Cut Chemist & Cinefamily's Tom Fitzgerald LIVE!


There’s a very special event happening tomorrow I want to tell you about.  Tom Fitzgerald — one of our main programmers and practically a Cinefamily founding father — is performing down the street tomorrow, Wednesday the 17th at the House Of Blues, as part of Cut Chemist’s “Tunnel Vision” show. There’s more than a couple reasons you should check this out, the very first of which is Tom’s completely awesome trailer for the show, found below!

Since you probably know who Cut Chemist is (and that’s already a good reason to go, but if you’re unfamilliar, click here), let me tell you a little more about Tom, of whom we’re all extremely proud.  There’s no one else who’s had more influence on the feel, tone, and content of Cinefamily than Tom.   None of us at CInefamily had any background as film programmers before we started, but it’s no coincidence that the person who took the quickest to this new gig, and the person I’ve learned the most from, was someone from a completely different background: DJ culture. That’s Tom, who’s been working as Cut Chemist’s visual guy for years.

More so than just picking the movies, Tom’s background as a performer (he’s been doing Cut Chemist’s live visuals for years) has been instrumental in helping us conceive shows, and making them fun. We’ve been lucky to have a world-class video artist working here; if you’ve ever been in the theater while he’s manned the video turntables, you’ve witnessed his disintegrating digital video deconstructions. He’s able to manipulate, warp and destroy clips in ways that are hilarious, groovy, musical and psychedelicized.  Now you can see what Tom really does — his “day job”, as it were — right down the street.

I’ve also had the pleasure of working with Tom not just as a programmer, but as a fellow editor. I’ve spent more than a few late nights with him on our office edit bay, slaving over the final tweaks of one of our original Cinefamily trailers, pre-show gags or signature “mondo” mixes (twenty- or thirty-minute collages of found footage, themed around whatever series we’re working on.)   I’ve never met someone more synaesthetic in my life; he has the uncanny ability to match images to sounds in ways that are alternating striking, funny, rockin’, strange, or just plain right. He’s honed his skills for years, and has a pitch-perfect sense of how the nature of an image can be altered by the sound, or how to bring out the salient qualities of music with the right imagery.

The spine of a good party is the DJ. He’s the guy with his pulse on the audience, the one who knows how to affect a room, the guy who tweaks the timing moment-to-moment.  Cut Chemist is one of the best DJs in the world, so it follows that any show he’s put together is gonna kill.  ‘Cause at heart, great DJs — no matter how much pyrotechnics we sometimes appreciate — have a love and appreciation for other artists that drove them to start collecting music, and to listen to it so closely. I’m excited to see not just CC perform, and not just our friend Tom’s visuals, but to also feel every other artist that’s been chosen by him to be part of this night.

And, lastly, I don’t have anything to do with this show, really; I’m not associated with the House of Blues. I’m only giving this little shill ’cause, after four years here, I’ve come to think of Cut Chemist as a member of our extended Cinefamily. I don’t know if you know it, but there’s been times when he’s shown up unannounced and taken over the tables to play before a show of The Warriors or Wild Style — and that’s just fucking cool.  I remember when the Cold Crush Brothers were here for our Wild Style Q&A, and it was Cut who surprised everyone by whipping out a rare copy of “Weekend”, and getting them to spontaneously perform live. When I think of our early fantasies of the Cinefamily being a hotbed of cultural exchange, a kind of City Lights or Shakespeare and Co. for the 21st century, Cut was one of the first guys to recognize a good thing and just show up and support, staying after to talk not just music, but also “Night Flight” and the Z Channel.