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Behind The Scenes Film Production Blog # 2

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   Finishing principal photography early summer 2015, we've already begun the post-production (editing) phase on MAN WHO "SAVED" THE MOVIES with an eye towards the Fall / Winter 2015 - 2016 film festival season.  Keep abreast of updates and developments by "Like"-ing MAN WHO "SAVED" THE MOVIES ON FACEBOOK, or clicking the link below to join our weekly GullCottage / Flying Bear Films mailing list.  To financially support MAN WHO "SAVED" THE MOVIES directly, click the logo to the right to connect with the production ... you mogul, you!

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PHASE #2: Los Angeles, CA
(Wed. Aug. 28th, 2013 - Fri. 30th) 

by CEJ


     And the predominate operative word in so much of this is “irony”, …which is not necessarily a bad thing.

     In one of my all time favorite films, Ray Harryhausen’s 1973 fantasy epic THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD, there’s a thematic / philosophical motif (one which runs through many of the stop motion master’s classics by the way) which at first seems ironic, but in actuality is anything but. Exemplified in a recurring line spoken throughout by Sinbad and his hearty band of adventurers, “Trust in Allah, … but tie up your camel” is a philosophical gem. Eat your heart out Confucious, Aesop, Socrates and L. Ron Hubbard.

  play "I LOVE LA." (R. Newman)

     My mother is an ordained Protestant minister, and over the years I've learned this same sense of apparent irony is also evident in a truism spoken by many clergy before embarking upon many all important tasks, namely to “Pray as if God were going to do the job completely without you, … but to work as if you were going to do it completely without Him”.  And hey, one more of these nifty little irony-isms (and yes, I know, that really isn‘t a word, but for the sake of thematic and verbal rhythm you‘ll forgive me) - this one from a more secular “philosophical“ source.

     In one of Eddie Murphy’s earliest stand up concert films (I don’t recall whether it was DELIRIOUS or RAW) he humorously but oh so perceptively relates how relationships are ultimately always initiated by women. How the woman decides from her very first meeting with a guy whether or not she’s going to be with him (socially, physically, etc.), and the biggest task for the guy from that point on is to just not muck it up and make her change her mind. Far easier said than done, isn‘t it fellas? In the end however, if said dude manages to not (as the Mercury astronauts used to say) “screw the pooch!” and the relationship flourishes, well, we guys then take the credit for being the smooth, suave and confident “initiator”! Yeah, right! Oh, and all of this of course falls under that vague, magical, and sometimes maddening rubric of “things operating on an unspoken / subconscious level”. All of this, believe it or not, bringing us to our “Phase 2” L.A. shoot portion of our first film here at the Gull Cottage / Sandlot, STEVE VERTLIEB: THE MAN WHO “SAVED” THE MOVIES. Whew! Now THAT’s an intro if there ever was one. And all of this will neatly dovetail in the end, I promise!



      For you see, there are creative gods and fates which, similar to the aforementioned examples, collude hand in hand with those determined craftspeople who “furiously work their asses off” yet at the same time remain faithful and respectful of and to the warp, weft and will of that artistic deity we all seek to capture and understand. Once again, far easier said than done. 



      After last month‘s “Phase 1” shoot at the MONSTER BASH Convention in Mars, P.A. (and I’ll never get used to saying that - the “Monster Bash in Mars“?) went so swimmingly, I thought nothing could supersede it’s creative excitement and momentum. I was wrong. Our documentary subject - cinema journalist, archivist, educator, consultant and film music expert Steve Vertlieb, is a native of Philadelphia, PA. who travels to Los Angeles, CA. once per year during the last two weeks of the unofficial summer season, to visit with his brother Erwin, as well as reconnect with a gaggle of film industry friends and former collaborators - among them respected actors, directors, composers, journalists and more. This year we’d follow Steve with a small camera and sound crew over three of those days. And our time in L.A. (one day in particular - and Steve himself felt the same) will certainly go down in my personal mental / emotional Roldex (an over 30 reference there, Google it kiddies) as one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. On the other side of that scale however, the preceding weeks were certainly some of the most stressful, tense, difficult and enraging I’ve ever encountered. Hench that irony.


     Those who have been following our progress know of our original Kickstarter campaign, which didn’t fly as high as hoped. As Kickstarter is an “all or nothing” prospect, the monies which were pledged were never collected. So, with but two weeks to go before the scheduled commencement of our L.A. shoot, we launched our own crowdfunding page on this site, and many of those who’d originally pledged on Kickstarter transferred their support to the new fundraising endeavor. And thank goodness they did. 

