Hey, check out this trailer for a feature length film shot on almost no budget!
Written and Directed by Trey Cartwright. Carlos LaRotta plays a stand up comedian in one scene.
Music! Jokes! East Texas Flavor!
Friday May 20, 2011, was National Bike to Work day. Since I freelance, I don’t really “commute” but I do try to ride my bike every time I have to go into downtown Austin.
Also, all the local bike shops, coffee shops and other local biz were hooking cyclists up with a li’l free continental breakfast as part of the celebration of more bikes on the roads.
I totally scammed em all cause I wasn’t actually going to work. Unless you count work as riding around to all the breakfast stops. Since I felt guilty about this deception I ended up staying on the road a lot longer than I had planned for and put in just over 50 miles of bike riding. That’s a personal record. I hadn’t done more than 30 miles before yesterday.
Along the way I snapped pics of my old Sears brand early 1990s trapper-keeperesque-splatter-paint-framed 12 speed bike in front of interesting Austin landmarks.
Breakfast Scammer Score
Free Coffee: x2
Free Bagel x1
Free Breakfast Taco x2
Free Energy Bars: a pile
Like many an American tonight, I couldn’t sleep very well due to the exciting explosion of news about Osama Bin Laden’s capture/death. So, after a few hours combing the web for more Bin Laden details, I tried to work on some stuff I’ve been putting off. Couldn’t do that either. Then, a friend of mine, Patrick, posted something on Facebook which reminded me that there is one man who will be resting well tonight. TOBY KEITH. I found that I could write about THAT, at least:
INT. TOBY KEITH’S KITCHEN – NIGHT
TK leans over a Kitchen island counter, staring at the TV. He takes a puff of his cigarette and ashes into a beer can. He appears weary. CAMERA PANS UP to reveal that he has the entire population of the United States sitting on his shoulders.
INSERT SHOT OF TV SCREEN
…On screen we see a NEWS REPORTER talking of Osama Bin Laden’s death.
NEWS REPORTER (ON SCREEN)
Finally, after nearly 10 years, justice has been served, Americans can perhaps rest a bit eas…
TK turns the tv OFF, and drops his cigarette into the beer can. We hear it briefly SIZZLE.
INT. TOBY KEITH’S OFFICE – NIGHT
Affixed to the walls of his home office are numerous gold record plaques and framed photos of TK with his fans and various celebrities and politicians.
TK walks over to a large DRESSER the size of the continental United States. He begins to slowly take each GOD FEARIN’ CITIZEN from off his shoulders, one by one, and places them into the drawers of the dresser.
GOD FEARIN’ CITIZEN #1
You the man, Toby!
GOD FEARIN’ CITIZEN #2
He pulls the DIXIE CHICKS down from his shoulders and looks at them lovingly.
(singing in perfect harmony)
Fuck you, Toby Keith!
TK laughs warmly and pets their hair, and then gingerly places them into the drawer. Finally, he places the last American Citizen into the dresser. He SIGHS DEEPLY and pushes the drawer shut. TK stares at the dresser, wiping dust from the top.
(grinning, shaking his head)
INT. TOBY KEITH’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
TK enters his bedroom, switching on a Lamp by the door. His wife gently SNORES in bed. In the background, across the hall, we see his Office, a cone of light directly pouring over the dresser. TK takes his Carhartt jacket off, exposing a shoulder strap HOLSTER. In the holster, a single MICROPHONE. He takes the Mic from the holster and stares at it, turning it, inspecting it. The microphone glints in the light – dents and scratches showing its age and mileage. TK puts the microphone into an old purple Crown Royal bag and then tucks it into his night-stand. He walks back to the door and stares at the U.S.A-sized dresser across the hall. He rubs his right shoulder, massaging it. He shakes his head and turns the lamp OFF.
In the DARKNESS, we can barely make out a moonlight-rimmed TK, sitting down on his bed, rubbing his shoulder again.
So, one could argue that White Denim really likes to keep it in the family (fortunately). Having gone to college and being buddies with Jimmy from WD, we were able to convince them to let us do a few music videos for them back when Birds On Fire Films was first forming – more as a favor to us, as we really needed some work under our belt. Then, a few years later, our sister production company, Alonestar Films, also more college friends of ours and WD, got a chance to make this video for White D: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFRyd_Up7tY
And now, another group of filmmakers formed out of friends of ours from our college days got to make this new video for White Denim’s “Drug”, off their new album “D”. And I have to say, it is THE music video White Denim has always deserved (from their pals, at least – British Director, Tom Haines, has done some incredible videos for White Denim). It’s an amazing work of art, and I hope you enjoy. Much respect and love to Michael Hammett and Aaron Weiss and Bobby Weiss (By the way, these dudes are all cousins! Crazy.)
Gang, so, I recently came across this old postcard that I made a while back. Back when I started teaching myself Photoshop, I used to enjoy making postcards and fold-able greeting cards for my friends to use and send to other people. I may post some more of those at a later date. But for today, since we haven’t posted in a while, I thought I’d share this ol girl with you.
