Friday, September 17, 2010

NOW CASTING: "The Marriage Ref" is back and we're looking for you!

"The Marriage Ref" is a comedy panel show where celebrities help squabbling couples make peace. Created by Jerry Seinfeld himself, this is relationship advice... with a comic twist. 

"The Marriage Ref" casting team is searching the country for outgoing and opinionated married couples that have a long-standing argument or issue that must be resolved. No problem is too small or too strange!

Whether you argue about stuffing your family pet or installing stripper poles in the bedroom, we want to hear from you. Tell us why you absolutely NEED a MARRIAGE REF to weigh in and proclaim, for once and for all, who is RIGHT and who is WRONG.

Couples across America … we want to hear what absolutely makes you nuts when it comes to your partner!  Tell us your beef and you might just get the chance to state your case on TV in front of your favorite celebrities!

For more information:
If this sounds like you or someone you know, please contact the Casting Team IMMEDIATELY at:  Casting@TheMarriageRef.TV .  Please write "attention to Joe Pinzone" when emailing the casting department

Please ONLY send us your email address so we can give you instructions on how to apply.  Nothing else will be accepted or reviewed so make sure you only send us your email address.

Click on the link below to watch hilarious episodes of the "The Marriage Ref":

“30 Rock” Presentation Highlights Donna Reed Foundation “Weekend Workshop”

Continuing their mission of education in the performing arts, the Donna Reed Foundation is planning a series of “Weekend Workshops” to be held throughout the year. The first such workshop will feature a former Denison native and is planned for September 24th and 25th.

The two-part workshop will feature a pair of workshop sessions on Saturday morning focused on TV show production. “Script to Screen" and “Breaking Into The Biz,” will be conducted by Bellamy Forrest, assistant director of over 20 episodes of the popular TV series “30 Rock.” She will cover in detail the process of creating an episode of “30 Rock” starting from the script all the way through to the finished show. The workshop begins at 9 a.m.

Saturday afternoon will feature two sessions on Cinematography "Creating the Image" and “Lighting The Interview” conducted by Nathan Stoll, a Denison native (DHS Class of 1996) and eight-year veteran camera operator and producer in New York. This session begins at 1:30 p.m.

Both presenters will also share their insights about starting in and working in the entertainment business.

On Friday night, the instructors will conduct a “free and open to the public” session on how an episode of “30 Rock" is shot, which will offer attendees a behind the scenes look at all of the details that need to come together to produce a finished show. That session begins at 7 p.m.

“This will give people a fascinating look at how TV shows are made, whether you’re interested in a production career, or whether you have always wondered what goes on behind the scenes,” said Pat Fleshner, Foundation Board member.

The fee for one workshop session, either morning or afternoon, is $50, but participants can participate in both for $90. The Friday night session is free.

People wishing to register for one or both of the workshop sessions can do so by contacting the Donna Reed Foundation at or by going to the foundation’s website:, and downloading the workshop brochure.

For more information, contact:
Pat Fleshner 712-269-5481 or Tim Tracy 712-263-3334

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Freeky Creek Short Film Festival: Final Call for Submission

Freaky: \ˈfrē-kē\ (adj.); weird, somewhat frightening, strange or unusual; bizarre; conspicuously or grossly unconventional.

If you’re an amateur filmmaker with a “freeky” film, we want to see it!  Sleepy Creek Vineyards is holding its first annual Freeky Creek Film Festival on Halloween weekend (Oct. 29 through Oct. 31) of 2010.

We are seeking short films with running times no more than 20 min. (10 min. or less would be ideal) with freaky, frightening, and funny content in the spirit of the Halloween season.  Halloween is about scaring and being scared, but it’s also a time to mock the things that frighten us, so comedy is appreciated (but not required)!

The event will be held at our winery, just south of Oakwood, IL (directions found at

Important Dates
Submission Deadline:  Monday, Sept. 20
Final Films Selected:  by Monday, Oct. 4
Screening of Films: 
- Friday, Oct. 29 @ 8 p.m. – voting
- Saturday, Oct. 30 @ 8 p.m. – voting & Awards Night
- Sunday, Oct. 31 @ 6 p.m. – encore screening

Submission Details
All submitted films must be original material (including soundtrack).  The act of submitting your film will serve as your verification that the work is original.  If a submission is deemed to include the copyrighted work of others, the submission will be rejected, and the submission fee will not be refunded.

All submitted materials MUST be mailed/shipped.  We will NOT accept ANY files sent via email.  Currently, we do not accept submissions through Withoutabox.

We are committed to completely screening every film submitted before the deadline.

Submission Fee: $5, non-refundable.  Make checks payable to Sleepy Creek Vineyards
Materials REQUIRED for Submission (DO NOT send via email):

- DVD or QuickTime file
- Synopsis of film
- $5 non-refundable submission fee
- Contact information:
Contact name
- OPTIONAL:  JPEG (to represent film in printed material)
- OPTIONAL:  Trailer

Mail to:
Sleepy Creek Vineyards
8254 E. 1425 North Rd.
Fairmount, IL 61841

Awards & Prize Money
Awards will include the following categories:
    Best Film
    Special Jury Prize
    Best Actor
    Best Animated Short
    Best F/X
Audience and Jury voting will determine winners.
Cash prizes will be awarded for some categories, including Best Film.

