Monthly Archives: October 2008

Principal Photography Moves to Naperville for Kenneth von Heidecke Documentary Film

Having completed film shoots in Highland Park and Skokie over the past couple of weeks, production moved this week back to Naperville to begin the first of mutilple shoots involving four principal ballet dancers who will play a central role in the blended storyline for this film.  While I don’t want to reveal too much about their connection to the story, I will say that audiences will be invited into the lives of these talented ballet dancers to learn more about their significant commonality.  To Sarah, Stephanie, Ashley and Teanna, I thank you again for opening up your lives to this project. 

In additional news, as you may have noticed, a moment of inspiration found me within the past week and the film title revealed itself.  Imprévu is French for “unexpected”.  As many of you may know, the language of classical ballet is French.  Unexpected is definitely a word I would use to describe Ken’s life.

Through trial, triumph and tragedy, Kenneth von Heidecke’s story supports the very notion that everything in life just might happen for a reason.  Whether you love ballet or not, this film will serve as an inspiration to anyone who has pursued a lifelong dream only to watch it tragically disappear in a heartbeat.  Out of dark despair arises the discovery and realization of a greater unexpected purpose in life.

Announcement of Kenneth von Heidecke Documentary Film Project

Principal Photography Gets Underway with Film Shoot at Alma Dance Company Rehearsal
(production photo to the right)
Almost a year ago last November, I received an email from  Jennifer Navarro, of Ginny Richardson Public Relations, with a simple subject line, which read “Naperville Resident You Might Like to Know”.
The Naperville resident Jennifer was referring to is Kenneth von Heidecke, of Naperville’s Von Heidecke School of Ballet and Founder of the Chicago Festival Ballet. 
While I often receive a variety of press releases and requests for postings covering a wide array of topics, this particular message caught my attention given my deep passion for the arts and all forms of artistic expression, which had garnered Jennifer’s attention.
In January, I finally had the opportunity to sit down with Ken for a conversation.  It was a dark winter weeknight with blizzard-like conditions on the long drive home from Des Plaines as I navigated my way toward the Von Heidecke School of Dance Studio just off of Naper Boulevard.  Though I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, I was very much looking forward to having the opportunity to meet with an individual who has devoted his life to the arts.  Little did I know what was about to emerge.
By the time our conversation ended, I was so deeply inspired by Ken’s amazing story, the details of which many people don’t know, that I offered to produce a documentary film about his life and proceeded to share the improvisational creative visions which were running through my mind.  After listening carefully in his enthusiastically humble style, Ken indicated his excitement about the idea not out of vanity but of the thought that his life story might inspire others to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds in life to realize unexpected purpose. 
I’m pleased to announce that with the majority of pre-production details completed, production got underway on Friday with a three hour rehearsal shoot involving the Alma Dance Company in Highland Park (many thanks to Artistic Directors Guillermo Leyva and Suzanne Lek as well as all of the company’s talented professional dancers for their support and cooperation). 
Principle photography will likely run through the end of 2009 before heading into post-production with an anticipated release in early 2010.  During this time, I will be maintaining a production diary here at the World of Naperville to not only provide updates on the project but to also to give readers an inside look into the independent filmmaking process.  Further, during this time I invite you to submit any questions you might have about the project or process via comments.  However, don’t expect me to divulge too many details about Ken’s story but suffice it to say that we will be taking a unique approach to the storytelling process.  
So, I invite you to stay tuned to the World of Naperville for production updates. SM  

International Artists Headline Naperville’s Von Heidecke School of the Chicago Festival Ballet Benefit on Sunday, October 12th

In the coming weeks and months you will begin to hear allot more about an exciting project I am working on with Naperville’s own Kenneth von Heidecke.  What many people may not know is that in addition to building his Von Heidecke School of the Chicago Festival Ballet in Naperville, he has long been honored as an internationally renowned figure in the ballet world. 

The Von Heidecke School of Ballet is holding a  very special benefit this Sunday, October 12th at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet from 3:00 – 5:00 PM.  You have the opportunity to witness up close an array of national and international professional opera, dance and musical talent, including:

Viktoria Vizin, Hungarian Mezzo-Soprano who sang Carmen at the Lyric Opera, Royal Opera and will be debuting at the Metropolitan Opera this season.

David Yonan, German Concert violinist about to embark upon a world tour playing Paganinni.

Christine Steyer, Recently awarded the Founders Award at the IX Altamura Caruso International Voice Competition and 1st place at the National Opera Association Competition.

Elise Paschen, Celebrated writer/poet and daughter of legendary Primar Ballerina, Maria Tallchief.

Valerie Maze, The Lyric Opera’s Pianist who has worked with numerous national and international operas.

Teanna Zarro & Matthew Frain, Performing the pas de deux from Prokofiev’s Romeo & Juliet as choreographed by Kenneth von Heidecke.

String Trio, Providing background and chamber music.

You won’t want to miss this rare opportunity to experience world class performances while at the same time supporting an important Naperville arts institution.  I will be there and I hope to you see you there too.

For more information, CLICK HERE SM

VIDEOCAST – An Inside Look at Naperville’s Propmasters RC Club and Springbrook Prairie Model Aircraft Airfield

I’m pleased to share this special videocast which provides an inside look at those constantly maneuvering model airplanes which buzz overhead at the Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve.     

My personal thanks to Tom and Hank for taking time out this glorious day to talk to the World of Naperville.  If you interested in learning more, visit the Propmasters RC Club website at or feel free to drop by the airfield at Springbrook Prairie on any given day or weekend provided the weather permits. SM

Seize Your Future, Your Purpose and Your True Potential in Life

Don’t let the effect of your past be the cause of your future. 

Like so many others, I’ve been reflecting allot over the past week about the state of our economy, the “cause” and the “effect”.  So often in our uniquely American lives, we attempt to give the illusion of living our dreams regardless of our means.  Even more, whether it be financial collapse or personal crisis, we often spend an overwhelming majority of our lives blaming the loss of our future on the mistakes and negative experiences of the past.

When we think about what we are capable of creating and contributing to this world, the principle of “cause and effect” comes into play.  Our self-perceived limitations can become the “cause” which yields an ongoing “effect” of lost potential, opportunities and purpose. 

However, imagine a life where you can wipe the slate clean and start anew building the life in which you live your purpose and realize your full potential.  It is indeed possible because, regardless of your circumstances, each day presents a new opportunity.  The stock market isn’t responisble, our jobs aren’t responsible, other people aren’t to blame as it is up to you to determine your own future. 

Happiness is a feeling and an emotion which manifests internally within our heart and mind, not as a result of the distractive trappings of our external life.  We have a choice, life is short and we all have natural gifts to share.  Never forget that the best things in life truly are free as our unique talents and natural passion in life cannot be bought.  Success is not the result of other people, things or even money, but rather thoughts in our minds which utimately lead to actions which create our future.  Define the measures of your own success and happiness in life and stop worrying about everything else that truly doesn’t matter.  

Again, don’t let the effect of your past be the cause of your future.  SM