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Cast: steve acito
With the recent passing of legendary musician Levon Helm, I felt obligated to crack open the archives and review an episode of Live at the Bubba Mac Shack from 2001. At that point the program, which I’d created with entrepreneur and musician Herb Birch as a vehicle to promote both the restaurant and his career as an artist, had really gained quite a following. We are attracting bigger and hipper musical acts and had expanded to air on a few new networks. On 8.10.01 we were lucky enough to have booked Bob Margolin’s Rolling Fork Review, which was as Herb put it, “a mini blues festival”. The Rolling Fork Review in all reality was a bunch of blues/rock legends getting together to jam, it featured some amazing players plus Levon Helm and of course, Bob Margolin.
At that point we had shoot quite a few bands, quite a few icons I’d say but this shoot stood out to me more than any other. I’d always loved The Band and their work plus Levon recently contributed on “Largo” that was Rob Hyman’s from the Hooters project, so for me the timing was perfect. Levon had been battling cancer for quite a while at this point and was having a hard time talking and didn’t sing a note during the set, but the show was amazing. Seeing him play and love every beat of every song was really touching. The difference was, after the show he came up to me and asked about it…he showed a real interest, that obviously meant quite a bit to me as it’s co-creator and director. We talked for quite a while and while his voice was strained I think he asked more questions than I did and talked quite a bit more as well. The conversation turned to his health, music, what it was like for him as a solo artist along with other things that time and distance from the event have sadly wiped from my memory.
After a bit of time while my crew and I were packing up the gear from the shoot, we spoke for a few more minutes as this unassuming rocker and I loaded his drum kit into his convertible and he was off. Too cool.
The show went on the air and was one of the episodes we had the most viewer feedback and requests about over the time it aired and is really special to me especially since it was nominated for a Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Award (my first Emmy® nomination). It’s been in storage since the show went off the air but at this point I figured it was time to upload.
The Drexel InterView is a lively and award-winning half-hour original television series hosted by best-selling author, critic, and Drexel University Distinguished Professor Paula Marantz Cohen. The Drexel InterView, which premiered in 2004, currently airs on some 325 PBS, university-affiliated, and community-access television stations throughout the United States. Selected episodes may also be seen on YouTube.com.
Each episode of The Drexel InterView features a half-hour conversation with a nationally known or emerging talent in the arts, culture, science, or business. Guests reflect a diversity of opinions and backgrounds. The series is now in its ninth season and has featured over 100 guests.
The History of The Drexel InterView
The Drexel InterView had its debut in 2004 when Drexel University decided to take advantage of the many important figures in science, business, art, and culture who pass through Philadelphia each year. Drexel’s art museum, the A.J. Drexel Picture Gallery, had recently been renovated, making it an ideal setting for a television program that would engage its guests in discussions of some depth. Paula Marantz Cohen, a Distinguished Professor of English, whose fields of research and writing spanned a variety of fields, volunteered to serve as host. Charles Fuller, Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright, was the show’s first guest.
Approximately one dozen guests are interviewed each year; more than 100 programs have been produced to date. The shows air on over 325 PBS and community- and university-affiliated stations throughout the country. The Drexel InterView is currently housed in Drexel’s Pennoni Honors College, whose Dean, Dave Jones, serves as Executive Producer. It has won numerous awards from the Philadelphia Press Association.
The program is shot and posted all in full 1080i HD with various episodes directed by Steve Acito
Full text of article by Peg Quann.
BURLINGTON TOWNSHIP — If Carli Lloyd wants a new career when she hangs up her soccer cleats, she’s a “natural” at television advertising.
So says Gus Staino, co-owner of Burlington Volkswagen, where Lloyd made her first TV commercial in July.
The ad has aired on several cable television channels, including those covering the Olympics.
“She was so great on the camera, so unbelievably friendly. She said it was the first commercial she’s done. She was good, and she wasn’t nervous,” Staino said. “We’re thrilled that she was so gracious, even to do it. … We’re so proud of Carli. We were humbled she would do it for us.”
As part of the deal, Lloyd also agreed to sign 50 soccer balls that the dealership is having manufactured. Staino plans to give them to people who buy or lease VWs. Their value has risen since she scored not one but two goals in the women’s gold-medal soccer match Thursday against Japan.
