Let’s go ahead and ignore the fact that I haven’t posted since March.
Hey, speaking of short film premieres in the Washington, DC metro area…
If you live in or around DC and you enjoy indie films, my buddies over at HMD Films are premiering a few short films that they’ve produced over the last year or so (including the one I wrote and co-produced, Bagmen). Details are below, or you can check out the HMD Films 2014 Showcase event page on Facebook for more information.
Date: Thursday, September 25, 2014
Time: 8:00 PM
Location: Angelika Film Center – Mosiac District, 2911 District Ave, Fairfax, VA 22031
Tickets: $5 online at Brown Paper Tickets (George Mason University students get in free with a student ID).
See YOU there!
To add to the random non-sitcom-related websites that I’ll be writing for, take a peek at Smash Cut Culture. I could tell you about it, but you’d probably just glaze over after “pop-culture/film blog,” so just read their About page. My addiction to Food Network and love of movies spawned my first post for them, so check it out:
I’ve been going through some serious Breaking Bad withdrawal recently. So, I decided to feed the addiction by writing a blog post for HMD Films:
Also, this is fun.
I wrote a blog post about my experience producing BAGMEN, a short drama that I wrote for my buddy Nathan McFarland to direct. It was a lot of work, but ended up being a lot of fun. I’ll eventually post a link to the short after editing is done, but for now you can check out the blog post here on the HMD Films website.
Every 98 minutes, a dog is shot by law enforcement.
That’s kind of a shocking statistic. And it’s only more shocking when you actually look behind the data and delve into the stories behind the numbers. When I first learned what puppycide was, my mind originally jumped to the idea of police officers accidentally shooting rottweilers and pit bulls during drug busts and gang shootouts. But then you start to look at the headlines…
Apparently, this type of thing happens all the time. And that’s why Patrick Reasonover and Michael Ozias (of Ozymandias Media) are making PUPPYCIDE: The Documentary. I met Patrick at the Taliesin Nexus Filmmakers Workshop (see my previous post about the workshop). Okay, “met” does not do it justice, because he is the President of the non-profit organization behind the workshop. So, he’s partly responsible for helping many young filmmakers connect with professionals in the entertainment industry and allowing them to have a kick-ass time in LA. Patrick is a great guy and I feel good knowing that he’s behind this project.
Back to PUPPYCIDE… It’s easy to point the blame at cowboy-headed shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later police officers, but PUPPYCIDE: The Documentary looks to create awareness about the issue to help bring about better training for law enforcement offers. The truth is that law enforcement offers have to make split second decisions about their own safety and without the proper training on how to handle unfamiliar dogs, the dogs are the ones that end up on the wrong side of that decision.
I encourage anyone (especially dog owners/lovers) to visit their Kickstarter page to learn more about the documentary and the research that they’ve already conducted. Their trailer and info page do an outstanding job of explaining the issue and why you should support it.
Why do I support the project? Because of this guy:
I’m going to eventually update the theme for this blog and re-arrange some stuff. If anyone happens to notice any broken links on old posts, please let me know so I can fix them.
It’s been while since I’ve done a Q&A, so I figured I’d drag one of my new Taliesin Nexus buddies into an interview. Rich Camp is wrapping up (i.e. only four days left!) an Indiegogo campaign to fund his comedy webseries, A Guy Going Crazy. Rich has been very active on Facebook and Twitter promoting the campaign, so I hope his hard work doesn’t go to waste. He’s not afraid to go the extra mile to get people to fund, as he’s already eaten five whole raw jalapenos and embarrassed himself singing pop songs. Let’s meet Rich:
The Writer: Rich Camp
Evan (ES): Tell everyone a little bit about yourself…Who ARE you?
Rich Camp (RC): I’m a hopeless comedian. I saw Adam Sandler’s films as a kid and that was what sparked it all. I got into SNL and from there it was non-stop movies and comedy. I made stuff with friends and, as the most excited one, I always learned the different aspects (from writing to editing) just to make things happen. This has developed into me being well-rounded in the field and having written, directed, edited and produced a lot of my own work. It’s kind of a gift and a curse, because I can do all those things when needed but I only want to write and perform comedy.
ES: Your bio says that you have worked for Comedy Central and The Cooking Channel – What jobs did you have for those networks and what was the experience like?
RC: On Comedy Central I was brought in with a friend to re-edit a web show they didn’t like the direction of. It was a cool experience because it was such a loose show — semi-reality based — and had a loose script so we were able to sort of write in post-production, reworking all the footage into something funny. On The Cooking Channel I was an AD and AE, so I traveled with the production, helping on set then went back and set up all the edits for the real editors. It was a great experience and I met great people. I also was able to write an episode which included writing the voice overs and set-ups. It was pretty interesting.
ES: Do you have plans to move to New York or Los Angeles any time soon?
RC: I do have a plan to move soon. While living in Rhode Island has been great for writing and producing my own content. I have been spending a lot of time in New York and LA networking, so I want to keep that going. I am hoping that between A Guy Going Crazy and So This Is Something I can establish myself with a portfolio along with my writing samples to showcase my abilities.
ES: What television shows are you currently watching?
