USA Premiere of The Good Soldier – FRIDAY, JUNE 11

So this is it! It’s been a long road to get to this point but the premiere of The Good Soldier is Friday, June 11 at 10 pm at the IAO Gallery in Oklahoma City, OK. It is part of the deadCenter Film Festival.

If you can make it please come on down and check it out.

If you wish to buy a complete festival pass they are $75. Or you can by a single ticket the day of the show for $10 at the door.

Go to the deadCenter schedule and scroll to Friday, June 11th at 10 pm. The Good Soldier is showing as part of “The X-Files” program. Here you can click on the film link, create an account for a calendar, and rate the film after you see it.

deadCenter Schedule

DVD Art – DVD Coming Soon

Today I wrapped up the art work for The Good Soldier DVD. It took a bit longer than expected but I think it looks pretty good. Also, I came up with a special “Featuring Super 8 Film Technology” logo that I’m going to put on my future projects – and hope others will too – to identify the choice to shoot in Super 8.

So the next step will be to get my master DVD and art to the duplicating company. After that it will just be a matter of time before seeing the final product. The DVD contains English subtitles, chapter index, behind-the-scene slideshow, the theatrical trailer, and a link to online interactive content. And while I would have liked to include French and Spanish (and by recommendation, Portuguese) I unfortunately couldn’t get all of that done by my deadline. So instead, I will have to make some alternate versions in the future.

I will be hosting a special screening of the film later this month for cast and crew – it will be their first viewing of the film. Then on June 11th the film will premiere to the US at deadCENTER Film Festival.

Following that, who knows what?

I have another project that I’ve begun, relative to my experience with this film – it’s a writing project. Ok, I’ll be real, it’s book about Super 8 filmmaking. At this point it’s a young project which could fall off a cliff at any time…but we’ll see where it goes.

Also, I have a couple of other Super 8 film projects I’m working on. One I’ve entitle the “Physics Philm” project – it’s a project I started years ago but I’m hoping to breathe some new life into it.

Cambridge – more notes

Friday was a great day both for the film, for my continuing education in the possibilities of what a talented person can do with Super 8 film, and in experiencing another country and culture.

Saturday was just as good. We spent the morning exploring the city. Today was much different from the other days because the streets were packed with shoppers (it was Saturday after all). We visited a street market place, some shops, bought some souvenirs – tourist stuff.

We tracked down the Zoology Department Museum on Downing Street. It was a bland looking museum – just glass cases packed with animal displays and biological artifacts, many times without any notes or explanation other than the species name. Not at all a modern day museum – it was much more a public warehouse of sorts. But we were here to see something in particular: Darwin. Downstairs, hidden away in some odd corner of the room, completely inconspicuously were three of the original finches collected by Darwin. Also, a beetle collection, notes from his journal during his voyage on the HMS Beagle, and other priceless items.

It just re-emphasized the fact of so many amazing thinkers and ideas were tied to this city. And to think that these items were just there – under some glass, without any real promotion or attention drawn to them. It seemed like such an unusual thing.

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After our visit to the museum we walked up through the square and towards the screening venue. Today they were showing a feature-length film entitled “I for India.” It was partly Super 8, partly other formats, about an Indian family that relocated to England. It followed their family’s struggles through two generations, beginning in the 1960s and continuing through to the mid-90s. It was an excellent story, very well told, and the footage was brilliant.

After the film we met and spoke with some of our new friends, from England, France, and Brazil. We discussed film and had tea. Then, after having tea, we walked down the street to a pub and had a beer and talked some more.

Remy, myself, and Adam, spent much of this time discussing Super 8’s and short film’s place in today’s movie world. It was a good discussion that I won’t go into. The basic conclusions we came to were that: there is a place for short films, we just need to find a way to package and sell the idea to theaters, audiences, and executive producers.

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We left Cambridge this morning, ending our film part of the trip and beginning our climbing and exploring portion of the trip. We arrived this afternoon in Castleton, within the Peak District National Park. First thing we did was drop our stuff off in our youth hostel room and truck it up the hill to Peveril Castle. After that we roamed around town for a while and eventually stopped at George’s Pub where I had fish and chips and Adam had rabbit pot pie. No, I’m not making that up.

