10 September 2008

festival 9.0...and news from around the collective

Is your fantasy football team reeling from injuries to Tom Brady, Merriman, Colston, and/or Burleson? Well, we've got some good news for you: gravida is an Official Selection of the 2008 Tacoma Film Festival. Click here for more info.

We screen on 4 October and 7 October in Tacoma, WA. This is our third festival on the West Coast and number 9 overall. There's a good chance that this is our last one (unless we get invited to one or highly motivated to send out some more submissions), and if that's the case, then we've had a hell of a good run, thanks in part to your help. There's 2 or 3 more screenings that may or may not happen, and we'll let you know as soon as we know.

Oh, and I'm not sure if I've mentioned this yet, but look what happens when you look up gravida on Wikipedia.

I've been out of town for the last couple of weeks, so let's catch up on what's going on around the collective, shall we?

+++ John Gallagher (a.k.a.
the co-producer on gravida) has a short film he produced in the Dare To Direct 2 short film contest sponsored by Chiller TV.
The short Wreck Room is a horror short in a horror contest, so if you have a weak stomach and/or aversion to horror like I do, be fair warned. Anyway, you know the drill. Watch it. Give it a "thumbs up". Tell your friends.

+++ Also worth checking out this month (and beyond) is the Pittsburgh Neighborhood Narratives project.
Basically, it's Paris, je t'aime, minus all the famous people and set in Pittsburgh instead of Paris. Our pitch for a segment about Dormont (complete with roto-scoping and some dream-like lighting ideas) was actually a finalist for this project (basically our pitch wasn't very narrative, which may have been the problem), but we aren't bitter. Rachel Shaw is in the Homestead film and our good friend Justin Crimone of Zeno Films is doing the Downtown segment.

Anyway, it premieres 25 September at Regent Square and then will show all over the city after that.
Go to their MySpace page for more details.
You can find the trailer here.

+++ Amy Crawford and her band The Electric have an EP coming out late summer and they're also on tour in a town near you (but not in a town near me....what the hell?)

In other Amy news, she finished 3rd in the 2008 Shure/Montreux Jazz Festival Vocal Competition in Switzerland. Oh, and her MySpace page also has some live tracks up. Check them out.

+++ Ilona V has a new song on her MySpace page, called "Summer's Almost Gone". Check it out.

+++ far beyond frail's song "Portland" is included in the new compilation CD "Hope, Volume One", which benefits the group "Suicide Awareness Voices of Education". Also included on the album are Tegan and Sara, Trisha Yearwood, Kevin Max, Lisa Loeb, and Joanne Cash (I think she's Johnny's daughter). Also, they seem to be using the same webpage template we are, which is weird, especially since they're about hope and stuff.

far beyond frail is also touring the country (and also not playing a city near me). Check them out when they get near you, and tell them I sent you.

+++ jerome wincek & the old hats have a new song up, titled "the intranet man all redd up". The title is some sort of Pittsburgh something that I don't even remotely understand, and I don't really want to.

And I think that's it. Enjoy the warm weather while it's still here.

28 May 2008

once more around the block

Voting continues in the Now Film Festival. So, if you haven't voted...bloody hell...what are you waiting for?

vote gravida

Until we hear those results, a quick run-down of what's happening around the collective...

+ This past weekend was the Oil Region Indie Songwriter's Festival in Oil City, PA. It was quite a lineup (featuring Brad Yoder, The Old Hats, Newmen, Nate Custer, Jeremy Jack, Namoli Brennet, Secretly Plotting Your Burial, and many more) and the weather was nice. Word is there may be more shows in the works, so we'll keep you updated as we hear about it. I can't seem to find the actual article in newspaper's online archives, but the Derrick ran a story about the festival, featuring a photo by yours truly. Click here for proof..

+ In other Oil City news, Jerome Wincek has put out a couple of live videos of himself and the Old Hats. They're available on his MySpace page.

+ Steve Vesolich has a new album ready to drop. "This Continual Flight" will have a CD release party on 27 June 2008 at Club Cafe in Pittsburgh. The cost? $7. More info.

+ The Futility Parade has a new song ("based on a short story by ambrose bierce of which i can't recall the title") on their MySpace page. I'm told it was recorded on the side of the road. They do stuff like that.

+ We may have already told you about this, but Ilona V. has a new-ish song on her MySpace page, "Deliverance Coffin". Honestly, I'm not sure if this is new info or not. The method is to look for songs that have a lot fewer plays than the rest. So...yeah.

And...I think that's it. If I'm missing stuff, let me know. I try to include as much as I can remember and/or find quickly on MySpace, etc. As for new d press stuff...well...we're working on it, but it's so damned hard with all these playoff games on every night.

07 May 2008

we won something! (sort of)

No, the results of the Now Film Festival aren't in. You'll hear as soon as possible, trust me.

But, this past weekend gravida was in the Twin Rivers Media Festival in Asheville, NC, where we nabbed a Honorable Mention in the short drama category. It doesn't seem to be on the webpage anywhere, but I've gotten 2 emails about it, so we're going with it. Victory.

And don't forget, voting continues in the Now Film Festival. So if you haven't voted yet, then what the hell are you waiting for? Click on the sweet button to go where you need to go.

vote gravida

Find the "5" under gravida. Tell your friends. Spread the word. It'll take longer for you to think of a good reason why you didn't vote when we ask, and you'll feel better about not having to lie.

So take 30 seconds and help your favorite film collective out.

18 April 2008

vote "gravida"

Are you ready?

Big weekend here at d press as gravida, everyone's favorite film about pregnancy, is in 2 film festivals (one in West Virginia and one in Chicago) and today voting starts on the Now Film Festival.

Forget the plus/minus stuff. This is the important part. Click on the sweet button to go where you need to go.

vote gravida

You can rate each film on a 1-5 scale. 5 is the highest. So...go...vote vote vote. Tell your friends. Spread the word.

Want to add the "gravida" button to your webpage/blog/myspace/whatever? Feel free to grab the image.

11 April 2008

Festival 7.0 (with a twist)


First, some email history for you:

7 March 2008

"Thank you for submitting to the Lake Forest Film Festival. As we received nearly 200 submissions, we were only able to accept a little over 30% of the films. Many deserving films were cut from the program. Unfortunately, your submission will not be shown at this year’s festival."

Our initial thought was that not making the 30% cut probably wasn't a good sign, but these things happen. We've gotten a number of emails just like this one.

Then, out of the clear blue sky, today I got this email.

"I want to apologize for this late notice and incredibly horrible mistake we made when notifying filmmakers, but also want to congratulate you. Your film Gravida, was marked as not accepted, and it is in fact accepted into the Lake Forest Film Festival and is competing in the short live action category. For information in regards to your screening, please visit our website at http://www.lakeforest.edu/life/orgs/film/default.asp.

I am so sorry for this terrible inconvenience, but am delighted to screen your excellent work next weekend!"

This, of course, is something close to an artist's dream, to get accepted for something he previously thought had rejected him. Kind of the equivalent of having a critic retract a negative review. It's also a little weird and unexpected.

Oh, and Sundance, if you're reading this, there's still time to accept us for the 2008 festival. We don't even care that it's already over. We just want the leafy thing for the webpage.

So what, you ask, do you need to know about the Lake Forest Film Festival? Well, it's April 18-20 at Lake Forest College outside Chicago and we're in competition with Academy Award nominee Binta y la gran idea and fellow Festivus Film Festival entry Simulacra. So, based on that it should be pretty cool.

04 April 2008

festival 6.0

Kids, string up the banjos and dig the gut bucket out of the cellar. gravida is an Official Selection of the Appalachian Film Festival in Huntington, WV. [insert joke here]

We screen on Friday, 18 April at 11.45am at the Keith Albee Theater in downtown Huntington.

And now, news from around the collective...

**gravida musicians and indie rockers extraordinaire The Futility Parade have posted a recording of their song "a january carol" on their MySpace page.

**Also on the MySpace, newly-engaged Matt Reed has posted a few songs, "Put Me In Your Colophon" and "Look Out the Window".

**The general rule with Jerome Wincek's music updates is just to check every couple days, because that seems to be the rate at which he puts stuff out. By the time you read this, he'll probably have released 3 new songs.

**Ilona V. has a couple new songs on her MySpace page (see a theme yet?). Go and check out the "Gone" demo and "Deliverance Coffin".

**Amy Crawford has added "See It Through" to her MySpace page.

**Steve Vesolich's new album, "This Continual Thirst" is done and awaiting a late May release.

**Finally, Justin Crimone's zombie film planet of the living dead is in the running for a George Romero sponsored contest on MySpace. Click here and show it some love.

Unless I'm forgetting something, that should be about it. Enjoy your weekend.

Don't forget to purchase a DVD or a tshirt. Be one of the cool kids.

un filmeDVD

19 March 2008

Let's try again

As you may or may not remember, last week we got bumped. And since I'm busy filling out my brackets, I'm just gonna use the last email and tweak it.

Tonight, 12 March 19 March, yours truly will be featured on BlogCritics Radio. I'll be discussing gravida, the Now Film Festival, and the state of indie film in general. I'm told my segment will start around 9.40 9.30 and you can hear it anywhere in the world. Click on the image below to get there.

Listen to BC Radio Live on internet talk radio

And for all of you who asked: they archive everything, so if you miss it, you can listen to it later and stuff.

12 March 2008


Just a quick reminder.

Tonight, 12 March, yours truly will be featured on BlogCritics Radio. I'll be discussing gravida, the Now Film Festival, and the state of indie film in general. I'm told my segment will start around 9.40 and you can hear it anywhere in the world. Click on the image below to get there.

Listen to BC Radio Live on internet talk radio

04 March 2008

Lucas on the radio

Here in Pittsburgh we've had a nice run of weather: several inches of snow and sleet this weekend, followed by 70 degrees on Monday, and tonight it's 40 and raining there's a flood warning. So...if we don't get swept into one of the 3 Rivers, here's what'll be happening soon.

gravida is inching closer to our goal of 20,000 views in the Now Film Festival, as we've got a total of 15,685 combined on YouTube and MySpace. It's nowhere near the BAFTA nominee that's in the lead, but it's doing ok, probably in the upper half. But don't worry, the voting hasn't started yet. Still, if you haven't started telling your friends, what are you waiting for?

In other MySpace news, our good friend Justin Crimone over at zeno films is in a contest of his own. His short planet of the living dead is in the running for a spot on George Romero's new Diary of the Dead DVD. You know the drill. Watch it, thumbs up, etc.

Back to gravida. We are currently in the process of being added to everyone's favorite film information source, IMDb. For whatever reason, it's harder than you'd think to get added, and it takes forever for all the information to get uploaded, but we're there. Go here.

And about that radio thing. Next Wednesday, 12 March, yours truly will be a guest on the Blogcritics Radio Network, which you can conveniently listen to on your very own computer. I'll be talking about gravida, the Now Film Festival, and "indie filmmaking in general" sometime between 9 and 10 EST. Want more info? Check it out. This week's guest, you may notice, is Debbie Gibson. That sound you just heard? That was Ryan Estes' head exploding. Remember to gather ye olde kids around ye olde internet radio and listen in. Maybe I'll make a fool of myself.

For the moment, I think that's it. Don't despair, you'll be hearing from us again real soon.

21 February 2008

a Pittsburgh screening and festival 5.0

As I write this, gravida is nearing 9,000 total views on MySpace Film (rating of 82%), and YouTube (rating of 4.8 out of 5). Our goal is 20,000 total views, so we're on the way.

If you haven't watched it yet and rated it, then what are you waiting for? It's so easy (and fun!). You can see it on the front page of MySpace Film as the featured short. But, for those of you having trouble with it, click the image just below this one:

Now gravida

Much thanks to everyone thus far who's been helping us out, either by watching it, or embedding the video on their MySpace pages and/or blogs, or just getting the word out. I'd list everyone, but there's too many and I'll forget someone and then they'll be mad. So, thanks to everyone.

But, wait, there's more.

We've been invited to participate in Viewer Discretion, a Pittsburgh screening thing. (click here for directions) See? It's even on a flyer.


The plan is to play L'Attente and guard duty and maybe gravida, but probably not, as they try to keep things under 10 minutes. So, Tuesday, 26 Feb, 8.30pm. $3. See you there.

Oh, and that festival 5.0? We're in the Bare Bones Film Festival, the schedule just hasn't been announced yet.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna see if I can't get myself added to the Oceanic Six.

18 February 2008

publicity and myspace and such

You may have heard something in the air about a film festival we're in right now. You may be tired of hearing about it. Either way, we've got more information for ya.

The idea behind this festival, as I understood it, was that we were going to be on the front page of MySpace Film for a week. And I suspect that's still the case. I'm told there was something of a crisis situation over at MySpace this weekend and as of right now (7.43pm on Monday), the featured short is still "Bedhead", which I'm beginning to hate the sight of. But, if you click on it, you get us, so that's something. Also, if you go to MySpace TV and go under the film heading, well, there we are as the "hot video".

The other semi-finalists in this fest have amassed anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000 views, so our new goal is to get 20,000 views (and keep our ranking as high as possible). As of right now, we're at 2,170 views with a 87% rating, so we're on the way.

How can you help? View it as often as you'd like. Tell your friends. Click on the "thumbs up" (and not the "thumbs down"). And if you've got a blog/MySpace/whatever, embed the video on your page somewhere. You can find the code here. If you need any help, don't hesitate to email me. I can help you tweak the links on it, if you want.

Also, we've got some media coverage to tell you about. We were featured today on ScreenGrab, the pretty awesome film blog, and the equally cool GreenCine Daily. ScreenGrab called it "the best of the lot thus far" and "a mature character study about a young pregnant woman trying to keep her loneliness at bay."

Go, watch. If you don't have a MySpace account (only needed for rating the film and commenting on how much you love it), then make one. It takes like 5 minutes.

15 February 2008

Hey look, we're in the paper...and on MySpace...and elsewhere...

As promised, the promotional stuff for the Now Film Festival continues. gravida is on the festival webpage for your viewing pleasure, on YouTube, where people are arguing about a pregnant woman drinking wine, and later today on MySpace Film, where we'll be the featured selection for a week.

Today brings a little bit more for your reading pleasure.

First, those of you in Pittsburgh can pick up a copy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and find us on the back page of the Mag&Movies section. Or, you can read it online here.

Also, there's an interview with yours truly about gravida in Actor's Ink, which is some sort of newsletter/publication with a circulation of roughly 70k. The interview starts with a short review that contains the note that, "With a shoestring budget and a few friends, Lucas McNelly tells a story of loneliness and uncertainty better than most of the filmmakers in Hollywood can imagine." You can read the entire interview here, including the parts where I do some name-dropping of fellow filmmakers.

Speaking of name-dropping our fellow filmmakers, our friend David Lowery has made the cut of South by Southwest, no small feat.

13 February 2008

watch us on YouTube


Just in time for Valentine's Day, everyone's favorite love story, gravida is now online in conjunction with the Now Film Festival. Today we're on YouTube and starting Friday we'll be a featured selection on MySpace Film. It's been up for an hour and I've already started getting feedback from "industry" people.

Exciting, no?

Here's what we need you to do: follow the links and boost our numbers/favorites/ratings/whatever. It won't factor into the voting for the finals (and the Hollywood screening), but it can't hurt, right?

I know what you're thinking. Now that gravida is online, does that mean we won't pester you about buying a copy? No way.

05 February 2008

Festival 4.0

So the good news we thought we were going to bring you, that's not going to happen (but fear not, we shall survive).

Instead, we've got something a little different for you.

gravida (you remember gravida) has been selected to screen as part of the Now Film Festival, which runs primarily via the internets, both on their webpage and the MySpace Film page, and YouTube, with a final screening (if I understand this correctly) in Hollywood on 20 May 2008. More information as we get it.

By my math, we should be up and running around the middle of March, at which point you should all go and check it out. And then, go to the d press Store and buy a DVD.

Ok...um...there was something else...Oh, right. The Pittsburgh Playwrights is running a Spring Reading Series where every day for the month of February, a different play will get a staged reading. Our friends are all over this event, too many to name without forgetting someone. Check it out when you get a chance.

And...that's it. If you can vote this Super Tuesday, make sure you do so. Me, I'll be watching the returns and muttering about how badly screwed up the major parties are.

01 February 2008

Festival 3.0

Quickly on this snowy Friday afternoon:

gravida has been selected to appear in the 4th(?) Annual Mid-Valley Video Festival in Salem, OR. We will screen Thursday, 21 February at 9pm with James Spooner's White Lies Black Sheep at the Northern Lights Theatre Pub.

Also appearing in the festival is David Lowery's A Catalog of Anticipations and the Butler Brother's Confusions of an Unmarried Couple, both films by friends of ours.

Strangely enough, we hoped to get a good news update to you this weekend (assuming the news was good, of course), but about a completely different subject, so stay tuned. Cross your fingers.

25 January 2008

tonight (and tomorrow)

A quick note for everyone in the Steel City (or thereabouts).

Steve Vesolich and Jerome Wincek will be playing Club Cafe in Pittsburgh tonight (that&'s Friday) at 7pm. I don't know how much it cost, but it probably will be under $10. Anyway, you should go. It'll be fun.

And both of them have music for sale on their respective MySpace pages. Go. Buy it. Be a good person.

Plus, you can check out our videos of Jerome in action. Like this one:

Also, our friends at the Hodgepodge Society have a free show tomorrow, 26 January at 9:30pm at the Backstage Bar at the Cabaret at Theater Square.

Um...I'm sure there's more, but I'm short on time. Later. Oh, and thanks to everyone who saw far beyond frail on their recent tour.

15 January 2008

Notes from Festivus

You know you've been at a festival a long time when on day 3 you say to someone, "You know, I vaguely remember watching a zombie movie, like, a week ago." Such is life in the festival world where you routinely watch films from noon until nearly midnight, drink alcoholic beverages, and talk to fellow festival goers about what films they saw that you completely should have seen. Depending on your level of cinephilia, it's either completely awesome or a bit much.

It helps, certainly, when you've got a film in competition and the badge of honor to prove it. Everyone makes a point of telling you they liked your film (even when they didn't), or how they wish they could have seen it. It's no wonder filmmakers love going.

For the inaugural Festivus Film Festival, we hit Denver around 10am Mountain Time and promptly hit a local micro brew house that featured a beer dedicated to the late, great Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. From there, we hit the festival, housed (for our purposes), at the historic Oriental Theater.

Oriental Theater

The festival kicked off with Wasting Away, a zombie movie about from the zombie's point of view (they see themselves as "super soldiers" and everyone else is infected) and Kill Kill Faster Faster, which looked really cool, but I came in half-way through and was too tired from the jet lag to follow it.

Saturday, we screen bright and early at noon as part of the "Popcorn Matinees" with Maine Story, Taken, In Times of War: The Ray Parker Story (winner for best documentary short), Simulacra, PK-Granny, and Revolver. The screening went well. Maine Story is clearly the best film of the set (or maybe I'm biased because it's set in Maine and the accents aren't all screwed up), but the important thing is that gravida isn't the worst. No one walks out. No one boos. Well, except for these guys:


Then, a Q&A (that's yours truly on the left wearing a "Debs '08" shirt, even if you can't see it):

"Festivus" Q&A

There were basic questions about budgets and cameras and whatnot, and we got a few questions asked specifically about our film (such as, "Where did you find a pregnant actress?"). And that was it. A number of people came up to me over the course of the day to say how much they enjoyed the film and we were able to make a number of contacts with other filmmakers and pick their brains about the whole festival sequence. Part of the value of going to this festival was to see what other companies do to support their films, and I think we've picked up a number of good ideas we can use for next time.

But there were 2 more whole days of films. Notable films were Avec la Moustache (the best film in the entire festival, I thought), Cabbie, Partially True Tales of High Adventure! (the narrative short winner), Hope Springs Eternal (animated winner), Beauty 24 (a bad documentary about a fantastically interesting photography project, also the documentary feature winner...go figure), Indestructible (a heart-breaking doc about ALS), and Life With Fiona (I didn't see it, but the filmmakers were really nice and helpful).

And that is about it. Don't forget to purchase a DVD or a tshirt. Be one of the cool kids.

un filmeDVD

03 January 2008

a question for our fans, etc.

simply put:

What can we do better and/or differently? What opportunities are we missing? What would you do if you were us?

any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

thanks a lot.

02 January 2008

"un filme" number 5

Daniel Stiker, Pittsburgh, PA

01 January 2008

Jerome Wincek kick-starts your New Year

A Happy New Year from all your friends at your favorite film collective. Some of us are a little, um, hungover, so we'll make this short-ish and sweet.

Last night I was asked if we had any New Year's Resolutions, and we don't, really, only the constant one of making d press Productions cooler and more kick-ass than it was previously. We did a pretty good job of that in 2007, so fingers crossed that we can do the same in 2008.

On to the good stuff...

Recently I was in Franklin, PA to see Jerome Wincek and his band the Old Hats play a show with Matt Reed. Jerome and I had discussed maybe putting together some video of him, so I took my camera and was able to come up with two lo-fi music videos of him playing live.


Also, Jerome Wincek will be playing a show with Steve Vesolich at Club Cafe in Pittsburgh on 25 January, if you feel inclined to check him out for yourself.