Paradise Recovered is now available on Netflix! For those of you who don’t know, Paradise Recovered is my directorial debut. We couldn’t be more excited to see the DVD on Netflix. It’s really exciting and amazing.
If you have the DVD plan with Netflix, could you do me a huge favor? Please SAVE Paradise Recovered to your Queue. This is how Netflix will gauge the demand for our film so please please please add it to your DVD queue if you have one. I will love you forever. Well, I already love you, but I’ll love you even more. Thanks so much everyone. And if you know anyone who might have the DVD plan at Netflix, please pass this along to them. The more the merrier.
I’m back in Indiana. Back where it all began in the summer of 2009. After hitting seventeen film festivals in the last year and winning numerous awards, Paradise Recovered is ready for it’s official public unveiling. Tomorrow, November 20th, we’re premiering Paradise at the historic Buskirk Chumley Theater in Bloomington, IN. The fact that we shot a scene in the Buskirk makes our premiere there extra special. For more information on the screening, visit our official Facebook Event page here: http://www.facebook.com/events/271219359583929/. To buy tickets to the show, CLICK HERE.
As part of the premiere, we’re also releasing the Official Motion Picture Soundtrack for Paradise Recovered. The soundtrack features fantastic music from Indiana artists like Cara Jean Wahlers, Jookabox, Sardina, The New Old Cavalry, Salaam, newcomer Evan Slusher and more. As part of the big event at the Buskirk, Cara, Evan, Salaam and The New Old Cavalry will be performing live before and after the screening of the film. I’m still amazed at the awesome soundtrack of Indiana artists we were able to assemble for this soundtrack (thanks in large part to the fine folks at Musical Family Tree). We’ll be selling the soundtrack at the premiere and it will be available from retailers like CD Baby , Amazon and iTunes next week!
In conjunction with all this, we’ve been busy editing a DVD extra for our upcoming DVD release. The extra is a short doc that we’re calling Beyond Paradise. The piece features interviews with world renowned thought reform experts like Steve Hassan of freedomofmind.com and counselors from Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center. If you didn’t know, Paradise Recovered has pledged 10% of our profits to Wellspring, a one of a kind facility that counsels victims of spiritual abuse and cults.
So I hope to see some of you at the premiere tomorrow. I’ll post pics and hopefully some video from the event soon. And look for our Paradise Recovered DVD to be released in early 2012!
It’s been a busy couple of months. Here are some of the highlights.
Conversations in Film (July 10th)
I sat on a Conversations In Film panel presented by The Austin Film Festival. The panel was titled Making Your First Feature and I got to participate with some fantastic fellow filmmakers. We talked about our experiences making our first feature films. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed learning from and meeting the other directors on the panel.
Van Wert Independent Film Festival (July 8th-10th)
Paradise Recovered played the first ever Van Wert Independent Film Festival. Writer/Producer Andie Redwine had a great time at the fest and brought home some nice awards. Paradise Recovered won the Audience Award, Best Screenplay and Best Actress (Heather Wallis). So that was very cool.
Lights. Camera. Help. (July 28th-30th)
I was back in Austin representing Paradise Recovered (with Writer/Producer Andie Redwine) at the very awesome Lights. Camera. Help. Film Festival. Lights. Camera. Help. is a nonprofit “dedicated to encouraging other nonprofit and cause-driven organizations to use film and video to tell their stories.” Paradise Recovered was their first ever narrative feature and we were proud to be there championing our favorite charity, the Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center. The Lights. Camera. Help. audience was amazing and I was inspired by all of their films and filmmakers. It was a great festival experience. Here’s a link to a story the Austin CBS affiliate KEYE did on Lights. Camera. Help featuring Paradise Recovered: http://weareaustin.com/entertainment-story?nxd_id=165447&watch=1
Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center’s 25th Anniversary Celebration! (August 5th-7th)
Speaking of Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center, on August 5th-7th Andie Redwine and I journeyed to Athens, Ohio to help Wellspring celebrate their 25th anniversary. On Friday the 5th, we screened Paradise Recovered for a packed house at the lovely Arts West Theater in Athens. Then on Saturday, we volunteered to videotape the internationally renowned cult experts that Wellspring had speaking at their Conference on Cults. Needless to say, I learned a ton (It was a fitting end to a great weekend when we heard that Warren Jeffs was sentenced to life in prison for his crimes against the young girls growing up in the FLDS).
I traveled to Ohio via Indianapolis, where I had the chance to visit with my good friend Alphonso Bailey. Bailey is a former professional boxer who runs a really cool Prison Ministry called Down But Not Out. DBNO teaches character building workshops in prisons and juvenille detention centers. Alphonso has a great life story; a former college athlete, he was arrested for some armed robberies and served two years in a Kentucky prison. On the 4th, I got to visit a prison with him and him in action. I love the way he brings hope to these guys living behind bars. He really believes in them and believes that their lives can change and get better. He is always inspiring and I hope to bring his story to the screen one day.
And finally, while in Indiana I got to shoot a bunch of stuff with the new Canon XF100 camcorder. It’s a pretty amazing camera that shoots 50 mb/s 4:2:2 video with a full set of pro features and it’s the size of a palmcorder. We were shooting test/reel footage for a spec project that we’re keeping under wraps for now. But I highly recommend checking out the XF100 if you shoot doc style run and gun stuff. It’s brilliant.
As our Saturday night screening of Paradise Recovered came to an end at the 2011 deadCENTER Film Festival, we were a bit surprised by how insistent the volunteers were that we get over to the awards ceremony that was about to start. Could this mean we were going to win some kind of award? We tried to put it out of our minds as we hurried to get there, believing always that it’s better to keep your expectations low that you might be pleasantly surprised.
As they began to hand out awards, our hopes piqued again. Maybe we won this one? Maybe that one? No. Okay. As the number of awards dwindled, so did our hopes. Until there was only one trophy left on the podium. Surely we didn’t win the grand prize? And then they said it, “The winner of the Grand Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature sponsored by Devon Energy is… Paradise Recovered!”
Holy crap. Seriously. We were thrilled. We were more than thrilled. We were shocked.
What made it even more amazing and unbelieveable was that the jury for the 2011 deadCENTER Film Festival was made up of some filmmakers we really respect. The jury was headed up by Nick Casevettes, director of She’s So Lovely, John Q and The Notebook among other films. Also on the jury was Oklahoma filmmaker Sterlin Harjo who Directed the hit indie film, Barking Water, which played at Sundance and is now in distribution. Other jurors included Costume Designer Lynette Meyer (Lakeview Terrace, Nurse Betty), and Oklahoma documentary filmmaker Brad Beasley (Okie Noodling). Pretty great jury, right?
All in all, the 2011 deadCENTER Film Festival was one of our favorite fests so far. And that was before we won the Grand Jury award. deadCENTER is run by a great group of people who put on a festival that is fun, accessible, organized, well attended and full of terrific films. The Comedy Shorts program was my favorite screening, but a close close second was the amazing documentary Jens Pulver: DRIVEN. And there were other great films that I didn’t have time to see like the amazingly funny S&M Lawncare by my new friends at Singletree Productions.
Congratulations to the other award winners and to all the filmmakers who took part in deadCENTER this year. And a huge thanks to deadCENTER staff members Lance McDaniel, Kim Haywood, Kevin Ely, Ian Peterson and to all the volunteers that made the 2011 deadCENTER Film Festival possible and amazing. I can’t wait for deadCENTER 2012!
The 2011 DIY Film Festival has awarded Paradise Recovered Best Feature Honorable Mention. I’m headed to LA tomorrow to attend the awards banquet on behalf of Team Paradise.
Here’s what they had to say about our film. Paradise Recovered is an “Unlikely romantic comedy about a girl raised in a traditional religious sect that runs into the adventure of her life at the hands of some free thinking friends. Excellent cast and a wonderful exploration of an unusual take on the Romeo and Juliet story.”
A huge thank you to the folks at the DIY Film Festival. And a big congratulations to the other award winners. Look for pics and updates from Hollywood in the coming days.
Saturday night is our World Premiere and there are three more showings throughout the week. If you’re in Indy or attending Heartland, we would love to see you at one of the screenings. For more info on how you can join us, CLICK HERE.
Our first cast and crew screening was at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin. How cool is that. It was a huge success. I love the Drafthouse. I think it’s the best movie theater in the country. I’m so glad that all of us who worked so hard on this film got to sit down, break bread, and share the first Paradise Recovered big screen experience at the Alamo.
And thanks to Eddie and the Drafthouse crew for treating us so well!
Paradise Recovered and I will be on filmmaker Danny Lacey’s 24 Hr Live Show tonight. Danny Lacey is raising money for his latest film and raising awareness for and about indie film and filmmakers. Starting at 3PM Central time, he’ll be broadcasting a special 24 hr live show highlighting his and other filmmakers projects. Paradise Recovered sponsored an hour of the show and if you tune in between 6PM and 7PM Central time tonight you’ll see a clip featuring me and an entire scene from Paradise Recovered. A big thanks to Danny for all the hard work he’s doing on behalf of indie film. Tune in and check it out: