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Tampa Bay model Lisa Marie Lowrey photographed by Tampa Bay photographer C. A. Passinault during a photography session for Tampa Bay modeling resource site Independent Modeling in 2003. Photography by Aurora PhotoArts photography and design Tampa Bay - Tampa Bay Film Festival PictureTampa actress and model Sarah Bray photographed poolside in Tampa Palms (New Tampa) by Tampa Bay photographer C. A. Passinault in 2002. Photography by Aurora PhotoArts photography and design Tampa Bay A Dancer in a Tampa Bay event photographed by Tampa Bay photographer C. A. Passinault. Photography by Aurora PhotoArts photography and design Tampa Bay - Tampa Bay Film Festival PictureTampa filmmaker Chris Woods headshot by Tampa headshot photographer C. A. Passinault, Aurora PhotoArts Tampa Photography and Design.Tampa Bay model, dancer, and choreographer Melissa Maxim photographed with Lance, a nightclub dancer, in a Ybor City nightclub by Tampa Bay photographer C. A. Passinault in 2002. Photography by Aurora PhotoArts photography and design Tampa Bay Tampa model and actress Roxanne Kowalska (right) and singer Michelle pose for a pre-production shoot of the short indie film “The Pledge”, in a preproduction photography session with the original cast by C. A. Passinault. Both Roxanne Kowalska and “Lowie” Laura Narvaez (not pictured) were scouted for the film at a Passinault audition. Casting crew for Passinault Entertainment Group conducting auditions for the Reverence feature film.Tampa audition photograph of actresses reading roles from the Reverence feature indie film project by Dream Nine Studios.Two actresses read during an audition for the Reverence feature film, a Passinault indie film.Tampa actress and model Harmony Layne poses for pictures to be used in the Tampa indie film, The Quiet Place. Photograph by Tampa photographer C. A. Passinault, Aurora PhotoArts Tampa photography and design.Tampa singer, model, actress, television host, pageant title holder, and entertainer Ann Poonkasem serenades an audience near Brandon, Florida, in the Tampa Bay area. Photograph taken by Tampa photographer C. A. Passinault, who was sitting in the front row judging the beauty pageant with a camera and a long, 300 MM lense.Tampa actor Rob Mussell headshot by Tampa headshot photographer C. A. Passinault. Tampa model and actress Sarah Bray during a modeling shoot with Tampa modeling portfolio photographer C. A. Passinault in Riverview, Florida, in the Tampa Bay area.Scream At The Wall Cameraman at the Horror and Hotties film festival in Tampa, Florida.


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Tampa Bay Film And Film Festival Status - Tampa Bay Film, Indie Film Projects, and Film Festivals

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - 9:00 AM - Tampa Indie Film Log for Filmmaker C. A. Passinault

Taking A Holiday, And The Outcast Indie Film

I’m exhausted. I finished up the marathon site coding for Tampa Bay Film that I’ve been wrapped up in the last 12 weeks over the weekend, and I’m simply disconnecting myself to recharge. I’ve been sleeping away entire days, and I’ve needed it.
The next week and a half, leading up to Christmas, it a perfect time for a holiday- of sorts. I’m a workahloc by nature, and I’ll probably be back at work later today (although you could count this Tampa Film Blog entry as work). Just not here.
I’ll get back to Tampa Bay Film and its array of web sites before the end of the year, for sure, but only because some odds and ends need to be done. Tampa Bay Film itself has been gutted of content, with the reviews moved to Tampa Film Review and other content moved to the relevant Tampa Bay Film site. All eight sites are now up and running, but the irony is that, after giving birth to so many annex sites, Tampa Bay Film itself is a bit anemic, and it is the weakest of the lot. So, what needs to be done by the end of the year / beginning of next?

1. Tampa Bay Film needs more content (at least two days worth of work).

2. The “services” sections of all eight sites need to be brought up to spec. These are marketing platforms as well as resources, after all. This should take a day to do.

