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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cold October Well Recieved at TFF

Last Thursday, "Cold October" played a the 2009 Terror Film Festival in Philadelphia. It was really well received by the audience and festival organizers. Following the screening, director Mikel J. Wisler took part in a Q&A time. Questions ranged from the execution of special effects, size of budget, to story inspiration.

"My favorite question," says Wisler, "was definitely the one about what inspired this story. It was pretty strange and exciting to explain to an audience at a horror film festival that my humble psychological thriller was really my means of exploring the question of what an Old Testament prophet might look like today? Would we just diagnose such a person as mentally ill? Would this person be too closed off to the possibility of a God who want to communicate with him?"

Several people paid high compliments to "Cold October" for it's achievements in cinematography, music, style, plot, and performances by the actors. "It was really humbling and exciting to be part of TFF," says Wisler, "and to be nominated for Best Screenplay. My thanks to everyone at TFF for making me feel so welcome. I'm looking forward to reading their press release of this years festival with the interviews of all filmmakers in attendance this year." Once that article is published, a link will be posted here on the Runaway Pen website.


Mikel J. Wisler at the 2009 Terror Film Festival.

In September, "Cold October" played at the 2009 ShockerFest and was nominated for Best Horror Short Film. Just recently, Wisler received his official certificate for the nomination since he wasn't able to attend the California based festival. "Cold October" also played last Friday at the 2009 Sacramento Horror Film Festival. Due to Wisler's attendance of Terror Film Festival and limited funds, he did not make out to California for that festival as well. "I'm really honored to be part of both ShockerFest and Sacramento Horror," he explains, "and I really wish I could make it to every festival. But traveling isn't cheap, especially on an indie filmmaker's salery ... or maybe I should say, on a freelance videographer's salary--this indie film thing isn't paying yet. But one step at a time."

This week, "Cold October" plays at the 2009 Southern Appalachian International Film Festival in Tennessee. Wisler expresses his desire to attend the festival. Again, limited by budget, he will be unable to be in attendance for that festival.


The official certificate from the 2009 ShockerFest.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cold October at Three Festivals this October.

The most widely seen and talked about short film from Runaway Pen, "Cold October," will be playing at three film festivals in October. Just last week, producers Mikel J. Wisler and Andrew Gilbert learned that the film will be playing at Sacramento Horror Film Festival on Friday, October 23rd during the 3:30 PM Shorts Program 1. The festival takes place in the historic Colonial Theatre in Sacramento, California.

 

This was a pleasant surprise for Gilbert and Wisler, who were already quite exited about the exposure "Cold October" will have in the up coming Terror Film Festival (TFF) in Philadelphia and the Southern Appalachian International Film Festival (SOAPIFF) at East Tennessee State University. "Cold October" will be playing at TFF on Thursday, October 22nd during the 6:45 PM selection of short films, and will be playing at SOAPIFF on Thursday, October 29th during the 7 PM selection of short films.

For more info on these three film festivals, please visit their respective websites:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Festival Selections and Nominations. 

In the recent week, the Runaway Pen Productions short film, “Cold October,” directed by Mikel J. Wisler, has gained a quite a bit of film festival attention. “Cold October” will be playing at the 2009 ShockerFest in Riverbank, California on September 26th at 10 AM. In October, the film will be playing at two festivals. The first is the 2009 Terror Film Festival (TFF) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from October 20th to 24th. The second is 2009 Southern Appalachian International Film Festival (SOAPIFF) taking place on the campus of East Tennessee State University from October 22nd to 31st. “Cold October” will be playing at TFF on October 22 at 6:45 PM. SOAPIFF has not yet announced their screening schedule and nominations for awards.

 As for award nominations, “Cold October” has garnered a nomination for Best Horror Short Film at the ShockerFest and Best Screenplay at TFF. Wisler and Andrew Gilbert, who also produced, shot, and acted in the film, conceptualized and wrote the script together. These two nominations represent the first nominations for festival awards for a project by Runaway Pen Productions.

“It’s really surreal to suddenly have our film playing in three places and getting nominations,” says Wisler. “We’re very excited. These things take some time, and it can be really easy to loose the momentum while you spend a year submitting a short film to festivals. Lord knows we’ve piled up the rejection letters as is. But then, suddenly, it’s like the film finally finds its crowd, it’s fit. It’s also a little crazy to think that we wrapped shooting on ‘Cold October’ almost two whole years ago. I love this film; it’s really something special to me. And yet, I do feel that we’ve really improved as filmmakers since making ‘Cold October.’ So it’s really cool to see it get all this attention at last, and gives me real hope that ‘Always Reaching’—which we are submitting to festivals now—and ‘Evaluating Kaitly,’ which we are currently cutting, will also enjoy some great festival exposure in the next couple of years."

Wisler plans on attending the 2009 Terror Film Festival. "I'd love to make it to all of them" he explains. "But I'm just not able to get out to California right now, and Terror and Southern Appalachian happen almost at the same time. Due to those factors and a tight indie filmmaker's travel budget, I'm afraid I have to stick close to home right now. Regardless, we're all paying careful attention to what's going on at each of these festivals."

Still frame from "Cold October" with Matthew Eaton on left and Brittany Baughman (Fried) on right.

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Short Film

Runaway Pen Productions has been busy with the development of a new short film, "Evaluating Kaitly," which was inspired by a true story. The film, which Andrew Gilbert and Mikel J. Wisler have co-written and are producing together, was shot on August 1st and 2nd. Gilbert is the director of the film, and Wisler, originally slated simply to produce and edit the film, stepped in as the cinematographer when the original cinematographer had to step down due to an unforeseen conflict in his schedule.

"It was unfortunate to have this conflict come up," says Wisler, "but it was totally understandable. That's life for you. And actually, I love getting to DP good projects like this one. This was my first opportunity to DP a film with prime lenses. Plus, it was a great chance for Andy [Gilbert] and I to work together creatively again on set. He's DPed a lot of films for me, so it was fun to reverse those roles."

Wisler worked with the Panasonic HVX200, the Redrock M2 lens adapter, and a set of Nikon primes and a couple of zoom lenses conventionally used for still photography. Wisler, who has been quite busy with freelance video shoots and editing projects, is currently beginning the editing process for the film. While the film was shot in South Bend, Indiana, Wisler is doing all the cutting from his office in the Boston area. He and the director, Gilbert, are communicating via the Internet and phone. They hope to have a trailer for "Evaluating Kaitly" by this fall.

Starring in the film are Lisa Staples, Greg Teghtmeyer, and Tara Rusinack. Camera gear provided by Kyle Bainter at Overdun Productions, lenses and lens adapter by Jedidiah Burdick at Votery Films, with additional lens rental from Gene's Camera Store in South Bend, Indiana.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Wisler Creates Videos for Fashion Show

This past Saturday, Runaway Runway, a fashion show in Whitinsville, Massachusetts, took place. Headed by Mass Art student, Faye Guanipa, the show featured seven designers from Mass Art, including Guanipa. A couple of months ago, Guanipa contacted Mikel J. Wisler about possibly creating videos to introduce each of the designers and their collections being presented at the show. Wisler took on the project, single-handedly producing, shooting, and editing all seven videos. The show took place at the Singh Performance Center to a packed-out house.

"The show was really great. Being part of a fashion show was new for me, " says Wisler. "I hope to get a chance to do something like it again. This was a fun oportunity to just branch out in the style of the editing. With these short video segments for an already stylized event like a fashion show, I was able to play with a very specific look and feel for the videos. I tried to keep everything in very organic, even though it was all shot on HD." Each video consisted of an interview with the given designer and a good bit of B-roll footage which Wisler processed in Apple's Color to give various looks to, such as bleach bypass or selective black and white. Bellow, you can see one of the videos.

Runaway Runway - Maya from Mikel J. Wisler on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

“Cold October” Secures Worldwide Distribution.

Fresh off the successful participation in the 2009 Dam Short Film Festival, “Cold October” is now gaining broader exposure. First of all, the short film will soon be available for sale on DVD through the Dam Short Film Festival website (http://damshortfilm.org). Those interested in buying the film will be able to select “Cold October” and up to 5 other short films to be put onto a DVD and mailed to them. The cost for individuals is $14, and for educational facilities it is $48. “Cold October” is now available on the Dam Short Film Festival website. To buy a copy, go to: http://damshortfilm.org/dvd/dvdnew.htm



This week, “Cold October” producers, Mikel J. Wisler and Andrew Gilbert, have secured a contract for international sales representation through Ouat Media (which also represents their previous short film, “Cellar Door”). In the next weeks, all the paperwork should signed and handed over to Ouat Media, which will then seek to sell the short film to television and cable stations around the globe that buy short films to incorporate into their broadcasting line-up. They will also seek out other opportunities for sales to distributors that might make “Cold October” available for VOD (video on demand), download, or other DVD distribution.

A new trailer for “Cold October” celebrating it’s recent exposures and the Dam Short Film DVD deal will be shown before the web screening of the newest short film by Gilbert and Wisler, “Always Reaching,” starting March 20th. For more information about how you can be part of this web-screening event, please join the “Always Reaching Short Film” group on Facebook.

Monday, February 16, 2009

"Cold October" at the Dam Short Film Fest

On February 12th, "Cold October" had its North American premier at the 2009 Dam Short Film Festival in Boulder City, Nevada. In attendance were director Mikel J. Wisler and 1st Assistant Director Brenan Campbell. The film was well received and enjoyed a good bit of positive feedback and buzz. Several more people later watched the film in the film market area located in the filmmaker/press lounge where any of this year's films could be seen individually by request.

"I was impressed with how friendly people were," Campbell expresses, "and I liked the wide variety of filmmakers that were showcased."

"It was an honor to be in this festival," says Wisler. "The selection of films was really great. I feel so humbled and honored to be in the company of all these great films and filmmakers. It was so great to meet fellow filmmakers and be able to talk and to see their films and how they have gotten to where they are and where they are headed. It's the most fun I've had at a festival so far! And I really can't get over how humbling and exciting it is that someone thought my little film should be included with these films. Seriously, to play at a festival where 'Validation' also played, that's good stuff. That's one of the best short films I've seen!"

"Cold October" continues to be submitted to film festivals around the world. Also, soon, the film may be made available on a DVD compilation from the Dam Short Film Festival. More to come on that.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"Cold October" At 2009 Dam Short Film Fest

Fresh off of its successful world premier at the 2008 International Film Festival of India in November, “Cold October” will now have its North American Premier at the 2009 Dam Short Film Festival in the Vegas area. Mikel J. Wisler, who directed the film plans on attending this festival, something he was unable to do with the previous fest “Cold October” played.

The Dam Short Film Festival takes place from February 11th to the 14th in Boulder City, Nevada. It is a competitive film festival where the audience in attendance is invited to vote on their favorite films from different genres. DSFF is in its 5th year, and has become quite a prestigious festival for new filmmakers to mix with film veterans. Cold October is part of the “Drama D: Supernatural Stories” showcase starting at noon on February 12.

Coinciding with this acceptance into the 2009 DSFF, “Cold October” has also be listed on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com). You can see that listing by going to: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1351634/. You can learn more about the Dam Short Film Festival by going to their website: http://www.damshortfilm.org/.

December 11, 2008

Wisler Shoots Sitcom Pilot


Mikel J. Wisler as the DP for the OU2 Pilot.

On December 6th and 7th, Mikel J. Wisler served as the Director of Photography (DP) for OU2, an independently produced sitcom pilot being pitched to the G4 Network, among other potential cable outlets. The project focuses on a video game company struggling to stay afloat and the entanglements its quirky characters get into. Wisler, who originally was enlisted as the 1st Assistant Director (1st AD) for the project was switched to DP at during the last week of pre-production when the original DP became unavailable.

"I was glad to do it," says Wisler, "but I certainly had a some mental whiplash as I tried to switch gears quickly. But it was a great opportunity, and certainly is the biggest production I've had the privilege of DP-ing. I was really impressed with the crew, particular the Gaffer, Brandon Meadows, and his grips."


On the set of OU2.

The production was shot on the Sony EX3 camera in HD 1080p24. The entire workflow was tapeless, with footage shot to the Sony SxS cards and offloaded to hard drives on sight. "I think we achieved a good look for the show," says Wisler. "It was my first experience shooting with the EX3, and overall, I'm very impressed. I was also really happy with the lighting gear we got to use. The grip package included two HMIs and several Kenos, and the grips took the time the night before production to swap out all the florescent in the office building we were shooting in with day-light balanced lamps. That way we could stay away from that green light conventional florescent units give off."

The production took place in Whitman, Massachusetts and lasted just two days. "Those were long days, but I expected as much," says Wisler. "We had a lot to shoot. I think the biggest challenge was the small room we used as the workshop where the video game programmers do all their work. The room was small, and we were turning the camera every which way. So it was a challenge to light. In the end, I think Brandon [the Gaffer] and I came up with a good plan that Rajah [Samaroo, the director] was happy with."


