Movie Showing and Afterparty Flyer

Back in 2002, I stumbled back toward the back room at the bar on 16th and Albion after realizing the music being played wasn’t the jukebox but a DJ, as someone corrected me. Right when I stepped in the smoke filled room, the song Surrender by Cheap Trick came on and it blew my mind to see a girl with pitch black hair behind the decks on the platform. I looked around and everyone had dyed black hair. I was at some kind of MySpace vortex, I thought. Then the next record hit. It was Don’t Stop Believin’. I used to hate that Journey song but, all of a sudden, I found myself singing along with the whole room because, even then, we knew we were having the time of our lives. That bar was Delirium.

I tried setting up a show at The Rickshaw but it just didn’t come together. They wanted a bar guarantee for a Wednesday during the pandemic and I really had to struggle with scaling down but I did. SF IndieFest director preferred Delirium since it was only a few doors away. He was pleased that I put it together. It makes better sense to just keep it easy after the screening.

Working with the bartender, Sheau-Wa (I love that name!), was real easy too. She gave me a jello shot before we spoke and I was totally jello for whatever after that! She hosts Wednesday metal nights and have rotating DJ’s so I asked if I can DJ that night and the movie yada-yada so she was totally cool with opening up the back room and setting up some turntables for punk and metal records. But! Get this. I’ll be playing stuff like The Damned, Siouxsie, Ministry, and Cocteau Twins too! So come to the movie showing (if you are cootie free) and have a drink after at Delirium because I know you’ll have questions. The movie is fairly complex.

Advanced tickets for streaming are now available on the SF IndieFest Event site.

Here’s the direct link to my page:

Unknown Actor Identified

Ashon Martin

I was randomly on the Birthday notification section of Facebook the other day and caught a glimpse of a profile that looked like this guy. He had a birthday the other day and his name rang a bell right away. I clicked on his profile to make sure and, sure enough, it was. Another Ex’pression student posted a happy birthday note on his profile even though he hasn’t posted anything for over a year. I was SOOOO ELATED!!! I messaged him right away and still waiting for his response.

The first thing I did after writing him was fix the movie credits. The movie is now fully complete.

  • 12 FPS conversion: done
  • 5.1 Surround Mix: done
  • French subtitles: done
  • Final credits: done!
  • DCP Format for theatrical screening: HOLY CRAP NOT DONE

My next big task, the most critical task that needs to happen or all is for naught, is to get a Digital Cinema Package done by next week so I can test it before hand. This is no easy task and typically costs filmmakers $800-$1200 to have it done professionally. I’m going to pay myself to do it for $500 since I’ve never done it before. Wish me luck!!

We have a date confirmation for SF IndieFest! Love Letter Templates will be showing on Wednesday, February 9, 2022 in Little Roxie. Showtime is still TBD but mark your calendars! There will be a Q&A and we will have a casual screening after party at Delirium and Beauty Bar.

I am also talking with folks at The Rickshaw Stop about throwing an official SF IndieFest Afterparty with DJ’s and a live band. There are some reluctance due to the omicron threat so stay tuned about that. I do hope to pull a show together and make it all worthwhile.

SXSW2022 notified that the film did not make the second round considerations. I’m glad to find out early enough because I really am happy with making the SF IndieFest screening my universal premiere and plan to release the film to the public after the festival. Although the movie is still in festival considerations throughout 2022, the big festivals that require the film to be unavailable online have all responded. I opted not to pursue Tribeca or RainDance and will, instead, release the film independently.

Now that the major milestone is set for February, I’ve started producing some digital and material artwork to support the movie. I’ve created music video NFTs to use as part of the campaign to promote the movie soundtrack to a whole new audience. I recently dropped the music video NFT for A Lesson In Trust that also contain a 50% download discount of the full album on Bandcamp. I’ve also created a set of movie key NFTs for each chapter with hidden links and passwords to view it online. I plan to create 10 of these at a time to test if this may be a viable way to monetize the movie while keeping the movie free online.

You can see the NFTs here:

I also know that there are many folks who don’t know much about what NFTs are and what they have heard tend to be misunderstandings of what it is and what it can be used for. For now, I am utilizing them as an exclusive access key that also function as a digital art collectible. This is all for fun and target a niche audience that this movie would be exposed to otherwise. I’m not sure if this is all a waste of time but I’m having fun and inspired to create. I hope you like what I make!

I was silent the past month for two main reasons. First, I decided to get a part-time job to feel “normal” and to take a break from all the movie-making stuff to avoid feeling burnt out. I realized, however, that I was hemorrhaging money and momentum by not being fully 100% on the film. After a few weeks, I realized I really needed to up the anty and push the film forward by submitting it to SXSW 2022. It was the most difficult (and expensive) submission process but I figured cutting down on my cannabis purchases (notice I said purchases and not intake) will help me afford it. Luckily, I have buddies that grow and kick down!

Soon after I completed the SXSW application, several personal events happened and I had to sink further under the covers. It was a memorial for my best friend who committed suicide a year ago so I was feeling really bummed. I started getting kind of depressed so I decided to let go of my part-time job and go full-time on my hedge fund activities to finance my next set of activities for the film festival journey. It was tricky because I was somewhat burnt out, the momentum for the film really slowed down, and I’ve also been feeling all roller-coaster because of too many things on my plate. To make things worse, I was receiving numerous rejection letters one after another and it didn’t make me feel any better.

One afternoon, I received the rejection letter from Another Hole In The Head Film Festival at New People Cinema in Japantown. I was really devastated to find out. I had hoped to be validated by their laurels but even with “friends” involved in their committees, the movie, with the 20 years I put into it, was completely ignored. Those “friends” never even tried to promote it. I felt betrayed. It was weird. I know I’m not entitled but “dammit!” I exclaimed. “I show up for people, but they don’t show up for me.” I was starting to be negative. Luckily, I have close friends to remind me that “most people will only support you once you’re successful so just keep going.” And, with that, I decided to get back into the ring.

It’s been several years since we spoke but Michael “Riggs” Rodgers, who played Metatron in the movie, had been missing this whole time. He deleted most of his social media presence and I no longer had his number. I was distraught thinking that he may have already gone to the other side. I looked on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, I almost went on Tinder just to see if he was on there! He wasn’t and neither am I now. Sorry ladies. But, several weeks ago, I thought of messaging him on Venmo out of all places and sent him .02 cents with a message to call me. IT WORKED!!!!

Since then, I’ve been working out practicing martial arts to calm my nerves and decided to get back to work on the movie. After a bad day in the markets the other day, I decided to take a long bath to calm myself. While chilling in the bath, I got a message from the founder and director of SF IndieFest inviting me to screen the movie at the 24th annual festival at Roxie Cinema in the Mission in February next year!! I WAS SOOOOOOO SURPRISED!!!!

SF IndieFest is the main film festival event with Another Hole In The Head, SF IndieShorts, SF IndieDocs, and Decibels Film Fest as the subsidiary festivals. I was really elated to find out and almost cried. Almost. See, I dreamt about it when I was just a teen. I stood in front of the Roxie and said to the sky, “One day…”

With the official selection of SF IndieFest in February, I’ve started pulling together potential after-party options for the screening and have some mock-ups for AR posters and stickers for bombing the city. I’m also looking to see if I can organize a live performance / DJ party around that time since many folks will be coming into the city for the Roxie Cinema showing.

I’m really excited about the things to come. There’s tons of work to do now so expect a bit more communication from me now that I’m ready to get in the ring again. POW!!


The dust from the Arizona desert is finally settling and I’m back on the grind to push this movie to its next leg of kick-assery. I’m stoked about the online screening we just had and was able to also absorb some hard criticisms from viewers who didn’t like the movie or was confused by it. I explained to one friend who thought it was too long that they can watch it like a book by reading it chapter by chapter. Or watch it as a series. But, just like a book, if you’re trying to read while doing other things, of course it can get confusing.

Then, I realized I should maybe separate them into modules so people can arrange the story the way it makes better sense. I was smoking a fat joint while thinking about this btw but I remembered how to code it in Flash Actionscript. Let me think about that some more.

The same day I receive the rejection letter from Toronto After Dark Film Festival, I get a phone call directly from the festival director at the LA Punk Film Festival about the movie and wanted to personally call me to tell me how much she really liked the film. I was elated to hear someone say the things she did on that call so I am pleased to share their official selection for this year’s virtual and private screening in Los Angeles this weekend!

I wasn’t able to get off work to attend the event but I believe there will be a DIY style red carpet in Los Angeles. Pandemic woes got the worst of the event plans, however, so I opted to attend the virtual screening instead. I would like to support independent underground artists also so I am excited to be considered for this even though the film itself is more of a heavy metal electronica bend. The director can see the roots of my DIY aesthetic and was also intrigued with my involvement in the punk/metal scene in San Francisco during the 80’s, something I rarely talk about since it was my homeless runaway drug addict child days.

I’m always open to meet new friends and other indie filmmakers since there are only a few people who truly understand the heavy undertaking movie making can be for us DIY guys.

Thank you everyone who signed up and watched the special online birthday screening of the feature length version of the film last Thursday/Friday. Friends from all over the planet was able to catch it and, as the analytics showed, the average view for visits were 3x (that means as some people stopped watching halfway, others watched it over and over).

These stats do not include the late viewers on Friday and Saturday but I was able to get some feedback directly from some friends instead of on the comments.

Most important was that some folks trailed off watching the movie because it was either “too long” or “too confusing”. I totally get that. That group account for less than 5% of the viewers. Some people suggested I make a shorter cut. There actually is one. But, for those who did watch the feature length movie, all 13 chapters, the feedback has been deep and validating. The majority of the viewers watched the film more than 3 times (completion rate is +1hr/views).

I want to remind some people that this film is not a commercial movie and does not follow conventional movie making norms so I am really grateful when some people are able to crossover and see the multidimensional storyline embedded in the film’s underlying plot.

I realize some folks missed the deadline and signed up after the cut off. Some of those people received a temporary password that extended over to Saturday. The film is now exclusively on the festival circuit and limiting its availability is necessary for consideration in some of the most prestigious festivals. The one festival this matters most is SF Indie Fest, so I am restricting views of the film for award consideration and invite only.

I am revisiting the comic book layout project now that the premiere screening is done. I’ve set the clock to run out on on November 11, 2021 as the completion date for the augmented comic book. I’m looking for some people interested in being involved in this so reach out to me directly or leave a comment on this post and I’ll connect with you about it soon.

Thank you all!

Thank you for watching the film! I can see that not everyone opened the link I sent so I’m going to keep it open until midnight tonight and let some more people in to watch. For those that just signed up, or would like to catch it last minute, here’s my auto-leak:

I’ll close it tonight and that’ll be that for now. My next target is SF IndieFest!!

I’m so overwhelmed with all the interest and support from friends and fans, friendly fans, and fanny friends! The movie is getting lots of attention so, naturally, there are negative feedback that come along with the ride. In particular, I received the rejection letter from Toronto After Dark Film Festival, a set of laurels I really wanted to have. There were two emails. The first one explained that over 1000 films were submitted but only 10 made the feature length spot. Mine was not selected. I was really bummed. But I was also relieved!

It is humbling. With all the popular attention and ego boosting moments I’ve been experiencing lately, rejection letters like these remind me that, although I have quite an accomplishment at hand, I can still be better. Do better. Be better. It is humbling, not humiliating, and that’s just what I need to get me to my next level.

Speaking of next level, I’m looking at SXSW 2022. More on that on the podcast. Stay tuned!

The theatrical premiere at Tucson was an amazing experience! I landed there with very few expectations and really focused on making connections and, beyond imagination, the movie screening was an incredible success!

The Arizona Underground Film Festival team were solid folks and made me feel at home right away. I really appreciated their kindness and honesty. Not only did they treat me out but also introduced me to a side of Tucson that was truly local. I connected with them as fellow artists and will remember Tucson in the best regard.

I was thrilled to see the title of the movie on the marquee and the movie poster on the wall. This may not mean anything to anyone else but it was all I dreamt of for years so I wanted to fly out there and see it with my own eyes. I told myself that even if it was only me in the theater, I will enjoy it as if it’s the first movie I’ve ever watched in a theater. I imagined it years ago and it unfolded in front me. I already felt successful at that point.

Augmented Reality Movie Poster, Tucson

Although the movie started late and the subtitles were cut off at the bottom, it didn’t really matter. There were less than 10 ppl in the theater by the time mine showed (late friday night) but those people that did stay and watch told me they loved it! During the Q&A after the movie, a lady who flew from LA to watch the film engaged in a deeper conversation of the subliminal tone underlying the story. She really understood what I was trying to do!! With her deeper connection to the true message of the film, I felt even more validated! Because of that, I am truly grateful and feel complete.

On my way to The Screening Room, I got an email alert from Cult Movies International Film Festival that we were Officially Selected months before the notification announcement schedule which indicate to me that the movie can advance toward the award ahead of time. Having their laurels will really be helpful in establishing this movie as a cult classic.

The day after the screening, I got the email alert results for the AltFF Awards. This online festival is important in that it is an IMDb qualifying award which means all of the motion picture industry will recognize the indie movie as an award winner for Best Cast which boosts the status of all the actors in the film. We can now say that we are an “AWARD WINNING CAST” and that just sounds awesome.

