Saturday, August 30, 2014

Manchester with Starburst Magazine

Martin Unsworth, a writer at Starburst Mag, has been nothing but supportive of CALL GIRL from day one. He contributed to our Kickstarter, wrote one of our very first reviews and more recently mentioned us in an article about independent filmmakers in Starburst- our first ever appearance in a printed magazine. I attribute that to our actor, Laurence R Harvey, his cult status- especially in the UK where the magainze is from.  

Martin mentioned in the past that he would like to screen CALL GIRL in Manchester at the Fab Cafe. When I found out the film was accepted into Film4 Frightfest we realized this would be the perfect opportunity for me to actually attend the event. So we set the date for the day after FrightFest ended. 

In the Starburst article I mentioned above, he also wrote about Jerry Pyle's shorts, SERVICE and BURN.  I told Martin that Jerry would be with me in England, so why not show his films too? He agreed and set up an amazing event for us. 

And of course, Laurence met us there as well. Living so far away from eachother I savor every time I get to see him. Plus, we know that's why the fans came out. Anyone who meets Laurence falls in love. He's so sweet, gentle and caring- you feel lucky to have him in your life. 

The night was incredible. We started off with dinner- Martin, Laurence, Jerry, Shauna (another staff member from Starburst) and me. I had the best fish and chips of my life. Also shared a few cocktail pitchers. 

Then Martin and Shauna took us to the Starburst offices. It was an honor. The entire staff was so gracious and welcoming. They talked movies with us, took shots from their liquor cabinet and gave us copies of the new issue. Then they all came to the screening with us. I didn't expect that at all. 

The screening went off without a hitch. The crowd was very interested in what we've done. Asked some great questions. They also screened an older short Laurence stars in, as a surprise, called MOTHER. It was awesome. 

The night doesn't begin to end there. Afterwards they took us to a club called Satan's Hollow. Yes, they know me well. Haha. It was stupid fun. You could say we were intoxicated by this point. Dancing our assess off. Singing every word of every song. I was taken back by the playlist, so much of it was stuff from my highschool days like Sum 41 and Limp Bizkit. They also played more obvious choices like Pantera. We didn't leave until they shut down and kicked us out. 

It was a fucking blast. I can't thank Starburst Magazine enough. 


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Film4 FrightFest

Let me start by apologizing in advance for any typos or grammar errors in this blog post. I've been watching films for five days straight and partying with the most amazing people. My brain is a bit mushy right now. 

I had such an incredible time in London for the Film4 FrightFest. It was my number one dream festival that I submitted CALL GIRL. I still can barely believe we played there. 

Unfortunately, United Airlines screwed me over and canceled my flight last minute so I got into London 12 hours later than originally planned. So, I missed THE GUEST and SIN CITY 2. I am not happy about it..... Moving on. 


Fest highlights:

THE GREEN INFERNO (Eli Roth):
I absolutely loved it. I'm not surprised, I am a huge fan of Roth. The thing is- I heard a lot of negative comments about the film before so I was a bit worried. But it was even better than I personally expected it to be. The gore was amazingly gnarly, the acting was on point and it was beautifully shot. He continues to inspire me. I love how his movies are often travel-themed and shot in foreign countries. I heard that he hired an almost entirely local crew in Peru, where it was shot. Which is so much more than just making a film, it's bringing industry and creating an artistic community in a place that doesn't have a lot of opportunity. F-off Eli haters!!!!!!!!

THE BABADOOK (Jennifer Kent):
A beautiful film from Australia that transcends genres. From the outside it appears as a super creepy ghost story. But turns out to be so much more. It spoke volumes to me as I interpreted it as a metaphor for grief. How we go on living after we lose someone incredibly vital to our lives. Not to mention the lead actors were mind-blowingly talented. The little boy, Noah Wiseman, was doing things I don't know how a child could comprehend and the mother is impeccably played by Essie Davis. 

HOUSEBOUND (Gerard Johnstone):
A super fun and surprising flick out of New Zealand. I watched this without any knowledge of the synopsis and really enjoyed it. It kept me on my toes thorough-out and was hysterical. Every time I thought I had it figured out another layer of awesome would appear. 

THE SIGNAL (William Eubank):
This was the closing film of the fest and it was damn near perfect. A very crazy scifi film I feel I can't say much about without massively spoiling it. The performances are great. Laurence Fishburne is something else!! 

DIGGING UP THE MARROW (Adam Green):
Another film I knew nothing about. It's a mockumentary of sorts, starring Adam Green as himself. Everyone in this film is playing themselves, for instance Josh Ethier edited the film and is in the film as the editor. Ray Wise is the only actor whom is acting as someone else- a crazy man who believes he's discovered an underground world where real monsters exist. Pretty damn funny and the jump scares got me good!


The CALL GIRL screening couldn't have gone better. The crowd reacted wonderfully and I had people come up to me nonstop throughout the festival to congratulate us. The short film showcase we played in was fabulous. My personal fav- SHE by Chelsey Burdon and Mark Vessey. 

The whole experience was a dream come true! I hope to return next year. 




Sunday, August 10, 2014

CALL GiRL: World Tour

Long time no talk.

Wow, what a ride this has been! Since premiering CALL GIRL in March we have screened at 13 film festivals/screening series and we have 13 more coming up. 

We've played all over the country: Dallas, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Boston, Jacksonville, Seattle, Chicago, Salt Lake City, and Indianapolis. 


Actress Tristan Risk, my muse, resides in Vancouver and I believe we can attribute that to our overwhelming Canadian support. We premiered in Hamilton, Ontario at Fright Night Theater and then played the Calgary Horror Con,



Today, I embark on a serious tour with the film-

August 14-17th:
I'm headed to Montreal for the Mascara & Popcorn Film Fest.  I am SO excited, I have never been to Canada!  It begins tonight with their "Black Carpet Event" and ends Sunday with an award ceremony + karaoke.  The film plays this Saturday evening in a block of shorts titled, "The Grindhole."

***I just found out some amazing news- CALL GiRL is nominated for "Most Weird & Wonderful", Best Special FX Makeup (Colleen May & Philip Spruell), Best Editor (Ryan Housknecht), and Best Director (that's ME)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is our first time being nominated. I AM HONORED. WOW! Thank you Mascara & Popcorn! 




August 21-25th:
Immediately after Montreal- I'm going to London- where we at screening at my dream festival, Film4 FrightFest. This is where the big timers screen their films. I may explode from excitement. This year they have THE GUEST (Adam Wingard), GREEN INFERNO (Eli Roth), SIN CITY A DAME TO KILL FOR (Robert Rodriguez), LATE PHASES (Adrian Garcia Bogliano) and on and on!!

MY FILM IS SCREENING WITH ELI ROTH'S FILM. I never dreamed I would say that. I've been a huge fan of his work since high school.


CG screens Saturday the 23rd at 12:45 PM in Discovery Screen 2 in a block of shorts including SHE by Chelsey Burdon and Mark Vessey- two people I'm very excited to meet!



Tuesday, August 26th:
Since I will already be in the UK,  Jerry Pyle and I are going take a train to Manchester and screen our films at Fab Cafe, presented by Starburst Magazine. The charming Laurence R Harvey will be meeting us there. They will be showing both of Jerry's films, SERVICE and BURN.


Thursday, August 28th:
Next, I hop over to Ireland to screen the film at the Cellar Door in Limerick at an event put together by Spade Lion Productions and hosted by Emerald Gore Society. Also showing is the directorial debut from Paddy Murphy, ENSNARED. 


Saturday, August 30th:
If you can believe this, next is the Just About Movies Film Fest in Scotland! This event is held on the grounds of the Tullibole Castle! I don't think I can make this one. But I will try my damnedest.

Sunday, August 31st-
Home sweet HOME!




We have a lot to look forward to this fall.  I can't possibly manage to (or afford to) attend most of these, but that doesn't make me any less pumped to have CALL GIRL screening at them!

In September we premier in Australia at the Sydney Underground Film Fest (again with Eli Roth!) and make our way back up north to screen at the Montreal Comic Con.

October (so far) we have Filmstock Film Fest in Colorado, Scream in the Dark in Omaha, Fantom Fest in Scranton, PA, and the Malta Horror Fest.

And, I just got news that we have been selected to screen at the Twisted Tails Film Fest in Dallas in December.  Plus there's a few we can't yet announce and many we are anxiously waiting to hear from!

Follow me on twitter, instagram and Facebook to keep up with my travels.
And follow CALL GIRL on twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

#IamJada

Jada is a hero.

Jada is an extremely brave 16 year-old girl who is speaking out about her sexual attack.  Photos and video from her attack were posted online and went viral.  People have gone as far as mocking her pose in these photos and reposting their own versions.  This is horrific.

Jada has taken control of her story by coming forward.  She posted this photo (left) before her interview on Ronan Farrow Daily yesterday.  When he asked her why she spoke out she said, “The pictures that were posted is not how I am or who I am.  So, I’d rather just show them how I actually am.” 

I could not be more moved by her courage.


What she is doing now is so valuable.  Women have been shamed for their sexuality since the dawn of time and that has resulted in countless unreported rapes.  How can we change this??  HOW?

I'd like to give you some examples on how women have been shamed for their sexuality -

-Before recent years where it's become more “acceptable”- families would hide their daughters from society if they got pregnant. They would take them out of school and/or send them off to live with relatives in the middle of nowhere until the pregnancy was over.  They were so embarrassed.  Were the boys who impregnated these girls ever outcast? 

-Slut-shaming, that doesn't exist for men. For instance, Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe - he's known for having been with a lot of women.  Can you think of a female celebrity who has bragged about that and been praised for it?  I can't.  I believe they are called "whores", even by other women.

-A few months ago I happened to catch Bill O'Reilly ranting about Beyoncé’s “Partition” music video.  He was appalled!  He asked, how she could “glorify sex in a limo.. as a female role model?!”  How could SHE?  I found the whole thing to be extremely funny because she's one of  the strongest females out there to idolize in pop culture.  She speaks to feminism and independence in her music often.  She is a great role model.


The worst part?  What happened to Jada is not uncommon.

In order to press charges we need need victims to go to a hospital immediately after the assault, get a rape-kit examination, and report it to the police.  Too often then not, victims are scared and embarrassed.  Are you beginning to see the trap?

We need to change that.  

Quanell X, the family's spokesperson, nailed it-
“We as a nation, as a whole, we have to begin to support victims and stand behind victims.  And encourage them to speak out.  Because this culture of silence goes back for decades...  We must create an environment that says to a victim- 'If you’ve been sexually assaulted- you can stand up, you can speak out, and those of us who love justice will stand with you and support you.'"

Post your photo in support of Jada today!  Don't forget to hashtag #IamJada and #JusticeForJada.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

#YesAllWomen - I Just Want to DANCE!

I was reading Adrienne Fox’s (WatchPlayRead.com) coverage of Crypticon Seattle because, to be honest, she reviewed CALL GiRL (MY film).  She said some GREAT stuff but what really got my attention was a little further down the page.  I noticed she attended a panel called “Is Horror Still a Boy’s Club?”  Where, I guess, the discussion got a bit heated and uncomfortable.  Fox linked to another women’s blog, Anthea Carns, where she spoke in detail about her experience in that panel and at Crypticon.

Carns describes how her friend and her arre harassed throughout weekend by men.  What I found interesting is that she refers to it not feeling like a "safe space for women".  She mentions things I’ve experienced countless times, almost every time I go out in the world.  And Crypticon Seattle stepped up to the plate!  They almost immediately posted a new Code of Conduct on their website. 

I was most taken back by Carns’ post because I'm just not used to feeling safe as a woman.  I was like .... Wait. It's possible to make it safe for us?!  Her words are actually causing people to make positive changes?  I am so inspired by this.

Every time my girlfriends and I go out dancing it’s a constant battle to keep the creeps away.  Last weekend we ended up dancing behind a roped-off area, to get some peace of mind.  I can recall a night out a few months ago where one man in particular kept trying to dance with us- over and over and over- no matter how many times we said “no” and/or moved away.  He, then, stopped and starred at us down for a super long awkward time, trying to intimidate and threaten us.  It was scary….scary that this behavior isn’t uncommon.  I have often experienced a hostile reaction when turning down a man who wanted to dance or get my phone number.


We make jokes about it because I think we don't know what else to do.  But it's not funny.  And Anthea Carns has proven that you can change it if you speak up! 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Top SIXX Horror Films of 2013

Everyone has been posting their favorite films of the year and I want to join in on the fun!  But it seems more appropriate, for me, to pick out my top 6 horror films.

I also included my favorite moment from each.  If you have not seen the film, DO NOT READ my favorite moment.  (SPOILERS)!


1.  THE CONJURING
Directed by James Wan.

Favorite Moment:
After the middle daughter (Joey King) is woken up from the foot-tugging, and she sees something behind the door.  The sees nothing, but with her performance and the power of suggestion it is terrifying.  I can't remember the last time I was that scared in a movie theater!  This film made me feel like a kid again.



2.  STOKER
Directed by Chan-wook Park.

Favorite Moment:
THE shower scene..... !



3.  HERE COMES THE DEVIL
Directed by Adrian Garcia Bogliano.

Favorite Moment:
The parents revenge, they think they've found the reason as to why their kids have been acting so strange. And when they do, Sol (Laura Caro) not only slits Lucio's neck, but then proceeds to completely rip out his throat.  BRUTAL.



4.  AMERICAN MARY
Directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska.

Favorite Moment:
A security guard finds Dr. Grant, or what's left of him, and Mary (Katherine Isabelle) beats the guard to death with his baton.  This scene looks like a MARTYRS nod and is a huge moment in the film, where Mary truly "loses it".



5.  V/H/S/2
Directed by Eduardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Evans, Adam Wingard, Simon Barrett, and Jason Eisner.

Favorite Segment:
SAFE HAVEN by Timo Tjahjanto.  He also did L is for Libido in  The ABCS of DEATH, which happens to be fucking insane and great.



6.  GRAVITY
Directed by Alfonso Cuaron.

Favorit Moment:
The first time Ryan (Sandra Bullock) gets detached, she is spinning and spinning, freaking out, losing oxygen, until she remembers how Matt (George Clooney) taught her to pull it together.


 _____________________


Random Mention:

BEFORE MIDNIGHT
Directed by Richard Linklater.

The final film in the disgustingly romantic trilogy with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy was very satisfying.  The style of all three of these films (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset) being told in real-time, really sets them apart from anything I've ever seen.  And with almost ten years between each film, we only get a glimpse into these characters lives, a little catch-up.  And we are normally left hanging, with huge questions, but not with this one.  MIDNIGHT opened in not the happiest place and I was very distraught, praying this wasn't all there was and, of course, it wasn't.  I feel very personally attached to this story and I was not let down.  This trilogy restored my faith in love.


I was going to make a list of everything else (non-horror), but than I realized there's too much I haven't seen yet.  Especially with all the stuff that has released recently like Dallas Buyers Club, American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street!

______________________


Most Anticipated Horror 2014:

THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 3 by Tom Six
THE EDITOR by Astron-6
THE SACRAMENT by Ti West
THE GREEN INFERNO by Eli Roth
THE ABCS OF DEATH 2 by The Soska Sisters and at least 25 other directors!

Oh.. and my movie, CALL GIRL!


Thanks for stopping by.  XOXO!
Jill