Review: Third Person (a film by Paul Haggis)

I had the unique pleasure to attend a small intimate viewing of Paul Haggis’ new film, Third Person, this past Thursday night at the newly renovated Picture House Theater in Pelham NY. A quaint 500 something seat revitalization of a wonderful era past. The perfect place to view this film which works to recreate the thought provoking multi-plot film style of  the 1970’s; Hollywood’s last Golden Age. This is a favorite time of mine when maverick filmmakers like Scorsese, strove to break from the cliche ridden, mind numbing political (and sexual) correctness of the previous eras.

We, the audience, are the titular “Third Person” baring witness to this rich multi-plot narrative (similar to Haggis’ Academy Award winning Crash) which follows three intertwined stories subtly related to each other and which thematically explore the same ground; Infidelity. Infidelity in not just in the pedestrian sexual or marital terms we see in most commercial films but in the deep, gut wrenching, core foundation of all infidelities… The breaking of Human Trust.  The film probes the knife point question: What chance does love have without trust?

The  primary story line follows Michael (Liam Neeson)…

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EIDOLON

Semi Finalist  – “Sell A Script “,

Semi Finalist – “Screenwriters Expo”,

Semi Finalist – “Blue Cat Screenplays”

Status – Pre Development, 94 Pages

Written by – Mike Palmisciano

Genre: Contained Psychological Thriller

Logline:

Sequestered at a remote old family estate, a desperate female anthropologist recruits the aid of an odd “Past Lives” psychiatrist to battle a dark force she suspects has stalked her soul through time.

High Concept /Hook:

EIDOLON is a moody, character based psychological thriller in the vein of Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones”, with limited characters and locations employing a unique hook that has never been done. Over 90% of the US and global population believe in some form of “past life” however we’ve never seen a character based thriller that explores the darker ramifications. Suppose the souls of the people we know actually do follow us through time? Suppose one of those is malevolent?

Synopsis:

EIDOLON

EIDOLON

Claire Reed was a glamorous, world renowned anthropologist, who has traveled the globe in an almost obsessive pursuit of the past.  Three years ago, after marrying top plastic surgeon David Reed, her career, life and mental health take a turn for the worse. Plagued by horrific nightmares she makes a determined suicide play. At the end of her rope, urged by friends, she seeks out an odd Indian psychiatrist who informs her that her demons may not be… “just in her head”.  At her breaking point Claire receives an invitation to weekend at Eidolon, an isolated family Estate, for a much needed break.

Claire arrives to find Eidolon is haunting but beautiful. She is surprised by Orin Rasmussen, an unsettling estate broker, and shocked with news that the entire property is hers by way of a long dead Aunt she’s never met.  Touring the premises she meets  Mr and Mrs Beans, the earthy, married housekeepers and decides to accept ownership. That night a sudden storm forces her to stay Claire’s nightmares become increasingly real as she finds that the housekeepers and Rasmussen may not be whom they seem. It’s clear they want something from her… but is this all just in her head?

After Rasmussen brutally attacks Claire. The shock shatters Claire’s reality into parallel threads neither of which she is sure is real. To her horror she suspects some of her current friends want her dead and that she protects some long forgotten secret. Rasmussen will kill her to get it. Juxtaposed is her “real life” where her friends believe she is dangerously unbalanced. With her life on the line and only herself to rely on, Claire forms a desperate plan to counter a threat no one else is convinced is real. In a unique twist Claire forms a pact with her own “past life” self,  turning the tables on Rasmussen in a thrilling and spectacular manner. Rasmussen is destroyed liberating Claire from the terror of Eidolon. In the light of day, she must confront the possibility that all of it and perhaps none of it was ever real.

Poster Tag:  “The woman she used to be… is her only ally!”

Filmmakers interested in this property please contact Screenpens

-MP

“ScreenPens, Ltd” and “3.2 Miles 2” WIN Coveted PEI Film Festival

What would you do?

Once More EdenScreenPens, Ltd and it’s talented writing / production partner “3.2 Miles 2” (3.2 Miles square) have been awarded 1st Prize for Best New Un-Produced Screenplay entitled ONCE MORE EDEN, by the prestigious PEI Film Festival.

LATEST UPDATE: “ONCE MORE EDEN”  PLACES TOP 1% in FINAL DRAFT SCRIPT COMPETITION

“It’s been a long haul”, said  MS  King in a celebratory dinner last night with ScreenPens Producer / Writer Mike P.  We’ve worked together on this script for months, outlining, structuring, developing characters and story until it shined to become one of the best new original screenplays on the market.

The joint effort began several months ago when Ms. King (3.2 Miles 2) and Mike P (ScreenPens, Ltd.) met to discuss a story concept idea uncovered by Ms. King. The story development team here at ScreenPens immediately recognized this concept as a QUALITY high concept and commercial story we could jointly develop.

We set about developing the story and script, working with several treatment re writes, until we felt it was ready for prime time.  Then another several months writing the script. Which also went through no less than 4 revisions.

Ms. King was invited to the PEI Festival to perform an except reading from the script, which was highly received as well.

ONCE MORE EDEN  is the thrilling  story about a humanitarian Army Nurse, conscripted against her will into the ultra secret  MANHATTAN PROJECT, who defies the entire US Army, when she risks her life to prevent the nuclear holocaust at Hiroshima.

In the vein of NORTH COUNTRY, ERIN BROCKOVICH and CHINA SYNDROME, ONCE MORE EDEN features a strong female lead who, after uncovering the hideous truth around her, steps up, against overwhelming odds, to “do the right thing”.

In the socially current sub text the story deals openly and fairly with debate over the proliferation and deployment of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD’s) delving deeply and honestly into the actual historical background.

ONCE MORE EDEN is currently under consideration by three “A” list, Oscar caliber,  actresses. Additionally the script is a top finisher in five (5) other significant industry events (ie. Boston Film Festival etc.)

Interested Directors and or Executive Producers may obtain a copy of the script by sending an email request to:

screenpens@nyc.rr.com

Only serious queries will be addressed. Copies will be forwarded by our representatives.

Cheers, and congratulations to ScreenPens and 3.2 Miles 2!

-MP

Stop Bitching – JUST MAKE FILMS! Part II

Me and the Gang!

We’ve all been hearing about how Hollywood has significantly reduced the number of new films being made each year. Budgets and staff are being cut like fat off a pig! Fewer New Writers and Filmmakers are getting their big shot. Is this a BAD THING? Not necessarily.

There’s a simple answer to the problem of Hollywood cutting back on the number of scripts that are being greenlit. Make and distribute your own films and video content.

With the technology as cheap as it is and the great majority of talent (writers, directors, actors etc.) sitting around ‘on the beach’ (many of them in other online groups!), one answer is for us to take matters into our own hands to make  and distribute original films ourselves.

We sometimes forget that Hollywood is a business. It’s a “factory” for films.  What’s happening in Tinsel Town is that the  “Hollywood Factory System” of making and distributing films is becoming rapidly squeezed due to the vast FREE and CHEAP market on the Internet.

Demand for new films and video content is higher than ever. Make your own films, cheaper or shorter. Structure your stories as multiple shorter episodes.  Format them for DVDs and mobile consumption. Self distribute via Amazon and other sites that provide technology to do this.

The Hollywood Factory System is on the ropes. In a dicey effort to reduce their risk, they increasingly depend on existing material that already has an audience (ie comics, remakes, video games and past TV shows etc.) New writers and filmmakers rarely have access to this type of material.

Because of this, they are circling the wagons, providing less access to “new blood”. Ideas are becoming “inbred” and highly derivative. Hollywood’s only choice is to make fewer, BIGGER films that hit the “greatest common denominator” and are global in their appeal (ie Avatar etc.). This may work for them, but it leaves the indie filmmakers increasingly in the cold.

We forget that at the dawn of film, brave and adventurous filmmakers bought their own gear, wrote a great script, pulled a few friends together, made magic and invented a brand new industry.

The time is ripe for the little guys to re-inherit the business. Stop wringing your hands and fighting over the Dinosaurs.  STOP BITCHING and JUST MAKE FILMS!

(for previous articles on this topic click here)

Cheers,
Mike P.

Event: Limited FREE seats – 7/27 Raindance Film School

ScreenPens, Ltd and our renowned industry partner Raindance Film Festival (the largest indie film fest in the UK) have teemed up to offer FREE CLASS SEATING to their upcoming, high demand film school on July 27, 2010. FREE SEATING is only available to people who are NOT ALREADY Raindance Members. Only 10 free seats available!

SEND REQUEST FOR FREE SEATS TO (only 2 seats per request):

7/16 – NO FREE SEATS LEFT!  TICKETS WILL BE $10.00 EACH.

