Tuesday, October 29, 2013

An event in Grand Rapids: Thriller! Chiller! 2013 Groovy Awards! (Original)

     Thriller! Chiller! awards certain movies shown during the festival. While speaking with Anthony Griffin I asked him to break down the process of selecting the winners, here's what he had to say:

"About 15% of the movies that are in Thriller Chillier are formally submitted to a jury process and this year we had five different jury members and they watched the movies in five different categories for Features, Short, Best Thrill, the award for the movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat, Best Chill, the award for the movie that makes you want to recoil and tear and then Best FX, which honors the use of speacial effects to help tell a story, as far as the main awards. We also have The Radical Award, for the best post apocalyptic and or zombie movie, and then we have the fabulous, famous if you will now, Boomstick Award for best Michigan movie."

    Groovy awards

The 2013 Groovy award winners!

Best Feature- For No Eyes Only

Best Short- Killer

Best Thrill - On Air

Best Chill - Cold Turkey

Best FX - NOVR

The Radical Award - Dust of War

The Boomstick Award - Break Glass in Case Of..

                                                                Awards ceremony 

Monday, October 28, 2013

An event in Grand Rapids: Thriller! Chiller! Film Festival (Original)

     Scary, thrilling and out of this world. A few words that describe the films showcased during the Thriller! Chiller! film festival. Thriller Chiller is an international film festival held yearly in Grand Rapids Michigan inside of the Wealthy Theatre. Running for 8 years, it has become one of Grand Rapids largest events. The festival invites independent film makers on a global scale to submit their short or feature films to be screened to an audience sitting readily on the edge of their seats. It's called Thriller! Chiller! for a reason. Thriller Chiller showcases action, suspense, syfy and horror films with a touch of drama and comedy here and there. Though the festival focuses on these particular genres it does not exclude others.

     One of the great things about Thriller Chiller is the level of engagement. The directors, producers and actors that attend the festival talk, take pictures and even joke around with movie goers, giving the event a very welcoming and down to earth atmosphere. Every one that attends is sure to have a good time. However, parents be mindful as there is alcohol served and some movies may contain content not suitable for children.

     I sat down with Anthony Griffin, one of Thriller Chiller's founders, to talk more in depth about the original idea behind the festival and to discuss it's defining moment along with the best compliment it has received.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Just a thought (Original)

       Flower bouquets, a beautiful white dress, cake and a cathedral filled with familiar faces. A traditional setting passed down through the ages. On this special day man and woman become one, to have and to hold for better or for worse. A day that she has been waiting for, for what seems like an eternity. But what about the groom? What does this day mean for him? The beginning of happiness? Or dare I say, the last day of freedom? In these modern times it's a well known fact that the wedding is catered to the bride. From the ring choice to whose invited, location and decorations, it's all acording to her liking. The only thing that's left for the groom is the bachelor party. However, sometimes even this is planned by the bride. Most would say that these things are suppose to be left up to the bride and that the groom's only focus should be getting married. To be blunt, a groom involved in any of the planning for the wedding is unmanly. That is the unspoken attitude toward this particular subject. Most men haven't given this a thought and most women like it that way. Does that make these particular women selfish? Focusing only on themselves and what they want for their day? Honestly,  the majority of guys really aren't concerned with such things. Seeing her smile as she walks up the aisle makes it all worth it. But what about the bride? Is it the million dollar wedding or simply seeing him ready to receive her with open arms?


Friday, October 11, 2013

The meaning of music (Original)

         We hear it all the time but we never stop to think, what does it all
    really mean? Is it something we throw on just to pass the time or help
    us get into our grove Friday through Saturday night? You might be
surprised if you actually sat down to think about it. Music is much more than just
    rhythms, vocals and melodies. I spoke with a variety of different people to
   help illustrate the meaning of music and how it effects each of us as individuals.

Kevin J. Dobreff, GRCC music professor, "Music is a language with no specific meanings, allowing everyone to bring their own life experience to the interpretation of the music."

      Lisa Kacos, 28, GRCC music professor,

    "Music is a passion or hobby and also and escape for many."

      Tyler Phillips, 22, Producer,

    "Music is something that can be interpreted very emotionally and that's
    probably why I love music so much, because I relate with peoples
    emotion that they're trying to portray through there music."

     Sarah Apol, 27, Musician,

    "Music is a means to express feelings that you can't with words."

    Hannah Scholten, 19, Musician,

    "Music is a way of expression and publicly performing and displaying an art
    that is creative."

    Sean Smith, 22,

    "Music is sound interpretation, just being able to take that time
     out and to escape."

       Music is powerful and can change in meaning depending on who you ask.
    What doesn't change is it's effect. Music is a mood amplifier. Think
    about a time when you have had a certain feeling and you put on some
    music that helped you to either relax, energize or be touched to the
    point of tears. A dance party with no music would be pretty boring
    don't you think? Try dancing without a rhythm going in a room full of
    people and you will see the atmosphere change very quickly. What if
    you didn't have those headphones on your ears while jogging that
    excruciating six miles? Would you still feel as motivated? Music 
   can definitely make the difference.

