Filed under: Al Jarnow | Tags: Al Jarnow, Guster, Jesse Jarnow, Music Video
Our very own Al Jarnow and his son Jesse were commissioned by the band Guster to make a stop-motion music video for their new song, “Hercules.” You can find more of Al’s stop-motion mayhem on our DVD, Celestial Navigations: The Short Films of Al Jarnow.
Filed under: Syl Johnson | Tags: Aaron Fuchs, Don Covay, Jesse Jarnow, Mudd Club, NY Rocker, Soloman Burke, Syl Johnson, Wilson Pickett
During the summer of 1981 Syl Johnson, Wilson Picket, Don Covay, & Solomon Burke all hit the stage at the Mudd Club in Tribeca. Aaron Fuchs’ weighed in on Syl’s set for the October issue of NY Rocker…
“The set we caught was odd: drunk and free-associating, alternately singing, talking and blowing on a harmonica, Johnson emerged as a more complex if no less gifted entertainer than we’d imagined, a lot closer to Richard Pryor than Muddy Waters.”
Thanks to Jesse Jarnow for sharing this article with us.
Filed under: Al Jarnow | Tags: Alex Maxwell, Architecture, Factory Twenty Five, Jesse Jarnow, Peter Crosman
Al’s former assistant, Peter Crosman, shared this wonderful photo with us today of Jesse Jarnow destroying the set of Architecture after the highly elaborate and tedious shoot. HD transfers of this short and others are on their way to Factory 25 and thanks to Alex Maxwell at the Mill for cleaning up and color correcting the new prints.
Filed under: Al Jarnow | Tags: Jarnow Doc, Jesse Jarnow, Michael Shine, Renaldo Domino
After snagging Jesse in Bushwick and picking up our new favorite intern Michael Shine, who was kind enough again to make the long commute from Jersey City to Northport, we arrived at Al’s house in a caffeinated furry ready to delve further into his vast creative history and collaborate with him on a few stop motion shorts for the DVD menu and the documentary’s introduction.
After assessing some more folders of ephemera in the office, we started to talk about various DVD menu ideas and how to best execute them. We did an extensive interview with Al about his creative process of creating flipbooks as a test for his films, and the incorporation of them into shorts like Autosong and Celestial Navigation. We then decided to make a stop-motion short of him creating the workspace template he always uses, and then seeing his hands cycle through the Stonehenge flipbook he created for the aforementioned Celestial Navigation.
While we were finishing up on the thrid floor, Ben and Jesse were creating their own stop motion epic downstairs. It consits of a 16mm film can crawling out of the attic, down three cases of stairs and then finally reaching the living room, where Al casually appears in frame, threads the film, starts the projector, and then sits back as we cut away to video for the opening of the doc. We couldn’t have made either of these without Al’s help and his vast experience of dealing with this incredibly zen filmmaking process. It was a crazy productive day and we wanted to keep shooting and scanning but, we had to head back to the boroughs to have dinner with Renaldo and catch his smoking Dig Deeper set.
The crew and I – Ben & Kyle on cameras and Zach on sound – left Chicago in a hurry last Thursday evening as we began our trek out to Al Jarnow’s house in Northport, Long Island. After a hectic night drive where I ran over rocky raccoon somewhere on the Ohio turnpike, and the only no-tell motel in the middle of Pennsylvania with vacancy was a single smoking room that was “O-ZONED” – apparently a selling point – we somehow managed to catch three hours of sleep, gorged on the continental breakfast with the rest of America’s traveling families on the holiday weekend, and got the gear all packed up again to head out East.
We made a few brief stops in transit to Northport that day, stopping by a burned down Perkins Restaurant for a photo-op with Zach under the marquee, and lunch at TJ’s Doghouse in Woodbury, Long Island where we hit it off with TJ as he wowed us with his spicy dogs and homemade chili.
We picked up our new east coast intern Michael Shine at the LIRR stop in Northport and arrived at Al’s in the late afternoon ready to roll. After giving the fellas a lay of the land and Michael a pile of ephemera to start scanning, we took advantage of the magic hour sunlight filtering in through the backyard trees and setup our first interview of the weekend.
Al was very open and articulate as we asked him loads of questions about his early childhood artistic abilities, living in Brooklyn in the mid 60’s, his transition from painting to filmmaking, his experiences at Sesame Workshop, the mid-70’s animation and experimental film scene in NYC, and the creative process behind many of his films.
Finally, we all sat down together at the end of the night and started to delve into some of the unreleased films that only exist on 16mm. Kyle brought his projector with and took on the duty of reeling up films that we had never seen of Al’s independent work like, Tondo, Moving Day, and Scratching & Painting On Film, as well as shorts that Sesame Workshop couldn’t find in their archive like, Pegboard.
Considering how exhausted we all were from the night before, it was a very productive day and heading into Brooklyn after dropping off Al’s son Jesse and intern extraordinaire Michael at the subway, we crashed hard at Ben’s friend, Quinn’s loft/recording studio in Greenpoint where we cuddled up next to a kick drum, Vox amp and Farfisa while dreaming of doing vocal overdubs in the booth next to our sleeping bags.