Steve Acito, the owner of Bluewire Media of West Berlin, Camden County, and Radnor, Pa., lined up Lloyd for the commercial.
Acito said his agency made a training video with another of her teammates from New Jersey, Christine Rampone, and later met with Lloyd. He knew the car dealership was looking for a local athlete to feature in a commercial.
Staino wanted Lloyd, saying the Olympian is a Jersey girl at heart.
“Carli really fit the bill,” he said. “She’s a product of Burlington County. She represents a lot of what the young ladies of the (area) are like. She’s intelligent, gracious … 100 percent young lady.”
Staino said Lloyd may be a great athlete but “doesn’t come off as a jock. … She’s a bright young lady.”
He was impressed by her questions about the dealership and Volkswagens, which her family members own.
Staino is managing partner with Wayne Hileman and Randy Lebowitz. The partnership also owns Burlington Kia and Burlington Chevrolet. In the 30-second spot, Staino asks the star how she got to be so good.
“Lots of practice,” the Delran native answers. “You know, I want to be my best, just like Burlington Volkswagen.”
Staino said the ad has generated 1,200 hits on the company’s website, including 300 within hours of the winning game.
Staino said even if the United States had lost, he was happy that Lloyd made the commercial.
Seeing her score both goals for the U.S. team in Thursday’s final, after her winning goal for the gold in the 2008 Olympics, was “only a bonus. We were in love with her anyway,” he said.
Peg Quann: 609-871-8057; email: pquann@phillyBurbs.com; Twitter: @pequann
IN THE POCKET: ESSENTIAL SONGS OF PHILADELPHIA
A horde of artistic giants. An important mission. A major multimedia, musical project. One common goal to sustain it all: IN THE POCKET.
It’s all happening in Philadelphia.
From the band that brought national attention to Philadelphia’s pop music scene, The Hooters’ renowned drummer David Uosikkinen, is recording what he feels, are “The Essential Songs of Philadelphia”. Uosikkinen is revisiting songs that have been recorded in Philadelphia, or written and performed by Philadelphians. These Essential Songs feature a band with an interchanging line up of Philly’s most respected musicians.
Over and above Uosikkinen himself, featured artists have so far included Ben Arnold – Rob Hyman – John Lilley – Steve Butler – William Wittman – Charlie & Richie Ingui – Jay Davidson – Fran Smith, Jr – TJ Tindall – Eric Bazilian – Graham Alexander – Tommy Conwell – Rick DiFonzo – Jeffrey Gaines – Greg Davis and Jerry Blavat.
So far, In the Pocket project has completed 5 classic songs from the past; “All My Mondays”, “Open My Eyes”, “You Can’t Sit Down”, “Soon You’ll Be Gone” and most recently Robert Hazards’ “Change Reaction”.
To capture these historic recording events, In The Pocket has gone one step further. The studio recording sessions of each song has been made into a film documentary series created by Steve Acito a two-time Emmy® Award nominated producer/director and co-founder of Bluewire Media.
Outside of this charity project Bluewire Media handles complete marketing, advertising and production services, utilizing a full HD studio and HD AVID editing suites in West Berlin, NJ and Radnor, PA.
Leaving no doubt that on both an artistic and technical level, Steve Acito and Bluewire Media fit this project like a glove.
Video has become an integral part of the music business. The transformation of music and song into visual images, more often than not, drastically determine the commercial success of countless recorded audio-works. Steve Acito’s work on In The Pocket series provides solid groundwork in this direction, having done a magnificently endearing job.
He has captured the essence and significance of every note and phrase within the chosen songs adding curious anecdotes and stories from the key players, while showcasing their workmanship and dedication to the project. The filmed footage never looses its rhythmic sense. Images, interviews and music blend beautifully, keeping in perfect time with Uosikkinen’s infectious story-telling and relentless rock ‘n roll beats.
Acito’s intimate film-making style becomes even more evident throughout the video series, as he captures the absolute joy and appreciation for this project by the participants. A tangible sense of love for all things Philly, seems to fill every frame.
