The one thing that I have learned in this process is that our own personal history is connected to our overall local history. It’s what gives us a sense of pride, foundation, and direction. That is why we have fairs and festivals. They are opportunities to celebrate our personal connection to our heritage and what is most important to us. As a producer of such a project, you start to understand your own personal connection to a history and a story that is greater than yourself. A project like this changes you. As it grows, you grow with it, until you become one with it. For me, when I walk into an interview, I meet a stranger. When I walk out of the room four hours later, I have a friend for life.comments
Tag Archives: documentary films
I initially planned the production after actor/historian Scott New agreed to portray Daniel Boone and Billy Heck, the historian at Wilderness Road State Park in Ewing, Virginia, agreed to have the action scenes filmed at the park’s re-created Martin’s Station (the most authentic reconstruction of a frontier fortified station in America) and to provide much of the supporting cast. Daniel Boone was, from the beginning, planned as a two-hour production. I applied for and obtained an initial grant which financed the start of the production. It was sizeable, but it would not last long for a film the size of Daniel Boone.comments
Before he passed away W.C. Handy wrote: “If my serenade of song and story should serve as a pillow for some composer’s head, as yet perhaps unborn, to dream and build on our folk melodies in his tomorrow, I have not labored in vain”.
I love this quote and I want to make sure that he did not labor in vain. He was the poet of the blues, in so many ways, and honoring his work is what Mr. Handy’s Blues is about.
W.C. Handy was a major force in the development of the blues and early jazz. He was a gifted man who had challenges throughout his life, but he handled himself with class and dignity. He was an American Original, a pioneer, charting unknown territory, and in the end a teacher. I believe his story will be inspirational on many levels.
We hope to complete the film by the end of 2014 to coincide with the centennial celebrations for “St. Louis Blues”. I have to admit part of me doesn’t want this journey to end.comments
The saga of the Carters, and their influence on music and musicians, would be a great story to tell someday, I thought. No one had really made a big film that connected the dots between the foundational family at the genesis of what we now call country music and the people who came after. There were so many people – not just my rockabilly women – who used the Carters’ music as a springboard for further musical exploration. Artists in folk, country and rock had a debt to this seminal family. And chief among them was Johnny Cash.comments
“Big Moccasin stems from a deep, personal connection with Appalachia,” Chelsea told us. “It is a place that I visited quite often as a young girl. It was the birthplace of my grandmother and grandfather, and the home of my relatives. Southwest Virginia was a place that I would go to and marvel at its simple wonders.comments