Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mulholland & Zampella Elmore Leonard Documentary Interviews

Wendy Calhoun, Co-Executive Producer of Fox's Empire Interviewed by John Mulholland
Cheryl Dorsey
Cheryl Dorsey, Author of Black & Blue: The Creation of a Manifesto is Interviewed on Elmore Leonard
John Mulholland and Richard Zampella continue conducting on camera interviews this week in Los Angeles for the upcoming documentary on author Elmore Leonard. The interviews will explore the numerous film adaptations/screenplays of Elmore Leonard novels and short stories. Mulholland is exploring the impact that Leonard's work has on current day screenwriters with his lean, terse minimalist writing style.

[Top] Wendy Calhoun is interviewed for Elmore Leonard Documentary. Wendy was a co-producer and writer for Elmore Leonard adapted FX television series Justified. She was the Executive Story Editor for the first season and wrote the episode "Blind Spot". For the second season she wrote the episode "For Blood Or Money". Prior to Justified she had worked as a writer and producer on Revenge. Currently, Wendy serves as co-executive producer of creator Lee Daniels television series “Empire” –Fox’s new hip-hop family drama.

[Bottom] Cheryl Dorsey is author of Black & Blue: The Creation of a Manifesto which takes a hard look at the inner workings of the LAPD—especially regarding its black officers, its women officers, and most especially its black women officers. She is interviewed by Writer/Director John Mulholland for the documentary Elmore Leonard: The Dickens of Detroit in Los Angeles on 9.28.15

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Paramount Studios – Hollywood, California

Richard Zampella
Producer Richard Zampella on the Lot at Paramount Pictures 9.29.15

Of the Big Six Movie Studios, Paramount is the only one still based in Hollywood, and Paramount and Fox are the only ones still located within the Los Angeles city limits.

True to its dramatic origins, Paramount has been of the most storied companies in American film history with Adolph Zukor and his successors amassing a dazzling stable of talent that upheld the most robust rosters of celebrities which included their biggest star – Gary Cooper.

Cooper singlehandedly lifted Paramount’s sagging Depression-era fortunes, playing “everyman” heroes, perfectly capturing the era, such as Longfellow Deeds in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936); Long John Willoughby in Meet John Doe (1941) — both Frank Capra classics — and Alvin York in Sergeant York (1941). Cooper came to embody the essence of the American character, especially that unique combination of rugged individualism and magnanimous selflessness — in his case, nurtured by the West and his English immigrant parents, who inculcated in him the elegant manners of a “gentleman.”

Cooper played one of baseball's greats, Lou Gehrig, in The Pride of the Yankees (1942) and garnered another Best Actor Academy Award nomination. Appearing in a film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls, Cooper starred opposite Ingrid Bergman in a drama set during the Spanish Civil War. This role earned him a third Academy Award nomination.

Of the 100s of films that cooper starred in throughout his decades long career – Gary Cooper filmed the majority of those films on the lot at Paramount Studios.

About Richard Zampella:

Richard Zampella is the Producer of Cooper & Hemingway: The True Gen which is a documentary film about the 20-year friendship between writer Ernest Hemingway and film actor Gary Cooper. Written and directed by John Mulholland, it is narrated by actor Sam Waterston with actor Len Cariou as the voice of writer Ernest Hemingway. The film was reviewed by The New York Times film critic Andy Webster on October 11, 2013 and was named an NY Times Critics’ Pic by Manohla Dargis, A. O. Scott and Stephen Holden.

Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

Richard Zampella
Richard Zampella Photographs Douglas Fairbanks Grave in Los Angeles, CA.

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. was born in New York City and was the only child of actor Douglas Fairbanks and his first wife, Anna Beth Sully. 

Fairbanks Sr. father was one of cinema's first icons, starring in swashbuckling adventure films such as The Mark of Zorro, Robin Hood and The Thief of Bagdad. Largely on the basis of his father's name, Fairbanks, Jr. was given a contract with Paramount Pictures at age 14. Fairbanks Jr. would be best identified as an actor for: Bound (1930), The Dawn Patrol (1930), Little Caesar (1931), The Prisoner of Zenda (1937), and Gunga Din.

Fairbanks Jr. was commissioned a reserve officer in the United States Navy at the onset of World War II and assigned to Lord Mountbatten's Commando staff in the United Kingdom and President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him special envoy to South America. Fairbanks was awarded the United States Navy's Legion of Merit with bronze V (for valor), the Italian War Cross for Military Valor, the French L├ęgion d'honneur and the Croix de guerre with Palm, and the British Distinguished Service Cross.

Fairbanks died at the age of 90 of a heart attack and was interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, California, in the same tomb as his father (who died in 1939).

September 29, 2015
Hollywood, California

Monday, September 28, 2015

Zampella & Mulholland Filming Interviews in Los Angeles

Gregg Sutter
Author Gregg Sutter
rachel howzell hall
Author Rachel Howzell Hall

Writer/Director John Mulholland and Producer Richard Zampella are in Los Angeles Filming interviews for the documentary – Elmore Leonard: The Dickens of Detroit.

