Photo Credit: Lovisa Inserra
The Dapper Man offers up a spoon

City of Dreams (formerly The Lost City of New York) is a short film written and directed by Joseph Pierson, filmed on location in New York City. We prepped in April / May 2005 for a one-week shoot in early June. We shot on super 16mm film.  The shoot was non-union for the crew and governed by the rules of the Screen Actors' Guild Experimental contract for the cast and background actors.



Photo Credit: Lovisa Inserra
After school in the park

Her friends are greatly enjoying the after-school celebrity bashing, fueled by the latest copy of "Deep Insight" magazine, but Sarah is transfixed by the homeless guy. He's tucked in a corner across from their usual park bench and every day he scribbles intently in a growing stack of journals. What could he possibly be writing about? Her curiosity finally gets the best of her, so Sarah hatches a plan.

The next day, Sarah offers the Homeless Guy Chinese food. While he greedily consumes fried rice, the girls execute a surgical strike and steal his journals. Wickedly innocent, they race to the safety of a nearby stoop. After their hearts stop pounding, Sarah begins to read to her eager listeners.

Photo Credit: Lovisa Inserra
The Dapper Man tries out his curious egg device

The story that unfolds is of a magical New York; like a dream it is at once familiar, yet impossible. The year is 1932 and we follow the promising love story of a dapper man and a pretty young woman who meet by chance on the Subway. The Dapper Man loses the Young Woman almost as soon as she first commands his attention, but he eventually finds her again, working in a novelty shop. Will he take her on the Coney Island roller coaster ride she pines for so?

The narrative ultimately circles back upon itself, weaving Sarah and her homeless guy together with the past. The Lost City of New York has love, loss, redemption and the promise of a brighter tomorrow -- all in twelve minutes.

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Production on City of Dreams began on Sunday, June 12 and ended on Friday, June 17th. The cast did a tremendous job, without exception, and the crew was outstanding. Click on "Day One" below to begin.


Photo Credit: Lovisa Inserra
Some down time on the Subway

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Director                                          Joseph Pierson

Director of Photography                     Jeffrey Chu

Production Designer                           Joseph Pierson

Editor                                              Joseph Pierson

Assistant Editor                                 Lovisa Inserra

Art Director                                      Lovisa Inserra

Graphic Designer                                Lovisa Inserra

Sound Recordist                                James Baker

Boom Operator                                  To be announced

Property Master                               Roberto 

1st Assistant Director                        Dave Peska

2nd Assistant Director                        Barbara Saraintaris

1st Camera Assistant                         To be announced

Camera Loader                                 To be announced

Stills Photographer                            Lovisa Inserra

Location Scout                                N/A

Gaffer                                            To be announced

Electric PA                                     To be announced

Key Grip                                         William Amenta

Grip                                               To be announced

Costume Designer                             Aimee Schlectman

Make-up/Hair                                   Jennifer Manon

Wardrobe Supervisor                         Elissa Santiago

Set PA                                            Karen Pobicki

Set PA                                            Christopher Menges

Set PA                                            Cassandra Charles

Composer                                        Joel Goodman

Photo Credit: Lovisa Inserra
Elissa (wardrobe) and Jennifer (Hair & Make-up)

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Photo Credit: Lovisa Inserra

I never attended film school or had any formal training as a filmmaker.  As a consequence, I never had the opportunity to make a short film.  After producing and directing three feature films, I finally decided it was time to considering making a short.

City of Dreams provided an opportunity to experiment with the freedom of short form filmmaking in between feature film projects. A narrative that unfolds in twelve minutes can never be as complete or involved as a 90 minute film, so there is an inherent freedom to experiment with plot, character and tone that I found very appealing. After working extensively outside of New York, City of Dreams has also enabled me to reconnect with the independent film community in New York, the city in which I grew up.

The City of Dreams is at once a love-letter to New York and an exercise in recreating a New York past that never existed. Part homage to John Dos Passos and part Bruce McCall fantasy, the film represents to me a view of the city that is by necessity romantic and nostalgic. No one who lives here is immune from the city's charm and mystery.  I hope I have succeeded in conveying my own enchantment in The City of Dreams.

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RESUMES can be faxed to 212-262-3925 *If no answer, please call 212-262-3900 and ask us to plug the fax in. As part of an ongoing effort to create a more meaningful and joyful office environment we are currently engaged in junk fax avoidance therapy. The stock tips proved utterly worthless and the vacation in Cancun was, frankly, a disappointment. Another watered-down Piña Colada, señor? No thanks.

OR avoid the whole fax mishegas and email your resume directly to Lovisa:

Please mail or hand deliver REELS to the attention of Lovisa Inserra at:

Lost City Films, LLC.
The Film Center
630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 415
New York, NY 10036

DVD or CD-R preferred, but we can still watch a VHS

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Copyright © 2005 Cypress Films, Inc. Some rights reserved.

* Last updated: October 03, 2005 *