Moving Product Off the Shelf



Our client, David J. Thompson, in conjunction with Co-opportunity Cooperative Food Market in Santa Monica, California will be launching David’s book on the history and success of this extraordinary market next Saturday in honor of Co-op Month in the USA. My review of the book is here below!

Co-opportunity: The Rise Of A Community Owned Market
Book Review by Donna Pizzi of Blackstone Edge, Portland, Oregon

“Co-opportunity: The Rise of a Community Owned Market” reads like a good mystery. There is drama from the outset, with the struggles of its beginnings spearheaded by author, David J. Thompson, one of its four co-founders, to its near death in the late 1970s, to the dramatic entry of a hippie stranger who coins the store’s name, to its total renaissance borne out of people cooperating to bring it to its present state of glory – none of which occurred without some sparks flying, and some hearts broken and mended, too. It truly is a page turner.

Co-opportunity is the vibrant food co-op in Santa Monica, California, which co-sponsored the book about its unique beginnings over forty years ago. Lovingly authored by Co-opportunity co-founder, David J. Thompson, the most published author in America on cooperatives, the book is, indeed, a landmark story about a legendary co-op. It is being published in commemoration of Co-op Month in the USA, and in association with the book launch at Co-opportunity’s 41st Annual Meeting on Sunday, October 18th..

The book charts the amazing efforts of a small group of pioneers, who shepherd the cooperative food market from its humble beginnings all the way to becoming the busiest open-to-the-public single store co-op in the country, There are stories of boards being challenged, barriers being broken, hurdles being jumped, and the growth problems associated with organizational development, change and conflict. The book is a must-read for everyone presently engaged in the exciting and energetic wave of food co-ops around the country and will undoubtedly comfort those readers as they witness co-op dreams coming true.

The contributors to the book, who are a Who’s Who of Food Co-ops in America that include over 20 national and local co-op leaders, share their memories and testimonials throughout the book. Accolades from outside the cooperative sector have come from Frances Moore Lappé, author of “Diet for a Small Planet,” and scores of other books; Ruth Goldway, Former Mayor of Santa Monica and a former Chair of the US Postal Commission, Richard Katz, former Democratic Assembly Leader in California and Ambassador Derek Shearer now Director of the McKinnon Center for Global Affairs At Occidental College.

The book opens with greetings from Kevin McKeown, the present Mayor of Santa Monica, followed by a foreword by Ann M. Evans, a former Mayor of Davis and a co-founder of the Davis Food Co-op and the Davis Farmers Market.

The book closes with Bruce Palma, General Manager of Co-opportunity penning a chapter about the role of Will Simon as General Manager, followed by a chapter on his own role in bringing the store to its current successful status. Bruce’s chapters are well written, humorous, and full of perceptions and cover perhaps one of the most challenging periods in Co-opportunity’s history. Bruce and Will are to be complemented for the role they played in steadying the co-op for later success.
David Thompson’s caring and crafted overview represents the history of hundreds of other natural food consumer cooperative that appeared in the 1960s and 70s. What a time it was! Only one other book, “Growing With Purpose: Forty Years of Seward Community Cooperative” by Kari Cornell and Patricia Cumbie, has equally documented the untold history of the astounding wave of consumer cooperatives that swept the nation.

With 174 pages, 18 pages of photographs, and lots of history, the book covers the birth of an idea becoming a retail champion.

The book is available through Co-opportunity. The price is $10 plus tax and shipping. Contact Audrey Beim at to order the book. Due to the financial support from Co-opportunity and David J. Thompson, the entire proceeds of the sales of each book will be donated to the Co-opportunity Cooperative Community Fund.

In addition, all other donations to the Co-opportunity Cooperative Community Fund will be matched by a $5,000 donation from Co-opportunity, a $5,000 donation from David J. Thompson, and $1,500 in donations from Frontier Co-op, the National Cooperative Bank, and the Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation. All donations will build the Co-opportunity Cooperative Community Fund endowment Every year; Co-opportunity awards the annual income to local non-profits.

Contact the author: Contact the reviewer: Donna Pizzi:

October 9, 2015   No Comments


Blackstone Edge Studios is very honored to have been chosen to photograph three of the top 2015 Street of Dreams homes in Lake Oswego. After 5 days of shooting at the three locations, and 250 images, we are excited to be presenting the three complete packages to those who worked so tirelessly to create such amazing homes in such a power-packed period of design-build-decorate.

Garrison Hullinger Interior Design created the interiors for two of the three homes: Sandhill Crane with Westlake Development Group and The Adeline. These vastly different homes in style show the breadth of Garrison Hullinger’s team’s expertise.


The Sandhill Crane – GHID – Westlake Development Group


The Sandhill Patio - GHID

The Sandhill Patio – GHID


window w/o light.

The Adeline – GHID

Brian Schmidt Builder completed the third home, Joie de Vivre, in just 26 weeks. Amazing team work from his whole crew, including AV Awakenings, MW Design Workshop, Portland Millwork, Northwest Outdoor Living & Landscapes, Cascade Woodworking and Ronda Divers Interiors.

Ext _Evening_2_02087_bse

The show continues until August 30th, 2015. Don’t miss these homes and six others on the show.


August 17, 2015   No Comments

“ARDOYNE” Wins at Four International Film Festivals


Blackstone Edge Studios is proud to announce that “ARDOYNE” has become a winner at four International Film Festivals:

New York City International Film Festival; Philadelphia Independent Film Festival; Phoenix Comicon Film Festival, and Lionshead Film Festival in Dallas.

Watch the new opening to our website: which pays tributes to these multiple wins.


Its UK premiere was last week at Sunderland Shorts Film Festival. The message of bringing peace to areas of conflict aided by the wonderful music by Daniel Buhr, lyrics and lead vocal by Philip Clayton-Thompson, music production by Tim Ellis,  animation by Marshal Serna, has helped to make the film an official selection at international film festivals around the world: Balneario Camboriu, Brazil (CineramaBC Film Festival); Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina (Viva); Roma Film Festival and Pietrasanta (Italy); TMMF (Glasgow), and 21 other festivals.

Global Revolution Festival, Mosaic World Film Festival and the Columbia Gorge Film Festivals are coming right up this summer, from Long Island to Rockford, Illinois to Vancouver, Washington! Don’t miss out on the fun and the message!



July 11, 2015   No Comments



We at Blackstone Edge Studios are proud to announce that our film “Ardoyne” is a Winner at the 2015 Philadelphia Independent Film Festival. Director, Lyricist, Lead Vocalist Philip Clayton-Thompson wrote the song depicted in this short film based on observing “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland for the past 40 years. He hopes “Ardoyne” will be picked up by a well-known band who will introduce it at the 2016 Commemoration of the Independence of Ireland. Its theme, “We Will March Together” promotes peace among the two religious communities – Catholic Ardoyne and Protestant Belfast – who come to blows every July 12th during the “Marching Season” – stemming from the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 and William of Orange. Daniel Buhr, a Swedish Film Composer, wrote the music. Tim Ellis, music producer. Donna Pizzi, co-owner of Blackstone Edge Studios, produced and co-edited with Marshal Serna, BSE’s Technical Director, who also did the animation. Watch it HERE, with 31,500+ hits. Historic footage from director Philip Clayton-Thompson’s 1973 film “A Place Called Ardoyne,” which won the 1973 Chicago film festival.

May 4, 2015   No Comments

PHOENIX COMICON – “ARDOYNE’S” Latest Official Selection

Phoenix Comicon Film Festival "Ardoyne" is an Official Selection

Phoenix Comicon Film Festival chooses”Ardoyne” as an Official Selection

On the heels of our World Theatrical Premiere at the Tiburon International Film Festival, we returned to Portland to discover “Ardoyne” has become an “Official Selection” for the Phoenix Comicon Film Festival! Here, we will be rubbing shoulders with such film stars as Christopher Lloyd, Ron Perlman, Barry Bostwick and Mary McDonnell (of “Dances with Wolves.”) Three fun-packed days May 28-31st.

It’s going to be a busy season for “Ardoyne,” which will also appear at the New York City International Film Festival (4/30-5/7), where William Shatner will be showing his doco on Star Trek: “Chaos on the Bridge.” He’ll be following us from NYC to Phoenix, where both of our films will be shown! Go Trekkies!

If you can’t make those festivals, chin up! You can find “Ardoyne” being shown around the world: Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, Media City FF, Brooklyn, NY Bahche FF, North Hollywood FF Sizzle Reel this summer, BARCELONA – Paris – NYC Human Rights, FF and Big As Texas FF in Austin, the latter are both in October. If you want to pitch a tent, you can see “Ardoyne” at the Columbia Gorge FF this summer in Vancouver, Camas & Washougal.



April 19, 2015   No Comments



In a moment of total synchronicity, we learned today that  the Belfast Film Festival is featuring our award-winning documentary “A Place Called Ardoyne” as part of their upcoming festival.The film was recently chosen out of 450,000 British films by the British Film Institute (BFI) to be restored and digitized as part of the British Film Heritage program. That restored version will be playing at the festival in April 16-25, 2015.

“A Place Called Ardoyne” will be running concurrently with my music video, “Ardoyne,” at its theatrical world premiere at the Tiburon International Film Festival in California – April 9-17th. The music video utilizes footage from the 1972 film, which won the 1973 Chicago Film Festival .  “Ardoyne” opens the festival on Friday, March 10th at 10pm at the Tiburon Playhouse Theater. Tickets available here:

I am very moved that a new generation of audiences will see my historical film. At the time it was made, the film was deemed controversial, but its message has stayed the same, namely, as one person says in the film, ‘We’ll never have peace until we all get together!”

March 6, 2015   No Comments

“What Did Auntie Do In The War?”

With the interest in Alan Turing and actor Benedict Cumberbatch’s brilliant portrayal of the much maligned mathematician in the 2014 film “The Imitation Game,” thoughts of my Auntie come to mind. At the age of 20, my Auntie was fluent in French and decided to volunteer to become a Special Operations Executive (S.O.E.) – Churchill’s secret army, which later morphed into MI-6 – British Secret Intelligence Service, which supplies the British government with foreign intelligence.


She was assigned to be a liaison officer for the French Resistance. Her file is closed until 2020, however, I can review her file in the presence of a Minister of Defense officer in the British Military at the British Archives in London. What was the difference between the Bletchley Circle crowd, of which Turing was a member of those trying to crack the Enigma code, and the S.O.E.? It was that the S.O.E. employed a rag tag group, including known homosexuals, con men and con women, Communists, anti-Colonialists, double and triple agents and even an officer who could not stop cross dressing! Whereas at Bletchley, Turing had to keep his homosexuality under wraps, because it was illegal at the time. I can’t imagine what my Auntie was doing among the S.O.E. crowd – except to serve her country at all costs. Churchill supposedly said, “Whatever or Whoever will help us win the War!”  Ian Fleming, who was in Naval Intelligence, put James Bond in the more adventurous S.O.E.

I hope one day soon to uncover exactly what my Auntie did in the war. My mind reels with the possibilities of how she used her talents to carry out her role therein. Did she meet Ian Fleming, per chance? Did she ever run across Alan Turing? What did she do?

One thing I do know is that she went on to have an illustrious career in the international diplomatic corps.

Here’s to you, Auntie! I wish I had known you better!

February 8, 2015   No Comments

New BSE Band Song – Avenues of Manhattan

Avenues_of_Manhattan_workWriting a song about New York City is a tricky thing, especially when it’s already been written about by the likes of Cole Porter and Irving Berlin! Each line needs to be perfect before I can even come close to these lyricists’ work. On the other hand, pop songs tend to repeat a simple bridge a hundred times over, and usually aren’t very tuneful. Either way, composer Daniel Buhr in Sweden (“Ardoyne” – NOW with 23,600+ Youtube hits – and the upcoming “Soweto Bound”) and I really have our work cut out for us to make “Avenues of Manhattan” a hit!  Stay tuned for the results! We look forward to my Blackstone Edge Band performing live!

January 2, 2015   No Comments


Out of 450,000 films, British Film Institute selects "A Place Called Ardoyne" to be digitized.

Out of 450,000 films, British Film Institute selects “A Place Called Ardoyne” to be digitized.

This morning we received notification at Blackstone Edge Studios from the British Film Institute that Philip Clayton-Thompson’s 1973 film “A Place Called Ardoyne” has been selected to be digitized as a way of preserving British history for future generations.  This is ironic given that PCT’s song “Ardoyne,” which uses footage from this award-winning film, has currently been accepted into 7 International Film Festivals. “A Place Called Ardoyne” won the 1973 Chicago Film Festival Silver Hugo Award.

You can see and hear “Arodyne” on YouTube. PCT, who directed the original film, wrote the lyrics and is the lead vocalist for his band “Blackstone Edge Band.”

November 13, 2014   No Comments


Children of Belfast paintings created for original film "A Place Called Ardoyne

Children of Belfast paintings created for original film “A Place Called Ardoyne” by Philip Clayton-Thompson and animated for “Ardoyne,” the music video.

In only 2 short weeks, “Ardoyne,” the music video produced by Blackstone Edge Studios with lyrics by Philip Clayton-Thompson and music by Daniel Buhr, is among the top ten songs on ReverbNation.
The video uses clips from “A Place Called Ardoyne,” and animates the children of Belfast’s paintings created for the original 1972 film, which won the Chicago Film Festival in 1973.
Watch it HERE:


October 18, 2014   No Comments