[Pictured Top] Production still of Gregg Sutter who for more than 30 years, served as the late Elmore Leonard's researcher. Sutter is the editor of the Library of America's Elmore Leonard anthology, which will be released in three volumes, the first of which was published last year (volume two comes this year, volume three in 2016). The first volume features Leonard's early Detroit crime novels—Fifty-Two Pick Up, Swag, Unknown Man No. 89 , and The Switch.

[Pictured Below] Transmultimedia Entertainment Interview with RACHEL HOWZELL HALL who is the author of the critically acclaimed Detective Elouise Norton series. Land of Shadows and Skies of Ash (Forge) were included on the Los Angeles Times’ “Books to Read This Summer” for 2014 and 2015, and the New York Times called Lou Norton “a formidable fighter—someone you want on your side.” Rachel’s first novel, A Quiet Storm (Scribner), was a Borders’ Original Voices selection. A featured writer on NPR’s acclaimed ‘Crime in the City’ series, Rachel also serves as a mentor in AWP’s Writer to Writer Program. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Lois Pemberton: With Imagination...All things are Possible

The Stock Didn't Bring You
American Literary Writer – Lois Pemberton:
Who inspired those around her by saying;
 With imagination... all things are possible

Lois Pemberton  traveled in literary circles that included the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Robert E. Sherwood and George S. Kaufman. These American authors, including Pemberton, met for lunch each day at the Algonquin Hotel from 1919 until roughly 1929. At these luncheons they engaged in wisecracks, wordplay and witticisms that, through the newspaper columns of Round Table members, were disseminated across the country.


"Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary."

-Cecil Beaton

Friday, September 11, 2015

Richard Zampella iReport Receives Editors Pic from CNN

Richard Zampella Receives Editor's Pic from CNN
Richard Zampella CNN
CNN Tweets Editor's Pic Link @Transmultimedia 

ATLANTA -- Sept 11, 2015 – Documentary film producer Richard Zampella was awarded an Editor's Pic for his Photo Essay and Article on the September 11th Anniversary. Thanks to all my friends at CNN.

Unpublished Photos of 9/11 by Richard Zampella

Richard Zampella 9/11 Photographs
The World Trade Center Collapse on September 11 © & ™2015 Richard Zampella 

On September 11th 2011, I was living on the waterfront in downtown Jersey City, NJ. My apartment was about four blocks from the Hudson River and directly across from the river from the World Trade Center. Each night, I could fall asleep in my bed with a view of the top floors of the south tower.

On the morning of September 11, I received a telephone call from my older brother who asked me, "What happened? Can you see anything?"  I had no idea why he was asking.  He said, “One of the Trade Centers have been hit by an airplane.” He told me to to look out my window. There I saw the top 17 floors of the buildings in flames.

I hung up the phone and told him I would call him back. I went to the closet and grabbed my Nikon XG-1 and headed towards the river.

Fourteen years ago, Goldman Sachs was in the process of building a new world headquarters on the banks of the Hudson River in Jersey City. The building site was located in a spot that has unobstructed views of the southern tip of Manhattan. In the confusion of that morning, there was a total breakdown at the work site. Everything had come to a halt and there was no one at the gate to stop me from entering.

Richard Zampella
I made my way to the edge of the river and stood among a group of steelworkers that were working the site. Each of them speculated about the structural integrity of the towers. There were several engineers who  who were scribbling calculations with one another and they all agreed that the building would remain sound.

Within moments of their final conclusion, the first tower collapsed. I placed the camera to my eye. I took these images that are still difficult to view 14 years later. What I will remember most about that moment was the "low grade" rumble of the collapse in my ears.

When the first tower became obscured in a cloud of debris, I stood dumbfounded.  I lowered the camera and observed the steel workers surrounding me slowly drop to their knees in despair.

Within minutes the roar of the fighter jets could be heard overhead. The Jersey City Police were clearing the waterfront. No one knew what might happen next. As I made my way home, I observed groups standing around open car doors and listening to the radio like I had seen in history books when JFK was assassinated.

For months, I knew the exposed film was in the camera. I wondered if it should it be processed? I pondered – “Was it wrong to have photographed this disaster?" More months passed and finally, two years later I had the photographs processed.

Over the passing years, each time I look at these images, I wonder if I had witnessed the disaster only through the lens of a camera.

Yes, I was there, but did the act of taking pictures make it easier to bear witness to what had happened?

These photographs have sat in a box for the last 14 years. Sometimes I look at them and reflect how  close I was to what is now called “Ground Zero”. I would put the images away, wondering if they served any purpose other than proof that I was there.

The stories abound on the internet as each anniversary approaches. Endless commentary how the event has become reduced to popular culture, including cartoons that try to reflect trivial sentiment from that day.

