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It’s a story that beggars belief—a bipolar practitioner of “candle magick” living in a dilapidated farmhouse in rural Ohio with a lifelong obsession for building violins (and covered in tattoos of master builders such as Stradivarius) convinces a world-renowned soloist via social media that he is capable of creating a perfect replica of the world’s most valuable violin, Guarneri’s Il Cannone. A quirky look into one man’s DIY enthusiasm and perseverance when facing down a self-created, impossible task, Strad Style is the feel-good doc of MFF2017
In his own words, 32-year-old Danny Houck is “a nobody.” He’s an eccentric recluse living in a ramshackle farmhouse in the backwater town of Laurelville, Ohio. He has no job, no money, and no prospects. But he does have an obsession: violins. Specifically, he’s obsessed with the two most acclaimed violin-makers in history: Stradivari, and Guarneri del Gesu. Danny’s enthusiasm is absolute, but his talent is not. He’s never had any training in violin-making, so his “technique” is one part pictures on the internet, one part trial and error, and one part mania.
Razvan Stoica is one of the greatest violinists of the present. Already widely known in Europe, he is considered by many to be the next big “super-star” violinist.
Very active in social-media, Danny found Razvan on Facebook and it is there that he convinced Razvan that he could make a perfect copy of the ‘Il Cannone’, one of the most famous and valuable violins in the world.
Mary Houck is Danny’s mother
David Campbell is Danny’s cousin and best friend.
Rodger Stearns is a fine violin maker and restorer. He is also an extremely kind man and gives Danny time and advice on his violin-making endeavors.
He is the closest thing that Danny has to a mentor.
Stefan Avalos is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles. Having started his life as a classically trained violinist and knowing the obsessions that are part of the violin-world, he became intrigued with the story of Daniel Houck, while working on a broader documentary about New vs old violins. While this movie is still in process, “Strad Style” emerged as a story that became HIS obsession.
10250 Constellation Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90067
1170 Productions presents A Documentary Film by Stefan Avalos
Daniel Houck, Razvan Stoica, David Campbell, Mary Houck, Rodger Stearns, Alfredo Primavera
Produced by Stefan Avalos
Co-produced by Suzan Ortmeier, Additional Producer Kevin Annest