Saturday, July 25, 2015

Set Photos from "The Burden of Choice"

We shot The Burden of Choice about a month ago, but for the last few weeks post-production had to be put on pause to do some festival Halina work. Today I wanted to post some of the behind-the-scenes pictures taken from our set photographer Vanessa from both days of the shoot.

We start with a pretty picture of Elisa in hair and make-up...
Here's Mara the Assistant Director and I.
 Cool camera shot.
 On set with Tarion and Elisa (and resisting the urge to eat the cookie props).
 Crew guys - the team behind the magic.
 Little man Dane in hair and make-up.
 Adorable picture of Dane and Jessica on the set.
 Our "band photo!"
 Pooya posing on the set during her scene with Elisa.
 Cramming a decent-sized crew into a tiny room.
 Jessica and Pooya give us their "tough girl" pose...
 ...then Elisa joins them for a superhero pose...
 ...then it goes full-on Charlie's Angels...
 ...and finally they're joined by some handsome guy.
Post-production will be resuming so check back for updates, clips, and maybe even some poster art in the near future!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Top 20 Tweets from WarmMilkFilms Twitter Account

Look: I never claimed to be a comedian. I'll save the funny stuff for my pal Shane and his blog

Rather, I like to use my Twitter for the stupid random thoughts that pop up in my head. So for the sake of prosperity and a chance for me to laugh at my own dumbness (as I often do), here are my top 20 tweets from 2011 up until now (in no order).

Congrats, you made it to the end! Now check out the actual Twitter page for WarmMilkFilms and give a follow!

Friday, July 17, 2015

"Halina" Wins Best LI Film & Best Supporting Actress at Long Island Film Expo!

Last night was the closing ceremony of the 2015 Long Island International Film Expo. Some awards were announced a couple of weeks ago so we already knew that Hannah Jane McMurray won Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Halina.

What we didn't know, however, was if we were nominated in any other categories. But it turns out we had a nomination in Best Long Island Film, a category which includes both short and feature length productions! And in a category that held 7 amazing nominations, Halina won!

This is the same award that Purgatory Comics won 5 years ago.

It goes without saying that it is a tremendous honor to win these awards. From the ceremony, you can tell that this festival has grown exponentially in the last 5 years, and the competition has become much more fierce as more talented filmmakers from around the world are discovering LIIFE. So this is a huge win for both Halina and Warm Milk Productions, and hopefully only the beginning.

Onto some pictures! Here's some Halina/The Burden of Choice crew on the red carpet before the ceremony, including Marc, Peter and Rob and myself.

Here's a picture I grabbed from the ceremony of the hilarious host Dot Com (as seen on 30 Rock).
 After the show! Peter demanded I do the multiple trophy pose and I complied.
Here's Elias Plagianos (winner of the Best Director award) weirding out Mara (1st AD from The Burden of Choice) and DP Marc. Elias and I also wound up doing festival and panel rounds back in 2010, so it was really cool to have crossed paths again and receive recognition together again.
The Lifetime Achievement Award this year went to John Amos. Now, many people know him from Good Times, or Roots, or Die Hard 2 . . . but I know him most as Cleo McDowell in my all-time favorite comedy movie Coming to America. Meeting him and getting this picture was a tremendous honor.
Festival wins are always exhilarating. But as someone who's been a Long Islander his entire life, a win from this festival means much more for me. This is recognition from my home; my community. These are the people that, like me, come from New York and also like me, have a burning passion to tell stories. Last night was a night I will always be incredibly thankful for.

Monday, July 13, 2015

"Halina" World Premiere Recap

First and foremost, thank you to everyone who was able to make it out for the world premiere of Halina! Some people came a long ways to show their support and I really really appreciate that. I had the most amazing time. I love any chance to hang out with my cast and crews, and mingle with other filmmakers. 

Here are some of the pics I took. There were so many cool peeps there I didn't get a chance to snag a picture with, such as DP Mike and our composer Steve (to name a couple).

Here's a mix of team Halina and team Burden of Choice:
Next up is Lamis the graphic designer and Enge, the Casting Director for both Halina and The Burden of Choice.
Tyler, who played Aaron in Halina. He seemed to really dig the film which is always good to hear. I really want actors to be proud of working with me.
 Cheryl the Production Manager of Halina! We accidentally matched outfits.
 Marc the 1st AC for Halina and DP for The Burden of Choice.
There is no feeling in the world quite like screening your movie for a full theater (and it was a packed house, I couldn't believe it). Sitting in the back, I went through the whole screening with an odd mix of exhilaration and terror; it was the first time I'd shown the film to people who came in with no context, so I had some sudden self-doubts if the film was too subtle, not subtle enough, easy to follow etc.

But the response was terrific. The audience laughed at the right parts and cheered for the end pay-off, which is my personal favorite part. Afterwards I heard some great reactions, especially for Lilly and Hannah Jane. When 2/3 of your film is two women sitting and talking, it's a tricky balancing act...but those two carried the script like pros and everyone seems to absolutely love them.

The Q&A panel after the screenings was a lot of fun (that might've been because I slammed down a few drinks right before it).  I got to discuss the themes of Halina in a little more depth and even talk about The Burden of Choice a little bit.

Next up for Halina is the LIIFE award ceremony this week, and then the August 19th screening in New York City for New Filmmakers.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Watch "Halina" This Friday Online!

This Friday, Halina will screen at the opening night of the Long Island International Film Expo.  

However if you can't make it to Long Island, you can still watch Halina online! An added feature to the festival this year is online screening that runs concurrently with the theater screening. Here's how you can watch Halina online this Friday:
  1. Watch Halina online at
  2. FestivalFilms will also be on BonkoTV
  3. Go to the GooglePlay store and download BonkoTV.
No matter where you are, this Friday you can be a part of the world premiere of Halina!