27 February 2011

Day 1 of Andrew Brotzman's NOR'EASTER


Andrew Brotzman's NOR'EASTER is filming on the island of Vinalhaven. This is an important distinction. Getting to Vinalhaven requires a ferry ride of over an hour from Rockland, Maine. It only, of course, holds so many cars, so you have to wait in line and hope you can get on. Otherwise, you're out of luck.

It's enough of a hassle that having grown up very near Rockland, I don't think I've ever been to Vinalhaven in my life. Maybe once when I was little.

This has created a us vs. them mentality on the island, even more so than Maine's normal distaste of "people from away". Enough of one that before I got on the ferry, my mother told me to tell anyone who asked that I know the Crossman's, even though I don't. I do know some of their relatives.

I got the last ferry of the day and hit set late in the day. I know absolutely no one on this set, and everyone was pretty busy, so I didn't really have a chance to figure out what I could and could not film. Discretion being the better part of valor, I kept the camera in my bag.

People here have some idea that I'm doing "a project". Well, except for the guy who asked me if I'd ever been on a film set before.

Hopefully we can rectify that tomorrow. It's a shame too, because man we were in a cool-looking house.

Also, I have WiFi, but it's slower than dial-up.

Travel Day

Heading north for Andrew Brotzman's NOR'EASTER

more photos from DREAM LOVER

You know how earlier you were wishing there was more photos you could look at? Well, here they are.

Jenna D'Angelo

Mirror, mirror, on the wall

Adam peels back the layers

In this corner...

Jenna D'Angelo

25 February 2011

Running scared

The craziest part of this video? Mattson got permission to do this.

Day 2 of Mattson Tomlin's DREAM LOVER

20 February 2011

mattson & maria

My call is for 10:30am, which isn't so bad. Sure we were on a soundstage until roughly midnight, trying to figure out the best way to build the "endless bed" (most of which the bed crew, led by Shane, did well before I showed up). The trick, at least last night, was that all the new sheets had the sort of hard creases that you get when you take them out of the package. How then, to best fix it? Would it even be noticeable? We decided it was easier to just wash them all, which added time to the evening, but seemed to work. Shane was up until well after 2am.

And Maria Rowene was in makeup at 6am, getting turned into a monster. Meagan Hester and Jason Milani, our makeup artists, have turned the lovely Maria into some sort of human-lizard hybrid that's creepy as hell.

Today, the set is closed for "monster sex", which is pretty much what you'd expect out of a scene with three people, only one of whom is a monster (and she's a middle school teacher in real life. Can you imagine if your middle school teacher was spending 6 hours in makeup to be a monster on the weekends?)

The tricky part, on my end, is how to document this scene in a PG-13 way while I help out with various bits of execution. It's a lot of angles, a lot of framing and using things as shields, and a lot of discretion. A LOT of discretion.

And, really, you haven't lived until you've had a conversation about cameras with an actor who's decided that any sort of, um, attempts at modesty weren't really accomplishing anything. It's distracting, you know? Eye contact is your friend.

Also today, we wrap our blood-soaked lady-in-white, Jenna D'Angelo, a real trooper of an actress. Look for her on a screen near you.


We've left DREAM LOVER behind (but we have more video on the way). But first, we're in Rhode Island, as Marty Lang and Alec Asten prep RISING STAR for a test screening tomorrow in Hartford.

24 February 2011

Marty Lang's RISING STAR

marty & alec

Marty Lang and Alec Asten are hunkered down in the editing suite. The film screens tomorrow.

Meet Adam M. Griffith

The lead in DREAM LOVER is Adam M. Griffith, who was also in Mattson Tomlin's SOLOMON GRUNDY. Adam plays an older version of his character and, well, Mattson thought this might be fun.

Jenna & Maria

Jenna and Maria

From the set of DREAM LOVER

Meet Jenna D'Angelo

We're going to try and introduce you to actors we meet along the way. Up first, DREAM LOVER's Jenna D'Angelo.


We've got dancers in crazy makeup, choreography galore, and some cool music (that's been in our heads for DAYS, by the way).

And now, director Mattson Tomlin is ready to kick things off.

23 February 2011

19 February 2011

Dream Lover

I signed on to do DREAM LOVER mostly sight unseen. Actually, I backed it on Kickstarter pretty much sight unseen. I was online as the campaign neared the end, and word got out that Mattson Tomlin's new project needed to raise $800 in the final hour or so. I did what I imagine lots of people do in the final hour of a Kickstarter campaign--I pitched in $5 without really knowing what I was backing (I know for a fact a number of people ended up backing A Year Without Rent in the exact same way).

Being a backer, I knew Mattson was looking to film at around the same time I was looking to start A Year Without Rent, so it made a lot of sense to make it the first project.

And really, it doesn't always matter what I'm helping out on. A talented filmmaker is a talented filmmaker. There's some filmmakers I'd volunteer to help film their kid's birthday party, if they asked. (But only if I was promised cake)

Long story short, that's how I ended up in Purchase, NY, on a college campus, volunteering on a short film that I thought was a feature.

I imagine that'll happen a lot on this trip.

DREAM LOVER is a short, directed by Mattson Tomlin (SOLOMON GRUNDY: BORN ON A MONDAY) and photographed by Filipp Kotsishevskiy. We're actually filming in the same building as BLACK SWAN, which at least for today is rather fitting, as we're on a stage with lots of dancers and female leads dressed in a black vs. white motif.

This is the biggest day of the production, as we started the day by applying some rather creepy makeup to a cadre of dancers. Beyond that, it's a pretty small crew: director, cinematographer, producer Nicole Favale, two grips, a sound operator, and the composer, who's playing back a temp version of the score for the dancers.

Well, he was. But he had to leave, so now I'm manning the iPod, which is how I'm able to write this during filming.

Tomorrow: more of DREAM LOVER. More dreaming. Fewer dancers. Or so I'm told.

21 February 2011

Frozen toes

After 2 days in the studio, we're outside, taking advantage of the freshly-fallen snow. It's been too warm lately to actually shoot on a frozen lake, so we're using a pretty big clearing in a park. Jon and I are using this as an opportunity to not stand in the snow for a few minutes

18 February 2011

How You Can Help

Today, we officially launch this crazy little project as we travel from our starting point in Midcoast Maine to Purchase, NY to work on Mattson Tomlin's DREAM LOVER. This is a massive project, and one question I've gotten a lot from people is "how can I help?" Specifically, "how can I help in my current situation of being broke?"

Turns out, there's lots of ways.

++ Follow our progress

This is kind of general, but the more "fans" of the project there are, the easier everything gets. So, find us on Facebook and follow the blog and everything. There will be a lot going on and there's strength in numbers.

++ Watch the videos with ads

This seems obvious, but apparently it isn't. The daily videos are going to run in a bunch of different places, but in some places they'll run with ads. We get money from those ads. Roughly $1900 per 100k views. Now that's a lot of views, but with a daily video over the course of the year, it ads up. So watch the videos. Or, hell, don't watch them, but just click play on your computer a bunch of times. Sure the ads are annoying, but they're helping pay for gas.

Start out with this one:

Was that so hard?

++ Got a couch?

A lot of people have volunteered their couches for when we hit town, which is fantastic. It saves us the cost of a hotel room and/or sleeping in a car. The easiest way to know if we need a couch is to follow @lmcnelly on Twitter (or, @YearWithoutRent). Twitter is far and away the quickest and easiest way for us to put out a call for help.

++ Engage

Let us know how we're doing. Give us tips on projects. Tell your friends. This project will only be as cool as the audience lets it be. Let's make it super fucking cool.

Lucas vs. UPS

The car is packed, ready to head south for New York, where our first project will be Mattson Tomlin's DREAM LOVER. Only, once again we're waiting for UPS to deliver something.

17 February 2011

And Away We Go...

Tomorrow, I'll be in the car, heading south to work on Mattson Tomlin's DREAM LOVER.

He's been posting behind-the-scenes videos of pre-production. Here's the 4th one:

BTS- Dream Lover 004 from Mattson Tomlin on Vimeo.

10 February 2011


Pretty soon the tiny little test videos and the false starts and the dry runs will end and we'll be on the road.

First up, Mattson Tomlin's DREAM LOVER, a film that was funded on Kickstarter (full disclosure: I was one of the backers).

Mattson is one of those young kids doing some very cool stuff. And, well, we'll all learn a lot more about him and his cast & crew starting Feb 18th, when he starts filming just outside NYC. Until then, check out the videos he's posting on Vimeo of the pre-production process.

09 February 2011

Echo vs. the Turkeys

When you're heavily medicated and have pretty much been tethered to a couch for several days, you take your entertainment wherever you can get it.

04 February 2011

1 Plane, 2 Stops (3 February 2011)

I can never fall asleep in a car.

But put me on a plane, and no matter how much sleep I've had, no matter how much coffee I drink in the airport, I'm gone the minute we hit the air. I can't help it.

The problem is when I fly already tired.

But what's the worst that can happen?

02 February 2011

dreamhost code

Last Call (1 February 2011)

Above all else, this is a test.

Sure, it's kind of a short film, but it's shot & edited entirely on an iPhone right out of the box, edited on the iMovie app.

I wanted to see 1) how it performed in low light and 2) how the iMovie app functioned.

Also, I'd been drinking.

It was too big to email to myself so I had to upload it to YouTube and then download it to put it here. I'm not sure if that makes a difference, but I guess it's possible.

01 February 2011

31 January 2011

Yesterday, we did a test screening of my film UP COUNTRY. Because these are the sort of things that make me incredibly nervous, I skipped out to get drunk instead. Today, I finally got around to listening to the audio recording.
It's a tricky thing. What do you listen to? What do you ignore? Where are they coming from?
One thing I do know: we're going to do more of them. I think I learned a lot about what's working and what isn't.