Cucaracha Man vs. Lurker on the All-You-Can-Schvitz Express: My Inaugural Blog Entry

March 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Hello world!

I should probably tell you my name is Bradley and that I have been with various Newhard entities here in Buenos Aires for about two and a half weeks. Writing my first guestblog to all you millions of fine readers is daunting, but then I look out from the 14th floor of our new apartment and its amazing balcony (where Nandan has decided to sleep btw), and the warm breeze and water view gives me the chutzpah to continue.

When I first got here I could not help but notice the professional dogwalkers in BA. I shit you not, at least ten dogs (I have counted as high as 15 on one occurrence), each leash entwined together forming something not dissimilar to a very thick, rainbow-cyborg-arm wrapped tightly around an appendage from someone usually under 150 pounds.

Amazed though I was, I found myself hoping our production would be like this…yoked together and moving in the same direction. Probably due to a combination of jetlag, new friends, and catching up on all new things TISFC, I began to suspect that helping out on this film was going to be more like herding cats. Luckily these suspicions proved false, and as we move from preproduction to shooting I can feel it all coming together.

Our new location/office/awesomeplace is really, well…awesome. When going through each room and checking lighting this week, Nandan seemed very pleased with everything as is. Now, I am catching up on my Newhard history here, but I have been told that this is a rare occurrence. Much has transpired already, and I am happy to say that so far, most things have worked out really nice. I have always thought of myself as agnostic when it comes to the film gods, but we mentioned noticing their presence yesterday. Let’s hope that doesn’t jinx anything.

This morning we shot our first dialogue scene at a location gifted to us by none other than Oscar winner Juan Jose Campanella and his production company. Here are two great shots of Zach going deep Method today.


Suffice it to say we are very fortunate and extremely grateful to Juan, Muriel, and (ZACH’S NOTE: the lovely) Dalia for this favor. Including the previously mentioned but worth mentioning many times over amazing support of 791Cine (an awesome indie distributor here in Argentina that is getting Bummer Summer some South American love). Locations, actors, and favors are flowing our way. Here are some stills from rehearsals with Radical Roger, our new best friend and cohort.

He is plays a really cool role in the film, and also has a band OLGA that we can’t stop listening to on repeat. Check it.

But just in case you thought we were hustling too hard, rest assured we have also been having good times with many new friends as well. From homestyle Asados (like a BBQ that is about the slow process of hanging out a couple hours until the tasty chorizo, ribs, and steak begins to sizzle and pop and filling the air with so much goodness that the dogs can’t help but lick the grill), getting comped tickets at sold out events, night-skating in a park with everyone sharing cold beers, pogo-ing at a crazy drum concert until the wee hours of the morning…we are feeling the love on the wild streets and humid nights as well.

For the rest of today we will be “arting” the apartment where much of the film takes place. This weekend has lots of shooting, and then we head to the rural Entre Rios for an adventure outside the city that we are really looking forward to. As long as we don’t lose Nandan due to his peculiar habit of walking and looking at the ground directly in front of his toes (drawing muggers wanting a Canon 5D), Zach doesn’t get kidnapped by the Vieja Contrabanista, and I don’t build a parador and decide to live there, we should return from the jungle intact with good footage from a great location and some tales fit for regaling.

In parting, I leave you with our small contribution to Argentinian culture after seeing the very cool first feature, Somos Nosotros. After the screening we humbly shared one of the simple secrets of life back home.

Newhard Landscaping, LLC

October 12th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Zach here. We all know that Nandan is in Detroit. What we don’t all know is that I’m there (here) too. Both of us are here right now…specifically, in the Arthur Neef Law Library at Wayne State University. But why?

Frankly, Nandan has not done a sufficient job of portraying the insanity that is his new life here. I can’t blame him. The guy’s up to his weird beard (see previous post) in location, casting, and scripting snafus, so it comes as no surprise to me that blogging’s been the last thing on his mind. That’s why I’ve taken it upon myself to give a rundown of what is (isn’t) happening out here…

I landed at midnight between Friday and Saturday. Nandan picked me up in his new production minivan, a 2000 Honda Odyssey that’s turned out to be one hell of a pricey lemon by any standard. I got in. I was along for the ride. We stayed the night at somebody’s house that Nandan had the keys to. He has somehow weaseled his way into literally hundreds of acquaintanceships since arriving here, so I’ve found myself confronted with a lot of strange faces and am constantly wondering who they belong and how they all relate to one another, among other questions. I rarely receive answers.

