Everything is now up-to-speed here at Hollywood 27 after an 8-month non-stop PYRITE marathon. Both the DVD and CD Soundtrack are now in stock, and you can order them at the link below. They ship within 24 hours of order receipt:
Now here’s the rest of the Hollywood 27 story…
There will be no more of the long Monthly Update format here when posting to the H27 Blog, Facebook, etc. Now that I have time to get back to both living and working at a normal and healthy pace for a change, you’ll see a much more “connected” Hollywood 27 from this point forward. There will no longer be a need for the more vanilla Monthly Update format, and that’s a good thing.
PYRITE TO THE PEOPLE
I’ve got a LOT of PYRITE copies to get out to people — Investors, Cast, Crew, etc. — you know who you are. I won’t be sending them all out at once, since we’re talking about somewhere between 50-100 mailings, so please bear with me. If you haven’t received your copy by mid- April, then feel free to shoot me an email or give me a call and I’ll get you one. I should have at least 50% of them sent in March, with the remainder shipping in April. And, of course if you can’t wait, just order a copy online, and then you can give the 2nd copy to family, friends, etc once you receive it.
This will be a big focus for the Spring, and something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time — as has the team of people working on it with me. I started the process back in August actually, so we’ll be off and running in mere days now. It’s actually a very enjoyable process, a chance to get creative in areas that I haven’t really jumped into very deeply before. Good things to come, and most importantly, a chance to start fighting the good fight here regarding the subject matter — which is why I wrote PYRITE in the first place!
I’m jumping back into the FTD DOCUMENTARY edit at the start of April, and that will be the main project focus for a few months while we finish it off. I’m expecting that Director of Photography Jonathan Lacocque and I (and likely Producer Katie Moriarty as well) will get one more day of shooting in late this Spring to help polish off the edit, probably at Northwestern Hospital one last time. I’m also looking forward to interacting w/the our Facebook fans, as the doc has built up a nice fan base despite no real publicity for the project yet. Unfortunately, the REASON we have that fan base is because of FTDs spread to more and more people. Hopefully we can not only raise awareness for the disease, but we can help amp up research as well. I’ll certainly be doing everything in my power to help defeat FTD and stop families from being decimated by this insidious disease. We’ll see how far we can take the project, and how much we can accomplish to that end.
We’ve added a MAC with FINAL CUT STUDIO to the office, a long overdue plunge into the indie industry-standard for both editing, and as I’ve learned all too painfully over the past 2 months, DVD authoring. I will likely move the FTD DOCUMENTARY over to this platform, so it will be the first project cut in the “new world” here. We now have pretty much everything we need in house, including an HD camera, upgraded printing capabilities, quick shipping, etc… so it’s full steam ahead on all fronts!
THAT “FUTURE” PROJECT…
I’ve mentioned at least once before that I’ve been developing a new project for 2011, and although I’ve developed it even further over the past few months, I’ve also come to the realization that now is not the time to kick it off. With PYRITE promotion and the FTD DOC commanding a lot of attention for at least the first half of the year, the new project will have to sit on the backburner for at least a few more months. That doesn’t mean we won’t be doing anything new, it will just be smaller scale and shorter term. Jon Lacocque and I were tossing around ideas the other day already, so you never know, we may be kicking off a collaboration in the near future. Which reminds me…
A SHOUT OUT TO “A PERFECT SOLDIER”
Congratulations are in order to the aforementioned Jon Lacocque, and John Severson as well, for their documentary A PERFECT SOLDIER being accepted to the CINEQUEST FILM FESTIVAL in San Jose, CA (and it looks like it’s getting into at least another festival right away as well, with hopefully even more to come). It kicks off this Saturday in what is billed as the World Premiere of the film, so mad props and a wish for luck to my brothers as they showcase the movie and hopefully bring some awards home as well. Here’s a link to their film’s Facebook page:
If you get a second, please check it out, and I’m sure they will greatly appreciate any LIKE’s you can send their way!
November 2010 may be history in less than a couple of hours here, but November 30, 2010 will be a day that I always remember… because that’s the day that PYRITE was officially made available for purchase online!!! The only days that will trump 11/30/2010 will be that fateful day in December when I stamp everything final and send the DVD itself off for duplication, and then Tuesday, January 25, 2011. That’s the date that PYRITE will officially ship!
So yes, the DVD and soundtrack are both available to order starting now, but it’s a pre-order, with the actual street date being 1/25/11. With the pre-order, however, we’re selling the DVD, CD, and a DVD+CD bundle for cheaper than we ever will be once the DVD is officially released, so anyone who pre-orders will most definitely be getting a great deal.
Here’s a link to the PYRITE STORE: http://www.hollywood27.com/h27store_PYRITE.html
Beyond the big news item, there has been a ton going here in November. The Emmet Swimming song for the soundtrack has been titled and recorded… within the next 24 hours or so I’ll be receiving the final mix, and I’m really, really, REALLY excited to hear the song! It’s called SAME AS ME, and will be the headlining track on the PYRITE Soundtrack, which you can now view in detail here: http://www.hollywood27.com/h27store_PYRITE_CDList.html
Color Correction was completed a few weeks back, and the DVD itself is also now nearly complete. We have our DVD cover design done, and our CD digipak design was completed today — special thanks to Megan Garmes for doing another awesome job! Our Web Store is up-and-running (obviously), and we’re in the stretch run here.
The only things left for me to finish are the final touches on two of the DVD EXTRAS, and then final testing/tweaking of the design. The other open pieces relate to finalizing the paperwork for our music licenses, where we are just awaiting final documentation to execute and then cut a few more checks. So everything’s finally fallen into place here, and I just need to get back to the Edit Office starting tomorrow and knock these final bits out over the next 2-3 weeks.
That’s actually for the January 2011 Update. I’ll be discussing where PYRITE’s going (showings, festivals, events, etc.), announce when editing officially resumes on the FTD DOCUMENTARY, and I’ll reveal, at least in some form, the brand new project I’ve been cooking up here for 2011.
Thanks for reading!
A little Happy Halloween Update here from deep in the trenches of Hollywood 27, where it’s been a nonstop work-a-thon for months here… but the light at the end of the tunnel has just shown itself around the last bend…
Color Correction is finally nearing the end!!! Will be done in less than a week, and I cannot wait to stamp it final and get back into finishing off the DVD Extras! Matt Walker has one section outstanding still, but I expect that back from him any day now. I have a few other pieces to finish up myself, and that’s it. We are looking great here.
I’ve got some OUTSTANDING NEWS on the music front! A while back I had mentioned possibly looking into signing a band for recording a title track to the film. Doing so would also mean that we would be selling a soundtrack to boot, but time was short and I wasn’t sure if we could make it happen. Well, I had a very short list of bands to contact, and as luck would have it, my first choice for the song has agreed to record the title track in November! We are crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s this week, but we’re far enough along that I am very pleased to announce EMMET SWIMMING will be recording a song for PYRITE!! EMMET SWIMMING is one of my all-time favorite bands, and back in 2004 when I first heard their work, I was busy writing the shooting script to PYRITE. Once I researched the band and discovered where they took their name from, they were actually an inspiration to me while working on the script. Here’s the tragic story from which the band drew its name:
As singer/founder Todd Watts once said, “The idea of the name was basically that a 14-year-old boy should be swimming in the river, not dying in it.”
So I am both excited and honored to have EMMET recording a song for PYRITE, and we will now be promoting the soundtrack along with the DVD. Much more info on all of this once we have the DVD and CD ready to go for duplication, but for now, here are a few fun facts about the band:
- emmet swimming released three albums on Epic Records and two independent albums, and has sold over 150,000 units
- They played on the HORDE tour as well as national tours opening for many of the nineties biggest acts (Barenaked Ladies, Dave Mathews, Jewel, Semisonic, WallFlowers, Sheryl Crow, etc…)
- emmet swimming’s “Arlington” was named on of the top 5 tracks of the year by Fred Bronson of Billboard Magazine
- The band has received 14 Washington Area Music Association Awards (WAMMIES) including Artist of the Year and Album of the Year
- They’ve also received national airplay on commercial and college radio stations nationwide
- emmet swimming’s music has been placed in TV programs including the Winter and Summer Olympics, ESPN, Monday Night Football, MTV, VH-1, ABC’s “All my Children” and numerous films
“Few bands in America today can get under one’s skin as effectively as Fairfax, Virginia’s emmet swimming. Tied to neither trends nor movements, emmet swimming specialize in an effortless sort of transcendence creating music equally suited for providing one-to-one connection or filling stadiums.” – Creative Loafing 2009
Still tons of work to be done here, and as of right now it looks like I may be spending the majority of Thanksgiving Day in the office editing. November is a huge month here, as what happens in the next 3-4 weeks will dictate whether the PYRITE DVD ships in December, or slips into early 2011. I’ll be back with more as soon as I know dates!
