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Archive for January, 2012

In The Constellation Of Evidence

Some filmmakers are content to submit their work to film festivals and wait…and wait…and wait. But unless you have an in with a programmer, hit that screener just the right way after they’ve watched over 100+ films or have a major marketing push from a studio, the chances of getting accepted to a festival are slim. Yes, quality still counts in the festival market, but we also know that there’s no accounting for taste when we see some of the selections festivals accept. More to the point, the length of time between submission and screen can be months if not up to a year. And let’s not even talk about the cost to submit a film. While I have included festivals in the Justice Is Mind: Evidence marketing mix, anyone even remotely connected to this project or have worked with me in the past on other ventures, knows full well that I don’t sit around and wait for the world to come to me—you have to push your project to the world.

On Thursday, February 2 at 8 PM EST, I am delighted to announce that Justice Is Mind: Evidence will have its world online premiere on Constellation.TV  What’s unique about this method of screening films is not so much the online component (I love my Hulu!), but the social media aspect. When you sign up to watch Evidence you can save $1 off the $2.99 fee just by sharing Constellation.TV on Facebook while you invite your online friends to join you. And during the screening (and after) the director (in this case me) hosts via webcam to interact with audiences through chat. This is a great platform for filmmakers to connect with their audience. We all talk about films with our friends and family when we leave a theatre. Constellation.TV just brings this online and goes one better by adding the filmmakers into the mix.

I’ll never forget when I was starting to read about this new online “thing” called Hulu and then saw its capabilities and what this platform would obviously do for TV and film.  My race to find a distributor that worked with them brought me to IndieFlix who was able to get my first film, First World, on to that platform from 2009-2011. And let me tell you, seeing commercials run during your movie feels great…trust me…ka-ching.

I learned about Constellation.TV through a December article in the Wall Street Journal and immediately made the pitch. When they accepted to screen Evidence I couldn’t have been more elated. The efforts of over 20 people are going to be seen…again. And isn’t this what filmmaking is all about—getting your work seen by the widest audience possible?

Being a filmmaker is not easy and it is certainly not for the faint at heart. If you bruise easy emotionally, are scared of your own shadow, hate hearing the word “no” or want a quick return on your investment, this is not the industry for you. But if you enjoy creating, seeing a written word turn into a visual presentation, working with teams of highly creative people and can be patient on the financial front (which can yield great returns), the process of making a film can be the most rewarding experience you’ll ever have.

But the reward of a finished film for cast, crew and audiences does not magically happen. Yes, this is where I plug our IndieGoGo campaign. As of this writing, we have had 3,289 views and 992 referrals. And while according to IndieGoGo our “GoGo” factor is up, we now need to turn these views and referrals into funders. Not sure yet about the quality of the motion picture we can deliver for $30,000?  Check out Justice Is Mind: Evidence on Constellation.TV on February 2 at 8 PM EST. You’ll be glad you did.

To quote Jessie Landis in North by Northwest, “Roger, pay the $2.”

Justice For All


L-r: Vernon Aldershoff, Robin Ann Rapoport, John Depew, Monique Mercogliano-Battista, Maria Natapov, Toula Coin and Mark Lund
L-r: Vernon Aldershoff, Robin Ann Rapoport, John Depew, Monique Mercogliano-Battista, Maria Natapov, Toula Coin and Mark Lund

There is something imminently satisfying about seeing a motion picture you were involved in come to life on the big screen. While I watched Justice Is Mind: Evidence unfurl on January 20 at the Strand Theatre in Clinton, MA to a house of over 150, I was reflecting on the journey to reach this point.

Proud and honored doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about being associated with such a talented group of actors and crew. To bring a film to the big screen requires an unwavering amount of teamwork and commitment from those that are passionate about the craft of filmmaking. As a writer, watching actors breath life into your characters is truly something to be seen. The subtle nuances they bring from character inflection to living in a moment that will pass as soon as they hear the word “cut”, is a testament to the skill of an actor.

L-r: Joshua Hey, Jessica Killam, Andrew Nolan and Rob Featherstone

But just as important as the actors on screen, it is the team behind the lens that truly brings a production to its maximum potential. From the photographer that “pictures” the film, to the assistant director keeping the production on track, to the gaffers that light, to the make-up artist that brings out the best, to scoring the film for mood, to the mix and balance of sound to the creation of the special effects all of this tied to the folks that really make the magic…the editors—for it is a film editor who stitches the fabrics of these efforts together into a seamless tapestry of work.

L-r: Rob Featherstone, Sophie Featherstone and Mark Lund

As we prepare to announce the details of our world online premiere on Feburary 2 and to secure additional theatrical presentations of Justice Is Mind: Evidence, our work begins in earnest as we raise the necessary capital to produce the feature this summer. If you haven’t done so yet, take a visit over to our campaign on IndieGoGo to see some of our offerings. And for a real taste of the excitement that follows a world premiere, take a visit over to our Facebook page for an additional 75 photos for your review.

L-r: Alexander Cook, Maria Natapov, Vernon Aldershoff, John Depew, Toula Coin, Andrew Nolan, Jessica Killam, Jeremy Blaiklock, Monique Mercogliano-Battista, Robin Ann Rapoport, Kim Merriam, Zach Merriam and Joshua Hey