Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sonoma Adventures!!!

Hey Guys,
We are back from an Inspireing trip to Sonoma International Film Fest. I took off both Thursday and Friday
We drove up with our Composer{Robert Litton} who actually did all of the driveing. Nice for us.......We Arrived and picked out some films for the weekend we would like to see off a nicely put together schedule. We also were just In time the Opening Film "The Answer Man"It was a great start to the fest.....because we were Filmakers and we had full access to all of the Shows with no waiting in line.{Loooong Lines}
Speaking of lines.....before we knew we had access I was waiting in line when a woman struck up a conversation with me.....she asked what film I made {GLD}and then she said " I just saw this on the flight from New York" How cool is that.....
she told us she voted for it and that she watched it twice. The Delta Showing has been an amazeing Exposure for our Film. I would have never guessed how far reaching it would be.

The first film was in the Sabastiani Theatre which was a bueatifull old theatre with HIGH ceilings and lots of Energy-excitement. The film was very was the Audiance..... and it kicked off a High Quality of cinema that maintained throughout most of the fest. One thing they had us do each film was take a ballot and Vote on the films we just saw. 1 to 5....bad to Great...We voted and moved on.

After being part of the opening we had a dinner break then off to our Complimentary Houseing. This was a super cool benefit of being part of a bigger fest. They gave us a Free Pool House surrounded by Vineyards....It also had an awesome Giant pool POWER SHOWER which we took full advantage of.

DAY 2-As the next day started we met up with Robert who was staying with his family in Walnut creek. He had organized a lunch date with Leslie -who did the Mixing from our score- at Skywalker Ranch....AWESOME!! I was definately excited about the possible coolness of the experiance but I had no Idea just how cool it would be.
We drove there through bueatifull Rolling GREEN hills and arrived at the Gate. After Robert Used his Jedi Mind Trick on the guards and we were allowed access to the Mighty Ranch.... Robert Turned on the Radio which Blasted the Opening theme to Star wars....Ha! It was a well planned Joke that was appreciated by my dorkness and set up a fun time.

This place is really a has Horses , Lakes , Vineyards....Barns , Covered Bridges. We parked and went into the Leslies Building....which was just down the main street from the Main House which is where George works and a bunch of the treasures from his films can be found.

We walked into bueatifull woodwork and sunshine rays main room and met Leslie.
She had to give Some Pixar People a little Audio tour so we just sat for a bit{They just finished the movie -Up} Skywalker did the sound for it like most major films these days. While walking around the Buildings there are Posters from tons of old movies that I never even heard of. I imagine a bunch of them had a special place in Georges heart since they were sci fi- wartime or big romance movies. We hung out for a bit and then she took us to the main House where we were to grab lunch. As you walk up you see the House of course. Then You see this amazeing Porch.And this Amazing Main area.
On the way in the main house We passed a Bunch of cases with some of the Most famous props from Film History. I was really excited to see an ATAT in well as the Indy Hat....and Willow props. Leslie treated us to lunch and conversation....then she took us around the house for the big tour. We went to the famous Skywalker Library....This place is amazeing!!!! It looks like its straight out of Hogwarts from Harry potter. Bueatifull Wood....and Design. This is where shel was offered to come down for a few days to write and research for our feature film we've been working on. She was incredibly inspired by this and was completely Stoked on Skywalker Ranch!
so .....

as we returned to the Sound building Leslie wanted to see Our Film....which we happened to have a copy of in shels purse. I figured wed watch it on a tv it was much to my suprise when she took us into the Main SUPER MEGA POWERFULL THEATRE!!!!
???What??? are you serious??? we got our seats and watched a Skywalker Demo reel that was being played for the Pixar people.....then......

Our film Started......Strummm...chain drop!! we were in the middle of the theatre and I felt myself leaning back in the SUPER MEGA POWERFULL COZY seats!!!It was Huge and it was Beeeeeueatifull! Wow heart was beating Boom Boom....Boom Boom. .

It plays and it looks-sounds great! And a Dream experiance is had. We screened at Skywalker Ranch . Damm...Dream stuff guys! I feel so freakin fortunate. Leslie really liked the film and she took us to the Scoring stage before we left.It was an amazeing Huge and Inspireing space....How many amazing scores were captured here? I can only imagine.
What A day guys...and this is just Lunch....We go out to the dock and take a few pics before we leave....POWERFULL! So....back to the Film fest.

We arrive back in Sononma....ready for our first Picked screening of a Russian film called "Mermaid" (original title, RUSALKA) by Anna Melikyan 2007 . This was our second film and I lOVED it! Wow ...2 for 2 guys. This film sucked me in right away....and I was Hooked the whole ride. Such an Inspireing - Artistically -storytelling wise film.
I gave it a 5 ....GREAT!

