Saturday, May 31, 2008

Making Stew with Movies

There's something to be said for jumping into a minivan with a few friends, a camera, microphone, boom pole, some snacks, a crazy idea and driving to a graveyard. After some rolling in the dirt, chasing around tombstones, dodging ant piles, trying not to get kicked out and getting a slight sunburn, you have an hour of footage and a possible, silly, silly, silly short film. It's like making a stew without a recipe. Just throw in whatever you have lying around the house and see what you get. And having a super fun time in the process. Moviemaking = fun.

In playing along with Ben's idea of google searches. I put "fun filmmaking" into google image search and the Monster's Inc sketch was the first thing to come up.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Harvey Korman Dies at 81

Running Out of Ideas

3 O'Clock High (1987)

I've been in major movie consumption mode. Watching everything I can get my hands on. Keeping a running list of friend recommendations. Everything from High Plains Drifter to Wet Hot American Summer. Last night was a Duane Graves' recommendation. What do you mean you haven't seen 3 O'clock High? For real? Oh, Kat. So Mark and I rushed to the video store and grabbed that and a small stack of others. How did I miss this one? I guess in my John Hughes obsessed days, I never saw the cool video box art on the video store shelf. Is Molly Ringwald in it? Nope. Ok, moving on.

Ok, so this is a really strange, simple, amazingly crafted film. God, it's so simple. It's all about the bully who makes a date with the high school simpleton to beat 'em up at the end of the day, 3 O'clock to be exact. Easy tension. We're just waiting, biting our nails for 3 O'clock to come around to see if Goliath beats the crap out of David. Someone recently made a comment on one of my scripts. It feels like an extended short. It's too simple. Too small. So is this. And it works.

What makes this film, and I mean, really makes this film is the cinematography. Barry Sonnefeld shot this on the heels of Raising Arizona and it shows big time. I'm watching the opening shot and realizing ... it hasn't cut yet ... still no cut ... damn this is a long shot, still no cut? Whoa. And all of the crazy camera moves that must've taken forever to get just right. It's stunning. And in an 80s teen comedy. Huh. I have a new film to use in my camera movement/camera shots section of class. I loved this film. I could learn a ton from this film. And that's what all of this is about right now. Consume, consume, consume, learn, learn, grow.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

High Concept vs. Time Machines

I love the phrase high concept. It gets tossed out a lot in this Hollywood world. I pretend to understand what it means, but deep down, I'm like, huh?

High Concept is an intriguing idea that can be stated in a few words and is easily understood by all. Dude, that's like anything.

Hollywood movies = High Concept + Big Stars + Wide Audience Appeal. I know all this. But I want to think that studios can remember a time when they took chances on stories and directors. That there was a time when story superseded everything else. Maybe we should invent a time machine to go back to the 70s and 80s so we can remember that.

Some days I embrace and find the love for Hollywood, other days I want to light a match and watch it burn.

New Teen Film Class Available

June 26 - August 14 (no class June 30th)

Mondays & Thursdays, 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Tuition - $550

Learn from Austin indie filmmaker, Kat Candler (cicadas, Roberta Wells, jumping off bridges) how to make a short film alongside other teen filmmakers.

This hands-on course will take teenagers 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.

Teen Filmmaking : $550


Quarter to Noon - Music and Sound

I was over at Brian's last night to hear the first pass at the score and the sound design for Quarter to Noon. I had a big old smile on my face watching it. I'm extremely excited.

A few of us are on a movie making adventure this weekend. We're not expecting greatness, just some silly, stupid fun.

But on the note of new films, I might have to start planning another serious short film endeavor VERY soon. I've got a bug that I can't shake.

The Reality of Theatrical Releases in the Indie World

Our dear friend Jonathan Marlow (who I always like to say his name out loud in a British accent even though he's not British) over at Green Cine released this article on the state of indie film distribution. It's rather morbid, but completely and utterly realistic. And those of you who think different either a) Have a movie with huge stars and a studio backing you or b) Have never tried to release a truly independent film.

Recently in putting together a business plan for a new indie film of mine, the reality for this film is going straight to DVD and bypassing the coveted theatrical release. It's not the most celebrated path for a film, but it's the most realistic and sensible. It would be awesome, awesome, awesome to get picked up for a $10 million dollar ticket at Sundance. And that may be a reality if I'm backed by some heavy hitter name actors, Steven Spielberg's son as a producer and Bob Yari in the wings giving me a thumbs up for encouragement.

Over the fall of 2006, Stacy and I learned how hard it is to be a film distributor. You can check out a small recap of that adventure in this article for Filmmaker Magazine. I won't go into much detail because you can read it for yourself, other than saying I wouldn't want the life of a film distributor. It's no wonder they're looking for an easy sell. Duh. Yeah, as a indie filmmaker it sucks. Yeah, it makes me want to hurl when I think about getting picked up in the indie world with any other film. Just last night I had a short bitch session with a friend who's also put out two feature films and had the same struggles that we all go through. The empty promises, your movie staring at the empty walls of the distributor's shelf. It feels like a hopeless battle. But screw that. If you want to make movies, dude, you'll figure it out. You'll find your audience and you'll work your ass off to get it to them. I'm not a big fan of sitting around and waiting for someone to give you the golden ticket. If you're gonna sit around and wait, at least get out of the way and go sit on the sidelines. If you want to make movies ... you learn how to get them out into the world. Unless you're one of those tortured souls who makes something and then destroys it. That's cool or whatever. But I'm not like that and I don't have many friends who are either. So understand the business, understand the hardships and then figure out another way to make it work.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Breaking Dawn - Twilight Series

I had a dream. I had a dream that the fourth book in the Twilight series Breaking Dawn was somehow bootlegged and at a lunch with my old college buddy Maya and a high school friend, Paolo (who I haven't seen since graduation, but recently got back in touch with) had a copy. In my dream, I wanted to rip it from their hands and run away super fast. Ugh. So yeah, now I'm dreaming about it. I'm one of them. I'm one of the groupies. I haven't resorted to the chat rooms yet.

I'm about 150 pages away from finishing Eclipse and I'm dreading it. I'm taking it one chapter a day, trying to postpone the inevitable. The next book hits shelves August 2nd. There aren't enough chapters left to make it last that long. What will I do? Chat rooms?

Lady in White (1988)

In junior high I rented Lady in White at least ten times. It was a slumber party classic. I invited over my teeny bopper friends and then stayed up super late scared that the Lady in White was gonna come get us. I never brought home Friday the 13th (mom probably wouldn't have let me anyways) or Halloween. I really wasn't ready for those until college. I'm still not sure I'm ready for them.

Today was the last day at the Griffin School. They wanted me to do horror. For me as a kid, Lady in White was horror. This scared the pants off me. Watching it today, it still holds up. Although the effects are beyond cheesy. One of the Griffin kids pointed out that the effects in Sunrise (1927) were light years beyond this. Yep. Totally true. But the heart, the tension, the horror of losing a child and the magical feeling of fall and Halloween still hold up. One thing I think that makes this film so special, besides Lukas Haas, is the score. One of the kids compared it to Danny Elfman. Huh, yeah. I can totally see it.

This movie holds a huge place in my heart.

Kat Representin'

I am now a writer/director with representation. I struggled with the decision for a long while. I didn't have the luxury of going with the big guns, because I'm not hot right now. But after a few conversations with other folks who opted for the smaller agency instead of the big ones, I'm like, huh. Ok. So I carefully looked at the options and the players, trying to figure out the best scenario.

I had one little red gnome on my right shoulder giving me a stern look and saying very seriously .... Kat are you sure this is the right person? Is this really what you need right now? Don't jump into something if it doesn't feel right. This is a very, very big decision, Kat Candler.

And then the little blue gnome on my left shoulder was screaming and smiling all big like. Jump! Jump! Jump! What have you got to lose? JUMP!

For like the last week I've changed my mind every minute. Back and forth, back and forth. But over a phone conversation today my gut told me to jump with this one individual. So I did. And after I jumped, I felt no regret.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Waiting Game

Chris and I are waiting on notes from the agents and managers and a few other folks on SITB. The waiting game sucks. But I understand it. I read a lot of friends' scripts and student scripts, I know how long it takes to get to something. I always preface it with, "Sure I'll read it, but give me several weeks." The managers and agents tell you, "While you wait, write and produce new stuff." And so I do.

I've been working on a new script for the past few weeks. I dug through this compartment I have labeled "Kat's Writing". It's every scribbled outline, scene on a napkin or play I've ever written. I knew there was a piece that was the very loose beginnings of my first feature film, cicadas. I wrote it in word when I first moved to Texas over ten years ago. And now I'm using it again. I do this a lot. This file box is where The Spider in the Bathtub came from. A one-act play I wrote in college that my drama professor said, "You should really think about making this into a short film".

So I've pretty much wrapped the first draft. The last act is kind of lame right now. It's all super bare bones. But the story and layout are all there. Now it's going back through and sitting with the whole thing and layering and tweaking it into a nice 2nd draft. It's a simple little teen thriller. Teens, I know. Shocking! Dude, that's what I know. Anyhow, It's an easy, cheap shoot. It's something I don't have to direct. (Of course, I say that now) Just something to write while I need to be writing. This will add to a small stack of feature films that aren't quite finished, but are in decent shape.

I have another comedy idea that I'm loving more and more. I hope to write that one next. It takes way more pre-planning though. Cause it's adults, I have to wrap my brain around it a littl more. I write it in my head before I fall asleep or when I'm waiting at the doctor's office. Something even more shocking, the adults will be the main characters. But, of course, it still has kids in it. Cut me some slack.

Sydney Pollack - Dies at 73

Sydney Pollack, Film Director, Dies at 73

Published: May 26, 2008

LOS ANGELES — Sydney Pollack, a Hollywood mainstay as director, producer and sometime actor whose star-laden movies like “The Way We Were,” “Tootsie” and “Out of Africa” were among the most successful of the 1970s and ’80s, died on Monday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 73.

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Sydney Pollack at the premiere of "Breaking And Entering" in New York City in 2007.

The cause was cancer, said a representative of the family.

Mr. Pollack’s career defined an era in which big stars (Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand, Warren Beatty) and the filmmakers who knew how to wrangle them (Barry Levinson, Mike Nichols) retooled the Hollywood system. Savvy operators, they played studio against studio, staking their fortunes on pictures that served commerce without wholly abandoning art.

Hollywood honored Mr. Pollack in return. His movies received multiple Academy Award nominations, and as a director he won an Oscar for his work on the 1985 film “Out of Africa” as well as nominations for directing “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” (1969) and “Tootsie” (1982).

Last fall, Warner Brothers released “Michael Clayton,” of which Mr. Pollack was a producer and a member of the cast. He delivered a trademark performance as an old-bull lawyer who demands dark deeds from a subordinate, played by George Clooney. (“This is news? This case has reeked from Day One,” snaps Mr. Pollack’s Marty Bach.) The picture received seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and a Best Actor nomination for Mr. Clooney.

Mr. Pollack became a prolific producer of independent films in the latter part of his career. With a partner, the filmmaker Anthony Minghella, he ran Mirage Enterprises, a production company whose films included Mr. Minghella’s “Cold Mountain” and the documentary “Sketches of Frank Gehry,” released last year, the last film directed by Mr. Pollack.

Apart from that film, Mr. Pollack never directed a movie without stars. His first feature, “The Slender Thread,” released by Paramount Pictures in 1965, starred Sidney Poitier and Anne Bancroft. In his next 19 films — every one a romance or drama but for the single comedy, “Tootsie” — Mr. Pollack worked with Burt Lancaster, Natalie Wood, Jane Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Nicole Kidman, Ms. Streisand and others.

For more of the story ....

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend Movie Binge

I've been on a Memorial Day Weekend Movie Binge. Two on Friday/Saturday. Five on Saturday/Sunday.

New Best Friend
Ummm ... hmmm. Not so great. I loved Wild Things. The New Best Friend gang was trying to pull off the same sort of thing but it didn't really work.

Damn it's good. The script is just as crazy as its characters. Downright hilarious laugh out loud moments to tension that left me curling as small as I could fit into my lazy boy.

I wish Juliette Lewis hadn't taken up rock n roll in exchange for movies. That girl's something else.

Prince Caspian
My mom read the books to me and my brother as a kid, but I couldn't tell you much of what happened besides a wardrobe leading into a world of minotaurs and ice queens. And I didn't see the first one that came out a few years ago. I was a little lost to references to the first film/story. But after a bit of narrative set up, I fell into it. Yes, it had all the makings of a good TV movie for kids, but on a big screen. But who cares, I totally enjoyed it. Even teared up a little. That Peter Dinklage and the kid that plays Peter stole the show for me.

I'm writing a new script that involves obsessive love. So I pulled some random stuff off the shelf. This was one of those. It doesn't even involve obsessive love. I just grabbed it. It's fine. Nothing out of the ordinary. It reminds me what an amazing kid actor Dakota Fanning was. You can't deny it. Even after years of Dakota Fanning saturation, go back and look at her earlier days, the girl's really good.
What Happens in Vegas
I'm an Ashton Kutcher fan. I might be in the minority, but I don't care. I think the kid is great. Not so much a kid anymore, I guess. But he's completely charming and is the kind of actor that doesn't care about making a complete fool of himself. I laughed out loud pretty much through the entire thing. It's a solid, hilarious, sometimes very cheesy romantic comedy that knows how to bring it to the screen. It's a solid popcorn flick that left me wanting more.

The Retelling - Fundraiser, 6/7, 11am, Alamo South

Please join Emily Hagins, her cast and crew for a fundraiser for her 2nd feature film, The Retelling.

Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
11am - 1pm
Saturday, June 7th

Two hours of short films, trailers, behind the scenes footage ...

Help support local independent teen filmmaking at its finest.

Mark your calendars!!!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

SNL Rules after the Writer's Strike

Movies that Go Bump in the Night

Cloverfield - LOVED IT! I missed it in the theaters and so sadly had to watch it on a much smaller screen. But man, oh man, I love me some monster movies. It's nice to see quality comebacks between this and The Host.

An American Haunting - A friend recently said, "All great horror films center on a child in danger". Yep. I think that's true. This was a random pick off the video store shelf. It's not great or anything. I'm not crazy about the weird accents or the swirly camera work, but at the heart of the film it has a great story. A great story that wasn't well executed. And when at the end of the film it says Based on True Events, it's like, c'mon dude. For real.

Something to keep in mind when watching ghost stories, ghosts are always there to do good. No matter how creepy or scary.

That Darn Cat

PC Bean was a very bad boy today. He gave his mom and dad an awful fright. At 9:45am I let him outside while I fumigated my little apartment to rid ourselves of fleas. When I came back and aired it out a few hours later, I called out into the parking lot, "Pork Chop" and did that cat call thing that he always responds to. Normally he comes bounding out of the bushes right up to me. But no sign of Bean. Oh, silly Bean, he's probably napping in some grass somewhere. An hour later, still no sign. Another hour passed, still no sign of my little one. My heart was pounding a little faster. Finally by 5pm, I emailed Mark "I'm worried, I can't find him anywhere". I'd walked the block, around the back of my apartment, down the alleyway. Nothing. My stomach was doing flip flops. Shit, shit, shit, shit. We have a bunch of guys remodeling our apartment complex this week so the following thoughts rushed through my head.

a) They accidentally locked him in another apartment they were working on.
b) They let him in while I was gone and the fogging was going on. He'd been smothered by fumes.
c) They scared the bejeevees out of him with their power saws and he ran away.

Mark raced home and we searched and searched. The whole block, the neighbors. I kept telling myself, he fell asleep somewhere and lost track of time. He'll get hungry and come home before it gets too late.

We grabbed dinner, a DVD and pulled back into the parking lot. We called again, scoured the block, the alleyway, grabbed the flashlight. Still nothing. It was about 9pm at this point and my little baby had been gone for 12 hours. Two more hours went by and nothing. By this point I was in full panic mode. Mark found me convulsing in tears on my bed. "It's all my fault. I let him out. He got lost. He doesn't know how to get home". Mark went out on another search and rescue mission while I started my LOST CAT post on our neighborhood website. As soon as I'd written "My cat went missing this morning and I'm completely heartbroken over it ..." Mark and PC Bean walked through the door. PC BEAN!!!!!!!!!! He was welcomed with a million kisses, a big belly rub and a million more kisses. And then the bath I'd been waiting all day to give him. Oh PC Bean, you're never going outside these four walls ever, ever, ever, ever again.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Get Rid of Fleas Day

Pork Chop is outside hiding from me right now. The bathtub awaits him.

Today is GET RID OF FLEAS DAY. Me and Pork Chop go through this every summer. It's inevitable. He knows it. I know it.

So what do we do on GET RID OF FLEAS DAY?

1) Fog the apartment. This entails, 2 hours of fogging and many hours of getting rid of that horrid fogging smell.

2) Get the fleas off Pork Chop. This means giving him Capstar, this fancy pill that kills fleas on his little body within 30 minutes. Then we scrub him down in the bathtub. Blow dry him into a fuzzy gray ball. And lastly apply Advantage to the back of his neck which drives him nuts because he can't reach it. (That's the point, little buddy.)

3) Wash every rug, towel, clothing item in the house.

4) Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum and vacuum some more.

5) Cross my fingers super duper tight and think really good thoughts of fleas choking and croaking to their little deaths.

Secret Honor - Robert Altman

I'm an Altman fan through and through. On the first day of every class I teach, I use him as an example. He made tons of movies up until the day he died. Good ones, bad ones, classics, duds. That's what I love about Mr. Altman. He told stories and made movies like he breathed air. It was just part of his anatomy.

Last night we watched Robert Altman's Secret Honor. I wasn't a fan. I appreciate it, but I didn't like it. I'm sure there are many reasons. First being that it's an adaptation of a play. Coming from a pretty hard core theater background before I moved in to film, I appreciate theater on a stage, not on a screen. There are reasons some stories are in a book. There are reasons some stories are on a stage. And there are reasons some stories are on a screen. This is one I think I would've appreciated more in a dark theater, with the intimacy of a few feet between me and the live actor.

I can't argue with Philip Baker Hall's performance. It's stellar. And what I took away last night was seeing something come out of that man, that I've never ever seen before. As I sat there watching the movie and two of the actors from The Two Bobs popped their heads in to the conference room to grab something, all I could think was, do young actors these days really know the power of good acting? I mean do they? It's not a jab towards them at all. I just really wonder how someone can get to such a performance like that.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Intern Adam

I have a new intern for the summer. Intern Adam. Storie Productions has had a few interns to date. Some ok, some, out of this world. But this is my first intern for me. Just me. Like Daffy Duck said when he found the pearl in the clamshell, He's mine. Mine, mine, mine, mine.

Intern Adam is pretty darn rad. He'll be a sophmore at UT in the RTF department in the fall. My summer mission is to educate him, show him the ropes, introduce him around and get him to finish the first draft of his first screenplay by summer's end.

His first list of tasks from last week are accomplished. Read and watch almost everything I've ever done. Well, not everything, but my major scripts and movies. Check, check, check and check. He also had to find out who had the rights to Junie B Jones. The author still holds the rights. Yay! So far, so good. I'm liking this kid a lot. He's fast, he's efficient and he's nice.

Today his assignment was to go see Indiana Jones with me and Shana. Ok so this assignment was silly and fun. Shana didn't have to twist my arm to get me to go. Having an intern is fun. It's kind of like having a little buddy that makes phone calls for me and likes to chat endlessly about movies and TV. Intern Adam.

Just FYI, I'm having an issue with uploading photos or else there'd be some photos in the last few entries. Kat and technology = not good.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Needles, Rollercoasters and Okra

I'm an allergic mess right now. Stuffed up nose, runny nose (it's very indecisive), fever, headache, sore throat, drippy throat, faint cough from the drippy throat and the occasional sneeze.

I have no idea what I'm allergic to. I visited the allergist for the first time about a year and a half ago. He told me there was no telling what I was allergic to. I'd have to come back to run tests.

Tests? What kind of tests?

Well, we'll stick needles all over your back to figure out what exactly your allergic to.

Uh, I don't think so, Dr. Allergist. I freak out for a week before going in to get my blood drawn. Me and needles don't mix. Me and rollercoasters don't mix. Me and okra ... don't mix. The last time I rode a rollercoaster, I almost threw up. The last time I ate okra, I almost threw up. I won't be back for that needle test thing you do.

So I face the unknown allergies alone. Is it pollen? Ragweed? Mold? My beloved Zen veggie bowl? I'll never know. I don't do needles.

Grip Trucks

Seeing my husband makes me happy. Seeing my friends makes me happy. Seeing my mom and dad's faces makes me happy. And seeing grip trucks makes me happy. No joke. I get giddy over grip trucks. Large, small, 3-Ton, 5-Ton, 10-Ton and 12-Ton. I love 'em all and wish they were mine.

All week I've looked out my office window and watched this movie in production. I stare at their grip truck like a school girl in love. Sigh.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Magnitude of Television

We just got our Nielson Ratings for our jumping off bridges screening on PBS in NYC last month. We had 86,475 viewers. There's no way we would've gotten that in theaters. They said we were above average in the programs normal ratings. That brings a big ole smile to my face.

cicadas is scheduled for a July screening on WNET. More details on that later.

Quarter to Noon - Updates

So the short film, Quarter to Noon which I shot last October, has maybe a month left. Hopefully. We wrapped the special FX and are in the process of working on the score and the sound design. Yes, it's been a lengthy process, but such is the case when you're working with your way talented friends who are working for free and have to fit it into their tight schedules.

I'll shoot something else very soon. Something silly and fun. Something on the fly, no script, nothing organized or too planned. It makes me a little nervous, but I have to let that anxiety for spreadsheets and lists subside a little. It's fun, Kat. It's just silly, fun.

Monday, May 19, 2008

To Los Angeles or Not To Los Angeles

There's been a lot of talk about Los Angeles lately. To go or not to go, that is the question.

Yes, I've professed my undying love for Austin. Yes, I want to raise my family here. Yes, I feel a lot of love from this city. Yes, it'd be a total shame to leave.

Would I move to Los Angeles? Yes. There, I said it. I would move to Los Angeles. Please don't throw the slings and arrows just yet. Would I move there tomorrow? Probably not. The only reason I would move to Los Angeles is if I had a job lined up. And by job, I mean directing or writing.

So don't think that my bags are packed and I'm heading out the door anytime soon. My eyes are just opening a little more to the opportunities.

Still No Women in Film? Really?

After another recent chat with friends about this whole ordeal, I still have steam fuming from my ears. We're all baffled why this hasn't received more media attention. I mean, seriously. Really? Here's Nikki Finke's follow up article ...

The Reality Behind Jeff Robinov's "Denial"

robinovsandy.JPGNormally, I wouldn't bother to delve into this. But I feel it's important for my readers to know that Warner president of production Jeff Robinov had many opportunities to deny my Friday posting that he'd articulated a new decree to three different producers that "We are no longer doing movies with women in the lead", that a male has to be the lead of every pic made, and that he doesn't even want to see a script with a woman in the primary position. I stand by my story, Warner's Robinov Bitchslaps Film Women. Now here's what happened behind the scenes.

I heard nothing from anyone at Warner Bros on Friday, Saturday or Sunday despite my emails because the studio, I later heard, decided on a strategy of no comment regarding my posting. Early Monday AM, I was awakened by a phoner from a studio head telling me he'd received a call from Robinov asking for advice on "how to have a better relationship with Nikki Finke". (The studio head, who works for a rival to Warner Bros, advised: "Don't lie to her.") warnerbroslogo-200.jpgThe mogul said Robinov wanted a go-between to find out whether I would be willing to talk to him off the record. I was puzzled by this, since Hollywood people just pick up the phone and talk to me directly, but I said of course. I phoned Robinov's office. Since our conversation was off the record, I cannot divulge what Robinov said to me except to characterize our entire exchange as extremely cordial. I did ask over and over whether he wanted to comment publicly on my posting.

Around noon, I received an email from Robinov. I treat emails sent to me as private, so I won't divulge its contents except to characterize it as charming.

During Monday, I received calls from radio and TV wanting to interview me on the air about my Robinov posting. I was feeling ill, so I declined. This is after my posting had been carried all weekend by many high-profile websites and blogs.

women_main480.jpgAround 5 pm Monday, I received a phone call from Robinov. He said he wanted me to post this on the record statement from him: "I never said it. I don't believe that you shouldn't put women as the leads in movies. It's not a philosophy I hold." I asked him if he'd received any phone calls during the day about the posting. He said, "None." I said, "Really, not from anyone? Because I've been receiving phone calls." He repeated that no one had called him on it. I also asked if he was giving this denial to any other media outlet. He said no and told me, "I made a promise to you that since you had posted the story, I would only go to you to comment on it publicly."

Immediately after his call, I phoned a Warner Bros PR rep to check with Robinov one last time to make sure he wanted to go public. The flack asked me to wait to post, then reached Robinov and phoned me back before 7 pm saying, "Look, he's thought about it, and he doesn't want to issue any statement. So let's just forget about it."

chicksbehindflicks.jpgOn Tuesday, I was ill and unable to take any phone calls or read emails. No one official from Warner Bros phoned or emailed, but several insiders did tell me that the studio had been flooded with calls regarding Robinov and women. At 7:30 pm that day, a brief article posted online at, saying, "Contrary to recent reports in the blogosphere, Warner Bros is still committed to women. Despite the failure of three femme-centered actioners produced by Joel Silver -- Jodie Foster starrer The Brave One; The Reaping, with Hilary Swank; and the remake The Invasion, starring Nicole Kidman, Warner production prexy Jeff Robinov insists he is moving forward with several movies with women in the lead. Indeed, he is offended by rumors of his cinematic misogyny."

Sources inside Warner's tell me that, 1) Robinov doesn't believe there's an actress who can carry a movie worldwide since Julia Roberts, 2) Robinov has now gone so far as admitting to his studio colleagues that the decree I reported was made when he was "in the room", 2) Robinov is acknowledging that the studio is reassessing the strategy of making action pictures starring women, 3) Robinov was inundated with calls on Monday and Tuesday from media and Hollywood types asking him about my posting, 4) Robinov has three pics currently in production and six in pre-production and not one stars a women as the main lead of the film, 5) he's nixed Wonder Woman as a stand-alone film, downgrading her to just one of four superhero characters in the proposed Justice League pic, and, 6) Robinov will only make Wonder Woman as a spin-off of Justice League, about four superheroes including Wonder Woman. But his proviso is that JL (no doubt its proper name Justice League Of America would be too jingoistic for the foreign market) would have to do really, really boffo to justify having a female star-driven pic. Again, I stand by my story.

Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse

I go through phases of reading. Binges really. I'm on a complete binge. I can't get enough of Stephenie Meyer's series. I devoured Twilight, poured through New Moon and now I'm deep into Eclipse. I almost need to slow down. I don't want to reach the end. I want to keep living in the world of Bella Swan and the Cullen family. I think the 4th installment comes out in August. I don't know if I can wait.

Son of Rambow

A movie that unlocks the door and lets out the little kid in all of us. And I'm happy to set her free I'm happy to let her run around. With muddy knees and grass stained jeans she jumps and races and climbs trees. She digs holes to China, plays house with her Barbie dolls and plays hopscotch on the sidewalk.

I wish I could watch it every single day.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Retelling - Help Indie Filmmaker

Emily Hagins made her first feature film, Pathogen, at age 12. Now at 15, she's shooting her second feature film, The Retelling. Just like any independent filmmaker, Emily could use your help.

The Retelling starts shooting this July. I highly encourage your support of this talented teen filmmaker.

Here are two ways you can help out:

1) Donate through Pay Pal to help her raise the rest of her budget.
2) Donate a meal during the shoot. In independent filmmaking, food is one of the biggest costs. If you can donate a meal to feed her cast/crew, it would be huge. Send an email to or call Megan at 512.633.7232 to sign up.

Realism in Cinema

The kids at Griffin liked Breathless, weren't too into Open City, sorta kinda liked A Woman Under the Influence and laughed out loud pretty hard at The Puffy Chair.

I was super proud of last Wednesday's presentation. I spent a good amount of time doing my research and putting together my outline. And then when I got home to brag to Mark about it he was all "Well did you talk about this? What about this? Did you tell them this?" My face fell a little. I wish Mark had the guts to teach. He knows a bazillion times more than me and he gets so excited about it. I'm trying to nudge him to help teach my last class. We're doing horror.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Zen Goes Indie

I don't know who controls the Muzak at Zen, but I'm sitting here listening to Built to Spill, The Shins and Superchunk. This certainly brightens my Friday night while I work and make notes on student screenplays.

Party at The Peacock

Wednesday night Stacy and I hosted a get together at The Peacock for former students. It was great to see their faces. Some students I still see and even work with on projects, some I haven't seen in ages. I loved listening to their current film exploits. One worked in casting on The Tree of Life, several have shot short films, one is about to DP his first feature film, one won an Alamo Drafthouse film contest and one is even headed to Japan on Monday to shoot a documentary. I love it. I'm proud. My kids.

Stacy and Ben Bartley (Summer 2007 Student)

Elena, Greg and Nick (Spring 2007 Students)

Meg and Annette (Summer 2007 Students)

Mark Hall and Zac Magrini (Summer 2007 Students)

Ready? Ok!

I met up with Carrie Preston (Michael Emerson's wife) in Los Angeles. Carrie's in LA shooting the new HBO series True Blood. Her new film, Ready Ok is on the festival circuit right now. It plays at the NewFest in NY in a few weeks. Watch the trailer and go see the film when it comes to your hood!


JUNE 7th @ 5:30pm
JUNE 8th @ 1:30 pm

AMC LOEWS 34th St.
312 W. 34th St. / 8th Ave.
New York, NY

For tickets:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

First Day of School

I head back to school tonight. It's the first night of my new Script to Screen class. I look forward to the new films, new ideas, new imaginations ...

I've been thinking about trying to audit a film history class. It's something I never had in college. Being an English major I learned about Virginia Woolf instead of Francois Truffaut. Doing this film analysis class at the Griffin School has forced me to research and learn on my own, but it'd be nice to take a class, get assignments and have discussions. (I can't believe I'm actually saying that. I vowed I'd never go back to school. Never ever.) But this would be different. It'd be for fun.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Avenues and Opportunities

A few different paths keep opening up. Something here, maybe something there.

I don't know where I'll be in the next six to nine months, both career wise and geography wise. I could be in the very same spot that I'm in right now or I could be in a different city doing something totally different (still in film, mind you). Who knows? It's both exciting and scary to think about. I've allowed myself to walk toward a few open doors (as my friend Chris likes to put it). They might smack me in the nose when I get too close. I don't know. It's a strange and fun time to be in right now. I feel it in my belly. Something's gonna happen soon, I'm just not sure what it is.

I'm lucky to have a pretty awesome husband who supports this crazy filmmaking dream of mine.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Los Angeles - Day #6 and #7

Hollywood Boulevard

Richard and Ariana from Chill Entertainment

Garrett at In and Out Burger

Friday = An excellent meeting and a not so excellent meeting. The not so excellent meeting made me really appreciate all of the other meetings I'd had all week. Lunch at Doughboy's with Richard and Ariana and topping off the night with In and Out Burgers and Baby Mama with Garrett. The In and Out Burger wasn't as delicious as I remember it being. When I got home and told Mark about my burger experience, he told me I was wrong.

Saturday = LAX is like Disney World except without the rides at the end of the excruciatingly long lines. The good part of my plane trip home was sitting across the aisle from Rowdy Stovall and getting to hear all about his Los Angeles adventures and what he's been up to on Mexican Sunrise.

Celebrity Sightings = 0
Parking Tickets = 0

Austin I Love You

Coming home from Los Angeles I feel like I need to do the following things:

1) Lose Weight
2) Get a new hair cut
3) Buy new shoes
4) Wear earrings more often
5) Go shopping for new clothes
6) Buy more beauty products

Friday, May 09, 2008

Los Angeles - Day #5

Garrett and Aaron

Trey and Mari

It's 1:00am and I'm just getting home from a long night catching up with friends, watching the Spurs beat some basketball team from somewhere I can't remember where and thinking up a fun new idea for a script.

Two really great meetings today. I have a lot to think about, a lot to consider. All good though. It's nice because the last time I was here I felt like I was peeking over the fence at the cool playground that the neighbors had. Now I feel like they're inviting me over to play. Who knows what will happen. I should go to bed instead of watching Even Stevens on Disney. Tomorrow's a big day.

Celebrity Sightings = 0
Parking Tickets = 0
Parking Tickets for Garrett = 1 (bummer)

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Los Angeles - Day #4

I love my hotel room. It's cheap, convenient and it's mine. My friends rule for letting me sleep on their couches, but it's nice to have my own place where I can do my own thing and not worry about bothering anyone.

I had a great, great meeting with a manager. I learned a lot about the world of television writing. Both afternoon meetings were moved, so I met up with Garrett, grabbed New Moon from the bookstore, wandered the Farmer's Market and 3rd Street.

So this is what Los Angeles looks like right now. It's Indy mania. Billboards of Harrison Ford are everywhere you look.

Tomorrow, more manager meetings.

Celebrity Sightings = At dinner Courtney saw some guy from Project Runway, but I haven't seen much of this season so I wasn't sure who she was talking about.
Parking Tickets = 0

Driving in Los Angeles

Kat driving in Los Angles.

Garrett driving with Kat in Los Angeles.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I finished the book last night and now I'm a crazed fangirl. I'm waiting for Garrett to get here so we can run to the book store to grab the next installment New Moon. I admit I couldn't get into the Harry Potter books, but Stephenie Meyer definitely sucked me in (no pun intended). I'm giddy over the teaser trailers, behind the scenes looks, stills ... I can't get enough of it.

Austin takes over LA Film Festival

It was officially announced today. Spencer, PJ, Jay and Matt are headed to the Los Angeles Film Festival in June.

Directed by PJ Raval and Jay Hodges
Executive Produced by Matt Dentler
Edited by Kyle Henry

I'll Come Running
Written and Directed by Spencer Parsons

If you're in Los Angeles when they screen, please god, go!!!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Los Angeles - Day #3

Good Day. Nice people. Kick ass meetings.

Watching BBC shows with Brad before heading to bed.

Learning to adjust to the lack of left turn signals in Los Angeles and reading the parking signs very, very carefully.

Sadly no meetings on the Warner Brothers lot lined up. But I might be touring Cartoon Network tomorrow. And one of my best friends from high school arrives in the morning and will be tagging along for the rest of my visit. Yes!

Celebrity Sightings = 0
Parking Tickets = 0

Monday, May 05, 2008

Los Angeles - Day #2

Los Angeles is a strange place. I like it, but it kind of freaks me out too. Again, I don't think I could live here. Small stints, yes. Forever, no.

Spent the morning in Santa Monica meeting friends of friends. Not realizing they were friends of friends until the conversation went from here to there and then "Oh my god, you know so and so, I know so and so." I'm continually amazed how small the film community is. How everyone is a few degrees separated from one another. It's pretty cool.

I had a late afternoon meet up with some friends in Burbank and got to spy the big Warner Brothers lot and NBC studios driving through the streets. No meetings set up for Warner Brothers, sadly. I hear it's really cool in there.

I forgot to take photos today. Sorry Mark.

Celebrity Sightings = 0
Parking Tickets = 0

Junie B Jones on Stage

Back when I was still working in a book store, I really, really, really wanted to figure out how to direct a film version of Nancy Drew. At the time, Nancy Savoca was working on an adaptation. So my hopes on that one were crushed. And then, of course, Andrew Fleming beat us both to the punch.

But now, now, I want to figure out who owns the rights to Junie B Jones. I love this character so much. She's such a little spit fire. Mark just sent me a note that they've taken Junie to the stage. There's a production coming to the Paramount Theater in Austin next January. I'm so there. So I think maybe while I'm here, I might scrounge around to find out who owns the film rights to Miss Jones. Hmmm ...

I'm also reading Twilight. Holy crapola, I love it! Can't put it down. Oh, Edward Cullen, so dreamy.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Los Angeles - Day #1

I'm so friggin' tired. 9:30pm in Los Angeles = 12:30pm in Boston. Oh my lord, I'm tired.

After a 2-hour afternoon chat with Aaron and a nice pizza dinner with Brad, Aaron and Debbie, I'm about to collapse.

Tomorrow I head to Santa Monica, back to West Hollywood and then to Burbank. It's a full day. Lots of driving. No down time.

Celebrity Sightings = Seth Rogen and James Franco. But this was in the Austin airport, so I'm not sure if that counts. I'm guessing there was a screening last night of Pineapple Express?

Parking Tickets = 0

12 Hours in Austin

After landing late last night, doing some laundry, watching Jonah Hill on SNL and catching up with my husband, I'm ready to turn around and head to warmer climates this morning. By the end of the Boston trip, I remembered why I don't live anywhere above the mid-West. It's cold, it's rainy, going outside seems like a task. But now I head to sunny Los Angeles and the weather report for the week says "Sunny, Clear Skies, BEAUTIFUL". Well, maybe not "BEAUTIFUL", but it's implied with the big, happy sun icon.

My mission for Los Angeles, take lots of photos. Mark loves the photos. Apparently I didn't take enough in Boston even though he loved the many, many pictures of tulips and trees.

So here's a sprinkling of photos from Boston. Flowers and friends.