Thursday, October 21, 2004

Festival Update #4

The festival is expanding by the minute, it seems, and I am so proud to be a part of this project. This is a quick list of what has transpired since the last update:

Ashton Elder has submitted three films

Circle Cinema has agreed to host the alternate film screenings

Tsunami Sushi has agreed to take part in the After Party for November 19th

DJ Jesse James will be our DJ for the same night

Route 66 Diner will be host for the Film Fest Breakfast on Saturday Morning

Alternate films will screen afterwards at Circle Cinema from Noon to 3pm

Cafe Cubana will host a Film Forum from 3pm to 6pm

Then onto the last night!

Bret Mix has submitted his entry for this year.

And the final line-up for the After Party bands is almost set. Confirmed bands are:

Jes Lenee
Brian Parton

The screening process is nearly over and the quest has begun for the final pieces of the puzzle. I think this event will be one that Tulsa will definitely remember. More news later...the fatigued Captain must rest!

Friday, October 15, 2004

Poetic Discourse

As I mentioned in "Festival Update #3", I am revisiting my poetry, not necessarily days of poetry past. I feel like words may, again, find their way into aging hands and the various pen strokes of emancipated verse. It is something I have not felt since last November, the last time I performed. It has been even longer since I have written.

I think that I will always write. It is something that is given to our humanity, our language and our individual sense of awareness. Writing channels the relevance of our purpose in the Universe. It is with this purpose, as with that of the creative gift, that I pursue writing in all forms.

So despite the fact that I have surrendered to this spiritual sabbatical, I knew that I would return to the poetic field with a renewed sense of being. My poetry found a new home and a new form within my screenplays, my songs and my fiction. I have volumes of poetry from two years of writing and performance. It is enough for two volumes of poetry of serious mass, and that is a long term project that I may return to at some point. I have made reprints of my second chapbook, The New Poetry Volume One. I plan to scour these pages and reacquaint myself with words spoken nearly a year ago. This opens the door to Volume Two, which could be complete with relative ease. As I travel abroad, I have the opportunity to express and share my words/thoughts/feelings with new people, people that may (with any hope) appreciate art or the tribulations of expressing oneself through art. I can sell chapbooks to perpetuate the filmmaking process, and I can, once again, change the world. With these words, I feel good.

I have other projects that also demand my attention. I have not, as of yet, committed my handwritten autobiographical opus, 1973, to typed form. This is a multi-chapter piece that is no less than my life from birth to the eve of my 29th Birthday, in which the twenty-nine page introspection was unveiled. It was well received, and has been read only once or twice since that night. An excerpt from 1973 was used in the Blue November Creations Promo, designed and shot on Mini DV by Bret Mix for last year's festival. I feel it is powerful work, and I am proud to have created those pages.

What was the reason for my disembarking from this verbal theatre? People...times...places. I worked very hard to create an artistic atmosphere for the artist and audience. There is so much disrespect in the world, and at times, I think Tulsa has become the focal point. Even our arts community is pretentious and rude. There are those places of respite, but the energy here is predominantly negative. I have survived by creating my own success, my own environment, my own energy. This place is intellectual and artistic death.

I think that, in regards to my recent reflection of poetry past, my words will become a definite element alongside my films. Through various outlets and through my website, I may be able to sell chapbooks and, eventually, published books. It is also my intention of "giving away" select poetry, by submitting complete works on the web, and previews of additional poetry. I think it always important to share art.

Captain out.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Festival Update #3

The quest continues! Here we are, with little more than a month until the Opening Night, and I have uplifted spirits swirling around me, and the World is singing as I begin, to a limited degree, to revisit poetry past and look forward to cinematic future! This is a great time to be alive, if you know where to look and what to look for!

Last night, several conversations took place that set into motion the finalization of the After Party scenario that has plagued the festival thus far. I already have one of the largest events held in Tulsa, both artistically and musically, as my primary competition, and carefully placing and organizing events around this obstacle is as challenging as securing those events. Still, I have to say that this has been a challenging stretch of highway, but not impossible.

Tsunami Sushi has agreed to take on the first After Party on the Nineteenth of November. We will bring DJ Jesse James, bartender at Caz's and all-around groovy cat, into the Blue November Circle. He will spin 80's New Wave and Alternative for those in attendance, and the facilities will be modified to house additional cinematic hipsters as they dine on the evening specials and sip cocktails.

Vastu has agreed to play on the Twentieth of November, at Venue 216. The After Parties begin at 10:30 and end somewhere around 2am. Vastu will headline on the second night, playing an all electric show which will begin somewhere around 12 Midnite. Brian Parton and Jes Lenee' have also signed on for that same evening.

Our largest task now, is to find a sound engineer for Venue 216.

Tonight will be unusually busy. Fae and I will find ourselves meeting at a possible Festival Participant, Cafe Cubana, to meet with Tulsa filmmaker Ashton Elder and local artist Ali Pullen.

Ashton is delivering her film entries for the festival. I think it should be noted at this point that, despite my repeated efforts to communicate with the Oklahoma Film and Video Studies department at OU in Norman, I only recently received one single entry, whereas Ashton, a Tulsa high school student, has submitted three films! Now, maybe some people will understand my frustration!

Ali is an artist that has submitted works to my Featured Artist Program at the Gypsy Coffeehouse ( so many Moons ago!), she was a supporter and contributor of last year's fest, and she has agreed to create a unique cover design for what will become the marketable "Lightswitch Fades" DVD.

After our first meeting, we will continue to our second rendezvous at Circle Cinema, where will speak with the projectionist concerning the alternate film screening on Saturday, November 20th from 12 Noon until 3:00pm. As you can see, so many things are falling into place, and this festival has tremendous potential.

Tomorrow night will be a night of films and serious decisions. Some will have to be left behind, either for lack of time or simply because they did not make the cut. It is a tough gig, but that is what it takes. It all depends on the central idea, the vision that makes it all happen. What I decide may not coincide with the point-of-view from someone else. That person could have their own festival and program it accordingly. I have heard some who have questioned this method, or who have questioned how I am approaching this endeavor. I have both the ideals for which I stand and the idea, or focus, behind the dream, and that creates the mystique of what is to take place. In the end, it will be an undertaking that stands as an enigma, of unparalleled artistic display! This is my representation, this is my example, my testament. I feel strongly about the truths we have defined, and I am certain about the answers to the questions asked. It is a revelation...or it will be!

Stay tuned...I will post results here, when I have finished!

Stay groovy, people!

Captain out.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Spiraling, in the celluloid dream...

The first born creations of Blue November are swirling in the air of the masses, with a smile poised and ready to strike, and the Mad Man's passionate potion of philosophical piracy tingling on fingertips, cocked and loaded, with the push-button of a pen; mightier than the sword, or a sword in sheep's clothing!

I have sent both creations abroad: Denver Underground, Philadelphia Underground and Music Philm Festival, Phoenix, Troma, Undergroundfilm.Org and the Festival of Horror. Each an opportunity for either rejection or acceptance, and each a new chapter in the journey. I will reveal more, as the story continues...

I am in a constant focal point. My thoughts are trained on this feature film, of which I will say little. I have the dream alive in my head, and it is traveling. I have so many thoughts on the matter that it would be impossible to sit and write at this moment. Time will come!

Derick and Jes, good friends, have arrived in the Port of Tulsa. Their energy is welcome, and they bring stories and fluttering spirits of creative starbursts and joy.

My lovely one, Fae, has been doing so well with the evil torment of Mid West tendencies. Her beauty cannot hide, and it always shines. She makes me smile.

Christopher Reeve has died, but not in vain.

The [Tulsa] Fair has come and gone. No more corn dogs or "whatever-you-want-on-a-stick" least for awhile. The Gin Blossoms and Loverboy offered magical musical moments. Sigh.

I am at work (creatively)! A nice little escape from Tulsa is in the future. A chance to relax and focus, and to scout locations!

I will bring more to life, when the moment consumes me.

Stay groovy, cosmic travelers!

Captain out.

The Road to Blue November

This is my first log entry in the month of October. Events have unraveled and subsequently been pasted together again, all within the interior mechanics of the festival design. The highs and lows are more apparent at this stage than they were before.

The first week of October (coincidentally, the last week of September) saw the first newspaper article regarding the festival. John Wooley of the Tulsa World interviewed me over the phone on September 22. Originally slated for the Sunday paper, it was printed the following Wednesday.

I had also begun the process of securing an after party venue. I called the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame and the Greenwood Cultural Center to discuss the matter, since my first choice (Venue 216) was, at that time, unreachable. So, from September 27th until just last week somewhere around the 6th or 7th, I was playing a wicked game of phone tag that finally resulted in a complete waste of time. I was told the venue, being the Greenwood Cultural Center, would require renting of the space for $1400, although they offered the discount price of $900! Keep in mind that, when it is all said and done, both of my festivals combined will not even breach the halfway mark of what they offered. I have secured a free venue, a free after party venue (after dealing with the aforementioned disappointment!) and I have, for the second year in a row, created a totally free festival of film, music and art! I find that many of the “community supportive” organizations are anything but, and that, once again, it is an issue of money.

After this situation ended (and after I stopped laughing) I called Venue 216 and tried again. More often than not, when a door is slammed in your face, another one will open; that is the case regarding my story. After weeks of leaving messages, I was able to contact the owner of Venue 216 again, and I began working with his counterpart. And then…

Originally scheduled on the first day of my festival, the Spot Music Awards posed an interesting problem. Not only did this event create an undesirable element of competition, it also absorbed some of the musical talent and press contacts I had hoped for. Then, as if luck smiled down upon me and winked, the schedule changed to the 12th of November. Crisis averted.

Actually…, crisis not averted. Just last week, I found out that a band was coming to town that I would love to see, and so I checked the venue’s website. This same venue is the location of the Spot Music Awards. According to this website and the official website for the event, the proceedings (being the Spot Music Awards) will take place on November 19th, the first night of my festival. This is not like the event is on the other side of Tulsa, but in fact, it is mere walking distance from the Film Fest. So, I have a definite situation to contend with. Yet, as I think about it, the more I realize how there is a good potential to have a full house nonetheless, and I am prepared for low attendance, if it occurs.

This is a problem that I am still working on. Venue 216 is one of several after party locations for the Spot Awards. I have several friends, mainly musicians, that are either attending or are nominated. Ordinarily, that would free them from playing on the 19th, but then they would be available for the 20th, right? For the most part, yes. I have Brian Parton and VASTU on the bill so far, with a few more artists on my call list. I have decided to schedule the bands at Venue 216 on the 20th only, and go for a more casual atmosphere for the first night. This will be a relaxing, lounge-type environment where the filmmakers can mingle and discuss art. I am currently in negotiations with Tsunami Sushi in the downtown area. My friend, Jocelyn, has a new band called Rook. Unfortunately, they will not be able to be a part of the Festival this year, since they are nominated at the Awards Show, and they have a gig on the second night of the festival. Still, they offered and I am grateful and appreciative of that.

As of today, I have secured Circle Cinema 2 as an alternate venue for additional films. We will present the films, which may be primarily features, on Saturday, November 20th from 12:00pm to 3:00pm. All films will be included in the competition.

The frustrating thing to me is that it is so easy to give the space and the time and even the funds, and no one cooperates. Well, a few actually cooperate, but this community could do so much more and, instead, they are hungry for money and prestige, not art and the proliferation thereof. All it takes are a few willing people, and really, that is what I have achieved here. I have had some amazing people offer their time and money and their talents and/or labor. I just can’t help the feeling that so much more could be done. I had to struggle to obtain entries from my own State! I could have the entire town alive with artist and filmmakers and music and lights….if I only had the proper environment.

So, as you can see, being a festival promoter is not an easy task, and promoting a free festival is of an even greater challenge. But I love the challenge, and it is more rewarding than most people will know. It is frustrating, but a dedicated and passionate vision is all you need….oh, and patience! It all pays off in the end.

The selection process is currently underway and over 200 press contacts have been sent in the mail. I have to convert my Italian entry over to NTSC, and I am still waiting on a documentary from Microcosm Publishing in Portland, Oregon, and I have a film being sent from the Philippines that has not yet arrived. I am excited and nervous, knowing that in one week, the festival will be a month away. The “amazing” has yet to begin!