29 December 2013

Best wishes for the holidays!!!

I hope you had fantastic holidays!

I certainly did and I wanted to take a few minutes to wish you all my very best wishes for 2014! May all your dreams come true and may life bless you and your loved ones with health, happiness and everything you wish for. :)

I wanted to make a 2013 Year in Review, but I realized that 95% of my time was spent on one thing:
 
It's comiiiiiiiiiiiing!!! :D
So instead, I decided to take the time to once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your constant support. I have so many things to share with you all, but let's wait a bit and kick in the new year with them, shall we?

See you all very soon and please be safe when celebrating.

Love,
 M.

9 October 2013

Upcoming podcast with Casey Ryan!

I'm delighted to be invited as a guest for a 4th time on Casey Ryan's podcast The Cutting Room Floor! October is "Massacre Month" which, you probably guessed, means he is focusing on indie horror.

What will I be talking about? Only one way to find out! Tune in on Friday at 10pm (EST) HERE for a live stream of the show! There will also be a live chat, so feel free to send me questions on there, I'll try to answer them on the air. :)

And, for those who missed them, here's the mini Casey Ryan archive:

Audio Recording: 'EP.81 - Maude Michaud 2' From 'Cutting Room Floor'
  
Audio Recording: 'EP. 135 - Maude Michaud Vol. III' From 'Cutting Room Floor'

Alas, #1 is nowhere to be found :(

See you all on Friday!

7 October 2013

HOLLYWOOD SKIN in Tokyo!

Yes, yes, you read right! (and yes, I'm still pinching myself!) Hollywood Skin will be playing in Tokyo, Japan as part of the ScreamQueen Film Fest!

The film is part of Program B - scheduled for Sunday October 27th at the Uplink Factory - and the program also includes two of my favorite shorts of recent years, Karen Lam's The Meeting and Doug Mallette's Beautiful As You Are. Needless to say, I wish I could go!!!

I am beyond thrilled and honoured to be included in such a rad festival in the country with the cinematic history that had the biggest influence on me and my work. Many thanks to the Viscera Film Festival Tour Department who helped make this possible and to the amazing Mai Nakanishi who organized the event!

Check out the film if you can and give this kickass event some love!

Here's the Facebook page and the FB event. :)

P.S.: Yes, I'm totally fangirl-geeking out about seeing the film description in Japanese.

15 August 2013

RED at Mascara & Popcorn

I'm glad to announce that, after screening two of my shorts in 2011, including the lesser known Complex Model, and helping me fundraise Dys- with a retrospective of my shorts in 2012, I'll be back at the Mascara and Popcorn festival in my hometown with Red which will be in the official short competition!

The film screens tomorrow night, starting at 6:30 PM at Théâtre Ste-Catherine:
264 Sainte-Catherine Street East, Montreal. I'm beyond honored to be playing alongside dear friends and fellow filmmakers Andrew Shearer, Lori Bowen, Jovanka Vuckovic, Mae Catt and Izzy Lee among others! :)

Check out this awesome festival trailer and try to spot Red!

Here's an interview with yours truly from the press conference! :)

Dys- Day #4: A teaser and a horror icon

First off, I apologize for again going on hiatus for the Dys- Day posts. The last month has kept me fairly busy with a trip to L.A., the Viscera Film Festival and the Fantasia film festival.

BUT, busy is good as it also means I got a lot more work done on Dys-, which in turn means that I'm one step closer to being done!

One of the main thing I worked on, which I've kept under wrap pretty much until shooting day, was the shooting of two extra scenes for the film starring horror cult icon Lynn Lowry! Yes, working with her made me as ecstatic as you can imagine! :D


Our amazing L.A. crew!
(photo by Lori Bowen)

Me directing Lynn
(photo by Lori Bowen)

The second big thing that kept me busy was the first Dys- promo teaser-trailer which premiered at the Viscera film festival before being release online a few days later.


It has already received some positive buzz from two awesome gentlemen, Mike Snoonian (HERE) and Justin Hamelin (HERE). Thanks for the constant support, guys!

Char Hardin was also kind enough to give us a shout out and play the teaser trailer on the air (around the 01:20:00 mark), which you can listen to right HERE.

Thanks everyone for the constant support! YAY!! :D Can't wait to unleash Dys- upon you all!

(photo by Lori Bowen)

4 July 2013

DYS- Day #3: There's always something that is a little more demanding...


For the third installment of Dys- Day, I'll be answering V-Man's question: "I know filmaking and the filmaking process is your passion but are there parts of the filmaking process that you like or dislike more than the others?" 

This is a tricky question to answer and, even if I love every aspect of filmmaking, I must admit that I do find the whole producing/financing aspect to be draining and time-consuming. And I absolutely HATE negotiating. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do love producing, but constantly having to switch “hats” between thinking like a producer (business) and like a director (creative) can become quite overwhelming.  On the flip side, producing is also great because that when you’re actively planning your film and setting things in motion to get started shooting. I did produce a few of my friends’ projects and it’s always easier (and more fun!) to produce when you’re not the  filmmaker as well.


