Countdown: One Week!

We’re in the final stretch, folks!  Less than a week till Round 1 ends!  Now Dockers gave the impression that they were going to post the vote leaders, but they never did.  So I decided to take matters into my own hands and find out where we stand in this contest.  I risked carpal tunnel syndrome and went through all 3,000 entries!  Whew!  And I have the sore neck, shoulder, arm, and wrist to prove it!  So what’s the verdict?

Well, it’s good news and bad news.  The good news is that we are definitely in the top 50!  Out of 3,000  or so entries that’s something to be very proud of!  And it’s because of all of you voting every day and trying to help spread the word, and, heck, even recruiting your family to vote!  So where are we?  Currently, we are number 32.  That’s the bad news, because as I went through each entry, I found more entries that had more votes than we have and it pushed us down the list.  But it’s not terrible news and I’m certainly not going to complain about where we are in this contest.  Do I wish we were in the top five?  Of course.  But considering all the problems we’ve had trying to get the word out to other fans (with the broken fan club mailing list and Facebook blocking me from friending other I-Man fans), I’d say we’re doing pretty good.

But this last week is especially dangerous for us.  The most motivated contestants and their supporters are in this top 50 and they are pushing very hard, so we need to keep pushing just as hard lest we keep dropping and fall out of the top 50.  I’m afraid to say it could happen.  Behind us there are contestants who have more voters than we have and could theoretically pass us by.  One contestant, another filmmaker no less, has been right on our tail for several days now.  Today he passed us up…not because he has a better project or a loyal established fan base, he doesn’t; but because he’s been vote trading with other contestants.  In fact, a lot of contestants have been vote trading. 

It’s not against the rules (I checked), but it is a flawed strategy because they are voting for the very people they are competing against.  Also, the way the app is designed, someone could vote once for someone just to get their picture on their page and then come back every day and leave a message on their page saying they voted again when they really didn’t.  The contestant would really have no way of knowing for sure.  I’d like to think that all the contestants are honorable, but I live in the real world and wouldn’t be surprised if some honorable contestants are being suckered by less honorable contestants.  So I’m not playing the vote trading game. 

Besides, when I contact the cast and tell them we made it into the top 50, I’ll be able to proudly say that it was the I-Man fans who got us there and not because I was trading votes with the competition.  And I do have to, also, give a shout out of thanks to all my family members, friends, and fellow filmmakers who have also been tirelessly voting every day.  All of you have been wonderful in your support!  Thank you so much!

Contest Submissions Progress

Friday, my director and I sat down and hammered out the cast list, which is basically a list of all the roles in the video and what type of actor we were looking to cast in each role.  The next day I posted the roles on SF Casting and, after being approved, they went live on Monday morning.  Within hours I literally had hundreds of submissions from actors!  So I’ve been combing through them trying to find actors who fit what we are looking for.  Tomorrow I’m going to finish that up and then contact the chosen actors and invite them to the audition, which is being held in Pleasanton, California, this Saturday.

Monday afternoon, my director and I visited the studio we are planning on using.  It’s also located in Pleasanton and run by some really nice people.  We’re shooting in a studio because I wanted a plain white backdrop for the video.  This will put the focus on the actors without the distraction of any background and give the video a clean uncluttered look.  To get that kind of background you need to use a studio with a cyclorama, which is basically a wall with rounded corners, so you don’t see any hard edges.  Another advantage of using a studio is that we won’t have to move from location to location.  We’ll be able to do all the scenes on one sound stage and just change a few props, actors, and lights. 

With a small low-budget production like this, I’m doing much more than just producing.  I’m also playing financier, accountant, casting director, costumer, and prop master; and I’m sure my roles will expand even more in the days to come.  Today I ran around to various businesses looking for the costumes and props that we will need.  I struck out at a few places, but managed to find a couple of places that can give me just what I am looking for.

It’s getting late and I need to sign off now but, remember, keep voting!

Dockers Contest Update

I just got back from a meeting with a director friend of mine.  I’m very happy to say that she has agreed to direct my video submission for the Dockers contest!  Dockers requires that the entrants that make it into the next round submit either a video and/or photos as well as a written essay.  When round one ends contestants are given only ten days to get their submissions in.  That’s not much time, so we’ve got to start now and pull this together very quickly even though I don’t know at this point whether I will make it into the top 50 or not.

This afternoon I typed up a first draft outline of my idea and gave her a copy.  We talked about locations versus a studio, equipment, scenes, actors, and the general look of the video.  She had some really great creative ideas that will save me some money.  Speaking of money, we’re going to have to keep the costs really low, but I’m still going to have to come up with some money to fund this, which is going to be a challenge since I’m broke right now.  So finding the funding is going to be my quest for the next few days.  Then I’m going to be making a lot of phone calls and getting prices on services and equipment.  That’s a bit backwards from the way it’s usually done, but necessary in this case.

You may be wondering where we are with regards to votes now that we’ve been at this contest for almost a week.  Well, we’re not quite where the numbers need to be yet.  As of this writing we have 40 people voting and 95 votes. 

I’ve been scoping out the competition…trying to get a handle on who the motivated players are.  Dockers says that they are supposed to be announcing the top scorers in the near future and I wish they would.  There are literally hundreds of entries and trying to check them all out is a huge task!  (Anybody want to volunteer to do that?)  But I can’t wait for whenever Dockers is going to get that list together.  I need to have some idea of where we stand in this competition.  So I spent several hours the other morning going through a ton of entries.  Not all, mind you, but enough to realize that there are some heavy hitters out there competing against us.

I counted 33 entries with numbers higher than ours.  So does this mean we’re safe and getting into the top 50?  No, not at all, because I didn’t look at all the entries.  There could be 17 entries with more votes than us that I haven’t seen yet.  So we are far from safe.  The number of votes of the top three contestants (that I saw) were 660, 788, and 901.  So we are really trailing behind.  Granted, they had a two-week head start on us, but we really need more voters and we need voters to vote every single day! 

Ideally, I want to be in the top five.  Since Dockers has made this a voting contest, it makes sense that being one of the top vote getters is going to be a factor in their judging.  They are most likely looking to back a project that is popular, among other things.  What’s really hurting us right now is that the I-Maniac Fan Club’s mailing list is broken.  There are over 1,300 fans on that list that aren’t hearing about this contest.  But can you imagine if they did and all started voting?  We’d blow everyone out of the water!  I’m working with the fan club president and trying to help get the mailing list fixed.  In the meantime, if you know any fellow I-Man fans, please let them know about this contest and that their help is urgently needed.  Be sure to send them the link to my entry.  I’ve placed the link to my entry right on the home page of the Shoom Zone website, so if you ever need to find it quickly, go to

“Should’ve Been Romeo” in Post Production

I’ve been so busy with getting the NAME THE MOVIE CHARACTERS CONTEST under way that I really haven’t been telling you much about another cool project in the works. That project is Paul Ben-Victor’s Should’ve Been RomeoShould’ve Been Romeo wrapped shooting a few months ago, which means that it is now in post-production.  According to IMDb, it is scheduled to be released on April 7, 2011!

Originally, I thought that Eddie Jones was going to be in this movie because he participated in the reading but, unfortunately, his name does not appear in the credits.  However, there is another I-Man alum whose name does appear in the credits and that is Vincent Ventresca!  He plays the role of Actor #1.

Check out the second from the last name on this cast list.

Look at the third row of cast photos.  Doesn’t the seventh picture from the left look familiar?

More Should’ve Been Romeo news coming in the future!