RC: I feel TV is currently transitioningl. I’m usually a big NBC comedy block fan, but there’s been a lot of changes. I like Modern Family, Parks & Rec, 30 Rock…stuff like that. I’ve been watching different shows on Hulu and getting into them only for the shows to be cancelled. Like Goodwin Games.
ES: What specs have you written and/or what shows do you plan to spec next?
RC: I’ve written a bunch. I wrote a 30 Rock, Always Sunny, and 2 Broke Girls. Most recently I wrote a Modern Family spec. I usually use the fellowships in the spring to force me to write a new one. Most recently I’ve been writing my web show which is great practice for TV. Plus I’ve written a pilot, Substitutes, with my writing partner Anthony Giambusso. Plus we’re working on some other pilots at the time. No new spec plans at the moment.
ES: I hear you are quite the reclaimed wood carpenter. That’s not a question, I just want to post a picture of the cool desk you made.
ES: What is your favorite food?
RC: Pasta, all the way. But I will basically eat anything.
ES: Dogs or cats?
RC: Neither. Allergic to both despite growing up surrounded by multiples of each. It’s been torture. But, sadly, I do love animals.
The Project: A Guy Going Crazy
ES: What’s your project about?
RC: It’s semi-autobiographical. I’ve always made movies with different people and there’s been such absurd situations and the emotional highs and lows I go through. I have always wanted to document that, so I wrote this web show. I think it’s a perfect web show, because, between the characters and it being my own life, I could write seasons of this without any issues at all. There’s always absurd things happening and always ridiculous characters I’m meeting, that it just builds over time.
ES: How long did it take to write the scripts?
RC: The scripts took me about a month for the first drafts, but they’ve gone through many rewrites. After watching multiple web shows and learning more about the format, I have changed them. They’ve been in a constant state of being worked on since November 2012.
ES: Why should anyone donate to help you make it?
RC: I’ve made two features, plus a lot of sketches and shorts. I’ve worked professionally. And through all of this, I never had a budget nor any help. I taught myself how to do things just so I could make it happen. I thought of it as all my own personal education and with each project I got better and learned more. My most recent film, which was 2010 was so close to perfect. The only thing holding it back was time, crew, and help on aspects I just cannot feasibly master on my own. No one can be great at everything and I’m far from great at most things. With the donations we will get the proper equipment, hire crew than can assure we have professional audio, visuals and editing. All these other projects have been building to this one moment, to this project. All I’ve learned has gone into this one. Now that I’ve developed the skills I’m asking people to help me in making this the best project it can be.
ES: How did you come up with the budget?
RC: The budget is based on figuring out exactly what I would need to hire the right crew that can deliver professional services. It also incorporates any equipment rentals and purchases that would benefit the final show. Nothing is superfluous, anything we purchase will directly go towards making the production more efficient, which will allow us to focus on delivering a better product. I’ve learned from experience and failures to what would help keep things moving along and functioning without getting in the way. I tried doing sound myself along with a cameraman in the past with very cheap equipment; however, when I went back to the editing room I found out that the audio was unusable. So it will go towards things like that, which will directly help us keep quality at the same level as you’d see on TV.
ES: What if you don’t meet your $6,850 goal?
RC: If we don’t meet the goal, I will do everything I can. I’ve never let anything come in my way, I’ve always just put in the extra effort and made it happen myself without money. The difference is with the full budget we will be able to assure there are no mistakes. We made the last film and while most of it worked well, the audio situations as a non-professional (that I couldn’t handle) had to be dubbed and I did that myself (without proper equipment or skills) and the end result I feel does take the project down a notch. So the show will go on at this point due to the nearly year’s worth of work already into it, but with a full budget we can achieve the goals we’ve had for years in producing something stellar.
ES: You’ve been very active on Facebook promoting the campaign. Have you lost any Facebook friends since you started?
RC: Haha, I feel bad utilizing Facebook so much, but over the years with all my work I have built a pretty supportive group. While I know they’ve endured some earlier work that was just not up to par, they’ve been with me over the years and grown. Not to toot my own horn but people can see my ambition and even new people will recognize that and offer their help on set or promoting.
ES: The project is deemed a “Verified Nonprofit” – How do you set that up?
RC: There a lot of ways to do that. This project was chosen based on the scripts for a fellowship through Moving Picture Institute that invites you into a network and can help you along the way. Via that fellowship I was able to get nonprofit status, which has seemed to help, as more people are happy to learn of the tax deduction [Yes, I'd much rather give Rich my money and the IRS].
ES: After this project, what else do you have planned for the future?
RC: I would love to develop a bigger following for this show and have the fans demand a second season. If that was to happen I could have scripts ready immediately, since I’ve been developing new ideas this whole time. Aside from that I am planning to move to NYC or LA and continuing my education and performing at UCB, network and continue to produce sketches along with So This Is Something. I feel at this time we have the ability to create awesome content and get it out there, but beyond the potential for the viral success, we can also build a portfolio that can “wow” the industry when they ask what we’re capable of.
Thanks to Rich for taking the time to answer these questions. It’s always nice to see fellow filmmakers out there just getting shit done. If you have a few bucks, help support his campaign; otherwise you can feel free to drop Rich a line: