Thursday, September 21, 2006

Saint Columbia of Cordova and Sister Leonella Sgorbati

Lets take a look at the Roman Catholic saint; Saint Columbia of Cordova, Spain. She was born in Cordova, Spain in the 800's. Her brother was an abbot and both her sister and her husband founded a double monastery at Tabanos, Spain. Inspired by the faith and charity of her family members Columbia became a nun at the Tabanos convent despite her mother's objections. In 852 A.D. the nuns of Tabanos were forced to flee for their lives from the misunderstood members of the "religion of peace," the Moors, who were persecuting the Christians at this time. Most of the nuns fled but Columbia proclaimed her Christian faith to the Moorish magistrate and he had her head lopped off for it. The Catholic Church celebrated her death on the feast day of September 17th. Almost twelve hundred years later and not much has changed for members of the eternally misunderstood "religion of peace," just killed another Catholic nun Leonella Sgorbati and her bodyguard in Somalia on September 17, 2006. Sister Leonella was 65 years old and gave most of her life, forty years, to missionary work in Africa. She was shot in the back outside of a hospital.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Deserter - Special Edition Director's Cut DVD Release

Well, although I don't often write about my film The Deserter I think I will today, because today is the official release date for the Special Edition Director's Cut DVD!

The Deserter is actually a labor of love. I began writing the script 19 years ago. It wasn't called The Deserter then, that came later. Basically, I wanted to do a silent comedy about a British drummer during the American Revolution. Most of the original script which I wrote in dribs and drabs was replaced with what I eventually filmed. However, even then much of the comedy was developed during filming. This of course can raise havoc with footage previously filmed especially if filming out of order!

Retakes were needed on several occasions. Actors backed out after their characters were already established Spring turned to Summer just a little too quickly and some footage having technical errors had to be replaced. The filming schedule was interrupted severely in some cases by all these circumstances. However, fortunately, the impact of these problems hardly transfer to the screen.

Much has been assumed about the creation of the silent gags in the movie by various people. Because I made the mistake, or should I say, because I was honest and acknowledged some of my comedic influences I was compared to and accused of aping and stealing gags from these comic greats. I suppose people only superficially familiar with the work of Buster Keaton and Laurel Hardy might naturally assume that I just lifted my favorite gags from their films and plopped them down in my own, but this was absolutely not the case.

You can see in the Pink Panther films just this type of thing in use. Almost exact replications of certain gags were written into the pictures. But I did no such thing and it irks me when someone publicly makes false statements about my film.

I am proud of my film as a comedy-drama. I acknowledge areas where it is technically lacking because of the limitations of my budget and such, but I am very very happy with the way it came out.

The DVD is being released by my distribution company EBB Entertainment. One thing I did learn from Chaplin is always keep control of your works. Keaton and Laurel & Hardy suffered because of this lack of control.

Let me comment a bit on the wonderful collaboration with a couple of great companies in order to get this Special Edition DVD out. I personally over saw the digital transfer of the film onto Digi Beta by Colorlab in Maryland and was very happy with the work that they did. The picture looks fabulous some parts actually looked better on video than on film!

The next company whose expertise I used was Directorsite in Los Angeles. Although I came up with the initial design they exceeded my hopes in designing the packaging and mastering the DVD. Francis at Directorsite enhanced substantially my rough draft for the look of the cover!
It has been a long time in coming since the film's original release in 2004 but I am excited and very happy all in one that I have finally arrived at the point I've been striving for a perfect Special Edition Director's Cut DVD release!

The film is now on sale at several websites go to my site and read up about it and check out the links at the bottom of the page!