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December 4, 2006 10:06 AM
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PRODUCTION REPORT | "All Sun and Little White Flowers," "The Alphabet Killer," "Coming Soon," "The L

An image of the Horseshoe Tavern, subject of Colin Brunton's "The Last Pogo Jumps Again, Chacha Cha Cha". Photo copyright Edie Steiner, courtesy of the filmmaker

[EDITOR'S NOTE: indieWIRE's monthly production report looks at independent films in various stages of production. If you'd like to tell us about a film in production for future columns, please contact us.]

In December's edition of indieWIRE's production column, Jason Guerrasio profiles five new films that are in various stages of production. This month's group includes Larry Holden's "All Sun and Little White Flowers," Rob Schmidt's "The Alphabet Killer," Steven Tanenbaum's "Coming Soon," Colin Brunton's "The Last Pogo Jumps Again, Chacha Cha Cha" and Julie Rubio's "Six Sex Scenes and a Murder".

"All Sun and Little White Flowers"

Known for his bit parts in a handful of Christopher Nolan films ("Memento," "Insomnia," and "Batman Begins"), Larry Holden is currently looking for financing on his third writer-directing effort that he hopes to start shooting sometime next year.

Staying mum on the plot, Holden's pervious films "My Father's House" and "Tucked in His Knuckles" both gained him notoriety in festivals around the world. "I'm trying to talk with the audience, have a conversation with them as opposed to talking at them," he says via email about his films. He also says the inspiration behind his movies are "simply living my life, I feel things and wonder about things and dream things and all of that gets me to sit down at my typewriter and pound away."

And he's still pounding away at the "All Sun and Little White Flowers" script and admits he probably will continue into shooting. This creative freedom is due to Holden's lack of industry help in getting his films off the ground. He gets his financing by traveling the world selling shares of the film to anyone interested. "There are plenty of people out there who want to get involved with us who don't even ask to read the script, or see the cast and crew list, or even be present on set," he says. "Everybody from plumbers and electricians to dentists and computer geeks, and I'm always blown away and honored by [their generosity]." In the past, Holden has even put a role up to the highest bidder on eBay to obtain financing.

What Holden will divulge about "All Sun" is that it will be produced through his company Holden Automotive and be shot on DV sometime next year somewhere in the U.S.

[For more information, please visit the film's website.]


"The Alphabet Killer"

Loosely based on the unsolved 1970s Alphabet Murders in Rochester, NY - which claimed the lives on three girls, all having the same first letter in their names as the town their bodies were discovered - Rob Schmidt ("Wrong Turn") directs this thriller about a detective assigned to the case who hopes solving it will eliminate the troubles in her personal life.

A fan of the true-crime genre, Schmidt jumped to the chance to direct the project after screenwriter Tom Malloy passed him the script. What he was most taken by when reading it was the plight of the main character, Megan (played by Eliza Dushku). "She has to witness all this pain and try to prevent it and the weight is too great for her and she cracks," Schmidt says while taking a break from scouting locations in Rochester. "It's a very grim story about misery, but it's also about a woman trying to fix herself and I think the audience will be sympathetic to her."

In preparing for production Schmidt has familiarized himself with the case and has tracked down the most recent investigator on the case. He also interviewed current Rochester detectives and investigators.

But Schmidt admits not everyone in Rochester is happy that they're making the movie. "There are some people in the community that would prefer that it not get brought up again," he says. "Families of the victims are still living in the area and I think for them it's an unending heartbreak. But hopefully attention from this will bring new interest or leads in solving the case."

Produced by Wideye Films ("The Attic"), filming begins this month and it will be shot on 35mm.

[For more information, please visit the film's website.]


"Coming Soon"

Set over one night, two groups of regulars at a bar reminisce about their time together and wonder what the future will bring as each are dealing with the end of important moments in their lives.

Shot on HD over three weeks last month in a vacant New York City bar, writer-direct Steven Tanenbaum says there are many biographical elements in the film. "In no way is this a diary or journal of my experiences," he says. "It's more of a way of expression and what constitutes tomorrow and how long can you string out today."

Coming from the world of theater, this film marks Tanenbaum's feature debut. He's found success in directing plays like "Q101 or How To Get to Rikers" and the critically acclaimed "Mono." In preparing for his first film, Tanenbaum says storyboarding everything was a big help in understanding what he was looking for when it came time to shoot, other than that he put his trust in his crew. "We moved so fast that I relied on the advice of the people around me to get through it," he says. "As far as directing the actors I was comfortable with that."

Because of his theater background, Tanenbaum's main goal was to make the set have the same family vibe that theater actors have from sharing the same stage. "The most important thing for me to do was to try to create an ensemble feeling," he says. "The cast and crew were going to live in that space for three weeks and the atmosphere exceeded everyone's expectations. They all were eating and drinking in that space, it was life imitating art."

Currently in post, the film was shot on HD by Eun-ah Lee and stars Lori Petty, James McCaffrey and Cara Seymour. Jay Hernandez is producing and executive producers are Enrico Ciotti, Laura Adamo and Richard Byron Peddie.

[For more information, please visit the film's website.]


"The Last Pogo Jumps Again, Chacha Cha Cha"

In 1978, 24-year-old Colin Brunton made "The Last Pogo," a documentary about the final night of Toronto's premiere punk bar the Horseshoe Tavern. The evening showcased some of the biggest bands in the area and was dubbed "the last punk rock concert." 28 years later Brunton has begun a follow-up doc that investigates what happened to the people who were there that night.

Since "The Last Pogo" Brunton has directed a few films and has been production manager on "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" and "The Safety of Objects." But within the last year Brunton became tired of "working on other people's projects" and decided to revisit his youth. "I got a mini DV and decided to go out and find all of the bands [who were there that night] and see what they're doing today," he says.

But Brunton felt finding just the bands wasn't enough. He decided to find everyone who was there that night, even the cops who broke up the riot which ended the evening's festivities. Since last June, Brunton has been looking for leads, interviewing who he can find, and has created a MySpace page where he enlists "deputy directors" to help him interview the people he can't get to.

Some of the bands featured include Teenage Head, The Viletones, The Ugly, The Mods, The Secrets, The Cardboard Brains, and The Scenics. Brunton says it hasn't been hard to find most of the bands because they're still playing. But he admits there are some that will take a lot of work to track down. "We heard the lead singer of The Cardboard Brains went insane, and one member of another band is now an offshore banker so we have to find him."

Currently filming, Brunton hopes to have a final cut by next September.

[For more information, please visit the film's website.]


"Six Sex Scenes and a Murder"

Strange things happen at the popular burlesque club The Uptown. So when Nick Hamilton (Richard Anthony Crenna, Jr.) is murdered outside the front steps there isn't much of a fuss. But a local detective and Nick's girlfriend want answers. Told through a series of flashbacks, the film recounts Nick's last 24 hours with the six possible suspects.

Written and directed by Julie Rubio, this erotic whodunit, "Six Sex Scenes and a Murder," set in San Francisco, has a feel that Rubio describes as "'Rashomon' meets 'Nine 1/2 Weeks.'"

Rubino first came up with the idea for the movie three years ago and after struggling to get the project off the ground due to the film's risque title and its setting in a burlesque, Rubino caught a break when she sneaked into a conference filled with rich entrepreneurs and pitched her script to anyone who would listen. The stunt worked as one of them, Robert Meadows, agreed to executive produce the film.

Looking back on her journey to get the film made, Rubino is proud she never gave into the pressures of some who wanted her to change the tone of the film (the biggest red flag: all six suspects have sexual-related alibis), but is disappointed that they were unwilling to take a chance. "Sex has become this dirty thing, like if you have it in a film it immediately becomes porn," she says. "I think sex should be brought back into the cinemas and I had to fight a lot of people on that. I'm not making pornography." Rubino even brought in a sex therapist who read over the script to ease concerns.

With a budget of $200,000, Rubino shot 20 days last month on HD by DP Marty Rosenberg. The film's produced through Rubino's East Meets West Productions.

[For more information, please visit the film's website.]

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1 Comment

  • jasonguerrasio | December 10, 2006 5:36 AMReply

    Correction: "All Sun and Little White Flowers" is Larry Holden's seventh film not his third.