Alex, a whimsical girl, lives with her parents on a rural and secluded farm. She sneaks out of her house and wanders through the fading sunlight in search of the perfect hiding spot. She is careful of watchful eyes on her adventure—she shouldn’t be doing this, whatever that may be…
Logan Lanier’s new short film Jetty tells the story of Alex, a young, deaf girl in the rural isolation of the American South.
A core value of Jetty is the relationship between Alex’s deafness and her imagination. Cinema gives us a rare opportunity to share the world of a deaf or hard-of-hearing person through the marriage of image and sound. It is our mission to translate a deaf experience through the music and magic of a girl’s imagination.
Jetty was filmed in April 2018 on the historic Byrd Springs Rod and Gun Club, a 643-acre privately owned property in North Alabama that is home to a pristine Tupelo Gumtree wetland ecosystem.
For a sneak peek at our production, read producer Suze Myers’ shoot diary in Constellation Magazine’s American South issue.
Jetty is the result of a creative partnership between filmmaker Logan Lanier and designer Suze Myers.
Armed with a DIY ethos and a knack for visual narrative, Logan and Suze aim to tell compelling stories that are best told through film. Jetty, their first film together, will be released in Autumn 2018.
A note from the director
There are feelings in our lives that we experience for the first time as children, and as kids it is difficult to navigate those emotions. Heartache. Nostalgia. Loneliness. Adults may ask with a new experience: Is this normal? What can I do to make myself feel better? But questions like this are sometimes impossible for children to ask—we have to blindly experience our feelings and make heads-or-tails when we’re older. Jetty creates one of these brief experiences.
I want to make a film that examines the disconnections between an adult’s world and a child’s world. As a youngster I always wanted to know what my parents argued about, or why their conversations were “top secret.” I remember creeping down a few steps to eavesdrop from the wrong side of a thin wall, or sneaking out of bed and peering through a cracked door to watch my parents live their strange adult lives (they like to watch “TV Land” reruns and drink red wine).
This is the fundamental piece of a child’s world: curiosity. Intrigue and determination to know what is happening in that mysterious adult world. I am proud to laugh at my silly conspicuousness.
Jetty, however, ignores the presumptions that a child’s world is less enriched than an adult’s world. It is tragic to believe a child is less capable of understanding the world we share, or that adults cannot learn something new from children. It is our intention with Jetty to show the beautiful ideas children have to offer. And if we are successful, the dark, mysterious adult world will be a little bit brighter.
The central character in this film is Alex, and a crucial and significant force affecting Alex’s world is her deafness. This disability has grown into a painful disconnection between her and her parents. However, we aim to distance this film from judgment about life as a deaf or hard-of-hearing person. Jetty suggests her world is not defined by her deafness; rather, Alex’s world is complicated, and as a kid she struggles to understand her unique world just like everybody else. And perhaps most importantly, her parents have something to learn from Alex.
About the team
Jetty is Logan’s first professional production since making a number of student films at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. His thesis, Sister, a short film about two sisters who struggle with an abusive father, screened at the Azalea Film Festival, Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival, and the Southern Sunset Undergraduate Film Festival.
Logan was a production assistant on the upcoming Ken Burns documentary Country Music, a multi-episode released in 2019. He also has worked in the production department at the Telluride Film Festival for four years.
As a writer and a filmmaker, Logan’s material usually consists of father-child relationships, instinctive responsibilities to achieve ambitions, and leaving questions unanswered. In his work, Logan seeks to spark conversation around the dilemma of what a character does and what a character ought to do. His goal is for readers and viewers to find meaning by reflecting their own traditions and ideas through their interaction with his work.
Logan spent most of his younger days in Huntsville, Alabama, but also lived in Telluride, Colorado for many years. He holds his time spent in Telluride responsible for his reckless love of the film industry, where he could watch films at the annual Telluride Film Festival through his living room window.
Suze Myers is a graphic designer and illustrator specializing in book arts and printmaking. Jetty is her first foray into producing, though she has several years of art department working with industry filmmakers. Suze is very excited to release this film with Logan Lanier, her close friend and creative collaborator since the ninth grade.
Suze was born and raised in Palo Alto, California, and attended high school in Huntsville, Alabama. She received her BA in Art History from Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City, and went on to gain a postgraduate degree in design from the acclaimed University of the Arts London in the UK. She co-founded and currently serves as the art director and designer of Constellation, an online magazine highlighting emerging women and non-binary creatives, particularly in the film industry. She is currently slated to produce a short by her frequent collaborator and Jetty consulting producer Jaclyn Bethany in fall 2018.
As an artist, Suze’s goal is to use her creativity to foster a sense of community amongst people, especially other young women. She was overjoyed to supervise a talented group of southern-based cast and crew for Jetty, and hopes to promote diversity in the independent film industry in new and progressive ways. suzemyers.com
Director of Photography
Sebastian is a filmmaker and cinematographer based in Brooklyn, NY. His curiosity about the world and the systems and structures that shape us draws him to well-told stories in both fiction and non-fiction. His short documentary film Esquilas en la montaña (Bells in the Mountains) was officially selected for the 2017 New Orleans Film Festival and the 2017 San Francisco Documentary Festival.
His cinematography work has been screened at the Margaret Mead Film Festival and the Nashville Film Festival.
Over the last few years Sebastian has helped shoot an experimental non-fiction film in the -35°F winter of interior Alaska, produced videos for the Show Me $15 fight to raise the wages of fast food workers, directed and shot a film for the Southern Environmental Law Center, DP’d a short doc about wetland restoration in Louisiana, filmed on the road with country singer Dierks Bentley, documented oral histories of Afro-descendant Panamanian millennials, and produced, directed, and shot a film for Metro Nashville Public Schools about the experiences of LGBT teachers and students to be used in LGBT trainings for teachers and counselors. Sebastian has also interned for Barbara Kopple and spent three years as a free-lance production assistant on Ken Burns’ upcoming Country Music series, assisting with interview shoots and filming behind-the-scenes material.
Sebastian grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, and graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University with a BA in Film Studies and Anthropology. During his six years in Nashville, Sebastian grew to love the South, where he first became involved with social justice activism. This commitment continues to drive both his photography and his career choices.
Gabriella Banda is a 12 year old actress and model from San Antonio, Texas. She loves cheerleading, soccer, and inspiring other deaf children. Gabriella is represented by Avant Agency in San Antonio.
Fiona Green is a Canadian-American actress currently based in Atlanta. Film credits include Red Fish Blue Fish, Cyclic, and World of Death. Television credits include Surviving Evil.
Bora Ercan is an Atlanta-based actor. Film credits include How to Make a Snuff Film and Shade.
Adam R. Brown is an award-winning narrative filmmaker and editor based in Brooklyn. He is a chapter leader of the New York City film collective, The Filmshop and is a creative partner of BullMoose Pictures. His work has screened at several film festivals across the world including; Sundance, Maryland Film Festival, Fantasia, Athens Film + Video Festival, Aspen ShortsFest, ASFF, & Cucalorus.
Zack Myers is a musician whose primary instrument is the piano. He holds undergraduate degrees in music and biology from University of California Santa Cruz and a masters degree in music theory from University of Washington. Jetty marks his first professional creative collaboration with his sister, producer Suze Myers. He lives in California with his wife Loren and their dog Yogi.
“At present we are completely unequipped to think about the subjective character of experience without relying on the imagination—without taking up the point of view of the experiential subject. This should be regarded as a challenge to form new concepts and devise of new method…” - Thomas Nagel in “What Is It Like To Be a Bat”
Adam Lochemes is a sound designer, mixer, synthesizer enthusiast, musician, story-teller at parties, self-prescribed philosopher, and an all-around nice guy. He spent his more vulnerable years growing up in Memphis, Tennessee and then moved to Nashville in order to attend Belmont University, where he began studying audio engineering, philosophy, and German.
Throughout his four years in Nashville, Adam has participated in the city’s ever-expanding arts scene. His work in Miller and Bouldin’s first iteration of the “Third Voice” project allowed for Adam to explore new ways of collaborating and creating art with others. Since then, Adam has been hitting drums on the road, writing down words, working with artists across the city, and most importantly sound designing for Jetty.
In the way the world is constructed and assembled by our senses, Adam hopes to construct a new experience for those who watch—and listen—to Jetty, though it may be hard for us to imagine the life and experience of the other, this movie, he hopes, tries to wipe away some of that condensation from building up on the outside of our windows to the world.
Written and Directed by
Gabriella Banda, Fiona Green, and Bora Ercan
Director of Photography
Sebastian Lasaosa Rogers
Production & Costume Design
1st Assistant Camera
2nd Assistant Camera
Ana & Jim Byrne
Frances Virginia McDonell
Nancy & Albert Ordway
Sherry Thaggard and Bob Humphrey
Rick Myers and Wendy Yang
Alida Rose Delaney
Locations Provided by
The Byrd Springs Rod and Gun Club
Sebastian Lasaosa Rogers
Visual Effects by
Sound Design by
PlotPoint Creative Media
Byrd Springs Rod and Gun Club Members
Behind the Scenes
A note of support for the deaf community
The creative team of Jetty is invested in supporting and listening to the needs of the deaf community during all aspects of production, and is beyond delighted to have a deaf child actress play the role of Alex. We are thankful to our deaf and hard-of-hearing collaborators, consultants, and friends for their support during this project, and we hope our film portrays the deaf experience in an accurate and responsible manner.
Imagination can make us feel loved in our loneliest moments.
United States | 13 minutes | 2018 | Color | DCP | American Sign Language
Official Festival Selections and Honors
International Sound and Film Music Festival
The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
Speechless Film Festival
Queen’s World Film Festival
Crossroads Film Festival
Sidewalk Film Festival
BLOW-UP Chicago International Arthouse Film Festival
Oaxaca Film Festival (Finalist: Best Growing Up Film)
Arctic Film Festival (Winner: Best Music Score)
ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York (Semi-Finalist)