Monday, October 29, 2007

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

Last Thursday, Andy and I played dress-up, and attended the College of Communications annual Hall of Fame-- a black-tie affair held at the North River Yacht Club, a stronghold of Tuscaloosa's wealthy businessman Jack Warner. Warner is the President of Gulf States Paper, but also dabbles in the Arts (as all well-respected billionaires do), owning one of the largest personal collections of early American art in the world. His museum, housed in a former hunting lodge, displays paintings from the 17th-20th centuries, and according to most is quite an impressive exhibit (I have yet to visit). Anyway, that's Warner in the painting behind us. We found it comical that he had a portrait made of himself as a free-spirited cowboy, servin' up coffee for all his "pardners" on the range. Oh, and I should point out that he is not even dead yet! Don't you think it's a little premature to have a portrait of yourself hanging in the entryway of one of the buildings you own? As for the rest of the decor, it was a mix of marine-related oil paintings, mounted deer heads, and more cowboy-themed art, all woven into a seemingly patriotic melange, a shameless display of opulence reminiscent of the Gilded Age.

But enough about Jack Warner. The event itself was a tribute to this year's inductees to the College of Communication's Hall of Fame. Every year, the college selects several noteworthy Alabamians and honors them for their work. It's quite a soirĂ©e, with a bonafide cocktail hour, which I might add included delicious appetizers and a snappy little jazz band, and a full blown dinner. This year's MC was even a celebrity--ABC News Correspondant John Cochran (apparently, he's from Alabama). In addition, the Center for Public Television (Andy's employer) produces a short video about each of the inductees. One of this year's most notable inductees was Charles Moore, the famed Civil Rights photographer, who captured so poignantly on celluloid the early fight for desegregation in Montgomery, the integration at Ole Miss, and the demonstrations in Birmingham (think fire hoses, police dogs). Andy produced the segment on Moore, and included some of Moore's most famous photographs, set to a background of one of the theme songs of the Movement, "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize". Needless to say, there were not a lot of dry eyes in the audience when the lights came up. If your interested, some of Moore's best photos of the Movement are collected in the book, “Powerful Days: The Civil Rights Photography of Charles Moore”.
Also, you can see Andy's rough cut of the piece he made (without the professional narrator - see if you can spot the voice) below. Warning, though - it's 6 minutes and a huge file. Probably will take a few minutes to download (Dialup? Wait for the DVD...).

1 comment:

shashi said...

andy, that was great!!!! it is fun to see how your work changes over time, your cuts and picture postion timings. just great!