Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The American Astronaut (Movie Cover Story)

This is one of the strangest indie movies ever made - and one of my favorites. I was sent a copy to watch before calling and speaking to the filmmaker. It was one of my favorite pieces. He was astonished at how warmly Jackson reacted to his very bizarre movie.

“I wanted to create a movie that people would like more and more every time they watched it,” says Cory McAbee, about The American Astronaut, the full-length movie he wrote and directed.

Six years from script to screen, released and distributed by McAbee and the film’s producers, Bobby Lurie and Joshua Taylor, The American Astronaut is a combination low budget science fiction movie, punk musical, snarky comedy, and a literate commentary on mankind’s base desires. Filmed on lush 35 mm black-and-white film, it looks like a blend of old “Flash Gordon” serials, Joss Whedon’s Firefly, Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, and an indie graphic novel. In The American Astronaut, the look and feel of the film itself is more important than the look of the effects, an almost incomprehensible notion for a film that is, basically, science fiction.

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Metal Finishing Services -- Metro Business Chronicle

I did some work for a business paper run by a pretty well-known Libertarian, Jack Criss. Though politically we didn't agree, I liked the way he had writers shine a light on the various businesses and businessmen of central Mississippi. I found that it's easy to write about anyone who is passionate about what they do. Everyone I interviewed for MBC was passionate about their work. I picked this piece, because the field in which he works seems dull to those of us who don't understand it, but so necessary and worthy for those who do.

David Church isn’t afraid to spread himself a little bit thin. Unlike some businessmen whose ‘eyes on the prize’ philosophy forces them to focus on one particular role in business – one hat to wear – and whose single-minded determination causes harm to their home life and health, Church is perfectly comfortable wearing those different hats. Husband, father, antique car hobbyist, and avid bicyclist who laments the lack of places to ride a bicycle inside the city of Jackson – he is all of these things. He is also president of Metal Finishing Services, office principal for Criterium Engineers, president of 750 Boling Street Partners, an officer of the Hawkins Field Industrial Park, and a working electrical engineer. Given his choice on what he would rather do, he responds:

“I prefer to be working on my own cars or riding my bicycle. Those are my vices.” In fact, it was one of his interests that led him to opening the doors to Metal Finishing Services.