About these ads
Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Jay Singer’

The most popular videos posted on Amusing the Zillion in 2012 include a music video by a country star, new films by Coney Island photographers Charles Denson and Jim McDonnell, two films that premiered at festivals in 2012 and rediscovered footage from Coney’s past.

Coney Island is a long way from Nashville, but in December 2011 country singer Alan Jackson was spotted filming a music video on the Boardwalk. Released in January, this poignant ballad about the end of a love affair had the very likeable Jackson singing “I’ll be the SOB, if that’s what you need from me. So you don’t have to love me anymore.” The shuttered stores and lonely beauty of Coney Island on a December day suit the lyrics, which are sorrowful yet defiant, in the way that the best country songs often are. (“Music Video: Alan Jackson’s So You Don’t Have to Love Me Anymore,” ATZ, January 13, 2012)

Coney Island historian Charles Denson’s 10-minute film of “Climbing the Parachute Jump” was released in January via his “Coneyologist” Channel on YouTube. Featuring video footage by Seth Kaufman and his own exquisite photos, Denson’s film captures the fulfillment of his boyhood dream to once again see the view from the top. “I grew up a few blocks from the Jump and have documented it since it closed,” he writes. “When the city decided to dismantle and renovate the Jump ten years ago, my engineer friend Seth Kaufman had the only copy of the original plans. The city needed them so we made a deal: We got to climb it legally.” (“Video of the Day: Climbing Coney Island’s Parachute Jump,” ATZ, January 18, 2012)

ATZ found this spoof of Robin Leach’s Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous from an early Conan O’Brien Show in which comedian Andy Richter and actor Abe Vigoda travel to Coney Island on a rainy day in December 1994. “Come join the stars as they escort Andy Richter to their wonderful weekend getaways on Runaway with Andy,” Leach says in the intro. He describes Coney as “a sleepy island of exotic delight.” You’ll catch glimpses of such vanished attractions as Faber’s Sportland Arcade, the Thunderbolt roller coaster, Hell Hole, Jumbo Jet, the Zipper ride, and a food trailer called Trashy Trudy’s Goodeating. (“Blast from the Past: Andy & Abe Tour 1994 Coney Island,” ATZ, February 9, 2012)

“Coney Island Lights” by photographer and self-described “footage guru” Jim McDonnell is lyrical and bewitching thanks to masterful editing by McDonnell, who knows Coney Island and has a talent for distilling its essence into a short film. Watch for Luna Park’s Air Race ride, the dancing lights of the landmark Cyclone and Wonder Wheel, and the blinking red eye of the Spook-A-Rama Cyclops (“Video of the Day: Coney Island Lights by Jim McDonnell,” ATZ, July 8, 2012)

This is the trailer for Amy Nicholson’s Zipper: Coney Island’s Last Wild Ride, the award-winning new documentary about the rezoning and redevelopment of Coney Island. “A small-time ride operator and his beloved carnival contraption become casualties in the battle over the future of Coney Island” is the film’s capsule description. Eddie Miranda’s Zipper represents all of the mom-and-pops who were displaced by the real estate speculation that was set off by the Bloomberg administration’s plan to rezone Coney Island. ATZ reviewed the film when it premiered at DOC NYC in November. (“Film Trailer: Zipper, Coney Island’s Last Wild Ride,” ATZ, July 26, 2012)

ATZ happened to come across this raw footage shot in early 1960s Coney Island from the collection of Anthology Film Archives. The clip above titled “Coney Island – Night – Silent work-print” has atmospheric scenes of a grand carousel, amusement games and Nathan’s packed with people. The “Steeplechase Carousel” was on the Boardwalk at 16th Street and according to a reader, its frame and some of the Illions horses are likely part of the Flushing Meadows carousel today. (“Video of the Day: Raw Footage of 1960s Coney Island,” ATZ, August 27, 2012)

Posted on Labor Day, “Coney Island Dancing 2012″ opens with the legendary Tony Disco before segueing to the legendary dancing mannequin known as “Miss Coney Island.” For the past two seasons, photographer and film editor Jim McDonnell has released an annual video of the season’s best dance moves on the Boardwalk and the Polar Express and at Luna Park, Wonder Wheel Park and the Mermaid Parade and Ball. Here are links to his dance vids from 2010 and 2011 in case you missed ‘em. Party on!(“Video: Coney Island Dancing 2012 by Jim McDonnell,” ATZ, September 13, 2012)

“Gotta Love Coney Island” by Brooklyn native and Coney Island regular Jay Singer is frenetic and hypnotic. It was one of the films in ATZ’s “5 Coney Must-Sees at the Coney Island Film Festival”, where it premiered in September. “It is 275 separate scenes at various speeds composited into a ‘one reel’ experimental film,” Jay told ATZ. “The goal was to capture the ‘pulse’ of Coney Island on a busy day, with intercuts of vintage footage filmed by my grandfather alongside contemporary footage of my own.” (“Video of the Day: Gotta Love Coney Island by Jay Singer,” ATZ, September 25, 2012)

Coney Island History Project director Charles Denson rode out Hurricane Sandy in Sea Gate where his apartment flooded up to the windows and his car floated away. He posted this dramatic video footage of Sandy making landfall at Sea Gate on October 29th. (“Photos of the Day: Devastation at Coney Island’s Sea Gate,” ATZ, November 1, 2012)

Set to “I Remember Coney Island,” a 1981 recording by the Lounge Lizards, Dave Pentecost’s Coney Island Time Lapse features footage shot in the summer of 2012 of the Wonder Wheel, Brooklyn Flyer and other amusement rides in action. “This circular fisheye video is intended to be projected in the digital dome in the new Lower Eastside Girls Club community science and art center,” says Pentecost. (“Video of the Day: Coney Island Time Lapse by Dave Pentecost,” ATZ, December 3, 2012)

Share

Related posts on ATZ…

December 26, 2012: Music Video: Jamaica and the Wishing Shrine by Agent Ribbons

August 19, 2012: Dance Video: Coney Island Dancers Street Festival

January 26, 2012: Dance Video: Ringmasters Crew in Coney Island

August 16, 2011: Video of the Day: “IT Girl” Clara Bow in Coney Island

About these ads

Read Full Post »

Street Dunes

W 15th Street Dunes, Coney Island. November 25, 2012. Photo © Jay Singer

During Hurricane Sandy, Coney Island’s beach lost two to three feet of sand. Windblown sand covered the boardwalk and adjacent streets, burying the kiddie rides and parking meters. Volunteers spent days sweeping and shoveling it back where it belonged. Over the weekend, the Parks Department U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed West 15th Street and created temporary sand dunes from the Boardwalk to Wonder Wheel Way, and they are still adding sand. It looks like a movie set. Somebody should make a movie before these dreamlike street dunes disappear. “The sand was all trucked over from the huge sand dunes the storm created at the foot of Ocean Parkway,” says Coney Island photographer and filmmaker Jay Singer, who snapped a series of surreal photos. “Fresh clean sand, to be redistributed back onto the beach.”

Parachute Jump and Street Dune

Parachute Jump and Street Dune. Coney Island. November 25, 2012. Photo © Jay Singer

UPDATE November 27, 2012:

More info on the street dunes via today’s post on the U.S. Army’s official homepage! According to the update, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and contracted crews have been working 12-hour night shifts to clear up the sand blown by Sandy onto Coney Island’s streets. In Army parlance, the West 15th Street dunes are a TSS –temporary storage site — and since Saturday over 230 trucks carried an estimated 4,600 cubic yards to the TSS.

To date, the Army Corps has moved an estimated 32,000 cubic yards of sand, the equivalent of roughly 12 Olympic-size swimming pools, out of Coney Island neighborhoods to nearby Jacob Riis Park, a temporary collection site currently used for holding Sandy-related debris.

Last week though, Riis was nearing its capacity for sand placement. In order to avoid any delays to cleanup, the Army Corps decided to establish a temporary storage site, or TSS, at West 15th Street on Coney Island. The site is located directly adjacent to the amusement park, home to such landmarks as Nathan’s Hotdogs and the Cyclone rollercoaster. With the street blocked off, the Army Corps has set up a scissor lift in order to scan trucks.

The article says the sand will eventually be returned to area beaches by the city’s Department of Environmental Protection after being inspected for public safety. In the meantime, instead of referring to Coney’s 15th Street dunes as a “TSS,” how about calling them a “TTA” – Temporary Tourist Attraction!

Share

Related posts on ATZ...

November 1, 2012: Photos of the Day: Devastation at Coney Island’s Sea Gate

October 31, 2012: Photo Album: Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Coney Island

October 29, 2012: Photos of the Day: Hurricane Sandy Approaches Coney Island

September 25, 2012: Video of the Day: Gotta Love Coney Island by Jay Singer

Read Full Post »

One of the films in ATZ’s “5 Coney Must-Sees at the Coney Island Film Festival” is now on YouTube after premiering over the weekend. “Gotta Love Coney Island” by Brooklyn native and Coney Island regular Jay Singer is frenetic and hypnotic. If you’re at work, you may want to adjust the volume before watching. The soundtrack is Faith No More’s “Woodpecker from Mars.”

Scenes of the filmmaker being catapulted into the sky in Scream Zone’s Slingshot are intercut with vintage footage of Steeplechase Park’s Parachute Jump and Human Pool Table. “It is 275 separate scenes at various speeds composited into a ‘one reel’ experimental film,” Jay told ATZ last week. “The goal was to capture the ‘pulse’ of Coney Island on a busy day, with intercuts of vintage footage filmed by my grandfather alongside contemporary footage of my own.” “Gotta Love Coney Island” is dedicated to Scott Fitlin, the operator and DJ extraordinaire of the Eldorado Bumper Cars, which appears at the beginning of the film.

Share

Related posts on ATZ...

March 27, 2012: Video of the Day: Eldorado Auto Skooter at Coney Island (2011)

January 8, 2012: Video of the Day: Coney Island at Night by Edwin S. Porter

July 19, 2011: Video of the Day: Let Us Now Praise Coney Island’s Zipper

November 30, 2010: Video: The Wanted’s Lose My Mind at Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel Park

Read Full Post »

Jim McDonnell

The Longest Saturday of the Year, Documentary Short by Jim McDonnell. Photo © Jim McDonnell.

We’re always excited to see the selection of Coney Island-themed films at the Coney Island Film Festival. This year, 16 of the 74 selections are categorized as Coney Island films. ATZ selected five –four shorts and one feature– and asked the filmmakers to send a screengrab and tell us how it fit into the film as a whole. The majority of the filmmakers have been working on their films for at least a year with the idea of entering the 12th annual festival, which runs from September 21 through 23 at Coney Island USA. A schedule of film screenings and ticket info is available here.

Jim McDonnell, an amusement park aficionado whose photos and videos of Coney Island appear frequently on ATZ, had this to say about his entry “The Longest Saturday of the Year”: “The film is a 15-minute synopsis of the Saturday of the Mermaid Parade which technically is the longest Saturday of the year as it’s the first Saturday after the Summer Solstice – it covers from dawn to midnight. More than anything it was an exercise/practice attempt at creating a longer piece than I have previously in my goal of creating a true full length piece in the future. While the Mermaid Parade is definitely the centerpiece of the film, I really tried to capture the full day as well as the large cast of characters and places that make Coney Island such a special place to me.”

The Wonder Wheel

The Wonder Wheel, Documentary Short by Lou Dembrow. Photo © Lou Dembrow

In previous years at the film festival, Lou Dembrow has shown documentary shorts about John Dorman of Philips Candy of Coney Island, which moved to Staten Island after 54 years in Stillwell Terminal, and Jimmy Prince, who retired from Mermaid Avenue’s Major Market after 60 years. This year, in addition to “Jimmy’s Rant,” also featuring Prince, Lou is showing the 18-minute short “The Wonder Wheel” about Coney Island’s oldest ride and the Vourderis family’s loving and labor-intensive maintenance of it. “Landmarked in 1989, the Wonder Wheel is a beloved Coney Island icon,” says the filmmaker. “The film takes a behind the scenes look at the efforts to preserve the historical aspects while embracing innovation.”

“The film was shot in 2008 and 2009,” says Lou, who has been working on it for the past year while learning Final Cut Pro. “This is just the first Wonder Wheel movie, an exercise really. There is so much to show about the care of the wheel: that’s this coming year’s project. I’m just beginning, I am still learning, I am a passionate amateur. I’ll try my best!”

Gotta Love Coney Island

Gotta Love Coney Island, Experimental Film by Jay Singer. Photo © Jay Singer

Brooklyn native and Coney Island regular Jay Singer is a big fan of Scream Zone’s Slingshot. He’s the screamer on the right in the screengrab. “I actually went on it 50 times! Several of my trips are in the movie,” he says of his experimental short “Gotta Love Coney Island,” which is also the name of his website. “The film is only 10 minutes long, but it took me over a year to make, 8 months of editing alone! It is 275 separate scenes at various speeds composited into a ‘one reel’ experimental film. The goal was to capture the ‘pulse’ of Coney Island on a busy day, with intercuts of vintage footage filmed by my grandfather alongside contemporary footage of my own.”