3. At least 20 new films need to be added to the online film festival, and content needs to be adjusted (although the goal of trying to get as many films on there is no longer a priority. If there are too many films playing, you risk the online film festival becoming too cluttered, and there are diminishing returns. Additionally, it’s beginning to be more difficult monitoring the film festival and keeping tabs on what films are working, and which ones are not. I think that between 100-200 films online is a good balance, for now. This, of course, brings up questions regarding the future of the online film festival, and upcoming generations / upgraded version where the user can add films themselves; too many films can make it too much like Youtube, and with good films being lost in the clutter, it could make the online film festival rather pointless as a promotional and marketing platform for indie films. Would thousands of indie films online be a good thing, necessarily, if you cannot find what you are looking for? I am looking at the options now, and will make a decision regarding direction in the new year. I think that organization is going to be key. If we can fine tune the organization of the online film selection, the film festival growth and effectiveness will not be much of an issue anymore. The “channels” system is the proper course, I am convinced, nut lot more needs to be done with it for the film festival to maintain its balance). This will take at least two days of work.

4. Some new reviews have to be written.

So, does the Tampa indie film scene really need Hollywood to come here, “save us”, and make the Tampa Bay area, and Florida, for that matter, Hollywood East? No. What the Tampa indie film scene needs is for Tampa filmmakers to make innovative, great films, and to form a community where we make Tampa Hollywood East on our own. Attracting Hollywood here is a bit like attracting competition with deep pockets. In my opinion (an educated opinion from a professional who has a great deal of experience in business, and with changing industries with better ideas and business practices), Hollywood coming to Tampa and using the Tampa Bay area as a location for their productions would kill Tampa indie film; it would be the worst thing for independent film in Tampa Bay. Sure, it would be good for businesses which would cater to big productions (and no, they would not necessarily hire local talent to help, either. A few years ago, when The Punisher filmed here in Tampa, they trucked in their crew from outside of the area. Did they cast local actors? No. The only local acting “roles” available were for extras, and, as an actor, I can say that those no-talent gigs were not worth it, especially at $70.00 a day), and would bring in money to our economy, but it would starve, and discourage, independent film.
Remember that the next time that the film commission or a large film festival wants you to help them promote Tampa Bay as a location for motion pictures. Do they really have your best interest in mind?
Within this in mind, I’m taking a break. I need to do more work in my home industries, and make more money to support what is coming. I also need to finish a book, a novel, and some more web sites. Although the Tampa Bay Film sites will be updated from time to time, the standby status begins now, and will last for at least six months.
So, what of the indie films and the film festivals? That all depends upon how well my business endeavors work out in a fractured, but healing, economy. If it takes all of my time and energy to make the kind of money that I am going to need for all of this, then it will lead to delays (hey, if I have to spend all of my time in the next two years making money, making films, writing, and DJ’ing, so be it. The other projects can wait. With my projects, it’s never a question of “if”, but rather “when”. Things will get done, at least in the next five years).
The cool thing, is, that I’ll accomplish quite a bit in 2010. Expect, at the very least, at least a couple indie films- some good, innovative indie films. Expect a lot more, too.
Well, I was going to end the post, now, but I have a few extra minutes. I need to post about something else that has been on my mind.
A week ago, I had a weird dream, which was about my first stageplay from 1992. That stageplay was “The Outcast”.
The Outcast was a stageplay about church, a youth group, religion, and hypocrisy. It proved to be popular with churches, who wanted to do stageplays of The Outcast. Well, I couldn't allow a bunch of church people to turn my script into a typical church skit, so I figured that it would be good for me to get involved with the first stage production.
By then, it was 1993, and I was taking theater, writing, and music courses in college. In 1993, I was not completely satisfied with the script for The Outcast, since I did not have a computer and originally wrote in a notebook. It would have been fine, but I had to have a woman from our local church type it up on her computer, and in the process, she made some changes which I was not happy with at all. Despite the flaws of my modified work, the churches all wanted to do my play. Anyway, when I was in college in 1993, I decided to begin working on a second stageplay, a romantic comedy titled “Purple Passion”. I still did not have a computer, however, so I spent a lot of time in the computer room of the college writing.
There were some actresses in my theater course, too, who I made friends with. Both actresses were extremely experienced in acting, casting, and just about everything. They taught me a lot, especially about acting. There was another girl named Carmen in my theater class, too, who was really, really cute. We got on well. Dr. Sylvano would be up front, telling us about the Rose theater, and about how theaters were built, and Carmen and I would be curled up in the back reading my latest story, or the latest version of the Purple Passion script. She’d giggle, Dr. Sylvano would stop and ask me a question about what he had been discussing, I’d give him some off-the-wall B.S. answer because I was too much into what I was working on, and flirting with Carmen. My two actress friends would turn around and glare at me, and Carmen and I would just do our thing. Afterwards, the questions would come. My actress friends would get on my case for not taking the class seriously enough, and ask me why I’d have to make Carmen giggle and disrupt the class. Dr. Sylvano would ask me why I was failing the class, and that’s when I would show him what I was working on. He was teaching about theater, which was great, but here I was actually doing it. He understood, but reminded me that my grades sucked. He also read and reviewed Purple Passion for me, and in his notes, he noted that they characters were a lot like me, not taking school seriously, and dating a lot.
Carmen was into what I was doing, as my script was entertaining her, and causing her to giggle (If I could go back, I’d take her to that play that she asked me to take her to. I really liked Carmen. I was just too focused on my projects to take advantage of the opportunities which presented themselves ). So were my actresses. One of them sat with me one day in the computer lab working on Purple Passion, and I took a while to print her out some things. So, we sat there, and she told me that I was a genius. I got a lot of that. It’s just too bad that I found school to be boring. The people, however, were not, and I made a lot of friends. Well, when I wasn’t off writing.
Sigh. Carmen. Whatever happened to her? We went off together one day to take some test, and we were chatting up a storm. I lamented that we had to take the test. She turned toward me, tilted her hear, smiled, and winked. “At least we’re doing it together.”
I couldn’t argue with that. Still, I missed out. I was too busy to really do much of anything with her. I liked her, though, and I’m sure that she felt the same.
Still, I don’t remember the last time that I saw Carmen. She wasn’t forgettable, either. She was there one day, and we just went our separate ways soon after.
Anyway, my actress friends and I got together to work on my Outcast stageplay. A church wanted to do the play, and I met with the youth group director. We decided to go ahead and work together and do the play. I need the help of my girls, however.
So, my theater girls showed up for a youth group meeting. We had meetings, set up some auditions, and many in the congregation of the church pledged their support. All was going well.
My first audition was in March of 1993. The girls conducted the auditions with me, and they taught me how to cast. There was just one problem. The few youth group teens who showed up to audition for roles couldn’t act. One or two of them just were not able to fill the cast.
Aimee, one of the theater girls, turned to me. She told me that, unless there were other kids with acting talent, that they might have to fill some of the roles themselves. .
There were other problems, too. During one of the youth group meetings, some of the church teens asked how long I had been a Christian. Being upfront and honest with them, I told them that I was not a Christian. I’m real.
In retrospect, this could have been why our first audition was so lukewarm. This could have also been the reason why much of the congregation who had pledged their support simply did not show up. Word got around that non-Christians were heading up a church project.
Our suspicions were confirmed soon after that audition, too, as the youth pastor told me that there was concern that I was not a Christian, and the pastor of the church told him that we could no longer do the play.
So, I broke the news to the girls. We weren’t happy, but the project was canned. We pulled out, but not before I walked up to the pastor after a service and chewed him out about the fiasco.
Not that the play would have been that good to begin with, as most of those kids were awful actors. We would have had to bring in professional actors, and I’m sure that the church would not have been thrilled about worldly people invading their domain.
To this day, I don’t like that church, or many churches, for that matter.
I did have to go back there in 1995 when my brother got married there (the pastor was nowhere to be found, thank God). Also, in 2001, I had dinner at a Pizza restaurant next door to the church with model Melissa Maxim and my senior DJ Marlon Brown. We tried to order beer with our pizza, and the server told us that they couldn’t sell beer due to their proximity to the church. We were not happy about that at all.
Well, enough of that trip down memory lane. Now, I’m trying to keep an open mind when it comes to church, and not allow the fake-ass people who I’ve encountered in church in the past to poison my attitude and inspire me to write it off altogether. I will remain open to the possibilities, although I seem to be more of a Christian than those who claim to be. I’m a good person, and that’s good enough for me, and to the people who know me.
I’m also going to redo the Outcast, with a new story. I have a lot to write about, and a lot of experience to inspire me. The Outcast will be the church project which churches wouldn’t dare attempt, but it needs to be said. This will be for the young people who go to church and end up disillusioned, religion and hypocrites be damned.


UPDATED 01/03/11

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