Friday, September 28, 2007

First, the truly exciting stuff. I received a Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts award to support one fo the projects I'm currently writing, a one woman show based on Venango County humorist Hildegarde Dolson. More on this later. I also know that the a local live music venue got a piece of the action too, but I don't want to say anything until I know they're cool with it. Congrats to everyone and I can't wait to see the full list. In the meantime, if you got a little green love from the PPA, drop a comment so we know who to look for in the coming year.

The Venango Digital Film Association will be holding it first annual Film Festival November 2 & 3rd. The festival will feature films of all genres, but will focus on local filmmakers and films set within the region.

Screenings will be held on November 2nd at the Barrow Civic Theatre in Franklin from 7pm until 9pm and on November 3rd at the Latonia in Oil City from 7pm until 9pm at a cost of five dollars for admittance.

Tickets may be purchased ahead of time at the following locations: The Latonia, Barrow-Civic Theatre, both Chamber of Commerce, Oil City Art Gallery and Venango Campus.

Workshops are also being held on Nov. 3rd at the Latonia from 9am until 5pm, topics include: lighting, sound, editing, making family dvds and camcorders demystified. The cost is $10 each or $40 for all.

Eligibility: Ages 14 to Adult (filmmakers under 18 must include letters of permission from a parent with their submissions) . Filmmaker must live in Western Pennsylvania, or the film must reflect a theme or subject of the region.

Film Length and Format: 10 to 30 minutes. DVD submissions are preferred but VHS entries will also be accepted. We cannot accept entries on mini-DV tape, hard drives, 35mm film, or other formats.

Entry Fee: $20 per submission, checks or money orders made payable to the Oil City Arts Council. Please note that submissions will not be returned unless accompanied by a pre-paid, self-addressed envelope.

Mailing Address:
Venango Digital Film Association Film Festival
P.O. Box 1082
Franklin, PA 16323

Deadline: All entries must be received by Friday, 19 October.

The top three finalists will be chosen by audience participation, with the first place winner receiving $300, 2nd $200 and 3rd $100.

Contact: Troy Wood or call 814-657-1740.
Please feel free to visit our website at for more details.

(Full disclosure: I have been involved with the planning of the fest.)

Tucson-based singer/songwriter Namoli Brennet will be performing at Oil City's Kate's Lounge in the Arlington Hotel on Saturday, September 29 th. The show starts at 8:00PM. There is a $5.00 cover, which includes free appetizers and beverage specials. Opening for Brennet is the local group "Thimble", comprised of Jerome Wincek, Latrobe Barnitz, Carie Forden, and David Perry.

A venagago-go reader attended the recent A Voice Like Rhetoric video shoot in Butler and sent along this scene report:

When I first entered the Penn Theater, I noticed that I didn’t fit in at all. I was wearing “preppy” cloths, while the rest of the gang was in attire that would be suited for a punk rock concert. I didn’t expect that a band named A Voice Like Rhetoric, to be punk rock. I told a group of people, who I later learned were the band, why I was there. Expecting to be silently standing and taking notes for the whole shoot, I was shocked to find out that I would actually be a part of the music video. They were very kind and told me that all of the extras were upstairs in the smaller theater watching Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein.

I joined the group of friends and fans that were there to support the band, and I watched a portion of the movie while the band was warming up. I could hear the lead guitar and vocals when Gene paused between his corny, but hilarious jokes. The constant thump of the bass passed through the building and up through the seats was like a well timed tremor.
Finally, it was time to go downstairs and get into the main theater. The fire damage from the past blaze was still very obvious. The ceiling was bare and you could see right through to the two by four skeleton of the theater. There were lights set up on the sides of the stage shining on the polished drum set, multitude of speakers, and rivers of cords which were set up in the middle just below the stage. We were directed to sit in the center section of the theater seats and squeeze in to make our group seem larger than we actually were.

They had told us that they planned of filming us sitting calmly for the first portion of the song. The editor would then use that film along with the same stationary shots of empty seats to create a flickering effect. Once it was finished, it would have the appearance of a ghost like audience. The next step was to get the dance portion of the video. At the director’s signal, the audience was to split in half and run down the aisles, then start “dancing” right in front of the band. For this portion of the video there were cameramen in the crowd, on the stage, and also on a ladder to get multiple views.

There was some pushing, jumping, screaming, and fist pumping, but no, I repeat, no dancing. They rhythm of the drums and the guitar rifts gave me a strange excited feeling that eventually translated into “dancing”. Finally, after multiple takes of the grueling “dance” scene, the last shot of the video was of a single girl in the middle of the front row.

A Voice Like Rhetoric will play the Oil City Elks Club with Bangarang!, the Wonder Years, Unit 731 and Monument the Ghost on October, 13 2007 $7 cover. Here's a clip from the video shoot:

Alec Chien, professor of music and artist in residence at Allegheny College, will present a concert of Beethoven piano sonatas at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29 in the college's Shafer Auditorium. The concert, the sixth in a seven-concert series in which Chien is performing all 32 of Beethoven's piano sonatas, is free.

Also, Award-winning filmmaker and author John de Graaf will present two of his films at Allegheny College at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30 and Monday, Oct. 1 in Quigley Hall 101.

“Buyer Be Fair,” an award-winning production about the Fair Trade movement in the United States and Europe, will be shown on Sept. 30.

“The Motherhood Manifesto,” which documents the struggle by working mothers in the United States for workplace reforms and health and child care benefits, will be shown on Oct. 1. Members of the college's Women's Studies Program will join de Graaf after the film for discussion with the audience.

Both events are free and open to the public.

The NYTimes looks at the slang around campus, but which campus, I'm not so sure. Lots of these are unfamilar to me and every time the Times does a "this is what the hip kids are saying these days", I am reminded of their grunge speak article.

Who doesn't love art created by cows? File this one under, why didn't I think of that?

Emil and the Palookas brings their Blues (music I mean, not a clinical mental disorder) to Cambridge Springs' Villa on Main Street Saturday Sept 29th 9:30pm -1:30 am

The movie Persepolis, based on the graphic novel of the same name, is France's 2008 Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Foreign Film nominee

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