I just got the words “generosity” and “kindness” tattooed on my right and left wrists, respectively. A few years ago I had a stained glass image of a dove flying out of a sunburst tattooed on my right shoulder blade. I had never dreamed of getting a tattoo prior to that because I thought it would silly on me – I was way too boyish looking to pull something like that off. But I had been robbed at gunpoint while walking a girl to her car one night in L.A. and even though I had talked everyone (muggers included) down and through the situation, I had a very clear realization of how fortunate I was that “kids” were holding that gun and mugging us and not some hard core type that would’ve shot us just because.
So, I saw this reproduction of a stained glass window from a church in Illinois, I believe, and the image kept returning to me. You know, like that phoenix rising from the ashes kind of thing. And so it seemed right to have that image on me, with me, a part of me – permanently.
So, why do it again? And why those words? And why in that location? Well, there is a lot going on in my life right now that has great, great potential to send me on my way to a life I’ve been inching toward for a very long time. I’ve taken a somewhat long and circuitous route to get to this place that is so close and over the last year or so because of my experiences with the film festivals, with AFI, with the movie and the people I have dealt with and those that I work with everyday those are two things I thought I should make sure are very close to being first and foremost on my mind as I proceed from this point on.
I will very easily fall into earnestness – maybe that’s the Midwestern Indiana part of my background – and this certainly smacks of that, I know. But after 40+ years of some successes, but many more near misses and almosts, I was both fortunate enough to find someone in my wife Justina, that flipped every expectation I had about my future romantic prospects by being the first woman whose very company I felt was a “reward” for all the other crap I had done over the course of the day, but also shared and/or complimented damn near all of my dreams as to how I wanted to live the next fifty years. Therefore, I had my very pretty Japanese Irish dark humored and twisted sensibility techie dream girl and I got someone that from the word “go” pushed me with praise to really go after everything I had always wanted to career-wise. All kinds of wins. And yes, I meant fifty. That’s what we agreed to when we got married, with an option to renew.
GENEROSITY AND KINDNESS.
You would think that those two things are pretty simple. And they are. But I’m often astonished at how easily they are ditched by people on a daily basis. So, I thought I would remind myself to temper the moments that might be going by really fast and to put those pressure situations into a greater perspective, to “give” maybe a few times more than I would if the damn word wasn’t right there in front of me, and yes, to work harder to put aside the anger and frustration that is so easily piqued doing what I do and operate out of just a little more kindness each day.
Okay back to business…
So – I’m still on the hunt to secure people for the DALLAS International Film Festival, either as DALLAS Star honorees, or panelists or jury members or just to support their movie that we’ll be playing. And I’m calling and emailing a lot of publicists that I used to work with a few years back when I was at ID PR.
On one side of the scale I’ve got the publicist that was my bestest buddy and partner-in-crime while I was there that sent me a terse reply after I IM’d her on facebook just to make sure she got a message I had left with her assistant (since she was in the thick of Oscar weekend with her nominee client. And, I understand, it was a huge weekend, she probably hadn’t decompressed yet and she read more into the IM than was intended. It happens. Then again, she never did return my call. So, there’s that.
Then there is Craig Bankey. I was always a fan of his at ID because he’s both smart and he’s not a panic-first guy. And you look at his clientele and they are people like freshly minted Oscar winner Christoph Waltz, Michael C. Hall, Djimon Honsou, Cillian Murphy and freakin’ Muhammed Ali. No tabloidy or shallow cover babies in there. No, look-at-me types. And I believe there is a very good reason for that. He’s just come off of a great Golden Globes/Oscar combo and I couldn’t be happier for him. So, I call him up to ask about three of his clients. And I get three “no” responses from him. But the three strikes not in my favor were delivered with real justifiable reasons and what followed was an offer to speak in my favor to the other publicists at his firm that didn’t know me that well.
That rarely – RARELY – happens. And I’m pretty sure he didn’t pull a muscle during the phone call. And my guess is that it didn’t really “put him out”. But no one does that. Just does not happen. But it does with Bankey. So no surprise that he’s balancing multiple award winners and really no surprise that Michael C. Hall (with Craig’s assistance) maybe had the least newsworthy celebrity bout with cancer in recent memory. Because the standard operating procedure there is smart, pragmatic, calm and tasteful.
