Saturday, June 17, 2006

Screening of "This Was America" (school project) a resounding success!

The school project that I've been working on so diligently these past several weeks is "in the can" and was screened before the student body and staff of Fairgrounds Middle School in Nashua yesterday.

I was amazed at the reaction of the students. They were applauding almost every segment, and couldn't get over the look. The staff was amazed as well. It turned out that the librarian worked at the NH public TV affiliate a short time ago and has a great network of contacts there. She wants to see if they'll air it. This will of course mean requesting broader licenses for the music (not to mention clearances from the parents of the kids that are in it) - Florentine films and Jay Ungar (writer for "Ashokan Farewell" granted limited use rights only. However, I think that if both Florentine and Jay know that there's an airing they may be willing to work something out - but I'll worry about that when the request comes in.

I also have at least two indie producers that were sufficiently impressed by the quality to offer to pitch the concept to some network contacts that they have.

The project came in at about 35 minutes. So.. Another one for the reel - and it was well worth it I must say.

Final stats were that it was produced for about $1,000 and took roughly 300 hours of my time to complete.

However, this "little film" came at a cost. A seemingly unending string of late nights to complete the project on time have had an impact on my health. Last night I fell into my bed at 6:00 and slept like a log all night - never moved once - and managed to sleep until 9:00 this morning. While the extra sleep was great, I'm still not 100%. I was pretty weak all day and seemed to have a hard time doing even trivial work out in the yard - nearly fainted once. I think it's fatigue.

Work has resumed on Heist. I worked on it for over an hour today just re-reading the script and getting back up to speed with where I'd left off. So I'm starting to get back in the groove with that.

I was informed last night that the Discovery Channel has (finally) seen the trailer for my "Big Idea Hunt" reality show concept, but there's no word from the prod co that I'm working with regarding a reaction. Hope to hear something soon though.

As for Star Coaches, there's a really surprising amount of momentum building behind it at Original. Still waiting to hear more, but it's looking positive thus far.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The school project that I've been working on is finally complete!

The plan is to show it to the student body and faculty this week. I've yet to do the credits and there's on voice over that we need to get, but the vast majority of the work is completed. I have to say it looks really much better than I'd hoped. There are a few gaps in continuity, but itworks. When I consider how quickly the thing came together, there's really nothing to complain about. I'm quite proud of the fact that it came in at about 35 minutes, and that I was able to shoot direct and edit the entire thing myself. What a great learning project this has been.

Todd Poudrier, the actor who played Matt in "Alibi Phone Network" came over the other night to do some readings of Heist. It was a lot of fun to hear the dialog come to life. It was great for a number of reasons. Perhaps the biggest of which is that it helped uncover problems with some of the dialog. I took notes and made corrections as we read. It felt great to finally get working on that again. My hope is that we can shoot a few test scenes soon and use the footage for a trailer to help generate interest. Now that the school project is done, I can start focusing on that project again.

For the first time since I've been hearing from people in LA that they like my stuff, I actually feel as though things are really starting to happen for my projects. I've basically arrived at the conclusion that things will never move as quickly as you want them to in this business. It's now been about 6 weeks since I heard from Vin Di Bona that they loved Big Idea Hunt and wanted to shop it. I heard Friday that they're finally ready to talk to networks and things should move quickly from here on out.

At long last, I finally was able to get Original Productions ( to look at my "Star Coaches" trailer. They said that they loved it and asked for a DVD which I sent them last week. It was encouraging to get an email back saying that they did get the DVD and will be letting me know what the next steps are. Most companies never do even that, they typically just ask you to send it and you never hear from them again. I'm hoping this is an indication that they *really* do think there is something to the concept. But again, one big thing that I've learned is that having someone say "they love it" while encouraging doesn't really mean it will translate to a deal. If anything, it at least allows you to start a relationship with the prod co, and shows them what you're capable of.