Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Last night was Night 1 of a three-night Pioneer Electronics commercial shoot that I'm helping out on for my very talented buddy Zack Mathers.   Part of the commercial is highlighting a new Pioneer product called STEEZ (steeze is a street term that is a combination of style and ease... "What's your steeze?" is like "What's your deal?  What's your thing?")

The product is a boombox designed specifically for dancers -- you can adjust the tempo, pick specific BPMs (beats per minute) without affecting the pitch of the song.  For anyone who has ever learned or taught a dance routine - you know that this is awesome... You can play back a routine at half speed to learn it clean and then pick up the BPMs as you get it down.   I heart this thing to bits.

Anyway, Zack and I always work really closely creatively on set, and, knowing my slight (read:  massive) obsession with dance movies, he let me direct the dance battle scene that played out with the Steez product!

I repeat:  I got to direct a dance battle scene!!!!!

So, I can officially cross "Direct a Dance Battle" off my bucket list.  (FYI: "Direct Dance Battle" is just below "Win Oscar" and just above "Get on SNL."  It combines my two favorite arts - Dance and Movies - in a battle, which is just good drama.   In fact, I pitch dance movies, typically climaxing in a dance battle in almost every meeting.  Studio Executive:  So what are you working on?  What do you want to do next?  Me:  A dance movie.  I was thinking like a Die Hard 5, the dance version.  Studio Executive:  Hahahah!  You're funny.  Me:  No, seriously.)

Here's some picks from the fun, freezing night of dancing it out...

Zack telling me not to eff it all up.

T and B together on set... again.  Now we just need to get
Luna working in Art Department and we'll be good.
Movie Magic Makers.

Mike Carrasco of ABDC working it. 
In closing, what I learned from this experience is that most things can and should be resolved through dance battles.   Family problems?  Dance battle.  Impending Foreclosure?  Bank v. Home Owner dance battle.   Conflict in the Middle East?  All together now... Israeli-Palestinian DANCE BATTLE.

Dance Battle for life.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Amazing things

Hey Party People!

I hope you are all recovering from your weekend of Halloween revelry.  I worked all weekend, finishing up a draft of an overdue script so that I could take time off on Monday, when our fairy tale family traipsed around as a: The Big Bad Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood, and the cutest little piggy you've ever seen!

In other, more relevant news, yesterday I found out that I've been accepted to the WGA's Writer/Director Mentorship program - which is so so exciting!  They are trying to foster the relationship between the WGA and the DGA as well as get writers to be more involved in their projects... I'll let you know as soon as I can who my amazing mentor is going to be.

But for now - I have to keep this short. I have a pitch at Nickelodeon this morning -- basically me talking for twenty minutes straight -- and I have to practice so I don't get in there and make a complete ass of myself:

Executive, "Hey, so tell me about this story!"

Me, "Uhhh.... uhhh.... uhhhh."

Ah, the glitz, the glamour... Cross some fingers for me, huh?

PS:  If you didn't see it - here's the pic of me and Brett in the Sunday edition of the Ventura County Star!!!!  Read the article HERE.

Me. 8 1/2 months pregnant after a 12 hour shoot day, looking exhausted -
Brett, looking fabulous. 

PSS: Lake Effect lovers - Keep posting pics of you with your copies on the facebook page!  And if you've watched and liked the movie, please find somewhere on line to review it!  Amazon or netflix would be GREAT!

Most creative pic so far, thanks PK and Optimus Prime. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Hi ho - so we are one week into our TLE sales.

I have to say - I have absolutely no idea how it's going.  Working with a distributor is funny - they are working with lots of other companies - netflix, amazon, walmart, as well as twenty plus actual video stores that carry the movie -- and I have no idea how many copies anyone has ordered, rented, sold, etc.
I may have a better idea when we get our quarterly report.

Also, Jennifer and I are both very busy on other projects -- though we did do some press that I'll post here as soon as the articles are printed.  (If you live in Ventura, Santa Barbara, or Michigan - keep an eye out in your local paper)

In the meantime, I can announce this:

Amazon has only TWO COPIES LEFT!

...That bodes well, I think.  Someone asked:  "Does that mean that Amazon didn't order very many?"  I'm a glass-half-full-kinda-gal (on my good days) so I'll say NO!  What that means is that people ordered all the many many copies that Amazon ordered all up!!!!

Not to worry, if you see that they are sold out on Amazon, I believe Amazon will soon be stocking more.

In addition, if you see me on the street, you can buy a copy off of me for $20 cash.  Bargain really, since you don't have to deal with shipping.

If you are cast or crew and are owed a copy (see Jennifer Westin for qualifying details) I imagine you will get one at some point in the near future - possibly when Jennifer returns from shooting her big time indie movie in New York with Ross Partridge (I feel incredibly proud and only a wee bit left out) ;)

So - in closing, if you have your copy of The Lake Effect, I hope you are enjoying it, not pirating it, and telling your friends about it at every chance you get.  If you're not sure how to plug The Lake Effect into every day conversation, you could try this:

YOU:  Hi Friend.
YOU:  Seen any good movies lately?
FRIEND:  Yes, actually - all the Oscar contenders are ---
YOU (interrupting):  Not as good as this little indie movie I just watched on DVD!!  It's called The Lake Effect and it's awesome.  You should check it out!
(And so on...)

Hope that helps!  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I will do this to my hair if it sells DVDs.

This weekend, a friend asked me if he could buy the DVD straight off of me instead of off of a website - and if that would help us out more...  The answer is yes and yes -- in fact, I had big plans of throwing a TLE DVD release party - only problem is that I'm in production and Jennifer Westin is in NY, also in production... and to be honest, I'm a little nervous that if I threw a party it will just be me (and Brett, he's obligated), sitting in a bar somewhere with a box of DVDS after a 12 hour shoot day, all alone.

In the meantime, if you happen to see me on the street, yes - I may have a DVD in my bag that I can sell you for $20.  Otherwise, it's just a click away... 

It's already discounted, what?! 

BTW -  let's say you don't want to buy the movie.  You've seen it or you don't even own a DVD player, what can you do to help TLE???   A FAVOR -- anyone who has seen the movie:  PLEASE GET ON-LINE and WRITE A REVIEW ON AMAZON!!!  Even if you're not the kind of person who normally writes reviews on amazon!  I'll be your best friend...

Monday, October 3, 2011

All work and no play makes Tara a...

Delirious Blogger.

That's gonna be my new band name.

This week I missed out on a trip to Michigan to go to the very cool Hell's Half Mile Film Festival.  (True story:  Two old men were overheard in the bathroom saying how affected they were by the movie! - I didn't know that men talked to each other in the bathroom but I did know that old men love us. Buy a copy for your Grandpa!!!)  I also had to turn down a trip to the Jacksonville Film Festival, a great little festival run by fellow filmmaker Warren Skeels - where The Lake Effect will be screening later this month. I suppose these are good problems to have - I had to turn them down because I am working!  Working working working working working.  On a web series, a commercial, a music video, a pilot, a spec script, and (currently) this blog.  Not to mention trying (not desperately, just trying) to get everyone and their mother excited about buying a copy of TLE!
Everyone wants this sweet-looking DVD!

I had this idea  -- I could go around to people who should really buy the movie out of obligation (Hi Mom!) and make them do it on camera...(See!  So Easy - you can do it on your phone!  You can buy it from your laptop, Ipad! Use your telephone!)  And then the obligated purchasers could talk about how excited they are.  I'll edit the whole thing with star wipes and then post it (ON THIS BLOG - so self reflexive, planning my next blog while I blog) and it would inspire everyone to buy my movie!!  It could be sweet.

I'm a little punchy.  Been writing since 5.  Forgive.  Then pre-buy the movie.  I know - I'm a broken record.  Don't worry.  It'll die down on October 18th (and then maybe start up again around the Holidays).

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Can you stand it??!  T-minus 22 days til THE LAKE EFFECT release date!  (Which means only 22 more days of me acting like Crazy Eddy having a fire sale!!!!)

Here's a taste of what you'll get when you open your shiny plastic-wrapped TLE DVD box...
Ooh, Ahh... a little workaholic Ross Partridge from the original poster... I love that shot. 

Last night, I did the final quality check of the dvd.  It's really great and I'm so so excited for everyone to see not just the movie but the Behind the Scenes Featurette and the Outtakes and to hear me and the ladies doing our silly yet informative Audio Commentary, where you'll hear all about how Ross scared me when he first showed up on set and how Kay had 3 am dance parties on the beach while the old people were sleeping.  

Good stuff.   

Now stop reading this blog and go buy another copy of The Lake Effect!  

(*The "Y'all" is honor of my writing partner Cindy, who is kickin ass and taking names far away in the land of Texas until we sell a huge script and I drag her back to LA-LA land. Miss you Cindy!)    

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


On Sunday, I went to an amazing panel on Writer/Directors at the Writers Guild -- five inspirational hours of information on how to be a hyphenate creative career person in Hollywood from panelists Billy Ray (Shattered Glass) David S. Goyer (Batman Begins) Nancy Meyers (Something's Gotta Give).  After the panel, I was chatting with another female comedy writer in the parking lot and Nancy Meyers drove past us... She slowed, rolled down her window and called out, "Women directors?  Don't you give up!!!"

The woman wrote PRIVATE BENJAMIN, people.  FATHER OF THE BRIDE.   BABY BOOM.  And STILL it took her years on a (very) successful writing and producing career to get to directing her first film.   I've been in LA for 12 years.  Writing for 10.  Making THE LAKE EFFECT for 2 1/2.  Two and a half years!!!  That's how long it's taken us to make THE LAKE EFFECT and get it to you.    THANK YOU for your patience... thank you.  And thank you, Nancy, for those much needed words of encouragement.  

I am excited to announce that the wait is OVER!!!!  Today is the day, Lake-lovers!  You can officially SAVE your hot little copy of THE LAKE EFFECT!
This SAVE is unlike the other save (the one I encouraged you to do on Netflix...)  This save means YOUR COPY of THE LAKE EFFECT will ship to you on OCTOBER 18th.  You can be the first of your friends on your block to own a copy!  Heck, feeling generous?  Buy copies for the whole block!

You can do it on AMAZON.
You can do it at CD UNIVERSE.
(And yes, you can still save it at Netflix but we're not sure when that Save will turn to ADD TO QUEUE... PS: If you haven't heard, Netflix will now be Qwikster, the DVD branch of Netflix...  Ah, how I love the in-between stages of media delivery/technology.  For all the sordid details about that story, look here.)

Now, this doesn't mean that the movie will never be in your Pay-Per-View list or On Demand or on cable... this is just the first wave of the release.

So - I am asking you today, if you have read this far,  please do THREE THINGS that will make a world of difference to us...  
1) Buy the movie!
2) Write a glowing review on-line (Netlfix, Amazon, wherever!!)
3) Blog, tweet, facebook, digg, share, blast about the movie to your friends, family, and fans.  Only you can prevent DVD launch failures!!!!