Sat Feb 26, 2022 – 5:00 pm | Domenico’s #2
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THIS FILM IS AVAILABLE FOR STREAMING AFTER FEB 25TH
Becoming Geppetto explores the life and craftsmanship of master luthiers Bruce, and son Matt, Petros, accompanied by performances with solo guitarists. The film consists of three elements; 1) the biographies of Bruce and Matt, 2) scenes of guitar construction accompanied with design and structural commentary and, 3) musical performances by the musicians.
The film follows Bruce’s career, beginning with his struggling to find a life’s goal and, almost by chance, stumbling upon guitar building. It portrays his efforts to learn a craft at a time when there was little information on the subject, along with the struggles and precariousness of making a living as an independent luthier with a young family to support. Eventually his son Matt joins him and together they work diligently to refine their craft, leading to the creation of instruments of exquisite beauty and tonal resonance.
The evolution of Bruce and, eventually, Matt’s career is interspersed and mirrored by scenes of guitar building from the cutting of raw lumber, the designing of innovative tools, the shaping of the neck, the delicate and refined carving of the bridge, culminating with the application of the first set of strings. During this process musical performances provide both a background as well as an interactive play between performance and construction scenes.
Although the film contains biography, guitar building, and musical performance, it is the interplay among these elements that makes for a film that is ultimately about the celebration of the creative process and of the people devoted to it.
Having studied all aspects of filmmaking as a film student, I feel fortunate to have been able to direct, photograph and edit the majority of films I have made. This has provided me the opportunity to see my films as a personal expression of an artistic vision. My work as a clinical social worker has also provided me with an ability to engage people in a way that allows for a natural, genuine and authentic representation of who they are. To me this is the essence of the documentary genre.
I hold an MFA in filmmaking from the Yale University School of Art where I was awarded the Louis B. Mayer Fellowship in filmmaking. Upon graduation I made a series of award winning films on social and cultural issues for Yale’s Media Design Studio and the Yale Child Study Center. The latter led me to pursue a career in the mental health field as a clinical social worker with a private practice in New York City, and as a professor of clinical practice and Director of the Online MSW Program at the Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham University. During this time I continued my film work exploring mental health and social issues. My film on adolescent suicide, “Sometimes I Wonder If It’s Worth It” went into international distribution and was aired on a PBS affiliate, and my film on soup kitchens in New York City was an official selection of four international film festivals, and was awarded Best Short Documentary Film at the Willamsburg International Film Festival (Willifest).
I am married with two children (now young adults), and live in upstate New York. I am retired from the University, and my retirement plans are to continue making independent films on subjects of artistic, social and cultural interest.