- Initiated: June 2011
- Genre: Documentary
- Synopsis: We live in an incredible time. This decade alone will see the upheaval and reconstitution of what we believe about the universe, and for some, challenge the concept of the supernatural as well.
At the same time science is bringing us into a more comprehensive understanding the of the cosmos, school age children often lack that spark of the imagination which sets in motion a life-long passion for learning about the world around them.
A single night with a telescope often opens one’s mind for a lifetime. When a spec of light instead shows rings, moons, or a glowing tail, the world becomes a much bigger place. What’s more, Astronomy naturally leads to questions about the origins of life and interest in Chemistry, Biology, and Physics as we question our place in the universe and how it all began.
This film moves to capture the passion which all astronomers share, those conducting research or those simply gazing at the stars. The Explorers is a journey into the joy of learning motivated by looking into the night sky and asking, “Why?”
- Status: In the summer of 2011, I conducted interviews at Arizona State University’s SESE with Jim Bell and at NASA Ames, Mountain View, California with the planetary robotics research team. The same summer, I ventured to the Adirondacks of upstate New York to attend an astronomy camp with David Levy and then with astrophysicist Gaurav Khanna and his colleagues at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.
In the summer of 2012, I joined a few dozen individuals who braved the 100 Kph winds and sub-zero (C) temperatures atop Mauna Kea, Big Island, Hawaii, to observe the transit of Venus across the face of the Sun.
In April and May of 2013, I worked with Telescopes to Tanzania, EU Universe Awareness partner schools at the base of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, and with the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) outreach program, astronomers, and classes in both Cape Town and Sutherland, South Africa.
Finally, this summer, it will be time to edit.
- Initiated: Spring 2012
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Synopsis: In the not too distant future, the United States fails to regain its position as the global economic and military power. Citizens turn away from central authority and instead seek strong, local leaders for direction. The Federal government loses authority, resulting in states seceding from the union and the ultimate creation of nation-states.
In the American Southwest, a genius bio-tech researcher defeats cancer and overnight gains not only wealth and fame, but power he claims is given to him by the hand of God. He offers his employees and their families jobs, safety, comfort, and a lavish lifestyle not enjoyed since the Roman empire. He rules not just a company, but a growing empire. How far will he go to maintain control?
Monitor Gray is an intelligent Sci-Fi expertly crafted to not only entertain, but to address key issues of our time: the power of corporations to control those beyond their immediate reach, the ability for individuals to ignore economic disparities as long as their own lives are awash in full comfort, and the ramification of blending political and religious leadership.
- Status: In post-production with VFX team as of April 9, 2013. Estimated completion with the close of 2013. Visit www.monitorgray.com to learn more.
“I am Palestine”
- Initiated: November 2012
- Genre: Documentary
- Synopsis: In my work with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan & the Holy Land (ELCJHL), I was given opportunity to spend time with the people of Palestine, both in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. As with so many Americans, I went there with only the limited view of the place and its people through the lens of the media. But I came to recognize that even in our hyper-connection, instant communication world, we remain naive, even ignorant for the true nature of its people.
These four short films help bridge the cultural barrier between Palestine and the West, countries whose assumptions about this part of the world are based primarily on the limited view of the mass media.
- Status: Completed 3 short films (presented in Playlist, above); the 4th remains in production:
Why We Dance
- Initiated: June 2012
- Genre: Documentary
- Synopsis: “In my travels to Namibia, Ghana, and Kenya, I observed children finding joy in the most challenging of circumstances. With but a single set of clothes, often a day or more without food, children find reason to laugh, play, and on the dirt floor of their home or school—they dance.“It is not my intent to ignore the tragedy of slums, refugee camps, and poverty, but there is another, too often overlooked story which runs in parallel to the breaking news.
In Africa, the Middle East, in Central and South America, even right here in our own North American backyard there are children and young adults bolstering their self image and finding motivation to reach higher than the life they have been given.”As an aspiring film maker who has wanted to learn to dance his entire life (but would rather jump off a cliff), I desire to embrace this ancient drive which is as integral to the human spirit as religion and war—I want to learn why we dance–kai
- Status: While the bulk of the material will be shot overseas, the chance meeting of Max Nguyen in Boise, Idaho spawned the initial footage for this film project three months earlier than anticipated. This project is on hold until further notice.