Writer/Director Jonathan C. Stevens has been building a city and state-wide collaboration on the foundation of how a poet sees and experiences the globally historic city of Lowell, Massachusetts..
ALOYSIUS PRODUCTIONS presents TWO FILMS in the making...
The Merrimack will be a feature film about the authentic people of Lowell, Massachusetts.
This underdog story takes us on a journey through the past and present in Lowell, a city rich in history and culture, capturing a place in time as seen from a poet’s street-level view.
Collage of a City will be a series of documentaries accompanying the feature film.
The documentaries will feature numerous hours of footage showcasing the diverse places and cultural events throughout the city of Lowell, as well as interviews with over 300 members of the community.
Jonathan’s vision for this project is one of collaboration between various social and cultural enclaves in the Lowell community, with an end result of a feature film entitled The Merrimack and a series of three accompanying documentaries entitled
Collage of a City.
He is now in his 7th year of pre-production, which has included extensive historical research, location scouting, and the capture of over 12,000 photographs of present-day Lowell. This work has also involved conceptualizing, outlining and script writing, storyboarding, and video and audio production. Jonathan has filmed over 800 hours of footage, interviewing more than 300 individuals regarding their thoughts on this city that is an integral part of American history and the world as we know it.
The interviews with politicians, business owners, people living on the streets, artists, musicians, gang members, and Lowellians from all generations, ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds will be compiled into the Collage of a City documentaries. These documentaries will have multiple hours of B-Roll footage showing various locations and events throughout the city. This documentary portion of the project is moving into post-production now.
The feature film The Merrimack will be a story set in Lowell, MA and will include many of the people interviewed for Collage of a City.
This project is about the people who have made, and are still making, Lowell what it is today, and will present the city in the uncommon form of both a feature film and documentary. This will provide the people of Lowell, America, and the world, a unique way to connect with the legacy of this city.
Aloysius Productions plans to release the three Collage of a City documentaries over the course of 2018/2019 while filming The Merrimack feature film simultaneously. Anticipated release date for the feature film is 2019/2020.
FEATURE FILM PLOT OVERVIEW
Playing the parts of both participant and observer, Jon receives an unfinished manuscript about Lowell written by his deceased great-uncle and is determined to complete it and release it to the public.
Telling his family’s story but also including excerpts from an additional group of Lowellians from diverse backgrounds, Jon comes in contact with a variety of individuals in the city and shares experiences with people of many generations, socio-economic classes, and cultures - highlighting their connectedness. Through these characters’ contributions to the manuscript the history of the city of Lowell is explored along with it’s significance to America and the world.
Lowell is the perfect setting to illustrate this connectedness within diversity because of its intricately woven story. With its never-say-die attitude it is also the ideal place for an underdog story, as it is a city that has been counted out more than once and yet continues to persevere and overcome.
Jon, the young poet, born with a rare genetic deformity, perseveres to overcome the trials of his out-of-the-ordinary life, striving to find peace and purpose through art, truth and service to others, creating unity throughout the city.
People from all walks of life will connect with this inspiring story as the poet uses the power of words to help others through their struggles, making positives out of negatives.
Many potential cast members are already standing by, eager to start production on The Merrimack. Along with hundreds of locals excited to appear in this film, we also have a handful of professional actors involved who have appeared in numerous Hollywood productions.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
Countless people have been introduced to this project through various forms of outreach over the last 3 years. Over 700 individuals, businesses an institutions have been involved in lming, including UMass Lowell & Middlesex Community College. Portions of the interviews for Collage of a City are airing on a dozen local access stations in the Greater Merrimack Valley. In addition to appearing on a handful of local programs and organizing many collaborative events, Jonathan has put together multiple photography and poetry exhibits in local galleries to promote the project.
In 2017 the Massachusetts Cultural Council, through the Lowell Cultural Council, awarded Writer/Director
Jonathan C. Stevens a grant to support the making of these lms. Over the summer of 2016, the Communication Arts Department at Framingham State University credited an internship for the project. Film student Raysam Donkoh-Halm, son of community leader Gordon Halm, has been an invaluable asset.
“We have one of those places that is not only unique, but in my opinion is mystical...I’ve seen a lot of people and I’ve been to a lot of places, and the most unique place I’ve ever visited or in which I’ve lived is Lowell, Mass.”
- Sam Poulton, Owner, WCAP Radio
"I believe that Mr. Stevens' project will develop and strengthen community belonging and pride."
– City Councilor and former Mayor
Edward J. Kennedy
“Thank you for doing this...I was very excited to hear, wow, someone is making a film about this great city of ours.”
