As a kid Trevor Undi used to watch videos with his mom at his grandmother’s house. They worked their way through all of Hitchcock’s films and as many British mysteries as they could find. But it was one film in particular that shaped Undi’s future, To Kill a Mockingbird.
“It was before I had ever read the book,” Undi said in a call from New York, “but it was definitely at this time where I really felt the weight of what cinema could be and the power of that medium of art.” He was impressed with how the 1962 film – based on author Harper Lee’s 1960 novel about a young girl’s observations about racial inequality in small-town America – taught him about integrity.
Undi, now 32, left Oak Bay High in Grade 12 without graduating and went to Vancouver to learn the movie business first hand, not by going to film school but by working in the industry. Starting as a production assistant, he worked his way up to associate producer, most recently on Henry’s Crime, starring Keanu Reeves.
He now lives in New York and is drumming up funding for his first feature length film. It’s an ambitious project that will use original music from a variety of artists to craft the world’s first visual mixtape.
The Kymera Project will be “a collection of original narrative-based music, video segments … woven together into an anthology film,” promo material states.
Told against the backdrop of New York City, each individual video will tell a story about a connection between people based on circumstances and chance.
Music videos started out being narrative driven, but that has fallen by the wayside, he says. The Kymera Project will revive the narrative tradition and marry it with music. Undi has 11 producers onboard as well as a committed choreographer and cinematographer. Undi would like production to begin within a year, but needs funding to do so. He is looking for support from his hometown of Victoria to raise $80,000 for the project.
“It’s giving some sort of pride of ownership to the community that I came from,” he said about what investors will get back from contributing to the project.
Los Angeles-based comedian Todd Allen has known Undi since Grade 3 when they were both at Monterey elementary school.
“He used to wear bright purple, green, and yellow cord pants,” Allen said of Undi, with a laugh. Allen would go to the movies with Trevor and his mom, Romari. “He was obsessed with film and music. He had an appreciation for film most kids don’t have – he was watching foreign and horror films at 10.”
Allen said he has every confidence Undi will complete the project.
“Oh my God, yeah. It’s very Trevor: highly creative, and unique. He has an appreciation for art and music that other people are drawn to.”
To find out more about The Kymera Project or to donate, go to http://kck.st/GWK5cd.