The Prodigal Altar Boy

Thursday, February 16, 2012

TQ Update - TQ Project Licensing Lesson!

Prodigal Altar Boy Blog
17 February 2012

TQ Update
Art M. from Alexandria sent this update on TQ:

Good Morning, Cal

I spoke with T.Q. yesterday and he said I caught him on the best day of his three months in the hospital. If I heard him correctly -- his speech was slightly slurred -- he  stood up for the first time while there. He said he doesn't know what's next or when but that he cannot return to his house at Ascension. His voice was lively and his spirit seemed strong with a bit of that feisty quality so typical of him. Another friend who had talked with him a day or two before said that T.Q. told him they had removed two liters of fluid from his lungs, over what period of time I don't know.
Thanks Art.  I’ve asked the Advisory Board to keep TQ in their prayers.

Movie Work

Edit Work:
Made subclips of TQ from the Donahue footage. Named those sublcips and put them in the “Donahue”  folder.  Put all the clips end to end on the timeline to find out how much total footage I would have to license from Universal.  Turned out to be 16 minutes.

Licensing Work
Completed the Universal footage licensing form for the Donahue footage using the times of the subclips.  Within five minutes of submission, I got a call from Ronnie at Universal.  Ronnie was helpful.  She informed me that for the rights I was asking for, the price was going to be $12,000 a minute.  (Note to self, have defibrillator attached and on before asking for licensing fees again!)  Ronnie advised trimming down the amount of footage I wanted to use,  asking for a festival license, which would goes for  $2,400 per minute.  Ronnie also advised I would have to get a release for anyone (besides TQ) who appeared in my clips.  That’s right, even for Phil Donahue!

More Edit Work
Went back into the Donahue clip bin and re-trimmed the trimmed clips.  Since I didn’t plan on getting releases for anyone else in the clips, I only went for footage where TQ was the only one in the frame.  Using that criteria, I pared 16 minutes down to 90 seconds. 

More Licensing Work
Called Ronnie back and gave her the new numbers, request for a festival license for a year and not starting the license period until May 2012. 

Story Consultant Work
Completed questionnaire Karen Everett sends to all prospective story consultant clients.  We have a phone appointment in the near future to talk about the film.

Music Work
Dies Irae
Knocked this out about 25 times on the Annihilator.  It’s going better and the strap is helping me transition this to the standing position.

Pat Metheny Etudes, Exercise #1, bars 1-8
More work on this piece (25 times) on the MojoCaster after the usual warm-ups.

Granby Street
Broke out the ’79 Strat to try this tune. 

Gospel Skillz R&B chords with “The More I Seek You”
Played these pieces on the Wechter acoustic for a bit. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Prodigal Altar Boy Blog - My Super PAC Sacrifice List

Prodigal Altar Boy Blog
15 February 2012

Movie Work

Edit Work:
A few emails back with Karen Everett on a special consultation rate on my rough cut.  Even the discounted fee is out of my range, but I will find a way.

Advisory Board Work
Forwarded WithoutABox  festival email to the board to get their opinion on which festivals looked promising.  Mark Molloy suggested the Johns Hopkins festival because of locality, and the AmericanDocumentary Film Festival, Palm Springs, California.  Mark’s concern was the timing would not be right.  That might be the case for Johns Hopkins, but the American Documentary Festival also has the American Documentary Film fund, which:

The American Documentary Film Fund is an adjunct event related to the American Documentary Film Festival.

The Film Fund submitters are not in any way required to submit a film to the festival- this is a separate event within the confines of the festival. We encourage first-time and established filmmakers to submit to the Film Fund competition where upwards of $50,000 may be distributed each year to winning project(s).

Good eye Mark, I will look into that aspect of the festival and see what I can come up with. 

Music Work
Dies Irae
Getting more familiar with the piece played on the Annihilator guitar.  Moving the emphasis from seated playing to playing standing up.  The new strap helps adjust the guitar’s position for playing standing up.

Pat Metheny Etudes, Exercise #1, bars 1-8
Working on this piece to establish a smooth flow between bars 1-4 and 5-8 through daily repetition and focus on the transition.  Managed to get in 20 repetitions yesterday (14 February).

“Girls” come up from the basement
My wife left for vacation this morning, which means the girls can come up from the basement, enjoy the light of day, and be available for my every whim.

14 February – EDT (Escalating Density Training)
Kettlebell Snatch (1a Left side/1b Right side) 45lb kettlebell/15 minutes
10 sets of 5
7 sets of 4
3 sets of 3
10 sets of 5
7 sets of 4
3 sets of 3

My Super PAC Sacrifice List

Over the weekend, the Baltimore Sun ran the following editorial cartoon:

I am as a big a fan of political cartoons as the next person, but I took offense to this cartoon because it implies hypocrisy between what President Obama says about how big money corrupts politics and the Democratic Super PAC Priorities USA Action, among others.  The cartoon was quick to quote the President’s words on the negative effects Super PAC money can have on the electoral system, but fails to quote to President’s Obama’s campaign manager , “We’re not going to fight this fight with one hand tied behind our back.”  Kevin Drum hit the nail on the head when he wrote in his blog, “The playing field is the playing field, and once a public policy has been legally put in place you'd be a sap not to play by the same rules as everyone else.

After looking at the cartoon, I took out some paper and started listing all of the things I could forgo to put money toward the Democratic Super PAC.  I will still contribute to the Obama campaign until I hit the limit, but after that, some sacrifices are in order to keep money flowing to the reelection campaign.

My List of Super PAC Sacrifices (no particular order)
Until election day, to show my commitment to the re-election of President Obama, Calvin Thomas promises to divert any an all money from the businesses/organizations below to Democratic Super PACs supporting the President:

  1. No Mr. Sausage on Saturdays (sorry Mr. Sausage)
  2.   DCCC
  3. Emily’s List
  5. WETA –(I just renewed, how could it be time to renew AGAIN?)
  6. Color of Change
  7. Micro Place
  8. National Women’s Law Center
  9. Baltimore Fashion Alliance
  10. Earth Justice
  11. Any and all guitar instruction DVD’s (sorry Will Landrum, Claude Johnson, Griff Hamlin, et al.)
  12. Audio Plug-ins and loops (sorry Sony, iZotope, Beta Monkey Music)
  13. Video Plug-ins (sorry New Blue Media, Sony Creative, Magic Bullet)
  14. Software upgrades (sorry Sony, iZotope, Magic Bullet, BorisFX)
  15. Apps (sorry Apple)
  16. Other charitable donations (sorry  Girl Scout Cookies, magazine door-to-door folks, squegee guys)
  17. Other Campaign donations (sorry MoveOn,, People For The American Way, Alan Grayson)
  18. No movies, no new DVD’s (sorry Amazon).
  19.   No new books. (Again, sorry Amazon)
  20. No new pedals. (Sorry Guitar Center, AMS, Sweetwater, SameDay Music)
  21.  No new guitars. (Sorry Guitar Center, Sweetwater, eBay)
  22. No new eBay purchases (sorry eBay)
  23. No new watches (sorry Invicta)
I am sure there is some other fat in my “budget” that can be cut for the cause, and I will do it.  I am not saying the charitable and other organizations aren’t doing good work, I am saying re-electing President Obama is a larger priority for me than the work they do.

Monday, February 13, 2012

13 February 2012 - WHERE IS THE NAACP?

Prodigal Altar Boy Blog
13 February 2012

Movie Work

TQ Update:
Spoke briefly with TQ on Saturday.  The thrust of the conversation was “keep editing that movie.”  ‘Nuff said.  I will keep marching.

Edit Work:
A few emails back with Karen Everett on a special consultation rate on my rough cut.  Even the discounted fee is out of my range, but I will find a way.

Music Work
Dies Irae
Getting more familiar with the piece played on the Annihilator guitar.  Moving the emphasis from seated playing to playing standing up.  The new strap helps adjust the guitar’s position for [laying standing up.



I read “Common Prayer” yesterday before church, and the lead off reading was:

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was established on February 12 1909, after a race riot in Springfield, Illinois.  Some of the founding members included W.E.B. DuBois, Ida Wells-Barnett and Oswald Garrison Villiard.  Over the years, it has become one of the most influential justice organizations in the United States, leading movements against lynchings, segregation, discrimination, and race-based violence.

A nice thumbnail description, but my question is, “Where is the NAACP now?”  It seems that not long after celebrating the election of the first African-American President, the NAACP has been all but absent except to carp and complain about President Obama not paying enough attention to them. 

Where is the NAACP in the face of the GOP’s racially tinged attacks on the President?  Where is the NAACP when more than picketing and angry sound bites are needed?  What mindset does the NAACP employ to think that when candidates talk about a “food stamp president,” distance themselves from remarks such as “giant negroes “ ready to attack whites, or that the billions Republican Super PACs raise to “defeat the President” has more to do with mainstream African-Americans than President Barack Obama?  Face it, NAACP, if President Obama loses this election, his fortunes will likely increase, while African-Americans (and the poor, and the LBGT community, and Hispanics, etc. ad inifitum) will surely suffer. 

So again, where are you NAACP?  How much more misinformation, vitriol and divisive speech will you allow the GOP and their right-wing conservative benefactors spread like so much manure before you stand up against what could be for you, a bitter harvest?

I hear the whisperings of many:  “Terror on every side!  Denounce!  Let us denounce him!”   All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine.  Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail, and take out revenge on him.”  The Lord is with me, like a mighty champion:  my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph.  In their failure they will be put to utter shame, to lasting, unforgettable confusion. (Jeremiah 20:10-11)

Come on NAACP, let me hear from you!