BREAKTHROUGH WEEKEND Teaser Trailer

DATE NUMBER ONE on Vimeo VOD

Thursday, January 31, 2008

not sure who it is but the song at the american teen site now sounds great

check it out here at the american teen doc's site (hopefully it is just one song they have there & it won't be a whole different one by the time u get there - it's the song with a dude singing "turn up the radio, etc., etc.")

Tre review at LA Weekly

Check out the positive review of Tre at LA Weekly. Here is the opening:

"Unlike most indie dramas about rudderless 20-somethings who exorcise their hang-ups by talking and screwing each other to death, Tre is something rare: a perceptive, nonindulgent chamber piece that wrings a little art from that anxious age."

Read the rest here.

To find out more about Tre, go here.

- Sujewa

Trailer, site, a MySpace page for Eric Byler's new film Tre

Here's the trailer, thanks AsianAmericanFilm.com!:



Here's the official website for Tre.

And the Tre director's MySpace page.

A synopsis of the film, from a press release, via AsianAmericanFilm:

"Tre arrives unannounced at a secluded mountain home where his friends Gabe and Kakela allow him to crash on their couch. But Kakela becomes increasingly annoyed with Tre when he begins a revenge-fueled sexual affair with her best friend, Nina. As Kakela watches Nina's marriage unravel, she begins to question her devotion to Gabe. Unsure of her motives, she accepts a dare devised by Tre -- a simple 10-second experiment that changes her life forever.

Sexual competition and moral ambiguity are the only constants in Eric Byler's searing follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2003 Independent Spirit Award nominated film, "Charlotte Sometimes," the sexy anti-romance celebrated by film critic Roger Ebert as a "breakthrough for Asian American cinema."

“Tre” was co-written by Byler and lead actress Kimberly-Rose Wolter (“Kakela”) also featuring Daniel Cariaga, Alix Koromzay and Erik McDowell. Winner of the Special Jury Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival."

FILM OPENS THIS FRI 2/1 IN LA.

- Sujewa

Director Vimukthy Jayasundara interview re: The Forsaken Land

From June '06, at American Buddhist Net. Here is a segment:

"The film seems to waver between a comment on the human condition in general and on the condition of war. What do you think is the relation between the two?

Any war film, when you call it such - and we have seen thousands of war films coming from Hollywood or other parts of the world - is generally called an "action" film, as you know. But in my experience, war in Sri Lanka or elsewhere, there is not that kind of "action" in the war. So the war in action films is completely fabricated, fictionalized by the filmmakers. None of us experience the real war and the real results of the war in that way. So I thought of putting it a different way, by completely removing the subject called "action" from the film, but of course keeping the action that is there in day-to-day life, normal people, how they behave, how they act in normal life."

Read the rest of the interview here.

::

And here is Manohla Dargis's review of the movie.

Not sure if Land is on DVD yet.

- Sujewa

Be Kind Rewind trailer #2/the homemade version

From Vulture:

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Idea Lab asks "Will online video make the world a better place?"

From this article:

"But can film really unite us? Can it evoke empathy for people we've never met and likely never will? And even if powerful film does inspire empathy, will that lead to real change?

Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee and Hannah Merriman, co-founders of the Global Oneness Project believe that it can. According to their website, the Global Oneness Project "was created to discover and document the diverse ways in which the emerging consciousness of oneness is impacting people's lives. We are traveling worldwide with a small camera crew, asking people from a variety of disciplines whose work is grounded in a perspective of oneness for their stories and insights."

Read the rest here.

- Sujewa

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Black & Sexy links, clip, MySpace page

First, check out GreenCine Daily's A Good Day to Be Black and Sexy post for a few links.

Then, check out this Sundance promo video with a brief interview with the director & two of the actors, plus a clip from the movie:




And finally, Black & Sexy on MySpace.

- Sujewa

Friday, January 25, 2008

Baghead goes to Sony Pictures Classics

The Puffy Chair by the Duplass brothers was funny & enjoyable, & it received good distribution for a low/"no"-budget, no-star DV movie, and now it looks like the Duplass's new movie Baghead will also be seen by a bunch of people; from The Hollywood Reporter:

"Sony Pictures Classics has picked up all North American rights to "Baghead," the sophomore feature from brothers Mark and Jay Duplass."

Read the rest of the story here.

- Sujewa

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Sundance movie that was shot in one room

From a New York mag Stanley Tucci interview re: the Sundance '08 film Blind Date:

"And you really shot it all in one room?

Yes, we shot the film in seven days, all in one room. It was at once a blessing and a curse. After a while you really have to figure out ways to make the room feel interesting without getting tricky or hokey. But it was so exciting. We would shoot fourteen pages a day! It was definitely grueling, but once you’ve written something, you know it so well that you really save a lot of time. You don’t even have to look at the script."

Read the rest of the interview here.

Thanks GreenCine Daily for the link.

Blind Date trailer at YouTube:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cairo clip

From Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo:

knock.knock at Smogdance Fri 1/25 Claremont, CA

Amir Motlagh's short knock.knock is gonna play at Smogdance, the Pomona Valley's 10th annual film festival. More info. here, and here, and here.

The official word from Amir's blog:

"Come and watch. knock. knock. play at the 10th annual Smogdance Film Festival.

When: Friday Jan 25, 2007 @ 7PM
Where: Galileo Hall @ Harvey Mudd College, 260 E Foothill Blvd. Claremont, CA 91711

Link to schedule:

http://smogdance.com/2008.html

Link to knock. knock. page:

http://smogdance.com/2008/motlagh.html"


- Sujewa

Night of Henna


Yes, another "my immigrant parents don't want me to marry so and so..." story, but then again, just because a story seems familiar does not mean the movie is going to suck. Have not seen Henna, but here's some info. on it for any who are interested:

"Night of Henna (The Wedding Night) is a feature film written and directed by Hassan Zee, shot primarily in the San Francisco Bay area.

In the film, Hava (Pooja Kumar), a beautiful Pakistani-American girl, returns fully grown to America after a traditional upbringing in Pakistan where her parents felt she would be untainted by American culture. Finding herself in an exciting new environment, Hava's eyes open to life's possibilities. She thinks her dream of going to the University will come true, but her marriage has already been arranged by her parents. As a result, Hava finds herself engaged in not just a clash of cultures, but a battle for her very survival as an individual."

Find out more about the film here.

- Sujewa

El Vez for Prez



If Obama & Clinton do not work out, perhaps El Vez, The Mexican Elvis might. This video is from '04 & '01, but I bet he might still be interested.

- Sujewa

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Real camera behind Cloverfield

This article at Gizmodo says much of Cloverfield was not shot on a cheap, tiny consumer camera as they show in the movie, but the very expensive & top of the line pro camera Sony CineAlta F23.

- Sujewa

Good low budget recreation of Private Ryan beach landing scene

Check it out at Hollywood Is Talking. 3 people are made to look like thousands of soldiers landing at a beach, under fire.

- Sujewa

Interview with Matt Reeves, director of Cloverfield

At LAist.

- Sujewa

Woody Allen interview

Nice conversation with Woody Allen at IFC's site.

- Sujewa

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Dogme 95 + monster from hell + 1/8 of an indie DV rom com situation + a tragic story + AWESOME MOVIEMAKING = Cloverfield



Saw it tonight.

Loved it (as much as you can love a movie that reminds you of Godzilla).

Camera work & editing awesome.

If you were personally & deeply affected by the 9/11 attacks, you might not enjoy this movie. If a friend or someone you love died in those attacks, you probably will not enjoy this movie. Cloverfield is a monster movie, but it is also about something like a surprise attack from terrorists hell-bent on carnage & destruction.

If Cloverfield is on one level a 9/11 story, is it in favor of the War on Terror? I think so. Yeah, it's a pro-war movie, specifically the War on Terror.

See it in the theater, with a big audience if possible, for the full monster movie effect.

And don't believe anything that you hear about the ending until you see it for yourself.

If you are sensitive to motion sickness, you probably need to skip this movie. It's shakier than Blair Witch.

Clips from the movie could also work as a good ad for the army or the national guard; "when other people run away from the monster, we run towards it to blow it up" type of thing.

Must see it again.

Best monster movie ever.

Also it makes me want to go visit Manhattan to make sure a monster actually did not destroy the place; it...felt...real (most of the time at least).

- Sujewa

Friday, January 18, 2008

Perhaps an intro to indiewood; Epstein's '05 article "The Indie Game"

Not sure how true or how current the info. is, but this 2005 article about the indie film business by Edward Jay Epstein is an interesting, & perhaps useful, read for filmmakers who might want to make an indiewood movie - an independent movie that, among other things, features some recognizable Hollywood actors. From the article:

"The genius of the indie film business lies in its use of Hollywood stars. The same actors and actresses who quote Hollywood studios $20 million per movie will work on indie films for a small fraction of that fee. Often they accept “scale,” as the Screen Actors Guild’s minimum wage of $788 a day is called, or “near scale” of about $10,000 a week plus overtime."

Read the rest here.

- Sujewa

Elections to be held at a recently liberated province of Sri Lanka

Hopefully soon the whole island will be free from the LTTE menace. But for now, some good news; from a Bloomberg article:

"Sri Lanka began the process of holding elections in the Eastern Province, the region captured by the army from the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam last July after 14 years of fighting."

And:

"President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government is seeking $1.8 billion in aid to meet its pledge to rebuild the Eastern Province and encourage investment and tourism in a region that has a 462-kilometer (287-mile) coastline of white sands. The LTTE's defeat left the group with bases only in the north to continue its fight for a separate homeland in Sri Lanka.

``We can bring democracy and peace to the region,'' Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said at a briefing in Colombo earlier this week."

Read the rest here.

