February 22, 2008

O.F.F. – Day 4

Filed under: Uncategorized — writebrainit @ 1:12 pm

Last night was my last night of working the festival until Sunday. Tonight and tomorrow I get to simply go and watch movies. My car has been out of commission and that has been weighing heavy on my nerves – not knowing if it is going to be something I can afford or not. I just talked with the mechanic and it should be done by the end of the day, but I am planning on seeing a movie at 5:30, so we will have to see how it goes. At this point, I am not sure if I am getting my fish fry fish tonight.

Last night did not start off well for the booth worker – things were not as well organized as they had been on the previous nights and they had too many (in my mind) movies starting at the same time, which made ticket sales a little harder. We were a little worried though because we had an Omaha movie premiering last night – Ulterior Motives and after the chaos that was present when Out of Omaha was shown at last year’s, we were a little worried. We came up with a couple of ideas to make last night go smoother and it went unbelievably smooth. We were all very proud of ourselves.

I am constantly amazed by so many things at this third year of the festival. The directors, writers and editors have all been amazing. I am loving that I have the opportunity to talk with some of these people – I am totally ‘geeked’ out about it. I sat in on the Q & A for Nobody and it was very interesting. Then we were off to Julio’s for $2 tacos (with our badges). Julio’s is great to us. I almost didn’t go because I was feeling so tired that I feared falling asleep on the way home (I made the wise choice to not have a margarita for that same reason). I was so glad that I ended up going though. It’s just a nice ending to the night and the work we did (I bet the majority of us would enjoy our jobs and work better if this was a more regular routine with our day jobs).

This man comes up and sits down with us (gotta point out how hot he was at this point). I am sure I acted like a blushing school girl. He was the director of the short film ‘EMO’. I had been lucky enough to see this one and really enjoyed it. It has this great humor in it, and I think he was even a little impressed when I was able to tell him that his movie had one of my favorite funny lines in it and shared with him how much it had made me laugh. He was a very enjoyable man – from the Midwest and was thrilled to have been chosen to show his film in the Midwest. It’s times like that when I just look and am amazed at the opportunity that I have to meet some of these people – I guess I need to work harder to have some stuff ready to try and peak their interest in my stuff (but that honestly is not my style).

I just have to say how thankful I am to Jason, Jeremy and Mark (Omaha Film Festival directors) for all they have done in bringing this film festival here. I already can’t wait for next year, lol.


February 21, 2008

Day 3 – O.F.F.

Filed under: movies — writebrainit @ 2:40 pm

Last night was another working night at the festival. We had quite a few directors come in. I was kicking myself because I checked in the director from The Listening Project and for some reason I was thinking of something else. I would have loved to let him know how much I enjoyed that documentary. I am not a huge fan of documentaries, but that one really grabbed me. Basically, 4 people go to something like 19 countries and they ask the question, ‘what do you think of America.’ I saw it with 3 other people who initially struck me as a little cynical about it, expecting everyone to be on an American slam-jam or something. It wasn’t like that at all. It was interesting to hear how much America is being compared to the Fall of the Roman Empire. One guy from England really struck me when he said, think back just 100 years, ‘we were the power country.’ A very interesting perspective. It was also cool to hear how many have such positive things to say about Americans in general although it was pretty much unanimous that our government is not liked – especially George Bush. I am still kicking myself today for missing that opportunity to let him know how much I enjoyed it, but oh well, there might be other chances throughout the weekend.

I got to meet the director of one of my favorite shorts ‘Validation,’ which is just purely delightful. It stars a guy who is on bones and is just a fun play on the word ‘Validation.’ My favorite directo to talk with so far came from England (I believe – it might be Wales, but I can’t remember). He directed the short – Double Act – how cool is it that he came across the ocean for his short. I love talking with his guy – as I think I have mentioned, BBC America is one of my favorite channels so he has been letting me know if they are coming back or not. I guess we are a season or two behind Dr. Who, so the sidekick he has now is not his sidekick right now. I guess Catherine Tate comes in to be his sidekick in the next season, which is cool to me. She was so funny in her comedy show, so I am guessing she adds and element I will enjoy. I am sure I am bugging this guy, but he is very generous and pleasent to talk with.

The night ended with a trip to Julio’s for a drink and a taco. The bartender was HOT, so that’s always a nice end to my evening. Plus I am just having fun talking with some of the volunteers, directors, oh and I met Jon Bokenkamp who was with the director of ‘Validation.’ Tonight I am working and then off to Julio’s for another drink and taco.

I have planned my movies for the next two days – just in case anyone is interested in going with me.