     Once again, a great big hug and shout out to you all! Still coming up short however, we raised a little more by digging even more deeply into our own already thinly stretched pockets; by deferring auto repairs and a few other bills, and via a couple of short term loans.  And no, not THOSE kinds of loans. No broken nosed Rondo Hatton-esque looking enforcer dudes with brass knuckles banging on the door in the wee hours, so relax.

     Our film has always been the working definition of an independent enterprise.  And, once again ironically, while one of it’s greatest debits, this at the same time continually proves to be one it’s greatest assets.

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The Vertlieb Bros., Steve & Irwin (left to right in both photos) in L.A.:
Today and "back in the day" with legendary author Ray Bradbury



  "... AND DON'T
        MUCK IT UP!"

      As STEVE VERTLIEB: THE MAN WHO “SAVED” THE MOVIES has always been a labor of love by, for and about those infatuated with the art and craft of film, film making and film history, we’ve been able to assemble a phenomenal line up of on-screen appearances by Hollywood actors, artists and technicians the likes of which a more mainstream or commercial (i.e. expensive) documentary couldn’t hope to accrue.

      All those who’ve thus far appeared in our film have done so out of a love and respect for the medium of film as well as for love and respect of our film’s subject - Steve Vertlieb himself.

     To pay due respects to these participants, one must have things buttoned up as professionally as possible; starting with a script … of sorts. As we’re a documentary the “script” as it were, is merely a skeletal outline of the location in which the interviews, etc. are to take place, as well as a “bullet point” listing of topics one wishes to cover during said “sit down”, roundtable or “moving about the house” discussions to be captured by the camera. It’s only proper to give said participants a “heads-up” on these questions and topics to be covered, so as to not surprise or unintentionally ambush anyone. I mean this isn’t THE JERRY SPRINGER SHOW. 

At the San Pedro home of composer Mark McKenzie (bottom right):
Erwin Vertlieb (left), Pat Russ (center) and Lee Holdridge (standing right).


     Dealing with all of those aforementioned financial matters however kept robbing us of the time to sit down to finish the script. Wanting to give our interviewees at least a few days to get comfortable with the various questions / topics, we finally managed to steal a few extra hours out of each day (that wonderful early A.M. block between 2:00 and 6:00 when you get soooo much done within a small space of time), … and sleep be damned! Finally getting to check that off the list we were dealt another major blow in the eleventh hour.

     Unfortunate circumstances forced us to drop the original L.A. based cinematographer we’d secured for the shoot.  With one weekend to find another (and now a new sound man as well) my L.A. manager, Bob Cho, contacted a number of friends and colleagues who forwarded us a list of industry “message boards” - sort of the film biz version of Craigslist.  While most of the “boards” wouldn’t post our “available jobs” announcement until Monday (the very day before I was set to depart for the coast), the one which did post on Saturday yielded the best responses.  And from there we were able to secure a new DP (director of photography) - Matt Fore, and a new sound man - Brett Pipkin. 

     (left to right) DP - Matt Fore, Director / Writer - Craig Ellis Jamison, and Sound Recordist - Brett Pipkin


     Departing Philadelphia early Tuesday morning was another adventure in and of itself. Needing to secure my South Philadelphia home for the week it took a little longer than anticipated getting to the airport, and I missed being able to board my flight by five minutes. Fortunately I was placed on another flight within 90 minutes WITH A HECK OF A LOT MORE LEG ROOM. At 6’5” that’s a HUGE matter for a six hour journey.

     And in retrospect (forgive me for going philosophical for a sec here) maybe it was also the matter that there was such a great time of filming awaiting us, the fates felt they had to “even things out a bit” ahead of time.  Y'know, to keeps things in check, and to keep us from getting a little too overconfident or cocky.  For I wasn’t the only one having a difficult time getting to the party. Our DP, Matt, lost his brakes while traveling from a previous gig to our Tuesday night “Meet & Greet” over beer. And our sound man, Brett, was a little late too, as (at the beach earlier with a friend and not wanting to ditch them) he had to wait until AAA arrived after the friend lost their car keys in the sand. At any rate, glad to know I wasn’t the only one having trouble “gettin’ it in gear”.