          Just as music can effect our moods, our moods can effect the music we
    listen to. The average person would most likely say they listen to
music if it sounds good. But what sounds good at a certain point in time may 
not sound as good if it doesn't fit the mood. Imagine listening to a heavy metal rock 
song about mosh pitting with loud guitar solos or a rap song about dancing in the
   club with a loud bass rhythm while trying to romantically express your
   feelings to your true love; somethings out of place in this picture (normally).
    In such a setting, a smooth emotional type of song would fit the mood
    much better. Most of what a person listens to is based on how they
    feel at that particular moment.


        Perhaps one of the most powerful effects of music is it's ability to
    take us back in time. Certain songs we listen to can make us feel
    that emotion all over again.

Kevin J. Dobreff
"Our senses are amazing and can trigger many kinds of memories. I'm
sure that you have experienced a certain smell that triggers a memory;
music works in the same way for us. The aural perception of the music
will take you back to an event which was associated with that music. I
can still remember the music that was played at my first middle-school
dance and when I hear it the time travel is very surprising"

 Zaire Hopkins, 25,

    "The song 'Nothing even matters' by Lauryn Hill, it takes me back to
    a time where I was in love, I really felt like that when listing. I think it does
    this because when I hear the lyrics in the song I can relate them back
    to that time when the connection between me and that person was

    Philip Huinh, 21,

    "The song 'When I was your man' by Bruno Mars, it takes me back to
    my first ex-girl friend she was my first love. That emotion from the past comes
    out from that song. I dated her for about 5 or 6 months and then I
    fell in love with her..things got worse after that. But for the
    first six months it was great."

    Julian Turley, 20,

     "A song called 'Cartoons and cereal' by Kendrick Lamar, it just
    takes me back to Saturday mornings watching cartoons and eating some frosted flakes.
    Just being young and not really knowing what's happening in the world."

         Music is the source of each of our rhythms. No matter how we respond
    to it, it's something we can all understand. The universal language
    that passes beyond boundaries of social constructs and barriers, something
    all can relate to. That is what music is, how it makes us feel
    determines it's meaning.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

An event in Grand Rapids: ART PRIZE 2013 Top 10 (Original)

   Before the winning places were announced and prize money was given away there was a top 10. They all worked hard on their pieces for ArtPrize to make it to the final stage. The biggest award was the 1st place prize of $200,000. However, the other nine place holders received hefty sums as well. The 2nd place prize was a cash reward of $75,000. 3rd place was awarded $50,000. While those in 4th - 10th place each received $5,000. I got a chance to speak with the top 10 finalist two days before the winners were announced and asked them about their inspirations, time duration of their projects and their plans if they were to win first place.

 "Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore"

 Artist: Ann Loveless

" Polar Expressed"

 Artist:Anni Crouter


Artist:Andy Sacksteder

" Dancing Wiith Mother Nature"

 Artist:Paul Baliker

" Botanical Exotica a Monumental Collection of the Rare beautiful"

  Artist:Jason Gamrath

" Earth Giant"

Artist:Benjamin Gazsi

  " Myth-or-Logic"

 Artist:Robin Protz

   " Finding Beauty in Bad Things: Porcelain Vine"

  Artist:Fraser Smith

   " Taking Flight"

 Artist:Michael Gard

" Tired Pandas"

  Artist:Nick Jakubiak

The winners of ArtPrize 2013 from 1st to 10th place:

  • 1st place: Ann Loveless "Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore"
  • 2nd place: Anni Crouter "Polar Expressed"
  • 3rd place: Andy Sacksteder "UPlifting"
  • 4rth place: Paul Baliker "Dancing Wiith Mother Nature"
  • 5th place: Jason Gamrath "Botanical Exotica a Monumental Collection of the Rare beautiful"
  • 6th place:  Benjamin Gazsi  "Earth Giant"
  • 7th place:  Robin Protz "Myth-or-Logic"
  • 8th place: Fraser Smith "Finding Beauty in Bad Things: Porcelain Vine"
  • 9th place: Michael Gard "Taking Flight"
  • 10th place: Nick Jakubiak "Tired Pandas"

Congratulations to all the winners.

Friday, October 4, 2013

An event in Grand Rapids: ART PRIZE 2013 (Original)

   What started off as a "radical idea" has now become a huge success. In 2009, Rick DeVos, entrepreneur, debuted a new idea for an art competition. An idea in which winners are selected solely by the vote of the people and artist worldwide are welcomed to participate. All competing for a chance to win a $200,000 prize. During this competition Grand Rapids Michigan is transformed into a giant display for works of art. From parking lots, bridges, to building interiors, no space is left unfilled. Welcome to ArtPrize, now on it's fifth year, one of the biggest art competitions in the United States.

   For the past five years people from all over have come to visit Michigan's 2nd largest city every fall to experience the 19 day long gala known as ArtPrize. In it's first year it drew over 80,000 visitors, a number which has since grown to a whopping 300,000 or more. ArtPrize draws more than just your average painter of course. Some artist work in 3 dimensions, video, photography or sculpting, a little bit of everything to say the least. The local communities support is also impressive. Many shop and property owners open up spaces to allow artist to set up venues.  
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While walking through ArtPrize it's hard not to notice the singers and musicians throwing in their bit to gain a little exposure. Not a bad idea considering how many people turn out for this once a year event.