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Monday, October 22, 2007

This Year's Heartland Film Festival


Well, I'm off to LA in a few hours, just packing at the moment. It's been a great couple of weeks in Indianapolis, and not the last before I fly home. I've had a greta itme at this years festival. I have to admit I was a little sad to have been one of the filmmakers this year, but it was great to meet most of them and to hang out with them.
THe highlight of the event for me was Mia Sarah, a wonderfully swet romantic conedy with a real throw back to the Hollywood romantic screwball comedies of the thirties and forties. The guys are still trying to get distribution but should they succeed it is film well worth checking out (Click on the link at the side for more info).
Another highlight was hanging out with the guys who made it, Gustavo, the writer/director, Alavro, his brother and the Producer, Cesar, the composer, Andreus, the Executive Producer and Manuel, the Star. Great great guys, we all became good friends, in fact Gustavo invited Maryann and I to his house in Spain next year.
I'm meeting the guys in LA, two of them are based there and Gustavo is in town to screen his film for distributors etc. So that should be fun.


The festival was great this year, a strong selection of films and a desent turn out by the filmmakers. Also some interesting sides. ONe of which was a presentation by disney of there next few films, National Treasure Book of Secrets, I heard the first wasn't great, but they seemd to have amped up everything, more action, bigger stars Helen Miren and Ed Harris and this looks pretty fun. Also a new CGI Carton called BOLT, about a tv super hero dog who thinks he really is a super hero and then gets lost in the real world and has to find his way home. I know it sounds a bit naff but it looks like loads of fun and the snimation is great, the character design are reallly cool and the background are like nothing I've scene before in CGI, they're like N.C. Wyeth paintings in 3D, very cool.
We also looked at new footage fromt eh next Narnia film. I have no real interest in seeing it, might be fun, but it looks beautiful, great epic shots, very reminicent of Lord of the Rings. THey also revealed that Micheal APted is directing the thrid one.
But the absolute highlight of the night was a sneak peak at Wall.E, the next pixar movie. I can honestly say I have never seen anything like this. It is... and I cannot emphasis this enough... absolutely stunning looking. I was BLOWN AWAY!!! They showed a teaser first which was great, and then a five minute clip, upon which my jaw dropped and stayed hanging for the entirety.
This is going to be something special. First of all the character design and animation is astounding. It's basically a rusty box on track with two big eyes on top, but within the first few seconds you are completely invested in this character and love him.
It looks beyond belief. I was watching it thinking, how in the world can they possibly make it look that good??? How??? The colours are beautiful, rich, vibrant, hyper real, the effects, shadows, lighting and dust are just incredible. They have raised the bar so high in this I can't how it it's going going to take something mind boggling to surpass it.

Well, that's me for now. I better get back to packing. I'm off soon. More news and pics on the way.

Take care.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

And So It Begins


I'm happy to say I've completed the first draft of my new feature script "Ghoster". I've been working on the script since I arrived in Indianapolis, when I could grab a day or two. I guess it took about eight days to write, which I think is pretty good going! The thing is though I've been thinking about this story for years and I was working on the plot and characters for a couple of months before I arrived here.
It was just nice to have two week where I could find uninterupted time to work on it, so for that I have to thank my girlfriend, Maryann, who gave me the opportunity to do that.
So now the work begins. Like any first draft it's basically just the idea thrown down as quickly as possible in script form. So it's too long, too much is spelt out from the beginning, it's not the most subtle form of storytelling. But the idea is there, the characters are there and the story is there and that's the most important thing. Now I have to carve the statue from the block of marbel and hope for a 'David'! Or at least as close as I can get.
I'm happy with the first draft, the characters and the over all story work well. I can see the potential for more and for a really good script, that I hope will be my first feature film. I'm going to start preping it when I get back to Ireland. I need to find my Cast and Crew and of course... MONEY!!! The hardest part. So if anyone reading this wants to invest it what is going to be a hilarious, moving and fun picture, then don't hesitate for one more second to email me now (frank@palestoneproductions.com)

In other festival and movie related news, I've been having a great time. I had lunch with Angelo Pizzo a few days ago, the writer and producer of Hoosiers, Rudy and The Game of Their Lives. He's a friend of Maryann's and and all round nice guy. I enjoyed his company. He spoke about a pet project he's hoping to write, I wont tell you anything about it, that'd be spoiling it, I'll just say I really hope he gets to make it, it's a great story and will make a great film. It's like Stand By Me with balls!
All the filmmakers arrived for the festival last night. I met the makers of a Spainish film 'Mia Sara', great guys, really funny and good to hang out with. I took them to the Claddagh, which is the local Irish pub (Wasn't my idea by the way! It was just the closest) So it should be fun hanging out with them for the week. I think we're going to meet in LA next week while I'm there.
They were also talking about shooting their next project in Ireland or England, so I'll have to convince them to my own fair shores.

That's all for now. More news as it happens. I'm just really happy at the moment with Ghoster, I think it's going to make a good film. So I'm going to try and find investment while here. While in LA I'll be stopping by the American Film Market, so you never know who I'm going to meet. And even if Ghoster isn't for anyone there I have three more features in the bag!

More news soon.