Parallel Chords

St. Louis, Missouri | Film Feature

Drama, Music

Catherine Dudley-Rose

1 Campaigns | Missouri, United States

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Parallel Chords uses music, drama, surreal imagery and a complicated relationship between two talented artists, father and daughter, to test stereotypes, beliefs, and obligations. We delve into issues of consent and control in a young, imaginative woman’s life rarely seen on film.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

Our team includes a vast mix of ages, races, genders & backgrounds, w/a female writer/director at the helm. Sharing a creative, young woman’s story, w/a powerful connection to her father, the film values multi-generational perspectives, & uses the arts to find harmony regardless of our differences.

The Story

Parallel Chords is the story of a young violinist struggling to assert her individuality amidst the intense pressures of her pianist father and the formidable weight of her own musical ability. This turbulent relationship between father and daughter, maestro and musician, is at the heart of the film. I optioned the screenplay when I was in NYC, but it took moving to the midwest (for love) to get the ball rolling. The week after filming in St. Louis, my mother's health took a major turn, and she has not returned home since then. I look forward to making St. Louis proud with this film that showcases hundreds of local talents, businesses, and locations. And I look forward to returning to my mom's side once we complete the film and it is on the big screen. We thank you in advance for your support!

As a child, Jaqueline Archer is believed by her father, Lawrence, to be blessed with extraordinary musical talent second only to his own. She bonds with her father in their shared love and understanding of music; Jaqueline assumes and surpasses the expectations of her, without question.

The Archer home is one of eccentricity; the ego of the artist is clearly the dominant force. Older brother, Damon, challenges the value of the arts, choosing sports and physical domination. Jaqueline’s mother, Mae, indulges Lawrence’s unorthodox nature and parenting skills, or lack thereof. Though somewhat imbalanced, the parents are exactly in sync when it comes to dictating the life of their gifted daughter. They demand total submission and devotion to music. Damon is excluded. In the Archer home, music is essential to life and must always be heard.

As Jaqueline approaches womanhood, she begins to subvert her father’s domination of her talent. Damon is no longer in the house, and the focus on Jaqueline intensifies. Her interest in drama classes, and a high school boy threaten to “split her focus.” On the night before an important music competition, she sneaks out to a party seeking some freedom from the pressure she feels, and to have a sense of control. Unfortunately, this choice comes with hard consequences, and the loss of innocence.


The fragile balance of the family weakens. The classical music, which seems to signify a natural order and beauty, is in stark contrast to the emotional disarray within the household. Once in college, Jaqueline continues to feel a sense of pressure, and a lack of choice. A love for the words of Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya”, and a strong desire to study acting, puts her in direct odds with her father’s greatest wish: a world tour for the both of them.

The more Jaqueline tries to define herself as a woman (apart from music), the harder Lawrence pulls her back. He has become dependent on her as an extension of his own genius, and he is losing the feeling in his hands, and his health is declining. Jaqueline’s gift does not belong to herself; it belongs to Lawrence in his world. She feels the needs of her father, but in order to survive, she must leave.

The power of music, though it had a wonderful effect on her life as a child, turns destructive. Her vitality, will, and independence can no longer be suppressed by playing the music of dead, male composers. Lawrence loses both his grasp on his daughter and, ultimately, his own sanity. He reconnects, however, with his wife. Jaqueline escapes to NYC, a place she loved as a child. A kindred soul, Ben, helps her to make sense of her past, and find peace in an imperfect world.

Parallel Chords is a story of talent, individuality and survival. Told from a woman’s point of view, we follow Jaqueline’s struggle to achieve her own identity while enduring the emotional pressures around her. The music that accompanies her life symbolizes the patriarchal code from which she must be freed; she must find her own voice.



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About This Team


Catherine Dudley­‐Rose ­‐ Writer/Director         

Catherine is an award winning writer/director, actress and musician. She has taught at the NY Stage & Film Program, the Broadway Theater Institute, and has been a guest artist, director, and performer internationally. She is a National Film Challenge winner, and an Emerging Director finalist in Seattle, along with winning the “Curator’s Pick” cash prize from WIF Seattle president Virginia Bogart for the short version of Parallel Chords. The short, Parallel Chords (overture), screened in over 30 national film festivals, and won Best Short Film, Best Sound, and a Jury Award for Excellence in Music. Catherine was a kick off speaker for the Citizen Jane Film Festival, a festival dedicated to female directors. The feature length screenplay for Parallel Chords was awarded a small grant funded in part by the NEA.

Catherine has been commissioned to write three other screenplays, and has additionally created music for independent films, MTV, done string arrangements for Platinum selling Kate Nash, and has a lengthy music and acting bio. She moved to St. Louis for love.

Kyle Krupinski -­‐ Cinematographer

Kyle grew up in St. Louis, MO, in the heart of the Midwest, where his interest in the arts came about at a very young age. After working in the music industry for some time, Kyle's artistic passions eventually evolved into a need to create images through cinematography. After making the jump from music to film, he's never looked back. His projects have screened internationally and garneredawards throughout the indie circuit, showing at SXSW, Cannes, Berlin Fashion Film, Festival British Film Institute: Future Film Festival, American Documentary Film, Festival in Palm Springs, California. His special skillset and Midwest roots give him a unique perspective and allow him to push the script and director’s vision forward, while always creating stunning and impressionistic imagery. Kyle is currently based in Los Angeles, where he works in both narrative filmmaking and commercial cinematography.
Patrick Lawrence – DIT, Editor
Patrick was an assistant editor on Fast and Furious 7, and Academy award winning Mad Max: Fury Road. He is currently working at WB. Patrick returns to Parallel Chords as the DIT and editor for the film. He was the editor for the short version of the feature, and is also an award-­‐winning director from St. Louis. In addition to editing, Patrick is also a drummer, and is a perfect match this music driven film. He has had numerous films in the festival circuit including two (as editor) at Sundance 2016. Both films were directed by women – Bridey Elliot’s “Affections”, and “Dogwalker” by Kim Sherman, winner of the Women in Film / CalmDown Productions Inc. grant. 

Bjorn Johnson ~ Actor -­‐ Lawrence Archer [the father]

Bjorn Johnson has been a professional actor for the stage and screen for over 30 years. He was recently in a leading role on ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of Shield, “Spacetime” episode, and is currently filming with J. K. Simmons in Berlin on a new show called “Counterpart”. His face may be familiar to some from his long running Geico “South Pole” Commercial with Dora the Explorer. Additionally, Bjorn captivated audiences as the pianist father in the short version of Parallel Chords, which had a successful national festival run, screening over 30 times and winning awards and fans along the way.

Notable highlights include: Cyrano: The Musical on Broadway, and the 1st national tour of Les Misérables. Bjørn has been a guest star on such hit TV shows as Dexter, Madmen, ER, the Sopranos, Nip/Tuck, Law and Order, Criminal Minds, and CHUCK, among others. His principle film credits range in tone from the psycho-­‐ logically twisted horror/thriller The Hunger, to the cult-­‐ comedy favorite Beerfest. Bjørn spent 15 years in NYC, furthering his study at Circle-­‐In-­‐The-­‐Square Conservatory, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and Juilliard School of Drama and Opera Programs. Bjorn also teaches and has his own acting studio in Los Angeles, and was born in MN.

Rachel Ann - Actress ‐ Jaqueline Archer [the daughter]

Rachel Ann is a recent graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy’s integrated program in New York City. She currently lives in Manhattan and is pursuing a career in acting. Since graduating she has had the pleasure of playing Eunice Kennedy, Eva Braun, Julie Haydon, originating the role of Margaret in “The Halls of Importance” with Steven McCausland, and Dorothy in “Vestiges” at the Secret Theater, NYC.

Rachel is originally from the Catskills in upstate New York, where she performed at many local theaters. She met Parallel Chords writer, Catherine Dudley-­‐Rose in NY when they both were in production of “The Cricket on the Hearth”. Rachel has a long history with the script, and is excited to have had the chance to play the role of Jaqueline in the feature film.


Laura Kirk ~ Actress -­‐ Mae Archer [ the mother ]

Laura was the co-­‐writer and star in the critically acclaimed film Lisa Picard Is Famous, directed by Griffin Dunne. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and was featured in many international and American festivals. After its premiere at the Film Forum in New York City, Lisa Picard Is Famous was called “hilarious” by Stephen Holden of The New York Times and “squirmingly funny” by Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly. It is included in John Gaspard’s book Fast, Cheap and Under Control ... Lessons Learned from the Greatest Low Budget Movies of All Time.

Laura grew up Kansas and got her degree in theater and film from the University of Kansas, and later moved to New York, where she studied with Wynn Handman, Suzanne Esper, and improv with Alan Arkin. Laura has continued acting and producing independent films in Kansas where she now lives.

Allyson Mace – Producer

Allyson is the founder and owner of Sauce Magazine in St. Louis. While new to the film world, Allyson has a lengthy history of promoting the food entertainment society and highlighting creative artistry in that community for over 15 years. She has created numerous events that have been admired nationally. She facilitated in this film production as her debut feature film endeavor. She was recently honored in NYC as one of 16 people in the US to be given Folio magazine's "Up and Coming Trailblazer" award.

Danielle Howle – Musician
Considered by many to be South Carolina’s best-­‐kept musical secret, Danielle has opened for such diverse acts as Bob Dylan, Ani Difranco, Fugazi, and the Indigo Girls. Danielle was co-­‐producer on the short film Parallel Chords, and she and Catherine have performed together off and on for decades (including opening for the Indigo Girls). Danielle is a punk rock girl with the voice of a honky-­‐tonk angel. She has garnered worldwide acclaim and her music has been placed numerous times, including in the Academy Award winning Station Agent.
Other team members include Gypsi Pate, Jenn Rudisill, Ryan Caldwell, Doug Martin, Taylor Bivert, Casey Hartig, Forest Wharton, Julius Damenz, Mark Stone, James Gramble, Scott Breihan, Daniel Schene, Sean Lass, Kasey Lamm, Michael Parks, Hannah Gates, Haley Hall, Parker Chase, Ford Fanter, Jed Ramsey, Corey Webb, Erin Schrieber, Bob Rocca and many more! We will highlight these folks throughout the campaign!

Current Team