Sunday, March 25, 2018

Reel Life: How to Make a Documentary

Thanks to advances in technology and online distribution, it’s never been easier for budding Michael Moores to make and market their own documentaries.

But what does it take to create reality-based films? For a recent feature in Richmond Magazine, I picked the brains of some Virginia documentarians: Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren of Field Studio, co-directors of “An Outrage” and the recent “The Hail-Storm: John Dabney in Virginia”; Nathan Clarke of Fourth Line Films, co-director of numerous shorts and feature-length docs, including the forthcoming film “The Funeral Home”; and Brad Johnson, a longtime DJ and the man behind El Bravador Filmworks, which has made two independent documentaries, “The Soul: R&B Radio Legends of Central Virginia” and “Hip-Hop Legends of Central Virginia.”

Read "Reel Life" by clicking right here.

(Photo courtesy Field Studio)

Funny Business: Interview with Bryan Tucker of SNL

Veteran comedy writer and Virginia native Bryan Tucker celebrates his 13th season with NBC-TV's Saturday Night Live this year. A multiple Emmy nominee and Peabody Award winner, the boyish co-head writer, 45, works at 30 Rock but has some interesting side-gigs too, like his new sports comedy website, The Kicker.

Recently, Tucker took some time to talk to me about, among other things, how SNL has kept its mojo after all these years, writing comedy in the age of Donald Trump, and what in the heck is so funny about Chesterfield County.

Read my Virginia Living Magazine interview with Tucker here. 

(Photo courtesy NBC-TV)

Interview with Gary Lucas

Gary Lucas has been the guitar sideman of choice for some larger-than-life singers — like Jeff Buckley and Captain Beefheart -- so maybe backing up a golem and Popeye the Sailor Man isn't such a stretch.

The Syracuse, New York native recently came to Richmond's James River Film Festival to be a live soundtrack provider at a screening of the 1920 German silent film, "Der Golem" (cited as the first superhero movie), and provide the tunes for a Sunday-afternoon program at The Byrd Theatre of vintage cartoons from the legendary Fleischer Studios (Popeye, Betty Boop, etc.).

I  recently spoke with Gary Lucas about the art of film music, collaborating with legends and his love for vintage Chinese pop. Read my Richmond magazine interview with the man the New York Times called "the guitarist with 1,000 ideas" right here.

(Photo: Bram Belloni)

Take the Richmond Barbecue Tour

Too much pork for just one fork.

I don't do much food writing, but I have a greater appreciation for the work of my taste-describing brethren after my latest assignment from Savor Virginia magazine.

My cover feature in Savor's March/April edition is all about the barbecue renaissance happening in Richmond, Virginia. Tangy, salty, tomato-y, sweet, hashed, pulled, minced or deliciously charred -- whatever your preference, it can be found in the RVA region.

Some spots may be more authentic, others a bit more adventurous, or a little pricier, but RVA is filled with mouthwatering ‘que -- King's, Alexander's, Alamo, Buz and Ned's, Ronnie's, Extra Billy's, HogsHead Cafe, Q Barbeque and more.

Take the Richmond Barbecue Tour with me by clicking here, and don’t forget the bib.

(Photo by the mighty Jim Pile!)