It’s been a while since the last blog. Been busy. I took a trip to northern Michigan last week that is worth mentioning. The Interlochen Arts Academy is a four-year boarding high school for the arts, where I went to school many years ago. Many. It’s always been a very special place for me, a place that helped launch this musical adventure I’ve been on. Interlochen is one of those magical spots, set on a lake, ringed by pine and birch trees and just plain drop dead beautiful. I’ve been on the Board of Trustees at the school for some time, which keeps me connected with the place.
Several years ago, Interlochen Center for the Arts (more than just a high school, a huge summer camp, a radio station, an arts festival, and arts adult education,) was blessed with a new president, Jeffrey Kimpton, who is a man with bold ideas and a lack of fear in implementing them. Just the right guy at the right time. Jeffrey decided that a motion picture arts program would be a perfect fit for the school and has made it happen in a blindingly short period of time. There now sits a gorgeous new film school building with a sound stage, Final Cut Pro editing suites and a projection theater and great gear, etc. 22 high school filmmaking majors inhabit it. ( the above picture is of the new Deroy Motion Picture Arts building.) Cool.
So in the context of all this, Andrew Davis, a fine director that I was lucky enough to work with on Holes agreed to come up and work with the kids for a day. I went with him and we showed Holes and then talked about it for a while. The kids asked probing and interesting questions. Andy showed his first film the next day, which was really interesting for the kids, so they could see he didn’t start out making $100m movies.
This week I went to Edmonton, Alberta. Seeing how far north on the map it was, I pictured mountains or at least foothills, dense with trees and wildlife and unspoiled Canadian glory. Wrong, dumb American. As I flew in, I thought we had taken a wrong turn and were landing in Kansas. It was flat (and I mean flat as in see all the way to the horizon without a bump, flat) farmland. Parceled furrow fields stretching out into infinity. Consequently, with nothing to stop it, the wind is never-ending. The city is lovely as was the nearly 100-year-old hotel that overlooks the river.
I was there to meet up with Loreena McKennitt, a singer and songwriter who I am working with on The Tinkerbell Movie. She was mid-tour making her way across Canada before heading south to the states next month. I caught up with Loreena and her amazing band at their sound check. She has some extraordinary players in her group. Almost all of them play at least 3 instruments. There was a fantastic hurdy-gurdy player, a Greek lyra player (tiny violin) a brilliant cellist and violinist, great ouds, balalaikas, etc. And Loreena is the world’s most expressive and in-tune singer ever. For those who have worked with singers, (sorry) you know that it can be a major struggle sometimes to get a performance in tune. Software repairs now make everyone a perfect singer these days, but when you hear someone do it for real, it’s a little freaky. Anyway, thank you to Loreena and to all of the band for letting me step into your tour bubble and bask in your wonderful music.
Finally home yesterday, sitting on the porch of my studio having a coffee and happy to be home in this quiet normal setting. And then a woman came trotting by on horseback, (my yard is ringed with horse trails) leading another horse, all while cradling her cell-phone on her shoulder yakking away as she took her ride. She must have ridden back and forth 4-5 times only a few feet away from me, and never acknowledged my presence. A beautiful day, a bucolic setting, a neighbor to wave hello to, all obscured by ‘the devil’s walkie-talkie’. Only in LA. Normal, schmormal.