With Miki on a hot day in Venice, Italy

Dog Days Are Here Again

Life as an independent filmmaker ain't all sunshine and daffodils, folks. Like many people who toil at creative labors - hell, at any labors - I have entered one of those periods where I am feeling somewhat unappreciated, thanks to a series of discouraging events. First of all, the Norwegian DVD release of Claustrophobia has been delayed by a month: Now it's scheduled to be released on September 8. No big deal, but that's just for starters. That guy in Spain who asked me - begged me half a dozen times, in fact - to send a DVD of the film to him for his horror festival (see June 10th entry) became incommunicado the moment I sent it. SeƱor, if you're reading this, shame on you.

Similarly, a couple of months ago, an acquaintance of mine who never wrote me as much as hello during the last two years suddenly popped up and asked me if I could send her my film for a local festival she was running. She seemed rather desperate for material so I, in my imagined greatness, figured I was doing her and her rinky-dink festival a big favor by sending it in. Mind you, I have not submitted Claustrophobia to any festivals, primarily because I've learned that the submission process is a scam, but also because mine is a scary movie, not the sort to play in an artsy-fartsy fest. I told my acquaintance this and she assured me that it wouldn't be unsuitable. So I sent her my last VHS screener and even sprung for the $10 submission fee. (I would've asked to waive it, but it was so low.) I never heard from her, so I wrote her to ask if she'd received it. She said yes, and although she hadn't seen it yet, she could see no reason why it wouldn't play in her festival. Ten days later, I got a form letter - not even from my acquaintance but from some festival goon - telling me the film was rejected. So lame, in so many ways. It's like being at a party where your buddy pleads with you to dance with his ugly sister sitting alone in the corner. You reluctantly agree - then the sister turns you down. It's a blow to the ol' ego, but I suppose it was arrogant of me to assume this was a done deal.

On the bright side, my trip to Italy was wonderful, Fangoria is interviewing me shortly, and the biggest news of all is that I have started writing a new script! It's another scary movie, this one in an office building. Its tentative title is Dial 9 to Get Out. I am just about finished working out the story with pen and paper, and next comes the daunting task of writing the actual screenplay. As usual, I'll post updates on its progress as a way of keeping myself accountable.