Joe Swanberg keeps this journal in an effort to document the LOL making process and figure out where all his time and money went.


  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • June 2007
  • Friday, April 28, 2006

    Boston Blast!

    I'm still on the road, but here's the update from the super-ultra-wonderful-we can't believe it really happened Independent Film Festival of Boston. Wow! What a great Festival! Get your films ready for next year. You don't want to miss this one.

    Free gifts were flowing at the Festival. This sweet bag was just the start. It was full of CDs and we were also given a Festival T-shirt, coupons for ice cream, and even a pair of shoes (!!!) from a company called No Sweat that doesn't use any sweatshop labor.

    A dedicated staff of volunteers took care of us all weekend and made sure the food was constantly replenished and the Red Bull was flowing. We spent every moment we could hanging out in the Filmmaker Lounge.

    The Festival put us up in a super swank hotel that came with multiple leopard print robes. If you send Kevin an email he might show you some pics from our late night photo shoot featuring this robe.

    Before our first Boston screening, Kevin and I took the film to Prividence, RI for a screening at the Rhode Island School of Design. Kevin went to school here and we were excited to show the film to students. The screening took place in The Tap Room.

    The screening was great, and lots of people showed up to check it out. Special Thanks to Paul Connelly, who help us set this event up.

    After the screening we hung out with some of Kevin's friends who were in Providence. We crashed in Providence and I took the bus back to Boston in the morning.

    While Kevin and I were in Providence, Kris and Tipper decided to hang out in a graveyard...or something...I have no idea about this picture.

    We had our first of two sell-out screenings, and our best Q & A yet, on Friday night. The audience was great and asked very intelligent questions after the screening. They really seemed to "get it" and were excited about the way we made the film. Our wonderful moderator Joshua can be seen on the far right.

    The Festival hosted a bunch of really fun parties, featuring acts like UV Protection, seen here. We ran into a lot of filmmakers that we knew from previous festivals... the gang from THE LAST ROMANTIC. You can also see our new friend, Troy Morgan, in the background on the right.

    We also spent a lot of time hanging out with the super cool Michael Tully, who we will be seeing a lot of on the Festival scene over the coming months. I plan to finally see his film, COCAINE ANGEL, at the Maryland Film Festival in May.

    Festival Co-Founder and Director Jason Redmond took a moment from his hectic schedule to pose for a photo with Kris and Tipper.

    We also spent some time with Boston Phoenix critic/Filmmaker Gerald Peary and his Filmmaker wife Amy Gellar. We always look forward to seeing Gerry at SXSW, but this was the first time on his home turf.

    Tipper and Kris had a celebrity encounter with Michael Cera, the very sweet actor from the great show, Arrested Development. Michael was in a short film, DARLING DARLING, that was part of the Festival, and we saw him around quite a bit during the weekend.

    The last time I saw Arin and Susan, the masterminds behind FOUR EYED MONSTERS, I was dropping them off at a train station in Chicago as they rushed to the airport to catch a plane back to NY. They were in Boston to present their podcasts promoting the film.

    Adam Roffman (Festival Programmer) and I do our impersonation of the FEMs. Adam invited LOL to the Festival and we tried all weekend to express our gratitude. We hope to be back next year with a new project.

    Please join us on our next adventure in Baltimore. We will be at the Maryland Film Festival from May 11-14.

    Wednesday, April 12, 2006

    Philly in Photos

    We are home from the Philadelphia Film Festival, and once again, I have a wrap-up report with lots of pictures.

    We all landed at separate times, but we coordinated to have a driver from the Festival get as many of us as possible. The wonderful Mark James picked Kevin, Kris, and I up, but we couldn't find Tipper. We were driving around the airport when one of us spotted her walking. We yelled her name through many lanes of airport traffic and she finally heard us and came over to the car. She claims that our many phone calls to her did not show up on her phone.

    The Festival was nice enough to hook us up with a place to stay. Since there were so many of us in town, we got an apartment, instead of a hotel room. Here we are after just arriving.

