Multiverse Returns to Katra Film Series!

I'd like to tell you more about the film, but I'm drawing a blank.
I’d like to tell you more about the film, but I’m drawing a blank.

Rebecca and I are pleased to announce that Multiverse has been passed through to the second round of the 2015 Katra Film Series in NYC.

We’ll be screening the film again, at Katra, on the evening of 7/18. Head on over to Katra’s Facebook page for more info on the films playing and how to attend.

I plan to be there, and Rebecca will be in attendance as well. If you haven’t yet watched our creepy little film on a big screen, with a room full of other people — I recommend swinging by and trying the experience out. It’s uncomfortable! In a revealing way. I think.

Other great reasons for attending include:

  • To support your favorite neighborhood indie filmmakers (we’re now eligible to move on to the final round in January)
  • To watch other great shorts (films, not tiny pants)
  • We can high-five in person, or clink beer bottles, or share some hummus. They have hummus.

Hope to see you there! Let us know here, or on Facebook or Twitter, if you’re coming!

Coffee with Creatives (Podcast!): Fried and True

Hey, Coffee Fiends.

I write this dispatch from a hotel “business center” which is really just a bench behind where they serve the free coffee. It’s 7AM (I’m in San Francisco) and they just ran out of coffee, so I don’t know what’s real anymore.

Never mind. They replaced the coffee. We’re good. Back to the task at hand.

Coffee with Creatives is a podcast now. As you may recall, it seemed early on that this was the better way to go. Also, some people wrote in directly stating that a podcast version would make it easier for them to absorb the interviews. I do want to make things easier for you.

This week’s inaugural podcast episode is with Street Chef Sang Hoon “Heezy” Lee, of Zhà Pan Asian, winner of the 2014 Best of Market Vendy Award. We’re best buds, and had some fun, but we also talked seriously about the process of creating a quality product, and how to strategically grow while maintaining that quality. It’s a good conversation.

Don't let this fool you. Heezy is actually totally cereal about cooking.
Don’t let this fool you. Heezy is actually totally cereal about cooking.

I believe Coffee with Creatives is now on iTunes. That may be the best and most efficient way to listen right now. The show may not come up in search for a few more days, though, while it’s still new.

You can also listen right here:

Please share the episode if you like it! I would love to keep growing Coffee with Creatives, and that’s the number one way it’s going to happen.

Zhà's popular Asiancini taste about as good as they look. They also serve Korean Fried Chicken and Waffles.
Zhà’s popular Asiancini taste about as good as they look. They also serve Korean Fried Chicken and Waffles.

One last note — I am already having a blast doing this, but running a professional podcast like this does cost a bit of time and money. I am covering costs, will continue to do that, and the show will always be free…

…but if you enjoy the podcast and can afford it, please consider becoming a monthly supporter of the show on Patreon. Alternatively, you can make a one time donation by heading over to the Coffee with Creatives tab above, and contributing via PayPal.

Here’s a fun video about the whys and hows of all that:

I’m technically on vacation now, so I’m going to go drink more coffee and try to find a non-hotel option for breakfast. You’re all beautiful flowers. Yes. Even you, dude.

The Videoblogs Selected for Big Vision Empty Wallet’s 2015 Distribution Lab

After the lab, we will set our sights on completing the film and gearing up for next steps.
After the lab, we will set our sights on finishing the film and gearing up for next steps.

Hey, Team #VideoblogsFilm!

Rebecca and I are excited to announce that The Videoblogs has been selected to participate in Big Vision Empty Wallet’s 2015 Distribution Lab.

From BVEW’s site:

The goal of the program is to provide producers with the tools, information, and relationships they need to secure distribution deals for their films and be prepared for distribution.  Official education partners VHX and Seed&Spark will be instrumental in educating participants so they can optimize their projects to receive lucrative distribution deals and also plan for self distribution as a means to maintain ownership and make a profit, not as a last resort.

We’re very excited for this opportunity to better prepare for the eventual distribution of the film, to work with BVEW, VHX, and Seed&Spark (and other groups and pros) on our strategy, and to meet and engage with the other lab participants.

Here’s the announcement, that includes a bit more info, and links to summaries of the other selected projects: http://bigvisionemptywallet.com/distribution.

Thank you, again and as always, for all your help with making this film happen. We’ll continue to keep you posted on our progress.

602066_10100681300095942_1773576913_n (2)Like my style? Subscribe to my list for advanced/exclusive (and free!) access to new (creative) content produced by yours truly. I send one email per month

All About You (Survey)

This has nothing to do with the survey. I just want cookies.
This has nothing to do with the survey. I just want cookies. Now you do, too. See how well we work together?

Hey. You. Yeah! You.

I’ve been thinking about you. We’ve been together for a little while now. A few years, already, to be accurate.

I know. It feels like yesterday to me, too.

But let’s not talk about the past. I want to talk about the future.

Specifically, I’d like to know about your experience of this site. What do you like? Do you want more of something, less of other things? Do you want to see something new (that I can offer)?

Please let  me know by filling out the below. It will take less than 5 minutes.

Everything’s anonymous. My hope is that this will help give me a better idea of what’s working or not working for the majority of you, and/or what’s missing from your experience in visiting. I’m also considering some changes to the type of content that appears here, and want to know what you think.

Thank you in advance for your help!

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks! To that last point, you can Subscribe Here if you wish!

Multiverse at 2015 Katra Film Series

Edit: I forgot to mention that there’s a discount code for tickets. KATRA10.

"Do you know what you want?"
“Do you know what you want?”

Hey, Wonderful People.

Just a quick announcement that Multiverse will be screening again in its native NYC, this time at the Katra Film Series in Manhattan.

Details below! If you live in the city, please come by, say hello to me and Rebecca De Ornelas, and watch a bunch of other curated shorts. There will be drinks.

And there will be a vote at the end of the night. Per Katra’s site:

Each selected work will compete for the audience prize voted by the folks in attendance and the winning film will advance to the 2nd round which takes place in July.

Launched in the Summer of 2012, Katra Film Series screens a selection of quality shorts by emerging and award-winning filmmakers in NYC and provides a great networking platform for industry professionals. In partnership with Everyone Matters and Rhino Films the 2015 Grand Prize Winner will be awarded a one-on-one meeting with acclaimed Producer Stephen Nemeth from the Academy-Award Nominated The Sessions and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

We’d love to see you there! In fact, I’ll bring a few copies of my book as an additional incentive. Say hello, get a free book. Who says I don’t take good care of you?

2015 Katra Film Series – Sat. Feb 7th, 6pm-1030pm

217 Bowery St. between Rivington & Prince St.
New York, NY 10002

  • 2 for 1 house drink specials from 6p-8p
  • $15 advance online ticket sales (includes screenings, Q&A, and afterparty)
  • $20 door price (includes screenings, Q&A, after party)
  • Full dinner menu available

Multiverse Screening at Videology on 11/17

"Do you know what you want?"
“Do you know what you want?”

Just a quick announcement, for any interested NYC/Brooklyn area friends, that Multiverse will be screening at Videology this coming Monday, 11/17, as part of the bar’s LOCAL FILMMAKER SHOWCASE. The screening is for Short Shorts (tee-hee) and it begins at 8PM.

I unfortunately can’t make the screening BUT if you attend: 1) I have been told they have great nachos available, and 2) Let me know, and I will find a way to get a free copy of A Night Alone in My Dread out to you as a token of thanks.

The Videoblogs Monologues, Part 4: “Ramona”

Hello, wonderful readers (and Videoblogs supporters).

Here is the final installment in The Videoblogs Monologues. As a reminder, these videos were crowdsourced and produced as examples of what we’re aiming to accomplish with “Phase 2” or our project, which has been renamed The Videoblogs Dialogue.

More info on that here.

Also, today is our last day of funding for the film. We’re hugely grateful to be over 100% funded on Seed and Spark. But any additional contributions still make a difference and are appreciated. Reasons as to why can be found near the bottom of this post.

Ramona
Written by Kim Chinh
Starring Shyko Amos
Shot by Liam Billingham
Directed by Rebecca De Ornelas

Plans, Expectations, and HOLY SH*T

Woah. Thank you.
Woah. Thank you.

It’s part of the beauty (and sometimes the cruelty) of life — that it proceeds without regard to our plans or expectations. Which is my attempt at a more eloquent way of saying: Holy Sh*t.

The Videoblogs is currently 102% funded on Seed and Spark.

With a little less than two days to go.

How did we get here? The short answer is that a generous supporter, in the words of a pal, helped us “kick the door down”. We went from about 62% to 102% funded in an instant.

This was not planned or expected.

Before that, two friends from college had each contributed at a high level, to bring us to that previous point of 62%. What they had to say to me when I rushed out my sincere and surprised thanks — left me in tears.

Rebecca and I (and the whole team) are so very grateful for all of you. I cannot express that sentiment enough.

Thank you. Your support means the world to us. It serves as validation, and a reminder, that the struggle and the fighting is worth it. As I have said before — we promise to bring a great film to you.

Thank you.

So, where do we go from here?

Well, for the next few days, we would still encourage you to contribute if you can.

Here’s why:

  1. We’re already operating at a very limited budget level for a feature film. This is not at all a problem and we continue to be grateful to be in this position, but any additional funds past our goal WILL be similarly stretched to make challenges (and they will come) less challenging.
  2. We want you to see the film first. As summarized here, this film is also an experiment in helping to arrive at a model for sustainable, empowered indie filmmaking. Every person who simply “purchases” advance access to The Videoblogs via a $10 or $20 contribution is voting for this model. What does this mean? It means you’re helping us make the films that a growing subset of people want to see but which aren’t getting made by big business. We’re going to get The Videoblogs to you quickly, because you are our supporters. After that, who knows? It could take a year or longer before the film is otherwise made available.
  3. In line with our bootstrapped approach, we have not budgeted much money for post-production (editing) or marketing. This is because I can do most of it if I have to do it. But I am simply not as skilled or as efficient at certain elements of post as a professional editor, colorist, marketer, etc. And, even so, the completion of these tasks cost money. We may have to fundraise again next year for theses stages. I can promise you that if we end up with even a small surplus this time around, it will be stocked away to make that process easier.

It feels awkward to keep “the ask” open for these final days, despite our position, but these are in fact legitimate reasons. We would be doing the film, and those of you who have already supported us, a disservice by failing to be transparent about the fact that every additional little bit still helps.

The urgency, of course, is gone. I literally dreamed of puppies and kittens last night. And a few dead birds, because there are always going to be some dark corners in there.

But, let’s choose to focus on the brightness today. At least in this one regard. That’s not going to be a problem for me, I don’t think. Because all of you have made me proud to do what I do.

Cast Interview: Masha King + Final Days of Funding

We’re down to our final few days to fund The Videoblogs.

We’re getting there, but we still need your help to get the Green Light on Seed and Spark.

We're a STAFF PICK. And we are over 60% funded.
We’re a STAFF PICK. And we are over 60% funded.

If you’re able to contribute, please consider doing so today to help us build momentum heading into Friday. What we’d most like to do is show you the film. For $10, we’ll send you a download when it’s finished. For $20, we’ll mail a DVD.

In the meantime, here’s our very own Masha King (Cass) answering some questions about her role in the film:

Casting Announcement: Rebecca De Ornelas

Rebecca will be playing Margaret, the lead character, in The Videoblogs
Rebecca will be playing Margaret, the lead character, in The Videoblogs

I’m going to attempt to balance this post with a modicum of objectivity. I’m going to fail at this. It’s lucky for all of us that art is subjective, anyway. Except that it isn’t. Not quite. Moving on!

