Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More From 31SDFF and A Quick Catch-Up

The 31st Starz Denver Film Festival is more than half way over (pessimist), but the excitement is still growing (optimist). Films are screening all week with this weekend bringing the Closing Night festivities.

But, before I get into that, I want to do a quick recap of the almost seven months of time where I neglected to write about the portroid happenings. Um, OK, let's see. I went to the David Lynch Weekend in Fairfield, IA and got to hang out in a small group with David Lynch, Moby, and Donovan. I went to the Flight of the Conchords concert in Denver and met both Jemaine and Bret before the show. I saw the Swell Season in concert twice, once at Radio City Music Hall where I met Marketa Irglova. Took in a new Neil LaBute play. Met the Hamburglar. Wandered around like a homeless zombie until 3AM on a sweltering hot night in Austin, TX after attending the Spaced-Numb-A-Thon (every episode of Spaced on the big screen) and meeting Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright, and Ain't It Cool's Harry Knowles (and being the only person permitted to take photos after the show). I attended a few events hosted by the Creative Coalition in Denver during the Democratic National Convention and got my first ever official press pass (which granted me many photo opportunities). Stood next to Zooey Deschanel and Anne Hathaway at the MLK Jr "I Have A Dream" speech anniversary event. Got completely ignored three times by Spike Lee when I tried to talk to him. Had a cold and then warm response from Charlize Theron. I met my favorite living author, Haruki Murakami, in NYC. Tim Robbins made some art for me. Susan Sarandon and I talked briefly about the DNC at a Register to Vote booth. I met Tom Cruise, and my wife, Erica, kind of dissed him unintentionally. Magic Johnson put his arm around me in LA. I got to attend five different shows at the UCB Theatre and had a great time at each. Got some great photos after those performances (AD Miles, Jeff Garlin, Paul Scheer, Rob Huebel, Jonah Hill, Dave Hill, Lucy Lawless, Tig Notaro, Matt Besser, Wayne Federman, and Harris Wittels). Met Maureen McCormick, who was extremely nice. Talked to Zach Braff at an Obama rally about some mutual acquaintences. I attended a Get out the Vote Tenacious D and Beastie Boys concert and met Kyle Gass (KG) afterwards. Barack Obama got elected President!! Some other stuff happened, too, so check the update page to fill in the blanks. And now I'm attending the 31st Starz Denver Film Festival as an officially sanctioned photographer.

See? Not too much going on.

Back to the festival.

We attended a screening of Majid Majidi's new film "Song of Sparrows" and absolutely loved it. I have added his other films to my Netflix queue and recommend you do the same. Come on, just do it. I also took a new portroid of him and this one turned out very well without the magical yellow lights.




At the Big Night screening of "Slumdog Millionaire" (which we also loved), the red carpet was loaded with a lot of interesting people.

First up was Dr. Marci Bowers, who is the leading transsexual surgeon in the country and the subject of the film "Trinidad".


Next was Ari Lehman, who played the first Jason Vorhees in the Friday the 13th film series.


Richard Jenkins, who you surely recognize from all the films and TV shows you recognize him from, stopped for a quick photo and autograph. As he was signing, a woman nearby yelled out that I was going to sell it on ebay (one of the things I hate about people who yell things out (them yelling out falsehoods about me)). I'm not going to sell it (as you already know). Richard (much like Kyra Sedgwick in years past) said I wouldn't get much for it. So, to prove him wrong, bid high and bid often on the portroid of Richard Jenkins I posted on ebay (just kidding, of course). Richard received the 2008 Excellence in Acting Award.


As I was talking to Richard Jenkins, Wally Pfister, cinematographer for a lot of your favorite movies (if your favorite movies include Christopher Nolan movies), walked right by and into the event. Lucky for me, he came back out and I was able to get my portroid.


Rachael Tucker, pictured below, is my main PR contact for the festival and has been really great at keeping me informed of events and screenings. I owe her many thanks. I'll probably just write out an IOU which I'll conveniently forget about when the festival ends. In the meantime, thanks!!! You're great, Rachael!


On Sunday, we attended a Women+Film panel on Africa in Transition. I talked briefly with Abby Disney, Walt's grand-niece, afterwards and was able to get this photo. She was the producer for the film "Pray The Devil Back To Hell", which you should see. It's short-listed for an Academy Award, so you would be well-suited to beat out your colleagues at seeing it. "Oh," you could say when the nominations are announced, "I saw that documentary months ago. Brilliant." You'll be the talk of the neighborhood (even if the talk is about what a snob you are).



