THE FILMMAKERSHarold Boihem M.A. - Director/Editor/Producer
Harold Boihem is an independent filmmaker, visual anthropologist and the creative director of Parallax Pictures, Inc., an internationally recognized award winning film and television Production Company. Harold founded Parallax Pictures with Executive Producer Chris Emmanouilides to communicate social science ideas and concepts through creative and innovative film and television programming. For over ten years Harold has enjoyed success as a director, editor, producer, and post-production supervisor on a wide range of commercial, documentary, educational, and feature film productions.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Harold became interested in documentary still photography in 1981 and began making documentary and experimental films in 1986. In 1990 he began his professional career working as an assistant director, production coordinator, and post-production supervisor on a variety of feature film, network television, and commercial programs.
In 1996, Harold directed, edited, and co-produced THE AD AND THE EGO (1997), his first professional documentary. It has been screened and won awards at film festivals around the world. A partial list, includes: The World Film Festival in Montreal, the San Francisco International Film Festival (first prize Golden Spire Award), the Chicago International Film Festival (third prize Honorable Mention), Murphy’s Cork Film Festival in Ireland (featured documentary), the Central Florida Film and Video Festival (second prize winner), and the Berlin Film Market with the "American Independent Features Abroad" program sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts. Currently, Harold is finishing post-production on the long anticipated follow-up to THE AD AND THE EGO entitled: ESCAPE FROM DEMOCRACY (2004), once again featuring music and sound design by media pirates Negativland. Additionally, Harold is currently in pre-production on a feature film about the life and work of Ralph Nader and the modern-day consumer movement entitled CONSUMED (2005).
In addition to his independent film career, Harold is an accomplished director, editor, and producer of high profile television commercials and award winning public service announcements (PSA’s). NIKE REVOLUTION, his innovative critique of Nike and their practice of using child labor in the overseas manufacturing of their products, won Best PSA at the 1998 Philadelphia Addie awards and was honored with a standing ovation by the congregation of advertising professionals. Harold also found it ironic that in the birthplace of democracy in America, people were being denied their right to freedom of speech by their own city council! Believe it or not, for over twenty years, the City of Philadelphia has been in violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, our most sacred right to freedom of speech, by failing to provide for public access television! This unbelievable, incomprehensible, and wholly corrupt situation inspired Harold to write, direct, and produce the impassioned PSA, THAT FREEDOM OF SPEECH THING. In addition to these activities, Harold has worked on many documentary film and television productions, including, the Banyan Productions Discovery Channel series TRAVELERS and more recently he has completed work as a Post-Production Supervisor for Rebecca Miller's feature film, ROSE AND THE SNAKE (2004), starring Daniel-Day Lewis.
Harold has taught advanced non-linear digital editing at Temple University in Philadelphia, within their prestigious M.F.A. film program, received a bachelor's degree in Sociology with minors in Psychology and Management from the University of California, and earned a masters degree in Anthropology within the visual anthropology program at Temple University.
Chris Emmanouilides M.F.A. - Producer/Director of Photography
Chris is a central creative manager at Banyan. He is responsible for creative oversight of the company's programs, supervision of Banyan's series executive producers, and on-time delivery of hundreds of episodes of programming each year. Banyan Productions is one of the industry's leading producers of reality television, including the popular Trading Spaces series of programs (TLC), Ambush Makeover (Style Network), and Epicurious (Travel Channel).Previously, Chris served as Executive Producer of a sixty-three episode documentary series called REUNION for TLC. He was also the Executive Producer of forty-two episodes of TRAVELERS, an hour length international travel series for The Discovery Channel. Before being named Executive Producer, Chris was a producer and cameraman for TRAVELERS where he completed programs in Peru, Chile, Japan and numerous other locations in the United States and around the world.
Chris is co-founder of Parallax Pictures, Inc., an independent film and television production company whose focus is on commercial, documentary, and feature filmmaking. He co-produced and photographed THE AD & THE EGO, an hour-length documentary on the impact of advertising on contemporary culture, which took first prize in its category at the 40th annual San Francisco International Film Festival in 1997 and is currently in international distribution.
His other films including REMAINS (1993), SUELTO! (1989), A BORDER CROSSING (1988) have screened at numerous international film festivals including Sundance, AFI and Margaret Mead. Chris is also an advisor on many independent productions and has served on the Advisory Council of the Philadelphia Independent Film and Video Association (PIFVA). He continues to work as a cameraman on a select number of independent documentary projects and teaches 16mm production at The Scribe Video Center, a community based media arts center in Philadelphia.
Chris received his MFA in Radio-Television-Film from Temple University and resides in Philadelphia.
Original Soundtrack and Sound Design by NEGATIVLAND www.negativland.com
The experimental-music and art collective known as Negativland has been recording music/audio/collage works since 1980, producing a weekly 3 hour radio show ("Over The Edge") since 1981, hosting a World Wide Web site since 1995, and performing live on occasional tours throughout America and Europe.
Negativland have released 18 CDs, one video and one book ("Fair Use: The Story Of The Letter U And The Numeral 2") since 1980. They were the subject of the 1995 feature film "Sonic Outlaws" by Craig Baldwin, and composed the soundtrack/sound design for a critical 1997 documentary on advertising, "THE AD & THE EGO". Negativland coined the term "culture jamming" in 1984, and this phrase is now often used to describe the work of many different media artists and activists. Their most recent music project is a collaborative CD made with British anarchist pop stars CHUMBAWAMBA entitled "The ABCs of Anarchism", and they are completing a new book/CD project "DEATHSENTENCES OF THE POLISHED AND STRUCTURALLY WEAK" to be released this summer.
This spring Negativland are embarking on their first tour in seven years: the epic TRUE/FALSE 2000 TOUR, a 2 1/2 hour performance conceived entirely as a stand alone show and not to promote any particular new release. Most of the material in it has never been heard before. Negativland might be called a "noise" band because they like interesting noises in their music, or an "idea" band because they often rearrange found sound content in order to make some new and previously unintended point with it. Negativland is interested in unusual noises (especially ones that are close at hand), unusual ways to restructure such noises and combine them with their own music, and mass media transmissions which have become sources, and subjects, of much of their work. Negativland covets insightful wackiness from anywhere, low-tech approaches whenever possible, telling humor, and vital social targets of any kind. Without ideological preaching, Negativland often becomes a subliminal culture sampling service concerned with making art about everything we aren't supposed to notice.
Negativland's particular musical practice incorporates found sounds and musical samples into their collage compositions. Our contemporary interest in collage (a hallmark of 20th Century art of all kinds) is prompted by the fact that art and commerce have now merged to a degree where corporate commerce now finances, grooms, directs, filters, manufactures and distributes almost everything we know of as "culture." This inevitably uncomfortable partnership of art and commerce to produce "mass culture" means that art is no longer any kind of independent creation at all. It is now instigated, owned, operated and promoted by administrators, subsumed by demographic targeting and subjected to economically inspired "guidelines."
In doing this kind of collage music, Negativland has become, by necessity, interested in copyright law and the "fair use" statute within it. What began as their natural attraction to found sound in a society overflowing with disposable media has now become a conscious desire to show, by example, the crucial difference between piracy (counterfeiting another's work straight-across in order to profit from the marketability of the subject used), and the transformative re-use of material from multiple sources to create new, "original" works; it's called COLLAGE and it has had indisputable legitimacy in virtually all art forms throughout this century. However, the owners and operators of mass-marketed music (being only the latest medium in which collage is being practiced) are now naively attempting to criminalize the technique of audio collage, as if it was an illegitimate intruder on originality and nothing more than a form of theft. History knows better. Collage is NOT theft, but considering it so will kill it off entirely or (as has turned out to be the case) turn all direct reference artists into "criminals." Copyright laws originally designed to prohibit the pirating and counterfeiting of complete works (laws which Negativland agrees with) are now also being used to prevent collage art from being published as if there is no difference between the two.
All art is based on creative theft, always has been, and any reasonable person appreciates this as crucial to the practice. Collage is appreciated PRECISELY because it takes this fact to the limit, yet remains "original." Negativland believes that collage has a well-established artistic license to appear in mass media, or anywhere else, free of charge and free of charges. Because ART IS NOT A BUSINESS, no matter how many art-dumb corporate lawyers try to argue that it is.
Negativland's view of corporate culture from outside its fringes, and their first confrontation with what they consider to be the ill-advised aspects of our nation's copyright laws, produced the 1995 book "Fair Use: The Story Of The Letter U And The Numeral 2." This book details the purposeless folly that often results when art and law collide. "Fair Use: The Story Of The Letter U And The Numeral 2" has now become a primary reference book for those who research music and intellectual property law, and is presently on the reading list of many law schools and university classes on media law and the arts.
One example that illustrates the need for Fair Use in collage is advertising, especially the high-tech seduction and emotional button-pushing going on in national brand advertising. It is this which has become a special subject of interest for Negativland because of its telling view into the successful manipulation of the mass psyche, and the degree to which it exploits our common mental environment with the promotion of personal dissatisfaction and constant desire-mongering on a universal scale. It is simply inconceivable that this daily, never-ending stream of public suggestion and desire creation has no effect or influence on our spirits, our health, our jobs, our laws, our environment, our culture, our political process, or our national and international policy. This is the water we fish swim in.
Negativland's continuing interest in advertising as a socializing phenomenon designed to create unconscious consumers led to their 1997 conceptual cola-opus, DISPEPSI, and extended into found-sound audio design work for Harold Boihem's critically acclaimed independent film, THE AD & THE EGO. This one-hour documentary is a biting and insightful analysis, by example, of television commercials and their impact on our modern way of life and thinking. It has played throughout the U.S. and won first place for Best Documentary in the San Francisco International Film Festival's Golden Gate Awards.
On their last full-length studio CD release, DISPEPSI, Negativland left the multi-leveled cultural import of Pepsi advertising for the listener to decide, all through the mockery of a single example of corporate brand advertising: one which spends multi-millions of dollars bombarding and assaulting all of us with a never-ending, un-asked for, and unavoidable barrage of billboards, print ads, TV and radio commercials, promotional attachments, product placements in films, public school programs, vending machines, sports sponsorships, logo licensing, etc., making it virtually impossible to go anywhere in the civilized world without encountering their "message": to consume as much of their nutritionless beverage as often as you possibly can.
The conceptual content of the DISPEPSI CD focused primarily on a single multi-national corporation's advertising, not because it was any more offensive than that of any other multi-national (although the particularly meaningless nature of their product certainly adds the kind of pathos we like), but because it allowed a much more in-depth focus on a typical corporation's commercial output. It created a single, coherent "subject" for this obviously conceptual work of art, and allowed a whole variety of cut-up and musical techniques to hang together within a single, recognizable "context." Negativland's concerns with mass advertising in general ultimately rise to consciousness more effectively in the midst of the concentrated flood of one company's diverse commercial campaigns, which intend to redundantly drill one brand into mass unconscious via saturation. All other ads do the same thing, but we focused on this ultra-familiar brand name in order to actually simulate this particular (and particularly effective) aspect of all advertising.
Finally, Negativland strives to keep socially aware perceptions alert in art, and culturally aware criticism alive in a society choked and intimidated as it is by all-encompassing, self serving laws of "protection", lobbied into existence by the politically powerful commerce establishment, with their never-ending desire to become immune from any inference that the world they make for us might not be the best of all possible worlds.