The SOFIE Trophy

A big Fed Ex box got delivered today, and inside, carefully packaged, was our SOFIE Trophy, the award “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” won from The Short Film Awards last November.

It’s rather big and has weight. And shines impressively in the light.

“The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” won for Outstanding Technical Work in a Short Film. This awards the director (me), the cinematographer (Jason Chua), the editor (Stolis Hadjicharalambous), the sound designer (Todd Maki), and the VFX/color artist (Austin Lepri).

Having a category awarding “Outstanding Technical Work” seems to be unique to The Short Film Awards. I love that this categorization made it possible for the award to officially honor so many particular collaborators.

Ed suggested I take some pictures that show how the trophy catches the sunlight…

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Continuing our August 2019 tour of the American West, after we left the grounds near the Petrified Forest Visitor Center, we drove on into the Petrified Forest National Park, a large national park in Eastern Arizona, with more petrified trees, and wide, wondrous scenery.

Those boulders strewn across the landscape are mostly petrified tree logs.

Looks like recently chopped wood, doesn’t it? It’s actually rocks, fossilized trees that lived 200 million years ago.

This petrified tree had become, over time and water erosion, a petrified tree bridge. Below it is cement that was poured decades ago to support it when it was feared it may collapse. Nowadays less unsightly means of support might be feasible, but it’s too late for that now.

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“The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” recently received two more awards from FESTIVAL ANGAELICA and the Spotlight Film Awards; and has been announced as an official selection at the LATVSFF & Fixion Film Festivals

I’ll start with FESTIVAL ANGAELICA. As recently posted, my musical Edgar Allan Poe adaptation “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” was playing at that festival up until last week.

Well, the festival awards have been posted. And “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” received the Jury Award for Experimental Short.

Sweet. I like the results of that experiment.

I also received word that the Spotlight Film Awards highlighted “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” as a Bronze Award winner.

Hey, it gets me on the podium!

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Shifting Light

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Watch Tell-Tale for Free at Festival Angaelica thru Dec 30

It’s a Tell-Tale holiday surprise! Thru December 30 you can watch my musical short film adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic story “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” for free, along with a hundred other cinematic offerings, at Festival Angaelica.

To be precise, Angaelica is offering a 30 day free trial, which covers the length of the festival. Go here to learn more.

You will find “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” either listed alphabetically…

… or, once signed in, among the short films (20-45 min) section:

You will also be able to watch an interview festival director Vivien Martinez conducted with me. Lots of tidbits about Tell-Tale and its follow up “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre”. Really going “into the weeds” of the filming process.

So this holiday season treat yourself to another helping of musical ghoulishness and more at festival Angaelica.

And be sure to leave a comment in Tell-Tale’s viewing section.

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If a tree falls in a forest 200 million years ago, can you hear it?

Well, no, you probably will not hear it.

But if the tree is carried away by flood waters, and quickly submerged in silt…

… it may not decay, but instead be fossilized.

Colorful rock preserving the shape and texture of the tree.

And then add millennia of tectonic shifts and climate change and erosion, and voila, you can now see that tree 200 million years after it fell, in the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona.

No longer just any old tree. Now it’s a rock star.

Petrified Forest National Park visitor center
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A Tell-Tale Q&A and an Actor Panel

This August I participated in several Zoom sessions with the Art is Alive Film Festival.

I just received the recordings of two of them. First up is Art is Alive founder Cindy Mich interviewing me after a virtual screening of my short film Edgar Allan Poe adaptation “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” (which would go on to win the Judy Garland Award for musical score later in the festival).

Here are some topics we covered, and when in the recording you can find them:

0:24 – Why Poe not Shakespeare? – The Tell-Tale origin story.

3:18 – How did you create the performance?

6:00 – Where/How did you find your voice in this character?

8:25 – Contrasting this to adapting the companion piece “Pit and the Pendulum”. (PS: When I say P&P isn’t a first person monolog, I mean Tell-Tale reads like a spoken first person narrative, whereas P&P takes the guise of a written first person narrative).

11:00 – Talking about bringing the instruments to life on screen.

15:00 – Syncing the performance to the recording.

17:30 – Talking about getting the husband (Ed) involved.

20:30 – What is the driving force behind the film’s success? What makes it special?

23:30 – What’s with the facial hair?

24:15 – Talk about the awards.

25:45 – Where is the film going from here?

28:50 – Our Wisconsin connections.

30:55 – The Art is Alive awards.

33:00 – Adapting Poe’s text. Tell-Tale as a teaching tool.

