Has It Been A Month?

This Friday is July 4th also known as Independence Day. That marks one month since The Snake Alley Festival of Film convened in beautiful Burlington, Iowa. It’s hard to believe a month has passed. It seems like only yesterday.

Of course, the other side of midnight is that it has taken me almost a month to recuperate. What with the rockin’ after parties, great films, fun readings of some fabulous screenplays, and being shanghaied at the last second to play a part in a play I hadn’t read (thanks JoJo and Kara)…it’s a wonder I’m not still in bed. Absolutely too much fun in one place!

On top of that, my children forced me to mow “the back 40” and I have the whip scars on my arm to prove it.

In fact, things were such a blur that I was man-handled (maybe I should say woman-handled) by six women and almost didn’t remember it! (God! I hope that’s not a symptom of old age.) the picture posted here proves it happened—and this was before the drinking started.

Met some old friends, made some new ones, and had a great time in general including the very wet Wiener Dog races. If you missed it…well there’s always next year. And, believe me, next year will be even better!

Happy Birthday America!

 

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Down To The Wire!

We are watching the last block of films for the night. This will be followed by a Catered Red Carpet Party. The Red Carpet Party is usually held in the street in front of The Capitol Theater, but due to a lot of rain, it had to be moved indoors.

Oh, well! The lobby of the theater and the theater annex will be a bit cramped, but the film makers and film goers will get to know each other better. It’ll be warm and cozy.

Following the Red Carpet Party, the Awards Ceremony will be held and film makers, screen writers, and the audience will discover who goes home with the coveted “Alley Award” or the inspired “Writer’s Block.”

Prior to this section of The Snake Alley Festival of Film, was Cyn-A-Palooza. The Wiener Dog races were run in a monsoon, but the short-legged contenders put on their snorkels and were up for the challenge. There was a lot of barking, yapping, and smack-talking…but run they did. No Wiener dogs were hurt during these races.

Once we get finished with the awards ceremony, everyone will head to Martini’s for the final “after party” this year. Then, it’s home to “dry out” and plan a new film project for next year.

If you missed The Snake Alley Festival of Film this year, you missed a fun, and rocking event. Plan to be there next year. I’m already hearing rumblings of bigger and better doings for next year.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Well, we’re into day 4 of The Snake Alley Festival of Film. So far it has been a fun and amazing event. Everyone here is friendly and there are some amazingly talented people concentrated in a small area.

One of the new features this year was to have actors read scripts submitted by screenwriters. JoJo Munkee did an amazing job of collecting actors and rehearsing them. This feature gives screenwriters get to see their words come to life. It helps them to visualize how their words play as an interaction between characters.

Just seconds before one of the scripts was to be read, JoJo got word that two actors were involved in a car accident, so she shanghaied yours truly to fill one of the parts. No rehearsal, no nothing. I was literally handed a script as I walked on stage and was told I was playing the part of Ozzie, an elderly black man. The title of the screenplay was “All Aboard!”

I missed my cues a couple of times and missed leaving the stage during one part.

Everyone was very complimentary and told me I did a good job. I thought to myself, “I don’t think I should quit my day job.”

It was all in good fun and in the name of art, so no harm, no foul.

If you’ve never been to an indie film festival, I urge you to go. If you want to attend a great indie film festival, come to The Snake Alley Festival of Film in Burlington, Iowa.

Tonight’s after party is at The Drake and promises to be a real blast.

And Saturday is Cyn-A-Palooza, complete with a street carnival, big sales, and topped off with Weiner Dog Races.

Then, on Saturday night, we have a street party in front of the Capitol Theater, the awards ceremony, and another after party at Martini’s. Follow Snake Alley Festival of Film on Facebook and see all of the pictures.Image

Thunder and Lightning

Thunder and lightning refers to the weather last night during the last block of films. But it has cleared a bit and is really nice.

Well, day one is in the bag and day two is winding down…except for the after party.  I’ll let you know how that went tomorrow…maybe.

The foreign film block was amazing. People are still talking about it.

I’m going to post a few pictures now that my computer is back on line and functioning. If you couldn’t make it this year, you have my sympathies. This is going to be the best fest yet.

The people in this town (Burlington, Iowa) rock. Warm, friendly, and really into the arts.

Enjoy the early-bird pictures of the 3rd Annual Snake Alley Festival of Film.

“Jaws Was Never My Scene—And I Don’t Like Star Wars!”

 

If you recognize these lyrics, you’ll recall that they’re from a 1978 “Queen” song called “Bicycle Race.” And this Saturday, May 24th, 2014 in beautiful Burlington, Iowa they held a bicycle race called The Snake Alley Criterium.  This just one of a series of races held this Memorial Day weekend in and around Southeast Iowa.

And, of course, the Snake Alley Criterium is followed by The Snake Alley Festival of Film in little more than a week’s time.

The Snake Alley Festival of Film is followed by Cyn-A-Palooza and their world-class Wiener Dog races.

And on the heels of Cyn-A-Palooza is a big music festival called “Steamboat Days.”

The, of course, there’s the Snake Alley Art Festival followed by…”I don’t know, I can’t keep up with all the happenings in this town.”

The bottom line is—This town rocks. But that begs the question, “When do these folks work?”

All joking aside, this year’s Snake Alley Festival of Film is going to be bigger and better than ever. The reason I mentioned those other events is to show you that there is always something going on here…and something for everyone. So, bring your family to The Snake Alley Festival of Film and let them enjoy all that Burlington, Iowa has to offer.

??—72—??

Can you guess the significance of the number 72 and what it has to do with The Snake Alley Festival of Film?

Is it how old Lonnie looks after The Snake Alley Festival of Film is over for this year?

Is it the number of typos and grammatical corrections that Tina will have to fix before the final lineup is submitted to the printer? (You see, it works like this: Pancho corrects Lonnie’s work. Tina corrects Pancho’s work. Then—when everything is printed—some bright-eyed grammarian will spot a mistake and loudly point it out.)

Could 72 be the number of steps Lonnie takes in one direction when he’s pacing back and forth?

Nope! It’s none of the above.

“72” is the number of unbelievably talented submissions that will be shown at the Capital Theater during this year’s Snake Alley Festival of Film. Add to that the reading of some phenomenal screenplays, tours of Burlington like you’ve never seen it, Q & A’s with actors, screenwriters, and film makers, followed by knock-your-socks-off after parties…and you’ve got some idea of what’s in store for you at this year’s Snake Alley Festival of Film.

If this is your first time, you’ll see why this is called a “must see” event!

And I’ve got one word for that grammarian whose waiting. (Should that have been who’s?) And that word is “Theiy’re”! (As in, “They’re buying their tickets so they can be there.) Pffftt!

Seems Like Only Yesterday!

It’s been almost a month since The Second Annual Snake Alley Festival of Film ended. The memories are fresh in my mind…and will last a lifetime. If you were there you know it was a blast. I couldn’t find anyone who didn’t have a great time.

If you couldn’t make it, start planning for next year. I’ve put the links to some of the pictures (as promised) so that you can see what went on.

You may have to cut and paste. Sometimes this platform doesn’t accept live links. I’m going to try, but if not…well, you know the drill.

Two of the links are for Cyn-A-Palooza which coincided with The Snake Alley Film Fest and includes great shots of the Wiener Dog Races. Enjoy!

FYI—If you’re new to this blog, you can subscribe by clicking on the button in the lower right-hand corner and following the instructions. (Thanks to Laura Woodard of http://www.grassrootsmarketinginc.com for this suggestion.)

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151627826175606.1073741840.123910830605&type=1

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151630385230606.1073741841.123910830605&type=3

Looks like the links ARE live. Enjoy the show!

Burlington, Iowa…You Rock!!

The Jig of Joy

The Jig of Joy

Now that The 2nd Annual Snake Alley Festival of Film is “in the can,” And it’s long after the “after parties.” All of the awards have been presented, accepted and/or mailed to recipients…it is time to announce one really BIG award, notice, or giant HUZZAHS! And that is to say a gigantic “Thank You” to all of the people who worked so hard to make the film festival the huge success that it was.

As you can tell by the above picture…Lonnie was dancing a jig, he was so happy with all of you. Comments I heard from out-of-towners were all raves about Burlington and its people. (That would be all of you.)

If your name isn’t in here, email me at gdschuyler@prodigy.net and tell me your name and what your job at the film festival was. I’ll get it in the next post.

Here, in no particular order, are the folks who made it happen.
• Tina Salamone-Director of the Capitol Theatre (This lady was everywhere—all the time. She’s truly amazing.)
• Joanie-who handled box office sales, concessions, etc.
• JoJo Munke- projectionist extraordinaire- kept films running without a hitch
• (I’m sure I missed a few)

Committee members
• Amy and Charlie Walsh of F&M Bank—Amy handled interviews, film maker liaisons, and other organizational duties. Her and Charlie put on the red carpet party in front of the theater and Charlie wore his chef’s hat and bartender’s apron as well. Plus, they took some of the film makers to their farm for some target shooting and a tour of the bank vaults.
• Brian and Tammy Hopkins—Brian raised funds and solicited sponsorships and they held the “after” after parties at their home. (I hope Brian knows that his wife is a saint.)
• Ryan and Jenny Turner—Ryan emceed the entire event and put together a fabulous awards ceremony. Jenny made a great professional video of blacksmith Bill Printy and how the “Alley” awards were conceived and made. (You’re a lucky man Ryan Turner)

All of the photos were the work of some world-class photographers. (You’ll be seeing many of them this year as we gear up for 2014)
• Phil Pool- Omni Photography
• Mike Roberson-Roby Photography
• Brandy Schwartz- Brandy Schwartz Photography

SNAFF-TV and live video feed were through the efforts of Mark Britton and Patricia Jean McCarron. They did the live film maker interviews, wiener dog races, and filmed the red carpet interviews. They are an amazing couple.

Music throughout the event (parties, etc.) was provided by Dustin Blank, Flash In A Pan, Sean Costanza.

Red carpet interviewers were Becky Kuster and Joe Heath (AKA Ryan Seacrest )

The Burlington High School dancers did an amazing bit of choreography and the band Red Fall Rising opened the awards ceremony with some rockin’ music.

Awards presenters were Trudie Poulter, Laura Engler, RaeAnn Kennedy, Heather Burgdorf, Alyssa Jennings, Emma Figueroa, and Patty Moad. A film maker from Australia, Gary Glen, was shanghaied into being a presenter as well as accepting an award for another film from Australia. (I think I missed a few here, also)

One of the most diverse (age-wise) groups of volunteers ranged from High-schoolers to college age folks and some who were approaching my age (which is getting up there.)
These were the people who manned the Annex and fielded questions, signed in film makers, handed out swag bags, and sold souvenirs, (look it up, Julian) plus a myriad of other tasks.

They are:
• Dale Kurth
• Bill Wright
• Annie Barner’s dad, Randy
• Axton and Tasha Upton (where ever we needed them)
• Alex Stewart (who was just accepted to a prestigious university)
• Mariah Young (an all-around assistant who helped me with my computer)
• Julian “Cucumber Eyes” Swayzer (he knows why I call him that
• Dane Barner (who wound up sick in his hotel room)

The task of assembling and coordinating all of these volunteers fell to the beautiful and talented Paulina Nicole. She did much of this while studying Interior Design at Iowa State. She is quite possibly, the most poised, organized, and efficient young lady that I’ve ever met. To top it off, she has a good sense of humor, a quick wit, (necessary when working with me) and she worked start to finish every day of the event.

Last but not least is Cynthia Stiefel Schuyler, who not only worked herself sick opening her new store, and getting ready for Cyn-A-Palooza and the Wiener Dog Races—she helped Lonnie with almost every phase of planning and organizing The 2nd Annual Snake Alley Festival of Film. (You are also a lucky man.)

Thanks to all of you (including who I may have missed) this was a first-class event. You helped put Burlington on the map.

I can’t wait for next year!

Complaints? We Don’t Do No Stinkin’ Complaints!

SNAFF Complaint Department

About the only complaint I heard all weekend was that The Second Annual Snake Alley Festival of Film was over. No one wanted to leave Burlington. And I can understand that sentiment.

We were surprised by the ladies who visited from The Huffington Post. (They were there for something else and we managed to convince them to spend a little extra time at the film fest and Cyn-a-Palooza. And…we had another write-up in Movie Maker magazine. Burlington is on the radar of the art and film community.

Of course, our complaint department pictured above may have had something to do with the lack of complaints. (Just kidding! That’s me, Lonnie’s Dad—a couple of days after the film fest—visiting friends on their farm. We just wanted to use the picture in a blog post.)

There were regrets from the people who didn’t make it to the fest, and some tears from those who had to travel home after meeting and making some wonderful new friends.

I’m back in Florida and gearing up to get back to work. We’re missing Iowa already.

If you get the chance to go to next year’s Snake Alley Festival of Film, block out those days on your calendar. They’re brainstorming and from what I overheard, it going to be bigger and better than ever.

I had the chance to work with some amazing people. If this is an example of Iowan hospitality…I think that other parts of the country could learn from them.

I hope to see you all there next year.