Monday, January 30, 2012

Post #160

So, "Post #160", hey?


That's - inspired. Why not, "It's Monday" or "Title Here" or "I Got Nothing"?

Just trying to work the Muscle.

Do tell...

Okay, well in a few weeks, it will be exactly one year since the film premiered. It's been in cinemas across Canada, in festivals here and overseas. It's come out on DVD, VOD, PayTV and FreeTV. It's grown up, got a job and moved to the States for crying out loud. It's time for me to face the fact that it doesn't need me as much as it used to. It's time for me to get over the empty nest and get back into the game. Time for me to stoke up the story-making machine and get down to writing something (or things) else. But I'm so seriously out of shape - flat, flabby...

...slow, stupid...

Let's just leave it at flabby.

Okay, so - you're basically "going back to the gym" by - ... writing a blog about nothing?

Once a week - whether it needs me or not.

Intense. Shouldn't you consult your doctor before attempting such strenuous exercise?

Look, it's about sticking with it religiously until you start seeing definition again.

Uh-huh. Well in the meantime, what about getting like a coach or personal trainer to really get you motivated - kick your writing ass ...

... til I get puns of steel?...

Oh god.

You're right - I need professional help.

Okay, here's what I'm going to do... you seem like a nice enough kid so I'm going to hook you up with pen monkey punisher, Chuck Wendig. Check out his site, and especially this post in his blog (which is almost always about something).

He'll get me back in shape?

Guess we'll see next week won't we?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Big Week

This week may be the One We've Been Waiting For, but last week brought us good news very much worth celebrating as well: Jean-François Bergeron was nominated for a Genie in the Best Achievement in Editing category for his fine work on our film!

Once again, congratulations to JF, much deserved! I wish all the talented people who gave this movie life could have been nominated alongside him, but it's also kind of fitting that the guy who tied so much of so many people's great work together was named for the whole.

And lest you think that that the Genie Awards must be the illustrious end of the journey for a little film, let me tell you, there's more road ahead... The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom has been selected to official competition at the BUFF Film Festival in Malmo, Sweden! And we'll also be featured in the regular programming of this year's edition of Les Rendezvous du cinéma québécois (where our film was premiered last year).

And of course that's not all! As of today, we are poised on the 24-hour edge of the film's US release by the good guys at Osiris Entertainment. Since acquiring US distribution rights last year, Osiris' VP of Marketing, Doug Dohmen has been working hard on getting the film into as many outlets as possible south of the border. As of last week, here's the abundant fruit of his labours:

Tomorrow, Tuesday January 24th, the film will go live on VOD (Verizon FiOs, Charter, AT&T U-Verse, Mediacom, Insight, Suddenlink, etc.) and be available for purchase on DVD (over 146 Hastings stores and Ingles Markets) and online (Amazon, CDUniverse as well as right on the Osiris Entertainment website).

As you can see, there'll be many ways for our good neighbours to get some northern exposure. Spread the word!

Oh, and also happening tomorrow, a little thing called the Academy Awards will announce its final Oscar nominations for 2012!! We're all getting up early and pulling for Québec's favourite son, Philippe Falardeau and his film, Monsieur Lazhar to make the cut in the Best Foreign Language Film category! MERDE, Philippe!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Caw, Caw

Have any of you out there (if there ARE any of you still out there) ever fallen off the wagon - whatever your particular wagon is - so hard and for so long that you can't even see the wagon in the distance anymore? I'm talking, not even in the far-off, speck-on-the-horizon distance anymore? In fact, you can't even see the dust of the memory of that wagon anymore?

Well if you have, then you have some inkling of how hard it gets with each passing day to even find a way back to that wagon, let alone get the amount of momentum you'll need to catch up to it, and then somehow hoist yourself back on.

In my case, the wagon I've been running (okay, trotting) after for the last while is this very blog (there are other runaway wagons in my life, but there's probably not enough space in this particular forum to discuss them).

Some of you may have noticed that since I went to Whitehorse way back in October(!), I haven't made a single peep in this space. I honestly meant to write about my wonderful Yukon adventure and my gracious hosts as soon as I got back. But then I didn't.

And then I got busy on a directing job. And then I was off to Poland for another amazing adventure as an international jury member at the Ale Kino! Film Festival in December. And I was going to write all about THAT incredible experience as soon as I got back. But then I didn't. And then it was Christmas. And I was going to use the down time to write a kind of "year in review" post in the blog. But then I didn't (really, Christmas? Down time?). And then it was January 1st and I was going to turn over a new leaf - start the year off right. And write. But then I didn't.

And yet, here I finally am.

So then, you might ask, what DID I finally use as my magical motivator, my special occasion, my momentum, to catch up to - and actually jump back on - that remote, runaway wagon?

Well, it IS January 16th after all - but it's not that. And this morning, I did finally unpack my suitcase from last year's trips (don't ask), but as much as my boyfriend insists that that is a more special occasion than Christmas and New Year's combined, it's actually not that either. So then what WAS it?

It was a sign.

If you have seen the film for which this blog was created, I think you'll appreciate the layers of meaning in the anecdote I'm about to share....

So, there I was, watching football and notably NOT writing this blog, when a random thought came into my head. For some reason, I suddenly thought about Akalu Meekis. He plays the Métis man with the magpie tattoo in our film. His character gives Marion and Elizabeth directions to their destination, and by virtue of their common interest in the magpie, some indication as to Elizabeth's destiny - that of messenger.

Okay, so I'm sitting there watching football and Akalu crosses my mind out of the blue. I haven't seen him since the film premiered in Winnipeg in June, where we had a brief chat about his plans for the future. So I casually wondered if he had finished school as he planned. And if so, if he was still considering pursuing an acting career.

And then something happened in the game and my attention turned back to football.

An hour or so later, I got an email. From Akalu Meekis.

He and I have never exchanged a single email.

That coincidence alone was freaky enough. But then, here is what his message (and I use the term very consciously) said:

It started with the subject line: Greetings!

And then without any salutation, Akalu launched into his brief, direct email by saying he had just been standing outside his school residence minutes before, deep in thought, when out of the corner of his eye, he saw a bird approaching from the east. As it perched on top of a tree, he saw it was a magpie. And he thought of me.

Then he finished off with, "How are things?"

But what I saw was this: "Start &%*?$ writing!!! Caw, Caw! Right *&?%! now! Caw, Caw!"

To wit, please see above. And to note, please note below:

Tuesday, January 24th

On that day, Osiris Entertainment releases our film on DVD in the U.S. !! American cousins, check it out and let us know what you think on our Facebook Fan Page. We're very happy about this auspicious step in our film's life and so keen to hear from you. And I have a lot of catching up to do, so I will write you back. Lots!