My Name Is Peter

Some Thoughts on Some Things

Sundance Memory Lane

November 19th, 2009

Next week, this website will be more than just a blog.  It will be a look at me and some of my work.  Some of the things I have done.  Hopefully, a peak at some things I would like to do.  You know, a virtual business card complete with audio and video.  Much of the layout is the brainchild of Brady, who is fantastic, and if you need a web designer, please give him a holler.

But, once again, I digress.

In building this website, I have gone through a good deal of my old work, pulling out boxes of DVD’s and old broadcast video masters to compile something that shows off what I have done over the years.  By doing so, I have taken so many trips down memory lane.  Different periods in my life.  Different places.  Different priorities.

IFC logo

I just took a look at this video below, which I produced with IFC at Sundance a few years ago, about Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth, and I started to laugh.

What you don’t see in the video clip, because he really didn’t give anyone a great sound bite that day, was Robert Redford’s stroll down the red carpet.  Matt Singer, who is one of the most fun on-camera personalities I’ve ever had the joy of working with, was hosting and doing many of the interviews that year.  He’d never really been thrust into a situation quite like Sundance before, and sometimes red carpet situations can get a little, um, violent – for lack of a better word.

RedfordAnd so, when Mr. Redford, or “Bob” as Vice President Gore called him, made his well-timed glide down the red carpet, it quickly became clear that he was not going to give a series of interviews, stopping at every microphone individually as one typically does on a red carpet.  Instead, he decided to stand back and give a clearly-scripted-but-meant-to-appear-sort-of-off-the-cuff statement about his pride in this year’s Sundance Film Festival.  You know, canned stuff.

Of course, once everyone realized what was going on, there was a sudden frenzy to get microphones in front of Mr. Redford.  Our usually fearless host Matt was a little timid that day, as he hadn’t yet developed those kill or be killed red carpet instincts.  I, however, had.  And so, without much thought, I literally picked him up off the ground, and bracing his microphone arm up against my arm, forced him through the crowd of reporters like a battering ram.  I had no shame back then.

Matt Singer, IFC News

Matt Singer, IFC News

I do remember Mr. Redford looking at Matt’s IFC microphone and then into my eyes with a bit of disdain as he saw the plastic microphone cube hurdling toward his face.  And as I recall, Matt was even able to ask a relatively loaded and tough question during one of Mr. Redford’s dramatic pauses, which caused another disapproving stare.  But I, for one, was very proud of our intrepid host for his journalistic savvy.

The IFC crew had a lot of fun in those days, and I got to go to a lot of cool places with them.  I am grateful that I have gotten to work with such wonderful, caring, and talented people over the years and that I get to look back with happy memories at what we produced.

Flash Mob!

November 15th, 2009

About 3 weeks ago, I got a call from Oliver asking me if I wanted to join him and some other friends in something called a “flash mob.”  The first flash mob I could recall was this one to The Sound of Music, which took place in Central Station Antwerp, Belgium:

But ours was not to The Sound of Music.  Oh no.  Ours was to Janet Jackson.  Yes, that Miss Jackson if you’re nasty.  And not just any Janet Jackson songs.  “Rhythm Nation” and “Miss You Much.”

My initial reaction was, “Are you crazy!?  There is no way on God’s green earth that I would, in a public place and on video, attempt these dances!”  I mean, please take a good look at these video snippets and try to do just a couple of these moves.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.

All done?  Great!  Anyway, with a little prodding, I got to thinking.  How many times in my life would I ever get to be involved in something like this, especially with my best friends?  And so, thinking of how much fun this crazy event would be, I changed my mind and jumped in like a lunatic.  To make things easier, the choreographers emailed us some videos like the one below so we could learn the dances before the rehearsals.  Oh yes, there were numerous rehearsals.  This was no joke.

While it’s true that they really simplified these routines for us, pulling this off was still very challenging for us non-dancers.  Trust me, I practiced a lot in my den.  My neighbors still have a resentment!  But I digress.  Here are some photos from rehearsals.

Janet Flashmob Reheasal

Janet Flashmob Reheasal 2

Janet Flashmob Reheasal 3

Then of course, we showed up at the Grove to put the whole thing together. Here is the first performance, which I think was meant to be more a dry run.

After lunch, we all gathered back about two hours later to do another one. And this time Janet showed up to cheer us on! She actually came to watch our second performance, where, as you’ll notice, there were a lot more people.

Janet at flashmob

You can also see her in the video looking down at the whole thing from a balcony just above us.

This morning, I am left with the memory of that amazing event.  We worked hard to be a part of something I don’t think any of us will ever forget, and we did it for no other reason than to have fun and get to spend some time with each other.  Oliver is leaving to head back to London in a little over a week, and I will miss him much.  Some people may have Paris, but we will always have The Grove.

Lady GaGa Is Out of Control

November 10th, 2009

OK – so I’ve had mixed feelings about Lady GaGa for a while now.  Who is she?  What is she really talking about?  Is she just a Madonna copycat?  But her music is so catchy!  Still, there was the whole matter of that disco stick.  Clearly, I’ve had a lot of conflicted feelings.

Well, now she has a new song called “Bad Romance” and a new video to go with it, and I am straight up OBSESSED.  The plot line of the video as Lady GaGa explained to MTV News: “There’s this one shot in the video where I get kidnapped by supermodels. I’m washing away my sins and they shove vodka down my throat to drug me up before they sell me off to the Russian mafia.”  Beyond.

Where did she come up with the look of the video?  Her very own creative team, which just happens to be called Haus of GaGa.  Natch.

What do you think?  Should I get a creative team and call them Atelier Capozzi?  A thought for another time, perhaps.

In the meantime, take a look at the video:

Mom Knows Best

November 6th, 2009

My Mom has had, at least as long as I can remember, a serenity and a wisdom beyond anything I have ever known.  I don’t always agree with her position, but I have learned that she is usually right when it comes to matters of judgment and discernment.  Here she is with me:

Mom Peter

Wednesday afternoon, I called my Mom to lament the loss we all suffered in Maine on Proposition 1.

Side note: By “we all” I mean our entire nation.  You see, I believe that as Americans, one day we will look back on all the gay marriage propositions and referenda put on ballots in our states that essentially strip rights from people and be ashamed.  Ashamed of ourselves.  Ashamed for ourselves.  And then we will feel shame as our grandchildren look at us and ask, “Why?”

But I digress.  The irony and ridiculousness of the whole situation is laughable.  But there is no reasoning with people who live their lives in fear, anger, and envy.  They are like steamrollers in high gear without drivers.  No one is in control.

And so, while I was going through all of this with my Mom, her first response was, “But dear, you don’t spend any time in Maine.  The last time you were there was more than 20 years ago.  Don’t worry about them.  They will take care of themselves.  And you’ll see.  All this will get sorted out in due time.”

As an aside, my Mom lives in Connecticut, one of the five states where gay marriage is currently legal.  When Proposition 8 passed in California and I was so brought down, her response was simply, “Come home to get married.  So many of those people in that state where you live are just so provincial.  Anyone who would vote in favor of something as ludicrous as Proposition 8 is a provincial, small-minded person.  Get married here among intelligent people who love you.”

Back to the phone call…  I went onto explain that now I was afraid that President Obama and Congress would be unlikely to help us and stand up for our cause because of the response of the voters in Maine.  Again, her response was more big picture, “But that man was never going to stand up for you, no matter what happened in Maine.  Those people in Congress are fools, too.  Look at what is going on in this country.  They can’t even get health care right.”

She went on to encourage me to live my life by my own ideals.  To lead by example.  “The way to affect change,” she reminded me, “is to change yourself.”

I hung up with her and thought about where we were now versus where we were even just five years ago.  We have seen rapid change in a very short amount of time.  Things will continue to change, but we must look inward first.  We need to change ourselves, and that will ready us and steady us for the changes to come.

Take a Look!

November 2nd, 2009

In case you haven’t had a chance to see the webisodes I just directed for Halloween, here they are!

Many thanks to everyone who worked so hard on the production, and my thanks also to Josh Cohen at tubefilter for this article.

Here is Episode 1:

And here is Episode 2:

You can also check out 13 Minutes in 3D! Just go to our website:…

Joe Lieberman Must Go

October 28th, 2009

I usually don’t like to devote space on my blog – or in my mind for that matter – to people and things I find as loathsome and vile as I find Mr. Lieberman.  But tonight I had to write something.  I am in Connecticut tonight, the state where I grew up, which also happens to be Joe’s state.  And tonight, after watching the news, I find Mr. Lieberman not just moderately disgusting but absolutely appalling.  And, quite frankly, I believe he borders on corrupt.

Joe Lieberman

Senator Lieberman is betraying the wishes of the very Connecticut residents who elected him to his seat in the Senate.  He is a Democrat who says he will side with Republicans and filibuster should the Health Care Reform Bill with the Public Option come to the Senate floor.

Let us not forget that this is the man who has taken large sums of money from insurance companies for his Senate campaigns.  And back in 2005, Lieberman’s wife took a position at Hill & Knowlton working on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline, a pharmaceutical giant that benefited from legislation Lieberman introduced the month after his wife agreed to the position.  He is also the man who broke with his party to campaign against Obama and on behalf of John McCain.

Interestingly enough, it was not too long ago that Mr. Lieberman told reporters that he did not think Senators should engage in filibusters.

Why, Democrats, have you welcomed this man back into your caucus?  Why, President Obama, did you stand up on this man’s behalf?  Why is this man still allowed to retain his position as chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee?

Please – Democrats – distance yourselves from this charlatan.  It is time to move on.

It Always Gets Done

October 14th, 2009

I have been hard at work these past couple of weeks finishing up post production on two new webisodes that we shot in 3D.  Very cool, right?  They will premiere around Halloween, and I will definitely keep you apprised as to when and where you can watch!

Here I am on the set, with my 3D glasses in my hair, figuring out one of the last shots of a long day with our Director of Photography, Adrian…

Peter Adrian

As you can imagine, this whole project has been quite a challenge.  I wrote, produced and directed these webisodes, and so I want more than ever to make sure they are nothing short of outstanding.  Now, at the end of the post production process, there are a number of people working very hard to finish all the 3D compositing, the score, the sound mix, the color correction, and then to marry all these elements together into one fabulous final product.

The problem I am having today is in the realization that I must let go and accept that I cannot control everything!  And in my work life, that has always been a challenge because I am a perfectionist and an occasional control freak.  Right now, other than giving copious notes and granting my approval to the various elements coming my way, my part is essentially done.  I have to rely on the talent, ingenuity, and dedication of others as I watch from a careful distance.

My mantra today:  It always gets done.  It always comes together the way it’s supposed to.  It always get done…

I saw this ad this morning from Protect Maine Equality.  It’s a simple and yet powerful, positive message about love, faith and family.  Very well done.  Please take a look and support Protect Maine Equality.

She’s a Cool Girl

October 13th, 2009

My friend Charles sent me this video this morning.  While I don’t really endorse all of her message, there is something strangely fabulous about Ke$ha…  She’ll definitely make you smile.  Love the boombox.

It’s Raining…

October 13th, 2009

It’s raining in Los Angeles today!  And I love it.  There is something so cleansing and dare I say even cathartic about a rainy day in LA, don’t you think?  Yes, today I am in a contemplative state of mind.