My First Short Film Released

The World Premiere of “Return to Hope”!!!

It was just about a year ago when I decided to take a leap of faith in my creative career by pursuing a graduate degree in film. Before taking this leap, I’d already taken a number of leaps of faith in my personal and professional life. This one felt different, not so scary. I’ve since come to realize that this leap is different than all the other leaps, in that the leaping-off point was duly situated at a more spiritually and emotionally mature elevation. In an earlier leap, in 1996, my wife (then) and I packed up all of our material possessions, loaded the little ones into their car seats and moved our family from Rhode Island to Florida. We made the move so that I could pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer animation. At that time, the computer-generated imagery (CGI) industry was changing the face of live-action film with blockbusters like Jurassic Park (1993) and Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991). In the computer animated film industry, Toy Story had just been released (1995) and every computer geek and movie making wannabe was signing up at a college or tech-school with high hopes of claiming a seat in one of the major animation studios. Dreaming of jobs at Disney, Pixar or Dreamworks, they were all looking for the best route into the industry. I was, and apparently still am, a movie making wannabe, but back then I had absolutely zero experience with computers, and it had been a long time since I graduated high school in 1981. Fifteen years long, in fact. So, why did I decide to learn computer animation, having had no previous experience with computers? This is how I rationalized the decision – I would attend Ringling, learn computer animation, move the family (again) to California, get a high paying job producing CGI, and then make a lateral move into the model and props/animatronic studio where I really wanted to be. I had been creating hand built ceramic sculpture for more than a decade by 1996 and I could clearly see myself excelling in a movie-monster/sci-fi model shop. When I applied to, and was accepted by, the Ringling School of Art & Design (now Ringling College of Art and Design), I considered it destiny calling out to me personally, and so Pamela and I talked it over, and then we leaped…

Christopher and Victoria, during one of our many visits to the Magic Kingdom in Orlando (1998?). Both of my children were involved with the production of “Return to Hope”. Chris created the original soundtrack and Tori utilized her superior enunciating skills as one of the tree vocalists. Remember, they are adults now, so it’s not like I’m using this photo to exploit the obvious “cuteness factor” they both possess!

It has been more than 22 years since I graduated from RCAD, and I’m now preparing to land on both feet in the graduate program at SCAD.

Without further ado, I present to you, my loyal blog readers and any other wonderful human beings who’ve found themselves reading here, this is my first short film “Return to Hope”! Please subscribe to the YouTube channel and also here on the “Grand Providentia United” blog, to receive updates on the latest happenings on the event horizon. And, one other request, please leave a comment on this post (either positive or negative) once you’ve watched the film. It’s only nine minutes long, so there’s really no excuse not to watch it at least ten times! JK!!!

Click on the link and enjoy!
Film Journey in the Now

Update on “Return to Hope” (Film) and the “Case of the Missing Blog Author”

Once again, I’ve neglected my commitment to those of you who are regular readers here. In a previous journal entry, I wrote about my intentions to document the making of the “Return to Hope” film in real-time on this blogsite. A few days after setting that intention, I realized that it was non-sustainable with regard to my energies, at least for now. The motivations I had for setting the intentions were sincere, in that I wanted to practice the process I intend to use for future filmmaking upon graduation from Savannah College of Art and Design. To be more specific, the process I intend to use for the “Grand Providentia Projection – A True Story, as Yet Unfolding…”, is directly related to what I was attempting to do here with “Return to Hope”. This post-graduation, master work, will be produced and promoted as a real-time documentary series that follows the progress of creating and installing, major collaborative art projects around the globe. These “Projections” will act as focal points for raising awareness of the conscious connection that exists between all sentient beings on our planet, and furthermore, how that conscious connection might be used to set positive collective intentions to restore and preserve our environment and heal divisions and discord within the human race. As this rolling documentary is being produced, there will also be a fictional version of the same story being filmed simultaneously. Eventually, the two stories will be merged and integrated into one production – a surreal documentary, with elements of both fact and fiction. Over the past fifteen years, I’ve been studying, and living by, many of the philosophical explorations that are the basis for metaphysics and the metaphysics of science, so I am convinced that this film format, the surreal documentary, will be the most powerful way to present the “Grand Providentia Projection – A True Story, as Yet Unfolding…” I must admit that it’s true, this endeavor is an enormous undertaking, but having worked on it for many years now, I know that its potential for realization is eventual, and quite possibly, inevitable.

You might be wondering why I decided that it was non-sustainable for me to document the making of “Return to Hope” here on the blog, as I produce it? The straightforward answer to that question is that I do not have the level of energy required to complete all the necessary tasks with even a modicum of success, therefore I’ve opted to prioritize my efforts, in an effort to accomplish some tasks with greater success. Since the moment that I decided to pursue a graduate degree in film, I’ve bought and learned how to use a digital film camera, conceived of “Return to Hope” and strategized its visual presentation to an audience (the admissions board at SCAD), filmed on location in Hope, RI, Bethlehem, PA and Savannah, GA, and I am currently editing the film in DaVinci Resolve, an editing software that was included with the Blackmagic Design camera that I bought back in April of this year. It sure has been a learning experience for me, but I can tell you with absolute honesty that I am loving the journey so far!

Photo shot on location at the Steel Stacks, Bethlehem, PA. The Steel Stacks is one of the locations where I filmed clips for “Return to Hope” Worthy of note: This pulley wheel is approximately 12′ in diameter and there were about 20-30 of them lined up in a humongous building!

There is another reason that I decided not to continue with the documentation on this blog. I wanted to introduce the final results, all polished and pretty, of “Return to Hope” to you all, once it is completely finished. So far, I’m super pleased with how it’s coming together! If nothing else, it is sure to be visually compelling. And fear not, you won’t have to wait long for the premier of this film, because I need to have it ready for delivery by 2/2/2023. I’ll be publishing it on YouTube as soon as it is delivered to the college. Stay tuned, dear readers, soon you’ll have more to look at than just still images! I promise.

Danger! There’s always someone trying to keep you from going someplace!
Patrons and Supporters

Fundraiser for “Return to Hope”

Urgent Call for Support!Post #3

For any new readers and those who are unfamiliar with the focus of my creative energies in the now, I’ll round up this particular call for financial support by making the case as to why you might consider supporting this film and the “Grand Providentia United” cause.

Over the past fifteen to twenty years, I’ve been following, and sometimes pioneering, a path that is as esoteric as it is unpopular. A path seemingly traveled by just a few diehard dreamers who believe that humanity has everything it requires right now to heal the damage that’s been done to the Earth and to secure a positive and healthy future for all of its current and future inhabitants. Fellow travelers on this path possess an optimistic outlook concerning the future of humanity, while also remaining positive about the progress we’ve made thus far. In recent months, I’ve noticed a worldwide uptick of interest in the practices of mindful living and present conscious awareness, and although the interest seems to be geared toward helping single individuals improve their lives, rather than including the collective, I am certain that this is a move in the healing direction. This trend toward mindfulness certainly encourages me to continue pursuing the work of my higher purpose, but it is by no means the compelling force which has been guiding me on this intellectual and spiritual journey for most of my earthly existence. The universal term I’ll use here to describe that ‘compelling force’ is “the God within”. The God within has taught me to offer unconditional love to others while also offering and accepting unconditional love for myself. The God within has guided me on a path of deep gratitude. While I am experiencing life’s harshest tribulations, the God within reminds me that there are others who are suffering far more than I ever will, and that by continuing on in a spirit of love and gratitude, I will indeed be lifting others out of their suffering. The God within has taught me that all positive spiritual and intellectual change starts local, within the heart and mind of one human being, and then it moves outward, through the hearts and minds of those who are attracted by the essence of that particular call to change. All of my motivations, intentions and actions are now falling into line with the work of this higher purpose – to send out a call for positive spiritual and intellectual change. The change will promote the idea that human beings have more in common with each other than they have differences. The change will demonstrate that we are all connected at the level of soul through conscious awareness, and because of that conscious connection we are capable of creating happiness and healing hearts effortlessly, if we collectively choose to do so. We human beings are always capable of being so much more than we allow ourselves to be!

This is the framework for a 13′ sculpture my friend Scott Russo (pictured) and I pieced together and installed within a 48-hour time frame for an event we organized at Castings & Sculpture Services (2010?). We slept on the worktables the night before the event, just so we could wake up and get it finished in time for the show!
Billed as a large-scale model for a “conscious energy receiver” the piece included sound and light elements to add more impact to our presentation. But the real power contained in the artwork, was added by our combined conscious intentions to get it done on time. NOTE: For fans of metaphysical phenomena, look for orbs in both of these images. I took the photos and I had never before even heard of orbs, let alone captured them in a photograph!

The creation featured above was part of the “American Dream Catcher” initiative, during the years before that project evolved into the current “Grand Providentia Projection”. The intentional determination that both of these creative expressions should share the same philosophical ideology has given the work a life of its own. I know that I’m where I’m meant to be, doing what I’m meant to be doing. This project will evolve into something unique in the world. Something extraordinary! Something that will aid in the healing of our planet and our human family. I know that I cannot accomplish this alone, but I also know that I will rally the personal strength, the financial support and the resources, to make this worthy dream become a reality!

Please consider subscribing to this blog and making a small donation to the cause if you are able. Thank you for reading here, your presence is appreciated!

Patrons and Supporters

Fundraiser for “Return to Hope”

An Urgent Call for Support

I awoke this morning, with a spirit on fire. I awoke with a mindful commitment to my higher purpose. I awoke with a physical body that is well prepared for the journey that lies ahead. I awoke this morning with an all-encompassing conviction that I am following the unwavering guidance of the God of my understanding. I know this morning, that I am precisely where I’m meant to be, doing what I’m meant to be doing, and feeling how I’m meant to be feeling. I’m ALL in!

I have fully embraced the understanding that I cannot follow my higher purpose without support from other similarly spirited, and likeminded, people. So, here I am, asking for your financial support. As an aspiring independent filmmaker, I am already aware that I will need to be looking to investors and financial supporters to raise the money needed to produce each and every film project that I choose to pursue. Right now, I am fully committed, in mind, body and spirit, to producing “Return to Hope”, a film that will also launch my independent film career when I graduate in the spring of 2025. For those of you who aren’t regular readers of the “Grand Providentia United” blog site, I recently announced that I’ve set intentions to film the pilot episode of the “Grand Providentia Projection” documentary in Hope, Rhode Island, the mill town where I grew up. For those who would ask how much I’ve personally committed (financially) to this purpose, I can honestly say that I’ve invested well over $20,000-, so far. Between buying the camera equipment that I needed, trips to Hope from PA, moving to Savannah from Allentown, and making two other residential moves since arriving here, I can testify that I am fully invested in this cause.

This camera and the equipment with it, are entry level (recommended for film students). I’ll describe each piece of equipment pictured here in a future post.

This journal entry is the first of what will be an ongoing fundraising campaign. The specific and immediate need for the “Return to Hope” project is that I am hoping to raise funds to take a road trip to Hope, in late November or early December, to shoot some positive interviews with Hope residents which will be included in the film. Return to Hope must be completed by February 2nd of 2023, in order to submit my application to Savannah College of Art and Design on time. My current day-job at the warehouse (see previous post on this blogsite) is not adequate to the financial requirements of making this trip. Please read on, to see how you can help in this cause!

Classic American Dream Catcher Medallions – Personal Dream Realization Devices (numbered one through five). One of these could be yours! I will also describe in detail, the concept and meaning behind these powerful objects of art, in a post, later this week.

Here is what I’m asking of anyone who has read this far – Whatever you can afford to donate today, I would be extremely appreciative of, even five dollars would help greatly! And if you’d like, I’ll send you a personal thank you for your donation (you would simply need to give me a way to contact you). For the first five donations over $50.00, you can select one of the five unique pieces of artwork pictured above. But be sure to message me here, on Facebook, or on LinkedIn with the number of the PDRD that resonates with you. I’ll put it aside as spoken for. I painted and signed them personally over the past weekend, and I will ship them, free of charge, to any location in the continental USA. If you are located internationally, then I would need to find out the cost to get one to you. After these five are spoken for, I have only ten others that I will paint and offer up during the coming weeks. Before I can cast any new medallions (quite possibly never) I will need to remold the piece. I intend to design a newly updated medallion, specific to the Grand Providentia Projection as it has evolved up til now, during the near future of now. After all, it is always now!

Seriously and sincerely though, as I know times are financially tough for a lot of folks around the world, I would ask that those who are unable to donate at this time, please consider subscribing to this blog. I fully appreciate, and I’m ready to embrace, any support you are able to offer!

