Joops Fragale ... Writer/Director
Jason "Joops" Fragale is an award winning writer/director known for critically acclaimed short films The Guy Knows Everything (2012), Date Night (2011), Parting (2010), Simone (2008), Breaking Val (2007) and Mama's Boys (2007). He co-founded 386 Films in 2007 and has produced music videos, fashion films, and commercials among various promotional projects.
His work has garnered a Best Director's Choice award (Melbourne International Film Festival), Best Director (Innovative Film Festival), a few "director to watch" reviews and various nominations including best editing (Date Night) at Visionfest NYC. A highlight was a VIP Showcase of The Guy Knows Everything at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013.
Growing up in the small NY hamlet of Nyack, his education is in illustration, advertising design, graphics, and TV production. His design work has been honored with a Gold Addy award for web design. He has also been in front of the camera as an actor and puppeteer.
To want something to happen or be true and think it could happen or be true. Hope.
From the moment we are born hope enters the equation and begins the endless cycle. There is hope to be born healthy, hope for a roof over ones’ head, hope for happiness, hope for love, hope for fulfillment and hope not to suffer in death. Hope is placed on you as naturally as the skin that covers blood and bone. Life and death, envy and satisfaction, desire and fulfillment, searching and acceptance. There are 1000s of words that create the Mayfly script of character arcs, emotions and resolve resulting in one overwhelming word, fraught with intricacies, HOPE.
But in realistic daily life, what is hope? It’s a desire for, a lusting for, an envy for an outcome you want to obtain, and it usually comes at a cost of something else. Wanting something means you are dis-satisfied with what you currently have. It’s idealism. Envy lives mostly on the surface. We envy our neighbor’s car, a co-worker’s lunch, or a celebrity’s bling bling lifestyle. The grass is always greener, until you realize that grass is full of toxic chemicals, sink holes, and fire ants. The realism.
A few years ago I was faced with the news of the death or serious illness of an alarming number of family and friends. All from various causes. Some sudden. Some slowly advancing. So there I was contemplating death. What if I was the one in peril, from say, terminal cancer? How would I go about my daily routine? From what I’ve known, terminal people don’t go announcing it to the world. I’d toughen up. I’d try to be as normal as possible. I’d prepare, but I wouldn’t dwell. Dwelling is for those on the outside. The only one to understand what I was going through, in that unspoken truth, is another human that is also facing death. It’s unquestionably sad with the passing of an elderly person or one who has battled an affliction over years. But, reactions to a child or young adult, with their whole life ahead of them, facing a demise always adds more gravity to the devastation. What is their story? And even when two souls are faced with the tragic fate, even at the same time, their journeys are separate, even when linked together.
This is the backbone of Mayfly. But it’s not where I wanted the story to dwell. These characters choose to live life. Oh…and without the “bucket list”. I wanted to explore the complexity of the moment, of hope (idealism) and of envy and of having secrets in relation to their walk through life (realism), both on individual paths and the road they share. In our microcosm of characters these notions are explored and developed in a very honest way without any superfluous ideals. Story arcs will converge and in the end the characters will have grown and changed from their experiences.
Mayfly is story worth telling and quite honestly, needs to be told. I know I want a film with strong emotions, realistically vibrant characters, all the while not shying away from the controversial and intriguing story. With its high concept, but relatable sensibilities, Mayfly has appeal for a wide audience. While dark in nature, the spirit and humor of life shines through. I want the audience to be invested in the characters and go on their journey, which may be unexpected; it is also uplifting and hopeful. My goal is through the film’s complex and tragically human characters, visuals, dialog, sound and music that this mutual experience will seep into the audience’s soul as they embrace choices and mistakes these characters make. Inspiring the audience to take away a self-reflective view of their own hopes and journey, as we will all meet our own end.