Left to Right: Wisler, Brandon Meadows, Rajah Samaroo, and Laura Broccoli

November 11, 2008

"Cold October" Will Play Festival in India

On November 4th, Ouat Media Festival Services (pronounced "what" Media, the company submitting "Cold October" to film festivals around the world) informed Mikel J. Wisler that his short film, "Cold October," has been selected to be part of the Shot Film Center's festival in Goa, India. The festival is being held at the same time and place as the International Film Festival of India. "Cold October" will be part of the international competition category. The festival will take place at the end of November. To learn more about the festival and see a full list of the films playing there, please visit: http://www.shortfilmcenter.org

Wisler, who was invited to be part of the festival, will not able to attend. "I am honored that 'Cold October' has been selected," the director explains. "It would be amazing to go be part of the festival. Unfortunately, several issues conspired against my being able to travel to India on such short notice. I do look forward to hearing more about the festival and how our film does there."

This is the first festival to select Cold October, which begun submissions a few months ago. "These things always take time," says Wisler. "And the competition is tough. So we're happy to already be faced with an acceptance. Ouat Media is submitting to a whole lot of festivals, so there's hopefully much more to come."

Wisler is also currently submitting his newest short film, "Always Reaching" to festivals. He has yet to hear back from any of those festivals, but stresses that this film is even newer than "Cold October," and has only been submitted to a total of four festivals as of today. "I just submitted 'Always Reaching' to a festival today. I'm doing the submission for that film myself. It keeps me sharp, keeps me aware of what's out there and learning about festivals. Ouat Media has been great for that too. They'll shoot me an e-mail with suggestions for festivals and I'll go check them out. So, it's great to have both things going on: a festival submission service and doing some submissions myself. I'm glad I'm not trying to do this with two short films, though. That might be too much to handle at once."

The Short Film Center's festival is taking place in Goa, Indian, from November 26th to December 1st.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Go Behind the Scenes of "Cold October."

Last week, filmmaker Mikel J. Wisler poster an article to his blog about the work that went into making his psychological thriller short film, "Cold October." You can read the article by going to: http://mikelwisler.blogspot.com/2008/10/behind-cold-october-making-of-hdv.html. The article details specifically the work that went into the special effects for the film, much of which were brand new challenges for Wisler and his fellow filmmaker Andrew Gilbert, who served as the director of photography for the short.

"Cold October" is currently being submitted to film festivals around the world by the Ouat Media Film Festivals Submission Service. This past weekend, it was turned down by the New York City Horror Film Festival, which expressed its regrests in not having been able to include the film in their final selections. They expressed to Wisler the following: "While the film is a lot of fun and you're certainly a filmmaker to keep and eye on, the film simply didn't have enough votes to screen at this year’s event."

"Oh, I'm getting used to rejection," says Wisler. "It still sucks. But I'm getting used to it. I'm normally grumpy for about two hours after getting a rejection from a festival, as my wife can attest. But as far as rejections go, this is the most encouraging one I've gotten so far." Wisler, who is also submitting his newest short film, "Always Reaching," to film festivals right now, knows there's an uphill battle ahead. "Both 'Cold October and 'Always Reaching' are still in the very early stages fo submissions. Ouat Media is doing the heavy lifting with 'Cold' while I'm taking care of  'Always' myself. And the truth is, while all this technology that's made doing these films possible is great, it also means a lot of other people are doing the same thing. So, if you're going to get noticed, you really have to keep trying and knocking on doors like crazy. We're going to get rejected along the way--quite a bit, most likely. It's a sobering thing to check out other short films out there and realize that there are films that are better than yours that still get rejected by festivals. But we're still trying. After all, you definitely never will make it into a festival if you don't even submit. And if you're not submitting, why did you make the film in the first place? At least at this point in the game for us, that's how it is."



Saturday, September 27, 2008

Silk Trees Trailer Released

For the past couple of weeks, Mikel J. Wisler has been working in close conjunction with director Jedidiah Burdick. Wisler has been editing the trailer for the feature film, Silk Trees, directed by Burdick. For Wisler, who also served as the film's 1st Assistant Director, this marks the first time he has cut a trailer for a film directed by someone else. "It's been a great experience," he says. "I hope to get to do this for more films. I really enjoy cutting trailers."

The Silk Trees trailer is currently being rolled out on the web. You can see it bellow.



Visit the Silk Trees website: http://silktreesthemovie.com

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wisler Networks with New England Filmmakers

On Saturday, September 20th, Mikel J. Wisler attended a New England Filmmakers networking event. He had the opportunity to meet with writer, producers, directors, and actors from the Boston area.





