Blog Archives

Fate Accompli review

Last year, we did post-production sound on a short film, Fate Accompli, which was written and directed by our friend Eric Neal. Steve did some fantastic foley work, and I handled the dialog edit, effects and mix. Music was composed by Andrew Edwards. Reviews of the short are starting to show up, and here’s a good one that came out this week.

Here’s the film’s Facebook page. Also, check out the SHOrT in Chicago Film Fiesta where the film will be shown on Jan 24!

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The Sad Cafè award nominations

Jiang Hu Productions’ film “The Sad Café,” for which we did the sound mix this past April, has been nominated for Best Drama Feature, Best Editing (Feature) and Best Score (Feature) at the Action On Film Festival. Congratulations and best of luck to director Bennie Woodell and everyone at Jiang Hu Productions!

Paper Machete: Best Comedy Variety Show

The Paper Machete is a weekly show in Chicago, run by a couple of very awesome people I know–Christopher Piatt and Ali Weiss. From time to time (though not as often as I’d like), I help them out by recording the show for their podcast. This week, the Paper Machete was named “Best Comedy Variety Show” by the Chicago Reader.

Congratulations to Christopher, Ali, and all of the fantastic Chicago performers who have made the Paper Machete so amazing!

The Paper Machete happens every Saturday at 3pm at the Horseshoe at 4115 N. Lincoln Ave. It is FREE, and shows usually run around 90 minutes with one break. For more details, see the Paper Machete show news page.

The Sad Cafè

We recently finished mixing Bennie Woodell’s film “The Sad Café.” The film had its world premiere at the Portage Theater in Chicago earlier this week. Congratulations to Bennie, the cast and crew, and everyone at Jiang Hu Productions!

Updates, April 2011

More quick notes on what we’re up to.

• Joe has just finished tech week for Harvest at Oakton Community College. The sound design for this dystopian sci-fi play features extensive computer-glitch effects by Joe and music by Donny Who Loved Bowling. Harvest opens tonight and runs through May 1.

• Steve and Joe are currently mixing Bennie Woodell’s feature film “The Sad Café.” The film will screen at the Portage Theater in Chicago on May 22. For more info, visit the Sad Cafe Facebook page.

• Joe is doing final sound design and mixing for Getting To Know‘s newest release, Getting to Know the U.S. Presidents: Lincoln.

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!

Lost and Found: Thailand

Our friends at Lost and Found Travel asked us to record the voiceover for their new travel show pilot. The episode chronicles their recent trip to Thailand, and you can watch it now on YouTube.

They’re headed to India now, so look for a second episode soon!

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!

Project Spotlight: Book teaser

We’ve just finished the first in a series of short promotional videos for Chicago author Jean Latz Griffin’s “In The Same Breath.” The book traces the history of spiritual awakenings and realizations about the immanent nature of God/Spirit over the past 3000 years, and includes weekly readings from an incredible variety of ancient and modern writers. Christine Tobias’ stunning artwork, which we used in the video, ties the ages together.

The book is available at Amazon and CyberINK. The teaser video can be seen at CyberINK’s YouTube channel.

For further discussion about Griffin’s philosophy of the non-dualistic immanence of Spirit, please read her blog, “God Swimming in God.”

(full disclosure: Jean Latz Griffin is Joe’s mother.)

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