Annie Howell

Introducing …. SPARKS!

Article: Introducing …. SPARKS!

So for the last month or so, Lisa and I have shamelessly been touting our own recent work. Is this our natural instinct? NO. Was I taught to talk about myself nonstop, providing photos, silly anecdotes, imdb links and other fodder? NO. (No! Says my mom.) No, no, no.

But guess what? It’s the new world for indie filmmakers. For years now, but in the last year or so more than ever, filmmakers have had to very carefully strategize every aspect of distribution. Partnering with a distribution company, if one is lucky enough to actually get one, as opposed to simply handing over a film, is simply the new way it is. (A recent indieWIRE event had a panel of experts generously doling out twenty great tips on distribution and festivals. The level of strategizing, which implicitly includes talking up your work, is an example of the level of involvement I’m talking about here. Read the summary here.) So with chin-up spirit, and not complaining at all, because who doesn’t like to retell what unimaginable feat they accomplished on the set, or how they survived the perils of micro-budget filmmaking, or how fabulous, gorgeous, talented and fashionable their actors are … introducing SPARKS.

How to drag a pregnant woman across the West

Article: How to drag a pregnant woman across the West

Well, make that ‘pregnant.’ As in, strap on that belly and hop in the van, let’s shoot! Lisa and I just wrapped our micro-budget feature, SMALL, BEAUTIFULLY MOVING PARTS, starring Anna Margaret Hollyman (above), and it was an adventure to boot. We wrote an entry about our tech approach, and one about our micro micro approach (see Beauty; Beast and Movie in a Van) — to make it three we thought we’d share a few photos from the road. And also urge you to take a peek at the new Sundance Channel online series that spawned the feature — SPARKS, now up HERE, starring Sarah Hudnut as well as other actors who appear in our feature, Jackie of “The Good Wife” Mary Beth Peil and soon-to-appear on “Friends with Benefits” Andre Holland.

Interview With Filmmakers Annie and Lisa of SPARKS

Article: Interview With Filmmakers Annie and Lisa of SPARKS

Image from SPARKS
Sundance Channel presents SPARKS, an ALL NEW digital series premiering Monday, August 9th.

Equal parts absurdist comedy, mystery, and documentary, SPARKS is a web-based serial about humans and technology. The story follows 30 year-old Sarah Sparks in her quest to serve the tech-dependent citizenry of New York as a freelance technologist.
Her special “connection” with technology, however, takes her far beyond simple repair jobs, and into both the lives of her clients as well as some of the city’s darkest, most chaotic corners.

Filmmakers Annie Howell and Lisa Robinson provided us with this digital exchange.

Beauty; Beast

Article: Beauty; Beast

Lisa and I are in the middle of shooting our micro-budget feature titled SMALL, BEAUTIFULLY MOVING PARTS, and we are thinking hard about methodology, tools, and how this approach might simply … change things. Here’s a beauty:

Charles Swanson, our cinematographer … he’s in charge of beauty. The beast? Well, that’s the mountain of a challenge he has in front of him to achieve that beauty with ONE tool, make that two (see camera and Chimera light above) and, er, no crew. Sometimes he just looks at us, like … “really?”