Thursday, November 10, 2011

Film Fesitval Update!

We have now submitted SHOPLIFTING FROM AMERICAN APPAREL to seven movie festivals.

That will be it for this year. We might do a couple international ones, but we need to wait and see how we do with these.

Who knows? Maybe we'll make one.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

2011-12 Film Festival Update

Our film has been submitted to Sundance and Slamdance. We will find out the result in November. Meanwhile, I am looking to see what other festivals to enter.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Festival Submission Calendar

This is our calendar. We will be missing a lot of festivals because we aren't done the film yet. We're going to try and make these in September though.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Shoplifting from American Apparel Film Crew Shoots in Ohio & NYC: Film Stills and Brief Commentary

(Above: cast and crew peak around the corner for our pre-shoplifting scene "Three Stooges" stylee.)

I didn't get to post too much during our filming of SHOPLIFTING FROM AMERICAN APPAREL these last two weeks, so I'll just do a monster posting now with brief commentary.

I scream an improv song with friends.

We shot a scene where Brad and Jordan are drawing graffiti with chalk on some walls in Brooklyn. The NYPD showed up, so we had to clean up our mess pretty fast.

Drew asked if he could get a shot of the cops. I wanted it, but I didn't want to be so blatant. Luckily, Aaron ignored me when I said, "Don't film them!"

We did a reading/filming at Melville House. It was pretty fun, but, man, was I tired. The whole crew was ready to kill me. The night before Derek, our AD, said I was micromanaging way too much. I'm just glad this was the last night. I needed maybe three days of sleep. But I didn't kill anyone. That's a good thing. And no one killed me, so we survived.

We shot an impromptu performance with some people from Ohio. They managed to make a gripping scene in under an hour. I didn't even expect to get this scene, because we didn't have any actors for it. But these guys rocked it.

Mark Parsia (DRUNK GUY) and Daniel Genalo (SKINNY HISPANIC) square off in our first jail scene.

We came up with an additional bonus scene of flipping back and forth between Jordan Castro and Mallory Whitten playing two roles, and then putting in Brad Warner and Joan Wolkoff. I have no idea if this will work, but Steph, our editor, said she was excited about the idea.

Jordan Castro reads some of his poems at Melville House.

The people at Melville House were really chill. We had a good time drinking with them. We went to some dive bar called Pedro's down the street. It was fun to let loose after so many days of being tired. My friend, Kayvon, was even in town from Hong Kong, so there was a extra celebration besides just finishing the film - Kayvon is getting married in November!

Brad Warner and Joan Wolkoff discuss stuffed animals in the bedroom scene.

The cast is in full gear here, taking threats from our DRUNK GUY. Officer O'Grady of the Boardman Police Department was kind enough to offer his services during the shoot. He gave tips on how the scene would go, and even gave our DRUNK GUY (Mark Parsia) a nice bruise for his acting chops.

Afterwards, Officer O'Grady apologized and said, "I just went into gear."

That's a testament to Mark's performance.

Jennifer Bishop did a fun bonus scene with us in Brooklyn, where her character meets the "real" Brad Warner outside of shooting. Basically, we had their relationship come to a halt when Brad finds that one of our camera crew has gotten cozy with the leading lady - yes, it's all part of our faux documentary, etc. Of course, we have lots of real documentary elements in the film as well, so it might be tough to tell the difference.

Erin McCarson reads tarot cards as Tasha in of our apartment party scenes. She did this great improv in the picture above, where she tells some of our extras they are going to not make it as a couple, and have "difficult" children. I can't even say what she really said because it's so politically incorrect, but let's just say it was some funny shit.

Daniel Genalo contemplates how to get rid of the DRUNK GUY during the jail scene.

Daniel Genalo and Alfred Rutherford square off during the jail scene.

(The actual character names in the script for the two of them was taken directly from the book. Alfred [pictured right] was playing the BALD CAUCASIAN, and Daniel [pictured opposite] was playing the SKINNY HISPANIC. Obviously, I don't care much about ethnicity when it comes to roles, but Alfred was really excited for his credit to read "Bald Caucasian.")

Joanie and Brad observe the tarot reading during the party scene in Brad's apartment. Well, Joanie's character observes slightly.

Brad confronts me after I make him go into American Apparel with a helmet cam and he gets thrown out. He threatens to leave the film.

Brad going into American Apparel and getting kicked out by the manager.

Officer O'Grady and Chief Nichols were kind enough to let us film the squad cars during the jail scene. We got some nice exteriors, and some cool dialogue between Officer O'Grady and Brad.

Alfred Rutherford and Brad Warner await the jail scene to start filming. Actually, I think they are in the middle of the scene. Yeah, I think I can see Mark swaying along in the reflection of their irises.

Brad Warner reads from Sex, Sin and Zen at the Melville House reading on our last day of shooting.

