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Inventions, current events, how-to, and special releases.

Bohemian Soul: A Carmel Documentary

Category : Current Events Documentaries
Bohemian Soul: A Carmel Documentary

The World Premiere of Bohemian Soul was a Success!

Watch the the full program at the Outdoor Forest Theater right now!

(Use the chapter markers for easy navigation!)

The 1hr documentary by House of 8 Media had its first public viewing at the Outdoor Forest Theater on October 26th, 2022, generously presented by the Carmel Public Library Foundation. 507 attendees joined us in person to celebrate the premiere of Bohemian Soul – with 266 of you joining virtually via livestream! Watch the full livestream above, skip ahead to the 1hr film, or to any point in the exciting Q&A with some of the cast and crew.

Something exciting happened for us here at House of 8 Media

The last pointed question during the Q&A by CPLF Executive Director, Alexandra Fallon, to Mike Buffo was “What drew you to this project?”  After Mike told his story about his research at the library during the time he was applying for curatorship of the Flanders Mansion, Mayor Dave Potter stood up to give a surprise reflection on the vision. He invited Mike to sit down with him to revisit the curatorship proposal to see how it could work within the city’s parameters.

Jump to that portion of the program right here. (Mike’s Speech & The Mayor’s Response)

Mayor Potters Surprise Response for gif

By the end of the evening, after talk about supporting the Bohemians of today, and talking about a 12-part series, members of the audience started donating cash right into Mike’s hat….his great grandfather’s hat, Frank Ferrante, an original Monterey Fisherman.


Discovering the Flanders Mansion largely inspired Mike and Brittney Buffo’s concept of making a film about Carmel’s founding Bohemians, and the importance of preserving this history for future generations to come.


Before Bohemian Soul, there was the short pitch-documentary ‘The Solution to the Flanders Mansion; designed to raise funding for the restoration of the local treasure that has inspired and mystified so many! Learn more about their mission to restore the historic property and see how you can help with their journey to become curators of the Flanders Mansion!

Historical Interviews – Featured in Bohemian Soul: A Documentary of Carmel


Bohemia Carmel Historical Influence

Most current day residents of Carmel-by-the-Sea share deep pride for our city’s rich historic culture of literature, drama and the arts; all of which were values strongly supported by our very first settlers. Paralleled with its natural beauty and magnificent pine trees, Carmel quickly became a progressive hub for artists of all walks of life. Thus, early residents found it important to ensure creativity was a core value of the city.

This was further instilled in our community with the building of the Outdoor Forest theater (a subject of the film and venue for the recent premiere) and later the creation of our local paper, the Pine Cone – publishing articles that promote local theater productions, poems and more. These creative ideals are the foundation and heart of Carmel. Each luminary from our community’s past paved the way for artists and residents of Carmel-by-the-Sea today.

Bringing Carmel’s important history to life, a short documentary film was commissioned by the Media Center for Art, Education and Technology for local production agency, House of 8 Media to create. Local artists of Carmel give you an inside look at life during the time of Carmel’s founding years, portraying the luminaries, artists and authors that continue to have an influence on today’s culture and art. Bohemian Soul encapsulates the revolutionary foundation of Carmel, CA. 



Brittney Buffo,  Director and Mike Buffo, Director of Photography


Introducing the Director: Brittney Buffo


In 2019, Hamish Tyler approached Brittney Buffo, with an idea for his third installment of an ongoing series ‘People and Places.’ Brittney was honored and began piecing together the beautiful history of “Bohemia” Carmel, past and present. This project happened to follow on the heels of the Buffos’ Flanders Mansion curatorship application to the City, with Brittney giving birth to their third child the same day the curatorship application was submitted.

Flanders Mansion plans

1st floor residents only v.s public design

Mike and Brittney were fascinated with the history of the Flanders Mansion and reincorporated the Carmel Art Institute (with permission) with a plan to create an entirely digital campus here to breathe new life into the Flanders Mansion for people to study art in Carmel without ever setting foot here. 


Contracts were signed to begin production in March of 2019, with production to be complete by June of that year. With such a short time frame given, everyone and everything seemingly came together in order to bring this film to life.


This posed our first question; who were the REAL Bohemian’s of Carmel – and more importantly, how can we find unique stories to share their legacy for generations to come?


Brittney quickly fell in love with researching and interviewing living artists that are carrying on the forward trajectory of Carmel’s very first Bohemians. With the help of Jaqueline Evanoff, the two began a deep dive into our city’s beloved artists,’ really only scratching the surface – with the endless stories to be told of our community’s historic first-comers. They were lucky enough to find many residents of Carmel-by-the-Sea who freely shared stories of their ancestors and unique connections to historic Carmel and Monterey. Each story provides groundbreaking knowledge of the early Bohemians and the impact they have on our local community today.


Elizabeth Murray gives us an inside look at living in the home of one of the first bohemian settlers. Erin Lee Gafill shares stories of her great grandmother and historic bohemian of early Carmel, Jane Powers, the first female artist to own their own artist studio. We see how Gafill follows in her great grandmother’s footsteps, carrying on her legacy with art of her own. Brittney was privileged to meet with even more recognizable names that have ties to local, historic families; including the Weston family and the Jeffers family.


Interview by interview, Brittney began to understand the large scope this documentary held and realized there was no possible way to fit in every story of the founding Bohemian artists’ of early Carmel. Bohemian Soul is just a scratch on the surface of the historic figures that built our communal foundations. This story is for the next generation; the college students, the interns, the younger generation – to understand our history and continue the legacy of early Carmel-by-the-Sea.




Casting & Filming (2019)


Beverly Vanpelt was truly the ‘LIFELINE’ in casting for the historic reenactment scenes. Beverly reached out to local actors, matching them with historic photos of our featured Bohemian artists, ultimately bringing the films’ vision to life. In order for House of 8 Media to accurately portray each Bohemian, Vanpelt coordinated with our local Forest Theater Guild, who graciously loaned costumes and archival photos for these historic scenes. 


Following much coordination, in one day, all recreation scenes were filmed and photographed for Bohemian Soul – there truly was no room for mistakes. Early in the morning, director Brittney Buffo, (with baby Wesley Buffo), director of photography Mike Buffo, the production crew and every other participant in the film, traveled to four historic locations throughout Monterey county, bringing to life the stories of these locally treasured artists through each captured scene. From various location changes, to Brittney nursing newborn Wesley in between scenes, coordination was a key factor on filming day to ensure all scenes were captured.


July 11th, 2019 the trailer for Bohemian Soul was released, despite the 200+ director notes to the editor still outstanding for the second round of post-production. What was initially a 2 hour documentary, was meaningfully cut down to 52 minutes of film. MCAET began editing during COVID, with the universal understanding that this film was beyond deadline. Thus, came the ‘soft launch’ of Bohemian Soul, following post-production concluding in summer 2020. 


About a year ago, the film caught interest of regular House of 8 Media live-streaming client, the Carmel Public Library for their Local History Lecture Series; bringing the documentary full circle, with its first public premiere at the stomping grounds of Carmel’s first bohemians, the outdoor forest theater.



Mary_Austin,_Jack_London,_George_Sterling,_Jimmie_Hooper,_restored   ⇒   


One of many recreations of historical photos with local actors



Introducing Bohemian Soul – Documenting the Culture and Art of Early Carmel


This film not only showcases the love and appreciation that our founders had for local art, literature, and theater – but the importance for us as a community to uphold these values. Bohemian Soul was commissioned by MCAET and sponsored by MCOE, as the fourth piece in a series called ‘People and Places.’ In Hamish Tyler’s final project with MCAET, we were proud to bring his vision to life – with the help of so many of you who may be reading this.

Produced by House of 8 Media, Mike and Brittney became mentors for MCAET interns to assist in capturing an intimate portrait of past and present Bohemia in Carmel. We follow Carmel’s most historically influential artists, unlocking stories from the past and watching as they unfold throughout our very own community today.  The history of our beloved city, the seacoast of Bohemia, Carmel, CA, fascinates us and the local community.





Carmel’s roots were founded on creativity and progress, something we found important to display in our directing and cinematography. Actors recreate scenes and memories from early Carmel history, followed up with pivotal interviews from artists and lifetime or transplant patrons of Carmel-by-the-Sea. The intended purpose of this documentary was to amplify the historic relevance of Carmel’s founding values and bring to life the characters that paved the way for artists in Carmel today. 


The Gift of Carmel Filmed & Produced by House of 8 Media


The gift of Carmel is treasured by all who are lucky enough to call it home and any and all who visit. The project and documentary, Bohemian Soul, allowed for us, Carmel business residents, to pay tribute and honor to the artists and creatives that influenced the culture of present day Carmel. The hour-long film, highlighting the present and past Bohemian’s of Carmel-by-the-Sea, is available for viewing at an event sponsored by the Carmel Public Library Foundation on October 26th, 2022 at one of the very subjects of the film, The Outdoor Forest Theater. Register for tickets here and revive your bohemian soul; the gift of Carmel artists past and present.


Thank you to all who made this historic documentary of Carmel possible!


CAST (Actors as Historical Persons):

Domini Anne as Anne Duncan, Model/Dancer in Arnold Genthe photograph
Dane Golden as Jimmy Hopper
Patrick Golden as Charles Rollo Peters Jeffrey T. Heyer as George Sterling
Doug Duffy Johnson as Robinson Jeffers
Sara Mardon as Una Jeffers
Jose Miguel as Xavier Martinez
Cody Moore as Sinclair Lewis
Beverly Van Pelt as Mary Austin
Amanda Platsis as Alice MacGowen
Jason Roeder as Jack London
Heidi Sullivan as Mary DeNeale Morgan
Alyca Tanner as Grace MacGowen Cooke



Executive Producer: Hamish Tyler
Director/Producer: Brittney Buffo
Writer/Producer: Jacqueline Evanoff
Director of Photography: Michael Buffo
Associate Producer: Beverly Van Pelt
Associate Producer: Michelle Magdelena Maddox
Associate Story Editor: Coral Barrett
Associate Casting Director: Miranda Rodriguez

MCAET Intern Coordinator: Dylan Holmes
Wardrobe provided by: Forest Theater Guild



John Blyth Barrymore



Will Bullas
John Farzad Strong
Keith Decker
Holly Fassett
Kaffe Fassett
Joanna FitzPatrick
Erin Lee Gafill
Jack Gallante
Lisa “Littlebird”Goettel
Adriana Hayward
Stephen Heron
Peter Hiller
C. Michael Hogan
Belinda Vidor Holliday
Lindsay Jeffers
Michelle Magdalena Maddox
Stephen Moorer
Elizabeth Murray
Dorcas Owens
Elliot Ruchonitz-Roberts
Joaquin Turner
Kim Weston
Myles Williams



Johnny Ray Avila
Coral Barrett
Dylan Holmes
Brandon Paisant
Ivan Ramirez
Miranda Rodriguez
Cesar Ruvalcaba
Archer Sheldon



City of Carmel-by-the-Sea
Carmel Art Association
Forest Theatre Guild
Harrison Memorial Library
Jo Mora Trust Collection
Monterey Museum of Art
Pacific Repertory Theater
Tor House Foundation
Trotter Galleries
Richard Pepe
Gina Weston


Watch the Official Trailer

Learn about the venue – Outdoor Forest Theater in Carmel, CA

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About Your Producer

Mike Buffo

Mike is an alternative-education pioneer, visual & performing arts curriculum-author, successful motion picture producer with 10+ years in arts, entertainment, and education, is a mission-driven member of the Mankind Project, Rotary International, and a vital Carmel community contributor. Proud husband to Brittney Buffo and father of three boys.