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James Dean’s High School Theater, Fairmount, IN 1990 The starting place for Dean’s Acting Career.

James Dean’s High School Theater, Fairmount, IN 1990
The starting place for Dean’s Acting Career.

The first obsession I had with America cinema was discovering the Film Rebel Without a Cause starring James Dean. I am also a lifetime fan of Morrissey who was just beginning his solo career when I found he too was a Dean fan. I fell in love with Morrissey’s video Suedehead which was filmed in Dean’s hometown of Fairmount, Indiana. My curiosity about Dean was drawn enough that I knew I had to race to Blockbuster Video and rent the film. Eventually, I would take a road trip from my home in Michigan to Fairmount, Indiana to discover and explore the beginnings of this Cinema Great.

In the summer of 1990, I arrived in Fairmount and soon found myself visiting Dean’s uncle, who was one of his last living relatives. He connected me with Adeline Mart Nall, Dean’s drama teacher in high school. Nall was more than just a teacher – she was also a friend to Dean, and their relationship was defined by a story she told me one Easter Sunday afternoon. Adeline pointed to a painting of a flower hanging on the wall. She said to me that one day Dean brought her this flower, and without reason came back later that day and asked for it back. She didn't hear from him again until a week later. Dean arrived at her house with the painting and a message. He said, “I decided to paint a picture of this flower for you because the actual flower would die soon, and I wanted you to have it forever.”

This is a particular kind of story that carries a timeless sweetness. Although it did not originate from me, I love to share it because I became a part of it in my search for inspiration and experience. This is one reason people like to work with me. I am inspired by my clients and their stories, and together we tell great ones.

When I opened Kai Films, I intended to formalize my love of storytelling and make this offering available to all my clients. I'm a great director of photography yet, in film and TV productions I often wear many hats sometimes all at once. Please visit the Kai Films website to review my capabilities and projects – and see how stories create connections.