5Q's w/Steve Oldfield "Lines of Sight" Director

#1: Can you describe your movie and why somebody should see it in less than 140 characters

You’ll learn about a daring new painting style & meet the directors that befriended the artist, as well as hear from Jim Hall, the 85 year old painter, himself.

#2: What do you want the Borrego Springs Film Festival audience to know about your film that isn’t obvious from its title?

Painter Jim Hall created the daring new style of Lineillism after his sight was temporarily marred by a case of Shingles. He saw the world in lines, but instead of panicking, he started painting what he was seeing - in all vertical lines. Our Documentary,  Lines of Sight, isn’t just about Jim’s exciting new artform -- it’s a truly inspiring story about a man who has overcome everything from alcoholism to homelessness. Jim spent a year living on the beach in Santa Monica. He then ended up as a company man for Procter and Gamble, settling in a suburb of Cincinnati.

While he climbed the corporate ladder, Jim kept up his passion for painting. He is an everyman with an extraordinary talent and his work has been favorably compared to Monet and Van Gogh among other masters. As one young art student said, thanks to Jim, “Art History is still being made today.”

#3:  What is your movie making background? Tell us about yourself.

I started making my own Wayne’s World style tv shows in high school that aired on the Public Access Channel in Northern Kentucky - mine were more “newsy.” I founded Northwestern (University) Student Television during my sophomore year, where I majored in Journalism and studied film criticism and social documentary photography. I was a nationally syndicated film critic for Fox TV stations for more than a decade, covering Sundance and Toronto and interviewing nearly every major director and star.

At Sundance, I asked Robert Redford what one ingredient all successful filmmakers share. He quickly answered: “Passion.” I interviewed doc directors who’d taken a second mortgage on their homes and maxed out their credit cards because they just HAD to tell a story. Twenty years after interviewing Redford, I found that story in artist Jim Hall.

Luckily, it costs a LOT less to make a doc these days - and I simply got a Best Buy card, bought a 4 K camera and an “action cam” - and we were off to the races! I also mentor high school documentary filmmakers. My students have gone onto successful careers at USC Film School, Harvard, Northwestern and other great programs.

#4: What was the biggest lesson learned in getting your film made?  I have four:

1) Even if your project is open-ended, create a deadline and stick to it. That’ll keep everyone working toward a goal and on-task.

2) If a crew person is always negative, no matter how talented, cut them loose.

3) Don’t tell the subject of your doc (or the stars of your feature) you got a waiver for Sundance and you’re hoping to get in - It can devastate those around you if you don’t get accepted;

4) And never wait to interview someone - We hopped on a plane to California to catch a key contributor just before he was having “routine” surgery. It’s a good thing: he ended up having four surgeries and his jaw wired shut for months - by the time he was able to talk, we’d long since finished and submitted our film.


#5: What does the future hold for your film and you?

We are designing Lines of Sight: Lineillism Revealed, a traveling exhibit that will feature 10 original Lineillism paintings, a time-lapse video from the doc and museum-style panels that walk the visitor through Jim’s life. We will also feature the doc and master painting classes with Jim where possible. We already have nearly a dozen museums, community centers and libraries committed in our area and hope to take the exhibit on the road across the country and internationally. We are also creating a lesson plan for art teachers and we hope to eventually air Lines of Sight on television and create a DVD that includes additional content for learners of all ages.

Our website is www.linesofsightdocumentary.com

Matthew Nothelfer2 Comments