December 12, 2001
Our first review: threatened by Filmthreat.com
Hoo boy. So this
is what I get to look forward to after devoting 3 years of
my life to an art project? Click
here to read their review. Its bad enough I paid
for the privilage to getting punched in the face by Bob Hawk,
now we get hammered by a magazine that I really hoped would
appreciate what I was trying to do. Whats weird is how
one group of people can see my film and have it speak to them,
while another guy can watch the exact same thing and think
its a piece of shit. I would like to append to Bob Westals
quote: dieing is easy, comedy
is hard, getting two critics to laugh at the same time is
nearly fucking impossible.
David Schendell and I had submitted his film The Can
to Filmthreat years ago and they loved it. (Circa 1989) I
guess its a different situation now. Hopefully something
will happen with Slamdance.
December 19, 2001
got the el-rejecto letter from Slamdance. At least they attempted
to be coy about the whole thing. (Scan included online.)
Lemme see, says on their press release that they got 2,468
submissions and only had to pick 12 features and 12 shorts.
Im know Sundance easily got that amount and probably
more. (They pick 113 features and 60 shorts.) What I (no longer)
find amazing is that SLAMdance basically received the same
amount of tapes as Sundance. Slamdance. A film festival started
by a bunch of guys who were pissed off at Sundance. Its
obvious that the same 2,500 people are sending their tapes
to the same places, and I was just one of them. From what
Ive read, these two film festivals were the most likely
place to get a distributor. If not, yer basically shit outta
luck until next year. I think this calls for a different plan
22, 2002 Electronic press kit and the trailer goes online.
This looks like
its going to take a lot longer to get an audience than
I hoped/expected. Since Im not in Sundance or Slamdance,
any other film festival I get in beyond this point will be
to just pad my resume and ego. The rule seems to be that no
one ever gets major distribution from a smaller film festival.
Aint gonna happen. From what Ive seen, they are
all run by small groups of people who are trying to get the
same amount of attention for their festival as you are for
your film. Its just that you are paying THEM for the
privilage of having your work shown. From what Ive read,
if you manage to get 50 people to show up in a strange city,
its a good turnout.
One thing is becoming apparent; if you have anything to do
with film festivals, you aint gonna like my project.
If youre a regular person and is into computers, youre
gonna like my film. Ive seen it happen time and time
again. I kinda agree with my critics, some of the acting may
be borderline in places (I just chaulk that up to my lack
of directing experience), but I dont think that it sinks
the whole project. Im still convinced that its
a descent piece of entertainment.
Heres the plan: we now have this thing called THE INTERNET.
It connects every vaguely literate (and then some) person
to each other. Its one giant, networking tool. Im
gonna use it. I want to get a copy of the film out to every
independent film site I can find. I want to contact any e-zine
that looks vaguely intereting, and get some feedback and hopefully
some links. I want to find any kid with a website and an opinion
and get them a copy of the film. I realize that this is going
to take time. I got plenty of it. MONEY is what Im short
on, but screw it, approaching people online doesnt cost
anything and there are now MILLIONS of Internet users.
I recently cut a trailer of the movie. I used the Atlantics
song Lonely Hearts and edited a bunch of fast
cuts to the music. Squashed it down to a good looking, stereo
10 meg MPEG-1 file. I also made a smaller 3 meg version which
is almost watchable. Posted them both on the front page of
also created an Electronic Press Kit on CD-ROM.
This contained the entire movie squashed down to a 550 meg
Windoze .asf file. The company that I work for frequently
has this expensive Pinnacle realtime video encoder. I was
able to run the movie through that and get fairly descent
looking version of the film that will play back on any computer.
This will allow me to burn it onto an inexpensive CD-R which
can be mailed a cheaper than a vhs tape. On this Electronic
Press Kit CD I included a .pdf file that has all the
necessary info about the film and a bunch of links to some
high quality production photos. I also did a silly little
Directors Intro movie with Mei-Li (the Shih-Tzu
in the movie) and Johnny. Stuck the trailer on there too.
Ive already started to get requests from a bunch of
indie websites who wanted to see the film after taking a look
at the website and downloading the trailer. The tapes and
disks are starting to go out in the mail this week.
January 4, 2002
South By Southwest Film Festival (SXSW)
well, I guess Seth Tiven (the guy who wrote the song Back
Where I Belong with the band Dumptruck thats featured
in the beach scene) wont be seeing the movie in his
new hometown. Slackers was filmed and first shown
around Austin, TX. I guess I needed Madonnas pap smear
for the film to work down there.
