Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Fin!

Words cannot express how special this short film means to me. Two years ago, after what seemed like an eternity, I finally jumped in the deep end and got back behind the camera despite some mild trepidation. However, after the dust settled, we created something that was beautiful and incredibly satisfying.

This couldn’t have been done without our leading lady, Isabelle Giroux, and our Etienne, Lukas Delcourt. Beyond that, my Producer (Allison Vanore) and I would like to thank each of our Executive Producers and donors for helping us get the film off the ground.

And finally, our amazing crew, who I hope to work with and know for many years to come. Jorge Urbina, Frank Vanore, Hamdija Ajanovic, Gilberto Vega, Michaela Pentacoff, Dylan Jury, Joslyn Sifuentes, Moira Taylor, Raphe Wolfgang, Jonathan Helms, Eric Patton, Chris Stevens, Steve Paul, Rob Gokee, Brian Carroll, Jeeves Dean, Travis McElroy, Mark Legaspi, Ryan Elliot, Laura Strauss, Isabelle Dhommee, Derek Oishi, Maura Concannon, Stephanie Coogan, Loren Schamp, Sunmin Lee, Jamison Scala, Nipa Thakkar, Maria Vega, Chanel Eakin, Dave Groseclose, Ande Richards, Caitlin Rafferty, Mike O’Heney, Matthew Quinley, and Justin Martinez. Thank you.


Un Mot Pour Etienne (A Note to Etienne) from Elias Benavidez on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Screening Progress


It’s been a whirlwind with our little French film these past weeks. First, we had a very successful screening last week put on by Luminave Films and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the response we’ve received. We screened with very different types of films – including a very chilling horror short (Singularity) and a cute and endearing romantic comedy short (Brownie Points). We screened to about 160 people and were met with a wonderful applause. Congratulations to our wonderful cast and crew for creating a wonderful story.

We’re waiting to hear back from about 5 or 6 other festivals. However, if you’re in the Los Angeles area and missed this past screening, you still can see our film at the Toluca Lake Film Series. It’s April 17th at 12pm at the Sidewalk Studio Theater and is only a mere $5 to watch four very different shorts. Tickets are available online at www.brownpapertickets.com or at the door the day of the event.

Merci Bien!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Festivals, Grants... Et Plus!


As you’re probably aware, us on the A Note to Etienne team have been MIA lately. No, we haven’t abandoned you. We would never! We’re actually playing double-duty by handling Etienne’s festival distribution while in post-production on another short – A Boy’s Life (visit the website for more information & to be part of the action).

As for Etienne – we have exciting news! We’ve been selected to receive the Patron of the Arts film grant to continue to aid us with Festival Submissions! This means we’re prepared and ready to enter the second leg of festivals and get this short film out there for people to see. Thank you so much to everyone at POTA for this amazing donation. This will definitely help us move forward and show people the hard work we all put into this film.

Most importantly, thank you to everyone who 'liked', voted, and spread the word for this competition. It definitely couldn't have been done without your help! THANK YOU!

Stay tuned for more news as we continue the festival circuit! Please check out our other film’s website and spread the word.

Onward and Upwards!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Questions w/ Dylan Jury


The Casting Director

1) Tell about yourself in exactly twenty words.

I’m a film school graduate breaking into the industry via the casting department on many studio and independent films.

2) How did you get involved in ‘A Note to Etienne’?

Well, seeing that I live with the director, he had no choice but to work with me.

3) Have you ever worked on a foreign film before? What was it like working on a french film? Write something in French (without looking it up!)

I have worked on foreign produced films, but none in a foreign language. Je m'appelle Rachel.

4) What project(s) are you working on next?

I'm the casting assistant on several television series and movies in pre-production (including Nolan’s next movie about a certain black-suited superhero…). I'm also working on Eli's next short, A Boy's Life.

5) What's the strangest casting situation you've ever been involved in?

Casting an "internet sex chat girl" for an independent film I was working on.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Questions w/ PJ Gaynard


The Executive Producer

1) Tell about yourself in exactly twenty words.

I make movies. I help other people make movies. I'm obsessive, relentless, and demanding of myself. I like Eli a lot.

2) How did you get involved in ‘A Note to Etienne’?

Eli volunteered his services in the art department when I made my film Love Sick Love. It seemed only fitting that I do what I could to help him make his project. I volunteered my camera equipment.

3) Have you ever worked on a foreign film before? What was it like working on a french film? Write something in French (without looking it up!)

I worked as executive producer in a similar capacity on a separate short film called Sandwich Shop directed by David Haskell which was also in French. It was a fun project to shoot because it was almost entirely one shot and included some serious dolly moves.

4) What project(s) are you working on next?

I’m currently running my production company Goat Milk Fudge Productions. Along with working on a slate of productions as a producer and DP, I’ll be directing a new short entitled My Anne Frank soon.

5) If you could have created any film past or present and claim it as your own, what would it be? And why?

Excalibur by John Boorman. Every time I watch it I learn something about myself.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Questions w/ Hamdija Ajanovic


The Composer

1) Tell about yourself in exactly twenty words.

Happily married, Tucson based, classically trained composer with a degree in film who plays multiple instruments and speaks several languages.

2) How did you get involved in ‘A Note to Etienne’?

Three years ago, I worked with the director, Eli Benavidez, on Park Bench. Needless to say, it was a great experience, and when he called me (while I was on a vacation) to see if I was available to score Un mot pour √Čtienne, I agreed even before knowing what the film was about.

3) Have you ever worked on a foreign film before? What was it like working on a french film? Write something in French (without looking it up!)

Even though English language is not my native one, this was the first time I worked on a non-English speaking film. I could not say that it was any different then usual. All the elements of the film, from acting and directing to lighting, cinematography, editing, etc., were beautifully crafted to convey the intended emotions. The music was already in there; all I had to do is give it a life.

Voilà!

4) What project(s) are you working on next?

I am currently composing music for Grapple Buggy, a video game for Xbox 360 that is being developed by Mommy's Best Games. In addition, my wife, Jodi, and I are collaborating on a modern day opera, based on the Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. Jodi is writting the story and lyrics, and I am composing the music. The play is scheduled to premiere next year in July.

5) What's the strangest talent you have?

Being me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Questions w/ Frank Mohler


The Editor

1) Tell about yourself in exactly twenty words.

Frank Mohler is a self-proclaimed Beta Male who is passionate about sports, movies, tv, beer, and beautiful, yet unobtainable, women.

2) How did you get involved in ‘A Note to Etienne’?

I had cut a short film for Producer Allison Vanore and Executive Producer PJ Gaynard the year before, so when the Original Editor of ANTE had to pull out, Allison asked if I was available. I told here that as long as she didn't think it would conflict with the other 2 projects I was working on for her, I'd be happy to join the team.

3) Have you ever worked on a foreign film before? What was it like working on a french film? Write something in French (without looking it up!)

No. But it wasn't too bad as I had taken French in high school and college, so I knew just enough to feel comfortable matching up the imagery with the narration. Luckily, Caitlin had already pieced together the audio before I came onboard, so that made it even easier.

"Voulez-Vous coucher avec moi ce soir?"

4) What project(s) are you working on next?

I'm currently finishing up work on a couple of DVD bonus features, and enjoying the launch of SOLO-The Series, I web series I edited for ANTE Producer, Allison Vanore.

5) If you could watch just one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?

I refuse to answer that question. There is no fair answer.... Fine. The Princess Bride. Its got a little bit of everything in it.