Posts Tagged ‘theater’

Documentary Short Film Review “Old School, New School”

September 5, 2017

Review by Kirk S. Fernwood

4 Sept 2017

Film director Steven Fischer (left) with the legendary cinematographer William Fraker on location in Hollywood for Old School New School, 2008. (photo Scott Uhlfelder)

WATCH THE FILM HERE

First, the Recap:

It’s the digital age, and anyone and everyone is able to share their talents (or “talents”) with the world at large, opening themselves up to scrutiny, even putting out material of professional quality appearance–even though they aren’t really professional, perhaps, in connecting with an audience via true artistic integrity. So, therefore, what exactly is it that makes for, well, “making it” in the realms of stage and screen? For 2-time Emmy nominated independent filmmaker Steven Fischer, this was the burning question he himself had been struggling with for some time, with no immediate answers to be found.

However, he then embarked on a journey across the United States on a quest to find those elusive truths found within three distinct aspects of what it means to be grounded in the arts: finding your voice, security vs. risk, and the definition of success. As he engaged some of the wide-ranging entertainment industry’s most consummate, revered, and skilled artists in their respected fields of expertise, the notions shared, the personal level of insights presented, and the sometimes deceptively simple wisdom gained very much embodies the very heart of what it means to find exactly what was being sought.

Next, my Mind:

In what this reviewer would deem a perfect amalgamation of what it means to be a part of the independent film community while also delivering a pure, insightful, and fascinating look into the greater entertainment industry machine via some its veteran luminaries, writer/director/co-producer/editor Fischer’s 33-minute documentary short hits a home run on multiple levels. Thanks to the very up close, personalized nature of the interviews here, it makes the viewer one hundred percent experience the world through these artisans’ words as they share their own revelations about what it is to find success while also making it clear that everyone truly needs to find their own path.

Emphasizing concepts like not deviating from being who you are, knowing what risks to take vs. taking none at all or playing it too safe, having a willingness to push yourself, taking constructive criticism, being a person of honesty with yourself and others, realizing there doesn’t have to be suffering for your art to be successful, and asking yourself if you’ve found happiness, fulfillment, or reached your full potential, it very much should resonate deeply with anyone striving to walk that path to what they desire to do, even outside of the industries presented here. It’s an actuality, a personal endeavor, to aim for the goals you have and do it with passion and hard work, all while knowing with confidence what your talent is, developing it by being hand’s on, and accepting no shortcuts. It’s affecting and so real.

The “cast” Fischer provides us for this journey is nothing short of extraordinary. Included are renowned cinematographers like 6-time Oscar nominee William Fraker and John Bailey, 4-time Grammy winner and John Coltrane Quartet jazz legend McCoy Tyner, 134-time Tony nominated/41-time winning stage producer Emanuel Azenberg, 50-year theater teacher and performer Sam McCready, whose former students included names like Branagh, Neeson, and Boyle, poet James Ragan whose work has been translated into 12 European and Asian languages while also having read for 5 heads of state, Carnegie Hall, and the U.N., Kirstie Simson, a worldwide name in new dance instruction, as well as actors Ben Jones, Brian Cox, and Tomas Arana, all of whom stand out for their prolific deeds either on or off screen.

In total, with its completely relatable, down-to-earth vibe, fluid pacing, totally engaging interviews, and wealth of knowledge offered to any and all who have dreams of pursuing careers in the entertainment industry or other paths, “Old School, New School” is a must-see documentary effort that especially resonated with this reviewer and the goals I have been aiming for. It’s motivation, challenge, and steadfast encouragement found here, something we could all use more of in this hectic situation we call life.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!

L-R: Fred Weil, Steven Fischer, Brian Cox, Chris Cassidy shooting Old School New School, New York City, June 2010.

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Character Creation Workshop at Second City!

January 22, 2015

Join Steven Fischer at Second City on Saturday, February 28, 2015, for a cartoon character creation workshop!

Create original characters and personal stories for theater, radio, TV, or literature in this unique storytelling workshop. Participants exercise the creative process to develop original characters and stories through the art of cartooning. Cartoonist and two-time Emmy Award nominated writer/producer Steven Fischer leads participants through writing and drawing exercises that help develop well-rounded characters, locations, stories, and themes. Along the way, explore the philosophy and psychology of inspiration, creativity and storytelling. No drawing experience is necessary.

For details and registration click here!

Steven Fischer at the Debreceni Egyetemi Színházi Theatre Festival

November 2, 2014

From the Debreceni Egyetemi Színházi Theatre Festival website:

Steven Fischer, writer-director-Fulbright Lecturer, spoke on Friday (October 17, 2014) about character development and directing. Click here to read!

Written by Marton Sándor; fotó by Lukovszki Judit.

steven-fischer-debrecen-egyetemi-szinhaz_photo by-Lukovszki-Judit-october-17-2014

theater festival

REMINDER: Creativity panel at Greenhouse Theater, Monday Feb 13

February 10, 2012

Join us Monday, February 13th at 7.30pm for a stimulating discussion about the nature of creativity and how we all can tap into our full creative potential.

Appearing on the panel:

Tony Award winning set designer Todd Rosenthal
Hollywood sitcom writer Carla Waddles
Head of the Writing Program at Second City Andy Eninger.
Two-time Emmy nominated producer Steven Fischer

Location:
Greenhouse Theater Center
2257 North Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

Doors open at 7pm. Pay at the door — $10 ($5 with headshot/resume).

Cash bar and meet and greet after the show!

(Parking at the nearby Children’s Memorial Hospital garage on Lincoln Ave is $6 with validation from Greenhouse Theater Center.)

Please share the date with your friends and on your social networking sites.

Hope to see you there!

OSNS on Film Cast Live

June 29, 2009

Film Cast Live posted a review of the OSNS screening in Hollywood, June 20th. The writer’s name is George Leon and he had some great words to share!

Click here to check it out!

Thanks for the kudos, George!

OSNS panel discussion, Los Angeles, CA, June 2009

OSNS panel discussion, Los Angeles, CA, June 2009 (L-R) Brett Paesel, Mark Goffman, Steven Fischer, Steve Melendez, Mike Polcino

Hollywood Screening

May 29, 2009

Did I mention that Kimberley Browning is one of planet Earth’s most beautiful people? She is the heart and soul behind Hollywood Shorts, and many months ago made the generous offer to coordinate and present a work-in-progress screening of Old School, New School, a study on the nature of creativity.

That day is nearly here. Mark your calendars!

Saturday, June 20, 2009
The Hotel Cafe
1623 N. Cahuenga Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
4.30pm – 6.30pm
FREE

This work-in-progress screening is intended for a target audience focus group (art students and those interested in developing their creativity). Confirmed guests for the post screening discussion include 6-time Oscar nominee (and OSNS subject) William Fraker and Michael Polcino, director of The Simpsons and Family Guy animated series. The discussion continues the dialogue from the movie about taking risks, finding your own voice, defining success in the arts, and, in general, how to “make it” in the arts.

More panel guests to be announced. The best way to keep in formed is to join the OSNS Facebook page.

Many thanks to The Hotel Cafe and Kimberley Browning for making this screening a reality.

OSNS in the News

March 31, 2009

Indie Filmmaker Gets Hollywood, Broadway Involved in New Film

Manny Azenberg

May 2, 2008

Recorded conversation with Manny Azenberg today at the Neil Simon Theater, NYC. Manny has been Neil Simon’s producer since 1972. His productions have earned over 140 Tony nominations. Amazing!

John Bintz)

Cinematographers Chris Cassidy (far left) and Chris Kenneally (far right) with Manny Azenberg and Steven Fischer. (photo: John Bintz)

 

 

On board as crew were two really superb cameramen, Chris Cassidy and Chris Kenneally. Kenneally, in fact, is one of the forces behind the documentary Crazy Legs Conti. John Bintz shot documentary footage of shoot and as always, proved an invaluable resource and good friend.

Manny Azenberg was a true delight, and extremely generous with his time. He spoke with such conviction, intelligence, and dry wit. His distinctive Bronx accent only added to the enjoyment of listening to what he had to say. I think his inclusion in the documentary will be a high point.

Many thanks to Wendy Revel for making the connection!