Silent Film Fridays launches Friday, December 6th at City Auditorium
New program pairs classic silent films with live “soundtrack” performed on historic Mighty Wurlitzer.
The film is silent. Not so, the Mighty Wurlitzer.
DOWNTOWN COLORADO SPRINGS – A new film series will launch Friday, December 6th at City Auditorium, 221 E. Kiowa Street at 8p.m. Screenings will continue monthly on the first Friday of each month through May 2014.
Experience silent films how they used to be done. Back in the day, the “pre-talkies” screened with live musical accompaniment. Huge pipe organs replicated orchestral music and movie sound effects, all against the whir of the film and projector reels. Silent Film Fridays presents a series of film classics with live music performed on downtown’s historic Mighty Wurlitzer by the Pikes Peak Area Theater Organ Society.
“Arts and culture play a central role in the health and vitality of Downtown Colorado Springs, and downtown has so many one-of-a-kind cultural experiences,” says Susan Edmondson, President and CEO for Downtown Partnership, continuing, “We’re thrilled to offer a chance to wonder at the magic of the silent film era in this way.”
Friday’s event presents a Laurel and Hardy double feature, with the holiday comedy Big Business (1929) and Their Purple Moment (1928). The movie “soundtrack” will be performed live by Las Vegas-based concert organist John Ledwon. Ledwon has performed nationally and internationally, and has served as President and Board Member for the American Theatre Organ Society. For the past 15 years, Ledwon has been an organist for Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.
Now housed in the City Auditorium, the “Mighty Wurlitzer” was originally installed in 1927 in the Burns Opera House. When the Opera House was slated for demolition in 1973, members of the Pikes Peak Area Theater Organ Society spent thousands of hours to save the organ. After carefully dismantling and removing the organ, members then rebuilt it for installation in the City Auditorium in 1979.
Silent Film Fridays is presented as a partnership between Downtown Colorado Springs, the City of Colorado Springs City Auditorium, and the Pikes Peak Area Theater Organ Society. Support comes in part from Colorado Creative Industries, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Boettcher Foundation as part of downtown’s Creative District programming.
This month’s screening is timed to coincide with First Friday Downtown, which features free gallery openings, artist receptions, and performances from 5 to 8 p.m. at more than 20 venues on the first Friday of the month. Admission to Silent Film Fridays is a suggested donation of $5, with free admission for those 17 and under. Beer, wine, and popcorn will be available for purchase at the hour long event.
And it's Eric Shaw for the win!
At last night's 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, Shaw and colleagues Tom Martin, Jack Ferraiolo, Jayne Hamil and Ryan Raddatz walked away with the award for Outstanding Writing in Animation for WordGirl.
A big congrats to them all.
——- ORIGINAL POST: WEDNESDAY., MAY 8, 4:50 P.M. ——-
Shaw is currently the lead writer on PBS Kids' WordGirl, and has previously written for SpongeBob SquarePants and several other children's shows.
From CC's release, here are more details:
... Shaw, a resident of Colorado Springs, taught Beginning Screenwriting during Block 4 last year. He enjoys teaching new writers because “it's what we can offer to other writers: read their work, critique them, and give a great set of notes. It’s an obligation that, all too often, isn't fulfilled,” he says. Shaw also has ... guest lectured at universities around the world, from UCLA to the New York Institute of Technology to the United Kingdom.
The nomination “really means a lot to me because I feel a special connection to the series, the people I worked with, and to where we produced the show: Watertown, Massachusetts,” he said.
“WordGirl” is a children’s animated television series for children ages 6 to 11, designed to teach about the expansive English language and its vocabulary. Produced by Soup2Nuts, the animation unit of Scholastic Entertainment for PBS Kids, the show began as a series of shorts and was spun off into a 30-minute episodic series in September 2007.
“WordGirl, ” which also is nominated for “Outstanding Children’s Animated Program,” is up against Nickelodeon series such as “Penguins of Madagascar,” “Kung Fu Panda,” “Robot and Monster,” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” The 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards will be presented on June 16.
If for some reason you can't make (or wait for) tomorrow night's screening of Gasland Part II at UCCS, you could always leave for Boulder. Like, now-ish.
The town's hosting Fracking Documentary Wars, this evening at 6:30, at both the Boulder Marriott and UC Boulder campus. FrackNation will screen at one venue, preceding a Q&A with filmmaker Phelim McAleer. And Gasland Part II will screen at the other at the same time, followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Josh Fox.
Now, it seems to me that the town missed a rare chance to have the filmmakers actually debate in person, rather than split audiences who either see one or the other. Most ideal, were time not a factor, would have perhaps been a back-to-back screening followed by a short debate, then dual Q&A session.
But hey, I'm no event planner and who knows if they guys would have agreed.
