Category: Festivals

JUST ELLA at Toronto After Dark Festival

Posted by – October 10, 2013

Screenshot from 2013-10-10 11:49:04

The short film I wrote/directed for last year’s Lo-fi Sci-fi 48 Hour Film Challenge is going to be screening at my favourite Toronto film fest! It screens before Battery on Sat. Oct. 19th at 9:30pm — tickets here.

JUST ELLA posits a future overrun by gibbering monstrosities. Ella takes refuge in a “the Ossington Safehouse, a collectively-run space dedicated to human sovereignty.” But despite doing the assigned tasks on the chore list, she isn’t safe — the terrors outside are nothing compared to those within.

Contains perhaps the first cinematic example of autocomplete used for a dramatic reveal.

Our BIFF Experience and GHOSTS Tour T-Shirts

Posted by – September 5, 2013

At a time of year when everyone’s talking TIFF, we thought we’d talk BIFF. For us, getting into the Beijing International Film Festival was a bigger deal, what with Ghosts With Shit Jobs‘s premise being so connected to China.

Co-director Tate Young interviewed BIFF-goers earlier this year on what they thought about our flick, and got lots of great city shots to boot, in this 6.5 minute mini-doc. (Bonus: Tate’s ‘How to Film a Selfie‘ for some behind-the-scenes.)

It’s now four years since we began this project and it’s been quite a trip — literally and figuratively. Since its London, England premiere last year we’ve toured with the movie to nearly 20 cities across the world. Figured it merited its own commemorative tour t-shirt, which you can buy at cost for the next week (mens | ladies). It’s got all the cities on the back!


As an aside, you should enjoy TIFF while it lasts — it ends in 2019 after cultural funding disappears completely. BIFF buys all the red carpets at an auction afterwards.

Beijing, Here We Come!

Posted by – April 5, 2013


Believe it or not folks, but thanks to Telefilm’s help our movie is screening in mainland China for the Beijing International Film Festival starting Apr 19th! And Tate (co-director and editor) and Kelly (actress) are going to be there to represent!

We’ve always been curious as to what actual mainland Chinese would think of our fictional future where China’s on top. We even did Chinese subtitles for the trailer in the hopes we’d get some Baidu-juice. I talked a bit about it in my interview with the Phnom Penh weekly last month before the screening there, but that wasn’t the first time we screened in Asia.

Our Asian premiere was in Seoul, and while I’ve mentioned some of the feedback from Koreans Tate received before, now the full story can be told — we have published the full account of the first time GHOSTS screened in Asia online, as well as as a PDF (with pics), epub and mobi (without) ebooks. And it’s not what you think, unless what you’re thinking involves cartoonishly outsized golden bow ties.

So sink into Lo-fi Sci-fi in the Land of Gangnam and join us in pondering what our 24th tourstop will be like.

Chat From Sack

Posted by – February 21, 2013

Rolled into Sacramento on the train yesterday for the Movies on A Big Screen event. It was great — probably about 60 people, warm and diverse crowd. Really fun q&a afterwards where the first question was whether Sanford Kong was a trained mime — they were as spellbound by his performance as the doctor as we were.

Toronto-bound folks will be thrilled to hear that it’s a lovely 13 degrees here & sunny. The people I’m staying with have an orange tree in the backyard, and I got to eat one for breakfast. Tasted pretty much the same, but it was still pretty awesome.

Last week’s run at San Francisco Indie Film Festival saw close to 200 folks come through on the three nights. Got to hang out with Jamie, a fan of the film, at the amazing goth bar he owns called the DNA Lounge. And I met with the guys who are working on Overgrowth, a rabbit-ninja fighting game, and they seem open to working together on a future project. So lots of interesting developments developin’!

Vancouver Report, iTunes Release

Posted by – January 15, 2013


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!

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.