Thursday, June 23, 2016

Iowan Memories of Gothic Horror


In 1982, thirty-four years ago this month, the Iowa Public Broadcasting Network was wrapping up a series of twelve Vincent Price films, presented in a unique way, with introductions and final thoughts presented by the actor himself.  He delivered his insight seated comfortably within the spacious rooms of Salisbury House, a Gothic mansion in my home town of Des Moines, Iowa.

Three years ago, I asked the powers that be at Iowa Public Television (as the network is now called) for their help to rescue the rare introductory footage of Vincent Price from almost certain disappearance, just in time for the release of some of the films on Shout! Factory's Blu-Ray disc set The Vincent Price Collection.

This month, I'm thrilled to unearth some other precious items from this era:  scans of newspaper clippings centering on the Vincent Price series in Iowa, and the time he spent in Salisbury House.  These press items come courtesy of newspapers.com, and I enjoyed the few hours I spent digging for all the printed publicity surrounding The Vincent Price Gothic Horrors.

From the damp vaults below The Des Moines Register emerge some exciting articles about Mr. Price in Des Moines.

Our discoveries begin with the very first images I saw of the Vincent Price series, from the Iowa TV paper that came out on Sunday, March 14, 1982, promoting the broadcast of the first film on Saturday the 20th.


This is the cover of "Iowa TV" that week.  I was hooked at first glance.














Inside the edition, a two page spread further convinced me that I'd be watching public television that approaching Saturday night.


 

 
Festival part 1: Larger print, easier to read


Festival part 2: Larger print, easier to read


 
Festival part 3: Larger print, easier to read
























When Saturday finally arrived, an ad ran on the stock pages, reminding readers of something I'd been looking forward to the whole week.



















Finally, an article that my vivid memory refused to conjure up, because this news item had completely escaped my attention in 1982.  It's an article I had not seen until this month.  The piece reveals an interview conducted with Vincent Price while at Salisbury House in January of 1982, and it previewed the Gothic Horrors series two months before the first air date.  If only I had seen this article when it ran... I missed out on two full months of anticipation!


Larger print, easier to read

Larger print, easier to read

While looking at the newspaper scans, I also took note of the original air dates for The Vincent Price Gothic Horrors.  I had remembered that they didn't exactly run for twelve weeks in a row, but my memory did play a scary trick on me...  First, the air dates:

The Fall of the House of Usher    Saturday, March 20, 1982  8pm

Pit and the Pendulum    Saturday, March 27, 1982  8pm  (The Wizard of Oz began at 7pm on CBS... I had to make a major decision that night, but I chose to watch the Vincent Price film.)

Master of the World    Saturday, April 3, 1982  8pm

Then, a break from the series... Live from Lincoln Center:  Lucia Di Lammermoor  Saturday, April 10, 1982  7pm

Tales of Terror    Saturday, April 17, 1982  8pm

The Raven    Saturday, April 24, 1982  8pm

The Haunted Palace    Saturday, May 1, 1982  8pm

The Comedy of Terrors    Saturday, May 8, 1982  8pm

The Masque of the Red Death    Saturday, May 15, 1982  8pm

A second break from the series... Horowitz in London:  A Royal Concert  Saturday, May 22, 1982  8pm

The Conqueror Worm    Saturday, May 29, 1982  8pm  Oops!  Price had said The Tomb of Ligeia would be the next film, and it was skipped!  I have no memory of being traumatized by this.

Scream and Scream Again    Saturday, June 5, 1982  8pm

An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe    Saturday, June 12, 1982  8pm

The Tomb of Ligeia    Saturday, June 19, 1982  8pm   Ahh, I finally got to see the skipped movie a week after the series had its finale.  At least it still ended with Poe (and with Price mistakenly saying The Conqueror Worm would air next time).

My heartfelt thanks go to Iowa Public Television for this incredible series that was made ever so personal for Iowans, by inviting Vincent Price inside a treasure of Des Moines, Salisbury House.  I enjoyed the movies in 1982, and am enjoying sharing some memories with you from The Des Moines Register.
 
BUT... through all these years, my memory reassembled the series so that The Tomb of Ligeia had been broadcast in its proper place, and An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe was the final episode aired.  Guess my memory is the one that errored.  SCARY!
Paul Larson, Monster Kid of the Year, 2013
 

Monday, June 13, 2016

EMMY win for ARTS IN EXILE!

 
 Editor Michael C. Hansen, producer, writer and director Paul Larson, and director of photography Daniel McCullum created the film Arts in Exile:  Tibetan Treasures in Small Town America.

LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE FOR MOUNTAIN LAKE PBS EMMY WIN!

Mountain Lake PBS has claimed a second Emmy statuette for a documentary, a twin to sit beside its first. The film Arts in Exile: Tibetan Treasures in Small Town America won in the "Outstanding Documentary" category at the 39th Boston/New England Regional Emmy Awards ceremony this month.  This marks the second Emmy win for arts producer Paul Larson, whose last major documentary also took home the award.

"The competition is tough every year," Larson said, "but this time it felt exceptionally hard.  We set out to tell the story of how one small American community is enriched by the Tibetan arts and connected to the rest of the world through them.  The unexpected benefits of the arts is my absolute favorite theme for programs I produce.  I'm elated the judges have honored our entire community-wide effort with their decision."  

Arts in Exile chronicles the creation of the Tibetan arts festival held last fall in Plattsburgh, New York, exploring how the city in northern New York was inspired by the culture of Tibet from across the globe.  The documentary examines how several Tibetan refugees use the arts to raise awareness about the global problems they face and to keep their culture alive.  

The program features insight from Tibet House President Dr. Robert Thurman, and the talents of photographer Sonam Zoksang, freedom singer Techung, thangka painter Tsering Phuntsok, monks Lobsang Dorjee and Yeshi Dorjee, wood carver Tashi Dholak, and many other visual artists and performers.  

"Collaborating with world-class artists who demonstrated traditions that are centuries old, traditions struggling for survival now, added a polish to the credibility of the story, in addition to the interview with one of the world's leading Tibetan issues experts, Dr. Thurman," Larson said.  

Larson said he shares this award with the director of photography Daniel McCullum and editor Michael C. Hansen.  

"Their talents helped give this film a very slick presentation that plays well at home, as well as on the big screen, which we saw when the Strand Center for the Arts honored it with a premiere in its historical auditorium," Larson said, adding that other large screen showings are in the works.  

Arts in Exile producer Paul Larson took home a regional Emmy for his 2013 documentary Songs to Keep:  Treasures of an Adirondack Folk Collector, which also included the talents of videographer Daniel McCullum.  

Also this spring, Arts in Exile received a New York State Broadcasters Association award in the "Outstanding Documentary" category.  

“This is a wonderful example of how important community partnerships are to our ability to fulfill our mission and our promise to engage and serve our entire viewership area. I could not be more proud of the talented team here at Mountain Lake PBS,” Bill McColgan, Director of Production and Content at Mountain Lake PBS, said.    

“This project was major undertaking for team here, and I’m honored by this award. This Emmy belongs not just to Mountain Lake PBS, but to the entire community who came together to bring this entire project to life,” said Erik Nycklemoe, President and CEO of Mountain Lake PBS.  

The Arts in Exile documentary is one component of the 2015 Festival of Tibetan Arts & Culture of the Adirondack Coast.  The festival, organized in part by restaurant owners Tenzin and Yangchen Dorjee and SUNY Anthropology Professor Amy Mountcastle, included performances by the Adirondack Youth Orchestra, an exhibition at SUNY Plattsburgh, and the creation of a tile mural led by artist Sue Burdick Young and the Plattsburgh Renewal Project with support from the Strand Center for the Arts. This festival was funded, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.  

This multi-partner, collaborative community initiative was envisioned and facilitated in large part by Janine Scherline, Director of Development at Mountain Lake PBS, who also served as the grant writer, through the Regional Economic Development Council Consolidated Funding Process.  

“This documentary skillfully tells the story of this year-long multi-partner initiative showcasing the unique ability of the arts to build communities, and at the same time explores how one small community can be impacted by a global issue as large and distant as the Tibetan diaspora,” said Scherline. “I hope the project and resulting film will inspire communities to discover their unique connections to the world at large.”  

Arts in Exile:  Tibetan Treasures in Small Town America tied with Omaha Beach Honor and Sacrifice from the World War II Foundation/Ocean State Video for the Emmy, in a contest among six nominated documentaries.  The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences distributes Regional Emmy® Awards in 20 regions across the United States.  

To celebrate the Emmy win, Mountain Lake PBS will air Arts in Exile on Friday, July 8 at 10pm, Sunday, July 10 at 6pm, and Wednesday, July 13 at noon.  

More information about Arts in Exile: Tibetan Treasures in Small Town America  - http://artsinexile.mountainlake.org/ 

Monday, June 6, 2016

Arts in Exile takes home a NYSBA award!

Editor Michael C. Hansen, Producer Paul Larson, and Director of Photography Daniel McCullum celebrate the NYSBA win of Arts in Exile.
The New York State Broadcasters Association has honored Arts in Exile:  Tibetan Treasures in Small Town America with an award in the "Outstanding Documentary" category. Arts producer Paul Larson produced and wrote the program, with Michael Hansen as editor and Daniel McCullum as director of photography.  The show celebrates Tibetan culture in the North Country by focusing on a Tibetan arts festival held in Plattsburgh, New York. 

The documentary is one component of the 2015 Festival of Tibetan Arts & Culture of the Adirondack Coast.  The festival, organized in part by restaurant owners Tenzin and Yangchen Dorjee and SUNY Anthropology Professor Amy Mountcastle, included performances by the Adirondack Youth Orchestra, an exhibition at SUNY Plattsburgh, and the creation of a tile mural led by artist Sue Burdick Young and the Plattsburgh Renewal Project with support from the Strand Center for the Arts. This festival was funded, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.