FROM EUROPE TO NASHVILLE -- THE BEAT GOES ON
Finally. I'll take a breath and tell you how goes the film project.
I am still amazed at what I did in Europe -- filmed in 5 countries, including under the Eiffel tower in Paris, in Toulon in southern France... in a recording studio in Milan, Italy... in Colgne Germany at the famous Staatgarten, a music club ... and in Amsterdam, Holland where Thomas Chapin played many times from 1990 to 1996. Everything went off without a hitch. 12 new interviews to add to my 35 U.S. interviews. All for NIGHT BIRD SONG, and to help tell the Thomas Chapin story from Europe.
In Cincinnati, for 3 months . . .
I began creating an editing script. With 47 interviews that I wove together on paper, Part 1, Ascending, began to stake shape. I told the story chronologically. It took me 2 months of day in and day out, writing, and weaving to produce 150 pages of story, a chronology that was thrilling but OMG way too long!! I spent a week cutting it down as best I could, but was only able to cut it down to 132 pages. That's how much story there was!!
Preparing for a Preview in Litchfield, CT in August
The Litchfield Jazz Festival will pay tribute to Thomas Chapin in early August, and they asked me to show something. I promised a 50-min. sneak peak of my work-in-progress. So that's what I have been preparing since Cincinnati. After Litchfield, I will continue editing the film. The second half of it. Yes, we're looking at a two-hour YIKES!!! cut! But it will be later cut down for TV and educational showings. This longer cut will be be for film and jazz festival showings and other showcases.
Editing Quietly in Belmont, Vermont
Since April, I have been house sitting in the small village of Belmont in Vermont, thanks to a supporter of the arts who is allowing me this space to edit my film. I'll be here til November and hope to finish the editing by then.
NOW, FOR THE NASHVILLE STORY
WHY DID I GO??
FILM-COM is one several film markets around the world that happen once a year and is a market for filmmakers who wish to find distribution for their films and perhaps some finishing funds. This year some 100 film project were there, with execs from TV and film and video gaming.
- It's a very small market in comparison, and therefore more intimate and more accessibility.
- Day One -- registration and a VIP reception
- Day Two -- panel discussions about financing and distribution, TV movies/series, reality TV shows, documentaries, video gaming, and brutal realities. Industry Gala that night.
- Day Three and Four -- New Projects Expo. Execs dropped by our booths and discussed any questions or provided help, or made deals.
Honestly, I went there thinking I could make a deal for some finishing funds with a distributor. There were so few distributors present, a big disappointment. So no deal. But even if I had had the opportunity, I don't think I would have made a deal at this points. I realized early, as I talked to execs there, that I would be exchanging control for money, and I didn't feel it was time yet to do that. Control of your film project is really important when you are in the creating stage. Which is where I am still. Editing my film. What you don't want is someone who gives you money to control you at this stage. It's happened to me before, taking money and losing control. I guess I forgot that lesson!!!
SO WHAT DID I GET?
Lots of encouragement. Lots of affirmation. Lots of confirmation that I am on the right track as I proceed toward the finish line. Also - - - Important connections
- Panelist and film consultant Seth W. from L.A. who expressed strong interest. "I wanted to help you," he said. He had programmed jazz concerts in college (decades ago) and liked what he saw in my poster and materials. Didn't have time to sit down and watch my trailer, but asked me to email it to him, and we'd go from there.
- Panelist, producer, writer Joel E. from L.A. sat down and watched my trailer, and said, "I'd watched this!" How can I help, he asked. We discussed a couple things. He felt confident that I would get the funding I need to finish, and was going to help with one connection I need in Hollywood for funding, which he felt positive about. He said my track record spoke for itself.
- A post-production house and producer in Nashville wants to talk about me coming back to Nashville to finish my film. Nashville is a music video capital and known for its great post-production houses. I am definitely thinking about coming back here to finish my film with David D.'s post-production studio. He talked about a deal we could make and explore to get my film done.
- A Nashville lawyer watched my trailer and loved the music of Thomas Chapin. I gave him a CD, which he later told me he loves. He's going to talk to several clients who may be interested in supporting my film. Bruce R. loves jazz and is himself a musician.
- Another Nashville lawyer stopped by and watched the trailer. We talked copyright issues; he was very helpful
- Panelist and film producer Mathius G. from L.A. affirmed my progress and said I was on the right track with the right strategies. Like many others, he wants to see the finished film.
- A Nashville musician who played sax for 23 years and is now a film producer loved my project and offered to help me finish it. He is an editor and would like to be involved in the final edit. He watched the trailer and grooved to the music of Thomas Chapin. I gave him a CD and we exchanged contact info. I want to talk to him more about helping with the final edit.
- My sweet connection with Bob Farnsworth of Hummingbird Productions, which specializes in music and film fusions. He's making a sequel to IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE. Bob and I finally connected after unsuccessfully trying to connect by email before I arrived at Film-Com. By coincidence, or by Divine Connection, we connected the first night I was there following a VIP reception. He saw he waiting for a taxi outside, sitting on a bench, and came over to ask if everything was ok. I said, "I've been looking for you." After that, we connected alot! Because he is so busy producing his own film, he can't offer much help to me at this time. But he's offered to review the cuts of my film and to make helpful suggestions to make it ever better. I believe him! He has produced a lot of famous TV commercials, including the Budweiser Frogs.
So I didn't make a deal, but I got so much from going to Film-Com. New friends and connections that will help me take the next important steps to finishing the film. Was it worth it? All open doors can be, and I feel this one was indeed worth it.
- Meeting other filmmakers who are making their dreams come true was a great inspiration and a reminder of the honored and in some ways sacred path we walk, especially documentary filmmakers, as we follow our hearts and bring stories to life that can touch others, that can change others.
- I loved Nashville!! I want to go back and work with the people I met who offered their help to finish my film. Much like it is in Hawaii, the people are kind and wanting to be helpful; welcoming spirits, another non-aggressive culture.
- The panelists I met wanted to be helpful. That counts for a lot. One of them, who works with feature films, wanted to be helpful to documentary filmmakers, though they are not her kind of clients. Ann Marie, a producer from L.A., handed me and the other doc makers a handwritten list of distributors. How generous!!