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“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

Blackstone Edge Studios Launches “Ardoyne” Music Video Online


We’ve navigated the waters of ASCAP, US Copyright, VEVO, and our trusty YouTube to bring you “Ardoyne” online – the music video we produced with lyrics by Philip Clayton-Thompson of Blackstone Edge Band, music by @DanielBuhr, Music Producer Tim Ellis of Kung Fu Bakery Recording Studios, editing by Donna Pizzi with animator Marshal Serna, BSE’s Tech Director, and over 30 other musicians, engineers, from Stockholm, Dublin, Portland and LA.

October 7, 2014   No Comments

BSE Launches Custom Website


Blackstone Edge Studios has created a sumptuous, tasty new website, all done from scratch – all cooking term puns intended! Visit the custom made Thai Square website by BSE and you’ll be drooling. Not only for its vibrant colors, tasty food and snazzy new logo, but also for its YouTube video, which takes you behind the scenes to see just how your food is made… You’ll wish we had installed a scratch and sniff as well!

Check out BSE’s updated website, too. There you’ll find updated images under DETAILS, COVERS, and the YOUTUBE tiles.

Grass doesn’t grow beneath our team’s feet… because we enjoy what we do!


May 19, 2014   No Comments

Blackstone Edge Studios – 60 Second Beauty Energizer

An image from 60 Second Beauty Energizer - the Nichelin home featured in the latest French Country Style

An image from 60 Second Beauty Energizer – the Nichelin home featured in the latest French Country Style

You’ve heard of the Energizer Bunny, right? Well, Blackstone Edge Studios, known for its yummy vignettes, has compiled a bevy of beautiful, perky, funny, images, including some funny cats, dogs, and mannequins – as the perfect way to start your day! Or uplift that 4 o’clock slump. The music, composed and performed by Colin E. Cowles is the best antidote to any sort of bad weather blues. Now, just click and enjoy! Don’t be afraid to click several times, just to see them all again… and, well, maybe AGAIN!

April 7, 2014   No Comments

What’s New @ Blackstone Edge Studios

As passionate filmmakers, we at Blackstone Edge Studios wanted to amend our website to feature some of our film clips and awards as a landing page! Now you don’t even have to go to the “tile” marked “Awards” at the bottom of the Home Page to see what Blackstone Edge Studios has garnered most recently.

BSE wins Gold Innovator Award from Summit International

BSE wins Gold Innovator Award from Summit International

We hope that more of clients present and future will make use of our talents as filmmakers and editors to promote their product in a unique way.

You’ll want to see this on device larger than your cell phone to get the full visual effect. We’ve highlighted a few of the clips with references to their original films or YouTube series, but others you will have to go a bit deeper into the site (click on YouTube tile, for instance) to discover their origins.



April 2, 2014   No Comments

SRO at the Baghdad Last Night!

Philip Clayton-Thompson filming Air Force 1 on ground at airbase in Albuquerque from a helicopter

Philip Clayton-Thompson filming Air Force 1 on ground at airbase in Albuquerque from a helicopter

I hosted last night’s Meet Up event held at the Baghdad in Portland, OR on “How to Pitch & Package Your Idea to the Movie Industry.”  I enjoyed sharing my knowledge of the film industry to a standing room only (SRO) crowd. Thanks to all who attended.

I received several  enthusiastic comments, including this: “It’s great to have a presenter who understands the complicated process that films go through before they go into production.”

And this from a USC graduate with a pilot film to sell: “It was great meeting you tonight. You certainly sent me in the right direction for my pitch!”


March 4, 2014   No Comments

How to Pitch & Package Your Idea to the Movie Industry

Philip Clayton-Thompson at his flatbed editing suite

Philip Clayton-Thompson at his flatbed editing suite, cutting one of his YouTube hits with over 3 million views.

I will be presenting a Meet Up event on Monday, March 3, 2014, at the Baghdad Theater in Portland, Oregon. The event, which will focus on “How to Pitch & Package Your Idea to the Movie Industry,” starts at 7pm.  Many people have already signed up to attend, but there’s always room for more! Come on down.

February 28, 2014   No Comments