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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Film Festival Update & DVD Release Party

Stomp! Shout! Scream! is seeing about a 15% return on film festival submissions.  That’s a lot lower than one would hope, but for a film that was created for a VERY specific audience, I can’t be too disappointed.  The submissions will keep going out, with the hope that there will be that one person on those screening committees who GETS it.

Here are the numbers since the submissions started in June 2005:  45 submissions, $1,250 in entry fees, 24 rejections, 8 acceptances, 3 Awards (Best Feature at Toofy; Best Cinematography & Best Set Design Nominations at the B-movie film festival), and 13 festivals still outstanding.

Four festivals extended invitations recently:
Maryland Film Festival, May 11-14
Dead CENTER Film Festival (Oklahoma City, OK) June 7 OPENING NIGHT FILM!!!!
Portland Underground Film Festival (Portland, OR) June 9

The plan is to have the director, producers and/or actors at all these screenings.  The DVD, soundtrack and posters will be available after every screening.  It’s a long road to pay everyone back that invested money and time, especially at $20 a pop, but this is the plan and we’re sticking to it.  I have to keep reminding myself that no one can promote this thing as well as the folks who created it.

The DVD will have a fantabulous RELEASE PARTY on Friday, May 26 at the Atlanta Brewing Company, sponsored by Stomp and Stammer magazine.  Attendees will receive a Stomp! Shout! Scream! souvenir pint glass, see a screening of the film, dance to Catfight! live, and drink all the delicious local brew they care to consume.  Come celebrate the DVD release in Atlanta on Memorial Day weekend.

If you or someone you know might be interested in seeing a beach party rock and roll monster movie, please come out to one of these events and spread the word.  If you can’t make it, there’s always the magic of internet commerce.  Thanks!

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Sarasota Film Festival Recap

Director of Photography Evan Lieberman and I had a great experience at the Sarasota Film Festival last weekend. We drove down a few days early to promote the festival and Stomp! Shout! Scream!’s screenings. Our first stop was to catch the Little Steven’s Underground Garage show in Orlando on Wednesday night. The Romantics headlined and surprised us with their all-out Detroit garage rock. The real draw for us was seeing The Fleshtones. They always put on an amazing show, but I also couldn’t miss connecting with lead singer Peter Zaremba after exchanging emails and getting an awesome Fleshtones surf song for the soundtrack CD (coming out in another month or so on Chicken Ranch Records). It was a fantastic, if way too short, Fleshtones performance. Those tourist who wandered into the Hard Rock will never be the same. I also passed along a DVD to Dan Electro, Woggles drummer who was filling in with The 45s on this tour. He played the movie on the tour bus the next day and reported that Little Steven was impressed.

Thursday, we dropped off clip reels to TV stations and made phone calls all day, vying for any promotion we could get. We landed a spot on the local news/talk show Friday at noon on Sarasota’s ABC-7. And an on-location interview on SNN News 6 Friday night at the opening night Gala. I don’t know if the TV appearances sold any more tickets, but it was nice to play local-boy-done-good on TV. There was also a story in the Bradenton Herald the weekend before the festival. The festival invited me to join in a panel discussion, “Coffee and Conversation: Establishing Shots”, on Saturday morning. Despite it’s corn-ball title, this was one of the most interesting panels I’ve seen at any film festival. Panelists included Susan Seidleman (director of Desperately Seeking Susan, She-Devil and Boyton Beach Club, which was premiering at the festival), Lisa McWilliams (producer of documentary Before The Music Dies), and Jenny Abel & Jeff Hockett (producers of documentary Abel Raises Cane). Discussions of everyone’s films, their film festival experiences and even budgets and distribution was really informative for me and full-house coffee shop.

The Saturday screening was 50%+ full with a good amount of audience reaction-- lots of laughs throughout. During the screening, I hauled boxes of DVDs, posters and a folding table to just outside the screening room. There’s was a quick Q & A, then I ran out to man the sales table. My (probably unrealistic) goal is to sell a DVD to everyone who walks out the door. Sales certainly fell short of that, but was a success nonetheless.

Both Friday and Saturday nights had big parties for film makers and Sarasota society folk, with plenty of free booze and good food. The festival really is one of the best I’ve been to with great local support, stellar venues for screenings, and a fantastic program of indie and classic films.

After a short nights sleep, Sunday started early with a podcast interview for Evan and I. Then a noon screening for Stomp! Shout! Scream! This screening was almost a full house, probably 200+ folks. And not all of them friends of the family eihter. It was the first viewing for the local Florida cast- my grandma Theodora Viola; my best friend from High School Rhett; Will who plays young John Patterson; and the beach partying dancing girls-- Brittney, Jackie and Megan. They all said nice things about the film, which is extra rewarding considering they all worked on the film for virtually nothing. This screening had great DVD sales afterward-- a fantastic start to the financial life of the film.

That's Penelope Ann Miller, who was in Sarasota promoting her new film.