Broken Symphony

New York City, New York | Film Short

Drama, Crime

Juliana Hatkoff

1 Campaigns | New York, United States

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This campaign raised $16,855 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

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Our story takes three wildly different protagonists struggling to overcome their personal tragedies, as they become dangerously intertwined and united through the universal power of music. Amidst the world's chaos and insanity, this film is a poignant reminder of the potential of a simple song.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

On screen, our film spotlights the connection between a young Hispanic girl and a black man, as well as a lesbian Queen-pin. Behind the camera, we entrust young, experienced filmmakers from diverse backgrounds with greater responsibility. Collectively, we hope to tell a story that inspires all.

The Story

The Story Behind Our Story

Marco Baratta had been writing screenplays since High School, when a book prompted him to illegally download Final Draft.  After he graduated college, he started working as a Locations Assistant on a big budget, high profile film called The Irishman. Being in Locations, he had a lot of time to sit in his car and write. Occasionally, he’d toy with the idea of someone reading one of his scripts and bringing the story to life but wasn’t really sure how to make that happen—or if it ever would.

The filmmakers that had always inspired him the most were those who saw their vision from start to finish; writer/director auteurs such as Martin McDonagh, Wes Anderson, Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, and the Coen Brothers. So, one day, Marco decided that he didn’t need wait around for someone to bring his vision to life, he could do it himself.

He started small, writing a 5-page script (On the Ledge) and gave it to his colleague at work, Juliana. She thought it was very interesting and a well executed idea for a short, and agreed to produce it. The two pooled together their resources and connections, and within two weeks, Marco and Juliana pulled together a tiny cast and crew and shot the film in one night for basically no money. And, just like that, Marco had made his directorial debut.



On the Ledge (2018)

A couple hours before they were set to shoot their first mini-movie, Juliana joked to Marco that he should write another script that day set at her parents’ house in Long Island.


(Juliana's parents' house in Long Island)

Surprisingly, a few weeks later, Marco sent Juliana another script—the one she’d jokingly asked for. He had cunningly divised a wild and inspiring story, built around locations they knew they could use for free and resources they knew they could call in favors for. It was a true testament to Marco’s talent, as well as drive and passion for both storytelling and filmmaking. Completely blown away, she signed on immediately. Armed with the confidence and desire from their first mini movie experience, they set out to make the next one, enlisting help from another Irishman alum, Alex Martin, who had years of experience in location management, assistant directing, and producing other shorts.


(Juliana, Alex & Marco shooting Seed & Spark pitch video )


After planning the shoot out, our team further brought together other young filmmakers with combined decades of experience on film sets, who were trying to make the jump to their own projects. And Voilá! The crew was set.

What’s so special about this story, huh?

It’s no secret that today’s world is chockfull of chaos and, unfortunately, plagued by hatred and fear. As a result, we have increasingly started to embrace the escapist quality of art, rather than it’s transformative nature—to motivate, inspire, and bring out the best in people. We hope that our film can serve to remind people that art is not merely a form of escape but a powerful tool that allows us to discover meaning in the meaningless, logic in the illogical, and control in the uncontrollable; helping us to make sense of the world and our place within it.  

Our story takes three wildly different protagonists from vastly different backgrounds, each broken and struggling to overcome their respective personal tragedies. Despite their obvious differences of age, race, gender, and sexuality, it is the same piece of art that allows all of three of them to begin to mend the broken pieces of themselves. Ultimately, it is story is about the power of a piece of art, music in this instance, to profoundly affect people, stick with them, and, perhaps, even alter their perceptions of the world. 


What inspired this story?

Given that this is a story about the power of music, accordingly, much of the inspiration for the story came from music as well. Two of the three main characters are inspired by real life musical personalities. Our protagonist, Ray Higgins, is based on real life jazz musician Roy Hargrove and the character of Claire Garcia is derived from an actual Indie/Alternative artist who uses music to cope with her clinical depression. Even the film’s climax has musical roots, stemming from a song that Marco heard in his room at 3am one night. He was so moved by the song that it prompted him to write a scene about its magnetism.


(Roy Hargrove, the inspirationfor the main character, Ray Higgins)


Fear not, this short will not sacrifice entertainment value for our message. Inspired by fast-paced, ensemble cast films such as Snatch and Ocean's 11, the film is not lacking speed or suspense. Additionally, there is some 4th wall breaking sprinkled in from The Narrator, who we like to think of as a hybrid between Ferris Bueller and James Bond. Circumventing the main theme of music, the short dabbles in drug dealing, mafia intimidation, as well as characters' backstories and their intertwined paths.

Inclusion & Universality 

One of the other main points of this story is that both tragedy and the power of art are indiscriminate. Bad cards are dealt to everyone, regardless of their race, age, gender, religion, culture, and sexuality. In this film, our main characters are a black musician from Harlem (Ray Higgins), a widowed lesbian Queen-pin (Lana Garcia-Morgan), and a young Latin American guitar prodigy in her early 20s (Claire Garcia). Tragedy strikes them all. Music touches them all. Their race or sexuality may not be the center of any drama in the story, but it is important to us to have a diverse cast of characters, both in order to be inclusive and in order to prove this narrative point. 


The Cast

Jimonn Cole as Ray Higgins  


Meghan Rafferty as Lana Garcia-Morgan 



 Isabel Pakzad as Claire Garcia 



Micheal Richardson as The Narrator


Reginald L. Barnes as Gabe



Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Hair & Makeup Supplies

Costs $200

So our Cast can look their best on screen.

Music Rights

Costs $1,100

This movie is about music thus, we have to license some.


Costs $1,500

10% of our total budget.


Costs $500

To make sure our Cast looks the part.


Costs $200

Funds for our Prop Master to work with.


Costs $1,700

Payment for our fabulous cast.


Costs $750

Gas, train/subway fares, and other travel costs to get our cast & crew to and from set each day.

Set Dressing

Costs $500

To dress the set!

U HAUL Rental

Costs $550

We're gonna need a U Haul in order to haul the equipment around, especially to Long Island.

Lighting Package

Costs $500

To bring our vision to life, we need some extra funds to rent equipment we could not get for free.


Costs $1,000

It's always good to be covered.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Sound Equipment & Labor

Costs $1,500

This isn't going to be a silent film. This money will go towards paying our kick-ass sounds guys.

Food for Cast & Crew

Costs $2,500

Stamina for our hard-working cast & crew! This covers 3 meals per day for 6 days per person.

Camera Package & Labor

Costs $3,000

It would be pretty hard to film the film without a camera...We will be using a RED Epic Dragon.


Costs $500

When shooting outside of NYC, we will need to provide our cast & crew with a place to crash.

About This Team

Writer/Director - Marco Baratta

Though Marco has been working full time in location departments of New York based Films and TV shows for the past 3 years (The Irishman, Spider-Man: Homecoming, POSE), the creative side of the industry is where he strives to be. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2016, where he pursued his two passion; Filmmaking and baseball. In March of 2018, he wrote, directed, and edited his first non-university short film, On The Ledge. He has been writing scripts since he was 17, when a book inspired him to illegally download Final Draft and try to write a feature screenplay. He hopes his stories can one day affect others the same way his favorite films have influenced him... He now pays for Final Draft.


Producer - Juliana Hatkoff 

Currently assisting but continually plotting world domination, Juliana is a writer/producer interested in telling "the stories we tell ourselves to live." She is in the process of finishing up her degree at NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study while working a full time job as a producer's assistant, most recently on Martin Scorsese's The Irishman and currently on the upcoming Joker origin story for Warner Brothers. She also produces shorts on the side, most recently On the Ledge (2018) with Marco. She's beyond thrilled to be working on this project!


Producer - Alexander Martin 

Alex has had eight years of experience in the film industry in New York, along with some work on the West Coast in between. His jobs have included locations scouting and management on films such as The Irishman, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Dark Knight Rises, as well as TV Shows such as POSE, Vinyl, Daredevil, and Jessica Jones. He's also produced and edited other short films, indie features, and done some Assistant Directing work out of Los Angeles. He couldn't be more thrilled to be working on this project, if he does say so himself!


Associate Producer - Adria Baratta 

Adria Baratta is a writer, director, and filmmaker. She has produced six short films and served as the assistant to a variety of producers, directors and writers on feature films and television shows. She is very excited to be working with her longtime collaborator and brother, Marco on this film.


Director of Photography - Nico Alvo

Originally from Santiago, Chile, Nico has been working as a film director, producer, and cinematographer in New York for over 4 years. Some of his films, including Upstairs and Kindness/Mischief, have screened at both national and international film festivals such as the Manhattan Film Festival, Big Apple Film Festival, Downtown Film Festival LA and others. He has worked with directors such as Chris Modoono (Tenured), Kris Thor (Astraea) and Stefanie Sparks (In Case of Emergency) as a DP and producer. Nico is currently in the process of producing and directing his first feature (My Land) which will hopefully be shot in 2019 in Chile. He is incredibly excited to be a part of the Broken Symphony team and hope you support this amazing project!


1st Assistant Cameraperson & Gaffer - Carlos Maldonado 


1st Assistant Director- Ryan Robert Howard


2nd Assistant Director - KC Wenson 


Sound Recordists/Mixers - Ethan Gustavson & Drummond Dominguez-Kincannon 


Hair/Make Up - Lauren Lynch


Costume Designer - Jessica Cronin


Prop Master - Isabella Hatkoff

Current Team