Off Track Betty

: Narrative Short
GENRE: Drama
STATUS: Completed


A New York City story, shot on 16mm film, about what we love, when to let go, and what it means to move forward.


Off Track Betty centers on Elizabeth Kaminski, a longtime resident of the Lower East Side, who begins to realize she no longer recognizes her neighborhood. It is a glimpse of a woman at a crossroads: the moment before everything changes around her.

Shooting took place in the days and weeks before the neighborhood began changing forever. Demolition of primary locations is already underway, as the area has recently been rezoned for a comprehensive redevelopment.

With the recent closing of Deluxe, the last film lab in New York, Off Track Betty is one of the last film projects ever to be processed in New York City.


The setting of our story, New York City's Lower East Side, has been my home for more than fifteen years. It is a rich and dynamic place, with people of countless backgrounds, cultures, ages and beliefs living side-by-side, and where some of the oldest buildings in New York abut some of the newest. Like many New Yorkers, I’m amazed at the rapid change the neighborhood has seen--and the precise location of our story is about to undergo far more.

Earlier this year, groundbreaking began on a massive 6.5 acre development on Delancey Street, one of the largest undeveloped lots in New York City. Multiple high-rise towers will rise all the way from Essex Street to the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge, altering the neighborhood in a significant way. The Essex Market, several apartment buildings, and some small businesses will be demolished. Tucked right next to this massive project is one modest, unassuming apartment building that I became fascinated with on my daily trek to the subway. I began to wonder who lived there, with its prime view over the coming transformation of the primary intersection of the Lower East Side.

Off Track Betty is that person’s story: a woman at a crossroads in the moment before everything changes around her. Betty’s quandary is one that everyone can appreciate: how we best make decisions about our future when we are still holding on to what’s past.



Clayton Dean Smith - Writer/Director

Clayton Dean Smith brings to bear over fifteen years of experience as a professional actor in New York City. He has worked on feature films, television series, independent films and in theater, garnering several exceptional reviews from The New Yorker and The New York Times. Directors he has worked with include Neil Jordan, Steve Buscemi, Griffin Dunne, Louis C.K., Tim van Patten, Don Scardino, David Platt, Jim McKay, Michael Showalter, Anne Bogart, Nicholas Martin, and Bob Krakower. Off Track Betty is Clayton’s first film. 

Giacomo Belletti - Director of Photography

Giacomo Belletti is a New York-based cinematographer with extensive experience in feature films, short films, documentaries, and more. In his home country of Italy, he studied Painting as well as Cinematic Lighting in Milan, before working as an ENG cameraman and editor for an Italian television network, while beginning to shoot independent fiction films. He came to New York in 2004 on an assignment for Italian television, and stayed, opting to take advantage of the substantial opportunities for a burgeoning DP career that New York offered. After assisting on the Academy Award-nominated film The Savages (shot by Mott Hupfel), Belletti has served as DP on more than twenty-five independent features, shorts and documentaries, among other projects, including Massimilian Breeder’s Reservoir (2013), Kent Moran’s The Challenger (2015), and Ashlin Halfnight’s upcoming Maybe There’s a Tree (2015). He dedicates himself to shooting projects that tell a good story.

Joe Locarro - Assistant Director

Joe Locarro is a director, producer and choreographer for stage, film, and television. His film, Finding Billy, was nominated for two NY Emmy Awards, Best Director & Best Documentary.  As a director, he directed the PBS series, Vine Talk (Starring Stanley Tucci) and Intelligence Squared Debates; PBS specials include Remember Me (with Parsons Dance and East Village Opera Company), A Tale of Two Cities in Concert (Starring Michael York – filmed in London and Paris) and three specials with Deepak Chopra, among others. Joe’s stage directing credits include multiple productions of Les Misérables and Ragtime regionally. University of Michigan: Les Mis and Cabaret, CCM: Peter Pan, plus numerous readings and new works in NYC. His film and TV directing credits include; TV Pilots: Defending Your Trash, Patent Warriors, Time Zone and I’m Just Warming Up. Additionally, Joe is guest director for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s live broadcasts and his company, Suspension Productions, has created videos and commercials for over 30 dance companies and corporations around the world.

Zach Meyer - Unit Production Manager

Jeffrey Monteiro - Costume Design

Brooks Larsen - Editor

Liz Ortiz-Mackes - Co-Producer/Casting Director

 Liz Ortiz-Mackes is an Independent Film Producer, the owner of I Ain’t Playin’ Films, and a native New Yorker and first generation daughter of Colombian and Panamanian parents. She is also an acclaimed Casting Director for projects which have screened at film festivals including Sundance, Toronto, Palm Springs, HBO Latino, Urban World, Slam Dance, Berlin, Hamptons, South Africa, Costa Rica, and Martha’s Vineyard, among others; and have aired on HBO, Showtime and Cinemax. Her current projects include the feature-length documentary Re-Walk-Me, A Woman’s Journey to Walk Again (Executive Producer), Co-producer and Casting Director for Advantageous, starring Ken Jeong and BAFTA winner Jennifer Ehle. Recent projects include Lost Revolution, with Oscar-winner Melissa Leo and Aaron Stanton; and official Sundance selections The Bravest, The Boldest; Crazy Beats Strong Every Time and Pop Foul, all by acclaimed director Moon Molson. Liz is also on the faculty of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York Film Academy, and conducts monthly workshops for the SAG/AFTRA Foundation. 

Thomas Stark - Co-Producer

Thomas Stark is a producer and director who has worked in film, television, and Internet streaming. He was a producer of the TV series Vine Talk, a wine-themed celebrity talk show moderated by Stanley Tucci and nationally broadcast on public television in the U.S. and on TLN in Canada. On public television, he has also helped produce shows for Deepak Chopra and concert films of A Tale of Two Cities, with the original London cast, and Operatic Heat, a collaboration between Parsons Dance and the East Village Opera Company. He has managed the production of several large-scale multimedia events, including the debate series Intelligence Squared U.S., which airs on NPR. Thomas graduated with honors from Northwestern University with a degree in Radio/TV/Film and lives in New York City.

Humberto Corte - Sound Designer

Humberto won the 2015 Leo Award for his sound work on the feature film, Grace: The Possession. He has created the sound design for numerous features, shorts, video games, and commercials and is the founder of Parlante Sound, a studio located in Vancouver, BC specializing in sound post-production and music composition/production. His work can be heard in the feature film Air, starring Norman Reedus and Djimon Hounsou, currently in theaters.


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IFP Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2019
New York Times (7/20/15): "Capturing a Neighborhood’s Essence on Film, Before They Both Vanish"


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