Because of Big Noise's efforts, William Shatner's documentary film 'Gonzo Ballet' was placed on the Official Ballot for the 2010 Grammy Awards by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for Best Long Form Music Video.
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Buy William Shatner and Ben Fold's CD online now
About the Film:
'William Shatner's Gonzo
Directed by Kevin Layne and Patrick Buckley
On a cold, Milwaukee night, high art meets pop culture
as the music of William Shatner ('Star Trek,' 'Boston Legal')
and Ben Folds (Ben Folds Five), from their critically acclaimed
album, 'Has Been,' is transformed into 'Common People,'
a ballet from award-winning choreographer Margo Sappington
The feature-length documentary film 'Gonzo Ballet' explores this unique collaboration, as well as the
musical journey that has taken William Shatner from the trippy covers of
'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' and 'Mr. Tambourine Man' in the 1960s
to his recent original work with Ben Folds, and finally, to the ballet.
The film explores the genesis of the project by fusing the music, poetry, and dance of 'Common People' with interviews by William Shatner, Ben Folds, Margo Sappington, and Henry Rollins. Shatner plays a prominent role in the film and also acted as Executive Producer. Variety Magazine called the film 'surprisingly revealing' and indieWire reviewed that 'Shatner comes across as a true original.'
The willingness of the audience to accept new work, especially work
based upon a pop album, is explored, as is the popularity of ballet in
our culture. 'Gonzo Ballet' takes us from Shatner's musical beginnings,
and the critical misfires, to his finally 'getting it right' with Ben
Folds, and to the unlikely collaboration with Margo Sappington. What
shines through is each artist's dedication to their work, and to each
The film received Best Documentary at the Marbella International Film Festival in Spain.
has cultivated a career that has spanned over 50 years as
an Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor, director, producer,
screenwriter, recording artist, author, and horseman. He
is one of pop culture's most recognizable figures and has
also established himself as a major Hollywood philanthropist.
Born in Montreal, Shatner developed
an early interest in acting and started working professionally
at the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) before he reached
his teens. He found himself drawn to the theater and eventually
joined the Stratford Shakespeare Festival under Sir Tyrone
Guthrie. 'Tamburlaine,' one of the festival's productions,
moved to Broadway and Shatner was immediately noticed by
the New York critics. He later returned to Canada and won
the Tyrone Guthrie Award.
During his time at Stratford,
Shatner also wrote plays for the CBC. He moved to New York
and was a part of television's Golden Age, working on programs
such as 'Playhouse 90' and 'Studio One.' He made his film debut
in 1957's 'The Brothers Karamazov', followed by 'Judgment at
Nuremburg' and 'The Intruder.'
During the same period, he starred on Broadway in
'The World of Suzie Wong' and 'A Shot in the Dark.' He has
since guest-starred in several hundred television programs
including classics such as 'The Twilight Zone', 'Alfred
Hitchcock Presents' and 'Mission: Impossible.' He also recurred
on other staples including '77 Sunset Strip' and 'Dr. Kildare,'
before garnering an Emmy nomination for his appearances
in '3rd Rock from the Sun.'
In 1966, Shatner originated
the role of Captain James T. Kirk in the television series
'Star Trek', which rocketed to fame - but only after the show
was cancelled and later re-launched in syndication. The
series spawned a feature film franchise in which Shatner
reprised the role of Captain Kirk in seven of the 'Star Trek'
motion pictures. He has since appeared in other movies such
as 'Airplane II: The Sequel,' 'Loaded Weapon 1,' and
both installments of the 'Miss Congeniality' franchise. Shatner
played the title role in the network television series hit
'T.J. Hooker' before hosting television's first reality-based
series, 'Rescue 911', for six seasons. Since 'Rescue 911' first
aired in 1989, over 300 lives have been saved by people
who learned life-saving techniques from the show.
He made his feature film directorial debut in 1989 with 'Star Trek V: The
Final Frontier' (in which he also starred and helped conceive the story).
Since then, he has directed several other features, television movies,
and series. Most recently, he directed (as well as co-wrote, produced
and starred in) 'Groom Lake,' a picture about the mysterious area
surrounding Roswell, New Mexico.
Shatner was one of the first celebrities in Hollywood
to recognize the importance of the Internet. Since April
1998, he has served as the spokesman for Priceline.com.
His enduring appeal has proven to be an integral part of
the company's ad campaigns and brand marketing program.
As the celebrity spokesperson for Priceline.com, he contributes
his trademark sense of humor and entertaining style to the
groundbreaking and humorous series of television and radio
In September 2004, Shatner won
an Emmy for his recurring role as eccentric law firm partner
Denny Crane on 'The Practice,' the David E. Kelley-created
legal drama that finished its impressive run on ABC in 2004.
Shatner reprised the role as a series regular
on the hit ABC program 'Boston Legal.' As a result, he won
his first Golden Globe in January 2005 as well as another
Emmy that September. He has been nominated twice since for
Emmys and earned a second Golden Globe nod as well as a
SAG Award nomination for the role.
