26 June 2007


a poster, courtesy of our good friend Ryan Davis:

18 June 2007

a hot date with your secret crush

Ladies and Gentlemen, gather the kids around ye olde computer and pull out your calendars. It's the moment you've all been waiting for, perhaps even anxiously anticipating.

That's right, we have a release date for gravida. Are you excited? Relieved? Thrilled? Because we are.

The date: Thursday, 12 July 2007 at 7.30 pm at the Hollywood Theatre in Dormont. Our good friend Jerome Wincek will perform for the first time in Pittsburgh in a very long time. In addition, you'll get to see two additional short films and hobnob with the very elite of the Pittsburgh community. Some are even calling it the social event of the year (Ok, so no one's saying that). The cost? A mere $5.

So, what does your ticket get you, in a addition to the first ever public screening of gravida?

A live performance by Jerome Wincek
Some Analog Lines, a film by David Lowery
L'Attente, un filme de Lucas McNelly

By the end of the week, we should have some kick-ass posters ready to be plastered around town.

That's all the key info, but chances are that you have questions. Ergo, we have answers.

Q: What the hell took so long?

A: That's a good question. Buy me a drink some time and I'll tell you all about it.

Q: Where is this place, anyway?

A: The Hollywood Theatre is a classic theatre that's recently been restored. It's at 1449 Potomac Avenue across from the big church in lovely, scenic Dormont.

Q: I would like to pre-order tickets for every single person I know. How do I do that?

A: That's a very good question. You email yours truly, Lucas McNelly, at lmcnelly[at]gmail[dot]com and reserve the tickets that way. Or, call me at 724.544.6417 and leave a message. Feel free to pay when you show up. But fair warning: if you pre-order tickets and then don't show up, we're going to make sarcastic, smart-ass comments about you while you aren't there.

Q: Is this film any good?

A: We think so. The internet buzz is pretty good. In the near future the critics will weigh in.

Q: Can I still donate to the gravida fundraiser and get tickets that way?

A: You sure can. If you donate in November, we'll add it to the fundraiser total. But, if you want to donate and end up with tickets, you gotta do it before the premiere.

Q: A Thursday? But then I won't be able to watch "My Name is Earl" and "The Office".

A: They're in re-runs and if you didn't catch it the first time around, that isn't really our fault. Anyway, here's what you'll miss: Earl helps someone while rocking the best mustache currently on TV, and Michael Scott does something embarrassing. Nothing else is on that night. We checked. Also, your other plans cancelled.

Q: You're playing a short film by the guy from Cracker?

A: Nah, it's a different David Lowery. He's a very talented filmmaker from Dallas.

Q: Does the film have explosions, car chases, and/or buddy cops?

A: Sadly, no. But there are some special effects.

Q: Can I bring my dog/cat/hamster/goldfish/small child?

A: You probably don't want to bring the pets, but feel free to buy each and every one of them a ticket anyway. As for kids, you're responsible for their upbringing, not us.

Q: I mean, is the film appropriate for children?

A: Probably not, but none of us have kids, so we can't be sure. It can't be much worse than what they already watch on TV.

Q: Where can I eat a hearty meal before and/or after the film?

A: Dormont has a number of fine eating establishments within easy walking distance. Also you could go to the gas station down the street. If you get there early enough (as in, early in the afternoon), you can eat at Fredo's Deli next to the theatre and support a business that gave us a catering discount during filming.

Q: Will any celebrities be there?

A: We can't make any promises, but chances are good.

Q: Can I help you put posters, etc, all over town?

A: You sure can. We can use as much help with that as possible, even if it's just putting a poster up in your car window. Email me and we'll figure out how to get some to you.

Q: I am not in Pittsburgh, but would like very much to see the film. Should I fly there just for the occasion?

A: Probably not. But, contact us, as plans are under way to bring gravida to a city near you.

Q: I am unable to have fun without alcohol. Can you help me?

A: Why, of course. After the film there will be wine and socializing (pending the final details) and Dormont has a number of bars that can easily quench your thirst.

Q: My life lacks purpose and focus. What should I do?

A: Come to the premiere, obviously. Oh, and buy a DVD when you get there.

01 June 2007

now in the palm of your hand

Bad news, Rue.

The people have spoken. The short version "is not ok for me" (Sandra Naranjo), and "I personally enjoy the long satirical monologues." (Matt Hunt), and there are more. Looks like you've been overruled. But that's ok, a little reading never hurt anyone. And if you still don't want to read, we're here to help. Just let us know and we will summarize the proceedings for you in an easy-to-read format.

Hell, if I remember, maybe I'll even put it at the bottom of the email.

First things first: Monday, 4 June, yours truly will be turning 28. And while I've got mixed feelings about the whole thing, it gives me a chance to give back to our wonderful fan base (yes, I'm sucking up). Call it my birthday gift to you. Of course, if you want to give me a birthday gift still, by all means. Don't let me stop you.

Right, on to it. You, dear reader, can now watch two of your all-time favorite films on your Ipod or other portable video device--for free. You heard me. Free. Courtesy of those wonderful people at Google, you can now download guard duty and L'Attente for viewing either on your computer or iPod, allowing you to watch them wherever and whenever you please. All you've gotta do is go to the d press store where you'll find all the pertinent information, like directions. Meaning, don't call me asking why it doesn't work, because I won't have a clue.

And for those skeptics out there thinking, "gee, I wonder if this is free because he couldn't figure out how to charge money for it", the answer is yes. Most definitely. I freely admit that I am not the most computer-savvy person in the world. But here's the thing, eventually I will figure out how to charge money for it, at which time it will cease to be free. So, don't mess around. Grab it while you can. Show your friends. If you don't have friends, make new ones and show them. Then (and here's where it gets fun), when the d press fan base is overflowing with people eager to jump on the bandwagon, when we've got more people on the email list than I actually know, you can act all aloof and say things like "This pales in comparison to his earlier work" and "I was a fan back when he was giving things away, back before it was all about money." Won't that be fun? Just a warning: say that too much and you may get beat up.

Ok, enough of that. On to the gravida news, powered, as always, by caffeine.

We realize that you guys are starting to get a bit restless, wondering what the hell is going on with gravida. Fair enough. Here's where we are as of right now.

We're waiting for final confirmation on the third song. Hopefully that'll happen soon. If not, we may have to go to plan B, which is finding a different song. (ugh)

We're also waiting for the score to be finished by our good friends from Memphis, The Futility Parade. But this is more our fault in that we're not 100% sure how much music we want over the final third of the film. Plus, they've been touring, so they're busy. But it's in the works.

I've just now started color correcting it, which is something you do pretty late in the game.

Theoretically, it could be finished as early as next week, even taking into account that I probably won't do anything on my birthday.

There's a 26 minute edit right now that's pretty close to a final picture edit. It's been viewed by 2 people other than me who I trust to give me an honest opinion without worrying about hurting my feelings (so, if they thought it was terrible, they'd say so). The reactions thus far are "pretty good" and "really good". Of course, both of those people were on-set, so this morning I sent the file to a filmmaker friend of mine in Las Vegas who's a lot more detached from the process, but an equally trustworthy source.

So, if that's any indication, you can safely assume that the end product will be one that can at least be placed in the plus side of the ledger, in terms of quality. Now whether or not it ends up eking out a profit? That's an entirely different issue.

Practically speaking, what does that mean for the premiere? Well, we think we've found a really nice location, so it's just a matter of nailing down the specifics for a late June (fingers crossed) date. The plan, as of this moment, is to screen gravida, L'Attente, and possibly another short or two, in conjunction with a live performance by the one and only Jerome Wincek. There will be posters, reviews by esteemed film scholars, and (with a little luck) some local media coverage. We think it'll be a pretty cool evening of cinema and culture and something you do not want to miss.

That reminds me: any of you loyal fans out there who have mad promotional skills or contacts or pretty much any other method of ensuring the premiere is a success, let us know. We have some ideas ourselves, but we're pretty much willing to consider anything.

Finally, for those of you just chomping at the bit for anything gravida related, there's now a "semi-official gravida imix", which those of you who buy your music from iTunes will recognize as a legal mix CD. It's got 17 songs that should put you in the right frame of mind. The thing is, we're not really sure how to point you in the direction of it, so we'll just give you the track listing, and you can do what you want with it. Hell, you might even be able to find it yourself.

1. The Lonely 1--Wilco (Being There) **originally the version from the "Chelsea Walls" soundtrack, but iTunes doesn't have it**
2. Jealous Guy--Jimmy Scott (Jealous Guy) **ditto**
3. Sovay--Andrew Bird (And the Mysterious Production of Eggs)
4. Beyond the Sunrise--Belle & Sebastian (Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant)
5. home--Breathe Owl Breathe (climb in)
6. The Bitter One--Spider (The Way to Bitter Lake)
7. Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues--Nina Simone (Best of) **yeah, that's a Dylan cover**
8. River Man--Nick Drake (Five Leaves Left)
9. Christmastime is Here--Vince Guaraldi Trio (A Charlie Brown Christmas)
10. What You Wanted--Bill Ricchini (Ordinary Time)
11. Lonely Lonely--Feist (Let It Die)
12. Winter Song--The Velvet Underground (The Velvet Underground)
13. Buckingham Rabbit--Silver Jews (American Water)
14. I Shatter--The Magnetic Fields (69 Love Songs)
15. All Mixed Up--Red House Painters (Songs for a Blue Guitar)
16. Sea Green, Sea Blue--Jaymay (Sea Green, Sea Blue)
17. Radio Cure--Wilco (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot)

That's it. Enjoy the sunny days.