Friday, January 23, 2015

Plain Clothes - A Short Film by Sam Jaeger and Produced by Jane Kelly Kosek Premieres on YouTube

Plain Clothes is a short film written and directed by and starring the talented Sam Jaeger (he has also recently starred in Parenthood, American Sniper, and Inherent Vice). Sam and I have made a few projects together, including the romantic film Take Me Home, we came together on this film to honor his brother who is a cop and all of the other police officers out there struggling with PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder).

I'm really proud of the film and the work by the entire cast and crew who donated their time to help make this happen. PTSD is real and it's afflicting so many of our first-responders and veterans of war. We hope this film helps bring more awareness to the issue.

And now you can watch the entire film on YouTube! I hope you check it out.

A Documentary I Worked on "Best of Enemies" Premieres at Sundance Now! Go see it!

Best of Enemies Poster

I handled the research on a really wonderful documentary last year about the debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley during the 1968 political conventions. These debates were important because it is thought that they sparked the often-outrageous political punditry we see on television today.

The boiling point in their debates:

Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom) and Robert Gordon (Muddy Waters Can't Be Satisfied) both produced and directed the documentary. No stone was left unturned on the search for archival materials to support the story. Morgan and Robert did an amazing job distilling the story down into a feature-length documentary.

Here's the synopsis from the Best of Enemies Web siteBest of Enemies is a behind-the-scenes account of the explosive 1968 televised debates between liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley Jr., and their rancorous disagreements about politics, God and sex.

The film is on Rolling Stone's Must See list for Sundance 2015. That's awesome!

It premieres this morning in Sundance (right now, in fact!). I wish I could be there but I'm not attending Sundance this year - alas! But I hope you check it out for me. Here are the other screening times:

Friday, January 23, 11:45 am @ Library Center Theatre, Park City, UT

Saturday, January 24, 12:00 pm @ The Grand Theatre, Salt Lake City, UT

Sunday, January 25, 7:00 pm @ Redstone Cinema 2, Park City, UT

Wednesday, January 28, 8:30 pm @ Prospector Square Theatre, Park City, UT

Saturday, January 31, 2:30 pm @ The MARC, Park City, UT

Go Team Tremolo!

Here is a scene from the film:

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Indie Film Distribution Strategy to the Rescue for The Interview

It's always interesting to me when the indie world and the studio worlds collide. They usually hum along on very different planes. The indie world is scrappy, using guerrilla, grassroots, and word-of-mouth tactics to distribute, market and sell their films. Whereas, the studios have their marketing and sales machines with budgets in the millions of dollars for pumping out ads across multiple platforms.

However, everything changed when Sony's computer system was hacked, confidential documents and emails were leaked to the world, and theaters were threatened if they screened the film. Suddenly Sony had to call on the very arthouse theaters that we indie filmmakers count on for theatrical releases of our small films and essentially push their big, studio comedy through a traditional independent film release. Intriguing, right? Oh yeah.

Arthouse theaters are the saving grace for indie filmmakers. They're typically more open to taking on risky films that may or may not do well. And we indie filmmakers often do not know how successful we will be on filling a theater or multiple theaters. We do our best to book across the country and try to push our indie films in each town that the film plays but it's really hard to know how the film will perform, especially if you're screening in a town with which the film has no personal connection. Studio films seem to be able to play wherever and still draw an audience, often due to the cast or director or tentpole story, but indie films can easily struggle to find their audience.

Therefore, the relationship between an indie filmmaker and an arthouse booking agent (often the theater owner) can be rather personal and be built on a mutual love for film and begging on the filmmakers' part. Lots of begging! So when I heard the arthouse theaters would be playing The Interview I was thinking of all my connections at these theaters and wondering how they might be feeling to be the theaters in the limelight for this release. My hope was that these indie theaters would draw new filmgoers to their venues. I think that happened.

And to top off showing the film in these smaller venues, the studio did a day-and-date release strategy whereby they released the film simultaneously in theaters and on Video-on-Demand (VOD). Huge theater chains hate this strategy. They don't want to be competing for their patrons' attention with VOD. They want an exclusive window for a certain period that helps ensure viewers will get off their couches and actually go to the theater to see a movie. And since they are huge theaters and essential to a studio's bottomline during a theatrical release, studios will often forego the day-and-date strategy.

But in the case of The Interview, Sony decided to implement the relatively new and more and more popular day-and-date strategy of simultaneously showing the film on VOD and in the theater. And it's looking like the strategy is paying off. According to recent news, The Interview made a couple of million at the theaters and about $15 million through video-on-demand during its first weekend. If that doesn't show that viewers are getting used to watching films at home then I don't know what does. This excites me because indie films see most of their revenue through VOD.

I know it's hard to compare The Interview to any other film - indie or studio - due to the patriotic push to see the film. Nevertheless, I've been intrigued to watch a studio film get pushed through the typical indie film release. I'm hoping it actually helps audiences get even more used to VOD and it opens indie films and theaters up to a wider audience. I'll be continuing to track this release to see how it affects distribution strategies going forward. I have a feeling it will be very influential on all future film distribution strategies. We'll see!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

My Novella Olympic Conquest Made the Featured List on Wattpad!

Very excited to announce that my romantic novella Olympic Conquest made the Featured List on Wattpad!

This was my announcement on my Facebook page. I thought I would share it here too as it expresses how I feel: 

So I started writing long fiction this year for fun but also in an effort to try to expand on my work as a storyteller. My hope is that my novel writing will help make me a better screenwriter and film producer too! And then, I did something crazy and very much against my internal shy kid (yes, she's alive and well inside me daily) and I decided to develop as a writer in front of the world, by writing and posting first drafts of work on WattpadAnd then with much surprise to the little shy girl, Wattpad reached out last month. They asked if they could feature my story Olympic Conquest on their Featured List. What?! Who me? Of course!, said the little shy girl. Folks this novella was the first story I wrote and published. And it shows (trust me, I know it's not going to win a Pulitzer). I'm definitely still growing as a writer and each day, I'm getting over my fear of failure and I'm building confidence a centimeter at a time. All of this is to say, thank you friends and family for putting up with all my FB posts and being in my corner. I really do know you're there and it keeps me going. And thank you to those who have read my novels and told me so - you touch my heart. And thank you to those who collaborate on stories with me and honor and respect my contributions. You all enrich my creative soul and I couldn't be more appreciative. And thanks to Wattpad for making this little shy girl's day! So without further ado, here is a link to Olympic Conquest on Wattpad. And now I'll get back to my writing! Thanks everyone! xoxo

And there you have it! I hope you check out my novella and keep up with my storytelling at my new Facebook page for my writing:

I'm also designing a new Web site at so stay tuned for that!

Olympic Conquest can also be found on Amazon, Nook, Kobo and Google Play!

Here's to continued improvement in all of us as creative artists and to making many more stories come alive on the page and on screen.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

2015 Sundance Spotlight and Park City at Midnight Films




Park City, UT — Sundance Institute announced today the films selected to screen in the 2015 Sundance Film Festival out-of-competition sections Spotlight and Park City at Midnight, as well as the films and installations to be featured in the New Frontier program. The Festival, which takes place January 22 to February 1 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah, is the centerpiece of the year-round public programs for the Institute, which also hosts 24 residency labs and grants more than $2.5 million to independent artists each year.

Trevor Groth, Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival, said, “This year's Park City at Midnight selections have much to offer genre enthusiasts. With everything from futuristic fantasies to paranormal nightmares, it's an all-out trip to the cinematic edge.”

New Frontier champions films that expand, experiment with, and explode traditional storytelling. Recognizing the crossroads of film, art, and media technology as a hotbed for cinematic innovation, New Frontier is also a venue showcasing innovative media installations and panel discussions that explore the expansion of cinema culture in today’s rapidly changing media landscape. The installations will be housed on the top two floors of the historic Claim Jumper, at 573 Main Street in Park City. Admission to all New Frontier installations is free.

Shari Frilot, Sundance Film Festival Senior Programmer and curator of the New Frontier exhibition, said, “The content creators in the 2015 edition of New Frontier radically challenge the very notion of storytelling. Working with virtual reality and new gaming technologies, these artists, filmmakers, journalists, media scientists, game designers and creative technologists present a peek at the dawn of a bold new cinematic world, through an unprecedented exploration of the most basic state of being.”

In addition to those announced today, films in the U.S. and World Competitions and NEXT <=> sections have been announced. Selections for the Premieres, Documentary Premieres, Short Film, Sundance Kids and new Special Events sections have not yet been announced. For a full list of films announced to date visit

Regardless of where these films have played throughout the world, the Spotlight program is a tribute to the cinema we love.

6 Desires: DH Lawrence and Sardinia / United Kingdom, Italy (Director: Mark Cousins) — In winter 1921, DH Lawrence and his wife journeyed to Sardinia, and he chronicled their experiences in Sea and Sardinia. Now, Mark Cousins retraces Lawrence’s footsteps. The film is conceived partly as a letter to Lawrence — or “Bert” — a detail that’s typical of the film’s inviting sense of conversational intimacy. International Premiere

'71 / United Kingdom (Director: Yann Demange, Screenwriter: Gregory Burke) — ‘71 takes place over a single night in the life of a young British soldier accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the streets of Belfast in 1971. Unable to tell friend from foe, he must survive the night alone and find his way to safety. Cast: Jack O'Connell, Paul Anderson, Richard Dormer, Sean Harris, Barry Keoghan, Martin McCann.

99 Homes / U.S.A. (Director: Ramin Bahrani, Screenwriters: Ramin Bahrani, Amir Naderi, Bahareh Azimi) — A father struggles to get back the home that his family was evicted from by working for the greedy real-estate broker who's the source of his frustration. Cast: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern, Tim Guinee, Cullen Moss, J.D. Evermore.

Aloft / Spain, France, Canada (Director and screenwriter: Claudia Llosa) — Aloft tells the story of a struggling mother, Nana, and her evolution to becoming a renowned healer. When a young artist tracks down Nana's son 20 years after she abandoned him, she sets in motion an encounter between the two that will bring the meaning of their lives into question. Cast: Jennifer Connelly, Cillian Murphy, Mélanie Laurent, William Shimell. North American Premiere

Eden / France (Director: Mia Hansen-Løve, Screenwriters: Mia Hansen-Løve, Sven Hansen-Løve) — Mia Hansen-Løve's electronic-dance-music epic follows the rise and fall of a DJ (based on her brother, Sven, a contemporary of Daft Punk) who gets into the rave scene in 1994 and spends the next 20 years navigating the French club scene. Cast: Félix de Givry, Pauline Etienne, Greta Gerwig, Brady Corbet, Arsinee Khanjian, Vincent Macaigne.

Girlhood / France (Director and screenwriter: Céline Sciamma) — Oppressed by her family, dead-end school prospects, and the boys law in the neighborhood, Marieme starts a new life after meeting a group of free-spirited girls. She changes her name and dress, and quits school to be accepted in the gang, hoping to find a way to freedom. Cast: Karidja Touré, Assa Sylla, Lindsay Karamoh, Mariétou Touré, Idrissa Diabaté, Simina Soumaré.

The Tribe / Ukraine (Director and screenwriter: Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy) — Set at a Ukrainian boarding school for the deaf, the film’s narrative unfolds purely through sign language without the need for employing subtitles or voiceover, resulting in a unique, never-before-seen cinematic experience that engages the audience on a new level. Cast: Grigoriy Fesenko, Yana Novikova, Rosa Babiy, Alexander Dsiadevich.

White God / Hungary (Director: Kornél Mundruczó, Screenwriters: Kata Wéber, Kornél Mundruczó, Viktória Petrányi) — When young Lili is forced to give up her beloved dog, Hagen, because its mixed-breed heritage is deemed “unfit” by The State, she and the dog begin a dangerous journey back toward each other. Cast: Zsófia Psotta, Sandor Zsótér, Szabolcs Thuróczy, Lili Monori, László Gálffi, Lili Horváth. U.S. Premiere

Wild Tales / Argentina, Spain (Director and screenwriter: Damián Szifrón) — Inequality, injustice, and the demands of the world cause stress and depression for many people. Some of them, however, explode. This is a movie about those people. Vulnerable in the face of an unpredictable reality, the characters of Wild Tales cross the thin line dividing civilization and barbarism. Cast: Ricardo Darín, Julieta Zyberberg, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Darío Grandinetti, Erica Rivas, Oscar Martínez.

From horror flicks to comedies to works that defy any genre, these unruly films will keep you edge-seated and wide awake.

Cop Car / U.S.A. (Director: Jon Watts, Screenwriters: Christopher D. Ford, Jon Watts) — Two 10-year-old boys steal an abandoned cop car. Cast: Kevin Bacon, James Freedson-Jackson, Hays Wellford, Shea Whigham, Camryn Manheim. World Premiere

The Hallow / Ireland, United Kingdom (Director: Corin Hardy, Screenwriters: Corin Hardy, Felipe Marino) — When a London-based conservationist is sent to Ireland to survey an area of ancient forest believed by the superstitious locals to be hallowed ground, he unwittingly disturbs a horde of terrifying beings and must fight to protect his family. Cast: Joseph Mawle, Bojana Novakovic, Michael McElhatton, Michael Smiley. World Premiere

Hellions / Canada (Director: Bruce McDonald, Screenwriter: Pascal Trottier) — Teenage Dora Vogel must survive a Halloween night from hell when malevolent trick-or-treaters come knocking at her door. Cast: Chloe Rose, Robert Patrick, Rossif Sutherland, Rachel Wilson, Peter DaCunha, Luke Bilyk. World Premiere

It Follows / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: David Robert Mitchell) — After a strange sexual encounter, a teenager finds herself haunted by nightmarish visions and the inescapable sense that something is after her. Cast: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe.

Knock Knock / U.S.A. (Director: Eli Roth, Screenwriters: Eli Roth, Nicolas Lopez, Guillermo Amoedo) — Two beautiful young girls walk into a married man's life and turn a wild fantasy into his worst nightmare. Cast: Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, Ana De Armas, Aaron Burns, Ignacia Allamand, Colleen Camp. World Premiere

The Nightmare / U.S.A. (Director: Rodney Ascher) — A documentary-horror film exploring the phenomenon of sleep paralysis through the eyes of eight people. They (and a surprisingly large number of others) often find themselves trapped between the sleeping and awake realms, unable to move but aware of their surroundings while subject to disturbing sights and sounds. World Premiere

Reversal / U.S.A. (Director: J.M Cravioto, Screenwriters: Rock Shaink, Keith Kjornes) — A gritty psychological thriller about a young woman chained in a basement of a sexual predator and manages to escape. However, right when she has a chance for freedom, she unravels a hard truth and decides to turn the tables on her captor. Cast: Tina Ivlev, Richard Tyson, Bianca Malinowski. World Premiere

Turbo Kid / Canada, New Zealand (Directors: Anouk Whissell, Francois Simard, Yoann-Karl Whissell, Screenwriters: Anouk Whissell, Francois Simard, Yoann-Karl Whissell) — In a post-apocalyptic future, The Kid, an orphaned outcast, meets a mysterious girl. They become friends until Zeus, the sadistic leader of the Wasteland, kidnaps her. The Kid must face his fears, and journey to rid the Wasteland of evil and save the girl. Cast: Munro Chambers, Laurence Leboeuf, Michael Ironside, Aaron Jeffery, Edwin Wright. World Premiere


The Forbidden Room / Canada (Directors: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Screenwriters: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Robert Kotyk) — A submarine crew, a feared pack of forest bandits, a famous surgeon, and a battalion of child soldiers all get more than they bargained for as they wend their way toward progressive ideas on life and love. Cast: Geraldine Chaplin, Caroline Dhavernas, Roy Dupuis, Udo Kier, Charlotte Rampling, Karine Vanasse. World Premiere

Liveforever / Colombia, Mexico (Director: Carlos Moreno, Screenwriters: Alberto Ferreras, Alonso Torres, Carlos Moreno) — Driven by the music and dancing she finds along the way, a teenager leaves home willing to try anything her provocative and tolerant city has to offer, even if she burns out in the process. Inspired by the best-selling novel "Que viva la música" by Andres Caicedo. Cast: Paulina Davila, Alejandra Avila, Luis Arrieta, Juan Pablo Barragan, Nelson Camayo, Christian Tappan. World Premiere

The Royal Road / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jenni Olson) — This cinematic essay, a defense of remembering, offers up a primer on the Spanish colonization of California and the Mexican American War alongside intimate reflections on nostalgia, butch identity and Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo — all against a contemplative backdrop of 16mm urban California landscapes.Cast: Jenni Olson, Tony Kushner. World Premiere

Sam Klemke's Time Machine / Australia (Director: Matthew Bate) — Sam Klemke has filmed and narrated 50 years of his life, creating a strange and intimate portrait of what it means to be human. World Premiere

Station to Station / U.S.A. (Director: Doug Aitken) — Station to Station is composed of 60 individual one-minute films featuring different artists, musicians, places, and perspectives. This revolutionary feature-length film reveals a larger narrative about modern creativity. World Premiere

Things of the Aimless Wanderer / Rwanda, United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Kivu Ruhorahoza) — A white man meets a black girl, then she disappears. The white man tries to understand what happened to her while also trying to finish a travelogue. Things of the Aimless Wanderer is a film about the sensitive topic of relations between “locals” and Westerners, about paranoia, mistrust, and misunderstandings. Cast: Justin Mullikin, Grace Nikuze, Ramadhan Bizimana, Eliane Umuhire, Wesley Ruzibiza, Matt Ray Brown. World Premiere


1979 Revolution Game
Artists: Navid Khonsari, Vassiliki Khonsari

1979 Revolution Game presents an innovative approach to non-fiction storytelling. Designed to engage players with an immersive "on the ground" experience of the Iranian Revolution, the game integrates an emotionally impactful narrative with interactive moral choices and intuitive touchscreen gameplay while remaining true to history.


Artist: Oscar Raby
This immersive documentary uses virtual reality technology to put the user in the footsteps of Director Oscar Raby's father, who in 1973 was a 22-year-old army officer stationed in the north of Chile, on the day when the Caravan of Death came to his regiment.

Artist: Max Rheiner

Flying is one of the oldest dreams of humankind. Birdly is an experiment to capture this dream, to simulate the experience of being a bird from a first-person perspective. This embodiment is conducted through a full-body virtual reality setup.

Artist: François Quévillon

This interactive installation uses the audience’s body motions and positions to explore 3-D reconstructions of urban and natural spaces that are transformed according to live environmental data, including meteorological and astronomical phenomena.

Evolution of Verse
Artist: Chris Milk

Chris Milk, working with visual effects powerhouse Digital Domain and virtual reality production company, has created this photo-realistic CGI-rendered 3-D virtual reality film that takes the viewer on a journey from beginning to new beginning.

Kaiju Fury!
Artist: Ian Hunter

A dark energy experiment leads to a devastating attack by monstrous Kaiju, and you are standing at ground zero — all in 360-degree, stereoscopic 3-D cinematic virtual reality. You will "be there" as the beasts lay waste to a crumbling city and humanity makes its last stand. Cast: Susie Abromeit, Bill Lippincott, Daniel Martin, Brian Dodge, Vincient Chiantelli.

Artist: Pleix

Paradise is certainly not paradisiacal if you look at it through our eyes. But neither is it totally devoid of humor, melancholy and absurdity. Perhaps it is first and foremost life as it is, and then a touch exaggerated in the digital overdrive.

Perspective; Chapter I: The Party
Artists: Rose Troche, Morris May

A young college woman attends a party with the intention of shedding her "shy girl" persona. At the same party, a young man is after a similar reinvention. They meet, drink, and misinterpreted signals turn into things that cannot be undone. Virtual reality simulators let viewers experience both characters. Cast: Tabitha Morella, Caleb Thomas, Zachary Zagoria, Anna Grace Barlow.

Artists: Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert

Possibilia is a multi-layered narrative experience from acclaimed directing duo the Daniels. The story of two quarreling lovers splits exponentially into more and more possible worlds as their relationship unravels. Cast: Alex Karpovsky, Zoe Jarman.

Project Syria
Artist: Nonny de la Peña

More than one million children have fled Syria and news reports indicate children are being specifically targeted in the violence. By combining pioneering virtual reality technologies with audio and video captured during a real event, audiences feel transported to the powerful scene, becoming witnesses as the intense tragedy unfolds.

The VR works of Felix & Paul
Artists: Félix Lajeunesse, Paul Raphaël

Felix & Paul’s groundbreaking live-action virtual reality experiences range from independent documentary to fictional work with major Hollywood studios and stars. These experiences let viewers sit in the room with musicians making music, roam the Mongolian plains with yak herders, and experience an encounter with the afterlife.

Way to Go
Artist: Vincent Morisset

It is a walk in the woods. It is an astonishing online and virtual reality interactive experience, a restless panorama, a mixture of hand-made animation, 360-degree video capture, music, dreaming, and code; but mostly it is a walk in the woods, c'mon!

Zero Point
Artist: Danfung Dennis

Zero Point, a 3-D and 360-degree documentary for the Oculus Rift headset, creates an entirely new digital dimension. From combat training simulations to research labs at Stanford to indie game developers and hackers, this immersive experience highlights the future of virtual reality.

The Sundance Film Festival®
The Sundance Film Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most groundbreaking films of the past three decades, including WhiplashBoyhoodRich HillBeasts of the Southern WildFruitvale StationLittle Miss Sunshinesex, lies, and videotapeReservoir DogsHedwig and the Angry InchAn Inconvenient TruthPrecious and Napoleon Dynamite, and through its New Frontier initiative has showcased groundbreaking media works by artists and creative technologists including Chris Milk, Doug Aitken, Palmer Luckey, Klip Collective and Nonny de la Pena. The Festival is a program of the non-profit Sundance Institute®. 2015 Festival sponsors to date include: Presenting Sponsors – HP, Acura, SundanceTV and Chase Sapphire Preferred®; Leadership Sponsors – Adobe, Airbnb, Grey Goose® Vodka, LensCrafters and Southwest Airlines; Sustaining Sponsors – Blundstone Australia Pty Ltd, Canada Goose, Canon U.S.A., Inc., Chobani, LLC, Omnicom, Stella Artois® and VIZIO. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development, and the State of Utah as Festival Host State. The support of these organizations helps offset the Festival’s costs and sustain the Institute's year-round programs for independent artists.

Sundance Institute
Founded in 1981 by Robert Redford, Sundance Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides and preserves the space for artists in film, theatre, and new media to create and thrive. The Institute's signature Labs, granting, and mentorship programs, dedicated to developing new work, take place throughout the year in the U.S. and internationally. The Sundance Film Festival and other public programs connect audiences to artists in igniting new ideas, discovering original voices, and building a community dedicated to independent storytelling. Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern WildFruitvale StationSin NombreThe Invisible WarThe SquareDirty WarsSpring AwakeningA Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube.