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The Closer is a tale of friendship and betrayal between three friends set against the backdrop of the biggest boom & bust in the subprime real estate market. Our film is inspired by true events and approaches the 2008 housing crisis from a street-level view in low income areas of Brooklyn, NY, and is written from the perspective of developers, lenders, and home buyers. There is love, friendship, pain, hardship, and the testing of friendships and trust...all wrapped into a thrilling ride that will glue you to your seat.
The Closer was written and produced by Writer/Director/Producer Eli Hershko and Brooklyn-based real estate experts & investors turn filmmakers, Isaac Broyn and Victor barnes who witnessed the 2008 housing crisis first-hand and felt compelled to share their incredible and trying experiences.
Directed by: Award winning director Eli Hershko who’s debut film Titled “carl(a) has garnered himthe 2013 Canada International Film Festival Award of Excellence for Feature Film, and 2013 Best original screen play in the Long Island International Film Expo as well as earned him nominations in the best feature and best director categories.
Writer/Director/Producer – Eli Hershko
Writer/Executive Producer – Isaac Broyn
Writer – Victor Baranes
Palm Beach International Film Festival – April 9th @ 1:55pm
Buffalo Niagara Film Festival - April 17th @ 1:30pm
Manhattan Film Festival - April 19th @ 9pm
OFFICIAL MOVIE SITE: http://TheCloserMovie.com @TheCloserMovie
95 MINUTES / ENGLISH
The Closer is a passion project of Isaac Broyn and Myself. The movie was self financed and shot over 28 days pulling favors all over town. Isaac and his partner Victor who worked as real estate developers in Brooklyn for over 20 years met me when I was working part time in the field of real estate while shooting films and photographing celebrities for magazine covers. Isaac always wanted to make movies and the 2008 real estate burst gave both of us the impetus to come together on a project that involved a world we all knew very well. Ironically the real estate burst planted the seed to “THE CLOSER” in our minds separately since we didn’t meet till 2010. We both had this very similar idea of what movie we wanted to make on our own. When we finally met in 2010 and realized that our ideas for a movie are practically the same, we knew that fate has brought us together to make this film which combines our knowledge of the real estate world mixed in with the pure desire to make a film so we decided to collaborate.
As developers, Isaac saw the activity from the street. We have all seen and heard the way the banks and Wall Street fueled the collapse through greed and financial schemes, but the truth is that they could only create the market because Wall Street’s greed trickled down to the level of the same people in the industry who were building the buildings and selling the properties. Since no stories have yet been told from the street level, stories of how the activities we read about in the newspaper and heard on the street affected the subprime low income areas like East New York in Brooklyn and the similar areas around the country, we wanted to show this calamity from the street perspective. It is important to understand that greed can make people and institutions do awful things.
Most people don't realize that when you make a film, you are making three different films at the same time. The first is when write it. The second is when you are filming the movie and modify the story along the way. The third time is in the editing room where you put together all the pieces and mostly end up with a different movie you started with.
The Closer was inspired by the true collapse of the real estate market specifically speaking local to our market. We hope it as entertaining as it is educational, and that our experiences can shed light on what happens at the very basic levels, aided by Wall Street’s greed that fueled this craziness.
Eli Hershko - Director/Producer/Writer/Cinematographer
Originally from Israel, Eli graduated from Haifa school of the arts joined the Israeli Defense Force where he served as a photographer and later as a teacher of photography. After his Honorable discharge as a Sergeant he studied at WIZO Art College in Haifa, then graduated from the New York Film Academy Digital Film Program.
Eli has worked as a professional photographer, shooting album and magazine covers for popular artists including: Biggie Smalls, Bjork, Public Enemy, Naughty by Nature, SpaceHog, The Backstreet Boys, Cake, Garbage and Tony Bennett.
In 2012 he finished post production on his first feature film titled “Carla” starring 2012 EMMY nominated actor Mark Margolis and 2013 EMMY nominated actor Lavern Cox of “Orange is the New Black” Netflix Original Series. The film was entered in the 2013 film festival circuits and had won awards. The film was theatrically released in December 2015, and currently it is being distributed on various VOD platforms.
Working under the banner of Conjured Visions Films, Hershko continues to write, produce, direct and shoot TV spots as well as create viral films and web content for various clients and ad agencies.
In July 2014, Principal photography for Hershko’s new feature film titled “The Closer” wrapped, and the film is being entered in the film festival circuit. It is slated to screen nationally and internationally through 2016.
Pre Production has commenced on Hershko newest project titled "Fairy Tale" slated to shoot in the 3rd Q of 2016.
Isaac Broyn - writer, executive producer
For over seventeen years, Isaac Broyn has been involved in the real estate business. He opened his first office in Queens New York in 1998 when he focused on purchasing neglected, multi-family properties and converting them into remarkable homes, inside and out.
Most of Isaac’s properties are focused in Brooklyn, New York, and since 2002, he has been building brand new multi-family homes between six and eight families, as well as multi-unit apartments, penthouses, condominiums, duplexes, and commercial space.
