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Selfless Storyboard Reel

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Currently we are breathing life into the timely, relevant Documentary ‘Selfless.’ A film examining the effects of selfies, social media, and technology on youth today.

In epidemic proportions we are watching a new generation seek validation and acceptance based on how many ‘LIKES’ and hollow comments they receive in shallow places. 

Many drowning in a world of self indulgence, how can we best inspire them to see how our world opens up when we close these windows.

Today there are 50% more depressed teens than there were 20 years ago – why – because they are choosing to stay home alone on their screens vs. human interaction. Studies show the average teen is spending 7 1/2 hours per day on screens.

Snapchat tells us they are putting up over 3 BILLION posts every 24 hours – with Instagram boosting over 100 MILLION every day.

‘Imagine what we could do with all that time!’ 

Staggering numbers – but even more alarming is the fact that 66% of our girls are uploading sexually explicit photos to these places, while 93% percent of our boys are experiencing their sexual awakening there.

Not to overlook the unbalance of body, mind and soul – as a result of these behaviours.

We are in an epidemic! Truth is we are ALL a part of an ongoing experiment in technology with no one knowing the outcome for mankind.

Fresh Independence has been touring around the country speaking real time with teens about the challenges they face today and their life in social media.

During early storyboarding days we asked ourselves, ‘What would it be like if a girl lived in the forest – no mirrors – no magazines – no social media – what would beautiful look like to her – and how would she view herself?’

Then musician Kuki found us and with camera in tow, we headed off the grid to the hills of Devon England – to begin filming.

 With full hearts we are hopeful ‘Selfless’ is a documentary that you will feel the urgency to get behind: Helping us to inspire youth to live fully in this new age of technology.

Selfless is currently being considered on the pitching circuit. If you have interest in our latest ‘Storyboard Reel’ please inquire: 

Film@freshindependence.com

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‘I Was A Stoner & He Was the Cowboy’ – Songwriter Jimmy Webb Remembers Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell was every aspiring lyricist’s dream – and Jimmy Webb remembers how their work together was the truest of collaborations – as they became friends for life.

1968 started a five-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Wichita Lineman.’ American Songwriter Jimmy Webb’s inspiration for the lyrics came while driving through Washita County in northern Oklahoma. Webb was driving through an endless litany of telephone poles, each looking exactly the same as the last. Then, in the distance, he noticed the silhouette of a solitary lineman atop a pole. Webb then “put himself atop that pole and put that phone in his hand” as he considered what the lineman was saying into the receiver.

Correspondent Bill Nutt spoke with Jimmy Webb as he payed homage to his amazing journey with Glen Campbell.

Jimmy Webb remembers the first time he met Glen Campbell. It was not an auspicious moment.

In 1967, Webb was in the early years of his career as songwriter. He had been a fan of Campbell, and he further appreciated the fact that Campbell’s version of his song “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” was a hit on the country charts.

So Webb went to a recording studio to meet Campbell.

“I had long hair, and I wore a vest and a pair of jeans I never took off. I was in my hippie stage,” Webb says.

Campbell was fiddling with a guitar and amp, apparently paying no attention whatsoever to his visitor. “Finally, I said, ‘Mr. Campbell, I’m Jimmy Webb.’ He looked up at me and said, ‘When are you gonna get a haircut?’ ”

Now Webb laughs at the meeting. “He was a straight shooter, clean-cut,” he says. “I was a stoner. I was the mad professor, and he was the cowboy.”

From that unlikely mixture, however, came a fruitful collaboration and a deep friendship. Campbell ended up recording over 100 Webb compositions, including acclaimed versions of “Wichita Lineman” and “Galveston.” The rapport that blossomed between the two men arose from similarities that overcame any differences, according to Webb. He points out that he was born in Oklahoma, while Campbell was a native of Arkansas.

“We came from dead identical backgrounds, very poor in adjoining states, and from a fecund mix of church music, country, and a lot of family singing. We brought that common origin story. I’ve been accused of writing melodies that are rangy. My songs modulate; they start in one key and end in another. Glen had the ability to sing what I wrote, and not everybody can. It’s past time to go back and look at Glen’s contribution’s to music, which have been sadly overlooked. 50 years of friendship and partnership. There was a lot of love on both sides that resulted in unsurpassable pop music. Glen and I touched the sky a couple of times.”

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Kathleen Gyllenhaal Speaks About Her Latest Film In Utero

I had the privilege to speak with the very earthy and inspirational Kathleen Gyllenhaal.
An acclaimed writer – film maker – producer – mother – married to Stephen Gyllenhaal whom she collaborates on many projects with.
Her latest offering was directing a documentary film titled ‘In Utero’ which is a fascinating look at how the mother’s physical – mental – emotional and lifestyle environment may be effecting her unborn child.

At first I felt ‘oh wow – what else can we put on our shoulders as women!’

I was so relieved to discover we are all just doing the best that we can.
‘In Utero’ is a well thought through film with intriguing professional perspectives encouraging us to really think about it all.

Watch the trailer below at In Utero Film and find out how you can host a screening.

IN UTERO FILM

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Bernie Taupin the Voice Behind Elton John

Today in 1973 music lovers fell in love with Elton John and ‘GoodBye Yellow Brick Road’ so it seemed fitting to learn more about the man behind the lyrics of some of music histories most notable songs.

“My favorite thing is coming up with titles. The majority of the songs I’ve ever written. I’ve always thought of the title before I’ve written the song.”

Elton John’s long-time song writing partner Bernie Taupin  was born in 1950 at Flatters Farmhouse in the southern part of Lincolnshire England. He was not a diligent student but showed an early flair for writing. His maternal grandfather a classics teacher and graduate of the University of Cambridge, his mother studied French Literature, his father a farmer.  They taught him an appreciation for nature and for literature and narrative poetry, both of which influenced his early lyrics.  At age 15, he left school and started work as a trainee in the print room of the local newspaper The Lincolnshire Standard with aspirations to be a journalist. He soon left and spent the rest of his teenage years hanging out with friends, hitchhiking the country roads to attend youth club dances in the surrounding villages, playing snooker in the Aston Arms Pub in Market Rasen and drinking. He had worked at several part-time, dead-end jobs when, at age 17, he answered the advertisement that eventually led to his collaboration with Elton John.

In 1967, Taupin answered an advertisement for talent placed in the New Musical Express by Liberty Records man Ray Williams who was searching for new talent. Elton John answered the same advert and although neither Bernie nor Elton passed the audition for Liberty Records, Ray Williams recognised their talents and put them in touch with each other. The pair have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date. The team took some time off from each other for a while between 1977 and 1979, while Taupin worked with other songwriters, and Rod Stewart, Cher, The Motels, John Waite, Starship and Alice Cooper all recorded Taupin’s songs.

Bernie’s unique blend of influences gave his early lyrics  a nostalgic romanticism that fit perfectly with the hippie sensibilities of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Taupin sometimes wrote about specific places in Lincolnshire. For example, ‘Grimsby’ or ‘Caribou’  was a tongue-in-cheek tribute to a nearby port town often visited by Taupin and his friends. More famously,’Saturday’s Alright For Fighting’ was inspired by Taupin’s experiences in the dance halls and pubs of his youth. More often he wrote in more general autobiographical terms, as in his reference to hitching rides home in “Country Comfort.” These autobiographical references to his rural upbringing continued after his departure for London and a life in show business, with songs such as ‘Honky Cat’, ‘Tell Me When The Whistle Blows’ and ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’, in which he thinks about “going back to my plough.”

Taupin’s most important influence was his interest in America’s Old West, Tumbleweed Connection found in recent songs such as ‘This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore’. When Taupin and Elton decided to write an autobiographical album in 1975, Taupin dubbed himself “The Brown Dirt Cowboy”, in contrast to Elton’s “Captain Fantastic.”

“Basically it takes me very little time to write a song. If I find myself taking more than an hour to do it I usually forget it, and try something else. I like to work quickly; I never like to waste any time. I never write half a song and come back to it later at all. It all has to be done at once. I lose interest if it doesn’t.”

The 1991 film documentary Two Rooms described the John/Taupin writing style, which involves Taupin writing the lyrics on his own and John then putting them to music, with no further interaction between the two. The process is still fundamentally the same, with John composing to Taupin’s words, but the two interact on songs far more today, with Taupin joining John in the studio as the songs are written and occasionally during recording sessions.

It has been 49 years of music collaboration for Bernie Taupin and Elton John and the world would not be the same with out the beautiful music they have made together.

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