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Exree
Oct 7, 2000


My first feature, Nor'easter, comes out today (!) on digital and video on demand platforms. It has been a long time coming, and I gotta say it feels pretty good to have the thing out there.

Nor'easter is a thriller set in Maine about an abducted boy who returns to his family after a five year absence and the priest who involves himself in the investigation. You can see the trailer here.

It stars David Call (Tiny Furniture), Liam Aiken (Electrick Children, Killer Inside Me), Rachel Brosnahan (House of Cards), Emory Cohen (The Place Beyond the Pines), and Danny Burstein (Boardwalk Empire, 3-time Tony Nominee).

The trailer is edited for speed. You can see a clip taken directly from the movie to get a sense of the movie's style here.

I posted here last year when I was in the final stages of fundraising. Thanks to a couple hundred donors (including a few goons), we were able to get the film finished and onto the festival circuit.

We had a good run - we played at the Mill Valley Film Festival, the Woodstock Film Festival (where we won Best Cinematography), the Sarasota Film Festival, and others including Arizona, Maine, and Lewiston-Auburn. We had our international premiere at the National Media Museum in Bradford, England.

And the press has been good too. We were named one of the best films of 2012 by Jigsaw Lounge, and got good reviews from Variety and Indiewire, among others.

Happily, the film was picked up for distribution by Gravitas Ventures and is out now on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and other platforms. It's also on cable Video on Demand, so you can rent it at home (if you're in North America) using your cable remote. There are more links and directions on how to find it here.

I would love to hear what you guys make of the film, and I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have about the movie or its production.

Oh and here's the poster, which I love. It was done by a designer named Yen Tan.

Exree fucked around with this message at Jul 25, 2013 around 21:20

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Magic Hate Ball
May 6, 2007
MAN I LOVE WATCHING PEOPLE GET PARALYZED

Wow, no wonder you won best cinematography, that trailer's gorgeous.

Exree
Oct 7, 2000


Magic Hate Ball posted:

Wow, no wonder you won best cinematography, that trailer's gorgeous.

Thanks. We shot on RED with the M-X sensor. The DP is Ian Bloom.

Xealot
Nov 25, 2002

Showdown in the Galaxy Era.



Magic Hate Ball posted:

Wow, no wonder you won best cinematography, that trailer's gorgeous.

Seriously. It's really beautifully composed. I even like the period-styled poster.

I'll have to check it out through Amazon.

FreudianSlippers
Apr 12, 2010

SMG Macklemore Fanclub


I was expecting another Tony Tango style travesty when I read the title and am very pleasantly surprised that this looks pretty drat gorgeous visually judging by the trailer and the story sounds more then a little interesting. I'm going to watch it sometime in the next few days. I'm a real sucker for films set in cold and snowy landscapes.

Exree
Oct 7, 2000


Xealot posted:

Seriously. It's really beautifully composed. I even like the period-styled poster.

I'll have to check it out through Amazon.

Yen Tan is a pretty amazing poster designer. You can page through some of his work here:

http://issuu.com/yentan/docs/otto_i...1865995/2936675

But he's also a writer/director (!). He directed and co-wrote a film that played at Sundance this year called Pit Stop. It's also had a good festival run and I think will be available some time next year.

Ugly In The Morning
Jul 1, 2010


Wow. Clicked the thread expecting a beautiful trainwreck. Got a beautiful trailer instead. I'm most definitely going to see this as soon as I can.

TrixRabbi
Aug 20, 2010

It is a classic symbol of racism in America. This is where the white man has taken the black man and put him between two buns. And then dumped ketchup on him.


I haven't even seen the movie yet but I want that poster. I watched the trailer and I'll try and get around to renting it sometime soon. Congrats!

Exree
Oct 7, 2000


Ugly In The Morning posted:

Wow. Clicked the thread expecting a beautiful trainwreck. Got a beautiful trailer instead. I'm most definitely going to see this as soon as I can.

Thanks, Ugly.

I didn't need to reply to this, I just wanted to be able to say "Thanks, Ugly."

penismightier
Dec 6, 2005

What the hell, I'll just eat some trash.



This looks rad, I'm gonna sticky this for a few days. Post some pictures!

Noxville
Dec 7, 2003

BIOFORGE ROCKSSSS!
The four S's stand for the four pillars of Bioforge:
Stealth
Signage
don't Stop for nothin'
Sweet flute playing


I backed the Kickstarter for this and it's a really good film, you should watch it.

Exree posted:

We had our international premiere at the National Media Museum in Bradford, England.

I didn't know this, I'd have gone. That's like twenty miles from me.

GonSmithe
Apr 25, 2010

Goony for Goomy


Holy cow, that trailer is unbelievably gorgeous. I remember when you posted the first thread, I totally didn't have any money to donate, but I'm gonna absolutely have to watch this on Amazon soon. Can't wait.

Ugly In The Morning
Jul 1, 2010


Exree posted:

Thanks, Ugly.

I didn't need to reply to this, I just wanted to be able to say "Thanks, Ugly."



I hope you weren't offended by the first part- I really can't wait to get my hands on this sometime this week.

JibbaJabbaJimmy
May 21, 2001


Can you talk about how the film ended up doing business-wise?

spaceships
Aug 4, 2005

i'm pretty dangerous

Why are you all talking about how pretty it is

those violins

e: for content

This looks absolutely amazing, but that musical piece made the hair on my legs stand up. I have Persian blood in me, that's a helluva lotta hair, pal.

Exree
Oct 7, 2000


penismightier posted:

This looks rad, I'm gonna sticky this for a few days. Post some pictures!

Thanks! We had a PA on set named Lucas McNelly who did a great job with the production photography. You can see his work for us here:

http://www.ayearwithoutrent.com/sea...el/nor%27easter

There's also a flickr slideshow there at the bottom of his page.

Here are some pics my brother took, which are completely different but also great. Click the title of each post to see a collection of pics:

http://noreasterfilm.com/blog/category/photos/

I did a number of writeups about the production you can find on our blog (here's a link, sorted by the 'production' tag:

http://noreasterfilm.com/blog/category/production/

But I think if you go to our blog and page back through you can find more. There aren't too too many posts that it'll be hard to find stuff.

Exree fucked around with this message at Jul 22, 2013 around 03:56

Exree
Oct 7, 2000


Noxville posted:

I backed the Kickstarter for this and it's a really good film, you should watch it.


I didn't know this, I'd have gone. That's like twenty miles from me.

Suuuuuch a drag to hear this. I put the word out on our blog and Facebook pages (and other spots) but I should have updated all the Kickstarter backers with an update. I wanted to avoid being redundant because of the other sources but I shoulda gone ahead and sent out the update. Sorry you missed it. We got great press from that screening!

mrlego
Feb 14, 2007

I do not avoid women, but I do deny them my essence.

Awesome trailer! The trailer reminds me of the Coen Brothers' True Grit and the soundtrack of There Will Be Blood.

I will definitely watch this.

Can you give us some history of the writing this feature length script? Was this movie initially an idea for a short and grew from there or was it always feature length in scope?

I just completed 2 beginning film production classes so I am always curious to hear about any aspect of making this film that you'd like to share.

Casting
Finding the money and deciding on a budget.
Pre-production - Location scouting

Also, is there a place to see any of your previous work?

Exree
Oct 7, 2000


mrlego posted:

Awesome trailer! The trailer reminds me of the Coen Brothers' True Grit and the soundtrack of There Will Be Blood.

I will definitely watch this.

Can you give us some history of the writing this feature length script? Was this movie initially an idea for a short and grew from there or was it always feature length in scope?

I just completed 2 beginning film production classes so I am always curious to hear about any aspect of making this film that you'd like to share.

Casting
Finding the money and deciding on a budget.
Pre-production - Location scouting

Also, is there a place to see any of your previous work?

The original score was done by Saunder Jurriaans and Danny Bensi, the same composers who did the score for Martha Marcy May Marlene. I met them through the lead actor on the film, David Call. He starred in another film called Two Gates of Sleep that Saunder and Danny had scored a few years earlier and introduced me to them. It was a fairly seamless experience. I sent them cuts of the film, they delivered clips, and we massaged them to make them fit the picture edits.

I started writing this script in grad school. It was always intended to be a feature, and I didn't have a short version of it, nor did I shoot any tests or samples before we went into production on the feature, for better or worse. I'm not saying that we couldn't have learned more about the film had we done that, but money was very tight and the production was done in Maine on borrowed locations, while the cast and crew were from NYC, so executing a 'practice' version of the film seemed out of scope at the time.

We cast the film fairly traditionally in NYC. The casting director's name is Todd Thaler, and we worked out of his offices there. We held auditions and met talent that was willing to be in the film. Casting the role of Paul was the most difficult, for obvious reasons, but when we found Danny Burstein there really wasn't any choice about whether to cast him. He really, really elevated what I had written. The only role that was cast non-traditionally was the lead. I met David Call at the London film festival when he was there with Two Gates of Sleep, and several months later thought that he might be good for the lead. I sent him the script through a mutual friend, and two days later he agreed to play the priest. It wasn't much more complicated than that. Just good timing and the coincidence of my having met him and seen his film a few months before.

Location scouting was largely done by my family, actually. I am originally from Maine, and so while I was writing the script, I would send drafts to my father and ask him to find houses on Vinalhaven, the island he was living on at the time, that he thought might fit. He did a GREAT job at providing options and sending me pictures of all the places that agreed to let us shoot.

After this experience I'd say that location scouting is the most overlooked way to make a good-looking indie film. If you have a low budget, then spend the time in prep to find places that look great and serve your story, then plan production around what the best time of day is for photography.

I've directed a number of short films but have taken them down since finishing Nor'easter.

Dissapointed Owl
Jan 30, 2008

You wrote me a letter,
and this is how it went:


Yeah, so, everything about this looks great. I want to see this based on the poster alone.

Exree
Oct 7, 2000


Dissapointed Owl posted:

Yeah, so, everything about this looks great. I want to see this based on the poster alone.

I have a friend who does an entire standup routine on different reactions owls can have to things. Surprised owl, owl that didn't quite hear you, etc. Needs to add 'disappointed' to his routine.

timeandtide
Nov 29, 2007

This space is reserved for future considerations.

Exree posted:

Nor'easter is a thriller set in Maine

You can probably get Stephen King to blurb you or review you in Entertainment Weekly if he ends up hearing about this. No joke.

Hopefully word gets around, because this is beautiful looking.

Exree
Oct 7, 2000


timeandtide posted:

You can probably get Stephen King to blurb you or review you in Entertainment Weekly if he ends up hearing about this. No joke.

Hopefully word gets around, because this is beautiful looking.

Good idea. I actually hadn't thought about that. I'd love to know what he thinks of the movie. Same goes for Todd Field, who shot In The Bedroom in the same area where we shot Nor'easter. I think ITB is a masterwork and a really humbling film when compared to my own.

Vira
Mar 6, 2007


Mind if I ask where you went to film school or what sort of education you have?

Exree
Oct 7, 2000


Vira posted:

Mind if I ask where you went to film school or what sort of education you have?

I went to Columbia University for undergrad and grad school. I have a BA in Computer Science as an undergrad and an MFA in Film.

Exree
Oct 7, 2000


Just added a clip from the movie to the OP. Here's the link:

https://vimeo.com/71043222

Vargo
Dec 27, 2008

like a record baby

Can you tell me what Josh was saying when he was signing to Paul during the scene where Eric comes to get him? Right before Paul attacks his with the shovel?

Exree
Oct 7, 2000


Vargo posted:

Can you tell me what Josh was saying when he was signing to Paul during the scene where Eric comes to get him? Right before Paul attacks his with the shovel?

Josh says, "This is the man I told you about."
Paul asks, "What does he know?"
And Josh says, "Everything."

That "everything" is where Josh does the little clap with his hands at the very end of his sign.

CaptainHollywood
Feb 29, 2008


I am an awesome guy and I love to make out during shitty Hollywood horror movies. I am a trendwhore!


Congrats on the positive review!

http://www.somethingawful.com/curre...lverine-ripd/5/

Exree
Oct 7, 2000



Gotta say, a friend posting this link on my Facebook page was one of the most pleasant surprises of the whole process of putting this movie out. I've been reading SA since before it even had a forum, so it meant a lot to get written up by the site without my knowledge.

It was really gratifying to hear that Vargo felt the film was rich enough to warrant repeat viewings. That was definitely an aim of mine, and it's made much harder in that the movie is not a puzzle film at all, so there's nothing that needs to be "figured out" plotwise. I was just trying hard to be honest to the film's subject.

If anyone's reading this who knows Professor Clumsy, please ask if he can fix the title, though. (Nor'easter, not Nor'easer.)

Exree
Oct 7, 2000


We're up now on VUDU. I think their HDX format might be the best way to see the movie on a TV.

caiman
Aug 19, 2003




Just finished watching this on Amazon. I went in with, admittedly, low expectations. I guess there's a certain stigma to "goon movie" that's hard to shake. But as the movie got going it quickly became less of a "goon movie" in my mind and more of just "movie." By the third act, it had transitioned to "awesome movie."

The cinematography is gorgeous. As Vargo pointed out in his review, the use of dark and light is masterful. The shallow focus close ups make us feel close to these characters, especially Erik. The shots with him in the foreground and the water in the background are especially pretty. I've also gotta mention the great music. It's a perfect fit for the movie, matching the visuals well. I also really appreciated the film's tight editing. Scenes only last as long as they need to to convey their meaning, sometimes only 10 seconds or less. It makes for very economical storytelling, which works to the film's benefit. But I think my absolute favorite thing about this was the character of Paul. Without spoiling anything I'll just say that I can't think of a character that seems so complex by doing so little. He's a wonderfully intriguing character, and my eyes were glued to the screen anytime he was on it. Absolutely brilliant casting there.

So yeah, I liked this movie a lot, and I'll be sure to recommend it to my movie friends. This deserves to be seen by everyone who appreciates no-frills storytelling and technical mastery.

Is there any chance this'll see a theatrical run?

Exree
Oct 7, 2000


caiman posted:

Just finished watching this on Amazon. I went in with, admittedly, low expectations. I guess there's a certain stigma to "goon movie" that's hard to shake. But as the movie got going it quickly became less of a "goon movie" in my mind and more of just "movie." By the third act, it had transitioned to "awesome movie."

Tight.

quote:

The cinematography is gorgeous. As Vargo pointed out in his review, the use of dark and light is masterful. The shallow focus close ups make us feel close to these characters, especially Erik. The shots with him in the foreground and the water in the background are especially pretty. I've also gotta mention the great music. It's a perfect fit for the movie, matching the visuals well. I also really appreciated the film's tight editing. Scenes only last as long as they need to to convey their meaning, sometimes only 10 seconds or less. It makes for very economical storytelling, which works to the film's benefit. But I think my absolute favorite thing about this was the character of Paul. Without spoiling anything I'll just say that I can't think of a character that seems so complex by doing so little. He's a wonderfully intriguing character, and my eyes were glued to the screen anytime he was on it. Absolutely brilliant casting there.

So yeah, I liked this movie a lot, and I'll be sure to recommend it to my movie friends. This deserves to be seen by everyone who appreciates no-frills storytelling and technical mastery.

Is there any chance this'll see a theatrical run?

Thanks for all this. We worked a lot on the photography. Ian was on the movie more than a year and a half before we shot, so there was a lot of preparation that went into things. We had a very low budget but when you have that much time at your disposal, you can focus on choosing locations that suit your story and plan to shoot at times of day that best suit the environment you're in.

Paul is played by Danny Burstein who ironically is known for playing broad comedic musical theater. He's been nominated for a Tony three times. Great actor and a great person. We found him very late in the casting process but once we did there wasn't much debate in hiring him. He knocked us out.

Unless something changes drastically we won't be having a theatrical run for the movie. In a way, that's a shame because we designed the movie to be seen in a theater and given how quiet and methodical it really is, I think it plays best there, but the reality is that the movie is not at all expensive and it would be hard to justify spending hundreds of thousands putting it out there in a meaningful way. We also had a successful festival run and it was seen a lot in theaters with very high quality projection that way, though over a scattered period, the way festival runs tend to be.

Doing a two-screen release in NYC and LA was considered but didn't seem like it'd pay off for what we'd have to put into it, especially given the breadth of the great VOD/digital release Gravitas has put together for us. As of today the movie can be seen by anyone in North America with cable TV or an internet connection. Can't really argue with that. The real challenge is just letting people know it exists.

Exree fucked around with this message at Jul 29, 2013 around 05:50

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Congrats, it's always nice to see a success story. Can you speak more about the period after the film was finished and you were trying to get it seen? Did you just do a festival run then get contacted by Gravitas? Did you take it to a film market? Is there anything you would do differently?

caiman
Aug 19, 2003




Oh yeah, another question. Any plans for a Blu-ray release? I'll buy it in a heartbeat.

Exree
Oct 7, 2000


Jalumibnkrayal posted:

Congrats, it's always nice to see a success story. Can you speak more about the period after the film was finished and you were trying to get it seen? Did you just do a festival run then get contacted by Gravitas? Did you take it to a film market? Is there anything you would do differently?

We finished the film in 2012 and went about applying to festivals. While we were doing the rounds at festivals I solicited distributors that I thought would be appropriate and sent DVDs to those who responded. We did not have a traditional sales agent.

Gravitas responded very enthusiastically and once they presented their plan for the film I was sold - as I mentioned they're making the movie very widely available, so that took a load off my shoulders.

It wasn't any more complicated than that, but that doesn't really mean it was ideal. The things I would do differently all revolve around the premiere of the movie. The importance of the premiere can't be overstated, and I really didn't understand that at the time we went out with it.

The premiere creates a sort of waterfall that dictates the kind of visibility you'll have everywhere else you go, including the smaller festivals. It dictates the way people will perceive the movie and the kind of access you'll have to buyers, sales agents, and critics, all of whom are vital for the success of a small film. Had we premiered at Sundance, Berlin, or Cannes, we would have had a different experience with the movie, no doubt about it.

My biggest mistake was submitting rough cuts of the film to festivals without having a prior contact in the programming department at those festivals. Without a large budget, famous actors, or sensational subject material, festivals are always going to be an uphill battle, but submitting something that's not a final cut just to make festival deadlines without some prior contact or personal reference is a mistake, in my opinion. The odds of getting in at those places without that kind of assistance are very low.

In retrospect, after being rejected by Sundance and Berlin I should have just stopped submitting altogether and finished the film, because once that's happened, it's difficult to reassert yourself as a top-tier project if you don't have that name-brand behind you. But that is very difficult to see while you're in the midst of things. I've only come to that conclusion in the past few months.

Exree
Oct 7, 2000


caiman posted:

Oh yeah, another question. Any plans for a Blu-ray release? I'll buy it in a heartbeat.

If you email info [at] noreasterfilm.com we can set that up. We had some great Blu-rays and artwork done up for our Kickstarter backers and I still have a box of them on hand. DVDs too.

This goes for all of you!

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Exree posted:

My biggest mistake was submitting rough cuts of the film to festivals without having a prior contact in the programming department at those festivals. Without a large budget, famous actors, or sensational subject material, festivals are always going to be an uphill battle, but submitting something that's not a final cut just to make festival deadlines without some prior contact or personal reference is a mistake, in my opinion. The odds of getting in at those places without that kind of assistance are very low.

In retrospect, after being rejected by Sundance and Berlin I should have just stopped submitting altogether and finished the film, because once that's happened, it's difficult to reassert yourself as a top-tier project if you don't have that name-brand behind you. But that is very difficult to see while you're in the midst of things. I've only come to that conclusion in the past few months.

Do you think you had a shot at Sundance or Berlin? I'm not condescending: I've just always been under the impression that indie filmmakers really don't have a shot at screening there unless they've dropped five or six figures on marketing/publicity just for those events. Do you think it would be worth it to go all out for a more local film festival?

In any case thank you for sharing...I really hadn't considered the importance of the premiere like that.

Exree
Oct 7, 2000


Jalumibnkrayal posted:

Do you think you had a shot at Sundance or Berlin? I'm not condescending: I've just always been under the impression that indie filmmakers really don't have a shot at screening there unless they've dropped five or six figures on marketing/publicity just for those events. Do you think it would be worth it to go all out for a more local film festival?

In any case thank you for sharing...I really hadn't considered the importance of the premiere like that.

You have to start at the top and work your way down. There's not really an alternative because you can't start your way from the bottom and work your way up, because the top festivals want world premiere or international premiere exclusivity for their main sections. And yes, many small films play at Sundance and Berlin. I actually produced a short that was at Sundance in 2009, and all the key crew on Nor'easter had had movies at Sundance, SXSW, etc. in the past.

If you look at the budgets of the films in the competition and NEXT sections of Sundance there are many very low budget films there. Some are under $50k. The Premieres section (non-competitive) is usually loaded with star-driven films with larger budgets and forms of distribution already in place, but the real discoveries are usually very low budget films, usually first, second, or third features.

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Pick
Jul 19, 2009

Maybe I got time to figure out how to de-spirit a toaster.


Bought your film out of my delightful sense of whimsy.

Solid film, easy to recommend. Shot beautifully with convincing locations. Downplayed but realistic, the "punch" coming from resisting cheap "punch" moments.

I was raised Catholic, and though that's no longer the case, I strangely saw no ambiguity in it. Confession is sacrosanct. You can't reveal what you've heard in confession. He didn't need to be "forgiven", he had no choice to begin with.

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