We’re looking back at some of the BUTCHER BIRD STUDIOS highlights of 2017, and one that really pops out is when we worked with director GIL KENAN (Monster House, Poltergeist) and producer VICE COOLER to create a strange virtual reality trip through LA’s iconic indie punk club The Smell, featuring noise rockers NO AGE, punk outfit CLIT KAT, DAVID SCOTT STONE, CELEBRITY CRUSH, and VERBS and ALPHA MC. We were even featured in Vice Magazine.
Executive Producer Kat Urban (TBWA\Chiat\Day) challenged us to take our Facebook Live game to the next level by shooting a project for National Geographic and Airbnb in the field out in Roswell, New Mexico at the International UFO Festival. We also shot a short companion documentary at the same time–just to make sure we never stopped moving!
Hosted by National Geographic Explorer Asher Jay, the live streams presented an insider’s perspective on the unique story of Roswell and its environs. We began at sunrise with an alien diorama behind us, grabbed a behind-the-scenes perspective in the afternoon at an alien costume contest, and then featured Roswell’s UFO parade that night. Along the way, we filmed Asher’s experience throughout Roswell as she sought answers, adventure, and excitement.
Butcher Bird crew included Steven Calcote on direction and streaming tech, Buff Brothers Jason Milligan and Jarrod Wendler on camera, and Todd Steinhauer on sound. Back at BB HQ, Lillian Diaz-Przybyl produced and Adam Fair edited.
While we went in expecting to uncover the secrets of the Roswell aliens, what we found was a wonderful community of positive people united by one of the best kept secrets to living well: the capacity to entertain curiosity. We discovered that a warm, enchanting bunch of curious people might just be more amazing than definitive proof of life in outer space.
Our friend Reggie Watts stopped by the studio in September to create some PSAs about a very serious issue: LIFE. From greek desserts to the principles of America (even the vice-principals) Reggie Watts shows you how to navigate the ups and downs of that roller coaster we all ride. What is the secret to love? What’s the proper way to interpret the “box of chocolates” metaphor? How does one face death? And why is Barbara Streisand crucial to it all? As Reggie reminds us, Life… it just keep happening.
We shot Reggie with two Canon C300 Mark 2’s, one tripod, a shoulder mount, a lav microphone, and no script. We ran around our stage following Reggie and his extemporaneous mind as he filled our space with creativity and wonder. He fiddled with our Russian G suits, spun magic onto our green screens, and unzipped several bags. And we got it all on tape.
Our small crew included Steven Calcote directing, Luis Reyes producing, Lillian Diaz Przybyl and Griffin Davis running sound, and Travis Stevens and Jason Milligan operating cameras. By the end of it, we had 10 PSAs that could help anyone who is stuck in the mud of the mysteries of life.
Influential playwright and actor Sam Shepard passed away this past July. In celebration of his life and his work, Padua Playwrights (an organization Sam started with fellow playwrights Murray Mednick and Maria Irene Fornes) hosted a star-studded night of performance and remembrances, including Ed Harris, Bill Pullman, and John Densmore, among many others.
Padua approached Butcher Bird Studios to LIVE-STREAM the event on Facebook after seeing our work on Butcher Bird Presents, our very own Facebook Live stream show where we interview creators in the digital space. This was an effort we were privileged to take part in. We switched between three live cameras, streaming a three hour extravaganza that truly was a night to remember.
Here at Butcher Bird Studios, we are fascinated by the digital realm. During our professional and personal time spent in the digital space, we’ve come across countless innovative creators and technical wizards who fill our brains with electric ideas and share amazing stories. We decided to broadcast this experience out to the rest of the world–by creating an online platform that would give our audience a chance to get as close as possible without having to leave their homes.
“Butcher Bird Presents” is our very own weekly multi-cam real-time talk show hosted on Facebook Live. We feature special guest filmmakers, writers, musicians and other artists who innovate and create in the digital space.
Over our first 19 episodes we’ve hosted the likes of Reggie Watts, Margaret Dunlap, Charles Babb, Michaella Vu, and Felipe Smith. Each guest has shared their own unique perspective about what the digital space means to them, what challenges they’ve faced inside of it, and ultimately, how they’ve used the latest tools to launch and grow their creative works.
Check out the complete playlist here!
We’re excited to announce completion of principal photography on IN A FOREIGN TOWN, a short film based on the works of acclaimed horror author Thomas Ligotti. Adapted and directed by Michael Shlain, the short is a proof-of-concept for a television series currently in development. Shot over 5 days at the Butcher Bird soundstage, the Universal Studios backlot and on location in Hollywood and Downtown LA, we assembled a first-class cast and creative team to bring Ligotti’s surreal, disturbing dreamscapes to life. More to come as the horror unfolds.
Do not avert your eyes. This is no dream. You’re all going to see everything…