Archive for September, 2009

Naperville Wrap-Up

Posted in places, things you should know on September 27, 2009 by wfon

All I can say is: “I love Naperville!!!” As if it wasn’t enough to have worldfullofnothing accepted to the 2nd annual Naperville Independent Film Festival, flying to Chicago with my parents and Markus, screening the film to some very enthusiastic and interested folks, hanging out in this incredible little town, having Markus (and then the rest of us) recognized by the very cute hostess at the local pizzeria, getting a chance to see Chicago from the top of the Sears Tower, re-connecting with Pat Trapp (whom I last saw in Boise, Idaho about 20 years ago) and finally taking part in the lavish awards ceremony with guests Roger Ebert, Karen Allen and Jim Peterik… as if that wasn’t enough, the folks at the helm of the festival (Edmond, Glessna, Daniel, Gary, Ed and everyone else) bestowed upon me the award for Best Feature Director!

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Who knew when we started day one of production in the driveway of my grandmother’s house in Tujunga (circa 2006) that it would come to this! I’ve been asked all sorts of questions while we’ve been here in Naperville: what inspired the film, how did it come together, etc? The truth is, Markus and I saw it as a grand experiment at first, a challenge to ourselves to stop talking about making a film and just doing it (a notion that seemed to be inspirational to an aspiring filmmaker during one of our Q&A sessions). From that initial kick-start, we were blessed time and again by the generous support and excited involvement of our cast (Bella, Angela, Greg, Richard, Alicyn, Andrea, Hannah, Oliver, Sandy, Vincent, Katlynn, Jamie, Wendy, Sean, and my folks) and everyone who helped put the finishing touches on the project (Paul, Andy, Jussi, Jackie, Kevin and Cameron). To all of them/you – Thank you! Our little experiment has grown up and is looking for a nice house in Naperville. I told the audience last night, which included Mayor Pradel, that I really like this town and would love to come back and make a movie here… hint, hint. Time to pack this baby up and head back to LA… someone please turn down the heat before we get home. Thanks.

Naperville Fest Night One

Posted in places, things you should know on September 24, 2009 by wfon

As promised, Edmond Coisson and everyone involved with the Naperville Independent Film Festival have gone out of their way to create an exciting event here in this idyllic suburb of Chicago. This is the kind of place that John Hughes set his films; sprawling lawns leading to huge two and three story homes on quiet streets with a riverside downtown area filled with all the modern conveniences, pubs and restaurants. We arrived mid-afternoon after landing at O’Hare and found our way to the Holiday Inn Select and the Manager’s Welcome hour (free beer and wine!) before heading over to the Ogden 6 where worldfullofnothing screened to an enthusiastic group. We were all very happy with the response and had a good Q&A session.

Unbeknownst to us until we looked in the festival’s program guide, worldfullofnothing has been nominated for three awards here: Best Actress, Angela BozierBest Director and Best Feature. A gala closing dinner and awards program is happening Saturday night at the newly opened Hollywood Palms theater and restaurant, so we shall see if fortune shines on our little film.

No pictures just yet, will try to get some this afternoon and post later, but we have been shooting some video with the Flip. For now, we’re going to head out into the balmy overcast morning and see some sights before returning for the second screening at 5:10. If you’re in the area, come on down: Ogden 6 Theater, Naperville, Il.

Sound advice…

Posted in people, things you should know on September 21, 2009 by wfon

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Coming from me, I bet you think a blog entry titled “Sound advice…” would have something to do with audio or post-production. Alas, today, no! Today, I’m going to draw your attention to an interview dear friend and current collaborator Julieanna Hever gave to Meatless Monday about teaching children good eating habits and other important nutritional information. Julieanna, through her company To Your Health Fitness, has worked as a clinical dietitian, personal trainer, group fitness instructor, lifestyle coach, nutrition consultant, and fitness consultant. (She can also juggle flaming bowling pins while riding a unicycle – no, I just made that part up… or did I?) We’ve known each other since 1992 when I cast Julieanna in my (more-or-less) thesis film at the Art Center College of Design and are currently working on a concept to combine our talents (film production along with nutrional expertise) with the goal of bringing the Plant-Based-Dietitian to a theater, classroom or DVD player near you. So, I want to introduce you (in some cases re-introduce you) to Julieanna and give you a taste (no pun here!) of her work. Hopefully we’ll have plenty to talk about and show you in the coming in months. In the meantime, check out Julie’s interview with Meatless Monday here: READ ME and her website HERE and blog HERE. You can also follow her on Twitter HERE.

Whoa…

Posted in things you should know on September 16, 2009 by wfon

Who are these people? Why do they have such strange accents? Why are they so comfortable in their uninformed ignorance? How can they opine so openly and with such passion about that which they quite obviously know nothing? Why would anyone want to count themselves among them? Thanks to Bob and Paul for passing this along.

“Just a good ol’ boy…”

Posted in daily musings, things you should know on September 16, 2009 by wfon

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“I done made up this sine to pertest the Osama ‘ministratin’ lieing ’bout helth care, illegal aliens (like them ones in that movie ’bout the big shrimp) and there commie, faschist, soshulism degenda!”

Had to borrow this picture from Getty Images but it ran in the LA Times this morning. Folks, if you’re gonna make a sign and get your picture taken and you want to be taken seriously for your opinion, please use spell check! As we’ve all heard, a picture speaks a thousand words and this picture tells me that if you’re on the side of the ‘tea partiers,’ all ‘tens of thousand’ of them, then you ‘beleive/support’ Joe Wilson. Speaking of Joe Wilson, did you know he’s a big time Confederate? According to Tim Rutten’s column this morning (I know, I know, major Lefty) Joe Wilson, as a South Carolina state legislator was one of the ‘die-hards who opposed removing the Confederate battle flag from atop the South Carolina state house.’ I’ve also heard unsubstantiated rumors (that means unproven to you on the Right) that Wilson has an orange ’69 Dodge Charger with the Confederate flag on the roof and a big ol’ 01 on the door.

For me, I’ll stay over here with the Advanced Placement kids.

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Joe Wilson's ride

Thanks a lot!

Posted in rants on September 14, 2009 by wfon

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So, last night at the MTV Video Music Awards (I know what you’re thinking, MTV still has something to do with videos?) Kanye West jumped up on stage during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech, grabbed her microphone and attempted to make the case that Beyonce should have won, instead of Swift. Taylor stood there (as you can see) and took it. Beyonce later won another award and the two women took the stage together in a show of solidarity. I’m no fan of Kanye West and I’ve never understood why music critics and fans alike think he’s the greatest thing to hit the music biz since CDs… and I’m also not particularly fond of Taylor Swift (strange for me, I know, since you can usually put a teen singer in front of me and watch me swoon) although that Romeo and Juliet song is pretty catchy. Beyonce also doesn’t do much for me, but every now and then I do get an infinite loop of “all the single ladies, all the single ladies, oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, ’cause if you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it” stuck in my head. I digress…

All I see here is a form of disrespectful behavior that is the new normal in America. And we can thank Republicans and conservatives for the downward spiral. Their immature, inarticulate rants and threats in town hall meetings across the country this summer, finally culminating in South Carolina’s finest, Joe Wilson’s, outburst during the President of the United States’ speech to Congress has ruined civility, roundly flattened compassion and set America back, in terms of setting an example for democracy, once again. You would think that after eight years of the worst president this country has ever seen, we would have enjoyed a few months in the light of eloquence, intelligence and progress. But, no… thanks to the brain trust on the right, we have sunk further into the muck of a Jerry Springer society. From now on, if you’ve got a beef, the best way to deal with it is to jump in front of the pretty teenager getting her MTV award or the school teacher, healthcare professional, police officer, fireman, mailman, flight attendant and shout them down.

Kanye West may be a jerk, maybe he was drunk, but he was only following a trend, an ugly trend that we have the lunatics on the Right to thank for. What a great group they are.

Temecula-la-land

Posted in daily musings, things you should know on September 13, 2009 by wfon

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The school board of the Temecula School District is having to decide whether or not to put an award-winning Young Adult book on the Sophomore reading list. “Speak” written by Laurie Halse Anderson involves a teenage girl dealing with the aftermath of getting drunk at a party the summer before her freshman year and being sexually assaulted by a senior. The book has had problems in other states, always due to parental concern re: the subject matter. One parent in Temecula, a distant suburb of San Diego and a place you’d only go if you had to or liked Indian Casinos, even wrote to say it was “smutty” and “pornographic.” Responding to these concerns, the school board got hard to work:  “None of us had read it,” said board member Kristi Rutz-Robbins, who expressed concerns about the book at an August meeting, saying she would not be comfortable with her daughter reading it. Rutz-Robbins declined to say how she planned to vote Tuesday (9/15) but the plot “by nature of the topic makes it something we need to pause and carefully review,” she said.

I’m bringing this up because I feel very strongly that before you should have an opinion on anything, you’d better be well-versed in the subject. So, Ms. Rutz-Robbins – START READING! It’s people like this that allow censorship to flourish and the continued erosion of our civil rights and liberties. Granted all we’re talking about here is one school in a town that probably has a 50% drop-out rate brought on by unwanted teen pregancy, rape, drug abuse, etc. Infact, further research suggests:

Approximately One Million teens become pregnant each year in the United States. This results in approximately 520,000 births, 405,000 abortions & 80,000 miscarriages. More than ten percent of this total is in the State of Ca (approx 61,000 in 1997), and ten percent of the California total (approximately 4800 births) is in Orange County.

Temecula is actually in Riverside County (so they’re really screwed!) but their immediate surroundings and populace mirror those of Orange County: predominately white, conservative and Christian, for some reason they prefer to ignore the knocking at the door… and that knocking is the Real World ready to pay a visit. Should 14 year old kids not know that people make mistakes, get themselves in bad situations and pay the price or should they bop along, ignorant of it all until that day when Jesus magically hooks them up with Ryan Gosling (that’s a reference to The Notebook, ya’ll) and the stork pays a visit? Fortunately, again, we’re only talking about quality in education and, well, I guess we could have an opinion about that in some of these flyover places, too.

I’ve not read the book either (but I’m not making informed decisions about it’s worth), however, I own the movie adapted from it a few years ago. Starring Kristen Stewart (pre-Twilight), the film is moving and important. Chances are if more girls spent more time reading about these sorts of things, they might avoid ending up playing roles in their own sad little versions.

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