Composer Steve Samler wins top fest prize for doc score


COMPOSER/SOUND DESIGNER STEVE SAMLER chalks up another award with his Best Score/Soundtrack win from the Los Angeles Reel Film Festival, the virtual festival that honors independent filmmakers and writers.  

Samler’s score was for feature-length doc, The Forest Prince and the Pig Man (Hitchhiking in America), produced by acclaimed reality TV producer/documentarian Craig Constantine.

The story interweaves a coast-to-coast hitchhiking trip by the title characters, and a cross-section of many others, with never-before-told archival material about the history of bumming rides. 

Says Constantine about the score: “Steve incorporated exotic instruments like didgeridoo, marimbas and the psalter into his trademark big-orchestra sound, and expertly varied the pace with blues riffs, solo piano and Western swing.  This time he has outdone himself.”

A DOCUMENTARY PRODUCED  by Chicago-based Modio Media, will premiere on CNN International Aug. 16.  The doc,   Terror in Tuscany: Secret Atrocities   of World War II, about Nazi atrocities committed against Italian civilians,  is part of CNN’s award winning documentary World’s Untold Stories series.

Five year old Modia Media, an award-winning documentary and corporate video company, is headed by partners writer/director Gia Amella and Italian native and producer Beppe Mangione.  Their docs have aired on A&E, PBS, National Geographic International, Investigation Discovery and many others.

Prize-winning filmmaker Esau MelendezFIVE PBS STATIONS so far have signed to air Esau Melendez’ prize-winning doc, Immigrant Nation! The Battle for the Dream, to air during Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15-Oct. 2. 

The story is about Chicago activist Elvira Arellano was about to be deported and found sanctuary in a Catholic church, which ignited the pro-immigrant movement

WTTW/11 will air Nation Sept. 15 and stations in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Maryland have set airdates closely thereafter.  

DIRECTOR/ANIMATOR PAUL GRISWOLD of Ft. Wayne and cartoon animation legend John “John K” Kricfalusi, the creator of Nickelodeon’s Ren & Stimpy, teamed up to create an animated bumper for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.  

In the spot, an old-fashioned “rubber hose” style cartoon character finds himself in a strange 3D world.  After hearing a desperate cry for help he rockets into action to rescue the damsel in distress.

Griswold created and animated all of the 3D elements in Autodesk Softimage, based on Kricfalusi’s designs and input.  Kricfalusi drew by hand the design and animation in Toon Boom Harmony.  The final composite was handled in Harmony to ensure the characters maintained their look without any artifacts from compression or rendering.