A community unites to mourn the death and celebrate the life of its oldest resident.
For six hundred years, the tree was reborn every spring. So long a time, in human years, the people of Basking Ridge took the mighty oak for granted. Passing under it on the way to church and school, driving past on the way to the town center for work or for lunch. So much a member of the community.
But then one summer, the leaves turned brown.
Now the time for mourning and remembering. For gratitude and celebration. No other community was graced for so long with such a natural wonder; a benevolent source of air, shade, and beauty. Nature’s gift. Out came the painters, poets, filmmakers, the historians and the arborists, the church-goers and the nature lovers — the community. Diverse, ever more so, but also united. The final gift from their Great Oak was the reminder that all of mankind is a community.
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Read a statement from Director Michael Reynolds here.
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Michael studied film at New York University and has worked on a wide variety of independent films and television programs. Under the Great Oak is a passion project combining his love of documentary film and the Great Oak.
Born and raised in Republic of Georgia, Mariam studied film in Ukraine and the United States, utilizing her talent in directing, writing, and photography until she found her calling in cinematography. She graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a degree in cinematography and has been actively pursuing her career in documentary and corporate video worlds.
Director of Photography
Sean has been a resident of Basking Ridge since the age of four. He attended the prestigious Park School of Communications at Ithaca College, majoring in film production. Sean currently works for The Orchard, a music and film distribution company that was acquired by Sony Music Entertainment in 2015. He is also a freelance video producer operating under the name Seraphim Media.
Sean Kirby, Editor
A native of Louisiana, Jason Navo is a lifelong musician. At 35, he’s spent the past decade based in Nashville, Tennessee as a professional bassist, both on the stage and in the studio. Jason has created many of his own original musical arrangements, and is excited about his first collaboration into composition for film.
Jason Navo, Composer
Kira is a senior animation student at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), specializing in character animation in multiple mediums, including traditional and digital 2D, 3D, and stop motion. When she graduates and leaves her SCAD family, she hopes to bring characters to life as part of a feature-film animation studio family.
Kira Pelton, Animator
Salma is a freelance camera operator and camera assistant based in New York City. She recently graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a degree in cinematography and is currently pursuing a career in the Film/TV industry.
Salma Hbaich, Camera Assistant
Debra Higgins started her film career as the Coaster Newspapers film critic, helming her own column. Her career as a film critic spans the last 30 years, appearing in various periodicals. Our Filmmaker’s Liaison, Debra is a Director of the Jersey Shore Film Festival and made the award-winning 2007 documentary Snake Hill.
Debra Higgins, Producer
Katrina is a visual artist and curator who is living and working in the United States and the Philippines. Her works have been shaped by experiences of natural environments encountered during the course of migration. Topics on memory, landscape, time, ecology and geology are the subtext of her visual artwork which takes form in drawings, installation, and video.
Katrina Bello, Poster Artist
A lover of documentary storytelling, Judith is the owner and Lead Producer at Sugar Shock Media. Currently in production Hortulus Farm: Where History & Horticulture Meet and a miniseries on wildlife rehabilitation for Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary in Newton, NJ. Her work includes NBC Universal, Disney Cruise Lines, New Jersey Audubon, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon and more. http://www.sugarshockmedia.com
Judith Luszcz, Motion Graphics Designer
Dana is an actor as well as president of Days Reign Productions. She is responsible for each project’s budget and keeping the team on track.
Dana Reynolds, Executive Producer
FILM STILLS/ON THE SET