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An introduction to the documentary by Cassandra Ross, Director

Will wonders never cease?! After (mumbled number) years, the 30 minute documentary I made about Canadian folk artist Ewald Rentz is finally shot, edited, and available on DVD! The film is titled The "Completed" Art of Ewald Rentz. You can learn more about the film at the NEW Rentz movie website. This site replaces my old website, which told people to watch for the film's release in "Fall 2004" - a deadline I seem to have missed. In my own defence, we did film two additional (and very valuable) interviews, and I had to cat sit for a neighbour at least twice during the extra four years it took to complete. There's only so much you can do in a day.

Rentz DVD

The DVD is available now!

Looking back at the long process of making this short film, I can at least take solace in the fact that I learned a lot along the way. The premise was simple; to interview collectors, dealers and acquaintances of Ewald Rentz and to intersect those interviews with detailed footage of his work. It wasn't like I was going all Herzog and running up an active volcano or anything. My interview subjects were extremely gracious and generous with their time and expertise. My producer Phillip Ross is also my dad so I didn't have any surly teamsters to befriend. It was in many ways an easy project, yet the journey from research to completion was surprisingly complex.

Am I happy with the finished film? BIG YES. There is a lot of great information in it about Rentz, his background and inspirations, and his unique artistic style. The interviews vary from informational to personal. There's a bit of humour and a touch of drama. There are many good, detailed shots on the artwork, and family photos that put the artwork in context with Rentz's life. I am proud of the film and the response by others has been very positive.

The film was so low budget, I believe it qualifies as "no budget plus gas money". I used my own camera, my own light set, and my own computer (mainly) to edit. Producer Phil secured the interviews, drove us around, asked the questions and became an interview subject himself. We both wore many hats to finish our little film. Next time out I may want to have a three or four person crew (a boom mic would be a lovely thing) but I have no regrets about the method or final product we produced. In a way, the honesty and joy of folk art is mimicked in our ragtag shooting style. Everyone involved with this film wanted to share something about the art they love, and that appreciation shines though any technical shortcomings.

Rentz sculpture

Sculpture by Ewald Rentz (collection of J.Wilson)

So here's the thing, if you're a fan of Ewald Rentz, Canadian folk art, or supporting struggling filmmakers, you can buy a copy of the DVD for only $20 Canadian. That's $20 - taxes included! The DVD comes with an image slideshow, full colour trapsheet, and shrink wrapping. We spent the money on professional DVD duplication and it shows (don't forget to be impressed by the bar code).




Interview subject and folk art collector Susan Murray

To buy a copy of the DVD, you can either go to the Folk Art Canada Gallery Shop (with a growing inventory of fantastic folk art items!) or use the Paypal option available at www.rentzmovie.com . Any comments, reviews or criticism are welcome, so feel free to also contact me directly by email. I hope you enjoy the film!


"The Completed Art of Ewald Rentz" copyright 2008 | Produced in association with folkartcanada.ca


 
     
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