Bonus Perk Weekend!

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

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

The Kickstarter campaign to fund MY SPIRITED SISTER is progressing steadily. We are happy to offer a special deal this weekend. The highest pledge this weekend, Saturday, August 3 or Sunday August 4, will receive, in addition to the regular perk, two autographed items from our previous film, ISN’T IT ROMANTIC?

First, there is the SOUL MATE poster (in the background above) that shared a scene with Lauren Abbott, Emma Skinner and Abbe Skinner, the three stars of MY SPIRITED SISTER. The three up and coming actors will sign it.

Paul Rothbart and Cooper Campbell in "Isn't It Romantic?"

Paul Rothbart and Cooper Campbell in “Isn’t It Romantic?”

Second, you will receive the photo above, featuring yours truly and my partner, Cooper Campbell, the writer/directors of MSS, who also starred in IIR. We will both sign the photo. How can you turn that down?

Here’s a chance to become a part of our team, support indie film and get some cool signed mementos. Check out the Kickstarter campaign. Please, share it with your friends. Give everyone the chance to take advantage of this limited time offer.

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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.

Introducing Our Stars

The stars of "My Spirited Sister" (left to right), Lauren Abbott, Abbe Skinner and Emma Skinner.

The stars of “My Spirited Sister” (left to right), Lauren Abbott, Abbe Skinner and Emma Skinner.

The photo above was taken on the set of “A Moment with Jon Francois”, WHC-TV in West Hartford, CT on the night of July 23. That’s the same show that Cooper and I appeared on last month. This time, the three young stars of our current film, MY SPIRITED SISTER were the guests. It was a terrific show and the girls all came through like pros. No surprise there. These are not ordinary young ladies. I am happy to introduce Lauren Abbott, Abbe Skinner and Emma Skinner.

Last year, during preproduction on ISN’T IT ROMANTIC?, Cooper, who was my co-writer and one of my producers, came up with an idea for the opening scene. It took place in a movie theater with a crowd exiting after viewing Danny Kresky’s latest film. They were excited and gushing about the film. We needed extras and Cooper said she had a group of teenage girls who would add energy to the scene. I trust her judgement 100% and I thought it sounded like a great idea, so we went with it. I remember that day well, in fact, you can look back at what I wrote in my post on it.

The girls were terrific. We had no dialogue written, in fact, their actions weren’t even in the script, so I decided to let them improvise some lines. Lauren, Abbe and Emma were amazing! The were natural and shared the screen like professionals, not stepping on each other’s lines, despite the fact that it was improvised. They also brought so much energy and excitement to the set that it affected all of us. The veteran actors commented on great it was to have the girls there. Talk about easy to direct! I told them what I needed and they delivered.

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?”

Cooper and I were very impressed. There was no question we had to work with this talented trio again. This time with them in lead roles. Cooper conceived of MY SPIRITED SISTER with our stars in mind, the roles were written for them. Emma and Abbe, real life sisters, will be playing Amanda and Bethany Paige, sisters in the film and Lauren, Abbe’s real life best friend, will be playing Crystal Albright, Bethany’s best friend. This is a can’t miss.

The girls have been interested in acting and performing their entire young lives and started training at the age of five. They’ve attended camps and taken classes in scene study, character work, improv, singing, pretty much every aspect of acting. They also  have plenty of experience on the stage and television work. Of course they’ve also appeared in a film, my first.

I say this in all seriousness, these young ladies are worth watching. They are talented, well trained and dedicated. Cooper and I are thrilled to have them as our leads. You all know my approach: eighty percent of directing is casting and we’ve nailed it here. It was further confirmed last night as we watched the interview. The girls were a bit nervous. Perfectly natural as none of them had ever done a TV interview. Cooper and I prepped them the night before and just before the interview. Once it got underway, they all relaxed and were charming and articulate and entertaining. Never a doubt in my mind that they would be.

We’re planning to develop MY SPIRITED SISTER as a series and have a couple of potential avenues we plan to pitch to. With the work we’re putting in on the script and the terrific lead actors we have, we’re anticipating a great film. This should advance the careers of everyone involved. Very exciting.

