We’re Headed to SXSW and Couldn’t Be More Excited.

Now that our call for entries is closed and we’re digesting all the great films people have sent us from all over the world, you might think most of our programming work is over. Oh, how wrong you are.

In addition to the always-fun programming day, when we actually sift through all the reviews and impressions of the films we’ve screened through our submission process, we’re still heading out into the world looking for great films. Just like most other festivals, the films we screen at deadCENTER are a mix of submitted films and invited films – films we typically find at other festivals like Sundance or South by Southwest.

Which brings us to the point of this little note. For the first time, all four of us full-time staff members will be traveling together to SXSW. We’ll be watching a ton of movies, attending parties (hey – someone needs to do it), and meeting with filmmakers, journalists and staff members from other festivals so we can bring the best indie films we can to Oklahoma City.

So this is where we need your help. Is there a film at SXSW that you’re excited about, and you’d like to see deadCENTER screen? Is there a party we NEED to attend, other than the very mandatory Red Dirt Reel in the Buffalo Lounge? Let us know in the comments.

And if you’re going to be down in SXSW and want to meet up, ping us on twitter or facebook. If not, don’t worry – you’ll be able to live vicariously through us via my (hopefully frequent) dispatches while we’re there.

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.

The Referral – Film Threat Wants to Help Fund Your Film Project

If you attended our excellent panels series this year at deadCENTER, you know something we talked about a lot is the effect the Internet has had on the entire filmmaking experience, not to mention the film viewing experience. During these discussions, one issue kept popping up: the lowering of barriers is great, but it also means there’s just a lot more competition.

One of the best examples of this is the huge number of film projects vying for funding on the Internet. On that front, Film Threat is trying to help by giving a few worthy projects a leg up. Every week, they will be featuring one noteworthy project posted on crowd-sourced funding sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo on their site. Which means more eyes on your fund-raising efforts. Which could mean more cash. From the posting:

“That’s right, every Monday, starting July 25, 2010, we’re going to feature one film or film-related project in progress that we feel is worth your and our time. From there, it’s up to our passionate, film-hungry and film-savvy readers to decide whether they want to take that extra step to help make these projects in progress a reality. It’s then up to you, the filmmaker, to live up to the faith we’re putting in you and your efforts by giving you such lofty praise as featuring you and your project as a top story on our site (seriously, you want this; studio films and indies alike routinely angle for space and feature stories on our site).”

For the full post and submission form, click through to the Film Threat post. And if you’re an Okie filmmaker who is going to submit, let us know in the comments, and we’ll keep an eye on Film Threat to see if you’ve been spotlighted.

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.

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:

This is awesome – you can see it Friday or Saturday night. You’re Welcome.

Countdown: 2 Days to the 10th Annual Fest

Today’s Featured Film:

The Four-Faced Liar

The Pitch: A girl and a guy walk into a bar. They meet a girl and a guy. The guys talk about the girls. The girl falls for the girl. The guys don’t know…until they do..
Why you should see it: Charming, lovely, engaging. Beautiful camera work, swift and delicious story and surefooted performances from the actors. Director Jacob Chase and Writer/Actress Marja-Lewis Ryan will be in town for the screenings. Well here – see what a tiny publication called Variety says about it.
When it’s playing: Friday June 11th @ 7:30pm @ [ArtSpace] @ Untitled and Saturday June 12th @7:30pm @ the IAO Gallery.

Watch the Trailer For The Four Faced Liar

More About The Four-Faced Liar Here

Two Movie Guys Promote deadCENTER, Insult the Great Filmmakers of Neptune.

As you should probably know by now, we have these 2 guys in Oklahoma City. They’re 2 Movie Guys, and they’re pretty damn funny. Now we’re bringing them to deadCENTER. They’ll be around the festival all week, so keep an eye out. In the meantime, watch this typically great spot they’ve put together for this year’s festival.

2MG Dead Center Promo 2010 from Ryan Bellgardt on Vimeo.

