About a Donkey Feedback Screening

We had a feedback screening of our About a Donkey rough cut Saturday night. We chose to share it with a group of filmmakers whose opinions we value, and who we felt would be best equipped to understand what a rough cut entails and look past what's not yet finished. Overall, the night was very productive with some positive comments and a lot of constructive feedback that gave us new perspective on the story (which was necessary because we're just too familiar with it at this point). It confirmed some narrative flaws I was sensing (and thankfully can largely fix), it made me realize where certain scenes could be trimmed down or cut out completely, and where I needed to add back in context that I had previously cut. It also helped us realize a little more about who our audience is for the film. A large part of our mission is telling a story that meets people where they're at as a means to pull them forward. Showing it to a group of already forward thinking people led to some nuanced discussions that has given us further insight into how to best execute our mission. 

I actually went home that night and stayed up until 5am recutting some scenes and adding in some moments that had gone unused. I nixed 11 minutes from the total runtime and came up with a quick pickup scene (really just a shot) that I feel will strengthen a character arc that was feeling a bit empty and convenient. I have plans to shoot that this week. Our goal now is to picture lock by next Monday. We're working with no budget on the post side, so we're trying to move fast but without sacrificing creativity. I feel good about making our September 20th deadline though. Our score and sound mix are already in the works, and our colorist is ready to jump in next week. We're aiming for all early bird deadlines for festivals; and we're being very selective about what we submit to, wanting to feel confident our audience is their audience. We can't wait to share the film with more people and really get it out there. 

Thank you everyone who attended and shared Saturday night!

-Christina and the team

P.S. Shout-out to my mom for cooking, as per usual. 

Chain Film Festival Recap

Last week we spent a lot of time at the Chain Film Festival. It was our first time attending and being part of this festival, and overall we found it to be well run and more attentive than most in the City.

"Arm Bar" screened Monday evening in a lineup all about women. It was a nice selection of films. There were about 40 people in attendance for 5 shorts and a feature. The audience reaction was positive. A couple people complimented lead actor Latresa Baker's performance. See photos below. 

And here's his Q&A. Check it out if you've seen the film.

"Night In" screened Tuesday afternoon in a Horror lineup. We don't usually comment on the other films in a lineup in our recaps but this one was rife with misogyny and was hard to sit through. (The decision to program some of the films really turned me off, in terms of submitting future work to the festival.) That said, at least the festival does a solid job of giving each film and filmmaker a moment to discuss their work in a specific, not generic way. And the audience seemed to enjoy the film. There were about 60 people there for the 9 shorts screened. One person came over after and thanked me for not making a horror film where a man rapes and kills a woman, and another called the film delightful. It got laughs where I wanted, and I feel was a nice contrast to much of the lineup. 

See photos below. 

And here's my Q&A. Included for people who've seen the film. SPOILERS. It's a 3 minute film, so maybe wait to watch it at the next fest and then come back to watch this. Don't ruin the fun! ;)

"Night In" was also invited to screen again Friday night at their encore screening of 5 shorts and a web series. It was a stronger lineup overall, though only 10 people were in attendance (all filmmakers).

-Christina

Making Progress! (About a Donkey Seed&Spark Update)

The past few weeks have been very eventful for us! We applied for a post-production grant. (We're currently funding post-production out of pocket as much as we can, but hope to recoup our expenses and be able to fund future festival costs through other sources or another campaign next year.) 

We had three rough cut screenings with a few of our crew members (and spouses) to get feedback and tighten up the cut!

We shot one pickup for the film, a hand knocking on a door (with Writer Kelsey Rauber stepping in as the hand-actor)!

We gave our footage to Colorist Anna Marie Nguyen and Sound Editor/Designer Will Graham (who also recorded sound on set). 

And I (Christina) started discussing the score with our composer Alexandra Kalinowski just this morning! 

We feel we've reached Picture Lock, but we're not calling it yet until after our final feedback screening this Saturday, which will include a dozen fellow filmmakers whose inclusive perspectives we respect as both creators and viewers. 

Our goal is to have the edit locked by Sunday and then off to the next stages of Post, with our sights set on a September 20th festival deadline. 

Thanks so much for your support in getting us this far! Stay tuned for more!

Christina & the team

IndieWorks: July Recap

Last Tuesday was the July edition of IndieWorks, and what an eventful night it was! We had some unexpected mishaps of the night, from one of our hosts having a last minute emergency, as well as one of our filmmakers of the night having a last minute emergency, to our venue being double booked! However, despite all that, the night went smoothly (and everyone is okay)! We screened 3 films and had over 40 people in house. Our first film was an effective, dramatic piece that explored the coming of age of a young woman in an unfortunate situation. The second and third films were comedies that took stylistically different, but tonally similar, satirical approaches to complicated subjects. All the pieces of the night resonated with the audience differently, and some thoughtful discussions were had. Overall, the night was a big success!

We'd just like to say thank you to everyone who came out to support the filmmakers and spend the evening with us & them. We do hope you enjoyed all the films and the opportunity to network with other filmmakers and film enthusiasts, and we hope some connections were made! AND we hope you'll join us again on August 15th. 

See photos from the evening (by Carlos Molina)

The Films of the night:

Portrait of a Young Woman (Directed & Written by Grecia Aguilar)
Sonia is a typical sixteen year old with a love for music and an extensive curiosity for boys. She has fun but no girl is ever the same when she falls in love for the first time.

Death of a Vacuum (Directed by Simone Kisiel/Written by Adriana Jones)
AA short, dark comedy about a young woman who comes home to find that her parents are working on a fun new project together – a divorce.

Covered (Directed & Written by Tawny Sorensen & Colin Fisher)
When Anders Anderson buys a new house, he discovers that he needs insurance and visits Assuring Insurance to make sure that he is covered. 

Watch our Q&A Recap (shot & edited by Kimberly Drew Whiten). *Please know there are some film spoilers - feel free to look for an opportunity to catch the films at a festival or computer screen near you & then come back to watch!

The award goes to...

At the end of the evening, we announced our winning filmmaker of the Audience Choice Award. Due to our shortened lineup, we made some changes this month and just awarded one winner all the monetary prizes. The Audience Choice Award is voted upon by all those in attendance; they receive $50 towards a crowdfunding campaign on SeedandSpark.com should they use the platform and a free Social Media audit ($200 value) from 4MileCircus

For the July 2017 lineup, our winning film was:
    Audience Choice Award:  "Death of a Vacuum"

Join us next month for our August edition on the 15th!