Palm Beach County is the home of independent film director, Michael Eldon Lobsinger. It is also where his company, Darktooth Films has its headquarters. Lobsinger shared with Art Film File the details of his most recent endeavors, including his ongoing short film Rotten Mangos, and a music video for upcoming artist, Bruce Donaldson.
Director Michael Eldon Lobsinger, (MEL to all who know him), has his hands busy these days with a wide array of projects. Still in the process of shooting his short film, Rotten Mangos, filmed in Lake Worth, Florida Lobsinger additionally directed the latest music video of singer Bruce Donaldson, in collaboration with producer Michael Soper. Filmed in the city of Wellington, in a confined studio space and a crew which MEL himself dubs “me, myself, and I”, the video gives the impression of an old Hollywood classic picture, not solely because of its black-and-white cinematography, but for the unique sense of timeless melancholy combined with graceful camera shots. Actress Catherine Windecker, who has worked with Lobsinger in several projects, including Rotten Mangos, said: “Working with Michael on this film, has been an amazing experience. He is so professional, and wonderful to work with. Most of my experience is in Improv, and film of course is completely different. He has been great in guiding not just me, but the whole cast through the process”.
Speaking to Lobsinger is always a heartfelt experience because of the love he feels for his profession. He became a film director late in life, starting in his late forties but not for that less dedicated to his craft; if anything, age has made him more of a connoisseur of great film making, having to do much of his work with a minimal film crew, and more often than not, no crew. “I wish I could afford to pay them”, Lobsinger said. “When you’re a student, you do some things for free, but eventually they’re going to want to get paid for their work.”
The film industry in Florida is at an all-time low, unable to provide much support for aspiring and upcoming filmmakers, due to staff budget cuts of almost forty percent , according to the Florida Office of Film & Entertainment. Lobsinger is one of many filmmakers who have considered the possibility of moving to Georgia in order to better pursue that which he loves to do. “The Kickstarter funding for Rotten Mangos is gone”, Lobsinger says, “and we still have a couple of nights left to shoot. When it’s a volunteer crew, you have to depend on the schedules of the cast and crew, as opposed to a budgeted film where the shoot depends more on the director’s schedule”.
The music video however, was one of those rare paid jobs, and although Lobsinger didn’t disclose how much he made from it, it isn’t unreasonable to speculate that in New York or L.A, directors would have charged over double or triple whatever amount Lobsinger was paid for the the high quality video he directed. Indeed, it is gratifying to see that so many qualified film industry professionals exist in South Florida; however it is terribly dispiriting, that talent such as Lobsinger’s fails to many times be properly recognized, not to mention justly remunerated.
Tragically, the lack of opportunities for filmmakers leaves the many creative minds that reside in Florida out in the dust, with the only option of packing their bags and bidding adieu to the Sunshine State, to look for better opportunities elsewhere.
Listen to Art Film File’s Adriana Delgado, talk with Michael Eldon Lobsinger:
Watch Michael Eldon Lobsinger’s new video, starring Bruce Donaldson: