Tuesday, December 23, 2008

News! News! News!

Hello LCLs,

I hope these few days between holidays is treating you well. So, several things on the agenda for today.

First: The "Humboldt County" DVD is coming out on January 13th, 2009

Not only will the DVD feature the film in all its widescreen glory, but there's gonna be a bunch of extras on the bad boy too: deleted scenes, the promo video Darren and I shot a while back, behind the scenes footage and a whole lot more. You can pre-order the DVD (and by the soundtrack) right now on our website. Or, if you'd rather be cheap you can put it on your Blockbuster and Netflix cues. The more people that put them in their pre-order cues, the more DVDs the companies will buy from us. But most importantly, you can tell everyone you know. Haven't bought that holiday present yet? Now's your chance, LCLs!

Second: to aid us in this endeavor, please go on imdb, rottentomatoes and metacritic and rate "Humboldt County" as high as possible so that people will be more interested in renting the film.

Third: We are pleased to announce that we made a "Top ten movies" list for 2008! Sure, it's the top ten "stoner" movies of the year, but who's counting? Check out the list HERE.

The list is interesting. First, I'm not sure what, exactly, a "stoner movie" is. Apparently, from the list, it's any movie that has marijuana in it. Which I find ridiculous. It's like people who love tomatoes making a "Tomato Movie Top Ten" list that just includes different movies with tomatoes in it. Okay, maybe that's not a bad idea. #1 has got to be "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" followed by...."Fried Green Tomatoes"? Hmmm. Maybe not. Plus how many movies from this year actually included a great deal of marijuana, anyway? My guess is we made the top ten...out of 15 or so possibilities. Look, I'm not poo-pooing the honor. I'm just sayin'....

Also, as you can probably guess, I got back from the film fest Estonia. It was a great time. You're not getting any pictures from me, though, as I forgot to charge my damn camera. Danny = dummy. Nonetheless, it was a grand time. The Estonians rock. They can drink with the best of them and most have a sarcastic, deadpan quality that I dug. Also, they're all blonde. Which was weird. The film played well to a crowd of about 500, though since English was probably the audience's second language, my feeling was that they didn't quite get all the nuances.

Did you like how I snuck "poo-poo" in this post? I did.

Happy New Year everyone,
d

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's been a while. How are you?

Hello LCLS!

Sorry we've been such....assholes. Don't think we don't care about you. We do. We've just been....busy. I know, I know. Excuses, excuses. And they are excuses. I'll admit that. So. Moving on...

Thanks to everyone who has come out to the theater in Chicago so far! We're playing for the rest of the week so make sure you get all your friends out there in the next few days! And, for those of you wondering about other cities, keep checking the Magnolia website (www.magpictures.com). We're still playing a select few cities here and there. For instance, for one night only (Dec. 5) we'll be playing in Santa Barbara! And Darren will be there to do a Q&A. So if you're near or around the city then, come see the picture.

Also, I will not be attending because "Humboldt County" will be also playing at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia! They're flying me out for a few days in early December. If you know anyone in Estonia, tell them to get their ass over to the film fest. I've never been to Estonia before. I hope I don't get unwittingly involved in some Soviet satellite skirmish. Pray for me.

Finally, we've been getting a bunch of inquiries about when "HC" will be playing in LA. Well, it seems that Magnolia's interest in playing the film in our fair city has sadly wained. However, we're going to do a big, knockout, blowout screening at a theater in LA the week before the DVD drops (Jan. 13). So you will all be invited to that little shindig for suresies.

Peace.
d

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Second City No More..

LCLs:

I write to you now as a married man, but more on that in a later post. First things first, in the world of Humboldt County, for those of you who have not been keeping track, we have some openings in the weeks ahead, and given the incredibly competitive climate out there, we need your help in spreading awareness about these.

We are opening the film for a 1 week run in producer Captain Deadpan's hometown (and my college town) of CHICAGO, IL, at the Wilmette Theater this Friday, 11/21. That's not all. We're also opening in Taos, NM (11/21), Columbia, SC (11/26), and Santa Barbara, CA (12/5). As always, mucho info. is available over on our main page: www.humboldtcountymovie.com. Check it out!

-Darren

P.S. 1.5 weeks in, marriage seems pretty awesome.
P.P.S. Also in an upcoming post, a summary of one of the greatest moments of this entire filmmaking process thus far: the night we played our film in our hometown of St. Louis, MO, at the glorious Tivoli Theater in the Loop.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Coming Home...

LCLs:

On Thursday, November 13, 2008, at 7 :00 PM, Humboldt County will play ONE NIGHT ONLY at the Tivoli Theater in St. Louis, MO, as we are the opening night film of the St. Louis International Film Festival. Tickets can be purchased here. This is significant for Danny and myself because we are both from the great city of St. Louis. Born and raised in West St. Louis County, we have seen many pictures at the Tivoli (it's in an incredible location on Delmar Blvd. in the Loop).

To return to our hometown (where we'll also be for my wedding) and show Humboldt County to a crowd of St. Louisans is a dream come true, and it is really the perfect way to cap our theatrical run (we will have a DVD release on January 13, more info. to come).

There will be a reception before the film at 5:30, as well as a party after at Mandarin in the Central West End. All info. about the festival can be found at its website: http://www.cinemastlouis.org/fest.html

We hope to see many of you there.

-Darren

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Where in the World are Darren and Danny?

LCLs:

First, we must apologize. We've been away from you for far too long. After we returned from our fantastical trip to NYC to open Humboldt County at the Sunshine theater, we again left town, this time for personal reasons. As you may or may not know, I am getting married to the lovely Renee Schuman this November. A few months back, Danny, who is also my best man, organized an incredible camping adventure for 15 of my closest friends on Catalina Island. Well, he was only getting warmed up. He had also planned (along with fellow groomsman Zack Kinney, and with the financial help of several more of my incredibly generous friends) a trip to Peru. Yes, we were headed to Peru for 9 days in order to hike to, and up, Machu Picchu. It was one of the greatest trips of our lives, and without a doubt the greatest physical challenge we've ever endured.

If/When you get married, I hope you have half the best man/maid of honor that I do. Not in terms of physical size, because Danny is already small, and someone half his size would be really, really tiny. But I mean half the best man in terms of quality of the friend. I only wish that I liked him.
Some photographic evidence of our journey:

We actually slept in these tents on our first night. Well, tried to sleep in the bitter bitter cold is a better way of putting it (although Danny slept fine, and for those of you who know Danny, this is no surprise: his superpower is that he ALWAYS sleeps fine). And yes, the next day we hiked directly for that snowy mountain...

Danny says, "what? This is it? Really?"

A bit more impressed at our highest point, Danny (who suffered from some intense altitude headaches) was convinced for hours after taking this photo that his name is Abra Salkantay.

This is me trying to convince everyone that the Incas used to play mountain baseball.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Digesting....

Hello all! Sorry we've been MIA for the past few days. There's been a lot to digest. What a journey the past few weeks (let alone the past few years!) have been. We returned from New York after a successful opening weekend. The crowds were great and people really seemed to enjoy the film.

Darren and I have been spending this week hard at work on our next two projects, trying to get them into fighting shape as soon as humanly possible.

But rest assured, the journey of "Humboldt County" is not yet over. The film continues to open in new markets each week. Keep checking Magnolia's website: www.magpictures.com for playdates in your area. And we've still got some big openings in our future: Los Angeles, Chicago....

But we wanted to take yet another opportunity to thank all of you who read this blog and support the film. We could not have done it without you. Your passion and energy has sparked our own.

Keep on spreading the good word.

Yours humbly,
D&D

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Big Apple

So last year, Darren and I lived in New York for three months while we worked on our next script (set in the city). We got a sublet in the Lower East Side (Norfolk and Rivington to be exact) and would often frequent the Sunshine Theater on Houston street when we needed a break from the awfullness and amazingness that is writing. Tonight, "Humboldt County" opens in that very theater. It really is one of our favorite theaters in the city so we're incredibly psyched.

Overall, it's been great to be back here in the greatest city in the world. It feels like home, though I've barely lived here. Someday. Hopefully someday soon.

In the meantime, Darren and I are doing our best to ignore the reviews (both positive and negative). The New York Times review came out today and was mostly positive, while the New York Post was mostly (okay, totally) negative. Reading these reviews is hard. When they are positive, it feels like someone is complimenting us. When they are negative, it feels like we are being shivved in the side with a knife. I have realized how frighteningly small is the psychic space between my concept of self and that of my film. But I guess when you devote the majority of your 20s to something, such an emotional divide (or lack of one) is inevitable.

In other news:

"Humboldt County" wins its first award! The film played at the Idaho International Film Festival last weekend and won the award for best narrative feature!! We eeked out the prize from another Magnolia film that I saw at the Provincetown Film Fest (and which won the award for best narrative feature at this year's Tribeca Film Festival): "Let The Right One In." It's a really great film and we're honored to have trounced it handily. :)

Finally, our soundtrack is finally available on Itunes!!! We're really proud of it and for everyone that has seen the film, you know what a great job our composer, Izler, and our music supervisor, Peymon, did. Just search for "Humboldt County" on Itunes and it should come up.

My only regret about coming to New York City is that in a few days I'll have to leave.

L,
d

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It Ain't Over....Week TWO!

LCLs:

First, good news:

Our opening week run was successful enough that Humboldt County will play a SECOND week in the following theaters:
Austin, TX: Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Portland, OR: Hollywood Theatre
Eureka, CA: Broadway
Arcata, CA: Minor 3
Santa Rosa, CA: Rialto Cinemas Lakeside
San Francisco, CA: Lumiere Theatre
Berkeley, CA: Shattuck Cinemas

That's right, we only lost the Garberville Theater in southern Humboldt (which was apparently always to be a 1 week run only) and the Varsity theater in Seattle, where despite an excellent promotional screening we just did not do very well. Don't worry, Seattle people, you can still see it at the Varsity on Thursday, 10/2, and if you miss it then it's always on VOD and the eventual DVD release in January.

So, for everyone who missed it in the above markets last weekend, you have a chance to see it again this weekend! Or for those of you who loved it, go see it again! Bring your friends! Let's keep it rolling!

AND NOW, ONTO NEW YORK AND EUGENE, OREGON.

Danny and I are leaving in about 8 hours for New York. We'll be at the Sunshine Cinema on 143 E. Houston for Q&As after the Friday and Saturday evening shows this weekend. We'll also be participating in a meet & greet on Friday starting at 5 pm at the B-Bar (4th & Bowery), 40 East 4th Street, hanging out before, during and after the screenings. Stop on by and say hello! Or tell your friends to come say hi! We'll have promotional materials to give away. Should be a good time.

We cannot thank you all enough for your hard work throughout this entire process, but as the title of this blog post indicated, it's not yet over! We still need people to spread the word. The theatrical marketplace is getting really really crowded, and thus our chances of sticking around are very small. The only chance we have is if word of mouth leads people to tell people to go see the movie.

This past week has consisted mainly of: recovering from the 2 week bonanza, working on our upcoming projects, and I even had the chance to catch a flick (check out Tell No One if you haven't already. A great little French thriller).

We'll have plenty of blog updates from NYC, so stay tuned.

-Darren

Monday, September 29, 2008

Exhale....


What a ride.

The weekend went spectacularly. We saw a lot of old friends in San Francisco, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the film in theaters. More pictures and details from the weekend are forthcoming. For now, we wanted to tell everyone that if they saw the film and liked it, please please please go to the following websites and vote, as well as recommend the film to others!

imdb
Metacritic
Rotten Tomatoes

Next up: NEW YORK CITY!!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

On The Road X.5: Our Poster Goes Up!!!

video

This is a video of the manager at the Lumiere Theater in SF putting our poster in the thingy outside!!! EXCITING!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

From the Road X: Portland memories...

LCLs:
A quick story I forgot to relate. In Portland, Oregon, during our screening, Danny, Captain Deadpan and I ate at an Italian restaurant and were served by the greatest waitress of our lives. Seriously.

Her name is Kelly Thoen, and not only did she take NONE of the sarcastic, obnoxious guff that we three putzes tried to throw at her (she gave it right back to us), but she also gave us a FREE dessert (delicious Tiramisu), and most impressively, she told that she is training for a run.

Not just any run, mind you, but a run to Nicaragua. From Portland. You read it right. She's training right now so that she can run 30 miles a day, and make it there in 3 months! Once she arrives, she will get married. And it's all for charity. She is a better person than Danny, Jason and I put together and squared. Check out her website: www.twodollarsaday.info

That is all,
Darren

On The Road IX.5: More Stanford Pics and Memories!

Ahoy from my alma-mater, Stanford University!!!!! What a blast it was to screen the film on campus. The memories flooded back. I walked around campus and found myself at Mem Aud (Memorial Auditorium). I stood on the stage, looking out over the huge space, and reminisced about the fact that 11 years earlier I had my first ever stage experience there. Then, I headed up to room 204 where I first discovered my love of improvisation as a freshman. Both spaces were absolutely essential to my discovery of theater and improv.

Then, I watched auditions for a student written musical/sensation called "Gaieties." It's a Stanford tradition and it was the first audition I ever went on in my life. Watching the nervous freshmen sing and perform scenes, I remember my audition so clearly and crisply and I marveled in retrospect at the immense changes in my life that that audition would yield.

It was fantastic to take a visit down memory lane. Thank you, Stanford!!!


This is Cubberly Auditorium where we had our screening on campus. Incidentally, it is also the place where I took "Introduction to International Relations" as a Freshman ELEVEN years ago!


Captain Deadpan and I took Darren to Zotts, a fantastic beer garden and a longstanding Stanford tradition.

More Zotts.

I bought course readers at the Stanford bookstore. I am a huge nerd.

From the Road IX: Stanford

LCLs:

We want to remind you that we will be doing special Q&As for the Bay Area this weekend:

On Friday night, we will be at San Francisco's Lumiere Theatre, 1572 California St, for Q&As after the 7:15 and 9:30 showtimes.

And on Saturday, we will be doing Q&As after the 4:30 and 7:05 showtimes at Berkeley's Shattuck Cinemas, 2230 Shattuck Ave.

Last night, we screened in San Francisco, and though the theater was not quite full, it was another fantastic screening. I suppose it's possible that people actually despise the film, and they are simply lying when they come up to me afterwards to say they love it (and the insecure self-loathing part of me believes this to be the case), it really does appear that a great majority of audiences respond favorably to the film.

We're down to 1 last promotional screening, tonight at Danny and Captain Deadpan's alma mater, Stanford University (Cubberly auditorium).

And then that's it. Next stop, theatrical release on 9.26. Pardon my language, but holy shit.

-Darren

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

On The Road VIII.5 : San Fran and Berkeley photos!

Hey LCLs!

Here are some photos from our time in San Fran and Berkeley!



Here Darren and I stand in front of the Lumiere theater (where the film premieres in SF).

In this photo, we plaster the walls of Berkeley, one poster at a time.

Here we're on the Berkeley campus and Darren tries to get the campus Democrats to come to our movie. I think it only fair to note that Darren did not approach the campus Republicans. Darren also supports tax cuts for the middle class.

In our attempt to find the film department at Berkeley, we stumbled upon a class in session. Here, Darren longs to return to an academic life.


As the credits roll, Darren and I take questions at our SF sneak preview.


See that paper in Captain Deadpan's hand? See that list? That's medical marijuana distribution centers, coffee houses and video stores in Berkeley. We visited every single one and let posters, postcards and matchbooks. It. Was. Exhausting.

From the Road VIII: The San Francisco Treat

LCLs:

Our Berkeley screening was a rousing success. We nearly had a packed house, and the film played about as well as it ever has. We're finding these 'word of mouth' screenings to be incredibly valuable as we march toward our theatrical release. People enjoying the film and then being willing to spread the word about the release -- this is what it's going to take to actually have any kind of a successful run. Remember, the more people you tell -- and have those people tell people -- this is how we're trying to make up for our lack of TV ads, billboards, major media exposure, etc.

Today, we're appearing on the radio in Humboldt County on KMUD, the local station in southern Humboldt, with the famous Aunt Laura!

Today is also about papering San Francisco and will be heading to the Embarcadero theater tonight for a promotional screening. Soon, the promotion will end and it will be left to the movie gods to determine how many people go see our movie. We're going to power through to the end, with you, our beloved LCLs, alongside!

viva Humboldt,
Darren

Monday, September 22, 2008

On The Road VII: Buy Tickets!!!!!

Hey all!

So, we're in Berkeley, CA today passing out match books, posters and postcards as we get ready for our sneak preview screening tonight at Shattuck Cinemas. It's the same theater we'll be opening in on Friday which is exciting because it looks like a really great place to see a movie.

First things first: TICKETS! Over the next 24-48 hours you will be able to go online and buy tickets for this weekends showtimes. In fact, in some theaters where we'll be opening (I'm looking at you, Alamo Drafthouse S. Lamar in Austin!), you can already buy tickets!!! Go to our website (www.humboldtcountymovie.com) and click on the "Buy Tickets" link on the bottom right hand corner. From there you can go to the individual theater websites and start buying those tickets.

Also, some of the interviews we've been doing have begun to come online and in print. Here are a few for your perusal and enjoyment.

1. Here is a link to an interview we did with MovieGeeksUnited. You can move your cursor to the 30 minute mark for the start of our interview.

2. This is a newspaper article written on the front page of the entertainment section in the local paper in Santa Rosa, CA: Interview.

3. This is an itunes podcast for "The Warren Report" - a cinematically based podcast originating in the Northwest region: The Warren Report Podcast (warning: it's looooong and uncut.)

