Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Having people you don't know write about you (and your film) is a weird experience. Up until now, almost all the reviews of my film that have popped up have been a result of me sending screeners to people. I didn't know the reviewers, but I'd been in contact with them in the process of discussing the film and sending a copy.

But after the AFI Dallas screenings, a few reviews have popped up online, and Cinematical even linked here to my coverage of my AFI Dallas experience.

And it's just weird to have strangers writing about me and my work.

Not weird-bad. It's weird-good. But still weird.

I mentioned that AFI Dallas was "highly surreal" because of the red carpet, which I shared with Bill Paxton at one point. This is part of that same experience, I think. And, ultimately, it's what any filmmaker longs for, I suppose. Maybe I should just be less Google-happy with my film's title!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Filmmaking in Texas

In addition to my film screening twice at AFI Dallas, I was on a panel discussion called "Making it in Texas" -- all about the pros and cons of filmmaking in the Lone Star State.

The panel discussion was one of the best parts of my AFI Dallas experience. I got to meet a couple of other filmmakers, and we had some interesting discussion about the subject.

Elliot Kotek, editor of Moving Pictures Magazine, was the moderator. Elliot is an engaging host, and was great at doling out the questions and keeping things moving. He's also a screenwriter and actor.

Tony Quinn, a Dallas-based filmmaker, was also on the panel. Tony's werewolf movie, The Lycanthrope, screened to a packed theater at the festival.

Will Wallace was there, too. Will is originally from Texas, and he shot his movie, Cake, in both Texas and Malibu. Will is clearly a little more connected than Tony and I are. His movie features G.W. Bailey (of The Closer), and he himself has acted in Beverly Hills 90210, I Am Sam, and The New World (I also learned that he is Terence Malick's stepson!). So his take on filmmaking was a bit different, as I think Tony and I were functioning more as do-it-yourselfers, with a bit of investment money, but doing it without the infrastructure of a production company and with very little money.

The discussion focused on why we chose to shoot in Texas (necessity for me; I didn't have the resources to shoot elsewhere), our choices regarding using known actors, our thoughts on why more productions aren't shooting in Texas and how the state can change that, and more. I even got to talk about the stigma attached to being a Christian in the industry (asked by some students who attend a Catholic school), and I got a chance to plug Baylor several times, thanks to the contribution the department made to the film.

I was especially glad that those students asked about the role of faith and the reactions to it in the industry. It pleased me that the film gave me an opportunity to discuss my faith more, as this was partially my intention in making it -- to open more dialogue about faith. So if those students happen to find my blog and want to continue the conversation, please leave a comment.

All in all -- a cool experience, and it made me feel like I actually know a little bit about what I'm doing in this business.

AFI Dallas Updates

Okay -- JUST got back home, so here are a couple of quick updates:

Saturday, March 24, 2007

AFI Dallas Screening Update

Wow, what a day. AFI Dallas had interviews set up for me this morning. After that, I had the screening at 4:30pm at the Magnolia Theatre. Big theatre -- stadium seating. It wasn't completely full, but there was a really good crowd that seemed to enjoy the flick a lot. We had a good Q & A afterwards, and one woman in attendance raved about it during the Q & A and as we left the theatre.

After grabbing a quick dinner (David Lynch came in after us and sat down not far from us), I was supposed to do the red carpet thing. To me, this sounded silly, and I assumed it wouldn't a big deal. A few requisite photos and such. Well, Dustin Olson (the lead actor) and I were ushered to a rope line, where an escort took us from press person to person, and we did interviews and posed for pictures. It was a surreal experience; as we entered the red carpet area, there where actually photographers shouting to us, "over here, over here" as though we were real celebs.

Later, as we were nearing the end of the red carpet and the interviews, we noticed Bill Paxton on the same red csrpet, doing his interviews. We were told later that Patrick Fugit and Chris Klein were also behind us.

It was, in a word, cool. A really great experience. But also highly surreal. AFI Dallas has set up a major event here -- they really treat the filmmakers well.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Posting from AFI DALLAS

I arrived at AFI Dallas today, and have been taking in the festival events and amenities. They have clearly spent a lot on this festival -- the "filmmaker lounge" (exclusive to those with a filmmaker pass) is a great, comfy space with free food and drinks.

Across the street in ANOTHER filmmaker lounge (this one is in the W Hotel). It's pretty ritzy, and I've already seen a celeb or two (today, I saw Robert Knepper -- T-Bag of Fox's Prison Break -- hanging out at the bar; Prison Break shoots around the Dallas area).

12:05am Update:
Latest celebrity sighting: Bill Paxton hanging out at the Filmmaker Lounge (he executive produced a film playing at the festival, The Good Life. I didn't have a good excuse to go up and talk to him, though.

Tomorrow, I'm doing publicity/press interviews, and the film screens at 4:30pm!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

PegasusNews Reviews AMERICAN MESSIAH

Check out the latest review of The Proper Care & Feeding of an American Messiah in connection with its upcoming screenings at the AFI Dallas International Film Festival.

Check out the great review here: PegasusNews Review.

Monday, March 19, 2007

New Project Title

Over at the Theoretical Entertainment "Projects" page, I have finally added the first official announcement of my new project:

Friday, March 16, 2007

What else I'll be doing at AFI Dallas

In addition to the two screenings of my film (on March 24th and March 25th), I'll be a member of a panel discussion on Sunday afternoon:

Making it in Texas
Sunday 3/25

"What are the benefits to filming in Texas? Is there an effective network of filmmakers and industry locally to support continual and enduring independent film production? Has the area's film community developed to the point where one can remain local and still churn out legitimate and respected films?"

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Screening at Silver Lake

Just got word tonight that The Proper Care & Feeding of an American Messiah will screen at the 7th annual Silver Lake Film Festival. Silver Lake was recently named one of the top 5 fests in Los Angeles... It will screen twice during the fest, which runs from May 3-12. So I'm hoping some L.A. fans will get to see it...

Friday, March 09, 2007

Local News Coverage

The film made local news today... check out the Waco Trib's coverage here.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Brian Performs Miracles -- on YouTube!

Check out the latest VLOG post on YouTube from Brian, the local messiah. In this one, he details one of his amazing miracles:

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Latest Celebs for AFI Dallas

Just caught wind of some more celebs announced for AFI Dallas: Dave Foley (Kids in the Hall, NewsRadio) and Judd Nelson (The Breakfast Club). Via the Dallas Observer blog -- read about it here.

Dave Foley -- he seems like the kind of guy who would enjoy our little mockumentary...

I just wish I knew how to invite these people to my film, LOL.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Random Friday Stuff

  • I shipped off the HDCAM screening copy of the film to the folks at AFI Dallas. Though we shot on and mastered on HDCAM, we have yet to screen in that format, so this is an exciting first -- to see the full resolution image on the big screen. Interestingly, another fest we got into recently, the Sunscreen Film Festival, is also screening on HDCAM, right after AFI Dallas, so one fest is going to have to ship directly to another (a common enough occurrence on the festival circuit, but a first for me). And since I just mentioned it in this bullet...
  • The film was accepted into the Sunscreen Film Festival in Tampa, Florida.
  • The film was also accepted into the Indianapolis International Film Festival.
  • ...nice, huh?
  • Though I use a mac (PowerBook G4), I have a PC at home that the kids use, and my wife has a PC laptop. So I had to upgrade for the DST flaw (side note: did it never occur to programmers that DST is not an immutable fact of nature but a date set by the government?). So, the old desktop hadn't been updated in a while, and I didn't have XP Service Pack 2. So I started the process and found that I had to download all the updates to Service Pack 1 before it would let me download and install SP 2. I am now on hour number five of the download and install process. And I haven't even started the actual DST big fix. (Update: I finally finished this process after more than six hours, and after the PC hung up for an hour while installing Service Pack 2. After all that, now the computer will know when Daylight Savings Time is. Yee haw. You know what would make this easier? If you could simply go into your "time/date" settings and tell the computer on what day DST will occur. Easy, huh?)
  • Windows Vista -- uh, no. Not gonna happen.
  • It occurs to me that a computer is a little like a car. From the moment you buy it, it's out of date, and you have to keep sinking money into it even though it's not worth anything anymore. Sad.
  • But I love my PowerBook. Truly. Most of the time, this thing is a pleasure to use. And it looks cool, too (that's just a bonus).

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Movie clip #3 on YouTube

Latest YouTube clip is FINALLY posted -- sorry for the delay. Brian, though he is a messiah, struggles with technology: