Heartbeest Productions

Everything Matters

Heartbeest Productions

Everything Matters

Heartbeest Productions

Everything Matters

Heartbeest Productions

Everything Matters

Where is Patzcuaro?
Patzcuaro is a unique region of artisan communities in Michoacán, Mexico which surround a mile-high mountain lake. Its original inhabitants, like all native to Mexico were skilled craftpeople known for their pottery, woodworking, textile-making, and coppersmithing. Shortly after the Spanish arrived, in the early 16th century, they installed Fr. Don Vasco de Quiroga who quickly recognized the great artistic and technical skills of the natives, so he configured villages to produce a particular craft; a woodworking village, a coppersmithing village and so forth. He also converted most of the natives to Chrisianity.

Patzcuaro's copper village, Santa Clara de Cobre, boasts an international reputation for its intricate and beautiful copper artistry. Copper mines are common in the area, but it's rare to see a mine up close without receiving the mine operator's approval.
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Kodak Brownie StarFlash (circa "don't ask)

FADE IN:

One winter day Al Cowan brought home a Kodak Brownie StarFlash to entertain his sick four year old son Michael.

The boy was fascinated with the camera. It was unlike any toy he had ever seen before. He loaded a roll of yellow Kodak, paper-backed 120 size film onto a take-up spool, put the mechanism back into the body of the camera, wound the film a few more times until it stopped, and then looked through the little plastic viewfinder and...
click! Thus began a lifelong pursuit of images, still and moving.

There followed a succession of cameras including Michael's first Super8 film camera, the Braun Nizo S560. The camera spent more time in the shop than in production, but it provided the teen an early glimpse into the never-dull realm of strips of film that could be pieced together into silent tales of fantasy and slapstick frivolity. A career was in the making.
Braun Nizo S560, a fine piece of engineering, when it actually worked.
Serious enough to pursue filmmaking as a career, Michael earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He spent most of his college life in front of an upright 16mm Moviola, hoisting a French 16mm Eclair NPR on his shoulder, or relaxing between shoots. And yes, he attended classes, too.
16mm upright Moviola, affectionately named "Baby Chewy."
Eclair NPR coaxial magazine, 16mm camera. French and occasionally temperamental.
McSorley's Old Ale House. Truthfully, I can't say I actually remember the place.
Intercom
After college Michael returned to Chicago where he worked for several production companies making "industrial" (old school term for corporate) films for which his work was awarded prizes from the Chicago International Film Festival and the Columbus International Film Festival.
Columbus International Film and Video Festival
The economy hit the skids and Michael left the business.

For twenty years he worked in Information Technology, designing, implementing and building computer systems, working with evolutionary devices like early portable computers. It was a good place to be and the work enabled him to earn a living, take care of his family, and enjoy a happy lifestyle. That was good.

But, he grew restless. He yearned for the days when he would be on location at four in the morning drinking watered down coffee and eating soggy doughnuts.
Osborne One luggable - about 25 lbs.
Today Michael Cowan operates Heartbeest Productions. In addition to traditional video production, we'll assist you with project feasibility, budget analysis, and where and how to best allocate your production budget.

If you've got a question (even one you might be bashful to ask) call (773)782-3909 or write. We'd love to hear from you.

:FADE OUT