Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Distant Architect -- KICKSTARTER -- LIVE!!!

The Kickstarter for my short film The Distant Architect is Live-

This season I am embarking on a major step in the preparation for my film The Distant ArchitectThe film has been in development for the last few years and I'm ready to take the film into production i.e. it's ready to shoot! In order to secure funding a Kickstarter campaign has been set up. The Distant Architect is a Science Fiction Noir. The film centers on a young architect named Karen who begins to question what she knows about herself and her body. Are there parts of her that are cybernetic? Does it matter? Can she still be considered a "normal woman"?  The story is close to my heart and explores some of the themes that I want to "get out there". I love Film Noir and Science Fiction and am excited to make this film telling a woman's story.   

Chicago's creative community and architectural heritage contribute to the project. The crew is made up of local artists and professionals including Producer Laurie Little and Cinematographer Jose Luis Rios.

In order to bring the project into the world we need to do some fundraising. Funds raised will be used to secure equipment, insurance, food etc. Things we need to ensure a successful production.

I am excited to share my film with you. Please check out our Kickstarter page for more information about the film and campaign. We have a few interesting donor rewards. There are incentives for digital downloads, a pass to our premiere at the Chopin theater and even my dad's famous white chocolate cake (!). Be sure to see the pitch video shot by Jim Newberry, we shot in some of the locations to be used in the film.

The Distant Architect is fiscally sponsored by the Near Northwest Arts Council. The NNWAC is an artist directed non-profit organization that supports creative endeavors on the Near North Westside of Chicago. The Near Northwest Arts Council is a 501(c)3 non-profit Corporation. As per our sponsorship your donation to The Distant Architect is tax free.

In regards to Kickstarter you can donate $1 - or the sky's the limit ; ) There are price levels for different rewards but any donation is appreciated. Also Kickstarter is an all or nothing platform. We need to reach our goal in 50 days! 

For more info about the film, crew members, location photos etc. Please check out these links-

The Distant Architect Website

Facebook page-
Thank you,
Best Wishes, 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Taking A Leap

Excited/Nervous/Anxious but yes, initially and resolutely excited. I launched my Kickstarter campaign for The Distant Architect. I've wanted to start one for awhile and finally everything came together. I promised I would launch on Saturday September 13th, and I did. I had a quietly thrilling few moments as I pushed the button to launch while I was sitting alone in my living room. Then I promptly fell sound asleep. I've been working extremely long hours at my "day film job". I was able to finish the clerical and technical aspects of the campaign, get the video edited. But there was no time to promote. So cue the solitary Living Room Launch Party. It's been relaxing to have a "soft launch", sort of like a restaurant. This past week my friend and producer Laurie Little and I have had time to work out the kinks in the campaign. We're rested up to start a great social media blitz- watch out. 

I am most excited though for the film. With prior funding, savings and now the kickstarter- we will be ready to go. Ready to shoot. I can't believe it, finally. I've got butterflies in my tummy and my toes tingle under the covers like Christmas Morning. My "when" has become "anticipation". 

Join me?

Pic above from our location scout to the South Shore. A very La Jetee inspired shot.
More here

(Scene of the Solitary Living Room Launch Party)

Monday, July 7, 2014


Nick Cave's music often evokes and conjures imagery of dark lovelorn tales, desolate tableau or dirty back alleys. Gothic narratives populated with peculiar and eccentric souls. Within Cave's band The Bad Seeds, there was the jarring presence of Blixa Bargeld. An allegorical visage and disaffected performer, he played both in the Bad Seeds and his own band Einst├╝rzende Neubauten. Einst├╝rzende Neubauten is one of my favorite band names ever- translated as "Collapsing New Buildings". Bargeld played with Nick Cave for about twenty years before leaving the Bad Seeds.

I was lucky enough to catch a screening of the documentary 20,000 Days on Earth. Sort of a documentary/fiction hybrid centered around the making of Nick Cave's excellent album Push the Sky Away. The camera follows Cave as he drives around in a car with some of his collaborators. And then there was Blixa. There was something poignant about their conversation. Evidently Bargeld left the Bad Seeds somewhat abruptly. He explained that he could not be in two bands and in order to care for his marriage he had needed to leave the Bad Seeds. As a fan and a listener it was affecting to hear them talk about Blixa's exit and the music they made together.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Silent Controlled Fury

For all my love of cinema there were titles and trends that I've purposely ignored. Some I probably rightly intuited my disinterest in and others possibly because they were just too obvious. There were a few times I came around to watching some of the films I originally dismissed and then genuinely enjoyed them (I went through film school completely ignoring the French New Wave, only to become a late convert). So a couple of winters back, I thought, "What the heck," got out a bottle of red wine and watched The Godfather. I'm not a fan of mob movies or male-centered films where women seem to barely have supporting roles. The Godfather is all of those things but I still enjoyed it- and I especially liked The Godfather 2. I adore Diane Keaton and appreciate her in the Godfather films, but as Michael Corleone pushes her away, we don't see her as much. She had a strong monologue in Godfather 2 though- the "Our marriage is an abortion" scene.
What I liked the most and what surprised me, was Al Pacino's performance. I guess I was used to his louder, expressive performances like in Scarface or Scent of a Woman.

I didn't know he could be so quiet.

Quiet, controlled. There was so much weight and power to his portrayal of Michael Corleone. He was this imposing magnet that the camera, the supporting characters and the viewer gravitate towards. It's actually one of my favorite performances. It taught me a lot about acting and the comportment of the silent actor.


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Oh Really Now

Jarvis Cocker has a radio show!
"Jarvis Cocker takes listeners on a nocturnal journey around stories of night people."
Link to show here - www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/jcwn


Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Skype with Berlin

Just found this screengrab of a skype with my friend Franzi in Berlin. We hadn't seen each other in about 4 years and we basically talked for as many hours. It was awesome. I took her on a tour of my apartment with the computer. She was especially interested in the fridge that dispenses water and ice, which is evidently an American novelty ; )

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Arranging the script on my floor

Here is a shot of the customary index card stage of screenwriting-
It's fun to bring a physicality to your writing : )

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

More photos by Mervyn O'Gorman

Photo's of Mervyn O'Gorman's daughter Christina. Autochrome photos taken on the beach, 1913.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Never Let Me Go

This beautiful shot is from the film Never Let Me Go. I love the look of the shot-

I have actually never seen  Never Let Me Go but I love the book by Kazuo Ishiguro. The book in some ways inspired the title for my blog.  Not sure why I never saw the film, maybe it’s because I was apprehensive because the book is so special to me.

But I love that shot, I even modeled a shot from my camera tests after it-

CU from my Camera Tests

Maybe it's time to see the film : )

Incidentally it was the photo on the cover of the book that inspired me to read Never Let Me Go

The photo on the cover is by Mervyn O'Gorman taken in 1912. O'Gorman was an aeronautical engineer and Colonel in the British Army. Photography was a hobby of his and he made a beautiful series of photos of his daughter Christina on autochrome.

Portrait of Christina in a Garden, 1912

More O'Goman photos on Autochromie

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Breaking The Waves - Digitally Altered Landscape

Digitally altered landscapes by Per Kirkeby for Lars von Trier's Breaking the Waves

images from zepfanman.com

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Like A Glove

Feelings on Film Noir, Feelings on Writing a Film Noir

Hollywood likes it's myths and stories. The Hollywood Narrative appreciates the self-obsessed and Hollywood's favorite stories are about itself. Once a genre that came out of being a second thought, a thrifty "B Unit", the Film Noir is a reluctant American art form. I love cinema and I especially love Film Noir and I can over do it when I gush. It probably has to do with stylization being an integral facet of Noir. Noir needs style to be. 

In terms of screenwriting the blank page can be daunting, but with Noir there is almost a blueprint. It's not easy though. Shadows, a gun and dark clothing don't a movie make. If you step away for a moment, a well crafted Noir script is quietly modern and beautiful. A sparse framework, where shadows, pathos and mood can creep in and fill the empty spaces. I can take comfort that there is a suggested direction, and almost relax into it. A subtle relinquishing of control. As I keep working, I am writing my own story, the one that is needed for my film. It is like finding a tailored glove. Pulling it on slowly, tugging at something dark and form fitting. Schooled and studied, I've kept writing, pushing through stages of inertia, the grays and the bleakness of unconfirmed schedules and financing. But with time you begin to know. I know myself and I know my story. I know my curves and lines. Fit and dressed, I've let myself be drawn where I needed to go but the mold has become my own.