Tuesday, March 31, 2015

'When do we get to see it?'

We've been asked this question a thousand times, so I thought I would go ahead and address it here ...

One of our goals is to have "Out Here In Kansas" finished in time to submit it to the Tallgrass Film Festival. That is in October; the final deadline is September.

Certainly we have other lofty goals with this project, and I personally want it to get seen by as many eyes as possible. A lot of our timeline will depend on how well our fundraising efforts go the next six weeks.

Bottom line: Our top priority is making an outstanding, entertaining and thought-provoking movie. And so help me, we are going to do that. If it's not ready in time for Tallgrass, we'll just keep plugging away until we're satisfied.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Now we're cookin'

Here is the logo we unveiled at last night's Final Friday event. We're really thrilled with it. I've mentioned this before but it's worth repeating: Jon Pic not only designed this, he's the one who came up with the name itself.
So now that you know who we are, there are many ways to follow our progress and support out efforts ...
* Like our Facebook page.
* Follow our Twitter account.
* Follow our Intragram account.
* Donate through our Indiegogo account. We have just started a six-week fundraising campaign, and every dollar is important for us to make the best documentary we possibly can.
We'll also be doing stuff through Vine, Tumblr and YouTube. There is also this video on Vimeo that explains the film in less than three minutes. We'll be asking some of you to submit your own video through YouTube or Vimeo. But that's a topic for another blog post.
One more thing ... an official trailer is coming soon. It's powerful stuff.

Hey, that was fun

Wow . . . it's been such a dizzying 24 hours, I don't know where to begin.

Actually, of course I do: With a huge thank you to all of you who came out to our Final Friday event last night. I had to duck out a little early — I'm in this local production that creates journalism scholarships called "Gridiron" — but the rest of our team tells me nearly 75 people came in to check it out.

For an event that was pulled together in four days, that's pretty incredible. We even got a couple of nice checks, and now our six-week fundraising campaign is officially underway. You can donate here.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Here's where the party happens

For those of you in the Wichita area, I hope you're considering attending our Final Friday event, which starts at 5 p.m. tonight (March 27) at 216 N. Mosley.
Here is a photo of the venue, a terrific office venue called "The Labor Party." (A television reporter I used to work with asked me if this was the Wichita Communist Headquarters. No, it's just a play on words.)
So if you're down for free drinks, free munchies and a free sneak peek of what we've been working on, The Labor Party is truly the place to be.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

You're all invited

On Friday, March 27 we'll be hosting a "Final Friday" event to unveil the new details of our documentary. It will be from 5-8:37 p.m. at the Labor Party, 216 N. Mosley in Wichita's Oldtown district.

Some questions you may have ...

Are you showing your movie?
No, we're still making our movie. This is a social come-and-go event to discuss our film and to get people talking about it. At 7 p.m. we will be showing the award-winning documentary "The Bible Tells Me So."

It ends at what time?
8:37 p.m. That's precisely when the film will end. (Only if you want to stick around.)

How much does it cost?
Nothing. This is the day we kick off our fundraising campaign, but that's done online. No pressure to donate; we just want to get the word out.

Will there be food?
Yes, snacks and a few beverages.

What is Final Friday?
It's a hip event that's held in many cities on the last Friday of each month - a chance for various venues to display art, music, film ... you know, culture.

Who's going to be there? 
Our editor, our photographer, our publicist, me, and a bunch of other cool people. Hopefully that includes you. You are cool, aren't you?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Big week for us

We have an exciting announcement coming Friday, one that I'll tell you about on this very blog. That's all I'm allowed to say for now . . . but suffice it to say, it's something we worked on awhile.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Party in Topeka

The folks at the Equality House, that little rainbow-colored, LBGTQ-friendly home right across the street from Topeka's infamous Westboro Baptist Church, invited our film crew up to help celebrate their two-year anniversary today. We went, and we were not disappointed. In fact, we stayed for six hours just shooting B roll for the movie, getting a few interviews and just visiting with a whole lot of great people eating great food while enjoying great weather.

Here are some of those people, getting ready to "plant one for peace." At 2 p.m. sharp, they had a big group kiss right in front of Westboro. It was quite a moment.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

What's that dirt doing in my hole?

You know that scene in "Cool Hand Luke" when our hero is ordered to dig a deep hole, only to later be asked what that hole is doing there, and so on? That must be a little what poor Jon Pic feels like right now.

Jon (pictured here sitting on the floor of the Kansas Capital Building last month) came up with three terrific art concepts to present our new film title. We all agreed on one. That was a couple of weeks ago.

But Andy and I keep asking him to tweak it. That's what he's doing today, instead of watching the first day of the NCAA Tournament.

