Category Archives: BlueMahler (Character)

Behind the scene of “The water scene.”

The following are behind the (green) scene shots of an upcoming short film: “The Water Scene.” Written by Wendy Collin Sorin, Alfred Eaker, and John M. Bennett.

Co-directed by J.Ross Eaker and Alfred Eaker

Art direction: Todd M. Coe

Starring: James Mannan & Alfred Eaker

©2014 Eaker Productions, LLC

WATER SCENE
WATER SCENE A DUET BETWEEN ALFRED EAKER AND JAMES MANNAN
WATER SCENE ALFRED EAKER AND J. ROSS EAKER (things that make you go 'hmmm')
WATER SCENE ALFRED EAKER AND J.ROSS EAKER
WATER SCENE Alfred Eaker and J.Ross Eaker hmmm2
WATER SCENE ALFRED EAKER AND JAMES D. MANNAN
WATER SCENE ALFRED EAKER AND JAMES MANNAN (filming)
WATER SCENE ALFRED EAKER AND JAMES MANNAN (frequent collaborators)
WATER SCENE ALFRED EAKER JAMES MANNAN DUET
WATER SCENE DIALOGUING ALFRED EAKER AND JAMES MANNAN
WATER SCENE II
WATER SCENE III
WATER SCENE IV
WATER SCENE J.ROSS EAKER
WATER SCENE J.ROSS EAKER AT WORK
WATER SCENE J.ROSS EAKER CO-DIRECTING
WATER SCENE J.ROSS EAKER, ALFRED EAKER, JAMES MANNAN
WATER SCENE J.ROSS EAKER, ALFRED EAKER, JAMES MANNAN (filming)
WATER SCENE JAMES D. MANNAN
WATER SCENE JAMES D. MANNAN AND ALFRED EAKER (waxing John M. Bennett)
WATER SCENE JAMES MANNAN (IN PINK)
WATER SCENE James Mannan and Alfred Eaker (pink & blue)
WATER SCENE prophecy James Mannan and Alfred Eaker
WATER SCENE V Alfred Eaker as BlueMahler
WATER SCENE VI J. ROSS EAKER, JAMES MANNAN, AND ALFRED EAKER
WATER SCENE X J.ROSS EAKER, ALFRED EAKER, JAMES MANNAN
WATER SCENE XI JAMES MANNAN
WATER SCENE XII JAMES MANNAN
WATER SCENE XIII JAMES MANNAN
WATER SCENE XIV JAMES MANNAN
WATER SCENE XV J. ROSS EAKER AND ALFRED EAKER
WATER SCENE XVII JAMES MANNAN
WATER SCENE XX

Behind the scene photos of David Ross’ production “Unrequited”

More behind-the scene photos of David Ross’ film: “Unrequited.” The plot, so to speak (and if one is really required) has something to do with BlueMahler’s descent in Wonderland. As for the unrequited part-let us say it has something to do with a pretty girl named Alice (Jessica Froelich).  Photography by James Mannan (who also appears in the film),  and J. Ross Eaker.

David Ross’ “Unrequited” wedding scene shoot, 2014.

Behind the scenes of David Ross’ “Unrequited.” The following are stills from the wedding scene shoot. All we can say is: things are not what they seem in wonderland.UNREQUITED WEDDING SCENE SHOOT DENNIS FORKLE AS MARCH HARE AND ALFRED EAKER AS BLUEMAHLER Dennis Forkel as the March Hare, Alfred Eaker as BlueMahlerUNREQUITED WEDDING SCENE SHOOT 1 David Ross directing Jessica Froelich (Alice), Alfred Eaker (BlueMahler) and Dennis Forkel (March Hare)UNREQUITED WEDDING SCENE SHOOT 2 J. ROSS EAKER, DAN LAND, AND DAVID ROSS shooting a sleepy BlueMahler (Alfred Eaker)  UNREQUITED WEDDING SCENE SHOOT ALFRED EAKER AS BLUEMAHLER Alfred Eaker as BlueMahlerUNREQUITED WEDDING SCENE SHOOT ALFRED EAKER AS BLUEMAHLER 2014 Alfred Eaker as BlueMahlerUNREQUITED WEDDING SCENE SHOOT JESSICA FROELICH AS ALICE, DENNIS FORKEL AS MARCH AHRE, ALFRED EAKER AS BLUEMAHLERJessica Froelich as Alice, Dennis Forkel as March Hare, and Alfred Eaker as BlueMahler

©2014 David Ross

Stills from “STATIONS”

Stations, a work in progress…

  • Written by Alfred Eaker and Wendy Collin Sorin.
  • Additional poetry by John M. Bennett.
  • Directed by Alfred Eaker and J. Ross Eaker
  • Art director: Todd M. Coe
  • Additional art direction: J. Ross Eaker, Alfred Eaker and Wendy Collin Sorin.
  • Starring: Randy Cox as James the Lesser; Tristan Ross, as James the Greater; Amy Petinella, as Eve; Alfred Eaker, as BlueMahler; James Mannan, as Herod; Robin Panet, as the witch.

