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Rusty Lane, 101 Year Old Burlesque Dancer, To Save The Beat Hotel

Rusty Lane, 101 Year Old Burlesque Dancer, To Save The Beat Hotel

A 101 year old burlesque dancer “Rusty Lane” is calling on the good nature of the general public to help to save The Beat Hotel, her home, from being demolished.  Over the years she has performed her act for such legends as Albert Einstein, Elvis Presley and Oliver Reid and is still going strong today.

NEWS RELEASE

Belfast, Northern Ireland, 12 September 2011

A 101 year old burlesque dancer “Rusty Lane” is calling on the good nature of the general public to help to save The Beat Hotel, her home, from being demolished.  Over the years she has performed her act for such legends as Albert Einstein, Elvis Presley and Oliver Reid and is still going strong today.

“I can still pull all the moves as long as I don’t have to climb any stairs the next day”, Rusty said.

Rusty Lane is one of the stars of the comedy puppet show ‘The Beat Hotel’, developed by Belfast-based production company Filmtrip.  They are working with Rusty & her friend Jim Fawndah in the run up to a crowd-sourcing campaign in October 2011 to complete the financing for their first series.


CORE FACTS

• The Beat Hotel Show is a comedy puppet show that has been 3 years in development
•    The show has an ensemble cast of madcap residents who inhabit the hotel
• Filmtrip have been building an online fan-base by releasing snippets of pilot content in anticipation of their Kickstarter crowd-sourcing campaign in October 2011, Kickstarter project URL to be announced on launch of campaign
• The format of the show will follow the madness of the Beat Hotel characters as they stumble through their world rounded off each week with a special guest performance in the Beat Hotel Ballroom by non-humans from around the world
• The characters, show & ethos are inspired by the original Beat Hotel that was the infamous den of iniquity for the likes of Allen Ginsberg & William Burroughs
• Filmtrip are seeking to bring the highest standard of production values to this online puppet series through the resourcefulness & inventiveness of the creatives involved, from designers to puppet operators
• Filmtrip are running a Campaign Mashup Competition for one person to win the chance to be made into a puppet for The Beat Hotel Show, the equivalent of a $5000 award on Kickstarter
Men In Speedos, one of Belfast’s longest-running electronic bands, formed by the producers of The Beat Hotel in 1997, are backing this project by giving their new album away for free as part of the Kickstarter campaign.


NEWS RELEASE

CREATIVE. COLLABORATIVE. UNIQUE.

Belfast-based production company Filmtrip have been developing The Beat Hotel for 3 years working with creative people from Galway to Germany, from Belfast to San Francisco.  In that time a pilot episode & character virals have been scripted, financed & shot and over the last few months people from around the world have been ‘Checking In’ to The Beat Hotel, watching clips of content and hanging out across different platforms.

Filmtrip have been building an online fan-base by releasing snippets of pilot content in anticipation of their Kickstarter crowd-sourcing campaign in October 2011 to complete the finance for the first series.

Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects online via donations from people. It is powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.

The Beat Hotel Vimeo ‘Room’ has been the main platform for releasing weekly video content, whilst the Tumblr ‘Room’ is where the weekly Best Of Beat Awards are posted, and the Facebook & Twitter ‘Rooms’ are where the guests hang out and chat. 

“Just like in any real venue, our online ‘guests’ move freely between different ‘rooms’ depending on what types of creative content they’re into. This is the virtual Beat Hotel,” says Gawain Morrison, the producer.

The characters, show & ethos are inspired by the original Beat Hotel that was the infamous den of iniquity for the likes of Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs.  Situated in a small run down hotel, it never had a proper name - “the Beat Hotel” was a nickname given by Gregory Corso, and it attracted a wide array of creative talent and people who felt on the outside of normality and society. 

Every week audiences will follow the madness of the Beat Hotel characters as they stumble through their world, skirting anarchy and chaos. From Sherri Martini, the hippy hotel owner, to Rusty Lane, the 101 burlesque dancer who caused the 1944 Great Nipple Tassel Disaster, there is never a dull moment.

Each episode will be rounded off with a special guest performance in the Beat Hotel Ballroom by non-humans from around the world.  Between the worldwide puppet community and the worldwide animation community there is an amazing amount of comedy talent out there, and the format of the show will offer a platform for them to perform through this new web series and allow us to build relationships with other creative minds around the globe.

