Fools by Martin Walker

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Do It Yourself Film Distribution

Click on the title of this blog for the link to the NY Times article on how indie filmmakers are looking at self-distribution in theaters.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Response to One of My Blogs

It's been a while since I've been here, I know I owe you a lot of blogs and I will get to them. I was going to blog today but I spent a bit of time on a response to one of the blogs I wrote. The blog is titled The Election, Strong Women and Love 10 to 1. You can either scroll down or click on the title of this blog to go there.

Below is Anna's response to the blog, I don't know Anna so it's great to see that people outside our circle are reading the blog.

I know I am new to your blog & I do not mean to cause trouble but - just because it works in the publishing industry does that mean it still makes sense? I know nothing about the publishing industry but selling books based on a novelists sexiness sounds potentially sexist to me. The average person has no clue about the sexiness level of male film directors. It is considered besides the point. So how are women film directors - who I support whole heartedly - aided in their work by putting themselves out there as sexy?

I liked what you said about Hilary & Michelle Obama. Thanks for that.

And how great to find such a blog!

My response:

Hi Anna,

Thank you so much for reading our blog and for your comment. You are not causing trouble and replies like yours are encouraged because every time the subject of women directors comes up people feel like they are opening up a can of worms. Even women filmmaker organizations try to stay away from the certain topics and I think that for there to be positive change we need to talk about these issues in a positive way.

In the publishing world, in order to sell books, authors go on book tours. To me, authors are sexy because they are usually smart. For me, an intelligent person, a well read person, regardless of their looks is a turn on.

Like beauty what is considered sexy is in the eye of the beholder. So when I say that in order to sell sexy we need to be sexy, that's something that came out of following the rule that as a woman working on a set you need to be gender neutral (which equates to dressing like a boy). If that's what I have to do on a set that's fine but off the set, promoting my film, I will make the decision of how I want to look (I want to look like me). I want to embrace my femininity and let the world know that you can be smart, you can be sexy, and you can make a movie. You can also be an idiot, not sexy and you can still make a movie (feel free to check out the multiplex any time of year). This won't apply to everybody but I choose to be the smart/sexy person who makes films.

Now to define sexy - for me, sexy does not mean dress like the wanna be celebrity of the moment. Jackie Kennedy, Gena Rowland, Penelope Cruz, Sophia Lauren, I can keep going but you get the picture, those women are sexy. They embrace their femininity without flaunting their sexuality. Male directors don't need to worry about that and neither do male bankers, lawyers, doctors etc., these politics are not inclusive to the film world.

At the end of the day, I want to promote my film in a way I'm comfortable. It doesn't mean I'm going to pound on makeup and wear a padded bra because that's not comfortable for me either. I love shoes and I'll be wearing some sexy ones. My reward, once I've paid for the rest of the film is a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes, the highest, sexiest pair I can find. I will wear them to every Q&A. Presenting the film in those shoes, with a great mani/pedi, wearing a nice pair of jeans and a Dirty Virgin t-shirt (that's the band in the film), that's going to be me feeling pretty sexy. That is a choice I'm making that works for me. At the end of the day, sexy, not sexy, male director, female director should not come into play but unfortunately it does. So, to end this on a positive note, here's some advice that all directors should follow.

1. Be Prepared
2. Connect with your cast and crew - I feel strongly about connection because if the cast, the crew and the script are all connected, your audience will connect as well.
3. No matter how busy/crazy/hectic your day is, make sure that you acknowledge everyone at least once during your shoot. Say good morning and thank them at the end of the day. The most gratifying thing I walked off with is knowing that my cast and crew respected me. In your journey as a director you'll be lucky if you can get to work with actors you like multiple times, your crew however, you can keep with you for ever (schedule permitting). Knowing that my crew will work with me over and over is the best feeling in the world. As a director, having a strong team working with you is priceless.

Thank for your comment Anna.


Friday, July 25, 2008

What's Up

So I just found out that my short, Las Perdidas, is going to be screened at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival next month! We're quite thrilled, because the film is finally picking up speed and generating interest after several earlier rejections. Las Perdidas ended up winning Best Short at the Broad Humor Film Festival in Venice, and it will also be screened at the Rhode Island International Film Fest August 5 - 10. Yay! Getting lots of practice for when Christine, Lucy and I hit the fests for Love 10 to 1. Everything makes a difference when you finally get a good film in your hand.

I'm finally all set up and ready to start editing Diving Lessons. I bought the MacBook Pro and Final Cut, the footage is all converted, I have my new external hard drive, and a heck of a lot more confidence when it comes to all the technical stuff of editing. I've been thinking a lot about the way I chose to shoot Diving Lessons, with long, lingering takes, and I'm starting to think about how to approach the edit. I'm starting to get excited about potentially approaching the edit from the idea of what it looks like when you're sizing a prospective lover up for the first time. like for example, maybe you're having a conversation about a trip you took, but you can't help noticing the way his/her hand ruffled his/her hair, and then you start to think about the back of her/his neck and you fixate on that the whole time he/she's talking rather than on what he/she's actually saying. So the question is how to accomplish that with long master takes? I'm thinking that with digital footage, the ways of doing this could be an interesting experiment. if I'm going to continue to use this film as an homage to the guys of the French New Wave, well then, shouldn't editing be a bit of a quirk? They did invent the jump cut after all...

About The Three Shorts

Christine Le wrote and directed the 1st story Love 10 to 1.
The first story explores the life of a 29-year-old virgin, Jenny, who desperately wants to lose her virginity before her 30th birthday. As she encounters one loser after another on dates, Jenny pines after her boss, Dustin. While at her grandmother’s retirement home, Jenny learns a powerful lesson from her grandmother about sex and the meaning of life.

Christine Le (right) directs Shireen Nomura Mui (Jenny) & Justin Klosky (Jim).

Lucy Rodriguez wrote and directed Love Song.
The second story revolves around Shane, the lead singer of the L.A. rock band, Dirty Virgin. Shane has her pick of admirers but it’s her roommate Dustin she wants to be with. Shane confesses her feelings on Jackie and Jared’s show but when Dustin meets Cali, Shane’s shot at love starts to dwindle. With Dirty Virgin about to embark on a world tour, will Dustin realize that he’s the object of Shane’s affections? Will they risk their friendship to give this Love Song a chance?

Lucy Rodriguez & David Villar (Dustin)

Laura Somers wrote and directed Diving Lessons.
The final story picks up where Love 10 to 1 left off, but from the perspective of Jim, the guitarist of Dirty Virgin. Jim sees Jenny at a swimming pool, trying desperately to overcome her fear of diving. In fact, he finds out that she’s making a list of everything that she’s afraid of and trying to overcome them, one by one. He is instantly smitten and tries to convince her that he’s not just a rock star who ‘loves ‘em and leaves ‘em’. Can a rock star find love with a virgin?

Shireen Nomura-Mui, Laura Somers & Justin Klosky

Leah Anova is the Director of Photography for Love 10 to 1 & Diving Lessons.

Additional Cinematography on Diving Lessons by Erik Forsell

Matthew Boyd is the Director of Photography for Love Song.