As 2013 Comes to a Close

Shooting a music video in McCall, Idaho, 2013

Shooting a music video in McCall, Idaho, 2013

What a year we have had at Two Cats Fighting! We went to numerous film festivals and worked hard on a music video that is still in post-production. We fill our days and nights with movie making magic and wouldn’t have it any other way. Since our last blog post, not much has changed, which is good. It means we are still going strong on creating that music video with Project213 and that things are progressing.

We wrapped that particular project in early October and have been steadily working on post-production. This is a three-part music video and the very basic first draft of the first music video is complete and looks good. We are still pushing to complete this project by the end of 2013, which is fast approaching, but we still have a few weeks before the end. While we are completing that, we are preparing for an underground film festival that we are bringing to Boise in 2014. BFUG: Boise Film Underground is our little film festival child inspired by the many film festivals that we attended this year.  It will bring experimental films that don’t get screen time to our little town of Boise to share with the masses and leave audiences scratching their heads.

Boise Film Underground

Boise Film Underground

After attending Sun Valley Film Festival, Seattle True Independent Film Festival (STIFF), and Local Sightings Film Festival in Seattle this year, along with Sandpoint Film Festival last year and being accepted into Pollygrind Underground Film Festival in Vegas this year (but being unable to attend), we realized that film festivals are where it happens. What is it? It is film. It is collaboration. It is inspiration. Yes, we spend as many of our waking moments as possible creating films, but these film festivals remind us WHY we make films. They remind us that there are others out there like us. They remind us that it is not for nothing, but for something that we make these films. And because we have had the opportunity to feel special at these film festivals, we want others to feel the same way. So, we want to bring a film festival to Boise. We want others to have the same welcoming experience that we did. We want others to be inspired. Keep your eyes and ears open for BFUG a FUGging new festival coming soon.

Until next time, Peace out film lovers,

Stephanie Michelle Lokelani, Producer

Summer Update

To say that this has been a busy summer would be quite the understatement. And the summer isn’t even over yet! In fact, it has been a busy year. Two Cats Fighting Productions found ourselves at two film festivals this past spring: Sun Valley Film Festival in March for our music video “When Frida Became,” and Seattle True Independent Film Festival (STIFF) in May for our music video “Everybody Masturbate.” In January, we produced the short film “Chug – A Cautionary Tale,” and have been steadily working on a new music video for Project213.

We spent months in pre-production making sure that everything was perfect, and on July 6th, we rolled camera for the first time for this epic music video that will involve greenscreen suits and dancing teddy bears interacting with humans. Every day that we shoot for this project we learn and figure out something new. Maneuvering a teddy bear to make him actually look like he’s walking across the screen while his two human co-stars walk with him is quite the feat. We storyboarded every shot of this seven minute music video and planned out all the details down to what the bear will be wearing. It is quite an extensive project and we couldn’t do it without the storytelling and directing brain of Katie Preston and the music of Jared Hallock. The concept for this project is completely unique and will be a fresh take on the act of living life. We all live life from day-to-day and Katie paints an honest picture of just how mundane and equally creative that life can be.

Nearly every weekend so far this summer has been spent working on this project and we hope to wrap and start editing before the beginning of fall. While we are in full-swing with this project, we are also prepping for a new short film. Location scouting has taken us on some fun hikes and is allowing us to explore our more creative side with storytelling. And while THAT is going on, we are in pre-production for a feature film that we are planning on shooting next summer. The first few drafts of the script have been completed and we have already had a table read with the lead actors. It was such an experience to hear my words come to life with their voices. This will be our first big attempt at a feature film and I can’t wait to get my hands on that camera and start shooting.

Until then, I leave you with a project we worked on last summer, but have only now released. We haven’t released it for any other reason except to say “Here! Watch and hopefully enjoy. And maybe if you want to give us money to produce this we wouldn’t be opposed to that either.

This particular project is a teaser for another feature film that we would like to make in the near future. In June of 2012, we dragged a number of our friends up to a cabin on a lake in beautiful McCall, Idaho and fed them, filled them with booze, and let them enjoy a weekend together. All while reciting lines and stretching their acting wings to perform different scenes from a movie that they haven’t even read yet. All they really know about the film is what the teaser shows, and of course, what our logline says:

Five years after the passing of a mutual friend, a group of acquaintances retreat into the wilderness to carry out his dying wish and discover that which may seem like the end is only the beginning.

Now, back to working on those films and waiting to hear news of other film festivals that we hope to attend this year.

Until next time, Peace out Film Lovers,

Stephanie Michelle Lokelani, Producer

Sun Valley Film Festival: There and Back Again, Part 4

Cast and Crew of "When Frida Became" at the Sun Valley Film Festival, 2013.

Cast and Crew of “When Frida Became” at the Sun Valley Film Festival, 2013.

On Saturday morning, we decided to “stay in,” and make each other breakfast. We woke up a bit later than the day before, started the coffee pot, and got to cooking. I have to say, I thoroughly love cooking breakfast with, and for, my friends. There was much laughter, great breakfast smells, and lots of talking. Not to mention a killer breakfast. We shall have to do it again some time.

The reason we chose to spend the morning cooking for each other, was because at exactly 2:45pm, our music video, “When Frida Became,” would be showing to an audience at Sun Valley Film Festival. Can I get an AAAAHHHHH!!!!! Nerves were high that morning along with excitement. Our faces couldn’t hide our joy and apprehensiveness at having a film of ours show at a film festival. I mean, this is one of the many reasons why we do these film projects: so people can see it. And one of the best places to show your film projects is at a film festival. To other people. Who are also there to appreciate and watch film. So, to say we were nervous, might be an understatement. At least for myself, I guess I can’t speak for anyone else.

After breakfast, and after we couldn’t stand being in that little condo staring at each other any longer, we left for town and to drink. We needed to loosen up somehow. So, we hit a local pizza joint for drinks. Then the time came to head to the theatre and prepare ourselves for our showing.

It was a small intimate theatre that could seat about 30 people. We took up two-and-a-half rows. Hey, when we’re asked to represent, we REPRESENT! The other music videos shown during this time came from all over the United States and showcased some very talented musicians and film makers. We were honored to be chosen and shown among these other great works of art.

As soon as the lights went down and the promo video for Sun Valley Film Festival began, a couple of tears slid down my face. This was a dream come true and we were living proof that if you work hard enough, you can see your projects come to life on the big screen. I am so very proud of the work that everyone put into this project. Watching “When Frida Became” at the 2013 Sun Valley Film Festival was an experience that I wouldn’t have missed.

After the showing there was a Q&A for one of the projects shown, and that was that. Everyone clapped, the lights came up, and we exited the theatre in silent excitement. As soon as we were outside in the open air, we gave each other hugs and congratulations. We’d made it through watching our film at a film festival, and we all survived.

Of course, more drinking was in order, so we headed to a local bar to share a couple pitchers of beer and bask in the glory of being movie stars. Unfortunately, no one asked for our autographs, but, who’s keeping track?

The one movie we chose to watch that Saturday was “Starlet,” by a young director named Sean Baker. This feature film, starring Dree Hemingway is making it’s rounds, and I can honestly say that I know why. “Starlet,” is an incredible film about a unique friendship between a 21-year-old woman and an elderly stranger. Trust me when I say, you must see this movie. It is being talked about by many and the director has made it to a list of top up-and-coming directors. That’s saying something. It really is a work of art and the acting helps pull you into the story. We all have odd friendships, and this particular film really allows you to examine your own friendships and what those people mean to you.

After that amazing film, we headed to the main event to see Built to Spill and Finn Riggins in concert. Imagine standing in a bar in Sun Valley, listening to awesome local music, and bumping into famous people who are at the same bar listening to the same bands! Yeah, that was our Saturday night.

Peace Out Film Lovers,

Stephanie Michelle Lokelani

Sun Valley Film Festival: There and Back Again, Part 1

It is nearly 11 PM on Tuesday, March 12th, and I am no where near wanting to go to bed. In fact, I just opened a beer. And so did Gene. At 7 AM on Thursday, we’ll be hitting the road and stuffing five people in our little Honda Civic, named Falcore, and heading to Sun Valley for the second annual Sun Valley Film Festival. We will be spending four glorious days sharing a condo with some of the best filmmaking collaborating friends this side of the Mississippi, and watching tons of independent film from Idaho and the world. There will be celebrities – and I’m not talking about the stars from our music video, When Frida Became – but some lesser known actors like Jodie Foster. We are ecstatic and yes, to some degree a little nervous, and looking forward to our first film festival.

When Frida Became was accepted into Sandpoint Film Festival in 2012, but we were unable to attend as we had just moved into our first house the weekend before. Jared Hallock and Katie Preston of Project213 were able to go and REPRESENT us proudly. They returned with nothing but fun stories to tell and an urge to create something for next year. So, with their great reviews, we’re prepping ourselves for what could be the best weekend of our lives.

I’ll try to keep up on the Two Cats Fighting blog while there, but I can’t guarantee anything. I mean, if Jodie Foster wants to hang out I’m not going to ask for a rain-check because I need to update our three fans as to what we did at the festival that day. But I will do my best to keep up on Twitter, you can find me at @stephsmile and also on foursquare as Stephanie Michelle Lokelani.

Peace Out Film Lovers,

Stephanie Michelle Lokelani

We’re Heading to Sun Valley

“When Frida Became,” our collaborative music video that we created with Project213 has been accepted into the Sun Valley Film Festival. We will be there along with many other films, documentaries, short films, music videos, and student films. It is an honor to be included in the second year of this film festival and we are looking forward to watching some incredible film that weekend.

The journey for the music video “When Frida Became,” started in the fall of 2011, with a couple of new friends sitting around a table at a bar discussing various types of film projects that they could work on together. We set a date for our first official pre-production meeting and went on our merry ways. The first weekend of January 2012, we regrouped and set a plan to start film production in February. The month of January was reserved for pre-production which included costuming, set design and frantically searching for a shoot location, choreography, and developing the story.

We shot over the course of several days in February and even traveled to Burley, Idaho, to shoot some footage in a swimming pool. Never having done any underwater shots before, that evening was certainly an experience, but we got some amazing footage which can be seen in our music video. Within days after calling “that’s a wrap,” we began editing and had a completed music video by the end of March.

“When Frida Became” has been submitted to many film festivals, some of which we are still waiting to hear on, and has even been accepted into a film festival prior to Sun Valley. Sandpoint Film Festival, in Sandpoint, Idaho, accepted our film and had a great showing in November of 2012. We are looking forward to our showing in March and are thrilled to be a part of these different Idaho Film Festivals.

A huge thank you is owed to everyone involved in “When Frida Became,” for without the music created by Project213, the animation from Hamill Creative, and the beautiful dancers/actors this music video would not be what it is. It was a labor of love for all of us and a journey that is still ongoing.

For more information about Sun Valley Film Festival, please visit their website: http://www.sunvalleyfilmfestival.org/

Project213: http://project213.com/