Live Music To Die For, Right Here In The City

27 06 2005

My good friends Mike Blaxill and Debbie Andrews are performing with their band GLADSHOT this coming 29th, Wednesday. Besides being excellent musicians and songwriters, they are just the nicest people you’ll meet. I’ll let them invite y’all.
This Weds, June 29th at 2:30, GLADSHOT (Debbie Andrews, Mike Blaxill, David Ross, Tony Tino, Spencer Katzman) will perform for a “LIVE 8” free concert at Virgin Megastore at Union Square in NYC (14th St and Bway) –
It’s an all day concert for Bob Geldof’s ONE campaign to fight global poverty and AIDS. Mark Knopfler plays at 5:30, Billy Corgan at 7, Michelle Shocked at 5, we go on at 2:30 – Other bands are Heavenly States, Head Automatica, The Swedes, Outernational and Trouble Dolls – Music starts at 1 pm.
The Virgin Group is working with Bob Geldof and the Make Poverty History Campaign to help to give additional voice to the initiative to end World poverty. As part of Virgin’s effort of support, they’re working to highlight the One Campaign in the U.S. with the intention of letting everyone know how they can contribute their support and make a difference.
Some websites with more info

  1. Gladshot
  2. Virgin
  3. Campaign
  4. Live8

Asian AIF Festival 2005 Info and Invitation

26 06 2005

Hola amigos, amigas, and pelicula consumers and makers,
I’ve emailed the invitation below to everyone on my mailing list, and posted it on other listservs, postings, street telephone poles, basketball player’s forearms, airplane with a smoke thingy, even tried smoke signals. If I can get 28 doves, pigeons, or the underappreciated crows, I would make them circle the city and spell out the details too. Some unionized, some freelancers. Anyway, so I thought if anyone accidentally stumbles upon my humble blog…wham..another invitation. As they say, you can’t buy publicity like this. So here it goes again. Some of the information may be already…ahem…informed before, but I can’t edit them out now. I’ve got sandwich boards to write on.
Oh, yes…I’ll be back with more ‘History of Pretty’ and will be posting photos from the production. Oh yeah! —————————-Here is the posting.——–

Hello everyone,
I am delighted to invite you all to my short DV film screening at the 28th Asian American International Film Festival (I call it ‘the festival with a filmmaker’s heart’) this coming July 22nd, Friday @ 6:30 pm. Read on for details.


Genre: Drama/Mystery

Running Time: 25 minutes

Cast:Guenia Lemos as Stacey
Don Downie as Mark
and Jennifer Riker as Josie

Written, produced and directed by Shabbir Emon Hassan

Synopsis: “Two women find each other at an art gallery one afternoon. A week later, they find themselves in a bloody mess.”

Tickets go on sale JUNE 27th.PRETTY is part of the ‘MANY FACES of EVE’ themed program (running time 98 minutes)

July 22nd, Friday @ 6:30 pmTix Price: $10 (for whole program with several short films)

Tix can be purchased by phone at 212-327-9385

or FAX: 212-517-8315 (attn: AAIFF BOX OFFICE)

Program Code for PRETTY: ASMANY

Screening location:
28th Asian American International Film Festival

Asia Society and Museum

725 Park Avenue @ 70 Street

To find out about other cool shorts programs and features at the AAIFF 2005
or call 212-989-1422

If you have questions about moi movie, please email me. I’ll see you at the screening.

thanking you all,

Press Conference/Don’t miss the launch party

24 06 2005

Hello peoples. ACV held a press conference the day before yesterday at the Asian Cultural Center on E 40 Street. Cool meet. Met with other filmmakers and all the nice folks from ACV and Asian Society were there as well. I wasn’t ready for my podium moment, but filmmakers were given a chance to introduce their films. Considering how I can get when more than a few pair of eyes are set on me, I think I did well. The audience laughed, and while that can be interpreted in many ways, allow me to pick the best one…they liked my presentation. Okay, enough about you, now about me.
I encourage filmmakers to attend meets like this. Why? For instance, I will be attending a couple of people’s films come festival time just because I’ve met them, liked meeting them, liked talking with them. If they hadn’t appeared, I wouldn’t have met them, liked talking to them, found out about their films, and may have ended up chosing another program. There is a silent bond that exists among filmmakers attending the same festival because they’ve all ended up on a common platform taking similar paths. First time makers and experienced makers all have stories to share. So why not take this opportunity to meet others?
Okay then. Redeem yourselves and come attend the Festival Launch party this coming Thursday, 30th, at the Prey Bar and Lounge. For details click on the AAIFF2005 link on the sidebar or just click here if you feel that lazy.
Peace out, my peoples.

History of PRETTY–Part 2

20 06 2005

I am baack. So, I have to convince the television department that I can shoot a movie although I have never done it. They said, “No problem. Prove it. Create a budget, shooting plan, and submit to us.” So I made up a mock budget plan, one of my early drafts of the script, shooting schedule etc. The TV center at Brooklyn College helped out a great deal here with answering my questions regarding the equipments I needed since I had to follow their rate cards to create a budget. I completed it, and took it to our then department chair Hal Himmelstein who flipped through the pages and gave me permission to use the department’s equipments. So, I am set. I’ll get a Sony VX 1000, a shotgun mic, couple of lights and I’m making the movie. This is in March of 2004, mind you. I am now getting ready for a late April or early May shoot. I have to take my MS semester into consideration. Can’t screw up school. All I have to do is call up couple of my actor friends, couple of my friends who can hold boom mics etc, shoot quickly and I’ll have a movie. Wrong! Little did I realize that I had just begun the first of a three part nightmare of making a movie…Pre-production, production, and post-production. A good reason for waiting to write this second part of the ‘history’?…As of June 14, 2005 I woke up from that nightmare and put my 25 minute movie to bed. Sent off a final copy to Asian Cinevision for the July 22nd screening. Was it worth a year of struggle and hard work? Absolutely! Would I recommend it? Absolutely. I dove into this thing with one goal in mind, make my darn movie. If it sucked, it will suck my way. I just wanted to shut up the person who kept saying, “What I really want to do is make movies.”
NEXT: Pre-production: The months before the September 30th shoot.

History of PRETTY-Part 1

10 06 2005

Late 2002, I sat down to do a free exercise. Pen and paper, simple. Wrote the first few lines and read it back. Didn’t make sense. The character’s name had appeared only, Stacey and Josie. I only write dialogue and almost never worry about descriptions in the early stages. In fact, I’d be happy if somone else did it for me. Also, I always write with myself as the director in mind. The first page was essentially Josie and Stacey chatting, until one of them says, “Has he stopped bleeding?” ‘Wow’, I thought, ‘I probably have something cool here’. Within the next couple of days I had a one act play called ‘Pretty In Green’, a dark comedy/murder story. I wanted to stage this for our ‘One Night Stand’ series at the Producer’s Club. Couple of my friends and I had started this series where we’d write, produce and direct our plays when no one else would produce it for us. The three of us would always have our works, and invite one new writer each production. The only rules were, bare stage and minimal props. Each shared the responsibility of inviting a certain number of their own people, depending on the number of seats at a certain Producers Club venue, something I had learned from playing clubs and bars where if you didn’t invite your guests, you didn’t get paid. In short, the ‘Pretty’ was staged for the 2nd ONS show, January 2002, and it was sold out. I did lighting for my play and did the flashback sequence by turning down and up the lights and having the actor who played Stacey tie her hair back for the flashback scene.
Flash forward to Fall 2003. I am, by now, sick about talking about making a movie, and the talk was boring everyone, including me. I had started my MS program in TV/R at Brooklyn College and realized I could make a movie with the department’s DV camera and equipments. As an MS student, I technically had no access to the equipments. I didn’t want to be in the MFA program. Frankly, it would have been a waste of time for me. All I wanted were the equipments. Filmmaking, no matter what your theoretical background, is really learned on the job. You approach it fresh off the boat, you develop your own solutions, and shortcuts. Then, the time came for me to convince the department why they should let me use their equipments. (Continued)

Introduction to The History of Pretty

9 06 2005

I know no one has asked me do a history of a movie that is not itself historic by any means, but then again, this is my blog. When I had first embarked on the production, I’d desperately searched for tips, suggestions, help, and all sorts of encouragement from elsewhere. Encouragement! Newsflash–they who are sure you’ll fail in your ambition will encourage you the most. Again, this is my opinion, as of 2:32 pm June 9th, 2005, but it has been true for the most part. I must say I was lucky to have genuine support from a lot of people, but, like I said, I got lucky. This ‘history’ will be me looking back from the first day I had the idea for PRETTY. It wasn’t known as Pretty and the process wasn’t always so either.
Usually, stories behind the making of a first film are more dramatic than the movie itself, and it has even greater dramatic value if it’s the filmmaker’s first experience working on a film set, and that his schooling in writing. producing and directing has been in books from the Public Library only. Now that’s a recipe for a probable disaster.
So, why am I doing this ‘history’? Simple: I am promoting my movie, and myself…with complete disregard towards the correct use of grammar. It won’t be a chronological account of the progression of the film, as done by Robert Rodriguez in ‘Rebel Without A Crew” (must read, folks!). I also guarantee you, it won’t be a long history either. It’s more of a look back at my experience, and, while I do the looking back, I will share my thoughts and philosophy on filmmaking and other forms of making. And yes, this being self indulgent. If you have better things to do than read this regularly, then I curse you! Just kidding. Enjoy!

Filmmaker Resources…and more

7 06 2005

Well, let’s see here. I would like to share some of my resources. Often I find filmmakers lengthening instead of broadening their horizons. A well rounded person equals a better filmmaker, wouldn’t you agree? Has anyone read the wonderful little book on directing by Elia Kazan? Great book, read it. I believe it’s called ‘On Directing’.
Anyway, here are some links. If people find it useful, please let me know. I will eventually add them as permanent links.
Once in a while the permanent links on the right side of the page will go through changes. NYTimes Online is the first news source I go to every day. New York Public Library is my film and life school, so I include their link in gratitude. My PRX link is for you wonderful people to check out my short radio fiction pieces. They’re not the typical Old Time Radio style with a microphone and coconuts slammed together to emulate horse sounds. Asian Cinevision, or AAIFF 2005 link is there for a simple reason. They treat me like a star and thanks to their encouragement, I have started this blog in the first place. A great organization to be part of. Writers Room is a wonderful BBC site that has blessed me with their Script Smart Template for all mediums. It’s free and its US version is just amazing. A friend, Matthew Carless, designed it and it is compatible with MS Word. Why pay hundreds of dollars for script writing software when you have this easy to use gem? I wrote most of my scripts with this, and will probably never buy any other software. Unless they write a script for me and sell it to studios and decline the 10% fee while cook and clean my apartment. I’ll include a direct link to the downloads page below.
Today, I’ll add a couple of new permanent links. Box Office results site. World Press, a wonderful world news source, and Script O Rama, a site I love for its collection of film scripts for free.
Alrighty then.
Script Smart Downloads page (US Gold version)

BBC 7 –A great site for radio drama enthusiasts ( I love their comedy programs)

Folks in sound editing and design will like this site