For too long, I have struggled for a more coherent and effective strategy with which to approach this blog. At last, after much consternation, the elusive obvious epiphany had at last occurred. Chaos! Quantity over quality! I enjoy writing, and thus, I shall write with greater frequency. Attempting to confine my work on this blog to writings which seemed appropriate to the audience of a science fiction show ostensibly created for children has created an unnecessary bit of writer’s block. Ultimately, I must face the fact that the show is unlikely to be palatable to a conventional “children’s show” audience, and restricting my blogging to a hypothetical audience of this nature is likely to result in something profoundly uninteresting to almost everyone. The membrane between fact and fantasy has always been semi permeable since the very inception of Phoenix And Phriends. The show is an exaggerated vision of my desire to learn from the Universe, through the specific vehicle of my relationship with my son, to become an effective agent of positive change in the world. The Dada character is earnest and eager, yet bumbling and naive. It had occurred to me to attempt to write these blog posts “in character,” but the specificity of that effort was simply too stifling to the process. It had also occurred to me to assign myself a seemingly relevant topic each week, and post in a predictable, focused, coherent, and we’ll researched manner. This also proved to be untenable at this particular point in my process of being. Instead, I hereby resolve to post frequently, sincerely, and somewhat haphazardly. “The Dada Diaries” has long struck me as having been a rather idiotic title for the blog, chosen on a momentary whim. I will now accept the implication of this misconceived moniker, and simply write in a more stream of consciousness oriented manner, addressing my actual concerns, interests, and desires relating to the so-called “Real World.” I will simply write in the voice of myself, Byron H Diel, a humanoid on the Earth, “Percussionist, Paramedic, Producer,” and father of Phoenix. These are strange, frightening, challenging, and yet deeply interesting and exciting times in which we operate. I make no special claim to the answers of the questions that we face. The journey of my life has been in many ways a rather unusual one, and I do believe that if I properly apply myself, I may be able to provide some sort of contribution to the betterment of humanity, and I believe that I have a responsibility to help as possible with the limited abilities I possess. With this final pre-postmodern post, I will abandon attempts at “meta narrative” and will heretofore attempt a “para narrative,” wandering a path alongside the mystery of existential truth, without the pretension of illusory encapsulation. Embracing my “Inner Dada,” I will bumble forward, worrying as little as possible whether the ideas presented are fully formed, but blindly trusting that faithful and dutiful service to my Commander will ultimately bring these efforts to a satisfied conclusion.
Episode 2 Update
Yes, the delay has been lengthy, but Episode 2, Weird Weather, is well underway. The uniforms have been freshly updated, many of the scenes have already been shot, and pre-editing is already taking place. We are working hard to achieve a Thanksgiving 2016 release. Phoenix turned 2 years old yesterday, and is at an unprecedented level of action hero capacity!
The origins of our extended inter-episode interval have been uniquely multifauceted, and largely the result of foundational work at the service of the long term sustainable evolution of Phoenix And Phriends. Fans will be releived to learn that subsequent episodes will be increasingly rapidly produced. We have upgraded our uniforms, and are in the process of developing entirely novel, mixed multimedia special effects. Some of these new techniques will emerge in Episode 2, but will be heavily incorporated into Episode 3 and beyond.
In the interest of creating cash flow to fund the future phases of the show, we will soon be opening an affiliated Etsy shop. This endeavor has become a bit more labor and resource intensive than initially anticipated, but I feel increasingly excited that the long awaited launch is now quite near. It is our intent to offer a unique array of ornamental items, thematically and aesthetically complementary to the ethos of our show.
Watch this Space!
The Natural Guard Marches On!
