CLBR Segment 2: Kickstarter Revisited: A New York Heartbeat

davisWe continue our occasional Kickstarter series with Laura Davis who is seeking $50,400. in funding for distribution costs for her film ” A New York Heartbeat.”    Davis will be calling in from Pittsburgh where the film was made.

This is no no garage film school project, but a completed  film by a producer/director team with over a dozen credits to their name and marque stars such as Rachel Brosnahan from House of Cards and Eric Roberts.

Perks include producer credit on the high end, with other contributions triggering signed movie posters or a master class in indie moving making.


BROOKLYN 1959: Spider, a young gang leader, gets in way over his head when he steals a suitcase of cash from a notorious mobster.


A NEW YORK HEARTBEAT is a love letter to a bygone era.  It was inspired by the hard-edged American crime dramas and action pictures that thrilled me as a kid growing up in Holland and made me want to become a filmmaker.

See the entire film here, if you must:

As an adult, I was influenced by a number of great filmmakers including director Michael Mann whose films I documented in “making of” pieces that appeared on TV and DVD.

Although I envisioned A NEW YORK HEARTBEAT as the mythic heroic journey of a young gang leader in New York in the 1950s, I also wanted the audience to feel a sense of authenticity, that the story could have happened to real people.  The challenge was trying to make 1959 come alive, to be as vivid, as complex, as detailed as any moment tonight in 2013.  To achieve that, I imagined what that world would have felt like, looked like, even smelled like and tried to convey that to the actors.


Because we love movies!  And although all of us like a good studio blockbuster as much as the next guy, we also long for the kind of movies that combine action with complex characters and great storytelling.  You can still find those, mostly in black & white or French and totally worth seeing!   A NEW YORK HEARTBEAT pays tribute to those great films in color (and in English.)

If you want to see a few of the films that influenced the making of A NEW YORK HEARTBEAT, this is as good a list as any we’ve come across:

Another must-see favorite!


Before a film can be released, even a fully finished one like A NEW YORK HEARTBEAT, there are delivery costs that all distributors require. Some of those hard costs are the creation of a Digital Cinema Package so we don’t have to keep showing the film on Blu-ray (way compressed!), a separate music & effects track so foreign distributors can replace the English dialog in countries where it is expected, errors & omissions insurance (we kept everything above-board, but you gotta protect against worst case!), worldwide music licensing, closed captioning for viewers with hearing loss and promotional costs. Anything we raise in excess of our $50,400 goal will be used to promote the film.


We reached out to the best people we could find in front of and behind the camera.  Our cast and crew was a mix of seasoned pros and talented younger people.  We asked nicely, sent folks the script and prayed!  We also limited our shoot to 22 days so no one had to turn down a more lucrative gig.  The generosity of our crew and the people of Pittsburgh, where we shot most of the film, cannot be overstated.  We also appreciate the support that has come from countless other cities including those in 19 foreign countries.  If anyone knows how an unreleased film acquired fans in Russia, Slovenia and Norway, please let us know!

DP Michal Dabal plans shot with producer/stunt coordinator Hugh Aodh O'Brien & Rachel Brosnahan ("Tamara")
DP Michal Dabal plans shot with producer/stunt coordinator Hugh Aodh O’Brien & Rachel Brosnahan (“Tamara”)
Escher Holloway ("Spider") and key grip Matthew Bulleri with "corpse" of videographer-turned-gangster Kris Veenis
Escher Holloway (“Spider”) and key grip Matthew Bulleri with “corpse” of videographer-turned-gangster Kris Veenis


A NEW YORK HEARTBEAT website home page & trailer:


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:


Facebook page for A NEW YORK HEARTBEAT:

Writer-director Tjardus Greidanus’s personal website:

Producer/stunt coordinator Hugh Aodh O’Brien’s personal website:

Eric Roberts (“Casket Mike”) official website:

Jack Donner (“Big Didi”) official website:

Rane Jameson (“Bobo”) official website:

Barret Hackney (“Eddy”) official website:

Amadeo Fusca (“Ty”) official website:

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