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Tuesday
Mar292016

WHO, WHAT, WHEN (Dela)WHERE

The Other Ripken" tour hits the great state of Delaware on March 31st. Penn Cinemas on the Waterfront in Wilmington Delaware. 7:45pm at "Wilm Film" led by friend to all indiefilm and outstanding human Barry Schlecker. (please have a look at this piece about Barry written by the always exceptional Ryan Cormier)

Beautiful Penn Cinemas. So so lucky to be here. I've had films play in all sorts of venues, some small and with just a few wood chairs some with bleachers and so thankful for those venues too...and playing here in this spot and this view, I know we're lucky and I know how special it is.


You'd think that would be all the information needed, right? Nah. Of course not, Delaware has really played a supporting role in this career, especially the "independent" side of the filmmaking. The first attempt I'd ever made at getting behind the camera (thanks to Calvin Hill... I will forever say thanks to Calvin Hill for getting me behind that camera for the first time and throwing a "writer/director" hat on me) was for a very little film that I spent way too much money on called "The Wrong Fortune Cookie".

 THE WRONG FORTUNE COOKIE, festivals called the film "cute", never really the review you go for, though speaking of cute, I married my co star in this movie.

Now at this stage in the game, I'd done a couple things wearing the "acting" hat, which was basically "go, do a good job then someone else does all the test of work to get it out there" with "The Wrong Fortune Cookie" I realized that was ME that was going to have to do all of that work from beginning to end, and it was a whole new thing.

First thing I did was ship that thing off to Sundance where it was rejected in about 14 seconds. Surprisingly enough, Sundance doesn't fall all over themselves for a fairly wholesome, fairly safe little comedy. I'd just missed the cut off for the Wilmington Film Festival (which was eventually won by JJ Garvine's wonderful small little indie "Yearbook". JJ would then be kind enough to employ me me in some way shape or form in each one of his flicks after) and the Philadelphia Film Festival was a while away. Rehoboth Beach Film Festival in beautiful lower coastal Delaware (for real all Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters hangs out there, so you know it's good), and I'd missed that cut off too, but for some reason still called them, spoke with the good gentleman Joe Bilancio, and since I had no time to submit the film, I got in the car and personlly drove it down on a warm, September day. Joe watched the film, right in front of me, and also (thankfully) accepted the film to the festival right in front of me. We'd officially had a release date, we were going to premiere at a film festival. After that day, things seemed just a little easier. "TWFC" ended up playing LA, NY, Germany and even made it out to India. All started in Rehoboth Beach. (Since this fateful day in the early 00's, Joe has been such a good friend and supporter of my and many others's projects over the years)

Since then I've had the great pleasure of seeing some great films made or based in the 302. "Keeping The Peace" by JJ Garvine and Tai Parquet, "All Along" by Bill Page "200 Characters or Less" by Mauro Giuffrida, "Dead To The World" by Matty Martinez (Matt if you're reading this and I hope you are, go make another film, it's time) there has always been some really nice original stuff coming out of the first state. (and apparently a web series I need to check out that's like "The Wire", honestly you could say anything is like "The Wire" and I'll watch it)

So needless to say from that day at Rehoboth Beach,to showing up in a project that won an award for Daps Reinert at Newark Film fest (also co starred Liv Allison from 'The Wrong Fortune Cookie'!), Delaware has always been very kind to me, and it's an absolute honor to bring this little film, that really played to some great audiences in California a fewweeks back, to the Wilmington Waterfront's great audences, for a night of laughs and good times, Hope to see you all there, and if I don't, no worries, we'll be in a town near you very soon!

Take care and be good, Tim

Tuesday
Mar012016

"Everyone Starts with the Sweetest Dreams, Living Long Life Living Beautiful Scenes"

"The Other Ripken" was a script I wrote in a night, and then started filming then stopped filming to go film something else, then started filming again, then went and filmed something else and it went on and on like that. Thankfully, Jeff Bader and Portal Street Film and I were able to sit down and finally finish up and now, days awway, the film premieres in California! That happened fast. And slow!

Among the press the film is getting, is mentioning our cast...Adam Way, Jeff Bader, Dusty Cash,, Mike Schoch and a name that gets mentioned and is absolutely integral to our film, Philly's phinest, the great G LOVE.


So how did this happen? I'm so glad you asked because I've been dying to tell the story but wanted to wait until the film was done, plus G is always touring and recording, and the last thing I wanted to do was get in his way of him doing that job. Which by the way must be a Pennsylvania thing, everyone has 4 jobs, all my buddies I grew up with have day jobs or two and then are in bands or firemen or bands WITH firemen, and G is no exception, he's a musician, artist, writer, and even has his own hot sauce!

I'd known when the script turned out like it did for the movie, we needed a strong voice. A great voice sets the tone for everything, whether you have a Morgan Freeman voice or an Andre 3000 voice, I knew we needed a voice with some flavor. I didn't have to look far, as at that time I was watching G's wonderful doc "A Year and a Night" which I thought was great and refreshingly honest (trailer!) but THAT VOICE. There wasn't anything like it and here's a little more of that sound but the thought was, would G be willing to come out and bless this little film? Would schedules work? Would locations work? A quick call to his manager Jason and the good folks at Philadelphonic, and as the film gods smiled upon us, we were able to hammer down a time and a city, somehow our worlds merged in Avalon New Jersey on a beautiful summer night.
The crew for the evening was Tim Fennell and myself on a porch in Avalon, and we were expecting G, how would he show up? The main road had limos drive by, motorcycles, hummers all driving by, but rolling right up, pedaling on a bike was the man himself! Great time filming, talking movies music, family and he was on his way, why... rock star stuff? No way, G had to get some rest as he was getting up with his son early that next morning. Just some Cool Dad Livin'.

So fast forward, and in early reviews of the film, the first thing they mention? That "voice"! So thankful that I followed my gut and so thankful G Love came out to bless this film, and I'm writing him a part into everything these days. He deserves a film career as his 11th or 12th job too!

Now some folks aren't familiar with G's catalogue, and that's okay, we like to introduce things here. What I did was came up with a list of favorites, and my list was going long, my goal was to get it to 10, so what I did was remove songs that I really love and enjoy but that you can also easily find on GREATEST HITS collections like "Cold Beverage" "I76" or "Baby's Got Sauce" (my wife wanted this one as #1) but we got this list to a little more than ten and in no order, here they are, you should hopefully be able to find these anywhere you can find your music these days, please try a few of them, there's so much life to them, there are happy songs, sad songs, songs about rude roaches... also you may want to put on your dancing shoes...here we go:

"Peanut Butter Lips": One of G's newer songs. Fun song and FULL DISCLAIMER: you will absolutely sing that chorus all day long "peanut butta lips, peanut butta lips" I'm sitting at my kitchen table right now and I'm singing it and just did an air kick.

"Honey Bee": This one may take a little more digging than these others, it's off the "SWEET N BLUES" ep, which is a companion piece to G's "SUGAR" record. "Honey Bee" is absolutely worth your time searching for it "buzzz wit me"

"Weekend Dance #2": It is downright tragic to me that this song wasn't a massive massive hit. Everything about it works. You know how that song "CHEERLEADER" was on 24 hours a day every day last summer? I feel like "Weekend Dance #2" had all the components to be a song like that. This song should be played on every single radio station on Fridays at 5:01pm. It's not too late, radio stations that happen to reading this (and I like to think you all are)

"Recipe": If you forced me to make a top 3 or 4 list, "Recipe" is on it, no diggity, no doubt. Has this great beginning where you IMMEDIATELY start moving and the song keeps you moving the whole time. You won't do your normal dance moves to this one either, you know that dance move you do when you walk by your mirror and no one is looking? THAT'S the dance move this song will have you doing.

"The Things That I Used To Do": I feel like this song should be it's own genre. It's 10 flavors of music in one song. "Tim what sort of music do you listen to?" "Well I like a little of everything but listen to mostly things that sound like 'The Things That I Used To Do'"

"Pull The Wool": FAR too many people sleep on this one. This song feels like when you go to a party and you don't really know anyone, then somehow it all works and before you know it, everything does a 180 and you're out there smiling and shaking your moneymaker. Song is exactly like that, including the full 180 smiling/dancing part.

"Dreamin'": Know how I said "Recipe" would be in my top 3 if you forced me to make a top 3? "Dreamin'" would also be there too, and maybe, just maybe, would be #1 "are ya feeling the feeling that I'm feeling?" hell yeah G, I may spin this right now and you should too.

"Love": G has a few songs called "Love" try 'em all but I like this one off his "Hustle" record. Incredibly warm, incredibly catchy and a great video to boot. Let me see if I can find it (UPDATE: I found it)
"Beautiful": Love this one, we get G crooning with Tristan Prettyman who's got some great songs of her own too. G at the top of his game? Tristan at the top of hers? Together? It's a reeses peanut butter cup of songs, getting the best of chocolate, getting the best of peanut butter. (not to be mistake with "Peanut Butter Lips" or that they mention peanut butter in this song too and I feel like I'm talking too much about peanut butter, let's move on)

"Sneakster": Sneaky good this one, last song on the "Lemonade" record which is a very funky delightful record, this one pops on and is a full on rocker, plenty of flavor on an already very flavorful record.

"Peace, Love and Happiness": Another one of those songs that should have been so so huge, great beginning, great writing and you're not just singing the chorus by the end of it, you're BELTING out that chorus.

"Just Fine": I remember this song coming on the radio late one night and I had a car full of people and everyone just got quiet and listened to it. It just had everyone thinking. This one will get you in the feels.

"Won't Cha Come Home": I'm not counting but I know I'm waaaaay beyond my top ten songs for you all to check out. Not only do I love this one, I asked G and Jason if I could direct the video (I think I may have only asked, I don't think we ever much talked about actually doing it) but I wrote out the idea for it which I don't think anyone has seen or heard about, not even G or Jason, so here's the exclusive "We shoot on the Beach in Avalon New Jersey. G is walking next to and singing the song to 'video girlfriend' as the camera stays on video girlfriend who isn't paying attention to G, she can't be bothered, but G is singing the song to her soulfully "Won't cha come hoooome now". This is a crowded beach day and while G is singing his heart out to video girlfriend, he is getting hit by a stray beach ball, getting wiped out by waves, stopping to help a lost kid find their parents, all the while singing to video girlfriend, who has broken her stride. G tries to keep up with her brisk walking, he steps on a jellyfish, he trips over a sunbather and attempts to smoothe it over with angry boyfriend of sunbather, all the while still singing to video girlfriend. Towards the end of the song. Video girlfriend stops. Look at G, smiles. Takes his hand and they walk back. ALMOST colliding with a surfer, not this time, and why? Because love always wins"

So that's how G. Love came to bless this little film, and I hope he comes back to bless many more of them. We premiere on March 4th!

Enjoy the tunes, enjoy the film, here we go....

Take care and be good,

Tim

Wednesday
Jan272016

The 26th Annual Cinequest Film Festival!

Proud to announce some fancy news. My next film “THE OTHER RIPKEN” will world premiere in California on March 5th at the Cinequest International Film festival, and get this, it is in consideration for the Academy Awards 2017 now. Saying a bunch of filthy words on camera with G. Love and a great cast and crew somehow did this. What a weird wonderful world. None of this happens without a truly incredible cast and crew of people who really really “got the joke”. Thank you for being you, I’m in awe of you. I can’t wait for you all to see this one. It’s good times.

Monday
Dec212015

"...From The Killingtons"

Jenny Slate from SNL/Parks and Rec/Chipmunks: Chipwrecked asked us if we could do an entire holiday film in 30 seconds. For some reason we thought of FROM THE KILLINGTONS. Sorry. Let this family into your heart. Literally.

From the Killingtons from Jeff Bader on Vimeo.

Tuesday
Nov032015

The Great Matt Myers

The first time I saw Matt Myers act, he put me on my ass.

I’m not talking about the first time we saw him in a movie, I mean we’ve seen Hairspray, we’ve seen Beverly Hills Cop 3, we’ve seen Moonstruck, but I mean see him perform, in person, was on a film my friend Calvin Hill was doing and it was called STREET LIFE. The plot to Street Life is Calvin Hill (who was also directing) was playing a depressed, down on his luck man, wandering around aimlessly in a Philadelphia park, and he runs into a homeless man, played by Matt Myers and they strike up a friendship. Let’s throw this out there, it was being filmed in Philadelphia’s LOVE PARK and we didn’t have any permits, I don’t think there was much of a budget. Matt Myers was in full character, and since we didn’t close off the Love Park (we didn’t have THAT kind of money, we’re not George Lucas) people were stopping in the middle of a take, they didn’t see the cameras, and they gave Matt money, they gave him food, they brought him all kinds of things. Matt stayed in character, he was outstanding in this part. Another take, had Matt breaking down a little bit, again he was OUTSTANDING, again more people stopped to help him. It says something about that Matt Myers performance in STREET LIFE, it also says something about the kindness of people in Philadelphia. I don’t know if that film ever came out and if it didn’t, I wish it would, I have seen it, and I loved it. Matt and Calvin gave the sort of performances that stick with you. I got a parking ticket that day while being on set. 29$. I happily paid it, 29$ is a small small price to witness a performance like I had just witnessed.

I mentioned that performance to JJ Garvine who I was working on a film with at the time, and I have no recollection how the conversation went, but I remember getting the green light to call Matt and ask him to come be in “13th Grade” with us. I know I called him, I know I spoke with his wonderful daughter Irene, and before you knew it, Matt had invited JJ and me to a BBQ at his house with his great neighbors and his great family. This is how Matt did things. Anytime I’d talk business or work with him, Matt would do it in in the most warm way possible. Any film story was told with love (and he had many), any interaction was done with a booming voice, that huge laugh and hugs and warmth and even if time had passed, with Matt, it picked right up where it left off. Matt seemed to be like this with everyone, in Matt’s life, there really must have been 15,000 ongoing conversations, just waiting to be picked right back up. Soon after I was on set doing a TV movie about jersey firefighters, directed by STREET LIFE’s Calvin Hill, and starring Tony Devon and Matt Myers, I knew, as soon as I booked the part it wasn’t going to be easy for me, Matt and Tony are VERY WELL KNOWN for being the best part of every movie they’ve been in, and this film was no exception. I spent every day just trying not to get my ass handed to me on screen by these 2 incredibly talented heavy hitters.

Matt Myers left us last weekend. And time had passed since the last time we’d spoken (he’d called me after a tv appearance and had said some very very kind things that I’ll never forget) and the last couple days I’ve felt a great sadness. We lost a great man, a great husband, father, actor, but we lost a guy who I’d learned from and will continue to learn from, not just business (though I loved his approach to show business, no part was too big, no part was ever too small, he was just always wildly happy to be acting, no ego, he didn’t care about “status” he just exuded happiness for the craft, and I could learn a lesson or two from that approach). I’ll just keep saying warmth because that’s what drew you to him, that’s what you immediately loved about him and that’s what you’ll never forget. I’m sad I won’t hear that voice on the phone, the way he’d end his phone calls with “ciao” I’ll miss his humor, and how truly funny he was in “13th Grade”, I’ll really miss never finishing our ongoing conversation. I’m proud to have known Matt Myers, and the world is a lesser place for him having left it. Rest well, Matt, rest well.