Lots of exciting news!!

November 1, 2011

While we were there at our little corner for Alumni, we would tell the groups about our project.  To be honest, not a lot of people dropped by, haha, the radio station and nursing corner got a lot more attention. But yet I guess only one person is needed if it's the right one.

One particular gentleman showed some interest and asked us where we wanted to go with the film, etc. He bade farewell and handed over his card, offering to help in any way. He JUST so happened to be the Director of the Clinical Trials Group for the National Cancer Institute! (http://www.cancer.gov/)

I e-mailed him with a private link to the film; maybe he could tell us a little bit more information about that side of things, right? After all, there is a lot of legality involved when you "pair up" with any organization.

I woke up this morning to an e-mail from him. He said he loved it and offered to introduce us to a good friend of his: the chief medical officer and Executive VP of the American Cancer Society!! (http://www.cancer.org/)

It was an amazing contact to make, because we wanted to pair up with a cancer society and had no clue what that entailed, how that worked or how it could even happen; now there's a resource we can explore!  So there might be some cool stuff coming up in the future and we'll keep you posted =)

In other news, we've been wanting to explore the idea of compiling some cancer stories together for a book to go with the DVD. It just so happens that Facing Cancer Together invited us to share the film info on their digital quilt. We sent the organization a private link to view it and they were moved to tears, saying they would help in any way to compile stories for the book. One of our friends who has started getting into the publishing/book world and has written one herself, has even volunteered to help us write it!

Things are coming together...we forget every now and again how much prayer helps, at the very least to help us chill out and not worry so much about things. For a project we didn't even have a month before we shot, He may've given us one that could help save someone's life (we're wanting proceeds to go towards a cancer patient). God is good, eh?


Lynn Downey @ Beverly Hills

October 26, 2011

Lynn Downey, writer of the original short story that "Blue" was based on, attended the Lady Filmmakers Film Festival, hosted in Beverly Hills.  She got a chance to write a few words for us =)

First off, let me say hello and thank you to everyone who is connected to the beautiful film the girls have made. I have been so blessed by this experience and by people being touched by a collection of words that have been sitting in my computer for five years. Some of you may know this but for those of you who don't, the story is based on a very brave friend of mine from college whose dad was diagnosed with cancer and came to spend a weekend with her. They hung out and played cards and laughed and cried and just sat with the horror and stared right into it together. I was so moved by her saying, "We both needed it." I wondered what it would be like if two people were less brave. If they needed some sort of distraction or project so they didn't deal with the painful depth of reality. My professor Bart Edleman was a great encouragement and I always knew it would make a great film. It took a number of years and some friend of a friend connections for the time to be right and I couldn't be happier with the outcome.

It's been so fun and so encouraging to get to travel with the film. My husband and I got to head out to Temecula to see it on the big screen for the first time. And since Heartland was the same week as the Ladyfilmmakers Festival, I was able to represent the film in Beverly Hills. 

Writer's Guild of America Theater
The Friday mixer was great fun and I got to meet a number of young filmmakers. Mike, one of the founders of the festival said 300 films were submitted, and they chose only 70, so GO BLUE!!! People said they really were touched by the film. One of the filmmakers I met wrote me this email: 
"I LOVED your movie! As a filmmaker, I really enjoyed how polished, well-structured, well-performed your simple story was -- but as the husband of a breast cancer survivor, I was moved to tears by your realistic but poignant portrait." 
Other mentionable films were "Bathing and the Single Girl," mostly because it was totally a performance piece, a ten minute monologue, filmed. It was compelling to see such a theatrical adaptation. My favorite was "The Maker," an amazing(!!!) animation that walked away with best of fest. 

Discussion Panel
I got to attend a really interesting panel discussion about the intersection of commerce and art in filmmaking with the president of the Casting Society of America, an executive producer, a cinematographer, and writer/director Diablo Cody ("Juno," "United States of Tara.") The discussion was one of those ones you leave feeling excited after, not bogged down. It seems that filmmakers of all levels are struggling to get things made these days. No matter if your budget is 200 million (Terminator Salvation), 7 million (Juno), or your own pocket money, you have to be super creative and work as a team. Just like our girls did! Afterward, I got to meet Diablo Cody and gave her our postcard. I told her about the film and she was visibly touched by it. She said it sounded like a really great story. It was a very real connection type moment. Super cool.
Diablo Cody (Writer/Director of "Juno")
My husband and I left, beaming, proud of our film Blue, and inspired to continue writing stories and getting together with other people to make those stories come to life. 


