Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Straight On Til Mourning: Revisiting "Second Star"

The main page for this project is HERE which has a link to the film, photos, the new image used for posters and postcards, the new reviews, and the initial director's notes.

I just watched the film again a few days ago and I actually like it better now than when I first released it online. It's an ugly, flawed, little art film but it's also pretty cool and definitely strange. The concept and the emotions behind it emerged out of a certain wavelength and, if I was going to do that film, I had to do it at that particular point and just go through with it.

Could I make "Second Star" now?

No, actually I don't think so. It came out of a certain time and place. It's a mood piece that belongs to a specific point in the past. It's fine for what it is and when it was made. It's fine as itself. The way it is is the way that it's meant to be.

"Second Star" SHOULD be flawed, queasy, and tilted. That's the film, that's the story.

I know that some people REALLY like this film (thank you!), some aren't into it at all, and/or they're confused by it (me too, by the way....) but I kind of love it for what it is. Clearly, now is the perfect time of year to revisit "Second Star"--to push it out there again, to give it full attention for one more month of repromotion, before we move on to some other things.

"Come, come thou bleak December wind,
And blow the dry leaves from the tree!
Flash, like a Love-thought, thro' me, Death
And take a Life that wearies me."

--Fragment 3, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"Four In Chicago" collaborative film project

Four independent Chicago filmmakers. Four different stories about love.

"Four In Chicago", a collaborative omnibus film project created and conceptualized by Kyle Romaneck, premiered online in November 2011.

Click on the titles to watch and read about each film within the "Four In Chicago" project:

* "On The Lips" written and directed by Peter Kallstrom
VĂ©ronique is a French photographer who has recently immigrated to Chicago with her lover, Olivier. Caught between adapting to life in a new city and her overactive imagination, their true intimacy is revealed when the events of an afternoon cause the lines between reality and fantasy to become irrevocably blurred.

* "Miriam Syndrome" written and directed by Lauren Hearter
When professional counseling and pills galore simply aren't enough, Miriam Weems decides to take a stronger initiative.....

* "Forgive Me, Bianca" written and directed by Derek Quint
An old, dead relationship goes from wrong to worse when a fashion designer rediscovers a very sinister gift certificate.

* "Wonderboy" written and directed by Kyle Romaneck
A young man masquerades as a famous artist in order to impress an aspiring journalist.

Monday, November 21, 2011

"Forgive Me, Bianca"

Mafia, Mayhem, and Couture Catastrophes!

A sinister gift certificate creates (more) chaos in the life of a Chicago fashion designer in crisis.

a web miniseries by Derek Quint

"Forgive Me, Bianca" Part 1

"Forgive Me, Bianca" Part 2

"Forgive Me, Bianca" Part 3

"Forgive Me, Bianca" Part 4

"Forgive Me, Bianca" Part 5

This project premiered online in November 2011.


Jessica Harris-McGeehan as Bianca Cardone
Joette Waters as Grandma Lucrezia Cardone
Heather Dorff as Ingrid
Michael Marius Massett as Georgie Darvus
Michael Moody as Frankie Manara
Gabe Smith as Tommy McBride
Brittany Collins as Bethany McBride
Michael Centomani as Silvio Manara
Ashley Anderson as Lacey Popowski
Gerald O. Heller as Cesare Cardone
Chad Lee Green as Bethany McBride's Boyfriend


"Prosperina" from "Signor Quel Infelice"
composed by Claudio Monteverdi
performed by Anna Simboli

"Polovetsian Dances"
composed by Alexander Borodin
performed by DHS Symphony Orchestra, 2008

"Le Nozze di Figaro" No. 11 from "Porgi, Amor"
composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte
performer unknown

"Colliders in Retrograde"
composed and performed by Chad Nini

"Roman Carnival Overture" Op. 9
composed by Hector Berlioz
performer unknown

composed and performed by Elijah Vance
MusicLab (Come On)

