Program Summaries

I present a range of fast-paced, pop-culture programs that combine video, PowerPoint and humor to entertain and educate audiences. These programs have been presented across the country at dozens of libraries, universities, museums and conventions, and are appropriate for all ages unless otherwise noted.

NEW! ROCKIN’ REELS: THE GREATEST ROCK N ROLL MOVIES OF ALL-TIME
Nothing rocks more than summertime, rock n’ roll and a good movie! We’ll go behind the scenes of some of your favorite rockin’ flicks (and a few unheralded gems) to find out how they were made, ways they reflected the times they were made in and why they still resonate with us today. Along the way, we’ll see fun clips from classics like Grease, A Hard Day’s Night, Rock N’ Roll High School, Back To The Future, Stop Making Sense, Footloose, Purple Rain and plenty of others.
90 minutes; Video projector required [or I can provide one].

NEW! ROCK N’ ROLL STAYCATION: COOL MUSIC LANDMARKS OF NEW YORK
Via video and Powerpoint, take a visual trip through the rich rock n’ roll history of New York and the Tri-State area. Discover the secret locations where classic album covers by Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Neil Young, The Beastie Boys and others were shot. Where is the lost studio where Bruce Springsteen recorded Born To Run? (Hint: These days, it’s a car wash!) Was the Parkway Diner in Billy Joel’s “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” a real place? What Rock & Roll Hall of Fame group shot a record sleeve right on Long Island’s Meadowbrook Parkway? Find out all this and more in this fast-moving, insightful program.
75 minutes; Video projector required [or I can provide one].

NEW! CELEBRATING LEONARD COHEN
Leponard Cohen was known for his sharp, poetic lyrics and a deep, expressive voice. He died in 2016 at the age of 82, just two weeks after his final album, You Want It Darker. This program recounts his upbringing in Quebec, fifty years of composition as he traveled and moved around the world, and more, using video clips and Powerpoint to illustrate and explore the legacy of his music.
60 minutes. Video projector required [or I can provide one].

NEW! J.K. ROWLING AND THE CREATION OF HARRY POTTER
Believe it or not, 2017 marks 20 YEARS since the world’s most famous wizard first hit print with the UK edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Celebrate the anniversary with this fast-paced program, exploring how author J.K. Rowling developed Harry and his magical wizarding world; we’ll look at her creative process, recurring themes and more, as well the cultural impact that her books and movies have had in the Muggle world.
75 minutes. Video projector required [or I can provide one].

NEW! BEHIND THE THEMES: GREAT TV THEME SONGS, 1950-2000
TV show themes are among the best-known songs ever, but few people know the behind-the-scenes stories of how these songs were created. Stroll down Memory Lane and get the inside scoop on tons of classic TV themes, like Seinfeld, Star Trek, Friends, Hill Street Blues, Cheers, MASH, Get Smart, Gilligan’s Island, Peter Gunn, The Sopranos and many more!
75 minutes. Video projector required [or I can provide one].

NEW! THE MAKING OF SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND
2017 is the 50th anniversary of the record that changed Rock n’ Roll! Arguably the most famous Beatles album, Sgt. Pepper saw the band transition from mere pop stars to revered, serious artists. How did they create their landmark album? Clive Young, Editor-In-Chief of recording industry magazine Pro Sound News, takes apart the album, track-by-track, and explores the iconic album cover to show how it all came together.
90 minutes. Video projector required [or I can provide one].

ROCKY REVISITED: 40 YEARS OF STALLONE’S SPORTS SAGA
This program doesn’t pull any punches as it explores the history of Sylvester Stallone’s signature character—the million-to-one-shot boxer, Rocky Balboa—and his many movies, including the latest hit, Creed. Shot in 28 days on a shoestring budget, Rocky starred an unknown actor, Stallone, who had written the script himself in a spiral notebook. Released in just a handful of theaters, Rocky went on to become the biggest hit of 1976, winning three Oscars including Best Picture. The film’s success paved the way for a billion-dollar franchise that, like the champ himself, flew high only to hit rock-bottom before finding latter-day redemption. Designed for fans 10 and up, this multimedia program explores the inspirations for characters, stories and settings in the series, and follows the backstage drama behind all the films, from writing and casting the movies to their critical and sometimes caustic receptions.
90 minutes. Video projector required [or I can provide one].

