Archive for the Toronto Category

Wondering what to give? How about an executive producer credit on IMDB?

Posted in Making Movies, Non-profit filmmaking, reelheart, screenwriting, Seattle events, Toronto on November 23, 2009 by Tom McIntire

2010 ReelHeART International Film FestivalNon-profit Smiling Z Studios has been designated as the production team for the winning script in the 2010 ReelHeART International Film Festival (RHIFF) short screenplay competition. If we meet our fundraising goals and produce the project, the finished film will screen in Toronto in June 2010 on RHIFF’s main stage. Toronto is a great place to visit and RHIFF is definitely a go-to event.

You can help get this film made AND get a gift for your ‘person who has everything’. The wanna-be movie mogul in your life can have an Associate Producer ($500) or Executive Producer ($2000) credit on imdb.com and in the credits for our upcoming production. Lots of other levels of support are available too. You can support the project on indiegogo.com or go directly to the Smiling Z Studios site and choose Donate in the left column. You’ll further the art of filmmaking in Seattle while strengthening ties to Toronto’s filmmaking and viewing communities.

Want something you can wrap? Choose our recently released short environmentally themed sci-fi thriller Greenspoke on DVD from indieflix.com. Greenspoke is an Accolade Award of Merit winner and received a great review in The Seattle WeeklyGreenspoke posters, T-shirts and even temporary tattoos are available on the official Greenspoke site (scroll down after you watch the trailer).

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The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Posted in Greenspoke, Making Movies, screenwriting, Toronto, two julias with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2009 by Tom McIntire

Tom Petty lyrics aside, the end of a project is when it all is beginning. Greenspoke, my environmentally themed short sci fi piece, is entered in several film festivals, including the Seattle International Film Festival. No official selections yet but by early May we’ll start hearing how it is being received by the festival programmers. After spending months and months on a project you want people to see it. And distribute it. And fund that feature you want to produce next.

Speaking of features, there was a delay in judging in the 2009 ReelHeART International Screenplay Competition. Two of my scripts, The Karma Stone and The Smiling Zombie are finalists (as followers of this blog already know). I was amazed and thrilled to have TWO scripts in the running. Out of six finalists, three were chosen as the top three, and will receive a live, rehearsed reading at the festival. Judging was by a prominent agency. Eek! This led to much checking of e-mail, wringing of hands, self doubt and consoling by friends. I sometimes think I am not very competitive but deep down I am. Unfortunately neither script made it into the top three. The festival director was nice enough to call me and let me know.

If you have not participated in ReelHeART (RHIFF) in Toronto, it is a wonderful experience for filmmakers and audiences alike.  They treat filmmakers with care, respect and make it fun to boot. My short two julias premiered there last year, winning a Director’s Pick and Honorable Mention. We also got a distribution offer from Toronto-based Ouat! Media. Even if you don’t have anything in the festival, if you are in Toronto there are lots of filmmaker-focused events.

The Smiling Zombie AND The Karma Stone Made the Finals at RHIFF

Posted in Making Movies, reelheart, screenwriting, Toronto with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2009 by Tom McIntire

Two of my feature length screenplays have made it into the finals of the 2009 ReelHeART International Film Festival (RHIFF) Screenplay Competition. I’m still processing this information but I can say that I am thrilled.  These scripts also were semi-finalists in the WriteMovies International Writing Competition. At a time when I am struggling to find another day job (I was laid off from my job at Washington Mutual last June), it’s great to get this encouragement and recognition. Like most artists out there of all stripes and sensibilities, I am trying to figure out how to make my way in the world and still feed my passion. Finding that elusive mix where they are one and the same is what keeps me submitting films and scripts to festivals and writing competitions.

What are your secrets to reaching the next level? What challenges are you facing?

Greenspoke Starts Shooting December 2nd!

Posted in Greenspoke, Shriekfest, Toronto with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2008 by Tom McIntire

Scientists aim a green bullet at climate change. Bullets ricochet.

For those of you who know me, the start of principal photography on Greenspoke is not a big surprise. I’ve been asking you for everything from car parts to textbooks to time in your bedroom – and you’ve all been very accommodating! Things have been coming together pretty well and I’m looking forward to finally getting started.

Greenspoke was a semi-finalist in the short sci-fi screenplay category at Shriekfest 2008. The script has been massaged a bit, locations nailed down, a strong crew is in place and we have an excellent cast that I am proud to be directing. On top of all that, my fellow ReelHeART International Film Festival 2008 participant (and short/long form fiction winner!) Tess Malone is flying in from London to help out. How fun is that? And I get to work with production manager Michi Murayama from my days as a devious killer on Japanese network television.

Mikano Fukaya and Tim Gouran head up my hardy cast which includes two julias alums and Seattle stage and film notables. I met today with our director of photography, Ryan Purcell, to go over shot lists. It’s interesting to see where I am willing to give because of budget and time constraints – it’s yet another creative process to figure out how to stay true to the original intent while managing the costs. The manic panic of 48 Hour Film contests helped me hone this skill – if you respect the story and the process, there are lots of ways to say the same thing effectively. That dolly shot would be cool but does it really add that much to the storytelling? Yes but not enough to warrant the cost. Driven pragmatism.

