nursery
Union / Non-Union: Non-Union
Production Type: Independent
Project length: Feature Film (85 – 100 minutes)
Production Company: Visuality (visuality.com)
Film Site: www.facebook.com/TheNurseryMovie and https://thenurserymovie.wordpress.com/

Producers: Jay Sapiro, Glenn Chung, Chris Micklos
Directors:  Jay Sapiro, Chris Micklos
Casting Director:  Jay Sapiro
Audition Location: HopCat Madison | 222 W. Gorham St., Madison WI 53703 (corner of State St. and Gorham)
Email: jay@visuality.com
Compensation: No

Auditions:  Thursday, August 11 12:00pm – 9:00pm

Call Backs: TBD

Shooting Location: Greendale, WI (Milwaukee suburb)

Shooting Dates:  Approximately 7 consecutive days in September (tentative)

 Synopsis: When college freshman Ranae agrees to babysit for a family with a tragic past, her run-of-the-mill Saturday night quickly turns into a confrontation with unspeakable horror. Stalked by a sinister presence and haunted by ghosts from her own past, Ranae and her friends must confront an angry, evil spirit determined to hunt them down one-by-one on a deliberate march toward its ultimate prey in The Nursery.

Casting the following roles for this session (talent does not have to be exact age of character):

  • RANAE |Female |19 years old
  • CALISTA | Female | 19 years old
  • GRACE |Female | 20 years old
  • JEREMY |Male |22 years old
  • RAY | Male | 15 years old

Character BIOS, can be found at: https://thenurserymovie.wordpress.com/2016/07/12/character-casting-bios/

About the casting session:

While this is an open casting call, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to see everyone who shows up on Thursday, August 11 at HopCat Madison. We will, however, reserve a limited number of audition spaces for those who contact us prior to the session.

If you are interested in being considered for a reserved audition time, please send the following to Jay Sapiro (Jay@visuality.com):

  • Resume
  • Headshot
  • Links to sample work
  • Availability in September and October

Get a PDF of this casting call notice here: 01_madison_casting notice_ACT

The Nursery on IMDB!

For those of you who visit IMDB.com (the Internet Movie Database) for all things film and television, you’ll be happy to know that The Nursery is now listed as a feature film in development. As filmmakers, we’re pretty excited about it. Being on IMDB allows us to reach a wider audience and provides us with another outlet to share all kinds of cool media and information about the film.

If you check us out on IMDB right away, please keep in mind that we’re still building that web presence as we were just approved to be listed (more proof that we keep you guys filled in on everything as soon as it happens!). So please be patient and check back in a few days to see what we’ve added to it. Of course, we’ll do our best to keep you posted via this blog and our FB page.

Before I signoff, two quick “thank you” comments…

Thanks again to Aaron Kopec for letting us hold our first casting session at The Alchemist Theatre in Milwaukee, WI. Aaron is a great guy with a very cool theatre. We encourage all of you to check it out!

Speaking of YOU, thank you so much for all your support for The Nursery. We jumped past 10,000 FB fans a few days ago, and that’s all because of you!

Oh, here’s the link to our IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5903358/?ref_=ttfc_fc_tt

  • Jay

Casting Call Notes – 7/19

Yesterday, the producers of The Nursery spent the day in Bay View, WI, holding our first casting session, and it was a great day!

First and foremost, a big thank you to Aaron Kopec and The Alchemist Theater for hosting the casting session! Here he is, in fact:

aaron

What a great venue not only for the stage productions that they host and produce through the year, but also for an event like this. It was the perfect place for our Milwaukee-area auditions!

Also, thanks so much to David Sapiro, who not only helped us with some actor recruiting but also read with the auditioning actors and hung out with us all day long. He was a huge help!

Finally, thanks SO MUCH to all the actors who showed up to meet us and to audition for roles in the film. We had a terrific group of actors and actresses come through yesterday and really give us everything they had. Considering how narrow the age range is for the roles we’re currently looking at (one character is 15, and the others range between 17 and 22), it was really cool to see a whole range of experience and potential walk across our stage. A lot of talent with bright futures showed up at The Alchemist yesterday!

Of course, I can’t get too specific about the various individuals or our decision-making process at this point, but I can say that more than once I saw our characters make the leap off the printed page and onto the stage. It was amazing to watch.

