As I mentioned on the documentary website, last month I made the first of what will be several trips back east, filming a number of interviews and doing further research into the Richard Amsel film. In fact, minutes after landing in Philly, I drove out to the cemetery where the artist was buried, and visited his hometown. I returned there about two weeks later, nearing the end of my trip, when I connected with one of Amsel's childhood friends who still lived in the area. She shared with me this ink sketch that Amsel had given her mother back when he was a teenager. We think it was done around 1966.
It was an emotional trip, to say the least. The day before I left, I was in Hollywood holding back laughter while interviewing Bruce Vilanch. A little over a week later, I was in Staten Island holding back tears while interviewing one of Amsel's best friends, who cared for him in his final days. I feel this will be the backbone and soul of the film to come.