I always said that 33 was going to be my year. I don't know why that is (it's definitely not a Jesus fixation), but for a long time I've had a weird voice telling me that things were really going to click around that time of my life. Perhaps it was the realization that I wasn't ready for the world as a twenty-something (hence the law firm temping and drinking and hangovers and more drinking), but now that I'm about to reach the big three-three, I can say that my intuition might have been right. While I don't turn 33 until June 28th, 2007 is already shaping up to be the most exciting year of my life. Why? Thanks for asking...
In just a few months, COCAINE ANGEL will be getting a very special DVD release through the wonderful folks at Indiepix. I don't know if the world really needs a two-disc Special Edition, but that's how it's going down. In addition to two audio commentary tracks (one with Damian and Shawn, one with myself and Dave Lahn), there is a 25-minute behind-the-scenes documentary, as well as several deleted scenes. One of those deleted scenes, "Cathouse: Anamorphic," is a universe unto itself, a film that rivals TROLL 2 for its... I don't even know how to describe it. Whatever you think of COCAINE ANGEL, compare it to "Cathouse: Anamorphic" and you'll see how footage can be shaped and reshaped into completely different films (in this case for the way, way, way, way better--at least in my humble opinion). I actually agree with Damian in thinking that this supplemental material will be helpful to aspiring filmmakers, especially those on the independent side of the street, but it still makes me cringe to think about a lot of it. As long as I don't have to watch the making of doc, I'll be fine. Watching myself direct might cause me to break a bottle on the ground and high-five my throat with the thickest shard.
In preparation for the film's DVD release, some other good news has just befallen us. On February 21st, a final dream of ours is about to come true, as COCAINE ANGEL will be getting an actual-factual theatrical release in New York City, at the one-and-only Two Boots' Pioneer Theater! This is simultaneously exciting and terrifying, as it means we'll be getting legitimate reviews from some pretty major publications (I'm sure they'll be putting Manohla on this one at the Times). To be honest, a review is enough of a reward, even if it's negative, but I hope people will be pulling for our scrappy little film and will be gentle towards it. But that's out of my hands at this point. Go here to preorder tickets. I will certainly be bugging everyone closer to the 21st to get bodies into the theatre, if not for our sake then for Ray Privett's, who has been a guardian angel for tiny films like ours. Thank you, Ray!
Even if you've watched the film before, this is the first chance to get to see it with its final soundtrack. While the Max Richter is still there (thank you Indiepix), the rest of the music consists of incredibly talented friends of mine, who also happen to be incredibly kind and supportive and who let me use their music for free. They are, as follows: Great Lakes (Ben Crum and Dan Donahue), Louis Schefano, Ola Podrida (David Wingo), Kevin Barnes (aka, Of Montreal), Anom (Brian Corrigan), Jeff Gandee, Tim Chad & Sherry (Brian Kotzur), Monotonix (Yonatan Gat), Pyramid (Chris Waldorff and crew), The Ladybug Transistor (Gary Olson), and Priceless (Kenneth Price). After avoiding the music replacement process for many months, I finally confronted my fears and ended up with a soundtrack that I think is even more special, beginning with the film's closing song, which is now Ola Podrida's "Run Off the Road." It actually takes my breath away.
That's all for COCAINE ANGEL--for now. You'll be hearing a lot more about it within a few weeks. But in all seriousness, support truly independent cinema and go see the movie during its run. I'll hopefully be there for Q&A's after every showing (excepting Saturday; I'll explain why later). Thanks!
I plan on doing a major update with regards to SILVER JEW in a week or two, but just know that there will be many opportunities to see the film this spring, and, hopefully, beyond. Jane and I just color corrected it, Christof Gebert is in the process of sound editing it, and aside from a few other tiny fixes, we're just about ready to output this thing to HDCam and Digi-Beta. By this time next week, I will hopefully have both master tapes in my hand. But I know that technology loves to cause trouble, so I'm not going to jinx things by speaking about it anymore. Suffice to say, I really like the movie and I can't wait for everyone to see it.
It's kind of amazing to think that last June I was wondering what in the hell my next project would be, and here it is not even eight months later and I'm looking at another wild and crazy festival run. I have Matthew Robison to thank for that, for if he didn't ask me to help make the film, I'd probably be crying right now, wondering what in the hell I was doing with my life. This year will be even better, for I will be hanging out with very good friends who made some very, very good films (Craig Zobel, Joe Swanberg, Nate Meyer, Aaron Katz, David Redmon and Ashley Sabin, and the list goes on and on and on).
I feel very fortunate to be sitting in this position right now. But even more potentially exciting than CA and SJ is PPS. I had an epiphany last week and am determined to be in Ocean City, Maryland, this September, shooting the film that I've been dreaming about making since I started writing it in Spanish class in my senior year of high school back in 1992. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, 2007 is the year of PING-PONG SUMMER. The fact that I will officially be 33 in late June leads me to believe that my strange hunch might have known something that I hadn't all along. Of course, I'm saying this now in the delusion of winter--I've said this every year for the past fifteen years around this time of year--but this time I really feel like the time is right. And if it isn't, I'll just make something else. But I think it's time. I hope it's time. Fuck it, I KNOW it's time.
Lastly, I'm working on putting together my own screening series in Brooklyn, which will pay tribute to the films that truly changed my life. No, not THE BICYCLE THIEF, not COME AND SEE, not THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC. I'm talking about TROLL 2, SLEEPAWAY CAMP, NO RETREAT NO SURRENDER, NEVER TOO YOUNG TO DIE, THE REAL CANCUN, LADY IN THE WATER, and other works on par with those masterpieces. I plan to be a vocal guide during the films, pointing out especially amazing moments and even stopping the film to replay choice bits of dialogue. This might only appeal to 8 or 9 people, but I actually think it will appeal to a whole lot more. New York needs a series like this, and I'm the man to make it come alive.
I'm going to go do something now...