- Sujewa

Thursday, January 17, 2008

NYC's new online volunteer match system helps fight hunger

First, here's the site; New York City Coalition Against Hunger

A brief description of the organization, from the NYCCAH site:

"The New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH) represents the more than 1,200 nonprofit soup kitchens and food pantries in New York City and the more than one million low-income New Yorkers who are forced to use them. The Coalition works to meet the immediate food needs of low-income New Yorkers and enact innovative solutions to help them move "beyond the soup kitchen" to self-sufficiency."

And about the match system, from this page:

"New Yorkers are now able to search by neighborhood, nearby subways lines, available times, and personal skills sets, etc. to find the anti-hunger volunteer opportunities that fit best with their schedules and abilities. New Yorkers with special skills such as expertise in computers, accounting, public relations, web development, law, strategic planning, or graphic design can also use the system to “adopt” pantries and kitchens that specifically need that type of unique assistance. People who are interested in finding volunteer opportunities but would prefer to do so over the phone can contact Neal Flowerman, the Coalition’s Coordinator of Volunteer Programs, at 212-825-0028, ext. 210."

Read more about the system here.

NYCCAH also has a blog.

I wonder if DC has a system like this. If not maybe they'll set one up, now that NYC's got one. Could be very useful to people.

- Sujewa

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"everyone that’s getting eaten are like characters you see in those annoying movies that are always on IFC..."

That's from an article about a very funny review of Cloverfield. Check it out here.

:) :) :) :)

On a jealous cinematographer & Wolf from Living In Oblivion

One of my favorite characters from Tom DiCillo's indie filmmaking comedy Living In Oblivion is the eye-patch & leather wearing cinematographer Wolf. Apparently that character was inspired by a real cinematographer; first a little back story from Johnny Suede (DiCillo's first feature) days:

"I still quake in fear in memory of it. On top of stolen wardrobe and collapsing buildings I was dealing with a very talented Director of Photography who later confided to me he was so jealous I was directing my first feature he couldn't’t stop himself from intentionally sabotaging the shoot."

Read more at the Jan 14, 11:18 PM comment by Tom at this post.

And now, on to Wolf:

"I based the wardrobe of Wolf (the cameraman in Living In Oblivion) on this guy’s clothes. He had everything; the leather beret, the black, half-fingered gloves, the sleeveless leather vest, the motorcycle boots. He thought the camera was a weapon. He didn’t know he looked (and acted) like a cross between Road Warrior and a gay motorcycle cop."

More at DiCillo's blog.

Check out Oblivion if you haven't seen it yet. It's very funny.

Speaking of Oblivion, DiCillo says at comments here that the Chad Palomino character is NOT based on Brad Pitt.

- Sujewa

Variety: "IFC adds VOD label"

A new distribution outlet for festival films.

Check out the Variety article here.

Thanks Matt Dentler's blog for the link.

- Sujewa

Sayles & Rinzi on hand-picking a marketing/distribution team for Honeydripper

Interview is at Film Publicity Help.

From the interview:

"John Sayles: My feeling is that the distributors who exist now who have any size to them look at a film as how much work would this be to get a bunch of people to see it. They’re only going to put out X number of movies a year and is this one that’s going to be a lot of work? Will we have to hire more people to think up new ideas, or can we just put this out the way we always put things out and look at the opening weekend and then react to whether the opening weekend is good or bad, which is pretty much what Sumner Redstone and the guys that run the huge studios do. They just look at the numbers. When we first started, it was a much more labor-intensive process. I don’t really think it’s a problem of the big studios getting into it, I think everybody is looking for that home run that just falls in their lap."

Read the rest here.

- Sujewa

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A tale of 90's indie film glory: Tom DiCillo remembers making Johnny Suede

Wow, this one's got it all folks; discovering Brad Pitt, & Catherine Keener, first time feature filmmaking trouble, an un-gentrified Williamsburg, Harvey Weinstein & a lot more, read it here at DiCillo's blog.

Here is a segment:

"I took another look at the photo Marcia had handed me and said, “What the fuck, bring him in.” The actor’s name was Brad Pitt. Call me an idiot if you want but I was certain of 2 things the moment he walked in: 1. He was Johnny. 2. He was going to be a star.

He did his audition without me saying a word to him. And without me saying a word to him he understood that beneath the posturing exterior Johnny was really a lost soul–someone who literally had no idea who he was. This lead Brad to a brave acting choice; to bring a hesitant vulnerability to the character–something no one else had been able to do; even with my prompting."

Read the rest here.

Johnny Suede was one of the first indie films I saw, upon discovering the existence of indie films around '89/'90. It was, for a long time, one of my favorite movies (i had forgotten about it for a while, but recently remembered it again after visiting DiCillo's blog). Need to get the new DVD, DiCillo says it is the original version of the film - the director's cut, before Miramax added a voice-over to the film, a version that I have not seen.

Again, a lot more here.

- Sujewa

Saturday, January 12, 2008

ABC says Denmark is the happiest place on Earth

That is of course by mainstream US standards. But sounds pretty convincing to me, check out more here.

Here is a segment from the article:

"Could the Danes really be the happiest people in the world? When ABC News anchor Bill Weir traveled there to find out, he asked random Danes to rate themselves in terms of happiness, on a scale of one to 10. Many people rated themselves at least an eight, and there were several nines and 10s. Finally, one grouchy Dane came along who said she didn't believe Danes were so happy. But then she quickly conceded that she herself felt rather content with her life, and said Danes in general had very little to complain about. Danes do have one potential complaint: high taxes. The happiest people in the world pay some of the highest taxes in the world -- between 50 percent and 70 percent of their incomes. In exchange, the government covers all health care and education, and spends more on children and the elderly than any country in the world per capita. With just 5.5 million people, the system is efficient, and people feel "tryghed" -- the Danish word for "tucked in" -- like a snug child."

Read the rest of the article here.

- Sujewa

Interview with Driftwood director Pete Middleton

A couple of days ago I heard that the UK based filmmaker Pete Middleton made a feature called Driftwood for $200. I checked out the trailer for the film, it looked good. So I contacted Pete and asked him a few questions about his super-ultra low budget movie & related matters. First, here's the Driftwood trailer:




And now, The Interview:

Sujewa: Hi Pete, thanks for taking the time out for this interview. First, why did you decide to make Driftwood for such a low budget?

Pete: Hi Sujewa. I don't think it was a matter of deciding to do this project for a low budget, I didn't have any other option! It would have been a lot easier for me if we had had a few thousand to throw at it and I guess I wouldn't have overslept so many times risking my proper job! We had no other alternative but to do it for this amount.

Sujewa: It is awesome that now filmmakers can make movies for such low budgets, whereas ten years ago a low budget for a good/well made indie feature was around $20,000 at least. I think the increased accessibility to filmmaking is a good thing, but some people in the indie film industry here in the US complain (specially on the distribution side) about there being too many movies, too many movies clogging up the distribution networks, etc. What do you think about that? Is it a good thing that now pretty much anyone who is committed to making a feature can afford to get it made sooner or later?

Pete: I say if you have the resources to achieve a film, go for it. I can't really see an argument with too many movies clogging up distribution networks. Getting a feature film made is one thing, but getting it distributed is an entirely different matter. I suppose it's like putting money on the lottery. The chances of my film getting taken on board by a distribution company is slim and we may not get past this stage. All we can do is post it out to as many places as possible and keep our fingers crossed. Still, it's nice to pass comment that you've made a film. That's good enough for me!

Sujewa: How did you become a filmmaker? What other film or creative projects, if any, have you done or worked on prior to Driftwood?

Pete: I've always been interested in film from the earliest age. I have a photograph of myself, aged 3 operating a 16mm projector and as far back as I can remember films have been a passion to me. My Dad has a small private 25 seater cinema in his garden that's equipped to show all formats including 35mm and Blu-ray - I'm usually down there. I then began thinking one day how easy it would be to actually make a film. After making one or two music videos for songs that I had written myself, I produced my first feature film in 2002 called 'The Guests Of June' - This was bad but I gained a little experience from it. I corrected where I was going wrong and gave this 'Driftwood' a go.

Sujewa: A lot of innovative and independent film friendly/inspiring filmmakers & movements have come from Europe (French New Wave, Dogme 95, Michael Winterbottom's career, "28 Days Later", etc.). Do you think that Hollywood, the super gigantic film production & distribution entity of the western world, not being there pushes European filmmakers to become more innovative & experimental in getting their work made?

Pete: I personally worship American film-makers myself. Whenever I see a big film, I often say to myself - what's the point in trying to finish this rubbish? Everything I know about making film is self taught but fortunately I've had a lot of experience in watching thousands of commercial films and by seeing our other film-makers handle their work, you can pick up one or two handy tips.

Sujewa: What are some films & filmmakers that you like? What kind of projects do you want to make in the future?

Pete: I have so many favorite films, far too many to mention - but I did list some of them on my YouTube profile. I guess I would like to concentrate on a various range of projects in the future. I've always wanted to make a thriller and I've already got a screenplay here for a love story that I was looking at also. Who knows?

Sujewa: Can you talk a little about any production challenges that you encountered when making Driftwood? How were you able to solve them given the extreme limitations that may have been imposed on you by your virtually non-existent budget?

Pete: Where do I start? I think the most severe problem that I encountered and were taught a very important lesson was to get everybody on board to sign a contract. I know it's awkward asking somebody to sign when already they have offered to work for free but things happen and attitudes change. Some guy we met offered to do the majority of our props for free and after the film had been completed he began demanding money from us. I was forced to re-film 75% of the film again using our own props. This caused the production to drag on for 3 years in total.

Sujewa: How about distribution? Are you taking Driftwood to festivals? Are you selling DVDs with the help of the web or retail stores? How about VOD (internet video-on-demand) type distribution? Cable or other television?

Pete: At the moment I'm just posting various ads on the internet and trying to get the film noticed. I do intend on sending the DVD to various film festivals but haven't really planned for that yet.

Thanks Pete! Congratulations on getting Driftwood made!

- Sujewa

Friday, January 11, 2008

CreateSpace, Amazon Unbox

Have not visited the Amazon Unbox page in a while, looks like they are kinda busy over there.

One of their services, CreateSpace, might be a good option for indie filmmakers for selling downloads of their movies & selling or renting their DVDs out to interested customers. Check it out.

- Sujewa

Still the best (favorite) film of the 2000's (so far)

I think I saw this movie for the first time in '01 or '02:

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Liberty Kid trailer :: Film now playing at Pioneer Theater, NYC

Read about the film Liberty Kid (official website) at GreenCine Daily; lots of links to follow there.

Film is playing at everyone's favorite indie film theater in NYC, Pioneer.

A few quotes:

CRITIC'S PICK:
"There's not a single wrong note in “"Liberty Kid,"...

Tender, wise and deceptively low-key... Quietly accumulates emotional power...
Not until the graceful, perfectly judged conclusion do we realize how much we care."

NEW YORK TIMES

CRITIC'S PICK
"Chaiken's subtle narrative touch, along with the exceptionally strong performances of
leads Al Thompson and Kareem Savinon, gives this one a rare emotional pull."

NEW YORK MAGAZINE

"the least explicit yet most affecting film yet to depict New York
in the weeks and months after the towers fell."

NEW YORK SUN

"An uncommonly acute, deftly played drama of the New York working class"
Nathan Lee, VILLAGE VOICE

"Epic and resonant… to her eternal credit, Chaiken keeps her movie grounded in her characters, allowing Thompson and Savinon's true-to-life performances to carry us through…"
Bilge Ebiri, NERVE

"a powerful drama... Chaiken works with a delicate touch... potent, thoroughly believable... deeply poignant"
Stephen Farber, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER


And here's a trailer to the film:

Great speech by presidential candidate Barack Obama

From last night (1/8/08), in New Hampshire, very inspirational stuff:

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Monkey Warfare trailer, Hot Chicks On Bikes Montage

Two videos I stumbled on to while myspacin':

Monkey Warfare Trailer

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Hot Chicks On Bikes Montage

Add to My Profile | More Videos

And here's the Monkey Warfare website.

- Sujewa

Message from Pete Middleton, director of "$200 feature" Driftwood

An e-mail I received through a local filmmaking group, re: ultra-low budget (very, very ultra low i hear) feature Driftwood:

"I've just finished authoring to DVD, a full-length feature film that I
made for a 100 pounds! (approx. 200 dollars!)

Of-course this message is going out to all the film-makers who already
have their BASIC equipment ready, including a standard DV camera, a PC
and to those who aren't bothered about re-using a few of their DV
tapes! If you would like any free help, advice or have any further
questions in regards to how I achieved Driftwood, including any
pre-production or post production problems, please feel free to email
me at:

internationalpictures@fsmail.net

What's the catch? If you find any of my advice useful or if you
simply enjoy the clips of my low budget film below, please subscribe
to my movies whilst you are visiting my youtube channel! (Due to the
vast amount of emails I am currently receiving, please allow 2 to 3
days for me to reply!)

See an extract:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDVDy0JBayU

See the trailer:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=wRQhcpDab8w

My full channel can be found at the link below and features making of
documentaries, etc.
http://www.youtube.com/PMiddy001

Cheers,
Pete Middleton - Director"

Check out the Driftwood links (or look at my previous post for the YouTube trailer for the flick), very interesting - looking forward to finding out more about how the film was made for $200.

- Sujewa

Trailer for $200 feature Driftwood looks good

Check it out, from YouTube:



- Sujewa

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Roger Ebert, Tom DiCillo, & a "Kafkaesque nightmare"

It is a simple conversation but one conducted & shared through e-mail & 'net articles & blogs; so a Web Age conversation. It is about a 90's product - the independent movie with a budget & a couple of known actors, created by a previously well received director, & shot on film - adapting to the theatrical exhibition & other distribution realities of the mid to late 2000's. A conversation between Tom DiCillo, one of the original (or we can say First Wave - from the early Jim Jarmusch & Spike Lee days) indie film directors (his Living In Oblivion is still the best comedy about that kind of indie filmmaking), and famous film critic Roger Ebert. At Tom DiCillo's blog, here's a segment:

"A few months ago I was still staggering around reeling from the “theatrical release” of Delirious and I realized I was getting no answers to any of my questions from no one–not even Dr. Owen. More as an attempt to simply get the questions out of my own brain I sent an email to Roger Ebert with the questions attached. I sent the email blind. I have never met Mr. Ebert. I did appreciate his take on Delirious in his review of the film though and told him if he answered the questions perhaps I’d post them here.

To my amazement Ebert not only answered the questions, he wrote another article on Delirious. I’ve posted the entire article below because I found the answers clear, eloquent and extremely helpful."

Read the rest of the post here.

