It was very encouraging to have your letter, to know there is interest in my doing a film in Pittsburgh next summer. It would be a treat to have Ondine's participation; and yours too.
I have just submitted my proposal to the Guggenheim, requesting a renewal of my Fellowship, and giving as my project the major film I would like to bo able to bring to fruition there with you.
I have no certainty that I will get the grant, since they don't often do this, but I have had some encouragement about it.
I must alert you at once that I gave your name as one of my References (without first asking your permission). I suddenly saw that the deadline was this week, and when it came to filling in the names I thought of you, since you would be involved, and might anyway be disposed to say something fairly enthusiastic about me and my work. I hope you don't mind my doing this.
A few questions about how the project could work. Would it be one of the courses the workshop offered, with students enrolled and paying? Do they have to support it thereby, and would it be canceled for lack of sufficient registration? Would film stock, processing, sound recording etc have to be financed from my end?
And crucial, from my view: is there a really experienced and sensitive cameraman there with whom you think I could collaborate?
I would prefer to concentrate my energies on the conceptions and the directing. The gifted young man here with whom I have been recently doing some shooting is very congenial to my vision, but it would be a question whether he could afford to come to Pittsburgh with me.
As for a preliminary time that I might come there next spring, to give a seminar, say, while getting acquainted with people and places at the same: I could make it for a week, March 12 through 16. This could mean 5 meetings (if you think people would come every day). I would propose a series on my own experiences from the golden age of Art in Cinema, San Francisco, 1946-1951, up to, say, Canyon Cinema 1971: my 25 years in the Underground. I would use all my own work, & amplify with the important others: a very personal survey of independent cinema in the U.S. This is the area in which I have had much experience teaching already. But for you there I would like to do something especially revealing, as well as historical.
If the March dates are inconvenient, it would be hard for me to come any other time than middle or late ay, or maybe the first week of May. Easter vacation in April isn't so wise, I'd guess.
You can think about it and let me know. For the summer thing I would think June and July would be the best time, allowing us all an August to recover before another school year starts.
See my new letter head. This is where we are now. New phone too.
Old Mill Valley p.o.box will still reach me, but above is the most direct connection. And feels permanent. Bless you, dear Sally, and much love to you,