Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Short Film's Sell-By Date - The Festival Circuit

Short Films have the shelf life of a year. Or at least that’s what I force myself to believe. Once the film’s wrapped, sealed, and slapped with a bow, it has exactly one year to make the festival run before it starts to curdle. Therefore, with this self-inflicted time clock, it’s critical for me to map out a path that’s both strategic and realistic.

Initially, I hit up the top Tiers first. The crème-de-la-crème. The Holy Grails of the festival circuit. Anything in the same family as Sundance and Cannes would constitute A-Level -- submitted with the most jaded grain of salt. I’m a realist and understand the likelihood of acceptance, however my cynicism is usually overshadowed by two things: Pride and Determination. I make these projects because I’m proud of them and if I’m not willing to take a chance, then what the hell am I doing in this industry?

Next stop on the Festival journey: The Tier B festivals (Sedona, San Francisco, etc). The Susan Lucci’s of the bunch. The festivals that receive an exponentially large turnout, exposure, and critical praise, though may not have the same amount of prestige as the aforementioned tier.

The final submissions usually consist of genre specifics (gay & lesbian, experimental, etc.), International festivals, and frankly, any festival that’ll waive their submission fee (festivals are expensive!).

So there you have it -- my personal road map for Short Films. Do they have shelf lives? Like I said, yes, I believe they do… even feature films do. Do they ever die? Not in the slightest. I, along with many other people, put our souls in these little projects. The amount of love contributed into each frame is so diligent it becomes much more than just a movie…

… It becomes timeless.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Casting Commences - The Search for Max

Joslyn Sifuentes, Dylan Jury, Allison Vanore, & Stephanie Rabinowitz at our second casting session of the production.

Ah, the lovely casting phase. It’s the time of the production where you’re forced to wipe the character’s physical image you so effortlessly created within your imagination and replace it with an actual person. However, sifting through the countless headshots, it’s not just an image we’re casting. It’s a feeling. An embodiment of everything you’d so hope to illustrate on screen.

This past weekend, our Casting Director (Dylan Jury) put together an amazing casting session consisting of over thirty boys, accompanying parents, and a bottle of Advil. In the span of three hours, we auditioned for the part of Max and couldn’t be happier with the options. Sure, a few boys stood out, but I felt fortunate to have as many choices as we did.

As far as the casting process goes, I’m still a bit shaky. Perhaps it’s because I’ve yet to work with child actors, but the direction and vocabulary used for these kids is completely different than you would with adults. I learned the more succinct and visual I was, the better they’d understand. Not for nothing, but the special features for Close Encounters were more than just an entertaining passing glance…

What happens now? We have a handful of boys left to see until we make a final decision, and then, with much excitement and anticipation, onto Loraine.

Monday, November 15, 2010

On Your Marks...

Can someone please explain to me where November thinks it’s going? It seems like October just packed her bag, and now November rushes passed me like a self-important diva. I don’t think so. I’m not done with her yet!

As this month passes the half-point, I’m thrilled to report several exciting happenings to the little movie. First, we’d like to welcome another Producer to the project. Her name’s Melanie Wagor and we couldn’t be more excited to have her part of the team. She’s an extremely talented Producer/UPM and will bring this project to a whole new level.

Fundraising has taken on a life of its own. In fact, we’re proud to premiere our Boy’s Life teaser trailer (click HERE). It gives you a glimpse of the fun we’re about to embark on. Please visit our IndieGoGo site and consider donating to the film. We only have 60 days, but with your help it's completely doable. There are tons of perks with each donation, plus the chance to win some amazing memorabilia from Jon Favreau’s upcoming film, Cowboys & Aliens. Plus, your donation will push us one step closer to making this film a reality! Even if you're unable to make a donations (times are tough), please spread the word.

As November circles the corner, I’m forced to accept the fact that the year is nearly over as well. While I’m completely grateful for everything 2010 has given me, I know for a fact – deep down – that even bigger things are waiting on the other side. All we have to do is prepare ourselves, hand-in-hand, and the rest will take care of itself.

Click HERE to visit our IndieGoGo site and PLEASE consider making a donation.

*Teaser created by Editor Frank Mohler

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Cinematic Solute

You don’t slave away for twelve hours a day, five days a week, on a fast-paced film set without picking up a thing or two about the industry. A) Never leave Starbucks without confirming the correct orders (ugh, coffee). B) Eat shit with a smile. And C) It takes an army to make a film.

Alright, these aren’t exactly genius “epiphanies”…

It does, however, take an army to make a film. If this short were stationed in Afghanistan, the crew would be sharing a bunk with sixteen twin beds and picture lock would be our victory. That being said, one point holds true -- soldiers wouldn’t be the brave fighters they are without the support from their home. It’s them who contribute significantly to the film’s inner core. The support and love from family, friends, and colleagues may not physically create the content, but the movie wouldn’t exist without them. It couldn’t.

Personally, my support group drives me to be the best artist I know how to be. They’re my fuel. My spine. The fire under my butt that pushes me to be, not just good, but exceptional. Without them, it’d just be habit and motion. What’s the fun in that?

So this post is for you - the contributors (either monetary or emotional) - who are the driving force behind the scenes. We couldn’t do any of this without you and couldn’t ask for a better safety net to fall on.

We’re in for an adventure, and we couldn’t be more excited.

Just don’t ask me to get coffee…