35:15 – Jennifer joins us.

36:45 – Closing statements.

38:40 – Ed proves he exists.

The day before the Tell-Tale Q&A I had joined Cindy and Michael Gentile in an Actors Workshop Panel.

Below the video is the time guide to that discussion:

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It’s been a while since I have shared another post from our 2019 Great American Southwest Tour. You wouldn’t want to miss out on Monument Valley, now would you?

Well, we’ll get there, but we’re not there yet. There are still a few less famous but still spectacular locations on our way.

Next stop is a quick look at Meteor Crater on our way driving through Central Arizona.

Meteor Crater from above. No, I didn’t take this picture…

Meteor Crater, also known as Barringer Crater, was created 50 000 years ago by a nickel-iron meteorite about 160 feet (50 meters) across.

It lies in privately owned land, so is not protected as a National Monument. It has been declared a National Natural Landmark.

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In the village of Celoron, part of the town of Ellicott, on the western boundary of the city of Jamestown, in Chautauqua County, in the state of New York, United States, a statue was erected in honor of Lucille Ball, legendary comedienne and the main claim to fame for Celoron, population 1112 (according to the 2010 census).

The statue was commissioned by Mark and Jetta Wilson, who donated it to Lucille Ball’s birthplace in 2009.

For six years the statue stood quietly in the little park, without controversy.

But then in 2015, it became an internet meme, as “Scary Lucy”, attracting worldwide derision and condemnation.

Even its original sculptor, Dave Poulin, admitted it was “by far my most unsettling sculpture” and that he had wanted to redo it for several years before the controversy erupted.

Perhaps trying to capture Lucy’s Vitameatavegamin grimace sculpturally was a doomed proposition from the get go, no matter the skill of the artist.

“Scary Lucy” became such a bronze of contention that a commission was formed to replace it. Carolyn Palmer was chosen from 67 applicants to make “New Lucy”.

And if you turn your head westwards from Scary Lucy, there, not far off, stands New Lucy…

They didn’t remove the unloved statue. She still shares the park with her corrective.

After all, the controversy around the statues is perhaps more of a draw than anything else.

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The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” will stream this Sunday, December 6, as part of the London International Motion Picture Awards free screenings of their nominated official selections on Films On Go TV.

The L.I.M.P.A. will start showing films today. Each day’s streaming program starts at 12pm London time, as will the program this Sunday that includes “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre”. By my math, you can expect my musical Edgar Allan Poe adaptation to air around 4:10pm London time, 11:10 am EST. (Click here to watch.)

Public viewing of all films as they stream these next two weeks very much looks to be free!

There also appears to be a public vote involved, so please do show “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” your support when you visit L.I.M.P.A.

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Back in the Studio

Some teasing glimpses into the next Poe Musicabre

Pre-production efforts for the follow-up to my short film musical adaptation of ‘The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” are in full gear. This week I am in the studio laying down vocal tracks for “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre”. Yes, as previously announced and discussed, it’s another Edgar Allan Poe adaptation.

These first pics are from Tuesday, my first day recording. I am using the same studio, JahRockn, where I recorded my Tell-Tale vocals almost exactly two years ago. Today I go in for my fourth session. Even though “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” will be shorter than “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre”, I actually have to lay down far more vocal tracks than before. There are some important reasons for this, which distinguish the voice work here from its predecessor in dramatic ways, and require the extra time in the studio…

Chris and Aaron from JahRockn in the monitor

As with Tell-Tale, my vocals aren’t the first sounds recorded during pre-production. In August we recorded the instrumental tracks. And the old Tell-Tale music gang is back: Robin Hasenflug,  Scott Burns and Michael Gelfand playing the three cellos, again recorded and engineered by Todd Maki in Ohio. Above and below are some screen shots of my view of the proceedings hunched over my lap top with ear buds plugged in. Last time we did this, there was no need for masks and Covid tests ahead of time, of course.

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“The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” wins awards for Adaptation and Soundtrack (Short Film) from South African Horrorfest

The charismatic South African Horrorfest hosts Paul and Sonya posted their awards announcement video on YouTube, including a list of all the films featured in the festival and other info posted below the video.

You can also watch the video here:

Paul and Sonya are part of a panel of four judges that made this year’s award selections.

I am extremely pleased and honored to see “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” singled out for not one but two awards. The first one, for adaptation (short film), is announced at the 3:30 minute mark of the video.

Paul: “It’s a musical adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”.

Sonya: “And was brilliant”.

Paul: “Fantastic. Artistic”.

Sonya: “Stood out for more than just for its soundtrack. But the soundtrack was absolutely stunning.”

Paul: “And hard work went into that. We definitely appreciate that.”

At the 6 minute mark you can see “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” win the award for Best Soundtrack.

Sonya: “Our next category is the Best Soundtrack. And I think that’s quite obvious.”

Paul: “Ja, there were some very good soundtracks. And not just music but also sound design.”

Sonya: “Ja.”

Paul: “But the one that stood out, head and shoulders, was “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre”.

Sonya” “Yes. Brilliant. Really enjoyed that one.”

UPDATE: Paul Blom sent me the official Awards Emblems

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“The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” wins a SOFIE Award

The Short Film Awards, AKA the SOFIE Awards, were held last night. Here’s the YouTube video of the complete event:

It was an elaborately produced virtual event full of filmmaker testimonials and film clips. I created a filmmaker testimonial and three clips for the event too, as requested, and will share those below.

The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” was nominated for three SOFIE Awards, Best Long Short Film, Outstanding Technical Work and Outstanding Styling.

The evening began with clips from all the nominated short films. “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre’s” sneak peak comes in at the 57 second mark:

The Filmmaker testimonials followed. You can find mine at the 48 minute mark, or watch it below:

The award for Outstanding Technical Work was the first to be announced, after the testimonials had aired and after M.C. Rico E. Anderson’s opening bit (starting at the 1:14 hour mark). The nomination clip I edited for the award presentation was shown at the 1:26 hour mark:

“The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” won, to my visible surprise, as you can see if you watch the YouTube video at the top of this post, starting at 1:30:30.

(I didn’t mean to tease Rico about stumbling over Stolis Hadjicharalambous’ name, but hoped to show some empathy for him being asked to sightread what is undoubtedly an eyeful and a mouthful. But I’m afraid that may have not come across while I was still on the air. Anyway, I told him so in the Zoom chat, but it was too late. A variety of interesting names would trip him up again and again. And even after getting my name right at first, he would skip past the “k” during the next award presentation.

I’m sorry, Rico, for jinxing you. 😉 )

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A Twice Told English Selection

It was a good day for “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” in England yesterday. On the heels of learning my musical Poe adaptation was made an official selection of the Lit Scares International Horror Festival of Harrogate, North Yorkshire (or might it be Horrorgate, North Yorkshire?), I got notice that my short film is also an official selection of the London International Motion Picture Awards.

Both will feature events in December. More info to come. For now, cheers!

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Friday, November 13th, I recorded an interview with Cindy Mich from Art is Alive, which she has now posted on her Blog Talk Radio webpage and YouTube (see below). We talked for nearly 90 minutes about my short film musical adaptation “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre“, working with my husband Edward Elder, cracking the “adaptation code” on my next Poe musicabre “The Pit and the Pendulum”, being effected by the Covid pandemic, and some of my other musicals “Speakeasy – John and Jane’s Adventures in the Wonderland“, “I Too Sing America – The Blues According to Langston Hughes” and “beTwixt, beTween & beTWAIN“. (Cindy tried to get me to pick my favorite, as if I could choose my favorite child; but yes, now I feel guilty about my musicals I didn’t get to talk about – bad father, bad father!). As well as IMDb, the Judy Garland Award, tales out of school (literally, as in NYU Drama), meeting Zhang Yimou and Gong Li in China in 1989, and much more.

Give it a listen (the interview starts at the 5:35 minute mark):

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Another way you can see “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre“:

For free on SOFIE TV!

SOFIE TV is run by The Short Film Awards AKA The SOFIE Awards. They are showing all nominated films between now and Monday in anticipation of their their awards show November 21.

SOFIE TV is showing all nominated films in scheduled blocks, depending on the nomination.

“The Tell-Tale Heart earned three nominations, for Best Long Short Film, Technical Work and Styling.

Here is the schedule for when Tell-Tale’s screening blocks will air on SOFIE TV (All times EST)


Enjoy, and wish Tell-Tale good luck for the Short Film Awards!


On Saturday, November 21st, the SOFIE Awards festivities begin at:
6:00PM EST
1. The BIRTH of SOFIE…detailing how The Short Film Awards and SOFIE came to be
2.  In Pursuit of SOFIE…SOFIE Nominees discuss their film journeys and the importance of short films

7:00PM EST
The 6th Annual SOFIE AwardsHosted, for the third year, by award-winning actor and Emmy voter, Rico E. Anderson. 

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