Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Four Days In Philly

[Executive Producer Michael Bordenick a.k.a. Mikey B., gesturing towards some Historic Stuff in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia]

Just got back last night and need to wrap my mind around some (day job) work issues as well as burning a bunch of DVDs to send in for some last-minute deadlines (you know that's how I roll), so I am not going to make this a very long entry. I'll do that soon, though. Bottom line is, Philly was great, fun town, GREAT people (those who live there as well as those visiting for the fest), horrible, horrible pizza.

This is no joke. I think Philly has an inferiority complex about NYC in the same way Baltimore has the same in regards to D.C. This is the only theory I can come up with to explain why the pizza is so very bad. I figure that Philly wants to set itself apart, so at some point the city as a whole decided, if New York is known for its pizza, we can't do it the way that they do it, we have to make it completely opposite! Unfortunately for Philly, NY makes their pizza very GOOD. So the opposite of that would be... well, you get the point. Opt for the Philly cheese steak. Even chain restaurants there do it well.

I'll get more into it later, but as a whole I was very happy with the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, and it was far better than I expected a fest in only its second year to be. Several bugs to work out, but that's how it goes, and you have to have reasonable expectations at these things. My objectivity may be slightly clouded by the presence of many good-looking male filmmakers (several of whom you can check out in my photos from the fest on the Facebook page, "Smalltimore, the Movie" - click on the link on the right). But - men being my favorite vice and all - who's complaining?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Press Release for Philly

I know I've already shown you the laurel, but it's so pretty, isn't it? Leaving tomorrow, no time to write anything else, so thought I'd share:


"SMALLTIMORE," a new romantic comedy by first-time filmmaker Jeanie M. Clark, will screen at 7:40p.m. on Saturday, June 27, at Yards Brewery, 901 N. Delaware Avenue, as part of the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival.

Tagline: Baltimore may not be known as an artists' haven to outsiders, but the people who live here know that the pertinent question is not, "What do you do?" but rather, "What ELSE do you do?" Struggling art gallery owner Gracie finds herself in a romantic dilemma when she forgets the Golden Rule of Charm City, "Don't judge a book by its cover."

"I am ecstatic that SMALLTIMORE's first domestic festival will be in Philadelphia," says Writer/Director Jeanie Clark. "Philadelphia and Baltimore have a lot of similarities, and I am certain the humor will translate flawlessly from one city to another. Plus, I am a Pennsylvania native, so I am personally glad to be here."

SMALLTIMORE serves as Ms. Clark's love letter to her adopted hometown of Baltimore. Originally from the Pittsburgh area, Ms. Clark has lived in Baltimore city for more than a decade. It was here that she discovered a strong creative community that was both tight-knit and inviting, after a fashion. "I did have to prove myself," she says. "I knew no one when I moved to Baltimore, and coming from 10 years living in Washington, D.C., people here [in Baltimore] were suspect that I was not so much an artist as a wannabe."

Baltimore has proven to be a desirable location for both film and television, but has suffered from an identity crisis for years. If you haven't visited the city, you may only know of it from crime dramas such as, "The Wire," "Homicide," or, "The Corner." Of course, Hollywood heavyweights such as Barry Levinson and John Waters repeatedly return to Baltimore to make their (respectively) nostalgic and quirky films. "John Waters' films are a lot closer to reality than people think they are," Clark says. "People here really are that weird, and that is one of the many things I love about this town. But still, this isn't an entirely accurate representation of my Baltimore, the Baltimore I see every day. I haven't seen a movie that really portrays that Baltimore."

"The majority of my friends in Baltimore are artists: painters, sculptors, poets, musicians, writers, and filmmakers," Ms. Clark explains, "but we all have day jobs." Indeed, "SMALLTIMORE," showcases a dozen local visual artists' work, and the soundtrack is comprised of a whopping 37 original songs by 11 Baltimore artists. This includes triple-threat and nationally renowned artist Joyce J. Scott, who stars as the eccentric wealthy widow Mrs. Talford, displaying several of her own paintings, and singing three of her own songs on the track. Native Baltimorean T.T.Tucker and his Bum Rush Band also play themselves in the film, and contribute 8 songs to the soundtrack. Even ceramic sculptor Caren Shelley and jewelry artist Wayne Werner made commissioned pieces for the film.

There is a lot more to "SMALLTIMORE," than what meets the eye, or ear, however. "People ask me what made me decide to make this movie," Ms. Clark says. "And the bottom line is, I was tired of seeing horrible movies, especially romantic comedies. People like what they can relate to. Getting knocked on the head or drinking a potion that gives you supernatural powers might be entertaining, but it is not going to happen to you. And your jackass of a boyfriend is not going to turn into Prince Charming, either."

The diverse ensemble cast and overlapping story lines reveal even more sides of Baltimore. In this small town masquerading as a big city, the social circles are small - and they all cross-pollinate. No one bats an eye at the gay or inter-racial relationships, let alone a delusional cross-dresser. "I had to do some work to woo Joyce Scott, who is African-American, onto the project, mostly due to her own busy schedule," Ms. Clark says. "She liked the script, but after reading the whole thing, she had some concerns. Her character's personal assistant is Italian-American. Joyce said to me, not asking me to change the script but just wanting to make sure I was aware of this, that 'traditionally speaking', black people and Italians have not always gotten along so well. I really wanted Joyce for the project, and I did give what she said a lot of thought, because I wanted everything about the story to ring true, and I didn't want her to feel it was a stretch." Soon after, Ms. Scott signed on to the project, with no changes to the character of her assistant, Tony. "I knew what she was saying, but she knew what I was saying: I understand that is how it is, in a lot of places. But it just isn't that way in my Baltimore. Those aren't my friends. My friends don't give a flying rat's ass about that kind of stuff. And I know that Joyce doesn't either." Sure enough, once on the set, Joyce and Orlando Gonzalez, who plays the character of Tony, got along famously. Their chemistry onscreen is a direct reflection of their true personal chemistry. "It got to the point that I was afraid to leave them alone in a room together," Clark says. "I'd come back and within five minutes they would have come up with some ridiculously funny and COMPLETELY un-PC comedy sketch - entirely instigated by Joyce."

Romantic comedies can be a hard-sell at festivals. SMALLTIMORE's first festival was earlier this month in the Heart of England International Film Festival in the United Kingdom. "By the time the film screened on the third day, I was more than ready for a laugh," says Clark. "So many filmmakers, and festival programmers, think that if it is funny it can't be good, it can't be art. That is absolutely untrue."

SMALLTIMORE has also been accepted to Indie Fest in Anaheim, CA, in late August. In addition to Ms. Clark (who not only wrote and directed, but also produced and edited the film), Director of Photography Michelle Farrell ("Unraveling Michelle", which screened at Firstglance Festival 2008), Executive Producer Michael Bordenick, and leading actor Cheryl Scungio will be in attendance for the screening on Saturday. Ms. Scungio also starred in, "Public Interest," which screened at the first Philadelphia Independent Film Festival in 2008, and took home the award for Best New Director.

More info:
On Facebook: Smalltimore, the Movie
Trailers available on YouTube and www.smalltimorethemovie.blogspot.com

Friday, June 19, 2009

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

And I'll breathe in mid-July. Maybe.

Got home about 8:30pm Tuesday night. Took my neighbors who dog-sat for me out to dinner an hour later. Worked all day Wednesday, plus had fellow filmmaker Brian Morrison ("One Down") help me figure out some compression and burn (making a DVD of the movie) problems, and took him across the street to meet my friend Phil ("Mrs. Simpson" in Smalltimore). Brian is renting Philip's fabulous Corvette convertible for a music video he is shooting this weekend for Lazerbitch (who is on the Smalltimore soundtrack - click their link on the right to check them out!).

Wednesday night went to The Charles to see Steve Yeager's premiere of, "Crystal Fog." I knew Steve had won an award at Sundance for his documentary on John Waters ("Divine Trash"), but I learned something I didn't know from the woman who introduced him: Steve is still Maryland's only award winner at Sundance. Of course, Eric Thornett won an award at Slamdance, and Michelle is winning awards left and right, so I am always in good company!

"Crystal Fog," was great. I wasn't sure what to expect but it turned out to be a very sweet and well-told story. Was NOT expecting the sweet part. Which is great, I HATE going into a movie and knowing everything that happens before it even begins.

It is the story of a drag queen (Crystal Fog) and an allegedly straight man who falls for her. The story is loosely based on a true relationship that happened to Steve's brother. I am always impressed when someone can write for a character that is very different from themselves and have the dialogue be believable, like men writing for women, crossing ethnic lines, an older person writing for a younger character, or a straight man writing for a drag queen. Steve did an amazing job, and it is an impressive tribute to his brother.

The after-party at Nick's Fish House (which was featured prominently in the film) was a great time. I ran into several of the actors and the DP that I have worked with on Steve's new feature (currently in production), "The Rosens". I spotted (actor) Johnny Alonso there near the end, but didn't have a chance to say hello. He has been in so many Baltimore productions, and mostly works in California now. I don't know him really, but met him briefly last year on the set of "Good People," which was the second time I had met Michelle but the first time I had seen her in action on a set.

Yesterday more work at the Day Job, then dropped by the Creative Alliance to pick up some DVD screeners from Kristen to review before our Members Committee meeting on Tuesday. A small panel of film-related people watch films that are in consideration for the next cycle of events. It's fun, I think, and always nice to have your opinion asked.

Today I have dreaded paperwork for the Day Job (god, I HATE paperwork! This is why I have never held a 9 to 5 job), and email/Facebook blasting about the Philly fest, and have to send some materials out to them and also try to get together a press release. That is SORT OF paperwork, but more of a creative kind and it can be emailed, so no real paper is involved and I don't mind it so much.

Tomorrow I have a small walk-on part for the Lazerbitch music video, and am going to try to catch The Degenerettes (also on my soundtrack - also click their link on the right) play a set at 8:25pm at the Pride festival stage on Eager Street (in front of the Hippo). And I know there are at least three other things I have to do tomorrow that I am forgetting about. Sunday is the second installment of my neighborhood yard sale:

Monthly Mother of All Yard Sales!
1 0 Households!
Sunday, June 21, 9:00am-2:00pm
Rear parking lot, 1125 North Calvert Street

Jewelry - glassware - antiques - oddities -
books - clothes - appliances - furniture -
decor items - dolls - kitchenware

Spread the word!!!

And then it's Monday again already? Argh!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Winding Down

Good lord. This is why it is good to travel alone. This morning I got up at a reasonable hour and was packed and ready to leave Tamworth at 10:30a.m. The train I originally planned to take was at 12:42p.m., but since I was moving, I figured there had to be one a little earlier, right? Not really. There was one at noon, so I still had an hour and a half to kill. So, after walking 1/2 mile to the train station to find this out, and there being no place at the train station to store my bags (by the way, can't blame Bin Laden for that. The IRA was blowing up things in London long before him, which is also why trash cans are very difficult to find in train stations), I had to walk halfway back into town to get a soda and sandwich, then afterwards back again.

When I did return, I found that I was on the same train and changing at Birmingham with Amir, one of the other filmmakers in the festival. He was the one who told me he'd watch my movie even though it would not be his cup of tea. Which, incidentally, he did not. He sat through about 15 minutes before walking out. I have since forgiven him but will admit I was annoyed at the time. I know it is my first festival, but still, there is a sort of etiquette between filmmakers, and once you establish some sort of rapport it is unspoken that you expect, want, and reciprocate support, i.e., watch each others movies.

But, we had a nice chat while traveling to Birmingham, and I know he did not have any malicious intent. I had to walk out of a couple films myself, though that was due to some very graphic footage. I remember images and I can't watch certain things that I find disturbing. I know seeing my neighbor Philip in a dress is somewhat disturbing; perhaps it was just too much for Amir to take.

Last night was the screening of "Radio Cape Cod," by American Andrew Silver. It was a sweet little love story, and a nice event. They served small sandwiches, satay skewers, and canapes during the meet & greet beforehand, so that was dinner. But other than Andrew, I was the only filmmaker still in town (except Amir, who did not attend), so it was a little lonely. I did talk quite a bit with John Welles, a councilman and former Mayor of Tamworth, who I met the first night at the castle, and his wife and son David as well. Really nice people, as was everyone in town, and as I said to John after the movie last night, I need to make another movie so I can come back!

It was a long day of travel today. To get to Matthew's I had to take five different trains, and very few of the stations I had to transfer at had escalators, so I had to drag my big case up and down the steps myself. In these situations, some man almost always grabs it from me without even asking and does it for me, but not today. It is Sunday so no one seemed in much of a hurry and the trains were less crowded, so maybe when they help me like that it is just to get me out of the way from holding up traffic.

I am looking forward to having dinner with Matthew tonight and catching up. He hasn't been over to Baltimore in quite awhile. Since New Year's, I think? Then tomorrow with Jim & Deb. This is just about the time that I really start missing my dogs and home, so it will be nice to spend it with friends.

The Heart of England Film Festival was a terrific experience, and I think a very suitable "starter" festival for me. I truly think that the networking I was able to do with other filmmakers will prove to be to my advantage down the line. I am going to try to help Amir with some casting for his next project; Ronnie said he'd DP for me if I made a short, and the wheels in my head are already spinning on that; if I ever make a documentary I would certainly consult with Indira, and she said if she ever made a feature she would consult with me; I really want Vagabond to meet Al Letson at some point, I think they would hit it off and creative sparks would fly; plus Vagabond and Maya both live in NYC, so hopefully I will see them again soon. Plus so many other great people I met... never know, might run into them again at another festival soon (knock on wood!).

Many of us being Americans, and traveling alone, I think added to the intensity a bit, and how well we hit it off. It starts off being a little lonely, and a little scary. So I think when you meet other people who are in the same circumstance, there is a moment that each is sort of thinking of the other, "Please don't be a jackass, so I have someone to hang out with," and in most cases they are not a jackass, and then the fun begins!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

"...first, drunk, and shy!"

Of course that partial quote does not pertain to moi. Last night was the Heart of England International Film Festival Awards Banquet, and my fellow filmmaker Indira was the first to win an award for her documentary "Crossing Lines". She did not make any sort of speech and as other awards were being handed out, she realized she should have, but, as she said of herself, "That's what happens when you are first [winner], drunk, and shy!" She is hysterical after a few drinks, she is far more bold and far less self-conscious. I have a few friends that I love to watch get drunk (Donna, Lisa) because they get so funny so quickly, and Indira is now on that list.

I had SO much fun last night, it was wonderful. I was seated with many of the new friends that I made this week, though unfortunately the Scots, Ronnie and Paul, were not at our table. They won also, for "Shooter" (as well they should have!), so we screamed and cheered for them. Actually, every single filmmaker at my table won an award - six in all, making our table the most trophy-laden in the room - except me. Wasn't even nominated. I knew this all along, that the people I was hanging out with were all nominated, and I knew that they were likely to win as well, and though I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about it, I wondered how I would feel during this event. Turns out I probably had more fun that way, as there was no pressure and no competition for me. I was truly happy for all of my new friends and we had a ridiculously good time. On each table was a centerpiece made of a gold heart. I whipped out my retractable Sharpie and turned it into my own award, writing on the heart, "SMALLTIMORE - Award for the Only Film at Table 3 Not to Win an Award". I then had everyone at my table - Vagabond, John & Alba, Carlos & Sallie, Rafael & Claudia, Isaac, and Indira - sign it, plus Ronnie and Paul (the Scots), Richard and Karen (local Tamworth filmmakers), Nick Hudson (festival Director), Jordan (Nick's assistant, John Welles (former Mayor of Tamworth), his filmmaker son David, and - I am not making this up - the actor who plays Boba Fett in the Star Wars films. Jeremy something, I can't make out the signature. I love my trophy and it makes me smile to look at it. I actually like it better than the ones that were awarded!

I am exhausted and dehydrated and need to go find some water now. All my friends have left and I got up too late to go out to Bosworth Battlefield where they were screening today. One more event tonight, a screening of "Radio Cape Cod," I will likely go to that. Then off to London tomorrow!

Friday, June 12, 2009

More Good News!

Got word yesterday that "Smalltimore" has been accepted to the IndieFest in Anaheim, CA! That takes place the last week of August. I just looked at the schedule, and "Smalltimore" is screening on the last night, in the last evening slot. That is pretty primo and I am VERY happy about that.

Also was sent notice that "Smalltimore" has made it through the second round of the Red Rock Festival. I really want to get into that one. Though it is a newer festival, the venue looks absolutely amazing and I very much want to see my film on that screen.

"Smalltimore" screened here on Wednesday to a small but enthusiastic audience. My friend Jim (on whom the character of Jack was loosely molded) came up from London to see it. It was his first time watching any part of the movie, and something that made me happy is that he laughed at a lot of the little things that some people don't notice. My favorite movies are those of the true Silver Screen era, Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Fred & Ginger, Mae West... and in those movies if you don't pay attention you can miss a lot of the laughs. I think in 2009 we are quite... I don't know if desensitized is the right word, probably not... I don't know, I think audiences expect to be handed everything. Here's an explosion, here's a car chase, here are some breasts, try not to think too hard. I like movies you have to work at a little bit.

I am so glad I have stayed for the whole week, I continue to meet very interesting fellow filmmakers. Last night I met two Scottish chaps named Ronnie and Paul who made a 4-minute film titled "Shooter". It is beautifully made and I was quite impressed - as was Cannes. They head to Edinburgh next. I am more than jealous. I love Scotland and I haven't been back there for far too long. And of course I would like to be in a festival there! Ah, well. At least I can listen to their lovely accents for a few days, and make a few contacts.

Tonight is the awards dinner which I am looking forward to. There were some very heavy films being shown today and I had to escape for a bit. Other than "Smalltimore" I have only seen one comedy and that was a short. Why do so many people think that in order for a film to be good it has to be depressing? I have seen some very good documentaries, though, and they each had a bit of humor in them. One was called, "Crossing Lines" which was very good, and another was an excellent doc about photographer Eddie Adams. My library computer session is about to end, sorry I have no time to give more details than that!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hello, Dahlings!

Greetings from jolly olde England! Tamworth Library, to be exact. I've been here for two (gray, cloudy, sometimes rainy) days and am quite enjoying it. Festival attendance, as I feared, is negligible, but until Saturday the films are showing from 10am-5pm, and most people are at work. So it is mostly visiting filmmakers watching each others' films! Not that there's anything wrong with that. I have met some very cool people and the program director, Nick Hudson, is very hospitable. He arranged a LOVELY reception for the filmmakers at Tamworth Castle last evening, with wine, delicious canapes, and not only the Mayor, but three former mayors as well!I chatted it up with the current Mayor and guess what? I absolutely love this - he has a cousin in Baltimore. I am not making this up.

One of my fellow filmmakers also has relatives in Baltimore. His name is Kent, I am going to see his film this afternoon. It is called "Shotgun Jesus" and it is a documentary on truck stop evangelists. It sounds very interesting and I can't wait to see it.

I am glad to have met these other filmmakers (most of them are American) so I believe I will at least have a small audience for "Smalltimore". The event venue, the Csa Bar, which is sort of similar in size and layout to the Wind-Up Space, but it is more of a square than a rectangle and has a dozen leather sofas that are almost TOO comfortable. The manager there, Carl, is very nice and helped me to find a place to make some flyers to hopefully draw a few more people in. He also told me I might get a bit more of a crowd than some of the other screenings because there is a very important football (aka soccer) match that evening, so perhaps I will get some pre-gamers. Also my friends Matthew and Jim are coming up from London tomorrow to see it.

So, it is a mixed bag but I am enjoying it and now that I have met these other filmmakers, I definitely have something to look forward to each day, as their films are spread throughout the week. I can't remember all the names of them so I will try to check back here in a few days and tell you about them as I see them, perhaps Thursday. Tomorrow I will be busy with my London visitors and seeing one of my fellow filmmaker's screening that happens just before mine.

After the reception at the Castle last night, program director Nick treated half a dozen of us filmmakers to dinner at a very good Indian restaurant. Seated next to me was Amir, who lives in Berlin. I think his film shows on Friday. He seems a rather serious chap, but nice. I gave him a flyer for "Smalltimore". He looked at it for a moment and said quite bluntly, "This does not interest me. But you interest me, so I will see it, so that I can better know you."

Some people may have been offended by that, but I thought it was great, and I could say the same about some other movies. But from what little I have seen of each of these people I have met so far, even if the subject matter doesn't sound like I'd like it, I think I will be pleasantly surprised.

Last night was really nice. Sitting with these people, and realizing we are all in the same boat. Each traveling alone, putting our work in front of strangers, not really knowing what to expect of this week. There is a camaraderie in that.

And as I walked out of the Castle on our way to dinner, I snuck around onto the ramparts and took a few pictures of the beautiful green landscape below and the high stone wall that banks the path up to the Castle entrance. In between pictures I took a moment and a deep breath and looked out at this beauty with my naked eye, and I smiled and even had a little laugh to myself. Coming over here I was so worried about how many people would be seeing my movie. You know me, I HATE to have a small turnout, I am known for great parties! But here I was, in England, coming out of a reception held in the honor of me and my fellow filmmakers, in a thousand-year-old castle, with the Mayor. Who can complain?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Dog's Life

Two dogs, really. Timmy and Max, my yorkies. I had a medical emergency with both of them last night that I really don't want to go into. The important thing is that they are fine, though I am still rather traumatized, and only hours before I get on a plane to be away from them for 10 days. Luckily they will be in very good hands with their "Uncles" Phil and Ron. If I didn't have such good friends to leave them , with, I probably would be canceling my whole trip right now.

As it stands, I had to cancel my Pre-Production for Independent Films class at the Creative Alliance at the 11th hour. That was supposed to be today. I do feel terrible about that, and hope to make it up to the people who enrolled. But I am sure any of them who has had a pet with a near-death experience will understand.

So last night was a complete wash and now I am behind schedule again, haven't even packed, though for me, as you know by now, that is par for the course. I have so much to do today, I'd better get moving in a minute. But just wanted to throw a quick post on here before I leave for 10 days, as I am not sure how much internet access I will have over there.

The dog in the photo above is not one of mine (the dog is not mine, the photo is), but this is one of my favorite photos that I have ever taken. This dog's "name" was George (we dubbed him this, as in, "I will love him and squeeze him and call him George", old-school Warner Brothers cartoon reference ). He was a stray that a friend of mine found near Patterson Park. He was a mutt with a very cool personality and hypnotic golden eyes. He didn't seem stressed or freaked out about anything. It was summertime and none of us had much to do, and George fit right in. I practically expected him to make a suggestion as we discussed where to go get a cold beer and sit outside. We were in another friend's convertible driving in Highlandtown near the park when I took this with a fish eye lens. I was in the front passenger seat, George was in the back seat with the friend who found him. A few days later, George got loose and ran away and we never saw him again. But, he was one of those dogs that you just know will be fine. That was at least 5 years ago, and I still smile whenever I look at this photo and I remember everything about this little guy. He seemed like the canine equivalent of a happy wanderer. He just drifted into our lives for a few days, hung out and had a few adventures, and then hit the road, undoubtedly on to the next adoptive group for more good times. I'll try to take a page from George's book as I spend a week in Tamworth.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Heart Attack Averted

Good lord... went to make some changes to the movie yesterday, and I COULDN"T FIND THE FILE. Somehow I had accidentally moved the master file to the TRASH! Thank goodness I hadn't emptied it! I think I was trying to get rid of old versions that were taking up a lot of space but I knew I wouldn't use again. Seriously, I was almost in tears, because the only full version I had left was the latest DVD version, which is somehow all squished because I must have done something wrong when rendering and burning it to DVD. I am still having palpitations just re-living the moment. Ack.

I am about 1/3 of the way through the movie, making some tiny changes here and there, tightening up a few pauses and even cutting down a few more lines. Anyone who has seen the movie will probably be happy to know that I have cut the Golden Twat line from the sushi scene. I still think it was funny, but nobody else seemed to, and I'll admit it makes the scene more palatable to a wider audience. I also swapped some things around in the first few scenes to step up the pace. There is more I would have liked to cut, but since I did not do a great job during production of making sure I had enough cutaways (little snippets to cut to, a hand on a bottle of beer, a close-up of someone's wrist as they look at their watch, etc), to cut the lines I wanted to cut would screw up continuity, which I have worked VERY hard to make as perfect as possible. Also I now open directly with the first scene, THEN to the opening credits with the song "Bohemia" by Niki Lee. That is something Eric suggested a long time ago, and it definitely works better, plus then people are paying attention by then instead of talking through the credits, and I think the song is very pertinent to the movie, which is more obvious after you watch the first scene.

I am so excited to be heading to England on Saturday, though I really have no idea what to expect. I have booked my reservations in a sweet little B & B called The Peel Hotel, which apparently is anywhere from one to ten minutes walking to anyplace in town I would possibly need to be. Rest assured I will be making mental and physical notes throughout the trip, as I have the feeling that the entire experience has "screenplay" written all over it. When I made my reservations at the hotel for an entire week, the kind lady I spoke to told me that after I had seen the sights in town, that it would be easy to take a train to Birmingham, a larger city, and from there I can go to anywhere in England quite easily. The way she said it was almost as if she had said "after you have seen the sights in town - which should take all of about five minutes..."

Though it may happen, I have no intention of leaving Tamworth that week. As stated, my goal the first few days is to meet as many people as possible and invite them to the screening. I also intend to get some writing done, and RELAX. I do my best writing and relaxing when I am VERY far away from home and have absolutely no daily responsibilities and limited internet access. Plus, though the pound is a lot weaker against the dollar than it has been in recent years, it is still not in my favor, and I see no point in wasting valuable pub money on train travel.

I am also so psyched about going to Philly later this month! I was starting to panic that "Smalltimore" would not get into any domestic festivals, though I have only been turned down by a few so far, and those were mostly long shots. There are some other festivals I will be hearing back from soon that I think the film is more suited to, so fingers crossed. I'd really like at least one more, so when the time comes to package the DVD I can have at least three lovely laurels to display on the cover!