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Mercer Island Reporter
Mercer Island, Washington
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December 15, 2004     Mercer Island Reporter
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December 15, 2004
 

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. Happy HolidaTfs from The DreamMakerTeam Sl/c SHERWOOD cE[izabf'tfil BAS KA Mercer Islan REPORTER Wednesday, December 15, 2004 l hc Pmlessional Practice of Real Eslate 206-236-0740 425-450-5252 www.dreammaker team.corn Julie PefialMercer Island Reporter Gabriel Blair Miller and his camera. Gabriel Blair Miller prepares for the release of his directorial film debut By DeAnn Rossetti Mercer Island Reporter ell Us The Truth" is a powerful doc- umentary, directed by Gabriel Blair Miller, that follows a music tour of artists opposed to pernicious media consol- idation. The tour begins in Madison, Win and for three weeks in November, a diverse group of musicians, from a rapper to an elderly blues and jazz artist, sing protest songs and speak their minds in interviews about how the corporate gobbling of radio stations has made it more difficult for diverse voices and new artists to be heard on the air. Miller, a Seattle native, attended Bard College and got a bachelor's degree in film. He then went on to work in many aspects of film production, from sound recording to field production. He cites an early news sto- ry, in which a man died on the front lawn of a hospital after being turned away for treatment due to lack of medical insurance, as an influence in his desire to become a filmmaker. "From a very early age I knew I wanted to do creative work. Wheaever anyone asked me what l wanted to be, I always said an artist," Miller said. "As a young person I was into visual art, and I've always been troubled by injustice, so (documentary) film seemed a good way to mix the visual with con- tent that mattered." Miller started his career in television pro- $250,000 per film, finding funding for doc- was held in October in Washington, D.C duction and then worked as a freelance jack- umentaries is still difficult, even though the at the American Film Institute Theater, of-all-trades on films to gain skill and ex- amount is a fraction of what a Hollywood and was a great success, according to Miller. perience. By 1998, he worked exclusively feature film costs. "I was pleasantly surprised at what an ex- on documentaries, playing a role in creat- "Because 'Tell Us the Truth' is a film I traordinary reaction the film got," said ing more than 100 films during the past 10 really believe in that talks about such a vi- Miller. "Every joke got a laugh. At the years, tal issue, I basically did it for much less scary moments, people gasped aloud, and "I've done sound recording, camera work than the average cost by calling in a lot of fa- they applauded at the end of each song." and field producing. Now that I'm making my vors," he said. "I also worked like a dog, Miller screened the film in November, own films, I still do those roles on other peo- and my editor, Kurt Feldhun, and my asso- and will screen it again in January, when it pies' films, but I mainly direct" he said. "In ciate producer Patricia O'Brien, donated a will be released to Amazon.com and Nettlix thelast 10years, equipment has gotten cheap- lot of their labor." on DVD. er and lighter, so I can shoot and direct from Miller said he didn't shoot every stop Miller currently has two other films in behind the camera. What I like about that on the three-week tour, but did film in the works. "Pay to Play" is a film about is by reducing the number of people involved Madison, Wis. at the beginning of the tour unknown bands and musicians trying to in shooting, I can achieve a greater level of to interview the head of the AFL-CIO, get playtime on the air of major radio sta- intimacy with the subject. One of the great John Sweeny, as well as two Federal tions. He started the project before "Tell treasures of the documentary is to let the Communications Commissioners and Loft Us the Truth," but sidelined it 'when he viewer see people's lives unfolding on the Wallach; who is involved in the Public heard about the protest tour and left to film. screen." Interest Research Group (PIRG). There is "'Pay to Play' looks at musical artists my- Documentaries take significant amounts footage of a protest in Miami and inter- ing to reach a larger audience" said Miller. of time to make because filmmakers want views with several.people, some bystanders "It looks at their experience of media con- to have time to allow the story to unfold, among them, who were tear-gassed or hit solidation from the ground level:' The oth- according to Miller. Viewers can not only with robber bullets by riot police. Musician er film Miller is working on, called meet characters, but find out what happens and former front man for the band Rage "Cardboard Boxes," is a comedic short to them. Against the Machine tells viewers how all film about a man with a very strange job in "By compressing lime, five years can un- of the songs his band produced were banned a very strange place. Miller said he works fold in one