15 November, 2010

Honourable Mention for Mockfest 2010!

Just a short post (for what it turns out is the benchmark, 100th post!)

This past weekend was Mockfest in LA.

We were not in attendance, but The Beast of Bottomlss Lake was named an honourable mention for the festival.  Our first US notice... if you discount those fans who came up over the 49th parallel for VCON last month.

19 October, 2010

IMdB - Rating.... have YOU weighed in?

Just a quick posting this time 'round...

Have you been to our IMdB page yet and rated the film?

Well you should!

It only takes a second with that link above so conveniently provided above.

If you've seen the The Beast of Bottomless Lake then go and rate the film - be honest, we aren't asking for you to rate it higher than it deserves.  And if you have time to add a few sentences of review, by all means do that too!

11 October, 2010

Media Frenzy

Perhaps you know that the Vancouver International Film Festival is on.  We've fielded a number of questions asking about whether we are in the festival or when exactly during the festival that we are screening.

The answer is; we aren't.  But if you were judging by the media, you would easily assume otherwise.

I can honestly say that I don't believe ANY film in VIFF has had as much media as The Beast of Bottomless Lake has had in the period of time leading immediately up to, and during the festival.  Naturally I wear that as a sly badge of honour.

Just for fun (and gloating rights) I'm going to repost them all here in one place (including a few new ones).

I'm going to somewhat arbitrarily draw the line at two weeks from the start of VIFF - it seems to me to be a pretty reasonable period in advance of the event for the earliest preview media.

The first one is from the SciFi & TvTalk blog: Stargate Atlantis' David Nykl Checks In

One week later - one week before VIFF started, and a week and a half before VCON we got two hits in one day...

That same day Cheryl Rossi from the Vancouver Courier Movie Guide did one of the freshest articles on the film yet.  She totally did her homework and found a number of details that weren't spoon-fed in our press-release.

As VCON began we started geting TV hits.  First up Deborah Goble interviewed Craig and David on CBC News.  This one is perhaps the most amusing, as they strongly imply that "The Beast..." is screening at VIFF.  But they don't OUTRIGHT say so - which is probably fortunate, but I'm not going to complain if someone mistakenly assumes we were screening there... it's not like WE said we were!

Also just before VCON the WestEnder ran a small piece and a photo about the film being screened at the convention.

While we were at VCON Johanna Ward from The Express on Shaw TV was doing a piece on VCON and she grabbed David Nykl for a few words.

Immediately following VCON David spent some time chatting with the guys at SciFi Diner about the film (and of course a bunch of Stargate Atlantis and other David Nykl appearances).

But WAIT! There is more!

On Tuesday of this past week we were featured on Film Stew - a blog from LA that focusses specifically on what is hot in the independent film world. Richard Horgan, who runs the blog made this a pretty darned good article covering a lot of ground from the film's inception to the content itself.

On the same day... okay this one is a bit of a cheat as it's Letters from Pegasus, David's Fan Blog.
Lastly - two blog reviews...

After our screening at VCON we were asked if we'd like to do a second screening in the video room on the Sunday afternoon.  The video room as it turns out has a rather small and transient attendance - like about eight people at a time.  I wasn't in attendance, but Craig was there to do an introduction.  The film started at a little past two.  At 3:44 my standing search for tweets about the film produced this derisive gem.  You can't please everybody.  Later my Google Alerts sent me this link.  Same guy - quite obviously.  And it becomes a little more apparent (from the context of the blog and the time stamp on the tweet) that this guy showed up in the middle of the film watched a little bit and walked out.  Bravo.  I amke no apologies for not making a film that is appealing to someone walking in after missing an hour or more of set-up.  Some people just have to be haters for hating's sake.

The second one is quite insightful.  It is from Victor Schwartzman who ran the video room - and over many years of running video rooms has seen an awful lot of stuff.  He picked up on a number of things in the film that most people miss on the first viewing.  This guy is a veteran film-viewer with some real chops for dissecting the aspects of a movie.  This is a really great review.

And believe it or not.... we aren't really done with this cycle!

While at VCON we were asked to do an interview for a notable sci-fi news collective (yeah I am witholding the specifics at the moment).  The interview itself was supposed to happen today, but had to be put off for a variety of reasons - not the least of which is today is Canadian Thanksgiving.  Anyhow... enjoy your turkey, look for more news from the whole VCON experience next week... and if you have a chance, go out and see some of those neglected VIFF films too before the festival ends.

05 October, 2010

Where the Wild Fans Are

This weekend was VCON - if you haven't been reading the past few posts.  And it was a lot of fun.
We got started a little later than expected but it was all well and good as everyone hung in there until we got going.

The screening was well received.  David Nykl arrived just as the film was beginning and he and I sat at the back of the house quietly amusing ourselves with an analysis of how the various jokes played.  There were a few responses that fell outside of what we are accustomed to.  One of the oddest I can't say without giving a spolier - so I won't - but I will say that there is a sequence of Star Trek jokes including one that really has to be paid attention to... typically only one voice in a theatre will laugh out loud at it, but this time it was the whole room.

The Q&A after the film was probably the most rollicking we've had - the fact that there were about ten of us from the film involved in it certainly helped.  We got it on video, so when we can perhaps we'll post a few choice bits.

As I was taking names for the DVD list (people who want to know when and where to get the DVD when it's available (if you happen to be one of those, say so in a comment and we'll work something out) one of the attendees mentioned that she'd come all the way from (not intending to directly quote Counting Crows) somewhere in middle America just to see the film.

I looked down at her name tag, suspecting (correctly) that I knew the answer.  One of the most regular commenters on this blog - Rosie AKA Rosehawk - possibly the world's biggest David Nykl fan had come all the way to VCON to see the film.  I thought that was pretty cool.

She had also brought one of our CafePress shirts for everyone to sign... which we did later up in the hospitality suite.

It was a lot of fun.

More press has come from it already and there will be even more soon - look for a post in the next couple of days.

And the folks at VCON suggested they could hook us up with some other conventions... so keep your eyes out if you are in other Sci-Fi convention worthy cities!

01 October, 2010

The Beast on the Canadian Broadcast Corporation...

No, sorry not a broadcast deal with CBC (though wouldn't that be cool!)

Just the promised news item from earlier today.

They do strongly suggest that we are a film at VIFF... not VCON (poor assumption on Makarenko's part?) but it's still a good bit.

VCON Rising

Just a late reminder that The Beast of Bottomless Lake is screening at VCON this weekend.

As a matter of fact that is tomorrow!

We are on at 1pm and the screening will be followed by a panel discussion with about eight people involved in all aspects of the movie.

Naturally I will be there, as will Craig, the director and of course David Nykl.  Additionally Bronwen Smith and Roger Haskett from the main ensemble as well as a few other cast members and a couple of interesting crew members like our Editor Mike Jackson and one of the composers, Phil Mahoney are expected to be there.

Hopefully we'll get to post some video clips from the panel.

And speaking of video.... Craig and David are going to be on CBC tonight from VCON.  If we can we'll also post that video.

I've never been to a Sci-FI convention before and I'm pretty excited.  I'm going extra early in the morning tomorrow just to check stuff out.... including an artist I happen to know and love:  Robert Ives

Check out his stuff.  He'll be selling his designer steam punk goggles as well as some of his other steam punk art - which fits in nicely with the theme of the convention this year.

15 September, 2010

The Beast Lurks at VCON

Forgive the brevity and "cut-and-pasty-ness" of this, but I became a new father this past weekend, so really I haven't got much time for this, but it IS an important announcement...

The Beast of Bottomless Lake is going to be screening in Vancouver (Richmond, technically) on October the 2nd.

Okay, here comes the cut & paste...

The Beast of Bottomless Lake, will have its first public Vancouver screening at the 2010 Vancouver’s Convention of Science Fiction and Fantasy (VCON).
The film will screen on Saturday, October 2, at 1 pm, followed by a panel discussion with Kennedy Goodkey (writer), Craig March (Director), David Nykl (Dr. Paul Moran), Bronwen Smith (Dr. Leslie Morgenstern), Roger Haskett (Neville Bernard Vincent St. John Honey III) Melanie Blackwell (The Peg-leg Princess) Phil Mahoney (Composer) Mike Jackson (editor), Scott John (Producer), and Rebecca Coleman (Publicist).

The Beast of Bottomless Lake screens at 1 pm on Saturday, October 2 as part of VCON. The screening will take place in the Seymour/Whistler rooms at The Vancouver Airport Marriott Hotel, 7571 Westminster Highway, Richmond.
If you are Vancouver based and still want to see the film, this would be a good chance to see it - with a bonus of a meaty panel discussion (roughly a full hour - you don't get that kind of length in film festival talk-back sessions) AND, if like me you've always toyed with the idea of going to a sci-fi convention but have never taken the plunge, here is a great excuse! 

Convention memberships are available for the whole weekend, or just for a day on line through the VCON website or at the door.  The price for the weekend is $60 (Students: $45; Kids: 7-12 $30 (6 & under free)); or $35 just for Saturday.  Seating for the film is included in the membership, but space is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.

So, come early, stake out the line up for the film, check-out comic-vendors, other panels, or whatever else piques your interest, see the film, then hang out into the evening getting your geek-on.

I am totally looking forward to it myself.

30 July, 2010

People's Choice

I've mentioned it already on Facebook, but it hasn't actually made it onto the blog yet...

Late Sunday night at the Gala Closing Party of the Okanagan International Film Festival - hours after the awards dinner (because there was still one film yet to screen at that point) - The Beast of Bottomless Lake won the People's Choice Award.

At the awards dinner we were nominated for Best Canadian Independent Feature which went to Taylor's Way.

We went from the dinner to our second screening to the gala and waited with baited breath, though once again we had a stong hint from organizers that we really should be present.

So yes, long story short, we won.  Yay!!!

Outside of the second screening, Craig & Kennedy with Paul Armstrong, producer of Everything's Comin' Up Rosie which won Best Canadian Short Film. 
(All Photos Courtesy of Heath Tait.)

23 July, 2010

Returning to the Scene of the Crime

The relaxing part was the drive up.

On Wednesday Jodie and I picked up Phil (one of our composers) and Erin (his girlfriend) and hit the highway to the Okanagan.  Its not actually that long a trip - about 4 and a half hours, and the company was good.  We dropped Phil and Erin off at their hotel and grabbed lunch before Craig and I met for a TV interview down at "The Sails" - a downtown, lakeside park where we shot a scene in the film three (ulp!) years ago.  It was also, appropriately, across the street from the theatre we'd be screening at.

