Between 1963 and 1966, a tsunami of social and economic legislation transformed the United States —two civil rights acts, Medicare and Medicaid, antipoverty programs. “It’s more fun to read about Abbie Hoffman than about Edmund Muskie,” Barry Gewen wrote in The Times, but this book provides a “corrective to a lot of hackneyed thinking about the significance of the ’60s.” The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison and other figures are the subjects of essays by Mikal Gilmore.
Connecticut Post 8-29-09 Article about Filmmaker Garret Maynard, whose career was inspired by Jim Morrison
By Amanda Cuda
Updated: 08/29/2009 04:11:08 PM EDT
Many filmmakers are spurred to pursue the occupation by their admiration for a particular auteur. Garret C. Maynard, of Stratford. was no exception.
But it wasn't any of the usual suspects that inspired Maynard, a documentary filmmaker who also teaches at both Housatonic Community College and Sacred Heart University. It wasn't Orson Welles who moved Maynard to be a movie maker, nor was it Martin Scorsese, or Francis Ford Coppola.
It was Jim Morrison. Yes, that Jim Morrison -- the ill-fated lead singer of the rock group The Doors. Morrison, Maynard pointed out, was a filmmaker in addition to being a musician. It was after reading "No One Gets Out of Here Alive," a biography on the star, that Maynard began seriously considering movies as a career.
At the time, Maynard, 49, was a factory worker in his early twenties. "Filmmaking was always something I thought I'd be interested in, but I never gave a thought to a career in it," he explained.
The book changed his mind and, more than 20 years later, Maynard has his own film and video production company and has built a resume that includes work in television and film. A documentary he made for public television, "Mystic Voices: The Story of the Pequot War," earned him an Emmy nomination for cinematography in 2005. His other works include the 1995 film "The Water's Edge," in which he and co-director Mark Trumbull traveled the country interviewing and filming water-skiers in 48 states. A new, re-edited version of that movie made its debut on cable's Documentary Channel earlier this month (you can also watch it at www.sling.com).
Not bad for a career set in motion by the Lizard King.
Shortly after realizing that movies were his future, Maynard headed out to California, where he attended film school at both University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California. After finishing his education, he tried to ply his craft and began by working in television. One of his first jobs was with Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions, the team behind such successful series as "The Golden Girls." Other TV jobs followed, including a stint doing special effects for "Star Trek: The Next Generation."
Eventually, Maynard tried to leave TV behind and work in films. His plan was to work as a literary agent, promoting other writers' scripts with himself attached as director. But he still had problems getting anywhere in the industry. "It just got more and more difficult," he said. "There's only a certain window of time in which you're noticeable."
Los Angeles, he decided, was too competitive. Maybe he'd have more success being "a big fish in a smaller pond" back in Connecticut. So he moved back to Connecticut in 1991, after spending about eight years in California.
Upon his return, he got jobs teaching at area universities and began making movies in his favorite genre, the documentary. Maynard said he's long preferred making documentaries, partly because he's a history buff and partly because "you're much more in control of your subject matter."
He's now at work on some more projects, including a television series he wants to make, called "Hometown History." The show, which he'd like to do for TLC or The History Channel, would paint historical portraits of small towns throughout America. "There's hundreds of towns out there that have all these little histories," Maynard explained. "The nation is based on a collection of small towns aligning themselves together."
Meanwhile, teaching also takes up a good bit of his time. He's already begun teaching his film study class at Housatonic, and will teach at Sacred Heart this fall as well.
As a teacher, Maynard said, he tries to give his students a better appreciation of film and its power. Even a seemingly mindless film, like the recent monster movie "Cloverfield," can say provocative things about society, he said.
"Many students come into class with the idea that this is just entertainment," Maynard said. "By going back in time and looking at how film evolved, they get a greater perspective."
Maynard was hired for the Housatonic job by Ron Abbe, who recently retired as director of the school's arts program. Abbe said Maynard's background made him an ideal fit for the job. "He has a nice mix of an understanding of what goes on behind the scenes and a love of movies," Abbe said. "The class has been pretty successful."
5-19-09 Examiner Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock
I enjoyed this picture very much in how it captured real people in a turbulent, yet somewhat innocent time when peace and love seemed almost possible; just before the next era to follow where it seemed like innocence was lost for good and everything had gone to hell.
8-28-09 The Examiner Emile Hirsch shows his acting range by playing a Vietnam vet to resurrecting Hamlet
You’re a big fan of music. If you could put together your own personal Woodstock, who would you like to have on the bill?
Eminem, Tupac Shakur, Kurt Cobain, the Doors, the guys who made this tune [he plays the ring tone on his cell phone], Mozart, Luciano Pavarotti and Judy Garland.
Have you become a fan of any music from the Woodstock era as a result of doing this movie?
A little bit. Do I listen to the albums regularly? Probably not. Not so much. But am I aware of some of them? Yeah, for sure. I mean, I always listened to Jimi Hendrix. I was always a Hendrix fan. But do I listen to a lot of Cream and the Band? Not really.
Edited by Shebang, 29 August 2009 - 08:58 PM.