Fully Awake: Black Mountain College is a documentary film about the experimental college based in North Carolina from 1933-1957 and its enormous influence on community, collaboration, and American modern art. The 70 minute film was shot on digital video and looks at the unique educational style and long term significance of Black Mountain College through interviews with students, teachers, historians, and current artists.
While popularly known as the location for such events as Buckminster Fuller's geodesic dome, John Cage's first multimedia happening and publishing early Beat poets in the Black Mountain Review, the film illuminates the unique educational approach of Black Mountain College and the emphasis on balancing academics, art, work programs and community living.
MAKING THE FILM:
The Early Years
Began in 2001 by Cathryn Davis, the initial team of volunteers included Cathryn, David Teague, and Kyle McCabe--North Carolina natives residing and working in New York City. Cathryn worked with a number of organizations to research and develop Fully Awake, including Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies, the North Carolina State Archive, and the Black Mountain College Project--founded by historian Mary Emma Harris.
A New Partner
In 2005, Cathryn met Neeley House, a senior at Elon University in North Carolina who was also working on a Black Mountain College documentary. The pair hit it off and rather than have competitive films decided, in the spirit of Black Mountain College, to merge projects. This partnership has proved highly successful for both Cathryn and Neeley.
THE TEAM FOR THIS PROJECT INCLUDE:
Currently residing with her husband in New York City, Cathryn Davis Zommer has spent the past decade intrigued by Black Mountain College. Her production experience comes from writing and executing high profile multimedia productions in New York and coordinating large-scale media events for international clients. She has also worked voluntarily as a fundraiser, promotions manager, and assisted with distribution on independent film productions in New York. This is her first major film documentary, and she brings national resources to help advise, review, fundraise, interview, film, and edit this documentary, including journalists, musicians, editors, directors of photography, associate producers, etc.
Neeley House, Filmmaker
Neeley House is a native of Hendersonville, North Carolina, and a recent graduate of Elon University. Her passion for Black Mountain College began when she learned about the school in a Beat Generation writing class. She is currently working on a number of film projects, including Bass Mountain: Feels Like Coming Home, a documentary about a local bluegrass festival, and traveled to Ghana, West Africa to work on a documentary on Ebo Taylor, a Ghanaian highlife and jazz musician. Her recent short film, Love Overdue, won for "Best Original Score" and a "Viewers' Choice Award" as a part of the 2005 Greensboro 48 Hour Film Project. Neeley is currently employed at documentary production company, Bonesteel Films, in Asheville, North Carolina.
OTHER TEAM MEMBERS INCLUDE:
Elon Docs Advisor, Elon University
Score / Pianist
Sound / Audio
Mary Emma Harris
Black Mountain College Historian
Academic Advisor, Elon University
Director of Photography / Assistant Producer
Director of Photography