Destiny (1999, 35mm, 4 min., 24 sec., color, sound) is a short narrative film I both shot and directed. A New York love story of two young professionals who are perfect for each other. Two dogs. Two actors. Two thousand dollar budget (shot on film in 1998 on the cusp of the digital video revolution). Two (or so) days of shooting. Destiny is all about twos.
Liza Case as Margaret
Rich Madelung as Greg
Max as himself
The Monkey as Pricilla
I directed, shot, and co-produced the film and worked with two dedicated producers, Liza Case and David Chachere. Liza wrote the screenplay and played the role of Margaret. Rich Madelung played the role of Greg. Nelson Ryland spent many hours in a dark Media Composer suite as the editor. Trevor Jackson composed and recorded the score.
You can download a copy of Liza’s delightful script from: Destiny1.pdf (PDF, 25K bytes).
We had many enthusiastic and talented people join our crew for production, I wish we could include them all here. Balazs Nyari of Cineric made things possible behind the scenes as Executive Producer. The filmmakers include everyone who made the film possible through their generosity and support.
The film premiered at the Long Island Film Festival, screened in the NewFilmmakers series at Anthology Film Archives in New York, was featured at the Multiples of One conference, and was licensed for broadcast by WE: Womens Entertainment and the Emmy Award-winning PBS series, “The Short List.” After a long exhibition hiatus, it is now available for viewing online. It’s interesting to think that when this film was made, there were not that many venues for short films except for film festivals, now, many years later, we have a wide array of options including Vimeo, YouTube, and blip.tv (where Destiny is hosted).
Rich Madelung (Greg), myself, and Liza Case (Margaret)
After working on many shorts and feature-length projects as cinematographer, I was ready to direct my first non-student film. I used to meet up with David, Liza, and others on a monthly basis for the New York Independent Film Monitor editorial meetings. Liza and David were always encouraging me to direct. I said, yes, I wanted to direct something, and for my first time out wanted to direct something short and light, and with that in mind, had started looking for a really good short script, not being a writer myself. Good short scripts are hard to find.
At one of these meetings Liza suggested Destiny, a stage play she had written. It had been performed on two occations in New York with humans playing the roles of the dogs in a minimalist black-box environment. Liza offered to rewrite it for the screen. After reading the script I said, “Now this is a really good short script, with just the right twist at the end,” adding that it would make, “a perfect short film, this is what I’ve been looking for.”
So Liza rewrote Destiny it for the screen. David and Liza came on as producers. We all called in the many favors we needed for the professional crew, 35mm film stock, processing, telecine, camera, dolly, lighting, locations, music, editing suite, etc. It was an amazing experience to collaborate with Liza in her roles as writer, actor, and co-producer. I especially enjoy collaborating with writers, not being one myself. Stephen Jobes, a seasoned theater director, provided me with an excellent crash course in directing, and I was off.
I shot Destiny in 35mm using an Aaton 35-III from Abel Cine-Tech. The 35-III is a small and lightweight and a delight to work with, it offers practically the same mobility and ease of use as a Super 16 camera (it’s only four pounds heavier than the Aaton XTR and lighter than a professional camcorder) with the spectacular image quality and optical characteristics of 35mm. Even though the final film exists as a video, the spectacular quality of 35mm aquisition comes through in the DVD version, not so much in the low data-rate Flash version for the web, but story always shines through technical limitations.
Featured Cast: Liza Case (Margaret) and Rich Madelung (Greg); Director and Cinematographer: David Tamés; Supporting Cast: Christopher Hardwick (Big Guy), Dermot Walsh (Skateboarder), Max (as Himself), Monkey (Priscilla), Diners: Lorna Brooks, David Marguiles, David Knappe, Elizabeth Maynard; Editor: Nelson Ryland; Writer: Liza Case, Based Upon Her Play; Co-Producers: David Tamés and Liza Case; Executive Producers: Balazs Nyari and Monitor Films; Producer: David Chachere; Unit Production Manager: Anita Sum; Location Manager: Bob Fois; Art Director (Wardrobe and Selected Jewelry): Kate Katomski; Make-Up And Hair Design: Susie Kim; First Assistant Director: Daniel Fischer-Pask; Continuity: Laurence Moulin; Gaffer: James Bishop; 1st Assistant Camera: Joseph Bondulich; 2nd Assistant Camera: Pixie Alexander; Botfly: Stephen Jobes; Production Assistant: Dermot Walsh; Music: “Just a Holler Away” Written by Trevor Jackson, recorded at Trevor’s Place, Valhalla, NY and Gig Lizzy Studios, NYC, mixed by Stephen Tjaden at The Fun House, NYC, trumpets by Erik Jekabson, vocals and all other instruments by Trevor Jackson; Special Thanks: Joseph Correia, Berkely Catering, Screen Actors Guild, Joanne Morelli, Artist Linda Lee, John Lynch, Shay, Meridiana Restaurant, Peter Abel, Abel Cine Tech, Hot Lights, Cineric, New York City Mayor’s Office, Jonathan Shoemaker, Irmina Tamés, Martha Braunfield, Luna Films, 104 Broadway Farm, Broadway Convenience Center, Mohammad Anwar; Shot on Kodak 35mm film with an Aaton 35-III camera; Edited on Avid Media Composer.
A Kino-Eye.com production; Copyright 1999 Monitor Films, Copyright 2001 Kino-Eye.com Productions, Released under the terms of a Creative Commons Share-Alike, No-Derivatives, Non-Commercial License; any redistribution must not remove the URL at the end of the video and any web pages or text descriptions must include a link to: kino-eye.com/destiny.
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