Posts Tagged ‘Little Edie’

Today we have an interview with Jason Hay who has been working on a documentary for a number of years. I want to go back to how SKOM became what it is now before we jump into this interview. This blog was something I created to have a music focus that was just sharing things I found and liked. A few years ago I had the idea that I could interview all of these people I knew in real life or via the internet who were really talented people and maybe help them get their music out there. While today’s interview isn’t music related it is in that same spirit. I work with Jason and he and I have had opportunity to talk a lot about creativity and inspiration. He is a very creative person and is striving to do more, be more, and share more. Please enjoy this interview and then click the Kickstarter link at the end to get more info about the documentary and contribute.



What was it like the first time you saw Grey Gardens?

I’m kind of embarrassed to say that I didn’t want to watch Grey Gardens at first, all I thought I knew about it was it was a story about two “crazy” women who sing to each other. I did, however, know about the Maysels brothers who had done the film Gimme Shelter and I had really enjoyed that.
So I agreed to watch it. From the first shot in the film I was entranced by the house and the ladies who lived in it.
I am the type of person that gets obsessed  with a subject. I think I watched the film over a dozen times in a period of a few months, trying to absorb it.

Grey Gardens has inspired a musical and a docudrama. Why do you think it has endured? 

I think the relationship between mother and daughter living with and for only each other that was captured in the documentary is an amazingly complex one. Both familiar and totally foreign at the same time. That, and I feel this more on the east coast maybe, but almost anything related to JFK is going to make for a great story. (The Beales where aunt and cousin to Jackie Kennedy, the relationship being via the Bouiver side.) I also feel the house itself is a character that draws people into the story.

How did The Marble Faun Of Grey Gardens come about? 

Jerry Torre

Jerry Torre 1975

In Nov 2009 I was working as a chef in Boston and really ready for a change in my life. After researching the remaining cast of Grey Gardens I found Jerry to be a very interesting part of the story,an outsider and a runaway who found the most remarkable women and setting to run away to.

I reached out to Jerry via email with, at that time, a proposal for a book about his life, because I had only made films for myself and didn’t really think it was possible for me. Jerry agreed to meet with me and at the same time I re-established a friendship from high school, Steven Pelizza, who was also living in NYC at the time. Shortly after we decided to make a documentary because we had such a huge and very visual story to tell. It is also true I was very attracted to learning about and exploring New York City where a vast bit of the filming takes place.
We were, and continue to be, extremely lucky to be working with Albert Maysels and the Maysels institute in Harlem. That’s part of the experience that will always be amazing to me. I was a chef during the week and taking a bus on my weekends to meet and work with Jerry and Steve was filming pretty much on a weekly basis for over a year. It was the most energetic and exciting time for me; the act of making the movie.

How is Jerry doing?

Jerry is doing amazing. He is an artist on many levels. His most preferred medium is stone. He is and has been for several years now carving at the Arts Students League. He has been working on completing a book and continues to correspond with people on his website themarblefaun.com He is an amazingly humble and gentle person and his recollections of his time at Grey Gardens is beautiful. But really he has had an amazingly rich life on top of that. He stays very grounded and it’s funny he still sounds a lot like the very young Jerry most people know from the documentary. He has been portrayed on and off Broadway in Grey Gardens by something like 80 different actors from North Carolina to Japan. It’s crazy.

What was the process like?

It’s been a friendship, so ups and downs, but having never done this before we have all stayed together really well. Learning about people has been the most interesting part of the whole thing.

What do you want people to walk away with after watching Marble Faun?

We try to surprise people I think a bit, there is a lot about Jerry that goes beyond just his art and time at Grey Gardens. There are some fairly serious social issues that we touch on that are very important to both Jerry and the whole team. I feel we do a good job of balancing lighter and heavier topics without preaching or imposing judgement.

What did you learn in making this film?

Without sounding to corny, I hope, I learned you really can make large change in your life when you are ready to. I wanted a change from being a chef, I wanted an adventure and I knew I wanted to go back to making art in some form and I did. That kind of confidence opened up a lot of doors for me at the time. Amazing things were happening to me at the time. It’s when I reconnected with my junior high crush who became my wife during that year of filming. It was just a really incredible time I’ll never forget.

Jerry carving at the Arts Students League

Jerry carving at the Arts Students League

Where are you in the process and what can people do to help?

Well, it’s an excellent time to be asked that. The film has been screened twice, in NYC and on the west coast. We are pleased with the film and have heard positive reviews. We are planning on self disturbing our film, but have run up on the acquisition of rights for some material we used to visually enrich the telling of our story. We are currently running a campaign to raise money for the rights. I like to look at it like people being able to pre-order the film for themselves. I hope it’s a way for people who believe in the project can help out.

When are you hoping to release Marble Faun?

We are ready to release the film now via digital download and DVD. It’s very exciting  BUT very frustrating. Because we don’t have the money for the rights yet.
But we indeed have a film we are very proud of and have worked on now for four years.

Assuming this project gets funded and all goes well what is next?

I will continue to work on many different types of art projects with my beautiful wife Heather. We have plans on starting a farm-based artist retreat in Oregon where we live. I would also like to host a fundraiser with Jerry and our film at the center with the money going to various charities. That has always been a large thing for Jerry and the team that the film could give back.

Please visit The Marble Faun Of Grey Gardens‘ Kickstarter page and contribute today: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/aggregatepictures/the-marble-faun-of-grey-gardens

Also like the movie on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marblefaungreygardens


Read Full Post »