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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ending January With a Bang.....

Jack Truman & Jon Voight
at the Hollywood Bowl
Summer 2002

What a month.

This has been one hell of a January. For the better. One for the books. I can't remember a January in recent years that's been so constructive. Unforgettable. I love it. If this is any indication, 2013 is going to be a great year.

Let's see if I can think of everything that got done this month:

Got some financial things taken care of. Wrote the No Budget Filmmaking book (that was 5 years in the making). Returned to Park City with Opal for 4 days at Sundance and Slamdance. A lot happened there. Launched the new No Budget Filmmaking book at Sundance and released it online with our book publisher. Got the editing done for Opal's directorial debut with her killer documentary short film. New episodes for our new web series WOODY THE REDNECK. Damn...The book, Park City, the new film....those are the standout events this month. A lot more has got done. For example, our films playing a different festival each week coming up for the next month. Invites to mail our films to 45 film festivals this coming month. A new press release for the film book. Starting pre-production for the new feature film. And more. 2013 is starting out with a bang.

These last few days have really been overwhelming. I have lists of things we've been working on, piles of things to get done....that have just accumulated this last month.

Let's see what February brings....

NO BUDGET FILMMAKING or How to Be a Well-Known Filmmaker & Be Broke at the Same Time
Written by Jack Truman
Copyright 2013 Dixie Publishing

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

True Underground Filmmaking - Start With a Short Film

It's so funny. Every time I live in Hollywood, everywhere I go in that artificial city, there is someone I come across that calls themselves a filmmaker. And they haven't made one film.

It's not hard to make a movie. Whether your film is 3 minutes long, or 3 hours long. A movie is a movie.

You have to start somewhere as a filmmaker. Why not start with a short film?

It's stunning when I go to film festivals and see other people's short films. In the Q&A's, they said they made their 15 minute short film for 'only' $30,000. Thirty grand? I can make a feature film for a lot less than that. If you have a camera and a computer, you can make a short film, and play it all over the world on movie screens.

My short films have played over 300 film festivals worldwide. The first short film I made, PHONE SEX GRANDMA, still plays festivals 7 years after it premiered in Park City at Slamdance. It screens in Arizona next week, and in the UK next month. My new hit narrative short film WOODY THE REDNECK cost nothing to make, because I used the same camera and computer I had, and starred in the film (my first acting role in 10 years). Since it premiered on the East Coast last August, it's played over 15 film festivals and won awards. And I just finished editing and producing a brand new documentary short film that didn't cost anything to make. This one will really explode. You don't need a lot of money to make a film. Just start with a little short film that covers a topic, subject or story you're passionate about. Shoot it. Edit it on a computer. Then start sending it out to film festivals.

You don't need to go to film school.

Anyone can make a movie.

Make your movie.

Start with a short film.

NO BUDGET FILMMAKING or How to Be a Well-Known Filmmaker & Be Broke at the Same Time
Written by Jack Truman
Copyright 2013 Dixie Publishing

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

No Budget Filmmaking - The Film Festivals

Director Jack Truman & Writer/Star Opal Dockery
World Premiere of THE OUTHOUSE
2008 Slamdance Film Festival 

Over the years, from all of the experiences I've had making movies, there's one thing I've learned. It's hard as hell to become a somebody in Hollywood. When I was a film and stage actor, I was a star and known around the country in theatres coast to coast. And people in theatre cities I worked knew of my film work. But in Hollywood, I couldn't break in for shit as an actor. As a stage director, I've made some great plays over the years around the country with killer performances from actors. And crossing over to the film directing stage, my independent films have taken the indie world by storm. But with all these independent avenues....little to no money made. No breaks in Hollywood when I'm there. And of all the people I've worked with over 25 years in stage and film, only a small few have found both fame and fortune with the big film studios.

That's why I have to say, as a filmmaker, if you want to make a movie, just make your movie. Don't care about it making any movie. Make films that you're passionate about, are important to you, that you would want to watch, and make films that others cannot make. Make films that others are afraid to make. You may make money. You may not. But you will make a movie that's important to you, and that an audience will see. It doesn't get much better than that.

In my opinion, the best avenue for a filmmaker to screen their film is via the film festival circuit.

Hands down.

With film festivals, you have complete control. Self-distribution via film festivals let you choose the places you want your film to screen. When your film screens at a film festival and you're there for the screening, in most cases, you're treated like a rock star. You have people coming to see your film that are passionate about independent film, independent filmmakers, and independent moviemaking. You get to really be in your element.

There's thousands of film festivals out there in the world to choose from for letting your film screen. In different cities, small towns, name it. There's Black film festivals, Queer & LGBT festivals, Women's film festivals, Environmental film festivals, Comedy film wouldn't believe the different genres places create for a film festival. If you make a movie, there is a place for it to screen. You just have to do your research and find the best places to screen your movie.

In my experiences, my films have played a lot of places. The best festivals I've experienced out of the hundreds my films have played include:

Slamdance Film Festival
Cucalorus Film Festival
Atlanta Underground Film Festival
Florida Film Festival

There's a lot more, but these are definitely standouts.

Make your movie. Whether it's 3 minutes or 100 minutes. Start it on the film festival circuit. And let nature take its course.

NO BUDGET FILMMAKING or How to Be a Well-Known Filmmaker & Be Broke at the Same Time
By Jack Truman
Copyright 2013 Dixie Publishing

Monday, January 28, 2013

PHONE SEX GRANDMA to Become a Feature Film

Jack Truman, Peter Baxter & Opal Dockery
2013 Slamdance Film Festival

Well, after a busy month of January, a lot's got done. Wrote my NO BUDGET FILMMAKING book. Went to Park City for Sundance and Slamdance. Promoted & launched the new No Budget Film book in Park City. Editing Opal's directorial debut this week. Lining up next month's film festival screenings of our hit short films PEANUT MAN, WOODY THE REDNECK and PHONE SEX GRANDMA coast to coast.

It's been one hell of a January. I've done more as an underground filmmaker in one month than most people do their entire life.

Being in Park City with Sundance and Slamdance this year once again got the creative juices flowing good and strong. Being there again this year really opened my eyes to some things I really need to get done this year. I've got my work cut out for me as a No Budget underground independent filmmaker. It was great and eye opening to see how easy it's going to be to get some of these things done. Maybe easy's not the right word. Realistic is more like it. I can really see how things are going to get done. Making Mother's directorial debut film and getting it out on the festival circuit, along with women's rights, feminists and gay/lesbian groups. Releasing my new No Budget Filmmaking book strong on the festival circuit, to schools, filmmakers, actors and anyone who wants to make a movie. And shooting my first narrative feature film.

The feature film version of PHONE SEX GRANDMA will get shot this year.

I think it took returning to Park City with Opal to make me realize how we can really get this feature film made. Seven years after the hit short film version of PHONE SEX GRANDMA premiered in Park City at Slamdance, the buzz still rocks in that town, and at that festival. Everyone recognizes Opal. PSG still plays the festival circuit. People still talk about it all these years later in Park City. The buzz that happened in town during Sundance and Slamdance this year, the things I learned from the feature films that were at Slamdance and Sundance this year....made me realize. It's not going to be that difficult to make this feature film this year. It'll take a little time and work. But I'll be able to make it. And with little to no money.

One thing I learned from the films I saw in Park City this year was that I need to take my most successful short film from over the years and make it into a feature film. Out of all the shorts I've made that's been playing around the world on the film festival circuit, one film stands out alone from the pack. The short film PHONE SEX GRANDMA. That little 9 minute film still plays. Since it premiered at Slamdance in 2006, it's played over 100 film festivals. In 2 weeks, it plays a festival in Phoenix. In a month, a festival in the UK. I mean, hell....this short film keeps on kickin'. The proof is in the pudding. It just won't stop. If I make the feature film, if nothing else, I already have a global audience waiting to see it.

Shopping the feature film version of PHONE SEX GRANDMA at Sundance this year generated a lot of interest and buzz. I found people interested in helping me make the feature film. Over this next month, I have to find a good handful of people I've met over the years that I really like, to work with me on this film. I think over the next 6 months, we can shoot all of the footage in California, Nevada and the Midwest. It'll be hard. But I think it can be done.

These next few weeks, I've got my work cut out for me. First things first. I've got to finish editing Opal's new film that she's directed. Then start submitting it to the film festival circuit. That little documentary film is going to explode. Then I've got a little work to do on my new No Budget Film book. After those 2 projects, it looks like I can focus hard on getting this feature film version of PHONE SEX GRANDMA shot this year.

A lot to do.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

NO BUDGET FILMMAKING or How to Be a Well-Known Filmmaker & Be Broke at the Same Time
Written by Jack Truman
Copyright 2013 Dixie Publishing

Award-Winning Documentary Short Film
Featuring Opal Dockery
A Slamdance $99 Special

Directed by Jack Truman

A Dixie Film

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sundance 2013 & Slamdance 2013 Winners

Award-Winning Indie Film Actress/Writer Opal Dockery
2013 Sundance Film Festival 

Every year, Sundance and Slamdance starts the year out with a bang for independent film. Some good films, some bad films. Some underground and low budget, some commercial and not truly independent. B

But it always makes for a good time.

Here's a list of the award winners for Sundance 2013 & Slamdance 2013:


Grand Jury Prize, U.S. Dramatic: "Fruitvale," directed by Ryan Coogler.
Grand Jury Prize, U.S. Documentary: "Blood Brother," directed by Steve Hoover.
Grand Jury Prize, World Cinema Dramatic: "Jiseul" (South Korea), directed by Muel O.
Grand Jury Prize, World Cinema Documentary: "A River Changes Course" (Cambodia/U.S.), directed by Kalyanee Mam.
Audience Award, U.S. Dramatic: "Fruitvale," directed by Ryan Coogler.
Audience Award, U.S. Documentary: "Blood Brother," directed by Steve Hoover.
Audience Award, World Cinema Dramatic: "Metro Manila" (UK/Philippines), directed by Sean Ellis.
Audience Award, World Cinema Documentary: "The Square" (Egypt/USA), directed by Jehane Noujaim.
Audience Award, Short Film: "Catnip: Egress to Oblivion?", directed by Jason Willis.
Directing Award, U.S. Dramatic: Jill Soloway, "Afternoon Delight."
Directing Award, U.S. Documentary: Zachary Heinzerling, "Cutie and the Boxer."
Directing Award, World Cinema Dramatic: Sebastian Silva, "Crystal Fairy" (Chile).
Directing Award, World Cinema Documentary: Tinatin Gurchiani, "The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear" (Georgia/Germany).
Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, U.S. Dramatic: Lake Bell, "In a World…".
Screenwriting Award, World Cinema Dramatic: Barmak Akram, "Wajma (An Afghan Love Story)."
Editing, U.S. Documentary: Matthew Hamachek, "Gideon’s Army."
Editing, World Cinema Documentary: Ben Stark, "The Summit" (Ireland).
Cinematography Award, U.S. Dramatic: Bradford Young, "Ain’t Them Bodies Saints" and "Mother of George."
Cinematography Award, U.S. Documentary: Richard Rowley, "Dirty Wars."
Cinematography Award, World Cinema Dramatic: Michal Englert, "Lasting (Nieulotne)" (Poland).
Cinematography Award, World Cinema Documentary: Marc Silver and Pau Esteve Birba, "Who Is Dayani Cristal?" (UK/Mexico).
Cinematography Award, U.S. Documentary: Richard Rowley, "Dirty Wars."
Cinematography Award, World Cinema Dramatic: Michal Englert, "Lasting (Nieulotne)" (Poland).
Cinematography Award, World Cinema Documentary: Marc Silver and Pau Esteve Birba, "Who Is Dayani Cristal?" (UK/Mexico).
Special Jury Prize, U.S. Dramatic: (acting) Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, "The Spectacular Now"; (sound design) Shane Carruth and Johnny Marshall, "Upstream Color."
Special Jury Prize, U.S. Documentary: "Inequality for All," Jacob Kornbluth; "American Promise," Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson.
Special Jury Prize, World Cinema Dramatic: "Circles (Krugovi)" (Serbia), Srban Golubovic.
Special Jury Prize, World Cinema Documentary: "Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer" (Russian Federation/UK), Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin.


  • Feature Documentary: "My Name Is Faith," by Jason Banker, Jorge Torres-Torres, Tiffany Sudela-Junker
  • Feature Narrative: "Hank and Asha," by James E. Duff
  • Feature Narrative: "The Dirties," by Matt Johnson.
  • Special Mention: "Joy de V," by Nadia Szold.
  • Sparky Award for Feature Documentary: "Bible Quiz," by Nicole Teeny
  • Sparky Award for Short Documentary: "The Birdman," by Jessie Auritt
  • Sparky Award for Animation: "I Am Tom Moody," by Ainslie Henderson.
  • Sparky Award for Short Film: "Rotkop," by Jan Roosens and Raf Roosens
  • Special Mention: "Josephine and the Roach," by Jonathan Langager
  • Special Mention: "Donald Cried," by Kris Avedisian
  • Spirit of Slamdance Sparky Award Presented by Actor/Director Thomas Jane: "The Dirites," by Matt Johnson.
  • The Kodak Vision Award for Best Cinematography: Dieter Deventer for "Fynbos"

  • Saturday, January 26, 2013

    Sundance 2013: A Wrap Up, Summary & Overview

    Opal Dockery, Jan Eilhardt and Jack Truman
    Slamdance 2013 Happy Hour Mixer
    Park City

    Sundance 2013: A Wrap Up, Summary & Overview

    Day 5 – Going Home – An Overview / Summary of Sundance / Slamdance 2013

    All right. Here we go.

    It's Wednesday morning. I'm back at the Vegas apartment. After 4 days of the meat and potatoes at Sundance and Slamdance 2013. What they call the Park City madness. Back to modern day civilization.

    And I'll be honest. I'm glad to be back home.

    I'll try to talk a little here about an overview / summary of this year's experience at Sundance 2013, how my final day went, and some final thoughts about this year's experience at Sundance and Slamdance in Park City.

    I'll start with saying this. It's nothing like it used to be.

    To be honest, this experience was overall, if I had to put it in one word, a real dud. That's the best way to put it. I'm glad I've experienced being there at Sundance and Slamdance previous years with a film and as a filmmaker. Or I would have thought it was always like this if it had been my first time there.

    Opal and I were there for 4 days this time around: the busy meat and potatoes of the festival over the opening weekend: Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. That's the heart of Sundance, Slamdance and the Main Street madness during the festival. Everything that's anything really goes on during that time before it starts winding down the last few days. So I'm glad we were there during the heart of everything. Usually, I stay for the entire festival. I'm so glad I got out and came home after the first 4 days. If the meat and potatoes of the heart of the festival experience was a dud, I can just imagine what the final days would be like with just screenings going on. Really disappointing compared to previous years.

    That being said, let's get to the parties and events during Sundance and Slamdance. Overall....not very good. Overall....what parties? Now, I do have to say this. The parties that Slamdance put on at the Public House (opening night and Sunday night) were the best of the bunch. But other than that, none were good. I'll repeat that. None were good. At least the ones that I was able to get into. Many Sundance and industry parties I had been invited to and RSVP'd, they didn't even have me on the list. Really pissed me off. I guess to get into those you had to be a real snooty snoot. Or a famous somebody. Not a filmmaker who's had films in that town for years. The ones I actually got into, overall, were no good. Some you had to pay for your drinks. What kind of a party is that? There were only 1 or 2 events that even had some kind of food. And then some events were so mobbed with lines to get in, it was over an hour wait in line just to get in to the mob of all those rats in that party. That's a good way of explaining how it felt at about 95 % of those events. You felt like a rat in a room of over rats. Nothing like it used to be. For example, my last night in Park City, after the screening of the cool Slamdance film MUSGO, I was chatting with the actresses from the film, and they were asking me if there were any parties going on that night. I felt really bad when I had to honestly say I knew of none. Hell, I remember previous years, there were parties and events day and night to choose from. It was hard choosing which to go to. You didn't have to be invited. Everyone around town, on the street, and at the screenings were telling you about events and parties to go to. And they were good ones. Plenty of food, drink, cool people, fun networking. And you know what? Even the big industry parties that were hard to get into weren't that hard to crash. It's a completely different ball game now. At least it was this year. I didn't like it. That's about all I have to say about the parties, private events and mixers.

    Let's talk about the films. The ones I got to see....overall...were pretty bad. I never remember a festival year at Sundance and Slamdance where most of the films I saw were not very good or not good at all. And the ones I thought were the best of the bunch, didn't have to be that good to stand out. The films are nothing like the used to be. I would be watching these films and thinking to myself, how the hell did these films get in? How did they make the cut? You've got to be kidding me. Out of 6,000 to 9,000 films to choose from, and these were the best of the bunch? Shit. Damn. I couldn't believe it. And you talk about the Sundance films. In previous years, whereever I was at on Main Street, whether it was someplace with Sundance or Slamdance, I could always make conversation with someone to ask them what Sundance films they've seen that stood out to them, and everyone would ramble off a handful of standouts. And generally, they would be the same films everyone was talking about. This time around, no one was talking or buzzing about specific films at Sundance. And the films at Sundance? A big majority of them were studio made films. Take, for example, the Sundance film LOVELACE this week. That is not an independent film. 6 months ago, I saw an advanced test screening of the film in Burbank. Those test screenings in Los Angeles? The studios pay millions of dollars just to test the films with audiences. Those type of films...Not independent films. A majority of the films at Sundance this year had big name stars, and it was obvious that millions were spent on each film. Wonder how those films got in? It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. From what I was hearing, the films getting deals had got deals well before the festival started. And the few that were getting deals during the festival were generally the truly independent films. So that was nice to see. It used to be that when you had a film that made Park City, when my first films were there, the festival advice was to not let anyone see the film until the screening in Park City. You would get the calls from the big studios. Wanting to see your film and make a deal before the festival. But you were advised to hold off and make them see the film in Park City, let the buzz build, and the bidding wars and fights take place there. Not anymore. At least this year, you see the bulk of the deals made well before the festival started. So Hollywood. Nothing like it used to be. But overall, the films this year around....not good. A few good ones. But I'll leave it at that.

