Tuesday, June 29, 2010
As with any "Opening Night" there are the expected jitters, more to make sure that all the technical aspects are working correctly. Never trusting machinery and computers I am coming armed with multiple copies of the screening DVD, plus a Flash Card with a digital MPEG4 version of the film, and an external hard drive with both the MPEG file and HD Quicktime format. I'll be able to board Queen Mary 2 early to test operations & sound balance before our 200 confirmed guests begin arriving!!
The initial preview reviews have been really wonderful, so I'm hoping that audiences will enjoy MR. OCEAN LINER just as much. I can proudly say that the film does, indeed, take an insightful look into the life of the one and only Bill Miller. During production I purposely sought answers to questions posed to Bill (and our star guests) about details we all want to know about Bill, his life, and his creative process.
It seemed a natural choice to me, however several folks have already commented they are a bit amazed that there is no third party "Narration" for this documentary and that none is even necessary. The film manages to flow from one clip to the next seamlessly with Mr. Miller and respective guests driving the story forward, one commenting on the other and picking up where the other left off. It's as if they were all in the same room having a conversation. I love the editing process when the pieces all fit together like that, or can be cut to fit like the components of a huge puzzle.
In addition to the more obvious (or perhaps more well known) aspects of Bill Miller as the "larger than life" lecturer extraordinaire, I am very pleased (and some folks may be surprised) that we have captured a more intimate side of Bill; looking at his growing up, his family, and a look at his alternate life and dual career as a teacher. For fans of Bill Miller (and there are so many that really love this guy, myself included) I think everyone will enjoy a personal look at his Ocean Liner Model & Sky Scraper collection, as well as his wonderful Painting Gallery in his Secaucus, NJ home. WIth over 1000 miniature model ships it's impossible in a 53 minute film to show everything, but I can certainly promise an "insider" glimpse of what NY/NJ Port Manager Tony LaForgia calls "Ocean Liner Heaven"!
With over 23 hours of video footage filmed between August 19, 2009 and May 20, 2010 we could have easily done a "Mini Series" on Mr. Ocean Liner, however the flow in the final cut seems just right blend. It's clearly a tribute, but also tells a story through interviews and images from how Bill got started lecturing, writing, and how he balanced it all so far in his life. Lots of images on board the Cunard Liners Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria as well that includes a segment with some great shots from the Bridge of Queen Victoria as Bill delivers his famous arrival narration under the Verrazano Bridge and into New York harbor.
I am particularly excited and most appreciative to Mark B. Perry who contributed some very cool vintage film clips I incorporated that include color movies of the original Queen Mary, Independence, SS Nieuw Amsterdam, United States and even a quick clip of the Andrea Doria!
Off now to continue packing materials and equipment for the Premiere, and to also capture some extra "Bonus footage" during the event and on the following voyage to Halifax & Boston. Several members of the Steamship Historical Society will be on board and that will be nice addition to the final DVD due for official release on August 9, 2010. Bill and I will also do a special "Commentary" audio track. Besides needing the time to build the DVD, and for replication & packaging production, I like the idea of 8-9-10 as the release date (in US format).
We'll make special Advance ordering available with Free Shipping via www.MrOceanLiner.com starting on July 6th and orders can also be placed on board Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria with the same advance offer!
For those of you coming to the Premiere I look forward to seeing you there and hope you enjoy MR OCEAN LINER. For those of you in other ports, I hope you will truly enjoy the film as much as I enjoyed the year long process of making it!
Robert Neal Marshall
Friday, June 4, 2010
Graciously & most generously, Cunard has just confirmed, in fact just minutes ago, that MR OCEAN LINER, that exciting new film production enlivened with over two dozen on-camera interviews, vintage liner photos & a brilliant musical score (of no less than a half-dozen original songs) will be previewed on the biggest Atlantic liner of them all --- the mighty, ever glamorous, elegant-nod-to-the-grand Deco era at sea QUEEN MARY 2. Cunard is the ever-generous host of the event.
Full details to go out shortly, but boarding will be at 11:30 at the Brooklyn Passenger Terminal, then drinks & canapes in the chandeliered Queens Room at Noon and then, in high excitement, off to Illuminations, the ship's unique planetarium (and done in true, spirited "early Ginger Rogers") for the very first showing of the 60-minute production. Robert Neal Marshall, the creator, producer, director & brilliant genius of the entire film, will introduce the film and we shall be joined by Peter Ising, another brilliant genius, who composed all the music.
So, the white smoke has gone up! MR OCEAN LINER will debut onboard the legendary QUEEN MARY 2. Details & invitations to follow shortly.
And a great nod of heartfelt thanks to Michael Hadgis, who has conceived of this masterful plan & is now seeing it through.
So, those whistles are sounding ... MR OCEAN LINER will be launched aboard the QUEEN MARY 2.
June 4, 2010