  Director Philippe Mora

DAY 1:
WEDS (8/28/13) -

     Originally our first “L.A. day” was to consist of filming at two separate locales - the home of Erwin Vertlieb, brother to our documentary subject Steve Vertlieb (and with whom Steve was staying while in California), then at the home of director Philippe Mora. Steve however, a great practitioner of the Jedi mind trick, was able to arrange it so that Mr. Mora (oh hell, we’ll call him Philippe, he’s a great guy), as well as actor Paul Clemens and Erwin could all be interviewed  both individually and collectively at Erwin’s West L.A. home.

     A true Renaissance man, Philippe Mora was born in Paris, raised in Australia, then spent the 1960s as an artist and film maker in London’s famous art scene, much of it centered in or around “The Pheasantry”, where other residents and friends included such noteworthy names as Eric Clapton, Tim Whidborne and Martin Sharp. After writing and / or directing a number of films, some of the most noteworthy including the documentaries SWASTIKA and BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE A DIME, as well as the Dennis Hopper actioner / bio MAD DOG MORGAN, he’d make his feature American film debut with 1982’s THE BEAST WITHIN, starring Paul Clemens, Ronny Cox and Bibi Besch. 

                                                                                                                                    THE BEAST WITHIN (1982)

     A small scale thriller from MGM / UA, it featured a murderer’s row of talent behind the camera as well, with not only Mora at the helm, but future FRIGHT NIGHT, CHILD’S PLAY director Tom Holland banging out the script, and a score by legendary composer Les Baxter. Originally dismissed by most critics as a well made if minor horror outing, it’s plot concerned the rape of a woman by a mysterious creature, and the strange “evolution” of offspring of the incident (portrayed by young Clemens) who, 17 years later, begins to exhibit monstrous traits of his own. BEAST would unintentionally take on more sociological subtext after the Supreme Court’s 1992 “Casey v. Planned Parenthood” ruling, wherein abortion because of rape would henceforth fall under the rubric of being “necessary for the health of the mother”. 

                                                                                                The first meeting of actor Paul Clemons and film  
                                                                         journalist Steve Vertlieb on the 1981 set of THE BEAST WITHIN

     Since then social pundits and film historians have dissected THE BEAST WITHIN with a fine-toothed comb; some of that dissection accurate and well observed, and others perhaps reading “a bit too much” into the film. Be that as it may, almost THE CHINA SYNDROME-like, it’s coincidental mirroring of a volatile debate would help to propel all those involved onto bigger and better projects.

     Perhaps best known to many as the son of iconic 3 time Academy Award nominated actress Eleanor Parker (DETECTIVE STORY, THE NAKED JUNGLE, THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM, THE SOUND OF MUSIC), Paul Clemens has in recent years come to be acknowledged in his own right as not only an actor of stunning range and versatility (A DEATH IN CANAAN, PROMISES IN THE DARK, tv’s QUINCY M.E.), but also as a hero to a new generation of cinema fanboys because of his additional technical chops as a respected sculptor, makeup artist, and special effects and art department designer.

  Paul Clemens today

     After BEAST, Clemens would go on to other films such as THEY’RE PLAYING WITH FIRE and Mora’s COMMUNION, along with TV series such as MURDER SHE WROTE and THE DISTRICT. And Mora would continue to bring his “60s era” social consciousness into a series of acclaimed documentaries as well as to numerous genre outings including the action / adventure A BREED APART with Rutger Hauer and Kathleen Turner, DEATH OF A SOLDIER starring James Coburn, and even the comedic super hero outing THE RETURN OF CAPTAIN INVINCIBLE.

     The trio of Steve Vertlieb, Philippe Mora and Paul Clemens originally met on the set of THE BEAST WITHIN in 1981 when Steve was sent to cover the production as an entertainment writer.  And while all have remained in contact over the years - visiting one another on various occasions, the inaugural day of our L.A. shoot was the first time all three men had been together in one place in over 32 years.  Admittedly a tad intimidated at first (I mean, c'mon, a first time director giving instructions to someone with Mora's cinema and art history!), I was quickly put at ease by the warmth, wit and positive spirits of the veteran film maker, as well as the veteran actor, and the brother of our documentary subject. 

Mora, Vertlieb and Clemens on our set: all three together for the first time in 32 years.

     With short times for lighting, camera and set readjustments, our crew was able to capture hours of footage, including individual interior set interviews with Mora and Clemens, an interior “roundtable” discussion with Steve, Mora and Clemens, and exterior set “walking & talking” interview / conversations with Steve and Erwin - the genuine love evident between the brothers sure to be an emotional highlight of the film.

     Thanks to all for a stunningly successful first “L.A. day”.