The festival continues through Sunday. Go to the festival website and buy tickets. I implore you! Do it for yourself. You wouldn't want people to think you aren't better than them, would you? You're better than them. I just know it!


Yay movies (and a sense of superiority)!!
Rick
portroids@hotmail.com

Friday, November 14, 2008

31st Starz Denver Film Festival - Opening Night!

Last night, November 13, 2008, marked the opening (Opening Night, in fact) of the Starz Denver Film Festival (the 31st one). The film was The Brothers Bloom, directed by Rian Johnson. I was positioned at the head of the red carpet and was able to take some fun and interesting (says I) new portroids. I'm sure you'll agree (maybe).


First off is Neil Truglio, Director of Marketing for the festival. I tried to get the red carpet in the background, which is why he is off-center in the photo, but it was dissolved into black by the quick Polaroid flash. My apologies to the red carpet.




Next up is Bill Plympton. Bill has a film in the festival. I've seen it. It's quite good. It's called "Idiots and Angels". You can see it today. In fact, you should see it today. Click here to buy tickets. It is an animated film about good versus evil, or more appropriately the good in us trying to overcome the evil, but with the evil fighting the good in every way possible. Worth a watch.




Majid Majidi is an Oscar nominated director from Iran. He has two films in the festival this year. "Children of Heaven" is the film which earned him the nomination and it screens tonight. Buy tickets. His new film, "Song of Sparrows", screens tomorrow (November 15). I hope you already have tickets, though, because it is sold out. I have mine (bragger).

I took a portroid of Majid Majidi last night and, as you can see below, it came out with a yellow aura with some trailing lights. I don't think there were actually any lights in the background, so this is just some sort of filmic magic that follows Mr. Majidi around (my guess (highly educated)). I may take another portroid of him tomorrow to test my theory, but I would kind of hate to be proven wrong. No other pictures in this cartridge had this effect.




Ron Henderson (pictured with his wife, Judy) is the founder of the Starz Denver Film Festival. He served as artistic director for 30 years. He is now the Senior Program Consultant. I spoke briefly with his wife about the discontinuation of Polaroid film. We lamented together. She called me an artist, so she is my new favorite person (until someone else says something nice about me). Thanks, Judy. And thanks, Ron.




Rian Johnson, who you may know as the director of "Brick", was the star of the night. His film "The Brothers Bloom" was the Opening Night event. He spent his younger years in Denver and still has family here. His mother, father, and brother were on the red carpet as well. His new film is a comedy about two con-men brothers and their heiress mark. You'll have to wait until it hits theaters to see it, because unless you were there last night (or unless you have a time machine (in which case I need to cut some sort of deal with you to borrow it for a quick trip back to 1984 so I can tell my then-self to use the restroom before Science class on that one day when it would've saved me some embarrassment (minor))), you won't have a chance to see it at this festival. Go see this movie (if you like fun movies about con-men and their shut-in heiress mark filmed in beautiful locales around the world), and seriously, let me know about the time machine thing. Thanks.




That's it for last night.

Tonight I am going to see Darren Aronofsky's new film "The Wrestler", starring Mickey Rourke. You, too, can see it, if you buy tickets. I am also considering hanging around for the midnight premiere of the documentary "His Name Was Jason: 30 Years of Friday the 13th". The first Jason, Ari Lehman is expected to attend (plus additional special guests). If you're a Friday the 13th fan (and I know you probably are), you wouldn't miss this.

See you at the movies in the aisle seat (I think that's some sort of catchphrase),
Rick
portroids@hotmail.com

Monday, November 10, 2008

31st Starz Denver Film Festival begins this week

This week marks the beginning of the 31st Starz Denver Film Festival, and portroids.com will be there to capture it all. Or at least some of it. I hope it will be the parts you, the reader and portroid-admirer, will appreciate. I do it for you (and me (mostly me)).

If you live in Denver, or plan to be here over the next few weeks, go to denverfilm.org and buy your tickets for some of the great films the festival is screening this year. You pretty much cannot go wrong with any choice. I've screened a couple of the films so far and they are excellent. I'm not going to tell you what they are because I want you to make your own choices. It will help you grow as a person.

I've attended the festival for the past few years and have been lucky enough to meet and photograph many attendees. This year, I will be involved in a more official capacity, so hope my trend of providing a visual experience to the world via web will be that much more fulfilling.

Here are the portroids I have taken from the previous years (if you're interested):

2007 30th Starz Denver Film Festival


Jason Reitman and AnnaSophia Robb at the Juno screening


2006 29th Starz Denver Film Festival

David Strathairn and Andrew Walker at the Steel Toes screening


2005 28th Starz Denver Film Festival

Ang Lee and Annie Proulx at the Brokeback Mountain screening


Philip Baker Hall at the Duck screening


Matt Mulhern at the screening of his film Duane Hopwood


2004 27th Starz Denver Film Festival

Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick at the after party after Kevin won the Cassavetes Award


Soleil Moon Frye at the screening of her documentary Sonny Boy


Morgan Freeman at the screening of the documentary Blues Divas



This year promises to be awesome (if you believe promises (which I do)). So, I'll see you all this Thursday, November 13, 2008, at the red carpet for the Opening Night film The Brothers Bloom. I'll be the guy with the Polaroid camera.

-Rick
portroids@hotmail.com

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

VOTE!! (Today)

Today is one of the most important days in your life. Even more important than the birth of your child (sorry, it's true). Even more important than the one time you did something good in sports that your dad was proud of (yep, bigger than that). Even more important than your wedding, first job, second job, first kiss, first million dollars earned, and even more important than the day you first found this website (unbelievable, but apropos).

Today is Election Day!! Today is the day you vote into office the next President. Our country (and for those of you in countries other than the United States - "our country" in this example, and only in this example, does not mean "your country", though it will likely have an effect on your country, our decision) is ready for a change. We're all wanting it. We're all needing it. And this time, we're all making a stand and demanding it.

I'm not going to tell you who to vote for (Barack Obama), but I will tell you who I voted for. I voted for Barack Obama. And you should too.



I have a ton of other things I should've been writing about over the past few months, but they can all wait until tomorrow when we have a new President. Barack Obama.

Vote!

Rick

portroids@hotmail.com


Thursday, April 24, 2008

International Phenomenon (and nakedness)

Over the past few years I have received many emails from around the world. Places like Russia! Italy! Wyoming! Other places!

This site has been commented on in blogs and websites from even other places around the world. Places like Japan! Poland! Spanish-speaking country!

But, even with this foreknowledge, I wasn't prepared for the global reach that one month of internet tracking revealed. As previously mentioned (you know, before this mentioning), I added an analytic tool to every page on the site (one month ago). This tool gives me a look at all manner of data. Mostly geographical location, popular pages, keyword searches, etc.

I've had access for years to search terms that have lead people to my site, and I am still somehow surprised that my most frequently hit searches are "chester the molester" and "Wendi McLendon-Covey naked" (or a wide variety of most of the female celebrities I have portroided with a "nude" or "naked" qualifier). This blog can only increase my frequency of receiving these quality results. I have no naked photos on this site (not true (Naked Cowboy (not really naked) and a blurry old-timey bathtub shot (blurry old-timey penis))).

Anyway, back to how International and worldy portroids.com actually is. In the past month, I have had visitors from 54 countries and all but 4 United States (what's up Alaska, Wyoming, Vermont, and South Dakota? Do you hate portroids, effective late March to late April 2008?).

That might not seem like a lot of countries compared to a much more popular site, but to me with my little project of Polaroid portraits, it means something that an Icelander who is searching for "Maria Thayer nude" has taken the time to click on my link and looked at Maria Thayer clothed.

It's really comforting that a Micronesian and a Tunisian and an American and a Serbian and a Brit and a Slovakian have all individually congegrated in the small world of the internet with similar aims, similar desires, similar global concerns ... Random Female Celebrity Naked.

I'm happy to have been given the opportunity to disappoint.

Keep clicking, Earth!

Love (fully clothed),
Rick
portroids@hotmail.com

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Truth (This Side Of)

In the coming weeks, I have a few subjects I plan to discuss. Not least amongst them is the international phenomenon that is portroids.com. Nor second least, my secret weapon to combat the imminent death of Polaroid film. And third important (a.k.a. least), just, you know, some random blathering.

Today, though, I want to direct your attention to some portroid connections in a new film project that has captured my rapt interest. It is a movie written (co) and directed (co) by Ricky Gervais and Matt Robinson. It is currently being filmed in Lowell, MA.

It's called This Side Of The Truth. You should totally go see it (sight unseen) when it gets released. Probably late this year (no evidence of this) or early next year (also unfounded). You're going to love it (you know, why not?).

