Gabrielle Giacomo ’15 writes and directs her short film, "MacBeth"

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Gabrielle (Gabby) Giacomo ’15 will out the damned spot of her thesis short film through writing and directing “MacBeth.”  The project is a compelling and extravagant story which focuses on the importance of arts education for women. It also incorporates a sense of the supernatural and the classic Shakespeare play Macbeth.  Her film is an empowering and hyperbolic take on an all-girls high school experience, similar to her personal history as a student at Sacred Heart Greenwich.

Gabby speaking with her production designer, Sabeen Shalwani NYU ’19 on the set of “MacBeth.”  Courtesy of Hannah Ponder NYU ’19

The story revolves around a newly hired drama teacher named Beth who accidentally unleashes a curse upon her production of Macbeth.  With opening night looming, Beth must face the natural and supernatural to save her cursed show.  In order to make it to opening night, she relies on the help of her pretentious female lead, Mac.  The two must work together to save the show as well as their lives.

Gabby is a senior at the New York University, Tisch School for the Arts (Tisch), is a member of the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Film Production Program, and is working on her graduating thesis film.  She began production for “MacBeth” in March of 2019 and predicts that the final cut will be ready by September of 2019.

At Sacred Heart, Gabby excelled in the Broadcast Journalism and Creative Film-making programs. Through her work in high school and at Tisch, she has developed her skills and become an award-winning director and writer.

During her time in at Sacred Heart, Gabby’s films, “Out of the Dark” (2013) and “In Time” (2014), won first place golden trophies at the Sacred Heart Film Festival.  The Greenwich Youth Film Festival awarded her in the Creative and Music Video Category and with the 2015 Best of the Festival award.

In addition to participating in filmmaking, Gabby found her passion for theatre and drama education in the Sacred Heart Drama department. She has taken part in past Sacred Heart theatrical productions as both an actress and, after graduating, a creative assistant. She previously volunteered on four Upper School productions: Les Miserables Fiddler on the Roof, Jesus Christ Superstarand The Phantom of the Opera.

“I find myself constantly inspired by the drama department at Sacred Heart,” Gabby said.  “From performing in the shows as a student to returning as a member of the production team, I have watched several groups of girls grow to not only have confidence in themselves but also in the work that they have created as a team.  Through my time working with the drama department, under the guidance of Michaela Gorman, I myself have learned invaluable life lessons that I hope I can convey through the film.”

“MacBeth” is an action-packed comedy that will utilize special effects and in-depth production design to create a hyper-realistic world on screen.  The production will include professional actors and an experienced team of editors, producers, and photographers.

“The process has definitely been intense, this is definitely the biggest budget and crew that I have worked with so far,” Gabby said.  “That being said, I have the utmost faith in my key crew who have been leading their respective departments with talent, passion, and absolute professionalism.”

Amelia Tierney NYU ’22, Gabby, and Elizabeth Robbins NYU ’19 rehearsing a scene on the set of “MacBeth.”  Courtesy of Hannah Ponder NYU ’19

Along with the conceptualized vision of the film, the story will include real locations and detailed set design to incorporate an aspect of an authentic all-female theater community, much like the drama department at Sacred Heart.  The film draws inspiration the classic Shakespearean play, Macbeth.

“My films often fall within the genre of magical realism as I tend to use an extraordinary set of circumstances to explore subtle truths about familiar subjects,” Gabby said.  “Macbeth is my absolute favorite play, and it is surrounded by a rich history of supernatural folklore, so it seemed like a great jumping off point for a ghost story.  Though the stakes are heightened in this particular world, I hope that viewers will relate to my characters’ tenacity in the face of crisis and absolute drive to protect and lift each other.”

Featured Image by Caroline Baranello ’20