An Introduction.
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An Introduction.

Hey my friends,
I am home after a long tour through the midwest to Maine to Tennessee to NYC.  More shows are on the horizon. 

I would like to ask those of you who can to make an introduction. 

Below is the information that I'm sending out with my efforts to raise funding for the Small Star Seminar feature film project. If you are affiliated with any organizations that are able to donate money to a tax-deductible charity, please send the below information and direct them to this link: Fractured Atlas
Fractured Atlas is a 501 (c) 3 charity. Any contributions made to Small Star Seminar via Fractured Atlas are charitable contributions and are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.

The information listed below is based on questions asked on grant applications. If you are unable to participate in fundraising, but are following this project you might find the information interesting. 
Thank you all for your help,
Your friend,
Cory McAbee

Artist: Cory McAbee
Date of Birth: Aug 29 1961
Residence: Queens, NY. USA
Project Title: Small Star Seminar
Project Discipline: Moving Image: Non-traditional Narrative
Estimated Completion Date: 01/01/18
Project Status: In Production
Project Websites:
Fiscal Sponsorship:
Short Description of Project:
Small Star Seminar will be a feature-length film, created as a documentary, then transformed into a fantasy. Elements are being generated by a global art collaborative that McAbee began in 2012 for the purpose of creating a feature film.

Long Description of Project:
The Small Star Seminar follows the story of a singing motivational speaker (Cory McAbee) who travels the world urging people to give up their goals, stop reaching for the stars and to start looking for the stars within their own minds. The seminar features optimistic songs about quitting, accepting one’s own limitations and the power of sitting quietly. Through impromptu lectures and conversations with his live audiences McAbee introduces his theories of Deep Astronomy, Truth vs. Fact, and the Romantic Sciences. These concepts inform the film’s plotline.

Our story begins as McAbee falls from a barstool and hits the back of his head on the floor. Upon impact he sees a star within himself. Researching and identifying this star becomes his calling. He leaves his wife and children behind in his attempt to educate the public about his theories while urging them to pursue the truth by ignoring the facts.
The balance between following his new-found calling and supporting his beloved family back home becomes tenuous as he struggles with the widening gap between his beliefs and his priorities.
This film is being made as a documentary. It is currently in production. So far over 20 live events have been staged and documented by local filmmakers. All of the material will be used to tell a story through a variety of cinematic storytelling techniques. 
Project Timeline:
Elements for the Small Star Seminar are currently being generated by
McAbee and by volunteers worldwide. Individual requests for material
will be made on a wider scale as soon as a formal production has been generated. Once a formal production approach is made possible instructions and directions for specific scene elements will be circulated to all collaborators. McAbee will reach out to individuals for additional music, graphics, animation, effects, physical objects, as well as specific scenes to help construct a broader story.
While collaborators all over the world are helping to create this film as part of a large, open-source production, there will be unavoidable hard costs associated with bringing Small Star Seminar to completion. The goal is to submit this film to the 2018 Sundance Film Festival with the hope of a January premiere. This
project was developed in part through their labs and they have offered their continued support.
In 2015 McAbee released his first solo album. It was a DIY concept record, written and recorded in his NYC apartment over a 2-month period. Once the recording became available members of Captain Ahab’s Motorcycle Club took it upon themselves to create artwork to support the ideas behind the music. Their interpretations of the material inspired the concepts behind this film. The diverse viewpoints of individual audience members have continued to inform the story.
As a screenwriter McAbee refers to Dennis Potter as a main influence. Potter’s use of music
to create alternative realities within his stories is what first inspired McAbee to become a filmmaker. Musical performances are a featured component in the Small Star Seminar film. Collaborators are now creating additional musical elements. Working with a widespread group of musical collaborators will present unexpected treasures and possibilities for this film's soundtrack and story.
Cory McAbee has been a featured guest at film festivals and new media conferences throughout the world. As a result he has become friends with artists from different countries who work in diverse mediums. Collaborating is a constant topic of conversation. Fans that would like to work with McAbee also contact him on a regular basis offering their services. Small Star Seminar is a production that allows established artists and first-time artists the opportunity to contribute their own talents and vision to a feature film that is being created by an internationally acclaimed, award-winning feature filmmaker. It provides a platform for creative relationships to develop between artists worldwide, initiating an opportunity for solidarity through creativity. Once completed the film itself will be used to generate funds to support environmental causes.
Because the Sundance Film Festival has helped in the development of this project they will have the option for premiering it when completed and have offered digital distribution through their networks. The Lincoln Center Film Society and the NY Film Festival also have been supportive by hosting symposiums, as well as a live performance for inclusion in the film. Other festivals throughout the world have hosted Small Star Seminars, Captain Ahab's Motorcycle Club events, and have offered ongoing support. Many more festivals, theaters and art organizations have offered to participate and have expressed interest in sharing this film with their audiences. The collaborative approach has developed an international team of supporters who will present the film at alternative venues worldwide.

