Category Archives: Kenneth von Heidecke Documentary Film Project

Hear My Music on the Stuart Meyer Artist Page at ReverbNation

The procrastination has ended and I finally built a social “home” for a portion of my own music library on ReverbNation .  If you are already knew I was a composer and music producer, then simply click hear to visit my page, listen to music and, fingers crossed, help me spread the word .

I composed my first piece of music at age 10 and had originally planned to pursue a career in music.  After several detours in life brought about by fear, insecurity, shyness, false starts and allot of trial/error I’ve spent the last 10 years putting myself and my music out there, mainly through my work in independent film.  Nonetheless, music has been the greatest constant in my life and over the years and regardless of the path I was on, I’ve never stopped composing, writing and recording.

What I’m about to say may hopefully seem more fascinating after you listen to a few of 28 tracks presently posted, but to this day I’ve not made a single cent for my music, volunteering my services for each director/producer I’ve work with up this point… still it remains one of the most gratifying aspects of my life.  I always tell people that if you go into film or music first and foremost to make money, you’re certainly going into it for the wrong reasons.  But if you have a relentless passion, a devotion to your art and focused persistence then one day the opportunities will arise.  This is where I’m at and why I feel the need to get this music out to a larger audience beyond my immediate network of collaborators.

As you’ll read in the bio section of my ReverbNation page ,  I believe there are things in life that we do because we have to… there are things in life we do because we can… and then there are things in our lives we do because we quite simply can’t not do it.  For me… that’s music.  SM

My Greatest Business Weakness is Perhaps My Greatest Personal Strength

As I sit here on this Friday evening reflecting upon the way in which 2011 has started, my thoughts turn to my film shoot this morning over at NCO Youth and Family Services.  What an inspiring organization.  I’m wrapping up the final pieces of production for the documentary film I’m producing about the Naperville Exchange Club’s Ribfest, which places a strong emphasis on non-profit organizations who benefit from all net proceeds.

As I worked through capturing principal and b-roll, my mind couldn’t help but pause to bask in the fact that since I started my own media production venture, I’ve never had a more rewarding and enjoyable year-and-a-half of work in my life, not to mention family balance and plenty of cherished moments around my two rapidly growing little men-in-training.  My business is a thriving success from the standpoint of being able to do what I love for a living connecting and collaborating with great people.  At the same time, there is that uneasy tension that all business owners feel with regard to the nagging need to make money… you know, for life’s indulgent luxury’s such as that roof overhead, food and taking care of the most cherished possession of them all… my children.

I started my business for one simple reason… to live my purpose in the service of others and be an example to my children to follow their passion in life.  I love people… I love to help people solve problems… and I love to tell inspiring stories.  While 2010 was a fruitful year for my business, 2011 has started out as one that leaves that uneasy feeling in your stomach.  Yet, I’ve come too far through my professional and personal evolution in life which was full of its own share of sobering highs and crushing lows to ever considering turning back.

So what’s going on?  Well, I’ve been told by someone very close to me that my weakness is I simply give too much away.  I would be inclined to protest, but the irrefutable evidence against me in the wide span of pro bono and speculative projects I’m working on these days only yields an airtight case.

Even more, I’m a passionate ball of energy when I meet potential clients and end up spending hours of thought and research to bring as much to the table as I can offering up ideas and strategies that most everyone else would require a fee in exchange.  I do it because I simply can’t not do it… it’s the relentless and inexhaustible creativity that takes over.

I’ve been in and around the media business for many years, yet never so focused on taking chances, bringing big creative visions to life and placing my full 150% percent effort into all that I’m producing.  I believe it shines through in the herculean effort and devotion I pour into creative media production.  While I hope to one day be sharing the best examples of the pilot projects I’m working on right now, below are a couple of brief examples.

This is just the beginning for me.  I’ve never expected anyone to “swing open the door” without extending effort.  But I hope and pray each and every day that my blood, sweat, tears, passion and determination earns me that ticket into the door to help tell great stories and to create with a little less fear of where that next check is coming from.  Isn’t that what true dreams… the ones which have been with since your first memory, that something that you were uniquely put on this earth to do… are all about?

It’s been a tough week, yet all I can do is put myself out there and work as hard as I can knowing I’m where I’m supposed to be, doing what I was meant to do and loving every minute of the creative process.  Perhaps this post might resonate with you and inspire you to think about your own life and purpose.

In the end, maybe I do give too much but I’ve always believed that if we put ourselves out there, working in the service of others and creating value that good things will happen.  For these reasons, I’ll continue to see giving of my God-given talents and abilities as a great personal strength.  I hope that you will do the same for yourself in reflecting upon your own life.  SM

Association Publishing Magazine Features Composer and Filmmaker Stuart Meyer in September/October 2009 Issue

Association Publishing ArticleMy advance apologies for the dreadfully ego-centric sounding headline above.  I simply wanted to make sure this posting was optimized for search engine results… or “SEO” as it is called… which translates into posting views and insures that this story might reach a wider audience.

As many of you know, I’ve spent the second half of this year making the transition toward living and sustaining my life purpose.  This wonderful article, written by the very talented Carla Kalogeridis, provides a deeper perspective on how I am working to translate my humbling gifts and talents into my daily vocation as composer, filmmaker and not-for-profit social media consultant.

Earlier this year, as a step along this journey, I voluntarily composed a theme song (click here to listen) for the Association Forum to be used as a source of motivation for all the not-for-profit association professionals out there who have weathered a very difficult year.  The title of the theme song is “Go the Distance” which pretty much says it all to anyone from any walk of life who has endured this year of economic heartbreak and setbacks.

Within the past couple of months, I was contacted by Association Publishing Magazine about their interest in writing an article about the story behind this piece of music.  If you click here you can read the full article.

As the journey continues, I also invite you to support my current documentary film project, Imprévu – The Kenneth von Heidecke Storywhich is an inspiring story about a blue-collar Midwestern kid from Chicago who faces unimaginable triumph and tragedy in pursuing professional and international acclaim in the world of ballet.

When I first met Ken, I knew this was a powerful story that had to be told in a way that is as uniquely creative and as beautifully artistic as his life.  This film will not be your typical documentary, but rather an emotive and inspiring cinematic journey that well leave audiences reflecting, and hopefully acting upon their own inexhaustible purpose and calling in life.

Please join the official Imprévu film group on Facebook by clicking here where you can read our production diary dating back to 2008, listen to clips of film music I’ve composed and see our growing collection of production photos. I also welcome you to spread the word.

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