Friday, September 30, 2005




FYI -- Frank is gonna ROCK!


Thursday, September 29, 2005


thursday thoughts


after watching the 18 minutes of FTB about 10 times today, i've made more notes and have some thoughts on the ending. still nothing set in stone.

suppose I don't need to rush it. i'll give myself til Halloween to have it really solid.

right now, it's still undercooked.



how to wrap it up

well, I've been jamming for about a week now. up to 18 minutes. now I fear the most difficult part lies ahead: the ending.

i don't want to leave people hanging and I don't want to drag things on... so it will prove to be a delicate balance of my voiceover and Frank's last word.

still, I feel on top of things and will continue to push on. piecing it together bit by bit...

it'll happen.
just not today.


Wednesday, September 28, 2005


slow day - but that's okay


had to deal with some router and computer stuff. gotta get an external drive for all these video clips. they do add up!

low energy today as well. kinda hot, muggy... miss the cool New England weather this time of year. although I hear it's been rather nice. good for all the friends and family back home.

was able to cut part of the ending. looks good.

there will be MUCH audio tweaking to do, but not right now.

once the rough is done I'm going to sit and watch ALL of the original tapes from beginning to end. this way I can assure myself that I didn't overlook any gems. It will make me feel less paranoid down the road. "Oh shoot! I shoulda included that!"

with any luck this won't happen.

well, there you have it for wed. Sept. 28th


Tuesday, September 27, 2005


I see the light...


at the end of the tunnel. I'm at about 18 minutes. nearing the tail end of the edit. I think it's going to be a total of 20 minutes, maybe 22

what does this mean?

well, lots of things. I still have to create an upbeat end sequence and write a voiceover - which promises to be the biggest hurdle. That will take some time, some serious thinking. I want to write an epilogue that is appropriate and meaningful without coming off as too abrupt.

note: this is just a rough draft. I'll have a few key people take a look at it for feedback. good, bad or indifferent. But I'm feeling super psyched about getting this far and I will be planning on sending Ken Burns - yes, THE Ken Burns - a version to watch. I think I can pull some strings and get him a copy to endorse. I mean, to watch. :)
afterall, he's techinally a New Hampshire filmmaker, so I'm hoping to appeal to his Granite State heart strings. We'll see... (Lou? whatta ya think?)

anyhow, stay tuned. Lots to come.
thanks for checking out the blog!


don't wanna be a tweaker...

don't want to start adjusting too many things right now. gotta get another 5 minutes done.

it's starting to look like the doc will be 20 minutes. I could add a helluva lot more footage, but there are things to consider:

1) less is more. I'd rather have people watch FTB and be left with a little bit of longing for more at the end. better that than drag them through hours of clips. there's so much great material, but one of my mantras was "Bring it back to barbering"

2) again, if it feels clunky and slow, it is.

3) there really is only so much people want to know. This isn't a Ken Burns civil war epic. It's a personal piece on a fantastic person that did a lot with his life. He was a barber, a family man, a soldier, veteran, dee-jay, grandfather... etc etc... Maybe I'll include some outtakes on the DVD, but even that could get crazy. better to condense it down to the essence.

4) I'm trying to avoid falling into another time trap. That would be me saying "Well, there are a few shots I need to get... might take another few months." Nonsense. I have 100% of the footage and don't need anymore. Maybe a few photos that could come in handy, but i'll have to put my foot down at some point. Better now than... well, in 10 more years!

5) I'd rather have a solid 20 minutes than a mediocre 30 minutes. Twenty minutes is perfect for festivals. Hell, even 15 minutes would be fine. As long as people's attention is whetted that's what counts. When an audience starts ho-humming... cut!

well, that's kinda how it goes for now. Feeling good. Can't believe it's going to happen.

check out for more information.


Monday, September 26, 2005


15 minute mark

just passed the 15 minute mark today. Hip hop hooray.

i was able to include a few shots that I thought were going to be problems due to audio levels, but managed to adjust and EQ with Sound Forge - so the good bits were salvaged.

Gail Varney, Frank's daughter, has been super helpful with getting me names and additional information from Rochester NH where she lives. Hi Gail!

I'm sure it will be a pleasant fall there as usual...

Anyhow, time for a break. Maybe a yogurt and some fruit.

Rebecca and I watched "The Aviator" last night. Quite a movie about a rather tweaked individual. I didn't know a lot about Howard Hughes. It would seem there is a fine line between being DRIVEN and being CRAZY and sure walked it.

still, his passion for flight was totally unique. the Hercules was unreal.


Sunday, September 25, 2005


Sunday: french toast and Frank the Barber

well, I didn't think I'd get to it today, but I got more editing done. Up to 13 minutes!

this push after years of laying dormant is just weird.

still can't figure out where the energy is coming from... movie making takes twists and turns, all for the better I hope.

more this week. I might even get a rough cut by.... Friday???

we'll see!


more and more...

well, i guess the day wasn't a total waste.

actually edited for a few hours and got one of the more down-tempo sequences taken care of. in fact, I didn't think it was going to come together as nicely as it did. sometimes you have an idea in your mind about how to pair up certain images with certain narration. i'm trying not to force things together for the sake of "making it work".
if it doesn't feel right, then it's probably not right.

what's great are those little surprises when a particular shot feels flat and then it comes in handy for a totally different sequence altogether. I'm finding time and time again that the process of editing process is more about recycling and repurposing footage.

i'm feeling so connected to this project right now. still can't figure it out. why bother? just go with it!

g'night y'all.

Saturday, September 24, 2005


recovering from fun

went out last night, downtown davis, and met up with Rebecca and her vet entourage at Delta of Venus. great place, powerful beer. I had several La Fin Du Monde - "The End of the World" and let me tell you... the name justifies the experience. Whoa!

anyhow, it was fun to get crazy. Also met up with Liam a fellow film friend and bumped into a few other folks - Fernando "Whitepants" Valdez!

Bec played it smart and went home early. I decided to stay up and party. (usually it's the other way around :) all things being equal, a good time was had by all. certainly won't be doing that for a while...

needless to say, didn't get much of anything done today. no big deal. that's the way fun works. play then, pay later.


Friday, September 23, 2005


Frank would be proud - I'm cuttin' up a storm

man. I don't know why it's taken me this long to get busy with editing Frank the Barber, but all I can say is, the time has come.

up to 7 minutes. while this may not seem like a lot, in documentary speak it's a damn miracle.

hopefully i won't jinx myself with this excitement.
gotta stay focused.

anyhow, i'm just stoked it's happening.

my only hurdle will be MUSIC RIGHTS and CLEARANCES. if anyone has ideas, let me know. I'm pretty sure I can send it out to festivals, but DVD sales is another ball of wax. That's the only thing I see getting in the way.

post here or email with any advice. I'm basically using big band hits.


Thursday, September 22, 2005


NEW DOMAIN for Frank

Don't know why I didn't grab this before. Better late than never.

might as well get things in order...



4 mins. and 52 seconds

that's where I'm at right now...

I've hit cruise control and have been sailing with Frank the Barber. Feels goooood.

I've learned this: get your audio bed taken care of first. Then cut the image to it. I don't think I can do otherwise. This has worked for me for the past several doc projects I've put together. Once the real story is being told, the images naturally fall into place.

Works for me. That'll be my mantra from here on out. Voiceover leads, image follows. Cart before the horse...

Still, there's much to do and redo. But I can feel that this is really going to be special. Frank tells a great story and his humor is contagious. But there are some moments where he gets really quiet and thoughtful as well. Those are wonderful tid-bits, too. I'm sure to include many of them.

Shooting for no more than 30 minutes in the end. Trying my best to be as editorial as possible up front. If it feels clunky, it goes.

Well, that's about it for today. A GOOD day even though I had a bunch of errands to run. More tomorrow. Hopefully a lot more.

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


yep. more frank

... but that's a good thing.
still recreating and tweaking.

will soon move on to adding images over the audio bed.

but not today.

hey, I just got an order for some Antarctica tees. This is exciting!

i'm trying to get some in the New England Equarium. That would be cool.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


and the beat goes on...

actually sat down and focused on Frank today. good stuff. mostly just recreating the intro sequence. after my other computer crapped out, I lost some high-res files, so I had to re-import the same clips into the new Shuttle computer.

man. thankfully I've learned a lot of PC techniques over the years. otherwise I'd be done!

my buddy Louis Gendron - Studio 1010 - was the original gangster. i mean, editor. I always liked what he arranged years ago. we worked closely and I wrote a rough script, but he took the ball and ran with it. so I've been cutting/pasting/tweaking...

as long as I have a pot of coffee nearby, anything is possible.

stay tuned. more to come...

Saturday, September 17, 2005


editing a documentary is like...

...wrangling a herd of cats!

there's SO much footage! here's a baby step for today:

there's a segment that I wanted to include in my story about Frank the Barber. Basically he starts a petition to keep the Big Band hits playing on a Seacoast AM station. He sends the list in - over 300 names - and then general manager, Al Perry, pays a visit to Frank's shop with a complimentary mug and all. They end up keeping the oldies radio format on air (don't know if it's still going).

Anyhow, the quality of the footage and interview was marginal at best - my fault for being a novice director - but oh well. I don't want to overlook this sub-plot in Frank's story. So I've decided to add a scripted voice over of me exlpaining the situation along with images of my visit to the radio station talking to Al Perry. It wasn't what I hoped for, but it will still convey the breadth of Frank's passion for music and keeping traditions alive.

In the end, it's all about whittling down the essence of the story; the kernels. The segment will end of being about 1-minute long, which is fine.

So, another day in the ever evolving process of cutting a documentary.
It will get done at some point!

Oh yeah, here's a link to a fellow creative comrade's blog: Studio 1010 Check it out.

Stay tuned...

Friday, September 16, 2005


a few things

went to a gathering tonight on campus with Rebecca. called Caduceus Club. It's a vet thing. lots of food and kegs of beer - which were tapped completely in 1.5 hours. A nice social event for students and faculty. Nothing like grillin', chillin and swillin on a friday evening...

wanted to add a new link: BigScreenTees

If you make movies or just watch them, these shirts are for you.

spent some time editing Frank yesterday. lots more to do.

trying to get some Tee-shirt orders into production. The local ACE store bought a bunch. I think they will sell. Gotta sell more... Maybe the upcoming holidays will help.

I almost feel like I'm back in the days of peddling my goods around door to door, store to store. "Hey, wanna buy some snake oil?"

in a way, i guess it's no different!

Sunday, September 11, 2005


okay. time to get busy...

Now that I've had time to get some things straightened out with my line of Tee-shirt designs at I can spend next week working on FTB (Frank the Barber). Editing is a lot like a foreign language. If you're not constantly using it and immersed in the culture, your ability to communicate becomes rusty, clunky even. You forget meanings, phrases and how to pronounce even the simplist of words.

That's what editing is like, for me at least. If I'm not in the "zone", knee-deep cutting the story day to day, hour to hour, I lose steam and forget what I was doing. My focus is shot. This is probably the biggest pitfall in the documentary process: putting the project on the proverbial "back burner". Or side burner for that matter!

It's important to stick with the flow and go, go, go... So! Even though next week I have meetings to shop my goods to local stores for sale, I will make the time to sit down and plow through another session of Frank. It's the only way.

My buddy Tim heard someone say before: If you have to eat a shit sandwich, don't nibble.

Now, I'm not saying this documentary is a shit sandwich. Please! By far. Perhaps, to coin another phrase: I've managed to make a mountain out of a mole hill??

Like I said. Time to get busy and climb up that mountain of a mole hill - again.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


something old, something new...

I decided to revisit the Fringe opening sequence and edit a new one for the DVD. While I loved the original - the track from Dan Blakeslee still shows up at the end - I wanted to create something a little more haunting and include more images of Kurt travelling.

new Fringe credits

So, when it's time to author the DVD, this will be the new opening. It's shorter and gets more of Kurt's backstory up front. Very different, but I like it. And I scored it with a drum, a guitar and my voice.

that's it for now. More Frank the Barber stuff coming up...

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