Wednesday, November 27, 2013

So, what the hell have I been doing?....

....If I haven't been writing blogs?

Not that anyone is asking, but I'm gonna answer my own question, anyway. Why? Because this blog is called A Filmmaker's Life. So, here's my filmmaking life the last few years - challenging, revelatory, infuriating, all-consuming, fulfilling, disappointing, fun, exhausting and more, as always. I'll probably blog a bit about each thing over time, but here's the capsulized version.

  • First and foremost, I've been living and enjoying life (most of the time, anyway). Anybody who has spent time with me over these last few years knows that whatever is going on with me - personal or professional - I always make room for having a good time. If life gives you lemons, make lemonade....and put vodka in it. Or, get a new life. :)
  • Spent far too much time obsessing on the end-all, be-all website for filmmakers. I've been working on it since '07. 1907, that is. Or at least it feels like it. I plotted, planned, schemed and dreamed. I worked with designers, I sought out techies, I solicited investors, I pitched to sponsors, I reached out to partners, I hunted for tools, I sought out other sites, I built and rebuilt it on paper and in my head dozens of time. But alas, was not to be. Not by my own hand, anyway. So, of course, just when I finally set it aside, I meet Kiran Sanka, who shares the "vision" (disease is probably more like it). So, I'm still in it, albeit from a more distanced perspective. The current incarnation is this: http://www.cinpost.com/. But there's much more to come....I hope.
  • Still doing other Filmmakers Alliance stuff, although less and less of it as we re-tool the organization and re-emerge in a way more relevant to the current filmmaking climate. But in the meantime, still facilitating production, connecting peeps, doing fiscal sponsorship, holding get-togethers and festival parties and hosting too-inconsistent screenings at the Echo Park Film Center. And, of course, always fundraising....Yucch. :) 
  • Taught screenwriting and acting on camera at AMDA for two semesters. The whole teaching experience is definitely worthy of it's own post. You know the cruel saying, "Those who can't do, teach"?....It haunted me. 
Notice the charming student on the left showing
me what he'd rather be doing....

  • Got heavily involved with 3rd Page, which was started by my friends Davidson Cole and Tom Bailey. 3 page scripts every week based on a prompt. LOTS there to talk about.
  • Produced a couple things - including a Coke Zero commercial, of all things. Also, consulted on LOTS of films - through Filmmakers Alliance and outside of it. I know a lot of paid consultants who do pretty well helping filmmakers AND being compensated for their time/expertise. I haven't figured out that second half yet. I guess I'm just a guy who can't say no. But I'm going to learn. Or at least figure out how best to be of service AND value my time/knowledge.
  • I've been part of the programmed team for LA Film Festival for the last few years. I'm an Associate Progammer, which is basically those of us not part of the in-house programming team who bring an outside perspective to films that aren't actively soliciting. Love doing it and gives me great inside perspective on the process - and the filmmaking zeitgeist. Not sure if they'll ask me back because they like to keep the mix fresh. But if they do, I'm there, again.
  • Before I settled on the film I am about to make, "Connection", I spent a lot of time developing feature and t.v. show ideas - sketching out concepts, writing treatments, exploring characters, etc. T.V. is kinda awesome these days, so I would love to be a part of the current renaissance as it plays out on cable (network still mostly sucks), but have never written a t.v. script. Gonna do one soon.
There ya have it. And more, of course. But I can't think of everything in one blog post. And I have something more to say about all of it. Stay tuned....



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Over 30 Really Good Things In The Indie Film Biz 2013


Ted Hope is at it again....Great stuff!! Check it out!!

Over 30 Really Good Things In The Indie Film Biz 2013 
by Ted Hope (reprinted from Truly Free Film blog)

We have plenty to be thankful for.  Things are getting better — at least in the Indie Film Biz they are…  Or should I say Specialized Film Biz? Artist First Film Biz? Whatever this is, let’s celebrate.  We have plenty to be thankful for.

