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Freestyle - "Juice" (11 of 14)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

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One of the most talented hip hop artists ever, Juice’s rhymes are stunning. Written or Free? You decide.

The Making of Freestyle (continued)

Kevin Fitzgerald’s passion for hip hop sometimes created tension between him and the producer Henry-Alex Rubin and myself. Kevin was all about the integrity of the complete performance. Henry and I were all about structure, pace and story. We felt it was our job to make the material accessible, Kevin felt it was his job to honor the performers and their performance. One time, the night before submitting to a crucial festival, Kevin re-edited the movie without telling us, including dropping in a 3-minute freestyle into the midst of a very tightly structure sequence, building to a climactic battle. Luckily we caught the change before the cut went out, and convinced Kevin that the sequence should be restored. Often Henry and I felt that we had to fend off Kevin for his own good.

Check out Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme
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Slammin' - Cheryl B - "Female Ejaculation"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

It's been two years since the passing of our friend poet Cheryl B. In honor of her memory, we offer this short excerpt from the TV pilot Slammin', in which she appeared.

SlamNation DVD 
Slammin' Trailer

Illustrations by Orah Lemer

This week we have a guest post by Orah, who you may remember as the amazing artist for the Schrödinger's Documentary post!

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My name is Orah Lemer.  I was born in Brooklyn NY and I'm currently residing in Haifa Israel. I am 24 years of age and studying at the Neri Bloomfield School of Design. I use a Wacom Graphic wireless tablet.

This is a portrait of my boyfriend which I painted for his birthday (a week after our first date!) The drawing was referenced off a low-quality photo.

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Check out Orah's gallery to see more of her work!

Slam Poem: Pat Storm - "My Friend Sean"

At national slam poetry events, individual poets who are unaffiliated with a team are referred to as “storm poets.” Poet Danny Solis created this name as a memorial to his friend Pat Storm, who died in 2000.

Pat was a member of several slam teams from the south competing at the national level and was very successful. You can see why in this piece.

Pat grew up in New York City and he returned there, amidst some controversy. He would hang out in Tompkins Square Park in the East Village near where I live. I would visit him there sometimes.

But Pat was struggling with substance abuse. One time when I saw him in the park, he was unconscious on a bench, surrounded by paramedics and police. When they roused him, he burst into fire and it took several men to restrain him. Pat was a powerful force.

In 2000, I invited Pat to come see the SlamAmerica Bus tour’s NYC performance at a club on 14th Street. I think that was the last time many of his slam poet friends saw him. He died soon after.

Pat was well-loved by the slam community and we miss him. For all you proud storm poets, here is your namesake...

 

SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

2002 French Open - Jennifer Capriati Bumper

Posted by Paul Devlin:

All in a day’s work as a sports video editor. We would crank out these mini art pieces by the half-dozen every day. And then we catch some great tennis or go out and enjoy Paris. Sweet gig.

 

Music Video: Salt N Pepa - "You Showed Me"

Post by Paul Devlin:

I did the online edit for this music video at Chromavision. Got a chance to meet Pepa. I became really good at cranking these out fast (cleaning up the EDL, sorting it in C-Mode, setting the tape machines to search ahead when they were not involved in the current edit, etc. – that’s some geekspeak to get a smile from the old school video editors). My efficiency made me popular with the music video crowd, and I enjoyed doing lots of this kind of work.

 

Slam Poem: Beau Sia - "Asian Men Are Hung Like Horses"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Here’s some classic Beau Sia. It was excerpted in SlamNation but is presented in its entirety here for your enjoyment.

SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

Hanging out with Eli Roth

Post by Paul Devlin:

Film Festivals are the great payoff for many filmmakers. You’ve worked hard for years, and now you’re being flown around the world to great places to show your movie to appreciative audiences, who venerate your role as artist. It’s addicting. When the festivals slow down, you want to make another film again just so you can go back out on the road.

My movie Power Trip played at dozens of film festivals and I tried to attend as many as possible. At the San Francisco Film Festival, I spent much more time than expected because the SARS scare in Toronto cancelled my trip to the Hot Docs Film Festival (Power Trip won the Grand Jury Prize there - whoops). So I had time in San Francisco to meet some talented, exceptional people, another great benefit of Film Festivals.

Eli Roth (Hostel, Inglourious Basterds) was touring with his first film Cabin Fever, and we had a chance to hang out.

The San Francisco Film Festival starts this Thursday, April 25th, and will last through May 9th.  Make sure to check out some of the amazing films if you're in the area!

Power Trip DVD
Power Trip Trailer

Freestyle - "Rage" (10 of 14)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

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A concise history of hip hop’s emotional and culture roots.

The Making of Freestyle (continued)

Director Kevin Fitzgerald’s love of hip hop and freestyle was pure and passionate. His production company was called Organic Films, and that’s exactly what the movie Freestyle was. It was a fluid work, ever changing. Kevin would take the current version of the movie, and screen it at a hip hop event. Of course, all the freestylers would show up and start cyphering on the street after the screening. Kevin was there with his camera, capturing it all. And those performances would be incorporated into the next version of the movie! He would screen that version and the process would start all over again.

Check out Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme
Buy the DVD

BLAST! - Antarctica Launch

Posted by Paul Devlin:

“I can’t think of anything that went wrong so far...”

Oh, the limitless hubris of humans. It’s spectacular scenes like this that are the dream of nonfiction filmmakers. I was already a year and a half into shooting BLAST, but only after reviewing this footage was I convinced that I actually had something worthwhile. Teasing a cliffhanger of the the end at the start of a movie is a tried and true technique and served BLAST! well.

This beginning has been touted by people like Jan Rofekamp of Films Transit International and the European Documentary Network, as a recent example to be emulated of a great way to open a nonfiction film.

BLAST! DVD
BLAST! Trailer

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