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Published September 20, 2008




Okay, so week two of the COWTOWN FILM SERIES played out. Yes, we had a drastic increase in attendance. Over 100 people attended this week. It didn’t hurt that the Columbus Alive did a feature story and interview, as did Uweekly, the OSU print paper. See, I sent press releases about the COWTOWN FILM SERIES in early August, and then did follow ups at the very beginning of September for the Sept. 11th premiere. The early bird gets the worm, as they say.



Now, why both papers wanted to interview me, instead of the filmmakers that have movies playing escapes me, but press is press. I’m helping get attendance to THEIR movies, so it all works out. It’s not like I haven’t been pushing these filmmakers to get their own press. I’ve given pretty concise road maps since this summer on how to get these articles & interviews for themselves. So far, I think 2-3 might actually get some (or try to get) printed press on their own.

When doing short film festivals in the past, I would get angry about the apathy, but I think I’m past that. When you don’t promote, and no one shows up, I won’t be the one embarrassed. I’ll simply have that “I told you so” look and I might even skip out on the after party and not work hard to get anyone to head over to the bar. I want to align myself with winners, not losers. By this stage, the inhibitions and complete lack of ambition hardly can come as a surprise from some of the filmmakers whose work I present, especially when I do so much promotion for them already.

Since it’s predictable, I’m not sweating it. My focus & attention go to the ones who ARE way into this. Some of the directors of other movies are coming EVERY SINGLE WEEK and even some other filmmakers locally are making the Thursday night screening habitual. This makes me very happy. The number of these actors, directors, writers, etc. surprises me even more. There exists a core group of pros and semi-professionals who are looking to support each other, truly, in actions not hollow words.

One thing has been a constant in life and that is that one thing you can rely on is the unreliability of others. That’s why I take so much personal attention to press, but also presentation. Very few others have an interest in making a professional, good looking theatrical experience. I go to film festivals or meetings where the projector and DVD players are not tested, and nothing sucks the energy from the room like a group of people standing around, semi-silent, watching 3-4 people fumble with a not working projector or DVD player for 5-10 minutes. By then the momentum has been train-wrecked, and then when the movie plays, the mind-frame has been interrupted and it takes time to get back into it. It’s a Pavlovian response to the lights going down, the projector starting up…. So when the movie doesn’t actually start, you’ve set up anticipation, and then don’t pay off. It’s frustrating, at least for most people and not the best frame of mind for the voluntary suspension of disbelief that most movies rely on to be effective, especially amateur movies that stretch that suspension (or voluntary part) to its breaking point to get the ideas across.

I’m managing the COWTOWN FILM SERIES by myself. No one has contributed much to it because it doesn’t NEED much help. These kinds of events are not rocket science, nor do I have to put in more than 5-10 hours a week into it and that includes promotion. Now, the one regret I have was not getting a print shop as a sponsor. I wanted to get the flyers, postcards, and programs printed for free. As it is, I pay for the programs out of pocket. If we do another run of COWTOWN film premieres next year in early 2009, I will get not only a print shop to sponsor, but I think I can bag some TV time for free too.

I got in my JAG 35 lens adaptor. It works well, albeit I got what I paid for, but it will do what it needs to do. One problem, for me, is that the image inversion makes my life hell. The 35mm lens adaptor inverts the image upside down. So I can’t use the LCD screen, as it’s upside down and I just cannot adapt to that. I ordered a $50 7” LCD screen that I’ll mount upside down on top of the camera. It will arrive on Tuesday, so I can play with it more. So far, I’ve only tested it indoors with pop cans and minimal lights looking at a big monitor, with the camera upside down. The wrack-focus and depth of field effects are amazing. I will use this thing to powerful effect soon enough…My ASPECT HD codec can invert the image right-side up free of charge when I digitize.



The Columbus Alive interviewers asked a lot about HORRORS OF WAR. I can think of no topic I’m more sick of discussing. That makes editing on the documentary about the making of the movie, still being pushed to a back burner, even though the clock is ticking.

I have re-loaded my AVID XPRESS PRO projects and started to sort out outtakes and demonstrative footage for the documentary sections that have been half-cut and need B-Roll to finish. I knew I wanted to start the documentary, as a feature length doc that is, in a less “flashy” softer, subtle, slower open. I now know how to open the movie, which is a big step to seeing the whole project finished. The goal with the feature length version will be in trying to make it a broader, more generalized approach as to how we made an independent film, although I love the stories and little things. Those carry the most weight to me, as I’m trying to make a movie that I want to see, not necessarily one that anyone else will.

I love the documentaries and DVD extras for things like Peter Jackson’s THE FIGHTENERS (4 hours long) and the LORD OF THE RINGS (nearly 6 hours for each of the 3 movies, plus newer 90 minute docs for each of the 3 movies), and HEART OF DARKNESS with Francis Ford Coppola or FULL TILT BOOGIE with FROM DUSK TILL DAWN. The drama behind the camera, the camaraderie of the cast and crew, the creative process of various people in any department – THOSE are the things I like to see and hear. That’s the basis of the film to me. So it’s 50% interviews and stories, and 50% “fly on the wall” documentation to make a hybrid movie that combines my two completely different styles of filmmaking documentaries.

I’m hoping to replicate and sell DVD’s of this documentary when I’m finished. If I add the Filmmaking Tips, and other bits, it will be marketed more as a “Film School DVD” type thing, but also as the supplement disc that the movie didn’t get.

Time to get back to the grind of commercial work. “V” is NOT happy about the time I spend abroad. He’s taken to waking me up earlier and earlier trying to get his playtime with me before I head into the universe outside the walls of Rossdonia.

Peace out Amigos!
Rossifer

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