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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Notes from a Filmmaker: Wed, Oct 28th, 2009

President's a calling.
Current mood: kinda shocked

So, on Friday my phone rings and it's a D.C. number. I joke to my girl that Obama's calling but low and was his staff! I had produced a video for the Democratic National Committee's Health Care Video Challenge with my friend Angela. We are finalists!!!!
Here is the video and the link where to vote. Please do and please call your local reps to have them pass the public option. We need to take care of each other.
You must rate all 20 videos. Our video is called "Angela's Story". Five stars please :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Notes from a Filmmaker: Monday, August 31st, 2009

4 years walking...found a flower to stop and smell.

Current mood: greatful and relaxed

Yup, I've been greatful before in this blog but relaxed comes far and few between. After four years fighting, fussing, crying, laughing, and begging people to know about this film, last night in New York City...
I was going write about the night but I think the pictures speak for themselves. Can't wait to do it again :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Notes from a Filmmaker: Monday, July 27th, 2009

I've become a Digital Ghost
Current mood: anxious and curious

There has been many technical achievements throughout my lifetime that have changed the way I live. Cell phones, internet, personal computers all changed the world but the result of those is what actually compelled me to write. Social networking started off for me as fun, then social then networking. As of Sunday I had over 1300 friends on my facebook page. Mostly people interested in my films or radio work. Far from our goal audience but much more organized and benifical than the leagal pad and clip board that used to hold contact information. I posted upcoming events as well as pictures of past events. It actually found it's way into a more dominant promotion tool than my website ( Unfortunately...

As of last Tuesday I was a digital ghost. I woke up and everything was gone. No friends, pics, promotion dates, or a profile. I was lost. It struck me how strange it was that my profile actually felt like a piece of me. For three days I wondered how healthy was this? Binary code, not connected to my nervous system seemed to be an extention from me to the world. It didn't seem to was. With that thought I realized I had to reconnect. Heathy or not I was not going to loose my part of the emerging collective unconsciousness. And that is what is was. The internet has become a visual representation of our human collective huncosciousness. You can find the thoughts and ideas of a large crosssection of the world, with minimal effort at a momments notice. I had to get back.

After three days with very little progress with facebook (one email return a day) I decided to start a new account and cut my losses. Well it's almost been four days and I have a third of my contacts back. I'm pretty happy about that. Unhealthy or not I'm gonna run on into the digital future with as many people wanna come.

The screening on August 29th is almost sold out but...

Tickets for this screening are still available through Paypal. Click the Paypal button for fast, secure purchase! Guest names will be held at the door. I'm looking forward to paying off this film's cost and making money with it. People seem to really enjoy the movie. I can't wait to make another one :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Notes from a Filmmaker: Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Take the next step..."but there's at least three different landings?"
Current mood: open

Things are going incredibly well.
The film is selling well online and we're selling tickets for the NYC theatrical debut!
The people who see the film love it. The screenings have been so amazing. People have come up to me afterwards
just to let me know how touched and moved they were. I am so amazingly touched by them.

A woman from Scotland and her friend not only discussed the movie in detail...
they touched my face and began telling me how pleasant it was.
That my success was going to be linked to my smile and kind persona.
I can't say I have had many experiences like that.
Most people touching my face are either violent, sexual or a loved one.
I was so touched that these women were moved by me and my film I could only repeat,
"You have no idea what that means to me".
Honestly I didn't either. There was no comparison.
A pure, almost primal reaction from all of us, with no motivation. They didn't want
anything from me. They had already seen and bought copies of the movie.
They didn't even want to touch me, lol. It just happened.

Rare interactions with strangers are amazing.

Last month or so I made a random phone call to a number I had believed to
be Melvin Van Peebles, with the intention of getting him on
Ron Bennington Interviews. Long shot but hey...I was having a great month.
A man answers the phone and after I give my spiel...
he questions me ferociously.
But with a hysterical tone that broke my professional phone voice.
After a long belly laugh I gather myself and ask, "I this Mr. Van Peebles?"
"Shit, who'd you call?", he says. It's true. Who else should it have been.
Over the next few weeks we've become friends. Melvin gives me advice
when I ask and when I don't :)
he's such an amazing force in my life these days. Last week I went to see his
show and was amazed!!! This man ran shit on this stage for the entire duration. He sang, he danced
and man did he make me blush a couple times. This cat's gonna be one hell of a trip.
I am so grateful to know one of my idols. I used to watch movies on Melvin. Not movies by Melvin...
but movies made about his life! This man gave me that imaginary advice you get from TV heroes.
Now...he's on the phone :)

I'm doing what I love and am once again getting joy from it.
I seem to be able to manifest the reality I desire. I guess the main thought I have is, What to do?
I need to push this film but I need to get another budget. Life can't just be the promotion of a project.
It has to include the creation of the next.

There's no waiting for a budget to show up or an investor to call.
I have to storyboard, budget and plan as if it will happen.
Not wanting to sacrifice "LNIB's" promotion I have spent a lot of time on it
but at the same time preparing "Haven".
Countless storyboards and paperwork. It's gonna be a wonderful feature film.

Now that it is all done though...I want to produce "Awaken".
Now that my life has turned so much, I am drawn to a more positive script.
So now I'm budgeting and storyboarding and yada yada all over again.
At worse I have options to show someone looking to invest.
Hope to have great stories to tell after the August screening!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Notes from a Filmmaker: Friday, June 5, 2009

Creation can seep into reality.

Current mood: amazement

What a spring and summer this has turned out to be. So I got talked into getting health insurance and going to the dentist. Actually, I had to go to the dentist

(scroll down to Friday, Jan 30th 2009) but went because I had insurance. Guess insurance didn't cover my mystery illness. $600 later I am stuck. I have no money to spend on my mouth...I'm a filmmaker.

So around the same time I was sitting on the train coming from a radio interview with Howie Mandell. We burst through the tunnel and into the sunlight on the Brooklyn bridge. Watching the sun I thought to myself...I can not worry anymore. I can not let the darkness of others seep into my reality and stir up my own dark. Before we went back underground I felt lighter. By the time I was walking home I wanted to sing along with my mp3 player. It was if I was outside a party, afraid to knock...and the door just opens. I was sucked in.

Over the last few months I had let my beard grow and when my reflection in the mirror didn't match my had to go. Within thirty minutes of being home my beard was gone. I began looking like the person inside again. At the depths of the film's problem's, the radio show's problems, you name weight topped off at 335 lbs.

I'm 6' but that doesn't make much difference, lol. As my mind shifted away from the darker parts of my life...the weight started shifting also. Once my mind got clear, I started loosing weight faster. I have lost 117 lbs.

That's more than my girlfriend weighs. I'm 218 lbs now. Still 6' :)

Along with the physical changes I started creating scenarios in my mind that started happening. Some trivial some not so. I still had a $600 bill to deal with and no money. I started thinking that it will be taken care of and poof...the dentist asks me to paint a mural on the wall...subtracts the $600 and then pays me to paint the wall. A shift in thought created a signal that I was ready to see good in the world again.

The next day my girl, Lilly mentions, on her radio show, a topic from Oprah. I search out the clip and find a video that affirms everything that I have been feeling recently. Oprah was discussing the secret. I had never heard of such a thing and when I watched it I was amazed. Things I've always known to be true in my life were completely validated. The reality to live is the reality you create. I was living through bad moments in time (as I reread in this blog) and let those moments get worse. I in essence shifted into darkness.

Now the same is true shifting into the light. I have met so many people since that day on the train. People who are all vibrating at the same frequency I am. I have been part of amazing community oriented activities that are filling me with satisfaction. And "Last Night in Brooklyn" keeps taking each step we envisioned it to.

Now when the phone rings I'm excited to see who it will be. Every email is a wonderful opportunity or person spreading love in some way. I have even become friends with Melvin Van Peeples (who I think is having fun mentoring me). I just can't believe that one.

Nothing drastic happened to start this. I haven't struck it rich. But with the decision to create my reality decided to play along.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Notes from a Filmmaker: April 27th, 2009

DIY or follow the path?
Current mood: torn

So when you make a film now, you have more options than ever before, to get it to an audience. 10 years ago I would have killed for these options but today I am stuck and frustrated. We have entered a bunch of festivals the way all young filmmakers are supposed to but I have always gone indie (not by choice, by finance). We booked screenings, sold tickets and sent the movies into the human collective unconsciousness. The problem is that a bunch of festivals want to have a premiere. This leaves us in a holding pattern. We've been offered spaces to screen at but have to shuffle our feet for awhile. How odd. Eh, maybe we'll get into a festival and it will start a series of screenings and this thought will be irrelevant. "Hurry up and wait" is not much of cliche.

As a side note...all I can do is what I know and I know how to start another movie. So this time we're trying to set two films up. Let's see where this leads. I may have to amend the title of this blog when we start a new one. :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Notes from a Filmmaker: Feb. 8th, 2009

Let the story play out
Current mood: surprised

When we first started this film we thought our target audience would be "fan boys". Young 18 to 35 year old men who like comic books and movies based on them. Fan boys and our friends.

Now, some people reading this may know I appear on a XM/Sirius show from time to time. If you don't know, I do and end up fighting with a producer on the show almost all the time. It's replaced speaking for us.

Anyway, I find out that he had viewed a copy of my film meant to be in a "prize closet". Initially I was upset, thinking he was just planning on attacking the film to continue our storyline but low and a sincere and serious tone...he admitted he loved it. That may have been the most surprising response to this film I have ever had.

Later that night I had received a call from a middle aged woman who really loved the film. She had said that it reminded her of her childhood. This is the second time a woman in this age group has said this to me.

I'm looking forward to hear more reactions pro and against. It's interesting figuring out who will be our "real" target audience. We may be pleasantly surprised.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Note from a filmmaker: Friday, Jan 30th 2008

Current mood: tired and amused

So this morning starts with me about to go to sleep from last night.

My girl and I have had our first "date night" in months. A lovely dinner in Ditmas Park. I've been producing "Ron Bennington Interviews" on XM 202 and Sirius 197, Sunday nights at 9 and two Fridays ago, we had a crazy day.

The events of the following days lead to me not sleeping and grinding my teeth. This grinding has lead to an infection in my mouth, that has no cavities or anything else wrong.

Long tangent short my face swelled up, on one side for two weeks and I have been a mess. Needless to say my girl was also. So finally we got to go out and boy do I love my neighborhood.

I come home and finish up some work, listen to the Bo and Joe show and before I know it, it's time to take my 5 am mouth pill. 5 becomes 6 and I turn on the Brother Wease Show to hear my girl Lily on air.

This morning Lily happens to be defending "Last Night in Brooklyn", lol. (our IMDb

I call in and now at 6am I am plugging my film, saying hi to my friend and introducing myself to Rochester. What a morning. It was so cool to know that this film can have people who love it and people who think it's garbage. To be honest Wease admitted he didn't see past a few scenes. He's gonna finish and give a review. Can't wait to hear it. I mean tying to go to sleep then finding yourself selling your film. I'm loving this wild ass ride.

Oh, lol, and Marshal Fine, the movie critic happened to be in studio. This could be great or terrible lol.

Can't wait till next date night.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Notes from a filmmaker:Thursday, Jan 29th, 2009

Waiting sucks
Current mood: Chilly.

After I made my first film ("EYES OF NY"), 11 years ago, I thought I had caught lightning in a bottle. I showed everyone every stage of the film. Over and over again and sold a bunch of copies of a movie I probably shouldn't have promoted so much, lol. I still love EYES to this day but recognize how much we have grown. Here's "EYES OF NY"

Now though I have another movie I love but the process is so different. "Waiting" is the major theme of this process. Right now, we're waiting for festival confirmations so that we can figure out what our major promotional plan will be. In the past we could just start screenings around New York but festivals want premieres and we want festivals for this film.

The irony is that we want to self distribute. Most cats at festivals want a deal. We want to qualify for the Spirit awards as well as promote the film nationally. It's so hard to wait for other people. This film has been an intensely personal trial and to not go show it to the world right now is so hard. I want to fill the trunk of our cars with DVD's and go traveling around this country. But they say good things come to those who wait and we've been waiting, lol.

Come on over good things.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Notes from a filmmaker:Wednesday, Jan 28th, 2009

Notes from a filmmaker:Wednesday, Jan 28th
Everyday I'm Hustling
Current mood: Diligent

Hi guys,

I finally want to introduce you to our new feature,

Last Night In Brooklyn Trailer - The best bloopers are here


"If everything in your life was a lie...How far will you go to find out the truth?"

Allison lives, with her imaginary friend Moo until she meets a young con artist who has them running for their lives.

You can pick up a copy of "LAST NIGHT IN BROOKLYN" at
Thank you so much and we really hope you like it.

Notes from a filmmaker:Friday Nov 14, 2008

Notes from a filmmaker:Friday Nov 14, 2008

We're Done! Let's start.
Current mood:Charged

I've been on air and producing for Sirius/XM for a year, Obama won and my film is done. I'm going to call this year a winner. I wanted to say this would be my final entry but that's a long shot. It's time for the real work to start now. At least from my current point of view.

Making the movie was impressive but getting it shown and making money is going to be the trick. We want to go through the festivals and gain recognition but I swear these last three years have financially crippled me. If only there was a way to make money and still be eligible for the festivals.

Maybe we can figure out a way. Stay tuned for "LAST NIGHT IN BROOKLYN" coming soon...for real this time.

Notes from a filmmaker:Friday Aug 12, 2008

Notes from a filmmaker:Friday Aug 12, 2008

OH boy.
Current mood:deflated

We have taken a horrible turn as most of our sound crew has left for personal reasons. A film is a long, long journey and it is hard for people to watch moments of their lives pass them, while they are still on the same project. I understand that and am slowly starting to understand how I could have helped them more...or better.

I have had to find a new sound crew and rework the soundtrack. Let's see how long this takes. Put the duds back in the closest. It's gonna be awhile.

Notes from a filmmaker:Friday May 2, 2008

Notes from a filmmaker:Friday May 2, 2008

Slow and Steady

Current mood:Excited

Hey cats! Sorry I didn't write last year. 2007 was a doosy.

Today I met my cinematic idol.
David Lynch early on gave me the courage to speak with my own voice and make films that don't try to mimic Hollywood. If he could make films like this I could do whatever I wanted, lol.

As for film making, We have completely finished everything visual with "Last Night in Brooklyn" and are finishing the original soundtrack now. Pretty soon you all can get dressed up in your best duds and watch me cry as we premiere this monster. I can't wait. You cats have been mad patient and we appreciate it.

Notes from a filmmaker: Saturday May 26, 2007

Notes from a filmmaker: Saturday May 26, 2007
Current mood:Lost

I lost my Grandmother this week. She was the person I felt most close too in this world. I wish she could have seen this movie. This year has been a trial. The CGI character MOO is impossible. Let me not say that. He looks amazing. That said, he takes three or four times as long to do as we were estimated. Naturally this holds up the score and soundtrack as well as color correction.

Each day this goes longer we loose more money and are going to find ourselves in an impossible debt. Money or the lack there of has taken over my thoughts. This process is becoming more and more about budgeting this monster than releasing art to the world.

I miss shooting and editing. I miss my Grandmother.

Notes from a filmmaker Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Notes from a filmmaker Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Three weeks in
Current mood:PROUD
Well, three weeks into this movie and I have to say things look amazing. More importantly and interestingly we have had massive problems that should shut down days but become a rally cry for us. Loss of locations have been rampant in this production but every replacement has been better than the last. We bounce back quick as a team and regroup quickly.

I have seen more pride and determination in these kids than in any production I have ever been associated with. CYPHER or outside work. Most people have gone beyond their jobs and have made this movie a collective vision, where sound, lights, camera, music and talent all merge and feed from each other. Never, and I can not stress, never have I seen a room of such varied people, growing towards each other and sharing ideas and fears. Never have I watched such a mix of chance, preparation and talent come together so well.

My only regret is that we will have to one day finish this. I love making movies but I have never had a film who's world I want to stay with. I have never had actors who grow so much that I have to anticipate how much further I can push them. I have to constantly realize that tonight they will be stronger than this morning and can do more because of the strength of the other people around them feeding them.

I try to find my actors limits in rehearsals and I thought I had. Now I find that my cast and crew are only limited by my imagination. I am forced to step up the scenes and my direction take by take. Not scene by scene or day by day. Strangers falling in love with each other is an amazing feeling to watch and will show in the end.

Notes from a filmmaker " April 5th, 2006

Notes from a filmmaker " April 5th, 2006
We have a cast!
Current mood: Optimistic

So I have skipped a bit. Let me sum up.
Casting was crazy. I saw four Allisons before I met Lauren Kelston.I opened the door and the character walked in and boy was she a character. Diggs wasn't a piece of cake either. The rest of the roles kind of fell right into place and we were off and shooting. April 1st, 2006 started this crazy journey that has been "Last Night in Brooklyn"
Enjoy my April optimism, lol.

Notes from a filmmaker...March 2006

Notes from a filmmaker...March 2006
"Wow, cops only see a black man".
Current mood: ANGRY!
This is what happened on the day I deposited the budget for this film.

So months of story boards, auditions, medical treatments and other exhausting events. let me tell you what happened to me today. All the old people in my neighborhood greet me as I go to the bank because it was where I grew up. I got there and deposited our entire budget (which is more money than I have ever handled) into the bank. My bank people know me well and got excited about the movie and everything. I was flying high.

I walk back to my parents house to see my grandmother but stop to see friends on my block. No one answers so I keep it moving. As I walk out of the driveway. A black Impala rolls up slowly and stops in front of me. My pig detector goes off and I think Fuck.

"Sir can you approach the vehicle"... I've heard this before.

The moral of the story is no matter what I do and try to achieve in this world these fuckers are always going to see me as "fitting the description". God I hate cops!

Just venting

A month later we start shooting. Happy day! Stay tuned.

Notes from a filmmaker Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Notes from a filmmaker Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Me and change.
Current mood: contemplative

Sometime I can not handle change. What I mean is that my environment has to run smoothly and I get very attached to who and what is around me.

In the last month I have found my lead actors and lost my leads actors then found some more. I have lost animators and make up people, locations, money, etc. Strangely everything is working out for the best. The people who are coming into my life are coming with a greater energy that the originals did. It's funny how life can leave you so low only to raise you higher. I don't know what will happen with this film but I do know that we have more people who believe in it than anything I have ever been part of. I also now feel a great deal of pressure to do this right and better than anything I have done.

I feel bad for my girlfriend, who has been so supportive. Being a filmmaker or any artist is a strain on your "other". Especially if they are not an artist. Just trying to understand why my emotions are linked to getting a good location must be difficult. I am hard to live with as is but when making a film I am worse than anyone I know. Your emotions run hot and cold and constantly are changing with every phone call. Sometime just the ring can set me off.

Artists have a cursed blessing and can see all the beauty of the world with such clarity but then also see and feel all the world's despair with equal vision. With out the support of others it is easy to fall into the despair. The lone starving artist is seldom happy.

God bless the people who support me and I hope to one day swell their hearts with pride but until then I hope my life stays stable and the production solidifies. Cause god damn it I hate change.

Notes from a filmmaker: Monday, February 13, 2006

Notes from a filmmaker: Monday, February 13, 2006
Getting Fucked by SAG in the snow.
Current mood: angry

Wow, so the snow was pretty impressive. My assistant Kelly and I used this as a needed, forced break. We both got all sick worrying about casting.

SAG is trying to bite my balls off, through my ass. I wonder why an organization would stop an actor or actress from working on a production just to ensure that a larger actor gets their pay scale. For every one that makes millions they are thousands of actors trying to survive. If I can offer actors a lead role, for less money than SAG wants me too pay them and in the process ensure a quality picture I should be able to.

I had a SAG rep tell me that what they are asking of me is "a drop in the bucket" for our film and in all honesty it is. But the problem is... the few thousand for the actor's salary will lower the entire look of the film.As it is I am paying my leads more than I get as a director.

I support people looking out for actors who are getting taking advantage of but when an actor wants the opportunity that is present they should be allowed. I felt extorted while I was on the phone. The power they hold is fear.

I can't risk casting someone and later finding out I can't get distribution because of it.
I'd love to hear other people's opinion on this. I figure SAG will have a lot of support rightfully but I know I don't feel this way alone.

Notes from a filmmaker: Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Notes from a filmmaker: Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Sitting home on drugs with pictures
Current mood:eh

We premiered "FADE" this month and it really was a blur. I got into a car accident in September that really hurt the left side of my body and my neck. The Doctors had me so dizzy that I felt nothing. The problem was it really slowed my thoughts also. The whole thing have been difficult.

Currently, I'm in a new apartment surrounded by eraser shavings and unfinished storyboards for a new movie I am about to start called "Last Night in Brooklyn". I have to get back into game form. Even this is hard. I'm posting casting calls all over my space. Maybe something sticks.