Random musings, observations, squeaks, whimpers and perhaps the ocassional rant. About what, I'm not sure.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Get MIFF'd...


Melbourne, FL - October 29th, 2005

Selections have been made for the 7th Annual Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival, MIFF 2005. Each year film fans, filmmakers and celebrities travel to Melbourne, Florida to see films with the enthusiastic Melbourne audience and this year is no exception. An energetic and enthusiastic supporter of independent filmmakers, MIFF is also a fundraiser that supports local charities with all its proceeds.

This year over 300 silms were submitted with 76 ultimately selected for showing. Films to be screened during the festival, held November 10th, 11th and 12th 2005 include 23 international films from countries including Canada, Costa Rica, Ireland, Japan, Korea, and Singapore. Sixteen animated films will also be shown.

A number of feature films will be shown as part of the Modern Classics program, including "Chance" directed by Amber Benson and starring James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), the delightful "Saving Star Wars" directed by Gary Wood, "Vlad" directed by Michael Sellers and starring Brad Dourif and Billy Zane, and a special screening "Karla", a controversial work-in-progress recently banned from festival showings in Canada, directed by Joel Bender and starring Laura Prepon (That 70's Show)

MIFF 2005 is particularly proud to present 28 films by Florida filmmakers this year. "We have so many great people who come out to help the MIFF," said Terry Cronin, program chairman, "and we're so happy to have celebrities like Jerri Manthey coming to help us this year." Manthey (Survivor-Outback, The Surreal Life) will be coming to the MIFF to support a special screening of her new film "Widowmaker". Other notable attendees include James Best (The Dukes of Hazzard), film distributor Mike Broder, director of the Burt Reynolds & Friends Museum Mike Daniel, and entertainment attorney William Whitacre (The Blair Witch Project, Bubba the Redneck Werewolf).

MIFF 2005 begins Thursday November 10th with a free outdoor showing of family-friendly films at Da Kine Diego's in Satellite Beach. On the evening of Friday November 11th the venue moves to Premiere Theaters Oaks Stadium 10 where two programs will run -The Modern Classics and the fun and ever-popular "Fright Night Friday".

A Saturday matinee at the Oaks features the Florida Expo, the International program and the Mafia Matinee. The matinee also features educational seminars and a chance to meet the filmmakers.

Saturday night is the VIP reception and screening at the Henegar Center for the Arts and features live entertainment with renowned musical duo "Robin & Eddy" and magician Scott Barhold. The reception also features cuisine from the finest local restaurants.

Cronin encourages everyone to come out for what surely will be MIFF's best year yet!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

So Here's Why I LOVE IFC!



In July 2005, independent filmmakers, comic creators and longtime collaborators Terry Cronin and Pat Martin made the trek from sunny South Florida to San Diego for the country's oldest and largest comic/media convention, Comic-Con. With a little luck and lots of good karma they met folks from TV's Independent Film Channel (IFC), chatted a bit and the next thing you know, are making a mini-documentary about their experiences at and their thoughts about the conference.

"The Comic-Con Chronicles" is an original, exclusive look at three teams pursuing Comic-Con success for their films, comics and websites. The unique 30 minute piece provides an interesting and entertaining look inside Comic-Con from the insiders' perspective, and contains footage not available anywhere else. Cronin and Martin were promoting Students of the Unusual, the original comic series they co-created along with Milkmaids (Pat's latest indie short and Jealous Dog Studios' initial film offering).

Cronin and Martin, who with Jeff Hall and Bob Lizek produce the Melbourne (Florida) Independent Filmmakers Festival (MIFF), found the conference an eye-opener. "Exhibiting at Comic-Con was an amazing experience" said Jealous Dog principal and Students of the Unusual co-creator Pat Martin. "We generated some great buzz, made great contacts and learned along the way. But the highlight of the show for us was definitely working with IFC.”

"IFC is redefining the intersection of film and television, and The Comic-Con Chronicles is a great example of that work" said Three Boys Productions principal and Students of the Unusual co-creator Terry Cronin. "Where else can you find such a unique, insider's view on one of the country's most interesting pop-culture events, and then have that piece viewed by such a large and diverse audience? Nowhere but IFC – that’s where."

The Comic-Con Chronicles features three Comic-Con teams in al. Chris Brandt of Bain Street Productions promoting his indie flick "Closing Time" which shows at the American Film Institute's AFI Fest in Los Angeles on November 7th and 9th. Amber Mitchell and Tim Leong pitched and promoted The Comic Foundry, an educational, resource and community site for up and coming artists and writers.

"Without IFC, we never would have learned the importance of getting your name out and presenting your ideas clearly" said Comic Foundry co-founder Tim Leong.

The Comic-Con Chronicles will debut November 15, 2005 on IFC, which reaches some 40 Million homes and has been bringing uncut and commercially uninterrupted films to the public since 1994. To view The Comic-Con Chronicles online now, visit the IFC Website at and click on The Comic-Con Chronicles or view the piece directly here.

For more information please

Students of the Unusual
website - contact

Jealous Dog Studios

website - contact

Bain Street Productions

website - contact

Comic Foundry

website - contact

Independent Film Channel

website - contact

Opportunity Masquerades as Hard Work...

Back in July I wrote about Pat putting the wraps on his new movie Milkmaids, and about he and Terry, their families and a bunch of other folks packing up and heading to Comic-Con in San Diego. Well, we heard this week they caught a huge break as a result… they’re starring in an Independent Film Channel (IFC) documentary called “The Comic-Con Chronicles”.

I’ll post the news release for later, but the short version for now is that these guys are going to be featured on national TV, on a channel that pumps into 40 million homes in the US. You can’t buy that kind of publicity…

I’ve often commented on the vision, dedication and plain old hard work it takes to pursue any creative venture. Like Thomas Edison once said, “The reason a lot of people don’t recognize opportunity is because it usually goes around looking like hard work”. So true in these guys’ case… hard work translates to opportunity, and I’m really happy for them!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Captain's Blog...

Added “The Captain’s Blog” to the blahgRoll this morning. I’ll blog more of why later, but for now, if you’re interested in independent film and/or emerging media and TV, you have to read it. Written by Evan Shapiro, EVP and GM of Independent Film Channel, this blog is one part what the hell’s going on in independent film, one part IFC directly connecting with the community (their readers, film makers, etc.) one part viewers offering feedback and suggestions and some days a couple of parts Evan being roasted for (fill topic here).

To get the skinny on why Evan’s blogging, and what IFC hopes to accomplish doing so, read his initial post from May 2005. Interesting stuff.

I’m often skeptical how about how blogs are making connections for companies, and then I trip over a blog like this, or get a personal e-mail from someone like Dave Sifry after having posted a comment on his blog. When the Captains of Industry are blogging, like these two are, I think we know that business blogging is here to stay!

Now playing: James Taylor - Enough to Be on Your Way - Hourglass

Sunday, October 16, 2005

I'm Moving...

Ok, I’m not MOVING moving, I’m just moving what seems like my life from one computer to another.  I wish I’d bought a Mac laptop (for what I do there’s really NO maintenance), but its PCs for work and I do have a couple of Windows-only apps and projects, so I have a new Sony Vaio laptop thanks to grant funding for an aviation and EMS-related grant I applied for and got over a year ago.  Cha Ching!

Moving data and apps between machines shouldn’t be this hard anymore.  The pain is compounded, of course, when the first of the new laptops you spend a day moving stuff onto turns out to be bad (USB really is a handy tool when it works, which it did not on that machine).

Before I slipped into moving hell, I had a hard choice to make… do I or don’t I replace my TabletPC.  I’ve really enjoyed the Tablet experience, and very nearly bought another but they seem to have become something of a novelty these days, and I decided, for this project, to sit it out and see where the products go.  Its not like I won’t be buying another laptop for years and years (I have another grant funded that needs another one this coming year).  The Tablet has real advantages – and still needs to become more “mainstream”, which I guess I didn’t help it do when I bought a regular old XP machine.

One thing I regret not having done with the Tablet, and probably something I’ll keep the machine around just to try is making mindmaps.  As people who know me know, if I’m explaining a concept or relating a story, chances are I’m drawing something, even when the drawings are very, very simple.  I only figured out recently that some folks don’t like that – they somehow take the drawing and the act of drawing as a comment on their abilty to grasp the concept, or their intelligence.  Never saw that coming – the drawings generally help ME.  Anyway… I’ll post more on mindmaps when I’m actually using the tools – given the way I think and explain concepts, I think it will be a great fit, and certainly the tablet is uniquely suited to the application…

Link Love...

I was going through some stuff I wrote last month expecting to blog it tonight and then got distracted.  Looked a bit at my stats, and found a new referrer – a blog called From the Beach.  A bunch of nice photos, and whoever’s writing it put me on their blogroll.  I’m flattered, but I’m also curious what draws people to a particular blog once, makes them a return viewer, and then most of all creates enough affinity to have a blog make the blog roll (or blahgRoll, in my case).

Whoever “beachlady” is, thanks for the link love… I appreciate it.