Thursday, February 26, 2009
My fiance Karen and I made the trip up to Santa Barbara to support Jamin and see his latest work. Though the first trailer for INK is amazing, there is no way I could anticipate the impact that his film had on me and on Karen. It caused me to write this blog, Jamin Winan's INK is one of the most inspiring films I have seen...
Upon reading my write-up, Jamin said he was speechless.
Well, now Jamin has released his 2nd Trailer for INK, and he has taken MY QUOTE on his film and put it in the Trailer. Now I am the one who is speechless.
As if you didn't already need to see this 2nd Trailer anyway, now there is additional incentive.
Jamin recut the trailer because they were getting a lot of feedback that it was playing like a Horror film, which it is not. So this trailer gives us more of the overall vibe. He also told me that he has cut 9 minutes down on the overall run time. Not that the version I saw dragged by any means. But I believe that only can help the overall film.
Man, I cannot wait to see INK again!
There are some heavy duty glitches in the Apple Color work flow that are testing our frustration levels. All we have to do is to get all the work that has been done in Apple Color and get it back into Final Cut. Sounds like it should be an easy thing, right? Well, it hasn't been, so the film remains stuck in la la land. These last minute complications are baffling to me.
There has been a ray of light that may lead to a breakthrough in getting this thing solved in a timely manner. Of course it involves a little more work. Will keep you posted.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Getting this far has certainly not come without it's non-stop challenges. There have been many days of pure uncertainty followed by challenges that appeared unsurmoutable. Nights that I wasn't sure I could see this through.
Everywhere we turned for money, investors turned us down. Banks wouldn't lend to us. We held fundraisers that only provided us a fraction of what we needed to make this film. Despite the constant rejection, we somehow found a way to fight through our lack of money. Our money deficit hasn't gone away, but we have seen this film through to the finish.
During the Production, after our first day of shooting we finished 5 pages behind schedule. Everyday after that was a race to catch up with the previous days work. We didn't have the luxury of shooting in our one location after our shooting schedule ended. So the pressure was there to produce and make up ground each day. Of course it didn't help losing a night's worth of work when the city's power went out. There's actually a 'Behind the Scenes' clip of that night that I need to review and see whether it is worthy of posting online.
This film wouldn't be coming to fruition without the support, passion, perseverance and dedication of many. I want to take a moment to thank those key people upon which this film would still just be an aspiration in my head.
To my lovely, beautiful supportive partner in life Karen Worden. There is no way I can see any project through without your patience and love. You are my foundation. Everyone in this production should thank you every time they see you. I have been blessed to have you in my life.
To my Mom. She is the greatest Mom I could ever ask for.
Now on to my producing team. The backbone of this project upon which I have relied so heavily. I must thank Gregor Collins who's work ethic is an inspiration to me. And one that I can never thank enough.
Longtime friend, Daniel Sol, who is my trusted entertainment companion. He has been a part of every work I have created. He has certainly witnessed how far I have come.
Richard A. Jacob for his belief and trust in me. For his support of my creative vision. And of course for believing in this film when no one else wanted anything to do with it.
Rose Coleman for being Ms. Super Producer during Production and for all the work you continue to pour in. You so often tackle so many of the tasks that many of us avoid and you do it without complaint. It doesn't go unrecognized. Thank you.
Isandra Gonzalez for you fire and spunk. For your charm and charisma. For expanding our contacts and for the level of experience and expertise you bring to our team.
I want to thank my amazing and talented group of Actors, Actresses and Friends that make this such a fun project to work on. Kevin Deen, Frantz Durand, James Anthony McQuillan, John Keating, Chad Davis, Christopher Guckenberger, Johnny Giordano, Rhomeyn Johnson, Michael Shaun Sandy, Zane Patterson, Sarah Ronaghi, La'Rin Lane, Kristen Sullivan, Mopreme Shakur, Susan Boughton, and Joe Ruffo.