I have over 30 points to prove it to you.  Granted I have something close to an equal number on the negative side too, but I will shield you from those for the time being. Besides, those negative things still to come  are all just opportunities, right?  So what is this cornucopia of things we have to be thankful for? Well…

To read the full article, click HERE!

“Directors These Days Really Have to Understand the Business of Film”


“Directors These Days Really Have to Understand the Business of Film”: Producer Christine Vachon in Wroclaw (reprinted from Filmmaker Magazine) by Ashley Clark

Kill Your Darlings

“I’ve been around so long that I’ve seen the ‘death’ of independent film at least three times” – Christine Vachon, Producing Masterclass

Widely regarded as one of the key figures in American independent cinema, Christine Vachon is now well into her fourth decade of film production. Her first feature film as a producer was Todd Haynes’ corrosive, Jean Genet-inspired Poison (1991), which set the tone for the host of fearlessly confrontational films that followed, including Tom Kalin’s Swoon (1992) and Larry Clark’s Kids (1995). In 1996, alongside Pamela Koffler, Vachon co-founded the NYC-based production company Killer Films, which has been behind a remarkable string of lauded American indies including, but not limited to, Kimberly Peirce’s Boys Don’t Cry (1999), Haynes’ Far From Heaven (2002), and, in the past year, Ramin Bahrani’s At Any Price and John Krokidas’ Kill Your Darlings.

At the recent 4th annual American Film Festival in Wroclaw, Poland, Vachon was the subject of a career retrospective. She also delivered a witty, informative masterclass on the art of independent film production, and spoke of her key career achievements and professional relationships. I was on hand to capture the highlights.

To see the full article, click HERE.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Top 10 Indies in the iTunes Store This Week


Top 10 Indies in the iTunes Store This Week: 'Therese' Joins The List and 'Blackfish' Rules the Roost. (reprinted from IndieWire.com)

Each Monday we present you with the most up-to-date list of the top 10 (indie) movies in the iTunes store (combining rentals and purchases)......

To view full article, go HERE!

The First "Connection" blog!


Check it out:

http://connectionthefilm.blogspot.com/2013/11/in-beginning-there-was-idea.html

Friday, November 22, 2013

I'm back!

Yes, it's true.

It's been, effectively, a two-year hiatus from this blog. Sure, I've posted stuff, but nothing personal. Nothing that really speaks to the title of this blog. The drought is over.

Partially, because I am about to make a film and nothing can speak more directly to the title of this blog than chronicling the step-by-step process of making this film. (our Twitter page is up, so please follow us: https://twitter.com/Connection_film)

But also, because I have not felt I had anything new to share...and now I do.

I've often marveled at people who can keep their blogs fresh and relevant on a consistent basis year in and year out. I'm not that guy. I need to build up new experiences and develop or change perspectives to feel I am sharing anything I haven't said before....and have it be meaningful.

A lot of filmmaking things have happened in the last couple of years, so I'm going to share in pieces. For now, gonna leave you with a behind the scenes cell phone shot of the behind-the-scenes from a photo shoot we did to develop key art for the film (we don't shoot until 2014) - as well as the synopsis. But the subsequent posts will be about all aspects of my filmmaking life mingled with regular posts about the film. So, let the journey begin....
















Synopsis:

"CONNECTION" follows the mood-drenched, sometimes subtly comic, journey of a young couple during their first experience at a “lifestyle” (swinger) party. 

It is told in the style of "Transaction" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGdBGf68FlU), with a direct, honest story-telling style that creates a "fly on the wall" experience. However, key subjective moments in the story take us a step deeper inside this dynamic.


Benjamin and Melissa Hughes seem to have an ideal relationship on all levels. But a vague need for something “more” coupled with a desire to fully explore their sexuality, compels them to an attend a party, and be introduced to a growing sexual culture, that will amuse, titillate and ultimately challenge them individually…and as a couple.


Thursday, November 21, 2013