Thanks again for all your support and I am eagerly anticipating all the wonder to come as this journey continues!

Gassed | Day 4

Sooo, today didn't really end up the way we expected, but hey, lemonade right?

We headed out for the screening of "The Hammer". (In select theaters Oct. 27)

It's the true story of Matt Hamill, who was the first deaf wrestler to win a collegiate championship.  It's probably our favorite one we've seen so far, it's awesome.  The main character was played by Russell Harvard, who was actually born deaf as well. Kristine saw him at the Award's ceremony =)

After that, we went straight into our 3rd and final screening of "Blue."  We finished up with the Q&A and ran right into Ray Mills, the festival's Artistic Director.  He's been the one we've been getting e-mails from, checking in on flight statuses, etc. This guy really must never sleep; he works so incredibly hard, just like all the other staff we've met. It's amazing.

We chatted with him for quite a bit; he'd remembered "Blue" when they were going through the sifting process. He said about 530 short films had been submitted and they had to go through about 5 rounds of elimination. "Blue" [miraculously] kept getting recommended and then there we were! He offered to give a review/quote and we'll definitely take him up on that, hahaha.  Very nice, respectable gentleman; a pleasure to finally meet!

Us with Ray Mills (Heartland Festival Artistic Director)
It was after that, on our way home that we got our awesome lemonade...so awesome. Yeah we ran out of gas. It'd been raining pretty hard and with truckers kicking up spray, I was so focused on not hydroplaning and staying on the roads that I completely didn't even notice any notice on the dash.


BUT, all is well...Kristine had AAA, and a half-hour later, we were back on the road. Woohoo for Day 4!

Marquee & Meets | Day 3

October 18, 2011

We found it! Our marquee poster up in Showplace Theater =)
Tanya here; today started out awesomely: visiting with the family we're staying with, haha. We're actually staying 2 hours away, near Dayton Ohio (we're poor remember...not to mention it's awesome to see friends).  

Then we booked it to our screening where we met up with Nick from ShortsHD Channel ("Festival RoadTrip"), and got to hang out with him for the better part of the day while he followed us with a camera =P (hence the mic pack I'm wearing in the picture above). Cool guy!

We went into our screening and were introduced by Jeff Sparks (Heartland's Festival President and CEO), and then he actually sat down to watch it with us!  It meant a lot; he gave us a thumbs up at the end =)  He's been so nice; we've gotten a chance to talk to him more times than we ever expected and this guy is so personable! Seriously, no wonder the festival is awesome, lol.

We caught up with Jeff Sparks at a filmmaker's lounge held at Olives in the Omni
 After talking shop 'n schtuff over some delicious California Pizza Kitchen, we sat down in the Canterbury Hotel and interviewed with Nick. It was actually surreal being back in that hotel, because I remember being there 5 years ago when Southern accepted a Crystal Heart Award for "Secret of the Cave."  But yeah I think it went well =P  I realize all too well why I'm usually on the other side of the camera....

After that, we saw the Grand Prize Winner for Narrative Feature: Red Dog.  Amazing flik, Australian, adorable dog....Josh Lucas and Rachael Taylor ...Need I say more?

Nathan Woss (Producer) had already left, but they Skyped him in for a Q&A at the end; fantastic movie, and cute as all get out.  Very well done.

Kristine and I headed back to a Filmmaker's Lounge in the Omni hotel where we got to pick the knowledge from Sally Jo Effenson (Producer of another Josh Lucas film, "A Year in Mooring" to be renamed "Hideaway" upon release) and Dina Rosenmaier (Actress and Documentary filmmaker that made "A Journey in My Mother's Footsteps").  Pretty crazy when you meet people who are used to having people like Luke and Owen Wilson attend their birthday parties, haha. It's quite...new.

All in all, a great experience.  Drove back and it is now a ripe hour of 4 a.m. so I'd best get going, lol, ta-ta.

Heartland | Indy wuuut??

 October 17, 2011

Wow Heartland, WOW.  You have blown us away.  From the moment I walked into registration and received my filmmaker “swag bag,” to riding in a limo to the Awards Gala, then participating in events, filmmaker parties, and to top it off with great networking possibilities…I am sold on always submitting my films here.

Every filmmaker gets a crazy-awesome laptop case full of swag...

Heartland is celebrating their 20th year as a festival, and is a huge supporter of films that seek to inspire people. Films are screened at two nearby AMC theatres, and “Blue” will be screened a total of three times. We feel extremely privileged to be here; out of the 500 short films that were submitted to the festival, “Blue” was among the 30 narrative shorts that got accepted.  Altogether, there are 145 films being shown (features, documentaries, and shorts).

The week at a glance...can be quite overwhelming...

I (Kristine) flew in this past Saturday.  After arriving here, I attended the Awards Gala taking place that night. The films being awarded were the Crystal Heart Award Winners.

The Award's Gala

Sunday I got to attend a filmmakers brunch with great networking opportunities, and that afternoon was our first screening. I was actually quite shocked to see how many people came. Sometimes you go to a festival and the only people who show up are your family and friends. This time I was delighted to see the theatre was over half full. I believe a lot of the people were associated with the feature film which “Blue” preceded, but it was good to have an audience.

Overall, the film festival has been great so far. Tanya just flew in today, and we are excited to attend our second screening tomorrow, as well as interview with Festival Road Trip!

P.S. Woot for learning our lesson and printing double sided this time =)

Beverly Hills and Indianapolis

October 13, 2011

For those who want to come out and support the film (or meet the writer, director or producer), here be the times!

For the Lady Filmmakers Festival in Beverly Hills, "Blue" will be represented by Lynn Downey (writer of the original short story).  Tickets can be bought here; we're program #4.

Saturday, October 15 - 4:30 pm @ The Writer's Guild of America Theatre (135 S. Doheny Dr.)

For the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis, Kristine and I will be there, woot! Ticket info can be found here.

Sunday, October 16 - 4:15 pm @ AMC Castleton Square (325 South Meridian Street)

Tuesday, October 18 - 2 pm @ AMC Showplace 17 (4325 South Meridian Street)

Wednesday, October 19 - 6 pm @ AMC Showplace 17

"Blue" on TV?? Juuuust maybe ;-)

October 11, 2011

So I got an e-mail a couple days ago from a guy, we'll call him Nick (...is it professional to give out real names for contacts you just made? Darn I wish I knew more about how this stuff worked).  Well, he's a producer in L.A. for a show called "Festival Road Trip," a half-hour original show on the Shorts HD channel that follows filmmakers of short films and their experiences while at film festivals all over the world. In the US, they're on DirectTV, Dish Network and AT&T U-Verse.

They're covering Heartland Film Festival this year and we were honored to find out that the organizers of Heartland referred Nick to our film (no seriously, I was pretty shocked as all get out, not to mention excited).  

So here's the dealio! Basically they were interested in following us with a camera before our screening, at our screening, get responses to our film from the movie-goers, catch us at random festivities we might be at and then sit down for an interview for the "how" it all happened, goals, etc. He was basically just asking if I was interested, and I said that sounded fine (let's act non-chalant about it, right?).

Got a call from him today to solidify the happenings and it sounds like some awesome fun =) He said they'd be following a couple other guys, but that they didn't really have any awesome filmmakers yet (he might've said "female" filmmakers).

I presume, since they're going through the trouble that they'll air us (lol, but you never know, right?), along with clips of the film or even the entire short film.  Yeah we haven't gotten that far yet.

But I promise we'll keep you posted =) Until then, it's at least a possibility we'll be on Festival Road Trip!  And more importantly, "Blue" will get out to more people affected by cancer. 

Yaiiee-uh! Here's to crazy new horizons that continue to freak us out. And excite us =) Peace!


Memoirs of a Gala | Bye-bye Temecula

September 28, 2011

Heather (DP), Tanya (Director), and Kristine (Producer)
Well, the Temecula Festival is now behind us. Our second screening was fun to attend (thanks Lynn Downey, Heather Dappolonia, and Chris Stiles for joining us). We also had a good time at the Awards Gala held at the Pechanga Resort and Casino.  No awards for “Blue," but we were honored just to attend. Congratulations to all those who won!

Cybill Shepherd presents the Lifetime Achievement Award to Peter Bogdonavich
Virginia Madsen
Connie Stevens

Overall, if I could sum up our experience at the festival in one word, it would be "educational." Yep . . .we learned a lot, especially in the area of marketing.  At this festival, as well as with many others, there were other screenings taking place at the same time as ours. There were features, documentaries, animations, and other shorts showing, and it was our job to persuade people to come to our screening verses the 3 or 4 other great possibilities.  Lets just say, marketing posters are a necessity, but a friendly face along with our postcard went a lot further.  I personally was more opt to go and see a film from someone I had met, verses playing the “eenie meenie minie moe” game with the film posters.  So, note to self, spend time and money on marketing!!!   

And now for some more words of wisdom from Tanya...

Hey hey, well yeah I think Kristine summed up the educational bit.  I guess what I took away from it was mostly the realization of what people forget.  It was fun, don’t get me wrong.  But I feel like there’s so much that people choose to forget when they’re here, or when they see stars on TV.  They forget that we drove ourselves here in an ordinary car, that the red carpet is just a different colored rug…that we’re staying with grandparents or at the Motel 6, or that most of us are unemployed when we finish our films.  They choose to forget that we’re just normal people and that it feels exactly the same on either side of the red rope.  Haha, I hope I didn't shake the glitter off, but I know that personally, I can run with an idea and completely get caught up in running past the finish line before remembering why I was running in the first place.

The magic was definitely fun to experience; I mean come on, seeing Cybill Shepherd and crazy awesomes like Peter Bogdonavich, Oren Peli, Pete Anthony and Russ Regan?  (And meeting Booboo Stewart, a rising teen-star that was in the Twilight films.) Fantastic, lol.

But it was actually nice to come back and remind ourselves of what our goal was, and that's getting "Blue" to the people who have experienced cancer. The climb has been hard and floundering on our own, but quite magical indeed =)

With that, we look ahead to what's next!

We're now officially allowed to say that we've been accepted into the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis!!  

Come join us =)

Screening times:

10/16/2011 Sunday  16:15:00 AMC Castleton Square 14, Theater 8
10/18/2011 Tuesday 14:00:00 AMC Showplace 17, Theater 10
10/19/2011 Wednesday 18:00:00 AMC Showplace 17, Theater 11

1st Screening Done and Gone

September 16, 2011

Hey guys, Kristine here.  Today was an exciting day for us.  For starters, our third musketeer, Heather, joined us all the way from TN (where she is currently going to school).  Shortly after reuniting with Heather, we got to meet Lynn Downey in person for the first time (woot woot).  She was the one who wrote the original short-story of “Blue."  Hugs, mixed with excited nerves, accompanied us as we made our way to our first screening of “Blue."  I will admit, we all had the jitters.  It is often nerve wracking to show to an audience a film that you have poured so much time and energy into.  It’s honestly like putting yourself up on the big screen; how people perceive your movie is often times how they perceive you.  And so there we were, Blu-ray quality and all.

Out of our block of shorts, Blue was the first one to show. As soon as we saw our opening image….AHHH! We giggled, we cringed, and we listened. I think the biggest thing we learned was that our film looks so different on a big screen verses on a lap top. What was once intended to be a medium shot looked like a close-up…wow, things to note for the future.  But overall, I think people liked it. Thank you Temecula for this experience.  All your hard work is greatly appreciated. 

Festivals for Newbies: Lesson #1 - Postcards

September 16, 2011

Since being here (garnering a whole, one day of experience), we've actually learned a lot. Take for instance, the postcard. These things are golden when talking to people, especially other filmmakers; everyone has them in reach to hand out.  And we noticed that all the postcards we'd gotten yesterday were the films we made sure we saw today. Just because we saw a card and met a face. When we met a face that left their cards at the hotel...meh.

SO. Lesson learned, we're very grateful to have ours (fantastically designed by Kristopher Haughton...seriously, nearly everyone we've handed them to has commented on how good it looks.  Big ups Kris!).

However, there's always room for improvement.  For instance, we have one-sided postcards. We ran out of time and slapped our [awesome] poster-design on them, not really taking into account the other information that's slightly crucial for those picking up your card from a table. Like what it's about. Or when it's playing. Yay for double-sided postcards!

We've noticed a couple common and effective flip-sides. It's a perfect space for a short synopsis or one-liner. Plenty of space for all those laurels and bragging rights. And it's a great space to park all the social media icons/sites/addresses. The main difference we saw was how they did the screening times.

One found out the screening times and printed it right on. Nicely done and sleek, but could potentially miss out on some mass printing deals.

Another was slightly more tactical and printed a box for a label to be stuck on. As the festivals (or screening times) change, they can easily change too.

Aaaand then there's us. Burning the midnight oil.

Print double-sided.  =)

Californ-i-aaa and TVIFF | Opening Night!

September 15, 2011

Can you find us?  =)
Tanya here! Welp, yesterday started out eaarrllly.  I touched down in L.A. (listening to “Back in Black”…that slow-mo-walking, soundtrack-in-your-head…don’t deny it; you have a song like that). I met up with Kristine here in L.A. and we were off. 

Last night was Opening Night for the Temecula Valley Film & Music fest! It was quite the experience, lol, we’re definitely newbies.  We got there, got our credentials and badges and then registered for the red carpet.  They gave us a card that said “Blue” on it, so a lady could go ahead of us and show the press who was coming.  Then they had us fill out a card with our names and where we were from so the announcer would know what to say. 

It was in line (waiting to be assigned a vintage car that would take us to the red carpet) where we were a bit humbled and found out just how new we were to this whole shindig.  The guys in front of us were about our age, had already won some awards and had been picked up to make their short into a feature.  The ones behind us already had a plethora of laurels too.  But it was fun to laugh and visit; crazy characters they are =P.  We were finally assigned to be in a shiny black ’76 Camaro, driven by the sweetest lady. Haha, she asked if we wanted a picture and I wasn’t about to turn that one down.

We finally pulled up to the red carpet, a guy in an Air Force uniform opened our door, and we stepped out to what we didn’t think was going to be much at all.  Then when we saw flashes going off, press and people.  Lol, is it hacky that I had my camera?  And that I was rolling video the entire time? 

Um..Screenshots from the hip-shot Red Carpet Experience =P
We were ushered through various press-interviews along the way, and probably the most meaningful part of my night was meeting a young man who had seen Blue and asked us to say a little something to the Facebook Fans.  We had to move on, but I’m hoping to find him later; I’d like to know his personal connection with cancer if he has one.

We were ushered into the Theater lobby, met some awesome filmmakers over refreshments.  Then we screened the Opening Night feature, called “Losing Control.”  It has actually been granted theatrical release, so that’s cool.  The director (a woman, chuyeah!) and some of the cast were there too =).  We met her briefly at the after-party.

The Jazz band that kept us company while we waited for the Opening Screening of "Losing Control"
Xenia featured on NBC's "The Voice" performed for the opening!
The Director, cast and some crew from "Losing Control"

By that time, my East-coast watch was a quarter past dead so we skipped out early and came back to Kristine’s grandma’s house to crash.  We’re headed out to see some screenings now, so peace! More to come =)

Lady Filmmakers Film Fest in Beverly Hills!

September 12, 2011

I was on my way out the door tonight when I got a call from Kristine; we'd gotten into another film-festival!  It's a more local one called The Lady Filmmakers Film Festival.  It will be held in the Writers' Guild Theatre in Beverly Hills this October, the fun part being that it overlaps with another film-festival (can't say yet which one!).

Still, Kristine might be able to make it over there to represent us while I rep the screenings at the other one. Then, when I head out to shoot a wedding that weekend (before the festivities, unfortunately), Heather and Kristine will tag-team and finish it off.  Complicated, but doable =)  

We're just trying to get this out to people who need to see it, and it's so amazing to see and meet the people touched by the film.  To hear their stories is just as rewarding as making it.



Temecula in less than a week!

September 8, 2011

So we're not going to lie...we're a little excited.  This is the first film festival that all three of us (Tanya, Kristine and Heather) are going to be together for, and we're prepared to have a blast.  We were told that on Opening Night, all the musicians/filmmakers are going to be assigned a vintage car to be ridden in for the mini-parade to the Red Carpet.  <<  that alone we're freaking out about.  Then we have screenings and workshops throughout the weekend, and the Black-Tie Awards Gala the last night we're there. Haha, how green would I be if I took my DSLR camera?  We'll already stick out like sore thumbs because we're younger (found that out on Media Day)...we'll just wear it like a boss I guess.

It may not even be that big of a deal, but it's still going to be a lot of fun.  We figured out because of our other festival rejections that deals like these shouldn't be our focus.  So we're prepared to have fun, but the real work is ahead of us.

We're trying to partner with the American Cancer Society and maybe even the Ronald McDonald House so we can raise money to pay for the film (our sad little pool is quickly draining), and then past that, put it towards a cancer patient =D  We want to eventually try distribution and somewhat of a publishing deal where we can put together a book of cancer stories and package it together.  Proceeds of that will go towards that cancer patient, who we have yet to choose.  It's all in the dreaming phase right now, haha.

Since this has never really been done before at our school, it's all VERY new to us, but we're pressing on and trusting that God has already taken this way further than we ever dreamed, so He must have us headed somewhere besides a tin can.

So Temecula will be fun and a blast...but the real fun is still ahead =P



Temecula Valley Screening Times

September 2, 2011

Come chill with us at the Temecula Valley International Film & Music Fest!    Should you want to come earlier, think about checking out the Red Carpet for Opening Night!  Here are the screening times:

We got accepted into the Temecula Valley International Film Fest!!

August 19, 2011

It is funny how life works. One day we get a rejection notice, and the very next day get accepted into a different film festival. Lol…wow! Of course we were excited.  Besides just attending the film festival, we were invited to a media day at Temecula Valley in California. The media day is purely a day to promote our film before the festival actually takes place. Stay tuned for more information on the festival screening times.

Dreams meet reality: Our first film festival rejection

August 18, 2011

I was in Portland Oregon visiting Tanya for some business meetings, when we received our first word back from film festivals. We were sitting down, chatting after a long day when Tanya, who was checking her email at the same time, suddenly went quiet. I was joking around with her that we needed a break from “Blue” and that she’d better not be working on it. Her face was blank. “Hold on” she said as she stared at her computer screen and clicked around on her mouse. There was a moment of silence until the words, “we didn’t get in” shattered the peaceful evening.

“What?” I ran over to check for myself, and sure enough, we didn’t get into our first film festival. It was a student film festival, and we had high hopes of getting into it. We went over the list of accepted films over and over, double-checking to make sure our film wasn’t misplaced or we just missed it somewhere. But our dread turned into reality, we were not among the semi-finalists for the festival.

Now don’t get me wrong, we went into this festival run knowing that we would be accepted to only a small percentage of what we submitted to. But lets face it, the first rejection still stings. Tanya and I took the next several minutes talking about film, expectations, God, and success.  We concluded that while awards from festivals are nice, impacting lives with our film will overall be more rewarding. God has already placed this film into the hands of some amazing people who want to see this film take flight. So, then there is no need in a time like this to feel down or defeated over a rejection. Now is the time to rejoice and know that this film was meant to bring hope to people, and that is exactly where the film is headed.


To-Do List

July 17, 2011

So, life is a little bit over whelming right now. I have a list with over 18 current film festivals and counting, sitting in an open excel file that just haunts me everyday. After spending late nights working on submitting just a couple... Tanya and Heather hang on because we have a long way to go.

This is all new territory for us. We have never had a festival strategy plan with this magnitude before. From figuring out how to use “Without a Box”, to rendering out a decent quality export of our film, to figuring out how to get our film onto an HDcam tape to play at select festivals; I’d say we are in over our heads. I have been reading “Chris Gore’s Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide” only to find out that we have a million other important things to add to our already exhausting “to-do” list.

Facebook can be handy in solving output problems with a simple screen-shot...

It is times like these that I need to sit back and remember who is in charge of this project: God.  Our film is already a miracle in progress, and I doubt He is through with it yet. He has already given us an amazing support team, which includes our film professors Zach Gray and David George.  They have been available on the phone and have replied to exasperated Facebook posts during our desperate need of help in which we thank them immensely for. I would also like to thank everyone else who has been supporting us through this journey. This adventure is far from being over, but through faith we will pull through. Thank God for giving us the endurance of an energizer bunny and the power of heaven to pull this off.