Author Archives: Rina

Freestyle – “Juice” (11 of 14)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

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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
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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…


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Freestyle – “Rage” (10 of 14)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

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

Freestyle – “NY History” (9 of 14)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

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A look back at the heyday of NYC cyphering in the early ‘90s, with SuperNatural in Washington Square Park, commentary from Mos Def, and a spectacular Freestyle narrative from Wordsworth.

The Making of Freestyle (continued)

In order to develop the story threads for Freestyle, we began gathering new material. First I added the interview and performance of Juice that I had already shot. Then we researched those historic battles and started collecting footage from around the country. We became Freestyle Central for awhile! When the director, Kevin Fitzgerald came to NYC from LA, I shot new footage with him. We sought out Craig G for a crucial interview and also brought in Anthony Marshall and Danny Castro of Lyricist Lounge. They stopped by my apartment to check out the results one day.

Check out Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme
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Music Video: “Sink or Swim?” EnviroSiren’s SOS on rising seas

Guest post by Jules (EnviroSiren):

Ten years in the making, EnviroSiren’s Sink or Swim? (SOS) is a love song for the planet. The debate is over, the science is in: Human activity is dangerously warming the atmosphere and tipping the balance of the biosphere. Seas are rising precariously – and faster than scientists predicted but it’s not too late! EnviroSiren longs to seduce Earthlings everywhere to wake up to the warnings and start turning the tides on climate change…

Shot on location in Tulum, Mexico, and with a Red Epic camera at Pier59 Studio in NYC, SOS is a free music-video (3:20). It is available for download on request. The song is free and available here.

More about SOS here!


Posted by Rina Svet:

SOS, a music video I’ve been working on in collaboration with Jules for the past several months, is finally available today, and I’m happy to share it with you all here on DevlinPix!

A call for change, SOS is a special project to me – an amazing experience to work on, and especially marked in its importance by Hurricane Sandy as it ravaged a path across the east coast right in the midst of our editing sessions. In New York, Sandy reached us deeply.  It took our homes, our workplaces, our communities…  And the “Goodbye New York” line of SOS is scarily phophetic, and touches me deeply.