Framing Sam & Dan

“Framing Sam & Dan” is a documentary film that explores the close, 40+ year-old friendship of two critically-acclaimed artists (Sam Gummelt & Dan Rizzie), their work, and the unexpected genesis of their relationship in a art frame shop in Dallas Texas in the mid-1970’s.

  • Ken Womack
    Reel Time
  • Ken Womack
    Reel Time, Nada Be They Name
  • Ken Womack
    Reel Time
  • John Mathis
    Reel Time
  • Sam Gummelt
    Key Cast
  • Dan Rizzie
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ken Womack

Ken Womack is the principal and executive creative director of MindHandle, a Dallas-based branding firm. He received his bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from the University of Texas at Austin in 1986, where he focused on graphic and communication design. Having art directed and produced many TV spots in his career, film making has been an ever present interest and goal. In addition to graphic design and film interest, Ken is also a painter, working in acrylics and encaustic media.

Ken's advertising and design work has earned him acclaim and awards in Communication Arts magazine, the Clio Awards, The Art Directors Clubs of Denver and Dallas, Dallas Addys, Telly Awards and many other publications and awards shows.

Ken lives in Dallas, Texas and has 3 college-aged children (one studying film and literature at Trinity College Dublin). He is an avid film supporter.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I met Sam Gummelt at the Starbucks across from my house, where he has coffee with a group of neighbors every morning. Over time we became friendly, and I became one of the coffee group regulars, too.

When Sam accidentally discovered that I was a painter, he became extremely excited, telling me all about his art. I didn’t realize how successful he was until the other coffee groupies told me - his work has hung in MOMA, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Kimbell Museum in Ft. Worth, etc. Sam is legit. We soon became close friends, with our passion for art as the common ground. (BTW -
never once has Sam big timed me based on his real success - just a great dude who loves art and art history).

Later that year, Sam took me to an art opening for his long-time partner in crime Dan Rizzie, where I bought one of Dan’s pieces, and had a great time watching him work the room. Dan is a “pistol”, as they say here in Texas, a funny and engaging dude whose accomplishments rival Sam’s in terms of prestige and notoriety.

Throughout the last few years Sam told me all kinds of cool and funny stories about the Frame Shop he owned (and where Dan worked with him), and the great artists they had met through their work there – luminaries in the art world like Basquiat and Rauschenberg amongst others. It became clear that the humble frame shop they both worked in together when they were young artists was the launching pad for both of their successful careers. And the odds of two guys both becoming famous – independent of each other – and yet from the same starting point seemed improbable and fascinating.

Fast forward to spring of 2017, and John Mathis, my co-producer on Reel Time and I were on a train between Dublin and Dingle, Ireland, following our short film to a few festivals, and we began to discuss other film ideas. I told John about Sam & Dan and their narrative, and the potential for a documentary that could capture their unexpected story became pretty obvious to us both. Two great artists, two different styles and personalities, and success paths – connected by a frame shop. Cool story, bro.

So here we are in the pre-pro stage, setting up interviews and planning “Framing Sam & Dan”. It is our hope that the project comes off as delightful as the two men whose story we hope to tell.

Stay tuned...