New Opportunities for a Couple of Past Projects

As Cooper and I continue to create new content and market it, I also seek to promote some of our past projects. As I believed I mentioned, I was tweeting during the Oscar telecast and a few film festivals requested our first film, the romantic comedy short, Isn’t It Romantic? the film which began this blog. One of the festivals was the Best Shorts Competition. Our movie was accepted and we were just notified that we won an Award of Recognition.

Best Shorts is a well connected competition in La Jolla, CA. As a result of the award, we will be included in press releases and other publicity which will be viewed by industry professionals. We also get to display another laurel. This is pretty exciting for a project we finished four years ago. Every step forward is crucial.

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Another project that got a boost, which some of you who have read my blog from the beginning may remember is my feature romantic comedy script, Soul Mate. I entered it into the Stage32 Comedy Writing Contest. I was recently notified that is has been chosen as a quarterfinalist. Soul Mate is a script of which I am very proud. Whatever I have to do, I will get it to the screen one day. Winning this contest would go a long way toward achieving that goal. The grand prize winner is flown to LA for a meeting with a group of industry professionals to discuss the development of the winning property. Two winners will get Skype meetings with the pros and every finalist will have his or her logline sent to over 500 professionals. This is a very good opportunity and if nothing else, getting to the quarterfinals is a nice confidence boost.

In the meantime, Cooper and I have something else on the horizon that has not been finalized so I can’t share it yet, but it’s very good. Hard work and persistence do pay off.

If anyone would like to view Isn’t It Romantic? you can see it on our YouTube channel here: IIR on YouTube. Stay tuned folks. As the song says, “The best is yet to come!”

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Special Offer!

This is last minute, I know, but, hey, I only thought of it this afternoon.  In the future, I’m planning to run these specials all weekend and will announce them on Friday.  But here it is.

The MY SPIRITED SISTER Kickstarter campaign is now almost 19% funded with a total of $1880.  In an effort to reach $2000 over the weekend, I am making this exclusive offer.  The person whose pledge pushes us to $2000 or above, today, and today only, will receive in addition to the perk for that level, the special ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? bonus pack.  That will include the DVD of the film, the first by Cooper and me and some signed memorabilia.

Abbe Skinner (thumbs up), Lauren Abbott (gray sweater) and Emma Skinner (extreme right in profile taking the picture) in  "Isn't It Romantic?"

Abbe Skinner (thumbs up), Lauren Abbott (gray sweater) and Emma Skinner (extreme right in profile taking the picture) in “Isn’t It Romantic?”

First, the SOUL MATE poster (behind the girls in the photo above) that was used in the opening scene of the film, signed by Lauren, Emma and Abbe, the three stars of MY SPIRITED SISTER.

Diana and Danny Scene 4

And I will throw in the “Property of Brooklyn College Film School” T-shirt (pictured above) that I wore as “Danny Kresky” in the film.  And I will sign it.

You have the unique opportunity to receive memorabilia from our first two films!  When Cooper and I win an Oscar, think of how valuable these items will be!  Jump on this opportunity and, if you are unable to do so, share the link with everyone you know.  Surely, someone will want to take advantage of this offer.

A Productive Day

Yesterday was a very good day in the development stage of MY SPIRITED SISTER. As you know, we’re running our Kickstarter Crowd Funding Campaign.  It’s off to a nice start, but we did need to make a little tweak. Actually, a fairly big tweak.

An important part of a campaign is the pitch video. Statistics clearly show that campaigns with a video succeed at a much higher rate than those without. Our original video was Cooper and I talking about how we met, ISN’T IT ROMANTIC?, and of course, our current project.  It was a nice video, we’re both intelligent, articulate and charming people, but it was on the long side.  In today’s world, attention spans are much shorter.  We live in an age of sound bites and brief messages.  We also realized we needed different faces out front on this project.

The solution was clear. Yesterday we shot a new video, shorter, faster paced and featuring Lauren, Emma and Abbe, the three stars of MY SPIRITED SISTER.  The result was fantastic.  The new video runs just under a minute, includes the pertinent information and gives the viewer a preview of how well these young ladies perform on camera.  The new video is now on the campaign site and people are viewing it in its entirety.

There were other good things that came about as a result of the shoot.  The director/actor relationship is one of the most important on a film set.  There has to be mutual trust and understanding.  For a director, working with actors is usually the skill that takes the most time to develop.  It’s important to realize that actors are individuals and must be treated that way.  What motivates one, may not be what motivates another.

Cooper and I had another opportunity (the TV spot was the first) to work with our leads and get a feel for their personalities, strengths and weaknesses.  The girls did a great job.  They were energetic and very natural and they have excellent chemistry with each other.  As we continued to shoot takes, looking for that “magic” one, our actors started to lose the spontaneity a bit.  I think they were worried about the time.  They started to rush a little and sounded too much “by rote”.  Cooper did an amazing job.  She had them stand up, take a little break and a breath to get back on track.  They engaged in a group hug and relaxed.  When we resumed shooting, they nailed it!  A great take that is now on the site.

It was so productive and rewarding to have everything work out that way.  I’m so impressed, not only with our stars, but with Cooper as well.  I’m not at all surprised.  I knew without a doubt she had what it takes to be an excellent director and that we would work together in that capacity every bit as well as we do as writers.

After the shoot, I went to lunch  with Cooper and her fiance.  He’s a great guy and they are such a perfect couple.  It really makes me feel good to see how happy they are together.   (I’m showing some sensitivity here. That doesn’t leave this room! Okay?)

The TV Spot Part 2

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. Cooper and I have been incredibly busy. We’re still tweaking the script, we’ve launched our Kickstarter campaign and we’re working hard on publicity for the project. Time to catch you up on where we are.

This is the follow up to the post on the interview we did on “A Moment with Jon Francois” on WHC-TV in West Hartford, CT on June 26. Here is the link where you can see the show: Cooper and Paul with Jon Francois It was a fun interview. Jon is a good host and Cooper and I were able to promote ourselves in general, ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? and most importantly, our new film, MY SPIRITED SISTER. 

We were invited to come back on the show to discuss future projects or just film in general. We will certainly do just that. We love to talk about screenwriting and filmmaking.

Take a look at the interview, and while you’re at it, check out our Kickstarter campaign. We have some great perks for as little as $5. I’ll be much more active here on the blog. I want to keep everyone up to date on the progress of the campaign and the making of MY SPIRITED SISTER.

“Isn’t It Romantic?”‘s World Premiere

The official selection laurel of the Carmarthen Bay Film Festival.

The official selection laurel of the Carmarthen Bay Film Festival.

With ISN’T IT ROMANTIC?’ now completely finished, the only task left is promotion, marketing and distribution.  I say “only”, but it is a very big task.  So far, it is going very well.

Ten days from today, April 10, our quirky, funny romantic comedy short makes its world premiere at the Carmarthen Bay Film Festival in  Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, Wales.  It’s a very exciting time for all of us who worked on the film.  We’ve shown it to the cast and crew as well as selected family and friends, but this will be the first time it will be viewed by an actual impartial audience.

The venue is the Stradey Park Hotel, a beautiful building, at least from the pictures I’ve seen.  I would love to be able to attend with my co-writer, but logistics dictate that we can’t.  However, my editor has family in Wales and will be attending with his wife and daughter.  He’s going to represent us and handle the Q & A session.  So we’re in very capable hands.

We’ve also begun submitting to other festivals.  We’re shooting for exposure in major cities, both domestic and international where we will have a chance for industry professionals to see the movie.  We’re very proud of what we accomplished.  My co-writer and I have a new script that we are developing for our next project, which we plan to shoot late summer.

I’ll keep you up to date on the progress of both projects.

The movie is now listed on IMDB.  Take a look.  ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? on IMDB

Can’t I Wear My Sneakers?

Tonight was another step in the preproduction process.  It was out of my comfort zone.  It also brought back childhood memories.  I found it amusing, but I have to admit, it was kind of fun.

One of my co-producers took me clothes shopping.  Wardrobe is an essential ingredient in a film.  Not only does the clothing a character wears visually reveal clues about that character, but the colors, textures and style are all a part of the overall look of the movie.  They help set the tone and underscore the genre.  It was an unusual evening for me, because I am not a fashionista.

I live in jeans, T-shirts and sneakers for the most part.  I hate shoes, they hurt my feet.  I wear polo shirts sometimes, and I really like sweaters in the winter.  I have no idea what colors look good on me, although people have told me that blue is nice on me.  I like black and darker colors in general.

I don’t buy clothes often and when I do, I attempt to get it over with as quickly and painlessly as possible.  I don’t even try things on.  If it turns out something doesn’t fit, well, that’s what closets are for.  So where do I put the clothes that do fit?  That’s what couches, beds and occasionally lamps are for.  (Only a slight exaggeration).

Tonight was different.  I am 100% committed to this film and will do whatever it takes to make it great.  As my co-producer pointed out to me, I have to dress the way my character Danny would, not the way I would.  So I was a paragon of cooperation, trying on different combinations.  The gray pants with the blue shirt.  the brown pants with the gold shirt.  This belt, that tie.  I even put on a pair of shoes.  Ouch!

Honestly, it was fun.  I am a very patient person and I trust the judgement of my team.  It reminded me of school shopping with my mother when I was in elementary school.  Back then, we were expected to wear dress pants and shirts as well as shoes to class.  My mother would drag us to the store.  In and out of the dressing room.  “Mom!  Why do I have to try it on?  It’s my size.  Can’t I wear my jeans, PF Flyers and Property of the New York Rangers T-shirt?  The collar’s too tight.  These shoes hurt.”  My mother put up with a lot.

Tonight had that kind of feel.  But it worked out.  We walked into a big sale.  (God, I can’t believe I just wrote that!)  We found some good stuff and now I can look like a successful writer/director instead of the “I’ve accomplished nothing” writer/director I actually am.  The magic of the movies.

Production meeting Tuesday night.  Promotional video and pictures for our crowd funding campaign.  So foreign to me.  Maybe next time, I’ll stay behind the camera.  Nah.  My ego is way too big.  Can’t deprive my audience of my incredible personality.