Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Here is another awesome, in-depth review from Jared Mobarak of The 10 Commandments of Chloe. Check it out after the jump:
One of the great things about independent cinema is how filmmakers on a small budget can find themselves taking audiences to places studio projects have no interest in visiting. While Nashville, TN isn’t some hole-in-the-wall dump no one knows about—Robert Altman did make a movie there in the 70s and current pop culture seems to enjoy “Nashville” on TV after all—glimpsing the city through soundstages and glamour shots doesn’t equate to the street level personality endearing it to the common man. What about the no name transplants coming to break into a music industry with barely enough money to survive until the next day’s dive bar pleading for a chance on stage? What about the struggle of life and its emotional entanglements risking to distract from that path?
Directed by Princeton Holt from a screenplay he and his star Naama Kates wrote, The 10 Commandments of Chloe is an intimate look at regular people living the day-to-day. No one here is a superstar and no one truly aspires to be one—these are working artists who follow the music and not the money. Kates’ Chloe is introduced as a woman escaping into a brand new life of opportunity with no discernable past or interest in anything but the now. Hitting up bar after bar with a demo CD inquiring about booking protocol, she begins what could quite easily become a futile cycle of patronizing, disinterested faces. Her keyboard isn’t the most compact piece of equipment or this particular clientele’s normal Southern flavor either, so she has some work ahead.
Making the journey rougher is the reality that she isn’t the most gregarious newcomer these artistic types have ever seen. The charm is lathered on when meeting a player or owner at a venue, but that willingness to open up and be accessible is trapped behind a wall of jokes and sarcasm when her career is no longer the focal point of the conversation. Chloe is not the most likeable stranger in the room and the way she treats the one person who genuinely appears to want to get to know her does nothing to help. Brandon (Jason Burkey) is drawn to her mysterious air as flirty eyes and a wry smile beckon him closer to learn more despite it being obvious she has no desire to satisfy his curiosity.
Read the full review HERE.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Our friend Christopher Odom (co-producer/cinematographer of 10 Commandments of Chloe)and his company Odom-Booker Entertainment has released their new drama/thriller feature 23rd Psalm: Redemption, that stars our friends Jason Burkey and Tatyana Ali! The film will soon be available on Redbox!
Five years have passed by and Luther still blames Detective John Smith and John's sister, whom Luther murdered, for destroying Luther's life. After being denied parole, Luther, along with two goons, escapes from prison. John, now married, is a minister and stepfather to an adolescent girl. Seeking revenge, Luther and his goons break into John's house and hold his family hostage. After hours of mental Jiu-Jitsu between John and Luther, it becomes evident that this is not going to end well. John makes a harrowing attempt to coax Luther to do the right thing - but will he do it?
Check out these free 23rd Psalm podcasts on iTunes
Follow the 23rd Psalm blog
Monday, May 6, 2013
Congrats to our friend Amos Posner for winning Outstanding Achievement In Filmmaking in the music category at the Newport Beach Film Festival. His debut feature film B-Side is currently on the festival circuit.
During a late-night broadcast an indie rock DJ makes a mean-spirited remark about a second-tier pop star, accidentally sparking an unlikely relationship when she happens to be listening to the show. With his career in jeopardy and her dispassion with her work, their romance is quickly challenged and an idyllic New York romance is put to the test as the two struggle to be in each other's life.
Here is the trailer!
B-Side Trailer from April Lamb on Vimeo.
B-Side's Official Website
B-Side's Facebook Page
B-Side on Twitter
Thursday, May 2, 2013
WOO Films held its 4th annual awards show on April 20th at Katra Bar & Lounge in NYC where films and filmmakers were celebrated for their achievements in bringing awareness and discussion to youth issues. Here are the films that were recognized:
Achievement in Acting
(Directed by Christian LaMorte)
Achievement in Visual Design
Achievement in Directing
Achievement in Producing
Orly Wahba, Luis Armada
Ting Fan, Niko Soo, Nils Aucante
Windows of Opportunity is a 501@(3) non-profit organization that coordinates programs and workshops on a regular basis that focus on building leadership skills, empowering youth, and bringing awareness to a variety of adolescent issues. WOO Films celebrates and promotes these concepts through short films, documentaries, PSA's and music videos. Visit wooinc.org for more information.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Here is a another great review of our recent film The 10 Commandments of Chloe. This one is written by the great Richard Propes from The Independent Critic. Check it out after the jump:
I have a confession.
Five minutes into Princeton Holt's The 10 Commandments of Chloe, I didn't really want to watch the film anymore.
I was already tired of Chloe (Naama Kates), an apparent mumblecore maven with attachment issues and a burning desire to be famous or a musician or a famous musician.
I was even more tired of Brandon (Jason Burkey), a young man with what feels like paint-by-number relationship fantasies that are as cloying as they are sincere.
Now then, before you start thinking that I'm being overly harsh towards the first five minutes of The 10 Commandments of Chloe, you should realize that I'm perfectly fine with feeling uncomfortable, awkward, irritated or just plain pissed off when it comes to watching a film if it means by film's end I will have immersed myself in the film's universe.
When you sat down and watched The Coen Brothers' brilliant No Country for Old Men, you'd have been downright demented to have really liked Javier Bardem's Anton Chigurh.
You didn't have to like Chigurh, but you simply couldn't stop watching him.
Chloe is certainly nothing like Chigurh, at least not in a physical sense, but she's as quietly compelling a young woman whom you simply can't fully love because she won't allow it. She can't allow it, because it doesn't matter. Sometimes, the most brilliant performances are the performances you don't like.
The 10 Commandments of Chloe is about one woman's pursuit of the American Dream, a dream that seemingly comes at the expense of everything else in her life. Chloe, played with a serene and natural authenticity by Naama Kates, is a twentysomething struggling singer-songwriter who has plopped herself down inside the country music Mecca of Nashville determined to make a name for herself.
Nothing else matters.
And what if it did, as John Mellencamp might say.
There are things in Chloe's life that could matter, most notably a relationship with almost boyfriend and fellow struggling musician Brandon (Jason Burkey). Chloe tries to go through the motions of the relationship world in which Brandon wants the two of them to live, but Chloe is a young woman for whom faking it simply isn't in her vocabulary and the simple truth is that she's willing to compromise everyone and everything for a shot at what she wants.
We begin learning her commandments early in the film, starting with "assimilation" and including such concepts as "Focus" and "Persist" among others. Of course, she's not communicating these things to Brandon or to anyone else because she's incapable of doing so. These "commandments" are for you and I, the audience, and they help to establish a foundation of deep thought and purpose underneath what could otherwise easily be dismissed for its almost improvisational spirit.
While it may sound like Chloe is just another in a long line of "American Idol" styled wannabes determined to make it in the music industry, neither Naama Kates nor Princeton Holt are so lazy as to pitch their audience such a one-note portrayal. The 10 Commandments of Chloe is not merely a "how to" make it in the music biz film nor is it the simple little love story that you might think it's going to be. These commandments, for Chloe, are even far more than a guide she uses for chasing her dreams. These commandments are precisely how Chloe has constructed her life around its singular vision of life as a singer-songwriter. These commandments allow Chloe to live in the present, an expectation for herself that she lays out on more than one occasion as she shuns any idea of waxing eloquently or sentimentally about past memories, ideas, thoughts or even simply experiences in favor of constantly living in the moment and being ready for the opportunity that she has no doubt will arrive.
Yet Kates is also wise in playing Chloe with just a hint of emotional openness, an awareness of the world around her and a willingness to assimilate herself into it. Kates' Chloe, perhaps most maddeningly of all, isn't necessarily avoidant of human connection as she is absolutely insistent that such a connection fit safely inside her rigid construct of life. She displays just enough openness to make Brandon's fondness for her believable, yet she's also open enough that we don't become repulsed by her seemingly rigidly defined life.
Is she assimilating or is she surrendering?
Read the rest of the review HERE.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Written by casting director, actor, director, etc Paul Russell, check out this informative article via Backstage, after the jump.
True or false?
Excluding cattle calls (open calls, ECCs, EPAs) only union actors can audition, and be hired, for union projects.
Survey says? False.
A non-union actor can audition for and be hired for a union project. And depending on the project plus governing union, the actor can easily be hired either as union or non-union.
"Really?" you ask.
The myth that non-union actors are barred from principal casting consideration for union projects originates from a non-union actor’s misconception of the audition process. But the non-union actor is not alone in perpetuating this myth. Casting notices for productions governed by Actors’ Equity Association spread the fiction as well.
Trade publications often list union notices under a banner for the correlating union (SAG-AFTRA and AEA). At the end of most AEA casting notices is a reference similar to: “Always bring your Equity Membership Card to auditions” or more ominously, "Seeking Equity ONLY for these auditions." Once a non-union actor sees such they think, "I'm not wanted or allowed to attend that audition."
Want to know who places that little membership tag onto a casting director’s breakdown?
The union – even when those union auditions are by appointment only, solely set-up by the casting office. That potential tag dissuader added by the union is prompting non-union actors from doing what they need to do as actors: seek work to pay bills.
I have never once known of a casting director who demands union cards to be flashed preceding auditions-by-appointment. We seek talent not membership identification.
A casting director holding auditions by appointment for a union project can call in whoever they want. Got that? If not, let’s try this again but with an expansion.
A director, producer, writer, casting director, or anyone hiring for a union project and holding auditions-by-appointment can call in whoever they want. I could call in a non-union dog for a human union role if I was so insane (but I’d lose my producer client quick).
However, non-union actors attending union "open calls" (ECCs and EPAs) is an entirely different matter as covered in "ACTING: Make It Your Business." (And by-the-by AEA audition administrators hate when I reference an EPA or ECC as an "open call." For many casting directors when we’re not calling in actors for an appointment, the auditions are then an ‘open call.’)
So when you, as the non-union job seeker, see a casting notice for a union project which is having auditions-by-appointment do not, repeat, DO NOT, hobble your career ambitions by ignoring that casting notice. Submit yourself. If the project is having an EPA, ECC or whatever-the-acronym-for-an-open-call: Submit yourself. Get the land-mail and/or e-mail contacts for the casting office and place yourself into consideration. Casting offices, like mine, do not post all information publicly about our projects. Casting offices often post publicly only what unions require of our clients or to expand the talent outreach beyond talent agencies and managers. If a casting office is holding an open call there's a high probability they're also holding auditions-by-appointment.
If you doubt a non-union actor can audition for a union project that has on its union-tagged casting notice "Only seeking union members," I have many previously non-union actors turned union via my casting union projects you may want to meet.
Never curtail your ambitions. Too many other people will restrain your ambitions for you. Go after every audition for which you’re a match – be it union on non-union.
Paul Russell’s career as a casting director, director, acting teacher, and former actor has spanned nearly thirty years. He has worked on projects for major film studios, television networks, and Broadway. Paul has taught the business of acting and audition technique at NYU and has spoken at universities including Yale, Temple, and the University of the Arts. He writes a column for Backstage and is the author of "ACTING: Make It Your Business – How to Avoid Mistakes and Achieve Success as a Working Actor." For more information, please visit www.PaulRussell.net.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
The SXSW film festival hit EDEN, starring Jamie Chung and our very own Naama Kates, is now available everywhere to see! Rent or purchase the film via iTunes, Amazon VOD instant streaming, and on cable TV! Eden is coming off of its current theatrical release.
Eden, a young Korean-American girl, is abducted near her home in New Mexico and forced into prostitution by a domestic human and drug trafficking ring located outside the bright lights of Las Vegas, Nevada. Throughout the two years she is held, Eden reluctantly ensures her own survival by carving out power and influence within the very organization that has imprisoned her. Inspired by the harrowing true story of Chong Kim, EDEN peers into the darkest corners of America and attempts to discover the humanity within.
Here is the trailer:
Rent/See on iTunes
Stream via Amazon
Official Film's Website
Film's Facebook Page
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Here is one of the best reviews we've read for our feature The 10 Commandments of Chloe, directed by Princeton Holt and co-produced by & starring our own Naama Kates. Check it out after the jump!
At first, this seems like a familiar — if quite beautiful — indie film in the mumblecore vein. Young hip artist types drinking, smoking pot. Casual, realistic dialogue. And our heroine, overcoming obstacles, realizing things about herself.
But this will never have been that movie. All the familiar trappings swirl around Chloe, trying to bring her into that movie, into that life. But neither Princeton Holt, the director, nor Chloe, the character, are having any of it. They divert and toss aside cliché with a deft hand.
In many ways, this is a film about the temptation of cliché. Throughout the film, both Princeton Holt and Chloe ask: Is this a story of all too human interests — life, love, self discovery? Or is all that, as she suggests in one scene, irrelevant? Are there other forces — of music, of life, of the landscape — that are more interesting, vital, engaging? Just as Chloe can never remember anyone's name, Princeton Holt can't seem to focus on the banality of human beings for very long, his camera voraciously relishing the scenery.
These may be the 10 commandments of Chloe, as if she were the one in control. And while she may well be a formidable force, there are forces that exceed her. Her troubles and relationships vie for the focus of this film just as they vie for her attention. But other forces keep pushing her — not out of the frame but into the intense, and intensive, landscape of Nashville's musical swirl.
For this is a film, first and foremost, of the landscape. Indeed, it opens with an homage to Woody Allen's Manhattan, giving us monolithic, mostly black and white shots of Nashville. Chloe is nowhere to be found. When these give way, we are greeted with the first commandment: Assimilate. And that is what this film gives us: Chloe's overcoming of herself to assimilate into the landscape of Nashville, an assimilation that does not mean her oblivion but, on the contrary, her becoming herself.
After this tell tale commandment, we are confronted with a sumptuous blur of Nashville at night. Blur can be so powerful, so beautiful, effacing the strict borders of form; blur is the image of movement, of flow, effacing the strictures of form. Throughout this film, the image hovers between blur and focus, forms becoming flow, flow taking form before being torn asunder once again. Such is the tension of this film: the movement between form and flow, human concerns and indifferent landscape, focus and blur.
As the image begins to come into focus, we hear an older woman addressing a younger one — yes, Chloe. But it's as if the camera is trying to focus on her but keeps being drawn to the surrounding city. When the frame finally comes into focus, we see Chloe at the periphery, her back to us, walking across the frame and out of sight, the city still holding the camera's attention.
The camera does not track her, not at first. We see her go in and out of clubs trying to get gigs as a musician. The camera does not follow her in but hovers at the door, eavesdropping on her conversations. She is part of something bigger, a system of gigs and musicians and audiences and histories and relationships and club owners that exceed her. She is not the force that takes them by storm; she is trying to join the maelstrom of which they are a part.
And this, alas, is the tension for both the film and Chloe: Focus on the form of Chloe, be human, all too human and dally in the concerns of people — family, life, love, work, relationships. Or overcome human concerns, blur them into the landscape, and discover the affective force and flow of music and life. Just as the film itself moves between having Chloe and Nashville at the center of the film, Chloe herself moves between being a woman with the familiar trappings of a boyfriend and being a musical force that ruptures and breaks such bourgeois ties.
