USA Film Fest Promo Poster

This is the promotional poster we're using for the film festival.

Of course we're using the real poster too, but this one shows the principle cast and is really more of an announcement...

-Blake

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SELL OUT, but hold on....

The USA Film Festival screening of "Killing Down" has sold out with PRE-SHOW SALES VIA TICKETMASTER. I can't thank everyone enough for your support.

Based on the strong sales, the festival is now moving us into the largest theater that seats 500 people. So, they are releasing more tickets today. Please see my previous post on how to order. Great news!

Looking forward to next Tuesday...

-Blake

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Premiere Screening Theater Info

I went and scouted the new AMC Northpark 15 theaters today and here's the deal with parking, etc:

Northpark Mall is in Dallas near the intersection of N. Central (75) and NW Hwy. BUT, just slightly north of Northwest Hwy is Park Ln. and this is the best way to get into the complex and find the theater.

Park on the north side of the mall between Nordstroms and Foleys (off Park Ln.). In between these two anchor stores is a small parking area (If this lot is full just park out a bit further) and a group of main mall entrance doors (right next to the new Kona Grill). Enter here and walk into the mall. In front of you you'll see a giant red sculpture - you are almost there. Take the escalators up to the second floor and go right. Straight ahead from there you'll see the AMC theater ticket windows. Pick up your tickets and then proceed up another set of escalators (to the left of the ticket windows) to the third floor to find the actual theater.

That's it. Movie is supposed to start at 7:00pm. So I'd try and get there at least 30 minutes early.

Also, I heard a rumor that the tickets are going very fast. So I've been told to warn folks that it will very likely be a sell-out. Buy your tickets NOW or you may not get to attend the screening.

Call Tickmaster at (214) 631-2787 to order your tickets.

I have no control over the ticketing or the seating. This is all done through the USA Film Festival. So, basically, don't bitch at me if you don't get a seat! :)

-Blake

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"Killing Down" USA Film Fest Tickets...

Evidently, the Ticketmaster website is not selling tickets (yet) for the film festival. But, you can definitely buy them on the phone...

Okay, so here's the scoop for now:

TO BUY TICKETS FOR THE USA FILM FESTIVAL SCREENING OF "KILLING DOWN":

Call (214) 631-2787 and wait for a live operator.

Then say you'd like to buy tickets for the USA Film Festival screening of "Killing Down" on Tuesday May 2nd at 7:00pm.

Don't know when website purchase will be available, BUT as soon as it is I'll post a direct link.

Thanks!
Blake

UPDATE: Looks like Ticketmaster WILL NOT be selling tickets online for the festival. Yes, I know, this is ridiculous. I have no control over the ticket sales. So, unless something changes, please just buy tickets by calling the number above (if it does change I'll post another update). Tickets will also (assumably) be available at the box office the night of the screening. But, I'd suggest buying them in advance if possible. Hope to see you at the premiere!

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Porn Industry Leadeship and Kodak Raising Prices

Two interesting bits from the CinemaTech blog (these are copied exactly from it)...

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- The LA Times observes that the porn industry often deploys new technologies that later get adopted by the mainstream media players. In this case, they cite movies purchased and downloaded from the Net that can be burned onto a DVD. (A hard drive, after all, can only store so many movies.) Claire Hoffman and Dawn Chmielewski write:

Hollywood has resisted burnable discs that can be watched on televisions because they fear piracy. It also doesn't want to alienate retailers, which sell most of its DVDs. But if history is any guide, the online experiment by adult entertainment giant Vivid Entertainment Group will be watched closely by mainstream studio chiefs.

"The simple fact is porn is an early adopter of new media," said Paul Saffo, director of the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto. "If you're trying to get something established … you're going to privately and secretly hope and pray that the porn industry likes your medium."

Los Angeles-based Vivid will start selling burnable movies May 8 through online movie service CinemaNow. Marina del Rey-based CinemaNow last fall launched an adult service that it uses to experiment with features that might eventually become mainstream — such as pay-per-minute movie rentals and the ability to save favorite scenes.

Vivid, producer of such titles as "Bad Wives" and "Generation Sex," will offer 30 downloadable videos for about $19.95 apiece that include everything that is on a standard DVD — cover art, scene navigation, bonus material and deleted scenes. The finished disc will be copy-protected to deter piracy.

Also...

Kodak's profit margins on the film stock it sells in Hollywood have always been high. One way the company could've helped to stave off the arrival of digital cinematography, a number of people have suggested to me, was by dropping its prices, while still earning a profit.

That would've ensured that shooting on film stayed (relatively) competitive with shooting on digital videotape, and made it an easier choice for everyone to preserve the status quo.
But now Kodak is doing the opposite, raising prices on motion picture film 3 to 5 percent, because of higher costs for raw materials and transportation.

Incidentally, Kodak executives will still tell you that they can't envision a day when film is no longer used in motion picture production...

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-Blake

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"KILLING DOWN" WORLD PREMIERE

Well, it's finally here...

"Killing Down" will WORLD PREMIERE at the 36th annual USA Film Festival in Dallas, Texas on Tuesday May 2nd at 7:00pm.

Ticket info has not been announced, but the theater location will be the brand new theater at North Park Mall in Dallas. The USA Film Festival will be the first movies shown there! More info to follow soon...

UPDATE: Tickets go on sale through Ticketmaster on April 18th. So buy them early to guarantee a seat!

UPDATE #2: Well, it's Wednesday April 19th and tickets still are not on sale YET through Tickmaster. As soon as they are I'll post a message with a direct link for purchase. Please stand by...... :)

-Blake

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More "KD" Looping

We're almost finished with all the looping for "Killing Down". Last week we had Sheree Wilson come in from LA to do her work. She's a seasoned pro I gotta tell ya. She NAILED her stuff - usually in one take - and it sounded great. Her years on "Dallas" and "Walker" sure helped in that regard.

Also, on one of her first feature films called "Crimewave" she had to loop the ENTIRE MOVIE. The director Sam Raimi (of "Evil Dead" and "Spiderman" fame) had wind machines blowing on the actors for a lot of the film, so none of the production audio was usable. They ended up looping all their lines later and so she got a lot of practice.

Anyway, Sheree was great and now all we really have left is Matthew Tompkins. We're waiting on him to get back to Dallas from NYC where he's finishing up his theater run. He's back in town on April 17th. It's definitely cutting it close though. The movie premieres at the USA Film Festival on May 2nd!!!

-Blake

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New York City

Went to NYC a week ago with my girlfriend and saw Matthew Tompkin's off-Broadway show "Transatlantic Liaison". Matthew of course plays the lead role in my new film "Killing Down".

I hadn't been to NYC in over 10 years... hadn't changed much minus the World Trade Center Towers being gone - that was definitely weird to see in person - but the city is still alive and well. I forget how darn busy and crowded that place is. We had a lot of fun though. Ate some great food. Did some shopping. Drank some too.

I do enjoy experiencing that lifestyle ever so often, but of course as they say - it's a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.


Times Square after midnight - we couldn't get a cab!
















Matthew (L) and me outside the theater (no, I didn't smile).
















Theater Row on 42nd Street where Matt's show was.
















Great trip. If you haven't been to NYC in a while... go! They're indie film scene is good too.

-Blake

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Crash

If you read my blog at all you know that this year I didn't get to see many of the Oscar nominated films. So now, I'm getting a chance to check some of them out - and the first one I decided to watch was the Oscar winning film for Best Picture - "Crash".

There was a lot of controversy when "Crash" beat out "Brokeback Mountain" (which I have not seen). A lot of folks said it was an anti-gay bias, or that they didn't want to hurt the "cowboy image" in Hollywood, or that the voters like the "LA" theme of "Crash". I don't know what they used as their rational, but I must say that "Crash" is not a Best Picture caliber film.

Before you read too much into that statement though, realize please, that I did like the movie. I thought it was engaging and entertaining. I just don't think it was a Best Picture. Was "Brokeback" better? Maybe. I don't know since I have yet to see it. Does it matter now? Not really. What does matter is that the Oscars continue to be (and always have been) a popularity contest (and political - not D.C. politics though, but Hollywood politics) so it's no surprise that they picked a sub par winner again this year.

