Royal Secrets: Resort & Casino

: Narrative Short
GENRE: Student Film
STATUS: Pre-Production


ULEE, a past his prime wannabe casanova, roams a Caribbean singles resort seeking one last shot at love.


On his last day of vacation, Ulee, a peculiar middle-aged bachelor, sets his sights on romance. After publicly striking out at the cabaret and the pool, he meets Ysabel, a woman desperate to escape from her domineering family. The unlikely duo find companionship and more over the course of an eventful last night in the Caribbean.


I have long been fascinated by Caribbean resorts and by those who flock to them. Given a wristband and key card, you are granted unlimited access to a world of sameness: identical restaurants, swim-up bars, and bilingual variety shows. Even more fascinating are the guests who inhabit these spaces. Older men and their "young companions," nouveau riche families, and desperate bachelors flock to these strange locales. My short is set in this gonzo reality.

Ulee, the protagonist, is a conduit to explore this world. As a prototypical “Ugly American,” Ulee has little interest in the local culture or customs. However, the exoticism and warm climate draws him in. Like many tourists, Ulee imbues the resort with his own romantic desires, as an answer to his stateside relationship troubles. I hope to create a film that is both critical and sympathetic to Ulee’s situation.

Otherwise, I am hopeful to create an entertaining, funny, and visually engaged film. I believe that after a year of quarantine, a romantic film with the promise of travel could be a salve for cooped up viewers. I am also hopeful that, given the acting pool my casting directors, Allison Twardziak and Ellen Jacobi, have attached, which includes an Emmy Winning actor, that the film will find its audience in the festival circuit. Ultimately, I am hopeful that with my crew and cast, I am able to re-create the romantic, funny, and challenging world of Caribbean resorts. Your donations will be essential to helping us execute this vision.


Thomas Meyer - Writer/Director

Thomas is an MFA candidate at NYU TISCH School of the Arts. He is the recipient of the W.T. Johnson fellowship for excellence in filmmaking. Prior to NYU, he worked at Animal Kingdom Films, a New York-based independent production company. There, he assisted in the development of Jim Jarmusch’s PATERSON, David Robert Mitchell’s IT FOLLOWS, and Joachim Trier’s LOUDER THAN BOMBS. Thomas graduated from Yale University in 2013 with honors in Political Science.

Daniel Marino - Producer

Daniel Marino graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a Bachelor’s Degree in the Dramatic Arts with an emphasis in Directing. He has been living and working in the freelance film world of Los Angeles for over four years. In that time, Marino has worked as a production assistant on feature films, televised series and commercials, as well as being the lead wardrobe assistant on commercials for such clients as HONDA, ESPN, VICE and TOYOTA. As a producer, he has produced the feature length documentary Mentally Al (which has currently been accepted in upwards of six film festivals, including top 100 festivals such as Catalina and the Polish International film festival) , and is attached on the upcoming thriller Vengeance alongside Myriad Pictures.


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