Wyckoff PlaceDirected by Lauri Faggioni« Back to main film
In the hallways of a Brooklyn apartment building, a group of children spill out of their homes and play together. And though they come from diverse backgrounds, they see each other not as strangers, but as friends. Through the lens of some of our country's youngest characters, Wyckoff Place offers a valuable lesson to us all about open-mindedness, diversity, and the power of childhood friendships.
Lauri Faggioni is an award-winning director, production designer and choreographer, and is among today's emerging pioneers in the creative world. Her music video directing debut, Devendra Banhart's "A Ribbon", premiered at MoMA and earned her MVPA nominations for Directorial Debut and Best Video Under $25,000, as well as the award for Best Animated Video. Her work in Michel Gondry's musical documentary Dave Chappelle's Block Party and the surreal film The Science of Sleep garnered significant press accolades. Faggioni went on to collaborate on additional commercial and music video work with Gondry as well as projects with renowned director Johan Renck. She recently designed Johnny Depp's upcoming documentary on Keith Richards. Faggioni has also directed music videos for Bright Eyes, Iron and Wine and Monsters of Folk, and has done commercial work for brands including H&M, Escada, EDF and Talk Talk.
In 2010 I moved into a building in Brooklyn. Every day I saw a group of kids playing together in the hallways. They were a hodgepodge lot, seeming to come from all different walks of life. On weekends they would hang around the halls in their pajamas playing board games. During the holidays they drew "Merry Christmas" signs and hung them on all twenty-five apartment doors. They even slipped notes under all of our doors that read "We love having you as our neighbor"; each one signed their name. Their presence was a constant during my time there. They seemed to run the building. I wanted to know more about them.
When USA Network sent the Character Project brief, I knew I wanted to do a film on the children in the building. They seemed the most interesting characters I had come across in a long time. The thing that fascinated me about them was that they all came from different places yet seemed to play together just fine. Some of the kids were from Yemen, the girls wore beautifully colored hijabs and were always hanging out in the hallways playing games and telling stories. One was from Sudan, a quiet boy that had the funniest giggle I had ever heard. One was American, a precocious red head missing his two front teeth; another was a sweet Puerto Rican girl that always seemed to be getting in trouble.
When I wrote my treatment for the project I was inspired by the fact that the kids didn't seem to have any prejudice towards each other. They were so different yet seemed to be able to get along in ways that most adults can't seem to manage. I wondered what it was that bonded them. I wondered what they thought about each other and their different backgrounds and how they found a common ground.
When we started shooting the film I realized they don't think about these things at all. When I asked them questions about their thoughts on being from different cultures they seemed genuinely bored by the topic. They had nothing to say on the matter. Being around them made me remember what it is to think like a kid again. It's a very pack animal mentality. It's boys versus girls and whoever shows weakness that is the root of all their feuds, attention and adoration.
So this became their story. Not the one I was expecting to find, but the one that helped me remember things I had forgotten long ago. This is a brief document of childhood, as honestly as we could capture it. I am forever grateful for being allowed into these children and their families' lives.
Directed by Lauri Faggioni
USA Network Presents
An RSA Films Production
In Association with Green Card Productions
Co-Producer Justin Lundstrom
Director of Photography Andre Laskaris
Production Manager Henri Sann
Editor Mollie Goldstein
Music By Amber Music
Sound Design Lauri Faggioni
Sound Consultant Micah Bloomberg
Final Mix By POP Sound
Controller Vince Gonzalez
Office Coordinator Adam Lytle
Payroll Services Provided by
Ingenium Business Affairs, Inc
© 2011 RSA Films, Inc. and Lauri Faggioni. All Rights Reserved