…is where your dreams are
MARCIA GAY HARDEN: INGA
MARIAN SELDES: PEGGY
MICHAEL GASTON: HERMANN
EULALA SCHEEL: INDIGO
PRODUCERS: MARY HAVERSTICK, CHAD TAYLOR, MICHELE MERCURE
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: PAUL WARE, JUDY WARE
CO-PRODUCERS: PETE CATALANO, DARLA CATALANO
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: DONNA STYER
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: RICHARD RUTKOWSKI
PRODUCTION DESIGN: JUDY CARSON
COSTUME DESIGN: NINA SCHELICH
EDITOR: MARY HAVERSTICK
ORIGINAL SCORE: MICHELE MERCURE
POEMS BY: MARY SCOTT HAVERSTICK
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY: MARY HAVERSTICK
RUNTIME: 84 Minutes
This movie was filmed entirely on location in Lancaster & York Counties, Pennsylvania
& Goat’s Island, Maine.
COPYRIGHT© MMVIII, the home project, LLC
“The Montreal World Film Festival justifies its existence with movies like HOME.
A lovely American independent drama... visually exquisite.”
– The Montreal Gazette
“The American film that took my breath away...
Harden’s career best performance… unforgettably powerful.
Kudos to writer director Mary Haverstick! But can a small, low budget indie make its way all the way from the Montreal Film Festival to the Oscar race?
Well, if anything has a chance of going the distance, it’s Home.”
– Stephen Holt – MOVIECITY NEWS & TimeWarner Cable TV
“Mary Haverstick has filmed human existence, full of beauty and ugliness, of pride and shame, of hopes and deception. The film is in itself a poem.”
- Lucie Poirie – TERRANOVA – Montreal Magazine
"A very beautiful film, lyrical and poetic.
A film that is at the same time sad and filled with hope, with an ensemble
of excellent actors and filmed in serene landscapes
with pure white clouds and vivid blue skies.”
Jacqueline Mallette – ARTS & CULTURE –ServicesMontreal.com
“The other American film that took my breath away was the dreamily astounding Home. Wherein in previous Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden, proves she is for sure one of America’s greatest actresses and a national treasure. Harden gives a heart-stopping performance. It’s like an encyclopedia of great acting… and she is matched heartbeat-for-heartbeat by the astounding performance of her 8 year old real-life daughter Eulala Scheel, who was 7 when she made this moving, haunting movie. But can a small, low budget indie make it’s way all the way from the Montreal Film Festival to the Oscar race? Well, if anything has a chance of going the distance, it’s Home.” – Movie City News
“Home is one of those movies that remind you of why Independent cinema is so good. Marcia Gay Harden is nothing short of magnificent. Simply breath-taking... a powerful film that will have you in tears as well as leaving you with a smile and hope… (a) brilliant film.”
a beautiful, moving and lyrical film that deals with whether or not
love is a more powerful force than destiny
Inga (Marcia Gay Harden) is a poet and mother to a young daughter (Eulala Scheel, Ms. Harden's real life daughter). Inga is drawn to a house that reminds her of her childhood home, and here she realizes that many things in her life are coming full circle.
She wants to buy and restore an old house but her distant husband Hermann (Michael Gaston) sees little value in old houses or many of the things Inga loves and writes about. Inga's crumbling marriage is in stark contrast to her closeness with her 8-year-old daughter with whom she shares her hopes, fears and inner- most thoughts. By day their relationship seems magical, full of cloud watching, kite flying and lazy summer drives. But at night Inga is troubled by her marriage, it's lack of intimacy and her fears of her own mortality.
Now facing recent breast cancer Inga is using alcohol in much the same way as her mother's use of morphine to control her pain. Like many artists Inga's struggle is reflected in her poems, which she writes on scraps of paper and then discards. But it is in her own poems that she hears the echo of what her mother must have gone through and it is this revelation that allows Inga to transform.
MARCIA GAY HARDEN - INGA
Marcia Gay Harden is regarded as one of the film industry's premiere actresses with a taste for challenging roles in both independent and mainstream movies.
In 2001 Marcia earned an Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Lee Krasner in Ed Harris' Pollock. This performance also garnered her a New York Critics Award and Independent Spirit Award nomination. Her second Academy Award® nomination came for Mystic River in 2004 directed by Clint Eastwood. Marcia also received a Critic's Choice Award for Mystic River as well as sharing a Screen Actor's Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Motion Picture Cast.
Recently Marcia earned another Independent Spirit Award nomination for her performance in the 2006 indie release American Gun. Other recent films include Into The Wild directed by Sean Penn, The Mist based on the story Stephen King, Christmas Cottage starring opposite Peter O'Toole, and Rails & Ties with Kevin Bacon helmed by Allison Eastwood.
Marcia performed with Marian Seldes along with Julia Roberts in Mona Lisa Smile in 2003 and the two have reunited as cast-mates in HOME. Throughout her sparkling career Marcia has worked some of the most talented names in the film industry including Robin Williams, Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Clint Eastwood, the Coen Brothers, Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, Ellen Burstyn and many many more.
Marcia studied at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts on a full scholarship where she first met HOME cast-mate Michael Gaston, also a student there. While best known for her film work Marcia earned a Tony Award nomination and won the Drama Desk and Theatre World Awards for Angels in America, by Tony Kushner. She also shared the stage with Meryl Streep in The Seagull directed by Mike Nichols.
A recent honor for her television work was an Emmy nomination for her guest role on an episode of hit series “Law and Order SVU.” Other film roles include PS, The Hoax directed by Lasse Hallstrom, Canvas, The Dead Girl, Welcome to Mooseport, Bad News Bears, Casa De Los Babies, Flubber, Gaudi Afternoon, Meet Joe Black, First Wives Club, The Spitfire Grille, Millers Crossing, and Into The Wild to name a few.
Marcia and her daughter Eulala Scheel worked together in two previous films - Felicity: An American Girl Adventure and in Pollock, where Eulala made an appearance as an infant. They have also appeared together on ABC's “The View” and onstage in Olney, Maryland. HOME is the first time for the two to work together, cast as onscreen mother and daughter in leading roles.
Marcia lives with her family, husband Thaddeus Scheel, 9 year old Eulala, and 3-year-old twins Hudson and Julitta in Harlem, NYC.
MARIAN SELDES – PEGGY
Marian Seldes is an award-winning stage, film, radio, and television actress whose career has spanned six decades and who was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1996. Tony Award winner and 5 time nominee, Marian won her first time out in 1967 for A Delicate Balance. She was also nominated for roles in Father's Day, Deathtrap, Dinner at Eight, and Ring Round the Moon.
While well known for her stage work, Marian's film catalog is extensive. Throughout her storied career Marian has had the opportunity to work with acclaimed directors including George Clooney and Woody Allen among others. Marian teamed up with Marcia Gay Harden and Julia Roberts in Mona Lisa Smile in 2003, and the pair was happy to reunite for the filming of HOME. Her film credits also include roles in Hollywood Ending, Duets, Celebrity, Home Alone 3, Leatherheads, August Rush and many more.
Marian has amassed extensive television credits as well including appearances on shows as varied as “Frasier”, “Law and Order SVU”, “Cosby”, “Sex and the City”, “Murphy Brown”, “Perry Mason”, and “Murder She Wrote” to list just a few. She recently teamed again with Angela Lansbury for a two-woman play on Broadway, Deuce, about former tennis doubles partners.
Any discussion of Marian's career would not be complete without mention of her radio work, particularly CBS Mystery Theater where she appeared on 179 episodes.
In addition to her many film and stage credits Marian has made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for her run of over 1,000 performances in Deathtrap without missing a day. She was also seen in over 900 performances of the Broadway play Equus.
From 1967 to 1991, Seldes was a faculty member of the Juilliard School of Drama, and in 2002 began teaching at Fordham University, Lincoln Center. Marian's former students include Kevin Spacey and Kelly McGillis. Marian is a resident of New York City and is a proud mother and grandmother.
MICHAEL GASTON – HERMANN
Michael Gaston recently starred in the weekly CBS drama “Jericho” where he played the role of Gray Anderson and was a member of a strong ensemble cast. But Michael has also appeared in over 20 films including playing Stan Fine in the award winning drama Far From Heaven directed by Todd Haynes, Ransom, Cop Land, 13 Days, The Crucible, Double Jeopardy and High Crimes.
The versatile actor has also had roles in numerous TV dramas, including “The Sopranos”, “The West Wing”, “Homicide”, “Law & Order”, “Law and Order SVU”, “JAG”, “CSI Crime Scene Investigation”, “Spin City” and ABC's “The Practice”. He has appeared in comedies as well, including “Ally McBeal” and “Malcolm in the Middle”.
Michael has had various on and off Broadway roles, including A Day in the Death of Joe Egg on Broadway, and Henry V and Landscape of the Body.
Starring in HOME opposite Marcia Gay Harden was a reunion of sorts as Michael and Marcia attended NYU graduate school for drama together and have been longtime friends. This was the first opportunity for the onetime classmates to perform together in a film.
EULALA SCHEEL – INDIGO
In the movie HOME, Eulala Scheel shares the screen with her real life mother Marcia Gay Harden, but this is hardly a first for this young actress. Eulala made her screen debut as an infant in Pollock and more recently worked with her mother in Felicity: An American Girl Adventure, where Eulala played the role of Nan Merriman. Eulala and Marcia also appeared together onstage at the Olney Theatre in Maryland, and again recently on the TV interview show “The View”.
Eulala has loved acting from a very young age. She currently studies acting and has learned a lot from visiting her mother's movie sets. Eulala has been able to bring her considerable experience to the role of young Indigo, her first major dramatic role. Which Movie City News exclaimed “ Harden gives a heart-stopping performance. It’s like an encyclopedia of great acting… and she is matched heartbeat-for-heartbeat by the astounding performance of her 8 year old real-life daughter Eulala Scheel, who was 7 when she made this moving, haunting movie.”
Eulala is now in third grade and in addition to acting she enjoys sewing and loves dogs. She is the big sister to 3-year-old twins Hudson and Julitta and has beautiful tree house getaway in the Catskills, handmade by her father filmmaker Thaddeus Scheel.
MARY HAVERSTICK – WRITER, DIRECTOR, EDITOR, PRODUCER
Mary Haverstick is a hands-on filmmaker who enjoys the technical aspects of her craft every bit as much as the creativity of writing and directing. On HOME, Mary is the writer, director and producer, and notably the picture editor and 2nd unit cinematographer.
HOME is in some ways a writing collaboration for Mary with her mother, also named Mary Haverstick whose poetry is featured throughout the screenplay. These poems provided much of the inspiration for the film and offer a window into the world of a woman battling breast cancer in the 1960s. HOME marks a return for Mary to feature film work after starting her career with a tiny shoestring feature, moving into national commercial and documentary work, and coming full circle back to features, her true passion.
Mary founded her Pennsylvania based production company HAVERSTICK FILMS in 1990 after leaving a job as an on air television host to become a filmmaker. Anchoring, editing and producing a weekly magazine format show “Susquehanna People” for NBC affiliate WGAL-TV gave Mary a foundation in production which she wanted to translate into more creative storytelling. She followed up a series of short films with her first tiny shoestring feature film in the early 1990s. "Mary Haverstick's Shades of Black is an exceptionally impressive debut feature!" was the word from the L.A. Times on her non-SAG, all volunteer effort. Shades of Black garnered a small US theatrical release as well as international festival play and excellent reviews.
Haverstick Films shifted focus throughout the '90s into production of numerous national commercials and a series of documentaries in which Mary was writer, director, cinematographer, and editor. Notably among these are a historical documentary about abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens, Bridging the Racial Divide, and a documentary about the arc of a woman's life, Along the Way: A Woman's Journey. Mary also directed several music videos including Sony 550's Fuel- “In The Green Room” and a music video for unsigned artist Gregory Douglass titled “I Wanted To Run” which charted on MTV's Logo-TV network for 5 months beating major names like Madonna, Beyonce, and Justin Timberlake in weekly viewer polling.
Mary plans to follow HOME with a dramatic biopic based on true story, which she currently has in development.
MICHELE MERCURE – PRODUCER, COMPOSER
HOME is Michele Mercure's third full-length feature film score, and she has also scored numerous documentaries. Michele's moving score for HOME blends both her guitar based compositions and her trademark electronic style.
Her television scores included work for such varied outlets as PBS news, children's cartoons, and national commercials. But her instrumental compositions were also reaching international radio audiences prompting Eurock Magazine to crown Michele "America's premiere female synthesist".
Michele's distinctive compositions were instantly in demand when she began composing electronic music in the 80's. I was her music that was the identifying sound for a new fledgling television channel MTV in their unique award winning station IDs.
Michele performed a live version of her instrumental album Dreamplay at special opening at the Smithsonian Institute in 1993. In the 90’s she fronted the alternative band Like Houdini and most recently released a solo CD “Giving Up the Ghost”. Her other albums include “Rouge” and “Mint”, “Dreams Without Dreamers”, and “Eye Chant”.
In addition to her work as a composer, Michele became involved in producing films as a co-founder of Haverstick Films in 1990. She has produced several documentaries, numerous national commercials and now HOME, her first feature film producing venture.
RICHARD RUTKOWSKI – DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Over the last few years cinematographer Richard Rutkowski has assembled an eclectic list of credits from highly stylized mainstream work to documentary and indie features. His resume includes almost every format, from tiny DV cameras to HD to 35mm widescreen.
His work on the DV indie feature Homework helped the film earn the Grand Jury Prize at 2004 Slamdance. In 2003, Richard received a Best Cinematography Nomination at the 2003 Independent Spirit Awards for Interview with the Assassin. Most recently, Rutkowski photographed How To Eat Fried Worms, a feature film produced by New Line.
Richard shot the CBS television pilot “Love Monkey” and other recent feature credits include Gil Kofman's The Memory Thief and See This Movie. Richard has also worked as a camera assistant for a broad range of films including Kids, Flirting With Disaster, Copland, Buena Vista Social Club and Three Seasons. As an operator and 2nd unit DP his credits include Requiem for a Dream, Julien Donkey Boy, Phone Booth and Winter Passing. In 2001, Rutkowski teamed with cinematographer Peter Biziou on Unfaithful, serving as 2nd unit DP and camera operator.
MARY HAVERSTICK – DIRECTOR’S NOTES
In every lifetime there is a moment where the definition of one's "home" shifts. This defining moment is often reflective of much deeper shifts that accompany it... the death of a last parent, the end of a marriage, the beginning of a marriage, adulthood. But for many of us, the term "home" will forever be linked to that place where we grew up and no matter how many new homes are created the imprint of the original home is upon them... for better or for worse, and often both.
HOME explores the central question, can we truly define on our own terms what our home becomes, or are we forever bound by what our original home was? Is the past destined to repeat or can we decide? Is free will a more powerful force than destiny?
The idea for the screenplay was inspired by a short story titled HOME written by my mother, also Mary Haverstick. This 2-page story is quite simple and in almost a documentary fashion tells of an older woman, Peggy showing off her house to visitors. This was a true story as my mother had visited an old house owned by a woman who did keep it just so, for her relatives that were no longer living. But my interest and inspiration sprung from why my mother would be so affected by a house tour to write about it later and my screenplay HOME is my imagining of how and why she came to that place. And as I struggled to make sense of my own home after the death of my parents I wondered if my mother had once had to do the same.
An important moment in the writing of the screenplay, for me, was a decision to incorporate my mother's poetry. Previously I had envisioned myself creating a series of "poem videos" much like music videos but based on her written word and interpreted visually. Part way through the screenplay I realized these two projects were one and the same.
This film is a collaboration between my imagination and my mother’s art. It is a work of fiction but inspired by some things we shared, and are perhaps a blending of my inner world and what I imagined hers to be. She has always been my inspiration.
PRODUCTION NOTES – CASTING DREAM COMES TRUE
“When Eve Battaglia, our casting director sent Marcia Gay Harden the screenplay, we had no idea about Eulala. Then we get this picture back of Eulala, who in second grade is already working professionally, that looks for all the world like we imagine the character of Indigo. We were stunned. It just seemed meant to be.” Mary Haverstick
The idea of a real mother and daughter playing the roles of Inga and Indigo together had never occurred to anyone, but the upside was obvious. The two characters must be tremendously connected in every way and share an intimacy which has been accentuated by Inga’s distant marriage. A real mother daughter team could add a dimension that may otherwise be impossible to achieve. “I think Eve and I knew 5 minutes into the audition that Eulala was Indigo” says Mary. “She absolutely sparkled on camera and I never saw a second grader who could read and familiarize herself with a very adult script before. She had read the whole thing herself and understood it.”
Tony Award winner and Broadway legend Marian Seldes, playing Peggy set up a reunion of sorts since Marcia and Marian worked together on Mona Lisa Smile. And Michael Gaston and Marcia, while never having been cast together professionally were both in the same class in NYU’s graduate program and had worked together on student productions and had remained friends ever since.
HOME was now cast with a group who could very quickly become comfortable before the camera. This was a true blessing for a tiny indie feature with a fast schedule and minimal time for rehearsal.
PRODUCTION NOTES – LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Having grown up and lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania all of her life director Mary Haverstick was well versed in the beauty of the Amish Country landscape, but wanted to bring a very different perspective to Lancaster County than has been represented on film before.
“In preparing to film HOME I consulted with a few industry producers, and the view was always Lancaster is very small town Americana. Their thinking in casting and visual representation always skewed toward Fargo. The Lancaster I know is stunning and can seem isolated, but is also a stone’s throw from Philadelphia and a short day trip from New York City. There is an underlying sophistication to the aesthetic here and I wanted to reflect that with intelligence in casting, production design, and cinematography.” Mary Haverstick
Another departure is that while this story is set in Lancaster and has a tremendous sense of place, the plain or Amish and Mennonite communities set the backdrop but are not central to the story. The entire film, but for the single ending scene, was shot entirely on location in 24 days in Lancaster, Pa.
PRODUCTION NOTES – FILMING THE STORY
“The cinematic style of this film is an extension of the central character, Inga’s aesthetic. Her love of beauty and her poetic interpretation of the world around her dictated what every frame would be, and necessitated that in every frame, her pain, her joy would be beautifully interpreted.” Mary Haverstick
While much of the story is told in traditional narrative style the poetry and memories are exceptions. As Inga writes down her thoughts in prose or verse, we enter her mindscape and see and feel the world as if from within her poems. It is an unusual and distinctive choice that sets HOME apart.
Filming a beautiful period film on a shoestring (under a million) budget is tall order. Super 16mm film was chosen as the shooting format for it’s grain structure, affordability and ability to capture Lancaster’s landscapes and textures in vivid detail. Cinematographer Richard Rutkowski and production designer Judy Carson wove a visual tapestry around Inga and set a timeless backdrop for her emotional journey.
A strong delineation was drawn in the film between the look of the story by day and the mood at night. Inga and her daughter Indigo’s days are filled with kite flying and cloud watching, but at night their world is fraught with anxiety, loneliness and isolation. A Lancaster summer day was chosen for the film’s color palette but Richard explored darker tonalities for the moodier evening work and the film’s blacker tones shifted slightly toward green at night accentuating the uneasiness in Inga’s household.
Speed manipulations were also used when filming in Peggy’s (Marian Seldes) house to create a sense of other-worldliness to this location, where Inga is prone to sudden apparitions from her childhood. Whenever the camera is inside Peggy’s house it floats on a steadicam, as if it is never grounded to the here and now. This lets the audience feel Inga’s sense of time suspended and her connection to her departed family.
Marcia Gay Harden says of Inga, “In spite of it all, her passion does not suffer. She tries to find the beauty in her life and situation.”
A finer point that some astute observers may notice in the film is that clouds in all of the movie’s exterior scenes move and change more swiftly than in real life. “Our clouds are always moving at five times the speed of cloud!” says Mary, who spent many a weekend tenting outdoors and filming clouds as the second unit cinematographer.
Changeable skies are present from the first scene to the last. Little Indigo, while watching the cloudscape change in the first scene of the film, comments that she does not like change. By the film’s final scene, after her mother has reached an important and transformative conclusion Indigo no longer fears change as they ponder the cloudscape together.
“Having such a central character who is a catalyst for the entire dramatic shift of the movie be in second grade is a leap of faith for any director. Eulala’s understanding of her character’s role in the drama was extraordinary, but let’s face it, there could be no better role model than Marcia.” Mary Haverstick
Every evening after filming Eulala worked on drawing pictures on 3X5 cards to depict the essence of every scene in the film. She gave every scene a name as well as a visual interpretation and director Haverstick kept this booklet by her side throughout the editing process.
“ There are so many circles here. The film in the writing of it could be interpreted as a collaboration between myself and my mother, who is no longer living. Much of the story involves Inga connecting to and understanding her departed mother. And in the creation of the characters we have a collaboration between Marcia and Eulala, who are a deeply connected mother daughter pair.” Mary Haverstick
“Eulala and I have such a deep mother daughter bond and playing opposite each other only strengthened that.” Marcia Gay Harden “I am honored to have had the opportunity to capture a true mother daughter essence on screen.” Mary Haverstick
MARY SCOTT HAVERSTICK – POEMS
A sudden sadness precedes dark
A grey and dimming sigh
From ancestors of death
is heard across the sky.
And each small light
that each small man illuminates,
And reaffirms his certainty.
He does not choose to die.
Some summer nights
when storms erase surrounding lights
This house becomes the island that it was
when the date stone stood new above the door
and closest neighbors slept two miles away
across a flood of fields.
Land and house, inseparable then
as man and wife or crop and seed
From house to earth and earth to house
a perfect weave.
I’ll never feel alone here
where someone I’ll never see
Never knew by making hers
She made a home for me.
I who am, and then for want of being whole for you am not, so hear me.
This breast, remnant of a pair, is me.
All of me that is and was and shall forever be.
I am the bent bucket holding water, the raveled basket bearing apples.
The still and waiting lamp enclosing light.
I am. I am. And no denial makes me less or praise for borrowed courage
makes me more.
I am. I AM. Are you?
International Film Festival England
Cinequest Film Festival
Montreal World Film Festival
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monterey media - ABOUT THE COMPANY
monterey media inc., incorporated in 1979, it is a privately owned entertainment industry company specializing in the creation, acquisition, distribution and sale of motion pictures and other programming. monterey media is actively engaged in all areas of domestic media, including theatrical distribution, film festivals, and other distinctive venues, television, and home entertainment markets, and is presently increasing its release slate with a continued measured growth strategy.
The Company creates unique and distinctive release strategies tailored to each project. By way of example, in 2005, the Company established a joint venture for the creation of a special theatrical event in conjunction with AMC Theatres to launch the motion picture Indigo: A one day, 603 North America venue showing grossed over $1,190,000 box office. Among the theatrical division’s early releases were the enchanting The Blue Butterfly starring Academy Award® Winner William Hurt; Nobelity, from Award-winning writer/director Turk Pipkin (which Esquire Magazine called “remarkable”) with a Gala Premiere benefiting Amnesty Int’l. on Earth Day; and the lauded tri-coastal release of PEEL: The Peru Project (heralded as “reminiscent of Bruce Brown’s The Endless Summer).
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