– Rady Mom, Massachusetts State Representative
“There’s no other city like the city of Lowell. I believe where Lowell is going, is going to be, if not already there, one of the most exciting cities in the state...I’m blessed to be in the city of Lowell.”
– Sal Lupoli, CEO, Lupoli Companies
“I think the city should just sign over its whole marketing budget for the year to you in return for that film (promotional trailer) that you did.”
– Richard P. Howe, Jr., Middlesex North Register of
Deeds, Founder of Lowell Walks
“I know that once you’re finished with your project, it will be recognized beyond the borders of Lowell.”
– Roger Brunelle, Lowell Celebrates Kerouac!
“You’re doing the community service that more people should be invested in.”
– Mehmed Ali, Ph.D., UMass Lowell
“I thought, wow, I need to support that young man in this vision.”
– Lura Smith, former Assistant to the President,
Middlesex Community College
“Your story & sense of place will enchant us all! SO marvelous! Looking forward to this! Debuting this film in Lowell will be UN¬BELIEVABLE! Red carpet worthy”
– Suzzanne Cromwell, Founder, Lowell Film
“This is what should be being done. You’re doing the good work. I’m glad somebody’s doing it because it needs to be put on film, it’s like a miracle.”
– Tony Sampas, University Archivist and Metadata
Specialist, UMass Lowell
“You got me down there. I’m in the Screen Actors Guild, you got my number. I want to be in this movie.”
– Jack Neary, Playwright, Director, Actor
“You have done a huge service for Lowell.”
– Sarah Hayden, Executive Director, PortMedia
(Newburyport, MA Public Access Television)
“The city of Lowell is your partner in what you’re doing...”
– Corey Belanger, former City Councilor
ABOUT THE WRITER & DIRECTOR
Jonathan C. Stevens is an award winning videographer who has filmed, edited & produced dozens of videos. He is also a poet who has been featured in numerous anthologies, compilations, public art installations and had four titles of his own carried in stores from Lowell to San Francisco. As a sketch artist he has been commissioned for several dozen pieces of artwork.
In addition, Jonathan is a lay historian well-versed in the history of the city of Lowell. He has been embedded in Lowell's cultural community for the past decade.
Aloysius Productions was started by Jonathan in Lowell, MA in 2016 as a result of his pre-production work on the feature film The Merrimack, and production of the documentary series Collage of a City. From September of 2013 to December of 2014 Stevens’ father, uncle, and grandfather passed away. Those losses fueled his ambition to fulfill what he sees as his life mission of serving people through the arts. The production company drew its name from Stevens' grandfather’s middle name - Aloysius; which translates to “famous warrior” in German. To continue the legacy of his grandfather’s middle name, Stevens took steps for Aloysius Productions to become that “famous warrior” and began pursuing his vision.
Aloysius Productions, “famous warrior,” is a passionate arts entity that seeks to create enlightening and empowering works of art through visual, print & audio media. Jonathan’s desire is for The Merrimack film project to be the catalyst for long-term artistic expressions that will showcase and promote not only the thriving city of Lowell, but also individuals and activities that are making a positive impact on our world.
JOIN ALOYSIUS PRODUCTIONS IN MAKING THIS A REALITY - PARTNER WITH US!
Please consider contributing financially to the making of the FEATURE FILM The Merrimack and the DOCUMENTARY Collage of a City. There has been a lot of work put into these projects already (with over 700 individuals, businesses, and organizations involved) but there’s much more to go and every bit of funding helps.
Budgets for independent film projects can range anywhere from $100,000 to $1.5 million. Each contribution will increase the production value, offset pre-production costs, and cover festival submission fees.
Hard costs of making these films include:
• Equipment (cameras, lighting equipment, sound
equipment, editing equipment, etc.)
• Production (cast, crew, location fees, etc.)
• Post-Production (editing, music composition, DVD
• Marketing (graphic design, printing costs, media buys,
Certain donation amounts will be considered pre-orders for merchandise purchases and copies of the final releases of the films. We will also offer advanced packages for those of you who are musicians and would like to have your music featured.
There haven’t been films like The Merrimack and Collage of a City in a long time, if ever, and they’re sure to cause a stir once they reach the big screen. They will bring forth a beautiful combination of history, culture and art in the harmonious spirit of the city they’re celebrating. Not only will these films tell heartwarming stories with incredible depth, but they will also be educational tools that can speak to a universal audience and be an incredible asset for years to come. Join us on this adventure and become a part of this most worthy endeavor that already means so much to so many. By doing so you are supporting cinema with diverse subject matter and are helping to promote understanding and collaboration between people from all backgrounds. With our vision and your help we can bring this ambitious film project to life. Your contribution is vital and we are so thankful for your support.
Jonathan C. Stevens
Owner, ALOYSIUS PRODUCTIONS
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