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Almost forgot to mention (back to the film thing, since this is supposed to be about film) I have been shooting some Super 8 while I’ve been here. I shot about a roll and a half in Cambridge. I am working on the second half of the second roll (tri-x black and white film) and will most likely shoot that tomorrow.

I’ve got plenty of footage and pics so far but it will have to wait.

Cambridge Festival Report

Yesterday was a busy day. It began with an English breakfast at our youth hostel where we are staying. English breakfast: egg over-easy, fruit, hash brown, cereal, croissant, and some sort of really good sausage.

From there it was off to meet up with some others including our French tour-guide, I believe her name is Hanault. Because she is a graduate student, we were able to explore a couple of colleges within the Cambridge University system. Unlike American schools, Cambridge is like a fortress. Only students are allowed within the college walls. Things are very traditional here – and when I say traditional, I’m talking about 15th century traditional. Proctors dressed in bowler hats monitored the entrances and the yards. Only professors are allowed to walk on the grass. And every effort is made to preserve a way of education and life that has proved to produce some of the world’s most noteworthy thinkers. People like Darwin, Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, and Sasha Baron Cohen, studied here. Probably the most amazing thing I saw was the copy – the one and only copy – of Isaac Newton‘s first edition of his book PhilosophiƦ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which introduce and describe Newton’s laws of motion.

The only problem with our tour guide was the she was trying to sneak us into areas that were off limits. There were 5 of us total, including her; Adam and I, a Brazilian director named Filipie and a girl named Carolina. So when Hanault stepped over a chain clearly restricting the back side of King’s College, and we were expected to follow without question – I wondered if it was a good idea. She was yards ahead of us when Adam and I made the decision to follow. But the Brazilians, with their better judgment, lagged behind, wary of crossing the chain. As we started to turn the corner I heard a yell from a guard, “King’s members ONLY!” We stopped immediately and made our way back to the entrance. It made for an exciting outing.

After our grand tour and lunch at one of the College’s, Adam and I headed across town to meet up with a French film director, named Remy Batteault. He is working on a documentary about Super 8 film making and filmmakers for a French TV show. I spent about an hour at his hotel answering questions about my experiences with Super 8, how I started in film, and The Good Soldier. It was the first time I’ve given any sort of interview about film and particularly about how personal it is to me. The only trouble I had was when he asked me to look into the camera and pretend to be speaking to an animated Super 8 film camera, and ask “it” a question. I think I asked something really stupid like, why aren’t your film cartridges longer? I don’t know. All I could think was that this sounds very French. It was pretty funny.

After the interview we headed back across town to our room. We got dressed up and took a taxi to the Murray Edwards College on the opposite side of the city. By now, it was raining off and on in typical English fashion.

We arrived at the college and met with the organizers of the festival and several “fellows” of various Colleges within the University that have supported the festival. We had a formal dinner – Adam just handed me the actual menu from the dinner – consisting of: “Roasted Loin of ‘Suffolk’ Free Range Pork with Bramley Apple Sauce, Grilled Herb Crusted Fillet of Trout with Lemon & Parsley Pesto, New Season Asparagus, Ricotta, & Basil Bruschetta, Rosemary Roasted Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli and Carrots, Pear & Blackberry Crumble with Vanilla Cream, Classic British Cheeseboard with Celery & Grapes, and Fresh Fairtrade Filter Coffee with Chocolate Truffles.” Oh, and of course we had wine.

The festival itself followed dinner. The venue was great – just what I had hoped. A stadium-style seating arrangement that was spacious and comfortable. My film was the final in the series of films so I got to see all these other fantastic Super 8 films. I was so amazed and impressed by the quality and the craftsmanship of the films. There were documentaries about immigrant life in America and there were experimental films told through a series of colors, time-lapse elements and methods that still I’m not sure how they produced.

I spoke with the festival’s organizer about hosting a Super 8 festival using the films from the program at the Renegade Picture Show and I think we’re going to make it happen.

My film showed last. When it began I felt my heart begin to race. It was such an indescribable moment to be there among an international audience of people that had never seen my film. I had no idea what the reaction would be. And again, here I was watching the film – this time in a completely different way. It felt really good.

After the film there were some director interviews. The first was with Felipe Cataldo, the Brazilian director of Monocelular. His film was one that stood out in terms of it’s art, it’s music, it’s development…and it’s craziness. It was pretty wacky…but I enjoyed it because of that.

He did a good job answering the interviewer’s questions and a couple of questions from the audience.

Next up was me. The festival director, Thierry, asked me questions about my start in film, and various aspects of the making of the film. I felt like I did pretty well…I wasn’t too nervous…but later as I thought about it, I might have said a couple of things differently. But that’s probably a common feeling when you’re answering on the spot questions in front of an audience. I answered a few questions from the audience…all gave the impression that people must have like the film.

The feedback I received after the show all had to do with how professional it appeared, and how well produced it was. I think people were drawn into the story as well because there was some discussion with people about the themes of the story and what certain things meant. And there were some questions about the music and how it was crafted and applied.

Overall, it was another great experience that the making of this film has brought me to. Again, I have so many people to thank for helping make this possible. I wish everyone on the cast and crew, my friends and family could have been here to share in the experience. Perhaps that is one thing that I wish I had expressed while standing on stage – that it is not just me – it is important that everyone gets credit for this because everyone involved put a little bit of themselves into this as well. And I appreciate that.

So today should be a relaxed day as we enjoy exploring Cambridge, the shops and historical places. Later we’ll go to an afternoon festival viewing to watch a Super 8 feature film.

(Videos and pictures to be posted later…)

Made it to Cambridge, UK

It was a long flight – a long uncomfortable flight – but I made it to London! I met my brother Adam at London Heathrow Airport, we rented a car, and we began to make the trip north to Cambridge.

I managed to hit one curb during the drive but other than that, no major screw-ups. I heard that I would get used to driving on the left side of the road in the first 15 minutes. Not true. I drove a couple of hours and I am still not used to it.

We made it to our accommodations – a youth hostel in Cambridge and went walking around a bit.

On the agenda for tonight is to attend the Competition 2 Programme and watch some cool Super 8 films. Tomorrow, I have an interview at 2 pm and then my film will show tomorrow evening.

http://www.cambridge-super8.org/index.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sudGW3BHJYw

ACCEPTED!! – Today is a good day. (Notes 27 – The Good Soldier)


Just when I thought I would receive nothing but rejection, I opened my email to a welcome surprise – an acceptance message from the Cambridge International Super 8 Film Festival in England.

This is a perfect venue for this film as it will be among others that are shot on Super 8.

The film is scheduled as part of the “Panorama 2” on April 30th at Buckingham House (Murray Edwards College). That’s all I know right now.

They have extended an invitation to me but at this point, I’m not sure if I will be able to make it out there or not.

Check out their website.
http://www.cambridge-super8.org/index.html

The Good Soldier – Notes 26 – Some Results and Notes

It’s been a while since I last posted something about the film so I’d like to give a few updates (as I wait for my slightly *adjusted* version of the film to render in Final Cut).

First some results from some of the festivals that I’ve submitted to….
Sundance (UT) – rejected
Slamdance (UT) – rejected
SXSW (TX) – rejected
Dam Short (NV) – rejected
Sedona (AZ) – rejected
Rutgers (NJ) – rejected
Ann Arbor (MI) – rejected
Phoenix (AZ) – rejected
Cinequest (CA) – rejected
Gen Art (NY) – rejected
Atlanta (GA) – rejected
Beverly Hills (CA) – rejected
Nashville (TN) – rejected
Method Fest (CA) – rejected
Tulsa United (nationwide) – awaiting
Rooftop Films (NY) – awaiting
Cambridge (UK) – awaiting
deadCenter (OK) – awaiting

Pretty good, huh? That’s a lot of rejection! I’m almost getting used to it. The only thing I hate about being rejected is the fact that I paid anywhere from $40-60 per event to enter. And all I get in return is a form email that reads as follows:

“If you are receiving this email, we regret to inform you that your entry has not been selected for the 2010 (Insert Name) Film Festival. We do thank you for submitting your film, and we wish you success in your future endeavors.

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at ….

Sincerely,
Programming Staff of the (Insert name) Film Festival”

Isn’t that great? I’ve received like 14 of these now – and it’s always so much fun opening one. I feel my character building one form-email at a time.

So now for the good news: I haven’t been rejected by everyone yet. I received a call from someone at deadCenter Film Festival yesterday saying that my screening DVD did not work. So I am making another one today to mail to them. Then they can reject me too.

But it got me thinking…what if one of the DVDs I sent to one of the many other festivals had the same issue? Would they call and ask me for another copy or would they just toss it aside? Makes me wonder. I’m thinking of contacting a few of them just to see: 1) what their policy is on non-operating DVDs 2) if they have any notes about the functionality of mine.

I would at least like to know that someone (anyone) was able to actually view the film and reject it based on it’s merit (or lack thereof).

So is my ego bruised from all of this rejection? No. I need it. I like it. Really, I’m being serious here. Rarely is someone’s work “accepted” first time running. And a little rejection is good to make one work harder next time. I’ve gone well beyond my initial goal of going from idea to movie – I never thought I would even attempt a siege of the festival circuit. And perhaps this will be a lesson to me – that I should have saved my money. But then again, I don’t regret applying either. If I hadn’t submitted to all those festivals I would have never known the possibility of having my film shown at one.

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In other news – I am in the process of mastering a complete DVD which will hopefully have subtitles in English and French and possibly (if i can get around to it) a commentary track, a slideshow, and maybe other features. The goal is to get this done by Spring and get everyone who helped on the film, a copy of the film – as well as hold a private showing or two.

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As for music rights: it’s been an on-going pain in the ass resulting in stalemate. Doesn’t really matter though if I’m not showing it anywhere!

The Good Soldier – Notes 25 – More Festival Submissions & Stuff

This is kind of a dead period right now. It’s a waiting game to see which festivals select the film as part of their show.

Good news bad news: got the word from Sundance – no go. Got the word from Slamdance, also no go. That’s the bad news, I guess. But it was such a LONG shot. I mean, Sundance had 9800 submissions in the short film category alone and they selected 200. Slamdance had 5400 short film entries and selected only 100. Those are some sucky odds. But I’m not sweating it. This is a Super 8 film – I don’t think either of those festivals are really the market for this type of film. I’m really hoping for a more artsy type festival – something a little more underground. With that in mind I submitted to a few more festivals.

I sent the film to a film festival in Brooklyn that screens films on rooftops – cool idea and right up my alley (see RPS). It’s also going to the Dam Short Film Festival in Boulder City, Nevada. Sent it to the U.S. Super 8 Film and Digital Video Festival at Rutgers University in New Jersey; The Method Fest Independent Film Festival in El Segundo, CA; The United Film Festival series which includes several major cities.

And of course I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to send it to South-by-Southwest Film Festival in Austin and last but not least the deadCENTER film festival here in OKC. I’m saving the big OKC metro debut for deadCENTER, that is, if they’ll have me.

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I am still having some issues with the music licensing side of things. They sure make it difficult to do business. I think the only organization with more hoops to jump through would have to be the U.S. government. Seriously. Do these people want to be paid for songs or not? I’m getting pretty discouraged with getting the licensing lined up. Seems like I’ve made all the right contacts and have some agreements here and there but each entity makes their agreement contingent upon someone elses concurrence. Frankly, it is probably good that things are still up in the air. Nothing needs to go into effect until I have a scheduled festival to show.

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I have some other content I am working on and have even been encouraged to write or include as a DVD commentary some information about the process of making the film – sort of an educational look at doing a narrative short in Super 8.

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Finally, I have plans to host an exclusive cast and crew showing very soon. Stay tuned.