I directed theatre and it won an award!

It had been seven years since I attempted directing theatre. The last time was a lovely experience at Pacific Theatre in Vancouver, British Columbia via their emerging artist arm called Stone’s Throw Productions. I directed an abriged one-act adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. We called it Less Ado. It was three nights only and it was a blast. The show was sold out each night and the audiences were great.

But it had been a while and I was a little nervous, but looking for something to do, when Sharifa Williams emailed me about potentially directing the play she’d written, submitted, and got accepted into the Players Theatre’s Short Play & Music Festival. I loved the script (it was a topic that I’ve been working on a screenplay about). I loved the size of the project – a short play. I loved the opportunity. Ryan was on board as well.

Rehearsals were so rewarding. I love working with actors. I’ve directed two short films since directing theatre and the thing I think I’ve missed is the lovely luscious rehearsal process. And this one was no exception. I had five brilliant, kind, patient, hard-working, and reliable actors who were a joy to play with.

Of all the plays in Week 2 of the festival, Sharifa’s was the most production-heavy. We had costumes with blood, costumes with spikes, six full garbage bags, Tupperware with broccoli, and sound cues from the MTA. But as a theatre producer turned film producer, I was totally up for it. However, it meant a little less time at each rehearsal working on the acting. More time spent on tech. But it was worth it. It’s important to be able to find the balance of time necessary. This was good practice.

Tech rehearsal ran smoothly. Even though they’d requested five cues or less, they didn’t balk at my seven cue prompt book. And the actors were so on task I nearly drooled. They killed it. Sharifa had a few suggestions after the first show; but it only took a few adjustments for the actors to fix that.

And now, it’s just been announced that our play, the play Sharifa William’s wrote, has won the Audience Award for the Best of the Fest from Week 2!

Announcing the Winner of SPF/NYC Week 2 — SPF.

Hooray!!

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Sonny at Newport Beach!

My short film will also be screening at Newport Beach Film Festival! I’m so excited!

Details here: Newport Beach Film Festival

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My short film is hitting the festival circuit!

Sonny Poster

I’m so excited and proud to announce that my short film, SONNY, will have it’s world premiere on March 22nd at a film festival in Los Angeles. Then it will hit a festival in Austin, TX in April. Then it will return to California for a screening at a festival in Burbank! Here’s the details!

Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival - tickets here.
March 21, 2013 to March 24, 2013

International Family Film Festival 
May 1, 2013 to May 5, 2013

The ATTIC Film Festival
April 19, 2013 to April 20th, 2013

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How to write a screenplay!

A friend of mine asked via email how one goes about writing a screenplay. I answered his question with this silly little list:

  1. Start with an idea. Often this sounds like: “What if this happened?” Where “this” is the crazy idea.
  2. Give the idea a hero.
  3. Give the hero a goal.
  4. Set up obstacles to that goal.
  5. Write an outline (which is basically just a list of “things that happen”).
  6. Flesh out the outline with more details in for each of the “things that happen.”
  7. Run the outline by someone who understands story. Revise accordingly.
  8. Repeat Step #7 until the outline is really good.
  9. Imagine the “things than happen” in your head and then write down what you “see” and “hear” in proper script format.
  10. Run the script by someone who understands story. Revise accordingly.
  11. Repeat Step #10 until the script is really good.

Then what? Well, then the real work begins.

Is this how you go about writing? What would your list look like?

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The poster for my short film!

Here it is! Hot off the presses! The poster for my short film, SONNY! We’re getting so close to begin done with post-production. I can taste it!

Design by Marilee Sweeney. Photography by Lonnie Urven.

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My Current Project

It’s been a while since I posted. You might remember in February I mentioned that I had three projects in their third trimester?

Well, one of them has been born!

Meet our little girl, Olivia Grace Fritzsche.

Olivia Grace Fritzsche, on her birth day.

Olivia Grace Fritzsche, at 8 weeks old!

She was born at home, weighing 8 lbs 12 oz and measuring 21 inches long. She slept through the night at 1.5 months and is a sweet and joyful babe. We are so blessed to have her!

The other two projects, the short film, Sonny, and the short film, Jerry & Diane, are still in post. We’d hoped to get them done before Olivia arrived but it just didn’t happen. Soon enough!

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Film Friends: Bryan & Amy Storkel, and Jason Connell

My film friends, Bryan & Amy Storkel and Jason Connell have produced a film about card-counting Christians who are professional blackjack players called Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians! I’ve been following this film for a while. I’ve seen several pieces of advanced footage and have been honoured to support it’s development in several ways. It’s a fascinating look into a niche world of Christianity and professional gambling! AND IT DROPS TOMORROW!! Check it out on Amazon.com, iTunes or YouTube!

Bryan is currently directing another documentary with Oscar-winning documentarian Daniel Junge called Fight Church. As someone who loves amateur MMA, I’m super excited about this one!!

And I can’t finish this post without noting that Daniel Junge’s Oscar-winning co-director on Saving Face (2011), Sharmeen Ohaid-Chiney, is Canadian (like me)!

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