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Archive for February, 2009

sowingcirclegroupsmallA few weeks ago Jeff Seckendorf and I were interviewed at the Cinema Innovators Event by the PixelHead Network.  We talked about Unconventional Media and our commitment to New Media.  I also discussed the video streaming we’ve been doing at Unconventional South.  I can’t tell you how excited I am by our upcoming event  on Saturday February 28th at 8:30 PM,(Central Standard Time), 6:30 PM (PCT) presenting Billy Falcon and The Sowing Circle live on a national video stream.

There has been some great recent posting including Mashable.com and Dorkmuffin on the best outlets on the internet for new musical artists, definitely worth checking out.  However, neither mention live internet streaming, which gives the opportunity for anyone in the country, and sometimes the world, to be part of an audience seeing and hearing a performer live.  I enjoyed the last stream Unconventional South uploaded of Billy and the Sowing Circle so much, I was hung over the next morning.  That’s how real it felt, just like I was sitting at the Blue Bar in Nashville from my living room in LA.

This time things will be a little different, it’s an informal house party.  Since we are still experimenting, Michael Catalano of Unconventional South, will be flying solo with camera and sound.  It will be an intimate, uncut live performance.  If you read my post on “Stone Cold Sober in Music City” you know one of the things I love in James Szalapski’s film, “Heartworn Highways,” are the scenes of Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle and others sitting around the living room, playing music, drinking, smoking and espousing the importance of back-to-basics country.  I hope this video stream Saturday night will evoke that same feeling.

The “Sowing Circle” is a conceptual night of music Billy Falcon started two years ago.  Billy is a well established musician and songwriter, mostly known for writing over 12 songs for Bon Jovi, including most of the hits.  To Billy, the Sowing Circle is “at its worst a lot of fun, and at its best, it’s something tribal.  Unplanned and unrehearsed; it’s gifted singers, songwriters, violinists, guitar players, sax players, trumpet players, percussionists… coming together for the love of the music and nothing more.  Audiences are not merely spectators, they become part of the experience, with musicians sitting next to them and microphones set up for them to join in at will.”

Mix in some Dead, Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Hank Williams and Phish and you only begin to understand the Sowing Circle.  Tune in for this is a rare opportunity to not only hear, but see some of today’s most prolific and talented songwriters and performers including Billy’s wonderfully talented and beautiful daughter, Rose Falcon, present their music in the most honest and direct way possible.  Join Billy, Rose and all their visiting guests this Saturday, February 28th, 9:30pm EST, 8:30pm CST, 6:30pm PCT by following this UStream link.

This weekend, on the West Coast, the fun doesn’t stop there.  On Sunday, March 1st at 2:30pm, the short film I produced “The Sacrifice” is playing at the Beverly Hills Shorts Film Festival.  Written and directed by Diane Namm, “The Sacrifice” recounts the gripping tale of 13-year-old Esmee Johnson on the day in which cult leader Rev. Dobbins comes to take her as his wife.

The Sacrifice” was shot on Super 16 film, the multi-talented cast includes: Chris Mulkey (Cloverfield, Friday Night Lights, X Files); Darby Stanchfield (Mad Men, Jericho); Jon Lindstrom (Must Love Dogs, Right on Track, and General Hospital); Richard Riehle (Office Space, Grounded for Life) and Molly Quinn (Castle, A Christmas Carol, directed by Robert Zemeckis) ).  Ivy Isenberg was the Casting Director.  I’m so glad to see the film continue to get festival play.  A great weekend ahead, indeed.

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ceeI just finished watching David Merrill from MIT demonstrate cookie-sized, computerized tiles called Siftables that can be stacked and shuffled in your hands.  Anyone, even a young child, can do math, play music, and interact with their friends with these amazing digital blocks.  I watched in awe at TED.com.  The next generation of the computer and communication.

The yearly Technology, Entertainment & Design conference, now in year seven, is an amazing gathering of Today’s real thinkers.  This year’s conference, which was just recently posted on their Website, was once again filled with incredible inventions and new thoughts on issues that affect our world today.  If you don’t know much about TED, I highly recommend seeing Daphne Zuniga’s documentary on the 2006 conference, “The Future We Will Create: Inside the World of TED.”  A review can be found on my friend Stefan Rhys blog, Signal>Noise.

Although I haven’t actually been to a TED conference, I did recently have the opportunity to go to two other forward thinking conferences.  A few weeks ago, I joined director/producer Nicole Torre of New Angle Media at the GoGreen Expo and was impressed with the advances and possibilities for a better, greener future.  I was raised on Earth Day and traditional American Indian philosophy (see my upcoming documentary project, “Witness Trees“), so a lot of this was as old as when Jimmy Carter was President talking “Green,” but it is wonderful that the masses are finally stepping out of their SUV’s for a better, cleaner planet.  I firmly believe that anyone looking for a job and with the new Economic Stimulus Bill, “Green” is the future.  If you’re interested check out Earthprotect.com.  That’s why I was at the conference promoting Unconventional Media and why I decided to help produce Nicole Torre’s upcoming documentary, “Houston, We Have a Problem.”  It’s a feature film on the energy crisis from the perspective of the Houston oil man.   We’re in the final stages of post production, research clearances, music rights, but if anyone wants to hang their hat on an important film, we sure could use the pocket change.

Last weekend, I attended the Conscious Life Expo.  Once again, I was impressed with this wave of spiritual thinking and world peace.  People were truly promoting change for our planet.  Now I admit there were a few “weird” and wild ones at the conference and I met more psychics in one day then I’ve ever met in all my years working with the International Society of Paranormal Research (ISPR).  I’m certain we can now cast our show “Psychic Boot Camp” for the Paraplex in New Orleans.

We were at the Expo to capture an exciting, upcoming DVD for BrandU’s Conscious Entrepreneur Experience.  I’ve known W. Vito Montone and Kim Castle of BrandU for a long time.  These guys know what they are talking about when it comes to understanding your business as a creative universal expression, regardless of the product or service offered.  Much of what they cover in their lectures and workshops has been the inspiration for me in my own creation of Unconventional Media.  It was Kim Castle and her insights that created the original Eric Mofford logo.

This DVD will explain and show the greater path to financial freedom and personal fulfillment.  “CEE” can almost guarantee the growth and profitability of your business while still making a powerful and positive impact on the world.
Kim and Vito have always been ahead of their time with new ideas.  Kim has been helping clients with their company identity for over twenty years.  Vito has spearheaded projects for Disney Interactive and created the first Virtual Convention for Star Trek, among many other projects.  I remember Vito and I getting together and talking about the possibilities of interactive media, kiosk point of sales and brand marketing in Atlanta in the late 1980’s when no one would listen.  This DVD not only includes their own knowledge and expertise, but includes a TV talk show format featuring irreverent and witty interviews by Kim with multi-million dollar conscious entrepreneurs, Spike Humer, Marcia Miller and Joe Sugarman.  The live music was supplied by the wonderful techno artist Coco O’Connor.
These guys took risks and succeeded, an inspiration for any business, be it independent filmmaking or bracelets like the “I Love Bracelets” launched by Marcia Miller out of her apartment while pregnant with her first child.  Since its inception, “ILB” has sold more than 2 million bracelets, earrings, and necklaces, exclusively to more than 7,000 retailers, gift stores and fashion boutiques.  Mr. Humer has been the behind the scenes life coach for several of the world’s leading experts in the field of personal and business development.  He has hands-on experience leading both public and private companies throughout North America.

I’ve got to admit my favorite was Joe Sugarman, who created BluBlocker Sunglasses and ran JS&A (forerunner of  Sharper Image), a highly successful mail-order company in the 1980s, the largest supplier of innovative electronic products in the U.S.  He pioneered many of the sales and marketing techniques widely used today, as well as introduced household products like the calculator, cordless phones, and digital watches to the world.  His world-class drive, business acumen, insatiable curiosity, and uncanny ability to tap the buying mind, keeps him ahead of the pack and always forging new frontiers.  This guy didn’t always succeed, but he was always willing to chase the dream.

The Conscious Entrepreneur Experience DVD is going to be a valuable tool for anyone ready to start or rethink their own business.  The whole experience was an incredibly worthwhile experience for me.  I guess it will soon be available at Intention Products.  I truly believe I had a rare opportunity to hear and see two speakers before they present at a future TED conference, and for that I feel privileged.  These are amazing times indeed.

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rippedbannerThe music/reality television pilot “Stone Cold Sober…In Music City” is picking up steam and it looks like we’re headed into production later this Spring.  I’m excited because this is a project I’ve really wanted see get off the ground ever since Michael Catalano introduced me to Brian Adams and Jared Blake over six months ago.  In fact, it was my trip to Nashville to meet these guys and the band, The Levees, last summer that I decided to open Unconventional South.  I’ve always loved the music energy of Nashville, ever since I was working there doing music videos with Think Pictures (Martin Kahan and Venetia Mayhew) in the late ’80s and early ’90s.  I’m glad to be back.

Check out the Stone Cold Sober Music website and you’ll hear what an amazing roster of musicians creator Brian Adams has gathered for this series.  Anyone that has seen my film “Travelin’ Trains” knows my love of Americana roots music and with this show, we plan on delivering not only the music, but the stories of the struggles to get the music heard.  When talking about “Stone Cold,” I keep referring to documentarian James Szalapski’s late 70’s film, “Heartworn Highways,” which followed artists like Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Rodney Crowell, Steve Young and Steve Earle before any of these guys were household names.  They’re all so young, sitting around the living rooms and small studios, smoking cigarettes and drinking, playing music and espousing the importance of the back-to-basics movement  in Country.  This is intercut with performances by the Charlie Daniels Band and David Allan Coe in sparkly outfits.  I think of “Stone Cold Sober…In Music City” as a retelling, but now it’s thirty years later.  The show will touch on all the dramatic aspects of a musician’s life— including the secrets, challenges, competitiveness, successes and failures.  The struggle to get your music heard has not changed, only the musicians.

Brian Adams has been the catalyst in keeping the momentum of this project moving forward.  Unlike so many good ideas that fall away without a champion, Brian has lead the charge and continues to ignite interest in the possibilities of the show.  Adams comes from a financial background and has always specialized in managing projects from the development stages, but I’ve worked with many that call themselves “producers” and I truly believe Brian has found his calling.

Brian recently brought on Jennifer Rachidi, Owner and Brand Developer for TRUST, to provide promotion and branding.  The plan now is to line up shows throughout the Southeastern United States for Spring 2009.  The reality tour series targets a wide range of venues, sponsors, and fans.  As Brian said in the Press Release, “I felt drawn to expose the public and fans to the secrets and developments of a singer/songwriter on their way to a star career. It’s the untold and unseen sides of a performer that will be exposed.”  Audiences will be able to watch clips and interviews via online streaming, adding comments and ideas, during this phase of the production.  Public involvement at this stage will be the key to the success of the completed show.  Check out the MySpace site to hear the music and become a Friend.  It’s going to be a wild ride.

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