Human Heart [Overture] (2015)

Experimental Digital Film for Electro-Baroque Audio Suite

(Director • Cinematographer • Editor)




If home is where the heart is, our post-industrial economy has left many of us bereft, to sift through the detritus of the American Dream.
Collaboration with Audio Composer Michael Austin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Media, Journalism, and Film, Howard University.
As a filmmaker with family roots in Detroit, Michigan, this film is inspired by the plight of many great cities in the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution. It combines public domain footage with original photography to form a curious collection of pulsating fragments entering into conversation with the image of a human heart—that may still be beating—sealed in a jar. If home is where the heart is, this film suggests that our post-industrial economy has left many of us behind, longing for an American Dream that no longer exists.
The musical overture is composed in the French Baroque style (two complimentary sections—slow, dotted section with faster, fugal section following), and is part of a larger audio suite entitled THE CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, created by sound artist Michael Austin, based on the Baroque dance suite.
The Cabinet of Curiosities, or Kunstkammer, was a mysterious collection of odd relics that the well-to-do of Renaissance Europe found to be thought provoking; these cabinets were the precursors of museums. This overture and the other movements of this Electro-Baroque Audio Suite evoke the peculiar and bizarre nature of these collections.
In the same spirit of curation, the video and audio strategy for this film reflects a curious collection of fragments culled from various sources. Juxtaposing this found sound and footage with original photography and audio composition, the film is intended to generate potential for thought provoking new meaning.
Original footage shot on Canon 5D Mark II.
Audio design using Logic, Soundtrack Pro, and GarageBand.


E X H I B I T I O N   R E C O R D


2016 Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Film Series Kalamazoo, MI
–Recent Work (August 11, 2016)
2016 Seattle International Film Festival Seattle, WA—Official Selection
2015 University Film & Video Association Annual Conference
Washington, DC–Work in Progress Screening (August 6, 2015)





g e n r e / c a t e g o r y :  Experimental Film, Avant-Garde, Audio Composition

c o l l a b o r a t i o n   b y :  Kelly Wittenberg and Michael Austin

d i r e c t o r   o f   p h o t o g r a p h y :  Kelly Wittenberg

s o u n d   d e s i g n :  Michael Austin

p r o d u c t i o n   a s s i s t a n c e :  George Arnold, Tiffany Palmer (Tap), and

Deborah Weems

v i d e o   e d i t i n g :  Kelly Wittenberg

o r i g i n a l   f o o t a g e :  Kelly Wittenberg

o r i g i n a l   c o m p o s i t i o n :  Michael Austin

p r e l i n g e r   a r c h i v e s   p u b l i c   d o m a i n :

When You Grow Up

FilmsWest, Inc., 1973


Give Yourself the Green Light

Handy (Jam) Organization, 1954


Home Movies: Aruba

Henry Charles Fleischer, 1972


Home Movie 98344: Child’s Birthday and Santa Barbara

Unknown, 1939


Home Movie 97483: St. Louis Area Family, Reel 15

Unknown, 1967


Home Movies: Happy Birthday to Doris

Unknown, 1935


Oil Today – Power Tomorrow

Frith Films, 1950


Pick of the Pod

Palmer (W.A.) & Company, 1939


The Battery, Ignition and Electrical Systems

Division of Visual Aids U.S. Office of Education and Federal Security Agency, 1945


According to Plan: The Story of Modern Sidewalls for the Homes of America

Handy (Jam) Organization, 1952


Signs of Life

Progressive Pictures, circa 1950s


The Big Delivery Wagon

Fairbanks (Jerry) Productions, 1951


A Mark of Wholesome Meat

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Motion Picture Service, 1964


Free Air

Handy (Jam) Organization, 1937


y o u t u b e   c r e a t i v e   c o m m o n s :

World’s Longest Slide Ever

Amusement Force


Breathing and Circulation



Driving Commonwealth Street, Detroit, MI 48208



Driving through BEVERLY HILLS, Los Angeles, California (HD)

Kauko Helavuo


Calgary Real Estate Property Video – 162 Somme Ave SW

Sona Visual Photos and Videos


DEL Side Belt Overcapper w/ Rotary Cap Feeder

DEL Pack


Lava Lamp



Automatic Honey Filling and Capping

Npack Victor


Calgary Real Estate Tour – 234 Diamond Court SE

Sona Visual Photos and Videos


Heart Cath 4



t o t a l   r u n n i n g   t i m e :  4:20 minutes


Shooting Video with the Canon 5D Mark II