The film follows Schindler’s journey from Vienna through Chicago and on to Los Angeles, observing where possible through his own camera lens and in his own words. His story is told through narration, interviews, correspondence, drawings, plans and photos. Schindler’s theoretical writings form the core of the film in order to explain his philosophy.
Actors narrate the voices of R.M. Schindler, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ester McCoy to name a few. The narration for the film has been recorded with the multi Oscar winning actress Meryl Streep.
Featured in the film are 24 interviews with architects, architectural historians, members of the Schindler family, owners of Schindler designed houses. Most notable among the interviewed are architects Frank Gehry, Thom Mayne, Wolf Prix, Steven Holl, Ray Kappe, Mark Mack; historians Judith Sheine, August Sarnitz, Thomas Hines and Robert Sweeney, President of Friends of the Schindler House in Los Angeles.
We have filmed many locations in Vienna, Chicago and Los Angeles. A key intent of this film is to show how Schindlerʼs master works have stood the test of the time. Featured in the film are 20 buildings designed by R.M. Schindler as well as several designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra.
Schindler left over 500 photos he took himself during his stay in Chicago (1914-1920), Taos (1915), Taliesin (1919), Yosemite and Los Angeles (1920s). We've made extensive use of this material, some never before made public. Schindler's correspondence with his lover Ellen Janson, currently held in private collection will be revealed for the first time as well.
We have also unearthed interviews with Pauline Schindler at the Kings Road House from 1976, home movies of the Neutras at the Kings Road House from 1925, footage of the Tischler House and the Kallis House from 1950's and the only existing film footage of R.M. Schindler at the Kings Road House from the late 1940's.
The complexity of Schindler’s spaces made them very challenging to photograph. The principal Director of Photography, Jacek Laskus, ASC used elaborate dolly moves and state of the art lighting to capture the mood of Schindler’s spaces. All of Schindler’s architecture was shot with ALEXA camera and PRIME lenses, allowing for extensive color correction.
There was scant archival footage of Schindler or his buildings. In order to achieve a seamless flow between the archival elements and new documentation, we created transitions to look as if they were from the time using a vintage Bolex. All Super 8 and 16mm film as well as the photo archives were shot by the award-winning Director of Photography, Danny Ducovny.