Being in a new city has its perks. Hardly anyone has seen my films here in Las Vegas. So, when I saw a posting on FaceBook in one of the film-oriented groups seeking short films I decided to check it out. I had been screening a short film I did a few years ago, “The Octo Circus” around town and thought it was time to screen a much older film.
“The Turnaround” was filmed on 16MM in 1995 as my last film while attending Columbia College-Hollywood film school. It’s about a struggling actor that gets mugged in the streets of Hollywood and then confronts the mugger in a bar. The 23-minute film is something I still consider my favorite just like a favorite child even though you’re supposed to love them all the same. “The Turnaround” screened at the IFP Market in NY and was the ‘Best of the Fest’ at the Rochester International Film Festival in Rochester, NY. It screened at other festivals. but never quite got the recognition I thought it deserved. I actually thought this little epic was the key to my film career. Oh, well. I do love the opportunity to screen it and share it with other filmmakers and film fans.
The Beauty Bar in Las Vegas has the old-fashioned seats that women sit in when getting their hair done, manicure, etc. The one in Vegas feels more like a bar then a nightclub if that makes sense. On Wednesday, August 17th, along with a bunch of local filmmakers, we screened our short films from a projector outdoors onto a screen. I hope the Beauty Bar acquires a newer screen as it had some sort of yellow stain all over. The films all had a unique 70’s look to them especially “The Turnaround,” the only film of the night shot entirely on film. The group of filmmakers praised me for that alone. My film screened last and I was very thankful there were still people in the audience. We had to compete a little with the loud music playing inside the bar as there were bands playing, but you could hear the dialogue fine until the door swung open.
I very much enjoyed viewing the other films and getting to know my fellow filmmakers. The title of this post is ‘Beauty Bar and the Beast’ since there was a strange theme that took place with most of the films containing or about drugs, guns and crime. There was a zombie trailer, “Patient Zero” by Rob Sholty and Andrea Walter. Thank G-d! And thank you to Maggie Yeah, Ben Zuk and the Beauty Bar for hosting the event!
RAW Artists Organization is a showcase of various artists from a particular city. It started out on the West Coast and is now on the East Coast and in many cities across the U.S. On Thursday, July 28th, 2011, Raw kicked off its first event in Las Vegas. There were visual artist with magnificent paintings drawings and photography. There were two rock bands; Down the Boulevard and Achilleion, a fashion show, a dance performance and a screening of my short film, “The Octo Circus.” (You Tube)
“The Octo Circus” was the first event to take place at 8:45PM. The crowd at Tommy Rockers seemed to really enjoy it. If you missed the screening it was your only chance. There wasn’t time to screen it again. Perhaps it being the first time for RAW in Vegas created some complications. It was a successful screening though. I enjoyed sharing my little Octo Mom spoof with the artists and others. I loved seeing the work of the other artists. And the bands were very good too. Right before I left that night, the drummer for Down the Boulevard shared his appreciation for “The Octo Circus” and love for clowns by showing me a tattoo of a clown that took up most of his back.
If you’re an artist interested in showcasing your work, beware that artists must sell 20 tickets. I’m not a fan of that, but I went ahead anyway as the exposure is good. So, it really pays to have a local fan-base. A lot of RAW seems to be word-of-mouth as well. I was referred to RAW Vegas by one of the models in the fashion show, Sara Gabriella. (Thanks, Sara!) It’s a tough business and sometimes you need to make sacrifices in order to get to where you need to go. Get your work seen!
My name is Ross H. Martin and I’m a RAW Artist!