06 September 2006

Film festival advice from Ari Gold

Videoegg is a little glitchy.   

The video below is not suitable for children's ears (or perhaps your workplace) but this season 2 Entourage episode has caused much hysterical laughter on my vacation.   Especially for those who get all frothed up about film festivals. 

Oh and p.s.  I *heart* Jeremy Piven.  I don't care if some people call him Jeremy Pivert.  He's going to be waiting for me on my desert island. 

14 July 2006


I don't know, but I've been told I talk about boobs a lot.  Apparently it's not normal for broads to talk about ta-tas so much.  Even though we own them.   

Today I'm especially focused on breasts because I'm coordinating some entertainment for an October fundraising party, and the main attraction will be a sizzling hot burlesque act from NYC.   They are ready and willing to drive west to put on a little bump-n-grind spectacle. 

This particular group customarily strips down to their pasties. The only "neo-burlesque" act I've seen in these parts keeps their racks covered up but I think that was because it was a "family show." 

So I've been reading about city ordinances and how much boob you can reveal and not be cited for obscenity -- and if you can mix semi-exposed melons and liquor sales, and if so, is a pastie enough coverage, or is the mystifying undercarriage of the breast also deemed offensive?   Since I have never been an exotic dancer in this neck of the woods, I need to find out - without raising any local suspicion. 

I've sent Salty D. out on a research mission to find out for sure.

30 June 2006

four scenes from one meeting

Me:     Do we have any festival t-shirts left to give to sponsors?

Teddy:  Yeah, but most of them are small sizes.

Paul:  Well, I know the woman at Sands Las Vegas wears a small, and she wants a shirt.

Chet:  A woman who works for a Las Vegas company wears a small?  [holds expression of shock while grinning widely]

Me:  [glare glare]   what?


Me:   I would like to have more structure in our processes and meetings. 

Tony:  [trying to rile me up] Yeah, I KNOW you like procedures!

Me:  Well, when you can structure the annoying stuff you don't have to talk about how to do it all the time, then that frees you up to be more creative, and it's more fun!

Tony:  Yeah right.  Who are you quoting now?

Me:  Myself!  What of it?

Tony:  [acting pissed off]  Geez, ya don't have to break our balls!

Me:  [pissed off, not acting]  I'm not breaking yer balls I'm trying to make things more efficient!

Tony:  [gets up, exasperated]  I need a cuppa coffee.



Teddy:  I have to share a story about a filmmaker's experience in the city -- but, I don't know if I can share it in mixed company...  it's pretty bad.

Me:  well, now you've piqued our interest - just share it!

Teddy:  Well OK - so this guy is on a bus, and there's this drunk girl passed out..... and there are these two other dudes ...   and - and - I can't go on

Fern:  Go on, Teddy, we don't care at this point!

Teddy:   OK, uh, the two dudes start to - they start to ---  um....I can't...

Me:   What?  Were they gang banging her or something??

Teddy:  [blushes and looks at me in horrified shock]  WHAT????  WHOA!  Where did THAT come from?!  That's REALLY bad!

Me:  Well, you SAID it was bad! 

Teddy:   It's not THAT bad - that's awful!  [everyone is cracking up, heads in hands on table]

Me:  Yeah, I know - I was just picturing the worst...

Teddy:   oh my GOD!   I don't believe you!

Me:  [uncomfortably feeling like a dirty clown whore watching everyone else awkwardly laughing]

Fred:   You've picked up some bad habits from hanging around with bikers, my dear.


Me:   OK, the last thing on the agenda is that Mary Kate and I are seeking board approval on our Flick or Treat fundaiser.   We'd like to do it on Friday, October 13!  And we'll have dinner, music, dancing, a silent auction ... and for entertainment, we're looking into booking a new burlesque act.   So I wanted to make sure that was OK with everyone.

Everyone else:    [blank stares]

Me:   No nudity, of course.   Just some sizzle.  Some vaudeville.

Mary Kate:   It's all good clean fun!

Everyone else:  [blank stares]

Me:   [for some reason I keep talking]  Currently, I'm hoping to get Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey.   It's a man and a woman --

Bing:  -- well, that's good, you need both parts for something like this!

Me:   No no no - it's a duo, they dance and do acrobatic stuff, we can ask them not to go topless -they just won an award in Vegas -- it'll be fun!   Any other feedback?

---   crickets chirping ---

Me: [sigh, eyeroll] Alrighty then, it's set.   I'll just write down that the board approved it.  Thanks! 

You know, where's Dwight Shrute when you need him?

27 June 2006

a survey!

The day after the film festival closed, a cohort and I started to plan our next big event - the fall fundraiser. 

The last fundraiser I helped plan for this organization included a live band, film, buffet and silent auction.  Even though a blizzard fell upon on the party, we still managed to bring in two thousand bucks and have an almost-full room.

But for the past several months, we haven't had the energy or attention to give to planning a fundraiser, even though we REALLY need to, to keep public awareness up and bring in a couple thou$.

So here's the plan.  We're gonna have a big blowout on Friday, October 13. 


And I want to - no, NEED to know what you think:

  1. How do you feel about masquerade parties?   Are they played out, superfun, annoying, just an excuse to dress like ho's, or what?
  2. How do you feel about drag queens female impersonators, performing?   Are they entertaining, scary, ridiculous, gorgeous?
  3. What kind of food do you like to eat at big crazy parties?  Hot buffets, pixie stix, sandwiches, fondue, pizza, tapas, cheez-n-crackers, jell-o shots (wait is that technically "food")?    Do you like when the hostess ties everything together as a theme, i.e. "One Night in Bangkok..."?
  4. What's the maximum you'd pay to get into a benefit party that provides live entertainment, dancing, food, non-alcoholic drinks, cool door prizes?    AND has a full $cash$ bar (sorry - we have to do it that way right now)
  5. How would you like to see a new burlesque show?  Not nude, silly.  And NOT the Pussycat Dolls.   Would this be: hot, stupid, inappropriate, really fun, a freak show, what?
  6. Does Paris Hilton's new single make you feel like dancing or upchucking?   This is totally unrelated, of course.
  7. Have you any other suggestions based on parties or festivals you've attended or organized?

Hey, thanks!!!!   You're the best!

26 June 2006

moving right along

This article about the SSFF was in yesterday's paper and kinda makes me sound like a boring tool.   

When I talked with the reporter - who does a really good job actually researching and writing vs. many "journalists" around here who simply don't have time to write anything themselves and they cut and paste your press releases and add their own by-line to it -- anyway, when I talked with the reporter I used a lot of exclamation-pointed sentences and giddy descriptors but I sound like a dull robot in these quotes.

So now that the festival is over and those who needed to recuperate had a week to do so, we are in what I'd call the critical planning stage - the most important part of the annual cycle, when you can make or break your relationships with volunteers, sponsors, venues, members, vendors.   Plus we need to tabulate audience surveys, thank everyone,  figure out general plans for next year, plan our fall fundraiser.... 

Moving right along-- I just need to figure out how much I want to be involved and I'm working on defining a clear role for myself, one that doesn't require any freakouts or sleepless nights.   

And hopefully I'll get my ass to some other film festivals too.

22 June 2006

Big & Bad

Because I'm mostly working during the film screenings at the SSFF, I don't get to see many movies.  But last Thursday I did make sure to watch the new feature film, The Big Bad Swim.  We serendipitously got this filmmaker and his entourage to come to Bethlehem in between his jaunts to Tribeca and Seattle Festivals (where the movie won an Audience Award). Also because he's originally from the area.   Since our small fest is non-competitive, and we don't have distributors hunting for new meat here, Ishai doesn't really mention us... hmmm - but we did have a fun little party with his family, cast and crew at Deja Brew, post-screening!   

So, I can't get this movie out of my head.  I LOVED IT.   I loved the characters, the story, the writing, the costumes, the acting.  It won't be long 'til it's picked up by a distributor. 

One of the film's star players was surrounded by admirers at our pre-screening party... or maybe it was the other way around - these party girls were really workin' the room:   

Ssff_jeff_and_mom_by_roger_smith_1 How cute is my mom?   How cute is Jeff Branson? 

this photo I must credit to Roger Smith who was just one of our professional photogs at the festivities.

21 June 2006


After all my yappin' about the film festival, I didn't have even one spark of energy to write about it while it was going on.    But these guys did:

  • Merge Digital    I'm actually not sure who reads this, and they say things like "the cool bus is here - hop on it..." but, the guy covering us was really nice and hung out with the fest all weekend.
  • SSFF day-by-day by one of our fest's film programmers and organizers.
  • This is a great blog and he gave us some nice props leading up to the fest.

I was high and low during the festival, but there were definitely more highlights, especially chillaxin' with all my peeps.   I laughed so hard at times I thought my eyes were going to pop out of my face and my larynx was going to explode and get blood and muscle fibers splashed all over the place.  Do I even have a larynx? I can't remember.

14 June 2006

they even do it in Kansas

So everytime we have a film festival planning meeting, I morph from a semi-collected and silly lipgloss-sportin' girlie into a MONSTER BITCH with mascara running down her face and teeth gnashing and unreasonable demands that we answer questions and make sure we know what the hell we're doing with our customers.   

Tonite, being the eve of the fest, was no exception, of course.

I suppose that because I go into bitch mode, that I become the go-to person for "woman's work."  You know, I end up volunteering by default for detailed repetitive tasks, notetaking, or shopping.

Because here's how the conversation goes:

Dagwood:    "This filmmaker's father wants to throw a party for his son and the cast and fest staff after the screening.  But, he doesn't want to arrange for a caterer, he just wants to give us the money to do it.  So, does anyone feel like getting the food?"

Everyone:   [no words are spoken but all eyes fall on me and Mary-Kate]

Dagwood:   "the budget is $200, give or take - the father will reimburse us."

Teddy:  "I say - go with $300.   $350!"

Me & Mary-Kate:  "Fine.  We'll go to Wegman's tonite."

Dagwood:  "OK, get those stuffed grape leaves..."

Teddy:  "and some extra virgin olive oil and cracked pepper...."

Petunia:  "do they have hummus?"

Teddy: "and some really good bread!"

Ernest:  "pitas, too!  like those mini-ones..."

Me {aka monster bitch}:  "ENOUGH!  KNOCK IT OFF!  Don't you think we can handle getting $200 worth of Mediterranean-type foods?"

Teddy: {quieter} "$300.  And don't forget the EVOO - and the pepper.  Write that down."

So it's just another last minute thing that you swear you're not going to get sucked into but then the giant sucking sound starts when the crowd falls silent and eyes start to dart around the table looking for a willing woman and you think, "For the love of Betty Crocker, shut up and just give me the damn assignment and I'll get it done."  I really have to learn to avoid eye contact.

Meanwhile, I was telling my dad today that I was trying not to stress out, and he said the best thing ever:

"Kid - it's just a film festival.   EVERY CITY in America has a film festival.  Even in Kansas."

keep your arms and legs in the moving cars at all times

The film festival starts tomorrow and right now it feels like when you're in the last car of a rollercoaster at the beginning of the ride, and the first car is starting to descend the huge hill, and you feel the pull just before you speed into a whirling, screaming, head-shattering cyclone. 

So tomorrow is officially "preview night," and it starts at 6:30 at Home & Planet with a party in the gallery of Anti-Jon's fun and fantastic paintings, with the anti-folk band Real West, and the director of the preview nite film.  Along with two castmembers - soap stars turned indie film actors.  They're really hot so this should be fun.  Jeff Branson of All My Children, and Jess Weixler [not] of Guiding Light.  They're stopping in on their way to the Maui Seattle Film Fest.  Wowie.

Meanwhile, I kinda want another Anti-Jon painting to add to our collection of one, but, it's hard to choose between Clara, Charlie, Audrey, Bela....hmmm.  They're poppy yet elegant. 

So I'm trying really hard not to freak out, to get sleep, to eat meals instead of chips and espresso like I did last year, and to be supportive yet realistic in what I will or will not be able to do.  Trying to balance is hard work when you're at the top of the first hill of the Cyclone, especially when you're a screamer like me.

06 June 2006

fantastic flowers

Today I'm headed down Philly yo, for an environmental council dinner.  A big hackin' deal with navy suits and rubber chicken, I'm sure.  But before I leave, I'm whippin' out a press release about another fantabulous film in our festival.   We just found out the director is coming from POLAND to attend.  It's not our first international director - we've had guests from India and the Netherlands, but it's always cool to play United Nations.   

So, this guy has a film called The Fantastic Flowershop, or if you know Polish you'd say Fantastyczny sklep z kwiatami.   Uh-huh.

Semafor_flower_4_1Director Pawel Partyka worked with fine artist Frances Oesterfelt to create puppets and animate them and make a story about florist's wire coming to life and transforming into dancers who tango and belly-dance and have all kinds of love drama. 

What I thought was fantastic about its inspiration is that Frances is a fine artist/dentist who experimented with blown glass and wire objects and then came up with the puppets for the film. Puppets and animations are like way more popular in Europe than in the good ol' USA where we are fed very literal, flat stories in the cineplexes.  Awesome!

05 June 2006


I'm a nervous wreck on the inside, and that will continue until June 19, the day after the film festival closes.  On Friday nite, I slept with Jose Cuervo, whom I haven't been with in at least a year or so.  Not always a good idea to dabble with him while trying to moderate the psycho meds, but we're never gonna survive unless we go a little crazy.

The Film Festival (11 days away!) has me very excited yet agitated -- and my involvement making my life very unbalanced, even though I backed down to a second string player.  Meanwhile, it's also a fairly busy time for the day job, and I have other friends I'm trying not to ignore on the weekends, and my stupid neighbor keeps putting pressure on us to get our yard in shape - but he can just shove his weedwhacker where the sun don't shine.

ANYWAY, another film I'm excited that we're screening at this festival is called BACA - Bikers Against Child Abuse

The organization was formed in Utah to help provide a support network for victims who felt scared about facing their abusers in court, or if they were having a hard time at home and needed some TLC.   The bikers, who have a chapter in Gettysburg run by the people at RoadRash Leathers, comfort the kids with hugs and listening to them and just showing strength in numbers.

They respond any time of the day or night when the kids call them.  If the abuser is outside of the family, they help the whole family to cope.  And now many more people will know about BACA.  And Batman said they're rolling into our festival for the screening.   Peewee

31 May 2006

is this a sensational tease?

Last evening, some of us with the film festival were working on a final promotional thing, writing sensational teasers for our films. 

Let it be known that I think writing good copy by committee is nearly impossible.  As evidenced:

Teddy:  How about this?  "What do a dildo and a hunter have in common?"


Teddy:  Can we say that?  "Dildo"?

Me:  Sure, why not?  {thinking - what this fest needs is a little sizzle and controversy - maybe the word 'dildo' won't do it, but we could try} What do they have in common?

Petunia:  Maybe we shouldn't say "dildo"...

Teddy:  Yeah - what do you think, Blaugra?

Me:  Just say it. {thinking - why am I the fuckin' moral police?} it's not like an 8-year-old will read this thing.  They already hear "fuck" anyway.

Teddy:  Ah, I don't know. 

Petunia:  Is there another word for "dildo"?

Me:  Why not just say "SEX TOYS"

Teddy:  No, it's not a sex toy, it's just a dildo...

Petunia & Me almost in unison, giggling:  What do you think a dildo is used for, Teddy?

Teddy: Um... it's just..... not.... {looks slightly uncomfortable}

Me:  OK - how about "marital aid?"  - that's acceptable {snickering - because that's totally stupid}

Teddy:  We'll just say "dildo".  Got that, Petunia?

Me:  So.... WHAT'S THE ANSWER?  What do a dildo and a hunter have in common?

The answer is something about a sight.  I still don't get it.  Not a hunter except in video games.  I guess I'll have to watch the movies to find out. 

25 May 2006


In these final weeks of pre-film-fest frenzy, I'm trying real hard to focus on the fucking cool stuff instead of all the fucking annoying shite.   

So, here's another film that's fuckin' coolMoongirl, animated short by this guy Henry Selick.  He did a couple of little movies with a guy named Tim Burton.   Very cute, rather amazing.  And this is what blew my mind -- this has played at big established festivals coast to coast, including recently Tribeca and Tribeca Underground...  and our little fest, with our puny little submission fees and teensy admission fees --- Mr. Selick PAID US to have our jury screen his film.   And, we liked it.  No, LOVED it.   

Moongirl_1 Anyway, you can preview the film at Laika; see this blog.    Adieu, Moongirl, and your giant weird cat !


23 May 2006

my spoon is too big

Salty D., who did not find Rejected (mentioned yesterday) as side-splittingly, bladder-challengingly hilarious and amazingly unhinged as I, actually spotted this at a deli.

Life is fun.  Yay!!!!    Knish_2

22 May 2006

I am a banana!

Rejected is one of my favorite animated films in this year's SouthSide Film Festival.  It's twisted, hysterical, disgusting, warm, freaky, poignant, ingenious and hilarious. 

It's one of the lowest-budget films ever to be nominated for an Oscar.  It won the coveted flying gherkin award at the Melbourne Film Festival, too.  I love it.  LOVE it!  Rejectedbanana300_1

A must-see.  See it you must.

18 May 2006


I've mentioned, just once or twice, that I work with this local film festival.  The annual festival is about a month away.   

This home stretch time is the second most stressful time of the planning phase. Last year I was so sleepless and sick it was ridiculous.  This year, I've scaled back and have been thinking a lot about quitting.   I mean, when this film festival was formed, we asked an established Colorado-based Film Fest for advice.  And their advice (paraphrased): "I wouldn't wish planning a film festival on my greatest enemy."   

Yay ! - LET'S DO IT !

And what keeps me involved with the chaos and the annoying details are the films and people who come to the festival each year.    Now, I feel like talking about them, often, during these last few weeks of preparation.  I think this will help me to not implode.

So check out this hottie, yo!  What_lights_nate_3  You may think Nate is some crazy pyro.  Well, kinda.  He's just really intrigued with the science of this vortex of fire he makes.   He has appropriately performed this at Burning Man.

This guy Mel made a film about him.  It will be Mel's third film in the festival, and the third time he is travelling to O Little Town of Bedlam from Utah.   Mel teaches documentary filmmaking, too.   We love Mel.

Anyway, for a short time we considered raising funds specifically for Nate to come here with his huge fire sculptures, but then realized what a huge undertaking it would be to get the permits and moola.  So, maybe next year.

17 May 2006

how to run a film festival in 10 easy steps

  1. Name your festival
  2. Pick dates
  3. Call for entries
  4. Reserve venues and sound and screening equipment
  5. Review entries
  6. Pick official selections
  7. Invite everyone to come
  8. Promote it like it's the best thing to hit the town since indoor plumbing
  9. Sell tickets like crazy and give a bunch away
  10. In between steps 3 and 9 during your free time, recruit and train 110 volunteers, watch about 200 films while slicing cold cuts, plan two major parties with entertainment, plus one workshop, one town meeting, one filmmakers' brunch, one bagpipe parade, one midnight movie, two days of children's films; meanwhile, ask 39 businesses for money and/or food, talk to 57 filmmakers, go to Sundance and Tribeca, make a website, distribute 600 posters and 10,000 brochures;  then, add a monthly free screening to build audiences, invite Al Gore and an obscure Czech filmmaker, buy billboards, find someone to make halushke and halupki, write 12 press releases, ask a casino for money, make 4 presentations, go on cable access tv and public radio, revise final budget at least 3 times, make some awards and t-shirts, hold a press conference, invite the governor, and get the Peepmobile to show up.

Clearly, we're all nuts.

15 May 2006


Antijon_audrey The lovely gamine Audrey. 

from that show coming up, Ultra Violent Romantic : Film on Canvas - she's one of the romantics. 

Doesn't this just make you want to go to Rome?  Buy a pair of ballerina flats?  Shoplift something from a five-and-dime?  Drink a cuban martini? Ride a Vespa in a cute dress?   I love spring.

10 May 2006

ultra violent

Antijon Local painter Anti-Jon is prepping for his first gallery show -

Ultra Violent Romantic  :  film on canvas

this is a cockeyed shot (my bad) of one of the paintings.  who is it?  Even baby Brady knows him by name.

Anyway, I'm allowed to put some sneak peeks up here. 

To see the real thing visit Home & Planet in June - waaaay cool. 

20 January 2006


So last nite our local film festival hosted a free screening of this movie.  I laughed, I cried, I was confused.   Apparently the world is almost out of oil.    Do you know what this means?!   Well, the angry men in the film do.  They're all, "forget eating caesar salads all year long!  it's a clusterfuck!  in two years, we're screwed!"    These damn pessimistic Canadians.    If you live or have ever lived in  suburban paradise, you need to look into this.   Then have a drink.