Part 14, Hitting the film festival circuit

buzz_mclaughlin_producerOur film festival run with The Sensation of Sight started out with a bang. Within a couple of weeks of having finished post on the film and with DVD screeners in hand, we submitted to several top festivals including Telluride, Toronto, and San Sebastian in Spain–the next big festivals coming up in the early fall.

Within three weeks of submitting, we received an invitation to the 54th San Sebastian International FilmFestival–one of the oldest festivals in the world and generally considered one of the top ten international fests. We were a bit stunned by this and surprised by the speed Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 13, Post production continues in L.A.

buzz_mclaughlin_producerAs Aaron and Mario were ensconced in their house in the woods editing, we also began making arrangements for moving our entire operation to Los Angeles where further finishing work on the film would commence once we had a “locked picture” in hand. The reason for planning this move from one coast to the other was because, after much research and investigation and receiving quotes for the work that needed to be done, we realized we could finish the post work on the film less expensively in Los Angeles than anywhere on the East Coast. The sheer volume of post production work in L.A. actually made for lower quotes and therefore a favorable cost 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 4, Locations, budgets & legal stuff


Another aspect of the development phase was deciding where we would shoot the film.

This actually was not an issue for us because from the beginning we knew that if our first movie was The Sensation of Sight it had to be shot in Peterborough, New Hampshire–the setting Thornton Wilder used for his famous play Our Town. Our story and this lovely, small New England town was a match made in heaven.

Since Peterborough was only a half hour’s drive from our film company’s home office, we were able to case out the town in depth quite early on and realized that we could shoot the entire film Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 3, Entering the development phase


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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An Introduction to The Sensation of Sight

david_strathairn_jane_adams_the_sensation_of_sightHere we are with a new website and a new blog for The Sensation of SightThis will be kind of an unusual film blog, because instead of writing it prior to the filming, which is what most filmmakers do, we’re beginning after the filming, after the film’s festival run, after its U.S. theatrical release, after its North American DVD release, and after its release to the world via our sales agents, LongTale International.

Why now? Why all these “afters”?

The rise of social media is a big reason.  Never before have independent filmmakers had access to their potential audiences as they now do via Facebook, Twitter, My Space, YouTube, and all the other rapidly developing sites.  It’s possible now, for audiences to hear about the film on these sites, proceed to websites like ours, and then decide to take a look for themselves.

Formerly, only studio films or independent films distributed by arms of the studios could come into national and international awareness.  The average marketing budget for a studio film has been estimated at between $30-50 million.  Since independent films are usually made for a tiny fraction of what studio films are made for (usually from $500,000 to $5 million or up to $15 million), they’ve had a difficult time attracting audiences without being able to pay for expensive print and television ads.

But now that’s changed.  So we thought we’d put up a new website for The Sensation of Sight as it makes its way into the world, one that can easily be interactive with you, our audience. We hope to offer you interesting insights, film clips, video interviews, and ideas about the making of this film and about the making of independent films in general.  Let us know what you think.

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