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Vancouver Report, iTunes Release

Posted by – January 15, 2013

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First things first: after a 6 week delay, the movie’s finally out on iTunes and a bunch of other digital platforms and we’re offering Skype Q&As for screening parties to promote it. Please spread the word!

Secondly, the Vancouver screening went fantastic. The Rio was super supportive, we got a great review from the Georgia Straight, and over a hundred people showed up to check out the movie and hear me blather afterwards. Fanny (our sound savior) was there too, which was cool since she moved out before our big Toronto debut, and I met Flick Harrison who contributed a lot of feedback to this blog. Warren Frey did this little interview with me in the afterglow.

Coming up next, I’m heading to the San Francisco Indie Film Fest. Looks like a pretty great lineup — I’m hoping to catch Brandon Cronenberg’s Antiviral there, which I missed somehow at its Fantastic Fest premiere. (I also missed Looper there, but I saw it recently — it’s a tightly constructed little funride with a bit of an emotional payload to boot.)

On the subject of other sci-fi inspiration — I started up a lo-fi sci-fi videoblog. Love it if you submitted something awesome you found/made!

Also, FilmBizarro listed us in their best movies of 2012, saying: “This is just insane, but at same time very lovable.”

International as HELL

Posted by – November 6, 2012


Our Asian premiere was last month in Seoul Korea, and for everyone who’s asked what Easterners would think of GHOSTS, Tate has the answer:

Basically, they thought we were dead-on. It’s not ‘if’ the US drops off as a world power and China rises–it’s ‘when’. And they were looking forward to it. They were a bit nervous about Korea’s position, because they’re the little country beside the giant, much like us. But at the core, they thought it was a good bet to come to pass–they didn’t think the US would fall as far as the 3rd world, but figured they would become more like 2nd world countries, perhaps like certain European countries that still have some clout, but aren’t as relevant or super-powery as they were.

They were very interested in how we picked all the jobs, and had other unforeseen insight about the Babymakers and Spam. Koreans have a lot of guilt about giving up children for adoption, so it really struck them. They also liked the way the people sat down in the office.

When he wasn’t drinking soju and talking future economics with the fest organizers, Tate also did a workshop on our kind of lo-fi sci-fi community powered filmmaking — see above.

Since our Sci-Fi-London release in May, GHOSTS has screened in Berlin (Moviemento), Toronto (Royal Cinema), Boston (MIT), Poznan, Poland (Transatlantyk), Ann Arbor (Workantile), Ottawa (Mayfair Theatre), Tucson (Arizona Underground Film Fest), & Seoul, Korea (Gwacheon International SF Festival). Next week it’s booked for Miami (O-Cinema) and Tampa (Muvico Ybor) & later this month for Bath, England (Bath Film Festival)!

Not bad for its first six months. We gotta get a world tour t-shirt printed up with all the cities on the back.

Also expanding our international reach are our awesome volunteer subtitlers — thanks to Antonio and Aram we now have subtitles en español!

Unlucky Screenings starting Friday

Posted by – October 22, 2012

Several folks from GHOSTS (Producer Anthony Cortese & Babymaker director Chris McCawley) are launching another movie, check out the trailer here! It’s playing Fri-Sat-Sun at the Royal, but the q&a is Friday.

I realize I haven’t pointed folks to some of the vids made during the Lo-fi Sci-fi 48 Hr Film Challenge — check them out! Related to that, the filmmaker who made the ATTACK OF THE FIFTY FOOT GOO MAN is running his own film challenge with a sex theme. Only $25 to reserve a spot until Nov. 1st.

Asian Premiere, Toronto Screening, Arizona Award

Posted by – October 9, 2012


The Gwacheon International SF Festival in Seoul, Korea is screening GHOSTS on Saturday, and they’re flying Tate out to do a Q&A! I’m curious to see how people there react to it.

If you or someone you know missed the Toronto screening, the folks running the Monsters and Martians festival are showing it at the Projection Booth in the east end this Friday Oct. 12th at 9pm.

We took the Audience Choice Award at the Arizona Underground Film Festival — me and Anthony went out for it, and they did this little interview with us in front of a weird brick wall facade.

The Austin screening went well too, took place at an awesome Alamo Drafthouse cinema for a receptive crowd of about 50.

Lo-fi Sci-fi Shorts Screening Monday

Posted by – August 24, 2012

So you already know that a bunch of us (7 teams so far) are making new lo-fi sci-fi shorts this weekend. (And Sean’s still looking for actors for Sat., if you wanna get in on that.) You may not know that you can check out what the weekend hath wrought on Monday at the Monarch (12 Clinton, Toronto). Watch a half-dozen or so five minute movies at 7pm, pay what you can, $5 pints, weirdo filmmakers in attendance.

In other GHOSTS news: Poland was pretty rad. I ended up at a dinner table with Julian Sands and forgot he was in Naked Lunch, forgot my English at two q&a’s that were translated into Polish, gaped at the gorgeous animated festival identity, arrived underdressed to the super-fancy opening pictured above, abused the open bar, and made some great pals.

Also: we’re going down to q&a at the Ottawa premiere in a couple weeks, first of a three day run at the awesome Mayfair Theatre.

And: the movie’s coming out on a variety of digital platforms (iTunes, XBox, Playstation, Amazon, and Vudu) on November 27th.

That’s it for now, Ghosties! Hope to see some of you on Monday.

Come to the Salon on Monday!

Posted by – August 3, 2012


If you’re excited to work with some of the Ghosties again, a bunch of us are making shorts in the Challenge at the end of the month! (Personally I’m planning to use Alex’s multicoloured flame-thrower pictured above somehow.) So if you wanna talk about getting involved or meet some new folks to collab with, you should come out on Monday for a drink or three — 7pm at the Monarch (12 Clinton St.) in Little Italy.

