Thursday, July 25, 2013

1980 The Slits "They're Fucking On Your Head"

1980 Set design by artist Michael McClard, Liza Béar's partner, for talk part of program at the 93 Grand Street ad hoc studio in the early shows. Michael also made a colored pastel map of the world for the backdrop. A gigantic scoop light  probably found on the street was placed on the floor for low-angle light, and most likely not hung  from the sprinkler pipes. [Check with Michael]

Note:  The scoop light was used to light Hannah Schygulla whom Lindzee Smith brought to 93 Grand. We haven't yet found the schedule with that program.

The first two years most segments were shot on location in New York, rather than in studio--except for a few trips out of town: ie the Annenberg Conference in or near Philadelphia to shoot the New World Information Order programs. Dee Dee Halleck was one of the interviewers on NWIO.

Duncan Smith's "On the Current Symbolic Status of Oil" was shot on the New Jersey Turnpike and at a drive-in movie theatre.

We also got a drive-away car from New York to Miami to shoot Bob Cooper's satellite TV convention, a gathering of fiberglass sailboat manufacturers turned satellite dish manufacturers.  My former Avalanche partner Willoughby Sharp came to Miami with us in the drive-away car and acted as one of the interviewers. Other artist contributions were mostly from New York,  with two programs from Zagreb artists and one from New Orleans.

Michael was series co-producer in 1980 and 1981 which meant helping plan the series and doing camera work or sound with me.  We were both members of the video coop
of 12 artists that had been set up through CNAA, Inc. (See TOOLS below.
Michael McClard  

Ari Up, The Slits

The Slits:  Ari Up, Viv Albertine, Palm Olive, Don Letts  "They're Fucking on Your Head" rehearsal  at Tier 3, New York,  1980. Excerpt screened on C-Update. Courtesy The Slits and Lindzee Smith.

For Michael's artist website and interviews in Bomb Magazine go to LINKS.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dee Dee Halleck: Herb Schiller Reads The New York Times 1981

Filmmaker and media activist 
Dee Dee Halleck was a supporter, consultant and early and frequent contributor
to Communications Update before she founded 
Paper Tiger TV (1981), Deep Dish TV (1986) and raised start-up funds (see below for details) for Democracy Now (date TK). 

In the first 1980 series, Dee Dee was guest host for the program LOW POWER TV at the 93 Grand street studio (with Molly aged 3-4 months--scroll way down for video clip) and interviewed Parry Teasdale, consultant to the FCC, about his experience of low power TV at Media Bus/Lanesville following a report on its potential for "communities of interest".

As per archival schedule above, C-Update 1980 second series,  Dee Dee produced:

all cablecast in November 1981.

Dee Dee was president of AIVF (Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers) from 1978 to circa 1981. She founded The Independent and hired Ardele Lister to be its first editor.

In  a July 28, 2013 e-mail to LB, Dee Dee writes:

"The first Deep Dish series was in 1986 and we did series every year after that. The network of downlink channels averaged around 200, including Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Tucson, Denver and many other major cities.

My role in Democracy Now was to turn the radio program into a television program and lease the satellite for distribution (which ended up being a lot more radio stations in addition to the cable access and community stations.)"

For Deep Dish TV and Democracy Now and Dee Dee's blogs, got to LINKS.

Crime Tales 1982 by Robert Burden and Dictelio Cepeda

New York-- "On location in Union Square: hard facts and hard humor about a hard way of life" was, according to records, the tag line  provided by video makers Robert Burden and Dictelio Cepeda. This exceptional documentary--a first work by the partners-- was  made as a program segment for the Spring 1982  series of Communications Update, and subsequently shown at the Kitchen (February 1983),  at the Jon Leon Gallery (June 1983), at Mr Dead and Mrs Free's Café (July 1983), and at The Museum of Modern Art (November 1983).  Directed and graphic design by Dictelio Cepeda, camera and editing by Robert Burden. Music by E.J. Rodriguez. 
Note: Robert Burden was a brilliant editor who had worked  with me on the subtitles for Oued Nefifik: A Foreign Movie, moonlighting at NVI where he worked. LB

Squat Theatre 256 West 23rd Street New York

Sunday, July 21, 2013

George C. Stoney, Documentary Filmmaker and Media Activist 1916-2012

NEW YORK-- George Stoney, a seminal documentary filmmaker, media activist and teacher championed the use of public access television since its inception. He  believed it was about more than access--that films should change situations and help build community. He passed away on July 12 2012 in his New York apartment  shortly after his 96th birthday party at the  Puleston estate in Brookhaven, Long Island, an annual celebration hosted by Betty Puleston, George's long time companion, and attended by relatives, friends  and George's NYU film school students and colleagues on the faculty. 
Note: In the early days of Public Access, George's cable TV show "NYU Presents" was pre-empted for a commercially-sponsored program on baby foods. 

Photo: Liza Béar, June 2012, Brookhaven LI

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Algiers Killings by Janet Densmore

Produced for the Communications Update, 
Spring 1981, series

Eye-witness testimony of a grand jury case
involving killings by police in New Orleans' 
black community. This documentary program 
was initially shown on C-Update in October 1981
following censorship in New Orleans. Some of
Densmore's original footage was incorporated
into a CBS 60 Minutes treatment of the story
a year and a half later.

Screening Dates:
October 1981    C-Update, MCTV, New York City
January 1982   The Kitchen, Video Viewing Room
Fall 1982           PBS Station, Houston, Texas
May 1983          Art Expo Chicago
May 1983          The Museum of Modern Art

Instructions to Producers and First Draft of Schedule for Communications Update 1982 Spring Series