BMA Behind the Scenes
Welcome to a behind the scenes glance at a few of our projects in production.
Howard Cruse at BMA Studios
If you read comics at all or The Village Voice, Playboy, Artforum or The Advocate to name a few you have probably seen the brilliant work of Howard Cruse. In addition his published works, Wendell, Early Barefootz and DC Comics award winning graphic novel Stuck Rubber Baby are some of the best comics in print as well as his work in Dope Comics, Snarf, Bizarre Sex to name a few more. For a more descriptive bio we recommend his website HowardCruse which is its own experience (BMA is on his blog so keep an eye out for us). If you are wondering why he was at BMA we are collaborating on a film project that is based on his graphic novel The Swimmer with a Rope. Also working with genius makes a stark winter a lot more interesting.
We are still charmed by the presence of Berkshire Theater Festival’s star actress Tara Franklin. We asked Tara to read Emily Dickinson for Poets of Nature, now available, and much to our delight she accepted. After playing to standing room only crowds in Berkshire Theatre Festival’s Educating Rita with her co-star Jonathan Epstein (The Aspern Papers, Siege of London, Poets of Nature) she was in high gear for the poems which awaited her the morning after closing night. Emily now has a beautiful voice and can be heard reading from her poetry collection Nature on the Poets of Nature audio. Tara will be appearing at BTF this summer in Ghosts.
We have been honored to record recently the great poet Peter Kane Dufault whose numerous works have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, The New Republic, Atlantic, Spectator (in England) as well as anthologies including the current Norton Anthology of Poetry. In addition he is the author of six books of poetry. His son Ethan is currently in production with a documentary called "What I Meant To Tell You: An American Poet's 'State Of The Union'" that focuses on Mr. Dufault and his political views. Part of the filming took place in our studio. Look out Pinewood. The purpose of the recording session was to create a CD of Mr. Dufault’s beautiful nature poetry but the momentum of his Homeric delivery carried us through two sessions as well as a narrative track for the up coming film. We are glad to be a part of it.
BMA Studios believes psychology makes great audio. Certainly psychology that draws not only on a vast education and facile mind but also Plato, Emerson, Frost, Dogen, Rilke, Nietzsche and Yeats. We had all this when Michael Lipson, Ph.D, joined us at the studio to record his book Stairway of Surprise – Six Steps to a Creative Life. Michael’s hit show on WAMC can be heard weekdays on VOX POP and roughly 400,000 people do according to the WAMC website. They are the healthier for it as BMA is from our sessions with the master psychologist. An editors dream, Michael is articulating his way through his book with the ease of a radio show host. The audio edition will be available in the Spring.
Having his music played by noteworthy Nashville artists as well as being a publisher himself, long time BMA team member John Humphrey asked us to put together a collection of his country/gospel songs eventually to be called Waterfall. The CD will now be joined by a second compilation called “Where The Johnson Farm Used to Be” featuring his folk music. The title song is about the effects of widespread mall development specifically an area John knew as a country farm while he was growing up. The project fits with our own love of nature and concerns about the environment. His songs can make one teary eyed and this one about the loss of a family culture to greed and speculation certainly does. The song “Can I call you Dad?” is about his step-son now in Iraq and is also emotional in the classic sense of the best of country and folk music. The fact that John and his wife Maggie are BMA enthusiasts makes us happy but the fact that they’re also Henry James fans makes us fans of theirs. We precious few need to stick together.
Long standing veteran of television and Hollywood feature films Richard "Rico" Sands joined us at BMA Studios for a production shot of Dr. Michael Lipson’s audiobook “Six Steps to a Creative Life.” The result of the session might be an audiobook cover and many more. For someone who has worked on over fifty feature films including True Lies, The Matrix, Artificial Intelligence and Judge Dredd the BMA shoot was not the challenge of a lifetime. But for Mr. Sands every project is “The project” which is why he is in such demand.Richard Sands with Gregory Crewdson
As the acclaimed celebrity art photographer Gregory Crewdson’s director of photography (see montage below) he has developed an uncanny and profound grasp of still photography as well. His work with Mr. Crewdson consist of mysterious, existential and surrealist scenes bursting with color and emotional intensity and has graced the pages of Time and The New York Times. The subjects of the intriguingly beautiful tableaux vivants include Gweneth Paltrow, Tilda Swinton, Julianne Moore and Philip Seymour Hoffman among others.
BMA is enthusiastic about his participation and the planning stage of the filming of Poets of Nature has already commenced. We consider Mr. Sands brilliant but he is not alone among the group of Berkshire Media Artists. We hope he will enjoy his stay.
Photo (clockwise from bottom left): Gregory Crewdson/Tilda Swinton – Rick Sands/Christopher Bamford - Gregory Crewdson/Gwenyth Paltrow – Rick Sands/Scarlett Johansson – Rick Sands/Julie Webster - Gregory Crewdson/Philip Seymour Hoffman – Rick Sands/Emily – Rick Sands/Abby Webster – (Center: BMA Studios).
BMA Studios’ recent greenlight of a proposed digitization project for the Analytical Psychology Club of New York was over a year in the making but well worth the wait. One cannot rush Jungian wisdom is the lesson gleaned and the process of approval provided an opportunity to spend time at the distinguished C.G. Jung Center of New York. The existing audio library is quite extensive and some of the aging tapes will soon be reformatted to disc and download and available on-line and in stores. lectures in the audio library are of esteemed Jungain analysts such as Edward C. Whitmont, Brewster Beach, Beth Darlington, Donald Ferrell, Diana Beach and Roger Woolger. The titles are alluring as well: Jung’s Encounter with Nietzsche, Wordsworth and the Landscape of Memory, A Jungian Exploration of Gnosticism, Approaching Merlin’s Cave and To the Mythology of Earth Connectedness. This will be an individuating experience for this audio company.
Audio wisdom is often found in uncommon places and even then it is elusive. Such has been our experience with our pursuit of the esteemed scholar, author, publisher and editor Christopher Bamford. Indeed, like Sasquatch, even his photos are blurry. His encyclopedic mind and beautiful writing coupled with his living wisdom and natural audio quality made it impossible for BMA not to attempt to attempt an audio capture. He was lured in with the temptation of reading a sample of Richard Howard’s translation of Balzac’s The Unknown Masterpiece and Mr. Howard has since given BMA the go ahead to record. At that session Christopher also read his essay Goethe In Marienbad and through the alchemy of superb narration, eloquent text and good microphones audio gold was produced. The temptation is of course to want more and as a result there are possible plans to record Balzac, Ford Madox Ford, Keats, the Steiner Books publication Green Hermeticism as well as the essay The Evolution of Romanticism from Christopher's book An Endless Trace. The challenge is to squeeze time from Christopher’s busy publishing, editing, writing and lecture schedule. The world, however, knows his voice was meant for audio and in that we trust.
(All photos except NY Jung Center and Goethe at Desk copyright BMA Studios)