Tuesday, December 28, 2010

THRESHOLD: New Years Eve

In mid-February, Diggable Monkey will again co-produce the ever popular, 5th iteration of the Threshold event. Much the same as 2010, our decision to re-create the Chinese New Year - in February, rather than Dec. 31st - is based primarily on our interest to avoid the partying chaos that is the Gregorian calendar New Year date. We really love the shape shift we implemented last year... Not only is the Chinese new year more interesting from a thematic perspective, but it gives us an opportunity to focus community energy and bear light in one of the darkest periods of the winter. It also opens up the possibility that we might also move the date to celebrate another culture's new year!

We've assembled some of the usual suspects to help bring the magic in the Year of the Rabbit: Maria Toth and her gorgeous space at Refuge, SijaPDX on booking and production, Narayani Matson on interior design, Dan Cohen and Gabe Shaunnessy, our projection artists, with Random Rab and Plastician holding down the main headliner spots for a TWO NIGHT EVENT. Typically, we attempt to create a multiple stage environment. Given the configuration of the Refuge space, we will attempt to leverage the middle room for theatrical performances - Kazum, the Good Time Girls, and the Bridgetown Revue. Our production crew includes some of the steadiest hands in the biz. We can't wait to pull another rabbit out of the hat!

Keep your eyes peeled on the website for more details in the coming days:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Logo - Strong Out of the Gate!

This is one of the first real opportunities I've had to design a logo with a competent graphic artist. My friend k8 has been working with me on event/show fliers for a number of years. All told, she's done at least 5 of them for me. There's something really great about having someone with great skills help you see a vision - kind of like the way a hair dresser has a way with one's hair. You might consider seeing someone else, but when it comes to reliability, you don't want to take any chances with unproven help. I commend her work and would recommend her to anyone who needs exceptional graphic designer talent.

The monkey in the image is a caricature. He is born from two worlds: my urban planning and my Burning Man worlds. The two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, I've tried hard to create a synergy between them. My film career started somewhat late in graduate school where I studied planning. It quickly blossomed into various avenues of the Portland art community and now stands poised to swing on the vines of the social media revolution. At the time I started, it seemed highly unlikely that someone with a planning degree would make for a good film maker. A few years into the work, I now feel like that foray was perhaps the smartest career and passion meld I could possibly have made.

Though the Monkey Puzzle tribe has not officially been to the Burning Man festival in over three years, the momentum started with that organization still runs strong in my creative veins. There is very little about MP that I didn't truly love. I owe much inspiration to the people who helped gestate that experience. As for the Diggable City project, over 20 major metro areas around the country (and the world) have referenced the seminal 5-year old document and initiated urban agriculture policies within their own municipalities.

All told, I'd say the Diggable Monkey is starting pretty darn strong out of the gate! oo OO oo

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Jane Jacobs Parting Words (2007)

For those of you not familiar with her work, Jane Jacob's is probably half the reason why you love the way Portland, OR (Portlandia) functions. Neil Goldschmidt and Portland planners in the 1970's were all about her persuasion toward smart transportation investment and leveraging the "human-scale" elements of our city. Take a look at the Parting Words documentary and learn more about her fabulous intuition.

Diggable Monkey

Video Link:

Friday, December 3, 2010

March Fourth Marching Band Documentary

The Diggable Monkey film production team is busy hammering out the final edits of the very first short form documentary on the band. From early to late September, the band toured three countries in Europe - Germany, the Netherlands and France. I was fortunate to be embedded as a cameraman with them through the week long Germany portion of the trip. Our primary areas of focus were touring in the regions of Hamburg and small towns in Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), including the towns of Peine, Hann. Munden and Leer, near the Holland border.

Celebrating its 8th year of operation this coming March, the band shows a maturity in both their playing style and their cohesion as a traveling group of 25 plus members. I was especially proud of how they more than adequately represented our city (and country) abroad.

We'll be submitting an entry into Portland's International Film Festival (PIFF) and potentially other Oregon festivals. Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks.

Kevin Balmer
Diggable Monkey, Producer

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Nowhere Band - Dear Prudence (2009)

December 19, 2009 - Excerpt from the annual White Album Christmas show at the Bossanova Ballroom. Jason Wells and gang sings "Dear Prudence" to a captive audience.

