Saturday, June 25, 2005

La Vie d'Un Chien

HOLLY Q&A with La Vie d'un Chien Writer/Director John Harden

Holly Shorts had the opportunity to conduct a Q&A this week with Writer/Direct John Harden. Harden's short film La Vie d'un Chien is being showcased at the Los Angeles Film Festival. If you haven't hand the chance to see the short, it will be shown one last time on Sunday, June 26 at the DGA Theatre (1:30 p.m.). La Vie d'un Chien is a 14 minute short in French with English Subtitles and is an account of a scientist who devises a way to turn into a dog. It was our privelage to interview such an esteemed filmmaker. Enjoy.

HS: How long have you been writing and directing? When did you get your start?

JH: I grew up (and still live in) in northern California. I made my first film when I was in the 7th grade. It was an extra credit project for my Spanish class. When they saw it, my teacher and classmates totally freaked out. In a good way, that is. I got an A, and was delighted to discover that making a movie was a way to get people's attention and simultaneously hide in the back of the room where no-one would look at me. Perfect. After that initial success, I never really stopped making films. I went on to study film history and production at Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State University, and screenwriting at The College of Marin.

HS: Where did you get the inspiration for La Vie d'un Chien? How did the idea come about?

JH: Two inspirations combined to get me started making this film: In my days at SRJC, I must have seen Chris Marker's 1962 short, "La Jetee" a half-dozen times. My film instructor loved it and showed it ever semester. Then one night late in 2003, I had a dream that people were congregating in an alley late at night, and taking a drug that turned them into dogs. I started thinking about the possibilities of writing a script around that, and for some reason I thought of "La Jetee." Now, if you're not familiar with that film, it's a 30-minute montage of black-and-white still photos, with a French narrator telling the story in voice over and (in the version I saw) English subtitles. It's an interesting way to tell a story, and it occurred to me that it was a perfect way to tell my story. It gave me a voice. Once I had the voice, writing the script went very quickly. Then I storyboarded my script, shot thousands of stills (digital and 35mm black-and-white) and assembled my story in Final Cut Pro. Then I posted a notice to, and found Julien Fadda Ð he's a transplanted Corsican living in San Rafael, a film student at College of Marin. He translated my English script into French and did the voice-over.

Writer/Director John Harden

HS: What was the biggest challenge you encountered making this short?

JH: Eyestrain. Carpal tunnel. There was a lot of Photoshop compositing and retouching to the images, I'd say 75% of my time spent on this film was time spent in image manipulation. I faked most of my street scenes, using Santa Rosa or Petaluma CA to stand in for Paris. But I needed the real thing for some establishing shots. I didn't have a budget to go to France, so again I went to the internet. I recruited filmmakers and photographers who lived in Paris via a posting at I emailed them storyboards of what I needed, and they went out at night and found the locations, photographed them, and emailed the pictures back to me!

HS: Where do you see yourself five years from now in the industry?

JH: Hopefully working! People are really responding to this short, and I'm making a lot of good contacts. I've got some new feature-length scripts in the works. We'll see what happens.

La Vie d'Un Chien

HS: Any other notable short films on your resume people can check out?

JH: If they go to John, they can watch my sort film "Crutemobile,' and read a script for an as-yet-unproduced short film. You can even buy a copy of "La Vie" there...

HS: Anything else you'd like to plug feel free.

JH: I'm always interested in talking to any agents, managers, or producers out there.

GET AWAY on Ifilm Getting Chuckles

Get Away Making Strides on

Weekend GET AWAY, the chaotic comedy is earning top chuckles on various message boards this week. The 9 minute short can be viewed by going to IFILM . Here's the synopsis:
Warning: Two things you need to know about this film. 1) This is an intricately woven comprehensive mind puzzle. 2) You'll never figure it out.



Holly Shorts got a chance to check out The Dreamhouse Ensemble's new play Room Service. You can catch the play at The Space Theater in Hollywood. The play is by John Murray and Alan Boretzand is directed by Stephen Alan Carver.

AOL and Ford Get Together For Shorts

AOL Online announced yesterday a deal with Ford Motor Co. to present an ongoing online short film fest that will begin next week. The shorts will be showcased on Fords Mercury Milan will be the sponsor.

"We understand that consumers want more engaging video content, and advertisers want more opportunities to show video ads," said Steven Yee, VP and general manager at Moviefone. "We see people looking at all kinds of video content on our site, and we felt that short films are an under-appreciated next generation of video content that will really take off on the Web."

Beginning next week, at, visitors can view and rate the first 13 short films. Both live-action and animated, they include several comedies previously seen only at major offline film festivals like Sundance and Tribeca.
Holly Shorts, Short Film Fest DEADLINE JULY 1!

Holly Shorts would like to thank the esteemed filmmakers for submitting their best work for the first annual event. We've received some great shorts from around the world. The festival takes place August 13-14 at the Space Theater in Hollywood. The deadline for entries is July 1 and the selected shorts will be announced on SATURDAY, July 2. Stay tuned!

Top at the B.O.
Holly Shorts Ent.


Can Bewitched knock off the Bat? Very Doubtful as Sony's pick opens this weekend. Here's the top five as of today:
1 Batman Begins
2 Mr. & Mrs. Smith
3 Madagascar
4 Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
5 The Longest Yard

Saturday, June 11, 2005

HIGH END Makin Moves with New Album

Holly Shorts recently had the opportunity to catch up Rudy Mangual (AKA HighEnd), one of the most creative music producers based out of Los Angeles. Mangual's new album High End puts a modern twist on lounge music, with elements you usually hear in underground tracks.

HS: For those out there who aren't aware of your music, how would you describe the sounds?

RM: We're calling it Urban Lounge. Kind of a mix between downtempo, hip-hop, and jazzy lounge from back in the day. It can be pretty moody at times, but there's always a nice groove and a lot of Latin influence.

HS: Where did you get the inspiration to put together your new album. Was there a particular source?

RM: I've always been very inspired by visuals, so in my mind I had a sort of noir-ish kind of movie running through my head while working on the album. To get the album rolling, I had sent out a bunch of demos to various labels, and Groove Gravy was the first label to show interest. The label head, Roy Shakkid, acted as a sort of Executive Producer, by giving me a lot of direction with overall vibe and sound of the album. Roy's an excellent musician himself, so musically there was a lot of good feedback and help structurally from the label end.

HS: Would you ever consider doing a score for a short film? If so, can our readers contact you?

RM: absolutely! I've already been approached about doing some incidental music and possibly score work for a video game that's in production. I've never worked with film, but it's always been something I've been dying to do. The right music with the right visual can be such an amazing thing.

HS: How has the response been locally?

RM: It's been good! I'm still trying to decipher the radio and sales reports that the label guy shows me, but from what I understand, it's getting a great reception. Also, I've been blown away by the fact that it's getting good college airplay all over the country. Especially in the south and north west. I never really imagined people from all over the country would ever hear my music - it's pretty incredible.

HS: With your father being a musician, how influential was his sound in your music? Have you learned a lot from him musically?

RM: I basically learned all my basics from my dad. He's an amazing percussionist, and music has always been an important part of my family life growing up. The hip-hop and electronic elements to my music I learned later in life from friends and just figuring things out, but all the basics, especially dealing with rhythm, come from my father.

HS: Where can people hear you spinning records?

RM: Just dj'ed for the Groove Gravy 3rd year anniversary party out in Hollywood a few weeks ago. I'm still taking things slow since finishing the album, but should have some clubs setup soon enough.

Anyone interested in checking out the album can visit:

Holly Shorts Ent.


Welcome the official Holly Shorts Blog! Here you'll find info on the inaugural Holly Shorts Film Festival, Entertainment Industry News, resources for short filmmakers and interviews with change agents.
Holly Shorts Ent.


(LOS ANGELES, CA) June 11, 2005 The organizers of the inaugural Holly Shorts, Short Film Festival announced today that the compelling short film by Director Justin Liberman "Y Nada Mas," will be the opening short film to headline the event. The festival takes place at the Space Theatre, August 13-14 in Hollywood.

"It is an honor for us to open the first ever Holly Shorts with such a riveting short film," said Dan Sol, co-founder of Holly Shorts, Short Film Festival. "We look forward to providing the industry, filmmakers and enthusiasts a platform to share ideas, see great shorts and learn from the best in the business."

Y Nada Mas premiered at Tribeca, successfully with three sold out shows. The cast includes: Emilio Rivera, Danny Martinez, Peter Mark Vasquez, Margarita Reyes, Los Chavos, Jacob Valenzuela and Jeff Magnus.

About Y Nada Mas
Y Nada Mas is a cinematic tapestry of four vignettes depicting the Mexican-American man and his place within our society. Writer/Director Justin Liberman threads dialogue and visceral imagery through four simultaneous stories of the Mexican culture. Centered around the human spirit, all four stories are perceived through a prismatic context utilizing simplicity as a metaphor for lifeÂ’s most meaningful moments.

About Holly Shorts Film Festival
Holly Shorts, Short Film Festival is an annual short film festival showcasing the best and brightest short films from around the globe. Comprised by Cali Shorts Society, a not for profit group devoted to the advancement filmmakers through the short film genre, the Holly Shorts Film festival showcases the top short films produced 30 minutes or less. The innaugural even will feature various genre's of short films,a special musical performance, and awards. For more information, please visit For advanced tickets, please contact Karen Worden (

Theo Dumont-Los Angeles
p. 818-760-9897

Need Inspiration? Short Films 101

A wise man once recommended this book...
Short Films 101: How to Make a Short Film and Launch Your Filmmaking Career. The book is a great resource for people getting in the game and is a comprehensive guide to creating, marketing, and publicizing your short. It's available on Amazon for about $10 and it's also available at The Writers Store. The book shows readers how to find the right concept, finance the film, and use the finished project to launch a professional career as a filmmaker.

Holly Shorts Ent.


Broken is one of the hottest short films out right now. The 20 minute, flick by Alex Ferrari is generating a lot of buzz in the industry. The film is about Bonnie Clayton, a woman who has it all, a great relationship, challenging career etc. She then becomses abducted by a sadistic stranger and his entourage. She goes on to discover the key to surviving relies on the realms of her recurring dream.

Good luck if you want a screener. The demand is so high for the short that they won't be available for purchase until the end of June. You can check out Ferrari's official website at: What is Broken. Get on the mailing list to grab a copy.

Holly Shorts Ent.

Play premiering next week to The Space Theatre. Stay tuned for details.
Holly Shorts Ent.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Short Films for PSP

A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle noted that Sony Corp., hoping to promote sales of the new PSP will sponsor a series of short films for the hand-held device from Two of the premier shorts include "In God We Trust" and "Rockfish," and are available in MPEG format. Stay tuned for more shorts.

FYI: a still from the New Zealand critically acclaimed contemporary short film "A place to Stand."
Directed by Peter Burger, written by Wiremu Grace and Produced by Catherine Fitzgerald. Official Selection (Critics Week) Cannes 2003, Winner Best Film, Best Actor, Best Cinematography, Finalist Best Script in NZ Film Awards 2003, Cannes Selection (Rome, Mexico, Spain), Best Sound Drifting Clouds Festival Wellington 2004, Wairoa Film Festival 2005.

Holly Shorts Ent.

Thursday, June 02, 2005


1 Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
2 Madagascar
3 The Longest Yard
4 Monster-in-Law
5 Kicking and Screaming
$ 6.5