8
8

Dogmouth

$2,275 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 11 people in 66 months


Dogmouth - The Film by John Steppling directed by Stephan Morrow

Support a film project that is significant in these days of soul sucking rollercoaster rides and special effects or stories that drip with self-righteousness. Steppling is the most dangerous writer in America because he makes you feel uncomfortable with the easily digested ideas we have all been filled with. After two controversial but powerful stage runs and a successful video we are passionate about now bringing this truly disturbing story to the screen as a minimum budget independent film to be shot in Clifton, New Jersey this summer. To wit: a mysterious mafia of ex-Viet Nam Vets hopping freights, go against their avowed enemy and suffer the consequences while their leader Dogmouth is nearing his end from cancer and his 20 year old girlfriend is nearing childbirth. They may long for the freedom the rails' afford but the end is closing in on them - the long arm of the law is never far behind and relentless. Add to this mix, the media - insatiable in its hunger for sensationalist stories - creates them as some leviathan of an organization - and you have a story that has a nightmarish inevitability. That Steppling (who wrote '52 Pickup' with Roy Scheider and Ann Margaret directed by John Frankenheimer and mentored playwright Jon Robin Baitz) manages to also pack powerful reveries on death and dying, the measure of existence, the gap between the wealthy and the moneyless, even the survival of the fittest - is a tribute to the power of his writing. If you think of a mix of 'Dead Man Walking' (before Penn's incarceration), 'In Cold Blood' (from the pt of view of the killers), 'Cape Fear'(from Max Cady's perspective) and 'American History X' - this gives you a sense of the film. (I don't think you could find a more vile set of people and it will disturb and provoke the audience that sees it. ), but it's this kind of writing where we are forced to ponder people who we would more likely than not, find repulsive - is where the power of great stories lives. I think that when the audience is made uncomfortable and forced to examine their preconceived notions about certain kinds of people, then a story has achieved something that's rare and of real value. As Steppling is fond of saying ' Art is not your friend'. I would add that truth can be brutal. And violence, real violence, can come in small dripping measures rather than mind numbing explosions and special effects that have no meaning at all. That's also the lesson from this saga - which is based on a true story. So come join us in a project which is dark but which has some of the most evocative writing around. Support something that lives outside our comfort zone: A film that makes a difference!
Stephan Morrow, Director
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Been a long time so I wanted to let you know that the Dog is not only still howling but seems like at this point to have been resurrected. So here's the pretty amazing news that even to me ( as someone who sees himself as being all about the work) is pretty cool: Today, Sept 20th, Dogmouth is scheduled to be released on Amazon Video on Demand. Apparently it's pretty competitive to have that happen so my thanks goes out to every one of my cast members and crew people and you sponsors who helped make this vision become a reality. For me that vision is bringing to life a piece of writing by one of our most powerful if under represented writers, John Steppling. So kudos to all involved who came on board. In addition, this Saturday, Sept 23 @ 6PM at The Buffalo/Niagara Film Festival at The Four Seasons Cinema (2429 Military Road)in Niagara Falls, NY Dogmouth is being screened with myself and John Steppling attending for a Q and A afterwards and on Sunday Sept 24th @2PM John will give a seminar on filmmaking that I will moderate also at The Four Seasons Cinema. (Among other things, John taught at The Polish Film Institute in Lodz for eight years so that presentation should be pretty insightful.). Among other topics to be discussed will be what it was like to work as a writer with maestro filmmaker John Frankenheimer( the original Manchurian Candidate w/ Frank Sinatra and Angela Lansbury and Laurence Harvey) on his film '52 Pickup' and 'Animal Factory' directed by Steve Buscemi with Willem Dafoe and Ed Furlong. As you might have figured out by now, the life of an independent film is longer if smaller than the big commercial endeavors so it's been a long row to hoe and all I can say, if after what, 70 plus years Casablanca, Treasure of Sierra Madre and The Third Man are still being screened and discussed we have a long and exciting future to look forward to with such a great piece of writing and I say that with the notion that as someone who had the honor and pleasure of working with Arthur Miller, Norman Mailer, Murray Schisgal et al I think I know something about great writing. So there you have it. But the ride across the pond, the ride up to Buffalo has not been cheap - as you can imagine - so we are asking for any contribution large or small - it will all be welcome and most appreciated. Not just by me but for those who see a curtain of nothingness descending on so much celluloid reality in spite of the high tech hardware now available - in the end it's all about the writing and good writing these days is as hard to find as that needle in the haystack and speaking for myself - one that comes down the tracks only once in a lifetime . So thanks for your support in the past and for it now. From a deep place. Cheers, Stephan Morrow
Postscript - It has been a long time (we premiered Dogmouth in 2014 ) so I'm happy to be here at all with the health issues that came up for me a year ago and am proceeding on the basis that I"m healthy again and cancer free. And finally, my thoughts go out to our sweet soul of a man L.B. Williams who was in the original stage production of Dogmouth and without whose commitment the rest wouldn't have followed. R.I.P.
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Hey. It's been a long time and much water under the bridge: some rich and blue re: Dogmouth being made an Official Selection of eight film festivals. Five awards. And some murky waters re: some health issues that hopefully will be something to look back on. In any case, just to let you know we're in the home stretch of the life of Dogmouth ( for those of you unfamiliar with the independent film arena - independent films take a long time to get any traction so even after three years Dogmouth is still howling. And the last 20 months have been very fruitful and satisfying. The apex of that was sweeping The Bergenfield Film Festival in New Jersey ( a small festival but one that's been around for 10 years) where we were given The Best Screenplay Award for John Steppling. The Best Producing for Robert Hunkele and Best Actor for Stephan Morrow. ( Not only didn't we know anybody there but three of us got lost twice on the way to it. So you would have to say it was a legitimate score and much appreciated.). Only to add that Ray Wasik, Tim Klein, Rob Hunkele, Crawford Watson all had gone there as kind of a lark and reunion and to see the film on a big screen again.
So we were not a little dumbfounded when the awards were announced. A great night even though we again got lost on the way out of there.
So our tally so far is :
Premiered at The New York City Greek Film Festival (@ the historic Cinema Village in Greenwich Village.
Official Selection : New Filmmakers/ New York Winterfest @ Anthology Film Archives.
Official Selection: Lower East Side Film Festival @ Theater for the New City.
Official Selection: Bergenfield Film Festival
Official Selection: Hot Springs Arkansas International Horror Film Festival
Official Selection: Bollywood International Film Festival ( Columbia, South Carolina).
Official Selection :The Erie International Film Festival and Official Selection in The Finow Film Festival (Germany) in The Best Feature Category and Best Actor Category (Stephan Morrow).

We have also, won The Award of Merit : Film Feature in The IndieFEST International Film Competition.

Honorable Mention at The Samo (Santa Monica Film Festival)

and Nominated in The Maverick Movie Awards for Best Ensemble Acting. Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor - William C. Tate

Now, considering the fact that you keep hearing that there are 'hundreds' and sometimes 'thousands' of submissions to festivals these days (seems like everybody's got a digital camera ) we feel pretty good about what we've been able to accomplish. And I always answer that in the end it's about the writing and that what cuts us off from the herd is the power of Steppling's writing.
So thanks again for your support in what turned out to be a fairly miraculous endeavor especially given the controversial nature of Dogmouth. Though with the recent upsurge in racial tensions here and Islamic terrorism here and abroad somehow our film has gained a new relevance : The need to cherish our freedom to express ideas - any ideas, no matter how repugnant - has become paramount.
So as I said, the life of an independent film is sometimes longer than one would expect and this is actually the home stretch for our film - we are now in the mix for next years fall and winter festivals. Let's keep our fingers crossed that more good news comes our way and if you were so inclined to throw a few shekels our way that would of course be most appreciated - submission fees mount up and for independent filmmakers become a substantial portion of the budget. Cheers, Stephan

dogmouth trailer
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Hi again. An addendum: As I said, we're all very happy about the good news of late: On May 7th, Dogmouth won three awards at The Bergenfield Film Festival :
Best Writer - John Steppling
Best Actor - Stephan Morrow
Best Producing - Rob Hunkele


That night, the four of us from our cast and crew ( myself, Ray Wasik ('Becker'), Rob Hunkele (assoc prod. ), Crawford Watson (D.P. ) and Tim Klein (production/ boom ) were enjoying the food at the after fest party - really that was good enough for us- you know, everybody catching up with each other, a nice Spring night, some good free food - when all of a sudden Rob our assoc producer was called up. Flabbergasted all of us. Not that we didn't think our film hadn't turned out well, it was just so unexpected - given the dark nature of the story . And it got better - Best Writer was announced: John Steppling : wow. this was turning into a shockingly great night. But finally, when I heard my own name - I just couldn't believe that the folks of this small but long lasting festival had really gotten it. Even my character - not the kind of dude people come up to you and slap you on the back for doing. Especially when you're the director as well. So my sincerest thanks to Ann Marie Cassar, Artistic Director and her husband Dominic for their appreciation of some very difficult material.

Anyway, we've been invited to screen it again next Sat (Memorial Day Weekend) May 23 @ 9PM as the film part of the LES (Lower East Side ) Festival of the Arts at Theater for the New City : 155 -1St Ave. (Cabaret Space Screening Room). It's a free screening but it's first come first served so if you want to attend make sure you show up early.


But we do need your help. Sincerely. Because the other addendum is that we've come so far on so little but those of you who know about independent film know that it's the post production fees that are the killers: E and O (Errors and Omissions ) Insurance alone which every film must have is somewhere between $3,000. and $5, 000. So it's a never ending battle raising money for each hurdle of success that you reach.
I've been so honored and grateful that so many of you generous souls have stepped up to the plate for this challenging project - but to get this far and to falter, well... So please help us - no donation is too small or too large). This is the kind of thing that gives Sisyphus new meaning.

As I left our table I toasted everybody with this: 'Well, if nothing else, now we know that I'm not completely crazy for doing this".
If there are any select souls who aren't afraid to look over the edge into the darkness. (that's what I say about 'Waiting for Godot' ) feel free to pass on the info. More details about the film follows. Hope to see you there.


Dogmouth has also been awarded the prestigious Award of Merit : film feature by The IndieFEST International Film Competition - with The Bergenfield Film Festival Awards that totals four awards that Dogmouth has now received.

It has also now been invited into four film festivals, received three overwhelmingly positive reviews and is being represented at The Cannes Film Festival by a distributor.


The awards were given for Stephan Morrow’s exciting feature film production of Dogmouth which has now been invited into four film festivals: The New York City Greek Film Festival, NewFilmmakers/New York Winterfest 2015, Bergenfield Film Festival and LES (Lower East Side ) Film Festival at Theater for the New City.

Dogmouth features exceptional acting by Alexandra Milne, Stephan Morrow, Ray Wasik and William C.Tate. Cinematography by Crawford Watson. Editing and Post Production by Michael Kasino. Associate Producers: Rob Hunkele, June and Johnny Ospa. Sound Paul Dente. Asst Camera Raquel Reyes. Timothy Klein – boom operator.
"I believe that our writer, John Steppling (’52 Pickup’ with Roy Scheider and Ann Margaret and Animal Farm (2000) with Willem Dafoe and Mickey Rourke ) has created some of the best if darkest writing you will find in a film. His anthem is ‘Art is not your friend’ and that certainly is true of the story of Dogmouth - about a group of Viet Nam vets who are not dissimilar to Hell’s Angels except these guys hop freights instead of Harley Davidsons. But moreover, Steppling manages to inject ruminations on the moment of death, the courage of dogs, the principles of gangland violence and many other dark insights into the human condition and it is these kinds of gems that elevate the story beyond just another noirish tale. We believe the artist must be free to search out truth no matter how offensive it might be.
Stephan Morrow, Director


- If you are looking for a film that’s idiosyncratic, nihilistic, bursting with desperation, life and death, all made on a budget of under $2000, head for Dogmouth from Stephan Morrow. He pulls out all the dramatic stops. The acting is terrific. This is a film that you will talk about, exactly what I’m looking for at a film festival where I want to be surprised. Dogmouth did not let me down. It’s tough, gritty and terrific .
Penelope Karageorge
Film Critic
The National Herald
--------------------------------------------------

“The Film ‘Dogmouth’ based on a text by John Steppling is confirmation of the ability of the actor-director Stephan Morrow. The most beautiful and moving moment is when the protagonist Morrow caresses his wife Alexandra Milne. His unpredictable personality makes it chillingly clear that he might end up strangling her. Also with Ray Wasik, William C. Tate and Lyle Kessler. “ Mario Fratti (Critic and playwright (‘Nine’). - ‘America Oggi’
----------------------------------------------------



Steppling and Morrow Shake Up Audiences with Dogmouth

By Constantine S. Sirigos
The National Herald Staff Writer
NEW YORK - The audience did not know what to expect from Dogmouth, the movie adapted from the play written by John Steppling. Many of them had already acquired a taste for The Greek weird wave of films that have made their way not only to the annual New York City Greek Film Festival, which presented Dogmouth, but to the attention of film lovers worldwide.
They were prepared for weirdness and violence, and to be disturbed by the experience, but how much? Some may have wondered who can I take to this film?
James DeMetro, the founder and director of the festival, introduced Stephan Morrow, who produced, directed and acted in the film...
Dogmouth is controversial, Morrow said. Steppling is an equal opportunity offender, but I find his writing to be some of the best around. This is a film that is rare these days, one to be listened to as much as anything else....The Festival program called Dogmouth - the character was played by Morrow - a bitter Vietnam vet and rail-riding renegade living his last days.
But there is some charisma to Dogmouth, which spawns disturbing thoughts about that human quality. He has a following and has managed to charm a pretty young woman, Nyah, played with excruciating ingenuousness by Alexandra Milne.

Among Stepplings many sizzling sentences is one simple devastating line:
Hes not what you would call a good man - stated by Becker (Ray Wasik) , his partner in crime....Just as Morrow's gripping portrayal of a damaged human being tempts the thought that it is not evil which lurked in the forest, Steppling and Morrow-as-director pull the rug out from under liberals in the audience with the edgy scenes of Dogmouth fuming or seething in silence...



Constantine Sirigos. National Herald
+ Read More
Hi all. Been a long time but I'm happy to say that we have had some well, amazingly good news of late: Dogmouth won three awards at The Bergenfield Film Festival :
Best Writer - John Steppling
Best Actor - Stephan Morrow
Best Producing - Rob Hunkele


That night, the four of us from our cast and crew ( myself, Ray Wask ('Becker'), Rob Hunkele (assoc prod. ), Crawford Watson (D.P. ) and Tim Klein (production/ boom ) were enjoying the food at the after fest party - really that was good enough for us- you know, everybody catching up with each other, a nice Spring night, some good free food - when all of a sudden Rob our assoc producer was called up. Flabbergasted all of us. Not that we didn't think our film hadn't turned out well, it was just so unexpected - given the dark nature of the story . And it got better - Best Writer was announced: John Steppling : wow. this was turning into a shockingly great night. But finally, when I heard my own name - I just couldn't believe that the folks of this small but long lasting festival had really gotten it. Even my character - not the kind of dude people come up to you and slap you on the back for doing. Especially when you're the director as well. So my sincerest thanks to Ann Marie Cassar, Artistic Director and her husband Dominic for their appreciation of some very difficult material.

Anyway, we've been invited to screen it again next Sat (Memorial Day Weekend) May 23 @ 9PM as the film part of the LES (Lower East Side ) Festival of the Arts at Theater for the New City : 155 -1St Ave. (Cabaret Space Screening Room). It's a free screening but it's first come first served so if you want to attend make sure you show up early.


The other addendum is that we've come so far on so little but those of you who know about independent film know that it's the post production fees that are the killers: E and O (Errors and Omissions ) Insurance alone which every film must have is somewhere between $3,000. and $5, 000. So it's a never ending battle raising money for each hurdle of success that you reach.
I've been so honored and grateful that so many of you have stepped up to the plate for me and this project but to get this far and to falter, well... So please help us - no donation is too small or too large). This is the kind of thing that gives Sisyphus new meaning.

As I left our table I toasted everybody with this: 'Well, if nothing else, now we know that I'm not completely crazy for doing this".
If there are any select souls who aren't afraid to look over the edge into the darkness. (that's what I say about 'Waiting for Godot' ) feel free to pass on the info. More details about the film follows. Hope to see you there.


Dogmouth has also been awarded the prestigious Award of Merit : film feature by The IndieFEST International Film Competition - with The Bergenfield Film Festival Awards that totals four awards that Dogmouth has now received.

It has also now been invited into four film festivals, received three overwhelmingly positive reviews and is being represented at The Cannes Film Festival by a distributor.


The awards were given for Stephan Morrow’s exciting feature film production of Dogmouth which has now been invited into four film festivals: The New York City Greek Film Festival, NewFilmmakers/New York Winterfest 2015, Bergenfield Film Festival and LES (Lower East Side ) Film Festival at Theater for the New City.

