Chakiris is the first hour-long documentary about George Chakiris, a talented and versatile performer who is best known for his Academy Award-winning performance as Bernardo in West Side Story. Starting as a dancer in some of the most iconic movie musicals of Hollywood’s golden age (he serenaded Marilyn Monroe during “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), he then moved on to a long and successful career as a film, television & stage actor, recording artist, and jewelry designer. Using interviews with George and those who have known and worked with him over the years, along with archive photos and clips of his performances, our film will chronicle George’s inspiring success story and to pay tribute to his incredible body of work.
One of things that a lot of people bring up when I talk to them about this project is how incredibly talented a dancer George was. As his career started picking up steam in the early 1960’s, the musical genre was becoming much less viable at the box office. Some have remarked that he may have been a much bigger star if he had started a decade earlier in the business. But while he never made another Hollywood musical after West Side Story, he continued to dance on the small screen in many of the television variety shows that existed at the time. Some of these dance numbers are outstanding and haven't been seen on television in many years - We'll be including clips of these routines in our film. I’ve posted YouTube links to some of these performances below.
So far we’ve conducted one in-depth interview with George that covered his entire life and career. In addition, we shot his hand and footprint casting ceremony at Grauman's Chinese Theater last year as well as his visits to his hometown of Norwood, Ohio and to the Rosemary Clooney House in Augusta, Kentucky.
Funds are needed for travel and production costs so that we can interview George’s friends and colleagues. So far, Russ Tamblyn, Melissa Manchester, and Tony Mordente have committed to being a part of this project. We also plan on sitting down with George for more in-depth interviews based upon what we talked about in our first interview.
Please take a look at our video as well as our list of rewards and consider making a donation that will help this production become a reality. George Chakiris is one of the great unheralded talents of the entertainment industry and we hope this documentary will be a fitting tribute that gives him the recognition he deserves. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me a message. Thanks for your support!
George Chakiris' IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001995/
Our IMDB page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2103184/
Our Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/ChakirisFilm
Tyler Meyer has directed numerous short films that have been seen on the festival circuit. He is currently producing a remake of his successful anti-drunk driving film, Four More Days, which has been in distrubiton to schools and libraries since 2003 and in post-production on his first feature, The Legend of Grassman, featuring Lynn Lowry (The Crazies, Cat People), Jessica Cameron (Camel Spiders) and Dallas Gilbert & Wayne Burton (Not Your Typical Bigfoot Movie).