DoG: Casting Christina

Christina seemed impossible to cast – a mystical, mkultra-ed ingenue. Then I met Carmen Althaus.

Remember me sitting in the bar with the quirky blonde? That was Carmen Althaus, one Fata Morgana’s principals, an actor who could also sing and dance, or in musical theater parlance, a triple threat. Carmen was in her 30s, but she presented as a woman 10 years younger, with a sort of delightfully feisty incoherence. She was all sharp nordic angles and gangly grace wrapped tightly around a slow swirl of joie de vive and smouldering creative angst. A multi-lingual swiss german, Carmen had a delicious euro accent and a ready if slightly maniacal laugh.

I fell into a sort of trance, watching and listening to her. What was it about this woman? She was sparkly, funny, odd… sure. Something else, something important. Suddenly, in the middle of that dim trendy bar, the fierce and almost blinding blue of wide open sky.

Carmen WAS Christina. Carmen could just be mostly herself and pull off Christina no problem. Was she interested in the part? Yes. Casting conundrum solved.

Thanks for reading.

Dan Kelly

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DoG: Post Apocalyptic Romantic Comedy

I’m back from Palm Springs Short fest, I’ve realized that I want to make my own movies, I’ve written my first script Daughter of God and decided the lead character Christina would be near impossible to cast.

Daughter of God unfolds in a mostly post apocalyptic world. The refugee Christina is in her early 20s. She survived multiple civilization crashing catastrophes by mapping the childhood fantasies she improvised with her eccentric uncle onto her adult experience. She deflects trauma by interpreting events as extensions of the wild adventures they imagined together when she was a kid. The influence of this odd internal world results in eerily auspicious choices in a bleak and sometimes horrific reality.

Dan Kelly *signiture

Welcome to Daughter of Godcast. This is the podcast documentary of an eleven year journey of the making of a film, Daughter of God. Soon to be released. . . Subscribe to our updates.

 

Holy shit, I want to make movies.

Now this seems like an odd epiphany at the age of 42. I’d been making movies my entire life. My brothers shot stop action and dramatic shorts with me and the neighbor kids when I was in grade school. In high school, my best friend Chris and I shot a short science fiction epic for an Astronomy extra credit on Super 8, that was before the Mormons got him.

My buddies Bob and Mark and I recorded endless hours of Andy Warhol style video dinners in our young 20s. I shot scads of 16mm with my hot film student girl friend Barbara Jo in my late 20s. In my 30s I edited and did a little freelance production for Richard Brauer, when I wasn’t selling Macintosh computers or coding games.

I remember sitting with Rich in his truck in the early 1990s, driving to a job. Rich came out of the closet with his plan for cranking out B horror features, and I was kinda judgemental. “OMG Rich, is that REALLY your dream?” Like I knew what someone else’s dream should be. And he’s since had a lot of fun making them.

He’s Northern Michigan’s Ed Wood, and I say that with respect. Ed Wood was amazing. Ernest Borgnine was Rich’s Bela Lugosi! The parallels are uncanny, tho I’ve never seen Rich in cashmere.

 

Dan Kelly *signiture

Palm Springs circa 2005

September, 2005

I arrived in Palm Springs on a big old jet plane. Back in those days I still flew in jets, before I realized what a nasty fuck you to planet Earth flying in jets is. The spooky consequences of kerosene combustion in the lower stratosphere. Forget about the carbon footprint. Forget even about corn syrup junkies overflowing their cramped seats and pesky skyscrapers always getting in the way.

The Palm Springs Short Film Fest 2017

I didn’t make hotel reservations, just started calling around for vacancies when I hit the terminal. The Palm Court Inn was all pastel California cute and reasonably priced. My first festival and attending as a filmmaker. Editor actually. Also continuity repair and soundtrack.

What De Niro‘s character pulled off in Pulp Fiction. After months of triage, I had unexpectedly made Michael Aaron’s student project, Blind Date, watchable.  This narrative short had been subsequently accepted into the Short Fest’s film market.

Brian Kuchta as Lucas. Blind Date, Stigmata Films © Michael Aaron 2005

Meanderings. . .

Art shared from The Ohio State University Library.

There’s that stale joke about the dad in the modern art museum who says, “Hey, my 5 year old could paint that. That was me. Hey, I could make that movie.”

More to the point, I can make a better movie than that one, or that one. . .

Thank you for reading.

Dan Kelly

Welcome to Daughter of Godcast. This is the podcast documentary of an eleven year journey covering the making of a film, Daughter of God. Soon to be released. . .  Subscribe to our updates. They’re hungry in your tummy. 

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