Director Mark Pellington, walked into my edit suite at Chromavision one day with a bunch of surreal B&W footage, and a wild spoken word piece written and performed by Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. The task was to create some interstitial content for the big screen at the Lollapalooza shows. After a few hours of editing improv, this is what we came up with.
A fiery gem from Monica Copeland! As Taylor Mali put it, "Here's an example of a slam poem from 15 years ago that might well have been performed today! It is suffused with the kind of self-righteous anger that slammers would soon discover was the key to getting a high score."
My friend Louisa McCune introduced me to the talented literary editor, Jim Fitzgerald who was working at St. Martin’s Press when I was making SlamNation. In the movie, he gets into an interesting debate with poet Jessica Care Moore about the state of publishing and the literary merits of slam poetry. During the full interview, Jim had many great tales didn’t work in the final movie.
In this outtake, Jim tells the story of how he coined the phrase “Generation X.”
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.
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.
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...
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.