SAVING LINCOLN, a new film directed and co-written by Salvador Litvak, will open in select cities around the country on February 15, 2013 (just three days after Lincoln's birthday) - at the Quad Cinemas in New York City, and in Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Chicago. These follow a Special Screening at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL (where Lincoln is buried) as part of the annual Abraham Lincoln Association Symposium on February 11, 2013. Get a first look at the film below!
Based on true events, SAVING Lincoln tells the little-known story of our 16th President (whose life, and death, is currently generating a plethora of films, television and book projects), through the eyes of his long-time friend and law colleague, Ward Hill Lamon. Lamon, a Southerner, was a banjo-player, lawyer (he was Lincoln's partner from 1852 to 1857), singer, and pistol-packing jokester who appointed himself Lincoln's bodyguard after the first assassination attempt in 1861, and who foiled repeated attempts on the President's life throughout their four years in Washington. Despite some pronounced differences between the two men, they shared a fondness for telling jokes and stories, and both felt slavery should be eliminated. Lamon often served as Lincoln's private confidant, and kept him functioning during the darkest hours of the Civil War. Lincoln was never far from him - save that fateful night at Ford's Theatre when Lamon was sent by the President on a Reconstruction mission to Richmond.
SAVING Lincoln captures the essence of the man who presided over that turning point in world history. Abraham Lincoln was not the somber icon now etched into public life. He was brilliant yet self-taught, humble yet ambitious, hilariously funny yet desperately sad. If Shakespeare were writing today, he'd fashion a drama around Lincoln precisely because he was so complex, and because the destiny of humanity rested on his all-too-human shoulders. To experience our nation 's greatest crisis from Lincoln's point-of-view is to understand why more Americans gave their lives in the Civil War than in all our other wars combined. And to see the relatable man in the center of that storm from the perspective of Ward Hill Lamon his closest friend, is to understand that any one of us may carry within him or herself that mettle which Abraham Lincoln drew upon to save his country, end slavery, and reroute history.
This unique feature film was shot entirely on a single green screen stage and composited into vintage photographs of the Civil War era. As Director Litvak says, "I borrowed techniques from painting, photography, animation, stereoscopy, and VFX compositing to create a style I call CineCollage. The vintage photos are not just backgrounds in SAVING LINCOLN, they are 3D environments that inform the story as much as house it. The soldiers in the hospital scene, the workers atop the unfinished Capitol dome, and the commuters in Union Station are all actual Americans who lived, fought and sacrificed in the war Lincoln faced. CineCollage also allowed me to tell the whole Lincoln story, from its most intimate moments to its most epic. Just as Shakespeare fearlessly transported a theater audience to the Battle of Agincourt in Henry V, so we bring our audience to the Battle of Fort Stevens as well as to the Capitol for Lincoln's second inaugural and Gettysburg for that memorable address." Further possibilities for CineCollage are unlimited, particularly for subjects that can exploit well-photographed periods and locations.