Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Rejection

In my last post, I talked about anxiety. That wonderful feeling I had after Variety.com published a partial list of the feature films accepted for the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.

Anyway, I didn't actually head out drinking - at least not right away. Instead, I just spent a half hour or so wandering around my bedroom and kitchen. There's not a lot of room in either place, so I guess technically it was more along the lines of pacing that it was wandering.

I found myself making toast at around 12:30 a.m. Don't ask me why - it made perfect sense at the time. I mean, if you're nervous and feeling nauseous - doesn't everyone make toast?

Okay - maybe not.

Anyway, like I said it made sense at the time.

I left my computer on during all of this. Eventually, my nervous pacing brought close enough it to notice that I had an email waiting for me.

I noticed that it was from the Sundance people. I had to read it.
From: programming@sundance.org
To: Me
Sent: Tues. 11/29/2005 12:44 AM
Subject: 2006 Sundance Film Festival Submission 7137 - Checking In: The Story of the Book-Cadillac Hotel

Frank Nemecek

RE: 7137 - Checking In: The Story of the Book-Cadillac Hotel

Dear Frank

Thank you for submitting your film to the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. Regretfully, I must inform you that it was not selected by our committee. We appreciate having had the opportunity to view your work, and want you to know that the decision was a difficult one, as we saw many more worthy films than we had space for.

I would like to wish you the best of luck with this project and your forthcoming work. I hope that you will give the festival the same consideration in the future.

Sincerely,

Geoffrey Gilmore
Director, Sundance Film Festival
I wasn't drinking before, but it was at that moment that I started.

God bless my ancestors for creating Pilsner Urquell because that was what helped me make it through the night. I didn't feel sick anymore. I felt really, really numb.

There were more than 3,000 films competing for 200 slots in the festival. I knew from the moment I handed my submission package to the UPS clerk almost 4 months ago that the odds were stacked against me.

But actually getting the official confirmation was still a big kick in the groin.

I forwarded the email to the team who worked on my film with me. And then kept on drinking.

And walking.

Not the pacing around kind of walking, but actually walking. Or perhaps staggering.

Someone had to be looking out for me.

Drunk guy staggering through the streets of Detroit at 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning. I managed to make it home without anything happening to me.

I have no idea when I finally got home. In fact, I don't actually remember coming home. All that I know is that I woke up about 20 minutes ago in my bed.

Strangely enough, the anxiety, numbness and general depression that I felt last night is completely gone. When I woke up, the only thoughts running through my head were:
  • I need water;
  • I should write another blog entry and
  • I wonder which festival I should submit to next?
I'll write more later. For now, there's a few more people that I should update on Sundance and then I have some researching to do.

Oh, and I have a half dozen freelance projects waiting for my attention. (Curse my need to earn a living.)

I think somone hates me

The folks at Sundance are scheduled to announce which films are in for their 2006 film festival this coming Thursday.

However - and you know there had to be a "however" in this one - the folks at Variety.com just posted an article with the list. There was no mention of my film at all.

However - yes, there's more than one "however" in this story - according to the same article there are about 120 feature films included in this year's festival. Their list only cites 64 of them. Obviously, the Variety.com list isn't a complete one.

Urgh!

Hearing this news has me so nervous all of a sudden that I think I'm going to be sick. Or get really, really drunk. And then get sick because I got really, really drunk.

Double urgh!

I swear, I feel like making my documentary and pouring everything I had into it was the easy part. The hard part is waiting for someone that I've never met to make a decision about whether or not my best is good enough.

Anyway, the full article is on their web site for anyone who is interested. You may have to watch a mini-commercial in order to read the article, unless you want to buy a subscription to Variety in order to bypass the ad.

Okay - well, the bars are still open for another 2 hours. I'm going to head out.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Another television interview

I just did another television interview. This time it was with Charles Pugh of Fox 2 where we talked about Shop Detroit.

After he asked me a couple of questions, he moved onto my partners in the project: Amanda Dunham and Tanya Stevenson. I couldn't help but snap a couple of photos of them getting interviewed.

One more post

Okay - I'm not going to try condensing everything that happened to me in the past two weeks for this blog. However, there is one more photograph that I would be totally remissed if I didn't share with everyone.

I went to a friend's wedding a week ago (the same one whose bachelor party was the week prior). Their reception was at the Detroit Yacht Club on Belle Isle. The legendary Girl in the D was there and she snapped this photo of me simultaneously flirting with every one of the bridesmaids.


