Friday, November 20, 2009

Flight Log #003

Team Mouse is proud to report a fun, exciting and successful
Summer that began in sunny Southern California. Afforded the
rare privilege of playing at four film festivals in the Los Angeles area,
we found our days packed with thrilling screenings and glamorous parties.
On this adventure, director Kyle Bell was once again joined by Matt Hayes,
co-writer and usual suspect. Just to liven things up a bit, Kyle was
also joined by his girlfriend, and his eleven year old son.

First up: the West Hollywood International Film Festival. Here 'The
Mouse That Soared' opened the festival and was screened in the
historic Blossom Room of the legendary Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. It was in
this very room that the first-ever Academy Awards were held on May 19,
1929. This was a great moment in Mouse history, especially since the ghosts of
Montgomery Clift and Marilyn Monroe were rumored to be in attendance.
Topping off this already otherworldly experience, TMTS even won the festival's
award for 'Best Animation'!

But that was just the beginning of our winning ways. Team Mouse is
ecstatic to report that TMST went on to win 'Best Animation' and
'Audience Favorite Animation' at the HollyShorts Film Festival in
Hollywood. Lightning struck twice (again) at the Malibu Film Festival,
which saw the Mouse win trophies for 'Best Animation' and
'Audience Choice Animation'. Even more humbling, however, was the
terrific honor TMTS received in being asked to open the Malibu
Festival, playing before an incredibly moving and inspiring
documentary film entitled 'Jesse's Story'. Sharing the Mouse's
kindred themes of hope, redemption and overcoming seemingly impossible
odds, this amazing film chronicled the harrowing experiences of Jesse
Billauer, who found himself paralyzed after a surfing accident when he
was 17 years old. The film (also starring Jack Johnson, Ben Harper,
and the late Christopher Reeve) deservedly won Malibu's 'Best
Documentary Award', which will hopefully help build awareness for Life
Rolls On, a non-profit organization providing hope and advocacy to
young people whose lives have been affected by spinal cord injury

Last but not least, our friend Dayna (a member of Cirque Berzerk: see
Flight Plan #2) helped secure TMTS a late-night, semi-private, last
minute screening at the legendary Egyptian Theater. Built in 1922 by
Sid Grauman (of Grauman's Chinese Theater fame) to capitalize on the
Tutankhamen's Tomb craze, the theater was the site of Hollywood's
first premiere: Robin Hood starring Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. While not
an official selection of the Feel Good Film Festival, Team Mouse was
granted all-access privileges to this up-and-coming, well-run and
always packed festival. Playing in a theater steeped in nearly ninety
years of film history is pretty awesome and was a great way to round
out our latest Los Angeles adventure.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Flight Log #002

Having just returned from an all-new California adventure, Team Mouse has much to report. As promised, LA ShortsFest proved to be suitably star-studded. As luck would have it, Kyle Bell just so happened to make his directorial debut amidst the celebrated likes of fellow first-time helmers Scarlet Johansson, Courtney Cox and Demi Moore. While Associate Producer Steve Emerson did manage to keep his cool, we are reluctant to report that co-writer Matt Hayes ogled the trio shamelessly.

Early the next morning, Team Mouse piled into the Mousemobile for an afternoon screening at the San Diego International Children’s Film Festival at Comic-Con. While the original plan was to dress up as characters in the “The Mouse That Soared” we tragically ran out of construction paper and pipe-cleaners before completing our costumes. At Comic-Con, we were joined by Production Designer Fred Gardner. The screening went well, and we were all charmed by the animation of a seven-year-old girl whose father was proud to report that she has already been tapped for a six-picture deal at a prestigious institute of higher learning.

Back in Los Angeles, Kyle and Matt somehow managed to fall in with an unusual crowd of evil clowns and deranged fire-eaters under the bizarre big top at the amazing (and aptly-named) Cirque Berzerk. While Kyle was finally given a chance to show off his considerable sword-swallowing skills, Matt has not been seen since, and it can only be assumed he ran away to join the circus for good. May the Mouse be with him.

Finally, the Magical Mystery Mouse Tour made the long trip north to California’s historic capitol city of Sacramento. Seeing “The Mouse That Soared” play at the extraordinarily colorful and ornate Crest Theater (the film’s very first showing at a genuine moving picture palace!) was a particularly thrilling experience. Originally built as a vaudeville house in 1912, the stage has been graced by Cab Calloway, Maya Angelou, Cheap Trick and Nirvana, among countless others. Even more exciting, “The Mouse That Soared” took home a pair of futuristic glass trophies for “Best Animation” and “Audience Animation.” It can only be assumed that the Governor Schwarzenegger brought these ultramodern awards (imagine something you might find while wearing a jetpack in the year 2000) from the future while pursuing his day job as a remorseless cyborg Terminator.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Flight Log #001

WORLD PREMIERE, Palm Springs International ShortFest

After many, many months (over a year!) of hard work and dedication, "The Mouse That Soared" saw its World Premiere at the Palm Springs ShortFest on June 27, 2009.

Team Mouse is proud to report that our inaugural screening could not have gone any better! Not only was the theater filled to capacity, but everyone laughed in all the right places at exactly the right times. Seeing so many people respond to your work is an incomparable experience.

Our film could not have been made without the unique contributions of the tireless talents of our committed crew. Thank you to everyone involved behind the scenes!

On the ground in sunny southern California, Team Mouse was represented by a group of gifted Portland filmmakers. Matt Hayes (co-writer), Steve Emerson (associate producer), David Trappe (cinematographer) Fred Gardner (production designer) and Kyle Bell (director), showed up in full force to support the piece. Team Mouse was even joined by Fred's mother and former teacher (both named Linda, for the sake of convenience) for the full family effect. Truth be told, the entire amazing experience was like something out of a movie, and fortunately, the film has just begun.

Looking ahead, we're excited for LA ShortsFest, Saturday, July 25 - 5:30...
More festival announcements soon.