There is a lot to talk about here. I just finished judging the Webby Awards for the first time. I found it to be enjoyable and I’m proud to now be an associate member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. This was an interesting path to get to this point. I have been in the industry for over 20 years working at various acronyms IGN, CBS, NBC mostly as a shooter/editor. In 2017 I was able to enter the Telly Awards (something I had wanted to do for years in my CBS News days) with my feature length documentary VHS Massacre. I won the Silver Telly Award in the low-budget category. Winner of the silver awards are invited to apply to be a judge for the following year. I applied and to me delight I was approved. So I’ve been on the “Silver Council” for four years now! For people in broadcast the Telly Awards are well known, established in the 1970’s as a sort of answer to content that fell outside of the regional Emmy Awards. Anything from documentaries, news, local TV shows, commercials branded content and more. As television changed they adapted to celebrate streaming content and now everyone from HBO, PBS to popular You-tubers enter every year. So the Telly Awards tend to be known by people in the business and the Webby Awards seem to have more name recognition on the average person. I think both awards competitions give people a shot at winning something and that’s a good thing.
VHS MASSACRE TOO & MACLEOD NEWS!
After two years in the film festival circuit with over 32 official selections, several nominations and 23 wins it’s been a wild ride for VHS Massacre Too. There so many highlights like being on a panel with Joe Bob Briggs, Debbie Rochon and Lloyd Kaufman on Shudder’s Mid May Massacre! Screening at Horror Hound Weekend and getting a positive review in their magazine! Or winning at Chicago Horror, Requiem FearFest, Vancouver Horror Show or San Fransisco Indie Fest’s Another Hole in the Head.
I was lucky enough to kick off the film festival run at New York’s Anthology Film Archives in January of 2020 with an in person screening. Recently I was able to attend a screening at Film Noir Cinema in Brooklyn in person and do a Q & A a few months back so that was a nice bookend to the festival run. The actual last screening before the Blu-ray release on January pre-order here with be a double feature (with both VHS Massacre films) at the Bastalavista Film Festival in Germany. This is particularly a treat me, the idea of a theater playing two of one’s feature films is so cool. They knew my work, that’s a rare and wonderful thing to have happen. I don’t know if the festival circuit translates into a large awareness of one’s film but it’s an exciting thing to wonder about. I hope that all of this will translate into some kind of “fame” for the films.
So the film I completed for my M.F.A. thesis was MacLeod. Kevin MacLeod is a film composer who has created over two-thousand songs and offered them free to the world. As a result people use his music in their web content and he has been heard more than the most contemporary pop singers, yet almost no one knows who he is. How can one of the most listened to composers in history be a total mystery? Featuring John Brennan (Last Drive-in) Lloyd Kaufman (Troma President) Stephanie Perez (@yeahfoodbeer) and composer Tim Kulig! So I made the film with Tim Kulig who is my best friend and I’ve known since I was a teenager. He really is the one who convinced me to try to take the documentary MacLeod to the film festival circuit. It did really well getting into top film festivals. It won four awards for Best Documentary including Cannes World FF and WorldFest Houston. The film was also nominated at the Toronto Independent Film Awards and is Official Selection of the NorthwestFest International FF and New Haven Docs at Yale University! Toronto really closed out MacLeod’s festival run with over a dozen official selections! Not bad, more news to come.