BEAM ME UP: 50 YEARS OF STAR TREK
Star Trek celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016, and Beam Me Up traces the fascinating creation of the best-known science fiction franchise of all-time. The fast-paced, multimedia program explores how creator Gene Roddenberry first envisioned the original TV show as a western in space, and then steadily built a team of legendary actors, brilliant writers and clear-sighted directors who brought the original crew’s story to life across a TV series, animated children’s show and six feature films between 1966 and 1991. Aimed at both beginner and longtime fans, the program follows Star Trek‘s long, tumultuous history and its continuing impact on pop culture around the world.
90 minutes. Video projector required [or I can provide one].

FAREWELL, DOWNTON ABBEY
After six years and countless plot twists, PBS’s most-popular program ever has come to an end, closing the door on the epic tale of the Crawley family and their army of loyal servants. Take a look back with this “book discussion about a TV show,” which revisits beloved characters, shocking revelations and the acerbic wit of the Dowager Countess, while raising lots of fun, intriguing questions for your patrons to discuss and debate.
75–90 minutes. Video projector required [or I can provide one].

GEORGE LUCAS AND THE CREATION OF STAR WARS
Featuring lots of exciting, rare footage and flashy PowerPoint, this program traces George Lucas’ surprising, inspiring life, and how he became the billionaire creator of the biggest science fiction saga ever. Along the way, you’ll see how successes and setbacks in his life drastically shaped and influenced the original Star Wars film in 1977. Designed for both casual and die-hard fans of all ages, this fast-paced, multimedia program explores Lucas’ inspirations for the original movie; follows the backstage drama behind all his films leading up to and including the original Star Wars; and shows clips from the many films that influenced Lucas side-by-side with his Star Wars reinterpretations. Finally, it examines the legacy of the franchise today.
90 minutes. Video projector required [or I can provide one].

THAT’S A SMASH: GREAT PRODUCERS OF THE ’60s AND ’70s
Discover how the Baby Boomer generation’s favorite hits were made! Taking apart some of the most famous songs of all-time to see what makes them tick, you’ll hear classics by The Beatles, Billy Joel, The Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel and others in a whole new way, discovering what’s hidden in the tracks you thought you knew by heart! Discover the Music Producers behind the scenes like George Martin, Phil Ramone, Phil Spector and more—the kings of studio magic. Hear step-by-step how Brian Wilson built “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” with a rock band, a female bass player, accordions, and gorgeous a capella vocals by the Beach Boys. Filled with plenty of video and cool visuals, this program explores the creative decisions that influenced important artists, their incredible albums and the musical tastes of an entire generation.
80 minutes. Video projector required [or I can provide one].

THE WHAT, WHERE AND HOW OF DOCTOR WHO!
This multimedia program celebrates the Silver Anniversary of the TV series Doctor Who, covering 50 years in 100 minutes! Since first hitting TV screens in the Fall of 1963, Doctor Who has become a worldwide phenomenon and is now the most popular Sci-Fi TV series currently airing in America. Millions of fans of all ages, from tweens to seniors, tune in each week to enjoy the Doctor’s latest exploits as he travels through time and space in a police phone booth (A.K.A., the TARDIS), meets strange aliens and saves the universe with verve, nerve and know-how. Designed for both new and avid fans alike, the program uses video and PowerPoint to explore the show’s colorful on-screen and behind-the-scenes histories, profile all 12 Doctors, highlight their most important episodes and more.
100 Minutes. Video projector required [or I can provide one].

POW: THE HISTORY OF SUPERHERO MOVIES
This new, fast-paced program traces the evolution of super-powered cinema, from the Saturday-morning serials of yesteryear to the box-office blockbusters of today. Aimed for all ages, the program uses “family-friendly” video clips and PowerPoint to take audiences behind the scenes of some of the coolest flicks (and a few fun TV shows), exploring how Hollywood’s take on superheroes has changed with the times and technologies available.
90 Minutes. Video projector required [or I can provide one].

KABOOM: THE HISTORY OF MOVIE SPECIAL EFFECTS
Using DVD video and PowerPoint, this fast-paced program follows the history of visual effects in movies, from the late 1800s to today’s computer-enhanced creations. As audiences have grown more sophisticated, so has Hollywood’s arsenal of smoke and mirrors, always aiming to take viewers into another reality. Following a timeline through movie history, the program presents key effect moments from great movies, explaining how the effects were achieved and why each was an important advancement. Special attention is paid to the movies of the last 30 years, illustrating the shift from using models to computer-generated animation.
95 Minutes. Video projector required [or I can provide one].

YIKES: THE HISTORY OF MOVIE STUNTS
Yikes: The History of Movie Stunts is a fast-paced sequel to my popular Kaboom: The History of Special Effects program, tracing the action-packed evolution of jaw-dropping stunt work in movies. From car chases, explosions and leaping off bridges, to sword fights, motorboat jumps and hanging from helicopters, Hollywood stuntmen and women willingly risk their lives daily to bring excitement to the silver screen. Starting with seat-of-their-pants feats filmed in the early 1900s, the program follows a timeline of movie stunts throughout the ages, presenting some of the most spectacular acts ever put to celluloid while explaining the advancements in technology, training and safety that made them possible.
95 Minutes. Video projector required [or I can provide one].

CRANK IT UP: THE HISTORY OF ROCK CONCERTS
Get an insider’s view of how rock concerts grew from Elvis performing in hayfields to the multi-million-dollar spectacles that the Rolling Stones and Madonna present today. Weaving facts, humorous anecdotes, video and PowerPoint slides together, this program highlights how concerts, like rock music, have always changed to reflect the times. While this program features considerable performance footage, The History of Rock Concerts features two video documentaries that are exclusive to this program, showing life behind-the-scenes on Fleetwood Mac’s 2004 tour and The Who’s 2002 tour. These films can’t be seen anywhere else!
90 Minutes. Video projector required [or I can provide one].

VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR: THE HISTORY OF MUSIC VIDEOS
Trace the development of music video, from the movie shorts of the 1930s up to the big-budget clips of today. As a highlight, the program profiles the top music video directors, showing how artists such as Dali and Magritte, and classic films like Apocalypse Now and Casablanca influenced videos. Special attention is paid to the golden age of music videos, which began on August 1, 1981, when MTV played its very first clip, “Video Killed The Radio Star,” by the Buggles. You’ll discover you’ve been watching a lot more than just pop songs!
90 Minutes. Video projector required [or I can provide one].

HOMEMADE HOLLYWOOD
Discover the history of “fan films,” a new movement in today’s pop culture. Regular people are making films based on their favorite movies, books and TV shows, using video cameras and computers to create complex, unique films. Many fan films are now high-quality efforts, sometimes costing as much as $30,000 to produce! This program presents the best fan efforts, featuring Batman, Harry Potter, Superman, Darth Vader and other famous characters, and reveals the history of the fan film movement, exploring what compels budding filmmakers to invest so much into their visions of these popular characters.
Program can be any length. Video projector required [or I can provide one].

MAY THE FAN FILM BE WITH YOU: STAR WARS FAN FILMS
Similar to the Homemade Hollywood program, this presents over a dozen of the best Star Wars “fan films.” These high-quality, short movies have been made by independent filmmakers around the world, often taking a comic view of George Lucas’ creation, expanding upon the original films with new stories. Additionally, the program discusses the history of the growing fan film movement, and explores what it means for Hollywood’s relationship with its fans.
Program can be any length. Video projector required [or I can provide one].