Wednesday, May 30, 2007

NJ and Balloons - Perfect Together

Sunday 6/3
Scott Hall #123, 43 College Avenue (Near the corner of
College Avenue and Hamilton Street)
College Avenue Campus
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ
$10 - tickets only available at the door

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Hollywood Reporter

Check out this review in the Hollywood Reporter that calls TWISTED: A Balloonamentary, “one of those wide-grin quirkster documentaries one hopes to discover every festival season”. The review says the film is a “thoroughly winning feature” with “tons of charm” that “could hold its own theatrically in the feel-good docu niche.”

Link to Hollywood Reporter Review

Friday, May 4, 2007

How ‘Bout A Hand For Michigan!

We were just informed that we will be screening at the Waterfront Film Festival in Saugatuck, Michigan. The festival is June 7-10th and we will let you know our screening date as soon as we do!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Grandma Time

The Independent Film Festival of Boston was, as they say, wicked ahhhsome. Naomi prepped for the weekend by working with Rob Balchunas, Sara Krakauer, Charlie Fogarty, and others to create “Balloons On Parade”. Eight stores in the greater Boston area agreed to allow balloon sculptures advertising the film. The sculptures, each designed to look like a different character in the movie, were a huge hit! Much thanks to the Somerville Theatre, Wainright Bank in Davis Square, Mr. Crepes in Somerville, Sherman CafĂ© in Somerville, JP Licks in Brookline, Herrels Ice Cream in Allston, and the Coolidge Corner Theatre.

Boston turned out to be great for press. We had big spreads in the Boston Herald, The Boston Globe, The Metro, on NPR, and a few others! We also did an on camera interview with a new site called Our Stage, and we taught all of the correspondents how to twist their first dogs. Check out TWISTED in the Ourstage IFFB wrap-up here (search for "OurStage a@ IFFBoston).

One great thing about Boston was that we were able to see a lot of people we’d met at SXSW, including SXSW festival programmer Matt Dentler and other documentary filmmakers. It’s nice to start seeing familiar faces along the festival circuit! We hung out with Aaron Matthews (“The Paper”), Adam Zucker (“Greensboro: Closer To The Truth”), and Jason Orans (“Year of the Fish” producer) --- we even managed to score a fee ride home from Jason – who, for some reason, thought it best not to wear this balloon hat while driving.

The next day we recruited Gowri Krishna, Anuj Shah, Debby Levine, Randy Levine, and Chirs Timmerman to hand out postcards and balloons. It is safe to say that there were balloons EVERYWHERE in Boston.

Funny as it sounds, it’s hard to see movies at festivals because we’re often promoting our film. But, we did manage to make it to a screening of “King Corn” a documentary about corn production in the U.S. that was beautifully shot. It is funny to watch a movie about the evils of corn and corn syrup in a theater with buttery popcorn and soda everywhere. When we left the film, we found Rob Balchunas, still hard at work.

That night, we managed to get our crew invites to the festival’s party. We got both our sushi and our grooves on in, what turned out to be, quite a dance party. As we were leaving, a van from Foxwoods casino pulled up to the hotel where the party was held. Instead of taking a few cabs, we negotiated a deal with the driver, who agreed to shuffle all seven of us back to Somerville.

Everyone returned home exhausted. But, it has now become an accepted fact that Sara does not sleep the night before screenings. While the screenings have become more predictable, it is still exciting/ nerve wracking to have a group of strangers view the movie. It was a sleepy morning, but Sarah Grafman, Erica Naiztat, and Sara Krakauer helped us by filling up hundred of balloons. A week earlier, we’d learned that our pre-sales were going very well, leading the festival to move us to the biggest theater at the Coolidge Corner. This meant, we’d need many more balloons to complete our now regular promise of “Everyone who comes to the screening will learn how to make a balloon dog.”

We got to the theater and saw Dan, who would be introducing our film. Dan was great to us! In fact, the whole IFF Boston team – including Nancy, Adam, and Jason really made us feel very welcome! We also saw some of our favorite people we’ve met while filming. It was VERY difficult to cut the stories of Charlie Fogarty and the Beigel family during editing. They’re both fantastic stories that just didn’t work in terms of timing and flow with the rest of the film (but we hope they will one day make great DVD extras!). It is so nice to get such support from all of them!

We also got to see the best colorist we know, Sandy Patch (aka Sugar Patch) from Final Frame. Sandy came up from NY for the screening!

Another New Yorker in attendance was Sarah Orenstein. Sarah was one of our animators, but we’d never met! All of our work with her was done via phone and internet (the wonders of modern day technology), so it was exciting to finally meet her. Including ours, Sarah actually had animation in two films screening at IFFB!

Then, the guests of honor arrived. We were very excited to have our families come to the Boston screening. But, we were especially excited to have two people there who had never seen the final cut or watched the movie in a theater – Grandma Millie and Grandma Sylvia! We are both very close with our families and we have waited for a Grandma screening for a very long time. For weeks, we’d been talking about how excited we were that the time had come. And – there is no question that the most exciting and important part of the Boston experience was that two of our grandmas were there (Naomi’s Grandma Shel will get to see the film in a few weeks!). The theater filled with 350 people, and it was very emotional to look out and see Grandma Millie and Grandma Sylvia cheering us on! In honor of Grandma Sylvia’s 91st birthday, the entire theater even sang “Happy Birthday”.

The screening was great! It was exciting to hear so many people laughing and crying together. After the credits, we even got a standing ovation! After the film, we got to talk to friends from home and Wash U, family, and many strangers who enjoyed the film. One man told Sara he enjoyed the movie and was a twister himself. He turned out to be Aaron Hsu-Flanders, who wrote the very first balloon book Sara ever saw, when she was just a kid!

We then went to Naomi’s grandma’s building for a lovely party!

After a well-needed nap, we geared up for the closing IFF Boston party. The awards ceremony began and the crowd was informed that the next prize would be an ipod. Sara jokingly told Naomi that they would win this because she always wins ipods (at SXSW Sara entered a drawing sponsored by Apple at the last second and won a nano). Well, wouldn’t ya know it… Two minutes later we were surprised to win IFFB’s first award for best marketing! We each got… a snazzy new ipod nano! The festival organizers said they loved our marketing!

Number of Sara's mentioned in this post: 2
Number of Sarah's mentioned in this post: 2