Friday, March 29, 2013

Kickstarter success!

The funds for the production of "78rpm" have been successfully raised on Kickstarter!

A big THANK YOU to all of the backers of this project.  And a thank you to Kickstarter too.  It's a fortunate thing to have this platform for fundraising as an alternative path to private and public grants and fellowships for cinematic artists, or the approach of finding financing through more profit-driven channels.  Sadly, there are too few opportunities for artists to fund their work.  And for those limited opportunities that do exist, the competition involved can be an unhealthy influence on the creative process.

I'm not suggesting that Kickstarter is easy.  But it does provide a very useful path for people who share a creative affinity to support projects which might otherwise have a more difficult path to the acquisition of funding.  And for you as a filmmaker, it is a tremendously encouraging and touching experience when people you respect turn around and support your project.  You can't put a dollar sign on what this means as an affirmation of the creative process.

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Several film shoots will be taking place in April in the NYC area.  And out-of-town shoots beginning in May.  Please stop by this blog again to check out how things are going!

"That's all."

Monday, March 18, 2013

Kickstarter rewards!

Spending a little time now preparing the rewards for backers of this film.  Here are some details on the lovely rewards for people backing the making of "78rpm" on Kickstarter between now and March 27th.

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Hand-made Thank You Postcards:  A big stack of postcards is ready, and before too long they'll be in the mail!

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The CD of 1920s Foxtrots is ready too.  Here is the track list of vintage music that awaits those project backers -- all recorded from my own 78 collection.  Performers include the Club Royal Orchestra, Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra, the Joseph C. Smith Orchestra, the Benson Orchestra, Johnny Hamp and his Kentucky Serenaders, The International Novelty Orchestra, and others.

“Blue” The Virginians, 1922  Victor 18933-B
“Black Bottom” Johnny Hamp's Kentucky Serenaders, 1926  Victor 20101-B
“The Vamp” Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra, 1919  Victor 18594-B
“Croon a Little Lullaby” International Novelty Orchestra, 1925  Victor 19752-B
“O Katharina!” Lou Gold and His Orchestra, 1925  Cameo 1311
“Sugar Plum” George Olsen and his Music, 1925  Victor 19859-B
“Biminy” George Olsen and His Music, 1924  Victor 19429-B
“I Wonder What’s Become of Sally?” Lido Venice Dance Orchestra, 1924  Perfect 14295 B
“Tell Me” Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra, 1919  Victor 18594-A
“Titina” International Novelty Orchestra, 1925  Victor 19586-B
“Mazie” All Star Trio, Assisted by their Orchestra, 1921  Victor 18738-A
“Just Snap your Fingers at Care — Darling" Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, 1920  Victor 35704-A
“Vamp Me” The Bar Harbor Society Orchestra, 1921  Vocalion B 24448
“Who’ll Take My Place When I’m Gone?” Club Royal Orchestra, 1922  Victor 18919-A
“Sweet Lady” Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, 1921  Victor 18803-A
“Yellow Dog Blues” Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra (featuring Harry Redman and his Laughing Trombone), 1919  Victor 18618-B
“Dardanella” Selvin's Novelty Orchestra, 1919  Victor 18633-A
“Somebody Stole My Gal” Ted Weems and His Orchestra, 1923  Victor 19212-B

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DVD of "Victrola Cinema."  This short piece was in some way a seed for the larger project: hand-developed black and white 16mm film paired with a 78 record as the soundtrack.  I've shown it with a "live" Victrola accompaniment, syncing the needle drop on screen with the live record player in the movie theater.  My little joke is that this short was produced with the old "Vitaphone" film sound system.  Well, not quite.

I should point out that the title "Victrola Cinema" is a bit of a misnomer.  The "Vic 1" in the film is a Victor Talking Machine and the term "Victrola" actually refers to the internal horn machines that came later.  But most people tend to use "Victrola" pretty generically for any sort of Victor machine, and even for gramophones made by other companies, the same way that one can blow one's nose with a "Kleenex" even if it's some other brand of facial tissue.  And the title "Gramophone Cinema" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

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Signed Dame Darcy poster.  Here is the artist herself with the proof copy!

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Listening Session.  This is actually one of my favorite things to offer on Kickstarter since it's a reward for me as well as for you!  You can listen to my guest appearance with DJ MAC's Antique Phonograph Program on WFMU to get a sense of the experience and what we might put on the Victrola to listen to together.

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Artwork.  Taking some footage to the lab this week for a few new "camerapaintings."  You can see some examples on the Microscope Gallery site from the show of "Light Objects" that took place in September of 2012.

"That's all."

Monday, March 11, 2013

People and Places

Some wonderful people and places to add to the list to film since the Kickstarter fundraising campaign began.  In Austin, Texas, there is Ms. Amelia Foxtrot, who spins 78s on gramophones "--from 1920s hot jazz to Texas Swing."  Here in Brooklyn is the Enrico Caruso Museum, a charming micro-museum devoted to the opera singer and superstar of the acoustic-era of sound recording, where I’ll also be doing some shooting for the project.  Up in Vermont there is Victrola Repair Service, where I’ve sent machines to get the spring replaced and the reproducer rebuilt and will go visit with camera in hand. Glenn Allen Howard’s American Musical Heritage Foundation is a lovely site with some cool musical offerings.  The Edison Museum in New Jersey will host a recording session on wax cylinder that I plan to be capturing on 16mm film a few months from now.  Down in Delaware is The Johnson Victrola Museum, named for Eldridge Reeves Johnson, who worked with Emile Berliner in founding the Victor Talking Machine Company.  Tom Recchion has recorded a modern-day 78 record, "The Incandescent Gramophone," which you can find at the Los Angeles Free Music Society -- very cool!  And the exploration of mechanical music with a spring-wound 16mm analog film camera will find its analogue in the mechanical marvels at the Steampunk World’s Fair in May!

So excited about the cinematic possibilities and filmic adventures this project will explore.  Here are links so you can do some exploring as well:

Amelia Foxtrot and the Austin Phonograph Company

Enrico Caruso Museum

Victrola Repair Service

Glenn Allen Howard’s American Musical Heritage Foundation

Thomas Edison National Historical Park

The Johnson Victrola Museum

Tom Recchion - "The Incandescent Gramophone" at the Los Angeles Free Music Society

Steampunk World’s Fair

“That’s all”

Monday, March 4, 2013

78rpm update

So many great things to report in such a short time since launching the Kickstarter campaign for "78rpm."  Contacted by many very cool people who found their way to this project.  Made a guest appearance on WFMU on the "Antique Phonograph Music Program with MAC." You can listen to it here:

But the latest is that I've just picked up the proofs of the Dame Darcy poster, which looks wonderful.

And confirming more people and places to be included in the film!  Next update will introduce some of these.

"That's all."