Thanks all! See you soooooooon!
d

Sunday, September 21, 2008

From the Road: San Francisco & the home stretch...

Writing to you from our hotel in San Francisco. We've been here a day and a half, and with some down time from promotion we've been writing up a storm and enjoying some of the good food and spirits that the great city by the bay has to offer. What a trip. One great city after the next.

Tomorrow, it's back to full tme promotion, and we'll be in Berkeley all day Monday, San Francisco Tuesday, and Stanford on Wednesday night. Here's a reminder about our upcoming screenings this week leading up to the opening:

Monday, September 22, 7:30 PM:
Shattuck Cinemas, Berkeley

Tuesday, September 23, 7:30 PM:
Embarcadero Theatre, San Francisco
(NOTE: when we open San Francisco on Friday, 9/26, it will be at the Lumiere Theater)

Wednesday, September 24, 7:30 PM:
Cubberly Auditorium, Stanford University

Then Thursday and Friday will be spent trying to spread the word about the opening Friday. Let's fill those theaters!

Other news: we've found out we're opening New York's Sunshine theater (143 E. Houston) on Friday, October 3! So, all you LCLs in the NYC area will have an opportunity to see the film!

You (and everyone else) can click on the "Help Promote Humboldt County" link on our website, http://www.humboldtcountymovie.com/ for digital posters that you can send to everyone about the openings in each city.

We cannot thank you all enough. So many people have been working hard to promote the film, and we're super excited about the release. Can't believe it's 5 days away.

One last thing: starting tomorrow, Monday, 9/22, tickets will be available for purchase online in all the cities where we're opening this Friday. Again, there is a link on our website to lead you to ticket purchasing opportunities. Buy your tickets early!

And for those of you in SF on Friday night or Berkeley on Saturday, we'll see you there!

-DG

Friday, September 19, 2008

On the Road V: Portland Pics

So today's post is from Portland. Below you will find some pics from our time in Oregon. Overall, it was a blast. Our screening went well (though the theater was only about 1/2 filled) and we plastered the city with promotional items. Though I'm worried that we don't have a great deal of exposure in the city, I am confident that if people do come out to see the film, Portlanders will love it.

A special note about a place in Portland we fell in love with: Powells Books. It's the largest independently owned bookstore in the country. It can boast an entire city block of books (and three stories tall). It's amazing. They have a rare books room with all these super expensive, old copies of classic books. The most expensive one was a book detailing the Lewis and Clark expedition published in 1814. The pricetag? $350,000. So Darren bought it. I think it was a great investment, especially in these troubled times.

That's a tiny Darren standing in front of the Hollywood Theater in Portland where HC will be playing. The theater has been open since 1926. It's pretty sweet looking.


This is the bane of our existence. GPS systems suck mightily.

Darren and I after a couple of hours of canvasing Portland.
Darren and I taking a picture with our producer, Jason Weiss, who decided to dress up for our sneak preview screening.

On The Road IV: Seattle Pics!

Hey LCLs!! Below are some pics from our whirlwind two days in Seattle. We had some chowder, held an oversold sneak preview screening and lived the lives of traveling salesmen. Good times all around.


Darren as traveling salesman. That box is filled with promotional materials. It has wheels.

Beautiful sunset in Seattle.



Unexpected delays. Danny drops matchbooks all over the sidewalk.


This is the Varsity Theater where the film will be playing in Seattle!


Darren and Captain Deadpan enjoy chowder.


Danny has eaten too much.

Okay, so that bald head belongs to our producer. Then, look at the sign right above him!


The public market has fish. I like fish. I am a fish.

This picture was taken in our hotel room. They have "Humboldt County" available for order!!

A closer screen shot reveals, though, a sad misspelling of Jeremy's last name. Go Mr. Stong!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

From the Road III: Humboldt County Does Seattle...

LCL:

Seattle Screening was a smashing success. We showed the film at the Lankmark Guild on 45th Street, and because our publicist was able to connect with members of the Seattle International Film Festival, we filled a 230 seat theater and still turned away about 50 people. That's more like it! Feels like the old SXSW days again. It's more evidence that awareness breeds success for our little picture.

The audience's response was tremendous, and we enjoyed a few beers with some of them afterwards at Murphy's across the street (what town does not have an Irish Pub named Murphy's?).

We spent the day in Seattle walking the streets and papering the town. Seattle neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, Fremont, Queen Anne and the U District (University of Washington) have now been assaulted by Danny & Darren. Press has been very limited since leaving Austin, thus we're having to focus our attention on GRASS ROOTS.

Last night, after arriving in Seattle and beginning the passing out of materials, we got to enjoy an excellent dinner with my sister, brother-in-law and two nieces as well as Danny's freshman year roommate (college) and his wife. Travelling does allow you to connect with people you don't get to see everday. Good times.

We've now successfully left Seattle in our rearview mirror and are about to attack Portland, which at first glance appears to share much in common with Austin. Not a bad set of cities thus far.

Onward and upwards, LCLs. Screening tonight in Portland.

-DG

On The Road II.5: Pics and Video from Austin

Hello from the road! Here are some pics and videos from our time in Austin. Exciting stuff all around.

Darren is standing outside of the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. We played here at the SXSW festival and now we're going to play here as part of our release. That's our poster outside!!!

Below is my view as we completed an interview on Dudley and Bob or something or other's morning shock jock radio show in Austin.


Above is a picture of me at the KGSR radio interview we did after the shock jock one. Notice what's in the b.g. -- they still use CDs! Isn't that quaint?

Darren and I being dumb on the radio.


The last time I took this picture (above), we didn't have distribution, we didn't know how our film would be received and Darren didn't have intestinal problems.


This is Darren and I at LAX very very very early in the morning.


Our rental car in Austin -- they gave us an old person car.


Way to take financial advantage of a natural disaster!


Our display of promotional materials at the Alamo. Those are our new, snazzy matchbooks!

Above, I am hugging our poster in the lobby of the Alamo Drafthouse.

Below is a video we took in the airport in LAX, heading to Austin to start the trip. We're tired:

video

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Special Word on SXSW...

LCLs:
A quick word about someone we spent some time with Tuesday night in Austin (at the Hotel San Jose on Congress --super cool place with a nice patio and great beer selection): Janet Pierson. Janet has long been a supporter of Humboldt County, and earlier this year she took the SXSW reigns from Matt Dentler.

I remember when we first met Janet at the opening night party of this year's SXSW (at Buffalo Billiards on 6th, if memory serves), and she told us how she had loved the film and even had written the copy for it on the SXSW brochure. It was so kind of her to come up to us and let us know how much she enjoyed the film, and that really stayed with me. After getting the chance to spend some time with Janet on Tuesday in Austin, I honestly believe SXSW is in great hands moving forward.

Allow us to take a moment to blog about SXSW. When Matt Dentler decided to program Humboldt County for this year's festival, first opening night at the Alamo Drafthouse downtown and then twice more at the Drafthouse South Lamar (where we'll be opening next Friday, 9.26), we were a film on no one's radar. We had no prospects for any kind of distribution and practically no one had seen the film.

By the end of the fest, we had sold out all three screenings (and, as previously blogged about here, oversold the 2nd and 3rd by so many that they had to fill secondary theaters BOTH times and still turn people away), garnered interest from several distributors AND put our little independent film on the map.

As we've moved forward, along the festival circuit, into our distribution deal with Magnolia Pictures and now toward our theatrical release on 9.26 (and ultimately in 10 markets), we feel like we owe a special thank you to Matt, Janet, SXSW and the entire city of Austin. Without South By, we would not be on this promotional tour.

In the crazy independent film marketplace, where festivals like Sundance and Toronto are trying to live up to the hype of what they've done in the past, SXSW truly provides the filmmaker with an opportunity to stand out and succeed. And, to top it all off, it's one hell of a good time. It's difficult to conceive of our film having had a better outcome had it premiered anywhere else.

More blogs to come from Seattle, Portland, San Fran/Berkeley in the coming days. Take care, LCLs, and please remember to spread the word:

Humboldt County in theaters on 9.26.

www.humboldtcountymovie.com

-Darren

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

From the Road II: Let's go to Seattle!

LCLs:

Screening #1 is in the books. It was successful in that people seemed to enjoy the film and were willing to spread our promotional materials. It was less successful in that our film played to its first non-packed audience in its brief history. A sobering reminder of the difficulty of what we're trying to do -- spreading the word on a tiny film like ours with virtually no marketing budget is akin to telling someone where to find a needle in a haystack.

The moral of the story is clear: we need your help now more than ever. Spread the word about 9.26!

As we've arrived in Seattle, I'd like to offer 2 quick photographs of our time in Texas (more to come).

I've titled this photo show "The anatomy of the Television Interview:

1) Darren & Danny are informed that there will only be space for one of us to sit for the KVUE TV Interview.


2) Darren & Danny find a workable solution

Monday, September 15, 2008

From the Road I: Austin, Texas...

LCLs:
Sorry for the delay. Things have been BUSY.

We arrived in Austin at noon on Sunday, got our rental car and checked into our hotel (the lovely Omni downtown, which is also housing many refugees from the hurricane. I've never seen more dogs in a hotel before).

Sunday afternoon, Danny and I hit the town hard, going to, among other places, Ruta Maya, Pipes Plus, Vulcan Video, the Alamo Ritz and South Lamar, the Gas Pipe, and Amy's ice cream. We dropped off promotional matches and talked to people (some of whom were even already aware of the film!). We covered about 15 locations in 3 hours.

If you recall from our SXSW blogs, we're big fans of food, and our Sunday lunch was worth mentoning. We ate at Stubb's, an amazing BBQ joint downtown. After brisket, pork ribs and turkey (along with yams and some spiced creamed spinach), we did not need to eat much more. Of course we did, meeting up with family and friends and Guero's Tacos (our producer Captain Deadpan joined the promotional roadshow here, as he got to sleep in and fly to Austin much later than us) where we handed out MORE promotional materials and set the wheels in motion for further word-of-mouth spreading!

Today, we were up again at 5 am and on our way to K-VUE, a local Austin television station where we taped an interview (to be played at some point next week, I'd imagine). They only had room for one of us in their makeshift interview setup (the real one is under construction), and so Danny was not allowed to be on camera. Rebelliously, he stepped behind me for an awkward cameo that we think you'll all enjoy.

Next, it was off to two local radio stations: KLBJ (93.7 FM) where we joined Dudley and Bob live and KGSR (107.1 FM) with Brian Beck. Good times, and good interviews (we made certain to note something you ALL should be aware of: our amazing soundtrack will be available on itunes in about a month).

A few print/online interviews and one with the campus TV station were interrupted by two more amazing meals: breakfast at the Magnolia cafe (we ate there because it's GOOD, not because it shares a name with our distribution company) and lunch at Freebirds Burritos. We were told it's better than Chipotle. I can't say I agree that it's better, but it's definitely as good, and quite different. My belly is pleased.

I'm writing to you now from the lobby of the Omni, and we're about to head over to the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar for a 7 pm free screening of the movie, and Q&A. Should hopefully be a good chance to get people excited about Humboldt County!

So that's it for now! We're off to Seattle tomorrow, where the wild rockin' roadshow continues!

-Darren

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It Begins...

LCLs:

In a few short hours (3.5), Danny and I will take a taxi to LAX and head out to Austin, Texas, where we begin our two week journey/countdown to Humboldt County's theatrical release.  This has been a long time coming, friends.  A long, long time.  Probably shouldn't have gone to the 9:50 showing of Burn After Reading the night before a 6:30 AM flight, but oh well.  It was worth it.  We loved the film.

As we sit here tonight, we have no idea where the theaters on 9.26 will be filled or empty.  We're going to do everything we possibly can in the next two weeks to ensure the former, and we're going to be motivated by fear of the latter.  

