Duncan Christopher World Premiere!!

Most of you know, in 2008 I was a Producer / Line Producer on a feature film that was shot in Tulsa, Oklahoma called “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dreams of Duncan Christopher.” It’s a quirky comedy about the brutal underground world of competitive karaoke. We were in post for most of 2009 and now we’re about to have our World Premiere at The Method Fest 2010 – a film festival devoted to the craft of acting and breakout performances in independent films. I’m super excited! And just a little nervous.

It’s my first film festival as a producer and I’m having lots of fun hanging with my fellow filmmakers, meeting new people, and seeing lots of films and amazing performances. After the festival is over, I’ll post photos and more about what the events were like. But now, I’ve got to rush out and get groceries! Not much time today! Our premiere is tonight!!

To keep you satiated, here’s a photo of a group of us at the Welcome Reception on Wednesday night.

From L to R: D.W. Stephens, Peter Bedgood, Lizz Carter, Marshall Bell, Heather Roberts, Justin Monroe, Gillian Fritzsche, Ryan Fritzsche, Jack Roberts. Photo Credit: Rhonnie Curt.

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Duncan Christopher: World Premiere!!

Most of you know, in 2008 I was a Producer / Line Producer on a feature film that was shot in Tulsa, Oklahoma called “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dreams of Duncan Christopher.”  It’s a quirky comedy about the brutal underground world of competitive karaoke.  We were in post for most of 2009 and now we’re about to have our World Premiere at The Method Fest 2010 – a film festival devoted to the craft of acting and breakout performances in independent films. I’m super excited! And just a little nervous.

It’s my first film festival as a producer and I’m having lots of fun hanging with my fellow filmmakers, meeting new people, and seeing lots of films and amazing performances. After the festival is over, I’ll post photos and more about what the events were like. But now, I’ve got to rush out and get groceries! Not much time today! Our premiere is tonight!!

To keep you satiated, here’s a photo of a group of us at the Welcome Reception on Wednesday night.

From L to R: D.W. Stephens, Peter Bedgood, Lizz Carter, Marshall Bell, Heather Roberts, Justin Monroe, Gillian Fritzsche, Ryan Fritzsche, Jack Roberts. Photo Credit: Rhonnie Curt.

The Sugar Alcohol Myth

A few weeks ago, Ryan and I were invited to have dinner with some delightfully genuinely lovely friends of ours.  We stopped at Trader Joe’s to pick up bread as requested.  Because I like to consume my grain soaked, sprouted or fermented if possible, I chose the Trader Joe’s Sourdough Rye bread.  It’s made with real sourdough starter!  And I grabbed two “no sugar” chocolate bars to share for dessert.

No sugar?  Yeah, right!

We had a lovely meal with our friends.  Lots of laughter and encouragement.  She served melons for dessert and we shared the chocolate bars.  I took one of the wrappers home with me to see what made this chocolate bar so special.

Maltitol.

Do you know what it is?  It’s a sugar alcohol!  A carb!  According to wiki, it “does not promote tooth decay and has a somewhat lesser effect on blood glucose.”  It comes from corn.  They sweetened my chocolate with sweet corn alcohol.  “Excessive consumption can have laxative effect and sometimes can cause gas and/or bloating.”  Check and check.  Finally, maltitol syrup has a glycemic index of 52, which is close to that of table sugar (60)!  This little substance will raise your insulin levels.  Just like sugar.  What good is it then?

So this Trader Joe’s No Sugar Chocolate Bar had it.  I’ve read that Slim-A-Bear Klondike Bars have it.  What else has it?

Beware the “no sugar” claims.  If it’s not aspartame, it could be something almost as bad!

Next time, I’ll stick with the fruit.

Good advice for both screenwriters and producers!

When I was in the Act One Executive Program, they offered a class on How to Give Notes to Writers! I thought it was a great class. And when I went through the Writing Program, one year later, I tried to give notes like I’d been taught in that Exec Program class. I also tried to receive notes through the filter of what I’d learned in that class. So not only was it helpful for me as a producer, it became helpful for me as a writer!

I just got my CS Weekly email and this was one of the quotes at the top:

“Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.”
– Neil Gaiman

This is good advice for both writers and executives.

As a writer, I need to hear about what’s not working.  However, an executive’s assumption about why it’s not working affects his or her perspective about how it should be fixed!  Often, only the writer knows why something’s not working.  Or, integrity demands of the executive that he or she let thewriter figure out why it’s not working.  Often the fix isn’t in the scene that isn’t working.  Often it’s several pages or scenes back!

So if you’re a writer getting notes, ignore the fixes and try to hear the underlying truth – something’s not working.  Figure out what that is, and then figure out how to fix it.

If you’re an executive giving notes, don’t try to do the writer’s job!  Just let him or her know that you’re confused on page 7, page 36 doesn’t ring true, and the climax on page 89 falls flat.  Often, the writer will already know why it’s falling flat and will already have three ideas for how to fix it.  He or she just needed to know whether or not what they wrote worked!

Good Advice for both writers and execs!

When I was in the Act One Executive Program, they offered a class on How to Give Notes to Writers! I thought it was a great class. And when I went through the Writing Program, one year later, I tried to give notes like I’d been taught in that Exec Program class. I also tried to receive notes through the filter of what I’d learned in that class. So not only was it helpful for me as a producer, it became helpful for me as a writer!

I just got my CS Weekly email and this was one of the quotes at the top:

“Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.”
– Neil Gaiman

This is good advice for both writers and executives.

As a writer, I need to hear about what’s not working.  However, an executive’s assumption about why it’s not working affects his or her perspective about how it should be fixed!  Often, only the writer knows why something’s not working.  Or, integrity demands of the executive that he or she let the writer figure out why it’s not working.  Often the fix isn’t in the scene that isn’t working.  Often it’s several pages or scenes back!

So if you’re a writer getting notes, ignore the fixes and try to hear the underlying truth – something’s not working.  Figure out what that is, and then figure out how to fix it.

If you’re an executive giving notes, don’t try to do the writer’s job!  Just let him or her know that you’re confused on page 7, page 36 doesn’t ring true, and the climax on page 89 falls flat.  Often, the writer will already know why it’s falling flat and will already have three ideas for how to fix it.  He or she just needed to know whether or not what they wrote worked!

Primal Nanaimo Bars

This is the cheesecake version!

I love Nanaimo Bars.  Aside from good ole chocolate chip cookies, Nanaimo Bars are my favourite!  But by the traditional recipe, they’re super high in cornstarch (ew!) and sugar (ahhh!).  So I brainstormed a gluten-free, low-carb, sugar-free version of my second favourite cookie recipe!  I call them: Primal Nanaimo Bars!  And they’re super easy to make!

Nutty Primal Nanaimo Bars  (Buttercream Version)

Crust

  • 1 cup brazil nuts
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • dash salt
  • 1 tbsp stevia extract
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder

Blitz brazil nuts until a course powder.  Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well.  Spoon onto a greased (with butter or coconut oil) cookie pan (9×9).  Bake for 25 minutes at 350’F.  Cool and chill.

Buttercream Layer

This is not really a custard; but the original Nanaimo bar custard layer isn’t really a custard either.  So go ahead and enjoy!

  • 1 1/8 cup butter, soft
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 tbsp stevia extract (or another sweetener to taste)
  • ¼ cup coconut flour

Whip the butter in a food processor.  Add the remaining ingredients and blend well.  Spoon onto chilled crust layer and return to fridge to chill more.

Hard Chocolate Topping

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 3/8 cup cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ tbsp stevia extract

Melt all ingredients together in a saucepan over low heat.  Cool slightly.  Spoon over well-chilled custard layer.  Chill further!

When the final layer is hard (about 20 minutes); cut into squares and enjoy!  Store in the refrigerator.

The first time I made these, I hadn’t perfected the custard layer and they turned out kinda like Nanaimo Cheesecake Bars.  And they were still yummy!  In fact, they are my cheesecake lovin’ husband’s prefered version.  Here’s the Cheesecake Alternative Recipe:

Cheesecake Layer (instead of custard)

  • 3/4 cup butter, soft
  • 1/8 cup almond butter (or another nut butter of your choice)
  • 1/8 cup cream cheese
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3 tbsp stevia extract (or another sweetener to taste)

Whip the butter in a food processor.  Add the remaining ingredients and blend well.  Spoon onto chilled crust layer and return to fridge to chill more.

There you go!  These little sugar-free treats are sure to please.

UPDATE: Just for Nick, my 800th commenter, here’s the nutritional date from MyNetDiary: