The Adventures of Boof Margarine, by filmmaker/composer Dave Keen who is a Niskayuna native, pays homage to the silent comedies of the golden era of cinema. An original silent film will be viewed as a full symphonic composition will be performed by the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra at Proctor’s Theater, itself once a regular hub for the vaudeville performances of that era.
After playing around the USA and abroad as a freelancer, Dave Keen, a professionally trained violinist, switched gears to form original progressive rock group Baba Yaga in New York City. He sang lead and played guitar and violin. Baba Yaga recorded a self-titled album in 2011, and in 2013 they wrote the intro theme music for “Hobbit Week” on the Stephen Colbert Show.
Dave got into still photography while rehearsing and playing out with the band, inspired by his bandmates’ art projects. Exposed to collage art and installation and video art going back to his days training in violin at Purchase College, a strong and sudden inspiration in the moving image and in cinema opened a door to a vast new world, a new world that gave deeper meaning to his music than just playing jobs and gigs.
Studying entirely on his own, through hard work and the vast resources online, along with the direct help of some top cinematographers, filmmakers and writers along the way, Dave began seeing expressed in cinema the things he loves most in life, humor, tragedy, and the mystery of our human feelings and relationships. The coincidental arrival of the digital capture “revolution” around the end of the first decade enabled Dave to jump right into practical unlimited experience.
Boof Margarine began as a joke, little miniatures from the life of a character out of the Three Stooges or Laurel and Hardy that Dave dreamt up while taking breaks, from studying cinematography, or after a long day working as a musician. A pastime, each episode was designed to last 30 seconds or so, a tongue-in-cheek hat-tip to that era. A quick and simple joke with the audience expressing love for those early days of silent comedy, vaudeville acts finally captured on film. Vaudeville acts, incidentally, that stopped regularly in Schenectady.
Ironically enough, after studying light, shadow, space, camera movement and other elements of cinematic storytelling, these Boof Margarine bits, being an homage to that early cinema, involved no camera movement at all, very simple lighting, little contrast, concentrating instead on the action in front of the lens! A great opportunity for acting and directing.
Dave teamed up with colleague Rob Buchwald, an actor and filmmaker from NYC, to create a full-length episode of Boof Margarine with original music, with Rob creating and portraying Boof’s live-in gal Mabel. At first Dave wanted to retain the brevity non-story form, but Buchwald insisted on doing a nice little funny story, an excellent idea!
Dave is currently shooting a short film, a psychological thriller about a political prisoner struggling to escape his captors, while meeting his cellmates with trepidation, bordering on mania. Entitled Cold Wakeup, filmed in New York City with a dedicated cast of fourteen, it will be released in spring 2018.
The performance will be Sunday, January 14th at 3pm at Proctors in Schenectady, NY. Single tickets $20 and $12. 18 and younger FREE when accompanied by an adult with a paid ticket. No fees for ticket purchased at the Proctors Box Office.