Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Rio Grind Film Fest: Vancouver

Me, Jen, Sylvia & Tristan.
I think every director dreams of being able to attend a screening of their film with their cast & crew in tow. For me that has been especially a challenge with one actor in England and the other in Canada. I have been fortunate enough to meet with Laurence R. Harvey at two screenings. I was beginning to think I would never get the chance to see it with Tristan Risk. 

That was before I saw the Rio Grind Film Festival pop up out of what seemed to be no where about a month ago. It's in Vancouver, where Tristan is from. I had heard of the Rio Theater a lot from her and jumped at the opportunity to submit the film. 

Vancouver is also home to the twin powerhouse directors, Jen & Sylvia Soska (American Mary). When I arrived last Friday afternoon Tristan and I met up with them and their composer, Kevvy Mental. All of us worked on the Soskas' ABCS OF DEATH 2 segment- which was making its Vancouver premiere at Rio Grind that evening. It was really special to see the film together. 

Me and Tristan.
The short film program started Saturday afternoon and included lots of films CALL GIRL has played with in the past like - SHE, RUBY'S SECRET, SPLIT, NO PETS ALLOWED. It's a cool thing because my film feels like an extension of myself. I feel so connected with these other filmmakers, even people I've never met in real life. It's such an awesome and close community. My favorite short of the day (that I hadn't seen before) was EL GIGANTE by Gigi Saul Guerrero.

OH!! We won our first award! Laurence R Harvey won Best Actor (short film)!! I am so proud!!

Sunday Tristan took me on a lovely walk through Stanley Park.  Vancouver is such a beautiful city.  We passed a creek where they filmed a scene in the movie, IT.  And we got lunch at this adorable place, Prospect Point Cafe, with an incredible view of the water and Lions Gate Bridge.  Many films have been shot on that bridge including FINAL DESTINATION 5. I love that scene!

Other highlights of the trip would be sushi, sushi and more SUSHI! I ate so much sushi! Everyday we got sushi! YUM!

Thank you Tristan, Jen, Sylvia & Kevvy for showing me such a great time!

Tristan, Jen, Kevvy, me, & Sylvia.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Mile High Horror Film Fest - Denver

Last weekend I attended the Mile High Horror Film Festival held at the Alamo Drafthouse Denver.  I met Jerry Pyle there and we screened both of our films- CALL GIRL & SERVICE!   The festival was amazing!  When we pulled up to the theater the parking lot was full.  We took this as a great sign!  Every movie we saw- the theater was nearly sold out.  Even when we were seeing the underdog film (multiple films showed a the same time) they were packed full.  This is the biggest fest I've been to besides Film4 FrightFest in London.

Jerry Pyle and me.
Mile High likes its short films!  They had 7 blocks of shorts- 6 horror and 1 scifi.  Each block played twice throughout the festival.  CALL GIRL and SERVICE played in block #5 with a slew of great films.  We were in the same block as THE MUCK, by Tony Walsh, a gnarly creature movie set in the 80s.  That was shot by Robert Patrick Stern, who I plan to work with on my next project!  There were some serious stars in these shorts.  One of my favorites starred Amanda Seyfried, DOG FOOD, and was super disturbing.  Another that stood out- THE BODY by Paul Davis starring Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones) was very clever, funny, and morbid.  I met Jeffrey Reddick, writer of FINAL DESTINATION (I'm a huge fan), who was there with his short GOOD SAMARITAN.

The film I was most anticipating seeing was EXISTS by Eduardo Sanchez, who also directed THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT.  It's a found-footage film about Bigfoot and it fucking blew me away.  I loved it.  It was fucking scary!  I'm serious.  It's for REAL scary.  He did it again!  Eduardo and his producer Gregg Hale were both there.  It was awesome to meet them as they are a huge inspiration to me.

Eduardo will be here in Kansas City on October 29th for a double-feature screening of EXISTS and THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT at Screenland Armour.  DownRight Creepy is hosting a Q&A with him.  It will be a blast.  I'll be there.  Get your tickets while you still can!

Eduardo Sanchez and me.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

ABCs of Death 2: World Premier

With the Soskas at Texas Frightmare Weekend.
ABCs OF DEATH 2 had its world premiere last Thursday at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas.  And they did something I've never heard of before- Fantastic broadcasted their opening night to multiple Alamo Drafthouse cinemas across the country, including the one here in Kansas City.  I was so excited to watch the film at the same time as the premiere.  Plus, they broadcasted the Q&A afterwards with all the filmmakers who were down in Texas.

I had the honor of working on the film!  I was asked by Jen & Sylvia Soska aka the Twisted Twins to second unit direct a scene for their segment.  I was head over heels excited to have an opportunity like this.  This was September 2013, right after we shot CALL GIRL.  Laurence R. Harvey was still in town and the Twins wanted him in the film.  Talk about being in the right place at the right time!  Brian Hicks shot it and Adam Roberts did damn near everything else.  We filmed it in my friend, Lindsay Solomon's, awesome loft.  I don't want to spoil it, but we had a blast.  Laughed our asses off.

So, last Thursday a group of us went to see the movie.  I was impatiently waiting throughout the film for our segment to play and the scene we shot wasn't in the Soskas segment.  I started to freak out.  We watched the credits to see if we'd still be in there.  And much to my SURPRISE the scene was at the very end of the credits.  The secret scene!  Just like all the superhero movies do!  SO COOL!

Today the movie released on VOD & iTunes.  If you're free you should join the watch party and live tweet along with the cast and crew tonight.  The plan: push play at 9 PM (CST) and include  "#DeathParty" in your tweets.   I'll be there.

With Laurence R Harvey on set.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mascara & Popcorn Film Fest - Montreal

Zombie Boy and me.
Rewind!  Before my trip overseas, I went to Canada for the first time to attend the Mascara & Popcorn Film Festival in Montreal, August 14-17th.  CALL GIRL screened there.  Not unlike everywhere I've gone lately- I saw a lot of inspiring films and met a ton of incredible people.

M&P is a 4 day festival founded and ran by Florence Touliatos.  This was their fifth year.  The day I arrived I went straight to the opening party.  I met "Zombie Boy," the dude who is tattooed from head-to-toe in Lady Gaga's video "Born This Way".  The next two days were filled solid with short films.  I must have saw over 60 films in 2 days!  I can't remember half of them.

Me and Erik Pavone with the wall o' boobs!
I also ate a lot of amazing food.  One evening I went for sushi with Hakk Wylde aka Bonnie Knapp Pavone and her husband, Erik Pavone.  The restaurant was complete with a wall of boobs to ogle at while waiting for your food to arrive!

That Saturday night, after the festival, the plan was for everyone to meet at this club called Katacombs.  This was my first goth club experience.  And it was awesome.  Only a few of us ended up going- the gang behind THE LAST HALLOWEEN, RUBY'S SECRET and a couple others.  They dragged me out to get poutine after the club closed, the local specialty- fries covered in gravy and cheese curds.  YUM!  It was a blast.

Lilly Roussel, me, Marc Primeau, Ronnie Basch,
and Bonnie Knapp Pavone at Katacombs.

The fest concluded with a party and award ceremony.  I felt incredibly welcomed the whole weekend- and that means a lot to me.

I'm currently working on bringing the films I saw in Montreal to screen here in Kansas City at Slaughter Movie House!

The CALL GIRL tour isn't over yet.  This weekend alone we have 4 screenings: Scream in the Dark Film Fest in Omaha, Oshkosh Horror Film Fest in Wisconsin, Fantom Fest in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Filmstock Film Fest in Denver, Colorado!  I will be at the Oshkosh screening and most likely Omaha too.  We have screenings booked through the end of the year.  Check out our site and follow us on social media to keep up!

Florence Touliatos, Izabel Grondin, Heather Buckley, Nadine L'Esperance, me and Isabelle Giroux.