Friday, September 28, 2007

Music Hall show

We have an upcoming screening in Portsmouth of our Fernald film and I'd like to get many people at the screening who have been effected by disabilities and institutions to be present and to talk about how the issues of the past are alive today. New Hampshire has closed its institutions, and even in Massachusetts a dwindling group receives services at large facilities. But to what extent are the issues of Fernald (and in NH Laconia) still with us?

I made Front Wards, Back Wards because I feel the issues of the past are very present. I am concerned that if we say that we've closed institutions we might say we can forgot the mistakes (and triumphs) of the past. Or simply use them as fodder for horror films. Many people lived and died behind walls like those of Fernald (and Laconia and Pineland). Those lives had meaning and value, even as the people who held that value and meaning were systemically devalued.

As I mentioned in a post earlier the film will show again on Channel 2 on October 23 at 10PM, a couple weeks after the NHFF screening on October 12 at 4:15 at the Music Hall.

I was in a play – Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage – quite a few years ago directed by Tony Kushner (Angels in America). I played The Cook who tries to lure the charismatic Courage away from The War. But it's futile. The War is where she makes her money, and my character was left to beg for a stone for his soup, singing for his supper. I feel that's what we, creators, must do; sing our most passionate song to get people to listen. But we really are in service to others, at least in relation to others. So come to the Music Hall. You'll hear some passionate songs.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

NH Film Festival II

Something the NHFF seems to do well is establish a good atmosphere for filmmakers to come together. I think a lot of us made a decision to stay in the boondocks, because we could work here and live here. Here is where we want to live.

But there's no film industry here, just some people who express themselves with the medium. If we want to compete in the wider world – get our work seen – we need to know the wider (business) world. So a festival can help us to bring an audience of viewers as well as makers together, and we can build some of the pieces that we need to get our work to a wider audience.

Our work needs to continue to get better and our ability to bring it to an audience needs to get better.

I think it is business 101. I never did business school or classes – arrogant fool that I was (am), so it's a slow process of realizing a market. And, not being in a center like LA or NY, there are less people sophisticated in the business of film/ media. So we guess at how to bring a film to an audience. We can learn, and we can get better about it. My focus is on the production side of things, while I'll continue to find those who approach film as if it were curtain roads, or software, or medical devices, or popcorn...

Early in my career I met with a film exhibitor. After talking for a while he said, "You and me don't talk to each other." He puffed on his cigar from behind his SUV- sized desk. This was before Hummer's and Denali's so he had to make the best with he had. "You just want to make movies, and I just want to make money."

If I want to keep doing this my projects need to be viable and make money for somebody. And our work engages many. We just have to keep getting better. Here's to the New Hampshire Film Festival!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

NH Film Festival

It has been a busy month – end of summer into the high shooting season of September light.

And a few nice dates coming up:

Invites to: Taos Mountain Film Festival in New Mexico for Flying Downhill. And the New Hampshire Film Festival for Front Wards, Back Wards, right in our back yard (actually a block away for the screening at the Music Hall).

And an upcoming Prime Time slot on WGBH, Boston on October 23, 10 PM, after Frontline.

More soon.