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About Abby

Baltimore City

Abby Harri is a filmmaker, casting director and non-profit organizer living and working in Baltimore, MD. She has cast for directors such as Matt Porterfield and Amiel Courtin-Wilson, with a special focus on street casting. Other films that she has worked on have premiered at TIFF and SXSW. She has also worked for non-profit organizations such as IFP and POV in their programming teams, and has been the Associate Producer for the Gotham Awards. Currently, she is the Senior Coordinator for the Saul... more

Untitled “Pretties” Project

In development, Untitled “Pretties” Project takes a look into the underground world of “pretties:” women, often aspiring models, who are brought into high-end clubs by promoters in exchange for free alcohol, a glimpse of the high life, and, sometimes, rent. Pretties live in a dark world in many ways, considering that these women are essentially used as props to heighten the exclusivity of clubs, and are a more unknown and unconsidered form of sex workers. Oftentimes they are immigrants with no other prospects, relying on free rent in “model apartments.” I’ve been researching this project through the lens of a female promoter with experience in this world, who is beginning to introduce me to women she works with. I envision a female-ensemble drama that would star entirely non-actors with some experience working as pretties.

Sollers Point

For me, street casting is as much of an exploration of story, people, faces, and places as the film itself. As the Baltimore casting director for Sollers Point, I focused on talking to people in the street, hearing about their lives, and finding people authentic to the world of the film. Many of those I talked to or photographed only have small parts in the film, or didn’t appear at all. In this sense, I think it’s even more vital to showcase them in a different way. Taken mostly in Baltimore County in summer of 2016.

The Empyrean

In the summer of 2015, I threw myself head-on into working on an Australian art film centered in and around Oklahoma City: a burning-hot land of highways and pavement that knows merciless tornado destruction too well. Symbols like the monolithic Devon energy tower dominate the skyline and represent the power that wields control over even further destruction – especially relevant considering recent earthquakes in Oklahoma caused by local fracking. But despite this, there is a pounding energy beneath it all; resilient people and places who either dwell in or rise above a brooding darkness of greed or mother nature’s wrath, disguised by the bright, dry heat.

Inspired by the place, our very small crew (including acclaimed Australian director Amiel Courtin-Wilson), and the people we met to take part in the film, I felt that the photos I was taking for the film while casting or location scouting weren’t just for functionality, but reflect the experience of being there, and perhaps deserve to be represented in an entirely different context. With The Empyrean, I began to look at photos from doing film work differently, as pieces that can be functional, representative, and take on a mood of their own.

Below is a selection of images from the experience of The Empyrean.

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Abby's Curated Collection

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