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JUNE 8, 2010

I am fortunate to have some cool friends.  One is a documentary film maker, Eddie Rosenstein.  
Winner of dozens of awards for his films, Eddie is known for digging deep into his subjects lives: he moved into a senior citizen center in Florida while making A TICKLE IN THE HEART. He spent months at a drug rehab in Harlem for THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MR ALLEN. He even became a union miner in order to produce the HISTORY Channel docu-series, SANDHOGS. Eddie loves to make films about kids, and has made several including SCHOOL PLAY and MISS SHADE IS MISSING. As for theater, his interest in the subject came from his close friend and writing partner, Jonathan Larson, who wrote RENT. (Fun fact: the character Mark Cohen in RENT is based on Eddie.)

He is a talented guy and has a curiosity and wonder about him that gets to the heart of a story or situation and he's constantly thinking of ideas and stories to pursue.  One such story is the real life drama of an elementary school taking on a school play.
The kids must go from classmates to performers.  Eddie, and his partner Rick Velleu turned the camera on these kids at a magical time in their lives, 5th grade, and made to my mind a perfect movie.  As my son approaches this age next year, I can't watch it without breaking down in tears.  This time is golden and fleeting.  
Here is a clip.
Eddie had an idea for the poster a while ago but was having some trouble getting it the way he wanted it.  He asked me to do a sketch to see if this idea would work.  A child at the edge of the stage and have the stage be the edge of a cliff.
I did and Eddie loved it.  I then set about to do the poster for him.  As only a friend can do, he honestly said he liked my sketch  better and I kind of agreed.  
I worked it all out eventually after a few attempts and we made a fun poster that shows this moment of tension without abandoning the humor of it.   I designed the logo by taking the type and knocking over the P in PLAY. 
This is the quick thumbnail that I did that Eddie latched onto. Only show what you want to do, right?

Here it is as a color sketch as I imagined it with type I designed and type I 'borrowed' below from some blockbuster.

Here is a digital comp I made to use just before going to paint. I would have used this as my reference. Eddie rightfully felt the magic was missing from the sketch.

I thought I would try to slide in a drawing as a ghostly presence but it was not working like the sketch.

This is an early version with some animation I did that might have been used on the web.

Here is the ALMOST final version. One thing changed in the final was I made the whole thing more crisp and crossed the toe over the other ever-so-slightly. This thing had to look good at 36" high. That's a 1.5 gig file. Can you say slow computer?

Now the pitch, and this is a heartfelt one.  This is an amazing film (It's won several film festivals including the Big Apple international film festival) and I ask that you go to the link here and purchase the movie.  You won't regret it.  
Here's what you get:
    •    1 full-length Director’s Cut (72 min., NTSC, full Dolby stereo sound)
    •    License for home viewing
    •    1 11x17, full-color School Play poster (limited time only)
A $30 Value, now only  $19.95!


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