Back from Filmapalooza - a belated summation

Hey folks! Andrew here...

Well, this is materializing much later than expected. Filmapalooza is already three weeks in the past, and I’ve been back home from LA for over two. Even so, I believe two or three more weeks could have passed, and my experience in California would still be as richly present in my mind as it is now.

If you need some catching up, I suggest you read my post from before the trip. If you don’t feel like doing that, I’ll summarize: we took first place at the Minneapolis 48 Hour Film Project last June, which granted us an invite to screen at Filmapalooza, which is the international festival screening all 125 city-winning films, which was held at the historic Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Woot!  

Bit of additional background. This was the Jackets’ third time participating in the Minneapolis 48HFP, and our ninth time doing a time-based film competition like it. Yeah, you read that right. Nine. And we’ve done three since then - including Marcus’ one man show - bringing the total up to twelve. Apparently we like doing this sort of thing, whether we come home winners or not.

That being said, it felt really good to finally take home the gold last year. The invitation to Filmapalooza felt like the whipped cream on top of an already very tasty pie. (I’m more of a pie guy than a cake guy.) I was our sole representative at the event, while Eric and Marcus were busy being adults with many very important things to do (or something). I missed them dearly, but I’m really glad I made the trip. I only saw a quarter of the 125 films screened, but what I saw made the trip worth taking.

I’ll get to the films I saw in a bit. Let’s first talk about Keeping Up with the Cloneses - the film that got us there. The film screened at the Chinese Theater on Saturday, February 28th, during the noon block. I was really excited going into the screening, and the packed theater cranked that up to eleven. Previous screenings of the film have boosted my confidence in its performance, and this time didn’t disappoint. The audience response was better than any screening before it. Every joke hit. When the lights came up, filmmakers were asked to stand up and introduce themselves and their film. When I said I directed Cloneses, the room erupted.

For the rest of the weekend, I was approached by folks who saw the film and loved it, which led to some great conversations. I met people from all over the country - Baltimore, Detroit, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Antonio, Seattle - and the world - Cairo, Istanbul, Mexico City, Osaka, Ottawa, Rotterdam, Tirana. While we didn’t win any additional awards for the film - though we got another trophy for our effort - the people I met and response the film received were affirmation enough.

During the Best of the Best screening on Sunday, March 1st, any consternation around Cloneses’ absence quickly evaporated. That screening made me reconsider what is possible to create in two days. Most of the chosen films were dynamite. If you have a few minutes to spare - especially if you’re a filmmaker and previous 48HFP participant - I highly recommend clicking this link and watching the nominated and winning films. I’ll specifically call out Tarot, I-Charon, Symptomes d’Amour, These Dirty Words, KISMET, That Kind of Love Story, and Stoorzender. They’re truly inspiring. They sparked that hunger in me - the drive to be a better filmmaker. Meeting and talking to many of their creators fuelled that hunger further. There was so much passion present. It was a powerful reminder of why I do this.

The rest of my LA trip was also a powerful reminder, or more so a series of reminders with a common theme. I was made aware once again that I am so profoundly fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time after high school. The people I met in the film and theater departments at MSUM continue to sustain a strong community of support, friendship, passion, and trust, despite the space between us and the time that has passed. I’ve been out of college for nearly five years now. These days, my primary form of correspondence with most of my classmates is a passing Facebook comment. It’s easy to forget that a simple phone call can lead to a full evening of reminiscing, dreaming, scheming, discussion, and stupid jokes, old and new. Simple kindnesses become boundlessly enriching. Such occasions, so easily taken for granted, serve as signposts once considered. They remind me of the many right decisions in my life. With them in mind, I hope I can, in spite of fear and uncertainty, continue to make decisions that lead me to people like those I’ve found so far.

Until next time...

Filmapalooza 2015 is fast approaching!

Greetings, Two Jacketeers! Andrew here.

In a little less than a week, I’m going to be vacating the ice-encrusted North for a week-long excursion to the movie capital of the world, Hollywood, California! There, I’ll be representing Team Two Jackets at Filmapalooza 2015, which runs from February 26th through March 1st. Our first place-winning entry into last year’s Minneapolis 48 Hour Film Project, Keeping Up With The Cloneses, will be screening on Saturday the 28th at the historic Chinese Theater on Hollywood Blvd.

Pretty cool, huh? I’m incredibly pumped for this event and honored to be representing our team and the Twin Cities. Screening at the Chinese Theater is going to feel like being in a dream. The history there is literally cemented into place, with the famous hand and footprints adorning the walkway up to the front doors. Many of the most influential artists in the industry have stood on those grounds and sat in those seats during the umpteen premieres that have been held there. I’m gonna get shivers, I tell ya.

125 city-winning films from across the globe will be screening at this year’s event, and many will be represented by their makers. I’m looking forward to sharing stories with these folks and making some new friends. You get that many film nerds together and there’s bound to be some lively discussion, especially once the drinks are poured. I’m also planning to attend a couple of workshops about pitching to executives and financing projects. I want to learn a lot during this trip in addition to the celebration.

I’ll make another post here on the blog upon my return to regale you of my adventures. If you follow the Two Jackets Instagram account (@two_jackets), I’ll be posting pictures there in the interim. Anything I post auto-populates on Facebook and Twitter, too, but you should probably be following us everywhere anyway. Bet on plenty of activity. I’m sticking around for a few days after Filmapalooza to hang with some friends, cruise around town, and see some shows, including a live recording of one of my favorite podcasts, Doug Loves Movies! Oh yes, there will be much galavanting.

So long, dear friends! Until our next meeting...

Short Music for Two Jackets

We have exciting news for all you Two Jackets/film music combo fans! Our good friend, musical wizard, and honorary Jacket, Reed Reimer has just released an album compiling his scores from our recent short film projects.

Reed is an incredibly versatile artist. No matter the genre we're exploring, he finds the best way to express it in his music - whether it's the majestic build that opens "Meanwhile, at the Citadel of Superheroes..." or the eerie electronic pulses of "You Only Die Once!" We consider ourselves very fortunate to have Mr. Reimer around to elevate our work and can't wait until our next collaboration with him.

The album, titled Short Music for Two Jackets, is now available for purchase on iTunes and streaming on Spotify. Give it a listen!

Until next time,
Andrew

Happy 2015!

Hey mamas and papas, Eric here. Since I'm sure you're all dying to know what we've been up to the last couple months and what we'll be doing in 2015, I thought I'd give you a little update! 

First off, I'd like to announce that we will NOT be participating in this year's Z-Fest Film Festival. Two Jackets has been involved in this great little fest for the past two years, but we've decided to forgo the competition this year so that we can focus on other projects. Z-Fest is always a fun time, and I'm sure we'll be checking out this year's films and participating again in the future.

What are these other projects we're focusing on? What madness are we planning for 2015? Well, little darlings, we're keeping it a secret. We just can't tell you. What I CAN say is that we're very excited about it and that it's a big project that we'll be bugging about for much of 2015! So you have that to look forward to! I'm such a tease!

The other exciting goings-on involves our feature Limpwings! We tickled you last summer that Limpwings would be coming to DVD and Video On-Demand, and we promise that is still happening. We've been designing DVD jackets and menus, and right now we're hoping to have everything ready by late spring/early summer 2015. Of course, this is just an estimate, and we'll give you a concrete date when we're good and ready! 

That's all the news I have for now! More to come soon!

-Eric

Four Points Wrap-up

Hey there boys and girls!

This year's Four Points Film Project has come to a close and the results are in! Unfortunately, Team Two Jackets' entry, "I Stole a Lot of Money!" was not awarded any additional accolades, but the fact that we made it to the top 20 in this worldwide competition completely blows me away. Please check out the rest of the top 20 films by going to the Four Points' Vimeo Channel! The wizards who push the buttons over at the Four Points cave have not yet publicly released the winners, so keep an eye on their website for more info.

I just want to thank everyone again for all their amazing work on "I Stole a Lot of Money!" We put together a truly amazing crew, played with some of our favorite actors, got a chance to work with some extraordinary new talent, wrote an amazing song, and managed to put together a really fun little film. We here at Two Jackets Productions can't stress enough how impossible it would be to do what we do without the support of dozens of talented Minneapolis filmmakers, actors, and artists. Thank you all so much.

And now onto our next project! We're planning on participating in Z-Fest 2015, so keep following this blog for further details. Go Team Two Jackets!

Love,
Eric

"You Only Die Once!" featured on Ain't It Cool News!

The past few days have been pretty good to us Jackets.

Firstly, as we previously posted, we’ve been placed in the top 20 finalists for the Four Points Film Project, which is an international competition with well over 100 teams participating. If you haven’t already, we’d greatly appreciate your vote for the Audience Awards. Just visit our film "I Stole a Lot of Money!" on Vimeo and like it!

Nextly, some new, and rather cool, news. Our film “You Only Die Once!” has been featured on the one-and-only Ain’t It Cool News as part of their weekly Saturday Shorts column!

This is huge for us. I’ve been reading Ain’t It Cool for years; it still has a place in my exclusive bookmarks bar to this day. The site played a big part in deepening my love for cinema during high school and college. It’s a place where geeks can go to shout loudly and proudly about the stuff they love. I’ve sought out so many movies based on recommendations from AICN contributors like Mr. Beaks, Capone, and Quint, working over the years to further establish my geek cred. Having our film listed there – in the hallowed house of the Head Geek himself, Mr. Harry Knowles – is truly an honor.

The Saturday Shorts column has been curated and compiled for the last couple of years by AICN contributor Muldoon. AICN readers submit their work and if Muldoon likes it, he posts it to the column. This is the first time we’ve submitted to Saturday Shorts, and YODO seemed like the perfect choice. It was largely inspired by the types of films we’ve read about on AICN over the years, like the works of Sam Raimi and Edgar Wright. Thanks to Muldoon for featuring us! You can bet we’ll be submitting more work to the column in the future.

Andrew

Vote for the Four Points Film Project Audience Award Winner!

Two Jackets Productions' entry in the 2014 Four Points Film Project, "I Stole A Lot Of Money!" has been nominated for an Audience Choice Award!  We're honored to have been selected as one of the top twenty films in this worldwide competition.

Voting runs through November 23rd on Vimeo.com, and the award will be given to the film that has the most likes.  This means you'll need to sign up for a Vimeo account to vote, but we have it on good authority that people who vote in this competition are all extremely smart, good-looking, and successful, so we are sure you'll be able to sign up and vote... you clever, hot, success, you.

If we win we'll be awarded $1000 dollars and our film will be screened at Filmapalooza 2015 in Hollywood (along with our Minneapolis 48HFP winner, Keeping up with the Cloneses)!  We'll probably give the money to people who need it, like us, or we'll strap the cash onto balloons and trust in their judgement.