At long last, work on Episode 2 is really picking up steam, and the infrastructure of the wider Phoenix And Phriends Universe is beginning to fall into place. Our hot weather uniforms were finally finished today. Tracy’s Sewing Service at 828 E Olive in Fresno did an absolutely incredible job altering the uniforms and sewing on the patches. I highly recommend them for any clothing repairs or alterations. Several scenes have been shot already, and now that we have the summertime jumpsuits, we can begin to shoot some outdoor action scenes. Without giving too many spoilers, I will reveal that Phoenix and Dada will actually spend some time on our very own Planet Earth…saving it from destruction, of course. Work is also well underway on the Phoenixologica Etsy Store. We will begin by offering our vintage Soviet watch collection and soon gradually introduce a line of handmade jewelery. Everything in the store will be thematically related to the show. In the words of the immortal Brian Kenny Fresno, moron this later. Last week, The Commander, his Mother, Sister and I took a pilgrimage of sorts to Post Falls, Idaho. There we had a very enjoyable vacation, spending time with Phoenix’s Grandma Mary Jo, and many other wonderful family members and friends. Profound homage was paid to the memory of the Earthly Incarnation of the Immortal Queen Nana Bettina. To say that it was not the same without Nana there in the flesh would be the most massive of understatements, however the ostensibly irrational sensation that Her Majesty’s presence is helping to guide our creative process going forward has only grown stronger. One of the many highlights of the vacation was a morning spent rockhounding by the Spokane River with Phoenix and his Sister Maddy. We currently have these Idaho rocks in our new tumbler, and plan to incorporate some of them into our new jewelry line, which will be available in time for the holiday season. I would like to close this stream of consciousness run on paragraph by circling back to our new uniforms, both the indoor and outdoor manifestations. Prominently and proudly emblazoned on both the front and back of these jumpsuits are the critically important words “Natural Guard,” a concept originated by the ingenious shamanic futurist Jim Channon. I briefly referenced the Intergalactic Natural Guard, to which Dada and Phoenix belong, in Episode 1. Mr Channon was given credit at the end of the show for originating the Natural Guard idea, however I had not yet asked his permission for its use. After completion and initial airing of the episode, I somewhat timidly approached this great man, from whom I have drawn tremendous inspiration, on Facebook, and told him of my intention to more comprehensively weave the Natural Guard mythology into the fabric of the show. I was deeply honored and incredibly pleased that Jim Channon granted me full permission to run with the Natural Guard concept, and in Episode 2 we begin the work of doing exactly that. In our brief but seemingly profound virtual interaction, I found Mr Channon to be every bit as warm, friendly and nurturing as his body of work had always appeared to indicate. Our use of the Natural Guard idea will always attempt to remain respectfully true to the vision that this brilliant thinker introduced to our world. I spent the beginning of the summer re reading Jim Channon’s book Go Planet! The book effected me even more deeply the second time, and helped me to clarify the higher purpose of Phoenix And Phriends, and my life more generally. I will be discussing this book in detail in a future post, hopefully next week, providing I can make the time to do it justice. I do not profit in any way by promoting Mr Channon’s work, and do not seek to do so. If Phoenix and I are able to introduce even a few more Earthlings to the incredibly positive vision of the future presented in Jim Channon’s work, this Planet will certainly become a better place, indeed in time even perhaps, as Jim would say…a Paradise.
Episode 1: Hubble Trouble
The Wait Is Over.
Phoenix And Phriends :Episode 1
Episode 1: Premiers Thursday Feb 11th!
At last, after over a year of work, Phoenix And Phriends, Episode 1: Hubble Trouble is finally complete, and will air on the CMAC Fresno Public Channel at 7:30 pm on Thursday the 11th, and 11:00 am on Saturday the 13th. The channels for the Fresno area are 93 for Comcast and 99 for AT and T. The show can also be live streamed from the CMAC website at the following link: CMAC Fresno Live Stream.
The credits as listed at the end of the show are printed below. Expanded credits with further explanations of music and projects of the other performers will be released in the near future. Thanks to anyone out there taking an interest in the show, and many thanks to everyone who has participated. Much more fun to come!
Director: Byron H Diel
Writer: Byron H Diel
Producer: Byron H Diel
Camera: Anita Fernandez
Floor Manager: Anita Fernandez
Editor: Byron H Diel
Director of Despicable Alien Scene: Cesar Perez
Camera on Despicable Alien Scene: Dez Martinez
Camera on Despicable Alien Scene: Leonard Brewer
Cast: in order of appearance
Sub Commander Dada: Byron H Diel
Commander Phoenix: Phoenix Jack Morgan-Diel
Charleton Smoke: Clark Sumner
Dagmar Smoke: Chris Hubble
Lieutenant Meowzers: Maddy Collier
Master Mustafa: Wael Abdelgawad
Sampi Saaduna: Salma Abdelgawad
Queen Nana Bettina: Betty “Nana” Imhoff
Despicable Alien-Trumpet: Mike Ault
Despicable Alien- Keyboard & Vox : Evelyn Fey
Shadowhead: Wael Abdelgawad
Madam Anima Mundi: Alison “Gale Force” Gale
Theme Song: Byron H Diel 2015
Dada’s Intro: Byron H Diel 2014
Smoke Brothers Scenes: Respectable Citizen 09/2015
Lt Meowzers: Respectable Citizen Absinth
Mustafa’s Dojo: Byron H Diel <>2012
Nana Bettina: Byron H Diel 2008
Despicable Alien Intro: Despicable Alien 12/2012
Despicable Alien: Despicable Alien 07/2015
Final Battle: Vance Galloway Byron H Diel 2009
M.A.M. Awards: Respectable Citizen Le Charm 2007
Dada Outro: Byron H Diel 2014
Space Imgery ESA/Hubble and NASA
The concept of “Natural Guard” was created by Jim Channon.
Disclaimer: While the producer is generally a supporter of NASA, Phoenix and Phriends is not supported by or endorsed by NASA in any way.
Warning: Some of the martial arts techniques in the “Final Battle” scene are dangerous, and should not be attempted without the supervision of a qualified instructor.
Many Thanks to the staff of CMAC Fresno for all of the help.
Special Thanks to Anita Fernandez for the indispensably loyal assistance and excellent friendship.
Extra Special Thanks and Love to Phoenix’s Mother Maleah Morgan,
without whose help, understanding and support none of this could have been possible.
Byron’s Interview on Members Only
Mission Statement: Phoenix And Phriends
As we draw ever more near to the release of the pilot episode, I feel compelled to clarify my intentions regarding the future of Phoenix And Phriends, and its surrounding efforts, including this blog. While “The Dada Diaries” will remain a useful forum for the dissemination of news regarding the show itself, that alone will not be enough to provide real value to my hypothetical audience. One element of the plan is to expand into the creation of various sub-categories of content relating to themes presented in, and otherwise relating to the show. These will likely include, but possibly not be limited to the following: parenting, space, science, technology, music, martial arts, education, environmentalism, art and multimedia production, self-improvement, progressive politics and entrepreneurship. For me personally, one of the greatest aspects of creating Phoenix And Phriends has been the ability to combine two of my favorite things, spending time with my son and doing creative work. From the beginning it has been my stated position that even if the audience for show remains relatively limited, as has been the case for all of my previous projects, it will have been well worth the effort. The fun that we are having, and the memories that we are creating together will be something that Phoenix and I can share as long as we live. That having been said, I am unapologetic about my seemingly grandiose vision of the possibility that the show might gain sufficient popularity to become a means of livelihood for Phoenix, myself, and our family. In my view, the best way of accomplishing this is to insure that we provide our audience with content that is substantively educational, socially responsible, and highly entertaining. For our audience members who care enough to dig deeper than the 29 minutes of the show itself, and do things like reading the blog, visiting the soon to be built website, and engaging with us in other ways, I want to find ways of rewarding their efforts by enhancing their lives with truly useful and life enhancing information. This will be an enormous undertaking, to be sure, and one which I eagerly anticipate. In the past I have often struggled with the relationship between art and commerce. Both my progressive values and my sometimes narcissistic creative process have often made me uncomfortable with the concept of actually being financially compensated for creative work. Becoming a father has been a life transforming event, and has caused me to re think many of my methods and motives. I can not expect an audience to reward me for simply attempting to dazzle them with idiosyncrasy. People need art which actually serves to inspire, inform and truly entertain. If Phoenix and I can provide that kind of creation, in a sustainable manner, consistent with the values with which he is being raised, I feel confident that our audience will provide us with the means to continue to grow and truly thrive. Thank you for taking the time to pay attention. We’ll do our best to make it worth your while.
Theme Song Sequence Nearly Done!
After completing the editing of the opening Dada monologue scene, which is the one I was the most anxious about, I moved on to the theme song sequence, which was a lot of fun to put together. I hope to smooth the transitions a bit tomorrow, throw in some text, and generally polish it up a bit, but the overall superstructure is in place, and seems fairly solid, in my humble opinion. My CMAC contract doesn’t allow me to display the scene until after I’ve run it on the CMAC channel, but I don’t think they’ll object to my posting a few choice stills I extracted. Momentum should be really picking up from here on out, and mid January still appears to be a realistic timeframe for the release. In the meantime, I hope folks will enjoy these photos of Phoenix, his saucer, and the Amazing Madam Anima Mundi (#GaleForce). Cheers!
New Year Update from Phoenix and Phriends!
Happy New Year from Phoenix and Dada! We are pleased to announce great progress on the editing of Episode 1: “Hubble Trouble.” This very morning, the opening monologue scene was completed, and it was one of the scenes I was most concerned about. I’m rather pleased with the results, if I do say so, given the footage that we had to work with. Immediately after completing that rather daunting task, I put the lead vocal track onto the theme song, and mixed it down. Subsequent versions will be refined, but, in the interest of expedience, it’s good enough for now. I believe we are on track to release the pilot by mid January! Updates on this blog will now become more frequent, and the promotional effort will be accelerated. This promises to be an exciting time. After an entire year of sustained effort, we are nearly ready to finally bring what began as a seemingly delusional and grandiose concept to fruition. Many thanks to everyone involved, especially our intrepid camera operator and floor manager Anita Fernandez, and the staff of CMAC Fresno. I’ll be pre-releasing the credits for the episode on this blog within the week. Subsequent posts will detail the Mission Statement for the show, and a Kickstarter campaign will soon be initiated to help finance props and supplies for the rest of the first season. Here’s to a productive and enjoyable 2016! Cheers! Dada out.
Pilot Nearing Completion!
The scenes with our villians, the Smoke Brothers, were shot last Saturday, and completely exceeded my high expectations. It’s admittedly hard for me to be objective, as intertwined as this project has become with my life, but I think these scenes are really quite amusing. Clark Sumner as Charleton Smoke, and Chris Hubble as Dagmar Smoke turned out to be perfectly cast, if I do say so myself, and I think they’re really going to steal the show. Tomorrow, I hope to shoot the two remaining scenes with Phoenix, and maybe even my last two quick ones (if we’re extra lucky.) I’ll remember to get some photos from the set, for a change. There’s a lot of editing left to do, but we’re still on track to air in January. I hope to be getting clips posted to the blog soon, but CMAC needs to air them first, as part of our contractual arrangement. Thanks for your patience. It’ll be worth the wait.