Archive for film making

Greenspoke screenings in the Seattle/Tacoma area in Sept-Oct

Posted in festivals, Greenspoke, Making Movies, Seattle events with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2009 by Tom McIntire

GreenspokeTom McIntire’s award-winning short Greenspoke will be screening in several Seattle-area festivals in Sept and Oct. Check it out!

Upcoming Seattle/Tacoma screenings:

Greenspoke premieres at Bumbershoot
Monday Sept 7 at 8pm
SIFF Cinema.

International Film Festival Ireland (Clonmel) – Sept 9

Maelstrom International Festival of Fantastic Films (Seattle) – Sept 18-20 (also at SIFF Cinema)

Tacoma Film Festival – Oct 6 at 9:30pm at the Grand Cinema

Other upcoming screenings:

Greenspoke will also be screening at the International Film Festival Ireland on Wed Sept 9 in Clonmel, Tiperarry.

Thanks again to all of you who came out for the Aug 4th preview!

P.S. We have all kinds of fun Greenspoke merchandise available on the official site:
http://greenspokethemovie.com

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Unsolicited Monster Calling – Are You In?

Posted in Rants with tags , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2008 by Tom McIntire

A gentleman named Brian called me on my cell after seeing my resume on Monster.com.  Unsolicited Monster calls are generally pretty useless – agencies that want to take your money for jobs that you could easily locate yourself online. It sounded like a cool opportunity – screenwriter for a charitable foundation’s feature. He wasn’t clear about what the mission of the foundation was other than it goes around the world and helps people. He wasn’t clear on the phone whether they wanted to do a documentary or a narrative piece – he said they wanted to create a “new genre”. They also said they had a full-time video editor position. Two of my favorite things to do and they would pay me.

For those of you who don’t know this already, Monster.com is probably the last place a serious film producer would go looking for a screenwriter. I knew that and hoped that maybe this was an exception.

Brian told me to come in the next day at 7 a.m. In the morning. Really. On the other side of the lake. I did some very preliminary research about the company and foundation and didn’t find much. It seemed worth a shot so I got my lazy butt out of bed and was there 15 minutes early.

The office was nice – right on Lake Washington, dogs in the office, nice people at the door. Oddly, someone was playing Christmas music at their desk at 6:45 in the morning. 6:45 is too early for Christmas music on Christmas Day, much less October 14.

Brian looked exactly like he sounded on the phone – military-style haircut, shirt and tie. He brought me back to a conference room with photos of unfortunately still-President Bush in grip and grin poses with what looked like a company executive. This didn’t phase me too much – the company that sponsors the foundation makes portable shelters that are used by the military, oil industry and in disaster areas. Brian asked me the same questions he had asked over the phone while we waited for the other interviewers – he obviously had a script to follow as all good interviewers do.

An older gentleman and a young woman came in, questions started, other people came and went and came back. The older gentleman shook my hand but barely touched it. Three of the interviewers asked me questions about what charities I supported and what I would be willing to do to support a charity. I tend to be a ‘write a check often’ kind of guy rather than a volunteer, and told them so. They asked questions about how long it would take to write a script and how long different scripts of mine had taken. We talked about finding the story in their footage (they have already shot 1000 hours of footage with no script and apparently no plan). I talked about making it something that people could relate to – finding compelling characters and situations that illustrated their point. Tried again in vain to find out what that point was.

The person they all looked at when I said I wanted to know more about the foundation repeated almost word-for-word what Brian had said on the phone – they go around the world and help people. This was in response to a direct question as to the mission of the foundation. She went on to criticize UNICEF and other NGOs because they are just taking money and not helping anyone. This was a little surprising – this tiny foundation that doesn’t even have a Web site is the only one out there helping people? Brian went back to Doctors Without Borders as one that they think doesn’t do anything. Huh. When it came time for me to leave, they asked me on a 1-10 if I was interested in the job, with 10 being ‘hire me now’. I told them an 8 (I do love the video) because I wanted to know more about the foundation and to research what they were saying about Doctors Without Borders and UNICEF. Trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, I thanked them and left.

After I got home, I did a little more digging on Google, and figured out that the foundation name was the initials of the company CEO who created the foundation. Still with me? More research revealed that he was a heavy donor to the Republican party and the foundation (or one with the same name) had been reported to be a donor to Focus on the Family. Sigh. I sent an e-mail to Brian and let him know I was no longer interested and why. This prompted an e-mail from Erik (who may have been at my interview – people come and go so quickly there) denying the connection to Focus on the Family.

I would pursue this further except that I have never gotten a straight answer about what their foundation does, or what the ‘blockbuster’ movie they want to make is about. I’m taking my public resume off Monster. And when I finally get a job, I’ll be making donations to UNICEF and Doctors Without Borders.

Greenspoke funding

Posted in Greenspoke with tags , , , , , on June 26, 2008 by Tom McIntire

I recently was laid off from my day job so funding the next short film project, Greenspoke, is going to be a little tricky. I tried something fun (this isn’t an original idea) of selling space in the credits on eBay. Do a search on eBay for Greenspoke to see the auction. Not sure if we’ll get any nibbles but I will keep you posted on what happens

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.

Off to Toronto!

Posted in Toronto with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2008 by Tom McIntire

We’re heading to the ReelHeART International Film Festival (RHIFF) in Toronto tomorrow morning. The shuttle arrives at the uncivilized hour of 4:35 am. That’s a nice time to come home after a long crazy evening – not  a great time to roll out of bed and comb your teeth, brush your hair, take the dog for a shower and do your business on the lawn.

I’m excited and nervous about the festival. two julias was my life for about a year – I made some lasting friendships, learned alot about working with actors and producing a film on a microbudget, and am proud of the piece we submitted. It’s wonderful to get into a festival in a big film town like Toronto. RHIFF has been great and I’ll be posting my impressions as Kurt and I spend time at the festival and in and around Toronto.

So where’s the zombie? And why is he smiling?

Posted in Introduction with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2008 by Tom McIntire

Smiling Zombie Productions is a Seattle-based film production company. Our recent production, two julias, is an official selection of the ReelHeART International Film Festival (RHIFF) in Toronto.

two julias, the story of a young woman seeking love online who gets caught up in an international counter-terrorism operation, premieres June 18 at 8 pm as part of a great RHIFF lineup.

Tom McIntire leads the Smiling Zombie team. His feature-length screenplay, The Smiling Zombie, made it through the first round in the Washington State Screenwriting Competition. Finalists will be announced July 1.