I also have to thank those special people behind the scenes that never seem to get enough recognition. Ali-Reza Nusrat, my exceptional Director of Photography and Colorist and his team of people, Brian Rumrill, David Carstens, David Hsieh, Jason Michael Lopez, and Michael Cavanaugh. By no means does it end there. I must thank Adam Lambert, Mondo Vila, Thomas Corkran, Rudy Mangual, Dianne Brooks, William Carl Mahoney, Bill Houskeeper, Patrick Dunkerly, Tyshawn Bryant, St. Anthony, Jud Bogard, Debra Bianculli for their various contributions and generosity in making this film a reality.
Believe it or not, one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place was because I wanted to thank my latest 'Follower' Ambrebalte. Great to see this blog reaching new people.
I also want to thank all the individuals out there who have so much faith in our film that they Pre-Ordered the DVD before they have even see an actual frame of footage from the film. These people I like to call our DVD Visionaries. You all have earned my gratitude.
Maria V. Altmann, Jose Amaro, Phil Begin,
Jason Benjamin, Josh Biondi, Jud Bogard,
Marie Botello, Elisabeth Britton, Tyshawn Bryant,
James Butler, Ray Cataneo, Jerry Coleman,
Michael Coleman, Christian Collins, Keith Collins,
Mary Collins, Paul Collins, Len Cordova,
Blake Cox, Anessa Curtin, Hisan Deen,
Kimshelley Garner, Kathryn Grant, Ivo Gerscovich,
Julie Gillespie, Krista Goodwin, Carl Guckenberger,
Bill Houskeeper, Leasa Ionescu, Nathan Irvine,
Gillian Jacob, Raney John, Jovial Kemp,
Darrell Kiedo, Ezra Kramer, Steve Kreiztin,
Shaun Kunz, Clay Lapari, Amy Larson,
Roxie Lee, Samantha Lee, David Lincoln,
Elliott Lozano, J.C. Macek III, Suzanne Olah-Macek,
Brandon Maxwell, Christopher McKalpain,
Keven McQueen, Salomon
David Mullin, Greg Normart, Jennifer Page,
Johanna Park, Greg Phelan, Toi Polpantu,
Michael Prkic, Karl Schuhmacher, Candice Schultz,
Michelle Steele, David Stevens, Christina Torres,
Daniel Van Dyke, Jordan White,
Zachary Williams, Randall Wright
It's amazing to see how many people you can thank and still not cover all the people who deserve it. There are even more people we thank in the film's credits. In conclusion I thank all of you who have had any contribution towards bringing me to this long time dream.
This certainly will not be the last time I thank most of you.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Hope you enjoy.
Three filmmakers discuss their experiences in raising money to make their films.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I am as anxious to finish Night Before the Wedding as I have ever been. Of course it has never been this close to being done. Looking at the film for the first time in a little while, I can say I am proud of this work. I know not everyone is going to like it, but at the same time there will be a lot of people who will love it. I hope the film connects with people and gets them talking. So much more I can say.
The day is almost here.
Monday, February 16, 2009
I just uploaded this video. It is the first glimpse of what it was like to be on the set of my debut feature film, Night Before the Wedding.
I provided my Cast and Crew a Mini-DV camera and told them they could film whatever they wanted. This video is the result.
The Film itself is in it’s final two weeks of Post-Production. Those who have Pre-Ordered the DVD will see the film before it becomes more widely available. Will keep you posted.
‘Become a Fan’ – Night Before the Wedding Facebook FanPage
‘Become a Friend’ – Night Before the Wedding MySpace Page
Sunday, February 15, 2009
At the Top of the List is my quest for a Web Designer. I am actively seeking someone who can help me transform the site to my first feature film, Night Before the Wedding (http://www.nightbeforethewedding.com) My quest is becoming slightly frustrating with four straight posts REMOVED from CRAIGSLIST. I wish I knew what the exact problem was with my posting. I will post it here, if you can help me solve this riddle it would be a huge help.
Web Designer for Film Website
We are in the process of completing our first feature film entitled "Night Before the Wedding."
There have been quite a few changes we have been looking to make to the site for a while now. It is many months outdated. We are looking to work out a situation with a Web-Designer where instead of receiving direct payment, we would promote your page via a link on the bottom of every page of the site. We would also like to find additional creative ways to promote your work.
