The Big Picture

The only journey is the one within. Mandorla follows Ernesto, a visual artist and seeker stuck in a corporate job, who is drawn by dark magical visions to a medieval French city. There he seeks an elusive banker to help him unlock an obscure dream that threatens his job, family, and sanity.



Sponsors support us and we support them! 

Our good friends and supporters at Alliance Française Silicon Valley are hosting their 3rd annual French Festival of Classical Music at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.

May 12 and 14. Be sure to check it out!


Spreadsheets before the Announcement

This morning I went through my normal routine, sitting down with a cup of coffee at my desk, starting the computer, and, most importantly, switching on the music stream from my favorite internet radio station, Radio Paradise

I try not to think about working with a spreadsheet to roughly organize the film's tour this summer. Mind you, I am very excited about the tour itself, but I really don't like making spreadsheets in Excel. I'm a visual guy. I'd much rather Photoshop something.

The music programming on Radio Paradise by Bill Goldman is extraordinary. You often feel unspoken threads of connections from song to song. "Let the Day Begin" by The Call could be followed by "Loose Yourself" by the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. And the connection is... The Call's Michael Been is the father of BRMC's Robert Levon Been, and "Loose Yourself" is Robert's tribute to his father, who died while managing BRMC's stage on tour. The listner comments on RP's website will often share more about the song-connections.

This morning, while doing small tasks and generally procrastinating from getting into the spreadsheet, RP plays a cool, classical tune that catches my ear. I turn to the RP website and see that it is: Erik Satie, "Gnossienne No. 1," from 1904. I look at the listener comments and read from hayduke2 in Southhampton NY:

Gorgeous music!  : )
first heard (read) of Satie in "The Banquet Years: The Origins of the Avant-Garde in France, 1885 to World War I (1955) Roger Shattuck -  who said: "Everything has been said. Erik SatieBut nobody listens. Therefore it has to be said all over again—only better. In order to say it better, we have to know how it was said before."

Shattuck's quote resounds with a key scene toward the end of Mandorla.

I grab the quote and a still from the film and, you guessed it, fire-up Photoshop. You now see the resulting image above. Sometimes, procrastinating can lure us away to an interesting place where we find something useful, or at least affirmative. At least that's my story.

OK. Now. Back to work! On to speadsheets, and then some very exciting news to share about Mandorla playing in theaters this summer! 





Audience connects with mandorla at first screening!

Mandorla's opening frames on the screen in front of a sold-out audience at the newly remodled Aquarius Theater in Palo Alto

Expectations were high at Mandorla's first public screening. All 100+ seats were sold out. The waiting list was 40 deep. People lined up at the door, some without tickets, hoping for cancellations.

Max Bouchard, our host and friend, and sponsor from Alliance Française Silicon Valley, handled everything with grace. Stefan Meier of the Palo Alto Independent Film Club also responded well. As for me, I was focused elsewhere.

The final cut of the film was not finished, nor tested, until 5 hours before the screening. It's an interesting story involving, as you might guess, sleepness nights working at a computer. Two shots (about 40 seconds) needed to be removed like taking the slack out of a chain, or more aptly, tightening a guitar string. The edit was relatively easy.  Re-rendering and mastering the entire film, however, into a digital cinema package (DCP) was a long meticulous process.

Finished just in time, Mandorla played to a vibrant audience and seemed more affecting than ever. They applauded and, during the Q&A, shared how this personal film and inner journey resonated with their own lives. There is nothing better for a filmmaker to hear because it means the primary purpose of the film has been met.

Many also said they wanted to see the film again, because they felt there was more there than they could take in on one pass. I confessed that Liz and I too liked films like that, ones that we see over and over through the years, discovering more of what they offer. I can't tell you how humbled I am that people feel that way about Mandorla too.









Every filmmaker wants the film they have labored over with love, sweat, blood, and tears to have an audience. It is particularly touching when an audience eagerly awaits to see it.

Our deepest thanks to Max Bouchard, Alliance Française Silicon Valley, Stefan and the The Palo Independent Film Group, and our friends and supporters for selling out our first paid screening.

Liz and I will see you there, if not at this screening then others that are now coming together.


MANDORLA Theatrical Screenings Launch in the US! 

We are very pleased to announce that Alliance Française Silicon Valley will present Mandorla, as part of their Cinéma du Mois, at The Aquarius theater in Palo Alto, California, on February 25 at 7PM. Seating is limited and TICKETS (this is our first paid screening!) are expected to sell out shortly!

We will be there with AFSCV's Max Bouchard for Q&A, along with our composer and music supervisor Robert Rich. A reception will follow.

This will launch Mandorla's theatrical release tour. More dates and theaters will be announced shortly. Very exciting to finally project Mandorla on the big screen and meet audiences in person!


 Liz and I met Max Bouchard of Alliance Française at a Cinéma du Mois screening last fall and invited him to a private viewing of Mandorla (more on that in the back-back-story). Max loved the main character’s transitions between the inner and outer worlds, and how the film illustrates the challenges of life and work in today’s Silicon Valley. These challenges lead Ernesto to confront the timeless questions of life, identity, and meaning in the old city of Lyon, France.


The special screening mentioned above came about in a special way. Upon returning to the US after a moving screening to cast, crew, family, and friends in Lyon (previous blog), a neighbor wanted to make such a screening happen here at home in California. I mentioned that booking a theater was no small expense but the good neighbor was determined and stated that their goal was "getting the neighborhood to get together and rally around our efforts and to create community support." Liz and I were very touched by this, and still are.

We made the arrangements and the screening filled up immediately.

The night of the screening was, for me personally, a "It's a Wonderful Life" moment.

More developments ahead to share! Stay in touch!