BACKGROUND NOTES: While trying to turn on one of the TVs in my Italian aunt’s house, I hit the wrong button. There ensued two mornings and half of an evening of trying to figure out how to get the channels to come back. At one point, brother David picked up my aunt’s magnifying glass and tried to marshal old-school technology to understand one of them newfangled dee-vices.
CREDITS: “EYE SEE YOU” stars David Imbrogno | An original FILM del FRATELLO Lo-Fi, Hypershort Media Production of TheWebTheater.com | Shot on location in the Italian Lake Country of Ohio, US of A | Grazie molto for Production Assistance, Magnifying Glass and Cookies and Danishes by Zia Teresa.
NOTE: An Official Lo-Fi Media Production, meeting the One-Two LFM Standard. Produced in less than an hour (actually less than 10 minutes), using hand-holdable devices and no more than two applications/pieces of equipment, in total. In this case, one: Slice.
TITLE: Trailer to “SAINT STEPHEN’S DREAM: A Space Opera”
BACKGROUND NOTES: Here is the trailer to “SAINT STEPHEN’S DREAM: A Space Opera.” The rock opera/musical/eco-fable/cli-fi story made its world debut at FestivALL Charleston in June 2011, a citywide cultural fest in the Charleston, W.Va. And then I dropped the ball. Trying to decide whether to pick it up again.
The space opera unfolds the tale of what happens after Earth reaches a tipping point and seems no longer able to support human habitation. Ten thousand ships of all sizes flee into low-earth orbit and beyond, as a dazed humanity struggles to reorganize itself in what comes to be known as Nuova Terra (New Earth). Powerful leaders ordain that a return to the dying Earth is no longer possible. They decrees that all should just lay back and be content.
After all, they have rich, full-immersion web environments. There are endless alternative realities into which people can escape, fleeing from the reality of the warehoused beds and tiny metal capsules where most people now reside on the great space vessels. ‘Who are you going to be today?’ asks the computer each new ‘morning’ in space, as people rove through history, their avatars pursuing the latest characters, happenings and trends.
One of the most powerful leaders, the Doge of Nuova Venezia, has brought to life 16th century Venice as a dominant immersive environment on his great ship, La Serenissima. A merry band of performers, rebels, dreamers and fools, aided by the strange ‘trans-humans’ known as the Shua, oppose this new order.
They willfully ‘unplug’ from the immersive web and gather in a space-borne club called Third Eye Cabaret, where most of the musical takes place. They keep alive the hope of returning to Earth someday, inspired by the 9th century writings of an Irish monk named Brother Stephen, whose ‘dream book’ diaries seem to foretell the planet’s despairing future, with just the slightest hint of possible salvation.
BACKGROUND NOTES: Early in 2019, my wife and I took a cruise to Havana, Cuba. The attraction being, well, Havana, and also the wonderful singer-songwriter Susan Werner, who gave two concerts— one going, and one coming back, upon the high seas. Along the way, I interviewed her, talking about her songs inspired by past trips to Cuba.
This video marks the debut of a new web show called “THE LISTENING ROOM,” featuring intriguing people put into a room and listening to them about what they do (and think and sing and more). In this case, the listening room was a cabin on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship somewhere between Havana and Miami (my first oceanic interview). I interspersed the interview with shots I took while in Cuba. Let me know what you think.
PRODUCTION NOTES: This is a Medium-Fi Production. I interviewed Susan with my iPhone and also my new Sony a7 mirrorless camera, which, frankly, intimidates me, still. On the other hand, the full-frame 4K sensor allowed me to snap shots from moving tour buses and the backseat of a 1958 Chevy, which in post-production I could crop in on without losing any resolution. Amazing. It made for some cool scenes you’ll see in the video’s still photography.
PS: Susan Werner is one of my top 5 fave singer-songwriters of my life. Let’s see. Who are the other 4? Off-the-top-o’-my-head: Elton John (Bernie Taupin)/Neil Young/David Byrne/Cat Stevens/Springsteen/Foy Vance/Midge Ure ….. Oops. Went over my limit.
VIDEO: “Guiding Light,” a cover version of the Foy Vance song by Douglas John
BACKGROUND NOTES: Had a rough day. I decided to end it with recording a music video of the gorgeous Foy Vance song “Guiding Light.” May it spark a slightly better few minutes for you in your day. After I posted this to Youtube, a dear dear friend passed away at age 82, part of my karass. I re-edited the song to include a homage to Chuck at the end. And sang it at his memorial service in his name and honor. Fare thee well, Chuck!
PRODUCTION NOTES: This music video meets the standard of our Lo-Fi Media Production Manifesto: ‘Performed, Produced and Released in less than 6 hours.’ In this case, using Garageband, Final Cut Pro X, a Yeti Blue mic and a Mac laptop., In the spirit of wabi sabiimperfection, we leave in at least one imperfection. In this case, see if you can hear where I clear my throat.
“THE KEY TO MY GRANDFATHER’S HOUSE,” written and photographed by David Imbrogno and video produced by Douglas Imbrogno is a powerful, moving photo-poem-essay on the immigrant tale of one Italian family. But it could be the kindred tale of millions of families across innumerable cultures through time.
This particular story began on a steep Calabrian hillside in the early 20th century in the southern Italian Province of Cosenza., moving through Ellis Island to the small town of Lorain, Ohio. It circles back upon themes of family, loss and heritage through text, photographs and sound effects.
IT IS A BIG ASK IN THIS SHORT-ATTENTION-SPAN ERA— 16 minutes of your undivided attention for this brotherly collaboration which reaches across two continents and two centuries. But after it is through, we feel you will come to understand the rewards of settling into a quiet space with your computer or phone and experiencing this journey with undivided attention. Your feedback is welcome and any other reactions it stirs in you from your own immigrant roots. In one way or another, we are all descendants of immigrants from somewhere and someplace. As my elder brother David puts it:
“The Key To My Grandfather’s House” story is not mine, not brother Doug’s, it is our family’s story … Normally I would say that I wrote it. Actually I feel as if I “channelled” it from our ancestors. I am usually a visual communicator but here the words came to the forefront and my photographs reverted to snapshots… Our Aunts Teresa and Loretta who accompanied us might have been the mediums through which our ancestors channelled the story.”
David adds: “Please, find a quiet place to enjoy the sixteen minute show. Turn on the sound and watch it full screen.”
THIS IS AN EXCERPT OF A MUCH LARGER written photo-essay (a prose-poem, really) by David. If interested in reading and viewing the longer piece, visit CowGarage.com or EvidenceofmylLife.com. This video can be viewed as a separate stand-alone work of art, but it is also a companion piece to a spoken word live performance.
FOR MORE ON THE VIDEO, to read the longer photo-essay or to schedule a live performance of “The Key,” subscribe to the websites above and to this website, TheWebTheater.com by clicking on the “subscribe” option in the right-hand top of the home page. You can reach either of us through those sites. Grazie mille!
THIS VIDEO IS A CO-PRODUCTION by David and Douglas Imbrogno. | Current version as of AUG 11, 2018
VIDEO: Why art can’t hurt you NOTES: During All Together Arts Week in Mercer County, West Virginia, in Spring 2011, singer-songwriter Albert Frank Perrone had a few important things to say about art while painting this window of his Mercer Street building. The line on the window comes from a painting by Fred Babb. NOTE: This video was one of four finalists in the “Micro-Film” category (under five minutes) of the 2012 Appalachian Film Festival in Huntington SOUNDTRACK: Excerpt of “I’ve Got a Little Voice” by Albert Frank Perrone LENGTH: 2 min 52 sec
VIDEO: The Making of an Elephant, Part 2 NOTES: It is not just that often that elephants wander about West Virginia. But where do you get one and how do you get it here? The people behind the parade that concluded the 2011 All Together Arts Week in Mercer County, West Virginia on April 3, 2011, had always dearly desired an elephant for the event. Then, they manifested one. Not without a whole lot of work. Elephants, it must be remembered, are rather on the chunky side. It was a very special elephant – and this is her story, the concluding video in a special two-part WestVirginiaVille.com video report from our Large Animal Bureau. Part 2 of a two-part series. View Part 1 here. LENGTH: 3 min 21 sec
VIDEO: How do you make an elephant — and why? NOTES: They had dreamed of an elephant for the parade that capped off All Together Arts Week in Mercer County, West Virginia. But where do you get an elephant? A group of artists and elephant enablers decided they must do what they had to do: manifest an elephant all by themselves. This special two-part video takes to the street and the elephant works of The Room Upstairs in Princeton, West Virginia, to investigate how an elephant came to walk a street in WestVirginiaVille one fine sunny Spring day in 2011. Part 1 of a two-part series. View Part 2 here. LENGTH: 3 min 5 sec
VIDEO: A video of an encounter with a video installation NOTES: An encounter one day in 2013 with the video installation ‘Text Rain’ at the 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Ky. This engrossing 1999 video installation piece using projection software is a work by Camille Utterback and Romy Achituv, installed in the elevator lobby of the Museum Hotel in downtown Louisville, Ky. The alphabet cascade of letters cleverly form lines from a poem by Evan Zimroth and the letters drop onto whatever human shape is picked up by a camera in the center of the piece. LENGTH: 2 min 31 sec SOUNDTRACK: “Hyperdrive” by Lucas the Flow
VIDEO: 9 Ways of Looking at ‘Hallelujah’ NOTES: Acclaimed metal sculptor Albert Paley’s monumental sculpture, “Hallelujah,” sprouted almost overnight (well, over the course of a weekend) in front of the Clay Center in Charleston, W.Va., in October 2009. The reaction to the 198,000-pound sculpture was immediate in a city and state where high-ticket monumental sculpture is as rare as straight roads. While fans of art and culture were happy to have this sculptural visitation from a much larger city, commentators to the local media dunned the nearly million-dollar sculpture as a rattletrap junk heap. In other words, the usual reaction to contemporary art. It is true that the sculpture, with its upward-thrusting lines, its meant-to-weather Cor-Ten steel and bronze elements going green, bears a resemblance to a wrecked interstellar rocket ship. That’s a compliment, by the way. For those of us who have come to appreciate passing it on our daily commute into town, it is a welcome bit of visual flair to an otherwise mundane cityscape. SOUNDTRACK: ” Fortune” by Lucas the Flow LENGTH: 3 min 15 sec
VIDEO:Lucas the Flow in action plus more. NOTES: An older promotional video from WVTV: WestVirginiaVille.com TV and The Web Theater, featuring some live action performances by Lucas the Flow performing a remix of Sinistarr’s remix of “Ice Black” by Bao Guido, plus “Exoplanet” by Lucas the Flow. Plus, video excerpts from TheWebTheater archives including a cameo mouth organ appearance by Lori McKinney at the Room Upstairs in Princeton, W.Va. LENGTH: 4 min 41 sec
VIDEO: Out & About in West Virginia NOTES: An old experimental video (note the smaller video size) for WVTV, the broadcast channel of WestVirginiaVille.com. All scenes certified of original West Virginia scenery. SOUNDTRACK: Live piano riff by Douglas Imbrogno
LENGTH: 1 min 44 min