P&P on HORROR ISLAND

UPDATE: So, right after I posted this, I got an email from festival director Domiziano Christopharo that “due to logistic problem the fest is delayed”, with the screenings to take place “in another location in the end of December.” So, stay tuned for that and don’t hop onto your private jet for Gran Canaria just yet.

INITIAL POST: So, if you happen to be in the Canary Islands this Friday, or happen to be a jet setter for whom a weekend jaunt to the Canary Islands on the fly seems like a great idea, you can catch my short film musical Edgar Allan Poe classic short story adaptation “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” screening as part of the Horror Island film festival:

02 Dec, 19:00 – 23:50

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria,

C. República Dominicana, 18, 35010 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spagna

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A TOURIST ON HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD

I woke up early, still on New York time, the Sunday morning of my Skiptown Film Festival visit in LA. The actors panel I was participating in was scheduled for 1pm, so I had time to play tourist on Hollywood Boulevard and check out the stars of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Dolby Theater, home of the Oscars, and the celebrity cement hand and foot prints at the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Plus a view of the iconic Hollywood sign.

The metro station at Hollywood and Vine is rather splendid. The subway itself, on an early Sunday morning, is populated with many who apparently spent the night in the train…

I started on the south side of Hollywood Boulevard, walking West from Vine.

Seems somehow fitting that Mary Pickford and Amy Adams are neighbors.

“Driving Miss Daisy”‘s Jessica Tandy just across from “Do the Right Thing”‘s Spike Lee.

The Apollo 11 astronauts are honored at every corner of this intersection.

For the time being, Frank Borzage has to bear the indignity of being obscured under scaffolding.

Bogie will show off even better later at Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

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“Thank you for making me enjoy a musical, in a special way.”

THE SPOOKY EMPIRE INTERVIEW

Scott C. Biery from Guru Reviews interviewed me in conjunction with “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” screening at the Spooky Empire Film Festival in Orlando, where my musical Edgar Allan Poe adaptation won an award for music and was nominated for its special effects.

The video of Scott’s interviews is up exclusively on YouTube. You can watch it by clicking HERE. My interview starts at the 12:38 mark and runs through 30:29.

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THE SKIPTOWN EXPERIENCE

“The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre”

wins awards for

Best Musical Performance

Best Original Score

Best Production Design – Short

at the

Skiptown Playhouse International Film Festival

in Los Angeles

The top picture is me sitting with the three framed awards “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” won at the Skiptown Playhouse International Film Festival in Los Angeles Sunday night.

I’ll get to that, but let’s rewind a bit, and start at last Saturday’s screening for my musical short film adaptation of the classic Edgar Allan Poe story.

I arrived at the Skiptown Playhouse just off Melrose Avenue in East Hollywood about 10 minutes before the screening of the shorts block that included “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre”, having touched down at LAX only a few hours earlier. As you can see, the Skiptown Playhouse gives off a very Indie Burlesque-chic / Downtown vibe, something this New York off-off-Broadway veteran is very comfortable with. The film festival featured a high quality selection of Indie shorts and features from filmmakers from all over the world. Many came from even further away than New York, like Montreal, London, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Rome …

The couple in front of me, I later learned, came from Amsterdam. I quietly and surreptitiously sneaked a few shots from the beginning of P&P’s screening, including of the logo of Ed’s and my production company, and my first scene…

At the conclusion of my Edgar Allan Poe musical, one woman blurted out “Wow!”, which felt even better than the applause. We met later and hit it off very well (not only because she liked P&P so much) – her feature film ended up sweeping the feature length film awards in the festival – I’ll share more on all that further down this post.

After “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” concluded that screening block of shorts I got up on stage for a Q&A with two fellow filmmakers who shared the bill; at left Jean-Luc Servino, all the way from Rome, who presented his whimsical short “I Fell in Love with a Balloon”; and next to him Will Grave, from London, whose achingly lovely “The Last Jack O’ Lantern” required the carving of something like 90 pumpkins to produce. All our films rely heavily on music.

The next day I participated in an Actor’s Panel. That’s Olga Montes next to me. She’s the “Wow!” lady. Her husband and co-star in the movie Scarpedicemente, John Vamvas, is at right.

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Honor the Editor!

Stolis Hadjicharalambous

won

Best Editor

at

The NEXT International Short Film Festival

for his work on

The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre

Congratulations, Stolis!

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SYTYCA DIRECTING AWARD for P&P

The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre

won the

OUTSTANDING EXCELLENCE

Award for Directing

from

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DIRECT OR ACT

(which is especially nice because my first musical Poe adaptation “The Tell-Tale Heart – a musicabre” was similarly awarded by SYTYCA)

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A Walk Through Central Park

Central Park was in fall splendor this recent November Monday as I walked from Sheep Meadow through to the Plaza at the 5th ave / 59 Street exit, but the hot sun and blue sky framed the autumnal scene in a nearly incongruous summery light.

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P&P in NY & LA & NY again

There will be three opportunities to attend a screening of

“The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre”

coast to coast in the next 10 days.

plus an on-line screening opportunity

1st chance – NYC – 11/11

The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” is helping kick off the first night of the CK Film Festival this Friday, Nov 11, in Long Island City, Queens. I will be there. [UPDATE: the festival decided to show my film again the following Sunday.]

CK Film Festival is dedicated to “creating an exclusive, safe and interactive yet intimate screening experience for filmmakers and artists alike. We denounce the “gatekeepy” nature of festivals and welcome a wide array of unique styles from Animation to Narrative Shorts to experimental Features & more.

We look forward to sharing some beautiful & memorable nights with you and the 30+ film’s from around the world!”

FOR MORE INFO AND TICKETS CLICK HERE.

2nd chance – LA – 11/12

The next day, Nov 12, “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” is playing in Los Angeles at the Skiptown Playhouse International Film Festival, at 5pm at The Cat’s Crawl theater at 660 N Heliotrope Drive. Yes, I will be there too, having just flown in earlier that day from NY!

By the way, the Skiptown festival gave my first short “The Tell-Tale Heart – a msuicabre” an award for Best Musical Performance.

CHECK OUT THE WEBSITE FOR INFO AND TICKETS HERE

3rd Chance – NYC – 11/16

And then it’s back to NYC for me in time to attend the P&P screening Wednesday, Nov 16, 6:30pm for The Short Film Awards AKA The SOFIE Awards. All the nominees for Best Styling will be showcased in the same screening block at The Producer’s Club Theaters, 358 W 44th Street.

CLICK HERE FOR ALL THAT INFO

Incidentally, “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” is nominated for 2 SOFIE awards, Best Actor and Best Styling, with the awards event taking place Nov 18 at Symphony Space.

4. Chance – On-line until 11/27

Meanwhile, the Artist’s Forum Festival for the Moving Image, where “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” recently swept the awards winning five out of seven nominations, has moved its festival program on-line through November 27. You will find “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” closing REFLECTIONS: PROGRAM 3.

If you choose to watch P&P on your laptop, I recommend using ear buds for a more effective, immersive sound experience.

CLICK HERE FOR THAT

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P&P – Day 6 – The Plaque

Edgar Allan Poe’s classic short story opens with the following Latin inscription and parenthetical annotation:

Impia tortorum longos hic turba furors

Sanguinis innocui, non satiata, aluit.

Sospite nunc patria, fracto nunc funeris antro,

Mors ubi dira fuit vita salusque patent.

[Quatrain composed for the gates of a market to be erected upon the site of the Jacobin Club House at Paris.]

Curiously enough, Poe never offers any translation for this Latin quatrain. I had to look it up:

“Here an unholy mob of torturers

with an insatiable thirst for innocent blood,

once fed their long frenzy.

Now our homeland is safe, the funereal cave destroyed,

and life and health appear where dreadful death once was.”

Although the reference to the Jacobin Club House of Paris implies that this inscription refers to the worst terrors of the French Revolution, Poe’s “The Pit and the Pendulum” actually imagines the deadly traps and tortures of the Spanish Inquisition. No exact time is given, but Toledo is mentioned as the setting, not Paris.

For my musical short film adaptation “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” the scene is set with an opening shot of a plaque on a wall, bearing this Latin inscription, translated by subtitles for the viewer (a courtesy not given Poe’s reader), while three cellos intone a mournful version of the main theme. I figured it would help set the mood and foreshadow “unholy tortures” as well as prepare the audience for more Latin to come (albeit sung, not inscribed).

Gaffer Ja’rel Ivory, D.P. Jason Chua and Key Grip Keisuke Nojima

Production Designer Mariana Soares da Silva made the plaque and we affixed it to a wall in the hallway behind the studio space at the Theater for the New City where we had built our main sets. At the end of our sixth day of shooting we took an hour to get some shots of the plaque. We shot in slow motion, experimenting with haze and smoke and lighting.

(The bulk of our Day 6 and 7 were spent on a much more complicated set-up, which I will talk about in the next On Set Diary post.)

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BROOKLYN HALLOWEEN

Or rather Park Slope Halloween.

Or more specifically some of the Halloween decorations I photographed in my neighborhood.

Vroom Vroom!

Hello, Sailor!

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BEST SOUNDTRACK at NMIIFF

The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” wins Best Soundtrack at the Naked Mountain International Independent Film Festival

P&P’s award was one of three handed out tonight.

I snuck some photos from the back of the screening room, but I don’t have any of the lengthy Q&A that followed, since I was busily engaged with providing the A.

