By Scott Orris
“This is for everyone.” reads the tagline for recent Messiah graduate Rolando Vega’s Palace: A Short Film, a heartfelt homage to an era when movie theatres were more affectionately known as“dream palaces.” In an age of bluray, iphones, and Netflix, Palace recalls a time when “going to the movies” was an actual community event for people of all ages. It was within the walls of these “palaces”, that audiences could (before television, vcr, dvd etc.) experience something they wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else, (the oft repeated phrase “If these walls could talk.” comes to mind.) It’s not surprising in our modern commercial age, that actually very few of these theatres are still in existence, (replaced mostly by multiplexes often affiliated with shopping malls), and now a new challenge to their survival has arisen; digital. By the end of this year, most films will no longer be distributed on actual film stock but in a digital format, leaving those theatres (many of them historic) that cannot afford an expensive digital projector in serious peril. Palace symbolically reflects the struggles facing many of these theatres, in their attempt to remain culturally relevant.
The film tells the story of the Carlisle Theatre, a once great dream palace, whichnow faces its own question of survival. The theatre’s owner, Leo (played by Tom McNutt) is forced to decide his theatre’s fate, when a corporate representative named Derek (played by RyanPreimesberger) offers him a substantial amount for the property. But through the intervention of Leo’s granddaughter (played by Emily Mathwich), Derek is able to reconnect with his own childhood memories associated with the theatre and eventually becomes Leo’s business partner, thus saving the theatre. Palace demonstrates the timeless quality of the cinematic experience, inconnecting three different generations of film-goers. This was accomplished through numerous flashback sequences to convey the contrast between the theatre’s glorious past and its decayingpresent. Mitch McClure’s skillful use of cinematography in these sequences captures the “feel” and look of an old Hollywood dreamscape, effectively utilizing the contrast between light and shadow to dramatic effect. Rolando Vega’s heartfelt vision, truly brings new life to the word “dream palace,” reminding us, if these walls do talk, perhaps all we have to do is listen.
We made it. When Palace started out as a faint idea back in January 2012, I could not for the life of me have imagined the journey that was about to take place. Months of writing, re-writing, casting, fundraising, location scouting and planning went into pre-production. At the end of December 2012, we raised over $7,000 from many kind and generous donors using Indiegogo.com. We saw that family and friends believed in us. Then January 2013 came – the production month. It was the toughest set I’ve been on, but also the best. You can read about that experience here. After that exhausting week and a half, post-production began. We edited the film, sent it to our composer and colorist, and then sent it to our sound mixers and master engineer. After finishing the film for the Splice Film Festival at Messiah College, we were delighted to win Best Cinematography. Now we are here… May 5th, 2013: the public premiere at the Carlisle Theatre.
Looking back, I can only think of all the great people that brought this project together. Thank you to the cast, crew, volunteers, extras, caterers, hosts, mentors, teachers, family members and friends. I hope you can attend this premiere today because it will be a great opportunity to come together to cherish each other and celebrate all the hard work we’ve done.
So, I invite you all to come and watch a movie about how movies make people happy. Come and watch Palace in the place that inspired it all: The Carlisle Theatre at 7:15pm.
I’ll be there,
Director & Producer
In case you haven’t heard, we are very close to the premiere of the film!
Here are the details:
Please forward any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Thank you and we hope to see you there!
Finally! Here is the trailer!
I know it’s been a while since our last update, but we have lots of progress to report! I’d like to announce that the trailer for Palace should be coming out sometime this week!
Also, we’d like to announce that we have finished editing the film (picture lock) and have now moved into color correction and composing the original soundtrack. Our very excellent colorist is John Tissavary from www.postcollectivemedia.com and our composer is Matthew Wagner, another student from Messiah College.
We are all very excited about the progress of the film. Stay tuned for updates about the premiere!
So things have been very busy lately. We are in the process of editing and should have the edit done within two weeks! Expect a TRAILER shortly after!
Also, we are in the process of securing a professional colorist as well as a professional sound mixer. Once those two positions are lined up, we will get much closer to a release date and premiere. I have been attending meetings regarding the premiere of the film. I still cannot say exact details because the premiere is not finalized but what I can tell you is: expect a large premiere. That is all.
Here’s another frame grab!
Here is another teaser!
And the editing continues!
Palace has wrapped. I can’t believe that the shoot went by so quickly and so smoothly! When you decide to embark on a project of this magnitude for a student film, you tend to have certain expectations. There are the realistic expectations of a moderate amount of success. Then there are those unrealistic expectations of a project that encompasses the entire vision of a film perfectly. As the director and producer of Palace, I am proud to say that my crew and I reached that vision during this tiring, but fun nine day shoot. If it could have gone any better, I wouldn’t have known it!
My crew was the main reason for this massively successful shoot. I couldn’t have done it without them. Everyone from the production assistants that diligently and consistently worked all day, to the organized and efficient production office that included my line producer, unit production manager, and associate producer, to the wonderful camera and lighting department and my wonderful script supervisor. Everyone pulled their weight and they did it with smiles on their faces because we all knew this project meant something. It meant something to us as student and non-student filmmakers alike (thank you recent grads!) just as well as it meant something to the local Carlisle community including the Carlisle Theatre that opened up their doors with the most gracious hospitality I’ve ever seen.
The cast was so professional and so easy to work with. Ryan Preimesberger, Tom McNutt, Emily Mathwich, thank so so much for being a part of this project and donating your talents to this film and for making my job as a director SO easy! I can’t wait for the premiere so that you all get to see your wonderful acting on the big screen.
Everyone on the crew has left this shoot with a passionate spirit of filmmaking that I hope will continue to spread beyond Palace. We were a well oiled machine, and because of that, Palace will be a quality film. Thank you to everyone that has helped make Palace a reality: crew, cast, donors, volunteers, the Carlisle community and everyone else that has yet to be a part of this amazing project.
As we begin post-production, we hope to continue to match the consistent quality we put out during production. I have a great editor cutting the movie as we speak and a composer waiting to get his hands on the film. Post-production will also consist of color correction and sound design & mixing. We have a couple of busy months ahead of us to get prepared for the premiere at the end of April!
Stay tuned for more updates!
Here is another frame grab of the video we’ve shot! I will keep uploading different ones in the upcoming weeks to keep the suspense up!
WE HAVE OFFICIALLY BEGUN SHOOTING! It has been an exciting couple of months of preproduction and the crew and I are very excited to finally be shooting. We have flown in our RED Tech & camera operator and his amazing RED Scarlet camera and have prepared an amazing camera crew that is ready to take on the day’s challenges. Today was our first day of shooting and everything went very smoothly and stress free.
Here is our first production still!
Stay tuned for more updates from the set!
So we made our goal on our indiegogo campaign! Woohoo! $7240! Now it’s time to start preparing everything before the shoot! We have to get all sorts of things finalized including: locations, equipment, wardrobe, art direction and food! We also just got our final draft of the script done. Everything seems to be coming together very nicely! We will update you all as things progress on this final stretch before shooting begins on the 13th!
This past Saturday, we had the pleasure of inviting 7 of the actors back to show us their best performances. We gave them a week to prepare with the whole script and let them soak in the stories of their characters to prepare their best interpretations. During the couple of hours we had on Saturday morning, we wanted to test how each of these actors interacted with each other to test their chemistry and compatibility on screen. This was a really fun experience that brought additional depth to the characters once they came alive off of the script. It truly is amazing when the characters you’ve imagined in a story are brought to life by talented actors.
After the long morning, the crew and I felt that everyone present did an amazing job. The selection process was a bit tricky and difficult seeing as we had such good talent on our hands. The decisions ultimately came down to the compatibility across all three actors and how they could each represent a separate generation of movie goers. We have selected our Leo, our Derek and our Melanie and we are very excited to get them all booked and confirmed so we can let you know!
Tune in next time for more updates on the Cast!
Director & Producer
Today marks the launch of our fundraising campaign being run through the popular crowd-funding platform: Indiegogo. We need to raise at least $7000 to make Palace a reality and we need YOUR help!
Click here -> http://www.indiegogo.com/palace to take a look at our campaign page and contribute to the film!
Here is the video that we made to promote the fundraiser!
[gn_media url=”https://vimeo.com/52676377″ width=”500″ height=”400″]
Please spread the word as much as possible! Click below to share this article with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks!
Here is a quick video update from our casting session.
Tune in for more updates!
(P.S. That funny guy behind me is Billy Martel, one of our co-writers. He’s taking a break after a couple of hours of reading for the auditions.)
I am writing from the casting session of Palace. So far the day has gone great! We’ve had several actors audition already and more and more keep coming in! Watch our Twitter for more updates and some pictures from the day! Here’s a picture of the crew working today.
Tune in for more updates!
Here a few quick updates of what is going to be happening this weekend:
Things are sure getting busy around here, but so far, everything seems to be going well! The crew is getting excited about casting and we can’t wait to share the Palace filmmaking experience with everyone. Stay tuned for more updates!
Just yesterday we received some goodies in the mail. In an effort to raise awareness about our film, we decided to make business cards to hand out. In a world of digital media and communication, the most important stationary object is the business card. It’s a physical connection that can give a good (or bad!) impression about someone’s professionalism and business identity. Since filmmaking is extremely reliant on the art of networking, business cards are a must since they connect your physical audience to your own internet brand and product (in this case, our film!). If you get the lucky chance to run into any of us, hopefully you will come out of the exchange with a (cool!) business card that will point you to this lovely website or our Facebook page and Twitter page.
Here are a couple of pictures of what they look like!
Remember to check back for updates on the pre-production process!
This past weekend, we had the privilege of visiting the Carlisle Theatre with the crew. During the business meeting that I had and the theatre tour that our crew was given, the Carlisle Theatre staff was very hospitable. The crew was extremely impressed by the theatre’s beautiful architecture and decor. During our time there, we also shot a video for the fundraiser we will be running in a couple of weeks on Indiegogo. Here are some sneak peeks into that day and we hope that you stay tuned for more updates!
Palace‘s events and location are inspired by the Carlisle Theater in downtown Carlisle, PA. This beautiful theater serves as the perfect backdrop to showcase a story featuring scenes full of rich cinematic history. The cinematography featured in Palace will serve as a vehicle of visual and emotional images so that the audience is transported into the glamorous and magical movie palace experience. We hope you look forward to seeing this project come to life. Tune in for more updates soon!
If you would like to know more about the Carlisle Theater, go here -> http://www.carlisletheater.org
This site will serve as the professional web interface of the short film, Palace and will be a place where up-to-date information is posted. Check back regularly for updates on the pre-production process as the Palace team starts to get into the hard work that is making a quality film. We hope you enjoy this journey as much as we have already.
– The Palace Crew