August 13, 2014
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Oakland actor Jerry McDaniel plays a carpenter who moonlights as a clown, in Bradshaw's 'Everything Strange and New,' but it doesn't make him happy. photo: F. Bradshaw
Spirit Awards Names Bradshaw
After taking the International Critics Award at the 2009 SF International, Oakland's own Fradzer Bradshaw has garnered another notable accolade for his "Everything Strange and New" (2009): nomination for the American Film Institute's Spirit Award for first-time director. Hosted by Joel McHale, the Spirit Awards will unfold on the Santa Monica beach on February 26 at 2:00pm. "Everything Strange and New" also stars Oaklander Jerry McDaniel, who I see around town at openings (and swear looks vaguely familiar—'Oh, yeah, weren't you in that famous movie?'), Beth Lisick, as his character's long suffering wife, and the talented Luis Saguar, in the tricky role of Manny.
It is especially nice to see "Everything Strange and New," distributed by
, kicking a little LA butt since it is a classic Bay Area—even Oakland—film. It is the former because it is about the personal soul journey and the latter in that it transpires in an epiphany—orgasm even—of "nondescriptionism," Oakland as a stand in for nowhere. Moreover, and also very Oakland, it evolves slowly, but with full motivation, from drab post -modern and -marriage angst into a delirium of sex, drugs and if not rock and roll then the amped-up marching band music of its sound track (by Dan Plonsey and Kent Sparling). For the Spirit Award, "Everything Strange and New" is up against "Tiny Furniture," by Lena Dunham, an equally quirky and introspective but bigger budgeted freshman film.
The poster from Jeff Piccinini's 'Spirit of the Road.' photo: J. Piccinini
Spirits of the Road Shows
The feature "Spirit of the Road" has been showing around, notably at the Culver Cinema Complex in LA, and is scheduled to show at the New York International Film Festival in March. Directed and produced by Jeff Piccinini, a director of photography out of Petaluma, Sonoma County, and written James M. Mallon, it is wild road trip featuring a desperate woman, a meandering mobster, a dubious detectives, and bevy of careening cars.
"The 'B' film format is a necessary evil to get credibility to eventually make a movie with name actors," Puccinini told me.
Produced by Piccinini's Purple Motion Pictures, "Spirit of the Road" clocked in at 55K, plus another five in promo, which he was able to muster by being "clever, thrifty and efficient." PLUS he cashed all his favors: notably, dragooning his half brother to play the Mafia Don.
"Spirit" was picked up for representation, and worldwide sales and distribution, by
which seems to specialize in ghost stories, mysteries and the ever-beloved vampire. Perhaps no shocker here, Puccinini is currently working on a vampire film and a Caribbean Thriller, "No Toads in Heaven." For more info:
Spirit of the Road
. He is a hard working cinematographer and has proposed "Spirits" as television series with Bay Area talent. Jeff also plays guitar with the local gigging band The Revenant (original) and S'Cream (Cream/Clapton tribute), both of which are playing New Year's Eve at the Presidio Yacht Club at Fort Mason.
John Leslie/Nuzzo at the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas in 2007. photo: J. Leslie
Porn Pioneer Leslie Passes
John Nuzzo, who changed his name to Leslie and appeared in over 300 pornos, died in Mill Valley at 65 of a stroke December 8, according to Scott Tady of the Beaver County Times—no double entendre: Nuzzo hailed from Beaver County, Pennsylvania. A famously friendly guy, who started as an artist in New York, he later applied those skills in film, acting in hundreds of X rated movies, like "Talk Dirty to Me” (1980) which established him as the one of the leading men of the so-called Golden Age of Porn (the 1970s and 80s). Nuzzo went on to direct, get married in 1987 and settle down in Marin County.
“I guess you could say he was a free spirit,” said Nuzzo’s older brother, Andy, according to Tady, but “He never forgot his roots.” “He was a generous, outgoing Italian guy,” added high school chum, Bob Dominici. “If you went out to a restaurant with him, you were guaranteed to get the best table because he knew everyone. Quite often, he’d pick up the check.”
But Nuzzo was not only about a hard body or parts thereof. Indeed, he was a dedicated artist who studied at the Art Students League in New York, earned a living as an illustrator of romance novel covers, and was an excellent singer and harmonica player. The band he started, after moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan, once opened for Jimi Hendrix.
Although another art form crowned him with success (and porn, dating from the 25,000 year-old Venus of Willendorf, is certainly one of the seven major forms), when he moved to the Bay Area, his previous art experience helped him transition to directing. He excelled at art direction, handling actors, and wrangling a project to completion. “He knew exactly what he wanted the camera to see, and his films always had superb continuity,” noted Steve Nelson, editor-in-chief of Adult Industry News.
“There’s nothing he didn’t know,” continued his friend Dominici. “He was very passionate about any subject he spoke of—politics, filmmaking, art or Italian food and cooking.” John Nuzzo is survived by Kathleen, his wife of 23 years.
Crescendo! Welcomes Swell Music
Swell Music, with its large stock music library, customizable tracks and original composition capabilities, has joined forces with the fifteen year-old, downtown San Francisco, audio-post shop
. Although the two companies remain independent, they are synergizing to offer a wider range of audio services under one roof.
Headed by lead composer Elad Marish, Swell Music recently relocated from Los Angeles, where they produced a wide variety of projects ranging from commercial work with the likes of Pepsi and AT&T, original music for movie trailers including "The Hoax" (Richard Gere), and "Easy Money" (Forrest Whitaker, Jay Mohr). They also scored and sound designed music videos for the likes of P Diddy, Ne-yo, and Fefe Dobson as well as promos for sports team Miami Heat and Fox Sports MLB Baseball.
Crescendo!, in turn, is helmed by Craig Helmholz and located on Battery Street, in the heart of the old Barbary Coast, where they've done work for McCann-Erikson, Microsoft, Nintendo, KAYAK, Doritos, Kashi, Esurance.com, and many others.
D. Blair Dec 13, 2010