Musings on Day 2 of the film portion of SXSW
Elena was recently asked to blog about SXSW by a film website that specializes in online distribution and blogging. Here is the first!
The TurtleDove Birthday party was epic this past Sunday. We made enough money in raffle ticket sales and cash donations that we surpassed $3K on our Seed&Spark CrowdFunding Campaign! (www.seedandspark.com/studio/turtledove-films) So, only roughly $14K until our project is greenlit and $19K until it’s fully funded — please help us spread the word and consider donating. We aren’t lying when we say ANY amount helps. Perks start at $5!
Since the party was such a delight, here’s a teaser from the photobooth pictures. Enjoy:
Elena goes Inside The Pod with Julian Dertals.
2013 Austin Indie Flix Showcase - Best Texas Short
2014 Bare Bones International Film Festival - Official Selection
Ivy really needs Ellen at her wedding.
Sampling of our shoot from Audic Empire’s show at The Parish in Austin Texas on 01/29/14
Check out Elena’s guest blog on the female filmmaker website, Bitch Flicks!
Crowd-Funding campaign for brand new, top of the line equipment for our company. Please consider donating and/or re-sharing our link! (Bonus: There’s a way cool video on the campaign page that explains things way better than this description)
So, lots of updates so far in 2014. Let me list them out for you:
1. We’re transforming what was our office/study into an official TurtleDove office space. In preparing to make TurtleDove into a business we’ve learned that to be a business you need to look like a business. This means an office, business phone, and generally business looking things. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and looks like a duck then it’s probably a duck.
2. Our July short, The Reunion, has been accepted into another film festival (the first was the Austin Indie Flix Showcase this past October where we were awarded Best Texas Short). Now we’ll be attending the Bare Bones International Film Festival in Muskogee, Oklahoma from April 3rd-13th.
3. We’re starting weekly rehearsals for a sketch comedy show which means our time is stretched even thinner. It also means we’re managing yet another family of social media which includes a new Facebook page, a new Instagram account, and a new Twitter account. We hope that our involvement in the improv community will not only improve our acting skills, but provide opportunities to grow within TurtleDove as well. Also, the people involved in this thing are really cool.
4. We’re officially an LLC. This means we can pay ourselves (not any time soon… since we won’t make any money for a couple of years) and we can deduct all of our purchases — among other legal things that are still a little over our heads. Thankfully, we have a great company that’s working with us to help us understand all of the non-creative side of this business.
5. We’re launching our crowdfunding campaign on February 3rd.We’re being a little ambitious and going for around $20,000 which will include festival fees, a new camera, new lenses, a new field recorder, web hosting, and production costs for our two shorts we plan to film this year (as well as some of the funds for the feature we plan on filming in 2015).
6. We’re throwing a birthday party on February 16th. There will be a raffle with cool prizes (graciously donated by our caring friends) including a refurbished nintendo, homemade headwear, theatre tickets, massages, yoga classes, and much much more! It’s at Dominican Joe Coffeeshop on Congress/Riverside from 7-10, so, if you’re in the area, please come join us!
7. As if we haven’t given ourselves enough to do, we’re shooting a music video for a friend of a friend. They’re a really cool band from Austin (Audic Empire) that we think sounds like Dave Matthews meets Sublime. You can check out their music here: http://www.reverbnation.com/audicempire We’ll try to balance this with the preparations for our crowdfunding and hopefully find time to do all of the other stuff on our plate.
So.. yeah. 2014 is already hella busy for us, but its very exciting!
And we’ve had an incredible 12 months. We’re beyond appreciative of the support we’ve received and we can’t say enough how much this has meant to us.
As we look to the future we also reflect on the past. We started this company because we wanted to do something more. We were tired of all the waiting involved with being an actor: waiting for auditions, waiting for callbacks, waiting for just about everything. We decided to make stuff happen for ourselves. Duncan wrote a script for a competition which required previous completed works…so we started making previous works so that the next year that wouldn’t be a problem anymore. Thus, TurtleDove was born. Duncan has submitted to the competition again and it doesn’t matter what happens with it because we now have something better.
We were happy to work with a lot of talented friends who have the same hunger we do, but the best part of this year were the friendships we created with those we’d never worked with before. It went so far that we made a film with someone from not only another country, but who speaks an entirely different language. We never would have imagined something that awesome would happen.
So, THANK YOU so much to:
1.Bonnie — for being our first actress ever, for trusting us, and for jumping in headfirst. Thank you for helping crew other projects as well. Thank you for being there for Brenna when I know she was nervous. Thank you for always giving your opinion on things, even when I don’t ask for it. Thank you for being a creative, beautiful person.
2. Ben — for being our first actor ever, for trusting us, and for letting me put your goofy sandwich run into our video with out TOO much protest. It is truly my favorite moment of yours in that film. It’s so real, so unfiltered. That’s beautiful.
3. Brooke — for being willing to be an extra in our first film, I know extra work isn’t glamorous and it really showed your support of us.
4. Phil — for coming along with Brooke and being an extra for us in our first film, even though I know acting isn’t your forte.
5. Vanessa — for being willing to extra for us, for waiting patiently for a principal role and finally acting in a principal role in a later film, for letting us borrow your equipment and for giving us advice before we started everything.
6. Jon — for being willing to extra for us, for acting in a leading role in a later film when you were way busy with school and theatre and for letting us use your equipment for so long, and always trusting we wouldn’t mess it up even though we didn’t know what we were doing.
7. Lauren — for extra-ing for us and for generally supporting us always.
8. Julie — for tagging along with Lauren and being an extra for us even though you didn’t know us.
9. Ty — for lighting for us several times, for letting us use your equipment and for giving us advice when we were lost.
10. Connor — for helping Ty light our first film and for acting for us later on in a leading role, even though we know that isn’t your main focus anymore. Thank you for also supporting us always.
11. Sarah — for coming to extra in our first film even though acting isn’t your thing.
12. Cole — for coming to extra in our first film, even if it was just for the free booze!
13. Luke — for letting us use your music whenever we wanted, and for always trusting that we wouldn’t misuse your art. We are truly grateful to you, and I don’t know if you can really comprehend how big of fans we are of you.
14. Ev — for acting in a one man film for us when we were so early in our process. We want you to know that from the bottom of our hearts, we love you, we respect you, we are in awe of you. Always.
15. Brenna — for acting in a leading role in our very first film where we ran live sound. You were so patient, and so willing, and so easy to direct. You are a wonderful actress, and you are going to be something. We know it.
16. Rob — for acting in two films for us, for wholeheartedly supporting us through every moment of this journey and for, honestly, probably being our #1 fan. Even just your small tweets letting us know how we inspire you mean so much more than you know.
17. Eric — for acting in a tiny, almost non-existent role for us without question and waiting patiently for a larger role. We are so happy we found a place for you in one of our favorite films of our. Thank you for trusting us. Thank you for helping us out on set when we needed it. Thank you for believing in us and recommending us to people who might be able to actually pay us.
18. Jake — for being here with us through almost the whole journey. Thank you for acting for us in large and small roles and thank you for always being there with a 2nd camera to get production stills for us. We hope this photography passion that has resurfaced for you sticks.
19. Kimberly (Barrow) — for acting for us in one of our favorite films of ours, and for not chopping your hair off in the middle of the summer even though we know you really wanted to! You were a delight to work with, and are just plain gorgeous. We were lucky to have you on our set.
20. Justin — thank you for playing opposite me, and kissing me in front of Duncan, and only kind of acting like that was weird. Thank you for improvising with us and continuing to inspire us always. You are truly a great colleague, and an even better friend.
21. Jacob — thank you for taking a small role in one of our films just before you moved. You were always so busy, and we are so thankful you had time to contribute to our art in even a small way. Your talent is so huge, and you look amazing on screen. Please do more on screen work.
22. Sophia — for stepping in at the last minute and laughing your way through “Spirit” with us. I can’t believe I didn’t think of you first for that role. It was made for you.
23. Travis — for acting for us in one of our favorite films of ours to date, especially during a time that you were incredibly tired and just needed a break. You are one of my favorite people in the world, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
24. Lynda — for taking on a role for us no questions asked, no clue what was going on, and just going for it. You were everyone’s favorite. We can see why.
25. Will — for tagging along to San Marcos with us and helping out with sound and production stills on Spirit. Also, thank you for the books. Duncan and I have both learned a lot from them.
26. Britni — for continually being there to support and help in any capacity that I ask, even though this isn’t your choice of industry. You are truly a best friend.
27. Anna — for acting for us, for making the most hilarious faces, for not feeling weird about having to quit on us the first time, and for believing me when I said it was okay and that I’d find a place for you in a future project. I did, and I am not disappointed.
28. Mallory — for always being the funniest person in the room, for lighting it up when you walk through the door, for your endless positivity, your fearlessness and your friendship.
29. Danielle — for being a true professional and doing absolutely exactly everything I asked. You are a delight to direct and a true talent. You’re going far, girl. I know it.
30. Kimberley (Gates) — for putting yourself out there and coming to act on our set in a major role, even though you don’t have very much film experience. I appreciate your questions, your honesty and your integrity. And above all else, your friendship.
31. Greg — for reaching out to us and asking us to collaborate with you guys. We had NO IDEA how much this project would influence our future, and we’re still trying to wrap our heads around it. We’ve put off e-mailing you back because we want to be able to sit down and write a big important note to you. It will come to you soon. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
32. Elodie — for writing a HILARIOUS script for us at a time that we were creatively drained. You wrote a better scenario than either of us could have come up with at the time, if ever. Thank you for also putting up with our English and what we can only presume was frustrating for you, since we weren’t be able to communicate very well due to language barrier. We’re working on our French.
33. Flora — for acting in “In Those Shoes” with us and trusting Greg & Elodie that this collaboration was going to work.
34. Samuel — for acting in “In Those Shoes” with us and trusting Greg & Elodie that this collaboration was going to work.
