Friday, August 24, 2012

Special screening of 'Sinister' for South Florida...

Hey South Florida

Want to see what is being called the scariest film so far this year, by people who attended the SXSW secret screening of SINISTER? We are bringing the new movie SINISTER (from the producer of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY and INSIDIOUS) to Miami, Florida for a special engagement Tugg screening, one week before its theatrical release. Summit Entertaiment has decided to partner with Tugg on SINISTER instead of going the traditional promo screening route in order to make sure only the true horror fans attend.

ShockTillYouDrop.com and Keepitclassic.com is pleased to bring this new Scott Derrickson directed film SINISTER, starring Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’Onofrio to South Florida. Come join host Marc Ferman (who will also be celebrating his birthday just a few hours later) and as a gift, he wants to share SINISTER with you.

The event will include a brief introduction. We want to continue to bring awesome movies to Miami so support the cause. Make sure to purchase your tickets NOW!!!

Tickets can only be purchased through Tugg, not at the theater. Also, when you reserve your tickets, you will not be charged for them until we reach our 61 ticket threshold. I hope to see you there!

Be the first to see SINISTER at this early hometown premiere, one week before its wide release!! If our screening reaches the attendance threshold we will all receive a limited edition collectible poster!!


PHOTOS: Vincent D'Onofrio in 'Green Door' Mag...



It's official, Daryl Hannah joins 'A Fall From Grace'


Friday August 24th, 2012 by horrorbug

Rumors have been out there for a while and now it is official: Daryl Hannah joins Tim Roth and Vincent D’Onofrio in Jennifer Lynch’s ‘A Fall from Grace’ in the role of Anabelle Lawson.

Famed auteur Jennifer Lynch takes the helm for her fifth effort, both on the page and behind the camera with the modern thriller ‘A Fall from Grace’, starring Academy Award nominated actor Tim Roth. We have the just released teaser trailer for you, narrated by Bill Pullman.

The producers – including Jennifer Lynch and David Michaels, the director and author of ‘Chinatown’ and the TV series ‘Macabre Theatre’ – are angling to start production as early as this fall/winter on location in St. Louis, MO. Oscar-nominated actor Tim Roth will star in the movie’s lead role, alongside Vincent D’Onofrio and Cedric the Entertainer as has been announced today. The remainder of the cast is presently being assembled.

Keep it here on HorrorBug for more news as it comes in…

Left for dead, 'Sister Spirit' is revived...


After "difficult journey" of legal, financial issues, most bills paid in region 
By Paul Grondahl Published 8:10 p.m., Thursday, August 23, 2012 

ALBANY — The show will go on for Sister Spirit after a two-year dispute.

The feature-length independent movie shot locally was halted after an investor defaulted and a lawsuit was filed by the production company, Sister Spirit, and hundreds of Capital Region residents received checks that bounced or nothing at all for their work.

Now, most of the bills have been paid, filming was completed and the production has the green light.

The offbeat comedy is described as a chick flick with overtones of "The Hangover." The writers and co-stars are June Raphael and Casey Wilson, a "Saturday Night Live" alumna. The cast includes Alicia Silverstone, Jon Cryer and Vincent D'Onofrio.

The buddy movie is about best friends who go on a cross-country road trip to win a beauty pageant that eluded them as girls. It was shot in and around Albany during more than three weeks of location work in the summer of 2010, including a large dance scene at a North Pearl Street nightclub.

The majority of local vendors and hundreds of extras owed money for their work on the film — its working title is "Ass Backwards" — have been paid, long after some had given up hope of ever receiving compensation.

An angel investor stepped in, paid long-overdue bills and financed the final days of shooting in New York City last month. The film is being edited and will be shown at film festivals in the hope of finding a distributor and reaching theater screens in 2013.

The film was rescued by Dori Sperko, who three years ago sold National Employers Co., a Florida employee leasing company. Sperko agreed to shoulder the remaining costs of the roughly $1 million "Ass Backwards" project as its executive producer.

"It's been a really long, difficult journey that caused a lot of pain for many people," said producer Heather Rae, who produced the Academy Award-winning movie "Frozen River." Another producer, Molly Conners, an Albany native who worked with Rae on "Frozen River," also invested heavily with her own money on the project. Conners lives in Brooklyn and is a daughter of Albany County Comptroller Michael Conners.

Rae said she invested her family's life savings of $200,000 in the project, had her car repossessed and lost her Boise, Idaho home to foreclosure after financing for the low-budget indie movie fell apart. She and her husband relocated to Los Angeles.

Rae filed a lawsuit in state Supreme Court in November 2010 against former IBM executive David M. Thomas, who lives in the Boston area, for defaulting on a contract for a $1 million line of credit with which he agreed to bankroll the production.

Rae's attorneys, who worked pro bono, won a judgment against a limited liability corporation, Better Late Than Never, that Thomas created for the film. It has no assets and Rae is doubtful she will ever recover monetary damages. Thomas could not be reached for comment.

"The good news is that it's a good movie and very funny," Rae said. "At the end of the day, everybody who had a part in it is going to be proud of this film."

"It had been so long, we had written it off," said James Pentaudi, who booked more than 100 local people as extras through his management firm, Albany Talent. "Now that people have been paid, it has a happy ending."

Non-union extras were owed $40 a day and members of the Screen Actors Guild were set to be paid the union minimum of $139 per day as extras. Pentaudi was supposed to receive a 10 percent commission from the extras, but those payments have only begun to trickle in.

"I've seen bankruptcies in this business and it's rare when they actually recover and make payments," Pentaudi said.

"The girls did the best they possibly could and made sure people got paid," said casting agent Rita Powers, based in New York City, who cast more than 200 extras. "They lost a lot of money themselves and it was a very rough ride."

The producers were able to negotiate a lower payment with most creditors. Not everyone was happy with those arrangements.

"I'm not going to take pennies on the dollar," said Steven Feldman, owner of Birch Hill Catering in Schodack, who is owed nearly $9,000 for feeding 150 members of the cast and crew during shooting. He also wants interest.

"I'm not going to write it off. I expect full payment before they show that movie," he said."

Jennie Glasser, of Tremont Rentals in Averill Park, said her firm has not been paid the $900 it was owed for tent rentals. "We gave up sending out invoices, but we'll re-send it now that we might get paid," she said.

Rae said about 95 percent of the people owed money negotiated a lower payment "because they understood the distressed nature of our business."

It was the first time in 20 movies she produced that Rae was burned. "We did the same procedure we normally do to make sure an investor is legitimate and we'd never faced this problem before," Rae said. "I learned a hard lesson. From now on, I make sure an investor funds every single dollar up front."

Rae hopes that once-disgruntled local folks have forgiven Sister Spirit now that most of its bills have been repaid.

"This was a very humbling experience, but if the Albany community wants us to come back, we'd do a premiere there," Rae said. "We appreciate Albany, it's Molly's hometown and we'd be thrilled to come back to show everyone the great movie they helped us make."


Published In: Fall 2012 - Vol 2 No 3
Written By: Akira Ohiso
Photography: Chris Zedano

Vincent D’Onofrio wants you to spend Fall at the Woodstock Film Festival. Meira Blaustein, co-founder and executive director of the Woodstock Film Festival, has fond memories of the first film festival twelve years ago. On a shoestring budget, community centers and art galleries around Woodstock were retrofitted to screen films. Blaustein remembers Barbara Kopple’s My Generation, a film documenting the three Woodstock music festivals, as a highlight. The first year also celebrated the fifteenth anniversary of Stop Making Sense, the Talking Heads concert movie directed by Jonathan Demme. It was screened at the legendary Bearsville Theater in Woodstock where organizers removed the seats to create a dance floor. Confused audience members, not knowing what to do, chose to dance.

This embodies the magic of the festival where passion, spontaneity and creativity thrive. The festival is known for its exciting panel series where one can see some of the top professionals in their respective fields and get a serious crash course on the various topics being presented. Each year, Academy Award nominated animator, Bill Plympton, co-curates the world-class animation program. Originally conceived as part of the 1999 Woodstock Music Festival, the film festival continues to pay homage to its musical roots with live concerts that are tied to the movies being shown. Past performers include Levon Helm, Bela Fleck, Arlo Guthrie and Donovan.

Actor Vincent D’Onofrio, a strong supporter of the festival, says, “You meet the most interesting filmmakers; every time I go I end up having a two or three hour conversation with people in a room somewhere, impromptu conversations with filmmakers from all over the world.” Diverse programming showcases film professionals from Russia to Mexico to right here in our own backyard.

Now in its thirteenth year, the festival has become a premiere regional event where actors and filmmakers abound. You may run into celebrities at local restaurants, coffee shops, panel discussions and, yes, movies. Past attendees include Steve Buscemi, Melissa Leo, Ethan Hawke and Mark Ruffalo. The festival recently moved its operations to the new Film Center on Rock City Road. “We spent an enormous amount of time, energy, and a ton of money scrambling to find and renovate space each year to fulfill our needs, so the new Film Center offers us the opportunity to consolidate and grow to continue providing extraordinary programming and economic benefit to the region,” says Blaustein.

There is an ongoing capital campaign in conjunction with the Hudson Valley Film Commission to complete the center. The Film Center will host filmmakers, film- related workshops, classes, special events and serve as a hub for the film festival and film commission events such as casting calls, screenings and board meetings.

The festival is a non-profit organization with zero commercial drive other than showcasing worthy independent films and filmmakers. It relies on grants, sponsorships, philanthropic efforts and the residents of the surrounding Hudson Valley communities for support. "The Film Center will enhance our ability to continue creating, assisting and promoting sustainable, clean, economic development by bringing jobs, educational opportunities and revenue to the community via film, video and media production," says Hudson Valley Film Commission Director Laurent Rejto. The festival now receives about two thousand film submissions a year. Only one hundred and twenty-five films are selected. Blaustein also attends movie festivals around the world cherry picking film for possible inclusion. She likes filmmakers who may not have reached their peak but show promise. The selection process is highly competitive so Blaustein turns to the advisory panel and established filmmakers for their expertise.

Last year, for the first time, the festival expanded its reach by screening movies outside of Woodstock at the Rosendale Theater in Rosendale and Upstate Films in Rhinebeck. Festival organizers want to correct a misnomer that the Woodstock Film Festival is only for Woodstock. The festival is an artistic and economic generator for the entire Hudson Valley that highlights a region rich in location and talent. The festival works with the Hudson Valley Film Commission to foster and support the film industry in the Hudson Valley.

There is no doubt that the festival has grown, but, even so, Blaustein has not wavered in the festival’s mission. “We have a specific personality that has to do with fiercely independent films, singular vision, subject matter that is of value and groundbreaking styles.”

Blaustein understands that there is a balance and getting too big would undermine the character of the festival. “Intimacy is one of its strengths.” Blaustein has mixed feelings about recent trends in filmmaking such as the propagation of digital filmmaking. “Now anyone can readily make a movie, which democratizes filmmaking but also saturates the landscape with mediocre films and makes it harder for truly worthwhile films to stand out,” says Blaustein. “I think we’re in a transitional period with digital,” added D’Onofrio. “The bigger budget films are all shooting digital, everybody is shooting digital and everybody is using the economy as an excuse to pay people less.”

With less pay and tighter movie budgets, the delineation between independents and blockbusters has become blurred. “It will be interesting in five years when the economy gets better", says D’Onofrio. “The only true independent films that are made right now are made for $100, 000 or less and are shot in someone’s backyard.”

Regardless, Blaustein reminds us of what’s most important. “Storytelling hasn’t changed. In order to make a good movie you have to tell a good story.”

D’Onofrio started attending the festival as a fan and now wouldn’t miss it. He is impressed with the genuineness and artistic integrity of the festival. “Actors don’t need to be nervous about going to the Woodstock Film Festival because nothing is ever asked of you that’s in any way exploitive.” He is a member of the advisory board along with other actors like Ethan Hawke and he does anything he can to help promote the festival. A couple of years back, his movie Don’t Go Into The Woods was screened at the festival. It’s a horror/musical shot on his farm (backyard) in the Kingston area. Screened at an outdoor venue, the mix of Woodstockian night, gore and musical numbers made for pleased, if terrified, moviegoers. 

D’Onofrio continues to work as an actor with five new films in post-production, but now devotes time to developing films from the ground up. He has several of his own projects in the early stages of development. “I think everything I make will be shown at Woodstock,” says D’Onofrio.

This year’s festival runs October 10th to 14th and tickets go on sale mid-September. Tickets will be available earlier at the Woodstock box office so make sure you check the website regularly for festival lineups, musical performers, ticket info and travel accommodations. There are a limited number of tickets available to the public for The Opening Night Party, The Friday Night Filmmaker Party and The Maverick Awards Ceremony and Gala. Merchants in Woodstock, Rhinebeck and Rosendale will have special offers for ticket holders and there are special lodging packages for weekenders up from the city.