From there I rushed out to where my Dad and his wife, my Sister and my niece were - at an old friend's place which was where Jodie and I were to get prepared for the evening at.  We really did have long for hugs and hellos before we had to shower and run out the door again to get to the pre-screening party.

I could not be happier that we planned a pre-screening party.  It was really the only reasonable chance I had to say "hi" to most of the people, both from the Okanagan and those who travelled, who had worked on the film and were in attendance.  Even then it was total chaos.  We had the event at Sturgeon Hall - a place that was always good to us.  Right back to when Keith and I first went to Kelowna together and he told me about his idea for a film then called "Nightmare Beast of Blood Lake: A Scientific Overview."  Keith and I spent a lot of our time in Kelowna while on tour at Sturgeon Hall.  They also provided us with a place for extras to get out of the rain when we shot at The Sails... but it didn't rain so they got off easy on that one.  We crammed 'em in on Wednesday night and put their staff on their highest setting.  They were great.
At 5:30 they turned on the news for us (it is normally a sports bar, but we had all but one or two small tables... not to mention there wasn't much gripping sport on).  The interview that Craig and I had done earlier in the day had been turned into a full feature on the news.  We all cheered.

At 6:00 I headed out the door with Rebecca our publicist.  The theatre was less than a block away and the line-up party was under way.  Yes.  "Line up party."  One of our Executive Producers, my old friend Scott John, whose in-laws live in the Okanagan, giving him some additional resources, decided to collude with Rebecca to make sure that all the people standing out in the blazing sun to get tickets had a good time.

We had cast members stopping by and doing interviews. 

Scott's wife Kathy baked a cake with the poster of the film on it!

And she made a bunch of cupcakes that were put together to show the Ogopogo rising out of the depths of the lake.

People got cupcakes and Craig and I cut the cake like a newly married couple.

The show was officially sold out.  There were a number of tickets held for festival staff and volunteers and I spent most of my time before the screening doing everything I could to get people who had worked on the film, who for one reason or another had not got tickets yet, into the theatre.  Including giving up my own seat.  My plan was to stand at the back.

That plan didn't quite work out.  Apparently the theatre only allows one person per-seat plus one standing (the usher presumably).  Craig took the place of the usher and I stood outside with Scott and our editor Mike and even Craig's wife Elaine relinquished a seat.

More people arrived after the film had started and had they arrived earlier then perhaps more of us (like Jodie - who was sitting with her parents) who already knew how the film ended would have to wait outside.  Don't get me wrong.  I am not complaining.  This is an AWESOME problem to have.

Apparently the Okanagan Film Festival has never had a sold out show before.  It's kind of cool to be first.  While the early portions of the show played we listened to organizers tell late comers that they were already considering doing a second showing before the festival was over.

When ever we'd hear a peal of laughter from inside, Mike and I would try to guess what had been the inciting joke.  We know the film well enough that we were never wrong.

Eventually people started having to come out to go to the bathroom.  I quickly did the math - there were now less people in the theatre than it's maximum (albeit temporarily).  So I started sneaking in while people were answering nature's call.  By the second half of the film there was always at least one person outside at a time, so I got to witness the audience reactions for the whole last half of the film.

There was little doubt in my mind by the time the credits rolled that they had all had a great time.  As Craig and I walked down the aisle to the front the cheers were pretty awe inspiring.

The Q & A was really short as so much time had been lost at the start due to seating issues.

On my way back up the aisle a woman grabbed me and said "I just had to come tonight.  I did community theatre with Keith when we were kids.  I used to have such a big crush on him."

I answered "I get it.  If I was a girl I'd have had a big crush on him too."

Keith's family - his Mother and Father, his brother and his lady, and of course Janet, Keith's widow were there too.  They were all so happy.  I can't imagine that this film would ever represent closure for any one of them, but it does mean that there's a piece of him that will always be around for all of us.  One of the highlights of my night was seeing the big smile on his Mom, Lainie's face when she arrived at the gala.

The gala itself left something to be desired, but I don't want to get into that.  It was just as well to go elsewhere and quietly raise a glass with friends - after all I had work to do at my job in Vancouver by mid-morning.

Once again, like the day after we won Best Feature in Mississauga, most of my free time during the day on Thursday was spent responding to messages about the film.

Last night before bed I noticed a tweet on Twitter claiming that there was going to be a second screening of the film.  This morning Craig confirmed it and so today, in between tasks at my day job, I spent my time getting the word out that we will be screening Sunday after the awards dinner at 6:30pm at the Black Box Theatre (a part of the Kelowna Community Theatre).  Tickets available at the door.  That's right, we were the opening film of the festival and now we're also the closing film (co-closing film actually - Paul Gross's Gunless is also screening at the same time.)

So, when my weekend begins in a few hours it will be back to the Kelowna Festival - there is a film maker's BBQ that I'm looking forward to on the lake tomorrow and I should really see some other films!

16 July, 2010

Get Your Tickets Now - there aren't many left!

This is no longer advertizing.  This is a warning/public-service announcement to those people who were involved or are close firends of people involved who happen to live in the Okanagan and who want to be in attendance at the Premiere of Beast of Bottomless Lake in Kelowna at the Okanagan International Film Festival next week - July 21st.

