Writing a Music Video Treatment

I worked hard this week to submit a treatment I’m pitching to a band; It’s a music video for one of their songs. And I learned some cool stuff in the process, using the link below as reference.

Putting it together was fun, since I used photos to lay out the mood of the entire video. Basically, the photos are like a storyboard, which is helpful since I wouldn’t be able to draw that much detail! After I found the photos, I wrote the story out. I wrote the story around the photos, which were paired with each standza of the lyrics. It was a fun process, and I’m definitely going to use the technique again for the next music video treatment I submit!

How to Pitch Better Music Video Treatments – Radar Music Videos Blog

– The Wandering Humorist

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Amazingly Supportive Comments via Spam!

I didn’t realize how much spam would start pouring into my Akismet Spam Prevention Filter, but it’s coming in! The real curve-ball is how supportive and kind the messages are. Here are several that really impressed me:

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And, the best for last:

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Such idealism and kindness! This is nothing like email spam. I want to allow it through, but I suppose that’s what the authors are betting on.

Perhaps I’ll receive some authentic comments in the future, but for now, I’ll take support where I can get it, from my comment SPAM!

-The Wandering Humorist

The Scene at Moscow57 and Meeting Randy Jones!

Gabriel Barbaro and Randy Jones at Moscow57
Gabriel Barbaro and Randy Jones at Moscow57

This past Sunday night, I had the pleasure of attending a party at Moscow57, the newly opened Central Asian/Russian restaurant owned by my friend and colleague Ellen Kaye. I met Ellen when I directed the following music video for Moscow57:
I’m Gonna Rob A Bank for Christmas

Sunday night’s party honored the unveiling of a restored photo of Zero Mostel, given to Ellen by her parents, and the actor  Jim Brochu who is starring in the play The Character Man. And Zero Mostel’s son Josh Mostel was there too! There was awesome live music and wonderful hors d’oeuvres.

Then the night got even more surreal when I met and chatted with Randy Jones. Randy is the Cowboy of the Village People! He was really nice and a lot of fun; full of positive energy! My buddy actor Tom Stratford took our photo (above). And when I posted it to Facebook, Randy even commented on the photo! What a nice guy.

Thanks to my wonderful hosts Ellen Kaye, Seth Goldman (Chef and partner) and Ethan Fein (Musician and partner) for a fantastic night!

-The Wandering Humorist

Synthesizer – Electric Six

Electric Six is a rockingly cool and funny band. When my pal Andy introduced me to their music about three years ago, I became a fan. For those of you wondering, they’re best known for their hit “Danger! High Voltage” featuring Jack White. However, they have other really funny songs too. And singer Dick Valentine is incredible! He is intelligent, witty and completely silly and absurd.

Today, I’m going to share the video for their song “Synthesizer”:

This music video is awesome in so many ways, from the great retro aesthetic (thanks to Director Chris Chambless), to the absurdly funny lyrics. And of course, the incredible performance by lead actor Guy Perry. So weird, odd and funny. I had to leave a comment. And I can’t believe that he wrote me back. What a nice guy:

Guy Perry, lead actor in the music video Synthesizer by Electric Six, wrote me back!
Guy Perry, lead actor in the music video Synthesizer by Electric Six, wrote me back!

Long live Electric Six and Guy Perry!

– The Wandering Humorist


England, orginator of ridiculous taxes!

Having just filed my taxes, I saw this article on DealNews.com (a favorite website because it’s written with wit) about weird taxes in history:

“Awful Historical Taxes That Make Yours Seem Not So Bad” by Jeff Somogyi, Media Editor at DealNews.com

This article proves why our early countrymen fought against the British. Just look at how many bizarre taxes they invented: A tax on soap and wallpaper? You’ve got to be kidding me – ATTACK!

-The Wandering Humorist

The Secret to writing on the Subway in New York!

The best way I’ve found to write on the Subway, is with a reporter’s notebook. You’d laugh to see how cumbersome writing in normal notebooks is or even a Moleskine (which I normally love). And that’s because you have to write for extended periods of time while standing up. Believe me, I’ve done it! I like Ampad Earthwise (recycled) Reporter Notebooks best. I bought a three pack at Staples last year for a decent price, so I’d look there before buying them on Staples.com or Amazon.

I’m currently writing in Portage News Reporter Notebooks,which have thick paper. While I like Ampad’s notebook better, I bought a 12 pack, so I guess I’ll be using them for awhile! But Portage notebooks feel a lot sturdier and may be more durable against Father Time.

While we’re on the subject, I write in Parker Blue Quink (Gel Ink), which I believe is permanent. A great writer’s tool.

Writing on the subway isn’t easy, but it’s a great chunk of time to muse.

– The Wandering Humorist

Be like the driver of this Car!

A car parked up on the curb, yo!
A car is parked up on the curb.

I want to be more like the driver of this car. It’s my personal mission to take life less seriously, and this driver is WAY AHEAD of me. Oh the wonder! To be able to park like this and not care. Or better yet, not even notice. I mean, this driver gave up being a perfectionist LONG ago!

As for me, I constantly battle my perfectionism. Heck, I fight with it just to post to this blog! Because if you try to get everything right, it’s hard to get anything done. Including, apparently, getting your car parked in NYC.

I wonder if he/she got out and just strolled away, carefree. Or if he/she looked, saw they were parked up on the curb, and just shrugged? I like that image best, because they just didn’t give a damn. And I’d like to be more that way, at least when I create art. I’d jettison the inner critic, the voice that likes to say, “Well obviously that isn’t good enough!” and instead hear a voice that says, “I’m gonna do this – critics be damned!”.

And so, the moral I draw from this bad parking job is this: try to take things less seriously, like the driver of this car. Oh, and usually when you do something badly, it’s going to be funny.

– The Wandering Humorist

There was Daryl Dixon staring at me…on the R Train

I walked onto the R train last night and Daryl Dixon was sitting there staring me in the face. I don’t often see posters just sitting on the subway,

A portrait of Walking Dead's Daryl Dixon on the R Train.
Norman Reedus aka Daryl Dixon riding the R with a friend.

so I had to strike up a conversation with his friend. Apparently, you can buy these framed posters of popular TV series at Spencer’s in the city. I had to laugh. The subway is full of surprises, but when they’re fun, they’re really fun; because the rest of the time they can be really weird. More subway tales later…

Crisis: It’s Mustache Time!

Vandalized Television Ad!
Vandalized Television Ad!

Nothing brings a smile to my face faster than seeing a vandalized corporate poster! And what a great example at the Lorimer G stop (Williamsburg). “Look”, said a passerby to her friends, “they’ve got hipster mustaches!”

Yes, wonderful mustachios for the entire cast of Crisis! As for the plot of the show, I have no idea; perhaps coiffing one’s facial hair? That said, the one mustache at which I cringe, is the one worn by Gillian Anderson. She can do no wrong in my book, after her superb work in The X-Files.

Long live Gillian Anderson… and well maintained mustachios!
– The Wandering Humorist

Starstruck: Parker Posey

Last week, I was at The Library Bar in the Public Theater having drinks with friends from London. I felt special. Suddenly, I became aware I was looking across at an attractive woman sitting at the next table. I was looking at…at…at Parker Posey! Yes, the woman with the mane of black hair, and dark eyes who was quietly talking with a girlfriend was freaking PARKER POSEY. Was I in a dream? Was I HIGH? (Note: I’m pretty much “straight-edge” without the mishegoss)

I suddenly realized, I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time; how could I not stare? Gorgeous, super funny AND eccentric? How rare a combo is THAT?? In a million years, I never thought I would see her in real life.

However, instead of taking my usual tact with famous people and speaking with her, I found I wasn’t moving. I was confused. I was transfixed. Really, I was just trying to demonstrate I wasn’t looking at her. And contrary to what I expected, she didn’t get up to leave. She was just hanging with her friend at the next table, like a regular person.

And that’s when I realized I was starstruck. I was caught dead in my tracks. I was stunned. I was in my head, man. Of all the famous people I dig and admire, I never thought I’d actually run into HER!

I had been smacked upside the head by Ms. Posey. Thank you Parker Posey, you have obviated all my worldy woes. I can now die in supreme peace!

Note to self: See Party Girl