(That's an inside joke. I'd be shocked if Jon even knows the NCAA Tournament is going on.)

We're just a few days away from our own version of March Madness: Announcing the title and wordmark logo for our film. The title was Jon's idea, too.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Oh yeah

I'd forgotten Burt Humburg, the subject of our film, mentioning this to me last year until I saw it in the library this afternoon.

Yes, Burt is in this documentary too, representing Kansas Citizens for Science.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Here's what's up with our film

Our team has another trip planned in a few days, but until then things are kind of quiet with our project. 
Basically ... Jon is doing his stuff and is anxious do to more. Andy is doing her stuff but has also been sick. And I've been spending time with Kenny trying to make sure he has what he needs to keep the progress moving forward. 
I keep trying to write a complete screenplay to give everyone, but it’s difficult with so many moving parts. I told Kenny it felt strange to spend so much time waiting.
"Welcome to being a director," he replied.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Not everyone gets the Adam discount

It's good to have friends like Shawn Rhodes. He was kind enough to give me a little break on the cost of transferring a bunch of VHS Humburg home movies to my hard drive. (If you look hard enough you'll see the "Adam discount.")
Rhodie is a filmmaker himself. In fact, he's one of the first people I talked to when I was thinking about making this documentary. As a veteran of a few of his parties, I can tell you he's also a bit of a wild man. If you've ever watched the late night rock video show "Heavy Pork" ... yeah that's one of Rhodie's babies.
Anyway, I can't wait to hand this hard drive over to our editor Kenny later today. He'll be happy. He lives for this stuff.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Q&A with Kenny Linn

This is Kenny Linn. Thank heaven for Kenny Linn, because without him, there is no movie.
Kenny's official role with the film is that of editor, but but he's doing so much more than that. He's shot video and has been involved in every way with helping us shape the documentary's vision.
Kenny went to film school in Denver, and currently teaches Broadcast and Video production at Derby High. He's a gifted videographer and editor who plans on being involved with Kansas filmmakers for a long time to come.
For a young guy, Kenny has a staggering knowledge of just about any movie genre you can think of. From our conversations, I can tell you he adores Stanley Kubrick and now that I look at this picture, I believe he's even starting to look like him.
Here's a Q&A so you can get to know Kenny a little better. You can also check out his Vimeo profile here.

How did you end up at Art Institute of Colorado?

I got lost while attending WSU, I changed my plan of study a couple of times, and was starting to feel like I was going to school for the sake of going to school. However, there have always been two interests that have stuck with me: images and writing, A degree in filmmaking seemed like a logical direction. I didn't have much interest in moving to a coast and Denver seemed like a pretty cool place, so I chose the Art Institute of Colorado. 

How did your experience differ from someone who had gone to, for example, a large state university?

Art school is ... interesting, but one of the experiences that really sticks out about living between Denver and Wichita was the perspective on politics. Compared to my friends in Colorado, I'm a conservative redneck but back here in Kansas, I'm a liberal hippy. Whatever that means. Not sure I answered the question but I'm moving on.

You have a degree in Digital Filmmaking and Video Production. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about filmmaking?

I don't think a lot of people realize how much work it is. Our culture consumes so much media and we have a constant stream of new content, it's easy to forget just how much time is put into projects.

You’re teaching aspiring filmmakers right now. Do your teachings resemble what you were taught a few years ago, or has the craft changed?

The craft hasn't changed but it's always changing. Is that a satisfying answer? Of course not. Filmmaking isn't old hat, new hat, it's proven tools, new tools. The basic tools have been around since the 19-teens, but new tools are always being added. Every filmmaker out there is trying to create a spectacle, a one-up-man-ship sort of thing. It's a breeding ground for ideas and creativity and a non existent comfort zone. That makes developing a locked in, set in stone, solid chapter based curriculum really hard to develop ,,, and so thank God they haven't blocked youtube yet.

What is your favorite movie?

I hate this question - there are too many to choose from. The last time I watched "Dr. Strangelove" I remember not thinking too much of it, but I recently gave it another chance and I laughed so hard. I can't pick a specific title, but I think that makes a good movie, when you can re-watch it and get something new.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Burt's mom

I've mentioned the late father of our main character, Burt Humburg, a couple of times on this blog. But I haven't mentioned his mother Judy.
The best compliment I can give Burt's mom is she reminds me of my own mother: Loving, tough, God fearing, thoughtful and always ready for a good laugh. It's been a rich experience getting to know Judy (whose last name is now Dutra) as I've told her son's story, and her husband is definitely one of the good guys (another compliment I don't throw around too often).
This screenshot of Judy is from 1991, when the local news did a story after the Andover tornado. One of the Humburgs' checks was found by a farmer. In Iowa.