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Monday, October 29, 2007

South Of Pico official wrap release

11th ANNUAL AMERICAN BLACK FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS “SOUTH OF PICO” GRAND JURY PRIZE FOR BEST PICTURE, AND AWARDS “PICO” ACTOR HENRY SIMMONS BEST ACTOR AWARD.

SOUTH OF PICO also awarded Heineken Red Star Award for “Originality, Innovation and Vision.”

(Los Angeles, California- October 2007) – The Eleventh Annual American Black Film Festival, sponsored by HBO, Kodak, and Blockbuster among others, has awarded AFI graduate Ernst Gossner’s feature writing and directorial debut “South of Pico,” starring Henry Simmons, Gina Torres and Kip Pardue, the Grand Jury Prize for Best Picture, at their awards ceremony at the Sofitel Hotel, Los Angeles. In addition, festival representatives announced that “Pico” star Henry Simmons, best known for his work on “Shark” and “NYPD Blue,” had won Festival honors for Best Actor.

ABFF sponsor Heineken also presented “South of Pico” director Ernst Gossner with its prestigious Red Star Award, awarded to “recognize originality, innovation and vision in film and is demonstrative of (Heineken’s) continued commitment to supporting and fostering unique film experiences.”

With numerous distribution offers in hand after its worldwide Festival debut, “South of Pico” is expected to be released in 2008.

“South of Pico” was written by Gossner drawing off of his experiences while living in Los Angeles during film school at AFI. The script was developed in the Berlin Film Festival Script Clinic. Gossner then connected with Producer Eric Presley and Executive Producer Ralf Mosig through an advertisement the producers had placed looking for projects in Filmmaker Magazine.

Henry Simmons can currently be seen opposite James Woods on “Shark.” His film roles include “Lackawanna Blues,” “Taxi” and “Something New,” as well as the upcoming “The Insurgents.”

Gina Torres is best known for starring on Joss Whedon’s “Firefly” and “Serenity,” for her roles in the “Matrix” sequels, and for her lead role in the Chris Rock starrer, “I Think I Love My Wife.”

Kip Pardue, a familiar face to movie audiences for roles in both studio and independent films, stood out in “Remember the Titans” and has received accolades for his performances in films like Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominee, “Loggerheads.” He’s recently been seen in a recurring role on “ER” and in the remake “The Wizard of Gore.”

“South of Pico” was produced by Eric Presley, Richard Marcus and Ernst Gossner. Executive Producer is Ralf Mosig. The film was shot by Richard Marcus. The music was composed by John Swihart, best known for his work on “Napoleon Dynamite.”

South of Pico and stuff

A little business to break up the drama. I have started to represent other producers on the sales of their films. I've been doing this on my own films and now started handling films that I haven't produced. In any event one of the first outside films I picked up is an excellent drama called South of Pico. I originally noticed the film because one of the leads is Henry Simmons who also appears in my film, The Insurgents. I helped get the film into the American Black Film Festival which my film My Brother won, last year.

I'm proud to announce as the representative for the filmmakers that South of Pico has won three awards including thr grand jury prize, best actor for henry and the heineken red star award for acheivement in filmmaking. In fact, it won every award for which it was nominated. Great news for the filmmakers: Ernst gossner eric Presley Richard marcus and ralf Mosig.

Hopefully this is just the beginning for South of Pico. With multiple offers in hand the life of pico is just beginning.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

remembrances of things past

What would you do?

Its been thirteen years. After a very bad break-up. I was accused, publicly of many terrible things, things that she knew weren’t true. It was as nasty as it gets, and at the time I just wanted to run away from all of it. But I had a year left in law school and I had to live with it for a year.

But its been thirteen years, and now, out of the ether, comes this ex-girlfriend. And after initially talking for an hour, after returning her call, she’s called me ten times in the past few days. Texted me. Left rambling messages. Wants to keep in contact. Doesn’t want to “lose” me again, whatever that means.

Back up.

She is married, very well-off by virtue of that marriage, with two children. She is no longer a lawyer. She owns a pilates studio in Long Island (she was a dance instructor and aerobics teacher when we dated in law school).

She is clearly missing something in her life. She remembers me, in her edited version, fondly – the “love of her life.” I want very little any such regard. As I’ve said numerous times, this isn’t water under the bridge, its water out to sea. Way out.

She’s asked to get together when I am back in NY. Pass. To give me a hug. Double pass.

She is reaching out to me, I believe, because she isn’t thrilled about where her life is right now. Perhaps without passion. Almost certainly. And I am a symbol of when she had passion in her life – when her life wasn’t staid, when it was full of possibility. When she was young and not locked in. When she was in love.

But that was me thirteen years ago. I’m not that person any more either, any more than she is that person. I’ve moved on – and I have no interest in going back in that direction.

So she is reaching out, she wants to meet, or to talk, once every while. And my feeling is, no, that’s just not part of my life anymore. What we had once is gone. Its been gone for a long time.

So what would you do?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Scream Awards 2007

So sort of last minute, I got invitations to the Scream Awards and after-party (everything in LA has an afterparty, root canals have after parties). VIP passes which were fun, though it seemed like everyone in the whole place had them, so I guess we were all VIP’s together.

The Scream Awards, which SPIKE TV televises, are for fantasy, sci-fi, and yes, horror. The best of the best. The event itself was a ton of fun. I went with my friend Diana, who somehow managed to look great even though I only got her ticket shortly before the show and she might have had thirty minutes to shower and get ready. She gets points. Also, Cheri from Maverick, and Victor Garcia, our director for Slaughter, made the trek to the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park.

The fans know what they like. Spike TV seems to know what they like too. The show opened with the Hero Awards, a lifetime acheivemnent award given to a genre movie superstar. Shia LeBoef presented to who else, Indiana Jones. Han Solo. Decker. Harrison Ford.

They had a great list of presenters and awardees, like the Jessicas (Alba and Biel), Hayden Panawhawha from Heroes (actually, seemed like the whole cast was there), Sig Haig presented with Danny Trejo, Tarantino and Rodriguez, Rosario Dawson, and when Bruce Campbell came out, the crowd literally went wild. Victor told me that BC is a god to him, the greatest. Victor obviously has good taste.

Ozzie came on and did his Osbourne thing, and then, the true highlight of the show, was Alice Cooper performing Schools Out with Rob Zombie and Slash. Because its LA, bunches of people had left before this finale, and they really missed out. It was kickin’.

Afterparty was fun. The dude who played Michael Meyers in Zombie's Halloween seemed omnipresent, but that may just be because he's a foot taller than everyone else. He is mammoth. I ended up sitting next to Cris Angel and Tommy Lee for a while. I still havent seen Cris Angel perform (I saw Tommy Lee "perform" with a certain star from Baywatch) and I wouldnt have known who he was. The girls at the Roosevelt Hotel seemed to know who he was tho.

Anyway, it was fun.

Now you don’t have to watch it on TV.

Grumps.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Two weeks or a bit more in LA now. Whats going on?

1. Got a call from an ex. Hadnt spoken to her in thirteen years. Yep, thirteen years. That makes me how old? We had what I will nicely call a bad break-up. It was really awful, and I was very surprised to hear that I had a message from her. I called back out of (a) trying to be a mature person, (b) potentially responding to someone I once cared a great deal about who might have been in need, and (c) curiosity. Turns out that she just wanted to see what I was upto, and that her recollection of how bad things were, or even, just how things were, differed greatly from mine. I think she had buried some stuff – we were both very hurt when it ended, eons ago. Anyway, my trepidation seems mostly misplaced, and the conversation was fine, perhaps awkward at times, just a bit, and definitely brought to bear some sense of loss of what had been.

2. We’re slaughtering ahead in preproduction. Looking at locations, FX breakdowns, casting, etc. Its going pretty well. Been a long time coming, and I can see the lighting equipment at the end of the tunnel now. Victor is great, I think he was a terrific choice for us. We’re lucky to have him.

3. I am going to Scream Awards (not to be confused with Screamfest) tonight, I think. Should be cool. I think I have VIP passes too. Do a little promotion, a little networking. That looks like a cool event, even if it is on Spike TV. Have to figure out if I clothing out here that’s right for it.

4. Madonna was at Maverick’s offices the other day when I was there. Nope, didn’t meet her. Maybe next time. No biggie.

5. I cannot believe it, but the kids in the main house are moving out, and when they do I am going to lose internet access for ten days. UGH. I can’t believe this. Again.

Keeping it short, lots to do.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Mean Streets - See It Again



What can you say about Mean Streets? Is it possible to determine the overall impact of the movie, Scorsese’s early classic, on not only his later films, but on the entire genre of gangster movies (which Mean Streets is not), Italian-American cinema (which it is), and film acting in general (due to stunning perfs by Deniro, Keitel, and very powerful and realistic supporting characters played by David Proval, Richard Romanus, and Amy Robinson, who was never again in a movie (though she has produced many)).

I don’t want to review this movie here. Its been review to death. Just reminding those who haven’t seen it, or seen it for a while. See it again. It might be Scorsese's best movie. Its like watching a French new wave film shot in Little Italy (and Los Angeles, where most of the movie was actually filmed), with Deniro instead of Belmondo and Amy Robinson instead of Jean Seberg or Jeanne Moreau. Its simply kinetic and realistic. And timely. The movie hasn’t aged, except for perhaps the sequence where the two Riverdale kids get swindled out of the firecracker money.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Second Verse, Same as The First (but shorter)

So I went back to NYC, early July. You may remember that I had this period of wirelessness while I was out here in CA before I left. Stir crazy, restless, wireless nights.

Well, they are back. Or they were.

I woke up this morning to a familiar phenomenon. I had no wireless connection. Not only that, but the wireless router was not even showing on Airport. Ugh. I thought that maybe the router had been unplugged or something.

I was right. But when I went to the main house this AM to check it out, all the doors were locked, a first. I don’t have keys to the main house, so I couldn’t get in to see what the story was.

Story was….

Someone broke into the main house and stole a laptop and the router itself at around 5AM. They also took a cable box. It was someone who knows the ppl in the main house, I think, because whoever it was seems to have been very specific in their theft and also, they weren’t afraid of any of the three dogs that live in the house.

Anyway, so when I finally got in this afternoon, the router was missing. I thought maybe someone had returned it? No clue. But when I found out what happened, I bounced down to Best Buy and had to drop another hundred to get a new one. Im a little incredulous that I am actually back up and online. It took about an hour to reconfigure, and here I am, poorer but still connected.

Bastardos.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Grumpster's Hollywood Reporter Article today

Hollywood Reporter Exclusive, by Gregg Goldstein
NEW YORK -- Dominique Swain will star in "Slaughter," the first film to be made from a Slamdance Film Festival Horror Screenplay Competition winner.

Maverick Films genre arm Maverick Red and Angel Baby Entertainment will finance and co-produce Nathan Brookes and Bobby Lee Darby's winning script, with Victor Garcia attached to direct.

Swain will play a young actress who travels to a remote desert location to shoot a film called "Slaughter," only to discover she and her co-stars have been cast in a snuff film and must fight to survive.

Principal photography will begin this month in Los Angeles. Maverick and Angel Baby, in association with Slamdance, will finance and co-produce a total of three features based on each year's prize-winning entry.

Maverick's Guy Oseary, Mark Morgan and Eric Thompson will produce each film with Angel Baby partners Gregory Segal and John Andrew Gallagher and Slamdance president Peter Baxter. Maverick's Cheri Wozniak will executive produce the films. The horror script contest is overseen by Slamdance's John Stoddard and Baxter.

Garcia recently helmed "Return to House on Haunted Hill" for Dark Castle Entertainment and Warner Bros. and the online serial "30 Days of Night: Blood Trails" for Ghost House Pictures. Maverick and Angel Baby have director Gallagher's feature "Digger" in preproduction for a fall shoot.

Swain's credits include "Alpha Dog," "Stiletto" and "Lolita." She is repped by APA and Michael Garnett at Leverage Management. Garcia is repped by UTA and William Lowery at Underground Film and Management.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Airplane Bloggin’: The Walking Dead Edition

So its been a while since I had an airplane blog. I think I spent more uninterrupted time in New York City that I have all year, maybe longer than that. It certainly feels like more time has passed since such an entry.

Also feels like I am typing in slow motion – took a pill for flight anxiety (I am, post-9.11, a passable but not the most comfortable flier), and lets say two things about it. First it works, and I slept the first four hours or so of this flight. Literally feel asleep during takeoff, my moment of typical greatest anxiety I don’t even remember it. Just taxi-ing and next thing, I woke up momentarily over Tennessee. Daddy like.

Second, I have this entirely mellow feeling. I know it will be short lived, I can already feel it wearing off a bit, like the sleepiness did, though maybe I can catch one more nap before I am descending into Burbank.

Modern meds. Use them responsibility and enjoy. The whole travel situation had the capactity to be annoying. I brought a gift from J with me. Didn’t even think about it. Well apparently, it was over the permitted toiletries limit and I couldn’t bring it on the plane, in case I decided to play Richard Reid with my aftershave. I hadn’t planned on it, but they were not buying it. To complicate matters, my ticket had the pre-screening mark on it. That means I was preselected for extra harassment and wanding beyond the more typical screening and Xray that we all enjoy as we head through. When my contraband was discovered though, I was left with the choice of throwing them out (and they weren’t cheap, and were a gift that has some sentimental value to me).

Alternatively, I could head back through security, check the items in a box, which meant that I would have to head back through the whole security check thing again and then, in Burbank, wait for checked luggage – which I never do because I keep clothing and other belongings in Cali so I don’t have anything to carry beyond computers and ipods and cel phones etc.

So as previous texts would indicate, the disconnection process which was supposed to begin with this trip instead was quickly brought into stark relief. Would I endure the hassle to save the gift or would I just dump them in the garbage. I have a feeling that, er, feelings aside, I would have dumped it all to get on the plane. BUT NOOOOO. So I head back through security and do the whole thing (which was not so bad except for now having to wait at Burbank for luggage.

I told J the story while I was waiting for the flight. We’re quite candid with each other about our mental processes (I may be a little more, but I am also a better listener, so I hear more than she’s telling me sometimes, to her occasional chagrin and amazement).

I cannot say how I otherwise feel. I am a little floatie from the drug. Nothing seems to be bothering me too much. I believe, Chillin, would be the right description. And its difficult to get would up about stuff when you’re asleep at 38,000 feet.

Slaughter production office should be open tomorrow I hope. Its kinda far from my apt., but whatever. Not the biggest deal. I’ll be happy to get in the trenches and let the blood start flowing.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Daniel Day Lewis Is The Man

Lewis, always a chameleon, in this trailer for the new PT Anderson movie. He sounds like Jack Palance to me, though people are saying John Huston.