Time to Play


TYPE
: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Production

LOGLINE

Time To Play tells the story of street performers who work specifically in New York City. We want to get a closer look at their lives, by examining who they are, what their hopes and aspirations are, and why performing is their chosen means of expression. Beyond performances, interviews will lend intimate portrayals of each performer – allowing for the casual passerby or onlooker to stop and consider the reality of the musicians.

Most street musicians have rich personal stories beyond what is expressed publicly through their music. We want to provide them another platform for communicating about the lives they lead behind the music.

 

SYNOPSIS

Time To Play has 3 main stories with other minor stories of buskers in NYC.

African American gospel group MADEOVER performs spectacular a cappella music, which is rare to hear on the subway. The group is composed of 4 members who met in a homeless shelter, each with deprived past. They believe their music can give hope to those who are in despair like they once were. During hopeless times in the shelter and rehab with drug and alcohol addiction, families left them by ones and twos. While struggling to get over the addiction, music and singing was the savior from distress. However, they are still suffering from the pain they caused to their loved ones. Charles, the leader of Madeover, has not had contact with his son for over a decade. Charles has made many efforts to contact him to no avail. The reason Charles and Madeover constantly perform on the subways are to prove to their families that they are changed. Desperate earnestness is all over from their singing. Will their families return to them with open arms?

EDM is the last thing you'd expect to hear on the subway. But that's exactly what Mexican group CHANGO brings: high energy and happiness while under the guise of Mexican-wrestler styled masks and powered by a car battery. 'Life is Beautiful' is the motto that gives Chango their relentless energy and unmatched fun. But underneath the masks, Tony and Javier's lives are far from beautiful. Dealing with their illegal immigrant status in the US with a dream of making it big in the US, they fear more than anything to be forced to leave. If they ever leave to US for any reason, may it be to return to families (whom they terribly miss) or being deported, their dreams would come to a screeching halt. Can Chango survive in the US and become the next big thing in EDM?

In October of 2014, ANDREW KALLEEN was at the center of controversy regarding his violent arrest while performing on the subway platform. Even though he was abiding the law, the NYPD arrested him under the 'Broken Window Theory' to help prevent something larger from happening. Luckily, someone took a video of the incident and it spread like wildfire around the internet. Publications like CNN, Rolling Stone, and TED Talks focused on the issue of Kalleen and the treatment of subway musicians. Kalleen is preparing a lawsuit against the City and the NYPD for the wrongful arrest, but it will take a long time before anything is done. Musicians will still be wrongfully arrested even though it is their right to perform on NYC platforms. Will Andrew Kalleen be successful and help artists across the city?



 

ARTISTIC STATEMENT

My first short documentary was ‘Defector’ (2012) about Young-ae Ma and her son Hyo-sung Choi’s escape and story of North Korea. A powerless mother and son was bodily enduring brutal agony from a massive reality through the divided country. ‘Defector’ tells the story of left out a human rights of defectors from Korea, which this mother and son’s lives remains ideology of South and North Korea’s tragic history.

‘Family, Defected’ which is developed from ‘Defector’ is 45 minutes documentary on National Geographic Channel. After 10 years from escaping North Korea, Hyo-sung Choi has married and became a father in US, however still holding practical conflict as a defector.

My films generally shows unrevealed pain and stories beneath surface. People consider certain group or individual’s problem easily due to exposed matter but it is quite frequent that the real fact is shrouded.

New York City is one of the most populous urban cities, and has been described as the cultural capital of the world. The city has a long-standing significant impact on art and entertainment, and it’s no surprise that this environment draws hundreds of talented performers and musicians in search of fame, recognition, and a creative home.

One day after shoot, I could hear a sorrowful music on the platform while I was waiting for subway with heavy equipment. I looked up and an old musician was spotted playing his original song with his keyboard. The music touched my heart and listed vacantly for 20 minutes. If we give careful attention to their music and stories, it is not difficult to find joy and comfort from them.

-Stephen Seojong Park, Director

KEY CREW

Seojong Stephan Park - Director

 Seojong Stephan Park finished his Documentary Filmmaking course at New York Film Academy and has worked in various programs for the last few years. His documentary ‘Defector – The North Korean’ has won several awards and another film ‘Family Defected’ aired on the National Geographic channel.

Doohyun Dee Shin - Executive Producer / Producer

Doohyun Dee Shin has been working as a producer and a production designer for several years. Her background as a production designer provided intimate experience of the film industry. After finishing her MA, she successfully started producing in NY.

Deukyun Sunny Hwang - Producer

Deukyun Hwang is a director and producer based in NY. Her recent film (Anemone, 2015) won Honorable Mention Fiction Film by Asian/ American/Asian Research Institute City University of New York. G:Gum (2015), which she produced won the best film at SVA Short Film Festival. She has directed and worked as producer for Dust (2014), Wheel of Fortune (2014) and Rain (2015).

John Flynn - Producer / Assistant Director

John Flynn is a filmmaker from Long Island, NY. He has directed 3 short films and produced over 10 shorts. Most notable works include Tempest, Until The Night Is Over, Show Me The Money, Anemone, Ms. Fantasia The Time Keeper, and most recently Rain. John Flynn is the founder of Skye Films, a New York based production company. (www.skyefilmsnyc.com)

Josh Echevarria - Director of Photography

Josh is a NY based Director of Photography who has shot features, documentaries, shorts and music videos. His dedication to the craft and his experience has allowed him to develop a keen sense of lighting and composition which plays a key role in telling unique and moving stories through a visual medium. (www.joshuaechevarria.com)

Jonahan Jeng - Camera B Operator

 Jonathan is an up and coming Taiwanese-American cinematographer whose ultimate desire and aspiration is to make films that transcend deep human emotions of the story through the use of lights and the camera. He’s worked on various personal documentary pieces and narrative shorts which helps his style of capturing and conveying human emotion.

Hyo Jin An - Field Audio Engineer

 Hyo Jin An is a sound engineer based in NY. After his MFA in filmmaking from New York Film Academy in 2011, he has been working with various projects include narrative/ documentary films, TV series,
live-music recordings and more. He is founder and leader of a sound team 'ARTra Sound Pro’ (www.artrasoundpro.com) and also working on his own film projects as a writer/director.

Chris Mendez - Assistant Camera

 Chris Medez is a NY film student that study's at Brooklyn College's film department. He has worked on a hand full of short student films but is making his way into feature films. Mainly working behind the camera he works to help the director of photography realize their vision. He brings passion for film making to any set he steps on.

Koun Son - Graphic Designer

 Koun Son is a designer in variety of design fields, such as production designs for film, CD designs, book designs and web designs for 10 years. She graduated Master Program in Design at Goldsmiths in London. After studying her MA, she has been working as Freelance Designer in NY. (www.kounson.com)

 

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