Thursday, March 31, 2005

fear and loathing on the wedding trail...

I believe Hunter S. Thompson said it best with the simple and yet somehow overstated observation, "Spending five days in Vegas is like spending five years." (I'm paraphrasing) It's almost too simple, however, if you've ever been in Las Vegas for a five-day non-stop drunken whirlwind up and down the strip, in and out of bars, slinging money at talkative cabbies, and wondering how you got to the 10th floor hotel room because the past five minutes had just been eaten out of your brain... then you might be able to find some strange common ground with five days stretching into the vague blurred memories of five years.
I did have quite a blast while in Vegas. There were so many insanely sloshed moments that I could (and most likely will) at some point write a book all about the misadventures. Too many cigarettes, too many drinks... Finding the nutrition to stay up and fight off the Sandman with blades of steel... police officers... carpet... terrible bathrooms (the bathrooms being an entire chapter all unto their own). I kind of look forward to trying to make sense of it all.
Anyway, I'm back now. I need to get to work on the script and the storyboards. There was a nice little look at the current body of work, DMotT (I've decided not to print the entire name out, lest some bastard take it for their own creative work). There were some various points and questions that I've got to make sure the script answers-- or at the least, I know the answer to-- or I will have to tread back into the lines of manic mess and either add or delete certain moments. It's a good script. People taking various looks and having various questions about scenes will only make it a better piece of work. I've got to be able to answer these questions or at least have the script show the audience the answer. So, I'll be tearing through it for the next couple of days.
I've also got to do some homework for my next acting gig. David Lee's next film leaves the responsibility of building a character mostly up to my imagination. Creativity is a necessity. With all good hopes, it will be steaming from the pores of my flesh by sundown. We've got to get this train moving. Hopefully there won't be any further carloads to strap on for a while. Derailing the train of thought should not be allowed to happen. Therefore, no more drinking for me (for a little while anyway). It's okay. I'm sure I'll make up for it at some point. What is all of the hard work for if you can't take a vacation tearing through time and space?

Monday, March 21, 2005

finish what you've started...

There are a great number of "filmmakers" out there (a lot here, that I've noticed) that talk a lot about films, perhaps get some scenes shot, maybe edit a few things together... then fall short and never get their film done. They incorporate a lot of people, a great deal of hope and belief, and (at times) even manage to throw together a fair amount of money. Then this little project of daydreams never sees completion... It's sad but it happens all of the time.
I've been lucky enough to find a home with Rusted Sun Films. RSF is a place where dreams come true and projects get done. They've got the drive and organization to put a project through the gauntlet and finish the long and drawn out process that is making a feature film. We did it with ACSL. We're going to do it with the next project.
I've talked about the next screenplay. It's finished (as far as I know). I'm going to allow a little more feedback from a select few but as far as I'm concerned, it's ready to go. Now, were still in the pre-production stages. However, I'm not lagging on that front either. I started ripping out some storyboards onto paper. That takes time. Storyboards are probably the most grueling part of pre-production (at least from my stand point). I most likely take that stance because I have to draw each and every freakin' shot I think that we might use. The diligence in this process maps out the movie in my head. Seeing as how I'll most likely be Director of Photography on this project again (and most likely C0-Director-- yeah, I'm a control freak but Anthony and I work very well together on this stuff) the story boards will help more than I like to admit.
When we did A Cowboy's Silver Lining, Anthony and Brad were adamant about making sure I did them. I don't even know if we looked through them after the fact... and I'm pretty damn sure we didn't look at them when we filmed... however, it is quite eerie of how the film follows the storyboards in comparison. The images get stuck in your head (or when you sketch the boards out, one envisions what the would like to see in the film-- at least that's how I think).
People ask, "When will you start filming." Unfortunately I don't have a concrete date or deadline. I know it will be a little later this year. I've got to finish all of the paperwork, get locations locked, and hold auditions. (I do have a great number of actors that I have imagined in these roles... but everyone will have to audition... even me) So, I'll keep you all abreast (ha ha) of the situations as they roll from pen to paper. For now, I have to get back to actually working.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Friday yawns and a new hat...

I've been in Nashville, due to work, for the last couple of days. Roadweary is one good explanation of the vibrations coursing through my brain. I've seen enough highway for a few days... but Satellite Radio helps. I'm hooked to the 50's channel. I've been doing some research on 50's music that I would love to use in a film. I truly desire to use these tunes in my next feature project, however, the music industry is quite hungry and ruthless when it comes to purchasing the usage rights to songs. There is no real desire to "work with" indie projects that have no budget or means to gain a budget. So, I'll save all of these wanton plots and ploys for another day, another project, etc. etc.
On the long and weary drive home from Nashvegas I received a phone call from Anthony. He had made it through the first draft of the "heist" script. He had some of the same questions that had been brought up before, which makes things a little easier to point out and fix when it comes to the second draft. So, I'll most likely be doing that this weekend. It should take about 10 minutes. Seriously, they're little fixes... of course, I'm not a seasoned pro when it comes to writing a screenplay. I do, however, like to think that I'm capable at creating interesting and compelling dialogue.
I still have not come up with a "witty" or "clever" title for this project. "A Cowboy's Silver Lining" manifested it's title from a bit of dialogue in a rather important scene. It just seemed to make sense to give it the monicre "A Cowboy's Silver Lining." I haven't found anything for this project yet. That kind of bothers me. I'm sure I'll get the same responses as the last one... for now, here are a few thoughts on the title"
"There's always a Plan-B"
"Abraham Ashley and The Guitar Man"
"Mambo Criminale" (that's just stupid, I know)
"White Collar"

Monday, March 14, 2005

okay, clear the board. Lets start again...

The International Film Festival of Boston sent me a nice little e-mail Saturday. It held two paragraphs worth of information. The only significant thing said was, "No." So, Boston's out... Atlanta and Tucson are the next to come. I can only imagine what will come. The only hope we have for Atlanta is a southern connection. I just wish I knew what the hell these people were looking for. I wish I knew if the DVD screeners were playing right. A little more personal dialogue would be great. However, all they really have to say is "welcome aboard" or "no." Crap.
On another note, I did manage to finish the "heist" screenplay. The first draft has made rounds through a few selected readers for feedback. If anyone else is interested in reading it and giving some feedback, I welcome the requests. However, if I find out that any of it is leaked or stolen for some other project I will be collecting fingers. That's what happens to thieves.
Anyone have any personal connections to film festivals? I would love to get our film into a few more. As it has always been said, "It's all who you know."

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

back and to the left... back... and to the left...

Boy, when it rains it pours. We didn't get into FirstGlance Philadelphia. It's not looking real good for RiverRun in Winston-Salem or ReelFrontier in Tuscon. There have been some films already announced for both of those festivals but I haven't heard from either of them. The only other festival that's still out there is Boston International Independent Film Festival and Atlanta. Atlanta, obviously, is a long shot.
And, with that said, I've come to a point in my script that I have to pull all of the loose pieces together and make sense of the ending. I'm seriously struggling with that. The nice kick in the balls I've been getting from these rejection letters isn't helping that much either.
I also have to work a double today (because I'm on call)... then tomorrow will be a long day in Nashvegas (which would have been a nice city to go to for a film festival).
Even though we didn't win anything in Wilmington, at least we had a showing... I think... Hell, the movie could have frozen up in the middle of screening and I'd never know.
I'm willing to send the film out to just a few more festivals before I say "The hell with it." In the meantime, I've got to figure out an interesting way to solve this script problem. Yeah, good luck with that...

Monday, March 07, 2005

kick me when I'm down...

Didn't get into The Nashville Film Festival. I'm not really surprised though. I had a feeling that the bad news was coming. Fuck it. It's no big secret that Nashville treats Memphis like a bastard child. Maybe I just thought it would be different now that TWO Memphis films won the top two prizes in Sundance. It's frustrating as hell. Who needs a drink?

Friday, March 04, 2005

wish I was there...

A Cowboy's Silver Lining is screening tonight at the Hearts and Minds Film Festival in Wilmington, DE. I'm stuck here in Memphis. I don't have the money to fly out there and join the festival merriment. Instead I am forced to work another day of Friday news coverage, hoping that "someday my dream will come." Someday I'll be able to travel and schmooze with all of the other film makers at festivals. I'll be able to make friendly connections. I'll have the freedoms to go where I want, when I want (though I don't really know anyone like that at the moment-- and perhaps if I did know such a person, they would have been able to pay my way to this great festival in Wilmington). To tell the truth, the only other festival we've been accepted to at the moment will take 5 hours to get there. I'm excited to go... but five hours is a long time to drive. Then we have to make the drive back after the festival. Yeah, yeah... complain, complain. Nashville is only 3 hours away. I wouldn't mind going there (hint, hint). I hope that even though I couldn't make it, that people will still see my film. It may show to an empty audience. Maybe not. If I were in Wilmington, you bet your ass that I would be pimping my movie out to everyone I possibly could.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Well, there's another festival A Cowboy's Silver Lining didn't get into. The HiLo festival in San Francisco decided not to invite us. I went through their list of accepted films. Most of them are short films. The longest film is 73 minutes. The next film of length is 58 minutes. The closest film to that is 38 minutes. Technically there might be 2 films considered to be feature length films. Apparently the entire festival is a short film festival. There is a film that they accepted that is 1 fucking minute long. One minute. That's not a film. That's a commercial. That's a single shot. Most of the films are somewhere around 3 minutes long.
There was nothing on their application that made any mention of this being a "short film festival." There was also nothing on the application that said "out of towners need not apply." Oh, they took my application fee, and probably didn't even watch the damn DVD or take a look at the press-kit. If I had known that this festival would have been a waste of my time and money, I wouldn't have even worried about entering... and I guess I'll know that next year.
For those interested... call ahead before you send them your money. Do as much research on the previous film festivals as possible. Find out where the accepted films are from. Do your homework because there are a lot of people just looking for money to fund their festival. They'll all cash your checks and leave the information and vague as possible.
One minute? You call that a film?