Thursday, July 28, 2005

Jeff Harris Band episode on PRX

Hello all. Check out the interview/performance session with Jeff for my Monday Morning Magazine program on PRX

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Pictures from PRETTY

Check out some of the stills from the movie on

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Guenia goes to Washington ... perform in a play. The Clean House is playing at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre, and check out the review Washinton Post wrote about her and the play. More reviews can be found on the site. The play is enjoying an added performance run. Some of you know Guenia as 'Stacey' from my short 'Pretty'. If you're out there in VA, check out the play and say hello to Guenia.
Who's Who in The Clean House.

Fan makes a Star Wars film

This is what I mean by independent filmmaking. Very impressed. Check out the story about Star Wars: Revelations

Sunday, July 17, 2005

AAIFF 2005 Sunday, July 17

Attended the festival today. Checked out three programs...MTV 72 Hour Film Shootout, The Oz Imagination (click on title above for details) , and the feature 'Blue Hour'. Before I say a thing or two about the programs and a truly renegade filmmaker, allow me to sing praises of all the ACV people at the festival. I felt like a star attending their programs, and they were attentive to needs of their guests, and parents. Everyone is special.

The MTV sponsored 2nd Annual 72 Hour Film Shootout was a pleasant surprise. What a lot of these filmmakers have done in 72 hours is quite impressive. I've participated in a 9 hour film thing myself last year, so I'm aware of the overall quality of films that make it to a screening. I saw a few very well done movies, and one that blew me away. Francisco Aliwalas's 'The Kiss'. This film looked like a million dollars, but in reality was done for $30. Yes, that's right. More on Aliwalas later.

The 'Oz Imagination' program consisted of works by Australians of Asian descent, including the 2005 Oscar nominee,Birthday Boy. Overall, the topics were varied and the stories engaging. I was especially impressed with the quality of sound design on all these films.

I ended the night with Francisco Aliwalas's feature, Blue Hour. Aliwalas will undoubtedly become a big name filmmaker in the near future. There's no stopping this guy. On top of winning the 72 Hour Film Shootout, we learned that his feature was made for $1000...the cost of tape. Again, it was himself armed with a Panasonic DVX-100A (for all you tech buffs) with a Leica lens, and no additional mics. This is guerilla filmmaking at its best. It's fast paced, always moving, always changing locations, never dull. This film is an inspiration for all filmmakers who are strapped for cash, but are dying to tell a story. Aliwalas shot 40 hours of footage, edited on Final Cut Pro, scored it, and used the bells and whistles available on his editing software. The man knows how to use his resources.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Big Apple Short Radio Drama Festival on WNYE FM 91.5--Part II

The second part of the radio drama festival begins this Friday. Complete broadcast schedule, available at Writers Guild of America, East site. Selected plays from Part I available on my PRX site.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Just Finished Reading

Two great books on Hollywood.
Lynda Obst's

Hello, He Lied. Basically her experience working in Hollywood trying to get projects made, learning her craft, and writing about people she's worked with and learned from. It's not a 'Producing for Dummies' type book at all. Very good read with ample suggestions and tips for budding producers only an insider can share.

I found myself inseparable from Sharon Waxman's Rebels On The Backlot. It's about six directors, Tarantino, Soderbergh, David O Russell, Fincher, PT Anderson, and Spike Jonze. The structure of the book is what fascinated me. Not the usual, boring, way other books write about directors and their 'DVD Production Notes' like stories of the movies that have made them famous. Instead, they play like characters in a big novel, struggle like them, and behave like actual humans, complete with the good and bad sides. At times I stopped and thought, "I don't know if I admire that person anymore." Nonetheless, it's a great read, and unlike any other Hollywood book I've read so far. Yes, I have read Peter Biskind's Easy Riders, Raging Bulls.
One slight error I hope the publishers have corrected. On page 101, Waxman writes about watching Julia Stiles in 'Traffic' as she goes with a friend to look for drugs. I don't think so. But she wrote correctly watching eighteen-year-old Erika Christenssen on pg. 321. Don't know I how that slipped by the editors.
Anyways, the links to the books will take you to a price comparison site called Great site for budget conscious book lovers.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Girl With A Gun Productions

Two good friends of mine, Meghan and Jason, have just established a website of their company Girl With A Gun Productions. Check out their site, and please go see one of their productions sometime.
Girl With A Gun Productions
Here's the link, and from now on will be on the right sidebar. For some reason, everytime I post something new my profile drops all the way down the page. Never have I scrolled down so furiously.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

My 'Watch out and Listen Out' series

Stephen King, in his recent speech at the graduation ceremony of the U of Maine, said 'It won't kill you to watch one film a month that has sub-titles'. That man is great. Anyway, in this edition of my 'Watch Out and Listen Out' series, I will recommend a couple (we'll see about that) of things I've liked a lot.
Watch Out:
A few movies that are gems and should not be missed if you believe in cinema.

  1. The Return
  2. .
  3. Karakter

  4. Insomnia (not the C. Nolan movie)
    (**Speaking of...have you seen the lesser known Nolan film 'Following'? Oh well...Following)

  5. Star Maker

  6. A Pure Formality (w/G. Depardieu and R. Polanski)

  7. Cure (probably mentioned this one before)

  8. Tesis

  9. The Circle

  10. Girl On The Bridge

One of my favorite directors,Krzysztof Kieslowski, has made several great films. I will share that list later. Happy Watching. Remember, none of these movies are boring. I wouldn't recommend them to you folks if they were. If you want great storytelling in cinema, then rent them. They are not paying me to say the following, but if you can't rent them Netflix them.

System of A Down's of the best metal albums, in my opinion. Norah Jones's Come Away With Me...well that's not really news. If you haven't discovered Eva Cassidy yet...then listen to any one of her albums. You can't miss out on a singer with that voice. In fact, check out this wonderful radio documentary on
Alrighty then, enough for now. More later.

Guitar Lessons for beginners over 40

No, this is not an ad for a self help book, my friends. I have decided today to change my student demog. For years I have been teaching children, youngsters, adult, and childish adults. I have been blessed with some very talented children who have bright futures even if they don't pursue music.
Now, I am going to welcome potential students over 40, especially beginners, who have always wanted to learn to play the guitar, and love to listen to music. So why do I think this is blog worthy? I want to spread the word. I have never believed age should be a factor in learn a new anything. Not everyone wants to learn to play an instrument to perform at Madison Sqaure Garden or Carnegie Hall. Learning doesn't have to be a drag. You are never, never too late to learn anything. Period.
I'm sure some of you will know some of your friends who have friends who have friends who wants to learn an instrument. Have them write me. Yes, I am selling my expertise. I know I am not even 30, but as a teacher I have patience that would make Mr. Holland look like Bob Knight. I'm tired of hearing music teachers not having patience to teach older students. I want to hear from you. And no, I won't say no to students who're just old enough to say 'Dadda' or 'iPod'. I welcome anyone who is sane. I just won't market to anyone under the age of 40.