Once again, Tohubohu has ventured into the waters of the 48 Hour Film Project, and once again, we have succeeded... Well, in a manner of speaking.

The reality is that while we did produce a great little short horror film, “Liability,” we were late in making it to the final drop-off — and five minutes late is still late. Unfortunately, this means that while we will still screen at the AFI Silver Theatre tomorrow evening (and be eligible for the “Audience Favorite” award), we will not be eligible for consideration in any of the judged categories.

While most certainly a disappointment, I am comforted (at least somewhat) by the fact that every year we strive to do something more than the year before, to stretch our boundaries, to try new things. In a way, if we succeeded every time, then we wouldn’t really be challenging ourselves.

And the horror genre was definitely a challenge. But at every step in the process, everyone on the team worked like mad to make it a success. The individual stories of going above and beyond what I had any right to expect — from both cast and crew — are too numerous to mention.

(I did manage to keep tweeting our progress — though my tweets were understandably a bit sparse during the shoot itself — and I suspect that I’ll continue that tradition in the future.)

In the end, I’m really happy with the film itself. We had committed to producing a PG-13 film, which meant we weren’t going to go for a conventional slasher picture. So instead, we went with more of a creepy ghost story, a tale of justice and supernatural vengeance, of secrets, lies, and lawyers...

But of course, you can judge the results for yourselves: Tickets are still available for our debut screening tomorrow evening — Wednesday, May 5, at 7:00 p.m. You can purchase advance tickets at the AFI Silver website (and given the likelihood that they will sell out, I strongly recommend taking that course). Given that the only award we’re still up for is the Audience award, I really want to make sure we’re stacking that audience with as many friendly faces (or, more accurately, votes) as possible. And since all films in that screening fit within the boundaries of the PG-13 rating, you can feel free to bring younger viewers (thereby increasing our potential audience size).

Also worth noting are two special screenings coming up later this month. First is the Best of the 48 Hour Film Project on May 27, where the top films from this year’s competition will be shown, and the prize winners announced. (There is a different selection of films at each screening, so you can safely make a whole evening out of it.) And on May 28th, you can see the Best of 10 Years of the 48 Hour Film Project, showcasing the best films in the competition’s history — sure to be a memorable event. Tickets for both are also available at the AFI Silver website.

Thanks so much, and I hope to see you tomorrow evening!

“Uncertainty Principle”

Thought I’d send out a quick (and long overdue) note about our latest short film, “Uncertainty Principle,” produced as part of the 48 Hour Film Project International Shootout, and let you know about a special local screening this Saturday evening. (Nothing like giving you plenty of advance notice, eh?)

The competition itself — open to the top 100 48 Hour Film Project teams worldwide — saw 55 teams turning in finished films over the weekend of December 4–7 (we get an extra day in there to account for the need to mail the films in to the “central office”). Five local teams were in the mix — us, Integral Arts, WIT Films, DC Dogs, and Red Hat Memory.

The competition itself proved a bit unusual, as we found out Friday evening when we received our “required elements”... or, rather, when we didn’t receive them. That’s right — no required character, prop, and line, and no randomly assigned genre. All we had was a theme: The End of the World.

I’d say that we agonized for hours about what to do, but in reality we hit upon a basic idea early on (well, Robin did), and we were off and running. We were pretty limited in terms of available locations this time around, so that helped define the scope of what we were able to tackle. But thanks to a great script, a stellar cast (including John C. Bailey, Anna Coughlan, Erin Rose Coughlan, Linda Gabriel Deutsch, Belén Pifel, and Stuart Scotten), and a dedicated crew (both Saturday and Sunday were pretty exhausting shooting days), we were able to deliver a really solid entry, and one I’m personally really proud of.

Here’s the official “summary”: Dire warnings of immminent disaster have proven justified, as global destruction begins raining down from purple-hued skies. A Washington family struggles to cope with the advancing armageddon until a lone physicist proposes an unorthodox course of action.

Unfortunately, because the judging is still under way (the plan is to distribute the top 10 films commercially), we can’t post the film online, or even show you a trailer. (At the earliest, we won’t be able to show you anything until March.) But you will have one chance to see the film this weekend, along with entries from the other local teams.

