STUART KAMINSKY - Man of Mystery (Documentary film)
Documentary film on the life and work of author (the late) Stuart M. Kaminsky as told by his family, his friends, and Stuart himself.
For the past several years, I have been shooting a video about Stuart M. Kaminsky, the beloved mystery novelist, and his life and work. This came about as a result of a short script Stuart and I collaborated on that features his signature character, Toby Peters. During several video tapings in 2008, I interviewed Stuart, as well as filming him giving the keynote speeches and lectures, and signing autographs, at the Pima Writers' Workshop in Tucson. These are some of the only videos ever shot specifically about Stuart Kaminsky, including him speaking to us about the origins of some his characters, influences, and style. He also, during his lectures, speaks very candidly about the processes of being a successful writer. These are lessons from The Master himself. Last year, I was able to record some interviews with his son Peter and Stuart's first wife, in his hometown of Chicago, and upon reaching our funding goal will be following-up with interviews with his widow Enid Perll, as well as the Chicago Homicide detective who acted as consultant on Stuart's murder mysteries. There may be one other very special interview in there as well. Finally, we will be producing the short film script that Stuart and I wrote, titled THE FALCON'S RETURN, the first time his Toby Peters character will be seen on film, as an homage to Stuart Kaminsky and the memorable books he created. This was the last thing Stuart ever worked on that featured Toby, and it was his fervent wish that it see completion and added to the documentary as a special treat.
HOW I PLAN TO DO IT.
In much the same way as I would do any other film. As far as the interviews, I will go to the subject's homes in Chicago and St. Louis with Standard Def and HiDef video equipment and do a proper job filming the interviews and B-roll footage, then return home and start the edit. The entire shooting trip will take about 13 days on the road. Once that footage is in the can, I will begin production on the short film. I have done a great deal of pre-production work already in terms of obtaining certain locations, props, equipment, and personnel. Principal photography will take approximately 6-8 days, most of them on location exteriors at night in Los Angeles with a crew of about 10-12 people, most of whom I've worked with for years. The interiors will be shot in practical locations with one or two possible small set pieces being built. This will be shot in a much more "production" manner, as any film noir would be. Once photography is wrapped, it'll take several weeks to edit due to Visual Effects to be added. Upon completion of editing, VFX and music, the master will be replicated on commercial DVD's complete with retail cases, and shipped. Getting the word out will be done via a number of websites, including Stuart Kaminky's site, the Pima College site (pending permission), Facebook, MySpace, and the numerous literary and film history organizations around the world.
WHAT THE MONEY IS FOR
This is a serious budget, reflecting a serious intent and years of experience. I will be purchasing upgrades to existing editing and shooting gear, and some new items, which may include a Canon 5D (unless the Red Scarlet becomes available), two new microphones (a shotgun mic and a radio lav), and an LED Lite Panel, and a jib arm and dolly system for the camera. All of these will be of the newer lightweight variety, which are less expensive than traditional equipment. I will also be upgrading my editing computers with newer machines (PC) and newer programs for post VFX, namely Adobe After Effects CS5. Lastly I will be purchasing a Blu-Ray burner to make HiDef prints of the film.
I will also be paying for transportation, lodging, food, and occasionally gratuities. As well, the members of the shoot will require some compensation, and while not Union rates, I like to pay my people enough that they (nor myself) have to worry about having enough for food, gas, and for those of us who are attached long-term, rent and utilities. As well, there are the expenses of running the office for this film and getting the Rewards out to those who Pledge, and postage simply ain't cheap! Just sending out a DVD and souvenir T-shirt so they arrive in a timely manner can cost $5 and up. If we need to ship, say, 1,000 DVD's and T-shirts, that could be up to $5,000 or more, right there! And that's not including the costs of the shirts or DVD's. So, know that, for your Pledge, I will be making you (and me) a film in a totally professional manner and style, that we'll both be proud to own and watch.
- (44 days)