Well I finally got around to posting this, 5 years after the fact.
In 2005 a group of friends and creative spirits got together to participate in the Los Angeles Independent Film and Video Festival. The challenge and task of entry was to write, shot, edit and deliver a short film in one weekend. The only creative guideline was that the film had to subscribe to genre and plot specifics that would not be provided to us until 6pm on the Friday of the weekend in question.
Our group met on a couple of occasions to talk through team member roles, introduce cast members, and brainstorm possible theme and character ideas that could be prescribed to any genre- our only way of getting ahead of storytelling principles under the circumstances.
My conceptual starting point was a broad re-telling of the Pennsylvania “through hike murders”. You can read an account of this real-life horror story HERE. I knew the details of the crime and its participants casually at best, but something about the tragically delusional dedication to misguided creativity seemed to me ripe for a story of any genre.
The production gang circled in on the story, and at 6pm that Friday we were given “comedy”. We set to work and the result is the short film below, entitled “Thru-Hike: The Movie.” We placed as a finalist in the film festival which screened our film a few weeks later.
Stick around for credits but want to make sure to include shout outs for the following friends and collaborators who contributed significantly in individual ways:
Sam Mercer, Adrienne Shostak, and Susie Ruckle for their acting; Leigh Miller for writing, producing, editing and his debut acting performance; James Bilgihan for photography and sound; Breann Murel for helping curate the whole process; James Mason for music; and Craig and Neal Yakelis for telling me the story of Through Hike in the first place.
Shot in Griffith Park, LA.
“All Summer” by Kid Cudi, Bethany from Best Coast, Rostam from Vampire Weekend.
Following up on their previous promotional toe-tapper “My Drive Thru” by Santi, Pharrell and Julian Casablancas, Converse dropped this infectious ditty on us in the early summer and it went straight into serious rotation in my iPod/car/office.
This song scores on a few levels. It made me finally appreciate the wacko charms of Kid Cudi, set up Best Coast’s frontwoman with a chorus as catchy as anything on her album, and showcases Rostam’s taste as a drummer, arranger and overall bandleader.
The video came next (see below), but the real treat for me was seeing all three participants perform the song, one time only, at a very sweaty event at North 6 in Williamsburg.
(Big thumbs down to Converse for not creating their own branded, embeddable HD video player here. Missed opportunity to have their logo in the many sites that have editorialized this thing.)
Enjoy this new addition to the canon of cherished holiday songs. From a true Irish Londoner, a tune so authentic you can practically smell the beer-soaked wood of the pub counter.
More of Bjorn’s music here: http://www.myspace.com/bjornbaillie
After All (..it’s Christmas time) by Bjorn Baillie
This year’s South By Southwest festival was full of memorable experiences. Carney’s multiple face-melting electric sets, meeting Nicole Atkins in the street, Miike Snow and Courtney Love at the Spin party, and more amazing sudden late night street performances than I have space to recap here.
Also this happened:
But nothing came close to experiencing Muse in a crowd of 1800 people at Stubbs BBQ. Arguably one of the world’s greatest live bands, we watched them unleash an airtight set of hits from “Knights of Cydonia” to the new album gems, lasers projecting into the Austin sky above. Magic!
MUSE | Myspace Video
In the spirit of year-end Top 10’s and recaps, I’ve decided to post a collection of some of the most memorable media and cultural tidbits from the year that was 2010.
Albums, songs, shows, parties, videos, movies, memes… all qualify for a mention here. If it made me stop and take notice, I’ll honorably return the favor.
**Note: These are personal to me, NOT what I consider to be the “best.” Overwrought music reviews tend to reflect more about the journalist’s self-image than anything going on in the music (I’m looking at you: Sacha Frere-Jones, Pitchfork). I want to hear a recommendation I might like to listen to, not watch you impress the world with your great taste. This is merely a tribute so enjoy!
Making a halfway attempt to keep these chronological, let’s kick things off…
“Take my picture Hollywood… I want to be a star”
January 31, Lady Gaga and Elton John at the Grammy Awards in LA. I was sitting in the next to last row at Staples, with a few friends that have been in the middle of the Gaga adventure from the start. The performance was a crazed spectacle from start to finish, but watching her emerge with Elton John in the throes of “Speechless” brought a climax to 2 years of big dreams coming true for one of the world’s most inspired and ambitious artists.
Maybe you had to be there. But I was, and it was a thrill, and I’ll never forget it.
Lady GaGa & Elton John at 2010 Grammys
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