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August 19, 1994 - Image 46

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-08-19

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Oscar-winning filmmaker Sue Marx is producing a series
of nine videos for the Detroit Zoological Society.










ichigan filmmaker Sue Marx may
get up early to go to work, but she
does not necessarily head for her
Royal Oak office. These days, she
often stops at the Detroit Zoo.
At 7 a.m., before the gates open
to the public, Ms. Marx lingers at
key places where she has
panoramic views of animals from
all over the world.
Sometimes she spends time
watching the chimpanzees as
they look for treats hidden by
zookeepers. At other times, she
is captivated by the way the hye-
nas stare right back at her.
Later in the day, sitting behind
her desk or on a couch in her of-
fice, Ms. Marx studies videotapes
of animals in their natural set-
tings. These are commercial tapes
with price tags for their use.
Sue Marx Films, Inc., has been
hired to produce a series of nine
videos for the Detroit Zoological
Society, and she is scouting im-
pressive images.
The tapes — planned to cap-
ture the zoo's history, its special
exhibits and general wildlife top-
ics — will be shown daily to the
The films will be one attraction
at the zoo's new Wildlife Inter-
pretive Gallery (WIG), the former
birdhouse, where a 105- seat the-
ater currently is under construc-
tion. The facility also will house a
large salt water fish tank, inter-
active video equipment and a per-
manent collection of wildlife art.

"In our
culture, we
have dis-
tanced our-
selves from
nature, and
we ought to
said zoo di-
rector Ron
Kagan, who
engaged the
Marx team
to work on
the project.
"A while
ago, we be-
gan talking about a series of films
that would talk about the zoo of
the future and the relationship
between man and nature," Mr.
Kagan said. "We felt it would
make the zoo experience better
and expand our media."
"We want to have a big impact,
and I was enormously impressed
with the sensitivity and power of
Ms. Marx's Academy Award film."
In business since 1979, Ms.
Marx has produced more than 50
promotional, political and edu-
cational films and videos. She
won an Oscar for her short docu-
mentary Young at Heart, which
presents the romance of a widow
and widower (her father) enjoy-
ing life in their 80s.
Her lengthy client list includes
the American Institute of Archi-
tects, Sinai Hospital, Michigan
Bell and the Wayne County Air-

Above: Sue Marx and Char Dewolf.

Left: Dan Yezbick, John Jones, Anne
Marie Kanakis, Sue Marx and Char
Dewolf take a walk at the Detroit Zoo.

awe-struck by the exciting shots."
Ms. Marx works with one as-
sistant, Anne Marie Kanakis, at
Sue Marx, Inc., and with part-
ner Marty Bernstein at Wood-
bridge. She hires independents
for each of her projects. For the
zoo series, she asked Char De-
port. Her awards include nine wolf to write the scripts and Dana
Emmys, 10 CINE Golden Eagles Newhouse to compose an origi-
and many American Film and nal score.
Video Festival awards.
Also assisting are college in-
AIDS 101: Tammy Talks With terns John Jones and Dan
Teenagers was a recent winner Yezbick from the University of
at the American Women in Ra- Michigan and Dana Forrester
dio & Television Awards in New from Wayne State University.
York City.
The work began last January
Before starting Sue Marx and the completion deadline is
Films and Woodbridge Video Pro- next June.
ductions, which handles more
The budget, which Ms. Marx
commercial ventures, Ms. Marx terms "comfortable, but not Hol-
worked as a free-lance photo-jour- lywood," was bolstered by ticket
nalist and produced and wrote sales for Dinosauria, an exhibit
the award-winning documentary of animated, dinosaur robots.
series Profiles in Black for Chan-
"Cooperation from the Detroit
nel 4.
Institute of Arts, the Detroit Pub-
"We want people to see these lic Library, Wayne State Uni-
videos and feel inspired," Ms. versity and the local media has
Marx said about her goal in been exceptional," Ms. Marx said.
preparing the footage. "We want "Many of the television stations
them to walk out of these videos, and newspapers are donating
go to the zoo again and take a sec- their resources to the project."
ond look. We want them to be ANIMAL HOUSE page 48

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