"Branches" Movie Release
Rob Centros (Level 3) ~ 10/20/2010 7:24 AM
Congratulations! I'll take a little longer look at this later today or this evening. Daniel Stern was in one of my favorite movies, "The Milagro Beanfield War." It's weird to see him so gray.
Rob Centros (Level 3) ~ 10/20/2010 7:34 AM
Meant to say, nice site.
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 10/20/2010 4:04 PM
Rick -- Can't wait. Been checking the website (nice enhancements). Already preordered and paid for my copy. You know how bad I am at Facebook, but I'll give it a try.
Rob -- "It's weird to see him (Daniel Stern) so gray."
Happens to all of us...
Stern was in Drew Barrymore's "Whip It" and I deliberately turned my head just to listen to his voice, imagining how great he's going to be on "Branches."
Milagro is a favorite of mine too. Robert Redford directed a good story. I presently have RR's voice on my answering machine saying "This is Robert Redford." He called drumming up support for a ballot measure in CA. My husband keeps threatening to delete it...
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 10/20/2010 9:42 PM
Between Branches and You're So Cupid, I'm almost done Christmas shopping!
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 10/22/2010 9:18 AM
Aww Margaret, that's so sweet!
Rick, I just ordered my copy, I'm so excited to see it!!
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 10/24/2010 8:50 AM
Thanks everyone! The DVD will be available for the 2010 holiday season. We plan to include some cool extras that we've listed on the movie's site: www.branchesmovie.com. It's been great to see members from the MoviePoet community checking out the Facebook page as well. We appreciate your support.
"Branches" will make its film festival debut on October 29-30, 2010 at The Pocono Mountains Film Festival in Mount Pocono, PA. Screen times are available at the festival web site: www.poconomountainsfilmfestival.com.
Rob, KP, Margaret and Sally, thank you so much!
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 10/27/2010 12:46 PM
Anyone aware of niche film festivals in the United States that focus on holiday films?
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 10/27/2010 5:16 PM
You could try the Heartland Film Festival. They like uplifting films.
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 10/29/2010 8:00 AM
Thanks, Sally! Today is the first screening at The Pocono Mountains Film Festival. Second screening will be Saturday afternoon.
For those of you that have pre-ordered DVDs, we will be shipping them out in plenty of time for you to use as holiday gifts. Thanks again for all of your support!
Rob Gross (Level 4) ~ 10/31/2010 7:25 PM
The site is awesome and I am stoked to see the finished film! Very proud of you Rick. Keep it up!
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 10/31/2010 11:40 PM
How did the screenings go Rick?????
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 11/1/2010 2:47 AM
We want details...
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 11/5/2010 7:07 PM
Unfortunately, we weren't able to attend the screenings. We had hoped to make it for part of the festival but it did not work out this time.
Today, we're rolling out the poster for the film. Check out Peter's amazing work on the updated web site:
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 11/5/2010 10:31 PM
@Rick and Peter --
The poster is stunning.
The writing is crisp and readable. The tagline is perfect.
More first class work for "Branches."
Matthew Fettig (Level 5) ~ 11/7/2010 12:32 PM
Rick - I just checked out the poster - it's beautiful. Great job. Hopefully we'll hear good news from the screenings soon?
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 11/8/2010 10:22 AM
Just ordered my DVD. Can't wait! :)
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 11/12/2010 4:51 PM
We received our first official review (and it is amazing).
Paul De Vrijer (Level 5) ~ 11/12/2010 5:01 PM
Holy hell, what a review. Yeah you SHOULD be absolutely happy about that. And he certainly psyched me up enough to see this (as if I wouldn't already).
This probably wont be in the next contest will it?
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 11/12/2010 5:07 PM
I think we will put it in next year's contest, but this year, it is still on the festival circuit.
Martin Lancaster (Level 4) ~ 11/12/2010 5:14 PM
Congrats guys. It looks great!
Martin Lancaster (Level 4) ~ 11/13/2010 6:45 PM
By the way, I just ordered my DVD. Are you sure it's only ten dollars including shipping to Germany?! I'd be happy to pay the postage.
Matthew Fettig (Level 5) ~ 11/13/2010 8:57 PM
Rick & Chris - Congratulations! What a fantastic review. I can't wait to see it myself. I'll post the Dec screening on my FB page - not that I know anyone near Lancaster but maybe some of the NY crowd can spread the word.
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 11/17/2010 5:36 AM
Thanks! We're extremely excited to share this film with everyone. This Saturday, November 20, 2010 at Penn Cinema (541 Airport Road, Lititz, PA 17543) at 11:00 a.m. we will have a free screening of the film.
After the movie there will be a Q & A session with me, Director/Producer, Chris Messineo and one of the film's actors, Jody Ebert.
This will be the launch of our DVD sales. So, if you've already ordered one, watch for it to arrive in your mailbox shortly. DVDs are available for purchase through the film's web site and our Facebook page.
We're looking forward to sharing this film with everyone this holiday season. Thanks to all of the MoviePoet members that have already ordered copies!
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 11/18/2010 1:56 AM
I can't wait to get my copy! What a great review. It's going to be a classic, I can just feel it. So excited.
Congrats to you both!!!
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 11/18/2010 9:41 AM
Don't get too excited - I worry we won't be able to live up to everyone's expectations. :)
Kirk White (Level 5) ~ 11/18/2010 2:22 PM
Will you, by any chance, have another screening/q&a in the Jersey?
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 11/18/2010 6:25 PM
No chance of that...
A heartwarming script, a director with heart, beautiful location,
Daniel Stern's famous voice, Michael Whalen's beautiful music.
Everyone needs to buy this DVD.
Khamanna Iskandarova (Level 5) ~ 11/18/2010 7:04 PM
I'm sold. Will be waiting for the DVD.
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 11/18/2010 8:37 PM
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 11/20/2010 9:49 PM
What a fantastic response from people that attended the screening today! Watch for photos of Chris Messineo and one of our stars, Jody Ebert, on the Branches facebook page shortly. It was a great start to the holiday season!
Adrienne Jorgensen (Level 4) ~ 11/22/2010 8:57 PM
The site and stills look great. I'll be adding the film to my 'to buy' list. Congrats, guys!
Rob Gross (Level 4) ~ 11/24/2010 3:06 PM
I'm hoping that DVD shows up in my mailbox today.
I have family coming over and would love to show it.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 11/24/2010 3:15 PM
Wow...got mine today. Amazing. Everything about it gave me goosebumps. And even though I knew the ending, I cried anyway. Your team did a great job. You all should be VERY proud!!!!!! Congratulations!!!!
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 11/24/2010 10:59 PM
Chris and Rick --
Mine came today too. Wow, guys. It's beautiful...
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 11/25/2010 12:37 AM
I got my video today. I am going to watch it with my family tomorrow when they come for Thanksgiving.. I can't wait!!!!!!
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 11/25/2010 2:15 PM
Thanks everyone! I'm so happy to hear that you like it.
I know Rick has shipped out all the DVDs we got in the first shipment and more DVDs will be arriving on Monday and we ship those asap.
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 11/26/2010 4:07 PM
I assume this will be in next months contest?
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 11/26/2010 5:50 PM
I loved it, so amazing and touching, I highly recommend you purchase one if you haven't already!! Wonderful job!!
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 11/26/2010 8:40 PM
"I assume this will be in next months contest?"
Nope - maybe next year. This year we are concentrating on Film Festivals (and those who ordered the DVD).
"I loved it, so amazing and touching, I highly recommend you purchase one if you haven't already!! Wonderful job!!"
Thanks a lot!
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 11/27/2010 7:24 AM
Thanks so much for all the kind words. We're thrilled that people are enjoying the film.
On Friday's news reports, many of you may have seen Chris Botek and his wife, Brandy deliver The White House Christmas Tree to Michelle Obama.
The tree that now sits in The Blue Room at The White House once stood close to where the Narration tree in the film stands.
More DVDs will be shipped out as soon as they arrive on Monday. If you've ordered one, we will get it to you in plenty of time for the holidays.
Rob Gross (Level 4) ~ 11/27/2010 1:52 PM
Chris and Rick -
Amazing, magical film. I think there was some dust in my eyes. Yeah, must have been dust.
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 11/27/2010 2:18 PM
I'd really like to order a copy - will it play in the UK? I don't think I can do the conversion thing on my Tv/DVD player or are they all universal now?
MJ Hermanny (Level 5) ~ 11/28/2010 6:00 AM
Maybe I'm being really dumb and all DVDs are universal now and I just missed the announcement. Or maybe Chris & Rick made theirs worldwide so all MPers could watch - am I making sense to anyone... anyone...?
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 11/28/2010 6:43 AM
MJ, I'm not sure about DVDs playing in the UK or elsewhere. I know that I'll be sending a copy to Martin in Germany but other than that, I've only dealt with US orders thus far.
One cool thing about the DVD is that Chris actually put the movie file on the DVD so it can be uploaded onto your computer or digital device rather than making a compressed copy. Maybe that would eliminate any issue.
Thanks to everyone for the feedback and reviews thus far! I'm especially happy to know that the MP community is enjoying this film. It's a project that started on this fantastic site and I'm grateful when I watch many of your names in the movie's credits.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 12/6/2010 10:22 AM
Our poster is now up on IMDB: www.imdb.com/title/tt1735313/
If you've seen the film (and hopefully enjoyed it), we'd love for you to post a review at IMDB. Thanks.
Martin Lancaster (Level 4) ~ 12/8/2010 1:56 PM
Got my DVD in the post today. Great film! I'll post a review on IMDB soon as I have more time.
MJ, the DVD played on my German PC, haven't tried it on the DVD player yet. I'll let you know
Rich Keel (Level 4) ~ 12/8/2010 3:56 PM
Wow you got The guy from "Home Alone" to do a VO for a short. I thought this was going to be a full length film but see the script was only 5 pages. Very cool. I have not seen the film yet but surprised it was not posted on MP's film contest. Or is this not a MP script.
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 12/8/2010 6:52 PM
Take a look at the credentials on IMDB for Michael Whalen who did the music and Carmen Finestra, Executive Producer, too...
Rick and Chris made a beautiful movie.
(Do I sound like a fan?)
Faith Friese Nelson (Level 5) ~ 12/9/2010 6:25 AM
"I have not seen the film yet but surprised it was not posted on MP's film contest. Or is this not a MP script."
Rich, I was disappointed that it wasn't in MP's film contest, too.
Caroline Coxon (Mod Emeritus) ~ 12/9/2010 6:34 AM
I believe Chris said it would be in the contest next year because of submission to festivals and so on at the moment.
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 12/9/2010 12:35 PM
Caroline, You are correct. We do plan to share it in the contest next year. As for the next screening in Central Pennsylvania -- "Branches" will play on the big screen at The Strand Capitol Performing Arts Center in York, PA on Friday, December 17, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. immediately prior to their showing of Irving Berlin's "Holiday Inn."
I will introduce the film and, as of now, Sam Kirk, the actor who plays the character of James in the film will be joining me.
I know I've said it before but thanks to everyone in the MP community for their continued support. It's so cool to watch many of your names scroll past during the film's credits.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 12/9/2010 3:09 PM
"It's so cool to watch many of your names scroll past during the film's credits."
I was thrilled to be a little part of your film project. And to see those familiar names made me feel so appreciative to be a part of this MP community. :)
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 12/12/2010 2:59 PM
So cool. We've now filled orders for DVDs from 23 states across the country with Martin Lancaster proudly representing Germany. Bring a little MoviePoet Christmas home. DVD orders received this week should arrive before Christmas.
Also, tonight at 8 p.m. on HGTV "Christmas at The White House" should have a segment on the Botek family at Crystal Spring Tree Farm where we shot the film. Our Narration tree stands about thirty yards from where the White House Christmas Tree fr the Blue Room once stood.
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 12/21/2010 8:41 PM
Pictures from the screening at The Strand Capitol Theater have been posted on the movie's Facebook page.
Also, on behalf of our entire cast and crew, Merry Christmas!
Wes Worthing (Level 5) ~ 12/21/2010 10:18 PM
Loved BRANCHES! I think it's going to have a great run at the festivals! So happy it came to life. Thanks to all involved.
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 12/22/2010 10:31 PM
I don't even know how many times I've watched it. The commentaries are fun to listen to, too. You guys did a wonderful, wonderful job.
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 1/4/2011 8:43 PM
Great news! "Branches" has been selected as one of only nine films to appear in the SAG Foundation Short Film Showcase on January 27, 2011 in New York City.
Thanks to everyone who has ordered a copy of the DVD. If you like, please leave a review on the film's IMDb page. Our facebook friends list continues to grow!
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 1/4/2011 8:56 PM
Congrats Rick and Chris!!!
That is frickin' great news.
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 1/4/2011 11:55 PM
Great news Rick and Chris.
Time to cross fingers and toes again...
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 1/5/2011 12:39 AM
Excellent and well deserved! Hopefully the first of many honors. :)
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 1/5/2011 9:51 AM
Yay for you!
Rob Gross (Level 4) ~ 1/5/2011 11:48 AM
Way to go!
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 1/7/2011 8:33 PM
Thanks, Everyone! I've just learned that a local library will host a showcase of the three short films I've written, "Chemistry," "Chasing Forever" and "Branches." All three are MoviePoet scripts and I will be dedicating this showcase to the magic of MoviePoet.
BTW, "Chasing Forever" is listed under "Forever Starts" in the contest log. All of your comments and well wishes are very much appreciated. Thanks again!
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 1/26/2011 1:03 PM
Snow is falling in New York so it's appropriate for "Branches" to kick off the 2011 festival season there on Thursday, 1/27/11.
With some help from a moderator, here's the link to the slate of films that will be screened with us at the SAG Showcase: www.sagfoundation.org/userhome/eventdetails/8612
The event is not open to the public but we'll be sure to keep everyone updated on the showcase and any other film festival news on the movie.
DVDs are still available for sale. Follow the links in the above thread if you would like to order a copy. Thanks to the MP Community for making this happen.
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 1/26/2011 3:14 PM
That is so awesome!! I can't wait to hear more news! Guys, if you haven't bought the copy yet, please do so, it's awesome and well worth adding to your libraries.
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 2/9/2011 10:00 PM
The SAG screening in New York (postponed due to snow on 1/27/11) took place tonight. Both Chris Messineo and I were unable to attend but Chris Furlong, the Assistant Director and two of our actors, Tom Bartos ("The Last Man") and Sam Kirk ("James") were in attendance, along with our BTS Photographer, Mark Menditto. Early reports are extremely positive!
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 2/9/2011 11:19 PM
Rick and Chris --
Imagine reports are better than positive.
It's beautiful, from beginning to end.
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 2/17/2011 6:46 PM
We're heading to New Jersey! "Branches" has been selected to be a part of The Garden State Film Festival in Asbury Park, New Jersey (March 31 - April 3, 2011).
We're scheduled for a screening on Sunday (4/3) in the afternoon. Come one, come all if you can. More info at www.gsff.org.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 2/17/2011 7:21 PM
Rick... if you're in Asbury, you better stop off and say Hello to Marnie.
Otherwise, she'll write a really scathing logline about the both of you and then you're toast.
Best of luck at the Festival.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 2/17/2011 7:56 PM
A psychotic but sexy café owner goes all Travis Bickle when two indie filmmakers forget to invite her to the screening of their short film. Hilarity ensues.
I'll defintely be there. Gonna try to work up a small frenzy to fill the seats. :)
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 2/18/2011 8:11 AM
You wanna stir up a small frenzy? Open up The Sand Witch three weeks early so we can bring the audience from "Branches" to your fine eatery! By the way, I hope you're not DQ'd for sneaking your logline entry in this thread.
Copies of the "Branches" DVD have now landed in 29 states and 6 countries. Got yours?
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 2/18/2011 2:39 PM
I wish I could open but they don't turn the water on until mid April. :(
I just looked at the schedule. Didn't they originally have you at Synaxis? Because now your at the Berkley Carteret...which is so much better (location wise). :)
Rustom Irani (Moderator) ~ 2/21/2011 2:54 PM
I’ve spent a small percentage of my life in the suburbs of Detroit and having experienced the snowy winters there, was at the receiving end of the magic that a “true” winter brings and also the harsh reality of what it entails to make it through such a season with a smile on one’s face. This was difficult in my case.
Now, four years and an equal amount of tropical winters later- in Bombay, any narrative medium that explores a slice of life in snowy winter reminds me more of the pleasant memories rather than the tough ones.
Rick’s lovely script is proof of his skill. And a surprise in my postbox is proof of Rick’s belief in gratitude, towards my tiny contribution to his growth and appreciation as a writer. I’m deeply touched and humbled by this gesture.
I received my copy of “Branches” and took my time viewing it multiple times. Each viewing is sublime and dear viewer, please do yourself justice by watching it on a decent screen with a more than adequate sound set-up.
What Rick achieved on paper, Chris executes in production. Each shot is testament to the hours spent by Chris probably re-reading the script, (Which we know was written a few years back) perhaps with snow falling outside his window, or maybe when he sat up late nights programming our creative playpen.
The finer details are evident in costume, props and specific actions allowed to stay in the film through some quality editing.
What one would consider true highlights of the film, namely its score and the amazing voice-over are actually enhancements more than crutches. (Do watch it once without both and you’ll see what I mean) This is a visually constructed narrative and only someone experienced in the filmmaking craft could pull it off.
Chris didn’t have a score or VO whilst directing, save for the written VO in script. Well done!
My only niggles would be the choice of dissolves in the opening shots which overlap shots encompassing landscape compositions that beg not to be fragmented so. Fade to whites perhaps?
That and a particular tilt-down/jib down shot towards the end which has a slight tremor tells me no other shot was possible. Totally understandable and not really marring the experience in any way.
The DVD is well constructed and has enough infotainment pertaining to the film. I also really believe that this can be packaged much more beautifully for sale purposes. May I suggest, www.jewelboxing.com/design.php
“Branches” will look wonderful when packaged with these.
I’ve been too verbose and know both its creators hate this manner of accolade. A true artist however needs some fodder to his ego, especially when it comes in a manner so sublime. They’ll probably be urged to give more.
Thanks, Rick Hansberry and Chris Messineo!
William Bienes (Mod Emeritus) ~ 2/21/2011 3:03 PM
So, Rusty... have you seen that "Branches" film yet?
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 2/22/2011 8:29 AM
Rusty, Thanks for the awesome and detailed review! That "slight tremor" still makes me ill when I think about it. Suffice to say, I could live a happy life never having to run dolly track in a foot and half of snow again. :)
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 2/23/2011 6:09 AM
Rusty, Thanks for the review! Truly appreciated. Chris's comment about the dolly track made me think of the running joke we shared during filming in all that snow -- for me to write the female version of "Branches" called "Palms" about four women who get together every year on the beaches of Tahiti in search of the perfect palm tree.
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 3/21/2011 6:15 AM
For anyone in the area, "Branches" is coming to Asbury Park, New Jersey with the Garden State Film Festival on Sunday, April 3, 2011. We have an early afternoon screening.
We're also heading back to where it all started! "Branches" has been selected to be a part of The Lancaster Area Film Festival at Penn Cinema in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on April 9, 2011.
We've also learned that we've been accepted into the West Chester Film Festival (4/29- 5/1)and the New Hope Film Festival (July). More information is available on our Facebook page and at the recently updated web site: www.branchesmovie.com.
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 3/21/2011 12:28 PM
wow, you guys are rocking the festival world!!!
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 4/2/2011 9:30 AM
I'm really looking forward to seeing Branches at the GSFF tomorrow. I went to the Opening Gala last night, put out postcards and talked to people about it. And...it's supposed to be nice weather!! YAY! :)
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 4/2/2011 1:32 PM
Go Marnie! Hope to see some MoviePoet people there!
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 4/2/2011 3:02 PM
Awww wish I could be there
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 4/4/2011 8:03 AM
Thanks to Marnie for coming out to catch "Branches" this past weekend. Great audience response to the film. We were in the middle of a very enjoyable block of short films. Next Saturday, April 9, we'll be at The Lancaster Area Film Festival. We'll be screened in the same block of films as "God of Love" the winner of The Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film. Look for pictures soon on the film's facebook page.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 4/6/2011 10:47 AM
I am just beginning to wake from a 10 day flu-induced stupor.
I'm so sorry I missed it all. It sounds like everyone had a great time!
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 4/6/2011 5:19 PM
Is "Branches" still for sale on DVD?
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 4/6/2011 6:12 PM
Absolutely. The film's web site: www.branchesmovie.com can accept orders through PayPal. There's also a link from the film's Facebook page. We'd love to share the film with the MoviePoet community. They're $10.00 (includes shipping) and make great Christmas gifts as well.
As I've said before, this script goes back to the very first incarnation of MoviePoet when the contests were only quarterly. It was winning that early contest that put me in touch with Chris Messineo who I firmly believe now was the only director for this film.
Hope you feel better soon, Chris!
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 4/6/2011 11:24 PM
Feel better, Chris.
(Note: that was writing related, cuz I just wrote it!)
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 4/7/2011 2:27 AM
Yikes, our fearless leader.
Is there anything worse?
Feel better, Chris...
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 4/21/2011 10:04 PM
Next Friday and Saturday, April 29 & 30, "Branches" will be a part of The West Chester Film Festival. Also excited to announce that we've received a nomination for Best Pennsylvania Filmmaker from the festival.
We're up against some great films. Once again the brilliantly original "God of Love" will be showing as well as another Pennsylvania filmmaker's "Controlled Burn." Dan Vert Wert wrote and directed this powerful film which is also nominated for the Best Pennsylvania Filmmaker award. The imdb page for the film has more information.
If you're going to be in the area, please send an email. I'd love to meet more members from the MoviePoet community.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 4/23/2011 12:45 AM
I wish you guys had come to the Newport Beach Film Festival... right down the road from me. :-(
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 4/23/2011 1:07 PM
Tim, SoCal is a possibility. I'll let you know in August.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 4/23/2011 8:48 PM
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 4/29/2011 6:02 AM
West Chester Film Festival Tonight! Our block of films starts at 9:30 p.m. Come on down!
George L. Heredia (Level 3) ~ 5/4/2011 10:45 PM
VERY COOL... Congrats Rick and Chris!!!
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 6/3/2011 12:24 PM
Next Thursday and Saturday, June 9 & 11, "Branches" will be shown at The Staten Island Film Festival. All screenings are free! More information is available at the film festival's web site.
Three more big festivals are coming up in July, so watch the boards for details. You can also check out the film's updated laurels at: www.branchesmovie.com or check out our imdb page. Hope to see some of you at the movies!
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 6/3/2011 2:15 PM
Oh I wish I lived closer!! I wanna see it on the big screen!
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 10/1/2011 7:16 PM
Attended the SoCal Film Festival in Huntington Beach today.
I timed my day poorly and barely made it in time. I stayed through the entire hour, even though Branches was the first film shown.
Branches is very well done and I enjoyed seeing it on a big screen. Great job with cinematography, casting, direction, etc. One thing that stood out, though, was the musical track. I don't know if it was the venue, or if it's the final product, but the music really drowned out Daniel Stern's voiceover. I had to work to hear a lot of his dialogue. Sadly, it got even more severe at the end. I'd be interested in hearing from Chris and Rick on this.
The other films were an unusual mix and failed miserably in one way or another.
One film had excellent production values and I felt like I knew where it was going. But at the end, it just... ended. No resolution. No impact. No point. :-(
Another seemed like it was an American adaptation of a bad French student film from the 70's. Lots of odd cuts. No discernable story line. A woman with an odd haircut in a bathtub smoking a cigarette and looking pensive. Ugh. This was just plain bad.
