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October 15, 2007

SXSW Panel Announcements...

Matt Dentler is taking a cross blog-o-sphere approach to announcing...

Organizers at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference & Festival are happy to announce the first batch of new panel topics scheduled for the 2008 panels. The SXSW Film Festival takes place in Austin, TX from March 7 to 15. The SXSW Film Conference and Panels, will occur during March 8 to 11. Here's a sneak peek at one topic already taking shape:

Animation and Digital Effects on a Budget
(Sunday, March 9)
Sophisticated visual effects and computer-generated animation used to be big-ticket items, best left to the $100 million blockbusters from Pixar and the Hollywood majors. But new tools are making visual effects and CG-animation more accessible to independent filmmakers, and also spawning smaller VFX and CG shops willing to work with indies. We'll get an update from several innovators on the front lines.

Stay tuned to the SXSW Film Conference site for updates on panels and confirmed speakers.

In other SXSW news, I'd like to announce that there's going to be mad crazy party in my hotel room at some point during the festival. Stay tuned for details!

Posted by David Lowery at 11:12 PM | Comments (1)

October 13, 2007

Last Week

In Marfa a few days ago.

Location scout.

Outside my car while climbing from the front seat to the back.

Posted by David Lowery at 12:14 AM

October 8, 2007

St. Nick Is Late


Back in July, I wrote that the sort of arbitrary start date for my new film was October 6th. Seeing as how it's October 8th, I figure I'd better provide a bit of exposition on this project, which I've been typically keen to keep under wraps. For starters, here's a portion of the official synopsis, which was included in my TFPF application:

St. Nick is the story of a brother and sister on the run. They've left their home for some unknown reason and are living in the woods, hiding in barns and sheds, doing what they can to survive. As the bitter Texas winter sets in, they strike up residence in an abandoned country house and, for a brief, happy period, manage to escape the harsh realities of their circumstances.

This film actually began life not as a film at all, but as series of short episodes for a still-gestating web project from Joe Swanberg. I shot five segments between February and March of this year (the image above is from the first one), before realizing that I'd rather be telling the same story on a wider canvas. So I decided to start over from scratch, and now here we are - not shooting yet, but getting closer. I want this to be a great film. It'll be done when it's done. Working with me in a producing capacity on this project are James M. Johnston and Adam Donaghey. I've got a few more people who hopefully will be involved, but regardless, the crew is going to be very small. Very intimate. Very loose. I'm going to put everything I've learned making short films these past few years to the test and see if I can't make a feature the same way.

More to come...

Posted by David Lowery at 3:39 PM | Comments (4)

October 5, 2007

Small Town Docs

About A Son opens in Los Angles today, following its New York bow this past Wednesday. I can't say enough about the film, and so I won't - but if you're in either city, do set aside some time to take it in. It's an experience that deserves the big screen.

As I'm on neither coast at the moment, I'm going to wait until November 2nd to see it again. That's when it opens in Springfield, Missouri at The Moxie Cinema - the amazing theater that is the titular subject of my own first official documentary. It's the perfect reason to make a return trip, and to show off the film to its subjects. My goal was to finish the first cut by the end of the summer, but then the summer somehow disappeared and, true to form, I just finished editing it this evening. I think I've got about a minute or two to cut out of it, and then of course all the sound and music and the one effects shot to complete, but suffice to say I think it'll be ready in time for a few key festival deadlines.

I'm really happy with it. I think I've just about hit the right balance between traditional documentary form and my own cinematic interests (which were recently classified by a friend as a movement ever closer towards still photography, but marked by a refusal to relinquish temporal imposition). To my own surprise, I scarcely included my homage to Goodbye Dragon Inn; it's rather nice when a film doesn't have room to be anything but itself.

Posted by David Lowery at 1:46 AM

October 3, 2007

Into The Wild


* * *

And on the completey opposite side of things - the stylistically precise, precisely confined - there is Wes Anderson's Hotel Chevalier. I was completely surprised at how moved I was by it, and also by how beautifully it was written. Take the same script and subject it to a different director and it would hold up, as raw and hurtful and full of hurt as it is through Anderson's twee perspective.

Or maybe I've just been sensitive lately. As I wrote in a comment on Michael Tully's review, I see in the film "a sort of broken hearted misogyny that I'm not particularly proud of but that I'm certainly a little too familiar with." When Schwartzman tells Portman that he'll never be friends with her, I loved him for saying it and hated myself for knowing exactly what he meant.

Posted by David Lowery at 1:14 AM

October 1, 2007

Low And Behold Wins At Sidewalk

I left Birmingham yesterday at five in the morning, climbing into a taxi in slow motion as well-wishers gave me a fond farewell from the curb (it felt a bit like Chris Eigeman's departure in Metropolitan), and thus missed the awards presentation last night where Barlow Jacobs and Zach Godshall received two awards - Best Director and Best Narrative Feature - for their beautiful film, Low And Behold. A big congratulations to them both. These awards follow wins at the Rome Film Festival and the New Orleans Film Festival (which starts in two weeks but has already announced its winners).

Me, I got home and promptly fell asleep for nearly twenty four hours. I hate it when that happens. Guess I just couldn't wait another day for October.

Posted by David Lowery at 6:36 PM | Comments (1)