The idea is that you drag the image to your desktop (or what have you), print it on nice card-stock paper, write in the address of someone you wanna say “fuck you” to, put a stamp on it and mail it off. I know you can make your own postcards (apparently you can mail a brick through the USPS as long as you put the proper postage on it), but I’m not sure about the whole “fuck you” thing on the front. I don’t know, probably you can, I once got a postcard with that three-tittied gal from Total Recall on it, so…probably kosher.
And being that nowadays the only mail we receive are either bills or bills addressed to people who don’t live in our house, getting a real postcard from a friend is a nice, nostalgic gesture…even if it’s telling them they’re a piece of shit bus and that you’re a bad ass monster truck hopping over them.
Awwwwlright, so, SXSW has finally released the bumper-promos we helped produce with that crazy/sexy/cool pal of ours and bad ass director, Joe Nicolosi. One of them (the “Mario Mumblecore Trailer” we posted about previously and previously-er) is on fire on, in and around the internet today.
It was a pleasure working with Joe on these lil guys, I’m so pleased they came out so well. Joe Nicolosi is a maniac, but an extremely talented one, so when he came up to me and said (roughly) “hey, dude, wanna help me produce FIVE bumpers for SXSW in less than a month?”, it was not hard for me to not slap him in the face. Not only did I not slap him, I told him “Sure, man, sounds fun…you motherfucker!” That’s pretty much how it went down except for the “motherfucker” part – I just added that for dramatic effect.
Anyway, here are the bumpers. The first one is “Mario”. The second one is “Constellations” (which I actually didn’t get to do entirely too much producing on, but Trey did work as gaffer on it, and lit it purty nicely, like he do. Like he done do all the time).
EDIT: I’d also like to do a shout out to Mario and Luigi – Clay Crenshaw and Jason Newman, respectively – whose acting on the Mario Mumblecore Trailer was, in all sincerity, glorious. They both did such an excellent job. I can’t imagine that it’s easy to display that kind of real emotion and drama for the sake of some nerdy filmmakers trying to make a joke. And to think, Clay is actually a Graphic Designer/Artist by profession. Jason Newman can be seen in the lead role of the upcoming comedy from Pepper Island Films, The Man From Orlando, (which looks so great, by the way, check out their website).
hope you enjoyed those. If you didn’t, you’re probably my older brother, Travis. Fuck you, Travis, get off my back!
Last night, immediately after watching a SXSW screening of Joseph Kahn’s “Detention” at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, I walked about 400 feet over to Highball and – mind you, my comedy-geek ass has no qualms about saying this – saw the funniest fucking show I have seen in a long time. Twasn’t a movie (necessarily) and it twasn’t just a comedy show (exactly), but rather was Back to the Future: LIVE. The title says it all. It’s the movie Back to the Future, but Live and on-stage and most definitely all up in your greasy lil face.
The production, put on by The Old Murder House Theatre comedy team and starring a fellow filmmaker buddy of ours, Kirk Johnson of Beef & Sage, set out to recreate the first Back to the Future movie with what I’m guessing (liberally) was a budget of $100. How does one recreate Back to the Future (quite literally almost line-for-goddamn-line) with a budget like that? With Cardboard and some finely-tuned comedy chops, my dudes, that’s how.
Sure, that idea is one of those “sounds pretty funny, I guess” ideas, but like anything else, it’s all in the execution. It’s all in the way that Marty and George McFly’s mannerisms are so spot-on, but how Lorraine’s are intentionally NOT. I really want to say more about it, but I don’t want to give anything away like some kind of spoiler ass asshole.
I’ll just say this: I laughed so hard, and so often, that I not only found myself dizzy after the show, but on the drive home I also got to enjoy that delirious kind of buzz you get when you’re 13 years old and hanging out with your funniest, most moronic of friends. That’s the best way I can describe it. The kind of night when everyone and everything is hilarious, your ribs ache from laughing, your brain turns to slop from too much/too little oxygen, and all is right with the world – cus you’re 13 years old, your friend’s impression of Doc Brown is so god damn insanely funny and you just don’t give a shit bout nuthin’.
Anyway, I don’t normally write “reviews” or put the word “reviews” in “quotes” (or make quote-jokes), but as one could probably tell, I did enjoy this show immensely. So much so that I woke up today and had to write about it. Please go see this thing and keep a look out for further Old Murder House productions (I’m now really pissed at myself for missing their Die Hard meets Home Alone mash-up thing back in December). They have one more showing of Back to the Future: LIVE, next Monday, March 21st at Highball.
Back To The Future Live was created by and stars:
Kirk Johnson, Sam Eidson, Byron Brown, Josh Jones, and Nate Sakulich.
p.s. also, do be sure to check out more of Kirk Johnson and Will Elliott’s Beef & Sage film stuff, we like those cracker ass honkies: http://vimeo.com/beefandsage
Word from my old college buddy Ira Shiflet is that the Stephen F. Austin Summer Feature program is going to be producing a film based on a Joe R. Lansdale short story.
Since I’m a Lansdale comic fan from my younger days it’s pretty exciting for me to hear of him teaming up with my alma mater film program.
The film is called Christmas with the Dead. Slated to shoot summer 2011. I’m sure it will be full of Lansdale’s inspired brand of macabre humor. And probably full of blood/guts too.
Best of luck to director Brian James Fitzpatrick and all the cast and crew. Hope you guys learn a lot and make something really special.