From June 11 to June 14, 1999, several key players in the Foreign Correspondents saga flew from our cozy homesin Los Angeles to the wilds of Chicago, Illinois for the Chicago Alt.film Fest. Those in attendance were yours truly (Mark Tapio Kines),producer Julia Stemock, executive producer Jamie Tost, and stars Corin Nemec and Yelena Danova. Oh, and our friend Mike,who was there anyway.
Here we are in our custom-made ForCor hats, ready to takeon the festival. (Top, from left: Jamie, Julia, Corin. Bottom, from left: Mark, Mike, Yelena.)
A freshly-scrubbed but still jet-lagged Corin and Yelena prepareto watch a film at the festival.
Mark and Corin, hats donned, discuss the merits of the film'sposter shortly before our screening.
Mark singing "Feelings"? No, just a post-screening discussionwith the audience.
Yelena gets her turn to talk at the post-screening discussion.
The coveted Best Screenplay trophy is held proudly by Mark at theclosing night party. Julia looks like she's ready to go home.
Yelena fondles the trophy as Mark beams and Corin checks his camera.(Note official ForCor groupie Mollie Platt on right.)
Yelena Danova dances up a storm at the party. All the men in theroom are spellbound as she seems to say, "Don't mess with me, pipsqueaks. You're playing with fire."
From October 13 to October 17, 1999, I was in beautiful Ghent, Belgium (the locals spell it "Gent")for the Flanders International Film Festival. As an invited guest of the festival, I was flown out (on their dime!)to speak at their "Digiforum" mini-festival about how I used the Internet to promote and partially financeForeign Correspondents. I had a wonderful time and met lots of cool people. Everybody: On your next vacation, go to Ghent.
Me in front of the festival headquarters. These posters were all over town.
Decascoop, which may sound like a big ice cream cone, is actually pronounced"Decascope," meaning "10 screens," and it's Ghent's answer to the multiplex, where the festival had to duke it out with the newStar Wars movie for the public's attention.
Me with a couple of native Flemish, right after my big speech atthe festival. On the left is Niels Radtke, who spoke just before me, and Thessa De Kegel, whom I first met, more or less,through the ForCor site. So in Thessa I had a built-in tour guide. Thanks Thessa!
Some of the other Digiforum guests at dinner. We had fondue. From left:Judith Merians, cofounder of The Hollywood Experts Online; me;Jerry A. Rodgers from the British Film Institute; Marianne Connor, actor; Shane Walter, codirector ofonedotzero; Stefan Avalos, codirector ofThe Last Broadcast; Matt Hanson, codirector ofonedotzero; Rob Nilsson, pioneer video filmmaker.
Proof that I was actually in Ghent. A self-portrait from a castle turret.
On March 22, 2000, The Yahoo! Internet Life Online Film Festival began its sold-out, jam-packed, completely insane 2-day runon the Sunset Strip in L.A. Foreign Correspondents was chosen to open the festival, and got a good response for a largeWednesday morning audience at the famous Directors Guild theatre. Several of us ForCor folks got to attend the star-studdedworld premiere of Mike Figgis's Time Code (a forgettable exercise in digital cinema, but a fun premiere nevertheless)and numerous crowded parties. I wound up with a nice little glass trophy by festival's end.
The nice people who ran the festival. The only ones I can name are Bilge Ebiri(in suit with eyes closed), the writer from Yahoo! Internet Life magazine who "discovered" me for the festival; and HeatherKellogg (Sandra Bullock lookalike in center), who was hired to oversee everything. Hard working, very friendly folks.
Me and more of the staff. Bilge, Heather and a few more peopleI can't remember. That's me in the striped shirt. Notice Heather's hand on my flank? I love you, Heather!
Scott Spears (left) and Chris Farrell. The film's cinematopherand composer, respectively, Scott and Chris came out to support the film at the screening and pose by our "second version" poster.