At home in Savannah, GA.

If this project, or my higher purpose, speaks to you spiritually, mindfully or physically and you’d like to support either or both financially, then the easiest way is through the Donate * Contact page on this site. You’ll be asked to open a WordPress account (free) and then you’ll be able donate through a secure payment process, and you’ll also be able to ‘Like’ the posts that you like, comment on the ones that you have something to say about and subscribe to the Grand Providentia United blogsite. If you want to donate, but not through WordPress, then you can contact me here, through FB messenger, on LinkedIn, or send an email to and I’ll offer other options for you to consider. Thank you so much for reading this call for support! I’m grateful for the time you’ve been present here!

Film Journey in the Now

Return to Hope

Production of a Portfolio Film – Post #7 Concept Development

Confrontation (middle section of film)

The middle section of “Return to Hope” (confrontation) will be executed stylistically as a surreal visual and audio reenactment of the industrial revolution from beginning to end, all within a micro-timeframe of three minutes. Will it be a sped-up historical account of the industrial revolution in general? No. Will it be a shortened historical account of the industrial revolution as it pertains to the Hope Mill? No. What it will be, is an interpretive historic account of the creative processes I’ve used to produce it. So, it will be light on history, but heavy on eye and ear candy. In terms of connecting the subject matter of the mill to the history of the industrial revolution, I will add this bit of historical trivia I found when I was searching for a start date of the industrial revolution in the USA – “The beginning of industrialization in the United States is usually pegged to the opening of a textile mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, in 1793 by the recent English immigrant Samuel Slater.” The previous statement is copied directly from The historic Slater Mill is a place that I have enjoyed visiting many times in my early life. The Hope Mill was also a textile mill, and the first wooden manufacturing buildings were erected in 1806, only thirteen years after Samuel Slater opened his mill. This small bit of information raises the historic value of the Hope Mill property significantly, I would say. This fact will also be largely significant during the preproduction stage of the documentary I intend to produce as soon as I graduate college in the spring of 2025. Breaking News Alert! – I’ve already set intentions to film a pilot episode of the “Grand Providentia Projection” in Hope, RI, as soon as I receive my diploma. I’m hoping that we (the Alt Unity) can also produce and install a monumental bronze sculpture somewhere near, or on, the mill property. This monument would be dedicated to the historic significance of the Hope Mill as it pertains to Rhode Island history and the history of the United States of America. It will also pay tribute to the men, women and (children?) of Hope who worked at the mill and made Hope into a prosperous and bustling mill town during the 19th century. I’ll write another bunch of journal entries on those plans once I’m finished with the production of “Return to Hope”. I am duly intent on staying focused!

“Once Proud, Now Brooding” From the Hope Mill Collection, June 2022

As most confrontations do, the middle section will start out fairly subdued in terms of imagery and soundtrack. The momentum of the imagery and the tempo of the audio will increase steadily throughout the three minutes allotted, until it climaxes, crescendos, and cuts to black and silence. The sequence of visuals will take the form of a rhythmic montage of industrial imagery. I have an elaborate piece of bronze sculpture that I cast back in 2007 that I’m currently in the process of putting a new patina on. The piece is titled “Trip Downtown/Industrial Revolution”. I created the original terracotta sculpture while attending classes at the Community College of Rhode Island and I added some elements and then produced a mold and cast a bronze from the mold when I was working at Bronzart Foundry in Sarasota, FL. When I was creating the original clay sculpture, all the way back in 1989, it was my intention to honor the Hope Mill and the village of Hope as well. It seems fitting to me now, that this artwork should appear in the film. I will not yet reveal all of the individual shots, or what I intend to do with the soundtrack for this section of the film, but I will say this, the confrontation will be chock full of dramatic sound and visual action. The greater the build-up of tension in this section, the more settling the resolution (end) of the film will be.

“Trip Downtown/Industrial Revolution” Dimensions of bronze – 30″H x 15″W x 12″D

Thank you for taking the time to read the “Grand Providentia United” blog! I really appreciate your prescence here. In the next “Return to Hope” entry, I’ll finish up with any remaining details about the central portion of the film and then I’ll move on to my plans for the ending, thus concluding the overall layout discussion. It won’t be long before I have some film to show!