Posts Tagged ‘chicago’

Max Linder in the Pravda Report

January 9, 2019

Max Linder is in the news! The Russian news source PRAVDA.RU released today this article about our new movie, I am Max, directed by the very talented Edward Porembny at AMP Polska.

Read the full article below or at http://www.pravdareport.com/society/showbiz/07-01-2019/142162-i_am_max-0/ 

You can help us complete the movie for a 2019 release. Please donate finishing funds (link: https://www.documentary.org/film/i-am-max ) through our fiscal sponsor, The International Documentary Association and receive a tax deduction. Thank you!

The full article:

Max Linder, the comic genius, mentor to Charlie Chaplin, has largely been forgotten – but now the movie industry is bringing him back to life in I am Max.

Pravdareport is proud to print an interview with Steven Fischer, Producer of the movie I am Max, about the life of one of cinema’s geniuses, mentor to Charlie Chaplin.

Give a synopsis of the subject of the movie? 

SF: I am Max tells the story of Max Linder, widely considered the first international movie star. He was a comic genius and a major contributor to cinema history. He was mentor to Charlie Chaplin and achieved incalculable wealth and celebrity, yet he died by suicide at age 42. How can a man like this be forgotten today?

Who got the idea to make the movie and why?
SF: The movie was originated by Edward Porembny, the director and lead producer, who is a gifted and award-winning filmmaker in Warsaw, Poland. In fact, earlier this year [2018] Edward won the Cannes Lions for his documentary, To The Last Tree Standing, which he co-directed with Aia Asé who is also working with us on I Am Max. Edward can tell you his reasons for wanting to tell the story of Max Linder, but for me, I was intrigued because of how timely and relevant Max Linder’s life is today. In his lifetime, Linder survived death four times only to die by suicide at age 42. And the first time he survived death, he was an infant, roast in an oven. It was the doctor’s attempt to cure him of cholera. He survived so much and achieved so much, fame and fortune, yet it wasn’t enough to bring happiness. He became so emotionally desperate he felt the only escape was suicide. His story touches also on that fine line between mental illness and genius which I find fascinating. Mental illness, depression, suicide, they’re each timely topics today, especially in the United States. His story touches on issues we see with Marilyn Monroe, John Belushi, Robin Williams…and it was all happening at the turn of the 20th Century. Also, the issue of celebrity and identity is relevant. Linder, who was born Gabriel Leuvielle, created this public persona called Max Linder. And then became Max Linder! This is a story of identity, and maybe even of personality disorder. Who was Max Linder? Who was Gabriel Leuvielle? And if they are two sides of the same person, then his life becomes a wonderful exploration into that complicated thing called the human psyche.

And in today’s world where social media makes everyone a Max Linder, that is to say a celebrity in their own world, a discussion what it means to have a healthy public life might be one that audiences would like. We’re excited to tour with our movie and have these discussions with audiences. I think it could be a helpful contribution to the public dialogue.

Now, on top of that, there’s the story of cinema history. Linder contributed so much to the history of comedy cinema by either inventing, innovating or at least making popular a lot of what became standard. The idea of a reoccurring character, for example. Before Chaplin developed his Tramp character, Linder was The Dandy, the bon vivant getting into all these jams and crazy adventures episode after episode. He was also Chaplin’s mentor. Chaplin admired his work greatly and considered Linder a teacher. The Marx Brothers, Lucille Ball, so many cinema and television comics tip their hat to Linder’s influence. This in itself is worthy of a movie, but when you add onto that all the social aspects I mentioned, I think you have a story ripe with history, art, and social significance.

How things are going right now?

SF: We are in post production and preparing for a release in 2019, in time for the Venice Film Festival. Also, the movie will be distributed by Canal+ in France and air on TVP Poland, RTBF Belgium, BNT Bulgaria, RTV Slovenia, CT Czech Republic, SVT Sweden, and RTP Portugal.

 

What do you need?

SF: What we need is an angel investor to support us with finishing funds. Our fiscal sponsor is the International Documentary Association, a 501c3 organization in Los Angeles, California. This means that anyone who donates, gifts, or invests with us receives a tax deduction. We need about 200,000 Euros to ensure we complete on time. We are also seeking a well-known film figure to serve as Executive Producer. For this we have approached the office of Martin Scorsese. He would be ideal to present our movie given his dedication to cinema history and preservation.

We are in position to create an artful and entertaining docu-drama. We are using archival footage in a new and creative way. By manipulating archival films, Linder movies, and actuality footage we hope to give an immediacy, as though we are discovering Linder’s life as it happens. For instance, there’s a Linder movie where he is snow skiing and meets a pretty girl. We have put our own dialogue to that footage and re-cut it to look like we’ve captured the moment where Linder meets the woman who becomes his wife. In this way we are dramatizing his life.

What is the broader message the movie wants to give?

SF: In my opinion the movie warns about the trappings of celebrity: the excess and the danger of believing one’s own hype. It’s a story about identity and it questions us about the blurred lines between our public self and our private self. And it’s a movie that celebrates the art of a true comic genius who has sadly been forgotten. If there’s one message we want our movie to deliver it’s this: This is Max Linder!

Story filed by: Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey, Pravdareport

 

 

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The Importance of Going Within

March 13, 2018

Winnetka Living recently published this article by Steven Fischer on creativity.

Steven Fischer’s Sketchbook

December 15, 2017

Some illustrations from the sketchbook of Steven Fischer

Chalkboard drawing for Rocky Run Tap & Grill restaurant chain. copyright Steven Fischer. stevenfischer.net

Copyright Steven Fischer. stevenfischer.net

Studies of cafe patrons. Copyright Steven Fischer. stevenfischer.net

Invented man. Copyright Steven Fischer. stevenfischer.net

Copyright Steven Fischer. stevenfischer.net

Invented woman. Copyright Steven Fischer. stevenfischer.net

Feet study. Copyright Steven Fischer. stevenfischer.net

Invented lady. Copyright Steven Fischer. stevenfischer.net

Study of child. Copyright Steven Fischer. stevenfischer.net

Cartoon Storytelling for Adults of All Ages at Northwestern University

November 30, 2017

Learn the basics of cartooning, storytelling, and creativity. Participants use cartooning to create original characters and personal stories. This course is ideal for anyone interested in the art of cartooning, learning effective visual communication skills, and those interested in taking their creativity to the next level. Our objective is to create and complete and original story with original characters. Make sure your pencils are sharpened; you’ll be drawing a lot!

Six weeks starting January 23, 2018!   Click here for details and sign up!

“The Best Cartoon Class.” Cartoon Creativity workshop reviews!

November 7, 2017

Hi, folks!

I am a two-time Emmy nominated writer/producer and cartoonist. My work includes character animation (I was mentored by the talented team at Bill Melendez Productions, creators of the classic Peanuts TV specials and films) and live action films (Freedom Dance with Golden Globe winner Mariska Hargitay and Old School New School with Emmy winner Brian Cox).

Years ago I compiled lessons I learned about character development, narrative structure, and storytelling, and began teaching classes in cartoon storytelling. (I also offer private tutor sessions in person and online.) My classes help participants of all ages explore within, using feelings and personal experience to create believable cartoon stories full of life, meaning, personal insight, and heart.

Here’s what participants are saying about some recent cartoon creativity workshops.

Waubonsee Community College, Sept 2017

(Steven) had a great, clear manner of voicing ideas, clearly very experienced, time here was well thought out and planned. Really engaging!

 

I enjoyed both the visual aspect and story aspect of the class, how it combines the two together.

 

Timing was perfect, not too short, not too long. Steven was easy to understand and listen to and FANTASTIC too! Nice was to start a Saturday morning.

 

Great presentation style. Covered areas I didn’t expect relating to cartooning. Would rate this instructor as Fantastic!

 

Loved the mix of theory and practice. Wasn’t expecting the creativity lessons, but they were fantastic. I didn’t really know what to expect, but was hoping to be inspired as a picture book author – and I was! Thank you for a very interesting experience.

 

I loved this course and I would love more…

 

Course was very helpful and inspirational.

****

Second City, Chicago, IL, Sept 17, 2016

I wanted to say that I really enjoyed taking your class and have already told others that they should have taken it as well

 

The exercises were very helpful – as someone who doesn’t come from a creative background I found them readily applicable, and I like the fact that they force me to lay down the groundwork first before getting into detail

Cartoonist Steven Fischer present cartoon storytelling at The Second City Training Center, Chicago.

****

Waubonsee Community College, Sugar Grove, IL, Sept 10, 2016

I have never been to such an awesome workshop about art like this one. It was really neat connecting with the other artists and like-minded people. I always thought that I could not draw but you definitely proved me wrong!

 

I discovered I can draw and I didn’t know it!

 

He gets a 5-star review! Excellent.

 

Great basic understanding of cartoons for beginners.

 

Steven is very inspiring and encouraging, enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

****

Waubonsee Community College, Sugar Grove, IL, March 2016

The best part about the course to me was the connectivity both in the overall arc of the lesson and the individualized attention we were given. [Steven] is very kind.

Well presented. Thought provoking!

 

I was very inspired

 

Different than what I expected, worked on story ideas and characters. It took a deeper dive into the creation of animated stories. Exercises were interesting.

 

Class was too short!

Steven Fischer presents cartoon storytelling!

****

University of Debrecen, Hungary, Fall 2014

I truly enjoyed your classes and feel honored that I have had the opportunity to attend them. -Barney B.

Cartoonist and Fulbright Award recipient Steven Fischer with friend and host Tibor Glant at University of Debrecen, Hungary, 2014.

 

Cartoonist and Fulbright Award recipient Steven Fischer presents Cartoon Storytelling at University of Debrecen, Hungary, 2014.

****

Northwestern University (Introduction to Cartoon Storytelling) 2014

I want to say thanks for teaching the class, I really enjoyed the past five Tuesdays!  -Thomas P.

 

I still do thank you for all the illustration skills you taught me! I’m still practicing and making artworks these days, too. 🙂 Have a great weekend! -Jae Y.

Cartoonist Steven Fischer presents cartoon storytelling!

****

Waubonsee Community College, September 2014

Thanks so much for coming out to Sugar Grove last evening to share your energy and passion for creating!   Thanks again! Thanks again Steven.  You really do have a unique approach to your work! -Kailyne W.

 

I just wanted to say thank you very much for taking the time to teach us some of your techniques for coming up with characters and story-lines. It was very helpful! As a writing TV major I’m always looking for ways to come up with ideas since inspiration can be so fickle sometimes. -Melinda H.

 

Very approachable. Hands-on creative and fun. Very interesting and inspiring.

 

[Steven] really presented ideas and techniques I hadn’t expected from the class.

 

[Steven] made the class very relatable and easy to understand for everyone. This made the class extremely fun and enjoyable.

 

I liked the abstract angle this course took.

 

The course provided me with thought-provoking information.

 

It really inspired a healthy environment for the creative thinking process.

 

Very good presenter/speaker. Very knowledgeable.

 

It was a great blend of information and activity. Very fun time.

 

I would highly recommend the course for anyone who wants to create a unique story.

Cartoon Illustrations for DiamondMind Enterprises

October 28, 2017

L-R: Tom Rosenak at DiamondMind Enterprises works with cartoonist Steven Fischer on drawings for “Acres of Diamonds”.

 

L-R: Tom Rosenak at DiamondMind Enterprises works with cartoonist Steven Fischer on drawings for “Acres of Diamonds”. October 2017.

Media Process / Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics video shoot

October 28, 2017

L-R: Tyler Wilson (set PA), Hayden Jackson (sound), Steven Fischer (director), Mike Swanson (director of photography) on a shoot for Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and Media Process Group, Chicago.

 

L-R: Steven Fischer (director); Mike Swanson (director of photography, behind camera); Hayden Jackson (sound); Siva Panchamoorthy (talent), video shoot for Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and Media Process Group, Chicago.

Opening Night, Chicago International Children’s Film Fest, October 27!

October 28, 2017

Writer/producer Steven Fischer, Jury Chair, animated shorts category attends the opening of the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, 27 October 2017.

Cartoon Storytelling at The Second City, Chicago!

August 24, 2017

Learn the art of cartoon storytelling, effective communication techniques, and develop personal expression. This course explores story breakdown, character development, page layout, and studies from life. Students will create original characters and an original story based on personal experiences. No previous drawing experience required—if you can create a stick figure, you can succeed in this course!

We’ll meet once a week, four weeks, three hour sessions.

Chicago Term 5 2017 (Aug 30 – Sep 20)

Sign up here.

About the instructor: Steven Fischer is a two-time Emmy nominated filmmaker and cartoonist. His credits include the Steve & Bluey cartoon series, the acclaimed animated documentary Freedom Dance (2007) with Mariska Hargitay, and Old School New School (2011) a personal study on creativity with celebrated actor Brian Cox and jazz legend McCoy Tyner among many other internationally acclaimed artists. Steven’s commissioned work includes projects for Maryland Public Television/PBS, TV Asia, Nextel, Bill Melendez Productions, and Screen Arts Animation.

Steven is a Fulbright recipient and sought internationally to speak on creativity.

Steven Fischer presents his Introduction to Cartoon Storytelling class at The Second City. Photo: Alicia Haywood.

Cartooning for Adults at The Second City!

July 14, 2017

Bring your story ideas to life in cartoons. We’ll explore the creative process, cartoon drawing fundamentals, character development, and more! In-class writing and drawing exercises help you discover new possibilities in developing and expressing your ideas and point of view. These exercises help you generate the ideas for your own original, personal story. No experience necessary. If you can make a stick figure, you can get started!

Participants will receive a copy of Steven’s book The Wonderful, Happy, Cartoony World of Steve & Bluey.

Creating Cartoon Stories meets for one three-hour session. Sign up today!

About the instructor: Steven Fischer is a two-time Emmy® nominated writer/producer/digital cinematographer of fiction, non-fiction, and animated stories. His credits include the films Freedom Dance (2007) featuring Mariska Hargitay and Old School New School (2010) with Brian Cox. His commissioned work includes Martin Scorsese’s NEH Jefferson Lecture, Keep the Promise with Margaret Cho and Tavis Smiley, among various films for Maryland Public Television/PBS, Romanian Television Network, TV Asia, Nextel, DuPont, Nalco/Ecolabs, Department of Defense, AmeriCorps, Hollywood Stars II, and National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Fischer is a Fulbright recipient and speaks internationally on storytelling.