Dear Stranger

an extension of the short film "Dear Stranger" and its major thematic element: Fantasy


Back from Annapolis

Like expected, people generally liked the film. They liked the shooting style, the editing, the eye. But they also liked the story and the actors. But there is something holding it back from a great movie. As I have thought before, there is a general problem with pacing. Not in terms of cutting as much. Which I think I fixed but in terms of story. There wasn't a surprise till the end. The key moment is the entrance of the new guy. He doesn't invade her life. The first time is too normal. That little moment has a huge impact on the second part of the story. It is cohesive but not dramatic. This is what I felt when I watched it. When that scene came, I just looked down, unable to watch it.

I was very proud of Dear Stranger. I would not have traded that film with any other at the festival. But that depresses me. I am not a crowd pleaser. I may not even be the award winner. I am not the buzz creator. I sadly like small moments. I don't think this is a good thing.

I enjoyed being around the filmmakers. But everyone is there for one reason, to promote their projects. It is hard to exchange ideas. Do people do that anymore? Do people only spark ideas within themselves?

I liked being the mini-celebrity (very very mini). I had something to say and have done something of significance. That was nice.

The best parts of the trip was when Kelly and I were lost. Bored in a hotel room. Excited that there was a restaurant at the hotel. Kelly being more nervous than me. Hanging out with people I know afterwards. Talking. Driving late at night, silently challenging myself to do better.

I did see some good work there. Documentaries continue to be more interesting than fiction for the most part. I was looking all around the frame and not the subject. That is fun to do in docs.

I can't wait to do all this again.

(will have pics up soon)




Annapolis Film Festival Details

Dear Stranger will be playing (premiere) at Crown Theater 1 in Annapolis Maryland at 1:30 pm on November 11th. There will be a Q&A at the end of the program, I will be in attendance. If you live in the area, do come. If you know someone in the area, tell them to c0me.

If you make it, make sure to say hello. Most likely, I will arrive on Friday night and leave after the Filmmakers Party on Saturday Night.

I am hoping to film the trip, thinking of doing a little video at the end of it to show you guys.



I love you Annapolis!!

Dear Stranger has made the Annapolis Film Festival in the non-competitive section. This festival is one of the major American film festival held in Maryland. I was waiting for a major FF to accept the film before I started submitting it willy nilly.

This is very exciting news! And the fact that it is in Maryland makes it even better because I can just drive up there. So if any of you or anyone you know lives in Maryland, I'd highly suggest you come and see the film. The festival is from Nov 10 to 13th.

Will give you more info as it comes.

Update: Got another email, we are in the competitve section!!! Woohoooo!


Relevant Quote

"There is a might-have-been which is more true than truth, from which the dreamer, waking, says not 'Did I but dream?' but rather says, indicts high heaven's very self with: 'Why did I wake since waking I shall never sleep again?'" - Absalom, Absalom!


The dirt on Lindsey

A very hard confession for one of the actors in Dear Stranger.

Check it out


Squigglebooth Launches

Just recently, I announced the launch of Ticklebooth -- a blog dedicated to finding extraordinary videos online. Now in addition to that, I have launched a companion site, Squigglebooth, that will feature video podcasts from a community of filmmakers. Each week, a new podcast episode will be posted. Currently, one of my films is playing there as episode #1. Check it out.

Maybe someday, after playing out its welcome in the festival circuit, you will find Dear Stranger playing at Squigglebooth.



Fantasy submitted by "Lucky Seven"

Hello. This is Lucky Seven. I have several fantasies that I could have submitted, some in the same line as those already on the list, but I have decided to write about this one instead. My fantasy is simple -- my father is alive. He is here, in our physical world, someone with whom I can speak whenever I want, about whatever I want. My father died twice, both times when I was a teen. The first one was metaphoric, of course, whereas the second time was the final, physical death. In my fantasy, neither of these would have happened. I don't necessarily want other details in our lives to change, only that he would be alive, and, importantly, involved. As a teenager, he is there to see me off on prom night and at graduation, and later to visit when I'm off at university. He is there later on through all the ups and downs of the years of trials, victories, love and frustration. He is there to protect me. To love me without reason and question. He is there to understand, as I fantasize that he would, if he were alive, be the person who would understand my many thoughts and emotions. My fantasy is simple. My father is alive.

- Lucky Seven


Quiet on the front

Not much happening. I have started to submit the film to festivals. Well, actually, just two but I am getting organized. One of the more interesting projects I am working on right now is with the Alain Astruc, a wonderful French photographer. Interesting stuff, we are trying. Check out his photographs here.



Ryan McGinley Photos

Found an interview with Ryan McGinley where he says something on fantasy that made me think of Dear Stranger:
A lot of people look at my work and assume it is all just an autobiography and that my life is as wild and fun as the images I take. I like that assumption but it's not true. My photographs are really closer to a documentation of my fantasy life. People still take photographs as truth. They look at them and think what they see really happened and while it did really happen, it didn't really happen like that. It is more like pseudo-fiction because it did happen but it might not have happened if it weren't going to become a photograph.



It has been a while since I have posted. For those who have followed the blog, I apologize. No excuses but I have been working on several things. One of the more exciting things I am working on is a site called Ticklebooth. Here is what it is about:

It has become quite overwhelming with all the things to watch and listen online. Choices range anywhere from podcasts, vodcasts, vlogging, music, music videos, trailers, films, shorts, slideshows, games, etc. Here at TickleBooth, our community of bloggers have assigned ourselves with the task of finding the best and maybe even the worst (when it cannot be helped) of all that can be played online.

Online is quite a big place! Our eyes cannot be everywhere, so feel free to submit links and movies for us to check out. We cannot promise to use it but we will certainly have a look.

The first post was, of course, about Dear Stranger [I love that name]:

Woohoo! The first actual post on Ticklebooth. There is no better place to start it all off with some link love to my own short film Dear Stranger. A short film that I started to work on eons ago when I decided to start casting without an actual script. The pre-production and scriptwriting happened simultaneously. I ended up being a one man crew as all my support staff fell out for various reasons. Though we did shot most scenes they were not really covered enough to my liking. I couldn’t just continue to shoot, like most productions, because I was moving out of town at the end of the month for a job in NC.

Nine months pass before I start to edit. Then life and work interrupt again. Three months pass before I get to finish it (well it is being finished as we speak). My life is polar opposite of what it was when I first started the project. Money seems to slip through my fingers every time I actually worked on the film. The graphic sex scene which can partially be seen in the trailer took about three weeks to complete. A scene that was all of thirty seconds.

I mention all this not for your sympathy or the likes but rather to state that Ticklebooth is compromised of Filmmakers who understand how difficult it is to get those dreams made. So everytime we recommend a podcast or review a film online, we take into account all these difficulties. Simply put: we understand.

I am quite excited about TickleBooth. I am also looking for more writers right now, if you are interested, contact me.