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Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our seventh calendar year!
Number 349  (Vol. 7, No. 48). This edition is for the week of November 27--December 3, 2006.

The Tampa Film Network Meeting for November

By Nolan B. Canova

Thankfully, I have attended at least one other Tampa Film Network Meeting that went spectacularly well, and have it on good authority the other meetings went smoothly. To any newcomers who may have been disappointed by last Tuesday's gathering, I would not hold it up as a typical example of how these things go, please give it another chance, I'm really behind these guys.


Whew. There. That's off my chest. To be absolutely fair, this was the first meeting held at the Cuban Club in Ybor City. All past events were held at the Chili's Restaurant on S. Dale Mabry. There was always talk of upgrading the venue, and while the Cuban Club is an excellent place to hold TFN meetings, in retrospect, it had a few subtle strikes against it for this kind of thing:

1. Directions can be tricky.
2. Metered parking.
3. The organizers failed to note on flyers that there are TWO floors meetings can be held on at the Cuban Club. Apparently, many film fans tried to crash some women's meeting downstairs and were turned away confused.
4. I learned the organizers had to actually pay a tidy sum to rent the hall.

Left to right, event organizers Joe Davison, Chris Woods, Melissa Webb, and Keljean Connolly. Directly behind them you can just make out the stage front of the beautiful Cuban Club theater.
That last note affects only the organizers, no one was required to pay admission, but it multiplied the tragedy of a missed opportunity to hold a punctual meeting to a large group.

This meeting (Nov 28) was the fifth this year of the Tampa Film Network. Organizers Joe Davison, Chris Woods, Melissa Webb, and Keljean Connolly were all present at the podium/table at the front of the theater stage when we arrived at the crack of 8:30pm, supposedly the meeting's start time. After we snacked on some of the chips-and-dip provided (thanks, guys!), my traveling companion, Gus Perez, and I seated ourselves in the front row, a few feet from the podium. There were, maybe, 10 people in the hall. Joe Davison, nervously tapping his pen and answering his cellphone every 15 seconds or so, was obviously very concerned about the low turn-out evident at this point. I had made note to both the boys I could not stay long, as it was a work night, but I also realized this was likely the last meeting of 2006 and thought I'd make an effort.

Now, I never said I expected anyone to work things around my schedule, but I find it hard to believe nobody was on any timetable in the middle of a work-week, especially those who had to drive some distance to get there! I found it unconsciounable that Joe Davison had no intention of starting the meeting before a certain number of people showed up. Chris Woods seemed uninclined to argue with him, and Melissa and Keljean said nothing to him as far as I could tell.

After watching Joe drum his fingers on the table and answer his cellphone for 45 minutes, the meeting was finally called to order at 9:15pm by Chris Woods. No apologies or explanations for the late start was given. This is very bad form for newcomers who may've gotten the wrong idea right off the bat.

The few, the proud. About quarter to 9:00pm I stood next to the dais and took this photo of the left half of the auditorium (as seen from in front of the stage). I wish I knew everyone's name, sorry. But you can use the large man in the flowered shirt in front as a reference point as I pivot for...
...the right half. I was seated next to Gus when I got up to take these pictures. There were a few more fans who would arrive later (USF's Rodrick Colbert and Peter Guzzo for two), but you get an idea of the intimate setting. The "dais" table is in the foreground.

All bitching now out of the way, here's what went down...

9:15pm, Meeting Called To Order.

Old Business

  • Discussions of the status of The Quiet Place the TFN's horror production covered here in PCR #340. (The title was originally given to me incorrectly as A Quiet Place....it's THE Quiet Place.) Chris announced the editing is about 25% completed on this 20-minute short and the January target release date should be able to be met.
  • The Halloween Horror Picture Show 2006 was brought up and discussed. I commented it was a better turnout than last year's event.
  • Shelby McIntyre's UNBanned was the next topic. There was a smattering of recognition amongst the members of the audience. I saw the film at the last TFR, not sure if anyone else present had seen it yet. Mention was made about the tremendous amount of press the film got, always a good thing. (The Guzzo Bros, who had arrived at the TFN meeting just before 9:00pm, also have seen the film. They're also integral to The Quiet Place)
  • Discussion about the ScreamFest convention for those who attended.
  • Reactions to the Guzzo Bros' film The Ghosts of Ybor: The End is Blossming were noted.
  • Pinellas-based filmmaker Chris Fuller's Loren Cass was acknowledged. I couldn't tell if anyone present had attended the premiere, but the film has garnered tons of positive press.

