By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

“SAVING LINCOLN” Finishes Post-Production Process

Authentic Lincoln Film introduces a new filmmaking technique, CineCollage, into industry lexicon

Los Angeles, July 12, 2012 – SAVING LINCOLN, a new film based on the true story of our 16th President and his bodyguard, has completed production. Directed by Salvador Litvak and starring Tom Amandes, Lea Coco, Penelope Ann Miller, and Bruce Davison, SAVING LINCOLN tells a unique tale in a unique way: using actual Civil War era photographs as locations, the film explores Lincoln’s fiery trial as Commander-in-Chief through the eyes of his closest friend and protector – U.S. Marshal Ward Hill Lamon.

In the process, SAVING LINCOLN officially introduces a new cinematic style to the industry: CineCollage.  Developed by director Salvador Litvak, the new filmmaking technique allowed a sprawling period piece to be made on an indie budget (a full description of CineCollage is included below). While various types of layered images have been used in other films, this is the first time CineCollage, or “cinematic collage,” will be employed for every scene in a feature film, and the first time that the technique has been branded in an official capacity.

About the production process, Litvak said: “We had a huge story to tell, and we were determined to tell it.  During our research, we dug into the enormous trove of Civil War photography in the Library of Congress, and I visualized scenes taking place in those locations. In the wake of movies like ‘Sin City’ and ‘300,’ I realized we could use the photos to replace physical sets. Of course, the process was far more complex and time-consuming than I imagined, but thanks to an extremely creative and passionate team, we were able to make SAVING LINCOLN a reality.  Further possibilities for CineCollage are unlimited, particularly for subjects that can exploit well-photographed periods and locations.”

Based on detailed research by Litvak and writing partner Nina Davidovich Litvak, SAVING LINCOLN follows Abraham Lincoln’s journey from country lawyer to conflicted Commander-in-Chief, as recounted by his self-appointed bodyguard, Marshal Lamon. Lamon halted many attempts on President Lincoln’s life, but he was not present at Ford’s Theater the night Lincoln was shot. To understand why, one must hear his tale.  SAVING LINCOLN stars Tom Amandes (as President Lincoln), Lea Coco (as Ward Hill Lamon), Penelope Ann Miller (as Mary Todd Lincoln), Creed Bratton (as Senator Charles Sumner), Saidah Arrika Ekulona (as Elizabeth Keckly), and Bruce Davison (as William H. Seward).

CineCollage, by definition, uses existing images as a backdrop to create a cinematic collage. The process combines off-the-shelf visual effects tools with techniques borrowed from theater, animation, and photography.  A typical scene contains live-action elements – including principal actors, tiled layers of extras, furniture and props – all shot on a green screen stage, as well as multiple layers of location and architectural elements culled from period photography. The layers are composited together to create a stylized look that works hand in hand with the story’s narrative structure: in this case, Marshal Lamon’s very personal recollection of his friend, Abraham Lincoln.

SAVING LINCOLN is directed by Salvador Litvak, written by Nina Davidovich Litvak and Salvador Litvak, produced by Reuben Lim, and executive produced by Horatio C. Kemeny. The film stars Tom Amandes, Lea Coco, Penelope Ann Miller, Creed Bratton, Saidah Arrika Ekulona, and Bruce Davison, with songs performed by American roots-rocker Dave Alvin.

For more information about SAVING LINCOLN, please visit the official website at http://www.savinglincoln.com/, “like” the page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SavingLincoln, and follow the stories of US Marshal Ward Hill Lamon at twitter.com/savinglincoln.

And today is a notable date in Lincoln history as it is the anniversary of the Battle of Fort Stevens (July 12, 1864) – the only time an American President stood on the field of battle, and is a crucial scene in the movie.

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2 Responses to ““SAVING LINCOLN” Finishes Post-Production Process”

  1. Russ Gleeson says:

    Thanks for the up date Mr.Pride. Folks that loved Lincoln REALLY need an authentic representation and this can’t miss that mark with the ‘Cine Collage’ approach. Can’t wait t’see it!!! Russ

  2. Glad we could help out ! What a great experience! We can’t wait to see the final cut! Thanks .

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“We now have a situation where audiences very often prefer commercial trash to Bergman’s Persona or Bresson’s L’Argent. Professionals find themselves shrugging, and predicting that serious, significant works will have no success with the general public. What is the explanation? Decline of taste or impoverishment of repertoire? Neither and both. It is simply that cinema now exists, and is evolving, under new conditions. That total, enthralling impression which once overwhelmed the audiences of the 1930s was explained by the universal delight of those who were witnessing and rejoicing over the birth of a new art form, which furthermore had recently acquired sound. By the very fact of its existence this new art, which displayed a new kind of wholeness, a new kind of image, and revealed hitherto unexplored areas of reality, could not but astound its audiences and turn them into passionate enthusiasts.

Less than twenty years now separate us from the twenty-first century. In the course of its existence, through its peaks and troughs, cinema has travelled a long and tortuous path. The relationship that has grown up between artistic films and the commercial cinema is not an easy one, and the gulf between the two becomes wider every day. Nonetheless, films are being made all the time that are undoubtedly landmarks in the history of cinema. Audiences have become more discerning in their attitude to films. Cinema as such long ago ceased to amaze them as a new and original phenomenon; and at the same time it is expected to answer a far wider range of individual needs. Audiences have developed their likes and dislikes. That means that the filmmaker in turn has an audience that is constant, his own circle. Divergence of taste on the part of audiences can be extreme, and this is in no way regrettable or alarming; the fact that people have their own aesthetic criteria indicates a growth of self-awareness.

Directors are going deeper into the areas which concern them. There are faithful audiences and favorite directors, so that there is no question of thinking in terms of unqualified success with the public—that is, if one is talking about cinema not as commercial entertainment but as art. Indeed, mass popularity suggests what is known as mass culture, and not art.”
~ Andrei Tarkovsky, “Sculpting In Time”

“People seem to be watching [fewer] movies, which I think is a mistake on people’s parts, and they seem to be making more of them, which I think is okay. Some of these movies are very good. When you look at the quality of Sundance movies right now, they are a lot better than they were when I was a kid. I do think that there have been improvements artistically, but it’s tough. We’ve got a system that’s built for less movies in terms of how many curatorial standard-bearers we have in the states. It’s time for us to expand our ideas of where we find our great films in America, but that said, it’s a real hustle. I’m so happy that Factory 25 exists. If it didn’t exist, there would be so many movies that wouldn’t ever get distributed because Matt Grady is the only person who has seen the commercial potential in them. He’s preserving a very special moment in independent film history that the commercial system is not going to be preserving. He’s figuring out how to make enough money on it to save these films and get them onto people’s shelves.”
~ Homemakers‘ Colin Healey On Indie Distribution