Lots of fun stuff coming …

So if you haven’t heard, I started working in the film school of California State University, Northridge, and I’m also taking graduate screenwriting classes there, too. This past year, I’ve written a couple scripts for TV that I think are pretty good, and I’ll be posting them to the site in the near future. One of them is already up; it’s a spec for the Showtime series SMILF, called THREE POUNDS OF PASTA & A STEIN OF ICED TEA. I think it’s pretty funny, and pretty faithful to the humor of the show. Interested? Take a read!

SMILF 3 Lbs Pasta and Stein Iced Tea 2 – website

And there’s more where that came from! Stay tuned!

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Looking for an alternate route?

If you’re looking for a way into the film industry, and you don’t live near any of its power centers (LA, NYC, etc.) you might be interested in my new column for Script Magazine, called ALTERNATE ROUTES. Every month, I talk with folks who are making their entertainment dreams come true – from places like Rhode Island, Austin, or northern Connecticut! Give the column a read. Think you might enjoy it.

http://www.scriptmag.com/features/alternate-routes-producing-outside-studio-system

One Month Till The Rumperbutts!

I’m sure you’re asking “what on earth are The Rumperbutts?” Well, it’s a great indie film that shot in the New Haven, Conn. area last year. The stars of the film are the band Mates of State, and Josh Brener (SILICON VALLEY) is in it, too.

AND SO AM I! I’ve got a small role in the film, where I act with the leads in two scenes. I’m very excited about it, because on May 22, it’s going to be in theaters, on VOD and online!! How cool is that? Here’s the poster:

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If you’re interested in checking it out, great news – you can pre-order it on Vimeo On Demand! Here’s the trailer for it (and if you listen, you can hear my voice in there):

The Rumperbutts – Trailer from Mance Media on Vimeo.

For friends of mine in Connecticut, there’s a chance it may be playing in state somewhere next month, too. I’ll let you know if anything’s confirmed.

A little publicity …

It amazes me how many podcasts and sites exist for independent film now. They’re great ways for filmmakers to get their projects out in the world. It’s also a great way to impart some knowledge to the world, about what you’ve done, and how people can make better films, or work more efficiently. I’ve been interviewed for 2 podcasts, a Web series, and wrote a blog post for an indie film site, this past month. Thought you might like to check them out.

First, I was interviewed for the Dave Bullis Podcast, featuring (you guessed it) Dave Bullis. You can listen to that here:

http://www.podbean.com/media/player/e83ah-533e61/initByJs/1/auto/1?skin=2

Then, I was invited to speak on the Film Reverie podcast, with Michael Bekemeyer and Bradley Kingston. This one was cool; we talked for over an hour about crowdfunding, and how filmmakers can work with their local communities to build audiences. (And I talked about my first theatrical experience, acting in my first short play!) You can listen to that here:

http://www.filmreverie.com/podcast/2015/3/6/film-reverie-podcast-take-27

My old student Cory Maffucci, who has his own production company (!) called CineSlinger, invited me to be interviewed for his indie film Web series, THE HOT SET. Cory was my cinematographer on my short film PROTESTERS (which you can see in my Directing section), and we talked about the inspiration for that film, and how we went through the process of making it. Here’s that video:



And finally, I was asked by the wonderful RB Botto at Stage32.com to write a blog for their community. I was able to write something for their community about working in film production outside of Los Angeles. If you’re looking to break into the business, maybe this blog can help! Check it out:

https://www.stage32.com/blog/Laying-the-Groundwork-to-Get-Work

Hope you enjoy them! And if you have an indie film podcast or blog that needs a guest, let me know! 🙂

Out of My Hand, and Into the World!!!

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Last summer, my friend was working on a Kickstarter campaign for a really interesting film called OUT OF MY HAND. They had filmed the first part of it in the African country of Liberia, and they wanted to shoot the rest of it in New York City. I met with the film’s Kickstarter team, and gave them some advice. The campaign succeeded – to the tune of over $40,000. I met with the director and producer after the campaign to see if they needed crew help – and they did. I ended up coming onto the film as an Associate Producer, and we filmed the rest of it this past July.

The shoot wasn’t easy – the summer heat beat down on us all the way through, and some days required we shoot in multiple locations. But the stuff we were getting was REALLY, REALLY GOOD. And the script was dynamite. I figured the hard work would be worth it.

Man, I had no idea. There was an incredible announcement about OUT OF MY HAND today – it’s going to world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival next month! This is one of the most prestigious festivals in the world; it’s incredibly hard to get in. They announced the film’s inclusion on the festival’s Web site.

Here’s what the IMDB page for the movie says about the film:

“Out of My Hand is about a struggling Liberian rubber plantation worker risks everything to discover a new life as a cab driver in New York City. The film is a modern twist on a classic immigrant story, shot in Liberia and in New York, making use of rarely-seen locations in tandem with both non-actors and professional talent, espoused a naturalistic approach to better capture the lives of common plantation workers in Liberia, while simultaneously making use of a distinctively contemporary visual style. Out of My Hand is only the second foreign production narrative feature film ever shot in Liberia and the first to be made in association with Liberia Movie Union, an affiliate of Liberian government.”

I’m so excited to be a part of this movie, and that it’s going to be playing at such a prestigious festival. The filmmakers are so talented, the story is truly universal, and the scope of it is so wonderfully large for a microbudget indie film. Here’s one more photo from the film. I can’t wait for it to play here in the US. 🙂

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The Incredible, Never-Appearing Film Studio

 

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Since 2008, the state of Connecticut has waited with bated breath for Connecticut Studios, a film studio project that promised to bring the lights of Hollywood to the farms of New England. The town it would be based in, South Windsor, Connecticut, was in negotiations with the developers, Pacifica Ventures (they built Albuquerque Studios in New Mexico) for years, before they dropped out of the project. All that time, film professionals, and hopeful film professionals, have been waiting for the opportunity to ply their trade at home, instead of hoofing it to New York City to work.

Now, it looks like there may be life in the project still. The mayor of South Windsor said that the project is now a two-phase development, with a smaller studio being built with a fuel cell in phase one. There’s a new partner in the project who would handle the development and running of the studio, now that Pacifica has dropped out. There was a presentation given at a South Windsor town meeting on January 5; you can download it here. (The pages will look blank, but you’ll be able to download it by clicking the save button in the lower right hand corner.)

I’ve worked with the state, and lobbied the state, since 2005, trying to help a studio project get built there, but sad as this is to say, it’s never really been in the cards for Connecticut. I hope this does happen, for all the film industry people who still live there, but I don’t think it’s going to. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me for seven years …