Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Boston - Day #2

I took a ton of photos, but I left my wire thingamajig in Texas. They're mostly of tulips. The tulips are crazy beautiful this time of year. I wish you could see them.

I spent most of the day couped up in my room working on a new draft of a script. But I did get out a little. I had lunch at Tea Luxe, a sweet little Tea Room/Cafe on Newberry Street. I'd been there before and knew that their sandwiches were delicious.

Tonight was the screening of jumping off bridges at the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare Conference. It was a great screening and a fantastic Q&A. The conversation afterwards went on for a while and really struck a chord with the crowd. I spoke with several folks from organizations about possible screenings this summer and this fall.

I'm watching the guy from Old Joy on Law and Order. He's so good.

Boston Conversations

One thing that I love about traveling solo is eating solo. Some people might be terrified of eating alone. Not me. I love it. I bring my laptop and work. I also listen. I'm a nosey patron. Dinner tonight, I listened in on a job interview at California Kitchen (yes, I had dinner at California Kitchen). It reminded me of Jennifer Aniston and Mike Judge in Office Space. Here are some of the questions that the super duper gung ho manager asked this college student looking for a summer job.

1) What do you like to do for fun? (Huh?)
2) What kind of financial impact did you have on your last place of business? (Say what?)
3) Have you ever heard the term “add on” or “subsell”? (For real?)
4) If I were a guest sitting at your table what could be a "subsell" from the menu? (No, for real?)
5) What's your favorite menu item from any restaurant? (Hmmm ...)
6) Do you like to win? (Duh!)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Boston - Day #1

I spent the day traveling. 8:15am at the Austin airport until 5:15pm when I dropped my bags in my hotel room. The weather here's kind of crummy, cold and rainy. But it doesn't matter. I love this town. It's nice to sit on the T, watch the brownstones go by, walk down Boylston street.

I was wondering why everyone was walking around with ice cream cones. "It's ice cream cone day" said Lindsay Broockman as we walked to an Irish pub to grab dinner with her sweet and ridiculously funny new husband, Dan. Apparently once a year Ben and Jerry's gives away free ice cream cones. I love Boston.

Tomorrow is devoted to SITB. I have notes to work on that need to be addressed by the end of the week. Argh. Luckily my hotel room rocks.

Michael Emerson Interview - Ain't It Cool News

Here's a fun interview with Michael on Ain't it Cool News. For those of you hardcore Lost fans.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Scrambling for Boston

I've spent my morning scrambling to get everything done in preparation for a Tuesday morning departure to Boston. Once I get on that plane it'll be non-stop for the next two weeks. Making sure rents are paid, bills have stamps on them, checks are deposited, scripts are printed out, I've remembered to pack everything. I think I have maybe 12 hours in Austin between Boston and Los Angeles this weekend so I have to really have my stuff together. I might have enough time to do a load of laundry in that 12 hours. Hopefully.

I have a long list of to dos this week as I sit in my hotel or at the park with my computer in Boston. Rewrites, notes for students, press stuff, Los Angeles prep ... And then I get to see Stars of the Lid with Mike and Jackie, have dinner with Lindsay and Dan and then the girls come in from New York City for a Friday night slumber party. Oh yeah, and jumping off bridges screens Wednesday night. I have a suitcase full of DVDs for the conference bookstore.

I have to head out now. Mark and I are playing hooky today so we can stare at each other and remember what we look like while we're apart. Sigh.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Professional - 1994

I saw The Professional in the theaters in 1994. I watched it again tonight with friends and fresh eyes, 14 years later. I loved it in college and I really loved the uncut version we saw tonight. The film seduced me with two beautifully crafted and nuanced characters who fall in love (but not in a sexual way) in a world where children and violence go hand in hand. I wish Natalie Portman were still 12 and gave such affecting performances like this one and Beautiful Girls instead of Star Wars and Garden State. I wish Jean Reno did more American films. I wish writers would write more characters and relationships like these.

This just on the heels of watching the Nickelodeon Television movie and The Last Days of Summer, The Sasquatch Gang, Hot Rod and making 50 or so cupcakes for a baby shower.

Semester End Screening

I just got home from the end of semester screening at the Dobie Theater. We had a strong group of films this round. Everything from Psycho inspired horror films to crazy, off the wall comedies and everything in between. I shed a tear or two as I watched their credits roll. They put their blood, sweat and tears onto the screen and I couldn't be more proud.

Now we can all sigh a deep breath of relief as we head into the summer. I'm only teaching two night classes, Script to Screen and Teen and then a few camps here and there. I'm not sure if it'll be more or less time on my plate. I'd love some more time to wrap up some projects and start some new ones. That'd be nice. And to see my husband a little more would be heaven sent.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Lack of Sleep Induced Rant about Female Directors

Mark and I were lying in bed playing the director game. He'll name a director and I'll name as many films by that director as I can. After about 9 or 10 directors, I'm like, "Dude, what about the female directors?" and he's like, "I don't know. I was just picturing the directors' wall at Vulcan Video and the only one they have is Jane Campion." I looked at him with a dead, cold stare. "The only female director they have in their director's wall is Jane Campion? You've got to be kidding me."
C'mon people. Seriously. I'm pissed. I'm mad. I'm super duper tired and delirious and probably not making much sense, but I'm mad nonetheless. I'm spewing expletives at Mark as he's trying to get out the door before Starbucks closes about what's going on in Hollywood. Yes, I know this is nothing new. This is not a revelation. It just makes me sad and sick to my stomach. I mean, seriously.
So yesterday and today I went to talk to high school film classes. Guess how many girls were in a class of about 20 yesterday? Two. And how many in a class of about 15 today? One. It just blows my mind. It pisses me off. And it makes me sad. It makes me really friggin' sad.

Emily Li - Brain Brawl Team Member

I'm super close to finishing up the second draft of the Brain Brawl novel. I have so many questions and concerns about it. I really need the feedback from friends who are hard core young adult readers. I have my crew of ladies who will be getting the next draft for review. Here's another excerpt. Emily Li is one of my favorite characters in the story. Just this sweet, innocent nerdy girl. She's pretty awesome. She just learned how to toilet paper a house. Something I've never ever done but wish I had.

Damp with sweat and grass stains, Emily tiptoed into her bedroom, toilet paper still stuck to the bottom of her shoe. She unzipped her black hoodie jacket and flipped on the light. Her mother sat on the bed. By the anger in her eyes, she’d been waiting for a very long time and she was not a happy camper. “Where have you been? Library’s closed.”

Emily wasn’t a good liar either. “Ummm ... well, uh …”

“I told you, no studying after 8pm.”

Emily hesitated. She was so busted. She couldn’t even form words.

Mrs. Li stood up and put her hands on her hips. “Answer me. I was worried. It’s midnight. Emily, I want the truth.”

There was no where else to go with this predicament. She fessed up. “I was toilet papering a boy’s house.” She blurted out.


Mrs. Li’s frown turned to confusion. “You what?”


Emily ran to her mom and wrapped her arms around her. “I’m so sorry, Mommie. I was toilet papering this boy’s house because he called me a geek and …”

Mrs. Li pulled her daughter away from her and got a good look. “You TPed a boy’s house? Emily.”


Emily lowered her head, ashamed. “I shouldn’t have done it, I know.”


Mrs. Li grinned so wide and lifted her daughter’s chin. “I’m so proud of you. Oh Emily, I’m so proud.”


“What?” Emily was totally confused.


Mrs. Li called to her husband in the other room. “Sing! Sing! Wake up! Wake up!” Mrs. Li hugged Emily and twirled her around the room. “You’re my girl!”

Mr. Li turned the corner in his funny pajamas. He wiped away the sleep from his eyes and yawned. “What is it?”

His wife turned to him and grinned. “Emily ... Emily TPed another teenager’s house!”

This jerked Mr. Li awake. He grinned at Emily. She grinned back. He hugged her and picked her up. “You’re a normal teenager! You’re normal teen girl!”


Mrs. Li chimed in. “You’re so normal!”
The family danced around the room. Smiles and joy all around. This was a defining moment in the Li household. Emily had turned a corner.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Classes are Over!

We wrapped up the semester with a series of film panels and a night of mentors. Last night was especially fun watching the students interact with their mentors over beers. Some might even be getting internships out of it. I love it!

Our final screening is Saturday and the DVD screener is almost done. It's been a nightmare putting it together.

Preparations are still underway for Boston and Los Angeles. I'm so excited to get out of town. I just wish my husband was going with me.

Arrested Development - The Movie

The IMDB lists the Arrested Development movie for a 2009 release date. It's too good to be true!

Send a Girl to Film Camp

This is from Michelle Voss who runs the Summer Film Camp for Girls.

Hi Everyone --

You can make a difference for a girl who dreams of attending the Film Camp for Girls by providing much-needed financial assistance.

Visit http://www.firstgiving.com/filmcampforgirls to make a donation today.

We thank you for your support. Please pass this email on to friends and family who want to see girls succeed in digital technology and the arts.

Michelle

:: Michelle Voss
:: Executive Director
:: Femme Film Texas
:: 512.589.8303

Femme Film Texas is a project of Moving Image Arts & Education, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I Love Cheese


The other night a group of female film friends gathered over pizza and talk about reality TV shows. Some were shocked that others watched this or that. Some were happy to hear that so and so watched such and such and they didn't have to hide their affections for this or that particular show. You should totally own your cheese. Love it. Embrace it. There's nothing wrong with singing along to Miley or Madonna or getting sucked in to The Bachelorette or Wife Swap. It's ok.

8 Kinds of Cheese that I Love:

1) The New Miley Cyrus single.
2) Buying Us and People magazine every Friday night. It's a ritual.
3) Looking at perezhilton.com
4) Big Brother
5) The Housewives of NYC. I've seen every single episode.
6) Shrooms - The Movie
7) Flowrida's single Low
8) French Fries with Ranch Dressing

Madonna Coming to Austin?

I'm so excited about the new album. I love the single, I love the video and I love Madonna. It's too bad I'll be in Boston when she comes to Austin. Say what?

jumping off bridges on WNET in NYC, 5/3

jumping off bridges will make its television debut on WNET, Reel 13 in NYC, May 3rd and May 4th. If you live in NYC please spread the word.

Saturday, May 3rd, 10:50pm
Sunday, May 4th, 2:15am

Welcome to the World, Emma Violet Candler

My new niece was born about two hours ago. Emma Violet Candler. This makes the fourth for my brother and his wife. I don't know how they do it. I think the two of them were born to be parents. I can't wait to meet the little munchkin. Don't you fret, I'll be loading up my blog with photos of the little one.

DVD Building

Stacy and I have been putting together the final DVD for our student screening on Saturday. Why in the world can't this be an easy task? Why must it be slow and tear out your hair torture?

I'm not friends with the technical side of film. I like to find paintings, movie clips and talk color palettes and tone. I like to talk to actors about motivation. I like to workshop scripts. I like to think about music cues. But I do not and will never ever ever ever love to talk or learn about bit rates, compression, rendering, gigabytes ...

So I sit here in the mac lab and wait and wait for the build, the encoding, the formatting and cross my fingers super duper tight that the movies will show up on a screen when I'm done.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I'm a Nail Biter

I have the tiniest fingernails you'll probably ever see. I take every ounce of stress, fear, anxiety, sorrow and pain out on my poor fingernails. Often, I'll bite them to the point of bleeding. Everyone has their vice, right? This one's mine. There's some strange satisfaction I get from ripping the nails down as low as they'll possibly go. I'm sure there's some psychological implications to this. Ryan?

I've never had long nails. They've been this short as long as I can remember. I tried to grow them out once back in junior high but they were so flimsy they kept breaking off.

As a kid, my dad tried everything to get me to stop. Tabasco sauce, bribes, Band Aids, begging, nope, none of it worked. I'll never stop. Some people have alcohol, some people have drugs, some people have cigarettes (I once had cigarettes), I guess I just have my fingernails. The best thing? They're always on hand when I need them.

Boston Bound

I'm anxious to get out of town next week. Classes will be over, life will be somewhat calm. Well, shit, not really.

I leave for Boston on Tuesday, get back to Austin, Saturday, leave for Los Angeles on Sunday and come back to Austin on the following Saturday. I plan to spend a lot of time in my hotel room at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel just working. I feel like I'm really behind on a lot of rewrite stuff. I'm in the middle of a second draft of the novel. I want to put together a little cash to hire a friend to help me with edits on that one. It'll be nice while I'm in Boston to take a break from writing, walk down to the Public Gardens and then go back to work. Our screening of jumping off bridges is Wednesday night the 30th and I think that's all I need to do for the conference. I should have some good solid writing time. It's sad, really, that I have to go to another city to get some concentrated writing done.

And then I get to hang out with Karen, Clare and Michael at the end of the week. Oh, I can't wait to see their faces.

And then Los Angeles. Oh, Los Angeles. Sigh.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Favorite Moment of the Day

Talking to a room full of about 40 folks at UT Forum between the ages of 60 and 80 (mostly retired) about making movies. Standing at the front of the classroom, looking out onto their sweet, curious faces and talking about storytelling just really made my day. I don't know what it was about them, but I could've stayed there all day long.

It All Matters

I'm happy it's Friday. Even though Saturday means a work day, prepping for my students' screening. But Saturday also means watching a Little League game with Sturge. And I've been looking forward to that all week.

As Mark tucked me in for bed last night, we chatted for a while before I fell asleep. About time and change and relationships and what we once were isn't exactly who we are now. So when I read Kelly's blog today it struck a chord. Not in a bad way, just in a, huh, things do change and as much as it makes me sad in some ways, it makes me happy too. And it gives me things to look forward to.

Excerpt from Kelly's Blog:
for change. that we change and evolve and grow up and out and all of that is ok. i'm really loving the idea that it's ok to move on in ways that are good for us, even if it means we're leaving something behind - that that 'something' served a very good purpose at a specific time in our lives, and now it's ok to move ahead without it. it's a way of honoring all meaningful bits and pieces of a life even when the meaning isn't so full or present anymore. it all matters.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Blood Tea and Red String

I'm not quite sure how to describe Blood Tea and Red String. It's a delicate, fantasy, stop motion adventure ... sweet, stomach turning, trippy, bittersweet, charming and heartfelt. I'm thankful for filmmakers like Christiane Cegavske who aren't afraid to let their imaginations run wildly and freely no matter if we completely understand it or not.

I think Dennis Harvey from Variety sums up the film best ... "a David Lynchean fever dream on Beatrix Potter terrain ... as lovingly crafter as it is unsettling sour-sweet."


The Kids Make Me Proud

So I have this teen student who really reminds me of my younger self. When she came to class the first day a few months ago, she had this energy of I'm going to be a director no matter what. But in a sweet, quiet sort of way. She continued to impress me with her passion, her writing and her organizational skills. Yes, I'm a sucker for organizational skills.

Her father handed in her film a little while ago. I hadn't seen the finished piece so I popped it into my computer. I watched. And I smiled. And then I teared up. It's something similar to what I would've written or wanted to make at that age. A soft, lyrical, awkward and sweet story about love and friendship.

I'm mega proud of all of my students. They blow me away. And I'm pleased to say we had lots of kick ass female directors this semester. Young and old. That's what I'm talkin' about!

Austin Summer Film Classes


Looking for a few good students.

2008 SUMMER SCRIPT TO SCREEN

Tuesdays, 6:30pm-9pm
May 13 - August 12 (no class July 1st)

FINAL SCREENING: August 16th @ the Dobie Theater

Tuition - $550
To Register

2008 TEEN FILMMAKING
May 12 - August 11 (no class June 30th)
Mondays, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
FINAL SCREENING: August 16th @ the Dobie Theater
Tuition - $550
To Register

Learn from Austin indie filmmaker, Kat Candler (cicadas, Roberta Wells, jumping off bridges) how to make a short film from writing the characters to submitting it to festivals. This hands-on course will take you through the process of making a short film from script to screen. Learn everything you need to know from screenwriting, shooting, scheduling, marketing, sound, directing, festivals. The class will be broken into small filmmaking teams. Each team will produce a short film using digital video technology. The course will feature guest speakers from the Austin Film Community on cameras, lighting and other elements of filmmaking. Students need to have access to a digital video camera. You will need to provide your own tapes and cover any expenses incurred by the short film.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Talent Agency Shake Ups

As I head to Los Angeles in a few weeks in search of representation, I found this LA Times Article that Lorie sent over pretty interesting. Watching Entourage gives you a glimpse (and I've heard it's fairly accurate) into the world of agencies and reps. So far my dealings have been pretty positive and the folks have been nice. We shall see.

This just after a week of talking about marketing, distribution and the Hollywood Players with my classes. I don't know why, but I do love to talk and read about this kind of stuff. I think the whole film market is super interesting.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ok, So I Get Obsessed - Stephen Chow

It's so fun discovering filmmakers. Yes, I realize that I'm a late comer in discovering the cinematic genius of Stephen Chow. I realize that I'm late in the game on a lot of movies, directors, movements, but whatever, I'm in love. With his sensibility, his heart, his cartoon world, his childlike nature and what sounds like a down to earth kindness. And lastly for not caring what anyone else thinks and just having fun.

For a dedicated populist whose slapstick comedic antics have included chewing a condom like a piece of gum and suspending a string of gleaming mucus from his nose while sucking face with screen goddess Karen Mok, Chow has earned some highbrow praise. Asiaphile director Quentin Tarantino has called him the best actor working in Hong Kong, while film critic Shelly Kracier, editor of the Chinese Cinema Digest, has written that Chow is a "genius." Genius or not, Chow is still as down-to-earth as an eager film extra. "He's one of the kindest, most charming people on earth," says Dede Nickerson, Miramax's Asia consultant, who helped Chow dub Shaolin Soccer into English for its U.S. cinema release. "He never compromises himself to the people around him." - Time Magazine

Duane Graves - The Wild Man of Navidad

There are a just a few filmmaker friends here in town that I can say, "We go way back." Duane Graves and I go "way back". Kind of like with David Lowery, the Zellners, Bob Ray. We've got history together. We've really grown up together. As filmmakers.

I met Duane in 2000 when both our first features were on the festival circuit. I was out with cicadas and he was out with Up Syndrome. If you haven't seen Up Syndrome, I'm telling you, i's a must see. It's a wonderful documentary portrait of his best friend who has down syndrome. It's as genuine and honest as you get. I'd loan you my copy, but it's pretty scratched and ragged from making other friends watch it. Luckily if you're in Austin you can rent it at your local mom and pop's video store. Otherwise, you'll have to wait for me to convince Duane to take his rights back from his current distributor and put it in the hands of someone that's gonna do something with it. Typical distribution bullshit.

So now Duane's heading to Tribeca at the end of the month with his latest film The Wild Man of Navidad. I haven't seen it yet, but I totally dig the trailer. I know old 70s horror is Duane's thing, so I'm anxious to see his own take on it. I'll be thinking really good thoughts as him and Justin head to NYC. If you're up there next week and the week after, go check it out.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Big Changes in Austin

We're losing Matt Dentler to New York City and Cinetic Media. It's a big loss for Austin. He's grown SXSW into one of the leading film festivals in the country and he's been a champion for the truly indie filmmaker. In his place, steps Janet Pierson, a quiet, but major force in this town. I'm excited to see where she takes the festival and how it evolves over the next few years.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

CJ7, Prom Night and Scott Porter

CJ7
I had such a fun time with this film. It's a goofy, silly, fun, sweet family comedy from Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle, Shaolin Soccer). I love Stephen Chow. He's so cool. You can tell by his films that he's probably a pretty wonderful human being. They've got so much heart. What I loved most was Jiao Xu's performance. This kid is awesome. Sure he knows how to ham it up, but it works.

Prom Night
I'm cool with cheesy, bad horror films that are so bad they're good. I'm not cool with bad, horror films that are so bad they're really boring. Prom Night could've been written by a twelve year old it was so bad. But actually that would be an insult to twelve year olds. Poor Mark fell asleep and started snoring. And when he finally woke up he just cursed the screen. With horror films, Mark's pretty forgiving and patient. So it was telling when he got so upset with this one. The only redeeming part was Scott Porter from Friday Night Lights. Sucks that he has to do this kind of schlock. I guess it's a paycheck.

And wouldn't you know it? I'm at the gym tonight working out and who shows up? Scott Porter. Weird.

Taking Flight - Coming Soon

Kelly's book, Taking Flight is coming out soon. I can't wait! Here's the beautiful cover.

I'm Free - Kenny Loggins


There's been a lot of Footloose talk lately ... today at Bella's party, tonight at Ryan's party. We were trying to figure out which song Kevin Bacon dances to in the mill. I'm pretty sure it's I'm Free by Kenny Loggins, but we'll have to have a Footloose party next weekend to watch it and be sure.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Tim Conway on 30 Rock!!!!!!!

Forgive my Tim Conway obsession. I can't help it. The man's so damn cute and so damn funny. And thank you lord, he'll be on 30 Rock this week! Tim Conway's about to make a major come back. You can quote me on that.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Chris Columbus - The Early Days of Genius

Chris Columbus was on fire in the late 80s. The Goonies, Gremlins, Home Alone, Adventures in Babysitting. I just finished watching Adventures in Babysitting again. It's as fun as I remember it. Elisabeth Shue singing the babysitting blues, the little girl, Sarah, meeting her hero Thor, Brad's heartbreak that Chris is too old and too out of his league, the one handed, gun toting truck driver and the hot guy in the Miami Vice sports jacket. Love it.

I'm ready to start my new script. It's piecing together in my head, bit by bit. After another fun few hours working with Chris today on SITB, I'm anxious to find a new adventure to jump into. Adelaide, Maddy, Harry, Bojo and Pittman will have to fly solo for a little while. I have a few new characters to befriend and tag along with.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

CJ7 CJ7 CJ7 CJ7 CJ7

Chapters 13 and 14 = Done

I love you Zen. I always get my best writing done with a veggie bowl in my belly and unlimited Diet Coke.

One more short and sweet three page chapter to go and my first draft of my first novelization will be done.

I never ever thought I'd write a novel. In fact I'd swore to people I'd never do it. That I would suck at it. I don't think I suck at it after all. Well, Kat, my dear, we proved ourself wrong, haven't we?

I LOVE TODAY!!!

Tim Conway - Mr. Fluffy Bunny

How I Procrastinate - Part II
(For Part I - Go
Here)
1) Tim Conway on YouTube
2) Trips to the Post Office (Every Single Day)
3) Links that Mark sends me about Lindsay Lohan doing nude scenes in her next film to prove she's a real actress.
4) Updating My List of To Dos which gets longer the more I procrastinate.
5) Loading in my new Sahara Hotnights CD that Mark bought me last night into my iTunes.
6) Confirming friends on Facebook

They Are Out There

The movie business is hard. It can be gross, slimy, painful and downright ugly. But there are people out there in film land that give you hope. They're solid and they're human. Just getting off the phone with one of them restores my faith. I love her to death and have admired her for years. She's one of the coolest, sweetest ladies in the world. I swear to god, there are others out there like her. They do exist. I promise.

I've been talking to agents and managers, putting packages in the mail, having phone meetings. And a hefty percent of the folks I've been dealing with have been super nice. Grant it, they're friends of friends, which always helps, but they've been really cool so far. We'll see how this upcoming trip to Los Angeles goes. A lot of things are going well at this point. That could change tomorrow or a week from now. But today, today is a good day. I like today.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Kung Fu Hustle - A Superhero Love Story

I loved Kung Fu Hustle. A story about finding the superhero in ourselves. About finding the courage to stand up for what we believe in. You can't beat that.

I wish some of Mr. Chow's imagination would find its way into American storytelling. I hope that his influences make their way to American screens. This film really reminds me of what I fell in love with as a kid. It has that child like innocence and sense of adventure and silliness. Something that I think has been a little absent since the 80s.

Mexiphobia at Cine Las Americas

Cine Las Americas

Please come out and support good friends and a great film!

Regal Metropolitan 11
Sunday, April 20, 2 PM

All audiences welcome


In the name of national security, the historic Mexican border-crossings of Boquillas, Santa Elena, and Paso Lajitas were closed, devastating the communal bonds that had existed on both sides of the Rio Grande for generations. These aggressive policies contrast sharply with those implemented to secure the United States’ northern border. Would this be the case if Canada were our neighbor to the south?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Olivia and the Brain Brawl Gang

I'm hanging out with Olivia and the Brain Brawl gang this week. Since I'm waiting for Chris on another SITB pass, I'm back to my kids at Hampton College Prep and their crazy antics. I have about a 1/4 more to finish up on the first draft of the young adult novel and then ready to pour through the 160 or so pages in a second draft.

I've got about 3 new story ideas that have been floating around my brain for a few years now. They're all kiddo movies ready to hit the pages. I'm anxious to start a new script.

I'm not ashamed of my love for kids films. I won't be making the next art house gem any time soon. Quite frankly, it doesn't interest me at this time in my life. I just want to have fun making big, silly family movies. I don't want to be too serious for a little while. The last few years have been too serious.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Fantastic Fest 2008

I just bought tickets for the 2008 Fantastic Festival. For Mark's birthday last year I got him a badge to the 2007 festival. It was his first film festival experience and he was completely smitten. It's all he talked about for months. We were supposed to go on a vacation this May but he wanted to save our money for Fantastic Fest instead. He's so cute. So maybe we'll get a room at the San Jose during the festival and call it a postponed vacation.

I'll admit, I'm a little nervous about the festival. Only because as I get older, my stomach gets weaker to horror films. I'll be closing my eyes and ears a lot probably. But it'll be fun.

So, yes, Brian you'll have to save us seats if you get a VIP badge.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Lindsay Gets Married

Paul Conrad and I went to see Lindsay Broockman get married tonight. It was a beautiful ceremony out at the Barr Mansion in East Austin. And what a perfect night for a wedding

Lindsay played the lead character in two of my short films, Avenue K and The Absence of Wings and the lead in my first feature film cicadas. We met when she was 14. I've since watched her grow into an extraordinary young woman who's mission it's been to save the world. From her work at the AIDS Action Committee in Boston to working in small villages in South America, I wouldn't be surprised if she ran for president one day. She'd win by a landslide. She's a force and a heart to be reckoned with.

The other night I watched cicadas again. I really miss that summer and that time in my life.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

John Krasinski Holds His Own

John Krasinski really holds his own against George Clooney in Leatherheads. It's a pretty forgettable film, but it's fun to watch him on screen. There's some really great chemistry between Clooney, Krasinski and Zellweger.

I've seen John Krasinski on The Office and thought yeah, he's good. But it was hard to watch him replace Martin Freeman. Dreamy, Martin Freeman. But when I saw John Krasinski in Smiley Face is when I sat up a little and thought, man, this guy's really got something. Smiley Face was a definite departure from everything else he's done. And he packed some nice comedic punch. I can't wait to see what else he does.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Tim Conway - The Elephant Story


I love Tim Conway so much. He's one of my first choices for a small role in Brain Brawl. This clip is awesome. You have to hold out for the entire thing. Stick with it.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Spider in the Bathtub - So Close

I just finished my last pass of The Spider in the Bathtub and sent it over to Chris. He'll take his last pass and then it heads to some new folks who we hope will enjoy the madcap adventures of the Cooper clan. No this doesn't mean that we won't be doing rewrites. And probably lots of them, but this is our last passes with our own notes.

I actually teared up for the first time while reading it. There's one scene in particular that just kills me. Chris is a mastermind. It's been an absolute joy working with him. And it's brought the story to a whole new level. I really really really love it.

Back to the young adult novel for a little bit.

Rough Cut Screenings Can Be Oh So Scary

All week we've been doing rough cut screenings of the students' films. Whether they're teens or adults, they all go in with frayed nerves and shaking boots. It's a state of panic putting your stuff in front of people whether it's in the rough cut stage or the finished product. But the students were brave souls. They all came out unscathed with new ideas, excitement to refine their cuts and fresh perspectives.

It's such a scary process but it's just chiseling away at something to make it better and better.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Kids Like Errol Morris

Fast Cheap and Out of Control was a hit in class today. Salesman, not so much. Bummer.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Night and Fog (1955)


I'd heard that watching Night and Fog was hard, I just didn't know how hard.

I didn't know I would sob uncontrollably. I didn't know that I'd try to shield my eyes from the most horrifying images I've ever seen. I didn't know that my belly would ache from needing to throw up afterwards . I didn't know that I would get nightmares. I didn't know that it would be the hardest and most painful 30 minutes of film I've ever sat through.