"Tango de Manzana", "Presenterator", "Hot Swing", "Tiny Fugue",
"Covert Affair", "Hustle", "Matt's Blues", "Cut and Run", and "Niles Blues"
composed and performed by Kevin MacLeod

special thanks to:

Matt Labuguen, James Sommerfeldt, The Quints and family, Pompeii Restaurant Chicago, Potbelly's, Best Buy, Kevin MacLeod, Chad's Nephew, The Chicago Art Institute, Graceland Cemetery, Macy's, SoundDogs, MusOpen, and all "extras"

This web miniseries (well, the short film that I re-edited to be a web miniseries) was originally created as a short film--one of the segments in an omnibus film project called "Four In Chicago" which was a group of Windy City indie directors working within a themic framework (the story MUST take place in Chicago, the story MUST include some kind of romantic intrigue). Four short films, around 20 minutes each, becoming an 80-minute feature film.

But, of course, each segment should be able to stand up on its own as a short film. And then you snap all the pieces of the puzzle together to create a fuller picture.

So everyone did their thing and now our projects are on their own to do with them as we choose.

Originally, "Forgive Me, Bianca" was edited down to a 20-minute version but now I've put up the full story which is closer to 40 minutes.

This project was shot "Quick and Dirty", meaning we all just went for it, dove in, minimum fuss. It was an "experiment" (for better or for worse....) in some respects. Nothing makes me more irritated than overly-precious delicate daffodil imagery (I like my visuals to be at least a little bit rough around the edges) so the wreckless approach worked in the visual respect but, definitely, there were sound issues because we shot in some challenging enviornments.

Do you understand why most productions shoot within sound studios? Now you know.

Audio is extremely difficult and humblingly unpredictable. Sometimes the shotgun microphone was perfect. Other times it's like it said "Fuck you, Derek!" for it's own mysterious reasons. Ugh. And, during the production, my old/reliable/sentimental camera decided to retire out on location (nice!) so I had to get a new camera. What a wonderful experience.

Sometimes these production edges worked by giving the story a noisy realism that helps balance out the over-the-topness of it all but there are moments where I'm concerned that some vital details are clouded by the audio murk. Noisy, chaotic enviornments can be fun to shoot in but they're best left for primarily visual/action scenes or scenes intentionally calling for chaotic audio. Any substantial discussions or longer conversations are best left for more mellow/controllable enviornments.

It's just a small, silly, experimental project so it's not the end of the world but.....for future reference, I have to be more cautious and choosey when it comes to dialogue-heavy scenes and where they're shot.

It was fun being an adventurer filmmaker, all guerilla, but sometimes taking the Whatever Happens Happens approach can whack you in the face (or, in this case, in the audio). So, really, the wildman stuff is best left in small doses. For big, serious projects? Don't even think about it.

For visual stuff, go for it. For conversational scenes, take a safer path.

Okay, the story.

I wanted to do SOMETHING Italian mafia related for my Chicago love story segment. Naturally, right? It plays up the city's history and allows for danger, drama, and (yes) some comedic potential.
So nothing too serious.

Even though "Forgive Me, Bianca" takes place in 2011(ish), I wanted some 80's/early 90's cheese cinema flavor to it. Irreverent, casual, silly, and with people overreacting to situations. Suburban and urban. Grungy but slyly glam.

In my head during the writing and filming of "Forgive Me, Bianca":

"Dynasty", "Dallas", "Married To The Mob", "Saved By The Bell", "Heathers", "Weird Science", "Pretty In Pink", "Goodfellas", "Adventures In Babysitting" (underrated), "Beverly Hills Cop", everything John Waters, everything Gregg Araki (clearly.......), "Escape From Witch Mountain" (the original one), Hanna-Barbera animations.

Cartoony and over-the-top was the order of the day.

All the actors were a total dream to work with. Everyone went WAY above and beyond what they needed to contribute, energy and bravery-wise. This was a weird project (tonally) but all the actors completely "got" what I was looking for. Once again, I was LUCKY to have such a generous, deeply talented cast to work with. What more can a painfully indie indie filmmaker ask for? Tons of $ tossed at a project means nothing if the casting isn't right. And, whatever I can bellyache about audio issues, I have to say that the casting for "Bianca" was flawless because everyone involved wrapped themselves in their characters and didn't look back.

"Forgive Me, Bianca" is punk filmmaking and I had a fantastic time doing it. I like it--it's a lot of fun. After watching it with a few small groups here and there, I know that (once again) the pot brownies crowd will be able to sink their teeth into it. Because, apparently, I make films for a few extremely stoned 17-year-old art geeks. That's my demographic according to the emails and whatnot. And I wouldn't change a thing!

"Forgive Me, Bianca" is appropriate for woozy 3am viewing.

But be sure to keep with the theme--chow down on some cheap garlic bread and spaghetti along with your magic brownies.

As Grandma Lulu would say: "Is that too much to ask?"

"Miriam Syndrome" short film by Lauren Hearter

"Miriam Syndrome", the short film by Lauren Hearter--a sequence within the Chicago stories collaborative project--is now up.

Watch the film HERE

When professional counseling and pills galore simply aren't enough, Miriam Weems decides to take a stronger initiative.....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Most Difficult Part Of Independent Filmmaking

It's not creating the concept and writing it (that's not a problem for me--if anything there are too many ideas).

It's not the funding (Addovolt projects are indie to the nth degree. I can't be wreckless with the money--there's not a ton of it--but it's there and you have to be careful with it or you'll have runaway budgets/production costs--this happens on all levels of filmmaking from Hollywood blockbusters to New York Film Festival entries).

The most difficult part of independent filmmaking?


Hands down.

That's what seperates intended projects from actualized films.

It takes precision, foresight, ruthlessness, sacrifice, and a bunch of headaches.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Baby Magic projects

I'm going to call this page "The Baby Magic projects " so that I can have all my video collaborations with the band centered on one page. Everything that I've worked on with them will be right here. As more things come up, they'll be added on this page. Simply click on any of the project titles below to visit their respective project pages and to watch them on Youtube.

* "See Means Yes" music video (2012)

*"Always Be The One On Top: Spending Time with The Baby Magic" documentary (2011)

*Rats!" music video (2010)

*"It's Hard Pissing With A Boner" music video (2009)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Always Be The One On Top: Spending Time with The Baby Magic

[UPDATED 04-24-11]

The Baby Magic documentary in 5 parts. Click below to watch on Youtube:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

and, last but not least,

Part 5

Addovolt Productions wants to find out exactly what makes Mary Beth, Patrick, and Jimmy tick. One-of-a-kind, brilliant, hilarious, ocassionally dark, and always subversive, The Baby Magic creates music that no one else would have the audacity to make.


The Baby Magic is Mary Beth, Patrick, and Jimmy.

"Always Be The One On Top: Spending Time With The Baby Magic"

a documentary by Derek Quint. Addovolt Productions, Chicago 2011.

Special Thanks to:

The Empty Bottle

Gallery Cabaret

Caitlin S.

Jon O.

Catherine H.

Matt L.

James S.

This film was first screened at M&J's in Chicago on April 15th, 2011.

Buckles and Bread Bowls Documentary

[UPDATED 02-08-13]

"Buckles and Bread Bowls", the long-delayed documentary focusing on the Renaissance Festival on the Illinois/Wisconsin border, will be up online for viewing very soon. It's really, really fun and a very easy watch but other projects are cutting in its place in line. I'm pretty sure that you'll love it when you see it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

"Salome" production photos (more)

Also, here are more images from the production of the short film "Salome" done by photographer Anna Tzyna.

The film itself is HERE and the main information page for this project is HERE.

More "Alice" Images

The look on Alice's face above sums it up pretty well.....

I found a bunch of images from "Go Ask Alice In Wonderland" in some ghetto within my computer, so here they are to make your evening even more amazing. And if you haven't seen that mess in a while, go ahead a relive the magic by watching the short film HERE while the "Go Ask Alice In Wonderland" information page is HERE.