June 19, 2017
I love documentary films on so many levels. The simplicity to the story telling and the “everyman” subject matter often connects with me. I have sat and watched documentaries about artists, athletes, politicians and topics as diverse as our food supply and scaling Everest. Our first summer at One River we rolled out a documentary film class and asked students to bring a personal topic to class.
Here’s a range of subjects that we covered that year: “The Armenian Holocaust”, “The History of the NY Rangers”, ‘Is Cheerleading a Sport?” among others. This camp allowed us to begin to teach filmmaking without the challenges of acting and scenery etc… and the results were amazing.
This fall we will roll out a new ambitious nine month Teen Documentary Filmmaking class that will culminate in short documentary films via small groups of students. We will hold screenings including our first film festival and we will show these worldwide online at our new branded website.
Get more info below.
Documentary Film for Teens…three part course, small groups, screening and online film festival.
One River Film School… has a nice ring to it!
September 19, 2016
March 16, 2015
I want to go on record right now, I am getting an Apple Watch. To be clear, I don’t want to measure how many steps I walk a day on it. Nor do I care about my REM sleep. According to Apple, the Watch “gives you a complete picture of your all-day activity”. Who is so obsessive to break down their entire day into a complete picture of everything you did and stare at your damn watch for the results! “OMG, I ate 37 raisins each with .7 grams of carbs…chart that in my sugar tracker and send me an email now!”
Here’s why I am getting the watch. It’s beautiful. I want to hate it but it looks amazing. To be clear about this, I want to tell everyone I am not getting one because that feels like the right thing to do, but I am so intrigued. I want to start to shift away from Apple’s force field but I am stuck. They are the kings of design…form and function perfectly melded into one.
Maybe it goes back to my man Dick Tracy. When I was a little kid, I watched the Dick Tracy cartoons, I played with the ridiculous free Dick Tracy toy that came in a cereal box and I freaked out over the Dick Tracy watch that my mother bought me. It’s so crazy that the most farfetched concepts are actually coming to life…the Dick Tracy watch lives! I wonder if Dick would use it to figure out his Yoga routine?
Monday, March 16, 2015
February 16, 2015
Like a lot of people these days, I find it much easier to wait for movies to be available on demand, but this year I jumped in and have seen a bunch of the major Oscar contenders. Which brings me to Whiplash. Dos Pulgares Arriba…Two Thumbs Up!
The movie had a strong personal connection for me since I have spent a lot of time teaching music and art to teens and kids. The question gets down to what method of teaching drives perfection and I am not sure there is an absolute answer. For most people in the world, perfection is not the goal and more importantly is not possible to achieve.
Our program at One River and the one we built at School of Rock drives an enhanced level of seriousness and rigor over time, but a key attribute for both is “having fun.” We believe in our ability to help turn on the fire so the “joy of doing” fuels practice, a sense of wonder and inevitably great skill development reflected in amazing outcomes.
The challenge at hand in Whiplash is simple. Once you make that leap to “go pro,” you are playing for keeps. Whether your goal is the symphony, showing your work at a museum or making it in sports for that matter, hard work is often the differentiator. To me, finding a great coach who will push you to limit AND care about your well-being will prevent whiplash.
Monday, February 16, 2015
November 3, 2014
Watching TV is a huge challenge for me no matter how innovative the show may seem. Last night I sat down to watch Homeland (episode 4…I’m behind) and found my thoughts drifting away every ten minutes. No matter how hard they tried to build drama, I just wasn’t going to buy in. This is my personal struggle with TV…once I have seen the premise it is hard for me to watch the same basic story again.
With film, the task is different because the commitment is much less serious. If you don’t like it, you move on…you don’t have to sit through six episodes and then feel guilty because you are done with it! Having said that, your taste filter is generally kicking in by about minute thirty when the voice in your head says, ”if this doesn’t get better in the next fifteen minutes I’m done!”
Birdman. Minute one exciting. Minute five better. Minute 20 insane…get my drift? I have never seen a more original work of art on film. The acting, sound design, and directing combine to create the most compelling film I have seen in ten years…maybe all time. OK, go see this film now and if you don’t like it I’m buying lunch!
And this Saturday, come see the opening of our new exhibition called 12” from 3-6PM. Some of the world’s most compelling artist’s pay homage through their art to rock albums that inspired them. We will have live performances from the School of Rock as well. BTW: Christian Marclay is in the show (he won the Golden Lion at the Venice Bienalle in 2011)…the Birdman is coming to Englewood!
Monday, November 3, 2014
December 16, 2013
August 6, 2013
Monday Thoughts: Story Telling
No matter what the medium, I am always searching for the underlying story. Sometimes it hits you right in the face and other times it requires you to dig deeper. Over the last few years, I have found myself more and more interested in documentary films, a medium where the film maker has a very specific story to tell and the art-form is determined by their ability to draw you in emotionally so that you can develop a personal connection to the specific story at hand.