Sunday, July 31, 2022

Botticelli and Hyde Collection - links WTC's Petit & Willig

Well, it seems we all deserve a VaCa every now and then and with the help of a friend who knew the lay-of-the-land so-to-speak, we had the pleasure of being steered in the direction of Lake George for a few Original Vacation days. Ain't the closest lake around from Nassau County, Long Island. Four hours of scenic driving through the Connecticut hills and back up amongst the Adirondack mountain ranges. Nice family oriented setting with generations of happy campers enjoying all that nature and the fine folks of Lake George had to offer.

The lake is very big (32 miles x 3 miles). I even got the T-shirt that looks like it's got a stain with those dimensions as it resembles a draggle of bird poop on the left side of it. But, at least now I can say (as it seemed I was the only one left in the world who could) been there..done that...got the T-shirt.

Cutting to the chase and all, there was an off day where it rained for a few hours, whereby our travel itinerary director thought it useful to find something for us to do for those few hours. That something was something none of us had figured on... at least not in these parts.

Since we're so close to Glens Falls, it was put forward that we take in a rather unexpected art show...of the Hyde Collection. History has it that the fortune made from a paper mill magnate and their daughter and son-in-law's taste for high art of Original Masters manifested into this landmark museum. Which until that very moment for us, was a tightly kept secret. When we went to Lake George, we in no way expected to see an original Rembrandt, van Gogh, El Greco, Ruebens, Whistler, Kandinsky, Picasso, Renoir, Degas and last time we saw a Botticelli was at the Gallerie degli Uffizi Museum Gallery in Florence, Italy. The list goes on to include works by; Sir Anthony Van Dyke, Dorothy Dehner, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Thomas Eakins, Andy Warhol, French post impressionist Georges Pierre Seurat, sculpture by Andrea della Robbia among others for what amounted to a well rounded tour of world renowned artists. 

The museum was designed by Boston architect, Henry Forbes Bigelow in the style of an Italian renaissance palazzo. The Hyde's passion for collecting art was shaped by world travel.


But NYC was where they acquired the majority of the art works that entered their collection. To the left is a Rembrandt van Rijn of Christ with Arms Folded cica, 1659. These works are viewed up close and personal aside from it appearing a bit out-of-place with the congruity of the Adirondacks. There are just a few visible security guards standing about here and there and couldn't help but think what might happen to a priceless piece if any attempts were made to abscond with or vandalize them. 

A few days after our visit to the Hyde Collection, a story unfolded about just that scenario in Italy. On July 22nd, one of the most famous paintings in the Gallerie degli Uffizi in Florence, Sandro Botticelli's Primavera (around 1480), was left undamaged after climate activists glued themselves to the masterpiece's glass covering the work.

It took 20 minutes to clean following the glue incident. “If there had not been the special protection glass—something that museum management put in place with all major masterpieces a few years ago—then the work would have been badly damaged.” 

The protestors also rolled out a banner which read: “Last Generation: No Gas, No Coal.”
 

A new gallery devoted to Modern and Contemporary art, aptly named the Feibes & Schmitt Gallery, opened in June 2017, positioning the Hyde Museum as a regional hub for post-war art. For more than four decades, Werner Feibes and the late James Schmitt amassed a world-class art collection that aligned with their personal tastes and interest in non-objective art, Pop art, abstract art, and Minimalism. On display now is modern exhibition with sculptures in - The Art of John Van Alstine’s Transformations: slated to be at the Hyde till September 18th, 2022.


As we turned the corner of the Van Alstine's initial sculpture displays we were stopped in our tracks with a piece that was inspired by a contemporary of George Willig, the climber of the South Tower of the World Trade Center in May of 1977. 

Funabulist, was the sculptures title. Abstract as this miniaturized version (left) of the actual sculpture was, you can't help but be struck by its balance centricity. The year was 1974, August 7th and the twin World Trade Towers were brand spanking new. (And according to legend and eyewitnesses, had the calmest wind turbulence between the Towers ever).

 

On that day a 24 year old French tight-rope aerialist name Phillipe Petit had a calling to cast a suspended high-wire 200 feet between both the World Trade towers and walked, knelt, laid across and danced on it for nearly an hour...1350 feet (a 1/4 of a mile) in the sky from what is now known as ground Zero.


Funabulist was John Van Alstine’s tribute to Phillipe and that (Life or Death) feat of balance. There's even been a documentary made of it starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt called Man-on-a-Wire. This film incorporates Petit's footage to show the numerous extraordinary challenges he faced in completing the artistic crime of the century. We took a shot of the placard on the right and sent it over to George with the tag "we gotta get you one of these" to see if he too might have a depiction of his WTC climb in pigmented and sealed steel someday.  


Who woulda thunk it...that a wilderness VaCa would have you waking up and swimming nose-to-nose with a pickerel in the morning and being nose-to-nose with a Man Ray at night ~
without the possibility of a Shark Attack!


 
 

Oh...and speaking of attacks; Howz 'bout some July 4th sentiments - CelebDeath style (we play Teddy & the wheel-chair dude in video below). Also, here's a link to: T'was the Nite before Xmas (page-Bottom) so's to do that 'Xmas in July' thing...with all the trimmings
for what could be a great excuse to P-A-R-T-Y out, man. 
 



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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Boehringer Ingelhiem's MetaVerse gets a Voice w/TC & Company

As it is described in TIME the word metaverse is often traced to Neal Stephenson's 1992 dystopic cyberpunk novel Snow Crash. However the MetaVerse is far from far flung sci-fi stuff...it's not even new

Whether in a virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) or simply on a screen, the promise of the MetaVerse is to allow a greater overlap of our physical and virtual lives in wealth, socialization, productivity shopping and entertainment. 

These two worlds are already inter-woven, no headset required. Think about the Uber app telling you via location data, how far away the car is. Or how Netflix gauges what you've watched before to make suggestions. And how 'bout that LiDAR scanner on newer iPhones that can take a 3D scan of your surroundings. At its core, the MetaVerse (also know as "web3") is an evolution of our current Internet. 

 

In an age where perpetual change is the name of the game, changing our lives, and in this case, the pharma industry, like the rest of the world, stood on the brink of a new digital transformation. Which was poised for yet another disruption. Or in more theatrical terms ~ Bio-Pharma meets the Minority Report. Enter our new research-driven client, Boehringer Ingelheim; a bio-pharmaceutical company held in high esteem that hired us to voice the launch of their digital tools app. It helps consume and communicate in this new augmented/virtual-reality-digital-human-metaverse. Don't forget that restaurant you just walked by and now flashes a menu your way because you were a customer last week. Perhaps, even reminds you of what you had or contemplated having. 

Forget-Me-Nots are a thing of the past in the MetaVerse. Makes you wonder...or maybe just the opposite with trivial bits of info on the tip-of-your-tongue that aren't coming into focus as easily as before. But in the Meta-Verse we're all hooked into instant facts retrieval, as if directly toggled into our own private (Big Bang) Sheldon's. We don't even try anymore. Could the Verse be responsible for flabby-memory-syndrome or (FMS) ? You know, those fuzzy moments of memory loss we seem to have more often than not, regardless of getting so called - Older. It use to be blamed on Multi-Tasking! But, there are just as many millennials walking around these days asking important questions like: What was Ted Knight's wife name in the movie - Caddyshack!  

 
 
The MetaVerse stands more-than-ready to remind us of names, places and generally whom we and "our eyeballs" were a few months or years ago as we pass through the landscape of our lives. Speaking of which, below is the video of the voice-over we did for Boehringer Ingelheim's rollout of their digitally transformed journey promo. The pacing's a bit enthusiastic towards the end to help build momentum and inspiration within the troops. To check it out, just press play button above


Also teaming up for a cause close to her heart is Queen Latifah (Dana Elaine Owens) for Boehringer Ingelheim's Scleroderma Research Foundation. Dana lost her mom Rita in 2018 to the decease and has dedicated herself to the fight against scleroderma-associated ILD. Today, she and her sister are working hard to raise awareness about scleroderma-associated ILD to help others avoid the challenges Rita faced. Watch their experience below. 