Nevertheless, In The Pocket is not just about Steve Acito and David Uosikkinen’s participation. The project which pays tribute to Philadelphia’s musical past was created with a more noble goal in mind.
In that, part of the proceeds from IN THE POCKET: ESSENTIAL SONGS OF PHILADELPHIA will go to the Settlement Music School.
The Settlement Music School is the largest community school of the arts in the United States. With six locations in South, West and Northeast Philadelphia, Germantown, Willow Grove and Camden, New Jersey, the School provides 10,000 weekly services of individual lessons, classes and activities in music, dance and visual arts to children and adults without regard to age, race or financial circumstances, and awards more than $2 million annually in financial aid and scholarships.
Settlement is dedicated to its mission of providing children and adults with the highest quality individual and group instruction and activity in music, dance and the related arts. Settlement provides a wide range of programs for preschool, school age children, adults and seniors.
Alumni includes some of Philadelphia’s most beloved residents including Kevin and Michael Bacon, Chubby Checker, Stanley Clark, Kevin Eubanks, Buddy Greco, G. Love and Frank Rizzo.
It becomes clear that IN THE POCKET: ESSENTIAL SONGS OF PHILADELPHIA has set out with valid and noble ideals, that have been transformed into a work-in-progress reality.
David Uosikkinen has put his talents on the line and so has Steve Acito of Bluewire Media. Others that play integral part to the success of the project are Dallyn Pavey of Dish Public Relations whose promotion keeps the project moving forward and photographer R. Alex Lewis whose images of the artists in the studio have an amazingly personal feel.
Now would be the time for you to do your part for this project and support IN THE POCKET: ESSENTIAL SONGS OF PHILADELPHIA.
You can do so by visiting the IN THE POCKET: ESSENTIAL SONGS OF PHILADELPHIA homepage. Where you’ll find all the information and links to the downloadable songs from iTunes and Amazon, as well as watch the outstanding video series filmed and directed by Steve Acito and his Bluewire Media team.
Philly takes center stage in Uosikkinen’s ‘Pocket’ project
March 8, 2012
When The Hooters’ drummer David Uosikkinen decided to gather a group of Philly’s top pop and rock musicians to record cover versions of what he describes as “some really fantastic songs to come out of this city,” he never imagined how his project would grow over time. But since the first recording session in fall 2010 for “In The Pocket: Essential Songs of Philadelphia,” five well-known songs written or performed by Philadelphians have already been given new life through Uosikkinen and other area musicians — with more to come.
In addition to the finished recordings — which can be downloaded for 99 cents each at the project’s website, www.songsinthepocket.org — there’s a release concert held whenever another track is completed. The live shows feature an all-star gathering of some of the 10-plus area musicians involved. Documenting everything about the “In The Pocket” project — from the recording sessions to interviews with the musicians and the actual release-party concerts — is Haddon Heights resident Steve Acito, co-owner and founder of South Jersey-based production company Bluewire Media. Along with the songs themselves, each accompanying documentary video, created by Acito, can be found on the “In The Pocket” website (or via YouTube.com).
“My goal as a producer is to come out of this with a great story; a great documentary about the making of these individual songs,” Acito said, adding that his company is happy to donate its time and energy to the project, which raises funds to benefit Philadelphia’s Settlement Music School. Acito and Uosikkinen, an original member of The Hooters who relocated to California in 1990 and returned to Philadelphia 20 years later, have known each other for years. Uosikkinen calls Acito “the perfect fit” to film the “In The Pocket” recording sessions. “Steve’s enthusiastic, he loves music and he’s really passionate about what he’s doing,” Uosikkinen said. “We’ve been having a great time.” The five songs that have been recorded to date for “In The Pocket” include covers of Youth Camp’s “All My Mondays;” “Open My Eyes,” a 1967 song by Todd Rundgren and his then band, The Nazz; The Dovells’ 1963 hit “You Can’t Sit down,” (which features Philly’s well-known DJ Jerry Blavat on the accompanying documentary); The Hooters’ “Soon You’ll Be Gone” and the late Robert Hazard’s “Chain Reaction..” The release party for “Chain Reaction” is set for Tuesday at the World Café Live.