Shatner traveled to Riverside,
Iowa, which boasts itself as the 'Future Birthplace of Captain
James T. Kirk.' Shatner and a crew from Los Angeles filmed
'Invasion Iowa', a 2004 reality series in which an entire
town was punked into believing that a sci-fi film was being
shot there. Locals were hired on as cast and crew only to
later discover that their reactions - not a movie - were
The series aired in March 2005
on Spike TV and was very well-received by critics and audiences
alike. Shatner's 'Raw Nerve,' which currently airs on the
Biography channel, is his own edgy and off-beat celebrity
interview series. In each episode, Shatner spends a half-hour
getting to know his guest on an intensely personal level
and touches upon subjects not normally visited on other
talk shows. Guests such as Kelsey Grammer, Tim Allen, Jon
Voight, Jimmy Kimmel, Jenna Jameson, and Valerie Bertinelli
have discussed topics such as addiction, grief, childhood,
marriage, combat and parenthood.
Shatner's love and appreciation of music inspired him to go into the
studio and record 'Has Been', a compilation of songs he recorded with such
musical artists as Ben Folds (who also produced the record), Brad
Paisley, Joe Jackson, Aimee Mann and Henry Rollins. The album features
Shatner's trademark vocalization and shows off his passion for poetry
and lyricism. 'Has Been' was released through Shout! Factory in October
In March 2006, he produced and
starred in a TV Land special entitled 'William Shatner in
Concert', featuring highlights from concerts that he performed
with several guest artists from 'Has Been.' The music was
interwoven into segments that followed Shatner in various
everyday activities as well as some very special moments,
such as the birth of one of his granddaughters. Early in
2007, the Milwaukee Ballet performed 'Common People,' a
dance presentation set to several numbers from 'Has Been.'
The event - as well its preparations - were filmed and can
be seen in the new documentary 'Gonzo
Spring 2008 marked the release
of Shatner's brand new recording, 'Exodus.' Written by David
Itkin and performed with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra
(including a chorus of 350 and over 70 instruments), Shatner
narrated the story of 'Exodus' to sold-out crowds in Little
Rock in the spring of 2005. The CD is available at retail
and online outlets everywhere.
In 2006, he produced and starred in another cable special, 'How William
Shatner Changed the World', an Emmy-nominated documentary that aired on
the History Channel and was based on his book 'I'm Working on That.' The
program goes in-depth to show how many of the gadgets used in the
original 'Star Trek' television series inspired and foreshadowed some of
today's technological staples such as cell phones and PDA devices.
Shatner was also heard in movie
theatres throughout the world in the summer of 2006. He
starred as the voice of 'Kazar' in the Walt Disney feature
'The Wild', a film animated by C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures in
Toronto - a company in which Shatner is a partner. He also
was also one of the lead characters in the DreamWorks animated
picture 'Over the Hedge,' playing Ozzie the Opossum.
Off the screen and broadcast
waves, Shatner has authored over two dozen best-selling
books in both the fiction and non-fiction genres. His novel
series 'TekWar' was turned into a television series (in
which he starred and directed) for The Sci-Fi Network. Some
of his other popular novels include 'Man O' War,' 'Star
Trek Avenger' and 'Ashes of Eden.' He wrote two books about
his Star Trek career in 'Star Trek Memories' and 'Star Trek
Movie Memories' before penning 'Get A Life!' - a hilarious
but endearing look at the cult of Star Trek Conventions.
His latest novel, 'Star Trek: The Academy - Collision Course'
hit bookshelves in Fall 2007.
Shatner's newest book is his autobiography, 'Up Till
Now.' Released in May 2008, it very quickly became a New
York Times best-seller and received praise from reviewers
and readers alike around the world.
A new comic book series - 'William
Shatner Presents' - will debut in Summer 2009. The series
will be based on three novels of Shatner's: 'Tek War,' 'Man
O' War,' and 'Quest for Tomorrow', along with a brand new
His passions for horses and
philanthropy were united through his involvement with AHEAD
With Horses, a charity organization that gives physically
and mentally challenged children the thrill of riding a
horse - and boosts their confidence and self-esteem, often
with life-changing results. For the past 18 years, he has
hosted the Hollywood Charity Horse Show at the Los Angeles
Equestrian Center. The event, held every spring, benefits
AHEAD With Horses and other Los Angeles-based charities.
He has also worked with the American Tinnitus Association,
raising awareness of this debilitating illness through numerous
television appearances and interviews. In June 2007, he
helped raise awareness of the sub-par treatment that many
U.S. troops were receiving at Walter Reed Army Hospital.
On an international level, he
and his wife have started the William & Elizabeth Shatner
Therapeutic Riding Consortium Endowment for Israel. This
very special venture is designed to benefit Bedouin, Palestinian,
Jordanian, and Israeli children so that in addition to healing,
there will be an effort to bring the war-torn children together
and start the first steps towards a lasting peace.
Shatner continues to act, write, produce and direct while still managing
to find time to work with charities and further his passion in the
equestrian sports. He and his wife and three married children live in
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