Producers for Submarine Entertainment : Josh Braun & David Koh
Directors: Tim Marrinan & Richard Dewey
In the early 1970s, rumors quickly spread about artist Chris Burden and the work he was doing in Los Angeles. As a forerunner of the Performance Art movement - he had himself shot, crawled through a field of broken glass, and attempted to breathe water. He was dubbed by the press "The Evel Knievel of the art world" and this label would follow him for the rest of his career. Using unprecedented access to Burden's archive as well as candid footage filmed with the artist in the final years of his life, this film documents Burden's shifting motivations and his transition away from the spotlight of performance towards a quieter and more civic minded art-making practice.
CO-DIRECTOR / PRODUCER / EDITOR / CINEMATOGRAPHER
"A fascinating, complex tale of art, madness, redemption, and assorted, almost bewildering acts of human kindness." - William Todd Schultz, author of "An Emergency in Slow Motion" on Diane Arbus
What pops into your mind’s eye when you think of growing old? A bingo card? The beige hallways of an old folks home? For many, Peter Anton's house embodies an end-of-life nightmare: the utility companies long ago shut off the heat and electricity, the floorboards are rotting, and the detritus of a chaotic life is precariously stacked to the ceiling. But for the filmmakers, Anton's home is a treasure trove, a startling collection of unseen and fascinating paintings, drawings and notebooks; not to mention Anton himself, a funny and utterly resilient character worthy of his own reality TV show. Determined to form a coherent future out of a fractured past, they set out together to host an exhibition of the old art. Filmed over 8 years, Almost There is an epic coming-of-(old)-age story about what it means to become elderly in America, how this process can be complicated by mental illness, and how the whole bizarre panoply of life can be redeemed by art.
WORLD PREMIERE - DOC NYC, November 2014 LOS ANGELES PREMIERE - ArcLight Documentary Series: curated by the president of the International Documentary Association, Marjan Safinia who chose the film because "Its absolutely riveting, haunting, and moving. One of those that sticks with you long after the lights are up." CHICAGO (HOMETOWN!!!) PREMIERE: Stranger Than Fiction: Documentary Premieres Series: TWO SOLD OUT screenings! Curated by Gene Siskel Film Center programmer Barbara Scharres who personally reached out to the filmmakers after hearing buzz about the film. She writes, “This chronicle of a near-decade in the life of East Chicago, Indiana, outsider artist Peter Anton, now 83, boasts as many layers, permutations, and interpretations as the pages of one of his profusely illustrated scrapbook journals.” MONTANA PREMIERE: BIG SKY Documentary Film Festival - Feb 2015 SPECIAL SCREENING: Urban Institute for Contemporary Art (UICA), Grand Rapids, MI - Feb 2015 OFFICIAL SELECTION: Big Muddy Film Festival - Feb 2015 MISSOURI PREMIERE: TRUE/FALSE Film Festival - March 2015 OFFICIAL SELECTION: Geneva Film Festival - March 2013 (EMERGING FILMMAKER AWARD) OHIO PREMIERE: Cleveland International Film Festival - March 2015 OFFICIAL SELECTION: Sebastopol Film Festival - March 2013 (BEST OF FEST) SPECIAL SCREENING: Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH - April 2015 OFFICIAL SELECTION: Midwest Independent Film Festival, Chicago, IL - April 2015 FLORIDA PREMIERE: Sarasota Film Festival - April 2015 (SPECIAL JURY AWARD) WISCONSIN PREMIERE: Wisconsin Film Festival - April 2015 MINNESOTA PREMIERE: Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival - April 2015 OFFICIAL SELECTION: Chicago International Music and Movies Festival (CIMMFest) - April 2015 ARIZONA PREMIERE: Arizona International Film Festival - April 2015 NEW ENGLAND PREMIERE: Nantucket Film Festival - June 2015 INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE: SHEFFIELD DOC/FEST - June 2015 (TOP 6 AUDIENCE RATED) LONDON PREMIERE: Curzon Bloomsbury / Bertha DocHouse - June 2015 INDIANA PREMIERE: Indy Film Fest - July 2015 OFFICIAL SELECTION: Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival - August 2015 ASIAN PREMIERE: EBS International Documentary Festival (EIDF) - August 2015 (AUDIENCE AWARD WINNER) MAINE PREMIERE: Camden International Film Festival - September 2015 OFFICIAL SELECTION: Big Eddy Film Festival - September 2015 OFFICIAL SELECTION: Milwaukee Film Festival - September-October 2015 KENTUCKY PREMIERE: IF Film Festival - Louisville - October 2015 TEXAS PREMIERE - Dallas VideoFest - October 2015 NEW MEXICO PREMIERE - Santa Fe Independent Film Festival - October 2015 OFFICIAL SELECTION - Driftless Film Festival - November 2015 (OPENING NIGHT FILM) OFFICIAL SELECTION - Houston Cinema Arts Festival - November 2015 OFFICIAL SELECTION - Bisbee Film Festival - November 2015 IRELAND PREMIERE - Cork Film Festival - November 2015 TENNESSEE PREMIERE - Indie Memphis Film Festival - November 2015 (SPECIAL JURY PRIZE) SOUTHERN CIRCUIT TOUR OF INDEPENDENT FILM - (Greensboro, New Orleans, Tallahassee, Miami) - February 2016
"The film is hilarious, heartbreaking and haunting. It’s dark, disturbing, thought-provoking, powerful and, at times, simply hard to watch. It’s a brilliant piece of work and a must-see." - Jeff Manes, Gary Post Tribune
"4.5 Stars. Almost There blends personal portrait with an exploration of the responsibilities of the director in fascinating, exhilarating ways." - Columbia Tribune
"Our favorite film at True/False: accidental, affectionate, surprising, affirming. See it." — Jeff Truesdell, People Magazine.
"Blown away... A journey of art, heart & surprise." — Jesse Moss, director of The Overnighters.
"Anton’s dream of being discovered masks a deeper one—of being forgiven. No sooner does his name appear in the headlines than a profoundly upsetting charge from his past resurfaces, accompanied by phone calls expressing outrage and anger. This is the sort of unexpected turn that could’ve caused the entire film to implode on itself, or worse, remain unfinished and unseen in the musty shadows of Anton’s basement. Instead, this is where “Almost There” blossoms into one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen." - Indie Outlook
"Anton fights back at one point — "I’m not a project," he tells Rybicky — he, indeed, becomes more than a film character, but a human being whose life is significantly changed by the documentary that he takes part in." - Anthony Kaufman, Indiewire
"We want so badly for artists to be geniuses whose lives we can only dream of emulating. Almost There paints a different, more down-to-earth picture. Art is rarely made in a vacuum, no matter how remote or isolated the artist’s environment is. It is also a searing portrait of postindustrial Indiana as it attempts to resurrect itself after decades of neglect. Just as Anton has to leave the wreckage of his past behind, so the Rust Belt — brilliantly evoked in the film by David Schalliol’s environmental cinematography — must find some new way to grow, prosper, and move forward." - Dmitry Samarov, BELT Magazine
"Formally different but also evocatively unresolved is Almost There, a seemingly familiar character study of an aged outsider artist that becomes a thoroughly self-examining, and open-ended rumination on filmmaker-subject complicity, responsibility, and purpose. Even during the early stages of the narrative, filmmakers Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden invite us to think about the nature of their relationship with subject Peter Anton, whom they meet sketching children at a local fair in East Chicago, Indiana, and follow home to his jerry-rigged disaster of a home. “They took pictures of my underwear,” Anton narrates via voice-over, effectively critiquing proceedings from a future tense. “People told me to beware. Maybe they were out to take advantage of me. I want my story told, and that’s why I put up with it.” Such mutual interrogation takes place long before the filmmakers find out about a dark chapter in Anton’s damaged life, which forces them to further question the entire endeavor—particularly a gallery show they’ve set up for Anton in Chicago. He’s apologetic about not being truthful to the filmmakers, but doesn’t regret what it’s done to the film. “I’m not just a project,” he says. Yet Rybicky goes one further than exposing the seams of the doc filmmaking process. He interrogates similarities between Anton’s family and his own, which pushes the film past self-reflection into self-exposure. It’s rare for a film to be both sincerely outwardly and inwardly focused, and pretty much unheard of for one to explore, as Almost There does, how they can be effectively the same thing." - Eric Hynes, Museum of the Moving Image
"Almost There digs deep and goes further than your average artist profile film." - JUXTAPOZ
"One of my favorites [of True/False 2015]... a fascinating study in unintended consequences." — Sam Adams,IndieWIRE
"Beautiful... the heart of Almost There lies in the unmistakable persistence of compassion, seen not only in the directors, but also in the people who choose to help a man who struggles mightily to help himself." — Seth Boster, Vox Magazine.
Sharing the film with over 100 students in FSU's Documentary History & Theory Class
WORLD PREMIERE @ SxSW 2016
DIRECTOR: Jesse Moss (The Overnighters, Speedo)
EDITOR: Aaron Wickenden, ACE
As the biggest star in the world, Burt Reynolds wanted the best stunt double in the world. This film tells the story of Burt Reynolds and his best friend, roommate, and stunt-double Hal Needham. Together they conquered the heights of Hollywood and made one of the most successful films of the 1970s, Smokey and the Bandit. But beneath the swaggering machismo, mustache, and hair-raising stunts is a more complex story.
Featuring Burt Reynolds himself, and extraordinary archive material, including photographs, scrapbooks and footage drawn from Burt’s personal archive, as well as candid interviews with Hal Needham, and other close friends and key players, the film offers a kaleidoscopic perspective on their relationship, and tells an exhilarating and moving story about loyalty, friendship and creative risk.
"A sentimental bromance between lifelong scoundrel Reynolds and borderline maniac Needham. The Bandit is an intimate portrait of two good old boys, one badass automobile, and a $4.3 million-budgeted dark horse that ended up netting $300 million and counting. Now that’s some serious banditry right there." - Austin Chronicle
"Like a bootlegging run with the Bandit himself, The Bandit at times can be an exhilarating ride down a well-worn country road in your dad's old sports car he only takes out on special occasions these days: you've done it a million times, sure, but there's always a smile on your face when it's over." - KEYE TV
"Tough guy jock cowboys aren’t generally my speed. But there’s a purity to Needham’s underdog story of farmer to stuntman to top-grossing Hollywood director which, when edited together with superstar Reynolds’ ongoing struggles to be perceived as a legitimate actor, makes for hugely compelling documentary cinema. Visually dynamic, brimming with a machismo that’s somehow never off putting or patronising, and affirming the values of loyalty, friendship, and the quiet contributions of stunt people in Hollywood, The Bandit was among the very best screening experiences of SXSW 2016." - Cinapse
"Crashing cars, Southern babes, country roads, and Burt Reynolds in his iconic prime. Filmmaker Jesse Moss is on a lark after his depressing documentary masterpiece, The Overnighters. And a shout-out to editor Aaron Wickenden for figuring out how to piece together Smoky movie scenes, vintage interviews with the late Needham, and all varieties of video memorabilia stored in Reynolds’s Florida home." - The Arts Fuse
"With The Bandit, director Jesse Moss follows up his brilliant and weighty documentary The Overnighters with something a little lighter, but no less brilliant. We learn that Burt, who thought actors were "candy asses," really wanted to be Hal, and that Hal, who craved stardom and respect, wanted to be Burt, but neither man was as good as they were together." - Birth. Movies. Death.
"Even those who remain immune to the yee-haw appeal of the earlier film — which, it should be noted, still commands a loyal following of repeat viewers on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line — may be drawn to this gently probing documentary. The Bandit is so craftily constructed that, whatever your feelings about Reynolds’ trademark turn as the wisecracking showoff who keeps his pedal to the metal in his Trans-Am, you likely will find yourself appreciating the actor’s self-deprecating humor, and might even be tempted to take another (or a first) look at Smokey and the Bandit." - VARIETY
"It packs a meaty double whammy for anyone interested in mainstream Hollywood in the 1970s and 1980s." - Screen Daily
Best of Enemies
Best of Enemies reveals the moment TV’s political ambition shifted from narrative to spectacle, forever altering the way the media — and Americans — talked about politics. Dead last in the ratings, ABC hired Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley to debate each other during the 1968 Democratic and Republican national conventions. Buckley, who founded National Review magazine in 1955, was a leading light of the new conservative movement. Gore Vidal, lifelong Democrat and cousin to Jackie Onassis, was a leftist, taboo-smashing novelist and polemicist. Both believed each others political ideologies were dangerous for America. Like rounds in a heavyweight boxing bout, they pummeled each other with exchanges that devolved into personal attacks. These live and unscripted quarrels riveted viewers, and the television industry took notice.
Directed by Oscar winner Morgan Neville (20 Feet From Stardom) and Grammy-winning author and filmmaker Robert Gordon (Respect Yourself), the film would go on to be nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, shortlisted for the 2016 Documentary Academy Award, and earn a Cinema EyeHonors nomination for BEST EDITING.
"For American viewers of an intellectual/historical persuasion, there could scarcely be any documentary more enticing, scintillating and downright fascinating than Best of Enemies. A sort of brainy equivalent of the Ali-Frazier boxing matches of the same general era." - Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
"Best of Enemies provides the best of what documentary can do, not only bringing to light a story that may have slipped away from general discourse, but providing critical illumination in a way that's extremely vital to the here and now. It's a fascinating tale that's exhilarating and engaging, an entirely fitting and vital showcase for the film's iconoclastic subjects." - Twitch Film
"...the documentary artfully entwines insightful commentaries by interviewees (including intimates and critics of both subjects) and vintage footage of the actual “debates” to cogently indicate the dire ripple effects of the Buckley-Vidal faceoffs. Even as they give their audience several good laughs, they also provide generous servings of food for thought." - Variety
"If you like witty repartee among intellectuals, it’s hard to see how you could have more fun than watching this movie." - WIRED
"...a juicy and thrilling documentary about two intellectual titans who truly loathed one another." - The Guardian
"This might have been both the most entertaining and the saddest film of this year’s Sundance: a riveting gabfest that slowly becomes a lament for the Republic." - Vulture
"The genius of Best of Enemies is that it is not political at all, in the sense that it isn't arguing for a political position. In fact, it's remarkably even-handed in how it treats its subjects' politics." - Christianity Today
"Through a mixture of archival footage and select readings of both men’s writing on the event, as interpreted by John Lithgow as Vidal and Kelsey Grammer as Buckley, Best of Enemies is effective as both a chronicle of a fraught era in American history and an origin story of the modern state of American televised news journalism." - Consequence of Sound
"It’s an enormously entertaining documentary that speaks volumes about contemporary journalism and the tumultuous political climate that gave birth to this unforgettable intellectual cage match." - Crave
"On its face, Best of Enemies would not seem to be the film to generate a riveting, edge-of-your seat experience. However, the connection between the two men and mutual desire to destroy the other man was so strong between Buckley and Gore that you can’t help but get caught up in the escalating back and forth. I don’t think I was alone in the audience of critics I viewed the film with in feeling I would have been fine with another 30 minutes of movie – I was enjoying it so much." - Film Threat
"Best of Enemies is a madcap intellectual romp. What could have been a dull retread of U.S. political history is instead a lively and fascinating tale of two bitter enemies who had more in common than they cared to admit." - KCRW
"At the end of the movie, Buckley is heard in voiceover bemoaning what became of political coverage: “There is an implicit conflict of interest between that which is highly viewable and that which is highly illuminating.” One of the chief pleasures of “Best of Enemies” is that it manages to be both." - The Wrap
Best Of Enemies - Official Trailer
The Trials of Muhammad Ali
EDITOR / ADDITIONAL CINEMATOGRAPHER
"Aaron Wickenden is the best editor I’ve ever worked with in documentary. But on this Ali project, he’s become more than an editor. He’s a full-on collaborator, contributing research finds, camera skills on interviews, ideas for musical score and composers and made huge contributions to the story development of the film. To say that his impact is instrumental is an understatement. And with all that said, my favorite part of working with Aaron is the pure joy of working with such a careful, insightful, creative, warm soul. His passion for lifelong learning makes him a wonder to be around." - Bill Siegel, Director "The Trials of Muhammad Ali" / Co-Director "The Weather Underground"
The Trials of Muhammad Ali covers the explosive crossroads of Ali’s life. When Cassius Clay becomes Muhammad Ali, his conversion to Islam and refusal to serve in the Vietnam War leave him banned from boxing and facing a five-year prison sentence. Ali’s choice of belief and conscience over fame and fortune resonates far beyond the boxing ring, striking issues of race, faith and identity that continue to confront us all today.
- EMMY AWARD for Outstanding Historical Programming - Long Form
- EMMY NOMINATION for BEST DOCUMENTARY
- EMMY NOMINATION for Aaron Wickenden for BEST EDITING.
"Magnificently concise... makes you feel [Ali's] radicalism all over again." — Wesley Morris, Grantland
"May very well be the best sports documentary so far this decade. Carries within each frame a sense of vitality and power that is rarely seen in a documentary of this ilk... Sports fans take notice, your favorite film of the year may have just arrived." — Joshua Brunsting, Criterioncast
"Masterful... so engrossing it can't help but pull you in... one of the best documentary experiences of the entire year." — David Voigt, Examiner.com
"The best Muhammad Ali doc I've ever seen and - dare I say - I've seen 'em all." — Dave Zirin, The Nation.
Finding Vivian Maier is the Oscar / Emmy nominated & critically acclaimed documentary about a mysterious nanny, who secretly took over 100,000 photographs that were hidden in storage lockers and, discovered decades later, is now among the 20th century’s greatest photographers. Maier’s strange and riveting life and art are revealed through never before seen photographs, films, and interviews with dozens who thought they knew her.
AWARDS and DISTINCTIONS:
- World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival 2013
- US Premiere at DocNYC 2013 and the additional honor of being 1 of the 3 festival's "Centerpiece" screenings.
Between 2011 and 2013 Wickenden helped create a variety of media for musician Andrew Bird and his label "Mom + Pop Music". A series of 3 x 30 second promos, a music video for the hit single "EyeOnEye", and a 35 minute behind-the-scenes featurette called "Here's What Happened" helped push Bird's 2012 release "Break it Yourself" into the top 10 on the Billboard's Top 200 chart. The edit of "Here's What Happened" was packaged as a DVD as part of a DELUXE EDITION of "Break it Yourself", aired on the Palladia network, and was given away for free on iTunes as a gift to fans.
Bird followed up the success of "Break it Yourself" in 2012 with his companion EP: "Hands of Glory". Wickenden documented the recording process behind the record and in doing so had the tremendous pleasure of being the only non-musician in the room as the tracks "Something Biblical", and "If I Needed You" were recorded. This documentary footage was used for a short promo by Pitchfork TV. Wickenden also directed, produced, filmed and edited a stylized music video for the album's single "Three White Horses".
"EyeOnEye" - Official Music Video from 2012's "Break it Yourself"
DIRECTOR / PRODUCER / CINEMATOGRAPHER
"Three White Horses" - Official Music Video for 2012's "Hands of Glory"
DIRECTOR / PRODUCER / CINEMATOGRAPHER / EDITOR
"Break It Yourself - PROMO #1" (30sec)
"Break It Yourself - PROMO #2" (30sec)
"Break It Yourself - PROMO #3" (30sec)
"Here's What Happened" - Performance Film
"Hands of Glory" - Pitchfork TV Featurette
CO-EDITOR / POST PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR
“ For ordinary moviegoers in search of an enthralling experience... this film is heroically life-affirming” - TIME
The Interrupters tells the moving and surprising stories of three Violence Interrupters who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they once employed. Shot over the course of a year, the film captures a period in Chicago when it became a national symbol for the violence in US cities. The film’s main subjects, ”The Interrupters”, work for an innovative organization, CeaseFire; they have credibility on the streets because of their own personal histories and intervene in conflicts before they erupt into violence.
We had an unusual amount of freedom in structuring the film since there was no simple narrative story to follow. Editors Steve James (who also directed the film) and Aaron Wickenden choose to interweave the stories of our main subjects with all the unfolding dramas of the people they were working with. The result is a film that is structurally quite complex, but that allows the audience to experience the same journey of surprise, revelation, humor, and tragedy that we experienced in capturing the story. At times we want to plunge the audience in and be on the edge of their seats, and at other times be at some remove and more analytical about what was happening. Because the goal ultimately was not to just immerse the audience in these neighborhoods and these lives, but to have them think deeply about the violence and what brings people to that place, and what can be done about it. But we didn't want to do it with experts, charts and flashy animation. As journalists and storytellers we gravitated to the raw power that can come through from simply being present and on location. And we wanted the subjects of our film to act as the real “experts” on the violence and its causes and solutions.
As the film evolved in editing, we wanted to connect the viewer with our subjects in a deeper way so that they understand Cobe, Ameena, and Eddie’s personal stories of redemption and see how they and the people they work with, ultimately, don't want to be violent. Editorially, this is underscored and symbolized by the overarching structure of using the four seasons to mark the passage of time. The film begins in the heat of the most violent season, the summer, and ends in the spring, a time of rebirth and hope. The hopefulness at the end we feel is genuinely earned, as well as tempered by the reality that individually and socially there's still much work to be done. Ultimately, through editing, we distilled a journey we made over the course of fourteen months of shooting down to two hours.
WHO SAW IT:
44 festivals in 15 countries. World Premiere at Sundance 2011
16k viewers at community screenings in 44 out of 50 states (including over 100 in Chicago)
41k viewers in the cinema
2.9 million television viewers across 9 territories including PBS Frontline, SVT, BBC4, DRTV, NRK, and Canal Plus France.
20k DVD sales
14 Awards and Prizes including:
- Emmy® Award nomination for Aaron Wickenden for Best Editing - Emmy® Award: Outstanding Informational Programming: Long Format - Alfred Dupont Award: SILVER BATON - Cinema Eye Honors: OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN NONFICTION - Independent Spirit Awards: BEST DOCUMENTARY
“A cunning hybrid of documentary and concert film.” – Film Society of Lincoln Center / New York Film Festival
Filmed during culminating months of the acclaimed singer-songwriter’s most rigorous year of touring, Andrew Bird crosses the December finish line in his hometown of Chicago – feverish and on crutches from an onstage injury. Is he suffering hazards from chasing the ghost of inspiration? Or merely transforming into a different kind of animal “perfectly adapted to the music hall?” FEVER YEAR is the first to capture Bird’s precarious multi-instrumental looping technique and features live performances at Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater with collaborators Martin Dosh, Jeremy Ylvisaker, Michael Lewis and Annie Clark of St. Vincent.
Best Director Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival - Illinois
Jury Prize, Best Documentary Film Omaha Film Festival
Best Pop Culture Documentary Documentary Edge Festival - New Zealand
Audience Award Noise Pop Film Festival – San Francisco
Best Sound Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival - Illinois
Best Sound Southern Appalachian International Film Festival
Best Documentary Feature SENE Film, Music, & Arts Festival – Rhode Island
Audience Choice Award: Best Feature Film Gwinnett Center International Film Festival – Georgia
Golden Ace Award Las Vegas Film Festival
Andrew Bird: Fever Year - "Official Trailer"
EDITOR / ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Set in Chicago's labyrinth of alleys, Scrappers is a verite portrait of Oscar and Otis, two metal scavengers searching for a living with brains, brawn and battered up trucks. The film shows how the 2008 financial collapse and crackdowns on undocumented immigrants affect these men and their families.
“Scrappers is...the definitive record of a vast underground culture. Who drives those spray-painted trucks with high walls full of battered appliances, and what happens to the things they collect?... Scrappers travels with two hardworking men and their families through three years of life at the margins of fickle industry. The patient and curious camera reveals a Chicago of informal economies, not just the ins and outs of collecting scrap metal, but bargains with neighbors through car windows and child-care arrangements made when everybody works and no one has money. Like their subjects, the filmmakers are quick on their toes and have their eyes wide open to the luck of circumstance; their captured goods range from the tenderly human to the violently mechanized. We notice every cat that wanders through the frame and peek into every pot cooking on a stove. The familiar aspect of Chicago’s alleyways is rendered uncanny with gliding, truck’s-eye-view camera work. Long wordless sequences of cars being compressed and copper being turned from cables to dust are buoyed by Chicago percussionist Frank Rosaly’s optimistic workday funk score (performed on found metal objects). With the exception of a handful of well-placed inter-titles, Scrappers lets the subjects and images do all the telling of both the personal stories about making ends meet and the big political story about a crashing economy and the crashing price of metals. They are the same and different stories at once; the connections are deep and plain. Documentaries rarely balance deep involvement with such a light touch. The result is essential.” — Cine-File
CO-EDITOR / CO-PRODUCER / POST PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR
At the Death House Door follows the remarkable career journey of Carroll Pickett, who served 15 years as the death house chaplain to the infamous "Walls" prison unit in Huntsville, Texas. During that time he presided over 95 executions, including the very first lethal injection done anywhere in the world. After each execution, Pickett recorded an audiotape account of that fateful day. The film also tells the story of Carlos De Luna, a convict whose execution affected Pickett more than any other. Pickett firmly believed the man was innocent and two Chicago Tribune reporters turn up evidence that strongly suggests he was right.
At the Death House Door: Opening
At SkyWalker Sound for the mix of "At the Death House Door" with Gary Rizzo
At the Death House Door premiered to a sold-out house at the historic Paramount Theatre at SXSW. The enthusiastic crowd of over 600 gave two standing ovations to the filmmakers and the film's star, Reverend Pickett, from the main floor and the balcony.
The War Tapes is the first documentary film of the 2003 invasion of Iraq to be produced by the soldiers themselves. The film (released commercially in 2006) follows three New Hampshire Army National Guard soldiers before, during, and after their deployment to Iraq about a year after the invasion.
In all, 17 soldiers were given cameras and recorded 800 hours of tape in Iraq. Stateside interviews with the soldiers and their families made up an additional 200 hours of tape.
The film won the prize for Best International Documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival in May 2006 and also Best International Documentary at BRITDOC in July 2006. The documentary was shortlisted for the 2006 Documentary Academy Award.