Cape Cod Screening

Thanks to everyone who came to our Private Screening on Cape Cod!

Here are some photos from the Event: it was a packed house

Heroes of the Evangelist: Mike Lane

This week I’d like to highlight the heroic actions of Mike Lane. I met Mike when I was waiting tables at a restaurant called “Henry’s End.” Everyone knows that he is the best customer. He over compensates hilariously obnoxious comments with a generous heart. And I mean generous. He redefines the word. Here are a few examples. Mike inundates every waiter with extra tips. Mike paid the airfare for one waiter to go to see his family in Morocco. And of course Mike gave a hefty donation to our film.  There are too many stories to mention.

Here’s one of the better ones. One time, I met Mike for some dinner at a really great restaurant in New York called Blue Ribbon. I’m telling him about this girl I met and he says “invite her to have dinner with us!” I protest a few times, but he insists and I finally concede. He pays her taxi fare to come immediately. He proceeds to order Rothchild wine, steak, and lobster, gives the waiter his credit card number and then takes off. There I am with a beautiful girl and an extravagant dinner. That’s the kind of guy Mike Lane is. You thought those people only existed in ABC family Christmas specials? Think again. I feel truly blessed to know Mike Lane and he is certainly a hero of our film.

HEROES OF THE EVANGELIST

This week I wanted to highlight two people: Helen and Andy Cappuccino. Right around this time last year , we were deep in pre production for our film. The problem was that we only had about 2/3 of the budget (believe it or not, this is common). Literally in the last few weeks they swooped in, sent from God, and covered the rest of the financing for the movie. They also provided transportation cars, medical supplies for props, and delicious dinners.

Investors always feel apprehensive about backing a director who has never done a feature length film before. Helen and Andy are those rare birds willing to give a first time director a chance to prove himself and I owe my eternal gratitude for their faith! I’ve included a picture so that if you ever see them walking down the street, be sure to grovel at their feet. These are two real heroes!

(Not so) Daily Dose of Theo

If you read Esquire magazine (the issue that named Kate Beckinsale the Sexiest Woman of 2009), you might have already seen this.

This is what Theo looked like every morning on location.

(Not so) Daily Dose of Theo

Here’s a performance Theo will be doing this Friday 09.18

http://confluxfestival.org/2009/events/workshops/theodore-bouloukos/

Depeche Mode: Part 2

There’s actually nothing more to say about Depeche Mode.

However, we are pusuing Keith Green’s “Glory Lord Jesus” and possibly a few of Larry Norman’s songs.

Should be easier than Depeche Mode, right?

After all, I have Melody Green’s (Keith’s widow) e-mail address. She owns the publishing rights to his music. She’s Christian and Keith was adamant about free music–e.g. free concerts, letting his fans determine the price of his CD (Keith Green did this in the late 70’s, yet Radiohead was on the cover of Rollingstone when they did this a couple of  years ago…….hm). I wrote her an e-mail today after calling her office a few times today and yesterday. We’ll see how this turns out…

But even if she agrees, that’s only one hurdle. I would still have to clear the master recording from Sparrow records, a subsidiary of, guess who, EMI! Bands like Switchfoot are on that label. Somehow, I feel that they’d be less approachable than Melody Green.

On the upside been on the phone with a music supervisor, Bruce Rabinowitz of Feedback!, based in Los Angeles. Really nice guy. Gave me a lot of useful advice.

Music supervisors  definitely have a job for a reason. It’s a complete pain. Paper work. Negotiation. More paper work. I don’t exactly want to do that, nor do I think I should.

But here’s the problem:

Bruce would charge us $250 to clear a song (all things considered, this is a GREAT DEAL). That’s just to pay him for doing the work. He can’t guarantee that we’d get the rights for free, which means that we’d pay him for his services and pay the publisher/record company for the songs.

Within the two clearances we need to obtain–master and synchornization license (see Depeche Mode: Part 1)–we need to clear festival and broad rights. Festival rights grants us the use to exhibit the film with the song in festivals. Broad rights are for television, theatrical, DVD, etc–what brings in the money (there’s also trailer rights, but I don’t want to discuss that right now).

Bruce thinks that we might get festival rights gratis. Chances are, they’d be $200 ($100 for master, $100 for sync). Max, they’d be $500, or so Bruce thinks. Keep in mind, these are all pretty arbitrary numbers. A label will charge this much for a low-budget film, but for a big budget film, these numbers will increase. Essentially, they’ll get what they can.

Another tricky thing is the most favored nation clause. Sounds like world war III, but all it really means is that the party that gets the higher rate sets the rate for the other party. Hm, confusing sentence. I think I need to revisit The Elements of Style. But, okay, here’s an example: Say Melody Green offers us the rights gratis, but Sparrow demands $200. Now Melody gets to say, “Oh well, I’ll have to charge $200 as well.”

Fun.

Then, broad rights. These will probably be $1000-$3000 for us but can be $25,000, $50,000, etc. A distributor usually picks up this cost. Distributors usually want to know if a film’s music has clearance. The rate is the clearance and enough to satisfy a distributor, who will then pay for the song to obtain the license. While clearance can be in the form of an e-mail stating the rate, licensing requires paperwork. Again, that’s why music supervisors have jobs.

So, decisions.

Here are my options:

1) Pursue “Glory Lord Jesus” by myself

Pro: I wouldn’t have to pay $250 to Bruce and would only pay for the licensing fee.

Con: They might not even talk to me, like EMI, which means I wouldn’t pay for the song, but there’d be no song to pay for

2) Hire Bruce

Pro: He’s way better equipped to obtain clearance and handle the licensing in a fashion to prevent us from getting sued

Con: He charges $250, which would be fine if we got the rights gratis. But if not, then the song would cost anywhere between $250-$650 (or maybe even more). We can’t exactly afford $650 for the song. Well, we can, but it’s probably not worth it. If we don’t ultimately use the song, we’ve spent $250 for nothing. Going with Bruce might leave us in a lose-lose situation: $250 for nothing, or $650 for the song. Nothing isn’t worth $250 and the song isn’t worth $650.

The funny thing is, I can bemoan our low budget all day. But even if we had a big budget, this music situation will still be a challenge.

Well, we’ll find out what happens in Depeche Mode: Part III, Part 3

Visual Design Team

Courtesy of the School of Visual Arts, we now have a visual design team handling our posters, DVD covers, flyers, etc.

The team is comprised of:

Graphic Designer: Rebecca Alvarez

Illustrators: Matt Wachnicki, Julia Liu

Here are a few samples of preliminary sketches:

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