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Freestyle - "Akim Funk Buddha" (14 of 14)

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Previous episode

An eclectic artist, Akim Funk Buddha, gets the last word in the movie Freestyle, summing up the spirit of the movement - with a freestyle, of course.

The Making of Freestyle (continued)

I had negotiated that the end of my time on Freestyle would be after the Slamdance Premiere. I knew that Kevin would have difficulty finally finishing the project, and would always want to continue tweaking, but I needed a definitive end, so I could move on to my next movie, Power Trip. I kept in touch as the team had difficulty cutting a sales deal. They now had many good sales offers, including significant advances from distributors. However, the music and footage rights had not yet been cleared, and that cost would have eaten up the advance. Since these were all-rights deals there would have been no money left for the filmmakers. So Freestyle remained stalled in this conundrum for several years. It seemed like the movie might never get released.

Then, while pitching my next film Power Trip at the IFP Market in New York, I met a lawyer who was very interested in working with me. But Power Trip was not his style. He wanted something more like SlamNation. So I showed him clips of Freestyle. He loved it and used his contacts at VH1 to get us a deal. Kevin resisted at first because VH1 would completely re-cut the movie for their purposes. But we convinced Kevin that it was the only way to release Freestyle from its shackles: VH1 paid for all the clearances, but only took U.S. Broadcast rights. That left Kevin with rights to distribute our version of the movie on DVD, in theaters and internationally. Eventually he signed a deal with Palm Pictures to release the movie.

Of course when money gets involved, things get tricky, especially when everyone has been working on deferred salaries. Not my first canoe trip, so I was prepared with some leverage in my back pocket. So I got paid (that’s a whole different story to tell sometime), but I’m not sure about everyone else, and I know there were some hard feelings floating around.

Kevin Fitzgerald took Freestyle all over the world, and Henry-Alex Rubin went on to receive an Academy Award nomination for Murderball. But since then I’ve completely lost touch with them, and haven’t been able to track them down, even in the new world of facebook and twitter. So, I’m sending out the word to Kevin and Henry-Alex to get in touch someday!

Check out Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme
Buy the DVD

BLAST! is High School Friendly!

We would love to see BLAST! get into high schools!  And we are very happy to announce that a High School DVD version for classroom use is now available!

We think BLAST! is a great teaching tool for high schools. Here's an article from Funderstanding explaining why:

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Paul Devlin: Influencing a Generation of Future Scientists

When filmmaker Paul Devlin was invited to arctic Sweden with his brother, astrophysicist Mark Devlin, Ph.D., he didn’t realize he’d get a documentary out of the process.

Mark asked his brother to join him on the adventure of a lifetime—not only would they be traveling to Sweden, but Paul would be along for the ride as a team of talented scientists attempted to launch a sophisticated telescope above the Earth’s atmosphere.

The goal? Only to uncover the most powerful secrets of the universe.

No big deal, right?

What was initially intended as a one-week trip with his brother turned into an ambitious adventure, as Paul traveled with the team of scientists for six weeks in Sweden, and then for months as they went around the globe to discover new galaxies.

Paul, who earned accolades for documentary films such as Slam Nation, quickly saw the opportunity to tell the story of this team of scientists. The film later became known as Blast!

“We weren’t actually thinking about making a movie,” explained Paul. “While I was there I discovered what a fascinating project this was and what interesting lives the scientists had.”

Read the rest of the article here!

The Front Man Official Soundtrack is now available!

We've had an amazing festival run with The Front Man!  Thank you so much to all of you for sticking with us!

The Front Man Official Soundtrack is now available in CD form, and can be found on The Front Man Store page.   There are some other fun things there as well, so check it out!

 

 

The Front Man NYC Premiere!

Posted by Paul Devlin:

The New York City premiere of The Front Man at the IFC Center was a culmination of many years of hard work and it was wonderful to share the moment with so many friends and colleagues. What a spectacular screening! It's so gratifying to see the vision realized - making a movie that both entertains and moves an audience.

The Front Man Home Premieres! Montclair in NJ and Stranger than Fiction in NYC!

Posted by Paul Devlin:

The Front Man tour continues with a New Jersey Premiere at the fabulous Montclair Film Festival!  Jim and Christie got some more "fame sampler" during their interview for the PBS TV show "Life and Living" to air on WNET, NJTV and WHYY. The home state crowd really came through with a packed house and lots of familiar faces. So great to see everyone, especially my mother, Nancy Devlin. (Thanks for driving her up from Philly Dave Pitone!)

Next up, New York City at the IFC Center with Stranger than Fiction!

The LA Comedy Fest & Newport Beach Film Festival!

Posted by Paul Devlin:

Fantastic whiz-bang Southern California tour for The Front Man! Yukking it up at the LA Comedy Festival with Jim Sanfilippo and Stefan Drust, one of the original drummers for Jim's band. Jerry Quickly, Jay Pounders, Kristin Baldwin and my Aunt Roberta Sherry-Scelza were in the audience as well.

Stefan set us up with swank digs in Laguna Beach when a snafu with our hotel almost left us homeless. Then we got a limo for JIm's mom to join us for a truly magical screening at Newport Beach Film Festival.

Tonight, we are rocking it at the Montclair Film Festival!

The Front Man East Coast Premiere at The Florida Film Festival!

Our East Coast Premiere screening of The Front Man down at the Florida Film Festival was amazing!  The film was well received with lots of laughter!  Thank you so much to everyone for your support! 

Next up... the LA Comedy Fest on April 24th followed by the Newport Beach Film Festival on April 25th and 30th!!  And after that join us in Montclair, NJ at the Montclair Film Festival on May 2nd!

See here for a full list of upcoming screenings!

The Front Man East Coast Premiere at The Florida Film Festival!

The Front Man East Coast Premiere at the Florida Film Festival in Maitland, FL! Showings are April 5th & 8th! Tickets available now!

 

 

 

 

 

D-Word Pitch at CBS March Madness

 

Posted by Paul Devlin:

D-Word is the online community for documentary professionals. I joined in the beginning about 15 years ago and it has been remarkable to watch filmmaker Doug Block's vision emerge as an indispensable resource for documentary filmmakers. Basically D-Word gathers all the wisdom and experience of the world-wide documentary community in one place.

Now we're in the midst of a campaign to upgrade and thrive for the next 15 years. I made this little video in support during breaks at my day job covering March Madness for CBS. If you're a documentary professional or interested in documentary filmmakers, give D-Word a look!

The Front Man World Premiere at Cinequest!

Posted by Paul Devlin:

More than 13 years ago, I started shooting my buddy Jim Wood, just for laughs. Now, after the many dark moments of despair and high moments of transcendence that all filmmakers experience, The Front Man has finally come to life. The World Premiere at Cinequest was spectacular! I have never had such an overwhelmingly positive audience response to any of my movies.

We're so impressed with Cinequest and the people of San José for their genuinely enthusiastic support for independent filmmakers. It was the perfect launch for The Front Man!

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