So we're doing a special screening of BLUMENTHAL next Thursday at the Los Angeles Film School. While it's technically a private screening, there is some extra space open to those who RSVP. Please be sure to let us know if you are bringing a guest. If you are in the Los Angeles area, we'd love to have you! Details below:
Since premiering Blumenthal in Santa Barbara, I've being doing some filmmaker interviews for various websites and film blogs. While I am always happy to talk about my movie, I really don't like to read what I say in these interviews. Assuming the writer has given an accurate account of the interview, I tend to be redundant, inarticulate, long-winded, and redundant. Reading my answers to some of these questions, I think "Gee, that answer sounded fine when it came out of my mouth. But looking at it on the page, it doesn't make much sense at all."
So I've been trying to pay closer attention during these (usually phone) conversations. I think that actually might be the problem, paying close attention. I'm always interested to hear the interviewer's thoughts on the film, and if they make some insightful observations I get sucked into their thoughts and opinions and forget what the original question was. Then then I start talking, but I'm thinking about something else already, wondering: Did the interviewer just tell me something about my film that didn't already know. And if I did know it, what did I mean by it? And if I didn't know it, how could I have missed it!
Anyway, good problems to have. Here's one of the more palatable interviews I've done posted by the good people at www.Buzzine.com.
More stuff in the pipeline. We are starting to get into the nitty gritty of getting our film out there beyond the festival circuit. Stay tuned!
I was a little nervous as to what the turnout would be at our East Village screening of Blumenthal this past weekend. I'd been extremely busy leading up to the event and I hadn't been as aggressive on the invites and social media promotions as I had originally intended. Add to that, the theatre we were screening in was huuuuge.
Myself and the rest of the cast arrived early for press photos on the second floor, so I wasn't able to see anyone coming in to the actual theatre downstairs on the main level. By the time the press stuff had wrapped up and I headed down for the screening, I was pleasantly surprised to find there was no where left for me to sit. In fact, they were bringing in folding chairs to accommodate more late-comers. Of course, the fatalist in me looked at the large audience and thought "Great. If these guys don't enjoy the movie, the silence in the theater will be that more deafening."
Not the case.
They responded beautifully and seemed to have a genuinely great time. Additionally, the vast majority of the audience were not friends or familiar faces, but rather strangers who were just interested in seeing a Scotsman play a Jewish New Yorker. Afterwards, we did a Q and A with me and the cast. I was thrilled at the response to the performances in the film. It was the first time for many of the actors to see the finished film, and it was awesome to see how pleased they were with the final product.
The response at the screening was beyond generous. I had an amazing conversation with legendary cinematographer Ed Lachman outside the theater that absolutely made my day. Most of the questions and comments I've received thus far on the film have been in relation to the script and the actors, so it was great to hear someone's reaction to the visual aspects of the movie. Zak and I put so much thought and work into the picture, and to hear the DP who shot Virgin Suicides compare your camera work to that of Gordon Willis (Manhattan, The Godfather) was just insane and humbling and I don't know what else.
A terrific day all around.
First Time Fest is around the corner (Sunday, March 3rd @ 2:30pm) and seats are filling up fast. If you are in the city or surrounding areas, book your BLUMENTHAL tickets now! you can do it with a couple clicks on the festival's website here. We also got a mention in the festival's press release in Variety, which is very cool indeed!
First, I'm pleased to announce that BLUMENTHAL will be making its NY premiere at the inaugural First Time Fest. Hosted by the historic Players Club, the festival is a competition and mentorship comprising of only 12 films and supported by awesome talents like Darren Aronofsky, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Sofia Coppolla. Our movie will play the first weekend in March at the Lowes Village VII. More details to come!
In other news, due to popular demand, BLUMENTHAL will be screening an extra time I'm Santa Barbara this weekend. It will be at 2pm on Sunday the 10th at 2PM at the Riviera Theatre. Best of all, it's free! SBIFF does this every year as a 3rd Weekend treat intended for locals who avoided the last two weeks of madness that descended on their town. I will, unfortunately, not be able to attend. I will be there in spirit (and celluloid).
Festivals aside, we are still trying to nail down a sales rep for the film. We've recently received a good deal of interest from some cool companies, so hopefully we can set that up soon. For the uninitiated, a sales rep or sales agent is responsible for getting the film in front of distributors and ultimately negotiate the terms of a deal. Naturally, festival buzz and press in general will be key in our selling this film. Speaking of which, INDIEWIRE just published an interview we did a couple weeks ago. It's generous, to be sure. It also talks about WMMAM. Please "like" the article on Facebook and share with friends! This stuff goes a long way in promoting a small film like this.
As reactions to BLUMENTHAL start to appear online, I'm struck by how responsible I feel for the film and the collective experience of the audience. A nice exception to that stress is a review of the films trailer, edited by Art St. Germain. Check out the love he gets on Slash Film!
To our surprise there was yet another long line of 10AMers wrapping around the theater on Sunday. Talk about commitment! I couldn't think of a worse time to go and watch a movie than a Sunday morning before I've had a chance to down my mimosa and Quiche. Nevertheless, the Barbarians (of Santa) filled up our theater to watch some BLUMENTHAL. Not our loudest audience to be sure, but they definitely stuck with it.
The Q and A was nice, too. A lot of people are asking how their friends could see the film and when we will have a distribution deal. The answer I give is the same message that I'll pass on to you all: Talk about the film! Seriously, tell your friends, like us on facebook, and repost the link to our trailer. All of this helps to generate buzz about the film and thus the demand for it. That demand is what ensures that BLUMENTHAL will eventually secure distribution so you all can see it. From the very beginning, this film has been helped along by its audience and now you are all more important than ever. Keep up the good work.
Back to the Q and A. One of the recurring questions that I get is about how we shot the Chinatown sequence. People want to know how we did it with no permit, without hurting anyone, and not getting arrested. Here is a repost from our Shooting Diary, Day 19 where you can see us ignoring traffic directions, almost kill a pedestrian, and fly right past a police car.
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I was initially bummed when I saw that our second and third screenings at Santa Barbara were in the morning. Specifically, our Wednesday showing. The last time I saw a movie at 10:00 AM on a weekday it was Tim Burton's Batman. I was eight years old and one of maybe ten people in the movie theater. With that as my frame of reference, my expectations for turnout were low. I told people it would be easy to get tickets and that if they wanted an easy day to catch BLUMENTHAL, Wednesday at 10am was it.
After speaking to a group of film students from Santa Barbara Community College, I strolled leisurely down State Street to meet Zak, Garrett, and Jesse for the screening. After realizing that the crowd was largely there for BLUMENTHAL, I smuggled Zak and a friend into the theater with me so we could save seats for the rest of the team. I had paced in the aisle throughout our first screening, so I thought I'd sit for this one...maybe even sleep. After people started pouring into the cinema, a festival coordinator walked up to us and said "Congrats. It's completely sold out."
Eat that, Tim Burton.
The audience was awesome. Lots of laughs and lots of love during the Q and A. It's next to impossible for me to watch the movie now without agonizing over details outside of our control. Sometimes it's the contrast of the projector or sometimes it's the old woman walking out of the theater during the sex scene (what year is this?). Today, it was the fact that our film was inexplicably screening in stereo and not 5.1 surround sound. Oh well. No one seemed to care too much but me, so I wont dwell on it beyond this post.
Our final screening is this coming Sunday at 10:00 AM again. Yeah. Super Bowl Sunday. Go big or go home!