I was originally going to post this last year when it all actually happened back in August, but not only did I get busy with all the other stuff I’m constantly doing, but I had to wait for all 3 of these films to hit the internet because what good would a blog about me doing three 48 Hour Film Projects in one year be without the proof!?
But yes, last year I agreed to do not one, not two, but THREE 48 Hour Film Projects. It was already a crazy July/August, working on Another Sky, but as always I figured “hey, why not load up with three films that need to be finished within 48 hours?” Actually, more like 12 hours, since that’s normally when you get the edited film ready for music. So how did they go? I’ll take you through all 3 of them:
What an exciting week. It’s been 8 years since I last got to Austin, but I just spent the last 4 days running around like the young man I once was. I was in town mainly for the RxSM Self-Medicated Film Expo, which nominated “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” for their Crossroads Award and screened it during the Pollygrind showcase. I also got to go check out some of the craziness that is South by South West. I also ate a lot of meat… I had a great time. Let’s start off with the RxSM Fest.
It ran from Wednesday to Sunday but I got in on Thursday afternoon. I started off getting to chat with the fest’s founder, Anthony Pedone, and caught a few films including On Her Own, a great documentary about real ranchers. I was dead tired though from getting up at 3:30am for my flight, and had to head back to the hotel early. The next morning I got started right at the beginning of the day, which also was when the Pollygrind showcase took place. Not a lot of people, since it was early, but the people that were there seemed to really dig my video. Plus they played it really loud and it sounded awesome. They also showed two films that I had seen at last year’s Pollygrind, Chocolate Strawberry Vanilla and Rebel Scum, both of which were excellent.
I then headed downtown for the SXSW Interactive Segment. I was kind of just planning on sneaking in to a talk about the Oculus Rift (the technology used in my new virtual reality music video, “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience,” created by Elemental Spark). What I didn’t know is that the Interactive Segment was totally open to the public and I ended up sticking around for a few hours and got to play some games, check out some other virtual reality stuff, do some networking and have fun. By the time I was done it was too late to really head back to the fest so I went to a SXSW party I managed to get myself on the list for (thanks Collider) that was celebrating the premiere of the movie Unfriended. I’m not the biggest fan of those kind of movies but the drinks were good and I met some cool people and played this dirty card game themed around the film. It was fun. It was also great getting to go back to the heart of SXSW. I haven’t been back there since I worked for Sony Music (those were some fun days), so it was awesome to walk around those streets again.
The next day was my last full day in Austin and I packed it tight. I started off back at RxSM where I saw a bunch of cool films before heading back downtown to try to get in on a standby line for the premiere of Michael Showalter’s new film Hello, My Name Is Doris. After a 90 minute wait, I actually got in, and it was a really cool experience. Lots of stars including Showalter (one of my favorite sketch comedy people ever). The film was great, absolutely hilarious. Really glad I tried my luck at getting in. After, I headed back to RxSM for some more films including the awesome hard-core documentary The Color Of Noise. Then they did the awards ceremony where I got to hang out and chat with some of the film-makers. After a long day and some great barbecue, I headed back to the hotel. The next morning I slowly made my way to the airport so I could get home and start promoting the new album, An Unseen Sky, which is available for pre-order now at Bandcamp and will hit iTunes and all other online music services on April 7th.
I’m glad to be home, and I’m glad I got to go. It was a great experience getting to go back. Maybe I’ll be back next year for something off of An Unseen Sky…
UPDATE: Make sure to scroll to the bottom for an important update that I added just before posting this blog post… Then scroll back up and read the rest haha. Happy New Year!
As 2014 comes to a close, I figured this would be a good time to take a look back at what I accomplished. This is 2014 In Review.
The first and most obvious thing was the release of the music video for “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” and its fundraiser. We raised a lot of money that helped in getting the word out about the video, album and my music in general. The video itself got such great feedback from all across the internet. It premiered at the REEL Recovery Film Festival which was just perfect considering the subject matter of the video. People there really loved it which was a beautiful thing. It then went on to win Best Music Video at the Pollygrind Film Festival, where a year prior I won Best Experimental Music Video for my “Lights In The Sky” music video. Overall, we didn’t get into as many film festivals as we had hoped, but the feedback from the places it did play was all amazing and we still have some more we’re waiting on results from for next year.
While “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” was the big defining project of my career in 2014, I also did a lot of other great, exciting work. The first thing that comes to mind is all of my work with House of DON Productions and director Doug Farra. Aside from “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep,” Doug also directed “The Gradations of Purgatory,” “The Milkman,” and “Cho5en,” as well as some other smaller projects that I worked on. These three though were some of the coolest films I worked on this year and really gave me an opportunity to create some great music. I’ll be working on Doug’s first feature, “Finding The Truth” in 2015, as well as another music video for one of the songs on my second album.
I also worked on a couple of other great films from regular House of Don collaborators: Jeremy D Brooks’ “Jasper,” and Brian K Palmer’s “Spring Forward.” The premiere of “Jasper was a really fun night at the Vegas Indie Film Fest, and “Spring Forward” premiered at the Las Vegas Black Film Festival which was also a great time that I got to meet a lot of cool people at.
Speaking of film festivals, one of the most fun weeks of the year was my trip to FilmQuest at the Salt Lake City Fantasy Con. I posted a blog recap of the event where you can read all about the craziness that happened there. My music video “Broken Circuits,” was nominated for Best Music Video and the whole trip was just an amazing experience. Pollygrind was also a great time this year, as it always is. The festival organizer (and my buddy) Chad says that he may be taking a year off from Pollygrind, but I hope it comes back ASAP. It really is the most fun film festival ever.
I worked on a bunch of other great films this year too. “Pathos” from director Eduard Ospiov was entered in the Project Greenlight competition and made it to the second round. It was nice getting to work with some new people on that one. I also started the year off working at last minute with my friend David Michor on his short “The Hoarder” which ended up being one of my favorite scores I’ve done. I then ended up working with the DP from that film on my first 48-hour film competition with a film called “Dig.” It was a wild experience scoring a short film in one morning, but it came out pretty damn great.
There were also some various for-hire composing gigs I did this year. Not as many as 2013 to be honest, but I at least kept a solid momentum going. Hopefully that side of the career will pick up next year. In the meantime I did get more of my music accepted into some music libraries, so hopefully some of that stuff gains some traction.
Which brings me to album number two. I made some of the best music of my life this year. I didn’t expect to be ready to release a 2nd album so fast, but it is coming and it’s coming soon. The album is probably 90% done. Album title and album cover are set. Tracklist is set. Songs are basically done. Just gotta really sit with the album, make sure I’m happy with everything, and then master it. I’m expecting to release it in the first few months of 2015. The first music video off the album will be for the track “Dreams Like These” and will be online on New Years Eve.
And that leaves me at 2015. I am ready to work on some amazing new projects. I actually have 3 features I may be working on (as well as “Finding The Truth” which is already set). So right off the bat, I’m gonna be plenty busy. I also have some ideas for more music videos, and I’m hoping to make those happen. More jobs, more music, more everything. I can’t wait.
UPDATE: Well well well… Guess who forgot to post his 2014 Year In Review wrap-up before 2015 hit?!? Haha. So it’s the 1st… My new music video is out, and the new album title and cover have been revealed . But that’s not all… Right before New Years Eve I found out that “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” was chosen as an Official Selection for the Dam Short Film Festival in Boulder City! I am super excited to head back there, as I had a great time last year when “A Moral Discord” played. I’ll also be announcing very soon another festival that it was accepted to. Great way to close out the year! If you haven’t already checked it out though, make sure to check out the new video, “Dreams Like These” over on Youtube and make sure to leave a comment!
The past few weeks have been crazy, and the future is looking awesome. Let’s start off with a recap…
“If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” won Best Music Video at the Pollygrind Film Festival where it screened twice (actually three times due to a little projector glitch haha). Seeing (and hearing) it on the big screen was amazing and something I hope to get to experience many times in the future. Also, “The Gradations of Purgatory” (which can be viewed on Youtube by clicking the link) was awarded Best Nevada Short. I scored it, and it was directed by Doug Farra, who also directed “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” … So go Doug! We have a bunch more projects coming up together, and I always love working with him and his people at House of DON Productions.
I also got 8th place in a composing contest sponsored by music site Rekkerd.org. The idea was to create a piece of music that is inspired by an artist/band who inspired you to make music in the first place. Of course I chose The Cure, and created a track called “The Fallout.” It was a really cool contest to be a part of because all of the musicians had to vote on each other… It wasn’t just the usual popularity contest style thing you see all the time. Some of the other pieces of music were absolutely excellent, and getting 8th place was an honor. And also, the organizer said the track had a Disintegration vibe… Which if you know me, is pretty much the highest compliment anyone could ever give me, since it’s my favorite album of all time. I also won some really cool software that will probably end up being the subject of an upcoming This Thing Rules segment. You can check out “The Fallout” here:
In the past month I’ve also had my birthday, my girlfriend’s birthday, her grandma’s birthday (in California), and my grandma’s birthday (in New York). Plus two friends staying with me in separate weeks, Halloween (my favorite holiday), and a Community Event in the neighborhood I live in… So to say I’ve been busy is a bit of an understatement. I didn’t get to work on music as much as I’d have liked to, but now it is time to get back to work.
My second album is basically in the narrowing down phase now. I might still add another new track or two, but I am currently making my list of edits and adjustments needed to finish all the songs I’ve started. To put that in perspective… Last time I started that process, Echoes In The Dark was finished less than 2 months later. I think with the holidays and other work it might be a little longer than that… And I gotta start the promotional schedule, new music videos, and everything else that goes with the album launch… But the important thing is it is coming REALLY SOON. I’m aiming for the first few months of 2015. I love this second album so much. I’ve been listening to Echoes In The Dark and the second album back and forth a lot to make sure I really like it as much and I think I might like it even more. Oh, and it definitely has a title already. I’ll announce it once I have some artwork to go with it.
What else is happening? Well I have a bunch of film projects lined up. Just waiting on the film-makers to finish things on their end before I get started on those. I’m also submitting music for various potential opportunities and just continuing to push myself out there. I feel like I accomplished a lot this year. There are some things that didn’t quite go how I had hoped, but overall, I think it’s been a great year so far… And it’s not over yet.
Next week I’ll be posting another This Thing Rules segment with a new piece of music… Well, that’s not entirely true… If you pay really good attention to everything I do, you may have heard it before… But chances are, most of you haven’t heard it yet, so it’s basically new. I’ll get another one up ASAP too. Hoping to get two in November and two in December. Ideally, I think I’ll be ready to share a song from the second album this year too. We’ll see. Might happen. Might not…
OK… I get the feeling I might be rambling a bit haha, but you know what, I’m catching a plane soon, and like I said… It’s just been nonstop running around this past month. Once I get home, it’ll be time to get back to music. I can’t wait to get this album done. Thanks for reading.
A week ahead of this year’s upcoming Pollygrind Film Festival, which was to take place at the Cinemark Theater inside the Southpoint Casino here in Las Vegas, the venue decided to cancel the event because the films it screens are “softcore porn.” While films I’ve seen at Pollygrind can definitely push the envelope in the some of the most glorious ways… The films are in no way “softcore porn” and some, like my “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” video, aren’t even sexual and/or violent. Not to mention that the Cinemark theater chain will still show movies like “Machete” and “Saw” and “Gone Girl” (which was amazing by the way)… Nope. This is just straight up, run-of-the-mill, CENSORSHIP. BUT… When it looked like the festival might have to be cancelled altogether due to the last minute bad news, the organizer (and my buddy) Chad Clinton Freeman got tons of support from the indie film community and within 24 hours managed to find a new and even better theater to show the films at… The Galaxy Green Valley Luxury Theater. Yes, the one with the cushy recliner seats that I’m gonna be sitting in from 2pm-Midnight on Thursday, October 16th watching some of the films I’ve scored on the big screen!
It was originally supposed to be 3 days, but this will be one long condensed schedule, which can be found on Pollygrind’s Facebook page. There will also be screenings taking place the following two days at the venues that were originally slated to have the after parties, Helltown and The End.
Now, on to the part you guys all want to know about… What things that I scored will be playing? Here’s the rundown:
“The Gradations of Purgatory” (Directed by Doug Farra) – This is a short film that I shared with you all in a previous blog post. It’s a really cool, unique film in which a man in purgatory must make a decision that will affect his next reincarnated life.
“If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” (Directed by Doug Farra) – My new music video! On the big screen! I can’t wait.
“Paranormal Encounters: A Haunting In Rialto” (Directed by Connor Biddle) – A really cool paranormal web series, created by the same director who made my “Broken Circuits” music video… Speaking of which…
“Broken Circuits” (Directed by Connor Biddle) – My previous music video, which has so far screened at 3 other film festivals, including FilmQuest where it was nominated for Best Music Video!
“Ch05En” (Directed by Doug Farra) – A book trailer about superheroes that I did some music for that I’m really proud of. As a matter of fact, it’s the first track on my new music player back on the homepage of www.bydavidrosen.com
“The Milkman” (Directed by Doug Farra) – Doug Farra keeps me busy with yet another short film that I’m just now finishing up the score on right now! It’s a great film and I think it will go over really well at the fest.
The films I scored are playing in the 4pm and 10pm blocks on Thursday, October 16th at the Galaxy Green Valley Luxury Theater, as well as at the Wild Eye Releasing Event at The End on Saturday, October 18th at 10:30pm. I also have a lot of friends with films in the festival, some of which I haven’t seen yet and I’m really excited to see, especially Alex Colonna’s “Black Mask.”
I hope to see a lot of you from Las Vegas at Pollygrind! I love this festival. It’s the one film event in the town I live in that feels like “my” film festival and I know that that’s kind of the idea. You can check out the Festival Promo Video HERE… And tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite. Independent things like this deserve to be supported, so please, show some support and come out for a great time!
So one of the main themes of my career as a composer so far is “when it rains it pours.” I might go weeks between projects, but usually when I get one, I get a whole bunch… And last week I ended up having to score 3 short films in one week. It was a nice little challenge and I figured it would be fun to share the story and the results with you. Oh, and that’s my famous cat, Lily Bear up in the picture up there helping out with some of my work. I figured I’d extend her 15 minutes of fame a little further… Anyway, on to the story…
“The Gradations Of Purgatory”
First up is “The Gradations of Purgatory,” directed by Doug Farra of House of DON Productions, who also directed my upcoming “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” Music Video. This was a film that was made to be submitted to the HBO Project Greenlight competition. It tells the story of a man being given choices that will seal his fate upon being reincarnated. It’s a very cool, unique film and I really love how my score turned out. I’ve got a bunch of great comments on it and you can watch it here:
Also for the Project Greenlight competition was “Pathos,” directed by Eduard Osipov for Cohencidence Productions. Eduard and most of the rest of the crew on this film were all Las Vegas-based people that I hadn’t worked with before, and it’s great to be able to keep finding new, talented people to collaborate with. This film is also about a man that has to make a choice, although it’s a different kind of story. It came out great, and I really hope to be able to work with Eduard and his collaborators again in the future. You can watch “Pathos” here:
UPDATE: Due to Project Greenlight voting, the video has been temporarily been made private. When it’s made public again I will update the video link!
The third film I worked on was actually for a 48 Hour Film Project and I actually had a total of 6 hours to finish it from the moment I received the file to when I had to get the finished score over to Ben Yonker, the director. I had never directly worked with Ben before this, but he worked on a film I scored earlier this year called “The Hoarder” directed by David Michor. I like working fast, but this was probably the fastest I’ve ever had to finish a project and to be honest, I loved the experience and I think my score and the film came out great. It’s called “Dig” and it’s very, very dark and probably best left unexplained. Just go watch it here:
So what’s next? Well, sending out the rewards and stuff from the “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” Film Festival Fundraiser, that’s probably number one. I’m also getting ready to announce the first public screening of “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” which will be in September at the Reel Recovery Film Festival. I’ve also been working on a lot of new music that is almost definitely going to turn into my second album… And definitely be ready sooner rather than later. And aside from all of that, I’ve got a bunch more projects in the pipeline… Just gonna keep on taking on great project and making music. Thanks for reading!