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The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann Scores in Netflix Ratings

Netflix has unveiled its most popular titles internationally with true-crime doc The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann topping the UK list.

In the United States, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann ranked as the seventh most popular documentary on Netflix.

As reported in DEADLINE, “The streamer hasn’t officially revealed the methodology, but the list is thought to have been based on the number of accounts in each country that have watched at least two minutes of a title during its first 28 days on Netflix this year. For series, only the most popular season is counted and for shows and movies that have been released recently, the rankings are based on 28-day projections derived from the initial sampling.

The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, which told the story of the missing British child, who vanished from the seaside resort of Praia de Luz in Portugal, while on holiday with her family. launched in March. It was directed by Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened and Jim & Andy director Chris Smith, produced by Pulse Films and Paramount Television and exec produced by Emma Cooper and Thomas Benski.

‘The Crown’ Fails To Make Netflix’s Lists Of Its Most Popular Shows In The UK

Top 10 Most Popular Releases of 2019 (UK):
The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann
6 Underground
Murder Mystery
The Witcher
The Irishman
After Life
Stranger Things 3
Our Planet
Sex Education
Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes: Limited Series

 

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“The Animal People” Los Angeles Premiere

After it’s debut at the Austin Film Festival last month, this weekend our own Casey Suchan, Sasha Perry and Brian Palmer brought “The Animal People” to Los Angeles at the Santa Monica Film Festival. They were joined for the West Coast premiere by Executive Producer Joaquin Phoenix.

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American Music

(Feature Music Documentary, Work in Progress) The textbook American cult band of the 1980s, the Violent Femmes captured the essence of teen angst with remarkable precision; raw and jittery, the trio’s music found little commercial success but nonetheless emerged as the soundtrack for the lives of troubled adolescents the world over. The group formed in the early ’80s, and comprised singer/guitarist Gordon Gano, bassist Brian Ritchie, and percussionist Victor DeLorenzo. After being discovered by the Pretenders’ James Honeyman-Scott, the Violent Femmes signed to Slash and issued their self-titled 1983 debut, a melodic folk-punk collection which struck an obvious chord with young listeners who felt a strong connection to bitter, frustrated songs like “Blister in the Sun,” “Kiss Off,” and “Add It Up.” The album remained a rite of passage for succeeding generations of teen outsiders, and after close to a decade in release, it finally achieved platinum status. “American Music” is a warts-and-all exploration of the bands history, including all the of music and the turmoil. For instance, Gordon Gano and bassist Brian Ritchie have navigated lawsuits over the use of their iconic punk masterpiece, “Blister In the Sun”, after Gano licensed the song for use in a Wendy’s TV commercial. Other infighting has also plagued the band in recent years, including the departure of original drummer Victor DeLorenzo not once, but twice. From idealistic youth to extended layoff, the Violent Femmes have navigated some significant obstacles along the way to alternative rock icons. “American Music” will take us through it all. For a treatment on this project click here. Directed by Tim Irwin & Manny Marquez Produced by Jeremy Coon Edited by Barry Poltermann

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“I Am Not Alone” wins Audience Award at TIFF

Premiering earlier this week, I AM NOT ALONE was a breakout film at the Toronto International Film Festival, winning first-runner up for the The Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award and garnering rave reviews.

From the Hollywood Reporter:

“Had they unfolded in a work of fiction, the events of I Am Not Alone might be hard to buy. Over a mere 40 days, one man’s cross-country walk to protest political corruption draws a small following that blossoms into huge gatherings and acts of civil disobedience, ultimately taking down Armenia’s authoritarian regime. Not only that, but in what might otherwise be considered a heavy touch of Hollywood corn, this people’s power movement gains an adorable, loyal mascot in the form of a stray dog who joins the march on day one.

These recent events, not widely reported in the United States, are captured from the impassioned front lines as well as the more calmly considered aftereffects in Garin Hovannisian’s eye-opening documentary. Filming alongside the movement’s leader from the first days of the 2018 rebellion, and incorporating footage recorded by citizen journalists and phone-wielding protesters, the director manages to convey personal and national histories in succinct fashion. He’s less interested in political specifics, which aren’t always clear, than in a communal sense of awakening. In this heightened political moment, the film (whose executive producers include Joe Berlinger and System of a Down’s Serj Tankian) will likely find eager audiences on the fest circuit and beyond for its compelling vision of contemporary nonviolent revolution.”

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“Red, White & Wasted” Premieres at Tribeca Film Festival

Editor Michael Vollmann was on hand at the Tribeca Film Festival yesterday for the world premiere of “Red, White & Wasted”.

Early review from FILM PULSE:

Red, White & Wasted is an entertaining and, dare I say, fascinating look into this world that many of us simply aren’t a part of, and therein lies the need for slice-of life-documentaries like this. It may be almost as messy as the trucks heading back from the Yacht Club, but movies like this are a gateway into the nooks and crannies of our country and serve as a sociological time capsule of this time and place.”

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“The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann” drops on Netflix

Launching tomorrow on Netflix — we were honored to be brought in as part of the team of editors to help put this mammoth undertaking together.

From The Atlantic:

“Over eight episodes, available on Netflix on March 15, the series compiles a staggering amount of information, patching together archival news footage and hundreds of hours of new interviews with key figures in the case. It’s granular, but also gripping. In the show, as in real life, the answer to the question of what happened to Madeleine seems to be perpetually, tantalizingly just out of reach.”

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Operation Allie

(Documentary Short, 2016, Big Sky Film Fest) Anthony Marquez, a former Marine and military dog handler, has returned from Afghanistan. He lost 17 friends in the war, and has been suffering from the effects of PTSD. When he finds out that the dog that he went through the war with, Allie, is being retired from the Marine Corp, he sets out to adopt her. Currently on the festival circuit. Director: Manny Marquez Editor: Matt Prekop Executive Producer: Ryan Dembroski Story Supervisor: Michael Vollmann

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The Life of Reilly

(Feature Film, 2006, Premiere SXSW) Original SXSW Trailer.

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Denis Henry Hennelly (director)

Denis Henry Hennelly has directed three feature films – Rock The Bells (Warner Home Video), Bold Native, and Goodbye World (Samuel Goldwyn Films).

The critically acclaimed documentary Rock The Bells premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and earned comparisons to Gimme Shelter and Woodstock. Premiere called it “outright exhilarating,” and The Village Voice hailed it as “a nerve-racking knockout of a film.”

Bold Native, the first fiction film about the Animal Liberation Front, was self-distributed through dozens of sold-out event screenings and via digital platforms. Hip Hop mogul Russell Simmons, who hosted the NYC premiere, called it “Creative, fun, and impassioned… I was blown away.”

Goodbye World (starring Adrian Grenier, Gaby Hoffmann, Ben McKenzie, Kid Cudi, Kerry Bishé, Caroline Dhavernas, and Mark Webber) tells the story of a group of estranged friends reuniting as civilization collapses and received praise for its character development and unique story. Screen International said Goodbye World “wears its heart on its sleeve, is engagingly performed, beautifully shot and always absorbing.” Twitchfilm called it “one of the most entertaining indies of the year” and Film Pulse called it “the most charming catastrophe film in theaters right now.”

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Chris James Thompson (director)

Chris James Thompson is an award-winning director whose first feature film The Jeffrey Dahmer Files premiered in competition at the SXSW Film Festival (2012), became a New York Times Critics Pick, and was acquired by IFC for distribution. He also recently completed a short documentary MECCA, which was released by EPSN as part of their ’30-for-30′ series and is currently in post-production on his latest documentary, “A Guantanamo Bay Story”, coming soon. His credits also include work on the films: The Pool (Winner-Sundance Film Festival 2007), Collapse (Toronto International Film Festival 2009) and Suffering & Smiling (Winner-Human Rights Watch Film Festival 2006). Chris also made The Making of the Pool in 2007.   inverttwitterblue instagram copy

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Tim Irwin (director)

Tim Irwin grew up on skateboarding and punk rock. It was a video production class in high school that first put a camera in his hands and he began shooting his friends skateboarding and making documentaries about his friends bands. That’s where it began and he hasn’t stopped pointing his camera at things since. Tim attended BYU where he studied sociology with a minor in film. At the time there was no documentary curriculum in the film department so Tim made his own by majoring in sociology and talking his professors into letting him make documentaries instead of writing research papers. After college, Tim cut his teeth in the professional world by editing several award winning action sports documentaries on professional athletes. This led to shooting and directing several more actions sports films. In 2005 Tim finished directing the seminal punk rock documentary “We Jam Econo” about San Pedro punk band The Minutemen. The Film played in 90 theaters world wide, and had it’s television premiere on the Sundance Channel. Since then Tim has been consistently booked as a DP or Director for clients such as Fuel TV, Paramount Pictures, Fox Sports, Rogue Fitness, Sports Illustrated, Johnson and Johnson, and Oakley Sunglasses. Tim has spent the last 10 years traveling the globe shooting and directing commercials, tv shows, documentaries and corporate branding and marketing spots. He recently finished shooting on a feature length documentary on the band Jawbreaker, Don’t Break Down, which is in post-production. instagram copy

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Dave Myszewski (editor)

Dave Myszewski is a video editor, animator, motion graphics artist, and videographer.

