Wow! The excitement and drama of making this documentary intensifies almost daily was we race towards the release of the film in 2012. The editing is progressing as quickly as possible. We started with over 70 hours of videotape and have trimmed it down to about three hours so far. We want it to run between one hour or 90 minutes. Allison’s work as a cinematographer has kept her very busy. Over the summer, she added producer and director to her job descriptions as she worked on a television pilot entitled “Louisiana Crossroads.” It features Louisiana musicians but it is unlike any music show than you are accustomed to.
Kate Lemoine and Allison editing the documentary.
To keep the documentary on track, we added Kate Lemoine to our happy band of filmmaking. Kate is a senior photography major at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She is doing a wonderful job whittling the story down in broad strokes. As you can see from the photo, Allison releases her editing stress by shooting tin cans out her window. Allison has become very proficient with a BB gun. I pity any empty cans up to no good in range of her “thunder stick.”
Allison with her thunder stick keeping the tin cans at bay.
The Music Man
Kermit Poling is composing the beautiful music for the documentary and redux of Tarzan of the Apes.
He also provided the narration for the documentary.
Another major component for the finished film is the musical soundtrack. For this I went to Kermit Poling. He has established himself as one of America's most dynamic and exciting young conductors. Critics universally praise his first rate music making as a leader, a soloist and as a composer. As of this writing, he has been concentrating on our re-edit of the original film “Tarzan of the Apes.” As I have shared with you before, we took the “digest version” of the Tarzan film and corrected the chronological problems that had made the current issues of that film almost unwatchable. Kermit’s score is so powerful that I truly believe it is breathing new life into the production. If you would like to see Kermit in action go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LawlnMMsEg. This is a short video of him conducting the recording session of his score for the short film “Silent Treatment.”
About 95 years ago, Smilin’ Bill Parsons promised to return to Morgan City when the movie was complete for a special screening for the citizens of the town. To my knowledge, he never returned even though there is evidence that he planned to do so. We will be fulfilling that promise on April 13 and 14, 2012 at the “Tarzan: Lord of the Louisiana Jungle Festival.” It will be the first festival in the 100 year existence of the character. Carrie Stansbury is the director of the Cajun Coast a bureau of the Louisiana State tourism for the Morgan City area. She has been working really hard to pull together an enthusiastic team of local volunteers to produce a really amazing festival worthy of the King of the Jungle. I have been able to attend several of these meetings and have been thrilled with the response of the festival team. More and more volunteers are coming on board. These wonderful folks are not strangers to presenting a festival. The Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival has been going on in Morgan City for about 70 years.
A Promise Kept
The festival will begin on Friday during the day with self-guided tours to the various locations in the Morgan City area. Also, two boat tours will show the swamp and area where some of the Tarzan scenes were shot. In April, the swamp is absolutely beautiful. The premiere of our documentary will be on Friday evening in the large theater of the Municipal Auditorium. The large concourse outside the theater will be available for vendors to sell their Tarzan collectibles. These tables cost $25 each and you pay no commission to the festival. So, if you have a lot of Tarzan memoriblia you’d like to sell, come on down. Let me know as soon as you can so I can help you receive a discount on hotel rooms. There will be security for your merchandise. Except for the 5k run, all activities happen on the grounds of the Municipal Auditorium.
Part of the festival committee: (left to right)
Carrie Stansbury, Nelson Cortez, Jo Ellen St. Romain, Danny Donham,
Bob Harrison, Donna Meyer, Herman Hartman, Sharon Breaux, and Al Bohl.
Tarzan: Lord of the Louisiana Jungle Festival
Beginning Saturday morning, the day will be filled with all kinds of free Tarzan related activities. Many things are still in the planning stage but there will be a Cajun band playing what is called “Swamp Pop.” Tarzan movies will be playing for free in the large ballroom during the day. That evening a Tarzan movie will be playing outside on a giant blow-up screen. Inside the large theater, our redux version of the original film “Tarzan of the Apes” will be showing accompanied by live musicians under the direction of Kermit Poling.
Denny Miller in the film 'Tarzan The Ape Man.'
At this point we will have two very, very special guests at the festival: Denny Miller and DeWet Du Toit. I don’t think there is a nicer man on the planet than Denny Miller. While I have never met him in person, everyone who knows him speaks so highly of him. His presence will make this festival a wonderful experience. Also, as soon as I announced on FaceBook that the festival was a go, DeWet Du Toit of South Africa responded that he was coming to the festival. DeWet has always dreamed of playing Tarzan in the movies. He is a professional body builder. He will bring a short film he has produced that he plans to show to Warner Bros. for their new Tarzan adaptation. As I told DeWet, he sure looks like the paintings of Joe Jusko’s Tarzan. All DeWet needs is a golden lion to complete the image. I look forward to meeting both men.
DeWet Du Toit - hopefully the next screen Tarzan.
Tarzan Museum Exhibition
Whitney Babineaux of the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans and I met
to discuss the possibility of a Tarzan exhibition at the museum.
We are standing in the gallery where the exhibition will be housed.
Recently, I met with Whitney Babineaux of the Louisiana State Museum system. She loved the idea of having a Tarzan exhibition in their new State Museum in Patterson, LA. Patterson is just across the river from Morgan City. Whitney set it up for me to pitch the exhibit to the local museum board of directors. It was a pleasure meeting with the board over lunch. Normally, the board takes two months to determine if an exhibit should be at the museum, but they decided to vote on the spot and it was unanimous in favor of the exhibition. The “Tarzan: Lord of the Louisiana Jungle Exhibition,” will open on April 12, 2011 and run for a year. I have already put a lot of hours into the concept and content of the exhibition. I could really use your help. I am looking for artifacts about the life of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the first Tarzan book and film. I would also like some examples of unusual Tarzan merchandise such as a pack of Tarzan cigarettes. The State Museum will pay for postage and insurance on all artifacts. The new museum has a really fine security system. Please help me make this exhibition a presentation worthy of Burroughs and Tarzan. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 318-426-8530. At this point, you can just send me attachments to emails showing the articles you would like to have considered.
I will send another update soon. Thank you for all your encouragement.
The Louisiana State Museum in Patterson, LA.
Presenting my vision for the exhibition to the Board of Directors of the museum.
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