Another was about a nanny who discovers the stepfather of the girl she cares for has been sexually abusing the child. But the events from the confrontation are so contrived and the ending was no ending. A chance to make a statement foiled by the writer and/or film maker. Dang.
I have a question for Chris and Rick. Maybe it belongs under the "No stupid questions" thread. When you enter a festival like this, what are you hoping for? I assume the films are judged and awarded in various ways. But does this festival lead to others and eventually a big festival with big prizes? Or is it just to get your work seen, recognition, and hopefully access to bigger projects?
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 10/1/2011 11:48 PM
I was at the SoCal Film Festival in Huntington Beach too. I watched the five films prior and all five in Chris and Rick's group. "Branches" was the most visual; I agree the cinematography, casting, and directing looked great on a big screen. No doubt, "Branches" was the best of the 10.
I sat a few rows from the back on the left side of the theater and didn't notice a conflict between the narration and the music. Michael Whalen's score sounded lovely to me, and I could hear Daniel Stern saying Rick's words fine. I wonder if there was a problem with the sound system in certain parts of the theater?
Chris and Rick's group was titled: "Dramatically Dark," and the prior five: "Dramatic Mix." I agree with TW's assessment that the "films were an unusual mix..." The others had some good acting but, IMHO, they had too much dialogue. I also agree that there were opportunities "to make a statement" that fell completely flat.
It was a sunny, southern California day and an easy drive north from San Diego. I had a nice time. Congratulations Chris and Rick. Pretty cool...
Can't believe I missed you... Where were you sitting?
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 10/2/2011 1:00 AM
KP - I was in the 5th row, center. The guy with the red shirt. And it was a great day here in SoCal. Traffic on the 405 from Fountain Valley to HB sucked, though.
Was it me, or was that small group of chatty girls in the middle of the theatre annoying as heck?
I wonder now, even more, about the sound. Very weird.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 10/2/2011 1:04 AM
Better adjust your hearing aid Westland.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 10/2/2011 1:15 AM
Oh man, I heard that!
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 10/2/2011 1:26 AM
TW -- I was by myself a few rows from the back, in a purple plaid blouse, jeans, and tennis shoes.
Been awhile since I drove through HB. Toll road helped, until I stopped dead on the 405.
Yes, they were a little noisy. The big reason I sit by myself in theaters...
He's younger than me. Wonder what that says about my hearing? Selective, perhaps. I love Michael Whalen's music.
Tim Westland (Moderator) ~ 10/2/2011 2:19 AM
Younger? By what, 30 seconds?
Mike Senkpiel (Level 4) ~ 10/2/2011 10:07 PM
I received my DVD copy a few days ago and watched it with my wife and daughter. I agree with everyone that everything was done spectacularly, but the sound issue was also cleary evident on my system.
I just have a simple 26" flat screen with stereo speakers. The narration was borderline ok until the end, where it became quite difficult to hear. I will try to check it on other systems, but I hope it is not too late for the film makers to trouble shoot and fix.
I really enjoyed the extras - comments, facts, and BTS photos. The photos were especially great as you get to hear the full score without narration. The score is really amazing and fits the script perfectly.
I would encourage everyone to order a copy at branchesmovie.com for the extras alone, but also because $10 (including shipping!) is such a small price to support fellow MPers.
Congratulations to all involved!
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 10/3/2011 8:20 AM
Wow, thanks everyone! So much to reply - I might have to reach out to you in more detail via email but here are the broad strokes --
Tim - Thanks for attending! Chris and I selected festivals to apply to that one or both of us could attend as well some of the bigger festivals. Recognition is certainly nice but the real benefit of film festivals is in the networking and meeting people that you might work with in the future. We applied to a few West Coast festivals since we had a number of West Coast investors.
KP - You rock! Talk about MoviePoet support! KP was not only an Associate Producer of the film - she was our very first investor and one of our strongest supporters. Hopefully, you especially enjoyed the credits rolling over Michael Whalen's score at SoCal.
Marnie - Your humor injections to any thread always make me smile.
Mike - Thanks for picking up a copy of the DVD and thanks for encouraging others to do so. Glad you enjoyed the extras -- The cast commentary by Jody Ebert and Tom Bartos was a high bar to reach but I hope you gained some insights with our crew commentary on the production. Finally...drum roll...
Congrats to Chris Messineo! "Branches" was nominated for best cinematography in a short at SoCal! We did not win but this is Chris's second nomination of the film's festival run and very deserving!
Finally, we've closed out the season with a 2nd place finish in the Harmony Ridge Film Festival! Thanks so much to everyone for all of your support. Visit www.branchesmovie.com for news on what happens next...
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 10/4/2011 12:27 AM
Had a big ole silly smile on my face...
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 10/4/2011 12:28 AM
30 seconds, plus a year or two...
