Tag: documentary/Archives

HV065- Cowboy

Bull rider at Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeoHearing Voices from NPR®
065 Cowboy: Cheyenne Frontier Days
Host: Josh Darsa of NPR
Airs week of: 2010-07-28 (Originally: 2009-07-22)

“Cowboy” (52:00 mp3):

Host Josh Darsa of NPR spends nine days with rodeo riders in a rural Wyoming town:

“Cowboy” (52:00) Josh Darsa

This 1980 classic radio doc from the NPR archives visits Cheyenne Frontier Days, “The Daddy of ’em All.”

Along the way, Darsa digs into the the history of the “cowboy,” mixing in the experiences of Baylis John Fletcher on an 1879 cattle drive, herding 2000 longhorns from Texas to Wyoming (read by Paul Blakemore from the book Up the trail in ’79.

And underscoring it all is the wild-west symphonies of Aaron Copland.

Josh Darsa wrote and narrated. The technical director and recording engineer was John Widoff, assisted by Miles Smith, Dave Glasser and shop technician Bob Butcher.

Audio engineer John Widoff recording radio riders“While we were at the rodeo, Josh Darsa wanted to record multiple vantage points of a single scene. For instance, I’d have a Nagra tape recorder on the roof of the grandstand and Miles Smith would have a Nagra in the chutes where the riders would bust out for their ride. Then we would have a free-running Nagra III on the rodeo announcer. We ran them in sync kinda like you would do in video with multiple cameras. This gave us three vantage points. During the show you hear the perspective change through cross fading which is a result of these different but simultaneous perspectives.

There must have been 70 hours or more of tape we shot out there in Cheyenne and every single thing got dubbed. What you heard in the halls of the old NPR were rodeo sounds coming from RC1. Constant horses, bulls, things crashing, just all kinds of things. I think it drove people nuts hearing this stuff up and down the halls.

This was the height of my career at NPR. It was a combination of everything… the music recording, the production sound recording, interviews… every single thing that I had ever done for this company all came together in this show. This was probably how Walt Disney felt when he made Mary Poppins. It was a dream come true for me to build something like this. ‘Cowboy’ is the kind of show you would listen to in a darkened movie theatre. The writing is spectacular.”
–John Widoff, “‘Cowboy,’ a Study in Radio Tale-Telling
Read the entire interview.

More Josh Darsa at NPR.org: “An Italian Mosaic” (1978) | “Josh Darsa Obituary” by Alex Chadwick (2000)

Reality Radio

A new new book out, Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound:

Reality Radio celebrates today’s best audio documentary work by bringing together some of the most influential and innovative practitioners.

Contributors [include]: Jay Allison, damali ayo, Emily Botein, Chris Brookes, Scott Carrier, Katie Davis, Ira Glass, The Kitchen Sisters, Maria Martin, Karen Michel, Rick Moody, Joe Richman, Dmae Roberts, Stephen Smith, Sandy Tolan.

Publisher UNC Press offers this Q & A w/ the book’s editor John Biewen.

Union Docs Fortnight

Tomorrow night (Sat Feb 20 8p) Union Docs premeires a DocumentaryFortnight at MoMA- NYC, hosted by Kara Oehler of HV and MapMainSt:

This is a year-long program for non-fiction media research and group production brings together 12 media artists (including Tina and Shawn) from diverse backgrounds (film, radio, poetry, architecture, performance, photography) to collaboratively create new works. This Saturday, we’ll be screening and performing pieces from our most recent collaborative project – the exploration of myths and mythology in documentary. Partly inspired by Roland Barthes classic Mythologies, a slim volume from 1957 composed of many short but revelatory essays, this ongoing multi-media project seeks to interrogate some of the myths that underlie everyday life.

Following the MoMA presentation, we will head over to The Space in Long Island City for our official benefit after party. Join us for drinks and music, featuring the legendary New York City brass ensemble the Hungry March Band and surprise DJ’s. $7 suggested donation, 10:30pm – until?

(46-01 5th Street at Vernon Ave, LIC. Take the E and V to the 23rd Street Ely Avenue stop.)

Doc Fortnight images: people, stills, text

Battle for Hearts and Minds

A film by Danfung Dennis embedded in Afghanistan with US Marine’s Echo Companyas they were dropped behind enemy lines to seize a key bridge. “Battle for Hearts and Minds“:

On July 2nd, 2009, four thousand US Marines of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade launched a major helicopter assault into a Taliban stronghold in the Helmand River Valley in southern Afghanistan in order to break a military stalemate reached with the Taliban.

“Battle for Hearts and Minds- Trailer”:

Battle for Hearts and Minds Trailer from Danfung Dennis on Vimeo.

Playing For Change

This Ben E. King song is performed “by musicians around the world adding their part to the song as it travelled the globe.” Then it’s mixed into a moving whole, as part of the project and documentary film “Playing For Change: Peace Through Music” (producer Mark Johnson on Bill Moyer’s Journal).

Playing For Change: Song Around the World “Stand By Me”

Hulu

Had to check out Hulu.com after reading about it. It’s kind of like YouTube Pro. Given that they’re doing limited commercials and putting things on there that people actually want to watch without being hunched over the screen, the TV industry might avoid the RIAA’s fate. The video quality is pretty good. At full-screen, I could sit back six feet and it looked fine. Want to watch Saturday Night Live clips or full-length The Simpsons or whole movies like “The Big Lebowski” or “The Usual Suspects.” Hulu is “joint venture owned by NBC Universal and News Corp [Fox]:”

Hulu offers U.S. consumers a vast selection of premium video content, on demand, free and ad-supported: full episodes of TV shows, both current and classic, full-length movies, thousands of clips, and much more.

There’s also short films, like from the Sundance series The Art of Seduction, “Not Pretty, Really:”

Werner & Errol

Illustration of Herzog and MorrisFrom the March/April 2008 Issue of The Believer, a conversation between two great filmakers: “Errol Morris talks with Werner Herzog.”

I was a private detective for years after I started as a filmmaker. I like to think, of course I could be completely wrong, that there’s this detective element in everything I do. My movies start from interviews. Everything that I’ve really done. —EM

Wait for the afterthought. Be patient. Don’t say, “Cut.” Just let them do it. The unplanned, the unexpected, the afterthought. —WH

via Zak Rosen- WDET.