When making any film, you’re bound to Murphy’s Law.  What can go wrong, will go wrong.  This applies even more so when making a documentary during late autumn in central Illinois.  Most likely, the weather would be horrid.  Shooting completely on location, one must gear up for the worst.  When seeking to outsmart Murphy, one must anticipate.  Will the battery mysteriously deplete?  Yes.  Will the wind blow so hard two people can’t even have a conversation let alone an interview?  Yes.  Will some bitter old hag drive up and ruin the best interview location ever?  Yup.  For no reason at all, before getting the best possible shot or no shot at all, you leave in a fright!?  Yessss.. *sigh.

Scouting interview locations, anticipation figured it would be keen to give each interviewee a back-up rain shoot location.  It would be naive to think the weather could be pleasant for seven consecutive days.
Day One brought cold, dark rains.  The conditions were terribly unpleasant but the weather gave Cemeteries I and III some beautiful, mysterious fog deep in the woods.
Soaked to the bone, production had to wrap early as the light was nearly gone by 3p.  The rest of the day’s schedule would have to wait for another day.  All I had left to do was to make sure Murphy didn’t ruin shots with raindrops on the lens and the covering of the camera didn’t have an accidentally poked hole from conditions and terrain.  … All right, Mr. Murphy, we’re all good!  Hot shower please!

J taking a break for a photo in Cemetery I at the Peoria State Hospital formally known as The Illinois Asylum for the Incurable Insane

Categories: Uncategorized


Independent Filmmaker/Photographer


Cameron · February 11, 2012 at 3:35 am

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Richard Weiss · April 1, 2012 at 5:45 pm


Glad to see things coming together. I viewed the trailer and the blog and both look great. Looking forward to seeing the entire film and wish you guys much continued success. Let me know if you need anything else and we will help in any way possible. Take care!

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Betty · May 10, 2012 at 5:20 pm

I was so pleased to find this web site. My GG-grandmother died at the Peoria State Hospital infirmary in August 1909 during the pellagra epidemic. I live in Arizona so I don’t get to Illinois often but I visited the PSH campus for the first time last May (2011). I climbed the concrete steps that my GG-grandmother would have climbed when she first arrived at PSH around 1902. She is buried in Cemetery II where a family member has placed a headstone in place of the numbered stone previously there. I have met Richard Weiss, owner of the Bowen Building, a dedicated and kind man, who is working toward the restoration of the Bowen. The history of PSH fascinates me and I am hoping to write a novel based on my GGgm’s life before and during her years at PSH. Thank you for producing this film. It means so much to people who appreciate their ancestors and all the patients who lived at PSH being memorialized in this way. Somehow a tribute like your film project allows those of us living today to appreciate and contemplate the times in which they lived. Your film will be a tangible piece of history through which their memories can be honored. I look forward to seeing your efforts come to fruition. Warm regards, B.T.

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