Electric Visions / Director's Statement

I was a young boy during the Summer of Love. As a wee tyke I was easily attracted to bright lights and loud sounds. In other words I was the perfect age to have my little mind blown by psychedelic music. That year was to be the apex of Hippie, Peace, Love, and Groovy before the worldwide clash of '68 would descend. As a child all I cared about was the music. Sergeant Pepper was playing everywhere during those hot days, but the nights belonged to The Doors.

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Every midnight, some never discovered neighbor would play The Doors first album on his hi-fi. Loud! No one ever complained. Or maybe they were just too damn afraid to. The music was dark, mysterious and different then anything else I was hearing on the transistor radio. God only knows what this experience did to my fragile egg-shell mind. All I know now is this was the original inspiration for Electric Visions. I wrote the screenplay to express the experiences I had as an artist born and bred in NYC. Everything in this story is fictitious, and it is all true.

Electric Visions is a story that melds the mythic with the urban. It is a conglomerate of the ancient tales of Dionysis, Persephone, Osiris and Isis (with a hint of Alice in Wonderland), and an original story set in the heaven and hell otherwise known as New York City. It is a love story, a heroines coming of age story, and a hero's journey.

Over the years as I created large-scale events and theatrical performances, I read Joseph Campbell. I started to see the mythic in Pop culture. The quest for meaning, love, power, transcendence and redemption still plague and inspire us as human beings, but the players keep on changing.

What is the true purpose of being a popular artist? Is it only to satisfy ones “ego” with fame, fortune and thrills, or is it also to be of service to the creative muse and to society? How does one dance with their darkness and shadows, and become one with their power and divinity? Do the Spirits, Gods and Goddess that once walked with our ancestors still live in hyper cosmopolitan New York City?

I intend to direct this film so that it is fully grounded in reality as well as a flight of fantasy. I envision leaving the audience with a sense of awe of how magical their own life is. Each one of us lives a life of mythic adventure, filled with trials and tribulations. Each one of us interacts with demons, dragons, wizards, knights, ghosts, witches and fairy princess on a daily basis, or at least their human counterparts. I would love for the audience to feel that their life is remarkable and a miracle. That they too can find the strength and power to weather the storms of life, and to create their dreams.

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The two leads, Alex and Alice, are really two souls separated. They find each other through creative acts and they are bonded by love. Their story depicts an intertwined Hero/Heroine Journey. Each one finds their purpose, beauty and peace through the alchemical power of their relationship. The great Artists in our society are the ones who travel to the depths of the creative void and bring back the boon of gold for humanity.

Electric Visions is also my love note to the place of my birth, New York City. Like every great love affair there are moments of beauty, terror, passion, wildness, struggle, enlightenment and romance. New York is still the iconic Emerald City of power and passion that has enthralled the world for many generations.

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No matter how much shopping mall gloss has been applied onto this city, it is just a thin veneer on the wild beast known as Nueva York. This is the home of Punk Rock and Hip-Hop, the two most potent forms of popular western music of the last 30 some odd years. This is the home of the most influential art movements of the last 50 years. There is something in the stew of this metropolis that creates and attracts such talented spirits as those who walk these dirty mean streets of gold. The young still come here in droves seeking to create artistic utopias and creative revolutions. Maybe it is the energy of The Stature of Liberty. Maybe it is the legacy of all the immigrants who have passed through these ports bringing multicultural and anarchistic ideas. Nowhere else can one find such a shamanic brew that is the perfect backdrop for Electric Visions. The film will have an edgy and in your face attitude that reflects the beat of the city that never sleeps.

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I end this statement with a paradox. On one hand, all the generations who have been born since the end of World War Two, have grown up with the very real possibility of the annihilation of the Human Race, as well the rest of the Animal, Aquatic and Plant kingdoms. The creation and the implementation of the Atomic Bomb was the beginning of that scenario. It also heralded the beginning of drastic human created environmental degradation. As we move into the 21st century we also have the rise of possible genetic calamities and all kinds of resource shortages. Pretty grim stuff indeed!

On the other hand there has been a multitude of underground movements that have sprung up since Alan Ginsberg wrote Howl. I too have seen the best minds of my generation driven mad! But I have also seen the creation or the effects of the Beats, Folk, R&B, Hippies, Punks, Hip-Hop, Rave, Burning Man scenes and the multitude of sub-genres, that have exploded like Dionysis screaming his return from the pit of despair, beckoning for a renaissance in human consciousness. Like the Phoenix rising from it's own ashes, I hope Electric Visions inspires all who are exposed to this film, to become fully alive, and to leave this world a better place then was given to us.

Mark Sklawer

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