Weaving together interviews, artwork, and archival footage, THIS MEANS SOMETHING is a short experimental documentary that explores the meaning of life, and how it relaxes to four diverse (and occasionally eccentric) characters: a cellist, a taxidermist, a costume shop owner, and a dance crazed music fan. The film was shot in Montana and Missouri from 2000-02
The project, which began in 2000 with the simple question What gives your life meaning? evolved into an inquiry of those things which find their way only delicately into words: faith, self-expression, interpretation, and love. This central question of meaning-one which seems at first rather naive, lead the film's subjets to difficult and often profound reflection. In one interview, an icon of the national music scene, "Beatle Bob" Matonis, reveals the vital infuence music has had on his very existence. "A world without music?" he asks, "Man, I don't think I'd even have a pulse. I think I'd just dry up and ...not even want to go on living."
Living in such ambivalent times, the notion of what gives meaning to a single life seems more and more consequential as each day passes. THIS MEANS SOMETHING is a celebration of the diversity and the commonalities that bridge the gap between individuality and the common ground of being human. The film, which examines varied cultural, artistic adn ideological attudes toward life, is a collage which weaves together the thoughts and expressions of a variety of interviewees; developing themes as it evolves (e.g. work as meaning to life, or reliance on faith). This process of blending together disparate is much like a patchwork quilt where the completed product becomes a reflection of the sum of its parts.
Steinberg's films have earned placement in national film festivals, including the Jewish Film Festival and The Texas Film Festival. Additionally, his work has been screened at Midtown Arts Center, Chicago's Navy Pier, Washington University, and the Slumdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Recent production credits include the independently financed feature film AMATEUR HOUR, which Steinberg co-produced, wrote and directed: 2 OR 3 THINGS I KNOW FOR SURE, a short documentary about Montana artists; and the E! TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY.
Steinberg has taught at Webster University, The University of Montana, St. Louis Community College, The Center of Contemporary Arts, and at the College of Languages in Lodz, Poland. Currently he is the Director of the Webster Film Series, an internationally recognized, year-round film series which showcases the best in foreign, experimental, classic and American Independent cinema.
Steinberg's current project, which began shooting in November of 2003, is a profile of legendary Theater Organist Stan Kann, titled THE HAPPIEST MAN IN THE WORLD.
Steinberg lives in curious and quiet suburban Saint Louis, where he and his beautiful wife Lisa sit in goggle-eyed fascination of their wildly precocious daughter Ella. Steinberg used to want to be famous. Some people never learn.
STEVE KELLY-PRODUCER, VIDEOGRAPHER
Kelly received a BFA in Painting from the University of Montana. He is the co-ower (with Steinberg) of River City Media. His film and video work ranges from documentary and narrative shorts to long form client-based productions. He has shot for the US Forest Service, The Clark Fork Coalition and The University of Montana.
As a production designer Kelly has worked on feature films and on the stage. Recently he designed sets and costumes for a play at the Avatar Meher Baba Trust in Ahmednagar, India.
Kelly teaches video production and art classes at the Center of Contemporary Arts, in University City, Missouri, and at the St. Louis Art Museum. He shows his paintings regularly in St. Louis; his work has been featured in numerous group and solo shows.
Currently, Kelly is the Production Manager for dh TV, the center of community media in St. Louis, Missouri.
He lives with his wife, the writer Maud Kelly, an their lovely daughter Maeve. They have a dog named Scout, and while she's not exactly too big for the apartment, she sure would be happier on a farm.
DOUG WHYTE-ASSISTANT PRODUCER/CONSULTANT
Doug Whyte studied business at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance in 1993. In 1995 Whyte began a career in film and worked on numerous independent films including KING OF THE ROAD, AMATEUR HOUR and STRIKEN. In addition to his feature film work, Whyte has worked on commercial productions for Nintendo, UPS, Comedy Central, and Home and Garden Television.
In 1998 Whyte partnered with Tom Grable to produce A SLICE OF LIFE AND DEATH: UNDERTAKING IN AMERICA. The film has been picked up by Seventh Art Releasing. Currently Whyte is completing another docuentary on adults with mental disabilities who live in a long-term care facility modeled after the Old West. The project is titled HOME ON THE RANGE.
Currently Whyte is the Development Director for the Double Helix Corporation.
GREG KELLY-VISUAL ARTIST
Greg Kelly earned a BFA in ceramics and drawing at Colorado State University under the extraordinary tutelage of Richard Devore. Kelly's work ranges from pen and ink drawings to paintings and photographs. A recent series of paintings and drawings explores the connections between the natural world and lines of graffiti.
Recently he has become involved in video produciton and editing, working with dance and movement. Kelly lives and teaches art in Charlottesville, VA.