And thanks to everyone who has been asking about buying the DVD — the support is very much appreciated!
Checking in real quick with a HOLLYWOOD 27 update before I head back to the trenches for the rest of the weekend…
It has been a long hard summer here, with an epic amount of work to be plowed through in order to get the PYRITE DVD out the door this Fall. I had a bit of a surprise hit a few days after my last update, and it’s knocked the schedule back a notch. I’m just plowing forward full steam ahead and getting through everything as fast as possible, but without compromise (that’s how I roll). Here are the details for anyone brave enough to read on!
Previously I had mentioned that, on a scale of 1 to 10, the main scene that needs color correction work is an 11. I stand corrected, as it’s more like a 32! In fact, I had to take that portion of the color correction project back in house. Matt finished the other main portion of the project a few days ago, so there is some good news here, but I don’t see this entire piece being complete until late October now. I’m actually putting a target completion date of October 24th onto the whole Color Correction project. Once it’s complete, we start submitting to festivals, and then finalize the DVD EXTRAS. I will probably be more relieved when this piece is complete than I have been with any other portion of the entire PYRITE production. For those of you who have worked on the film with me or just followed along (i.e. — my poor abandonded family, LOL), you know that is really saying something! It will feel like a brand new day when it is complete.
This has been a casualty of Color Correction, as it’s been mostly on hold while I’ve been working nonstop on the CC and the new website. So this is the piece that will really dictate our absolute DVD release date. I should have a firm date at the beginning of November, however, and I’m hoping to at least kick in pre-orders on the website in November as well, even if the release date has to slip into December. Too early to tell here though, so keeping my fingers crossed and busting my tail to kick all of this out!
The new site is up!!!! Check it out at www.hollywood27.com! I’ve transferred almost all of the old blog to the new blog, we have the Hollywood 27 Alternative Radio pages up, and Scott is finishing off the changes to the PYRITE page, which I believe will be rolled out next week. The only piece not there yet is the H27 STORE, which should be up in November. We just rolled the site out last week, so this is a weight off of our shoulders! It will make the color correction smoother now that we’ve knocked out the website resdesign.
More good news here, as with so many moving parts associated to locking down the music rights, we’re at about 75% complete. Allan made some great headway last week, and we’re actually cutting checks soon — which means yes, music-wise we are then ready for the DVD release !
So the Color Correction issue withstanding, it’s actually all good news on other fronts. I’ll be back to more regular updates as soon as this last piece is finally knocked out, but until then, as has been the mantra since we started this crazy project…
FOOL’S GOLD 4 LIFE, YO!*
*Yeah, yeah, I know it’s PYRITE now, but PYRITE 4 LIFE just doesn’t have the same ring to it! :-)
It’s just a few hours from the end of July, so I’m sneaking a Hollywood 27 update in under the wire here…
Don’t think I mentioned this before, but on a scale of 1 to 10, the main scene that needs color correction work is an 11. Yeah, that would be the opposite of easy, and it’s kept Matt busy all July. I now don’t expect the color correction to be complete until end of August at the earliest, mid-to-late-September at the latest – but I’ll know more on that in a few weeks. I should have a firm date sometime next month.
Going very well in this department. Two of the deleted scenes are 100% complete. The mini PYRITE documentary is really coming together, although there are so many hours of footage to sift through, I’m not sure when it will be 100% complete (I’m about 40% thru all the footage). I am working on the Blooper Reel fun in tandem, so once the documentary is complete, the only segments I’ll have left to finish are THE BLAZEN PLATFORM (building an EL platform in RJ’s backyard!) and the screen tests. I’m saving the screen tests for last, until I see how much space we have left on the DVD after adding all this other content. In case you don’t know and are curious, a dual-layer DVD maxes out around 8.5GB, so that’s the space constraint we’re under.
Our new website shell is done, and Scott Vrana over at PERSONAL PC WEB DESIGN (http://personalpctech.com/webdesign/index.htm) is hard at work trying to get the new site 100% up-and-running sometime in August. I’m really looking forward to it, as this has been a side project in the works here since early spring. The main site design was done by Robert Kerr, who designed one of the two winning Hollywood 27 logos in our contest earlier this year. Scott and I are running with it from there, working together to get the new site finalized.
I started putting more content on the web earlier this week, beginning with some new stills on the Facebook page, and then some music which I will detail below. Tonight I’m putting up a mini-blooper reel created just for the web, and that should be especially fun for anyone who worked in the cast or crew. Hopefully everyone gets a laugh from it though. I will probably pop up a short segment from the PYRITE documentary too. I’m still working that out, but I’ll definitely have a 2nd clip up on Facebook later this week.
Most of you are already there, but just in case, here’s a link to the Facebook page. Please refer anyone that may be interested to this link, as new Facebook fans are greatly appreciated and definitely needed!
And lastly, I will be posting some videos on YouTube as responses to other videos whose content is pertinent to that of PYRITE’s story (I’ll put links on Facebook when I do). Some of these videos will be actual clips from PYRITE, while other ones may be video blogs mixed with clips, etc. Still working that out, but yeah, all this stuff is obviously keeping me a little busy!
No final news to report yet on the music rights front, although I’m hoping we will finalize the 2nd of the 3 songs any day now. In the meantime, I’m contacting a 2-3 bands in August about doing a title track for the film, one which reflects the meaning behind the “fool’s gold” metaphor. Once I have final word on that little side project, I’ll be announcing it immediately. No guarantees that we even will have a title track, as it will really depend on how receptive the bands are to what I’m looking for, and of course whatever their current schedules may be.
Also on the music front, I put a song from the PYRITE soundtrack into rotation on Hollywood 27 Alternative Radio (http://www.live365.com/stations/ericb27) this past Thursday, and I expect to keep playing new songs every 1 to 2 weeks, eventually leading up to a PYRITE SOUNDTRACK broadcast that will coincide with the DVD release. This part has been a lot of fun, and I’ve definitely grown to appreciate the outstanding work Phil did for the film. I’ve been listening to the rough mix of the soundtrack on my home theater speakers… good stuff.
So thanks for following what’s going on at Hollywood 27, I very much appreciate it – especially if you made it to the end of this long update. Back in late August with more news, and a nearly-completed DVD!
Time for a rather uplifting March update here from Hollywood 27 Productions. It’s been one helluva productive month, so let me get right into the details…
Not long after my last update back in February, we did indeed find a final Sound Designer for PYRITE. Klint Macro has stepped up to the plate, and as soon as he finishes wrapping up a project for Cinemax, he’ll be knocking out the sound design on PYRITE (work is already underway as of this update). We are expecting to have DVD-ready sound in place by the end of May! Klint brings quite the extensive resume´ to the table, as you can see from his IMDB record, working on nearly 40 Film/TV projects in the last 2 years alone!
In addition to Klint’s expertise, he has brought in Alex Ullrich to do the Foley work. Alex also has an outstanding resume´, including perhaps the most impressive of his accolades — Foley Artist for THE HURT LOCKER. Yes, that would be the Academy Award for Best Picture THE HURT LOCKER! In case you missed it, the film also won Academy Awards for Best Achievement in Sound! We are more than excited to have this team working on the final audio mix for PYRITE, and here’s a link to Alex’s IMDB page if you’d like to take a look at his credentials:
Making a good month even better, our Logo Contest brought in several talented graphic designers, and pretty much forced me to declare two winners instead of just one. I’ll be using the two logos in different situations, and I’m stoked to have a more crisp and clean identity out there for Hollywood 27. Special thanks to our winners, Robert Kerr and Penny Christou! The Logo Contest not only gave us two great logos, it also nicely opened up our network for graphic design. With the DVD cover for PYRITE waiting in the wings here, I’m confident we’ll have a stunning visual package when the DVD is released late this summer. For more details on the Logo Contest, here’s a direct link:
This part of the project is now well underway, and I’ll be taping on location in a few different cities next month for THE MAKING OF PYRITE featurette, the first of several DVD extras that will be announced over the next couple of months. For more on the upcoming DVD EXTRAS and other exclusive news, make sure you take a few seconds to join the HOLLYWOOD 27 e-mail list, as email subscribers get the inside scoop! Simply click here to join:
HOLLYWOOD 27 ALTERNATIVE RADIO
One final tidbit of good news, this little radio side project here has gradually grown into a Top 40 Alternative radio station on LIVE 365.com! We even cracked the Top 30 recently, although I’m not sure we can hold that kind of position considering we don’t do any advertising, etc. Still, it’s exciting to be reaching listeners around the world, kicking out the positive vibe. As the PYRITE DVD release date moves closer, we’ll be featuring some exclusive PYRITE-related content, promotions, etc. on the station. Special thanks to our listeners in Canada and Latvia (yes, Latvia), who round out our top 3 listening locales behind the US. Thanks for listening!
I gotta say it, Hollywood 27 Productions just celebrated its 12th year of existence this month, and through all these years, I’ve never been more amped about the work we’re doing. With the PYRITE DVD coming up, a few new festival submissions (and other surprises) for the polished version of the film, and the FTD Doc on the near horizon… 2010 should be a special year. I know everyone who worked on those projects will be re-invigorated as the year rolls on, and I hope we can share these films with a large audience as things progress.
Thanks for taking the time to read this month’s update – I hope to be back in late April with some more good news.
A quick February update from Hollywood27…
First off, I’m hoping to sign a new Sound Mixer to contract by the end of the month, and should have that info ready for next month’s update. Looking forward to getting that finalized, underway, and then ready for the DVD!
Secondly, the HOLLYWOOD 27 LOGO CONTEST is officially underway. Here’s a link to the contest page, which can also be found at the top of the main hollywood27.com page:
The cash award for the winning logo is $100, plus credit of course, so please pass the info along to anyone you know who might be interested.
And last of all… we have our brand new company address here in Arizona – so brand new in fact that I haven’t even published it to the main website yet! Now If you need to send anything our way, send it here:
Hollywood 27 Productions
5235 E. Southern Ave
Mesa, AZ 85206
That’s all for now, nose is to the grindstone BIG TIME, and it’s a nice partly sunny/partly cloudy and rainy day here in the AZ – perfect for finishing off some accounting work, right?
Peace out from Hollywood 27!
Time for a quick PYRITE update before I get back to the nice winter fracas that is the final stretch of the PYRITE DVD. I apologize for the rather epic length here! It’s been a while since my last entry!
We had a bit of an external hiccup hit us late last Fall, which cost us a good 5-6 months. I’m now in the process of hiring a new Sound Editor to take care of this final piece of post-production work that we actually started several months ago. To that end, I’m posting the job here locally in Phoenix with IFP, and I have feelers out in Hollywood/LA as well, since I know there are a lot of people looking for work right now. My preference is for a local hire, someone whom I can work with personally as needed, but I’m definitely open to suggestions, references, etc. The pay is $3,000, and we’re looking for a Sound Editor who has ample time over the next 2-3 months to knock this out. The film is about 87 minutes now, so it’s not that Herculean of a job. If any of you have recommendations, please send them my way! Email or phone call is fine. This has to get done, and it has to get done ASAP.
So what the heck am I talking about? Well as reported in my last blog entry, we had hired someone to complete our final post-production sound work… but after what amounted to over 5 months of time, we wound up having to move on, as personal issues from his side prevented him from being able to work on the project in earnest. Nothing related to Hollywood 27 whatsoever, but regardless, it definitely stung to come out of that time frame with essentially nothing. Yes, that one hurt a bit. Jon Lacocque has been working with me on this final phase over the past year, helping us to get to final cut (which we’ve had since Spring 2009 by the way), recruiting people for our audio, etc. Special thanks to Jon for all of his efforts. And right now, we’re opening up the circle a little wider to pull someone in here to finish the audio.
Beyond the audio work, I’m currently creating the DVD Extras, which include a short documentary on the making of PYRITE… and the long journey that started as FOOL’S GOLD (even going back to the college days and the initial short story called THE WEST SIDE PUMP that inspired this whole crazy project in the first place). I want to make sure the DVD has plenty of great content on it when we release it later this year. By the way, I recently purchased a new HD camcorder that is freakin’ amazing, and I’ll be using it to shoot the extras. I also have a bit of an internet surprise in the works, but it’s too early to say anything beyond that.
So under the current schedule, the extras should all be completed by Memorial Day, and as long as we have our sound work completed by then, the PYRITE DVD will finally be available this summer! All I can say about that is… I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!!
Beyond the DVD work… a website re-design is in the works, which we are kicking off with a logo contest. Within the next week we will have the Hollywood 27 Logo Contest up on the current website, giving folks the opportunity to submit an original logo for the words HOLLYWOOD 27, or HOLLYWOOD 27 PRODUCTIONS. The award for the winning logo is $100, plus credit on any websites displaying the logo (currently Hollywood27.com and Hollywood 27 Alternative Radio – http://www.live365.com/stations/ericb27?site=live365). The freshly-created logo will be the centerpiece for our new website, which will allow cleaner and faster access to the different projects, and eventually services, here at Hollywood 27. Each person can submit up to 3 logos, so please pass the info on to anyone you think might be interested in entering the contest!
A few other miscellaneous things…
I mailed out the first PYRITE poster this past week… and will be taking care of the others throughout the year as the funds and the time are available.
Cast Profiles are all up, but I haven’t received a ton of data from cast members yet, so they are largely open/empty templates. I’ll be pulling info from IMDB as time permits, just to get the profiles beefed up, but again, please send me any details, pictures, etc. that you would like to appear in your profile! You know the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Quick note on the FTD Documentary – it is waiting in the wings here until we get the PYRITE DVD out the door, then it will be the primary focus for the rest of 2010!
Lastly, two external blurbs. First, I’m sure many of you have been following the Conan O’Brien saga to some extent over the past couple of weeks. I watch very little TV, and haven’t watched any of the late night shows in years, BUT, I have always been a big fan of Conan’s, dating back to my college days. I love his positive sense of humor, and even though I haven’t watched much in recent years, I was definitely saddened to hear about the upheaval at THE TONIGHT SHOW. I applaud him for taking a stand. For those of you who didn’t catch his final show, here’s a link, although I don’t know how long it will be active, because I think HULU archives stuff after a bit:
Even if you don’t watch, however, Conan gave a great little speech at the end, fighting back tears when thanking all of his supporters, and this piece of it was quite inspirational, so thought I’d share:
“And all I ask is one thing… I’m asking particularly of young people who watch… please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism. For the record it’s my least favorite quality. It doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen. I’m telling you, amazing things will happen.”
Finally, and most importantly, as I’m sure everyone is well aware, Haiti is in serious, serious trouble right now… and aftershocks continue. Money is desperately needed, and now is the time to step up and make a difference. I just made my 2nd donation this weekend, this time just using my cellphone, but remember, not all charities or not-for-profit organizations are created equal. If you’re going to give your hard-earned money to one, make sure the money is all going to where it’s needed (ninety-something percent of it at least). Here are the two that I personally donated to, just as a couple examples:
I know 2009 was a rough year for many people, even without natural disasters and all the external issues. I’ve had so many people close to me affected by job loss and the myriad of problems associated with it, including the debilitating issue of having no health insurance as a result… all I can say is that I’ve never seen a greater desire to flip that calendar from one year to another!! But no matter how bad our lives in America may seem at times, with places like Haiti and so many others around the world buried in such turmoil, we can all be grateful for the blessings that we do have. So here’s some well wishes being sent out there to everyone… may 2010 be a great year, and let’s all work our tails off here to make it so!
Wow, I really didn’t realize how long it had been since I popped a post up on the website! Guess that’s pretty indicative of my general state of mind in 2009, as there’s still a bit too much on my plate right now. Lots of progress being made, however, so I’m not complaining. Here are a few updates…
1. PYRITE DISTRIBUTION. We are very close to hitting that elusive FINAL CUT of PYRITE that I’ve been chasing down for the past couple of years now here. I spent pretty much February through mid-June taking care of the final touches on my end, plus preparing all of the edit to be sent out for a professional audio overhaul. I am very pleased to announce that we’ve hired Jerry Walterick to do our final post-production sound work. You can take a look at Jerry’s credits here on IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2038715/
We’ve been working in tandem over the past 3-4 months to get everything set up so he could complete the work, and he’s now officially in the thick of completing our audio! I’m pretty stoked about it, and for those of you who attended the private premiere last year, I’m sure you’ll share in that excitement — it needed the help!
As Jerry returns portions of the film to me with the audio mastered, I’ll be working on the final 2 pieces to the puzzle here: enhancing the film’s music and performing some final clean-up/color correction on the visuals, pulling in some professional assistance to accomplish this piece as well. Once Jerry is finished and those 2 pieces are complete, PYRITE is stamped 100% finished, and we then move towards seeking distribution, full throttle. I will likely submit the newly-polished product to a few film festivals here and there as appropriate, but beyond that, our primary focus will be a distribution deal. We need to get PYRITE to its final home here as soon as we can, as other projects are calling, and its time to let PYRITE get out there into the marketplace.
2. CAST PROFILES. We’ve started to put up detailed Cast Profiles on the website, in an effort to let everyone who has worked on the project tout their work here on the pages of Hollywood 27. Howie Johnson was the guinea pig here (aww, thanks Howie), so please check out his profile under THE CAST link, and by the way, also check him out on the hilarious Pillow Talks website: http://www.pillow-talks.tv/index.php
Any other Cast, or Crew for that matter, who haven’t already submitted profile information, please feel free to email whatever information you would like to have shown on your profile, and we’ll get the info up as soon as we can.
3. MOVIE POSTERS!!! Yes, there were a few people that I promised movie posters back at our private premiere, and NO, of course I didn’t forget about that promise! As soon as I get this little final cut issue worked out, LOL, I will be getting the movie posters printed. Didn’t want you to think I’d left you hangin’.
4. THE FTD DOCUMENTARY. A new link now appears at the bottom of our homepage, titled FTD DOCUMENTARY. This in reference to the documentary we shot in collaboration with Smiling Toad Productions back in 2006, about a friend of mine who’s father suffers from the terrible dementia that is FTD. Right now the new page simply plays the first trailer to the film, which, yes, I also cut during that February-June time frame I mentioned during the PYRITE update (as The Rhino would say, “been busy… lil bit”)! In addition to the trailer, the rough edit of this documentary is also underway, and I will be working on it extensively during the hot Arizona summer here, where being inside editing is actually preferred to being outside in the 115 degree sweltering heat! Please check out the trailer when you get the chance, and we’ll be updating the page with much more detail about the project in the near future. All I’ll mention now is that we shot the documentary with the help of 4 different families, and of course Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, who have been pivotal in keeping the project moving forward. Lots going on with this project, so we’ll be giving it its due on the website as soon as possible.
5. FACEBOOK PAGES. You can follow both PYRITE and the FTD DOCUMENTARY on Facebook, links noted below. I was going to create a presence for us on MYSPACE too, initially, but is anyone really on MYSPACE anymore? Seriously? OK, links:
PYRITE — http://www.facebook.com/pages/PYRITE/35137285548?ref=sgm
FTD DOCUMENTARY — http://www.facebook.com/developers/wizard.php?page_id=106958594142&__a=1#/pages/Frontotemporal-Dementia-Walking-the-Path/106958594142?ref=mf
6. THE FUTURE??? Late this year we’ll be working on a bit of a website redesign, setting up a main HOLLYWOOD 27 section, and then branching off into our various projects — PYRITE, FTD DOCUMENTARY, HOLLYWOOD 27 RADIO, plus anything else that may pop up along the way. First and foremost will be the creation of a new HOLLYWOOD 27 logo, so if anyone has any ideas, please let me know. That’s something that’s been in the back of my mind for a while, and I have pretty much no skill whatsoever when it comes to graphic design… so please, any ideas, referrals, etc. are always appreciated.
Finally, I’d like to just mention 2010 here for a second, as I have several people asking about investing in our next project, wondering what’s next, etc. All I can say is that it’s ALMOST time to finally start seriously discussing options, but I don’t see much activity happening on that front until early 2010, as there are still way too many things on tap right now that must be completed first. The good news is that we’ve really proven a lot w/PYRITE, and I expect the FTD DOCUMENTARY will further that, albeit in a somewhat different vein. When I have people asking me to invest in our next project already, that’s a great sign, and I’m really looking forward to starting down that road next year.
In the meantime, hope everyone NOT in the desert is enjoying a wonderful summer! I’ll be back in the Fall with another update.
As we go through the arduous process of finding PYRITE a home, which is oddly coinciding with the first race for president where a black candidate has been nominated, it’s hard for race relations not to be on many of our minds these days. The fact that Obama even won the Democratic nomination, however, means that a great deal of progress has been made in America, even in the 10 years since PYRITE was first put in motion. As the nation once again seems to be polarizing across party lines, I can’t help but contemplate just how far we’ve truly progressed… and whether or not it’s far enough.
The thought of a seventy-something white man taking over as president and bringing “change” is something that COULD happen, don’t get me wrong. Just because someone is old and white doesn’t automatically mean that he is out of touch with our country, with race relations, with all the problems our country’s middle and lower classes are enduring… to assume such would just be more prejudice in action. But in McCain’s case, in light of his actions and current rhetoric, I can’t for a second see him striving to make anywhere near the type of improvement Obama hopes to make. Obama follows strong philosophical principles, something incredibly refreshing in today’s sterile poiltical environment. I am very much looking forward to the debates, as I expect Obama to shine.
While Election 2008 may be in the forefront, finding PYRITE a home is still pretty high up on my own personal list of urgent items! I’ve started to target Underground festivals, as I’m learning that the film’s propensity to offend is pretty high. Not sure if “offend” is even the right word there, but let’s just say people are finding contextual reasons to steer clear of showing the film at their festival. And that’s fine, I’d honestly be more excited about popping up at underground festivals anyway. If we don’t pop into a festival soon though, I’ll hit full creative mode when it comes to distribution, and I’ll start taking the film on the road myself, finding alternative sources, whatever it takes. Regardless of the path taken, it will lead me to focus on one of the most intriguing aspects of the film, in my experience so far, and that is its incidental existence as a litmus test for racism. I think this neatly ties it in with our current election, and many of our current news headlines — it really makes me wish we had PYRITE out there right now!
When I refer to the litmus test, I’m talking about the film’s effect on unsuspecting viewers – meaning first time viewers with no knowledge of the script or story in any form. Discussing their opinions afterwards revealed a dividing line similar to that in Spike Lee’s DO THE RIGHT THING. Now I am in no way suggesting PYRITE is on the same level as DO THE RIGHT THING. That’s probably my all-time favorite film dealing with racism, there’s no way we could touch that level with a first project, but I have definitely noticed some similar reactions.
The main premise here to the litmus test lies within the film’s most decisive moment. I won’t play spoiler here, it’s simply enough to say that it is, literally, a punch to the face! From that moment on, life paths are altered, some irrevocably, and the main character’s ideals, which he has spent the first half of the film clinging to, are brought deeply into question. The litmus test, despite spawning from this moment, isn’t so much about the moment itself… it’s about the audience’s reaction to where the moment takes place, specifically Chicago’s West Side.
Safety in the neighborhood we showcase here is the main issue – and most people who feel it is unsafe equate the danger to race. One of my least favorite quotes, indeed the first I heard after our private premiere earlier this year, was an older white man who said “Well thanks Eric, I’ll make sure I never get off the EL [in that neighborhood].” Although that was not the kind of reaction I was looking for, it speaks to directly to the issue PYRITE focuses on – the clash of stereotypes and ideals. It also brings up a slew of questions… Is a black neighborhood safe for a white person to walk through? Safe to take a bus or a train through? Can people walk wherever they please during the day in Chicago and be secure? And perhaps more pointedly, can they FEEL safe?
The passionate answers to these questions seem to be given by people who have one thing in common: they’ve never actually walked through the neighborhood in question! I’ve heard idealists literally yell at me for making the film’s plot twist that way, because they feel I am only promoting stereotypes… that I am hurting minority neighborhoods. I’ve heard the jaded prejudicial side as well, including one contingent that tried to forbid people in their family from venturing into or even through poorer black neighborhoods in the city because PYRITE “shows what happens there.” The arguments can be quite heated, and to be honest, that’s the point here, to get people talking. With all the differences of opinion, the litmus test itself is pretty clear and straightforward – the people with racist tendencies automatically defend the stance that you should not walk through many parts of the city, period, if you’re not of the racial majority. Whether they realize it or not, fear and ignorance are the two main factors at play. I’m sure it’s not all black and white, things seldom are, but I would venture a guess that this litmus test is pretty damn accurate.
And as for the other side of the equation, those who swear by the safety of the neighborhoods, and may want to ban my film (LOL), I personally think the litmus test is equally effective. The story in PYRITE has one strong underlying theme throughout – this clash between ideals and stereotypes, and the people who cling to each of them. I find it very interesting that the people who emotionally react the most to the film are, in doing so, proving the very point of the story itself! In their excited responses, in the moment where they feel the truth is crystal clear and shining there in front of them, they are instead missing the lesson within PYRITE. And yeah, there is a lesson. I wrote it, it’s there, whether anyone else likes it or agrees with it, it’s there. And it is… don’t let yourself get so far to one side of the problem, that you blind yourself to the reality of the situation. Don’t cling to the black and the white.
I’ve had so many debates on racism thus far in my life, although I think this applies to any emotional subject matter, and I’ve seen one common theme throughout – passion overshadowing the truth. Anger overshadowing our ability to listen. In PYRITE, when you break it down, the story is just trying to subliminally hit the viewer with this — don’t hold so tightly to your ideals, or your prejudices, that you prevent yourself from seeking the truth. Not the black, not the white… but the human shade of grey in which the truth tends to be shrouded. For viewers who see the film and react strongly on one side of the equation, I hope you’ll see the potential in the litmus test theory, take a step back, and listen carefully to the other side. It will probably bring you closer to the truth.