Poking around Slamdance’s website to

Poking around Slamdance’s website to get my submission stuff ready. It’s HI-larious, obviously made by someone who pokes around dry film festival websites for a living. That led me to Bitter Films, where Don Hertzfeldt flogs and writes about his animated shorts and celebrates “107 awards, four Grand Prizes, and a rather spooky cult following.” There’s a production journal, which looks good, if a little random. (Pot, Kettle. Kettle, Pot. I know.) Gotta keep the random quotient high to please the cult followers.

I submitted applications Monday for

I submitted applications Monday for three festivals, and almost submitted to a fourth, when I belatedly realized I’d already sent them a tape two+ weeks ago. Festivals submitted today: Tehran (Iran) International Short Film Festival, the Winterthur (Switzerland) International Short Film Festival, and the San Diego Film Festival. The one I almost resubmitted was Interfilm Berlin, probably because I had Berlin on the brain today. (Olafur, the artist I mentioned in the previous post, lives in Berlin, and I just booked a ticket to Germany and Switzerland, too.) Oh, and Monday was the first preview screening of Souvenir November 2001 in NYC. More on that later.

While surfing for Cannes reports,

While surfing for Cannes reports, I found this great Indiewire interview with Abbas Kiarostami from the 2001 Double Take Documentary Film Festival, timed to the premiere of ABC Africa, his doc about AIDS in, well, Africa. Some highlights:

  • The film was made during “location scouting,” when he was still deciding whether to accept the UN’s invitation to make a documentary.
  • “But when I actually started using [the digital cameras] — and when I realized its possibilities and what I could do with them — I realized that I have wasted, in a way, 30 years of my career using the 35mm camera, because that camera, for the type of work that I do, is more of a hindrance than a communication tool.”
  • Went to an IFP24 Market

    Went to an IFP24 Market orientation meeting tonight. This doesn’t mean Souvenir‘s been selected for the market yet; it was a Q&A session for filmmakers hoping to participate in the Market. Here are the bullet points, primarily as they relate to Souvenir:

  • In the section Souvenir‘s entered, they’ll select 15 shorts from probably 2-300 submitted.
  • The major prospects for a short film are pretty clear, and the Market is useful for at least the first two (in order of priority to me): first phase of a feature/series; calling card; and acquisition/distribution target.
  • To wit, focus more attention on film festival programmers and production companies than on distributors and buyers.
  • Be prepared to discuss the next project, whether it’s expanding the short into a feature or directing another script (both)
  • Also, focus efforts not only on the short term (hook me up!), but on the long-term as well. (It’s a relationship business, after all.)
  • Spend wisely (i.e., not that much) on glossy press kits, promo gear, etc. for industry people. They don’t really care; they’re looking for and at product, the talent; not the peripheral crap. (But what about all those muffin baskets I’ve been sending out?) Save the glossy promo material for the fundraising.

    LOLOL. Jon Stewart just said, “We’re Oldie McOldington,” on The Daily Show. And now Rupert Everett’s tearing France a new one. Heh. He’s funny.

    Of course, as soon as I started this entry, I turned on IFC and Ridicule was on, so I had to watch it. It’s by Patrice Leconte, and it is a rippingly funny, smart movie about the court of Louis XIV, where wit was the coin of the realm, so to speak. Here’s Roger Ebert’s review.

  • Today: Picked up my bulk


  • Picked up my bulk order of 20-minute VHS tapes
  • Started duping screening copies of the movie (eight and counting, so far)
  • Prepped entry packets for the Int’l Short Film Festival Berlin, the AFI Fest in LA, and the Mill Valley Film Festival in the Bay Area. All these festivals are in Oct./Nov., after the NY Film Festival, the ideal/dream festival for Souvenir (November 2001).

    Also, because I’ve been remiss in my Steven Soderbergh references lately, I finally found out what Itchy and Scratchy said on their DVD commentary in a recent episode (“The Bart wants what the Bart wants”) of The Simpsons. A fan on a message board posted the comment as “There’s no pleasing Steven Soderbergh.”