Sunday, February 04, 2007

On a Personal Note

I won't be posting much on this Blog anymore - there just isn't as much These Girls news as there use to be. However I will post when things happen - so check in every once and a while. In the meantime I am going to be doing more frequent posting on my personal site All Things Hazlettian so if you have an interest feel free to check it out.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

India Tour

These Girls is going to several festivals in India. It already screened at The Kolkata Film Festival a few weeks ago, rumour is it was a sell out, and is going on to screen at both the Chennai International Film Festival (Dec 15-22) and the Bangalore International Film Festival (Dec 22-28). I am looking forward to getting some feedback from these screenings - if anyone out there attends, please drop me an email and let me know how it went.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Lazy Bloggers of the World Unite!

Some people may have (or may not have) noticed that I have not posted for quite some time. Because to tell you the truth there hasn't been a lot of These Girls action lately and after the exciting summer of colourful posts I didn't want to fill up the blogosphere with tedious accounts of this filmmakers quotidian life. There will be real posts soon. Do not despair gentle readers - These Girls still has a lot of life left in it.

In the meantime, this man can get you a drink while you wait.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Spain Wrap-up! (Un poco tarde)

Here I am posting about Spain - weeks late (Mexico City Wrap-Up jumped the queue). Better late than never and Spain definitely deserves a post. To start off with, it is rumoured that Spanish men are very macho - I won't comment on that but I think the stance of this Spanish Lion says it all.

The These Girls tour of Spain started off in Valencia. Even thought I was in Valencia for less than 24 hours I felt like I was there longer. Thanks to Carlos - our translator and guide - we learned more in a few hours than I usually learn in a year. Here is a photo of Carlos with Diana Sanchez - intrepid Toronto Film Festival Programmer and Film Circuit representative in Spain. We are standing on the top of the medieval gates of Valencia, while modern European progress looms in the background.

The screenings were held at the La Filmoteca and if I ever get any of the photos of me introducing the film - employing my halting and stuttering Spanish - I will post them. The screening went very well, and even with electronic subtitles (the dialogue appears at the bottom of the screen on a led type display) the humour translated and the audience really got into it. After the screening we all went out to dinner with the nice people from the La Filmoteca. Strangely enough I was not treated to Paella, which Valencia is famous for, but to some very nice French cuisine. However, Carlos - that walking encyclopedia - did give me a thorough run down of all the aspects of paella (type of rice, type of water, types of meats, how the surf and turf mix, which is now common, was a modern thing, etc.) Here we are after dinner, mugging for the camera. Thanks so much to everyone at La Filmoteca.

A true testament to Europe's sense of civilization - a sense that we barbarians in North America have never understood - is the train service. Here is my breakfast on the train (Renfe) from Valencia to Madrid - I love the tiny bottle of olive oil. It was hard to come back to the cattle cars that are offered on Via Rail, here in Canada, and Amtrack in the US.

Then it was on to Madrid and the screenings there. I was joined by Cam Haynes, mastermind behind The Film Circuit, and Sean Garrity director of Lucid, another fine Canadian film showing in Madrid. Here is Sean and Cam in the glass elevator of the Reina Sophie Museum - yes we took in some culture, Picasso's Guernica was showing with all the preparatory sketches. A grim and powerful reminder of the horrors of war - Guernica at the museum and Middle East crisis playing on CNN back at the hotel.

I don't want to make it seem like Spain is nothing but food and lions with big cojones but I do think that if you had to sum up the place in a word it would be - Jamón.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Mexico City Wrap-up

The screenings in Mexico City went amazingly well. We had a great audience and there was a very lively Q&A after the screening. I managed to do all my press interviews and the introduction and Q&A (with a little help) in Spanish. So if there are suddenly strange quotes from me popping up - it was because I didn't know what I was saying. I met Luis Calazada (Quality Films) the Mexican distributor of These Girls and found out that it will be getting a commercail theatrical release there in September. He also insisted that we eat fried worms at lunch and I have to say they were tasty, crunchy and toasted outside with a soft pasty center. I will post any updates as I get them - I can't wait to see the Mexican version of the poster.

Above is a photo of the center courtyard at la Cineteca National - what a great place to watch a movie. Thanks to Ana Cruz Navarro, Mariana Padilla Lopez and Roberto Garza for hosting the festival and for taking such good care of us.

Thanks to the Canadian Embassy, Jeff Marder, Luis Archundia (academic Affairs and Audiovisual Industry Relations Officer) and The Film Circuit, Robin Rhodes and especially our driver (on loan from the Embassy) Ernesto.

Pictured here from left to right (and standing in front of The Beast). Ernesto, Jeff Marder, Robin Rhodes and Luis Archundia.

It was amazing to watch Ernesto maneuver The Beast through the crowded and crazy streets of the city. A space the size of a Volkswagen would open up beside us in full on speeding traffic and Ernesto would miraculously change lanes - every time I was sure there would be the sickening sound of metal on metal - but we bobbed and weaved through improbably calamitous situations with the grace of a gazelle. Ernesto had the manner of a true zen master, he never broke a sweat, and he never raised his voice - I never saw even a hint of stress cross his face.

I am awaiting some more lively photos to be emailed to me, so stay tuned for more Mexico stories.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Screening Alert! - Mexico City

Yes, These Girls will be screening in Mexico City on July 28th. If you know anyone who lives there let them know. The screeenings will be at the Cineteca Nacional on July 28th at 4:30 and 7:00. I will be there as well to introduce the film and field questions. I have had a few days to practice my Spanish in Spain so I am ready for almost anything.

Sí, Estas Chicas mostrarán en Ciudad de México el 28 de julio. Si usted conoce a alguien que vive allí los avisan. El screeenings estará en el Cineteca Nacional el 28 de julio en 14:30 y 19:00. Yo deberé introducir allí también la película y contestar preguntas. He tenido unos días para practicar mi español en España entonces estoy listo para casi algo.

(Warning this is a machine translation)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Down Under July 12th

These Girls comes out on DVD in Australia on July 12th (20th Century Fox). I have no details as to what will be on the disk. If you know anyone in Australia or have any contacts with Boreanaz fan clubs there, pass the word along.

Roo #1 "What's that Roo 2? These Girls is now available on DVD even in the outback?"

Roo #2 "That's what I'm saying - and pouch size as well"

Roo #1 "You don't say?"

Roo #2 "I do say"

Okay that's pretty bad but you try to imagine what Kangaroos might be thinking. This may have to become a regular feature here at thesegirlsblog. Matter of fact come back here on Monday and see the two Roos discuss Misandry as it manifests itself in both the text and subtext of These Girls.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Spain in July - Estas Chicas

The dates and times for the screenings of These Girls in Spain are as follows.


Wednesday July 12th at 8:00

Screening takes place at El Instituto Valenciano de Cinematografía Ricardo Muñoz Suay.


Thursday July 13th at 8:05

Saturday July 15th at 10:30

Screening takes place at Cine Doré

Las fechas y los tiempos para las proyecciones de Estas Chicas en España son como sigue.

Miércoles, 12 de Julio 20:00
El Instituto Valenciano de Cinematografía Ricardo Muñoz Suay

Jueves, Julio 13 (20:05
Sábado, Julio 15 (22:30)
Cine Doré

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

What's a Little Nudity?

I have been following all the various discussions and comments about the nudity in These Girls with some interest. So far I have stayed out of the online discussions - happy to observe from afar, no matter how misguided or (in a few cases) sleazy the comments have been. However I've gotten a few direct questions and feel that I should throw some thoughts of my own out there. The first thing is that as a filmmaker I don't have any control over what happens to my film once it leaves the post production lab. How people react to it, or choose to interpret it, or these days how they choose to chop it up and (re)present it are out of my hands. The fact that people are doing anything with my film is a compliment (stay tuned for my next post on piracy).

*The following contains mild spoilers*
There certainly has been quite a buzz and reaction to David's nudity - both positive and negative. Some have gone as far as suggesting that David was manipulated into going as far as he did. This is an excellent rumor and maybe one which I should go along with (I could play the role of the cynical puppet master). Unfortunately, for me, the truth is less dramatic. David was very much in control of the situation – he is, after all, a very experienced and intelligent actor. The ‘jewelry box’ was his idea (I wish it was mine). In the context of the film I still think the nudity is pretty innocent stuff and I know that David wanted to have fun with the role. He knew it would be funny and he had the smarts and the guts to play it funny (with a little edge). I know there are ‘still frame’ images out there that appear to be very revealing but that’s not the movie – in the context of the film the scene is funny and a tease.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Hablas Español?

In a continuing bid for world domination These Girls will be having special screenings in both Valencia and Madrid in mid- July (11-14). These screenings are through the The Film Circuit - (a distribution project run by the Toronto International Film Festival Group) and their international program. So if you are in Spain in July drop by. The cool thing is, I will be there, which means I will be in Spain. Ahhh, so making these films does have a benefit or two.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Yukon Film Festival

Looks like I lied when I claimed that the North American festival run of These Girls was over. It will be playing at the Yukon International Film Festival in Whitehorse (June 21st -25th). The lovely and talented Holly Lewis will be attending and appearing on a panel about acting as well.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

This is what it is all about

Someone (accio angel) recently posted a comment drawing attention to a vigorous discussion going on about These Girls on the Bones website. As I read through the discussion, I realized that this is why I made the film in the first place. Even though the film is built primarily to entertain, it also deliberately brings up a number of issues and throws them out there for your consideration. I am so happy people are picking up on these subjects and discussing them - it is the greatest compliment. I hope to see more in the future, both out there and here.

Check it out at

Careful, because if you haven't seen the film this discussion does contain SPOILERS. Best to watch the film, then get in on the discussion.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

DVD Warning !

After a little investigation I can now report that the US version of These Girls does not contain the extras that the Canadian disk has on it. The Canadian version has a commentary track with Caroline Dhavernas, Amanda Walsh, Holly Lewis and myself wise cracking for your entertainment. It also has an on the set interview with the girls and a whole pile of deleted scenes. The US version has none of these goodies - so beware. The Canadian version also has the cover art with David shirtless - perhaps a further bonus for some - whereas the US version has him in a white T-shirt (must be cold down there in LA). I have no idea if will ship to the US but I would advise getting the Canadian version if you want your money's worth.

*It looks like will ship to the US - so just point and clic.*

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

May 16th, 2006

It's May 16th. Happy birthday Mr. Boreanaz.

The DVD of These Girls is now available all over North America so now there is no excuse for not having seen it (except if you live in the rest of the world).

Ask for it at your local rental place or put it on your Netflix list (or list in Canada) - or you can buy it online at Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any other online retailer.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Maryland Film Festival

These Girls' last stop on the North American film festival circuit will be Baltimore. It will be playing at The Maryland Film Festival (May 11-14). There is no confirmed exact time and date but there should be one soon - just check out the festival website if you are in the Baltimore area.

I've been to this festival before and it is a lot of fun so I will be there to introduce the film and drink any free beverages that might be on offer. The program this year looks to be pretty interesting and they run a series of films presented and introduced by prominent people - this year includes John Waters (one of Baltimore's more (in)famous exports), Matthew Modine and Branford Marsalis.

The last time I was there I received a wooden crab hammer in my gift bag and I have cherished it ever since. I can't wait to see what we get this year. There should be a blog just for festival swag - as I an writing this I am wearing a pair of shoes provided by a viral marketing company at The Toronto Film Festival. Although nothing beats a crab hammer - great when dealing with hard shelled sea food and also handy in a dark alley when your 'next project' starts falling apart. Bring it on Baltimore.

Or you can use your teeth.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Peek Behind the Curtain - DVD

You heard it here first - the DVD of These Girls will have a commentary track. Not just the pompous writer or the egomaniacal director blabbing on at length about his or her contribution to the cinematographic arts but the three wonderful leads of the film - the people you actually want to hear on a commentary track. A sparkling, uplifting addition to any viewing experience, Caroline, Holly and Amanda will lead you through the film telling witty stories and super secret insider tales. I am there as well – trying to get a word in edgewise – strictly as a referee to keep the three powerful starlets from wrastling in the sound booth.

We recorded the commentary in Toronto in March and this is an actual photo from the session – I kid you not. This is a photo of film stars without digital effects.

A curious aside – I had been up half the night before socializing and hadn’t had time to eat breakfast before our early morning session – my stomach was growling so loud the microphone was picking up the sound and I could hear it in my headphones. I hope the sound engineer cut most of that out but I think we actually talk about it at one point. (No, that is not a plane landing on the building).

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Whose birthday is that?

Whose birthday is May 16th?

A hint - they are a celebrity and I am writing about them on this blog.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

That DVD feeling! May 16, 2006

Not that it is big news anymore but These girls will be available on DVD May 16th both in Canada and the US. Pictured here is the box cover for the US version - which begs a question. Why is David wearing a shirt? He is shirtless on the theatrical poster but not on the DVD box? Matter of fact, I've never seen him wearing that particular shirt - is it even his shirt, is it even a shirt or some kind of diabolical digital creation? There are probably some very good marketing reasons for this - however these are questions best left to the distributors (practicing their dark arts).

This could be the biggest scandal since they airbrushed what's her name's what's its name.

I think there should be a special edition where the shirt is actually a sticker which you can peel off once you get the DVD home from the store (if you are into those things).

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Gone Fishing?

Wow, I've really been neglecting the blog. It may look like this is due to laziness, sloth, or apathy - not true. The fact is I have been busy finishing up a screenplay and have had neither time nor energy to contribute anything worth reading to the blog. However there is some light on the horizon. Hang tight and I will soon be posting about more festival action and a whole bunch about the upcoming DVD release.

Hey, the spellcheck on this blog doesn't recognize the word 'blog'. Is that ironic or what?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Philadelphia Film Festival Wrap-up

These Girls went over big time in Philly - big audiences, big laughs. The highlight of the festival, for me, was meeting David Boreanaz' mother Patti and his father Dave Roberts (pictured). I didn't know this, but Dave is quite a famous broadcaster and has done a bit of acting as well - the acorn apparently doesn't fall far from the oak. From what I understand Dave has been a broadcaster for a long time but he almost looks younger than his son David - which I know is impossible. I can only conclude that if David stays out of that blazing California sun he will age exceptionally well. David's parents seem like very nice people so you can see where David got his good manners (his mother asked me if he had behaved himself on set and I assured her that he did).
As well,
they really know how to take care of their guests at The Philadelphia Film Festival - hats off to Guest Services. The Consulate General of Canada in Philly even had a little get together in the name of all things Canadian at the festival. A fun time was had by all.

Friday, March 31, 2006


These Girls plays this weekend (April 2nd) at Methodfest - a festival dedicated to the actor and named after the technique of "Method Acting", the basis for which was laid down by Konstantin Stanislavski* (pictured). Contemporary "Method" requires a performer to draw on his or her own self, on experiences, memories, and emotions that could inform a characterization and shape how a character might speak or move. I am super happy the cast of These Girls are getting the attention they deserve because, after all, without them where would I be (there is no need to actually answer this question). So if you are in the LA area - check it out. Unfortunately I will not be there as I will be at the screenings this weekend in Philly.

*A little known fact: In his time, Stanislavski's original ideas on "Method Acting" were considered progressive because they replaced earlier techniques involving pliers, metal clips and steel cages.

Friday, March 24, 2006


Here are links to some of the reviews that have just come out on the eve of the Canadian release. And I know what you are thinking - all of these reviews are positive, how could that be? Well to tell the truth there have been a couple of not-so-nice reviews (some 'nay sayers', some 'kill joys', some 'party poopers' ) but it is not my job to promote my detractors. I am sure, somewhere out there, my evil twin has a site with links to them. In the meantime let's accentuate the positive.

The Toronto Star

The Calgary Sun

The Coast

Vue Weekly

The Georgia Straight

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

How Do We Rate?

In the United States : According to the MPAA These Girls contains the following - Teen sexuality, nudity, language, and drug content. I don't think this has any bearing on the U.S. DVD release.

In Alberta - once upon a time, a very Liberal province for film Classification - we get the 18A - you can't see this film without an adult if you're are under 17. I myself can't imagine too many 15, 16, or 17 year olds going out to the movies with parents or aunts or legal guardians. Here is what they had to say about the content - which, to me, sounds more like a list of selling points to the teen audience than a warning.

Content Elements:
Frequent use of the sexual expletive, some in a sexual context; frequent use of crude sexual language
Infrequent weapons and hand-to-hand violence-some blood
Portrayal of sexual activities between adults and minors-no nudity
Buttock nudity in a non-sexual context
Frequent portrayals of illegal drug use for recreational purposes involving minors

Thematic Elements:
The journey towards maturity
The exploration of adolescent sexuality
Using sexual power to manipulate others

Classification Rationale: Rated 18A for frequent coarse language, portrayals of substance abuse and sexual content involving minors, and mature thematic content.

In Ontario - which has had a very conservative classification policy in the past - we rate 14A. If you are under 14 you need to call your favorite uncle who likes to corrupt his nieces and nephews.

In British Columbia we rate 18A as well but they have by far the most detailed breakdown of "contentious material". Also they get the award for using the most outdated terminology. Who says 'fisticuffs' these days? - I guess it is 'British' Columbia. Read on...

The determinative classification rationale was sexually suggestive scenes involving minors. The following is a list of the most contentious material noted by classification staff:

  • Approximately four sexually suggestive scenes involving minors;
  • Nude breasts and buttocks in a sexual context.

In addition to the foregoing content, classifiers noted the following:

  • Approximately 91 instances of coarse language including blasphemy;
  • Three instances of drug use depicting characters smoking marijuana;
  • Fisticuffs including a character being hit in the head with a tire iron.

What I can't understand is how buttock nudity can be 'in a sexual context' for one person and in a 'non-sexual context' for another? Maybe I am showing my naive side.

Canadian Release - March 24th

These Girls opens across the country on March 24th. It will be playing in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax and Mount Pearl. I had never heard of Mount Pearl before this but an internet search assures me that it is just beside St. John's, Newfoundland. So we are indeed opening from coast to coast. Here is a convenient map so that you too can find your way to the theatre.

Here are links to a couple of articles about the film that came out in the last few days.

MSN Sympatico + The Edmonton Sun

Monday, March 20, 2006

Courting Controversy - Nuts to You

I know I mentioned in an earlier post that a little controversy over These Girls would be a good thing - behold it has come to pass (in various forms). There have been some morally outraged reactions to the film here in Québec - a province where moral outrage is supposed to be dead and buried - a claim that, I assure you, has been exaggerated. However my favorite so far is a discussion currently unfolding on the IMDB (Internet Movie Data Base). Some sensitive type has taken offense to David Boreanaz's shaved pits (as seen in the trailer)? This of course is certainly a topic worth going to the mat for and has elicited quite a few comments. And although there was a particularly well argued reply from someone going by the name of canadian goddess19, I believe the final word belongs to scotthall82 who states "i shave my nuts...and girls love it...". You cannot make this stuff up, and really what can anyone say after that?

Philly Fest!

These Girls will be playing at The Philadelphia Film Festival, which runs from March 30th to April 11. The film will screen on April 1st and 2nd. Fans of David Boreanaz may know that Philly is his hometown so maybe he will show up for the screening. I will be there for sure if that makes any difference. Looking forward to taking These Girls to 'The City of Brotherly Love'.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

How Much Fun Was That?

The Kingston Canadian Film Festival was so much fun I have yet to recover - or to post. A great time was had by all - starting with a contest in the local paper, The Kingston Whig Standard, whereby the prize was dinner with Holly Lewis and myself. We were a little surprised, upon arriving at the restaurant - Chez Piggy - that we would be dining with a Catholic Sister and priest. After the initial surprise we all had a very nice time. Although during dinner we never spoke of the explicit nature of These Girls it did occur to both Holly and myself that there may be trouble at the screening after. Turns out our new friends enjoyed the film along with hundreds of others at the gala screening that night.

Later we had a few drinks at the reception and met this friendly fellow to whom Holly took a shine.

This is me and Lorraine Hopkins from the Film Circuit vying for the big guy's attention. I have to admit that he did have a smooth soft face.

More on Kingston in the coming days.

Friday, March 03, 2006

"This is a funny, funny film."

Last night was the Montréal premiere screening of These Girls - a mix of promo giveaway winners, friends and crew. It went really well; a good time was had by all and there were lots of big laughs, topped off by some very nice comments after the screening. It marks nicely that zone between my ownership of the film (artistically) and the next step in its life where it is taken by the distributor and sent out there to fend for itself in the big cold dangerous world of the multi-plex. On one hand I know there is nothing more I can do but I still have anxious feelings about it - I still feel responsible. So on the eve of our theatrical release here in Québec it is nice to be cheered on by the words of a reviewer who really got the film - check out Dave Jaffer's review in Montréal's Hour Weekly .

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Soundtrack Fact - The Von Zippers

Hard as we tried to keep the soundtrack as female as possible - after all These Girls is about three girls coming of age - there had to be a male counterpoint. There had to be a music that spoke of maleness - a musical representation of David Boreanaz's character - Keith Clark. A friend of mine had lent me a CD from the Calgary band The Von Zippers which I played every morning during production. I used it as my rock and roll reveille - having just purchased a new powerful computer speaker system I could crank it up to the point where it would literally shake the ants out of the rotting foundation of the tiny cabin I was staying in. Now The Von Zippers are the rock solid backbone of the These Girls soundtrack - intensely played and meticulously recorded, they really give tired old rock and roll a kick in the ass. I've seen this film more than a few times but every time I hear the opening cords of Friday is the Spice of Life I want to jump out of my seat. Other tracks included in the film are Cracked Judy, Common Sense Party Theme, and Perfect - all off The Crime is Now! album. The Zippers are a bit shy so it is hard to find their stuff but hopefully I will be able to direct everyone to a sampling of their music soon.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Behind the Scenes - Donnell MacKenzie

Because of production delays we were shooting mostly in September but into October - and September in New Brunswick, although nice, can be pretty chilly. When we were shooting the scene where Gruber, played by Donnell MacKenzie, is in the water by the dock the water was mighty cold. We had a lifeguard on set who - based on the temperature of the water - suggested it was prudent to not keep the young actor in the water for more than five minutes at a time. Luckily there was an outdoor hottub very close by and inbetween takes we hauled the blue lipped shivering Donnell out and threw him in the hot water until he was once again pink as a lobster and ready for another take. In this photo it looks like he is being taken to set against his will.
Photo courtesy of Colin Berry

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sex - Since We Were on the Topic

In a continuing effort to get the word 'sex' into as many posting titles as possible I would like to continue to discuss the issue. In yesterday's post I alluded to the fact that some people expressed reservations about the These Girls script due to the subject matter. One issue in particular was the concept of young girls having sex (and even more to the point - their first sexual experience) with an older man. Although I never took any kind of official straw poll on the subject I am not surprised by how many women I have spoken to that admitted to having been with an older man early on in their sexual lives. As surely as the comedic setup of These Girls is an artistic exaggeration it is, without a doubt, founded on a kernel of real life truth.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Sex Sells! or Sex Sells?

One question about These Girls that has come up at several festival Q&A sessions is one about how hard (or how easy) it was to put the financing together. The answer isn't as obvious as it should be. I originally thought that it would be easy to raise the money for a teenage sex comedy - after all, are they not a popular type of film these days? I was shocked (at first, then just mystified) to find that many people had strong reservations about financing the film - some people just found the subject matter too risqué. I eventually convinced enough people who hold the purse strings that the resulting sex scenes would be funny and not at all offensive. And so far I have not heard a single comment or complaint about the subject matter. The one scene in the screenplay that was hardest to sell is now the scene in the film that consistently gets the loudest - even raucous at times - laughter. Part of me takes satisfaction in knowing I was right about how the scene would make the transition to the screen, although deep down inside I still secretly hope that at least someone will take offense. And of course, whether or not a sexy premise sells movie tickets is another story.