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John Lyons Murphy (writer)

Most recently, Murphy co-directed and produced Kingdom Come, a documentary film that chronicles aspiring filmmaker Daniel Gillies’ quest to make his first feature. The doc features such independent film and Hollywood icons as Mark Ruffalo, Don Cheadle, Edward Burns, Selma Blair, Seth Green, Nicole Holofcener, Robert Townsend, and Bruce Campbell. Kingdom Come is currently running on Showtime and can be found on iTunes, Vudu, and all the usual digital platforms.

Previously, Murphy produced and directed Moonshine To The Finish Line, a documentary telling the story of how Southern whiskey bootleggers turned backwoods racing into the billion dollar industry we now know as NASCAR. The film premiered at The Palm Beach International Film Festival and features such legends of the sport as Junior Johnson and Bobby Allison.

Murphy was also a producer on critically acclaimed documentaries Rock The Bells and The Life Of Reilly, as well as serving as lead producer on narrative drama Broken Kingdom, starring Daniel Gillies, Rachael Leigh Cook, and Academy Award nominee Seymour Cassel.

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David Dahlman (producer)

Dave grew up loving the Harold Lloyd slapstick comedies. “Daring, ridiculous, and funny… but enough about me,” he jokes. “Lloyd was very simple, and very inventive, and I think that’s the essence of effective communication and storytelling.” Dave has also directed and shot some of his own documentaries (including “The Making of ‘The Life of Reilly'”, and that experience gave him the belief that the format would succeed in any medium. Before AboutFace, Dave was president of a commercial production company, Purple Onion, and prior to that went to the University Of Wisconsin – Madison, as he says, “for basic life lessons… which means not counting too much on what you learn in college.”

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Jack Turner

A fine arts graduate of the University of Vermont, Turner has grown into a successful film producer with critically acclaimed credits. Out of college, he was hired as receptionist for October Films in New York City and spent much of his time reading movie treatments and learning what makes a good script. In a few years, he was executive of acquisition and development. He would soon move on to United Artists, a subsidiary of MGM, where he sought U.S., North American or international distribution rights for film projects as well has helped develop, produce and market films. One of his earliest production successes was Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, starring Michael Douglas, Don Cheadle and Benicio Del Toro. Another key acquisition was Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine. Jack then was a founding partner of White Buffalo Entertainment, through which he has produced Racing Dreams. He most recently became a partner in boutique financing entity, The Zoo, and produced the 2012 Sundance Documentary Competition film Me @ The Zoo. Turner first worked with September Club on the documentary The Jeffrey Dahmer Files, directed by director Chris James Thompson, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and was realeased by IFC. Jack is head of scripted series for Matador Content, a New York City company that develops documentaries & television programming.

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Patrick Buckley

Beginning his career as a production assistant on “American Movie”, Pat has since produced hundreds of television commercials and long format works for clients like Nike, Miller Brewing, Thule, Wilson Sports, Under Armour, Firestone, and Trek Bicycle among others. He has worked with and for production companies like @radical media, the Director’s Bureau, Propaganda Films, and Base Productions Hong Kong. Pat also co-directed the documentaries “William Shatner’s Gonzo Ballet” and the September Club project — “The Making of The Pool”.

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Ryan Dembroski (producer)

Starting at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Ryan was planning to be a doctor. Until he got to Organic Chemistry. “On the first day of class, they had a quiz,” Ryan recalls. “I sat there looking at questions about all of the things I was supposed to remember about Chem. 103 and 104 and decided I just wasn’t interested anymore.” So Ryan walked up to the professor and turned in a mostly blank half sheet of paper saying, “Sorry, I’m not sure that this is for me.” She replied something snarky like, “Have fun being an artist.” A few years later, just after graduating, Ryan was in a performance of the play Loose Ends. That same professor was in the audience watching. “I hope she enjoyed the performance,” Ryan laughs. Ryan ended up with a double-major in Theatre And Drama (Acting Specialist) and Communication Arts (Radio, TV, and Film). He then went on to work his way up the production ladder on film, TV, and commercial sets all over the Midwest – production assistant all the way up to producer. “I was a theatre nerd in high school, and learning to craft stories both in front of and behind the camera in college,” he says. “So I think even from when I was a kid enamored of Top Gun, storytelling was always in my blood.”  

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Steve Roeder

Steve began his career as an agency art director. He then worked various positions on the AICP from gripping to art department, finally settling on producing. For the past two decades, Steve has brought his attention to detail and can-do spirit to hundreds of productions. He listens and engages, priding himself on being prepared and having the right answers. He’s also a strong creative type with inventive ideas that improve the creative while respecting the budget. His current side-project is overseeing production on a documentary about acclaimed photojournalist Art Shay. Steve enjoys cycling, English Premier League soccer, attending film festivals and traveling with his wife and two teenage daughters. He can also quote most of the movie Fletch.

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‘After the Apocalypse’ Begins

IMG_7680This just in — Manny reports in that the first Skype call with Henry and Don — two original “Apocalypse Now” cast members — went great. This is a screen snap from the call that ended only minutes ago. He reports that we have some cool stuff lined up! And here’s a screen shot of Don from a scene in “Apocalypse Now”. 12903915_1696137473961914_1493250670_o   Manny is leaving in early April for a two week trip to the Philippines to start working on After the Apocalypse. Stay tuned.

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Whole Meal In

Chef Coleman demonstrates how to prepare a whole meal at one time, in one oven, using Wolf’s dual convection system. Your kitchen is where life happens. Where you share food, drink, conversations and confessions with the people you love. Why not make your kitchen the best it can be? Learn the features and benefits of using Wolf cooking appliances through this fun, engaging and informative series of cooking videos. Owning Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances assures that your food will always stay as fresh and flavorful as possible, and you’ll have the most precise, professional-grade instruments to cook it with, for delicious results every time – and a lifetime of moments worth savoring.

While other brands divide their attention among everything from trash compactors to vacuum cleaners, Sub-Zero and Wolf remain committed to refining and mastering their specialties: the world’s finest refrigeration and cooking appliances.

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Zera: Unsolved

(Feature Documentary) It’s June of 2015 and Kent Schoonover is enjoying his retirement and his new career as a private investigator. He gets a call from Justin Landry saying, “We’re reopening the Zera case. Can you come in and help us with a few things?” Schoonover’s biggest regret in retiring from the police force was not solving the 1976 murder of teen, John Zera. Jonny disappeared from Franklin High School on February 20th, 1976. He was 14. His nude, badly beaten body was found lying face down in the mud 8 days later. His brutal murder has remained unsolved ever since. Schoonover gets one last shot at solving the unsolvable cold case, and it would soon be consuming his life. Over the next few months, the team begins to start over from scratch on the whole case. They interview past leads and witnesses, they retest all the evidence using new DNA standards, and they relook at that old list of over one hundred suspects. The documentary will follow the past and current investigation, and we will get a front row seat to the investigative process. A September Club Production Directors: Rob Schoonover & Manny Marquez    

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Mothers For Justice

(Feature Documentary) After Maria Hamilton’s son, Dontre, was shot 14 times by a Milwaukee Police Officer, she set out to make a difference for Mother’s who have experienced similar tragedy. In November of 2014, she organized the first Mother’s For Justice meeting with other mothers who have lost their loved ones to officer related deaths. In March of 2015 she took her cause to a national level by organizing the Million Mom’s March in Washington D.C. to raise awareness about their cases and demand widespread policy changes from the federal government. Director/Producer: Erik Ljung Editor: Michael Vollmann  

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Art Shay

(Feature Biographical Documentary) Art Shay flew more than fifty combat missions during World War II, where he photographed the war as a hobby under the command of his commander, actor Jimmy Stewart. When he returned home he began working as a photojournalist for Life Magazine, and eventually became a ‘go to’ photographer for Sports Illustrated, Time, The New York Times Magazine and just about every other journalistic magazine then in existence.

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Simone De Beauvoir, photographed by Art Shay in Nelson Algren’s apartment.

By the early sixties, Shay had become one of American’s most renowned photo-journalists during the heyday of the print magazine. He documented just about every celebrity and important national event of the 50’s and 60’s, from Marlon Brando at home with his dog to the ’68 Democratic national convention. But his most acclaimed work would be found not through his ZELIG-like career with the magazines of the day, but instead through his passion for photographing his home city of Chicago with gritty street photography, working closely with his close friend, the writer Nelson Algren, to bring to light the darker side of life. As his career skyrocketed and his stature grew, he was away from home more and more, eventually becoming distanced from his family and his beloved wife, Florence. And then, in an unexpected strike of personal family tragedy, he was broken — his career essentially over. But where is 91-year-old Shay now? As his health declines and he comes to terms with the recent loss of his soul mate, Florence, we follow Art as his reputation is restored through an unexpected wave of rediscovery by the art world. Today, with his photography finding it’s way onto the walls of renowned collectors and museums such as the National Portrait Gallery, we meet a wise, funny and philosophical storyteller, who gives us a uniquely personal photographic journey through the middle of the twentieth century. A September Club Production Directors: Jack Davidson & Ken Hanson Producer: Steve Roeder Editor: Dave Myszewski Story Editor: Barry Poltermann

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Jonny Leahan (producer)

Jonny began as a writer for IndieWire and later began making films, first as an Associate Producer on the Tribeca award-winner Oxyana and on the recent SXSW hit Tchoupitoulas, just released by Oscilloscope. He later Produced Tom Noonan’s The Shape of Something Squashed, and worked as Executive Producer on Jonathan Caouette’s The Tic and The Toc. His first feature film as a Director, Sky Line, recently premiered at the DocNYC Film Festival and was released by FilmBuff. Jonny is also an Executive Board Member of the esteemed Paradise Factory in NYC, and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.

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Amanda Griffin (editor)

Amanda Griffin is a film editor based in Los Angeles. Originally from the Midwest, she graduated from The University of Iowa with a BA in Cinema and Comparative Literature in 2010. She found that Filmmaking was a way to combine her interests in fine art, film theory, and photography. She has edited multiple award winning feature-length and short films, including: Animals (2014) SXSW Film Festival Special Jury Award Winner for Courage in Storytelling, A Light Beneath Their Feet (2015) Mill Valley Film Festival Audience Favorite, the documentary The 414’s: The Original Teenage Hackers (2015) Sundance Film Festival, and American Fable, which recently premiered at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival.

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THE BOOK OF MOZILLA

(Documentary or Doc Series) “And the beast shall be made legion… and the followers of Mammon shall tremble.”  — The Book of Mozilla, 3:31 It’s David vs. Goliath in the wild frontier of 1990’s Silicon Valley as a quirky group of idealistic misfit computer coders sets out to change the world with a revolution they call Mozilla — but the world has other plans. The Book of Mozilla tells the story of the coders who embedded a series of Easter Eggs that narrates the complete uncensored history of Netscape’s battle with Microsoft. These passionate coders were in the trenches, writing the code that would connect the world, while a war of ideals raged around them. This is their story, in their own words – a dramatic tale of deadlines, geniuses and the philosophical debate that still rages between open source and proprietary software. The story of Mozilla gives us the framework to dive into this war of ideals. This is still the early days of the internet, and we will go back even further and bring the story to present day, talking to digital pioneers like Rick Gates, Richard Stallman (GNU project, MIT & a philosophical fork), Tim Berners-Lee (and his idea and vision for a world wide web), Linus Torvalds who created the first open source system LINUX, Eric Steven Raymond, author of The Cathedral and The Bazaar, Kim Polese who was pivotal in creating JAVA, Rasmus Lerdop who created PHP, Brian Behlendorf of Apache, Larry Page and Sergey Brin from Google, Michael Widenius of MySQL, Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger co-founders of Wikipedia, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Matt Mullenweg, Mike Little and Michael Valdrighi of WordPress and Chris Beard current CEO of Mozilla. We hear what open source is, why it’s important, exciting, superior – and we will also hear from people like Bill Gates, Jaron Lanier and Steve Ballmer who disagree. We see the battle wage through the lens of this first browser war, and see play out in our highest courts in the 1998 Unites States Microsoft antitrust case. We see Netscape get crushed and acquired by AOL, but we see the Mozilla cut free and a foundation emerge, that ultimately introduces a new open source browser in Firefox. Along the way we talk to the people listed above, all who were all a critical part of the philosophy and the pieces that needed to be built in order to empower uses to have access to code to they could be free to create, communicate and harness the power of the “bazaar.” In the film, we also explore the dark side – who became disenchanted along the way and why? What are their disappointments, their celebrations? And finally, what is the state of open source today?  The film asks the question – what would a fully open source world look like? What could our society become if we adopted the open source philosophy globally and across all platforms? Not just in software, but hardware as well. What could this mean to our election process? To our space exploration and medical breakthroughs? Mozilla still grows, currently a not-for-profit that owns more browser share than Explorer – both however dwarfed by Chrome. And so, The Book of Mozilla is still being written… When you visit its website you begin to understand that it is powered by the people. As is WordPress. What can an all-volunteer grassroots army accomplish when empowered? Who does it threaten, and what are they afraid of? Directed by Casey Suchan Produced by Barry Poltermann

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Frank Anderson (director)

Understatement Alert: Frank has led an interesting life. Born in the Philippines. Raised in rural Wisconsin. Played pedal steel guitar bars and beer halls as a teenager. After a stint as a ranch hand at a working cattle ranch he attended San Francisco State University, majoring in Japanese language and literature. He moonlighted as a sideman for country western performers and spent the ‘80s freelancing for several Bay Area-based animation houses including Colossal Pictures. Was an in-demand session musician in the ‘90s, playing on dozens of recordings for legendary record producer Butch Vig (Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day). He directed live action commercials for Purple Onion Films and animated interstitials for Tricky Pictures, the animation subsidiary of Backyard Productions in Chicago. He co-directed the critically acclaimed feature film, The Life of Reilly, based on the life of comedian Charles Nelson Reilly. Taught animation and film studies at MIAD,sequential art at Lawrence University and wrote two books about Wisconsin history. He has made frequent appearances on NPR and Wisconsin Public Television and has lectured on film at several Universities. He has run the popular website wisconsinology.com since 2006 and writes, narrates and scores the wisconsinology podcast. His currently works out of a former 100 year old Monastery producing and directing documentaries and national stop motion commercials. facebook-black-radius-transparent-26 copy

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Riverwest Radio Launches

CSBVdOoWoAANndeYou can now listen to “Cinema Fireside” (featuring Xav Leplae, Gabe Van Handel and Mark Borchardt) over the air. From today’s Journal Sentinel:

With a coveted FCC radio license in their hip pocket, a band of artists, activists and audiophiles operating out of a Riverwest storefront is taking to the airwaves New Year’s Day. Riverwest Radio is among thousands of tiny, community-based outfits that collectively overcame years of debate in Congress and opposition from the likes of National Public Radio to snag a spot on the over-the-air dial. The station will occupy 104.1 FM, with call letters WXRW-LP.

What is Cinema Fireside?:

Through the compelling conduits of extemporaneous thought and conversation, these good gentlemen explore the vast and intriguing terrain of filmdom from contemporary offerings to historic gold. Ultimately,“Cinema Fireside” provides for a robust symposium of filmic musings, erudite conjuring and all-around collective soul-searching. One never reaches for the dial – because they can’t. Yet. Tune in, be in, and live grandly and respectably.

Congrats to Mark and Xav.

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“Sky Line” Premieres at DocNYC

Jonny Leahan and co-director Miguel Drake-McLaughlin’s latest project, feature documentary “Sky Line”, premiered yesterday at Doc NYC. The film is a production of our friends at Cowboy Bear Ninja. In his 22nd century-set 1979 novel, The Fountains of Paradise, noted sci-fi author Arthur C Clarke imagined an elevator connecting Earth with an orbiting satellite, eliminating the need for costly and environmentally destructive rockets. While scientists have considered such a project, they have been hampered by the lack of sufficiently advanced technology… until now. Sky Line follows a group of scientists and entrepreneurs as egos collide in an attempt to reach for the stars. You can also see the film via FilmBuff VOD starting on November 20th.  

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Congrats to Joe and Didier

Screen-Shot-2015-12-22-at-8.25.43-AMDidier Leplea & Joe Wong (who did our music on THE POOL, MODUS OPERANDI and COLLAPSE, among others) are composing the original music for the new Netflix original series Master of None created by Aziz Anzari & Alan Yang and starring Anzari himself, alongside H. Jon Benjamin, Eric Wareheim, Lena Waithe, Noel Wells and Kelvin Yu. Master of None follows a 30-year-old actor who attempts to make his way through life in New York City. The full first season of the comedy will be available to stream this Friday on Netflix.

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‘Trap Set’ Announces Funny Drummer Month

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The worlds of drumming and comedy finally merge in the form of Funny Drummers Month, starting August 5th on The Trap Set With Joe Wong. Joe is a good friend of the September Club (and the composer for our music on COLLAPSE and THE POOL). His great podcast, The Trap Set, is about to venture into Funny Drummers Month. So what is “Funny Drummers Month“? It’s when Joe talks to comedy icons who also happen to play the drums.

Funny Drummers Month will feature:

Jon Wurster (August 5) — One of rock’s most in-demand drummers, Jon’s touring and recording credits range from indie legends such as Bob Mould, Superchunk and The Mountain Goats to pop icons like Katy Perry. Although he primarily identifies as a drummer, Jon is a respected comedy writer and performer who, with partner Tom Scharpling, has created an enviable body of work on the Best Show and Sharpling and Wurster and written on multiple TV shows. The comedy duo recently released a 16 CD box set on Numero.

Fred Armisen — SNL legend, co-star/co-creator of Portlandia and bandleader for Late Night With Seth Meyers. Before making the leap to comedy, Fred played in respected Chicago rock outfit Trenchmouth and Blue Man Group.

Todd Barry — Todd is one of the top stand-up comedians of our time and has multiple comedy albums and been featured on TV shows such as Delocated, Louie and Flight Of The Conchords. Before entering the world of comedy, Todd played drums in the indie rock group The Chant and has, more recently, played with Mates Of State and Superchunk.

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Premiere of EDGE

Too good not to post:

With a team of more than 300 news warriors, EDGE pummels viewers with immersive reporting that is uncaged, unaccountable, and totally fucked up. Series premieres Aug. 3, 2015.  

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Satellite love

(Music Video, MARITIME, 2015) “Satellite Love” from Maritime’s upcoming album “Magnetic Bodies/Maps of Bones” available now on Dangerbird Records.

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Vice says: “Maritime’s sound is aging beautifully” and “all killer no filler”. The AV Club gives the album a very strong B+. And Paste Magazine says Maritime has a “musical identity that’s been evolving on its own for a dozen years, centered on a passionate and skillful songcraft”. Congratulations to Dan and bandmates Davey von Bohlen, Dan Hinz, and Justin Klug. For other music videos and odds and ends, explore the Attic.

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Anne Meara

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Anne, me, Frank Anderson, and Jerry Stiller at the premiere of “The Life of Reilly” in 2007

I met Anne Meara at the Provincetown Film Festival in 2006. I randomly ran into her in the lobby of our hotel. I was eating breakfast and there was nobody there but myself, her and her husband, Jerry. She looked over to me and asked if I was there with a film, and I said, “yes… The Life of Reilly”. She paused and said, sadly… “How’s Charlie doing?” She remained a friend, was one of the first people who called me after Charles died, and later came to support the premier of the film at the New York premiere. The clip above, from “The Life of Reilly”, features a story about her and Jerry. She will be missed. From the Hollywood Reporter:

Comedy legend Anne Meara died Saturday at the age of 85, and a number of Hollywood stars paid their respects via social media. Meara was half of the comedic duo Stiller & Meara, with husband Jerry Stiller, and they were known for radio commercial campaigns and appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. She had recurring roles on numerous TV series, including ALFKing of Queens and Sex and the City, and she appeared in such films as The Out of TownersFameAwakenings and Night at the Museum, the latter directed by her son, Ben Stiller.

-bap

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Open Source Online Mythology – The Slender Man

slenderman-228x300Today I read an article about the horrifying Wisconsin attempted homicide case wherein two 12 year old girls lured a friend into the woods and stabbed her 19 times. A passing cyclist intervened, and thankfully the victim lived, even having returned to school this fall. So why did two little girls try to murder another little girl? Because they wanted to impress The Slender Man. “Who the fuck is The Slender Man?” I wondered. Thus began one of those internet deep-dives we all have into topics we know little about when we want to know everything. I wanted to know why this thin dude would lead two little girls to savagely attack another. This all led me to find out about the origins of The Slender Man and his growth into some kind of monster capable of reaching into the minds of little girls. There are better places to get the specifics on The Slender Man’s story, but for brevity’s sake… Basically, The Slender Man was created by a Something Awful user named Eric Knudsen (aka Victor Surge) in 2009. TSM was an image of a tall, thin man, with a white, featureless face, wearing a black suit. He was inserted into a couple of photos of groups of children. Knudsen added quotes attributed to each photograph (which you can read at Wikipedia) that imply TSL is some kind of supernatural force that abducts children or kills them or worse. So a new bogeyman was born. But so what? How did this particular incantation of a familiar monster land in Wisconsin middle school girls’ minds?

Apparently the original Slender Man – he’s in the back.

The answer is that TSM developed in an entirely new way – his characteristics (impossibly tall and thin, sometimes with tentacles), powers (teleportation, mind-reading, ability to compel), motivations (ambiguous and morphing, but always dark), and mythology all being essentially crowd-sourced openly online. Like any of our fearful creations, his story and abilities were defined. But rather than the top-down way we’re used to, such as the basics of Dracula (and thus all subsequent vampires) being defined by Bram Stoker or the framework for Frankenstein’s Monster coming down from Mary Shelley on high, TSM was fleshed out by online stories and memes by users with no ownership or authority over the original idea. It was open source creation. And it’s new to us. Or is it? Growing up with the authoritative power of mass media, really since the invention of the printing press, we’ve been conditioned to learn our heroes and villains, or monsters and slayers, all the mythology around our favorite worlds and stories from the all-powerful creators, be them Disney, George Lucas, JK Rowling, Guillermo del Toro, or Stephen King. But before the rise of easily-made books and eventually radio, TV, and films, our stories and their heroes and monsters actually were crowd-sourced. They were told orally, interpreted and reinterpreted, added to and subtracted from, and retold with details or even broad concepts changing based on the perspective and preferences of the storyteller. That’s very similar to the way TSM developed into his current state. Aaron Sagers even parallels the growth and development of Santa with that of TSM in a great read at The Huffington Post. (The video above is a Slender Man send-up from online prankster superstar SA Wardega that has over 26 million views.) The late literature professor and historian Walter J. Ong, PhD, asserted that this type of crowd-sourced mythology is the norm throughout human history. A very smart Danish college professor named Thomas Pettitt agrees and posits that we have just ended the Gutenberg era – a time period starting with Gutenberg’s printing press, leading us to massive amounts of literature being easily and affordably available and, essentially, the end of oral storytelling being dominate and the beginning of top-down, authoritative storytelling. But now with the advent of the digital age, we’re going back to the old way. It’s not that we’re only going to be telling stories orally, or that we’re going to lose stories being crafted and protected by Hollywood film studios or major publishers, it’s that we’re all now able to be actively in on the creation of our myths and characters and worlds and the stories that take place in the same way that the oral tradition allowed anyone to hear a story and then retell it making whatever changes or add-ons or edits that person saw fit. Pettitt calls the period of time we’re coming out of The Gutenberg Parenthesis, meaning that it’s a short exception to the rule, a blip in the history of human kind. So who the fuck is The Slender Man? He’s a crowd-sourced monster, not all that dissimilar to any number of monsters past, present, and future. Why did these Wisconsin girls try to get on Team Slender Man by murdering a friend? Most likely, these girls are severely mentally ill. Most likely, they’d have found inspiration for their heinous crime in one form or another with or without this one particular bogeyman. This attempted murder of a child by two other children is horrific and sad, but the focus on TSM is unwarranted. Yes, he’s been cited by the two girls as motive, and he’s been pointed to as inspiration in other terrible crimes, but like other “causes” of criminal behavior and warped minds (when I was a kid rumors of satanism due to heavy metal music were rampant, then came the Matrix movies and Marilyn Manson and shooter video games and, well, you get it), it’s most likely he’s less a cause than a fascination of a mind in need of treatment. What I’m saying is that The Slender Man is not exceptional in any way. He’s a pretty standard monster. And he was created and developed in a way that harkens back to telling tales around the campfire. The only exceptional thing about this creature is that he’s made me and likely others really look at the way storytelling is changing – or rather returning to its roots. I hope that in the story of the two little girls who attacked their friend, and who reportedly still believe The Slender Man is real, the ending is one that involves mental health treatment for the perpetrators and a happy future for the victim. -John Murphy

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“Psychopath” World Premiere

523407_10151231492772068_368418173_nManny Marquez’s first documentary feature had it’s world premiere this week at the Milwaukee International Film Festival.

“Somewhat reminiscent, in a good way, of the excellent documentary The American ScreamPsychopath is a real gem. Directed by Manny Marquez and executive produced by Jack Turner (We Are What We Are, Cold in July), it chronicles Manny’s uncle Victor’s attempt to construct a haunted house theme park, The Psycho Path, in rural Oklahoma. Victor is a garbage man who always dreamt of moving to Hollywood to get into the makeup effects business. Along with his wife Suezette, he buys some land and pours hundreds of thousands of dollars into an extremely elaborate attraction featuring a large cast acting out scenes from Sleepy Hollow, The Ring, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and many more. Prior to opening, Victor encounters a number of obstacles, including but not limited to hunters, grumpy neighbors, money shortages, and legal issues. But he soldiers on, and it’s easy to root for him and his band of misfits (best friend Mike, overeager local kid Kage, a local acting coach, his supportive family). Poignant, funny, and ultimately a classic underdog tale, Psychopath is a compulsively watchable tribute to a man who wants nothing more than to scare the living crap out of people every October.”

ShockTillYouDrop

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Mark’s New Music Video

From the Onion’s AV Club, news that our good friend Mark Borchardt recently brought his gore skills to a new video by Milwaukee band Tapebenders (who were known until recently as Elusive Parallelograms, and whose new album, Chasing Ghosts, is out August 26). In this awfully simple setup, the band members go crazy and murder each other. Also, check out Mark’s pilot for his new web series… directed by his daughter Dawn. Mark Borchardt Out and About #1 from Mark Borchardt on Vimeo.  

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ESPN 30 For 30 Documentary “MECCA: The Floor” Premieres

30 For 30September Club-produced short documentary “MECCA: The Floor That Made Milwaukee Famous“, directed by Chris James Thompson, premiered today on ESPN. The film was edited by Michael Vollmann and co-produced by Jack Turner and our friends at Matador Content. The documentary chronicles the controversial beginnings and hallowed history of the floor that artist Robert Indiana designed for the Milwaukee Bucks at the MECCA Arena in 1977. ESPN 30 For 30 is an award-winning series of sports/sports-related documentary films. For more on 30 For 30 and to watch more of its great docs, see the 30 For 30 home page.

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“The Emperors of Wyoming” Play Mile of Music

We spent the weekend in Appleton, WI with four of our friends — Phil Davis, Butch Vig, Frank Anderson and Peter Anderson — who were playing together for the first time as “The Emperors of Wyoming.” The occasion was The Mile of Music festival.
The four of them live in four different cities, two in California and two in Wisconsin. They created the 10 country-rock tracks on the album in their respective home recording studios, posting tracks on a shared FTP site for the others to hear, each building on what the other had done.
We also got time to catch up with Wendy Schneider, who is making a documentary on Butch’s SMART STUDIOS, which Frank is helping on. Can’t wait to see it!
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