Site icon Nicola Freegard Studio

Hollywood to Halloween..

So you might have been sent to this website after typing in – So much has changed since the first creaks of the recession but things change (always for the better), one being vyandelle itself.   You can read more about this by clicking on the Billboard Bags tab page above.

Beyond and onward – welcome to my blog.  Home of all things unbaglike.   I’ve drifted off for a few months into the pages of music publishing, and a few weeks in England visiting my mother.   It’s time to catch up with you.

Firstly, my very talented sissy in Los Angeles, is a fantastic fashion designer and US based clothing company (and my stylist, because with her I would have no clothes!).   Check out  I think you’ll like it!

I start here because she and her family put me up on my recent visit – where I went to attend the Billboard Film&TV Conference (at the West Hollywood W Hotel) to listen to some great panels talking with composers, producers and directors.    It’s always good to see her and stay at their  house.  Home away from home.  Sister alliance is invaluable!

As much as I thought the conference would be something it wasn’t (funny how I always pigeon hole these events before with my expectations – which are hopefully dashed upon arrival) – it was a really useful informative 2 days of listening in to some very creative conversations and concepts.

Highlights I trully enjoyed:    listening to Vince Gilligan (Producer) Thomas Golubic (Music Supervisor) and Dave Porter (Composer) talk about their show and how they work on that brilliant show ‘Breaking Bad’.     Graham Parker talking about his new role in a Judd Apatow film, and composer, Mike Andrews talking about his work on “Girls”.     Danny Elfman gave a great talk about his latest film score with British director Sasha Gervasi on the upcoming release of ‘Hitchcock’ which looks to be amazing.   And seeing both Nick Urata playing his end title song from ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, and Gustavo Santalalla perform part of his score from ‘Broke Back Mountain’ was all such a treat.    Thanks to Billboard’s Bill Werde for a very interesting and diverse conference and making it such a first class event.

One of the many reasons I went on this trip was to visit with a few of my old friends who are music supervisors, and make some new friends along the way.   Many of you may not know that my past life before billboard bags (not billboard magazines) was as a music supervisor in Hollywood, in which I got to have a wonderful career placing music to film prior to taking a left into the design world and got a bit side tracked.     Earlier this year I joined a really good team of people at Modern Works Music Publishing as the Creative Director. Alongside my work with a small stable of musicians I have worked with for some time – it has been like putting on an old jacket that is very comfortable and seems to fit still very well.

It’s been a weird few years of transition back to this place.  Not bad weird, just weird in when I’m asked what I do, I’ve found it hard to explain as a job title.  (We entrepreneurial types are hard to pin down).  The bag business was so much easier to explain…it was somehow less abstract….but now I have taken the big step out of that and into new projects, finding my way with some great skills and tools that I picked up along the way.    My main focus has been all about Modern Works these past few months, and understanding the catalog we administer, the artists that we can license music for and the music itself.  (it’s a bit like a big Christmas present now I have the bigger picture and it just keeps getting better).     With clients like Bootsy Collins, Alison & Viktor Krauss, Andy Summers and Brad Mehldau – to the Second Floor Music catalog with music from Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, and a wealth of the very best in jazz and Latin music, as well as great alternative artists like Mr. Gnome, Willoughby, and Howe Gelb and Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkestra – I have been in deep listening mode and tooting the horn mode.      You can check out the website at .

And then there was Halloween – they came in droves, in all shapes and sizes – plundering and tripping in costumes through our annual homemade crypt of horrors and many good friends and family made it to our annual party.   I think we see about 300 children over the night itself.   Probably about 30 + children at our party.

We bought our little ranch house in a neighborhood in Tucson that just lends itself to putting out the Halloween spirit, and since we closed contracts on the house on a hallows eve back in 2006, we have been putting on a party so that the children and families have a place to come and hang out, go trick or treating and a place to come back to after.

We go to town because really, there is nothing like seeing the kids having so much fun, and getting the parents together and a place to land –– we have the decorations  – so why the not!  (Although I do admit – we have given up on a varied set up – there goes Marcus the Carcass, eating that plastic bloody foot at the Gone to Lunch café again).

My son Eden decided this year he was a zombie wearing a gas mask, a popular theme it seems at age 11 – all his friends came in hoodies and gas masks or with some weapon made from cardboard tubes and taple.     It looked more like it was a war zone but they had a real gas of a time!   He and his friends were not in the cute scale like our two new grand babies or our friends younger children dressed as bees, super heros and kitties.     There were some brilliant costumes this year  and kudos to all those that dressed up – some really good dead brides, a vampire state building (best of the night), and I was especially proud of my paint chip belt which was my attempt of a costume for  ’50 Shades of Grey’.

Two days set up for 4 hours party and then the candy wrappers explosion all over the backyard!  I have made a pact with Mike this year.   We both agree that by the time Halloween falls on a Saturday (3 years from now) that will be our final blowout party for this holiday event (heads up friends) – Eden will be 14 and we’ll have gotten all the use out of Marcus the Carcass we can possible bare, and Eden will be rolling his eyes at it or us.    We can pass the legacy onto our grand kids that’ll just be the right age to carry the torch.

Yesterday, if you didn’t notice per chance,  was Election day (rather similar to Halloween if you live in Arizona as a registered Democrat).   We survived, but not without watching most races we hoped would win, lost to those with strange ideals about public education and prisons and gay rights.  It was a messy debaucle for Arizona legislation.  I won’t discuss politics here (yet) because we are all exhausted by the 2 ½ years of campaign rhetoric.   All I can say is ‘Gone with the wind, and thank God it’s finally over’.

Welcome back Mr. Obama.  I know you’ve got a lot on your plate, but my son asked me to ask you to  please enforce a ‘Chuck Norris’ day.  I said I’d ask…

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