Monday, March 8, 2010

Soulmayes Director's Blog

Hi All: We had an awesome premiere of Soulmates in Washington DC at the Avalon Theater. We decided at the last minute to move from the 150 seat theater to the 450 seat theater, thinking we would get a little over 150 people and we didn't want to turn anyone away. We had to install another DVD projector because the one in the theater was on the blink. We found a projector and did that on the Saturday before the Sunday screening! Millie, the real person in the movie, arrived in a limo, people started to pour in, and we almost filled the entire 450 seat theater!! What an awesome experience - sharing this movie with so many who I knew and didn't know, sitting there while people were glued to the screen, (my boyfriend said he was as riveted from beginning to end as he was to when he saw "Jaws!" And I renewed (an increased) my confidence that I could make a movie that really had an impact. What a great experience. Millie said "this was the best night of her entire life" and we interviewed a whole bunch of people which we'll post on the website. And then of course we had a jammed party afterwards! I feel fulfilled!
We just posted a scene from the movie where MaryLou has to be a high end hooker to earn money for her operation. The scenes really happened in Millie's life, and it is intense and difficult to see what she had to go through. Please see it at! And I'll keep blogging.
You Soulmates Director, Joan!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Soulmates Movie Director's Blog!

Hi All: come to our WDC premiere in THREE days - Sunday night - Feb. 21 at the Avalon Theater - 8:00pm!

One of the most challenging scenes of the movie - both dramatically and production wise was just uploaded on the website. It take s[place on a seedy street in Silver Spring, and it snowed that night - for real. This made it very tough for the production because we has to do a lot under umbrellas! but it made the scene very realistic! Eddie is caught by some red neck guys and a pistol is shoved down his throat - and a homeless man comes to his rescue, sort of! It's a very intense scene and something that really happened to a the real life person when he was going through his transition and pissed a lot of people off. During the production a real homeless guy walled right into the scene while we were filming to make friends with the actor homeless man who the real homeless man thought was also a real homeless man. the actor who played the homeless man, David Marks, an extraordinary character actor, i found out recently passed away in June of thes past year, and that make me so very sad. he was fabulous, full of life, and had a really big heart. so very sad.

Enjoy this scene, and come to the WDC premiere Sunday night!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Soulmates Movie Director's Blog

Hi All!

The Washington, DC Premiere of Soulmates is 6 days from today! this coming Sunday night at 8:00pm, Feb. 21 at the Avalon Theater #1 on Connecticut Avenue! Please come! We've uploaded on the website ( an intense scene where Sandy, passionate about thier relationship, tells Eddie that it's really not okay with her that he is "MaryLou!" who is MaryLou - certainly not anyone she is interested in even though Eddie now says he IS MaryLou. You can imagine that must be just a little upsetting to a wife! Then Eddie asks Sandy to help him connect Eddie, her husband, to the new MaryLou. Wow! Relationships are challenging, and often there are obstacles and issues to deal with, but this is a level of challenge that very few confront. Eddie and Sandy deal with this dramatically, intensely, emotionally and powerfully through the course of the movie!

For this scene, we were at a neighbor's house, and the biggest challenge was daylight. The scene takes place in front of a large window, and we used daylight as part of the light source, which was risky and challenging. Of course the light changed throughout the course of the day, the scene, very long and dramatic, took us more time to video than anticipated. So of course by 3:30 or 4:00pm we had little light from the external source. Fortunately, the Panasonic HD camera is so effective and sensitive that we were able to match the light by adjusting the camera and the artificial lights so little had to be adjusted in post production. It's truly amazing how much flexibility there is shooting in HD!

Come see the movie or buy the DVD on the website. This picture will blow you away! It is truly difference making, a game changer for relationships!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Soulmates Movie Director's Blog

Soulmates -Winner Best of Festival at the Berkeley Film Festival!!

Valentines Day is this weekend! and Soulmates is a movie about love!
a true story about the transformation of the relationship between two people who overcome extraordinary circumstances to maintain their love, of two souls inextricably bound. For them, integrity is fulfilling on who they are, two people profoundly expressed in their love! The struggle for integrity is what inspired me to do this movie - the courage to be who they are - who they say they are - and to fulfill on their dreams!
The scene from the movie we just posted on the website ( is a love scene between Eddie and his wife Sandy, except that he no longer looks like a 'husband" because he's about to have a sex change operation and this is the last time they will ever make love together the traditional way! It's a very emotional scene, beautiful, tender and very intense.
When we filmed it, the actors were quite uncomfortable doing the scene, but, with a bit of 'encouragement' broke through their resistance and became incredibly vulnerable. Directing these actors took getting into their hearts, minds and fears, all as an an access to a breakthrough in their self expression, and then of course, the dramatic expression of the movie.
This movie is a total self expression for me, my second feature film, after producing and directing many award winning documentaries, and is the start of many pictures to come, which for me is a fulfillment of my dreams.
Please visit the website, especially see the trailers and uploaded love scene, and also click onto the "director's site" about the making of this movie,. And of course come to the WDC premiere, Feb. 21, 8:00pm at the Avalon Theater on Connecticut Avenue, plus the party afterwards! We'll be interviewing people coming out of the theater to post comments on the internet!
Such fun writing this blog to all of you!
Joan Sugerman, Soulmates Producer, Writer, Director

Monday, February 8, 2010

Soulmates Movie Director's Blog!

Hi everyone out there who cares about having a relationship - with two souls inextricably entwined, in heart and soul! We just uploaded a new scene on the website (

At Halloween, where the veil between the earth and the cosmic realm is very thin, Eddie has just gotten a vision of his true self. At a graveyard, where his wife Sandy works, he attempts to break the news to her. She doesn't like anything he says and they have a passionate, intense fight of two people committed and in love.

The production for this scene was wild: the steadicam did not arrive till the night before, and Ben the DP, was studying the directions on the way to the location, which had me just e little bit unsettled. He did a brilliant job winding in and out of a complex maze of tombstones. One glitch happened - while moving backwards as the actors were approaching him, he tripped on a small tombstone - the camera went flying in the air, and he fell down. This might have been the end of our shoot that day and for days to come, if he hadn't some how miraculously caught the camera in midair and saved it form crashing to the ground. We continued the shoot for the whole day, trying hard to match shots with the sun moving across the sky and the tombstones throughout the day. This turned out to be one of our most dramatic and visually striking scenes of the movie.

Come visit our site!! and come to the Washington, DC premiere, Feb. 21, 8:00pm at the Avalon Theater!

Your Soulmates Director, Joan Sugerman

Monday, February 1, 2010

Soulmates Director's Blog

Hi Everyone out there is the Blogosphere!

We just uploaded my favorite scene form the Soulmates movie! A magical scene of rock music, amazing costumes, wild dancing, and transformation! it is the Halloween Ball. At Halloween,

The veil between the earth and the spiritual realm is very this night- and there is the opportunity for extraordinary awakening, insights, experience and transformation. Eddie gets invited to a huge dance and rock party on Halloween of all kinds of people, including the whole "trans" community. One this night Eddie is transformed! and by the end of the night, through the music, the dancing, the spirit realm ascend on Eddie, he is transfixed, and enters into a new realm, that of "MaryLou!!"

From the production and director's point of view, this was a close to imposable scene to pull of, because of it's scope and scale and sheer numbers of people, as well as being in a very fancy and potentially expensive rock club. We negotiated with Nation's Club in Washington, Dc and got an unbelievably low rate, that included the sound engineer and their 'fog' machines. We advertised in the paper for people to come and be filmed and get a sandwich to eat, and hundreds came. We had 4 make up and costume people getting everyone ready. We rehearsed the scene at my house for days, making sure that we know what we were doing before being there that day. We had 12 hours to do everything, including another scene. The camerman hand held many of the shots, using a version of a steadycam, to get the feel of the dancing, the music, and spiritual swirl overcoming Eddie. People started to leave too early, so we had to keep reconfiguring our shots. All in all it was an amazing shoot, and edit. And Jason Teach, the rock musician who did all our songs,, wrote and rewrote the demos for this scene many many times before we had the wild and transformational feel for the scene that we needed. We kept intending to make the impossible happene, and we did!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Good Grief!

For those of you of a certain age, you will know from whence this title comes. For those of you who do not recognize the phrase, this expression was associated with the Cartoon Character of Charlie Brown, in "Peanuts". (However, even I would have to look up where the Cartoon's Creator Charles Schulze found the Cartoon's title.)

I thought of this blog entry's title when I attended a Wiccan class discussion on grief. Everyone had lost someone over whom the attendees were still grieving. I myself had lost an uncle and a nephew this past year. The class, intended to last four hours, extended to five hours and change, so we had a lot to discuss.

It made me ponder how people who undergo Gender Reassignment manage their emotional transition. If their "old" life is now dead to them, how is the grieving process for them? After all, they have laid to rest a shell in which they did not fit. Even when someone who has been a part of our lives, but was unhealthy as an associate, dies, we all must feel something has dramatically shifted. If nothing else, we no longer have that person about whom we can complain, and suddenly we have no excuse, but to move ahead.

What kind of grief existed for Millie and those around her after she transitioned? Her wife at the time lost the "man" in her life, but she learned that she kept her best friend. Her mother, with whom Millie's relationship has recently improved, "lost" her son in her eyes, but, maybe, just maybe, her mother realized she has always had the same child she alway had. Millie's kids may have thought they "lost" their father, but, again, maybe they have discovered they have an even stronger, more centered, parental role model on their side, however they decided to address her after the surgery.

Millie herself still does most, if not all, things she enjoyed before her transition: racing cars, shooting guns, etc., but she does them honestly, as herself. The friends she now makes doing these activities know her as she really is.

Good grief, then, could be defined as grief out of which something positive comes, which in this case, is acceptance by family, friends, and self, along with the blossoming of new relationships from the ashes of the old. Charlie Brown spoke with more wisdom than he realized.