This documentary short film will honor the Clermont: a place all Atlantans know of, but few know. The hotel intrigues all walks of life. Part of the fascination is due to its basement tenant: Atlanta’s oldest strip club. This dive bar is famous locally and internationally among counter culture locals and touring rock bands, but the residents who rented rooms in the hotel upstairs occupied even further-outlying corners of Atlanta society. It is their stories we aim to tell.
HOTEL CLERMONT goes behind the scenes of this residential hotel and pays homage to those who once called it home. By making this movie, we’ll provide viewers a glimpse into another world to which they otherwise wouldn’t have access.
A crew of two -- Allen Sullivan and Elissa Benzie -- filmed daily life in the hotel the last six months it was open. A couple of years later, Heather Hutson and Allen Sullivan spent six months transcribing, logging and capturing the footage, as well as editing the film. We are now committed to finally finishing this story, which needs to be told. By bringing editor Rob Porta into the mix, we have made significant progress. And, during May and June of this year we shot additional footage (with the help of Atlanta's Jordan Pilgrim) to fill in some gaps in the story arc. We are on track to finish it this year so that it is ready for its 2016 debut.
This project has been a labor of love. To date, we all have donated our time; however, we are about to incur some necessary expenses.
We need you
We are raising funds on Kickstarter to finish HOTEL CLERMONT in the best possible way before releasing it into the world. Your donation will help us complete the sound mix, color correction, and festival deliverables.
Heather Hutson is an Atlanta native, who recently moved to Brooklyn. Ponce de Leon Avenue, where the Clermont Hotel resides, has always intrigued her. This fascination, coupled with her interest in exploring sense of place in this digital age, drew her to the story of the people of the Clermont.
Heather has worked on an independent film, commercials, and corporate videos. With an MBA from Georgia State University, Heather pursues documentary filmmaking at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, where she was mentored by filmmaker Danielle Beverly.
Director of Photography
Allen Sullivan's photojournalism career has taken him throughout the southeastern United States, Central America, and Haiti. He has photographed everything from disaster zones to chicken shows, and now spends most of his time underwater among non-human subjects.
A longtime resident of Atlanta, he was always interested in documenting the Clermont Hotel. Being laid off from Atlanta’s largest newspaper was a blessing in disguise: it gave him time to explore the hotel and its people.
Rob Porta's keen sense of timing and style has its roots in his musical background, which includes playing bass for The Raindoggs & Beyond. He has more than 10 years of video production and graphic design experience. In addition to editing HOTEL CLERMONT, Rob is editing a documentary on Ben Barenholtz.
Rob grew up in Brooklyn and Long Island and studied film at City University of New York, Brooklyn College.
Elissa Benzie's photojournalism career has taken her across the Southeast to tell stories of national and world-wide importance. She met Allen Sullivan while they were both photographers for a small newspaper in Athens, Ga. There they honed their skills as storytellers and always felt they worked better as a team. She went on to work for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for 10 years as a photojournalist, photo editor and video editor. There she photographed the inauguration of Barack Obama and the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. She has always had a love for multimedia and in the last two years has fully dedicated herself to video producing. Elissa is currently a video producers for the digital startup Rare.us and lives with her husband Mike and their two children Olivia and Jack in Reynoldstown.
HOTEL CLERMONT online
Risks and challenges
HOTEL CLERMONT has received support from the Southern Documentary Fund, a non-profit arts organization that cultivates documentaries made in or about the American South. In addition, shooting is complete and editing is almost finished. In turn, there is little to no risk to your donation.
Please help us put the finishing touches on this authentic Atlanta story!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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