night and day sweatshops

Making Things.


Day 1: SF --> Boise

Day 1


I woke up at 4:30 a.m. to head to the airport. My cab driver was a sweet old guy, but when I told him I made a movie, he got so interested, that he stopped looking at the road. I tried to not talk to him - I was tired and still drunk from the farewell drinks the night before and didn’t have much energy to speak; I also felt it would be bad timing for a car accident and that he should keep his eyes on the road.

I arrived in Boise around 2:30 in the afternoon. I had a three hour layover in Portland, which wasn’t too bad. They’ve got bamboo in the airport! And art by high school kids! I flew on little mini airplanes, which I love. It brings me closer to the feeling of flying.

Bruce Fletcher, the Director of Boise International picked me up from the airport. I also met Brian Stockton at that point. The airline had lost Brian’s luggage, which contained all the equipment for the animation workshop he was conducting at the festival. Oops!

Boise is desert. I didn’t know this. Did you know this? Bruce said that they have mud storms there.

The Grove Hotel is a nice big hotel where men in suits stay. I was psyched to see that my room was very nicely decorated with huge pillows on the bed. A marble bathroom. And Bathrobes. The bathrobe was the best. I felt very taken care of!

Soon after I arrived there was a schmooze session. I attended but was very tired. Every once in a while I understand why film people get hooked on cocaine, and this moment was one of them. There was no way I was going to conduct an interesting conversation in my state.

The opening night film was really great. "Hank Williams First Nation" takes place on a native canadian reservation. It’s a very sensative film with some good humor in it. The filmmaker, Aaron James Sorenson, took an amazing leap of faith and persued self distribution around Canada. And it worked! Now he is making a movie with Hollywood, and Canadian TV has asked him to continue the story of the film over 6 tv episodes. I briefly met the filmmaker at the after-after party, and he seems like a smart, passionate and humble guy. Hats off to Aaron James Sorenson.

At the opening night Gala I also met Vladamir Vitkin and Helmut Gausterer, fresh off three days on the road from LA. Vladamir and Helmut made a movie called "X,Y" that screened at SF Indiefest. Michael Wiener met Vladamir there and they have since kept in touch. What a small world huh? We drank and smoked and ate chorizo on the street, while I was pleasantly entertained by their dynamic.

High Life review in The Montreal Gazette

You cant read this article online unless you have a subscription to the paper, so here is the lovely text written by John Griffen. Thanks John!

Pop Applies to Movies Too
Saturday October 1, 2005
The Gazette, Motreal
By John Griffin

What, you may fairly ask yourself, are movies doing in Pop Montreal?
The Short answer is - screening in public places for your viewing enjoyment this weekend. The long answer is - fulfilling youth culture’s commitment/compulsion to self-expression through the production of generationally relevant art.

Lila Yomtoob is a 31-year old native Chicagoan who has lived in New York since the age of 18 and is currently testing out San Francisco as a potential place to call home.

When she called at the crack of dawn pacific time this week, I felt like I already know her. The familiarity came from a barrage of e-mails, ingenious D.I.Y. press kits (love the buttons) and a DVD/videocasette combo pack of material surrounding her rocking 72 minute digital fiction feature High Life.

Yomtoob’s move can lazily be called a Big Chill for the nervous noughts – a crew of late twentysomethings converge in a Brooklyn loft one day to backhandedly investigate their lives, relationships and potential for survival in the world.

The Beauty of the $5,000 film, apart from the acting edginess, great score, ,humour, pathos and bathroom bathos, is the fact that it got made. To modify a Frank Zappa line that he had taken from Varese, the modern day artist refuses to die; and Yomtoob never let little things like money or the film industry come between her and her vision.

She workshopped High Life with her talented cast – Michael Wiener, Sharon Eisman, Sam Marks, James Ford, Priscilla Holbrook, Doug Paulson, Max Faugno and Sunah Biltsted – for three months in her own Brooklyn loft. When it came time to shoot, everyone was familiar enough with their backstories and their physical location- her place is the main set, to run with the story in a volatile improvisational format.

The result feels real. Who among us has never wondered about out place in society while frantically partying like there’s no future at all? Who has never panicked under the deadline pressure to produce?

Perhaps only Yomtoob, who put her own quarter life crisis into the film, then got so busy with the four-day shoot, three months of post production and continuing effortst o have her baby seen that she has little time to wonder about anything but the ongoing process of creation. High Life screened at the San Francisco Independent Film Festival in February, scored a door opening rave-review in industry bible Variety, piqued the interest of the Pop Montreal people and found a home here. She and actors Wiener and Eisman will be around after todays 5pm screening of High Life at Le Cabinet, 3810 St. Laurent Blvd to talk about it all.


I just couldnt blog and travel at the same time. For a variety of reasons, the trip was exciting and fun and totally exhausting. So here are reflections of my travels in installments.


Some Press - The Montreal Hour

A free moment

Today I had a free moment. So I went for a walk. In Montreal. Now I am writing this. Tomorrow AM I take a train to NYC.

I have things to report, from Idaho and Montreal.

Amongst those things, which I will expand upon as soon as possible:

The Nut Lady
Hank Williams First Nation
The screening
The nice Knin people
Dinner with XY
Thank you Bruce Fletcher
Lyle getting pulled over by the cops

Traveling to Montreal
Arriving in Montreal
The amazing article in the Montreal Gazette
Automatic Vaudeville Studios
Gordon Thomas
EVPC on the cover of the Mirror

I'm tired of typing. more later.