I met Jack Walsh in the early nineteen eighties, he a graduate student in the San Francisco State University Department of Cinema and I the alumnus simpatico color timer in the basement of the laboratory of W.A.Palmer Films. He hired me this month to polish up the chromes of his thoughtful, respectful, and illuminating nonfiction cinema celebration of the avant garde dancer and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer. February 7 his film opens in Berlin at the film festival. My collaborators include Dan Olmsted of Berkeley Sound Artists for the mix and Zoetrope Aubry Productions for online mastering and Digital Cinema Package (DCP).
San Francisco Bay Area Cinema is losing a studio today, PDI/Dreamworks of Redwood City, California.
My friends are losing their jobs.
This was a great shop I knew when they were Pacific Data Images and SGI computers were their engines.
Having survived a few shutterings of studios in my time, I say talent will always rise again.
Reboot and walk on, comrades.
WHITE RABBIT – Special Screening in Emeryville – 01/21/15, 7:30pm
I’m excited to announce a screening of my feature film, WHITE RABBIT, at the AMC Bay Street theater on January 21 at 7:30pm.
I hope you can make it: I’m really proud of this project – and what it shows about the ingenuity and depth of the Bay Area filmmaking community.
The San Jose Mercury called it a “must-see” film.
The screening will benefit Swords to Plowshares, a local Veterans’ Service Organization which does much-needed work in support of our military’s veterans, particularly with their programs for women vets. That is important here, because the main character in WHITE RABBIT is Kerryann Terkel, a woman returning from three tours in Iraq. To re-build her civilian life, Kerryann must struggle against the pull of her military training and experiences in this smartly-written, award-winning crime thriller.
There are only a few days left to purchase tickets for this event; if we don’t get enough pre-purchases this week, we lose our hold on the theater – and Swords to Plowshares loses all of its potential donation.
Please help me spread the word to all your indie-film-loving friends.
Here’s where you can get tickets and/or make a contribution to Swords to Plowshares (this week only!):
Hope to see you there.
Coates Promotes the January 5th-12th Theatrical Release of STATES OF GRACE
When friends visit me from the Midwest I take them for a vegetarian meal at Green’s Restaurant at Fort Mason in San Francisco for a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge in a calm setting and if they are up for it a post-prandial walk from the Marina’s fort to the other fort at the base of the bridge.
The San Francisco Zen Center’s Green Gulch Farm grows the produce the creative cooks prepare.
Fu Schroeder, an ordained Buddhist priest is the director of the farm and lives in Green Gulch in Marin County with her partner Dr. Grace Dammann and the daughter they adopted as a baby born in a severe health crisis and who is now in college.
Dr. Dammann was an early responder to the health crisis of the AIDS epidemic when it first hit San Francisco and served as a doctor to those living and dying from the disease when no one knew what it was. The Dalai Lama recognized and honored her compassionate medical practice.
Her Buddhist practice came to matter a great deal when she came into her own health crisis emergency.
Dr. Dammann was crushed in her car in a head on collision on the Golden Gate Bridge. She survived the accident but this film is about the years of coma, multiple major surgeries, extensive physical therapy and rehabilitation before she was able to return to medical practice.
Filmmakers Helen Cohen and Mark Lipman and their editor Kenji Yamamoto tell the story of grace: the woman so named, the web of friends especially Fu and the medical teams and aids who incarnate the practice of grace in their dedication to Dr. Dammann’s well being.
Grace will attend some of the theatrical screenings. She will also attend the January 11 ribbon cutting for a new barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge to prevent what happened to her happening ever again to another.
I had the pleasure of working on not one but two Bay Area documentaries about acts of diplomacy as mitzvah where Bay Area Americans brought material aid in baseball equipment to embargoed Cuba.
These films are Eugene Corr’s “From Ghost Town to Havana” and Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider’s “Havana Curve Ball”. Both of them I color-finished in Final Cut Pro, by the way.
The latter named film just happened to be screened in Havana at the U.S. Interest Section headquarters the same day President Obama announced the normalization of relations between the two countries after a half century of Cold War hostilities.
We call that “Documentary Gold” in my circle of friends.
Here is an article about the event written by Leah Garchik of the San Francisco Chronicle who in my personal history was a fellow member of the Haight Ashbury Group 80 chapter of Amnesty International where we wrote letters on occasion calling for the release of Cuban political prisoners. Part of the new engagement includes the release of some political prisoners. It makes a good first inning in a whole new game of Beisbol.
My client Judy Irving, the director of THE WILD PARROTS OF TELEGRAPH HILL, will be present for the October 24th premiere of her new feature documentary PELICAN DREAMS in San Francisco’s Balboa Theater and in The Elmwood Theater in Berkeley October 25.
Check the PELICAN DREAMS website for a theater near you.
I met Bill Caldwell in 1977 at San Francisco State University Department of Cinema.
We became filmmaking partners in a larger group of friends our senior year in college.
Our mutual project was a noble failure (mea culpa, mea maxima culpa) but Bill and some of the other comrades nobly supplied film in it that was of great use to the American Indian Movement in their resistance to uranium mining on their native land.
We all parted but a few years later in the 1980s Bill and I resumed contact. He had married a lovely woman whose excellent taste in clothes draped Bill in dapper dash chic and my former scruffy hippie pal then wore a new coat of polish well.
Bill needed work and I put him into a job with me at Diner+Allied, he a videotape operator. He continued to pursue his true talent for photography and was my wedding photographer in 1989.
Bill over the years took many fine pictures, from his time in the military in Germany in the Vietnam era where he photographed rock and roll shows to later in his career when he made panoramic prints for Oakland corporate clients including the Oakland A’s.
He published a Photo Directory book with links to photography resources in the Bay Area, much analogous to the San Francisco Reel Directory.
Bill died Oct 17 at 11PM, on the 25th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake.
Semper fi, charming Billy.