Friday, January 29, 2010

The Day After!

Yesterday I did my experiment...the one were I willed myself to have a good day. I only allowed positive thinking, and I forced myself to be happy. It worked. Holy shit, I had a great day.

Today sucked though...Just don't have enough oommp to keep those happy vibes going for two days in a row. Tonight I will wallow in my own misery.

Tomorrow, maybe I will try the happy dance again? Are you seeing a pattern...Hummm, maybe I will write a book, "How to get off the middle aged angst roller coaster"? It would have to be a book of interviews with a variety of people who have accomplished this, cause God knows I sure haven't.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ever have one of those days?

Every have one of those days where everything you touch goes wrong? By the time the evening rolls around you wonder why you bothered getting out of bed? Well, I had one of those days, yesterday. I won't get into the reasons because that will just get me into trouble. But I am sure you all know what I am talking about. I woke this morning just a bit afraid of what lay ahead. I then decided you know what if I will the bad vibes away perhaps, they will go away. So today is going to be an experiment for me...As negativity threatens to engulf me I will WILL it away. Be gone bad karma, be gone nasty thoughts, hello positivity.

God, I am making myself nauseous with positive thoughts. How do happy people get through life? If I was always happy I think I might consider suicide. Anger and angst two ingredients in creating masterful art!

So I am off, wish me luck. I will report my finding tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Another day, another screening

Saturday night...big night for me. Saturday night I will be screening my new short film "Honest you won't get hooked" for a handful of the actors who were in the film. On a scale of 1-10 with one being "easy breezy" to 10 being "oh shit I am tense", this screening will be a 1.5. When you show actors a films they very rarely judge the film or anything outside of their performance. Whew, I can relax. But I do plan on doing something different. I am going to videotape this screening, do some interviews, and then release the piece onto YouTube, so that you all can see their reaction. Won't show you the film but will show you the actors reacting to themselves. Ummm could be interesting or it could be dullsville. I guess you will be the judge.

There will also be some other releases soon, all building to the screening on February 27. Hey on another note, good part of the screening one of the film producers will perform. This producer is actually one of Edmonton's leading singer/songwriters Dale Ladouceur. So yeah, she is going to do a set so even if you hate the film you will probably like the music and it will be free.

In case you missed it, below is the link to the shows music video.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I now have a blog. So what does that mean? Do I have to update it daily, weekly, monthly...or once in a blue moon. Do I have a responsibility to the 9 followers. Do they really care what I have to say or are they just really kind friends.

Well, it's Wednesday, I did some grocery shopping, and I have nothing to say. Hmmm, having a blog is kind of like Twitter. Okay, who is with Twitter not the dumbest thing you have ever heard of. I use it and feel terrible. I feel like a narcissist, who constantly must tell people what is going on in my dull, average life. How can I even remotely think someone might be interested by the fact that I just got back from grocery shopping. Okay, I don't do that, I don't use Twitter the way it was meant to be used...but I just don't have that kind of conceit. Or am I a hypocrite as I spout off about all my ideas and thoughts here on my new blog.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Honest you won't get hooked"- The Music Video

So, today marks the release of the music video "Honest you won't get hooked" from the short film of the same name. It was written and performed by two local young ladies; Colleen Nuc and Brittany Black. It will be used as the opening title sequence of the film. Hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Film Screening Hell!

It's over, my first screening with someone who hasn't seen anything of the film. One of the producers and the woman who is doing publicity...and I got the impression they both really liked it. So that is over, the rest will be easier.

Watch for the music video which will be coming to a You Tube near you. Don't panic, you won't have to go look, we will be sending you all links.

So I was sitting contemplating the problems with our industry and realized there are so many where do I start. Well the one bone of contention is funding. The art grants suck. They are not always based on content but many times are judged on how well the application was done and whether or not you made mistakes. Case in point, last year I applied for an AFA grant to for the film I just did. I applied as an individual, that was what the grant was for (I understood this). In the questionnaire, I was asked if I am connected to any production companies and if so what are they called. I wrote down my company name "Hired Gun Productions Inc". So I wait the 4 months to get a letter stating that I have been disqualified because you can't be connected to an Incorporated company...even though I was applying as an individual (I guess if you have a company you no longer matter as a person). What really frosted me,is that they waited 4 months to reject my application when all they needed to do was give me a call to straighten out the issue...but no its easier to knock another one of the list...I said fuck it, and made the film for nothing...thank god they have grants to help with all this. Maybe it's just me, but I think there is a better way and I have the answer...I am sure of it!

First screenings

The hardest part of doing a film is that eventually you have to show it to someone. To date, everyone who has seen it has been involved with it which isn't fair because there is a bias. Today, I am showing one of the producers and the publicist a first view. Sure they are not unbiased either...but I need to ease into the screenings. Next weekend I will show it to a couple of the actors and then I will branch out to the great unwashed.

Sometimes, at least for me you really need to play head games. A film is such a personal part of you there is a hesitation to put it out there. But you have to do it. That is why you did the film to begin with. You wanted to tell a story, deliver a message, communicate a thought. I hope people get the message in my film. I know I will offend some, but that is okay...the people I offend I really wasn't trying to reach.

So far I have had only one bad review, and that came from someone who only saw a rough cut. They may still hate it now that it's done...but at least now it is what was intended to be. I really protect rough cuts from people who don't need to see them. It is very difficult to judge a film from the rough cut, you get an idea if it has a flow, but it is not till it's finished that you really see if it has legs or not.

Oh well time to go, wish me luck...hope the 2 people that see it today enjoy it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

"Honest you won't get hooked

So my film is finished. The comedy "Honest you won't get hooked" will be screened on Saturday February 27Th with the location to be confirmed. It will then be available on my website as of March 1st. It was a great project ...I got to work with some incredible actors; Murray Cullen, Linda Grass, Andy Northrup, Laura Rushfeldt and Rick Ash as the voice of Jesus, just to name a few...Definitely some of Edmonton's finest. Watch this blog and the Facebook group for more information, a commercial, and a music video will also be released very soon.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Honest you won't get hooked-Post is almost done.

Color Correction done. Thanks to some great notes from my buddy Mr Doyle it looks even better then before. This afternoon we put in the final audio and add all credits. It will be the first time I see it completed and I am looking forward to it. Some folks are seeing it on Monday and I am bit nervous. The one thing I try to always keep in mind is that if it satisfies my toughest critic (Me) then I have to be okay with some people just not liking it. I have been told that I sometimes have a weird sense of humour...Now that is hard for me to believe.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I want to do a feature film!

I am really wanting to get a feature film of the ground. It's a comedy and I have already written the 1st draft. It is called "Stella's dead and in the back of the Truck". I want to do it really bad. Its a mix of Live action and animation and I think (naturally, why wouldn't I) it will be a winner. So I figure I can do the film for as little as 1.5 million dollars. I know if your not in the business your thinking as little as, what the fuck? That's a lot of dough. It really isn't for a movie. So the plan is that everyone invests...and you get different things depending on the different level of investment.
$1,000.00-I say thank you!
$5,000.00-I send a nice thank you letter!
$10,000.00-I say thank you and send you a nice thank you letter!
$15,000.00-You get a walk on role!
$20,000.00-you get a walk on role and a line!
$25,000.00-you get a secondary character role with a couple of lines!
$50,000.00-you get a secondary role with three recurrences!
$100,000.00-You can have sex with the female or male lead!
$250,000.00-You can have sex with the female or male lead (your choice)!
$500,000.00-Hi Star!
$1,000,000.00-Hi Producer!
$1,500,000.00-Hi Executive Producer!

At for example the $1,000.00 investment...I would only need a thousand investors...I think I can do this.

The film is almost done

Day 3 of my blog. Missed yesterday, too busy. So I am excited, my film "Honest you won't get hooked" is almost done...I saw all the graphics and green screen work today, looks fantastic thanks to Lisa and Susanne. I listened to the audio post yesterday and it sounded incredible...thanks to Jerry Krepakavich from Sonus. Tomorrow I color correct and master and it will be plenty of time for the February 27 screening. I am going to include a link to the facebook group so that if anyone is interested in learning more about this film and watch some of the social engine marketing we hope to experiment with they should join up. I want as many people as possible to be able to attend the screening, it is after all... a free screening only 26 minutes long.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

First day of my blog.

and here it is my second post. I figure why not it's January, Tuesday, nothing on TV, well till 8pm anyway and then its "The Good Wife". I want to hate US fare, but it's hard. Its so easily digestible and not hard on the brain. I heard a fellow talk a few months back, he was one of the producers of an American sitcom called "Samantha Who". Well to make a long story, slightly longer he mentioned that the show had a budget of 2.2 million per 22 minute episode. 2.2 million for 22 minutes. In Canada that is two feature films and maybe a documentary or two. Makes you wonder why we bother. But yet it is so crucial to support Canadian film and television. Why? Because believe it or not we are different. We live a different life and we have our own unique stories. Case in point, anyone watch the short lived CBC series "Hatching, Matching and Dispatching"? It was brilliant! Sick, twisted, incredibly funny and completely and totally Canadian like only the east coast can do. But I can't talk much longer..."The Good Wife" is about to start and I need to pour myself a Diet Pepsi before sitting down. Is there such a thing as product placement in a blog? I wonder, can I make some money doing that? I have a few more thoughts on Canadian television and film so if your interested stay posted.

Honest you won't get hooked

Hello, my name is Ben and I am an independent filmmaker living in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. I am just about to complete my 10Th short film titled "Honest you won't get hooked" . Its a dark comedy about the perils of cigarette smoking. A friend recently suggested I start a blog and well, here it is. You will soon realize I am very opinionated and I am not afraid to speak my mind which always seems to get me in trouble with someone. Oh well, such is life...I am who I am.

One of my biggest peeves is the state of the Canadian film industry so you will be hearing a lot about that from me. It is tough being an artist in a country that doesn't really like artists and does very little too support art. It has a lot to do with living next to country that doesn't respect you and living with a government that is too chicken shit to stand up to them. So anyway this is my first contribution to a blog. I hope all who read it find it educational, enjoyable, perhaps offensive and most importantly humorous. Talk to you soon.