Tuesday, December 11, 2007

party recap

If you've been reading this site, you know that we had a premiere party for "Don't Call Us" this past weekend at Stone Creek in New York. I'm thrilled to report that the party was a huge success, not to mention a blast. (I'm writing this post three days later because it took me that long to recover!) We had a terrific turnout, with easily more than 100 people packing the tight venue, necessitating three screenings of the film. I'm thrilled with the feedback we received--just about the worst thing anyone had to say was that they couldn't hear some of the dialogue because of all the laughing. I hope that doesn't come off like bragging; I've been involved with three produced films, and this was the most consistently positive feedback I've heard about anything.

Thanks to everyone who attended. It was great to see so many faces I haven't seen in a while, and it was a lot of fun.

I'd also like to thank Joanna Rudolph, for allowing us to screen two films she produced (including "Yin/Yang," which I wrote and directed, Janna Trevers co-produced, Dayci Brookshire starred in, and Russell Dreher edited). Joanna's latest film, "Night of Adventure," is currently ranked first on blowtorch.com--visit the site, watch the film, and vote!

I included a couple of a photos, from the few I took. If anyone has any photos they'd like to pass along, that would be appreciated.

So what's next for our little film? The to do list includes finishing the edit, polishing up the visuals (color correction, etc.) and sound (in a professional mixing facility), then beginning the process of applying to festivals. DCU probably won't officially premiere until next summer, if not fall. I know that sounds a long way off, but we want to do everything we can to make sure the film is ready to roll. In the meantime, keep watching this site for more updates.

Thanks again to everyone who attended. Pass along photos.



Friday, November 30, 2007

finishing touches

The screening party is next Saturday night (December 8--see previous post for details), and the film is now ready for its closeup. In the last few weeks, we've added the title (the graphic above is cut into the film) and credits, played with music and background sounds, and color correction, and done a little bit of re-cutting. All the hard work has been worth it, because the film has really come together.

Now comes the fun part: screening it for friends and getting some feedback, so Russell and I can get back behind the computer and make this little film the best it can be.

I hope to see you at the party, and if you can make it, please let me know what you think!


Thursday, November 15, 2007


DCU Producer Janna Trevers checks in, with this exciting news:

On July 27, 2007 at 5:00 PM, a small group of people started the weekend with a director, a camera and a dream. Four months later, this dream has become a reality...well, a 7-minute rough cut version of reality entitled, "Don't Call Us."

And now we want to show it to all of you--those who fought Upper West Side traffic, lived on the same cut-up veggie tray for the whole three days, lugged heavy lighting equipment while enduring the rain and suffered horribly in a 100 degree office as the makeup dripped off your faces. And of course all our friends, co-workers and family as well.

The place is Stone Creek at 140 E. 27th Street between 3rd Avenue and Lexington (back room). The date is Saturday, December 8, 2007. The time is 9:00 PM until 12:00 AM. The bar/lounge is a block from the 6 train so it's easy to get to.

We strongly encourage you to invite EVERYONE you know and ask them to tell you and/or us what they think of the film in a brief discussion after the screening. We need your constructive criticism and feedback so that we're able to go back to the editing room and make it the absolute best it can possibly be before we put on the finishing touches and send it down the festival circuit. We'd love to have as many people as possible attend and, we're encouraging everyone to help us make our screening party minimum by purchasing lots of drinks and appetizers/salads/sandwiches...

Check it out here to plan ahead: http://www.stonecreeknyc.com/menu.html

Kindly let us know by Friday, November 30 if you're coming so we can have time to reduce our minimum if necessary. Respond to singalittle@gmail.com on or before that date...

We hope to see you all there to share what we hope will be a creative, funny and realistic short film.


