Saying Goodbye Movie Blog

Attend a Film Festival in Your Pajamas!

Have you always wanted to attend a film festival, but never had one close enough to where you live? Now you can enjoy the film festival experience right in your own home! The Unofficial Google+ Film Festival (UGPFF) is an online, interactive, live, international short film festival taking place November 30th – December, 2nd, and we’re honored that Saying Goodbye is part of this year’s event.

Just like at a regular film festival, the shorts will play in blocks, and then there will be a live Q&A session with the filmmakers directly after the block screens. Saying Goodbye is in the block showing on Saturday, December 1st from 8:00pm – 10:00pm EST (5:00 – 7:00 PST), and we will be participating in the Q&A. Even if you’ve already seen the film, this is a fantastic chance to watch a variety of other cool films PLUS there's the potential of seeing us embarrass ourselves live in front of people watching around the world.

So how do you participate? You can go to the UGPFF Google+ page or Facebook page and then you’ll be able to attend a film festival in your pajamas! And similar to other film festivals, there will also be panels about the movie making biz and places to hang out to chat with other attendees and filmmakers – click here for the full schedule.

The UGPFF is the brainchild of Adam Cohen, and he is literally the first person we met when we started our film festival adventures. We walked into the megaplex at Myrtle Beach practically trembling with nerves about the premiere of Saying Goodbye. There were no signs up, so we didn’t know what to do or where to go. Then we saw some people wearing what looked like film festival badges, so we introduced ourselves. Adam and his team had just had the screening of their film Cleaning House, so they gave us the lay of the land. And then more than a year and a half later, we get an email from Adam inviting us to submit to his innovative festival, and now here we are – you never know what’s going to come of the connections you make!

Thank you to Adam and everyone involved with the festival for including us!

Also, they are running an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for the festival, so click here to check that out.

And the Winners Are…

First of all, thank you to everyone who has helped spread the word about the release of Saying Goodbye!  We know a lot of people have been posting the link to the movie on Facebook and Twitter and emailing their friends about it, and we appreciate it so much.  We’ve been very touched by the comments we’ve gotten and the emails people have sent us telling us how Saying Goodbye affected them.  Some of these lovely messages have even made Jocelyn start her sniffling again.  So thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has shared our movie with someone else!

As for the winners, we used Rafflecopter to randomly choose five names from the people who entered.  The lucky winners are: Peggyann W., Carol G., Susan H., Laura P., and Cheryl R.  We will be contacting you by email to get your mailing address for your copy of the Saying Goodbye DVD.  Congratulations and thanks for entering!

We will be having several more DVD giveaways throughout the year, so keep an eye on the blog for additional chances to win.  And in the meantime, please continue sharing the link for people to watch Saying Goodbye:

Saying Goodbye DVD

Death Cat Entertainment Presents…

We're excited to announce that after a successful film festival run in which Saying Goodbye won several awards, we’ve finally decided it’s time to publicly release our film. Because we want to share Saying Goodbye with as many people as possible, we’re making it available for free. That’s right, for the low, low price of absolutely FREE, you can watch Saying Goodbye – either scroll to the bottom of this post or click here.

But before you run off to grab some popcorn, we have a request… if you enjoy the film, please share it with your friends and family. Email the link to people you think will appreciate the film, and share the link on Facebook and Twitter and whatever other social networking sites you use. Use this link for sharing: We think the ‘carpe diem’ message in Saying Goodbye is worth spreading, and we need your help to do that.

In fact, we’re offering a contest to encourage people to share Saying Goodbye. We’re giving away five free copies of the Saying Goodbye DVDs to people who help spread the word. If you’re a Facebook fan (new or existing), you get an entry. If you follow us on Twitter (new or existing), you get an entry. Then each day you tweet about the film or this contest, you get another entry. And each day you spread the word via your favorite social networking site or email, you also get another entry. The contest ends the night of Tuesday, August 28th, so you have a week to get in all your entries. We’ll be using Rafflecopter to keep track of the entries and to randomly select five lucky winners, so make sure to add your entries to this Rafflecopter form: THE CONTEST HAS ENDED. Click here to see the winners.

