Dec 16, 2008

Chico Bandito: A Fresh Start

Numerous false starts, several uploads, rocky promotion, and now all the posts and videos have been removed. Chico Bandito is a short film series that I started in June 2008 with a single episode. It's a dialogue-free dramedy that focuses on a marrionette named Chico Bandito and his quest for freedom in escaping from a laundry room. It's polished, it's simple, it's charming, and now it's gone - for the moment.

With three episodes complete and one in the works, the series has struggled to find views largely because of the delays between installments. Despite 3000 views, my decision to remove the episodes today was inspired by a few things. First of all, with a new widescreen format on youtube I can now upload the videos in their orignal aspect ratios - awesome! Secondly, the scattered release of the episodes has made it difficult to promote the series. I'm going to take some time to seriously look at how to re-release the old episodes, and promote the brand new ones to complete the series. And finally, I can see the potential of the project not only in its style and look, but in the impression the series can make as a complete unit. Because I believe strongly in the concept, and because there was excitment from those who saw Chico Bandito in the beginning, I feel I owe it to myself to take a full step back in order to charge forward.

Promotion continues to be one of the biggest struggles. Despite having a strong online presence in multiple online venues, despite taking a very assertive approach to my personal work, despite how hard I push sometimes; it's tough to break into the big numbers to get people to pay attention. A fresh approach with this project feels thrilling, because with a bank of videos waiting to be released I can focus more on promotion and creating momentum. There's a lot to do still, but I'm excited about taking some new steps.

For those of you who are interested, and for my sake I hope a couple of you are, the very first episode of Chico Bandito can still be viewed for the time being on I uploaded the short to their online film contest, and if you login you can give the short a thumbs up vote to help it gain popularity. At the very least, it's worth a free viewing! See it here. Thanks for reading, and thanks for you help.


Dec 8, 2008

Film Contest - Your Vote Counts!

Sorry for this long message, but please stick with me readers.

One year ago some of you may remember that I made two short films, The Gizmo Tree and Give it Time for an online competition. Just recently I was contacted about a new online venue for competiting short films and I thought it sounded like a great way to revive these projects and further promote myself.

The site is called and among a variety of categories, it has a lengthy competition for filmmaking in which various shorts compete each week to determine a weekly semi-finalist. After 30 weeks the semi-finalists from each week compete to win money that the site determines based on participation in voting and uploading. So far the total has grown to over $15,000 and the grand prize winner would receive half of that.

To be honest, the finale seems like a little ways off at the moment, but based on the fact that this site seems relatively new my chances of winning as a weekly semi-finalist at this stage seem quite good - but I need your help to actually make this happen.

Voting is a simple process that only takes a few minutes.

1. Create an account using your email address by signing up on the site . The process is simple and instant.

2. Once logged in you ONLY NEED TO VOTE ONE TIME for each of my movies in this weeks competition. Voting is simply a matter of clicking Thumbs UP or Thumbs DOWN underneath the video. Obviously thumbs UP is what I'm looking for :)

3. Vote for each of my films by clicking on the links below after you've logged in:

The Gizmo Tree

Give it Time


This is a global contest and although I have several new short films on the back burner, using these already previewed videos here seemed like a good way to test the water. If the potential of this site and contest are fully realized it could be an amazing new venue for sharing work and getting my name out there, and worth creating a specific new short film for.

I know it can be tiresome having to participate in these voting contests, but know that I really appreciate the time and effort you take to show your support for me. If these two short films, Gizmo Tree and Give it Time have proved anything, it's that a couple minutes of your time can have a huge impact on my work and allow me to achieve things that I couldn't possibly alone.

For those who weren't aware - Gizmo Tree won 2nd place in a provincial competition in January this year and Give it Time was nominated for Best Short Film at the Youngcuts international festival in Montreal this summer.

Please take a moment to check my videos out, I'd really appreciate it. If you have any other questions or comments - that's what facebook, email, and the comments section is for!

Thank you for your time and help folks!