Jazz is Good for the Heart & Soul

NYC has been bustling the past week with the Tribeca Film Festival, and we had the opportunity to attend a viewing of the beautifully produced documentary, Keep on Keepin’ On. We had to hold back the tears as we witnessed the touching relationship of 23-year-old blind piano prodigy Justin Kauflin and his mentor, jazz legend Clark Terry, aged 89.

The love and passion both Justin, and especially Clark, have for music and the pride they have in sharing that with others leapt off the screen. This has inspired us to share with you a performance by one of our blind subjects – jazz singer Frank Senior!

This was recorded on December 8, 2013 at Saint Peter’s Church in NYC, and it happened to be the first time we actually met Frank. As you will see, and hear, Frank also has a great passion for music – and a lot of love to share. It appears that jazz is good for the heart and soul!

We hope that Keep On Keepin’ On has great success on the festival circuit and that it will come to a screen near you soon! It is not to be missed. You can also learn more about one of the most recorded and beloved jazz trumpeters in the newly released autobiography “Clark: The Autobiography of Clark Terry”.

Challenges of Documentary Filmmaking

Being that we’re a first-time feature documentary filmmaking team, we’re learning new and vital production lessons with each passing week, grant application, and editing session.

This next video touches-on one new production aspect for which no one can really prepare you – what do you do when you fear your subject might be in danger?

Check out our thoughts on this one here. (Photography by Dennis Cahlo)

Are you an aspiring filmmaker? Is there an element of the production process you would like to know more about? Let us know and we can produce one of our production diaries that speaks directly to you!

Want to help back the film? Check out our sponsor levels.

What’s Next in Production?

We’re so glad that this next video captures a bit of what it’s like to work together, as part of this great crew. We’re really lucky to have forged such a strong bond so quickly. It also highlights some of the next steps we’ll be taking with New York After Dark, now that our first week of production has been completed.

We hit record on this right before we wrapped on our last production day. Boy, we sure do make this next phase sound easy! And, though our next several months of logging film, editing, grant submissions, more editing, blind training, fine-tune editing, extreme fundraising, promoting, and DID WE MENTION EDITING (!?!) may be a bit tougher than this video would suggest, we’re totally up for the challenge!

Want to help back the film? Check out our sponsor levels.

Production Day 4: Video

Our first week of production came to an end at Frank Senior’s home – where he easily beat me at a game of chess. Frank is a jazz singer and it was a pleasure for the whole crew to spend our last day with him and his wife Millie.

This may be the end of this part of the production, but it is only just the beginning of our adventure into the world of documentary filmmaking. We couldn’t have made it this far without the support of so many people and we hope that you will continue with us on our road to creating something amazing and groundbreaking.

Photography by Dennis Cahlo

Production Day 3: Video

The Braille of Food

Production Day 3 brought us to Eataly NYC, where Daniel Aronoff – The Blind Food Critic – went food shopping. It was fascinating to witness how he uses the sense of touch to identify food, such as the age of cheese.

And perhaps my favorite part of the day was watching Daniel prepare a meal in his kitchen. Watch the video to see more behind the scenes from the day!