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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Preparing, prepping, pre-production.

The time is right around the corner to officially pull the trigger and buy our plane tickets to India. We've been in pre-production mode now for months. Months of tossing around ideas, discussing the possibilities, and trying to determine the best way to move a film crew around India while still reserving enough time and energy to film our documentary.

The story has evolved, but it hasn't changed much. I'm personally trying to focus on the over-arching plot of Greg trying to pick up a musical style that's unfamiliar to him, because I think that's what most viewers will be able to relate most easily... the simple idea of challenge.

One small change we've made to the story is the introduction of a prop, which will help me communicate (and the audience understand) the providence of the sounds that will appear in the final scenes of the film. Greg will be using an old-school Nagra tape recorder to gather sounds as he moves through the wilds and back-waters of Kerala. I've always admired these machines, and I cant wait to get ours and put it to use... plus... how many props serve as a functional backup for the audio system on set?

The Nagra Sound Recorder

I cant wait to dig in to the various sub-textual elements of the story... concepts like fate, predestination, social ranking, nature, and wildlife.

Our schedule is about to be finalized, at least on the day-to-day basis. We have many details to fill in during the last few months of preproduction... we need to hire a local 'fixer' to help us move around efficiently. We need to hire a local sound recordist, and possibly a local lighting specialist.

The great thing is that the story is becoming quite concrete in my own mind, and that should help the production move along smoothly. Indecision is the sand in the gears of a production. Planning and high morale is the lubrication... and cash doesn't hurt either.

If you or anyone you know want to dip their pinky into the film business, we're currently seeking additional funding to support the production. Things are looking good on the business side... our TV distribution firm Ampersand has already been fielding inquiries about the documentary.

Anticipation is high to say the least.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Enter the WAV

It's pretty clear the main reason I was engaged to give a workshop at the International School in Como, Italy, this June was due to a recent acquisition: the NS Design WAV electric violin. The Italians weren't particularly impressed by my experiences with the Strad in Philadelphia - they'd just heard I could play a bunch of different styles. I walked in with the electric, and it pretty much sealed the deal.

Can't help but think the WAV might turn out to be my secret weapon through journeys to come...

(500) Days of Philadelphia

DAY (500): 10 December 2009. 7:59 pm.

The Philadelphia Orchestra's on the TV. You never get to see live broadcasts of the legendary ensemble where I live in Louisville, Colorado. I watch the audience find their velvet seats along the stage, already full of musicians, in Philadelphia's magnificent Verizon Hall.

There's a knock at my dressing room door and I turn away from the TV monitor. I give my bow one last swipe of rosin. I tuck a 300 year-old Stradivarius under my arm. I breathe.

For the past year and a half, I've known this day would come.

I'll never be able to go back to what I was. Now I go foward with a different confidence, one I hope will take me from this place I never thought I'd reach, to distant dreams I have yet to imagine.