There’s a good reason why objectivity is hard. Rebecca De Ornelas is, quite simply, is one of the most amazing people I have ever met.

We’re married. Let’s get that out of the way for the few of you who don’t know it. But, while we’re at it, let’s get a few more things out of the way.

When I say Rebecca is amazing, I’m not speaking as her partner. I’m speaking as a person and as an artist who has followed her career for years.

Still, as someone who has shared a life with Rebecca over those same years, I have had the privilege of watching her arrive at “some next level shit”, recently, as an actor.

I’m not the sort of person who would be capable of deluding himself about something like this. Just like I’ll never be the sort of person who would collaborate with someone just because we’re married. Rebecca isn’t like that either. No one who worked with us on our first film together knew we were a couple until the shoot was almost over.

There’s a very specific reason why I’m excited to be working with Rebecca as the lead actor in The Videoblogs — the character already belongs to her.

In the beginning, the character, Margaret, was written for Rebecca. It’s one of the benefits to being part of a creative couple that you can create things together that work to each of your strengths. But I’ve also learned to grow as a writer and as a collaborative filmmaker in recent years by watching Rebecca work. She’s taught me a lot about the value of trusting a performer with the time and space he/she needs to create, and about how much value performance brings to things that may start on the page or on the screen but truly emerge from the humanity of the actor.

Last night, Rebecca and I started rehearsing her first “videoblog” scenes. I almost cried hearing “Margaret” bare her soul for the first time. This was after just three reads.

Quite simply, Rebecca is a great talent, as well as a wonderful person to work with. All of us on The Videoblogs team are excited to watch her bring Margaret to life.

Here’s a video of Rebecca answering some questions about the film and her character. Below is her bio.

We have just a few days left to get The Videoblogs funded on Seed and Spark. If you’re a fan of Rebecca, please consider contributing to the film before Friday.

A generous contributor is currently matching all contributions, up to $1,000. If you’re a fan of Rebecca consider picking up an advanced copy of the film to help us get it made 🙂

BIO

Rebecca keeps busy and she likes it that way.

Born in Flatbush, Brooklyn, to a Puerto Rican math teacher mom and a Portuguese fruit vendor dad, Rebecca learned the values of hard work and determination early on in life. These lessons helped her nurture her talents at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she trained at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. They also provided Rebecca with a foundation for her current further study with renowned acting teacher and coach, Alice Spivak, who enabled her to put aside some of her fancy training and loosen the hell up.

After a few years spent working to become a better actor (it never ends), Rebecca decided it wasn’t enough to just be “in things” – she wanted to make them too. Spurred by her tireless work ethic (see above Portuguese Dad reference) and by the wonderfully creative people she has surrounded herself with over time, Rebecca co-produced the ambitious neo-noir crime drama featurette, Sex and Justice. Made with the help of friends and family, Sex and Justice was predominantly shot on a set built in a potato chip warehouse in Rhode Island. Rebecca and Writer/Director Michael DiBiasio then self-distributed the film, holding screenings at the Historic Columbus Theater in Providence, RI and at Tribeca Cinemas in NYC. The film was well-liked and well-reviewed but an overly ambitious business plan left them out of money and they were forced to live off free potato chips- more lessons learned!

Armed with additional knowledge and perspective, Rebecca went on to co-produce and star in Multiverse, a dramatic sci-fi short, which is available now to view. Rebecca is also a member of Alice Spivak’s OnTheRoad Repertory Company, formed in collaboration with her advanced acting classes made up of working actors. OnTheRoad produces revivals and original plays in and around New York City. With OTR, she will be playing Amy in George Kelly’s The Show-Off.

Rebecca is a member of SAG-AFTRA.