Click to Go to Video

 

 

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Monday, May 23, 2022

George Carlin | Story of Late Night pays Tribute to George Willig's 45th Anniversary WTC Climb

Back in November, 2021 while watching CNN’s Original Series “The Story of Late Night" on HBO Max we noticed a clip of someone we know on a show that we booked them on, that featured a premise we cooked up...some 40 years ago! 
 
The funny part was, aside from that hilarious premise, the clip they were showing was from The David Letterman (morning) Show. So why was it being used to illustrate late night talk shows ? Oh, BTW  that someone was none other than George Willig, who climbed the South Tower of the World Trade Ctr. on May 26th, 1977. Some 45 years ago!


At 6:29 AM the day of the climb, George started up the northeast corner of the south tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. By Ten O'clock, after signing a few autographs for police ascending in a window-washing gondola, he had reached the top. As he gestured and waved towards the crowds below, George was arrested by Port Authority police and was initially slapped with a $250,000.00 fine that was later reduced to $1.10. One penny for every story he climbed. 

We did an interview with George shortly after the WTC climb and became friendly. I explained to George my connection to Marty Ingels as a free agent to his Celeb Contact service. George introduced me to Steve Lefkowitz, his agent at N.S Beinstock, a sports talent agency at the time. He steered me in the right direction and I booked George on ABC's Super-Star Show and got some nibbles back from the talent folks over at the David Letterman Show. Nibbles turned into a booking for George to appear on Dave’s morning talk show. 

Believe it or not, after all the preps and travel arrangements were made and expenses paid, the Talent Coordinator up & canceled George for Dave’s September 19th, 1980 morning show…while he was still in the air! This was before Air-Phones, so there was room to negotiate whereas today we’d be up that creek w/o even a flip phone. We arrived early at the studio for rehearsals and timings. We, included me, George and girlfriend Morgan Brittany, the actress. Originally scripted for the Show's opener was only David climbing up a 45 degree angle and introduce George as part of the guest list.

Yet, after a few rehearsal takes, the scene was falling flat. I was spit-balling a few ideas with the scenic designer and tendered a bit that with the help of a blow up pic of a brick building, we could pull off the premise that George & Dave (side x side on the floor) would appear as if they were scaling the side of let's say - the RCA building. Then cue Dave’s dog Stan who would trot into frame for the comic reveal. It worked. Worked well enough to get me a sit down with Neal Levy the talent coordinator at SNL…thanks in no uncertain terms to Morgan and the Chyron lady! Totally Freaky!

 
So anyway back in November of last year we were checking out this docu-series called The Story of Late Night. It follows Late Night Talk Shows from their inception to "what made them popular to what have you done for us lately". Then, while watching Season One, Episode Two and listening to Conan O'brien answer an interviewers question about the cultist attainment the Letterman show was getting and how he was becoming the paradigm (except for Cher, maybe) of Late Night coolness...there it was, the clip of George & Dave Letterman scaling the RCA Building from the Letterman Show ...       41 years ago. 

It was definitely a WTF moment and got us thinking - Gee, perhaps we're due some sort of credit here. Nope - nothing about George in the credits. And with that, could there be a fee for the use of the lift from WorldWide Pants, Dave's company. Just spitballing, but hey - this be CNN and HBO…Max no less. With a bit of investigation and apparently well placed messages we got a call back to discuss the matter from the production company. A win insomuch as they didn't tell us to F--- Off. Just the contrary, these guys were from Canada. Happy to report that Canadians are very gracious people.

All in time for George’s 45th anniversary!


Talk about standing on the shoulders of greatness. We would like to remind people who have access to HBO/Max that my pal Stefan Nadelman just had his George Carlin American Dream premier on the 20th. Stefan is the Animation Director on this Two-Parter TV Movie Documentary series, directed by Judd Apatow and focuses on George Carlin's career and ordeals both at home and on stage. 
 