Friday –
5:30 – Jetsam
7:30 Short Films #1
10:30 House of Fears

Saturday –
11:30 – Short Films #2
2:30 – Oil on Water
5:00 – Nebraska Shorts
7:30 Home of the Giants
9:30 The Wretched

February 20, 2008

O.F.F. – Day 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — writebrainit @ 3:17 pm

I have been so tired, that I haven’t taken the time to write the daily blogs that I was hoping to. Monday openned with Sleepwalker – there was a lot of mixed reviews when people came out of the theater. I think many of them said that it was a little slow and that it was dark, not necessarily what they were expecting. I was working the front booth, so I didn’t get to see this one. It comes out in theaters in March, so I am hoping to get to see it then. I know that I tend to have a different view and I don’t mind a bit of the dark, so I will check it out when it comes out.

After the movie was the opening night party at the Pizza Shoppe. That was a lot of fun, there was free beer and soda, pizza and cheese bread. The music was good – the band, Thousand Houses performed. I had a good time talking with many different people. I even got to meet Shane Black who was very nice and had a lot of nice things to say about the film festival and the volunteers.

Last night, Day 2 wasn’t as busy as I was hoping it would be – although they did pretty much fill the theater for Strongest Ever, which is a documentary made about the woman who is listed as the strongest woman ever and she lives here in Omaha. The star of the documentary was there, and many of her friends (I believe there was only one person who didn’t know her in the theater). Response for the documentary was good.

The end of the night was quiet enough, that I slipped out of the both and went into watch one of the movies “That One Night” which I enjoyed – I think there is some editing concerns and honestly there were several scenes that I would have cut, but the majority of the main characters were very likable.

Tonight is another special screening – My Brother is an Only Child which is a French film and I believe that it has or is up for some awards. The Listening Project is a very interesting documentary that is showing for the first time tonight – 4 people going into something like 17 countries and ask ‘what do you think of America?’ It was very interesting to see that perspective. Imitation Life is a movie that I want to see, and there is a short block running that has some that I really enjoyed (Validation being one of my favorites). I will try and stick in the hyperlinks later, for now, that’s all I got.

February 18, 2008

Omaha Film Festival 2008 – Days 1 and 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — writebrainit @ 12:58 pm

I don’t even know where to begin, this weekend was the kick-off of the Omaha Film Festival. The screen writing conference. This is the third year of O.F.F. but only the second time they have had the educational piece. I was again asked to pick up one of the drivers and get him to the conference. I was honored and surprised – the last time was really interesting, but that’s another story. This time I was picking up and driving Jeff Kitchen around. He was really a nice guy, and I do have some stories, but I am thinking that I will add them in another note. I actually was driving him to and from the hotel more than I had expected, so I had quite a few conversations with him. The other one I was able to drive to the hotel on Saturday night and then I picked him up again on Sunday, was Josh Stolberg. Wow, talk about an interesting guy, but again, I will save that for a different post.

Sunday was another early day, Jeff Kitchen gave a presentation on how to write a screenplay which was really interesting, and a different way to look at it. One of the things that I found so interesting about it, is that he said that following his steps first is the way to go and then you can insert the dialogs. I know it’s going to be worth a try as I continue in my efforts to try and learn to write screenplays.

I missed the presentation that Lew Hunter gave. I also missed the session with Jon Bokenkamp (I did get to see the Q & A session that he gave with Josh on Saturday). I was running Jeff to his hotel to pack and then to the airport. He gave me a copy of his book as a thank you, which was pretty cool. I had purchased it from him the day before, but the thought was very kind and it does look like a good learning tool.

Last night was the a movie presentation of Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang and Shane Black was there for a Q & A session after the movie. I had never seen the movie and I really can’t understand why. I enjoy Val Kilmer and love Robert Downey, Jr. It was a fun session and interesting to get to hear his take, again another post.

Tonight the festival actually starts with the movies – they are showing a movie Sleepwalking which I am not sure I will get to see as it is the only showing of it, and I am actually working the festival tonight. Then their is a little first night party following it, which I am looking forward to. I am expecting a Whole Lotta Tired this week, but I can hardly wait. Hope to see you there.

February 4, 2008

The Oscars

Filed under: filmstreams,movies,oscars — writebrainit @ 1:45 am

Okay – the Oscars are right around the corner. I am closer than I usually am in getting to see all of the main ones up for something. I have a couple that I still need to see, but for the most part – I have seen them all. I am hoping to be able to go and see The Savages tomorrow or the next night – I think those are the only chances I have. Luckily, it is showing at our new little theater – Filmstreams which was able to get The Diving Bell and The Butterfly and The Savages – I saw the first last night and I was blown away. I have to say that I think this is one of the best years, I have my favorites, and the ones I think should win as well as what I think will win.

I am really excited because Filmstreams is also bringing in a block of the shorts that are up for nomination in the awards. That is so cool – I can’t wait to see them. I am thinking that one of the things I am going to do with my tax refund is get a membership – it’s $50 a year – and with that I think there are other perks, but the one I know of is that you get to see movies for $4.

I have put my choice/hope in the bold print and the italics is what I think will probably win (the question at the end is my way of saying ‘why is this even in the running?)

