Beyond Iconic: Photographer Dennis Stock by Hanna Sawka (Archive)
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Published on Aug 8, 2012
Hanna Sawka is raising funds for the distribution of her full length documentary film Beyond Iconic, about the Magnum photographer Dennis Stock; a portrait of a life fully realized and a look at what it takes to make great photography. In order to receive contributions, the project must be funded in full by 8/31/12. To help: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/4...
From Hanna: I recently completed a film on the remarkable personality and great photographer, Dennis Stock. He captured important people, cultural movements and images that have shaped and defined the United States. Dennis Stock was personal friends with people like James Dean and Louis Armstrong, now known as "icons." In fact, some have argued that his brilliant photos helped to create icons.
This movie is complete, however, it needs an extra boost to get distributed. The bonus is that you will get the film before anyone else does (and you'll not have to wait long for it!) and you will get the original, 75' director's cut that was shown at festivals in late 2011. This may be the only opportunity anyone will have to obtain that original, full cut that festival audiences have enjoyed, because the film is heading toward distribution in a broadcast-friendly 52-minute format.
"Beyond Iconic" is about Dennis Stock and his work, but it also looks at broader questions relating to life and art. Michael Trent of the Dances with Films Festival called it a "Portrait of a life fully realized." The film includes interviews, footage from Dennis Stock's home and a class he taught and hundreds of his perfect images.
The film appeared at film festivals and at an academic conference. It was one of ten audience-selected finalists at the Sao Paulo International Film Festival in October 2011. Considered to be one of the most important curators for documentary films, Thom Powers selected "Beyond Iconic" for DOC NYC at the IFC Center in NY in November 2011. The film was also invited to the Starz Denver Film Festival and the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival. The film and footage from it participated in the annual NW regional conference of the Society for Photographic Education in November 2011.
Project Status: After the initial festival release, the challenge for "Beyond Iconic" is to reach broader audiences through distribution avenues. The film has a sales agent (hurray!), who is currently marketing the 52-minute television-cut of the film to broadcast networks. The catch is that, to deliver the film to distributors, this production will incur more costs. Your support of this campaign will help this film reach many more people.
What you get: Supporting this campaign will allow you to see the film online or to get yourself a copy all your own, or other nice things like access to bonus footage that was not included in either cut of the film. The film's soundtrack is of special interest, because it was created by accomplished jazz composers and musicians Teri Roiger and John Menegon, who have received accolades throughout the jazz press. Teri's song "Still Life" that so meaningfully closes the film was awarded in one of the most important songwriting competitions in the world. The film's artwork is a beautiful poster that uses the artwork and hand-created fonts of acclaimed artist, designer and architect Jan Sawka (yes, they are related - this is the director's Dad!) Jan Sawka's work as a poster designer has, within his lifetime, entered the canon of art and design. His posters belong to the permanent collections of major museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art in NY and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. More information on the artist is here: http://www.jansawka.com.
"Hanna Sawka's Beyond Iconic is a portrait of the Magnum photographer Dennis Stock, an octogenarian rebel who seems far younger than the white affluent students he teaches at the Omega Institute in upstate New York. Hamaguchi smartly cuts from Stock's master class to direct interviews with the no-nonsense product of The Bronx ("The more you rationalize bad pictures the further you get from taking good pictures," he advises his students), juxtaposed with Stock narrating the stories behind many of his legendary stills, including the shot of a pre-iconic James Dean navigating Times Square in the rain. Stock comes off as a brilliant teacher -- both brutally honest and sensitive, and able to clearly articulate what works in a photo, what doesn't, and why. The man who calls Photoshop "dangerous" because it can change the original observation would have made a great art critic. When Stock died last year after the film was completed the world lost not just a genius photographer but also a phenomenal mind." - "Previewing DOC NYC" by Lauren Wissot for Filmmaker: The Magazine of Independent Film, November 2nd, 2011.
Dennis Stock joined Magnum Photos in 1951 and became a full Member in 1954.
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