Let us know if you are interested and want to talk further. Connecting with a cool web designer who can get this work done would be a big blessing in our life. We would love to work with a web designer that we can fully promote. We will persistently promote your services. We are open to collaboration.
I hate seeing this post get flagged and removed again and again. Especially because Night Before the Wedding is on pace to be completed in the next two weeks. We then move into our Promotional/Marketing/Distribution phase. And getting our website to where it needs to be is crucial in this process. So if you or someone you know can help us in any way, please contact us at email@example.com
On the good side of life, I would like to report that I helped a close friend of mine shoot his first short film. He is amazingly bright and talented. We had some good fun spending a full day bringing his vision to life. It was shot with three actors, no budget, and no equipment. It was a unique experience for me as I was the cinematographer. An area of filmmaking I strive to improve upon. No question I have lots to learn there. Cinematography takes such brilliance and it is an aspect of film that is so under appreciated.
Quick Quiz, Name 3 directors who's work you are fond of...Now name 3 cinematographers who's work you admire. I say 95% of the people who read this will only be able to answer the first half of this quiz.
I would also like to note that I will be posting a behind the scenes video of NBTW tomorrow morning on YouTube. It will give you a great sense of what the overall vibe was like to be on the set of our movie. I believe you will enjoy the video, though it will be difficult to see a few areas of the video. After a week online, I will look to add it to other video upload sites that offer better quality.
On tap for this week, I will be meeting with my Colorist and my Sound Designer. I am also looking to hold a "Distribution" meeting with my NBTW Team. Distribution in the Independent Film World is as challenging as it has ever been. Studio Films are having a difficult time getting the public to take an interest in their films, sure you can imagine what it is like for those films out there like ours. It is up to us to create our own buzz and so that is what we will have to do.
Monday, February 9, 2009
Though the other day Karen and I went for a walk in the rain. A few days later, my hooded sweatshirt would probably still be wet if I didn't run it through the wash. We walked around the mini rivers running down the hills where we live. I had droplets of fresh rain falling off my face. Our shoes were completely soaked. We were almost the victims of a car drive-by. You know, when there is a build-up of water on the street, and a car zooms through sending the water into the air. Well whoever was driving that car certainly wasn't shy with their intentions. It was a refreshing and invigorating walk.
I wanted to touch on a few things this morning before I get back to work. First, let me give a shout out to Brian and Carl who have signed on as 'Followers.' It is my hope that not only do I learn and grow from this blog but that others will gain from it as well. I am grateful to those who follow me on this journey.
I had mentioned previously that a video I had worked on appeared on Fox Television. Indeed, the footage that my good friends Daniel Sol and Frantz Durand videotaped and I edited turned into an internet hit and now years later has appeared on network television. Though this television version is recut and given play-by-play by a voice-over personality. Religious Freaks Gone Wild is being seen via Whacked Out Videos which is syndicated through Fox Television.
It was quite a thrill to get a phone call from Dan telling me to turn the television onto Fox. Literally the moment I turned the TV on, there was his face rolling around in bed. The recut version is just as funny as the one that is online. I don't have access to that version but if you haven't seen the original and you are curious...
The latest on where my first feature film stands is this. It is picture-locked. My sound-designer, colorist, and music composer are all now working on those aspects of the film. Once they all complete their work, the film will be complete. So still not quite there yet, but have never been closer.
In the meantime, I spent some time yesterday logging videotapes and came across at least one tape that I have the ability to edit (need an update on my computer and editing software). So I am now editing together a quick 'Behind the Scenes' video of Night Before the Wedding. Basically we had a small video recorder on set and I told the whole cast and crew they are welcome to pick up the camera and film whatever they want. I will post it here for you when it is completed.
Moments from now I will be posting an ad on Craigslist for a new Website Designer. Our official website is long overdue for a make-over. Finding a new Designer is one of my current priorities. I am also looking to find an Editor(s) who can help me edit other Featurettes that I don't have the ability to edit currently. I hate to admit it, but I am looking for volunteers on both fronts. Looking to arrange more of a barter agreement.
