RETURN TO DAK TO written and directed by Christopher Upham earned a citation prize at the Black Maria Film Festival. It receives a local showcase at the Roxie Cinema this April 15th at 7PM with the filmmaker present.
The film is of the cinema of reconciliation among former enemies and within troubled consciences.
Mr. Upham joins fellow veterans to return to the scene of the battle of Dak To in the American War in Vietnam, a name the Vietnamese use to distinguish one of several wars against foreign armies including the Japanese, the French,The United States, and the People’s Republic of China.
It is a fitting time for this reflection as we now approach the fortieth anniversary this April 30th of the end of our war.
Upham enlists the talents of film editor Tracy Loth to construct a memoir from still photos and 8mm and 16mm film archival clips of at times hallucinatory effect. The memories trigger from the contemporary contact of former warriors among the Vietnamese people, some too young to have a memory of any of these wars. The montage has the sudden sharp interruptions of war impinging on consciousness as the veterans would have known.
Ms. Loth’s keen sense of sound gave ample inspiration for sound artist James LeBrecht to make his mix.
Color and cinematography enhancement by self on DaVinci Resolve.
CODE , a new documentary from director Robin Hauser Reynolds premieres at the TRIBECA 2015 Film Festival this April.
The post production team includes film editor Christie Herring and sound design and mix by Berkeley Sound Artist James LeBrecht.
Zoetrope Aubry Productions (ZAP) provided online conforming by Ashley Pagan and a DaVinci Resolve color finish by yours truly.
Robin’s film explores the issues of women and girls entering, learning, and working in the field of software engineering and coding. It is a field with incredible opportunity severely under-represented by women’s participation and it will be no surprise there are the usual idiotic obstacles of sexism still.
The Bay Area premiere is not yet announced.
I met Jack Walsh in the early nineteen eighties, he a graduate student in the San Francisco State University Department of Cinema and I the alumnus simpatico color timer in the basement of the laboratory of W.A.Palmer Films. He hired me this month to polish up the chromes of his thoughtful, respectful, and illuminating nonfiction cinema celebration of the avant garde dancer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer. February 7 his film opens in Berlin at the film festival. My collaborators include Dan Olmsted of Berkeley Sound Artists for the mix and Zoetrope Aubry Productions for online mastering and Digital Cinema Package (DCP).
“Feelings Are Facts”
San Francisco Bay Area Cinema is losing a studio today, PDI/Dreamworks of Redwood City, California.
My friends are losing their jobs.
This was a great shop I knew when they were Pacific Data Images and SGI computers were their engines.
Having survived a few shutterings of studios in my time, I say talent will always rise again.
Reboot and walk on, comrades.
WHITE RABBIT – Special Screening in Emeryville – 01/21/15, 7:30pm
I’m excited to announce a screening of my feature film, WHITE RABBIT, at the AMC Bay Street theater on January 21 at 7:30pm.
I hope you can make it: I’m really proud of this project – and what it shows about the ingenuity and depth of the Bay Area filmmaking community.
The San Jose Mercury called it a “must-see” film.
The screening will benefit Swords to Plowshares, a local Veterans’ Service Organization which does much-needed work in support of our military’s veterans, particularly with their programs for women vets. That is important here, because the main character in WHITE RABBIT is Kerryann Terkel, a woman returning from three tours in Iraq. To re-build her civilian life, Kerryann must struggle against the pull of her military training and experiences in this smartly-written, award-winning crime thriller.
There are only a few days left to purchase tickets for this event; if we don’t get enough pre-purchases this week, we lose our hold on the theater – and Swords to Plowshares loses all of its potential donation.
Please help me spread the word to all your indie-film-loving friends.
Here’s where you can get tickets and/or make a contribution to Swords to Plowshares (this week only!):
Hope to see you there.
Coates Promotes the January 5th-12th Theatrical Release of STATES OF GRACE
When friends visit me from the Midwest I take them for a vegetarian meal at Green’s Restaurant at Fort Mason in San Francisco for a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge in a calm setting and if they are up for it a post-prandial walk from the Marina’s fort to the other fort at the base of the bridge.
The San Francisco Zen Center’s Green Gulch Farm grows the produce the creative cooks prepare.
Fu Schroeder, an ordained Buddhist priest is the director of the farm and lives in Green Gulch in Marin County with her partner Dr. Grace Dammann and the daughter they adopted as a baby born in a severe health crisis and who is now in college.
Dr. Dammann was an early responder to the health crisis of the AIDS epidemic when it first hit San Francisco and served as a doctor to those living and dying from the disease when no one knew what it was. The Dalai Lama recognized and honored her compassionate medical practice.
Her Buddhist practice came to matter a great deal when she came into her own health crisis emergency.
Dr. Dammann was crushed in her car in a head on collision on the Golden Gate Bridge. She survived the accident but this film is about the years of coma, multiple major surgeries, extensive physical therapy and rehabilitation before she was able to return to medical practice.
Filmmakers Helen Cohen and Mark Lipman and their editor Kenji Yamamoto tell the story of grace: the woman so named, the web of friends especially Fu and the medical teams and aids who incarnate the practice of grace in their dedication to Dr. Dammann’s well being.
Grace will attend some of the theatrical screenings. She will also attend the January 11 ribbon cutting for a new barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge to prevent what happened to her happening ever again to another.
I had the pleasure of working on not one but two Bay Area documentaries about acts of diplomacy as mitzvah where Bay Area Americans brought material aid in baseball equipment to embargoed Cuba.
These films are Eugene Corr’s “From Ghost Town to Havana” and Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider’s “Havana Curve Ball”. Both of them I color-finished in Final Cut Pro, by the way.
The latter named film just happened to be screened in Havana at the U.S. Interest Section headquarters the same day President Obama announced the normalization of relations between the two countries after a half century of Cold War hostilities.
We call that “Documentary Gold” in my circle of friends.
Here is an article about the event written by Leah Garchik of the San Francisco Chronicle who in my personal history was a fellow member of the Haight Ashbury Group 80 chapter of Amnesty International where we wrote letters on occasion calling for the release of Cuban political prisoners. Part of the new engagement includes the release of some political prisoners. It makes a good first inning in a whole new game of Beisbol.
Our Man in Havana: Ken Schneider