Thank You, Puffin Foundation!

Acceptance letter

Last week, I went to my mailbox expecting nothing, but hoping for something  — a note from an old friend, a  card with a bird’s feather in it, anything. It’s rare I receive actual mail these days, and if you’re my Facebook friend you probably have seen my celebratory posts when I do receive real mail that isn’t junk mail.

To my surprise, there was an envelope  addressed by hand in my little metal mailbox. I reached in, pulled it out and before I closed and locked the door, I saw it was from the Puffin Foundation. I had applied for a grant in December 2016, and kind of forgot the notification date was July.

Looking at the envelope, I was certain it was a rejection letter. After all, 99% of the time that’s what they are. And I’ve applied several times for a Puffin grant and been rejected each time. On my way to the elevator I thought about just tearing it in half,  decided to open it, so I used my key to slice the top open. I was surprised to find more than one sheet of paper in the envelope. Usually a rejection is kept to one sheet,  economical, short, and not so sweet. Removing the papers I also saw what could only be the back of a check! Yippee!!!! I received a grant from the super awesome Puffin Foundation.

The Puffin Foundation is based in a small New Jersey town adjoining the one I grew up in, so it kind of feels like a gift from the homeland.  And it couldn’t have come at a better time for A Life’s Work ! It is a tremendous financial lift, but also a welcome psychological and emotional lift as I head into the nerve-wracking final phases of post-production.

As of the date of this post, we’re still looking for about $7,000 so that we can get the film into a finished and beautiful enough state for the Sundance Film Festival application deadline (early September). If you’d like to help us reach that goal, consider contributing $5 or $10 to A Life’s Work. It’s super easy to do via the New York Foundation for the Arts web site, and it’s super secure, too. 

Thanks 2013

Thank you. You're super!
Thank you. You’re super!

Thanks to everyone who had anything to do with A Life’s Work and my other cinematic and/or literary endeavors in 2013. If you’re not thanked here, it’s very possible you were thanked in 2012, or 2011, or 2010, or 2009.

Barbara Bosworth, William Swearson,  Peter Olsen, Edwin Stepp, Monica Salgado Mancuso, Mary Lopez, Kyu Nakama, Sai Nakama, Summer Ash, Ira Murfin, Blue Nikitopoulos, Mary-Lea Cox Awanohara, Ana Singh, David Yam, Karma Low, the Columbia School of Social Work, Royal Shiree, Lisa Marie Harris, Ken McGrath, Deb Friend, Yvonne Delet, Gerard Mignone, Susan Rials, Charles Kerman, Ruth Salvatore, Tracey Yates, Molly Reid, Brian Quick, Fern Sei, Sandra Dal Poggetto, Jim McNutt, Lori Esposito, Luke Gullickson, Greta Schuler, Kate Schutt, Kim Frank Kirk, Debra Gwartney, Ruth Salvatore, Cindy, Michael and all the staff at Ucross, Michael Apted, Bill Stone, Gil Kofman, Tanner King Barklow, Angad Bhalla, Mark Kitchell, Ted Hope, Benjamin Piety, Ken Cook, Ilya Chaiken, Marc Clebanoff, Eric Schaeffer, James Cullingham, Steven Okazaki, r.k.vr.y., David Harth, Dr. Erin Brannigan, everyone at ReelDance Moving Image Collection and The University New South Wales, Australia.

My thanks go out to all of you. You are all SUPER!

“What’s This ‘We’ Stuff, Filmmaker?”

Dear Filmmaker,

I like your Facebook page and I’ve noticed that sometimes the posts and statuses use the first person singular and sometimes the first person plural. So, what’s this “we” stuff?


Dear DR,

It’s so nice of you to like A Life’s Work on Facebook, thanks.

It’s true, sometimes the first person plural is used. A couple of examples, “You know we’re all over this!” accompanied a link to the latest news about Voyager 1 officially leaving the solar system. “We like Tesla!” accompanied an infographic about Nikola Tesla.

