Thursday, March 29, 2012

Coming Soon To A Theater Near You: 'California Solo'!

I have some great news to share: 'California Solo' has been picked up for US 
distribution by Strand Releasing!

Some amazing films have been 
released by Strand, including Cannes Palme d'Or winner 'Uncle Boonmee'; Sundance/Toronto selection & BAFTA winner 'Tyrannosaur'; and films by Gaspar Noé, Lodge Kerrigan, Hal Hartley, François Ozon, and Gregg Araki.  We're honored to be in such esteemed company!

We will have a theatrical release this fall in NY, L.A., and other 
cities. See the official press release here, and coverage below:

We'll also be screening at film festivals this March and April in 
Cleveland, Chicago, Nashville, and Philadelphia. If you live in one of those cities, go see an early preview of the film! More info on screenings here.

As always, we want to thank our cast & crew for their hard work, and our supporters for their faith. We can't wait to show the world the fruits of their labor & love!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Three Tips For First-Time Producers (Plus a Panel)

I'll be on a panel (yes, again) called "Independent Producing: What Is It, Who Does It?" on Monday, 3/26, 7pm at The New School, Wollman Hall, 65 W. 11th St, 5th Floor.

Also speaking will be Lisa Cortes and Amy Hobby, with moderator Anne Hubbell. It's co-sponsored by the Tribeca Film Institute and the New School, and it's FREE, so please come! More info here.

Leading up to the panel, Lisa and I each posted 3 tips for baby producers on Tribeca's site. Here are mine:

1. Don't be afraid to ask questions. You may feel overwhelmed or insecure about not knowing everything, but it is your job to ask questions, even if you think they may be dumb. I guarantee you'll find most of the time that someone else has the same question; the producer needs to be the one brave enough to ask it.

2. Listen to feedback from others, but be firm in your own decisions. Every decision you make should be a well-considered one that welcomes input from your director, cast, crew, attorney, agent, financier, etc. But remember that, perhaps apart from the director, all of them have a narrower focus than you and will try to get what they want, which will not always be compatible with what someone else wants. So never let the cacophony of voices make you forget that the buck stops with you. Every decision you make should be one that's best for the film, that you can enforce, and that you can live with. If you end up making the wrong decision, acknowledge it, fix it, and move on. There will be many, by the way, that will be wrong. Given that a producer can make hundreds of decisions daily during prep and production--just be sure to learn from them!

3. Respect your director, and make sure he or she respects you. Directors and producers just starting out are often confused about the proper division of responsibilities and oversight. It's important to remember that the director is the creative head of the film, and must answer for all the creative decisions. The public will hold him or her responsible for how the film turns out. It's also important to remember that you are the business head of the film, and must answer for all the business decisions. Your investors will hold you responsible for the film being done well, on time, and on budget, and launched into the world in the best (and most profitable) way possible. Producer and director must respect each other's realm and figure out the best way to mesh them to ensure an equitable and fruitful partnership, and ultimately, a great film.

Read the rest of the original post here.

Spring Screenings Galore

Alexia Rasmussen and Robert Carlyle in California Solo.

Hey America, 3 films I produced may be coming your way this spring. Please check them out if you live in New York, Sarasota, Cleveland, Nashville, or Philadelphia!

CALIFORNIA SOLO by Marshall Lewy, starring Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting, The Full Monty, 28 Weeks Later, and ABC's Once Upon a Time), will be screening at the Cleveland International Film Festival on March 30 & April 1, in competition at the Nashville Film Festival in late April, and at the new XPM Music Film Festival by the Philadelphia Film Society, also in late April. The film made its world premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in January.

ARCADIA by Olivia Silver, starring John Hawkes (Winter's Bone, Martha Marcy May Marlene, The Surrogate, and HBO's Deadwood), will make its US premiere in competition at the Sarasota Film Festival on April 20 & 21. The film made its world premiere in February at the 2012 Berlinale Film Festival, where it won the Crystal Bear.

STONES IN THE SUN by P. Benoit, starring Edwidge Danticat (MacArthur Genius grant winner and author of Brother, I'm Dying; The Farming of Bones; Krik? Krak!; and Breath, Eyes, Memory) in her acting debut, will make its world premiere at the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival on April 22. It will also screen on April 25 & 28.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Privilege of Representation

Elderly Chinese folks in Chinatown's Columbus Park. We tried to get these guys
to audition for 
Children of Invention. They thought we were crazy.

Here's my first monthly post for IFP, in which I make my case for casting minority actors and share my experiences with "community casting":
The Privilege of Representation