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Drew Spence interview with Crazypellas.net Mark of the Griffin Web series

February 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Interview with Drew Spence (Mark of the Griffin)

 

Mark of the Griffin

The Mark and the Mask with questions to ask

Crazypellas.net:
How did you come up with the concept of Mark of the Griffin?
I fell in love with the look of a jet pilot’s gas mask and wanted something similar. It was going to be just an image used across all my music videos, but the concept just seemed like it needed to be fully developed and so, I fleshed out a character that matched the visual.
What message are you trying to give off with the series?
The overall arc with be about the personal growth of Marcus Griffin and his transition into a fearsome avenger.
How do the episode plots get created?
Choice D) All of the above. Sometimes I scout a location and ask myself what interesting thing could happen there. A story could be attached to someone I met with a skill set or unique attribute. And other times, there’s a statement I want to make and it’s about trying to convey an idea using the MOTG universe.
What software and hardware is used?
Pretty much, I use a Canon camera and Adobe’s suite for graphic and video editing with plug-ins by Red Giant to twist the color at the end.
How close to reality is the series?
So far it’s pretty real. As the story moves along, some of the sets and villains will push the borders. We’re going to slide further into the realm of comic book fantasy.
What’s the difference between the comic book and web series?
The web series is very linear and the comic book jumps around in time. In print, I will be taking advantage of the graphical freedom and showing you stuff that would be impractical to film at this point. The web series is more about you watching Marcus Griffin and the comic book is written straight from the thoughts inside his head.
What other stories have you explored?
I created a two-part rap album called Chaos Legion that explores a futuristic Rome and the vengeful quest of a betrayed general. I rhyme as Dynamics Plus- it’s highly lyrical with some ground breaking storytelling, if I do say so myself. Battlestrux is another rap universe which is similar to Star Trek and Macross. The first album is called Year One: Captain of a Starship.

Where are you hoping Mark of the Griffin will take you? In other words, what’s your final goal from the series?
I’d like to be able to devote more time and resources into the MOTG universe. I have so much more to show you. There are short chapters and segments and also a very long story arc. Being able to tell the full story is a huge goal.
Where can we watch and follow the series online?
We have a youtube channel with all the episodes and a website that explains and links to it all.
http://www.markofthegriffin.com/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL…layer_embedded
READ ISSUE 01  http://issuu.com/producersedge/docs/…f_an_angry_man
READ ISSUE 02http://issuu.com/producersedge/docs/…e_vile_for_web
info about Chaos Legion can be found here: https://dynamicsplus.wordpress.com/ca…legion-series/
Do you have any kind of management, publishing or distribution team behind you? If so what are their responsibilities?
I do everything under my own label Dynamica Music. I stay split between creating and sharing my content.

In MUSIC

How long have you been producing music?
I think I made my first record back in 2000, sometime back then. I got tired of paying for studio time and began building my own studio and making my own music.

What influences your music? Do you use samples or compose your music from scratch?
I started off sampling vinyl and still use sample libraries today. Early in, I began to want the source instrument for the sounds I found myself always sampling. That began my interest in researching and amassing production gear.

What software and hardware do you use to make and produce music?
I like synthesizers to create new sounds and keyboards for traditional sounds and familiar instruments. I mostly record everything into my digital workstation as live audio and then edit after.

How do you create across multiple genres of music…Rap, Dance and Electronic?
I’ve been around different styles of music since I was young, so it’s not that hard to wander around between the different vibes. I have a bit of freedom to just make music and then gently push it in a certain direction.

What one tip would you give to other music producers?
As a creative, I think it’s important to love your own work. A lot of artists create what they think others will like. They are being influenced by material that is popular- even though they don’t like it or can’t fully connect with it. It’s following whatever’s selling well or at least out there in a big way. They feel they must do something similar. You can never have true confidence in your art thinking and working that way.

If someone says you stink, they will be right because it’s all about their feelings about you or your art. If you walk in already appreciating your merits, no one can limit your value; they can only offer their opinions. This world is full of No’s; you’d better get your Yes together before sharing or doing business behind your art.

IN CLOSING
Do you want to give a shout-out to anyone?
Wow. So many people have helped me put this together. You know, I’d like to thank you, Iain for taking the time to help spread the word about the Mark of the Griffin. I’d also say check out my music group Fallout Shelter, EDM artist Domino Grey and rap artist Dynamics Plus.

Thanks again Drew for doing this interview.

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Solaris 2002 and 1972 Movie Reviews

February 24, 2013 1 comment

Solaris Movie Review 1972 and 2002

There is a great awakening in the orbit of Solaris.

Solaris 1972 movie poster

Solaris will give you what you bring with you.

I had no details to the plot or concept of Solaris, but I love science fiction as an environmental set piece and I figured George Clooney signed on so it must be interesting. The plot revolves (literally) around a mysterious planet called Solaris that resembles Earth in a primordial state and is actually an alien conscience. The crew of a research station in orbit begins to experience strange phenomena based on their personal histories. The story is based on a 1961 novel by Stanislaw Lem. There is the ‘Russian’ movie version from 1972 by director Andrew Tarkovskiy and the 2002 retelling by Steven Soderbergh.

Without reading the source novel, I can’t really go into which version is truer or captures the spirit of the novel better and I also don’t think it’s worth the effort to propose which movie version is the one to see. I think the concept stands alone enough- as a thought-provoking mechanism so both movies should be seen. There are small changes and some big changes between movies. I think these are welcome and in many ways justify the 2002 revisit. I would like to go further into plot details, but I really think you should be surprised and walk into the movie knowing as little about Solaris as scientist/psychologist Chris Kelvin (George Clooney). He’s privy to a cryptic message from his university mentor and asked to investigate the strange happenings at the orbiting space station. When he arrives all is not what it seems.

Solaris 2002 movie poster

He will discover the her in himself.

These are slow-paced movies that learn on hard sci-fi so do not expect action or a big alien revel ending. These are emotionally driven stories that happen in a sci-fi environment. By the end you should be in a state of thoughtful brooding. The 1972 movie left me thinking about what I would do if I were Kris Kelvin and the 2002 version left me wondering about what I would experience, personally, if I were sent to Solaris. It does make you think about your own life and the memories (haunting or happy) that we carry around that define our own perception of self based on past actions and in-actions.

Solaris 2002 movie poster

This is an exploration of the human condition by an alien presence that does not understand us, but wants to. How can it- when we do not understand ourselves? Both these movies belong in the collection (or the collective memory) of anyone who is into hard science fiction.

INTERHIPHOP Interview with The Lenzmen from 2005 Retro-Read

February 2, 2013 Leave a comment

The Lenzmen 2005 interview with INTERHIPHOP (Italian Media)

Lenzmen taking a break. Doc Strange, Centri and Dynamics Plus

C: A little history of Lenzmen
Strong Island NY collective The Lenzmen have been plying their craft for a minute. Forming in the late 90’s out of a college radio program, these next level cats have been blending the fantastical in wordplay with gritty hip hop. The group debuted on The Persecution Of Hip Hop compilation album several years ago which also featured indie hip hop royalty such as Cannibal Ox, Slug (Atmosphere), Atoms Family, Deep Puddle Dynamics (Anticon) and Hangar 18. While many of those groups have already exploded onto the national scene, the Lenzmen stayed to the shadowy background like the super heroes they write about, training in the hip hop danger room on lyrics and beats.

Centri, Earthadox and Dr Strange grew up together and went to high school with DJ Makin Noize, who was a radio show DJ. Strange and Dynamics met and clicked because their styles focus on progressing the lyrical narrative. The duo started a group and recruited other emcees who complemented their lyrical quest. The group chose the name Lenzmen, derived from a Japanese anime about a interplanetary police force and much like that fictional group, the Long Island crew devote their focus to exploring the cosmos of original rhyme schemes. The group also support the hip-hop community by hosting radio shows, producing a weekly showcase and waving the banner for hip hop. ‘

As Centri says: ‘when you are buying our album, don’t just think you are buying into high lyrical underground rappers, you are supporting an entire movement. We don’t want to be appreciated for being different, we want to be appreciated as skilled artists with an original voice in hip hop.’

