Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blue Water Film Festival announces 2012 Celebrity Judges Panel

Official Selections to have their films critiqued by leading industry professionals.

Port Huron, Michigan September 20, 2012 - The Blue Water Film Festival (BWFF) is proud to announce the esteemed members of the official Judges Panel for their 4th annual festival. Each judge brings an extensive resume in varied backgrounds such as the fields of acting, production, direction, animation and education; these acclaimed professionals bring a wealth of credentials and a respected career reputation to the table. The monetary prize awards given to the Michigan and Ontario filmmakers during the Blue Water Film Awards ceremony on Saturday, October 6, 2012 totals $2,500 and will be presented live on stage to the winners by the Judges Panel.

All 27 BWFF Official Selections that will be shown on that Saturday at the McMorran Place Theatre will be screened by the following group of industry leaders:

Stacey K. Black - Stacey K. Black is a two-time Emmy nominee for Outstanding Hairstyling for her work on the hit TV Series, "Glee," an accomplished musician, a television director, and a documentarian. Some of her other hairstyling credits include "The Stepfather," "Running With Scissors," "Major Crimes," "The Closer," "Nip/Tuck," "EZ Streets," "Providence," and "CSI:NY."

Stacey made the leap from Hairstylist to Director on "The Closer" starring Kyra Sedgwick. She directed the episodes "Last Woman Standing," and "Star Turn," which featured a song she wrote specifically for the episode, and she recently directed "Major Crimes," the episode titled "Cheaters Never Prosper." She has written and directed two short films, "Blue Moon," and "The Truth is Underrated," and is currently shooting a documentary centered on songwriters who have moved to Nashville, TN, to pursue their dreams in music. This passion project, "Send My Mail To Nashville," should make it's festival rounds in 2013.

Some of her soundtrack credits include "The Closer," "CSI:NY," and three songs on the feature film, "I Am Death," in which she appears as "Herself."

A native of Port Huron, Michigan, Stacey was raised by her loving and supportive mother, Martie Black, who lost her battle with cancer in 2002.

Kathleen Rose Perkins - Kathleen Rose Perkins is currently a Series Regular on Showtime's hit comedy series, "Episodes", starring opposite Matt LeBlanc. On film, she has a starring roles in upcoming feature films "Lamb of God" (written and directed by Diablo Cody in which Perkins stars with Octavia Spencer, Holly Hunter and Julianne Hough) as well as the UNTITLED NICOLE HOLOFCENER PROJECT (alongside Julia Louis Dreyfus and James Gandolfini). This past year, Perkins starred in "The Pact" (2012 Sundance Film Festival Selection) and "Cowgirls n' Angels" (alongside James Cromwell), both of which released theatrically in 2012. On Television, Perkins has recurred on a number of shows including "Tell Me You Love Me" (HBO), "Trust Me" (TNT), "NCIS: LA" (CBS), "Gary Unmarried" (CBS) and "Til Death" (FOX). Some notable guest appearances include turns on "American Horror Story" (FX), "Private Practice" (ABC), "NIP/TUCK" (FX), "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC), "Royal Pains" (USA) and "Lie To Me" (FOX). Kathleen is a native of New Baltimore, Michigan.

John Webber - John Webber began his animation career with Walt Disney Feature Animation in 1994 when he started in the clean-up department on the "Pines of Rome" sequence in Fantasia 2000. He worked with some of the top Supervising Animators on "Pocahontas" and "Hercules" and then moved to Disney's Orlando facility where he animated on the character of "Mushu" in "Mulan". John followed things up with animating on lead characters for "John Henry", Lilo in "Lilo And Stitch" and Kenai in "Brother Bear". He completed his digital training with Disney when the Orlando facility was shuttered and became a founding partner in a full-service animation studio called, "Project Firefly". "Firefly" was responsible for completing over 20% of the CURIOUS GEORGE movie among other client-based projects. After three years at Firefly, John worked for several months as a digital animation lab assistant with Full Sail University before joining his current position among the faculty at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) as an animation professor. John is a native of St. Clair, Michigan.

Mike White - Often mistaken for the ginger screenwriter/actor of the same name, Mike White is noted as a frequent contributor to publications such as "CinemaScope," "Paracinema," Detroit's "Metro Times" and White was featured in the documentaries "David Goodis: To a Pulp" and "The People Vs. George Lucas." He authored "Impossibly Funky: A Cashiers du Cinemart Collection" and weekly co-hosts "The Projection Booth" podcast.

"One of the most exciting aspects of this year is the broad and unique judges' panel we are providing for the filmmakers," states BWFF Judge Concierge Ryan Charron. "This allows them the opportunity to receive feedback from accomplished individuals with professionally diverse backgrounds who have had amazing careers in the film industry."
This year, comedian/actress and Michigan native, Loni Love (E Nework's "Chelsea Lately", Tru TV's "World's Dumbest..." and VH1's "I Love the '70s/'80s/'90s"), will kick off the BWFF with a live comedy performance at McMorran Place Theatre featuring her candid and outspoken stand-up on Friday, Oct. 5, 2012. Tickets ($10 in advance and $15 at the door) are on sale now at, and the McMorran Box Office.

The 27 Michigan and Canadian-made Official Selections of the BWFF will be showcased at McMorran Place Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012.

Visit for more information.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Chris Lawhorn Announces Charity Album Based Around Fugazi Samples

Fort Wayne, IN – September 12, 2012 – Chris Lawhorn will release his fifth album Fugazi Edits on October 30th on Case/Martingale Records. Fugazi Edits features 22 tracks, which were pieced together using excerpts from every song in the band Fugazi's discography.

The album's been in the works for almost two years. It's entirely instrumental and combines 100 Fugazi samples with a variety of effects. Ian Mackaye (from the band and their label Dischord) has authorized the album for release. And, the profit from will be donated to a pair of charities—one that works with senior citizens in Washington, D.C. and another that provides aid globally to folks impacted by disaster and civil unrest.

Lawhorn started the Case/Martingale label in 1996, while playing drums for the (admittedly Fugazi-influenced) band Cataract Falls. A decade of disastrous tours and middling solo albums followed. Along the way, he became the staff DJ at a spring break company—playing for drunk, college students on South Padre Island each March—and recorded the rap album Pole Position.

This gradual switch from rocking to beat-making isn't exceptionally unique. But, it led to an 18 month stint as the resident DJ for Marie Claire magazine. When that wrapped up, Lawhorn began work on Fugazi Edits—in an attempt to make something that touched on both the musical influences of his youth and his current love of cutting up tracks and reassembling them.

Interested folks can visit to check out samples from the album, the artwork, and so on.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

THE MASSACRE - 24 Hours of Horror Film Insanity

October 20 at 12:00pm until October 21 at 12:00pm
Doors open at 11am, show starts at Noon.

Special Guest Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead)

Portage Theater
4050 N. Milwaukee Ave.,
Chicago, IL 60641

Current line-up of films (more soon):
THE BLACK CAT (Karloff & Lugosi!)
FRENZY (Rare Hitchcock!)
RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (with Linnea Quigley in Person!)
DEAD SNOW (Modern Monster Mayhem!)
HALLOWEEN II (Michael Myers is Back!)
NIGHTMARES (80's Anthology Awesomeness!)
PRINCE OF DARKNESS (Carpenter Craziness!)
PHANTASM II (The Ball is Back!)

More films & Guests TBA.

Tickets are $20 until Sept. 24
$24 until October 19
$25 at the door - day of the show.

Tickets AVAILABLE NOW through Brownpapertickets:

Plus: Free Autographs & Photo Taking (with Linnea Quigley) Vendors, Vintage Trailers, Short Horror Film Contest, Costume Contest, Zombie Make-Up Station, Short Films, Prizes, Surprises a live charity auction for Vital Bridges (

Films, Times and Guests are subject to change.
No Refunds, No Returns.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Blue Water Film Festival to honor actor Curtis Armstrong

Curtis Armstrong will appear at this year's Blue Water Film Festival and be receiving the one-of-a-kind "Honorary Nerd Award" presented by international computer service company, Nerds on Site.

The presentation will take place on the final day of the BWFF during the Blue Water Film Awards at McMorran Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 6.

Armstrong is from Berkley, Mich., and has been a working actor for nearly 30 years. Armstrong has guest-starred or played recurring roles on over 65 television series (The Closer, CSI, House, Grey's Anatomy, My Name is Earl) and a full spectrum of feature films including Risky Business, Better Off Dead, One Crazy Summer, the Academy Award-winning Ray as well as this summer's musical hit, Sparkle with Jordan Sparks and the late Whitney Houston.

Armstrong is probably best known as "Dudley Dawson" or "Booger" in the 80's cult-favorite, Revenge of the Nerds, "Bert Viola" on the Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated Moonlighting and as the voice of "Snot" on Fox's animated hit, American Dad.

David Everitt of Nerds on Site is excited for this opportunity. "The Revenge of the Nerds movies have a bit of a cult following among the Nerds on our team worldwide. Our corporate leadership team has talked about finding a way to recognize the actors and characters of those movies but we didn't know where to begin. Now with the festival in town we are thrilled to be able to make this actually happen. We are planning to have a lot of our North American Nerds come in for this event and we couldn't be happier to be presenting this award to Mr. Armstrong."

Tickets for the event can be bought at the McMorran Box Office, TicketMaster or online at

Tickets are $16 in advance and $20 at the door.

Advance tickets are $10 and $15 at the door and are available on sale now at

27 of Michigan and Ontario's finest independent films will be showcased at McMorran Place Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Blue Water Film Festival.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Like a Rhino in a Record Shop by Skizz Cyzyk

In honor of the upcoming screening of Rhino Resurrected at Montreal's Film POP festival, I'm pre-releasing the following interview of Rhino Resurrected's director Keith Shapiro by Skizz Cyzyk. Find more details about the event via Facebook.

This interview will be available in Cashiers du Cinemart 17:

Pittsburgh native Keith Shapiro began making films when he was five years old, shooting Star Wars inspired films with a Super 8mm camera. He took film classes at Penn State University before relocating to Los Angeles in 1998, where he makes a living as a filmmaker, editor and musician. Like most musician/filmmakers, music is a big influence on his filmmaking. His first documentary feature, Rock God (2007), focused on the supremely talented musician, Peter Himmelman, and how he has dealt with getting older while holding onto his dreams in the rock n roll business. His second documentary feature, Rhino Resurrected, is about Rhino Records, the legendary record store-turned-label that released records by Wild Man Fischer, Barnes & Barnes, the Temple City Kazoo Orchestra, and many other novelty, blues, obscure, cult and reissue acts. Rhino Resurrected premiered at the Santa Barbara Int’l Film Festival in January 2012, won Best Feature Documentary at the Oxford Film Festival, and is currently making the rounds on the film festival circuit.

Skizz Cyzyk: How did you decide to make a documentary about Rhino?
Keith Shapiro: The genesis of this film goes back to my 13-year-old self in dreary old Pittsburgh enlivening my life enjoying the Dr. Demento show with my friends. He mentioned Rhino Records from time to time and they seemed to be responsible for all my favorite tunes. The Dr. created this sort of Ed Wood, ‘50s Wrestling, sleazy “Los Angeles of the mind” that resonated with my adolescent brain. Some years later when I decided to move out West, I was thrilled to see there was a real place called Rhino Records that was weird and fun like I pictured it. I became a customer and watched them sadly decline and go out of business but didn’t have any personal relationship with anyone there. Then in May of 2010, a music friend of mine alerted me to the Rhino “Pop Up” Store (a retail space temporarily hosted in a vacant location) that was about to happen. I showed up, saw them setting up and immediately felt a strong vibe that I better start filming. I asked Sam Epstein (director of the Pop Up Store and later producer on the film) if I could shoot and proceeded to shoot for the entire two week run of the store. I thought I’d make a cool short about the pop up but as I met more and more fascinating people there and the insane history of Rhino Records began to reveal itself I knew I was on to something bigger.

SC: Tell me about the process. How long did it take? What difficulties did you encounter?
KS: I had about 50 great hours of footage from the pop-up store with tons of interviews and even some multi-camera shoots of live performances but now needed to go out and do some proper sit-downs with key players. I had a wish list and Sam was instrumental in getting people to commit to interviews and filled me in on people I wouldn’t have known (he worked at the store for 25 odd years and was an assistant director on the side). It was a long semi-haphazard process in which Sam and I would go out and interview people and I would continue to edit the film continually shaping it out of what I had available. A great thing about the subject is that all the research I did was all my favorite stuff so that aspect was a pleasure.

The biggest challenge was (and still is of course) money because we had no proper funding, just made it up as it went along. But luckily Sam and I were able to shoot it ourselves and I’m an editor by trade so nobody had to be hired. Eventually I used a couple of cinematographers for later interviews but they basically volunteered because the subjects were so cool.

A more esoteric challenge was the mercurial nature of many of the record geek subjects and trying to get the best out of them. I was very adamant that people not just talk about the “look and feel” of vinyl. I wanted to go much psychically deeper than that in regard to the record store and music listening experiences that have been so irrevocably altered in this modern era. Also, many of the less “public” interview subjects were very introverted by nature so it was always important to dig a little deeper.

SC: Your film features some big names in it. Well, big names to people like me at least. I’m always glad to see people I admire, like Dr. Demento and Steve Wynn, pop up in documentaries, knowing that, to the average person, they might not seem as important as they do to me. Who are some of the people in the film that you were most excited to include? Was there anyone you really wanted to put in the film that you weren’t able to get?
KS: Dr. Demento was always a hero – I was so excited to interview him and he didn’t disappoint. His record collection is a real thing of beauty! I love meeting all those people that only “true believers” like us know are so important. It was great to go to William Stout’s studio and get him to draw a Rocky Rhino and also a real joy to spend time with Nels Cline on one of his brief respites from touring with Wilco. Richard Thompson’s a personal favorite of mine so I couldn’t believe my luck when he walked into the pop-up store to pick up his son who was volunteering there (RT also played a stunning set that week). I was floored by Little Willie G and thee East L.A. Philharmonic and was honored to get to know him a bit. There’s a lot of “behind the scenes” people in the film that I knew were so crucial but were hard to explain in their onscreen lower thirds! I hope I conveyed what everybody was all about through the film, I feel like the ‘80s underground scene, at least in L.A., is a little under-heralded.

