Be in the movie SUNDOWN!

June 27th, 2016

People have been asking about how to be in the movie SUNDOWN, so here are the details about the days we need background talent.  Come hang out, eat snacks, drink beverages, and be in a movie.  Sounds fun, right?  Here are the different dates and locations:

Wednesday July 13th evening in Cambridge:  players and hangers-on in a high stakes poker game.  Classy, “night on the town” attire.

Thursday July 14th afternoon in Weymouth:  patrons at a neighborhood diner early in the morning, casual attire.

Monday July 25th in Cambridge (late morning/early noon) and Arlington (evening): patrons at 2 different moderately upscale “date night” bars – one afternoon, one evening.  Casual “going out” attire.

Either Tuesday July 12th or Saturday July 16th (TBD soon): college-aged females or males to be students attend a feminist theory college class.  Casual attire.

Tuesday July 26, Wednesday July 27, and Thursday July 28 in Jamaica Plain (Daytime – you are not needed for all three days):  Older people (60+) to play members of a support group for spouses of dementia sufferers.  Casual attire.

If you are interested in eating some free food and helping make some movie magic, please email Dalya at porcelaindalya@gmail.com with your availability.

Kickstarter goal reached!

June 14th, 2016

We did it!  We have reached the $15,000 mark and hit our Kickstarter goal for making our movie SUNDOWN.  Thank you all so much for supporting this movie!

Now, 15K was just the minimum we need to make this movie a reality.  We still have til tomorrow at midnight before the Kickstarter closes, so please continue to pledge at our Kickstarter page.  Every bit helps us pay and feed our cast and crew during shooting as well as post-production costs such as editing, sound design, and eventually film festival entry fees so that as many people as possible can see the movie.

Thank you so much!  Everything we do is on your shoulders.

Crew Conversation: Editor Amy Leland

June 11th, 2016

The final one of these little chats goes to the woman who will have the final say in how this whole little endeavor turns out – editor Amy Leland.

Amy is an editor, writer, and director based in New York who spends her downtime from editing for CBS Sports making her own films and generally being awesome.  I talked to Amy about the art of making people cry and chocolate:

Amy: Let’s rock and roll.

Brendan: Why don’t you tell the good people how we met?

Amy: You and I meet at the first film festival my first film ECHOES got into (the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival). I saw your film THE MAYOR OF ROCK & ROLL and had a blast. You brought an awesome audience into that room. But then you encouraged them to leave just before my film screened. I’ll forgive you for that someday.

Brendan: We needed to go party.  But the Mass Indie Film Fest are good folks. I eventually saw ECHOES at another festival. It was heartbreaking.

Amy: Making people cry – it’s what I do. I think there’s something wrong with me for enjoying it so much. But when I’m sitting in a dark room, and start to hear people sniffle, I think, “Yes!”

Brendan: You’re a sadistic fuck.

Amy: It’s part of why I love the script you’ve written so much. There is a lot of humor in it, sure. But it really has a lot of heart in it. I just love good stories. And I love helping to tell good stories. So when I read your script, I knew I wanted to help tell it. I’m a little disappointed that you want to direct it yourself instead of letting me do it, but I understand why you do. But editing is, for me, such an integral part of the storytelling that getting to collaborate with you in that way is also a great way to get to bring this story to life.

Brendan: Editing is the most important part. It’s like writing the story all over again, really.

Amy: It’s funny because as a director, I generally edit my own stuff. But that’s something I’ve been wanting to break away from. I really want that partnership with another storyteller to be the second set of eyes. And I’ve been that second set of eyes for other directors as an editor. The director/editor relationship is a great collaboration, and I love being part of it.

Brendan: It’ll definitely be different than the sports editing you do for your day job.

Amy: Oh, yes. Very different from sports editing. “You want a football highlight? Okay, here you go – Touchdown! Hero shot! Touchdown! Hero shot! Touchdown! Hero shot! And pad to break…”  I actually wrote the first draft of my first feature screenplay almost entirely while on sports editing shifts. Late night studio shifts during college basketball season. It was great. We’d cover a game, then I’d write some pages while waiting for our next assignment.

Brendan: Got to love the accommodating day job.

Amy: I imagine for you, getting to direct this story is important because it is so personal. How are you feeling about that aspect of it going into it? Any particular things you’re doing as part of your preparation so you can be the objective director while also bringing all of the personal elements to the story?

Brendan: I think the biggest thing I’m doing to prepare is trusting my team. I don’t think of this as “my” movie or vision. Letting go is usually the hardest part for me, but I’ve got a great bunch of actors and crew to bring more to it than what’s in my head.

Amy: For me, that’s a great strategy as a director even when the story isn’t so personal, so I applaud that. I always describe the job of director as, “Hire the best people for the jobs, and then let them do their jobs.” The feature script I wrote is also based on some very personal family stuff. But to make the story more dramatic, I had to fictionalize what happened enough that now it’s almost a story about other people. So it’s personal, but I also have some objectivity. Was there some of that for you?

Brendan: Yeah, the movie version is much more dramatic and interesting than anything that actually happened to me. My real life is a big ol’ ball of boring.

Amy: I think we always feel our own lives are boring because whatever the obstacles were, we’ve survived them well enough to sit down and write about them. So of course we want an audience to get a more interesting version than what we lived.

Brendan: What are your hopes for this movie?

Amy: That it gets nominated for an Oscar for the editing, of course! Honestly, I hope we all tell a great story that entertains and moves people and that we find a way for as much of an audience as possible to see it.

Brendan: I’ll buy you one of those little foil covered chocolate Oscars when you’re done.

Amy: I’m going to hold you to that. I need to have that written into my contract.

Help Amy get that chocolate Oscar by supporting the SUNDOWN Kickstarter page.

Get your tshirt in the movie SUNDOWN!

June 9th, 2016

Here’s how you can get your tshirt in the movie SUNDOWN by pledging the Kickstarter. (Warning: this video is quite silly.)

SUNDOWN Tshirt Video from Brendan Boogie on Vimeo.

No chickens were harmed in the making of this video

June 7th, 2016

SUNDOWN Leticia Chicken Video from Brendan Boogie on Vimeo.

Crew Conversation: Director of Photography Leticia de Bortoli

June 6th, 2016

It’s time to learn more about the person in charge of making SUNDOWN look good – our amazing director of photography Leticia de Bortoli:

Leticia has made beautiful films on multiple continents.  We chatted about horror films, Batman, and glazed donuts:

Brendan:  Do you want to tell the story of how we met?

Leticia:  Sure.  Keep the police and drugs in?

Brendan:  We’re all about honesty here at SUNDOWN HQ.

Leticia:  I met you at a film festival in Vermont. You were with (Porcelain) Dalya who also had a film there. Sometime in the mingle hour you told me “I hate horror films. It’s so stupid”.  This was a horror film festival that I had a film in it.  So I liked you.

Brendan: I’m such a charmer, aren’t I?

Leticia:  Yeah. I’m a jerk, so I like jerks.

Brendan:  Since we’ve been working together, I have learned three things about you:  1) You are funny in at least two languages.  2)  You wear sweatpants on almost every occasion.  3)  You are almost creepily easy to work with.  What have you learned so far about me?

Leticia:  You’re funny.  You’re cool.  You’re good working with people.  You love Batman.  I suspect your favorite Batman is Val Kilmer.  And most importantly, you are able to write without sexist stuff.  That’s wonderful.

Brendan:  Val Kilmer is definitely NOT my favorite Batman.  But I do rank him above  Christian Bale.  Who’s your favorite Batman?

Leticia:  “I hate Batman. It’s so stupid”

Brendan:  Blasphemy.

Leticia:  For real, Christian Bale.  I loved when they cut off the fake nipples from the suit.

Brendan:  I go with Kevin Conroy who voiced him on the animated series because I am a neeeeeerd.

Leticia:  Oh, such a hipster.

Brendan:  Tell the people a little bit about your background in film and in life.

Leticia:  I’m originally from Brasil. I graduated film school there.  I studied a bit more in Argentina.  I started with feature films and then made some shorts.  Somewhere around that time, I came to the US.  I do cinematography for projects that I think are cool and that are not my writing/directing style. I work on as many good films as I can, and I eat as many glazed donuts as I can.

Brendan:  Um… I believe it is spelled “Brazil.”  Get it right.

Leticia:  I know – foreign languages are fictional for many Americans.

Brendan:  What are you most looking forward to about shooting SUNDOWN?

Leticia:  I’m excited to be working on a character/acting driven film that perfectly fits a beautiful natural look.  I’m planning on working with natural lighting to help bring the best out of the story.  I’m also excited to work with you. So far you do seem to be a director that actually allows other people to get things done.

Brendan:  Anything else to add?  Any more insults of America you want to hurl out there?

Leticia:  I’ll save it for the set. I have MANY more. But for the record, I love America.  You always insult the ones you love the most.

Brendan:  I’ll keep that in mind.

Help us afford enough glazed donuts to prevent Leticia from storming off set by supporting the SUNDOWN Kickstarter page.

Pledge SUNDOWN and Be a Star

June 3rd, 2016

My mother Bonnie is a very talented artist in several visual mediums. When I explained to her how the Kickstarter campaign works, she said she would like to contribute this:

Star Table

That right there is a one-of-a-kind handmade stained glass star suncatcher. It is an absolutely beautiful piece of craftsmanship that my mother wanted to donate to make the movie SUNDOWN a reality.

There is only one of these (in the world, really), so I thought the most fair way to determine which backer gets it is silent auction style. So here’s how it’s going to go – the person with the highest TOTAL pledge (this includes new bids and increases of existing bids) between now (Friday June 3 around 10am) and Monday June 6 at noon eastern wins this unique piece of art hand crafted by my extremely gifted mother. Help support the movie and get yourself some seriously cool original art. For scale and general cuteness, here’s a pic of me and my mom holding the star:

Star Brendan Mom

 

Cast conversation: Nina Kremer as Piper

June 2nd, 2016

The role of ten-year old Piper will be played by (ironically enough) ten-year old Nina Kremer:

Even though she’s relatively new to film acting, Nina is a theater work veteran.  I typed with her on the ol’ computer box as she took a break from doing whatever it is that ten-year olds do:

Brendan:  Are you a really fast typer like I am?

Nina:  Not at all.

Brendan:  Want to have a typing race?

Nina:  Sure.

Brendan:  Ok, so we each type the first sentence of the Constitution and whoever gets it first gets a dollar.  Ready?  Go!  “We the people of the United States in order to form a more perfect union…” that’s all I know.

Nina:  We the people… you win

Brendan:  You owe me a dollar.

Nina:  I don’t have a dollar.

Brendan:  Betting with kids is the worst. So what do you like about acting?

Nina:  That you get to step out of your own life a step into another person’s life.  My mom says it keeps me off the streets.

Brendan:  Is your life that terrible that you want to step out of it?  You seem like you’ve got a pretty good life going.

Nina:  No, but it is fun to see what it is like to be another person.  I like my life.

Brendan:  That’s good. So you’re in what grade now? (I know nothing about kids.)

Nina:  4th grade.

Brendan:  Have you told the other kids you’re going to be in a movie?

Nina:  I have fun reminding them.  They think it’s cool.

Brendan:  Anyone jealous of you?

Nina:  Oh definitely.

Brendan:  Nice. What are you most looking forward to about making the movie?

Nina:  Seeing what it’s like to work with people taller than children for a change.

Brendan:  Yes, Grayson‘s very tall.

Nina:  And not a child!

Brendan:  Technically not, I guess.

Nina:  Which character do you most identify with?

Brendan:  Ooooo… good question. I think I actually relate the most to Tracy, who is your mom. How about you – which one do you relate to the most?

Nina:  Piper, I guess.

Brendan:  It’s ok. You already got the part. Did your agent tell you to say that?

Nina:  No, my mom did.

Support Nina and the rest of the SUNDOWN team by helping make this movie a reality.  Pledge your support at the SUNDOWN Kickstarter page.

Cast conversation: Veronica Wiseman as Monique

June 1st, 2016

Here’s another conversation with a SUNDOWN cast member.  This time, I talk to Veronica Wiseman who plays Monique, a fellow survivor of a partner with dementia who befriends Clara (played by Zele Avradopoulos).

Although relatively new to film, Veronica is a veteran of the stage.  We typed back and forth for a bit about the leap from theater to film as well as dementia and leather jackets:

Veronica:  By the way, my typing sucks.

Brendan: It’s ok – I’ll edit it.  I had to edit Grayson WAY down.  That boy’s a talker.  So what has been your experience like with the movie so far?

Veronica: I am just glad to be part of it. When I told everyone about the story, I was tremendously proud. It feels like we’re doing something important.

Brendan:  I didn’t know something important could have this many f-bombs in it.

Veronica:  That’s why it will be accessible to so many folks.

Brendan:  Yeah, it’s kind of hard to take on this subject matter without feeling too heavy. That’s why I like to throw in all the juvenile jokes.

Veronica:  My father-in-law is showing signs…not Alzheimer’s but age-related memory stuff.  We are all scared.  Our insides are mush.  I know it is everywhere.  People are scared, so in a way it is important to normalize it and make folks see that it is about everyone everywhere.

Brendan:  You’ve done mostly theater before this, right?

Veronica:  Yeah. I am a stage actor and I mostly do straight plays but I get a lot of calls for musicals because I can sing and I have that character thing going for me.

Brendan:  I did not know this. Is it too late to write in a musical number for you?

Veronica:  Not too late.  I can sing over the credits.  Monique at the nursing home.

Brendan:  What’s your favorite show tune to sing?

Veronica:  “I Had A Dream” from Gypsy.  Perfect for my range.

Brendan:  Maybe we’ll get Monique singing a tune or two. What do you like about her?

Veronica:  She hides behind sarcasm and deflects stuff with jokes because she does not want anyone to know she’s needy.  Being alone really scares her I think.

Brendan:  That’s one of the things I wanted to really explore in this film – the point of view of the partners of people going through dementia.

Veronica:  You want her to be more rough around the edges than I am?  Can she be like a biker chick?

Brendan:  I want all her lines to be in song. A singing biker chick.

Veronica:  Yeah!  I need a tattoo.  Several tattoos.

Brendan:  So what do you want people reading this to know about the movie?

Veronica:  I think I want people to come to the movie not expecting a “downer” or a sappy show  but a slice of life.  Imperfect people coming together when they are in need.  Despite their struggles, they know that they have each other.  I guess that does sound sappy.  

Brendan:  A little bit.  But the movie isn’t, I swear.

Veronica:  Can Monique wear a black leather jacket?

Brendan:  You’re stuck on this biker thing, aren’t you?

Help buy Veronica a leather jacket (ok, not really) by supporting the SUNDOWN Kickstarter page.

Get your own lullabye!

May 31st, 2016

Hi everyone,

We’re half way through our Kickstarter campaign and it’s time to give it a little boost, so here’s the deal:

Anyone that pledges or increases their existing pledge in the next 24 hours or so (we’ll give you til 8pm on Wednesday June 1), you’ll get your own personalized lullaby by yours truly.  Check out the video to learn more!

SUNDOWN Lullabye Video from Brendan Boogie on Vimeo.