NEW MILFORD – The Merryall Center in New Milford will showcase the beauty of math with the creation of music when it hosts the Connecticut debut of filmmaker Dennis Cahlo’s first documentary, “In Flowers Through Space” on Saturday.

The Fibonacci sequence is a mathematical sequence in which each number is the sum of the previous two numbers. Cahlo’s documentary shows the work of artist E. Scott Lindner in transforming the sequence into music.

Lindner and Cahlo are expected to attend a screening of the film on Saturday and participate in a post-film conversation.

Cahlo’s career

Although his foray into filmmaking began late in life, Cahlo, a resident of Carmel, NY, said he wanted to be a filmmaker when he was younger. In his youth, he studied how to make movies and tried to create his own movies using his father’s VHS camera. His dreams of making movies were put aside when Cahlo caught the music bug and toured the world as a musician from the age of 18 to the age of 26.

Cahlo later moved into a career as a freelance photographer and it was through his work that he became acquainted with a number of members of the local community, including Merryall Center board member Dean Gray. As part of his natural transition from photography to filmmaking, Cahlo said he decided to make a film based on a personal experience of his own – thus his 20-minute short film The Weekend was created and well received by viewers.

As he began to expand his video and film business, Cahlo created three short films—including “The Weekend,” “Death and Disco Fries” and “Lonely Hearts”—before approaching his first documentary. full.

“In Flowers Through Space”

Reflecting on what inspired him to examine the Fibonacci Sequence for his first feature-length documentary, Cahlo said Lindner approached him about making the film. He said he had worked artistically with Lindner before, with Lindner producing music and Cahlo taking pictures for Lindner.

“He’s very fast and mysterious,” Cahlo said of Lindner. “He said ‘I have a project and I want you to make a documentary of it’.”

Although Cahlo had never made a full documentary before, Lindner assured her that she could do it. They met to discuss the project, and as Lindner walked Cahlo through the process of creating a film based on the Fibonacci Sequence, Cahlo quickly realized how it could be filmed.

“That’s the magic when Scott and I worked together — things happen so fast,” Cahlo said. “We can come up with ideas very quickly. He works very fast, so you have to be quick.”

“It was our two minds together,” he said, “and if it wasn’t for him, I don’t think I would have thought of making a documentary about the Fibonacci Sequence.”

However, Cahlo told Lindner that she wanted enough freedom to give the film a “Kubrick sci-fi feel”. Opening the documentary with each number in sequence, Cahlo explained that each number represents a chapter of the film and is accompanied by a special flower and piece of music created for that number. He said he used this technique as a way to break up the documentary and keep viewers engaged.

Recalling how long it took to make the documentary, Cahlo said, “Scott works by the rules—he basically hired me, so I had to follow his rules. He said, ‘You have so many days to film it and you have to do it in so much time because it fits within the Fibonacci sequence.” Even the documentary had to be made within a certain amount of rules.”

Although Cahlo said he had to wrestle with and figure out how to shoot the documentary within those rules, he said Lindner compensated him fairly. Fortunately, Cahlo was able to gather all of the documentary’s interviews within the allotted time frame and then shoot and edit the film in less than two months.

When asked what his secret was for meeting the deadline, Cahlo replied: “Lots of coffee and willpower. There was no crew – it was me, the camera and the microphone.

Cahlo said the process required him to step outside himself often.

“I had to overcome the doubts I had about myself as a director and in the end I came out stronger.”

Connecticut debut

When it came time for the film to hit the big screen, Cahlo said “In Flowers Through Space” didn’t get much love on the film festival circuit and was rejected by about 15 or 20 film festivals. Fortunately for the couple, the Merryall Center was interested in bringing the documentary to New Milford.

Having known Cahlo for about a decade and even hiring him as his wedding photographer, Gray said he had seen Cahlo’s short films and was blown away by their quality. When Cahlo mentioned that documentaries were hard to get into film festivals, Gray asked if they could bring her to Merryall for the film’s Connecticut premiere.

“At Merryall, all of our events to date have been live music shows,” Gray said. “This is the same genre, but it’s recording music and it’s about a behind-the-scenes look at music, and I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Watching the documentary, Gray said Lindner makes viewers empathize with the creative struggles: “You learn a lot about what this person is going through behind the scenes and how he perseveres and pushes them in other areas of his life, and finish. taking care of this person who just wants to make music.”

Gray said he was also interested in the reaction of other musicians to this unique approach to making music as shown in the documentary, and how they collaborated to create the album “In Flowers Through Space”.

“This art is a fight worth fighting, that beauty comes from persistence — that was my good,” Gray said.

“It means the world to Scott and me that people will see this film,” Cahlo said. “Having that kind of support is what the film is all about. We’re thrilled, we’re absolutely thrilled.”

When asked if he would make documentaries again, Cahlo replied: “Yes, absolutely.”

In between jobs, Cahlo said he is working on a documentary about horror movies on his “Dennis Cahlo” YouTube channel to fill the void and keep his tool sharp. Using the new series as a continuation of his documentary efforts, Cahlo said he plans to do it once a month, as he prefers to focus on quality over quantity.

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