Monday, November 30, 2020

Screen Actors Guild selects Tom Clifford for their Nominating Committee Team

It was both a surprise and honor to be selected as part of SAG's Motion Picture Nominating Committee team back in June. Also, not as surprising, was the new award date for the award presentations - March 14, 2021. 
Apparently, it's a big responsibility too. Ah, yeah! Tons of movies to watch, take some notes, try to read them afterward and then vote! Ah, but there's also the cachet of being a nominating committee member. Or at least that's what Stefan Nadelman expressed after I told him I was on the committee. Oh, you're gonna be sought after by actors & studios. They'll be falling all over themselves to sway you. AND how 'bout all that SWAG!! Yeah, right. Just my luck that there's a pandemic on my watch. Truth be told, we get only one shot at Nom Com and then it's on to another deserving member.

As in the past, certain members are asked to vote for SAG nominated films. I've always taken that responsibility seriously...and voted each and every time. Now that I'm asked to nominate, along with about 2,500 other members, the studios and networks provide SAG Nominating Members with the latest viewing options much sooner. Screeners as they are known, are movie and network series links to the latest released films and episodic series for preview. They start showing up in our emails as virtual events with RSVP's that have Id's & Pin numbers. What we're voting on are motion picture best performances, best ensembles, best stunts, the list goes on. So, you start to become adept to watch for everything.

And for all the movies that are up for awards, the networks supply premiere show times digital streaming on the likes of: Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. It used to be wait for the DVD's to go thru our mail slots. We've been hunkering down to watch more than 25 movie titles. So, it's Movie Night every night. And with our new Vizio-M Series Quantum 55 incher with SmartCast and theater-like surround sound, it's like an AMC movie theater right in our very home. It's definitely a step up from having to bake the mother board occasionally on our erstwhile LG 47 incher.

Voting for the Screen Actors Guild Awards® is done in two stages. The first, nominations balloting,
is voted on by two nominating committees – one for Motion Pictures and one for Television.
These nominating committees are newly selected each year from all paid-up and active SAG-AFTRA
members who have not served previously in the past 8 years.

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Saturday, October 24, 2020

This Election - No One Owns Your Vote

It's been a month full of October surprises. Yet, for some reason, the 'powers that be' are still lookin for an emblematic one. The month started off with presidential Covid-interuptus, segueing into back-to-back rally's immediately afterward. Then there were Presidential & Vice Presidential debates. Where Mike Pence and his fly-on-the-head could prove to be his; Dan Quayle, Howard Dean and let's not forget the Mike Dukakis, moment. And where Donald Trump had his moment with "will the real Abe Lincoln please stand up" in true What's My Line style!

During all this I had received the call to participate in a Lincoln Project opportunity with old friend and movie title sequencer, documentarian, music composer and pretty cool dude: Stefan Nadelman, from “Terminal Bar” fame. He's been blazzin a distinctive trail ever since. Check 'em out at: Tourist Pictures

Also, Stefan can be found on the production staff of Showtime’s documentary film on the life of John Belushi this November 22nd. Stefan is their graphics guy and you can catch an eyeful of his work on the trailer at: “BELUSHI”.

This time he wanted me to join forces for something unique as a Trump eye-opener and lend Biden support. He figured with my voice specialties we could come up with that tone of urgency and historical concern. Ah huh. Well, we turned in a few things and then Trump got sick and the Biden team wanted to ease up on any negative marketing. Any submissions otherwise, was seen as a hindrance to the cause. It needed to be seen as an Arsenal of Democracy.

So, why not with a little reality/surreality comparison association. Yeah, that's the ticket...maybe. And why not with a surreal movie character some 40 years ago named: Greg Stillson from the movie  “The Dead Zone” .

Remember Greg Stillson…let’s at least have some fun while making a point. Hopefully, with an impact that’s right between the eyes with a reality check - that we don’t need any more time to figure out whether it’s life imitating art or the other way around.
We would just like to change the channel, please. Spoiler alert, we’ve already seen the ending.

OK, that takes care of the script. What about voice-over delivery and music to underscore all this and make it demonstrative…but not preachy. Wait-a-minute, why not preachy? Real preachy. And whom better than Walter Cronkite, America’s Most Trusted Voice in TV History to preach some truth. 

Walter's sound-a-like voice was put alongside a music bed of Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me”. Gives the medium and message a little more impact. Maybe it’ll reach out to those suburban housewives Trump wants to carry in his pocket like so many nickles & dimes. Perhaps even gesturing a nod to the nomination and appointment over Amy Coney Bartlett, as Supreme Court Justice. Or to anyone who thinks their vote is owned & counted by none other than themselves...Electoral College notwithstanding. 

Check out the preliminary work-in-progress video. 60 seconds of slide graphic dissolves hoping to entertain while making a point with a bit of parody and a tad of tongue and cheekiness.

Click to view video.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Shocking Times demand Shocking Results this Halloween Season w/TC & Company


Tired of being quarantined at home? Ready to take out your frustrations on virus infected living dead? Come get some at The Mortuary...This is how the Mortuary is touting their latest event - Rift Wars.

And we're ready to blast away those words with 'The Creepy-Guy' voice once again even thought it didn't look too promising during these days of C-O-V-I-D.

It started this year with an excited email from the client in early September, about a month or so later than our usual start. They were cautiously elated to hear that the Louisiana governor has moved them into a Phase (III) order of Coronavirus restrictions for opening this season. A season they didn't think would happen. After all, these folks have several theme parks that are happening during the Halloween season and they all needed to have their advertising updated. Scout Island, Mystere Escape Rooms, the Spooktacular Theater and the Pharaoh's Fury are all part of their event venues.  
Half a dozen scripts and a lozenge or two later, the spots are finally getting aired on regional Tv & Radio. They called for the Creepy-Guy Voice and a burgeoning Drill Sgt. voice to promote and take part in the Zombie Slayer Strike Force event venue. Here's some of the text below along with links to the television and radio spots.   

With a new COVID plan, RESERVE YOUR TICKETS ONLINE NOW For your Ticket To Fight the Creatures of the Night!

An interactive, live combat shootout through the darkest bowels of The Mortuary! It’s a live action survival experience thrusting you into our un-dead battleground (with laser rifle in hand) clearing the infected where the un-dead thrive. Join the Army-of-Boom only at The Mortuary in NOLA.

Here are the links to the 15 second & 30 second versions of the Rift Wars and  Zombie Slayer Strike Force spots. Just click the red text to play videos.

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Sunday, August 30, 2020

Purfresh Rolls-Out Company Image with Tom Clifford as Signature Voice

Hey, ever hear of shipping Container Atmosphere control? Well, we've all seen those monster-tainers being lifted onto and off platforms and ships. Guess what's in 'em? Cars, tv's, clothes and anything from abroad...including fruits & vegetables. If you want them to stay fresh they need an entirely comfortable atmosphere to survive their sometimes long journeys. 

Enter Purfresh, the only company in the world that combines the ability to generate ozone for the entire duration of the ocean voyage with real-time satellite and GSM monitoring of the internal container environment. We were auditioned to do an English accent voice-over to lend a more sophisticated edge to the copy. The process called for a few topical changes to include Corona virus as it had become more of a concern and an added benefit of exclusivity in the marketplace. It was an extra benefit to be the voice of their website.

The Controlled Atmosphere System with ozone, delays ripening of commodities; and ozone’s chemical reduction properties make the fruit safer to eat, by reducing pesticide fungicide residue. In addition, the pathogen eradicating properties of ozone, slows down decay and mold growth, further extending the retail shelf-life of fresh produce. What’s more, it also reduces the risk of contamination from harmful pathogens like e coli and corona viruses by up to 99%. 

Click to view video on Utube or as a Web-Opener


Speaking of controlled atmosphere's, as the (4-day virtual/podium/recorded) RNC came to a close this past Thursday with our President's 70 minute acceptance speech and all the hoopla & spectacle that surrounded the last night, we feature a video that's a flash-from-the-past of another Republican.

Check out a cool rendition (below) of Ron Reagan singing 'Happy Days' in tribute to his last State of the Union address in 1988. I was called in to do political voice sound-a-likes for NBC's Sunday Today Show. Each Sunday they featured a political animated cartoon (Mike Peters/Reagan) from one of the country's leading newspaper cartoonists. The static cartoon was jazzed up with a minimum of animation, some sound effects, music and my imitation of the cartoonists text. We wound up with a cartoon that lent an overall disposition of the political climate for the week. It aired the day before his speech on Sunday January 24th. It's introduced by Maria Shriver, one of the show's hosts along with Garrick Utley. 

Below, is taken off 'AIR' featuring the views of Mike Peters, of the Dayton Daily News towards President Reagan's performance in office. We did a notable cartoonist for quite a few shows. This was one of the coolest gigs I had, thinking back. I was voicing for the likes of: Doug Marlette, Gahan Wilson, Paul Conrad, Tony Auth, Don Wright, Szep, Oliphant, MacNelly and the list goes on.

There's no denying the similarities between Reagan and the present 'Powers that be' in that they are and were hoping very strongly...whether We-the-People bought their brand of entertainment or not?

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Friday, July 31, 2020

Hydroxychloroquine - Alien DNA - Election Delay...Time for Dr. Emmett Brown

No matter where you stand on the "Isle" of politics these days, there's little doubt that within the last few weeks...days even, the word 'unbelievable' is at the top of everyone's shit-O-meter!

Just this year alone it was a whirl-wind of craziness. Riding on the tail of last years: Nuking hurricanes with sharpies outlining its path to pushing the malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine and pumping disinfectant into Pandemic victims veins as miracle cures with claims of not counting virus victims means less actual victims.

Together, with fake news conferences with crazy front-line doctors spouting Covid-19 victims 'cured' with alien DNA, no need for mask wearing and proffering the delay of the November Elections!

It's to the point that seems long over due, that we bring out Dr. Emmett Brown to finally get a hold on the situation as he wonders if Jerry Lewis wouldn't have been such a bad idea after all.

Click to Play Video 

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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Pandering to the Pandemic...finally !

Just when you thought the C-One-Niner pandemic was headin for the last's becoming clear that with more and more state re-openings, a resurgence of outbreaks are flaring up around the country. This seems to be in large part a result of not having any federal or national plan in effect to reopen in concert or with any coherent standard of reopening protocol. Not to mention, the apparent partisan splintering with mask-wearing as one of the factors in virus transmission.

I know it ain't just me, 'cause according to 100 year old pictures of the Spanish Flu...people are wearing protective masks even then to insulate themselves from the infection. So why wouldn't it be a No-Brainer for our politicians to wear-a-mask and lead by example to do the same. Strategists say - it's because they ain't leading! I thought the object of the game was to get back to normal...the new normal if that's the case. Get back to work. Put partisan politics on the back burner, at least temporarily, while the business at hand can begin. Though lately and keeping the aforementioned in mind, it's by no means only one party or candidate's supporters who are failing to respect appropriate mask-wearing norms and mandates.

Flattening the curve and thinking up new & improved ways to do so should be the order of the day or so it should seem for; An Early Clue to a New Direction!

I'll say one thing, I'm grateful to be healthy, along with the fam and the overall lot of us. We're safe and secure and hopeful. Sure, working regular would be grand and oh, those terrible, awful, unsightly masks (gee willikers). But, it's all relative, ain't it. Just asked some folks Beyond-the-Pond what's been shakin over there. They're pretty dire. Things are getting scarce. I'll say a prayer that maybe an aids package from our nation will make its way to our ally.

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

CoronaVirus - Civil Rights Protests - Making a Living

Entering month 'three' of the lock-down mandates that have been in effect since March 22, things are, or maybe I've just been hearing of late that they are... picking up. One things for sure, there are a lot more people walking and bicycling around.

Warmer weather aside, there's also a lot more people not wearing masks outside. It's still mandated here in New York. But only about 50% are wearing them around town. Go to a store and it gets weird. Everyone's got a mask on and it's a d-i-f-f-e-r-e-n-t world. People appear faceless, anonymous with muffled voices...if any voice at all. There's no denying the landscape has changed, especially with the noticeable 6 degrees apart everyone is when standing In-Line. To that end, can't help but feel a little like Dave Bowman in the final scenes of 2001. Every breath punctuated. Though, unsure why people are mask-wearin alone in the car!

Still figuring out how all this will affect how we effect jobs in the new norm. So now could be the time to post about a job done earlier. On standby for a sample link from the client to the video. In the midst of all the Pandem'onium, the call was for a newsman delivery for the Mid-East Diabetes Society. The focus was on the 'ABCD Initiative' which stands for the Ability to Beat and Control the Disease (diabetes). The theory is that healthier people are less susceptible to the illnesses...including virus'.

As I write this on the 28, there's a developing story of a man in Minn. who 3 days ago was killed by law enforcement which has caused an enormous outbreak of protest throughout the nation. Literally, shifting the Pandemic out of our daily consciousness. Demonstrations are occurring around the nation, nay - around the world. Yet, outside agitators in this country have infiltrated the protestors, who were initially peaceful, and set a different tone with rioting and buildings, stores and vehicles being set ablaze and store looting and violence propping up in 20 states and 40 major cities.

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