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SlamNation: Marc Smith - "Steel Mills"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

This piece is from one of the daytime showcase events at the Portland National Poetry Slam. It’s a exuberant, fanciful rumination on nuclear destruction from the man who got it all started – Marc Smith, Father of the Slam.

Marc Smith is the founder of the Poetry Slam Movement and is featured in SlamNation.

SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

 

Georgia’s President Concedes Defeat in Parliamentary Election


 

Posted by Valeri Odikadze:

(Valeri Odikadze is the Georgian co-producer of Power Trip.)

These elections were the most important in my life.  Bidzina Ivanishvili seems like a good choice to lead our country and I am really glad the Georgian Dream coalition won the election.  After all, almost all of Georgia wanted change.

For the last 4-5 years Mikheil Saakashvili lead Georgia in the wrong direction.  There were too many problems with free media, human rights, free law, and a huge high level elite corruption and business monopoly.  There wasn't any economic growth.  Ivanishvili promises a lot and Saakashvili is now in opposition. Saakashvili will try to come back in several years or even earlier and the USA and Europe consider him a very democratic President.

Last year I worked for Ivanishvili ever since he started his party.  I filmed all his pre-election actions and provided a live TV signal for his campaign.  I also had several ongoing contracts with TV9 and I provided them with consulting services and video production equipment & cameras since the government had damaged his equipment at customs.  Many people were afraid to work with him under the pressure of the KGB police revenue service.

At the beginning of last summer the Revenue Service started an urgent 2-phase audit of my company, Videoscope, as a result of my cooperation with Ivanishvili and the Georgian Dream coalition. They initially fined Videoscope a penalty of GEL 120,000, rougly $72,154 USD - a huge and unjustified sum of money for my small company that nearly bankrupted us.  The fine was over allegedly unpaid taxes, but my company had paid several thousand GEL in advance tax payments so far.  The 2nd audit was concluded in August 2012 and I am still waiting for the results.

But I continued working with Ivanishvili and hope that I will someday get this money back. Even more importantly, I hope that Georgia will become a better country under the leadership of this fantastic new team!

Read some details about the election here!

BLAST! - Mark Devlin on The Colbert Report

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Could we have ever guessed at the start of this project that it would culminate with my astrophysicist brother appearing on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report? My science adventure movie, BLAST! was very popular internationally. It screened on television all across Europe, Japan, Canada, even had a weekend of global broadcasts that reached 120 countries on BBC World News.

But the United States is the toughest market for independent filmmakers and BLAST! received a lot of resistance from both film festivals and broadcasters in the U.S. – even though the movie was a suspenseful story by an American filmmaker about an American scientist. Was it because of too much science? Too little science? Too much religious discussion? No “Voice-of-God” narrator? Too personal – breaking convention by examining scientist’s family sacrifices? Who knows? But the traditional gatekeepers kept BLAST! from a national broadcast in the U.S.

Freestyle - "Otherwize" (5 of 14)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Previous episode  Next episode

Otherwize is a fierce competitor and shows just how brutal Freestyle Battles can be. “Noone cares who came in third place. If you’re gonna do it, DO IT.” 

The Making of Freestyle (continued)

Soon after I met Kevin Fitzgerald, his producer Henry-Alex Rubin (who later went on to co-direct Murder Ball) contacted me. Kevin was having trouble selling his movie. The cut was good enough for festivals, but not for broadcast. It needed to be re-worked. They wanted to know if I would join them and re-edit the movie.

Check out Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme.
Buy the DVD.

SlamNation: Andrea Thompson - "Firebelly"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Great example of an identity poem from Andrea Thompson. This one was an extra, but another, “After Kissing,” made it into SlamNation to show how hot the rookie Vancouver team was, almost beating Taylor Mali.

I was able to catch up with Andrea a few years ago in Toronto when I was shooting parts of BLAST! there. You can catch up with her too, in this interview.

SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

2003 US Open - Andy Roddick

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Love these little pieces - short and sweet, high energy and easy on the eye. Made lots of them during my many years working on site for CBS's U.S. Open Late Night Show.

And then the Late Night Show got cancelled and I haven't been back. Oh well. That's the nature of these gigs - they come and go. I still get my dose of tennis, putting together the US Open Preview Show at the CBS Broadcast Center.

BLAST! - BBC Weekend World

Posted by Paul Devlin:

One of the amazing things about the shoestring movies made by independent filmmakers, is the disproportionally vast reach and impact they can have.

BBC World News is available in over 120 countries. Impossible to collect ratings information but based on surveys, they claim an overall viewership of 70 million per week across the planet.

After BBC World started acquiring independent films from BBC's Storyville strand, both Power Trip and BLAST! had what amounts to GLOBAL broadcasts on the channel, 4 screenings over a weekend.

When they also invited me to do this interview for the news program Weekend World I jumped at the chance to reach that many people.

BLAST! DVD
BLAST! Trailer

SlamNation: Regie Gibson - "No Poetry Today"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Here’s Regie Gibson on the Finals stage at the National Poetry Slam in Portland Oregon. An accomplished writer and performer, Regie went on to become an individual National Poetry Slam Champion. He is also featured in the New Line Cinema film Love Jones, which is also based on his life.

SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

Freestyle - "THE BATTLE" (4 of 14)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Previous episode  Next episode

“It’s better than fighting and it’s better than shooting and stabbing each other.” Freestylers hone their skills in healthy, head-to-head competition.

The Making of Freestyle (continued)

I heard that Kevin Fitzgerald’s movie, Freestyle – The Art of Rhyme, had been accepted into the 1999 Urbanworld Film Festival in New York City. I went to see it. It was still messy, but it had been cut way down, and included some incredible performances. The movie won an award at the festival. I finally met Kevin at the screening. He had heard about my project, and we hung out, talking freestyling and movies. It seemed there would not be room enough for two freestyle movies, and Kevin clearly was way ahead. I decided to abandon my project.

Check out Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme.
Buy the DVD.

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