For more information about the New England Filmmaker's networking event and more pictures, go to: www.filmmakersshindig.com

Friday, September 5th, 2008

A New Direction

On August 26th, Runaway Pen Productions co-owner and filmmaker Mikel J. Wisler moved to the Boston area. This move represents a new direction for the production company, which Wisler co-owns with Andrew Gilbert. Runaway Pen has focused on producing short films and professional video content for hire over the past three years.

"It's just an expansion really,? says Wisler. "It was bound to happen. In fact, if it didn't happen, I?d be really sad.? Wisler explains the move to Boston has to do with the need to develop the next step in his and Gilbert's filmmaking careers. Wisler will continue freelance work in video and film production in the Boston area as well. "It's a win-win,? he says, ?A place like Boston has a greater market for freelancers like myself and New England has such a happening film scene. I?'e barely arrived and I'm already planning on catching a few showings at the Boston Film Festival next weekend."

"I'm excited that we can spread Runaway Pen out into different states," says Andrew Gilbert. "While we were both here [in Indiana], it limited our efficiency of finding film funding. While we are now in two cities we can attract investors on two fronts. Expanding into Boston is a great way to keep our hometown ties while being near a more professional film base."

This is all about the next step, according to Wisler. ?I don?t know what?s happening next exactly, but most likely, I?m done making short films for a while. Maybe ever. It?s time to get ambitious and seek out the means to make that first feature film.?

Between Gilbert and Wisler, Runaway Pen has several feature length screenplays already written, some which have even undergone serious revisions and polishing. From this crop of scripts, these two filmmakers hope to attract potential investors in order to begin the process of producing their first feature film.

?There?s one script in particular we are really polishing and hoping to get off the ground,? Wisler explains. ?It?s quite exciting and daunting all at once. It?s a script that from a producer?s perspective is definitely within the real of possibility even on a very small budget. But, it?s a challenging subject, a strong character drama, and it?s going to really stand or fall based on the performances of the actors. I want to do it right, so I?m not interested in doing it with pocket change that could hardly fund a good short, let alone a feature. So that?s where funding comes in. And that?s so much of what I?m going to be spending my efforts on over the next couple of years.?

Meanwhile, Gilbert explains that, ?Here in Indiana, I will be focusing on writing and making contacts on the west coast. Currently, I am revising two feature length screenplays and creating another spec script for television.? He and Wisler will continue collaboration on revisions for the feature script they have co-authored and will develop plans for funding and production.

This move has also coincided with the completion of Runaway Pen?s newest short film, ?Always Reaching.? That film, along with ?Cold October,? is currently being submitted to film festivals. ?Festivals are an important part of what we?re doing,? says Wisler. ?We need to get our films out there, in front of audiences, in front of other filmmakers, we?ve got to impress the right people. That?s easier said than done, though.?

If you are part of Facebook, you can join a fan group for ?Cold October.? At some point in the future a group will likely be created for ?Always Reaching? as well. Joining such a group will also help fans of Runaway Pen keep up to date on what?s taking place with the filmmakers and where they might be able to catch a screening of such films at a festivals or event.

See the preview for "Always Reaching":

Always Reaching - Trailer from Mikel J. Wisler on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Runaway Pen to be Featured on Radio Show

This Sunday (08-24-2008) afternoon at 4 PM (EST), Mikel J. Wisler and Andrew Gilbert will be featured guests on the growing Internet talk radio show Cease Fire Strategies. The show is centered on discussions on how Christians can better engage and interact with the broader culture around them. Steaming from the book written by the show's hosts, Eric Bumps and Tim Moranville, titled Cease Fire the War is Over, the show seeks to make interaction with rather than attacks at the American culture the focus of Christian efforts.

Both Gilbert and Wisler have been guests in the past, but this marks the first time the two will be on the show expressly to discuss their work in Runaway Pen Productions, how they make films, and why Wisler is moving to Boston. Cease Fire Strategies has also featured discussions with Barbara Nicolosi  (Act One), Karen Covell (from the Hollywood Prayer Network), Craig Detweiler and John Marks (filmmakers of the documentary A Purple State of Mind), and Brian Godawa (screenwriter of To End All Wars).

The show will last one hour, and during that time listeners are encouraged to call or e-mail questions and comments. To check out the official Cease Fire Strategies station go to: www.blogtalkradio.com/CeaseFireStrategies. Click here to link directly to the upcoming show.

You can also see the official Cease Fire Strategies website by going to: http://www.ceasefirestrategies.com. All previous shows can be streamed or downloaded. After 5 PM (EST) on Sunday, this new show with Gilbert and Wisler will also be available for streaming or download. There is also a web forum for discussions about the shows and other related topics. Both Gilbert and Wisler are part of the forum and regularly post comments and responses. The forum can be reached by going to: www.ceasefirestrategies.net. You can also check out a copy of the book, Cease Fire the War is Over by clicking here.

Wisler will be moving to Boston on Monday, August 25th.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Newest Runaway Pen Short Film Completed

“Always Reaching,” shot back in May of this year, has now been finished off and even submitted to its first film festival. Both Andrew Gilbert and Mikel J. Wisler (producers) are quite pleased with the film and have high hopes for it. Along with the film being completed, there is a brand new website for “Always Reaching” with information about the film, stills, preview, and coming soon, a behind the scenes documentary on the making of “Always Reaching.” The filmmakers have shown this short film to a handful of people so far, and the reactions have been quite exciting. To see the new "Always Reaching" website, go to: alwaysreachingfilm.webs.com.


“Cold October” Special Web Screening

Runaway Pen is launching a new approach to marketing their short films. Filmmakers Mikel J. Wisler and Andrew Gilbert are hosting a web test-screening event for their short film “Cold October.” If you are part of the “Cold October” Short Film group on Facebook, you can send Wisler a message asking to be able to see the film, and you can be added to a list of people who will be given access to secure site where “Cold October” plus a brand new preview for “Always Reaching” will be shown for free. All the filmmakers are asking for in return is that those who view the film leave feedback on Withouabox.com (Without a Box). If you would like to learn more about this special screening, join the Facebook group or contact Wisler directly, ([email protected]).

Saturday, June 14, 2008

“Always Reaching” Picture Lock

The newest Runaway Pen Productions short film, “Always Reaching” has reached a picture lock. This means that primary visual editing has been completed. The filmmakers Mikel J. Wisler and Andrew Gilbert now have moved into the digital grading work (color correction). Wisler will also be heavily involved with the sound editing and mixing for the film. He’ll be working with “Cold October” sound mixer, Heber Hernandez.

Recently, actresses Rachel Cottom and Jennie Sophia took time out of their busy schedules to step into Bruce Wolfe’s studio in South Bend, Indiana where Brenan Campbell conducted individual ADR (additional dialogue recording) sessions for one of the scenes in the film.


Rachel Cottom during ADR session.

“It’s always the exterior city scenes,” explains Wisler, “those are the ones that tend to give us trouble. It was like that on ‘Cold October.’ With this film, we had a very important scene with hefty bit of dialogue that was show out on the East Race River in South Bend. But the wind and traffic sounds vary so much from shot to shot that it would be a mixing nightmare. I don’t want to put Heber through that. So, we jumped into the studio and managed to rerecord the dialogue for both Rachel and Jennie in one day. This is really a great thing, actually. Now we have total control over the sound lever of literally everything in the scene. I can now specially turn down the volume on any given element we which to mix into the scene, since we’ll be building it all up from the ground.”


Jennie Sophia and Brenan Campbell during ADR session.

The film, now reaching its last phases of postproduction, will begin festival submissions in the fall. There is no word at this time as to when the film may have a special screening for the general public.


Jennie Sophia at the Bruce Wolfe Studio.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

"Cold October" Distribution Possibilities

This past week, a representative from Echelon Studios in California contacted director Mikel J. Wisler. The film acquisitions team at Echelon has seen “Cold October” and has expressed great interest in possibly distributing the short film. Wisler is currently in communications with Echelon, who will be presenting him with a sample contract in the next week.

Currently, Ouat Media’s Festival Submission Service is send out “Cold October” to film festivals around the world. Ouat Media is also looking at “Cold October” as a possible film to include in their distribution branch. “This is exciting news,” says Wisler. “Now we just want to take it slow, and figure out our best course of action. I still want ‘Cold October’ to premiere at a festival. I’ve expressed this to Echelon. Plus, I just want to make sure we’re on the same page when it comes to how the film gets distributed. So nothing’s set in stone at this point. But it’s certainly moving in the right direction.”

Echelon studios first approached Wisler about “Cold October” after seeing the project listed on Mandy.com. Wisler promptly sent them a screener DVD.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Runaway Pen Wraps a New Short Film

This past weekend, Runaway Pen, in association with Overdun Productions, spent three days shooting a new short film. The film, called “Always Reaching,” was written by Andrew Gilbert and Mikel J. Wisler, who also served as producers. It is a dark drama about the entangled lives of three characters. Starring in the film is Runaway Pen regular, Rachel Cottom, Andrew Gilbert, and introducing Jennie Sophia.

