Shot in the months after Hurricane Sandy, when many Hamptons neighborhoods were deep in recovery mode, feature film By Jingo will have its world premiere this Sunday, November 1, at the Nordic International Film Festival in Manhattan.
Ryan Caraway, a life-long summer visitor to the East End whose family purchased a home in East Quogue in 2010, wrote and directed the drama, which he co-stars in. Caraway explains that he began with the idea to write a film about a labor uprising. Anticipating Sandy would knock out electricity for almost two weeks, he got a pen and pad and began to write out the script in long hand as Sandy battered the Northeast. The storm and the destruction it wrought became central to the story.
“In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a young laborer named Sean Daly is struggling to rebuild for his wife and unborn child,” Caraway, who plays the part of Dauly, says. “Compounded with this, he comes to work on a coastal farm and he discovers that a more malicious entity is taking over and driving everybody out of work. The story is basically about his struggle to find his identity in this world. His work and his home are two things that are in complete flux and devastation.”
His family’s East Quogue home on Shinnecock Bay, which they owned for just about two years, was flooded during Sandy.
“We went a week after the hurricane hit and we gutted the house completely,” Caraway recalls. “Instead of renovating it right away, they gave us two months to shoot in the wreckage.”
The house had no insulation and no heat. It was uncomfortable for the cast and crew that stayed there during filming, but it made the perfect setting for many scenes in By Jingo.
Among the other filming locations, which Hamptons residents may recognize, are Densieski Farm and Deli Delight in East Quogue, the Hampton Bays Diner, the Long Wharf in Sag Harbor and the beaches of Southampton and Westhampton.
The Nordic International Film Festival, taking place at the Scandinavia House, has nominated By Jingo for a narrative feature film award and it will be the festival’s closing film. Caraway says what makes this film “Nordic” is the style.
“We shot a great deal of it at Magic Hour, which is the time during dusk and dawn when the sun is either rising or setting,” he says, explaining that there is just a 15-minute window that allows filming in very low light. “So everything is pretty much in silhouette and darkness. The characters’ faces can be shadowed and obscured. It’s a technique that has thrived in Scadanavian films since the beginning.”
He says it is in the style of Ingmar Bergman and supports and illuminates character drama.
By Jingo is Caraway’s directoral debut. He is principally an actor, having attended the two-year conservatory at Stella Adler Studio and furthering his studies at the Group Workshop under Cotter Smith and Bobby Moresco’s Actor’s Gym.
The film also stars Ashleigh McCloskey, Matthew Scanlon and Mark Coffin.
WATCH THE BY JINGO TRAILER: