JULY 11th, 2008 Blitz is a yearly event put on by Mercury Players Theatre in which several playwrights have about 10 hours to each pound out a 15 minute script that will be cast, directed, rehearsed and performed in front of a live audience within 24 hours. We filmed this event, the footage is cued up and ready for editing in the near future. The discs will be ready within the month, however, it will not be released to the general public until the 2009 Blitz. Stay tuned to http://mercuryplayerstheatre.com for details about next year's Blitz.
Cooking Show ep1: Chicken with White Beans and vegetables (Exercise Party)
MARCH 9th, 2008 This was the beginning of an aborted project to create a series of cooking shows for the Exercise Party meal plan product. This project is on indefinite hiatus pending on the creation of a viable shooting schedule that meets the needs of the filmmakers, the cooking staff, and the Exercise Company itself.
FEBRUARY 16th, 2008 Yet another year of Blitz Smackdown where Madison's(and beyond's) best and bright and brightest make a series of short plays with less than 24 hours from page to stage. We filmed this event, the video hasn't even been dumped from tape to computer yet. This footage is earmarked to be bundled with footage from the forthcoming (as of May 23rd 2008) Blitz 2008 footage for release at the 2009 Summer Blitz event (date forthcoming). Stay tuned to http://mercuryplayerstheatre.com for details about next year's Blitz, whenever it ends up occuring...
JULY 13th, 2007 Blitz is a yearly event put on by Mercury Players Theatre in which several playwrights have about 10 hours to each pound out a 15 minute script that will be cast, directed, rehearsed and performed in front of a live audience within 24 hours. We filmed this event, editing and packaging is complete. We premered this DVD set at the Blitz 2008 Blitz, and copies are still available if you contact Sam or Josh. Stay tuned to http://mercuryplayerstheatre.com for details about next year's Blitz.
Revenge of the MiniMusicals (Mercury Players Theatre)
APRIL 26th, 2007 Revenge of the MiniMusicals is a set of short, live musical plays produced by Mercury Players Theatre in the spring of 2007. Josh had the pleasure of being an understudy for this play, and thus got a chance to document this production from the inside-out. The play itself was also filmed. Editing of both the play and several supplemental featurettes has recently been completed (05/23/08). A DVD with a commentary track and about an hour of behind the scenes footage is planned to be released at the Mercury Players forthcoming production of Mercury Rising: Celeste and Starla Save Todd and Win Back the Day which will be showing at the MercLab (930 N. Fair Oaks) from June 6th to 21st.
In the meantime, enjoy some unedited footage of DeeDee and Irma, the intermission entertainment:
JANUARY 6th, 2007 Blitz Smackdown is a new yearly event put on by Mercury Players Theatre in which the usual Blitz equation (several playwrights with about 10 hours to each pound out a 15 minute script that will be cast, directed, rehearsed and performed in front of a live audience within 24 hours) is used to put veteran local talent to the test. We filmed this event, editing has yet to begin, but will begin shortly. Expect this footage to be packaged with the Summer 2007 Blitz event and available at the Summer 2008 Blitz event. Stay tuned to http://mercuryplayerstheatre.com for details about 2008's Blitz, planned to occur on the weekend of July 11th.
JULY 16th, 2006 We only just got done filming this. It is Mercury Players annual 24 hour play challenge held at the Drury stage at the Bartell Theatre.
On an interesting note, RASHflims founders Sam and Josh wrote one of the plays this year "Be Carefull With That Axe Eugene". It appeared to get a good reaction, and was the story about a man's epic Spy v. Spy -esque battle with Pope Fabulous III.
We were unable to recover the first night of plays, but were able to recover the footage from one of the camera's for the first half of the second night, and all three cameras for the second half. Thus, I have edited the plays together into iPod compatable MP4 files. There is also a bare bone's DVD floating around for $3 that has this footage in higher resolution. Click below for the MP4 files:
MAY 20th, 2006 Mercury Rising was a collection of six short plays written by local playwrights for the Mercury Players Theatre. The DVD for this show contains a brief, behind-the-scenes featurette and several commentary tracks (including a secret celebrity impersonation commentary). The DVD is available occasionally at the merch table at some Mercury Players Theatre shows, or at the merch table at monthly Wis-Kino screenings. The plays deal with diverse topics, such as:
Secret agents (sort of)
The end of the world
The brewing of beer
Assassins in love
The plays were all shot on a "black box" stage, thus the sets are minimalistic. This acctually looks kind of cool on camera, as black walls of the stage are pretty solid black on camera, giving a surreal effect to the images. I have approximately one minute long clips from each of the plays available for download:
APRIL 29th, 2006 A payed gig! We were hired by the UTA to film this show so that the actors could have a memento of their production, and so it could be something to use on a resume. It's the story of a couple as their relationship changes during the course of the 70's. Excellent costume design, it does draw you in to the social changes of the 70's.
MARCH 4th, 2006 The was another film for the archives. The play was put on by Mercury Players Theatre and was filmed on the Evjue stage at the Bartell Theatre. Never the Sinner is a true-crime love story based on the 1924 trial of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb; millionaires, geniuses, Jews and lovers, these teenage boys from Chicago planned the perfect murder and nearly got away with it. Written by John Logan, who penned the screenplays for Gladiator, Any Given Sunday and The Aviator, this play explores the minds (and hearts) of two of the most notorious criminals in American history.
MARCH 3rd, 2006 Circle was the very sexy late night play put on by the Mercury Players Theatre and perfomed on the Evjue stage at the Bartell Theatre. It is the story that follows nine people who connect to each other through their sexual encounters. You would not beleive the number of audience members who asked for copies of this show. We did not oblige, of course, as this was a film just for the archives.
JANUARY 7th, 2006 This was a large production for the Mercury Players Theatre, and as I type this, is gearing up for a tour to New York. We filmed this play, oh, about 4 times. First we filmed the rehearsal so that we had an idea of how the stage was going to be used. Then we filmed it two days in a row around New Years with plans to make it into a DVD to help build up the buzz for Wal-Martopia. It worked. The version we had made had fair to okay audio quality, but the video quality looked very good (the lighting for this play was awsome). After the New Years showing, someone in the audience noticed our camera men and approched Cat and Andy, the creators of the show; they wanted to know how to get ahold of some clips of the footage to show on the local news. So if you saw those clips on any of the news stations around Madison at that time, they were from that filming session. The buzz around the play grew, and Audio for the Arts was called in to make a quality audio recording for the show, and we were called in to film the show yet again. That version of the show is now on the Wal-Martopia DVD, available for sale at Mercury Player Theatre shows, and through us (email us, we'll hook you up), for $10. My only gripe about the last refilming was that the previous shows had a live theremin player on stage, but the final shoot did not (due to scheduling conflicts). The theremin was really cool to hear live. Anyway, here is a clip from the show:
NOVEMBER 10th, 2005 After seeing a few shows by this band, I approached them inquiring about whether or not they had considered having a live recording of one of their shows. They were quite into the idea, and thus we arranged to film a show they did at The Orpheum Stagedoor while opening for the band Cloud Cult. The Selfish Gene makes use of a video projector in some of their shows, this made for some lighting issues (the color looks rather washed out), but also made for some interesting camera shots. They used some clips from this for booking purposes. This project is stuck in production hell for the moment, as we work out some issues with the audio and interviews. The possibility of some sort of DVD release is still in negotiation. However, here is a clip from the show:
OCTOBER 1st, 2005 This play was put on by the Mercury Players Theatre (for whom we film almost all their shows). This play was filmed purely for archival reasons, and thus is not available to the public. I guess you just had to be there to see this interesting play about a man and his affair with a goat, and the family that goes down in flams because of it.
OCTOBER 1st, 2005 This is another Mercury Players Theatre play that was running at the same time as The Goat. It was also filmed for archival purposes. Sam filmed this one, and I have never seen it, so I can't elaborate on the storyline. We had technical difficulties that entire night, and thus only got one camera angle for it.
SEPTEMBER 4th, 2005 After filming Sledgehammer Party (no, literally after, like later that night) we went down to The Anchor Inn to watch local alt-folk starlings Aporia play. We decided that since we had the camera with us, we would "just for fun" film the show with one camera in handheld configuration. The camera was heavy, and the show was too good to have to deal with it, so we only got through the first half. Good thing we were there, as the band "lost" their mic stand during intermission, so we duct-taped the mic to our camera tripod and did it that way. Here is the Aporia song Footprints from that show:
SEPTEMBER 4th, 2005 This was a play written and directed by Rob Matsushita (who appears in our shorts "T-Shirts" and "I'm a Cop", as well as masterminding "Death in the City"). It is a play about one couple who invite another couple over to their cottage for a weekend. During this weekend, pretty much everything that could go wrong in a relationship goes wrong as both couples air out their dirty laundry with the help of drugs and violence. We filmed this play because we wanted to try out multiple camera angles for the first time, and because we were both blown away by the actor's visceral performances. The result is a marked improvement from Blitz VI, however the footage is still a little sketchy, and audio is poor at times. A DVD with extras was made of this performance, but was designed only to be distributed amongst the actors and others involved at Rob's discretion. We do however have a little segment to show:
MAY 27th, 2005 Blitz is an annual event held by the Mercury Players Theatre in which for two nights in a row, 8 writers are locked up from 8pm to about 7am in which time they must each write an approximately 15 minute stage script. That script will then be produced and ready to go live in front of an audience by 8pm the next night. The event is a test of dedication and skill for all the writers, actors, directors and technicians involved. Prop people running around trying to find or create exotic props, directors directing, actors rehearsing, lighting people lighting. It’s chaos. So we filmed it.
This was our first live filming experience, and it looks pretty shoddy. We also stayed up (in shifts) with the various people involved in the process to make a full length documentary about it all. Two nights, eight brand spankin’ new plays each. Good times.
To fill my free time, I have various attempts at creative ventures. I write electronic music. I write crappy to only-mildly-crappy science fiction. I am also an amateur filmmaker. I work with local theatre (Mercury Players Theatre) now and again. I also play video games.