Posts Tagged ‘tomas arana’

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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Arts Advocacy Day

March 24, 2015

Today, Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund celebrate National Arts Advocacy Day! Celebrate by clicking here to tell Congress that you support the arts.

And watch these fine artists in Old School New School talking about success in the arts and creativity! You’ll be supporting the arts and stimulating the brain all at once.

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Thank you!

Viewers respond to Old School New School

September 9, 2014

We wanted to share some of the latest responses from viewers across the internet who’ve been watching Old School New School, Steven Fischer’s study on creativity with actor Brian Cox, jazz great McCoy Tyner, and cinematography legend William Fraker.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Your continued interest and support is greatly appreciated!

Just finished watching this for the first time (it won’t be the last time I assure you). Thanks for making an important film for all of us involved with creative work…
Joe I., Winnipeg, Canada

Steven, I am watching your documentary and learning so much from it. Thank for sharing this with me.
Larry M., Boston, MA

A fascinating movie about the creative potential we all possess! Enjoy and learn!
Robert M., Australia

Steven, really enjoyed Old School New School. Sharing it with everybody I know!
Rene M., Dallas, TX

Steven, Your film was outstanding, and such a tribute for anyone doubting their own dreams for success, especially in the arts. It is one I will watch more than just once. I felt as though it was made for me… Thanks so much for sharing such an inspiring documentary.
Donna M., Chicago, IL

terrific documentary on creativity with actor Brian Cox – it is amazing!
Geoff T., Los Angeles, CA

Yay Steven!
CINE Awards, Washington, DC

Steven, I enjoyed your film! Your thought provoking look at creativity through various media and live conversation is really raising the bar. CONGRATULATIONS!
Russ M., Baltimore, MD

Great film! Especially for creative types.
Jennifer W., Denver, CO

Creativity and success: This week’s Snag Learning Film of the week is Old School New School
Ed Tweeps @edtweeps

“Death: A Perspective on Life” coming April 5, 2012

March 24, 2012

On Thursday, April 5 at 6pm we will be having an interactive panel discussion at the Chicago Cultural Center about mortality and creativity.

“In my beginning is my end. In my end is my beginning.” These two poetic statements, which frame one of T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, capture the spirit of this panel discussion about the ways in which awareness of our own mortality impacts our life’s meaning, our creativity, and our resilience to adversity.

The Panelists:
Leah Roth-Howe is a descendant of Holocaust survivors. She draws on her family’s legacy to better understand the causes of genocide and uses the arts as a means of healing. In 2008, Leah led educational and art workshops in Cambodia for Khmer Rouge genocide survivors and their family members.

Omer Mozaffar was born in Karachi, Pakistan and is a lifelong member of the Chicago Muslim Community. He teaches Islamic studies at University of Chicago (Graham School), Loyola University, and Islamic centers throughout the city.

Dr. Todd DuBose has 25 years of experience in various modes of caring for others in tragic and/or “boundary” situations – from trauma chaplaincy and pastoral care to the arts of clinical psychology, focusing his work on the interplay between suffering, meaning, and care, and the inherent spirituality within this process. Dr. DuBose is an Associate Professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology and a licensed existential-phenomenological psychologist.

The Moderator:
Steven Fischer, who will facilitate the discussion, is a two-time Emmy® nominated writer/producer known for films that explore the human condition. His latest documentary, Old School New School, examines the nature of creativity with actor Brian Cox.

Hours: 6pm – 7.30pm

Location:
Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington Street, 5th Floor Washington Room
Chicago, IL 60602

Admission: FREE!

This event is a part of the lecture series Starting from Scratch: The Psychology of Beginning, sponsored by The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Morbid Curiosity showcases collector Richard Harris’s nearly 1,000 works, including creations by many of the greatest artists of our time, which explore the iconography of death and human mortality. This exhibition of art, artifacts, installations, and decorative objects reflects the breadth of artistic expression on this topic across a variety of cultural and spiritual traditions and through almost six centuries.

For more details visit: Chicago Cultural Center

The Entertainment Corner Reviews OSNS

December 5, 2011

The Entertainment Corner reviewed Old School New School.

Click here to read.

Tomas Arana Appears in Old School New School

December 29, 2009

Earlier this month we shot the actor Tomas Arana in NYC for Old School New School. Moveigoers might recognize Tomas from his work as Quintus in Gladiator or as Lazarus in Scorsese’s Last Tempation of Christ. Tomas also works alot in Italy and regularly appears as Ricardo in the program Tutti Pazzi per Amore.

Many thanks to DP Chris Cassidy, Bernie Gavzer for the use of the apartment, and Diane Leigh Davison for making this shoot a reality!

More about the shoot and Old School New School, click here!

Tomas Arana, Herman Leonard, and Allen Moore

October 5, 2009

The Next Old School New School subjects are…

Cinematographer Allen Moore. He’s one of Ken Burns’ trusted cameramen and has served as cinematographer on Burns’ classics The Civil War, Thomas Jefferson, The West, The National Parks. His own films are equally as amazing. The Shepherd of Berneray is an extraordinary documentary of a year in the life of a Gaelic-speaking island community in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

Actor Tomas Arana is also on board to appear in Old School New School. He is probably best known for the role of Quintis in Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, but his credits extend way beyond…. ER, Pearl Harbor, The Bodyguard, CSI, 24 … and a ton of work throughout Europe. The list goes on. His connection with fine artists such as Andy Warhol and the lessons he learned about creativity had me completely engaged in our chat.

Actor Tomas Arana.

Actor Tomas Arana.

And legendary photographer Herman Leonard has agreed to appear in the movie! Quincy Jones once wrote that any image a person has in mind of Jazz history is probably one of Herman Leonard’s photos. He’s photographed everyone from Louis Armstrong to Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, and Marlon Brando not to mention Clark Gable, Harry Truman and Albert Einstein!

Legendary photographer Herman Leonard.

Legendary photographer Herman Leonard.

Old School, New School producers Diane Leigh Davison and Steven Fischer with Herman Leonard (far left) at a gallery opening in New York City. (2009, photo by Rick Edwards)

Old School, New School producers Diane Leigh Davison and Steven Fischer with Herman Leonard (far left) at a gallery opening in New York City. (2009, photo by Rick Edwards)

Having chatted with him, I’ve discovered Mr. Leonard to be a terrific storyteller. He told a fascinating story of a conversation he had with Albert Einstein and Einstein’s thoughts on the creative power of improvisation. I’m looking forward to this one. Details soon.

More details to follow. Many thanks to Diane Davison for making it happen!