The Big Picture

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

Working trailers: 

California trailer

 French trailer

Over 21,000 plays on Vimeo so far

This site is for you to discover and follow Mandorla (independent and low budget by necessity) as it's being made. We have written, shot, and edited the film, and are now preparing it for release in 2015. Follow regular updates on our Facebook page.



In the neighborhood of Morrison

Mandorla was created and largely filmed in an interesting neighborhood in California. Jim Morrison, when he was very young, lived two blocks away from where I am typing this. His quote here, which Liz discovered and shared with me, is strikingly relative to the film.


What makes Mandorla unique and impactful?

Mandorla is now complete and submitted to film festivals worldwide from early summer to late fall 2015. Exciting times.

Four things that make Mandorla unique and impactful: 

Mandorla’s main character does what has never been seen on screen: he recalls moving moments in films that help him understand the path he is on. (Mandorla is the first narrative feature film to be Fair Use compliant in this way, using clips from Field of Dreams, The Matrix, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Excalibur, The Fisher King, Benjamin Button, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and It’s a Wonderful Life, all media cleared by Donaldson and Callif in Los Angeles.)

We all adore the look of cinemascope but few can afford it. I found a way to mount 30-year-old Russian LOMO anamorphic lenses to a British hacked Japanese GH2 DSLR, via an adapter machined in Los Angeles, and then recorded footage to an SD card designed in San Francisco and made in China--world peace (and indie cinemascope) achieved in one camera package. Watch the trailer.

Mandorla was written with sound design and music as part of the story experience. From the very beginning Skywalker’s Randy Thom (two-time Academy Award winner) and acclaimed ambient composers Robert Rich (US) and Vincent Villuis (France) have been onboard. The result is an amazing soundscape infusing the textures of light and dark textures in Mandorla.  

Many of us are stuck in meaningless jobs, or at least jobs that have little meaning to us. Same goes for relationships that are often past mending. A lot of us, it seems, feel like we are dying inside and that there is little we can do about it. Ernesto is one of these people. However, instead of following the script to simply give up, he comes to understand that his inner calling cannot be ignored, and that taking risks is not an option anymore. It’s a necessity.


The Unconscious One

Art from Dan Colvin (once a DP for David Fincher) who will be soon "Colvinizing" our poster. At a specific point in the film, Mandorla directly asks why do we always tell the same story, in books, movies, music, and so on?

Why is it the same "hero's journey," as Joseph Campbell´╗┐ named it?

C.G. Jung, back in the 1930s, noted that so many stories had similar archetypes, and that this was related to what he called the "collective unconscious." What struck me was how it related to the "oneness" we, subconsciously or not, seem to yearn and strive for--in life, stories, and songs. John Lennon's "Imagine" comes to mind.

I can't help wondering that if humanity had already reached this level of oneness, wouldn't the issue of climate change have been addressed over 30 years ago, when the problem became known?

Mandorla speaks to us of an individual's journey to "oneness" in our pressing times.



Music Matters

Robert Rich bought "Luminary" by Nad Wolinska for his album cover art for "Filaments."

Our composer, Robert Rich, has a magical new album coming out in January. Filaments. We've had the great pleasure of hearing it bloom in his studio these last few months.



The inner temple for perfect sound and projection: Skywalker's mighty Stag Theater. Photo by Glenn Holdship


You know it's going to be a special day when Ben Burtt (legendary sound artist and pioneer from Star Wars to Wall-e) gets you a chair to have breakfast with him and asks about your film. And then Randy Thom joins us. If Walter Murch had stopped by it would have been the absolute trinity of film sound pioneers and legends.

Suffice it to say that we had a great day tuning-up our sound mix with the talents of Zach Martin, who worked some special sonic magic for us. Then it was time, after many years of work, to see, for the first time, our final, beautifully color-graded picture, united in marriage with our final sound mix on the most cinematic stage I've ever experienced: Skywalker's Stag Theater.

From the opening, the scenes flowed together and the narrative linked up. Mandorla, the story that has always wanted to be, came to life on the screen and filled the theater. Liz and I knew it in the moment, and look forward to showing it at film festivals in 2015, and then releasing it in the fall.

Stay tuned, with Mandorla now alive on the screen, things will start to happen.  If you're not on our list yet, sign up for email updates and event notices!!