Several other blogs have started lists of the worst Best Picture winners. It's pretty interesting really. Do I think "Crash" falls into a "worst" category. No. But I do think in years to come it will be regarded like perhaps "Shakespeare In Love", or "The English Patient". Good films that are only interesting to watch once.

I'm not going to give an in-depth review of the film. If you want that go check out Roger Ebert or the plethora of other "real" critics that have chimed in on the movie. What I will say is that it was well acted, well crafted (I liked the structure and editing style), but the script I couldn't quite figure out.

SPOILERS AHEAD...

Are we really suppose to believe that ALL these people are racists in one way or another? Or was Paul Haggis (the writer/director) giving us a "hyper real" look at racism in LA today? It's hard to tell, but I must believe it's the latter of the two.

I personally just found some of the stereotypes stupid...

1. The racist cop
2. The "Arab" store owner (although they weren't actually Arab)
3. The Mexican locksmith
4. The Chinese man smuggling immigrants
5. The Black car thieves
6. The White district attorney and his wife

Of course they all "worked" in this story. But, again, I wasn't sure if we're suppose to BELIEVE they are real or caricatures of people???

I liked several story lines better than others (Terrence Howard's for instance), and I did like how they all came together in the end a la "Pulp Fiction" or even a better analogy would be "Magnolia" (which for my money is a FAR superior film).

All in all "Crash" is an interesting movie and definitely worth checking out. I applaud the filmmakers for doing it on such a low budget (although it costs $7 million which to me is a HUGE budget - and it must be nice to have "friends" in high places to cast the likes of Sandra Bullock, Brendan Fraser, Matt Dillion, Terrence Howard, Don Cheadle, etc. - not exactly an "indie film" in my book).

Now we can all just look forward to next year to see what "popular" film will take the Oscar gold.

-Blake

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Download Movies Now

Just got this from my entertainment attorney Mark Litwak...

INTERNET DOWNLOADS OF MOVIES BEGUN

Internet movie services Movielink and rival CinemaNow have begun to provide permanent downloads of movies from major studios on the same day the titles are released on DVD.

Movielink offers titles from Universal, Warner Bros., MGM, Sony, 20th Century Fox and Paramount. Sony, MGM and Lionsgate offer their titles through CinemaNow.

Downloads will cost about the same as the price of a DVD with older releases selling at a reduced price.

Movielink and CinemaNow beat out Apple, Amazon and Google to become the first to offer permanent digital downloads in the U.S.

Movielink's service includes recent releases such as Pride & Prejudice, King Kong and Rent. CinemaNow will launch with 75 films from Sony and MGM, including Memoirs of a Geisha, Bad Boys 2 and Easy Rider. With Movielink, users can transfer download copies to two other computers and burn a backup copy on a DVD. But the DVD will only be playable on a computer and not on a set-top DVD player.

Both services use Microsoft Windows digital rights management technology.

Knew this would happen soon with HD-DVDs right on the horizon. This is just the FIRST step, but a very important one. Soon enough, this will be the norm. The days of renting movies from Blockbuster will come to an end in the not too distant future I predict...

-Blake

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Who Am I?

I'm a filmmaker who's produced & directed five feature films including the comedy SPILT MILK (available on iTunes), the new horror/thriller PHOBIA (on iTunes) and the action/thiller KILLING DOWN (which you can buy or rent at pretty much all the usual places).

I also created the Streamy and Webby award-winning web series PINK, which to date has been viewed online around 10 MILLION times at places like YouTube, Hulu, Koldcast and TheWB.com. And speaking of TheWB.com, I also produced and directed an online thriller for them called EXPOSED. It was released summer 2010. And most recently I created a new online sci-fi series called CONTINUUM, which is part of the online indie TV network JTS.tv - Just The Story and NOW available via VOD through indie platform Distrify.

Oh, and I don't shoot weddings. Thanks for asking though.

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