On my very first morning in Detroit we drove to our new temporary residence. It’s a seven bedroom house. Yes, seven. But we’re not its only occupants. The owner of the house is named Ivan. He has the physical appearance of Santa Claus coupled with the personality of an intellectual Macedonian (Yugoslavian?) scientologist in his mid to late sixties. The story’s not entirely clear to me, but I think that Nandan met him at a bar last week. There’s also an amiable member of the International Society for Krishna Conciousness living in a tent in the backyard who bears an uncanny resemblance to Will Oldham. Stay with me. The house is huge but you’d never know it because it’s filled to the brim with antique books, furniture, and unrecognizably old music equipment in total disrepair. We’ve taken to describing Ivan and his lifestyle as “old-world”, and very accurately so. When we first arrived he greeted us with heaping bowls of stew. His kitchen is packed with nothing but bread and vegetables. He has continued to serve us his hearty variations on the stew theme for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day so far. I believe it was our third morning there that we woke up to a lamb’s head on a plate on the table. You know, to put in our stew. Ivan, a gracious host, had saved us an eyeball apiece. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

It was on that very first morning that Ivan received a notice from the city demanding that he contain his unruly front yard. Being the strong, young, rent-free residents that we were/are, it only made sense that we step up to the plate and volunteer our brawny bodies to the task. There’s no way that I can describe this yard, so we took photographs.


We finished this afternoon after three days of lopping, lugging, loading, and illegal dumping. Well, the illegal dumping stopped on the second day when we were overcome with guilt following a fiery drive-by reprimanding. Today it was all done by the books. We even developed a system, Nandan would dispose of the yard waste:

While I posed shirtless by the van:

And that, my dear friends, is what we call filmmaking.

Kickstart My Heart (OWN BUMMER SUMMER ON DVD)

June 14th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Zach here. I’ve got big news, a couple pieces of it.

FIRSTLY. I just got back from the Brooklyn Film Festival last night. Despite two excellent slots, our screenings wound up being weakly attended. Fortunately, we were too busy having a great time in New York with old friends to be upset.

Rob, Nandan and I got to take part in a great table reading of a script by Gabi on the Roof in July‘s Lawrence Levine. I got to go to New Jersey to visit the set of Exit 117 director Kevin McMullin’s new film.

I even got to make a cameo that consisted solely of kissing. It was a good day.

The highlight of the week, however, came after I left. On my way to the airport I got a phone call from the festival’s programmer Nathan Kensinger. He wanted to know if I would be attending the awards ceremony, and seemed discouraged when I explained that I couldn’t. I assured him that Nandan and Rob would be there, and he was pacified. Later that I night I found out that we’d won the Spirit Award for narrative feature. This is more or less the equivalent of what other festivals would call a “special jury prize”. I was blown away. To make matters better, Gabi on the Roof in July wound up winning best narrative feature, and its star Sophia Takal was honored with the award for best actress. They all called me up when my flight landed in Seattle shouting “mazel tov” into the phone. It was special. The only thing that doesn’t surprise me about the whole business is the fact that Rob has already finished the bottle of Bushmill’s that was part of our prize.

SECONDLY. YOU CAN OWN BUMMER SUMMER on DVD.

We’ve launched a fundraising campaign for my new movie on a website called “kickstarter”. It’s awesome. We have sixty days to raise the money that will ultimately take us to Argentina to shoot. By pledging just fifteen dollars, you’ll get a copy of Bummer Summer. And that’s not all. There are a ton of cool rewards set up. Check out our page for all of the details. If you watch the video you can even see a very rarely seen clip of Rob kissing Mackinley. Sorry guys.

But seriously, WE NEED HELP. If you don’t feel that you can donate, that’s no problem. It’s immensely helpful to us just to have you spread the word. Post the page on facebook. Blog about it. Tweet about it. Do anything you can to help us out and you’ll have my eternal gratitude. Sincerely.

BONUS NEWS. I got a mini-interview in an Argentine mag, check it out! (Sorry if it’s hard to read, I don’t know what I’m doing.)

Variety

April 29th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Zach here. We just got our first review by a major US publication, and what a publication it was. See the title of this post for a subtle hint. You can read it here.

As you can see, it’s somewhat mixed, although the general vibe is definitely positive. Review-wise, we’ve gotten much better, as well as much worse. Before ever having made a movie, I sometimes wondered how I’d react to reading this stuff. Now I know: kind of apathetically. I don’t believe that movies themselves are “good” or “bad”, only the impressions that they leave on each individual viewer. When someone hates my movie, fine, that’s just one out of however many billion potential impressions. I feel the same way when someone loves it: so what? Admittedly, I’m human and I can’t help hoping that people approve of what I did, but I don’t get angry or defensive in the face of criticism. Except when it’s personal. The film and the filmmaker are separate entities, I can’t stand when people don’t seem to understand that.

But if I really believe all of what I said before, then why am I writing now after having been reviewed by someone “important”? Well, not everyone shares my weird, noncommittal views regarding movie qualification. Variety is a sort of a giant, and so I guess that what makes me anxious about the review is the thought of people taking it as an “official verdict”. Plenty of people make up their minds whether to see a movie based on reviews. Myself, I’m more of a trailer man. But then again, even our trailer has proven polarizing. Whatever, Bummer Summer is no longer my baby. It’s my chubby toddler that won’t stop crying at Red Robin. And I’m pregnant with another, god help me.

In other news, the movie had its most recent festival screening just last night in Athens, OH. Nandan was there in attendance, and from what he tells me it seems to have been our most lackluster screening to date. But I’ll reserve judgment until I read his detailed blog-report, which I’m sure will come any day now. I’m exponentially more excited for our next festival, but I’m not sure that I’m supposed to say what it is yet. Whatever, check back regularly because I’m sure I’ll crack soon enough.

I know it’s not even May yet, but get excited for June as it will include a screening at this festival in question, an article in another major publication, the launch of our fundraising campaign for The International Sign for Choking, and Bummer Summer‘s hometown premiere. Details in the coming weeks.

“Just a quick one…”

March 27th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Zach here. At Dusty’s request, I’m blogging. He’s right here next to me. We’re working on the edit of Fresh Starts for Stale People. It’s slow going, but on this particular day it’s especially slow on account of the McDouble Challenge.
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The McDouble Challenge is something I came up with at Cinequest, and it’s a really bad idea. You wait until you’re real hungry, that’s when the challenge begins. You eat one McDouble (nothing more and nothing less) every hour on the hour for as long as you can stand it. Right now we’re seven deep.

Also, you can expect a third round of exciting news within the next three or four days. You can expect Fresh Starts for Stale People to be done never.

BAFICI Screenings

March 24th, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

Zach here. With a brief and only mildly interesting update.

We’ll be having three public screenings (with a fourth for the press and Angela Bassett only). The first will be on Wednesday, April 14 at 11:15pm. This may seem late, but in Argentina they’ll be like “oh 11:15? I guess I’ll go, it just means I’ll have to grab an early dinner.” The second screening will be on Thursday, April 15 at 6:00pm. And the third will be on Saturday, April 17 at 6:45pm. They’ll all be at the Hoyts Multiplex in the Abasto shopping center (the central venue).

If, by some strangeness, you are reading this and happen to be either a festival-accredited member of the press or Angela Bassett, you can get up early and see the movie on Wednesday, April 14th at 10:15am, also in Hoyts. Drowsiness may occur.

[Yes, I’ll explain the Angela thing. She’s one of the judges of the international competition this year. I hope the movie doesn’t upset her.]
angela-bassett-waiting_l

BAFICI

March 19th, 2010 § 7 comments § permalink

Zach here. With exciting news, as promised.

I’ll be spending the middle portion of next month in chilly Argentina, where Bummer Summer (or Verano plomazo, as it is now also known) is going to be playing as part of the international competition.
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This festival is choice. I know because I was there two years ago and I loved it. I used to say during pre-production that the only reason I was making the movie was so that I could go back. I think I was joking, but even still I’m pretty excited for this one. Our fellow competitors include some serious heavy hitters, including the new Safdie brothers’ film Go Get Some Rosemary , the Oscar-nominated Ajami, and Police, Adjective, already rearing its Romanian head in theaters across the country.

You can check out the festival’s page for our movie here. If you feel like trying your hand at some Spanish, the synopsis they wrote is really awesome. The festival’s schedule isn’t up yet, but it should be next week. As soon as I know more I’ll be back with an update for all of our Argentinian readers (I know of at least one!) so they can plan on attending.

Clom OUt.

Man Down

March 17th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Zach here, and only Zach.

Rob left late on Monday night. I’m now the only one left at the end of what turned out to be a very long, silly trail west.

Before he split, we recorded a song for the opening credits of “Fresh Starts for Stale People.” Enjoy, and get excited.

Finally, I have some hugely exciting news that I won’t reveal yet, but promise to reveal by this weekend. Whatever, a lot of you already know what it is. A hint for those of you that don’t: it’s very similar to the last time I had exciting news and held off on revealing it.

All Wrapped up and no place to go…

March 13th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Rob here. Sitting in the brand new west coast editing suite of Newhard Entertainment.
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Well I’m just gonna say we’ve put a wrap on all principle photography on Fresh Starts for Stale People. (Although I would still like to grab an insert or two. BANG BANG) The last day of shooting went really well, mostly thanks to our buddy Rob Hammond. We placed our lives in his hands. Totally worth it.
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And Zach and I are now hard at work trying to salvage something out of this whole mess.

