The other day my friend, jttebo wanted to come up with horror spins on romantic comedies. I dunno about you but I’d see most of these.
At the last Citizen in the Temple screening someone asked me what my favorite part of the filmmaking process is. This time, right now, is one of my favorites. After all the work, years in this case, it’s a blast to screen Citizen in the Temple and talk about it with people. So if you’re reading this, thank you. Aaaaand time for me to shamelessly promote for a minute. We have Citizen in the Temple DVDs and digital downloads over in the Ten Wing Media store. If you want to support our indie film cause, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks to everyone who already picked up a copy and to everyone who attended a screening so far. The bits of interaction, the “likes” on Facebook and the Q&A’s go a long way. “A long way toward what?” you ask. Why keeping me sane of course!
Now that Citizen in the Temple is complete and my M.F.A. diploma is in hand (woohoo!) I’m turning my attention to film festivals and Indiegogo fulfillment. Backer materials will go out soon!
I listed the project on Withoutabox and FilmFreeway. I’ve always considered WAB to be a bit clunky though necessary to get that IMDB listing. FilmFreeway has a more user-friendly layout but because some fests are listed on one and not the other, I’m monitoring both. I’ll post any fest news as I hear about it. The press kit on each site calls for a director statement so I whipped one up for Citizen in the Temple. I thought I’d share that here.
I’ve lived with the sci-fi and fantasy genres my entire life. My first memory is of running in circles during TV commercials then sitting down to watch Blackstar, the predecessor to He-Man. I spent a ridiculous amount of time gaming in my teens and twenties when a person can do that sort of thing. What attracted me to gaming was the sense of adventure and the ability to create worlds so making sci-fi movies feels like a natural fit.
Citizen in the Temple is set on the fictional planet Eolan, in the city-kingdom of Nok Tiris. Society teeters on the brink of destruction. Hyper-regulated citizens live in constant fear of their shadowy rulers known as The Consortium. Jennon Ril is one of the very few citizens with the courage to envision life a different way. It is a story of defiance and the consequences of straying from society’s expectations.
Though the environment of Nok Tiris is exaggerated, issues of government regulation, individual privacy, class separation and the abuse of technology are very close to home. I’ve always been interested in these themes and I’m excited by the opportunity to explore them in Citizen in the Temple. I have a lot of stories in mind for this setting so I hope you enjoy the first glimpse!
Does it work? And yeah… Blackstar. Anybody remember that? John Blackstar was like He-Man with black hair. There was a thing called a Trobbit. That is… a hobbit that lives in a tree.
Thanks for reading this and if you haven’t seen the trailer for Citizen in the Temple yet, you can fix that right here.
I’m not a fan of long, wintery commutes. The bumper to bumper can grind on a person’s mind, right? Make them do…crazy things… To combat the frustration and boredom, I’ve been listening to more podcasts. The other day I found one with a valuable discussion on interviewing. This is from Tim Ferriss’s blog and in the show he interviews Alex Blumberg from This American Life and a few other smash hit podcasts. I think this info could be valuable to anyone who needs to conduct narrative-style, probing interviews, not just podcasters. Cultural anthropologists or documentary filmmakers might find it useful too. There’s also a great bit with Mr. Rogers talking about how he’d address tension in a rough neighborhood.
My MFA film, Citizen in the Temple, is now complete. A little while ago I sent it off to my MFA committee at DePaul University for review. They’ll need some time to watch it and take notes. Then comes the defense where we meet to discuss. If it’s approved (fingers crossed) I’ll be able to set up screenings.
I just finished a book called Show Your Work! by Austin Kleon. One of the central topics is the value of teaching your art and sharing little bits of your process (mostly via social media) as you create. This (ideally) creates engagement and tells the audience the backstory of your work. I admit for a long time I was more in the “keep it secret, keep it safe” camp. I shared a lot more early in the production simply because there were a lot of new images each week. I slowed down once we got into post. On the next project I’ll work to release tidbits a little more regularly throughout.
While I wait for the thesis defense I plan on putting together a bunch of behind the scenes stuff. I probably have 2,000 photos. I’ve got an interview and music video for the song Chris Connelly did for the movie. I’ve got behind the scenes clips from the shoot, scouting/urban exploration videos of The Dixie Square Mall (think Blues Brothers) and The Colombia Yacht Club. I also have video of our High Templar, Iris Kohl, in full make up chatting with an enthusiastic street guy outside Starbucks. I never really pointed this out but the first trailer had no finished color, sound or vfx…so I’m working on a new one. Maybe I should have released all this throughout the process but hey, technically we’re still in the process so there’s a lot of good stuff to come. Hopefully you’ll enjoy seeing a bit about how the movie came together and all the awesome people that were involved.
Got an idea where I should screen the movie? I’m all ears…eyes…I’m reading. The Logan Theater has been suggested and I plan on checking that out. Citizen in the Temple runs about 35 minutes so I might pair it up with The Drone to make an hour program. Two movies. One universe. Fun times! Thanks for reading this!
Here’s a little poster I put together. We’re gonna be at Con Alt Delete next weekend. It’s our second year there and the second year this convention has been in existence. Last year the weather was terrible and the con was in Lisle. This year…well…hopefully there won’t be as much snow and it’s at the Hyatt Rosemont. Should be a party!
A couple weeks ago we shot another episode of The Con Men at Windycon 41. It is one of Chicagoland’s oldest sci-fi conventions and the birthplace of our show in 2013. Everyone was really great and supportive and we met a lot of new friends. Chris Hutson and Paul Lyzun (the cinematographer I work with) were on hand and that made everything a lot easier. Here it is!
If you’re interested in the full interview with Lauren Faits (Geek Girl Chicago) you can check that out here. She had a lot of great stuff to say so I had to post the whole thing.
Here’s a 2 minute behind the scenes thrill ride. We’d like to pull back the curtain at every show.
What’s next? We look ahead to Con Alt Delete and finishing Citizen in the Temple! Thanks for reading this.