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 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

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 ( 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!