I just wanted to put up my Documentary. New Orleans Sound 2011 is up and running! I hope you enjoy
So I ran into this woman…..
It was suggested to us that we go to Bullets Bar in the 7th Ward of New Orleans. Kermit Ruffins plays every Tuesday and being that one of the kids was doing his documentary on jazz and music it was recommended that we check it out. He was crazy and the crowed loved him, but it wasn’t until this girl, this phenomenal young woman, stepped up to the microphone, that we were blown away.
When she was finished and the instructors, Colleen and Becky, and I came out of our daze, we knew we had to talk to her. She agreed that night to give me an interview for my on documentary and from there the rest was history.
After the Interview she agreed to allow me to film her preparing for a performance. So I went to her apartment and followed her through her steps to becoming stage ready.
At her home…
In the car…
To the stage.
This city never slows down!!! We all feel as though we have been here for months with the amount of places we travel and things we get done in one day! But i guess that just means we are all getting a lot done! :0) In one day I got 2 interviews, one with a street musician named John Savaidra and the other with a man named Ronald Lewis, who built his own museum to Second Lines and the art work, spirit and culture that goes into them. Plus I shot for 2 hours at a small lounge bar in the Pontchartrain Hotel in the Garden District near Uptown New Orleans. I have uploaded my first rough clip onto my Vimeo page, it is some b-roll footage and a part of an impromptu interview i got with John. Remember it’s rough!
OH OH OH OH!!!!!! and did I mention that i went to a second line?!!!!!!!!! So amazing, so intense, so full of music!! a second line is a parade containing a number of different brass bands that march and dance down the street for any reason worth celebrating!! (and I mean any)!! It was so much fun! I do have a certain new found appreciation for documentary film makers now though because all I wanted to do was start to dance right along with everyone!! Desperately trying to keep focused during all the excitement is difficult!! Plus it was HOT!!!! but we survived!!
Tomorrow, Tuesday the 28th, I will be Ridding along with Armand and his wife Patty, getting to know them and seeing the city from the eyes of an artist! Of course I will be getting an interview from him but they also were able to talk to a few others and got me a few more interviews as well! in all tomorrow I will be talking to about 4 or 5 people total (including Armand) plus I will be getting some great shots of historic clubs and bars around the area! I truly can not thank them enough for all the work they have done for me! Never did I expect this but yet still they are going out of their way to make sure I am seeing the very best music the “Big Easy” has to offer! And believe me I’m soaking it all up!
So far I have:
– B-roll footage of the French Quarter, 2 sunrises, 2 above ground cemetaries (extra just because they are so intriguing)
– Interview with John Savaidra
-Interview with Ronald Lewis
– Footage of The House of Dance and Feathers (the Second Line Museum)
– Footage of a Second Line (totally awesome!!)
– Photos from the Ponderosa Stomp
– Photos and Footage of Armand playing at the Bayou Bar in the Pontchartrain Hotel
– Photos and Footage of Armand playing at the Arc
I Still Have To Get:
– Armands’ Interview
– Interview with Record Store Owner (Thanks Armand)
– Interview with Second Record Store Owner’s Assistant (Thanks Armand)
– Interview with the Owner of the Rock n’ Bowl (a bowling ally that also has rock n’ roll) (Thanks Armand)
– Interview with Lisa Detner From the Musicians’ Village
– More street performers
Its a lot of work but in the end I know it will all pay off! New Orleans is a beautiful city, I’m having the time of my life and I’m doing what I love with people I love, what more could anyone ask for?!!
Ok while i was on my way to NOLA I was called by Armand (a man I had contact and who had agreed to assist me with my project) who had informed me that i was unable to shoot at the Ponderosa Stomp because the House Of Blues didn’t allow cameras of any kind. It sucked and I was sad but it gave me the opportunity to take my first night in the city to learn its layout and figure out what I was working with, being that I have never been here before. So with that in mind set I finished the journey to the Crescent City, got settled in, and decided to walk around the French Quarter. A group of us went and we all agreed that we wouldn’t bring any equipment so we could enjoy our fist night here!
Then while wondering Bourbon Street I got a phone call from a women named Sue. She quickly explained that she worked at the House Of Blues and was with Patty (Armand’s wife) who was trying to make it so I was able to get in and get my shots. Sue was frantic on the phone as she was trying to explain to me that if I had a small enough camera and didn’t make it obvious I was shooting it would be okay for me to come in! Excited I began to head in the direction of the Club when i realized the decision my group and i had made to not bring any equipment. Running back to the hotel would have taken too much time, plus a video camera (JVC proHD) isn’t that subtle, even though it is rather small, so we agreed that an iPhone would have to do. The concert was too important to pass up and if nothing else I would have finally met Patty and Armand and learned a thing or to about the sound I was so eager to capture.
So I grabbed Whitley and we were off to the Ponderosa Stomp! It was unbelievable! So much energy, so much emotion and so much noise!! Plus Patty and Armand are amazing! Kind and generous, it’s incredible how willing they are to assist me with my project! And boy can Armand play; its like his fingers just glide over the keys! Unfortunately all the images and videos i took weren’t the best quality and will pale in comparison to the shots I will capture with either the JVC or the 7D but I’m glad i went! Even if I end up unable to use the footage I got tonight it is still an experience and one everyone should have in their lives!
So today is the day!!!! I have never been to New Orleans and my plane takes off at 5pm tonight!! (if it stays on time) More excited but still nervous I really don’t know what to expect! Never have I worked on anything this large before and the challenge really intrigues me, while at the same time stresses me out to the max; but I have come to the conclusion that stress is simply just a part of life! We all have it!! I have to say thought, for my documentary I was lucky enough to have made some pretty key contacts so I do feel comfort in the fact that I will get some pretty good footage and definitely learn a lot. This so far has been an amazing experience and is and will be an eye opener for me and my career! Wish me Luck!
I will be hitting the ground running tonight as well!! Armand St. Martin, a Piano Professor (as they call those who can play a song you can dance to solely with the piano) and who has offered his time and talent to my project, is playing at the Ponderosa Stomp Tonight! It is an annual event featuring legendary musical talents from New Orleans!
The Ponderosa Stomp is an American roots music festival dedicated to recognizing the architects of rock-n-roll, blues, jazz, country, swamp pop, and soul. Founded in New Orleans and produced by the non-profit Mystic Knights of the Mau Mau, a diverse group of music fanatics who have presented over 50 concerts with over 200 musical legends, the Stomp always succeeds in exposing rare musical icons to their adoring fans and to new audiences. The Stomp itself has now become legendary in reviving careers and giving a new lease on musical life to so many performers
Armand Performs From 11:25 to 12:45 pm and I will be there to capture the intensity and energy he and the entire event generates! I have to give a Thanks again To Armand St. Martin and his wife Patty for allowing me the opportunity to film within these event! They have helped drive my vision and my project and without them I wouldn’t be standing with the confidence I have now!
Robert Green, a gentalman I have been speaking to about contacts in NOLA, ran into a woman, Liese, who lives in Musicians’ Village and he was kind enough to give her my information! Liese is pictured in a book published by photographer Ryan Brandenber called “Roots Run Deep Here: Returning to New Orleans’ Ninth Ward After Katrina” published in 2009. She is shown in the roots run deep release link and she is the woman in blue holding the guitar. I hope to speak with her and get the inside story of those who live within the village and hopefully some performances as well.
I have recently been given the contact info for Robert Green and after getting ahold of him i feel i have a better grasp on my story. First of all Robert is one of the most gracious and kind men i have come across so far and his willingness to help is very refreshing and encouraging. When I spoke with him I could tell that the events in honor of the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, happening this weekend , were keeping him busy as he puts forth many hours of his time to ensuring that the hurricane be never forgotten and the tragedy be always within our hearts.
Immediately he told me of friends of his who were musicians and that while down in the city he would take me to see them and possibly video tape performances. That alone got me excited to get started on the production stages of this project. Then he forwarded me contact information to a few friends that had participated in events and other projects dealing with the storm and, through artistic measures, commemoration of those lost and or forever changed by the tragedy . I have already tried contacting a few and am currently waiting for replies from them.
Getting the personal stories of musicians that have created a culture for the city has been my goal for the project from the beginning and to find someone who is just as excited for my project to be complete as i am is the reassurance and push my story needed to really get going!