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.


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.