Project Update: March 2016
The first live performance of the Small Star Seminar was filmed and recorded in Wroclaw Poland in March 2015.
The music the film is being based on was released online in April 2015.
Detailed instructions for the film production were circulated in August 2015. Production officially began in September 2015.
To this date 30 live events have been filmed and recorded, including performances at the Reykjavik International Film Festival (Iceland), the 53rd NY Film Festival (NYC), and the Marfa Film Festival (Texas).
More events are currently being scheduled within the US and abroad.
In addition to these performances McAbee has given lectures and masters classes at major universities. As a result, many of the students have become involved.
Director’s Biography:
Cory is best known as the writer, director, songwriter and composer for the internationally acclaimed feature films, The American Astronaut (2001), Stingray Sam (2009), Crazy and Thief (2012) and as singer/songwriter for the musical group The Billy Nayer Show (1989–2011). He is self-taught in his chosen fields. He has created award-winning short films and has worked as both an actor and musician in American and European features. In 2012 McAbee began the all-inclusive international art collaborative, Captain Ahab’s Motorcycle Club. He has written many screenplays, including his recent feature length opera, while continuing to illustrate his graphic novel series entitled Rabbit. In 2015 McAbee wrote, recorded and produced his first solo album, Small Star Seminar. The music is now being used to create a globally generated feature film, written and directed by McAbee. The film is being developed through Captain Ahab’s Motorcycle Club.
Alternative Media Experience:
Cory McAbee is regarded as a pioneer in new media. In 1995 he presented the first multi-media event ever to be featured at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2007 McAbee was commissioned by the GSM Association and Sundance Film Festival to create one of the first films ever to be distributed on mobile devices. He has given lectures, panel discussions, symposiums and masters classes on art and alternative media at:
  • 3GSM World Congress. Barcelona, Spain

  • 21st Century Global Summit. Oxford, UK

  • You Are In Control. Reykjavík, Iceland

  • New Convergence Program. Lincoln Center. NYC.
  • The Conversation @ Columbia University. NYC

  • Yale Film Club. Yale University. New Haven, CT

  • IMAGINE: Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Revelation Perth International. Perth, Australia
  • Wide Angle. Hobart, Tasmania
  • Glasgow University. Glasgow, Scotland

  • San Francisco Art Institute. San Francisco, CA

  • Lund Film Academy. Lund, Sweden.

  • IFP Filmmakers Conference. NYC
  • Interlochen Arts Academy. Interlochen, MI

  • School of the Chicago Art Institute. Chicago, IL.
  • Boulder University, Boulder CO.
  • University of Illinois. Urbana-Champaign, IL.
  • Filme Couture's. Lisbon, Portugal

  • KINOFORUM. St.Petersburg, Russia
  • Fantaspoa Festival. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
  • Seize the Power Symposium. LA Film Festival. LA, CA
  • New Frontier Panel. Sundance Film Festival. Park City, UT
  • Adelaide International Documentary Conference. Adelaide, Australia.
  • South Australian Film Corporation. Digital 360 Lab. Adelaide, Australia.
  • High school graduate (1979)
  • Nightclub security. 1987 - 1999
  • Freelance artist. 1999 - 2016
CRAZY AND THIEF - Digital . 58 Minutes

