Audience Award Winner for Best Louisiana Short at the 2015 New Orleans Film Festival, The Exceptionally Extraordinary Emporium is a film about the cherished tradition of costuming during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana. Starting in a family-owned local fabric and craft store --Jefferson Variety -- it is a place of both raw materials and social congregation where the variety of New Orleans community and culture can be found to share their stories and experiences of this unique tradition.

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Jefferson Variety is legendary among the diverse community of costume makers. Here is where they find eccentric fabrics, sequins, feathers, appliques, glitter by the pound and more to create their exceptional and elaborate costumes for Carnival. As you wait your turn in line you may find yourself standing behind a Mardi Gras Indian, chatting with member of Muses, or giving advice to a first time Mardi Gras-er. And as you step up to the counter one of women of Jefferson Variety will consult you on the right kind of trim, or disappear into the back to find you just the right kind of coque feathers.  Here at Jefferson Variety, it’s “a variety of supplies and a variety of people”, as owner Lisa Tracy says. Many of which seem more like friends than customers.  The Exceptionally Extraordinary Emporium highlights the creativity and personal expression linked in the cultural identity and narrative of New Orleans, with costuming being just one extension of the artistry, imagination and festive spirit that runs deep throughout the city’s music, food and history.


Lindsey Phillips | Producer, Director

Lindsey Phillips is a documentary filmmaker and editor based in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has worked on projects for world-renowned publications such as Time MagazineThe New Yorker, CNN’s Big Story, and the Webby Award-winning interactive documentary series, Land of Opportunity. Additionally, Lindsey is also the Director of Cinema Reset, a film initiative dedicated to the exhibition of new media works and installations in partnership with the New Orleans Film Festival. Lindsey holds a Certificate in Documentary Arts from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and received her Bachelor's in Digital Media Production from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. 

Lauren Domino | co-Producer

A native of New Orleans, Lauren Domino is a writer and producer. Her producing work includes season two of the acclaimed web series BLACK FOLK DON’T and the short film JUST THE THREE OF US. Her writing has been featured in SF Weekly and invade NOLA. With an extensive background in film and festival management, she has previously served as the Program/Event Manager for the Columbia University Film Festival, Media That Matters™and the New Orleans Film Festival. Her festival background also includes work in sponsorship and development for ESSENCE Festival and the New Orleans Film Society.

Kyle Sheehan | Audio Guru

Kyle Sheehan is a sound and graphic designer in New Orleans. He has been a part of several amazing projects since moving to New Orleans, including This Sweaty City and Shipwrecked! Storytelling Showcase. In addition to his work with Goat in the Road, he is the artistic director for Neutrons Protons magazine. Kyle studied filmmaking in Colorado, philosophy in Maryland, and plenty of other things here in New Orleans. He is thrilled to be a part of this ensemble.

Jeremy Blum | Audio + Asst. Cinematographer

Jeremy Blum is a filmmaker/videographer native to New Orleans. A graduate of the film department at the University of New Orleans, Jeremy has since worked in various capacities within film and television, from Django Unchained to American Horror Story: Coven. He has also taught film programs at Washington Carver High School and John Dibert Elementary. As a freelance operator, Jeremy shoots and directs various shorts, music videos, promos and other web content. More recently, he has enjoyed his experiences working in the web series field, as Assistant Director/Camera on Sunken City, Camera on Least Favorite Love Songs  and directing shorts for the sketch comedy group, Rude.

Micael Arcos + Marnie Ellen | Animators

Marnie Ellen (b.1988) is a visual artist and filmmaker from North Carolina. After earning her degree in Sculpture and Extended Media at Virginia Commonwealth University. Marnie Ellen attended several artist residencies and exhibited her sculpture and video nationally. She later began working on independent films as a production designer before focusing on her own productions. She currently lives and works in New Orleans, Louisiana where she divides her concentration between research psychology, film making, and animation. Marnie Ellen co-founded Dream Throat Productions and Deep Dark Animations as a cinematic platform for exploration of interpersonal relationships, human connectivity,and interpretive storytelling through symbols, sound, and animation.

Michael Arcos (b.1983), raised in Miami, FL, began his film career editing on VHS. He later focus to 16MM, digital editing, and for the last decade, has been making experimental videos that act as a challenging, yet honest document of the human condition. Arcos currently lives and works in New Orleans where he co-founded Dream Throat Productions. Currently, Arcos is concentrating on sound design, film, and animation through his production team.

Drew Calhoun | Original Score

New York-born saxophonist Andrew Calhoun moved to New Orleans because he knew that the best musical education he could get would be to throw himself into the culture that is at the heart jazz's birthplace. It’s a culture where music is everywhere, where “learning” means “doing,” and where you cut your teeth by playing with and learning from as many different artists as possible, as often as you can. That’s exactly what Calhoun has done, he is proud to say, and wants to keep on doing. Calhoun has always had a deep appreciation for the musicians (past and present) that have come out of his adopted hometown. Whether he’s playing with the Heart Attacks, the Big Easy Brawlers, Corey Henry’s Treme Funktet, or working on his own original compositions, Calhoun strives to follow in the footsteps of his New Orleans idols as well as hone his own unique voice. 

Art Direction

Bob Weisz

Additional Cinematography

Jeremy Blum

Charles Devoyer

Anthony Hardt

Sean O'Grady

Jake Springfield

Michael Winters

Assistant Editing

Charles Devoyer

Rachel Lazar

Kati Lightholder

Ben Solovey