Thursday, August 7, 2008

Duke City Shootout in the News

Personally, I'm almost recovered from the Duke City Shootout, and... very happy with what we produced. The idea of creating the equivalent of a full length movie in a single week of shooting and post-production each year, might seem a little crazy, but it really is kinda fun -- and a great learning experience.

One thing that made this year's Shootout and our gala premiere a little more special was the involvement of some key players from the locally shot "Breaking Bad". Here's the wrap-up from the NM Business Weekly:

'Breaking Bad' star gives Shootout a Hollywood glint

The Duke City Shootout got a little star power for its awards ceremony Saturday night.

Bryan Cranston, star of the AMC series "Breaking Bad," now shooting its second season in Albuquerque, welcomed the crowd. His co-star, Albuquerque native Steven Quezada, emceed the event and Dean Norris and Aaron Paul were on hand to give out awards.

Cranston, who said he and his family love Albuquerque and have purchased a house in the city, called the whole concept of the Shootout "brave" and asked that the filmmakers, once they're famous and working regularly, remember to hire him.

This was the ninth year for the Duke City Shootout, a digital filmmaking festival that chooses seven scripts out of hundreds and gives the writers all the resources they need to come to the city and produce the film in exactly one week.

For the first time, there was a two-time winner in the Shootout. Will Hartman won last year for his film "Easy Pickins" and this year he won the "Palm de Grease" award for his film "Food For Thought," which satirized abstinence education using high school zombies.

"It takes a village to raise an idiot and it took a crew like this to help this idiot finish a film," Hartman said, then added "We bit off more than we could chew," to groans from the audience, who had just watched his zombies feasting on unfortunate humans.

"Only an elected official can give this out," quipped Mayor Martin Chavez as he presented the Palm de Grease award to Hartman.

The audience favorite award went to "Preschool's a Bitch" by Albuquerquean Christopher Boone, which is about a laid-back dad undermining his Type-A wife's attempts to get their angelic daughter into a prestigious pre-school.

Elaine Hendrix, an actress from Hollywood, took home best actress for her role in "Food For Thought." Victor Izay won best actor for his role in "Assassin Emeritus" about a retired government assassin looking for one more score to liven up his twilight years.

"I worked in over 200 films and never had a better experience," said Izay, who is 85. "I can't tell you what this means to me. This is probably the last thing I'll do."

Aaron Lieber won for best cinematography for "The Baker's Road Killing," a dark tale of murder and corruption on a deserted highway. It starred Hollywood actor Basil Hoffman.

Cyndi Trissel won the best editor award for "Preschool's a Bitch." That film also won for best soundtrack for Mark Oates' score.

Best art direction went to Ned Lathrop for "Mantrap," which also won the "Bohica" award for overcoming the greatest obstacles. The spare Western follows a bounty hunter who gets ensnared in his own trap.

Paul Gallegos, who comes back from Houston regularly to help with the festival, got the volunteer of the year award.

Sony (NYSE: SNE) provided PMWEX1 cameras for the Shootout this year. Other sponsors included Intel (NYSE: INTC), Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE), Entertainment Partners, Hampton Inn & Suites, DRB Electric, the city of Albuquerque, Laru Ni Hati, Tractor Brewing Co., the ARTS Lab at the University of New Mexico and Central New Mexico Community College. | (505) 348-8323

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