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Conference at the Creme

Last night, I sat down with the cast of Relish: A Love Story. Lauren Calhoun, Jody Hulsey, Adam Pryor and Todd Reynolds. We were reading over the screenplay, learning, correcting the screenplay. It was a fabulous experience, sitting working with these highly motivated people who brought ideas to the table. I wish I had brought my still camera, or one of my hand held video cameras.

To everyone in our cast, thank you for everything last night. We have a great screenplay, we’ll have a great film and fun making it.


Relish & other spices.

A couple of years ago, we took my niece to the Owensboro Museum of Science and History.  We took her on the tour of the coal mine.  I noticed the gentleman who conducted the tour, thinking of how great it will be to do some work with him.

Now, I have my chance.

Myself, Adam Pryor, Jody Hulsey and Lauren Brown Calhoun will be joined in our Relish film by Todd Reynolds.

Todd Reynolds is a mainstay in Owensboro.  He has been involved with Theatre Workshop of Owensboro, Back Alley Musicals as well as several different theater companies in Owensboro.   He has been directing the Voices of Elmwood for the last year.  He has been working several years as programming director for the Owensboro Museum of Science and History, by the end of November, he will take over as Executive Director of Theatre Workshop of Owensboro.

Todd is a very good human being.  He brings such a glorious human side to whatever project he is involved with.  He will be a joy to work with.

I also would like to take a minute or two and thank Nikole and Michael Gross of The Creme for allowing me to film my little movie at the Creme.

Looking forward from Relish, I have two short films, plus one feature in various stages of completion and I have the idea for my next documentary.

I don’t know what it is about documentaries that keeps me coming back for more, but I do.  I like telling stories from the past of all of us.  I suppose of mostly American history, but I would keep an open mind about 

But the next documentary I want to do is about the Haymarket Riot and their aftermath, America’s first Red Scare.

Artist rendering of the Haymarket Riots.

The Haymarket Riot was the aftermath of a bombing that took place at a labor demonstration on Tuesday May 4, 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago. It began as a peaceful rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour day and in reaction to the killing of several workers by the police, the previous day. An unknown person threw a dynamite bomb atpolice as they acted to disperse the public meeting. The bomb blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians; scores of others were wounded.

In the internationally publicized legal proceedings that followed, eight anarchists were convicted of conspiracy. The evidence was that one of the defendants may have built the bomb, but none of those on trial had thrown it.  Seven were sentenced to death and one to a term of 15 years in prison. The death sentences of two of the defendants were commuted by Illinois governor Richard J. Oglesby to terms of life in prison, and another committed suicide in jail rather than face the gallows.  The other four were hanged on November 11, 1887. In 1893, Illinois’ new governor John Peter Altgeld pardoned the remaining defendants and criticized the trial.

The Haymarket affair is generally considered significant as the origin of international May Day observances for workers.  The site of the incident was designated a Chicago Landmark in 1992, and a public sculpture was dedicated there in 2004. In addition, the Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument at the defendants’ burial site in nearby Forest Park was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1997.

“No single event has influenced the history of labor in Illinois, the United States, and even the world, more than the Chicago Haymarket Affair. It began with a rally on May 4, 1886, but the consequences are still being felt today. Although the rally is included in American history textbooks, very few present the event accurately or point out its significance,” according to labor studies professor William J. Adelman.

The Haymarket Memorial.

As a working class Chicagoan southsider, I have always heard that the bomb was thrown by some agent of the police.  I really don’t know, but I can tell you that one of the police in charge was this slightly shady character, so…

At any rate, this documentary is somewhere in the future.  At best, right now, I have started my pre-research into a dark episode of my hometown’s past.

Relish: A Spicy Flavoring for Murder

relishIt is Time!

In Lord Dunsany’s “Two Bottles of Relish,” we know that a murder has occurred, but nobody can figure out how the body has been disposed of. The facts are these: The murderer is said to be a vegetarian. He bought two bottles of relish, six days apart. During the two weeks after the disappearance of his victim, he cut down ten larch trees and chopped them into two-foot lengths, but never burned them. He did not leave his home after the murder; the ground under and around his cottage has not been disturbed. Perhaps you have guessed the solution reached by the amateur detective in the story. But what about the trees? Why did he cut them down? The last line of the story gives the answer:

“Solely,” said Linley, “in order to get an appetite.”

South Cicero Media is preparing to film a short film version of Two Bottles of Relish simply entitled “Relish.”

I read this tale by Lord Dunsany sometime back in high school. It has stayed, more or less, in my memory ever since then. I’m pleased that this story became the basis for a short film of mine.

On Sept. 30th, Oct. 1st, 7th & 8th, we will be doing the principle photography for Relish at the Creme Coffee, 2nd St., Owensboro, KY. I’m looking for four (4) people for the cast and 2 assistants to help me. I’m afraid this cast/crew will be volunteer. Perhaps next time, I will have a budget that will allow me to pay for cast/crew, but not this outing. However, I will make certain people have appropriate credit for their efforts. If you are interested, please message me through my Facebook profile or through

Return of the Son of …


The original
Dr. Mel Praxis

What would you guys think about me reviving Dr. Praxis? Originally, Movie Madness with Dr. Praxis was an animated series. I’m thinking, in addition to working on films, etc., of reviving the animated series, maybe on a limited basis. Once a month, twice a month. This would still be the rough, limited animation, but it might be fun.

What do you guys think?

This time, though, I think it will be a web based only program. That way, I can use independent movies from friends, etc., without having to worry about nudity, as well as a few Public Domain films, cult movies, etc.

I don’t know exactly where it would be shown. I would entertain thoughts about some of the different Internet TV sites people have set up, but I might just set up something of my own to show this and maybe other things.

Anyway, what do you guys think? Comment me on Facebook or Twitter, but let me know what you think.


Backwards Into The Future

Well, with the premieres of the Owensboro film finally behind me, my thoughts can turn toward future projects.

What’s in the future for myself and South Cicero Media? Projects with which to keep stretching myself. First of all, one on which I’m already working, a documentary called The Great Crusade.

normandy2June 6th, 1944, the Western Allied Armies invaded the Normandy coastline of France, establishing a second battle front in Europe against the Nazi armies. Next June marks the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings and I feel I should do something to commemorate the individuals who helped launch the Great Crusade.

Several years ago, I made a documentary about WWII over all. I used actual newsreel footage, from a variety of sources, photographs, and the radio broadcasts from those days. * This time, I am concentrating on a well-known campaign, the Normandy Invasion. There will be extensive narration with some dramatic readings and possibly interviews from historians and maybe a few veterans.

Beyond the Great Crusade, I believe it might be time to turn my attention to fictional films.

One I hope to do is tentatively titled Shadows Dancing. It will be based on a small item I read in a book about the Leopold and Loeb murders, about a relationship of mismatched souls which ends tragically. This film will be using the forms of a documentary but, although based on a real incident, will have a central story that is fiction. ^

Beyond those two will be a comedy called Schnickeroodle Wannabe Post-toasted Modesto. This film will be round, or perhaps square with an overhead that’s too high and a brow that’s too low.

*- sources included German propaganda films

^-I dislike that term “mockumentary.” I am neither mocking the idea of documentaries nor am I mocking my audience.

Evansville Showtime!

evansville annoucementOn August 30th & 31st, Owensboro: Portrait From Middle America will be shown at the Evansville Civic Theater Annex in the North Park Shopping Center, 1000 North Park Drive, Evansville IN 47710.

Tickets to this august event are $5.00 per person.

Join with filmmaker Keenan Powell as he talks to civic leaders and a few residents about Owensboro today and what they hope the future holds for Owensboro.