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  • Writer's pictureRussell Webb

A Dream Becomes a Movie

Russell Webb set designer, A Gift For all Ages
Russell Webb, set designer, executive producer and actor of A Gift For All Ages Film

As a Junior High Schooler (do they still have those?), I spent many an afternoon watching old movies of the 1930's, 40's and 50's, as well as a few silents thrown in for flavor. These influences engendered a talent for mimicry, which led to imitation of accents, dialects, mannerisms -you know, the things that result getting you in trouble when practiced in class.

In addition to those old movies, I read a lot, tons of science fiction. These two influences ingrained in me the importance of storytelling. Relating history, emotions, relationships, accomplishments and failures through words and visuals; I was hooked. Those junior high school years certainly gave me the practice for my later insights in theater.

As an actor, director, set designer and builder, my primary goal has been to tell the writer’s story. That is why I was attracted to telling this story, a well recognized, but not very well known tale.

When I read the one act play by Kathleen Holen, the depth of the characters, and timelessness of the story captured me. I asked her permission to present it as a film. She agreed, and A Gift For All Ages film was born.

Any good theatrical Technical Director can tell you that you needn't know how to do everything. You just need to know where to find the people who do. And so I asked Alicia Wszelaki and Matt Nothelfer of Path 88 Productions, noted documentary filmmakers, to help me figure out how to accomplish my goal. In our time together, they have mentored me in script writing, camera techniques and, most importantly, 'seeing' through the eyes of a camera lens. I spent 50 years seeing through 'stage' eyes and they showed me to 'see' through camera’s eyes.

Think of it like looking at a beautiful landscape - and then close one eye.

Still there, still beautiful.

Now close that eye and open the other.

Still there, still beautiful. But different.

Open both eyes and let the differences merge.

Together we have navigated this filmmaking journey and I am forever grateful. Between the three of us we are proud to have created a classic story full of magic and believing; a story worth telling, watching and sharing.

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תגובה אחת

Nellie Fitzpatrick
Nellie Fitzpatrick
17 באוק׳ 2021

I am tearfully proud of my friend Russell and what he has accomplished with this film. As I await the final showing, it tickles me to see the encouraging responses and the new posts about the players. What a gem this movie will be.

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