May 26:22: Magic at 18 Frames A Second

The Sound We See: A Baltimore City Symphony premiered on May 26 to a wildly enthusiastic audience at the historic Parkway Theater: a magnificent culmination of a most extraordinary week in Baltimore! Congrats to filmmakers Paris Bishop, Victor Rei Brown, Lara Grantz, Kai Hams, Denzel Mitchell III, Seamus Mogge, Amirah Peay, Dylan Pritzlaff, Sophia Richardson, Adyn Rosenberg, Donovan Simpson, Grace Sutherland, A.W. Taylor, and Rachael Tyler who wholeheartedly dove into this cinematic adventure and captured the resonant complexity of their town and their times so beautifully. Hats off to musicians Quinn Rehkemper (Saxophone), Leo Ross (Saxophone), Odelia Elliott (Electric Guitar), Benjamin Murray (Upright Bass), Daniel Fairlie (Drums) who embraced live improve for the first time and came up with a collective score that brought the house down. This was the first collaboration between the Music and Visual Storytelling departments at the Baltimore School For The Arts and we sure hope it won’t be the last! Experience the magic here.

Big shout out to all the organizations and individuals who made this project possible: Charles C. Baum Film & Visual Storytelling Lead Funders Patricia and Mark Joseph, a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Bea Bufrahi, Rosiland Cauthen, Ed Hrybyk, Pat Galluzzo, Sandra Gibson, Joe Giordano, Greg Golinski, Christy LeMaster, Nancy Steiner, Imbie Tamba, Brigid Zuknick and most especially our dear Meg Rorison without whom The Sound We See: Baltimore would never have come to be.

May 23.22: Secret Ingredient

Epic day in the lab processing 11 rolls of film back to back: everything needs to get done today and everything needs to turn out because there’s no time and no film for reshoots! So we say a little prayer, add a dash of our special secret ingredient–a magical elixer comprised of the Wild Weeds of Baltimore we’ve been foraging from cracks in the sidewalk and down the little lanes–and stir the brew exactly 99 times in a counter-clockwise direction (okay, I made that part up), add it to the tank and rock it like a baby for 18 minutes (this part is true), rinse, fix, rinse again and then, FINALLY, the big reveal: IMAGES, GLORIOUS IMAGES!!!!!!!!! 11 for 11! We got a movie! Special thanks to BSA teacher and renowned social justice photographer Joe Giordano for generously sharing your darkroom, your powerful images, and your 80s playlist that transported me right back to the raucous bush parties of my Canadian youth.

May 22.22: Put A Bird On It

You’ve probably heard about the Baltimore Orioles, named after Maryland’s official state bird (Fun fact: an earlier baseball team in the city also named the Orioles moved to New York City in 1903 to become the Yankees!) but what about the Ravens? I’m not much of a football fan so I didn’t know that when the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore in the 90’s the citizens got to vote on the new name (proposed options included the Americans, the Marauders and the Railers) and chose the Ravens in honor of the famous poem by Edgar Allan Poe (who wasn’t even originally from Baltimore, but died here under mysterious circumstances in 1849). Anyway, all this to say, Baltimore is truly for the birds.

We flocked together for Grace’s 2 pm film shoot at Belevedere Square Market (“Where Ordinary Meets Extraordinary”) and then flew through the (booze free) Sunday streets arriving home just in time to watch a magnificent storm roll in: rolling thunder and lashes of lightening followed by torrential rain…oooeeee, let it come down! We’re soaked to the bone by the time we get to True Vine Records for Seamus’s 9 pm punk rock party but who cares? It’s Sunday night and the kids are alright!

May 21.22: Heat Wave!

On Saturday, pollen is permeating the air, humidity is off the charts, and the temperature is going up up up into the 90’s but at 5 am, the world is a cool blue oasis filled with birdsong, sleepy trees and…donuts! Thank you, Wanda, for stopping off at Dunkin’ Donuts before the crack of dawn to start off a long day of filming with a gesture as sweet as the treat. Thanks for your purse full of Production Assistant Sharpies, your hilarious stories and the unbounded love you have your granddaughter. Paris is sure to achieve every one of her cinematic dreams with the combination her own talent and your support! Where better for breakfast than Pete’s diner where the waitress calls you “Hon”, the coffee never stops flowin’ and there are giant piles of scrapple just waiting to hit your plate. We pick up some strawberries from Reid’s at the Farmers Market and head over to Meg’s to drop our bikes and hop in the car to meet Kai over by the Friends School for a walk in the beautiful woods…. watch out for angry dogs, though! Amirah goes on a sentimental journey back to her old neighborhood; Dylan also explores the past with an eye on the Belvedere Hotel and its notorious Owl Bar as well as some of the many treasures on display at The Walters Art Museum, an institution reckoning with both its own history and the contemporary treatment of its workers. Alex takes us on a tour of Fells Point where pirate party ships mingle with pleasure craft and naval vessels, and the cutest houses appear on quiet side streets. In the midnight hour, Seamus documents modern hieroglyphics at the Skatepark of Baltimore and then it’s a quiet bike ride home, the streets cool and quiet once again…