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Updates On Adaptation Of Art World Thriller 'Maker Of Saints' (Erykah Badu, Roger Guenveur Smith)

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by Tambay A. Obenson
January 25, 2013 4:38 PM
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Maker Of Saints

2013 is going to be the year of Making Maker! A short piece is being prepared for shooting in February… stayed tuned!

iona rozeal brown's artwork for the film is fantastic! The 8 drawings for Bird's sketchbook are completed and will be shared after the owners have been sent their pieces. For those patiently waiting on the print edition, we have chosen a brilliant piece from the series for your prints. It is in the process of being scanned for printing at this time.

As we have mentioned, the paintings will be completed as soon as we have cast the last actors. We have very promising prospects that are "technically available." We'll let YOU know when WE do!!

Thank you for your patience and support! DCI/MOS Production gang

Just an update (posted yesterday) on a project we first (and last) wrote about last summer; it looks like it's starting to really come together, after they raised over $60,000 in August to go towards pre-production work. As the update above (the first one in a little while) states, a short version of the script will be shot next month (likely to help raise the rest of the funds needed), so we'll get our first look at what the eventual feature film will look like sometime soon after that... we hope.

Recapping the story...

Erykah Badu and Roger Guenveur Smith were attached to star in an adaptation of author Thulani Davis' novel, Maker Of Saints, from a script adapted by Thulani Davis and Joy Lusco Kecken, and to be directed by Gary Grieg.

Painter iona rozeal brown (aka iona diamond) is also involved in the project; the film will feature her original paintings and drawings - done exclusively for the film.

There was also to be a pre-film interactive element to the project, as multi-media content was to be shared, leading up to the film's production start.

The synopsis for the DCI Productions project (described as a timely political/art world thriller) reads:

The film opens August 26, 2008 in Washington DC. While the Democratic Convention is broadcast live from Denver, a brilliant young artist plunges to her death. Abusive relationships, media manipulation, and art world politics are experienced through the eyes and ears of a woman at her breaking point. There appears to be a rush to declare the death a suicide, a political statement, but her best friend knows better. Or does she? Bird Kincaid can’t sleep, plagued by nightmares -- vivid images of Alex Decauter falling seven stories -- as grief transforms into obsession. She is jealous of her friend’s meteoric rise to fame and horrified by her intense relationship with a powerful and threatening art world insider, Frank Burton. The film opens the doors to the inner workings of a world rarely seen, a thriving culture backstage, behind the backdrop of DC power and politics.

The novel that the film is based on is said to be inspired by the 1985 death of NYC artist Ana Mendieta (a Cuban American artist), for which her husband, sculptor Carl Andre, was widely deemed responsible, although he was never convicted.

The film's listed budget at the time of our post last summer was $3.8 million, and according to the production company's website, $800,000 had been secured. 

As noted, the project successfully raised over $62,000 via Kickstarter last summer, although that money wasn't going towards the film's budget; it was to be used for what they called a trans-media blast that would precede the release of the film; essentially, a $62,000 pre-release marketing/production campaign.

In addition to Erykah Badu and Roger Guenveur Smith, Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) was rumored to also be joining the cast; although that's not confirmed yet. As they note in the update above, they have some "very promising prospects," so we'll just have to wait and see who they are.

Below, you'll find a video clip of author Thulani Davis and artist iona diamond, talking about the pre-release trans-media campaign.

I bought the novel soon after last summer's post, but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I will... eventually. If any of you did the same (bought the book) and you read it, feel free to chime in with reactions to it.

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