Performance by an actor in a leading role
George Clooney in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)?
Daniel Day-Lewis in “There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)
Johnny Depp in “Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)
Tommy Lee Jones in “In the Valley of Elah” (Warner Independent)
Viggo Mortensen in “Eastern Promises” (Focus Features)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Casey Affleck in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (Warner Bros.)
Javier Bardem in “No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)
Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Charlie Wilson’s War” (Universal)
Hal Holbrook in “Into the Wild” (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment)
Tom Wilkinson in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (Universal)
Julie Christie in “Away from Her” (Lionsgate)
Marion Cotillard in “La Vie en Rose” (Picturehouse)
Laura Linney in “The Savages” (Fox Searchlight)
Ellen Page in “Juno” (A Mandate Pictures/Mr. Mudd Production)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Cate Blanchett in “I’m Not There” (The Weinstein Company)
Ruby Dee in “American Gangster” (Universal)
Saoirse Ronan in “Atonement” (Focus Features)
Amy Ryan in “Gone Baby Gone” (Miramax)
Tilda Swinton in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)

Best animated feature film of the year
“Persepolis” (Sony Pictures Classics): Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney): Brad Bird
“Surf’s Up” (Sony Pictures Releasing): Ash Brannon and Chris Buck?

Achievement in art direction
“American Gangster” (Universal): Art Direction: Arthur Max; Set Decoration: Beth A. Rubino
“Atonement” (Focus Features): Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
“The Golden Compass” (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners): Art Direction: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
“Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount): Art Direction: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Art Direction: Jack Fisk; Set Decoration: Jim Erickson

Achievement in cinematography
“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (Warner Bros.): Roger Deakins
“Atonement” (Focus Features): Seamus McGarvey
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn): Janusz Kaminski

“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage): Roger Deakins
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Robert Elswit

Achievement in costume design
“Across the Universe” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Albert Wolsky
“Atonement” (Focus Features) Jacqueline Durran
“Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (Universal) Alexandra Byrne
“La Vie en Rose” (Picturehouse) Marit Allen
“Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount) Colleen Atwood

Achievement in directing
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn), Julian Schnabel
“Juno” (A Mandate Pictures/Mr. Mudd Production), Jason Reitman
“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.), Tony Gilroy?????
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax), Paul Thomas Anderson

Achievement in film editing
“The Bourne Ultimatum” (Universal): Christopher Rouse
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn): Juliette Welfling
“Into the Wild” (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment): Jay Cassidy
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Roderick Jaynes
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Dylan Tichenor

Achievement in makeup
“La Vie en Rose” (Picturehouse) Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald
“Norbit” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount): Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji
“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” (Walt Disney): Ve Neill and Martin Samuel

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
“Atonement” (Focus Features) Dario Marianelli
“The Kite Runner” (DreamWorks, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Participant Productions, Distributed by Paramount Classics): Alberto Iglesias
“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.) James Newton Howard
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney) Michael Giacchino
“3:10 to Yuma” (Lionsgate) Marco Beltrami

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
“Falling Slowly” from “Once” (Fox Searchlight) Music and Lyric by Glen Hansard and: Marketa Irglova
“Happy Working Song” from “Enchanted” (Walt Disney): Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
“Raise It Up” from “August Rush” (Warner Bros.): Music and Lyric by Jamal Joseph, Charles Mack and Tevin Thomas
“So Close” from “Enchanted” (Walt Disney): Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz
“That’s How You Know” from “Enchanted” (Walt Disney): Music by Alan Menken; Lyric by Stephen Schwartz

Best motion picture of the year
“Atonement” (Focus Features) A Working Title Production: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Paul Webster, Producers
“Juno” (A Mandate Pictures/Mr. Mudd Production) A Mandate Pictures/Mr. Mudd Production: Lianne Halfon, Mason Novick and Russell Smith, Producers
“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.) A Clayton Productions, LLC Production: Sydney Pollack, Jennifer Fox and Kerry Orent, Producers
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) A Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss Production: Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) A JoAnne Sellar/Ghoulardi Film Company Production: JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Lupi, Producers

Achievement in sound editing
“The Bourne Ultimatum” (Universal): Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg

“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage): Skip Lievsay
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney): Randy Thom and Michael Silvers
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax): Christopher Scarabosio and Matthew Wood
“Transformers” (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins

Achievement in visual effects
“The Golden Compass” (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners): Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood
“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” (Walt Disney): John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier
“Transformers” (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro): Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier

Adapted screenplay
“Atonement” (Focus Features), Screenplay by Christopher Hampton
“Away from Her” (Lionsgate), Written by Sarah Polley
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn), Screenplay by Ronald Harwood
“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage), Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax), Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson

Original screenplay
“Juno” (A Mandate Pictures/Mr. Mudd Production), Written by Diablo Cody
“Lars and the Real Girl” (MGM), Written by Nancy Oliver
“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.), Written by Tony Gilroy
“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney), Screenplay by Brad Bird; Story by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird
“The Savages” (Fox Searchlight), Written by Tamara Jenkins

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