The First Interview

Yesterday, Cooper and I met with a young reporter from the Danbury News-Times for our interview.  We sat in a Starbucks, sipping ice tea and discussing our lives as artists.  I feel it went well.  We prepared for it, getting together the day before and going over the points we wished to express.  We are leaving nothing to chance.  It’s important to take full advantage of every tool at our disposal.

One of the things that has drawn us together as partners and friends is the fact that we have traveled remarkably similar paths in life.  That was confirmed yesterday.  As we talked about the aspirations and passions we developed as children and how they carried us to the current point in our lives, the reporter commented on that similarity.  It’s funny.  I absolutely don’t believe in fate, but we are amazingly well suited to be creative partners.  Almost like it was designed that way.

We also talked about ISN’T IT ROMANTIC?, how it developed, the work we put in, what we learned and how it’s doing now.  We then discussed MY SPIRITED SISTER. That was our main reason for doing the interview.  We need to get the word out about our upcoming IndieGoGo campaign.  We want to raise more money than last time and make an even better film with better production values.

We talked about the young stars of the upcoming movie.  The three of them appeared in the opening scene of ISN’T IT ROMANTIC?  These girls were amazing, talented, enthusiastic and so full of energy.  They had an impact on everyone who was on set that day.  The veteran actors commented on the effect the kids had on them.

They’ve been studying acting for some time and it shows.  We had no dialogue written for them in the scene, so I told them to improvise. It worked beautifully.  They were comfortable and natural and shared the screen like pros.  The scene really works well and they are completely believable.

Cooper and I are really looking forward to working with them again, this time giving them lead roles.  I’ve said this before, casting is vital.  Choose the right actors and your job as a director becomes much easier.  We did just that on ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? and we’re well on our way to doing it again.

In the interview, we also took the time to acknowledge how pleased with were with the effort we got from the crew on IIR.  We had a mix of experience including people who had never been on a film set.  The enthusiasm was high though and everyone made their contribution.

The reporter thanked us at the end.  He’s young and up and coming and appreciated the opportunity.  We equally appreciated the publicity.  Earlier in our lives, when Cooper was in LA pursuing her acting career and I was in New York doing stand up, neither of us promoted ourselves the way we should have.  A little too humble.  Nothing wrong with humble, but to get anywhere in this business, you’ve got to let the world know you’re here.  That’s what we’re doing now.  We’re talented and dedicated and we’re going to shout it from the rooftops.

In the Home Stretch

My onscreen directing credit for "Isn't It Romantic?"

My onscreen directing credit for “Isn’t It Romantic?”

There it is, boys and girls.  My actual directing credit, captured from the final cut of ISN’T IT ROMANTIC?  One of my long time dreams come true.  My editor took my basic white letters on black and tweaked it nicely.  The sign is part of the marquee of the Warner Theater in Torrington, CT where we shot the opening scene.  Woody Allen-ish, but my own unique take.  Very nice.

This past Tuesday, we had the first public screening of the movie.  It was for my cast, crew and family and friends.  The film is still not quite finished, it still needs a sound mix and color correction, but we have picture lock and the team was anxious to see it.  We had a little party and projected it onto a screen, the only way a movie should be seen.

It was a nice night, a success.  The film got a good round of applause and we watched it twice.  I got a rush of adrenaline I haven’t felt since my stand up days.  It was wonderful seeing the team again and reveling in our achievement.  Great to reminisce about the fun we had making it.

We had a professional sound mixer who was going to do the mix for free.  He was a friend of my cowriter.  Unfortunately, he had to drop out due to other commitments.  No problem at all.  I am really getting the hang of filmmaking.  Networking is rapidly becoming one of my skills.  I put out some feelers and picked up a number of candidates.  Today, we chose a very good mixer who is going to do the job for a price that fits the budget.  We also received a very generous donation from one of Tuesday night’s guests to pay for the mixer.  This project has been blessed.

Needless to say, I am feeling very good indeed.  I am expanding my skill set and my contacts.  I feel very good about my future in filmmaking.  My cowriter and I are working on a feature length romantic comedy and we also have a short in the works to shoot later this year, most likely late spring or summer.  I am even thinking of shooting two shorts this year, maybe another in the fall.

“ISN’T IT ROMANTIC?” is going to get plenty of festival exposure.  We have already been accepted to one.  We are going to be reviewed by an online film magazine and I am looking into several avenues of distribution.  My goal from day one was not merely to make a movie, but to make a good movie.  Mission accomplished.  I now have something nice to show potential investors for future projects.  Projects about which I will blog.  Can’t let down my loyal fans.

I am truly thrilled.  So nice to finally see that directed by credit. 

 

Caption Contest!

Caption this photo to win a signed poster that was used in "Isn't It Romantic?"

Caption this photo to win a signed poster that was used in “Isn’t It Romantic?”

As post production continues on ISNT’ IT ROMANTIC?, I’m also making efforts to promote the film.  It’s actually starting to take on a life of its own and we’re generating a little buzz.  I would like to make that buzz bigger.  So I came up with an idea.

We are running a contest on the movie’s Facebook fan page.  The photo above is a screen capture taken from the film’s footage.  Interestingly, it did not occur during a take, so it’s not an interaction between characters, but rather between director and actor.  I thought the body English and facial expressions were interesting, so I chose it for the contest.

Visitors to the FB page can leave a caption as a comment.  The contest runs until January 31.  The writer of the best caption will receive a poster for Danny Kresky’s fictitious film, SOUL MATE.  The poster was used as set dressing in the opening scene of ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? and it will be signed by yours truly and Cooper Campbell, pictured here with me.  So, you essentially get six autographs, the two writers, the two lead actors, the main producer and the director!  What a prize!

Margie Ferris (left) and Madeline Jaye rehearse their scene on the set on Day 2.  In the background is the prize poster.

Margie Ferris (left) and Madeline Jaye rehearse their scene on the set on Day 2. In the background is the prize poster.

So check out our fan page.  Enter the contest, look at the outtakes and like us!  Who knows, you may end up with a piece of movie memorabilia.  ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? is rapidly nearing completion and will be hitting the festival circuit very soon.

Media Available on the Facebook Fan Page

Diana finally spells out the problem to her clueless husband, Danny.

ISN’T ROMANTIC? is now full steam in post production and we should have a finished film sometime in January.  We are all very excited and already have a few festivals we are planning to enter.  One we definitely want to submit to is the Litchfield Hills Film Festival which is held at the Warner Theater in Torrington, CT.  It would be fun to see it screened there since we shot the opening scene at the Warner.

As the film nears completion, I am stepping up my efforts to promote it.  It’s going to be a nice movie, sweet, quirky and very funny.  The film has a Facebook fan page and I am now placing content on it regularly.  I have production stills, updates, screen captures (like the one above) and I’ve placed a very funny outtake on the site.  The outtake seems to be quite popular and I have more I am planning to post as time goes on.

There are actually a fair number of people looking forward to seeing the film, which is encouraging.  I have no delusions about making money from it, but it would be great if a large number of people could enjoy it.  It would be very helpful to me moving forward to build a following that will look forward to future projects.

The screen capture shown here features me, with my co-writer, producer and co-star (I’m not the only one who did multiple tasks!) Cooper Campbell as Danny and Diana.  Here, a frustrated Diana, after locking herself in the bedroom has popped out to make clear to her husband just what is lacking in their marriage.  The T-shirt I’m wearing is a tribute to my Brooklyn heritage.  I like this shot and I think it captures the basic story of the movie.

I would encourage those of you who read my blog to check out the Facebook page @ www.facebook.com/isntitromanticmovie .  The outtake I posted yesterday is very funny.  I also have interesting little facts included in the captions of the photos discussing the inside story.

Diana struggles with the groceries getting no help from Danny.

Diana struggles with the groceries getting no help from Danny.

Here’s another screen capture showing that for Diana, being married to the greatest maker of romantic comedies in the country is not the experience Danny’s female fans believe it to be.  This was a fun film to make and it will be equally fun to watch.  I honestly believe that.  Take a look and tell your family and friends.