Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Do We Have a Doppelganger?

Doppelganger: a ghostly double of a living person, especially one that haunts its fleshly counterpart. From German, the phrase means literally "double-goer." While Kitchen Hamlet is not exactly a living person, nor particularly fleshly (though the tones are a bit fleshy in color sometimes), I'm starting to wonder whether the movie has its own "double-goer."

Back when we were in Atlanta, finishing the movie up at LAB 601, Gabe Wardell, the executive director of the Atlanta Film Festival, was kind enough to meet with us. We had a great, wide-ranging conversation with Gabe (who turns out to know Hamlet a heck of a lot better than I would have guessed), and discussed everything from trailers to premiere status to Tom Stoppard. Somewhere in the midst of our conversation, Gabe said, "I think I've read about your film. Were there any articles about it?" He then named a few different publications that cover indie and low budget filmmaking.

After a brief, irrational, burst of pride, we realized that Gabe must be mistaken. There had, sadly, been no articles about us. (That's changed a little since then--see this article from Haverford College--but not much. Anyone want to write an article? But back to the point.) It took a moment to convince Gabe that this was true, and then he said, "Well, you must have a double out there."

I didn't think much more about our alleged double after that, until this morning. I friend I haven't seen in more years than I will admit to recently contacted me on Facebook. We exchanged hellos, updates, etc. This morning, I got a message from her saying "heard recently about Kitchen Hamlet, and am delighted to know that you directed it." Where? Where has she heard about Kitchen Hamlet? There's not much word out there, that I know of, and none I know of where you could hear about the movie without hearing about me. Our doppelganger has struck again!

So, anyone out there know anything about this? Aware of our double? (Not Hamlet 2, which was coming out as we were shooting last year.) Another Kitchen Hamlet out there? A Dining Room Hamlet? Pantry Hamlet? Attic? Let me know. Post a comment here, or drop me a line. And again, if you want to write that article, we're happy to help.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

IMDb listing

Is there any process on earth less intuitive than posting or editing a listing on IMDb? I doubt it. Our IMDb listing is up now, and though it has repetitions, omissions, and errors to spare, it still feels like an accomplishment to have gotten it up at all.

At first, I submitted information through Withoutabox (the online service for submitting to film festivals), which is owned by IMDb. The Withoutabox site made all sorts of wonderful claims about how the easiest way to get your listing clear on IMDb was simply to transfer information already entered for film submissions. So I did. Oops. The result was a listing with about six names, half of them wrong.

No problem, I thought. I'll go over to IMDb itself and correct them. That's where the fun really started. There are these astonishing forms to fill out, none of which seems to give you the opportunity to correct earlier errors, and none of which made much sense on its own. So fine. I filled out the forms as best I could. And I waited.

Now IMDb makes clear they're going to take a while to process this information. What they don't make clear is that they're going to process it in random dribs and drabs, so that things get worse long before they get better. (Here, I will admit that all of my work on this issue may have had something to do with the fact that my own name did not yet appear anywhere in the listing.) Eventually, most of the information I sent in made it onto the site, though as I said, still with a number of goofs. I've submitted some more wonderful forms, and am hoping to correct some of those as well.

Next up, trying to get our trailer up on the site. Meanwhile, visit our IMDb page if you like, though I hope it will get more accurate, and more interesting, soon. Also, keep an eye out on our Kitchen Hamlet site for some stills and other pictures that we'll be adding soon.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

An Email That Made Me Happy

Let's say you were making a movie of Hamlet. In fact, let's say you had already made a movie of Hamlet. Who would be the one person whose response to the film you would care about most? Shakespeare's dead, so he's out. Your mother has to like it, or at least say she does. The DP? That would be nice, but it's still not top of the list. The programmers at Sundance? Well, sure, but let's imagine for a moment that you're not that crass.

The top of the list, the top of my list, would be the person who played Hamlet. I mean, imagine if you made a movie of Hamlet, and your Hamlet didn't like it. That would be bad.

So, I was nervous last week when I sent Pat Shaw the movie, just before we moved. When I mail the thing out to festivals, I'm nervous too, but that's different. This time, as they say, it's personal. What if Pat hates it? What if he thinks he's good, but everyone else stinks. What if he thinks everyone else is good, but he stinks? What if, worst of all, he's bored?

I got an email today from Pat with the subject line: "wow!" I was cautiously optimistic as I opened the email. It turns out he's thrilled. I says this not to advertise the movie or boast; it's not an astonishing claim to say that the star of a movie thinks it's good. Rather, I'm sharing my relief and pleasure here. In the email, Pat thanks and congratulates me. Let me take this chance publicly to do the same to him.

Thank you, Pat, and congratulations.