Battle of Brooklyn

On my b’day this year, I ran into Beyonce and Jay Z while shooting the ground breaking of the Barclay Center: the largest development project in New York since, I don’t know, forever. It’s being plopped down next to downtown Brooklyn and will make billions for some, while taking away central Brooklyn’s low scale, neighborhood sensibility. The footage I shot was for/with my friends at Rumur Inc who are making an epic doc about the whole debacle. Read all about it and watch the amazing trailer here:
www.rumur.com/bob

Beyonce and husband arriving at Atlantic Yards on 3/11/10.

And yes, Beyonce and I had a moment.

Last Summer at Coney Island

Thanks to everyone who came out for the world premiere at BAM Cinemateque! We had a full house and a great after party, too!

Visit LastSummerAtConeyIsland.com and join the mailing list for info on future screenings and other news.

Check out the sweet review from the New York Post’s Brooklyn blog.

River to River

It’s my third season working with the River to River Festival as their resident filmmaker and I am yet again humbled by the amazing performances that I wouldn’t have bothered to check out if someone weren’t paying me to do so. I often come away wishing I had dragged people I know to these things because not only are the artists top notch, but all the venues are in very special waterfront corners of lower Manhattan. Fortunately, I get to share little snapshots of these shows with everyone on the festival’s website. A few of these clips have gone up already this summer and more are being added every few days. Check ’em out, and while you’re there, take a look at the last few seasons’ videos. I’m rather proud of many of them.

Beth Orton at Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City

New Luna on Monday

Memorial Day. Coney Island. Brooklyn, USA

This weekend saw the opening of the first all-new amusement park in Coney Island since Astroland opened in 1962. That it was situated exactly where Astroland stood until 2 years ago added a feeling of unease for many of us. That said, you can’t stop progress, and when progress comes in the form of the newest, coolest, shiniest amusement rides you’ve ever seen, and when they attract record crowds and make everyone feel good about Coney Island again after last year’s thematic interpretation of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, well, you can’t complain either.

the cleared Astroland lot around February.

The pinwheel designs are a near recreation of the original Luna Park's grand entrance, a block west on Surf Avenue.

Meanwhile, this same weekend, I showed Last Summer at Coney Island at a benefit screening in Williamsburg’s UnionDocs film center. It was the first public exhibition of the film and people liked it! They really liked it! And they weren’t all my friends. Though special mention should go to my friend Casey who somehow made it to the screening, despite the fact that he’s in the midst of an epic cross-country bike trip. (which you can read all about HERE.)

The local Brooklyn newspaper group published an article about my film and the benefit event. Check it out.

http://24sevenbrooklyn.blogspot.com/2010/05/swan-song-for-coney.html

“Up on the Roof” at Anthology Film Archives

My 2002-2008 documentary about family, community and pigeons,
will be shown 3x as part of Anthology Film Archive‘s For the Birds series.

* Wednesday Apr 28 9:00 PM
* Saturday May 1 5:00 PM
* Wednesday May 5 8:30 PM

It’ll be paired with another fine documentary called “Wild New York.”
They’ve got a great program all week, including Hitchcock’s classic “The
Birds” and a new film about the long-assumed extinct Ivory-Billed Woodpecker
called “Ghost Bird.”

Visit the movie website for more info.

Gabe Gonzalez in "Up on the Roof"

the lost train tunnel of Atlantic Avenue

Went underground recently to do a story on the first subway tunnel ever constructed. It was built in the 1840s as part of the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) but  made obsolete, de-commissioned, and sealed up within 15 years. Then it was forgotten and actually lost until a Pratt student named Bob did the necessary research and “discovered” it in 1980. Click on the photo and scroll down on the WNYC Culture page for the video. Or click here to go straight to the clip on YouTube.

funding with Kickstarter

Hello-

Over three years into my Coney Island adventure, chronicling the redevelopment saga of “the people’s playground,” the film is nearing completion. I’ve partnered with Kickstarter.com and the City Reliquary to raise the necessary post-production funds so I can cross the finish line and bring this story to the world. Please visit the Kickstarter page and learn how you can get involved! Special prizes await!

http://kck.st/9h4Xsx

live, from New York…

the past few weeks i’ve been working on the Times Square New Year’s Eve webcast and as the big day approaches, it occurs to me, we’re not ready! but we will be. i’m responsible for all the pre-taped video segments and footage. for instance, the intro to the show (at 5:50pm E.S.T.) and a history lesson on New Years in Times Square. And all kinds of behind-the-scenes footage of what goes into making the whole thing happen. Click here and watch live (or maybe afterwards) wherever you are. It’ll be a bit different from the TV broadcast, though all the important parts will be the same.
Happy New Year and to all a good night!