Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The Decobelles at the Art Deco Preservation Ball at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland.
Suddenly they told me that it was a black tie affair and asked me if I had brought a tuxedo. I had driven down from Seattle to meet and shoot interviews with Zoe Dell Nutter, an aviation pioneer. The next thing I know I am putting on my dark sportcoat and we are headed to Oakland. Zoe Dell was the special guest at the Art Deco Preservation Ball to be held that evening at the restored Paramount Theatre in Oakland. Back in the early 1980s I was in the theatre business and owned an old movie palace called the Tower Theatre in Fresno, CA. I loved my time there at the Tower. Not only did I see over 1000 films a year, but I also fell in love with the art deco styling, the neon lights, the gold leaf everywhere, the majesty of the architecture, the charm and the class of the long lost art deco era. As we drove up, there were old fixed up classic cars everywhere. The men were dressed up like gangsters and in Zoot Suits, while the women all took my breath away as they were dressed like out of the Great Gatsby. I took a lot of great video footage that night. They recognized Zoe Dell Nutter for having performed at that exact theatre back in 1936-1939. The audience was very graceful and kind to Zoe Dell by giving her a standing ovation. Then the music began and everyone started doing the great dances of the Charleston, and more. The band was awesome. It was a perfect night of nostalgia. Then at 10pm the manager made sure to remind me to get my camera ready, because here came the DecoBelles, a group of gorgeous, perfectly tuned dancers, who tap danced from the hallways into the main dance floor. They gave a spectacular performance, one to remember always. After a few more hours of fun we all started back to our cars and headed back across the bridge toward the San Francisco skyline. I looked back to see the bright neon at the Paramount. I looked over to Zoe Dell and I think I could see a tear in her eye. Maybe it was mine.
Zoe Dell Lantis Nutter
I was invited to a special weekend down in San Francisco to interview an American icon, Zoe Dell Lantis Nutter. Zoe Dell was being honored for her role as the original "Pirate Girl" or "Theme Girl" of the Golden Gate International Exposition which occured at Treasure Island in San Francisco in 1939-1940.
Zoe Dell Lantis Nutter has led an interesting life. She was originally a dancer from Oregon who grew up in the timber falling industry just west of Portland. During the Depression her father lost his lumber mills and the family moved down to Medford. Zoe Dell always has been drawn to the Ballet, and she loved dancing. Eventually she broke away from the family and moved down to the wild town of San Francisco, where she instantly got multiple offers to dance in the vaudeville chorus lines. One day she was approached by the promoters of the new Golden Gate Exposition to be held at Treasure Island. They wanted her to help promote the new aviation industry. At that time most people were afraid of flying. Zoe Dell became the infamous "Pirate Girl" and started travelling all across America, meeting every Governor and Mayor she could find. One day the Governor LaGuardia of New York said he wouldn't be seen in a picture with Zoe Dell unless she wore a coat, and the national press picked up on the story and instantly Zoe Dell was the "most photographed woman in the world." Her picture was published in every major newspaper and magazine, including Life Magazine. During World War II Zoe Dell volunteered for the USO show circuit and returned to dancing. She had a short career in Hollywood. Eventually Zoe Dell started working for the Piper organization, promoting family aviation. She eventually learned to fly herself, and she became a major promoter of bringing women into aviation. She travelled all across America promoting the new Piper Cubs and other aircraft. In later years, Zoe Dell became involved and led the formation of the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio. Recently Zoe Dell was recognized as a Living Legend of Aviation by the Kiddee Hawk Foundation.
Marc Castillo - New editor for our documentary "The New Fighting Seabees"
I am proud to announce that our good friend Marc Castillo is back on the team, taking on the editing for our new documentary "The New Fighting Seabees." Marc was one of the founding fathers of Inventive Productions, as one of the original editors and producers in our early days. Marc has substantial experience in the entertainment business and has proven to be a great storyteller, with his editing of "Mr. Baseball- the biography of Woody O'Rourke" and "A Woman of Faith - the biography of Colleen MacIntosh." We are pleased to have Marc helping us put together the exciting new documentary "The New Fighting Seabees."
Here is the final version of the video we made for the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors and The Pacific Institute.
Sunset in Key Largo, Florida
Director John Huston with stars Humphrey Bogart, and Lauren Bacall at Key Largo, Florida during the making of the movie in 1948.
Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to go to Key Largo. I had read some of the short stories by Ernest Hemingway and saw the movie by John Huston. I really liked that movie because it was in black and white and Lauren Bacall was so beautiful in black and white. Humphrey Bogart was great and Edward G. Robinson was so mean in that movie. It had a fantastic cast including Claire Trevor (who was awesome in "Stagecoach" with John Wayne) and Lionel Barrymore (Mister Potter from "Its a Wonderful Life).
When I found out I was going to Miami to shoot the Sonosite Convention interviews, I desperately tried to find time to drive down to the Florida Keys.
It was already getting dark as we approached Key Largo, so instead of going all the way down to Key West, we decided to stop in Key Largo and catch a beer and the sunset. The people at Key Largo were very nice and hospitable. We met a lady whose husband is a writer and they live in a sailboat in Key Largo. That would be the life.
Well, back to Miami we went to go do some more interesting interviews with the Sonosite team.
George Schaeffer - CEO of Puget Sound Security
It was great to interview George Schaeffer, the new CEO of Puget Sound Security, for their YouTube video. George has a tremendous record in the security industry and he did a super interview. I was very impressed with his philosophy of education, training, and treating people right. George came over to our Green Screen Studio for his interview.
Robert Cremin - CEO of Esterline
The minute I met Bob Cremin I knew I was in for a great interview. Bob is the CEO of Esterline in Bellevue. Esterline is a hugely successful billion dollar business that hardly anyone has heard of, even in the local community. My goal was to interview Bob for the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce for their Eastside Business Awards. Esterline was nominated as a finalist for the Eastside Business of the Year. Located in downtown Bellevue, Esterline is a leading manufacturer in the aerospace, defense, and medical industries. Everything from electronics to casings for weapons, Esterline is involved in thousands of unique products. Bob has been with the company for over 30 years. He is a sought after speaker and a mentor to many. I was impressed with Bob's enthusiasm for Esterline and his focus and philosophy on always doing your best and always doing the right thing. Great fundamentals achieve great results. I think the future will be very bright for Bob Cremin and Esterline Technologies.