Greenspoke places in the semifinals at Shriekfest

Posted in Greenspoke, Toronto on September 10, 2008 by Tom McIntire

Always a semi-finalist, never a finalist… actually this is pretty cool. Greenspoke was honored in the sci fi short screenplay competition at Shriekfest in LA. I’m planning to head down for the festivities and hope to meet up with some friends in the LA area.

Lots of preparation work going into Greenspoke right now. Rumor has it that we will be shooting sooner than May. I’m hoping we’ll be able to generate some interest (that we is me) at Shriekfest and maybe get some backing. I’m also looking to sell or find someone to help me produce a couple of my feature-length scripts:

  • The Karma Stone, a supernatural horror piece about a twisted soul who comes back from the dead to terrorize his estranged widow and her family.
  • The Smiling Zombie, a quirky tale of a middle aged musical theatre actor who tries to make a comeback after a bout with multiple sclerosis by taking a featured extra role in a no budget zombie movie. If Greg Kinnear is reading this, you were meant to play this part.

I’ve had wonderful support from filmmakers and festival staff I met at the ReelHeART International Film Festival in Toronto. They’ve just started accepting submissions for 2009 and I highly recommend this festival to any filmmaker who wants to learn more about their craft and have a great time doing it. I’ll be entering two scripts and a couple of shorts.

two julias update

Posted in Toronto, two julias with tags , , , , , , on June 26, 2008 by Tom McIntire

I packaged up 2j to send to Ouat! (pronounced “what”) Media in Toronto – Jessica Klement from Ouat! was part of a great panel discussion on distribution sponsored by the ReelHeART International Film Festival (RHIFF).

Check out Ouat!’s site for more information about distribution:

http://www.ouatmedia.com/

We sold our first 2 DVDs on createspace.com yesterday. Yay! I think I may have spammed the cast and crew a bit yesterday between the Honorable Mention award at RHIFF and the DVD availability. If you would like to buy one, it’s $12 USD and you can get it here:

http://createspace.com/250395

Festival closing and other news

Posted in Toronto with tags , , , , , on June 23, 2008 by Tom McIntire

I was having internet access issues in Toronto so sorry that I haven’t kept up with the blog. The festival was a wonderful experience. Lots of good films and friendly smart fun filmmakers and festival folks.

Films that stood out (in no particular order):

Close to Midnight – personal and yet accessible story line, thoughtful choices from lenses to camera angles to color to music, extraordinary performances from the actors (Michael Bianco brought a rare level of sensitivity to the role of Chris Ryan). Kudos to director Ken Castellano and the cast and crew for this moving feature.

Brick by Brick … a Civil Rights Story – at times frightening and disturbing in its raw look at racism, director Bill Kavanaugh’s and Sylke Froechtenigt’s skillfully told tale of a long-term fight to integrate the city of Yonkers.

Leda and Her Art – 92 years old and she makes me feel like a total slacker – the funny and insightful story of Brazilian sculptor Leda Gontijo. There are people in the world who show you how to be alive – Leda is one of them.

Paola or The Art of Survival – Barbara Sostaric’s well-crafted and touching documentary about the obstacles and creative solutions of Paola, a single mother in Recife, Brazil as she tries to support her family. Paola’s story is troubling in its depiction of abject poverty yet inspirational when we see Paola’s resilience and dedication to her children.

The Red Room – Writer/director Elina Fessa’s beautifully realized story of an exotic dancer confronted by a long-lost love.

The German Lullaby – Director Tess Malone examines the betrayal of an innocent and the echoes that ring out through generations to come.

Futures and Derivatives – Writer/director Andrew Halpern creates a world where beauty is revealed in a very unlikely place.

Soul 37 – it’s all about heart and living fully – link goes to a previous blog entry about this touching film by David Shin.

Asian Task Force – a skillfully executed send-up of 90s cops shows like the A-team. If you like hot Asian actors playing something other than the nerd, funny and amazing fight scenes, then this one is for you. William Lu directed – Comedy Central needs to pick this one up to follow Reno 911 and class the evening up a bit.

Sneaky Snake – Lost in the Holy Land – need I say more? Best Animation Winner and that snake is a flirt

And Then She Was Gone – this lovely, dreamy film was shot in Savannah and features Diana Scarwid and actor/director Jacqueline Pennewill (also directed by Pete Konczal)

But back to me me me

two julias got an extra screening because people were trying to buy tickets after the original screening date. Several other films were in the same sitch. How fun is that? It gave me a chance to see films that I had missed – (The Red Room, Portrait of Envy) and to feel the reactions of a mostly new audience to two julias.

I was invited to be interviewed (along with several other visiting filmmakers) by saucy RHIFF director Shannon Kelly at their Lunch and Learn series. I talked about what drove me to write the script and told Shannon my favorite curse word. One of those is true.

And on a less positive note, my now former employer had the grace and style to call me during the festival to let me know we were breaking up. I went in to pack up my stuff today and turn in the card keys. I feel suddenly much lighter.