    This is the first year I've gone to Sundance and Slamdance, and when I left town, haven't had a bag full of business cards from contacts I made during the festival. This time around, it wasn't the same with the networking. Didn't meet a whole lot of new people. But it was nice seeing old friends at Slamdance, and on Main Street. That made up for that.

    This time, the whole Sundance / Slamdance / Park City madness / Main Street experience felt more like a short getaway; a little mini-vacation; a family reunion with old film making friends rather than the business of filmmaking and making movies through networking and working the festival. It was just a different experience this year. Not at all like previous years. Not many new contacts. Weird. Different. Even as early as last year, even though I was really seeing changes in Sundance and Slamdance becoming more commercial and Hollywood industry driven, a lot of things were the same. Not this year. This year was just really weird.

    That's enough of the bad experiences, of the ones that were bad. If you want to call them bad. Not to sound negative. But I really want to let people know how the Sundance Film Festival experience really is. And how it's changed over just the last 7 years. So people have an idea of what they're getting into.

    Now, let's get into the good things / best things from the festival:

    I saw and connected with some people I hadn't seen in quite some time. That was great. Even people I had met last year here at Slamdance. It was great reconnecting with a lot of them.

    With Opal, we were able to get some great creative ideas for our projects we're working on.

    One thing that opened up my brain and reinforced the independent spirit was with Dan's film BETWEEN US. His film story reminded me that you don't have to have your film premiere in Park City. You can make a feature film, it can play other festivals on the festival circuit, and then screen at Park City. That film really reinforced me to get made the feature film version of PHONE SEX GRANDMA. And some of these films made me realize how easy it's going to be to get the feature film made.

    I was able to get the buzz started on my NO BUDGET FILMMAKING book. Got fliers out to some people around town, got Dolly's Bookstore on Main interested in carrying the book, and next year, at Sundance 2014, will have a book signing for the book at Dolly's during the festival there on Main Street. It's gonna be great having the new book on the film festival circuit this year at different festivals where my films will be playing. Then bringing the book back to Park City next January.

    The weather was the best yet. No snow, ice and terrible freezing weather. It was clear and sunny during the days, and then clear late at night during the drive back each night to Salt Lake City. I never remember weather being this good during the festival. That really helped.

    The best thing about the festival: was the free Vegan Veggie burgers every day at the Morningstar Farms building. Opal and I really enjoyed those. We found out about them the second day we were there, and had them every day. That was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed that. That time made for really relaxing enjoyable eating time. To me, that was the most fun time at Sundance. That's pretty bad to say, when you're on Main Street during the Sundance Film Festival, and the best thing you have to say about the festival is some free sandwiches you're getting. I think that says a lot about how the festival is right there. Coming from a veteran independent filmmaker whose been here for several years with films.

    I don't want to come across as a pessimist with this writing. But I want people to really know what they're getting in for if they want to make their movie and have it in Park City during Sundance. I don't look at myself as a pessimist. I look at myself as a realist. That's what I trying to write. Realism during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

    Now, I'll wrap up with a quick overview of my final day in Utah:

    Got up yesterday morning about 8:00 in the Motel 6 room in Salt Lake City. Was really tired from the last 4 days, but had to get up. Drank coffee to wake up while I wrote yesterday morning's blog. Woke up some more with a little more coffee, then packed up to head back West. Left the Motel 6 room about 11:00 heading back to Burbank.

    We made really good time. Got to Las Vegas around 5:00 p.m.; only about a 6 hour drive. Stopped by the mail box to check the mail, then had to go around town to get some things done and run some errands while I had the time. We got to the Vegas apartment around 7:00 p.m.

    It felt really good walking into the Vegas apartment. And being in a home environment. Very cozy and relaxing. Worked on the computer for a couple of hours, which felt refreshing. Started feeling like I was getting back to civilization. Unloaded the car. Ordered a vegan pizza. And then started fading until I conked out around 1:30 in the morning.

    For me, the 2013 Sundance experience is over. Put to bed. Another chapter of my Park City experiences with Sundance and Slamdance. Every year is a little different there. I'll close with saying this: with each year at the Sundance Film Festival, there's changes going on. In my opinion, not for the better. Sundance is really drifting away from the true independent film experience. Which is really sad to see. Slamdance is trying really hard to stay to true independent filmmaking. And that I do like to see. But the overall experience from the festival on Main Street in January is rapidly changing each year. Not for the better. I will say this though. Every year, it is great to return to the Park City madness. Whether a better experience from the previous year or not. It's still the Park City madness.

    And there's nothing else in the world like it.

    Award - Winning 5 Minute Documentary Short Film
    Screened at Over 30 Film Festivals Worldwide

    Featuring Opal Dockery

    Directed by Jack Truman

    A Dixie Film

    Friday, January 25, 2013

    Day 4 at Sundance & Slamdance 2013

    The Underground Filmmaker
    Jack Truman with Meritxell Ortega & Mercedes Espelleta
    Stars of the new film MUSGO
    At the film's World Premiere at Slamdance 2013

    Monday Night Blog – Park City – Sundance/Slamdance 2013 – 1/21/2013

    Day 4 in Park City

    All right. Here we are. The fourth and my final day in Park City this time around. The last day at Sundance and Slamdance is over for me. And I'll have to be honest. I'm glad it is.

    I have to tell you something. Overall, in a nutshell, this year at Sundance was very disappointing. It was a real dud. I never remember it being this bad of an experience. And I've been coming here a lot of times over the years. Just as recent as last year, when I was on the Short Film Jury at Slamdance. The whole Sundance Park City madness experience was the same as always even as recently as last year. But not this year. I was amazed at how much of a dud it was. Bad films, bad parties, very little networking, most deals already made well ahead of time.....I'll have to tell you something. I'm glad that I've been here several times before. Because if this would have been my first time to Sundance, this dud of an experience would have made me think it was always like this.

    This year, it was SO L.A.; if you're from L.A., or have ever been to L.A., you know what I mean. It wasn't independent like it's always been. This festival this time around was SO Hollywood, fake, artificial, and industry driven. Not the true independent spirit like years before. To be honest, it's sad to see. I'm not going to sugar coat nothing. I'm just going to tell how things are straight up. People deserve to know that.

    It's nothing like it used to be.

    I could go on for pages about the change and how it's not for the better. But for now, I'll just leave it at that.

    Let's get on to what I did here on my final day in a nutshell:

    I got up here at the Motel 6 room in Salt Lake City around 8:30 this morning. Opal called into Enterprise first thing to extend the rental car for 2 more days. Then I drank coffee while waking up, writing this morning's blog, and lining up today's Sundance/Slamdance schedule here in the motel room. We left Motel 6 around 10:30 – 11:00 this morning heading to Park City.

    Once parking the car down by the Sundance Headquarters, took the free shuttle to Main Street, and walked up to the Sundance Channel headquarters for some coffee. We were in a rush, because by the time we parked the car, got to Main Street, and up to where the coffee was, it was already around 12:30; and we had a lot to do in the next 20 minutes. So we took the coffee with us, crossed the street to Slamdance at TMI, got tickets for some films later today, a few Luna health bars, and headed down Main Street to the Claim Jumper. There was a panel there at 1:00 that had 2 great friends of mine I had to see who I hadn't seen in some time: Scilla Andreen and Lynn Shelton.

    Scilla's online distribution company Indieflix is the online distributor for our hit cult short film PHONE SEX GRANDMA. And I got to know Lynn when her first film I GO WAY BACK won Slamdance in 2006, when our first film PHONE SEX GRANDMA was there. So I was really looking forward to reconnecting with them. It was a great time this afternoon. The best time I had all day. Chatting with Lynn. Talking with Scilla. Seeing Opal reconnect with both of them. Lynn has a new film here at Sundance this week called TOUCHY FEELY. I am so happy for all of her success over these last few years. And she looked great, too. Really good.

    After visiting with Lynn and Scilla, and going to their panel with Rick Rosenthal, we headed over to the Sundance House around 2:30 and I checked emails. Nothing important there. Then it was back up the Main Street walk towards Slamdance. But on the way, a stop at the Morningstar Farms building for those great Vegan Veggie burgers. Yummy.

    After gobbling down the vegan burgers, Opal and I headed next door to TMI for Slamdance. We decided to spend most of the rest of the day around here. After all, we are Shorts Programmers for the festival this year, and need to see some more Slamdance films. And we both have the best time when we're around there. When we got in the lobby, we saw a couple of Opal's new PHONE SEX GRANDMA fans, director Brian Bolster of the new Slamdance short film THE MERCANTILE, which I've been hearing great things about. We talked with Brian and his partner in the lobby for about 45 minutes. That was a fun time. Relaxing. After chatting, just for a few minutes, we walked across the street to Cisero's. I was invited to the Louisiana Film Festival party. There was a line waiting outside, but it went quick. And then the new normal happened. They didn't have me on the list. Man, I was pissed off. I'd RSVP'd over a week ago, got a confirmation email, then this afternoon, got a reminder email of my confirmation. And here they didn't have me on the fucking list. What is this shit? I was getting fed up with all of this. The guy told us to go on in. And that party was a mob of artificial Sundance Hollywood fakes. We weren't there for 5 minutes and walked out, walked back across the street to Slamdance at the Treasure Mountain Inn, and went to the Slamdance Happy Hour mixer. It felt like I was walking back in my relative's house back home in the boonies. Networked and chatted with some people for about 30 minutes, then we headed to the Slamdance Collective screening of I WANT TO BE AN AMERICAN.

    The Slamdance Collective I WANT TO BE AN AMERICAN was different. I like alternative, experimental, underground stuff. And that's what this was. 7 short films that my good friend Peter Baxter put together with a couple of other guys based on an idea. And Peter had a short in the collection called ALL ABOUT EVE that featured his daughter Eve. Damn. I could see Peter in her face. I just felt I was with family and friends that entire time. It made for a neat, cool, fun experience. I was really happy for Peter.

    After the Slamdance Collective, we had a little time to kill. Several of our planned mixers and parties had petered out, with either getting emails that they were at capacity, events cancelled, or just not having time to go to them. So we missed Slava's Indiegogo mixer, the Kickstarter party, the Nintendo Lounge event, Sundance Headquarters party, and a couple other events. Either they were cancelled, too much of a mob to get in, or we just didn't have the time to go. So Opal and I walked upstairs to catch the tail end of the annual Hot Tub Summit at Slamdance. And damn. I'm SO glad we didn't go earlier. It was just a bunch of young people around in and out of the tub. It looked like a fucking college party. Not anything like the cool one they had last year with just a handful of people in the tub. And it was cold out there too. We headed back in the TMI area by the Slamdance office for a few minutes, got some tickets for the German mockumentary film KOHLHAAS, then walked over next door the the Morningstar Farms building for another Vegan Veggie burger dinner.

    After dinner, we got in a few minutes late to KOHLHAAS. I'll tell you something. I'd been hearing great things about this film. But was really disappointed. I did not think it was a very good movie at all. The filming was done well, but a very boring, weird movie in my opinion. I must be in the minority, because everyone else in the room was enjoying it. The best part to me was when the final credits were running. But you know, what's my opinion? It's just one opinion. Like they say, opinions are like assholes. Everyone's got one.

    After KOHLHAAS, we had about 15 minutes until a film I had heard great things about: MUSGO. I was really looking forward to seeing that film. Chatted in the hallway with a couple of the stars in the film I had made friends with a couple days ago, along with some other film friends. Then it was time for the late screening of MUSGO; our last film to see here at the festival.

    MUSGO was a different film. The first 5 minutes were great. Awesome. Disturbing. I loved it. I thought, what the fuck? Wow. Where is this film going to go? I can't wait. Then, all of a sudden, it became a dud. The entire film until the last 10 minutes, in my opinion, was a dud. Not bad, but nothing to write home about. The thing about this film was that the beginning was so great, you kept glued throughout the entire film waiting to see what was going to happen next. Now, that is good filmmaking. I will say this. Out of all the movies I saw here in town this week, MUSGO, in my opinion, was the best of the bunch.

    After the screening, I chatted with the stars of the film. I really like those girls. They are hot. I want to work with them. If I would have stuck around, we would have got lucky and had a lot of fun together tonight. It would have made for a fun, wild night to end my final night here. But I had to get back to the room. It was already well after midnight. So I said some final goodbyes to the hot girls, some Slamdance friends, then we headed back to the car, drove back to Salt Lake City, and got back at the Motel 6 room about 1:30 in the morning. By 2:00 in the morning I was knocked out.

    4 days in Park City. Sundance and Slamdance 2013. And I'll tell you what. Honestly...I'm glad my 4 days are over.

    I'm so looking forward to driving back today to the West Coast. More than you know. 

    Award-Winning Documentary Short Film
    Featuring Opal Dockery
    Directed by Jack Truman

    Screened at over 30 Film Festivals Worldwide

    A Dixie Film

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

    Sundance & Slamdance 2013: Day 3 in Park City

    Opal Dockery, Dan Mirvish & Jack Truman
    Slamdance 2013 Screening of BETWEEN US

    Day 3 in Park City

    Okay. Officially, my third day here in Park City. Second full day.

    It was a hell of a lot better day than yesterday. Things are starting to really look up.

    Overall, a lot got done today. Talked with some film friends, made some really good new contacts, started getting the new NO BUDGET FILMMAKING book out, found some good people interested in working on the feature film version of PHONE SEX GRANDMA, saw a good film at Slamdance, good networking, good parties, and more. It made for a good Sunday here in Park City at Sundance and Slamdance 2013.

    Here's a brief rundown of my Sunday:

    Got up around 8:30 a.m in the Motel 6 room. It was really hard to get up Sunday morning and get started. I can feel myself getting old. In the room, I lined up my Sunday for Sundance, wrote yesterday's blog and drank coffee while getting ready. Then Opal and I had a time in the motel room. We couldn't find the car keys. Spending about an hour looking for them, we thought we lost them and were going to be stuck. Suddenly they appeared on the floor underneath my Boston Red Sox ball cap. So we headed out around 10 o'clock from Salt Lake City. Got parked in Park City around 11:00 a.m.; we were able to park again by the Sundance Headquarters. There was a Queer brunch we were reserved for about a block down the road. I figured that would be a great place to promote our film PHONE SEX GRANDMA. The short film version is a huge hit on the queer / LBGT culture. They eat it up. But when we got there to the restaurant, there was a waiting line of almost 2 blocks long. So that petered out. We decided to head on up to Main Street. When getting on Main, we started walking towards Slamdance at TMI, and I stopped by Dolly's bookstore to talk to them about carrying my new NO BUDGET FILMMAKING book. It was a great meeting. They want to carry the new book. And next year, during Sundance 2014, They want to arrange a book signing there at the store for the book during Sundance. So I know now for sure already that I will be returning again next year. This book will be able to be on the festival circuit this year where my films screen, then make Sundance next year. That was a great way to start the day. After that, we headed over to the Morningstar Farms building and had some great Vegan Veggie burgers to start the day with some iced tea. Then crossed the street to the Sundance Channel headquarters to get some coffee. It was really good. Opal and I drank coffee there for about an hour and chatted with our film friends Anthony Pedone from RXSM in Austin and Chris Roberts with his wife and newborn son Joshua. After an hour, we went over to Slamdance to check on what was going on and met Forrest Whitaker. Opal had a great chat with him. It was time to run down on Main to the Riverhorse for the Deluxe Sundance party. They had some good food and coffee. I really liked there veggie rolls. I was feeling like an old man there, wore out and not wanting to do the networking thing, and Opal nagged me to get going on it; that it was why we were here. So I went up and started networking. Met the boys behind the new Sundance film MAGIC MAGIC. Then met a few other people, and was starting to get into my mode / groove of networking when it was time to head back to Slamdance. I didn't want to leave the Deluxe party with the way things were going, but I had to get back to TMI for Dan's film. So Opal and I got up to TMI right around 5:15 p.m., and went into the Slamdance happy hour for about 15 minutes to do some brief networking before the film. That flew by. It was time for Dan's film BETWEEN US. I was really happy for my good friend Dan Mirvish to get his film done. He had been trying to get BETWEEN US made for quite some time. It was a pretty good film. Started out slow, but got much better. The acting was really good. Julia Stiles was great. And with the film being based on a stage play, it was great to see a film that you couldn't really tell that it looked like it came from a play. I liked that. After the film, some great networking happened. A lot of people that worked on Dan's film started talking with me, and got really interested in working on the feature film version of PHONE SEX GRANDMA. So I might have found some good Los Angeles people to work with me on the upcoming film. That networking went on for about an hour. After that, it was time to walk done to Dan's after-party for BETWEEN US on Main Street at Cisero's. Saw some good friends I hadn't seen since last year here; people like Mark Bell from Film Threat, Josh Mitchell, Anthony from RXSM, my friend Don that I roomed with here last year, my other fellow condo roomie from last year Ed Stencel from Detroit, and more. Plus made some new contacts. After being there for about an hour, it was time to head over to the Slamdance weekend party on Heber. But on the way we stopped again at the Morningstar Farms building and had a couple of free Vegan Veggie burgers. Then after that, it was down to the Slamdance party. It made for a good time. Damn, those filmmaker kids this year are young. I never remember them looking so young. They look like high school kids. They could be my kids. It's so funny. Being at these things makes me realize how far I've got. I saw some good friends at the party. My great friend, Slamdance founder Peter Baxter, David Pierce, Kelly Calligan, Ed Stencel, and more...damn. I can't remember everyone. I could tell I could have got laid from some of these hot girls who are actresses. But that's okay. That part's entertainment. Opal started really fading at the party. She started getting sick before we got here, and I've felt bad her working the festival with me while she's sick. But she wants to do it rather than resting. She sat and rested while I made some rounds at the party. It was great chatting with my friend Peter Baxter. I really like that guy. He and I are on the same level. After an hour or so, it was time to get Opal back to the room. I could tell she was really fading. So we left the party a little after midnight, went to the car and drove back to Salt Lake City. Got back to the Motel 6 room about 1:30 in the morning, ate a little, worked a little, then called it a night.

    Not a bad Sunday day 3 in Park City. I can't believe we've been here just 2 full days. It seems a hell of a lot longer.

    Today is lined up for a much busier day. We'll see what gets done here on Day 4.

    Directed by Jack Truman
    Featuring Opal Dockery

    Screened at over 30 Film Festivals Worldwide.

    A Dixie Film 

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

    Sundance 2013: Day 2 in Park City

    Director Jack Truman and Writer/Actor Opal Dockery
    Sundance 2013 on Main Street

    Sundance 2013: Day 2 in Park City

    Day 2 in Park City

    This fucking city has really changed.

    If today is any indication, I don't know about this fucking city and Sundance week anymore. You talk about going Hollywood. Being the commercial, artificial LA bullshit. Today really reflected that.

    I can't tell you how many things Opal and I went to today on Main Street that just crapped out. Or as I like to say, petered out. Take, for example, the coffee lounges on Main Street. There's about 7 or 8 this year that I know about (like the New York Lounge, Variety Lounge, Utah Film Hub, Sundance Channel, etc.) . Some of these places we'd go to sit and have a cup of coffee while networking, but some didn't even have coffee. Some were closed up for a special event. Some blocked me with a 'what can I do for you' snootie snoot attitude like I was a fucking nobody. Fuck this fucking shit. I never remember Park City like this. My first full day here for Sundance and Slamdance and I'm not getting into things I'm RSVP'd for, not meeting many people, not getting and giving seems really weird this year. Not near as good. I've been here 4 times over the years at Sundance and Slamdance. Twice with hit films PHONE SEX GRANDMA and THE OUTHOUSE. Last year as a Short Film Juror for Slamdance. This year as a Programmer for Slamdance, author of a new NO BUDGET FILMMAKING book and Director for the new feature PHONE SEX GRANDMA. And I never remember it this bad. It really reflects Hollywood. It's getting worse and worse that way each year. And this one takes the cake more than ever.

    Plus, the films I've seen so far are for shit. I can't believe they select the crap that's showing this year that I've seen so far.

    Here's a quick breakdown of what happened my first full day here at Sundance (Day 2);

    Got up around 7 a.m. At the Motel 6 in Salt Lake City. Woke up with some morning coffee in the motel room while getting ready and wrote yesterday's blog, while lining up the schedule for the day. Drove to Park City. Stopped at Staples on the way and made copies of the new flier for the NO BUDGET FILMMAKING book. Went to Sundance and got lucky with the parking. Got to park right across the street (right in front of) the Sundance Headquarters. Took the Shuttle to Main Street. That ride took over an hour. Because of the long shuttle ride, we missed the Slamdance breakfast. So while walking down Main Street to the Sundance Channel Headquarters, we got some free coffee from Acura and Bad Ass Coffee. That coffee was really good. Tried wifi there on the laptop but couldn't get access. Left and drank the coffee while walking down Main Street. Got to the Sundance Channel and tried the wifi on the laptop, but it couldn't connect. There was a line with an hour wait for a free cup of coffee, so we said screw that and walked across the street to Slamdance. Got some tickets for some Slamdance films. Then walked down to the Sky Lodge of Heber for the Creative Coalition luncheon with Bill Pullman and Joey Lauren Adams. They wouldn't let us in. Didn't have our RSVP on the list. That really pissed me off. I RSVP'd over a week ago, after being invited to the brunch. So that was a waste of time. That petered out. So we walked down to the Utah Film Hub Lounge on Main Street. That's always a good one with coffee and snacks. They didn't have anything. Nothing. Not even coffee. Just people standing around in a room. So we walked up to the HP Lounge on Heber at the Sundance House. That was pretty good. Got to use some internet and check emails, and got some nice pictures taken. After that, walked across the street for the Slamdance panel with David Pierce. He was getting things set up for a late start, so we walked down to the New York Lounge on Main Street for a quick cup of coffee. Everyone in there had a snooty snoot attitude like their shit didn't stink. Didn't used to be like that in previous years. After a quick cup of coffee, we walked down to David's Slamdance legal panel. I enjoyed hearing David and Dan's stories (my Slamdance buddy Dan Mirvish). After the panel, I went up to David for some legal advice on my upcoming feature film PHONE SEX GRANDMA and...well....I won't even go there. I'll just say he treated me for shit. One good gift I have is a talent for reading people. It's something I picked up years ago when working in property management. And it helps me to this day. It was obvious he didn't want to talk to me. He told me things that he knew I already knew. And told me he couldn't help me. So that pissed me off. But oh, well. These fucking Hollywood people. What else is new? But I do have to say I enjoyed hearing Dan and David talk. It was inspiring. So we left the Slamdance Public House after the panel and walked up Main Street to the Mc D's and Social Red Media Lounge for a cup of coffee and to network (another place I RSVP'd for every day). We weren't in there 15 seconds someone came up to us and told us we had to leave. They said if we weren't media, we had to go. They were closing up early for a big media event. So that petered out. Pissed me off again. We left and walked up to Slamdance. Got some free Red Bull, free Luna health bars, and stood around chatting with some old film friends for about an hour. That was the most fun we'd been having all day. By then, it was time for the Sundance Channel party across the street, but I was really loaded down with stuff. So I decided it would be best to return some of this stuff to the car. We took the shuttle back to the car and I dropped off bags of stuff and my laptop (which I never got to use on Main Street all day). Taking the shuttle back to Main Street took over an hour. By the time we got back to Main Street, they had closed the party early for the Sundance Channel. I had RSVP'd for that. And that petered out. Pissed me off again. So I said screw that. We walked across the street to Slamdance and went to the first Happy Hour. That was fun. Saw some old friends and met some new ones. Opal was back to her rock star self with everyone recognizing her as PHONE SEX GRANDMA. After an hour of that, we walked next door for the North Carolina film party. That petered out. There was a long line on Main Street for that. A mob. Like a crowd of rats packed together trying to mob into a place to get the cheese. That's what it looked like to me. We had RSVP'd for it 2 weeks ago. After 30 minutes, the line hadn't even moved. They were full, and you had to wait for people to leave for a body to go in. So we never got in. That pissed me off. So we walked back to Slamdance and saw the documentary feature film THE INSTITUTE. Damn. What an awful movie. Just bad. That's all I'll say about that. And the short documentary film with it THE CORNER GARDEN wasn't good either. After those films, we walked to the Morningstar Farms building for some free vegan burgers. They were great. That was the most fun I've had here yet. Then we ran over to see the premiere of the new Slamdance film THE DIRTIES with the short TURTLE. Both were okay, so so films. Better than THE INSTITUTE. In my opinion, that's not saying much. Don't mean to come across too brutal, but I'm just being hones about things. But you know what they say. Opinions are like assholes. Everyone's got one. By the time that was over, it was almost 1.a.m.; so we took the late shuttle to the car, drove back to Salt Lake City and got to the Motel 6 room around 2:15 a.m.; a lot that day, for the first full day at Sundance 2013.

    Let's hope today gets better.

    Featuring Opal Dockery
    Directed by Jack Truman
    A Slamdance $99 Special

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

    Opening Night at Slamdance and Sundance 2013

    Jack Truman & Opal Dockery 
    Sundance 2013

    Well, I'm here in Park City. It's Saturday morning. Sitting here at the Sundance Channel Headquarters on Main Street across the street from Slamdance. Just got in town last night. And the routine of the madness is starting out with a bang.

    Here's a quick breakdown of what happened yesterday:

    Woke up at 5 am in the apartment in Vegas. Got myself woke up with strong coffee on the couch in my underwear. Washed clothes and packed. Drove from Vegas to Salt Lake City. Got our room at the Motel 6. Then drove to Park City. Spent a lot of time finding a parking space. Took the shuttle to Main Street. Walked up to Slamdance at the Treasure Mountain Inn with Opal and got our alumni / programmer passes. Saw a bunch of old film friends right off the bat. Networked for a couple hours. Got some tickets for films over the weekend. Then walked down Main Street last night to check out the scope of the land for the weekend. Hit a couple of spots like the Sundance House and the Sundance Music Cafe before walking over to the big opening night Slamdance party on Heber. Was there for a couple of hours before taking the shuttle to the car at the Snow Park Lodge, then drove back to the Motel 6 in Salt Lake City, getting to the room around 1:30 a.m.

    Took it a little easy yesterday. What we did yesterday was light for us during the Park City madness.

    I've got Opal with me this time around. The other half of my creative team. Writer and Star of our biggest Slamdance film PHONE SEX GRANDMA. 67 years old, and my Mother is more fired up than ever. The star of Main Street. Opal Dockery has owned this town with her films over the years. She's a little under the weather as we start things off. Need to make sure she doesn't get run down.

    A lot of things lined up today during Sundance and Slamdance 2013. Look out, Park City. We're here for our first full day on Main Street.

    Thursday, January 17, 2013

    PHONE SEX GRANDMA, Hulu, Indieflix at 2013 Sundance & Slamdance Film Festivals

    Our award-winning hit cult short film PHONE SEX GRANDMA, starring Opal Dockery, will screen on Hulu during the 2013 Sundance and Slamdance Film Festival!

    PHONE SEX GRANDMA premiered at the 2006 Slamdance Film Festival to standing room only audiences. To date, PSG has screened at over 100 film festivals worldwide, earning rave reviews.

    PSG continues to play the film festival circuit, screening in February 2013 in Phoenix at the Bloody Hero Film Festival and in March 2013 in the UK at the St. Albans Film Festival.

    To coincide with the 2013 Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals, PHONE SEX GRANDMA will screen for free on Hulu, presented by Indieflix.

    The real-life Mother/Son filmmaking team of Opal Dockery and Jack Truman will be in attendance in Park City during Sundance and Slamdance to represent the Sundance/Slamdance re-screening event of PHONE SEX GRANDMA. Truman will also be releasing his new filmmaking book NO BUDGET FILMMAKING or How to Be a Well-Known Filmmaker & Be Broke at the Same Time.

    The Award-Winning Cult Short Film
    Starring Opal Dockery
    Directed by Jack Truman
    Presented by Indieflix
    A Dixie Film

    Audience Award, Best Film - Miami Underground Film Festival
    Best Comedy - Backseat Film Festival
    Best Comedy - Atlanta Underground Film Festival
    Best Comedy - Nevada Film Festival
    Most Quotable Film - RXSM Film Festival

    Opening Day at Sundance 2013: Movies, Parties, Events....and Free Stuff

    Well, the Sundance Film Festival starts today.

    Personally, during this traditional Park City madness, I like the Slamdance Film Festival across the street much better. It's what Sundance used to be. Plus, Slamdance is like family. They screened my first film PHONE SEX GRANDMA, and have screened several of my films over the years. So I could be partial to my film family.

    That being said, today officially begins what is referred to as the Park City Madness. Starting today, for the next week, there's too much to do on Main Street during the Sundance Film Festival. Movies, networking, panels, parties.....

    And not to mention all the free stuff.

    It's a filmmaker's dream. You get so many free things everywhere you go that can help you with your filmmaking process.

    Welcome to the Park City madness they call the Sundance Film Festival.

    NO BUDGET FILMMAKING or How to Be a Well Known Filmmaker & Be Broke at the Same Time
    Written by Jack Truman
    Copyright 2013 Dixie Publishing

    The Award-Winning Hit Cult Short Film
    Starring Opal Dockery
    Directed by Jack Truman
    Presented by Indieflix
    A Dixie Film