A short note from Dan Ferri about the piece.... "The funny thing about this piece is that people think it's funny, which tells something about both rhetoric and street fights. In both cases you want 'em to smile first."
A look back at the heyday of NYC cyphering in the early ‘90s, with SuperNatural in Washington Square Park, commentary from Mos Def, and a spectacular Freestyle narrative from Wordsworth.
The Making of Freestyle (continued)
In order to develop the story threads for Freestyle, we began gathering new material. First I added the interview and performance of Juice that I had already shot. Then we researched those historic battles and started collecting footage from around the country. We became Freestyle Central for awhile! When the director, Kevin Fitzgerald came to NYC from LA, I shot new footage with him. We sought out Craig G for a crucial interview and also brought in Anthony Marshall and Danny Castro of Lyricist Lounge. They stopped by my apartment to check out the results one day.
Ten years in the making, EnviroSiren's Sink or Swim? (SOS) is a love song for the planet. The debate is over, the science is in: Human activity is dangerously warming the atmosphere and tipping the balance of the biosphere. Seas are rising precariously - and faster than scientists predicted but it's not too late! EnviroSiren longs to seduce Earthlings everywhere to wake up to the warnings and start turning the tides on climate change...
Shot on location in Tulum, Mexico, and with a Red Epic camera at Pier59 Studio in NYC, SOS is a free music-video (3:20). It is available for download on request. The song is free and available here.
SOS, a music video I've been working on in collaboration with Jules for the past several months, is finally available today, and I'm happy to share it with you all here on DevlinPix!
A call for change, SOS is a special project to me - an amazing experience to work on, and especially marked in its importance by Hurricane Sandy as it ravaged a path across the east coast right in the midst of our editing sessions. In New York, Sandy reached us deeply. It took our homes, our workplaces, our communities... And the "Goodbye New York" line of SOS is scarily phophetic, and touches me deeply.
So much power in words and performance. Feel the intense focus of the audience in the pauses, even when you can’t see them. Sara Holbrook demonstrates how compelling slam poetry can be when delivered by a master in this 2nd person indictment of prostitution, excerpted in SlamNation and now shown here in its entirety.
Beau Sia’s poem “Money” is now a cultural snapshot from its time of the mid-to-late ‘90s. Beau Sia was a 19-year old wunderkind when he took the stage of the Portland National Poetry Slam Finals, and became an instant star.
This poem gets SlamNation off to a roaring start. In early cuts of the movie, this was not the case. At the time, Marc Smith - “Father of the Slam” - took a look at rough cut and gave me this advice: “You have to start with the end. People need to know where they’re going, that there will be big crowds and high stakes. They need to know that this is not just about your typical boring poetry reading.” Very insightful! So that’s exactly what I did – and Beau’s high energy made him the natural choice to kick things off.
The Battle between Supernatural and Craig G was the most eagerly anticipated of its time. Assembling the footage to present this sequence wasn’t easy. It took a lot of convincing and cajoling. But the result is a slice of hip hop history captured for the ages.
The Making of Freestyle (continued)
The re-discovered interview of Bobbito not only gave great insight into the movement, but also provided a framework for a story for Freestyle. Bobbito talked about a legendary battle between two of the top Freestylers, Supernatural and Craig G. We already had a fantastic segment on Supernatural. Then we learned that Supernatural also battled Juice. I had material on Juice when I was making my version of the movie. These battles might provide a dramatic thread that would save the movie.
I'm in New Orleans editing for CBS Sports. We're working on the 5 hours of preview programming that happens before the game. Keep an eye out for the opening 1-hour documentary starring Wynton Marsalis all about the city of New Orleans and its people (and there's some football in there too). It was produced by my friend Sarah Rinaldi and it's brilliant. Starts at 12PM ET on CBS.
I've got a night shift, 8P-8A in one of many edit trucks right next to the Superdome. Not easy but has some perks: We get to see halftime rehearsals and the show looks great! They are working so hard - running through the entire performance 3 or 4 times a night. During the day I'm enjoying the city and watching the energy and festivities build. My wife Emily is on her way, and she'll be in the stadium watching the game, while I'll be living vicariously through her as I cut highlights for the Halftime and Post-Game shows.
In the meantime, here's a fun tease I edited a few months ago for a local New York broadcast of a pre-season Jets versus Giants game. This is for my fellow New Yorkers to contemplate what might have been, or gear up for next season.
Pañuelo is the story of Junior who, devastated by the loss of his father, abandons his love of photography, and begins to hang with the wrong crowd. His single mother Olga, and younger sister Daisy, try desperately to bring him back into the safety of the family that loves him.
I spent most of my thesis year at SVA working on Pañuelo. Unlike most of our thesis productions which were shot in the fall and edited in the spring, Pañuelo was shot during the summer of 2009 so I had plenty of time to edit it in the fall before starting work on my other thesis projects. It's a good thing too, because Pañuelo needed plenty of work! The initial cut was over 40 minutes long and by the time we were done with it the final cut was around 20 minutes. It was the first long short film I've ever really worked on and it was certainly an adventure. Not to mention it gave me plenty of opportunities to brush up on my Spanish!
Pañuelo editing carried on well into the spring where it shared its editing hours with my other two projects (Vanity and Zombies Are Our Friends) and it was really my baby for most of that year. Seeing it on the big screen at the Dusty Film Festival was really an amazng experience! And editing this trailer for it was a really fun side project, so I hope you all enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed editing it!
Paul wrote this article for DOX Magazine during the Power Trip era. Check it out for some interesting information on the 4:3 to 16:9 conversion. After all, you still come across 4:3 content stretched to fit a 16:9 screen, even now. How do we make it all look good?
"Versioning" has become an inevitable burden for non-fiction filmmakers as they adapt their work to fit various television time-slots in an effort to squeeze every drop of revenue from a project.
My film Power Trip now has four different length versions with another in progress, and I am approaching twenty distinct Masters, with iterations for NTSC, PAL, Texted and Textless. Tape stock expenses alone are burdensome.
Now comes a new dimension to versioning as TV transitions from the traditional 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9 - finally catching up to cinema, which went wide-screen decades ago, reacting to the perceived threat when television was new. There seems to be little consensus across borders about the best way to make this transition, so the process has become bewildering.
In Europe I've seen 16:9 TV's stretching out 4:3 sports broadcasts, making the athletes look ridiculously fat. Channel surfing on a sophisticated wide-screen TV produces a startling variety of shape contortions to fit the screen size. Broadcasts in 4:3 from the US, such as MTV, suffer most, blown up and cropped on top and bottom to fit 16:9...CONTINUE READING HERE!