Politics & Comedy: Tohubohu goes for a third 48-hour weekend!

We made “Codependence Day” for the DC 48 Hour Film Project (and were selected for the “Best of DC” screening). Then we turned around and made “Tex: Wisdom of the Old West” for the Baltimore competition, where we took home an Audience Choice Award and Best Musical Score recognition. But we’re not done yet — we’re wrapping up our summer filmmaking season with a bang: The 48 Hour Politics & Comedy Project!

This one’s largely the same as the regular 48 Hour Film Project, but instead of drawing one of several film genres, we’ll be drawing two specialized subgenres — one a political subgenre and the other a comedic one. Think “Campaign Trail” or “Whistle Blower,” or maybe “Dark Comedy” or “Slapstick.” No wild card options; we’ll have to make one or the other. So who knows? This may be our excuse to push out of our light-comedy wheelhouse and do something with some bite…

The competition weekend will be coming up in just a couple of weeks: September 25–27 (with the premiere screening at the Burke Theater at Navy Memorial on October 2). It’s only open to 30 teams max, and the winning film will also screen at Filmapalooza in Atlanta next March. So if you’re a part of our regular troupe — or just want to see how you can help us make a political statement — be sure to drop us a line right away. (All that said, be advised that my politics definitely lean to the left — so if that’s not your cup of tea, you may prefer to wait until our next go-around. No judgments — I just want to make sure nobody gets caught off guard.)

And as if a sleepless weekend weren’t enough, following right on the heels of our filmmaking weekend, Tohubohu will be representing at the long-overdue return of the Stonehenge Auditions on Monday, September 28! Actors — if you want a chance to audition in front of us and a slew of other producers, be sure to fill out your profile — in full — on the Stonehenge Casting site. (It’s free for actors.) And fellow film producers, be sure to register before noon on Monday, when the producer fees double!

I think that’s all for now — but in the meantime, as a special thanks for reading all the way through this message, enjoy a special viewing of “Tex: Wisdom of the Old West” right here!

Tohubohu Productions joins the Baltimore 48 Hour Film Project!

Codependence Day” has finished its run with the DC 48 Hour Film Project — while we were selected for the “Best Of” screening at the AFI Silver Theatre, we did not otherwise receive any specific accolades. But that doesn’t mean we’re resting on our laurels. Far from it: In just one week, we’ll be throwing our hat in the ring for the Baltimore competition!

Despite our having participated for a number of years in the DC contest — I think we’ve got a pretty good workflow going — this will be our first time doing so in the Charm City. Not only will this give us another opportunity to make a short film this year, but it’ll present its own set of new challenges (and we do try to challenge ourselves with something new each time). That said, we won’t be changing things up too much — we’re still going to be operating out of our usual Alexandria base camp, and we’ve got a solid group of returning team members — not just yours truly, but producer Lee Perna, associate producer Meredith Sims, and DP Dan Foster, among others.

Like I said, we’ve got just one week to get our act together — the competition runs from June 12–14 (with premiere screenings at the Charles Theatre on June 23–24). So if you’re a part of our regular troupe — or just want to see how you can help us get this going — be sure to drop me a line right away. There’s really no time to lose!

This Friday evening, Tohubohu celebrates “Codependence Day” at the AFI Silver!

It’s be nice to pretend that this whole 48 Hour Film Project thing is routine, but as we discover each year, there’s no predicting how things will go. But this year, despite several moments of near-despair (especially at around two hours before deadline, when it seemed there was no way we’d get the finished product in on time), we managed not only to get the film completed (and turned in), but to produce a pretty entertaining little movie: a little holiday film called “Codependence Day”!

First, let me thank everyone involved in the process. This would absolutely not have been possible without a utterly dedicated cast and crew, and this year’s film demonstrated just what that level of enthusiasm can create.

And second, let me tell you all that you don’t have to take our word for the entertainment value of our little short: You can come see for yourself this Friday evening, May 8, at 9:45 p.m., as “Codependence Day” screens at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center with Screening Group D for the 2015 Washington DC 48 Hour Film Project! Click here to order your tickets — but don’t wait too long, as these shows have been known to sell out!

We hope to see you there — and if you can come out in celebratory Independence Day-themed attire, so much the better (so we can have a shot at the all-important screening Spirit Award).

In the meantime, check out the brand-new 48-second trailer for our film below! Starting tomorrow, Facebook users can vote for our trailer at the official DC48HFP Trailer Contest right here — voting will be open through Monday, with the winners announced shortly thereafter. So please visit, check out the submitted trailers, and give us your vote!

That’s it for now — hope to see a whole lot of you on Friday!

Welcome to the Future!

Okay, so it’s not quite time for Marty and Doc to arrive from 1985, but at least we’re in the destination year. And in the spirit of staying current, we’re simplifying our usual newsletter template — so hopefully this should read better in a wider variety of email clients (including mobile devices).

First, let’s get a few quick updates out of the way (since it’s been way too long since we sent out an email update).
  • Uke & Trust Me” was honored with a Bronze at this year’s TIVA Peer Awards for Directing - Fiction, Short! We’ve updated the official page — complete with one sheet poster and trailer — and made sure all of the film’s info has been entered into the official IMDb page (so if you worked on the film, this might be a good opportunity to make sure all of your info’s correct).
  • Remorseless” — formerly titled “At Last” — will be screening at the AFI Silver Theatre as part of a special Short Film Showcase to premiere “Apocalypse Rock,” from Star Wipe Films. Not sure if there’s still any way to get a seat (we’ve got two tickets), but if you’re interested, let me know!
  • Alas, the Tohubohu Producer Podcast is on hiatus for now, but there’s still the potential that we’ll post previously-unreleased material, or maybe even revive the podcast if time permits!
Now that those items are out of the way, it’s time once again for the annual call-to-arms for Tohubohu’s 2015 entry in the Washington DC 48 Hour Film Project, taking place over the weekend of May 1–3! If you’ve done this before, you know the drill — we’re looking for cast and crew; experience with us is definitely a plus, but not a requirement (as we welcome new blood). Our production is likely to be based out of the beautiful Del Ray neighborhood in Alexandria, though we may certainly travel to other locations if the need arises. So if you’re up for the challenge, let us know (a) that you’d like to pitch in, and (b) what you can bring to the team. We look forward to hearing from you!

Communicating the Old-School Way

Okay, so as we’ve moved more definitively into the podcasting realm, we’ve slacked off a bit in the old-school blog-and-email messaging. I’d say that’s going to change, but in all honesty, given limited time and resources, you’re more likely to see regular updates on the aforementioned podcast and via our Facebook page and Twitter feed. (Not that we’re all that diligent there either, but still…) I won’t bore you all with a lot of big news, but to recap some of the highlights of the past year:

And those are just a few of the high points. But in the interests of looking forward, it’s time once again to put out the call for this year’s Washington DC 48 Hour Film Project! Yes, Tohubohu is officially entered, so now’s the time to let us know if you’d like to join the team. Drop us a line, leave us a comment, or otherwise get word that (a) you’d like to hop on board, and (b) what you can bring to the team. We look forward to hearing from you, veterans and newcomers alike!

Off to the Theater!

What? Two newsletters in two months? That’s crazy talk!

We’ll keep it short this time though, since the main reason we’re writing is to let everyone know that our latest short film, “The Writer’s Dilemma,” is going to be screening this Saturday evening, May 11 at 7:00 p.m. at the AFI Silver Theater. And we need as many friendly faces in the crowd as possible. Alas, our latest effort for the 48 Hour Film Project did not make it in time for the contest deadline, so the only award we’re eligible for is the audience favorite — and I know we’ve got some tough competition in our screening group. So right now we’re all about stacking the audience.

Returning Tohubohu performers Jennifer Massey and Nick DePinto star as Libby Daricek and Mark LaSalle, two authors each working to finish their respective novels — Mark’s being a crime thriller, and Libby’s an emotional drama. But as they describe scenes from their works (and propose changes to their pieces), their collaborative relationship is put to the test, especially as they learn they may be competing for the same goal.

We’ve cut together a 48-second trailer for the film (the timing seemed appropriate), which you can watch right here. And don’t forget to get your tickets for the big premiere at the AFI Silver’s site. You won’t want to miss your chance to see the movie on the big screen!

