Friday, August 18, 2017

Got a minute for a movie?

A quick note about our producer, Savannah Rodgers ...
She is in the running for a Sundance fellowship, based largely on her film "For Sale," which is a micro short. When I say "micro short," I mean it tells the story in less than 60 seconds.
So do us a favor and check it out here. I know it puts a serious lump in my throat every time I watch it.
If you like it, just hit the "Appreciate" button and log in through Facebook, Google or Adobe. It's simple, and it will really help Savannah. (And our "Out Here In Kansas" team loves Savannah.)

Monday, August 7, 2017

More out-of-state awards

While "Out Here In Kansas" has received plenty of love in our home state, to win awards we've had to go ... well, out of Kansas.
Our documentary took home a couple more first-place honors, this time at the Glitter (Okla.) Film Festival. It won best documentary short, which is amazing, because I can attest first-hand how great the films were there.
We also won best director for a documentary short. I guess that's me. I should note how sheepish I feel about accepting individual accolades, simply because I'm so aware how influential editor Kenny Linn, as well as producers Jon Pic and Savannah Rodgers, were in shaping the story. We even had a focus group to give us notes on our rough cut, which wasn't even my idea.
But hey, I'm glad to receive the award, it's wonderful publicity for "Out Here In Kansas," and I still think we've got big things comings.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Making new friends at Glitter!

McAlester, Okla., is more than a 500-mile round trip from Wichita, but I had a good reason for driving there Friday: The Glitter! Film Festival, recently featured by NBC News.
The four-film block that included "Out Here In Kansas" had to have been one the best ones. It started with "The Symphony of Silence," a tear-jerking narrative directed by Cedric Thomas Smith (pictured on the far right).
Next up was our film, followed by "Upstairs Inferno," a feature documentary I was well aware of before Glitter! It's the story of a gay club in New Orleans being set on fire, resulting in the murder of 32 people.
The block ended with "Your Way Back to Me," which was directed, shot and edited by first-time filmmaker Alexandra Dietz (second from right). It's a documentary about Native-American Hannah Sheridan (far left), her career as a lesbian in the Navy and her family's way of coping with death.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Introducing our new film project

The subject matter won't have much in common with "Out Here In Kansas," but the same film crew has already begun a still-untitled documentary about an indoor soccer team called the Wichita Wings.
This film will focus on the 1980s Wings, who quickly became a pop culture phenomenon in Wichita with their long hair, tan legs and flamboyant personalities. They were mostly European players with large appetites for fun, and they couldn't have come along at a more perfect time.
This will be a bigger project than "Out Here In Kansas." We'll have more photos, more B roll, more history and more interviews (we're already done 12).
But it's safe to say Wichita Wings: The Movie (that's our working title) will have a similar look. I'm sharing the director's role with Kenny Linn. Jon Pic is back as producer. Tim O'Bryhim, who co-wrote a history of the Wings book with Michael Romalis, is also a producer.
You can follow the project on our Facebook fan page, or our Twitter account.

Monday, July 24, 2017

What's going down in this photo?

I'm not sure what's exactly being discussed in this picture, taken earlier this year during a Q&A session at Southwestern College. But the look on our faces is kind of funny. (Click to enlarge.) That's editor Kenny Linn on the far right, me to the left of him and producer Jon Pic to the left of me.

Our evening with Melissa Etheridge

Rock legend Melissa Etheridge performed at the Wichita Orpheum last night. "Out Here In Kansas" producer Jon Pic and I were fortunate enough to meet her backstage before the concert.
Etheridge, for those who haven't seen our documentary, plays a significant part in "Out Here In Kansas." She is from Leavenworth and is practically an icon in the LGBT community, not to mention a brave cancer survivor. (Watch this and tell me it doesn't give you a few goosebumps.)
Melissa called Jon and me "the movie guys" and just couldn't have been nicer. She offered to sign our movie poster (Jon was smart enough to bring a silver Sharpie.) I thanked her over and over again for being a part of our film, and she thanked us "for the important work you're doing."
Jon and I got fifth-row seats to the concert, which was incredible. She played a two-hour set, including an encore, and pretty much blew everyone away with her showy guitar playing and trademark raspy voice. At one point she even took over the drums.
She talked to the audience a lot about growing up in Kansas and her experiences in Wichita - which included church camp, "believe it or not." She sang "Wichita Lineman." She's clearly proud of her home state, even though she's now lived most of her life in Los Angeles.
"Kansas rocks," she told the audience. "Don't you ever say any different."

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Back in Oklahoma next week

Here are the details of our next screening of "Out Here In Kansas," which will be highlighted at the Glitter! Oklahoma LGBT Film Festival in McAlester, Okla.
Our movie will be shown at 4:45 p.m. Friday, July 28 at Spaceship Earth Coffee, 312 E. Choctaw Ave. in McAlester.
Following that will be a directors Q&A from 5:30-6 p.m. Admission is free to the public.