On tap for tomorrow, I will be helping a close friend shoot his first Short Film. He is set to produce and direct it. I am going to act as cinematographer. It is a funny and clever idea. I am looking forward to it. I really hope the weather clears up so we can have our entire shoot. Wish us luck.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
This is the radical idea that TOMS founder Blake Mycoskie came up with. To date they have stuck to their promise, giving away 115,000 pairs of shoes from October of 2006 to December of 2008. The company plans to give away 200,000 this year.
Here is a short form video version of the one I saw last night at the HollyShorts Monthy Screening Series.
I have a similar ambition heading into my next project after Night Before the Wedding. Though my focus is to tell entertaining stories, I also have a hunger to make a difference in this world. I hope I can continue to dig within myself to find the courage to carry me through.
I commend you Blake, and the great people you have around you. You are an inspiration and a display true courage.
For more information on TOMS Shoes and their mission, please visit http://www.tomsshoes.com/shoes.aspx
Thursday, February 5, 2009
That same night I had the opportunity to view a buddy's Pilot Presentation. He had about 100 people in the audience and we were all getting our first look at the finished product. I performed Second Unit duties. Basically I directed and shot segments for the pilot's montage sequence. I would love to share it with you guys but it is strictly for selling purposes only.
That's the quick update. Now, I just couldn't keep from posting a few thoughts on an article I read today pertaining to the largest amount paid to date for any 2009 Sundance Film. Of course with Night Before the Wedding approaching completion, I am following everything I can regarding independent film distribution. The article was written by Brooks Barnes and published in the New York Times. Here is the direct link to the article, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/05/movies/05push.html about Lee Daniels, Push, and his film's $5.5 million deal with Lionsgate.
At the heart of this article is this, that 'Push' is going to be a tough sell in the marketplace. I'll tell you this, I would love to have some of the 'problems' that this film has. Not only is it an Official Selection to Sundance 2009, it won not 1 award but 3 awards there, the Audience Award, the Grand Jury Prize, and a Special Jury Prize for Acting.
The film is based on a novel by Sapphire. To me this is another great plus. Those familiar with the book may have interest in seeing the film version. The story centers on an illiterate and obese African-American teenager in 1980s Harlem who is pregnant with her father’s child — for the second time — and is also abused by her mother.
As if the 3 awards weren't enough, the film is openly endorsed by the duo of Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry as stated in the article. Seriously, what else is there to be worried about? This fact alone is worth millions in ticket sales. Once again, this is another 'problem' I would absolutely love to have. If anyone can tell me how to get my film into Tyler Perry's hands or Oprah's hands, please let me know. I would love to have their ringing endorsements.
Bottom line, I don't want to hear that 'Push' is a tough sell. I don't buy it. This film will make it's money. It has a niche audience and then some. It has already won 3 awards from one of the most prestigious film festivals in all the land. It then has ringing endorsements from Oprah and Tyler Perry. On top of that it features Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz. This combination of ingredients makes it a much easier sell than what is being portrayed in the aforementioned NY Times article.
I welcome your commentary. Also if anyone has a link to the trailer to this version of Push, I would like to see it.
Well the good new is that it is not too late, though the window is beginning to close.
Here’s the overall update on our first feature film, “Night Before the Wedding.” This film is one that we have been working on since September 2007. We have put in a lot of energy and effort to see our dream of completing this first feature film.
We are proud to say that we are almost there having achieved picture-lock last week. That means all that remains is color correction, sound design and music. The credit roll at the end of the film will be finalized as well. We are aiming to have this work done by March.
We initiated a ‘Pre-Order’ DVD campaign before we shot the film. Those who are showing support and faith in our project, we are rewarding by thanking them in our film’s credits and on our website (which we are redesigning).
So if you would like to become part of this campaign, now is a great time. Another perk of ordering now is that it guarantees you will see the film before it reaches the mainstream. (Due to a variety of distribution factors, we cannot say when that will be.)
Everyone who has pre-ordered the DVD will receive a limited-edition DVD with the completed movie.
To pre-order “Night Before the Wedding,” please visit http://www.nightbeforethewedding.com/
Enter the site and click on the banner on top of the screen.
To order offline, you are welcome to send a $15 check
payable to Glimpse of Dreams, LLC.
Glimpse of Dreams Productions
8314 Jayseel Street
Sunland, CA 91040
If you cannot order a DVD at this time, you can also show your support by signing on to be a ‘Fan’ on our Facebook Fan Page. Just log in and click on ‘Become a Fan’
And become our friend on Myspace
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Although I didn't catch all of this year's Super Bowl, I was fortunate enough to see Night Before the Wedding's Actor Rhomeyn Johnson's NFL Superbowl Commercial. Wait until you see Rhomeyn in NBTW, until then if you haven't seen his commercial, here you go.
Monday, February 2, 2009
As I begin to write this, please note that I am not a Film Critic. I am just a Film Fan as well as a Filmmaker. I am a growing storyteller also, so please allow me set up the story which will help me convey my full thoughts to you.
Back in 2005 I came across Jamin’s short film Spin. I can’t remember exactly how I came across it but I thought it was one of the more creative and just plain cool shorts I have seen. I wanted to know more about the film and the filmmaker so I contacted Jamin and ended up doing an interview with him through my Film Synergy blog (Interview with Filmmaker Jamin Winans)
I thought it was a great interview and I liked Jamin’s style of filmmaking so I continued to monitor his work. Now this will probably get me in trouble, but I believe it is important for me to mention. As I have studied films in the indie world, I got around to seeing Jamin’s first feature film, 11:59. Though that movie does finish strong, I came away feeling let down. It’s not anything I am going to dwell on here. Yet there may be others out there who may read this who have seen 11:59 and may not be willing to give Ink a chance and I am here to let you know that would be a big mistake.
Most recently, Jamin emailed me the trailer to his second feature film, Ink and I was amazed. Want to see why? Click here Ink Official Movie Trailer HD
Of course I had to follow up with a second interview via Film Synergy. Interview with 'Ink' Filmmaker Jamin Winans
From our correspondence I learned that Ink would be Premiering at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. My fiancé Karen loves Santa Barbara so it didn’t take much convincing to arrange a trip that included seeing the film. And as I began to mention that I was going to see it, dozens of people began to hit me up wanting to know my thoughts.
On the train ride to Santa Barbara, I pondered what will come of my own film, Night Before the Wedding. How I wished I wasn’t just traveling up to see another filmmaker’s film but to see my own as well. I thought about what kind of success lies down the road for me…And I was hit with a revelation that I will share with you soon.
When we arrived in Santa Barbara, we had lunch, and then walked to the theater to buy tickets. The box office wouldn’t sell them to us. Said we had to wait for all the festival-goers with festival passes. After they were let into the theater, they would then sell general admission tickets. So we wouldn’t be able to buy the tickets until 15 minutes before the screening. We made one more attempt to buy the tickets early that night and they still wouldn’t sell us the tickets. I mention this because when I was finally able to buy the tickets just before the screening, they were $11 plus a $4 service charge. If you want to charge $15 for the tickets, just charge $15. Get rid of that insulting $4 service charge. I just thought it was ridiculous but funny. Especially the service.
Minutes before the screening, I saw Jamin and introduced myself to him. We went back and forth on a few things before he was called away by one of the festival organizers.
What’s funny is Jamin called me his biggest fan. Because of the interviews (from above) I have conducted with him along with other updates I have published on his behalf. I found that pretty funny. I guess more than anything, it is great how appreciative he is and I must thank him for his graciousness. But don’t let Jamin fool you, millions of people have seen his short film, Spin. And I will tell you this, after seeing ‘Ink’ I can confidently say that Jamin is going to win over an abundance of new fans.
I have to be honest, I was of course excited to see Jamin’s new film but I was doing my best to hold my expectations in check. As with most movies, I wasn’t sure it would be able to live up to its own movie trailer. (I even posed that question to him in my interview. Even others have come to me and asked me the same question.)
There is talk out there that Ink is a “low-budget” independent film. I specialize in low-budget films. I make them and I watch them. I don’t want to hear people say this is a low-budget film because I’ll tell you that no matter what the budget was, this is one of the most inspiring films that I have seen. I was blown away by what Jamin has pulled off.
