Thursday, July 22, 2010

14 SAQs About a Sad State

I don't want to excite our friends from Quebec too much, because this post isn't about the lovely fermented beverage shops that province operates.  Instead, I will be answering some Seldom Asked Questions about my movie.  I cannot lie; pretty much nobody has asked me any of these questions.

1.  Q:  What is this movie called?  (Okay, a few people asked me this.)
     A:  It's called A Sad State of Affairs

2.  Q:  What's it about?
     A:  It's about a guy who wanders around rural America performing for tips who becomes smitten with a young lady staying at the same hotel as he.  He decides the best way to romance her is by letting the air out of her car tires.

3.  Q:  Is it really a musical?
     A:  Sort of.  There are four songs that turn up during the movie, and they do occur in the grand tradition of "music suddenly pops up out of nowhere and people start singing" that have always made musicals so ridiculously great.

4.  Q:  Is it really a tribute to silent movies?  'Cause that wouldn't make sense in a musical?
     A:  It's only a tribute to the absurdity of being a person in this world.  However, there are a couple of sequences that were inspired by the efficiency and charm of silent comedies.  The rest of the movie's dialogue more than makes up for those few minutes.

5.  Q:  Where did you shoot this?
     A:  We shot it in Utica, Illinois in June 2010.  People in this charming little town thought we were a bunch of eccentric ne'er do-wells, but they'll see, won't they?

6.  Q:  I heard you guys were really shooting a porno.
     A:  A thousand times no!  Don't listen to those folks.  Yes, we were shooting mostly at a hotel.  Yes there was a tire pump involved in several scenes, but no, none of it is at all pornographic.  If this movie were to ever get a rating, I am pretty confident it would be a PG-13, and that's only because of one naughty word that shows up once.

7.  Q.Who's in this?
     A:  Some really swell actors.  Jeremy Trager plays our hero, The Guy.  Laura Morton plays Sandra Perchowznik, a heroine in her own right.  Darren Gresham plays Deputy House Majority Whip Rep. Gresham.  Here's Jeremy and Laura:

Aren't they cute?

8.   Q:  Never heard of any of 'em.  I like movies with stars, you know?
      A:  Oh really?  Even if you got to choose between a fun movie with some really great performers you don't know and a boring movie with some so-so stars you do know?  For shame.

9.  Q:  Will you have any fast-food tie-ins?  My kid loves getting free toys after watching a movie.
     A: We hope to announce a promotional tie-in with a major, major hamburger retailer shortly.  In addition, we will also be issuing collector's lunchboxes and limited edition gallons of lead-based paint.

10.  Q.  When's this movie gonna be done?
       A:  When it's good and ready.

11.   Q:  Then what?
        A:  Why do you want to know?
        Q:  Just curious.
        A:  It will be entered in and rejected from several major film festivals.  Then, one daring festival programmer will discover it, nurture it, and help it gain the recognition it deserves.  Then we will make six million dollars.

12.   Q:  What if that doesn't work out?
        A:  Then I release it free on the internet under a Creative Commons license and let people share it, show it, and sell it.  (Actually, I'll probably do this anyway.)

14.  Q:  How come nobody knows about this movie?
       A:  Because I'm inept at social media promotion.  There.  You happy, now?

13.  Q.:  You seem kind of cranky and sarcastic.  Were you abusive toward your cast and crew?
       A:    I think I was most of the time, yes.  Why do you ask so many questions?
       Q:   I'm a Q.  I thought that's what I'm supposed to do.
       A:   Fair enough.

14.  Q:  Well, what can I do to help?
       A:  You can post something encouraging here on this site.  Or, you can join our Facebook page:!/pages/A-Sad-State-of-Affairs/351818164342?ref=ts

And you can always buy a DVD when they become available and request theatrical screenings in your town.  That would be delightful.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Our First Trailer

This is the trailer I came up with about a week after shooting wrapped.  I think it captures the spirit of the film pretty well, but I am still frustrated with trying to get it to look good on YouTube.  This is way too pixelated.  But, I'll figure it out one of these days.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The State of A Sad State

I'm trying to make my first feature-length film, A Sad State of Affairs. It's a screwball-ish comedy with a few musical numbers about a wandering street performer who meets a stubborn amateur politician at a roadside motel. The film will star Jeremy Trager, Laura Morton, and Darren Gresham.

People who have read the script think it's funny. So, it should be a very fun movie to make and to watch--and that is good.

What's not so good is the state of the indie film "industry" right now. Big studio movies are making a ton of money, but it's not quite as simple for the smaller films. Things are changing and filmmakers are devising new ways to connect with their audience, whether it is through film festivals, a microcinema, DVDs, or video streaming. Most likely, it is a combination of all these. But, once a film builds an audience and gets fans, anything is possible.

So, this is where you come in! A Sad State of Affairs won't cost much money to make, but it will still cost something. And, if you're interested, I'd like you to get involved in the project. I've started a Kickstarter page for the movie to raise $3,500 to go towards the cost of production. I'm not asking for donations--you get something in return for your support, like a DVD or an autographed copy of the script--even a trip to LaSalle County, Illinois to see the sights. It all depends on your pledge level. $10 is a big help, especially if I get 350 people to sign up!

You can read a draft of the script yourself and see how quirky it is, and why something like this can only be made in the indie world. Take a look at the script, visit our kickstarter page, and hopefully you will join us!

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