Sunday, May 31, 2009

Shame on You, Showtime

Kurt's Poster

Showtime's Poster

Huh. Wonder which one came out first? Kurt's!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Harvey Danger - Flagpole Sitta

Back when Disturbing Behavior came out in 1998 they used Harvey Danger's Flagpole Sitta in the trailer. It was brilliant. In fact, I think that's what got me in the theater. The movie was a total stinker (even though I own it ... research), but damn the trailer was great. As I sit here working on my own little teen horror romp, I want to play this over and over and over again.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sam Raimi is Back!

I just want to stand up and clap. And clap. And clap. And clap. Standing friggin' ovation. Damn. Drag Me to Hell is pure Sam Raimi gold. Please, Sam, skip the next Spider Man, stick with what you love. Because your heart and your humor and your fun bag of tricks was all over that screen tonight. A total rollercoaster ride that I didn't want to get off of.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Yo Teach

Being a Teacher

I was not the greatest academic student in the world. I never raised my hand in class. And when Mr. P in my dreaded AP American History class would call on me out of the blue (he liked to do that), my voice would quiver, I'd stumble over my words, have no idea what the answer was and end up feeling like a complete idiot. And it sucked. Especially when I went to school with a bunch of geniuses.

I did what I had to do in order to make the grade and get by at Stanton College Prep. I always made As and Bs. And even though I thought As and Bs were pretty good, my dad would always tell me I could do better. Apparently an A+ was the only way to go. But my heart wasn't really into math or science or history or physics or calculus or even P.E..

But then in eighth grade I found myself taking a drama class. It was the only elective that sounded kinda cool. And it seemed like most of the upper class cool kids were in theater. And that's how I met Jeff Grove. Mr. Grove was my drama teacher. I had him most of my junior and high school years. It was fate, I think. Early on, he seemed to recognize something in me. Something, I guess he though was kinda special. And because he knew it was something I loved and something I was a little good at, he pushed me to keep going and grow. He told me I could do anything, be anything. Be on Broadway even. Really? He wrote me countless letters of recommendation for colleges and came to every single one of my community theater productions from Fiddler on the Roof to Ah Wilderness. And I will never never never never ever ever forget how he inspired and motivated me to do what I loved to do. He even has the "Executive Producer" credit on my last short film. Because even 20 years later, he still believes in me.

About two and a half years ago, I started teaching film. I had students from the age of 12 all the way up to 60 years old. And through these last two and a half years, I saw in so many of my students what Mr. Grove must've seen in me. And when you think you might be doing something so small like telling a fifteen year old "Hey, you know what? You're a really great editor. You should edit more stuff." that it'll make such an impression that two years later his mom finds her way into your office. She's holding a graduation announcement and a thank you letter for encouraging and believing in him. And that's when the tears start flowing. That thank you letter ... one of the greatest gifts someone could give me.

My hats off to teachers everywhere. You inspire and encourage and believe. You make an imprint on children's lives that you may never ever ever realize. I wish we could pay you each a million bucks a year. Cause really that's what you deserve.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Do What You Love

I firmly believe that if you do what you love ... facing rejection, facing years and years of hard work, making things your not proud of while perfecting things you are proud of, learning lots of lessons along the way, always keeping true to yourself and your needs and your goals and what you love to do more than anything else in the world ... you'll eventually make money at it. It may not happen in a year, it may not happen in five, but it might happen in ten or twelve or eventually someday. Besides, if it makes you happy, there ain't nothin' better in the world.

That's all. The End.

Scattered and Bobattered

I'm feeling completely scattered today. My hearts been pitter pattering a little faster than normal. Between trying to get a TFPF grant out the door, quicktime issues with Quarter to Noon and all of the other things that have piled up on my list of "to dos". I don't know. When do I get to write again? Has summer officially started yet? Is that when the writing begins? I just want to write. Can I just write?

Monday, May 25, 2009

What I Love About Joe Dante

His long time collaboration with Jerry Goldsmith.

He makes movies for the kid in all of us.

His sheer love for monster movies. Funny and scary.

His quirky sensibility and fun times with a camera.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Meatballs (1979)

After about 20 minutes in, I'm like, "Wait a second, I've seen this movie before. It's all coming back to me. There's lots of sex jokes, some sort of race, the guy that sleeps in trees ..." The movie's good. It's not like the most amazing thing in the world, but it's a lot of fun. The kind of movie that comes on on a Saturday afternoon and you just can't help but plop on the couch and finish it all the way to the end.

What I love most about it? Tripper Harrison. That's Bill Murray's character. My new hero. He's ridiculously hilarious, sexy (seriously, just look at his legs in those short shorts), sweet as hell, sticks up for the underdogs, totally cool and has a heart of gold. I want him to be my friend. I want him to believe in me, like he believed in Rudy. But I tell ya what ... had anyone else played Tripper in Meatballs, it wouldn't be the same. God bless Ivan Reitman for giving Bill Murray his first break out role. And god bless you, Mr. Murray for just being born.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Shooting Spiders and Bathtubs

I know how The Spider in the Bathtub looks, feels, sounds and moves. I know it like the back of my hand. And it might be the first script that I've written that I feel completely confident in shooting.

It's totally inspired by movies like Stuart Little, Three O'Clock High, Detroit Rock City, Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Monster House. But the questions keep coming up in conversations and I need to be able to answer them intelligently and accurately. How do you see this moment shot? How will the camera move here? So I think it's probably time. Time to bust out the script and start putting together those shot lists and even some early sketches and overheads. Because there's such a mix of animation and live action, it's really important that I can spell this out meticulously because both time and more importantly, money are involved. I'm nervous that it'll be a hurry up and wait, hurry up and wait situation and I'd rather be ready than not. So I'm excited to delve in.

And god bless the indie rock muzak station at Zen that plays Sonic Youth, Helium, The Strokes, The New Pornographers and The White Stripes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Quarter to Noon Prep

Photo by Rogelio Puente

Prepping all of my materials and such to head out to LA in June with this little lady. Mr. Rogelio Puente took some fantastic stills that I'm pouring through. Mr. Kurt Volk is almost finished with our poster so now I just need to get my transfer to Digibeta and I'll be good to go.

Ghostbusters (1984)

It still holds up. Well, most of it at least. The super cheesy visual effects do not hold up. They mostly look like bad animatronics from Disney World. But it doesn't matter, the movie's still totally, totally awesome. Stay Puff Marshmallow Man, Slimer, the Key Master and Gatekeeper, crossing the streams, Gozer, Zuul, a hilarious Rick Moranis and a genius Bill Murray. Who ya gonna call?

Miyazaki's Ponyo Closes LAFF

Crossing my fingers that we'll get to see Miyazaki's new film Ponyo as it closes the Los Angeles Film Festival at the end of June. It's a retelling of The Little Mermaid but from a goldfish who wants to be human. Enough said. I'm there.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I Think They Like It

People seem to really dig Love Bug and little Turtle Thompson. Cause he's do darn cute!

Encore UT Screening

AJ and Zach on the set of Wrong Ticket.

Because it was so sold out and because it was so insane, UT's having an encore screening of UT student films.

Advanced Digital Narrative Production and Advanced Film Narrative Production
Wednesday, May 20th
Studio 4D (4th Floor)
CMB Building (corner of Guadalupe and Dean Keeton)
2-Hour Block of Short Films

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Roost (2005)

I love a good horror film. But I don't do torture films (Hostels, Saws, Wolf Creek) and I don't do ultra gore films (Tokyo Gore Police, Dead Alive) but I'm a sucker for slasher films (Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, Ginger Snaps), ghost stories (The Others, Dark Water, The Lady in White, The Orphanage), and the psychological (The Shining).

Mark's on a Ti West kick after seeing Trigger Man a few weeks ago. I'd never seen any of his films even though I recently met him randomly at a Tribeca party. After watching The Roost ... I'm a fan. And anxious to see his other films.

Shining Rock Stars

Once again, my students shined. Big time. We had a strong, strong program of 6 equally fantastic films that screened at the Alamo for a beyond (I'm talking crazy beyond) sold out crowd. I had to beg to just let all of my students get in to see their own films. Total insanity. But well worth it. Every time the credits rolled after each film, I turned to my T.A., Soham and grinned, "I'm so proud. Oh my god, I'm so proud". They totally and utterly kicked ass this semester. It wouldn't have been possible without an amazingly talented group of students and a TA, Soham Mehta, who went above and beyond for them.

If you're reading this and you're one of my UT students from this semester, dude, you guys are badass. So badass! Be very, very proud of yourselves.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Quarter to Noon - Texas Filmmakers' Showcase

Loved getting the call from Alfred Cervantes tonight that Quarter to Noon would be part of this year's Texas Filmmakers' Showcase. Yay! That means we'll screen as part of the LA Film Fest, the Austin Film Fest and at the Houston Museum of Modern Art in the fall. A little validation here and there really helps. Here's the list of participating films (including one of my UT students and another friend).
  • Color By Number (Marshall Rimmer)
  • Fury (Van Blumreich)
  • Skip and Lester: Here's The Stapler If You Need It (Lance Myers)
  • It's For Her (Travis Johns)
  • My Mom Smokes Weed (Clay Liford)
  • Quarter to Noon (Kat Candler)
  • Smokey (Scott Thurman)

A couple of fun stills taken by Stacy Schoolfield from the set.

Sunday UT Screening

If you're in Austin on Sunday and want to see some fantastic student films, I recommend my Advanced Digital Narrative Production class screening. I'm wicked proud of these guys. They worked their little butts off this semester and it really shows.

Sunday, the 17th
11:30am - 1pm
Alamo South Lamar
Free to the public (But get there early)

Terry Gilliam - The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

I love it.

Terry Gilliam back in saddle for 'Quixote'

14 May 2009 7:01 AM, PDT | From | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news

Cannes -- Terry Gilliam may no longer be tilting at windmills, having teamed with Oscar-winning British producer Jeremy Thomas to bring "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" to the big screen.

Gilliam has hooked up with Thomas to finally bring his long-blighted take on the tale of the Spanish knight. Screenwriter Tony Grisoni ("Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas") has worked with Gilliam to reimagine the legend, and the script revolves around a filmmaker who is charmed into Quixote's eternal quest for his ladylove, becoming an unwitting Sancho Panza.

The move uniting Gilliam with Thomas and his Recorded Picture Co. banner is the latest twist in a moviemaking saga almost as epic as Cervantes' 17th century classic on which it is based.

Nine years ago, the original shoot suffered a series of setbacks captured in the documentary "Lost in La Mancha," which went on to become


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Can't Buy Me Love (1987)

I hadn't seen Can't Buy Me Love since it came to the theaters in 1987. I would've been ... thirteen. The prime age to be wishing I had the same cool leather jacket (with fringe) that Amanda Peterson wore to the big party. Or wishing I had the guts to stand up to the bullies at school who always picked on the nerds in the lunchroom. Well, maybe not the later because my school was made up of nerds and geeks. People called it "the geek school". But even still! There was certainly a hierarchy of nerds. But my point being, even after watching it 22 years later, I still loved it. And I still cried (a little) when Ronald Miller stood up to the jock in the cafeteria. Didn't we all wanna be that guy? Or be friends with that guy? Or date that guy? Sigh. Yeah.

Nerd, jocks. My side, your side. It's all bullshit. It's hard enough just trying to be yourself.
So true.
And of course my husband and his sister's favorite line ...
You shit on my house. You shit on my house!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


It's no surprise that the same director who did Death to the Tinman did the Killers video for Spaceman. I love it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

"Why Don't You Like Art House Films Anymore?"

This is a question my husband recently asked me.
First of all, I love art house films. The good ones, at least. I'm on pins and needles for Still Walking to come to a theater near me. I wept through The Orphanage. Fell in love with Wendy and Lucy. Marveled over my friends films like St. Nick and The Order of Myths. But when I go to the video store and the theater these days, I see movies like ... Star Trek, Another Cinderella Story, Caddyshack, 17 Again, Pride, Wolverine, Man of the House, Crank 2, Blank Check, I Love You, Man ...
So why am I eating up all things commercial and all things Hollywood? Easy. This is what I'm writing right now. Teen comedies, family adventures, horror, thrillers ... This is what I'm into at this stage of the game and I could give a rat's butt if you think any less of me because of it.

I spent most of my 20s eating up all things art house. I lived and breathed the Arbor Cinema and the Dobie Theater (hell, I got married there). And I loved it. I loved depressing, gritty, edgy, experimental, thought provoking, dirty, grimy ... I did. I made my two small, personal feature films that plastered my heart all over the movie screen. jumping off bridges even put me back in therapy. And trust me after spending four years of my life with that story and everyone else's stories, I needed it.
So let me do something big and silly and fun. Let me laugh and make you laugh in return. Let's go on an adventure for 90 minutes to places I've never been to, past, present, future. Let me pretend to be a kid again in a 34 year old's body. Let me make movies that I can take my nieces and nephews to. Let me make movies that remind me of the movies me and my dad shared a love for growing up. Heck, that's all I ask.

TFPF Grants

That's right. It's that time of year again. Time for Texas filmmakers to put together their Texas Filmmaker Production Fund Grant applications. I've been working on two applications over the last few days for Love Bug and Ninja James and the Beast Boy.

Over the years, I've received $10,000 in TFPF grants between my two feature films cicadas and jumping off bridges. These funds were crucial to finishing a sound mix, paying for film transfers and funding color corrections.

There is no reason Texas filmmakers shouldn't be applying for this money. I require my UT students to put together their own applications. It's only one of the amazing resources from the great Austin Film Society.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

This is my mom. She's the coolest mom in the whole wide world. She's the kind of mom I want to be someday. She's my inspiration, my support, my ground, my shoulder, my cheerleader and my best friend. From the time she encouraged me to audition for my first play Fiddler on the Roof, to writing letters to Mel Gibson about her directing daughter, to waking up in the middle of the night because she could hear me coughing in the other room, to bringing home a mound of movies and planting that seed in me as a kid, to working two (sometimes three) jobs just to make sure we were fed and cared for, to sending mass emails to all of her friends and co-workers about my accomplishments, to encouraging my creativity no matter if it was singing, making movies or acting, to being her crazy, kooky self and being proud of who she was, to being the best example of what a good person should be, to not condemning me because I smoked a lot of pot in college, to loving all of my friends unconditionally, to rubbing my back and reading me The Secret Garden as a little girl, to always telling me I was beautiful, to holding on through my teen years because she knew I wouldn't be such a terror after high school, to always instilling the best values and qualities in me, to being a voice on the other end of the phone calming me and telling me things were going to be ok when life got really bad, for encouraging me to have an open heart and an open mind, for teaching me how to use my voice, for loving me so much and letting me love her just as much in return.

I could never thank you enough for being my mom.

Candler Productions - Project Status Report

Love Bug - We had a really nice response at the screening on Saturday. I loved hearing everyone's laughter. I think the defining moment for me was when I showed it to my dad a few weeks ago and he loved it. That just meant the world. My parents don't always get my films, which is totally ok. Growing up going to the movies with my dad, he's the one who showed me the magic and adventure inside the four walls of a movie theater. So showing him a film that sort of takes us back to that world and him laughing out loud through the whole thing, there's nothing like it. So Love Bug will start heading off to festivals this summer.

Quarter to Noon - I can say this and be totally and utterly ok with it. All of the festivals I've submitted to, minus one, it's gotten rejected to. A few years ago, I would've been devastated, but I'm totally cool with it. I love the film and I'm really, really proud of it. It'll continue to head out to festivals and maybe end up on a shorts compilation down the road.

The Spider in the Bathtub - We have movement on it. It's too soon to say much, but I'm really, really excited.

jumping off bridges - Recently we've had a flurry of screening requests from universities, mental health groups ... Savannah and I have a trip planned for the fall. I love that the film continues to grow and get out there.

Ninja James and the Beast Boy - We're still editing. I'll be the first to admit that I probably bit off more than I can chew with this one. I shot way too much footage. A lot. And i made several mistakes this go around. But we're continuing to whittle away at it. We'll spend the summer locking picture, working on the animation and getting it finished up. It's definitely completely different from anything else I've done.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

UT Advanced Narrative Screening, 5/17, 11:30am

My UT Advanced Digital Narrative Class is having it's end of semester screening on Sunday, May 17th at the Alamo South Lamar at 11:30am. These screenings sell out so get there early. What you can expect .... campy horror, character driven drama, teen love, car chases, silly comedy and WWI drama.

Chicken Feet (AJ Guitierrez)
Killin' Time (Kyle Lawson)
Wrong Ticket (Chris Frasier)
Sediments of Love (Willie Rockefeller)
Der Vater (Jamie Moore)
Yeah, You (Roxie Rodriguez)

Saturday Screening Wrap Up

We had a wildly successful Script to Screen End of Semester Screening. A completely sold out theater at the Alamo South Lamar. People sitting up and down the stairs. I loved it. All of the films were well received and got lots of laughs in all the right places. Once again, I'm a really proud teacher. It's always such a blast to see my students shine. Especially on a massive movie screen with a sold out crowd.

It's the end of one semester and almost the start of a new. I'm still not to capacity with my summer Script to Screen class. Getting a little nervous about it. So if you're reading this and have friends/family in the Austin area that are dying to learn how to make movies, send them to my website.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Why I Love Rush.

I'm a sucker for wood paneled station wagons. I get excited any time I see one on the road. Don't ask me why, I just do. I also freak out when Rush plays on the radio. I love Rush. I'll admit it. But I don't love Rush by choice. See, it's a little complicated. In junior high I listened to The Police, U2, The Bangles, REM, Edie Brickell and then anything that was forced upon me because it seeped through my bedroom wall from my brother's room. First and foremost, that was Rush. My brother was (and still is) one of the biggest Rush fans in the world. And I'm not exaggerating. He travels far and wide to a million concerts, has a closet full of Rush T-shirts, stacks of CDs, concert DVDs, books and can play all of the songs on the drums, guitar and maybe even the bass. Growing up it was 90% of what he listened to. And I absolutely hated it. I thought Geddy Lee's voice was annoying and girlish. The band made my ears bleed. They were totally and utterly ... uncool. And because I had Rush shoved down my throat, I knew every album, every song by heart.

After I left home for college and my brother and I stopped our stupid fights over me borrowing his whitewash jeans, we actually became pretty close. So nowadays anytime I hear Rush come on the radio, I turn it up. I sing along. I play the air drums in my car. And I love it.

Why do I bring this up? Because for our anniversary last night Mark took me to see I Love You, Man. This will go down as one of my favorite films of the year. No doubt. I loved it so much. There's a realism and a sweetness that you don't find in Hollywood movies these days. And it made me think about my brother and how cool and wonderful and awesome he is. And how much I love Rush because it always reminds me of him.

So Robert, this one's for you ...

Thursday, May 07, 2009

SXSW Shout Out

We got a nice SXSW shout out for my summer classes and the Saturday screening.

ACDC vs. M&M

Clearly ACDC is far superior to the M&M Cru. And way cooler.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Law and Order and The Wire

I love that all of the actors from The Wire are showing up on Law and Order. Chris and Bunny tonight on SVU.

The Wire

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Spring Script to Screen Screening, 5/9

Spring Script to Screen Screening
Saturday, May 9th
10am - 12pm
Alamo South Lamar
Free to the Public
No Food or Drink Service

The Art Gallery (Jourdan Gibson and Lacey Olson)
Muscle Memory (Josh Hilliard)
Mission: Implausible (Mike Shutt)
Slice of Life (Austin Bouse)
Whatever It Takes (Leng Wong)
The Strange Case of Kip McLean (Sameet Sreenivasan)
Gum Drops (David Toth)
Lookout (Nancy Gresham)
El Puma (Monserrat Martinez and Marisol Medrano)
Love Bug (Kat Candler)
Projection (Elijah Parker)
Man of Empire

Summer Script to Screen Starts May 19th

I still have some slots for my May 19th Script to Screen class. If you're interested, send me a note. Here are the details.

Time: Tuesdays, 6:30pm-9pm
Dates: 5/19 - 8/18
Tuition: $600
Location: Arts and Labor Productions, 6601 Burnet Road, #400, Austin, TX
To Register: Contact Kat Candler at, 512.771.5863 or go to

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 lecture based and 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.

Candler's students' films have screened in festivals all across the U.S. including SXSW, Cine Las Americas, Hawaii Film Festival, Sonoma Valley Film Festival ...

Monday, May 04, 2009

Semester's End

The semester is coming to an end. All of my classes are over, come Wednesday. It's both exciting and a bummer. I love hanging out with my students and watching them do great work. But alas, it's time for me to buckle down and get some scripts wrapped up for myself. I'm going to be very greedy with my time this summer. I have a lot to do.