All images copyright of Eaker Productions, llc. © Eaker Productions 2014.

I Was Married To A Mermaid

“I Was Married to a Mermaid” is an excerpt from a longer, yet-to-be-released long featured movie entitled Brother Cobweb. “I Was Married to a Mermaid” has been co-directed by Alfred Eaker and J. Ross Eaker. It Features Alfred Eaker, James Mannan, and Vanessa Blake.

Apart from starting conceptually as a long featured film, Brother Cobweb has found its way to the Theatres as Performance art by Alfred Eaker himself.

It has also become a traditionally published novel. The audiobook and Graphic novels are well on their way. If you find “I was marreid to a mermaid” intriguing, you should definitely try the first chapters of the novel on Amazon Kindle

Alfred Eaker is Back With “I Was Married to a Mermaid”

© Written by Richard Propes The Independent Critic (https://theindependentcritic.com/i_was_married_to_a_mermaid)

There is one problem that I have with an Alfred Eaker film. It can be summed up most easily as “WTF?”

If as a moviegoer you crave narrative cohesion and a paint-by-numbers storyline, then you should be cautioned to stay as far away as possible from Eaker, an innovative filmmaker whose indie spirit manifests itself in short and feature-length films that are experimental in construction, thought provoking in themes, and more than a few moments where you’re left scratching your head mumbling to yourself “I have no idea what he means by any of this” but loving it anyway.

If you’ve ever read anything by Eaker or seen any of his other films, then you already know that he’s a guy who can weave a thread of spirituality into even the darkest of themes, a gift that can be both jarring and sublime. Those words, jarring and sublime, both came to mind as I sat down to watch Eaker’s latest short film, I Was Married to a Mermaid, a just over 11-minute short film that was created as part of a class at Indy’s Herron School of Art.

The film is part of a larger work-in-progress called Brother Cobweb, which is beginning its life as a novel. The film is a fictional piece inspired by Eaker’s experiences growing up in a Pentecostal church. After you’ve seen the film, you’ll likely find yourself going “Well, duh!” But, I digress. I would love to tell you what I Was Married to a Mermaid is all about. I would love to explain its themes, both philosophical and theological. I would love to weave my mind through its relational dynamics and its unresolved issues, but to do so would take far longer than the film’s 11-minute running time because even watching the film you’ll find yourself absolutely captivated by the film’s images, sounds, and words as they unfold before your eyes.

What I will say is, and I can say it with absolute conviction, is that there is a reason that Brother Cobweb (Eaker) is Brother Cobweb. Eaker hasn’t chosen his wording likely, and the memories and thoughts that unfold are shards of reality and fantasy and truth and fiction. Eaker, using his marvelous creation known as BlueMahler as the foundation for Brother Cobweb, has crafted a character both charismatic and rather frightening in his constant presence.

He is intricately woven into the lives of Mom (Vanessa Blake) and Pop (James Mannan), whose relationship is never fully explained yet is lived out with Mom’s constant listening to old fire and brimstone sermons on cassette tape while Pop mumbles about working on an unfinished manuscript lost in seeming disillusionment and a shattered faith. 

I Was Married to a Mermaid is truly jarring in the ways in which Eaker and co-director J.Ross Eaker weave into the story a variety of dramatic images and ideas that have clearly impacted everything else that unfolds. Yet, there’s a richness of humanity as it becomes more and more apparent that we are watching what feels like an occasionally painful and occasionally very resolute spiritual disintegration.

To say that Eaker excels as BlueMahler (as Brother Cobweb) feels redundant, because BlueMahler is a performance art character created by Eaker in the early 80’s and his comfort in the persona is obvious and satisfying. Eaker excels in both his character’s quieter moments and in those moments when he truly comes to life.

Vanessa Blake also shines as Mom, a woman who is seemingly clinging to her faith despite, I’d suppose, the places her faith has taken her.

James Mannan, as Pop, gives what is no doubt one of my favorites of Mannan’s many performances. Mannan’s Pop is simultaneously broken yet crystal clear, resigned yet resolute, and heartbreaking yet surprisingly enlightened. Mannan serves up a layered performance that is both experimental and incredibly well defined.

The only real area that hinders the impact of I Was Married to a Mermaid is found in some of its early transition scenes, scenes that require a technological ability that isn’t quite present in this low-budget yet otherwise tremendously satisfying film. While these scenes do distract just a tad, one can also easily argue that their roughness fits with the stark themes carried out throughout the rest of the film. Remember that problem I talked about with Alfred Eaker?  It’s also the very thing that keeps drawing me to his films time and time again. 

Look inside “Brother Cobweb,” the Novel

Brother Cobweb” is now available through Open Books PressAmazonBarnes and Noble, and all major bookshops and distributors. If you want to understand the seed of Trump’s America, travel back in time 50 years and witness firsthand those who empowered him; the religious right white Evangelicals who are in fact Christian in name only talibangelicals hell bent on a self-fulfilled apocalypse…

About Alfred Eaker:

Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker is a prolific fine arts painter and muralist, an award-winning filmmaker and film critic, and a traditionally-published author. Following on the success of his debut novel, “Brother Cobweb,” Eaker is currently collaborating with Todd M. Coe on the related Graphic novel: “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.It will be available in the spring 2021. The audiobook version of Brother Cobweb is also being produced, and will soon be released too.

As an inquisitive American artist, he has always been deeply engaged in social, religious, and political climates. Eaker is currently working on a mural painting entitled “Elvis: An American Hymn.” Through it, Eaker is trying to bring affirming answers to issues of race, integration and hope so desperately needed at this moment in America.

Follow Alfred Eaker Online:

Production stills from David Ross’ Unrequited (Part 1 of the 5-part feature will be showing at Gen Con)

On the set of “Unrequited Part 3: Curious Eggette.”

David Ross’ retelling of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland saga.

Egg crafted by Angel Adorey. Costumes Linda Kay Greis Ross.

Jessica Froelich as Alice, Alfred Eaker as BlueMahler

Unrequited David Ross Dir. 8

Part 1 of the 5-part feature will be showing at GenCon!

Gen Con 2014

Unrequited David Ross dir 9Unrequited David Ross dir. 1 Dennis Forkel as the Mad Hatter, Jessica Froelich as Alice

Unrequited David Ross dir. 2 Dennis Forkel, Jessica Froelich Unrequited David Ross dir. 3 Dennis ForkelUnrequited David Ross dir. 4 Dennis Forkel, Jessica Froelich, David Butts, and James MannanUnrequited David Ross dir. 5 Dennis Forkel and James MannanUnrequited David Ross dir. 6Dennis Forkel,David Butts, and James Mannan

Unrequited David Ross dir. 7David Ross and Dan Land

BlueMahler unrequited. Toasting with Tea.

BlueMahler toasting with tea.

Alfred Eaker as BlueMahler in %22Unrequited%22 2014

UNREQUITED SHOOT SETUP

UNREQUITED SHOOT EGGS AND MORE EGGS

UNREQUITED SHOOT A TRIO OF ECCENTRICS

Productions stills from the movie “Stations”

Stations ©2013 Eaker productions

Stills from David Ross’ “Unrequited” production.

Dear Raymond (BlueMahler’s homage to Raymond Thunder-sky)

(Alfred Eaker, as BlueMahler)

Dear Raymond,
We hope you enjoy this short companion film to the documentary Thunder-Sky as much as we’ve enjoyed your life’s work. I hope you travel well…

About the movie

BlueMahler pays homage to the artist Raymond Thunder-Sky. BlueMahler is the performance art character of artist Alfred Eaker. Like Raymond’s stoic construction clown, BlueMahler is not a clown in the traditional sense. Rather, the clown characterization is merely a skin to wear for the spirit journey.

“Wanderer, there may be no destination, but you must travel the road anyway.” (Luigi Nono, composer).

BlueMahler feels this is something Raymond understood and identified with. It is that which endeared Raymond to BlueMahler. This is BlueMahler’s tribute.

Co-directed by Alfred Eaker and J. Ross Eaker. Starring Shelby Armstrong, Alfred Eaker, Nate Saylor, Steve Stephens, and Jordan Wheatley. Make-up Jen Ring, Shelby Armstrong, and Steve Stephens. Music: Peer Gynt by E. Grieg courtesy of Tahra Records © Eaker productions, llc.

