Cannes in a Van, anyone?

A mobile cinema in Cannes – WHAT a cool idea!

It looks like so much fun – and you can help them by buying parts for the van – that’s just great.

I stumbled across Cannes in a Van via my Shooting People e-newsletter. I’ve found Shooting People to be a really great resource. A couple of people mentioned how useful they found it, and when I signed up for membership with Fractured Atlas (another great resource) I saw that FA members could get half-price membership to SP. Shooting People is how I got my production designer and sound recordist, and just reading the NY bulletin, you learn about so much of the film stuff happening in the city. You can post questions – it’s great.

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A Short Rant on Short Films (also: film v. theatre)

A very mild (short) rant on short films.

Maybe it’s just me, but short films don’t always seem to tell a story.

If you read my comment to JJG from a couple of posts ago, I mentioned that I’m coming from a theatre background.  Short plays (particularly ten-minute plays) are very much en vogue right now.   One thing that you notice about short plays is that the good ones have the same stuff as a good full-length play:  Well-drawn characters, conflict, narrative question, theatricality – but on a smaller, quicker, scale.

It’s sort of like geometry or trigonometry class, when you had to draw the same shape but smaller and to scale – everything has to be there, just on a smaller scale.

I’d say that of the short films I’ve been watching (and granted, I’m new to this, so I’m sure I haven’t seen all that many) about 50 – 60% DO NOT seem to tell a story.  They almost all have a beginning, sometimes a middle, or a part of a middle, and not so much of an end.  Or sometimes, they’re what my middle school English teacher used to call “A slice of life.”   They show a day (or a few hours, or a few minutes) in a character’s life.  Sometimes something happens, sometimes nothing happens.  It’s about the audience member living the character’s usual life for a short while.

I don’t know about you, but I find this ultimately unsatisfying, most of the time.

I was talking to one of my bosses (a film buff who has probably seen more films than I ever will even if I were to watch a film a day for the rest of my life) the other day, and mentioned this to her.  Her theory is that some writer/producers/directors are so used to making funding teasers that the art of the short film, the ability to tell a full story on a smaller scale, has gone out the window.  To quote her, “People are just f___ing lazy.”

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The rough cut arrives

So, I finally got a chance to see the rough cut (that “finally” is not in reference to my editor, but to ME – I’ve been working extra hours and just didn’t have a chance to view anything at home – I finally got one of the IT guys to put Quicktime on my computer at work so I could watch it).  It looks good, but it’s so hard to judge something you’re so close to, isn’t it?  This is one of the reasons why I could never see myself directing something I’ve written – I think it needs a fresh pair of eyes to bring another layer to it – it’s like a painter in front of a canvas – after a while, you just can’t SEE IT any longer.  Anyway, I thought my director had some really good comments (with which I agreed) for the editor, and am looking forward to seeing the next version.

Other than that, I continue to try and evaluate film festivals and update my spreadsheet of where to send – if you’ve had any type of good experience with any type of film festival that includes shorts, please let me know!

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Rough Cut is on its way

Or so my editor tells me, which is very cool.  I would love to have everything wrapped up by the end of March. 

I’m attempting to research film festivals and make a spreadsheet of the various places I’m interested in applying to.  As a couple of people have pointed out to me, with a cast that’s two-thirds Indo-American, an Indo-American Writer/Producer,  an Indo-American Director and an Indo-American Composer, I should be applying to all the Indian/Asian film festivals.  Anyone had any experience with the Asian/Indian film festival circuit?  There seem to be new festivals all the time, and it’s hard to figure out which ones are the best to apply to.

I’m also going to attempt to apply to the bigger ones, though most of their deadlines aren’t until late summer/early fall, which means I’ll be sitting on the film for a while *sigh*.  That’s the other thing I have to do – go through the all the requirements and see who says they need to be first, in terms of premiere screenings.

Ah well – at least a few people warned me that this whole thing would be at least a two-year process.

I just wish I had more patience:-)

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Massive updating

Yeah, I know – it’s been a while.  And a lot has happened.

The biggest thing is that we FINALLY shot the film!

That’s right – after many, many permutations in people’s lives and schedules, we were able to get people together and shoot the film.  I saw the footage for the first time on Sunday – looks promising, so we’ll hopefully have something ready by the end of March.

Speaking of post-production – if you weren’t able to make a donation before, and you’d like to make one, feel free to make one now:-) Seriously – post-production costs and festival application fees and the like are going to mean more money, and as we all know, the raffle had to die.  Maybe I’ll try and pull together a fundraiser in a couple of months, but for now, I’m just trying to readjust and get the months of intense stress out of my system.

Has anyone seen any of the indie movies that WNET has been screening on Saturday nights?  They have this new program called REEL 13, on Saturday nights, where they screen a feature-length classic movie, follow it with an indie short (which is chosen via internet by viewers) and then follow THAT with a feature-length indie.  I’ve only been able to see them once – a short that looked really good, but I wasn’t very impressed with the story or the acting, and a feature that I would’ve loved to watch all of but couldn’t ’cause I had the second day of my shoot and had to get some sleep.  It’s a cool program, and if it didn’t almost automatically disqualify me from applying to most film festivals, I’d try to submit mine.  Has anyone else submitted a film to the program (successfully or unsuccessfully)?

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