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.
On the eve of DETENTION’s screening at the Palm Springs International ShortFest, I’m taking the time to reflect on the week. What an amazing few days in the desert.
I’ve always claimed that PSSF is the best film festival in the world for short films. Being able to meet people from all over the world has been incredible (France, Brazil, India, UK, USA, Spain and Canada). Getting to watch over 70 films at the film market at the Renaissance Hotel and screenings at the Camelot Theater, always makes the trip worthwhile.
The best part about coming to Palm Springs ShortFest is that you can’t help but be inspired to do more. Whether that is writing more, acting more, producing more, directing more - you come out of this film fest wanting to create and that is the biggest thing I always take from attending PSSF.
This week has been amazing and I cannot wait to share DETENTION with the good people of Palm Springs tomorrow. I can’t thank them, and the film festival, enough for making us filmmakers feel at home.
Make sure to watch DETENTION at 10am at the Camelot Theater, right here in Palm Springs, CA.
Here’s some stats on ShortFest and why it’s considered the biggest and best short film festival in North America:
- 3,000+ films were submitted to the festival. All are available for viewing at the film market.
- 330 films screen at the Camelot Theaters as “Official Selections.” We are extremely honored to be a part of this list.
- 400 filmmakers from 49 countries will attend the festival this week.
- This is the 19th year of existence.
- 95 shorts (from previous years) have received Academy Award nominations.
- 250 volunteers are needed to staff the event which lasts 7 days.
Sitting in the theater last night for the Opening Night Program, I couldn’t help but think about my first film to screen here. CLONES GONE WILD played in Camelot 1 which is by far the biggest venue we’ve ever screened in for that film. It was a magical experience.
Now, we have the opportunity to do it all over again. I’m really excited to share our film, the film society, film festival and, of course, Fredericksburg with filmmakers from all over the world. So very cool.
More news to come from Palm Springs - Chad
New York screening of DETENTION is today at 1pm at indieScreen in Brooklyn.
Here’s a short recap of yesterday:
Having arrived in New York at noon, I took a taxi from Laguardia to Manhattan. I dropped my bags at my friend’s place and immediately jumped on a subway to the Frick Collection at the Frick Mansion which is located on the east side of Central Park.
The collection was impressive. Just when you thought it was over, you would walk into a new room and there was more. A lot more. What I really enjoyed was the structure that the collection is held in. Once the home of Henry Frick, who was beyond loaded, the mansion was built with the knowledge that it would turn into a museum after Mr. and Mrs. Frick passed away. Most of the collection is of Henry’s personal acquisition and the house is very much set the way that it was when the Frick’s lived there. It is unbelievably grand, elegant and it preserves the feeling of wealth in the early 1900’s. Really, a fascinating place. I would recommend it to anyone.
Following the museum, I went over to Central Park since it was directly across the street. Very lush, green and pretty. I somehow expected it not to be as nice as it was.
Walking down 5th Avenue, I stumbled upon 30 Rockefeller Center, so I paid to go up to the 70th floor, or as they call it, “The Top of the Rock.” Breathtaking views from downtown, all the way to the Bronx. I’m glad I went up there. Never done it before.
Following that, I jumped back on a subway and made it back to my friend’s apartment. We had a late dinner with some other friends at a place called Hudson Clearwater, which was really good. Followed that with drinks at another place and of course, the next thing you know, it’s 4am.
It was a long day but so much fun. New York is as exciting as the last time I was here. I’m glad I got to do some more touristy things this trip.
Now, it’s time for the DETENTION screening at the BROOKLYN FILM FESTIVAL.
More news to come.
Yesterday the New York Times mentioned Detention in an article about KidsFilmFest at the Brooklyn Film Festival. I couldn’t help but think about all of our Kickstarter backers who helped fund the film last summer. Without them we would not have a movie. There would be no stories from the set. No post-production debates. No final edit. Thank you so much to all of you for financing this little film. It’s a movie that I personally care a great deal about because I lived it.
To date, Detention has screened in three film festivals: Beaufort International Film Festival, Wet Your Pants Comedy Film Festival and the Hill Country Film Festival.
Tomorrow we have our New York premiere at the Brooklyn Film Festival and all of us on the team are very excited to be bringing the film to a new, major market. Thanks to Lisa King (programming director for KidsFilmFest) and her kid programmers for choosing Detention.
The best part about this film festival is that it is catered to children. Kids are the focus at this block programmed specially for them. And as we know with kids, they are fiercely opinionated. It’s either going to be a hit or a failure and I’m eager to see if they like it or not. From what I’ve noticed at our previous screenings is that the film does well with adults who are able to relate to the nuances of the scenario. It’s relatable to almost everyone who has ever had a dominate teacher. But, when it comes to kids, I’m interested in seeing if they find it funny and worthwhile. I’m sure age will play a big factor in determining that.
At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter if the film is loved or hated because the film has found festival audiences and garnered a reaction, good or bad. The ultimate goal of a filmmaker is to get his or her product in front of as many eyes as possible. I’ve always wanted to make movies that have a broad appeal. It’s satisfying when a particular project can be enjoyed by not only big markets like New York or LA, but middle America as well.
More news from the road. Remember, DETENTION screens at 1pm on Saturday at indieScreen in Brooklyn, NY.