Alan Ari Lazar: Lalela Music Library + scoring Jerusalema: Gangster’s Paradise, AND the launch of Big Head Amusements

June 12, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

Just uploaded is an interview with Alan Ari Lazar, composer of Jerusalema: Gangster’s Paradise (2008) which I reviewed on DVD [M] + the soundtrack album [M] last year.

Lazar’s perhaps best known for scoring TV’s Sex and the City, but his background includes  a whole variety of genres and formats, and that wealth of experience has yielded a new music library designed to service the needs of commercial, TV, and feature film needs.

Called Lalela, the site is pretty user-friendly and puts the music up front for anyone to sample, and features a vast array of material by a variety of composers, many of whom come from Lazar’s native South Africa. It’s worth checking out the music – both the main cues and alternates can be heard for free on the site – but prior to that, why not listen to our lengthy conversation about Lazar’s work, which is available as a podcast from Big Head Amusements, my new site.

Why a podcast? Because it’s an alternative to printed interviews, and sometimes a phone Q&A runs long because the conversation happens to be pretty good. I’ve wanted to set up a site to house audio material outside of those currently on YouTube, as well as a site that’s essentially an interface where readers can find out where all the media bits are housed in an organized fashion.

In addition to material for and media on my YouTube Channel bigheadamusements (Get it? Get it?), there’s an index for stuff on Vimeo, which will include Editor’s Picks of neat things as well as some of the short films I’m working on. I’ll still post all blogs here, so this will be the main stream where any & all updates will reside, but certain media will now exist at BHA.

So the next obvious question is ‘Why call it Big Head Amusements?’ and I have a real answer for that, though it’s as peculiar as you trying to explain to a stranger why you call your tall & skinny best friend ‘Zinx’ when his name is Freddie Frattler.

Years ago I made a corporate video with a friend & colleague (Bill), and among the cast in this exceptionally dull thing was his brother-in-law Don, who’s a good actor. Don played an accountant, and the kidding between Bill & Don included jokes about the latter’s head, like ‘Cut! Cut! Cut! We have to redo the shot because Don’s head’s so huge it ruined the composition again.’

This went on for hours, which is why I made up a non-existent company (with logo) called Big Head Amusements. I took the ennui from the big head gags and recombobulated them into my own ‘amusements.’ Get it?

When it came time to replace my old company name of Bedlam Productions (yes, I’m the guy who used to tape performances at fFIDA in the mid-nineties) for a new production entity, I thought ‘Why not resuscitate BHA?’ since the experience of being exposed to a stream of big head jokes for an entire weekend 20 years ago poisoned my sense of humour.

(See, when I write fiction, there are always characters with bizarre heads. In my camp, calling someone a melon head is not politically incorrect when in fact the character has a head as round & featureless as a melon. But I digress.)

That is the origin of BHA, and there will be a proper logo when time permits, since the intricacies of a big head, an arrow, a tag line, and a sound effect take time to animate.

Plus the head’s so damn big, it keeps sliding off the monitor, and ruining the damn shot.



Mark R. Hasan, Editor ( Main Site / Mobile Site )

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