Wednesday, November 16, 2005

"Outskirts" in Post-Production

Psychotropic Films has announced that "The Outskirts of Infinity" is currently in post-production. Filmmaker Barton Santello says that no time limit has been given for the film's release; but estimates it should be completed sometime in the first quarter of 2006.

"The raw footage has a lot of hidden artistic images that need to be extracted and given attention for further refinement. Further, there is a futher challenge integrating the sound track being provided by 'A Produce'. I'm confident all the elements to complete the film are there and the final work should be very unique and special - I'm excited about it" (Santello)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Brenda's Blog on "Psychotropic Films"


Dear Bart,

This reviewer page is an elegant post-modern multi-layer psycho-social cross-cultural addition to your work. I can see this evolving into a form in which the observer(s) is(are) part of the artistic creation and esthetic experience to be shared. It is sort of between passive experience of art and performance art in which observers are an active participant in creating the experience.

This is a refreshing alternative to what we see all too often with gifted people: preaching, getting on a soap box, talking at people, forcing an opinion or perspective onto others. Instead, metaphorically, you are inviting people into your home, a place where cognition itself is appreciated and encouraged without any investment in a particular outcome to the personal cognitive act.

Some skeptics might say that this (i.e., valuing experience over outcome) is self indulgent if not frankly hedonistic. I submit that such a judgment misses the point, or at least the potential, of your work as an exemplar of an art form. The intent is not even to achieve a particular experience or attendant emotions (happiness, sadness, fear, or whatever). In fact, your work often leads to unexpected experiences and to unwanted emotions.

I cannot help imposing my own pedagogical perspective on your work. I would say, if there is an agenda, it is to provide observers and participants with opportunities for psychological growth and development. Phenomenology or simple reflection is a skill like anything other. A developing individual needs practice and experience with difficult material or situations which prepares one for the uncertain or unfamiliar. Meta-cognitively, one must learn to learn. For me, this is the esthetic opportunity your work provides.

I look forward to watching how your work and this integral weblog unfolds.

Warm regards,

Gary Riccio, Ph.D., B.S.E.
Nascent Science & Technology, Inc.
12 Massasoit Way
Mattapoisett, MA 02739-1028

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Phoenix Film Festival

Psychotropic Films - Press Release
Arivaca, AZ

Psychotropic Films announces the submission of it new release, "Strange Attractor", to the Phoenix Film Festival. Submission to the film festival does not guaranty acceptance. Filmmaker Barton Santello adds: "Digital filmmaking is ubiquitious these days and I'm sure the judges struggle as they wade through hundred's of short films." "I hope that the retro-graphics as rendered by my vintage Amiga Computer, along with a unique story presentation, and delivered along with a solid musical score by ambient/electronica musician Richard Bone, tip the scales in our favor."

Notification of acceptance or rejection of this entry to the Phoenix Film Festival will occur at the beginning of 2006.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Strange Attractor - A Barton Santello Film

My new film "Strange Attractor" can be viewed on the website of Richard Bone, who is musician that provided the soundtrack for the film.

Go to:

Then click on "Visuals" then "Videos"

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

"The Outskirts of Infinity" Completes Filming

PRESS RELEASE - Psychotropic Films
Arivaca, AZ

Shot in the ghost-town of Ruby, Arizona, Barton Santello's new film "The Outskirts of Infinity" was recently wrapped. The images recorded will be combined with a music score by veteran trance musician "A Produce" to achieve a heavy "Psychotropic" effect. Filmmaker Barton Santello lays in: "I'm going to have fun in post-production with this one - anything goes." Further adding: "I'm doing this film for me. If you want to come along for the ride you're welcome. Expect the psychotropics spread on thick like peanut butter. And don't be surprised if the entire film has no context other then to mess with your head."

Details of the film are shrouded in secret: However, filming took place in the mine shafts of Ruby, with the caretaker, and exclusive footage of millions of bats pouring out of a cave.

Relase of the film is expected by the end of this year (2005).

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Strange Attractor Released

RE: Strange Attractor - A Barton Santello Film


I AM ABSOLUTELY THRILLED! I just watched "Strange Attractor" for the second time and am completely captivated by the visual imagery. As you may know, I've been watching early film works by Brakhage and Fischinger and your piece is on par with those pioneering works. The marriage of audio and video is inspired, the edits (to the music) ingenious. I assume you plan on entering this work in video festivals as it must be seen! I know you must be proud of the work. The energy and talent put into it are clearly evident.

Marleen already wrote me that she loved it also. Why don't I leave it up to you two to decide how you want it presented on the site? Anything you both decide is fine with me.

Warm Regards,

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Harddrive Crash Sets Website Release Back

Psychotropic Films Press Release
Arivaca, AZ

A harddrive crash on the administrative computer of Psychotropic Films, wiped-out 4-months of programing effort, just short of the launch of the company's website. Although the computer's files were backed-up just a few weeks prior to the crash, a key program file containing the HTML code of the website was not backed-up because it resided in the program's proprietary directory, rather than the "My Webs" folder where all the graphic elements for the site were stored.

Principal and filmmaker Barton Santello expressed extreme disappointment at this latest setback to establishing an online presence and completing a artistic multi-media project. Santello confides: "I was using a new authoring tool (NetObjects Fusion 8), so not only did I have to ramp-up the learning curve for the software, but I was trying to mold my vision for the site into the capability of the software."

Santello says: "Since I'm not a website developer, I don't have any preconceived notions of how a website should be constructed: Therefore, my concept was that the layout of the website will take the visitor on a journey through the filmmaker's mind, allowing navigation through the subconscious, altered states, dreams and the mind's link with the Internet's own developing consciousness. All of which relate back and represent completed films, films under production and ideas."

Redevelopment of the website will commence in the late fall of 2005. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Email to Richard Bone


I really appreciate your support on these projects. I wonder what it must feel like to be in your shoes - having someone else take what you created and put it into a form unimagined?

Actually I may turn the tables on you here. The Strange Attractor I'm editing now is different than what I imagined the film to be. It's now colorized black and white video as opposed to stark B&W. Also, I decided to incorporate some of the unrehearsed performances of the actors into the film, which created a new perspective that ended-up working with the music from COXA. However, in additon; I may create the B&W version and give it to you, A PRODUCE and others, to play with from a soundscape standpoint (remember my idea about having several muscians, each originating a soundtrack based on their inner interpretation of the film!) There would be no time limit or obligation: Just a seed waiting to germinate and sprout.

I liken what other artists do similiar to a pure element in nature (the Periodic Table of the Elements). And also my films as a pure element. Then what I do is combine the two elements together like a chemist to create a new compound (e.g. two parts hydrogen & one part oxygen = water).

Regarding the bats disc. I don't know if anything could be done with it from a sonic standpoint, but I have used it as a relaxation exercise (meditative I guess like you mentioned).

Wait to you see what's coming together for my time filming in the ghost town of Ruby. It's a real 'psychotropic' piece called "Outskirts of Infinity". A PRODUCE is providing the sonic for that. It may have a clip or two of the bats, but I don't know what I'm going to do with all the bat footage - I would say at least a million pour out of that cave!!

Take care, Bart

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

New Perspective For Strange Attractor

I completed filming "Strange Attractor" over the weekend and after pulling and all-nighter last night - I already have a rough edit in hand. As present-moment awareness should have it, the film in post-production is becoming something different that what I first imagined. But this is good because I'm using input from the two actors that deals with their creative perspectives and contribution to the project. Jim Ericksen's suggestion of filming a gas-stove burner igniting turned-out to be a fun creative exercise. Jim also suggested filming himself looking into a mirror and he exits the door from his study in the film. I put a sequence together from that filming exercise which added significantly to the films artistic value.

Also unexpectedly in the editing, I used footage of both Cindie Wolf and Jim Ericksen that really brought out both their characters and this helped add a nice cohesion to the film story. In other words, instead of rigidly following what was in my mind's eye for the film, I let the contribution of the actors shape both the 'content' and the 'feel' of the film. This is what present-moment filmmaking is all about. You have to recognize new information and let it assimulate itself into the film. Introducing these new elements broadened the artistic value of the piece.

I Also, the images in post-production are colorized black and white video run through a primitive video board installed in a vintage 1985 Commodore Amiga computer, using software developed at the time to create real-time digital colorization as the video is displayed on the monitor - really cool - essentially post-production became an excercise in 'performance' art.

So what happens now to the original movie concept of Strange Attractor? Well there very well may be another version of the film true to my original vision - we'll see.

Barton Santello
Arivaca, AZ
July 2005

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Strange Attractor Update

On July 16th, the filming of Strange Attractor was completed. A big milestone for 2005. Now comes the hard (fun) part of digital filmmaking: Take the film and put it in my 'form'. My form being the most present-moment I can take this material. While simultaneously using technology tools that are both state-of-the-art and vintage (I like the vintage equipment, especially my Amiga 1000.)

Strange Attractor it seems, upon inspection of the video run through the Amiga 1000's LIVE! videoprocessing board, will be better served, viewed as two seperate films. The first version will be a hip retro image (as processsed by the LIVE! video card on the Amiga) digitally crafted via LIVE!'s vintage software in real time as the video is recorded raw off digital tape.

The second film will be the black and white version of my original vision for the films's presentation.

Both versions will have music provided couresty of Richard Bone {

The result is my original design for the film; with the bonus of a seperate present-moment artistic version film, from the same source material. The best of both worlds.

Bart Santello

Monday, July 04, 2005

Changing The Form of Film

email to Steve

Kubrick, in the last years of his life, talked about creating a new "form" for film. I don't know what that meant, but he implied that he wanted to change the structure or DNA of filmmaking.

My movies (e.g. Man Trap) are filmed simply because I felt something important and was moved by each image. I didn't plan to put the guy at the end to look and the camera and then look away suggesting that he was resigned to be a tool in the man trap of the factory. I just took the footage and had no idea what I was going to do with it, and doubing if it was good for anything.

But ManTrap ended up coming together just like a dream - a bunch of fragments from my
day coming together to form a story - who would have known. The same is happening with the "Bats of Ruby" a film I'm working on at present. I have the same thing, a bunch of images: But this time I have the confidence to create something really artistic, unique and true to how I "see" things.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Tough Week of Filmmaking

Journal entry by Bart

Here's an update: When you have two films to shoot at ounce and a million other things to do, the clock ticking down and combine that with the unpredicability of filming wildlife, I was seeing things starting to get chaotic. Filming is where the uncertainty mounts. Did I get on tape what is in my head?

Tonight I filmed a simple scene (for Strange Attractor), of a burner from a gas stove igniting-off. The lighting wasn't what I had expected, but the digital tape showed some of my lighting tricks worked really well. This tiny transition shot, really picked-up my spirits. It's the reminder that a film is built one scene at a time. And a good film must be a string of deliberate and purposeful images.

Interesting, that the gas-burner idea which came from Jim Ericksen (collaberator in the film), would end up being the image that sparked the whole filming effort.

That's the whole point, I never know what's going to work, so I have to document everything I can. But my own limitations try to box me in, so that's why I have to get creative.

Earlier in the week I lost a whole night of shooting (for the film: Bats of Ruby) because I had one button switched "on" that shouldn't have been and over-saturated the image. Another night, I had to switch a battery in mid-shoot of the bat's flight, then ran out of tape. All due to carelessness, juggling two projects and the clock - the details will derail you.

However, after reviewing all the footage, I feel I have been capturing the essence of what I'm trying to accomplish. Trying to remain true to the idea.

Stay in the moment - Stay in the moment. That's is what I keep saying to myself. And to "breathe".

Friday, March 04, 2005


Email conversation with A Produce

Bart Santello: Yea, just like the Planet of the Apes series, the Man Trap film keeps having reincarnations of its own. I know what you're thinking at this moment: "Leave well enough alone", but this is the point of 'present moment film making'. Yea, I thought the film was 'final' back in the fall. But I just filmed another cool scene the other day, and tonight started manipulating the image on the cinematic computer - bingo - not only did I get the scene to fit within the existing length of the film, I realized I had an opportunity to tweak and edit other clips - The result is a definitely improved film...Now, after I make those new copies for you, you will soon have version 4.1 (kind of like software, without the upgrade cost and compatibility issues- ha!), and you can view it to your heart's content to find these new mods. Your soundtrack was left without modification.

PS: I have a new version of my digital editing software on order, which will have the capability to produce 'surround sound' and 16 x 9 wide-screen format. I will then convert the film to wide-screen since the video I filmed is wider than your TV set. So in v4.1.1 of ManTrap you'll see it presented in: "Bart-O-Vision".

It's going to be an exciting year, I've generated so many ideas for films without effort; they are falling into the palm of my hand. I'm even dreaming the scenes AND in a passive-lucid sense editing them too. This is all happening in real time; it's all happening now!!

My latest idea came while listening to the first track of Robert Rich's "Below Zero", it reminded me of the different stages of sleep (hypnagogic, REM, NonREM, Hypnapompic) and the imagery associated with it. Then I realized that I need to make a film that visually portrays each of these stages of sleep. I mean, I've been keeping a dream log for 25 years, you would think I have some insight and raw material for this!! You want to work a soundtrack for this one? Take your time. This project is several years out (that's because the effort to portray what the mind is creating visually each second is staggering).

A Produce: In effect, that what "Smile On The Void" was supposedly all about. I'm not sure I nailed it quite in the same way Robert Rich did. You should really order his "Somnium" 7 hr audio DVD--it's quite amazing to have on in the house at various volumes for that period of time. As you probably know, he used to perform these things live, and I actually witnessed one in '96 in Santa Monica. It was one of the more memorable experiences of my life....

Bart: And that's where my vintage Amiga multi-media computers come in. I've been buying Amiga Software and primitive video processing boards on eBay for pennies, what you couldn't touch for hundreds in there heyday. Just tools for the tool box.

A Produce: Great! It always good to have some out-dated gear that nobody thinks has value anymore, but where imagination is the key. You've got a lock on stuff that no one even thinks about anymore. I'm in somewhat the same "dilemma"--most of the gear in my studio now is considered "vintage" but it gets me where I want to go which is really all I'm interested in these days.

Bart: Also, there are some things I need to film once I'm down Arivaca. It struck me tonight that maybe this is where Jack Gariss comes in...It's just a hunch...You know what I'm talking about..

A Produce: I just made a dub of a board tape (not off the radio) of a show Jack did way back in '77 that kicked off a series on creativity. You may find it useful, if not for a show, just for the experiencing of the moment. There are seven "moments" in this series. This is the first one, and it's on its way to you...