Stick with us at this blog, and we'll take you along for every step of the journey.  The good, the bad, and everything in between.  It's been a wild ride so far, and I have a feeling it's going to continue.

Next stop, Austin, Texas.

Good night, everybody.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The choices we've made....

I'm sure my mother is proud. Looking back on my life, who could have guessed that one day, Darren and I could write with the following, truly astounding news:

We have been nominated for a Stony Award for best drama.

Now, up until about two hours ago, I had no idea what the hell a Stony Award was. Let me educate you. Apparently High Times magazine - a publication dedicated to marijuana and those who consume it - has movie awards. Why does such a magazine have movie awards? There is no way any rational person could answer such a question. But hey, when we get nominated for best drama, you won't hear me complaining. But really, how many marijuana themed dramas have come out this year? Frankly, I question both the quality and quantity of our competition.

Anyhoo - for your enjoyment - the letter we received from the vaulted publication (sadly, since it's our opening weekend in theaters and we'll be in the Bay Area, we will not be attending):

************************

Dear Darren & Danny:

It is my pleasure to inform you that “Humboldt County” has been nominated for the 2008 High Times Stony Award for Best Drama.

The awards ceremony will take place at 4:20pm on SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 at the Malibu Inn in Malibu, California. This is the second year the event will be held in Los Angeles! It is our hope that you will be able to be on hand to be a part of the celebration and make this night that much more memorable.

The High Times Stony Awards is in its eighth year and celebrates those movies, television shows and video games that respect and build upon the stoner lifestyle and culture. This is not your typical awards show, the awards handed out also appropriately function as working bongs. The Stonys are in a class by themselves!

Complimentary tickets can be arranged for you. There will also be a VIP after-party at the nearby Malibu Motel.

High Times magazine, long held to be the number one counterculture magazine in the world, is in its thirty-fourth year of publication.

We urge you to attend the show, hit the GREEN carpet and enjoy a one-of-a-kind evening.

With Our Highest Regards,

Matt Stang
Editor-in-Chief
HIGH TIMES

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Skirballs the Movie!

We're 16 Days from opening in theaters, and I wanted to pass along a quick update:

Last night, before a crowded theater of Skirball Center members (I'm going to guess the average age of the audience to be 62.75), Humboldt County finally said hello to a Los Angeles audience.

We were joined on stage afterwards for Q&A by actor Chris Messina and composer iZLER. Special thanks go out to Kristy and all the good folks at the Skirball Center, as well as our publicist Marina Bailey (and Angela, who was on site with us).

Overall, and after some pre-show jitters given the nature of the audience, the screening was a rousing success! We were unsure how the rather, well, experienced crowd would take to our little picture, but it appears that they responded terrifically. We did, unfortunately, have to deal with another sound issue (apparently they were having issues with their projector and our 35mm festival print is, at this point, quite dirty), so it was once again difficult to hear some dialogue (special note: Danny and I die a little inside every time the smallest thing goes wrong, and so when people can't either 1) see our movie or 2) hear our movie, it sort of makes our experience akin to being stabbed repeatedly in the heart).

But the crowd responded well to the movie even with the sound issue, so that bodes well. It was a great pleasure to have Chris and iZLER on stage with us, and we hope to have them join us again in future screenings, such as when we open LA in October.

As for the upcoming promotional tour, we're still putting together some events before and after the screenings, so stay tuned here for more info. on dates/times/locations. And also we'll post some pictures from the Skirball soon.

until then, spread the Humboldt County word!

-Darren

Monday, September 8, 2008

Soundtrack and such....

Hey LCLs,

Hope you are doing well! As Darren previously wrote, we are indeed back from the Bachelor Party and though we have irrevocably changed, I cannot tell you how. Must have been the copious amount of liquor consumed.

Okay, several things on this lovely Monday:

1. SOUNDTRACK - Many of you who have had an opportunity to see "Humboldt County" at film festivals or private screenings have asked about the music in the film. Well, I'm very excited to inform you all that our official soundtrack has recently been completed and will be available for sale in 2-6 weeks on Itunes, Amazon etc. Look out for it! Personally, I love the music Izler (our composer) and Peymon (our music supervisor) put together for the film and I think you will too.

2. AUSTIN THEATER - We are soooo excited to announce that when we open the film in Austin, TX on Sept. 26th, we will be doing so at the same theater we had such success at during the SXSW film festival earlier this year: The Alamo Lamar.

3. SPREADING THE "FACEBOOK" WORD - We have begun to create facebook pages for our premieres in the different cities! If you live in the Bay Area and are on facebook join our Bay Area Premiere Group HERE.

Also, note that there is an event in that group that is a meet and greet with Darren and I prior to the SF premiere on the 26th and a local watering hole. We'll be meeting up there and then caravaning over to the theater. So come on by!!!

Also, for you in Austin, join our Austin premiere event HERE.

Don't worry Seattle and Portland - We'll have pages for you as well.

4. SPREADING THE REAL WORD - And speaking of the cities we're opening in, don't forget to tell everyone you know in SF, Berkeley, Seattle, Portland, Humboldt County, and Austin to come see the film opening weekend!!!!

Peace and Humboldt,
d

Did we Miss Anything?

LCLs:

We're back from the bachelor party, and it was beyond words. Truly.

13 men arrived on Catalina Island, and thankfully 13 men left with only minor cuts and bruises. Let the world hear me loud and clear: Danny Jacobs successfully planned an adventure! And no one died.

Though I already expressed my sentiments once, I must reiterate how much it meant to spend quality time with such good friends. A better bachelor party I can not imagine.

Now, we move forward toward the release of Humboldt County. It all comes down to two weeks from this Friday, ladies and gentlemen. Words like "excited" and "nervous" were invented for things like this, but they prove to be (to me, at least) frighteningly inadequate. We are reaching crunch time, and thus there is little time to waste. We have GOT to work towards filling those theaters the weekend of 9.26.

