Tuesday, November 27, 2007


The Dawn Chorus is online again, as part of the Now Film Festival. It's a semi-finalist, and the way it works is that you watch it online, and vote for it, and the films with the most votes go through to the finals, where they get public screenings.

My rash encouragement to some of you to vote now I see was mistaken. You have to vote when all the films are in - so I'll be asking you to return to the site then and vote in May. Thanking you all in advance xxx


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Brief Encounter

From the best festival experience yet to the worst.

The Dawn Chorus is my first film to be selected at the 'best short film festival in the UK' and so I was more than a little excited as I headed to the Watershed for the Encounters Short Film Festival screening on Friday night. I arrived early, hoping to see another programme of films first, only to find that it was all sold out and there weren't any filmmaker tickets reserved or available. Dammit. Anyway, I went to get a sandwich at the bar next door, and after waiting 30 mins was told that, ooops, the waiter hadn't given the order to the kitchen. Grrr...

So I head upstairs to the Film Council party, which was fun, and saw lots of familiar faces. But then had to rush into the screening. We're in Cinema 1 - which seats about 200 and is full to bursting. It's the hippest audience I've ever seen - everyone is under 25, with trendy hair and stripey jumpers. The programme is given a big UP from the programmer, Mark Cosgrove, who tells us to get ready for scarey and weird short films.

After the first 3 films two things are clear:
1. This is a programme of genre films, with flying red-eyed hamsters, blood-thirsty ogres and not much brain activity required
2. The audience doesn't think much of any of them.

Oh, and half way through the third film this beat begins, which I think might be some kind of expressive sound design, but it's soon clear that there is some kind of live music downstairs, and everyone is vibrating from the bass coming through the floor of the cinema.

My film starts, and the audience is silent. They listen hard over the music we can hear from below. They sort of get the film, at least a few people laugh by the end, but it's not a great reaction. When the film finishes, the guy next to me leans over and says to his friend 'Another duff one'.

I stay for one more film, and then leave. I go and complain to a member of staff and hear that the festival doesn't have any control over the bar below. However, I soon find out that the same thing happened the night before. And given that the festival has been in this venue for years, and that there's been a late lounge programme for a while, it seems pretty lame that they haven't sorted this out before now.


This is Captain Serious, over and out.


It's been over a week since I returned from Cucalorus and I still smile at the memories. I just received this link to a video of the festival made by Current TV friends Kasia and Henry - check it out, I feature!


Sunday, November 11, 2007


It's been a wild week here in Wilmington. We had two high school screenings of the movie, and the 'official' screening last night at Jengo's Playhouse. Official business aside, I've seen some great flicks, eaten more grits than you might like to consider, and met some of the coolest and most talented filmmakers out there. I write this with a lump in my throat.

Highlight memories include:
- Snapping crab legs with Amy at the Oyster Bar on Dock
- Watching Kohl eat four bowls of potato soup at the Bellamy Mansion
- Attempting to remember Current TV Kasha's entire surname, but failing
- Seeing Cap'n Dan bent double laughing as the Superkiiiiids performed the Rapping Queens
- Being ordered by the Colonel to throw stones on two, jump on three and snap on four as the sun set behind us on Wrightville beach
- Levi diving face first down the inflatable slide, lego-hair flying
- The Superkiiiiids presenting the Colonel with a birthday cake on his unbirthday
- Jousting with inflatable man-sized beer bottles in Jengo's playground
- Being proposed to in Hawaiian by some guy named Phil
- Locating the spirit JPoop with a ouija board at 4 in the morning
- Laughing so hard my whole body ached, daily
- Beachalorus, Pukalorus, Cakalorus, Withdrawalorus, Potteryalorus, Stickerlorus, Copsalorus, DixieGrillalorus...

Today as Teamalorus finds itself in Arizona, Portland, Greensboro, Springville and Wilmington, I raise my glass to Jesusalorus for bringing us all together - cheers!

This is Captain Serious signing off. xx

Friday, November 09, 2007

HDL Interview in The Independent

Check it out!


Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Best Fest In The World?

It gets my vote. Cucalorus rules. It rules-a-lorus.

Yesterday we had the most hysterical high school student screening, PACKED with kids talking to the screen, to each other, and laughing out loud. Introduced by The Superkiiiiids! the fun began early. At 9:30am I met fellow filmmakers Levi, Amy, Kohl and (later) Seth whose films also played. And were brilliant. We went out for breakfast at the Dixie Grill, and I tried grits for the first time (verdict: nice, I think, need to try some more).

Later we went to local bookstore and spent hours pouring over old books stacked up to the ceiling, before watching the sun set over the Cape Fear river (yes! That Cape Fear!). A local policeman told us that there was a big gator called Charlie in the water, so that stopped us finding out the answer to our question - salt or fresh water?

Off to Dance-A-Lorus - opening night celebration at the Thalian Hall - where films were shown and dancers performed in front of them on stage. Truly brilliant I was inspired by one 65 year old performer to take up amateur dance, even if just in front of my own TV.

One of the best things about Cucalorus is a Filmmakers Lounge, where there is not only great company, but free cookies, muffins, salsa and dip and any drink you fancy. What joy.

Last night ended with a party on the riverfront - a Carnivale! The highlight, for me, was the inflatable slide - which I slid down about 25 times. Completely out of breath, it has confirmed this as the best festival in the world for me. Easily pleased, you say? Hardly, I say.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I arrived last night and was met at the airport by wonderful Mary and driven to my heavenly bed and breakfast. Literally heavenly: the walls are painted sky blue with clouds on the ceiling. This morning I have a High School screening, which should be fun, and then I'm taking a moment to explore Wilmington - who knew it was a beach town? I think I may never leave.

Stay tuned...