This year marks the 10 year anniversary of me creating work under the InByTheEye name. It started as a website name and grew from there into a full-fledged production house. I wasn’t quite sure how to mark the occasion, but I’ve done some pretty big things this year, including my first ever official premiere. :) I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful people on so many great projects over the years, it’s been fun going through old footage, old films, and photographs. So, for the final 10 weeks of 2013, I thought I might highlight some of those projects each week on my blog. Hope you enjoy the journey as much as I have. Here’s to the next 10!
“InByTheEye” as a phrase comes from a Vladamir Nabokov quote: “If a book could be read in the same way as a painting is taken in by the eye, that is, without the bother of working from left to right, and without the absurdity of beginnings and ends, this would be the ideal way of appreciating a novel, for thus the author saw it at the moment of conception.”
Even more than fantasy, I have a fascination with adventure movies, old silent films, and monster tales. And that came through pretty early on. I made films about revenge seeking sirens, Pandora’s box of mayhem, the Headless Horseman, and a prototype to Mr. Hyde.
A: The Siren’s Edda was the first film I made under the InByTheEye name. It’s an interesting little story about a woman pegged as an adulteress through three different time periods and the people who try to destroy her. It featured Glenn Peters (HELL, TITANIA), Nicole Phelps (HELL), and Stephanie Martini Papoulis. I broke the traditional narrative structure in this film and have never gone back.
Pandora’s Box – was fun. It featured me, and Diana DeLaCruz (Silent Nick and Nora, HELL) and played in a gallery back in 2006 – in TN, I think the show was called “Cabinet of Curiosities”. This film was inspired by the George Luis Borges short story, “The Book of Sand”. The box is evil, the box seller is desperate, and the buyer is trapped. In one shot, Diana had to crawl across the floor to the box. Between takes, she laughed and said “I wonder if we’ll be doing this when we’re 40?” Um…the answer is “yes” – as Diana was just featured in my film HELL, and well – is on the floor a few times in that movie.
The House of Voluntary Bondage – is based on “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”. In this story Jekyll has created a prototype to Hyde to test and see how far he can go – and the prototype comes forth as a woman, his feminine side I suppose. But it’s not long before she runs amok and starts killing people (there was no gore in this film, it’s all psychological). That’s me above sewn into a real corset, for 11 hours, and 5 extra pounds of hair on my head (took us four hours each morning to do the hair), and Scott as the Doctor. For 15 years I lived in a house in NY that was built in the 1800’s – so it was the perfect setting for a lot of my films, including this one – as well as “A”, “Silent Nick and Nora”, and “Pandora’s Box”. We once had a notice on our door that a well-known TV series wanted to film an episode in the house – the same week I was to film “House of Voluntary Bondage” – I tore it down before the landlords could respond. No one was going to take my set! LOL! (The title of the film comes from a line in the book and refers to him being his own prisoner) On another note – my thesis in film school was “The Methods of Portrayal of Insanity in Early Silent Film” – John Barrymore’s “Dr. Jekyll” was one of the films I used for the paper and those themes also heavily influenced this film.
The Horseman – keeps with my monster theme. I like to pull said monsters apart and see what makes them tick. Did you ever read Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein”? It’s 200 pages of the monster telling you how horrible his life is. This story, my take on the Headless Horseman, was not so dire, but we did dig back into his past and see what made him so hated. The real Sleepy Hollow is just north of New York City, and you can even visit the grave of the real Headless Horseman, a fantastic day trip. Side note – a few years ago a terrible storm swept through New York (pre-Sandy) and destroyed this beautiful old bridge where we shot. The city has since begun to rebuild it.
Those are a few of my earliest creations as a filmmaker. I look back now and see structure and ideas that I’m still tackling. I also look back and see some faces that I’m still working with – and that makes me feel great.
Lastly, this is the eye. The eye sees everything. Just kidding, but it is a really great logo and was designed by my very dear friend, Lisa Gill. I love it! If anything, it keeps an eye on me, and makes sure I don’t lose a grip on my dreams or my integrity. For those who have been in these productions with me, please share your stories and memories as well.