Uh Oh! You Missed It!


That’s right Bunky! You missed the March 1st deadline for entering your short-film masterpiece into The Snake Alley Festival of Film at the Capitol Theater in beautiful Burlington, Iowa.

But before you say, “Oh @#$@*%!” we’ve got good news…and some bad news.

Here’s the good news. Just because it’s you, we’ve extended the deadline. The deadline for late entries (that would be you) is now April 1st! (No fooling.)

Now for the bad news. The judges have already strained their beady little eyeballs watching an endless array f really, really good short films. And just because YOU dawdled…they’re going to have to work extra hard and push their little peepers to the limit.

So when your entry is selected, and you’re here for The 3rd Annual Snake Alley Festival of Film—and you see people roaming the streets with blood-shot, teary, runny, puffy eyes, mumbling dialogue—you’ll feel pangs of guilt knowing that it is all YOUR fault. (Or they’re recovering from one of the “after parties.”)

Actually, our judges love it, and they come back year after year. It’s a good excuse to get out of class. (And, because Third Grade can really get boring year after year.)

On a side note, it looks like Lonnie Schuyler’s brother will be attending this year, as well as his Dad. If you know Lonnie, you know you can now expect a triple dose of smart-aleckness this year!

See you in June at The Snake Alley Festival of Film.

Ahh, Spring! It’s Number One with a Bullitt!




Since Spring has sprung, it’s time to do some spring cleaning. In that vein, let’s “clean up” some old business. (The question I asked in the last post.) In this age of Google searches, I was surprised that no one named the actor in last post’s trivia question. He was none other than Steve McQueen.

And just to show you what “sticking with it” can get you, in 1968, just ten years after his debut in The Blob, Steve McQueen’s Solar Productions Company made the movie “Bullitt.” Bullitt was a box office smash and won an Academy Award for Best Film Editing. (See what practicing your craft can get you.) It also won an Edgar for Best Motion Picture Screenplay.

The car chase scenes (now considered an industry standard) were filmed in and around San Francisco near Lombard Street. Lombard Street is often cited as the crookedest street in the U.S., but we here in Burlington know better. Our own Snake Alley is the “Most-est Crookedest,” and we’ve got “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” to prove it.

Okay, San Fran, we’ll give you the Golden Gate. But we’ve got a bridge here that’s nothing to sneeze at. Especially when it’s lit up at night. Talk about romantic. A warm summer evening at The Drake, under a moonlit sky, with the bridge in the background, and the girl of your dreams…

Enough of that! Because…believe it or not, the deadline for late entries is rapidly approaching. So, if you want a shot at winning an “Alley,” you’d better get on the stick, slick!

(Just a side note…with much thanks to Laura Woodard! If you want the latest blog post to show up in your inbox, click on the box in the lower right-hand corner that says “follow.” Fill out the form that pops up and each new post will show up in your inbox like magic! Thanks, Laura! We’ll talk to the webmaster about making it bigger or more visible.)

An Oscar Is So Passé! You Really Want An Alley!

Capitol Theater, Lonnie Schuyler, and the coveted Alley Award

Capitol Theater, Lonnie Schuyler, and the coveted Alley Award

This beats an Oscar!

This beats an Oscar!

Think about it. If you watched the Oscar’s, it seems like every Tom, Dick, (there were a few of those) and Harry gets one for something. Best director, Best Toenail Collector, Best Butt-Kisser…you name it, there’s an award for it.
So which one has more value? If you drive around Hollywood, there are so many Oscar’s that people are using them for door stops. You can buy Oscar key chains, little plastic dashboard Oscars, and even Oscar toilet paper holders. BUT…the one thing you don’t see in Hollywood is an Alley. Alleys are so rare, that very few people have ever seen one, much less won one.
Last year at The Snake Alley Festival of Film a handful of dedicated film makers walked away with an Alley. This is a unique award that will inspire admiration from all who see it. You could read the covetous looks in the eyes of the few Hollywood types that were there. On the last day of the fest, as they gazed with envy on the winners of the Alleys, they knew they had to settle for watching Lonnie Schuyler man-handle his wiener.
If you want a chance to be one of the few people in the world who has an Alley sitting in your trophy case, you need to get your entry in. The final deadline is April 1st and we’re not fooling. (If you enter using the “Without a box” link, you can get a little extra time to polish your work of sheer genius.)

Holy Pulchritude, Batman! Movies and Models and Munchies and More!

Models and more!

Models and more!

The Mighty Munchie Brigade

The Mighty Munchie Brigade

Oh those O'Cyn girls!

Oh those O’Cyn girls!

So you’ve figured out what pulchritude means and now you want proof! Jeez…as if the pictures we’ve already posted aren’t enough.
Okay! You asked for it…you got it! Many of the ladies you see above are what are known locally as O’Cyn’s Girls. (I didn’t say “go sin girls” so don’t get your shorts in a wad.) In fact, the original O’Cyn is in these photos. And these are just a few of the O’Cyn girls who will be helping out again this year…plus we’ve added a new crop as well. (What? You thought there wouldn’t be any more farm jokes?) This IS Iowa after all Cupcake.

Speaking of Iowa, and specifically, Burlington, Iowa—you do realize that the deadline is fast approaching to get your entries into The Snake Alley Festival of Film. Don’t wait too long. You might get shut out. Just remember, there is more to this film fest than meets the eye.

You will see things here that are never seen anywhere else on Planet Earth! (Or any other planet for that matter.)

For example, in our next post we’ll feature a picture of Lonnie Schuyler (the film fest organizer) doing strange things with his wiener. In the photo we’ll be posting, it looks like he’s abusing his wiener but he’s not. And this picture will be rated PG—and Family Friendly. In fact, you might want to show it to your kids. That way they’ll start bugging you about going to the film fest.

Intrigued? Stay tuned for our next post. Same Bat-Time! Same Bat-Channel!

How Much Wood Would A Woodchuck Chuck?

536081_476782242338176_302552757_nEverybody remembers that old poem about woodchucks. But what most of you don’t realize is that a woodchuck and a groundhog are pretty much the same critter. It just depends on where you live. And with Saturday being Groundhog Day, we thought it appropriate to bring it up.
Here in Burlington we have woodchucks. (At least that’s what everybody calls them.) Ours are a little smarter than that one named Phil in Pennsylvania. Ours know better than to stick their heads up in the dead of winter just to see a shadow.
Ours wait until June to see The Snake Alley Festival of Film. (Actually they come out to hear the live music at the after parties. They’re notorious party animals.)
And of course, this year, we’ve got the Super Bowl right after Groundhog Day…so a nosy little woodchuck might want to see who’s winning. Or make a prediction before the game. In fact I think I hear one giving me a hint, so be very quiet. Sssshh! What’s that? It sounds like he said “Niners” or was it “Nevermore?”
FYI—the name Woodchuck has nothing to do with wood. It was adapted from what the Algonquin Indians called these creatures…”Wuchak.” So when you’re here for the Snake Alley Festival of Film in June, say hi to “Wuchak.” Just don’t ask him to “chuck wood.”

Big Weekend Coming Up!

598517_476834982332902_1755190590_nYessiree! It’s time for the Super Bowl. This is the one day of the year that’s responsible for more people missing work than any other. The Monday following Super Bowl Sunday has the highest absentee rate of any Monday all year long.
The Super Bowl is on Sunday, February 3rd this year. It is exactly two days after the Early-bird Deadline to get your entries in to the 2nd Annual Snake Alley Festival of Film.
We are already seeing a lot of really good entries. Don’t get sidetracked and wind up getting shut out. On your way to buy wings, beer, snacks, and more beer for the Super Bowl, drop your early-bird entry for the Snake Alley Festival of Film into the nearest Post Office Collection Box. Then you can watch the game and root for your favorite team with a clear head. For those of you outside of the U.S.A., the Super Bowl is sort of like the World Cup.
F.Y.I.—we think those excessive absences are caused by the consumption of too many chicken wings! But that’s just a theory! But the early-bird deadline of midnight, February 1st is not…so get those entries in the mail.

Rules? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Rules!

“Rules, Schmools, I’m a movie maker! I specialize in breaking the rules!”
Actually, when you’re creating something new, breaking the rules can precipitate that break-out moment when you go, “Voila! That’s exactly the mood I’m shooting for!” And in that situation, rule breaking works. But to have The Snake Alley Festival of Film run smoothly, we have to have SOME rules.
But, if you ask anyone who attended last year, the rules were a non-issue. In fact, if you were at any of the “after parties” you would have sworn that there were no rules at all. It appeared to be an “anything goes” atmosphere. If you look through the pictures posted on the website, http://www.snakealleyfestivaloffilm.com you’ll notice that everyone is laughing and having a great time. Alcohol played a small part in that, but the camaraderie, great people, and friendship played the biggest part.
As for the rules, go to the website’s home page here http://www.snakealleyfestivaloffilm.com and click on the box that says “withoutabox.” All of the entry deadlines, contact info…and, yes, “the rules” are listed there.
Will there be any rules broken this year? I wouldn’t rule it out. (I can hear the groans out there.)

Beemer’s, Boxcars, Bikes, and Boats

When you hear someone mention a film festival in Iowa, what’s the first thing to pop into your head? Miles of farmland interspersed with boring little towns and not much to do?
Well wrap your wrinkled little brain around this. Burlington, Iowa, home of The Snake Alley Festival of Film is anything but boring. In fact, you can’t see or do everything there is to see and do in the three or four days you’re here. This artsy-cool (and becoming cooler by the day) little town sits on the banks of the mighty Mississippi and extends to high bluffs overlooking the river.
Put this image in your mind. You’ve just left a 1920’s restored theater having seen great films from some of the more talented film-makers on the planet. As you sit in your car waiting for a line of boxcars to pass, it almost feels like you’ve gone back in time. Then you notice the new Beemer in the next lane. Beside him is a group of cyclists who are competing in a criterium. In your rear-view mirror there’s a Rolls Royce and between the boxcars you spot an old Mississippi paddle-wheeler putting into the town dock.
Off to your left you see a hip-looking crowd entering Mr. Moto’s Public House. By all appearances, they’re having a great time.
As the last of your preconceived notions falls away, you realize you’re having the time of your life. You make a mental note to attend The Snake Alley Festival of Film again next year and many years after that. And you’re very glad you decided to come.

The Crookedest Film Festival Redux

Winter may be in full force in Burlington, Iowa. But the people who put on the World’s Crookedest Film Festival aren’t in hibernation. They’re gearing up for the 2nd Annual Snake Alley Festival of Film which will run from June 6 through June 8, 2013.
Last year’s festival opened in the 1920’s era Capitol Theater, which had just undergone a multi-million dollar restoration. Films were shown on a state-of-the –art screen in a beautiful retro theater. There was a filmmaker’s reception and a tour of Burlington. (This quaint river town has a surprising number of celebrities who were born or once lived there.)
Filmmaker’s and festival goers had a chance to roam the downtown area which has an artsy feel to it similar to what Key West was a few years back. There are some surprisingly unique eateries in this beautiful river town.
For a brand-new film festival, the Snake Alley Festival of Film drew entries and film makers from around the globe. Two movie makers traveled from Montreal, others from as far away as L.A., San Francisco, and New York, including one who brought his entire family of ten.
There was one after-party in the street in front of the theater. The town closed the street and F&M Bank and Trust converted it into and outdoor bistro, complete with bar, food and live music. The other parties were in other top-notch venues around town
There was an eclectic selection of films, and this year they’ve added a few new twists…and a couple of new categories.
If you were there last year, be prepared for a new experience. This will be a film-fest on steroids. (Don’t take this to mean that the promoters encourage the use of festival-performance enhancing substances of any kind.)
After a glowing review in Moviemaker magazine, we expect this to be bigger and better than ever this year. Don’t miss out. Get your entries in early and if you are coming to Burlington, follow this blog for clues about B&B’s and other great lodging in the area.