Tuesday, April 29, 2008
That was an introduction to my new short film 'DOGDOM', shot and edited between September and October 2007.
Rodrigo Estrada Gil. is a 32-year-old film director and screenwriter. Here is his lastest production, which you can find in his website (Hi) and/or in (Lo):
Monday, April 28, 2008
Well I gotta say there is definitely nothing "wack" about The Wackness directed by Jonathan Levine. Levine directs a coming of age film about a kid named Luke Shapiro who is the community weed dealer in Manyhatty. Levine a native New Yorker himself who hails from the Upper East Side caught the true essence of the year 1994 by showing images of New York's grafiiti-ridden streets and hearing the sounds of hip hop ballads such as Tribe Called Quest's "Can I Kick It" and R&B classics like R. Kelly's Bump & Grind.
The film stars Josh Peck as the dorky but loveable Luke Shapiro who is naiive when it comes to women. He meets and falls in love with Stephanie who has had as many sexual encounters as Miss Material Girl Madonna herself. Stephanie is played by new "it" girl Olivia Thirlby. Luke in the meantime consults with a wacked out therapist Dr Squires who trades in weed for each therapy session. Dr. Squires is played by the legendary Academy Award winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley. The two form a friendship that changes the lives of whom they encounter as well as their own. However their friendship is compromised when Luke starts dating Stephanie who just so happens to be Dr Squire's stepdaughter.
This film is full of colorful characters and has a great quality that has not been shown on celluloid in a while. Levine is quite accurate in his depiction of New York City in 1994. He even hits the mark on the slang by using words like "wack", "dope" and "word". The film won the Audience Award at Sundance and definitely has won the hearts of indie filmgoers during the screening at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. Levine himself was there after the screening for a brief Q&A about the film and is definitely some fresh blood on the indieseen worth checking. Pretty humble guy. The film will be released nationwide by Sony Pictures in July. Check out the official website for the film here
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Tribeca not only highlights independent feature films, but also short films. There are a compilation of short films that share a theme---split second--- at the 2008 festival. These short films feature a conflict with the protagonists that forces them to make a split second decision that could change their lives forever.
The films featured in "Split Second" were:
God Only Knows
Dusk was about a hit and run accident that occurs in a Mexican desert.
Hesitation was about a middle-aged couple on vacation who encounters a little boy who is all too annoying and hesitation occurs when the boy is involved in an accident.
Roads is about a 13 year old Israeli boy and an ex-solider who connect and find themselves caught up with a drug lord who is seeking revenge.
Being Human us about two brothers contemplating on how to handle a medical miracle.
Coffee Break is about how far will a rookie police officer go to impress his partner.
God Only Knows is about a mother who is torn between love and a better life.
The best short films out of this bunch were Roads and Coffee Break. Roads had a deep rich plot that involved action and intensity as a young boy tries to escape the world of drugs and violence in his community. The solider who helps save him becomes a martyr in the quest to liberate himself from his past. Great cinematography and excellent pacing. Coffee Break was a film that in some ways we can all relate too because at one point we have all tried to do something to impress others. In this case a rookie male cop is forced by his partner to cajole a female stranger into having intimate relations with him and the rookie cops takes it a step further by performing a simulated rape.
Then there was the worst film out of this bunch. As a viewer I left the theater upset because of the film Second Line. Second Line is about two cousins who search for work in post-Katrina New Orleans. They are promised $90.00 a day for the work and their foreman Henry picks them up and agrees to take them back home. The two men are African-American and they are hired by a Caucasian foreman and his wife to gut out the dilapidated house. Natt finds a peanut jar that has a wad of bills in it that equals out to be 300 bucks. MacArthur, his partner, decides to take the the high road and tell his boss Henry about the money.
Instead of rewarding MacArthur, he lies and says the money belongs to his wife and keeps it for himself. All the while Henry has been drinking and poor MacArthur finds himself working in a dust-ridden house without a mask and instead has a piece of thin fabric to protect himself. He asks Henry repeatedly to provide him a proper mask, but Henry is dismissive. We eventually get the idea, that Henry has no intentions of giving a mask to his employee. Towards the end of the day Henry gives MacArthur a total of $90.00 for services rendered. MacArthur looks up at Henry puzzled and states that his partner Natt needs his $90.00 too. Henry states that the fee is for both and you get $45.00 each. At this point poor MacArthur decides to take the high road once again and gives Natt the full $90.00 without telling him that the fee was $90.00 between the BOTH of them. MacArthur soon reaches his boiling point and grabs an old machete that was hanging around the abandoned house and spontaneously charges at Henry with the weapon.
Henry's wife Bernie runs and screams for help. Natt immediately runs after Bernie, covers her mouth and nearly wrestles her to keep her from running away. MacArthur throws Henry into the trailer and Natt throws Bernie in there with them. We see the trailer close and only hear the cries of the victims and the scene fades to black. The last scene is macArthur upset and crying thinking about the event that just took place with a look of regret on his face.
The reason I gave a scene-by-scene synopsis of this short is because most of you will not see this movie. But if you do, feel free to give an opinion on your thoughts. I didn't understand the point of this film and found it to be very offensive towards African-Americans. It feeds into stereotypes that whites perceive of blacks and I was quite disgusted at this film. ALSO, why would Tribeca screen a film like this?? Perhaps I am missing something. Perhaps I need some further clarification on the meaning behind the film's message. Becuz all I got out of it were two black men solving aggression and anger with violence towards a white couple. There was a Q&A session after the film featuring all directors of each short film and I was not a bit surprised when I saw the film's director was Caucasian. A sad disgusting display of racial stereotypes. There will be more films to see at Tribeca, but frankly this was a VERY disappointing display of celluloid and quite frankly one of the worst films I've seen at this festival. Blech!
Saturday, April 26, 2008
So here's a quick scenario. Guy goes home to reconcile his estranged relationship with his mom. Mom wonders why her son has a brought a kid with him. Guy tells mom that the kid is his. Mom is confused and realizes she is now a grandmother. Guy tells mom that his babimomma is a drug addict and stole a shitload of heorin from Dave Matthews. Yes--Dave Matthews as in the leader of the self-titled band? Okay is this plot getting weird? Well not really I'm just making it sound appealing because this movie is basically like every other film I've seen before....nothing new. This is just another southern drama about a mother and son that reunite under desperate circumstances years after a family tragedy drove them far apart.
That's the plot. So what's appealing about the film?? A few things I guess. Although the plot is nothing new and a carbon copy of most southern dramas I've seen in my lifetime, I am amazed at the performances by the great Sissy Spacek and the underrated talent Troy Garity. Garity is phenomenal to watch and without saying much, speaks volumes with his facial expressions. Sissy Spacek once again reprises her role as a southern mother who lives on a farm and is the matriarch trying to hold the family together does something a little different in this film---she turns into a bit of an action star. Therefore, the movie may be worth seeing just for that reason. The other reason would definitely be Garity's performance. Another sleeper at the film festival, but there are plenty more to see and review so we'll keep you up to date as the festival unfolds.
Well as most of you already know, the Tribeca Film Festival is in full swing and there are a ton of movies to watch over the next 9 days of this festival. An NYIndieSeen staffer, has all access into the festival and has seen 2 flicks so far to review for you IndieSeen readers.
Love Live Long (2008) The world premiere of this film took place here in NYC at The New School Tishman Auditorium. Director Mike Figgis takes us into a movie inside of a movie. This avant garde stylized story is about a woman named Rachel who videotapes herself on suicide watch and a yuppie hotel connoisseur, mysteriously cross paths in Istanbul. Darren has no idea who this mystery woman is, all he knows is that she is beautiful, appealing, and is worthy of a sexual encounter. Little does Darren know that Rachel is suffering from some serious psychological issues and he finds himself involved in a tryst that could change his the life as well as his wife and children.
The movie is a bit too slow for my taste. Figgis holds on shots of closeups for longer than necessary which slows the pace of the film. Some of the cuts are jarring and there is really no backstory involved with the characters in this film. The film is shot documentary style with a video handheld and has that movie-within-a-movie appeal. The film doesn't really deliver and the plot is severely lacking. Unless you prefer avant garde stylized films that does not necessarily tell a story, but instead let closeup images of people's facial hair and moles on their skin do the actual storytelling...then maybe this film is for you. But trust me...this movie is no Leaving Las Vegas that's for sure. Apparently the film was shot in 7 days. Now that makes plenty of sense why this movie looked like a rough cut.
Timbal Fest Calls for Entries - Deadline: May 5, 2008
Check out Timbal Fest. Timbal Fest features films by Africans and/or set in Africa . They worked with local sponsors to help cover costs so we could eliminate the entry fees.
The Timbal Fest is scheduled for June 6 – 8 in . Submissions are currently being accepted until Monday, May 5th. Each filmmaker may submit only one project for review. There is no entry fee. The screening schedule will be announced by May 19th. The entry form is available at www.TimbalFest.com.