Janna Trevers, Producer
"Don't Call Us"
Ducks in a Row Productions, Inc.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

credits for "Don't Call Us" (5/11/08)

**Credits are temporary, incomplete and subject to change**

Written and Directed by Zack Ordynans

Produced by Janna Trevers
Co-Produced by Randy Mack

Directors of Photography
Sebastian Capilli
Dominic Perez

Sound Recorder/Boom Operator Kenneth Jackson
Script Supervisor Russell Dreher
Make-Up Mary Przybylski

Gaffer/Production Assistant Anita Flores
Production Assistant Emmett Harty, Jr.
Production Assistant Chris Ruggero

Edited by Russell Dreher

Re-Recording Mixer Bret Johnson
Color Correction Sebastian Capilli

Starring Dayci Brookshire as Sara

Additional Cast (in order of appearance)

Seth Shelden Steve
Tom Roy Tom
Joan Dupre Kim
Michelle Ordynans Annette
Chris Stetson Mark
J.D. Brookshire Chris
Michael Dorrian Michael
Damon Johnson Edgar
Deborah Ludwig Nancy
Russell Dreher Ted
Ferdia Burke Sandy
Susie Cremin Mandy
Clay Adams Brad


Anita Flores
Elliott Lipper
Randy Mack
Dana Maher
Alexandra Zack
Michael Zack

And introducing Callie, as the dog.

“Let Me Love You”
Written by Roger Anthony Mapes
Performed by Yolanda and The Plastic Family

“Cool Intellect”
Written by Roger Anthony Mapes
Performed by Yolanda and The Plastic Family
Courtesy VIVA Records

“Sky Bulb”
Written by Leon Bernstein
Performed by B.L. Burns
Courtesy SouthNorthport Records

“Primal Sensation”
Written by Roger Anthony Mapes
Performed by Yolanda and The Plastic Family

“In a Trance”
Composed by Steven M. Tuerack

Written by Jen Urban
Performed by Jen Urban and The Box

“Reflections on Elections”
Written and Performed by Funky Monk

“Prelude to an Afterthought”
Written and Performed by Funky Monk

Equipment Rental

Du-All Camera, New York, NY
DV Depot, New York, NY
Eastern Effects, Brooklyn, NY
Liman Video Rental, New York, NY
Professional Sound, New York, NY

Special Thanks

Bliss Bistro, Sunnyside, N.Y.
Dayci Brookshire
Aubrey Bryan
Jeanie Cheek
Andrea Chen
Susie Cremin
Ethiopian Restaurant, New York, N.Y.
Foley's, New York, N.Y.
Jill Goodman
Liberty Insurance
Ben Jaffe
New York State Insurance Fund
Dana and Brian Maher
The City of New York
Henry and Michelle Ordynans
Quaint, Sunnyside, N.Y.
Screen Actors Guild
Seth Shelden
Sidetracks, Sunnyside, N.Y.
Stone Creek, New York, N.Y.
TempTrends, New York, N.Y.

Extra Special Thanks

Andrew and Elyse Trevers
Josh Trevers
Newman & Green
Danielle Newman
Barbara Newman

Filmed on location in Manhattan and Queens, N.Y.

© 2007 Ducks in a Row Productions Inc.
43-06 46th Street, Ste. 2C, Sunnyside, NY 11104

Friday, November 2, 2007

a short film with a soundtrack album?

Okay, the title of this post is an exaggeration. It's hard to actually foresee any scenario in which an official soundtrack album to Don't Call Us is ever released commercially. But for a short film, DCU does pack a lot of music, at least in its current (still somewhat rough) form. In the current cut, there are six or seven songs, and the film runs less than seven minutes.

I'm not quite ready to send around the rough cut, but in the meantime, I thought I'd give a sneak preview of some of the music. I hate to link to MySpace pages, but, well, I'm about to link to MySpace pages. Brace yourself, 'cause here goes.

Eli "Paperboy" Reed and the True Loves contribute the song that will probably play over the end credits. You can sample it on the MySpace page; it's "Take My Love With You," the third song listed. I recently saw Mr. Reed and his cohorts live, and I highly recommend checking them out if you get a chance. They put on a live show that's even better than their band name, and that's saying something.

