JON LEONOUDAKIS: Writer/Producer/Director
Baseball documentarian Jon Leonoudakis is a native San Franciscan and lifelong Giants fan. The Day the World Series Stopped is the third documentary his independent film studio, Evzone Media + Experiential, has financed and produced.
“I like telling baseball stories that fly under the radar, that resonate with people emotionally to show the human side of the game.”, says Leonoudakis. His last documentary, Not Exactly Cooperstown, has become a cult film and is in the permanent collection of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The filmmaker dips into his personal experience as a fan attending game three of the 1989 World Series. Jon arrived with a VHS camcorder and a still camera to document the pageantry and excitement of the Fall Classic returning to his hometown for the first time in almost thirty years. He left with a gripping account of every heart-stopping moment at Candlestick Park on October 17, 1989, and continued rolling for the next ten days, when the series was resumed on October 27.
A graduate of Loyola Marymount University, Jon has a B.A. in Communication Arts with an emphasis in film and television production. He has worked in the entertainment industry since 1979, becoming a producer in 1985.
His skills in media design, content development and the production of world-class attractions and interactive experiences have served clients and projects such as the Disney theme parks worldwide, Universal Studios/Hollywood, the United Nations, Disney Consumer Products, Mercedes-Benz, Pixar, and the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. He is also one of the producers of the internationally acclaimed documentary, The Wrecking Crew. Jon has also lectured at Pasadena Art Center of Design and Azusa Pacific University on the subjects of graphic design and media production.
Original Music Score: SHAKEDOWN MAMBO
Shakedown Mambo is an LA-based, original roots rockin’ duo with a whole lot of New Orleans R&B, Boogie Woogie and assorted Americana influences, stirred into an inspired musical gumbo.
At the heart of the “Mambo” are Rick Solem and Phil Bloch. Their music lives and breathes rich American roots, goin’ back to New Orleans, the Mississippi Delta and on up the river, looking to the left and looking to the right.
Rick has a dynamic and inventive keyboard style all his own, vital and filled with electricity yet steeped in the styles of the great American Roots piano masters. His influences extend far and wide, as the score for this film illustrates. He is also a world class songwriter.
Phil is one of the premier American Roots drummers and producers in Los Angeles, with an ongoing schedule of studio and live work, producing and songwriting. His playing also simultaneously reflects far-reaching knowledge of the classic American Roots drummers and the ability to create new rhythmic and sonic confabulations.
Together, they wrote and performed a fine introductory album as the band Shakedown Mambo. Rave reviews ensued, as the many quoted accolades on their website indicate. New songs are percolating as the “Mambo” continues their journey.
A while ago, our friend and fine film Producer and Director, Jon Leonoudakis, approached us about composing a film score for a documentary he was making. The subject was baseball and he wanted all new and original music. That turned out to be Not Exactly Cooperstown, a film about the Baseball Reliquary, “… a grass-roots, anti-establishment complement to the Hall of Fame, built around the human side of baseball.” The Project turned out beautifully and we all had a blast working together.
So when Jon called us to discuss the possibility of working with him on a second Project, we jumped right in! Jon had created a film about the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that literally stopped the third game of the World Series. Entitled The Day The World Series Stopped, he envisioned a score that incorporated visceral sonic tensions, warm moments of friendship and love, joyous celebration of the game, an earthquake of epic proportions and the subsequent inexplicable mixture of feelings present from witnessing such death and destruction, yet attending the happy re-opening of game three of the World Series.
We eagerly tackled the emotionally varied score and enlisted the help of some highly talented friends. After careful consideration, we decided that we would like to have bass and guitar help for this score.
We called two, yes two, of the best bass players we know. They are both first call session and touring bassists.
Ian Walker came and contributed his prodigious talents on both Acoustic and Electric Basses. His impeccable techniques and tasteful playing were complimented by his highly musical approach to every cue we threw at him. He was inventive, spontaneous and truly a joy to work with.
Ken Wild also came and contributed his incredible talents on Fretted and Fretless Electric Basses. His ablity to grasp the intent of the music and fit right into any musical context was nothing short of amazing. Musical, funny, technically adept and always ready for anything, Ken was fabulous.
For the guitar work, we called our friend Kim Norton. Kim is one of the finest guitarists we know and luckily for us, his schedule allowed him to particpate. He played beautifully, bringing to life the emotion of the moment in the most heartfelt way. His contributions perfectly fit the feelings we were after and his techniques and sounds were right on the money. Absolutely great.
From their sounds to their playing to their wonderfully unique personalities, we feel honored to have had the help of such fine musicians to realize this score.
And working with Jon turned out to be another home run for this team.