Copyright© 2006-2018 Black Summers Productions, LLC
All Rights Reserved
Mike Black and Carole (Black) Summers - brother and
sister, twins - were born and raised in Corpus Christi,
Growing up with a love of movies, they pretended to
make movies with the neighborhood kids. They had to
stop "production" on Attack of the Cactus because it
was too scary.
m. Black and carole Summers
before principal shooting began
on Cassandra's Echo
Black and Summers abandoned all pretense of sober-minded adulthood in 2005 and, at
age 52, formed their own film production company. Undaunted by their inexperience and
with scarcely the money to buy the digital equipment necessary to make their first film -
and brushing aside any self-consciousness about the indulgent cinematic karaoke that such
technology is fostering - they worked with creative daring at a necessarily breakneck pace
(nine days of actual shooting) to craft Cassandra's Echo. The generosity of fellow artists
and the kindness of strangers, along with their own phenomenal organizational skills - not
to mention plain old-fashioned guts - had to make up for the lack of a budget.
Cassandra's Echo would certainly not have been possible without the help of a lot of
people more talented than themselves, although, surely, none were more foolhardy.
Summers and Black
post production on Cassandra's Echo
Black studied filmmaking independently in the 1970s before succumbing to the rigors of
reality. His various careers have run the gamut from restaurant cook to published novelist
(An Italian Elegy, Knights Press 1989), travel agent to playwright (The Norma Desmond
Stratagem, 1997), legal word processor to screenwriter - Cassandra's Echo being but the
latest in a string of hitherto unproduced film scripts. Black brings to his perennial status as
struggling artist a dutiful contempt for the merely sensible, even as he resorts to the
desperate measure of directing his own material. It was his inescapable passion for the
storytelling magic of movies that compelled him to take a break from all those regular
paychecks in order to write, direct and co-produce Cassandra's Echo, a contemporary
mystery set in San Francisco, the city he has called home since moving there from Texas
in 1973 (decades punctuated by sojourns abroad in Italy, Greece, Spain . . . Minneapolis).
Summers finally settled in San Francisco in 1984 after living in Texas, Ohio, Colorado,
and Montana. She has worked as a waitress, lab tech, travel agent, and legal word
processor. Summers is the photographer for BSP as well as doing the special video
effects and color correction. She also handles all the paperwork required for running
BSP. This website was created and is maintained by Summers.
Cassandra's Echo, a narrative, was Black Summers' first movie. It was written, directed,
and edited by Black. Summers was the cameraperson and did all the special video effects.
"Cassandra's Echo" was self-financed - meaning it was made with almost no money - and
was only possible because the cast and crew contributed their talent and time in exchange
for a percentage of any gross profits. Cassandra's Echo premiered at the FAIF International
Film Festival in Hollywood on October 10, 2006.
Queer Icon: The Cult of Bette Davis, a documentary, was Black Summers' second movie.
It was directed and edited by Black. Summers was the cameraperson and did the special
video effects. Black and Summers were the whole crew. Queer Icon was self-financed,
meaning, once again, it was made for almost no money. Queer Icon premiered at the Roxie
Theater in San Francisco on July 2, 2009. The Queer Icon DVD continues to sell through
Amazon and Black Summers' website. The DVD is also available at several libraries: UC
Berkeley, University of Washington, Arizona State University, and the San Francisco Public
Library. The Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative also has a copy -- we
assume -- courtesy of Bob Grimes who sold his collection of sheet music to them shortly
before his death.