Royal Secrets: Resort & Casino

: Narrative Short
GENRE: Student Film
STATUS: Pre-Production


ULEE, an older, wannabe casanova roams a Caribbean singles resort seeking one last shot at love.


On his last day of vacation, Ulee, a peculiar middle-aged bachelor, sets his sights on romance. After publicly striking out at the cabaret and the pool, he meets Ysabel, a woman desperate to escape from her domineering elderly mother. The unlikely duo find companionship and more over the course of an eventful last night in the Caribbean.


I have long been fascinated by Caribbean resorts and by those who flock to them. Given a wristband and key card, you are granted unlimited access to a world of sameness: identical restaurants, swim-up bars, and bilingual variety shows. Even more fascinating are the guests who inhabit these spaces. Older men and their "young companions," nouveau riche families, and desperate bachelors flock to these strange locales. My short is set in this gonzo reality.

Beyond their sheer oddity, I find these resorts thematically rich, offering a glimpse into a cultural clash common in the West Indies. There, wealthy Americans and Europeans isolate themselves from often impoverished local populations. These tourists seek a foreign locale, but demand the recognizable: March Madness, yoga classes, and t-shirt giveaways. In countries where the wounds of colonialism are still tender, these resorts, occupying prime real estate, bring discomfort, but also local employment.

Ulee, the protagonist, is a conduit to explore these tensions. As a prototypical “Ugly American,” Ulee has little interest in the local culture or customs. However, the exoticism and warm climate draws him in. Like many tourists, Ulee imbues the resort with his own romantic desires, as an answer to his stateside relationship troubles. I hope to create a film that is both critical and sympathetic to Ulee’s situation.

Visually, I plan to use restraint. I want to convey drama by the script and acting, and allow the camera to take a backseat to the onscreen action. Most importantly, I want to create a fun, stylized film centered around this peculiar protagonist. I hope to create a film that celebrates the romantic qualities of this strange resort, and offer a glimpse into the bizarre world of the protagonist.


Thomas Meyer - Writer/Director

Thomas is an MFA candidate at NYU TISCH School of the Arts. He is the recipient of the W.T. Johnson fellowship for excellence in filmmaking. Prior to NYU, he worked at Animal Kingdom Films, a New York-based independent production company. There, he assisted in the development of Jim Jarmusch’s PATERSON, David Robert Mitchell’s IT FOLLOWS, and Joachim Trier’s LOUDER THAN BOMBS. Thomas graduated from Yale University in 2013 with honors in Political Science.

Daniel Marino - Producer

Daniel Marino graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a Bachelor’s Degree in the Dramatic Arts with an emphasis in Directing. He has been living and working in the freelance film world of Los Angeles for over four years. In that time, Marino has worked as a production assistant on feature films, televised series and commercials, as well as being the lead wardrobe assistant on commercials for such clients as HONDA, ESPN, VICE and TOYOTA. As a producer, he has produced the feature length documentary Mentally Al (which has currently been accepted in upwards of six film festivals, including top 100 festivals such as Catalina and the Polish International film festival) , and is attached on the upcoming thriller Vengeance alongside Myriad Pictures.

Chloe Wallace - Producer

Now based in NYC but having grown up in Spain, Chloe Wallace is a third year student at the NYU TISCH school of arts. Chloe works as a commercial director for the production companies CANADA and Bunker and has worked with a numerous of prestigious brands including Reebok, Rexona, Huawei, Vogue... Chloe won the 2017 best director award and best emerging artist at the Berlin Fashion Film Festival.

Jack Kendrick - Director of Photography

Jack Kendrick is a current thesis student at TISCH New York University and native New York filmmaker and cinematographer. Most recently he was the director of photography on a project for the artist Shura, which was named by Billboard as one of the 20 best music videos of 2019. Jack has also curated a showcase of shorts at the Parrish Art Museum entitled BOYS DO CRY, highlighting boyhood and masculinity today. Jack’s own narratives works include The ARTIST’S ASSISTANT (2014), AMENITIES (2016), HONEY BEE (2018) and THE APARTMENT (2019). His films have played at various film festivals including the Lone Star Film Festival and the Sarasota Film Festival. In addition to his own work, Jack has shot and directed videos for Glamour Magazine and Vogue Spain.


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