Set on the island of Bermuda in the 1960s, animated short film TELLING A YOU captures the romantic “meet-cute” of a man and a woman colliding at a street corner. While this may not appear noteworthy, his memory lovingly recalls every detail of the incident, thus turning a seemingly ordinary moment in time into an extraordinary moment in two people’s lives.
Starring Dimitri Philpott and Lexy Correia. Original Music by Jody Gray (Space Racers, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Sesame Street).
TELLING A YOU premiered at SONscreen Film Festival in Simi Valley, California on April 6, 2013. To date, it has been programmed into 33 FESTIVALS in 5 countries, winning 31 AWARDS, including 3 in the category Best Animation.
TELLING A YOU came to me during one of my favorite pastimes: people watching. At times of massive streams of information, overstimulation of all senses and people’s constant focus on their smartphones, the guarded modern person has to practice seeing small, precious moments in life that can be anything from amusing to touching or even life-changing. TELLING A YOU tells a romantic version of such a moment. A man and a woman meet in an everyday moment, yet both take the time and have the courage to stop in time, live in the moment and, whether it will just be making a memory or the beginning of a love story, they take note of one another and witness each other, thus connecting the world in a most fundamental way. I am often under the impression people have stopped taking time to taste moments like that, for reasons ranging from “lack of time” to sheer fear of disappointment. Comparable to products they no longer buy at the local store but instead hunt and bargain for “in the world wide web”, people tend to wait for something more, “better” and requiring less maintenance. Ironically, the same people often dream of romance. It is my belief that romance can be found by anyone who walks through life with an open mind and an open heart, looking at and seeing people. The form, amount and intensity of romance vary, of course, and so do the outcomes, but each of those moments does contribute a bookmark to a person’s life, and that is what romance is all about: being witnessed by someone else, talked to and loved as well as, most importantly, loving oneself.
I chose the 1960s as time period for TELLING A YOU because of my admiration of its fashion: feminine, elegant dresses and handbags for the ladies and handsome suits (in our case, suit jacket and Bermuda shorts), ties and hats for men. Even the scooter and scooter helmet designs are based on 1960s originals.
After three years of deciding on a location, I chose Bermuda as the backdrop for TELLING A YOU, due to its captivating color palette, unique architectural structures and the mere fact that Bermudians still take their time doing things, which I have learned to recognize as a virtuous characteristic rather than an irritating one. Adding to the anthropological aspect of a specifically located project, we cast two gifted local actors whose voices flavor the audience’s journey to Bermuda. In sum, TELLING A YOU is my personal audio-visual hommage to that tiny country in the middle of the Atlantic, famous for its hospitality, pastel cottages and tranquil steadfastness in today’s hectic world.
The score was composed by New York gem, Jody Gray, and performed by Peanut Butter and Jellyfish, including Jean-Baptiste Boclé and Andy Ezrin, in New York. TELLING A YOU’s animations and sound design were done marvelously by Treehouse Republic and Tinpot Productions, respectively, on yet a different island, namely in Dublin, Ireland. Modern technology successfully ensured a fantastic workflow between the islands of Manhattan, Bermuda and Ireland for our romantic short film, exemplifying that a love story really has no borders.
Margarethe Baillou, Director/Writer/Producer
TELLING A YOU is the first project of its kind that I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of, and considering that I had only done four roles on local stages before, it was easy for me to feel a little out of my depth. However, even more fortunate than working on this project was being fortunate to work on it with such an obviously creative and artistic director as Margarethe. The story itself is such an amazingly simple, subtle, pure and earnest expression of sincere love – something that I don’t think we get to hear about or see that much nowadays, in real life or otherwise. Margarethe was so wonderfully aware of what it was, what the story was about, and what the characters meant that I was pretty much immediately sold on it and wanted to do the best possible job I could of bringing my part to life, sincerely and earnestly. As a director Margarethe was better than I could have hoped in bringing such an inexperienced and unproven actor as myself into the project and getting me to the point where I could hopefully live up to her vision for the project and the story; she was very kind and very patient in her precise and meticulous directions, and I’ll be forever grateful for being able to work with her. I am most extremely excited for this project, and I’m in love with the story – I still have and read my copy of the script! – and I can’t wait to see her vision come to life.
Dimitri Philpott, “Man” (VO)
I enjoy doing voice-overs, as they are more challenging than acting for the camera. So much has to be expressed with just the sense of sound. When I read the script I was enamoured. This has such a succinct way of telling a HUGE story in such a small space of time. I appreciate how much had to be done by telling such a big story and only using our voices, before the animation phase, for Margarethe. I think this is such a beautiful piece, and I was thrilled to be a part of it.
Lexy Correia, “Woman” (VO)
What an honour for Spotlight Talent Agency and the featured actors to participate in Bermuda’s first animated narrative short! TELLING A YOU is a great tale about the enchantment of love at first sight, and the colourful dialogue brings passion, honour and honesty through the characters. The Bermudian voices and setting make this project a true celebration of Bermuda, its people and its warm beauty. To make history on a project that is sure to welcome warm accolades and an enthusiastic audience is an extraordinary opportunity for the participants and the island as a whole.
Cha’Von K. Clarke, Casting Director/Line Producer
On screen the film has a distinctly languid, Bermuda-esque pacing which belies the fact that behind the scenes the crew was running ‘round like mad trying to meet quite un-island-y, New York minute deadlines! It was great fun creating a score with cocktail-y hints of 60s Mancini, stirred (not shaken), all windswept accordions, marimbas, tenor guitars and whistlings to the unapologetically retro/bistro strains of sweet, tentative romance. A shout-out to my stellar pals/crew/musicians: Jon, Jamba and Andy.
Good job, Margarethe. Thanks for inviting me to the party.
Jody Gray, Composer
Dimitri Philpott Man (VO)
Dimitri Philpott is an actor and musician. TELLING A YOU is his introductory film credit. A public performer from early on, he served as a child preacher at local churches across Bermuda between the ages of six and eight. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, where his family relocated for ten years, he studied the trombone and immersed himself in local musical education. Since his return to Bermuda, he has been acting in numerous stage productions. Dimitri lives in Bermuda.
Lexy Correia Woman (VO)
Lexy Correia is a dancer, actress, singer, painter and mixed-media artist. Aside from TELLING A YOU, her first film credit, her radio voice-over work includes several nationwide commercials in Bermuda, and her paintings are on regular display at the Bermuda Society of Arts. Her artistic training began with Russian ballet at age three, and she has been working across all media since. Together with her husband and animals, she resides in Bermuda.
Dale Robinson Animation Director
Dale Robinson is an award-winning animation director and producer as well as co-founder and head of television development and production at Treehouse Republic in Dublin, Ireland. His extensive credit list includes projects from around the world in feature films, television and the web, serving clients such as Disney, Warner Bros. and Nickelodeon. Dale holds a B.A. in Animation from the University of Wolverhampton in West Midlands, U.K. Together with his family, he resides in Dublin, Ireland.
Jody Gray Composer
Jody Gray is an award-winning composer, songwriter, producer, musical director and arranger. His credits include the animated features CLIFFORD'S REALLY BIG MOVIE (Warner Bros.), ARTHUR'S MISSING PAL (Lionsgate) and STELLALUNA (MGM/Scholastic) among others. Jody's documentary works include Director Allan Neuwirth’s WHAT'S THE NAME OF THE DAME?, DEATH BY HANGING: A FAMILY'S PLEDGE FOR ALLEGIANCE (HBO), biographies of Ted Kennedy and Tom Hanks and M.Y.R.A. Entertainment's LE PARDON and JORINDE & JORINGEL. His television credits as music producer and contributing composer include SESAME STREET (Abby’s Flying Fairy School), SEX AND THE CITY, ED and THE TONIGHT SHOW starring Jay Leno. In addition, Jody composed the music and songs for Cartoon Network’s cult hit COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG, countless LOONEY TUNES shorts (Warner Bros. Online), including Cartoon Network’s THE CHUCK JONES SHOW, classic themes for the Cartoon Network Racing Game (PlayStation 2/Nintendo) as well as major sports themes for CBS and FOX. Together with his wife, he lives in New York City.
Cha'Von K. Clarke Casting Director/Line Producer
Cha’Von K. Clarke is an award-winning writer, journalist, playwright, poet, publisher, talent agent and event manager. She is the founder and head of CKC Corporation, consisting of CKC Spotlight Talent Agency and CKC Books as well as her own foundation, CKC Cares Charity in Bermuda. Her theater plays have been performed island-wide. Her books include “Streets are Listening… God is Watching”, “Bermudian Christmas Stories for the Family”, and she was featured in “Bermuda Anthology of Poetry, Volumes I & II” among others. In addition, she has organized numerous fashion and talent shows as well as charitable events. TELLING A YOU is her first film project. Cha’Von holds a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice from Temple University in Philadelphia, P.A. At the moment, she is pursuing an M.A. in Playwriting at Kingston University in London. Together with her family, she splits her time between Bermuda and London, UK.
Daryl Moorhouse Sound Editor
Daryl Moorhead is an acclaimed producer, copywriter and professional voiceover artist for radio, television and Internet. As the founder and president of Tinpot Productions, a radio programming commercial production company in Dublin, Ireland, his clients include MTV, Boots, Gillette, Supermacs, Dunnes Stores and the Mordaunt Group. He has co-produced, recorded, edited and mixed numerous short form, comedy drama and documentary series for local and international radio stations. Highlights include WHO KILLED BILL?, a touching audio montage commemorating the fifth anniversary of the events of 9/11 which syndicated to 3,500 stations across the United States. For M.Y.R.A., he sound designed and edited LE PARDON. Prior to Tinpot, he was a television series scriptwriter for one of Ireland's most successful entertainment shows YOU'RE A STAR. Daryl served as the Chairman of the Association of Independent Radio Producers of Ireland and is a proponent for independent radio programming and talent. He holds a B.A. in Advertising and Digital Communications from the Dublin Institute of Technology. Daryl resides in Dublin, Ireland.
Steve Easton Studio Recording Engineer
Steve Easton is a producer, engineer, singer and songwriter as well as founder and head of Just Platinum Recording Studio in Hamilton, Bermuda. He has been in the music and recording business since the mid 1980s, performing and producing in and for numerous acts in North America and Bermuda. Together with his family, he resides in Bermuda.
Jon R. Smith Music Mixer
Jon R. Smith is a celebrated music mixer as well as founder and head of The Smit Factory in New York City. Having begun his career at New York’s famous Hit Factory making records with artists like John Lennon, Yoko Ono, The Rolling Stones and Hall & Oates, his television credits since include COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG (Cartoon Network), THE TICK, and KENNY THE SHARK. His feature film credits include CLIFFORD’S REALLY BIG MOVIE, ARTHUR’S MISSING PAL, the documentary KING’S PARK and Allan Neuwirth’s documentary WHAT’S THE NAME OF THE DAME. His work also includes video games, such as the “Cartoon Network Racing Game.” Currently, he is working on a series of documentaries on the making of the final John Lennon/Yoko Ono album Double Fantasy, for Yoko Ono. His projects for M.Y.R.A. Entertainment are TELLING A YOU and OPERATION LITTLE VITTLES: THE CHOCOLATE BOMBER OF THE BERLIN AIRLIFT, both in collaboration with composer, Jody Gray. Together with his family, he lives in New York City.
Frank Schumacher Title Designer
Frank Schumacher is a producer, director of photography and film editor. His award-winning films include SINEMA LEO. Over the past 14 years, he has worked on countless projects for German public television and production companies. In 2000, he completed a feature film that included over 40 intellectually and physically challenged actors. For M.Y.R.A. Entertainment, he has edited LE PARDON. He is the co-founder of the film production company Filmwiese, based in Eltville near Wiesbaden and Hamburg, Germany. He works in five languages, including Swahili. Frank holds an M.A. in Film, Ethnology and African Philology from the University of Mainz, Germany. He splits his time between Eltville and Hamburg, Germany.
Duncan McInnes Graphic Designer/Key Artist
Duncan McInnes is a freelance graphic & web designer and photographer. He has designed websites for businesses ranging from scenery shops to medical practices, and also for events as well, such as the U.S. visit of the descendant of the Buddha. Duncan has photographed a wedding, family portraits and musical events. For M.Y.R.A. Entertainment, aside from TELLING A YOU, he worked on the key arts for LE PARDON and ONE AFTER. When he is not working on a project or studying for school, he walks around with a camera, ready to capture anything. Originally from New York City, he is currently studying at Binghamton University in upstate New York.