Age is just a state of mind, right? Of course if that was totally true, I could stop jogging. :)
CC is right. You are indeed a gentleman.
Tommy Merry (Level 4) ~ 10/4/2011 4:10 PM
Congratulations Rick, Chris and team!!!!! I just ordered my copy. Can't wait to see it! :-)
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 10/4/2011 8:39 PM
Thanks, Tommy! Very cool article in the Beaver County (Pennsylvania) Times online edition about the short films in The Harmony Ridge Film Festival. "Branches" won second place!
Tommy Merry (Level 4) ~ 10/4/2011 11:57 PM
Fantastic Rick! I can't wait for it to arrive :-)
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 11/28/2011 8:27 AM
DVDs of "Branches" went up for sale at Crystal Spring Tree Farm this past weekend as people started getting their Christmas trees.
Thanks to those of you that took the time to send a message after watching the film this past holiday weekend. Much appreciated.
Brian Wind (Level 5) ~ 12/3/2011 12:07 PM
Is Branches entered in the contest this month?
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 12/3/2011 12:29 PM
No Brian, "Branches" is not in this month's contest. After this Christmas season, a distribution decision will be made but for now, the only way to view the film is by DVD.
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 1/15/2012 2:35 PM
Just Announced - A special screening of "Branches" (along with my other shorts, "Chemistry" and "Chasing Forever") and a Q & A at Millersville University on Monday, January 30, 2012 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. More details will be posted on the web site soon but here is the location: http://www.millersville.edu/ware-center/
Billed as a Short Film Showcase - it's really a MoviePoet showcase. All three of these films were contest entries and wouldn't have been made without members of this site.
Come one, come all if you're in the area.
Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 1/15/2012 3:35 PM
Very exciting Rick!
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 1/15/2012 3:56 PM
Oh that is awesome Rick!! I wish I were closer, I would be there! How exciting for you. Congratulations.
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 1/19/2012 12:25 AM
Triple the entertainment and fun of Huntington Beach...
I wish I was closer too. sigh.
When are you going to start work on the west coast "Branches" sequel (was it "Palm Trees?") so I can come? :)
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 1/19/2012 8:43 AM
I'd love to come, just can't do the drive there/back by myself.
Any Jersey peeps going? Carpool???
Kirk White (Level 5) ~ 1/19/2012 12:24 PM
I'm in and down with carpooling...I work in Port Murray but live in Jersey City (holla!) and it wouldn't take much urging for me to take the day off for a kick ass artistic adventure. Hit me up on my email and we can discuss furthur if you like.
Maybe I'll even wear my Writerblox t-shirt...too soon? face.
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 1/21/2012 1:13 PM
Thanks, everyone! It would be great to have some MP members in the house! Also, special props going out to MP member William Prystauk for such a wonderful review on the movie's IMDb page. Thanks so much! It means a lot to us.
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 1/21/2012 4:55 PM
Bring the film to the west coast!!! Or Utah..(even better)
Margaret Ricke (Level 5) ~ 1/21/2012 8:15 PM
Have a wonderful time and kudos all around. Can't make the show even though I wish I could.
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 1/26/2012 12:11 PM
Rumors of a Kirk White sighting at the screening continue to swirl. If any other Movie Poet members think they may attend, please send me an email and I will put your name on the VIP list for free admission.
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 1/26/2012 1:02 PM
oh man, I wish I could be there!!
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 1/26/2012 2:09 PM
Doh...Kirk, I just now saw your post. Emailing you right now.
Matthew Fettig (Level 5) ~ 1/29/2012 2:56 AM
Rick - You know I wish I could be there. Best of luck to you for a great evening. You deserve it.
David M Troop (Level 4) ~ 1/29/2012 7:34 AM
Rick, I was waiting to see if my schedule would change, but it didn't. I wish I could be there but there is something I can't change that night.
Hope you have a great show!
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 1/29/2012 1:28 PM
Thanks for all of the support! I'm really excited to be able to participate in this film series. If anyone's plans change last minute, please let me know.
Like I said, this will be a MoviePoet celebration - all three of these films were entries in different contests and only "Branches" placed.
This night would not have been possible without this fantastic site created by Chris Messineo and the incredible pool of talent here making all of us better writers.
Marnie Mitchell Lister (Level 5) ~ 1/29/2012 2:21 PM
I wish I could be there but can't handle that long drive alone. I'll be there in spirit!!!! Enjoy your night in the spotlight Rick!! I'm sure there are more of those to come....
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 6/14/2012 8:22 AM
Today is Jody Ebert's birthday. Jody is a great actor and a wonderful person and we wish him all the best. You may recognize him as the recurring FU guy on The Late Show with David Letterman, but to us - he's "Wade" from 'Branches.' His cast commentary on the "Branches" DVD has been very popular. Congrats, Jody from the cast and crew of "Branches." www.branchesmovie.com/
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 8/10/2012 12:19 PM
During the next few weeks, many will be returning to high school and college and strengthening friendships that will last long after graduation. These are the "Branches" of the future. To celebrate this time of year, from now until September 1, 2012 you can receive two DVDs for the price of one (and still have shipping and handling included). Buy one/Get one. Order at www.branchesmovie.com
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 8/10/2012 3:18 PM
If you haven't purchased this wonderful short film, please consider it. They will make wonderful Christmas gifts. It's a beautiful story, beautifully shot and directed. Don't miss the chance to own it.
JeanPierre Chapoteau (Moderator) ~ 8/10/2012 4:46 PM
I just ordered it. :)
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 8/10/2012 7:01 PM
Thanks, JP! We're really proud of it. Hope you enjoy it.
Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 8/10/2012 7:53 PM
I forgot to order this last year. A link?...
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 8/10/2012 10:37 PM
Hi Pia! www.branchesmovie.com
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 8/14/2012 12:45 PM
Thanks to those of you that have ordered. DVDs were shipped today. The sale will continue until September 1. Before updating this thread, I re-read Rusty's review from Feb. 2011. (Scroll up for content). It seems weak in comparison but thanks again for the kind words.
Pia Cook (Level 5) ~ 8/14/2012 1:43 PM
I missed your post here somehow, but yesterday I was looking through spam for something totally different and found your email there. :)
KP Mackie (Level 5) ~ 8/14/2012 9:32 PM
Rick and Chris are simply modest --
I'm in southern California where the only snow we see is infrequent trips to local mountains every couple years. (Many of us have really thin blood).
I don't know much about the logistics of filming with a dolly, but in the snow sounds like a nightmare. I do know when a movie is beautiful and moving.
Branches is both...
And the Michael Whalen music is so wonderful.
"...the running joke we shared during filming in all that snow -- for me to write the female version of "Branches" called "Palms" about four women who get together every year on the beaches of Tahiti in search of the perfect palm tree.
We have palm trees in SoCal too; would save you that long plane ride over the Pacific. :)
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 11/20/2012 7:17 PM
Two years ago today, Chris Messineo and I were thrilled to premiere the film at Penn Cinema in Lititz, PA and host a Q & A session afterward. The film is available on DVD at www.branchesmovie.com and makes for excellent viewing with friends and family over the holiday weekend.
Reach out to your friends and spend time with them. You never know when you'll get pulled apart.
Happy Holiday Season from the cast and crew. Watching the credits scroll is like viewing a Who's Who of the MoviePoet community. Thanks so much for your support.
Sally Meyer (Moderator) ~ 11/20/2012 7:24 PM
If you haven't purchased this film, you should. It's really good! I love it and I watch it every Christmas.
Matthew Fettig (Level 5) ~ 11/21/2012 1:48 PM
Rick - Can the movie be ordered as a gift and delivered to the recipient along with a note, or should I just buy it and ship it myself?
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 11/21/2012 4:47 PM
Matt, Yes - You can order copies to be sent as a gift with a note. Just email me the destination and note contents and I'll take care of the rest.
The DVD does make a great gift. For those that haven't seen the site, the extras on the DVD include: Cast Commentary, Crew Commentary (hear Chris Messineo's voice!); a Pop-Up Fact-Filled version of the film; BTS shots and a digital copy of the film for your phone or iPad.
Chris Messineo (Founder) ~ 11/21/2012 10:59 PM
"(hear Chris Messineo's voice!)"
Is this really a selling point? :)
Justin Ryan Colon (Level 4) ~ 11/28/2012 7:33 AM
I love the website and I especially love the poster for some reason. Now I have to see the film based upon all this feedback.
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 11/29/2012 8:10 AM
"Branches" will not be in the MoviePoet film challenge this year. DVDs of the film are available through the movie's web site and are also for sale at Crystal Spring Tree Farm in Lehighton, PA.
Location manager, Chris Botek informed me this morning that Crystal Spring delivered the State Capitol Christmas Tree to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on Monday, November 26.
He added that the star of the film is still standing tall at Crystal Spring and he will gladly provide "Branches" tours to anyone that drops by. Happy Holidays!
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 3/5/2013 12:47 PM
I'll be hosting a Q & A session and special screening of "Branches" (along with 5 of my other filmed shorts, including "Chemistry" "Chasing Forever" and "Chess Mates") at The Manheim Township Public Library in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Billed as a Short Film Showcase - it's very much a MoviePoet showcase. 4 of the 6 films I will be presenting were contest entries and wouldn't have been made without the members of this site. Admission is free. Come one, come all if you're in the area.
David M Troop (Level 4) ~ 3/6/2013 10:32 PM
Will there be refreshments?
Rick Hansberry (Moderator) ~ 3/11/2013 7:15 PM
Yes, there will be refreshments. First round is on me for all MoviePoet attendees.