It will be an amazing opportunity for filmmakers.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Brooklyn, NY – In what is being called a “tipping point” in independent movie distribution, three filmmakers, in partnership with YouTube, released their feature-length film on April 8 free of charge on the world’s most popular video sharing website.
“Two years ago, releasing a full-length feature online would not have been possible,” said filmmakers Adam Browne, Brendan Choisnet, and Daniel Nayeri of Cult Classics, LLC. “Independent filmmakers are democratizing Hollywood. The online generation is looking for good content, and we believe THE CULT OF SINCERITY will be embraced by college and career audiences.”
In its first 48 hours on YouTube THE CULT OF SINCERITY was viewed in over 100 countries and became the #1 featured video in the film and animation category in 20 countries, including the U.S. Additionally, the film was seen by more people on YouTube than had it been shown at the top film festivals in the world.
An intellectual and off-beat comedy set in New York, the film’s main character, Joseph, starts a “cult of sincerity” to confront the perceived unhappiness, cynicism, and boredom of his twenty-something generation. He wants to find something to believe in, something simple enough to put on a T-shirt. Reminiscent of Don Quixote, Joseph sets off to find the most genuine thing you could ever say to someone. Joseph tries to lead by example as he opens doors for strangers, plants trees in the city and apologizes to anyone who will listen for things like chauvinism, sarcasm and fascism. THE CULT OF SINCERITY is a witty exploration of changing friendships, permanent regrets, and hope in the age of irony.
Cult Classics is creating a new revenue model for independent filmmakers. By partnering with the independent music website, AmieStreet.com, the film will be available to audiences free of charge, while still generating revenue for the filmmakers and providing financial support for an African charity.
The goal is to get viewers to watch THE CULT OF SINCERITY on YouTube, as well as sign-up with AmieStreet.com where the registrant will receive two free songs and the filmmakers $2. Cult Classics also is offering a mobile download (iPod, portable device) for the discounted price of $3, with 2/3 of the money going to Fount of Mercy, a respected faith-based charity that helps children in Africa (www.fountofmercy.org)
“This is the triple-bottom-line approach to entertainment,” said Erik Lokkesmoe of Different Drummer, a global grassroots marketing company that is promoting the film. “Three things happen when people watch this film. They support the independent filmmaker. They receive free songs and an entire online experience. And they help a charity.”
For more information on THE CULT OF SINCERITY, contact Ben Laurro at Pure Publicity (818.753.4056) or visit www.cultofsincerity.com. Advanced online screenings for reviews are available upon request.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
We just wanna give you a refresher course about what our labels mean:
*These labels are subject to change*
Short Film Corner: This archive contains short films written, directed, and produced by independent filmmakers like you who are sharing their movies for all of you to see. It's a great opportunity to have indie filmmakers have the works put out there for ALL IndieCrew readers!
News and Gossip: Pretty self-explanatory. It's basically just news updates and gossip heard round the world about either the indie film community, or the latest happenings in the entertainment biz. We will try our best not to talk TOO much about Lindsay Lohan or worse...Paris H. YUCK.
Indie Pick O' The Day: These are our picks for the best independent films that "we" like. You may agree with them, or you may disagree. But we likez them and we have a daily feature of a movie that has either made a profound effect on us personally, or we may feel has made an effect on the industry. You are always more than welcome to email us an Indie Pick O' The Day you feel should be recognized.
Favorite SEENS: Typically these are clips pulled from YouTube and uploaded on the blog. They may be indie or studio films, but typically they are the most noted scenes in movies we have all watched.
Sexy Bitches: Filmmakers, actors, writers, or anyone involved in the industry who we recognize as being SEXY. We like them, wanna date them, we may wanna have their babies, or we just want to add some eye candy with some sexy ass pictures on this blog.
Dailies: Just ordinary, mundane, monotonous information about the biz or local events in NYC that YOU need to know about it. Some information may not affect you, some may be crucial to your career as a filmmaker.
IndieSeen Favorite: Anyone in the biz actor or filmmaker or both who we feel has made an impact in the indie film biz. Some favorites may just be actors who in "our eyes" we find appealing and some are in fact movers and shakers in the industry.
Dumb Bitches: LoL. Yea, this is a crazy archive (we're goin a lil Perez Hilton on this one) but its basically people in the industry who we find are leeches or "fillers" in the biz that really shouldn't be there. Some of these people may once have been well-liked and sorta fell off. Others may just be people who you just can't stand and never will who we find to be just a dumb bitch. (Lindsay Lohan will always be archived in this category). Oh yea and DB next to someone's name means that as well.
Hot Messes: This category is somewhat synonymous with Dumb Bitches, the only exception is, these are rejects either cast away from the industry or still struggling to prove themselves in the biz. Typically they are cokeheadz, felons, sluts, or harpies who we find are nobodies in this business.
SEEN in NYC: We live in New York City and this city is filled with celebrities. So occasionally we may spot a few. Some of these celebs have been seen directly from an NYIndieSeen Staffer, others have been spotted by third parties that have reported it to Page Six. We will update you weekly on who was spotted in the Big Apple.
The Indie EXperience: This is an important archive, the one you should ALL pay attention to. It is dedicated the the filmmakers out there who do not yet have a voice in this industry. It allows a filmmaker, writer, or actor to write about their experience about working in the film industry. Some writers provide a sample of their work, and some filmmakers provide a list of their works. A photo can be viewed of each IndieCrew member with their article about their experience. This is an opportunity to be heard and SEEN out there in the film community. Please email us at email@example.com if you are interested in the IndieEXperience.
Trailer Trash: This is fair game. However, it is MAINLY for movie trailers that have been recut to either be humorous, scary, dramatic, or just plain silly. However, if we find an actor or celebrity to be trailer trash in the "literal" sense, then they will be archived in this category.
Whatever Happened To?: This is for former celebz in the biz that are no longer with us. NO, they didn't die! They just fell off the map. Now we want to know what happened to them?
Hype/Hate: This blog is written by the one and only HP McHatey about movies that are rated by HYPE -(movies Hatey liked) or HATE- (movies Hatey..uh...well you know). It's always a fun read and very popular with our readers. You never know what this guy is gonna say.
JGL (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), Lindsay Lohan, etc: There are a few archives (and more may be developed) of people in the biz who we either like a lot or dislike with a passion. Some of our staffers are partial to these folk, so more blogs are written about them. Which means they deserve an archive. So keep on readin!
Shooting in NYC: Very important. These are films that are shooting in New York City. So if you are interested in working on any of the films, the address, name of the production, and location is listed for you. Unfortunately we DO NOT have phone numbers to contact these productions. You'll have to play detective in that aspect.
Whackness: Movies, people, news items, etc that we just find to be whack. It's boring, dull, and lackluster. We really don't care, but feel like its a nice "filler" to the blog. Just some extra shit to say...even though its wack.
NYIndieSeen Exclusive: These are events that are happening that NYIndieSeen are the first to know about and we extend that information to YOU our readers. More than likely you will not see this information anywhere else, so play close attention to the updates in this archive!
Movie Genres: We divide up all of our movie reviews into the genres it belongs in. So you will see Indie Comedy, Drama, Horror, Thriller, Action/Adventure, etc listed among the labels.
Thatz all for now. Like we said, these labels are subject to change cuz we like to switch it up every now and then. We get bored too easily.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
An NYIndieSeen staffer had the opportunity to sit in on a Q&A with Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker Cynthia Wade in a very moving cinematic piece called Freeheld. Freeheld is about Lieutenant Laurel Hester who is dying of lung cancer. All she wants to do is leave her pension benefits to her life partner - Stacie, so Stacie can afford to keep their house. Laurel is told no, because they are not husband and wife. After spending a lifetime fighting for justice for other people, Laurel - a veteran New Jersey detective - launches a final battle for justice. Knuckle-biting, dramatic Freeheld chronicles a dying policewoman's bitter fight to provide for the love of her life.
The film won an Oscar for Best Documentary short subject. The film's director Cynthia Wade is a local who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. She pulled together the financing for the film on her own and was pretty much a one-man crew. The project took 10 weeks to shoot and was shot on a whim because of the sickly former lieutenant who is fighting for her life to tell her story. It's a poignant picture and speak to equal rights for all people regardless of race, gender, or sexual preference.
Definitely a film to watch. Below is a trailer of the Oscar winning film.
Unless you are living under a rock the Tribeca Film Festival is coming up and it's supposed to be bigger and better than ever. Well that's what they're telling us anyway. The festivities kick off next Wednesday April 23rd and will last until May 4th. The hottest films in indie cinema are shown at this festival and everyone always comes out. An NYIndieSeen staffer has been involved with this festival for the past 2 years and you never know who you'll run into. You may meet a first time filmmaker and talk about their latest docudrama and meanwhile you turn around and see Philip Seymour Hoffman with a glass of chardonnay listening in on your conversation in the Tribeca Lounge. Or you may attend a movie screening and find yourself sitting right next to the most popular film distributor in all of Hollywood. So save the date and don't forget that anything can happen at TFF.
Keep your business cards close and your confidence closer, because you never know who you'll run into. Who cares if your movie isn't gettin screened this year? You may get connected within the festival and meet some cool people along the way. Wanna a way to get connected and watch movies without paying for tickets?? Volunteer!!
Go here to volunteer as staff for the festival. Who knows, you may find yourself handing out ticket stubs to Leonardo DiCaprio or helping out on a Q&A panelist session in which you should keep an ear out on what's being discussed. Either way...get your ass in there and have fun!
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Self-Improvement Lab for Entrepreneurs & Actors
Saturday, April 26th
2hrs. of life affirming, career awakening advice to help you
continue to grow and improve as people and as actors & entrepreneurs.
The reason why we chose those two groups to target is, as actors &
entrepreneurs, both groups spend an inordinate amount of time working. Late
nights. Early days. Long hours. Most of it on our own, stressing about how to
continue on our own. Worrying about money, time. Worrying about how we will
survive if what we are doing fails. Being an actor or entrepreneur is a life of
stress and worry, but it doesn't have to be.
If you learn how to better manage your time, your stress, your health, and your
finances, you will have more energy and a stronger resolve to make it to that
plateau. Let us help show you how!
Each panelist will do a 15 minute presentation that will effectively communicate
ways for you to maximize your life and enhance yourself personally, in order to
maximize your effectiveness in your personal life and business life. Then, you
will be able to directly ask questions in a moderated Q&A.
SCENEPR wants to help you take yourself and your business to the next level.
Limited to first 40 participants
Ticket includes Continental Breakfast
Scott Allinson, Photographer/Owner
Alana Kessler, MS, RD, CDN
Poshan Complementary Nutrition
John Nies, Former NFL Player
The Power Center
La-Verne Parris, B.A., M.Sc., J.D.
FREE WELLNESS & BEAUTY SAMPLES FROM SOUL PURPOSE
Includes continental breakfast (juice, coffee/tea, muffin/bagels)
Ripley Grier Studios
520 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10018
For more info & to purchase tickets, visit http://www.scenepr.com/events
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
“Please don't kill me Mr. Ghostface, I wanna be in the sequel!”
"What's the point they're all the same, some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can't act who is always running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door, it's insulting."
It is the first full-length film project being undertaken by, and officially sanctioned by, the Bra Boys. It is their story. It shows their success in professional big wave surfing, it explores their international reputation for hard partying and rough justice, it touches on their running battle with authorities and it shows their absolute reliance on one another to fit into a society in which they are displaced and, at times, disinterested. It shows how the evolution of Maroubra, coupled with the historical stigma associated with Australia’s rebellious surf community, has contributed to their social displacement.
Central to the story is the true-life struggle of the Abberton brothers – Sunny, Koby, Jai and Dakota … one charged with murdering a Sydney standover man, another pursuing a professional surf career but charged as an accessory in his brother’s legal fight, another trying to hold the family together and a young brother whose inheritance is his siblings’ notoriety.
“Bra Boys” uses archival footage shot and blends it with current surf vision and interviews to create a story that is compassionate and confronting. It is a story of contrast involving against-the-odds success and predictable failures and, ultimately, a story exploring the legacy and hopes of the next generation of Bra Boys members.
Check out the movie trailer below!
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Need a fab pad to film your short flick? Look no more, here is some info on housing for a cool as loft in SoHo. Read below some info we received directly from Ken Hunt.
We have a 4000 sq ft. luxury Loft (7 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms with
maid) inwhich has been used in many film and television
shoots around the world.
The Soho Loft was written up in the NY Times.
You can reach me directly at
Drake Corporate Housing - production housing solutions and The Soho
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
There has been a ton of films with crazy amazing opening sequences. However a personal favorite for us is the opening music for Psycho (1960). Just listen to the first 2 minutes. This musical number truly did set the tone for this movie. I mean damn I was already scared just listenin to this and the movie didn't even start yet! There aren't that many scary sounding songs or scores out there. This is a hard one to beat...
Of course the Halloween theme music was pretty creepy too.
Julia Roberts caught strolling on W 23rd St in Madison Square Park. Looked adorably cute with no makeup on and skinny as a Rwandan refugee
Adrien Brody's fine ass was seen at Lafayette St and Astor Place with his girlfriend and was quite recognizable with his trademark nose and physique.
Natasha Lyonne 7th Ave South in West Village trying to score some Crank...just kiddin!
James Franco on 85th and Madison hailing a cab and looking hotter than ever! I want like 10,000 of his babies!
Robin Williams seen looking for his career on 56th and 6th Ave. Won't find it there buddy.