Isaac has gained a tremendous amount of insight in this market, and continues to create tasteful architecture. So much that he has built business and personal friendships with the people and companies who help make his dream possible.
His experiences in real estate and renovating in developing areas of Brooklyn have given him a unique insight into the issues that directly caused the 2008 in the industry. He decided to write a screenplay with his colleagues about those experiences, and The Closer is his inaugural film project. Mr. Broyn was directly involved in the making of The Closer throughout the process, which included being on location every day of filming, working with the actors and on screenplay edits on set. His insights and deep knowledge of the real estate industry were invaluable and this film wouldn’t have come to fruition without this knowledge and his financing and producing of this film.
Victor Baranes - Writer, Producer
Victor, immigrated to the United States at age 22 from Israeli, having first served as a Master Engineer in a fighting Jet Squadron in the Israeli Air Force. Having been honorably discharged at the rank of Master Sergeant, Victor pursued his dream of being a professional surfer. As a leader of the sport in Israel, he had won professional sponsorship and moved from Israel to Hawaii to compete. Following a short surfing career, he moved to New York and got started in the real estate business, forming a partnership with Isaac Broyn.
Together they established a real estate development company that generating more than $35 million in revenue per year, employing more than 60 people. Recently, his company expanded into developing low rise condominium building throughout Brooklyn.
As a hands-on, creative entrepreneur Victor is heavily involved in the architecture and design of his projects.
In addition to real estate, Victor develops games and applications for the internet and iPhone, and helped produce THE CLOSER feature film, as his entrée into film making.
Something happened during filming – Eli Hershko (director)
The most important aspect for me when I tell a story is whether or not people believe the characters and the story. I write the script in a vacuum; period. And no matter how hard you work to flesh out a character; you are just one person, one writer trying to capture many voices. Often, when I have my final draft I do a table read in order to “hear” the characters. Later when the movie is cast I do not rehearse the lines. I refused to do so. Instead I would spend time with each "talking Character" over many weeks during pre production period, over lunches or coffee, and we will talk about the motivation of the character and whether the dialogue works or not. I ask the actors if they feel comfortable saying the dialogue I’ve written for them and often I ask them for their own words and ideas. I want them to mesh with the character they portray in the movie and by allowing them to use their own words and improvise, I help make this process easier on them.
Movies are often not filmed chronologically; this is done in order to accommodate locations, schedules and budgets but certain scenes should not be forced to accommodate scheduling. For instance, I now know never to ask my actors to film the final scene of the movie in the first week of shooting. It just doesn't work and I had to learn that the hard way on set where we had to shut down a production day since it didn’t work emotionally for the character... luckily we picked up the day towards the end of production. Once the actors become familiar with the film and the characters, and the “emotional growth” of the character was more chronological, it felt so much more true and real and as such it came across coherently on camera.
For my next feature project titled “Fair Tale” I am going to completely abandon all traditional film making and approach my next project in a very different way. In my quest for the ultimate "live in the moment" which is the Holy Grail for actors and directors alike, I intend to explore that phrase and put it to the test. (Shooting will start towards the end of 2016).
The Funnier Side of Stunts, on a small budget
This is an action drama, and even though it was a shoe-string budget we still needed some action sequences. We have one here that called for the main character of The Closer to get hit by a car, and didn't want to have our lead man really get hit with a car over and over again, so we hired a wonderful stuntman named Paul Mann. On our budget, we had only an hour and half to execute this scene, which was a challenge.
Paul assured me that he’s be alright and that I should not worry about him or the stunt, but having a Jewish mother made me worry anyway. I was asking a person to get hit by a car at 40mph over and over again until the scene is perfect. Nerve wracking!
Two weeks before the scene, Paul saw my anxiety and told me about a new technology; a special protective suit that is soft and rubbery under your clothes, but hardens into armor when it is impacted by a blunt force. Without hesitating I ordered the suit for him, and Paul got hit by the car time and time again until it was right and believable. Out of gratitude I gave him the protective suit as a gift when we finished the shoot.
Ryan F. Johnson
Patrick Duke Conboy
Andrew Scott Francis
Kevin Martinez Rivera
Adam P. Murphy
Jay Wells L'Ecuyer
Andres Emanuel Pina
Timothy C. Floyd
Emilio Ramon Gomez
Brett Roman Williams
Filmmakers & Crew
Isaac Broyn, Executive Producer
Sharon Broyn, Co-Producer
Eli Hershko, Producer
Eytan Millstone, Producer
Kip Baker, Associate Producer
David Spaltro, Consulting Producer
Brie Puneky, Makeup Artist
Ashley K. Thomas, Key Makeup Artist
SECOND UNIT DIRECTORS OR ASSISTANT DIRECTORS
Jay Wells L'Ecuyer, Second Assistant Director
Ruben Rodas, Second Unit Director
Niki Broyn, Set Designer
Rafi Chen, Sound Designer
Paul Mann, Stunt Coordinator
CAMERA AND ELECTRICAL DEPARTMENT
Nikki Broyn, Still Photographer
Mike Gomes, Camera Operator