Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Drowning

I really feel like heavy chains are tied around my ankles and I'm bobbing up and down in the middle of the ocean. I'm being dramatic of course, but I've barely had time to breathe these past two weeks. I've been racing from one thing to the next. The day job's been keeping me after hours and completely slammed. We've been incredibly fortunate to have Leslie working her little bootie off on press. That woman is fantastic. We love her so much.

PRESS UPDATES:
ME Television interview should air today at 5pm and tomorrow sometime. I think it's Channel 15 for those of you in Austin. I don't have cable so I'm a bit clueless.

San Antonio Express Article comes out on Sunday the 5th

I have an interview with several other Austin filmmakers for the Austin Chronicle tomorrow. I can't wait to see everyone.

indieWIRE interview should come out sometime this week.

FOX-7 interview with Stacy and Glen, March 9th at 8:40am

We're hoping to get some radio lined up for next week and the week after.


FILM UPDATES
Stacy and Tracy are in New York this week meeting with people for both JOB and BRAIN BRAWL. Everything sounds like it's going really well so far. I love getting the nightly reports. It breaks my heart that I can't be there, but Nevie, Leslie and I are holding down the fort here.

We've been having some sync/glitch issues with our master and some dubs. Nevie's on top of it.

Sent off to a few more festivals. Waiting to hear back from a few we've already sent to.

Watched the film a few more times dealing with sync/glitch issues. I still love it.

Young Full Time Warehouse Worker Makes Over 100 Low Budget Movies, Gets Hired To Direct 2 Million Dollar Cop Drama

Read all about the strange, fascinating & beautiful story of the hyper productive filmmaking career thus far of one James Fotopoulos of Chicago (btw, he dropped out of the same film school I dropped out of, waaayyy cool :) through Filmmaker Magazine's blog.

Fotopoulos has made 8 features (as far as I know at the moment) and over 100 shorts. Here's his resume.

Sujewa
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Coming Soon To A Cellphone Near You

(I posted this on my personal blog and thought it fit the topic over here too...)

Want to watch a movie on your cell phone? Well, maybe not a movie, but perhaps a short film or music video? One Hollywood company is banking we will (at least kids will).

The New York Times has a good piece on News Corporation's new cell phone entertainment company Mobizzo.

In what is the boldest venture yet by an established media company to insinuate itself into millions of cellphones, the News Corporation has created a mobile entertainment store called Mobizzo and a production studio to focus exclusively on developing cellphone entertainment in much the same way that 20th Century Fox creates movies and television.

Analysts predict that the number of global mobile phone customers will double to four billion in five years. And that has spurred a wireless gold rush among media companies that, as in the early days of the Internet, do not want to be left behind.

This is to me the obvious next step in the "new world of distribution". I have actually encoded the movie trailer for my new film "Killing Down" to play on my Motorola Razor phone (soon I'll post it to my movie's website for anyone to download). It's very cool technology.

Only problem is most people in the U.S. don't have video capable phones yet. A lot of folks in Europe and Asia do though. And I never understood that? Why does most of Europe, often Korea, Japan, etc. always get the newest toys and technology before the United States? Don't we invent half this stuff? Didn't Al Gore invent the Internet (or that's what he claimed - although his new "invention" Current TV is doing some cool things). In Korea they have web bandwidth double or triple the speed we have. I know it's actually their governments that embrace and make this newer technology available, but it still is odd to me that we (the United States) often lag behind these other places when it comes to the latest and greatest techno toys. But, I digress...

Mobizzo looks like a pretty good idea. They are going to sell content directly to consumers, in lieu of going through a third party company such as the cell phone service provider. You'll be able to download content directly to your phone on a per use basis (for $1.99 to $2.99 per show) - or subscribe to the service for $5.99/month. This pricing structure is very new and I'm sure will change, as I'm sure the entire model will too as it's embraced or not embraced.

I'm sure too that sources will come about (if they're not already there) allowing indies to make content available for mobile phone download.

Of course as a filmmaker I find it rather ironic that all the latest "distribution" opportunities are coming in the form of the small screen. We all tout the unbelievable high resolution picture quality of HDTV and all the acquisition formats to achieve this look (HDCAM, HDV, DVCPRO HD, and even 35mm film). But where are most of the newest outlets for distribution popping up? Places like Google Video, Apple's iTunes, Sony PSP and now Mobizzo. All interesting models, but with one main thing in common - a small screen to watch your "HD wide screen production". Note though that Google Video actually does play it's content "full screen" - but it's streaming and is definitely not high resolution - albeit not the size of an iPod Video screen or a mobile phone (and to me, PSP screens are actually pretty good size and the image quality is great).

Maybe in the future indie filmmakers will not dream of seeing their movie on the "big screen". They'll dream of seeing their movie throughout the entire world on a "billion small screens". Maybe even simultaneously? Man, talk about a wide release. :)

-Blake

Monday, February 27, 2006

"Home" Review

Home
Directed, written and edited by Matt Zoller Seitz
2005, Brooklyn Schoolyard LLC

Review by Sujewa Ekanayake

I may be the wrong person to review "Home" due to my relatively narrow taste in movies (some favorites: "Amelie", "Mystery Train", "Annie Hall", "The Unbelievable Truth"), however I do want to talk about this movie because: I can see that Matt Zoller Seitz, the director of "Home", is very talented, his next feature may be a major breakthrough, and "Home" might be the ideal film for some people. In its promotional material "Home" is billed as a romantic comedy-drama that takes place one night at a party at a house in Brooklyn. "Home" plays like a combination of: a well made documentary like re-enactment of a 20-30 something year old, city-dwelling creatives party where much happens but not much of significance, a collection of a few comic and surreal moments, and several short stories about dramatic moments in several romantic relationships. Due to the fact that "Home" does not fit neatly into any one currently existing category of movies, I would classify it as an Experimental Romantic Drama and approach it as such in order to get the most entertainment value from it.

Bobby (played well by Jason Liebrecht), a mid-late 20 something man dressed in a black suit, shows up early to a party being thrown by the housemates Susan (Nicol Zanzarella) and Rose (Erin S. Visslailli). The film stays with the party from its under populated beginning to its over crowded peak to its "time to clean up, no one's here to help" ending. The key story being told is the one between Bobby and Susan. Bobby pursues Susan throughout the night, has to figure out how to deal with the presence of Susan's ex-boyfriend Tomaz (Pavol Liska), and I'll leave it up to the viewer to find out if Bobby gets Susan or not. Within the frame established by the Bobby-Susan story we get to witness dramatic moments from a couple of other relationships. One involves Susan's housemate Rose and another involves a pair of guests who are a constantly squabbling couple. In between these stories we get to see some odd, some mundane moments from the party: two beefy dudes trying to figure out who is the strongest, few people hanging out on the front steps and making music at times, a guy who hangs out alone in the back yard interpreting people's dreams.

The dream interpreter (played very well by Dennis Cabrini) scene was probably my most favorite scene in this movie. It is well acted by all, and beautifully lit and filmed. In this scene two party guests (including Bobby) approach the dream interpreter, one at a time, get their dreams interpreted, and leave. This simple scene has an almost David Lynchian surreal quality to it, but with sweetness, not the Lynchian dread.

The cinematography by Jonathan Wolff is excellent. Even though the film was shot in color digital video a couple of years ago, at points it felt like I was watching an art/indie/foreign
16 MM black & white film from the 60's. There is also a lot of great music (performed by King Radio, Matt Wilcox, Kristin Mainhart, Dave Zoller, and several others) spread throughout "Home".

This debut feature by Seitz shows promise and I look forward to seeing what he will do next. "Home" is probably fun to watch on a big screen, with a bunch of upbeat people who are talking back to the screen. So for all you indie film fans in NYC, your chance to do just that is coming this week. "Home" plays at the Pioneer theater from Thursday March 2 to Wednesday March 8.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Quick update on Rick Schmidt, future member of this blog

Rick says he is busy editing a film for an upcoming screening, digs the conversation that's happening here among filmmakers, and is looking forward to posting. It may be a few weeks before he can start participating. And that is the latest from the legendary author of "Feature Filmmaking At Used Car Prices" and "Extreme DV At Used Car Prices".

Sujewa
*******

Saturday, February 25, 2006

NY Film Critics Website

Hey Everyone,

I was doing some research for a blog entry and I found the website for the New York Film Critics Circle, "an organization of film reviewers from New York- based publications." After looking through it for a bit, I saw a bunch of names that I recognize from various reviews of art/indie & other movies: Dennis Lim (Village Voice), Leah Rozen (People Magazine), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), etc. I bet every major metropolitan area of the US has such an association of film critics, and maybe they have websites too. When planning screenings & the accompanying press screenings that should precede theatrical engagements (specially long, 3 days - 1 week + engagements), websites such as the one mentioned above may help in figuring out who needs to be invited to the press screenings. I think for most of us here, filmmakers who make low budget/no star art/indie/personal movies (and some of us who distribute such movies), most film critics are probably on our side (as long as we have a good film :). Anyway, there's the link & the idea. Enjoy.

Sujewa
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Valley Fog Blog, Part II

The following is the welcome to my newest blog, which is, yes, Valley Fog Blog.

This blog is all about the film Valley Fog and the long, slow, tortuous history of its route to fruition. As I recall, the idea to do an independent film preceded the actual concept for the film. I was going through a period of creativity which, not coincidentally, came around the time of my divorce. I was exploring several other mediums at the time: music, blogging and painting. Film was the natural fourth, I've been a film buff most of my life.

What made it all feasible was that the barriers to entry for making a good looking, quality film were coming down. I realized it would be possible to tell my story on film for a fairly modest price... but, what story? They say write what you know and that's exactly what I did... finally, about two years later.. when I finally started writing scripts like a dervish. First I had to try several, let's just long tortuous routes, such as trying to get actors to improvise my drama on a line by line basis and generally, learn a lot of lessons the hard way. All of this along with my teenage son, who will probably go on to tell the story in his own way in a few years, and probably with a budget a million times the size.

But, back to the beginning. We started the project in earnest about a year ago, filmed with a cast of four and a crew of three over a few weekends last winter. At that point, with all the issues surrounding the demise of my own marriage fresh in my mind and wanting expression, we focused on the relationships. There was a married, interracial couple, Jason and Shari, fighting over kids, who were having an engaged couple, Greta and Nick, over for lunch. We had no script (that's one lesson I learned the hard way... never again!) and I spent endless hours with the actors going over the intricacies of their various and twisted histories with and without each other... let's just say it was "complicated".

After one of the actors moved out of the area, I shelved the project. I didn't really have enough footage to make anything, despite my occasional lame comments to my son that we did. Finally, I figured out how to use the original story and make a feature out of it without using the actor that had moved. So, about a year after the original shoots, with a much bigger cast and crew, including two of the original actors, we continued the story of the original luncheon by showing the various friends of the foursome discussing it, and what happened, primarily the fact that Jason and Greta end up kissing each other. Then there are additional scenes to illustrate more of the mentality of Silicon Valley and the merging of worlds that happens when Jason's corporate type friends interact with Greta's cool band mates.

There was also more exploration of the way relationships and affairs are viewed by various constituencies, from Shari's PTA mom friends, to the San Francisco independent film community. I also tackle current issues going on in Silicon Valley today surrounding the new distribution mediums for music and film. The company Jason and his buddies work for is "Lime", a thinly veiled Apple-like company which, in the fantasy world of film would be sporting the lime slice that for many is the international symbol of revolution, taken from Limewire.

We see a culture of arrogant executives seeking, or should I say, sucking, the fresh views of the young filmmakers but also wanting to sell them on the corporate values they embody. The young indies recognize the sell-outs for their internal emptiness and lack of creativity, but also try to figure out how long they can hold onto their freedom and expressiveness in a world where money can be made in many different ways from content they provide.

Below is the current draft of the official Valley Fog synopsis:

Valley Fog

Are the elite of Silicon Valley on the cutting edge or do they live in a fog of distorted values? Are those shaping the future of electronic entertainment clearly seeing the needs of the consumer or are they blinded by dead marriages and the desire for stature?

Jason Sanville is a man who grew up with everything and succeeded as a professional musician, a start-up entrepreneur and as an executive at a high profile Silicon Valley company. He has an artistic, intelligent wife, two beautiful kids, a big house in Palo Alto and all the perks of life. But, he is restless and unhappy. His wife is bored and frustrated. They can’t get along.

One day an old friend and former business partner, Nick brings over his bohemian fiancé, Greta. Jason, feeling threatened by Nick, ends up kissing Greta over a game of chess in his family room. Finally, it seems someone cares about him in a genuine and free way.

This gets him thinking about his lost career in music. He asks some of his co-workers if they would like to put together a cover band, the Limetimes, and while they are having lunch, Jason sees Greta. They reconnect and she tells Jason she will be singing at a new, hot nightclub nearby. He comes to see her play and that night they go back to his house while his wife and kids are out of town. Before long, Greta’s band mates, a group of San Francisco artists and filmmakers, show up and things get pretty wild.

The next morning finds them over croissants discussing the evening and saying goodbye at the train, but who knows if the goodbye is final? Jason has never felt more alive. He has finally regained some real connection to his creative self and clearly wants more. Greta doesn’t want to become a cliché or sacrifice her spiritual and emotional needs to become “the other woman”, but is also attracted to Jason and wants to bring out the best in him.

Google Video Success!

Finally got everything to work with Google Video.

I ended up compressing the video into 640x480 QuickTimes using the H.264 codec (originally I had used .mp4 files and Google did not like that). Here are the links to the new uploads:

"Hit" Movie Trailer:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1265865879186464161

"Killing Down" Movie Trailer:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7189917251048913094

When you upload your video, Google encodes it to stream on their site (for free) and also creates downloadable versions for the iPod and PSP. Again, this is all FREE.

Google Video and all other forms of VoD are going to be (and are quickly becoming) very important tools for indie distribution and promotion (and really for Hollywood too). I highly suggest checking it out and becoming familiar with how this stuff works.

-Blake

My Space as a promotional tool

Here's a story about a guy who made a short film about MySpace.com and got a development deal out of it:
His MySpace odyssey

I don't really understand the whole MySpace phenomena. From the little bit of time I've spent on it, it seems to mostly be a bunch of kids flipping each other off and commenting about how much their lives suck. I notice they have a filmmaker section though. Anyone have experience (or success) with this site?

Friday, February 24, 2006

12 year old Texas filmmaker & her zombie feature

Last night I stumbled on this awesome AICN story from '05:

Texas Filmmaker's Production Fund Gives A Grant To A 12 Year Old's Zombie Film!!!

Care to comment all you Texas filmmakers out there?

UPDATE:

"Pathogen", a film by Emily Hagins, website. Thanks David "Another Texas Filmmaker" Lowery for the link.

Sujewa
*******

Link for SEPTEMBER 12TH at the Pioneer and also at the Longbaugh Film Festival

The page for ordering tickets for the showing of SEPTEMBER 12TH at Two Boots Pioneer Theater on March 21 at 6:30pm (155 E. 3rd Street (b/w Aves A & B), New York) is up. You can access it here.

Also we are happy to announce that the film has been selected for Willamette Week’s Longbaugh Film Festival. The festival takes place April 6-9, 2006 in Portland, Oregon. We are still waiting on the screening date. It looks like it will be a fun festival to attend!

John Touhey and Lou Giovino

Valley Fog Blog

This blog is all about the film Valley Fog and the long, slow, tortuous history of its route to fruition. As I recall, the idea to do an independent film came proceeded the concept for the film. I was going through a period of creativity which not coincidentally came around the time of my divorce. I was exploring several other mediums at the time: music, blogging and painting. Film was the natural fourth, I've been a film buff most of my life.

What made it all feasible was that the cost of entry to making a viable film was coming down. I realized it would be possible to tell my story on film for a fairly modest price... but, what story? They say write what you know and that's exactly what I did... finally, about two years later. First I had to try several dead ends, try to get actors to improvise my drama on a line by line basis and generally, learn a lot of lessons the hard way. All of this along with my twelve year old son, who will probably go on to tell the story in his own way in a few years, and probably with a budget a million times the size.

Google Video (Part 2)

Well, I finally heard back from the support folks at Google Video. Here's what they had to say...

"We understand that your videos are "zoomed" in on the screen and displaying incorrectly. Please try using a different codec to encode your raw video file into an MPEG2 format with MP3 audio and re-upload them. Please feel free to contact us if this method does not resolve the issue."

So, I'll give it another try. Of course the funny thing is I did the original uploads just as they instructed (although it was different than the new instructions). So much for following the rules!

I'll post here again soon with a final update (and hopefully good news) once the new files are up.

-Blake

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Simply Smitten

Stacy and I spent the evening with Lucas over at 501 Post dumping our film to HD and creating a few clips for press and the SXSW website. I didn't get to bed until almost 1am, way past my usual 10pm bedtime.

My day job has been keeping me pretty busy. Working through lunches kind of busy. I might have to come in over the weekend to finish up. We have this big workshop on Monday that I'm co-organizing. I've been dreaming a lot lately about a life without a day job.

We're gearing up to do a bunch of flyering over the weekend. Despite the huge undertaking of flyering a city, I kind of like it. It's nice stopping into places I rarely go, like Austin Books or Encore Video.

I did an interview this morning for ME Television. Katie joined me. She was so cute about our interviewer Bobby Bones. I have no idea who he is, but she was simply smitten. He's a radio personality or something like that. All of her friends listen to his show.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The 3 Day Rule

Kevin, Chris, and I are all trying to figure out ways to get the movie into as many hands as possible. We all agree that giving out free DVDs is a good start, so keep checking in to find out how to get your free copy of the movie in April. We want to eliminate the hurdles that most film fans have to jump through in order to see small movies. There's no reason in 2006 why anyone should have to wait more than 3 days (about the time it takes to mail a DVD) to see a movie they are curious about. They should be able to aquire it through legal or illegal means ASAP. That's our motto for LOL. If you can't get your hands on the movie in 3 days or less, we are doing something wrong. DVDs will be for sale on the website, we will be actively screenign the movie at Universities, and we will be inviting people to throw screening parties of the movie in living rooms across the country.

In addition to the DVDs, we will be giving out free copies of the soundtrack at SXSW and other Festivals, and free posters to people who want them. Free things galore!

Google Video (Part 1)

Right now is a really cool time to be an independent filmmaker. Opportunities are arising everywhere that will in my opinion completely democratize distribution.

Just as MiniDV (especially 24p DV and now the new HDV flavors, and of course the higher-end HD formats) did for making films, these new distribution models will (hopefully) do the same for distributing them.

Google Video is one such new approach.

If you read many blogs or follow indie film very closely (and I'm assuming you do since you're reading this) then you've most likely heard of "Waterborne". This was the first "pay" indie feature to be distributed via Google Video - and supposedly it has been a success. I'm not sure what a "success" is to the filmmakers or to Google, but I do know that the film's director turned down a low six figure advance from a distributor to go with Google. I hope for his sake it has been a good decision (he's definitely received a ton of press coverage, which you'd think would help sales).

For more detailed coverage of "Waterborne" see my blog post at LoudBuzz:
http://loudpictures.blogspot.com/2006/02/Waterborne-movie-debut-success-on.html

So, I'm thinking... this is a pretty good idea. Do I want to use it too?

With my new film "Killing Down" I am pursuing a more traditional distribution route. The film has some recognizable talent in it and it's a commercially viable story, etc. We get calls from distributors all the time wanting to see it, but it's not quite done, so we wait (it will be done in about 4-6 weeks).

My previous film "Hit" had a domestic DVD deal - then it didn't - then it had one - then it fell apart again. We've got a few more places we're talking to, but if those don't work out then I'm definitely considering using Google Video among other avenues (such as selling the DVD on Amazon.com, etc.). And my first feature "Thugs" has foreign distribution, but no domestic, so it too might be a possibility for Google.

In the meantime though, I decided to simply upload the trailers of "Killing Down" and "Hit" to Google Video. Heck, it's free for the filmmaker and I set it up to be free for any viewers. There aren't many trailers on Google Video yet, so maybe they'll get some good play on there and create traffic to the movie websites (and increase visibility)?

Google gives pretty simple instructions for uploading the videos. They prefer .mp4 files (mpeg 4) at 640x480. So, if your film is widescreen - then letterbox it in 4x3. Easy enough. Then you download "Google Video Uploader" software - install it on your computer - and upload away (of course first you need a Google account to do any this).

I did this on February 18th - four days ago. And today I checked my Google Video account and boom - the videos were "Live" (that's what they call it). So their "verification" process took about 4 days. I assume they make sure it's not pornographic content or overly offensive during this "verification", but they also encode your video to fit their streaming model - and they also encode it for download to iPod and PSP (which is very cool).

All this sounds great except for one small problem. I went to watch my trailers and they weren't encoded correctly by Google. They are "zoomed" in on the image. Only a quarter or so of the actual video is seen on screen. Very odd. I don't think it's simply my computer monitor because other videos looks fine. And, they have "screen shots" next to the video and they are "zoomed" in on too. Here are the links to the trailers so you can see for yourself.

"Killing Down" on Google Video:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8952007456909015218

"Hit" on Google Video:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-383913092226077904

I emailed their support and haven't heard back yet. Hopefully I will soon. At least the audio sounds good! :) Once I get it all figured out I'll post a new blog entry.

I really think Google Video (which is in Beta testing - stress Beta) is going to be a great resource for promoting and selling indie films. And once Apple jumps in with their version who knows what the future will hold.

-Blake

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Go ahead, LOL

The number of friends I have neglected, only to call them up and ask for a favor, is probably approaching the triple digits these days. I never wanted to be this kind of person, but I have the sense that whenever someone's phone rings, and they see my name, they assume I need something from them.

SXSW has decided that they are only going to show videos on HD at their Festival this year. I understand their reasoning. It's much easier for them to stick with one tape format, which means they only need one kind of deck, and HD is clearly the best quality. But this wasn't great news for me. They have a deal with a post house in Austin, TX, allowing me to get a DVCAM tape transfered to HD for $350, which they say is much less than most places will charge me. Fine. But the entire budget of LOL was something like $3,000, which means this conversion to HD is going to cost me more than 1/10 what the whole film costs. It's kind of insane.

There's a rental/production place here in Chicago (Zacuto) that's been really cool to me, and they have allowed me to use one of their editing suites when nobody is in there. I'm already late for the date that SXSW set to have the tapes to them, because I needed to find someone to mix the sound for free (did I mention I have no money?), so I figured today would be the day that I go make my DVCAM master, but I arrived at the editing suite only to realize that something was wrong with the computers and I couldn't do anything tonight.

I share a car with my girlfriend, filmmaker Kris Williams, and she had dropped me off at the place on her way to see a movie. Not wanting to just sit around for a bunch of hours, I decided to walk the few miles home, praying I wouldn't be hit by a car, since I had my hard drive with me that contained the final cut of LOL. So here I am back home, foiled once again by the Universe.

If I had money, I would have had the sound professionally mixed a month ago, and the film would have been immediately transferred to HD and sent to Austin. But I don't have money, so here I am, with the Festival 3 weeks away, totally reliant on the friendliness and favors of other people, just so I can make a DVCAM copy to send off to someone else who will make an HD copy. I'm sure everyone posting here has similar stories. It seems to come with the territory. Walking 2 miles in 29 degree weather, carrying my hard drive in last year's SXSW Big Bag, praying no cars hit me and take the last 8 months of my life with them, feels like just another day.

"Auteurvision" Post-Production Update and the Frustration of Rights Clearance

I have now reached the one-year anniversary editing my personal documentary and as I read more about the frustration involved in rights clearance, and justifying "fair use", its becoming a painful reality that my film will probably never see the light of day. I will finish it for myself and there will be private screenings in NYC and wherever else I can book gigs, but I think I would need some kind of miracle for any film festival to accept it or by a lightning strike, a distributor (ha!) to take this baby through rights clearance.

Whenever you go on set and there's a song playing in the background, its probably a good idea to shut it off or lower the volume.

Quoted from an article at the Center for Social Media....http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/rock/finalreport.htm

"Several noted, however, that young filmmakers often learn the hard way. Student and novice filmmakers can experiment without observing current copyright law. They often borrow and use elements of popular culture with legal naïveté, regularly testifying by these acts to a widespread assumption that as participants of popular culture they have a right to re-use it. But of course such work cannot be seen outside their classrooms without clearance, and so they cannot get audiences for their work, even in a nonprofit environment."

Even in an non-profit environment. damn! you've got to be kidding.

“I’m surprised how many young people show me films, very good films that are often times fantastic, which will never see daylight because of rights issues,” said Mark Moskowitz. “In one particular case, they spent two years putting their film together. It was impactful and well thought out. Unfortunately, it will never be seen because they have 15-18 musical acts and to get the music rights released will be prohibitively expensive."

Ouch!

Like a theme in Woody Allen's Match Point, life is all about luck. If I get lucky, I'll let u know.

In other news, to clear my head and add my own comic weirdness to the growing internet sub-genre of recutting movie trailers, I started re-cutting Halloween as a comedy.

"Meet Michael Myers. All his life, he just wanted to make people laugh....."

Later.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Amir Motlagh Interview

I just posted a 2005 interview with Amir Motlagh at Filmmaking For The Poor. Amir mentioned, a couple of posts below, that he is now at work on his first feature "Whale". Prior to that project he finished several short films, played festivals, got his short "Still Lover" seen by a lot of people on the web through AtomFilms, and toured with his movies. Like me he looks to indie/punk rock as a model for DIY film production & distribution, and he is not shy about getting on a plane in California to go play his movie to 40 people at a microcinema in DC. Here's a description of the previous work, in Amir's own words:

"And here are their obligatory synopses:

"Dino Adino": Dino is turning 23 and his friends decide to document it. Although he dreams of a life as a graphic artist, much is revealed about his conflicted character as the night goes on in the growing suburb of Irvine California.

"Love @ 11:47": A film about the obsessions that drive three characters into uncontrollable action as the clock turns to 11:47 PM in a place and time like any other.

"Still Lover" : A man, a woman, life and love one shot at a time.

"Pumkin Little": "And we shall dance to see another day", A documentary about a young Filipino American searching for himself, as a sea of labels (gangster, break dancer, student, boyfriend, son, Asian, American) proves his struggles and hopes.

"Lessons in Self-Destruction" #01-#06: A six part epic into things that lead to joy and hypertension.

"My Break Ups Into A Million Pieces": A short documentary about the daughter of the Filipino Fine Artist Santiago Bose, as she tries to escape the memory of her father after his death. She ventures to a strange new land (Southern California) and copes with the myth of Americana, while rediscovering all the beauties of life.

"Whale": My first fiction feature. That you will have to wait to hear about."

Read the whole interview here.

Sujewa
*******

(Good) Festival News, at last!

At long last, I have a festival ACCEPTANCE to report. The Proper Care & Feeding of an American Messiah will screen at the inaugural Cosmos Internat'l Film and Video Game Festival. Admittedly, this is a new fest, and I know nothing about it, but I am pleased to have gotten over this hump.

The other nice thing is that it's in Gainesville, Florida, which is my wife's hometown and home to the University of Florida. Since my in-laws are nearly lifelong residents of G-ville, I already have a place to stay at no cost!

I'll add more to this info as I get more to report. I have to run to teach a production class right now... but WOO-HOO (or, to reflect how I've really been feeling lately, PHEW!)

DVD Beaver Reviews SEPTEMBER 12TH

September 12th has received another positive review, this time from Gary Tooze at DVD Beaver, one of our favorite sites. While he has criticisms of the film, Gary says that "It is quite moving and finishes exceptionally well... a devastatingly sharp and poignant finale." His says the film's digital indie roots are obvious, but he concludes his technical comments by stressing that "we do like to encourage independent film and feel this is a far superior effort than many we have seen in the past. This film will stay with you and for that alone it should be checked out." You can check out the review here.

We are very grateful for Gary's kind words as DVD Beaver has exceptionally high standards and mostly reviews releases from big studios with multi-million dollar production budgets. More September 12th reviews are expected soon.

Check back for updates here, or on our September 12th site, which now has pages in Italian and Spanish. We will also be launching a Magicfying blog in the next few days, with news about current and future productions.

John Touhey and Lou Giovino

indieWIRE loves my other blog

Hey Everyone,

Nice to see so much activity on this brand new blog. Welcome Liz & Amir. Amir's got a lot of self-distribution experience w/his shorts. And I'll write a bit more later tonight about the two shorts of his that I screened at Capital City Microcinema last year. Looking forward to what Liz has to say about her doc Jericho's Echo & other projects.

My other blog, Filmmaking For The Poor, has been selected as a "Blogs We Love" blog by the mighty indieWIRE. This I consider a major accomplishment since indieWIRE is probably one of the most visited indie film related websites in America. And like I told indieWIRE's Brian Clark, I "grew up" on iW: much of my thinking about the indie film industry has been heavily affected by stuff covered, opinions offered by iW - even if I haven't always agreed w/their take on things or the kind of projects that they sometimes choose to pay attention to. Looks like indieWIRE is about to go through a major growth period - they have a new community section coming on line later this month. Looking forward to seeing what they've come up w/ & looking forward to seeing Filmmaking For The Poor headlines showing up on iW. It took about 3-4 months and over 50 blog entries to get selected by iW. Looking forward to continuing the blogging over at Filmmaking/Poor & also growing this blog.

Blogging is adictive & immediatley rewarding, but it is only one aspect of being a DIY filmmaker, w/the most important aspect being actually making films :) So, w/ that thought in mind, I am going to go do a few hours of editing. Will blog again late tonight. Talk 2 everyone soon blograwkstars!

Sujewa
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Sunday, February 19, 2006

"whale" in progress "my break ups" on parole

OK. So, i have been busy with my feature film "whale" which is coming along with a haste less ferver. There is a blog about it somewhere, although the immediacy of its postings is something akin to inconsistency. My other film, "my break ups into a million pieces" gets it's US preimere at the San Francisco Asian American International Film Festival and plays March 19th and the 23rd of 06, so if you are in town, please stop by. It got its world preimere at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival in Nov. 05 but alas, that is half the information. Our great moderator Sujewa E. screened it at his Capitol City Microcinema sometime in an earlier 05 along with that little pretty short i did with that pretty little red haired girl i once dated called "Still Lover". Did you like those films Sujewa? I was up stairs alone while they played, a habit of mindless touring. Anyway, i will post when new things happen, and so far, it is safe to say that "whale" is turning into something that i imagined once, so thats pretty good. I am also composing the soundtrack with a few very talented musicians, Reza Pormansor, aka Sam Oak, aka Rayray Brown and Art Toussi from the band Unfamiliar Occurence, who also did work on my upcoming "Shanks and the Dreamers" album. This is one of my most favorite things about this piece. Next post will include the synopsis, but i will say this, the film uses a mix of professional and non acting talent, it's very personal and akin to a hot bath with a bottle of Black Label. Keep the shit rolling compadres, cuz we are all in this cut and paste life together. Your Likely Friend...

amir motlagh
www.amirmotlagh.com

SAG Follow Up

I'd like to follow up on Blake's comment about SAG. First let me say that if I have enough money to be a SAG signatory on my next film, I will make that choice because there are advantages, but there are definite disadvantages for the smaller budget producer. A few months back I was at a similar panel discussion to the one Blake mentioned at the AFM, but this one was at the IFC conference. I am impressed with the new agreements which are listed here on the SAG Indie website. They include the Ultra-Low Budget Agreement, the Modified Low Budget Agreement, and the Low Budget Agreement, but they still have yet to form the Ultra-Micro I'm Selling My Blood For Production Financing agreement.

If the budget of your film is less than $200,000 in cash (although it may be as much as $500,000 if you include deferrals) then the best deal you can get is the Ultra Low Budget agreement. But let's assume you have a 25 day shooting schedule and you have on average five actors per day. (I think that's a fairly average scenario.) It will cost $12,500 under the Ultra Low Budget Agreement. That's a lot of money for a low budget film especially if deferrals are making up a significant portion of the film.

Let's say for instance your budget is $100,000 and $50,000 of that is deferrals. That means you just spent 25% of your cash on actors, while at the same time you've told your crew that they're working on deferrals, not to mention that you as writer/producer/director/editor and whatever else may spend a couple years of your life bringing this thing to the screen before earning a dime. I read a story recently about the California gold rush. Apparently the gold miners on average made very little, but the saloons and suppliers in the area made a fortune off of them. That sort of seems to be the way it is with independent film.

Unless you have at least $200,000 in cash at the beginning of production, then the only reasonable solution is to avoid SAG, and even then it's debatable - depending upon the level of talent your non-SAG actors are bringing to the table. And that brings up a whole other issue. If you're working outside of New York or Los Angeles, where are you going to have to look to find good SAG actors? I have a stack of headshots of SAG actors and almost all of them live in Los Angeles. The rest live in New York. (I live in South Carolina.) So even if I can afford to pay them the SAG indie minimum (and they're willing to work for that amount) can I afford to pay their travel and lodging? And let's be honest, there are a lot of SAG members who aren't exactly Lawrence Olivier so is the expense worth it?

It seems to me (and this is only my opinion and not meant to detract from Blake's experience) that if your cash budget is $500,000 or more, then and only then does becoming a SAG signatory begin to make sense. Of course I suppose it also depends on where you're making the film. If there are no decent actors in the area, then perhaps collaborating with SAG has some other distinct advantages. For instance, they help with casting and allow you to post character breakdowns on their site. I think there's also a psychological advantage when it comes to raising money and finding a decent crew. Being labeled a SAG signatory film lends creditability. It's for those reasons that I'd choose that route if I had a larger budget, but not on a budget less than 500K.

Although SAG has made a strong leap forward, it seems to me that they need to adjust the Ultra Low Budget Agreement to work better with ultra low budgets by allowing SAG actors to work for deferrals which are dependent upon the production company breaking even.

Eric

SAG Experience

Sujewa noticed I used SAG in my latest film "Killing Down" and ask me to comment on the experience...

This was my first time to "officially" work with SAG. I had SAG actors in both my previous features, however, we worked around making it a "SAG film" through various means (such as giving them a producer credit, etc.). Also, my first two films were micro budget. My new film is low budget, but not micro, so I had some money for acting talent.

This was the primary reason I was a SAG signatory on this film - because the principle actors I wanted to cast were all in SAG and couldn't (or wouldn't) work on a non-union film. So, I took the leap and learned a lot in the process.

SAG used to be a mammoth to deal with. Sujewa mentioned he got a "600 page" document from them when he was considering working with the union. It's not like that any more. That's not to say it's not still a lot of paper work - it is - but it's not near what it was. And, it's even better now than it was when I did my contract (back in December 2004).

Our contract was the Limited Exhibition Agreement. All the SAG contracts are based on the budget of your film (and to a lesser degree what you want to do with it in the end). This contract has since been replaced by the Ultra Low Budget Agreement, which is a good thing, because the LEA was an "okay" contract - but not the best for the producer. SAG will always make their deals much better for the actors than the producers (obviously of course, but you can work around this some).

Basically the LEA contract let me make "scale" only $75/day plus per diem and travel costs (if any). Of course the actor doesn't have to agree to this amount. That's just the lowest amount you can pay them. But, when and if the film gets distribution, their pay jumps to roughly $460/day - so in actuality you're deferring just shy of $400/day (the amount is different if you don't screen your film in a theater for at least one day per the LEA).

This can be the bad part for the producer.

Obviously you want your film to get distribution - but when it does sell you might have to pay all your advance money to SAG to cover actor costs - leaving nothing for you (I've heard of filmmakers owing SAG money because they sold their film, but didn't get enough to cover the costs!). As I mentioned earlier, the LEA contract is not around any longer (as of November '05). The Ultra Low Budget Agreement is basically the same contract only now scale is $100/day, but now there is no deferred amount owed. Only the normal SAG residuals that you pay on any contract.

Quite honestly, I'm not a fan of unions. I think they are good in some cases (or were at one point in history), but now I'm not so sure. Think about SAG for a moment. They are a powerful union and 96% of their members are unemployed. That's hard to fathom but true. In Texas we are a "right to work" state, so there are very few unions here. I've never even worked with a union film crew in Texas. Of course they exist, but mainly when the Hollywood productions come through town or the several million dollar indies are shot here.

In the end going with SAG is the right decision though. Mainly because SAG actors are (typically speaking) the best and most professional talent to work with. And if you're working with any "name" talent at all you'll definitely have to use a SAG contract. Also, now, none of the contracts (even the "experimental" ones) have SAG owning your film or any distribution rights. This is very important for the low budget indie filmmakers out there (for short films too).

At the American Film Market in November I went to a panel discussing all the new SAG Indie contracts. It was very informative. Check it out for yourself at their website. There you can see a lot of the details I left out here - like the fact that you have to put up bond money, you have to pay pension payments (currently 14.8%), and other incredibly fun stuff for the film producer. ;)

As an indie filmmaker SAG can be challenging to work with (and expensive), but the end results (on screen) are often worth it.

-Blake

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Coming to DVD in 2006....?



According to the front page of its official website, the collaborative feature film Deadroom will available on DVD at some point this year. Ideally, that will be the case - but there may be a few kinks in the plan. Said kinks being: irrepressible (irresponsible?) creativity on the part of all four writer/directors (one of whom is yours truly).

The film premiered at SXSW almost exactly a year ago; that was followed by a short festival run that sent us around the country, having the best time of our lives; after which came a period of inactivity, and then the curious, gradual evaporation of our vested interest in the project. Now it's floating in limbo (appropriate, I suppose, given the film's subject matter), where, for the moment, it might stay.

We knew from the beginning that we'd made a good picture, but we also knew it was the sort of project few distributors would want to touch with a ten foot pole. Essentially, what we were hoping for was a small DVD release by a company who understood the integrity of the film and would support it; quality was far more important to us than volume. Making money was the last thing on our mind; we'd been responsible filmmakers and hadn't gone into debt on the film, so our concern was simply getting it out there, in front of an appreciative audience. To that end, we had - and still have - a few offers on the table, and have one or two leads to follow up as well, but we're coming close to taking up the reigns and putting it out ourselves. We'd rather spend the time and money a small-but-respectable release than have our film become padding in some eigth-tier acquisitions catalog, where at best it will see store shelves as a bare bones disc with some hilariously misrepresentative cover. We know what our film is, and know its limitations in terms of audience appeal, but we'd be far happier giving that niche market the best disc we can provide.

So now we just have to release it, which is where the creativity part comes in. We're all already deeply entrenched in other projects. Projects we're very excited about. Projects which we know are better than Deadroom. Projects that are taking up all the money we might spend making and promoting a DVD release. As the months tick on, it's becoming very difficult to muster the enthusiasm to see this film through, to get it out there on the shelves and the Netflix and GreenCine queues. To make it available to those who might want to see it.

So we'll see; it's up in the air at the moment. Maybe the film will become an extra feature on some future DVD. as Richard Linklater's You Can't Learn To Plow By Reading Books is on the Criterion edition of Slacker. Or maybe some burst of energy (or even, dare I say it, demand) will inspire us to go ahead and finish what we started.

In any case, thanks to Sujewa's intrepid efforts, the film will likely have one more screening this coming May in Washington D.C. It'll be interesting to see it with an audience again. It'll be interesting to see it again, period. We've sorta been avoiding it.

The Finishing Touches

I always think the hard work is over, but the hard work is never over. LOL have been invited to three Festivals so far (SXSW, Philadelphia, and the Independent Film Festival of Boston) and I'm not even finished with the damn thing. In order to get the jump on Festival deadlines, it's essential to send out early screeners of the film, while you're still making the final tweaks. Thankfully LOL has been well received, but the hard work is just beginning, again...

Over the next few weeks, I will not only polish up the film and get an HD Master, DIGIBeta Master, BetaSP Master, and DVCAM Master (because every Festival has their own preferred format) made, but I will also spend almost as much money as the film cost (about $3,000) on promotional items like posters, postcards, CDs, business cards, DVDs, etc, etc, etc just so people will actually hear about the movie and show up.

If it sounds like I'm complaning, I'm not. I can't imaging being in a more exciting position. Please come see LOL somewhere this year. I'll be posting on here as often as possible, and I'm also keeping a production journal on the film's site, where you can get more info about the process.

We Need More Lady Filmmakers Here. And More Minority Filmmakers Too.

Diversity can be a very good thing. And since we are indie, we don't want to passively mirror Hollywood's ethnic & gender make up of the filmmakers without trying to recruit & encourage minority & female filmmakers.

So, members & readers, your mission: when you come across an interesting new or relatively new indie feature by a female or minority director, let the films' makers or handlers know about this blog, & encourage them to think about encouraging the director to join the blog, to get more press & possibly more audience members/customers for their project.

Thanks a lot.

Sujewa
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Howdy from Texas

Many thanks to Sujewa for inviting me to contribute to this blog!

My name is Blake Calhoun and I'm a filmmaker from Dallas, Texas. It appears there are several other Texas filmmakers on this blog too. That's a cool thing. There's A LOT of good filmmaking going on here in Lone Star State. I've made three feature films and numerous shorts here since 1996. My latest film is being finished as we speak - it's an action/thriller called "Killing Down".

It's story takes place in 1993 and follows a paranoid U.S. Army veteran searching for the truth about what happened to him years earlier in the jungles of Nicaragua (during the Sandinista/Contra conflict of the 1980's). It's what we're calling a "character driven action film" and it is by far the most ambitious project I've done.

We shot for 32 days - yep, count 'em - thirty two! That's a lot for an indie financed production (my first feature "Thugs" was shot in 12 days and my second feature "Hit" in 8 days). We also had some recognizable talent in this one, and actually did the film through SAG. That was fun! Not really.

For more details on the movie please visit www.killingdown.com and also check out the trailer on the "Surveillance Page" of the site. Also, I have a blog I write geared towards indie filmmaking, new technologies, and just movies in general at http://loudpictures.blogspot.com.

"Killing Down" will be completed in about another 4 to 6 weeks (I hope). I'm trying to finish quickly so distributors can see it before the Cannes Film Market (we attended AFM in November and got great response, now they want to see the finished film).

So, that's my introduction. I look forward to contributing to this blog and hearing what everyone has to say about their projects and other goings on in the indie film world.

-Blake

Thanks Cinematical!, Other Goodies

Press Action, Part III: Cinematical's got a nice blog entry on us. Check it out here.

Our Chris "The Proper Care & Feeding of an American Messiah" Hansen has a new blog: Making Movies in Flyover Country. Check it out for details on his Hollywood screenwriting adventures.

The mighty Filmmaker Magazine's blog is now accepting comments. The comments function was not properly enabled all this year at that blog. But it is now, so go read Chris M. & others' blog entries. I like the January posts re: Caveh Zahedi's "I Am A Sex Addict". And this blog was mentioned there a couple of days ago.

I took another look at Gus Van Sant's 1989 movie "Drugstore Cowboy" on DVD this morning. The film still holds up very well. Excellent sound design, production design, cinematography & editing, and of course acting & directing. The 1999 DVD from Artisan comes w/ a short doc on the making of the movie.

More group member posts are coming soon. And more filmmakers will soon be signing up as members. Looking forward to reading all about their new movies.

Sujewa
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Re-introduction: "The Proper Care & Feeding of an American Messiah"

Sorry to 're-post' about my film. I felt the need to reintroduce myself since I originally joined the blog with my 'anonymous' blogging identity. My mistake, and it's now been rectified (thanks, Sujewa).

So, I'm Chris Hansen, a filmmaker in Texas (like fellow Indie Features 06 blogger David Lowery, though he and I haven't met in person). The feature I shot last summer is still in post but it out to festivals now: The Proper Care & Feeding of an American Messiah.

The film is a mock documentary about "Brian B.," a guy who thinks he's a messiah. He doesn't think he's THE messiah, but rather a local, regional messiah for his own hometown. The film follows his quest to determine his God-given 'special purpose' in life (which he believes he'll find by holding a big 'messiah rally' at the local civic center). Of course, he'll need to raise a little money to rent the civic center, and the film chronicles his efforts.

It was shot over a three-week shooting period (18 shooting days) in Waco, Texas (and yes, I'm aware of the irony of shooting a film about a guy who thinks he's a messiah in WACO). We shot on HD, with two actors from New York (Dustin Olson and Ellen Dolan) and one from Mississippi (Joseph Frost). Dustin and Ellen are also in a short film that just got into Tribeca (After June).

I teach production and screenwriting at Baylor University (Dept of Comm Studies), so we used about 30 students from our program as crew members, and we hired a professional DP and sound recordist (and the producer was a pro, too).

So, check out the website, and you'll be hopefully be seeing the film soon at a festival near you.

Elizabeth Gunness

I'd like to thank Sujewa for allowing me to me to be a part of this fine group of filmmakers. I've been teaching film and video production to high school kids for twelve years on a very minimal budget, and Rich Schmidt's ideas were an inspiration to me early on about what could be achieved with limited resources, so it's great see he's a part of this venture as well.

My film Elizabeth Gunness, is a narrative about an old fashioned woman in a small town who has a few odd ideas about justice and order. The film was fully crewed with former film students of mine. My composer, Andrew Ingkavet of 300 Monks, is currently writing the final cues for the score and the final sound mix will be completed within the next month. Here's a direct link to the Trailer.

Eric Maconaghie Rogers

Friday, February 17, 2006

September 12th

Thanks to Sujewa for inviting Magicfying Films to the blog. Magicfying consists of writer/director John Touhey and producer Lou Giovino. Our film, September 12th, one of the first dramas about life after 9/11 just screened at the Anthology Film Archives in New York and will be at the Pioneer Theater in New York on March 21.

Film Threat gave us a "highly recommended" review

The film is available on DVD at our website www.september12th.com where you can find more information and a trailer

We look forward to joining in the discussion!

Lou Giovino

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Kelley Baker having a lovely & productive time touring in Europe

Our own Angry Filmmaker Kelley Baker is in Europe right now, showing his films & teaching workshops. Here's a bit from an update:

" Things are going great. I did three workshops over 2 days at the Dublin Institute of Technology. I had a blast! The students asked me lots of questions. They really kept me on my toes. The kept saying I talked funny, though. It is great being here."

And some more:

"Today I will go to University College of Dublin to speak and they have arranged an interview for me with the Irish Times. There is also supposed to be a live radio interview on Sunday then it's off to Scotland."

Read the whole update here.

I am going to have to think about visiting Europe & playing there when I am done w/ the US. I bet Kelley will have some useful advice on those plans.

Sujewa
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More Press Action: Filmmaker Magazine Blog

Filmmaker Magazine's blog mentions & links to this blog. Read it here. Thanks a lot Scott M!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Press Action: We're in GreenCine Daily! We're in Hollywood Is Talking!

Being mentioned in the blog that I chose as the best film blog of '05 is always exciting. Check out the GreenCine Daily mention & the accompanying Deadroom poster art here.

I read fellow filmmaker & West Coast brother-in-the-indie-struggle LC's colorful & often juicy (that's where I first learned about a famous Hollywood director's recent cross dressing & sex related run in with the law) blog Hollywood Is Talking every day, sometimes more then once a day. We were mentioned there recently and that too was a very exciting event. See it here.

Later on stars.

S.u.j.e.w.a
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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Rick Schmidt is joining this blog!

Rick "Feature Filmmaking At Used Car Prices" Schmidt, is joining this blog kids. We will have a pioneering DIY/indie/low-budget filmmaker in our midst. Rick's Used Car Prices filmmaking book is what got me into the indie habit back in '91/'92. And his recent book Extreme DV At Used Car Prices has helped a lot with my digital filmmaking. Here's Rick's website. He was the producer & one of the directors of the Dogme 95 movie "Chetzemoka's Curse". He's made dozens of movies, find out all about them at his site.

Welcome to the team Rick, looking forward to reading your posts.

Sujewa
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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Proper Care & Feeding of an American Messiah

Thanks to Sujewa for inviting me to join this blog. My film, The Proper Care & Feeding of an American Messiah, is nearly complete, and is out to fests now. We haven't gotten in anywhere yet, sad to say, but we're hoping for some good news soon.

We have gotten a pretty favorable review from Film Threat -- access it here.

Also, check out the film's site: http://www.AmericanMessiah.com.

Date Number One website redesigned

It was about time that I redesigned the Date Number One/Wild Diner Films website. Now that I have an actual movie to promote, the site has been changed from a general indie film & Sujewa & other informational site to one that is focused solely on Date Number One. More fine tuning is necessary, will be doing that next weekend or so. The site is still lo-tech, still colorful. The key ideas driving the redesign are simplicity, more color, more artiness. Got some roses & a kiss on the front page, to celebrate the Valentines Week that begins today.

- Sujewa
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Friday, February 10, 2006

Deadroom coming to DVD & possibly some screens in 2006

Deadroom, a film by James M. Johnston, David Lowery, Nick Prendergast, and Yen Tan,
winner of the Director's Choice Award for the Best Narrative Feature in Texas Film Festival 2005, will be coming to DVD in 2006 says the film's website.

I may be showing this film in DC in May or so, won't know about that for sure for a couple of weeks, so it is entirely possible that Deadroom will also come to one or more screens this year.

See Press Coverage for the film here.

Here's some of that press coverage:

"RECOMMENDED. Four directors, four visions and four vignettes come together in a strong, quiet omnibus that is neither horror story nor ghost thriller."
- Ashlea Halpern, Philadelphia City Paper

And I just discovered that the film was selected by all these festivals (I knew it played some fests, didn't know it played in SXSW '05, etc.):

Deadroom was an official selection of:

The 2005 SXSW Film Festival
The 2005 Cleveland International Film Festival
The 2005 Philadelphia International Film Festival
The 2005 Texas Film Festival
The 2005 Ozone Film Festival

BTW, where's Ozone? Good name for a town. "Futuristic."

Looking forward to checking out Deadroom.

Sujewa
http://www.wilddiner.com/

Welcome to Indie Features 06

Here's the idea (inspired by GreenCine Daily & IndieWIRE blogs section):

A. A group blog
B. By filmmakers (key creative & bidness ppl: directors, producers, etc.) who have a feature in distribution* in 06, are going to have a feature in distribution soon
C. Distribution = any sort of public availability of the film: film festivals, playing shows in your basement for the neighborhood every once in a while, having the DVD available for sale, etc.
D. Group members can point to posts in their own blogs, talk about their movies in original posts created for this blog, talk about other people's movies, etc.
E. Keep the topic of posts solidly on films & closely related matters (due to vast political, etc. differences that may exist among group members, members can talk about non-film stuff in their own blogs)
F. I am sure I & others who participate in this blog will come up w/ more guidelines as the project evolves. Or not.

If you are a filmmaker who has an arty/indie feature in distro this year & want to participate in this project, let me know.

Later on. More activity soon.

Sujewa
the guy who started this project
Film: Date Number One
My other blog (for lots of links on some of the flicks that will be talked about in this blog):
Filmmaking For The Poor
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