Director's Statement
The Festival Experience
Production Journal

If you have any questions about the film, please send us an email at:

SXSW Official Selection

© Joe Swanberg 2004-2005
Hosted by Dreamhost

Maintained by Joe Swanberg

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Wow, so like 3 months without an update, but things have been happening. We showed the film at the Chicago International Film Festival, to three amazing audiences. We showed the film at the Northampton Independent Film Festival in the coolest movie theatre yet. Kate is organizing a screening of the film in Belleville, IL. And just today I got word that we will show the film at the San Francisco Independent Film Festival in February.

On top of all that, we've been talking with a few distributors about putting the film out on DVD. I kind of have to stay quiet about this stuff, but just know that we're working on it.

I've been super busy working on my new one, LOL, which is why I've been so quiet here. I'll try and pick it up.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

I've changed my initial impression about Thursday night's screening. We got some emails and talked to some people today who really liked the movie, and I'm now thinking that people may not have been audibly responding, but they were soaking the film in and liking it. I feel much better.

Tonight's screening was at the Cinema ONF, which is the National Film Board of Canada's screening room. It was a really nice intimate theatre and the projection looked really good.

We didn't have the guts to watch the film while it screened, so we walked down the street and found a place to get some poutine, a Montreal specialty, which consists of french fries, cheese, and gravy. I'm seen above, polishing off the final bit. We had to try it while we were here, and we all really liked it. Now we're on the lookout for some gourmet poutine.

The audience was quite a bit smaller than Thursday's, but we snuck in to watch the end of the movie, and the reaction to the film was much more vocal. People were laughing and seemed to be enjoying the film. I talked a little bit before the screening, and I think it helped. It's good to give a little introduction and talk about our motives before the film screens, and I didn't do that Thursday because I thought we would get a more traditional Q&A afterward.

After our film we walked back to the hotel and caught a little bit of the outdoor screening. There were a ton of people sitting outside watching the film. We stayed for a bit but it got cold and we headed to the room. We watched an hour or two of news about New Orleans and decided we had to get out of the room.

The night ended at "Rock and Roll Pizza," where the $.99 pizza never gets old.

Friday, September 02, 2005

As you can see, the sign for Montreal is obscured by bug guts on the window of the car. The second day of driving took its toll on us, as we were all pretty cranky in the morning. I bought everybody breakfast to try and kill the sour mood in the car, and it worked for most of the rest of the drive, but right before we hit Montreal traffic got bad and by the time we got the hotel our excitement was mixed with more frustration.

After spending what seemed like an hour just trying to figure out how to get to our room, we went down to the restaurant for a Festival happy hour. The goal was to meet some other Festival guests and to get some information about how everything works around here. We did meet some nice people, and some idiots, and in general I had a good time.

Kevin went out to walk around, and Kris, Kate, and I went looking for food. We found a place called "Rock and Roll Pizza" and we got slices for $.99, which was great. We had to meet up with a guy named Constantinos (who turned out to be super great) at 9:30 to walk us over to our screening, so we headed back for the hotel.

The turnout was way better than I expected for 10PM on a Thursday night, but the screening itself was absolutely painful. There was a short film playing before ours that had absolutely nothing in common with our film, and set a very strange tone for our screening. There was hardly a reaction to anything in our film, and during the course of it, about 20 people got up and left. The projector was super bright and the contrast was turned way up, so the movie looked really weird, and in general I was just praying that there were a few people there who were really liking it.

After the screening, I didn't feel so bad, because a few people came up to me afterward to say how much they liked it. It was really late and no Festival people were around, so there wasn't really a Q&A, but we hung out in the lobby and talked. For some reason the lady gave me the microphone, I guess so if I wanted to talk afterward I could plug it back in, but I stuck it in my pocket and forgot about it, so when we got back to the hotel I realized I still had it, which was pretty much the perfect way to end the night.

We all agreed that there's no way we are going to sit in the theatre and watch the other screenings. The reaction here is so different than SXSW, it's amazing. I feel like there might be a bit of a language barrier, since our film isn't subtitled, and we also have the smallest, cheapest feature in the Festival, without a doubt, so we really stick out on that level. I felt like there were a lot of similar films, thematically and in scale, at SXSW, but we stick out like a sore thumb here.

It's great though, because I know that a few people at the screening last night really loved the film and were very glad they saw it, so it's a success. I'm told that the theater where we are screening tonight is perfect for the film. It's small and intimate, about 100 seats, and it's in a hip part of town. I'm looking forward to seeing if the reaction is any different, but I think I'll just poke my head in during certain parts, rather than watch the whole film again.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

We took one wrong turn and went about 90 minutes out of our way, but other than that, it was a pretty smooth drive from Chicago to Toronto. More stops than I would have liked, but Kris has a small bladder and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

This is what downtown Toronto looks like through a hotel window on the 15th floor with some glare from a light in the room. It's a nice city and we did a lot of walking around last night. There are some areas that are big and bright like Times Square and then a few streets away it kind of feels like the Wicker Park area of Chicago.

Yesterday was a my birthday, so we went out to eat at a place called "The Bishop and the Belcher." The food was good but the waiter was a real jerk and they didn't even give me a free dessert for my birthday. It was OK, because there was a bubble tea place still open, so I got a mint bubble tea as a birthday dessert, and it was great.

Today we drive on. We should get into Montreal at about 3 or 4PM and the movie screens at 10PM tonight, so there should be some time to take a nap, shower, and mentally prepare to watch the film with another audience. I'm really curious to see what the reaction will be tonight. I'll report back.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

We leave for Montreal on Wednesday to show the film at the Montreal World Film Festival. Here's our page on their site with the description and the screening dates. We have pretty good screening times, so I hope the theatres and located in good areas so people turn up.

After Montreal we take a breath and then plunge into promoting the Chicago International Film Festival screenings. We won't know our dates for a while, but we can start arranging interviews and coverage right away. The Festival released a sneak preview with some of the films, and ours was included, so I hope some people are already excited to see the film.

For about a second it looked as though we might get an offer from a distribution company, but that seems like it has fallen through. TLA Releasing was at the point where they were going to make an offer to our sales agent, and instead they told him that they decided to pass on the film. It seems like everyone loves "passing" on the film. Film Festivals keep "passing" and now distributors are "passing" and I'm certainly hoping movie fans don't start "passing" at Festivals.

The latest trend for me is to get emails and letters from Film Festival programmers telling me how much they liked the film, but that they have decided not to program it. I guess I could look at it as a good sign, that they have taken the time to write me and tell that I made it really close to being in the Festival, but just didn't make the cut. Mostly it just hurts my feelings and puts me in a bad mood. I think I would prefer to hear nothing, or to hear that they hated it, rather than hearing that they really liked it but that they still won't put it in their Festival. This "close, but no cigar" thing is getting old. Everyone who rejects KOTM always makes sure to add that they are really looking forward to the next film I make, and that I should be sure to send it to them. Ha. Thanks.

But it's not all sour grapes, because I keep hearing from people who really like the film, and that's the most important thing. I've gotten a few really encouraging phone calls and emails lately from people whose work I respect, and we still get emails from people who saw the film at SXSW and want to tell us how much they enjoyed it. All of this is really rewarding, and keeps me chugging along despite the politics and other junk that comes along with making movies. Here's hoping Montreal is another great experience like SXSW!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Kris and I were able to participate in our first KOTM Panel discussion on Saturday afternoon. We were invited by IFP/Chicago to sit on the Producers Panel to talk about making the film, getting a sales rep, playing a major film festival, and trying to get distribution. It was a great honor to sit on the panel with Ruth Leitman, who made the recent doc LIPSTICK AND DYNAMITE (in theatres now), and Lilly Bright, producer of THE HEART IS DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS, directed by Asia Argento based on the book by J.T. LeRoy (in theatres sometime this fall). I met Lilly very breifly in Austin, as we were both jockying for good wall space in the Press Lounge to hang posters for our movies. It was nice to get to actually talk to her and get to know her a bit. Ruth was also great, and Kris and I spent some time with her talking about filmmaker empowerment, and how we need to reclaim some of the power from the Festivals. Ruth teaches here in Chicago, so hopefully we can hang out with her again.

Another pleasant surprise was running into the filmmaker Ronit Bezalel, who was on the jury one year for the Big Muddy Film Festival, when Kris and I both worked there. I hadn't seen her for over 2 years, but it was cool to run into her, and we traded films and got to catch up.

I also met a lot of great IFP members, who had plenty of good questions, and were excited to know more about KOTM. It was a great experience, and I hope we get to participate in more events like this.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

The past month has been really bizarre after all the excitement of SXSW. Nothing much is happening with the film. We submitted to about 10 major film festivals, and now we're just waiting to see if we get into any of them. So far the only ones we have heard back from are Seattle and Cannes Director's Fortnight, and both rejected the film. I didn't think I would mind, but it has been a real bummer to get rejections. Neither of these Festivals are a big surprise to me, especially not Cannes, since I knew we didn't have a chance, but it's really hard to get two rejections and still not know where the film will be playing next.

I created a new section on the website called "The Festival Experience," where I will keep the pictures from the Festivals we attend, and also provide Tips For Filmmakers on the things we learn from each festival experience. The SXSW page is now up and running.

Our IMDb page is fully functional, and I'm hoping some people will post User Comments and start giving the film a rating.

Archives 03/01/2004 - 03/31/2004   04/01/2004 - 04/30/2004   05/01/2004 - 05/31/2004   06/01/2004 - 06/30/2004   07/01/2004 - 07/31/2004   08/01/2004 - 08/31/2004   10/01/2004 - 10/31/2004   11/01/2004 - 11/30/2004   01/01/2005 - 01/31/2005   02/01/2005 - 02/28/2005   03/01/2005 - 03/31/2005   04/01/2005 - 04/30/2005   05/01/2005 - 05/31/2005   08/01/2005 - 08/31/2005   09/01/2005 - 09/30/2005   12/01/2005 - 12/31/2005  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?