A homage to Raymond Thunder-Sky, a dear friend and fellow artist

(by Alfred Eaker, part of an interview originally published at 366 Weird Movies)

I met Raymond in 1999 through Keith Banner and Bill Ross.  We had an art showing together in Cincinnati.  Raymond had some kind of developmental disability and Bill had been his case worker.  Raymond  dressed up like a clown construction worker and repeatedly depicted images of a wrecking ball tearing down the world in front of him. 

In place of what was being destroyed, Raymond imagined, through his third dimensional text, what would go in its place.  Usually, that was a clown suit factory, a circus, or a highway named after his father. 

Raymond Thunder-Sky

Raymond’s work is deceptively simplistic.  He was working out his own vision of Shangri-La, not unlike the way Gauguin envisioned his own Eden, but Gauguin never found that Eden, even if he repeatedly tried to depict it in the form of Tahiti.  Of course, Gauguin moved there and discovered the reality did not match the ideal.  Raymond was smarter still.  He knew he could not depict what that Eden really was,  so all he could touch, in his work and performance, was the act of destruction before him, which seemingly promised to make way for the new. 

That is something I so identify with, his stubborn, restless, yearning, reaching spirit.  Raymond had a sort of blue collar approach to art that I admire and identify with, which is why I abhor and respond to that much bandied about label of “pretentiousness” from non-artists.  That label is a lame excuse to justify one’s dumbing-down.  No, I have quite an earnest passion and there is no pretense at all in that.  I bond with Raymond’s tool box and the blue collar world that permeates his life and work.  I want to say to critics “take your dissonance and weirdness like a man.”

Years ago, I discovered the late music of Luigi Nono and his struggle was similar to Raymond’s.  Of course, on the surface this is a case of apples and oranges, but underneath it’s  a natural linking of things things that seem totally disparate.  Nono read an inscription on a monastery wall in Toledo which read “Traveler, there may be no destination, but you must travel the road anyway.” 

The brief exposure to that inscription changed Nono’s music and life for the next ten years, until he died.  Nono became obsessed and obsession in art is usually a good thing.  Raymond had that obsession.  So, again I find identification, which is possibly why I am oh so fitfully working towards an MTS (“Masters of Theological Studies”) at seminary.  I don’t even know if there is a destination from this endeavor, but for now it is informing my art.  That is certainly not how my professors want me to approach studies there.  They want something academic from me, but it is not flowing, so …

Alfred Eaker as BlueMahler

Then there is the performance part of Raymond.  Raymond was Native American, passionately loved the circus, construction sites, and White Castles.  These seemingly disparate qualities in Raymond made him the misfit to many but the combination of all these made perfect sense to him, just like operas, western movies, silent film clowns, Tod Browning and the Virgin Mary all make sense coming together for me.  Naturally, I filter all that through my own sensibilities.  In performance, I become BlueMahler who is normally an esoteric, western clown.

A few years after Raymond passed away, Keith, Bill, and myself did a couple of gallery shows with artists inspired by Raymond.  James Mannan , who I have worked with before, accompanied me to one of those showings and we filmed part of it.  I started desperately wanting to do something more with it and it sat with me for a couple of years, brewing. Finally, I got the footage, looked at it, grabbed Ross and James and we filmed more of what Keith and Bill were doing with Raymond’s legacy… 

About Alfred Eaker:

Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker is a prolific fine arts painter and muralist, an award-winning filmmaker and film critic, and a traditionally-published author. Following on the success of his debut novel, “Brother Cobweb,” Eaker is currently collaborating with Todd M. Coe on the related Graphic novel: “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.It will be available in the spring 2021. The audiobook version of Brother Cobweb is also being produced, and will soon be released too.

As an inquisitive American artist, he has always been deeply engaged in social, religious, and political climates. Eaker is currently working on a mural painting entitled “Elvis: An American Hymn.” Through it, Eaker is trying to bring affirming answers to issues of race, integration and hope so desperately needed at this moment in America.

Follow Alfred Eaker Online:

“Unrequited”

Some behind the scene pics of the short film, “Unrequited.” Directed by David Ross. Cinematography and still photography by Dan Land. Makeup by Don Trent and Vanessa Blake.

Starring Jessica Forelich as Alice, Alfred Eaker as BlueMahler, Mindy Steel as the Evil Queen, Nate Saylor as the March Hare, Patrick Greathouse as the Mad Hatter, Don Mabry as the Executioner.