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Talks Change Lives
Before Christmas we were in New York to show our films at the closing ceremony of the Rolex Arts Initiative. It’s a big event at Lincoln Centre – we get to show our work on huge screens with a brilliant sound system. Suddenly all the graft, scurrying around and worrying seemed worth it – unlike telly the films are seen in a cinematic setting and its great to watch the audience watching.
Running up to the ceremony Rolex now run an “Arts Weekend” which has grown into a credible event in it’s own right. We didn’t have much to do with this other than record what went on as Jesse Norman spoke inspiringly about the need for Art in education, Gilberto Gil treated us to some beautiful songs with his acoustic guitar and three of the 2011 proteges, Lee Serle, Ben Frost and Maya Zbib put on great performances. There were also panel discussions with eminent artists, the one featuring Brian Eno, Peter Sellars and Anish Kapoor reminded me of my art college days and the value of hearing artists riffing about ideas and what they do.
In 1975 Brian Eno actually came to my college at Trent Poly (now known as Nottingham Trent University) to give a lecture to me and my fellow Fine Art students, it was organised by the composer Michael Nyman, who at the time was one of our visiting lecturers. Brian turned up with pink streaked hair, silver pants and girl’s red wedge shoes. The lecture hall that day in the seventies was full, the whole of fashion and textiles turned up, it has to be said there was a frisson of a pop star amongst us – Eno walked in and the girls (and some boys) went gooey eyed.
Eno spoke for an hour without notes about minimalism, the nature of sound and why young people like rock n’ roll – “The bass affects the diaphram, the snare drum makes the feet want to move and the singing goes to the head and forms an emotional connection in the memory”. He also told us he had experimented by putting giant speakers under his bed whilst making love to his girlfriend – he had discovered that these particular speakers resonated at exactly same frequency as the human bowel so their session was somewhat curtailed by visits to the lavatory.
This was about the time Eno had created his “Oblique Strategies” with the artist friend Peter Schmidt” – these are a set of cards with random instructions on them designed to help artists when they are stumped for an idea or new direction, they contain instructions like: “Courage!” And “Do something boring” . I bought a set of these off Michael Nyman at the time promising to forward Mr Eno the £5 he was charging at the time…… I have to confess reader I have not yet done this but fully intend to at some point. If Mr Eno is reading this I promise to buy you lunch at a restaurant of your choice in recompence.
Anyway all this a roundabout way of saying the talk given by Eno, Kapoor and Sellars in New York was utterly fascinating to the point where I actually found myself taking notes just like I did at the lecture at Trent Poly in 1975.
Posted by Eddie on January 24th 2012 at 1.45pm
‘Crazy Horses’ legend buried in shallow grave?
On a recent shoot for Jaguar in Coventry I was horrified to see what I thought was the poorly marked resting place of the Mormon faith’s biggest star. Relax pop fans, the great Donny Osmond is alive and well and (as far as I know) still living in Salt Lake City. This turned out to be the parking space of another D. Osmond, esteemed member of the Jaguar Land Rover design team.
Thanks for having us, Jaguar, we had a great day! Keep on rocking, Donny.
Posted by Eddie on January 12th 2012 at 12.45pm
Happy New Year
Last year was a great one. We made more films than ever before, but more importantly, we kept making films we were proud of. Our series of mini-docs for The Rolex Mentor & Protege Arts Initiative looked and sounded great on the big screens in New York, our 60min programme on BBC2 about the 1951 Festival of Britain got great viewing figures and addressed some big issues in our modern society in an intelligent and entertaining way. To see some of the highlights of last year, have a quick peek at our ‘films’ page www.proudfoot.tv.
We’re finding that our work is being used by clients for an ever expanding set of purposes. Since we started out in 2004 we’ve always said that TV is still TV, no matter the screen you watch it on. Just because you show something on a computer screen, or project it at a glitzy event it doesn’t mean you should change the quality of the production. We hope that all of our clients now know that if you ask Proudfoot to make something it will be great quality.With the right team, quality comes cheap… it’s usually time that doesn’t.
So this year, we’ve decided to widen our range of services to clients and help provide online platforms for our films to be shown on. The films won’t change, but the way people can respond to and interact with them will. Watch this space for more information.
Finally, we’ve also noticed that everyone calls us “Proudfoot” – no need for “The” and “Company” so, with the help of design supremo Tom Williams, we’re rebranding and simplifying.
Happy New Year from Proudfoot.
Posted by Eddie on January 4th 2012 at 11.54am