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Makin’ Waves at our World Premiere

MBIFF signWhat a nerve-wracking and exciting weekend!  Saying Goodbye had its world premiere on Friday at the Myrtle Beach International Film Festival (MBIFF).  The day got off to a gloomy start as we drove up the coast in cold, rainy weather - it’s not supposed to be that cold in SC at the end of April!  Luckily we had our sister Joanna with us to act as both a cheerleader and a paparazza.  Once we arrived in Myrtle Beach, she tried to get us to eat lunch, but we were too nervous to eat more than a few bites even though she kept telling us everything would be fine.

We then headed to the theater, but as go-time quickly approached, our parents were nowhere to be found.  Turns out they were stuck in terrible traffic!  So as 2:30 came and went, Jerry Dalton (the director of MBIFF) was kind enough to delay the start of our movie; and the audience members were patient with the fact that we were big ol’ dorks who wanted our mommy and daddy to be there for our big screen debut. 

Fortunately, they were only about ten minutes late, and soon the opening credits started to play.  Carmike Broadway 16 has a fancy digital projection system, so Saying Goodbye looked fantastic on the big screen.  We just stared at it in awe - it was hard to believe that was our little movie up there.  And the audience reactions took the unseasonable chill right out of the air.  They laughed at the right places, and we heard plenty of sniffling and saw tears being wiped away at the sad parts.  When the end credits rolled, the applause was enthusiastic and made us all warm and tingly inside. 

There was an audience Q&A scheduled at the end of each film block, and since we were the only filmmakers present for our block, we got to monopolize the entire time.  The audience members had some great questions, with people especially curious about working with the cats on set.  We also introduced everyone to Stuffy the Stand-in, who was along for this adventure and preened at all the attention.  The kind words from the audience made all the hard work worthwhile, and we thank everyone who came to our premiere.

With the scary part out of the way, it was time to have fun.  First we had a celebratory frozen custard with our parents (yeah, not really walking on the wild side, but it wasn’t even 5:00pm yet!).  Then we took Stuffy the Stand-in out exploring Myrtle Beach.  At midnight, there was a pancake dinner with the other MBIFF filmmakers, where we met some really great people.  No attitudes in the bunch, just super friendly folks passionate about making movies. 

The next day we spent time on the beach and then watched some excellent films.  After seeing the quality of the shorts playing at the festival, we didn’t think we had a chance to win an award.  That’s where Joanna came in putting her power of positive thinking vibes out into the universe.  At the awards ceremony that evening, we were thrilled when Saying Goodbye was named the 2nd place winner in the shorts category.  Not too shabby for our very first festival!

Then there was an after party at a local restaurant, where we had some delicious food and met even more filmmakers from across North America: Colorado, Austin, Victoria, LA, and Raleigh to name a few places.  While seeing our movie on the big screen and winning an award were amazing, the best part of the MBIFF was meeting fellow filmmakers.  We hope we run into them at future film festivals, and we’ll certainly be cheering on their projects. 

A hearty ‘thank you’ to Jerry and Heather and everyone else who helped with the MBIFF.  We also want to thank all of our cast and crew who brought Saying Goodbye to life.  We hope y'all are proud of what we accomplished together. 

If you want to see more pictures from the weekend, check out our Flickr page

This post is already morphing into a novella, but there’s one more piece of business… the announcement of the winner of the World Premiere Celebration Contest.  We added all the entries from twitter, facebook, and newsletter signups to a spreadsheet and then used to pick the winner.  And the lucky winner is… Eddie Barker!!  Congratulations, Eddie - we’ll contact you through email about getting your prizes to you.  Thank you to everyone who entered and helped spread the word about our premiere!!

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World Premiere Celebration!

This is a big week for us since Saying Goodbye will have its official premiere at the Myrtle Beach International Film Festival this Friday. We’ll finally be introducing our baby to the world and all we can do is hope we did everything possible to ensure its success as it leaves the nest.

We thought Saying Goodbye’s new status as a fully-grown film deserved a new look, so we’ve given the website a makeover. We think it’s a bit flashier, while still providing easy access to all the fabulous content. We’ve also added a new feature: a place to sign up for the Saying Goodbye newsletter. We plan to send out a newsletter about once a month with all the latest movie news, which will include interviews with the cast and crew, as well as times and places to see the film.

With the world premiere AND a new website to celebrate, there was only one thing we could do - have a contest! So what will the prize be for such a momentous occasion? Not only will the winner get a $25 gift certificate to Amazon, we’ll also send the lucky winner his/her very own screener DVD of the film! Since we’re just now starting on the film festival circuit, it might be a while before the movie appears at a film festival near you; so by winning this contest, you will be able to watch Saying Goodbye in your home in the next few weeks.

Saying Goodbye World PremiereWhat do you have to do for a chance to win this fantastic prize package? Sign up for the newsletter! Just click here, fill in your information, and press the ‘Subscribe to list’ button and you automatically have one entry into the contest. Easy, right?

