2004 BBIFF

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DON KNODEL BIO & PERSPECTIVE

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MAN WITHOUT A NAME
 
96:00 TRT
Narrative Suspense/Romantic-Comedy
World Premiere
 
DON A. KNODEL
Writer, Producer, Director, Editor, Lead Actor
James P. Lewis-Cinematographer
Co-Editor-Kevin Willis
PRETTY PENNY PICTURES, INC.
Coquitlam Prov. BC Canada
 
KEY ACTORS: April Telek, Don Knodel, J.Douglas Steward, Rob Avery
 
A suspense-romantic comedy aobut a  man who gets into more trouble than expected after rescuing a woman on the subway.

SYNOPSIS
 
MAN WITHOUT A NAME begins when an attractive woman in danger, Martina, is rescued by a man on the subway.
 
Martina thanks him with a kiss but he insists on helping her resolve the conflict with this other man.  When she questions his motives, he declares he's only in this "for the adventure".
 
After giving in to his persistence, he gets Martin's name but for safety's sake is reluctant to give her his.  So they make up the name Randy Pest.
From there, the adventure goes through a number of twists as Martina is not who she makes out to be and her conflict becomes more complicated than what 'Randy' expected.
 
Other characters and bad guys are introduced as the story progresses through a variety of spectacular locations, culminating in an unexpected finish.

WAR STORY OF PRODUCTION TRAVAILS
 
DAY ONE, 14 strangers and a cube van full of home-made props and free equipment, meet at my house at 3:45 am on a Sunday and travel 4 hours to a ranch in the middle of nowhere to film that day and the next.  After traveling back that evening, DAY THREE was Tuesday, September 11, 2001.  I didn't now if ayone would show up.  Everyone did.  Athough people were on the phone all day and couldn't stop talking about what happened, being on set kept our minds off our fears and sorrows.
 

DIRECTOR BIO:  DON KNODEL
 
Since age 6, it's been Don's dream to make movies.  He started making "shorts" at the age of 9 and graduated with a B.A. in film and television in 1986.  Actively trying to make a feature since then including 33 months on this, his fourth screenplay, thanks to improvements in digital technology, the help of over 150 people involved in production and/or post-production and the re-mortgaging of his home, MAN WITHOUT A NAME was entirely self-financed and completed in August 2003.

PRODUCER BIO:  DON KNODEL, is a 1986 graduate from the University of British Columbia (UBC) with a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Television, MAN WITHOUT A NAME is the first feature film Don has produced.  He has also produced more than 2 dozen short films and videos since the age of nine.  Over the past 17 years, apart from working on his own projects, he has worked on more than 110 (mostly Hollywood) productions in the Vancouver film industry in several capacities including production manager, location manager and assistant director

WRITER BIO: DON KNODEL is also listed as the producer and director, Don has dreamed about a variety of fim ideas and stories in all genres for as long as he can remember.  Most of them weren't put to paper until Junior High School.  Since then he has written countless skits, 14 plays (produced between 1989 to 1996), more than 2 dozen short screenplays, 2 one hour spec scripts for the television shows "Highlander" and "The Outer Limits", and 4 feature-length screenplays.

NEW TECHNOLOGY
The introduction of new technology that transfers digital to 35mm film while giving it  'film look' is another recent bonus which I was able to use.  The Digital Film Group, a pioneering company in Vancouver, saved me several hundred-thousand dollars in equipment, rawstock and lab fees with mimimal compromise on the finished picture.  For the first time in my life, I was able to self-finance a 35mm feature film-although I did set myself back financially about ten years.
 
Another neat thing about working with digital and then transferring to film, is that a lot of the effects that modern non-linear editing systems can do (such as fancy wips, dissolves, reverse-shots, speed variations, etc.) are fine for television but expensive for movies since everything has to be transferred from film to digital then back to film.  In my case, I was going from digital to film anyway, so all the awesome effects I used in editing were transferable to the big screen at no additional cost.

OVERALL TONE
 
I've always been a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock.  The idea of making a suspense film caused me to want to capture the same feeling of his films from the late 1950's, yet still keep the stroy in present day.  This was achieved in MAN WITHOUT A NAME through a variety of ways from the acting style, of framing the shots and camera movement and some of the visual and special effets, particularly in the end sequence.
 
Like many older movies (and present-day limited budget movies), there was also an emphaiss on dialogue and especially well-paced dialogue. Yet at the same time, there are scenes when there were longer shots without any dialogue at all.
 
I also liked the uses of 'wipes' as a transitional device between scenes to create a retro feel.
Like the movies of old (pre-sixties), this is a very 'clean' movie.  There is no excessive violence, no sex, no nudity, no swearing and no coarse language.  I think this will be a refreshing change for many people and actually a new angle for an adult-theme modern-day movie.