I’ve been back from Slamdance for a week now, and what a whirlwind! The festival is truly By Indies For Indies, and out of 14,000 submissions it is an honor to be included in their lineup. They truly strive to find original, unique works and there’s no sales agent or producer that can convince them to program otherwise.
The star of the doc, Stevie Blatz, came out from Pennsylvania to do some street magic and get butts in the seats. Our two screenings had a lot of laughs and we were paired with a wonderful short film, Gloria’s Call.
While I was there I was notified that my short film, Trust Me, was accepted into the Oregon Short Film Festival and 15 Minutes of Fame! Not only that, it’s nominated for Best Picture at Oregon! This is truly an honor and I’m hoping to attend Oregon in person, just in case.
In the meantime some great reviews have come in with more on the way.
“The Professional is an apt title for a film about someone going through the realest hustle, of owning one’s own business and trying to keep a life together around it.” –Slug Magazine
“In 75 minutes, director Daniel La Barbera gives us a fascinating profile complete with interviews of family members, friends, and employees. La Barbera brings an even-handed approach in The Professional: A Stevie Blatz Story that comes off as being truly fair to its subject.” –Solzy At The Movies
“Is Stevie a huckster, a hustler, a lunatic, or delusional? Quite possibly all of that and more. But he’s also inspiring. Whatever there is to say about him, you can never say Stevie Blatz didn’t shoot his shot.” –The Last Thing I See
In April of last year, while on a trip to New York City, I went across the Hudson to New Jersey to see Daniel Labarbera, a buddy of mine. He had been filming a documentary for the past month or so and wanted to show me some footage. After watching for a few minutes, I knew that he had picked an interesting subject, to say the least. At the end of the conversation, I volunteered my services as editor.
Throughout the following year I devoted whatever spare time I had to whittling down the massive pile of footage into a short, snappy documentary.
No joke title here, just an announcement that my film about injustice and police brutality is now available exclusively on Amazon in the US and UK. There will be a wider digital and physical release down the road. Here’s what I wrote today on Facebook:
Press starts this week for Black and Blue. The production was exhausting to say the least. I started filming when police brutality was not the talking point that it is today, and I found myself soon overwhelmed by the events of Ferguson and others announcing their own films about the subject. My initial vision for the film was forced to morph and change with the times, and as those other films went on to big fests like Sundance, I was still shooting and editing. If you have watched the film, I really appreciate it, and the positive reviews are very nice to hear. The distributor tried really hard for a limited theatrical but nobody bit, so I hope that its digital and eventual physical release manages to get out there and be seen. This film was hard on me for sure, but that’s nothing compared to what the people in the film have to deal with on a daily basis, for the rest of their lives.
If you watch the film, I hope it moves you in some way. I’ve gotten some great reviews so far which is nice to hear after a long three years of production. Links are below.
It’s Halloween! Also known as the day before my birthday.
Back in August I directed a short film. It’s from the same writer as the feature I’m trying to get off the ground, and it was a bit of a reverse-engineered “what do I have at my disposal?” approach. I had a burger joint, I had an actor I’d worked with several times in the past and a father-daughter combination from an acting class I occasionally sit in on. And so, I shot this:
If you watch it, I hope you like it. For no budget and a couple hours in the desert I’m very happy with how things turned out.
And if you’ve glanced at the sidebar, you’ll notice that Black and Blue has been released on Amazon in the UK and will be available in the US tomorrow! Tomorrow I will post the trailer here along with links. The film took three long years of filming and editing combined, and so I hope anyone who watches it enjoys it.