Category Archives: Connecticut

Powerful, heartfelt video tribute to Newtown

As a Connecticut resident, I think of 12/14 every day. I grieve for those lost, and send loving thoughts to those trying to rebuild their lives after the unimaginable occurred. Those who grieve do not grieve alone, for all of Connecticut and many across the nation and world stand with you.

There have been many tributes and songs written to honor Sandy Hook students and teachers. This song and video by O.Nitty has resonated for me in an unusual way — I first saw it yesterday and have thought of it several times since.

Is it the beautiful cinematography, the moving lyrics, a Dad’s empathy for the parents? I don’t know, but it’s powerful. Beautiful and poignant…

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My* film premieres today! Rising Star: A cinematic poem to Hartford

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* Okay, it’s not really my film. But it feels like my film. Read on to learn why…

I’ve always loved movies. Growing up as a teen in Portland, OR, I’d escape the heat on unseasonably warm days at The Guild Theater. I saw an incredible number of wonderful old films there, including Billy Wilder’s The Lost Weekend.

Flash forward to late summer 2010…

I learned about a kickstarter project funding a charming Indie film about work/life balance that would not only film in Hartford, it would feature Hartford locations prominently:

Rising Star

I’d never used kickstarter before. I’d never helped fund a film before. I didn’t even know if I could write off my donation on my taxes (until then, a prerequisite).

I visited Rising Star’s kickstarter page several times and went on my way without donating. But something about the film kept drawing me back. How often do you see Hartford featured in film or TV as an attractive, interesting place? It seemed whenever Hartford is on-screen, there’s a focus on crime and blight. Such a sad depiction for a stately city with a rich sense of history.

I just couldn’t stop thinking about Rising Star. How wonderful it would be to see Hartford featured on-screen in a positive way!

When I lived in Portland OR & Seattle, I loved seeing the city I lived in (and loved) featured prominently in films, seemingly an unbilled cast-member. It was fun seeing the places I loved shared with the world on the big screen. Those films felt like a lovely poem to my city.

I knew I had to donate to Rising Star. So, I donated $52 (big spender, I know!). That $52 made me eligible for several things: An autographed special edition DVD, Soundtrack – CD or digital, Personalized thank you letter.

I didn’t it realize at the time but that $52 donation opened up a wonderful new experience learning about filmmaking. Director Marty Lang (twitter: @marty_lang) and Producer/Lead Actor Gary Ploski (twitter: @garyploski) shared Rising Star’s (twitter: @risingstarmovie) progress and the film’s every success with folks on twitter, facebook, and via email. I didn’t just feel like I’d donated to a film. I felt a part of the film.

I watched Film Courage’s interview with Director Marty Lang and learned how the good will of the community enabled the filmmakers to include so many lovely Hartford locations. I have a feeling the community was as excited as I to see Hartford portrayed in a charming, positive light.

I saw how diligently Gary Ploski shared information about the film’s progress and began to realize how much hard work is involved in making and promoting an Indie film. I saw Marty’s and Gary’s generosity and patience in answering questions about the film, and realized my $52 donation was actually an opportunity to support something wonderful, something magical.

Flash forward to May 2012…

Tonight, Sunday May 6, Rising Star will have its world premiere at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival. Please join me in congratulating Director Marty Lang (twitter: @marty_lang), Producer/Lead Actor Gary Ploski (twitter: @garyploski) and the rest of the cast and crew on Rising Star’s (twitter: @risingstarmovie) open!

Rising Star Official Trailer