    Nothing fishy going on here, just a late night photo shoot. Tipper saw a lot of horror films in Philly so we had to do fun things before we went to sleep so that she wouldn't be scared.

    Our first screening was very well attended and we had a great Q&A session afterward. We got some new questions and the audience seemed to really like the film.

    As is our custom, we handed out free LOL Soundtracks after the Q&A. It's great to have people come up and talk to us individually after the film. We always meet a lot of nice people.

    Here is Tipper talking to filmmaker Paul Harrill after the screening. We spent some time hanging out with Paul during the weekend and talking about the changing landscape of indie film. He's keeping up with all the changes on his blog.

    The following morning, some high-school friends of Kevin and mine invited us over for breakfast. Drew Spear (right) is a chef, and prepared a delicious multi-course meal for us.

    One of the nice things about traveling to Festivals is the chance to do touristy things.

    Tipper and Kevin did a impromptu photo shoot outside of some Philadelphia landmark.

    The Festival threw a delicious brunch for the Guests at a swank downtowm restaurant. The food was amazing and we got to meet other filmmaker who were in town.

    Here I am with Jesse Dubus, PFF's amazing print-traffic guy. Chris and Jesse were friends before the Festival, and he served as our unofficial guide for the weekend. He knew where all the parties were happening, and how to get us from one place to the next.

    My parents came to the second screening of the film, and afterward they took us all out for Philly Cheesesteaks at a nearby restaurant.

    The next stop is Boston. We will be there April 19-24th. Please come see the film if you have a chance.

    Tuesday, April 11, 2006

    Philly Fun

    The Philadelphia Film Festival was a blast. I'm back home in Chicago now and pictures of the action will be up soon. We had 2 great screenings and met a lot of great people. The Festival is top-notch and we were treated very well. I even got to meet Larry Clark and give him a screener of the movie. I hope he watches it.

    Saturday, April 01, 2006

    SXSW Madness (Picture Style)

    After a long blogging delay, I am back, with lots of pictures to share from SXSW. We had a blast in Austin, and we're all heading to Philadelphia in a week to continue the madness.

    Upon arriving in Austin we unloaded our stuff at Justin Johnson's place. Kris and I went to school with Justin at Southern Illinois University and he and his awesome wife Mary were nice enough to let the group stay with them. At one point we had 9 people sleeping in this room.

    The first day in town we walked around hanging posters in local shops on the main drag. We seemed to beat the rush and get pretty good placement in most windows. When the music festival started I'm sure all of our posters were covered up by bands.

    We walked over to the Convention Center to check out the theatre where the film would be screening. We were in the 2nd largest venue the Festival used, and I think we did a respectable job filling it.

    We came across a TV show doing interviews in the Convention Center and managed to get ourselves on. It was some show in NY, but I forget the name. Hopefully we can track down the interview someday.

    The interview we were most looking forward to was with The Austin Movie Show. We hung out in the green room beforehand and were excited to see that they had free food!

    Jegar and Leila host the Austin Movie Show and we love them! They cover SXSW basically non-stop and bring as many filmmakers on the show as they can fit.

    Our crew seemed to take up most of their studio.

    After the interview we did a station announcement for the show. This is my favorite pic from SXSW!

    I was very honored that Matt Dentler, the director of SXSW, personally introduced LOL. He went out of his way before and during the Festival to promote our film and encourage people to see it. I owe Matt big time, and hopefully some day I can pay him back for all the kindness he has shown me.

    We had a great Q&A after the screening. Here you can see Greta Gerwig fielding a question about her long distance role in the film. Prior to SXSW, I had only met Greta for about 30 minutes one night at the Mexican restaurant 8 months ago. Her role in LOL was performed entirely over the phone.

    We had a part after the World Premiere and the great Dogme95, who contributed music to the film, performed a stripped down set that got people moving. He has a new album out and is currently touring. Check out his page for dates.

    If VIDEO is what you crave, then check out Kevin's Podcast from SXSW, which just went up tonight!

    If you live in Philadelphia, come see us next weekend!