A Few Thoughts on Film in General

The next important date for ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? is tomorrow, April 19.  It is the notification date for the New York Shorts Festival.  I’m really hoping to get into that one.  It’s run by the same group that handles LA Shorts, so I think it would be a boost to getting into that one too, which is an Academy qualifier.  Plus, it’s New York, my hometown, the center of the universe.  I will definitely be attending that one.

While waiting, I thought I would share a few thoughts I have about films.  I was in a discussion on LinkedIn about a blog article that named the blogger’s choice for the top 5 screenwriters of all time.  Woody Allen was number one.  No argument from me.  In the discussion, a gentleman acknowledged Woody’s genius but commented on how he deals with the same themes and asks the deep questions, but has no answers.

The way that I see it writer/directors always have common themes that run throughout their work.  A personality emerges and a connection to that individual is there for the viewer.  It’s common to all great filmmakers who write their own scripts and for film buffs like me, it’s a major attraction to the artist’s work.

As far as not having answers, I don’t think that’s possible or necessary.  When we are dealing with the biggest questions of existence and humanity, no one has the definitive answers.  There are many beliefs, but honestly, who really knows?  I think it’s enough to pose the questions and explore them through story and character, allowing the viewers to draw their own conclusions.

This is how I try to operate.  I’ve only made one film thus far, but if you were to read the other screenplays I’ve written and watch my movie, you would find common themes and concerns.  And no real answers.  I think that’s the beauty of art.

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With Baited Breath

I’ve been eagerly checking the Facebook page for the Carmarthen Bay Film Festival to see if the awards have been posted yet.  They are five hours ahead of us, so it’s about 3 AM there right now.  The ceremony is certainly over, but the page has not been updated as of yet.

No problem, I am a very patient person.  Still, it’s exciting to think there may be a new laurel out there for us.  I know my team is waiting too.  Like a bunch of kids on Christmas Eve.

Well, it’s just the start.  There will be more festivals and screenings in our future.  More movies too.  I’ll update you all here as soon as I hear something.

Award Winning Has a Nice Ring to It

Tomorrow, April 14, is the awards ceremony at the Carmarthen Bay Film Festival in Wales, where ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? premiered on April 10.  It would be terrific to win one.

We could display the laurel on our Facebook page, one sheet and posters.  We could call it our “Award winning film”.  That would be very helpful in promotion and raising money for our next project.

I do have to say that I am really happy with everything that has happened thus far.  This film turned out very well.  I honestly expected that.  I believed in this project from day one.  I had some terrific people on my production team and a great cast.  It’s amazing to think back to a year ago, when I was still working on the script, I only had the leads cast and I had no idea where I was getting the money from or how I would fill out the crew and where I would shoot it.  It all came together through hard work, some good fortune and a group of us pulling together.

Keep your fingers crossed for us tomorrow.  I do like the sound of “Award Winning Film”.

A Hit in Wales!

Today, at 4:45 PM local time, ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? made its world premiere.  My editor was there and he reported that the film was well received.  The audience laughed, they were engaged and thoroughly enjoyed it.  After, there was a brief Q and A and he answered several questions about our team, the making of the film and how we raised the money.

What a terrific feeling!  My co-writer and I were emailing and texting each other around the time of the screening and we were very excited when we received the report.  So exciting to know that the project we work and sweated over, pouring in our talent and passion got out there in the world and did what it was supposed to: entertain a group of people.

This continues to be an amazing experience.  My hopes were to appeal to an international audience.  Domestic success alone is no longer enough to thrive in the film industry.  We reached a European audience.  Fantastic.

We’ve submitted to three other festivals thus far and have a list of others we will also try.  Next on tap is the New York International Shorts Festival.  They’ve got our film and the notification date is April 19.  I would love to get into that one.  Great festival in the biggest market in the country, which also happens to be my home town.  I will be there for that one if we’re accepted.

My writing partner and I are also working on the next project.  We plan to have the script finished by the end of the month at which point we’ll begin fund raising.  The life of an indie filmmaker.  Easy?  No.  Rewarding?  So far, very!

An Amazing Day for “Isn’t It Romantic?” and Me

Diana and Danny Scene 4

Today, April 4, 2013 will be a day I will never forget.  Two terrific events occurred.  The first was a nice surprise that we all worked to earn.  The second was something I never thought would happen again.

About three weeks ago, I sent a copy of ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? to film critic Phil Hall of FilmThreat.com.  FilmThreat is a well established site that covers movies, particularly independent films.  A friend and fellow writer ran into Phil and told him about my project.  Phil was interested and told my friend he would like to review it.  So when it was finished, I took him up on his offer.

The review was posted today.  You can read it here: FilmThreat.com Review  Not only did Mr. Hall take the time to watch ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? and review it, he also stopped by our Facebook page, liked it and posted the link to the review with a positive comment.  I am truly grateful.

A very exciting moment.  The first review of my first film.  And it’s a good one.  I’m humbled.  Phil Hall is an experienced and respected critic and film actor who has had his work published in “The New York Times” and “The New York Daily News” and has written several books.  It’s a great feeling to know that something that I poured my passion and sweat into has proven to be entertaining.

From the moment I came up with the concept, it was my intention to make a good film.  There is a growing body of evidence that says, “We did”.

The second event may seem ordinary to most of you, but it was remarkable to me.  For the first time since August of 1997, I went on a date.  I seriously never thought that would happen again in my lifetime.  I spent a very pleasant afternoon with a lovely woman.  Bright, attractive and a lot of fun, we truly enjoyed each other’s company.  I feel like a sports team that has finally made the playoffs after a long stretch of losing seasons.

I came home feeling better than I have in ages, then I find the review.  April 4, 2013.  A day that will live in … well, not infamy … but you get the idea.