But that’s not the only way you can enter - you can add extra entries by helping us spread the word about Saying Goodbye and this contest. Just use the "FB Share" and "Tweet" buttons below the comments section of this post:

  • Each time you tweet about it, you get one extra entry.
  • Each time you post on your Facebook page about it, you get one extra entry.
  • If you blog about it, you get three extra entries.

To make sure we know about the ways you are helping us build buzz about Saying Goodbye, add a comment to this post with the number of times you tweeted/posted/blogged.  And if you blogged about us, post a link so everyone can check out your blog. You do not have to add a comment telling us you subscribed to the newsletter.

The contest runs until 11:59pm on Monday, April 25th, at which time we will randomly draw one of the entries as the winner of the prize package.

Thank you for your support leading up to this point, and we really appreciate your help with celebrating this exciting week!

And don't forget, if you live within easy driving distance to Myrtle Beach, you should join us for our world premiere.

Date: Friday, April 22nd
Time: 2:30 pm
Place: Carmike Broadway 16 movie theater (1175 Celebrity Circle, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577) 

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Save the Date

We now know the dates and times of our first two festival screenings, so mark your calendars!

The Myrtle Beach International Film Festival is up first on Friday, April 22nd at 2:30 at Carmike Cinema 16 Broadway at the Beach.  We are showing before a feature called Watch out for Slick which is a comedy, so that should be an interesting pairing.  This will be our World Premiere, so we hope that friends and fans in the area (plus those willing to take a little drive) will be there to share our special day with us.  Click here to go to the MBIFF website to learn more details about purchasing tickets. 

Our next festival screening will be the Charleston International Film Festival on Saturday, May 21st at 3:00 at the American Theater.  We are showing in a block with seven other shorts, so there will be a variety of entertaining films.   Click here to go to the CIFF website to learn more details about purchasing tickets. 

We’re so excited to finally share Saying Goodbye with audiences, and we hope to see you at one of the screenings!

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Good News/Bad News Week

Myrtle Beach International Film FestivalWe’ll get the bad news out of the way first.  We mentioned that the first festival we entered after finishing Saying Goodbye was the Atlanta Film Festival.  We knew it was a stretch for us because they prefer edgier films with Oscar aspirations; and while we love our sweet, sappy film, we know it doesn’t fit that mold.  However, we still held our breath and thought really happy thoughts when we opened the email from Atlanta, but even though the message was very nice and encouraging, it was still an ego-bruising ‘no.’  But since three of our amazing actors are from Atlanta, we quickly brushed ourselves off and found several smaller film festivals in Atlanta which we applied to, so hopefully their friends and family will have a chance to see the film in a theater.

And now to turn those frowns upside down: we found out this morning we’ve been accepted into the Myrtle Beach International Film Festival (MBIFF).  Hurray!!  MBIFF was named by MovieMaker Magazine as one of 2009’s 25 festivals worth the submission fee, so we are thrilled to be a part of it this year.  The festival will be April 19th - 23rd.  Since the MBIFF is before the Charleston International Film Festival, it will end up being our official World Premiere, so if you are near the area, we’d love to have you join us for this exciting Saying Goodbye milestone.  We’ll update the blog, Facebook, and Twitter once we find out more details about the day and time we’ll be playing. 

We are still waiting to hear back from most of the festivals we've applied to, but the next round of notifications won’t be until late May and early June, so we have a long time to gnaw on our fingernails and hope for more good news.

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Same channel different time

Saying Goodbye on WACH Fox newsSo if you watched Good Day Columbia on Monday morning hoping to see us, it turns out our story didn’t air then.  But during a report about SC Governor Nikki Haley appearing in an episode of Army Wives, they mentioned tuning in to the 10:00pm news for a piece about local filmmakers.  We got moved to the evening newcast, which probably means even more people got to see our delightful faces opening and closing the story about film incentives.  After our parents watched the piece online, they said we didn’t embarrass them, so that’s good, right?   

We also heard that the same story ran in Charleston on the ABC news at 7:00pm, so Saying Goodbye got more exposure than we thought it would, which is always a good thing.  To see us in action, click here.

Richard Futch, the president of the Carolina Film Alliance who was also featured in the story, was the casting director for our film.  And our 2nd AD Matthew Sefick was also briefly shown on camera.  So this piece turned out to be a mini Saying Goodbye reunion!

Thank you to Brian McConchie for doing a story about the importance of film incentives and state funding of the arts and for including us in it!

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Odds and Ends

A few weeks ago, we were interviewed by Brian McConchie, the lead anchor for Good Day Columbia.  He’s doing a story on possible cuts to state funding of the arts, and since Saying Goodbye was funded by an amazing grant program from the SC Film Commission, he wanted to get our thoughts.  The idea of being interviewed on camera was almost enough to make Jocelyn hurl, but Brian M. did such a great job with the interview, that we were quickly put at ease.  We talked about the film and how much the grant has meant both to us and the students who worked on the film.  Hopefully we made a good case for why funding the arts is important. 

The story is supposed to air tomorrow morning (Monday, March 14).  Good Day Columbia airs from 5 - 9 a.m. on Columbia’s Fox station (WACH).  We don’t know which hour the story is supposed to air, so if you live in the Columbia area, set your DVR to record the entire morning block.  If you don’t live in the area (which includes Jocelyn, who’s both dreading and kind of excited to see how idiotic she sounds on camera), we hope to get a web link to the story, which we’ll post on the blog.


Charleston International Film Festival Laurels

In other news, the Charleston International Film Festival just sent us our laurel logo for being official selections.  We can now add the logo to our site to prove we really were selected, and it wasn’t a figment of our imaginations.  Hurray, our first laurels!  Aren't they beautiful?

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There's No Place Like Home

Charleston International Film FestYou make a movie, and through all of the hard work, you hope you’re making something audiences will like.  You show it to a few people and they tell you they love it, but most of them share your DNA, so they’re required to say that.  You gather up your courage and send it to a few experts, and they say very nice things, but maybe they’re just being polite.  So you finally have to take the plunge and send it out to film festivals.  Then the doubts and nerves set in.  What if everyone hates it?  What if they think it’s too sappy?  What if you don’t get accepted to one single festival?

Well, we don’t have to worry about that anymore.  We are delighted to announce that Saying Goodbye is an official selection for the 2011 Charleston International Film Festival!  Can we get a ‘whoo hoo’?  It’s especially fitting that the CIFF is our first acceptance because we grew up in the Charleston area.  We are thrilled that our first ‘yes’ is from our hometown film festival and hope they are only the first of many.

This will be the fourth year for the CIFF, which showcases shorts, features, documentaries, and animation from across the globe.  They also offer free industry panels, workshops, and exclusive after parties.  We had a great time attending many of the CIFF events last year, and we’re overjoyed that we get to participate this year as official selections.  The festival is May 18-22, so mark your calendars!

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Happy Valentine's Day

 Valentine Stuffy

Stuffy the Stand-in loves nothing better than curling up and snuggling with loved ones.  That’s why he’s such a big fan of Valentine’s Day, since it’s a day dedicated to telling the special people in your life how much they mean to you.  Stuffy wishes being a stand-in paid better so he could send chocolates and roses to all the fans of Saying Goodbye.  But since his furry pockets are empty, he wants to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and tell you how much we all appreciate it. 

We wish you and all your loved ones a very happy Valentine’s Day!

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Cross It Off the Bucket List

Jocelyn Rish on setWe mentioned earlier that we're excited to be included on IMDb . . . well, I have to take it a step further and confess I’m doing friggin’ cartwheels. 

My fascination with IMDb began many years ago.  Those of you who know me know that I watch more television than is healthy for a sane person.  In fact, my screen name on several forums is BoobTubeJunkie.  One day while watching a show, I saw an actor that was driving me crazy trying to figure out where I’d seen him before.  So I headed to the computer to play google detective, and that’s when I stumbled across IMDb.  You know the sound that happens in movies when an angel appears – that celestial musical 'aaahhh'?  Well, that sound totally echoed through the room that day.  My eyes grew wide, my mouth fell open, and I was captivated. 

Oh, the hours I’ve wasted on IMDb: reading trivia about shows and movies, figuring out where I’ve seen a “hey it’s that guy” actor before, snickering at the bizarre forum posts.  But through it all, in my secret heart of hearts, there was a longing to be included in this amazing Internet Movie Database.  But I knew it would never come to pass – there’s no way a gal from small town South Carolina with hopes of being a novelist would ever have the opportunity to be included.  I’m still astounded by how it happened, but through this wild and wonderful adventure of bringing Saying Goodbye to life, I now have my very own page on IMDb.

I’m so excited about it, I’m even considering paying IMDb’s ridiculously high price to put my picture on my page even though:  1) I’m not an actress, so having my picture on there doesn’t make a lick of sense and 2) There’s no such thing as a cute picture of me (see exhibit A above). 

At the risk of sounding sappy or trite, I do have to say this has been an important lesson for me.  Even if a dream seems silly or completely unattainable, keep doing what you love and it may come true in unexpected ways.

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IMDb Says We’re a Real Movie Now

IMDB Internet Movie DatabaseNeed to find out info about a movie or TV show or actor?  Chances are the first place you look is IMDb.  And the perception is that if it’s not on IMDb, then it’s not a real movie.  So we’re not embarrassed to admit we did a happy dance when Saying Goodbye was granted its very own IMDb page.  Click here to see the Saying Goodbye page.  Right now it just has the basics, but we’ll be adding fun stuff like photos and trivia, so check back often.