I am pretty stoked.

And here’s a sneak peak of what the film is gearing up to look like in its final form.
FSFSP so far

Cinequest

March 10th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Rob Here. With An Update. This real mess is a.

***

Zach here. This last round of bloglessness has been unforgivable, especially considering what exciting and eventful times these have been. Rob started writing a post this morning, but he gave up and just e-mailed me what he had. I’m just going to post it here in its entirety and add media wherever necessary.

***

CINEQUEST AND BEYOND THE INFINITE

Rob and Zach here. We’re back in Olympia. Where this shit begun. http://blog.lotlmovie.com/?p=5

It’s been more than a month since we left New York. Shoot.

It’s been a while since we posted anything on this, but that’s not for lack of events.

Earth-changing, Life-shattering Events.

On February 22 we wrapped Principle Photography on Fresh Starts for Stale People. We pushed ourselves through our last day and got the shots for the scene that I feel may be one of the films best or perhaps sloppiest moments.
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Julia (Lila of Bummer Summer fame) arrived at Ferino’s somewhere in the afternoon and after the third or fourth best meal of the trip (In & Out) we headed north for San Jose. Not really knowing the way.

At some point Rob got a migraine and at around the same time Zach and Dusty chugged tall cans outside a gas station.

But all of this was just prologue to the cold hot dog feast that awaited us at Ernesto’s.

CINEQUEST DAY 1

In which Dusty leaves, we get our all access passes, We attend the first soiree and meet Larry and Sophia [Zach’s note: Larry and Sophia are filmmakers they made a good movie, see below].

Zach and Julia get the red carpet treatment, We attend the good heart, We begin the marketing push by dancing hard at the opening night party.
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Cinequest Day 2

In which we exchange our badges for artist badges. Eat at Bo-Town(?), Checked out the poster at camera 12 (show twitpic) Got interviewed by valerie and aidan in the vip lounge, soiree at morocco’s, get interviewed by mette, belly dancer happens, see tercer mundo, it is good. Nandan arrives at the maverick meet-up at the hotel de anza. Ernesto has bummer summer written in sharpie on his face.

Eerie foreshadowing Journal entry “12:17 My Ears hurt. Hope this doesn’t lead to something bad.”

Cinequest Day 3

Buy a sweet Native American themed blue coat at the goodwill. Zach leaves his coat and his pass at the store. Eat Lunch with Mike and (what’s her face?) and the filmmakers behind Gabi on the Roof in July, Anyone you Want, Tercer Mundo, the robbers, and Bummer Summer? Saw Cooking History, green Waters, Best Soiree yet at Il Fornario’s (Best soriee of the fest), Meet Kate from Gabi, See the Ferrari Dino Girl and Rob sleeps fitfully, Fahrenheit kind of sucks as a venue

CineQuest Day 4

Cut the first teaser for Fresh Starts, Checked into the Hilton, No Free Internet, New Distribution Panel nearly destroys the fragile friendships of the filmmakers at Newhard Entertainment, Met Mackinley at the Hotel, waiting outside our door, Begin work on another trailer, Rob is increasingly grouchy as he goes to town on the free food at south first billiards, mac couldn’t get into soiree, talked mardi gras with jordan kesslar, Really liked gabi on the roof in July, feel bad that they are looking forward to our film.



CineQuest Day 5 The Premiere

***

That’s where he left off. Kind of a cliffhanger. I’ll take over. In much less detail.

The premiere was pretty good. A lot of people came. Even more people came to our screening the next day. And finally, not very many people came to our final screening, which was on Wednesday at noon.

I guess I’ll explain Rob’s weird mention of “eerie foreshadowing.” After three consecutive nights of stoopid late hotel parties, we were pretty tired and ready to turn in relatively early. I was sitting around and thinking about possibly blogging when Rob came out of the bathroom in a panic with his mouth wide open, trying to explain that he couldn’t close it. Long story short, his jaw was dislocated and he was too namby-pamby to let me push it back into place so we had to go to the ER and spend a few hours there.

Not sure what else to say about the festival. It was a good time overall. By the time it ended, we were absolutely ready to move on.

Getting home was kind of noteworthy. We met a nice guy on closing night who agreed to give us a ride halfway up. We stayed with a nice woman named Teresa in Medford, OR that night and the very next morning caught a ride via Craigslist with a guy called Mike to Portland where we had a nice reunion with Dusty and Luc. Then Jimmy picked us up and we were here in Olympia a little after midnight.

These first few days have been a bit busy with my moving into a dreamhouse. More on that as it develops.

Where Am I?

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