“C-U Biz-en-scène” appears every Wednesday/Thursday on C-U Blogfidential to give our readers a succinct snapshot of the cinema activity in and near Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA. Please support the artists and their work, attend screenings and events, and otherwise become active in our esoteric little world!
It’s a week of first looks here in MICRO-FILM Country and we couldn’t be happier to get down to business right … about … now!
Shooting on Champaign County turf but editing in faraway Portland for the better part of three years, Jason Butler of Brainsmart Productions will finally unveil the concluding episode of his action-horror-comedy-townie opus, WEREWOLF CEMETERY, this weekend at Mike ‘n’ Molly’s, 105 N. Market St., downtown Champaign, on Friday, August 13, and Sunday, August 15, at 11 p.m. on both nights. Butler will also revive Issue 3 at the same location later tonight, Thursday, August 12, at midnight. “Regarding Issue 4, the story is all there, the sound mix is not as I want it but is decent, and it is missing the [opening] credits sequence,” Butler tells CUBlog. “It’s gonna be a long editing winter [to finish up].” Look right here early tomorrow to get a quick peek at what’s in store for all ye who enter the beer garden this weekend!
Accompanying WC4 on Sunday at both 10:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. will be a long-lost effort at no-budget surrealism by local graphic artist Karl Bauer called ONE ROACH FOR SEAMUS. “I had intended to use the project in an application to NYU film school,” says Bauer in a Facebook post. “The footage sat around for a number of years and was even completely missing for about a decade. Recently it was found so I decided to edit it [together].” The short film features Danny Yairi, Shan Lusk, Joe Donhowe, Veerle Opgenhaffen, and Barney Joyce, who co-wrote SEAMUS with Bauer and also plays a double-crossing agent in the WEREWOLF CEMETERY series. The director also states that SEAMUS is influenced by David Lynch’s seminal underground feature, ERASERHEAD, Franz Kafka’s famous novella of alienation, The Metamorphosis, and JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN, a dreamlike Vietnam-era parable starring Timothy Bottoms and directed by Dalton Trumbo, screenwriter of HAWAII and PAPILLON.
Let’s note that these are not just movie nights at Mike ‘n’ Molly’s. “The Future of Rock ‘n’ Roll” showcase featuring The Fantastic Plastics, Achille Lauro, and Death Tram will play before WC3 tonight, The Dirty Feathers and Santah will take the stage before WC4 on Friday, and Kayla Brown, Brandon T. Washington, and Tricia Scully will perform before WC4/SEAMUS on Sunday. Be there!
We plan on discussing REVOLTING in next week’s CUBiz, but right now we’re encouraging you to attend the public premiere of this feature-length black comedy on Saturday, August 14, 8 p.m., at the Kathryn Randolph Theater, 601 N. Vermillion St., Danville. Support your local filmmakers – in this case, Mike and Leslie Boedicker of Roselawn Productions in Danville – as well as their talented cast and crew! You can learn more about REVOLTING in advance by visiting its Web site and reading the article run by the Commercial-News on August 8; we’d also link to the News-Gazette’s comparable piece if only they would have posted it. Sigh.
Line producer Johnny Robinson is in need of a make-up artist and hair stylist for Dreamscape Cinema’s MY DOG, THE SPACE TRAVELER, currently in production. Please contact him as soon as possible at johnny [at] johnnyrobinson [dot] com or (217) 714-2748 if interested.
From Friday, August 13, through Sunday, August 15, an open casting call for the MTV series MADE will be held at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day. Producers are looking for young people ages 15-22 with “big personalities” to potentially be featured on the program, which helps the talent see their dreams through to reality. You can read more here and watch more here to help decide if the opportunity floats your boat.
Don’t forget that a week from tonight, Thursday, August 19, 7 p.m., the Central Illinois Film Commission will meet at the Route 66 Hotel & Convention Center, 625 E. Saint Joseph St., Springfield, to discuss member activities and area opportunities. CIFC head Cameron Counts states in his e-mail message that there will be no special events this meeting; you can contact Counts at nmdcone [at] yahoo [dot] com or visit their Web site for more information!
We’ll also confirm that the next Champaign Movie Makers meeting has been pushed back one week to Tuesday, August 24, 7 p.m. Mark it!
Several grapevines, including the Midwest Independent Film Festival, report that the deadline for submitting work to the 2nd annual Elgin (IL) Short Film Festival is next Wednesday, August 18. All rules and regulations can be found at this Web site; the winning entries will be screened on the evening of Saturday, September 18, in the 1,200 seat auditorium of the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin’s Center City area. The festival organizers promise $2,500 in cash prizes.
Apart from their newest venture, the Freeky Creek Short Film Festival, Bill Kephart and Joe Taylor exercise their creative wiles by cranking out concept commercials to enter in assignments offered by PopTent.net. You may remember how one of their efforts netted them $5,000 at the end of last year. In the past few weeks, PopTent has tripled the dynamic duo’s pleasure by choosing two additional videos as winners! In the first which plugs Simple Green brand cleaning spray, an outdoors couple works, plays, and keeps their ATV shiny and clean with the product. The second for La Quinta Inn & Suites postulates how Murphy’s Law really came to be. (Apparently, it involved chalkboards and sepia-toned footage.) That makes for a sum total of $15,500. Congratulations to the fellows and their collaborators!
CUBlog caught a piece posted by the Chicago Sun-Times on August 4 in which “The Watcher” television columnist Maureen Ryan interviews actress Melissa McCarthy (GILMORE GIRLS) about her lead role in the upcoming CBS-TV sitcom MIKE & MOLLY, developed by TWO AND A HALF MEN masterminds Chuck Lorre and Mark Roberts, Tolono’s favorite media son. It is no surprise that owner Mike Murphy intends to air MIKE & MOLLY at Mike ‘n’ Molly’s in Champaign starting with the premiere on Monday, September 20, 8:30 p.m. CST, even though the show is set in Chicago and doesn’t directly involve a favorite watering hole. CBS is streaming teaser clips that set up the story line, in which McCarthy’s “Molly” meets “Mike” (played by Billy Gardell) at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting.
PLAYING THIS WEEK
WEREWOLF CEMETERY III: Thursday, 8/12, Midnight, Mike ‘n Molly’s, Champaign, IL
WEREWOLF CEMETERY IV preview: Friday, 8/13, 11:00 p.m., Mike ‘n Molly’s, Champaign, IL
REVOLTING premiere: Saturday, 8/14, 8 p.m., Kathryn Randolph Theater, Danville, IL
ONE ROACH FOR SEAMUS premiere: Sunday, 8/15, 10:30 p.m., Mike ‘n Molly’s, Champaign, IL
WEREWOLF CEMETERY IV reprise: Sunday, 8/15, 11 p.m., Mike ‘n Molly’s, Champaign, IL
ONE ROACH FOR SEAMUS reprise: Monday, 8/16, 1 a.m., Mike ‘n Molly’s, Champaign, IL
@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL: THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (8/13 on), HIGH FIDELITY (8/13, 8/14, 8/15, 8/19)
@ The Avon Theater, Decatur, IL: EAT PRAY LOVE, SOLITARY MAN, INCEPTION (8/13 on)
@ The Normal Theater, Normal, IL: MICMACS (8/12-8/15)
@ Harvest Moon Drive-In, Gibson City, IL: THE EXPENDABLES, THE OTHER GUYS (8/13-8/15)
@ That’s Rentertainment, Champaign, IL: DATE NIGHT, DEATH AT A FUNERAL (2010), THE JONESES, MY NAME IS KHAN, CRUMB (Criterion), more! (8/10 on)
8/19: Central Illinois Film Commission meeting
@ Route 66 Hotel & Convention Center, Springfield, IL, 7 p.m.
@ Fischer Theatre, Danville, IL, 8 p.m.
8/24: Champaign Movie Makers meeting
@ Class Act Interactive, Champaign, IL, 7 p.m.
9/17-9/19: Route 66 Film Festival
@ Hoogland Center for the Arts, Springfield, IL
9/24-9/26: 2010 B Movie Celebration, Franklin, IN
@ The Art Theater, Champaign, IL, TBD
10/7-10/21: Chicago International Film Festival, Chicago, IL
10/14-10/23: Heartland Film Festival, Indianapolis, IN
@ Sleepy Creek Vineyards, Fairmount, IL, 8 p.m.
10/29-10/31: Freeky Creek Short Film Festival
@ Sleepy Creek Vineyards, Fairmount, IL
11/5-11/7: Illinois International Film Festival, Chicago, IL
11/11-11/21: St. Louis International Film Festival, St. Louis, MO
11/19-11/21: Dark Carnival Film Festival, Bloomington, IN
2/18-2/27, 2011: Big Muddy Film Festival
@ Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL
3/22-3/27, 2011: Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor, MI
3/30-4/1, 2011: Wisconsin Film Festival, Madison, WI
4/27-5/1, 2011: Roger Ebert’s Film Festival
@ Virginia Theatre, Champaign, IL
Despite the media’s increasing prevalence in our lives, not all people want or feel the need to be involved in media-making to be fruitful or simply happy. Case in point is Dad. Except for a handful of old Super 8 reels dating way back to my very beginning, I don’t think any video or audio recordings exist of him – Mom did her part on the still photo front – and I did consider taping family gatherings a handful of times but I refrained. Memory is now forced to serve me right. That’s okay.
I wonder sometimes just how many folks go before the cameras for all the wrong reasons or are forced to be there without their complete consent so someone else can prove a point or earn a buck. For every second that preserves history, art, family, or the truth, many minutes are wasteful, disingenuous, or merely empty. We need to consider the integrity not only of that which we record, but of whom. Sometimes it means knowing when to not press the little red button in the first place.
That’s it for the “business of our scene” this week!
If you have relevant news, opportunities, dates, or promotions that you would like included in CUBiz, please forward the who, what, where, when, and how much to cuconfidential [at] gmail [dot] com.
Compiled by Jason Pankoke
“C-U Biz-en-scène” no. 3 © 2010 Jason Pankoke/C-U Blogfidential.