September 4, 2008
So, the DVD is finally out. The DVD has two commentaries: one by us and one by some scholars (read below). Also included is a 'Making Of' doc that shows the behind the scenes process of the film's production. Also, as a bonus, there are two songs on the DVD's data section.
July 25, 2008
Deborah Parker, Professor of Italian at the University of Virginia has told us about the new World of Dante site that's now live. Here's the link: www.worldofdante.org. Looks like a great new resource for all things Alighieri.
June 3, 2008 - DVD Commentary
We're recording commentaries this week. First the filmmakers will do a commentary. Then later in the week we'll record the commentary of scholars Peter Hawkins and John Bell. Peter Hawkins is a professor at the Yale Divinity School and noted Dante scholar. And John Bell is the Director of Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry, a fellow at MIT, and is a puppetry historian. They've both published important works in their fields.
July 1, 2008 - Santa Monica Museum
Dante is screening on July 19th at the Santa Monica Museum of Art as part of their exhibit "Puppet," which focuses on the intersection of contemporary art and puppetry: my favorite is the Dennis Oppenheim. There's also a cool installation of puppets curated by John Bell. Also friends of Dante are performing on July 26th and August 2nd.
June 17, 2008 - TELEVISION PREMIERE
Dante will have it's television premiere on OvationTV this Thursday. First at 8pm Eastern time, then at 8pm Pacific time. Ovation TV is on DirecTV, the Dish Network, and some cable systems. It's screening as part of an animation series called Unreal Worlds. We're in fantastic company. The other films they're showing as part of the series is Spirited Away, Tokyo Godfather, and The Triplets of Belleville. Wow.
May 24, 2008 - Sharing the Joy
We're working on other distribution outlets and trying to spread the word. If you're a fan of the film consider rating it on imdb.com or writing a review. It's a little thing, but will help raise the film's profile.
May 22, 2008
Tickets are now available for the Toy Theater festivals in NYC and Los Angeles. The one in NYC is in less than a week. It is our NYC premiere. The L.A. screening is on Sunday night, June 15 at 7pm.
April 4, 2008 [revised]
So, Dante's Inferno will have its U.S. DVD release late this summer. Sorry, it can't be sooner. We're preparing the supplementary materials, recording commentaries, etc. More official news will follow as things are nailed down. It's been a long time coming. Thanks for the patience of all you Dante/puppet fanatics. If you want to be notified when the film is released, sign up for our mailing list.
March 30, 2008
Dates have firmed up for the Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival coming up in a few weeks. See the schedule below.
March 3, 2008
Finishing particulars for a DVD release, but it'll still be some months before it's released. No screenings until we figure out the DVD release date. A few things on the horizon: Santa Monica Museum of Art's "Puppet" exhibit; the 2008 Toy Theatre Festival; Paul Zaloom at the Center for Puppetry Arts.
January 2, 2008
Happy New Year! This is the first time since the film's premiere that we have no screenings scheduled. Dante had a terrific run on the festival circuit in 2007. Oh, wait, there are screenings... Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival in April for one. And others will announce down the line. But in general we're slowing down over the next couple months as we plot a strategy for Dante's Inferno to be the biggest toy theatre DVD release in history.
November 18, 2007
Finally have details for our screening and exhibit in London. The exhibit of Sandow's Dante lithographs opens Friday night November 30th. There are two screenings of the film: Saturday, December 1st and Friday, December 14th at 7:30pm. More info at the Horse Hospital's website.
November 15, 2007
Sandow's exhibit The Depravities of War opened last week at the Cal State Long Beach's University Art Museum. The exhibit is open until December 16th. On Wednesday, December 5th Sandow will be giving a lecture followed by a screening of Dante's Inferno.
October 18, 2007
News aimed at distributors and international buyers, Dante will be screening at AFM in Santa Monica next month. Details to follow.
October 17, 2007
We've had a successful couple weeks. The Eugene Film Festival gave us the award for Most Unique Film. Then this past weekend, during a fantastic trip to Switzerland, we won the award for Best Feature Film at the Lausanne Underground Film and Music Festival. We've been fortunate to chalk up six awards this year.
September 28, 2007
Los Angeles Residentes: Elyse Pignolet (co-Art Director and Puppet Designer) is exhibiting some of her awesome ceramics at the Little Bird Gallery in Atwater Village through October 6th. Also, Kit Pongetti (voice of Francesca) is playing a lead in the Echo Theater Company's production of "Anon", a new play by "6 Feet Under" writer Kate Robin. It opens in two weeks, on October 12th and runs for 5 weekends, closing November 11th .
September 27, 2007
A blog called Cinemateur out of Amsterdam has posted an article about Mike Judge's "Idiocracy". The article finishes up by talking about the influence Birk's Dante drawings and "In Smog and Thunder" paintings may have had on the set design of "Idiocracy." A screenwriter mentioned the same, when he saw the film. Anyway, interesting read.
September 20, 2007
One more Northwest screening. We've just been invited to the Eugene International Film Festival. It's going on in early October.
September 1, 2007
We've just posted a few of our fall screenings below. We're finally getting around to scheduling a few European screenings. Idaho and Bend should be fantastic festivals. They both have have great obsessive programmers. The Horse Hospital will be one or two screenings to accompany an exhibition of Birk's Inferno prints. We'll be trying to have one of us attending as many of the festivals as we can manage.
August 31, 2007
We get emails daily asking when the film will be on DVD or coming to a theater near them. Well, we don't have a release schedule yet, but I don't think a wider release will happen until early 2008. If you want to be notified when the film is released, we suggest you sign up for our mailing list. Then you be informed of all news: festivals, special screenings and release info.
July 19, 2007
Quiksilver has been a great supporter of our projects. They've been the sponsor to supply movie posters for both of our films. This month they're getting more involved. Tomorrow night (Friday, July 20th) at 7pm Sandow Birk will have a reception for an exhibit of recent work: Click Here to RSVP. Then next Thursday, July 28th, they'll have a special screening of Dante's Inferno. The screening starts when the sky is dark enough, but cocktails start flowing at 8pm. It's free, but you must RSVP. For more info or to RSVP (the Guest List) CLICK HERE.
June 18, 2007 - Seattle
We'll be screening at STIFF's summer series at Central Cinema in Seattle. I'm told it's like Austin's Alamo Drafthouse with better food. In July we'll be screening at the Israeli Puppet Festival in Tel Aviv. We'll post details when we get them.
May 31, 2007 - Review from Silver Lake
Writing for that cool downtown rag The Citizen, Robin Menken called the film one of the highlights of the fest and said it was "masterfully adapted." You can read the article in the June issue or online at their website.
May 18, 2007 - Silver Lake and Beyond...
We had two great screenings at the Silver Lake Film Festival last week. On closing night, the festival awarded Sean Meredith the Best Director prize for Narrative Features. In June we'll be screening at the deadCenter Film Festival and Winnipeg International Film Festival.
May 7, 2007 - Ann Magnuson interviews Zaloom
Los Angeles' Eastside diva Ann Magnuson has posted an interview with Paul Zaloom on her PaperMag.com blog.
May 3, 2007 - Silver Lake and Maryland
The Maryland Film Festival will screen Dante in beautiful HiDef this Friday at 8:30pm at the Charles Theater. More info at: http://md-filmfest.com. Then Silver Lake screening are Saturday and Monday night. The Saturday night screening may sell out. Tickets can be purchased in advance at: http://www.silverlakefilmfestival.org.
April 30, 2007 - L.A. Times Review
Robert Abele writing for the Los Angeles Times described Dante's Inferno as "the unholy offspring of Mike Judge and R. Crumb."
April 18, 2007 - L.A. PREMIERE AT THE
SILVER LAKE FILM FESTIVAL
On Saturday, May 5th "Dante's Inferno" will have its Los Angeles Premiere at the 2007 Silver Lake Film Festival. It'll screen twice at the Los Feliz 3 theaters: once on the 5th at 7:15pm and again on Monday the 7th at 7pm.
April 15, 2007 - PHILADELPHIA FILM FEST
We got a great response at our screenings this weekend in Philly. The Saturday night screening was at their largest venue and we packed the place. The festival also gave Dermot Mulroney (the voice of Dante) a special achievement award.
April 3, 2007 - BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FEST
At the Boston Underground Film Festival we had a full theater at the Brattle and won the Spirit of Underground Award (a vibrating bunny). Lots of fun parties. We also got nice write-ups in the Boston Globe and Boston Phoenix.
March 19, 2007 - DELRAY BEACH FILM FESTIVAL
The Delray Beach Film Festival just gave Dante's Inferno their award for Best Animated Feature for their 2007 festival. That brings up the debate of whether or not live action puppetry is animation. Their are people animating images, but they're doing it live with rods and strings, not stop motion. Anyway, we'll take it!
March 18, 2007 - FEATURE IN SUNDAY'S BOSTON GLOBE
A feature about Dante's Inferno appeared in Sunday's Boston Globe in the Arts section. It was covering the film before its screening that's coming up this Friday at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge. You can read the article at the Globe's website. It got a couple things wrong. Sandow doesn't show with Track 16. His L.A. gallery is Koplin-Del Rio Gallery in Culver City. Also, Zaloom did "help" Sandow and Sean with the "In Smog and Thunder" script. He wrote the script with Sandow. Anyway, good P.R. for the movie. Tell your New England nieces and nephews about the Boston Underground Film Festival that going on this coming weekend!
March 3, 2007 - March Festivals
In addition to screening at the San Luis Obispo Int. Film Festival, Dante has also been invited to screen at the Delray Beach Film Festival, and the Boston Underground Film Festival.
February 23, 2007 - SF INDIE FEST AWARD WINNER
We got the Staff Award for Best Feature Film at the recently concluded San Francisco Indie Fest, where we had great audiences and enjoyed a third screening that was added as their closing night film. Also, Dante's Inferno will screen on March 9th at the San Luis Obispo Int. Film Festival.
January 30, 2007 - BAY AREA PREMIERE
Dante's Inferno will have its Bay Area premiere at the 2007 Slamdance Film Festival on February 9th.
January 15th, 2007
West Coast Premiere at the 2007 Santa Barbara International Film Festival on January 27th. The festival is held from January 25 - February 4, 2007. Official festival site: http://www.sbiff.org
December 6, 2007 - PREMIERE ANNOUNCEMENT
We're excited to announce the world premiere of the film! Dante's Inferno will premiere at the 2007 Slamdance Film Festival. This is our 2nd film to premiere at Slamdance and we're big fans of the fest. This is what we've been looking forward to announcing. Slamdance chose its slate of 18 narrative features from a pool of almost 900 entries. We're honored to be one of them. Now that we have a premiere scheduled, we'll be looking into lots of opportunities to screen the film. Hope to see you in Park City!
Slamdance Link: http://www.slamdance.com >
December 3, 2007
We had a winner for our first poster drawing. We pick one winner each month from amongst our email announcement subscribers. They're full size, full color movie posters (27x40 inches).
November 21, 2006
As return visitors can tell we've gotten our re-deisgned website up and running. It seems people are continually confused about what the Hell this movie is (some readers are saying to them selves: "oh, it's a movie... I get it. I get it."). Hopefully the new site will help fill in a few details. Take a look around. Please sign up for our email announcements. Besides sending you information about when and where you can see the movie, we'll also be giving away a free full size movie poster every month to one of our email subscribers. They're 27x40 inches.
The main questions we get are 'When can we see it?' and 'Where can I get a copy?' I don't have an answer yet. Hopefully we'll have announcements soon. As I type underworld forces are divising a plot for world box office domination.
One of the new things on the site is Wallpaper. You can download the images and make them your desktop picture or screensaver. If people like 'em, we'll think up other gimmicks.
November 1, 2006
Two of my daughter's favorite movies are The Wizard of Oz and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the original). So, this year for Halloween so dressed up as Charlie. Her mom even made a golden ticket to go with the outfit. It crossed my mind often that both films were heavily influenced by The Inferno: that trip down into the unknown. Oz has more of an overall structure of the Inferno including the idea of it being a dream. Wonka's world is has lots of tortures that the children must endure for their sins: very inventive. But, there is news to report. A month or so ago, Beakman's World came back on the air. It's the kids' science show starring our very own Paul Zaloom. Many Fox stations around the country are airing the show. In Los Angeles it runs on Saturdays afternoon. I think at 1pm (check your listings). It's a one of a kind show that's great for kids and the young at heart.
