Dennis Spielman

The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

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Still from Guilt Trip

The 48 Hour Film Project Weekend 2016

Over this past week, I lead a team in participation in the Oklahoma City 48 Hour Film Project with Tiffany Gibson, Kristy Boone, Katie Kochelek, Josh Shriner, and Cassondra Darling. The event describes itself as, “a wild and sleepless weekend in which you and a team make a movie – write, shoot, edit and score it – in just 48 hours!”

It started Friday, July 29th at 6pm when the groups gathered together for the required elements and their genre drawings. The required elements for everyone was “an auto part” prop; the character “Mark or Maureen Linderville,” who was an illustrator; and the line of dialogue, “I have a surprise for you.” The genres I drew were “Buddy Film” and “Coming of Age.” Teams can use both or one. We used “buddy film.”

I don’t want to go too much into detail about the short movie, Guilt Trip, as I can’t share it publicly yet and I don’t want to spoil it beyond the trailer. I will talk about the progress though. Friday night we worked on the script on the patio of Peloton Wine Bar & Cafe until nearly Midnight. This meeting had only five people and it was such a creative and productive brainstorming session. Saturday everyone met at my place at about 8am and we headed out to Lake Thunderbird to film it. We wrapped up with the main filming around 5pm, which was when we guessed we would be done.

We had dinner together at Hideaway Pizza in Campus Corner in Norman. Once we were done eating, we went back to my place to rest and sign paperwork. Then around 7ish we went off to shot the last quick moment we needed, which took place at night. We finished filming at 8:10pm. We all went home. I got the footage sorted on my computer that night and on Sunday I edited the film. Around 3pm, Kristy came over and provided feedback on the final cut of the movie, along with my wife, Leslie. I gathered all of the materials and turned in the movie on time at 6:40pm!

The whole experience was positive. The only bad thing was the very last shot we need, we got eaten by mosquitoes that we weren’t expecting. I had bug spray too, but we didn’t think we would run into them where we were and it was the last 30-second shot we needed. Oh, well. It did help as motivation for the characters! We’re still alive.

I couldn’t have asked for a better team. I believe Kristy will win a Best Actress Award or Nomination and same for Katie as Supporting Actress. Josh was great comic relief, both on and off camera. Tiffany turned our notes and ideas into a coherent and solid script. Cassondra was super helpful as the production assistant.

Together, we made an awesome film.

Uncovering Oklahoma Summer Fun

There’s no summer like an Oklahoma Summer. The Uncovering Oklahoma Summer Fun Volume 1 features 20 amazing places worth visiting in Oklahoma, perfect for a summer escape. From thrilling outdoor adventures to food truck festivals to peaceful nature hikes, this collection highlights the joys of summer time in Oklahoma.

This collection features segments from the weekly show, remastered for this summer compilation, along with new adventures to be had. This 45 minute film is available on Amazon to Rent, Buy, or Stream for free with Amazon Prime.

Scratch and 21c Museum Hotel

In this week’s video, I visit Scratch Kitchen & Cocktails in Downtown Norman to hear from Brandy Sexton and Trey Reimer on what sets Scratch apart. Plus, Kristin Weddendorf shows how they make their exclusive Kat’s Eye cocktail.

Then in Oklahoma City’s Film Row District, I get to know the new 21c Museum Hotel with Steve Wilson, Matt Cowden, Molly Swyers, and Executive Chef of Mary Eddy’s OKC, Jason Campbell.

When my wife and I have been running the treadmills at the gym, I’ve been watching the Travel Channel (since it’s there and we don’t have cable). It’s been inspiring, giving me fresh ideas, and learning new techniques. For this episode, I made it a point to go inside the kitchens and get behind the scenes. I’m still trying to perfect showing the culinary process with only one camera, but this turned out well and with practice comes improvement. I asked Scratch to show how they make of their signature cocktails, which is the first time I did something like that segment. They actually showed how to make two cocktails, but I thought the pacing would be off if I showed both, so I’ll share the other as a stand-alone feature.

I’m hoping to share some news soon about a new project I’ve completed. Just waiting for it to be published…

Summer Treats

Looking for a cool Summer Treat in Oklahoma? In this episode I traveled to Edmond, Oklahoma City, Norman, and Tulsa for delicious treats.

The episode starts with an interview with Raena Mutz on Roxy’s Ice Cream Social in Oklahoma City’s Plaza District. Named after their dog, Roxy’s specialize in making small batches of fresh ice cream in unique flavors and fresh baked cookie sandwiches.

Then it’s to Norman for a classic snow cone treat from Eskimo Sno. Husband and wife team, Adrian and Jennii Buendia have been making snow cones since 1999 with their signature sour straws. A family of five can be treated for less than $10.

In Downtown Edmond is the shaved ice and hot chocolate trailer, Katiebug’s Shaved Ice and Hot Chocolate. The Mom part of the Mother/Daughter team, Melissa Morgan, shares their fun summer treats, like the Frozen Hot Chocolate. Katiebug’s specialize in all natural shaved ice, hot chocolate, and organic artisan marshmallows.

Finally, in Tulsa Mike Bausch talks about Gelateria – STG. Mike fights the stigma of gelato not being the same as it is in Italy by sourcing the same machines and ingredients as them. Taste to believe!

This episode put a drain on me a bit by featuring four places from all over the state, but I needed to make a push to get out there more. I hope to travel to greater distances like this in the future when more funding for the series happens.

I Opened It…

Stroud Spaceport - photo by Dennis Spielman

On my way home after doing an interview in Tulsa, I took Route 66 part way home and found the Stroud Spaceport. Created by Vernon (Craig) M. McGuire, the Flying Saucer of Stroud began back in 1994 when a friend gave him an eight foot satellite dish. He had planned on making an umbrella top for a table until another friend gave him another dish, thus having two identical dishes. At that point the creation of The Flying Saucer was born.

The top hat to the saucer consists of commercial dryer door, pool filter, small satellite dish, UHF antenna, and over 100 platinum coated aluminum hard drive disks.

Stroud Spaceport - photo by Dennis Spielman

Naturally, I had to open it. Naturally, I filmed it, of course.

If you’re traveling Route 66 through Stroud, check it out for yourself. You can see it on Main Street (Route 66) just west of N. 8th Ave. It’s a little west of Rock Cafe.

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