Friday, December 29, 2006

Comforting Tunes

I got a mass email from Matt Dentler several weeks ago about coming up with 5 favorite albums from 2006 for his Indiewire Blog. Sadly, I never replied because I'm so far behind on music it's not even funny. Luckily Mark goes to Waterloo every Tuesday to pick up the latest and greatest. I don't remember the last time I bought a new CD. I rely on his purchases to bring me new music throughout the year. With the lameness of my CD player in my car, the only time I listen to music is through my headphones at Quacks. With all of that said, here are a few of the artists that I've used and abused over the last year.

  • Wolf Parade - Can't get enough of 'em.

  • Kelly Clarkson - God Bless the Dallas bred Pop Star. I love her, I love her, I love her. People look at me funny when "Since U Been Gone" comes on the radio and I freak out. Not to mention, she's nice and a good role model for young girls.

  • Gnarls Barkley - "Crazy" = best single of 2006.

  • Cat Power - Comfort through and through.

  • Kurt and Meredith's Mixed CD from their April Wedding - I think this might be the CD I've listened to the most this past year. Tracks from Ride, Michael James, Wolf Parade, The New Pornographers ...

  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - They just put a big ole smile on my face.

Ann Elise and Grace Louise



A huge congratulations goes out to Daniel and Reda for giving birth to twins on 12/27/06. Daniel was our music supervisor on jumping and a friend since high school. Reda and I used to be the Chief and Assistant Chief Announcers at the Florida State Radio Station. I can't wait to meet the little ladies.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

On Holiday

Family
E True Hollywood Stories
Endless Cable
Mrs. Osborn Home Made Meals
Mrs. Osborn Home Made Cookies and Granola
Dancing with Isabella to the McDonald's Toy Theme Song

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Additions

Ok, so after reviewing Mark's list of movies he watched last year I realized I left one out. AND I watched Little Children yesterday.

The Proposition
It's not just a movie, it's a piece of great art. The words, the colors, the characters. I know it's been said before but, it's poetry on a screen. And I must say, Danny Huston is one of the most underappreciated actors working right now.

Little Children
It's quite a bit to swallow. It's vastly different from what I expected. Again, I'm going to have to go with the performance that left me a little breathless. Jackie Earl Haley has made quite the comeback. I can't seem to get his character out of my head. There's a swimming pool scene in the film that might be one of my favorite scenes of last year.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

2006 Movies I Loved

These didn't necessarily come out in 2006. I just saw them this year.

Dark Water (Original)
This film left me weeping uncontrollably. I haven't been that emotionally struck by a film in a really long time.

Monster House
It made me feel like a kid again. This might be my number one from 2006. I want to make a movie like this.

Nobody Knows
I know that it took me a ridiculously long time to get around to this film. Afterlife is one of my all time favorites, so I had no excuse. I'm simply in awe of Hirokazu Koreeda.

Little Miss Sunshine
I laughed so hard my cheeks hurt. What can I say, I'm in love with this family.

The Illusionist
I completely forgot about the world for two hours. I thought it was rock solid. It's what Hollywood wishes it could be.

Chalk
This film had so much heart on screen. I don't think they could've fit any more up there. It made me super proud to be a part of the Austin film scene.

Half Nelson
Ryan Gosling is a force to be reckoned with and he found his match in Shareeka Epps. Stunning performances.

She's The Man
Amanda Bynes is destined for greatness. My prediction is that she'll end up in the Comedy Hall of Fame if there is such a thing.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Spiders, Boy Scouts and PETA , oh my!

I finished the first draft of the next script. It's based on a one-act play that I wrote in college. Again, family comedy. I'm on the family comedy kick. You'd guess it if you saw my list of rentals from The Movie Store over the past several months. I handed it off to some preliminary readers for notes. I'm anxious to get feedback and get back to work. It's a fun script. And a good message.

C'mon!

I'm ready for the holidays. I've completed all gift buying. Everything needed to be mailed has been mailed.

While in Houston with Mark's family over the holidays, I have some research assignments for our Documentary Series. We'll be shooting a promo in January when Barbara comes down from New York. I have to do some preliminary scouts in Houston. It's a fun assignment. One that I might take the whole family on.

I'll also be writing a proposal for a community based project that I'm creating. Knock on wood it comes together because it'll be super cool.

And I need to firm up the outline for my Spring Classes. I have most of the outlines plotted out already, but I need to fill in some blanks here and there.

Still in distribution conversations with jumping off bridges. We're finalizing a Study Guide to go along with the film for educational purposes. Now we're getting educational distributors urging us to bring it down to an hour. Argh. I'm about to put my foot down. Seriously. It's getting a bit frustrating. Yes, we never intended this, yes, it's been great, but an hour? C'mon!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Green Cine's 20 Worthy, Undistributed Films from 2006 Festival Screenings

This made my day.

Congrats to Bryan, Jake and Todd as well.

For those of you in Austin, Todd is (hopefully) bringing The Guatemalan Handshake in the Spring.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Merit Badge Research

Research for a new screenplay.

Did you know that you can get Boy Scout Merit Badges for the following ... ?

Rabbit Raising
Beekeeping
Consumer Buying
Crime Prevention
Fingerprinting
Mammal Study
Truck Transportation

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Slow but steady

Things are a little slow around here. We're in a holding pattern for several projects. I love the holiday season, more than any other season, BUT everything comes to a standstill by early to mid-December.

We'll be shooting a promo for Roadside Texas in January/February. We're solidifying the treatment with Barbara and getting really excited about it.

Brain Brawl is heading in a few different directions. Again, holding pattern. But every avenue is really promising and involves great people.

We're continuing to set up screenings with jumping off bridges. We're also in "get distribution" mode. We've been talking to lots of folks and hoping that we have a foreign sales agent and educational distributor locked down by January.

In other more personal fronts ... I'm working on putting together some film programs with various organizations in town for next year. I'm meeting some wonderful folks in non-profits around town. My eyes are being opened to another world it seems.

Young Masters Program for 8th - 12th Graders

About the Young Masters Program

The Young Masters Program is a unique program intended to encourage talented young Texas artists. Recipients receive a scholarship for up to $2,500 a year, to be renewed for up to 3 years, not to go beyond the summer after high school graduation. Only one application per student is allowed in this program.

This scholarship is NOT for college. It is intended for Texas students from 8th through 12th grade who are pursuing advanced artistic study through summer intensives, special unique artistic training opportunities, and artistically significant opportunities.

Monday, December 11, 2006

This Filmmaking Community of Mine

I was absolutely delighted to see a bunch of short films at The Austin Film School during their "open mic night" last night. From a beautifully shot music video about a couple in a car to this teenager making a documentary about hipsters doing tricks on bikes in an Oltorf parking garage. The quality and creativity took me for a loop. And quite honestly, the open and embracing environment that Karl and The Austin Film School create for people to come test out their films blew me away. Everyone had wonderful things to say about everyone else. Other filmmakers were sincere in their constructive criticism, thinking of how to better each project.

Along the same lines, Stacy and I hosted a small producer/filmmaker ladies' brunch over the weekend that brought different filmmaking circles into the same room. The women left with ideas of working with each other and going out for coffee to get to know one another later on. We swapped stories about yoga instructors and made plans to see movies. We shared advice on producing, distributing, budgeting. This is what I love about this place. This is what I love about this filmmaking community of mine. We're growing up together. We're looking out for one another. Each filmmakers success in this town is everyone else's success.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Austin Film School

I love this article. I love what these guys stand for. I love what they're bringing to the Austin Community and their devotion to education and kids. And I'm psyched to be a part of it next year.

Tractor Facts Top 10 Albums of 2006

Top Ten Albums of 2006

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Austin Community College Police Officers Scare Me

I meant to write about this, but Stacy beat me to it.

In her words ...

I had a brush with the law today, friends.
Yes, Kat, my partner in crime and I were together on this one.

Trouble makers, that's us. Always thumbing our noses at authority, challenging the social order, flaunting our freedoms.

We were trying to figure out where to park at ACC Riverside campus. We were due to speak at a class soon and were confused by the parking situation. We saw a police officer, "He can help us!"

That's when the trouble started, in an almost empty ACC parking lot, not many people, not much danger lurking, not that we can see anyway.

I pulled next to the patrol car, rolled my window down and said, "Hi there, Can you help us? We aren't sure where to park, we're here to speak at a class and..."

He was chewing. Chewing and glaring.

Officer: You just broke the law. Did you know that? You passed a vehicle on the right side and that is in violation of traffic code.

Me: I'm sorry. I wanted to ask you a question. I'm sorry.

Officer: Well, (smirk in his voice) I can help you with that, but first I need to let you know that passing on the right is against the law for a reason. (something about traffic codes and all again.)

Me: I didn't mean to break the law.

Officer: Park. Go in that building and sign in. BRING YOUR LICENSE PLATE NUMBER if you don't, you WILL GET A VIOLATION, I promise you that.

Me: Okay, Thank you sir. (weak smile)

I looked at Kat, I try hard to not laugh, I laugh when I'm tense and I'm starting to see how funny all this is, but I can feel the officer staring at me and my window is still down.

(Kat and I confer quietly.)
Me: Do I back up? I can't pass him on the right more, he might arrest me.
Kat: Maybe back up like you're going to park, then quick turn around and leave?

That's what we did. We didn't sign in, we didn't park in the lot. We parked on the street.

Watch out for unhappy cops. Somewhere at ACC Riverside, there is a cop who really wants to be a cowboy or a rockstar, maybe even a detective. He's not happy, we can tell you that.

10 Hours a Week Ain't That Bad

So I went to 10 hours/week at the day job this week. I have to say, I'm liking it. Very much. I have so much time to devote to film, it's awesome!

One thing I will say ... it was so nice not to wait on pins and needles this year to hear if we got into Sundance or Slamdance. I'd pretty much forgotten about all of the announcements. I'm super happy for all of the folks that did get in though!

Updates on the workshop ... my Script to Screen class is filling up quickly. I still have lots of space in my teen class. For any of you guys interested, shoot me an email at kat@storieproductions.com. I promise a fun 12 week filmmaking adventure next semester.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Catnip Curiosities

Someone left a bag of catnip on our doorstep today. Who is this mystery person looking out for our little one?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Amre's Mercury Rev Article

Amre and I met deejaying at V-89 long ago in Tallahassee, FL. That was back when I was really up on the music scene, sang in a band called Jake Ryan and skipped many of my 8am classes. Anyhow, she's a dear friend and a great writer. She just published an article in the New York Press about Mercury Rev.

Friday, December 01, 2006

What, what it's a PC Check in.

So much has been happening this week, it's crazy.

JOB Screenings in the works are being sponsored by the Austin Independent School District, Fort Bend Independent School District, a special Mental Health Crisis Task Force for the Surgeon General, the state of Nevada, Shelby Independent School District, Heartbeat Monroe Support Group, Suicide Bereavement Support of Portland Oregon, Nevada Suicide Prevention Coalition ... We're also working with several big 2007 conferences.

Keeping our heads above water has been a lofty task.

Oh and my cat Pork Chop has been freaking out ever since we got home from Florida. Running in circles, attacking walls ... he's a squeirdo.