I like the answer Ebert gives to DiCillo's question #5, re: the existence of indie film. Mostly because it includes a position similar to the one I took a few months back re: indie film festivals sharing their box office take with filmmakers. Check it out here at Ebert's site. Here is a little bit from that exchange:

"5. Does independent film exist anymore?

Yes, barely. The irony is that indies are embraced at film festivals, which have almost become an alternative distribution channel. "Delirious," for example, was invited by San Sebastian, Sundance, San Francisco, Seattle, Avignon, Munich and Karlovy Vary. All major festivals. But you didn't make "Delirious" to sell tickets for festivals. I frankly think it's time for festivals to give their entries a cut of the box office."

Read the rest of the answer at Ebert's site.

- Sujewa

The sound of Old Men

New York Times article about the sound design of No Country for Old Men.

A paragraph:

“The essence of sound design is you can’t record the sound,” Mr. Lievsay said. “You have to take a lot of sounds and put them together. You can’t just go somewhere with a shotgun and a silencer. It wouldn’t be the sound that Joel and Ethan wanted anyway.”

Read the rest here.

I enjoyed the minimal use of music in No Country. Also the attention paid to certain sounds over others in a given scene. I think the sound design contributed a lot to the success of the movie; the lack of a score in most scenes made the movie very unpredictable.

- Sujewa

2 indie distribution related items: Getting Paid, Complete DVD book

Two items that may be worth exploring for indie filmmakers:

1. Scott Kirsner's article "Getting Paid: Sites that Help Filmmakers and Video Producers Make Money"

2. The Complete DVD Book: Designing, Producing and Marketing Your Independent Film on DVD

- Sujewa

And the award for bold new indie initiative goes to AJ Schnack & friends

Doc filmmaker & blogger AJ Schnack is getting the new year started right by filling a void; the creation of a new nonfiction filmmaking award & event in NYC. Read all about it here.

- Sujewa

Monday, January 07, 2008

Trent Reznor's 'net music experiment

Read about it here at ars technica.

Here is the opening paragraph from the article:

"Radiohead isn't talking numbers, but Trent Reznor is. After producing Saul Williams' The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust and offering it to fans online, Reznor yesterday laid out the numbers from his experiment. Saying that it's easy for artists to know "what NOT to do these days, but less obvious to know what's right," Reznor found that 18.3 percent of users who grabbed the album paid $5 for it; the rest paid nothing. Is this what success looks like?"

Read the rest here.

Also check out:

NIN.com

niggytardust.com

Saul Williams MySpace

- Sujewa

From Here To Awesome discovery & distribution fest

Here's some info. on this new fest & key dates (from this page):

"Have you made a film you think the world should see? FROM HERE TO AWESOME is a discovery and distribution festival that might be the perfect system to get your film blasted to audiences in theaters, living rooms, online and via mobile phones. All filmmakers are welcome to be a part of the festival. There are NO submission fees, filmmakers retain their rights while receiving revenue directly from the distribution outlets. A wide range of major promotional partners and distribution platforms are on board. All we need now is your film. Please submit ASAP to give the festival’s audience time to vote your film into the top 10, so it can be a part of the April Showcase. FHTA was founded by DIY filmmaking pioneers Lance Weiler (The Last Broadcast, Head Trauma), Arin Crumley (Four Eyed Monsters) and M dot Strange (We Are The Strange).

KEY DATES

JAN 10th - START ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS

MARCH 7th - SUBMISSION DEADLINE

MARCH 10th - VOTING STARTS

APRIL 7th - FESTIVAL LAUNCHES"

Read more here.

- Sujewa

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Friday, January 04, 2008

Burmese monks living in Sri Lanka launch protest march against the Burmese junta

Read about it here.

Here's a segment of the article:

"The organizers said that the march will continue until Tuesday when they intend to reach the UN office, Colombo. A petition to be handed over to the UN office requesting international action against the military junta by the monks, the sources added. "

Read the rest here.

- Sujewa

IFFBoston extended deadline January 31

Go here to find out more about the Independent Film Festival Boston, 2008. Fest happens April 23 - 28.

Also of possible interest, their Alumni DVDs page.

- Sujewa

Senator Barack Obama's plans for 2008 - YouTube video



Obama campagin site

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Jerky filmmakers feeling threatened by my work; also by Motlagh & McNelly's work

Micheal Sarti & Jason Sheinkopf, the Maryland based (as far as i know) makers of A Stupid Movie for Jerks, had the following to say recently about my 2/13 screening announcement (this was preceded by a long, obsessive rant about my blog):

"footage of a diner, or a girl's rock collection, where nothing happens -- that's not a movie. nor is it art. it's just lowering the bar so you and lucas mcnelly and amir can step over it.

stop giving REAL indie filmmakers who put in the REAL work a bad name."

So I guess they believe that they are the "REAL" indie filmmakers, except no one pays attention to them or their movie because they are too real. Poor babies. Or it could be that Sarti & Sheinkopf are incredibly annoying & whiny, and because of that no one wants to have much to do with them. They leave hate-lite comments on my blogs a few times a month. A habit that started when I decided to not write about their masterpiece's premiere a few months back. Their movie might be good, who knows, but I didn't want to have any more contact with a couple of highly annoying first time filmmakers who felt their work was better than that of, according to them, "over-hyped" filmmakers such as "Jarmusch, Spike Lee, & David Lynch" (they told me this at a coffee meeting I was unwise enough to have with them, when I was thinking about checking out & writing about their movie - that was before I discovered their generally toxic personalities). I guess me, Amir & McNelly are in good company when it comes to the list of filmmakers that the "Jerks" do not like.

Sarti & Sheinkopf's obsession with my blog (one or both of them seem to read & re-read this blog quite often), I guess, is flattering in a way - because I think they see my filmmaking work & blogging as some kind of a threat to their indie filmmaking careers. Didn't know I was so powerful :) But ultimately, the duo comes off as incredibly pathetic. Theirs is NOT the way to get publicity. Yes, they are getting some publicity just by me writing about them here right now, but this is not the kind of publicity novice & generally unknown indie filmmakers want, since this is very much a positive relationship based scene/industry. And if they continue with their annoying comments, I might share the most entertaining of them, with commentary, with the readers of this blog in the near future (I've got over 6 months worth of their annoying comments saved up). Perhaps Hate Mail can be a monthly feature at this blog.

Also, they threaten to come down & disrupt my 2/13 screening. Looking forward to kicking the jerks out if they show up.

- Sujewa

Sri Lanka withdraws from the cease fire agreement with the LTTE

Latest on the old (over 20 years now) & ugly war in Sri Lanka. From Time:

"The government declared in July that it has routed the rebels from the east. In recent months, the military has focused on crushing the rebels in their de facto state in the north, with near-daily battles raging along the front lines deep in the jungle."

Read the rest here.

- Sujewa

The Great Debaters & Honeydripper review at Cinema Echo Chamber

Check it out here. Looking forward to watching both of those movies.

- Sujewa

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

'08 movie watching note 1 - The Heartbreak Kid

How many movies do I watch in a year? In an effort to figure that out, this year I am going to try to make a quick note whenever I watch a movie that I have not seen before. Just the title, that's it (maybe a little bit more about the movie too if i feel like it). Saw The Heartbreak Kid tonight, the recent Ben Stiller version, directed by the Farrelly bros. Liked it. Some funny stuff. Great cinematography. There, my first movie of '08.

Do TV shows, web stuff, cable shows count for this? Hmmm. Maybe I'll just stick to making a note of just the movies for this year, but they can be from any outlet (DVD, TV, cable, theaters, etc.).

::

1/8/08 Update:

- Saw The Hoax (w/ Richard Gere) a couple of days ago, pretty good
- TV & old/previously seen films watching note: Sopranos Season 2; several episodes, about 10 mins. of Flesh Gordon (yeah, i don't think i'll watch the rest of it :), about 30 mins of 28 Days Later (good movie, & shot on DV - excellent)

::

- Sujewa

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

SCREENING * In April or May '08 * New (& old but updated) Films By Sujewa Ekanayake

[3/10/08 update: will have exact screening date (& possible new venue) this month.]

* Date Number One (2008)
90 mins, an updated (shorter & better/yummier) version of 2006's "witty" (GreenCine Daily), "funny" (The Chutry Experiment), "sexy" (Hollywood Is Talking) comedy about several first dates

* Rock Collection
15 mins, 2007
kensington, md resident amanda haynes shows us her rock collection

* Magnus & The Air Quotes Woman
3 mins, 2006 - 2007
a man threatens to break up with his girlfriend if she does not change an annoying habit


Venue To Be Determined

Operation Brown Sugar

Just heard (from Cinema Echo Chamber) about a movie called "I Am Through with White Girls", sounds funny. Here's a description from IMDB:

"Jay Brooks is that black guy who digs indie rock, graphic novels, and dates white chicks. After a slew of bad break-ups, Jay gives up white women, "cold turkey," and he goes on a mission: "Operation Brown Sugar". But because Jay doesn't fit the "brotha" stereotype, he fails miserably with the "sistahs." Then he meets the dynamic Catherine, a misunderstood "Half-rican Canadian", who's as righteously quirky as he is. To win her heart, Jay must confront his fears as he realizes commitment is a bigger issue than race. I'M THROUGH WITH WHITE GIRLS, written by Courtney Lilly (Arrested Development, Everybody Hates Chris, My Boys), is a quirky romantic-comedy addressing race, class, and cultural identity in America."

More about the film at the IMDB page.

I'll have to look for an official website or clips later. If anyone has those links, please post 'em in comments.

- Sujewa

Real Indie & Fun = Honeydripper, Smiley Face :: trailers

With John Sayles's new film Honeydripper & Greg Araki's new film Smiley Face, 2008 is already a better year for real indie film than 2007. Yes, both films have recognizable actors & their budgets are bigger than those of no-budget DV real indie films, but for indie authorship history, & distribution - in Honeydripper's case, & embracing of unusual/diverse topics - again in Honeydripper's case, these two movies are far more real independents than a whole lot of so called indies from Hollywood. Check these movies out if they play at a theater near you or on DVD, they look fun; let two veteran indie filmmakers entertain you.

For Honeydripper theatrical screening dates, go here.

Honeydripper trailer:




::

Smiley Face screens at the IFC Center in NYC starting Jan 2, go here for info.


Smiley Face trailer:



- Sujewa

Update on all projects

Here is the update on all my present & past film projects:

1. untitled '08 feature #1, status: script/being written

2. Date Number One (2008), status: in post, most likely will be available on DVD in January '08 (this month!)

3. Magnus & The Air Quotes Woman (2007), status: released, available on the web at Funny or DIE, MySpaceTV, & YouTube, will be an extra item in the upcoming Date Number One DVD

4. Rock Collection (2007), status: in post, most likely will be available on the web in January '08/later this month, & as a DVD extra at some point in '08

5. Dimensional Portal (2007), status: in post, will be available either on line or as an extra item on a DVD in 2008

6. Date Number One (2006), status: this version of DNO was significantly altered to produce DNO '08; the '06 version will most likely find its way to being a DVD extra item at some point in '08

7. Capital Heartbreak & Sweetness: 17 DC Poets (2002), status: completed, & pretty much shelved at the moment; most likely this performance video will be released in parts on the web in '08 and or it will become a DVD extra in the near future (w/ in the next couple of years)

8. Wild Diner (1999), status: shelved, may be offered as a DVD extra at some point in the near future (w/ in next couple of years)

9. Fresh Coffee (1992), status: shelved, may be offered as a DVD extra at some point in the near future (w/ in next couple of years)

- Sujewa

"Plan 9 from Syracuse" review at Film Threat; "year's best documentary" says Phil Hall

Here's para 1 of the review:

" “Plan 9 from Syracuse” is the year’s best documentary, bar none. This astonishing film details the extraordinary lengths that a single dream-driven individual dared to travel in pursuit of what many people might consider to be a cockamamie dream. Not unlike the Ed Wood anti-classic that inspired its title, the film is fueled by a logic and energy that is distinctive unto itself. But unlike Ed Wood’s endeavor, this “Plan 9" is a thoroughly compelling work of art."

Read the rest here.

MySpace page for "Plan 9 from Syracuse".

- Sujewa

How To End Poverty

From a Time magazine cover story:

"We can banish extreme poverty in our generation--yet 8 million people die each year because they are too poor to survive. The tragedy is that with a little help, they could even thrive. In a bold new book, Jeffrey D. Sachs shows how we can make it happen"

Read the rest here.

- Sujewa

Seattle True Independent Film Festival, June 6 - 15, 2008 :: Regular Deadline 1/15/08

From Withoutabox:

"Taking its inspiration from other underground festivals, STIFF aims to be Seattle's Slamdance. Festival organizers strive to put on a first-rate, smoothly-run event and to provide opportunities to help STIFF filmmakers to attain their goals, get distribution, press, or a wider audience for their films. The Festival is rapidly emerging on the indie scene, and brings together a diverse offering of original new voices in independent film from the Northwest, and around the world.

The STIFF schedule is made up of packed screenings, parties, a music and comedy festival, and press and promotion opportunities for participating filmmakers. The Festival is held at multiple venues throughout Seattle, including theaters such as the Jewel Box Theater and Central Cinema, both of which serve beer and meals during screenings.

STIFF 2008 filmmakers compete to win career boosting opportunities; for instance, the Grand Jury Prize winner gets to take a meeting with an acquisitions executive for Hollywood Video's 3500 rental stores. All Official Selections also receive a one-of-a-kind STIFFy award, uniquely suited to each film.

UPCOMING DEADLINE
January 15, 2008 - Regular Deadline
Upgraded projects save $5 off this deadline

MISSION AND OBJECTIVE
The Seattle True Independent Film Festival is committed to showcasing and furthering the work of the best independent voices in filmmaking.

MORE ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
Founded for filmmakers, by a group of filmmakers, STIFF aims to inject as much fairness into the film selection process as possible. All submissions are viewed in their entirety at least three times during the judging process, and are treated with the utmost respect.

Tray White, director of IMPALER and STIFF alum attests: "No joke, STIFF is everything you could hope for in a festival. The staff was amazing, laid back but very professional. Technically everything ran smoothly and they did a great job of getting my documentary local press exposure. I was able to meet a gaggle of fellow filmmakers, but the best thing about the experience was my screening. They packed the house with an electric audience, by far the best experience I've had watching my movie with a bunch of strangers."

Uniquely described by film critic Andrew Wright as "like a belch in church," STIFF is a "true" haven for independent filmmakers. Get your chance to be part of the STIFF experience; submit to Seattle True Independent Film Festival today!"

STIFF site.

Withoutabox.

& HAPPY NEW YEAR to ALL!

- Sujewa

Indie Film Blogger Road Trip

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