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Controlled Chaos: Tohubohu Productions News

Welcome to the official Tohubohu Productions website. Find the latest news right here, from production plans to upcoming screenings to general updates. Be sure to check back, or subscribe to the RSS feeds (links at right)!

Entries in Production (11)

Quick Bits

Just wanted to take a moment to give everyone a few updates (only one of which is strictly Tohubohu-related, but I figure that at this stage I can be forgiven a little digression).

First of all, the “director’s cut” of “Please Forward” is now up and available for viewing at our official site. Not a whole lot different from the original 48 Hour Film Project version, but just a couple of minor alterations that we hope will give it a little life beyond the 48 Hour audience. Give it a look and let us know what you think! We hope to start sending this out to festivals shortly.

Second, a sort of follow-up shout-out to Barry Gribble and the Integral Arts team for their independent TV pilot, “Dog.” Last time I mentioned that it had been accepted into the Independent Television Festival in LA (and, of course, dropped the little fact that I did a little production design work on it). Well, as it so happens, the pilot took home the Best Overall TV award! The pilot should be viewable at the festival site soon, so be sure to check back — it’s definitely worth seeing (as if the fact that they won the top award didn’t give you a little clue). Congratulations!

Edited to add: Actually, the pilot won’t be viewable at the ITV Fest site right away — because it’ll be screening at the New York Television Festival in September! And as a special bonus, you can check out the trailer for “Dog” right here! (It’s kind of NSFW, though the language is muted. Use your own judgment.) And if you look carefully, you’ll see one of my poster designs in the opening shot. Just sayin’.

Third, a call to arms for fellow filmmaker Francis Abbey, of Boxing Day and video blog “Running Commentary” fame (or notoriety, depending on your point of view). His latest feature, 6 Nonsmokers, is looking for background actors right now. As in this week — Wednesday and Friday, to be specific. It’s a non-union shoot (and not a paying gig), but does promise to be a fun time. You can check out the official site for details on the film — a comedy about conflict resolution — but as for the pertinent practical details, here goes: On Wednesday, they’re looking to shoot a big crowd scene at the Oxon Hill Public Library, and need to fill an auditorium with journalists and academics. And on Friday, they’ll be staging a college party along with some bar gatherings (a regular bar, country-western bar, and a club). If you’re interested, you can contact casting director Laura Carlson at lauracarlson74 [AT] hotmail [DOT] com. Preferably sooner rather than later.

And finally, I just wanted to call attention to some promising new web series for your entertainment (as if my ramblings weren’t entertaining enough). First is “Shrinkage,” starring Gia Mora as an online advice columnist with a less-than-traditional therapy style (written and directed by the aforementioned Barry Gribble). Next is the ever-popular “Appletinis with Ken,” starring Ken Arnold as... well, Ken Arnold — not exactly a “new” series, but I haven’t mentioned it here before, and it has featured a few Tohubohu veterans in the guest chair. And finally, there’s “ParaAbnormal,” a show about dysfunctional paranormal investigators, featuring Ken Arnold and “All Roads Lead Away” star Joe Hansard. So give ’em a look-see and spread the word if you’re so inclined — gotta do what we can to expand the audience for the DC indie production community!

That’s it for now — thanks for listening (or reading), and we’ll be back in touch soon!

“Please Forward”

It’s fair to say that the idea for Tohubohu’s newest short film, “Please Forward,” came to me in a dream. Seriously.

In the days before the 48 Hour Film Project, Bill and Robin were joking about chain emails and then thinking how that concept would be interesting for the movie. But with our genre and required elements still not established, they didn’t want to go too far down that road. (In the 48 Hour Film Project, you pick your genre out of a hat and there is a required prop, character, and line of dialogue.) However, that night as I slept, I took that germ of a concept, mixed it with The Office, and a parody video, “Flutter.” I dreamed about a mockumentary about a business that starts all of those obnoxious chain emails. When I told Bill in the morning, he laughed, but not knowing what we’d have to use when we wrote our film, it didn’t make sense to work up the idea. We thought about writing it up afterward for our own film.

When Bill went to the kick-off party and drew the Holiday Film genre, the idea came back into play: What if we went with the mockumentary, but it was at the office Christmas party? On Friday night, Bill and Robin started off the brainstorming and script writing while I finished up the Drama Club performance with my fourth grader (she did an amazing job as a chicken). Back at home, Robin wrote up the script as Bill and I made suggestions, selected our cast, and made phone calls. I ran around the house finding Christmas decorations.

Saturday morning, we headed into Bill’s old office building, where he had gotten permission to film. It was a great set-up for us, offering lots of spaces for scenes, but also lots of room to wait around. Even with only one day to film, there’s a lot of waiting around in the movies. Both of the girls came to be in the Research & Development scenes, and also to help with the clapper board, set decoration, and general gofer jobs. I took calls from our cast and crew, made sure everyone was where they needed to be, picked internal locations, decorated and took down sets, made sure everyone had plenty of food (very important), arranged the order of filming for scenes, walked the actors through some parts, and made sure all the paperwork was in order. Bill just directed the movie. Slacker.

We had a great time during the day, with a pretty relaxed feel considering our tight schedule. The actors gave us some stellar performances. Really top notch. I may be biased, but my favorite scene is with my fourth grader, where the marketing woman is trying to get some ideas about the next generation of chain email users, but is having trouble working with a kid. I also love my seventh grader as a typical teen, texting instead of thinking about the marketer’s questions. The party scene was the most fun to film, and I do make an appearance there as an employee.

We wrapped up at 10:00 p.m. and Bill went into the office to work with the preliminary edit. In the wee hours of the morning he came back to the house for a few hours of sleep, and then went back to edit the film and add sound effects, music, and credits. Oh, and play with sound levels and color correction and technical film kind of stuff. I saw a rough cut at 2:00 and loved it. I reminded him to temper his technical perfectionism and get the film turned in early — no last-minute run for the doors at 7:00.

He did turn the film in with time to spare. Robin has seen it and really liked it. Bill went off with a couple of other directors for a mini-showing at someone’s house and got great feedback and lots of laughs. I can’t wait to show it to you... but it will have to wait until after our screening at the AFI Silver Theatre, Friday at 7:00 p.m.

The 48 Hour Film Project takes place in cities all over the country, so if you’re interested you might check the upcoming dates. While we work with a set team, many other groups need to fill positions in the weeks and days leading up to the competition. On the website, you can indicate your interest in joining a team, and there are often meet-and-greet events to help fill positions. It can be exhausting, but it’s a blast.

Tales of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

No, we haven’t dropped off the face of the Earth — though lately it may seem that way. In all honesty, I think this may be the longest we’ve gone between updates in... well, a long time, anyway. Things are moving forward, if a bit more slowly than we (and no doubt many of you) would like. Alas, outside commitments have been a little more daunting than in times past, but there has still been some progress of note. Postproduction is moving ahead on “Number One With a Bullet”; the edit of the film is fairly well locked, we’re doing some cleanup work on visual effects, and we’re working on the score (and trying to license some other music). And, of course, we’re gearing up for this year’s 48 Hour Film Project; no date has yet been announced, but we’re planning on the first weekend in May (the usual weekend).

In the meantime, we’re working on several collaborative projects with the folks from Integral Arts, Team Jabberwocky, and the 48 Hour Film Project. Not a whole lot we can talk about just yet, but as soon as we can announce anything, you’ll hear about it here.

Honest.

Edited to add: The dates for this year’s 48 Hour Film Project have just been announced: May 1–3. Be sure to mark your calendars, and let us know if you’d like to join in the production festivities!