Private Project

The Cape House

An anxious young boy must struggle to keep his family together over a long weekend on Cape Cod.

  • Liam Billingham
    Does Your Hotel Know (Emmy nominee), Future Perfect, Purple, Human Fruit Bowl
  • Liam Billingham
    Does Your Hotel Know (Emmy nominee), Future Perfect, Purple
  • Carolyn Maher
    Trichster, Meme,
  • Amanda Giordano
    Trichster, WNET
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Family, Drama
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
Writer Biography - Liam Billingham

Liam Billingham is a writer/director who teaches filmmaking, screenwriting, and media in downtown Brooklyn.

He recently directed and co-wrote Does Your Hotel Know?, a PSA on human trafficking that received a 2016 ‘Community Service’ Emmy nomination. It was also featured on Upworthy, Huffington Post, and has over 270,000 views on YouTube.

His short film on English as a Second Language students in New York City, Future Perfect, played at The Portland Film Festival, CityVisions in New York, and various film events throughout the US, and received digital distribution with Seed&Spark.

He directed and co-created Human Fruit Bowl, a one-woman show that toured Europe, Asia, North America, and played Off-Broadway.

Liam got his start in theatre and film in seventh grade, when he ate pancakes on stage for 45 minutes and won an award for best attitude. He has been hooked ever since.

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Writer Statement

'The Cape House' is about a long weekend in the life of a young boy who, over the course of 3 days, tries to save his parents’ crumbling marriage. The film is set against the backdrop of beautiful, idyllic Cape Cod, and is inspired by my own relationship to “The Cape.”

When I picture “The Cape,” I see short streets that seem to go on forever and the houses lining them.

My family spent two weeks on Cape Cod each summer. After years of renting, we finally bought a house in Popponesset. The two weeks we would spend there each summer, and the occasional weekend, felt like a diversion from our normal day-to-day life.

But, eventually, real life started to creep in. As a young boy, I remember hearing a bitter fight between a husband and wife in the house next door. The fight seemed to be over a child.
I remember my parents renting our home to a family friend who was desperate to escape her crumbling marriage, and my parents telling me not to mention it to anyone.

These moments inspired scenes in 'The Cape House,' but it’s my own story that loosely forms the basis for the film.

Eventually, my own parents’ marriage began to fall apart, and trips to the cape house became increasingly fraught and anxious. A few years later, my father moved to the cape house permanently. What had been a place we would enjoy as a family became one of separate holidays, visits, and painful weekends.

After my father passed away, I hesitated visiting the cape house. A friend eventually convinced me that we should go, and we traveled there for long weekends. We returned several times over the next few summers.

On my first trip back to “The Cape” with my friends, as were packing up to leave, I looked down the short street lined with houses. My negative memories about the cape house, and the streets that line it, had been balanced out with positive memories. In that powerful, bittersweet moment, I decided I wanted to commit myself to telling a story about this home away from home.

'The Cape House' is a distillation of the various experiences, moments, and days I have spent on Cape Cod, and through it’s specific focus, I hope it becomes a universal statement on childhood growth and maturity.