Dogmouth features exceptional acting by Alexandra Milne, Stephan Morrow, Ray Wasik and William C.Tate. Cinematography by Crawford Watson. Editing and Post Production by Michael Kasino. Associate Producers: Rob Hunkele, June and Johnny Ospa. Sound Paul Dente. Asst Camera Raquel Reyes. Timothy Klein – boom operator.
"I believe that our writer, John Steppling (’52 Pickup’ with Roy Scheider and Ann Margaret and Animal Farm (2000) with Willem Dafoe and Mickey Rourke ) has created some of the best if darkest writing you will find in a film. His anthem is ‘Art is not your friend’ and that certainly is true of the story of Dogmouth - about a group of Viet Nam vets who are not dissimilar to Hell’s Angels except these guys hop freights instead of Harley Davidsons. But moreover, Steppling manages to inject ruminations on the moment of death, the courage of dogs, the principles of gangland violence and many other dark insights into the human condition and it is these kinds of gems that elevate the story beyond just another noirish tale. We believe the artist must be free to search out truth no matter how offensive it might be.
Stephan Morrow, Director


- If you are looking for a film that’s idiosyncratic, nihilistic, bursting with desperation, life and death, all made on a budget of under $2000, head for Dogmouth from Stephan Morrow. He pulls out all the dramatic stops. The acting is terrific. This is a film that you will talk about, exactly what I’m looking for at a film festival where I want to be surprised. Dogmouth did not let me down. It’s tough, gritty and terrific .
Penelope Karageorge
Film Critic
The National Herald
--------------------------------------------------

“The Film ‘Dogmouth’ based on a text by John Steppling is confirmation of the ability of the actor-director Stephan Morrow. The most beautiful and moving moment is when the protagonist Morrow caresses his wife Alexandra Milne. His unpredictable personality makes it chillingly clear that he might end up strangling her. Also with Ray Wasik, William C. Tate and Lyle Kessler. “ Mario Fratti (Critic and playwright (‘Nine’). - ‘America Oggi’
----------------------------------------------------



Steppling and Morrow Shake Up Audiences with Dogmouth

By Constantine S. Sirigos
The National Herald Staff Writer
NEW YORK - The audience did not know what to expect from Dogmouth, the movie adapted from the play written by John Steppling. Many of them had already acquired a taste for The Greek weird wave of films that have made their way not only to the annual New York City Greek Film Festival, which presented Dogmouth, but to the attention of film lovers worldwide.
They were prepared for weirdness and violence, and to be disturbed by the experience, but how much? Some may have wondered who can I take to this film?
James DeMetro, the founder and director of the festival, introduced Stephan Morrow, who produced, directed and acted in the film...
Dogmouth is controversial, Morrow said. Steppling is an equal opportunity offender, but I find his writing to be some of the best around. This is a film that is rare these days, one to be listened to as much as anything else....The Festival program called Dogmouth - the character was played by Morrow - a bitter Vietnam vet and rail-riding renegade living his last days.
But there is some charisma to Dogmouth, which spawns disturbing thoughts about that human quality. He has a following and has managed to charm a pretty young woman, Nyah, played with excruciating ingenuousness by Alexandra Milne.

Among Stepplings many sizzling sentences is one simple devastating line:
Hes not what you would call a good man stated by Becker, his partner in crime....Just as Morrow's gripping portrayal of a damaged human being tempts the thought that it is not evil which lurked in the forest, Steppling and Morrow-as-director pull the rug out from under liberals in the audience with the edgy scenes of Dogmouth fuming or seething in silence...



Constantine Sirigos. National Herald

Dogmouth Poster
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Read a Previous Update
Stephan Morrow
66 months ago

Hey. Tired of special effects or stories that drip? Come join us by supporting a project with real danger. Thanks so much. Stephan Morrow, Artistic Director, The Great American Play Series

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$2,275 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 11 people in 66 months
Created June 12, 2013
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JR
$500
Jose A Rodriguez
64 months ago

Good Luck. Look forward to the premiere!

$100
Anonymous
64 months ago
$25
Anonymous
64 months ago
MF
$200
mario fratti
64 months ago (Offline Donation)
JA
$100
joe ambrose
65 months ago (Offline Donation)

I did a film about a year ago about the trade center and they raised money in dribs and drabs so I know how hard it can be. All the best. Joe Ambrose

A
$1,000
anonymous
65 months ago (Offline Donation)

I've been a supporter of Stephan's since he worked with Arthur Miller on 'Incident at Vichy'.

Stephan Morrow
66 months ago

Hey. Tired of special effects or stories that drip? Come join us by supporting a project with real danger. Thanks so much. Stephan Morrow, Artistic Director, The Great American Play Series

+ Read More
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