     DAY 2: THURS. (8/29/13) - “COMPOSER’S SUMMIT” - SAN PEDRO

     As with Day 1, so was Day 2 also originally planned to be split between two locales - the home / studios of composers Mark McKenzie and Lee Holdridge, both of whom our docu subject, Steve, has known for a couple of years; and both of whom which he had already re-connected with days before my arrival in L.A.  As Mr. Holdridge was set to catch an international flight later that day, he agreed to meet us and Steve at Mark’s home in San Pedro.

     As mentioned earlier, a “script” was written in advance in order to know which “bullet points” to cover during interview filming. But when classical guitarist Gregg Nestor also arrived, as did legendary orchestrator Patrick Russ; and they, Steve and Erwin launched into a spirited impromptu conversation traversing various aspects of the art, craft, business, and “ups and downs” of cinema composition, my own impromptu decision became to discard the script, roll the cameras and capture everything over the next 2 ½ hours as (what in some respects turned out to be) an informal, extremely informative, relentlessly entertaining, and at times even humorous “composer’s summit”.

Lee Holdridge 

     Having studied under Hugo Mariani and Henry Lasker, Lee Holdridge composed chamber, rock and theater pieces in New York - all of it in time bringing him to the attention of Neil Diamond, with whom he’d collaborate on several albums leading up to the score and songs for the film JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL (… one of our all time favorite books by the way!). 

     While writing, arranging and / or conducting over the years for artists as varied as Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Placido Domingo, Whitney Houston, Jane Oliver and more, he’d also compose scores to films such as SPLASH, MR. MOM, OLD GRINGO, THE BEASTMASTER, as well as TV themes and scores to BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ONE LIFE TO LIVE, THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN, BUFFALO GIRLS, THE MISTS OF AVALON, and respected documentaries the likes of CHURCHILL and INTO THE ARMS OF STRANGERS: STORIES OF THE KINDERSTRANSPORT. He is perhaps best known however to most for his memorable scores to the 1980s Cybill Shepherd / Bruce Willis mystery / comedy series MOONLIGHTING, in particular his uber popular theme song co-composed and sung by Al Jarreau.

                                                                                                                                                                            Mark McKenzie

     Beginning his career as an orchestrator on scores such as Bruce Broughton’s YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES and HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS and John Barry‘s DANCES WITH WOLVES, Mark McKenzie would become one of the industry’s leading “go to” guys, sought out multiple times by composers such as Danny Elfman (on THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, MARS ATTACKS, SLEEPY HOLLOW, MEN IN BLACK and SPIDER-MAN), Alan Silvestri (on ERASER, VOLCANO, VAN HELSING and more) and Jerry Goldsmith (on ALONG CAME A SPIDER, THE SUM OF ALL FEARS, LOONEY TUNES: BACK IN ACTION, TIMELINE and others). In fact McKenzie would also provide additional original music for some of Goldsmith’s later day films, including THE LAST CASTLE and STAR TREK: NEMESIS, before becoming a multi-award winning composer in his own right on THE ULTIMATE GIFT, SAVING SARAH CAIN, LA FAMILIA, (the just released to CD) THE ULTIMATE LIFE, and perhaps his magnum opus - the music to the animated film THE GREATEST MIRACLE, a live version suite of which was performed at World Youth Day before Pope Benedict the 16th.

  Gregg Nestor

     Originally a finalist in Carnegie Hall’s prestigious New York Concert Artist Guild Competition (one of 16 out of 2,800 competitors), classical guitarist extraordinaire Gregg Nestor has gone on to not only record a series of popular albums (REMEMBRANCES: A SPANISH JOURNEY, THE MIKLOS ROZSA COLLECTION, CANTARES FOR SOPRANO AND GUITAR), and create popular guitar arrangement / adaptations of the work of Debussy, Gershwin, Max Steiner and more. But he’s also become one of the film music industry’s leading music prep / copyists on films such as ARMY OF DARKNESS, THE NEGOTIATOR, TITAN A.E., HIGH CRIMES, DAREDEVIL, and Mark McKenzie’s THE GREATEST MIRACLE.

     Patrick Russ’ early film music career found him as an orchestrator to the legendary Elmer Bernstein on films such as GHOSTBUSTERS, LEGAL EAGLES and THREE AMIGOS, and assistant to Maurice Jarre on MOON OVER PARADOR, PRANCER, SUNSHINE and others before becoming one of the most in-demand orchestrator / arrangers on over 150 other films including GORILLAS IN THE MIST, BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, THE LAST CASTLE, FAR FROM HEAVEN, RUSH HOUR, Peter Jackson’s KING KONG, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW and THE WOLVERINE. 

                                                                                                                                                                               Patrick Russ

     With separate cameras capturing all six members of the “summit“ in “wide angle” masters as well as individual “close ups”, we didn’t halt for ringing phones, passing planes outside or other interruptions, as to halt than begin a new take would have destroyed the ebb and flow of what turned out to be one of the most magical days in the lives of all involved - at least those of us making the film.  Mark’s wife prepared in advance a delightful light buffet for members of the “summit” to nosh upon while we set up then later broke down our equipment.  And while packing things up both crew and on screen participants took part in enjoyable personal conversations as well as more than a little picture taking.

     It was indeed a magical day for any dyed-in-the-wool fan of film and film music.



           DAY 3: FRI. (8/30/13) - JULIET ROZSA - SHERMAN OAKS

     The highlight of our week was always intended to be our final day of filming at the home of Juliet Rozsa - daughter of world famous BEN HUR, EL CID, DOUBLE INDEMNITY, THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD composer Miklos Rozsa (1907 - 1995). Those who’ve listened to our The Grindhouse: With Craig & Jim podcast episode with Steve Vertlieb know the legendary composer, who won Oscars for not only BEN HUR but for A DOUBLE LIFE and Hitchcock’s SPELLBOUND, and his family have been close to our beloved Steve for many years.

  Billy Wilder & Miklos Rozsa during the original recording

    Born in Hungary and trained in Germany, Miklos Rozsa began (and remained throughout his entire career) a well respected classical composer who’s original works were championed and performed by such legendary figures as Jascha Heifetz, Eugene Ormandy, Leonard Bernstein, Charles Munch and Georg Solti, long before he entered his self-professed “double life” as both a "serious" classical as well as film composer; the word "serious" in quotations as Rozsa never felt film music of lesser stature.

     His respect for the film medium, and his layers of complexity he composed for it's music would help elevate cinema composition into the realm of a bonafied and acknowledged art form, and would also make him one of the first recurring "go to" guys of famous film makers - he teaming with Alexander Korda on classics such as KNIGHT WITHOUT ARMOUR, THE FOUR FEATHERS, THE THIEF OF BAGDAD and JUNGLE BOOK,  and with Billy Wilder on FIVE GRAVES TO CAIRO and DOUBLE INDEMNITY. 


     In Rozsa's later years a younger generation would become familiar with his sound as he created rich and popular scores for Ray Harryhausen’s THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD, Jonathan Demme’s THE LAST EMBRACE, Richard Marquand’s EYE OF THE NEEDLE, Nicholas Meyer’s TIME AFTER TIME, and most notably Billy Wilder’s THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES.  As the Sherlock Holmes character was famously a violin player, director Wilder had asked Dr. Rozsa to incorporate his popular “Violin Concerto” into the heart of the film’s score - hence fusing Rozsa’s classical and filmic “alter egos” into one for the first and final time. 

  play "THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES": Main Title / 221B Baker Street (M. Rozsa)             


      Steve would fall in love with the music of Rozsa as a child in 1957, then, accompanied by his brother Erwin, meet the legendary composer for the first time after a concert in Philadelphia circa 1968. Ten years later Steve (now head of the film and video department at a local TV station) would meet Dr. Rozsa again during a film seminar conference in Bloomington, Indiana. From then on their friendship and mutual admiration of one another was sealed for the remainder of the composer’s days. This even after a debilitating stroke had impaired Mr. Rozsa’s sight and ability to write; and he’d have his daughter Juliet read Steve’s letters to him while dictating other letters in return. 

     Miklos Rozsa passed away in July 1995, and years later, celebrating what would have been his 100th birthday, Steve met Juliet for the first time at a tribute at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, D.C. which was honoring her father. They’ve been good friends since. In fact such good friends, that upon the world premiere re-recording and release of the complete THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES score on CD in 2007, both Juliet and Steve would write the disc jacket’s introductory liner notes.

     While Steve had been to the Sherman Oaks home of Juliet Rozsa on numerous occasions, this was our first visit. And immediately struck by the stunning view down into the valley, we once again decided to abandon the script (save for it’s topical bullet points) in favor of capturing the visual splendor of both the interior of Ms Rozsa’s abode as well as it’s lush hillside exterior. Also present were one of Juliet’s daughters, Ariana, as well as Dovina - the family’s loving Golden Retriever.

     After giving your’s truly a quick one on one tour of the home, wherein Ms Rozsa pointed out her father’s various awards, illustrations from fans around the world, posters, published books and her own personal favorite pieces of memorabilia, we decided to film the first part of her interview (concerning she and her family’s relationship with Steve) as a one-on-one “sit down”; then the second portion - with both she and Steve casually conversing as they walk about the house, beginning at her father’s living room piano, going downstairs into the hallway with walls lined with family photos, etc.; then culminating on the outdoor patio overlooking the valley.

     As during the previous day at the “composer‘s summit“, the magic of the conversation between Steve and Julia was also far too precious to interrupt with multiple takes. So, just as before, we decided to keep camera and audio rolling in as few uninterrupted blocks as possible regardless of unexpected sounds or visual “glitches” - all of which can be easily later removed during the initial editing phase.

     An earlier off camera conversation with Ms Rozsa revealed we both shared a history of recurring back trouble.  And the next day she had to miss attending composer John Williams’ annual concert at the Hollywood Bowl because of such pain.  I'd already felt Juliet Rozsa was one of the most charming and gracious hosts it’s ever been my pleasure to meet.  And if she was actually experiencing any kind of back discomfort the day of our shoot, but chose not to reveal it, then my already deep admiration, love and respect for her has increased ten fold.

     Thank you Ms Rozsa for inviting us into your home; for a wonderful experience, and an unprecedented glance into the life of your family, including that most beloved of cinema legends - your father. The memory of that Friday will remain with us the remainder of our days. 


                "PHASE 2" WRAP UP: BACK TO PHILLY; ...
                                      AND THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES ...

play "PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM" (E. John / B. Taupin) 

     Our “Phase 2” footage and sound safely downloaded and synched onto our drives, the crew would go it’s separate ways as our L.A. DP Matt Fore spent the next hour or so capturing “B” roll pick ups around Mulholland Drive - to be used later for introductory and scene transitional L.A. shots during editing.

     Saturday night Steve would attend the John Williams concert while I spent the evening with my manager / co-producer Bob Cho, and The Grindhouse: With Craig & Jim co-host Jim Delaney doing THE GRADUATE with a few hundred film fans on the sprawling outdoor lawn of Cinespia’s “sit down blanket Drive-In” at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Steve would remain in L.A. another five days. But I’d pack later that night for an early A.M. return flight to Philadelphia. 

     So, as stated at the beginning, once the week got rolling, our job became simply to capture the footage, and not get in the way and muck it up. Exhausted but exhilarated, we now look forward to the final “Phase 3” principal photography shoot set for late September / early October in both our and Steve's hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  

     From there the plan is to edit throughout the fall and winter - adding narration, score, et al; then to begin the film festival circuit in early 2014.

    As with the Eddie Murphy-observed truism about how women tend to initiate relationships, so was the exhilarating part of our L.A. shoot seemingly (and ironically) carried off in spite of, and some times it seemed in defiance of, all our “pulling the hair out by the roots” planning.  But you've gotta plan.  You've gotta "tie up your Camel", then ultimately leave it in the hands of the cinema gods.

     But we’ll go ahead and gladly take the credit for it though.  Heh! Heh!    : ) 

     In all seriousness, huge "Thank You"s to all those who helped make it happen in front of and behind the camera.  Regardless of the "auteur theory" no film is a one man show.  So thanks to my L.A. manager / producer Bob Cho for letting me stay with him and for the use of his car during the week.  Can't tell you how much budget that saved us.  Also to my brother (and co-producer back home in Philly) Harold Jamison.  A MEGA "shout out" to those financial backers who stuck with us even after the Kickstarter campaign didn't fly as high as hoped; and who "got our back" in the eleventh hour: David Goldweber, George Stover, Dana Rosen and Bruce Gearhart.  You all rock the house in a major way!  Thanks to our L.A. crew of cinematographer Matt Fore and sound recordist Brett Pipkin.  You gentlemen worked fast and fantastic, and made us look and sound pretty damned good! 


     And finally the biggest Thanks to Steve and Erwin Vertlieb for inviting us into their personal lives for a few days in order to capture a little bit of magic which we can only hope will become infectious when all of this is finished months down the line.  So far so good.  And we love and thank you both one more time. 

     Back to Philly for "Phase 3"! 

     Chat with 'ya soon. 

     Cue the ROCKY theme ... !


                                                                                                                                 Craig Ellis Jamison (9/9/13)



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