Anyway, from a brief press release, here's a little more info on how it all apparently came together:
McAleer said he was invited to screen his film after local groups learned Gasland 2 was going to be screened. Fox's previous film, the first Gasland, has been heavily criticized with claims that he misrepresented and exaggerated the risks of fracking. Fox has been accused of spreading alarmism and scare stories.
McAleer said the local Boulder groups who invited him were concerned that there should be an alternative point of view in town on the night Gasland 2 was being screened.
"Affordable, safe, and abundant energy is an issue that affects the lives of women daily," said Debbie Brown, Director of Colorado Women's Alliance. "We're proud to offer the community a chance to see FrackNation, a bold, well-researched documentary that addresses the scare tactics frequently used in today's energy debate."
McAleer said he was delighted to bring FrackNation to Boulder.
"I think FrackNation's journalism stands up against the scare stories of Gasland 2," said McAleer. "Now the people of Boulder will be able to make up their own minds."
FrackNation, which debunks many of the major scares of the anti-fracking movement, has been praised by the New York Times as "meticulously researched" and "provocative"
According to Variety-the showbusiness bible- FrackNation "makes a good case against [Gasland]" and "debunks the famous Gasland scene of a fracking 'victim' setting his tap water on fire."
FrackNation was funded through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter with 3,305 backers donating $212,265. Gasland 2 received corporate funding from HBO, the cable TV channel.
You might recall the name Tom Shepard from J. Adrian Stanley's feature on Scout's Honor this past February.
The Colorado Springs native turned successful San Francisco-based documentary filmmaker has earned Sundance Film Festival awards for his works that screened nationally on PBS.
Beginning May 1, and running six Wednesdays, 6 to 9 p.m., through June 15, Shepard will return to the Springs to teach "Introduction to Documentary Film" at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center's Bemis School of Art.
The class will cost $254 ($239 members) and here's its synopsis:
This six-week seminar taught by the Sundance Award-Winning PBS filmmaker Tom Shepard introduces students to the history of and current trends in documentary as well as all stages of documentary filmmaking: from conceiving and shaping ideas, pitching and story treatment, production and post-production, and distribution and outreach, including lectures on the business and fundraising of documentaries. In addition to a weekly one-hour lecture, we will screen and discuss one new documentary film each week, highlighting specific techniques and approaches used by different filmmakers. Discussion will focus on questions of narrative strategies, access, ethics and filmmaker/subject rapport. Finally, students can, by appointment, schedule a private consultation with the instructor to discuss their own ideas for making a documentary, advice in creating a strong film treatment and proposal and concrete tips for further development and funding of their projects.
"I'm glad to be bringing this program to Colorado Springs as I think there is a renewed interest in documentary filmmaking these days," Shepard wrote in an email.
"I'm hoping if this is a successful venture, I could make it a regular feature of my visits back to Colorado Springs every Summer. And perhaps it could eventually lead to a larger class/workshop and perhaps even a regular documentary screening series or festival."
"This movie is literally where paranormal thrillers meet stoner comedies."
And should the Kickstarter campaign lock down a requested $200,000, the filmmakers plan to shoot the majority of Out There... between Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Woodland Park.
Here's the pitch video if you care for the visual overview first:
As writer/director Bonné Bartron explains in that pitch, she's got some respectable Hollywood names on board for both sides of the camera, and she claims it has already been slated for international distribution.
The Kickstarter page elaborates that the project had already been funded by two previous producers, "but we've hit a couple of bumps along the way." One of those being a desire by those producers to shoot the film in California instead of Colorado, which was a deal-breaker for Bartron.
Anyway, by now, perhaps via our earlier foray into crowdfunding wins and woes, you're familiar with this whole Kickstarter saga for hopeful filmmakers.
If you find Out There... worthy of a few of your dollars — be it for your affinity for the lore of area cattle mutilations, UFO stories or simply stoner culture or a desire to see more Colorado-based filmmaking — then send some monetary love its way.
In this week's Indy, you'll find this brutal criticism of the film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's nationally cherished On the Road.
The review, by MaryAnn Johanson, doesn't stray far from that of many other critics, considering the film ranks in the 40s among by critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes.
Recently, I heard from one other person greatly dissatisfied with the bludgeoning of the American classic: Trinidad-based film scout Joe Tarabino, who has created the website On (and off) the Road (again).
Tarabino had worked on pre-production scouting efforts for this film several years ago, as this background explains, and he certainly had a vision for a film more faithful to the original text(s).
If you're a big Kerouac fan and care to read the review offered on Tarabino's site, click this document: slow_boat_to_china_.pdf
Otherwise, spend some time on his site for much more beating around the Beats.
A film title can't get much more explicit and damning: Greedy Lying Bastards.