In other news, hot on the heels of our big premiere, the film’s director Bjorn Munson will be a special guest on The Charlie Visconage Show when it returns to Fort Fringe at 9:30 p.m. on May 17th! For those of you not familiar with the show, The Charlie Visconage Show is a late-night talk show focused on DC-area artists with new audiences filmed in front of a live audience. Tickets are available at The Charlie Visconage Show at Capital Fringe for just $15. Bjorn will be talking all about The Broken Continent (which you may have heard us mention here once or twice); also joining Charlie will be B. Stanley, Executive/Artistic Director of the DC Arts Center, and special musical guest Sarah Fridrich. The show’s a remarkable experience that has garnered some great critical acclaim (“Simply zany fun… laugh out loud funny,” just to pick a pull quote from the Washington Post) — a definite must-see.

Well, that’s it for now — hope to see (at least some of) you on Saturday! (See, I told you we’d keep it short.)

Let Slip the Dogs of Film

I’ll start right off with the usual disclaimer — if you’re not keeping up via our Twitter feed, Facebook page, and the monthly Producer Podcast, then you’re likely not getting the full picture as far as updates go. But fear not — for the moment, at least, we’re still trying to maintain at least a nominal email communication channel.

Speaking of the Podcast, we’re covered a lot of ground lately. This past year we’ve talked casting, screenwriting, genre work, community media, web series, music videos, community workshops, festival programming, crowdfunding, the 48 Hour Film Project and much more. We’ve interviewed local film mavens Francis Abbey, Jon Gann, Kevin Good, Kiley Kraskouskas, Lonnie and Cindy Marie MartinDave Nuttycombe, Mark Ruppert, Kelley Slagle, Jackie Steven and Jonathan Zuck — and had community contributions from many more. (Speaking of which — if you’d like to be included among the filmmakers we tap for our “Community Question” segment, let us know and we’ll add you to the list!)

In screening news, April gives us two screenings for the Tarakata Films/Tohubohu Productions short “The Lake”: The Bare Bones Film and Music Festival in Muskogee, Oklahoma, showed the film this past Friday, and the Maryland International Film Festival in Hagerstown, Maryland, will be screening it this coming Saturday with the Shorts 6 program — 4:45 pm at the Academy Theater. Unfortunately, neither Tara nor I (Bill, that is) will be able to attend, but — judging by the inaugural festival (at which “Green House” screened), it promises to be a great experience.

While I’m at it, I might as well throw a little plug out for a project that several of us Tohubohuans have been working quite diligently at for the past few months: the recently-completed web series The Broken Continent. After a successful theatrical screening for cast, crew and backers, the series premiered in three parts at getbroken.tv — where you can watch and enjoy to your heart’s content! Moreover, the pilot screened at the Zenkaikon Anime Festival in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and will be showing a bit closer to home at Awesome Con D.C. on Sunday, April 21. A truly stellar example of what can happen when a bunch of really talented people pool their efforts!

Now, for the annual announcement everyone’s been waiting for…

Yes, Tohubohu will be participating in this year’s DC 48 Hour Film Project, taking place in just one month: May 3-5, 2013. But we’ll be switching things up a bit this time around. Bjorn Munson will be sitting in the director’s chair this year, and I will be focusing on writing and editing (plus my usual pre-event organization and promotion). Ken Coughlan will be returning to his producer duties from “At Last” (with the able assistance of Mary Kay Coughlan), and Tohubohu expatriate Dan Foster will be traveling in once more to take the photographic reins. We’re filling out the rest of the roster right now — so if you’re game for joining in, let us know ASAP! We also need locations — so if you’ve got any leads on some interesting (or frankly, even uninteresting) places to shoot, be sure to tell us that as well. Same goes for any interesting costumes, equipment, what have you — anything that can make our little effort stand out from the crowd. (Mother Nature’s already pitching in with cicadas — though in the interests of not playing favorites, I hear she plans to offer them to all participating teams.)

And, of course, if you just want to see the results of our labors, the finished film will be screening at the AFI Silver Theatre the following week — keep an eye out for specific details (the aforementioned Twitter feed and Facebook page being a couple of great options for doing so).

Well, that’s about it for this update. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing several of you very soon as we cry “Havoc!”

Double Your Pleasure

All right, so we’ve pretty clearly dropped off in terms of regular posting-based updates — our last post was nearly six months ago now. I’d like to say that we’ll get better, but in all honesty, our more timely updates have most likely permanently moved to other media — TwitterFacebook, and most especially the monthly Tohubohu Producer Podcast. So if you’re not following, liking, and subscribing, be sure to hit those links ASAP.

That said, we haven’t completely abandoned good old-fashioned news posting. Especially since we do have some positive news to share, and also wanted to give everyone a timely reminder as to a couple of upcoming events. So you can interpret our subject header in a few different ways — either (a) we’re giving you both news and notifications, (b) we’ve had two films recently recognized for awards, (c) we’ve got two screening events to call attention to, or (d) you can see not one but two Tohubohu films at one of the screening events. Doubles all around.

Since I mentioned awards, we might as well jump in there: Tohubohu Productions was recognized with four awards at the 2012 TIVA Peer Awards, held at the National Press Club in DC this past November. The Tarakata Films/Tohubohu Productions short “The Lake” took home three Bronze awards, for Acting: Dramatic, Female (Tara Garwood), Directing: Fiction, Short (Tara Garwood and William R. Coughlan) and Independent Short. And “At Last” took home a Silver award, for Editing: Fiction, Short (Brad Hartland, Colin Heichman and William R. Coughlan). Needless to say, a very exciting evening.

Now, moving on to our two upcoming events…

Firstly, the Havre de Grace Drama Guild recently completed its Cinematography Workshop — coordinated by “At Last” producer Kenneth J. Coughlan, and featuring several more Tohubohu veterans as class instructors: Mary Kay Coughlan on makeup, William R. Coughlan on screenwriting, Nick DePinto on acting, Colin Heichman on editing, and Dylan Hintz on stunt work. The guild will be hosting the premiere screening for the two inaugural short films created via the workshop, “The Flag” and “Matches.” (Hey, another double!) The screening will be at the Havre de Grace Activity Center at 351 Lewis Lane in Havre de Grace, Maryland, on Friday, January 4, at 7:00 p.m. Best of all, the event is free and open to the public (though seating is limited).

And secondly, you can catch not one but two Tohubohu films at the upcoming Rosebud Film and Video Festival, taking place on Saturday, January 12, at the Dome Theater at Artisphere in Arlington, Virginia (1101 Wilson Boulevard). While the full-festival screening starts at 2:00 p.m., if your time is limited you can catch “The Lake” at 3:15 p.m., and stick around to watch “At Last” at 3:40 p.m. All-day admission is just $10. The awards ceremony for the festival is the following evening at the Clarendon Ballroom — so be sure to check out our Twitter feed and Facebook page for any late-breaking results!

Before we close out, I wanted to offer a special congratulations to the folks behind the upcoming web series “The Broken Continent” — Francis Abbey of Ciscovaras Pictures, Kelley Slagle of Cavegirl Productions, and our very own Bjorn Munson of Team Jabberwocky — not only on the completion of principal photography for the series pilot, but on the success of their just-funded “postproduction and promotion” Kickstarter campaign! We’re following this one closely, so stay tuned for more details as they become available.

That’s about it for this update, but like I said before, to stay up on the latest, make sure to follow the Twitter feed, like our Facebook page, and subscribe to the monthly podcast. Seriously — at this rate you’re a lot more likely to be in the know than if you just wait for us to get around to another news post…


Wow, has it really been that long since we sent out an update? True, we’ve sent out plenty of updates in other media — Twitter, Facebook, and most especially the monthly Tohubohu Producer Podcast — but not so much in the way of longer, text-based updates.

So where to begin…

Well, we ventured once more into the waters of the 48 Hour Film Project with the drama “At Last.” Anchored by a star turn from leading lady Jennifer Massey, this film really proved to be one of our best to date (if also technically our shortest). Robin Brande got behind the typewriter (or laptop, as the case may be) again, William R. Coughlan sat back in the director’s chair (figuratively speaking, as there’s not a lot of time for sitting on set), and longtime Tohubohu “legal eagle” Kenneth J. Coughlan stepped up to produce. “Touched by a Lawyer” lenser Dan Foster traveled halfway across the country to shoot it (assisted by experienced videographer Andrew Albosta), and Dylan Hintz became Tohubohu’s first stunt coordinator (with an on-screen performance that truly must be seen to be believed).

The film itself grew out of the observation that people all too frequently find themselves obsessing over the idea of “apologies,” often to self-destructive levels. It’s rarely sufficient just to hear the words; we have an inescapable need to know that an offender feels genuine remorse for injurious actions — a result that can rarely be achieved in the real world. With that as a basic seed (coupled with our assigned genre and required elements), we were off and running.

The film premiered at the AFI Silver Theatre on Friday, May 11, and was later selected to screen as part of the “Best of the DC 48 Hour Film Project” showcase. We’ve already started sending it out to festivals, so stay tuned for updates as we have more.

Postproduction work has continued steadily on “The Lake,” and we (and by “we” I pretty much mean Tarakata Films head and “Lake” writer/co-director/co-producer/editor Tara Garwood — credit where credit’s due) finally completed picture lock. It’s been a bumpy road, but totally worth it to see the finished result. We’re preparing a cast and crew screening right now, and have already started shipping it out to the festival circuit (focusing primarily on genre festivals). We’re also in the process of cutting a trailer together, so all of you (not to mention a somewhat wider audience) will be able to get a taste of this engaging little character piece.

An affecting (and very personal) story and great performances from Bette Cassatt, Gale Nemec, Carl Randolph, and the aforementioned Tara Garwood really elevate this beyond a typical “horror” film to another Tohubohu must-see.

And never let it be said that the Tohubohu back catalog just sits on a (virtual) shelf: “All Roads Lead Away” just screened at Artscape, America’s largest free arts festival. They were looking to showcase a selection of “road movies,” and we happened to have a great one…

The Tohubohu Producer Podcast is still going strong, and we’ve covered some really great topics since our relaunch. In addition to our previews and recaps of the DC 48 Hour Film Project (including interviews with several participating filmmakers across the big weekend), we have so far covered topics such as DSLR filmmaking, festival submission strategies, casting, “signature shorts,” and film inspirations. Special guests have included BigTony of Crowded Elevator Pictures, Tara Garwood of Tarakata Films, Francis Abbey of Ciscovaras Pictures, Kelley Slagle of Cavegirl Productions, and Mark Ruppert of the 48 Hour Film Project. Upcoming episodes will delve deeper into the intricacies of film festivals and explore other topics of interest to filmmakers in the DMV and beyond, such as crowd-funding (with more expert guests to come). Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to keep up with the latest! Got a topic you’d like us to cover (or expertise you’d like to share)? Drop us a line and tell us about it.

Speaking of crowd-funding, I wanted to step back and take a moment to draw attention to a special project going on right here in the DC area, and ask you to give it a quick look. (Not a Tohubohu project, though Tohubohu “Jack of All Trades” Bjorn Munson is helping produce via our “sister company” Team Jabberwocky, “The Lake” star Bette Cassatt is a leading cast member and regular Tohubohu performer Nick DePinto is a key player.) Francis Abbey is developing “The Broken Continent,” a fantasy web series scheduled to shoot this September — if they can get the funding together. They’ve gotten a fantastic response so far, but there’s still quite a ways to go to reach their goal. I encourage everyone to check out the Kickstarter campaign page — getbroken.tv — to learn more, and visit the official site to get a glimpse into the amazingly detailed world they’ve created so far.

There are some pretty amazing rewards for larger contributions, but the beauty of crowd-funding is that a large base of small contributors can have just as much of an effect as an individual deep-pocketed “angel.” So hop on over, give it the once-over, and if you feel so inclined, pitch in to help make this happen.

That’s it for this update. We’ll send out another message when we have news to provide, but remember, to stay up-to-date on the latest, make sure to follow our Twitter feed, “like” our Facebook page, and subscribe to our podcast!