Faerie Tales: Awakening Video Trailer

 Last Summer, our friend Blanca Florido asked Marie and me if we would be interested in producing a video book trailer for her first novel, to be published later in 2014 – first in a series of fantasy novels geared toward young adults. Blanca, in addition to her other considerable talents, is a writer of great imaginative gifts. She is well underway with the next books in the series.
We shot the footage last Fall, and I just completed the editing – featuring Marie’s eminently simpatico music soundtrack, which brought everything to a higher level – last week.
“Steve and Marie! What a beautiful job you did with Blanca’s book trailer! The lighting, the photography, the editing, the music! Wonderful job! I am intrigued.” – Irene 

SB / SRL at XFF in LA, 12/22/12

Courtesy of Albert Strietmann’s time-lapse egg-timer GoPro – nice rigging, Albert! – here are some stills I pulled of me w/camera, shooting the Survival Research Labs show in Los Angeles – 12/22/12. Click for full size.

Very interesting effect! – Marie

Hi there, I discovered your web site by way of Google at the same time as searching for a similar matter, your web site came up, it seems great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks. I am gonna watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful if you happen to proceed this in future. 

West Side Story / My Story

There are few for me, if any, more enduring – and endlessly endearing – works of music than “West Side Story.” My history with this music dates back more than fifty years, to a time for which I will always be grateful, when my sisters, Bonne and Barbara, kept our home alive with music. Whether they were spinning 45s, or rehearsing for roles in high-school musicals, or practicing piano and singing, they were, and so shall always be, central and key to my appreciation and love of music. It was in this setting that I was exposed to “West Side Story,” first by way of the Broadway soundtrack, and then by the magnificent film adaptation by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. The music, and the famous re-telling of “Romeo and Juliet,” have always resonated with me.

And so it was that today Marie and I saw the San Francisco Symphony, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, with soloists and chorus, perform the timeless score composed by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. That Michael Tilson Thomas was a friend and protégé of Bernstein’s carries huge weight and significance in this endeavor, and that connection was in full evidence throughout the brilliant, breathtaking, and soaring celebration of  this work by MTT and the entire assemblage. It was exciting, and uplifting, and heartbreaking.

So this is my long way of saying Thanks to my sisters for their inspiration, and for helping to foster the love of music in our home – you were on my mind as the classic strains, and tale of Tony and Maria, unfolded…

West Side Story has always been close to my heart. My favorite role to this day remains Maria. I met my ex-husband, with whom I stayed close, when I played Maria and he played Riff. He is gone now, but I know he was with me when I came full circle recently and directed a middle school production of it. Even more special, our Riff in this production is the grandson of the original film’s Riff, Russ Tamblyn. Mr. Tamblyn came to the production, even watched three shows in one day in support of both casts and made himself available to the kids for a question and answer period. The music of this show is heart-wrenching, heart-breaking, haunting, ecstatic, tragic, joyful–everything that love can be. With apologies to Mr. Prokofiev, I don’t think there has ever been or ever will be music that so well expresses this greatest love story of all time. Wish I’d been there, Steve. I’m sure it was transcendent.

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

I cannot recommend this strongly enough. It is a blistering, stirring in-your-face documentary about the Russian female performance art / activist collective known as Pussy Riot, and if you’ve read this far, then I just need to step out of the way and give you the link…available on HBO, and likely through the usual outlets – Netflix, On Demand, DVD, et al – sooner rather than later. And here’s that link again: http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/pussy-riot-a-punk-prayer/index.html

Not only do I endorse Pussy Riot, I celebrate their lifeforce and their existence.

Brit Marling / Paris Barclay / A re-boot for “Much Ado…”

Brit Marlng (“Another Earth,” “Sound of My Voice”) again brings her fierce, penetrating intelligence as both co-writer and actor to “The East,” a provocative and understated thriller set in the murky moral territory of eco-terrorism, and the clandestine efforts to subvert it. Ms. Marling co-authored the beautifully-sculpted script with director Zal Batmanglij, and the work by all involved – acting, cinematography, set design – is a knockout. And oh yes, by all means – check out “Another Earth,” available through the usual outlets. Keep your eyes on Brit Marling.


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I won’t even pretend to be any kind of an authority on William Shakespeare, so I’ll leave the debates about veracity to others, but what I can attest to is the delightful, witty, and economical treatment that is Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” It represents great fun of the less-is-more variety of filmmaking, a terrific ensemble cast, and is shot in gorgeous high-contrast black and white with the Red Epic and a Canon 5DMkll. Go see it.


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A very special congratulations to Paris Barclay, who has just been elected President of the Directors Guild of America. He is the first African American so chosen by the DGA, and has been a major force as a director and producer in television for many years. He currently is an executive producer and director on Kurt Sutter’s “Sons of Anarchy”, one of the very best shows available in the comfort of your home – or anywhere, for that matter. (Well, whaddya know – the second Shakespeare reference in this post.)