"Man of the Year" Director's Cut

We are past the halfway mark! Before getting into the specifics of this short, I'd like to mention that there are three more shorts to re-cut after this one. I haven't left the ones I like least for the end - quite the opposite. But what I have discovered is that however much I love these final shorts, they present the most technical challenges. As I am a director and writer, not an editor or post-audio mixer by trade, it's a very valuable lesson in how the technical can define/limit your creative choices. (Something I also have known from the decade I've spent working in production sound. Pay your sound team well, my friends. The fact that you don't understand their job doesn't mean it's not important. And also, if you are a former production sound mixer who is now directing, don't decline to speak up when you see something suspicious in your mixer's method just because you don't want to seem like a micro-manager. You will regret it.)

But what of "Man of the Year?" It's a simple premise, and its humor built on a quick moment of irony. This may the only one of the series where the director's cut is shorter than the original cut; There's a little less set-up and a more whimsical tone; it leans into the performances of Sapna and Donal Thoms-Cappello, instead of the situation and irony. Thus, it aims for more of an eye roll than a laugh.

So, please, enjoy Man of the Year.

You can also see the original here (and the rest of the series). 

Thank you again to Sapna and Anisa for allowing me to use these new cuts as a learning experience and to showcase my directing style. 

"Context" Director's Cut

And the new cuts of Broad Strokes continue! "Context," much like "Nomenclature," is simple in concept, and comes in at 0:35. My version does not depart radically from the original version: in part, because as director, I chose to shoot the piece from particular angles and did not shoot extra coverage for later options in post. While this might sound risky, I think I made the right choice - cutting into close ups or other angles would have weighed down an extremely simple set up, or even slowed down the timing.  Ultimately the alternate choices I made were in performance and pacing, which delivered a slightly different mood for the piece. SapnaAnisa and Leslie all delivered variations on their lines, and also improvised from take to take, giving me a lot to choose from.

Without further commentary, presenting "Context!"

You can see the original cut, along with the rest of the Broad Strokes series, here.

Film Girl Film Festival to screen "Ripe Figs" AND "Dr. Chevalier's Lie"!

Originally, "Ripe Figs" and "Dr. Chevalier's Lie" were envisioned and written to be companion pieces - a period adaptation and a modern adaptation that spoke to the ways female identity and individuality serves as a liability in society. The films were shot together, as well, and we deliberately cast one actress, Keota Picou, to play "Babette" in both pieces. We worked closely with our composer, Eric Laws, for the scores to reflect each other and to deconstruct the broken images between them. Thus, we are delighted by this first: Film Girl Film Festival will be screening both short films. We couldn't be happier to see these two films that speak to each other getting to be part of the same screening slate.

Both films were made with an entirely local cast and crew. The amazing talents of Donna DuPlantier and Tony Frederick helped make these stories special.

Film Girl Film Festival, formerly the Milwaukee Women's Film Festival, will take place Oct 12-14, 2018. We will share specific dates and times as soon as we have them!

Skyline Indie Film Festival to screen "Dr. Chevalier's Lie" in September!

I am thrilled to announce that "Dr. Chevalier's Lie" will be making another appearance at a film festival, the Skyline Indie Film Festival in Winchester, VA, Sept 6-9, 2018! The schedule is yet to be announced, so updates will come later to specify the time and place of our screening. 

Skyline Indie Film Festival is run by the owner of a local book shop, and is dedicated to cultivating independent artists, and also community, education, and culture in the town of Winchester. They have plans to launch a Filmmaking Camp for children and teens, ages 10-18. We are honored to be a part of their lineup.

"Nomenclature" - my version

Summer is well along, and hurricane season as well. I've wrapped the show I was working on January through June, then took a break! There was no writing, directing, or editing while I was in Puerto Rico, but I'm back at it now! In addition to this microshort, I've got more news coming later this week, so stay tuned.

The latest of my re-edits of Broad Strokes is number 17 - "Nomenclature." One of the shortest, it clocks in at about 45 seconds. My cut is not radically different from the one released in the series: but I did go for a change in tone. As part of the larger series, "Nomenclature" was presented as a horror parody; my version is more comically creepy. I also had the luxury of time on my side - the performance I preferred was marred by a fallen microphone in production, a problem the original editor didn't have the time to address. They used a different take, and timed out the cuts later in the scene. You can see the original here.

Again, I must thank Sapna and Anisa for their patience and graciousness in allowing me to work on these "director's cuts!" It's been great fun, and I learn a lot every time.

Enjoy "Nomenclature," the director's cut!


"Manifestation" - my version

I've been busy with festival season, but I'm back to one of my favorite fun projects - recutting the micro-shorts that I did with Broad Strokes a couple of years ago. This one exhibits the largest departure from the featured cut in the series. Anisa and Sapna wanted each episode to be about a minute long, and editing the footage down to that had to have been quite a challenge. In revisiting the material, I found that a slightly longer cut allowed me more freedom with the style I wanted. Including credits, their version came in at 0:49; mine is 1:30.

With no further ado, allow me to present: "Manifestation," the director's cut.

The whole series, Broad Strokes, is on youtube and funnyordie.com, and you should check it out. You can see the original version of "Manifestation" here.

"Dr. Chevalier's Lie" coming to Tennessee! Another festival selection!

What a busy week! We have learned that "Dr. Chevalier's Lie" has been invited to screen one at the MidTenn Film Festival, just one weekend after its world premiere at Vero Beach. I'm very pleased to be able to take this piece back to my home state. The festival takes place in Smyrna, TN, and runs in conjunction with the Arts Fest, June 15 & 16. Hope to see you there!


"Dr. Chevalier's Lie": world premiere!

I am happy to announce that "Dr. Chevalier's Lie," the short film based on the story by Kate Chopin, which I wrote and produced as part of Ripe Figs, LLC, will be having its world premiere in June at Vero Beach Wine and Film Festival!

It will be part of the festival's Vero After Dark series, and we will update the listing as soon as a screening time and place is announced! 

"Dr. Chevalier's Lie" is a companion piece, although it stands alone as a short film as well, to our previous adaptation, "Ripe Figs." Chopin's work dealt with issues of class, gender, sexuality and social mores, discrimination, race, and personal resistance to oppression. As a single mother writing for income, her subversive themes were often subtle and coded, and difficult to discern.  The original story can be read online here; we chose to set the adaptation in the modern age, and given our current time felt that examining the themes of gender, sexuality, identity, and the ways these intersect to make people vulnerable to poverty and violence in a modern setting meant also addressing race and disabilities.




"No Escape" - my version

As I've mentioned before, the writers and producers behind the series Broad Strokes, Anisa and Sapna, have graciously allowed me to recut the 8 shorts I directed in their series - and I am happy to post the first of them here:

"No Escape," the director's cut. 

I'm not attempting to create a "better/worse" comparison here, but had fun making choices in storytelling that were independent of the overall aesthetic of the larger series. This particular short is an excellent example of the kind of difference I mean. Anisa and Sapna chose to present the piece almost as a form of parody, sending up vanity with a mock-horror trope. My version is more playful, asking the audience to identify with our hapless heroines and be delighted with them.

You can see the original here. Enjoy them both.

Director's Cuts

A couple of years ago, I had the privilege of working with Anisa Alamia and Sapna Gandhi, two amazing and talented writer/performers, who had conceived an ambitious and hilarious project: to write and perform in 40 comedic microshorts, broken up by theme into 5 series, and each series was to be directed by a different female director. I was one of those 5. The project (Broad Strokes) turned out great (and you can see it on funnyordie), and was edited by a single female editor. 

Anisa and Sapna, in addition to being talented, are also extremely gracious, and have given me permission to post my 8 shorts here, re-edited as "director's cuts" independent of the overall aesthetic of the Broad Strokes series. As I have edited these shorts myself (and made choices that have lengthened some of them from their original 30-60 second limits), I've also learned to respect editors all the more! I've found it very interesting and enlightening to get back into the footage, and see the way the same script, performances, and shots can be re-envisioned to tell a story in a different way. Similar to their original release, I'll be posting them once a week, one at a time, in the near future. 

I hope to work with Anisa and Sapna again, and you should follow them both to see what else they are working on!

Upcoming Film Festival Screening!

"Ripe Figs," the short film I wrote and produced will be appearing in another film festival this spring! Big Easy International Film Festival will run March 23-25 in the French Quarter of New Orleans - specific times and location coming soon!

"Ripe Figs" is the second of three adaptations I have written based on Kate Chopin stories. "Ripe Figs," the story, originally appeared in Vogue in 1893. More on the challenges of writing this adaptation later.