If I had to put it all into one quote it would be this, “Ink is the greatest combination of ambition, imagination, and execution I have seen in independent film.” It is a masterpiece that will continue to inspire me for a long time. It has already influenced me as I begin to make my next film. Jamin poured his heart and soul into this project and I could literally feel that with each and every scene. He pulls out his whole bag of tricks. This film makes me want to become a better filmmaker.
The sound design is as good as it gets. The main theme to the film (original music by Jamin) is one that I could listen to all day. I love the song. I am referring to the music that kicks in at the 53 second mark of the trailer.
It is mind-boggling to think how many levels this film hits a home-run with. From the writing and storytelling, to the directing, cinematography, lighting and sound design. The payoff at the end of the movie is beautiful and makes it all worth it. I love seeing an independent film that knows how to deliver in it's ending. It's something I work really hard at and something I know is one of Jamin's strives to perfect. So often indies don't deliver at the end. Well not just indies, but it is more glaring in smaller budgeted films.
I am sitting here writing about this film and it is even hard for me to believe how much I am gushing over it. I can tell you this, it was certainly not my intention when I was on that train ride to Santa Barbara. I did not expect this at all.
This is a film for filmmakers to see. I firmly believe that I will not be the only filmmaker who will be inspired by this movie. It raises the bar for all of us. It is also a film for film fans across the board to see because more than anything it is a great story told in a riveting and exciting way. From start to finish. Karen who is not typically a fan of these kinds of films absolutely loved Ink. We both sat there stunned. She was equally blown away.
For those of you wondering where and when you can see it, there may be some good news. Jamin and his wife, Kiowa are currently working on distributing the film as soon as possible. Here is the update from their blog, Ink to see distribution soon? I can tell you this, even having already seen it, I cannot wait to get my hands on a DVD copy and be able to watch it again. Jamin, let me know when and where it is available and it is a done deal.
Oh yeah, and if you couldn’t guess, the film itself is far superior to the trailer. It’s not even close.
I find myself back at this computer early in the morning typing up this post. I got a few hours of sleep and then was tossing and turning. I do have a lot to get to today so it is good to get an early start. I can also mention that I came across the full SXSW Film Festival Feature Schedule late last night before going to bed. Don't want you to worry about me. I am fine with my film not getting into this festival. (I sent an unfinished version of my film just before the festival's deadline. Even if it was finished I had a 8 in 737 chance of getting in.) But even knowing that, doesn't mean I am not going to fight back. My mind isn't focused on the things that cannot be done, it is focused on the things that can be done.
I stated in my previous post that I was going to begin sharing some of my ideas of what I was going to do following my SXSW rejection. Just because it will not be seen at that festival isn't going to stop me from getting it seen. When I thought about the reasons why I was targeting this festival, one great reason is the opportunity for press that SXSW films receive. The more people aware of my film, Night Before the Wedding, the more who will see it. Obviously this is a great opportunity lost on my part and maybe on your part.
Or maybe not. You see, as I thought about my lost opportunity of press, I said to myself, "Just because my film didn't get in, doesn't mean I have to lose that press." I will state here that I believe in my film, and I believe that it compares favorably to the films that were accepted into SXSW. So I am going to compile a list of everyone I can that covers the festival. Whether they be Bloggers, Indie Critics, Professional Critics, whoever. I am going to get these same critics that write about and cover the SXSW Film Festival to write about Night Before the Wedding as close to the festival dates as I can.
Maybe you can help me in my quest. If you know of any media that covers the festival, please add their info to this blog. Let's build this together.
I will get it started. Yes, I mean business.
Film School Rejects (http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/)
Neil Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org
Spout Blog (http://blog.spout.com/)
Karina Longworth, email@example.com
The Playlist (http://theplaylist.blogspot.com/)
Slash Film (http://www.slashfilm.com/)
Contact page, http://www.statesman.com/search/content/feedback/printmovies.html?http://www.austin360.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/austinmovies/entries/2009/02/01/the_entire_sxsw_2009_lineup.html
This is going to be fun. I am looking forward to building this list. I am even more excited to share the results of this action sometime in the near future with you.