I have a lot of news for you as we crash into autumn and all that means for the film. First two pieces of AMAZING news. (Actually, I can only tell you one of the two because I need to get the appropriate wording from the party involved..., but it is quite spectacular! I'll let you know as soon as possible!) But for now, without any wait, I can tell you that composer Michael Bacon has come aboard to write the original score for the film. Michael and I go way back to my film Belly Talkers in 1996. I hired him to do the music for the film and then after much work had been done, the production company fired Michael and locked me out of the edit. For 20 years I have wanted the opportunity to work with Michael and see it through. Luckily, he agreed to take another chance on me — knowing I have creative control this time! He is super-talented and you can learn more about him at www.michaelbaconmusic.com. Michael also has a band, the FABULOUS (my word) Bacon Brothers with his sibling Kevin. Their music is so fun and their egg videos on youtube are strange and wonderful.
I made a very big decision recently on the advice of my editors, Anne Alvergue and supervising editor, Toby Shimin. With the Sundance application deadline looming next week — and the crushing pressure to get the cut ready, teach my classes at Yale, Barnard and Columbia — I would unfortunately have to forego the time it takes to make thoughtful and meaningful story choices. And although you can make changes to the film from your application cut, our focus would turn to making a deliverable product instead of creativity. What Toby said to me that was really the game changer was that her apprehension did not stem from the fact that the film would not get in, but rather that it would get in and threaten our ability to make the best film we can. I have worked too long on this film (five years) to mess it up now. So, we are going to try for the Berlin Film Festival as the premiere instead.
Although this decision is completely logical and in the best interest of the film, I must confess that it was a huge blow to me because I have so much emotional baggage surrounding Sundance, both professionally and personally. But I’m confident I have done the right thing for the film.
On the financial front, I have applied for every grant I can find. There is interest from the Fledging Fund to see a rough cut of the film. This is so important because the money is for educational outreach of the film's topic. These grants are so competitive, and I was disappointed to learn that I did not receive the Pare Lorentz grant, although the International Documentary Association (IDA) did tell me that the film made the semi-finals and the reviewers comments were extraordinarily positive. I think that sometimes the grant award comes down to the specifics of the mission of the grant and which film is a better fit as opposed to the "best" film, whatever that means. If you know of anyone or any organization that needs to make a tax-deductible contribution, you can direct them to the donation section of this website. The IDA is our fiscal sponsor and a 501(c)3.
Finally, an update on my brother: Duanne was incarcerated on a felony stalking charge in July of 2015. After more than six weeks in solitary confinement (according to Duanne) he was sent to the forensic lockdown section of the Western State Hospital in an effort to get him competent to stand trial. Several attempts were made to restore him to competency before his medical rights were taken away and he was forcibly medicated. In May of 2016, he was still found unable to meet competency to stand trial so his charges were dismissed with prejudice and he was civilly committed to Western State Hospital. This was the first time in the past five years that he was actually treated for the erotomania that was the symptom of his first psychotic break in 2010. According to his social worker the anti-psychotic he was prescribed, Abilify, has no effect on this particular delusion. On September 8, 2016, I received an email from King County Jail letting me know that he would be released within the hour. No more information has been available to me no matter who I called and how I tried.
Duanne took me off of his ROI (Release of Information form) stopping all communication I might have with the hospital and with him. I do know that he is in Seattle for the time being, but I don't know where. We had one communication via email and he wants me to send him a series of cords and electronic accessories I had retrieved for him in Seattle. He wants me to send them to our uncle who lives in the area.
That's all for now. More soon to come.