October 25, 2006
The reaction to the trailer has been great. For those of you in the Bay Area, KQED will be airing a piece about Sandow and the film on their show SPARK. The episode is called " The Puppet Show" and will air on Wed., Nov. 1 at 7:30 pm and will repeat on Fri., Nov. 3 at 11pm. It can be seen now on the SPARK website.
October 22, 2006
Finally! We've gotten around to cutting a real trailer (the others were sub-standard cut by a worn out editor). Now, rejuvenated we've put a sweet new piece together. This really gives you an idea of what the film is like. Check it out now: the trailer.
October 10, 2006
We made some more changes to the color correction in August and just remastered our tapes over at HollywoodDI. The film version of the film is now mastered. Now for DVDs to send off to the festivals. Lets all cross our fingers.
August 10, 2006
Finally, some news! Sorry, we were too busy with the film to post any updates. Now, after finishing the film and getting some rest we're ready to communicate. A couple months back we had finished recording almost all the voices for the film and we had locked picture on all the reels. Then we worked on the sound design and began the color correction work. Then finally the sound mixing began. We mixed the sound in San Francisco at Outpost Studios. It was a Dolby 5.1 surround mix. It turned out amazing. Then the color correction was completed a couple weeks later. Now that's it's completed we're going to start the festival route and explore distribution options. We'll also try to post more on this news page and get more info on the site.
January 19, 2006
Last night we went to the opening night of Zaloom's five night run at RedCat at Disney Hall. It's amazing and I recommend to all. There's just a couple nights left. See the January 2nd post below for more info.
January 18, 2006
Sandow Birk's "Divine Comedy" exhibit is opening on February 4th at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana and at the Cal State Fullerton Main Gallery. The exhibit will be up until March 20th. There's an opening reception on the evening of February 4th. Website: www.grandcentralartcenter.com.
January 10, 2006
We are pleased to announce that we have cast the leading roles in the film. Dermot Mulroney will be the voice of Dante, a young man lost in the midst of his life. To find his way, Dante must journey through the nine circles of Hell . . . and even come face to face with the devil himself. James Cromwell will be the voice of Virgil, the ancient poet who guides Dante through the Inferno. Mulroney’s film work varies from his role as the overblown cinematographer in Living in Oblivion, one of the 1990’s classic indie films, to leading man style roles in films like My Best Friend’s Wedding and The Family Stone, which has just been released for Christmas. His role as Jack Nicholson’s doofus son--in-law in About Schmidt is among his most memorable. Cromwell played the farmer of few words in Babe for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. Also unforgettable is his role as the supremely corrupt police captain in L.A. Confidential. He was a strong addition to the cast of the acclaimed and recently concluded HBO series Six Feet Under.
January 2, 2006
Paul Zaloom is premiering his new show this month at REDCAT in Disney Hall. It's called The Mother of All Enemies about a gay secular humanist Arab who gets mixed up with Homeland Security, Middle Eastern governments, Al Queda, the Minutemen, and more. The show is a Zaloom-special using low-rent effects and is performed at as a shadow puppet show. It's similar in style to the Ulysses puppet show that's in our movie. Shows are January 18th to 22nd. Get more info and order tickets at: www.redcat.org.
December 31, 2005
It looks like Apple approved our trailer, so it's now available as a podcast through iTunes. You can link on this link to download it through iTunes and copy it to your video iPod: Dante's Inferno Podcast.
December 30, 2005
We've prepared an iPod capable trailer. But none of us have the video iPod to try it out. If you'd like to preview it here's the address: "http://www.dantefilm.com/podcast.xml". To open it in iTunes: open iTunes, go to the Advanced menu, select "Subscribe to Podcast...", then paste in the URL. Let us know if it works by following the Contact link on this site. Also, you can always view the trailer by following the Imagery link.
December 14, 2005
Jamie Cromwell had his first recording session today. Having slightly less dialogue than Dante, we were able to just get through all of Virgil lines. Jamie was able to respond to Dermot's voice from the first Dante recording session. Both Dermot and Jamie have strong voices that are already playing great together in the edit!
December 9, 2005
We had our first recording session with Dermot Mulroney today. It was a long day to try to fit an entire pass of his dialogue. We got through about three quarters of it done. It was a huge moment for us to hear the voice of Dante come to life. The actors work with picture and scratch audio tracks. There are timing issues for the actors to work with, but since lips don't move in Toy Theater there's no tedious lip synching.
November 29, 2005
Holiday gift ideas are here! For Angeleno's check out: Dante's Inferno (Paperback). Prefer San Francisco: Purgatorio (Paperback). And finally for the New Yorker in your life: Paradisio (Paperback). Oh, and for all Californians: In Smog and Thunder (DVD).
November 24, 2005
This weekend we begin rehearsals for our reshoot. We're shooting three new scenes. One is an original musical number about lobbyists. Other scenes are also in the eighth circle of Hell for Fraud: the Thieves and the Falsifers. Happy Thanksgiving.
November 5, 2005
There was a nice feature written about the film in last week's LA Weekly written by Dave Shulman. You can check it out at: www.laweekly.com
October 25, 2005
We're in the midst of turning our assembly edit into a fine cut. The first reel (about 16 minutes) is done and it looks beautiful. The other four reels should be complete before the mid-November reshoot. We'll be finishing the film in uncompressed HD.
October 23, 2005
On December 3rd, Koplin Del Rio Gallery will be hosting Sandow Birk and Marcus Sanders for a book signing. They will be signing copies of their three books of "The Divine Comedy": The Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradisio (published by Chronicle Books).
October 18, 2005
This past week we recorded a ton of voices for the film. Sixteen actors recorded voices for about eighty roles in the film. We're still deciding who will be the voices of Dante and Virgil. We'll post an update when it's settled.
October 10, 2005
We've decided to shoot a couple more scenes. In mid-November we'll be shooting three additional scenes: the flatterers, the thieves, and the falsifiers. Oh, they're bad sinners.
October 8, 2005
The San Jose Mercury News just published a great piece about Sandow Birk's "Divine Comedy" exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Art. Link: SJMN article.
September 8, 2005
The San Jose Museum of Art will be exhibiting the entire body of Sandow Birk's artworks from his series on "The Divine Comedy". This recent series of prints and paintings are based on Birk's contemporary interpretation of Dante Alighieri’s 14th century epic poem. The exhibition runs from Saturday, September 24, 2005 through Sunday, January 8, 2006. Website: sjmusart.org.
August 9, 2005
Well, we made it through production. The footage is more beautiful than we imagined (check out the Imagery link). It was very difficult to get everything shot in our schedule. Our awesome crew and puppeteers really pulled through. Now we're into a new Inferno...post-production. The rough assembly is complete and now we're working on casting, music, and sound effects. Our schedule is to complete the film by the end of Decemeber.
June 30, 2005
We are in production! Too busy... must get to next set-up...
June 1, 2005
This weekend Paul Zaloom premieres his new shadow puppet show called The Mother of All Enemies. It's about a gay, quaker, secular humanist from Lebanon who gets caught up in the 21st century's web of terror and anti-terror: www.culturela.org.
May 30, 2005
Sandow Birk's Paradisio exhibit opened in NYC on Thursday and continues through June 25th. It's his final installment of his series of works about The Divine Comedy. Get more info at the PPOW Gallery website: www.ppowgallery.com. He also has an exhibit opening this wekend at the San Diego Museum of Art. It's a series of prints inspired by the work George Bellows: www.sdmart.org.
May 20, 2005
The schedule is tight, but we're still scheduled to begin shooting on June 27th. Re-writes are on-going for Sean and Paul. Sandow and Elyse are working their butts off on the sets and puppets. They've constructed over thirty sets so far. Also, we've chosen a cameraman. The Director of Photography will be Michael Negrin, ASC. He's shot many feature films using both HD video and film. His latest gig was shooting 2nd Unit and Principal Photography on the last season of the TV series "Las Vegas".
April 26, 2005
We have a few jobs we're still looking to fill. We need a script supervisor, an Assistant Director, and a Production Assistant. These are intern/volunteer positions for someone looking to gain experience on the set of a feature length film. The film is going to shoot for two weeks beginning late June. If you're interested, contact us.
April 25, 2005
Welcome to the official site of "Dante's Inferno". Did you really intend to find yourself browsing the website for a puppet movie? We hope so. Read our dossier for the full rundown.