We’re Crazy Excited About How Well The Wednesday Night Kick-Off Went

Last night we had our kick-off party, featuring an outdoor screening of The Kings of Leon documentary, Talihina Sky. It went well. Like really, really well (maybe a little TOO well for some of us). All of us on the staff of deadCENTER are thrilled when we see pictures like the one posted by twitter user @toddscottballje:

We’re not sure yet how many people showed up, but are pretty confident it was more than last year. But it really wasn’t the numbers that bowled us over – it was the energy the audience had. You guys rock.

So from all the staff – thanks to all you audience members and our volunteers for coming out and making our first night awesome. Stick around for the next few days – we’ve got a lot planned. You can plan the rest of your festival here.

UPDATE: George Lang has a good write-up on last night’s festivities here.

Cinematic Artists of Norman hosts “An Evening with Melissa Scaramucci”

Former deadCENTER Program Director, patron saint of Okie filmmaking, and all-around classy chick Melissa Scaramucci will be holding court in Norman next Tuesday, Nov. 30 in a workshop hosted by the Cinematic Artists of Norman.

Melissa will engage in a dialogue with attending filmmakers, drawing from her experience in filmmaking to foster new ideas and creativity.  The hour long event begins at 6:30pm; head over to the CAN website for more details.

Terrence Malick begins filming in Oklahoma?

You may have heard reports that legendary reclusive auteur director Terrence Malick (Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, The New World) would be shooting his newest film in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, where the filmmaker spent some time as a youth.

We’ve heard some rumblings under the radar ourselves, but now it appears the news has gone public. /Film has posted a report and some photos from the set, and while they really don’t reveal anything other than the fact that something is afoot, it’s exciting to think that one of the most respected names in cinema will be producing his next film here in OK. We hope to confirm a Malick sighting soon, but considering he’s known for never speaking to the press, we aren’t holding our breath for an interview.

Announcing The deadCENTER Movie Club Podcast.

We here at the deadCENTER film festival are always trying to think of new ways to get in touch with you, our favorite independent film audience members. Usually, this involves a few of us sitting down with some beers and debating the merits of an idea. During one such session, I proposed that we start showing up at your houses, DVD in hand, drink your beer, and then argue with you about the movie we brought. After a few calls to their locksmiths, the other staff members said that idea was far too creepy, and we could probably use that newfangled internet device to accomplish the same thing.

So here we are a few weeks later to announce the deadCENTER Movie Club Podcast. Here’s how it works: Once a month, we’ll announce the movie selection via blog post. You’ll update your Netflix queues, and a week later we’ll post a podcast of Kevin Ely, myself, and a few guests discussing the film. You’ll listen, marvel at our genius, and keep the conversation going in the comments section. Hopefully they’ll be at least half as fun for you to listen to as they are for us to make.

We’re going to kick things off with Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call: New Orleans. The film is available through Netflix, though sadly not on instant viewing. If you really want to stream it, you can “rent” it through Amazon’s video on demand service.

Google Wave is Dead. Long Live Google Wave.

Over at The Candler Blog, friend of the festival Jonathan Poritsky is lamenting the recent demise of Google Wave, which is something a lot of people have been doing. What he’s thinking about, though, is the impact on filmmakers – what does this mean for the future of filmmaker collaboration on the web? Why did no one use Google Wave to actually make a movie?

The whole article is worth your time, but the way he ends it is especially poignant:

“For now, creators will keep on creating. Like anything else, these are just tools. Google Wave was a bold move in the right direction towards central collaboration. There is no way to look at this as a failure for Google, or for any of us. The conversation has shifted. Now we need to take the momentum that Google Wave kicked off and the tools it will leave behind to keep the conversation up so that when the technology falls in line, we will be there to adopt filmmaking methodologies that move us forward.”

The future of filmmaking on the web is definitely an exciting one, and I hope Jonathan is correct in thinking we’re closer than anyone thinks to being able to create films solely online.

For now, though, hop over to his post and join the discussion.

The Referral: The Filmcake finishes a film, has regrets, starts a discussion

Our good friend Dwight over at The Filmcake published a really interesting blog post we think deserves your attention. Having just finished his first short film, he has begun to reflect on the reviews he’s written from the perspective of a new filmmaker.

Along the way, he touches on several things many of us involved with independent film at any level struggle with – how important are access and funding? To what extent, if any, should those circumstances affect or make themselves known to the viewer? And finally, how should critics approach low or no-budget films?

Read the whole thing here. And when you’re done, we’d love to hear what you think about the subject in our comments section below.

Two great panel discussions today

Make sure you’re at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art at 12:30 and 2 pm today for the last two panel discussions of the festival.

At 1230, Julie Porter of the OK Film and Music Office will be talking with some of Oklahoma’s most talented independent filmmakers for the “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Make My Movie” panel. We’ll be hearing about how these filmmakers got that first film done; it’s a must-see for any aspiring filmmakers out there.

At 2 pm, the museum will screen “For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism,” and a panel discussion moderated by OKMOA film curator Brian Hearn will follow immediately afterwards. The panel will feature Elvis Mitchel, Pete VonderHaar and the director of the film, Gerald Peary. We expect a big turnout for this screening, so make sure you secure a seat early.

You know who’s awesome? Our sponsors, that’s who.

Hopefully by now you’ve experienced at least one deadCENTER event, and you can imagine how much work goes in to putting this festival together. Countless hours are spent by the staff and the volunteers to make all of this happen. But the truth is none of us would have anything to work on were it not for our generous sponsors, and their commitment to support independent film should be recognized.

To that end, recognize:

Stella Artois
The 2 Movie Guys

Cardinal Engineering
Kirkpatrick Foundation

Chuck Ferrell
Lance Ruffel
Chip & Shannon Fudge and Claims Management Resources
Visual Image Advertising

The Wilshire Charitable Foundation
Kirkpatrick Family Fund
Inasmuch Foundation
Oklahoma Film and Music Office
Steve and Maggie Dixon
Automobile Alley
The Oklahoma Gazette

Mr. and Mrs. KT Meade
The Colcord Hotel

H.E. Rainbolt
Ira and Sandy Schlezinger
Murray Land Services
Josephine W. Freede
Marilyn Torbett
Greg and Barbra Cable
Zarrow Foundation
Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library

Dale Brown
Betsy and Dub Brunsteter
Elizabeth McMahan Tolbert Trust
Frank and Bette Jo Hill
Gay and Barry Golsen
Norville Oil Company
James and Leslie Hudson
Frank Merrick
Susan Hogan
Robert Castleberry
Fred and Patricia Schonwald

Chas. Michael Zeeck
Linda London Bonebrake Trust
Lela and Mark Sullivan
Burns Hargis
Virginia H. Greenberg
Susan Chambers
Ann Simmons Alspaugh
Kirkland and Julia Hall
Shadid Plastic Surgery
Clayton and Marian Taylor
Renate W. Wiggin
Donald Kyte

Jeanne Hoffman Smith
Lida and Ronald Elkins
Anita Dahlgren
Kristin R. Frankfurt
Don W. Fitzgerald
Roy E. Williams

Academy Award Nominee Spike Jonze Confirmed to Attend deadCENTER Kick-off Event ‘redCENTER Lounge’

Academy Award nominee Spike Jonze will join legendary BMX pioneer and Oklahoma native Mat Hoffman to kickoff the 10th annual deadCENTER Film Festival, Wednesday, June 9 in downtown Oklahoma City’s Automobile Alley.

Jonze, Hoffman and the most hip and happening filmmakers and enthusiasts in Oklahoma City will celebrate the festival’s landmark year at the exclusive “redCENTER Lounge” fundraiser at Red Prime Steak from 7-9 p.m.

Jonze was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director in 2000 for “Being John Malkovich” and directed another Academy Award nominated film, 2002’s “Adaptation.” Most recently, he directed and wrote the screenplay for 2009’s “Where the Wild Things Are.”

A $100 ticket to the “redCENTER Lounge” includes not only the opportunity to brush shoulders with the likes of Jonze and Hoffman, but also signature cocktails, Stella Artois, heavy hors d’oevres, the opportunity to bid on unique, exclusive auction items and prime, reserved seating for the outdoor screening of the Hoffman documentary “The Birth of Big Air,” produced by Jonze and extreme sport fanatic Johnny Knoxville.

“Spike Jonze is, hands down, one of the biggest, most respected names in filmmaking today. ‘redCENTER Lounge’ just went from one hot ticket to an absolute must-attend event,” said Cacky Poarch, deadCENTER executive director.

Admission to the “redCENTER Lounge” is not included with any deadCENTER pass, including the All-Access Pass. Tickets can be purchased online at the link below. Seating is limited.

“redCENTER Lounge” is a part of a host of kick-off activities for the opening of the deadCENTER film festival. The 500 block of Broadway Ave. in Automobile Alley will be closed to traffic for a free, public block party starting at 7 p.m., which includes the Oklahoma premiere of “The Birth of Big Air” under the stars at 9:30 p.m., preceded by live music, “rolling” entertainment, and a VIP party for All-Access pass holders.

Directed by Jeff Tremaine, the documentary showcases the inner workings and exploits of the man who gave birth to “Big Air,” Mat Hoffman. Partially shot in Oklahoma, the film was created for ESPN’s 30 for 30 series.

Zombies! Porn! Hot Brando! Awesome radio!

If you care about pop culture at all and you live in OKC, chances are you’ve heard about the Spy coming back to the airwaves after a much-too-long absence. And if you’ve been listening to the Spy, you know that besides having the best music on the dial, the Spy features some of the best commercials as well. Naturally, we wanted in on the party, so we teamed up with the man you know and love as the Pop Culture Junkie to come up with the spots below.


Hot Brando:


Porn! (not really):

Only 30 seconds:


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