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Degas wins ALA Award

The video “Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists: Degas,” which I sound-designed and mixed, has won the American Library Association’s Notable Children’s Video award.

You can watch a clip of “Degas” here.

Congratulations to everyone at Getting To Know!

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Projects update: March 2010

Here’s the news in Toxic Bag-land right about now.

I’ve just finished sound design and final mixing for the new Getting To Know video, a 20-minute cartoon about French painter Edgar Degas. My brother Tim Griffin provided the voice of Degas. The DVDs should hit the virtual shelves in a few weeks.

There are currently two theatre projects on the Toxic Bag calendar. The first is Hobo Junction’s new musical “The Regulars.” Chicago multi-instrumentalist and composer Mike Przygoda is working with me on arrangements for all the songs. Composers Josh Zagoren and Dan Krall send us fantastic demos, and we embellish them with all sorts of rock-musical awesomeness. “The Regulars” opens May 7 at the Apollo Theater in Chicago. Our stage manager, Amy, is blogging about the pre-production process as well…and of course visit the Hobo Junction Facebook page for video updates from Josh!

The other show is Sophie Treadwell’s “Machinal” at Moraine Valley Community College. It opens the last week of April, and we haven’t had our first production meeting yet so I’m not sure what form the sound design will take. However, I have been listening to a lot of George Antheil while reading the script, and I think I may move in that direction. We’ll see…

Meanwhile, Mr. Blood is down in his lair building new Toxic Bag products, and I hope to have some sort of definite announcement about that –and some other things– very soon.

Another award for Getting to Know!

The American Library Association has named “Getting to Know the U.S. Presidents: Jefferson” as a Notable Children’s Video.

The video was produced by Kiki Stathakis, animated by George Berlin and edited by RJ Porzel. Joe Griffin of Toxic Bag Productions (that’s me!) did the sound design and mix. The video features Chicago actor Tim Griffin as the voice of President Thomas Jefferson.

Congratulations to Getting to Know and everyone involved in the project!

Announcements

Updates and Downdates

  • Our current theatre sound design project is Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” at Moraine Valley Community College. I’m working on adapting the songs in the show to work as 1950s/60s pop tunes. Elvis, Donovan, the Supremes. I’m having lots of fun trying to mimic the orchestration and production styles of the era. And of course, trying to sing like the Jordanaires…
  • Tim Bradstreet has worked on Hellblazer, the Punisher, a series of sourcebook covers for Vampire: The Gathering, among many other things…and also created the cover art for my 2006 album, Rough Cut Love. If you’re a comics or graphic arts enthusiast, check out Tim’s new series of podcasts.
  • As I ease back into performing music, I’ll be doing a short set with Tim Hort and Tamara Vendetta in Madison, WI at the Art Fair on the Square, Saturday, July 11 at 2 pm.
  • Jared Newman at Technologizer posted a link to a Hollywood Reporter article: the 1979 arcade game Asteroids is going to be made into a movie.

    “Universal has won a four-studio bidding war to pick up the film rights to the classic Atari video game “Asteroids.” …As opposed to today’s games, there is no story line or fancy world-building mythology, so the studio would be creating a plot from scratch. Universal, however, is used to that development process, as it’s in the middle of doing just that for several of the Hasbro board game properties it is translating to the big screen, such as ‘Battleship’ and ‘Candyland.'”

    I’m not sure what disturbs me more about this, the idea of turning a completely plotless video game into a movie or the fact that four studios in Hollywood were bidding on the rights to do it.

  • We’re now done with shooting for the second Michael Brownlee short. Fortunately the weather was cool enough that it never got really nasty hot on set (the actors may disagree with me on that one). Props to Kevin, Steve and Phil for outstanding performances. Dave and Blood got some great noir looks on tape, and we’ll continue editing after the holiday. Happy Fourth everyone!
  • Project spotlight: Getting to Know

    Since the mid 1990s I’ve been the sound designer/voice recordist/mixing engineer for the Getting to Know series of educational videos. Based on a series of books by Mike Venezia, Getting to Know has won five Notable Children’s Video awards from the American Library Association. The “Getting to Know the World’s Great Artists” videos tell the life stories of Vincent Van Gogh, Mary Cassatt, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, and Andy Warhol, as well as showcasing their works. The “Getting to Know the U.S. Presidents” series so far includes George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson.

    Andy Warhol

    Andy Warhol

    Chicago actors and voiceover artists, including Timothy Griffin, Harlan Hogan and David Pasquesi provide the voices of the artists and presidents.

    You can see clips of the Getting to Know videos at Getting to Know’s website, and on my sound for picture reel at the Toxic Bag website.

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