Lipstick Lies – World Premiere This Fall!

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Lipstick Lies

Lipstick Lies

Greetings Earthlings!

My new mystery/sci-fi film Lipstick Lies will premiere on October 3, 2012 at the Anthology Film Archives as part of the NewFilmmakers New York screening series. The film stars New York theater actress Samantha Rivers Cole, actor Matthew Krob and supporting actors Katie Jergens, Bill Woods and Donna Ross.

We’ll be screening alongside great indie filmmakers (and films) like Kristina Harris and her film Diminished Chords, Mario Corry‘s Bologna and Lettuce, Joseph Marconi‘s Croton Falls, Matt August‘s phenomenal short How To Get To Candybar and a variety of other titles. This opening day for FallFest 2012 is sure to be a full event so be sure to arrive to Anthology early to ensure you get tickets! If this doesn’t push you to come to the show, then remember that tickets for NewFilmmakers New York are only $6 [us] and this covers you for the whole night. Two shorts programs and one feature. Short program number one is from 6pm to 7pm – five minute break and then short program two is 7:05 to 8pm. After another five minute break the feature film “Charlie and Me” by Gregg Lachow.

Websites to connect with:

Lipstick Lies Festival Portal: http://www.norcrossmedia.com/lipsticklies

Lipstick Lies Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/lipsticklies

Lipstick Lies IMDB Page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2087856/

Manhattan Film Festival – Media & Marketing

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Academy Theater – 2012 Manhattan Film Festival.

I come baring really good news, some of which is still developing. I’ve just begun managing content for the Manhattan Film Festival‘s social networking sites. I have already started re-building their Facebook Page with new, fresh imagery to hold it up until a new theme is decided on for the next festival.  In addition I’ll be rolling out content – mostly general indie film related news and media.  I will branch out to other areas within the next few months. For the upcoming 7th Annual Manhattan Film Festival in June 2013, my goal is to at least double the amount of fans on the Facebook site and other MFF related sites and to do this the sites need to be active (even outside of the festival season).

One of the key ways I’m going to do this is to create a filmmaker alumni program where we can keep tabs on previous MFF Selected Films and promote other screenings, distribution progress etc.  If someone gets into another festival or picked up by a distributor or decides to self-publish, we’re going to help them promote their work in whatever regard they choose.  I think it’s important for festivals to follow up on the films that they have programmed in the past and keep tabs on the progress that their filmmakers are making in their respective careers.  As a filmmaker and a behind the scenes festival guy – I believe I have a good vantage of both sides by this point, to understand how this could work without exhausting the festival and how helpful this can be for the filmmaker.  It’s tough enough to go it alone as most of us do, to have the support of the festivals outside of the festival season, I suspect, will be rewarding for both parties.  In addition I’ve managed enough social media sites for myself and various clientele that I find I am quite confident behind the wheel in this regard.  I look forward to seeing how my ideas pan out.

So go ahead and join us at: http://www.facebook.com/manhattanfilmfestival

 

Nothing Without You – Festival Debut!

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Xackery Irving’s new feature length film “Nothing Without You” debuted with the NewFilmmakers New York screening series this past week to a packed Maya Deren Theater, and closed with extended applause.

For those who missed the screening in New York, don’t fret – venture 10 hours north (via $1.00 Megabus), just across the boarder to the Toronto Independent Film Festival. The screening at Toronto is September 8, 2012 at 9:00pm.

Official Invite/Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/253048351483072/

YouTube Filmmaker Profile: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHQuTjSu7mY&feature=share&list=UU8OHm_d00nfj1Eh0tFTLkKw

100th Filmmaker Profile!

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Ladies and Gents – filmmakers of all sexes, creed, states, countries, and alien planets: I hereby present to you the 100th filmmaker profile for NewFilmmakers New York – going up a year from the time I began the filmmaker profile series. I have shot, edited and lead every single interview from the beginning.

Who gets the milestone 100? None other than famed filmmaker Chris Notarile of Blinky Productions – he talks about his film “Stand Off” and how he has achieved producing 200+ films in an eight year period! Remarkable!

Caroline of Virginia DVD

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Hey all,

Some news on the COV front!  A limited release of my award winning film Caroline of Virginia is in the works for the spring of 2013 (depending on whether or not we receive any new screening notices from festivals where we currently have open submissions).  The price will be the minimum mark-up that we can get away with as it’s more important that the film be shown than our ability to collect revenue from it.  To support this ideal, all revenue that does come in will be donated to a fund that will support deaf research.

The DVD will include the full movie (slightly abridged), audio commentary, cut scenes, behind the scenes/blooper reel, festival materials (video and stills) and a whole lot of other cool stuff.  Check back later for deets!

