DC Cardwell’s “I Am Still The Same” video at US film festivals

Student film official selection at SoCal and Newport Beach Film Festivals!

Newport Beach Film Festival -logo
SoCal Film Festival 2012 Badge

“I Am Still the Same”, the remarkable video for DC Cardwell‘s award-winning song, has been selected for two film festivals in California –  the 2012 SoCal Independent Film Festival and the 2013 Newport Beach Film Festival!

The film was directed by David McGorlick, a young Melbourne film student. This is a very well-deserved recognition of his talent, especially considering it was his first serious film.

To further illustrate how remarkable this achievement was, at the Newport Beach festival the film was screened amongst a set of major videos from some particularly stellar artists, including The Black Keys/RZA, Sigur Rós, Alt-J, No Doubt and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros!

 In 2011, McGorlick, who was studying film at university, had asked his friend DC if he could use “I Am Still The Same” in a video for an assignment. DC was happy to allow the use of the song and expected the end result to be proficient but not particularly remarkable as it was the first “proper” film young David had ever made. McGorlick ran his broad ideas past the songwriter for approval, but apart from DC’s firm request that there should be “no overacting!” (he needn’t have worried), the entire creative side of the project was left on McGorlick’s shoulders. 

David McGorlick and DC Cardwell Mar 3 2013 (12-CP)
David McGorlick & DC Cardwell

McGorlick shot the video on a borrowed Canon 7D digital SLR, noted for its ability to impart a “film look”. No extra equipment was used and friends were roped in as actors and crew.

The result was an incredibly profound, thought-provoking and even disturbing statement which took some of the ideas in DC’s award-winning song and cast new light on them.

“I think David is an exciting, emerging talent. I’ve worked with a lot of well known directors and can already see David’s aptitude for storytelling and strong visual sense. Definitely keep an eye on him.” – Michael Garcia, former Creative Vice-President of HBO (Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Big Love, True Blood etc.

You can watch this astonishing short film here:

I Am Still The Same: The Story Behind The Song
http://dccardwell.com/i-am-still-the-same/

“I Am Still The Same” on IMDb:
http://www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi3021120025/

“I Am Still The Same” at Newport Beach Film Festival
http://newportbeach.festivalgenius.com/2013/films/iamstillthesame_davidmcgorlick_newportbeach2013

[Updated May 2013]

Postcard for DC Cardwell, David McGorlick music video I Am Still The Same

Kate Allatt – Locked in syndrome survivor!

Have you ever wondered about the story behind my song, “I Am Still The Same”? Well, it’s based on an article I read in a magazine about a woman with “Locked In Syndrome”, which means she had a spinal injury which rendered her unable to move anything except her eyelids. Eventually someone figured out how to communicate with her. She would spell out letters by blinking. Apparently the first thing she spelt out was “I Am Still The Same”, which I thought was very profound. I think the article said that she went on to write a book, if I remember correctly. I’ve tried to find the magazine again but without any success and I didn’t make a note of the woman’s name, unfortunately. So if anyone knows, I’d love to hear from you!

[I wrote the song very quickly and recorded in a somewhat casual, rough way as a demo for myself, but it had a good feel so I left it as it was and it went on to win the Catapult Song Contest in 2011. And then my young friend David McGorlick made the masterful video for it which has recently been selected for the SoCal Independent Film Festival in the US.]

Anyway, a little while back, on Facebook, I met a wonderful woman from the UK, Kate Allatt, who had a similar story but with a big difference. Kate actually recovered from Locked In Syndrome! This is a very rare occurrence but Kate is a very determined woman who doesn’t let anything get in her way and she just wouldn’t let an “incurable condition” like Locked In Syndrome stop her. Seemingly by sheer force of will she made herself learn to move again. She attributes this to determination and the increasingly recognised phenomenon of “neuroplasticity” whereby the brain is able to teach itself new pathways to perform functions when the original neural pathways are put out of action. The first word Kate spelt out by blinking was “Sleep” because she hadn’t slept for two weeks and longed for sleeping pills to help her. And the first part of her body she was able to move was her thumb, but now she’s back to almost full capacity, and, in fact, is far more physically active than most of us!

Of course, when I came across her I couldn’t resist sending her a link to my song on Youtube and she made some lovely comments which made me feel that I had managed to at least capture a tiny part of the sort of feelings that a locked in person suffers.

These are the comments Kate made on Youtube about my song:

Kate Allatt (image from her website)

“I am astounded! Very well done. You have captured my feelings superbly. What a great soundtrack to my books Running Free and Gonna Fly Now! 7/2/10 brainstem stroke with locked in syndrome. The wheelchair, the mirror, I was the same person inside, not a patient number. I was a cripple to look at but the same Kate inside. This video describes my emotions in the early months of ICU. Then the Rocky theme tune best describes my fight back to full life and kids. Thank you so much.”- Kate Allatt (Youtube comments 7 Feb 2012)

I’m glad I saved her comments because not long afterwards, my Youtube channel was shut down suddenly and I had to start again! I checked with Kate today and she said it was fine to quote her.

We keep in touch, and I was chatting with her again today about her appearance on the “The Science Show” on ABC Australia Radio National. You can hear it HERE and I highly recommend it as a nice introduction to her story, only about 9 minutes long but definitely not dull – Kate is NEVER dull!

Which brings me to Kate’s mission… since she made her remarkable recovery, and it’s not very long ago, she has written two books, appeared on numerous high-profile radio and TV shows, and has become an in-demand inspirational speaker. She’s determined to increase awareness about stroke recovery, neuroplasticity, positive care for stroke survivors and locked-in patients, and also in more general terms about the benefits of positive-thinking and determination on health and other aspects of life.

Kate has a very warm and winning personality and for this reason she is really good at getting her point across so you will enjoy getting to find out about her on her website (KateAllatt.com), on Youtube, in her books etc! She also has a blog you can follow.

You’ll be inspired too!

~ DC

PS: for those of you haven’t seen it, here is my song, “I Am Still the Same” which was inspired by Locked in Syndrome:

Also see:

Kate Allat: Locked-In-Syndrome Survivor

“I Am Still The Same” Video At US Film Festivals

TO BE CONTINUED…

DC Cardwell records with Jaymee Carpenter in LA [Newsletter 21st Jan 2011]

Hello! DC here…

I told you in last month’s newsletter about my impending trip (in December) to Los Angeles to record some songs for a movie. Well, it all went very well and I had a fantastic time!

Jaymee Carpenter at the controls in the studio.
Jaymee Carpenter at the controls in the studio.

The producer, Jaymee Carpenter, was a joy to work with and we managed to get six songs done in five days which was pretty good going. The director of the film, Michael Garcia, dropped by and seemed very happy with the songs and what we were doing with them. And I enjoyed every minute of my time there… now I can’t wait to go back!

Jaymee has a very impressive resumé which includes writing music for That 70’s Show and 3rd Rock From The Sun. He also composed the music for Crime After Crime which right now is nominated for an award at Sundance Film Festival. Also, Jaymee has two songs in the new Paramount Pictures blockbuster The Fighter starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale & Amy Adams. So you can see what a privilege it was to work with him.

[Addendum from 2012] I started out by recording the acoustic guitar for each song, followed by a guide vocal. Then, unlike my own recordings, most of the overdubs were by Jaymee and his regular session men. Jaymee overdubbed drums, and then Bryan Fouts put on some lovely bass. Jordan Shapiro brought along a large selection of guitars and amps and overdubbed 6 and 12 string electric, dobro and pedal steel. I played piano on a couple of tracks, and overdubbed harmonica on “A Minute Of Your Time”, and then on the last day I overdubbed the final vocals, much faster and in fewer takes than I would have at home!

The full list of songs we recorded is:

  • I Am Still The Same
  • Know Me
  • A Minute Of Your Time
  • Peace And Love
  • The Way Of A Woman With A Man
  • Birthday Present

The first five were destined for the movie in question. However, as of late 2012 the news is, unfortunately, that the project has been shelved and Jaymee and Michael are no longer involved with it. This is unfortunate news for me, however Jaymee intends to use my songs for some other project at some point so hopefully all the work will “pay off” eventually!” [end of Addendum]

And don’t don’t forget, my album Some Hope has been released in the US. It’s newly repackaged in a beautiful gatefold LP-style cardboard sleeve with new artwork. Sixteen (true!) tracks of pure goodness. The CD is available worldwide from CD Baby, my website (dccardwell.com) and our own Madcar Records website. Or you can download the album or individual songs from Madcar Records, iTunes or Amazon.

Anyway, after you’ve bought my album 🙂 come back and watch this little video I made about my experience in LA… and you can hear some of the music we recorded there…

Click here to watch “DC In LA”!