You might also notice that some posts originate “near Roanoke, VA.”

Have I finally cloned myself and one of us relocated to the “Oke”? Or am I just going mad?

I’m afraid it’s nothing quite so spectacular. I am simply not the only person posting stuff on the A Life’s Work FB page. I have inveigled the awesome William Heffner and the awesome Christine Lofgren to help, and they do a wonderful job posting links, photos, and videos pertinent to the film, its subjects, and its themes. In addition to finding all this great stuff that I don’t seem to find, they bring new life and voices to the page, and by extension, to the project.

Though many people have worked on A Life’s Work, and many more will in the future, at times it is a very lonely endeavor. Among other things, William and Christine remind me that I’m not doing this alone, that there is a community interested in this work. And that’s invaluable. And I hope you don’t mind if Iuse this post to thank them.

Two flowers to thank you two.

Thank you. You two are awesome!

And thank you, DR, for the question and for liking. You are awesome, too.


The Filmmaker

If you’d like to join in the fun, send me an email [ d a v i d at b l o o d o r a n g e f i l m s {dot} com ] and we’ll make it happen. And like I’ve noted before, there are many ways to get involved with the film (including posing a question to the filmmaker), so why not consider becoming part of our little family. We ask next to nothing of you, unlike your real family.

Thanks, 2011

Anna Westhoff, Julia Elsas, Haroon Butt, Jamal Ahamad, Josephine Crawford, Stephanie Salmon, Chris Zdunek, Gotham Books, John Wildman, John Yearley, Karin Jaschke, Matthew Seig, Jessica Lipps, Lila Cecil, Graziano Carlon, Randy Haykin, D.W. Young, Jens Lekman, Karl Nussbaum, CM Burroughs, Benna Golubtchik, Danielle Futselaar, Annie Heringer, Roberta Guthrie, Kate Hill Cantrill, William W. Heffner, Robert K. Elder, Chicago Review Press, Amelia Estrich, Rita Flores, Kelly Hargraves, Daria Price, Jonah Price, Yuki Hirose, Harry Goldstein, Evan Losow, David Prince, Bill Kerrigan, Iris E. Wagner, Antoine, Rachel Mills, Anne-lyke van den Elshout, Honor Harger, Megan Willome, Los Straitjackets, Michael Connor, Rabbit Tales, Neal Sailer, David Tollas, Sue Hanna, Matteo Di Michele, Erin Jeffries, and Eleni Nikitopoulos.

And continued thanks to these folks and these folks.

There Are No Small Parts!

The other day someone contributed, without being solicited, to A Life’s Work! So first and foremost, thank you, L.C. for your very generous donation. A small gift to show my appreciation will be arriving in your mailbox soon! And remember, when you head over to your accountant this April, that contribution was tax deductible!

“There are no small parts, only small actors.” So said Constantin Sergeyevich Stanislavski. Similarly, there are no small contributions when it comes to helping out A Life’s Work, only small … small … I don’t know what, but small something other than contributions. Because no contribution is too small and every cent given via the New York Foundation for the Arts, the film’s sponsor, goes to the making of the film.

And every cent is valued, not because it’s money, but because the giver and I enter into a contract of sorts: the giver says, “Mr. Filmmaker, I believe in you and your project and I want to be part of it, take this donation and put it toward your film.” And my part of the bargain is using that gift wisely and finishing the film. Which I will do. It’s a straight-up deal, freaky secret handshakes optional.

So please consider supporting the film with a small contribution. You’ll become part of something big, you’ll be a patron of the arts, you’ll get all sorts of thank-you stuff in the mail from me, and you’ll have my eternal gratitude.

And here’s a fun fact: if you give $10, you will essentially have funded ten frames of the finished film. $29 and you’ve funded one second. That’s kind of cool to think about, isn’t it?

