Monthly Archives: April 2010

Contractor’s Routine had its screening at the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival. I went with director Yuri Tsapayev, editor Luke Rocheleau, and gaffer Andrew Ganzon. We saw movies, met other filmmakers, and ate plenty of buffalo wings. (which by the way really are better in Buffalo – crispy, without being dry. Best place to get them as far as I could tell is Anchor Bar on Main).

Jared Mobarak is a film review blogger – it seems like he reviews everything. His reviews are well-written. He’s been blogging the BNFF films the past couple of years. He’s got a post wrapping up the festival – and making a good case for the value of smaller film festivals which aren’t dominated by major releases. Dig into his reviews as well, especially Christina

, which won for Best Film.

He also posted a very positive review (10/10!) of Contractor’s Routine. I’ve been a little concerned that the film’s narrative would prove elusive in its current form, but his review simply got it. If you’re reading this and the film has made it to a San Francisco screening, I recommend reading his review before you go see it.

One last wrap up – the team filmed some audience reactions to the film, they’re on the Contractor’s Routine Facebook page.

Posted 6 years ago by John Piscitello

Contractor’s Routine is premiering tomorrow (Saturday) in Buffalo.

There has been some coverage in the local press. There is a mini-review here:

Crisply photographed on well-chosen San Francisco locations and sharply edited, this engrossing first feature by Russian immigrant Yuri Tsapayev makes up in visual appeal what it occasionally (and I assume intentionally) lacks in narrative clarity…

Well, I once saw the DVD commentary say the same thing about Tarkovsky.

More here about the festival. Scan down for a couple more tidbits about the film.

Finally, here is a teaser trailer:

The music here is actually pretty closely related to the music I wrote for the film. Only here in the trailer I’m trying my best to go from absolute zero to complete thermonuclear destruction within 60 seconds. The film itself, intensity like this only comes in brief dramatic bursts.

Posted 6 years ago by John Piscitello

An unsustainable business model at the Cleveland Symphony:

The numbers for the year ended June 30, 2008: Conductor Franz Welser-Möst received compensation of $1,316,120. Concertmaster William Preucil (the orchestra’s most highly paid member) received a salary of $414,159 and benefits of $19,658. The mean compensation for players was $140,200. Benefits include 10 weeks of paid vacation and 26 weeks of paid sick leave. The orchestra’s 2009-10 budget is $42 million, down from $45 million during the prior period. Net assets during 2008 were reported to have been reduced by $27 million; published financial information seems to indicate an operating loss, perhaps in excess of $7 million.

I noticed the expenses for the San Francisco Symphony’s Keeping Score program is rather high. They raised nearly $10 million in 2005, and the total budget for the project is $23 million. So far, they’ve produced 7 episodes of the show. The show’s very engaging, even if you’re getting into classical music as a form of cultural vitamins (although the historical re-enactments in the Berlioz episode are…how do I say this? thrifty….). Put it on your Neflix queue. Noe enjoy this San Francisco controversy from 2008:

The San Francisco Weekly lately got word that Michael Tilson Thomas’ salary is what the news-hounds figured was a whopping $1.6 million.  After reading the article, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, in a fit of pique, now promises to cut off the city’s $1.8-million subsidy to the symphony, according to a follow-up in the Weekly.

Philip Glass is promoting a piano concert tour in the Northwest this week. I liked this quote about his film scores:

“There are some talented guys in Hollywood, but they’re not treated well,” he once said. “They’re always asked to write fast music for a chase. Why not slow? I like a distance between image and music, something not too literal, not right on the image but loose.”

I guess that’s why he didn’t get offered the Clash of the Titans soundtrack. But The Hours rocks (WARNING! This is the final scene!)

Posted 6 years ago by John Piscitello