    New Business

  • The status of the now in-production 100 Tears. Auditions will be held December 2nd at (I want to say) the old cigar factory in Ybor where The Quiet Place was filmed. Chris, back me up on that. (Write to Chris for more exact info.) Melissa, giggling with excitement (adorable, that) announced that there is an article on the Fangoria Magazine website discussing the movie!
  • The Gasparilla Film Festival was discussed at this point. They are now accepting submissions and are looking for sponsors. Visit www.gasparillafilmfest.com for more information. (NOTE: For those filmmakers who are confused or intimidated by the complicated online registration process at WithoutABox.com, I happen to know there is a hard-copy alternative just configured as a Microsoft Word Document. Please write to Paul Guzzo for this registration form.)
  • Steven Spielberg's The Lot reality series was discussed next. This is where a winner of a film competition (think American Idol-like) can earn a $1 million development deal with DreamWorks. www.thelot.com.
  • The 48 Hour Film Project is looking to expand to new cities. Evidently, a producer is being sought to base one in Tampa. The idea is a camera and script idea is given to a filmmaker and he has 48 hours to write, cast, direct, edit and deliver said film project. Impossible? I've actually seen some of these at film festivals and all I can say is it's amazing what one can do in 48 hours when one HAS to, haha. www.48hourfilm.com

    Ongoing Business

  • Joe Lala's Actor's Workshop. Monday nights at the Italian Club, 6:30pm, $30 per class. Contact Krystal Marie Badia at kmbadia@gmail.com or call 727-858-7570 or 813-874-1230.
  • The Tampa Film Network meetings, 6 times a year. Centralized locations an ongoing concern.
  • The Rod Griffin Actor's Group. Hard to tell if ol' Rod was joking or not, but he seemed very depressed to have to tell us he may not continue his actor's work group due to low attendance. I don't have any handy contact information for Rod outside of his MySpace.

    At this point it was 9:40pm, and I had to leave for work (already running late doing that), so the remainder of the meeting is copied from the posted schedule. Although Joe Davison guesstimated about 30 people total were in attendance, I think it was closer to 20, including very late arrivals. Again, this is very unusual and not how it normally goes.

    Discussion Topics
    Feedback on Tampa Film Network, website, People section of website. Sponsors.

    Although the schedule said that Ziad Ahmed's Real Premonition had made it into the Sundance Film Festival, I've since learned that it didn't happen after all. Too bad, the trailer looks awesome.

    Announcement Requests

  • Melissa Web knows someone who can score your films and has quite a pedigree in music soundtracks. Contact Melissa at linebcker@aol.com or Kelly at kelly.beaman@gmail.com.
  • Bryan Coward (Leftover Films) is in need of filmmakers interested in showing their work as part of a presentation. Contact Bryan at bryan@leftoverfilms.com
  • Bonnie Aylor needs help in writing a rap (D-12 style) for a scene in her latest film project, Not Really Present, about a recovering relationship after an accident. Contact Bonnie at wildrosepetals2003@yahoo.com

    A Presentation by Cassie Chenavert on how to write press releases (about 45 minutes).

    Meet-and-greet held at the end of the above seminar. As the meeting had to close at 11:00pm, not sure how much time there was left for this.

  • Post your thoughts on this topic

    TFN MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/tampafilmnetwork

    Joe Davison email: spitballfrenzy@gmail.com

    Chris Woods email: cwoods4@tampabay.rr.com

    All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2006 by Nolan B. Canova.

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