This is a story about the search for identity and what it means to be an artist and a woman. It’s about collaboration, gentrification, fear, and ego.   It is a film with a tarnished kind of magical realism, and where a sleepy neighborhood in Brooklyn is a character in its own right.
 
This is a place where it’s not uncommon for an old lady to harvest the spirits in her garden and where an invisible man has lived in an abandoned lot for seventy years without aging a day.
 
It is a place where the alley cats are the neighborhood’s greatest gossip, a mysterious woman dances fantastically in her courtyard, and time passes with photographs, animation and projections.

An Art World drama seasoned with magic, experimental sequences, and a dash of whimsy, And How She… is the tale of a young artist named Asha who embarks on an electric collaboration with a once-successful sculptor in the midst of his own creative crisis. 

 

But, she wonders, is this collaboration moving her career forward or burying her in anonymity? Is her artistic identity becoming indelibly stamped with someone else’s voice?  What if she doesn’t yet know what her own artistic identity is

 

All alone in the city,  Asha tries to navigate her way through a world where the rules don’t always make sense and where magic is mixed with the mundane.  She seeks advice from her neighbors: eccentric elderly folk with their own kind of street magic, but they answer her in riddles.  Asha is lost. 

Lost in the real world.

 
 

SETTING 

Set in a magical re-imagining of Brooklyn, the neighborhood is a character in its own right. 

The diverse and eccentric inhabitants have a bold presence in the story.  Outside, we discover hidden

gardens in courtyards choked with morning-glory vines, colorful universes of painted graffiti,

alley cats with an attitude, and other charming idiosyncrasies visible only to those walking slowly enough to notice.

 

MAGIC

The magic in this film is not overt, introduced with fanfares of music, CGI fairydust, or wizardly gadgets.

Instead, it’s gritty, unexplained, and unadorned. It is not magic for children, but instead exists in a world of

very real adults who often make bad choices.

 

Images are for visual reference only.

Heavenly Creatures, Amelie, Being John Malkovitch, Jellyfish,

Tideland,  Beginners, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Beasts of the Southern Wild

EXPERIMENTAL SCENES

Using projection mapping, stop-motion animation, and something that can only be described

as a “fairy trip,” each act ends with a sequence that takes us farther into the magic of the story.

The film will feel like a piece of art.

Images are for visual reference only.

Artists Referenced: Tarkovsky, Bridgeman Packer, Nicholas Scarpinato, Molly Lowe

The Characters
 

ASHA

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Recently hatched from college, there is a dreamy vulnerability about Asha, an innocence uncracked.  When people ask her what she does, she instinctively replies that she’s an “art major.” She can’t bring herself to say “artist.”  

 

Asha works primarily in sculpture, and she’s drawn to the often-overlooked people in her neighborhood as her subjects.  Once Graham teased her that her perspective seems to be informed by fairy tails.  That’s not really true, but she does have the ability to see the magic in the world around her.  

 

This is her coming-of-age story.

 

Images are for visual reference only.
Graham

A once-successful, mid-career sculptor, known for work that relies a bit on shock value, Graham struggles to remain relevant. Outwardly he’s confident, charming and the very image of success, but he is secretly consumed with doubt that his biggest achievements are behind him. He doesn’t know how to sustain the public’s esteem or elevate his collectors’ waning interest in his work.

 

He and Asha embark on an electric collaboration. Each seems to have something that the other lacks, and the work they make together is compelling and bold.

 

He teases Asha for seeing the magic around her, but it’s just a cover. He can see it too.

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Margaret
Margaret

Margaret was once an investment banker on top of her game.  Now, without explanation, she has quit her job and seeks to rediscover herself as she hides a secret guilt. 

 

Margaret makes no excuses, and she knows how to win.  She’s always wins.  Only now, she’s not quite sure what game she’s playing. 

 

Outwardly, she and Graham appear to be the perfect power couple: wealthy, attractive, intelligent, masters of their field who support each other.  But under the surface, it is complex and muddy. 

 

Margaret is the only one willing to give Asha any useful advice.  But she has no pity for her and no patience for her excuses. 

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The Neighbors

A colorful tapestry of magical and eccentric characters enrich the sense of place in our story and depict the often-overlooked faces of Brooklyn.  From the old man who walks the streets singing a Spanish love song, to the young man who arranges flowers in the bodega, to the kids that repaint the grafiti wall every month, this rich tapestry of characters sets our story in a world familiar, and yet magical.

An old man lives alone in an empty lot.  He’s been there for 70 years without aging a day, and he can turn invisible at will so that he can live “rent free!”

 

An old woman weaves eerie, wooden cages and hangs them from a tree in her courtyard.
 

A bodega clerk learns the neighborhood gossip from the cats that work in his shop.

 

An aging watch repairwoman steals memories from the owners of the watches she fixes.
 

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Images are for visual reference only.
Images are for visual reference only.