Tuesday, April 26, 2005

saving the best for last...

The word is out. After a three day stint of too many cigarettes, drinking until at least 4AM every evening and waking up after 4 hours of sleep for another full day of smokes, drinking, and watching movies I've learned a few lessons of life, liberty, and the pursuit of self-indulgence. Muskogee, Oklahoma was a fun trip. The film festival was a little strange... but then again it's my first out of town festival I've ever been too. I also learned that on Sunday afternoon in Muskogee you can film a 1960's post-apocalyptic Zombie movie with little to no interruptions (it was really creepy to have so much space and seemingly no one around for miles--but you can feel them just behind the walls... watching... waiting... but I digress).
Christine, Mike Matthews, and I made the late night drive out to Muskogee Thursday evening after work. When we finally arrived at the "Bacone Inn" (don't know if it's breakfast meat or if you pronounce the 'cone') there were a few people outside of the rooms drinking. I figured that I'd try and make friends. We all hit it off quite well... well enough to find out that there are a lot of police and police-like groups in Muskogee... and an open container law. I slept it off and woke up late for the radio interview. They were taping the interviews for the next few days worth of radio shows. It was for a local country station... so I never got to hear myself... plus I was never in the car. I caught a nap, some short films, and got ready for the Muskogee premiere of A Cowboy's Silver Lining.
The funny thing about film festivals are that there are a lot of "different" films. A couple of these different shorts played just before my film. They cleared out the room. So, the people that came to see my movie really came to see my movie. At least the other filmmakers were fairly impressed with the quality. I also learned that through watching my own film at a film festival, I pick it apart with jagged teeth and vinegar. Next time I'll make sure that NOTHING slides and that I NEVER SETTLE for anything less that PERFECT. It's hard to do... but it can be done. At least everyone laughed where they were supposed to.
We caught a few really funny short films and a couple of great feature pieces. Some, I missed and got DVDs of. I promise to watch them soon and write all of the filmmakers back. Through watching those features we made a few good friends that stayed the path through the festival. It was great to see that all of the people we were hanging out with during the weekend were the people that were winning awards.
For an early review, I would suggest checking out Joe Scott's film, OCEAN FRONT PROPERTY. It's a great coming to terms-coming of age-dram-com. A guy gets stuck at a beach house with his ex-fiance and her new husband. He's still suicidal and bitter but learns some great things along the way. It's funny and worth checking out. Joe should make it big within the next few years because he's really got something great. It showed because he took home something like 5 or 6 awards Sunday night. They were well deserved.
As for me, I got to take home the Indie Auteur Award. It's an award for those filmmakers that have to wear all sorts of hats (writer/director/actor/cinematographer/editor/composer/etc.) in order to get their film made. I beat out a few other guys for the award and I'm very proud. I'm also very proud to share it with all of the great people that helped me get ACSL made. Even though I did so many things, I couldn't have done it all. At least now the film has some recognition around the festival circuit. We'll have to see where it takes us.
For all of those people that we made friends with this weekend... expect to hear from me soon. I've got a lot of thanks to send out. I had fun with everyone and had even more fun in a delirious state of mind picking apart the wildly strange and humorous world of the Bare Bones International Independent Film Festival. (The dancing 12 year olds in mini-skirts, the old white guy singing old man river, AL GREEN look alike, the belly dancer, etc. were something straight out of a broken circus of Tom Waits lyrics. Maybe I just had too much to drink and too little sleep). I did have a blast, though. Everyone should keep in touch.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Another birthday gone and the trip that looms ahead

Much to my surprise, Friday morning brought an early rise and a hungover plane flight to Newark. The obvious desired destination was New York City. Previous to this weekend's past exhibit, I had never been to NYC. While we were there, we never left Manhattan. It would have been nice to see some of the other areas of New York but I only had two and a half days to stuff a lot of planned birthday activities in. I did get to see a great show at Birdland. It was expensive but worth every single monetary drop. I also got to see the dress rehearsal of Saturday Night Live (which included a live rehearsal of Beck's new single and another track... exciting to say the least). I could go into great detail but I'm adding this trip in with the Las Vegas trip descriptions for a book. I've been working on it a little bit in my spare time. After this weekend I'll have far too much to write about and I'll have to focus on the next film instead of all of this "traveling." However, my girlfriend Christine really came through for a great 28th birthday. I felt every bit of 28 when we left the city. It must have been all of the walking.
So, this weekend we're going out to the Bare Bones International Independent Film Festival. I hope to bring back some festival prizes. I think that we're still up for at least four awards. Cross your fingers. We'll need some luck. The drive to Muskogee, Oklahoma starts tomorrow after work. I'll have to remember to wear my glasses. Anyone want a shirt or ashtray?
Other than that, I really need a good night's sleep. I'm in desperate need of that. All of this running around with trips and working a full time job and trying to get a movie on the production move is really taking it out of me. Was it like this last year? I don't really remember. I remember feeling frazzled and really really busy. That's just the name of the game, I guess... work hard when you're young and able to put up with all of the abuse and somewhere down the line you can sit back with a Mohito and soak up all the benefits of busting your ass. At least that's how I've been told that it's worked in the past.
Oh, do look up on what the makings of a Sake Mohito is. That's some good drinkage.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

somewhere in Memphis there is still great music...

For those of you that don't know, I subscribe to XM Satellite Radio. I initially got the gear as a birthday present (On a side note, I'm turning 28 on Saturday April 16th. I think that Christine has some kind of party planned but she won't tell me. I guess I'll find out soon enough). Okay, last night I was listening to station 43, which is as close to a college radio station as one could find on XM. I miss really good college radio stations. They get all of the indie label tunes for free basically and broadcast them to the kids that actually give a shit about music. I'm also a huge proponent of indie music as I am equally a building and budding force in indie film (ha ha ha ha, one day, I've only got one feature film under my belt afterall). Memphis doesn't have a college radio station. They have a station located or affiliated with the U of M somehow... but it's a smooth jazz station... so it doesn't count... and Kenny G sucks.
Getting to the point, I heard this great strange music on channel 43 last night. It sounded familiar. Something ate away at the back of my brain. Had I heard this tune before? I looked on the radio and the name struck me, THE COACH AND FOUR. The Coach and Four is a local Memphis band which I have seen many a time. Remember when Hurricane Elvis knocked out power to the entire city? Well, on a Friday (or Saturday) they strung powercords from various Cooper/Young buildings and had a free show for all of the Midtown Scenesters that needed their guitar fix (but I'm sure they had a gig to play anyway and didn't have anything else to do that night-- nevertheless, it was one of the highlights of that nightmarish 13days without airconditioning). They are by far my favorite local band. To put it mildly, they are amazingly talented... and they're about the only local band that I will follow where ever they may play. I used to be in a band, (the short-lived) DEAD CITY RADIO, so I know that there are a lot of crappy bands here in Memphis... but I'll stop sucking their ass for a minute and get back to the whole point of the story).
So, let's re-capI love this band. I caught them on satellite radio. I was really excited that these guys were getting this kind of world wide coverage. Then it dawned on me.... they have an album out? What? When did this happen? My favorite local band came out with an album and I some how got lost in the mix and didn't know about it? WTF?
The first thing I did was roll over to Cat's Records on Union. They carry local albums. Guess what? It costs $10. Are you kidding me? What have I done right? Ten dollars for a CD? That's impossible. It's still in the cellophane wrapping and everything. How can they get away with selling these for ONLY ten dollars? Oh yeah, that's what makes Indie Labels kick mucho ass... they don't need to charge $18.00 for shitty music. They charge $10.00 for good music. How did the world get so backwards? Oh yeah, there's that thing where music executives need to have three Mercedes and a house in the Hamptons. I believe that's a prerequisite to sleeping around having to give your wife half of everything. What happened to the days where it was about the music? What happened to the love? Damn boy bands, they ruined everything.
Anyway, I wanted to share my excitement with anyone that actually gave a crap. You can swing by Cat's music or go here: www.makeshiftmusic.com They have a list of releases and a way to order them. If Brad or any of the guys are planning on playing out again anytime soon, please feel free to let me know. I really miss The Coach and Four. Not to mention that I might have the last bit of video from before they tore down the sign and the hotel. I used to pass it everyday on my way home from work. I don't know what it would take to use their music in a film... hint, hint. Anyone?

Thursday, April 07, 2005

it's amazing, eh?

We didn't grow up as pussies, now did we? The truth is as painful as that 12 ft slightly polished metal slide on the "old" playground.

The new phone book is here! The new phone book is here!

I tried not to steal the idea from my good friend Jamey Tucker's blog, when he made reference to the film, "The Jerk." His title started out with "I'm somebody now..." Let me get to the point.
Occasionally I'll do a GOOGLE search for "A Cowboy's Silver Lining." I just like to see what comes up. Sometimes it's someone mentioning the film in a review, another blog, or even the Internet Movie DataBase. There are even some links to movie lists overseas somewhere. Earlier this morning as I was reaching the end of my morning "surf" routine I tried this particular GOOGLE search again. Guess what came up?


Yeah, they've got a picture and everything. I'm now part of a film festival family (or something). I just thought that it was interesting that this festival, which I've mentioned before through several of these updates, is paying such a great deal of attention to film makers... and more specifically our little film. Anthony should get some credit here as well but I'll make sure that he gets his due respects as soon as I get out there to the festival. I don't like it when I get left out, so I'll make sure that everyone gets their "props," YO. Anyway, that's the only film related note of mention I could think of. It's been pretty slow lately. Yeah, I still need to work on storyboards. The script is finished. Oh, hell. I just remembered.
A friend here at work just happened to mention that he was having dinner with John Hardy. Mr. Hardy served as Executive Producer on a number of films as of late... more specifically he works very closely with Steven Soderbergh. So, for this dinner meeting (that eventually turned into a few days worth of visits), I made sure to have available a copy of ACSL and the latest script that Rusted Sun Films will be working on. You've got to take a chance every now and then. I don't know if I'll ever hear anything back from such a chance "hand-off" but I would have never even had the chance if I didn't give him anything. Of course, there were a handful of other documents and such from other individuals lumped in with my package. Sometimes competition can stifle strong movements... I don't want to speak poorly of others attempts at connections or hopes of breakthrough. I would have jumped on the same wagon. Hell, I was in the wagon.
On any note, keep your fingers crossed. These things don't usually pan out but at least Mr. Hardy had enough faith and vision in Steven Soderbergh to help him out and stick with him. Who's to say that I couldn't find a mentor through him as well? For some reason the Beach Boys just jumped into my head. "Wouldn't it be nice?" Reminds me of the long car trips from Mississippi to Wichita, KS (all we were allowed to listed to for the trip was the safe tunes of the Beach Boys... and their entire library of music... but I digress). Good things... good things...

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

planning ahead for trouble...

Remember that Vegas story I told you about? No? Well check about two or three stories down, I'll wait. Back? Good. Okay, so the Vegas story was a mad drunk of five days running. I'm not sure how we made it out of there alive. Well, I'm not sure if anyone has ever made a connection of similarities between Las Vegas, Nevada and Muskogee, Oklahoma. So, I'll be the first. Here's what I expect:
A movie screening. A cheap hotel. Lots of booze. Trying to remember exactly what the hell happened for the last three days. A five and a half hour drive home.
That's the quick version. Here's the important part--"A Movie Screening." The Bare Bones International Independent Film Festival is taking place this month. Our film A Cowboy's Silver Lining will be screening at the film festival on a Friday night (7:30pm Friday April 22nd at The Roxy). We're up for a couple of awards, including: BEST MALE ACTOR -Ralph Hatley, BEST ENSEMBLE CAST, BEST FIRST FEATURE -Bevan B. Bell (I'll have to share it with Anthony by the way), and BEST INDIE AUTEUR -Bevan B. Bell (I do a lot). A little bird told me about the Ensemble Cast Nomination. I'm cool with that. I'm actually a little disappointed that I didn't hear anything about BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY. I do pride myself in being a photographer with a vision... but I would also say that I'm a better editor that shooter... or maybe it works well both ways. Timing is a huge piece of it... but I'm rambling.
For those of you that actually give a crap, or would like to make the trip out to Muskogee, OK with us I would recommend you checking out the Festival website located here"


There is information on lodging, the festival schedule, nominations, and all sorts of other goodies. Apparently I'm going to be on the Indie Auteur Panel early Saturday Morning. I hope that through my manic slurs of a hangover I can make a good pitch on why people should vote for me. Maybe I'll just stay drunk... that way I'll be charismatic and somewhat of a salesman. God knows I can't do it sober. Maybe that will make it as another portion of this book project I keep talking about.


Monday, April 04, 2005

sending the horse to pasture...

When we premiered A Cowboy's Silver Lining, I received two bottles of celebratory champagne. The carmelized bubbly version of wine is not my favorite concoction in the world but it does do it's job fine. The fizz hits the nose and leaves an interesting taste in your palette long enough to serve as a decent memorial to what ever one decides to celebrate. I kept one of the bottles for another day... just sometime down the road I knew that I would like to celebrate another portion of history with this film. I had hoped that it would have been used for winning a festival prize or something of the sort. Perhaps I should have saved it a little longer.
This weekend I drank the other bottle in celebration to a friend of mine working a hard three years in corporate America so that he would one day have the independence to break away and go the route on his own. After three years, he had done just that. He's a little ahead of me on the curve. I make independent films. He is now independent of his boss. Champagne was in order.
Another champagne toast came to mind. After I throw away money trying to get A Cowboy's Silver Lining into two more festivals by the end of the year, I'm putting the project to rest. The decision was a hard one. It's kind of like a parent having to let go of their child as they march off to college... or having to put the family dog to sleep. I've got to put this horse out to pasture and let it mow the fields for a while. I've had doubts about the film. People assure me that it's a great film. Perhaps one day we can call it back in from the fields and see if it wants to race again. However, I'm starting to feel that it's time to let it go.
Here's the reason. I'm ready to start on the next film. We've got to focus strongly on the current piece of work. I've got to give this thing all of our love and attention to detail. The film we will be working on this year, could very well be the winner we wanted from "Cowboy." I don't know... I realize that it's hopeful thinking. Perhaps... perhaps... perhaps. Anyway, back to the day job. I've got to make some money to buy crap for the next film. Anyone know any investors? That would help.