Given that we've been reporting on Creep! consistently for the past 2 1/2 years, I'm going to skip the lengthy introduction here and assume you're up to speed.
If I've correctly assumed, just click below on the fun new teaser trailer just released by Pete Schuermann and crew, and enlarge it to a full-screen preview.
Halcyon, an adjective describing something peaceful or tranquil, is the title of a film that seems the opposite. In the trailer, things crash, blood spurts, emotions run high, and you can feel the claustrophobia as you’re taken inside the underwater research center where the film unfolds.
“We like the contrast between calm and idyllic,” says producer and screenwriter Ashley Haglund. “Kind of the turbulence in a calm sea.”
Halcyon, a Colorado-made film, will screen at Cinemark 16 on Friday, Dec. 7. It’s a story of two men who have been assigned to work underwater, and who encounter obstacles that leave them trapped there. One of the men is wounded, and it becomes a fight against time to both keep him alive and to maintain emotional sanity.
The concept for the film originated back in December 2010, when Haglund was taking a drive with one of the film’s other writers, Jim Muckian. The two were brainstorming ideas for a low-budget film that didn’t require too many sets, but would still make for a compelling story. Having it take place in an underwater submersive was the perfect fix.
From there the pieces seemed to fall into place: Haglund met her lead actor, Courtney Gains, as he was signing autographs at a haunted house, and she kept his contact information. Gains is pretty well-known, having been in films like Back to the Future (he was a bully in 1955) and Sweet Home Alabama.
He was perfect for a lead role, as was Pepper Binkley, who a immediately after Haglund saw her performance in the film Stone, contacted her agent.
The other male lead, Mykel Shannon Jenkins, she found by chance when the actor who was supposed to play his character, Daniel, dropped out at the last minute. He was on the roster an agency sent over of interested actors.
Ashley was hoping she wouldn’t have to direct the film, and unexpectedly, all she had to do was look to her family: McKenzie Haglund, Ashley’s sister, ended up as the director.
After sending out the script to family for feedback, McKenzie ended up rewriting much of the screenplay and really “made the script what it is,” says Ashley. McKenzie, unlike her sister, had never worked in film before: “She’s probably the only crew member that didn’t do this for a living,” says Ashley.
And besides the surprises in the crew, there were also (good) surprises in the budget. Ashley originally thought she was going to be producing a film with just $20,000, much of this coming from her own savings. The number would become more than 12 times the size: All it took was a vacation and car ride with her parents for them to realize the potential in the project and provide the rest of the funding, Ashley says.
Because of the budget increase, they were able to build a more intricate set, hire better actors, a “kickass crew” made up of mostly Colorado Springs locals, and shoot the movie on RED digital cameras — the same technology used to shoot upcoming movie, The Hobbit.
With all the shooting and editing completed, the next step is shopping it around to film festivals: ranging from the world-renowned Cannes and Sundance to smaller Colorado ones like the Vail Film Festival and the Breckenridge Festival of Film.
“We’re keeping our fingers crossed on some of that stuff,” says Ashley.
So the future looks bright for Halcyon, even if the trailer feels like an end of the world.
Halcyon will play at 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 7. After the film, there will be a Q&A with Courtney Gains and other members of the crew. Admission is free, and for tickets you can email firstname.lastname@example.org no later than tomorrow, Dec. 5.
This weekend, the New York Times published an opinion piece by James Atlas about the future of global warming, and what New York City could look like if only minimal efforts are made to curb our contributions to a hotter world.
The picture was grim. The article postulates that oceans could potentially rise 12 feet by 2300 if we continue to make only "moderate pollution cuts." For the Big Apple, that means La Guardia and John F. Kennedy airports "are permanently submerged, as are Coney Island, the Rockaways and neighborhoods along Jamaica Bay."
The results are similarly disastrous in Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area, and, of course, New Orleans. (You can see the whole thing in a nifty interactive sidebar here.)
At least there are folks like Atlas, and James Balog, whom we interviewed back in 2010, out watching our melting glaciers and spreading the word on this concern. Balog, a photographer and the head of the research project, Extreme Ice Survey, has charted global glacial recession for years now in a fascinating way, with years-long time-lapse videos. The effect of the videos are not only scientific, but strangely beautiful.
Balog and the ice are also the subjects of a film documentary, Chasing Ice, which is making the rounds of theaters today. The film is directed by Jeff Orlowski, edited by Davis Coombe (who shared an Oscar for Saving Face) and co-produced by Paula DuPré Pesmen and Jerry Aronson (DuPré Pesmen received Academy Awards for The Cove, Aronson a nomination for The Divided Trail: A Native American Odyssey.)
Per such a talented group, Chasing Ice has taken awards across the film festival circuit, from Best Documentary at the Big Sky Film Festival to Excellence in Cinematography for a U.S. Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. It grabbed audience awards at fests such as the South by Southwest Film Festival and the Palo Alto Film Festival and bagged a the Norman Vaughan Indomitable Spirit Award at MountainFilm in Telluride and Best Adventure Film at the Boulder Film Festival.
One of our current interns, Celine Wright, obtained an early screener of the film from Kimball's manager Matt Stevens, and wrote the following review.
All words are hers, not mine.
If you care to view the film's trailer first, click below:
“Yoga is an ancient tradition ... To bring peace and enlightenment to men,” says narrator Annette Bening, with incredible emphasis on that last word.
Yoga and men.
It’s not what first comes to mind, especially when the modern, stereotypical yoga-doer seems to be a woman. And that opening line is the stepping-off point for the new documentary Yogawoman, a look at how yoga has positively influenced women of all backgrounds and ages, written, directed and produced by Kate Clere McIntyre and Saraswati Clere.
First, they frame the problem. Modern society has left us overworked, overstressed, overbusy and generally unhealthy. Cue the factoids: One in five women will be depressed over their lifetime, 90 percent of women are dissatisfied with their appearance. Yoga is framed as the ultimate escape for women, “looking to find peace and balance in their ordinary lives.” Through yoga, you can overcome these menial, society-instilled problems and can discover who you really are.
The film talks about the emergence of yoga in modern society, starting in the 1970s when yoga “workouts” were broadcast on TV. Now, more than 20 million people in the United States practice. And Yogawoman focuses on how women use yoga, as most of us know it today, to positively impact their lives.
They introduce us to a few big names in the yoga world, each bringing to light a different aspect of yoga and its importance in the lives of women.
Teacher Sean Corne, who has her own yoga DVD’s, and has been featured in countless magazines, started a nonprofit called Off The Mat, Into the World, where she uses her public acclaim to help promote awareness of the HIV/AIDS crisis. She takes what she “learned on the mat” (values like strength, focus and compassion) and “applies it in the world, where it really counts.” During her film segment, we are taken to a village in Uganda where Corne and her foundation have raised the funds to build a new birthing center in a town where all the women are HIV-positive.
We’re introduced to Tari Prinster, a New York yoga teacher, who used the practice to help get through her breast cancer treatments. Now in remission, she says yoga provided a way to, “feel good in spite of chemo,” she says. Yoga increases lymphatic flow and therefore strengthens the immune system, which helps cancer patients feel better, despite brutal treatments. Prinster teaches classes to other women undergoing treatment, as a way to both combat the illness, and be surrounded by other survivors.
As the stories are told, you get the sense that filmmakers must have gathered hundreds and hundreds of hours of footage — so much that the finished product suffers a bit from attention-deficit disorder. Back and forth we jump from story to story; you just want to say, "Stop! Can't we stay here for a little while?" Besides that, there are parts of the film that are cheesy: shots of sunsets, and beach walks, breaks where words like “empowerment” and “strength” are superimposed along the contours of a woman’s body as she does yoga.
But it's hard to be too critical of a film that ultimately frames yoga as a way for women to come together, and feel better about themselves. In California, we see a yoga class for overweight women who may have given up doing other physical activities; the class gives them comfort and reassurance. And even if those things fall a bit short of full spiritual enlightenment, as sought in the ancient Hindu tradition of yoga practice (and all but ignored in this film), they're valuable nonetheless.
The women in the film seem like normal people who live in today’s high-paced society, and simply want to share what helps them cope with life’s daily stresses. It's a nice message, regardless of the more technically annoying aspects of Yogawoman.
Here's a cool film site that's new to me: Tugg.
And here's how it works:
As of this posting time, the organizer needs 57 more folks in order to reach the goal of 85 seats sold, which thereby launches the screening.
The award-winning film takes aim at teenage girls living in the U.S. who were adopted from China due to the country's "One Child Policy." Check out the trailer below.
Well, that time has arrived, amigos.
Click on the following document for full details on date, dress code and sample costume photos for the first shoot:
It's that time again.
The Telluride Film Festival recently ended, and as he's done for us for the past two years, Kimball's Peak Three general manager Matthew Stevens has taken a few moments to jot down some impressions of films he was able to catch, on his own time and dime.
Telluride Film Festival is the first major film festival to kick off the Oscar season. Directors, celebrities, and cinephiles flock to this gorgeous mountain town every year to be the first to view the year’s best picture and award winning performances.
And here's a batch of mini film reviews, all unedited, in his words, with movie trailer links where available:
Hyde Park on the Hudson
HYDE PARK ON THE HUDSON is a glimpse into the life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (portrayed by Bill Murray) and a visit in 1939 by the new and timid King and Queen of England to his upstate New York home. World War II is looming and England needs America’s help. The film isn’t political or a history lesson, but rather the secret relationship between FDR and his fifth cousin, Margaret “Daisy” Suckley (Laura Linney). One day, Daisy is requested by the president’s mother to spend time with FDR while he is visiting his estate in upstate New York. At first their relationship is strictly platonic, but quickly changes. Daisy says it best in a voiceover, that they are no longer “just fifth cousins, but very good friends.” Daisy is not the only woman in the president’s life; FDR juggles his relationships between his wife, Eleanor (Olivia Williams), and his secretary Missy (Elizabeth Marvel). Director Roger Michell (KNOTTING HILL, VENUS) shows the audience a picture of FDR in true form as a charismatic and sometimes vulnerable president. While not spoiling the entire movie, I recommend watching this film with a hot dog in hand.
Ginger and Rosa
Ginger (Elle Fanning) is a typical teenage girl in London 1962 — spending all her time with her best friend, Rosa (Alice Englert), shrinking her jeans in the bathtub, writing poetry, listening to smooth jazz, and changing the world by protesting against the impending nuclear crisis. Directed and written by Sally Potter (YES, THE MAN WHO CRIED, ORLANDO), GINGER AND ROSA is a coming-of-age story about the lives of two teenage girls who grow up together, their mothers met in the hospital during childbirth. Rosa’s father long abandoned her and her mother. Ginger’s father, Roland (Alessandro Nivola), hates being referred to as father and considers himself a staunch activist and pacifist writer, he leaves Ginger’s mother (Christina Hendricks) for other “opportunities.” Soon after, Ginger leaves her mother as well to live with Roland. Rosa views this opportunity to begin a relationship with Roland. Ginger is horrified when she discovers her best friend is sleeping with her father. Ginger personifies her internal turmoil onto the nuclear crisis, convinced of humanity’s certain end. Elle Fanning has stepped beyond her sister Dakota’s shadow and proved herself a wonderfully dynamic actress.
Rust and Bone (De rouille et d'os)
RUST AND BONE is the story of Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts), a single father who moves from Belgium to northern France with his 5-year-old son he barely knows, and Stéphanie (Marion Cotillard, Oscar winner - LA VIE EN ROSE), a killer whale trainer who suffers a horrific accident. Ali works odd jobs to try and support himself; bouncer, security guard, but more importantly, illegal street fighting. When Stéphanie is attacked at a club where Ali is a bouncer, he comes to her rescue. After giving her a ride, they soon part ways, intending to never meet again. Stéphanie trains orca whales for a local ocean theme park. During one show, an orca destroys the stage and injures Stéphanie. The injury results in Stéphanie having her legs amputated and her stable life thrown into pure chaos. Stéphanie is devastated by ordeal and reaches out to Ali for support. RUST AND BONE is truly a masterpiece of two actors mastering their craft. I would be surprised if Marion Cotillard doesn’t win an Oscar for her performance.
In 1988, Chilean voters prepare to head to the polls to vote on the future of their brutal dictator Augusto Pinochet. René Saavedra (Gael García Bernal) is a masterful ad exec, who employs charismatic and ground breaking tactics to sell cola (well, groundbreaking for 1988). Saavedra is put in charge to defeat Pinochet; the problem is the majority of Chileans believe the referendum is rigged and Pinochet is almost guaranteed victory. Saavedra must create an advertising campaign to stir the people to vote, he creates a campaign of happiness, instead of focusing on the cruelty and injustices of Pinochet. Saavedra creates an advertising campaign of a better and happier Chile, complete with rainbows and mimes (just like those in his cola commercials). This campaign doesn’t appeal to everyone and often alienates the Left and Right. Director Pablo Larraín transports the audience to Chile 1988 by filming on equipment from the 80’s in traditional 4:3 aspect, instead the modern 4k, high definition, anamorphic digital cameras. NO doesn’t require a background in Chilean politics for you to be immersed in the struggle against Pinochet.
At Any Price
Farming used to be simple. Put seeds in the ground and let them grow. However, that has quickly changed with the advent of genetically modified seeds, GPS guided tractors, and small farms bought and turned into huge conglomerate farms. Director Ramin Bahrani (GOODBYE SOLO, MAN PUSH CART) and co-writer Hallie Elizabeth Newton spent six months living with Iowa farmers to learn of the changing agricultural society in America. Their conclusion — farmers must expand or die. AT ANY PRICE is the story of farmer, Henry Whipple (Dennis Quaid), who is the top seed salesman for seven counties. Whipple has the so-called perfect life; he has a wife (Kim Dickens), two boys, one that has fled the country on a road trip and the other, Dean (Zac Efron), who dreams of leaving too by becoming a professional NASCAR driver. Henry’s farm was handed to him by his father and Henry wants to pass the farm to his sons as well. However, Henry’s sons have other plans. Quaid and Efron are perfectly matched as father and son; you feel the mounting pressure both characters share.
How much can change in five years? EVERYDAY explores the relationship between a man (John Simm) imprisoned for drug smuggling and his wife (Shirley Henderson) over the course of five years. The film was shot over five years, utilizing a family of four real-life siblings. Director Michael Winterbottom (24 HOUR PARKTY PEOPLE, A MIGHTY HEART) has made twenty films in fifteen years, an astonishing accomplishment for any director. EVERDAY is seemingly boring at times, a lack of conflict and plot progression is more frustrating than everyday life. This film is just as the title states.
An average guy wakes up and heads to his job at a recycling plant, but during his commute to work, people begin to take his picture and request his autograph. This is the premise for Xavier Giannoli’s SUPERSTAR. Martin Kazinski (Kad Merad) is common. He does not want fame. Martin is happy with his current station in life, but after his ordeal in the subway, Martin is shocked and confused by his sudden fame. A television news producer, Fleur Arnaud (Cécile De France), wants to know why Martin is suddenly famous as well; she invites Martin on her program to explore the cause of her sudden fame. When the host refers to Martin as “common”, the audience turns against the host, creating pure chaos and leading internet clips of Martin Kazinski that further solidify his fame. SUPERSTAR explores the concept of fame. What makes someone worthy of adoration and praise — especially Kim Kardashian?
Twenty-five years ago, a journey of love began for Buttercup and Westley, Inigo Montoya and Fezzik, and all the hilariousness that is The Princess Bride.
Why do I mention this?
Because Dave Minkus, of the locally run film and TV review site ScreenGeeks.com, has organized a 25th anniversary big-screen showing of the film for 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 12.
There's one catch: He's got to have at least 95 people reserve tickets ahead of time in order to make it happen, and he's got until Sept. 5 to do so. As of this writing, he's just 19 shy of that figure.
If you've always wanted to see the Cliffs of Insanity insanely big, now's your chance. For just $10, you can join in on the fun at Chapel Hills Carmike Theater, AND even maybe win prizes.
Get all the details here, but don't let it go to your head.
Yes, I know, I am totally not Louis Fowler or Justin Strout, the Indy's go-to DVD review men.
But that's not to say that I don't own a Blu-ray/DVD player and have an opinion on the films I choose to watch.
So in the style of our Mr. Fowler, who graciously posts his extra write-ups on our Indyblog periodically, I offer this brief review of a July 24-released Cinema Libre Studio film, which was sent to our office.
I've long respected CInema Libre's socially conscious documentaries, including the must-see, must-follow (as in, launch a major algae fuel network globally) flick Fuel. The documentaries are seldom short on important messaging and some are rather lively and entertaining, beyond informative. Unfortunately, Genetic Chile is a bit of mental work to trudge through, though its topic couldn't be of more import. There's a lot of voice-over on top of statistics that flash across the screen (such as how a World Food Program study in 2010 revealed over 1 billion people hungry globally due to increased food prices), and it's actually difficult to pay attention to both at the same time, as the voice-over is often talking about something related, but different than the text you are trying to read. At the film's heart is the issue of New Mexico State University's complicity in allowing genetic modification of the state's culturally coveted chile pepper, after officials had previously held firm against tinkering with nature. As with all GM tomfoolery — which among other fears has opponents concerned about pollen drift and crop migration and an excuse for big bad bully Monsanto to come in and sue your ass, even though you didn't actually plant their seeds — there's much pondering here over potential impact in our world's food supply. Which makes Genetic Chile forgivable for its PowerPoint-presentation feel and cinematic shortcomings if you take it as more of a fact-finding mission and public service of film journalism.
On Tuesday, we reported on the demise of the Pikes Peak Lavender Film Festival after a 12-year run in Colorado Springs.
We mentioned the departure of a number of board members as well as infighting between organizer Alma Cremonesi and other members of our local LGBT community. We also mentioned Cremonesi's willingness to pass the torch to an earnest and capable party should they care to carry on under the Lavender banner.
Turns out, at least for the time being, that won't be necessary.
Former Lavender board president (for the last two years) and 10-year member Paul Forsett has stepped forward under the new name of Rainbow Cinema, which will be put on by a soon-to-be-formed Colorado Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 501(c)(3) organization.
Rainbow tentatively plans to show six feature films between Nov. 16 and 18 in Colorado College's Cornerstone Arts Center — all for free.
Colorado College's community relations director Connie Dudgeon has played a key role in keeping some form of the LGBT festival alive, saying, "CC has given huge in-kind support to Lavender in recent years and we'll definitely continue to do so for its 'offspring'."
Dudgeon is also excited by the later dates this year, as students will be back on campus then to benefit from the film fest. (Previously, she notes, the fest took place during a block break week.)
Forsett says he hopes to expand the festival's offerings next year, after formalizing a new advisory board early in 2013 (with several former Lavender members). He also has plans to incorporate gay and lesbian theater under the 501(c)(3), to carry on the legacy of Tony Babin, who passed away in late 2009.
A regular attendee of the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, Forsett says he also hopes to borrow some of its format for 2013, such as choice seating lines (based on membership levels).
As for this year's films, Rainbow won't be paying for newly released flicks (hence the free entry), but Forsett plans to show some recent favorites such as Shortbus and 20 Centimeters, as well as a late night Rocky Horror Picture Show screening.
Briefly addressing the infighting and contention with Cremonesi, Forsett says, "I saw we needed change, which wasn't happening ... I've seen so many wonderful films in San Francisco that I wanted to bring out here, and she was always censoring them, saying that our audiences wouldn't like them ... I want to see it open up a little bit, I want to see who we can get back in terms of the audience."
Think of this year as a transition year, between a longstanding fest and a newbie, with a gap filled by some older but still worthy programming. To Forsett, "Rainbow is a continuation of gay and lesbian films in Colorado Springs — it's what we need in Colorado Springs."
I'm thinking if we don't have some kind of a breakout year, then maybe we should raise the question, 'Should we keep doing this?'
But perhaps we were thinking back to the earlier years, when Cremonesi also talked about the need to "break out" — but always kept the festival going anyway, even as turnout stagnated.
A number of factors prompted Cremonesi's decision to let her hard work go after 12 years. She said she'd already picked the programming for this year's fest on her annual trip to San Francisco, but finally made the call to kill it in late July.
One factor is attrition, both on her organizing board and with audience numbers. Six of 10 members left the board recently, and Cremonesi says attendance dropped from around 1,300 people for the first eight years (when the fest was held at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center) to around 1,000 for the ninth through 11th years and down to 950 people in 2011 (once the fest had moved to Colorado College).
"Most festivals have a breakout period," she says. "We never got to that point."
Still, she adds, "I had plenty of money to go forward. The problem wasn't external, but internal."
Cremonesi describes what she calls "horizontal hostility" between her and some of the LGBT community, sharing one anecdote about how after she sent out notice to all the former supporters of the fest regarding its cancellation, "the only thing I heard back was, 'What are you going to do with the money?"'
On a personal note, she adds that she turned 70 last December, having launched the fest as a "retirement activity." She says that, "when you get old, you want peace and to look after your own health ... I didn't want to deal with it anymore" — referring to the infighting, not the actual production so much.
She notes that the straight community in Colorado Springs was always supportive of the festival, but that she was disappointed by the turnout from the LGBT community: "The census said there were 30,000 same-gender households in Colorado Springs, which doesn't count single gay and lesbian people — so for only 1,300 of those people to come out, a lot from other places ... it just wasn't supported to the extent we hoped."
The Gill Foundation, after supporting the festival annually since its inception to the tune of around $3,000, also withdrew a portion of its support this year, according to Cremonesi. This year, rather than an outright donation, they were going to move to a challenge grant, she says.
Also, the fest was pushed back two weeks on the calendar, behind the Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival, to the beginning of Thanksgiving week. Cremonesi says she could have used that festival to publicize hers, but still, she had some concerns about the timing.
So, looking at the potential for anyone to revive the fest, $25,000 would be a realistic starting point in terms of reproducing the past 12 years' scale. Email Cremonesi directly at email@example.com if you are interested in truly taking the reins.
Menschen has begun a new round of fundraising in order to aid in upcoming promotional costs.
Visit the film's new online store for products like shirts, a hoodie, posters and stickers.
Here's a brief press release that explains, in part, how new funds will be used:
Also, check out this new behind-the-scenes video:
And the latest trailer:
——- ORIGINAL POST, TUESDAY, MAY 15, 11:44 A.M. ——-
News from the filmmaking front-line, Tuesday, May 15: "Filming began Saturday, May 12, near Greeley and continued today in Colorado Springs. We will be filming around the state until June 1."
You know, stuff like this:
Filmmaker Sarah Lotfi raised $5,585 through her Indiegogo campaign and that was apparently enough to get going, though a link on the film's home page still seeks tax-deductible donations toward a $30,000 goal to help pay for pyrotechnics, ammunition blanks, crew meals and much more.
Take another look at the authentic costuming and equipping of the actors:
Considering how our community and many outsiders rallied to help raise $70,151 for Creep! to move forward, it's certainly not unrealistic to think we could dig a little deeper to make sure Menschen gets to the festival circuit on time.
I know one person who'd really be thankful:
Now this is how you get an editor's attention inside the first line of a pitch letter:
Hello, I am with a group of local film makers who are working to produce a pilot for a television series here in the Colorado area about two friends that travel to 1774 where they must team up with George Washington to chop down a mutated cherry tree that is causing the dead to rise from their graves.
Short, sweet, local ... and oh yeah, zombie-centric.
Ambitiously, perhaps too much so, Fenczik has set a Kickstarter goal of $98,700, thus far backed by 11 donors for a total of $1,221.
By contrast, Sarah Lotfi only asked for $9,658 in assistance to make Menschen. (She got $5,484.)
And veteran filmmaker Pete Schuermann set his sights at $65,000 for Creep! (He got $70,151.)
But who knows, perhaps backers will respond with strong support for this fantasy, historical time-travel series, which has much more in store if it can first get that mutated cherry tree chopped down.
From the Kickstarter site, here's what would be ahead:
Whether it’ s fighting zombie’s with George Washington, trying to sink the Titanic to keep murderous monsters from reaching land, bringing Amelia Earhart to the future, helping John Wilkes Booth destroy a robot Abraham Lincoln, or facing off against Nikola Tesla as he tries to steal their technology and use it himself… It’s never what you’d expect or learned about in history class.
Check out this brief video for a couple laughs and the general tenor of Fenczik's humor:
And a whole lot of fundraising and fuss since then.
Cameras will roll starting Monday, June 25 and the production schedule calls for 35 days currently.
A press release from earlier today says the film will be shot 95 percent in Colorado Springs with a production team almost entirely assembled from in-state as well.
We'll keep you posted throughout the filming, editing and post-production process. Here's wishing it won't take two more years to land a distributor and all that.
May the digestive fury and slow-moving power of the carpet monster be with the crew as they venture into action.
(That's like saying "break a leg," but a little less cliché and more fear-based.)
Whenever I sing, I'm told I sound just like Celine Dion.
Kidding. I invite comparisons to a lawnmower being run over rocks or feral cat with strep throat. If you sound better than either of those things, check out Pikes Peak Sings, a Pikes Peak Leadership project seeking people for a filmed local rendition of "America the Beautiful." You trivia junkies may recall that Katharine Lee Bates wrote the song after she visited the summit of Pikes Peak, so it's ideal for promoting the region.
There will be two public filming sessions this month:
June 18 at 8 a.m.
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
West Side Entrance
215 S. Tejon St.
June 27 at 8 a.m.
Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center
Upstairs Outdoor Balcony
1805 N. 30th St.
Pikes Peak Sings is also accepting individual submissions, preferably those shot in scenic locations around the city. If you would like to make your own video, read up on the submission rules here. The finished product will be shown during the Spirit of the Springs celebration at America the Beautiful Park on Aug. 14.
The project draws inspiration from "The Grand Rapids LipDub." The video, shown below, has received over 4 million hits on YouTube since it was posted in May 2011, and film critic Roger Ebert calls it "the greatest music video ever made." Tim Leigh, city councilman, who led a small group that decided on a Colorado Springs version, aims for it to garner similar national attention.