Finding Focus

Their Cameras. Their Story.

And the Winner is...

We're proud to announce that Finding Focus won Best Picture, "No Budget" Feature, at the American Independent Film Festival!!

We're very excited to have won, and we extend sincere thanks to the AIFF for running a great festival, and their support of truly independent cinema!

L.A. Tickets now available

Tickets to our screening as part of the American Independent Film Festival are now on sale through Laemmle's web site.

We are screening one night only at Laemmle's Music Hall in Beverly Hills (Wilshire at Doheny).  

The screening is Monday, November 5, at 6:30pm.

Tickets available at

Great Screenings at Gotham Screen International Film Festival

We had two terrific screenings at the Quad Cinema in New York City as part of the Gotham Screen International Film Festival.

Director David Henri took part in a fun Q&A after the Friday night screening, where the response to the film was excellent.  Monday's screening may have had even more people and also went really well.

For those who missed the opportunity to see the film in New York, stay tuned for more festivals announcements soon!

Finding Focus screens at the Quad Cinema in Manhattan for the 2012 GSIFF

Director David Henri walks the red carpet at the 2012 GSIFF

Stop the Presses!

We're not sure how much the NY Press is going to cover us while Lincoln Center's 50th Annual NYFF is underway, but it won't be for lack of trying!

We've sent out several screeners to various media outlets.  If you happen to see a review, let us know!

Busy Spring / Summer

As we continue to tweak the color timing (look for some great black-and-white footage soon!) and the final sound mix, things will be relatively quiet in Finding Focus land for a couple of months.

Director David Henri is finishing up a gruelling schedule creating video content for HBO's upcoming series THE NEWSROOM, from Aaron Sorkin.  The series debuts in late June.  He's then juggling video work for Steven Soderbergh's Liberace biopic BEHIND THE CANDELABRA (starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon) and graphcis duties on a movie not-so-secretly-called Caged (but which is really an IRON-clad story about a MAN and his toys, part 3).

We'll be back to festival submissions in late Summer, then pursuing distribution in the Fall.

Stay tuned for more updates, and in the meantime, be sure to check out The Newsroom on HBO!

Jeff Daniels stars in THE NEWSROOM, coming in June to HBO

2 Great Screenings at Indie Spirit

Director David Henri at the Indie Spirit Film Festival. April 22, 2012.

We had a terrific experience at the Indie Spirit Film Festival!  It was an exhausting couple of days for director-producer David Henri (above), but the audience enthusiasm for the film was definitely worth it.

The festival had a terrific vibe, and the Q&A sessions after both screenings were absolutely fantastic.  

Spanning The Globe For Sound

I've just heard the near-final sound mix for the film, and our crew of telented mixers, led by Dean Konidaris, have done an AMAZING job!

We found Dean through an internet posting and, despite his location halfway around the world in South Africa, we've had no issues with the long distance aspects of the sound creation and mix of the picture.  It's yet another example of how the world is getting smaller and how all aspects of film production are becoming more accessible.

And it's just incredible to hear what a difference proper sound can make to the film.  On our shooting budget, creating a proper mix on location was simply not affordable (though we did utilize a two-track system).  Dean and his team had a huge task in front of them, and handled it brilliantly.

Once the final mix is complete, we'll be submitting to a dozen additional fesitvals!

Dean Konidaris and team mixing Finding Focus

AFM - A successful two days!

Producer Jacq Lesko and I just spent two exhausting but fruitful days roaming the halls of Loews Santa Monica for this year's American Film Market.

We met with several acquisition executives to discuss the different release strategies that Finding Focus could follow, and we look forward to staying in touch with everyone over the coming festival circuit.

Small Cast & Crew Screening on Friday

We had a small but wonderful screening on Friday night for Cast & Crew (plus friends and family) in Santa Monica.

The response was terrific, and it was genuinely exciting to see the film on the big screen.  

