This blog is dedicated to all things Frank – past, present and future.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Nude and Dismembered (1989)

"Blood and guts never tasted so funny." - Satan

In honor of Halloween, here's a movie I made with some friends during our senior year of high school (1989). We were taking a media class studying the works of Alfred Hitchcock so we thought it would be fun to make our own horror/suspense film – although ours borrowed more from schlocky B-movies, which we were also fans of. Video cameras and editing equipment were not readily available to an 18 year old kid back then so the movie was shot in sequence using only first-takes – mistakes and all. When we finally finished NUDE AND DISMEMBERED we premiered it in the media class from which it was inspired.


Steve Zielinski as The Evil One
Kevin Purcell as Noxious
Joe Kollar as The Voice of Satan

Directed by Frank Fusco & Joe Kollar

©1989 Bubjunior Productions

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Beastie Boy - "Sabotage" (2009)

When Casey showed interest in the "70's Detective" costume at the Halloween store, last Halloween, I was thrilled. That night I grabbed my Beastie Boys Video Anthology off the shelf and showed him the "Sabotage" video. He loved it and we watched it again and again. This secured his decision on being a 70's cop for Halloween. But the costume store only sold adult sizes so we made our own – it's easy enough. Since he was so jazzed on the video and his new costume we decided to make our own "Sabotage" video. My apologies to the Beastie Boys.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Me and My Brand New Haircut" (teaser video)

I plan to write more about my experience shooting the video for "Me and My Brand New Haircut", starring Davy Jones (from The Monkees) and Billy Kelly (not from The Monkees), sometime after it premieres on YouTube, October 26th – that's tomorrow! But until then, here's a teaser video I made for the video.

I introduced my kids to The Brady Bunch around the time I got the "Haircut" gig from Billy. While watching the episode "Getting Davy Jones" (for the hundredth time!), I noticed I could easily replace Marcia with Billy and rewrite the story to create a little teaser video. Billy liked the idea so I sent him a still shot of the recording studio from the episode and said..."build this". And he did!

When Davy arrived at Billy's house on the day of the shoot we sprung the teaser idea on him. He was game so we quickly shot his bit before heading to our barber shop location for "Me and My Brand New Haircut". Which you'll all see tomorrow on YouTube!

Friday, October 22, 2010

“I Can’t Get Away From Myself” (2010)

In late 2009, my friend Billy Kelly released a children’s CD, Thank You For Joining The Happy Club. It got some great reviews and Time-Out Magazine listed it as one of the Top 10 Children’s Albums of 2009. In one of Billy's Facebook threads someone commented that he should make a video for his song "S-N-O-W-M-A-N (Snowman!)". Billy responded that he'd get his friend Frank (me!) on it right away. Of course he was joking...or half joking. But it got me thinking of actually shooting a video for him. I didn't know what to do for "S-N-O-W-M-A-N" but I thought I could have fun with the song “I Can’t Get Away From Myself”.

The lyrics are basically about wherever Billy goes, there he is – he can't get away from himself. I figured with the knowledge I learned about split screens shooting the "Earl vs. Billy" segments for Bellmore: The Unscene (yesterday's post), I can literally show Billy being followed by Billy, everywhere he goes. We shot some silly scenarios, did a little green screening, Billy added some animation, and we pieced it together.

(Billy with body double Bruce W. Derr and me directing.)

The video was a lot of fun to make and my daughter Chloe especially loves it. She makes me show it to her all the time (a ritual we have while I comb her hair). Here she is running through the set before a take...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Earl vs. Billy (2003)

Above and below are scenes that were cut from Bellmore: The Unscene (yesterday's post). Actually, they're more than just scenes, they represent a whole story line that unfortunately wound up on the cutting room floor.

Although 4/6ths of Earl Pickens and The Black Mountain Marauders were originally from Bellmore, they were no longer based there...and they were a country band compared to all the other punk bands profiled. After showing a very early (and very long) rough cut to Billy Kelly (a.k.a. Earl Pickens), he felt his story didn't fit in with the rest of documentary. He was right and I knew it but I needed him to tell me. It was a hard decision to cut them out...glad he made it for me.

Filming the "Earl vs. Billy" scenes was the first time I dabbled with a split screen technique – which is why I'm sharing these today. My next two posts will also be split screen videos I made. Again with Billy...oddly enough.

Until then, check out more of "Earl vs. Billy", as they continue to duke it out...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bellmore: The Unscene (2003)

In 2001, I decided to make a documentary on the music scene (and friends) from my hometown of Bellmore, Long Island. Two years later I finished it. If I knew it was going to take that long I may not have started. But in the end, I'm happy I did. Won a couple of festival awards, too.

I finally got around to uploading Bellmore: The Unscene in it's entirety to the web (above). And below is a trailer I made for it. (The trailer's video quality is pretty poor because I uploaded it to YouTube four years ago before I knew what I was doing...and I don't want to start over again with zero views.)

Bellmore: The Unscene (trailer)

If you still want to know more about Bellmore's "Unscene", then check out the other blog I'm concurrently working on. It dives much deeper into the history.

Directed by Frank Fusco
Produced by Jim Muscarella
©2003 Hi-Tide Pictures

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My Sesame Street Ad

(Click on image to view larger.)

One of my career highlights was creating an ad for Sesame Street – one of my all time favorite television shows! Children's Television Workshop was one of the accounts I worked on at Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, back in 2000. (I also worked on the launch of Dragon Tales, but I don't much care for that show.) Jim Henson has always been at the top of my list of people I truly admire, so I feel privileged to have added – in a small way – to Jim's dream.

The ad was intended to highlight the upcoming curriculum of Sesame Street's new season. So we decided to visually show all the characters acting out the various teachings of Sesame Street. A super-market seemed like a good setting so I designed what the store should look like. (I wish I still had my original sketch, but I misplaced it.) We then hired a set designer to build the set. I also designed all the food labels in Bert's basket and the posters hanging in the windows.

When it came time to pose the Sesame Street characters on set they arrived in crates. The odd thing is that all the Muppets' pupils were they looked like zombies. The "Muppet Wrangler" (that's his title) informed me that they add the pupils to the eyes last so the eyeline is perfect. He made sure no one took any pictures of the Muppets without their pupils because he didn't want any zombie-Muppet photos floating around – though, anyone with limited Photoshop skills can easily make a zombie-Muppet.

When deciding which characters to use in the ad it was mandatory to include the newer characters like Elmo, Zoe and Rosita, because the kids today connect with them. Not me. I made sure to include some of my favorite characters from when I was a child, like Grover, Cookie Monster, The Count, and of course Bert and Ernie. Unfortunately, Oscar's garbage can just didn't fit in to the super-market scenario...conceptually. One thing I'm specifically proud of was the inclusion of Sherlock Hemlock, the detective. He's been pretty much retired from Sesame Street so I was happy to dust him off and give him a prominent role.

Advertising can sure be fun!

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Chlidhood Art

I figured I'd post some of my childhood illustrations as my first share. After all, that's where it all began. The pieces here were drawn between the ages of 6 and 7 (1st and 2nd grades).

My 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Dowd, was about 80 years old and was retiring with my class, so she pretty much gave up on teaching (hence the misspelled "Halloween" above – but it's more evil that way, isn't it?). So instead of learning, I'd draw pictures all day. Every day I'd come home with stacks of them and my mom saved some. Maybe she saved them as evidence or something because I'm sure she was a little disturbed by the subject matter. I know I am.

The above picture is probably the most disturbing of them all. Why would I draw a crucified Jesus upside down? Where would I even see that imagery to copy? I'm really surprised my parents didn't send me to a psychologist. (I remember calling the floating character Heat Miser – those are heat rays emitting from him.)

I liked to draw battle scenes.

I was a very big fan of Godzilla. Also in this picture: the invisible man (both big and little), the other two little guys I remember calling the Atom Brothers, and the thing in the bottom right hand corner is the "Chiller" hand from WPIX's Chiller Theatre.

One of my favorite cartoons was Hanna-Barbera's The Herculoids, so the character Tundro would often pop up in my drawings (he's the triceratops looking creature who shoots explosive energy rocks from his cannon-horn).

The Headless Horseman (above and below) was another character that would often pop up in my drawings. He'd always be towing his head in a cart attached to his horse – four heads in the one below.

This one's a favorite. The composition is cool and I especially love the spot-color use of the red crayon. Years later I used my childhood artwork for my band ambibat. This drawing became the cover of our 2nd album, Fresh Blood.

And speaking of bands...

Unfinished KISS. (Still one of my favorite bands.)

More childhood illustrations to come...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Frank Fusco - Artist

Being an artist, I'm constantly creating something. Besides making ads by day as an advertising creative, I always have a few projects going on at home, too. It's an uncontrollable obsession... just ask my wife. So I thought I'd start a blog where I can share all the things I make/made. Sort of like an online museum – dedicated to me!