Saturday, December 15, 2007

Short Film in the Snow (Bothell, WA)

I need a male and female participant that lives in the Bothell area, and can remain on 'stand-by' for any more snowfall we may have. This is a quite simple film shoot; if it snows, I need people I can call at that moment. We will meet at a location in Bothell, and perform a few quick scenes. It is that simple. There will be no pay, but I will offer credit and a copy of the finished work.

I need a male and female, roughly 19 - 39 years of age. You both will be playing a 'couple'. The attire needs to be an unpretentious fashionable wardrobe of winter wear, very picturesque and playful, full of color but not so posh as to establish social class. Varied colors of coat, scarves, gloves and hats will be required.

We may not receive another snow, and it all depends on the snowfall we would receive. This last snow was perfect, but it was not meant to be.

Please contact me with the usual material and contact information. Pass it along, and thank you.

Girl Directors

I remember going to my first "film fest" in Muskogee, back in 2000. It is a horrible festival that later inspired as to what I shouldn't do in my festival. Nonetheless, I was in my infancy in the so-called movie scene in Oklahoma, so I tried.

I was then, as I always have been, a supporter of women in cinema creating behind the camera as opposed to being exploited in front of it. At this festival, there was a young woman director whom I thought would be insightful and intriguing. I was wrong.

I am often reminded that, as much as people can be unique and fascinating, that singularity will also reveal lack of character and talent. This young woman, named Adele I believe, screened a film she created that dealt with magazines. At the time, I tried to find something more meaningful when in reality it just didn't make sense. It was shot well, edited well, and the sound was done well. It just didn't have much of a purpose. It was apparent after speaking with her, that she was not a director, or a filmmaker. She was the used car salesman that the festival looks for. I spoke to her of feminine point of view and creativity, and she looked at me as if I were some vial disease. I write this not because I was shown disrespect; I could care less about that. I write this because of the injustice of intent and attitude. Even if there was not oppression of color, religion, gender or sexuality, I still think it is important to offer encouragement and acknowledgement, and it is even more important in our current climate of prejudice and hate. I have learned much, and have been inspired by women. I continue to be, and I thank them.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Anatomy of a True Independent Film: Short Film vs. Festival Fees

I decided to take a fresh look at the festival circuit for my first two films, which did not receive the chance at attention that many films achieve. Although the reality is more likely that I will enter and my film, being too different and ‘loose’ for the stuffy mindset of many festivals, and it will not be chosen; nonetheless, I am choosing to try anyway. Hope is only as strong as those who hold it tight.

In doing this regurgitation of past practice, I discovered the reason why I veered away from this road, and thusly created my own, more respectable festival: fees! It is Christmas time, and despite the fact that I make decent money, I have…(ugh!) responsibilities, leaving less than a plentiful surplus for frivolities. The festival that looms around the corner, the Great Lakes International, requires a thirty-five dollar fee for the early submission. Keep in mind that this is for short films!

To put this into perspective, I have bought most of my Super 8 cams for much less than this amount. I could buy two, almost three cartridges of Super 8. I bought three rolls of regular 8mm film. I just recently bought a Samsung 8mm video camcorder for less…at any rate, you get my point.

Let’s put this into further perspective: the making of “Adam and Yvette”. This film cost all of eleven dollars. I will explain the breakdown of the budget in a moment, but I will explain the details of the production: locally cast, local music provided, local establishment and their humble cooperation from both owner and staff, timing, improvising, patience and using the best of what you have. Now let’s look at the breakdown of the budget:

Carnation $3.00
8mm Tape $8.00

That’s it! Eleven dollars is exactly what this film cost me, and nothing more. In fact, it could have been cheaper; the camera was not a Hi8 camera, and I bought the more expensive Hi8 tape, which [of course] cost more. Had I bought the normal tape, this film would have cost less than eight dollars.

Why, when I could make three films to the one entry fee, would I offer my money to the less dedicated who will only take it and run? I will anyway, but not until after Christmas; thirty-five dollars will go too far for me not to utilize it elsewhere. This is the way of the starving artist; what we lack in possession and complacency, we make up for in imagination and guile.

I look back at the critics of these films, how many have shown their ass ( go ahead and check them out…go to my website and follow the links to the films and read the comments!), and I smile, not because I think I am the best or better, but because they have done nothing or nothing like I can.

Great Lakes International, I’m afraid will have to starve for my money…and go hungry. We will test the future in our own way. While the rest of the gray-shadowed world slumbers away, the dreamers begin to awake.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The American Avant Garde

At this year's Fest, our fifth festival, we had a special guest: Alex Gonzales. Alex and camera were present to document the event and interview key players in our continuing effort to support and promote art in all forms. Alex was present on behalf of one Mr. Karl Krogstad, Seattle filmmaker and mad cinematic scientist...and host of The American Avant Garde.

Fae, Hayden of the Green Bean Coffeehouse and Randy Walker and Jennifer Shainin from Mt. Vernon were all interviewed.

The last full weekend of November, I received an e-mail from one Peter Morris: "Your presence is requested." On Wednesday the 28th, I arrived at my 7:30 appointment, looking through a dimly lit neighborhood for the right house. I found myself down the correct path, through the door and meeting new strangers and then traveling down to the basement, drinking wine and signing release forms. I was interviewed. I was interviewed, questioned, and I survived. I talked to four fascinating people I have yet to hear from. The show should be released in the span of several months. I am on television again. Stay tuned...