A Look Back With Dwight Edwards of The Filmcake: The 2009 Festival

The 10th edition of deadCENTER is just ONE WEEK AWAY. The drone of festival buzz is in the air. Anticipation can barely be contained. Hyperbole abounds. Since I’ll be seeing a ton of films starting in just one week, I decided to keep it short and sweet this week as I look back at last year’s festival. There were plenty of great feature films that screened last year. My two favorite features happened to be documentaries, the wonderful Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo from Bradley Beesley and the Best Documentary Feature winner Official Rejection. Both definitely worth checking out. But, I’m sticking with short films in this final recap. The short film programs are often your best bet. You can pack in a bunch of movies in a short period of time. And if you happen to run across a not-so-good one, you only have to wait a few minutes for something else to start playing. Luckily, there are more than enough real gems to be found as well. For this week, I looked back at SAFE, Hit Boys II Men, Whore, The SPAM Job, and Miracle Investigators.
SAFE – A nice Okie short that came out of Living Art’s 2009 24-Hour Video Race contest. A curious kid tries to see what is locked away in his neighbor’s safe. Given the limitations of the video contest, the film is nicely done with a fair amount of restraint. Good camera work. Not too wordy. But certainly very promising. The two young filmmakers, Bunee Tomlinson and Jackson Fall are also bringing a couple of films to this year’s festival as part of the Kids’ Fest shorts program–Mom’s Favorite Vase and Without a Doubt–which will screen Friday and Saturday mornings at the downtown library.
This 5-minute short film is available on Vimeo.
Hit Boys II Men – Another Okie short from the ubiquitous Singletree Productions. Mark Potts, Cole Selix, and Brand Rackley deliver a funny dark comedy about desire, redemption, and…MURDER. On the one hand, it emits an honest vibe of three friends sitting around the house, goofing around, and just deciding to make a movie. It looks like they’re all having a blast. On the other hand, it happens to be well crafted, quite funny and eminently watchable. Stone’s (Potts) delayed reaction to drinking the raw eggs makes me laugh every time. The Singletree crew was also responsible for the very hilarious Hard Justice promo videos before each screening at the 2009 festival. This year they return with the feature Simmons on Vinyl and the short The Bedazzler.
This 20-minute short film is available online.
Whore – Screened during the Midnight Shorts program, this 22-minute short film from Prarthana Mohan follows Wendy’s awkward high school experience. Wendy (the excellent Corina Boettger) is a former home-schooled student who both fears and is fascinated by the sexuality around her. As the bullies encroach, she must come to terms with her own sexuality while figuring out who are her real friends. The director is respectful of the female lead, her religious home-school background, and her dysfunctional family. These depictions are tempered, seeming more honest than exploitative.
The SPAM Job – This 12-minute short film directed by Padraic Culham follows a stolen can of SPAM in a story of international mystery. This “documentary” follows the multitude of evidence that surrounds the theft of the aforementioned meat-like product. The filmmakers play it so straight that in between all of the laughs you almost begin to actually care about the eventual outcome of the investigation.
Miracle Investigators – My favorite short film from the 2009 festival. This 13-minute comedy short from Jeremy Dehn certainly delivers on the laughs. The movie has to contain two of the most quotable and hilarious lines of dialogue from any deadCENTER film past or present: “I’ve been pretty New Testament with you up to now, want to see me go Old?” and “I gave up ass-kicking for Lent/But it’s not Lent/I know.” The movie also very competently alludes to old cop shows and kung fu movies. I could watch this one ALL day.



Next Wednesday: The 10th Annual deadCENTER Film Festival begins!!!

A Film A Day – Day 18

Countdown: 18 Days to the 10th Annual Fest

Today’s Featured Film:

The Wayman Tisdale Story – World Premiere!

The Pitch: Jazz musician, NBA Star and Sooner Legend … this doc illuminates the man behind the signature smile.

Why you should see it: Multiple interviews with Tisdale and the whole family, shout-outs from colleagues like Michael Jordan, and Oklahomies like Toby Keith. Uplifting as his left-handed jump hook and upside down bass guitar playing. AND IT’S THE WORLD PREMIERE!

When it’s playing: Saturday June 12th @ 3pm @ the Kerr Audtiorium

More About The Wayman Tisdale Story Here

“The Wayman Tisdale Story” Documentary (Coming Soon) from Brian Schodorf on Vimeo.

A Film A Day – Day 19

Countdown: 19 Days to the 10th Annual Fest

Today’s Featured Film:

iCrime – World Premiere!

The Pitch: In the mysterious world of Internet vloggers and chat rooms, Carrie quickly learns that no one is what they seem in the City of Fallen Angels and it is up to her to unravel the conspiracy before she becomes its victim.

Why you should see it: OK natives work the LA scene to create a gripping drama ripped from the headlines.

When it’s playing: Friday June 11th @ 8pm @ the Kerr Audtiorium

More About iCrime Here

iCrime Trailer from Sure Crossing Films on Vimeo.


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