From Talking Top Playing now available online for free!

Posted in Artist Profile, Documentary, From Talking - To Playing, Mira Armij Gill on September 19th, 2014 by Dave

I’m pleased to be able to offer my film, “From Talking to Playing” online for free beginning today, September 19th.
The film, which was released in 2013, is a bio of the fabulous New York City pianist and teacher Mira Gill. Mira’s playing is truly electrifying, and she brings to this film, both in words and action, the passion and struggle of a life dedicated to music.

If you feel this film was worthwhile, and would like to support the continuation of similar worthwhile projects by Agricola Media, please donate by using the button below. Or you can purchase From Talking To Playingon DVD for 19.95








“From Talking to Playing” online for free on Friday!

Posted in Artist Profile, From Talking - To Playing, Mira Armij Gill, Uncategorized on September 16th, 2014 by Dave

I’m pleased to be able to offer my film, “From Talking to Playing” online for free beginning this coming Friday, September 19th.
The film, which was released in 2013, is a bio of the fabulous New York City pianist and teacher Mira Gill. Mira’s playing is truly electrifying, and she brings to this film, both in words and action, the passion and struggle of a life dedicated to music.

“From Talking to Playing”, A Film about Concert Pianist Mira Armij Gill Released!

Posted in Artist Profile, From Talking - To Playing, Mira Armij Gill on February 3rd, 2014 by Dave

Agricola Media is pleased to announce the release of  its’ latest film,  “From Talking To Playing”


 
From Talking To Playing is a 25 minute film profile of performing artist Mira Armij Gill.  With incredible drive and a passion for excellence both as a pianist and as a teacher, this New York City-based artist  has won the hearts and minds of audiences everywhere she’s performed.

Get a glimpse of what it takes to be a concert pianist at the highest level in a film that celebrates the passion and striving of a determined soul.

The film contains additional bonus features including two performance by Ms. Gill plus topics of interest to piano instructors, students, and performers. To purchase this film, please click the PayPal button below.
 





First Screenings of “From Talking To Playing”

Posted in Artist Profile, Mira Armij Gill on August 22nd, 2013 by Dave

Mira Armij Gill answering audience questions at film screening in Lubec, Maine.

 

 

Agricola Media’s newest film, “From Talking To Playing“, had it’s first screenings last week –  first in Lubec, then in Eastport, Maine.  The film, which runs 25 minutes, profiles New York City – based concert pianist Mira Armij Gill. Many members of the audience had followed Ms. Gill’s performances in Maine in the past and showed great interest in learning more about her and her work.  A Q&A following the film in both locations was gratifying as hardly anyone left after the screening. Audience members had questions for both the pianist and for the filmmaker that were interesting and perceptive.

The film will be released in early September and will be available online as well as on DVD.

The many qualities of quality…

Posted in Documentary, Editing, Filmmaking, Mira Armij Gill on April 21st, 2013 by Dave

I’m finishing up my film on concert pianist Mira Gill who lives, performs, and teaches in New York City. The film is a little bio/profile of a wonderfully gifted artist with an equally strong artistic spirit. Material for this film has come from a variety of sources; family photos, scrapbook items from Mira’s youth, footage I shot in NYC and Maine, archival footage in the public domain, and finally some low quality footage shot of Mira performing with the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra at age 15.

The footage in the clip below barely approaches VHS quality, (and that’s being kind), and to make matters worse, perhaps in extended play mode which would give it that worst possible quality look that we all love of course. A cave painting shot filmed through a fish bowl – you get the idea. It was a wide shot so Mira, occupies just a small section in the frame. At first, I thought, no way – the footage looks really crappy – it’s going to look even worse surrounded by the HD footage I shot for the film. I can’t use it, can I? Then I played it a couple of more times. Again, the footage was so poor you can just make out that it might be Mira – or not! (trust me, I have a signed affadavit!).

I kept replaying the clip, and each time I looked at it I liked it more. It finally dawned on me that this is the real power of art: that as bad as the picture quality was, the performer and the orchestra surrounding her broke through the quality barrier…to freedom! Once I knew I’d be using it, I blew up the frame in several places, pushing the quality lower and the impact higher. I did this so that I’d be able to punctuate the performance with a couple of cuts. The one at the crescendo of the piece is perfect – the cut from the super close-up of Mira, in all her pixellated glory, to the wide shot as the music finishes. I think it works really well – judge for yourself.

Throughout the editing of this film, I found myself getting caught up in the performance each time I passed it in the film. In fact it became more thrilling each time I played it…the performance of this 15 year old phenomenon and the the community orchestra that rose to the occasion and played for all they were worth. They were like a freight train barreling down the tracks. For me the clip I’d like to share below is one of my all-time favorites in my own mental cinematic archives, …and I’m thrilled to be using it in my film.

Cold, wet and tired…filming in New York City at 60…

Posted in Artist Profile, Filmmaking, From Talking - To Playing, Mira Armij Gill on April 15th, 2013 by Dave


This past Friday was a cold, raw, rainy day in Manhattan. The previous day I had journeyed cross-state from my home in Rochester to New York City. A seven hour bus ride and a $20.00 cab ride later, I arrived at my film subject Mra Armij-Gill’s apartment, where I got a few hours of sleep before jackhammers went off from 7am to 7:15. I was in the city to finish filming for my next film about Mira, a top-tier pianist and teacher.

O.k., I’m cramming a bunch of baggage into the title of this post. I could have added the shoot was exhilarating too, as I tried to find the special wavelength that would help me see the images I needed to see to cover subjective parts of the narrative that needed to be covered. Except that I’m a bit cranky, unwinding my sore back from 16 hours or so of sitting on a bus over a two day period.

My filming was fun, especially shooting B-roll in Times Square. And spending a few special moments with an office assistant, name unknown, in a Physical Therapist’s office Mira had an appointment at. This was a young woman who began asking me a bit about my work and my life. I think she was in that lovely stage somewhere in her early twenties where she was finding herself and, interestingly, looking to learn from others – even old guys like me who are usually completely invisible to people her age. I was flattered and moved by her questions. Then goodbye, good luck; just a couple of people who will never meet again but glad to have connected. It was a sweet experience, then gone in the rear view mirror…

Mira’s appointment with the physical therapist was brought about partly by me I confess. Early on, before we even began filming in December, 2012, I learned that she enjoyed figure skating. In fact she let it be known that she could skate backwards, do spins, perform jumps – all that stuff that always amazes a person like myself who clings to the barrier wall around the rink just trying to survive the “fun”. So I asked her if we could include a trip to the ice skating rink during my December trip. I didn’t know how or even if I would use this footage but, in my mind, there is a poetic common denominator between piano playing and skating. She agreed, and in typical Mira fashion, immediately began taking lessons and practicing so that her skating would be up-to-par. Up-to-par for Mira means no-screwing-around-its-got-to-be-perfect. As it turns out, I’m glad I shot the footage. I’m using about 7 seconds of it in the video and it’s effective.

As it turns out, the skating flame did not die out after filming. Mira continued her lessons and skating until a short while ago when she injured her knee during practice and is now in physical therapy. Will she continue skating, I asked. I might has well have asked her if she’d give up piano…Will I take another Trailways excursion in the future? Not a good time to ask…