We also have Saying Goodbye DVDs for sale, which are bursting with entertaining extras like deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes featurettes. To find out more about the DVDs and order a copy for yourself and your loved ones, click here.

We really appreciate all the support our fans have given us as we made the film and participated in film festivals. Thank you so much!! Please enjoy the film!

A Capital Announcement

Break out the bubbly!  We are thrilled to announce that High Heels & Hoodoo has officially been accepted into its very first film festival – the DC Shorts Film Festival!  DC Shorts is one of the biggest festivals in the country to showcase only short films, and MovieMaker Magazine has named it one of its 20 festivals worth the entry fee.  We’re beyond excited to be part of their lineup. 

DC Shorts

The festival will be September 6-16 in Washington, DC, and High Heels & Hoodoo will be screening three times throughout the week.  The first screening will be Saturday, September 8th at 4:00pm at the US Navy Memorial.  This will be the only one of our screenings we’ll be able to attend with our smiley, happy faces, and there will be a Q&A with us afterwards.  The other two screenings minus the Rish siblings are: Tuesday, September 11th at 7:00pm at the E Street Cinema and Saturday, September 15th at 6:00pm at the Angelika Film Center.  Click here for ticket information.  And click here for the full schedule plus the addresses of the three theaters.

DC Shorts will be the World Premiere of High Heels & Hoodoo, so if you are going to be near the DC area on September 8th, please join us as our film makes its official debut to the world!

Keepin’ Busy

It’s been a while since we posted, but we promise we’ve been hard at work on both movies.  For Saying Goodbye, we’ve been making behind-the-scenes featurettes for the DVDs.  Yep, we’ve been saying it for a while, but the DVDs are almost here, and we’ve been having lots of fun putting together the bonus features.  We hope to make an official announcement about availability soon.

We’ve been just as busy on the High Heels & Hoodoo front.  After the sneak peeks at the Charleston International Film Festival and the Indie Grits Film Festival, we made a few tweaks to the film, and then declared High Heels & Hoodoo absolutely, completely, one hundred percent done.  Whoo hoo!  There may have been a drink or two to celebrate.  Then we started the nerve-wracking process of submitting to film festivals.  Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Although we haven’t made a trailer yet, we wanted to give y’all a little taste of the film, so here’s a clip!

Just Say YES

Here’s an example of how important it is for independent filmmakers to have a website and trailer for their movies.  A while back, we received an email from the artistic director of the YES Film Festival (YESFest) saying she had seen our website and trailer for Saying Goodbye and that the trailer actually brought tears to her eyes.  She asked us to send her a screener of the film to consider for inclusion in her festival.  Fast forward several months, and we are excited to announce that Saying Goodbye is an official selection in the YESFest!

YES FestivalYESFest is held in Columbus, Indiana, which is “nestled between the cornfields in the heart of the heartland.”  We’ve never been to that part of the country before, so we were really hoping we’d get to attend, but unfortunately circumstances did not cooperate.  But if you live nearby, there will be two chances to see itSaying Goodbye is screening with six other short films on Saturday, May 19th at 2:30pm and on Sunday, May 20th at 3:30pm.  Thank you to YESFest for seeking us out and including us in your festival!

Indie Grants at Indie Grits

Brian Rish and Jocelyn Rish at Indie Grits Film FestivalThis past Saturday we had the second of our High Heels and Hoodoo sneak peeks along with the other five Indie Grant winners at the Indie Grits Film Festival in Columbia, SC.  Our screening was held at the New Nick – the old Fox theater is being restored into the New Nickelodeon theater, and it’s going to be fantastic when it’s completely done because it’s already pretty amazing just partially restored.  The Indie Grant films were screened in the lower level, and it was only the second day the New Nick was open for business, so we were honored to be a part of that.

It’s interesting how every festival has its own ‘vibe.’  The lower level of the New Nick is a lot smaller than the theater where the CIFF was held and therefore the audience was much smaller.  In addition, they were a very quiet audience.  We did not get the same laughter and other audience cues that we did at CIFF.  It made us very nervous while our movie was playing, but it was the same more subdued reaction for all the films.  But at the Q&A afterwards, they were just as enthusiastic about wanting to know about the making of the films. 

Brian Rish, Sandra Lafferty, Jocelyn Rish at Indie Grits Film FestivalThe absolute best part of the Indie Grits screening was that one of our stars, Sandra Lafferty (the ghostly Nanna), came to town for the big event.  She lives in Alabama, so we were thrilled she made the drive to attend the festival.  We hope we didn’t embarrass her too much when we introduced her to the crowd.  Sandra was in a little movie you might have heard of – The Hunger Games aka the movie with the third-biggest opening weekend of all time!  She played the woman in the market who gives Katniss the mockingjay pin.  We are so happy for her that she got to be part of such a phenomenon, and we’re not above exploiting our tenuous connection to a record-smashing franchise.  But, seriously, it was great to see Sandra again, and it meant so much to us that she was there for the screening. 

In addition to the film screenings, the Indie Grits Festival included many social events with classic southern food like shrimp and grits and bar-b-que, and we had a great time eating and mingling.  Thank you to the Indie Grits Festival for including us!

CIFF Part Deux

Brian and Jocelyn Rish at Charleston International Film FestivalAnother year, another fantastic festival by the folks running the Charleston International Film Festival!  Since we had such a great time at this festival last year, we were thrilled to find out High Heels and Hoodoo would have its very first screening at CIFF.  The sneak peek of our work-in-progress was this past Saturday morning in a block with the five other Indie Grant winning films, and it went great.

High Heels and Hoodoo was the first film shown in the block, and we were very nervous.  We’d shown it to a few family members and our expert advisors had given it a thumbs up, but it’s a completely different feeling when showing it to strangers.  We held our breath as the lights went down.  Within the first thirty seconds, people were laughing (and it was at a point where they were supposed to laugh), and the audience continued to give all the expected responses.  When the credits rolled eight minutes later, we heaved huge sighs of relief at the applause. 

Indie Grant filmmakers at CIFFThen we were able to sit back and relax as we watched what our fellow grant winners had been up to: the film noir Scattered City, the dramedy Jazz Hands, the comedy The Lot, the creepy animation supine: a dream; and the drama We Can’t Help You.  Such wonderful variety in the films, and so fun to finally see them on the big screen.  At the end of the screening, four of the films had representatives there for the Q&A, and we took turns answering insightful questions from the audience.

Afterwards, many audience members came up and told us how much they enjoyed High Heels and Hoodoo – hopefully when we get the comment cards, they will say the same thing!  We were also pleasantly surprised that a few people told us they came specifically because they heard us on the radio – how cool!

During the rest of the festival, we took full advantage of our all-access passes and watched other blocks of short films.  It’s so amazing to see the different things filmmakers are attempting with shorts, and it inspires us to go out and make more movies.

Thank you to CIFF for including the Indie Grant films in your festival and for putting on such an amazing event!

2nd photo credit to Ron Krauskopf with CIFF.

Radio Stars

SC ETV RadioThis morning we made our radio debut on NPR!  When we blogged about our experiences at the Beaufort International Film Festival, we mentioned a few opportunities had come up we didn’t want to jinx by talking about them… well, this was one of them.  Mike Switzer (the host of The South Carolina Business Review, which airs Monday-Friday at 7:52AM) was at the screening and Q&A for Saying Goodbye and wasn’t scared off by the fact that Jocelyn talks a million miles a minute when she’s nervous, so he approached her about coming on his show to talk about the film.

Since South Carolina ETV Radio is located in Columbia, Brian was also able to participate in the interview.  Even though we’ve done a few TV interviews, this was our first experience with radio, so it made us (Jocelyn!) a bit nervous.  But Mike instantly put at us ease and gave us the chance to talk about both Saying Goodbye and High Heels and Hoodoo

It’s been fun getting emails, texts, and facebook notes from friends saying they heard us this morning.  Who knew we had so many sophisticated friends listening to NPR so early in the morning?!

If you missed the broadcast, you can listen to the podcast of the interview here.  We don’t think we sound too cringeworthy.

A huge Thank You to Mike for including us on his show!  

A Helping Hand

Bill Allanson and Brad Jayne

For Saying Goodbye, Susan Hogue served as the liaison between the USC students, the SC Film Commission, and us, and she did a wonderful job keeping everyone on track.  As the administrator for the Indie Grants program, Brad Jayne is the "lucky" person in that role for all six of the winning projects and the TTC students.

Brad was one of the winners the first year the Production Grants were awarded, and he made the drama Song of Pumpkin Brown, which blends a touching story with southern jazz music. 

This is Brad’s second year guiding the Indie Grant winning filmmakers in making their films, and he’s been a great help to us with High Heels and Hoodoo.  Brad's the one who recommended John Reynolds as our talented DP, he offered helpful feedback on the rough cut and the score, and he even volunteered to make our credits and title cards look snazzy.  We think the title card logo is going to look awesome on business cards and stickers. 

Many thanks to Brad for all his help and guidance.  South Carolina filmmakers and students are so lucky to have people like Susan and Brad willing to help with these grant programs!

Magical Music

Because the folks at Concentrix Music and Sound Design made Saying Goodbye sound so beautiful, we of course wanted them to work their musical magic on High Heels and Hoodoo.  We jumped in the car for another road trip up to Charlotte to meet with Fred Story and Anthony Fedele for our spotting session, where we watched the film together and talked about options for the score and sound design. 

Fred Story with Emmys - picture by his wife Becky StoryWe presented Fred with a tougher challenge this time.  With Saying Goodbye, it was obviously a drama, so it was easier to pick a sound for the movie.  But High Heels and Hoodoo doesn’t fit comfortably into a genre.  It’s too light to be a typical horror movie, but it’s not funny enough to be classified as a comedy.  But as expected, Fred and his team were up to the challenge.  Last week they delivered a score that provides suspenseful texture, while acknowledging the playful moments, and ending with a rockin’ credit sequence.  We think it sounds great, and it’s exactly what we were looking for even when we weren’t sure what we wanted.

We do know we’re not the only ones who think the Concentrix crew does great work.  We were thrilled to learn that at last weekend’s 26th Annual Mid-South Emmy Awards the Concentrix team was honored with two statues.  Anthony won an Emmy for sound design and audio post-production, and Fred won an Emmy for music composer/arranger, both for the documentary North Carolina’s World War II Experience

Congratulations, guys!  We’re thankful to have such talented gentlemen on our team!

Sneak peeks of High Heels and Hoodoo

One of the fun things the SC Film Commission's Indie Grant Program does is showcase the six grant-winning films in several South Carolina films festivals.  The films will play in a block as works-in-progress to give us filmmakers a chance to gauge the audience reaction – kind of like informal focus groups to help figure out if we need to make changes before we finalize our films.

The first showing of this year’s Indie Grant films will be at the Charleston International Film Festival.  We had an amazing experience there last year with Saying Goodbye and are excited about being part of the festivities again with High Heels and Hoodoo.  The screening will be on Saturday, April 14th at 11:00am at the Sottile Theatre located on 44 George Street, Charleston, SC.  You can learn more about the six Indie Grant films and purchase tickets by clicking here.

* If you buy tickets online for CIFF before April 7th, use the code "5bucks" to get half off the ticket price! 

Then just a week later, the Indie Grant films will be showing at the Indie Grits Festival in Columbia.  In 2010, MovieMaker Magazine name Indie Grits one of the 20 coolest film festivals, so we’re looking forward to participating.  The screening will be on Saturday, April 21st at 8:30pm at the New Nick theater located at 1607 Main St., Columbia, SC.  You can learn more about their schedule by clicking here.

We’re excited to have the chance to show High Heels and Hoodoo to a wider audience, and we hope you can make it to one of the two screenings!

High Heels and Hoodoo