and one-half hours of film," Miller from the air by Clear Channel, the media on the other films when he is not working said. "One of the most successful docu- giant, after Sept. 11, 2001, along with in- as a work-for-hire technician on someone mentaries of all time was 'Hoop Dreams,' nocuous songs like "Walk Like An else's. about two young African-American teens Egyptian," by the Bangles, because of "sen- But it's "Tell Us The Truth" that gets who wanted to become NBA stars, and that sitivity issues." him excited about telling people what he took over seven years (to make)?' At about The first screening of "Tell Us the Truth" Please see Film on 87 year. Taking the liberty birds, I have some sug- gestions. First, a birdbath. I used to think that with all the fresh water in our lakes and streams, not to mention puddles and wet fields, putting out a birdbath would be a waste of time. However, Holiday gift giving seems to be on every- one's mind these days. To escape the com- mercialism for a moment, let's imagine that you resolve to give one gift back to nature this to narrow that to FRANCES last spring I placed a bird- bath outside of my home- W 0 0 D office window and now I've changed my tune completely. The birds visit to drink, bathe and often up to a half-dozen feathered friends splash together. A birdbath can be a delightful alternative to feeding birds, particularly if you worry about rats or squirrels attracted by your seed feeder. A second suggestion for a gift to the birds is to set out a treat, perhaps a suet cake hang- ing in a wire holder. This is another rela- tively mess-free seed feeding alternative. My suet feeders attract three woodpecker species (Hairy, Downy and Northern Flicker) as well as chickadees, nuthatches, juncos, towhees and sparrows. Those woodpeckers also defight when you leave in place any old, dead or dying trees. An equally beneficial gift would be an old, rotting snag full of insect meals for a cold winter day. Woodpeckers chisel out nesting holes in dead trees. Then, the following ON BIRDS Please see Bids on B2 The Northern Flicker peeks out of a tree. MRS. ADAMS GOES TO WASHINGTON A n n Adams, the 41st District chair for the Republican Party, left Sunday for Washington, D.C to attend a WhiteHouse N I C O L E holiday recep- tion. MEOLI The presi- dent and first AROUND THE ISLAND lady invited Adams and a guest, as a thank you for all of her volunteer work for Republican candidates during the elections. "Initially, I got a phone call inviting me and requesting my Social Security num- ber, for security reasons," Adams said. 'qlaen, once I sent them that, I received a printed invitation from the President. I think I'll frame the invitation." It's not every day that someone gets invited by the President of the United States to attend a White Housesoiree. I've never been (imag- ine that). So, what on earth does a girl wear to something like this? "I bought a black St. John two- piece suit and I'm wearing a green- ish scarf, for a little color, and a gold necklace and earrings" Adams said. Adams is taking her husband, Martin Kasischke, as her guest and plans to do some sightseeing while in the nation's capitol. "My hus- band has never seen the Vietnam Memorial, and it's so moving," Adams said. "We will definitely stop there." The trip comes at an ironic time for Adams and her husband, as their son, a colonel in the Army, was:re- cently sent to Iraq. Move over Don Ho We have a pote0tial Grammy- Award winner among us. Musician Michael Charles Brotman, a Mercer Island native, has been nom- inated in the Hawaiian category of the 47th Grammy Awards. Brolman .attended Mercer Island High School and eventually went on to teach classical guitar at Comish School of the Arts in Seattle. He is the co- founder and president of Palm Records and his music is known around the world. Edudate Intelligent singles have a new website to click on now. It's called Degreedate.com, a personals serv- ice for singles who value educa- tion. The Web site officially launch- es Saturday, Dec. 18. "The site will be live and mar- keted initially in Washington, with certain cities around the country following soon after (Miami, Chicago; Los Angeles, New York City, Denver, Atlanta, San Francisco and a few others)," said Rose Medina, chief operating officer. "Seattle is, in essence, a test market, even though we're to be marketed elsewhere soon after." Books, beer and biscuits Islander Joe Gilmarfin recently opened the White Horse Trading Co an English pub and bookstore, in Seattle's Post Alley near the Pike Place Market. You'll find an ex- tensive selection of English litera- ture lining the walls, for sale or just for pemsing while you sip your ale. Equestrian-themed accessories, a comfy leather sofa and some of Gilmartin's favorite European pub memorabilia, catapults you back to 17th-century London. Since this is a true English ale- house, only imported ales are served (along with a small wine and cham- pagne selection). The White Horse is dog-friend- ly, so there's always a stash of bis- cuits behind the bar. The White Horse Trading Co. is located at 1908 Post Alley, 441- 7767. ~"~ ,gg~ ': ~ -.-~ " ~,@'~ ,~ ':::~e,:~;~ : i ~ ~a