Monday, May 30, 2005

The Honeymoon

The night that I have been imagining and we've been working towards for the past few years has come and gone. It feels like an end when we're actually still somewhere in the middle. The premiere was never the final goal. It's more like a celebration, a blessing from friends and family members acknowledging that what we've created is worth continuing on with. It's a pat on the back saying good job and keep going. Kleiber said when he woke up the morning of the premiere he felt kind of like he did the morning of his wedding, which I agree with although I'm not married so I can't say for sure. The analogy is pretty close though. It's that anticipation, the nervousness, the excitement, and then it arrives in an explosion. Suddenly there's hundreds of people and then it's over in a few short hours. Too fast. The wedding isn't the end of the relationship, it's an end to a PART of the relationship and the beginning of the next. There's still a lot of work ahead after the wedding. And right now I'm looking at a list of a couple hundred film festivals and realizing just how much is left.

So the question I've been asked most is: What now? Now comes the festivals. Over the next few weeks we'll be submitting Blasto to 5 of the 10 biggest festivals in North America. Sundance, Telluride, Toronto, etc. And in a few short months we'll either be recieving our first acceptance letters or our first rejection letters. First on the list is the Toronto Film Festival with a deadline of June 10th. Other promotion will be getting Blasto DVD's into the hands of everyone and anyone in the industry. At the same time I begin working on the next script later this week. Not a sequel to Blasto like many have requested, or Ransom and Decoy like many might expect, but a whole new story I've been kicking around for a year or two.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Morning Sickness

No I'm not pregnant, but I just may puke.

It's the morning before the premiere. I'm excited and nervous as balls. No idea why I'm nervous. We did the preview screening with 250 people and I wasn't really nervous at all. What difference is this besides another 300 more people added? It's going to be fun. To be honest I'm probably more excited that my entire family (minus grandma) are coming up from Florida today and that tonight for the first time ever I will have my ENTIRE family (minus Florida grandma and cousin Rebecca) in one room. That's a rarer sight than Haley's Comet.

The local reviews of Blasto came out today. You can check them out on our website. It was nearly all positive except for a few complaints about "immature acting" and overuse of the comic panels. (Most of my friends that saw the rough cut commented that I should have used MORE comic panels.) They also called me the "son of a Munhall bartender" which did NOT make my mother happy. (She's no longer a bartender.) All in all it was neat to hear what people outside of the project had to say about the film and I've got to get used to people giving criticism because NO movie in the history of cinema has been loved by EVERYONE. And at the same time I can't help but feel a little twinge of hurt to see anyone say anything negative, no matter how small, about something we've worked on for so long. It'd be like the nurse commenting on how beautiful your newborn child is except for that lopsided nostril. True, he may have a lopsided nostril, he actually might be an ugly little baby that looks more like Warwick Davis covered in jelly, but to the mother that baby is the most beautiful thing she's ever seen. Especially now that the things finally out. Not sure how this post became so entwined with childbirth analogies.

Remember, the best seats are in the C-section and we'll see you at the afterbirth......I mean after-party.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Had a few interviews with press today. Brian Krasman of the Daily News and John Hayes of the Post-Gazette. It's kinda weird. I don't mind talking about the movie at all, but in the back of my head I'm thinking "do I sound like a complete idiot?" The Post-Gazette writer was shocked we made the movie for $7,000 and was almost certain I was the son of rich parents who are simply supporting their sons ambitions. True my family is supporting my ambitions, but by NO MEANS are they rich. Those of you that know my family will understand the humor in this. Not that we're some bums on the street, but I don't think the words rich and Munhall are permitted in the same sentence. That's like putting a Banana Republic on Longfellow Drive. (Only my fellow Munhallians will get that. And yes I just made up a new word: Munhallian.)

The oddest part of these interviews is the balance between sounding passionate about your work and trying to convince people it's worth watching while at the same time not coming across as some egotistical or cocky jerko who thinks they're movie is about alter the universe.

All in all the press has been incredibly supportive of the project and their interest appears to be genuine. I'm really looking forward to what they've got to say about the film now that they've seen it. Make sure you pick up the Daily News on Wednesday, and the Post-Gazette and Tribune-Review on Thursday to see the results.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Best Seats in the House

If you're reading this then I'll reward you with a little inside info on this Thursday's upcoming screening. Now I'm not knocking Loews or anything, but with digitally projecting a DVD you get a better picture the further back you sit. VIP seating is reserved, but there are regular seats up there as well, so if you can grab one of those, you'll get the best view.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Revenge of the Sith

I can say with great pride that the new Star Wars, Revenge of the Sith is amazing. After two HORRIBLE HORRIBLE prequels, we FINALLY have a Star Wars movie worth bragging about. Not only is it as good as I imagined, but terribly dark and depressing. As the credits roll all I could think about was how bad I needed to watch A New Hope so I could see Luke, Leia, and Han return some good to the overwhelming evil that oozes from Sith.

This movie will be seen many, many times over the next few weeks.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Ticket Sales

Tickets are almost gone. If you haven't bought yours yet and you're waiting to get it at the door, get it now. Consider yourself warned.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Star Wars Convention

Here's some random ramblings to read if you're bored.

I went to the Star Wars Celebration III a few weeks ago. For those of you normal humans that don't know what it is, it's four day Star Wars fan convention with approximately 50,000 in attendance. Now I am not denying that I am a fan of Star Wars, but the reason I was at this convention was to film a mockumentary with a buddy of mine (Ben Shull, the other story contributor on Blasto) for his Aegis Films production company ( Otherwise I never would have paid money to go to something like this. One of the most surreal experiences of my life. There was some amazing things such as 10-20 R2D2 droids randomnly rolling along throughout the convention center, 200+ Stormtroopers marching down the main strip of Indianapolis led by Darth Vader and the Royal Guard, prop replica lightsabre's complete with sound and light fx, that hot chick dressed as Slave Leia, and nearly stepping on Warwick Davis (Willow). Some of the terrible things included: the other 100 not so hot girls dressed as Slave Leia, the lines to get in, the better chance of seeing the new Pope than George Lucas, and the outrageous cost of EVERYTHING. Now I really like Star Wars and I'm all about fans supporting a movie/story that they love. But something just wasn't right, something deep down in my gut that just felt amazing and at the same time wrong. The entire Star Wars saga is about a small band of rebels fighting some power hungry, all consuming Empire. And what has happened is the Star Wars brand name has become some giant money hungry, all consuming corporate empire. All from a MOVIE. Now I know that Star Wars fans are usually compared to Trekkies and just passed off as harmless dorks dressing up in costume, but to actually be there feels a lot different. These people wait in line for 5+ hours just to get in the door. Once inside they will wait in another line for 8+ hours to buy a Darth Vader action figure, and ONLY because it says the words LIMITED EDITION on it. I honestly could sell a moldy cheeseburger to a Star Wars fan just by saying it's LIMITED EDITION. Is that not some form of idolatry? I have nothing against Star Wars fans. They honestly are some of the nicest, most creative and talented people you can meet. The rest of the world has them pegged as awkward, pimple faced geeks who use Star Wars to escape reality, and for some of them that is an accurate assesment. But for every one of those there are mothers, fathers, jocks, lawyers, teachers, filmmakers, costumers, etc. Why do they dress up in costume? Not because they actually believe they are that characters, it's because they LIKE making costumes. The happiest I would see these costumed fans was when some little kid would walk up to them thinking that was the actual character. To see a child back away from a Darth Maul, to run up and hug a Princess Leia, to yell at a Darth Vader is pretty neat. It's like this big old mix of people with one common interest, the story of Star Wars. That in itself, and the idea of all these people gathering because of it is a great idea.

I was watching a gathering of the 501st (, which is a group of fans from around the WORLD who dress up as stormtroopers for different events. They were the guides and security for the weekend. They would show you around, help you out, etc. The head of the 501st gave a speech asking them all to be as helpful and accomodating as possible. He told them that by them helping someone out in this very chaotic environment you could literally change a person's weekend and make it an incredible experience for them. Does that not sound like the advice we give to church leaders and greeters?

So there's good to this convention, but who's to blame for the bad? The blame lies on Lucasfilm. The very name of the event is CELEBRATION. That brings to mind the idea of a party, a reception. But instead of a thank you to fans for their support, the entire thing is a bottomless void, devouring your money and time. It's not about how they can give back, it's about how they can take more. It's about exploiting the love and support of fans under the illusion of a thank you.

If you actually read throug this whole post, thanks for hangin' in there.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Preview Screening

Sorry I haven't updated the blog in a while, but I wanted to leave the instructions for buying tickets up so people could come to the premiere. We had our preview screening tonight and I feel compelled to write about it.

Tonight was the preview screening of Blasto for high school students around the area along with press. Honestly was expecting a little over a hundred people or so. Ended up 250 people and we sold out of all our DVD's. I wish I had something creative and insightful to say about it all, or some tidy little quote but I got nothing. All I can say is that it's overwhelming. Not only are you watching three years of your life go by in 2 hours on screen, but then you have all these people reacting to it, excited, not knowing what's coming next even though I know every detail down to the pixel. There is no single emotion, only a big old mix of excitement, nervousness, fear, panic, joy, and some that don't even have a name. You want to smile, you want to puke. And this was only the preview screening. I can't imagine the premiere.

All in all, a simple thank you to every one of you that came out tonight. I greatly appreciate it.