How I Came Up With Pennylane

How I Came Up With Pennylane

If you were to ask my closest friends, they would say The Beatles are my favorite band in the world. It’s no wonder I named my company after one of their songs back in 2000. The name Pennylane Productions has no meaning unless you are me. To me it’s a way to keep my heart close to the music that changed my life forever.



During my younger years (16-27 years old) I played music for a living. I went through many phases. My Bon Jovi phase after seeing them in concert back in 1987 during their Slippery When Wet tour. My Billy Joel / Elton John phase which led me to learning piano on a whole new level. My Queen phase which introduced me to their classic records on phonograph and of course my favorite Queen song “My Meloncholy Blues“. Next was my Doors phase with the help of Oliver Stone’s amazing film “The Doors.” My Phish phase which I still love listening to after 5 year breaks. I even played in a Phish tribute band which was very fun.

[sws_blue_box box_size=”350″] Photo Credit : ClassicPics

Pic on Twitter


My last and current phase which has lasted many years is my Beatles phase. This hit me hard while playing in a popular cover band on Long Island called Kid Gloves. My close friend Michael Delguidice and myself used to watch The Beatles Anthology on VHS and listen to Beatles songs while writing original music during the day. At night we would be playing 4-5 times a week in the band. As a songwriter listening to The Beatles, one cannot resist coming up with amazing song ideas after a 10 minute listen. Today Michael is the rhythm guitarist and singer for Billy Joel when he’s not singing and playing piano in his own Billy Joel tribute band Big Shot.

I came across this picture today and was amazed to see such a rare picture of my heroes playing a wedding back in 1958. Looking at this picture connects with me on a whole new level being a wedding filmmaker and a songwriter/musician inspired by The Beatles more than any other band. I thought I’d share my feelings with you.[intense_hr /]

Whose your favorite Beatle? Paul

What’s your favorite Beatles song? For No One

Getting Engaged Part 1: The Comic That Changed My Life

Getting Engaged Part 1: The Comic That Changed My Life


By Bobby Shortle (cinematographer/editor/studio manager for Pennylane Productions)


My decision to propose to my fiancee came to me suddenly. I was sitting on an LIRR train on my way back from a trip to Manhattan. It had been a good day. I saw old friends, had an excellent meatball sub in the West Village, and purchased some wonderful off beat books at Midtown Comics. It was while reading one of these recent acquisitions that lighting struck.


Daytripper is written an illustrated by brothers Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon. It’s a gorgeously drawn, bittersweet story about the life of one man, the choices he makes and how fragile our existence is. It sounds morbid, but when you read it you see that it’s actually an inspiring story about how we should live each moment as if it’s our last.


As I flipped through the pages, my nose nearly pressed against the pages, I came to one passage that stopped me in my tracks.


“Life is like a book son. And every book has an end. No matter how much you like that book you will get to the last page and it will end. No book is complete without its end. And once you get there, only when you read the last words, will you see how good the book is.”


I read it again, then a third time, then a fourth, and then a fifth. Then I closed the book, placed it down next to me, shut my eyes and put my head back against the head rest. I sat for a few moments listening to the rhythmic clicking of the train tracks beneath my feet. This was not the first time I had considered what I was considering. Somewhere in me I always knew I wanted to ask this girl to marry me, but it was that passage that caused a new thought to formulate in my mind.

When I get to the last page will my book be worth anything without her in it?


When I opened my eyes I had my answer. I grabbed a pen, the empty Midtown Comics bag and I began to write out how I would propose to the person I could not live without.


What did I write? That will have to wait until my next post. But before I go I want to leave you with one last quote from Daytripper.


“The young open the paper to forget about life by reading the funny strips. The old do it to forget about death by reading other people’s obits. My advice: don’t open the paper and go on with your life”


What was the moment you realized who you wanted to marry? Let me know in the comments below.









Learning How To Be A Good Husband

Learning How To Be A Good Husband



By Bobby Shortle (cinematographer/editor/studio manager for Pennylane Productions)


I’m getting married this year. It’s an exciting, stressful and at times terrifying event to plan. I’m stoked to be marrying my best friend and one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. Yet, I’m also constantly worried about the future and how I’m going to make my fiancee happy for the rest of our lives. During these furrowed brow moments there are several questions that are always banging around in my head:


Will I be a good husband? (Which is quickly followed up by this paralyzing thought)


What does it take to be a good husband?


Monday, I was scouring the web for informative articles to share with our followers when I came across an article. I wasn’t consciously looking for answers to the questions weighing on my mind, but serendipitously I found them.


Featured on the Huffington Post “How to Make Marriage Work for 64 Years” featured an interview with Robert, a 94 year old man who has been married for over 64 years. The author Anthony Silard managed to get 7 nuggets of advice from him and they’re words that all couples, married, engaged or otherwise, should read.


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1) Be careful not to throw words around. They can start arguments. It’s amazing how powerful words are. As Don Miguel Ruiz writes in The Four Agreements, be impeccable with your word. Think about what you are saying before you blurt it out. If you say the wrong word, admit it.

2) If you hear words you don’t like, ask the other person what they meant. Don’t make assumptions, and try not to take things personally.

3) Be tolerant.

4) Be willing to forgive.

5) Have a sense of humor. “None of us are getting out of this alive anyway,” Robert joked.

6) It’s not as exciting as it used to be, but who cares. It’s nice to have all the memories that we share, and to spend time with our grandchildren, and live vicariously through them.

7) Find opportunities for little loving gestures for your mate. Find out what they love as clues for what to give them (e.g. a certain type of chocolate candy to bring back from every trip).



Be sure to check out the rest of the article here. It’s a great read!


In case you are curious how I proposed to my lady here is the big moment itself. Stay tuned for my next entry when I tell you just how much planning it took to organize my engagement.