I’m someone who is crazy organized and I actually love scheduling, planning, problem-solving, etc. But, my creative side is the complete opposite: a post-apocalyptic, chaotic wasteland! On Dys-, I was super lucky to have an awesome production team that really helped relieve some of the burden and allowed me to put all my energy and focus on the creative side of things.

I wouldn’t say that I’m a control freak, but I always find it really hard to let go of this role, even if I have a love/hate relationship with it. I’ve had a few experiences in the past when someone else was supposed to take on the producer role, only to drop out or only do half of what they signed up for. In all those cases, I had to step in at the last second and fix everything which meant that this is where all my energy went instead of being focused on directing and it ended up hurting the shorts. Because of this, I’ve always been wary about relying entirely on someone else to produce. I kept repeating the following motto: “If you want something done well and done your way, do it yourself.”

However, I am hopeful and I’m ready to keep my mind open for the future.  My 100% positive experience on Dys- taught me to trust other people and it helped me grow as a filmmaker. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to completely let go of the business and logistics side of filmmaking, but I’m definitely hoping that one day I’ll find a like-minded producer to work with and who can help me push my own limits as a filmmaker. 

Don't forget! You can always ask me your question(s) or suggest a topic by commenting! :)

27 June 2013

DYS- Day #2: Financing. Producing. Shooting. Post. Everything. (part 2)



I know, I know, the Dys- Day posts were supposed to be weekly occurrences... but I was pulling an editing marathon so it’s a good reason for the delay, no? 
 
To pick it up where I left off in the first Dys- Day post, whatever your financing situation is, it’s gonna end up having an impact on the rest of your production.  There’s an old saying that goes along the lines of: “No matter what your budget is, you never have enough money.” So it’s always good to keep this in mind from the start. The chances that you’ll get exactly the amount of money you need for your project are unlikely, so be creative and work within your limitations from the get-go!  

Producing: Given the limited budget, I ended up producing the film with the help of a great supervising producer who had previously produced/directed a 35mm feature film on a really small budget, so he was really helpful and instrumental in helping me find ways to work within the limiting budget without sacrificing quality. We were assisted by a completely dedicated production manager who somehow manage to make everything work and kept the production on track throughout shooting.

A lot of aspects worked in our favor: we had access to the main location for free; secondary locations were found through networking and were, for the most part, also given to us for free; my mom and grandma supplied home-made catering which got rave reviews from the crew who would often go for a second serving. Despite the limited budget, we were able to pay everyone a daily wage which, even if it wasn’t a lot, contributed to making their contribution feel valued. Plus, I got to work with a lot of long-time collaborators who had worked for free on a lot of my shorts, so it felt great to finally be able to pay them for a project. 

Shooting: We had two main shooting limitations: first, we only had a limited number of shooting days for budgetary reasons and shooting dates were limited by how many days off work (my day job) I managed to get and the dates during which the lead actress would be in town. Fortunately, we had unlimited access to the main location and the rest of the cast and crew was incredibly flexible and worked around our insane 14 days shooting schedule. Aside from a few miscalculations in pre-production which lead to a 20-hour shooting day with special effects (i.e.: you can really stop otherwise it will mess up continuity), balanced out by a 4-hour shooting day the following week, everything else was smooth-sailing during the production and I am forever grateful for that!


Post: The production is the long part that is often filled with joy, wonder and frustration. Since I’m about halfway through this process, I can’t say too much except that, just like the rest of the film, editing is going very well! We now have a first rough cut that clocks in at 135 minutes for an 80-page script. It’s still too long, but hey, better too much content than not enough! That cut still needs to be refined and then will come the exciting next few steps: sound editing, scoring, sound mixing and color correction!

Now, it’s hard to answer the “everything” part of the original question as I could probably write 500 pages on the whole experience! I tried to summarize and I hope I did a semi-good job of answering your question, Lori! If not (or if you want more specific details), remember that you can ask me your question(s) or suggest a topic by commenting!

And yes, I promise a regular, weekly Dys- Day post from now on. :)

10 June 2013

DYS- teaser to premiere at the Viscera Film Festival!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you read right! The Dys- teaser will premiere on July 13th during the Viscera Film Festival at the legendary (and gorgeous!) Grauman Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard in L.A.!

I will be making the trip to sunny California and will be attending the festival (among other really exciting activities), so make sure you stop by to say "hi", check out the teaser and cheer the best new horror shorts by women filmmakers! It's an event not to be missed! Check out this page for all the info.

Excited to see the first images of the film, but can't make it to L.A.? Fear not as the teaser will be released online a few days after the premiere. Keep your eyes on the film's FB page for all the updates!


Saying I'm excited is an understatement! :)

If you're wondering, yes, the film will also have a trailer, which will be released later this year.

4 June 2013

THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

Today, as I was doing my usual round of checking my social site, I had the pleasure of finding out that this blog has accumulated more than 10 000 views! Honestly, I am... speechless!

I have no idea if that's a lot or not in today's cyberworld, but it sure as hell means everything to me that you stuck by me during the 3 years I've been writing it and that you cared enough about my random babbling, promoting, etc to share the posts and keep coming back!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I love every single one of you and here's to 10 000 more views! 

