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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“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
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