Video Link:

"Dear Prudence" written by John Lennon
Performed by The Nowhere Band

Camera and edits by Kevin Balmer
© Diggable Monkey Productions


DECEMBER 9th and 10th, 2010
doors at 8, show at 9

a holiday circus spectacular
a tribute to The Beatles
and an annual reunion of the Cascadian Freak Family

3000 NE Alberta
tickets and info at

Carl Solovox
Miss Sarah King
John Averill (March Fourth)
Dave Camp (Stereovision)
Jason Wells (Trashcan Joe)
Ryan Moore (March Fourth)
and still more
with fab featured circus performers


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

March Fourth Marching Band - Hoo Ha (2010)

Video Link:

November 6, 2010 - Unedited video excerpt of the Hoo Ha drum solo performed at 2720, in St. Louis, Missouri. Featuring the March Fourth rhythm section with Ryan Moore (Snare), Richard Cawley (Toms), Jenny DiDonato (Conga), Dan Stauffer (Cymbals) and Alex Yore (Bass Drum).

"Hoo Ha" written by Jason Wells
Performed by March Fourth Marching Band

Camera and Editing by Kevin Balmer
© Diggable Monkey Productions

Saturday, November 6, 2010

March Fourth Marching Band TV (2010)

November 4, 2010 - Just another day at the office with the March Fourth Marching Band. The TV broadcast on WGN in Chicago beamed across the US, as many cable subscribers get the channel as part of the basic package. These are behind the scene clips from the session in the studio. As anachronistic as TV media has become, these brief spots were a big coup for the band.

"Dynomite" Written by Robin Jackson
Performed by March Fourth Marching Band
WGN Television Studio 2
Camera and Editing - Kevin Balmer
© Diggable Monkey Productions

Saturday, July 24, 2010

PDX Bridge Festival - Fabric and Lighting Installation (2010)

Watch the PDX Bridge Festival production team stop center lane traffic on Multnomah County's 100-year old Hawthorne Bridge to install tension fabric and motion triggered lighting in preparation for the 'Hit the Lights' event tonight (Saturday July 24th) at 9:30pm. Best full pan viewing for the show is likely to be on the Morrison, one bridge to the north. Come and bear witness to a 'first' in our city's history.

Vimeo Link:

For more information on PDX Bridge Festival, to go:

Kinetic Sculpture Concept: Tucker Teutsch 3.0

Installation Team:
Guildworks - Mar Ricketts, Architect of the Air

SmarthTech AV - Chris Herring, Jean Margaret Thomas, Lila Stanphil

Heavy Equipment - Star Rentals

Camera and editing by Kevin Balmer
Video production Diggable Monkey Pictures

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dan Cohen Alchemy (2010)

June 24, 2010 - Meet Dan Cohen, one of the country's most prominent large-scale mural painter and fine art sculptor. Scenes and interviews from recent projects, including the recently completed mural of a wetland landscape mural on Wilhelm's Memorial Funeral Home in SE Portland.

From the Regional Arts & Culture Council website:

The Portland Memorial Mausoleum Mural was created as an expansion of the existing Great Blue Heron Mural on the lower west facing wall of the Mausoleum, also applied by ArtFX. The expanded mural covers eight surfaces totaling approximately 43,485 square feet, and is estimated to be the largest mural in the United States. Seen clearly from the OMSI Springwater Trail and I-5, the mural highlights the importance of the 160-acre Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge to the city of Portland’s quality of life, the contribution of the wetland system as a critical element of the city’s green infrastructure, and its contribution to maintaining biodiversity in the city and metropolitan area.

More info on Dan, visit:

Shot with Canon XHA1s
Camera and Editing by Kevin Balmer
© 2010 Diggable Monkey Picutres

Sunday, May 9, 2010

PDX Bridge Festival - Hawthorne Lift 100 (2010)


May 4, 2010 - Planning is underway for the Hawthorne Lift 100, a signature PDX Bridge Festival event scheduled for late July. Follow the crew onto the bridge as they ride the lift to scope how to attach a massive projection screen between the bridge spans. For more information on the festival, go to:

Design discussion:
Matt McCune - Architect
Mar Ricketts - Architect of the Air
Tony Lester - Bridge Maintenance Supervisor

3D Hawthorne Sketch Up Drawing: Chris Bence
Music: "Also Strach Zarathustra (Theme from 2001: Space Oddysey) by Deodato (1972)
Hawthorne Bridge Festival Logo: Craig Conahan

Shot and edited by Kevin Balmer
©2010 Diggable Monkey Pictures