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P&P Climbs the NAKED MOUNTAIN in the SPOOKY EMPIRE

“The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” in NYC & Orlando this Weekend

This Saturday, October 22, my short film musical Edgar Allan Poe adaptation will play during the Naked Mountain Film Festival at 253 West 28th Street in NYC, a “day packed with awesome films, as well as two discussion panels, visual artists, and live music.”. The event runs from 2:00-10:30pm, with P&P scheduled to screen at 5pm followed by a Q&A with yours truly.

You can get tickets here. There is a Discount code: NMfilm25 for 25% off.

But if you are closer to Orlando, head out to the Spooky Empire Horror Convention, running October 21-23 in the Orange County Convention Center, featuring “world class vendors, speakers and entertainment“, including tattoo artists, costume contests and a film festival. “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” will screen Sunday October 23 at 11am, closing out a program of “Arthouse Horror”.

“The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” is also nominated for awards in both festivals.

Spooky Empire

UPDATE: 10/31/2022

Just in time for Halloween the good folks at Spooky Empire sent me the laurel for winning the Monstrous Melody Award:

Naked Mountain:

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5 Awards for P&P at The Artists Forum Festival of the Moving Image

Juror’s Award

Best Dark Themed Short

Best Director

Best Actor

Best Editing

Plus nominations for

Best Cinematography

Best Sound Design

Last night “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” won 5 of the 7 awards it was nominated for right after it screened at the final night of The Artists Forum Festival of the Moving Image in Manhattan.

I arrived early at the state of the art Dolby Screening Room where the festival took place to make some arrangements with the technical staff at the theater.

Which allowed me to take these pictures of my short film musical Edgar Allan Poe adaptation being test screened in the empty theater before the evening’s program:

That evening, the third and final night of the festival’s live screenings, seven shorts were shown, with “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” scheduled last. Afterwards there was a Q&A with filmmakers, during which I (subtly?) took this selfie:

The main question directed at me from the audience, here and at pretty much every Q&A I have done so far, is regarding the “mirror masks”. Not surprisingly. I have written a little about the prep for this aspect of the film before, but I promise more elaborate on-set diary and pre and post production posts about the mirror mask imagery will be forthcoming on this blog. There is much to discuss…

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REDWOODS!

While visiting Portland, Oregon to screen my short film “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” at the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival, I went to Washington Park with my cousin. Plenty of lovely nature and more to experience there. For today’s post I will please your eyes (hopefully) with the majesty of those tall tall trees on the Redwood walking trail.

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P&P at THE ARTISTS FORUM

SCREENING THIS SATURDAY at the DOLBY SCREENING ROOM in NYC

“The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre”, my musical short film adaptation of the classic Edgar Allan Poe story, has been chosen to close out The Artists Forum Festival of the Moving Image this Saturday October 15 at “the exclusive Dolby Screening Room NYC  —  a state-of-the-art, ADA compliant screening facility at 1350 Avenue of the Americas at West 55th Street (Lobby Level) in Mid-town Manhattan”. Tickets are on sale at EVENTBRITE.COM .

Ed and I will be present Saturday for the screening and the Q&A.

“THIS YEAR’S THEME:

This year, Filmmakers were challenged to interpret our theme: REFLECTIONS ON THE NATIONAL PSYCHE.

The term “national psyche” refers to the collective thinking or attitude of a nation as a whole, and is not specific to any individual nation.”

The Festival screens October 13-15 at the Dolby Screening Room with on-line screenings running October 16 – November 27.

Oct. 15 Showtimes: 6 – 10PM. Doors Open at 5:30PM

Artists Forum promotional image using a still from the film “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre”

If however you happen to be closer to Goa, India, than New York City this Saturday October 15, you can see “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” at the 9th Goa Short Film Festival 2022 at Sankruti Bhavan, Panaji, Goa. 9 Am to 6 PM.

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3X P&P in OR, AR & NC this SAT

POE IS SWEEPING THE NATION!

This Saturday “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” screens at

H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, Oregon

DreadRock: International Horror Film Festival in Little Rock, Arkansas

Horror Movie Freaks Film Festival in Walnut Cove, North Carolina

Unlike the judges of the Inquisition (see photo above), I am not able to divide into multiple versions of myself. So I will not be present at all three film festivals screening my musical short film Edgar Allan Poe adaptation this Saturday. You can find me doing a Q&A in Portland Oregon at the 27th Annual H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival – Cosmic Horror & Tales of the Supernatural, which is showing “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre” at 9:10pm, October 8 and again at 1pm, October 9 at the Hollywood Theater at 4122 NE Sandy Blvd. The festival runs Friday through Sunday.

Q&A with fellow filmmakers Maria Colette Sundeen (Lifeless), Joseph Scrimshaw (Unboxing the Cosmos) and Orok Duke (Why We Don’t Visit Anymore) after the second screening of Short Films Block 5.

The H P Lovecraft Film Festival audience responded very well to “The Pit and the Pendulum – a musicabre”.

It was actually much better attended than this photo suggests – most people sat in the back and not everyone stayed for the Q&As…
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