Monday, September 30, 2013

Obscure Namesakes #5

Obscure Namesakes #4

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Woodstock screening

Hey, fans, I have a big surprise for all of you who live in the New York area -

I'm having a surprise screening of the new rough cut of CHEATIN' at the wonderful Woodstock Film Festival.  I want to test out the new sound.

It will be playing on Thursday, October 3 at 9:45 at the Bearsville Cinema, just outside of Woodstock.  It's famous for its recording studio and concert hall.

So, please come by and say "Hello" and tell me what you think of the new cut of my film.
See you all there, bring your friends!

To buy tickets, please visit:

Click on the link to buy tickets and look for the "Secret Screening"  (shhh.....)


Monday, September 23, 2013

Martha's Vineyard Film Festival

Last year, I missed one of my favorite film festivals, in Martha's Vineyard, because of the birth of our son, Lucas.

Also, this year I was too busy trying to finish my new feature "Cheatin'" to be actively involved in the organizing of their animation program.  But, thankfully, Noelle Melody and Joy Vaccese put together an excellent program or animated shorts, including my film "Drunker Than a Skunk".

Luckily, my wife and son and I were able to attend the festival and we had a ball!

The programming was wonderful, with full houses and Richard Paradise (the festival director) was able to inaugurate his brand-new Martha's Vineyard Film Center Theater.

For anyone who loves great films, beautiful locations and delicious seafood, you have to go to the Martha's Vineyard Film Festival in Vineyard Haven.  One of the fun events was the filmmakers' brunch, where I got to meet the great Wes Craven. 

We chatted about his life in films and then we spotted this huge yacht (ocean liner) with a helicopter on the rear deck - and we came to find out it belongs to Oprah Winfrey!

The Vineyard has become a real hotspot for celebrities and presidents - so please, send your film to Richard Paradise at the Martha's Vineyard Film Festival.  Who knows, maybe Oprah will be in the audience!


The Telluride Film Festival is one of the hardest festivals in the world to get into.  I've been entering for 30 years now, and only had a film accepted 3 times - that's once every 10 years!

This year, they programmed my new short "Drunker Than a Skunk" - yeah!  So we all went to Telluride this year - not only is it hard to get a film in, but it's equally hard to get to the damn place - it's in the middle of the Colorado Rockies, 2 miles above sea level.

But, once you arrive it's Nirvana - all the best films, all the great filmmakers.  No agents, PR people, or Hollywood sleaze, just the people who create the films.

I was lucky enough to have my film shown before the great Alexander Payne's "Nebraska", starring Bruce Dern.  So, I was guaranteed a packed house for every show.  Alexander said some really nice things about me and my film.  We'd met before and he remembered me.

I was able to see some other great films - "The Unknown Known" by Errol Morris (disappointing...), "Under the Skin" by Jonathan "Sexy Beast" Glazer (terrible...), Miyazaki's "The Wind Rises" (bland), "Gravity" by Alfonso Cuaron (amazing) and of course "Nebraska" (fantastic!).

I was able to witness a wonderful panel with Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, and T-Bone Burnett talking about music in their films, which is very important to me right now, as I'm selecting music for my new feature film "Cheatin'".

Obviously, I was too busy to see all the films I wanted, but I could tell which other films were the hot tickets - "Prisoners" by Denis Villeneuve, "12 Years a Slave" by Steve McQueen, and "Inside Llewyn Davis" by the Coen brothers.

The parties were amazing - I especially loved the midfest brunce on the top of the hills.  Included were Michael Moore, Alexander Payne, Leonard Maltin, Francis Ford Coppola, Salman Rushdie, Werner Herzog, and Robert Redford.

That's what's special about Telluride - it's a very intimate festival so you can approach these big stars and directors without dealing with press agents, bodyguards or paparazzi.

With Leonard Maltin and Alexander Payne.

We were also invited to the Academy party, and as my wife and 1-year-old son and I waited for the elevator to take us up, Brad Pitt appeared and the elevator operator pushed us aside, saying, "Make room for Mr. Pitt."  But as Brad walked by he looked at our son, Lucas, and said, "I'm not going to deprive this cute baby his place in the elevator."  So, he invited us to ride up in the elevator with him, and as we rode up he was very friendly, chatting with us.  When we reached the floor with the party, of course he was immediately mobbed, and that's the last we saw of Mr. Pitt.

However, 10 years from now, we can tell Lucas about his encounter with Brad Pitt -

I'm now working on a new short, and I pray it gets into Telluride, so I can come back again.

With Linda Jones, daughter of Chuck Jones.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Obscure Namesakes #3

Monday, September 9, 2013


One of the most anticipated films at the Telluride Festival was Alphonso Cuaran's "Gravity".  The greatly-buzzed-about space feature starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock did not disappoint.

Roughly, the plot is about two astronauts who are caught in space during a debris storm, which is caused by a Russian space explosion - and it concerns how they survive in such a dangerous climate.

There are a lot of special effects.  In fact, it seemed to me that 90% of the film was computer generated.  Yet, the story is very emotional.  I spent the entire movie on the proverbial edge of my seat.  It's a horror film without any monsters or zombies.  Poor Sandra goes from one seriously deadly situation to the next, and it's relentless.

But what really amazed me about the film was the originality of the story.  There is no subtext or larger issue that is covered in this film other than pure survival.  But believe me, that's enough.

I recommend that everyone go see this fantastic film.  I give it an "A".

Bill Plympton

Friday, September 6, 2013

Obscure Namesakes #2

Obscure Namesakes #1