Electric Underpants

The Clearing House for My Brain Stuff…

Archive for May 2012

The Faith Tones Revealed

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This album cover has been proclaimed one of the worst in history. But up until now we knew very little of The Faith Tones – their music and their personal lives. This video digs beneath the surface to reveal the true story of this extraordinary group.

 

 

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Written by sfcox

May 21, 2012 at 10:11 pm

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Confidential Report: UFOs

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This piece was created for the 2nd Annual McMinnville UFO Film Festival – and it won! The 18 and over category anyway. In my filmmaking class, I assigned a short Sci-Fi themed film to be produced specifically for the festival. Since I already had this idea, I asked for volunteers to work with me. They did a great job – especially when it came to filming Eddie and the crop circle.

 

 

Written by sfcox

May 21, 2012 at 10:07 pm

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Nowhere Fast 2.0

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For several years I’ve been teaching a set of filmmaking classes at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, OR. This year, in the narrative class, the big assignment was for the students to produce a web series. They were divided into four teams, with each team being in charge of producing one episode of roughly 10 minutes in length. To assist in the teaching, I agreed to produce the pilot episode which is below. Unfortunately, the production was plagued with problems: much of the footage was unusable because of a bad tape (never use recycled tapes!), there was a loud buzz through most of the audio, and some of the acting was, um, substandard. I had to rework the whole thing into 50’s-era training film style just to make it work. I included some footage from archive.org to round it out and it ultimately ended up being pretty good. We decided to use Nowhere Fast as the title to the series. The previous use of the name never went anywhere and it fits the subject matter. If you are interested in seeing all of the episodes, they are here: Nowhere Fast.

 

Written by sfcox

May 21, 2012 at 3:21 pm

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The Couch Potatoes

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I spent three years teaching at the University of Central Arkansas (“UCA”) from 2001-2004. It was a great job, but my wife at the time and I agreed that we were just not Southern folk. So we moved away when we could and returned to the Northwest. While at UCA, I taught television production. The capstone course of the television production program was TV3 or Advanced Television Production. In my final year, the students decided that they wanted to produce a sitcom as their ongoing project. I had reservations about it because it was a massive undertaking, but I eventually agreed. The show was called “The Couch Potatoes” and the class produced four episodes. I wrote two of the episodes after the scriptwriting team failed to deliver, and also contributed some other pieces. Elsewhere on this site is the script for “Nowhere Fast” which evolved out of one of the “Couch Potatoes” scripts that I wrote.

Below are two clips from the show. I wrote and produced both as filler between segments of the regular part of the show. The first is called “The Learning Center.” It is a parody of UCA’s recruiting campaign that was in place at the time. It was called “The Center of Learning” and featured shots of students at various places around campus with voice-overs describing their experiences at UCA. Our version was lifted its visual style directly from one of those ads. I wish I had kept a copy of the original UCA ad in order to show what we were satirizing, but needless to say, the original had a much different message.

The second video below is a “stock-footage documentary.” I’ve always been intrigued by creating fictional documentaries using whatever footage is at hand. Monty Python used the technique to hilarious effect on occasion. I’m still toying with a feature-length project created out of stock footage and new linking material. In the meantime, here’s the story of the 1952 presidential election, Richard Nixon, radioactive sheep and Godzilla…

 

 

Written by sfcox

May 21, 2012 at 2:51 pm

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Smith and Jones Cable

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The year was 1996. Bill Clinton was just beginning his second term as President of the United States, and Monica Lewinsky was two years away from the public consciousness. The “Macarana” was the latest dance craze and Alanis Morissette taught the world a new meaning for the word “ironic.” Other than that stuff, nothing much happened. Oh yeah, one more thing: Smith and Jones Cable was born. If you were a late-night public access television viewer in the Portland Oregon area between the years 1996 and 2001, chances are you saw at least one episode of Smith and Jones Cable. It was the sketch-comedy show created by me, Mykal Lewis and Loren Coulter. We worked together at Multnomah Community Television (“MCTV”) and decided that we would like to create the kind of television show that we would want to watch. I had a few short films left over from my school days and we had unlimited access to MCTV’s studio, camera and editing facilities, so we took our shot. I wrote most of the material, in my slow, methodical way, while Mykal did all of the heavy lifting acting-wise. He had actual acting chops where I had none at all. He could sink himself into a character and do accents and show emotion, where I played the same part pretty much every time. I actually wrote the scripts in a way that it would be easy for me to perform, but would stretch Mykal’s considerable skills. Loren came along a bit later and added professional editing and graphics touches that Mykal and I couldn’t match.

We produced five episodes in about four years. Not exactly prolific. It was difficult because both Mykal and Loren had wives and actual lives to lead. I had neither of those things, but lacked the inspiration and skill to do any more than was done. But looking back, I’m very proud of what we accomplished. The shows were uniformly good – even great at times – and we received a lot of very favorable feedback from people who saw the show and took the time to email us.

Below is a smattering of clips from the series. The clips are mostly from the last two shows, but I’ll post earlier ones as I get time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The moment with the cat and the drill was our absolute high point and has generated a lot of (mostly) positive feedback.

Written by sfcox

May 21, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized