Dennis Spielman

The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

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Welcome to the Plaza Walls

Welcome to the Plaza Walls explores the history, the challenges faced, and the community benefits of the curated outdoor mural exhibition known as the Plaza Walls in Oklahoma City. The 30-minute documentary special includes interviews with artists, project managers, and supporters.

I’m excited to finally release this documentary today, which you can enjoy for free via YouTube in 4K with English Closed Captions. I’ve been filming the development of this project since it started back in 2015, so there’s footage throughout the years. There are even a few shots that I filmed last week in it! Yes, this has been an on-going project.

On Monday, April 15, 2019, the ten year anniversary of Uncovering Oklahoma, I premiered Welcome to the Plaza Walls at the Tower Theatre. Doors opened at 6 pm with the movie starting at 7 pm. In addition to the screening of the documentary, there was a showing of short films from Quarter Minutes, Plaza Walls merchandise for sale, and a Q&A session with Kris Kanaly and Dennis Spielman. Tickets were $10 with proceeds benefitting the Plaza Walls/Oklahoma Mural Syndicate.

After the screening, a few things were brought to my attention and so I’ve made some last minute additions and changes. I was planning to release it later that week, but it was important to delay the film to polish the story.

What I learned from my previous feature-length documentary, Inviting Art, helped shaped this film. When I set out to make Welcome to the Plaza Walls, I had a film length of 30-minutes in mind. One of the critiques I received from OETA when I submitted the 60-minute version of Inviting Art was the feeling of content redundancy, with many people making the same point over and over. Once I edited Inviting Art down in half, that version was loved.

I strived for balance, diversity, and the right amount of people in this film. With the exception of Robbie Kienzle, no one else from Inviting Art was interviewed (although they had appearances) to make this fresh. (Both Robbie and I agreed that her interview for this film was better.) For each interview, I spent about 20 to 30 minutes talking to them about the Plaza Walls, giving them the questions in advance. I pulled out the best of the best of what each person said. Keeping content mining in mind, I also made brief artist profile videos. This allowed me to tell a bigger story, without making a long film. Plus, the minute-long artist profiles helped promote the film.

One of the favorite chapters that I’ve heard people tell me was the fake origin stories. The audience loved them at the premiere. Going forward on future documentaries, I want to incorporate more story-telling elements. Perhaps a mockumentary?

On the subject of what’s next, I’m going to focus on my books and shows. For season two of Tales Unveiled, Jeff and I going to be traveling throughout the state for ghost stories. There’s also Yes! Science! and Art & Victory. I’m working to get my books, Intertwined by Cracks and Collecting Cassie’s Soul, published this year. I got projects to keep me busy.

If you loved this documentary and want to help me make more films, support me on Patreon. You’ll get early access to new content, behind-the-scenes videos, and other goodies. This documentary wasn’t sponsored or paid for by anyone other than the support of my patrons.

I hope you enjoyed the movie! Be sure to visit the Plaza Walls for yourself as it’s always changing! 

Festival of the Arts 2019

The 53rd annual Festival of the Arts will commence at Bicentennial Park in Oklahoma City on Tuesday, April 23 until Sunday, April 28, 2019. Each year, Festival of the Arts captivates the crowds with live performances on three stages, 144 visual artists, and delectable food dishes to satisfy every craving. Without doubt, there is something for everyone at Festival of the Arts.

This video features footage from the festival over the past two years. To get the aerial shots without a drone, I got them from on top of the Arts District parking garage.

If you’re attending the festival this year, organizers are asking that people leave their pets at home.

Due to some last minute additions and discussions, I’m delaying the release of the Welcome to the Plaza Walls documentary. It will be made available for free on the Uncovering Oklahoma YouTube Channel next week. Thank you for your patience as I make this a better story!

Recording Your First Album

I’m excited to premiere Art & Victory, a monthly discussion panel series for creative entrepreneurs. The show is a production of The Show Starts Now Studios and is done in collaboration with OkSessions, Resonator, Norman Music Festival, and the Norman Arts Council.

In theme of the Norman Music Festival, the topic for April’s panel was Recording Your First Album. The conversation touched upon various aspects, including finding the why behind your music, mistakes made, and planning tips.

This panel took place at Resonator in Downtown Norman. Hosted by Christian Pearson from OkSessions, Christian is passionate about growing Oklahoma’s music scene. 

About The Panelists:

Desiree Yearby was born and raised in Oklahoma City. Desiree started attending local hip-hop shows when she was 16 and chased the feeling she felt there for the last 12 years. When she was 22, she started to attend major music festivals which is where she built a lot of industry relationships. The last 12 years Desiree has thrown showcases, started the blog/site Gotsteeze.net, booked festivals in OKC and Tulsa, became an adjunct professor at the University of Central Oklahoma teaching Social Media Marketing to the School of Contemporary Music.

Sophia Massad is an alternative/indie-rock artist, reigning from Oklahoma City. Her sultry to sassy vocal tones sculpt her unique sound. With her rugged charm, exuberant sense of humor, and absurd performance style, Sophia Massad pours herself into every song. Her musical style, inspired by the Alabama Shakes, Amy Winehouse, and Fleetwood Mac, can be both lawless and poetically honest. Massad’s biting lyrics reveal raw and transparent frustration.

Severin Olsen is the lead singer and guitarist for the band Brooding. Severin has written and recorded music for over 5 years now in a home studio including multiple singles, EPs and albums throughout various bands.


I’m currently preparing for next month’s panel, which will discuss promoting yourself online as a solo creative entrepreneur. Be sure to visit the Art & Victory website. I’ve gotten lots of positive feedback about this project and so I hope it continues to grow. I know this idea is far out there, but I think it would be cool to see other cities open up their own Art & Victory chapters, much like 1 Million Cups, Startup Grind, and Creative Mornings.

Bourbon Street Café

Exporting New Orleans style cuisine to Oklahoma City, Bourbon Street Café (formally Jazmo’z) specializes in seafood, steaks, pasta, and cocktails. With an atmosphere great for both intimate dates and casual drinks along the Bricktown canal, Bourbon Street Café is a fun place to be for any occasion.

Huge thanks to Daniel Austin for providing most of the b-roll for this video. It was a huge time saver.

Bourbon Street Café is located at 100 East California Avenue in Oklahoma City. For more information, including menu and hours, visit their website at bourbonstreetcafe.com

Jazmo’z was part of my very first episode of Uncovering Oklahoma, which was about the Downtown and Bricktown districts. If you want to watch my original video from ten years ago, I’ve included it above. The segment starts at around the 8-minute mark.

In other news, Welcome to the Plaza Walls will premiere at the Tower Theatre on Monday, April 15th! Tickets are now available for $10 and proceeds will benefit the Plaza Walls project. The documentary will be available to buy/rent/stream with Prime on Amazon on Friday, April 19th.

I’m working on getting Monday’s Art & Victory show online, so stay tuned for that. Today, my documentary, “Yes! Women in Science!” is making its film festival premiere at The WIFI Film Festival in Topeka, Kansas. My wife and I are driving out to the festival tomorrow night as they will be showing the movie again on Saturday and I’ve been invited to the awards ceremony.

Factory Obscura Mix-Tape Phase 1

Factory Obscura, the artist collective responsible for SHIFT, BEYOND, and other interactive art experiences in Oklahoma City, has opened phase one of “Mix-Tape,” their first permanent installation. The collective is creating the new immersive, visual, auditory, and tactile art experience inside the iconic art complex, The Womb, in Oklahoma City’s Automobile Alley.

Through the Mix-Tape experience, the artists of Factory Obscura will produce a 20th-century version of the classic audio autobiography, creating immersive artistic representations of songs that speak to the artists’ journeys as individuals and as a collective.

In this Uncovering Oklahoma episode, I interviewed Kelsey Karper and Hugh Meade about this experience. In telling of their journey so far, I’ve included b-roll of their past two exhibitions. I’ve been saving the footage for a feature documentary that I will mostly like produce when they open their own location.

Visit the Mix-Tape at 25 NW 9th Street in Oklahoma City or at factoryobscura.com

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