Archive for April, 2008

Female Cowboy Yodeler is Musical Inspiration!

Judy Coder, of Topeka, Kansas, is my musical inspiration for Au Pair, Kansas. She’s the lead singer in Judy Coder and Pride of the Prairie, the “hottest cowboy band in Kansas.” She was the 1999 Pasty Montana National Yodeling Champion and the 2001 Western Music Association (WMA) International Yodeling Champion, and was nominated by the Academy of Western Artists (AWA) in 2002 for Yodeler of the Year. She has numerous nominations for awards by the WMA, including 2003 Entertainer of the Year, 2005 Female Vocalist of the Year and the 2005 Crescendo Award.

Hopefully, hopefully, we’ll be able to use Judy in the big dance scene in Au Pair, Kansas, and her fantastic rendition of the Patsy Montana song, Out On The Lone Prairie, for opening credits. Man, Judy ROCKS!

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Executive-Producer Tom Carmody Makes 2 New Feature Films!

Au Pair, Kansas Executive-Producer Tom Carmody recently completed principle photography on his feature film, The Only Good Indian. Shot in Kansas, on 35 mm film, TOGI (as it’s called by crew), was written and produced by Tom, and is his first feature film as writer. TOGI is directed by Kevin Wilmott, who also directed the feature film, Bunker Hill, which had a cast/crew screening last month in Lawrence, Kansas. Tom was also Executive-Producer on Bunker HIll.

Tom and I started Carmody/O’Neal Workshop Productions (COW Prods, for short) a couple years ago, with the goal of producing movies in and about Kansas and the Midwest. Our first project was the ultra-low budget feature Alien Game (directed by Alan Denman, who we flew over from London to shoot a crazy condensed schedule in the burning hills of Southern California, no joke, a couple weeks after we wrapped the shoot, half of our locations were burned to a crisp. Well, that’s sort of a failure of our Kansas film goal, our first film was shot in California!)

Tom has supported Au Pair, Kansas from the first draft (it was my last script written as a UCLA grad student) and was present when I initially came up with the idea for the script (we were attending the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, where our script, Johnny PIgskin, was a finalist in their screenplay competition) and we met this incredible Norwegian actor (Havard). Keeping true to his vision, Au Pair, Kansas, will be the third film Tom has in some capacity produced (ie, made happen.) Can’t wait to see TOGI! And Tom and I still have two other scripts that we’ve cowritten and are set in Kansas (Johnny Pigskin and Casino Rez.)

Co-Producer Sean McConville to Direct his Script “The Deadline”

Au Pair, Kansas Co-Producer Sean McConville (and supposed second unit director/soccer choreographer) has just returned from location scouting in Louisianna, where he is to direct The Deadline. The script, a psychological thriller, will be his feature film directorial debut (note: Sean started writing The Deadline while staying at my house in Lawrence, Kansas, where he apparently was psychologically thrilled.) Of course, when The Deadline becomes a hit, there’s little (fat) chance of getting him to be my second-unit director (unless, of course his movie sucks, which is highly unlikely. Check out the trailer for his movie, The Car, on YouTube below.)

Sean found the producer of The Deadline on Craig’s list! Sent him an email, had him watch the YouTube trailer, sent him the script, and the rest, as they say in Hollywood is magic (or is it history.) Then they found funding from an overseas investor/producer, and suddenly (okay, a couple months later) there’s Pay or Play money in escrow and the script’s out to name actresses. Sean’s script is a fantastic, wonderful, scary page-turner read. Just what gets you noticed (and gets films funded.) Why, then, did I write a dramedy with wacko characters set on the plains of Kansas? (You gotta do what you gotta do.)

Stay tuned for updates on The Deadline. Once they cast the three main actors (he’s waiting for responses now), the project will be listed in IMDB (internet movie data base.) I absolutely can’t wait to visit the set and sit in the director’s chair and have some cute Production Assistant bring me a skim decafe latte. It will happen!