One major change in this film was in the camera department. Overdun Production’s Kyle Bainter served as cinematographer. Using his Panasonic HVX200, Letus 35 lens mount, and set of four Nikon prime lenses, Bainter lit and crafted shots unlike anything seen in a Runaway Pen film so far. The production lasted three days, with the largest crew of any Runaway Pen production to date. Several crewmembers from past projects returned to work on "Always Reaching."

“It feel great,” says director Mikel J. Wisler. “I don’t want to get ahead of myself, because we just wrapped and I’ve just started cutting this film, but it feels really great. There’s something there, something really special. My hats off to the awesome crew we had, and my cast consistently blew me away. I’m really excited to see this thing completed. I’m positive it’ll be the best thing we’ve made to date. And I’m really proud of the work Jennie did being new to film acting. You’d never now it. This is sort of a small ensemble piece, and every single actor had to play their hearts out. Andy, Rachel, and Jennie really did it. And that's why I feel we've really got something here. It's not an easy story to tell. And at some points I stop and wonder if the story picked me, rather than me picking the story. I'm always in search of transcendent cinema, whether to watch or create. I think we may have touched on something here. At least, it sure feels that way.”

The film is expected to be completed late summer at the earliest. Actual public release of the film may not be until 2009, when the film can hit the film festival circuit full force.


Mikel J. Wisler (director), and Jennie Sophia (actress), on the set of "Always Reaching."


Kyle Bainter (cinematographer) with his camera on the set of "Always Reaching."


Rachel Cottom (actress) and Mikel J. Wisler (director) on the set of "Always Reaching."


Andrew Gilbert (actor) on the set of "Always Reaching."

Monday, April 28, 2008

First Public Exposure for “Cold October”

The newest Runaway Pen short film, "Cold October," was shown twice this past weekend to the public. Inspire Athletics hosted the event, with a great turn out on both Saturday and Sunday. Along with "Cold October" Runaway Pen screened "Cellar Door," their 37-minute short film that has international distribution and has been featured in two film festivals.

After the screenings of "Cold October," the audience had an opportunity to interact with the filmmakers in two ways: There was a question and answer time where those involved in making the film talked about their roles and the process, and every audience member was given a survey where they could rate various elements of the film and comments on it.

Here is a small sampling of the audience feedback in response to their favorite part of "Cold October:"

"Good storyline. . . . The special effects and artwork and music were excellent."

"I think the editing and special effects in 'Cold October' were executed really well. It really made some of the scenes."

"I loved the humor intermixed with the great storyline. Good comic relief."

"It’s hard to choose! This film impressed me so much!"

"The artwork was a great addition."

"I usually pride myself in being able to guess the ending of a film. ‘Cold October’ kept me guessing."

With this first public exposure of "Cold October," the filmmakers are hopeful that more film festivals will be equally as enthusiastic about the film. "Cold October" will be submitted to at least 50 film festivals around the world over the course of this festival season. The filmmakers are using the Ouat Media Film Festival Submission Service for this.

Filmmakers Andrew Gilbert and Mikel J. Wisler, however, are not sitting back and just waiting to see what happens. They begin shooting a new short film on Friday, May 2. The new short, "Always Reaching," is a dark drama being shot with professional cinematographer Kyle Bainter. For more information about this short film, visit the "Always Reaching" page of this website.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"Cold October" Special Screening.

In April, Runaway Pen Productions will be presenting a special test screening in Northern Indiana of their new short film, "Cold October." Elkhart’s Inspire Athletics will host the event, with screenings at their gym on Saturday, April 26 at 8 PM, and Sunday, April 27 at 3 PM. The cost will be $5.00 at the door. All of the money raised at these screenings will go directly to help the filmmakers pay for film festival submissions.

Inspire Athletics is located at: 24615 C.R. 45 Suite 3, Elkhart, IN 46516. For more informational about the screening, please contact Mikel J. Wisler at: [email protected] or by phone: 574.309.4374.

Also showing at the screening will be "Cellar Door," the first Runaway Pen film to gain international attention through distribution, a grant, and recent airtime on Canada’s short film cable station, Movieola. Both “Cellar Door” and “Cold October” will be projected in HD for maximum quality. After the presentation of the films is completed, the filmmakers will host a Q&A time where audience members are invited to ask questions and interact with the filmmakers.

"Cold October" represents the most ambitious short film for filmmakers Mikel J. Wisler (director, co-writer, producer) and Andrew Gilbert (cinematographer, co-writer, producer). Not just a technically demanding film, but also one filled with emotion and suspense, the reactions from early sneak peak viewers have been quite positive.

The story of "Cold October" is about man named Henry (Matthew Eaton), who has a sleep disorder. Occasionally, while awake, his mind will slip into a dream-like state, and he hallucinates. He runs into an old friend, Emily (Brittany Fried), who has just moved into the same apartment building where Henry lives. She's trying to get away from a stalker who has been sending her poems and pictures. As Henry learns of this, he begins to believe that what he is seeing in his hallucinations may be glimpses of her future. And if so, he has to save her.

Shot in October and November of 2007, the film has been in steady post-production since then, only recently being completed. Also in the cast are Rachel Cottom ("Cellar Door") and Andrew Gilbert.  Original music for "Cold October" was composed and recorded by Greg Shearon, who first worked with Wisler on “Cellar Door.” Given the plot, the film mixes special effects with careful lighting and intentional performances to craft a narrative sure to excite, all while being the shortest film Wisler has directed in a while, coming in at just under 30 minutes. Scroll down to read more about the production of "Cold October" in past news postings.

Due to language, some disturbing images, and violence, this film may not be suitable for children. Be sure to check out the official “Cold October” website: http://coldoctoberfilm.webs.com, as well as the official “Cellar Door” site: http://cellardoorfilm.webs.com.



Monday, February 18, 2008

"Cellar Door" Shown at the 2008 IFIFV.

"Cellar Door" made its film festival appearance this past Saturday in Bloomington at the 2008 Indiana Festival of Independent Film and Video. At the festival, director Mikel J. Wisler was presented the grant “Cellar Door” was awarded with by Cinephile Film Arts, the organization behind the festival. Also showing at the festival were two films by Brenan Campbell, (“Human Resources” and “The King of Pop”) who worked on “Cellar Door.” In fact, Wisler had a hand in creating the two films Campbell directed, and even played a small acting role in “Human Resources.”

The Buskirk-Chumley Theater in Bloomington, Indiana. 

 

“It felt good to be part of a festival finally,” says Wisler. “We’ve been working really hard, and its good to finally be able to get some expose. And it was great to be there with Brenan’s films too. We’ve been working together for some time now, and to be able to attend a festival together that’s showcasing work we’ve both collaborated on feels very rewarding.”

 

 

Downtown Bloomington, Indiana. 
 

You can see more pictures of film festival by going to the “Cellar Door” website. A short documentary video will be edited and released in the next couple of weeks covering the trip down and back by Andrew Gilbert, Matthew Eaton, and Wisler. It will be available for free on the “Cellar Door” website.


For more information on the IFIFV, go to: www.cinephilefilmarts.org.

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February 14, 2008

"Cellar Door" Makes First Festival Appearance.

This Saturday, "Cellar Door" will be shown at the Indiana Festival of Independent Film, a festival organized by Cinephile Film Arts, which awarded "Cellar Door" a grant and will be presenting the check to director Mikel J. Wisler on Saturday. Attending the festival along with Wisler are Andrew Gilbert (co-writer, producer, cinematographer) and Matthew Eaton (actor, "stranger"). Also in attendance will be Brenan Campbell (Assistant Director and Sound) who has two of his own short films being screened at this year's festival.

"I'm very excited about the festival," says Wisler. "It's a first for us, to finally see one of our projects in a film festival and being given a grant. I'm also really looking forward to seeing the other films being show."

Expect an update about the festival early next week.



"Cold October" Nears End of Post Production.

Last week, color correction work was completed on the short film. Sound mixing began in Elkhart, Indiana with sound mixer Heber Hernandez. Music composer, Greg Shearon, continues his work on the soundtrack for the film. "If all continues well," says director Mikel J. Wisler, "We should have a completed film in mid March."

There are no plans for a Northern Indiana screening of "Cold October." The filmmakers continue to discuss possible venues, but have not been able to make definite arrangements. "Right now, the focus is on getting the thing done and in front of Ouat Media," explains Wisler. Oaut Media, which distributes "Cellar Door," has seen the preview for "Cold October" and expressed interest in seeing the finished film.

Expect a new preview for "Cold October" once post production for the film is completed.


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