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.

Friday, February 24, 2006

A Call For Photos

I was wondering if anyone out there was at the Toronto Film Festival screening of These Girls. There were a lot of photos taken that night but I have never seen any of them and I don't have any of my own. If you have any send them in and I'll post them.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Jump - Back to Basics

People stop me in the street and ask, "What's happened to you , man. You used to be funny." This has given me pause for thought (first off, because I don't know these people) and as I look back on all the reasons I started this blog (self-promotion, self-aggrandizement, self-service) I realize that I have indeed strayed from the path of funny. And I'll tell you the reason why (not an excuse mind you, but a reason). The reason is that when your film is being sent out there to the screens of the nation (as many as 30 in total) a filmmaker starts to get to feeling the twin rushes of excitement and dread. The excitement part is the thrill of having your creation seen by thousands of people but the backdraft of dread is that your creation is going to be seen by thousands of people, some of whom are not as polite or kind or supportive as your mother or your girlfriend. So it feels like the rush before the bungy jump - but in this case I have no idea if the rope is actually secured to anything. So maybe I've lost a little prespective but who can blame me. However, I'm putting this pressure behind me. I am going to enjoy the ride whether I am snapped away, at the last seconds, from almost certain death by the elastic cord of mass approval or mashed, face first into the ground at one hundred miles an hour. Bring on the funny.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

That Was Fun

Congratulation to all the winners of the first thesegirlsblog contest. Strangely enough we had a proxy intervention from Belgium (on behalf of a Montréal friend) and somone from Ottawa taking away the goodies this round. It hasn't been announced yet but there will be a print sponsor for the English premiere in Montréal so you can try to get a free ticket that way or you will soon be able to pay to see it here in Québec.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Contest - Montréal Premiere

*contest closed* As promised I am running my own little unofficial contest here at thesegirlsblog. Up for grabs are two invites (for two) to the Montréal premiere of These Girls on March 2nd. All you have to do is be the first or second to email me (XXXXXXXXX) with your name and address (you can make up a name as long as I have an address to mail the invitation to). So if you live in Montreal throw your hat in the ring - don't worry, no one will come to your house and no salesman will bother you. There are actually a lot more invites to be had by going to the official website and getting in on the givaway action for all the premiere screenings across Canada. *contest closed*

Sunday, February 19, 2006

A Note From Our sponsor

In a effort to keep this blog looking clean and commercial free you will notice that there are no adds, pop-up windows or links to sponsor sites. We would like to appear to be high minded in this matter but the fact is we are selling one thing and one thing only - ourselves. We hope our policy of commercial clarity aids in your enjoyment of this blog. We also hope you enjoy this pleasing picture of a polar bear while you are waiting for a more interesting post.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Multi-talented - Caroline Dhavernas

The French version of the official website is up and so is the French trailer. For those who don't know, Caroline Dhavernas is from Québec and her first language is French - although you wouldn't know it by listening to her speak English. So when they make the French version she does her own dubbing (that process whereby they replace the dialogue in one language with another). As an interesting aside, if you observe Caroline interacting in English and then in French she actually seems to have two distinguishable manners, one for each language. There are several well founded scientific theories that explain this phenomena but it is plainly verifiable that she is equally talented in both languages.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Photo Opportunity

In an effort to be responsive to our audience's desires (both conscious and subconscious) we frequently conduct extensive surveys to determine the best content to be posted on this blog. Not so surprisingly the numbers are telling us that we should post more photos of David Boreanaz and less of me and Mark McGuire. So here is a photo of David with Colin Berry, who plays Donny Chesniak, taken at the These Girls party at the Toronto Film Festival - talk about mugging for the camera. I'd like to know who was taking the picture. (photo courtesy of Colin Berry)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Red Carpet Watch! - Montreal

As we approach the March 3rd Québec launch of These Girls there is much excitement in the air. We are planning to have both French and and English Premiere screenings here in Montreal - we hope to see all the available Montréal cast and crew out there for this event. On my own initiative, I am going to be running a small and totally unauthorized contest whereby I will be giving away a couple (2) tickets to this event on this very blog - stay tuned for details next week. Come and rub shoulders with film elites and adoring fans alike.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Soundtrack Fact - Bettie Serveert

I've got this friend Pete (this is not a photo of Pete) and he is a music fanatic (a very mellow guy but a maniac when it comes to music). Everytime you go over to his place, Pete has to introduce you to something new he's dug up - it could be anything from driver training records to classic rock played by a sitar orchestra - really it could be anything. However no matter what the musical treat for the night is he always manages to play a few tracks from Bettie Serveert at some point. So when I was looking for tracks for the film their name came up. Pete insisted I try to find a place for their music in the soundtrack and once we got into the editing suite with a few of their CDs it was obvious. We even had a chance to see them live in Montreal at that same time and chat up the band - Pete couldn't make it as he had just had a fairly serious industrial accident (don't worry he's better now). Bettie Serveert are simply an amazing band live - highly recommended. Two tracks made it into the film, Smack and Have a Heart, both from the Log 22 album. Find out more about Bettie Serveert (and even maybe where that curious name comes from) at Bettie Serveert.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentines Day Reflections

Now that this blog has been around for a while, people are asking me, "Can you keep it up?" People are stopping me in the street and exclaiming, "Where do you get the stamina?". I shrug off these comments as the utterances of people who don't really know me. I will be entering something everyday, at least until the Canadian release, even if it means posting relatively slight material only vaguely linked to These Girls. But just so I don't disappoint I am also including an image of the French poster for These Girls, which has more to do with contemporary Valentines Day - French being the langue d'amour - than the icon of the third century Roman Christian martyr (a guy who looks like he could use a few cinnamon hearts).

Monday, February 13, 2006

Announcement - The World! (so far)

So far These Girls has been sold to Quality Films in Mexico, Alphaville Films in Brazil and to Palace Film in Australia. Where next? If you have any suggestions as to where These Girls might be appreciated in the world let me know. If you come from somewhere in the world These Girls is not yet available let me know and I will see what can be done about that. I know that there are David Boreanaz fans out there across the world, so speak up and be heard. As territories are sold I will post a photo depicting a well worn cultural cliché about those countries as well.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Soundtrack Facts - The Sunday Sinners

The overwhelmingly positive response the These Girls soundtrack is getting means a lot, because the editor, Ben Duffield, and I went to a lot of trouble to come up with just the right mix of energy and attitude to keep up with the film's three heroines. I wanted a soundtrack featuring predominantly female artists that rocked and even on a relatively low-budget I didn't want to compromise quality. We listened to a lot of stuff and went to a lot of shows over a period of many months.

One of the great finds during this search was The Sunday Sinners, who I just happened to see at a show here in Montreal where they were opening for Holly Golightly. After my ears stopped ringing and I came to my senses I knew we had to include them. I gave Ben the Demo ep I bought at the show and we ended up using two tracks in the film, A Sinner's Prayer and You Child. There has been a lot of talk about some bands coming out of the Montreal music scene which is all fine and well if you are in the mood for a nap but The Sunday Sinners are made of tougher stuff. So go to their shows if you can and buy their music - these people are not to be trifled with.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Announcement - Kingston Film Festival

These Girls will be the Gala opening film at The Kingston Canadian Film Festival. It will screen on Thursday March 9th. I am very much looking forward to attending the screening, Kingston just being a train ride away from Montreal (Rumour has it that Holly Lewis will also be at the screening). If you are Canadian you know that there are two main reasons you would travel to Kingston, one is Queen's University, which has quite a good reputation and the other is The Kingston Federal Penitentiary, which has a different kind of reputation. I am glad to be going as a guest of the festival and not of the federal government - as much as I do like hobbycraft.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Announcement - Watch Out America!

These Girls has been sold to Ardustry Home Entertainment for the U.S. territory. Here is a quote from my own personal press release "The United States of America is a constitutional federal republic, situated primarily in North America with a population approaching 300 million. It comprises 50 states and one federal district, and has several territories with differing degrees of affiliation. It is also referred to, with varying formality, as the United States, the U.S., the U.S.A., the U.S. of A., America[1], the States, or (poetically) Columbia." As you can see it's a pretty important place and we are thrilled that the American people will now have unrestricted* access to These Girls.

*Some restrictions may apply, i.e. sometimes money may have to be exchanged for access.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Career Update - Amanda Walsh

The lovely and talented Amanda Walsh is about to be exposed big time to the American public. Her new show Sons and Daughters is hitting the airwaves as a ABC midseason replacement Tuesday March 7th. Created by Lorne Michaels it looks to be pretty funny. I don't know if we will be seeing it up here in Canada but we can hope it gets picked up.

The photo was taken at The Toronto International Film Festival where These Girls had its world premiere. As you can see it's tough slaving under the yoke of glamour but Amanda does a great job of it - it's too bad Holly Lewis was leaning over trying to get some gum off her shoe when this one was taken - she could have been a contender.

Photo courtesy of
The Gate.

Soundtrack Fact - Someone is Listening

After the San Francisco screening of These Girls the following was posted to sfist by a satisfied audience member.

"We want to note straight out of the box that we loved -- LOVED -- the soundtrack. " - posted by Jeremy on sfist.

It's always nice to know that we here at the Motion Picture Soundtrack Division of Red Devil Films are doing our job properly.

(Legal note: not Jeremy's, or any other audience member's whether actual or implied now or in the future, actual ear)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Announcement - Canadian Release!

Why all the dancing? Well, it's official, These Girls will be hitting the cinemas in English Canada March 10th and in Québec March 3rd. There will be more exact information on the website closer to the date. If you want to see it in your community, you can wait patiently (risking disappointment) or take positive action - I suggest a strongly worded letter to the mayor or city council.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

What's in a Name? - Indiefest

Film festivals are all different - each has it's own particular feel, whether it is the programming that is different or the size or how much money they have or don't have, or if they are about business or about art. I have been seeing a lot of the films here at San Francisco Indiefest and I have to say that it is totally true to its name. Even though These Girls is a small independent film we did have some money, whereas in the case of a lot of the films here, the filmmakers didn't have two sticks to rub together - but they still made these interesting films that despite the low budget still hit all the same emotional, dramatic, or comic notes as any other film. This is the festival that plays those films and I am thrilled to be included in their company. Huzzah Indiefest! (the photo is an artistic one, taken at the festivals Big Lebowski party - this was the bowling part)

Friday, February 03, 2006

Anatomy of a Festival - Indiefest

These Girls had it US premiere last night at San Francisco Indiefest in the historic Castro theatre. Before the show an amazing old Wurlitzer organ rises out of the stage and campy showbiz tunes fill the air - it is like getting the fans going before a hockey game. The screening was great and we shared a lot of laughs - those wacky girls! After the question and answer a man came up to me and asked me if my real name was William Hazlett? I immediatly thought "Shit it's La Migra!" Turns out I had dropped my wallet somewhere and it was turned in. Thanks Indiefest patrons for being so upright. I blame new and unfamiliar pants.

Just when fortune seems to be shining on me I get to the opening party to discover that it started when my film was screening and the Indiefest patrons, whom I was just getting to like, had finished off all the free sponsor booze. It was as if alcoholic locusts had descended on the joint and licked it clean. There was a cash bar that had a few beers left but that was cold comfort indeed.

I Finally had enough beer to shake off the cash bar blues and had a nice chat with these ladies from Skratch Magazine. Although it does look like I'm just being creepy and listening in - really they did talk to me, really.

Then I had enough beer to start thinking that I could be funny when 'posing' for this photo with Indiefest programmer Bruce Fletcher.

Tempted by the devil herself - boy did I tell her off.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

A These Girls Announcement - Poster

The These Girls official poster is now online! The production company website also has some pictures and other info. The link is in the sidebar as well.