Screenpens@nyc.rr.com

More details below

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HowTo:Dov Simens – List of Foriegn Pre-Sales Co’s

Hot tips from the irrepressible Dov Simens whose 2 day film school has launched numerous Hollywood and Independent film careers. I myself attended Dov’s 2 day class last year and found it both entertaining AND informative. BUT it is not for everyone. Here’s why…

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Event: Exclusive $25,000 First Prize – Vimeo Video

FIRST-EVER VIMEO® FESTIVAL & AWARDS CELEBRATES CREATIVE ONLINE VIDEO

AND OPENS FOR AWARDS SUBMISSIONS

Leading Industry Luminaries and Award-Winning Creators to Judge Submissions;

Winner of ‘Best Online Video’ Award to Receive $25,000 Grant to Produce New Work

NEW YORK, June 3, 2010 – Vimeo®, an operating business of IAC [NASDAQ: IACI], opened the submissions window today for the Vimeo Awards, which honors creative and original online videos and the people that create them.

Starting today, people around the world can submit their videos for consideration across nine judged categories.  The judges will choose the Best Online Video from the top videos in each category, and that winner will receive a $25,000 grant to produce new work. Videos must have debuted online within the past two years to be considered. Vimeo will announce the winners during an awards ceremony at the close of its two-day festival on October 8-9 in New York City.  Additionally, Vimeo will preview some of the finalists’ work at a screening event in Amsterdam in September.

“The Vimeo Festival & Awards is an acknowledgement of—and showcase for— the unprecedented level of creativity, skill and innovation coming from online video today,” said Dae Mellencamp, Vimeo’s General Manager.  “We believe that the awards will not only honor the best work but, by pairing it with a festival, will also bring creative online communities together to learn from and be inspired by each other.”

An independent panel of judges comprised of luminaries and experts within their categories will evaluate and select award winners. The judges include:

“I am so happy to take part in this acknowledgement of independent filmmakers from around the world,” said Morgan Spurlock.  “It is definitely time for the online creative community to be celebrated.”

“This is an incredibly exciting time to be a filmmaker— the technology is there now that will enable a talented individual to to produce amazing work and to share it with the world on Vimeo,” said Vincent Laforet.   “They can expect an incredible level of feedback from the Vimeo community comprised of fellow creatives, and I am very excited to have been asked to be one of the judges of this competition!”

The categories include:

  1. The Vimeo Award: Best of all categories. Winner to receive $25,000 grant to produce new work.
  2. Narrative: Live-action narrative fiction told through the medium of film/video
  3. Documentary: Short films/videos that seek to document compelling actuality or reality
  4. Animation: A simulation of movement created by displaying a series of pictures or frames.
  5. Experimental: Short films/videos that are often characterized by the absence of a linear narrative.
  6. Music Video: Short films/videos that accompany a complete piece of music or song
    1. Motion Graphics: The use of the principles of graphic design to create a film or video using animation or filmic techniques.
    2. Remix: A film/video that combines elements such as sounds and pictures of other works to create a metamorphic work.
    3. Captured: Videos that capture an artistic expression or performance

10.  Original Series: A periodically released collection of original episodic content

Honorary Awards:

  • The Feature Presentation Honorary Award: Honoring the vanguard and innovative release of unique feature film online (Nominations accepted)
  • Digital Maverick Honorary Award: Honoring pioneering spirit in the world of online video.

The Vimeo Awards will accept submissions from June 3, 2010 – July 31, 2010 for a $20 (U.S.) fee per-video ($5 for Vimeo Plus members) at www.vimeoawards.com. Entrants can submit any original work as long as it has premiered online between June 3, 2008 and July 30, 2010 or has never been premiered anywhere.  All entries must comply with the Official Rules of the Vimeo Festival & Awards. Additional details on the festival to be announced shortly.  For more information on the Vimeo Festival & Awards, please visit www.vimeoawards.com.

About Vimeo, LLC

Leading high quality video sharing site Vimeo® is a vibrant, respectful community of people who love to take video. The site features beautifully produced video from its many talented video creators. Launched in 2004 and headquartered in New York, NY, Vimeo offers users a video sharing experience that is both entertaining and easy to use. Vimeo was listed as a Time Magazine Top 50 Website in 2009. Vimeo, LLC is a subsidiary of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI).

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Media Contact: Deborah Szajngarten, (212) 524-8776, press@vimeo.com