Venice and Mar Vista residents Eric Alan Donaldson and L. Lonnie Peralta have been honored by the Beverly Hills Shorts Fest with the award for Best Documentary for the film they co-directed, produced and edited, Trombone Shorty.
The filmmakers own and operate the Venice-based production and post-production studio, FXF Productions. Friends since seventh grade, the partners teamed up in high school to shoot their first music video. Since then they have gone on to work on a variety of projects together that include action sports films, music videos, commercials and documentaries.
Venice resident Donaldson graduated from Santa Monica College and Mar Vista resident Peralta is a graduate of Pierce College. Both are married with young children.
Their film was one of 65 chosen out of more than 700 festival submissions. The fourth annual festival was at the Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills. Sony, Moviola and Avid sponsored the festival.
Trombone Shorty is an after-the-storm-look at New Orleans’ next generation musical prodigy, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, the filmmakers said. From the historic, yet troubled Treme neighborhood, where brass bands, jazz and the “tradition of second line is a way of life,” the 22-year-old has worked tirelessly to beat the odds so he can do what he loves most ñ play his horn, the filmmakers said of Andrews.
Even before he had an instrument, Andrews would emulate the great jazz musicians of New Orleans’ musical past by using a cardboard box as a snare drum or his Big Wheel as a tuba.
Donaldson and Peralta said they spent five days in New Orleans with Andrews, capturing his everyday life and getting a first-hand look at the post Katrina devastation.
“Troy Andrews is blessed with the gift of musical ear play and performance,” says Donaldson. “The hardest part of capturing the true brilliance of who he is in a short, is deciding what to cut.”
Andrews played for Bo Diddley at the age of five. After finishing eighth grade, he was admitted a year early to the prestigious New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, where alumni include Wynton and Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr.