A TOWN OF TWO LUCYS

In the village of Celoron, part of the town of Ellicott, on the western boundary of the city of Jamestown, in Chautauqua County, in the state of New York, United States, a statue was erected in honor of Lucille Ball, legendary comedienne and the main claim to fame for Celoron, population 1112 (according to the 2010 census).

The statue was commissioned by Mark and Jetta Wilson, who donated it to Lucille Ball’s birthplace in 2009.

For six years the statue stood quietly in the little park, without controversy.

But then in 2015, it became an internet meme, as “Scary Lucy”, attracting worldwide derision and condemnation.

Even its original sculptor, Dave Poulin, admitted it was “by far my most unsettling sculpture” and that he had wanted to redo it for several years before the controversy erupted.

Perhaps trying to capture Lucy’s Vitameatavegamin grimace sculpturally was a doomed proposition from the get go, no matter the skill of the artist.

“Scary Lucy” became such a bronze of contention that a commission was formed to replace it. Carolyn Palmer was chosen from 67 applicants to make “New Lucy”.

And if you turn your head westwards from Scary Lucy, there, not far off, stands New Lucy…

They didn’t remove the unloved statue. She still shares the park with her corrective.

After all, the controversy around the statues is perhaps more of a draw than anything else.

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FREE TELL-TALE SCREENING SUNDAY

The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” will stream this Sunday, December 6, as part of the London International Motion Picture Awards free screenings of their nominated official selections on Films On Go TV.

The L.I.M.P.A. will start showing films today. Each day’s streaming program starts at 12pm London time, as will the program this Sunday that includes “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre”. By my math, you can expect my musical Edgar Allan Poe adaptation to air around 4:10pm London time, 11:10 am EST. (Click here to watch.)

Public viewing of all films as they stream these next two weeks very much looks to be free!

There also appears to be a public vote involved, so please do show “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” your support when you visit L.I.M.P.A.

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Back in the Studio

Some teasing glimpses into the next Poe Musicabre

Pre-production efforts for the follow-up to my short film musical adaptation of ‘The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” are in full gear. This week I am in the studio laying down vocal tracks for “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre”. Yes, as previously announced and discussed, it’s another Edgar Allan Poe adaptation.

These first pics are from Tuesday, my first day recording. I am using the same studio, JahRockn, where I recorded my Tell-Tale vocals almost exactly two years ago. Today I go in for my fourth session. Even though “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” will be shorter than “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre”, I actually have to lay down far more vocal tracks than before. There are some important reasons for this, which distinguish the voice work here from its predecessor in dramatic ways, and require the extra time in the studio…

Chris and Aaron from JahRockn in the monitor

As with Tell-Tale, my vocals aren’t the first sounds recorded during pre-production. In August we recorded the instrumental tracks. And the old Tell-Tale music gang is back: Robin Hasenflug,  Scott Burns and Michael Gelfand playing the three cellos, again recorded and engineered by Todd Maki in Ohio. Above and below are some screen shots of my view of the proceedings hunched over my lap top with ear buds plugged in. Last time we did this, there was no need for masks and Covid tests ahead of time, of course.

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TELL-TALE SOUTH AFRICAN HORRORFEST AWARDS

“The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” wins awards for Adaptation and Soundtrack (Short Film) from South African Horrorfest

The charismatic South African Horrorfest hosts Paul and Sonya posted their awards announcement video on YouTube, including a list of all the films featured in the festival and other info posted below the video.

You can also watch the video here:

Paul and Sonya are part of a panel of four judges that made this year’s award selections.

I am extremely pleased and honored to see “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” singled out for not one but two awards. The first one, for adaptation (short film), is announced at the 3:30 minute mark of the video.

Paul: “It’s a musical adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”.

Sonya: “And was brilliant”.

Paul: “Fantastic. Artistic”.

Sonya: “Stood out for more than just for its soundtrack. But the soundtrack was absolutely stunning.”

Paul: “And hard work went into that. We definitely appreciate that.”

At the 6 minute mark you can see “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” win the award for Best Soundtrack.

Sonya: “Our next category is the Best Soundtrack. And I think that’s quite obvious.”

Paul: “Ja, there were some very good soundtracks. And not just music but also sound design.”

Sonya: “Ja.”

Paul: “But the one that stood out, head and shoulders, was “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre”.

Sonya” “Yes. Brilliant. Really enjoyed that one.”

UPDATE: Paul Blom sent me the official Awards Emblems

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TELL-TALE SOFIE AWARD

“The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” wins a SOFIE Award

The Short Film Awards, AKA the SOFIE Awards, were held last night. Here’s the YouTube video of the complete event:

It was an elaborately produced virtual event full of filmmaker testimonials and film clips. I created a filmmaker testimonial and three clips for the event too, as requested, and will share those below.

The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” was nominated for three SOFIE Awards, Best Long Short Film, Outstanding Technical Work and Outstanding Styling.

The evening began with clips from all the nominated short films. “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre’s” sneak peak comes in at the 57 second mark:

The Filmmaker testimonials followed. You can find mine at the 48 minute mark, or watch it below:

The award for Outstanding Technical Work was the first to be announced, after the testimonials had aired and after M.C. Rico E. Anderson’s opening bit (starting at the 1:14 hour mark). The nomination clip I edited for the award presentation was shown at the 1:26 hour mark:

“The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” won, to my visible surprise, as you can see if you watch the YouTube video at the top of this post, starting at 1:30:30.

(I didn’t mean to tease Rico about stumbling over Stolis Hadjicharalambous’ name, but hoped to show some empathy for him being asked to sightread what is undoubtedly an eyeful and a mouthful. But I’m afraid that may have not come across while I was still on the air. Anyway, I told him so in the Zoom chat, but it was too late. A variety of interesting names would trip him up again and again. And even after getting my name right at first, he would skip past the “k” during the next award presentation.

I’m sorry, Rico, for jinxing you. 😉 )

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A Twice Told English Selection

It was a good day for “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” in England yesterday. On the heels of learning my musical Poe adaptation was made an official selection of the Lit Scares International Horror Festival of Harrogate, North Yorkshire (or might it be Horrorgate, North Yorkshire?), I got notice that my short film is also an official selection of the London International Motion Picture Awards.

Both will feature events in December. More info to come. For now, cheers!

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CINS CHAT CORNER INTERVIEW

Friday, November 13th, I recorded an interview with Cindy Mich from Art is Alive, which she has now posted on her Blog Talk Radio webpage and YouTube (see below). We talked for nearly 90 minutes about my short film musical adaptation “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre“, working with my husband Edward Elder, cracking the “adaptation code” on my next Poe musicabre “The Pit and the Pendulum”, being effected by the Covid pandemic, and some of my other musicals “Speakeasy – John and Jane’s Adventures in the Wonderland“, “I Too Sing America – The Blues According to Langston Hughes” and “beTwixt, beTween & beTWAIN“. (Cindy tried to get me to pick my favorite, as if I could choose my favorite child; but yes, now I feel guilty about my musicals I didn’t get to talk about – bad father, bad father!). As well as IMDb, the Judy Garland Award, tales out of school (literally, as in NYU Drama), meeting Zhang Yimou and Gong Li in China in 1989, and much more.

Give it a listen (the interview starts at the 5:35 minute mark):

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TELL-TALE on SOFIE TV

Another way you can see “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre“:

For free on SOFIE TV!

SOFIE TV is run by The Short Film Awards AKA The SOFIE Awards. They are showing all nominated films between now and Monday in anticipation of their their awards show November 21.

SOFIE TV is showing all nominated films in scheduled blocks, depending on the nomination.

“The Tell-Tale Heart earned three nominations, for Best Long Short Film, Technical Work and Styling.

Here is the schedule for when Tell-Tale’s screening blocks will air on SOFIE TV (All times EST)

UPDATED WITH ADDITIONAL SHOWTIMES!:

Enjoy, and wish Tell-Tale good luck for the Short Film Awards!

UPDATE: WATCH THE SOFIE AWARDS LIVE SATURDAY NOV 21:

On Saturday, November 21st, the SOFIE Awards festivities begin at:
6:00PM EST
1. The BIRTH of SOFIE…detailing how The Short Film Awards and SOFIE came to be
2.  In Pursuit of SOFIE…SOFIE Nominees discuss their film journeys and the importance of short films

7:00PM EST
The 6th Annual SOFIE AwardsHosted, for the third year, by award-winning actor and Emmy voter, Rico E. Anderson. 

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AUTUMNAL SPLENDOR in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Ed and I took some pretty pictures last Sunday in the the Brooklyn Botanic Garden…

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CONCEPT 2 REEL SCREENS TELL-TALE FOR FREE TODAY

The Concept 2 Reel Film Festival is screening “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” free of charge today.

Watch my musical Edgar Allan Poe adaptation until midnight EST via this link.

Scroll down to the Nov 6 collection of films to watch:

Concept 2 Reel founders Rachelle Neal and Larry Person Jr:

Concept 2 Reel screens one of the smallest collections of films of any festival I have been part of.

It is a special honor and privilege to have been included in this select group of films.

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FINGERS CROSSED

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FANtastic TELL-TALE

“The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” premieres Sunday 5pm via the FANtastic Horror Film Festival

where it plays through Nov 29

The FANtastic Horror Film Festival is up and running this weekend. You can catch horror features and shorts through Sunday online at https://fhff.festivee.com/.

My musical Edgar Allan Poe adaptation “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” is premieringg as part of the festival’s Short Film Block #6 on Sunday, starting at 5pm.

It will continue playing on the festival onl-line platform through November 29.

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TELL-TALE RUSSIAN SYMPATHY

With tongue in cheek but sincere curiosity I asked whether the jury felt sorry for me…

Award winners at the Russian International Horror Film Festival posing with their trophies last Sunday

I knew already back in March that the Russian International Horror Film Festival was going to give my short film “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” an award.

I had acquired my visa to travel to Russia with my husband and co-producer Ed Elder, and our plane tickets and air bnb in Moscow were booked, and festival director Victor Boulankin, perhaps in an effort to make sure I stick around past my screening and Q&A, hinted that I would be receiving an award at the closing ceremony, without telling me what award exactly; and then exacted a promise that I keep that bit of information to myself for now.

“For now” would end up being eight months. Thank you, Covid 19!

As posted previously, the pandemic forced the postponement of the festival. But it finally took place last weekend. I would not be able to attend, sadly (Thank you, Covid 19!), so I asked Victor Boulankin over email what award “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” would receive. He responded:

Yes. The jury sympathy awards

I will my way send it to you by post

Or next time in March if you attend

I thanked Victor and chose the post option for receiving my award. Then I asked: “The Jury Sympathy Awards?  Is that the name of the award?”

I received a one word response:

Yeah

I pressed on:

“I’m not sure I understand what that means in terms of an award.  I wonder if something is not coming through in translation.  Sympathy means feeling sorry for somebody, or having empathy, your heart goes out to them.  Is the Jury feeling sympathy for the protagonist in Tell-Tale?

Is there a meaning in the original Russian name for the award that relates to the film in a way I am not understanding?”

This was the next email response:

😂
😂

Jury sympathy prize
Sorry for my English))

At this point it occurred to me that rather than communicating with someone who spoke English as a second language, it may be I am communicating with someone using a translate app to turn my English language emails into Russian and his Russian language responses back to English before sending them back to me. That app had been helpful for me when mass emails in Russian to all festival participants wound up in my gmail Inbox. A simple click on the translate button turned those cyrillic missives into something I could understand. So far Victor and I had been conversing swimmingly over email. But it appears the subtleties involved in figuring out “Jury Sympathy Award” were beyond the translate function.

I had this mental image of the jury feeling sorry for me.

Poor kid. You tried. But this is a hot mess. Our sympathies are with you…

Victor tried to clarify:

Sympathy means sympathy

I don’t know other variant to describe

It means very good attitude of the jury

I joked that the jury having a good attitude towards me does look better than the jury feeling sorry for me.

