About this project
Neal Cassady: The Denver Years
A documentary based on the autobiographical accounts of Neal Cassady, his troubled youth in Denver and the crucial role that he played in the germination of American beat culture.
Neal Cassady was a charismatic, larger then life character. His charm, manic energy, sexual swagger, and free flowing verbosity made him the authentic ‘hero’ of the beat generation. He was introduced to the world as Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac’s classic, On The Road. For the controversial literary figures, Allen Ginsberg, Ken Kesey, Tom Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson he was more then a friend he was their muse and inspiration.
By being just himself, Neal Cassady created a foundation for the beat generation and set the wheels in motion for the counter culture revolutions that would open up the floodgates for decades of free thinkers to follow.
The First Third is a collection of Cassady’s autobiographical musings. Within these works, we glimpse into the creation of Neal Cassady, the man and the myth, and his tumultuous and humble beginnings as a vagrant’s child on the streets of Denver at a time when the city still echoed America’s Wild West. We journey back to see what shaped the most infamous 20th century muse, and examine the love affair between Denver, a culture in transition, and the some of the most influential writers of our time.
Project Status Currently in post production, Neal Cassady: The Denver Years has been in production since August 2006. The producer/director Heather Dalton has secured an agreement with the Cassady Estate, for photographic and archival rights as well as literary rights for Neal Cassady’s The First Third and Carolyn Cassady’s biography Off the Road. Interviews with prominent and historical figures include Carolyn Cassady, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, David Amram, John Allen Cassady, Jami Cassady Ratto, Cathy Cassady Sylvia, Jerry Cimino, Tom Noel, Ed White and Al Hinkle.
Completion Funds In order to complete the Cassady documentary, the Producer is seeking underwriting to cover the costs of final edit, literary/image rights, closed captioning, dvd replication and program distribution. Completion funds of 15,000 is required to complete Neal Cassady: The Denver Year
Production Team Heather Dalton Producer/Director/Editor has built a solid reputation as a creative producer of original, Emmy nominated programs for public television focusing on independent film, culture, politics and social issues. She produced and directed the series Out of Order and Dropframe.
Heather has been assisted and guided by Co-Producer Joshua V. Hassel, known for his public television documentaries - enduring and historic profiles of artists, art and architecture - Allen True’s West, REX RAY: How to Make a Rex Ray, and Sandzén: Ecstasy of Color.
Hina Chowdhry is born and raised in Colorado.1999 after she left a job working for PTV in Pakistan. She moved to New York City and had a varitety of jobs from fashion to waiting tables. She now resides in Denver and is the Executive Assistant to Barry Fey. Hina says she got involved in this project because she loves her friend Heather and wanted to see her life long project come to fruition.
Associate Producer Mark Bliesener is a beat historian,lecturer and organizer of Denver's annual Neal Cassady Birthday Bash. His career in the music industry includes managing the careers of Alan Parsons,Big Head Todd, Lyle Lovett,Danielle Ate the Sandwich and others.
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