My special birthday online screening is coming up this Thursday, September 30, and will be available all day for invited friends to watch and/or download. The film version is the one that film festival directors and panelists are looking at and will have English and French subtitles. I will send out the link to the movie page and the password to access the film. I will take it down at midnight and the movie will only be available for viewing at film festivals until Valentine’s Day 2022.

Stay tuned!!

I just got up from a nap before getting ready to shoot over to The Screening Room to schmooze with festival goers and, lo and behold, I get an early notification from Cult Movies International Film Festival that Love Letter Templates was officially selected for the 2021 online festival!! I am very very happy to hear this because today is the premiere matinee of the movie in a theater and news like that are what we should wake up to every afternoon nap.

I had the great chance of meeting up with Emily Rued, star cast and collaborator in Love Letter Templates, and we had a very heart felt high five and off the record talk about how things turned out for us over the years. She’s really a gem and I am honored to have worked with her. She is doing great things both in her professional life and in her artistic endeavors. We had a good interview that I will publish on the podcast once I get back home. Thank you so much, Emily!!!

Emily Rued, Los Angeles, 2021

I am still getting dressed up for the screening and I’m feeling really nervous. I’m not worried about people coming to watch it. I can be by myself in that theater and still be very grateful. I’m nervous because I can feel it coming in the air tonight so hold on (did you just sing that?). I’ve been waiting for this moment all of my life…

Join me.

Tucson Trailer

The screening at Tucson is coming up and I’m nervous as hell. I was able to book a flight and a room but I totally flaked on everything else. I told myself the most important thing is for me to be inside the theater when my movie plays in one for the first time.

Lots happened since I last posted. Someone I was excited about ended up jumping off the motion graphics treatments I had planned for the music video version of the chapter, Always Never, which feature the song, A Lesson In Trust. That simply meant that I had to do it all myself while getting everything else together. Luckily, I was able to figure out a scheme to get what I wanted done and, although it’s not as spiffy as I had hoped, I was able to incorporate something very important to me into the movie.

I planned on kinetic typography composite over the whole scene using fonts inspired from the writings of my best friend who killed himself last year. I had his diaries and was intrigued by his handwriting difference between his funny entries and his last few before he flipped the switch. I was able to add another dimension into the scene doing this and I was able to finish it on time for the screening submission.

Ryan Garcia, collaborator on the Spare Change comic book, had to take a step back to focus on his own projects so the release for that will be delayed. Meanwhile, I’ll be working on other chapters after I get back from the screening at Tucson.

Will Storkson really pulled through in doing a master pass on the film’s audio bed. The dialogue really needed some fixing and he was able to raise the intelligibility for theatrical release. Thank you, Will!!!!

Because of everything happening all at once, I missed a few things that was critical for marketing at Tucson. I had all the graphics ready but I forgot to place the order for the merchandise on time to receive them before I fly out. So, I’ll be showing up at the festival without shirts, posters, and stickers, but that’s okay. I’ll keep everyone updated on Instagram instead or something.

I also fell behind on the podcast episodes. I’m two episodes behind on editing but I will get them done soon. I did an interview with indie horror filmmaker, Phil Flores, and he had great insight to share. I also interviewed Ryan Garcia before he pivoted back to other projects. He had some good things to share too so I’ll be posting both the edited and long version.

The movie was entered into five more festivals worth noting. These are:

  • Berlin Revolution Film Festival, Berlin
  • California Music Video & Film Awards, San Francisco
  • South Texas Underground Film Festival, Corpus Christi
  • FAME International Music Film Festival, Paris
  • Cannes Film Awards, Cannes

I’ll be posting on Instagram stories during my trip to Tucson so add me there if you’re on Instagram.

Super anxious…

I’m so stoked to announce that Love Letter Templates – The Movie was officially selected for screening by Arizona Underground Film Festival and will show at The Screening Room in Tucson, Arizona on September 24, 2021 at 10:15 PM!!!! I AM ECSTATIC!! This is another major milestone and I can feel it coming in the air tonight!!

I’m also happy to receive notice of an official selection for Berlin Art Film Festival in Germany! This means we will screen online and will be entered into a competition toward a theatrical showing later this year. If we do get picked and travel safety permitting, let’s have our passports ready!

I am humbled and realistic about all this, if you are wondering. Yes, I am all air-guitars right now but I also know that the road is long and there is so much work to do. What I do know is what I remember my mother telling me when I was young. She said, “there is nothing worse than never getting the opportunity than to have it come and not be ready.” Thanks mom. I’ll keep improving!

Here are the new posters!