Part 22, Our DIY release leads to a distributor

As described in my last post, our theatrical world premiere opening night at The Colonial Theatre in Keene, NH was a big success.

We sold out the nearly 1000-seat house and turned hundreds away. We were fortunate to have our congressman Paul Hodes join us along with the state’s first lady Susan Lynch, Keene’s mayor and many other dignitaries. The local daily paper carried the event as their lead front page story. Our spotlights beamed through the sky and our red carpet was rolled out in style for actors David Strathairn, Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 21, Our DIY release begins

buzz_mclaughlin_producerFrom the beginning of this project we were fairly certain that one way or another we going to have a special premiere for the film here in New Hampshire.

After all, the film was entirely shot in Peterborough—the same town Thornton Wilder used as his model for his wonderful play “Our Town”—and we raised roughly 90% of our financing in the state. In a very real sense, the production was a grand partnership with many NH people and organizations and we knew we wanted somehow to celebrate that fact when the film was finished.

With no indie distributors knocking on our door offering us a decent deal, we finally decided to take matters into our own hands Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 12, Editing the film

buzz_mclaughlin_producerNext we headed into the post production process, which lasted from the end of the shoot in mid-November until the end of April–approximately five and a half months.

The first step, once we’d caught our breath after the wrap party, was to begin the editing of the film. We were fortunate to be able to rent an isolated and beautiful country house for this purpose right next door to my home in the Stoddard hills of southwest New Hampshire and just up the road from where Aaron lived. Our editor Mario Ontal, who had worked on a number of John Sayles’  films, moved up from Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 9, The shoot

buzz_mclaughlin_producerSo now we’d arrived at the third phase of the process–the adventure of the shoot itself.

Actors began arriving the day before from all over the country. As with every film, we shot the movie out of sequence to make the most efficient use of our time and resources, so when actors arrived they only stayed in  town long enough to shoot their scenes and then they were gone again. All except David Strathairn, of course, who played the lead character and was with us for the duration of the shoot.

The Peterborough Manor where we housed the entire cast for the duration was an exciting place for those three weeks what Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 7, Preparation, preparation, preparation

buzz_mclaughlin_producerNeedless to say, the key to any successful enterprise is good planning and preparation–planning and prep down to the last detail–and that’s what the pre-production phase is all about.

We were fortunate to have made an early connection with producer Mark Constance, who for many years had worked in L.A.  as a second assistant director on major films like Being John Malkovitch. Some years prior Mark and his family had moved to New Hampshire, while he continued to work both coasts on films. When Aaron and I first met him at a small coffee shop in downtown Keene, we hit it off right away. Mark became “Mr. Prep” for us, serving not only as a hands-on producer, but Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 6, Entering pre-production

buzz-headshot-2-300x290Once we’d raised enough of the capitalization so that we could commit to actually shooting the movie, the decision was made to green light it. We set a three-week shooting schedule of eighteen days and then counted back four weeks from the start of the shoot and staked out this four-week period as our formal pre-production timeframe.

With these dates set, we flew to Los Angeles for several days of auditions. Our script had already been sent to a number of talent agencies in the preceding weeks and it received a very favorable response from key agents. When we started auditions we realized that Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 3, Entering the development phase

buzz-headshot-2-300x290

This brings us to the summer of 2004 when we all moved to New Hampshire full-time and marks the beginning of what is called the development phase on any movie project.

I should mention here that Aaron and I had several scripts already in draft form that we had to choose from for our first three projects outlined in the business plan. Two of them were Aaron’s and one was mine. One advantage we had as partners in a new film company was that we were both writers first and had an abundance of our own material we wanted to bring to life. So while we were struggling through the business plan, Aaron was also polishing the script for The Sensation of Sight. He worked through Read the rest of this entry »

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