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Posts Tagged ‘Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony’

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Okay, it’s not really a photo of Brandi Carlile because I’m not sure if I can show any photos /video I took tonight of the Brandi Carlile concert tonight at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Artist Center where she performed with “the twins” (brothers Tim and Phil Hanseroth) and the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony. (The purpose of the photo/video shoot was archival in nature.) It was a super concert with a blend of folk, country, and rock. She ended the concert with a remarkable cover of the Leonard Cohen/Bob Dylan song Hallelujah. Few concerts (or movies) end as satisfying.

Here’s the version Carlile recorded with the Seattle Symphony.

Last year Carlile performed with the Seattle Symphony and guest conductor Jason Weinberger—the same conductor of tonights concert in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Carlile was born in Ravensdale, Washington and lives in the greater Seattle area. While her music has been features in movies and TV programs, perhaps a better movie movie connection to today’s post is that one of Carlile’s influences was Pasty Cline. If you are unfamiliar with Cline’s music and life check out Sweet Dreams (1985) written by Robert Getchell and directed by Karel Reisz. And one super performance by Jessica Lange as Cline.

Scott W. Smith

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Today marks the 1,500 post here on the blog Screenwriting from Iowa. Though it was more than five years ago when I started the blog Screenwriting from Iowa…and Other Unlikely Places, it just doesn’t seem like that long ago. I’m sure when I started I never thought I’d end up writing 1,500 posts.

But that’s what happened. I thought today I’d give you a glimpse into my world and what makes the challenge to write so many posts, but the rewards as well.

Last week I was in Cedar Falls, Iowa working with artist Gary Kelley shooting and editing a multi-media project that will be part of the The Planets, Reimagined concert  April 27, 2013 with conduction Jason Weinberger and the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony.

Gary Kelley-Planets

Today as the exhibits open at NAB in Las Vegas a DP/Cameraman friend of mine, Ben Mesker of Image Garden, is at the CrewsControl booth to promote his Jokerboxes. Here’s a video I edited and help produce with Ben that showcases the benefits of his grip boxes.

Here’s a shot of a of a greenscreen shoot I did a couple of weeks ago where I had a couple of Jokerboxes on the set.

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And for the last couple of days I been shooting a four camera production in Orlando. So it’s been a busy last couple of weeks—including several 15+ hour days— but finding time to blog is actually a nice change of pace.

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And there are many perks along the way and it comes from those of you who continue to read this blog—and from my recent gig that’s allowed me to wake up with this view the last few days.

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Scott W. Smith

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“Life is a lot like jazz. It’s best when you improvise.”
George Gershwin

So I was looking for an excuse to show some pictures of the recent multi-media project I worked on that debuted Saturday night and I landed on Gershwin. The concert called “Kelley’s Blues” featured the artwork of Gary Kelley and the music of Duke Ellington and George Gershwin performed by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony (and guest pianist Genadi Zagor)  under the direction of Jason Weinberger.

As a composer Gershwin is perhaps best known for his Rhapsody in Blue, though much of his music has had a long life in Hollywood, beginning with a forgotten film called Delicious in 1931 to his music being used in an episode of The Simpsons in 2010. IMDB has Gershwin’s music being credited (or at least used if not credited) in more than 300 films and TV shows. Among the list are An American in Paris, Porgy and Bess, and Manhattan.

When Rhapsody in Blue was used in The King of Jazz (1930) he was paid $50,000. It’s well-known that at one time in the 1930s that baseball great Babe Ruth made more than President Hoover, but writer Walter Rimler (George Gershwin: An Intimate Portrait) has said that Gershwin made more than both of them combined.  Gershwin’s loan Oscar nomination came in 1938 for the lyrics he wrote (with his brother, Ira) for the song They Can’t take that Away from Me used in the 1937 film Shall We Dance.

Outside of Hollywood he had his first hit in 1919 with the song Swanee, and La, La, Lucille was his first Broadway play. In 1932 he won the Pulitzer Prize for the musical Of Theee I Sing (on collaboration with George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind and Ira Gershwin.) He had quite a run, especally when you consider he was only 38-years-old when he died.

Here are some photos I took of the artwork being created and at the rehearsal last Saturday.

Photos Copyright 2010 Scott W. Smith

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Yesterday, I was over at illustrator Gary Kelley’s studio doing some pre-production for a multi-media production we’re producing that will premeire at the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony next month. I noticed he had a quote taped to his easel that I thought translated to writing as well:

“If painting weren’t so difficult, it wouldn’t be fun.”
Edgar Degas

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“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
                                                        Dorothy

“Digital downloads! Internet video-on-demand! This is the future!”
                                                        Phil Alden Robinson
                                                        Director/screenwriter of Field of Dreams

 

In the last couple days I’ve written about webisode and Internet and the opportunities it is bringing screenwriters and filmmakers. But last night I had the antithesis of watching a two-minute web story alone on a 15″ laptop screen. I had a shared experience of watching The Wizard of Oz on the big screen with more  than 1,000 people accompanied live by a full orchestra.

It was quite an experience. Something even audiences 70 years ago when the movie was released didn’t get to experience. The Midwest premiere of Oz with Orchestra was performed by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony under the direction of conductor Jason Weinberger. 

But as popular and magical an evening as it was, watching movies with live orchestras is not going to be a regular movie going experience if for no other reason as it is cost prohibitive. So here we are back in the land of the Internet.

Back in 2003 one place made the proclamation about watching movies online “someday all movies will be watched this way.”  Now there are several places like Netflicks and iTunes where you can legally download movies free or for a price. And who knows how many places there are to illeagally download movies? In fact, before the much anticipated film  X-Men Origins: Wolverine release next week it has been estimated that over 2 million people have already watched an  illegal download of the movie.

 I don’t know what all of this means for the movie industry so I thought I’d see what the Wizard of Hollywood had to say about all of this. Here’s what  Steven Spielberg told Katie Couric on the NBC Today Show back in 1999, “I think that the Internet is going to effect the most profound change on the entertainment industries combined. And we’re all gonna be tuning into the most popular Internet show in the world, which will be coming from some place in Des Moines.”

I hope he’s wrong. I hope that Internet show is coming from Cedar Falls, Iowa. (And I hope it’s being produced by River Run Productions.)

Oh, you don’t think Spielberg is the Wizard of Hollywood? Let’s go back a couple years ago when George Lucas according to Vanity Fair said in effect that the secret to the future is a large quantity of small, web-distributed movies; and the habit of moviegoing will be a thing of the past.

I wouldn’t bet against Spielberg and Lucas. But however inventive films are viewed in the future, scripts still need to be written the old fashioned way — word by word.

Oz trivia: Did you know that not only Dorothy had Midwest roots but so did the actress who played here? Judy Garland was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and her childhood home is now the Judy Garland Museum.  The Minnesota town also is in its fourth decade of having a Judy Garland Festival each June. 

And if you’d like a different experience to watching the film that AFI has ranked as the number one fantasy movie, I’ve heard the The Wizard of Oz actually syncs up pretty good to Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon if you begin the CD on the third lion roar at the start. Really, who discovers these things? 

 

Scott W. Smith

 

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