Posts Tagged ‘Sympathy Pains’

“If Your Mom Says She Loves You…”

June 12, 2014 Comments off


Thought I’d do a quick post about what I’ve been doing the last week or so.

The next feature script is about a reporter, and I was a journalism major for about a semester, so naturally I know everything that I need to know about the subject… I’m doing research! I’ve been shadowing a few reporters around town, and talking with others, and watching documentaries, and reading books and… basically anything I can to learn what I can about the daily life of a reporter.

You have to do your research, even just so you know when you’re changing things or making things up. You want to know why things are the way they are so they feel authentic to the audience.

My research for Table at Luigi’s was a 16 week (once a week) professional cooking class that actually ran a restaurant. Along with reading and documentaries (this was back before every other show on TV was about running a restaurant), we also brought in Chef Robert Hall, who had run restaurants and catering large and small. Not only was he a great technical resource, he also had a garage full of plates, silverware, salt shakers… everything from his old restaurant that we needed to for our set design!

Sympathy Pains’ research was into the world of comedy. Though I decided in the writing that we weren’t going to dig too far into the intricacies of that world, I needed to know, so the characters could act and talk intelligently in that world. While I didn’t go so far as getting on stage, I went to a dozen open-mic nights and regular comedy nights, and again read, watched and absorbed as much as I could.

Some of my research: the picture above is a reporter’s notebook – it’s long and skinny so it fits a lot of info on the page, but can fit in your pocket or purse when you need it to. It also allows you to write quickly without having to waste time running your hand all the way back to the left side of the page to start a new line. Though most of their notebooks aren’t that nice – they have the cheap metal spiral loops because the paper buys them in bulk.

No reporter’s desk is ever that clean.

And the quote on the title is part of a well-know journalism quote that I’ve always loved – “If your mom says she loves you – check it out!” Always look for a second source to make sure your information is accurate. Research is how you do that in your scripts!


Even more Sympathy Pains Screenings

May 23, 2014 Comments off

Sympathy Pains Logo -  for webThanks to everyone who came out to our Little Rock Film Festival screenings of Sympathy Pains last week – talked with some GREAT people and had a good time watching everyone watch the film – it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to do that. It’s always fun to see what people do and don’t laugh at – I still wonder why a couple of jokes don’t get the laughs I think they should…

It’s been a good week for Sympathy Pains news. We just won an Award of Excellence from the La Jolla IndieFest, and will be screening June 19th at the Trenton Film Festival in Trenton, NJ.

It’ll be a while before we hear anything more about new screenings, but if you’re in New Jersey (and who isn’t in a New Jersey state of mind?), check us out! Their website for tix and info is

Little Rock Film Festival

May 15, 2014 Comments off

I’ve been doing a terrible job of promoting our Sympathy Pains screenings at the Little Rock Film Festival, so here goes: We’re screening TONIGHT (Thursday, May 15) at 8:30pm and Saturday (May 17) at 12:30pm. Both screenings are at The Joint in the Little Rock Argenta neighborhood (301 Main St. #102, North Little Rock, AR 72114). Hope to see everyone there!


I Love FilmFreeway!

May 2, 2014 2 comments

filmfreewayAfter writing about it a few times (here and here), I finally started using FilmFreeway, the new film festival submission tool that’s aiming to compete with Withoutabox. And as much as Withoutabox is lousy, FilmFreeway is great.

The simplest explanation for how user-oriented FilmFreeway is: I set up my account, got two films ready to submit, and actually submitted one to a festival in less than 30 minutes, with no confusion. For those of you who’ve used Withoutabox – that’s pretty amazing, both in the short amount of time, and the lack of getting lost in byzantine menus designed for filmmakers with a marketing team and publicists.

There’s still room for improvement, two places in particular: First, the FF search tools are nice and simple, but could use a few more filters for genre or other specifics to help find the festivals that are good for your film. Second, if you have more than one film in FilmFreeway, it constantly defaults to the first one you put in. Yesterday, I submitted Sympathy Pains to about 15 festivals, but each time it would default to a short film that I had previously submitted to a different festival. If I forgot to change the default film, there was no way to change it once you hit “Save.” I had to delete the submission and re-submit the correct film.  It would be nice to be able to select the default film when you’re submitting to a number of festivals.

But those are small quips compared to the Soviet-era functionality that is Withoutabox. I also found a few festivals that had less expensive rates on FilmFreeway, which is nice.  And for Festivals, there’s no charge if you don’t charge filmmakers, which encourages free submission festivals, which are a lot of international ones.

Not every festival is on FilmFreeway, yet, so there’s still some use for Withoutabox, but the sooner they all get there, then the sooner Withoutabox will either have to improve their functionality or go away. And I’m happy either way.

Sympathy Pains Update – a cool award!

April 29, 2014 Comments off

Tupelo Award

I haven’t given a Sympathy Pains movie update for a while, but we just won 3rd place at the Tupelo Film Festival last weekend, with a cool trophy and everything! :)

I drove down to Tupelo on Saturday to attend and had a great Q&A with the audience. A good time all around! During some downtime, I also outlined a short film that I may try to produce this summer with Molly (my soon-to-be one-year-old).

We’re also an official entry in the Little Rock Film Festival – they haven’t announced the schedule yet, but that should be coming any day now, seeing as the festival starts in about two weeks…! Latest news is that the schedule will be up by May 1. I’ll keep everyone updated.

Our second run of festival submissions will start this week, so I’m sure we’ll have more to share in the next month or two, but so far, so good!

Visual Effects in Sympathy Pains

November 6, 2013 Comments off

Scott Meador (my colleague and Visual Effects Artist for Sympathy Pains) put together a sample of some of the visual effects in Sympathy Pains. Why might a simple comedy film need visual effects? Let Scott answer that for you…


Sympathy Pains Poster!

September 11, 2013 Comments off

Little piece by little piece, we’re getting ready for the big premiere for Sympathy Pains! Here’s a link to more info about the film, by the way. Just finished the poster, which I really like. Shot by my DP Mike Gunter, and with much help from UCA Theatre guru Tom Marhanke.

SP Poster -THIS ONE4

And just a reminder – the premiere for SP (UCA’s second narrative feature film) is Monday, Sept 23, 7:30pm at UCA’s Reynolds Performance Hall. Come early – it seems like it’s gonna be a crowd!

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