For those of you who came out to the Toronto premiere and were overwhelmed by the hundreds of people there… don’t worry, the Lo-fi Sci-fi Salons aren’t like that. They’re very small laid-back gatherings where people are plotting their Challenge sci-fi short over drinks. Me and Sean can introduce you & what you do to other people — lots of people looking for actors and crew. Bring that friend who’s always threatened to make a short.

I’ll be talking a little bit about the awesome creators we have contributing creative prompts — Jim Guthrie’s donated music & Cory Doctorow’s donated dialogue. We’ll also have a short talk on quick and dirty visual effects by a Toronto filmmaker. We’ve got guests talking the following Mondays too!

Oh also, if you haven’t snagged a copy of the movie yet, let me know you’re coming by and I’ll bring you your comp.

If you haven’t tired of seeing us talking about the movie yet, there’s a nice piece over at Electric Playground.

Boston Blowout, Arizona Underground Film Fest Acceptance, Lo-fi Sci-fi Salons

Posted by – July 20, 2012

We had about 400 people come out for the screening at MIT in Boston last Saturday. We kicked it off with a panel with webcomic guy Randall Munroe and gamemaker Andrew Plotkin on the Future of Cultural Work (listen below or mp3 here)…

…and then had a really well-received screening of Ghosts (the MIT crowd got all the geeky jokes). Anthony, Sean and I did a Q&A afterwards.

At this point we’ve had a thousand people enjoy Ghosts in a theatre, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon! I’m heading over to Poland next month to support the Transatlantyk fest screening, and at the end of September we’ve got a screening in Arizona Underground Film Festival — we just got our third festival acceptance there. We’ll probably use it as an anchor to do a couple of screenings in the southwest US.

Hopefully a bunch of you are already considering signing up to make a 48-hr movie with us at the end of August, but to prime the pump we’re doing a series of Lo-fi Sci-fi Salons every Monday at the Monarch starting July 30th. Each one will be hosted by experienced lo-fi sci-fi filmmakers sharing tips and inspiring short vids — so far we have the Brand New You crew, David Fernandez, and Louis Savy lined up.

Take the Lo-fi Sci-fi 48 Hour Film Challenge!

Posted by – July 11, 2012

Sean Lerner (AKA Oscar the Digital Janitor & our Associate Producer) is running Toronto’s first Lo-fi Sci-fi 48 Hour Film Challenge on Aug 24-26th.

It’s an awesome, crazy, heart-pumping race to make a 5-minute movie in just one weekend.

Hello adrenaline. Goodbye hygiene.

When countdown begins Friday at 7:00 pm there’ll be no time to waste. You’ll have a scant 48 hours to create an idea, write, shoot, edit your film and deliver it before the deadline.

If you do we’ll show your movie on the big screen (well biggish screen) at the Monarch Pub the very next night.

We’re looking at it as a way to keep the creative juices flowing, to loop in new people or people who couldn’t get involved with GHOSTS, and to build community and make some crazy weird movies. Work with some new people, try out some new ideas, get a new finished project out into the world!

We’re also doing Lo-fi Sci-fi Salons on Mondays leading up to the Challenge (Jul 30, Aug 6, 13 & 20, 7pm). Each one will be hosted by a seasoned lo-fi sci-fi moviemaker who’ll share some tips/approaches and show some inspiring shorts, with lots of time for socializing to spare.

Transatlantyk in Poland, Producers on Space

Posted by – June 13, 2012

GHOSTS has been invited to its second festival: Transatlantyk in Poznan, Poland. Whoo hoo! They approached us for a screener a few weeks ago, which was nicer than having to apply.

Also, a couple of us producers were on Space last week, interviewed outside the Toronto premiere by swell chap Mark Askwith — check it out here.

Something I thought you guys might be interested in is the $1000 up for grabs with this Toronto DIY filmmaker’s feature film challenge. Check it out on her website here. To fund it she’s screening a flick called I am a Good Person / I am a Bad Person at the Royal tomorrow (Thursday night) — interested in going to see it? Email me!

Making this Public, Money, & You in Boston?

Posted by – June 8, 2012

Couple of important things:

  • I’ve moved the blog in preparation to making it a public document of our process. If you have any issues with this — perhaps you made comments that you’d prefer stay private, for whatever reason — just let me know in the next week and we can figure it out.
  • The Kickstarter money is coming in soon. Off the top we’ll be paying back the money that the producers have loaned the project for costs thus far. Then over the next 8 months we’ll use it for the hard costs involved with screening the movie, keeping careful records. After the promotional phase is over in 2013, we will be dividing any remaining money (if any) as per our Time Logging agreement. If you have logged your hours and have not submitted them to me, please do so before the end of June. If you haven’t logged your hours and we know you’ve put more than ten hours into the project, we’ve been making estimates based on how many hours you were on set, plus prep time. This is an experimental method of compensation, and feedback and questions are welcome!

OK, on to the fun stuff!

I’ve posted some pics from the Toronto screening over here.

Here’s a little clipping from the Berlin version of Time Out, Zitty.

(Talking about other languages, we are working on subtitles for GHOSTS. The first step is making English ones so they can be translated, and Dave has transcribed the entire movie — we just need someone to match it up with the timecode. If you want to learn how to do it, get in touch for more details!)

Our next screening and Q&A is in Boston MA: Saturday July 14th at 8pm at MIT. It’s a free screening and open to the public, and I’ve been told they generally get a few hundred students out for the series. A couple of us are going down for the weekend, so if you’d like to see how Massholes react to Shit Jobs and are up for a 10 hr roadtrip, then let me know and we’ll see if we can carpool!