This was a whole different class of films at this fest. It was really exciteing to think of what was ahead.

Because they give you an Hour and a half between films....We walked and talked about likes and dislikes....and then grabbed some mexican food.....before the next show.

Next up was a film called Punching the Clown -It was pretty funny and was at the same theatre we were screening at at 9:15pm. The Crowd was nice and loose for our screening since the wine is free everywhere you go in Sonoma. They were very Loud and very excited for the showing. I was a bit concerned about attendance but it was a full house. Lines out the door.... As our Shorts Block started the crowd cheered Heavily for the coming films. It started with a very artsy film that the crowd didnt quite know what to think of....ha! They clapped politely and the next film started which was very entertaining{ I Kicked Luis Guzman in the Face }
.This was more of a crowd pleaser but it ended very darkly. There were a couple more DARK - films then GLD played.
The crowd was very very Into the could feel a thick energy in the air as the film went on and they became more and more invested in Gerald. The crowd was offering many comments like{Do you see the scratches on the wall} ...they were really digging it

. They watched and fell completely on their butts when the little girl sees the puppies and we pull the rug out!!??? Huge collective GROAN!!!! Awwwwww.....dammm...OUCH...Ohh no?? {He he!! Film makeing is so fun!}This is where the audiance got a bit worried. They did not do that. Is Gerald going to Die? With the types of films at most fests you have to wonder. There was an incredibly Thick Silence and tension in the room as the Music cut out and Edwardo walked by.

You could feel them holding there breath the music came back in...a giant sigh came into the room as the music said it was going to be alright. The film ended and The Audiance ERRUPTED into applause. This was the most Liquored up Vocal clapping Responce of the evening!! They started up from there seats and we got a standing Ovation.WOW!!!!! I could see the excitement on Roberts and Shels Faces...dang. What a reaction.

One thing about most festivals in our experiance so far that the majority of films are VERY DARK......Depressing even.Its hard for me to sit through that much darkness. Our film was like oxygen to a Diver trapped under water..and they appreciated it. It was an amazeing cap to an amazeing day. The rest of the show was pretty Dark and Heavy as we waited for the Q and A.

It ended and we went up for questioning. Alot of the filmmakers were it was cool for the audiance to interact . We talked a little bit about the production which opens up alot of people with questions . One thing about animation is that most people have'nt got a real clear idea as to how much time it actually takes to create.Especially stopmotion. They enjoyed our talk and could easily tell we love the craft and working together.

This was after midnight now so we made our way home for Another POWER Shower and then hit the sack for a early film the next day.

DAY 3-

early the next morning....We saw a cool documentary on Being a Screen was chock full of experiances and advice on the whole process. Very educational and very inspireing!

We had our second showing soon {12:30}so we met up with Robert for our lunch. He stayed in Walnut creek with his folks so he commuted in every day. Because we didnt want to sit through the films we just saw last night again we decided to Pick out the films we definately want to see when we are at The Tribecca Film Fest. They provide 6 guarenteed seats to all filmakers and it was our last day to pick. We picked out or films while robert watched the films again.....we waited to hear our music then Poped in to watch the screening.

This screening was different for 2 reasons - They changed the order of the films {Put ours Last}.....and it was too early in the day for such dark films...ha! So from a sold out Showing by the time the last film played- ours - a quarter of the audiance had walked out. Ohh well....I think the programmer wanted to leave the audiance with a Hopefull happy taste in their minds instead of all those Heavy depressed feelings.

So We stood in the back with shel leaned into me and my arms wraped around her.She could feel first hand how excited I get watching a film I made with an audiance..She could literally feel my heart pounding into her back as we went throught the film. I could feel it to...I didnt even know it was that Pounding....untill I felt her pressure on my chest.

Thats how much emotional investment I have after seeing the film a hundred times...Makes me wonder if Ill always feel that way.

The Showing went great again and we went right into the Q and A....lots of questions answered and people so happy we had a happy ending. The person who ran the MIC had runny makeup from crying and a bit embarrased....admitted to crying every time she watches our film. POWERFULL indeed!! Thats priceless right there.

after that it was lunch then a {Getting your Script Made Panel} This was another excellent and inspireing few hours.....Getting financeing is huge for filmakers...and this was talked about in many ways. We took lots of notes from the very experianced panel and went for another good long walk. We had a hard decision to make....

were we going to go to the evening with Bruce Willlis Event?
Neither of us really wanted to go....but it might be an opporotunity to find people that like our film and our interested in working with us....Alrrright...I guess

well go.

We went and it was pretty fluff filled. Amy Mann -A singer interviewed Bruce willis while showing clips of his films from the last 30 years. It was silly but it was just more adventures for us to undertake and experiance. After that it was obvious we didnt really need to attend the After Party.

