Tuesday, October 7, 2008

DCU hits the beach!

Exciting news! "Don't Call Us" will make its World Premiere at the Ft. Lauderdale Film Festival. The screening will take place at the Cinema Paradiso theater on Wednesday, October 22. The festival, now in its 23rd year, only accepted about 30 short films from hundreds of submissions, so everyone involved in DCU should be proud.

If you know anyone in the area (it seems like everyone in New York has relatives in south Florida :) please encourage them to attend!

Find more details on the festival website: http://www.fliff.com/index.asp

In other festival news, we're in the process of applying to a number of festivals that will take place early next year. I'll let you know as soon as I hear anything. In the meantime, cross your fingers!



Sunday, May 11, 2008

Finished! (For now!)

The puzzle pieces are finally coming together. (I know--about time, right? I have to keep reminding myself this is just a five minute short--of course, whenever I look at it that way, I get a little dizzy, so maybe I should stop.)

Two weeks ago, Sebastian gave the film a color polish. And last week, Bret Johnson finalized the sound re-mix. Now all we have to do is combine the pretty colors with the clean sound, and... voila! One finished short film, ready to submit to film festivals all across the country.

If you're in the cast or crew: once I have a master DVD I will send out an email asking for updated addresses before I do a mailing. Watch for my email soon.

I can't wait to have everyone see the film. Feedback on the previous rough cut was strong, and now that it incorporates the re-shoot footage and has an audio and visual sparkle, I have no doubt that it is much improved.

I'm obviously pumped up about all of this, so maybe I should stop rambling before I embarrass myself. One quick reminder: if you're gonna be in the Worcester, Mass., area next Saturday at 3 pm, you can catch a sneak peek of the short (as well as Burning Annie, the feature film I wrote) at a Clark University alumni event. I'll be there with Randy Mack, who produced the feature and co-produced the short. And many of the real-life people who inspired Burning Annie will be in the house as well, so it should be a good time all around.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

long overdue update(s)

Sorry for the long delay between updates. After the positive response we got at the screening party in December, we re-shot a few scenes in late February. (I know it sounds counter-intuitive to say that the screening went so well that we decided to re-shoot a few scenes, but that's the truth. We didn't want to let a few technical imperfections doom a film that we feel has a lot of potential.) The re-shoots went great... thanks again to everyone who participated.

Then I went to India for a week and a half, and was sick for week or so after I got back, and suddenly it was late March. Sometimes life gets in the way--blah. Since then, Russell and I have come up with a new semi-final (aren't they all) cut implementing the new footage. In my humble opinion, the new footage has significantly improved a film that was already pretty decent. It looks better, the acting is a little more consistent, and the new version of the ending (basically a shorter version of the original ending idea) seems to work really well. I can't wait to let everyone see it and get some feedback.

We've now locked picture, and handed the wheels over to Bret Johnson to do the sound mixing. We also plan to begin color correction this week. The goal is to have all of this wrapped up by May 1, in time to apply for the big fall film festivals. Around that time, we'll also mail out DVDs to the cast and crew.

I know this is a slow process, and I appreciate your patience. I hope you'll agree that it was worth the time when you see the final cut.

IN OTHER NEWS... my previous short film, Yin/Yang, (which starred Dayci Brookshire, was produced by Janna Trevers and edited by Russell Dreher, who all played similar roles on Don't Call Us) is in negotiations to be picked up by Mini Movie, a European all-short film cable television network and online short film portal. Mini Movie plans to expand to the U.S. later this year.

Also, if you should happen to be in the Worcester, Mass. area on Saturday, May 17, you can catch a public screening of Burning Annie at Clark University. The movie, which is also available in retail and video stores nationwide, was produced by Randy Mack (who co-produced Don't Call Us) and written by yours truly. It's based on our experiences as students at Clark. This is our 10-year reunion, so on a personal level this is a very special screening opportunity.

That's about it for now. Stay tuned to this page for more updates...


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

next steps

By now, the screening party is old news. We all made it through the holidays, some of us with a few extra pounds and a handful of new gifts to make room for in the back of the closet.

Even so, the wheels on the "Don't Call Us" bus keep going round and round. Here's a quick summary of what's in store for the short:
--Russell and I are working on finalizing the cut. We're implementing feedback, and also replacing two of the songs (sadly, we couldn't get all the rights). The feedback was mostly very positive, and the vast majority of the changes we have in mind are very minor. We hope to be completely finished with this stage by the end of the month. If you've seen the short and have any constructive (or even semi-constructive) criticisms, now is the time to let us know!
--Next up, the hard drive with the film will be handed off to Sebastian Capilli, for color correction. Sebastian and I are going to lock ourselves into his cave for a marathon weekend session in early February to do everything we can to get DCU looking sharp, including giving it more of a "film look."
--After that, the hard drive will wind up in the hands of Bret Johnson, our post production sound mixer. Bret is going to use the same sound mixing studio as films like "The Departed" and "The Devil Wears Prada," and television shows like "Law & Order." By mid- to late-February, he should be finished.
--From there, we'll output the digital file to other screening formats, like DigiBeta, MiniDV and of course, DVD. By late February, DVDs should be in the mail to the cast and crew.
--Once we're done with all that, we start applying to festivals. We already have a "short list" of about 50-60 festivals we're considering. The earliest are in the fall; we're starting at the top by applying to Telluride, Hamptons, Toronto, etc. and as the season progresses we'll continue to apply to a range of other festivals. We're looking for a good geographic balance of major national fests and small regional festivals; a mix of short film festivals and more general festivals; and festivals that are well organized and attended. If anyone has a specific suggestion, let me know, especially if you have an in somewhere.

That's it for now. As you can see, this little film is still a big project... but I'm loving every minute of it.