“The Nursery” is a horror movie, first and foremost, but it is written to tap into a whole range of reactions and emotions: not just with tension and fear, but also with humor and genuine poignancy. As such, it was so exciting to see some of our dialogue spring forth and echo with the nuance and impact with which it was written. I can honestly say that, sitting there in the front row watching of the intimate theater watching actors bring various scenes to life for the first time, there were moments when I laughed out loud, when I felt that familiar chill crawl up my spine, and when I was sincerely moved by the emotional resonance of the brief performance. And at one point, I heard the greatest scream I have ever heard in person. Hands down.

At the same time, as the screenwriter, I found the session more valuable than I had originally imagined it would be in terms of getting a sense for what dialogue and language works and what needs to be revisited. Of course, writing IS rewriting, but this was the first chance to hear others outside of our core creative team read and interpret our words, and there were certainly areas where it was clear that a line or word or phrase just simply didn’t work. And knowing that at this point is so valuable.

So, next steps:

Though we have not scheduled it yet, we’ll soon be having another round of auditions in Madison, and we’ll post information about that as soon as possible. Most likely, it will be in the early part of August, but we’re still trying to decide on a venue.

Stayed tuned, and we’ll post more when we know more.

And, again, thanks to EVERYONE who made yesterday’s casting call such a great success for us!

 

We Hit a Nerve!

Well, I’d say that we might have hit a nerve. Our FB page, which went live a little less than a month ago, has over 7,300 fans! Thanks to all of you for your early support and encouragement. We promise to make it worth your while, and we hope that folks continue to share and stay engaged with us/The Nursery.

So who are we? I think Chris did a very good job of explaining that in his Three Friends and a Dream blog and would suggest that you check it out. I will, however, say that Glenn, Chris and I have been friends and business partners for more than 20 years. Our firm, Visuality, has developed creative and effective media for clients and campaigns all across the country. We’ve been extremely fortunate in that we’ve been able to do what we love – with folks we genuinely enjoy working with – for more than two decades. Our hope is to bring our unique approach to media and storytelling to The Nursery…and everything that relates to it.

Speaking of storytelling, we’re looking for storytellers of sorts for The Nursery. That’s right, we’re looking for actors. Our first casting session will be held in Milwaukee on Tuesday, July 19, at The Alchemist Theatre from 10am to 4pm. All the details can be found here. Be sure to check our FB page later this week, as I’m sure we’ll post photos and updates shortly after the session.

Please stay engaged and involved as we plan to keep “hitting nerves” (I think I just came up with the title for our next horror film…).

  • Jay

Excited for Casting Session

ccpic

For the first time on Tuesday, we’re going to hear our characters’ words come out of the mouths of actors, and that is an incredibly exciting proposition.

This coming Tuesday–July 19–there will be a casting session for The Nursery in the Milwaukee area, and Glenn, Jay, and I will be spending the day auditioning actors for the lead roles in the film: Ranae, Calista, Grace, Jeremy, and Ray. There are a few other key speaking and non-speaking roles in the film, but those five characters are on our plate for Tuesday, and we’re hoping to see a good mix of actors for each role.

Truthfully, though, I think it’s safe to say that none of us are sure exactly what to expect.

The three of us have been through plenty of casting sessions before for the work we do at Visuality, but those have been different propositions altogether. More often than not, those have been arranged through talent agencies and have been for ads or videos for various clients across the country. Talent comes in, they read a few lines, you get a sense of whether or not they can take direction, you try to figure out if they can convey exactly what you’re looking for, and–sometimes most importantly–you just want to get a sense of whether this is someone you’re willing to work with for a day or two or whatever it entails. It’s important work, yeah, but the stakes on Tuesday are significantly higher, for sure.

On Tuesday we’re going to be looking for much the same things, but we also want to see if these people can bring our characters to life. Can they get to the emotional core of the characters? Can they be funny when they need to be, terrified when necessary, and believable in the context of the movie? And can they bring something to the role(s) that maybe we aren’t expecting, that adds depth to the movie, that raises the stakes of the film for the audience to get them more invested and pulls them deeper into the story and–of course–the horror.

And it’s a horror movie, after all, so can they scream?!?!

From a writer’s perspective, I’m just curious to hear the dialogue interpreted by various actors. Between the different roles we’ll be casting and the specific pages of dialogue that we’ll be utilizing for the auditions, we’ll be covering a wide range of moments and emotions. We’ll hear how some of the humor sounds when spoken out loud. We’ll get a sense for whether or not the quieter, more reflective moments land or if they just don’t work. We’ll hear if the urgent warnings and excited exclamations fall flat or if they will serve to ramp up the tension. And, I suppose, we’ll start to get a sense of whether or not the dialogue written for each character actually helps lead our actors down the path toward fully-realized, well-rounded characters…or not.

Now that I’m into this blog post, I realize that most of my thinking about this at this point (obviously) is speculative and basically just a reflection of my own curiosity and anxiety in leading up to Tuesday’s session. I suspect that for the reader, the blog post on casting will be significantly more interesting AFTER Tuesday…so perhaps I’ll just leave it here for now and pick it up again Tuesday night!

Just a reminder:

While this is an open casting call, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to see everyone who shows up on Tuesday, July 19 at The Alchemist (2569 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Bay View, WI). We will, however, reserve a limited number of audition spaces for those who contact us prior to the session.

If you are interested in being considered for a reserved audition time, please send the following to Jay Sapiro (Jay@visuality.com):

  • Resume
  • Headshot
  • Links to sample work
  • Availability in September and October

And, if you need it, you can get a PDF of this casting call notice here: TheNursery_Casting-Call_ACT .

Wish us luck on Tuesday!

 

 

 

 

The Nursery Casting Call

TheNurseryTempPoster1

Production title: The Nursery
Union / Non-Union: Non-Union
Production Type: Independent
Project length: Feature Film (85 – 100 minutes)
Production Company: Visuality (visuality.com)
Film Site: www.facebook.com/TheNurseryMovie and https://thenurserymovie.wordpress.com/

Producers: Jay Sapiro, Glenn Chung, Chris Micklos
Directors:  Jay Sapiro, Chris Micklos
Casting Director:  Jay Sapiro
Audition Location: The Alchemist Theatre | 2569 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Bay View, WI 53207
Email: jay@visuality.com
Compensation: No

Auditions:  Tuesday, July 19 10:00am – 4:00pm

Call Backs: TBD

Shooting Location: Greendale, WI (Milwaukee suburb)

Shooting Dates:  Approximately 7 consecutive days in September (tentative)

 Synopsis: When college freshman Ranae agrees to babysit for a family with a tragic past, her run-of-the-mill Saturday night quickly turns into a confrontation with unspeakable horror. Stalked by a sinister presence and haunted by ghosts from her own past, Ranae and her friends must confront an angry, evil spirit determined to hunt them down one-by-one on a deliberate march toward its ultimate prey in The Nursery.

Casting the following roles for this session (talent does not have to be exact age of character):

  • RANAE |Female |19 years old
  • CALISTA | Female | 19 years old
  • GRACE |Female | 20 years old
  • JEREMY |Male |22 years old
  • RAY | Male | 15 years old

Character BIOS, can be found at: https://thenurserymovie.wordpress.com/2016/07/12/character-casting-bios/

About the casting session:

While this is an open casting call, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to see everyone who shows up on Tuesday, July 19 at The Alchemist. We will, however, reserve a limited number of audition spaces for those who contact us prior to the session.

If you are interested in being considered for a reserved audition time, please send the following to Jay Sapiro (Jay@visuality.com):

  • Resume
  • Headshot
  • Links to sample work
  • Availability in September and October

Get a PDF of this casting call notice here: TheNursery_Casting-Call_ACT

Character Casting Bios

STORY SUMMARY

When college freshman Ranae agrees to babysit for a family with a tragic past, her run-of-the-mill Saturday night quickly turns into a confrontation with unspeakable horror. Stalked by a sinister presence and haunted by ghosts from her own past, Ranae and her friends must confront an angry, evil spirit determined to hunt them down one-by-one on a deliberate march toward its ultimate prey in The Nursery.

RANAE (19)Haunted by the recent death of her mother, 19-year-old Ranae finds herself in a fragile state during the summer between her freshman and sophomore years of college. Separated from what’s left of her family by half a continent and struggling with depression, Ranae agrees to babysit for a family that turns out to have a tragic past of its own. Taunted by an evil presence in the house and provoked by the skepticism of her friends, Ranae finds herself mentally and emotionally on tenterhooks; but she must overcome her own doubts and grief in order to solve the mystery of The Nursery and survive the night.

CALISTA (19)Ranae’s best friend, Calista is self-assured, assertive, and fiercely loyal. Despite a privileged upbringing, she is strong and self-reliant. Alarmed by her friend’s erratic behavior and uneasy about her emotional state, Calista is quick to offer support and assurance, but hesitant to believe Ranae’s outlandish speculation about what might be happening in the house. As their bizarre and ultimately harrowing night unfolds, Calista’s actions are driven first and foremost by her loyalty and concern for Ranae.

GRACE (20)Flirtatious and magnetic, Grace is used to getting what she wants, from friends and lovers alike. She is the kind of girl who can steal her friend’s older boyfriend (Jeremy) and still maintain her relationship with the friend (Calista). Her brash, self-confident exterior, however, masks an underlying sense of insecurity and self-doubt. Although intelligent in her own right and successful in most everything she sets out to do, she often efforts to lower the bar for herself, content to play the clueless bombshell and to defer to the opinions and perceptions of those around her.

JEREMY (22)22-year-old Jeremy is not in college with the girls, but tends to hang out at the bars near the UW campus in Madison and frequently dates college girls. Jeremy lives with his two older brothers and makes his living doing a variety of jobs: landscaping and yard maintenance, house painting, snow removal, etc. He takes pride in his relationship with the younger, gorgeous Grace, but despite being older and more experienced than her and her friends, he also wrestles with insecurity over his lack of education, which contributes to his sometimes abrasive personality and quick-trigger temper.

RAY (15)Ranae’s brother, Ray, is an awkward teenager who has lived in Utah with his grandparents since the recent death of his mother. During that time and in order to cope with the sudden loss of his mother, he has become obsessed with the supernatural, the paranormal, and the dividing line between life and death. Ultimately, Ray believes that if he can find evidence that spirits and ghosts exist, that means that his mother is still out there and part of his life. Whereas his sister has collapsed under the weight of her grief and depression, Ray—though younger and less mature—has set out in search of answers.

Get PDF here:  TheNurseryCastingBios

Three Friends and a Dream

chrisglennjay

As I sit down to write about the team behind The Nursery, it strikes me that I’m writing specifically from my own point-of-view, and I’ve no doubt that Jay and Glenn might have their own nuances to share about our friendship and partnership of the last 20 years or so. I suspect, though, that we would all share a very similar perspective, but keep in mind that I might be–as the professionals say–an unreliable narrator.

I’ve known Jay Sapiro since college, which is now a long time ago in a city far, far away (not all THAT far, actually, but dramatic license and all). We were both students in the Radio-TV-Film program at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh, where our paths occasionally crossed; but we didn’t really form our friendship until a few years later when both of us ended up living here in Madison, WI. While Jay and I were at Oshkosh, Glenn Chung was studying at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where he earned his MBA and began his career as a consultant helping startups write business plans.

At a time when the three of us were off following different career paths, Jay and Glenn met, and before long they decided to start their own small business together:  a boutique media production firm called Visuality, which Glenn had actually founded earlier to do freelance media design and animation work. A year or so later, I joined them at Visuality, and the three of us have been partners and friends ever since. I would imagine that there are lots of ways to hammer out a satisfying, rewarding career, but I’m not certain I would have been particularly good at any of them other than the one I stumbled into.

Working with individuals who are friends first and colleagues second can certainly be challenging from time to time. Like any personal or professional relationship, conflict is inevitable. Disagreements arise over creative or strategic decisions. Miscommunication (or simply poor communication, more often than not) leading to frustration or irritation. Personal peccadilloes that grate on each others’ nerves.

Personally, when I’m irritated or frustrated, I shut down completely. Many has been the time when I’ve slipped into my office in the morning, closed the office door, and communicated with my colleagues exclusively through terse e-missives or grunted answers when actual verbal communication was wrestled out of me. Though difficult to admit, some of these immature episodes lasted days on end.

But the great thing about working with friends is the ability to push past that kind of nonsense and know that it will be gone soon enough, and that the personal investment and trust you have in your relationship is far more substantial than all the garbage that piles up from day to day.

I remember one day–a Friday–when me and one of my partners simply were not speaking to each other. Doors closed. Practically hostile email exchanges. Going to whatever lengths necessary to avoid the other. Then, Saturday morning, one of us texted the others with an invitation to get our families together for breakfast, and whatever it was that was vexing us on Friday was long forgotten in the workplace on Monday.

Over the past twenty years or so, Glenn, Jay and I have forged an enduring working partnership based on mutual trust, respect, shared values, creative compatibility, and just plain liking each other. Jay and Glenn both stood up in my wedding in 2007. We see movies together. We grab meals together frequently. We’ve known each others’ children since the day they were born. We laugh together.

More importantly, from a professional perspective, we are each good at different things, and our strengths–and in large part, our aesthetic sensibilities–complement each other. That is the kind of thing you never think about ahead of time, but ultimately is essential to a successful working relationship.

Our media firm, Visuality, has been serving clients all across the country for the past twenty years. Working in the areas of politics, advocacy, education, healthcare, and Tribal government & business–just to name a few of the core ones–we call ourselves a one-stop, full-service solution for member engagement, message and strategy, association brand development, and innovative media production and campaigns for clients of all sizes.

First and foremost, though, we are a media production firm, going back to the first day that Visuality turned its lights on.

Our political media has won elections. Our advocacy media has shaped public opinion on key questions and issues. Our traditional advertising media has run in nearly half the states in the nation, and our “new” media (not so new any more!) has effectively reached highly targeted audiences–both small and large–in every corner of the country and beyond. And our best media and production work has been honored with literally dozens upon dozens of top awards and discussed on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and in The New York Times.

We know how to be creative. We know how to do outstanding production work. And now it’s time for us to take that expertise and do something completely different.

We certainly aren’t three cynical, longtime veterans of the movie industry taking our turn at helming a feature. Nor are we three amateurs who have never picked up a camera before. We are somewhere in between, and we happen to think that that place we occupy in between is somewhat of a sweet spot.

In setting out to make an independent, feature-length film, we have lots of creative and production experience to build from; and beyond that, we also have a real passion for movies and a shared dream to do something that we’ve never done before. In that regard, it will be a challenge, for sure, but also a labor of love.

So, please come on this journey with us! Share our passion. Laugh at our mistakes. Help us celebrate our successes. And, most of all, enjoy the fun.

One thing is certain:  you’ll know from start to finish that you are among friends.

 

 

 

Welcome to The Nursery!

When college freshman Ranae agrees to babysit for a family with a tragic past, her run-of-the-mill Saturday night quickly turns into a confrontation with unspeakable horror. Stalked by a sinister presence and haunted by ghosts from her own past, Ranae and her friends must confront an angry, evil spirit determined to hunt them down one-by-one on a deliberate march toward its ultimate prey in The Nursery.

The Nursery is an independent horror movie in the tradition of “Halloween”, “Paranormal Activity”, and “House of the Devil” currently in development in Madison & Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Initial development on the film began in earnest late in the spring of this year, and at the point of this writing (July 10, 2016), our team has hammered out a compelling story, written two (2) drafts of a script, and identified our primary location for filming. The process has moved along quickly so far, but now we are starting to confront some of the key nuts-and-bolts decisions and steps of the movie making process, so the real work is about to ramp up considerably.

That’s where this blog comes in.

Though we are starting it a bit later than we would have liked, it is our intention to use this blog to help us keep our friends, family, and fans up-to-date on the progress of the film, as well as to engage other film fanatics, horror fans, and creative thinkers in the process of making The Nursery the best movie we can make it. In addition, we see it as an opportunity to keep our own thoughts organized, to give us a chance to memorialize the process for ourselves (what’s that they say about not seeing the forest for the trees?), and–in general–to allow us to test out or key ideas, to reflect on the process, and (perhaps) even to rant and rave about the process now and then.

The original core producers of The Nursery are Glenn Chung, Chris Micklos, and Jay Sapiro. Owners of the media firm Visuality, we have been partners working together doing production work of all kinds all over the country for nearly 20 years, and we decided this spring that it was well past time that we finally stop talking about making a movie ourselves and actually do it. When you roll all three of us together, you get a core team that brings to this project significant production experience, terrific creative energy, a fanaticism for all things horror, and–without exception–three guys who have a pure love of and passion for the movies. We expect that our final movie will reflect all that, and we certainly hope that this blog will, too. (There will be more about our team in future posts, but we thought we could just introduce ourselves quickly here. So stay tuned!)

Different members of the creative team will jump in and out of the blog, so our readers will likely get different voices and perspectives throughout the process, but we trust that it will be an interesting, fun look inside the process of a team of passionate movie fans tacking their (our) first independent, full-length, feature film.

Since we are starting the blog a couple months into the process, we’ll probably start by using the first several blog posts to get caught up. We’ll tell you some more about our core team, talk a little bit about the story development process, reflect on the writing of the script, and more. Then, once we’re all caught up, we’ll start of the process of contemporaneously blogging on events and developments as they occur; we’ll share evolving imagery and creative dilemmas for our readers to weigh in on; and maybe we’ll even do some blogging and reflecting on other movies and culture that inspire us or brush up against the kind of movie that we’re trying to make.

I guess you can think about this blog like this:

  • Part journal
  • Part social engagement
  • Part creative exercise
  • Part therapy

Put it all together, and we think it will be well worth our time and energy, and we certainly hope it will be worth yours, as well.

So, please follow our blog for all of the above, as well as regular production updates, announcements, and opportunities to get involved in helping us make this exciting, original feature film!