Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 22, 2011.

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a collaborative film project about a dreamy place, memories of childhood, and a union of fantasy and hard truth.

OVERVIEW OF PROJECT 

This House is a film that blends documentary and fiction to explore the inimitable in-home installation work of Jackie Seiden, a Chicago-based artist and educator. It is a collaboration between 23-year-old Daniel Hymanson and his childhood teacher 75-year-old Jackie Seiden.

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BACKSTORY

Jackie Seiden and her husband Don Seiden live in a large pink and yellow house in Rogers Park, on the north side of Chicago. Each room in the house is a distinct installation--a world of painstakingly found and placed objects. Ever since Jackie moved into the house 30 years ago, these installations have been constantly evolving. They are deeply personal and generally explore subjects relating to Jackie’s own childhood. 

When I was four years old, my mom enrolled me in Jackie’s children’s art class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (thats me on the left and jackie in the middle in the picture below). Every week Jackie would guide us as we completely transformed the classroom and traveled to impossible places. Once, we used huge sheets of crunched up brown paper to change the classroom into a prehistoric cave and made cave paintings. Another week, with chairs, a slide projector, echoing chugging sound effects, and a sheet, the classroom became a train and Jackie took us on a tour of India. Ever since that class, Jackie has been a friend and huge inspiration to me. 

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THIS HOUSE

This House will present for the viewer the otherworldly experience of exploring the rooms in Jackie’s house. Like our always-changing classroom 18 years ago, every room in Jackie’s house transports those who enter it into an impossible and magical place. The project will be a fusion of fiction and documentary film--a reflection of the hazy distinction between fantasy and reality within these spaces.

We begin in the attic, filled with pastel color and sun-soaked suitcases. We enter into the experience of a three-year-old girl in the 1930s, as she uncovers everything not supposed to be known and attempts to avoid an unbearable fear of abandonment. We descend to the basement, dark and filled with white Christmas lights. We enter into a fantasy world where the ever-three-year-old Ga Ga Goo Goo and her symbiotic soulmate Pig embark on a planet-wide journey to find their mother and father, who were swallowed up by a crevice while awestruck by the Northern Lights. In the journey from the attic to the basement, we also explore everything in between.

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WHY?

DANIEL: For nearly my whole life, I’ve been able to explore Jackie Seiden’s home. With this movie, I hope to give more people this opportunity. Her work affects all visitors, uniting everyone under the universal experience of childhood. In addition, the house serves as a testament to the irreplaceable outcome of total artistic commitment. Most importantly, this film is a tribute to an incredible teacher who means so much to countless students.

JACKIE: Unscrupulously, i have called out oohh!! (love) and ugchh (criticism) in movie theaters more and more as the decades have gone by. I love A GREAT movie--, and of all my fantasies that I’ve concretized, partaking in the making of a movie is the one unachieved. It’s a blessing to have had Danny (everyone else calls him Daniel) Hymanson in my life for almost two decades now, and that he is a marvelous filmmaker and wants to make this film ....Well, how lucky can i get?!

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FUNDING

We’ve been planning to work together on this movie for the last few years, and I couldn’t be more eager to start shooting. We’d like to start production this fall, but before we begin I need your help. All of your contributions will go towards the costs of a camera, lensesa rig for handheld shooting, and sound equipment.

For a more detailed description of equipment goals or anything else, please feel free to contact me at danielhymanson@gmail.com

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WHO

Co-director: DANIEL HYMANSON is a 23-year-old recent graduate of the Wesleyan University film program. I am a Chicago native, a fried egg enthusiast, and my favorite filmmaker is Jacque Demy. My last two short films, Slothman and The Weekend, have also dealt with blurring the boundaries between fantasy and reality.

Co-director: JACKIE SEIDEN is a 75-year-old chicago-based educator and artist. Starting when she was three years old she made practically daily walks with her eight-year-old sister barbara (when sisterʼs third grade let out for the day) to the little bryn mawr movie theater on bryn mawr avenue in edgewater chicago. How fortunate for me that sister barbara was movie crazed. I became entranced and in love with musicals (following a horrific serial and ww2 terrifying newsreels). I guess I believed in life you were SUPPOSED to dance down the streets because I worked for years to overcome my self consciousness to be able to do that, loving jazz and dancing as I do, it was a heavenly freedom for me. One of the best times, walkman headphones on with my fantasy- producing favorite jazz rhythms, I danced from my house, to the red-line train, through the cultural center, out to the lake, to the field museum of natural history, tapped the caryatids and ionic columns for good luck, and continued on to the redline home to morse avenue, rogers park. If I had the talent to readily remember and carry a tune I would have been singing as well as dancing the whole way.

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FAQ

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    my deepest gratitude + a very special thanks in the film’s credits

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Funding period

- (35 days)