We've done the math.  There are already less than 100 seats left that we are aware of - indeed if the people who have said to us that they were going to get advance tickets have done so then there are less than 70 seats left.... but we aren't actually positive those people have got their tickets yet.

If I were to open up my file of people in the Okanagan who worked on this film the list would be longer than 70 names - and that doesn't include any friends or guests that they'd bring.

Do you see what I'm saying?

Get your tickets now.  Do not wait to get them the night of the show.

According to the festival website, tickets are only available through the Paramount Theatre Box Office.

The festival organizers have said that the Okanagan Film Festival has never had a sold out show.  Clearly the number of people who worked on the film who would want to see it weren't factored into their plans.  Who knows - maybe we will come out the other side of this looking a little naive, but we think that this is not only going to be their first sell-out, but that there is going to be a BIG demand for tickets above and beyond their expectations as based on the venue size.

So, don't get screwed out of your chance to be there for the premiere.  We are working hard to make this a special night for everyone in attendance.

15 July, 2010

What Can YOU Do for the Beast?

A good question.

For now the answer is simple.

Do you Twitter?  If not are you willing to do so for an evening?


So here's what we are planning...  A Twitter-Blast!

On the night of our World Premiere at the Okanagan Film Festival we want to have as many people as possible Tweeting about The Beast of Bottomless Lake and using our hashtag - #thebeast - in their tweets.

If you don't know your Twitter basics here's where to go to figure it out.

If you are attending the screening there ought to be plenty you can tweet about over the course of the evening (but we'll provide options below).  If you aren't there, then it can be as simple as any of these (feel free to cut and paste):

  • I wish I was at the World Premiere of The Beast of Bottomless Lake #thebeast
  • I wish the cast and crew of The Beast of Bottomless Lake the best of luck at tonight's premiere #thebeast
  • The Beast of Bottomless Lake premieres tonight - I can hardly wait for my chance to see it #thebeast
  • "Life's a Beast... until you find one." The Beast of Bottomless Lake premieres tonight #thebeast
Or you could tailor your tweets to the timing of what will likely be happening...

(This is all on the night of Wednesday July 21st, BTW.)

5:00 PDT - We will be having a pre-show get-together at Sturgeon Hall in Kelowna (announcement on that to follow)
6:30 PDT - People will start heading to the theatre - we don't know that they're doing anything red-carpet like, but you can imagine they will and tweet about that
7:15 PDT - The introductory statements.
7:25 PDT - The short film that preceeds us (at least I assume it's preceeding us based on the OIFF schedule) Skylight screens.
7:30 PDT - The Beast of Bottomless Lake begins...
9:05 PDT - The film ends - Q & A begins.
9:15 PDT - Off we go to the opening night gala...

If you are in the audience, you WILL be reminded.

And while you are at it, some relevant folks to follow on Twitter:

Me: @kennedyg

Our Publicist: @rebeccacoleman

And Provost Pictures itself: @provostpix

12 July, 2010

Reaching New Heights

Today has been so exhiliratingly weird.  Many people I know have posted things about "Beast" winning Best Feature at MIFF last night.  Last night for a few hours before going to sleep and then again this morning after the West Coast began waking up I could have refreshed my Facebook account every minute and there would be either a new post, new comment or new announcement of someone "liking" one of the already existing posts.

Honest to god, this afternoon when I opened the "top news" that the site generates for me based on the most popular recent threads of all my friends, HALF of them above the fold (and several more below) were related to "Beast."  Such a great feeling of validation.

Yesterday before the final film of the Mississauga Film Festival Craig and I went and met two old friends (one of his, one of mine) and watched the World Cup.

When the game was over I remarked as the camera showed the jubilation on the face of Iker Casillias, the Spainish goalkeeper, "what a crazy moment - you are living the single greatest moment of your life and you have to know that the chances of there being a higher high is close to none."  But you have to admit that having the specter of your remaining life being that you will never do better than achieveing the single biggest honour that you can in your profession, the "it's all downhill from here" isn't really such a bad thing - there's an awful lot of high topography to step down to below you and hey... you won the fucking World Cup - FOREVER!

When I was in my early and mid 20s I spent six years touring Canada in a comedy troupe, the Juanabees (to whom there is a tip of the hat in the movie).  Those were seminal years of my life.  We had a great time.  We learned a lot.  We met some very cool people, some who went on to various levels of fame and fortune and others who are still good friends and collaborators today.  (Indeed at least one falls into both of those categories - and has a cameo in "Beast.")
We picked up some accolades - it actually mentions in my company Bio for Provost Pictures that the Edmonton Journal called us Canada's best comedy troupe without a TV show.  (This was in the heady days of Kids in the Hall and the earliest iteration of This Hour Has 22 Minutes.)  I've had a few people tell me that the Juanabees were inspiring to them - sadly no one who has gone on to being a superstar of comedy.
In any case, those were some pretty cool times for me.

It has occasionally occurred to me that there's a possibility that the time I spent with the Juanabees when we were at our best might just be the most impact I would have on the world, that it might be the biggest impact I would have on the world in this life. 

I haven't wallowed in that, but it has always kind of been there - as I expect it would be in anyone's life, this just happens to be my personal version of measuring my self-validation.

