Proposal for a 58-Minute Film/Video Documentary A LIFE IN NEW YORK CITY

The subject of this 60-minute film will be living in New York from 1940 to 2000. As the theme is the character and impact of the place upon an individual life, it will eschew not only testimony from anyone else but any talking heads, including mine. On screen will be only New York City scenes relating to the author's spoken text, the personal becoming universal through an approach that is impersonal. Most of these scenes will be shot especially for the film; some will be drawn from historical footage, home movies shot by my father and others, and photographs. My colleague Peter Longauer, long a distinguished animator, has incorporated photographs into documentaries and is a generally brilliant editor. The cameraman should be especially skilled at shooting buildings and bucolic urban activites. I will speak the text against a background soundtrack including passages from my electro-acoustic composition New York City (Westdeutscher Rundfunk, 1984), which has been aired over radio stations and in museums (including the Whitney in New York). I can't think of any precursors for this, obvious though the subject seems, excerpt perhaps Alfred Kazin's prose memoir A Walker in the City (1951), where is less about the City's effect on him than his purportedly transcending the City. Our estimate for total costs, including fees for us, would be $150,000. Foundations interested in supporting what we think will be a Public Television Classic (and gettng prominent credit) should contact me. Enclosed are relevant resumés. I can also provide upon request drafts of my narration and Longauer's shooting notes. Note that while we do not currently have nonprofit affiliation, we are sure we can find, if necessary, an appropriate umbrella.