It's clear upfront that environmental activist and executive producer Daryl Hannah isn't out to play nice in her documentary exposé on "the efforts of Big Oil to undermine the scientific consensus on global warming."
Take a look at the trailer here:
Perhaps you think you already know or can guess the storyline. But before you write it off as just another An Inconvenient Truth seeking to sway you with disaster photos paired with filthy-rich white guys protecting their business interests, consider one localized reason to give the doc a chance.
And that reason would be the featuring of three families affected by the Waldo Canyon Fire.
If you know any fire victims personally, you'll likely be able to spot their names on this cast list:
Otherwise, head to Tinseltown the week of March 8 to 14 (and possibly the following week or two, depending on ticket sales and demand) to meet and hear your fellow citizens' stories on the big screen.
Showings are at: 11 a.m., 1:15, 3:30, 5:45, 8 and 10:20.
For more on the film, you can view a full synopsis here:
That's how much Kimball Bayles and crew say they've saved by patiently picking their right moment to move from 35 mm film to digital projection at Kimball's Peak Three.
As we reported back in November, theaters nationwide have been under pressure to "convert or die" in the face of a rapidly transitioning industry.
Theater manager Matt Stevens says that the theater will close from next Monday, March 11 through Wednesday, March 13, and barring any unforeseen delays, reopen on Thursday for regular business.
Regarding that significant savings of money by waiting, Stevens says that many theaters had aimed to convert by the turn of 2013, which kept projector prices steady into late fall and early winter. But after the new year, after many theaters' conversion, prices fell significantly.
As of last November, Bayles had estimated that the conversion could cost him upward of $200,000 for three new screens and a new sound system. But by holding tight, his final bill should come in closer to $150,000.
Recently, the theater has been struggling to get timely 35 mm prints if any were available at all from certain distribution companies.
The move to digital — which is actually small, many-terabyte hard drives shipped via snail mail just like the former 35 mm film prints — should give Kimball's a greater access to films and Stevens projects (no pun intended) that they will screen more films in the future closer to actual release dates (versus waiting for prints to become available after screening in larger markets).
As our former article noted, there is no immediate return on investment for Kimball's and other small theaters (they won't necessarily sell more seats), but patrons should enjoy the improved picture and sound quality and greater film selection.
Stevens does note that some labor cost will be saved as staff will no longer have to assemble the 35 mm prints, freeing up manpower for other tasks. The new files will take roughly half a day to upload to the house system, for those interested in how it all works.
And on that note, if you want to keep an eye on the actual tear-down and build up, Stevens says he'll be posting photo updates on Kimball's Facebook page.
Girl Rising has tipped, meaning it will screen on Wednesday, April 3 at 7:30 p.m. at Carmike 10.
As of this update, some 167 seats have been sold and only 33 remain available.
Now would be a good time to snag one of the open seats, as the organizers are confident the showing will sell out.
—— ORIGINAL POST, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 7:45 P.M. ——
As per Gathr's format, the film will only screen with 100 commitments from audience members.
So, why should you care to go?
Let's let the trailer speak to that question first:
And from further 10x10 info on the film:
From Academy Award-nominated director Richard E. Robbins, Girl Rising is an innovative feature film that spotlights the stories of nine unforgettable girls born into unforgiving circumstances. Journeying around the globe to witness the strength of the human spirit, Girl Rising demonstrates the power of education to change a girl — and the world.
Each girl’s story is written by a renowned writer from her native country: Marie Arana, Edwidge Danticat, Mona Eltahawy, Aminatta Forna, Zarghuna Kargar, Maaza Mengiste, Sooni Taraporevala, Manjushree Thapa, and Loung Ung.
These stories are narrated by celebrated actresses: Cate Blanchett, Priyanka Chopra, Selena Gomez, Anne Hathaway, Salma Hayek, Alicia Keys, Chloë Moretz, Freida Pinto, Meryl Streep, and Kerry Washington. Girl Rising also features Freida Pinto and Liam Neeson, as well as original music from Academy Award-winner Rachel Portman and Lorne Balfe.
Girl Rising previewed at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, during an event hosted by strategic partner, Intel, with special guests Freida Pinto and Edwidge Danticat. The film makes its theatrical debut on March 7, 2013 — the eve of International Women’s Day.
Girl Rising will be distributed traditionally in New York and Los Angeles, and on demand in hundreds of cities across the country.
Lastly, as if you needed more, the film has one connection to Colorado Springs via 10x10 staffer Justin Reeves:
Reeves' sister Jessica, also a Springs resident, is organizing this event attempt. She notes that Justin "has been working on this film with 10x10 in New York City and has done a TED talk in Brazil in order to bring awareness to the issue of girls education throughout the world."
Jessica also notes that "a portion of Girl Rising ticket sales will help fund programs for girls, so seeing the film literally makes an impact on girls’ lives."