The concept for the film came from a discussion about “the amusement pulse” with Scott Fitlin, the operator and DJ extraordinaire of the Eldorado Bumper Cars. “Originally Scott was going to make the film with me, he contributed a lot of ideas for the basic storyboard and was going to do a sound mix,” says Jay. After Scott’s death in 2010, Jay shelved the project until the birthday gift of a flip video camera reignited his enthusiasm. After the film screening on Sunday, the award ceremony will be at the Eldorado Bumper Cars. There’s also a Saturday night party at the Eldorado Arcade with sideshow entertainers and go-go dancers.

The Wheels by Jack Kyser

The Wheels, Short by Jack Kyser. Photo © Jack Kyser.

Last September, Jack Kyser created an IndieGoGo campaign which successfully raised funds to produce “The Wheels.” The filmmaker describes his 10 minute narrative short as “a very personal story about an alcoholic father and his young son, and a study of their strained relationship over the course of a long day at an amusement park.” The film won the Best Student Film award at the 2012 Metropolitan Film Festival of New York City for Kyser, a third-year film student at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

“It was such an honor to get to shoot at the Wonder Wheel!” said Kyser, who filmed at the park one day last October. In one of the key scenes the father and son ride a swinging car. In another they play a water race game in the park. “Harry (Daniel Hasse) asks his father, John (Tom Corbisiero) to play a water gun game,” says Kyser. “John, an alcoholic, struggles to shoot the water gun straight, and Harry, humiliated, eventually sprays his father with his gun.”

“The Wheels,” along with “The Longest Saturday of the Year,” “The Wonder Wheel,” and “Gotta Love Coney Island” and four other Coney-themed shorts screen on Sunday, September 23rd at 6pm.

Lost in Coney Island

Lost in Coney Island, Feature by Eric Rivas. Photo © Eric Rivas

“Lost in Coney Island,” a parody of “The Warriors,” begins with Spade (Eric Rivas) on location in Coney Island ready to shoot a remake of the 1979 cult classic. An argument with his feisty cinematographer and a long-repressed romantic interlude with his production assistant ensue when the actors are late because of a bus accident en route. Life begins to imitate art in the film within a film when the P.A.’s jealous ex incites a real outlaw biker gang to come after the actors. “They were a little more extreme than we were yet we were willing to confront them,” says Rivas. The screengrab above shows the actors playing the Warriors after a training session on the beach.

Rivas, a Brooklynite of Puerto Rican-Argentine heritage tells ATZ that as a teen growing up in Kensington/Boro Park in the late ’80s and early ’90s, he was a member of a crew called the “East 2nd Posse” who identified very deeply with the Warriors. “You stuck together so if anything happened you had each other,” Rivas said. “We considered ourselves The Warriors. We went up against really tough guys. We survived. That’s what life was like growing up in Brooklyn until I was 22 and went on with life.”

For the past decade, making movies has been Rivas’s passion, starting with a video camera on vacation and trading up to a Canon 7-D. During the film shoot, Rivas and his crew struck up a friendship with some of the actors who were the original Warriors. “We’ve got Cleon (Dorsey Wright) and Snow coming to the opening with us and Apache and Cochese (David Harris) hanging with us on Saturday,” says Rivas. “Lost in Coney Island” screens on Saturday, September 22nd at 4pm on a program with five Coney-themed shorts. The Coney Island Film Festival’s annual screening of “The Warriors” is also on Saturday at 10:30pm.

Lost in Coney Island Eric Rivas

Lost in Coney Island, Feature by Eric Rivas. Photo © Eric Rivas

Share

Related posts on ATZ…

September 13, 2012: Video: Coney Island Dancing 2012 by Jim McDonnell

May 12, 2011: “Last Summer at Coney Island” Airs on PBS, DVD Offers Epilogue

January 27, 2011: Video: Coney Island: Secrets of the Universe by Charles Denson

September 27, 2010: Video: The Museum of Wax by Charles Ludlam

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 316 other followers

%d bloggers like this: