Dennis Spielman

The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

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Independence Day Fireworks in Norman

For the Fourth of July, I went with some friends to watch the fireworks in Norman. I took my camera and tripod with me and this year I did some long exposure photographs. I had seen a photo of this technique online and thought it was a cool idea to try out myself. Normally, I don’t care to take pictures of fireworks because I prefer to enjoy the moment and they never look that great anyway, however, these turned out amazing!

Fireworks at OU - photo by Dennis Spielman

Fireworks at OU - photo by Dennis Spielman

Fireworks at OU - photo by Dennis Spielman

Fireworks at OU - photo by Dennis Spielman

For this session, my f-stop was at 20 with an exposure time of one minute for most of the pictures. Because of the time it took to capture the image and then process it, I only took several photos, which also allowed me to enjoy the show not from a viewfinder.

We had a special viewing spot on top of a parking garage we enjoyed. We didn’t have to deal the mud, bugs, crowds, and the traffic from Reaves Park. 😎

I hope you had a great weekend!

Wheeler Criterium and On The Lawn

It’s time for summer fun!

In the new Wheeler District the Race Director for Wheeler Criterium, Chad Hodges, talks about the weekly bike races and how you can be a part of it, even if you don’t bike.

Then the Executive Director of the Western Avenue Association, Rachael Taylor, talks about the monthly summer family fun event, On The Lawn.

Get out there and enjoy the summer! I’m working on a special summer fun compilation video so stay tuned for it.

For more videos, check out the Uncovering Oklahoma YouTube Channel. If you want to help support the site, become patron or a sponsor.

IAO Gallery, R&J Lounge and Supper Club, 1 Million Cups


This video is for your heart, soul, and mind. Starting with the Executive Director at Individual Artists of Oklahoma, Laurence Reese. Laurence talks about IAO Gallery’s heartfelt mission to encouraging emerging and established artists in all media who are intellectually and aesthetically provocative or experimental in subject matter or technique. One of the best times to visit the gallery is during the Exchange on Film Row event.

IAO Gallery - Photo by Dennis Spielman

A couple enjoys pre-drinks at R&J's Lounge's Dinner 4 Twelve - photo by Dennis Spielman

Then to warm you soul, Brad Ackerman and Ryan Goodman talk about the delicious drinks and cocktails of R&J Lounge and Supper Club along with their new Dinner For Twelve weekly event. Dinner for Twelve is a 7 to 10 course meal for a group of 12 who wish to enjoy food for more than just consumption. I enjoyed the food and the company there. One of the guys there I had met a long time ago when I had tested my Murder Mystery Game.

Susan McCalmont speaks at 1 Millions Cups OKC - photo by Dennis Spielman
Finally to fill you mind, organizers from the Oklahoma City 1 Million Cups group explain their weekly networking and presentations for entrepreneurs. I went to this event three times, collecting footage of some of the different speakers each week. This is a great networking and educational event I highly recommend.

For more videos, check out the Uncovering Oklahoma YouTube Channel. If you want to help support Uncovering Oklahoma, become patron or a sponsor.

The Exchange on Film Row


The Exchange on Film Row harkens back to the original purpose of Film Row, which was when creative people would exchange movies in the region. The Exchange embodies that original spirit by exchanging new music, goods, and ideas from creators in the community. Douglas Sorocco, Chelsey Cope, and Graham Colton talk about the monthly festival and what people can expect.

 The Exchange on Film Row - photo by Dennis Spielman

The festival will feature a line-up of live local music each month, highlighting the wide array of talented musicians in the state. In addition, The Exchange on Film Row will feature a children’s activity area and opportunities to enjoy the art spaces, restaurants and businesses that populate the historic district. The Exchange on Film Row will take place on the third Friday of each month, May through October, centered at the corner of Sheridan and Lee Avenues.

For this video, I did a special themed title credit sequence, where every clip featured was taken in the Film Row district, including newer places like the 21c Hotel Museum and Flashback Retro Pub.

The Exchange on Film Row - photo by Dennis Spielman
This week’s video was going to feature a second half segment on some other businesses in the Film Row. However, it was cut out for quality reasons. I had some interviews I did with NOIR and The Okay See when I was working on District Up!, but when I did those interviews, it was more about their district and less about them, so I didn’t have much material to work with. I plan to interview them again, focusing on them, in the future.

Now, to get to work on next week’s video.

District Up! and deadCenter Afterthoughts


The Plaza District, Film Row, Western Avenue, and H&8th. Each of these Oklahoma City districts may have a unique history and aesthetic, but they also have something in common: over the past few years they all have experienced a revival with the creation of regular events that bring businesses, neighbors, and “outsiders” together. This feature-length documentary shares stories and advice on district revitalization throughout Oklahoma City from the people who helped create positive change in their communities and want to inspire others to do the same.

District Up! made its World Premiere at the deadCenter Film Festival! Showtime was Friday, June 10 at 8:00pm at The District House in the Plaza District in connection with their monthly LIVE on the Plaza event.

I had a fantastic and crazy busy week! I’m going to skip the preparation matters and start talking about the Thursday Opening Night Party. I did my 30 Second videos with filmmakers again this year. (For the recap on those, click here.) This was my first year to attend deadCenter as having Uncovering Oklahoma as my main job (instead of my side job) and as a filmmaker. Double Special!

I'm Poppe Approved Now
I also become Poppe Approved!


Friday morning, I attended the filmmakers breakfast, meet with distributors, listened to discussion panels, filmed more 30 second videos, had lunch, and visited the art films at Current Studio before I had to ready for my movie’s premiere.

I was ecstatic with all of the love District Up! was getting on Twitter on Friday:

https://twitter.com/TheMichelleBui/status/741398060350111744

And the love during the movie as well!

https://twitter.com/awkwordy/status/741435131093606400

https://twitter.com/rachaelreally/status/741448185189519360

https://twitter.com/FilmRowOKC/status/741439262223044608

From left to right - Michelle Bui, Rachael Taylor, Dennis Spielman, Cayla Lewis, and Jill DeLozier - photo by Leslie Spielman

Everything went great! We had to keep adding more chairs as the audience grew! There was also a group from the University of Oklahoma with a table setup with my film about urban planning that I wish I had known about in advance so I could’ve promoted them too.

The District Up Cocktail made by Oak and Ore
I want to give special thanks to Oak & Ore for making my wife and I a special “District Up!” cocktail after the film. It was so good! I got to brag to everyone about having a cocktail themed after my movie.

The whole deadCenter weekend has been a rewarding experience. If you’re a festival volunteer reading this, thank you for your help and hard work.

With deadCenter over, what does the future hold? The movie has been only submitted to a few other film festivals, as the submission process is expensive. I have gotten some feedback and some ideas for the final retail cut of the movie, which I’m planning on releasing in October/November in conjunction with a book that goes into more details. I have gotten some ideas for other documentaries so I’ll be exploring those stories. On Sunday night, I did start to write a screenplay.

Whatever happens, I’ll write about it here.

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