Rina's blog

Claire Will Be Missed

It breaks my heart to write that our close friend and talented producer, Claire Missanelli died on Thursday morning, March 31st, 2011. Claire had been battling breast cancer bravely since 2003. The recent and sudden change took us all by surprise. But her journey was peaceful - no pain, at home surrounded by friends and family. On Thursday April 7th, family members spread Claire's ashes in Coney Island, a favorite place for Claire.

Condolences to Claire's family can be sent to her mother, Clara Messanella, 510 Pond Street, Bristol, PA 19007.

A memorial service and celebration of Claire's life took place on Sunday, May 1st, at Oval Lounge amidst the greenery of Stuyvesant Town, Manhattan. Claire’s memorial was uplifting, despite the sadness of her loss. We were surrounded by family, friends and filmmakers with wonderful tributes to Claire in words, images, and music, including a performance by Claire's friend and neighbor, recording artist Susan McKeown. Filmmaker Charles Vogl attended the memorial and wrote this heartfelt message about Claire on his blog.  

I especially want to thank everyone who contributed financially to Claire’s struggle for survival. You should know that Claire’s family has decided to donate the remainder of the money to You Can Thrive!, a Foundation that supports women with cancer. Claire was on the Board of You Can Thrive! and very active in its mission. So your contributions will allow Claire to continue to help women fighting cancer.

Please re-visit this page for updates and to share stories, memories and photos in the Comments section below.  

Claire was a true light in my life - optimistic, bright and positive. She helped keep me going during all the hard work and all-nighters and there was no better person to share the joy of success with. Claire was a gifted filmmaker. She reached audiences of millions globally and she touched her colleagues not only with her heart, but with her wisdom and experience. Claire's impact on the world has been powerful. I am blessed to be her friend and honored to have shared a legacy of good work with her.

Paul Devlin


A special video tribute to Claire, by our Georgian co-producer of Power Trip Valeri Odikadze.

Rina Svet made this Memorial Video of Claire.

Claire's Photo Gallery (click ESC to exit photo)



SlamNation: Steve Marsh - "Protect Yourself with a Condom"

Posted by Paul Devlin:

In this outtake from SlamNation, Steve Marsh, the architect of Poetry Slam, Inc. delivers one of his signature pieces.


SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

Power Trip - AES - Telasi PSAs

Posted by Paul Devlin:

The country of Georgia is doing much better now, but back in the late '90s and early 2000s, it was in crisis. This was spectacularly manifested with horrendous electricity problems, documented in my movie Power Trip .

But the Georgians are able to find humor in any situation. This included funny little Public Service Announcements produced by the Amercian/Georgian electric company, AES-Telasi, designed to raise awareness about electricity issues.

Here are a few more clever ones that did not make the movie.

Power Trip DVD
Power Trip Trailer

The Front Man East Coast Premiere at The Florida Film Festival!

The Front Man East Coast Premiere at the Florida Film Festival in Maitland, FL! Showings are April 5th & 8th! Tickets available now!






D-Word Pitch at CBS March Madness


Posted by Paul Devlin:

D-Word is the online community for documentary professionals. I joined in the beginning about 15 years ago and it has been remarkable to watch filmmaker Doug Block's vision emerge as an indispensable resource for documentary filmmakers. Basically D-Word gathers all the wisdom and experience of the world-wide documentary community in one place.

Now we're in the midst of a campaign to upgrade and thrive for the next 15 years. I made this little video in support during breaks at my day job covering March Madness for CBS. If you're a documentary professional or interested in documentary filmmakers, give D-Word a look!

The Almighty Bob

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Happy Birthday, Almighty Bob!

This piece was a birthday present for my dear friend Robert Wagner 20 years ago. Now I'm re-gifting it to him. Rob was the singer for The Blasés, a band that was hugely popular in New Jersey in the '80s and '90s. This piece features some great tracks from Rob's solo work.

We went on a hike up Shrine Pass outside of Vail, Colorado, along with my mom, Nancy Devlin, and my girlfriend at the time, Shannon Stanczak. Of course, I brought a video camera and of course, Rob starting riffing.

Freestyle - "Juice" (11 of 14)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Previous episode   Next episode

One of the most talented hip hop artists ever, Juice’s rhymes are stunning. Written or Free? You decide.

The Making of Freestyle (continued)

Kevin Fitzgerald’s passion for hip hop sometimes created tension between him and the producer Henry-Alex Rubin and myself. Kevin was all about the integrity of the complete performance. Henry and I were all about structure, pace and story. We felt it was our job to make the material accessible, Kevin felt it was his job to honor the performers and their performance. One time, the night before submitting to a crucial festival, Kevin re-edited the movie without telling us, including dropping in a 3-minute freestyle into the midst of a very tightly structure sequence, building to a climactic battle. Luckily we caught the change before the cut went out, and convinced Kevin that the sequence should be restored. Often Henry and I felt that we had to fend off Kevin for his own good.

Check out Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme
Buy the DVD

Slam Poem: Pat Storm - "My Friend Sean"

At national slam poetry events, individual poets who are unaffiliated with a team are referred to as “storm poets.” Poet Danny Solis created this name as a memorial to his friend Pat Storm, who died in 2000.

Pat was a member of several slam teams from the south competing at the national level and was very successful. You can see why in this piece.

Pat grew up in New York City and he returned there, amidst some controversy. He would hang out in Tompkins Square Park in the East Village near where I live. I would visit him there sometimes.

But Pat was struggling with substance abuse. One time when I saw him in the park, he was unconscious on a bench, surrounded by paramedics and police. When they roused him, he burst into fire and it took several men to restrain him. Pat was a powerful force.

In 2000, I invited Pat to come see the SlamAmerica Bus tour’s NYC performance at a club on 14th Street. I think that was the last time many of his slam poet friends saw him. He died soon after.

Pat was well-loved by the slam community and we miss him. For all you proud storm poets, here is your namesake...


SlamNation DVD 
SlamNation Trailer

Freestyle - "Rage" (10 of 14)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Previous episode Next episode

A concise history of hip hop’s emotional and culture roots.

The Making of Freestyle (continued)

Director Kevin Fitzgerald’s love of hip hop and freestyle was pure and passionate. His production company was called Organic Films, and that’s exactly what the movie Freestyle was. It was a fluid work, ever changing. Kevin would take the current version of the movie, and screen it at a hip hop event. Of course, all the freestylers would show up and start cyphering on the street after the screening. Kevin was there with his camera, capturing it all. And those performances would be incorporated into the next version of the movie! He would screen that version and the process would start all over again.

Check out Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme
Buy the DVD


Post by Paul Devlin:

Two years ago today I lost my producing partner Claire Missanelli, to breast cancer. Claire had an immeasurable impact on my life. I miss her friendship and have found she is irreplaceable as a colleague.

To mark the anniversary of her passing we've put together a memorial DVD of Claire. It includes photos albums, tribute videos and a document of her memorial service. If you would like a copy, please send a request and mailing address to claire@devlinpix.com.

Claire was a special person and we're very happy to be able to provide this to the people who loved her.

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