Cinema 4D & People Stylewatch

CINEMA 4D

A lot of C4D animation in the pipeline… stay tuned, more on the way in this department:

CLIENT WORK

More client work for October… working on 4 motion graphics projects at once: Strivectin, Wall Street Journal/GE, People Stylewatch, and Answers.com. All brand videos produced in collaboration with Guggenheim Productions.

Wall Street Journal/GE conference kinetic typography:

People Stylewatch 2014 Media Kit Brand video:

Wall Street Journal & General Electric conference

SEPTEMBER 1

Grand Concourse Films worked on this spot with Saw Forge Creative and VMan Magazine. Principal Photography and Editing by Ryan Bair:

SEPTEMBER 6

Robert Weiss and Grand Concourse Films have begun production of the first installment of an ongoing series of artist profiles. We spoke with Joshua Cody, a composer, writer, and filmmaker living in New York City. Cody is author of [Sic], a memoir, and is currently working on a film project with Paul Schrader.

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SEPTEMBER 15

Grand Concourse Films and Guggenheim Productions are producing a series of kinetic typography videos for an upcoming Wall Street Journal & General Electric conference:

ATKM

AUGUST 18, 2014

Memphis, TN, where we were busy shooting ELVIS WEEK 2014. Great interviews and performance footage.

Check out pictures from the shoot:

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AUGUST 25, 2014

Back from Pittsburgh, PA where we were shooting for 5 days in all corners of the city for The Rough Diamond Trail Project. The aim is to connect existing bikeways into an 88 mile loop which would start at Point State Park and take riders through Turtle Creek, Saltsburg, New Kensington, Braddock, Oakmont, Leechburg, Salina, and many other scenic Pittsburgh locations.

Check out pictures from the shoot:

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ALL THE KING’S MEN

TEASER CLIP #1:

All The King’s Men captures the spirit and energy of today’s E.T.A.s (Elvis Tribute Artists). Filming is currently under way – as we crisscross the the country in search of people and performances that showcase the world’s fascination with Elvis and enduring love of his music.  ATKM seeks to give viewers an intimate, insightful, and raucous look at what it is like to be an Elvis Tribute Artist. Click here to visit our Facebook page. Click here to help produce ATKM via our Indiegogo campaign!

ACAPPELLA CLIP:

IMAGES OF ELVIS:

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ART OF MEN

Art of Men approached the New York Yankees about the possibility of bringing a group of seniors from a Bronx center to a ballgame. They were receptive to the idea and suggested A.O.M. work with New York City’s oldest senior center, the Hodson Center, on the project.

Within a week of that initial meeting the tickets were confirmed and on June 21st of last year, Art of Men brought a group of forty seniors to Yankee Stadium.

On the day of the game, Art of Men provided dinner to the seniors at their center, transportation to and from the game and concessions throughout the night. On one of our shuttle busses, as we approached the ballpark, an elderly gentlemen who’d spent his life twelve blocks from the stadium said a few words that resonated with me that evening and will stay with me forever: “I’ve lived here forty years and this is my first time at the stadium.”

ALEXI MORRISSEY

Cinematography by Clear Story, Edited by Grand Concourse Films

 

Last night, after years of following its creation, I saw Alexi Morrissey’s visionary sculpture-performance-poetry artwork, Take a Letter.

“What lies within our remedy? To become only the words no one knows.”

Man, played by Alexi Morrissey inTake a Letter

Take a Letter, the pieces.

Sculpture: a room-sized installation-slash-stage set, the floor littered with thousands of books, each audience-member’s seat containing a delicately bound example, the whole dominated by a multi-ton hive of books crowned by a true sculptural wonder: Morrissey’s kinetic boat-and-meteor see-saw, the boat acting as his character’s exiled home for ¾ of the performance.Take a Letter sculpture

Performance: wild rollercoaster rides punctuating long, deliberate actions like the building of a second stack of books, pouring of a drink, application of makeup.

Poetry: the main character in each aspect of Take a Letter is language. For example, the title itself: Part soul-hit reference, partMad Men anachronistic directive, part dismissive wave of the hand at poetry itself – transcription versus translation; repetition as struggle; a condemnation of understanding as a possibility in modern language. And in part, “Take a Letter” is the street-corner card hustler’s opening salvo: Morrissey offers you a linguistic Svengali deck, all its options present, yet the outcome never in question.

The language of Take a Letter seems like a secret agent’s blind-meeting shibboleth – “Thirsty bibles dream of the great flood,” a comment that, if replied to with “The sleeping dogs have mastered the art of walking their masters,” assures the identity of one’s arrangement.

But the words that Morrissey and co-star Adrienne Wehr force into our hands –take a letter, any letter, don’t let me see it – are less coded typist’s mistakes than they are navigational tools; the points on a strange and befuddled compass, leading us through waters once explored by Eliot and Wittgenstein, through the “Here Be Monsters” morass of contemporary language.

Morrissey’s work has always been an intensely complex examination of the absolute simplest purpose of art: To defeat language’s shortcomings in communicating the most primitive of emotions through collaboration with fellow travelers. Faces of Pittsburgh, his impositional, sculptural use of the faces of our neighbors – in their multitude – to architecturally vary the landscape those people inhabit, was a plea for fellowship; a demand that humanity, despite an inability to directly communicate with one another, at least be granted the same power over their environment as topography. Likewise, his years-long “typing” collaboration – a mobius-strip of improvisational and automatic writing stretched between two typewriters and performed/created in public spaces – is an attempt to bash through language’s labyrinthine walls by ignoring its rules and creating the purest of poetries, that which removes “I” entirely and creates, between two people, a vastly incomprehensible yet thoroughly meaningful communication.

Take a Letter is the synthesis of these ideas into a singular work of art that moves far beyond any of their previous successes.

You likely won’t “get” the plot from a single viewing. And that fact entirelydoesn’t matter. But with the benefit of repeated readings and viewings, I can help guide you into it.

In the piece, a former political leader and arch-rhetorician in the mold of the mid-20th century – part Churchill, part Orwell, part Trotsky, part Che – has been exiled to a ship circling the biblio-island by the revolutionary government he helped bring to power, obviously for fear of his popularity’s threat to the dictatorship. Here, he bashes out adoxographies on maritime history – Marie Celeste mysteries, heroically failed expeditions, and the oceanic pole of inaccessibility – while rapidly descending into madness. (The verses on the oceanic pole – the point in the ocean furthest from any land on Earth – point to one of the many aspects of Morrissey that make him something of a throwback to Oxbridge-style mad-genius-poets of yore. Bring up any subject, (just a few I’ve encountered: contemporary academic linguistics; John Chertoff’s seminal ethnomusicology text African Rhythms and Sensibility; Led Zeppelin IV; vegan cookery; the Pittsburgh Steelers) and Morrissey almost certainly knows a terribleness of it.)

Meanwhile, Adrienne Wehr, as the Woman, is Morrissey’s typist and only connection to the landside world. She is his sole communication, outside his oft-rejected calls to the dictator’s administration, and the vigilant victim of his maddening contacts.

Take a Letter’s visual, sculptural beauty is another matter entirely – and one well worth pages and pages. Its performative beauty, likewise, deserves examination. Wehr performs something of a ritualistic mummer’s play at the piece’s narrative turning point, ceremonially unwinding with secreted wine and makeup. These minor pleasures, like the contraband nylon stockings and jars of jam that wartime British women guarded closely but quietly, are taken by Wehr with an instruction that crops up throughout Take a Letter’s script: “This takes some time.”

(Watching Wehr’s beautiful motions – undoing her hair, deliberately, and slowly pouring booze between bottle and cup – brought me close to tears, thinking of my grandmother, alone with three babies, similarly exiled to Ilfracombe to escape London’s blitz. I can see her, merely 25 and a mother of three amidst the most dangerous challenge of the 20th century. Late at night, finally alone in the too-full domicile, she treats herself to a covert gin in an imagined ballroom. For me, as with everything at the moment, Take a Letter is – in at least some minor way – a tribute to the grand dame, Winnie Hopper.)

But for my interests, the beauty of Take a Letter is in its language, itself yet another sculpture. I don’t know how Morrissey wrote the script; it’s not at all impossible that its words and their motion are accidental; the result of “typing,” not “writing.” It doesn’t matter.

To Morrissey, language is a landscape to be approached like an architect, a sculptor, or a city planner, with poetry and rhetoric as the cartographic tools available. In a world of varied reference points and contextual confusion – a world in which technology and geopolitics have conspired to make the traditional, anecdotal means of village-life language collapse into megalopolis language in which each of our neighbors might as well be Wittgenstein’s lion – our words are, by their modernist nature, encoded. “All encoded messages are now being transcribed into Italian love letters.”

But while there is a background of longing for village-life language – for shared context – the understanding is that Take a Letter is not a bemoaning of loss, but an active attempt to recreate that context, within the power of art, for Morrissey and his collaborators and audience. Within the first few lines of the work, we encounter initially meaningless propositions that we’ll discover cropping up throughout: “I have located the source of the blue sky”; “They left port at midnight as was the custom of the captain”; “All encoded messages are now being transcribed into Italian love letters.”

By the end of Take a Letter, these phrases mean as much to the audience as any other anecdote or adage. If, sitting at the Mardi Gras bar this evening sipping a beer, a friend mentioned to me that, “All encoded messages are now being transcribed into Italian love letters,” I would almost certainly know exactly what they meant.

The track followed by the language in Take a Letter is sculpturally beautiful: Beginning with the wild chaos of shouted and uncontextualized post-modernist ranting, it becomes more and more honed throughout the performance. Its penultimate moment occurs when Woman reads out the completed piece thatMan has been working on since the beginning: “They left port at midnight…” From seemingly random pieces throughout the performance – definitions of meteorites and meteoroids; nautical poetries cast out like mass-fishing nets; incomprehensible aphorisms shouted like Hyde Park madmen – comes a fully formed narrative.

The ultimate conversation between the two characters poses, in the only traditionally “plain” language of the performance, the final truth of Take a Letterand the incredibly simple question that comprises the entirety of the performance’s meaning. Like a pyramid, Take a Letter builds its linguistic architecture from a baseline of scattered chaos, to a pinpoint of precision – one three-word question that every artist asks every moment of his life, even if he’ll never admit it.

And that is the genius of Take a Letter – that out of the millions of words on offer in Morrissey’s deck, he knows, from the very beginning, that the one you’ve chosen is the one he wanted you to pick. Even if he’ll never admit it. -Justin Hopper

 

TAMAS: A Portrait

Actor David Conrad directed this movie about the man who fled his native Hungary after Soviets crushed the revolution and found his way to Saltsburg, where he’s taught and coached for more than four decades. Conrad accompanied Tamas Szilagyi to Hungary, where he and his friends once serenaded young women with operettas through open windows, traveled around Lake Balaton with one good suit in tow and then watched Soviet tanks roll through their streets, sending heroic young men and women to the cemetery. (Barbara Vancheri, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

In 1956, Tamas Szilagyi fled his native Hungary after the Soviets invaded, landing in Pittsburgh. He eventually became a beloved and respected history teacher and coach at the Kiski School in Saltsburg, PA. He’s the subject of this documentary produced by well-known actor David Conrad, a Kiski graduate (and Edgewood native). We feel a sense of privilege getting to know this colorful character through his wonderful stories, old photos, and the testimony of those he inspired. His journey back to Hungary, returning for the first time in 50 years, is touching and exhilarating. Szilagyi, it turns out, is as comfortable giving a history lesson on the streets of Budapest as he is in a classroom, or around a kitchen table. The film is beautifully edited with lots of fascinating archival footage and great Hungarian music.

YANKEELAND

The last game at the Old Yankee Stadium was played on September 22, 2008. Over the course of the final season there, fans came to pay their last respects to The Big Ball Orchard in the Bronx.

The Yankees have played in the neighborhood for over 80 years. During that time, it has been one of the nation’s poorest congressional districts.

But many make a living working in the shadow of the stadium. Some scalp tickets. Some sell sports memorabilia. Others run bars or restaurants or coach neighborhood little league teams.

Most of them are Yankee fans. All of them have an opinion on the new stadium and what it means to the neighborhood that has experienced decades of turmoil and struggle, as well as dozens of world championship baseball teams.

Yankeeland is the story of the people who live and work around the old ballpark and the fans who visit it.

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EDITING

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Do you need to cut a corporate video, a video game trailer, or a behind the scenes documentary? Are you looking for a viral video, sizzle reel, or a trusted creative expert to handle large volume editing needs?

Grand Concourse Films provides Video Editing for the following types of projects:

  • TV Commercials
  • Music Videos
  • Independent Films
  • Documentaries
  • Title Sequences
  • Movie Trailers
  • Broadcast Promos
  • Corporate Videos
  • Brand Videos
  • Promo Videos
  • Viral Videos
  • Pitch Videos
  • Web Commercials
  • Concert Visuals
  • Social Media Videosedit1

Grand Concourse Films offers a full range of video editing services, including:

  • Voice Over Narration
  • Motion Graphics
  • 3D Animation
  • Sound Design
  • Title Sequences
  • Green Screen Keying
  • Color Correction
  • Surround Sound Mixing
  • Audio Mastering
  • Video Encoding
  • Subtitles

EQUIPMENT

 

CINEMATOGRAPHY

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The visual medium of film and video shapes the perceptions of today’s society. Our goal is to create powerful images that will tell your story, using camera movement and light to shape and craft the images that end up on screen. Format follows function, and knowing what is best for a particular project comes from years of experience working in the industry. Grand Concourse Films will do everything possible throughout the production process to help your project stand out!

 

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