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  

One response to “Announcement of Kenneth von Heidecke Documentary Film Project

  1. Ken is the absolute best classical ballet teacher and creative choreographer for all levels from children to adults I have ever known. Studying dance for many years along with teaching students, Ken is just a genius in his artistry and techinical skills. Ken is also a very kind and sensitive person and we are truly blessed with him in Naperville.

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