In the process of getting to here Filmtrip have collaborated with a diverse range of creative people all bringing something special to the world of The Beat Hotel, from camera to production design, from puppet building to puppet operation, from web designers to graphic designers.  With this team the production will stand out from the crowd, and be something that everyone involved can be proud of as well as have a lot of fun creating.

“This is how we work as a company & how we’ve always worked. As independent producers we’re always trying to think resourcefully, and find collaborative ways of working with the people who really know their craft.  It can be tough sometimes but when you see the results on screen it makes you feel proud to have done it together,” added Gawain Morrison.

As part of this campaign Filmtrip are running a Campaign Mashup Competition releasing a bunch of the footage that was shot for the pilot episode so that people can create their own Kickstarter campaign videos & pictures.  The best video clip or photo that is posted to our Flickr Group will be selected by Filmtrip at the end of the Kickstarter campaign and the winner will have a caricature puppet of them feature in the show. 

Men In Speedos, one of Belfast’s longest-running electronic bands, formed by the producers of ‘The Beat Hotel’ in 1997, are backing this project by releasing their new album as Kickstarter rewards.  Demos of each of the tracks from ‘We Have Moved Beside Neptune Fish Shop’ will be released each week leading up to the end of the Kickstarter campaign.


SHOW SYNOPSIS

The Beat Hotel is a Class 13 hotel, meaning bottom of the barrel, a place that is required by law to meet only minimum health and safety standards. It’s run by Sherri Martini, a hippy who believes in free love and payment in trade rather than money, with a penchant for young Jim Morrison look-a-likes.

She hasn’t lost her goal of keeping it beatnik, with some of the residents from that time, some from the present, and even one or two from well before the 60’s.

From Rusty Lane, the 101 year old burlesque dancer, through to Jim Fawndah, the resident gym instructor, from Beau Bronson, the slightly psychotic hotel janitor, to Klaus the taxidermist, there is a general air of madness and never a dull moment.

The bohemian clientele sometimes pay the rent with paintings or manuscripts & they can paint and decorate their rented rooms any way they want. Sherri makes sure you don’t forget the famous guests from back in the day including Allen Ginsberg & William Burroughs, who completed the text of Naked Lunch there.

Do you want to check in to The Beat Hotel?


BOILERPLATE INFO

ABOUT ‘FILMTRIP’ : On The Edge

Filmtrip was formed in 2007 as a boutique production company developing ideas for feature film & TV.  As the industry has continued to change in terms of funding models, delivery platforms, technologies, and audiences, Filmtrip has developed its projects to cater for these changes.  Filmtrip has created the Belfast Music iPhone app, the Literary Belfast iPhone app, the emotional response short horror film ‘Unsound’ using audience emotions to change the film that they watch, the comedy puppets show ‘The Beat Hotel’ and has been developing ‘E8’, a science fiction feature film with Belfast-based novelist Ian McDonald.  For more info on any of these projects check out the website http://www.filmtrip.tv

Learn more about Filmtrip and its founders at http://www.filmtrip.tv/about


ABOUT ‘GAWAIN MORRISON’ : Producer

Over the last 14 years Gawain has been involved in events promotion across Europe, for music, fashion, film and media. He has produced over 30 live action and animated short films and music promos, as well as teaching production as part of NI Screen’s Digital Shorts scheme. He steers the good ship Filmtrip & conceptualises Filmtrip Productions.

Having trained in computer science & business he travelled for a number of years around Asia, living in Hong Kong for a year. On returning to N.Ireland he began running club nights in Belfast, the most succesful of which was a weekly night called EVOLUTION that ran for 5 years, and was nominated for and won awards for Best Small Irish Club. Having booked some of the largest names in electronic music he had a good base of contacts for organising tours for labels and DJs around Europe, and went on to release music on his label RED LABEL RECORDS, under the name of MEN IN SPEEDOS with 2 friends and ERIC NEEDS TO KNOW as a solo artist.

Moving into the fashion world Gawain started a t-shirt company with local shop Liberty Blue, called TART. Tart t-shirts sold across Europe and into USA, from small boutiques to large chains.

Film had always been of interest to Gawain and an opportunity with N.Ireland Screen presented itself in the form of a short film scheme. Through this scheme he produced his first film 3 SECONDS MY ARSE with writer Rosie Murdoch and director Anna McCaughtry, and it went on to win several awards at festivals in Europe & USA.

This gave him the film bug and from there he went on to produce over 30 short films and music videos. In 2007 Gawain came together with the Filmtrip team to set up the company, focused on providing strong story concepts across multiple distribution platforms.


ABOUT ‘DAVE KINGHAN’ :: The Writer

Dave Kinghan has produced work across various mediums. In 2008 his short film, Happy as Larry, was funded by Northern Ireland Screen and the UK Film Council through their Digital Shorts scheme. In the same year he had a short play performed as part of Tinderbox Theatre Company’s Fireworks Young Writers Programme.

In 2009, his stage comedy DEATH (on a shoestring) was performed for two nights in front of a sold-out audience at the Pick’n'Mix Theatre Festival in Belfast. His feature film screenplay The Amazing Donna is currently undergoing script development with Northern Ireland Screen. His other published writing includes a short story in an anthology of new writing from Queen’s University Belfast, and articles in local magazines.

As well as collaborating and writing on the pilot for The Beat Hotel, a puppet comedy show for adults, he is currently working on several other film and TV projects.


ABOUT ‘MEN IN SPEEDOS’ :: Red Label Records

Men In Speedos is made up of Shane McCourt and Gawain Morrison.  There used to be a 3rd man Derek Jones, but he needed to top up the blonde streaks in his Sunkist hair so he ran away to Australia.  They’ve been making electronic music since 1997, been involved with the clubbing scene, and been dabbling in sound and film since then.

Shane and Gawain met at a New Year’s party in 1997 and pretty much since then they have met every week in the studio to bleep.  They have scored short films, made music videos, mastered film soundtracks, made sound installations, and in recent years played live sets around Belfast clubs.  But their main love is making their own sounds in the studio.

They began making music at the same time as Gawain was promoting the weekly club night ‘Evolution’ that was held in the legendary Vicos, in Belfast.  This night ran for 5 years from 1997-2002 and shared the city’s extraordinary club scene at the peak of the dance music era.  It was 3 small floors of techno, house & hip-hop and it was here that some of the biggest DJs in the world experienced the unique energy that Belfast clubbers exploded with. From DJ Noize to Ken Ishii, from Claude Young to Stacey Pullen these superstars gave Belfast wonderful nights to remember, and Belfast’s DJs regularly turned them into legendary nights.

It was alongside this that Men In Speedos cut their musical teeth, releasing vinyl at Sonar, in Barcelona, getting a phone call from John Peel, and setting up tours for local DJs.

The Men In Speedos style of making music is aleatoric or ‘by chance’ where they mess about with sounds until they find something they like, then start looking for other sounds & patterns that kind of fit.  What they create isn’t to everyone’s tastes, but they’ve been making bleepy squeaky noises since 1997, and have been played by such broadcasting luminaries as John Peel, Rob Da Bank, & Belfast’s very own Paul McClean.

‘We don’t tend to make albums, we just make a bundle of tracks, and when we’ve got enough that we like we take the tracks on a journey with samples and sounds, and this ends up being a live set or an album.  This time we’re going for an album,’ said Shane.

Their music has always gone out under their label Red Label Records. They put out a small number of releases on CD & vinyl over the years, but prefer just putting things out digitally.

‘We tried running a label with our stuff, but trying to earn money from our music made it a job, and it almost stopped us making music altogether.  When we stopped trying to make money it was like we’d got our musical mojo back. It’s really quite nice to get into the studio and get taken on a musical journey by the random sounds that come to visit, and for us that’s what it’s all about,’ says Gawain.

In an attempt to stay away from trying to earn money with music they have worked with Belfast-based designers and illustrators creating designs for their t-shirt company Tart, which sold across Europe & USA, then with film-makers & musicians with their short film production company Seamless Productions. And then they settled on starting a production company called Filmtrip, which is now developing a bunch of multi-platform projects, one of which is called ‘The Beat Hotel’, a comedy puppet show which they’re raising finance for at the moment.

The new Men In Speedos album ‘We Have Moved Beside Neptune Fish Shop’ will be released as part of a Kickstarter campaign that they’re running for ‘The Beat Hotel’.

‘We really need people’s help to get the show made, and since we’ve just finished this album we thought it would be a nice reward to give it away for free, if people would help us with the Kickstarter campaign,’ said Gawain.

All of the tracks & a bunch of the samples will be given away for people to use in any way they wish.


ABOUT ‘KICKSTARTER’ : Crowdsourcing

Want to know more about Kickstarter? http://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq


QUOTES

Gawain Morrison, Producer - Filmtrip Ltd, said, “Content commissioning, financing and distributing are constantly in a state of flux these days, but in this wild west of independent production you can invent new ways of working, with new tools and platforms, and experiment with the worlds you build and storeis you tell.”

And “There are so many resources on the web you can create whatever web presence you want from showcasing content to building relationships, and the fact that you can be based in Belfast and work & share with people from all over the world is very liberating.  This is what digital, collaborative and interactive are supposed to mean”

### ENDS ###


MEDIA CONTENT

Video
• The Beat Hotel Vimeo Room : http://bit.ly/TBHVimeo - the official Vimeo Channel for the puppet show at the centre of The Beat Hotel.  You can find the trailer, some virals and The Making of The Beat Hotel videos.
• The Beat Hotel YouTube Room : http://bit.ly/TBHYouTube - the official YouTube Channel for the puppet show at the centre of The Beat Hotel.  You can find the trailer, some virals and The Making of The Beat Hotel videos.


Images

Image 1: Hotel inspector Alvin Feinstein gets an unexpected welcome to The Beat Hotel.

• High resolution version: http://bit.ly/TBHdancer1h
• Web resolution version: http://bit.ly/TBHdancer1w

Image 2: Hotel inspector Alvin Feinstein meets some of the eclectic residents of The Beat Hotel: Jim Fawndah (left) and Rusty Lane (right).

• High resolution version: http://bit.ly/TBH3chars1h
• Web resolution version: http://bit.ly/TBH3chars1w

Image 3: Rusty Lane, the Beat Hotel’s resident 101 year old burlesque superstar.

• High resolution version: http://bit.ly/TBHburlesque1h
• Web resolution version: http://bit.ly/TBHburlesque1w

Image 4: An aging flyer for one of Rusty Lane’s past performances at the Beat Hotel.

• High resolution version: http://bit.ly/TBHsign1h
• Web resolution version: http://bit.ly/TBHsign1w

More images can be found on Flickr: http://bit.ly/TBH_FlickrC1


SUPPORTING RESOURCES

• The Beat Hotel Vimeo Channel : http://bit.ly/TBHVimeo
• The Beat Hotel Facebook Page: http://on.fb.me/TBHpage
• The Beat Hotel website: http://www.beathotel.co.uk
• Puppet show Brochure (PDF download): http://bit.ly/TBHbrochure
• Twitter stream: http://bit.ly/TBHtwit
• Twitter hashtag to use when referring to The Beat Hotel: #beathotelshow
• The Beat Hotel Tumblr account for ‘Best Of Beat Awards’ : http://bit.ly/TBHTumblr
• Beat Hotel music on Last.fm: http://bit.ly/TBHlast

• More Information on the Mashup Competition : http://www.filmtrip.tv/blog/entry/mashup-competition-for-the-beat-hotel-show/
• Photos & Videos on Flickr for Mashup Competition http://bit.ly/mashup-comp

• Men In Speedos [Red Label Records] on Soundcloud : http://soundcloud.com/redlabelrecords
• More Information on Men In Speedos album ‘We Have Moved Beside Neptune Fish Shop’ : http://www.filmtrip.tv/blog/entry/men-in-speedos-album-given-away-free-for-the-beat-hotel-kickstarter-campaig/


The Beat Hotel has been supported by:


Supported through the Creative Industries Innovations Fund.


CONTACTS

Gawain Morrison, Producer
t: +44 (0)28 9581 1818
m: +44 (0) 7901 910 069
e: gawain#at#filmtrip.tv

Victor Henriquez, Communications Manager
t: +44 (0)28 9581 1818
m: +44 (0) 7759 781127
e: victor#at#filmtrip.tv

 


Categories: Multi-Platform  

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