SUNY New Paltz communication and media professor Gregory Bray ’00 (Communication and Media) has assembled a team of fellow alumni for the production of “Liner Notes,” a film based on a stage play written by his brother, John Patrick Bray ’00 (Theater).
Bray said that after numerous productions and readings of “Liner Notes” were performed nationwide, he and his brother John, a playwriting and screenwriting professor at the University of Georgia, decided to collaborate on bringing the play to the big screen.
“I saw two readings in New York City, and after talking with John about the work, we came to the conclusion that it would make a terrific film,” said Bray. “It’s a dramatic comedy, or perhaps a comedic drama.”
“Liner Notes” tells the story of Alice, a young woman from Rochester, N.Y., who learns of the suicide of her estranged father, Jake, a lead singer of a popular CBGBs-era rock band in the 1970s. She drives to Georgia to reconnect with Jake’s former guitarist, George, who she convinces to come with her on a road trip to visit her father’s grave in Montreal.
“This is the major portion of the film – their road trip, their interactions, their visit to an open mic bar in New Paltz, N.Y.,” said Bray. “Alice is one of my favorite characters I’ve encountered in any medium. It takes a particular level of determination to drive from Rochester, N.Y., to northern Georgia, only to turn around and drive all the way to Montreal to visit a headstone.”
Bray said the story is “ultimately a meditation on what it means to be a rock star, and what kind of damage does celebrity culture create? At the same time it’s a story of two very different people taking a journey together, and learning about themselves through each other.”
“Liner Notes” also serves as “a love letter to music,” Bray said. “There’s something immediately nostalgic about music. It can serve as our own autobiographies. We hear a song on the radio, and suddenly it’s that summer day from 20 years ago we wish we could revisit. Or a first dance.”
The film is being shot in and around New Paltz, with a crew entirely made up of New Paltz digital media production alumni: Jason Latorre ’11, first assistant director/editor; Tara Latorre ’11, social media director, Matt Brunner ’14, swing crew/grip; Vincent Carnevale ’13, director of photography; Brenna Landerkin ’13, art director; Ian Todaro ’14, camera crew; Carol Lee ’06, post production; and communication and media lecturer Joseph Vlachos ’04.
Bray said he is also in the process of enlisting several current students who have indicated interest in serving as production assistants, and that final audio mixing will also be done at SUNY New Paltz with the help of student assistants.
For more information about “Liner Notes,” check out the film’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/linernotesmovie, or on Twitter (@linernotesmovie) or follow the conversation via the hashtag #rememberjake. Bray also plans to launch a contest for #rememberjake videos on video sharing social network Vine, with a prize to be presented for the best user-created video.