POSITION: Writer / Director / Producer / Composer / Musician / Camera
  • New Visions. Petit Format Award. Sitges International Film Festival. Sitges, Spain.
  • Special Features Jury Award. Indie Memphis. Memphis, TN.
  • Indiewire. Top 10 Best Undistributed Films of 2012.
  • Forbidden Planet International. Best of the Year 2012. (UK)
STINGRAY SAM - (2008) . Digital . 61 Minutes . episodic feature

POSITION: Writer / Director / Actor / Composer / Musician / Storyboard Artist

  • Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival

  • WINNER. Best Science Fiction Fantasy Film. Comic-Con. CCI-IFF. San Diego

  • WINNER. Special Jury Award. Innovation In Filmmaking. Indie Memphis

  • WINNER. Best Of The Fest. Ellensburg Film Festival. WA.

  • WINNER. Best Director. Montevideo Fantastic Film Festival. Uruguay

  • WINNER. Best Music / Original Score. Montevideo Fantastic Film Festival. Uruguay WINNER. Innovation Award. Sound Unseen. Minnesota
  • WINNER. Audience Award. Special Mention. Intl Young Filmmakers festival. Granada, Spain
  • WINNER: Honorary Mention. Sopot International Film Festival. Poland
THE AMERICAN ASTRONAUT - (2001) . 35mm . 92 Minutes

POSITION: Writer / Director / Actor / Composer / Musician / Storyboard Artist
  • Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival. Dramatic Competition.

  • Official Selection, Toronto International Film Festival.
Official Selection, Moscow International Film Festival.

  • WINNER. Special Jury Award For Original Vision. Florida Film Festival.

  • WINNER. Best Of The Fest. 5th Revelation Perth International Film Festival. Australia. WINNER. Best Feature Film. LUFF Lausanne. Switzerland.

  • WINNER. Audience Award. Kudzu Film Festival. Atlanta, GA.

  • WINNER. Best Feature Film. Crossroads Film Festival. Jackson, MS.

  • NOMINATION. Independent Spirit Awards.

  • TOP 10 FILMS of 2001. Film Threat Magazine.

  • Screenplay accepted into 1998 Sundance Screenwriters Lab.
 Stingray Sam (excerpt)
Completion Date: 01/2009
Length of Sample: 00:02:46
Length of Original: 01:02:00
Video URL:
Description of sample / How it relates to this project:
This is a musical excerpt from McAbee’s film, Stingray Sam. This segment combines music, dancing and photo collage. Collage, and all other graphic related disciplines are being incorporated into Small Star Seminar. To create Stingray Sam, McAbee asked his musical collaborators to apply themselves in new fields. The man that McAbee is dancing with in this scene was the guitar player in McAbee’s band and collaborator on the film’s soundtrack. He had never acted, nor worked in graphic design. McAbee cast him in a leading role and gave him the task of creating the photo collages for this scene. To create the Small Star Seminar collaborators will be asked to work in new fields
with the hope of creating rich and unusual results.
Title: Crazy and Thief (excerpt)
Completion Date: 01/2012
Length of Sample: 00:02:11
Length of Original: 00:51:04
Video URL:
Description of sample / How it relates to this project:
Before Crazy and Thief, McAbee’s films were created in controlled environments. Every word was written and every shot was meticulously storyboarded. The music was pre-recorded for the actors to perform to. To create Crazy and Thief McAbee wrote a 30-minute script with the intention of making an hour-long film. It was filmed without a budget in uncontrolled public locations with a 2-year old and 7-year old as lead actors. The story was enriched through the chaos. Small Star Seminar invites chaos on a grand scale, as well as the most meticulous of efforts from both McAbee and his collaborators.
Phone: Contact via email for phone number.
Cory McAbee
PO Box 860082
Ridgewood, NY 11386
Fiscal Sponsorship: Fractured Atlas
Fractured Atlas is a 501 (c) 3 charity. Any contributions made to Small Star Seminar via Fractured Atlas are charitable contributions and are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.
Copyright © 2016 Cory McAbee, All rights reserved.

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