Kogod Success Story (article)

Kogod Success Story (just the article, video coming soon) - click on the image to read, or visit http://www.american.edu/kogod/success/ksb_student_kenton_bartlett.cfm

Kogod Success Story (just the article, video coming soon)


Raising the bar

Today John is riding around in a car with the cinematographer from Donnie Darko! It’s quite surreal, but the professional cinematographer, Steven Poster, called John to see if he wanted to help with the location scouting for Steven’s new documentary. John and Steven met on the film shoot of a movie called The Box starring Cameron Diaz.

Last week, the bar on this movie was raised quite a bit. The flood of responses from sound designers and composers is still going! We received over 120 responses from people such as an Academy Award winner for sound who worked on The Dark Night and every Harry Potter, someone who worked on post production sound for Atonement and The Duchess, a composer who was featured in Rolling Stone in November 2008 as an artist to watch, a composer who contributed to the World Trade Center score, etc.

It’s phenomenal and unexpected to have selection of who to work with!

About 5 or 6 composers are sending originally produced music our way. They are using the materials on the site and the pre-selected songs for the script as a reference for the music style. Some composers sent original compositions with their initial inquiry!

People from all over the world are interested in helping on this project for free. Website traffic has skyrocketed – beating the old traffic by 6 times! Over 1,200 people have visited the site since last week.

A couple industry investors contacted me this week too. We aren’t able to work together on it for various reasons, but the word is getting around to the right people.

We have a very strong candidate for the sound position. He has an altercation on April 13th that will determine his availability for the shoot, so keep your fingers crossed! I will give more information when things are confirmed. Already, he has done (and continues to do) extensive, quality research, and we e-mail back and forth daily as if this was his only full-time job.

We have a new crew member! Christie Paquay is a friend from high school. She is a talented writer, an English fan, and an obsessive movie fan. She has already taken the dive into the project to play catch-up, and she will start writing letters to celebrities very soon.

Casting’s underway. Fenix and Hannah are taking the campaign one state at a time. Fenix has contacted every school in Maine thus far (and we have already received responses). Tricialee unfortunately had to discontinue her work on the movie. We sent out notices to a few Birmingham high schools to ask for help from students in casting.

We sent out postings for a Public Relations position, and we received our first response this morning.

This weekend I went on a shoot with a couple professors from school (who work in the professional film circuit). They are shooting a short film for the festival approach, and one of my professors promised to show me the ropes of how he does professional sound if I came out. He has worked on Star Wars and many other top-notch productions. The shoot was a long one, but totally worth it. He gave us a comprehensive sound equipment list that fits in our budget and a few contacts who sell audio equipment and would be willing to give us a discount.

John and I are buckling down to start finalizing equipment decisions to make the purchases in a few weeks. We have made a few final lens selections and are working on finding the right filters for the project.

Yesterday I was phone interviewed by a journalist responsible for covering our story for Kogod’s new website.

The final casting flyer


Sound Search and Other Stuff

Back to school again.

For the sound designer search, I’ve started collecting contacts for broadcast schools in the south and sending out notices on every sound design group on Facebook. Even though Facebook keeps fussing at me and threatening to disable my account, I keep trying to spread the word, AND IT PAID OFF!

I e-mailed one very connected fellow in Nashville, he sent out the notice all over the place, and within the hour, we already received well over 20 responses. Now it’s just going through and sorting them all out. This is great!

Fenix and I met on Monday. We set some deadlines to make sure the casting moves along smoothly. He and Tricialee will be responsible for contacting 30 institutions every week. Their first deadline is the 24th of this month. So we should start to receive some applications in the next couple weeks. To get some more help with casting, I got in touch with a high school drama teacher that my little brother (Harrison) knew, and I will start approaching literary circles to recruit letter-writing help for Amanda.

I sent the script out for several friends and my professors to read, so we should be hearing some feedback soon.

John and I are filming the Kogod Success Story video tomorrow. Hopefully it’ll come out well and get a lot of publicity for the film when American University releases the brand new website redesign with the video on the front page.

John and I have also been looking for lenses, filters, and other equipment to purchase soon.

The website has also been tweaked a little. Check out the picture below.

Webiste tweaks

A few changes to the website


Second Draft, $10,000, Casting Assistants, Research, etc.

Apologies for the late post, but the second draft is done! It also has a soundtrack. 21 songs corresponding to the musical ques in the script are online at www.kentonbartlett.com/script. Check out the music even if you don’t feel like reading through the whole script.

We are raising $10,000 in 25 days! We set up a collection at a fund-raising website called www.fundable.com. The link for our collection is as follows: https://www.fundable.com/groupactions/groupaction.2009-03-06.7153748780. Send this link out to everybody you know :)

We have two new people on board! Tricialee Friedman and Hannah Ngae are working on the casting for the film. They will help with spreading the word on the project around the nation. Tricialee has been in several of my classes at school and has a huge interest in filmmaking. Hannah and I worked together at the movie theater several years ago. She aspires to be an actress and wants to do as much as she can in the film industry. They are both enthusiastic and we are very fortunate to have their help on this!

The celebrity casting campaign is moving forward steadily. Will has created several awesome designs for the puzzle for the actors (pics below). We are going to use the dark paint brush one. He also created the package design that we will send the puzzles in. Amanda and I met to ocme up with how we are going to convince celebrities to come on board. We also came up with a list of whom to contact first. The list is below (at the risk of breaking industry standards in posting this list, I have always been curious of which actors each movie considers – so apologies in advance for any actor reading this!!).

This week Abbott and I met for the first time. We had corresponded only through e-mail, so it was nice to actually sit down together.

I met with DJ this week too. He has been really stacked with work, school, and family responsibilities, and he won’t have time to practice the audio equipment extensively enough to become proficient with it for shooting. He is still committed to helping full time on the project, but we will need to recruit a proficient/motivated sound man for at least the first month of shooting (and DJ could work both months of the shoot – the first he would learn, the second he would know the ins and outs of it).

John and I are still on the research train. He went to a film shoot for some hands on experience and face-to-face question asking. I went around Home Depot to look into lighting and camera movement gear. I also went to several camera stores to ask a lot of in-depth questions about lenses and filters.

Pictures - Second Draft,

www.kentonbartlett.com/script - you can read the script and listen to the music that goes along with it

Will's final puzzle design

Another of Will's puzzle designs - close to the final.

Another of Will's puzzle designs. The arrows would point to physically missing puzzle pieces.

One of Will's puzzle designs.

Will's package design. We will print this out on a standard sheet of paper (heavy card stock), cut the corners out and fold it to look like this.

Puzzle packaging reference.

The initial list of actors to contact (apologies if this is against industry etiquette, but it's something I always wanted to see for other movies.

Amanda and I meet to come up with a clear direction for letter-writing to attract actors.


Slide show, Casting soon!, Second draft underway

The slide show’s up! Will finished the pictures, and they’re all together in one spot. Also, the corresponding script excerpts from each scene can be found here: http://www.kentonbartlett.com/filmpics.htm.

Fenix unveiled his casting plan with loads of tangibles tonight. He made several template e-mails to use for the different phases of the process. He also created a flyer to be posted around the country to attract talent. Everything looks great, and all the materials are in place. We are on the brink of kicking things off and spreading the word!

The celebrity spreadsheet is complete. It lists approximately 170 actors and ranks them by a number of different variables: how hard is it going to be to attract them, have they done independent films in the past, etc. It also includes actor-specific reasons for why this film would be right for their career. Organizing it this way will help prioritize who we contact and get Amanda on the same page about each actor in the letter writing.

The site each celebrity actor will visit is now up and running. Following the example from the previous post… go to www.missingpiecescasting.com/johnnydepp. Right now, most of the content is only placeholders, but it will give an idea of what we’re going for.

We have a new potential crew member! Colleen Sturdevant is an experienced filmmaker living in New York who has worked on feature films such as Magnolia. She is very interested in helping with casting and is reviewing all the materials on the project to gauge her possible time commitment on the project. She is very qualified and would be an invaluable team member!

The script outline for the second draft is complete. Now it’s just going back through and adjusting the script to reflect all the changes. It’s a lot of re-thinking, re-ordering, and creating completely new scenes going in new directions.

John has gone to and is going on more film shoots to get extra experience to prepare for this film. He is applying what he learns to his research for this film. DJ is struggling to keep up with school and work, but he’s proactively trying to obtain equipment and secure some free time to start practicing.

Casting Flyer Draft and Slide Show Still

The slide show is up! Will finished the sketches, and they're all together in a slide show with script excerpts from each scene. Check it out at http://www.kentonbartlett.com/filmpics.htm.

The first draft of the casting flyer to be posted ANYWHERE! Fenix designed and printed it up. He's going to post it around himself and request schools to post it around to spread the word.