It's unlikely that any of these songs will appear in the film, but it's a good bet that DCU will feature music by Chicago's enigmatic bl burns. The talented Mr. Burns was the leader of the now-defunct Chubb Sessions Band, which contributed a couple or three songs to the Burning Annie soundtrack.

Brooklyn's Jen Urban and the Box are a more recent discovery. I really like the song "Something in the Dark," which you can check out on their MySpace page, but right now we've got a different song off their CD cut into the movie.

That's it for now... just wanted to give you a taste of what to expect.


PS The photo above is Eli "Paperboy" Reed and the True Loves at Crash Mansion, New York, 10/20/07. If it's not a great photo, that's probably because I took it.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Randy checks in, offers his update on the editing process (about which he knows nothing)

Breaking news: all of Dayci's scenes have been cut. Russell is now the main character.

In related news, Russell has announced he's almost done with his cut of the film.


Hey, everybody. I thought this would be a good time for a quick update.

Editing is moving along. Russell and I have been working hard and we're getting close to a presentable rough cut. Right now, we're mostly polishing up some of the technical aspects and still playing around with music. But it is in pretty good shape, and we're happy with the way it's coming together. In fact, we should have a cut to show people soon, hopefully within the next few weeks. In the bigger picture, we hope to have a final cut by the end of the year or so, and submit to festivals shortly after that.

Speaking of music, if anyone knows a musician who would let us use their music, please let me know. We have some music, but I'd like to have as many options as possible. I'm looking for, primarily, upbeat instrumentals in different styles, to be used in the beginning and end, and in the background of some of the date scenes.

The idea has been brought up to have a screening party for the rough cut. I think that would be great, but I don't have any immediate thoughts on where we could host the party. If anyone has an idea, please pass it along.

This site is still a work in progress. Credits and bios should be up soon, and hopefully more photos. If there's anything else you want to see here, let me know. Or post, and add it yourself! Also, let me know what you think of the basic design and share any other suggestions.

I think that's it for now. I'm excited about the way the film is coming together, and can't wait for everyone to see it.


Friday, September 28, 2007

basic facts/FAQ

Semi-Official Title: "Don't Call Us"

AKA: "Don't Call Us, and We Won't Call You"; "Don't Call Us... and We Won't Call You"; "Human Resources"

Production dates: July 27-29, 2007

Production locations: various locations in Manhattan and Queens, N.Y.

Projected running time: 5-6 minutes

Production company: Ducks in a Row Productions

What is it about, anyway?
It's about six minutes. OK, kidding. Don't Call Us, or whatever we end up calling it, is a comedic exploration of the similarities between dates and job interviews. It follows one character through the offices and singles hangouts of New York on her heroic quest to find a career and a boyfriend. (Or at least a single man she can tolerate, and a job that won't drive her crazy.) Spoiler alert: dates and interviews are similar and frustrating.

When will it be done?
Hard to say exactly. We've been editing for a couple of months and are close to having a rough cut in place. The short is in good shape, at least in the opinion of its director and editor, but it's always the finishing touches--music, sound mixing, color correction, fine tuning--that take longest. So to answer the question, let's guess that we'll have a presentable rough cut by early November, and be applying to festivals by early next year.

How can I see the short, once it's done?
Any number of ways. Ideally, in a major festival. Eventually, on the web. Possibly, on a cable TV station. Frighteningly, by breaking into my apartment and stealing a DVD.

Why make a short film, anyway?
All the long films were taken.

Who are you people, and why should I care?
Check out the bios link on this site for more about that (once we get around to putting up our bios). That said, here's a quick glimpse of how we've all worked together in the past. Writer/director Zack Ordynans and co-producer Randy Mack went to Clark University together and made a feature film ("Burning Annie," now available on video) about their college experiences. A few years later, Zack and producer Janna Trevers made a short film called "Yin/Yang" that starred Dayci Brookshire. "Yin/Yang" editor Russell Dreher is editing DCU as well, in addition to having been DCU's script supervisor, photographer and a cast member.

What was your budget?
Less than a million dollars. In fact, it was almost a million dollars less than a million dollars.

Is it true that you blew half your budget on insurance, even though the director works for an insurance company?

How does that make you feel?
Somewhere between :/ and :(

What format did you shoot in, and what kind of camera did you use?
We shot it in DV, using DP Sebastian Capilli's Canon XL1.

You've got a lot of stuff going on--more than 10 locations and a similar number of cast members--for a five minute movie.
We're masochists. Seriously though, that's what the script called for, and we wanted to find enough interesting actors and locations to really make it sing. Ironically, being in New York made casting easier than it would have been elsewhere (except perhaps L.A.), but it also made finding locations tougher than elsewhere (again, excepting L.A.).

What was the casting process like?
The script was written with Dayci Brookshire in mind as the lead. Zack and Janna had worked with her on their previous short, "Yin/Yang," and thought she was not only a terrific actress, but also a true professional and a pleasure to work with. Frankly, we were lucky to be able to pick up the phone and call someone as talented as Dayci, and have her agree to work on this project. Unlike "Yin/Yang," where we worked with a casting director and went through a more elaborate casting process, this time around, with a far greater number of parts to fill, Janna and Zack found their cast among friends and friends-of-friends, with a broad range of acting experience. The goal was to mix talented actors with interesting people we knew, who could essentially play themselves. Without naming names, Dayci recommended several actors. Seth Shelden, who Zack and Janna had been itching to work with for years, also suggested actors. Two of the director's college roommates (both, incidentally, inspired characters in Zack and DCU co-producer Randy Mack's feature, "Burning Annie") have roles in DCU. It's also possible that the director's mother makes an appearance. As you can see, we have our priorities straight.

Did you work with union actors?
Yes, though they're not all SAG members. We made this short under a SAG classification that allows us to mix union and non-union actors. It ended up being about a 50-50 split. Dayci, for example, is SAG, and in contrast, the director's mother is not.

Where did you get your locations?
If there was a more stressful aspect of pre-production, I'm glad I don't remember it. We made a lot of phone calls, knocked on a lot of doors, sent out a bunch of mass e-mails. After struggling in Manhattan, our big breakthrough was shlepping to Janna's neighborhood of Sunnyside, Queens, where there are a number of interesting bars and restaurants that were more accommodating than much of what we were finding in Manhattan.

What's with all the different titles?
We're thinking...

What about a tagline? Have that one figured out yet, smart guy?
Um, no. But if we end up calling the flick "Human Resources," we'll probably go with a tag of "Don't call us, and we won't call you." Clever, eh?

Anything else?

I'm good if you're good.

Welcome Note/Users Guide/Blah Blah Blah

Welcome to the official, yet informal (we hope) blog for the short film, "Don't Call Us."

The idea behind this blog is to include opinionated and informative posts related to this film, with several people posting to offer different perspectives. We'll include the usual basic info, of course, but there's also going to be some behind-the-scenes type stuff about the making of a micro-budget indie short. Please note that you can add comments to posts; hopefully we'll get some lively discussions going.

Check out the links to other posts for basic information about the film, including a synopsis, production info, cast and crew bios, and a complete credit list. New blog entries with new updates or rants will appear occasionally.

In the meantime, here's contact info.

I'm Zack Ordynans, I wrote and directed the short. You can reach me at zack.a.o@gmail.com.

Janna Trevers is the producer. I'm sure she'll post on here at some point. Her email is janna.trevers@gmail.com.

Other people involved or associated with the film may also post from time to time, but Janna and I will be the most common voices.

Anyway, that's all for now. More to come, so keep reading.