Monday, December 29, 2008

RACING DAYLIGHT Races Heart Beat

Lorna London Sloukji
BellaOnline's Entertainment News Editor

Racing Daylight races heart beat

"I always knew I would end up insane," says Sadie Stokes, one of the protagonists in Nicole Quinn's Racing Daylight.

A story that encompasses ghosts, murder, passion, and love, Racing Daylight unfolds three stories, told from three different perspectives.

The first story shown is Sadie's, a lonely woman living in the country who takes care of her sick grandmother. Played by Melissa Leo, Sadie's life becomes saturated with colour and adventure when she sees a man in her mirror that calls the name "Anna". Sadie then begins to act out as her ancestor, Anna exemplifying characteristics of boldness, much more different than her original personality.

We learn that Sadie and Anna both want Henry, played by David Strathairn, the farm's handyman who "Anna" mistakes for Harry, her lover.

We also see the love and mystery story unfold through Henry's perspectives. Played by David Strathairn, Henry's storytelling unravels his relationship with Anna, leading to another man in Anna's life, which then results in yet another perspective. Edmund's story discloses even more information, as viewers learn more about Anna, the two men in her life, and what happened to her to cause such inner turmoil.

Award-winning writer and theatre director, Nicole Quinn makes her feature film directorial debut with Racing Daylight, a story rich with plot and character development.

Reviews for Racing Daylight have commended its narrative structure, performances, and overall presentation.

"Excellent work!" says director, Seret Scott. "Every element (cast, crew, designers, editors, writer-director) everybody was completely on-board in making (this) moving, frightening, visually stunning film."

Writer and director, Nicole Quinn endured many hardships including losing loved ones. She wrote Racing Daylight amidst all the rapid changes in her life, declaring this screenplay as "a map through the then unknown land of grief."

Is this another chick flick? Another love story with complex characters? If you enjoy symbolism, question your haunting past, or wonder about the transcendence of time, then Racing Daylight is simply a great film full of colourful characters, astounding performances, and a solid screenplay.
"If you don’t mind that some things in life are not readily explainable, then this may well be a journey you’d like to take," says Quinn.

Racing Daylight released on DVD December 23, 2008.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

WHY RACING DAYLIGHT?

My mother died in august of 2000. My brother informed me, at her funeral, that he had four months to live. He lived six. Three months after he died my sister was told that the goiter she'd had removed the year before had been mispathologized and that she actually had a rare form of cancer; medullary carcinoma of the thyroid; from which she died after two years of multiple surgeries and numerous drugs.

I wrote RACING DAYLIGHT in the midst of this life changing season. It became a map through the then unknown land of grief. A place everyone visits and from which some never return. I knew then that I would make this film, it seemed so important.

Many will watch RACING DAYLIGHT and see the quirky characters, the sweet small town, and the lack of overt sex and violence and think of it as a 'girl' movie. And to that I reply, what's wrong with 'girl' movies? 52% of our population are female, and yet we talk about cinema targeted at this segment of the population as if it is second class by virtue of its 'girl' or 'chick' moniker. Its content often the stuff of life; love, loss, hope ... is a 'dick' flick (thank you, Gloria Steinam for the phrase) with guns, bombs, violence, and in-your-face pornography somehow more accurately reflective of the human condition? Is this the world to which we aspire? I hope not.

It is hard to get a film made. For men and women. It is even harder to gain distribution. Thank you VANGUARD for seeing our film as a story, well crafted, well told, and peopled with amazing actors. It's a subtle ride, so if you're looking to be hit in the face with fast paced action, this may not be for you. BUT ... If you are compelled by subtlety. If you like puzzles. If you don't mind that some things in life are not readily explainable, then this may well be a journey you'd like to take.

Come visit us in Cedarsville. The countryside is beautiful and the ghosts are friendly.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

RACING DAYLIGHT FEATURED IN NETFLIX TOP TEN DVDS RELEASE LISTS

MovieJuice: December 23th 2008 New Releases!!
Mainstream Releases 12-23-09 {16}
robowriter new dvds 12-23-08 +starter+ {29+}
New DVD Releases 12/23/08
New DVD Releases 12-23-08

Also Featured in the following Top 10 lists:
Phatz' New DVD Releases 12-23-08 {44+} CURRENT
*CURRENT* New DVDs week 12/23, +27th {54 Titles}
Mainstream Releases 12-23-09 {16}


*All lists on Netflix

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

EXTRA SCREENINGS AT ROSENDALE!

Uncle Tony and Michael Cacchio have advertised our film as screening at the ROSENDALE THEATER TUEDAY, WEDNESDAY and THURSDAY 12/16-12/18 5PM.

We'll be there! Will you?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

THOUGHTS ON WOMEN AND AGING

Ethel Michelson of Rosendale sent me this quote from an Alternet Digest article:

"The thoughtful film critic Wesley Morris, for instance, praises the face of Melissa Leo, a 40-year-old actress in "Frozen River," for its "amazing and unlimited capacity for solemnity,grief, despair and rage. If you've been to a movie lately, you know what an un-nipped, untucked, Botox-free miracle that face is."

I agree, it's a lovely miracle map of a life, Melissa's beautiful face.

Friday, December 12, 2008

RACING DAYLIGHT AT ROSENDALE!

We open our dvd release run tonight: Dec. 12 until Dec 18th. 5pm nightly. We have dvds to selll!!!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

TONS OF SPIRIT!

CONGRATULATIONS to MELISSA LEO and the many women of FROZEN RIVER who are thawing hearts at the box office!

RACING DAYLIGHT, our lovely film starring MELISSA LEO releases on dvd December 23rd after its one week run at my favorite movie theater; The ROSENDALE THEATER!

We will have dvds to sell, they make nice holiday gifts and stocking stuffers!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

MELISSA LEO IN "LIMBO ROOM" AT ROSENDALE THEATER

Melissa Leo is hosting a screening of LIMBO ROOM at the Rosendale Theater, she will be available for a q&a after the film.

Plot: When an on stage rape scene sparks an offstage affair, the line between reality and fiction becomes blurred.

Directed by Debra Eisenstadt
Written by Debra Eisenstadt and Jill Eisenstadt

The owners of the Rosendale Theater, Tony and Michael Cacchio, are true champions of independent films and the people who make them.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mystery piano in woods perplexes police

A friend sent me a note this a.m. with this article.

the note:

For some reason this story reminded me of your armoire in the woods...


the article:

Mystery piano in woods perplexes police

By Josh Levs
CNN

(CNN) -- Was it a theft? A prank? A roundabout effort to bring some holiday cheer to the police? Authorities in Harwich, Massachusetts, are probing the mysterious appearance of a piano, in good working condition, in the middle of the woods.
A police officer examines an oddly placed piano in the woods of Harwich, Massachusetts.

Discovered by a woman who was walking a trail, the Baldwin Acrosonic piano, model number 987, is intact -- and, apparently, in tune.

Sgt. Adam Hutton of the Harwich Police Department said information has been broadcast to all the other police departments in the Cape Cod area in hopes of drumming up a clue, however minor it may be.

But so far, the investigation is flat.

Also of note: Near the mystery piano -- serial number 733746 -- was a bench, positioned as though someone was about to play.

The piano was at the end of a dirt road, near a walking path to a footbridge in the middle of conservation land near the Cape.

It took a handful of police to move the piano into a vehicle to transport it to storage, so it would appear that putting it into the woods took more than one person.

Asked whether Harwich police will be holding a holiday party in the storage bay -- tickling the ivories, pouring eggnog -- while they await word of the piano's origin and fate, Hutton laughed. No such plans.
Harwich police have had some fun, though. Among the photos they sent to the news media is one of Officer Derek Dutra examining the piano in the woods. The police entitled the photo "Liberace."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Review from fellow filmmaker at S.N.O.B. Jill Wisoff

Review from fellow filmmaker at S.N.O.B. Jill Wisoff. Jill's film CREATING KARMA was a wacky comedy, Winner of the Broad Humor Film Festival. Thanks, Jill!

RACING DAYLIGHT, the kickoff film which I talked about in my first post, was a flawless indie dramatic feature offering. Directed by Nicole Quinn who hails from Ulster County, NY, the film is a romance and ghost story told from the point of view of different characters and jumps in time from the Civil War period to the present. Fascinating, clever, amusing and well crafted dialogue, acceptable production values with thoughtful choices of staging to take advantage of the HD medium, and excellent editing make this a not miss on the indie circuit and, as well, the film will be released worldwide through Vanguard. To boot, the film is entertaining with a fantastic performance by David Strathairn (who I notice is a darling of indies lately...the last film I saw him in was the short "The Shovel" but this film is a SMORGASBORD of David in a feature as the romantic lead...what a fascinating and fun actor to watch). Melissa Leo plays the complicated "haunted" woman. Sarah Plant "dressed" this film with her amazing and unique music score. The ensemble of actors were professional and effective all around (and indeed though this was an indie Nicole apparently asked and got not only Hollywood stars like David, but amazing tech on this from talent that wanted to work on the film after reading the script). I look forward to Nicole's next feature and offer congratulations to all production and cast members who were smart enough to work on this project, putting aside perhaps their usual fees, because they wanted to help realize this intelligent script.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Understanding Exclusion

If, as the UC Santa Barbara team of Professors Bielby and Bielby have asserted, "All Hits are Flukes: institutionalized decision making and the rhetoric of network prime-time program development", (American Journal of Sociology), and I have to say their study is pretty convincing on the subject. If all hits are flukes, then it becomes imperative for "institutions" (studios) to create rhetoric in support of their predictions of future success, for their own survival.

The study goes on to tell us that much of the rhetoric created, or the assumptions used to measure future success, are predicated on the concepts of 'imitation', 'repetition', and 'reputation' as the hallmarks of predictable success. Hm... so if you weren't there, haven't done it before, or don't pretend to be what went before, you are considered a 'high risk'. Though in fact, the 'new' idea has as much chance out of the gate as the old. Interesting, the subtle equation of exclusion.

Women and minorities are excluded from the cultural conversation by these assumptions, which are, in essence, speculations, trotted out as fact, when a film or television show is scrutinized for its success potential in the market place.

'Speculation' then is wielded as a tool of fact by which others are excluded.

If all hits are flukes, then there is no one sure model. And every time someone champions a past success in relation to my dreams, that 'valued' opinion' needs to be leveraged against the truth. The truth is that I have as much chance of predicting success as the thirty year old studio white guy. Maybe more, as I live among the people, not in the land of holly and wood, and my tastes are directly influenced by the people I meet at ball games and the library, etc. The problem; I have to greenlight and finance my own projects in order to change the conversation to something which interests me.

And soon, if my flukes hit, I too will be the one imitated, repeated and reputed. And as long as I remain outside of the 'institutions' I can continue to move forward, creating worlds anew without having to reflect exclusively on what went before.

So, the lesson I take away from this is that I no longer look to the paradigm to affirm or negate what I do. I give myself permission to create and dream worlds not readily available on my screens. Onward!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Racing Daylight review from Kansas City Star, A'n'E Vibe!

Rating: unrated

DVD RELEASE: December 23rd 2008

4 Stars

Reviewer: Deborah Ground Buckner

Writer and director Nicole Quinn tells a haunting Southern story in Racing Daylight. The film is three short films together, each presented from a different viewpoint. When they are viewed in their entirety, they become pieces of an intricate puzzle uncovering a story of lost love and attempts to regain it in another lifetime.

In Sadie, Sadie Stokes (Melissa Leo) has returned to Cedar County to care for her Grandma (Leclanche Durand) nearing the end of life. “There have always been Stokes' in Cedar County,” but Sadie and Grandma are the end of the line. Sadie has a crush on Henry (Academy Award-nominated David Strathairn), her grandmother's handyman, but she can't get a word out in his presence. One night, Sadie sees a face in her mirror, a man who calls “Anna!” then disappears. Sadie learns the gossip of her ancestor, Anna, who left her husband, Edmund, and their son to run away with Edmund's cousin, Harry. Anna begins to take possession of Sadie, bringing out a new side who shops for fashionable clothing and becomes the aggressor in her relationship with Henry.

The second film of the trilogy is Edmund. Set in Civil War time, the costumes and settings recreate the period, nicely aided by haunting fiddle music. Edmund's story of life without Anna is told, as he lives with his mother and young son. Just as Sadie, in the present time, found herself haunted by spirits of the past, Edmund, in the past, is haunted by Sadie's return to the present time, seeing glimpses of Anna in her movements. The concept that different times exist simultaneously and face these intersections is enthralling.

The third film, Henry, returns to present day and gives Henry an opportunity to relate his feelings for Sadie and his observations of her behavior as Anna casts her spells. David Strathaim's portrayal is wonderful, bringing a gentle, but intelligent folksiness to Henry whose quiet life of labor and memorizing Civil War facts is turned upside.

Without announcing from the beginning it is a mystery, the film becomes one, gradually fitting together the clues and culminating in a moment of resolution and redemption. It is a moving experience, a mix of pathos and humor, just as life has always been through the ages.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

OUR FIRST DVD REVIEW!

Racing Daylight

By Ed Grant -- Video Business, 11/10/2008
VANGUARD
Street: Dec. 23
Prebook: Nov. 14
> Unconventional chick flick toys with time-travel.


A clever variation on Akira Kuro-sawa’s Rashomon, this time-traveling romance presents three points of view on events in present and post-Civil War America. The film is smartly scripted by director Nicole Quinn, but its strongest suit is its cast. Melissa Leo (Righteous Kill) plays the schizo lead character, a present-day woman who has hallucinations that she is her 1860s ancestor. The superb David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck) steals the picture as the man she loves in both eras, who solves her dilemma when he turns into a third-act narrator who explains most—but not all—of what we have seen.

Shelf Talk: Racing Daylight is hard to categorize, but it is most like memory and time-travel chick flicks The Lake House and The Notebook. Target female viewers looking for a slightly offbeat “timeless romance” with a comfortably happy conclusion.

Drama, color, NR (nothing offensive), 83 min., DVD $19.95
Extras: none
Director: Nicole Quinn
First Run: DVD premiere

Monday, November 10, 2008

BEST FEATURE, S.N.O.B. FILM FESTIVAL

Thanks to Felicia Menard and the rest of the board of the S.N.O.B. Film Festival in Concord New Hampshire for inviting us to participate, for making us feel so welcome ,and for awarding our film on top of it all.

The audiences were smart and with it. The questions delightful. All in all a wonderful time. Grass roots growing strong!

Friday, November 7, 2008

ROSENDALE THEATER DEC.12-18

In our bid for an Independent Spirit Award Nomination we will have a one week theatrical run at the Rosendale Theater, Rosendale, NY, Decemebr 12-18, 2008, 5pm nightly.

Thank you Michael and Uncle Tony for enabling us in this way. In the name of independent filmmakers everywhere THANKS!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

S.N.O.B. NOVEMBER 7TH!

We're the opening night film at the S.N.O.B. Film Festival in concord, NH. S.N.O.B., an acronym for Somewhat North Of Boston, has invited us to open their grassroots festival this Friday at the Red River Theater in concord.

We are thrilled!!! Thanks so much to Felicia Menard and the Holiday Inn, and all of the crew who are hosting us in New Hampshire.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

ROSENDALE THEATER IN DECEMBER!

We have entered our film-that-could into the Independent Spirit Awards, specifically for the John Cassavetes Award. To qualify, a film must have had a commercial theatrical release of at least one week before December 31, 2008.

MIchael and Tony Cacchio of the Rosendale Movie Theater, the oldest movie theater in the US run by the same family, have come to our rescue and have offered us the required theater time. We will return to the Rosendale Movie Theater, where we premiered for a hometown audience May 2007, this December. Dates to be announced soon.

And if we get a nomination and you're an IFP member please vote for us!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

THANKS NYWIFT/CWNY!

And to Two Boots Pioneer as well. Such a charming venue. A great receptive audience came out in the torrential rain. We are grateful for your time and thoughtful questions.

And thanks to the cast and crew who continue to show up! You rock!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

NYWIFT/CWNY Screening OCT 28

A reminder:

NYWIFT/CineWomen Screening Series
presents Racing Daylight

Sophia Raab, Producer, Nicole Quinn, Director
Tuesday, October 28
6:30 PM
Two Boots Pioneer Theater
155 East 3rd Street
(between Avenues A and B)
 
Tickets:
$6.50 CWNY/NYWIFT/IFP members
(must show membership card)
and Students/Groups/Pioneer members
$10.00 General Public
Buy Tix at
www.twoboots.com/pioneer

or call 800-595-4849

Cash only at the box office.
 
Afterparty at:
ELLA
9 Avenue A
(bet 1st & 2nd Streets)
Free Pizza / Cash Bar
Happy Hour Specials
$5 Beer, $6 Wine/Well Drinks
$2 off Specialty Cocktails
Attending the Q&A following the screening: Director/writer Nicole Quinn, producer Sophia Raab, director of photography Stephen Harris, editor Jamie Kirkpatrick, composer Sarah Plant and cast member(s)
 
Racing Daylight is a ghost story, a murder mystery and a love story which crosses time. What happens when time collides? Sadie thinks she's going insane. Edmund's sure he's being haunted. And Henry, well Henry's racing daylight.

Told as three short movies Racing Daylight is the story of Sadie Stokes (Melissa Leo) who's returned to the family farm to care for her catatonic Grandma (Leclanche Durand). There have always been Stokes in Cedarsville. Sadie and Grandma are the last. Sadie's life has been pretty colorless until the man appears in the mirror calls her "Anna!" and then fades away. As Sadie takes on the characteristics of her ancestor, Anna Stokes, she realizes that they both want the same thing, they both want Henry (David Strathairn) the farm's idiosyncratic handyman/civil war junkie. Only Anna thinks Henry is her long lost Harry (David Strathairn).

This magical love story of hope and forgiveness is set against the backdrop of the Hudson River Valley, with light that glows from the inside out, and specifically the Shawangunk Ridge; home to Revolutionary war battles, the Underground Railroad, Native Americans and Dutch settlers.

Academy Award Nominee David Strathairn (Goodnight and Good Luck) stars opposite Melissa Leo (The 3 Burials of Malquiades Estrada, 21Grams) and Leclanche Durand (Sleepless in Seattle), along with Sabrina Lloyd (Sports Night, Ed, Sliders), Jason Downs (Hairspray, Clara's Heart), Giancarlo Esposito (The Usual Suspects, Do the Right Thing) Denny Dillon (Dream On, Saturday Night Live), and John Seidman (Jeffrey) in this love story which crosses time.

Friday, October 10, 2008

RACING DAYLIGHT OPENS S.N.O.B. FESTIVAL!

Thanks for inviting us!

S.N.O.B. Invited us to become friends and to submit our film through MYSPACE. It proves it works, this self-promoter friendly medium, the internet.

As independent filmmakers, with product to sell, niche markets to woo, we're always looking for event screens. We don't have a P&A budget, which we will have the next time around, enough at least for a stockpile of screeners and niche festival entry fees.

That's been our great revelation. If you're not married to the traditional model of theatrical release, and then on to ancillary markets, and are clear about where and who you think your audience is, (especially if your film straddles genres) you can drive your film towards that audience, see if it flies, sort of test drive it for potential distributors.

Straight to DVD is not the failure it once was. It used to be 'actors' wouldn't do tv, it was seen as a a comedown. Now some of the best work is on tv. The advent of cable as a player forced a more competitive market. If theatrical is only the commercial (taking into account the blockbuster exceptions and Hollywood accounting), the independent filmmaker only inflates the cost of the film by venturing there, and yet needs the exposure in order compete for viewers. So much product, so many choices.

The internet and its social interacting networks have become clear avenues of distributing information to niche consumers.

Grass roots audience building for us. And until the walls of restricted access are built, one can still pioneer in cyberspace.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

VANGUARD GIVES US THE WORLD!

Vanguard Cinema International will be releasing RACING DAYLIGHT on dvd in the U.S. and Canada December 23rd!

We have just signed a worldwide contract with Vanguard and are delighted to be seen around the world on Vanguard's arm. We are honored by their faith in our title and by the credibility this lovely label affords us. onward!


Friday, September 26, 2008

RACING DAYLIGHT @ S.N.O.B. FESTIVAL

We have been invited to screen at the S.N.O.B. Festival in Concord New Hampshire! The festival runs from Nov 7-9.

Thanks so much for including us.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

RACING DAYLIGHT SCREENS: CINEWOMEN NY/NYWIFT

Tuesday, October 28th in the NYWIFT/CWNY Screening Series at the Two Boots Pioneer Theater! The screening will start at 6:30. The afterparty is to be announced.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY!

Stephen Harris's beautiful images have garnered us a "Best Cinematography" award at the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival.. thanks so much!

Monday, September 15, 2008

RACING DAYLIGHT SCREENS: TROMADANCE IN INDIANA AND THE CANNES IN A VAN FESTIVAL AT THE MOVIUM IN LONDON!!!

We're thrilled to have been included in these very special festivals:


Lloyd Kaufman, B-movie king, has expanded his festival to the midwest:

SUMMER Tromadance Film Festival

September 26th-28th in Franklin Indiana, Indiana University New Expanded Version of the Tromadance Film Festival Partnering With The B Movie Celebration/ The Indy Film Co-op

AND

The Cannes in a Van Film Festival @ The Movieum Of London

Saturday, September 6, 2008

RACING DAYLIGHT ON NETFLIX!

It's the little tings. I have to say, it was quite a thrill when our movie poster came up on Netflix this morning!

Our official DVD release date is December 23rd, all the usual places are taking pre-orders and we will be selling off the site as well.

We will be screenigng at the NEW YORK FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL - NEW YORK on September 19th - Village Cinemas East at 6pm.

And again in Brooklyn on September 28 LIU's Kumble Theatre with REEL SISTERS OF THE DIASPORA FILM FESTIVAL AND LECTURE SERIES.

We are so proud to be screened by both of these wonderful organizations.

Friday, August 15, 2008

RACING DAYLIGHT WINS BEST FEATURE NY YORK FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL!!!

Our Los Angeles premiere was at the New York Film and Video Festival in Los Angeles, where we won the top prize and Melissa Leo took Best Actress and Giancarlo Best Supporting Actor.

Thanks so much to the festival! We are proud and honored.

DVD date due soon. It's looking like just before Christmas.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

THELMA ADAM'S BLOG: FROZEN RIVER

When I saw Frozen River last January at Sundance, it knocked me out. IMDB I'd been a Melissa Leo fan since she played Det. Sgt. Kay Howard on Homicide: Life on the Street. We became friends through the Woodstock Film Festival, and I adore Racing Daylight, her movie with David Strathairn that has yet to get theatrical distribution. When I saw Frozen River (FR), I discovered that when an actress who's also a friend appears on screen, it's doubly interesting because you're rooting for her, and you want her to be great, and you know she can be great. I saw the drama about two struggling single mothers forging a friendship while smuggling on the NY-Canadian border, and I literally wept in two ways. I wept because this particular story moved me emotionally but, also, to watch someone you love create a work of art is extremely affecting. And, over the process of becoming an advocate for FR that week in Park City, I bumped into Michael Barker and Tom Bernard of Sony Pictures Classics at a screening. I told them they had to see FR: it's tremendous, I told them; it's adult and has Melissa Leo, you know her from 21 Grams and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, and she should be on the Oscar track. And, by festival's end, not only had Michael and Tom bought FR, but Quentin Tarantino and the jury awarded it best narrative feature and it went on to open New Directors/New Films at MOMA. Last month, I sat down beside Melissa for a chat:

Thelma Adams: Melissa, when did you step into FR to play Ray Eddy?
Melissa Leo: Five years ago-ish, I was in Chatham, NY with James Schamus [Focus Features]. He'd brought 21 Grams up there for a screening. At the after-party, a wide-eyed blond-haired gal came up to me and said 'I have a short, will you read it?' And I said, 'sure.' I read a script called Frozen River about two characters: the blond and the native; they didn't even have names. About four years ago, [writer-director] Courtney Hunt, [co-star] Misty Upham and I went up to Massena, NY and shot the short. After, I saw that short and was very impressed by what she had done, Courtney said, 'wanna do the feature?' And I said, 'oh, I didn't know you had one,' and 'sure, let's do the feature." So every six, eight months I would call Courtney and say, "Are we going to make that movie?" And she would say, "oh, yeah, no, I'll get right back to you," so I would kick-start her again to go look for the financing. Eventually we found it in her own backyard through her husband and his business associates.
TA: Melissa, your character is tough, and yet when her sons are around, her behavior is warm, natural. When Ray Eddy's getting ready for work and the younger son is there, there's a real bond. I know you have a great connection with children - I've seen that with my own daughter - and you're really present and you can see that on screen.
ML: What you have to realize is that little actor never acted before -- and he wasn't sure that he wanted to. So, it took a lot of work with me and the older boy and sometimes Courtney as well. Sometimes there are actually all three of us off-camera with the little boy on screen prodding him in this direction, prodding him in that direction.
TA: FR was in development for years, but when the money came did it happen quickly?
ML: It was in the works for a long time and then we had a lot of issues: the winter had not gotten cold enough to freeze the water we needed frozen, and then we started going and the water began to unfreeze. So there were both a money factor and a weather factor that made us have to giddy-up and go and just shoot it.
TA: Courtney told me she pulled the shoot together the week before ...and she cast a lot of non-actors.
ML: Yes. We want up to the reservation outside of Montreal, Tonawanda, and a casting woman - they have a theater group - held auditions up there, Misty and Courtney and I met with the actors; they were a varied group of both actors with experience and others who were just willing to give it a try.
TA: The movie revolves around two great central performances - you and Misty. The acting avoids melodrama. Is that partially because Misty is so solid?
ML: Solid is a really good word for her. Misty, however, is a consummate actress. And not really very much like her Lila Littlewolf lead. There's a lot of gregarity in Misty, she's deeply, deeply wise I'll be walking somewhere with her and I'll go, "Misty, are you sure it's this way?" and she'll go "yeah, I'm sure" and, alright, I'm with Misty. She always knows where she's headed. She's remarkable.
TA: Has FR changed her career?
ML: That's waiting yet to see what happens with it. What Misty is acutely aware of and, I think is worth mentioning, is that there has never in the history of film been anything like her performance. Misty and her native community across the US are aware of it: she's not playing an Indian, she's playing a person with a complete life, with the ups and the downs of it, the wisdom and the mistakes, and a rounded person whose tale does not hinge on their being an Indian or not. It's an extraordinarily rare thing to have that kind of character in a film and I hope that she and the performance are celebrated and she can parlay it into other things. She has the talent to do it.
TA: Your character is also strong and fully realized. How much of that was on the page? What did you contribute?
ML: It's difficult for me to know how much of myself I end up bringing. Comments from people after the fact like my mom's friend who just can't get over the fact that I really knew how to look for that change in that couch [laughs]. She's known my history. She's known me my whole life. I'm not quite sure what parts of the character are parts of my self. What I do know is first of all in the writing of Ray Eddy, she was a whole, complex character with flaws that Courtney wrote, and Courtney even was, as many writers are when they write, her character. And very, very generously gave me the character when it came my turn to play Ray Eddy and Courtney, then, took a backseat. So there were things in her writing that are primary to who Ray Eddy is, and there's what I then brought to it, which is innate in me. I'm not sure how to describe what that is. And, then, there's also the direction that Courtney gave me. With another director at the helm, and me in that part, it wouldn't have been the same thing because Courtney made me make Ray more likeable, that even though she might be doing things people might question, that you would still care for her. That's very much Courtney's hand in the direction. Courtney had a very keen eye that that was important and, now, in viewing the film, which is very different from reading or performing the film, I understand and see the importance of that. So Courtney's direction of me was a big, big part of it.
TA: What was Courtney's approach?
ML: What a director must have is a vision of their film - and Courtney had that in spades. She knew every heartbeat and turn of her film as we worked so I knew I could trust her. There were some bumps to get through in the first handful of days of shooting. Courtney's never really been on a set before. There's a way things work that everybody else there knows because the gaffer and the grips and the electric, they've all been on lots of sets...
TA: ... as have you...
ML: As have I. There was a really scary day about three days in. We were shooting late in the film, not when we're out and Mark Boone Jr. is being mean to those poor Chinese girls and then he shoots me in the ear, but right after I get in the car. So we're starting the scene. We haven't shot the other stuff with Mark Boone and the girls, where Ray gets shot in the ear, but we're shooting right after when I get in the car. So we're in the car, it's pouring out with snow, with me driving to the start mark. Courtney's in the back seat with what they call a clamshell, which is a monitor so she can see what the camera's seeing. And I turn to look over my shoulder, quick as I'm driving to the start mark. 'Courtney, do you think that we've been driving a little while and now we start the dialog or have I just got in the car, and we're starting the dialog,' Does that question make sense?
TA: Yes.
ML: Didn't make sense to Courtney! [Laughter] So then, I'm now about to act like a woman who's just got shot in the ear, I'm getting a little amped up because I know my face is going to be about this close to the camera in about three seconds, because they're going to call rolling and I ask Courtney one more time [voice rising] 'just be very clear with me if this is a little while down the road or if I've just gotten in the car?" and she says [softly, whispery] 'don't talk to me like that."
TA: And what did you do?
ML: I remembered that I was working with a first-time director. We were going to have to work this out after we got the shot. They rolled the camera. We did the take. We got there. I got out of the car. I looked for a producer and I said, [loudly] "talk to her!" And they did. And it never happened again. That's the amazing thing about Courtney. Is that she could learn even as we were doing it. And when we got through that third day, and that particular bump, and we came back the next day, something had changed. I knew we were going to be OK.
TA: Does that typically happen on a set? Is there that moment when it galvanizes or it doesn't?
ML: This was very different for me in so many ways because here I was being given that opportunity that I have waited a lifetime for, the opportunity to carry the film. So everything mattered that much more to me. I was that much more involved in all of it. There's all kind of utter nonsense that goes on onset but, somehow, you get the darn thing in the can anyway.

Monday, July 28, 2008

ROUND LAKE

Round lake was a lovely community of Victoiran cottages circling out from a gorgeous old auditorium. While the audience was sparse, they were absolutely our audience. So much understanding and interest in this film for people who like to think.

Sophia and I felt as if we'd gone on vacation in this Albany bedroom community. The restaurant in town is the LAKE RIDGE which I highly recommned for its mix of standards and contemporary cooking. Lovely setting, not stuffy.

Thank you Sharon Walsh for inviting us. Round Lake Auditotrium invited us to bring SLAP AND TICKLE next summer. We will be delighted to do so.

Friday, July 18, 2008

MELISSA LEO AND GIANCARLO ESPOSITO ATTEND LA SCREENING!


Melissa Leo and Gianacarlo Esposito will be attending the Q&A

RACING DAYLIGHT WILL SCREEN:
Tuesday, July 22nd, 8pm

http://www.nyfilmvideo.com
LAEMMLE SUNSET 5
8000 Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, 90046
323.848.3500
Screen 3

Saturday, July 5, 2008

JULY SCREENINGS

JULY 17 - Children's Media Project, Lady Washington Firehouse, 20 Academy Street , Poughkeepsie, 845-485-4480

July 22- New York Film and Video Festival, 8 p.m. Lemmle Sunset 5, Screen 3, 8000 sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, California

July 25 - Round Lake Auditorium, 8pm

JULY DATES PENDING:

Apple Store, N. Michigan Ave, Chicago, Ill.
Cathrine's Backyard
Westchester Backyard
Stone Ridge Backyard

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

RACING DAYLIGHT ON DVD DECEMBER 23, 2008!

We have delivered our film, photos, artwork, and bts to Vanguard Cinema Ineternational who plan to release it in October of 2008. We are proud to be associated with Vanguard. Look for us! Just in time for Christmas ... The perfect stocking stuffer.

Friday, June 20, 2008

RACING DAYLIGHT SCREENS IN LA!


In anticipation of releasing a film on dvd with no theatrical release we are growing our audience one screen at a time. We are pleased to be screening in Los Angeles, California, my birth place, though it has been many years since I've called it home.

So if you're reading this and you live in or near the LA area and you'd like to check out RACING DAYLIGHT you will find it here:

RACING DAYLIGHT WILL SCREEN: Tuesday, July 22nd, 8pm at the:
http://www.nyfilmvideo.com/

LAEMMLE SUNSET 5
8000 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, 90046
323-848-3500
Screen 3

Thursday, June 12, 2008

GRASSROOTS THEATRICAL RELEASE

We've applied to the IFP for a NYSCA regrant to aid in the distribution of our film-that-could. We've learned so much on this journey, most of it related to optimism and faith in the ability of the little guy to survive in a rowboat with ocean liners on all sides. Our grassroots summer screening tour is about to get into full swing and we're excited about the many and diverse venues we have lined up.

To all of you who have offered up your living rooms and backyards, to all of the film folk who have offered us a hand, we thank you. If you find yourself near the Childrens Media Project in Poughkeepsie or Round Lake near Saratoga, or around the corner from the Film Lounge in London, perhaps at a backyard BBQ in Westchester, Connecticut, Ulster county, or New Jersey come on in and say hello. We will also be found at the NUYORICAN POETS CAFE in the East Village where we hope to hold our DVD launch in the fall.

Tildy Davenport, a local civic leader, has asked when she can buy dvds of RACING DAYLIGHT

"I want to give it to everyone for Christmas." she told me.

We'll be on DVD in the fall and are grateful to the growing fan base who want to share the spirit of love across time with their loved ones. As a collective of artists the only way we will pay our deferred crew is to sell, sell, sell this dvd, and all of the support and encouragment has put wind in our sails. I know, it was a rowboat, but now it has sails too!

Monday, June 9, 2008

www.independentfeatures.com

So we've entered another online film festival; www.independentfeatures.com. We tried Babelgum but asked to be removed because they only ever loaded two of our three films, which didn't play properly, and they had the audacity to promote some films on the home page and not others. Both Sophia and I (mac and pc users) could not load the viewing instrument. Once the festival was up and running we could get no response from any of the coordinators re: our technical problems. Here's hoping this is a smoother run.

We would certainly like our DVD release through VANGUARD CINEMA INTERNATIONAL to have some exposure. Please visit: www.independentfeatures.com view our film and vote often!

Other venues where RACING DAYLIGHT may be viewed in the coming months. Please contact us for details:

MOLLY'S LOFT, Brooklyn, NY
APPLE CHICAGO, 7/08
CHILDREN'S MEDIA PROJECT, Poughkeepsie, NY, 7/08
CATHERINE'S BACK YARD, STONE RIDGE, NY July 2008
ROUND LAKE AUDITORIUM, ROUND LAKE, NY, July 25.
WESTCHESTER BACKYARD FILM FESTIVAL, July 2008
TRIBECA COMMUNITY CENTER, NYC
JUSTIN'S HOME, Maryland
EVANS-ROBERTS' BACKYARD, New Jersey
MANHATTAN PLAZA COMMUNITY ROOM - NYC
FILM LOUNGE - London
DIGIFLICKS- world premiere movie
DELAWARE COUNTY ARTS ALLIANCE - (date pending)
MARKET ARCADE, BUFFALO - (date pending)
NORTHWEST CONNECTICUT COMMUNITY COLLEGE (date pending)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND EU Cultural Capitol Celebration 10/08

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

NOTHING ELSE TO DO?

I stumbled across a blog which devoted itself to lampooning other's projects and initiative. The nice part is that we nerds get to respond here in cyberspace.

THE PREMISE:

Crappy Loglines I love
This site is for fans of the original Query Letters I Love, and qlil2. This site features a collection of loglines that should never be made into movies in Hollywood. If your logline is up here- have a sense of humour- you need it in this business! This site is dedicated to Managerguy, the Empress, the Sharkies and Pandas.
Monday, July 10, 2006
Henry's Current Record: 0 Wins; 386,254 losses.

MY RESPONSE: This was not a Hollywood film, so we're okay there. A Sense of Humor? I do have a sense of humor, and found none here, only ridicule and 'fun' at other's expense. I'm old fashioned, and as my dear mother would have said, "if you don't have something nice to say, shut the fuck up!" But that was mum.

Racing Daylight
GENRE: THRILLER
An old farmhouse has been in the same family for generations, holding all the secrets in its walls, becoming a portal between the times. What happens when time collides? Sadie thinks she's going insane. Edmund's sure he's being haunted. And Henry, well, Henry's racing daylight.
posted by -j. @ 9:32 AM 5 comments
5 Comments:

At 1:25 PM, Sahve said...
When time collides with what? Finish the thought! However, I like the title. That's all though. I would hazard to guess that the querier liked it too and worked desperately to come up with a plot to go with the title and unfortunately, like dear Henry, came up short.

MY RESPONSE: When time collides with itself, dear. Actually the logline was written well after the script.

At 7:16 PM, Cassie Burton said...
The querier's answered all the questions, so there's no need to see this film.

MY RESPONSE: A film is the visual representation of those answers. And maybe your imagination is the same as mine and you have seen all of the same images in your head. But if not, I suggest you give it a try, on me.

mzdplvfe - There's no way I'd see this stinker anyway.

MY RESPONSE: Ouch! Maybe it's not your taste. But no one died, and at last look there was no olfactory involvement.

At 9:25 AM, BlackCapricorn said...
Its tough to race daylight in a house

MY RESPONSE: We do it everyday.

At 2:45 PM, Taffy Doublewide said...
I think "racing daylight" is just another way of saying "Edmund, you only think it's John Malkovich you're screwing" in polite company.

MY RESPONSE: Okay ... bit of a reach, but okay ...

komjk: A really expensive comb for bald people.

MY RESPONSE: Ah ... yeah, okay, right, sure, just put your arms through the white sleeves and we'll wrap it around for you.

At 4:25 AM, nico said...
This crappy loglined film will be out on dvd in the fall.


MY RESPONSE: Check it out if you dare!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

DISTRIBUTION!!!


We have just signed a USA DVD distribution deal with Vanguard International. With plans to release our film-that-could in the fall we are continuing our grassroots theatrical release with screenings at Apple stores, colleges and universities, living rooms, community centers, libraries, backyards and any other venue which will let us hang a sheet and project our love child. Please watch for us as the world premiere feature online on DIGIFLICKS.

Thanks to Vanguard for taking us on. We know that we are a quirky film. We also know that to our niche audience we have become a comfort film. Repeat viewing is the norm and I'm proud to say that many of my film fanatic friends number RACING DAYLIGHT among those films they have on a special shelf. Those films they watch over and over again because they like spending time in those worlds. Thanks to all of you who have visited Cedarsville. To those of you who come back often, it's nice to see you again. And if you've never been, well, it's an easy detour, not very far off the main road, the folks are nice, the food is fresh off the farm, and magic happens with regularity. The door is open, come on in.

Monday, May 5, 2008

APPLE CHICAGO!

We've been invited to screen at the Apple Store on N. Michigan Ave in Chicago! Thanks so much to the Apple Programmers at the Soho store who have given us good marks. And thanks to Marissa Flaxbart and Patricia Thomas, the Chicago programmers for liking what they heard. We are grateful to all of those who are willing to showcase a film made by a team of artists without industry backing. These screenings are our theatrical relelase, helping us create an audience for our 2008 dvd launch. We hope to be in the windy city in June.

Onward!

Friday, April 18, 2008

THE CASUAL CRITIC WEIGHS IN ( A Fairhope Blogger)

"I loved this film - there is just no other way to say it. Told from the perspectives of different characters and spanning different time periods, it tells a love story that lasts through the ages. But romance is only the beginning. There is also intrigue, murder, supernatural incidents, and ultimately the truth of a buried family story. Racing Daylight was a beautiful story that was artfully told with amazing photography and a wonderful soundtrack. It also helped that we were watching it on the beach, so anytime water was featured on screen, there was a natural soundtrack of waves gently crashing only 20 feet away." Anita Havel http://www.anitahavel.com/

It was indeed a lovely way to watch a movie, on the beach. Thank you, Anita!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

RACING DAYLIGHT FINDING ITS NICHE!

“The best movies are always about character development and storytelling; Racing Daylight excels at both. This visually attractive, carefully crafted film keeps viewers guessing, lifts their spirits and transports them through time. David Strathairn and Melissa Leo deliver memorable performances. This audience-pleasing film stands-out and deserves wide distribution.” Thomas Baker, Ph.D., Coordinator, The Accolade, www.theaccolade.net

Thank you Thomas Baker Ph.D.

Audiences are responding to RACING DAYLIGHT!

We opened the first romance film festival, the FAIRHOPE FILM FESTIVAL in Fairhope, Alabama the inspiration of Ryan Robinson and his brother Brad. Opening night was on a huge screen on the beach. A crowd arrived with picnics and open minds. Many seniors were glad to see a pastime recreated in the movies on the beach, which was a regular event before WWII. It was lovely. We are so proud to have been included in this innovative niche event and even prouder to have won their first GRAND JURY PRIZE.

We moved onto Miami Florida for the WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL which screened 100 films by for and about women in 10 days. Women filmmakers from all over the world were represented in a mix of issues and celebration. With so many quality films we were surprised and honored to receive the BEST U.S.A. NARRATIVE FEATURE PRIZE.

RACING DAYLIGHT been invited to accompany the WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL to Liverpool, England in October where we will participate in the city's year long events as the 2008 EU Cultural Capital.

Thank you to all of those who voted for us. To those who took the time to view our film in its entirety and found the pot of gold at t'other end. We like to think of our 'not edgy' film as seduction versus rape. If you like foreplay, chances are good you'll get this film.

Friday, March 28, 2008

WORLDWIDE SCREENINGS!

Thanks to those of you who have responded so enthusiastically to our call for private screenings.

SCREENINGS OFFERED AND PENDING:

Brooklyn Loft - April - Molly Conners, Producer of the Sundance Jury Prize winning FROZEN RIVER (also starring Melissa Leo)
DigiFlicks - world premiere of their movie channel, thanks Ron Aberdeen
FilmLounge - London - thanks Christopher Joseph
Children's Media Project - Poughkeepsie, NY - Thanks Nicole and Maria
Manhattan Plaza Community Room - NYC, Thanks Perla de Leon
Backyard in New Jersey - Thanks Cathrine Evans
Maryland - Thanks Justin R. H. Schoenfelder
Fisher Film Festival - Suny Sullivan, NY, Thanks Scott Healey
Tribeca Community Center, Manhattan Youth Org., Thanks Maria Reidelbach
TABLA RASA Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, Thanks Audrey Frank Anastasi and Joseph Anastasi


JOIN US!!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

RACING DAYLIGHT SEEKS SCREENING HOSTS WORLDWIDE!

RACING DAYLIGHT starring Melissa Leo, Academy Award nominee David Strathairn, Jason Downs, Giancarlo Esposito, Sabrina Lloyd, and LeClanche Durand. 3 short films tell one story in two different time periods. A quirky ghost story, murder mystery, a love story which crosses time. what happens when time collides?

In an effort to grow our grassroots audience for a 2008 dvd launch, we will hold screenings in living rooms, community centers, libraries, etc ... worldwide. We will send you a dvd with postage paid return if you will host a screening of 20 or more people; potluck, big screen tv, on a sheet in the yard, anyway you like to watch movies. In return all we ask is that you gather at least 20 working email addresses for our sales list and any interesting comments we can post on our viewer response page.

We will also be available(director, producer, cast, and key crew members pending availability), for post screening q&a(s) either in person, if we can drive there, or by phone (we will pay the charges).

Please drop us a line at info@racingdaylightthemovie.com if interested, so we can add you to our map. Power to the people!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

ACCOLADE- AWARD OF EXCELLENCE!


Thanks to Thomas Baker Ph.D. and the Accolade organization for giving RACING DAYLIGHT an Accolade Award of Excellence. We are honored that you responded to our film in this way.

We have heard that our film is 'soft' ... 'not edgy' by industry standards, and to these comments I say "YES!". Our film is intentional. Soft as opposed to hard, round as opposed to edgy, hm ... sounds female to me.

Friday, March 7, 2008

RACING DAYLIGHT: "DUELING HATS"

video

An excerpt from the "Edmund" section of the trilogy RACING DAYLIGHT

Thursday, February 28, 2008

NYU TISCH SCREENING

The Goldberg theater in the Tisch Department of Dramatic writing was packed with writers. NYU instructor Mary Gallagher, a stunning playwright/screenwriter in her own right (Ayn Rand starring Helen Mirren), a fellow Actor&Writer (actorsandwriters.com) met me on the 7th floor. Sophia had left me at the Beard Papa's across the street buying cream puffs with David Smilow, another Actor&Writer, who also plays the Confederate who kills Harry in RACING DAYLIGHT, who we ran into at the Astor Place Starbucks on his way to a rehearsal, for the HB lab, of his play HIT THE BUTTONS. Whew! Sophia had gone ahead to take control of the technical aspects of the screening. She is awesome and detailed and charming and kind. A wonderful business partner to have.

So, packed with, not just writers, but screenwriters, Sophia and I huddled in the front row of the Goldberg theater surrounded by about 60-70 students. In that moment, I could feel my cheeks getting red and hot, the skew of this audience had not occurred to me until this moment. These people were potentially my worst nightmare!

There are markers in the way this film generally plays to an audience, or at least ones I have come to notice in repeat tests, markers of whether the viewers are in synch with the rhythm. In the first book shop scene Emily Ruscoe's "Whatever .." usually earns the film's first chuckle, followed by Sadie's "Well it is, you little twit ..." as the second. By the end of the film, if they laugh at the fart joke they're still llistenting, which is all you can really ask of an audience after all. Once we hit the first mark with this audience, and the chuckles came, I calmed. They reacted delightedly, as we have heard so many now, to the antics of Sadie, Edmund, and Henry, and their subtle esoteric love story, which we have offered up in whimsy, and economy.

The questions were about the making of. The first of the evening a question about the ppm, the financing, not an art question but a question for the executive producer. In our post-mortem on the drive home, Sophia noted that in a group of writers not a single question was related to the story or structure, the questions were all how did you do this thing, get these people, make it happen, the industry ... with questions as well about how long it took to write, whether I preferred writing for art or money ... they were clearly smart people, very smart, each about to launch into this world and wondering. It was so interesting to be among them.

I spoke with Madeleine, a writer who's focusing on cable at present, interning at Jon Stewart and writing spec scripts. She thanked me for the way we portrayed women in our film. I am grateful for this comment because it was a concerted effort to portray a woman's beauty as completely tied to her vision of self. Thanks for noticing and for reinforcing our notion that changing the conversation is about changing what we see.

Roxanne Bridglall along with Mary shared their classes with us last night and we are grateful. Jamie Kirkpatrick and Jason Downs came with us to field a broader spectrum of questions. Thanks guys! And thank you to to another wonderful audience who received our film with good humor and enthusiasm.

We are not an "edgy" film by industry standards. We have no pretentions to it. "Edgy", which to me means that someone has to get slammed up against the wall while getting simultaneously fucked and shot in the head in the opening scene, has its place, as do films such as ours, which assault different cognitive senses. We are a love story which crosses time, with elements of history, ghost stories, and murder mysteries all wrapped in a jigsaw puzzle of breathtaking beauty, coupled with exquisitely simple performances from some of the best actors working. Racing Daylight consistently delights and has a proportionately high repeat viewing interest. We are excited by the possibilities.

Watch and vote for us on Babelgum, the online film festival judged by Spike Lee, premiering in March,

http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifhref="http://www.babelgum.com/online-film-festival/">

Due to the time constraints imposed by this festival, our 3 act structure has served us allowing us to show RACING DAYLIGHT as 3 seperate films, (Sadie, Edmund, Henry), which make up the RACING DAYLIGHT TRILOGY.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

We were accepted at the WIFF in Miami, details are not yet available. What I found interesting and informative were the list of facts I found on their sponsorship page and which I share here:


1. Women are decision makers!

Because 43 percent of families are headed by women, women are often the ones who make the most purchasing decisions:

1 53% of investment decisions (Securities Industries Assn);
2 55% of consumer electronics (Consumer Electronics Assn);
3 80% of home improvement decisions (Lowe’s);
4 66% of computers (Intelliquest);
5 68% of new cars (J.D. Power);
6 92% of residential real estate (Tom Peters)

2. Women’s Income Growth Accelerating!

1 Over past 20 years, US women’s income has climbed 63%, while men’s has stayed steady (+0.6%) (US Bureau Labor Statistics)

2 Women bring in half - or more - of household income in most US Households (55%) (WSJ, Nov 1997).
3 1 out of 4 USHH is headed by single female (US Bureau of the Census)
4 Professionally speaking Women are obtaining:

50% of Law School degrees,
46% of Medical degrees,
38% of Business degrees.

Among women who have completed grad school,

43.5% earn more than their husbands (New York Times, 3/26/01)

3. Women Know What They Want!

1 Women spend disproportionately more on goods and services than do men.
2 Today’s women are many things: career women, homemaker, wife, mother, daughter, grandmother. She’s a decision-maker seeking the best for herself and her loved ones.
3 She’s also a savvy consumer who spends her dollars with businesses that recognize and cater to her special needs.

4. Women are Family Health Gatekeepers

1 Make 75% of all health-care decisions
2 Control 66% of $1.5 trillion annual healthcare spending


5. Women Recognize Those That Support Them!

Arts & Culture, Kids sports, Opportunities for Women.
Women care…and they vote with their wallets

1 Environment
2 Global ethics
3 Volunteerism

Sources: Men’s Health Network - Utilization of Ambulatory Medical Care by Women: United States, 1997-98, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics : Vital and Health Statistics, Series 13, # 149 : July 2001 Ipsos Public Affairs survey of insured women age 24-44 for Aetna, quoted in Marketing to Women newsletter Nov. 24, Pew Internet Report 2000

www.wiffonline.org

Monday, February 25, 2008

BILLY PALMER

Dude!!! What the fuck?! Cool, huh? I mean .... like, yeah ... where you goin' now, cuz I was thinkin' like, I don't know, maybe doin' somethin' like, shit ... you know, like, maybe I will, you know, cuz it's possible to, like you know ... get there from here ... you know? You okay with that? ... Cuz if you're not we don't have to, you know, we could maybe get it together to hang out somewhere else with them, you know, so don't sweat it if you're not sure yet, cuz we can decide like later, man, you know?

Huh? Vicky? What the fuck, she's great, man, old ball and chain, right? But you know, like what the fuck, right? Neutered, right, males, right, married men, like ... fucking women and shit right? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, right? Yeah, my mom was all like, you know, .... "Vicky Palmer! That whore?!", hahahahahahahahahaha, like look in the mirror, you know, right? She's a fuckin' saint, my mom, right? Not!

In highschool, man, that's when I got hip to her shit, like you know. Yeah, right? Had to work twice as hard for old Richy-Rich man Lessiter, right, lazy old farts on his crews, right, it's construction, right, I'm like sixteen and some old fat ass says like, right in my face, right, like I'm s'pose to know or somethin' right, "Slow down kid, no one's gonna fire you while old Lessiter's nailin' your mom." ... Just like that, right, I mean, what am I s'pose to do with that, huh? Like fuck you, dickhead, your daughter's blowing guys for quarters in the boy's bathroom, scumwad, like right? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Nah ...I don't believe it at first, right, but you notice shit, like, you know, secret shit, and I know it's true and shit so I shut the fuck up to save the old man, right, drunken piece a shit, and I take care of the little guys while she's out, right? Shit ... you know ... but I'm over it, man, like who fuckin' cares, right? History, right? The old man's dead, she's with Lessiter now, and Thanksgivings a bitch, right? ... But ... like .... I got vicky, right? Like what the fuck ... maybe we can, you know do some shit like later, man, okay like ... you know, right?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

THE DRIFTER

Ice blue flames flick the darkness, sharp edges bite at the dawn, the chill. How long now ... another few days I expect, till I face the past to see if there's a future there. I write in this small notebook, its leather binding now worn and rough in patches, spattered and splotched, liquid's history marks its cover with a heiroglyph known only to sprites and water daemons. I chronicle the events of my time in hiding, running from the grumblings of a war whose face I wear.

White men fight over economic subsidies, a president fights to align his constituents, all under the banner of the abolitionists cry, and yet ... they ALL hate us. Hate that we're the reason for this unrest, this anger, this ' nigger ...' animals, trainable, not educable. My people grow their food, wipe their asses, craft their civilizations, and we're the ones who are the beasts? They brought us here, flesh eating cattle, couldn't breed the fight out of us, the history, the memories as stories back to thatched huts and tribal fires, warriors ... and now that our presence has placed challenge to their collective morality, we are again to blame. The irony of it. What is fair after all? We the people ... ALL men are created equal ... according to someone's gods.

Who am I in this changing America? Born a free man to a Placee. Raised handsomely on funds deeded to us by a white father whom I call 'Sir' and 'Mister', a man who hears "Father" and "Papa" from white children elsewhere, in a world where I am not known, not welcomed. Where do I fit now that all distinction of class and money have gone, our way of life so irrevocably altered by this war to come. Any man may put a saddle on my back, a bit in my mouth and claim me as property. Some of our people will fight with the Confederacy, a futile effort to preserve the old ways of money and pastime. We men of color who have also owned our brethren. How must we pay for this? I run.

One aches for home. The smell of the river water at low tide when the mossy greens, the dark secrets of its depths, lay naked to the sun. Fish stews musky with bayou herbs, the lilt of Patois, sinister magic in spiced air, strains of a banjo companioned by lapping water, creaking wood, crickets bowing small fiddles ...

A free man. I will remain a free man ... by the waning flames of this small warmth carved out of night into day ...

Friday, February 8, 2008

TROY!

We screened at the Arts Center in Troy, NY last night. I had never been to Troy, unless you count the journeys made with Homer's Paris, Helen, and that horse. It's a beautiful gem of a city, Troy, a small island of renovated historical buildings next to the gates of RPI (Renselear Polytechnical Institute), with neighborhoods which fan out into Brooklyn-like town houses fronted by ice-clad trees, twinkling crystals under the street lights. The Arts Center is a group of industrial buildings in the heart of the downtown.

It was buzzing with people when we arrived. We had brought a mini-dv deck, Stephen Harris's, to patch into their projector as we have sworn NEVER to screen on dvd again. Too much chance for technical error. William Gill was there to help us. He was delightful, affable, and unable, with the cables at hand, to rig up the setting we needed. Thank you, Will, for such a cool head and great trouble shooting. We appreciate your efforts.

Luckily Sophia, ever intrepid leader, brought clean dvds newly minted on Donn Gobin's state of the art machine, which she handed to Will grudgingly as an audience had already formed and it was five past the start time. We had considered sitting out the screening in a bar ... a sushi bar across the street ... but realized no one who had never seen the film would know if it skipped or not, and we might be returning to a Q&A that made even less sense then the ones which happen after a clean run.

Disclaimers were made by Laudilina Martinez who charmingly mc'd the evening keeping the whole of it fun and entertaining, and then we were off!

It was a delightful audience who stayed with it, laughing through Sadie and Henry, thoughtful and engaged during Edmund. The questions were smart and entertaining and once again everyone signed on to our dvd pre-order list, so many who want to see it again. One woman, in the second half of her life, saw her first dildo in our film and whooped with joy when her friend explained to her what it was. "I've never seen one!" she exclaimed in a giggling stage whisper.

We have been invited to return to Troy where we will screen for an Organization of professional Latina women, and also to sell our dvd at the Farmers' Market there. I love this grassroots campaign we have begun. Taking our film to its niche audience which is the widest and most diverse niche demographic I've ever seen.

Our testing has shown us that we can play this movie anywhere in the United States to people who like to think and they LOVE it. Husbands look so relieved at the end, having assumed that they were in for a 'chick-flick' and surprised to find that there's something here for them too.

So we will NEVER screen on dvd again! That said, it was a lovely evening and we are grateful to Kevin Craig West for inviting us to bring RACING DAYLIGHT to Troy.

Monday, February 4, 2008

APPLE SOHO SCREENING

It was pouring rain last Friday night and Prince street was full of bobbing umbrellas . Inside the Apple Store the lights were bright and the populous abundant. Our movie screened, such a gorgeous picture! From my seat in the back row center I could hear the film and the store as well, which I found distracting, but then I have a preference for a dark no talking from the audience movie, and find it difficult to train my focus on the one event, my mind darting hither and yon, a butterfly in a blooming meadow.

But I know that my kids thrive on this seeming chaos. When we screened at Ursinus in the cafeteria they stayed with it. Here too the audience seemed to be able to fall into the world of Cedarsville and not just be voyeurs to it. Most stayed for the q&a and the questions were a good mix of technical and artistic, which were answered deftly by Stephen M Harris, Jamie Kirkpatrick, and Jason Martin on the technical side. These three speak tech fluently, it's very sexy. Sophia, Melissa and myself fielded the creative queries.

Melissa Leo was in town fresh off her Sundance whirlwind with the jury prize winning "FROZEN RIVER". Her commitment to our project is so greatly appreciated. Producers of FROZEN RIVER , Chip Hourihan and Molly Conners, honored us in the audience along with many others who had braved the weather to see what caliber of film the Panasonic HVX 2000 and Final Cut Pro, in the hands of artists, can make.

Molly commented on how exciting it was to see Melissa, after a week of watching her onscreen at Sundance, to see her in such different roles than the ones she usually inhabits. The softer, beautiful side of Melissa. We too love to see this other Melissa onscreen, the breadth of her range only just scratched. A remarkable actor, I am in grateful awe of the gift she has given us with these performances.

Apple - Soho was a cool venue!!! Thank you to Frank who set us up and worked his Apple magic making our visit so effortless and comfortable.. To Dan for running the evening. And to Brian Popovic and Corey Smith for all for which they won't take credit.

We are applying to other Apple Stores around the country with a recommendation from the Soho staff. With any luck we will get to see our film projected in such a fabulous way again. Next time I'll sit in the front row.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

FROZEN RIVER WINS SUNDANCE JURY PRIZE!

Why, you may wonder, are we so excited at this seemingly unrelated triumph? For so many reasons, not the least of which is that it's star Melissa Leo is also our star. It's also a film written and directed by a woman with women in the lead roles.

CONGRATULATIONS COURTNEY, MELISSA, AND MISTY!!!

CONGRATULATIONS to JULIE CHRISTIE and RUBY DEE! Two women well over the Hollywood target age who gave us performances of beauty and integrity, and to Sarah Polley for daring to take us where many of us fear to travel with a blend of humor and pathos.

I've been in contact with Thelma Adams, film/DVD critic for US Weekly, and Melissa Silverstein, www.womenandhollywood.blogspot.com, to discuss the irony of a woman-guided film taking the top prize when the sundance critics' panel was again composed soley of men. Melissa Silverstein noted that the difference between male and female helmed films was reflected in the purchase prices as well, Frozen river selling for about 1 million, yet all the boy movies, like Hamlet2, sold for much more. Isn't the equation how it performs, not who made it?

WOMEN!!! Wake up! If you don't go to the polls, the movies, the anything ... or let the powers that be know you are not happy with the choices you're being offered, well ... our absence is viewed as apathy not disinterest. Get interested. Get vocal. When women vote women win.

Here's the rub ... many films made by women FOR women, not to sugggest that Frozen River falls into this category as it is a story with enormous humanity, but many female helmed films are made by women FOR women and are killed before they reach their target market, by male critics. 51% of the population is being told by Papa what's good for them, or that the reflections we cast of ourselves into the popular conversation are sub par, or of no interest, or more incredibly that our reflections of ourselves are WRONG. Huh? Seriously? What is that about? Will somebody please explain to me why this equation seems equitable? And if not, why it still exists?

The yardstick is still how men see women, not how we see ourselves. Level the playing field please. Give us more women critics! I suspect less of the traditional fare would survive a deluge of estrogen. Yes, judge my artistic content and execution, but on the intended playing field please. I DO NOT WANT SOME MODEL-DOTING TWENTY-SOMETHING TESTOSTERONE DRIVEN STUDIO EXEC, AD MAN, POLITICIAN TELLING ME WHO OR WHAT I AM. I do not want my work to be leveraged against what's come before as the only stamp of good and true. I can chew my own food, thank you.

Studio films target the testosterone driven "prick flick" market (thank you Gloria Steinam for the introduction of this apt term), consisting of 14-18 year old males, as if they are the only movie goers and the only repeat offenders. It's middle aged women who are buying those boxed sets of PBS and indie films, AND the "chick flicks" at a premium which we will watch over and over again. When I go to my local theater on a Monday night the audience is full of middle aged + women, and we're regulars. Hm ... what's missing here?

Though women directors sit in that esteemed chair far less than their male counterparts, the ratio of award winning films is disproportionate. Pay attention investors... a far greater percentage of women's films are winning awards, though less women are making films. Again I say hm ...

If I know Melissa Leo's in a film I'm going to see it. Not just because she's a friend, but because I know that the film is gonna be interesting, textured, complicated, not black and white but built in the grey-zone where most of us live. And the women are gonna be three-dimensional, not JUST moms and arm candy. I will go to see anything with Frances McDormand, Meryl Streep, Liv Tyler, Brenda Blethyn, Helen Mirrren, Judi Dench, Fanny Ardent, Sarah Polley, Drew Barrymore, Renee Zellweger and a host of other female actors worldwide who choose material that challenges the status quo, which challenge our view of women throughout history. Women who dare to tell her story. This win gives us hope. I like hope. It sure beats the alternative.

Friday, January 25, 2008

PDS - SCREENING

We screened at Poughkeepsie Day School yesterday. Once in the afternoon for students in grades 7-12 and once again at 7pm to a mosly adult gathering. The James Earl Jones Theater, donated by that esteemed alumni parent, is a state-of-the-art theater with great sound, and a beautiful picture. We brought a rented mini-dv player, in Sophia's ongoing committment to never letting us live through another screening reacting to the random skips and pixolation from dvd machine to dvd machine. An imperfect technology, the dvd, in the public projection arena at least.

Sophia and I arrived early to meet with David Held, the I.T. guy, who easily patched us in and recalibrated the aspect ratios, he gaves us a lovely, crisp picture, thank you very much, David. When the students started arriving some of them looked pretty young, based on our thinking of the likely age range for this film. Sophia and I exchanged looks which told us we were both thinking the same thing. We were surprised and delighted to find that different ages reacted to different parts of the story. Sophia's guess is that Sadie's innocence, and the innocence of that crush is something with which young adults can relate. That feeling of being near someone you like and you're not sure whether to scream and jump up and down, or punch them in the arm, or find some other way to punish them for the chemistry which makes you act like an idiot.

Whatever the reason, they giggled, and tittered, and laughed, and screamed at Grandma's growl, and then again when she spoke on her death bed. They laughed at the fart joke! This in and of itself is not extraordinary, I mean who doesn't laugh at a fart joke? But structurally, for me, as a storyteller, it's a marker. If at that point in the story the audience laughs at the fart joke they're still listening, they haven't wandered away. So when the kids whooped in surprise at Henry's description of a scared stomach, it was heaven. They'd stayed with it.

When the credits rolled a lone female voice lamented,

"I don't get it...!"

We all laughed. The questions that followed were interesting and curious and fun, and it was very clear that we had found an unanticipated audience. We'd always expected it to play well in the 21-75 market, intellectuals, puzzle and mystery lovers, romance, Civil War, but had not thought of the 13 year old market as remotely ours. And not just the girls, the boys had many more questions of a "how did you...?" nature. It was a lovely eye opening lesson for us.

The evening screening was less vocal, but again we were reassured at how consistently well our-film-that-could performs, and how many want to see it again. We have begun to collect email addresses for our DVD launch which will happen this spring. So if you'd like to be on that list please let us know at:

info@RacingDaylightTheMovie.com

Thank you to the Drama Teachers, Greta Baker and Laura Hicks for inviting us, and to Sandra Moore and the PDS Development staff for taking such good care of us. We look forward to returning to your theater with our next film, SLAP&TICKLE.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

SOUND & MUSIC

When Jamie Kirkpatrick finished putting his sensitive editing skills to our footage it went out to sound and music. A new journey for me who had never ventured this way before.

Sound Design was Andrea Bella and ADR Michael (MIscha) Feuser a husband and wife team who operate in a basement studio in their apartment in Park Slope Brooklyn. Amazing! They made field trips with microphones to many of our locations to harvest. They brought a Foley Artist over from Germany who worked with antique cloth for Grandma and Anna, the tinkle of china, the rattle of cicadas ... breathtaking detail to an already rich palate.

At some point Andrea asked me if she might attempt a sound montage to accompany the visual one Jamie had so incredibly rendered from my scribbles on the page. Absolutely! What a brilliant idea, and its execution only heightens the moment.

Mischa filtered out generators and airplanes ... magic ... they worked with the actors in ADR in an unusual, more organic way, in front of a screen, and listening to the cadence of their own voices to recreate the mood, the words, like music, no bells and booths. Melissa and David were there together, overlapping, competing for number of takes, remembering the moments and giving them to us again. It was beautiful. A nice way to work. Very generous actors. We are so grateful.

While the sound design is in progress I started meeting with Sarah Plant, our composer. Sarah is a very gifted professional working out of an attic studio in the country. It's amazing what and where Mac equipment allows people to work. Quality of life.

Sarah asked me to give her a list of the music in my car. We've known each other for years, but never in this way. I give her that list. My tastes are eclectic from Cecilia Bartolli to Kanye, which I listen to with my son. She asked me what I was looking for ... that was a nice question to be asked, because I knew the answer to that and would not have known how to express it otherwise. I was looking for 'Puckish'. playful, magical, slightly ominous but you know it's all gonna work out in the end type music. If I had to quantify it in Shakespearean tones I'd liken it to' Midsummer', a place and time where it's all possible and gonna happen anyway, so why sweat it?

Sarah's music did all of that and more. The score on its own tells a story, and with pictures ... breathtaking moments which couldn't have happened any other way. We talked about instruments as characters. She'd heard Sadie as a cello, and sometimes in triplets and ... it's a lovely score. She wrote it a woman possessed. It was beautiful to be a part of this type of creativity. We are so honored to have her music to enhance our delghtfully simple and lovely story.

The opening credits music was a fluke, and one, like so much else on this film, filled with serendipity. We recorded the score in Woodstock over a 2 day period. Sarah had invited incredible musicians to play for us, and they said yes! For fun she had asked each of them to improvise to an Afro-Caribbean piece, "Chocolate" she had written for another film but which appears in the Racing Daylight Dress shop scenes. The second day of recording Sarah says,

"You've got to hear the music Tomas improvised."

She says it several times during the day, I never hear it, too much going on, until I'm on my way out the door and she says, you have to hear the Tomas solo. I do. It's amazing to me. I ask her to please send me the track because I have an idea to use it for the credits and want to send it to Jason Martin who is editing that compelling sequence with photos culled from the Stone Ridge Library collection.

Sarah sends me an mp3 with the caveat that she thinks it's too Latin sounding to set the tone of the film. I listen to it, and I agree and reply that I thought just the cello track would work, and isn't that what she played for me? She sends me the cello articulated and it's exactly as I'd heard it; wild and daring, and timeless. But she tells me that she played me the tracks overlayed, and that the cello alone might be a good idea, but it's not how she played it for me. Funny that. All I heard was the cello, when she played it, and Jason Martin said it fit perfectly. Meant to be. Thank you, Sarah and Tomas.

Thank you Andrea and Mischa who put this film together with such love and care and taste and talent ...I truly admire artists, and was so fortunate to have found so many willing to collaborate, at such a high level, on RACING DAYLIGHT, our collective film-that-could.

Monday, January 14, 2008

ANNA

It was snowing. There was a fire in the fat bellied stove, a chubby baby in the basket at her feet, her hands in rhythmic concentration, repeating a pattern with hook and yarn, an everyday industry requiring no thought, so her mind wandered weaving unconscious spells, benedictions Anna wondered where he was ... Harry, where they laid him to rest. She hoped there was a view. Harry liked a view. A hillside on a rainy day when the mist rose up off the back meadow, hovering its invocation over the bee stung monardas and yarrow. Blessing it.

"Magic happens in the mist ..."

He'd whisper, as if he'd known the sacred words that unlocked those mysteries and measured them out in careful deliberate doses, not to awe, but to admire. He'd mezmerized her always. His small gallantries when no one else could hear, as if it were a secret only they would share. All her life she'd known he was her destiny, she'd recognized him, from somewhere deep inside, the memories embedded so long ago, she can't remember the time or place, just the longing. It took him a while to come around to the truth of it, chastising and chiding her for speaking her truth about them, for saying intimate things that made him wince and think, in that time before he'd come to recognize her as well.

Then he'd seen her. One day crossing the meadow in her flannels and frills, picking flowers, and talking to herself as if it were the most normal thing in the world to hold considered conversations in first person. She'd seen him then, and smiled. It pierced his heart, the simplicity of her, the truth she spoke so darn scary and deep its irritation worming its way into his heart. Before he knew it, her truth became their truth, for he truly could fathom no one else filling him up the way she did with her questions and wisdom, her hand in his.

And then he was gone. All their hopes now hers alone. There was the child, and there was Edmund, gifts from God. Religion an institution she had not abandoned though the Lord had set her such a hard burden to bear, she'd have missed the social life.

Anna pulled at the ball of yarn suspended through the arch of the child's basket. The ball nestled next to the flanneled baby swaddled there, a turtle on its back, all four appendages dancing toward that moving thread, eyes popping at the teardrop prisms off the lamp, and sometimes startled by something unseen just past his mother's head. She wondered if he saw spooks. The old folks always spoke that way, as if the ghosts of the dead were part of living. She had to admit to having seen shadows at the fringes of her sight, her thoughts, and sometimes to hoping it was Harry come back to her. To them.

Jack was a strong baby. The Stokes were sturdy stock. They were cousins to her kin, but then everyone in Cedarsville and its outlying lands had a claim to the founding families. Anna had come from two towns over to visit Stokes Farm with her mother and father one bug nettled day. Someone's wedding, or christening. She'd not wanted to come all that long way by carriage and then a hot walk across the meadow, boiling in Sunday frippery, to the old farmhouse by the pond. She was eight, after all and would have preferred climbing a tree. She'd sat under a one instead, frowning, shooing away the gnats and that pesty little kid Edmund who'd started poking at her the minute they'd met.

Then she'd seen him ... Harry Stokes. He was 15, dressed in long trousers, and she knew she'd known him forever, that they'd made promises, somewhere, sometime, that only she'd remembered ...

The fire popped, boots scraped on the back porch, Anna startled from her reverie. She looked around her to what is, and smiled, ready to greet the man who has rescued her from ridicule and shame, who has taken another man's baby as his own, whom she has grown to love and trust and would never hurt for anything in the world. For all that was Harry was lost, its archeaology buried deep in the lining of her soul, to be mined in another time. This life it would be Edmund, he had earned it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

WOMEN, MAKEUP, HOLLYWOOD (if only ... at least 51%)

Sophia, our producer, has asked me to ramble about our choices regarding makeup in Racing Daylight.

Melanie Demitri is a gifted makeup artist and has worked on Emmy award winning teams for soaps, news, and has crafted public faces for many celebrities; Barbara Walters, Meredith Viera, Star Jones, and currently Cynthia McFadden ... she knows how to give glam. Melanie is an old friend. We were neighbors for over a decade in brownstone Brooklyn, she held my son when he was a week old, and he'll be 18 soon. So when we sat to talk about the makeup for Racing Daylight we knew each other well enough to talk in shorthand.

We both agreed immediately that if we could get our female actors to work without it, or the bare minimum, powder, it would help to establish the character of the piece. A story about a woman in her everyday. Many of of us, women I mean and some men, do enhance with a pencil, give ourselves lipcolor, but most of the women I see in my day to day do not wear much if any. Who has the time?!

Melissa was delighted! We gave her fake lashes, the kind that last for a bit and are placed one at a time. Not the full stripper set, much more modest. Melissa's lashes are very fair so the choice was to dye them or enhance, just so we wouldn't lose her eyes on camera. We used street makeup when Sadie becomes Anna, her more confident, sensual id. It's funny to think that the choice to tone down the makeup was considered novel even risky by members of our crew.

We shot the first Anna-Henry truck love scenes after we shot the Sadie-Henry truck scenes, where barefaced Sadie expresses her longing for the Civil War anecdote spouting Henry. Anna's hair was loose and she had a redder mouth, but the transformation from Sadie to Anna is all Melissa.

Stephen, our d.p., directs a lot of commericals and he was concerned that we would shoot Sadie so raw. Terrified that we were making a big mistake to the point of mutiny when Anna showed up without a glamor transformation armed only with an attitude. He asked,

"Aren't you gonna glam her up?"

"Nope. I'm making a point ..."

"But ..."

"... And that point is, that what makes a woman beautiful and sexy to somone is not what's on her face or body, but how she feels about herself."

Here he frowned, considering, so I continued,

"Let's get through a take, and after that, if you think it needs something more, well, then, we'll talk about it, then."

He seemd to think that was reasonable so we shot the scene. He turns to me after we cut and says,

"Female. This is a very female perception."

I'm not sure whether this is a 'chick flick' comment, but he continues,

"I like it. I feel like a voyeur to how women think. I like it. Very female."

We shot a couple more takes and moved on, issue vanished.

And this is why, as Gloria Steinam has said, "it's not a question of gender but of consciousness." We need to learn AND teach as we go, in the day to day.

All of our female actors were very comfortable with very little on their faces in front of an HD camera, which shows EVERYTHING. Brave souls. And they all look FABULOUS!

We want women to identify with themselves in our film. Since we didn't have to answer to anyone to make it, we considered what we wanted to say that would be subtly revolutionary in a film made by women who think for women who think, and the men who think with them.

As a footnote* John Seidman wears the most makeup in Racing Daylight as the transgender dress shop owner. But that's another story...

Monday, January 7, 2008

AMERICAN MADE - RACING DAYLIGHT

How many now have said, in varied phrasings, that if Racing Daylight were coming from Europe we would be considered novel, interesting, and marketable. Its simple pace, its lack of overt sex and violence, the lyric storytelling, so many wonderfully textured performances. I'm a fan of single camera films made in Europe and when I was teaching myself what a director does I included a book by Mike Crisp who directed for the BBC; "Directing Single Camera Drama", clear and to the point. But, I am an American who tells a story that, while steeped in our Civil War history, is truly a human story, one of love, loss, and hope. The stuff that can happen anywhere, to anyone on the planet.

Our budget would not allow for more than one expensive piece of equipment, (meaning the camera), and since we had no hope of a post budget, we needed to do as much with this camera as possible. It was a Panasonic HVX 200 .... which uses disks in a p-2 format, instead of tape. Each disk has the capacity for twenty minutes of footage, and the camera can hold two cards at once. The disks are downloaded in the same amount of time, 20 minutes per card, into a hard drive and backed up to a second firewire drive. There is no archival byproduct from this system, so if you worry and have the funds transfer to tape at some point, as these containment systems have a finite shelf life, 25 years, though we have replaced one faulty hard drive already. The picture has the clarity of HD and the diffusion of film. In the hands of an artistic genius like Stephen M. Harris the results are stunning. So little did so much. By the time we wrapped Stephen said he saw no reason to shoot on film again ... though he has.

We had a wobbly set of sticks, which we replaced with expensive sturdy legs on the few occasions we locked off to disappear our characters. We decided to let the actors tell the story, to trust their performances and not manipulate the camera too much, for they are complicated and subtly simple psychological journeys the characters take. We also had Shaun Harkins and his Cabletrak Jib for 4 days which, as I've said, put a lot of money on the screen.

(*Shaun has since given us a Moviola dolly with a lift arm and crabbing capabilities. I think he got it off the "Goodmorning America" set when they were changing over to new equipment. Our next film, Slap&Tickle" will benefit greatly by this wondrous new asset.)

Stephen also drove the "Fig-rig" so-called for its creator, Mike Figgis, who modified a steering wheel as a means of doing handheld shots with more control, less expensive than a steady-cam.

We decided to divide the look of the three films, and to do so in-camera, again because we had no $ for post. Sadie's look is technicolor, old fashioned in the present day. Edmund, which is set in the 1860s, has a silver chromium overlay, like a Deguerrotype. Henry is hyper present and so we went for an almost sodium vapor like tone. These treatments are subtle but add so much to the character of each short film. Stephen and Jason Martin's color correct, done in "Afterworks" , is brilliant.

There's a fan base growing for our movie-that-could. We are exploring all manner of digital delivery in an effort to reach our niche audience. We started digitally, it seems prudent to let the nature of its creation dictate its method of dissemination. We are proud to be an American Made film that does not fit the mold. We are storytellers. We are thinkers. We are movie viewers ourselves.

Next: SOUND DESIGNERS and the COMPOSER

Friday, January 4, 2008

APPLE SCREENING DATE CHANGE

Just when you think it's safe to put it in print .... the date for our Apple screening has changed to 2/1/2008, still a Friday and still at 6:30. Please look for posters in the NYC flagship stores and newsletters.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

A NEW YEAR!

It is indeed a New Year and we've just booked a date to screen at Apple-Soho. 2/15/2008, 6:30 p.m.

We were told by industry veterans that a film without a distribution deal was not gonna get Apple's attention. It's amazing how often we're told that we CAN'T do something based on rules which were set in sand yesterday before the windstorm.

Optimism will out!

We thought that our use of all digital technology which, at the time, meant we could ONLY edit on Final Cut Pro would certainly make us attractive, even if we did not come out as a bona fide 'studio' independent.

We also thought that our incredible editor, Jamie Kirkpatrick, and seasoned award winning d.p., Stephen M. Harris, would add some glitter to our shiny red wagon. Maybe it's because we know a few people who work there or that the Final Cut Pro liason in L.A. is married to Debbie Zipp (http://www.inthetrenchesproductions.com) and she loves our film and has our teaser running on her site ... or maybe they just liked the film, its content and character, and its stellar cast ; David Strathairn, Melissa Leo, Giancarlo Esposito, Jason Downs, Sabrina Lloyd, LeClanche Durand ... well, you get the picture.

I'm not sure what combination of factors and events have led to this new good thing which we were told couldn't happen.

Hm ... so which next impossible to climb mountain will we find has a starircase round the back?

2008!