"The team at CongestedCat Productions just seem like really amazing people who want to make art that helps people and heals people and helps bring us all together for a better future, a better planet." We reached out to Ali Naro of Movies OVER The Rainbow about writing a review of About a Donkey. She ended up watching it and enjoying it enough to say she wanted to write a post about our production company as a whole. She just sent us her incredibly moving post with this message, "I sweated for 3 days trying to figure out what your films did to my brain while I struggled to write, but I ended up discovering that you did good things. The blog ended up being more a piece about how your films have helped to heal my past than about your actual films themselves. Hope you don't mind. I just wrote where the muse of your work was taking me and it was taking me on a journey to just heal." We definitely don't mind, and we’re incredibly touched by her words. Give her post a read HERE.
Last night we wrapped production on my new short film, "Arm Bar."
Logline: A young, aspiring MMA fighter visits her local boxing gym to settle a dispute with the owner.
The screenplay for "Arm Bar" came to fruition in the first few months of our CongestedCat writing group. Christina Raia, Kelsey Rauber, and I, had all been talking about how we wanted to meet once a week to keep the creative, right side of our brain's in motion. I knew I wanted to move into pre-production on a new short, but I didn't know which would be the right script to move forward with. I initially wanted to tackle one of my other short stories, "Magic Mountain," with DoP Peter Westervelt, but it proved to be a bit too ambitious for the time. After Christina and Kelsey gave me their thoughts on Arm Bar, I knew it was the one. I was soon after introduced to Jeanette Sears at one of our IndieWorks events and knew she would be a great fit to DP the film. I loved the fact that we had representation and inclusivity not only in front of, but behind the camera as well.
Christina expressed her interest in producing the project and we immediately moved into pre-production, which proved to be a lot to take on. At first, the plan was to crowdfund on Seed&Spark, but after talking with Christina, we decided it'd be best to fund this one out-of-pocket. She helped me solidify the budget and we realized it would be attainable. Still, we made the decision to shoot promotional and behind the scenes videos to draw some attention to the project before moving into principal photography. You can watch the promo here:
Casting the project was a bumpy road, but when I auditioned Latresa Baker is when it all really started to come together. She walked into that room prepared and ready to take the role that was rightfully hers. The training process was one one of the aspects of pre-pro that I was most scared about. We bounced around from class, to individual trainer, to fight choreographer, and I was worried that all the different types of blocking and direction would make it more confusing than helpful. In the end, Latresa absorbed all the information like a sponge and we created a simple, cohesive, and hopefully exciting fight that I can't wait to share with you all.
In hindsight, everything about this project was almost just as ambitious as Magic Mountain. FedUp was the last short I directed over two years ago... a six-and-a-half minute short in my apartment with a small cast and crew. Arm Bar is a fifteen page screenplay that takes place in a boxing gym with a decent-sized supporting cast, extras, and fight scene choreography. It was a lot to take on, but with the help of Christina, Jeanette, AD Matt Gershowitz, and the rest of the amazing cast and crew that I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with... we did it.
Check out some raw stills from what we shot below:
See BTS photos from the day:
I really can't thank my cast and crew enough. They were all my rock, and helped me keep it together in the production's most heightened points of anxiety. Can't wait to collaborate with these wonderful people again in the future.
An off-beat short comedy film about a young man’s endearing attempts to gain the attention of a beautiful girl in the most awkward of settings, an STD clinic. His struggle to start up a conversation is geared by his quirky yet pathetic awkwardness and his unrelenting verbal diarrhea.
In January 2013, ‘Come Here Often’ will be screened in Brooklyn at ‘Cinema Night’, a bi-monthly showcase of upcoming NYC filmmakers by Frances Lozada. Last month, Frances Lozada attended the Katra screening (where the film won Viewer’s Choice) and requested that it be screened at the showcase.
If you missed the opportunity to join, we hope you’ll be in town to join us for the screening at Brooklyn’s Tiki Bar in January.
Our first short, ‘Come Here Often?’ (feat. Andres Monsalve & Emma Barrett), was screened at the Katra Film Series this past Saturday, along nine other short films by upcoming NY-based indie filmmakers. It was a great experience, and the first time I had seen the film screened outside of our own spaces.
We found out yesterday afternoon that among the nine films, ours claimed the most amount of votes! As a result, our film will be screened again at a private screening at the end of the year, and be considered for a screening at the East Harlem Film Festival.
Thanks to all who came out to support us and the Katra Film Series for hosting the event.
This Saturday, August 25th, CongestedCat Productions has the pleasure of having our very first production, “Come Here Often?”, screened as part of this month’s Katra Film Series in New York City.
The Katra Film Series is organized by New York-based filmmaker Geoffrey Guerrero. Each month, selected films by up-and-coming filmmakers in the Manhattan area compete for an opportunity to be considered for the annual East Harlem International Film Festival and special theater event at the end of the year.
For any and all who’d like to attend, the event is open to the public and details can be found below. We encourage all of our friends, family, and fans to come out and spend the evening with us watching our film, along with the work of other indie filmmakers from one of the greatest cities in the World.
Katra Film Series
217 Bowery St.
New York, NY 10002
Free food 7:30p-8:30p
2 for 1 drinks 7:30p-9p
Under 21 can attend screenings till 10pm
21+ to drink