Stefan of course, is the nuts & bolts behind his Terminal Bar tribute to his dad, Sheldon Nadelman. Sheldon not only worked the bar but also his camera and captured a unique segment in time with his multi-dimensional photographs. They depicted a particular time in NYC that was raw, gritty and true-to-life testaments to an Era...where Disney was nowhere to be found. A time when grown men would go into Central Park and never be heard from again era.
 
Stefan Nadelman as TB's director, music producer, cataloger and distributor transformed those timeless 35 mm shots somehow back into life. I had the pleasure to be cast as a few voices that breathed some life back into those characters from years ago. Coming up to almost Twenty Years!
 
Check out all the recent Hollywoodland very impressive work Stefan's been up to on his IMDb Page including some past gigs you may have noticed but had no idea it was Stefan's talent behind some of those animation scenes like; 100 Foot Wave, Bad Vegan, Tiger King Two, Into the Storm and watch for his take as (Animator) on the new docu-odyssey about David Bowie premiering in September called:


 

Here's a special Transatlantic email we just got from Stefan and thought it was worth sharing... and it reads:

(5/23/22, 4:11PM) So I got to Cannes today and just had dinner with the crew. Headed to the pre-party and then I’ll join the “delegation” of crew members and we’re gonna do the red carpet in an hour or so. It’s happening!
Tune in! I’ll hit you back when the madness subsides. Stefan



WoW ~ WoW ~ WoW, we know people. Couldn't happen to a better more talented guy! We're so proud of him.

Click the pic to view Brett Morgan's Youtube acceptance speech...and a wee bit of a glimpse of Stefan at the very beginning on the very left hand side of the frame!

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Saturday, April 30, 2022

Tom Clifford's VO unveils Za'atar Road's Marketplace

Za’atar Road is a curated marketplace exclusively dedicated to share with the western world a North American-based online store - offering rare and spectacular goods sourced directly from farmers and artisans who cultivate their products in the beautiful Levant region. 

We did the teaser video voice-over back in November of 2021 for Za’atar Road, opined as a direct route to the Lavant and all its verdant riches. What we tried to convey in the voice-over was the emotional aspect of the Levantine region and it's artisans, expatriates, descendants and enthusiasts with their desire and resourcefulness to provide people around the world with access to the regions authentic goods they can't find locally.

The region is rife with heritage and customs. We were asked to create a path to connect them with the world. The inspirational music track helped with setting the mood for a laid back but inspired voice-over. Hopefully, we added to the movement. And so: Za'atar Road Marketplace was Born 

Stretching along the eastern coast of the eastern Mediterranean region of western Asia, the Levant has been a crossroads of cultures for thousands of years. Art, literature, and cuisine have thrived here across generations as people shared their bountiful harvests and learnings with each other. 

Today, Za’atar Road gives the skilled craftspeople of the Levant an international market for their vast array of beneficial Mediterranean ingredients. For more than ten thousand years, the people of the Levantine region have shared the bounty of their culture. Indigenous spices, oils, honey, herbs, fruits, seasonings, and teas have been cultivated by generations of families who call the Levant home.

The Levant region is named after the French word “lever,” meaning “to rise,” and is made up of several countries and cultures along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean. Everything offered at Za’atar Road is sourced directly from farmers and artisans who cultivate their products in the mountains and valleys of this beautiful, generous place. 

One thing's for sure - There's quite a broad-range of select and like totally cool items featured on the Marketplace website that are seldom seen or even published. All sorts of items, that on their own are hard to come by, but are also so rare they can act like extra garnish to dishes or beverages we already serve. Take for instance Citris Tyre Lebanese Honey or Carob Indulgence - we'll take two, please! Geez, they even have cool personal items like Arabian Oud Soap bars or Avisaine Rose Water. We can only hope that our VO does justice to all the featured choices of foods and personal products that will add to the website's success. 

Click to hear Za'atar Road voice-over

 

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Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Sag Awards pave the way for Oscars and Will Smith


We left off last month with the post script of the Screen Actors Guild Awards about to take place on Sunday night February 27th. It be — the first of the guilds to give out their big prizes this season. The guilds — your Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild, Producers Guild and your Writers Guild make particularly interesting predictors of Oscar season. The Golden Globes are chosen by some of the same voters, of which Will Smith won for Best Actor in King Richard...as well as a SAG (*Actor) statue. This might be the time to mention that Golden Globe saying: Be careful what you wish for!


