Author Archives: Thomas Kaufman

Homeless Children

If you live in a city like Washington, DC, there’s no shortage of homeless people.  Maybe you give them money, maybe not. Maybe you donate your time at a food bank, or used clothes to a shelter.  Or maybe you look at them and think, thank God, that could never be me.  Or maybe not. Back in the go-go 1980’s, a Washington, DC film maker named Ginny Durrin called me to shoot a film for her called PROMISES TO KEEP, and through that experience I Continue reading →

Pete Seeger and Me

Life is a series of risks, but some of them are too great to take.  Let me give you an example: Four years ago, I filmed an interview with Pete Seeger.  It was for INDIAN HILL SUMMER, a film I’m making in my own slow and deliberate way.  What, you may ask, is Indian Hill? Well, it isn’t, not any more. But for 25 years Indian Hill was a school for the arts, located in the beautiful Berkshires. A lot of kids went through the Continue reading →

The Art of the Scam

There’s a special place in the writer’s heart for the scam artist.  We may not like what they do, or how they prey on the elderly or steal from charities.  But we have to admire the skill they sometimes employ, the practice and hard work it takes to bilk someone.  Often I think there are as many ways to scam as there are people.  I thought I’d tell you about two different scams – one in Africa that was amazing, and one in the US Continue reading →

Too much blood, too little character

(Spoiler alert: I reveal a few details about the movie PSYCHO) If you want to write noir fiction, you look to the greats, you sample what’s been done. Charles Willeford, Horace McCoy, David Goodis, Lawrence Block, and Donald Westlake (especially when he wrote as Richard Stark), among others. . Then there’s the noir fiction you may find in online magazines. While it’s true that you can’t have noir without violence, the stuff I come across reads like the crime version of soft-core pornography. Or worse, Continue reading →