Monday, April 26, 2010

From Newport Beach

(The Gang: Charis Tobias, Kevin Marron, Elliot Kotek, Victoria Charters, me, Rachel Rath)

Well, I managed to get out to Newport Beach, thanks largely to the efforts of Elliot Kotek and of course the generosity of those who were kind enough to donate money toward my ticket! You people are amazing! Thank you again!

As I type I'm actually sitting in my friend Trampas' apartment in Los Angeles, looking out over an incredible view of the buildings of down town LA. Nice to be able to get down to visit friends. But of course the trip was about the World Premiere of 140, so I should mention a little something about that!

I arrived late on Thursday night and caught the end of the opening party, which was huge. But I was so tired from traveling that kinda just wanted to go back to the hotel and sleep! But then I bumped into Leslie Feibleman, who is one of the programmers and who selected 140. So she introduced me around to a lot of people. I met some of the other filmmakers.

Next day Elliot arrived, I did an interview with Journey Pod and hung out in the hospitality lounge chatting to other filmmakers. I managed to get back to hotel to lie down before the bug night, didn't sleep, but lying down helped! Ugh, jetlag! Then I got dressed and headed out for a meal before the big event! Of course I couldn't eat - a little nervous! Just a beer to calm the nerves slightly!

Afterwards we had a tech-check, everything was fine and then just a wait for people to arrive. It wasn't sold out or anything, but we had a nice crowd. They seemed to respond well to the film and all the right reactions played out as the film ran - looking great on the big screen, something I was slightly concerned about considering the varying quality of clips, but there were no real issues.

(Elliot and I doing the Q&A)

Afterwards there was a Q&A, hosted by Elliot, and we both talked about the film. It's available to see here. Some people came up to me afterwards and talked about how much they enjoyed and all the filmmakers who came were really happy and enthusiastic about it! So overall I think it was a great success and I was thrilled to be able to get out here and attend!

I go back to Newport Beach this evening and spend tomorrow there before heading on to Denver to meet the fam, and of course attend another screening of the film.

So all good and exciting to be on the road with 140! It's going to interesting to see what comes next.

Monday, April 19, 2010

NO Celluloid Journey may be the case!!! I hope not, but the giant ash cloud over Europe means all flights are still grounded this Monday, and looking likely to be grounded until Wednesday at the earliest! I fly out on Thursday - I hope!!!

The Volcano has already directly affected me in one small way, I had planned to see Philip Pullman talk in Dublin on Saturday, but he cancelled because he couldn't fly. I was disappointed, but it was no big deal compared to what might happen in the week and weeks to come.

It may have a much greater affect on me. Aer lingus are cancelling flights on a day by day basis, they had planned to fly today at 1pm, that was extended to 6pm and may be extended as far as Wednesday. Depending on weather and wind that could go further. If it does I'm going to miss my flight to the Newport Beach premiere of 140! After how much effort everyone put in to get me there it would be a real let down! But I guess I wont know for sure until Thursday morning in the airport bags in hand! - And if flights do go on Thursday, following the week of delays, the Airport is going to be absolute chaos!!! A very cramped, emotional place!!!

If it extends any further it may ruin further plans for our family vacations! After Newport I'm meeting my wife and daughter elsewhere in the states, at a central location where her parents, sister with her husband and kids and best friends are all flying to meet us. Flights and hotels are booked. So if we can't make it, it ruins the plans of all those people... not to mention costing a fortune! And considering it's been over 2 years since my wife has been home, and it's the first time any of her family will meet our daughter, it could be extremely upsetting for all involved!

Hopefully it will clear up soon, or at least a gap in the cloud will open. I guess looking on the positive, better to be safe, and if stranded, better to be stranded at home and together!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Looks like I'm going to be attending the 140 World Premiere after all!!! Thanks to the efforts of my co-producer Elliot Kotek and the generosity of many of the 140 filmmakers. I hadn't planned on going, there was just no way I could afford it, especially as I already had a family trip planned to another area of the states and I had to pay for a NTSC conversion of a digibeta (€211!) So any further plans were out!

But as it happened Elliot had plans of his own and he wasn't taking "No" for an answer. While I was a way from the computer for a day he set to raising the cash for my trip!
Along with the fundraiser on Kickstarter for the promotion of 140 I've just been bowled over by how generous people have been lately... especially in these continued difficult financial times. So thank you all.

So that means I'm starting to get excited, and nervous! I usually have more than a week to psyche myself up for these things! While I tend to look calm on the outside, I'm usually freaking-out on the inside! Especially at screenings! And this one is a big deal, not only do I have to hope the audience like it, but the filmmakers too - none of whom have seen it yet!!!

Then it's on to Denver and a screening with the Denver Film Society at the Starz Film Centre! Which is fantastic. I mentioned that I would be in town, with the film and with the possibility of doing a Q&A and they said yes! So April 29th, 7pm, Starz Film Centre Denver, if you're around, come on down and say hello!

After that, on to Bozeman Montana for a screening in association Hatch Fest (who of course held a special preview screening of the unfinished movie back in October 2009) at a yet tbd time and place! I'll post details when I know more.

So it's going to be something of an American Tour!!! Not really, but... you know - sounds good! I guess it's a tour of the West! California, Colorado and Montana!!! Places I've wanted to see since I was a kid. I'm manage California a lot. Been to Montana once now. But Colorado is a first, so really looking forward to it!

Meantime, catching whatever time I can with Thomas to work on the new draft of Iscariot, that's going well. We're hoping to finish in time to enter the Nichol Fellowship, late Deadline being May 1st. Honestly, with the premiere now, it's not looking good... but we'll give a lash!

And lastly, If you're interested in helping support 140 your donation would be hugely appreciated at the Kickstarter page! Thank you so much!

More soon! I promise to post pics and vids from the America trip, when I get the chance! Should be loads of fun!!!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

It's all Kicking off!

As you all know 140 is complete and heading off into the world, with a great entrance, a World Premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival. But this is at a crucial stage. Now, more then ever I really need to get behind this film and push it to keep the momentum going. This is the part were so many films fail, the filmmakers run out of steam, energy, enthusiasm and of course - Money! I'm not short on energy or enthusiasm, but money is something this project never had, just alot of belief from 140 filmmakers who had never met before. I'm asking you to have the same belief, and help get this film out to the public, into festivals, theaters and seen.

So I've set up a Kickstarter account. This is a site were folks like me can pitch ideas to raise funds for their projects. It's not for nothing mind you, apart from supporting this film, you also get rewards for your pledge: T-Shirts, DVDs, Posters and more. So if you want to help then head on over to The 140 Project on Kickstarter and check it out!

Promoting a film is a timely and expensive business on your own, I've done it before! I will use the money I raise for essential things needed to help get 140 seen. First advertising, print: Posters, fliers, postcards, presskits. Then DVD duplication to get the film to festivals, journalist and anyone who can help spread the word. Also festival entry fees, they can add up fast! There are specialized tapes needed for screening at festival Beta SP, Digibeta, DVcam etc. they're usually quite expensive, especially if converting to other regions. Some will go toward travel expenses, I will need to be there on occasion to talk about the film, tell people about it, and make sure they know what it's all about. This will also be important as I will use this opportunity to talk about and recruit other filmmakers for my next project, an extension of 140, called The 140 Nation, where I want to set up 140 filmmakers in every country to shoot a 140 for that country - 140 USA, 140 Canada, 140 France and so on... but that's a whole other thing!

I've taken 140 this far, but now I need your help to take it the rest of the way! Thanks so much! You support means everything.