29 May 2013

We're Canadian horror filmmakers, hear us roar!

A few months after the Blood in the Snow Canadian Horror Film Festival (a very fitting name!) I posted about last December, I'm proud to say that Red will return to Ontario this weekend as part of the Little Nightmares Canadian Horror Short Film Festival!

This time around, it will be happening in Hamilton and the focus will be on shorts. Fans of bite-size scares, make sure to not miss this event as it features some of the finest, most creative shorts I've seen in recent years. And well, if you still haven't seen Red, don't miss the occasion to see it on the big screen! :)

And check out their totally rad poster:


Again, I'm proud and honored to be featured alongside such talented filmmakers! Thank you Darrell Marsh for including me and for organizing the event!

Check out this blog post by festival co-presenter, Horror in the Hammer, for the trailers of all the programmed films!


19 April 2013

DYS- Day #1: Financing. Producing. Shooting. Post. Everything. (part 1)



For this first installment of Dys- Day, I’ll be answering my friend and fellow filmmaker Lori Bowen who gave me the following challenge: “I’d love to read as much as you want to tell about the film – financing, producing, shooting, post. Everything. No filmmaking journey is ever alike and no filmmaking journey is ever boring.” 

Lori, indeed, it is never boring and I’m convinced this whole series of posts will help cover most of the filmmaking journey of this particular project. I’ll use your four keywords as a starting point because I feel they represent the foundation of any film project. Financing. Producing. Shooting. Post. You can’t really be more thorough that that (except maybe by adding marketing and scriptwriting), but for the sake of this first foray into the topic, let’s stick to these as they are the elements that will have the biggest impact in determining what the finished film ends up being (and looks like). Furthermore, they are all interrelated and will influence once another: how much financing you get will determine some of the producing decisions and will impact shooting time and or means, which in turn will also impact post. You can’t think of them individually without acknowledging how they impact the rest of the production.

Financing: Aside from a bit of money that was raised through crowdfunding (thank you, contributors!), most of the Dys- budget was self-financed with a third of the amount coming from an investor. I could have gone other, more traditional routes of financing (i.e. government funding), but I didn’t feel like putting the project on hold “in case” I find more financing. I had already waited long enough to make a feature, I really wanted to get the project off the ground and take advantage of the momentum I had. Plus, I was fortunate enough to have a decently paying day job that allowed me to save money to make my big dream come true.  Some people go backpacking through Europe/take a six months trip around the world; I made my first feature and I couldn’t be happier. Because yes, filmmaking is also a spiritual journey.

From the start, I knew it was hard for a first feature to get funded, so I wrote the script with budgetary limitations in mind. One of my film teachers always used to say that, when faced with limitations, we should use them to force ourselves to be creative. This is exactly what I did and I can’t agree more! First thing I knew, my initial idea took a turn for the unexpected and I hit a creative zone that I don’t think I would have been able to access without being aware of the budgetary limitations I was likely to face. In the end, I couldn’t be happier with the script and I would not change a thing to the story, the content or the way it unfolds, even if someone offered me twice the budget I had! 
As for producing, shooting and post – I’ll cover those in future posts! :)

Thanks Lori for the inspiring topic! And remember, you can ask me your question(s) or suggest a topic by commenting!

11 April 2013

Introducing DYS- day!


Hey everyone! 
Long time no talk! As you can imagine, editing has been taking up most of my free time during the past few months. I spent most of February and March finalizing a ‘Making of’ featurette I edited for the upcoming DVD release of my friend Eric Falardeau’s debut feature film, the disturbingly awesome Thanatomorphose, before finally diving head first into Dys-!

After a few days of intensive editing (thank you long weekends!) and thanks to my usual squirrel speed, I’m now two scenes away from the 50% mark. Yup, my first cut is almost 50% done and I can hardly believe it. Things are going so smoothly and so easily falling into place, it’s almost too good to be true! *knocks on wood* Not only are the images are gorgeous, the acting is impeccable and the editing is almost effortless!

To celebrate this exciting milestone and to keep fueling my motivation and excitement, I’m kickstarting a series of weekly posts about Dys-. These posts will cover everything from the behind the scenes to how I met my wonderful cast and crew.

I want YOU to be involved in the process by either asking me a question about the film or telling me what you’d like me to write about! If you tell me what you want to know, I’ll make sure to cover it at some point during the coming weeks! Don't be shy, I don't bite hard... ;)

6 March 2013

First look at DYS-!

Yup, it is with great pleasure that I can finally share with you the first images from my upcoming feature film debut, Dys-!

For those who missed it on Facebook, Planet Etheria scored the exclusivity to the first stills! You can check them out by clicking the link. What do you think of them? Make sure you click the thumbnails to see the photo in full.

The pics can also be found on the official Facebook page. If you haven't liked it yet, what are you waiting for? All the fun is there! :)

Also in Dys- news, expect a weekly Dys- related post right here on this blog as I begin post-production! More information coming soon...

And last, but not least, our friend Mike Snoonian over at All Things Horror profiled the film as one of five indie projects to look out for! Check it out here! Thanks Mike! You made my day as usual. :D