Still, I had to get to the bottom of this:

“I’ve never heard anything like it. I’m not sure what to compare it to.  Is it similar to an “Honorable Mention” prize?  Or a “Special Jury Prize”?  Like a special general achievement prize you give that’s separate from the “Best Picture” or “Best Actor” or “Best Screenplay” prizes?” 

That question seemed to get the right operative word through the translation app. Victor resonded:

Special Jury Prize, yes

“OK.  Thank you very much.  And thank the jury too.  Sorry I can’t be there in person to accept it.”

So there we have it. “The Tell-Tale Heart won a Special Jury Prize at the Russian International Horror Film Festival. It’s quite an honor.

Yet I will always, with special tender feelings, think of it as the Jury Sympathy Award.

Headline from the festival website: “10th ANNIVERSARY FILM FESTIVAL “DROP” HAS ENDED WITH THE AWARDING CEREMONY”, as translated by Google’s “Russian to English”.

And below: “On October 25 in the cinema “Formula Kino EUROPA” the results of the 10th anniversary film festival “Drop” were summed up. During the festival, viewers in Moscow cinemas could watch more than 20 full-length genre films and 12 blocks made up of short films. The competition program ended with the demonstration of the film “Dead December” after the awards ceremony. The event was opened with a welcoming speech by the President and General Producer of the Festival, Honored Artist of Russia Viktor Bulankin.”

From further down the same webpage:

“Also, a number of filmmakers will receive their awards in absentia due to the inability to come to the festival due to the pandemic and closed borders, namely:

1. Film “Stalag III”, directed by Jason Rogan, USA / Belarus / South Africa

2. “New Woman” film – directed by Benjamin Noah, Canada

3. Film “Ecdysis” – directed by Tomo Sigiura, Japan

4. Film “Death December” – producers Dominic Saxl, Ivo Scheloske

5. The film “The Tell-Tale Story”, directed by Danny Ashkenasi

6. The film “Mother of Chernobyl”, Alexander Shuryepov”

UPDATE 11/3 – Victor just sent me a picture of my award certificate and statuette. He elaborated that “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” received a “Special Jury Prize” for “Best Short Film”:

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TELL-TALE in SOUTH AFRICA

“The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” is playing in the

South African Horrorfest film festival

The Festival goes live today. You can watch Tell-Tale Oct 31 – Nov 13.

Festival audiences can access virtual screenings from all around the world.

Go to the South African Horrorfest homepage.

Scroll down to the contents wall.

The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” is part of the “Shadow Realm Short Film Collection Volume 4

Although the festival starts today, the Shadow Realm Short Film Collection Volume 4, which features “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” won’t go love until Halloween, October 31.

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TELL-TALE NYLIFF AWARDS

NYLIFF – NEW YORK LONG ISLAND FILM FESTIVAL

gives “THE TELL-TALE HEART – a musicabre”

the BEST THRILLER – SHORT award

as well as a

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

to Danny Ashkenasi

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TELL-TALE RUSSIAN HORROR INTRODUCTION

To Russia with Chills

Today “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” will play early evening at two festivals, not streaming via the internet but in front of physically assembled live audiences: the Russian International Horror Film Festival in Moscow, and the New York Long Island International Film Festival.

Time zones being what they are, the Moscow screening will actually take place 8 or 9 hours before the Long Island screening, but I will still not be able to attend both. I will be in Lindenhurst, Long Island, doing a live socially distanced Q&A.

If not for Covid, I would have been there in Moscow in person in March. But we-all-know-what interfered, and the Russian Horror festival was postponed to October, and we Americans are finding it real hard to travel to most places these days…

So, in stead of me the audience in Moscow will get to watch a little intro video the festival director asked me to send them.

Here it is:

It’s mostly a standard introduction clip, until it veers into something … different.

A bit subtler than what I did for the Rock Horror folks in Rio, perhaps, but hopefully still as enjoyable.

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