The Art of Clément Sauvé

The comic book art and animation community suffered a tragic loss on Wednesday when Clément Sauvé passed away at the young age of 33 after a struggle with cancer. I met Clément only once and worked with him if however briefly on “G.I. Joe Renegades” last year but in that short time came to recognize a highly gifted artist with a wicked sense of humor. My deep condolences to his family and friends who knew him well.

“My name is pronounced SO-VEY, but don’t feel bad, nobody manages to pronounce it correctly. And yes, I get Suave a LOT, including in credits, con badges and checks.”

— Clément

“A Table is a Table” – A Short Film starring Jack Danahy

To my great sadness today I discovered that actor Jack Danahy, a friend and colleague, passed away some time over the holiday season due to complications of lung cancer.

Jack was quite a conversationalist and it was through our mutual fascination and enjoyment of butoh that we connected.  But it was his love of evolutionary anthropology and his observations of humans as a species that really got him to talking.

This piece entitled “A Table is a Table” was written by Peter Bichsel and directed by Diego Quemada-Diez.  Of all the gigs that Jack had as an actor, it’s this precious artistic gem that I’m heartened to know has now become a cinematic part of his legacy.  It is so quintessentially Jack as I knew him.

Jack Danahy was a generous, thoughtful and articulate man with a kind soul. I surely will miss working with him. Rest in peace, Jack. Rest in peace.

The Art Space of Treiops Treyfid

Above is my most recent 360° interactive panorama image featuring the creative work space of artist Treiops Treyfid, a long time friend with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with on a few group installations in the past.

Most recently Treiops has been developing new media performance art projects with the creation of “Meta Meta Meta Man” a character that is the subject of this photo.

In the future I hope to use of 360 ̊ panoramic photography to explore and investigate other spaces that artist’s work in and/or find inspirational.

How Colin Firth and Guy Pearce Got Their SAG Cards

Back in 1983 I met actor Colin Firth backstage in London following a performance of “Another Country”. A year later he made his film debut in the screen adaptation of that play.

Flash forward to this past weekend where I once again had an opportunity to meet Firth backstage at a screening of the much acclaimed motion picture “The King’s Speech” in which he plays the part of King George VI. The role garnered Firth both an Academy Award nomination as well as a Golden Globe one for “Best Actor”. But it also received a nod for this year’s SAG Awards and earned an ensemble nomination for “Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture”.

I asked Firth and co-star Guy Pearce one question: How did they get their SAG cards?

Of course, as anybody who knows me knows, I recorded the conversation on my iPhone but in this instance the sound quality is so wretched and so unlistenable that I decided it was better to transcribe it.  I hope you enjoy their responses as much as I did in getting them.  🙂

Me: “This question is to both Mr. Firth and Mr. Pearce. Both of you: How did you get your SAG card?”

Colin Firth: “Through devious, devious means…(laughter).’

“I have to say it was one of my finest moments. Getting my SAG card was probably more meaningful to me than any nomination I’ve ever had. It made me feel more like a film actor or a movie star. I still have my first SAG card. I think it should be framed in the bathroom!’

“Um…I got it… well… you’re challenging a person whose memory is going!  Um… I got it… let’s see… I did a film in this country and I couldn’t do it unless I was a member of SAG and I went through all the right channels and the right motions. I had to apply for it and get all the approvals and everything before I could do the film. I think it was in the early nineties. But I had to become a member of SAG in order to work here on that film. So I’m afraid I can’t be more specific than that but it was all legitimate.”

Me: “Guy, do you remember your first SAG role?”

Guy Pearce: “Well, “LA Confidential” … which you may have heard of!   Uh, same process also although it was a bit difficult because Russell [Crowe] had already got his SAG card because he had done a few films before.’

“But I think it was a difficult process for Curtis Hanson to try and prove that I really was the person they needed to cast in this role. We were the first two people that were cast in that film and not only was there pressure from Warner Bros and producer Arnan Milchan to cast Americans in the film but I think there was some difficulty in proving I was the right person for the role as well (laughs). But we managed to succeed obviously.”

Actually, I was surprised to hear that Pearce did not require a SAG membership for his performance in “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” even though the film won an Oscar and various other award nominations. I’m guessing that either it wasn’t a union show or Global Rule One did not apply in the case of this film as it was an Australian production.

While I thought the “The King’s Speech” to be well worth watching the only thing that was difficult for me to believe was the casting between Pearce and Firth. Pearce plays the older brother and heir apparent to Firth’s little brother and second in line to the British monarchy.  Despite the fact the they both are really quite good in their roles, when you put the two together in a scene it’s unconvincing and doesn’t play out quite right. Pearce appears much younger than Firth. The fact is Pearce is indeed seven years younger and it shows on the screen. That said, I was unable to find a still that features both of them so I had so create the image you see posted above as an indicator that the two were even in the same movie.

Perhaps Pearce wasn’t the first choice to play King Edward VIII because he made mention during the interview that he was cast much later in the production well after all the roles had been cast and principal filming was about to begin.

“The King’s Speech” is paint-by-numbers, award attracting bait but nevertheless it is a good film. The best ensemble cast nomination from SAG is rounded out by top performances from Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush.

Here’s to 2011!

QuickTime required for viewing. Click and drag image to view. Use Shift or CTRL to +/- zoom.

2010 has been a fantastic year for me both personally and professionally. I have been lucky enough to meet wonderful people, work with some amazing artists and learn from a variety of talented experts — all of which I feel has given me a great stepping stone for 2011. When I look back I’m gobsmacked at all the opportunities I’ve been given. There’s one dear friend in particular who opened the door to all this as well as to a fresh start on my livelihood and to her I shall always be deeply grateful.

At the beginning of 2010 I made the jump from my beloved Flip camera (a basic gun-and-run digital video camera) to a Canon T1i EOS Rebel, a consumer level digital SLR camera that can produce both standard photography as well as HD movies.  Much to my dismay, I was a little late in the game in acquiring this device as it had been out on the market for about a year.  Within a month after making my purchase, Canon’s flagship DSLR was upgraded to the T2i model that I really, really think I MUST HAVE! 😉

The idea in getting the camera was to create better quality content for my blogs. However, while the T1i can do some pretty amazing things I couldn’t bend it to my will like I can most other technological devices and I quickly got frustrated.

The difference between a point-and-shoot and a DSLR is ginormous.  I found that learning to express myself  and communicate the world that I saw through the lens of my new camera to be extremely difficult.  The thing is so infinitely complex that I began to regret my decision to buy it in the first place.  At one point I was so disheartened with the camera, I had to put it down and revert back to my Flip.

After a several months I picked up the T1i again and began to experiment with the attitude of “just have fun with it”. The learning curve was steep but the challenge was engaging.  With my new philosophy of “fun” it wasn’t long before I quickly got pulled into its tractor beam of delightful exploration.

Some of things I did with the camera was make some time lapse videos and full spherical 360° panoramic photography like the image you see above. It’s the interior of the Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine to Aviation in Burbank, California. The shrine is a 75-foot-tall structure of marble, mosaic and sculpted figures, and is the burial site for 13 pioneers of aviation. It was built in 1924 as the entrance to Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery which also happens to be the final resting place for my maternal grandparents who immigrated to America in the 1950s.

This image is what’s known as an interactive panoramic image, a cutting-edge form of photography used to capture an entire space in 360° along the horizontal and 180° along the vertical. In this instance, you’ll need the QuickTime plugin installed on your browser to view. Click and drag within it to experience the entire space. Use the CTRL and SHIFT keys to zoom.

In looking forward to 2011 I hope to develop my chops in 360 photography, learn to lens a better “Give Thanks video and try my hand at Final Cut Pro after pushing the limits of what iMovie can do for the amateur digital media creator. I hope you will join me as my journey continues to unfold.

Happy New Year!