Thursday, May 14, 2009

California Update (#3)

I think it's safe to say that last night's screening was an unqualified success. We had a great turnout, and everyone seemed genuinely moved and pleased with the film. We raised $500, and several people offered to throw house parties to help raise more money to help get the film finished. I also got to catch up with Hope Cristobal, Jr., and Amy Robinson, and a bunch of other friends and family I hadn't seen in a long time.

I also succeeded in shooting photos for Kunal, the film's animator. I took photos of Ben Servino, his daughter Emily, Martha Duenas, and an unsuspecting but gracious Frank Flores (who didn't know until he got there that he'd been volunteered as a model).

Today I'll finish up working with Todd and Gus on the music -- and then take some much needed time off...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

California Update (#2) - Parking

For those of you coming to the screening on Wednesday -- please park in Lot B on the CSU Hayward campus, right across from the screening venue (Old University Union, Room #102). Ben Servino has gotten us free access to this lot from 4-8pm. 

See my post below for maps and directions to the screening.

As we gear up for tomorrow, all is going well. Todd (and Alex, his assistant) and I finished up our spotting session this morning, and I'm even more excited to hear what they come up with. Gus will join us tomorrow to infuse the score with some local flavor...

Friday, May 8, 2009

California Update (#1)

After three days on the road, we made it safely to Quincy, CA, where the weather is GORGEOUS... (man, I do miss the California sunshine!) We're going to soak up some sunshine, have a visit with my family, and then hit the road again on Sunday.

Ben Servino has found us a venue for the fundraiser screening, which will be held on Wednesday, May 13, 6-8pm, at the Cal State Hayward campus, Old University Union, Rm. #102. 

Gus Kaipat, who will be in California helping me with the film's score, has graciously agreed to perform before the screening. (Thanks, Gus!)


Driving directions to the CSUEB campus are here.


Here is the link for the campus map.

And here is the facebook page for the event.

And lastly, after much discussion and consultation (and many thanks to all of you who participated in my surveys)... I've decided to stick with the original title of The Insular Empire: America in the Marianas. No, it's not perfect -- but it seems to be closer to perfect than anything else we were all able to come up with!


Saturday, May 2, 2009

California, Here I Come...

We're packing up and getting ready to head south! After almost 8 years of planning, shooting, editing (and re-editing and re-editing), we are LOCKING PICTURE on Monday, putting the files on my laptop, and driving it down to California. Yeeha!

A zillion details still to sort out, but the film at least is finally solid, and I'm feeling really good about it. I showed it to my TV-director friend Mona last week and she said, "wow, it's really good... and definitely one of the best docs I've seen made by someone I know!" (Since she went to USC film school and worked in LA for years, this does actually mean something.) 

We're driving down to SF in Nik's trusty VW Westphalia, aka Verne the Van, and stopping along the way to visit family in Seattle and in Quincy, CA. We'll be in the Bay Area by next Monday, where I'm going to be working with Todd Boekelheide (Academy-award winning sound designer and composer) and Gus Kaipat (recording artist and ukulele player from Saipan) on the film's musical score. With the help of Martha Duenas and Hopie Cristobal I'm also going to be setting up a still photo shoot, to get photos of Chamorro faces for my animator Kunal Sen to use in the animations... AND it looks like Ben Servino of Cal State East Bay is going to set up a fundraising screening for Wednesday, May 13th at the Hayward Campus. (So if any of you want a sneak peek at the film, and want to help get this thing DONE and on the air, come on out and show your love!) I will post more details on the screening once he's nailed down a time and venue.

It should be a very full and very productive week, and I'm really looking forward to it. But now... back to the grindstone. Lots to do before we leave...