Funny You Never Knew is playing in Glasgow at the GFT on July 3rd! To all my Scottish friends: Don't miss out!! I will be there and can't wait to see you all! There'll be a Q&A with myself and editor Colin Goudie (Star Wars: Rogue One) so it's going to be a fun night. You can get tickets here:https://glasgowfilm.org/sho…/funny-you-never-knew-qanda-nc-5
Viewing entries in
Yes - another award! My co-editor, Colin Goudie (Star Wars: Rogue One) and I won the award for "Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking: Editing (Documentary) for "Funny You Never Knew."
The award stands as a marker to what was an amazing experience getting to work with Colin again. Those of you who know Colin, or have worked with him, will be nodding in agreement here because Colin is just one of those rare human beings who brings all of himself to a project and cares as much about you as person as he does about the film he's working on.
I’ve included some photos from our time at the Newport Beach Film Festival. It was a fantastic Film Festival and we had an absolute ball with both our premiere and repeat screenings getting sold out and each having a waiting list!
Highlight for me, personally, however, was driving Fred Willard and Bill Hayes home after our premiere screening and hearing some amazing stories about how Fred ended up doing the cult classic “Spinal Tap” and the amazing people they’ve both worked with over the years. So cool!
FYNK is playing at the Hoboken International Film Festival on Saturday May 18th at 8pm. Tickets can be purchased here: https://tickets.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?t=tix&e=4d2f5bf59431f219a174cda624877551&vqitq=05ae7b3b-a082-4bd3-92b8-ae7ea701a4b5&vqitp=c5d972d9-959a-4ba4-99b6-1f991a97f51f&vqitts=1557335383&vqitc=vendini&vqite=itl&vqitrt=Safetynet&vqith=98bf0929212ffc7c91ff1adf6045d2b2
Funny You Never Knew Wins Gold REMI Award at 52nd Annual Worldfest Houston International Film Festival
Our film just won the Gold REMI award at the 52nd annual Worldfest Houston International Film Festival last night. It’s been a fun week with lots of great movies, networking and even a trip to the Houston Space Center!
After our win at Garden State for Best Documentary Feature Film this award for “Best Director of a Feature Film” at the Chicago Comedy Film Festival is a great honor. Thank you Chicago! We’re in Houston this week screening at the 52nd annual Worldfest Houston International Film Festival and we’ve been nominated here also so we’ll see what happens!
One of the many joys of being in the Chicago Comedy Film Festival was that the film reviewer Danielle Solzman saw our film and wrote a review. You can read it here: http://www.solzyatthemovies.com/2019/04/06/chicago-comedy-2019-funny-you-never-knew/
Had the delightful pleasure of being interviewed on Radio by the lovely Patti Vasquez of Chicago’s WGN. You can hear it here:
Some photos from the opening night at the 2019 Garden State Film Festival where our film had its East Coast premiere.
We’ve been selected for the ninth annual Chicago Comedy Film Festival 2019 and we’re screening on Friday night, April 5th. I’ll be flying in from New York for it so come see the film and say hi! You can get tickets here: https://www.chicagocomedyfilmfestival.com/ and for more information about the film go to https://www.funnyyouneverknew.com/
As we are coming toward the end of easily the most challenging project in my career I thought it was fitting to include some behind the scenes photos from our last day of shooting on "Funny You Never Knew" with Kevin Pollak and Fred Willard in Los Angeles. The cinematographer pictured below is the talented and lovely Nancy Schreiber, A.S.C and the location was the home of Emmy-award winning comedy writer Jerry Belson (Dick Van Dyke Show, Tracy Ullman Show) who is sadly no longer with us.
We have some remaining bits of the licensing process to complete after which we will, at last, be able to go into the final sound mix and picture grade. Will keep you posted...
Currently In Post-Production: I'm making a feature documentary entitled "Funny You Never Knew" about the re-discovery of three amazing comedians from the 1950's, Imogene Coca, George Gobel and Martha Raye as experienced through two contemporary comedians, Fred Willard and Kevin Pollak. Interviews include Lily Tomlin, Bob Newhart, George Schlatter, Norman Lear, Carl Reiner, Tom Smothers, Jack Carter, Carol Channing, Alan Young, Hal Kanter, and Rose Marie.
The project is the brainchild of Karl Tiedemann, the film's Executive Producer, who used to write for David Letterman, Robert Klein, Disney etc. and is a respected expert on America's early years of comedy.
If you have a favorite story, clip or episode from any one of the three I'd love to hear it. Drop me a line or leave a comment below. Thanks!
I was interviewed live - at 4am in the morning NY time no less - on Newstalk ZB's Sunday show "Real Life" this month. It's an iconic radio station in New Zealand that I grew up listening to thanks to my Dad always having it on in the car! It also played an interesting role in my life when I survived the massive earthquake in Cairo back in the early 90's and ended up doing a "live to the nation" interview with the great Leighton Smith, as you'll hear me talk about in the interview. When the producer initially contacted me about being on the "Real Life" program, he told me that it has been "the top rating show for its time slot nationwide for the last six years" and having been a part of it now I can see why. The host of the show, John Cowan, is a great guy, very funny and creates a relaxed atmosphere for the interview. They also had me provide them with a list of five of my favorite songs that have some personal meaning to me. During the hour long interview they would come out of each ad break with one of these songs and discuss them and it was great, somewhat analogous to the way that certain smells can take you back to a time and place.
Some of the songs include "My Lung" from the amazing Jo Mango, "Paris Nights/New York Mornings" by Corinne Bailey Rae and "Rocketlove" by Houseparty (a band I was a founding member of back in the day and this was our first single.) I had also chosen my brother Deryck's band "Semi Lemon Kola" and their single "Before Heaven" but sadly it was the only one they didn't play. Sorry Deej! Love that song tho. For those of you who have never heard it, out of share loyalty and love for the song, click here to play it! (I've been listening to it as I write this post!)
The interview turned into a bit of a "This is your Life" program so for any of you curious about my past lives sit yourself down with a nice glass of wine, (chilled Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region in NZ would be best) put your feet up, relax and press play!
The images above were from a celebrity shoot I did earlier this year as a part of Bloomingdale's October Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It was the second time I'd used the Canon 5D MKII and the results were excellent. It wouldn't be my first camera of choice tho, in general at least, and would rely largely on what I was shooting. The audio problems are solvable with a decent sound guy and I don't mind syncing things up in post like the old days but I do find shooting on a compressed format (H.264) annoying when it comes to grading the image in post. The color information is just not there and you feel like you are dealing with some 8bit image. When I first started using the camera I was transcoding it, as one must, to an editable format like prores422 but have since started using the prores422 (HQ) setting to ensure I take as much color information into the grade. There's no doubt that you'll pay for anything incorrectly exposed with this camera and it simply doesn't carry the same latitude to afford a "fix in post" mentality.
Having said all that, the big chip and a long lens produces a beautiful and very shallow depth of field that is wonderfully cinematic and makes going back to an EX3 or the like - without any film adapter - quite disappointing.
For this shoot I needed a two camera set up so that I could walk away with two angles out of each interview. As is often the case when filming celebrities we were not given long with each person so a big plus of the Canon 5D MKII is it's cost point, making a two camera shoot easily affordable.
I wouldn't want to shoot a "run 'n gun" styled documentary with one of these but in the right circumstance it's an amazing tool to have at your disposal. Did I mention it also takes great stills!
Please note: All photos above were taken by the wonderful Tim Greeson. (http://timothygreesonphotography.com/)
The following photos show how the interviews were used in the Bloomingdale's stores. These were taken at the flagship store in Manhattan.
I recently completed production on a six episode series based on the New York Times bestselling book "The Reason for God" by Timothy Keller. Check out some behind the scenes production stills below. The series comes out in October. You can see the trailer for it in my Films section or simply click here to go to that page.
My wife Joy and I attended the 2010 Film Independent Spirit Awards as a result of my film "The Love Game" winning the nationwide Bflix competition. It was a fun night. Bloomingdale's put us up in the Casa Del Mar on the beach at Santa Monica, which was awesome, and added to the whole experience. As they say: location, location, location!
The event itself was great. It started with a walk down the red carpet, which oddly enough is blue at the Indie Spirit awards, followed by cocktails, then a dinner and finally the awards. During the cocktails I met and talked with Leonard Maltin who was fascinating to chat with and then the highlight for me: meeting with Jermain Clement from "Flight of the Conchords". I said to him, "thanks for putting NZ on the map" to which he replied, "not everyone thinks so, a lot of people complain that we made fun of NZ". He was very "down to earth" to chat with and it was just great meeting another Kiwi at the event.
Eddie Izzard was a brilliant host although I'm not sure the American audience got all his jokes, but we were killing ourselves laughing! After it finished we went on to the after party which was OK but we were tired and had to get back to Elias who was being brilliantly looked after by our good friend Sunu. Thanks Sunu!
It's Sunday and we're about to head off for breakfast and then a walk along Santa Monica pier. So enjoying the weather and the break from the New York cold and snow!
You can check out some photos from the event below:
The Love Game wins!
"The Love Game" and the other four Bflix films are screening at Tribeca Cinemas next week. It's an industry screening for press, cast/crew, and other industry insiders. The screening will be followed by a cocktail reception and a panel discussion with myself and the other four directors. It'll be so good to see it on the big screen and to see the cast and crew again after what feels like forever! I'm certainly over watching it online. Just not the same.
For those of you who've been invited I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday! Will keep you posted on where we play next.
The Bloomingdale's promotion ends soon but the five films will have a life outside of the BFLIX campaign. They will tour the international Film Festival circuit starting with the prestigious Hamptons International Film Festival this week. I have never attended this festival before personally but have heard a great deal of good things about it so I'm very much looking forward to it. I will be on a panel on Sunday along with the other Bflix directors discussing "New Approaches to Reaching An Audience". Definitely a hot topic in Independent film right now. Here's the details of the event below or you could click here to go straight to the site.