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Jan Harlan, Executive Producer for Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg, comments on "Aleph to Taw - abreger.", a James W. Hawk filme.

"I watched all three films ("Ethan", "Our World Order" and
"Aleph to Taw - abreger") and liked them, particularly the last one."

Go to my "testimonial page" for more details.

project background for

Alpha to Omega: Part 4


Aleph to Taw - abreger

Alrha to Omega: Part 4

Alpha to Omega: Part 4

This project started as a contest entry. It was to be five minutes maximum. That was too short for the material that was to be presented, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

My son, Jimmy, called me early in January 2007 and asked me if I saw the filmmaking contest that was being advertised. I told I had seen it and he said, "You are going to enter, aren't you?" And so it was.
The first problem that came to mind was that of getting actors. I only knew of one, Eric Martenson and I had no idea if he would be interested. I talked with Eric and he wanted in. The next hurtle was a story. With one actor, it had to be the "last man on Earth" story. Then it dawned on me. I had been working on a story for about five years called Alpha to Omega. I could use one little slice of that story which is five feature films long. The next thing was locations. The day I decided to do the "world is destroyed" thing it was announced on the news that the New Haven Coliseum garage was going to be demolished the next day. That turned out to be all the destruction shots in the beginning and the entrance shots to Gene's house. Gene's house was a factory in New Britain that we were allowed to use on a weekend.

Abigail White Presents: James W. Hawk -
a Connecticut independent filmmaker

Right after I finished the original version, I met a woman who was the station director of a local television station. I told her about Alpha to Omega: Part 4 and she asked me if I would let her do an interview with me concerning the making of the film. I agreed to do that. The day of the interview she had a three camera shoot set up. The project was edited and aired on 14 local stations and 60 cities shortly after that.

Click here to see the letter from the producer

Alpha to Omega: Part 4 - Behind the Scenes Website

I did this as a website instead of a film. It covers actors and locations.

Alpha to Omega: Part 4 - Director's Cut

Shortly after completing the original version, I started the Director's Cut. The director's cut was twice as long and allowed for better presentation of the story. Also the original flying saucer was a red domed shaped snow sled that was awful at best. When I did the director's cut I made a flying saucer in MAYA, a 3D graphics program. It was better, but it wasn't very professional looking. I also re-edited the core of the film and cleaned up the beginning and ending credits. As an experiment I did two different versions. One had the voice over and the other one didn't. The point of the experiment was to see if the story could be determined visually without dialogue. After I finished this version I ran into a well known Hollywood director. He asked me to send a copy of my film to his agent. When I left that meeting I started to think about all the weaknesses the film had, so I decided to do Alpha to Omega: Part 4 - Director's Cut - Redux. That version will never happen because of what is explained below.

Alpha to Omega: Part 4 - Director's Cut
Behind the Scenes Website

I did this as a website again, This time it is a little more elaborate and includes information about actors, locations and music.

Aleph to Taw: Part 4

In the process of creating the Redux version of Alpha to Omega, it dawned on me that the title was Roman which is not the oldest known alphabet. It turns out the the oldest alphabet is Proto Sinaitic. So the title of the project was changed to reflect that first known alphabet. And there were enough changes to the project to warrant a name change anyway. A new voice over for Gene Retare was recorded by a professional actor, a woman wrote a song for the film, another woman did the Mary Sullivan voice over, a lot of new footage was added and the basic flow of the story was changed, And the most important change was that after two years of searching, I finally found a graphic artist, Jacob Paul Bean, to do a proper flying saucer and the funniest thing is that he lives only five minutes from my house. It took me two years to find someone who is only five minutes away.

Aleph to Taw - abreger

I reduced the plot to a single character arc. This version deals only with Gene Retare's thoughts and actions up to this point. There are no hints or clues given regarding the rest of the story. This version is ten minutes long. By the way, "abreger" is French for "abreviated or condensed"

James W Hawk - filmmaker

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