There will be a special screening — a free screening, no less — of all five DC-area films at CDIA in Georgetown (where the old Foundry Theater used to be) on Saturday, January 16. The screening starts at 7:00 PM and is expected to run about an hour; the films will be followed by a filmmaker Q&A afterward (and having worked with several of these filmmakers before, let me say that they can be an entertaining bunch). This promises to be a fairly packed event — remember, these are entries from the top teams in DC — so be sure to get there early. (Directions are available at the CDIA site, and feel free to get back to me with any questions.)

Hope to see you there!

Rosebud Film & Video Festival 2009

Just wanted to remind everyone that the Rosebud Film & Video Festival Nominee Showcase is this Saturday at the Rosslyn Spectrum Theatre (1611 North Kent Street in Arlington — just two blocks from the Rosslyn Metro station)! The (twenty-film) screening runs from 12:30 p.m. until about 5:30 p.m., but (for those of you who may not be inclined to stay for the entire event), “All Roads Lead Away” will be showing at 2:00. That said, there are some really great films in the lineup — be sure to check out the official site for details!

Tickets for the all-day event are just $8.00, and include an invitation to the Rosebud Awards ceremony at the Clarendon Ballroom on Sunday. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling 703-524-2388.

Hope to see you there!

Oh, and while I’ve got you here, I wanted to give a quick shout-out to Barry Gribble and the Integral Arts production team, whose independent pilot “Dog” (for which yours truly made a very small production-design contribution) was just accepted into the Independent Television Festival in LA. Congratulations!

The Results Are In...

Please Forward” has taken home the Audience Award for screening group G in the 2009 48 Hour Film Project! (We’ve got a nice little certificate and everything.) And given that there were four films from our screening group represented in the “Best Of” screening, that’s no small feat. I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who helped make this effort such a success. The screening itself went great, and was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate with a veritable Who’s-Who of the DC filmmaking community.

The full listing of results are posted at the official site, but I thought I’d point out a few personal highlights. (Just my own opinion, of course, but I like to think my opinion’s pretty significant. It is to me, anyway.) Fellow Audience Award winners included Dobler’s Pen entry “He Drove,” Card Sharque’s “Cry Guy,” and River Run’s “Happy Hour.” Cinematography and Editing honors went to Dead City Films’ “The Imperial.” The WIT Films entry “Rakirovka” took home the Best Directing award (as well as Best Sound Design). And our frequent collaborators (co-conspirators?) Integral Arts took home Best Costumes, Best Special Effects, Best Writing, and Best Film awards for “Gwendolyn Dangerous and the Great Space Rescue.” (Whew!) I also want to give a quick shout-out to The Quest for their film “Stonking,” Cavegirl Productions for “Motivation,” and Star Wipe Films for “Like It’s Your Last” — all worth a look.

That’s it for today, but I’ll sign off with another reminder to keep your calendars open (not to mention passing the news along to anyone who might be interested) on June 27 for the Rosebud Film & Video Festival, where “All Roads Lead Away” will be screening. And in the meantime, I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted on any other showings or events to come!

Best of the 48 Hour Film Project 2009

Well, it’s official — “Please Forwardwill be screening as part of the Best of the 48 Hour Film Project this Thursday evening. We’ll be showing with the 7:00 show, and in glorious HD, no less. (I dropped off an HD master with the editor last Friday.)

If you’d like a recap of the big shooting weekend, Pam posted one earlier, so I won’t go into detail here. But I will say that everything came together fantastically. The writing (from “You Pay Your Dues” scribe Robin Brande) was spot-on, the crew was totally gung-ho (a big help given the daunting number of setups we had), and the cast (including a couple of very talented young newcomers) was enthusiastic and extremely dedicated.

Here’s the official listing of films (with links where available):

Screening 1 — 7:00 p.m.

Screening 2 — 9:30 p.m.

I’ve actually seen quite a few of the other films screening on Thursday, and if the ones I’ve seen are any indication, it promises to be an entertaining show. (Be sure to get your tickets soon, as they will likely sell out.)

Beyond that, be sure to mark your calendars for the Rosebud Film & Video Festival on June 27, where “All Roads Lead Away” will be showing. And we’re scrambling to finish up music for “Number One With a Bullet” so we can start shopping that around to festivals in earnest (though we have already made one submission). More news as we have it!

Preparations, Screenings, and the IMDb

Just a few days away from the 48 Hour Film Project now. We are still looking for anyone who’s interested in makeup and guitar or keyboard work — otherwise we’ll likely have to go for the wild card if we draw “Western or Musical” or “Horror.” Please get back to me ASAP if your skills fit these categories!

If you’re not working on the film (and that includes most of you on this list) but are inclined to follow our progress, we’re going to try providing at least semi-regular status updates via Twitter, which you can follow at twitter.com/coughlan. No guarantees we’ll make it through the whole weekend, but we’re optimistic.

Our official screening has been set — Friday, May 8, at 7:00 p.m., once again at the beautiful AFI Silver Theater. Be sure to get your tickets as soon as possible to make sure you don’t miss out!

In other news, “All Roads Lead Away” was accepted as a Nominee in the Rosebud Film and Video Festival. The screening will be at the Rossyln Spectrum Theater on Saturday, June 27. Stay tuned for details, but be sure to mark your calendars!

And one final notification — the Internet Movie Database now has dedicated pages for “Homemade Hero” and “You Pay Your Dues,” and both “Screening Process” and “Number One With a Bullet” will be following shortly. While not all of the details are up there yet, be sure to check out the pages to make sure all of your personal info is correct (and congratulations to anyone who’s earned their IMDb page with these additions)!

Springtime Update

Spring’s finally here, which (hopefully) means the weather will be brightening up a bit soon (though admittedly, the forecasts for the weekend aren’t looking particularly promising). But in my own attempt to raise spirits a bit, I thought I’d throw out some quick positive notes.

One, we’re now just about a month away from the 2009 48 Hour Film Project, and we’re actively working on assembling our team. If you’d like to join in and haven’t gotten back to me with that decision, now would be a really good time. We can use everything from actors to crew to offers of interesting or unusual props and locations — so if you think you may be able to offer a contribution, drop me a line ASAP!

Two, our short film “The Big Lie (That Solves Everything)” has joined “Quite Contrary,” “Machinations,” and “All Roads Lead Away” in being listed at the Internet Movie Database! So when you get a chance, head on over, check the page out, and submit your own rating for the film (and if you worked on it, take a second to make sure your listing is correct).

And three, “All Roads Lead Away” will be screening on Friday, April 3, as part of the 2009 Heritage Film & Video Festival. Check out the site for details as they become available, and I hope to see you there!

Okay, so maybe the sky’s still a little overcast — but I think I see the sun poking out from behind a cloud up there. Cherry blossoms can’t be too far behind...

Reminder: DC Shorts This Weekend

Just wanted to remind everyone that the DC Shorts Film Festival opens this Thursday, with a gala opening night party on the rooftop terrace at Carroll Square (open to anyone with an opening night ticket). And “All Roads Lead Away” is screening as part of Showcase 3 — be sure to pick up your tickets before they sell out. And don’t forget to tell all your friends and neighbors; let’s generate some prescreening buzz! (Drawing attention to our MySpace page and our Facebook group would be a good start.)

Remember, our screenings are:

  • Friday, September 12, 7:00 p.m. (with Q&A afterward — this one I’ll definitely be attending)
  • Saturday, September 13, 3:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 14, 9:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 16, 4:30 p.m.

And then we can all celebrate at the closing night party at Bar Louie on Saturday night! Hope to see you all there!

P.S.: On a side note, I’m just about finished with the first full cut of “Number One With a Bullet” (except for some pickup/establishing shots we still need to get in there). From here, we’ll be showing it to a select group of people to gauge reactions, and then polishing the edit and diving into cleanup, scoring, etc. If you’d like to be an early viewer, drop me a line (no promises — offhand, I’d say this is limited to cast and crew — but I’d just as soon have people who want to offer critiques).

