The Mayfly Short Film

Based on a True Event

Film Festivals

AmDocs
54th Annual USA Film Festival

The USA Film Festival in Dallas

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When

April 21, 2024

Where

Dallas, TX

AmDocs
PIFF 2024

Pasadena International Film Festival

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When

April 4, 2024

Where

Pasadena, CA

AmDocs
13th AmDocs Film Festival

The American Documentary and Animation Film Festival and Film Fund (AmDocs)

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When

March 24, 2024

Where

Palm Springs, CA

Introduction
The Mayfly is an animated short film that touches upon the essence of life, passion, and defiance of societal norms. Inspired by a real event witnessed by critically acclaimed Film/Television Actress and Broadway Legend Betty Lynn Buckley, the narrative explores the fleeting life of Megalyn, a mayfly who dares to dream beyond all Mayfly norms and dedicate her life to music.

This diminutive creature, Megalyn Mayfly, became a bridge connecting teams across two continents, America and Europe—teams that, despite the vast geographical distances between them, share the same values and dedication to telling meaningful stories.

The Story
The Mayfly is a lyrical tale of young Megalyn Mayfly who was born in New York City’s Central Park.   The story was inspired by an actual event witnessed by the film’s Creator, legendary Actress/Singer Betty Lynn Buckley.  Megalyn goes against all Mayfly cultural norms  to dedicate her short life to Music and Dance. Her quest takes her from Central Park West to the Upper East Side’s Café Carlyle where she performs her final opus, creating beautiful patterns in the light as she dances over the head of singer Judy Collins.  Animated traditionally in 2D, The Mayfly is a love letter to Music and New York City.
The Inspiration Behind "The Mayfly"
At the Café Carlyle, on New York City’s Upper East Side, at a Judy Collins concert, Broadway legend Betty Lynn Buckley observed a mayfly, dancing as if part of the show itself.  And from this experience, the story of Megalyn emerged. It's a story that goes beyond the ephemeral nature of existence, urging us to embrace our passions and break free from societal norms.

Tony Award winning Broadway Legend Betty Lynn Buckley wrote, produced and narrated “The Mayfly.”  She has starred in numerous Broadway shows including “Cats” and “Sunset Boulevard” in London and New York and is a Theater Hall of Fame inductee.   She has co-starred in many films including “Imaginary” for Blumhouse  released in March, 2024, “Split,” “Tender Mercies,” and “Carrie.” Television starring roles include “Law & Order: SVU”, “Preacher,” “Oz,” and “Eight is Enough.”  She has produced 18 albums with her band and is a two-time Grammy Nominee. 
Betty Buckley

Creation of the Characters
Renowned Animator and Character Designer, Eugene Salandra, designed Megalyn and her parents, Mayhew and Maeve.  From her birth, as Megalyn emerges from the Central Park lake to the sounds of the percussionists, she discovers her love for music.  She confronts her parents with her choice to pursue her love of music.

Maeve, Megalyn's mother, stands as a quietly supportive figure, encouraging her daughter's dreams.  She is torn between her love and respect for Mayhew and her desire to encourage her daughter’s dreams.

Megalyn’s Father, Mayhew, was crafted to embody his traditional patriarchal views. His dress and movement are deliberately broad and symmetrical to mirror his rigidity and strict adherence to societal norms.

The character of the Little Girl and the other little dancers dressed in their tutus, were inspired by real children observed drawing with chalk on a sidewalk in the Central Park “Imagine Garden.” The little girl represents the few who notice Megalyn, due to their innocence, curiosity about the world and openness to magic.

Our supporting cast includes Central Park percussionists and  musicians, skaters, bubble-blowers and the patrons of the Cafe Carlyle,  all drawn from a mosaic of  real people observed in New York City.  The team aimed to reflect this rich tapestry of personalities in the character designs and the final animation.

Production Designer Meryl Rosner, in collaboration with the Storyboard Artist Viki Anderson, designed The Mayfly World. What unites all these characters is the distinctive hand-drawn line that lends a lightness and vitality to them, emphasizing the uniqueness of each frame. This approach not only brings the characters to life but also celebrates the individuality of every moment captured in our story.

Design and the World
The style and design of the visual layer evolved significantly as production progressed. From the outset, our aim was to capture the ephemeral nature of each frame, crafting scenes that felt as though they were hand-painted images set into perpetual motion.

The initial concept, as envisioned by Ms. Buckley, was more monochromatic for Mayfly Manor under the Central Park Bow Bridge. The idea was to gradually introduce more complexity and vibrancy as Megalyn finds her music.

Ms. Buckley, Director Sue Perrotto and Production Designer Meryl Rosner mapped Megalyn’s journey through New York City iconic locations -  Central Park's Bow Bridge, the Imagine memorial, The San Remo apartment building, Alice In Wonderland Statue and The Cafe Carlyle.  The final color palette was inspired by BluBlu’s masterful use of color.

Animation
Director Sue Perrotto, a multiple Emmy Nominee whose 30-year career spans various productions from “Daria” to 'Phineas and Ferb,'  brought heart, depth, empathy and musicality to the animation. As Director and Lead Animator, Ms. Perrotto created the animation for the main characters – the Mayfly Family, the character of Ms. B at The Café Carlyle and the key animation for the little girl at the Imagine Garden in Central Park.

BluBlu Studios took the helm for animating the human characters including Ms. Judy, the pianist Billy and the band, the people in the park and the audience at The Café Carlyle.  They also did the compositing and everything in between. 

Sue Perrotto - Director, Co-Executive Producer and Lead Animator on The Mayfly, is a 4-time Emmy Nominee, whose prodigious career includes feature films (Beavis and Butt-head Do America; Pooh’s Heffalump Movie) and award-winning television series (Daria; Phineas and Ferb; Sesame Street; Mira, Royal Detective). She is currently a Director on Dan Harmon’s new, hit animated series, Krapopolis, as well as a Subject Matter Expert for New York University’s Animation Industry Essentials course.
Sue Perrotto

Musical Composition and Storytelling
The soul-stirring melodies were composed by Christian Jacob who scored Ms. Buckley’s story.  Her narration with her ensemble of musicians (Percussionist Jamey Haddad and Bassist Trey Henry) weave the very fabric of the story, guiding us through the intricate emotional landscape of Megalyn. It's a journey set to the rhythm of her heart.   The infusion of the animated counterparts of real-world musical legend Judy Collins enriches this tapestry of The Mayfly.

Christian Jacob – Composer & Keyboards:  multi Grammy nominated pianist and arranger, is widely known for his many musical associations: (Maynard Ferguson, Betty Buckley, Tierney Sutton, Flora Purim, Jack Jones, etc.), his own Christian Jacob Trio and his scoring of two major motion pictures for director Clint Eastwood: "Sully" and "The 15:17 to Paris.”

Jamey Haddad – Percussion: Born in Cleveland Ohio, percussionist/drummer Jamey holds a unique position in the world of Jazz and Contemporary Music. Regarded as one of the foremost world-music and jazz percussionists, Jamey has been the percussionist for Paul Simon for more than 20 years. Mr. Haddad also collaborates with Sting, Bokante, Osvaldo Golijov, Yo Yo Ma, Betty Buckley, Dawn Upshaw, Esperanza Spalding, Joe Lovano,  Dave Liebman, Francis Ford Coppola, and The Paul Winter Consort.

Trey Henry – Bass: A seven-time Grammy nominee, Trey has been a fixture in the Los Angeles music community for more than 30 years. From Willie Nelson to Lady Gaga, The Academy Awards to Family Guy, The Thomas Crown Affair to Oppenheimer and The Hollywood Bowl to Carnegie Hall, his versatility continues to provide a wide variety of musical adventures.

The Art of Dance in Animation
In the quest to capture the essence of Megalyn's spirit, Ms. Perrotto worked with Choreographer Nakul Dev Mahajan as well as studying the movement of the great French Ballerina Sylvie Guillem.


Credits
Created, written and narrated by Betty Lynn Buckley
Directed and main character animation: Sue Perrotto
Produced by Melissa Coolidge and Bradford Coolidge
Executive Producers: Betty Lynn Buckley and Sue Perrotto

Art Direction, Background Color Design, Human Animation & Color - BluBlu Studios Team
Executive Producers: Jarek Nowak, Karolina Molska
Producer/Strategic Supervisor: Jakub Kurek
Art Director & Lead Illustrator: Jagoda Klaczyńska
Head of Animation & Compositing: Miłosz Kokociński
Creative Director & Consultant: Monika Kurek
Lead Illustrators / BG Artists: Weronika Harla, Maciej Kachel, Jakub Cichecki
Illustrations/Layering: Ewa Baran, Amanda Piejak, Julia Gmaj, Jakub Kozłowski
Compositing / BG Animation / VFX: Michał Machowina, Piotr Krzyżykowski, Jakub Służalski (GS Animation)
Primary Character Animation: Jagoda Kaleta, Tomasz Wyrąbkiewicz
Supporting Character Animation: Bebe Ogłoza, Mehri Saydullaeva, Bartosz Zarzycki, Jakub Kanarek, Jakub Baniak, Karolina Specht
Finance Department: Małgorzata Matejko-Kurek, Jakub Kurek
Agent/Producer: Katie Ward Gerard

BluBlu Studios represented by Liz Laine Reps, Inc.

Music by Christian Jacob
Music Track Produced by Betty Lynn Buckley
Vocals: Betty Lynn Buckley
Percussion: Jamey Haddad
Percussion Recording Engineer: Jay Ashby
Piano & Keyboards: Christian Jacob
Bass: Trey Henry
Mixing Sound Engineer: Jason Wormer

Main Character Design: Eugene Salandra
Storyboards by Viki Anderson
BG Production Design: Meryl Rosner
Layout, Editing & Main Character Color: Sue Perrotto
Additional Character Design: Meryl Rosner, Sue Perrotto

Contact

Amanda Meyer
Vice President
OMDKC
amanda@omdkc.com
(847) 778-7069