The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

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Ed Ruscha: OKLA virtual tour

Take a virtual tour of Ed Ruscha: OKLA at Oklahoma Contemporary in this video I made for the art center.

This landmark exhibition by one of America’s most important artists looks at the ways in which work throughout Ruscha’s 60+ year career has been connected to his childhood in Oklahoma City and his continued trips back there from Los Angeles. This is the first exhibition to focus on the artist’s Oklahoma roots — his family, his upbringing, and his discovery of his calling as an artist. It is also, remarkably, his first solo museum exhibition in his home state.

Learn more and reserve your free tickets at https://oklahomacontemporary.org

New Plays 2021 Promo Videos

With COVID limiting live theatre, I’m working with Namron Player’s Theatre again to bring three one-act plays to video. As the videographer and editor, I also created three promo videos for everyone to share in advance of the big premiere on Saturday, February 27.

“Too Much to Bare” written by Ted Satterfield directed by Jane Gibbons:

Bailey is a recent college graduate who has began her first teaching job in a small town. She was recruited to come to this town as the school system struggles to attract and retain new teachers. The recruiting tour had rolled out the red carpet for recent grads and made the sleepy town seem like it was very quaint and welcoming, but Bailey soon begins to see how suspicious townspeople are of outsiders.

“Barely Baptized” written by Melanie Wilderman directed by Sheryl Martin:
In his new career path as a youth minister, Jake faces a tough crowd: the teenagers in the youth group who absolutely adored his predecessor. When the overly optimistic new minister tells the teens they can “ask him anything,” the questioning takes some problematic turns, some funny, others heading in a darker direction, ultimately landing Jake in the middle of a biblical debate he never would have predicted.

“Meemaw’s Bear Tales” written & directed by Sarah King Bartell:
A grandmother separated from her grandkids tries to entertain them with some good old southern folktales as you’ve never heard them before, with brand-new origin stories such as How the Bear Learned to Hibernate, How the Mouse Got Her Long Tail, and How the Fish Got Her Gills. These charming stories examine Americana and stereotypical American traits such as resourcefulness, cunning, and persistence.

Love in Film Row, Afro-Violet, Cafe 420

Premieres Thursday, February 2, 2021 at 7:30 pm CST!

It’s a new year and new season for my travel series, Uncovering Oklahoma.

For February 2021 episode, I visited several businesses in the Film Row area of Oklahoma City’s Arts District and asked them what they had for romance. Then I visited artist Tiffany McKnight in the Plaza District as she talked about her Plaza Walls mural, Afro-Violet. Wrapping up the episode, Apollo Woods guest hosts in Dinner Time with OKC Black Eats as he goes in the kitchen at Café 420 The Alkaline Plant-Based Stop to make some MushWings.

For 2021, I’m going to do videos differently by releasing them as monthly episodes with a variety of content. The main reason is it’s tough for me to get out with the COVID pandemic and with the busyness of my own work. I’m hoping that the bigger monthly episodes will give more publicity to all of the people and places featured with everyone sharing a single video.

While this is a different format, it’s not entirely new for me. When I first started Uncovering Oklahoma back in 2009, I did themed episodes that had three to five places. Then when I started pursuing the show full-time, I started out with weekly episodes that had two or three places. I switched away to individual videos because it was easier to share and maintain archives. Though, when I did guest-host episodes where we went to multiple places, those performed well.

The 2021 episodes are going to have a bigger variety compared to what I’ve done in the past. For starters in the February episode, there’s an artist interview and the behind the scenes kitchen segment, which previously would’ve been their own videos. Basically, I’m combining what I would’ve done in the month into one episode. The type of segments will vary going forward. For example, I’ll have musical guests talking about their music and performing one of their songs.

Eventually, I’ll feature more places outside the Oklahoma City metro area when the pandemic settles. Tulsa is just a hotspot and I don’t need to be traveling far. Some of the things I planned to last year, I hope I get to do this year. I want to get some multilingual guest hosts and feature business owners whose English isn’t their first language. I want to spend a few days in Hochatown. I also want to do more volumes with past guest hosts.

With the new season, I thought it would be fitting to have a new logo designed. Thank you to the folks at Design Pickle for the new logo! As you’ll see in the February episode, my episode branding (lower-third, colors, font, and credits), has been updated too.

I’m committed to releasing episodes in 4K (4096×2304) with English closed captions, though I’m switching away from HDR because the colors come out weird depending on the YouTube player and none of the social platforms support it. Moving forward, I’m making the first Tuesday of the month at 7:30 pm to be my release schedule. Thursdays are a bit crowded with local streaming content, but I did Thursday this month as I was filming Tuesday and editing all day on Wednesday.

On the subject of businesses in Film Row, I managed to feature all most everyone for the segment. The places I didn’t get this time around, Wild Mother, FlashBack Retro Pub, and 21c Hotel, I’ll get in future segments. I already have Wild Mother slated for the March episode as part of a spring theme.

That about concludes my commentary and news for the 2021 season. Thank you for watching this episode of Uncovering Oklahoma! If you enjoyed this video, be sure to like it and share it. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you’ll be notified when the next episode is released in March. Shoutout to my superstar supporters, the Keller-Kenton Family and thank you to all of my supporters on Patreon. If you love what I’m doing, be sure to join me on Patreon for extra content like a bonus interview with Tim King at OK Cider and the uncut session at Cafe 420.

Happy Adventures!

The Movie Murder Mystery Party 2021 Update

My gamebook, The Movie Murder Mystery Party, has been updated for 2021! The book features brand new artwork inspired by the original photograph cover I took with my friends. Inside, the biggest new feature is a ruleset to play the game virtually, as well as some additional notes and tips for hosting the game.

If you previously bought the eBook, a free update will come to you. Right now, it’s available on Kindle and should be out on other platforms soon. If you have the paperback version, scan the QR code for the printable sheets and it will take you to the virtual rules too.

The original free version is still available here.

My party game has been showing up in several blogs lately and I wanted to update the game to improve the playing experience. Thank you for your support and happy adventures!

Behind the Scenes of Fieldworks: Beyond Measure with Pablo Barrera

Fieldworks: Beyond Measure with Pablo Barrera

Learn about Fieldworks: Beyond Measure, on view in Oklahoma Contemporary’s Mary LeFlore Clements Oklahoma Gallery, with Curatorial Fellow, Pablo Barrera (Wixáritari).

Organized by Barrera, this exhibition features works produced as part of a University of Oklahoma residency that invites artists, scholars, and students to artistically respond to the presence of humans in the American Southwest.  Watch this video I did for the gallery and explore the Fieldworks project’s diverse archive of objects, photographs.

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