Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mad City Chickens Returns to Phoenix!

Mad City Chickens has been asked back to Arizona for an encore screening. The film will play November 28th at 7:00 pm at the FilmBar, 815 N. 2nd Street in Phoenix. The event was arranged by Desert Urban Gardens and sponsored by the FilmBar.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Edmonton Premiere of Mad City Chickens

Mad City Chickens will make it's Edmonton premiere on this Sunday, November 20th. Our documentary played in Calgary back in March of 2010, but this will be its first showing in Alberta's northern-most metro area. The event is sponsored by the River City Chickens.

Film starts at 3:00 pm and is being screened at the Whitemud Crossing Public Library, 4211 - 106 Street.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fort Atkinson Screening of MCC

Mad City Chickens will be screening in Fort Atkinson, WI on November 14th. Film starts at 7:00 pm and will be shown at the Fort Memorial Hospital Auditorium, 611 Sherman Avenue East.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Strindberg's Ghosts

Here's a glimpse at the two ghosts in our film Strindberg's Assistant.

Katina (Georgia Curry)

  Bjorne (Patrick Garvey)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mad City Chickens to Screen in Sycamore, Illinois

The Sycamore Citizens for Backyard Chickens are making a statement in their municipality. They want to change the laws so it's legal to keep urban hens. As part of their efforts to raise awareness within the community, they are sponsoring a public screening of Mad City Chickens on November 9th.

The film starts at 6:30 pm and will be shown at the Sycamore Public Library, 103 East State Street, Sycamore, IL

Monday, October 17, 2011

MCC to Screen at Wisconsin Book Festival

While it's officially a book festival, the Wisconsin Book Fest will be screening our Mad City Chickens film on this Wednesday, October 19th in Madison.  Show starts at 8:00 pm at the brand new Union South Marquee Theater. Screening follows CLUCK book presentation by author Susan Troller and artist S.V. Medaris (both appear in the film).

And both Tashai and Robert will be present at the screening answering questions and selling chicken DVDs and swag. Free admission.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Requiem Ride

Winters in Wisconsin can...and often do...suck.

Hardly ideal conditions--particularly for filmmakers looking to do something other than another ski movie. So when the weather is sunny, warm and pleasant, as it has been here for the past week, it's imperative to shoot while the shootin' is good. This is just what we did.

For the last three days, filmmaker Michael Haven of Exchange Productions joined us here at Tarazod Films in yet another collaborative movie effort. What we needed was a script that could be captured in just one day.

So both Mike and Robert conspired together and came up with a short story, a tale of loss and renewal and a pair of wheels. The script, storyboard, and shot list were all completed by Sunday evening, and shooting on Requiem Ride would begin early Monday morning.

The movie stars Michael as a motorcycle-riding dude without a reason to live. There's also an appearance by Tashai at the climax of the film.

While we'd hoped to be completed in one day of filming, things took longer than expected. Another shoot day was added today, and by this afternoon, the movie was in the can!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Music Video Collaboration

Robert recently work on a music video project with filmmaker Michael Haven of Exchange Productions. It was a short minute and a quarter piece shot on green screen. We filmed the actors in the studio, then in After Effects Mike added the animated backgrounds and foregrounds which he created.

Still image from the video.

He has submitting the clip to a well-known band (that he has a connection with) to see if they're green light his idea for an entire music video. See the video here.

Friday, October 7, 2011

New Light Kit Purchased

We recently completed primary production on our Strindberg's Assistant project, with the final couple days of shooting taking place mostly indoors at the Livingston Inn in Madison. Weeks before, we knew that we'd be needing to finally invest in a quality light kit. For years, we have cobbled together our lighting setups, but at the Livingston, we were going to require serious illumination. We purchased a Lowell 3-unit tungsten kit. Two 250 watt pro spot/floods and a 500 watt v-light flood with stands, barn doors and gels.

We're very happy with the results so far, but this is just the beginning. Adding more lights to our arsenal for future projects is still a priority. A special thanks goes out to Colin Cameron for his continued encouragement and assistance towards our filmmaking endeavors.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

First Press for Strindberg Film

Two weekends ago, we were shooting scenes at the Livingston Inn for our Strindberg's Assistant project. While there, we noticed that the owners of this Madison Bed and Breakfast, David and Peggy Furlan, were being interviewed in another part of the house by well-known Wisconsin State Journal writer Doug Moe.

Peggy and David Furlan. Photo by Jeanan Yasiri.

It's an old home, and at the time, we had two separate light kits in use. So it was inevitable that at some point, we'd be tripping a circuit breaker. It happened twice, both times during the Moe interview with the Furlan's. It wasn't on purpose, of course, but it is one way of getting noticed.

Doug inquired as to what the heck we were doing out there, and as a result, we ended up receiving a few paragraphs of ink within the Furlan's piece.
Four months on, they [the Furlans] are open for business and things have calmed down at the Livingston Inn. That's if you don't count the film crew that took over the first floor last Sunday morning, and, literally, blew a fuse.

The production company that made "Mad City Chickens" is filming a period piece titled "Strindberg's Assistant" and shooting in the house. The film is set in 1910 Stockholm and modern day America. The Gothic Revival mansion built in Madison in the 1850s was deemed a perfect backdrop.

On Sunday, Dave and Peggy told the film crew where to find the fuse box, and then repaired to a sitting area off the back of the house to discuss their ongoing adventure with the historic property that's known as the Leitch House, at least when it's not known as the Harman House.
Cool beans! Read the entire article at the WSJ site.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Livingston Inn Shoot #2 - Strindberg Wrapped!

It was long and sometimes grueling, but we did it! Yesterday we completed primary production on our Strindberg's Assistant film. The final day of shooting was on location at the historic Livingston Inn Bed and Breakfast in Madison. We began filming in the morning and ten hours later we were through.

A special thanks goes to the cast and crew who gave their all on this last day, actors Georgia Curry, Patrick Garvey, Nicholas Wootton (who doubled also as Grip), Joyce Aasen and Colin Cameron.

Actors Georgia Curry and Patrick Garvey

Actors Nicholas Wootton and Joyce Aasen (with Production Manager Tashai Lovington)

Actors Colin Cameron and Patrick Garvey

A huge thanks to DP Michael Haven for his non-stop professionalism and to Grip Ivy Suryana for her dedication.

Photo from mid-September shoot (left to right): Grip Ivy Suryana and DP Michael Haven along with Director Robert Lughai and Actor Georgia Curry

Production Manager/Script Supervisor Tashai Lovington (with actor Patrick Garvey)

Director Robert Lughai

We're also most appreciative to Executive Producer Colin Cameron for all his assistance in getting this film shot. And to David and Peggy Furlan for their patience and generosity with us as we took over their beautiful home two weekends in a row.

So now begins the intense, yet very satisfying task of editing the nearly 7.5 hours of HD footage down into a tight, succinct final film.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Today's Strindberg Shot List

It's been nearly two and a half months since we started production on our Strindberg's Assistant film. The challenges of a no-budget project have been great, today's upcoming shoot being no exception. Yet, if all goes well, we could be calling it a wrap by day's end.

With a 5-page shot list and conflicts with actor schedules, we have a lot of work to do in a limited number of hours. We'll see where we're at when evening comes.

Page one of today's shot list...


Thursday, September 29, 2011

More Strindberg Pick-Ups

Our Strindberg's Assistant is truly a no-budget project. We have begged, borrowed, and then spent the little cash we have to get this movie made. The cast and crew work for nothing but food and a desire to collaborate creatively on a film that we believe will live up to our expectations. Most of those involved have other jobs that pay their bills. As a result, getting everyone together is often a daunting challenge.

So for some of the pick-ups, Mike the DP and Robert the Director have been cheating the shots. Last week, we needed to get Bjorne the Assistant (Patrick Garvey) coming down a set of stairs, then back up. But Patrick at the time was working in Chicago and unavailable.

Instead, we simply went to Mike's house, put Robert in a pair of black shoes and gray pants, and ran him up and down the basement stairs. Shot from the waist down, we had our 1910 footage of the Assistant on the steps!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Strindberg Pick-Up Shots

Yesterday, we shot pick-ups for a couple of short segments where we still needed footage. The first was a street sequence of Strindberg (played by Colin Cameron) with another 1910 gentleman (Brad Goldworthy).

Next was a shot of our housemaid, Katina (Georgia Curry), waving goodbye from the deck of a "green screen" ocean liner.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Livingston Inn Shoot #1

Yesterday was our first shoot inside the historic Livingston Inn in Madison. The Strindberg's Assistant story involves two different time periods, 1910 and modern day. Both culminate at this Bed and Breakfast

It was a long, intense day of shooting, but by day's end, we'd successfully made it through five different modern-day scenes. Actor Joyce Aasen (below right) plays Agda, a woman who's long dead grandmother is haunting her in her dreams. Grip Ivy Suryana (left) looks on...

Nicholas Wootton (right) plays the modern day Bed and Breakfast owner who's home Agda has been drawn to. Gaffer/Sound Technician Jim Bugge (left) fits Joyce with a lavaliere...

Georgia Curry (right) play Katina, Agda's grandmother as she looked back in 1910...

Michael Haven, Director of Photography...

Tashai handled the script supervisor duties on set...

Robert directed....

Photos by Colin Cameron

We're nearing completion on Strindberg's Assistant. Just a few pick up shots to get this week, then one last all-day shoot at the Bed and Breakfast again next weekend. After that, all principle photography is finished on the project.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rehearsals for Strindberg

Immediately following our appearance at the Edgerton Book and Film Festival today, we darted back to Madison for rehearsals for tomorrow's Strindberg shoot. We met at the home of Joyce Aasen who is playing one of the leading roles in the modern day segments of the film. Practicing lines with her was Nicholas Wootton, who only this week came on board the project. He graciously agreed to fill in at the last minute for a role that had been assigned to another actor but who had to back out.

Joyce, Robert, Nicholas

DP Michael Haven and Co-Producer Colin Cameron also joined us and chimed in with some valuable suggestions.


Photos courtesy of Colin Cameron.

The Edgerton Film Fest "Chickens" Screening

We had a wonderful day today at the Edgerton Book and Film Festival. Mad City Chickens screened at the Edgerton Public Library in the morning, then we sold swag in the afternoon to a very welcoming crowd.

Following our screening, Susan Troller and S.V. Medaris gave a talk on their new book, CLUCK. Susan is pictured below with her husband and the two of us...

And S.V. after the screening...

It is indeed true. Everyone has a chickens story...we heard some doozies. Good times! Special thanks to Caroline and Frank of Itchy Cat Press for setting up this screening. Photos courtesy of Colin Cameron.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Edgerton Fest: Opening Night Reception

Our Mad City Chickens is part of the Edgerton Sterling North Book and Film Festival. Really enjoyed tonight's opening reception. We had the opportunity to chat with a number of fascinating authors and well-known film and television personalities too. Sitting at our table was the humorous Alison Arngrim who made her character of Nellie Olsen famous in The Little House on the Prairie series.

Also very much enjoyed the company of Kathy Garver who played Cissy on the CBS sitcom Family Affair in the late 60s.

And once they learned that we'd made a backyard chicken film, both Alison and Kathy shared their own "chicken stories".

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cluck: From Jungle Fowl to City Chicks

Author Susan Troller and artist S.V. Medaris (both who appeared in our Mad City Chickens documentary) have collaborated on a new book entitled, Cluck: From Jungle Fowl to City Chicks. Published by Itchy Cat Press, the book is a "funny, poignant, wry look at the backyard phenomenon of raising chickens for eggs, meat or just plain pets." Additional stories by Jane Hamilton, Michael Perry, and Ben Logan.

Both Susan and S.V. will be at the upcoming Edgerton Sterling North Book and Film Festival where their book presentation will follow the screening of our film. More details coming in next post.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Billings to Screen MCC

Mad City Chickens returns to Montana this Saturday, September 24th in Billings. Sponsored by Magic City Hens, the group is working to get their local city ordinances changed. The public screening will start at 6:30 pm at Harvest Church Lockwood, 1413 Rosebud Lane in Billings.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Chickens" Feedback from Humane Society

It's good to get unsolicited feedback about our work, especially from people we don't know personally. Sometimes it's not easy to take. Yet it does keep us on our toes...and striving to create the best movies possible with the resources we have available. Of course, it's terrific when our work has an impact. Afterall, that is the goal of Tarazod, "to entertain and evoke."

Mad City Chickens recently played at a screening sponsored by the Dane County Humane Society in Madison. The following is a note we received from the event organizer after the showing.

On behalf of DCHS many thanks! For me personally, it is a life changing movie, in addition to being very informative and entertaining. --Michelle

Thanks Michelle. We appreciate it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Mad City Chickens Returns to La Crosse

Our documentary screened in La Crosse, WI back in December of 2009 when the keeping of urban hens within city limits was illegal. The battle to change the laws was heating up when the film played again in February of this year.

Now the laws have changed and backyard poultry is legal within La Crosse. So once again, Mad City Chickens is returning. On Sunday September 18, the La Crosse Public Library is sponsoring a free screening. The film starts at 1:30 pm at the library, 800 Main Street.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Livingston Inn Location

Front Exterior

As we near the completion of production on Strindberg's Assistant, we are left with one last major location to shoot--The Livingston Inn in Madison, Wisconsin. Built in 1854, this Bed and Breakfast is on the National Register of Historic Places as the William T. Leitch House. "It was constructed of local buff-colored sandstone which was quarried in nearby Westport, barged across Lake Mendota, and cut on the building site."

It's a huge house inside with a myriad of rooms, three staircases, a cupola, and just the right look. The inside is decorated to approximately the period of our film. It's a beautiful setting.

Front Sitting Room

Main Staircase with Servant Stairs in rear.

Images copyright The Livingston Inn