Richard Zampella 9/11 Images

Friday will mark the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attack. I publish these photographs in the memory of those lost on September 11, 2001.  It is my sincere hope that future generations shall never forget them and the unselfish bravery of the first responders that sacrificed their own lives to help others.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Father Mychal Judge: The Saint of 911

Richard Zampella
Father Mychal Judge
Several months before 9/11 I received a letter from Father Mychal Judge while working at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. He was one of the first victims of the World Trade Center attack, but the death of Father Mychal, the beloved New York Fire Department chaplain, was not as extraordinary as his ability to connect and bless everyone that he met.

The letter I received was simply addressed; RICHARD - THE OAK ROOM - THE PLAZA HOTEL - MANHATTAN. By the standards set by the U.S. Postal Service, it probably shouldn't have been delivered.

I had run into Father Mychal a few days earlier when he came to have dinner at The Plaza. I was new to the hotel only recently accepting the position as the manager of The Oak Room. It has been six years since I had seen him last. Our previous meeting was on the day Father Mychal had traveled to New Jersey to eulogize my father.

Our "chance" meeting in the hotel lobby was brief, not particularly detailed and the conservation was light and filled with laughter, but I remember a quiet attentiveness in his eyes as we spoke. We were both very happy indeed that our paths had crossed once again and this time on the opposite side of the Hudson River.

Fr. Mychal served as pastor of St. Joseph Church in West Milford, N.J., from 1979-1985

In the letter Father Mychal pondered our meeting by writing;

"It was unbelievable that we should once again meet. The more I think of it, the more I think that your dad must have just willed our meeting by placing us together after all these years, for he was a great planner and idolized his boy!! And you know what I think? I can see change in you. I know it's hard on you and you are being challenged. See what God wants to do for you. He does have a plan for you. I know you are unsure of that plan, but you must believe this. It will be revealed to you in time. It was great seeing you. We should really have lunch together and catch up."

I've pondered Father Mychal's words many times over the years. The letter remains a significant possession for it's contents betrayed the casual nature of our meeting. Over the years, the words become more profound. I read it sometimes when times seem confusing.

In his funeral homily Father Michael Duffy said, "Everyone thought Mychal Judge was their friend," and with reason, since he carried around a large black satchel full of letters from people and he would always write to them, with a line or two remembering something of significance in their lives."

I am grateful to have been included on that list.

Fourteen years later is a time of reflection and remembrance for me for those lost so tragically on September 11, 2001.

On this anniversary, it gives me pause to reflect and wonder about my "chance" meeting in the lobby of hotel with Father Mychal. I would like to believe that it did not occur by happenstance, but rather predetermined by something I do not fully comprehend. Perhaps there was a greater significance that we saw one another.

Father Mychal's honest and sincere compassion has enriched the lives of countless people. I am sure my story is not unique. The man was truly blessed. Everyone that he touched will surely remember him as the personification of love. If his example persuades us to assume the role of loving others, his memory will has been given it's due. For those that knew him, even if life is no longer with him physically, he remains with us all spiritually. As long as he is remembered, it should gives us all pause to accept the task to try to follow his example.

-Richard Zampella
September 9, 2015

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Broadway Dancer Buddy Casimano Flips for Skipperdee's

Buddy flips for Skipperdee's Sweet Parlor in Point Lookout, NY

Buddy Casimano is a Broadway dance veteran with credits that include: Broadway's "Miss Saigon"- "Starlight Express"- "Hercules Live on Broadway" - "Red Hot Broadway" -"Miss Saigon" 1st National Tour, "That's Christmas", & POP goes BROADWAY (starring Debbie Gibson).

Before tumbling into show business, he was a competitive ELITE level gymnast as well as a 3 time Jr. Olympic swimming champion.

He has worked with some of the most noted choreographers, & directors in the entertainment industry including ; George Schlatter, Twyla Tharp, Jerry Mitchell, James L. Brooks, Arlene Phillips, Michael Peters, Otis Salid, Jodi Moccia, & Paula Abdul.

Buddy has appeared in numerous music videos on MTV, & worked with other recording artists such as SYLVESTER, Deborah Cooper, Darlene Love, Chris Cuevas, Paul Young, & Tommy Page.

Some of his recent work includes : Assistant director for ABC Family TV, choreographer for Walmart Shareholder's meeting, choreographer for Norwegian Cruise Lines, director & co- choreographer of the Debbie Gibson/Tiffany National Tour as well as Hosting/Emceeing for Spirit of Dance Awards National talent competition..

His life in show business has been filled with some crazy experiences like being kicked by Madonna; having my nose broken by Sandy Duncan, drinking a Heineken w/ Cybil Sheperd, enjoying a scotch with Patton Oswalt, falling down the stairs w/ Sally Struthers & sipping tea w/ George Michael.

His legs were the model for Elvis in the international ABSOLUT Memphis ads, his “derrier” is immortalized in the Broadway Bares coffee table book, "Backstage Pass". A pair of his dance shoes are displayed in the Hard Rock Cafe`as well as in the Smithsonian pop-culture exhibit.

He has been teaching dance & judging for National talent competitions for over 20 yrs. and currently teaches master classes in jazz, musical theater, lyrical, acro-dance & his own athletic, jazz-infused style he calls "Buddy-ography".

Visit Buddy's Website at: