This was quite an amazing week for me and the entire DETENTION team (cast & crew). Attending the Palm Springs International ShortFest is always the pinnacle when it comes to the very best of short films from around the word. Being selected to screen there was the best news of our festival run. Being able to attend the fest and having so many people watch the movie was incredible. As I write this on my flight back to Austin, all I can think about are the people who not only worked on the film, but our actors and Kickstarter backers who funded the film last year. You are all a huge part of the films success and I can’t thank you enough.
If you make or have made a short film, you absolutely need to submit it to Palm Springs ShortFest. The only way I can describe it is high quality, interactive and intense. I’ve attended the festival 5 times and have screened movies there twice. This being the second time, was so much more productive. Probably because I knew what to do, when to watch, and how to meet. I paced myself and watched a lot of movies in the market. Picking certain screening blocks at the theater and attending the happy hours and after-parties, I had an amazing time. The best part is meeting amazing people and establishing industry relationships that will last the remainder of my career. With 400 filmmakers from all over the world and a ton of industry talent (festival programmers, agents, managers, development executives and acquisition execs) you can’t help but find people that you’ll work with later on down the line. It really is one of the only film festivals where attendees seek out conversations and introduce themselves. Nobody stands alone in Palm Springs.
Feeling the need to tell another story, I’m going to direct another film with the Hill Country Film Society. Using our local resources and ties to ACC and young, up-and-coming filmmakers, I feel like we can shoot a really good short film on a limited budget, in two days, following the success of DETENTION. The latest script is called LOVE SICK LONNIE. It’s a story about a heartbroken man who is dealing with a vocal affliction - he can only communicate through the lyrics of boy band songs. Yes, it sounds absolutely crazy but I think that is where the humor and fun comes in. As a comedy, it’s going to be all about the execution.
We are currently in the process of opening a Kickstarter campaign to raise $5,000 for this 2 day shoot which we hope to film in September 2013 right here in Texas. The budget is larger than DETENTION because the film is a little bigger in scale. The film’s running time should be under 10 minutes. Ideally, we would like to have an 8 minute film. With a dialogue heavy script and two locations needed, we had to give ourselves 2 days to shoot. That always increases the cost. And needing the movie to be able to compete with the best of the best in the short film world, we are attempting to pay some above-the-line crew like the director of photography, editor and assistant director. If we can get those three quality department heads, I really do feel like we can produce something that is original, funny and a comedy that can be appreciated by a broad audience.
So, for the rest of July, we’ll be focused on raising $5,000 to achieve our Kickstarter goal. August will consist of pre-production and then early September we will take two solid days to shoot the film. I’m really excited. This will probably be my last short film to direct. Depending on the success of the film and my experience, I’ll decide whether I’m up for the challenge of directing a feature film. It has never been my goal to do that, so I want to make sure that the experience with these short films are positive. If they are and it drives my hunger to do more, I might consider taking on the challenge. If this larger short film experience is less than enjoyable, I might to revert back to being a writer/producer/actor. All aspects of filmmaking give me the euphoria that makes me continue to be in this often-times tough business. If ever it’s not fun, I won’t do it. Right now, making movies is the best thing in my life. I love doing it.