Winner of NYC's First-Ever Pilot Competition for Stories by, for, and about Women Offers Hilarious Insider's Look at the Film Industry from a Mom's Perspective
Larisa Oleynik, Finnerty Steeves, and Nancy Giles star in four-part series
NEW YORK — Patty Carey's Half Life, the four-part comedic series that won the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment's (MOME) first-ever TV pilot and scriptwriting competition highlighting stories by, for or about women, #GreenlightHer, will premiere on May 10 on NYC Life, the city's flagship channel.
Produced in conjunction with Brooklyn College's Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, Half Life will air every Friday night at 10 p.m. through May 31 with the full episodes streaming on nyc.gov/media. Half Life is the story of a NYC location scout, wife and mother, "Patty," who decides to pursue her dream of screenwriting on the eve of her 39th birthday. The series shines a light on the challenges of working moms, the film industry, and gender inequity through a fast-talking, comedic lens. Starring Larisa Oleynik along with Nancy Giles and Finnerty Steeves, the series follows "Patty's" journey to creative freedom and her highly relatable struggle, as she juggles her day job, her family and her dreams.
On April 30, a premiere screening and panel discussion of Half Life will take place during the Tribeca Film Festival. Alison Stewart, host of WNYC's "All of It with Alison Stewart" will moderate a discussion with the creator, Patty Carey, and cast members Oleynik, Giles, Steeves and Matthew Humphreys.
Larisa Oleynik (10 Things I Hate about You, The Secret World of Alex Mack, Hawaii 5-0, The Babysitter's Club), stars as over-taxed mom, Patty. Finnerty Steeves (Orange is the New Black, Before/During/After) plays her best friend and confidant Rachel, and Nancy Giles (True Crime, Working Girl) is her 'tough love' agent Roselyn. The cast is rounded out by Drama Desk-award winning actor/writer Joe Curnette (Grand Theft Auto, The Get Down) as her boss Ben, an arrogant Hollywood star who is now directing; and Matthew Humphreys (The Merger, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys) as Patty's husband Jeff.
The scriptwriting and pilot competition highlighting stories by, for or about women was conceived of and funded by the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment as part of a groundbreaking, five-part initiative targeting the under-representation of women in film, television and theater. At the center of this ambitious package was a $5-million-dollar Women's Film, TV and Theatre Fund, which awarded its first round of grants to 63 projects in March 2019. These programs marked the first time a municipal entity has taken on gender inequity in the film and entertainment fields.
"Patty Carey's Half Life is a fun insider's look at the industry told from a fresh perspective," said Media and Entertainment Acting Commissioner Anne del Castillo. "We are committed to leveling the playing field throughout the entertainment industries and enabling a greater diversity of voices to be heard. As more projects by women reach fruition, more women will have the opportunity to take on leadership roles in the film and television industries."
"There has never been a better time to be a television writer than now, and there is no better place than New York City to find inspiration and comedy," said rookie showrunner Patty Carey. "My primary writing tool is to take my personal experience and build a universal story. As a working mom, I'm living the dream and the struggle of being true to myself and to my family, and this is what Half Life is really about. Patty's journey in Half Life is to get both her screenplay and the beds made. It's always two steps forward, two hundred steps back. I call it an everymom story."
Half Life was created, written and executive produced by Patty Carey. Jamie Zelermyer, former Vice President of Physical Production at Focus Features/Rogue Pictures, and Jonathan Wacks, founding director of the Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema at Steiner Studios, also served as executive producers. Nicolas Minas (Adulting) and Tricia Cramer (Sucker) directed. Students at the Feirstein School had the opportunity to work on the series, mentored by industry professionals.
"This project mirrors the mission of Feirstein: we are committed to diversity, inclusion and the cultivation of new and emerging voices in cinema," said Maria Ann Conelli, Interim Chair of Feirstein and Dean of the School of Visual Media and Performing Arts, Brooklyn College. "Half Life afforded our students the opportunity to apply their creative skills and talents to a significant initiative."
Half Life was chosen a finalist for #GreenlightHer from more than 300 submissions of pilot scripts written by, for or about women', a process which included the selection of two finalists by a distinguished group of industry leaders. The two pilots were produced and aired on NYC Life, followed by a public vote for the winner.
In addition to writing, Carey has over 20 years of experience as a top location manager and scout in New York City, which has given her deep insight into the film industry. Her location department credits include the pilot episode of HBO's series Succession directed by Oscar winner Adam McKay, 20th Century Fox's The Greatest Showman starring Hugh Jackman, and Ron Howard's A Beautiful Mind. She is a member of the Directors Guild of America and has a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Maryland.