I feel like such a stud muffin after looking at that picture.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

My Super Bowl Commercial

There is an ad on-line for TheWorldIsComing.com. It's part of a PR campaign that the convention bureau is sponsoring in advance of Super Bowl XL in Detroit.

The current commercial is an okay one, in my opinion, but it doesn't really capture the look and feel of Detroit. A friend of mine encouraged me to make my own one and, well, doing that was also one of the things that's kept me away from blogging for these past few days.

There are some behind the scenes photos on-line in my Yahoo photo albumn.

The commercial itself is on-line as an MPEG video. Real Media Player 10.5 seems to work the best for playing it, but Windows Media can do the trick as well.

So darn cool!

Brooks and I just finished editing it on Friday evening. I'm still playing it over and over just because I'm excited to have this to my credit.

Light the tree


Well, as I continue to catch everyone up on the goings on in my life, I should mention that a little over a week ago (Friday, November 18 to be precise) I was out to see them light the Christmas tree in Campus Martius Park and to pass out some Shop Detroit flyers for Detroit Synergy.

The tree lighting itself was cool. My only gripe is was that they configured everything about the park's layout that evening to essentially herd visitors to one specific area - making the place look even more full than it actually was for the TV cameras. This made for some great television, but it also made it harder for folks to get around.

In spite of that, it was a great evening and the tree looks really cool.


After the tree was lit and the flyers distribured, a few of us headed over to Edgewise for wine, food, art and cool company. The whole evening was a photo show dedicated to the people who helped to make The Passenger.

I snapped this photo and I think it's so darn cool. It shows (from the left to right) the model, the photographer and one of his photographs - all captured in my snapshot. Kind of cool, in my opinion.

Hanging with Jerry Bruckheimer


I went to the Governor's Awards for Arts & Culture on the 15th of this month. It was so many amazing people in one place at one time - it was totally cool.

The photo above is a bit on the blurry side because the Detroit Opera House (where it was held) doesn't have the brightest of lights in its lobby. I had to adjust the shutter on my camera so it stayed open longer to let in more light. Of course, that meant that anyone who moved even the tiniest bit came out blurry.

Oh, well - my blurry photo still gives you an idea what the evening was like.

Anyway, this was the evening when Detroit-native Jerry Bruckheimer got an award from Governor Jennifer M. Granholm for his work on the CSI shows and the umpteen other things that he's done in his career. Personally, I think this was actually part of her ploy to get him to launch a CSI: Michigan but hey - whatever get it to happen.


Jerry Bruckheimer actually gave a really good speech, too. He talked about growing up on Detroit's northwest side, learning about photography and how that led him to movies and what makes for a successful television show or movie. The really impressive part was how he wove all of that into a cohesive speech and still kept it short.

Dang!

I can't believe it's been a little more than 2 weeks since I've posted here. No wonder I've been feeling a bit off - I must be suffering from blog-withdrawls.

Oh, well I suppose that just means that I need to do a marathon blogging session; recapping the stuff that's kept me from blogging.

Two weeks ago yesterday was my friends bachelor party. I can't write much about that, it would break the code, you see. Regardless, a good time was had by all. No was hospitalized or jailed.

Truly a successful bachelor party, in my opinion.

On to my next post.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Weirdest Stuff

The weirdest stuff shows up in my email in-box. This little ditty made its appearance this morning and is actually kind of funny. I'll have to remember them for the next time I get pulled over, which hopefully won't be for awhile.


Bizarre Traffic Ticket Excuses
  • Come on officer, I was going downhill. I think that counts for something.
  • If you give me a ticket, I'll be forced to tell your wife about us!
  • I'm in a hurry - I'm late for traffic court.
  • Oh, come on! If I get another ticket, my insurance company will drop me.
  • I thought if I had my hazards on I could speed.
  • Oh, so that's where the speedometer is...
  • Sorry officer, I thought my radar detector was plugged in.
  • I was just checking to see if your radar gun was working properly.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I want to bitch slap Robert Redford

Urgh! I can't believe that it's been more than a week since I've posted anything.

Anyway, I have to confess that I have this desire to bitch slap Robert Redford.

Well, okay - not really. I mean, I don't really want to smack the man. It's just my nerves getting to me.

For months, I've been operating under the understanding that the Sundance Committee would announce which films have been accepted for the 2006 Sundance Film Festival in October. Of course, they didn't.

As it stands, they are currently planning to announce the list of feature films on November 29.

Urgh!

Another couple of weeks worth of waiting; of not being able to show my film anywhere or to start planning what other festivals I should submit my film to. It just seems like so much of my life boils down to waiting. Waiting for them to make up their minds.

Urgh!