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Now that ACID TEST premiered in the film festival circuit (more news on upcoming screenings soon!), my thoughts are going to the “what’s next” question. Over the next two years as the short makes its rounds in the festivals and we look to distribution options on platforms such as Seed&Spark, I want to keep the work and efforts we all put in together going. So I’m crowdfunding to expand ACID TEST into a feature film! 

Recently, Seed&Spark announced a “Hometown Heroes Rally” – an initiative where they’ve partnered with the Duplass brothers to help feature films find their audience, funds, and recognition. In order to qualify, filmmakers need to crowdfund for their scripted feature films over 30 days between September 12 and October 13 to raise at least $7500 and gain at least 500 followers. Finalists will pitch their projects to Mark and Jay Duplass for the chance to have them executive produce the film and up to $25,000 cash for production! The focus is on regional filmmaking and here in Houston, we’ve got that in spades. Texas is one of the chosen production areas, which makes sense since both brothers attended UT Austin.

I already have a draft of a feature adaptation of ACID TEST but it needs a lot of work. I jumped at the chance of raising development funds through this Hometown Heroes campaign.

In the midst of planning this crowdfunding campaign, Hurricane Harvey hit and I thought about cancelling it. How can I ask for money for a film when so many people need money just to survive? But I know Houston will recover, is already recovering, coming together in such an amazing way to help each other out. This campaign is one step toward bringing the larger film industry to Houston, creating jobs and opportunities, and I feel like if I cancel the campaign, I’m letting Harvey win.

I want this to be an opportunity for all of us. Incentives include film consultations and interviews with the heroes we have here in Houston. This is a Hometown Rally for Houston with an eye toward a stronger future.

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Movie Mondays: THE ONE I LOVE review

I have a love/hate relationship with what is considered “indie” film.

On the one hand, the fact that the tools to make films and to experiment with that medium are cheaper and more prevalent than ever before and that is an amazing and exciting development that allows for diversity in visual story-telling. I love the energy of independent films: it’s walking a tightrope without a safety net. Everything is on the line. Everyone is putting in their all on the prayer that their film gets noticed in a big enough way that they can break even, get another job, or better yet make money and launch a career. Indie films are often intimate stories that often focus on the real and dirty parts of the human existence in a realistic or honest or even scathing way.

On the other hand, many of the films I’ve seen or read about that come out of the festival circuit with lots of buzz are just plain weird. For a while there was a cinematography “style” where shots were never fully in focus. A lot of the festival favorites are so myopic in their “slice of life” tale that the audience has no idea how the characters got themselves into their particular situation or how it will all resolve even after the credits roll.

But what I truly hate about independent films is that I often don’t feel a damn thing once I’ve watched it. The film might be thought-provoking, even interesting, but more often than not, indie films follow completely unlikable characters and use odd plot devices to get their characters into a strange situation and I don’t end up enjoying the ride. I feel nothing except the confusion that I spent an hour and a half watching good actors and beautiful cinematography and good editing/sound design and I felt no connection to the characters, to their dilemma, and when it ended I couldn’t care less.

That was my experience of THE ONE I LOVE.

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