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.


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.)

Back 2 School

June 3rd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Zach here. At eight o’clock this morning I walked the halls of Capital High School, sheepishly avoiding eye contact like I did my first time…nine years ago. And teenagers still seem as callous as they ever did. In fact, I’m sure I would’ve been stuffed into a locker had it not been for my intimidating mustache.

I was relieved to find Ms. Samson’s classroom and duck inside. She’d called me a couple of nights ago to ask if I’d come talk to her film class as a guest speaker. I said that of course I would, and then naturally neglected to prepare anything at all. Well, I prepared a little. I brought a copy of Bummer Summer and the little booklet Nandan and I had put together to promote my next film, The International Sign for Choking. Other than that though, I figured I knew my own story pretty well and thus wouldn’t need to rehearse it.

So after the bell rang and Ms. Samson took attendance, I sat down on a stool in the front of the room and just started talking. Aimlessly. Just a couple months ago I addressed a three hundred person, stadium style audience. In Spanish. And that was a breeze compared to this handful of kids. There’s nothing like the overwhelming apathy in a roomful of sleepy-eyed high school students to make a guy uncomfortable. It was like playing tennis with a brick wall, only there was no brick wall even. Just a deep, uncaring void of nothingness.

But I’m being dramatic, it was actually a pretty decent time. My talk could have used some structure though, that’s certain. Aside from showing the first five minutes of the movie and pulling up the fundraising trailer on YouTube, I filled the entire fifty minute period with my rambling and didn’t even get around to discussing my actual filmmaking method or advertising the upcoming screening (one month from today!).

So as of tomorrow morning I’m going into hiding. And what better place to do so than the Brooklyn Film Festival? I’m very excited. You can still order tickets if you haven’t yet.

See you there.

Where am I?

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