Archive for the ‘Appointment in Vancouver (Casey Puckett Doc)’ Category

The Lifts Are Closing at Heartland

October 22, 2010

If you’re in Indianapolis and you haven’t seen the Heartland Film Festival’s Official Selections Shorts Collection #5 yet, I’m sorry for you. You still have a chance to recoup your cool (see below) – there are two more screenings of this program which includes none other than my documentary APPOINTMENT IN VANCOUVER.  Word on the street is audiences last week loved our 33 minute doc about Olympic skier, Casey Puckett. Let’s hope the love keeps rolling in as the festival closes out!

Appointment in Heartland

September 24, 2010

My documentary about five-time Olympic skier Casey Puckett will screen in October (16-23) at the Heartland Film Festival — one of the biggest film festivals in the midwest with the largest prize purse worldwide!

This year the 18 year-old Indianapolis-based festival had a record 835 submissions of which APPOINTMENT IN VANCOUVER is one of the lucky 94 selected to screen. Congratulations and many thanks to the crew, cast and supporters of AIV. Without this amazing team, AIV would not have been possible.

If anyone is interested in attending the Heartland Film Festival, do it! I went when QUEEN OF CACTUS COVE won the Jimmy Stewart Crystal Heart Award and was blown away by the genuinely excited and appreciative audiences and the staff’s unparalleled hospitality. It was there that I met Frank Kelly (the mastermind behind “140”, which is also an official Heartland selection) and became a fan of the “heartland hug” – a really genuine hug only possible in Indiana.

We’re Clear to Vudu

April 8, 2010

Like I warned you it would be, APPOINTMENT IN VANCOUVER is now available for download on Vudu!

Did I lose you at ‘vudu?’ Yeah. I thought so. Here’s the scoop courtsey of CNET:

What makes Vudu cool? Like Apple TV and Roku, Vudu is a dedicated set-top box for playing Internet-delivered video content. But what sets it apart from these other players is that the video resolution is much better at a full 1080p HD resolution. It also offers surround sound. As for content, Vudu offers a selection of movies from all the major studios as well as TV shows. It also offers adult content. And for the budget-conscious viewers, it added a bargain channel to the service that offers a rotating list of 99 movies for just $0.99 a pop.

What makes it not so cool? For one, its video library pales in comparison to Netflix or Amazon, which offer 12,000 and 40,000 titles, respectively. What’s more, the best-quality HD content requires download queuing before viewing. It can’t stream media from other networked PCs, and it lacks Wi-Fi.

To counteract that ‘not so cool’ part of the review, please gaze upon and throughly enjoy this Vudu graphic I’ve been dreaming of since I heard the product’s name. Thank you Google Images Search for showing me this beauty and relieving me of making it myself on photoshop.

In other AIV news, our submission fee was waived for the Heartland Film Festival. I got the waiver because QUEEN screened at the fest, and last summer, I served as a juror for the fest’s short film competition (and saw some truly inspiring shorts). Alumni+Juror = they’ll look at my work for free. And I hope they like it because Heartland is one of my all-time favorite film festivals. They treat the filmmakers like rockstars, and the community embraces the festival as if it’s the Oscars.

Heartland’s mission is “to recognize and honor filmmakers whose work explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for positive values of life. Heartland values include hope, integrity, tolerance, beauty, reconciliation, courage, humility, faith and fidelity.” I think AIV definitely fits the bill with its heartfelt, intimate, honest story. Cross your fingers that their selection committee thinks so too…

Reprint: My SportsFanLive Blog Post

March 15, 2010

On the heels of my trip to the Vancouver Olympics with the APPOINTMENT IN VANCOUVER “crew” (aka Seth Caplan, producer, and Mo Grosser, music sup), I was approached about writing a blog post about the experience for SportsFanLive.

So I did. Chance to gush about my film AND score free PR? Yes, please.

The post is still available here, BUT because I’m cranking out another draft of the book adaptation* today (a pass on the bad girl character… making her badder), and a shiny, new draft of LOSERS was delivered yesterday, I don’t have time to do a fresh blog post. I believe in recycling in real life and in blog life so… I’m publishing my SportsFanLive post here for those who missed it the first time and for those who were to lazy to click this time.

Bonus! I’ll include more pics from the trip than the SportsFanLive people did. Yeah, I got your back.

Director Anna Christopher was in Vancouver to follow skier Casey Puckett, the subject of her documentary, Appointment In Vancouver. The film focuses on Puckett’s life as a world-class athlete, father of two and hometown hero, who was preparing for his fifth Olympic appearance. Here is Christopher’s account Puckett’s latest Olympic experience:

The girls of team AIV got lots of attention for our gear and not being disgusting looking.

We made awesome signs. Amazing signs. Signs that deserved to be on TV. Which was exactly the intention.

After camera-tailing four-time Olympian Casey Puckett for three years and making an applauded documentary about him, my producer, music supervisor, brother (who is in the film) and I scrapped our way to the Olympic Games. With our signs in hand, we were determined to get our film,Appointment In Vancouver, and our favorite skier cross racer, Casey Puckett, some network coverage.

Appointment In Vancouver documents Casey’s dramatic/thrilling/gut-wrenching/inspiring journey to the Games. We capture the challenges Casey faces as an elite athlete competing on the world’s stage and as a father juggling gold-medal dreams while raising kids. The film offers audiences a rare, exclusive glimpse of the mental, emotional and physical trials of a retired Olympic athlete making a comeback at age 37.

Me, our tickets, Mo.

The film was born the moment I met Casey. The IOC had recently named Skier Cross as the “new” Olympic sport to debut in Vancouver. Casey said then that he “had an appointment in Vancouver.” His unwavering faith and determination to compete in the 21st Winter Olympics hooked me. He’d competed on the U.S. Ski team since he was 19, raced in Albertville, Lillehammer, Nagano and Salt Lake City. Never medaled. He retired after his final Olympics. Final? Actually, not so much. That’s one of the reasons his story is so inspiring.

Through a mix of chance, fate, and itch of “unfinished business,” Casey fell in love with the emerging sport of Skier Cross. Before he knew it, he was back on the slopes and dominating the field unlike he’d ever done as an Alpine racer. He’d found his cup of tea, and he was guzzling it down. EvenDaron Rahlves, Casey’s teammate, Alpine racing legend, and co-star of Appointment In Vancouver, admits that Casey was better at Skier Cross than he ever was in Alpine. In the film, Daron says, “My heart pumps a little harder when I line up against Casey because I know what he can do.”

"O Canada" you love red. And Chris Del Bosco.

As the Appointment In Vancouver crew climbed the million stairs to the grandstand on February 21, 2010, we wondered what Casey would do that day. The crowd seemed to be pondering the same thing of all the athletes. An excited but serious vibe emanated from the grandstand as the first heats began. Every race of four-on-four skiers was enthralling but the crashes were brutal, which I think caused the pensive energy in the stands. There was no doubt — this sport was way more electrifying than curling.

Friends have told me the TV coverage made the course appear easy. From our vantage point, it was not. The crowd gave every race its entire attention because if you looked away for a second, you may miss something unbelievable. This universal focus gave bonded all of us in the crowd without words. We were all there for the love of this new sport and the fearless racers who tried to conquer it.

Monster jump after "trouble alley" at the end of the SX course.

In the first couple heats, scary pile-ups unfolded right before our eyes in the last turn to the final obstacle — a monster jump. We started calling that toilet-bowl turn “trouble alley” and worried about how Casey would handle it. I remembered Casey’s perseverance. He fought through seven surgeries to be here. His most recent injury happened in January when on the way to his first World Cup victory. He fell a mere six seconds from the finish and separated his shoulder. In that moment, even he thought the ride was over. However, he pushed through, rehabbed the injury in six weeks, and was here in Cypress on the day Skier Cross was debuting at the Games. No matter what Casey would be a part of history.

And he was. Not with a medal or a massive crash but by laying down a solid race. Because of his

Daron, on the other hand, did crash.

injured shoulder, he came out of the gates slower than he’d like and found himself in fourth place. Despite his best efforts, he stayed in fourth for the whole race.

Casey and I texted after the event. What did I say? I’m not sure. There’s not a go-to phrase for “I’m sorry you didn’t achieve your dream and our dream for you.” I know he was disappointed. So was I. But he gave the race everything he had and that’s all you can ask. The Appointment In Vancouver team remained in the stands until the end of the event, enjoying the spectacle of the sport but without the gusto with which we began. We left our signs in the stands.

The funny thing is that when I returned to Los Angeles, I screened Appointment In Vancouver for a few friends. The film ends just before Casey goes to the Olympics. My friends knew the outcome of the Games, yet they loved the film. Even I still loved it. I realized that Casey didn’t win a medal on February 21, 2010, but the journey that got him to that historic day, his Appointment In Vancouver,was pure gold.


*When am I going to announce the book and the subsequent project news!?!?!?! I’m waiting on a few possible press opps to either play out or to die a cold, ignored death to determine when I sing the news from the blogsphere mountain tops.

They Responded with the Opposite of Yes

March 6, 2010

I blogged about the following possibilities for APPOINTMENT IN VANCOUVER so now I feel responsible to finish the story.

We didn’t get into Florida Film Festival or Tribeca Film Festival.

ESPN “loved” the film but said that if they’d seen the film months ago they could have worked with it in some capacity but presently (which was about four weeks ago) that was no longer possible.

It may be ‘cool’ to be a filmmaker but sometimes it’s icy cold.

I’m a SportsFanLive Blogger Today

March 3, 2010

Running out the door for a long overdue dinner with the stars of LilyDidIt (Milissa Skoro (“Lily”) and Alison Haislip (“Alison”) but just found out that the blog post I did for SportsFanLive about my trip to the Olympics in support of Casey and APPOINTMENT IN VANCOUVER is live on their home page!

It’s also the headliner on SportsFanLive’s modules on AOL and TMZ.  Check it out on the following pages:

AOL FanHouse home page (scroll to the bottom)
AOL FanHouse Olympics page (scroll to the bottom)
TMZ Sports Category page (right side sidebar next to the Lebron James blurb)

Here is the specific URL for the post, if you just want to cut to the chase or spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, emails to your mom.

Team AIV at the Skier Cross event in Cypress on February 21, 2010. Our trip to the Games and our film is the topic of my SportsFanLive post.

In Shaun White’s Company

March 2, 2010

Look what Seth (producer on APPOINTMENT IN VANCOUVER) spotted on today!

According to Amazon, we’re #22 on their “Movies – Sports – Skiing & Snow Sports” sales list and ranked #68 on their “Olympics” sales roundup.

Not bad, especially since we encourage everyone to buy AIV at IndieFlix instead of Amazon because we get a better cut of the purchase price! It’s showBUSINESS, folks.

Fresh Site, Sale Price, Finale

March 1, 2010

Now that we are “post-Olympic” and AIV is ON SALE for $12.99, I updated the APPOINTMENT IN VANCOUVER website. I wish I could have revised it with news of Casey winning a medal rather than a sale price. I’m sure Casey wishes the same. Despite this wish, I am moving forward and am grateful for the tremendous experience and excellent film that came out of knowing, following and believing in Casey. I hope Casey’s doing the same.

Since the Games, Casey and I have only been able to text and email. However, I basically run his Facebook Fan Page, so I’m privy to the outpouring of love and support Casey’s fans have been sending him. He’s an inspiration to a lot of people. Hopefully, he’s checking their posts.

Besides that icy-cool sale price, the new AIV site now includes:

  • pictures of me, Seth and Mo (Music Supervisor) on our trip to Vancouver to cheer Casey on in his 5th Olympic Games
  • soundtrack information (band, song, website, picture cue)
  • an updated Casey bio
  • new photos and newspaper clippings from Casey’s youth and early ski career

I removed the calendar page because we’re not sure what’s next for AIV. We’re crossing our fingers on a couple great film fests this Spring and also waiting to hear from Casey about his plans for after this season.

Tomorrow, I’ll be sending in a blog post for SportsFanLive about APPOINTMENT IN VANCOUVER and our trip to the Games. They work with AOL Sports and have promised that their “module” with AOL will feature the my post. Maybe we’ll get some traffic and sales from the exposure!

Now I must prep for the finale of THE BACHELOR. As Vice Commissioner of Here For the Right Reasons: The Bachelor Fantasy League, I’m hosting a screening/finale party for all the LA league members. Everyone’s bringing a snack inspired by their favorite bachelorette. This idea, ordained by me, is particularly troublesome for me. I’m on a cleanse which means no glutens, refined sugar, red meat, booze or dairy in my snack. I want to think up something clever and funny for my contribution like my friend who is bringing shrimp cakes in honor of Tenley aka “The Little Mermaid: Ariel.”  Good one, huh?

My  brain is so fried from all the writing I’ve been doing on my latest project (haven’t announced it) that all I can think of is mini hot dogs inspired by Gia because she looks like a sad puppy. Pitiful idea. Even if I were to try and swing that snack with the league, I couldn’t even eat it because of the cleanse restrictions.

Vudu? You Do. Do What?

February 24, 2010

Despite Casey’s disappointing showing at the Olympics — which sounds harsh but I can’t think of any other way of describing it … more on this in a post later this week — there is good news for AIV:

APPOINTMENT IN VANCOUVER will be available on Vudu and Hulu soon.

I’m particularly excited about our inclusion on Vudu considering the online movie service was recently purchased by Wal-mart. The digital provider is being built into more and more TVs and Blu-ray players. Analysts are predicting that over 60 percent of HD televisions will connect to the Internet by 2013. From a NYT article about the acquisition:

Now, however, the idea of an Internet-ready home entertainment setup has a powerful new backer: Wal-Mart

Movie stores like Vudu’s also compete directly with the video-on-demand services of the cable companies, and generally have better selection, more high-definition content, friendlier menus and fuller descriptions of the programs.

More immediate, if Wal-Mart puts its marketing power behind the Vudu service, it could give a lift to sales of Internet-ready televisions and disc players, which generally cost a few hundred dollars more than devices without such capabilities…

Panasonic and Sony are the only major manufacturers that have not yet added the Vudu service to their devices. With Wal-Mart, one of their biggest retailers, taking it over, manufacturers will now have another reason to include Vudu.

It’s very cool that our is being added to Vudu’s library on the heels of Wal-mart’s purchase of the company.  I’m told AIV will probably become Vudu-available when they launch their sports collection with Teton Gravity and Video Action Sports. Stay tuned.

Likewise, when the film is available Hulu, I’ll make an announcement. I can’t wait to direct fans and friends to AIV on Hulu because it’s free, BUT we get a share of the commercial revenue. For inquiring minds, it’s about a penny per person per commercial. Who knows, we might make 10’s of dollars!

In Vancouver to see Casey race for Gold

February 20, 2010

In Vancouver to see Casey race for Gold in Skier Cross on Sunday. Having super fun and Will blog all about it next week!

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