Watch "Restrepo" Now

I'd actually not heard of Tim Hetherington until yesterday when he was killed in Libya covering that war.

So then when I heard he was one of the co-directors of "Restrepo"( which was nominated for an Oscar this year) I was intrigued and had to check it out. Btw, not intrigued because he had died - intrigued because of the way he immersed himself within these situations. And if you watch "Restrepo" (which you need to) you likely won't be surprised that he died the way he did.

Here's the trailer:



(And a direct link: http://youtu.be/zvUdruvbdmI)

This doc is completely apolitical. Let me repeat that... there is NO POLITICAL SLANT in this film whatsoever. It's just about these guys experience fighting. I applaud Tim (and his co-director Sebastian Junger) for this. They let the audience draw their own conclusions.

I watched the film last night on Netflix Instant streaming and I highly recommend you do the same (it's also available on iTunes, etc.). Visit the film's website for more info: http://restrepothemovie.com/

Oh btw, one really weird thing with social media these days is when people die the news often reports what their last Tweet was or Facebook message... it's pretty eerie sometimes to read these, but it's also interesting to see this as their "journal" in a way of their life. Tim's last Tweet was "In besieged Libyan city of Misrata. Indiscriminate shelling by Qaddafi forces. No sign of NATO."

-Blake

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Drinking Up the "Spilt Milk" Festival Experience


I had a great time last week promoting and then screening my latest feature film "Spilt Milk" at the Dallas International Film Festival. I'm from Dallas so it was a lot of fun to show off a locally produced movie to the local film scene.

I often rant about how I don't really see a lot of value in film festivals these days - mainly because of the Internet - but also because festivals are everywhere. And I'm really talking about features here, not short films, but those too to a lesser degree. The festival market (and that's what it really is or has become) is extremely saturated. There are literally hundreds (or thousands?) of events worldwide.

So my personal philosophy towards festivals is that I think folks should support their local art scene and all the festivals involved. And then as a filmmaker, I think you should enter the bigger well-known fests (ie. Sundance, SXSW, etc.) and/or your local ones, but don't waste your money on blanketing all the other ones that pop up in your Withoutabox dashboard.

Are these lower tier festivals bad? Of course not. But typically speaking they will showcase their local filmmakers and then retreads from the bigger festivals. That's a generalization I realize, but for the most part it is true. Most of the festival directors and artistic directors are friends (or at least associates) and they routinely pass along referrals for films they like (and don't like).

Do hidden gems come out of nowhere? Yep, they definitely do. But more times than not this happens at the bigger fests (or side "big fest" like Slamdance running during Sundance). Of course if your film is accepted to a bigger fest and then some of the smaller fest come calling to screen your film (and they pick up the entry fee) then by all means I'd do it. But if it's your own dime and time then I would think twice.

Anyway, that's how I feel and I'm sure lots of folks will disagree. But that's for another post... :)

So in saying all that, my experience at DIFF last week was a really good one. The festival organizers really know how to put on a show, and they have the financial backing (ie. sponsors) to really do it up right. I mean free Stella flowing pretty much non-stop at the festival lounge is pretty cool!

"Spilt Milk" screened on Sunday evening as one of the last films of the festival to a packed house at the historic Texas Theatre. I'd guess there were 250 or so people there and we had a very nice Q&A afterwards. Audience really seemed to enjoy the film. It's a sly comedy that definitely plays well to a group of people (as most comedies do), so in that respect playing at a festival was great - that is one thing the Internet can't offer!

The film should be available to buy or rent later this year. So in the meantime, here's some related stuff to check out...

We've had lots of inquiries about the great score, and so here is a medley that our composer Douglas Edward put together:

"Spilt Milk" Score (Medley) by Loud Pictures

Direct link to medley on SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/loudpictures/spilt-milk-score-medley
(btw, we do plan to put an official soundtrack out on iTunes, etc. later too)

Here's a nice little review of the film that's worth a read:
http://www.laststopcomic.com/spiltmilk.html

And here's the trailer if you haven't seen it:



Thanks DIFF for a great week!

-Blake

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SPILT MILK Screening at 2011 DIFF

This coming weekend on Sunday 4/10/11 at 7:30pm at the Texas Theater (yeah, that one) my latest feature SPILT MILK will screen as part of the 2011 Dallas International Film Festival. Here's the trailer...



Direct link to trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1ruJsAxT4s

And here's a link to the film's page on the festival site (where you can buy tickets):
http://filmguide.dallasfilm.org/tixSYS/2011/xslguide/eventnote?EventNumber=5053&

Tickets are $10. Please buy them online in advance, although I do believe they will be on sale at the box office the day of the show. It's a BIG theater too - around 500+ seats - so definitely come out and support the movie!

I haven't been to the Texas Theater yet myself, but I've heard it's a cool renovation and that they have a nice bar too. :)

Hope to see you there... Thanks!

-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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