Filmmaker Russell Brown brought his RB Films production crew to Overlake last week as he works on a documentary about local artist Michael Shaw.
Shaw’s sculpture of an owl was commissioned by Overlake’s Class of 2003 as a gift back to the school. Brown’s crew filmed a segment in the library where the sculpture is nesting. “In the process of making this piece, I would have never thought I’d be visiting it here years later,” says the Des Moines artist. “It’s so cool to see all these young individuals here who are discovering it.”
Shaw created the piece after a student came to him at his Pike Place Market gallery with the idea. The work is a sculpture with a kaleidoscope inside. Looking into the owl’s eyes, the art comes alive. “That’s my focus by doing a kaleidoscope,” says Shaw. “I want it to be active with the goal of the viewer working and manipulating it.”
For Brown, the documentary is a departure from the many feature films he produces. His latest film, “Search Engines” stars Joely Fisher and Connie Stevens. In his conversation with Shaw, he knew he had to capture the story behind the owl. “He’s created so many different living subjects, but there’s only one owl. In making this documentary, I thought it would be great to see, and it hasn’t disappointed,” says the L.A. based filmmaker.
During the interview, Brown captured the emotion between artist and his creation as it was the first time he’s seen it since completion. “It’s been more than a decade since I released it from my studio, and in the time since it’s flown away, It’s always been in my heart,” says Shaw.
The yet untitled documentary is expected to be completed in 2018, and we’ll keep you updated as it nears a release date. Click here to learn more about Shaw's art.