Wednesday, July 23, 2008

American Idol

As I'm pretty sure the number one TV show today, grossing katrillions of dollars each season through product placement, advertising, and cross medium success (getting viewers to text) American Idol is a sort of phenomenon. Coming up on its eighth season and apparently still going strong, it makes me wonder: what's the deal? I got to ponder this a little more while on the set of the auditions working as production assistant for the show. At the Cow Palace last week, at least a thousand people or so thought they had what took to be the next American Idol. Crazy. I sort of felt when I was there that people treat auditioning like playing the lottery- mayyybe just maybe they'll win. Though they haven't logicially thought about if they have what it takes. And everyone wants a chance to be on TV. Stardom. Success. The American Dream...

It was invigorating and pleasing to be around singing all day, since to sing is from the soul. Congratulations to everyone who tried out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Silent Film Festival

This last weekend in San Fran was the 13th annual San Francisco Silent Film Festival at the Castro Theater.

We saw The Patsy starring Marion Davies and directed by 5 time Oscar nominated King Vidor, who holds the Guinness World record for longest running career as a director- spanning 8 decades. The movie was actually awesome- a 20's comedy I think refreshing because of most of the crap comedy we get in theaters today. I suppose the style of comedy was almost slapstick- and clever.

The other highlight of the night was the live accompaniment of music, done so by Mr. Clark Wilson on a Mighty Wurlitzer organ. Having the musician in the room means the experience is organic, like seeing live theatre instead of a movie- anything can happen on the spot as perhaps the audience's reaction affects how the musician plays, and how the musician plays affects how the audience reacts- a mutual experience. This mutual experience theme is interesting to me and is addressed in a movie I was part of making for Sam Green and Kevin Epp's doc class at USF, called Ruins of the Past and Present.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Reno is Artown

Every July Reno hosts Artown, a month long summer arts festival, and most events are free. Pretty cool. Two summers ago I was part of a group, Project Moonshine, that made a sort of documentary- called Being Here- about the event.

This year something I had never seen before, a woman acrobat dancing hanging from a type of hot air balloon (that was tethered to the ground)- apparently called The Heliosphere, kicked off the festival on July 1 in Wingfield Park. Here's a taste...