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Black and Summers

Mike Black and Carole Black Summers -- brother and sister, twins -- were born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas.

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.

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.

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 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.

Summers earned four Certificates of Accomplishment from the Broadcast Electronic Media Arts Department ("BEMA") at City College of San Francisco.  You can see some of the projects she worked on for classes here.


Cassandra's Echo , a narative film, was BSP's 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, California on October 10, 2006.

Queer Icon: The Cult of Bette Davis, a documentary film, was BSP's second movie.  It was written, 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 BSP's 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 -- courtesy of Bob Grimes who sold his collection of sheet music to them shortly before his death.

An Isolated Incident  -- working title -- is in production.