December is always pleasantly busy with Holiday activities and spending time with family and friends. This year I was also busy finalizing the script for my film in progress, Henry David Thoreau, Surveyor of the Soul. Laura Dassow Walls, professor at the University of Notre Dame, is the lead scholar for the film and together we wrote a grant to the National Endowment for the Humanities. The NEH is the major funding resource for documentary films on historical subjects and also highly competitive. We won’t hear the results until the summer. I actually started filming of Surveyor of the Soul in 2005 but put the film on hiatus to finish In Good Time, The Piano Jazz of Marian McPartland.
Our first good news came in early January when Notre Dame awarded Surveyor of the Soul a grant. I am planning the production schedule and doing research on locations to film and collections to film. By this summer filming will resume. Laura and I have gathered an impressive team of scholars, environmentalists, civil rights leaders, activists, thinkers, educators, and Thoreauvians of all types and from all over the country and the world. We are aiming to release the film in 2017 on the occasion of Thoreau’s 200th birthday celebration.
Meanwhile In Good Time is still in distribution. We had a full house screening in November at the Frontier Cinema in Brunswick. Upcoming screenings are booked for Vermont at the Burlington Jazz Festival and in California at the Gualala Arts Whale and Jazz Festival in Point Arena, CA. I am hoping to have at least one screening in Maine as well.
On January 26 Judy and I did an animation workshop at The ICA, Boston. We had 640 parents and children make a Color Transformation Movie. I also did a workshop for 20 kids in clay animation. Needless to say it was a busy day. We had a creative cadre of art and film volunteers who made it all possible. This is my second workshop at ICA and again it was great fun for all. Here’s a link for last year’s animation (scroll down to the clip labeled 2:12.). This year’s animation will be online soon.
Please check this web site for updates on screenings, film news, and teaching workshops. If you wish to order a DVD of any of my films, you can click here. If you wish to learn more about Surveyor of the Soul or have a connection to Thoreau that you would like to let me know about, please e-mail me, firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope to see you at a screening or a workshop.