Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Of Dolls & Murder screening in London!

We are so excited to be screening Of Dolls & Murder this Thursday (4/16/15) at the Wellcome Trust in London! If you don't have tickets, sorry to say it's too late. Read about it here. If you go, drop us a line and let us know what you think! Also, if you want a DVD of your own, click here.



Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Missing Nutshell on exhibit in London

You may remember the "missing Nutshell" from previous posts. If not, here's the scoop: Jerry D. of the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner first told me about the missing Nutshell about 8 years ago. And through my research I found a photo essay in a Popular Mechanics magazine from the 1950s featuring the not-so-missing Nutshell.

Then fast forward to a few years ago, I was looking at a website of the Bethlehem Heritage Center - prepping for our shoot there and I spotted the Nutshell. Hiding in plain sight. We went Bethlehem, NH and interviewed people on camera about the missing Nutshell and how it wound up on display. To hear the full story, you have to wait for the new documentary to be done.

Fast forward again to last year - staff from the Wellcome Trust in London lamented that the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner wouldn't answer their requests to borrow the Nutshells for their upcoming exhibit. (It's almost comical how often people ask me to get the OCME to lend them Nutshells for their exhibits.)

On one very rare occasion, the OCME lent out 4 of Frances Glessner Lee's precious Nutshells for an exhibit but honestly, they are more valuable than most normal sized houses and they are teaching tools that are in constant use.

Once I broke the news to the Wellcome Trust that they shouldn't get their hopes up for the OCME Nutshells,  I did tell them that about one other Nutshell that may be available to borrow... 

I'm happy to say that the missing Nutshell is in London right now for the Wellcome Trust exhibit. (I do hope that the Bethlehem Heritage Center was well compensated!)

 You can read all about the exhibit here. Clips of our film, Of Dolls & Murder (featuring John Waters) will also be a part of the exhibit. Hope you can make it!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Frances Glessner Lee's best friend





Frances Glessner Lee just love to read. In fact, she didn't need much sleep, so she often read a book a night. She had an impressive library of scholarly books along with mystery whodonits - like her best friend Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason books. He even dedicated his book The Dubious Bridegroom to Frances. He also have her signed (personalized) copies of all his books. Her great granddaughter, Gail is taking good care of them.

Lee meet Gardner when he attended one of her seminar series. He was the first author to do so. Once he got a taste of learning what detectives and FBI agents were learning, he became a permanent fixture at the Harvard Associates of Police Science seminar series.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Narrator for Frances Glessner Lee documentary?


I love this photo of Frances Glessner Lee from our documentary film - courtesy of the Glessner House Museum. I can only imagine she was an excellent driver.

We are starting the process of securing a female off camera narrator for our documentary. Who do you think we should have on our short list? We had John Waters as the narrator in our previous documentary - Of Dolls & Murder and we could never capture that kind of magic again - so we want to go in a new direction. Feel free to leave your thoughts.

I once asked a room full of FBI detectives and homicide detectives who they thought should be the narrator. Any guesses to what name they shouted out?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Screenwriter Susan Marks' Bio


Writer Susan Marks with a Nutshell Study of Unexplained Death

Susan Marks is screenwriter, author and  documentary filmmaker. She is the recipient of two Jerome filmmaking grants, a McKnight fellowship and Upper Midwest Regional Emmy. Her recent documentary film, Of Dolls & Murder, about dollhouse crime scenes, features legendary filmmaker John Waters as narrator. Her screenplay, Finding Poppy Pepperdine was a quarter-finalist in the Academy Nicholl Fellowship competition. 

Her current projects include screenplay, Dollhouse of Death about the Frances Glessner Lee and a documentary film, Her Miniature Life of Crime - also about Frances.

Susan's past projects include the book Finding Betty Crocker (Simon & Schuster 2005) and documentary film, The Betty Mystique. Susan also wrote the book In the Mood for Munsingwear and made the documentary, Inside the Speakeasy Dollhouse



Friday, January 16, 2015

The Nutshell Studies of Unexpained Death Photos

Through making two documentaries, I've had the honor and privilege to take many trips to visit Frances Glessner Lee's Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death at the Maryland Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

I must have taken over 1000 photos over the past 7 years or so - in several different formats.

And yes, I know the solutions to the Nutshells and no, I'm not telling. But if you're clever - you just may figure them out.