-E

Lipstick Lies – Preview Summary

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Samantha Rivers Cole in Lipstick Lies

Samantha Rivers Cole in Lipstick Lies

This evening I had the preview screening of Lipstick Lies at the Tribeca Grand Hotel Screening Room (as part of the After Set Series / Film Industry Lounge).  The movie is still a work in progress (most audio issues) but I was also seeking feedback from the audience so I could improve certain story points, specifically towards the latter half of the film.  I believe I got what I needed to complete the movie for good and look forward to the World Premiere at the Anthology Film Archives in October.

The After Set Program was started in Paris, France and was brought to New York a couple of years ago. It’s immensely successful and is one of the few programs in New York (and the United States) that doesn’t cost the filmmaker a dime to get screened.  All they ask is that you bring a lot of people who each pay $10 for their tickets.  The filmmaker gets two comps.  In the grand scheme of things (no pun intended), this is more fair than going to the multiplex because they’re screening your work and as far as I’m concerned, that does more for the community than dumping your money into a big budget feature.

Looking forward,

-E

Inception Explained

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“Inception Explained” – Guest Blogger: Glenn Camhi

Disclaimer: This is chock full of HUGE SPOILERS, so don’t read this if you haven’t seen it. Hell, don’t read it unless you’ve seen it twice. It’s more fun to discover stuff on your own. But here’s my take.

First, why don’t the dreams feel like dreams?

Some critics have been griping about this. They’re wrong. The dreams do feel like dreams. Cobb (DiCaprio) explains this early on, in the Parisian café scene, when discussing how we perceive our dreams. When you’re in a dream, it all seems real and normal. It’s only when you wake up and think back that you realize things were odd. So the film gives us the experience of how it feels when you’re in a dream, not the experience of how surreal it really was, which we only perceive after waking.

What REALLY happened in the end?

Hint: the key isn’t the spinning top.

First time I saw it, I thought it was purposely ambiguous. But after a second viewing, I’m convinced there really is an answer, and it’s this: Cobb is indeed awake at the end.

Three main reasons:

1. The key to working out when Cobb is dreaming is to watch his left hand very closely throughout the movie. Specifically, his ring finger.

At first I assumed it was a continuity error, but then noticed it follows a consistent pattern:

His silver wedding band is only on his finger when he’s dreaming. When he’s awake, his finger’s bare. Wonderfully subtle, ain’t it?

As Cobb explains: he and Mal are only still together in his dreams. Hence, that’s when the wedding ring is on. Watch the film closely. It’s very well staged for the camera throughout. In the final three scenes — on the plane, at the airport, and at Cobb’s house — we only get a few lightening-fast glimpses of his left hand, very much on purpose. And it is…

Ringless.

While the top does start to wobble just before the cut to black (in keeping with the times it ultimately falls), the ring is the clue to watch for.

 

2. The kids’ clothes. Many reviewers and bloggers have claimed Cobb is clearly dreaming in the end because the kids are wearing the same clothes they wore in Cobb’s other dreams.

But they’re mistaken. The clothes are purposely similar — it’s a clever misdirect by Nolan and the great costume designer Jeffrey Kurland — but they’re indeed different. If you pay close attention, it’s especially noticeable on the girl. In the final scene, the cut of her dress is different, and she now wears a white layer underneath.

Also, the kids have aged a little (to be sure, the credits list two sets of actors for the different ages).

3. Omniscient pov. We see too much outside of Cobb’s pov to make the ’twas-all-a-dream explanation very sensible, or even interesting.  Without laboriously going through it all here, suffice it to say that watching it a second time, too many moments — especially small ones without Cobb — don’t really make sense or feel convincing viewed with that explanation.

Sure, it’s possible Cobb dreamed the kids’ slightly different clothes and all those scenes he had absolutely nothing to do with, but that’d make for a far less compelling story.  And sure, it’s even possible he dreamed that his ring was off whenever he was supposedly awake. But that’s not a terribly compelling theory, since no attention is ever called to it. Not even by him. He never so much as touches, fiddles with or even glances at his ring. It seems to be a truly objective detail.

Why the film is so brilliant.

Apart from the mesmerizing spectacle and bravura filmmaking, my view of the film is that it’s a delightful quadruple-reversal of expectations.

First, we’re supposed to think he’s awake at the end, as he arrives home. But we’re smart moviegoers, we’ve seen enough twist endings and Twilight Zones… and sure enough, the still-spinning top reverses the “awake” theory. So then we think he’s dreaming.  But then the top starts to wobble just as it cuts to black — that loud collective audience gasp and applause being one of the great joys of seeing movies in a crowded theater — making us question yet again. So we conclude the ending is purposely inconclusive, that either theory could work (though maybe we lean toward one or the other, depending on whether we’re optimists or pessimists).

Then we have our parking lot epiphanies as we start to remember all those little clues that suggest it was ALL a dream: the phrase “a leap of faith” being repeated both in and out of dreams, Miles (Michael Caine) imploring Cobb to “Come back to reality,” the kids’ clothes in the end, Ariadne’s name origin, Mal’s suggestions that “reality” is his dream, and so on. We start to wonder if maybe Cobb himself was being incepted.

But then, looking even closer on repeat viewing… we notice that the kids’ clothes really are different in the end, we notice the ring, and other details. And we ultimately reverse yet again — to find we’ve come full circle.

All those little clues that suggested he was always dreaming finally reveal themselves to be but clever red herrings, meant to misdirect sharp moviegoers.

Knowing that we’re always a step ahead, that we’ve come to expect twist endings and ambiguous conclusions, Christopher Nolan has taken it a step farther, and reversed our expectations of reversed expectations.

But the beauty of the film is that it doesn’t really matter. One can enjoy it however one interprets the ending. The story reaches emotional closure either way.

(I should add that however one interprets it, it’s not a film about filmmaking itself, as some reviewers have suggested. That’s just silly and uninteresting as a concept. And debunked by Nolan himself.)

The coolest, subtlest aspect of the film that I didn’t pick up on (even after listening to the terrific score all week) was this from the great composer Hans Zimmer.

Clever!

by Glenn Camhi

- About The Writer -

Glenn Camhi is the award winning director of the comedy “The Bunglers“.  I met Glenn at the 2012 Manhattan Film Festival. I invited him to this blog because I thought his description of Inception was brilliant and the most sound interpretation of the film. -E

Freelancer Protection Act

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There are pros and cons to everything, but with Freelancing – the danger of not getting paid means making or breaking your ability to survive. I support the passing of freelancer protections and am currently working on a PSA to advocate this as a result of a client who stiffed me on an editing job (not partially, but completely). Check out my story here:

I was referred by a contact of mine for a video editing job for a guy producing a New York City Bus Tour promotional video. The “client” (and I use the word generously), we’ll just abbreviate his name as “Pee-You” had a seemingly legit production company out of Tribeca in Manhattan and promoted his company as a “Viral Video Firm”. He also lived in a relatively high priced condominium where I initially met with him, on a day when he was moving out (Red Flag number one, but I let it go because people in NYC move all the time).  We agreed on $1,000 for the editing job (by e-mail and confirmed this orally).  He gave me a Rugged Lacie Drive of all the raw footage and showed me a couple of videos on YouTube that were like what he was going for.  This is something I’ve done many times over the past ten years – not a difficult project.  He told me  “you can keep the Lacie drive as part of your salary”.  I said “great!”.  A thousand dollars and a free Lacie Drive?  This guy knows how to keep editors happy!

I did three passes before submitting my first assembly to him.  His response by phone was “are you sure this is the footage?”  I said, of course this is what was on the drive!  He decided he wanted to meet, so we met at a shoot in one of his client’s offices. He looked through the Lacie Drive he had given me and the disappointment in his expression was clear and right away I knew he hadn’t looked at the raw dailies before hiring me.  After all, they were relatively low res and not very professional in quality/aesthetics but they were usable and edited right I knew we could pull off an emotionally stimulating work. I suggested some more editing, maybe he could send me some b-roll of landmarks and I can move the narrative around a bit.   He agreed and sent me back to do so but said “leave the drive” (Red Flag number two – I put it into my head that this was a red glad, but settled back on the idea that he wanted to keep reviewing the footage). So whatever footage I had on my own drive I had to use.  I said okay and went back and delivered the next pass the following morning.

I didn’t hear from  Pee-You for about a week and then got an e-mail saying: “I am disappointed to say that I do not wish to continue moving forward with you on the (company name omitted) project. The overall consensus by my editing team was that you lacked the “story-telling” experience required to elevate this project to a level that would satisfy our client.  I do appreciate your responsiveness and eagerness to work hard. For your hard work and effort to date, I will compensate you $400.

Wait – he has an editing team?  So why did he need to fork the work out to a freelancer if he has an “editing team”?  Hmm… I never received the $400 let alone the full thousand I was initially promised.  Mind you, that same week I received an award at the Manhattan Film Festival for my storytelling capabilities.  I have multiple references from small production companies to large national organizations that contradict what this “client” says.  I am a good storyteller and what I believe happened is Pee-You dropped the ball on this project and was using me as a scapegoat. He did not look at the raw footage he gave me and hired me assuming it was what he wanted. He didn’t look at my work reel and went on assumption and not verifying ANYTHING.  Now his production company’s website is down, his e-mail is bouncing back and he’s not picking up his phone.  I’ve begun leaving messages through his social networking sites – let’s see if it pans out (probably not).

Next time folks, I’ll take a non-refundable deposit from new clients I haven’t worked with previously – even if it is a referral!