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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DEADLINE: How does a visualist feel about people watching your films on a phone or VOD?
REFN: It depends on what kind of movie you make. We had great success with Only God Forgives on multiple platforms in the U.S. Young people will decide how they see it, when they want to see it. Don’t try to fight it. Embrace it. That’s a wonderful opportunity. We’re at the most exciting time since the invention of the wheel, in terms of creativity because distribution and accessibility have changed everything. A camera is still a camera whether it’s digital or not; there’s still sound; an actor is an actor. Ninety-nine percent of what you do is going to be seen on a smart phone – I know this is the greatest thing ever made because it allows people to choose, watching what you do on this format or go into a theater and see it on a screen. That means more people than ever will see what I do, which is personally satisfying in terms of vanity. But you have to be able to adapt, to accept things in different order and length than we’re used to. We are in a very, very exciting time.
~ Nic Refn to Jen Yamato

DEADLINE: You mention Tarantino, who with Christopher Nolan and a few other giants, saved film stock from extinction. To him, showing a digital film in a theater is the equivalent of watching TV in public. Make an argument for why digital is a good film making canvas.
REFN: Costwise, it’s a very effective way for young people to start making movies. You can make your movie on an iPhone. It’s wonderful seeing how my own children use technology to enhance creativity. For me it’s a wonderful canvas. Sure, I love grain in film. I love celluloid. But I also like creativity. I like crayons, I like pencils, I like paint. It’s all relative. Technology is more inclusive. A hundred years ago when film was invented, it was an elitist club. Very few people got to make it, very few people controlled it and very few people owned it. A hundred years later, storytelling through images is everyone’s domain. It’s ultimate capitalism. There are no rules, and no barriers and no Hays Code. Where does this go in another hundred years? I don’t know but I would love to see it.
~ Nic Refn To Jen Yamato