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My film production company, Tasty Dude Films, is making a short film for Damnationland this year. If you haven’t heard of it, Damnationland is a yearly horror film festival that curates short horror films by Maine filmmakers. We’re incredibly proud that we’ve been asked to participate this year, and we need a little help making sure we cover all of our costs. Help us out through Kickstarter!

Donate to “Anima Sola” by Tasty Dude Films on Kickstarter

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The Water in the Bay is an official selection for the Lewiston Auburn Film Fest (named one of the “25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker Magazine), April 4-6. This will be the second-ever screening of the film, which is based on a story by myself, Jonathan Blood and Travis Curran, and a screenplay by me.

Tickets are available now on the LAFF website – a $19 Film Festival Viewing Pass will get you into any of the films.

Learn more about the festival and The Water in the Bay. 

For your relaxed Sunday viewing pleasure – Sanna & Oscar Liedgren make these gorgeous, wordless short films all about process.

We like to see things getting done: built, fixed, cooked, drawn, wrapped or hammered. Words are important, but need not always be spoken. Usually the making speaks for itself. Our technique is simple and straightforward: natural light, sequential shooting, single camera.

The Homegrown Swedes site, like their videos, is simple and beautiful. I can’t stop watching these.

Homegrown Swedes

Homegrown Swedes on Vimeo
Homegrown Swedes on YouTube

In a new interview, Steven Soderbergh shares some of his thoughts about the film business and his impending retirement.

[…] So that’s when I started thinking, All right, when I turn 50, I’d like to be done. I knew that in order to stop, I couldn’t keep it a secret — so many things are coming at you when you’re making films that you need to have a reason to be saying no all the time.

And what was that reason?
It’s a combination of wanting a change personally and of feeling like I’ve hit a wall in my development that I don’t know how to break through. The tyranny of narrative is beginning to frustrate me, or at least narrative as we’re currently defining it. I’m convinced there’s a new grammar out there somewhere. But that could just be my form of theism.

Is it similar to how you were feeling in 1997 when you made the satire Schizopolis — an attempt to “blow up the house,” as you put it?
Yeah. If I’m going to solve this issue, it means annihilating everything that came before and starting from scratch. That means I have to go away, and I don’t know how long it’s going to take. And I also know you can’t force it. I love and respect filmmaking too much to continue to do it while feeling I’m running in place. That’s not a good feeling. And if it turns out I don’t make another one, I’m really happy with this last group of movies. I don’t want to be one of those people about whom people say, “Wow, he kind of fell off there at the end.” That would be depressing.

“In Conversation: Steven Soderbergh” by Mary Kaye Schilling

For the 15th anniversary of  the release of Good Will Hunting, Janelle Nanos has compiled an oral history detailing just how the movie got made. Some great stories from everyone involved, including a lot of things that you don’t expect to hear in interviews with A-List Celebrities:

Damon: At that point Castle Rock was having us do these rewrites and we were going in circles.

Affleck: We were so frustrated that Castle Rock wasn’t reading the script, so we felt like we had to develop this test. We started writing in screen direction like, “Sean talks to Will and unloads his conscience.” And then: “Will takes a moment and then gives Sean a soulful look and leans in and starts blowing him.”

Damon: They weren’t reading the script closely anymore. It was literally probably a full paragraph about what these two characters were doing to each other.

Affleck: We would turn that in, and they wouldn’t ever mention all those scenes where Sean and Will were jerking each other off.

“Good Will Hunting: An Oral History” by Janelle Nanos

Photo: Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as the Blues Brothers, Annie Leibovitz, 1979 (VanityFair.com)

Photo: Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi as the Blues Brothers, Annie Leibovitz, 1979 (VanityFair.com)

Fascinating story in this month’s Vanity Fair about the making of The Blues Brothers — a movie that barely got made and seemed guaranteed to lose truckloads of money.

Everything revolves around Belushi, the most electric and popular comic actor of his time. It would be inaccurate to blame all the movie’s problems on Belushi. He isn’t responsible for the late-developing script or the unwieldy action sequences. It would be even more inaccurate to say Belushi isn’t responsible. He has become a blessed wreck, thanks mostly to his spiraling (and ultimately lethal) addiction to cocaine.

On days when coke gets the best of Belushi, production stalls. And when production stalls, money burns.

“Soul Men: The Making of The Blues Brothers” by Ned Zeman