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Today I decided to spend time going through the 326 emails sitting in my inbox staring at me. I won’t mention the four open windows in Firefox and one in Chrome.

After a long day and being no where near an empty in-box, here are links to a few interesting sites.

 

Simple Machine is an online platform that connects filmmakers directly with venues to screen their films.

http://nofilmschool.com/2013/09/simple-machine-closing-gap-between-filmmakers-and-venues/

VOD or not?

http://trulyfreefilm.hopeforfilm.com/2014/03/diary-of-a-film-start-up-post-45-vod-myths-vs-reality.html

Distribute it yourself.

http://nofilmschool.com/2014/03/direct-fan-distribution-platform-vhx-officially-launches/?awt_l=7OEV2&awt_m=3VvcxPFnskBjwS7

 

You may know (or not) that I’m developing a series that profiles non profits. Check these out.

First, there was Tom’s shows, then Tom’s glasses. Now there’s Tom’s coffee and they’re giving away water.

http://tinyurl.com/mm5hnjg

 

Hacking the Homeless

http://tinyurl.com/ls23dj6

 

If you haven’t seen The Hunt, I urge you to see it. It’s on Amazon Prime.

One last link:

http://www.aellea.com/script/citizenkane_script.txt

Off to garden.

c

Here’s a couple of links that I think someone might find interesting. I did.

http://www.spritzinc.com/

Spritz is the 21st Century version of Evelyn Wood speed reading. The simple explanation is that you read each word individually as it comes up on the little reader. That way, your eyes don’t have to move while reading, thus making it possible for you to read faster. I tried it at 300wpm and did fine except i read every word in my mind. It’s kind of like typing all day, and then when you’re asleep, all of conversations are typed as you speak.

A while back there was a video of a little boy who called himself the Kid President that went viral. He was a cute kid and the series of videos were great. They came out of a company called SoulPanCake created by Rainn Wilson. Here’s where I found out about it. Follow the links on the site to find out more. It’s a great concept. Thanks Rainn.

http://nofilmschool.com/2013/06/rain-wilson-wants-pitch-for-production-company/

Here’s another link worth checking out.

http://goodinaroom.com/blog/top-screenwriting-bloggers/?inf_contact_key=2e8bf218b435eb8f4ac308079b2a90d4ea00531e90e7801ecc0fa85fe91a8a43

The past week or so has been all about making the dreadful calls to pitch our projects. The calls aren’t dreadful–it’s picking up the phone and dialing and waiting and hoping I don’t fumble and stumble as soon as I say hello, praying they can’t hear the blood pounding in my ears, trying not to hyperventilate. I powered through it and spoke to a few good people like the really nice guy at Sundance Channel. You should take a look at their news series The Red Road.

I rewarded myself with a glass of wine.

A few good things…

 

Today, a few links to share.

If you’re not subscribing to this newsletter, you should. In my humble opinion. Maria Popova does an incredible job curating a vast array of interesting and provocative literature.

http://www.brainpickings.org/

If you’re a Breaking Bad fan, the Writers Guild Foundation released Inside the Writers Room with Breaking Bad. A great YouTube video and scripts.

http://www.tumblr.com/reblog/77174378435/Pz1cLmqD/link

Are you a writer? Flavorwire provides a list of 20 writers and they’re thoughts on the art of revision.

http://flavorwire.com/361311/20-great-writers-on-the-art-of-revision/

And finally, what is happiness for you?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7B5AXBFeRLM

Thank you Dora. Finding Nemo is one of my favorite movies. She has a short term memory and is always optimistic.  Perhaps something we should aspire to.

One of the promises I made to myself this year is to rearrange my schedule so that it is more manageable and thereby, doable. Now I schedule a four hour block to complete one project. I work on one thing at a time. If I finish within that time, I go to something else–one project or task–and complete it. So far it’s working like a charm.

For instance, I completed a review and changes to one sheets for our projects: The Accidental Candidate, Cho-Cho, the Monkey Detective, Prey, GOOD Travels. The next step is to complete a database of companies and individuals we want to pitch to.  The goal is to be ready to pitch all by the end of the month.

I’m curious about how other folks manage their schedule. Any thoughts/suggestions?

I heard from the fab Ben Schwartz of House of Lies fame that the special House of Lies LIVE we did, got great numbers and that Showtime was very pleased. Perhaps more in the future?

Here’s an interesting link I found. Enjoy.

http://nofilmschool.com/2014/01/take-college-level-film-courses-for-free-with-mits-opencourseware/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nofilmschool+%28nofilmschool%29

Just keep swimming…

Here is the link for the Showtime special I directed and Deb Spidell produced and and the best crew in LA made happen.

It’s the TV14 version so “dirty” words are bleeped. As soon as I get the pay tv version, I’ll post.

Thanks for watching!!

House of Lies-LIVE!

I hope everyone’s year is starting out with an explosion of creativity and happiness. Mine is. And this I’m instituting what I tell everyone who starts a blog–be consistent. Write what you want and must and be consistent.

2013 ended with a surprise wrapped up in pretty paper. Someone we knwo at Showtime called asking if we’d produce a promo that needed to be done by Dec 26 in order to air Dec 30 and 31.  It turned out to be more than a promo. It was promotional material for House of Lies in a 30:00 comedy special. The cast from House of Lies performed  long form improvisation at Upright Citizens Brigade for one night only.  Three supporting characters from the upcoming season joined them. The idea grew out of cast member Ben Schartz’s monthly improv show at the venue.  The show premiered Dec. 30 on the Internet and Dec. 31 on Showtime. It’s still up on sho.com or do a search on youtube.

We prepped in about two weeks, shot one night, and then plowed straight in to post. And Christmas was right smack in the middle of post which made it even more challenging. But we delivered on time and on budget.

Producing was Deb Spidell and I directed.

In preparation for taking the job, [chaosfilms] llc became an official California company. [chaosfilms,inc] is incorporated in Georgia. Since we were producing, we  had to set up an entity here. Now we’re [chaosfilms]llc. You can see the new logo on the home page.

A bazillion thank you’s to everyone who worked with us to make this show wonderful.

A sizzling way to greet 2014.  A suitcase full of projects and ideas ready to travel. More on those next time.

Question: What’s the one movie you watch over and over? Your comfort movie? Mine is Rudy.

And here’s something I watched this morning that I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

http://www.upworthy.com/this-really-happy-13-year-old-hacks-his-education-and-now-i-regret-i-didnt-do-the-same-with-mine?c=upw1

Hello

I just added a new page called The Accidental Candidate. It’s on the right side of the page. Have a look. It’s pretty damn good.

Thanks.

Sundance has come and gone and it seems the buzz this year was not about the films; it’s about the fact that 50% of the films in competition were directed by women. 50%!!!!!!!

Why are we having this conversation? Because it’s so unbelievable that in 2013 we’re marveling over something that should be commonplace, not a hallelujah moment.

A study was conducted by  Stacy L. Smith, Katherine Pieper and Marc Choueiti of the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California to look at the success or lack of, women at the Sundance Film Festival to examine the causes of gender equality.  It was presented during  the third annual Women at Sundance event held at the home of Jacki Zehner. Ms. Zehner spends her time and  resources towards the advancement of women and girls.

The study is titled, “Exploring The Barriers and Opportunities For Independent Women Filmmakers”, and can be found at sundance.org. To find out more about Jacki Zehner, check the philanthropic organization,  Women Moving Millions, where she serves as CEO.  According to their website,  WMM is a bold global philanthropic initiative whose goal is to inspire gifts of a million dollars or more to organizations and initiatives that advance and empower women and girls. Jacki’s site is www.jackizehner.com.

Congratulations to all the women with films showing at Sundance this year and those won awards.  Jill Soloway received the Directing Award, U.S. Dramatic for “Afternoon Delight,”   Audience Award, World Cinema Documentary: “The Square” (Egypt/USA), directed by Jehane Noujaim, and Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, U.S. Dramatic: Lake Bell, “In a World…

Support women filmmakers.

 

“Nothing is as perilous as stagnation.”

2012 had it’s challenges. Some good; a few that were difficult. All in all, it was pretty damn good. I spent time with old friends and met a few fabulous new friends.

We shot the pilot presentation, “The Accidental Candidate.” The edit is done. All we’re waiting on is music and graphics, then on to the online.

I fretted a bit about the number of political shows that sprung up this past year. “Political Animals (not my favorite), Veep (not my favorite), and “Newsroom” ( which I loved). And there’s a new one that will start airing soon, “1600 Penn.”  I believe there’s room for “The A.C.” It’s clever and funny. The plan is to present a current issue every week. Note the emphasis on ‘current.’ It should an interesting challenge.

“Smoke On” is moving ahead quite nicely. Another rewrite; one I feel really good about. It’s out to a friend to read and give notes. Then back to rewriting. I’m still on a quest to find a direct contact to Rosario Dawson as I wrote the lead with her in mind. If anyone knows….

Oh, it looks as if the Red Bull Air Races may be returning in 2014. If you haven’t seen them, go to their website or YouTube. They bloody rock!

We’ve gotten a decent offer for “Don’t tell, Shirley,” the wonderfully quirky horror film that we optioned. The budget and script was sent to the EP’s contact in Louisiana to review to determine if we can shoot there based on the budget Deb created. If all goes according to MY plan, we would shoot late summer, early fall. Yes, I know Louisiana is hot in August. I’m from Atlanta so I can deal with it.

I was speaking with a very accomplished A.D. this past weekend. He’s been a great source of information and inspiration. His advice for next steps is to have another script ready to go so that when I’m asked ‘what’s next’ or ‘what else do you have’, I’m ready with an answer. I knew this but it was great to be reminded. Time to start the process.

Here’s to a most fabulous new year-2013!

c

Tis the season folks. I’m trying to get as much done as I can before the town goes quiet. That includes renegotiating a new contract with the writer of the horror film we optioned.

I wish contracts were written in English.

I’m also researching companies that finance/produce horror and making note of who to contact after the first of the year. Any ideas?

‘The Accidental Candidate’ is making strides. The fab Gary Stockdale is working on the theme music. Check him out on imdb at http://pro.imdb.com/name/nm0830775/. Equally wonderful Dean Guiliotis is creating the opening graphics. You can find him on imdb at http://pro.imdb.com/name/nm1486764/.

I know Showtime and HBO are waiting anxiously to see the pilot. They don’t know it yet but they will.

I received coverage on ‘Smoke On’ last week. Not as good as I would have liked but definitely better than an ice pick in the eye.  Some time during the holidays I’ll re-write based on the notes I received. The reader mentioned that the script offered a great role for an actress.  Indeed. My choice is Rosario Dawson.

Today, I read on Lee Jessups’s site (http://leejessup.com) that Antwone Fisher sends Christmas cards to people he’s met throughout the year and those he’s worked with.  A great idea in my opinion. What works for you?

Sight and Sound just released their Top 25 Films of 2012. There’s not one directed by a woman. Really? Just check out ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ directed by Lynne Ramsey. Then go to  http://pinterest.com/womenhollywood/2012-women-directed-films/.

Really?

An approval of the revised contract for the horror film just came in.

Still waiting for contracts to be written in English.

Have a swell holiday folks. As we reflect on 2012 and all we’ve worked for and accomplished, a new year of possibilities awaits us. How cool is that.

c

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