35. Didier — for acting in “In Those Shoes” with us and trusting Greg & Elodie that this collaboration was going to work.
36. Kristen — for acting in our final film, even though you are usually a voice with no face. Your face is beautiful, you’re a natural film actress, and yours and Ted’s chemistry was perfect. You’re the best.
37. Ted — for acting in our final film when your schedule was beyond bonkers. We’re so glad we got to put you and Kristen on screen together and that we got you involved with our 12 month project. Thank you for also teaching us Improv for the first time.. I don’t think this year would have turned out so well for us if you hadn’t helped us hone those skills.
38. Bryan — for so many things. Constant support. Free software. Helping with sound. Always wanting to do your job well, even when you didn’t know what the hell you were doing. For texting me at any hour of the day about a movie you know I just have to see, because it’s going to make me a better filmmaker. Those little things are the best things.
39. Aaron — for doing fight choreography for us when you were so extremely busy. You are a rock star, man. I don’t know how you do it all, and do it all well. So many people stretch themselves so thin that they aren’t good at anything, let alone everything. You, my friend, are good at everything.
40. Jim — for the conversations nearly every day this year, for always being willing to give advice, for answering any an every question I’ve ever had and for letting us crew on your sets as well as act. We appreciate your tenacity and your heart.
41. Mom (Joan) — for letting us use your house as a set, use your fine silver to fill with candy, for being my personal assistant for a little while on set and for cooking us dinner. You blew us all away.
43. Dad (Tracy) — for letting us use your house as a set, for probably helping Mom with dinner and for always supporting everything we’ve ever done. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that you’re always one of the first people to watch each video and how, without question, you share it with anyone you can.
44. Mom (Amanda) — for letting us use your house as a set, for making us dinner and for letting us come back when we ran out of time on night one. Thanks for the cute puppies (Winston’s cameo will always be one of our favorites) and just for opening your home and your heart to us.
45. Mehul — for letting us use Dominican Joe on our very first shoot ever and trusting that I wouldn’t break anything. I totally would have paid for it if I did.
46. Sharla — ditto to what I said to Mehul. We hope that showcasing Dominican Joe in our film has gotten the shop more business and that Makarios will continue to grow because of our patronage, and our encouragement for our friends and fans to go there.
We really really really couldn’t have accomplished anything we did this past year if even one of you hadn’t been involved. We owe everything to you guys. Seriously.
The hardest part of the year was how quickly the creativity ran dry. In the beginning we were ripe with story ideas, but it got to a point these last few months where we couldn’t come up with ANYTHING creatively and it drove us crazy.
As we look at the next two years we’ll take the best things and make them better — and take the worst things and get rid of them. We’re going to slow down… A LOT. We’re going to continue to work with friends who really want to work. And we’re going to have the same transparency we had all year: there will be things we don’t know… a lot of things we don’t know. But the patience and kindness we show we hope will continue to be reciprocated.
This is what the future holds:
1. We officially applied to be an LLC. We are still finalizing the paperwork.
2. As soon as that happens, we get to open a business bank account.
3. As soon as that happens, we can buy our web domain and our website can go live.
4. As soon as that happens, we can officially start our Seed & Spark Fundraiser. We are still finalizing the paperwork for that as well, and do not know if we will be approved or not. Cross your fingers. Seed & Spark kicks every other crowdfunder’s ass.
5. As soon as that happens, we can plan a fundraiser kickoff party. We hope you can make it.
So, Happy Birthday, TurtleDove. We hope you’ve enjoyed this ride as much as we have. We’re still gonna blog, so we aren’t going anywhere.
Christmas Night, mysterious things happen. Produced by Sowilo Pictures and TurtleDove Films
So we’ve had a whirlwind of a week and a half.
1. We decided on a title that all 4 of us are really excited about! Presenting…. “In Those Shoes”
2. Last Tuesday evening we shot a couple of scenes and a week ago today we shot the rest of our half of our December shoot. Couple of teaser production photos for ya:
3. We got everything edited by Christmas Eve.
4. We had upload failures like 4 times while trying to send our half to Greg. We are so lucky that he agreed to do the final color grading on the entire piece, and even luckier that he’s been so patient with us. We have put him under a severe time crunch with putting the final touches on, and he has been so upbeat and positive about it all. All in all, I am very proud of our half, and cannot WAIT to see the whole thing put together.
5. We started serious discussion on putting together our website, applying for an LLC (and actually learning what the hell an LLC means.. heh) and putting our Seed&Spark fundraiser together. We want to get that going very quickly, but we also want to throw a launch party for the Fundraiser, and we aren’t quite sure how quickly we can put that together and have people actually show up.
6. Duncan started writing his script for the Jameson Competition…the thing that got this all started. If he doesn’t win again this year, we will have 2 scripts we can shoot next year. If he does.. well, he’ll be shooting a short with Uma Thurman in February, so TurtleDove plans will probably take a backseat to that. More on that when we know.
Stay tuned for our final thoughts on this year, but, to start it off: We are so thankful to everyone who has supported us, worked with us, read all of our blog posts and (especially) watched all of our films. What a great 2013.