We Have Liftoff!

First and foremost, I wanted to announce that the new Tohubohu Productions website, Tohubohu.tv, is officially live! After several years with the old layout, we were way past time for a little facelift. Though in actuality, this is more than just a cosmetic adjustment: In addition to all of the information on the old site, we’ve also got a more intuitive interface (including having these updates featured on the main page, rather than buried further down); full site searching capability; behind-the-scenes photos, storyboards, and videos; a discussion board; more contributor biographies; and there’s plenty still to come (including some special “members-only” access options)! As for additional features, we’d love your input, so let us know if there’s something we should add.

We’re also going to be relaunching the Producer Podcast in the very near future. We’ve already got some great commentaries on “Number One With a Bullet” in the can, and will be going back and revisiting some of our earlier productions as well. On top of that, we’re planning to have segments on filmmaking tips and tricks, interviews with some of our regular cast and crew members, and maybe even some outside-the-fold guests. (No promises on the frequency of episodes, but we are definitely working to make it a regular release schedule.) Got ideas for topics (or want to help out)? Drop us a line or make a suggestion at the aforementioned discussion board!

In production news, we had a great screening of our newest short “Green House” at the AFI Silver Theater for the international 48 Go Green competition (along with some other really creative entries). Our phenomenal cast ended up taking home an Honorable Mention award for their stellar performances, for which we couldn’t be more proud. You can check out the trailer for the film at — you guessed it — Tohubohu.tv, and we’re currently looking into other screening opportunities (so stay tuned).

We’re also gearing up for this year’s 48 Hour Film Project — an annual Tohubohu tradition since 2004! Hard to believe we’ve been at it that long. We’re actively working on assembling our production team, so if you want to join in, let us know. As always, we can’t promise anything — we’ve had years where we’re scrambling for team members and others where we’ve got more people than we can possibly use — but please don’t just assume that we know you’re on board. (For example, we hear rumors that our friends at Integral Arts are planning to shoot a TV pilot that same weekend — April 29 through May 1 — and since we tend to share a lot of the same team members, we may be short-handed in some areas.) One area where I know we can always use some help is in sound recording (especially if you’ve got some of your own gear); but really, if you can contribute anything, don’t hesitate to speak up. And I have this sinking feeling that we’re way overdue for drawing the dreaded “Western or Musical” category, so any leads on Western-style gear or locations (or musicians and recording equipment) would most definitely be welcome.

That’s all for now. Be sure to check out the new site, and we look forward to hearing back from you soon!

Tohubohu Goes Green

First of all, welcome to the new Tohubohu newsletter mailing, Controlled Chaos. Pretty much the same update I send out every month or so, but with a snappy new look. And a name. Makes it feel more official, somehow. (I’ve done a bit of browser testing here, but if anyone has problems viewing this message, please say so — I may not be able to fix it with my rudimentary html skills, but I’ll do what I can.) The newsletter also showcases the new Tohubohu logo in the header — and to commemorate the occasion, I’ve put together a little compilation of the opening logo animations we’ve used over the years — starting all the way back with “Loose Ends” in 2004 and featuring a sneak peek at our latest. If you’re feeling a bit nostalgic, you can give it a look at our YouTube channel, where “Likes” and comments are always welcome. (You may also notice that we’ve taken to promoting the Tohubohu.tv address over the TohubohuProductions.com one — still the same site, but we’re hoping the shorter address will be easier for people to remember. Assuming they can spell “Tohubohu,” of course.)

Speaking of material on outside sites, I’m trying to get better about updating the Tohubohu Facebook page. We initially had a Facebook group, but that didn’t really take off, and now that the page model is becoming more standard, I figure we’ll have another go. So head on over, give it a “Like,” and say hi. (No Twitter feed yet — that may be coming at some point, but I can’t even get around to updating my personal feed all that reliably — except, of course, over our filmmaking weekends.)

The big item on the agenda this month, of course, is preparing for the 48 Hour Film Project’s “48 Go Green” competition, which is now just two weeks away. (Wait, just two weeks? That can’t be right… Hmm, guess it is.) Looks like we’re getting down to the wire here — if you’re available the weekend of February 18–20 (with the big shooting day being on Saturday the 19th), please let me know as soon as possible. We’ve got a lot of our basic team assembled, but as always, there are some things we can’t get enough of. Locations being a big one; we’ve got a couple on tap, but would love to have multiple options. So if you’ve got a great idea for somewhere to shoot —remember, the theme is the environment, in case that gives you any ideas — please pass it along. And hey, if the environmental angle is what inspires you to join in with our motley crew, then I’m not above pushing that. (I do have to throw out my usual caveat that casting for these types of projects is always a crapshoot, as we don’t know what parameters we’ll have, so we can’t promise anything.)

Otherwise, it’s been a pretty busy month. I spoke at a panel discussion for TIVA on the subject of awards and promotion, and we had a really great turnout — I was glad to step up (or sit down, as the case may be) and represent, not only for Tohubohu but for the whole DC independent film community (no pressure or anything). I was able to attend the premiere of Saint Elizabeths Hospital: Voices From Within, which had a packed house and a fantastic audience reaction (some fantastic event photos are up at their Facebook page). Jabberwocky Audio Theater’s Rogue Tyger debuted its inaugural episode, “The Pilot, Part 1,” with many more to come across the next several months; be sure to check it out at the official site or subscribe via the iTunes directory (no such thing as too much promotion). Genesis completed its run at the Warehouse Theater — but if you missed the show, you can still see a sampling of the video work I contributed at our YouTube channel (probably the most disturbing piece I’ve done to date; not for the kiddies). And of course, we’re laying the groundwork for this year’s (regular)48 Hour Film Project, which we think (judging by past years’ dates) is going to be over the weekend of April 29–May 1 (though it could also be the following weekend — nothing’s locked down yet).

As a bit of a side note, if anyone is interested in volunteering to provide subtitle translations for any of our films, I’d certainly appreciate it. It would go a long way toward helping our prospects for international festival distribution. I’ve had this guy Google doing it, but he’s not all that reliable…

And with that, I’ll go ahead and sign off for now. We’ll be sure to let everyone know when we have any updates or screening info for the “48 Go Green” film (again — no such thing as too much promotion), but otherwise I expect things will be a little quiet in terms of communication until we get through the weekend. Talk to you then, and hope to see a lot of you soon!

Quick Updates

Just thought I’d let everyone know that while we did submit “You Pay Your Dues” to the 2007 DC Shorts festival, it was not chosen for inclusion. We are continuing to submit to other festivals, though, so I’ll be sure to let everyone know about any future screenings.

We’re also working on a few script ideas for production this fall, as well as a fairly large-scale undertaking to launch under the Tohubohu.tv banner (the details of which we’re keeping pretty much under wraps for now).

And this weekend I’m serving as a production designer for the first episode of the follow-up to Buddy Jackson. Partly it’s because I’m a fan of the show itself (and if you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to head over and give it a look), but mostly because it’s a chance to work with Barry Gribble and the award-winning team at Integral Arts — and with an luck, learn a few things and make a few contacts along the way.