I do wish I could have interviewed the infamous writer Richard Meltzer, he was a big presence at the Rhino Store in the ‘70s and ‘80s and I’ve been a huge fan of his writing for years. He’s up in Portland now and I had to keep the filming confined to southern California for budget purposes.

SC: As a record collector myself, I got excited every time I saw a record onscreen that I know is also in my collection, and not just Rhino releases. Are you a big record collector too, and have you collected Rhino releases over the years?
KS: I thought I had a solid record collection ‘till I met many of my interview subjects, I wish you could have seen some of these gems. At some point you have to stop filming people in front of their giant record collections and pick another spot in the house. But I’ve been a collector for many years and had more Rhino records than I realized. I had to track down some early Rhino rarities for the film like Rhino Royale, Demento Royale, Saturday Night Pogo, and The History of Latino Rock that I’m happy to have in my collection now.

SC: What has the response been for the documentary so far? Have the subjects seen it, and what do they think of it?
KS: We had an amazing sold out show at the Cinefamily last summer (a really cool film venue in L.A.) as part of the “Don’t Knock the Rock Festival” and a lot of the subjects were there. It was great to hear the thunderous rounds of applause for people who don’t usually get to be on the big screen. I was petrified to find out what some of the subjects thought of the film because anyone who knows Rhino knows they were opinionated to say the least. However, their responses have been positive, appreciative, and thankful that people will hear this story.

The film made its official festival premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival where it touched a nerve with the “well heeled” crowd and then won Best Feature Documentary at the insanely fun Oxford Film Festival in February. I made it so anyone can appreciate the independent spirit of the story but if you love the music and history you’ll love the film that much more. There are lots of layers for the true record geeks to explore – I wanted to recreate what it “feels like” to listen to a Rhino record.

SC: Making a documentary about a record store that becomes a record label that becomes a huge resource for cultural misfits all over the world, I would imagine you must have encountered a nightmare of rights issues. Do you want to talk about that?
KS: NO! Just kidding, it’s a struggle and I’m in the process of trying to raise a modest amount of money so some of the essential stuff can stay in the film. I wouldn’t call it a nightmare because I tried to stay smart about it but I wish it was a little easier to “sample” for documentaries like this. I’m really working hard to make sure this film gets out to the world in a non-neutered form, I believe it will.

SC: Do you have any inside news regarding the future of Rhino? Will there be any more pop up stores?
KS: Gary Stewart (formerly A&R at Rhino, a subject in the film) was so inspired by the first pop-up that he actually did a second one last spring. It was well attended and fun but I garner it’s hard to make enough money for charity to keep it all going. I know everyone wants it to happen every year but I’m not sure it’s possible. Sadly, we all love the era of gathering at the record store and it’s just different now. Although there’s a few great stores left and the funky niche vinyl shop has been flourishing, it will never feel like it used too, that’s why I say the film is an elegy and a celebration of what once was without being nostalgic. We’ll see what the kiddies come up with, but I know that music was everything to people in a way that’s hard to reproduce nowadays.

For more info on Keith Shapiro and his work, visit

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

From the Eyes of Director H. G. Lewis

I wrote the introduction for this book...

For Immediate Release:

Albany, GA – BearManor Media proudly announces the release of The Godfather of Gore Speaks: Hershell Gordon Lewis Discusses His Films.

Exploitation filmmaker Herschell Gordon Lewis is credited with single-handedly creating the gore genre with the 1963 release Blood Feast. This low-budget shocker would ultimately influence nearly every horror movie which has followed, as well as “high-brow” films as varied The Wild Bunch and Reservoir Dogs. Lewis, dubbed “The Godfather of Gore,” crafted more than thirty-five films in his ongoing career. In The Godfather of Gore Speaks: Herschell Gordon Lewis Discusses His Films, the filmmaker explains his choices and motivations—from concept to finished product—in much more detail than ever before. Assisted by noted film historian Andrew J. Rausch, Lewis shares often hilarious anecdotes and provides analysis for the thirty-nine films which he either directed or assisted with direction.

To learn about this or other BearManor Media titles, please visit our website at

ISBN: 1-59393-297-9
Format: Softcover; 6" x 9"; 141 pages
Price: $14.95