I have a million pictures, but that's all I'll post for now. We'll have a new trailer up once we start our fundraiser for post-production (editing and color correction, etc.) on IndieGoGo.

We're actually kicking editing, etc. into high gear because a lot of our post production crew seem to think the film has a chance to make some big film festivals. I have no idea. I heard the word "Sundance" thrown around. That made me go: Hmmm. I don't know about that. Still, I believe in all the people involved with the film. I also know it's possible to have a great film because of the great job Andrew Crighton did as a Director Of Photography, and all the great performances from Brad Warner, Mark Parsia, Jordan Castro, and all the rest of our cast.

Who knows? I have no idea. Maybe we can make a big film festival. Maybe not. I kind of don't care though. I've sort of given up on that kind of stuff. I just want to make a good movie for all of us to see. You guys who read this blog, and all my friends and family.

At the same time, if everyone wants to give it a shot, I'll throw it out there. Who knows? Maybe some other people will like this movie too.

All I know is that I'm glad to have worked with so many talented people to make this movie.

Now I'm off to sleep and eat for two days before I go back to work to pay off all my credit card bills.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Final Day of Shooting!

We will be filming the final shoot for SHOPLIFTING FROM AMERICAN APPAREL at Melville House on 145 Plymouth Street, Brooklyn, NY from 8-10 p.m. on Saturday, June 18. All are welcome to come.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Shoplifting Crew Now in New York City!

The SHOPLIFTING FROM AMERICAN APPAREL film crew is now in New York City. We rocked out Akron, Youngstown, and Solon.

Thanks go out to REVIVAL, Alesci's, Jeorgine's, Accent Media, the Boardman Police Department, StaXX, Officer O'Grady, the Castro family, Matt, American Apparel on Coventry, and everyone else who helped us out.

This movie is getting really good. That's all I have to say. I'll post some pics later today. For now, you can see live shots taken by WKBN and The Vindicator.

Brad Warner also blogged about his experience here.

I'll write more in a minute.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

SFAA: Ohio Shoot Days 1-2

This is a film still from the film SHOPLIFTING FROM AMERICAN APPAREL. We are currently shooting in Ohio. We will be in New York City soon.

This is a picture of THE SHOPLIFTING BAND playing a song. It's a shot of their guitars. Now I will write a letter to my wife. Then I will show more pictures.


Dear Sohee,

I hope life is good in Seoul. I am shooting the movie in Ohio. Things are pretty good. Jordan's family is really nice. His dad made steaks yesterday. I also ate corn. The corn was my favorite.

After dinner, Panauh challenged me to a ping pong match. I said I would beat him and everything. I didn't think anything of it. I was just joking. Afterwards, Sonny told me everyone has been commenting that I'm being a dick to Panauh.

Most of the times people don't realize everything that's going on. Then I thought, "They don't have to." I thought about how they said I should treat him not like my brother, but like everyone else. Then I was like, "Okay, I can do that."

That was yesterday.

The movie is going pretty good. Some moments are better than others. I like everything I watch. Even if it's not particularly good in one way, it's like like so bad it's good. Does that make sense?

I got a chance to think about you yesterday. I was like, "Man, life will be lonely for two months by myself." Then I stopped thinking about that. I watched Animal Planet for a while. It was 4:00 a.m.

This is a bit of a strange letter. I woke up this morning with a charlie horse in my calf muscle. Panauh helped massage it out for me. Then an hour later, he woke up and needed help with his back. I showed him how to do yoga poses for a while. I massaged his lower back, and then he fell asleep in the exercise room.

I guess that's the funny thing. People say to treat someone a certain way. I can only be myself. I guess I am a dick sometimes, but what can you do? I guess not be a dick, right?

Anyway, here are some pics from what we shot the last couple days.




Here is THE SHOPLIFTING BAND. Sonny and Jordan wrote a song. We choreographed this little music video for the end of the movie. It's pretty funny. The song's lyrics are made of gmail chats between Jordan and Tao.

They are a really good band. I enjoyed watching them perform. All they needed was a little choreography. Then they were like KISS.

On the first day, we shot with the MAGIC CAM/CASSAVETES CAM. Everyone wore the bike helmet with the camera on it to pay homage to John Cassavetes. Then we played camera operating freeze tag. Jordan and Noah were the funniest. That's probably what we'll use in the movie. Noah chased Jordan for like a good minute. The camera is bouncing and everything. It's pretty funny.

The first day was the documentary beach scene. I just asked them about writing and success. Sonny was playing his guitar in the background.

Noah got really funny in take eight. He started talking about being miserable, and how that was the answer for anyone who wanted to be a writer. Then he changed his mind, and said he wanted to be like Norman Mailer, and have two ghost writers and wine coolers.

Last night we filmed the final singalong in the movie. I lead them in something that was supposed to be like the Beatles "All You Need Is Love." It turned out really peculiar because it was improv. I guess you could call it Gospel 20's Swing. I don't know. I just know that when we finished Jordan said: "That was the weirdest experience of my life."

Today we shoot the poetry reading scene at Mac's Books in Cleveland Heights.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

SFAA: Hollywood Shoot, Part Two

Our Hollywood shoot is officially over. We had some great moments with our cast and crew. Here are some film stills from the last two days.

(Brad Warner, Bebe Zeva, and Travis McFarland)

In one of the scenes in the film, we have SAM reading at Skylight Books in Los Angeles. Two fans, AUDREY and JEFFREY meet him at the reading and they go hang out afterward. Here is a shot of our actors in the audience before the reading.

(Christi Columbo, Bebe Zeva, Travis McFarland, and Brad Warner)

After the reading, some other fans ask for autographs.

(Bebe Zeva, Travis McFarland, and Brad Warner)

Then the three main characters walk around what is supposed to be Florida and have random conversations about STAR FUCKING HIPSTERS and what foods they like to eat.

While at the park, they start throwing around an orange juice drink and it bursts after a bad throw from SAM.
(Bebe Zeva, Brad Warner, and Travis McFarland)

The threesome look down at the spilling orange juice. SAM offers to buy JEFFREY another.

(Drew Crighton, Ivan Cano, and Pirooz Kalayeh)

For our behind the scenes shots, we made use of the great acting pool in L.A. by asking random strangers to be in our film. Ivan Cano volunteered to help us, and provided some of the funniest scenes in the bookstore. I improvised with him about why he thought he was part of the fucked generation.

(Ivan Cano, Pirooz Kalayeh, Travis McFarland, and Bebe Zeva)

Then we all saluted his performance by doing a group hug and making our thumbs kiss.

(SFAA Cast, Noah Cicero and Jordan Castro in "The Body Slam")

In another behind the scenes shot, Noah body slammed Jordan. I was unsure about this, but Noah said, "Come on! It'll be funny." Then he did it. I laughed for a while.

(James Roehl)

In our last day of shooting in Hollywood, James Roehl had to play both actor and associate producer, asking one of his neighbors to stop power sawing long enough to get the goodbye scene at the end of the film.

(Bebe Zeva and Brad Warner)

I was afraid for how everything would look. Did we get the shot? Did I do well? I'm pleased to say that everything looks great thus far. Bebe, Travis, Brad, James, and Jen did a fantastic job. I couldn't ask for a better cast or crew. We are having fun, and hopefully that shows in the film as well. Onto Ohio and NYC in two weeks.

SFAA: Hollywood Shoot, Part One

(Drew Crighton and June during SFAA Hollywood Shoot, Cassavetes Cam)

Life has been busy. We are now officially shooting the Hollywood scenes for SHOPLIFTING FROM AMERICAN APPAREL. Things have been going well. Aside from the lack of sleep from working three jobs while simultaneously making a feature, I have absolutely zero complaints. Everyone is doing an excellent job, including chicken nuggets and Hollywood Boulevard.

(Jordan Castro and Noah Cicero)

Here are Jordan Castro and Noah Cicero putting chicken nuggets on James Dean's star on Hollywood Boulevard. Believe it or not, Jordan did not know who James Dean was. Noah and I were flabbergasted. Then we quizzed him on who he did know. Apparently, Jordan knows who Tom Cruise is, but he doesn't know the guy lead in Twilight's real name. We continued to school Jordan about Hollywood stars. We decided to stick with James Dean though. Marlon Brando's star was too scuffed up.

(Brad Warner, Pirooz Kalayeh, Jordan Castro, Noah Cicero, and tourists)

We weren't sure if we would get this shot in front of the Chinese Theater, but we did it without having any issues. In fact, we even got shots of the some of the cast putting their feet into the cement molds of C3PO, R2D2, and Darth Vader's feet. From behind, there was also an American Apparel store directly across from us. Very serendipitous.

(Brad Warner and Jennifer Bishop)

On our first day of shooting in Hollywood, Jennifer Bishop flew in from New York City to play the character of SHELLY. Jen really made everyone fall in love with her. Ahem, I mean her character. In all seriousness, these are some of my favorite scenes in the film thus far. Like the novella, we have SHELLY and SAM discuss what they would rather be, "a vacuum cleaner or suitcase?"

(Brad Warner, Pirooz Kalayeh, Jordan Castro, and Noah Cicero)

With my belly protruding with a lack of sleep and exercise, I managed to have one good shot in the film thus far - when I smile. Here we all are outside the Chinese Theater again. I believe this is when we discussed money, fame, and what Noah called, "The Society of Attention."

(Noah Cicero and Jordan Castro)

Noah Cicero and Jordan Castro put more chicken nuggets on James Dean's Hollywood star. People passing by asked: "Are you on drugs?"

I'll post some more pics from the Hollywood shoot tomorrow if I wake up. Also, if you haven't donated to the film, or would like a tee shirt, etc., please visit our IndieGoGo campaign.