I told Mike the other day that sometimes I just feel like someone with a lot of phone numbers and email addresses.  Mike then turned to me and said, “I think you just defined exactly what it is to be a producer.”  Apparently I’m a producer.

(legendary producer Joseph Papp © 1964 Al Hirschfeld; me © 2010 Michael Heck)

I spoke on the phone yesterday with the NBC Archives.  The portrait of my high school friends (“Right Foot to Red Circle”) recounts New Year’s Eve 1999, which we spent together out at Higgins Lake in Michigan.  Unlike other New Year’s Eves, for that particular year news anchors hosted the evening on each television network.  We watched Tom Brokaw on NBC, and the song I’ve written includes the lyrics “We all thought the world might end, we were just 18 / Tom Brokaw told us we’d fine.”  I was hoping to use footage from the Brokaw broadcast in the projections for the song.  However, the NBC Archives quoted me a fee that is more than the entire budget of the project.  I explained the premise and circumstances more fully, and they said they would get back to me.  I’m not holding my breath.

I also emailed back and forth with the NBA this week.  Shawn Kemp (“We Outran the Sun”) shares a name with the former star of the Seattle Supersonics, which was hilarious when we were sixteen.  I’d love to use B roll of him playing basketball, and this actually seems more possible.  I submitted a copy of the lyrics to the NBA yesterday.  Seriously.  That sentence was a delight to type.

What I’m saying, I suppose, is that everything is humming along.  We finally reached a hundred fans on Facebook.  The blog got mentioned by a website devoted to performances of Hamlet, which reposted part of my profile of Michael Stuhlbarg (though incorrectly said I played Fortinbras, sorry Piter Marek).  A DVD arrived in the mail of Shawn’s interview, which she had sent me from Germany.  I put together a rough edit of the projections for “A Soft Spoken Serious Man,” which includes a lot of images we shot at the Delacorte.  And Mike finished editing the interview of Stacey (“It’s Okay to Break”).

The interviews have all been about forty minutes or so, and the challenge has been to edit them down to around three minutes.  For Stacey, I told Mike that meant finding a balance between her whimsy, strength, and vulnerability.  In performance, the interviews will precede the songs.  Hopefully they will offer a glimpse into these friendships, as well as capture the essence of each person – creating a visual portrait to accompany the musical portrait.  I’ve included Stacey’s edited interview below to give you an idea of what the interviews will be like.

(Film © 2010 Matthew Carlson and Michael Heck)

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