January 15, 2002
HBO Comedy Arts Festival
I guess Im
also not going to HBOs comedy arts festival this year.
I wonder if they wouldve shown me where The Larry
Sanders show was filmed. That wouldve been cool.
Maybe I should start watching Showtime instead.
28, 2002 I get fucked by a Blue Zebra
The alt.sex website
is hosted by a company called Blue
Zebra hosting. I had bought their cheapy hosting
plan that had in bold letters UNLIMITED BANDWIDTH at the top
of their login page (along with some small type on another
page.) Everything was working fine until this week when the
website dissappears and I get this in my e-mail:
Unfortunately, during the month of December, your account
did not qualify for unlimited bandwidth due to the high volume
of binary files (over 20%).
As our representatives indicated to you when you joined, your
site is not suitable for hosting in a shared environment.
The site reached 7 Gig of resource intensive traffic during
the month of January and would have probably reached 17 Gig
by the end of the month (which would equal approximately and
additional $300 in excess charges). For these reasons, your
site was de-activated.
They send me a
bill for $340, then automatically charge my credit card for
that amount. I call them up:
Me: Why wasnt I notified that I had
an overage in the month of December, BEFORE you decided to
shut me off in the middle of January, THEN charge me for both
months? If you told me I was on the meter in December,
I wouldve started removing some of the large files (i.e.
the movie trailer) to prevent this from happening.
Blue Zebra: Uuuhh
yea, our metering set-up
isnt very good.
Me: Well no shit. How come?
Blue Zebra: We lease our connection from another
company, so we dont get the bill for overages until
the after the month is up. Its a good thing we shut
you off when we did, or else you wouldve been charged
something like $600.
Gee..THANKS. But lemme make an anology here. If I
hire you to water my lawn and tell you to JUST USE ENOUGH
WATER FOR THE AMOUNT THAT I PAID FOR, you should know when
to SHUT THE SPIGOT OFF!"
Blue Zebra: No, its more like
only the gardener, so we dont bill the water company
Me: What are you talking about? I PAID you
to control the spigot. YOU were supposed to shut if off, not
WATER THE ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD!"
Blue Zebra: But thats the water companies
job, we were just hired to do the gardening.
Me: HOW ABOUT IF I TAKE THE FUCKING GARDEN
HOSE AND BEAT YOU WITH IT?!
Christ. They put the website back up and removed any files
larger than 500k. I now need a place to park my video media
14, 2002 New York Underground Film Festival
it wouldve been nice to tool around New
York City for a day and have the movie shown someplace. I
did find this website which shows the locations of a couple
of roof top cinemas in New York which show stuff at night.
That might be fun to do during the summer sometime.
15, 2002 Boston Underground Film Festival..NOT!
sucks. I was at least hoping to get into this featival. It
wouldve been nice to get everyone together locally somewhere
and have a showing that someone else did all the running around
for. I didnt even get a rejection letter from these
guys. I spend $50 and I dont even get a rejection letter.
I had deduce that I wasnt in by their press release
INVITING me to go to one of their screenings.
So mark this spot here. So far everything has NOT panned out
in any direction. From what I can tell, the V.I.P.s think
the movie blows and not even a small underground festival
will pick it up. I guess this spot should be marked as the
end of act 2
the point where it doesnt look good
for the hero of your story. I am now firmly up in the proverbial
tree and have gotten plenty of rocks chucked at me.
few days later I noticed that the BUFF festival coordinater
had :cc'd everyone on his mailing list and sent it out in
my 'invite'. (550 e-mails!) I was tempted to reply to him
and everyone else on the list, demanding to know where my
rejection letter was. (So I could scan it and post it here.)
Or even threaten to start a SlamBUFF during next years festival.
(We would show films on a sheet in Kenmore Square and whine
the whole time about not being accepted.) Eh...now I know
why my film about the Internet didn't get in, what nitwit
:cc's his whole mailing list to everyone? At least I got 550
industry contacts out of the deal.
I keep thinking of the Daffy Duck cartoon where hes
been bested by Bugs Bunny while performing onstage, so he
pulls out all the stops and basically blows himself up. (Which
the audience finally likes.) Or maybe it was in Duck
Dodgers in the 21 1/2 Century where he does THIS
IS THE LAST STRAW! (Then proceeds to blow the entire
planet up.) This is going to call for some decisive action.
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