Centri @ The Bowery in Manhattan

C: This is your first CD?
L: We have been featured on two compilations in the past. The Persecution Of Hip Hop on CP Records (CPrecords.net) and Mood Swings Nine, but this is our first true commercial release.

C: Tell me something about hip-hop in your city.
L: Well, we are from Long Island, New York- NYC being the birthplace of Hip Hop. LI is special because originality is key and a very central focus. In the inner city- you sometimes have whole groups of cats that rhyme similar and share styles. That’s a no-go on Long Island. Your voice, delivery, flow and even wordplay must be fresh and original. This stems from the suburban setting and the Rap history of the Island. Many artists develop their own style in isolation due to the very few opportunities for wide exposure on Long Island. You can keep your lyrical method a secret much longer while you develop it.

C: Do you know something about hip-hop in Italy?
L: Due to the language barrier I admit I am unable to follow the scene. I’m sure it’s vibrant because Europe has been doing the Hip Hop thing for a while.

C: What do you think about mp3?
L: In regard to piracy? -our music is available as individual songs on itunes, MSN and a few other sites. We made sure anyone interested in our music can make an educated decision on whether or not our music is for them. Most sites will allow you to listen to 30 seconds or more of every track on the album. I see no need for a consumer to ‘test listen’ the album by illegal downloading it.

C: And about women in hip-hop?
L: I think they will remain under-rated until they gather enough momentum to truly create their own space. Lyrically, female rappers have been on par with males for a minute now, but the social and cultural differences have created a divide where some of the women’s issues/agendas have no meaning in a ‘mans world’.

C: Have you performed live?
L: After we felt we were ready, we began to showcase our talent in ciphers. From there we went on to making records. Seeing how the crowd responds to our music lets us know where to go next. We enjoy doing shows and you can see some elements of our stage show at Lenzmen.com.

C: Who is the artist you like most and why?
L: It’s hard to say. I tend not to like artists, but like particular bodies of their work.
Public Enemy: Nation Of Millions
De La Soul: 3 Feet High
Ultra Magnetic: Critical Beatdown

C: Do you think that hip-hop videos represent the real hip-hop?
L: I assume- in Italy- you’re only getting the biggest, most commercial groups exposed. That would be drug-dealing, expensive cars and half-naked women.
A video represents a gross exaggeration of the rappers fantasy life. If his dream is ‘pimpin’ and being ‘gangsta’ then so be it. My only issue: why is that image the only one being put forth? When that concept is pushed too far, you have many people caught up in thinking someone can really live like that.

Lenzmen album cover Scientific Community

The Lenzmen Scientific Community

C: In which way do you live hip-hop?
L: I don’t think I live Hip Hop. I feel I am wired a certain way and that causes me to be attracted to Hip Hop. Rap Music is one of the many ways I’ve chosen to express myself. I mostly function just outside the normal boundaries of Hip Hop. My graphics are not always Graf, my beats are not always Boom Bap and I’ve taken my lyrical content places a traditional Emcee would not go.

C: Tell me something about clubs and radios in your city.
L: Clubs now play a heavy amount of commercial rap as opposed to traditional club/dance music. Commercial radio plays the music behind the materialistic themes driving modern artists.

C: Future projects
L: I never share blueprints. Expect more music and videos. I am now in a position to expand my label, Dynamica Music, and make a bigger impact in 06.

C: Thanks and hello to
L: The usual suspects?the rest of the Lenzmen, Centri, Doc Strange and Earthadox. Atoms Fam- namely The Cryptic One and JestOneArt. PRO and Shea, NASA at Uncommon Records and his whole roster.

You can catch up with everything we’re up to at http:// www. Lenzmen.com
Thanks for your time.
-Dynamics Plus
Lenzmen Dynamica Music 2005