Here's a brief look ahead to what is on top for your intrepid writer-directors who man this blog:

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Join us whenever and wherever you can!

Tuesday, September 9, 7:30 PM:
We will be screening at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles, after which Danny and I will be available for a Q&A along with actor Chris Messina, who plays Max in our film. Chris is also appearing in the current and terrific Woody Allen film, Vicky Christina Barcelona.

Monday, September 15, 7:00 PM:
We will be in Austin, Texas, screening at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. Danny and I will be available for Q&A after the film, and we will likely make ourselves available at a local bar/restaurant afterwards as well (note we plan to do this in every city, either before or after the screening. Details will come on this blog).

We'd like to meet as many fans of the film as possible in each of these locations to help encourage everyone to spread the word.

Wednesday, September 17, 7:00 PM:
Next stop on the tour is Seattle, Washington, where we'll be screening and doing a Q&A at the Landmark Guild 45th.

Thursday, September 18, 7:00 PM:
We'll be in Portland, Oregon, for a screening and Q&A at the Regal Pioneer Place.

Monday, September 22, 7:30 PM:
We hit the Bay area the week of our release as we screen and do a Q&A at Berkeley's Shattuck Cinemas.

Tuesday, September 23, 7:30 PM:
Humboldt County plays San Francisco! Screening and Q&A as always at the Embarcadero Theatre. .

Wednesday, September 24, Exact time TBA:
Danny Jacobs and Producer Captain Deadpan (Jason Weiss) return to their alma mater as we play Stanford University in Cubberly Auditorium.

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26:
Humboldt County opens in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Humboldt County, Berkeley and Austin!

More to come soon,

--Darren

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Strong men also cry...

Dear LCLs:

The title of this blog post comes directly from one of the wisest men ever to grace the silver screen: Jeffrey Lebowski. No no, not "the Dude." The other Jeffrey Lebowski. The millionaire.

But I find it personally relevant as I sit here trying to write but mostly thinking of the adventure that awaits me this weekend due to the hard work of the man who -- not quite two inches above where I presently type -- is staring creepily at you.

Although I pride myself on a general tendency towards insincerity, on this night I must be completely genuine and pay loving homage -- adorably and sickeningly -- to my friend of 23 years and co-writer/director: Danny Jacobs.

You see, Danny has put together an event so large I hesitate to even call it what it is: a Bachelor Party (note that Danny may just be making amends to us all for his willing and compensated participiation in Bachelor Party 2: The Last Temptation, available here).

Tomorrow morning, I -- along with 14 of my dearest friends in the world -- will embark on a camping adventure on Catalina island that Danny has single handedly organized from top to bottom. Unfortunately, not everyone we invited was able to make it, and they will be sorely missed (and also dropped from the friends list), but those of us who are going will eat more food, drink more alcohol and engage in more general debauchery than any group of men should do in a lifetime. And we aim to do it in 48 hours.

------

So I blog today to tell you, LCLs, that you will not hear from us again until Sunday (and perhaps -- since Danny as organizer makes us unlikely to survive -- never again shall you read our words), but assuming we live, after this weekend expect a DELUGE of Humboldt County-related information on this page.

We plan to blog often as we gear up to and through our two week promotional tour all leading up to September 26. After this brief hiatus, it is time to place nearly 6 years of work out into the world and see what happens, and we will grant YOU, our beloved LCLs, access to every step of the process.

------

I blog today to remind you to go download our digital posters from our website: www.humboldtcountymovie.com, and send them to anyone and everyone you know (and tell them to send the posters to everyone they know) so that we can fill those theaters opening weekend.

------

But mostly, I blog today to say thank you to Danny Jacobs. A dearer friend I do not know. Everyone should be so lucky to have someone who works so hard to plan (most of it in secret, and I suspect other things are still held from my knowledge) such an epic, grand and appropriate adventure before marriage.

Anyone who looks at Renee can plainly see that I got lucky when she agreed to marry me, but with Danny, it's different. He may not look like much, but as far as friends go, he's at least, 75th percentile or above. But not that much above.

To the whole group of guys who are joining in the celebration, I cannot wait. Many of you are traveling from afar, and I think that's ridiculous. But I appreciate it. And I love you all. Now let's go do some stupid shit.

Viva debauchery, & Humboldt....

-Darren

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Website and Grassroots Update...

LCLs:

A quick post to point you toward our newly updated, trailer-included website:

www.humboldtcountymovie.com

Also, note the link that says "help promote Humboldt County." From this link, you will find digital versions of our poster AND digital versions of flyers we've created for each of the initial markets (Seattle, Portland, Eugene, San Francisco, Berkeley, Humboldt and Seattle) which have the screening locations, the release date and the website all prominently displayed on the website.

After a very successful initial meeting in Humboldt with our first team of Grassroots marketers, we've determined that one of the first steps toward making this happen is for you to send these flyers out to EVERYONE you know in any and all of these cities (as well as other places around the country). This is extremely important in terms of spreading the word about the film, as we are now 3.5 weeks from release.

You will also find on the website that you now have the ability to embed both our trailer and promotional video on any blogs/sites you might have access to.

Much more to come soon on the grassroots marketing front, but for now be sure to check out the new site and spread the word!

-D

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Is this heaven?

Well, if you're from St. Louis like us and are therefore are a lifelong Cardinals fan, then the answer to that question is simple:
YES, this would be heaven.

Pardon us as we divert from Humboldt County for a moment to share with you the single coolest thing that has ever happened to us:

For 2 days in St. Louis, we were the luckiest SOBs on the face of the earth.

A while back, Danny and I blogged about our love for baseball, the Cardinals, and a book called 3 Nights in August. We threw out a plea toward the gods (who in this case take the human form of actor/comedian Kevin Pollak, whose company Red Bird Cinema had secured the rights to the book) to give us the opportunity to take a crack at adapting the book. We believed then (and do now) that we are the best candidates to bring this incredibly compelling yet narratively challenging source material to the screen. And now that we are actually involved with the project, we had the incredible good fortune of trying to sell ourselves to the manager of the Cardinals and the originator of the project in its book form: Tony La Russa.

Here are some highlights from our experience. Fellow Cards fans, please don't hate us. We have enough self-loathing to deal with already. It all started with ridiculous seats behind home plate:


--From there, we watched the Redbirds defeat the Braves 6-3 on Sunday, August 24. Not a bad way to begin the experience.

--It would get more ridiculous from there, however, when we got our first glimpse behind the curtain as producer John Loar escorted us to Tony's postgame press conference (they don't let strange looking Jews in there without escorts).

--We then suddenly found ourselves inside the clubhouse to tour Tony's office, the eating room, locker room, batting cage and dugout. We were shell-shocked into stunned silence as we met several players, coaches and media members (whose material we spend far too much time reading). We also were privy to an incredible moment when Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak popped his head into Tony's office to discuss some player movement -- Cardinals outfielder Brian Barton had suffered an injury that day, and they had to decide who to call up to replace him. We were allowed to listen in for a minute before Tony and John noticed that Danny was taking copious notes in a moleskin labeled "Cardinals Secrets to be revealed to other teams," and they oddly asked us to leave.

--Later that night, we joined Tony at Albert Pujols' restaurant for an event during which he spoke. The snacks and free drinks were nice, but the insider baseball stories were better. One highlight included Tony reenacting the pep talk given by former Cards shortstop (and World Series MVP) David Eckstein, for which the diminutive shortstop had stood on a chair to speak to his teammates.

--After the event, we had the first of two consecutive dinners (not on the same night, mind you) with Tony as well a few of his friends, including Ed Curtis, who we owe a special thanks for the kindness he showed in taking us under his wing and leading us around Busch Stadium.

We dined at a couple of Tony's favorite spots in St. Louis, including the delightful Brio at Frontenac Plaza and the classy Dominic's in Clayton. We also dined with, among others, Carol Buck, wife of the late (and great) Cards broadcaster Jack Buck and Cardinals trainer Barry Weinberg. Stories were shared, food was eaten, and a better time could not have been had by these two Jews.

(Note that never once did anyone present question why a couple of schmoes like Danny and I would be allowed to join such luminaries).
--Finally, we were granted access to the field:


We watched batting practice before the game and sat in the owners' section of seats right next to the Cardinals dugout for the game Tuesday (a hugely important game against wildcard leading Milwaukee, whom the Cardinals needed to beat. Sadly, they did not, and the 12-0 loss was one of the worst of the season. Needless to say, we didn't see Tony after that game). A few more pictures from the field:




We also enjoyed the buffet dinner and food/drink service throughout the game (also gratis, included in the tickets) that goes along with the "green" seats at fabulous new Busch Stadium. If this is how the other half lives, then it's easy to see how that half gets to stay rich (they don't have to pay for anything).

Returning to our lives in Los Angeles where splurging means paying the extra couple bucks for guacamole on our Chipotle burritos (but only every once in a while, that's a lot of money after all) was a reminder that baseball is a far more lucrative profession than independent filmmaking.

One last anecdote: there were many highlights, but my own personal favorite moment took place during batting practice before the Tuesday night game against Milwaukee. Danny and I were leaning against the batting cage (as we'd seen people do on TV before) and watching the group of Ryan Ludwick, Troy Glaus and Albert Pujols hit. Tony La Russa came to join us and for five minutes he dissected Albert's swing and explained how he follows the hitting philosophy of the late Charlie Lau, a man who changed hitting in baseball.

Listening to a geat baseball man like La Russa talk hitting while a great player like Albert took his cuts was, well, a life memory I will be taking with me for a long, long time.

Here's a shot of Tony La Russa giving 85 year old legendary Cardinals Hall of Famer Red Schoendiest a hard time for not shagging flyballs with him during batting practice.



In the end, it was not all just a lifelong dream come true, but also an incredibly valuable experience in terms of the research we're doing for the writing of this picture.

Oh, who am I kidding? We just wanted to hang with ballplayers. Mission accomplished.Thanks for listening, LCLs.
More on Humboldt coming soon.
-Darren

Friday, August 29, 2008

Well, that happened.



What a crazy night up in Humboldt. Captain Deadpan, Darren and I got picked up at the Eureka airport by Darren's famous Aunt Laura and Mary, the icon, legend and organizer of the wildrivers101 film festival. After checking into to our lovely hotel room, we had dinner and then headed over to the Eureka theater for the "Humboldt County" Humboldt County premiere. There was a palpable buzz and the line was pretty long. We sold out the 700 seat theater and after a quick intro, the film began.

Then horror struck. The projector at the Eureka theater is from 1950 and the sound system was apparently put together with technology from the 15th century. As a result, there was this weird blue line on the left of the screen and the dialogue was super difficult to hear. It was a shame because the crowd was fascinating. They cheered every Humboldt location that came to the screen and seemed to really enjoy the film in a way wholly different from any of the "outside Humboldt" audiences to see it so far. In fact, we were going to stay for the whole thing, but the technical glitches of the theater proved to heartbreaking so we had to leave. We found a bar and immediately pounded some whiskey.

That took the edge off.

When we came back, Darren and I went down for a Q&A and, to my surprise and delight, no stones or tomatoes were thrown in our direction. Obviously, there were some who didn't appreciate the film, but I'm pretty sure there was no film that could have been made about this region that those people would have been happy with. Thankfully, there seemed to be many people who honestly appreciated and enjoyed the picture. The most rewarding moments would be when people would come up to us and say things like, "Listen, I've lived in this county for 25 years and let me tell you something: You got it." Those comments were really lovely to hear.

Overall, Darren and I were just super appreciative of the kindness and generosity of all the Humboldt residents who came out with an open mind to see the film and, despite the terrible sound quality in the theater, seemed to enjoy what they saw.

Here are some pics:



Captain Deadpan out front before the show.




The line heading in.

And finally...here's a video of our intro for the film:

video