The Venue and Organizers
Sleepy Creek Vineyards (see is an avid supporter of the arts, and prides itself on offering unique art exhibits, music, and film experiences.  The tasting room at Sleepy Creek will be set up to accommodate approx. 70 people per screening.  All films will be screened in high definition on a 12 ft. screen.  Most of the money from entry fees and ticket sales will go to the winning filmmakers.

Vineyard owner, Joe Taylor, and Festival Coordinator, Bill Kephart, began collaborating on film projects after meeting at a local film club, Champaign Movie Makers.  Inspired by the work of fellow group members and knowing there were other amateur filmmakers seeking a venue for their unusual short films, they established this festival

Miscellaneous Details
This is Sleepy Creek’s first film festival, so we’re still ironing out the details.   While we anticipate a 3 to 4 hr. program, 3 screening nights, and 2 nights of voting, these details are subject to change depending on the number of submissions and audience response.
Notifications of acceptance and details of the event will be communicated via email.

Questions may be submitted to:  Bill Kephart at

Member Spotlight: Creative Maxims

Creative Maxims, owned by Charlie & Mary Cunliffe in Dubuque, have had a very busy year. In March 2009, the two decided to learn how things work behind the scenes.  First, the Cunliffes enrolled in IMPA’s Grip 101 workshop. After their training, the duo received a call to work on “Megafault.”  This opportunity allowed the Cunliffes to see, first hand, how things were done on set.
Charlie and Mary then applied the multiple lessons learned through their training and real-life set experience while shooting their first short film, “Doo Doo Unto Others.” In this humorous story written by Mary,  a man gets fed up with a neighbor that will not keep his dog leashed and returns the gifts the dog leaves behind. Shortly after “Doo Doo” was shot Charles directed a 48 Hour Film Project for the Great River Film Initiative team.  The GRIFFIN entry, "Striking Out" won the award for best acting in the Madison, WI competition.

Following this success, Mary answered the call from the Great River Film Initiative for short scripts and wrote a horror spoof called “The Arbor Ate Em.”  The group selected the script, which focuses on a group of pine trees that are eating pesky kids at a botanical garden. Charles was also selected as the director of this project.

While working on editing “Arbor,” Charles wrote and filmed a politically charged short about health care reform from the perspective of a terminally ill father and his daughter. The film, “Hope & Change” is one of eight projects the couple has worked on in the last 12 months.

This spring, Charles won the an Iowa Motion Picture Award of Excellence for his script "Rolling Back the Clouds" in the Screenplay-Unproduced category.  Then last month, the Creative Maxim team won a "Best Use of Genre" award  at 48 Hour Film Project in Madison, WI for their film "Special Delivery."

Charlie and Mary are thoroughly enjoying their new hobby of writing scripts and making films. Creative Maxims continues to build toward their goal of shooting a feature length film. Visit Creative Maxims web site at to follow what they are doing and to view trailers of their work.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy Cow Music Video Contest

Friends of Francis Thicke are pleased to announce the HAPPY COW MUSIC VIDEO CONTEST.  Individuals aged 18 and over are invited to submit a music video for the song, “Happy Cow,” written and performed by musician Arthur Lee Land for a chance to win cash prizes and have their work viewed by a celebrity judge panel.

Arthur Lee Land was inspired to write the song after meeting Francis Thicke and visiting his dairy farm, Radiance Dairy.  Thicke, (pronounced “ticky”) a sustainable dairy farmer with a Ph.D and former USDA Soil Science Program Leader, is campaigning against a candidate backed by corporate agribusiness for the position as Iowa's next Secretary of Agriculture.

The Happy Cow Music Video Contest encourages participants from across the country to get creative and spread the word that what happens in Iowa will impact the nation, by producing a music video in support of Thicke’s campaign promoting clean and healthy food systems, sustainable energy and more profits for family farmers.

A celebrity judge panel, including filmmaker David Lynch, bestselling author Michael Pollan, actor Stephen Collins, and King Corn filmmaker Aaron Woolf, will select a best overall winner and a second place winner. The overall winner will receive $1500, second place will win $700, and the People’s Choice award will win $300. Entries will be judged on creativity, imagination and inspiration, effectiveness of communication in telling story, and visual and graphic innovation.

 “I feel like the issue of clean food and sustainable agriculture is reaching critical mass. From my perspective, this IS a national election. When I heard that the people who typically vote for this office are over 55 I knew we needed to find ways to reach younger people in Iowa who care about their food and systems that produce it.”

“The song pretty much wrote itself after I started to think about what the cows would be asking humans: What's it gonna take...? Our intention is for this video contest to be a fun, creative way to bring attention to Francis and the issues at hand. We are fortunate to have Tim Hawthorne, Founder and CEO of Hawthorne Direct sponsor the $2500 prize money as well as our celebrity judges who have volunteered their support.”

Entries are due by September 22, 2010, midnight CST. To listen and download the “Happy Cow” Song, watch contest videos and view full contest guidelines visit:

Iowa Screen Scene

Iowa Screen Scene is dedicated to talking to film professionals in the state. Jolene Pfaff, Local Producer and IMPA Board Member, and her crew are new so they are still working out bugs in the system whether through Des Moines Amplified or their own learning curve. What is not in question is the interesting and informative people they are talking to.

The show airs weekly on Tuesdays from 12 to 1pm, but all episodes are archived on DM Amplified, so you can watch them whenever you would like. All past shows are available as video cast and some are available as podcast. All new shows will be available as both video cast and podcast.

Please contact Jolene Pfaff with any ideas or if you would like to be interviewed

Click here to watch Iowa Screen Scene