This screening doubled as our opportunity to see the film projected prior to AFM.  We look forward to setting up screenings for select distributors based on our meetings next week!

Thank you to everyone who passed up Game 7 of the World Series to join us.  Your support, and your response, was very much appreciated!

Color Timing

One of the most exciting, if arduous, phases of post-production is the Color Timing (or Color Grading) of the film.

At first glance, this would seem like it's some boring task of tweaking dials to make minor adjustments.  But this is actually where the look of the whole film takes place.

Some of the adjustments are indeed minor tweaks.  Some are major changes.


A frame from Finding Focus, before-and-after being treated with DeNoiser. (click on the image for a larger view)

I am using two relatively inexpensive products from Red Giant Software -- Colorista II and DeNoiser -- for this pass on my Final Cut Pro system.  

We are also in talks with Light Iron -- who did the color grading for Social Network, Contagion, and the upcoming Girl With The Dragon Tattoo -- to do a real, professional pass.  Make no mistake -- anything they touch will be leaps and bounds beyond what I'm able to do with these Final Cut plug-ins.  But these Red Giant plug-ins are absolute game changers.  The footage looks a 100 times better than what comes straight out of the camera.

The DeNoiser plug-in is a massive memory hog.  I often have to quit-and-relaunch Final Cut after rendering 2-3 clips (and I now render one clip at a time, save, then attempt the next clip).  It's a slow, slow process.  But the results are worth it.

Preparing for AFM

We're preparing to attend the American Film Market, early next month in Santa Monica.

While there, we'll be talking with potential distributors about the film, and passing out limited edition postcards (like this one) featuring all of the information about the film, plus how to track down this website!

Submitting to Sundance!

We have raced to get to this point -- a film ready to submit to festivals!

The submission deadline for Sundance is here, and we've raced to get a cut ready to get out the door.  Editor Alex Miskei and Sound Editor Aaron Fink worked furiously towards the deadline to get things ready -- and the film looks and sounds great.

There's still some techincal cleanup work to do -- the version submitted to Sundance is clearly a rough cut -- but I love the film and am very excited about festival season!

Thanks to Chris and Carole and Jacq for rearranging their schedules to accomodate last minute wild tracks and all the crazy hustle over the past week!

Fingers crossed for Park City and beyond!

Name Change and Website Makeover

We have changed the name of the film to FINDING FOCUS, which we think has a much better feel to it (Never LIes somehow always felt like a horror film!), and I love the double meaning to the phrase - which perfectly applies to the Ryan character.

I'm in the process of updating the website and rebranding everything with the new name.  Look for the changeover to happen by the end of the month!

Post Has Begun

Post Production on the film is underway.  All of the footage has been transcoded to Apple ProRes, which will make the editing process on Final Cut significantly easier and quicker than trying to cut in h.264 (which is the camera's natural codec).

While it's exciting to get see the pieces coming together, I sure do miss the comraderie of working with Chris, Carole, and the rest of our amazing cast.

Jacq and I have just returned from separate trips out of town (on other gigs) and are diving into the process of replacing our original editor whose existing commitments were too time consuming.  I'm beginning the assemble edit myself, but very much looking forward to bringing on fresh eyes to the project!

We hope to have an announcement on that front by the end of next week!

Exhibit of Photos at 1215 Projects

As mentioned in a previous post, after we wrapped shooting at 1215 Projects, a cool gallery in Echo Park, the gallery owner asked us to keep the show up.  The show stayed up on an interim basis for a couple of weeks, but is now moving forward as an official show at the gallery!

The opening will be on Saturday, May 14, in conjunction with the NELA Art Walk.  The show will then run for one month at the gallery.  Stop by and say hello!

End of the Movie is In The Can

We shot the final scene of the movie last night (but not the final scene of the shoot!) at 1215 Projects, a very cool gallery in Echo Park.

Everything went so well, that the gallery owners have asked to keep the show up for a month.

If you're in the area, feel free to go check it out!

1215 Projects
1215 Cypress Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90065


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