Part 20, On the road to distribution

buzz_mclaughlin_producerAs our festival run got underway with San Sebastian, we were already thinking in terms of finding a distributor.

I have to say at the outset of sharing this part of our journey that the timing for us with this film in terms of what was beginning to happen in the industry in general for indie filmmakers was not the most advantageous.

A retrenchment among distributors of indie films was at that time already quietly underway—a retrenchment that surfaced big time about a year ago with the demise Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 18, Playing the film festival game

buzz_mclaughlin_producerWhen you’re just starting out with your first feature film, playing the festival game can be a bit daunting.

The dilemma, of course, is to know—especially at the front end of a film’s festival run—which invites to accept. Everyone told us to be careful and strategize how we wanted to play this. The premiere only happens once and until that card is played, it has great potential value. Once it’s played, the top festivals are pretty much off the table, as “premiere-itis” among the major festivals is very much alive and kicking as it has been for many years.

So from the beginning the question was: given our Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 17, Hanging out at the San Sebastian Film Fest

buzz_mclaughlin_producerOnce our opening night was over all of us breathed a sigh of relief and set about having a good time at the festival in one of most beautiful cities in Europe. The festival itself helped out in numerous ways by supplying us with great hotel rooms with ocean views, passes to everything, and numerous dinners and parties in various tucked-away places in the oldest section of town. We enjoyed seeing films from around the world and caught glimpses of film actors and directors there such as Jeanne Moreau, Max von Sydow, Matt Dillon, Tom DiCillo and Steve Buscemi.  One night we wandered back from a screening of “The Children of Men,” amazed at Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 11, From shoot to wrap

buzz_mclaughlin_producerAnd so the shoot progressed…

One of my favorite shots in the film–a shot that comes late in the movie at the highpoint of the story–is of the classic New England clock tower on top of the Unitarian Church in the middle of Peterborough. We were lucky enough (I’m noticing I’m using that word “lucky” a lot) to have our second unit catch a huge flock of  pigeons nestled on the tower one afternoon.

After setting up camera, one of the crew slammed two pieces of 2×4 boards together with a load whack. And suddenly all the birds took off together in a burst of energy and fluttering wings, made a wide Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 10, The day from hell

buzz_mclaughlin_producerLet me give you a taste of what I mean by that.

During the morning of the second day, the shoot was scheduled for outdoors. But about 9 a.m. a steady sleet suddenly began falling, so we decided to turn to our contingency plan and shoot inside the bed & breakfast.

This also happened to be the day that most of the crew was grumbling nearly to the point of mutiny because the hot water wasn’t working that morning at the Maplehurst Inn in nearby Antrim, where most of them were staying, and they came to work feeling miserable to begin with.

Then, about 10 a.m., our one gigantic generator Read the rest of this entry »

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