On September 16 and 17, 2000, we traveled about 100 miles southeast of Los Angeles to the funky desert community of Temecula,California, home to vineyards, tribal casinos, a burgeoning suburbia and a remarkably well-preserved Old West town.This festival felt like a bit of an "extra treat," as by now I had considered the film to have already finished up its timeon the festival circuit and we were more or less invited by the festival to submit Foreign Correspondents.The weather was broiling hot, the attendance for our first screening was pretty dismal (a dozen cranky senior citizens),but the organizers were extremely kind.
Welcome to Temecula. This is on the edge of the "Old West"part of town. It must have been about 105 degrees that day.
Me in front of the theatre. The festival was held at"The Movie Experience," a multiplex at a large strip mall!
Chris Farrell (left) and Jamie Tost. The film's composerand executive producer, respectively, escape the heat to chow down on free pizza in the cool "filmmaker's lounge,"complete with parachute ceiling.
The balloon ride I missed. The film's producer Julia Stemockand associate producer Fred Hess got to take advantage of one of the festival's definite perks: free hot air baloon rides for the filmmakers.Tragically, I couldn't take part as I had to leave town for a wedding.
January 6-8, 2001: The VSDA Convention takes over some huge convention center in Las Vegas. Our then-distributors, Creative Light,took the film there to try to sell it to more video dealers. I couldn't make it, but our star Wil Wheaton was kind enough togive a day of his time to show up, sign autographs for the fans, and stump for Foreign Correspondents. Thanks Wil!
Wil takes on the crowd. Of the various celebrities who showed up at the convention,Wil undoubtedly had the longest autograph line.
Wil and Julia. The hard-working ForCor producer joins her star.
At least it's not a Star Trek convention. Wil's autograph hand must have beenexhausted by this point, but he still looks sprightly.
July 15-18, 2002: Julia and I were invited guests for the VSDA's short-lived "Filmmakers of Tomorrow" program, where we were allowed to pitch ForCor directly to video retailers. Didn't sell many videos, but it sure was fun, and we met some great people.
Mark at the Rio. This was where the convention was held that year. It was my first day in Vegas and all I could think was, "Why is anybody hosting any convention in Las Vegas in the middle of July?" It was about 116 degrees outside.
Mark and Julia. In front of Treasure Island.
Fellow filmmakers. Some of the other "Filmmakers of Tomorrow" who becamefriends of mine. From left: Gabe Weisert, who made the comedy Cow Monkey; Alison, whose last name I can't remember butshe's now married to Rich Mauro, center, director of a neat scary movie called Mole; Filmmakers of Tomorrow coordinatorCeleste Day-Drake; Mole producer Matt Suchomsky.
Norskies. Purely by chance, I was introduced to a table full of Norwegians after mentioning that I am half-Norwegian myself. As a result of meeting these guys, I was invited to the Norwegian International Film Festival the following year (see below). From left: Arild Kalkvik, Erik Zmuda, Mark.
On August 17, 2003, I arrived as an invited guest of Scandinavia's biggest film festival, where I screened both ForeignCorrespondents and my second feature Claustrophobia that week to appreciative audiences. It was actually the first timeForCor screened at a festival outside the United States.
The "Red Carpet." Here I stand, proudly displaying my "all access" pass, onthe consistently soggy (it rains a lot in Norway) red carpet leading up to the multiplex where most of the festival's films wereplaying.
Sunset over Haugesund. A scenic moment in the humble town, the former centerof Norway's once-bustling herring trade.
Mark and Christina Ricci. The popular young actress was another guest at thefestival, screening her film Prozac Nation, which was directed by a Norwegian.
Mark and Jason Biggs. Another star of Prozac Nation, Jason was also intown to promote American Wedding.
Mark and Ludivine Sagnier. Finishing up the celebrity roundup. This Frenchactress starred in the art house hit Swimming Pool, which played at the festival. (Note: All three of these "star photos"were taken on the same night, when there was a fancy dinner for the festival's special guests. Side note: Christina Riccitook the picture of me and Ludivine, while Ludivine took the picture of me and Christina Ricci.)
Mark on a boat. I was given not one but two free boat rides around Haugesund. Ludivine took this picture too - maybe she should take up photography.