Thank You

Baylor University, Dean Pattie Orr, Tony Tadey, Darryl Stuhr, Tim Logan, Amanda Harlan, Eric Spenser, Denyse Rodgers, The World Science Festival, Nicole London, Jessica Bari, everyone at the MacDowell Colony, Stacey D’Erasmo, Alex Halberstadt, Christian Barter, Matthew Connors, Janine Nabers, Selena Anderson, Luis Tentindo, Cindy Daignault, Jerome Kitzke, Nancy Manter, Kim Uchiyama, Jennifer Vanderbes, Patrick Somerville, Jennifer Chen, Brendan Hay, Christopher Schon, Nathan Koren, Niall David, Haroon Butt, Andy Bowley, Clifford Garstang,  Vive Griffith, everyone at Blue Mountain Center, Ben Strader, Harriet Barlow, Ellen O’Grady, Karen O’Reilly, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Rey Leon, Aditi Vaidya, Teresa Basilio, Kayhan Irani, Larry Bogad, Elaine Spatz-Rabinowitz, Neil Curry, Karen Ramos, Cathy Goodman, Kellyann Burns, Cheryl Kaplan, Nica Horvitz, Ken Lang, Christina Desser, everyone at the Indian Lake Theater, Laura Bittman Ward, Jon Bittmann, Linda Carlson, Starlee Kine.

And some people I should have thanked years ago: Doug Brown, The Kurz Family, Don and Sharon Wynne, Serafino Gatto, Adriana Gatto, Steve Nagurca.

And continued thanks to these fine folks.

Thank You


So many people to thank. Some of these folks worked on the film and some gave words of encouragement. Many helped in ways they may never be aware of and a few I’ve never met. This list is in no particular order and it’s just a start.

Thank you, Chef Rhonda, for the delicious Thanksgiving spread.
Thank you, Chef Rhonda, for the delicious Thanksgiving spread.

Paolo Soleri, Jill Tarter, Robert Darden, David Milarch, Jared Milarch, Kerry Milarch, Jake Milarch, Mary Landon Darden, Jim Robbins, Dana King, Larissa Bonfante, the students in Professor Bonfante’s class at NYU, Wolfgang Held, Thomas Harting, Andy Bowley, Robert Featherstone, Stefan Grace, Mira Chang, Mike Primmer, Pola Rapaport, Cabot Philbrick, Ian Olds, Sheri Bylander, Marina Feleo Gonzalez, Mary Six Rupert, Don Palmer, Duana Butler, Frank Drake, Seth Shostak, Chris Neller, Karen Randall, Rick Forster, Cynthia Phillips, Rocco Mancinelli, Susie Jorgensen,  U.S. Park Ranger Steve Zachary, the students in SETI’s 2008 Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates Program in Astrobiology, U.S. Park Ranger Richard Gibson, David McMaster, David Hanawalt, the Bartlett tree climber dudes, Peter Andreucci, William Libby, everyone at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Sheila Gulley Pleasants, Suny Monk, Rhonda Scovill, everyone at Jentel Arts, Lynn Reeves, everyone at Fundacion Valparaiso, Las Chicas, everyone at Centrum Arts and Creative Education, Sally Rodgers, The Teachers Network, Mary-Louise Geering, Roland Tec, Nachama Tec, Robert Palumbo, Lorca Shepperd, Mary McDonnell, Dorothy Robinson, Rob Tarbell, Anna von Gehr, Alex Chertok, Alice Grossman, Jocelyn Brown, Joanna Ney, Serge J-F Levy, Jane Waggoner Deschner, Marcie Paper, Heidi Durrow, Meryl Meisler, Joel Beard, Peter LaMastro, Kristine Oulman, Lincoln LaMastro, Rachel West Carpenter, Bert Shapiro, Alondra Nelson, Anna Beskin and her students at Pace University, Kevin Nutt, WFMU, Capt’n Hard Times Restaurant and its employees and patrons, Hyde Park Records and its employees and patrons, Reverend Reuben Burton, Reverend Doctor Stanley Keeble, University Quarters Bed and Breakfast, Paula and Peter Schuler, the MacDowell Colony, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and my family.

More to come.