Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Information

Dear Friends,
Thanks SO MUCH to every person who voted, sent out a newsletter, posted a blog, forwarded emails to friends, posted on facebook, myspace, twitter, dig. Thanks to all our AMAZING team captains, members of the POTA facebook group, Hamptons Table, Dances With Films, The Valley Film Festival, Tribe Hollywood, Support Independent Film, Filmmaker's Alliance, Hollywood Mixer, Hollywood East TV, OurFilmSpace, Filmmakers Help, Friends on Netfix, OLS and to every other organization who helped.

I write this with a heavy heart. I'm really sorry to have gotten your hopes up again for nothing. Apparently in July, Ideablob partnered with an organization called Teach For America (TFA). It it now our understanding (according to the first place finalist's facebook voting page) that if any TFA Alum wins the Ideablob competition, TFA (on organization with over 20,000 Alum & Corps) will receive a gift of $5,000 from Ideablob. Needless to say, the finalists in both first place (leading by a potentially record-breaking number of votes) and second place are TFA Alums. All week POTA has been in third place -leader of all the non-TFA finalists by more than twice the votes.

Had we known that only certain finalists (excluding us) would receive a financial incentive to motivate vote-getting, we would not have entered the contest again.  And to make matters more difficult for us, it also appears that the finalist in first place (the one with the extremely high number of votes) was directly employed by TFA as "Director of Recruitment" until recently.  

I'm sorry to have gotten your hopes up another time. I honestly thought we had a great shot this time.  It's been a strange sort of parallel rallying for votes with the National Democratic Convention going on this week.  I really identified with hearing Obama speak of how it used to be that if a person worked hard for something, they would be rewarded, but America has changed.  
I  can't imagine that any two people could have worked harder than Jenn and I did, as we spent most of the past three months --beginning before June 1st--working full-time hours on this grant contest. For the heck of it I was going to count the actual number of individual emails. PMs, IMs forum listings, bulletins, phone calls, and the like I sent to people (not to mention all the thank-you's every time someone wrote to say they voted) which I believe may be well into the thousands. But I realized that would make me even more depressed, and I've spent waaayyyyy too much time on this already.  Needless to say, we are extremely disappointed, as I know you are. 

THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of your support.  Please know that we will still do whatever we can to move forward with POTA. It just may take longer than we would have liked.  I hope that one day soon our goal of creating a wide-reaching, highly accessible, free funding program for filmmakers and artists will finally become a reality.  

With love and Gratitude,

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

POTA on Blog Talk Radio

Come join Jenn and me tonight at 4:30pmPT/7:30ET for a 1-hour voting podcast-a-thon with your host Russ Ramos on Blog Talk Radio. You'll be able to call in with your questions about POTA, and cast a vote to help create a free funding program for filmmakers and artists!  The call-in number is: (347) 215-7760.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Rock the Vote for Free Indie Film Funding

Reminder: We made it to the FINALS to win a $20,000 grant, and the last round of voting is taking place RIGHT NOW! To win, we need the most votes before Sunday night, August 31st at 9pm (PT).

VOTE ASAP (before August 31st): If you voted in the first round, it will take less than 10 seconds to vote again! Just follow this link, and click the GREEN "vote" button, and then enter your logon info. If you are not registered, it will ask you to register first.

Here's the link:

What will this grant money be used for: To create a revolutionary, new, non-profit company called "Patron of the Arts" (POTA for short), which is going to create free grants for filmmakers to fund their films. Once we are up and running, this will be a program that any filmmaker or artist may apply for. This grant will fund the startup of this company.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Rest in Peace Kathryn

I hate the internet. I just found out in an email that Kathryn Skatula, (the actress who played Sam's mom in PURGATORY HOUSE) passed away. Now I'm not blaming the internet for the news, but how can such important news come in such a cold way. Maybe I should be grateful. Maybe it it were not for the internet I would never have known of Kathryn's passing. I guess I just feel very very sad. This was unexpected. Kathryn was such a lovely soul. She helped me feel like the work we were doing really made a difference in the world. (This photo is of Kathryn at our Los Angeles premiere of PURGATORY HOUSE). I'm glad she did the Q&A and will forever be remembered in our "making of" DVD. Rest in peace Kathryn.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Voting Starts Today

Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who voted in the first round. Thanks to YOUR amazing support we made it to the FINALS to win a $20,000 grant (again!) The last round of voting takes place NOW! To win, we need the most votes before Sunday night, August 31st at 9pm (PT). PLEASE VOTE ASAP (before August 31st): If you voted in the first round, it will take less than 10 seconds to vote again! Here's the link:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Magic of Life

My little neice or nephew is coming in November.  Isn't this picture amazing?!  This ultrasound was taken in July, and yet we can already see it's little face... Wild, huh? I think the baby looks like ME!  Just kidding. I'm much taller.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Filmmakers on Netflix

Come join the group Filmmakers on Netflix, and lets talk about upcoming festival screenings, our movie releases, marketing and production. Let's share stories and tips. And let's build a great online networking community of support.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Last night Katrina and I attended the World Premiere of my producer/actor friend Christo's lastest movie AUDIE & THE WOLF at the Downtown Film Festival, at the beautiful, historic Los Angeles Theater.  (I actually auditioned for this, but didn't get the part.) I had seen a private "work in progress" screening back in December, but now seeing it all finished and on the big screen was so much fun! AUDIE plays really well with an audience. Congratulations everyone!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

AMPTP / SAG Negotiations Update

The national negotiating committee met today for an update regarding informal meetings and discussions with the industry, and to discuss SAG’s options and next steps.

Expired Contract Still in Effect
The expired TV/Theatrical contract remains in effect. Actors should continue auditioning and accepting employment under the expired agreement. If you or your agent have any questions, please call the national contract department at (323) 549-6818. 

Signed SAG Guaranteed Completion Contracts (GCC) over 600
To date, 658 projects have been signed by non-AMPTP producers (AMPTP producers are not eligible to sign GCCs). The GCC agreements incorporate the terms of the current SAG theatrical agreement, and terms of any agreement reached by SAG and the AMPTP retroactively, thus allowing companies not affiliated with the AMPTP to begin motion pictures without the fear of interruption by a work stoppage. The total number of SAG covered feature films in 2007, not including ultra low budget and student films, was 1,296. Using that number as a baseline, over half the potential number of films this year have the green light to continue shooting to completion under SAG GCC agreements, no matter what happens in contract negotiations. Remember, these are not waivers, but actual contracts.

August 15 AMPTP Deadline
The AMPTP has stated that SAG must ratify the AMPTP’s June 30 proposal by August 15 for the deal to be retroactive, threatening not to agree to apply economic improvements in the new TV/Theatrical contract when the deal is done, retroactively to July 1, 2008.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Alexander Supertramp

Matt and I went camping at Jackson Lake near Wrightwood, CA, and then hiked to the nearby Big Horn Mine, at Vincent Gulch.  I felt like we were in the movie INTO THE WILD at times.  In our adventures we met a hippie couple camping nearby and shared spirits with them by a crackling, evening fire.  He was a roadie from England and she looked just like Catherine Keener.  After we called it a night and went back to our respective tents, we set the alarm for 2am.  The meteor shower was romantic.  We saw about 15 shooting stars over the course of an hour.  In the morning we set off on our hike to the mine. We expected it to be an "easy" hike, but it was pretty dog-on tough!  Hiking in the middle of the day with no shade, at a high altitude, on rock, going uphill made me very dehydrated.  I've gotta say, this was one of the most beautiful hikes I've ever been on, with views of Mt. Baldy, desolate vistas and ending at the abandoned mine shaft. We had lunch at the Grizzly Cafe', and then a Birthday lobster dinner at Delmonico's. I feel very grateful.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Shooting Stars on my Birthday

Matt and I are headed off on a little 2-day camping trip to watch the Perseids Meteor Shower, which just so happens to be best visible at 2am on the very morning of my birthday!
(August 12th) The meteor shower happens around the same time every year and can be viewed anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere.

If you want to see the meteors, go somewhere away from city lights (if possible). Bring a sleeping bag or lawn chair, kick back and watch the skies. Try to look in the direction that the sky is darkest. You will probably see a meteor about once a minute on average (fewer if your sky is light polluted). The meteors will be visible for a few days before and after the peak viewing time, so keep an eye out.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Brain Surgery

I just received shocking news from my friend Deborah Chester, (who is a brilliant rock'n'roll photographer). As I write this my jaw has fallen to the ground, and tears are in my eyes. Her beautiful daughter Jaimie, (see photo) who is an undergraduate at UC Berkley was diagnosed with "acquired hydrocephalus", and is having brain surgery on Wednesday! In order to pay the costs which her insurance will not cover, Deborah is selling copies of her amazing coffee table book Everyone I shot is Dead at wholesale. Please read Deborah's blog, and support her by praying for her daughter, and buying one of her books, if you can. She will not take handouts, but if you like her photography, now is the time to buy it. This really makes me remember how precious life is. My heart goes out to you Deborah...

About Deborah's Book: In the new coffee-table book Everybody I Shot Is Dead, Canadian photographer/author Deborah Chesher pays tribute to forty-eight musicians she shot in Vancouver and Los Angeles between 1974 and 1979, who have since passed away. With access to the world of rock’n’roll that most can only dream of, she not only captured amazing images of these legendary performers, but also personal memories and captivating behind-the-scenes stories. Chesher’s collection of over four hundred of her never-before-seen iconic photographs is accompanied by biographies and her personal reflections of a time when music was the magic that drove a generation.

Friday, August 8, 2008

We Made it to the Finals!

Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who voted in the August grant competition. Thanks to everyone's support we are up to win the $20,000 grant (Again!) The last round of voting will take place August 22-31, and we'll need your vote one final time. More details to come soon!  

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Earthquake Drill

I just learned that within the next decade Los Angeles is expected to have a 7.9 - 8.1 Earthquake. In preparation the city is organizing the largest Earthquake drill in the world. It will take place in November. They want to teach us how to prepare for taking care of ourselves for up to 4 days if we have no access to outside help. Here's a link with info: Check it out, and click on the "register" link to participate. Please forward this link to loved ones who reside in Southern Cali.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Your Birthday

Learn about your birthday here.
Just enter the date of your birth. Very fun.

Friday, August 1, 2008

DWF 2008 Wraps

I was a judge for this year's Dances With Films Festival.  Here is April Wade (left) winner of the "Audience Award" for her feature film JUNCTION at Dances with Films.  The Grand Jury prize for "Best Feature" went to RIGGED.  The Honorable mention went to ONE DAY LIKE RAIN.  All of the films were amazing!