Even in the most romantic, humanistic scenes between Chloe and Brandon, her would-be boyfriend, the landscape of Nashville looms large as if threatening to topple down on them, the Parthenon's columns less a support than a threat. He wants her to focus on him, on him and her, and talks of getting out of there. But she diverts his focus and insists on being in Nashville. She will not be clear with him. He is form and she, alas, is in the act of becoming blur — an image of flow, a force in motion seeking out the seething of Nashville.
In a sly move, the film keeps us thinking that this might be a movie about Chloe and how she finds herself in this new city. But it keeps blurring that vision, literally and figuratively. When she meets new people, she can never remember anyone's name — and doesn't seem to care, as if she had no time for such nonsense, as if she were of another dimension, as if she were moving and they would always be static. She is elusive towards her new boyfriend who is constantly revealing himself and demanding that she do the same.
At first, perhaps, we are tempted to side with him. What's wrong with her? we wonder. She is so guarded and indifferent, as if hiding from love and life. But, in an incredible scene about two-thirds into the film, he confronts her and their dynamic shifts: I've told you things about myself, like about my family, my mom...I want you to know who I am...apparently you don't want me to know who you are because you hide every single thing. I mean, who is Chloe? I don't even know.
Read the rest of this great piece here!
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Sonic Cinema has written a great review of our recent feature The 10 Commandments of Chloe! They also gave the film an A-! Check it out after the jump:
"Based on the two films of his that I’ve seen, writer-director Princeton Holt has something to say. Of course, a lot of filmmakers have something to say, but I’d be willing to bet that Holt is smarter, more focused than most. With his 2009 film, “Cookies & Cream,” and now, “The 10 Commandments of Chloe,” he has almost completely devoted himself to showing us stories of women along the edges of the entertainment industry, trying to navigate it as best they can.
In “Cookies & Cream,” his main character, a single mother working in adult entertainment, was already a part of the industry, and trying to find a way to have a satisfying personal life in spite of it. In “Chloe,” the title character (played by co-writer Naama Kates) is on the outside looking in. She’s a singer-songwriter who’s come to Nashville to get her foot in the door, but as with all people looking to find success in music, it’s about finding our way in, and accepting that it might take some time. Chloe meets similar people, artists on the fringes, just trying to survive, and also meets a person (Brandon, played by Jason Burkey) she finds herself drawn to."
Read the full review here.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Windows of Opportunity and One Way or Another Productions presents WOO Films 4th Annual Awards Show this Saturday, April 20th from 7-10pm at Katra Bar & Lounge in NYC. Hosted by Comedian/Actor Carlos Gonzalez, this networking event and fundraiser is about bringing industry people together with youth service providers and arts-based non-profits.
Presenters will include Stand-Up Comedians Gina Brillon and Omar Hernandez, Actress/Model Julia Gorbach, One Way or Another Production's Founder and CEO Princeton Holt, and Filmmaker and Inspirational Speaker Orly Wahba. The musical guests are Mary Desiree and Tim Perdoch.
Come for the show, stay for the conversation.
Katra Bar & Lounge
NY, NY 10002
For more information about the event, visit our online Press Kit.
Come for the show, stay for the conversation.
Katra Bar & Lounge
NY, NY 10002
For more information about the event, visit our online Press Kit.
Windows of Opportunity coordinates programs and workshops on a regular basis that focus on building leadership skills, empowering youth, and bringing awareness to a variety of adolescent issues. WOO Films celebrates and promotes these concepts through media content. Awards are given for Achievement in Visual Design, Sound Design, Music, Editing, Acting, Writing, Directing, Producing, and Inspiring!
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Our good friends Jason Burkey and Wynn Reichert (both from The 10 Commandments of Chloe) both are in a new film called "A Matter of Time." Wynn has a smaller part, Jason plays the lead (Nathan).
Nathan Hanaghan is a loser in his home town because he did something different than what everybody excepted. A broken heart consumes him with hate, blinding him from the love of his life and stifling his dreams. Sometimes finding love and happiness is as simple as opening up your heart.
Here is the trailer!
Follow the film on Facebook!
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Brilliant but edgy virtual reality programmer, Roxe, finds herself under attack by a lethal digital virus while designing a mind expansion program in Celia C. Peters’ lo-fi futuristic short film, Roxe15.
The film goes into production this month while Artistic Freedom, Celia’s production company, continues to raise funds for post-production. Interested backers can find detailed information on the story, characters, costume, setting, cast and crew in this unique online Creative Guide.
Celia C. Peters is an avant-garde filmmaker creating compelling stories with diverse character, both a member of the New York Women in Film and Television and the Writers Guild of America. She was awarded a 2012 residency at Hawthornden International Retreat for Writers in Midlothian, Scotland. Her psychologically inspired, character-driven screenwriting has been both prize-winning (Godspeed, 2011 African American Women in Cinema Film Festival; Roxe15, 2004 SFBFF) and recognized in competition.
Celia’s credits include “Figure It Out For Yourself,” “Poetry In Motion,” “Rethinking Beauty,” and “Editing Uptown,” the latter being a featurette on our company’s feature film, “Uptown”.
Roxe15 is being produced by Nicole C. Sylvester.
Roxe15 is being produced by Nicole C. Sylvester.
To contribute towards the production of Roxe15, visit http://bit.ly/
Up and coming indie distribution company, Pirate Media Group, is looking to take its claim on the saturated seas of independent film distribution. Founded in 2010 by St. Charles, MO residents Gayle Gallagher and Wyatt Weed, Pirate Media is based on the New World model of film distribution, keeping the costs of distribution low, and control in the filmmakers' hands.
“Our boutique-style business model gives filmmakers more attention and allows for open communication, so you will always know what is going on with your film,” says Gayle, who is also an award-winning producer.
Pirate Media Group helps quality low-budget films get the distribution they deserve using hybrid outlet channels. They also assist in bringing shorts, music videos, and commercials exposure.
Husband and wife team Gayle Gallagher and Wyatt Weed have a cinematic history through their production company, Pirate Pictures. The couple have written, directed, edited and produced several projects together, notably the award-winning feature-length vampire tale, "Shadowland" (2010), and the TV talk show series, “StreetScape” (2011-2013). Recently, Gayle produced “23 Minutes to Sunrise” starring Eric Roberts, now available at Redbox.com.
Contact Pirate Media Group by visiting pirate-media.net/
Here is Free Bike Valet's piece and Naama's follow up music video, including a quick interview with its director!
Piano poptress Naama Kates returns with her sophomore album entitled King For The Day. As if haunted by jazz, she hasn’t lost her “girl (performing-in-the-bar) next door” charm and delivers more cabaret chic pop that’s lacquered with cigarette smoke and sultry whispers…
Her second single “Help Yourself” is accompanied by a music video that is Kates’ darkest to date. Created remotely by New York-based director Aaron Lehmann, Kates recorded her domestic routines (and her cat Masha) by hanging her iPhone with a clothes hangar in the corner of her Los Feliz apartment. Lehmann later added the digital special effects and himself appearing as “the stalker painter.” The final result is a chilling abstract view of voyeurism:
In order to truly interpret the video, we asked Lehmann a few questions:
How did you come to direct this video?
“I’ve worked with Naama before on my thesis film, years ago. I’ve always been a fan of her work, so I thought the release of her new album was a good opportunity to collaborate again.”
How did you decide to come up with the concept for the video?
“For whatever reason, ‘Help Yourself’ struck a chord with me. All my inspiration came from listening to the song and letting my imagination go with it.”
What is the scary face that appears on the TV screens?
“The face-painted demon is ‘death-in-waiting,’ or the grim reaper.”
Naama Kates will perform next at Room 5 on Friday, April 26th.
You can purchase “King For A Day” on CD Baby.