I have never assumed that I would never do better and there are numerous things that I have done since then that I could probably make arguments in favour of being new high-water-marks in my life.  But none have been definitive.

As "Beast..." has come closer and closer to completion I have been pleased with the way it has been turning out and it has seemed to me that this might just be the clear new pinnacle.  Now that we've screened at our first festival and won Best Feature I'm actually thinking that it is a fait accompli.  All that really remains is the fourth Everest* - making sure as many people see it as possible: Distribution.

And the cycle begins again.  In order to out do myself next time I'm going to have to work even harder - damn!  But first, we have to ride this one out... I'm really looking forward to the Okanagan Festival.  Returning to the scene of the crime.

"This one is for Keith."

*I could have sworn I had done a post on this phrase already, but damned if I can find it.  I don't know where I got it from.  I may have made it up myself.  And David Nykl cited it in one of our YouTube videos of him.  What I was refering to was the notion that making a film is like climbing Everest four times.  Once for pre-production, once filming, once in post-production and then one last time in promotion and distribution.

11 July, 2010

Best Feature

Holy heck.


Holy heck.

We're one for one. 

One festival, one award.

Best Feature at the Mississauga Independent Film festival.

Holy heck.

I'll write with more depth later when I'm a little less shocked.

10 July, 2010

Mississauga Missives from the Front

I wouldn't believe this if it didn't happen to me - so I don't expect anyone else to believe this.

I got carded!  I am back in my hotel room, rather than partying after the premiere because I GOT CARDED!  This is not a boast.  I do not look like someone who should be denied entry into a bar for being under age.


As if to accentuate the point I have a frikkin' beer in my hand!

Not one week ago I thought to myself "there's something that will never happen to me again" - BZZZZtttT! - wrong.

Just some doorman deciding that everyone had to have valid ID I guess - regardless of how clearly over legal drinking age they might be.  Prick.

Oh well.  It's not really the end of the world.  In the past 36 or so hours I have managed to sleep three times.  Sadly its not a matter of quantity.  And the quality and the duration have been terrible.  I even walked out of the second film tonight because I was concerned about snoring in it - which would have happened if I was watching Jurassic Park or Aliens too so should not be taken as a measure of the film's quality.  I was not being rude by leaving.  I was leaving to avoid being rude.  Warm, dark space with less than 3 hours sleep in the past day and a half... it's a miracle I didn't fall asleep during my own film!

So Beast screened to it's first impartial audience tonight....

The Mississauga Independent Film Festival is small and friendly.  There is only one theatre and it may hold 250 people at most.  I'd say we had a 1/3 audience - which appears to be par for the course.

I would have to say that if we can get the reaction we got from this audience from every small audience we can be proud of what we've done.  They laughed as much as could be expected, and consistently throughout.  You could hear people "getting" the tricks in the movie at the points where they needed to be "got."

I don't think I've mentioned this anywhere else before, but at the cast and crew screening, Mike, Craig and I (Mike mentioned it first to give credit where credit is due) noted that there was one scene that due to some additional cuts could now be lifted out wholesale without harming anything else.  Tonight we screened the version without that scene - possibly the last cut we'll ever make.  I didn't miss it at all, and it helps speed things along more in the last quarter of the film.  Yay!

Anyhow... not meaning to dis the MIFF, but I expect a much better turn out in the Okanagan in ten days.  And so it should be.  The Okanagan is at heart the REAL premiere of the film.

Okay... I must sleep now.  I can't believe I'm still awake.  I should thank that bouncer for carding me... I'd be a mess if I were still out.

09 July, 2010

Expecting a Deluge...

Not a deluge of rain - certainly doesn't look that way in Vancouver right now.  Ontario doesn't seem likely either and the Okanagan... yeah, right.

I am speaking of a deluge of posts about the film over the next two weeks.

It has already kind of begin if you haven't noticed.

Here is today's link of note  - The Beast of Bottomless Lake pimped on the Pan-Canadian Skeptical Blog, Skeptic North.

If you are following any single one of our outlets (this blog, our Facebook Page, our Twitter Feed or many of the equivalents for the various people involved in the film) you will likely get most of the links.  If you happen to be subscribed to more than one - there is going to be a lot of redundancy.  For example, this post will automatically appear on the Beast Facebook page, and the Facebook page automatically feed to our Twitter account.  I'll link to it on my Facebook page and Twitter feed too...

Anyhow, there's going to be a lot of traffic between now and the end of the Okanagan Film Festival.

I know it's going to seem like there's a lot of it out there already, but in the grand scheme of things it's going ot be a drop in the internet-pond... so if you can link, re-post, re-tweet and - if you are a real superhero - do posts of your own based upon the information that comes out.  I know there are a few people out there who are already doing that last thing - thanks to you.  There is nothing more important that taking this opportunity to make as much noise as possible in the world.

Stay posted...

And be prepared to take part in the Beast Tweet Blast on Twitter on the night of the Okanagan screening - July 21st.

08 July, 2010

Countdown: 52 Hours...

The Mississauga Independent Film Festival began yesterday.

Craig was there for the opening gala, walking the red carpet.

I'm catching a red-eye tomorrow night, arriving early Saturday morning.

I will be talking at Cafe Skeptique about the film, cryptozoology and the Ogopogo at 2pm at The Bean. (388 College St. in Toronto.)

[On a related note, there is a slight irony hidden in all of this.  For months I've been bemoaning the fact that I couldn't attend TAM8 this year.  Last year I went to TAM7 and did a test screening of the film.  But just last week - a week ago today in fact - I returned from a trip to Europe to a wedding where I was best man.  It was simply going to be too much money and too little time or me to do both the trip to Europe and to Vegas for TAM.  But then we were selected for MIFF - on short notice I might add, just before we left for Europe.  I stuck to my guns.  MIFF was the same weekend as TAM and would cost a comparable amount... not to mention that in the time since we committed to going to London for the wedding, my girlfiend and I found out we are expecting a baby.  Jodie, my girlfriend called me an idiot (about not going to MIFF, not the baby) and booked me a ticket to Ontario.  So, now I'm going away on that weekend anyhow - AND I am participating (however briefly) a critical thinking event, all in service of the film.  I hope folk are having a great time at TAM8, I plan to have a wild rumpus at MIFF.]

Then I'm high-tailing it out to Missisauga to the theatre for the (ulp!) World Premiere.

I keep getting asked if I'm nervous.  The short answer is 'no.'

The long answer is - I suspect I will be, though honestly I feel pretty confident about the film by this point.  I guess there is a fine lin between nrvous ad excited.

05 July, 2010

Beast Teaser

Okay, this is fun...

Just in time for the two upcoming festivals we are screening at we have just posted our trailer on YouTube.

There are also some other new videos available on our account - interviews with David Nykl and other cast members; reactions to our cast and crew screening; and a parts of a few scenes.

Have fun!

23 June, 2010

Bringing the Beast Home

Okay so they mis-quote me with a typo... I'm hardly concerned about that.

All press is good press and this is really heartwarming, this one.

I am SO looking forward to bringing "Beast..." to the Okanagan.  It may not be my home, but this festival is truly going to be "bringing this movie home."

19 June, 2010

The First Review

I feel like I've been holding my breath for three years.

Only minutes ago the moment to let it our came, for better or for worse.

Gonzo Magazine, in preparation for the Okanagan Film Festival, has released some advance reviews of some films, and "Beast" gets the lead position in the article.  It's (literally) a He-said/She-said paired review, so you could actually say that it's our first TWO reviews.

Whew... they liked it!

I have to admit, I got a teeny bit emotional reading it.

18 June, 2010

And Mississauga Too!

As much news in as many days...

We are also going to the Mississauga Film Festival next month - yay!

Mississauga, for those outside of Canada, is a large municipality that adds to the Greater Toronto area.  The festival is small and exclusive, focusing on Canadian independent films.  It's a good place for a film like ours due to the ease of access for many of the domestic broadcast and distribution decision makers who are located in Toronto.

There are many remaining festivals on our list of festivals that we would really like to be selected for that we've applied to, but Mississauga and Okanagan are for various reasons, two of our top five on the wish-list... so far, so good!

Both Craig and I will be attending the screening... so if you are in the area, come and say "hi!"

17 June, 2010

New Premiere News

Last night it became official.

The Okanagan International Film Festival had strongly hinted to us that we were being scheduled as the opening night film of the festival - a position of honour that I humbly admit makes sense for our film in the Okanagan... after all, that is where the bulk of the film takes place!

Last night was the gala fundraiser for the film festival.  David - our co-producer, not the star, or the special effect advisor, or the production accounting consultant, or the background extra, or anyone else named David who helped on the film... but I digress - David Jevons was in attendance representing the film.

At around 8:30 last night he phoned me, totally excited. 

It is true... we are the opening gala film.

Apparently we are prominently featured in the program and there was a lot of media there who had questions for David about getting in touch with the key creatives for interviews and stuff - so look for links to that coming soon.

15 May, 2010

The World Premiere

It has been a long time coming.

And I really only just kind of realized the significance of this announcement this morning.

We know roughly when and where The Beast of Bottomless Lake will have it's World Premiere, and it could not possibly be at a more appropriate place.

While we don't know the exact date and time yet, it is official: the film will first be shown to the public at the Okanagan International Film Festival this July.

We had some discussion about whether premiering at a smaller festival like the OIFF was what we wanted to do, but when it came down to it, the Okanagan deserves it.  We could not possibly find a better way to thank the region than by revealing the film to the world there first.  Of course, we have to thank OIFF for giving us the opportunity.

More specific details will be posted in mid June when the schedule is posted.

07 April, 2010

Battle of Burgledorf - Trailer

Just a quick note.  This just came across my desk - the trailer to another independent BC shot feature which happens to feature Mike Antonakos, who is also in "Beast...."

Keep your eyes peeled - both films are on their way soon.

04 February, 2010

Decision - Unanimous

Am I surprised by the responses we recieved from the cast and crew screening?  Well - yes.  I did expect that the balance of opinion would be positive.  I didn't expect the response to be as positive as it was.

When Jodie and I arrived at the theatre to start setting up she asked me if I was nervous.

"No.  This is the crowd that is destined to like this film.  They're going to like it."
"What if they don't?"
"Then there isn't much reason to get out of bed tomorrow morning."

As people arrived I was asked the same question numerous times, most significantly by Mike Jackson, our editor.  Mike was nervous.

It was at the party that the depth of people`s appreciation really became aparent.  Time after time I heard variations on the same sentiment - something to the tune of "I've worked on so many independent films.  They never turn out feeling like a real movie.  But I can't say that about this one."  It was a room full of proud people, and they deserved to be.  They all served us well each in their way.

Many of them have sent their sentiments to me to be added to the blog.  I've compiled them below. (With some editing for brevity, spoilers and irrelevant & personal comments.) I'm also taking the opportunity to draw your attention to a related blog post by Rebecca, our publicist.


Hi Kennedy:

I just can't get over what an amazing accomplishment Beast of Bottomless Lake is. Congratulations. Janet had made plans to take me out for my "birthday" dinner so we did that instead of the pub. We had a great time quoting lines and talking about the movie. I said to her, "boy, don't you think Keith would be pleased with that?" and she smiled a big smile and said, "yes, I do think so, absolutely."

I guess it was a film that appealed to my sense of humour, particularly as the story got rolling. There are so many gems: moments, great funny lines, wonderful scenes. I loved the beach party scene, the wedding scene on the boat, the cheesy "dramatic re-enactments", and David Nykl's reflective scene at the dock questioning what you do once you've achieved your dream. I got a huge kick out of the aboriginal character. I also have to say you were a standout in your performance. Not one false note, natural, at ease and fun to watch - especially cool that you managed this while wearing so many other hats.

Anyway, I'm gushing but I am seriously in awe. I hope you guys are all mighty proud. Thanks for a great afternoon at the movies!

All the best,

- Grace
Congratulations! It went really well and I am so proud of you for managing to finish something this monumental. There is a reason people just don't go out and make full length independent films.

You can be proud of just everything that folks have learned along the way. We have a saying in the project management world.... by the time you finish a project you are qualified to have started it in the first place.




LOVED it and had a blast this past weekend.

- Kenton
Thank you for inviting me to the crew and cast screening. I was happy to attend and really enjoyed seeing everyone again.

I really enjoyed the day and the movie. You guys did a terrific job putting it together.

Gordon May reminded me that he and I, after Craig was stumped about the missing leg of the Peg Leg Princess, asked if we could; that we had come up with something and could we help?

We came up with...

[NOTE: I've snipped out a significant spoiler here. Anyone who has seen the film should be able to identify what is being talked about from the details I've left.]

...not that Gordon and I are fishing for additional credits or anything.

I had fun and many adventures during my short stay in Vancouver. I think I even got a little buzz from second hand smoke walking down Robson Street.

Movie stars, Roger, the Skipper, the Professor and Leanne, all on Okanagan Lake. Awesome!

Thanks to Pat and Kevin and gang for getting me down to the pub, Red Truck Beer, and steering me in the opposite direction of the safe injection site on East Hastings. Instead I was directed towards the light in Gastown and back to my hotel room.

Let me know of any screening in the Okanagan.

Regards and thanks again.

Again cool and awesome. All good.

Enjoy the Olympics..

- Ted


Hi Craig and Kennedy,

Once again I have to say how impressed I am with The Beast! I had so much fun watching it and I look forward to seeing it again.

I hope you had a great time at the pub on Saturday and are able to get some rest and relaxation this week or sometime really soon. You deserve it.


- Janet


Good Morning Rebecca &Provost,

Congratulations on a fantastic film! The cast and crew "screening" was a lot of fun and I am very happy with the final result!!!

As the Production Designer and Props builder (and my husband supplied the picture vehicle - the Juanabees Van) it was great to see the items in play!

Thanks so much!

Kindest regards,

- Trish


Thanks again for the invite to Beast of Bottomless Lake. Love to talk to you guys when your time permits - to pick your brains, find out about the hurdles you had to overcome, etc.

- Tariq


Hey guys,

Great show today!!  I had to take off quickly afterward but I wanted to let you know I had a great time and was super proud of you both. The show looks and sounds awesome. Super glad to be there.

- Tallulah


Hi Kennedy and Craig,

I deliberately waited awhile before writing about seeing The Beast on the big screen to eliminate from my comments the euphoria of the moment – seeing everyone again, the swoop of the event itself. I hadn't intended to take quite this long to let the excitement settle.

Funny thing is, I think I’m going to say pretty much what I would have said then.

I was very, very pleased with the film! Right from the opening credits. I love interesting credits that fit the film you are about to see, and these credits settled me into the experience right from dimming of the lights. I was amazed at the cinematography and coverage. You’d think we had given the editor all the takes he could possibly wish for. What a fine job he did of weaving in and out of what he had. Wonderful!

The sound was excellent. I think sound is one of the main weaknesses of many low budget films. Not a problem here! And the music! Just wonderful.

As I read the script, both initially and as the filming progressed, I developed a sense of how I saw the story play out – how I would direct it, I suppose. To be honest, I would have down played the humour much more. In fact, I had moments during the filming when I was afraid we were going over the top to the point of de-grounding the story. Well, I needn’t have worried. The film has humour. It has pathos. Neither over-rides the other. Credit for that must be spread around; the writing, the directing, the performances, and once again the editing.

As I’m sure I’ve told you more than once, from the moment I first read Clive’s sides for the audition, I wanted to be part of this project. And that connection just grew and grew. How fortunate I was to be able to be involved in the physical processes of filming as well as acting in the film. How thrilling the result!

One of the amusing things about seeing the film was my reaction when a scene would come on that I hadn’t helped film. Hey – where did that come from? I never saw that before.

I’m so proud of those of you who have continued the post-photography work. As so many independent films do, it could have died in the can. But it didn’t and I have every faith that this film is going to find distribution and get seen.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

With admiration and gratitude,

- Gordon


And now my words back to all of you...

Thank you all.  The effect of your words and appreciation cannot be measured.  We could not have done it without all of you.

- Kennedy

10 January, 2010

A Day of Vindication

For the past five years a small photo of Keith – his headshot – was pinned to my computer monitor. It served as a reminder of how this all began and who I was working for. Keith has been gone for almost twice as long now as the time we were friends. It was inevitable that a day would come when it was time to take the picture down. That day has come.

A confluence of circumstances make this a perfect time. Any opportunity to take it down was going to be wrought with emotion. Somehow picking a time that is practical and symbolic makes it easier.

I am moving. My monitor is not making the move with me. Indeed I’ve already switched monitors – just a few days ago. I’ve kept the old monitor with Keith’s photo on it on my desk waiting for this day.

Yesterday was the cast and crew screening of the film. Nearly 200 of us gathered together at Pacific Cinematheque.

Craig and I made a quick pair of announcements, welcoming everyone and thanking them for the gifts of time, talent, resources and effort that they provided, and then we retreated to the eighth row. (The eighth row is - possibly apochryphally - the place that cinemas are optimized for, and in theory that films are ‘tuned’ for... but that’s probably bullshit.)

No doubt, this was the crowd that was destined to love the movie. And by all measures they did.

It was the first time I really got to watch the movie on the big screen – the mix at Sharpe last month was cool, but disjointed. I was amazed at how much I missed on the small screen – little details. Micro reactions mostly. But almost as much as I watched the film (I know how it ends, so paying close attention wasn't a big deal) – I enjoyed watching the crowd. David Nykl was sitting down the row from me. He was chowing on his fingernails for the first ten minutes until he satisfied himself that he was actually doing a good job on screen.

The couple in front of Craig and I (and our lovely ladies, Elaine and Jodie, respectively) were fantastically emotive. It turned out that it was Bronwen Smith’s (who plays eco-scientist Leslie Morgenstern) Mother and step-father. They were a delightful barometer whose reactions matched nearly everything that any other sub-set of the audience responded to.

When I used to tour with The Juanabees - the real Juanabees, not the faux-group referenced in the film – we regularly found that by the time we were doing our first performance we would have forgotten that many jokes were ever funny to us. Well, same thing happened with “Beast...” and that is delightful. Jokes that I had forgotten or decided simply weren’t funny got laughs – sometimes BIG laughs. My favourite line in the film got a huge laugh – and I think that with wide enough distribution for the film, Roger Haskett (the actor who delivers it) and I may be responsible for adding a new epithet to the lexicon.

The audience moaned sympathetically as one at a poignant moment from Gordon May, whose performance is heart breaking. I could not be happier.

There are a few secrets in the film too. One is an outright twist that elicited delighted gasps (Win!) and another that is an easter-egg in the plot that rewards those who are paying really close attention. The latter occurred to Bronwen’s mother three or four seconds into the scene that follows the last piece of the puzzle. It may seem odd, but I love the fact that not everyone is going to “get” the connection – and that they don’t absolutely need to in order to appreciate the film. Indeed, one of the key actors involved in that plot thread revealed to me yesterday that he didn’t get it until he was watching the movie.

Once the film was done Craig and I took an opportunity to make some special “thank- you”s – specifically to the post-production teams and a few MVPs from pre-production and production, as well as the investors. I’m told that we made a few of them cry.

And then we headed out to On the Edge Pub. It’s a new pub on the far east-side of Gastown who offered to host our after-screening party. They treated us fantastically. A BIG thanks to Terry and his staff! We had an excellent time there, they had great finger food for us and we stayed well past midnight before heading home to our hangovers.

All in all it was nice to be able to show people that their efforts were not for naught.
This morning the next stage begins. I took down Keith’s photo just before writing this. A fitting way to move on.

05 January, 2010

Bring on the Love...

We are days away from the cast and crew screening.  I am swamped.
But it's exciting.
People are coming from the Okanagan to Vancouver to see the film... more people than we thought were going to travel.
And for some strange reason today we've had an inexplicable spike in website hits.
I checked the stats to see why... thinking that it'd be people on the 'in' checking out the blog as we send out important emails to them about the film, but it isn't.
It's realy just a confluence of fortunate hits from all around the globe. 
The most amusing of which came from a Google hit on "is there any such thing as a bottomless lake?"
The answer to which is: "Yes.  There is.  But probably not in the sense you want to be told so."
Okanagan lake - a "bottomless" lake.   Has no definable bottom in places because there is no firm (pun unintentional) bottom.  There is a continuum from water to dirty water to mud to clay to terra firma.  So, where exactly is the "bottom"?
To add to the confusion, the lake has an undeterminable bottom by right of the fact that the bottom is so deep that there are portions that never fully thaw over the winter.  The ice bottom shifts from year to year.  It isn't the proper bottom, but it is the farthest one can descend in any given season.

Anyhow... I'll take whatever connections we can to promote this film.  Perhaps soon I won't have to.  But this weekend, who am I kidding, we're playing for a crowd destined to love it, no matter what.