Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Spock's Hair

Spock Leonard Nimoy hair randommusings.filminspector.com
Ears in place - almost ready!

Just a couple of Spock pictures. He's sitting in the chair, getting his makeup, just chillin'.

Never mind Spock's brain - it's Spock's hair!

Spock Leonard Nimoy hair randommusings.filminspector.com
This must have been the start of the process - no ears!

And below - ta da! - the hair in action!

Spock Leonard Nimoy hair randommusings.filminspector.com

Spock Leonard Nimoy hair randommusings.filminspector.com

Spock Leonard Nimoy hair randommusings.filminspector.com




2015

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Harbin 2015 Ice Sculpture Festival

Harbin Ice Sculpture Festival randommusings.filminspector.com


I'm not sure how it happened, but I've become a big fan of the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival.

I've never been to Harbin, which is practically in Siberia as I understand it. In fact, I've never been to China at all. The closest I've ever been was either Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur, whichever is closer. Which means, I've only admired these sculptures from afar.

Harbin Ice Sculpture Festival randommusings.filminspector.com


However, the pictures I've seen of their ice sculptures are really extraordinary. Before learning about the festival, my only experience with ice sculptures constituted seeing guys standing at hotel entrance ways chipping away to create dolphins and such. Very nice, very artistic, and very small.

Harbin Ice Sculpture Festival randommusings.filminspector.com
Opening ceremonies, January 2015

Well, Harbin changed all that for me. There is something about the sheer audacity of people who would even think to create something as massive as their sculptures - and all along knowing that they are doomed to melt away by summertime. It's quite imaginative.

Harbin Ice Sculpture Festival randommusings.filminspector.com


Anyway, the 31st Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival opened with a theme "Ice Snow Harbin, Charming China Dream" on January 5 in 2015. There was a grand opening ceremony, a fireworks display and a series of theatrical performances, ice snow activities in Sun Island, Ice and Snow Amusement World, Zhaolin Park and more venues around the ice city Harbin.

Harbin Ice Sculpture Festival randommusings.filminspector.com


There seems to be some competition for the snow sculpture crown these days, with some other Chinese cities getting into the act as well. However, the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival remains the largest of its kind.

Harbin Ice Sculpture Festival randommusings.filminspector.com


Apparently, the Festival began in 1963, when it started life as a traditional lantern and garden party before transforming into the extravagant event we see today. Now, it is composed of mountain-sized representations of figures out of Chinese mythology and even entire, life-sized buildings.

Harbin Ice Sculpture Festival randommusings.filminspector.com


In general, the sculptures - at least the smaller ones - are carved from giant blocks of ice taken directly from the frozen surface of the Songhua River. However, for some of the larger, more elaborate sculptures, the builders cheat a bit by using steel frames and molds and spraying water on them, which of course freezes immediately in the frigid temperatures. The builders still, though, have to get up on the sculptures and smooth all the rough edges and do other fine-tuning. There also are elaborate swimming pools and other outdoor facilities that some of the more adventurous citizens and tourist can use if they can brave the cold.

Harbin Ice Sculpture Festival randommusings.filminspector.com
The temperature and weather outlook in Harbin as I type this. That's the high for the day! That temperature is Fahrenheit, all the Celsius temperatures are way negative.

I'll almost certainly never make it to the actual festival - but it would be awfully cool to try some day. I'd like to try for the Iditarod someday, too. If only it didn't look so cold!

Harbin Ice Sculpture Festival randommusings.filminspector.com

Harbin Ice Sculpture Festival randommusings.filminspector.com
Harbin Ice Sculpture Festival randommusings.filminspector.com
Harbin Ice Sculpture Festival randommusings.filminspector.com
Harbin Ice Sculpture Festival randommusings.filminspector.com
Harbin Ice Sculpture Festival randommusings.filminspector.com
Harbin Ice Sculpture Festival randommusings.filminspector.com
Harbin Ice Sculpture Festival randommusings.filminspector.com
Harbin Ice Sculpture Festival randommusings.filminspector.com



2015

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How to Dance - Hang on Sloopy


Liz Brewer Derringer Hang on Sloopy The McCoys randommusings.filminspector.com
Liz dancing to "Hang On Sloopy" by the McCoys.

There are some different version of this floating about, and they are both well worth watching.

Liz Brewer Derringer Hang on Sloopy The McCoys randommusings.filminspector.com


First, what appears to be the original promo video, which naturally focuses on the singer as well as the dancer.



Second, a version that focuses solely on the dancer and that appears to have had some processing done to it to make it more vivid and closer to how it must have looked originally.
I will say it for you: wow.

Liz Brewer Derringer Hang on Sloopy The McCoys randommusings.filminspector.com


Some folks think that everything is done better today than in the past.

Liz Brewer Derringer Hang on Sloopy The McCoys randommusings.filminspector.com


Not so. And this video is a prime example.

Liz Brewer Derringer Hang on Sloopy The McCoys randommusings.filminspector.com


All right, now some background for those interested.

Liz Brewer Derringer Hang on Sloopy The McCoys randommusings.filminspector.com


This is a promotional video for 'Hang on Sloopy,' a mid-'60s hit for The McCoys. Naturally, since the song is known to derive from 1964-65, everyone thinks that everything related to it dates from that era. At first glance, you might think so about this promotional film for the song, too. After all, the band is dressed in the foppish artist style of that era, and everything is made to appear timeless - no cars to identify the time, etc.

Liz Brewer Derringer Hang on Sloopy The McCoys randommusings.filminspector.com


However, this early video actually is from a decade later. I say the video is "early" because despite being long after the song's original popularity, the video was filmed years before MTV launched in 1981.

Liz Brewer Derringer Hang on Sloopy The McCoys randommusings.filminspector.com


It was a time when promotional films for songs were rare and produced only for top acts and for special purposes (television special appearances and so forth).

Hang on Sloopy The McCoys randommusings.filminspector.com


The singer is Rick Derringer, the founder, lead singer, etc., for The McCoys. Years after recording "Hang On Sloopy," he eventually went solo and had another hit, "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo," in 1973, off of his first solo record, '"All American Boy." The follow-up to that initial, successful solo project was "Spring Fever" in 1975.
 Liz Brewer Derringer Hang on Sloopy The McCoys randommusings.filminspector.com


"Spring Fever" included a remake of "Hang on Sloopy," Derringer's signature tune at the time, but in a different musical style from the original. The remake wasn't as recognizable, of course, which had hit No. 1 during a period when just about every record was a classic.

Liz Brewer Derringer Hang on Sloopy The McCoys randommusings.filminspector.com


The music of 1975 was fine, but it was the disco era and, well, a lot of those hit tunes were not, shall we say, timeless ("Kung Fu Fighting" ring a bell? Or "The Streak"? How about Rick Dees' "Disco Duck"?).

Liz Brewer Derringer Hang on Sloopy The McCoys randommusings.filminspector.com


Rick was working with Steely Dan and on other projects, but he was still kind of low-profile. Not too many people knew his name from The McCoys - heck, they probably thought that he was named McCoy. It was an era of one-hit wonders, so his recent hit hadn't really established him in the public mind, either.

Liz Brewer Derringer Hang on Sloopy The McCoys randommusings.filminspector.com


So, Derringer's record company decided to promote the new record by hearkening back to the original, classic version of "Hang on Sloopy" that everybody knew (and that people still know today, in fact, long after any remakes have been forgotten).

Liz Brewer Derringer Hang on Sloopy The McCoys randommusings.filminspector.com


None of the original McCoys, which had disbanded in the '60s, appear in this mid-'70s video except, of course, for Derringer himself. The guys in the background are probably just session musicians or, more likely, actors (if you look closely, they don't appear to be playing or singing).

Liz Brewer Derringer Hang on Sloopy The McCoys randommusings.filminspector.com


But we don't really care about them. The identity of the dancer is a subject of much debate and confusion. It now appears to be Rick Derringer's first wife, Liz. She moved on to become a music journalist and is still very much around. Oh, and so is Rick.

Liz Brewer Derringer Hang on Sloopy The McCoys randommusings.filminspector.com


According to sources, Liz was an unknown dancer who simply was hired for the video. She probably just showed up that morning at the appointed time and place and went to work, happy to have a payday. You know what they say - make the most of your opportunities.

Liz Brewer Derringer Hang on Sloopy The McCoys randommusings.filminspector.com


She and Rick, um, hit it off during production (not difficult to believe at all, just look at her) and they later married. And that's how it goes down in the big town.

Liz Brewer Derringer Hang on Sloopy The McCoys randommusings.filminspector.com


There are some who want to romanticize this and claim that Liz just 'showed up' for the shoot, you know, at random or something, and started dancing, like in the video. Friends, that would be wonderful if it ever happened, but goddesses do not just 'show up' when you happen to need them for filming on a back lot.

Liz Brewer Derringer Hang on Sloopy The McCoys randommusings.filminspector.com


All young ladies who want to know how to dance should study this video.

Liz Brewer Derringer Hang on Sloopy The McCoys randommusings.filminspector.com




2018

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Frozen New York City


Wintertime. Brrrrrrrrrr!  You can really see New Jersey pretty well in this shot.

Another facet of New York City. I have lots of summertime shots of it, but not enough winter scenes. I'll have to work on that.


2015


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

New York City At Night

Manhattan Skyline

New York City night-time randommusings.filminspector.com


Night-time in New York. One of the running themes of this blog is scenes of New York. The city is so big and diverse and wonderful that no amount of photographs can ever do it justice.

New York City night-time randommusings.filminspector.com


Another theme is aerial shots. I love aerial shots that help you to put locations into perspective. Whenever I travel to a new city, one of my priorities is to find the high ground so that I can get a bird's eye view of my surroundings. Not only does that orient me in terms of where I am, but it also invariably provides a capital location for photographs. Incidentally, having a landmark with which to orient yourself is usually what makes or breaks an area in terms of its scenic quality - the New York Worlds Fairs of 1939 and 1964 both had huge monuments that oriented you to your surroundings at a glance. New York City used to be that way with the old World Trade Center Towers. Once we get used to it, the new World Trade Center should serve the same purpose.

New York City night-time randommusings.filminspector.com

So, this page combines several of my favorite themes. New York City. At night. From 7500 feet. Magical.

New York City night-time randommusings.filminspector.com
New York City night-time randommusings.filminspector.com
New York City night-time randommusings.filminspector.com
New York City night-time randommusings.filminspector.com
New York City night-time randommusings.filminspector.com
New York City night-time randommusings.filminspector.com
New York City night-time randommusings.filminspector.com


2015