Ricky has been writing a blog on his website to track the creation of the film. Again, this is the kind of thing you should find time to enjoy. Give yourself a treat (cookies, maybe) and go to Gervais's This Side of the Truth blog. *

*while you're there, please check out his wind-up of the infamously round-headed Karl Pilkington in this additional Monkey News blog.


So now, just to show you I wasn't a liar a few paragraphs ago when I said this film has some portroid connections, check out the cast:

Ricky Gervais


Louis CK


Jennifer Garner


Jeffrey Tambor


Jason Bateman


Christopher Guest - I don't have a portroid of him. I did "meet" him once though. Sort of. We crossed paths on a stairwell and I gave him a huge idiotic smile and nodded my head happily. He looked back at me like I was an idiot. I then saw him later, standing in the same hotel lobby looking unapproachable, and so I did not approach him, love him though I do.

And, um, a bunch of people I haven't met (but who I love): John Hodgman, Tina Fey, Rob Lowe, Jonah Hill, Patrick Stewart, Stephen Merchant and Shaun Williamson (cameos).

Also, just because he's mentioned and pictured in Ricky's blog, I'll include Rob Steen in my portroid connection section:


OK. That's it. Go see this movie whenever it comes out. Follow along in Ricky's blog. Put up Karl Pilkington posters in your town* (* see * above).

Truthfully Yours (sort of),
Rick
portroids@hotmail.com

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Gained In Translation

In my typical online vanity search, I came across this Polish Beastie Boys page that mentions portroids and posts my Adrock and MCA Polaroids. Attempting to read what was written, I ran the text through a Polish-English translator. The result is my new favorite full-circle meta description of what I do:

Dwóch members ex batches Beastie Boys Adam Horovitz as well Adam Yauch stays photographed on Denver. Rick "creature, who desponded to coinage Portroids draw at sight ". Drive-in-bank drafts collection photos as well autographs artist on various spot. Thereof offering there is room to sight herein : http://www.portroids.com/celebrities.htm


- Creature who desponded to coinage Portroids draw at sight
portroids@hotmail.com

Monday, March 24, 2008

The State and Portroid Affairs

There are some general housekeeping things I have been meaning to address. I'm not only talking about the dirty dishes in the sink (but seriously, you should do something about those. They stink.), but more so about bad links, out-dated pages, and a general inconsistency of page-style. I'm sure you all check the website to which this blog refers ( http://www.portroids.com/main.htm ) almost daily to see who is newly posted. But if not, shame on you. I'm ashamed of you (big time!).

This past weekend, I spent many an hour cleaning up every page (only to discover today that I still need to re-do some of it (dag!)), adding adlinks, texting images (for better searches), and posting updated internal links at the foot of every page. I also added an analytic tool so I can better know my visitors (nice to meet you (well, some of you, at least).

Another thing I have been delinquent in reporting is why the Year 5 images look so much better than every prior year. I updated my camera. Actually, I back-dated my camera. My Spectra 1200FF, whose design I truly love, was becoming inconsistent (sometimes it just wouldn't work when I tried to take a picture (embarrassing!)) and the photo quality was turning into crap. I did some research and settled anew upon the Spectra Pro. I LOVE IT!! It can do multiple exposures, manual focus setting, and other things, too. The best part is the crispness and clarity of the Polaroids. I should've started with this five years ago. Instead, for four years you got off-center, blurry, half developed messes (occasionally, at least). My apologies in arrears.

As you also know, I decided not to set any goals in Year 5. I just wanted to see what would transpire if I didn't limit myself to a fast rule. Well, my friends (best friends, I hope), a goal I set in Year 3, and then re-enacted for Year 4, has manifested itself in Year 5, times 6!

Year 3 Goal: An unportroided member of The State (I have 5 of 11 already)

I asked/hoped to add just one more State member to my collection of Polaroid portraits, but alas I have, in one fell swoop, accomplished the complete series. All six remaining unportroided members (yes, even Todd Holoubek who left the group in 1995) have now been portroided!

"But, who or what are The State?" you ask. "Get out of my face, you ignorant turd!" I basely reply to your ignorant turd of a question!

The State were/are a comedy group that had a show on MTV in the early/mid 90s. They are the most influential comedic influence in my life (and that of many of my friends) and they are the benchmark to which all else is judged (harshly).

As I stated, I had met, previously, 5 of them. Most frequently, the members who formed Stella (Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, and David Wain). I also had the chance to meet Tom Lennon and Ben Garant in Aspen four years ago at a Reno 911 Live event. I saw Kerri Kenney-Silver at that same event, but did not get the chance to talk to her. And if we're keeping track, I used to see Kevin Allison all the time on Varick Street where I lived in New York (but, again never talked to him), and I would see Joe Lo Truglio at many Stella shows and a few times on the street in SoHo (but, as you may've guessed, I did not talk to him).

Anyway, recently The State has reunited for a couple shows in Los Angeles at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and we were there. It was .... awesome! Just seeing everyone together again (minus Showalter and Black (though they sent along a video)) was amazing. I've already recapped the show elsewhere, so I will save you the boredom (not boring).

After the show(s), I got the chance to meet everyone.

Erica, my wife (as you know), went around and got them all to sign our book (State by State with The State) and video (Skits and Stickers). Here are some pictures if you don't believe me:





And here are the portroids I took:

Ken Marino, my favorite State member (sorry everyone else), was absolutely the nicest and most gracious person you could ever meet. I told him I really liked the move Diggers (which he wrote, produced, and starred in). He was very appreciative and sincerely thanked me for saying that.

Joe Lo Truglio. You know, very funny, great guy.

Kevin Allison. I didn't get to interact with him, but briefly. He was friendly and cool, though.
Thomas Lennon. Hilarious. He was a bit in a rush because it was between shows, but he took the time to pose for me. After the second show he was more relaxed and interacted with all the fans and was just incredibly great.
Michael Patrick Jann. Was confused as to why I wanted a picture just of him, but after I explained portroids to him, he was cool with it. He also was kind enough to get a T-shirt from the backroom for me. Now, that is amazing. I was impressed with how far these guys went for their fans (they handed out T-shirts that said "I didn't get into the State reunion" to everyone outside who couldn't get in.
Kerri Kenney-Silver. She's the greatest. Very nice. This is probably my favorite portroid of all time.
Todd Holoubek. Talked to a group of us about why he left the show (to pursue his education) and what he has been up to since then (rocket science and teaching). He also introduced us to some of his students that were in attendance. I took one Polaroid and he shook it for awhile and it looked like it wasn't going to develop, so I took another. Both developed. You can see them both on the main site.
Robert Ben Garant. I saved this one for last because it was my favorite interaction. I went up and asked Ben if I could get a quick picture. I then mentioned that I met him a few years ago in Aspen and got his picture there. He remembered. He described the portroid I took then. We talked about how he had a mustache in that one. He re-created the pose so I could have one without a mustache, too. We shook hands and he said it was nice to meet me ... again.


Well, that's it. A Year 3 goal accomplished two years later!!

- Rick

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

NOOOOOoooortroids!!

As I am sure you've all heard, Polaroid has decided to no longer make film for it's Polaroid cameras. The digital age has finally killed the art of instant Polaroidery. Curse you and your binary pixelation, digital age!

I was alerted to this news from all points on the globe, from England to Seattle to right here at home (by a total of three people (from where, I will never tell)). They (the Polaroid Corporation) are closing their Massachusetts plant and expect to run out of film by 2009. What does this mean for portroids? What do you think it means? It means death. It means a hard end-date. It means the world shall mourn the loss of this venture so revered by one and all*.

*"all" is an overstatement. Overstating like three or four people total.


Anyway, to celebrate all that Polaroid film has given us by way of opportunity for taking pictures of ourselves, our friends, and more importantly our celebrities, I'd like to point you in the direction of a few other places online to appreciate the art of celebrity Polaroids:

http://www.portroids.com/celebrities.htm (my site, of course)
http://www.roidrage.com/ (a great site run by Jeremy Kost)
http://www.hennygarfunkel.com/ (signed Polaroids by Henny Garfunkel)

Please send any more links to me at portroids@hotmail.com and I will include them.


In the coming days, I will also be adding a new gallery to showcase celebrity Polaroids collected over the years by Steve Bannos. He's got some very cool ones and I think you will really enjoy it. That's what I think, anyway. Look for it soon!


So, unless some other manufacturer steps up to start producing film, you can expect about another year of portroids. Maybe more if I can stockpile and hoard film in my freezer. Goodbye, freezer-burnt ice cream. Hello, 2010 portroids!!

Photerminally Yours,
Rick
portroids@hotmail.com