Tag Archives: Marie Tang

Le Chapeau premiere

Earlier this month (was it really on April 4th?), I premiered my short film, Le Chapeau, at The Bungalow Club in Hollywood. It was a successful evening and the audience seemed to respond well to the film.

We were very excited about the turnout and anticipate a festival run for the film beginning this Summer.

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‘The Birthday Gift’ goes Canadian

I’ve mentioned my short film, The Birthday Gift in a couple of previous blogs. I wrote the screenplay in a short film writing class as an undergraduate at California State University, Northridge. About a year later,  with the help of an amazing crew, and fantastic director, Marie Tang, I managed to turn the script into a film.

With The Birthday Gift, I tried to tell an important story and bring awareness to the subject of child sexual abuse.  Weaving the story of Hilary Parker took a period of two years.  Writing the initial draft took less than a week, and that became a starting board for my research about the subject, and figuring out how to tell the story in the best way possible.  Once my second draft was ready, director Marie Tang and I worked very closely in shaping the script and getting it ready for shooting.

As a writer, all I can hope is that people find something good in the story, my writing, and of course, the film as a whole.  A lot of people worked very hard to tell this story, and they did it in very little time.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have the luxury of a four or five day shoot.  With five separate locations, and only a 2 and a half day shooting schedule, we scrambled to get everything done and tell the story in an effective way.  The final product differs a bit from my complex script, but I am very proud of this film, and what we’ve all accomplished with it.

In some surprising news, I found out the Pomegranate Film Festival in Toronto will be giving the film what will likely be its final screening. The film is scheduled to screen on Saturday, October 23rd, at noon, as part of the Symphony of Film category. As an added bonus, one of my best friend’s two brothers each have their own films sandwiched between mine. What a perfect opportunity it would have been to travel to Toronto. If only I had found out about the screening sooner!

I would love it if anyone in Canada would go support this terrific festival and its films. For those of you not in Canada, you can view The Birthday Gift online as part of the Break the Silence Project or Culture Unplugged online festival.

Enjoy, and spread the word!

The Accidental Blogger

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Website version of ‘Le Chapeau’

For the past few months, I’ve been posting updates about Le Chapeau, a short film I wrote and produced for hat designer Bijou Van Ness. The story is a simple one: a photographer comes across a woman on the bridge. Destiny brings them together and she becomes his muse as they fall in love.

The short film is in post-production and should be screening early next year. Until then, the production team decided to edit a shortened version to showcase the beautiful hats by Bijou. The ‘website version,’ as we call it, is now available to view on www.bijouvanness.com

I’ve posted it below for my readers. Enjoy!

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Poster for Le Chapeau

In case you’re a new reader, or haven’t been following my blog as well as you should have, let me explain a little about Le Chapeau. It’s a short film that I wrote and produced for hat designer Bijou Van Ness. It tells the simple story of a photographer’s chance encounter with a woman on a bridge, which leads to a brief romance. The film will also have a condensed website version to showcase the gorgeous hats used in the film. That version will premiere on Bijou’s website this week. Until then, here is the official poster.

I’d love to know what you think, so feel free to comment.

Until next time…

The Accidental Blogger

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‘Script for Sale’ premiere = success

Script for Sale is a tiny film with a lot of heart. I should know, I was one of the co-producers on the project. Much time and passion went into the documentary, which tells the story of Ben Resella, a 91-year old former scenic designer and resident of The Motion Picture and Television Fund, who is trying to sell his first screenplay. The Fund, as its called for short, is a retirement community for the entertainment industry, with the sole purpose of providing assistance to those in need.

I first blogged about the documentary a few days before our June 5th premiere at LA’s Dances with Films festival. The screening was superb, with many residents of the Fund in attendance. The audience laughed and cried at all the right moments. It was a true feeling of togetherness. Following a great Q&A with director Marie Tang, producer Jennifer Clymer, Ben’s granddaughter Emilia Resella, and his mentor, screenwriter Stephen Mazur, was an afterparty at Sushi Dan on Sunset Blvd. It felt like a real sense of community with so much love and support from everyone in attendance.

Some of the 'Script for Sale' team at the Dances with Films Awards Party in Hollywood

Script for Sale has a few more screenings coming up in the next few months, which I am excited about. The Fund will have its own screening on July 14th, the first time the film will be seen there in its final completed form. Can’t wait to share news about that in the coming weeks.

Until next time…

The Accidental Blogger

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Script for Sale: A Dream is Not Enough

The Motion Picture and Television Fund (MPTF) has a rich history. It was created by industry legends such as Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W, Griffith, amongst others,  with the intent of providing assistance to those in the motion picture industry who were in need. In 1921, the Motion Picture Relief Fund (MPRF) was incorporated with Joseph M. Schenck as first president, Pickford as vice president and the Reverend Neal Dodd (who portrayed ministers in more than 300 films) as administrator. The original Board of Trustees included many of the biggest names in Hollywood at the time — Charles Christie, Cecil B. DeMille, and Douglas Fairbanks Sr.

Today, the Motion Picture & Television Fund Foundation has been established with Jeffrey Katzenberg (The ‘K’ in Dreamworks SKG) as Founding Chairman. The Fund, as it is sometimes known, is limited in its resources, but that doesn’t stop them from providing care to retired industry professionals.

MPTF is also a place where dreams can come true. Just ask resident Ben Resella, who wants to sell his first screenplay. Not an unusual dream, but Ben has already “made it” once in Hollywood. For decades he worked on movie sets as a scenic designer and painter in the Philippines before finding his way into Hollywood. But that never kept him from his dream of writing. Even though he’s never so much as pitched a story to anyone, Ben is determined to try and sell his  screenplay. He will not be denied his chance because it  might be his last one. Ben is 91 years old.

Ben became the subject for Script for Sale, a documentary directed by Marie Tang for MPTF’s Channel 22,  a small operation on The Wasserman Campus with limited resources and equipment. Channel 22 provides original programming for residents of the Fund, and allows them to get involved in the process of bringing the programs to life on their closed-circuit TV station.

Marie Tang with Ben Resella

According to Tang, “Script for Sale was an idea that was inspired by MTV’s Made, a series which took a regular person out of their comfort zone and partnered them with a mentor to help achieve a specific goal. With {Ben}, I saw a 90 year old man who had all the ambitions of most fellow filmmakers my age and it saddened me to think that his dreams were less likely to happen due to the lack of opportunities. Knowing that Ben’s transformation from scenic artist to screenwriter would take time and patience, I thought that Channel 22 could create a program that would help support his goals in a shorter amount of time. Ben’s journey could then be duplicated as a series for other residents who have a very specific goal. Sounds easy! Well, maybe not for a beginning filmmaker and a new television station. With the support of Ben’s family, those involved with Channel 22, and screenwriter Steve Mazur as Ben’s mentor, I started documenting Ben’s drive and ambition.”

As co-producer on the film, I can say that Ben’s journey is a truly inspiring one. Being part of this phenomenal project has been wonderful, because Ben has served as a constant inspiration to me in terms of my own writing. At 91, his passion and determination can rival those of people half his age. His spirit and positive attitude, no matter how tough the journey gets,  can teach that dreams are worth pursuing at any cost, no matter who, or what, stands in the way. His thirst for life, and learning, is definitely contagious. I pass on Ben’s words to my own readers, “A Dream is Not Enough.”

The documentary, which explores a year in Ben’s screenwriting life, will have its world premiere at LA’s Laemmle’s Sunset 5 on Saturday, June 5th, as part of the Dances with Films Festival.

Ben’s life has inspired me, and with this film, it can hopefully continue to inspire others.

For ticketing information and to watch the trailer, please go to www.mptvfund.org/scriptforsale

Until next time…

The Accidental Blogger

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