It starts to get intense the month before they broadcast the SAG Awards. The DVD squares sent through Snail mail arrive two at a time. This is in tandem to digital streaming links provided by the likes of: itunes, Disney, Netflix, Hulu, HBO and Amazon. Some days you can't remember which one was watched and its content. Early in the process, aspects of SAG performances are jotted down before early dementia sets in.

                                      Click the fuzzy graphic above to a get a clear picture of how the SAG Awards wound up.


 

And of course there are the BAFTA Awards across the pond. It was the 75th British Academy Film Awards, also known as the BAFTAs, that were held on March 13th, 2022 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, honoring the best national and foreign films of 2021. Check out (the clip) of this year's host: the New Rebel Wilson and her take on Will Smith before...well, you know. I forgot that Will & his wife Jada Pinkett have made public - they're having an open marriage. Spoiler Alert, I see where Rebel was going with that joke.


Now the stage is set for the 94th Academy Awards with this years hosts; Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes.

Amy Schumer, is at a loss as to why Will Smith went ballistic over Chris Rock's G.I. Jane joke aimed at Jada's shaved-head hair style. Will walked over from his ring-side table to the stage and bitch-slapped Chris in front of zillions of people. Then, from his seat afterwards, tongue bashed Chris with a couple of 'F' bombs. You see, those-in-the-know, knew that Will's wife Jada Pickett, struggles with the hair loss condition: Alopecia. Chris' joke perhaps, went below the belt for Ali to see.                Click to View   ( Sans  F - Bombs )

 

Was Will's slap real...or was it not? Who will tell. What has me guessing, is Will's slap and Chris' head moving so smoothly in the slaps direction. No resistance whatsoever. Almost as if the slap maneuver were rehearsed and seemingly with stunt motion follow through. Gnawing, is that tiny little Ltd. Columbo voice in my head that keeps saying: Ah, One More Thing is Still Bother'in Me Sir. It's something that's been missing all along. Calling Miss Conspiritorial-ality. But, don't you think it's sorta odd that at no time did Chris ever touch his face after the slap...not even (as it is customary with such a ferocious slug) to check to see if Will drew blood!!       Ah Haaaa! 

Still, my money was on Chris for regrouping so coolly and convincingly...if he really did get Blind-Sided and Sandra Bullock was nowhere in sight. Though the Academy had their own winner. Yep, Will took home another award (Male Actor in a Leading Role) — The Big Kahuna itself — Oscar...Oscar! All with a tearful and heart-felt (except for Chris) acceptance speech. 

Of course the internet was abuzz with nothing else but the memes of the S-L-A-P between Will & Chris, albeit with different Photo-Shopped heads. Check out the two Vlads havin a GO at it.


 
 
Hey, it ain't exactly Chris Rock getting his so called comeuppance, but if you want to see other famous comedians (one named Chris) battle-it-out with each other, check out a Celebrity DeathMatch I performed as Chris Tucker doin a 'Nite of the Living Dead ' number on comedian Steven Wright's G-U-T-S — back in the day.
 


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Saturday, February 26, 2022

Fertile Crescent gets a Voice with TC & Company

The agency wanted to project an earthy organic voice delivery. And since the Crescent is around the corner from where life began on earth, we crafted a similar sounding Peter Thomas persona ala his: The Triumph of Man delivery he did for the Travelers Insurance exhibit at the 1964 -1965 New York World's Fair.                


The Bridge of Tomorrow  (project title) centers around the Ehden & Quadisha Valleys in Lebanon. Agriculture with its crop wild relatives originated 12,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent and expanded northward from the Mediterranean to Central Europe during the sixth millennium BC. 

Ecosystems like here in the Fertile Crescent consist of many hot spots of diversity as in Europe where genetic multiples of wild crop relatives, forest tree species and local breeds can co-exist. My job was to raise awareness of whole ecosystems facing new challenges. There's some urgency connected to all this as climate change and migration of people out of rural areas could genetically alter the diversity they contain. We tried to express that urgency by sounding genuinely concerned and a little bit awed by it all. Particularly with lines like: Because once a genetic resource is lost...it's lost forever.

They laced epic shots of the countryside along with the vo and on-the-ground voices of people remarking about the landscape variety. The Ehden Nature Reserve has the highest tree range in Lebanon. Landscape diversity allows the survival of species like; pine, fir, cedars and junipers.  

This valley acted as a refuge during glacial cycles. Some species having high genetic diversity adapt to changing ecological conditions. If managed as a whole ecosystem, all those valuable genetic resources of crop wild relatives, animals and forest trees, can be effectively preserved.

The Bridge of Tomorrow is a pretty sizeable docu-something-or-another coming in at: thirteen and half minutes in length ...And I actually get an end credit.

 Click to Play 'Bridge of Tomorrow' video

 

 


This year marks the 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. The DVD's, online screening links and e-Movie Cash (for downloadable movie theater certificates) have been sent out. On behalf of the academy we have cast our votes and the results are to be broadcast, Sunday night on TBS & TNT respectively at: 8:00 ET - 5:00 PT.



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Monday, January 31, 2022

Terminal Bar V/O flavors MarkForged 3-D Metal Printing Promo...Sorta

 

The copy says it best; Go from design to industrial parts at the touch of Print!

Markforged is a manufacturer of 3-D metal printers. They're an eight year old start-up company that's an essential manufacturer based in Watertown, Mass. They have the largest online fleet of industrial 3-D printers in the world. 

They bring software, hardware and materials seamlessly connected together into one platform called: The Digital Forge - cloud-based, AI powered and always improving. They have printers that have the ability to print with metals, with composite reinforced carbon plastics and recently just launched the ability to print on copper. I'm guessing that's some pretty big NFT's.

They didn't want a traditional voice or attitude insomuch that their printers were certainly not traditional. Geez, metal printing is rather unique in that they take a hunk of metal, not just composites or carbon plastics and let you cut things away to create just about any object. The production director initially contacted us in hopes of using the same tone of narrative voice we used in the Terminal Bar years back.

Well, as chance seems to have its way sometimes, the direction of the read shifted away from that of the TR attitude or timber. It is an unbelievable phenomenon in this business and it happens all the time. Get hired for one read and then being asked to reshape it, back off a bit here and emit a bit more personality there and Voila`... hardly recognizable. 

We did the session here in our studio with conventional phone patch. They suggested using the more fashionable format of Zoom. But, since we hadn't used it for a sure fire, glitch free session yet, we opted for a basic land line. After cyclone storm Sandy, most if not all the copper communication lines in our area were refitted with fiber-optics, making old pro standards such as ISDN no longer viable. Click Soundbar 



Speaking of cool things like that wave form generator, Stefan Nadelman, just happen to reach out recently to announce that he's the director of visual effects on Tiger King 2. Of course I mentioned the recent job due to to him. He thought it was great TB can still work wonders with the six degrees thing. He also finished working on the David Bowie doc that will roll out this summer. Plus, he's doing the final tweaks on a Netflix series called "Bad Vegan" that airs March 9.
And was excited to announce - that he started working on a new Judd Apatow doc about the one and only George Carlin. 


All this during the 40th anniversary of the Terminal Bar's closing on 1/8/82. Then Stefan throws this link at me to an art gallery on New Bond Street in London, England; The Halcyon Gallery. WTF, art gallery. He says: "Check out the link (below)... I guarantee you will be gobsmacked" So, I click the link. GTF. Bob Dyan's an artist. No no, an actual artist...a painter. You know like Tony Benedetto. And guess what Mr. Tambourine Man painted amongst a lot of other cool stuff. He painted the "Terminal Bar". Here's the link to click: Bob Dylan's Terminal Bar painting

Stefan continues writing: "Seeing this, you may wonder, is there a possibility that Bob Dylan, at some point, watched Terminal Bar and caught your voice-over? Could his ears have received the smoky tones emitted by one Tom Clifford?" 

One could get a swelled head every 20 years or so. Maybe the times they are a`changin.


 

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