Gemma Gracewood

Joseph Gets Dressed

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Joseph Gets Dressed is a 30-minute documentary following Joseph Herscher as he transforms ordinary household objects into an elaborate machine that will dress him from head to toe… in front of a live audience.

With the world premiere fast approaching, Joseph meticulously tests each detail of his ambitious invention. But with mishaps taking place every day, he is beginning to question whether or not it will even work.  

This film by Gemma Gracewood (Frontseat, New Artland, Dead Letters) and Corey Gegner (Howdy Montana) is an intensely detailed look at an artist deep in the process of building a delightfully bonkers Rube Goldberg Machine*, from two filmmakers with oodles of experience observing artists through a lens.

Herscher is a rising star: he's appeared at the Venice Biennale and on Sesame Street, Brain Games, CBS Good Morning. He is the son of Auckland musicians Linn Lorkin and Hershal Herscher (The Jews Brothers Band), whose music features in the film.

Joseph Gets Dressed has been entirely self-funded so far. In order to finish the film, we need to raise a minimum of an additional $10,000 to cover our post-production costs.

We are exceedingly grateful to have two wonderful matched backers: Sue and Robert Gardiner and John and Jo Gow. So we only need $5,000 from you beautiful documentary lovers. 

Your support will allow us to pay for the final edit, soundtrack, sound mix and colour grade. And if we're able to raise more than our target, we hope to develop an interactive component, in which people - especially children - can go online to discover some of Joseph's RGM-building secrets from the film.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

*Rube Goldberg Machine: a contraption that performs a very simple task in an overly complicated manner. Named after cartoonist Rube Goldberg.


GEMMA GRACEWOOD (CO-DIRECTOR, PRODUCER) is a filmmaker, writer and musician living between New Zealand and New York. Her production credits include Frontseat (TV One), New Artland (TVNZ Heartland), Dead Letters (NZFC short), documentaries for Radio NZ National's Music 101, multiple music videos and the forthcoming interactive comedy-science series Jiwi's Machines. Gemma is a manager and member of the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra, and a regular contributor to Metro, HOME, and Nine to Noon's The Week That Was. She is a member of Women in Film and Television in both NZ and NY.

COREY GEGNER (CO-DIRECTOR, CINEMATOGRAPHER) is an award-winning New York based cinematographer. After winning Best Cinematography at New York's School of Visual Arts, Corey went on to win the Kodak Vision Award for Best Cinematography at Slamdance (2011) for his work on Shunka, a documentary about the rural landscape of South Dakota. Corey is known for his work on Ari Maniel Cruz's independent feature Under My Nails, which won Best U.S. Feature Film at the prestigious New York International Latino Film Festival (2012). In 2013, Corey and his collaborator Matt Cascella won Best Short Documentary at The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, for their short doc Howdy, Montana. His recent efforts includes Tony Blahd's ROVER, currently circulating festivals. As a focus puller, Corey has worked with acclaimed directors Matthew Barney and Abel Ferrara. 


  • The World Premiere of Joseph Gets Dressed


    A happy announcement: our documentary is having its world premiere next month! 


    Joseph Gets Dressed has been selected by the good people at the New Zealand International Film Festival. The programme was just announced today. 

    Our documentary will screen before Very Semi-Serious, an excellent film about the cartoonists of New Yorker magazine. 

    The Auckland screenings are as follows: 

    Wednesday July 22, 6:15 PM, Rialto Cinemas Newmarket

    Thursday July 23, 1:30 PM, Rialto Cinemas Newmarket

    Sunday July 26, 1:30 PM, SKYCITY Theatre**

    ** This is the "official" screening. Joseph and Gemma will both be there to say a few words before the film. (Alas, Corey will be in New York.) Click the Very Semi-Serious link above to book tickets.  

    We will send you the Wellington dates very soon.

    We're so delighted to have our film premiere in our "other" home town! And, as always, we are ever so grateful for your love and support. 


    Gemma and Corey


    PS Come and visit Joseph at MOTAT - the Museum of Transport and Technology in Auckland. He is there every day until late August creating a new series called Jiwi's Machines.

    From a platform above, you can look down into the set of Jiwi's house and watch Joseph and his team build and test new contraptions. The very best time to watch him do his thing will be during the July school holidays. 

    The World Premiere of Joseph Gets Dressed
  • Getting There!


    Hi everyone,


    We are in Harlem, in our pal Vlad's sweet studio. He is doing the colour grade of Joseph Gets Dressed, which means we are very, very, oh-so-close to the end! 


    Our little documentary family has been experiencing some crazy life events, which we can tell you more about in weeks to come. Needless to say, life is precious, every minute is to be celebrated, and if you see a red light, that means stop! 


    In the meantime, may your life be full of green lights and playful moments. More from us soon,


    Gemma and Corey 

    Getting There!
  • We Have a Soundtrack!


    Hi everyone, 


    Life is good in the land of Joseph Gets Dressed. Our soundtrack is complete. We have had the pleasure of working with the most excellent Mikey Lira who has created a gorgeous, quirky and thoughtful soundscape for the film. 


    And our stupidly talented pal Brad Amorosino has created delightful animated graphics from opening to closing. Let's just say you're going to want to sit through the credits! 


    Next, our film takes a trip to Wellington, New Zealand for its sound mix, and back to New York for the final colour grade and bits and pieces, and then we go door-knocking at film festivals around the world. We can't wait to let you know where you can see Joseph Gets Dressed


    Love and eternal thanks,

    Gemma and Corey 


    We Have a Soundtrack!


    A quick note from deep in the edit suite to say thank you!

    Thanks for getting us over and beyond the line. We're on the downhill race to meet a couple of Film Festival deadlines but if you have any questions, let us or Boosted know.

    Arohanui, love and high fives, 

    Corey and Gemma 

  • Toda, Thank You, Kia Ora



    We are a few hours from the end of this Boosted campaign, our funding is at 137% and all our gratitude belongs to you. 

    Here's our editor Matt (or "Shellz" to his fanbase) saying hello to you lovely folks. 

    With everything we raise over 100%, we get to spend more time with Matt creating special extra features. Which is cool, because he is one of the funniest people we know. Also, he's an amazing singer. Check this out! 

    Okay, back to work everyone. 


    Gemma and Corey 


    Toda, Thank You, Kia Ora
  • One Week To Get Dressed!


    Hi everyone,


    There's just one week remaining in our Joseph Gets Dressed fundraiser - and if we don't receive another cent, we're happy! 

    We're confidently going into the editing suite tomorrow to begin the process of finishing our film. 

    It's going to take a few weeks yet - there is so much to do at this end of a documentary. Post production really can be a challenging time. A lot of project-based artists will know this feeling: you're so close to the end and, on the one hand, you just want to get the thing finished, but on the other, you don't want it to ever end. 

    In any case, we're on the home stretch very much thanks to you all. Corey and our editor Matt and I will send you a special message from the edit suite later this week. Meanwhile, Joseph is across town working on an exciting new thing that we'll tell you about very soon. 

    Please share our Boosted campaign with friends who might want to help us out in this final week. We'd love to hit 200% and supersize our special features. For the kids! 


    Gemma, Corey, Joseph 


    One Week To Get Dressed!
  • Halfway to Getting Dressed


    Dear friends,

    Just 48 hours in, and we are halfway to dressing Joseph! It's thanks to you, and we are very, very grateful. 


    Someone asked us: "You've reached $5,000 - doesn't that mean you have hit your target, since your matched backers are donating $5,000?". Great question. 

    How it works is our backers match your contributions dollar-for-dollar, so your $10 becomes $20 instantly. It's fun to watch the funds stack up like this. But it means we still have $2,500 to go (which will be matched dollar-for-dollar).

    We are delighted that you share our excitement for Joseph Gets Dressed. We'd love you to share your excitement with any friends whom you think might want to help, too.


    Someone else asked: "Do you have a Stretch Goal?". It's not really that sort of crowd-funding campaign. However, if we do manage to raise more than what we are asking, we will use it to create extra features for a website, where kids (of all ages!) can go to discover more details about Joseph's machine, from the horse's mouth.

    Joseph will reveal some behind-the-scenes secrets, and talk about the challenges and mistakes in his work.

    Mistakes. One of our favourite aspects of filming Joseph Gets Dressed has been the process of watching Joseph make mistake after mistake, failing, starting again, failing some more, and, yes, failing even more, until he eventually gets it right. 

    Failure is an important part of good science. There's something very humbling about being privy to this process. A reminder that good things take time; a testament to the art of paying attention. 


    We have more cool project updates to come. Stay tuned! 



    Halfway to Getting Dressed