We got Japanese food instead....then We decided to see another block of short films. This block had 3 animated films in it which was exciteing. Thats pretty much as cool as it got. This was a particularly Depressing group of films...Yuck! Except for {Crank Balls} a stop motion animated film...most of the rest were dark and dank.There was one Dark film that was a great piece of filmmakeing though.{Next Floor} from canada. It was an excellent film on all levels.

we packed it in after that and thought wed make one last stop before called it a day.We would show up for the last 15 minuets of the After Party. We'd walk through and see what it was actually about. We arrived to a HUGE winery with live music and tons of people. We said hey to a few familiar faces and at a cupcake.

One of the Directors was there and he talked to us for a bit. He told us there was no animation Award at this fest.....? Awwww.....we didnt know that...too bad... cause we had a serious shot if it existed.

ohh well...It was another great day.POWER SHOWER.....Activate!!!

DAY 4-

Here we are on our 4th Day....we sleep in and go for a walk and its off to a {PITCH Panel}
Shel was really in bizness mode and looking for new knowledge to soak up for our future in filmmakeing.
In this panel - filmmakers could pitch their ideas to a group of professionals who would critic and answer questions. The coolest part is you got to hear and watch everyones pitch.
MEGA learnages right there. Many filmakers pitched a film and the Shel went up for some questioning of the experts on how do you get to the point where you even get a chance to pitch.

They had many ideas on getting our Story to the right people but the main way was through networking and haveing work that does the talking for you. Award winning films dont hurt .

Great Panel....EVEN MORE INSPIRED!! and we were ready to leave for Los Angeles....

Before we drove home we Had to pick up Robert and have dinner with his family. It was an awesome dinner with his Parents... Brother .. Miko his wife and the Kids...Uki and Ko.

It was really fun...and we Pitched our newest cartoon to the family which they really enjoyed as did the little ones. Uki said...."I like his Storys".....that meant the world to me.Watching the kids and family respond to our story makes it so clear that this is exactly what I want to do in Life....Tell Storys through animation.

On the road again....

back to LA......Fun adventure had.
Livin life people...its freakin exciteing stuff.



UbaTuber said...

Holy crap, you screened at Skywalker Ranch?!?! So freakin' cool....congrats you guys :)

John Pierro said...

Magical Adventure! Success breeds more success, so refreshing to hear such passion and optimism! Thanks for sharing the wonderful story and pics. Amy Mann? She might not be an optimist by any means but, love her voice and music. Stay on your happy magic trail guys.

Alonso said...

I'm glad you look like your in shape, cuz all this heart pounding makes me worried about you :P

That's one of the things I really appreciate about your film, it's not all dark and wallowy, there's plenty of dark already in the world, it's good for the storytelling shamans to remind us of the light.

Sounds like a great adventure! Looking forwards to hearing more about your upcoming films`

Shelley Noble said...

The way you and Shel live it, it sure is, bro. What a wild ride. Rock on. (loved the things added into the Ranch pix)

rich johnson said...

hahahahaha.....and cry..and back to hahahahaha.... and big ass grin on my face...

that's pretty much what happened tp me when I read this thread.

You guys need your own tv show. ha. Love the pic of you and shel jumping up in the air on the deck. so funny.

Congrats you guys!

Gregory Sesma said...

Man, you guys sure have a lot of adventures.

Robert Litton said...

Dood...I still can't believe what a jerk-off that squirrel was. Cruz'n around like he OWNED the place!

jriggity said...

{Uba}- Dream I didnt know I had. Ha!

{John} will do.

{Alonso}Ha! I definately get invested in my artwork...more adventures to come.

{Herself}adding what to the picstures? Ha!

{Rich}Im glad you like the postage....We love jumping off things too.

{Greg}- Child of the 80's....Goonies is King...adventures is mandatory

{Robert} - Yeah that squirrel was a Punk. Hes got some kind of a napoleon thing going on.


Ken A. Priebe said...

Awesome trip! Would love to see all that Star Wars stuff one day. Sounds like a great time.

You're come short films at these things are always so depressing?

amoebaboy said...

wow ! thats just incredible.
what an experience you guys are going to go far.

Mad Max Winston said...

Yup, that's where I grew up... except not at skywalker ranch! Never got to go there. Glad you enjoyed good ol' slownoma.

ratrp said...

does anyone know where nofdy is at the moment. he hasn't posted for ages

Mike Adair said...

Awe, man! If you only had a bag of sand that idol couldn've been yours! But then there's those poisen darts.

Looks like you guys had a well deserved blast.

Ryan McCulloch said... happy for you guys. and you will go far because your films have the right perspective and attitude and make people feel good.

Anonymous said...

Crankballs is on Youtube!

Really well animated.

I'm glad you're getting so much exposure, Jriggity. It kicks ass to see how far you've come since you posted your first animations on StopMoShorts.