And Wolf Kasteler looks pretty smart for getting him to set up camp under their roof right now…
What’s Actually Happening – March 3
I feel bad. I feel guilty. Because I started this blog about a year ago at Justina’s (my wife) urging and I was into it and writing fun stuff that was behind the scenes and naming some names and taking some artistic licenses and people were starting to follow it and pay attention to what was actually going on in my life with the stuff that I do.
Then I kept getting busier and busier. Which you would think would make it more and more interesting except that I stopped the actual blogging stuff and just posted press releases and interviews and movie reviews. Which I want everyone to see but that isn’t the point, is it? If I’m asking you to check into this damn thing then I should make it worth your while.
So, I’m taking another stab at it. Because there is A LOT happening and a lot happening with me wearing various different hats. So I’m going to try and stop being a perfectionist with the prose and just start delivering some goods – rough on the edit edges or not.
So, here’s some stuff to look forward to:
DALLAS International Film Festival. I’m into it BIG TIME. We’re like five weeks out or something and there’s great, exciting stuff and there’s “what the hell?!” stuff and there’s a lot of praying – to uhmmm…no one in particular. Because that’s how it works in film festival land. AND, this is the first year with no AFI involvement. Training wheels are off, baby! And I just might throw in some thoughts later as to why I believe that was a HUGE mistake on their part. I’ll give you a hint: It’s the “vision” thing. Or lack of it.
SXSW (or South by Southwest Film Festival for those of you that need this shit spelled out – literally). I’ll be covering the film festival for Movie City News, like I just did for the Sundance Film Festival. And once again, I’ll try to write about every damn thing that happens to me so you’ll have an idea of what the experience is like. Of course, you’ll have to go to Movie City News to read it, since Dave Poland promotes the fact that I’m reporting/writing/reviewing for him, so he’s kind of like you to read it on his pages instead of mine. And since I would kind of like him to pay me for doing that…it works for me.
FESTWORKS. At Sundance, Rose Kuo (Artistic Director), Robert Koehler (Director of Programming and film critic extraordinaire, David Rogers (Festival Producer) and myself joined forces to form our own version of a film festival super group. Hopefully, less like Asia and more like Derek and the Dominoes. But with less heroin and more staying power. Anyway, we all left AFI after beating the odds and the house with AFI FEST last year (if you know what I mean and if you don’t….well, I’ll talk about that at some point too, I’m sure) because we love film festivals in a way that we want them all to be the best damn things ever. And we think we can help various ones do that. Sometimes, it will be just some simple consulting, some times it will be us recommending some kick-ass person we know would be great for the job and a great fit and sometimes will swarm the place, roll up the sleeves and bust our asses side-by-side with the teams in place to make something work. Anyway, I’ll be announcing the first “official” project soon and it will be very, very cool.
STRIPPED. The movie. My first feature film as a director. And the first feature film for Justina and myself as producers. It’s a post-feminist horror film. Three guys on a birthday outing talk their way into the wrong house with the wrong women inside. Think TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE or THE DEVIL’S REJECTS with a “family” of women orchestrating the proceedings…
We are scheduled to shoot this thing at the end of May going into June and as much experience as I have doing various jobs in front of and behind the camera and watching as many films as I do and working with as many filmmakers at the film festivals as I do – well, there is a HUGE learning curve with this thing every single day. Producers on the film include one of the guys responsible for THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake and the other producer has cool-ass films like David Lowery wonderful ST. NICK and current SXSWers EARTHLING and AUDREY THE TRAINWRECK under his belt. We already have the horror dynamo known as Tiffany Shepis on board as well as Samrat Chakrabarti, an Indian actor that despite an amazing international filmography we’re getting on the ground floor with because various dumbasses haven’t cast the guy in some weird-ass network sci-fi series where a strange incident has tied a group of random hot people together in a world where truth is false and pretend is sexy….or something like that.
Anyway, Justina and I actually bought the house we’re shooting this thing in. Which I’m living in right now. I’m sleeping in the room that will be inhabited by ‘Crystal’ a hot little sociopath that like the color pink, scrapbooking and uhmmm…cutting things. Our friend Marc Lee is staying in “the killing room.” Fun! So, I’ll clue you into the process as we hurtle along toward the shoot not too unlike one of those test rockets they show in stock footage that would freak you out if you were standing anywhere in the vicinity while it blasts off the blocks and careens not entirely toward its destination.
Here are some fun things about the house: It’s in South Dallas. Which is not a “great” area. But it is a cool two-story four-bedroom place with close to two acres of land and a freeloading horse named “Money” that is taken care of by an old black rodeo guy named “Peewee”. Oh, and we are surrounded by Baptist churches. And a train. One final thing, when we cut the chains that had kept the garage closed since we bought the place we found an old cabinet that had in it (among other things) a bee keepers outfit and smoker, random mason jars with weird stuff in them and two chainsaws! Made to order for Justina and John, the couple that gets romantic when they’re watching OLDBOY.
After that, new stuff that has just come up include doing some stuff with the Texas Frightmare Weekend screenings at the end of April, working with the Las Colinas Studios on a couple projects, possibly the Vision Awards benefit and definitely the Feel Good Film Festival.
I’m sure there is – and will be – more. Because that’s how things have been since January 1st. A very strange year and a very cool year so far.
So stay tuned….
“THE VIOLENT KIND” AND “LOVERS OF HATE” PRODUCERS
UNVEIL “STRIPPED” TEASE
PARK CITY, UT (January 26, 2010)—Jeffrey Allard (THE VIOLENT KIND, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE) and Adam Donaghey (LOVERS OF HATE, ST. NICK) announced plans to produce the horror feature STRIPPED with Tiffany Shepis (THE VIOLENT KIND, NIGHTMARE MAN) confirmed for the cast.
Written by Justina Walford and John Wildman, the film will mark Wildman’s feature directorial debut after recently departing AFI as the Head of Press and Public Relations.
Described as post-feminist horror, STRIPPED follows the events surrounding a birthday outing with two brothers and a friend which turns into a horrific fight for survival after they become trapped in a house with a “family” of malevolent women.
Along with Shepis, negotiations are also underway with Samrat Chakrabarti (FINDING GRACELAND, KISSING COUSINS) to join the cast. Financed independently, filming is set to begin in Dallas, Texas in late May following Wildman’s work as the PR Director for the DALLAS International Film Festival (April 8-18).
“Adam and I have been looking for the right project to team up on,” said Allard, “And this script immediately got my attention. It’s exciting that this has all come together at the same time we both have films at Sundance.”
Donaghey agreed, adding, “Justina and John have not only created some iconic female genre characters that jump off the page, but Jeffrey and I were also impressed with John’s directorial approach to the material.”
President and founder of Indie Entertainment LLC, a film finance and production company formed in 2002 and located in the SF Bay Area, Allard produced THE VIOLENT KIND with Producers Malek Akkad (HALLOWEEN II, HALLOWEEN), Andy Gould (HALLOWEEN II, HALLOWEEN, HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES) and Directors Mitchell Altieri and Phil Flores aka The Butcher Brothers (THE HAMILTONS, APRIL FOOLS DAY). The film made its world premiere Monday at the Sundance Film Festival. He executive produced (with Michael Bay) THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING.
Upcoming projects from Allard include A DARKER REALITY, starring Daniel Baldwin with several projects in development including GROO THE WANDERER, an animated feature film with Marc Toberoff (PIRANHA, BOTTLE SHOCK, I SPY) and THE PRODIGAL, a SF based dramatic thriller with Paul Zaentz (THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, GOYA’S GHOST) and Brad King (TECHNOLUST).
President and founder of Zero Trans Fat Productions, Donaghey produced Bryan Poyser’s LOVERS OF HATE and Clay Liford’s short, MY MOM SMOKES WEED, both of which screened at the Sundance Film Festival, with LOVERS OF HATE making its world premiere on Sunday. Previous projects include David Lowery’s ST. NICK, a Grand Jury Prize for Texas Filmmaking at AFI Dallas, and Francisco Diaz’ EL REGRESO WAY.
Donaghey’s upcoming releases include Frank V. Ross’ AUDREY THE TRAINWRECK and Liford’s EARTHLING. Donaghey is a film columnist for Houston Bay Area’s SCENE Magazine and produces the Houston, Dallas and Austin Film Races.
Wildman currently serves as the Director of PR for the DALLAS International Film Festival, the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles and the Feel Good Film Festival (Los Angeles). He is also part of the film festival consultation group FESTWORKS (along with former AFI FEST top liners Rose Kuo, Robert Koehler and David Rogers) that was recently announced at the Sundance Film Festival. In addition, he writes about film and film festivals for outlets such as Movie City News, Moving Pictures Magazine.com and Envy Magazine, as well as his popular blog at wildworx.wordpress.com.