Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Big News Day!!! (or "Here Ye, Here Ye!")

Not only did one of our favourite sons and his film, "Incendies" just get nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category - yay, Denis! (and cast and crew) - but a relatively small, quiet, powerful film written and directed by a woman got four major nominations, not least of which is Best Picture. Bravo, "Winter's Bone"!

Also, members of our own extended family, Dolly distributors Mongrel Media and Métropole Films boast a total 7 films in official Oscar contention. Congratulations to them!

Oh, and even closer to home, a huge exclusive just hit our Facebook Fan Page!!! Click HERE to be one of the very first people to see the official trailer for "The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom" - hot off the ... - machine of some kind - and not yet in theatres. Let us know what you think!

You might think all that excitement would be enough for one week, but wait - there's more!

Tomorrow, Barbara, Macha and I are heading up to St-Sauveur in the Laurentians for a very important event called, "Ciné-Québec". This annual film distributor's convention is a 24-hour do or die "do" where the province's distributors get to showcase their roster of upcoming films for theatre owners in the market for movies to show.

So, splashy theatrical trailers, big artwork, name actors, producers and directors will be on-site for theatre owners to look at, listen to, do a little tire-kicking thereof, and thereby decide to which films they want to give screens, and then how many and for how long. It's a mighty big deal.

But we feel pretty prepared - as you know - we already have ourselves a trailer! (Have you seen it lately, by the way? If not, you can check it out again here...) We also have a pretty rocking banner-sized poster and one of the best speech-givers in the business (hint: Barbara).

So, Macha, Barbara and I will have a few minutes to get up and do our little pitch during a luncheon hosted by our Quebec distributor, Métropole Films (whose name you will have noticed in our trailer when you last saw it - what's that? You didn't notice their name? Well, then, why not check it out again here and make sure I've got my facts straight?)

And, once that's all done, we'll move into another room, where a rumour of alcohol has been circulating to speak with journalists, who will hopefully be interested in talking to us about our film.

That's tomorrow.

The next day, my attention comes back to putting the finishing touches on the soundtrack album - whose launch, you will of course hear about here first! And, maybe even get a little preview, a taster, an appetizer of the full meal deal before it hits stores and the cybersphere at large!

Y'all come back now, y'here?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Closings and Openings

Well, it's now official!!! I can say it out loud! The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom has been selected to be the Closing Gala Film at Les Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois!

This is a very special invitation for many reasons... Les Rendezvous is a hometown festival that celebrates Quebec production and nurtures homegrown talent. They gave me my first window on the world way back in 2001 when my short film, Killing Time was screened in front of Denis Villeneuve's much acclaimed second feature, Maelstrom. And look where it got Denis! (for those of you who aren't familiar with his name, Denis is the director of a very important and by now almost notorious film, Incendies which is Canada's Oscar entry this year).

Seriously, though, beyond the fact that they have been very good to me in the past, and despite the visibility this kind of prestigious platform will provide our movie in Quebec, it is very significant and, in my mind, very courageous of the programmers to select an English language film to close this particular festival. However, Ségolène Roederer, the elegant director of Les Rendezvous admitted she is possibly most excited about the "female factor" of this film. She is totally grooving on the unabashed "chickness" of not only the story, but the crew and the cast that put it together. Apparently this is still a rare recipe in the indie cinema world!

Anyway, no matter what made the package extra attractive, I know both Ségolène and her colleague Dominique Dugas first loved the film enough to invite us to close their festival.

And that can only open other doors!

Merci beaucoup aux Rendezvous! And if you're in Montreal on February the 26th... Rendez-vous!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Dolly Déja Vu All Over Again

We're baaaack!

First thing this week, a valiant few of us emerged from our cozy warrens, where we'd retreated to take a little snowy r and r over the holidays and we jumped right back in where we left off... The album!

Still with a little glow-on from the amazing musical compliments that Dolly sent along just before Christmas (see previous post), we began the New Year by mixing the last remaining cuts destined for our soundtrack album - specifically, six tracks of selected score from Luc's original compositions...

Just before Christmas, we were faced with the difficult task of having to pick only half a dozen out of 15 equally beloved pieces of score that would make it on the album. About as easy as choosing favourites among your children... But with a little creative mixing, matching and titling, we managed to come up with ways to group the cuts that I think really respects the palette of the whole score - and leaves very few children out.

Then over the holidays, Luc found time to revisit those lucky cuts. By tying a few movements together in inspired ways, re-playing and re-recording some instruments to give the occasional track a longer life or more elegant end, he came up with the final 6 mixing templates.

And so as I write this, Élie (Ely) Jalbert is madly sliding back and forth across the floor in front of his analog mixing board at Studio Victor - balancing, tweaking, wetting, drying, delaying and washing his way through the lush, intimate instrumentation that characterizes our score. Getting closer and closer to a real, honest to goodness record all the time...!

That full, finished album - which combines Luc's original compostions with Dolly's tunes (as reinterpreted by Nelly Furtado, Martha Wainwright, Coral Egan, The Wailin' Jennys and Geneviève Toupin) - is due out a few weeks before March 4, which is when the film is scheduled to hit screens in Quebec and then the rest of Canada soon after.

So even as we finish mixing tonight, we're already looking towards mastering the album with Ryan Morey next week, finalizing poster art and graphics with Alexandre Renzo, designing the CD cover and inserts, oh, and attending a press conference where a very special announcement will be made - (more on that when I can officially talk about it...!)

So far, feels like a very Happy New Year!