Monday, April 28, 2008

NEWPORT Part Duex?

Still catching up on sleep after a marathon of movies. One of the things I love most about being in a film festival is the free pass I get to see other films. I love the panels, meeting other filmmakers. The whole environment. I had to head back to LA for some meetings, but I hope to get back down to Newport Beach to see some more films. Of note, I really liked PHEOBE IN WONDERLAND, LIE TO ME, SON OF RAMBOW and FLYBOYS. Although I didn't see LEAVING BARSTOW at the fest, I did see an early cut at the star's house a few months back and really liked it. Mike and I also caught RED RIVER, the 1948 John Wayne picture. I hadn't seen a John Wayne film on the big screen since I saw THE ALAMO as a kid.

When I got home, I saw Army Archerd's column and he did indeed mention SHERMAN'S WAY! On top of that, I was greeted with an invitation to screen our film at the Newport International Film Festival in Rhode Island in June. Same dates as Jackson Hole Film Festival, so it'll be interesting to try to be in two places at once! High class problem, though.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Okay, so after two years of high school Spanish, all I've retained these many years later is Mi casa es su casa and telefono. So, despite my spanish surname, I'm baffled as to what was written about our film on the blog A PROPOSITO DE LOS ANGELES. All I can make out is the reviewer mistakenly identifies me as having played "Sherman," not Michael Shulman. It also looks like it says I'm a preposterous banjo player, but I'm pretty sure I'm failing to conjugate a verb correctly or something.

If anyone out there knows how to translate Spanish into English, kindly take a look at the review HERE and let me know what it says. Unless of course they pan the film. Then let me go on in blissful ignorance.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


One of the great things about film festivals are all the amazing people you get to meet. The founding sponsor of NBFF is none other than super sports attorney Leigh Steinberg, who not only served as consultant on Cameron Crowe's JERRY MAGUIRE, but also as the basis for Tom Cruise's titular character.

Leigh was gracious enough to invite me, Mike and Mike's buddy Jordan up to his Newport Beach office for a private tour of his sports memorabilia. Covering ever inch of wall, shelf and floor space was autographed paraphernalia from Troy Aikman, Dusty Baker, Oscar de la Hoya, Mark Brunell, Matt Leinhart -- you name it. If they've held, thrown or kicked a ball, this guy reps them.

His office overlooks the Pacific Ocean and he invited me to see the view from behind his desk. Unfortunately, we only had my crappy cellphone camera, but you can see Leigh and I checking out yesterday's local newspaper with Mike and I on the cover. It's also a shame that Mike and Jordan were too shy to snap a pick. Or was it that I'm a Photo Op whore? Not sure which.

Friday, April 25, 2008

NBFF - After Party

The After Party that the Festival threw last night was incredible. There were over 3000 partygoers, many dressed to the nines, dancing, drinking and sampling food from 13 different local restaurants. The band was rockin' and it really seemed like everyone was having a great time. There was also a fashion show, complete with half-naked, young nubile bodies strutting their stuff down an elevated runway. It was fun to watch, I just wasn't sure what it had to do with celebrating independent cinema. The hundreds of people that we met were gracious with their compliments of our film and genuinely interested in talking about the filmmaking process.

As much fun as it's been, I wish I was up in LA today with Joaquin (who had to be on the set of SWINGTOWN after only 2 hours of sleep). Today's his birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOAQUIN! He's coming back down to Newport on Saturday so we'll celebrate then ... by watching movies!

As Mike mentioned in the article in Tuesday's Orange County Register, his buddy Jordan Goldberg flew in from London to attend the festival and seemed to enjoy the plethora of SoCal beauties that swarmed around the two as they made their way through the crowds.

Tom made a splashy entrance with Brooke and her friends. Put a hot babe on each of his arms and he's a happy camper! I looked for Chris Gay, our editor, but it seems as if he departed early with his fiancee and family.


Okay. How cool is this? Mike and I plan to meet in the lobby of the Island Hotel for breakfast. So, as I'm waiting for Mike to come down, I'm greeted by the legendary Richard Sherman -- the guy wrote so many classic Disney songs including the score to MARY POPPINS. He tells me he was at the screening last night and "loved the film." He was so generous in praise, I was literally embarrassed. He went on and on about how we need more films like it, and how he didn't want it to end.

Seconds later, we are joined by the equally legendary (and amazingly spry 86-year old) Army Archerd from VARIETY (along with his radiant wife, Selma). As long as I can remember, my day started by reading his definitive column. After a second, Mr. Archerd realized who I was from my introduction before the film, and he too began to heap praise. "What an exceptional film! I can't wait for the sequel! Those characters were so fun to watch and boy what a great message."

I was in heaven! I asked Mr. Archerd if I could quote him on our poster and he said, "We'll do better. I'll do an item in my column." Wow. And I didn't think anything could top last night!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


What an awesome experience! The incredibly kind and generous folks at NBFF treated us like royalty and gave us a night we'll never forget.

My mom arrived with my son Josh at the Island Hotel around 6:00pm, just before we were to head down to a private reception before being whisked away via awaiting limos to the theater. Tom was already in the room with me, cursing the fact that the hotel was completely non-smoking -- even out on the room's balcony. Joaquin was stuck in Hollywood on a soundstage shooting his series SWINGTOWN, and wasn't going to be able to make it, which really bummed me out.

Mike arrived from NYC with his buddy Jordan about noon, and seemed really happy with his surroundings. Newport Beach, after all, is pretty up-market!

Now it was just a matter of being joined by Brooke, James and Lacey. 

Down at the reception I was introduced to NB Mayor Ed Selich, sports manager/legend Leigh Steinberg (the guy Jerry Maguire was modeled after) and the VIP's from the festival including CEO and total mensch Gregg Schwenk as well as the ever-energetic Leslie Feibleman (who has been so great throughout the entire lead up to the festival).

Brooke arrived at the reception just as we were being taken to the limos, and boy she looked stunning as usual. What a star! Still no word from James, who was hoping to wrap a shoot in time to make it to the screening. Ditto for Lacey.

Pulling up to the theater I was thrilled to see our picture's name on the giant marquee and even more thrilled to see a HUGE line of nearly 1000 cued up for the film. We were guided to the red carpet, where for the first time at one of these events, I wasn't asked to step back a bit so as not to be in the shot!
As I escorted my mom down before the flashing bulbs, a reported asked (shouted really) who my date was. "This is my mother. She's the only date I could find shorter than me." My retort got a lot of smiles, but only one audible "aw" and courtesy chuckle from a female reporter who also appeared vertically challenged.  Awkward. Step and stop. Flash. Step and stop. Flash. All the time I knew the photographers and reporters were wondering "Who is this guy?" 

Mike and Brooke walked the carpet and I could tell both were having fun. They did great. Big smiles all around. Then, we were ushered down another line, this time to chat with reporters one on one. "What's the film about?" "How do you find Newport Beach?" "Is that Armani you're wearing?"  Um... "It's a road picture that goes nowhere. More of a pitstop movie." Chuckle. "I used MapQuest." Chuckle. "I can't even spell Armani, let alone afford it." Cricket. Oh well, I never said I was a pro at these things.

Brooke and Mike handled the press with much more grace and ease than I did. They chatted with the gorgeous Jennifer Galardi, host of The OC Juice show, Ross King from Channel 5 news and various other new media folks. 

It was such an impressive sight from where I stood, I couldn't help whip out my cell phone and snap a few pics of the reporters -- who seemed to eat it up.

Inside, the cavernous theater was packed -- nearly 1300 in all. After an hour or so of intros and sponsor thanking,  Joaquin bolted down the isle! He made it! And dressed all in black too! So when I took the mic, I was able to introduce our two leads, our writer, our editor and our DP. I couldn't have been happier. Well, maybe if James, Rico, Lacey, Donna and Thomas had been able to join us. 

The screening went well, but it was hard to really gauge how the film played in such a large room. There were a lot of laughs, but not nearly the riotous reception we got in San Jose. Older crowd here. But I really think it was a matter of expectations. Opening a festival is a huge honor. But it does position the film differently and I think puts certain expectations on its playability. 

At the HUGE After Party Gala, we were all swamped with well-wishers and everyone said how great they thought the film was and how funny it was and boy it's going to be a huge hit in the theaters. Of course, the free alcohol was flowing and no one was being shy about enjoying it.

Thank you Gregg, Leslie, Todd, Erik, Meghan, Riki, Karen and Saba for an evening we'll never forget. 

For VIDEO from the Orange County Register, click here.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

JACKSON HOLE FILM FESTIVAL - Screening Dates Announced

We just found out we'll be screening Friday, June 6 at 7pm and Sunday June 8 at 12:30pm. Both screenings will be at the Center for the Arts, which I hear is state-of-the-art.  I'm really looking forward to this festival. I've heard nothing but great things and, well, from the pictures it looks like Jackson Hole is one of the most beautiful spots in America. Oh, and when not shooting movies around the globe, James Le Gros calls the place home. So it's gotta be pretty cool.