Six Months Into Post Production

Posted by Director Mark Richard Smith on July 6th, 2009

Thanks to all of you who have expressed an interest in the film by registering your email address at

First, great progress is being made on the film. The production process has been a very deep and complex journey, which is to be expected. Every time I think I’m finished shooting, I realize that I need another pickup shot of a certain building, or there’s someone else who must be interviewed. But I’m pretty sure that I have everything I need to finish.

Even though his surviving work is a visual feast, for many reasons, Louis Sullivan as an individual is a challenge for a filmmaker. He was a very private and isolated person. He had no children, he was estranged from his only sibling, and we have his faithful assistant George Elmslie to thank for destroying much of Sullivan’s private papers after his death. Even though Sullivan died in 1924, there are no moving pictures of him, and few if any photographs survive other than formal portraits (there isn’t even a photograph of Sullivan with his wife of nine years, Margaret, or his partner, Dankmar Adler). Suffice to say that one has to be very resourceful and inventive to visually tell the human side of this story.

Right now we are about two-thirds of the way through what is called a rough cut. With hope, I’ll be at the final cut stage by the end of September, 2009. At left is an image of what Final Cut Pro, our editing software, looks like as we work on the film (click on the image to enlarge it).

As with any filmmaker, I want this film to be seen by as many people as possible, so I am waiting until a final cut is ready to approach film distributors, broadcast outlets and film festivals to gauge their interest. I have high hopes that it will be picked up by either a film or cable entity. As soon as distribution is determined, I’ll have a better idea of when and how DVDs will be available.

Until then, thanks again for all the supportive and enthusiastic messages and inquiries. For those who know Sullivan, I hope you’ll find in this film the same beautiful energy you see in his buildings and ornamentation. For those who aren’t aware of Sullivan or care that much about architecture, I am striving for a film that will grab hold of them and won’t let go.