Debbie Cerda's blog

Update on 'Red, White and Blue'


SimonHeadShot July 7, 2009 by debbiesnax on FlickrIt's not quite three weeks since Jenn and I blogged about our experiences during the Austin filming of the slacker revenge movie Red, White and Blue. In a recent email, writer/director Simon Rumley revealed that he has already edited over half the film. This is pretty amazing considering he'd been too busy shooting while in Austin to get into the editing suite, and needed some time back in London to recuperate from his first film experience in Texas.

Here's more from Simon:

What was it like filming in Texas during the summer?
Before I came to Austin, everyone was saying how hot it was going to be so I was kind of prepared for the heat and I kept asking "Is it going to get hotter!?" and everyone kept saying yes! In the end we shot on one day when the temperature reached 110 and all the crew kept going, "Oh my God, it's so hot!" but actually, it wasn't clammy. It was a dry heat so compared with a sometime London or, say, New York summer, it was a very bearable climate. Added to this that DP (Director of Photography) Milton Kam is originally from the Tropical Suriname and Noah Taylor, the lead actor playing Nate is originally from Australia. The producer Bob although from London (and probably because of this), was very keen on tanning himself semi-naked at any given chance. I think we adapted to the Texan heat much better than the Texans we were working with! That said I did quite often get severely sun-burnt!

Quick Snaps: The Daze at 'Bandslam'

The Daze by Debbie Cerda

Bandslam premiered in Austin Tuesday evening, and moviegoers were treated to live performances by two local bands featured in the film's battle of the bands competition. We'll have more on this special screening soon, including an interview with members of The Daze and local radio personality Bobby Bones from 96.7 KISS FM, who also played a small role in Bandslam.

[Photo Credit: (L-R) On the Red Carpet with The Daze members Chris Ritchie, Aaron Lemke, Evan Butts by Debbie Cerda]

Lights. Camera. Help. Fest Announces Winners


Layton Blaylock and Rich Vazquez by Debbie Cerda

The first annual Lights. Camera. Help. Film Festival featuring non-profit and cause-related films was held this weekend, along with a wrap party Sunday night at the New Movement Theatre where the winning submission was announced.

Congratulations goes out to Layton Blaylock for his winning submission Art from the Streets, a feature-length documentary about a program for homeless artists, also called Art From the Streets. This program was established in Austin in 1991 with the goal of providing a safe and nurturing environment for homeless people to produce art. Program volunteers accomplish this mission by sponsoring twice weekly art "classes" and an annual show where artists sell their work.

The film tracks five of the artists over the course of a year, showing homeless camps, the daily challenges of street life, and the strengths of human character. At the two-day art exhibit held each November here in Austin, the artists' work is sold. There the artists interact with people in a rare but positive environment.

This Weekend: First "Lights. Camera. Help." Fest


Lights. Camera. Help. FestivalI was fortunate to meet David Neff, Director of Web and Interactive Strategy for the American Cancer Society and the main man behind Sharing when he presented his "User Generated Content: Listen Up or Fade Away" talk at BarCampAustin III last year. I was quite excited when David started talking about his new project, the Lights. Camera. Help. festival. It comes as no surprise that one of the local advocates of "Social Media for Social Good" would put ideas into action by hosting a film festival dedicated to social causes.

Tickets are still available for the Lights. Camera. Help. festival, which will run Friday and Saturday evenings with a wrap-up party on Sunday. Check the fest website for more details, including the lineup.

Lebowski Fest returns to Austin in October


Bowling, Costumes, Trivia, What-Have-You, by slight on FlickrIt is time for me to confess that I think all the men in The Big Lebowski are sexy. There's Jesus Quintana, with his tight-fitting coveralls and the tongue action before he throws his bowling ball, Steve Buscemi with his quirky expression, and of course the the Dude himself with his virile sperm. Although John Goodman's character Walter is a bit less desirable, I have had a secret crush on him since I first saw him in True Stories. Therefore I am always excited when The Big Lebowski screens in Austin, especially if it involves white russians and bowling.

Lebowski Fest has hit the road for a tour of 15 cities across America, with the final stop in Austin, Texas on October 9-10. The first night of the local fest will include a movie party with special guests and a screening of The Big Lebowski at Stubb's Amphitheatre. The second night features a bowling party at Highland Lanes that will include costumes, trivia and other contests.

More details from the Lebowski Fest website:

Review: G-Force


With numerous jam-packed action films to his name, producer Jerry Bruckheimer brings his first 3-D film to the screen with the comedy adventure G-Force, which opens in theaters Friday. Through the effective use of Disney Digital 3-D and projectors using Texas Instruments' Digital Light Processing device, viewers feel like they are part of the action. I jumped a couple of times when an insect almost seemed to fly directly over my shoulder and into the screen. The visual effects were quite convincing to the point of my "suspension of disbelief" kicking in. The only time I thought, "Did they get that right?" was the need to count whether a dancing roach had the proper placement of his three pair of legs (don't get me started about the factual errors in Antz).

The story is simplistic, and immediate -- a covert government program trains animals, including guinea pigs, to work in espionage with the use of high-tech spy equipment that would make James Bond cringe with envy. The program is about to be shut down, so the G-Force decide to prove themselves to upper management through a covert mission to prevent global domination.

Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund Reviewers and Screenings


The Austin Film Society (AFS) has announced this year's Texas Filmmakers' Production Fund (TFPF) review panel: Oscar nominee Sam Green (The Weather Underground); Independent Spirit Award nominee So Yong Kim (In Between Days, Treeless Mountain); and Mike Plante, Director of Programming of the CineVegas Film Festival.

In August, the TFPF review panel will convene in Austin to review applications and administer awards. AFS will announce the awards on August 17.

During the panelists' visit, the Austin Film Society will present special screenings of their films:

  • August 12, 7 pm - So Yong Kim's Treeless Mountain, Alamo S. Lamar
  • August 12, 9:25 pm - Sam Green's The Weather Underground, Alamo S. Lamar
  • August 13, 7 pm - Docs-in-Progress screening of Mike Plante's Be Like An Ant, Austin Studios Screening Room

Admission is free for both AFS members and nonmembers but reservations are suggested. Tickets can be reserved online via the AFS website.

Red, White and Blue: Part Two -- On the Set


RWB slateContinued from Part One ...

Having a film crew and cast set up for two days of shooting Simon Rumley's latest film Red, White and Blue in our house was what I'd expect it would be like to have an small army moving in. Despite the small production, at least 20 people invaded our house en masse with cinematography and sound equipment, wardrobe, and makeup supplies. It was quite obvious that by day 12 of the 18-day shoot the crew knew exactly what needed to be done as they quickly set up.

Our house had been selected to be the home of slacker bandmates Alvin (Nick Ashy-Holden) and Franki (Marc Senter). Production designer Josh Crist dressed the house with band posters, Lone Star beer bottles, and other "slacker" accoutrements. My boyfriend's PA system was assembled in the garage along with a loaner drum kit. As the first scene was set up, neighbors I had never met before came out of their houses, inquisitive about the "punk rock" band playing in our garage.

Austin FilmWorks Classes for Fall


Austin FilmWorks is now accepting student registrations for the Feature Lab sequence in Fall 2009. Feature Lab is Steve Mims's demanding filmmaking class sequence that requires students to produce two short films and play a key role on a class-produced feature-length film.

Divided into three levels, Feature Lab includes introductory, intermediate and advanced courses -- Production One, Two and Three -- where students create an individual short, a group short and a group feature in an intense 16-month, four semester program.

Steve Mims is a long-time Austin filmmaker and teacher whose award-winning short films, music videos and features have screened widely in festivals and on television. As Slackerwood reported recently, Mims was awarded a Barbara Jordan Media Award for a 2008 film about dyslexia. His short film gives an insight in children's experience with this learning disability.

Volunteer for the Bicycle Film Fest


It's what gets me where I'm going by BruceTurner on FlickrThe Bicycle Film Festival is coming to Austin next month, and could use some help. More from Jillian Lobstein, Volunteer Coordinator for the Austin event:

"Bicycle Film Festival needs volunteers to work between Friday, August 7, and Sunday, August 9, to staff film venue doors, and work alley cat race check points. Volunteers will earn tickets to screenings based on the number of hours they work, but space is limited. If you're interested, send me an e-mail and let me know when you're available. I'll get back to you with more details.

"The festival is comprised mostly of short films. They're generally experimental, often documentary depictions of how bikes figure into people's lives. They're about community and enjoyment, getting personal and getting away from a mainstream culture that's become anonymous and automated.

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