Thursday, March 24, 2011

Promoting a Movie: The "Real" Work

With the cast & crew back from Sundance, I was hit with the reality that getting the word out about Nominated would be a lot harder than expected. There are just so many independent films out there, and a ton of competition vying for a spot in the program at the latest film fest. The bottom line is a filmmaker has to be persistent and resilient and creative with the methods that she promotes her film (I say "she" because I saw a strong contingent of female lead films at Sundance).

We did take the film to the California Independent Film Festival in Moraga. It played to a small audience, but I have to say, it was fantastic seeing all of our hard work up on the big screen! We're still trying hard to get into more festivals, and hopefully there will be some more big screen time for the movie.

In the meantime, while we try to chase DVD distribution, and video-on-demand options like itunes & Netflix & Hulu, we're starting to work on a few new projects. The first is a very funny web series (the title of which I can't say) that will star Ken Newman and Brian Degan Scott. Once again, we will try to use the talents of cast & crews from the Bay Area. My intention is to help keep the community of film/video thriving in Nor Cal. The other two projects that have been started are in the scripting phase. One is a dark comedy set in the world of competitive pumpkin growing (no kidding), which I'm co-writing with Brian Degan Scott. The other is a thriller involving cloning, which I've started with an old friend, but brand new writer, Vince Zuanich. Both stories show great promise.

And if that weren't enough, I decided to teach a few screenwriting classes for people who'd like to write a movie, but have no idea how to get started on a script. This is script writing 101, and it will give novices all the nuts & bolts of how a screenplay is put together (all the stuff that took me years through trial & error - lots of error). They will be small classes, and I think it will be a lot of fun for people who happen to be passionate about movies, like I am. Those interested can see all the info at my Introduction to Screenwriting page.

Stay dry and warm everyone!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Nominated Goes Gorilla at Sundance

It's been three years since the script for Nominated was written, and now some of the cast & crew are enjoying a week in beautiful Park City Utah as the small ski town host the world renowned Sundance Film Festival.

Despite the fact that we didn't get into the festival, we are taking the festival by storm. We hit the streets with tee shirts, buttons, ski caps and water bottles, promoting the movie and acting like we belong. We had some great success so far, making lots of contacts and spreading the word about the best indie comedy that DIDN'T get into the festival.

Our condo "headquarters is graced by the presence of Brian Degan Scott, Ken Newman, Greg Cala, Kari Wishingrad, Mark Flores and Dave Cowan. Kari (the gal with the plan) got us all VIP All-Access passes today, which got us into the SWAGG Lounge with all the other celebs. We reveled in the free stuff as we filled our bags with goodies from sponsors and then adjourned to the Stella Artois Cafe for a free lunch. I can't speak for the rest of them, but this is the first time in the movie-making process that I actually felt like a star.

We're having a blast, and it's only the third day of the festival. Tomorrow where going to see some industry panels, and then we'll finally get to see some of the films here at Sundance. It's been a thrill so far, and I can't wait to see what unfolds in the next few days.

Rest assured that I'll post any and everything that happens here in Park City.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Festival SWAG is Here!

As we anxiously await the announcements of the 32 film festivals we have submitted to, the process of creating promotional give-away items (or SWAG) has begun. With the help of one of the movie's visual effects guys, Mike Banks, we created a great logo for the shirts, buttons and hats we'll give away.
It's customary at festivals for filmmakers to give out stuff - mostly to get people at the fests to come see your movie. This was news to me, since I figured that if the people were already at the event, they were there to see movies, right? Not the case at all. Seems the atmosphere at film festivals is very competitive regarding the eyeballs that each film can attract.
So, we started a SWAG fund at, to help defray the costs of all these promo items. You can click the link and contribute a small amount to get one of these tee shirts, a button and a movie poster! Most of all, it would be helpful if you could pass the link along to your friends via email, Twitter, Facebook or however it is you reach your peeps these days.
This cool stuff will only be given out at festivals, so it's your chance to grab the cool SWAG while it lasts. Here's a link you can cut and paste:
By the way, I just read that SWAG stands for "Stuff We All Get". Not sure if I'm buyin' that.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Taking Nominated on the Road

So the movie has been completed, test screenings held, final re-edits what? Great question. The answer is, we take the movie on the film festival circuit (no, there's not an official circuit that you just sign up for, but rather hundreds - nay, thousands - of festivals that occur around the country throughout the calendar year. So we opened our withoutabox account, and begin to peruse the massive list of festivals for 2011.

To date, we have entered 30 festivals, starting with the Big Kahuna, The Sundance Film Festival. We have aligned perfectly with the calendar, since Sundance requires that your movie premiere in Park City. So, since Sundance announces their film lineup in December, we'll find out long before we have to commit to any other festivals. We just got lucky with that one. We're also entered in South by Southwest, Santa Barbara, Cinequest, Dallas, Seattle, Las Vegas, and Manhattan Film festivals to name a few.

Whether we get in or not, we are making the trip to Park City to market the movie to the attendees. Hopefully an indie distributor will get a DVD and like what she sees. We plan on taking a projector and screen so we can show the movie in the town square (that's of course IF we don't get in). We're also pursuing a sponsorship from The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Hopefully they will pay for the ski caps, posters and tee shirts that will be co-branded with the Nominated "Has-Been" logo & The Academy's logo. Seems like a perfect fit.

In other news, the movie's star, Brian Degan Scott, is busy preparing for a new play, Coroline, at The SF Playhouse. Co-star, Carl Lumbly, is in the middle of another production, Sunset Limited, also at The SF Playhouse. Go see those plays, they're fantastic!

Lastly, we have updated the Nominated media page with new collateral material so that media types, and anybody else interested, can now download it directly. There is a brand new press kit with many still frames from the movie, a cool new movie poster, and a brand new movie trailer. All great stuff.

As always, I'd like to thank everyone for supporting the movie. It would be great to see you all out at a festival as the film gets unleashed on the world. So far, we've had nothing but positive feedback (except for that one jerk from Oakland), and I hope to keep the momentum rolling forward!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Final stages

Well, the movie is done! Thanks to all the input we received from all our friends and family at the "focus group" style screenings of the film, we got the movie down to it's final stage! Once Dan felt that it was ready, we submitted it to a few film festivals, including Sundance! Everyone keep your fingers crossed.

Then, in August, we had the big screening at Chanticleers Theater in Castro Valley. There were about 100 people in attendance and it was a big success! There was champagne and a nice barbequed chicken dinner served by our Chef, Mike Nepodal. Everyone loved the film and enjoyed the evening.
Unfortunately, Dan couldn't be there and Dave stepped in as the host.

We're planning to have a screening of the film in the Arnold area. But for now, there's nothing on the calendar. Hopefully there will be soon! We'll try to keep everyone posted.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Almost ready...

We have a complete version of the movie! Brian, Dave, Ben and I have watched the whole thing through and made some editing decisions and we are working on getting it edited down to a good, watchable length. But now it's time to let others watch it and give us their input. So the Movie is in the "focus group" stage right now. Hopefully, we'll have a final version before July is over. Then we'll have a major public screening for everyone we know! Hold on tight... it's almost ready!

I want to thank Ben Figueiredo for his heroic efforts, working on the color and the audio sweetening of the Movie. Ben has been amazing. He's put in a ridiculous amount of time and effort and for very little compensation. And now, sadly, Ben is moving on in his career and will be leaving California for bigger and better things. Thanks Ben... we'll miss you and your dedication.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

That's a wrap!

Well... that's it! The final footage is "in the can". The last shoot, the
"community theater" stuff was shot at Chanticleers Theater in Castro Valley. We got everything we needed and the movie is now in the post production stage. If all goes well, we should have a first screening by mid-July.

The last two days of shooting went well, thanks to many wonderful people! I'd like to thank Chanticleers Theater, and especially Floyd and Gary, for their hospitality and help. And of course permission to use their great little theater. Chanticleers fit our needs perfectly. And Floyd and Gary bent over backwards to accommodate any needs that we had. And our actors did a fantastic job! Lance and Donna were amazing, as always. And what can I say about Brian... this movie wouldn't exist without the talent of my friend Brian Scott. He did a fantastic job, as usual. Thanks Brian for sacrificing your skin for the make up! And all our extras did a great job too. Thanks to the crew for all their work and time. And especially Dave Cowan... not only for his film crew work, but for catering the shoot as well!

We're feverishly working on the post production now. There will be several
screenings, hopefully in a
neighborhood near you!
We'll keep you posted.

Thanks again to everyone who has helped out in the production. Dan