I’ve known indie filmmaker Michael James Kacey since our days at Penn State (and please, no questions about how long ago that was!). Beginning his career as a talented actor, Mike aimed for the gold ring and wrote, produced, and directed the independent feature Daybreak (2001) starring Paul Clemens (noted for his performance in the ‘80s horror opus The Beast Within).
Now, Mike’s embarking on an admirable crusade to have one of radio’s true pioneers recognized in a documentary interview he’s completed with Norman Corwin. Originally designed as part of a longer feature in development called “Radio Changed America,” the interview has been finished as the stand-alone film “The Poet Laureate of Radio: An Interview with Norman Corwin,” only one element of Mike’s efforts to put Corwin—a peer of radio luminaries Orson Welles and Pittsburgh-born William N. Robson–back into the spotlight, once he’d taken the true measure of a man he’d already admired for quite some time.
Mike, on the importance of Corwin:
“As a longtime fan of Old Time Radio I had heard of Norman Corwin but until 1995 had never heard anything by Norman Corwin. On May 8, 1995, on the fiftieth anniversary on V-E Day, radio station KNX Los Angeles rebroadcast Corwin’s masterpiece “On A Note of Triumph.” I was blown away by what I heard. I never imagined that radio drama could be lifted to such heights. It was radio art. It was and is American art.”
In the world of cinema, Corwin made his mark authoring the screenplays for The Blue Veil (1951), Scandal at Scourie (1953), The Story of Ruth (1961), and the 1956 biopic of Vincent Van Gogh, Lust for Life, starring Kirk Douglas.
Want to sign the petition to have Corwin honored by Congress and President Obama as Corwin reaches his 100th birthday? Go here: www.poetlaureateofradio.com
Want to read Mike’s “practical yet irreverent” blog on filmmaking? Go here: www.michaeljameskacey.blogspot.com/.
Want a look at Mike in “the old days,” acting for yours truly in an excerpt from “The Grand Inquisitor,” the adaptation of a passage contained in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov that served as my junior year final project in Cinema Directing? Mike has a field day playing the charismatic (and wigged-out) preacher who rails at the return of (a very stoic) Jesus in the flesh. Watch: