Monday, December 24, 2007

Michael Kidd, RIP

This is a tough one...Oscar Peterson and Michael Kidd, both gone within a day of each other? Sheesh.

I didn't know Mr. Peterson, but I did have the privilege of interviewing Michael Kidd on his work and that of Agnes DeMille for a piece on the DeMille family many years ago. Talking about dance with him was fascinating because he had such a snap and a wit...talking about dance is tough and he was endlessly ifascinating! He's one of the few I could have gone back to gladly for another hour (or ten).

I also loved his humor. At one point, my former partner Keith Lawrence popped off with one of his trademark, tasteless non-sequiturs (driven by only-God-knows-what impulse) when Kidd mentioned his wife.

"Gee, I thought you were gay," the absolutely unaware and uninhibitable Keith mused.

I gagged: not the first or last time that happened with Keith.

Kidd, ever the smart-mouthed Brooklyn lad, whipped out a comeback without even taking a breath.

"I used to be, but that was just to get into show business."

What a all about his life and times....

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

John Lennon's FBI File: DECLASSIFIED

THC continues to run the Declassified up is one I wrote based on the great work of Jon Wiener...JOHN LENNON'S FBI FILE...

"From approximately 1956-1971, thousands of American residents and US citizens, from John Lennon to John Kerry to Martin Luther King Jr., were the subjects of COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program), the FBI's secret operation to target people and organizations viewed as un-American. Decades later, historians and the subjects of the spying themselves have begun to use the Freedom of Information Act to piece together the story of COINTELPRO. In this episode, we focus on the case of John Lennon and uncover the effects of the FBI's domestic spymasters on this pop-culture icon and the myriad of people who loved him."
Check out this page for a sneak's airing twice on 12/27/07...check your local listings for times. Next up: Godfathers of Havana.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Fun little time lapse, and premiere of new Story Tactics slate

I did this little piece in part to see what it would look like (I've always loved time lapse...I have a great one of a day in the life of a baby hummingbird around here somewhere), and in part to tip the cap to Ken Wong. He manages the Water Stations for my running club, which is one TOUGH job. He has to get up before the milkman, and carry a ton of water and snacks to the locations, and (worst of all) he has to get us Leggers to help him out. He also takes some great pictures. Bravo do a hell of a job!

Also...more importantly for Story Tactics...I built a new slate for the end: a little Story Tactics animation. I remixed an old Devo tune (Timing X) which has haunted me ever since I first heard it. I remember picking it out on the piano years ago...I should see if I could do it today. Still working on the other Legger video (City of Angels Half)...but more importantly I've just started digitizing my first major project of 2008: the first two of what will eventually be six (and then as many as 20) videos for Los Angeles County. More on those soon.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Orpheus and Euridice at LBO

Ricky Ian Gordon, an Olympic swimming pool, and the Long Beach Opera...what's missing?
Video, of course!

I'm working with Maestro Andreas Mitisek and Designer Alan Muraoka to create a series of video elements for their upcoming production of Ricky Ian Gordon's Orpheus and Euridice at the Belmont complex. Elizabeth Furtal and Todd Palmer will be revisiting the roles they created in 2002. The infamous Halloween Eyes will be transformed into Furies for starters, and somehow I'm going to get some fog projection in there...and maybe some live video mixed in with stills...hmm....

Best of all, water and light. This should be a VERY interesting project....

Friday, November 02, 2007

Congrats, Mr. Flynn: it's a Producer!

A new thespian threw on the Producer's cloak and hat this week: not content with the Halloween Eyes (see this space, this time, last year), Jack Flynn took over the back yard. Along with a dozen of his friends, he had the innocent and the doomed screaming for about three hours on Wednesday night. Herewith: the video

Good Samhain!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Welcome to 13.1 ... next stop, 26.2

You've gotta have a hobby...and you're probably going to make art about it too. Nine of the folks in my LA LEGGERS pace group ran the Long Beach Half Marathon last weekend & I made this little video in tribute to them and our amazing mentor Rosa.

Bravo to all the Leggers there last Sunday: you're an inspiration. I had a rough time at the end due to a pair of cramping legs (no pain quite like that), but I crossed that line and I'll be back for the City of Angels Half, and then (of course) the main event in March.

For now, in the immortal words of Pheiddipedes, "Nenikekamen!"

"We are Victorious!"

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Pick of the Week! Critic's Choice!

The reviews on Ken's play are out, and they're it's time to do a new version of the trailer! Check it out!

Darlene Miyakawa, our stage manager, mentioned that a couple of people had asked about the creation of the video. Much of the imagery came from either a collection of home videos shot by internees, clips from Lane Nishikawa's film ONLY THE BRAVE, or stills from the Library of Congress. I also shot some footage of Sharon in costume in her backyard and used some video effects to step all over it and make it look like the old camp footage. The sound I grabbed from a couple of different PD sources (like blowing on the mic to make wind-blown desert).

The whole magilla was edited on the home version of Sony's Vegas Studio, a $79 piece of software which (installed on my Dell dual core XPS) does everything my old $100,000 AVID used to do and more. Sony's DVD Architect stinks, so I authored the DVD with Nero.

So what are you waiting for? Get your tickets now!

Monday, October 08, 2007

INNOCENT Opening...and an online trailer!

I've done a bunch of little videos for the world premiere of Ken Narasaki's new play INNOCENT WHEN YOU DREAM now playing at the ultra-cool Electric Lodge in Venice. What a great cast! I've always loved Sab Shimono (the lead), but the rest of the cast is also first rate. The first cue is very interesting: about two minutes in, Sab's character has a stroke which we're trying to show with the video...flashbacks to past trauma that prefigures the action in the play.

After doing the second or third revision I started to think that it's too bad I can't share this more widely...out of context it makes little sense. But then it occurred to me that I had more than 50% of a theatrical trailer on my hands...add some titles and voila. And so I did. The company was thrilled...I have the feeling I'll be doing more of these....

Friday, September 28, 2007

Kosh-san, Yoku Dekimashita

Well, this is wild!

A little Japanese documentary about the art of my brilliant friend Kosh. He is, along with Susan Shearer, owner of 10 Worlds...but back in the day he designed for the Beatles, Stones, The Who, Marc Bolan, Linda Rondstat, ELO, James Taykor, and on and on and on...

Even if you're a henna-gaijin, this is a very watchable little doc. It has commentary by a faux-Kosh (wearing a jeans jacket, but lacking an English accent) in a language you'll understand...and the pictures are really all you need, anyways!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Innocent When You Dream

Yikes! And that's just the draft of the first cue!

I'm working on a new Timescape production that's going up at the Electric Lodge: INNOCENT WHEN YOU DREAM by Ken Narasaki. Sab Shimono is starring...Saturday's run was really terrific.

There are only a few video elements, but as you can see they're pretty dense. Should be cool! Drop by the INNOCENT page on MySpace for details.

Declassified on Demand

THC has added a bunch of Declassified Webisodes to their site...check here to view them!

Also, despite weekly rumors to the contrary, Fidel seems to still be among the living. HOWEVER, when he does shuffle off this mortal coil, tune in to History for a special episode of DECLASSIFIED.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

C20 on OvationTV

OvationTV is an interesting channel/service that's now hosting a ton of arts videos. It's fun to browse through and see what's there.
Recently, they added the Cornerstone video to their Arts in Action can see their stream of it here, or just head over to OvationTV and start browsing yourself.
Speaking of Cornerstone, it looks like we're off to Holtville (current temp = 102) to check out A HOLTVILLE NIGHT'S DREAM in a couple of weeks.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Now on Amazon!

I don't know how long they've been doing this, but apparently DECLASSIFIED is over on Amazon nowadays. You can get The Taliban and also Castro.

I suppose the Amazon model was just too powerful to ignore: THC was selling pretty much all of its titles through a separate fulfillment house.

They've also put a bunch of the show online...I will add some links to that when I have a chance.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cornerstone Video released! Woo hoo!

At long last I can release this, it was fun to make! Hats off to the wonderful team that made it all happen...John Luker on camera, Kosh on graphics, Josh on Final Cut, and of course Gerhard providing that sweet score. Check out his stuff at, and tell him that his cousin John sent you.

We're shooting some stand-ups to go with this: my idea is to have this piece run automatically when you pop the video in, and then when it's done you're dropped into a menu that includes 3-5 minute chats with various staff about the Institute, Education, etc.