DRIVING WITH PASCAL, EPISODE 1.
A few minutes of our epic tour of Paris from the backseat of our good friend Pascal Fonquernie's Mégane convertible. Founder of the definitive online guide to all things Le Marais (ParisMarais.com) and a charming storyteller, Burgundy-born Pascal dispenses his singular brand of wit and wisdom while sharing an insider's take on Parisian history, landmarks and can't-miss restaurants — all the while navigating the city's streets in style.What does "joie de vivre" look like? This guy.
OF MONKS AND NINJAS: THE OBLATE IS ON A ROLL.
The little short that could continues to win over film and comedy festivals with its story about a Cartman-esque novice monk who disrupts the order of things at a centuries-old monastery.
The script for The Oblate has been a winner or finalist in a half dozen festivals in 2013-14, including L.A. Comedy Shorts, L.A. Film Festival, Vail Film Festival, Moondance International Film Festival, Kansas City Film Fest and ReelHeart International Film Festival in Toronto, and has three staged readings under its generously sized belt.
A trailer is being shot, a web series is being developed, and we've found our location. It's gonna be a busy summer. Comedy Ninja goes down in L.A. May 30-June 1. Say a prayer for us.
MONTREAL-BORN CELLIST GENEVIÈVE GUIMOND JOINS THE PARIS COFFEE PROJECT.
How's this for a happy accident? We met Montreal-born, fluent-in-French cellist Geneviève Guimond while grabbing coffee at Intelligentsia, so it seems we were destined to collaborate on music for a specialty coffee film: the Paris Coffee Project. We're excited to work with Geneviève, a Juilliard graduate and current Fellow in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, whose mentor for the 2013-2014 season is none other than, yes, Yo-Yo Ma.
More awesome-ness: Geneviève has won the grand prize at the Montreal Classical Music Festival (2000), first prize at the Canadian Music Competition (2005) and first prize at the National Music Festival (2007), and was featured as principal actor and musician in Canadian director Alex Franchi's award-winning film Troll Concerto, which was screened at Cannes and Toronto International film festivals. You may have seen her perform at Aspen Music Festival, the Schlern International Music Festival in Italy, Meadowmount in New York State, or any number of festivals throughout Quebec. If you haven't, check out Geneviève playing Julie-O on youtube.
Beyond classical, Geneviève is in a number of Chicago-based indie rock and folk projects, including Baby Cleo and Zamin, and has opened for Black Star, Brother Ali, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Yuna, and Rahim Al Haj. In fact, Baby Cleo is releasing its album tonight at the Whistler in Logan Square if you're in the 'hood.
AWARD-WINNING LOYOLA FILM GRADS JOIN THE PARIS COFFEE PROJECT.
Chris Cady, Production Assistant
Chris recently graduated from Loyola University Chicago with magna cum laude honors and an armload of awards. The self-appointed darling of the Loyola's film program, Chris was the inaugural recipient of the university's Outstanding International Film and Media Studies Major award. His short films have screened at university competitions, winning Best Picture at Campus Movie Fest and securing a berth in the Short Film Corner at Cannes International Film Festival.
Prior to working on the Paris Coffee Project, Chris worked on a documentary on a cappella and recently saw his stop-motion animation short chosen by Chicago Filmmakers for its 2014 Short Story Showcase.
When not working on films, shooting videos for Chicago-area bands or taking classes at The Second City, Chris can be found drinking coffee and maintaining his rep as the nicest guy on the planet.Amanda Kopec, Production Assistant
Fluent in French, Amanda is behind the translations and subtitles for the Paris Coffee Project. She recently graduated magna cum laude from Loyola where she double-majored in International Film Production and French. She is a member of Pi Delta Phi, the French National Honor Society recognizing outstanding scholarship in French language and Literature, and was the recipient of the Claudel Key Award for excellence in the study of French.
Among her film awards at Loyola, Amanda and her team won Best Comedy at Campus Movie Fest 2013 and, most recently, she served as the production designer on Muddy Girl, which nabbed first place at the 2014 Student Film Festival. In addition to independent film projects, she frequently works with Chicago Wilderness as a freelance videographer and web designer, creating videos that promote the importance of outdoor play for youth.
A LOOK INSIDE PARIS' NEXT-GEN COFFEEBARS.
As we pore over interviews from the preliminary shoot for the Paris Coffee Project, we're having a little fun with some of the café footage and sharing it on the site. Get a feel for the vibe of some of the specialty coffee shops taking Paris by storm at pariscoffeeproject.com/videos. Café Lomi, Holybelly, La Caféothèque, Café Loustic, Broken Arm, Strada and more.
CAST FOR SATISFYING ALICE WORKSHOP IN PARIS.
Meet the Paris-based cast assembled for the workshopping of our latest narrative feature script, Satisfying Alice, a little comedy about three friends who discover they're all being treated by the same sex therapist. Clockwise from top left are Clara Kundin, Philippine de Saint-Exupery, Michael Maricondi and Zack Buell.
TWO PROJECTS IN PARIS.
Our new narrative feature, Satisfying Alice, has been selected to be workshopped by a Paris-based theatre company in January 2014. We will also be shooting winter 2013-2014 portions of a documentary on Paris' specialty coffee scene.
BACKSTAGE AT THE GOLD COAST FASHION AWARD SHOW.
We had a blast shooting the über-stylists of nationally acclaimed Michael & Michael salon as they worked their magic on the models backstage at the venerable Gold Coast Fashion Award Show at the Hilton. A couple of clips below.
THE OBLATE BLESSED BY MOONDANCE.
The little short that could: Moondance International Film Festival bestowed on our poignant little monk comedy, The Oblate, its best short screenplay award. Moondance is the short's sixth film fest win. The 13th annual Moondance happens Sept. 26-29 in Mystic, Conn.
STAGED READING ROCKS TORONTO FEST.
The Oblate received a primetime staged reading during the 9th Annual ReelHeART International Film Festival in Toronto. Monks in hoodies took control of the Big Picture Theatre stage Friday night and rocked a sold-out house. The fest review captures the spirit of brothers gone wild: "fist bumping and dry humping," all the while chanting their Gregorian rap. Awesome.
WE HEART LACS 2013.
Just returned from the amazing 2013 L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival. Wayne Brady, host of the Red Carpet Awards, was a blast. Hats off to festival director Jeannie Roshar, artistic director Gary Anthony Williams, and fest producers Ryan Higman and Kelly Frazier for the best-run festival out there. We'll be back.
FILM FESTS SHOW "OBLATE" THE LOVE.
The screenplay for our short film, The Oblate, has been named a winner at ReelHeart International Film Festival (Toronto) and Kansas City Film Fest (the script will receive a staged reading at both fests), and L.A. Comedy Shorts Film Festival, which we're headed to this week courtesy of the awesome VIP passes they sent our way. We'll be giving a shout-out to all of our Second City and Loyola students when we do. The script earlier was a top 5 finalist at Vail Film Festival.
PRODUCTION BEGINS ON "BERNIE."
All hail Bernie, a new comedy web series about an old school accountant ideafarm created for BigTime Software. The series main characters, played by a lovely cast of some of Chicago's finest stage and comedy actors, include:
Bernie Rootle (played by Eddie Wolfe)
Bernie, lovable Luddite and staff accountant at AmericaBest Consulting (ABC), likes to kicck it old school. He clings to obsolete tools and processes as if cherished family traditions — the kind of guy who shuns technology in favor of No. 2 pencils, and prefers sending interoffice docs instead of email. He has a soft spot for soft rock, a yen for Chinese food and couldn't live without his manual Mr. Coffee maker. His world is turned upside down when ABC installs a highly efficient time-and-billing software package.
Sandra Gloyd (played by Kathleen Puls Andrade)
Meet the ballsy new boss. Sandra is the curvaceous, flame-haired cougar who sets her sights — and outsized appetites — on Bernie. The trophy wife of ABC’s recently deceased founder (Bartholomew "Bart" Gloyd), Sandra has a head for numbers, a body built by carbs, and a knack for telling everyone else what to do. She’s hellbent on making changes around behind-the-times ABC, no matter how many toes she has to step on with her leopard print heels. She became CEO after duking it out with Bart's previous two previous wives over his assets.
Mitch Cox (played by Christopher Woolsey)
With bed-head hair and perpetually loosened tie, Mitch always looks like he just rolled in from an all-night party. As ABC’s lead sales rep, he has charm to spare — a gift he uses to get Bernie into cleaning up his expense reports. Formerly a women’s shoe salesman, he knows just what to say to the ladies, but harbors a dark secret. His catchphrase, always said as he runs away from responsibility: “I’ve got a lunch!”
Carol Phipps (played by Heather Beeman)
ABC's HR manager, Carol is pretty in a buttoned-up way and serves as the firm’s resident cheerleader, a talent honed at her suburban Illinois high school. Carol floats from one staffer’s office to the next, offering advice and a sympathetic ear — usually while bringing yet another HR form to fill out. She’s Bernie’s biggest champion, pushing him to find his greater purpose. Her sunny optimism can be at times blinding.
Russell Bell (played by Justin James Farley)
The firm’s IT guy, Russell bears the facial hair and detached-slash-bored expression popular among the hipster nerd set. He “offices” in the break room, where he can be near his cappuccino maker. He’s always texting, and rarely looks up, yet he sees all — including Bernie’s many missteps in life, love and office politics. A cum laude in English Lit, he’s working on a roman à clef no one knows he’s writing via smartphone.
Proud to have been chosen as jurors for the 2012 Chicago Comedy Film Festival, which will screen three days of comedy shorts and features Nov. 2 - Nov. 4 at DePaul University's School of Cinema and Interactive Media.
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ideafarm's latest ad for BigTime Software, a leading, venture capital-backed app, to mark the launch of its nationwide referral network, BigTeam. Below it, the larger-than-life trade show display that made a splash at the 2012 Scaling New Heights conference in Nashville.
Gar was selected as one of the 100 artists for the 10th annual Wicker Park exhibition/benefit, “100 Canvases for Things That Matter.” The juried group show, which will run June 23 to July 28, will be capped off by the always groovy, open-air community bash, Sound System Block Party, on Milwaukee Ave.
Each artist was asked to create a piece interpreting the theme, “Things That Matter.” Gar’s piece is titled “Premonition.” Opening reception will be held June 23. Learn more at http://www.thesilverroom.com/.
Say hello to ideafarm's new seedling, Annette ("A-Rad") Radziszewski.
Annette is smart, talented, and brings her mad skills to the position of Interactive Content and Analytics. She's a master of metrics, social media and ROI-based marketing, not to mention a gifted filmmaker. And when you look up the word "nice" in the dictionary? You'll find her picture.
Read more about Annette here and be sure to give her a shout and a warm digital hug over at our Facebook page. Just fyi, her birthday's coming up (April 22), so get those lunch and dinners on her iCal now, 'cause her dance card's filling up fast.
Welcome to the 'farm, A-Rad!
A couple screen grabs from the groovy new site we're helping develop for BigTime Software, a leading venture capital-backed time and billing app. Tagline: Because time is so money. (A nod to Swingers, for the uninitiated.) Click here and hit "see more" for the latest interation of BigTime's site.
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New poster for Ellen and Ted. We like.
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The Hoovers' dark comedy, The Little Death, took Best Dialogue honors at the 2011 Fresh Voices screenplay competition in L.A. The criteria for the award, as described by the competition:
"Dialogue is the driving force of film, but one of the hardest things to pull off successfully. We're looking for dialogue that jumps of the page, is snappy, filled with memorable one-liners and feels natural and organic to the characters."
The script previously won Best Screenplay at Moondance International Film Festival and Asheville Film Festival, and took home the Silver in the comedy category at PAGE International Screenwriting Awards. Stay tuned.
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Gar's street art series on the Berlin Wall, The Art of the Wall, kicks off a month-long solo show at Elephant Room Gallery in the South Loop. The exhibit runs March 12 - April 13. If you're in the 'hood, swing by and check it out.
ideafarm's decidedly low-fi music video, Mississippi Gabe Sings the Blues, was named an official selection of the 5th annual Big Easy International Film and Music Festival. It will screen as part of the festival's Documentary Shorts program at the New Orleans-based fest, which grew out of the rubble of Hurricane Katrina when Laura Martone, co-director of the Beverly Hills Shorts Festival, decided to help in the effort to bring the arts culture back to her hometown. See the video here.
See the latest Screen Magazine report the news that the Hoovers' script, The Little Death, was named a top ten finalist in the New Hampshire Film Festival script competition. It previously won best screenplay at Moondance International Film Festival and Asheville Film Festival, and took home the Silver in the comedy category at PAGE International Screenwriting Awards.
In all, the Hoovers' work has been recognized by more than two dozen festivals and competitions, including:
Moondance International Film Festival
Phoenix Film Festival
Asheville Film Festival
L.A. Comedy Film Festival
L.A. Comedy Shorts Festival
PAGE International Awards (Comedy)
American Screenwriting Competition
ASA International Competition
Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition
Finalist & Other Honors:
New Hampshire Film Festival
Vail Film Festival
Kansas City Film Festival
ReelHeart International Film Festival (Toronto)
SoCal Independent Film Festival
Yosemite International Film Festival
Dixie Film Festival
Charleston International Film Festival
Liberty Film Festival
Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting
American Zoetrope Screenwriting
BlueCat Screenplay Competition
Austin Film Festival