P.P.S.: If you’re not going to be in the DC area this weekend, I suppose we’ll be missing you this time around. But if, on the other hand, you find yourself in New York, be sure to catch the first public screening of the pilot for “Saving Corporate America” at the New York Television Festival. Produced by our friends over at Integral Arts for Fox Television Studios, the screening — at the New World Stages — is free (though space is limited), and will be followed by a Q&A from creators Barry Gribble and Kevin Good (as well as Fox exec Caitlin Foito). Click here for details. (After all they’ve done for us lately, the least we can do is give ’em a little plug. Though for the record, I have seen and loved the pilot, so it’s not an empty endorsement.)

Summer Progress Report

Okay, so summer slowed things down a bit. But I did want to give everyone a quick progress report, and to let you all know that tickets to the DC Shorts screenings are now on sale!

Editing on “Number One With a Bullet” is proceeding fairly well; we’re about two-thirds of the way toward a true “first cut” of the film. In truly nonsensical fashion, I’ve been working my way in from both ends — so right now, we’ve got scenes 1 through 9 cut together, and scenes 28 through 32, but nothing in the middle (other than a rough stringout). We’ll still have loads of work to do in terms of audio leveling, color correction, effects finalizing, scoring, etc., but once we get that middle portion finished, we’ll have something that we can show to people. Cast and crew get first dibs, of course, but after that, I’ll be sure to let people here know.

Individual screening tickets have gone on sale for the DC Shorts Film Festival. Generally speaking, you can just go to the DC Shorts website, then click on the “Films” tab to find either a particular film or browse through the schedule; then you’ll be able to buy tickets to a particular screening. A reminder that “All Roads Lead Away” is screening as part of “Showcase 3,” and we’ve got four screenings throughout the festival (you can direct-link to our screening schedule here). The first screening will also feature a filmmakers’ Q&A afterward — definitely the preferred option.

For the record, our screenings are:

  • Friday, September 12, 7:00 p.m. (with Q&A afterward)
  • Saturday, September 13, 3:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 14, 9:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 16, 4:30 p.m.

It’s also worth noting that thanks to the DC Shorts screening, “All Roads Lead Away” now qualifies for inclusion in the Internet Movie Database (joining our earlier entries “Quite Contrary” and “Machinations”). You can find the dedicated page for “All Roads Lead Away” here — go give it a visit, add your ratings and comments, etc. (Do note that last I checked, they were still adding some of the information, so there might be some gaps in the crew listing; if you notice anything missing, let me know and I’ll investigate further.)

And I’ll also put in a reminder to visit our MySpace page and our Facebook group; we’ll be posting occasional updates and information there as well (though we’re not abandoning the email list just yet).

That’s all for now — hope to see you all at DC Shorts in September!

DC Shorts 2008

We just got word that “All Roads Lead Away” has been accepted into the 2008 DC Shorts Film Festival. As one of the premier short-film festivals in the country (they received more than 630 films and screenplays for consideration this year), this is a great honor. And on top of that, it’s a great festival experience to boot (both for viewers and filmmakers)!

I just took a quick glance at the official selections list, and with the exception of “The Bad News Bearer” (winner of this year’s 48 Hour Film Project for DC) and “Attack of the Hot Female Alien Man-Eaters” (starring Tohubohu vets Joy Haynes and Kevin Good, and directed by my occasional Integral Arts co-crewmember Janine Sides), there didn’t seem to be many I was familiar with (though I could easily have missed something). But there’s definitely a lot of variety there, and if past years’ festivals are any indication, there’ll be a lot of great films to see. We’ll be screening in high definition (we submitted the film into the HD Short Film competition), so if you missed seeing it in HD before (our premiere was just in standard definition), this’ll be another great opportunity to see it in all its HD, big-screen glory.

The festival runs from September 11th through the 18th of this year (the main events being from the 11th through the 14th, with additional screenings through the 18th), and there will be film screenings, screenplay readings, and meet-and-greet parties. We’ll know more as the date approaches, but I wanted to get this little tidbit of information out as soon as possible. Hope to see you there!