A Video Series About Artists and Their Importance To Society
By Greg McGee
THE SHORT VERSION:
Artist Visions is an ongoing series of short programs from 15 to 30 min. long, featuring working musicians, artists and other creative people from around the country. The guiding theme is to discover how each artist uses their special gifts and skills to encourage positive change in society. We take the audience with us as we spend some time in each artist’s world, seeing things from their point of view, learning about their struggles to rise above the daily grind that everybody faces and actually create something that brings joy to themselves and their audiences.
Back in the early days of coal mining, even before analog technologies, miners used to bring along a canary in a cage. You’d see this bright yellow bird in its dingy metal cage, carried into the mines by the first miner on the lift. They did this because canaries have an extremely low tolerance to methane gas, the cause of most mining disasters and explosions. One man would be assigned to watch the canary while everybody else toiled away picking and shoveling out the coal. If the canary keeled over, the watchman knew that the miners had about 30 seconds to get the hell out of the mine before the level of methane was high enough to kill everybody where they stood. Many a canary was sacrificed to protect the lives of the miners.
Musicians and artists are, metaphorically, the canary in the coal mine for the human race. It is always a good idea to listen to what they are saying, because they are far more sensitive to the unseen or unrecognized dangers lurking, waiting to destroy us.
Each program will begin with a brief B-Roll summary of the artist’s life and art. Source will be their own personal archives, information available in the public sphere and “day in the life” shots. Then, the artist will be introduced by the host, Greg McGee, and the interview will begin.
Interviews will be unscripted, casual conversations, and will go wherever the artist or the host leads. However, the host will be well prepared and informed by his own research about the artist’s life and products, with relevant questions ready.
There may be live acoustic performances by the musician and the host, demonstrations of artistic techniques, an explanation of particular songs, paintings, sculptures, etc. by the artist.
Each program will close with the artist’s views on whatever issue they are passionate about, be it climate change, immigration, human rights, racism, sexism, ageism, other “isms” and what they are doing, or intend to do to support their cause with their artistic creations.
The style is “controlled chaos.” The camera or cameras are stationary or handheld, “cinema verite’,” following the action wherever it leads. We are not going for perfection, with nailed down shots and flawless 3-point lighting. We are going for substance, meaning, and the divine comedy that is the warp and weave of everyone’s life, if one takes the time to listen to their own guiding belief system, whatever it is.
PRODUCTION IDEAL TEAM:
Producer/Director and Host: Greg McGee
Director of Photography/ Camera 1: TBD
Lighting Director: TBD
The crew will be small. In addition to those above, a boom operator and sound recordist, makeup/hair, a grip or two, a documentary photographer and a couple of PA’s.
A half day (or less) of shooting with the artist. Additional scenes may be shot as B-Roll to complete the day.
Well known venues in and around Austin TX, such as The Saxon Pub, Hills Restaurant, Continental Club, Hotel Van Zandt, various Sixth Street Bars or recording studios, the artist’s home or workshop, etc.
POST PRODUCTION IDEAL TEAM:
ASSEMBLY and ROUGH CUT: Greg McGee
FINAL CUT for STYLE, INTRO, OUTRO, and MUSICAL THEME: TBD
We’ll start with an exclusive premiere on local TV in Austin or another interested city,
Then, we’ll build an audience for upcoming shows by promoting within the social media spheres of all the stakeholders (artist, producer, venues, product placement sponsors, distribution channels, etc)
ABOUT THE HOST, GREG MCGEE, EDITOR/PUBLISHER OF THE STANKENROSE GAZETTE
Mr. McGee was nominated for an Academy Award (MPAA) for co-directing and producing “Dancy Street” with friend Cary White, now a successful Production Designer. Greg has directed or edited feature films and crewed on many others. He’s written 5 feature screenplays and worked over 30 years in the film and video industry. An accomplished director, cameraman, editor, and writer with hundreds of TV commercials, sponsored films and documentaries to his credit, he’s won numerous awards and accolades. He’s also a guitarist, singer and songwriter.