Citizen Jane, Festigious, Pillow Fright, and Some Sad Things

Good morning, world. The Royals won the World Series last night and I'm exhausted, but here's another blog post. Congrats to the boys in blue! Here's what I've been up to in the last two weeks, or so.

Citizen Jane!

You know how some people talk about things and when they really like something, you're skeptical of how good it could really be? Just me? I'm an asshole? Noted. But, okay. Some things are like that. All I've heard since I get into doing indie films is how great Citizen Jane is. I believed them the whole time that it would be great, and it was further reinforced by being named one of the coolest film festivals in the world by Moviemaker Magazine, but holy hell. This festival was dope. 

It was pretty much my dream festival - small and intimate, but with amazing filmmakers who are so big I'm kind of wondering what they're doing in Columbia, MO. But then once you're at the festival, you realize it's one that people really want to come to. There were kick ass movie, kick ass people, and kick ass karaoke and dance parties. I didn't attend the latter of those two events, but I heard it was fun.

Frame by Frame, a film directed by Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli, opened the festival. I have to say, I can't imagine another film opening the festival that weekend. I loved the film. I saw the trailer and thought, "There's no way I won't find this interesting." Turns out I was right. My lasting impression of Mo, however, comes from a conversation we had at the karaoke party/filmmaker's dinner. I made some deprecating comment (as usual) about how my movie wasn't like a real movie, but rather six minutes of jokes. Mo responded rather thoughtfully and tried to recall a Mark Twain quote about short pieces of work. Ultimately, we had to Google it from my phone to figure out what the quote was, but it was a sincere moment. The quote reads, "If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter." It was genuine and sincere. I appreciated that from a fellow filmmaker. So, thank you, Mo, if I didn't say that at the time. 

Alison Bagnall's Funny Bunny was there too. The only thing I enjoyed more than her movie was talking to her. Seriously, I want to be her. "Witty as fuck" would be the proper phrase to describe her. I was incredibly impressed with her just as a person. Now I'm going to have to watch The Dish & the Spoon.

As someone who creates films often on topical subjects, I thoroughly enjoyed Ondi Timoner's Brand: A Second Coming. I kept thinking about it after the screening and its perpetual dilemma: when you attain a certain level of fame, should you maintain the status quo to help people, or should you give up all the vanity that platform provides and lead the world by example when trying to change it? Hearing the Q&A also provided some context for what happened after the film wrapped. Overall, it's much better than its IMDb rating would indicate. Right wing trolls sabotaged it after seeing an anti-Donald Trump clip. Go figure. Ondi was another one of those badass women I wanted to be. 

Seeing a live recording of the She Does podcast made me reconsider my own future with podcasting. For a while, I was really into the idea of trying to make my own shows, but I loathe the sound of my own voice. If I tried to go down that avenue again, I would need for there to be a separate audio engineer so I never had to listen to the episode. I certainly couldn't do it with headphones on. Seeing the process made me realize why I've wanted to do it for so many years. With as much as I've been traveling for festivals, I know I could find some fantastic guests.

AND FINALLY, the Ms.Souri Made block. That's where my movie screened along with a lot of my friends' films, like Meagan Flynn's Tipping Point, Jeremy Osbern and Misti Boland's Courtesan, Catherine Dudley Rose's Parallel Chords, and many other amazing shorts. I was proud to be among so many talented folks. Politically Correct was really well received, much to my surprise. People laughed their asses off and it was a great feeling. I finally found the right audience for it. It just made me want to create more films to come back next year, hopefully.

I sometimes worry I'm unable to express my gratitude for experiences on an interpersonal level, so I wanted to take a moment to say how grateful I am to the Citizen Jane Film Festival for accepting my six minute short. So, thank you. I truly mean it.

Fesitigious!

So, Politically Correct is screening at this online film festival from November 1-7, 2015! Click on this link and you should be able to rate the film and view it for a limited time. All it takes is your time, but I genuinely hope you laugh and give it a nice rating. If you do, you'll help make us eligible for a People's Choice Award for Festigious. How cool is that?

Pillow Fright!

If you have a minute and want to watch some hilarious horror involving pillows, watch this short. Pillow Fright was directed by my good friend, Patrick Rea. I was the first assistant director and still photographer on it. Let me tell you, that was a fun shoot. Seeing the final product gave me a strong sense of pride that I had a small role in helping out the production. Congrats to Patrick and everyone else involved on its success at the Austin and Los Angeles premiere!

Sad Things

Finally, I wanted to say I was saddened to learn of the passing of Michael Nuccio. Michael was a terrific actor who was in the first feature film I ever worked on, What We've Become. He was an actor, an acting coach, and a father. He was also a really nice guy whom I did not know well, but always felt like I would see again. His acting students have put together a GoFundMe page to help support his daughter. If you can give, I'm sure your generosity would greatly benefit her.

Rest in peace, Michael. 

Until next time.