Firehouse Pictures

creative solutions for visual communication

Established in 1986 as a full service video production and post-production facility, Firehouse combines a long history of technical expertise and experience with a creative team committed to telling your story.

 

STEM

Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor John Pollard

Chemistry and Biochemistry Professor John Pollard

Gone are the days (well almost gone),  where students sit silently in a large lecture hall and take notes while trying to keep up with a lecture.

FH is producing a program for WebsEdge, "The Global Leader in Conference TV," on new and more effective ways of teaching science, technology, engineering and math courses.


Yes, Maestro

We're at work on a piece about The Tucson Symphony Orchestra and the innovative Young Composers Project.

The program serves as a national model that teaches elementary through high school students to compose for orchestra. This unique and nationally recognized program uses the Orchestra as a living laboratory for the young composers, providing interaction between students and professionals to explore the creative process of composition.



Schlockmeister

Rummaging through our library the other day we came across a box with the name Larry Buchanan written in black magic marker.  Inside were an assortment of 1", 3/4" and VHS tapes, and the occasional loose 1/4" audio tape reel.  This brings to mind the seemingly sudden disappearance of tape in our industry, but that's a subject for another day.

The first time we met Larry Buchanan he told us he once shot a feature film in a space the size of a small insert studio -- 20' by 20'.  He wore a panama hat and carried a cane made from some type of exotic polished wood.  He was often accompanied by his wife, whom he referred to as "Lady Jane." 

Larry told us he was in the process of securing the rights to all of his movies, and wanted to make a series of DVDs that included the original films and commentary by the cast members -- at least the ones he could find who were still alive.

If you're not a student of 60's era drive-in movies (you're not?),  you've probably never heard of Larry Buchanan.  But if you're of a certain age and can remember seeing films like "Free, White and 21," or "Underage," you know Larry Buchanan was one of the first progenitors of the sexploitation/blaxploitation  genre.

 "In the Year 2889"

 "In the Year 2889"

He was known mostly for "Mars Needs Women."    He often talked about making a sequel, one we insisted he title, "Venus Needs Velcro."    That was never to be, but for a period of about three years we re-cut and re-packaged  the odd sequence or soundtrack in preparation for, well, we were never quite sure what.  

Later on, he would arrive via an older model silver Mercedes sedan, his driver sitting in our lobby patiently waiting while thumbing through trade magazines.

 

"Mistress of the Apes" 

"Mistress of the Apes" 

The last time we  spoke with him, he had been struck with valley fever and was calling from his hospital bed asking if we could send a dub of his film, "Goodnight Sweet Marilyn" over so he could give it to one of the nurses. He then wanted to put us on the phone to vouch to the nurse that he had really been the director.

He died shortly after that.  He was 81.  His obit in The New York Times said,  "His work called to mind a famous line from H.L. Mencken, who, describing President Warren G. Harding's prose, said, ''It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it.''