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MOONDANCE NEWS & SPRING CALL-FOR-ENTRIES!

“When spring comes, even the false spring, there are no problems, except where to be happiest.” ~ ERNEST HEMINGWAY

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SCROLL ON DOWN: For info, festival news, insider tips on documentary filmmaking, recommendations, great photos & thoughts for the day!

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MOVIEBYTES.COM lists Moondance as one of the top 10 film festival competitions worth the entry fee!

www.moondancefilmfestival.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The 2013 Moondance

OFFICIAL CALL-FOR-ENTRIES

is open for submissions!

Get your entry in EARLY for this great opportunity to showcase your talents and for a good chance to win the Moondance!

CHECK OUT OUR MANY SUBMISSION CATEGORIES:

http://moondancefilmfestival.com/03_submission.categories.html

3 EASY WAYS TO SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY:

1. MIFF ENTRY FORM

http://moondancefilmfestival.com/03_submission.entry.html

2. ACTEVA ONLINE ENTRY

http://www.acteva.com/go/miff

3. WITHOUTABOX SUBMISSION SERVICE

http://www.withoutabox.com/login/1240

We look forward to previewing your submissions!

“Our film…involves complex subject matter, told in unconventional narrative structure…. Moondance is one of the few festivals on the circuit that consistently rewards films and filmmakers that take risks and are willing to depart from the status quo.” ~ John Chi

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MOONDANCE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

FOR OUR 2013 FESTIVAL EVENT, WE ARE SEEKING: UNDERWRITING SPONSORS, PRESENTING SPONSORS, GENERAL SPONSORS, SUPPORTERS, DONORS, FINANCIAL & IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS, PARTNERS & FRIENDS OF MOONDANCE!

Special Promotional Opportunities Available
for Partners, Donors, Supporters, Sponsors & Friends of Moondance!

MORE INFO:

http://moondancefilmfestival.com/

http://moondancefilmfestival.com/04_sponsors.info.html

http://moondancefilmfestival.com/04_sponsors.list.html

Moondance International Film Festival provides our generous sponsoring partners with a full spectrum of marketing visibility, including on the website, in the popular blog, print & Internet advertising, flyers, the festival print program, & social media!

Make your donation today at: www.acteva.com/go/miff

Thank you!

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MOONDANCE RECOMMENDS:

~~~~ INTERNATIONAL CRANE FOUNDATION ~~~~

Cranes, which mate for life, are the symbol of wisdom, fidelity, purity, vigilance and discipline. They are frequently seen as messengers of the gods. In many myths and folktales the crane is portrayed as the animal guide who leads the hero on the right path. Cranes help bring light into the darkness and are associated with the ability to take people to higher levels of spiritual consciousness.

Mission: The International Crane Foundation (ICF) works worldwide to conserve cranes and the ecosystems, watersheds and flyways on which they depend. ICF is dedicated to providing experience, knowledge, and inspiration to involve people in resolving threats to these ecosystems.

FOR MORE INFO & TO DONATE: https://www.savingcranes.org

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SHAKESPEARE FOR SCREENWRITERS:

Timeless Writing Tips from the Master of Drama

by J. M. Evenson

All the world’s a stage, and this is the book you need in your library, whether you’re a screenwriter, novelist, playwright, filmmaker, or just want to understand how Shakespeare managed to write such wonderful stories and create those fabulous characters! I love “Shakespeare for Screenwriters”!

This is now my favorite, absolutely must-have book on screenwriting! The table of contents alone is articulate, cleverly-written and gives you imaginative ideas before you even open the first chapter! Using the master’s own writing elements, it eloquently speaks to the essence of writing a great story, in any genre, creating memorable characters, putting together relatable dialog and action that all work together in an easy-to-follow manner. The book will inspire, encourage and guide beginning, intermediate and professional screenwriters toward perfecting their script writing style.

PRE-ORDER NOW FROM THE PUBLISHER: www.mwp.com

or www.amazon.com

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SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

Photo from: www.project.nsearch.com

“The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man’s heart, away from nature, becomes hard; that lack of respect for growing, living things soon leads to lack of respect for humans, too.” ~ CHIEF STANDING BEAR

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“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”  ~Native American Proverb ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed.”  ~MOHANDAS K. GANDHI ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“It wasn’t the Exxon Valdez captain’s driving that caused the Alaskan oil spill.  It was yours.”  ~Greenpeace ad, New York Times, 25 February 1990 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

INSIDER TIPS:

CREATING WINNING DOCUMENTARY FILMS

By Elizabeth English

Here’s an example of a winning short documentary film screened at the first Moondance in 2000: the “Beyond Words” short doc, directed by Linda Phelan McCoy and Andre Alosine, a cinematic and visual expression, without words, of the truth, sorrow, hope, emotions and thoughts of breast cancer patients. As I remember it, from 13 years ago: it shows a dozen women & kids arriving at a barn on a lovely Rhode Island farm. They go in, take off their shirts & bras (if wearing one), and help each other put wet white plaster over the front tops of their bodies.

No introductions, no explanations, no captions, no dialog or talking heads, other than vague soft chattering in the background. Some women have already had a mastectomy, one needs second one, all will be having one. Some women who will lose a breast cut a hole in the cast where it will be removed. They let the plaster dry, then peel it off, everyone helping each other, kids included. By now, the film audience is starting to understand. Next, they all paint or draw something on the dry body casts. They paint rainbows, birds, red hearts, write poems, & etc. on the casts, then…this is the kicker, everyone carries the painted body casts outside and hangs them on the clothesline to dry, and stand back, smiling.

The camera now sees only the red barn, blue sky, green grass, the music rises, and we see these beautiful, sad, hopeful body casts waving in the breeze. Beyond words. Touching, heartfelt, passionate and real. The film evokes much emotion. See why it won?! The director got a standing ovation for 5 minutes, and half the audience had tears streaming down their faces. People in the audience started giving her money to continue her work with this important program in Rhode Island.

painting by William Erwin

Finding Your Subject: First, select an interesting subject for your documentary film! Choose a subject that is of interest to a wide-ranging audience, and to you, and which will be the kind of project many different types of film festivals will select for screening. A unique story, well-told is what gets selected and wins.

Telling the Story: Write or have a screenwriter write a script for your film! Yes, documentary films need a script, a plot-line, a blueprint, a plan, a storyboard, an outline to follow during all phases of the production, from location scouting, interviews (if any), the shoot, the edit and adding the music background. Tell the story visually. Let your viewers see the story; don’t just tell them.

Avoid “talking heads”! Film is a visual medium, and a documentary film must always be cinematic. Use voice-overs, instead. Dialog or interviews work best with perhaps a 10- to 30-second shot of the speaker, then segue to a visual to show what the speaker is saying or describing. As they say in Hollywood, “Show; don’t tell”.

Cinematography: Use the best camera, lenses and cinematographer you can afford or find, and…

  • Frame virtually all images and shots as if they were paintings or professional photographs for an art gallery or book.
  • Linger on shots long enough to give the viewer time to see and comprehend the subject of each shot or action, but don’t drag it out.
  • Don’t look up or down at your subject; try to stay at eyelevel when pointing the camera.
  • Try to keep the lighting the same or similar when moving from shot to shot.
  • Use close-ups to further define long or wide-angle shots.
  • If using still photos, slowly pan in or out on them; don’t keep the camera static, but keep them to a minimum, or intersperse them throughout the film.
  • If you are, or someone else is, the narrator, let the viewer see you or him/her, so the viewer can relate to the speaker.

Sound: The tone and quality of sound in your doc film is vital to its success. Sound should remain clear and even, throughout. Natural, ambient sound is also very important, and adds depth and a more realistic, recognizable element to the film. Ambient audio levels will usually be lower than other types of audio.

(This text on ambient sound is excerpted from www.mediacollege.com): Ambient sound (AKA ambient audio, ambience, atmosphere, or background noise) means the background sounds which are present in a scene or location. Common ambient sounds include wind, water, birds, crowds, office noises, traffic, etc. Ambient sound is very important in video and film work. It performs a number of functions including:

  • Providing audio continuity between shots.
  • Preventing an unnatural silence when no other sound is present.
  • Establishing or reinforcing the mood.
There are several types of ambient sound used in film production:
  • Matching ambient sound: Any ambient sound recorded to match the ambient sound of a scene.
  • Wild sound: Background noise with distinct sounds, i.e. more than ambient sound, which is not synchronised with the main vision. Example: Children playing in a playground.
  • Buzz track: A general term for ambient sound.
  • Room tone: The sound of an empty room, or a room in which all the actors are standing silently.

Music/Film Score: Definition: A film score (also sometimes called background music or incidental music) is original music written specifically to accompany a film, and can make the difference between a forgettable film or a successful one. The score forms part of the film’s soundtrack, which is timed to begin and end at specific points during the film in order to enhance the dramatic narrative and the emotional impact of the scene in question.

A film score can be artfully used:

to arouse to manipulate or inspire to frighten to soothe & calm to aid in transitions from scene to scene to punctuate to comment to move the plot along to focus attention to add sense of continuity to add information to heighten tempo to add dramatic tension to change mood to add character to define to add dimension …and to give the film or scene a new or different meaning

Editing: (This text on film editing excepted & edited from Wikipedia.org): Film editing is an art, the only art that is unique to cinema, separating filmmaking from other art forms that preceded it, although there are close parallels to the editing process in other art forms like poetry or novel writing. Film editing is often referred to as the “invisible art”, because when it is done well, the viewer can become so engaged that he or she is not even aware of the editor’s work. On its most fundamental level, film editing is the art, technique, and practice of assembling shots into a coherent sequence.

A film editor must creatively work with the layers of images, story, dialogue, music, pacing, to effectively “re-imagine” and even rewrite the film to craft a cohesive whole. Editors play a very dynamic role in the making of a successful film.

Film editing is an art that can be used in diverse ways. It can create provocative montages; become a laboratory for experimental cinema; bring out the emotional truth in a story or subject matter; create a point of view of events; guide the telling and pace of a story; create an illusion; give emphasis to things that would not have otherwise been noted; and even create a vital subconscious emotional connection to the viewer, among many other possibilities.

Budgeting: (This text on film budgeting excepted & edited from Wikipedia.org) Film budgeting refers to the process by which a line producer, unit production manager (UPM) or the filmmaker prepares a budget for a film production. This document is used to secure financing for the film and leads to pre-production, production and post-production of the film, as well as for budgeting in costs of marketing and advertising, insurance, and theatrical distribution, and/or for entry fees and other expenses to submit the film to film festival competitions, which is an effective type of marketing.

A budget is typically divided into four sections: above the line (creative talent), below the line (crew & direct production costs), post-production (editing, visual effects, music, etc.), and other (insurance, completion bond, marketing, & etc.). Film financing can be acquired from private investors, family & friends, colleagues, sponsors, product placement, social media crowdfunding such as Kickstarter.com or Indiegogo.com, a film studio or production company, out-of-pocket funds, and all or any combination of the above.

Some other good examples of Moondance’s winning documentaries:

PEACEABLE KINGDOM: THE JOURNEY HOME: feature documentary, Directed by: Jenny Stein (US). Combining the gripping testimony of farmers breaking a long-held code of silence, and with rare footage demonstrating the rich emotional lives of farm animals, this new documentary from the award-winning filmmakers of THE WITNESS invites viewers on an epic journey of awakening conscience. The farmers’ touching personal experiences with individual animals challenge what they’ve been taught since childhood, forcing them to acknowledge that these beings have greater mental and emotional depth than they were ever led to believe. A Moondance 2009 premiere & festival winner!

FAMILY VALUES: THE MOB AND THE MOVIES, feature documentary, directed by Joseph Consentino & Sandra Consentino (US). This film asks the question: who influenced who? Did the mob influence the movies, or did the movies influence the mob? They break arms, shoot off kneecaps. They leave the gun and take the cannoli. Sometimes they whack people. Stars from “The Sopranos” and other Mafia TV shows and films describe the broader issues of Italian-American identity and Hollywood’s fascination with the Mafia way of life.

BLUE VELVET IN THE SINAI, feature documentary, 52 minutes, directed by Gulrukh Kahn (UK).This lovely film is set in the exotic Sinai desert, Egypt. It focuses on the remarkable relationship between a wild female dolphin in the Red Sea, named Olin, and a hearing- and speech-impaired Bedouin fisherman. Olin gives birth to a male calf, who develops a remarkable bond with a Bedouin child, and the family of dolphins bring healing and prosperity to the village. Each part of this story relates to larger issues such as captivity, oceanic pollution and over-fishing. Ric O’Barry (Oscar-winner for THE COVE) relates stories and evidence relating to captivity and solutions for it, as well as dolphin healing with sonar and giving birth amongst dolphins.

ONE DEGREE MATTERS, feature documentary, directed by Eskil Hardt (Denmark). Now, even one degree matters! Travel to the Arctic to witness climate change at first hand, in this visually stunning travelog. An insider’s view on immediate and realistic solutions for tackling climate change. “It could be called An Inconvenient Truth, Part 2” – The New York Times film review

MISSION OF MERMAIDS, short documentary, directed by Susan Cohn Rockefeller, 15 minutes, (USA). Mission of Mermaids is about the current state of the ocean. Ms. Rockefeller takes a radically personal approach in the film, based on her deep love and concern for the seas. She invokes a mythical and spiritual connection, using the metaphor of the mermaid, as well as describing dire facts: ocean acidification, over-fishing, and pollution. This personal approach offers a powerful way to open a dialogue about changing the human relationship to the sea, knitting our past reverence for the natural world with our understanding of the urgent need to change course.

UNDER OUR SKIN, feature documentary film, directed by: Andy Abrahams Wilson (USA). It’s bigger than AIDS, West Nile Virus, and Avian Flu, combined, yet most physicians don’t recognize it or are afraid to report it. Insurance companies pay experts to say it’s all in your head. And the mainstream medical establishment won’t want you to see this film. Each year tens of thousands go undiagnosed or mis-diagnosed with such conditions as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and even autism, MS and Alzheimer’s. The shocking story of Lyme disease, what may be the fastest-growing infectious disease in the nation, and a hidden epidemic destroying untold numbers of lives.

SUGGESTED READING:

  • The Documentary Film Makers Handbook: A Guerilla Guide, by Genevieve Joliffe & Andrew Zinnes (www.amazon.com)

  • Documentary Storytelling: Making Stronger and More Dramatic Nonfiction Films, by Sheila Curran Bernard (www.amazon.com)

  • Filmmaking for Change: Make Films That Transform The World, by Jon Fitzgerald (www.mwp.com)

  • When The Shooting Stops, the Cutting Begins: A Film Editor’s Story, by Ralph Rosenblum & Robert Karen (www.amazon.com)

  • Crowdfunding for Filmmakers: The Way to a Successful Film Campaign, by John T. Trigonis (www.mwp.com)

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~~ Thanks for reading the Moondance news blog!  ~~

If you’re not yet a subscriber, please subscribe now:

www.moondancefilmfestival.com/blog

Send comments or questions to: moondancefestival@gmail.com

• Please forward on this news blog to your friends and colleagues!

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MOONDANCE MARCHES ON!

新年快乐

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!

THE YEAR OF THE WATER SNAKE IS UPON US!

If your energy is guided in a positive direction, it can bring intelligent and innovative ideas and successes. (But beware of cunning, unpredictable and deceptive elements!)

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SCROLL ON DOWN:

For info, festival news, fast-forward contest winners, insider tips, recommendations, great photos & thoughts for the day!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MOVIEBYTES.COM lists Moondance as one of the top 10 film festival competitions worth the entry fee!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The 2013 Moondance OFFICIAL CALL-FOR-ENTRIES is open for submissions! Get your entry in EARLY for this great opportunity to showcase your talents and for a good chance to win the Moondance!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CHECK OUT OUR MANY SUBMISSION CATEGORIES:

http://moondancefilmfestival.com/03_submission.categories.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

3 EASY WAYS TO SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY:

1. MIFF ENTRY FORM

http://moondancefilmfestival.com/03_submission.entry.html

2. ACTEVA ONLINE ENTRY

http://www.acteva.com/go/miff

(save $5 on entry fee)

3. WITHOUTABOX SUBMISSION SERVICE

http://www.withoutabox.com/login/1240

We look forward to previewing your submissions!

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MOONDANCE 2013 FAST-FORWARD CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED*

Prize: 2 free tickets to attend 2013 Moondance film screenings!

Alex Ginsburg
Alma Murray Dunham
Amy Mc Corkle
Andrew Garrett
Chloe Bolan
David Mech
Dawn Leak
Diane Lynn Gardner
Doug Nelson
Gar & Beth Hoover
Gen Hiraiwa
James Cockerham
Jeana H. Grady
Leonardo Reis
Lidice Abreu
Margie Walker
Maria Lennon
Maria Morancho
Mary Goldman
Muri Mc Cage
Patrick Gamble
Richard Levine
Rik Filion
Robin Martin
Rosalie Skinner
Sirin Parkan
Victor Ghizaru
Wendy Wilkins

You may pick up your free tickets at the box office during the film festival

All “FAST-FORWARD” submissions with a final status of winner, finalist or semi-finalist, to be announced in August, will receive an official certificate of your submitted project’s award status!

* The prize-winners listed above include all who submitted a project to the special Moondance 2013 fast-forward contest, regardless of award status.

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A MOONDANCERS WRITES US:

“I thought your most recent news blog was GREAT! I was particularly interested in all you had to say about short stories, which is my new-found love. You are REALLY very helpful to writers. I guess that’s one of your very important missions in life, and you certainly do come to the fore.” ~LORNA KANTER, award-winning artist & writer

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MOONDANCE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

IS NOW OPEN FOR OUR 2013 FESTIVAL EVENT!

SEEKING: UNDERWRITING SPONSOR, PRESENTING SPONSOR, GENERAL SPONSORS, DONORS, FINANCIAL & IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS, PARTNERS & FRIENDS OF MOONDANCE!

Special Promotional Opportunities Available
for Partners, Donors, Sponsors & Friends of Moondance!

MORE INFO:

http://moondancefilmfestival.com/

http://moondancefilmfestival.com/04_sponsors.info.html

http://moondancefilmfestival.com/04_sponsors.list.html

Moondance International Film Festival provides our sponsoring partners with a full spectrum of marketing visibility, including on the website, the blog, print & Internet advertising, flyers, the festival print program, & social media! Make your donation today at: www.acteva.com/go/miff

Thank you!

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INSIDER TIPS FOR SCREENWRITERS:

HOW TO GET AN AGENT!

What Agents Want (and Don’t Want) to See

By Elizabeth English

First, call or write to literary agents who are listed as being willing to look at unsolicited screenplays. Do not send a script unless you are invited to do so!

How to find listed agents:

  • The Hollywood Creative Directory’s Agent/Management directory
  • Writers Digest
  • Writers Guild of America (East & West)

Guidelines for getting an agent:

  1. Write killer titles, loglines and one-sheet synopses for the all the scripts you want to submit to agents.
  2. Write up a one-sheet document with titles and loglines of all your completed screenplays. You may be asked to send these before sending in a screenplay.
  3. Presentation of script: be sure to have a plain cardstock cover, front and back; a title page with all your contact info; three-hole punch white paper; two solid-brass brads in the top and bottom hole.
  4. You may be asked to submit your script digitally, via email. In that case, ask if the agent wants it in a screenwriting program, such as Final Draft, or as a .pdf.
  5. In any case, always be sure to register your script with WGAw or WGAe, and/or copyright it before sending it out!
  6. “Attachments”, in the form of actors, director, producer, and most importantly: money, to your project, will always help get almost any agent interested. Mention this, if applicable, in your cover letter. But don’t send a “wish-list” of actors, director, etc.
  7. If you’ve had a film or films produced from other screenplays you’ve written, definitely mention this in your cover letter.
  8. Getting your screenplay to an agent is a 4-step process:
  9. Have more than one screenplay completed. At least three of your best screenplays need to be completed and ready to go, when and if requested.
  10. In your initial phone call or e-mail, try to find out what genre of story that agent is looking for, at the moment. Agents generally know exactly what the buyers and/or producers want to see, and will usually only request those genres. But needs change all the time, and at a moment’s notice, so let them know what you have, even if they’re not looking for that at the time of your call or email.
  11. Story: This is the first thing agents look at, when considering whether to read your script or not. Write a unique story, well-told.
  12. Writing ability and style. Everything depends on this.
  13. Dialog: your ability to write good, memorable and believable dialog is paramount.
  14. Format and structure: in submitting your work to an agent, you should be sure the script is in proper format and structure. There are many books and online articles on these vital subjects.
  15. Print out your script and read it in hard-copy, checking every word and every line for typos, edits needed, and etc.
  16. Submit a reader’s script, not a production script! No camera angles or technical suggestions. Don’t use (continued) or (con’t.) after every character name and scene or bottom & top of each page.
  17. Remember, you’re the writer, not the director, director of photography, costumer, set director, producer, cinematographer, lighting director, editor, music director, and so on.
  18. Budget: yes, a screenwriter needs to know about this. Many buyers are looking for specific subjects with very specific production budgets. Currently, a low-budget feature film will be $10-20 million, for example. If your script requires action scenes and/or CGI graphics, double that figure.
  19. If you know The Business at all, make the agent aware of this, so he or she will know you are a professional.
  20. Let the prospective agent know you are open to re-writes and edits of your scripts. You will almost always be asked to do re-writes, edits and revisions, sometimes “on spec”, so prepare yourself mentally and be agreeable to it.
  21. Be willing and able to pitch your screenplay to production companies and studios, with the agent, in person. If you live far from L.A., let the agent know you can arrange to go there for pitching appointments. Try to schedule more than one pitch meeting at a time.
  22. Be friendly and easy-going, yet professional and self-confident. Hollywood, even though it’s a “snake-pit” at times, is run on connections and contacts. If they don’t like you, and don’t feel they can work with you, you don’t have a chance there.
  23. Be honest! Never, ever hype yourself or your script unless the information is absolutely true & provable. If you’ve won a contest with your script, let them know. And if you’ve been submitting your scripts around to everybody for years, and they ask, tell the truth. Production companies and studios keep lists of what has been submitted to them, and you don’t want to embarrass your new agent!

How to get “discovered”:

  • InkTip.com is a good website to post your scripts on, to be seen by many agents, producers, and development company executives)
  • If you live in or near Los Angeles, attend parties and other events where Hollywood types will be.
  • Enter the top film festival competitions, and win!

What should an Agent do for you?

  • Send out your loglines and one sheet synopses, and scripts to Development Executives at production companies and studios
  • Give suggestions on potential edits, revisions and re-writes that may be needed to sell the script
  • Set up pitch sessions for you at production companies and studios
  • Get the best deal he or she can for you, at or above schedule of WGA minimums.
  • Encourage and inspire you to create new material and projects.
  • An agent should NOT charge you any reading or consultation fees, nor for any expenses incurred for promoting you or your script. The agent will be compensated from his or her 10 or 15 % of the sale of your script.

What agents DO NOT want to see:

  • A script sent to them “cold”, with no phone call, e-mail or letter first
  • A script that is too long (over 130 pages), or too short (under 90 pages)
  • A script that is bound incorrectly (no brads, no cover, no title page)
  • A script that is not formatted correctly & has grammatical and/or spelling errors
  • A cover letter that is more than one page long
  • A script that is mostly descriptions of people and locations, like a novel
  • A script with unrealistic or stilted/boring dialog
  • A script where the real action of the story begins late, after page 10 or 20
  • A script with more than 100 scenes (each scene costs money)
  • A script with a prospective production budget over that what is requested
  • A script that has a lot of well-known copyrighted music noted in the text.
  • A script that is not in the genre requested
  • A writer who is unwilling to consider re-writes, revisions and edits
  • A script that has any typos, misspellings or poor syntax
  • A script without conflict in the plot and story-line
  • A script without interesting, memorable characters
  • A story without character development
  • A storyline that has been done a million times
  • An incomplete screenplay
  • A script that has been shopped around for years
  • A writer who calls or e-mails sooner than 2 weeks after the agent received the script

If and when you do call an agent, after you’ve sent your query letter, title & logline, and synopsis, then the screenplay, if requested, and waiting at least two weeks to get a response, don’t ask, “Did you get my screenplay? Did you read it? Did you like it?” Ask, instead, “Have you had a chance to take a look at (title of screenplay)?” If the agent or assistant or intern says “not yet”, and he or she probably will, ask when it might be OK to call again to follow up.

SUGGESTED READING & RESOURCES:

Relevant articles, by Elizabeth English:

Books & Magazines:

  • Lew Hunter’s Screenwriting 434
  • Linda Seger’s How to Make a Good Screenplay Great
  • Linda Seger’s How to Make a Good Screenwriter Great
  • David Howard’s A Writer’s Guide to the Craft and Elements of a Screenplay
  • Creative Screenwriting
  • Scr(i)pt Magazine

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SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

“Aurora on Ice” Photo by Thilo Bubek

“May you have warmth in your igloo, oil in your lamp, and peace in your heart.” ~ INUIT BLESSING

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It is a great paradox, yet a powerful spiritual principle, that an act of sharing benefits the giver infinitely more than the receiver.” ~ YEHUDA BERG, Kabbhalist

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“One of the hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which bridge to burn.” ~ DAVID RUSSELL, Scottish classical guitarist ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Andrew Wyeth painting

“It is better to sleep on things beforehand than to lie awake worrying about them afterward.” ~ BALTAZAR GRACIAN, (1601-1689) Jesuit & writer of the Spanish Baroque literary style ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“In this world, I would rather live two days like a tiger than two hundred years like a sheep.” ~ TIPU SULTAN, (1782-1799) scholar, soldier and poet, also known as the Tiger of Mysore, India ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” ~ NELSON MANDELA ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Take a leap of faith today, even if you’re not sure what’s going to happen. Your chances for success are greater than you think. Let go of expectations, and embrace the unknown. You’ll be amazed at what you will find!” ~ Source Unknown ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of weather. ~ JOHN RUSKIN

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MOONDANCE RECOMMENDS:

READ THE MOONDANCE E-ZINE:

Read about: how to win a screenplay competition; how to win a film festival competition; winning titles & loglines for films & scripts; screenplay submissions; movie script writing; writing character, dialog & action; how to get an agent; what Hollywood wants to see; directing indie films, documentaries, short films, animation; film scores; stage plays; short stories; TV MOW; TV pilots; kids films; music videos; radio plays, and more!

http://moondancefilmfestival.com/05_other.ezineindex.html

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WHAT YOU NEED
TO KNOW ABOUT THE MOONDANCE:

  • As Moondance’s founder, executive director & artistic director, I have had the rare pleasure of personally previewing and judging every single film, reading all screenplays and other written works, and listening to all music and film scores submitted to the annual competition.
  • I have selected all the films to be screened and all the winners in every category, and have done so, successfully, from the very first Moondance, in 2000.
  • I do not travel to other film festivals looking for films to invite. In the rare event that a very special film is invited to be screened at Moondance, it is clearly labeled as “invited”, and it can have no chance of winning an award. Only submitted films have that opportunity.
  • When submitting your work to the Moondance annual competition, you can be 100% assured that it will be carefully previewed and judged fairly.
~~Elizabeth English Founder, Executive Director, Artistic Director, Moondance International Film Festival

www.moondancefilmfestival.com

Moondance founder & director, Elizabeth English, with 8’ white python, at Kok River, in Thailand, January 2013

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MOONDANCE GOOD NEWS:

• LINKEDIN.COM lists Moondance in the top 1% of visits, endorsements, & networking by their over 200 million world-wide members! Also, Moondance was recently listed at LinkedIn.com as a top LinkedIn Influencer!

• WORDPRESS.COM lists this Moondance blog as “an Internet phenomenon”, with an incredible 80% open-rate & a 50% click-through rate, compared with the standard 8% open rate & less than 1% click-through rate for other WP blogs!

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~~ Thanks for reading the Moondance news blog! ~~

If you’re not yet a subscriber, please subscribe now:

www.moondancefilmfestival.com/blog

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NOTE: Replying? Have a question? Change the email subject line! Please don’t just click on REPLY, if you want to comment or ask a question about this blog, because your email to me will stack up in G-mail, and I’ll have to scroll through the entire blog to find your email, along with the many others who just click REPLY to the blog email. Changing even a word, or adding a /, in the subject line of the email to me, will make it arrive as an individual email. Thanks for the email courtesy!

• Please forward on this news blog to your friends and colleagues!

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MOONDANCE FEBRUARY NEWS & PHOTOS!

Sculpture by Charlotte Zink, at Zink Metal Art

Mermaid is home from beautiful, friendly,  serene Thailand & back in the USA!

WATCH & LISTEN TO THIS LOVELY VIDEO OF THAI FOREST MONKS

SCROLL ON DOWN:

For news, info, insider tips, recommendations,

great photos & thoughts for the day!

The 2013 Moondance

OFFICIAL CALL-FOR-ENTRIES

is open for submissions!

Get your entry in EARLY for this great opportunity

to showcase your talents and for a good chance to

win the Moondance!

CHECK OUT OUR MANY SUBMISSION CATEGORIES:

PLUS! We have a new category for 2013:

WEB SERIES WEBISODES!

3 EASY WAYS TO SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY:

1. MIFF ENTRY FORM

http://moondancefilmfestival.com/03_submission.entry.html

2. ACTEVA ONLINE ENTRY

http://www.acteva.com/go/miff

(save $5 on entry fee)

3. WITHOUTABOX SUBMISSION SERVICE

http://www.withoutabox.com/login/1240

Challenges come to teach us something, to make us stronger, or to shatter our belief system about what we can and can’t overcome. 

Once we understand the real purpose of whatever challenge we face, we will see the truth: there are no obstacles. Only opportunities to grow.” ~ Yehuda Berg

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INSIDER TIPS FOR SCREENWRITERS & FILMMAKERS:

THE FIELD OF DREAMS:

Conflict as Metaphor

By Elizabeth English

“If you build it, they will come!” The skillful use of metaphor can give visible shape to a character and recognizable, believable impetus to conflicts in film. The deeper meaning of a situation becomes clear and powerful to the varied cinema audience, when metaphors for conflict are utilized. The film, “Field of Dreams”, is one example of strong use of this device. Put in the simplest terms, a farmer, played by Kevin Costner, down on his luck (conflict), is advised by a voice only he hears, to build a baseball diamond in his cornfield in Iowa. He fights with his wife, his friends and the bank over this wildly improbable notion (conflicts). He builds the baseball diamond anyway, always believing in his dream, though he has no idea why he does it (conflict). He just “has to”. He solicits the reluctant help of a famous & combative author (conflict), and a long-dead doctor. The ghosts of former baseball players, including the farmer’s deceased father, appear. The film ends with the farmer finally playing catch with his father and rectifying past wrongs, the doctor saves the life of the farmer’s child (conflict), the author goes to his fate, peacefully at last, and the financial fate of the farm and his family is salvaged when long lines of cars arrive with paying baseball fans (solution to conflicts).

The farm itself is a metaphor for one’s career or chosen path in life, which is in conflict with the protagonist’s social and situational milieu. The cornfield/baseball diamond is a metaphor depicting a small portion of that life, but which affects and is in conflict with all other parts of his life. The farmer is Everyman/woman. The wife, the child, the friends and relatives, the bankers, the author and the doctor, as well as the ghostly baseball players and the neighbors, are all recognizable and human metaphors, to whom the audience can relate, for conflicts in one person’s life; past, present and future. The farmer’s character is identified by his conflicts and how he deals with them.

Visual metaphors can speak directly and visibly to our characters’ conflicting feelings and emotions, when used to convey abstractions, such as death, love, fear, joy. A bare winter field can convey death or hopelessness as the character trudges across the frozen wasteland; a bright red balloon floating upward into a blue summer sky can impart happiness or a character surpassing expectations, a sense of freedom, irreplaceable loss, a letting go, or even childlike emotions of simple joy. A woman sadly gazing into pieces of a broken mirror tells the audience more about her personal conflict than does a page of dialog. In the short film, “The Unique Oneness of Christian Savage”, a child’s best friend falls from the tall tree in which they were playing, and is killed…the surviving child runs from the pious words spoken at the funeral and grabs a broken tree branch, and beats at the “evil” tree that killed his little friend. Conflict in film made visible and powerful! And without a single word of dialog.

NORMA RAE tells the story of a factory worker, played by Sally Field, from a small town in North Carolina, who becomes involved in the labor union activities at the textile factory where she works, a cotton mill that has taken too much of a toll on the health of her family for her to ignore her Dickensian working conditions. The young mother and textile worker agrees to help unionize her mill despite the problems and dangers involved. After hearing a speech by New York union organizer Reuben Warshowsky, Norma Rae decides to join the effort to unionize her shop. This causes conflict at home when Norma Rae’s husband says she’s not spending enough time in the home.

The film “Cool Hand Luke” beautifully shows the conflict between the protagonist/hero, Luke, played by Paul Newman, and his captors, who are inhumanly cruel and evil and hold all the cards. Luke seems to have no hope of escape or of retribution., though he makes every effort, only to be doomed to return to solitary confinement over and over, and to further punishment.

Similarly, the film “The Great Escape”, starring the late Steve McQueen, is filled with conflict against the Nazi captors, who are in conflict with the prisoners who try to escape, and whom are killed or re-captured for their trouble. Some other powerful examples of well-written conflict in film are “Babette’s Feast”, “Dersu Uzala”, “American Beauty”, “Jules et Jim”, “The Bagdad Café”, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”, “Dr. Strangelove”, “The Virgin Spring”, “Mulan”, “Sophie’s Choice”, “The Life of Pi”, “Midnight Cowboy” and “La Strada”, to name just a few.

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, is about two of the most memorable, conflicted characters in movie history, Clarice Starling, played by Jodi Foster, and Hannibal Lecter, played by Anthony Hopkins, and their strange, strained relationship. Both are ostracized by the worlds they want to inhabit–Lecter, by the human race because he is a serial killer and a cannibal, and Clarice, by the law enforcement profession because she is a woman. Both feel powerless–Lecter because he is locked in a maximum security prison and Clarice because she is surrounded by men who tower over her and fondle her with their eyes. (excerpted & adapted from a Roger Ebert review)

There are five distinct types of conflict that can be utilized in screenwriting. Inner or personal conflict, relational conflict, social or local conflict, situational conflict, and universal or cosmic conflict. All five types of conflict can be in a single screenplay, and can involve most, if not all of the characters, interacting with each other and with the protagonist and antagonist(s).

Conflict as the central event drives the story and the characters. Conflict in the plot structure breathes life into your story! The audience relates to your protagonist and to the conflicts he or she faces. The patterns of tension resulting from the visible and invisible forces the characters overcome create a believable reality for the filmgoer, and increase the film’s impact on that audience.

Inner conflict is the hardest type of conflict to convey successfully in a film, if that’s the central focus of conflict in the story. It’s also the most difficult kind of screenplay to sell, despite the recent success of such films about inner, personal conflict, like “American Beauty”. In the comedy, “Tootsie”, the protagonist goes through conflict with his original situation (poverty, wanting to be a great actor), to personal conflict (lack of confidence in his ability to pull off the scam), relational (falling in love with a woman who thinks the protagonist is a woman), social conflict (with his boss and co-workers, friends, the father of the woman he loves, and his TV audience), and another situational conflict (should he let the cat out of the bag in order to win the heart of the woman he loves?). Only when inner, societal, situational, or universal conflict is projected outward toward another character, and becomes relational, and is therefore the basis of the clear story-line, does it have the most dramatic impact. THELMA & LOUISE, starring Susan Sarandon & Geena Davis, Before their journey is done, these two conflicted characters will have undergone a difficult rite of passage, and will have finally discovered themselves.

The wildly-popular American TV reality series, “Survivor”, is an archetypal example of strong conflicts among a group of people, and of those clear conflicts driving the “story”. The producers and directors of the reality-based series emphasize conflicts when editing each week’s film footage. The millions of fanatic audience members cared about the characters, or they hated them. The TV viewers hoped that their favorites remained on the island, jungle or various exotic locations, and that one of them would win the prize. They argued on internet chat rooms and message boards, and around the office water cooler or in the halls at school about complete strangers whom they perceived to be bad guys or good guys worthy of achieving the show’s goal, of winning the million dollars, despite the characters’ conflicts with isolation, hunger, danger, competition with the other “tribe”, and with each other. Same with “Downton Abbey”, “Mad Men”, “Breaking Bad”, “The Simpsons” and “American Idol”. Conflict, conflict, conflict!

THE COLOR PURPLE, As a young teenager, Celie, played by Whoopi Goldberg, is raped by the man she takes to be her father, and both of her babies are taken away from her. Told she cannot have more children, she is given to a brutal farmer named Mister (Danny Glover), who beats her, uses her as a servant and as a receptacle for his lust, and convinces her she is ugly, but we can empathize with her struggle and ultimate victory. We learn something about what it must have been like to be her, and share her conflicts.
 Celie is a great & powerful movie character, played with astonishing grace and tenderness, and to feel her story is to be blessed with her humanity. (excerpted & adapted from a Roger Ebert review)

Conflict is the ultimate basis of dramas, action films and comedies, and is the key ingredient for great characterizations and is key to a successful screenplay and film. All conflict occurs when a character has a goal that is not shared with another character, whether it’s the protagonist and antagonist, &/or secondary characters in the story. One will win and the other will lose, or may come around to the viewpoint and goals of the main character. Build each hurdle or obstacle your protagonist faces higher than the last. Make each subsequent conflict be more insurmountable or impossible than the one before.

In a film, the audience comes to observe and to experience the story’s conflicts and the expected or surprising conclusion. The audience wants the protagonist to have as much trouble reaching his or her goal as is possible. The antagonist must be as strong as, or stronger than, the protagonist. The more powerful and persuasive the antagonist, the greater the eventual victory is for the protagonist. The last five or ten pages of the script should play out the final conflict and answer the question whether the central character will realize his or her goal.

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A MOONDANCER WRITES US:

“Just wanted to thank you for the wonderful information and insight that you put into the festival blog. It’s such a joy to have people in the world that value and share the beauty around us. I’m so glad we found you.” ~ HEATHER M. SPENCER, Mission Positive Films

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THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY:

Annalia, Paraguay, photo by Britt Newell

“You come into this world naked, and you leave this world naked. What remains is the goodness you have done. All that we leave behind is that which we’ve given away.” ~YEHUDA BERG

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The Dalai Lama

“…it is one thing to hear the lesson, another to learn it, and yet another to live by the lesson…” ~ DOMINIQUE BROWNING, Slow Love blog

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Often we don’t even realize who we’re meant to be because we’re so busy trying to live out someone else’s ideas. But other people and their opinions hold no power in defining our destiny.”~ OPRAH WINFREY ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Amelia, photo by SKV

I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time.” ~ ANNA FREUD

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Photo by Dominique Browning

It seems to me that people have vast potential. Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don’t. They sit in front of the telly and treat life as if it goes on forever.” ~ PHILIP ADAMS

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You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” ~  ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

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Reclining Buddha, Shanghai, China

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.” ~ THE BUDDHA

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Seek beauty, truth, harmony…the promise of the future and the blessings of today. Live well, laugh often, love much, gain the respect & the love of children; fill your niche, accomplish your tasks; leave the world better than you found it. Appreciate Earth’s beauties & express it. Look for the best in others and give the best you have.” ~ Source of quote: in dispute

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“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never truly live, if you are always looking for the meaning of life.” ~ ALBERT CAMUS

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“Hollow Man” sculpture by Bruno Catalano, France

“Enlightenment is simply the falling away of untruths and darkness so that the inner light, that has been there all along, is revealed. It is a process of unveiling, rather than  one of attainment.” ~ LYNNE FORREST

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Cornwall, UK, Seascape

“The more I see of life, the more I perceive that only through solitary communion with nature can one gain an idea of its richness and meaning.” ~ CYRIL CONNOLLY

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Peace is not the absence of chaos, commotion, or challenges. 

Peace is to be in the midst of those things, while remaining calm, and with love in your heart.” ~ YEHUDA BERG

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MOONDANCE RECOMMENDS:

VISIT THAILAND!

“The Land of a Million Smiles!”

Elizabeth receiving blessings from a Buddhist Monk at a temple in Northern Thailand

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OUTLINING IN REVERSE!

By AARON HAMBURGER

NY Times, January 22, 2013

In my experience, one of the surest ways to kill the creative energy of a work of fiction at its inception is with an outline. During my early years as a writer I dutifully worked with the outlines of my youth. However, the longer I wrote, the more loose the structure of those outlines became. The numbers and letters gradually transformed into bulleted key words or bolded phrases, little Hansel and Gretel bread crumbs I left for myself to find and expand during revision.  Later on, I wrote in stages, first blocking out the general parameters of my piece, then going back to fill in the details. It’s much the same way a sculptor begins by carving into a hunk of raw clay with broad strokes to determine the proportions of the limbs before going into muscles, veins and fingernails.

Read more: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/21/outlining-in-reverse/?hp

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LGMA TV: http://www.lgma.tv/

Georges Leclere, CEO, Georges has over 40 years of experience in television and new media, starting in 1968 as a producer and on-air personality in Lebanon and later in his native France. Currently, Georges is internationally involved in the Florida Media Market, the Sichuan TV Festival, the Seoul Drama Awards and was the Director of the Competition and Awards at the Banff Festival. Much of the programming he’s done recently through LGMA has been focused on fighting the causes of climate change, including format game shows “Go for Green!”, “Worried Green” and “District Green.” www.lgma.tv

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Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha

By Thich Nhat Hanh

Drawn from original sources, Old Path White Clouds is the beautiful classic recounting of the life and teachings of Gautama Buddha over the course of eighty years. If you read only one book on Buddhism, let it be this one. Thich Nhat Hanh, a monk, is one of the world’s great teachers, and this life of Buddha is his masterpiece. Every chapter is a perfect gem, every idea put forth bears witness not only to the noblest spiritual tradition, but to the purity of heart of its author. This is literature of an everlasting kind. The art of narrative found here really has no equal in all of contemporary philosophical literature. Beautifully delicate line drawings accompany every chapter like a faint temple bell.  Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese monk, a renowned Zen master, a poet, and a peace activist. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1967, and is the author of many books, including the best-selling The Miracle of Mindfulness.

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STEPHEN MCGHEE LEADERSHIP PROGRAMS

CONVERT YOUR POTENTIAL NOW!

Each of us has greatness within. That may sound cliché but it’s true. You want to accomplish amazing things in your life and career. Some of us want to leave a powerful legacy. It isn’t always easy. It requires vigilance and a high degree of commitment.  Stephen McGhee works with people who want to convert potential into results. He supports and empowers his clients to live into their leadership possibilities. This is one of the most important choices of your life. http://www.mcgheeleadership.com/

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~~ Thanks for reading the Moondance news blog!  ~~

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NOTE: Replying? Have a question? Change the email subject line! Please don’t just click on REPLY, if you want to comment or ask a question about this blog, because your email to me will stack up in G-mail, and I’ll have to scroll through the entire blog to find your email, along with the many others who just click REPLY to the blog email. Changing even a word, or adding a /, in the subject line of the email to me will make it arrive as an individual email. Thanks for the email courtesy!

• Please forward on this news blog to your friends and colleagues!

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~ MOONDANCE 2013 ~ news & info

Wild bottlenose dolphins, Bimini, Bahamas, photo by Atmo, www.wildquest.com

The 2013 Moondance

OFFICIAL CALL-FOR-ENTRIES

is now open for submissions!

Get your entry in NOW for this great opportunity

to showcase your talents and for a good chance to

win the Moondance!

WHAT IS MOONDANCE LOOKING FOR?

I’m looking for unique stories, well-told! I don’t much like gratuitous violence, blood and guts, page after page of murders, rapes, zombies, killer space-aliens, Hollywood car-chases, old standard boy-meets-girl, & etc. I’d like to see some attempts at non-violent conflict resolution, by writers & filmmakers, if possible. Quality and originality is my criteria, as well as great entertainment. Take a look at some of the titles & loglines of the films screened at MIFF 2012 in NYC

3 EASY WAYS TO SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY:

1. MIFF ENTRY FORM

(save $5 on entry fee)

2. ACTEVA ONLINE ENTRY

(save $5 on entry fee)

3. WITHOUTABOX SUBMISSION SERVICE

MOONDANCE NEWS:

ARTISTS: Moondance 2013 has added a new category for submissions: Graphic Novels!

“ The Connoisseurs” ‘toon by Elizabeth English

FILMMAKERS: Moondance International Film Festival is now an IMDb Qualifying Festival, granting all eligible film submissions (via Withoutabox),  a fast-tracked title page on IMDb.com!

SCREENWRITERS: www.InkTip.com offers a free listing of all Moondance winning feature screenplays for 2013!

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SCROLL ON DOWN for more news, info, recommendationscomments on the tragedy in Connecticut, recommendations, photos & thoughts for the day

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MOONDANCE RECOMMENDS:

MISSION OF MERMAIDS

http://www.missionofmermaids.com/

What you can do every day to make a difference:

~ Refuse single use plastics. When you can, don’t accept plastic bags in supermarkets, shops or local markets. There are many practical, small cloth bags that you can now carry in your purse and unfold very easily to hold your purchases. Instead of plastic bottles for your juice, soft drinks or water, try to carry around a reusable bottle. There are plenty of attractive options.

~ Be selective with your fish. There is plenty of information available about what species are endangered, which ones are enduring unnecessarily painful deaths (such as sharks for shark fin soup), and what fishing practices have a lethal impact on the ecosystem of the oceans (such as trawling). And there are restaurants, shops and fishermen who are making sure that what they serve or provide as catch is done with more attention to the conservation of the ocean and its creatures. Read up this information and on the suppliers of your food. Consume with care.

~ Walk, bike, run. Find alternative means of transportation. Or alternate the days that you use the car. Your body will appreciate the effort as much as the environment. The extra carbon dioxide contributes to ocean acidification, which is a major threat to the creatures at the bottom of the ocean food chain.

Follow the 7 C’s of ocean conservation: Commit to making a real difference, Conserve in your home, Consume consciously, Communicate your interest and concerns, Challenge yourself daily, Connect to your community, Celebrate our beautiful oceans.

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Your Online Shopping can Save Dolphins & Whales!

When you shop on-line this holiday season, you will be supporting our work of saving dolphins and whales worldwide. Shopping at Amazon.com? Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchases to BlueVoice. Just designate BlueVoice Organization (just as it’s written here) as your charity of choice and each time you click to a retailer through GoodShop and make a purchase, you’ll help save dolphins, whales, coral reefs and our ocean habitats.

The BlueVoice Shop: Shop for the holidays at the BlueVoice store for great merchandise such as t-shirts, caps, totes, water bottles, stationery and much more! Get our new Dolphin Defender cap, new iPhone, iPad cases & more. http://www.cafepress.com/bluevoice

Please consider a gift to BlueVoice.org to honor a friend or relative this holiday season, while helping to protect our oceans!

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OPERATION VETERAN’S PROMISE is a nonprofit organization and contingent of private individuals, consisting of American civilians and military veterans who have come together to achieve a noble and most important mission: To help U.S. military veterans across the country reintegrate into American society and to be able to live and lead normal, dignified lives. 

Our mission is to help them, whoever they are and wherever they are, be they homeless, jobless, or even cast-outs from their own homes and communities.

OPERATION VETERAN’S PROMISE is now here to help them. 

This includes providing financial and material assistance, education and training, housing and sustenance, employment, medical and dental assistance, and offering them the warmth and camaraderie of friendship and acceptance and respect which each and every veteran so unequivocally deserves. 

The truth is, we need them. And by helping them, we help ourselves and America become stronger and better than ever before! Please visit http://www.indiegogo.com/operation-veterans-promise?a=1606978 to donate and show your caring support.

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Peaceable Kingdom, Jenny Stein, director, Moondance doc film winner

What is Tribe of Heart?

Award-Winning Films that awaken compassion and deepen each individual’s understanding of the interconnectedness of all life.

A Charitable Organization that empowers caring people everywhere to become agents of peaceful social change.

A Global Community of people from all walks of life dedicated to living with kindness and respect for all living beings.

A Commitment to actions guided by publicly stated values, ever mindful that the means are the end.

A Vision of a world free of violence and full of beauty.

http://www.tribeofheart.org/

DVD: Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home

A Tribe of Heart Documentary
©2012, USA, 78 min
Multi-lingual DVD: SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese

Director: Jenny Stein. 

A riveting story of transformation and healing, PEACEABLE KINGDOM: THE JOURNEY HOME explores the awakening conscience of people who grew up in traditional farming culture and who have now come to question the basic assumptions of their way of life. Presented through a woven tapestry of memories, music, and breathtaking accounts of life-altering moments, the film provides insight into the farmers’ sometimes amazing connections with the animals under their care, while also making clear the complex web of social, psychological and economic forces that have led them to their present dilemma. This important film had its world premiere at Moondance, and won best feature documentary award.

Preview & buy the DVD here: http://www.peaceablekingdomfilm.org/

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• Comments in regard to the Connecticut school killings:

I’m sickened, just sick at heart. And angry. Innocent little children getting ready for the holidays, learning their ABC’s, maybe finger-painting, with their whole lives ahead of them. Perhaps a budding little Beethoven, a Mozart, an Einstein, a Martin Luther King, a Marie Curie, a Mother Teresa. And I feel so, so bad for the parents of those kids, the adults killed, and all the families touched by this senseless tragedy. And fear for the other kids who witnessed this horror by a deranged sicko, who killed his own mother first, before he turned his guns on those 20 little children and 6 adults. WHY?? This is an incomprehensible and profound loss of innocence.

New York Times photo, Newtown, CT, December 14, 2012

  • Charlotte Bacon, 6
  • Daniel Barden, 7
  • Olivia Engel, 6
  • Josephine Gay, 7
  • Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 6
  • Dylan Hockley, 6
  • Madeleine F. Hsu, 6
  • Catherine V. Hubbard, 6
  • Chase Kowalski, 7
  • Jesse Lewis, 6
  • James Mattioli, 6
  • Grace McDonnell, 7
  • Emilie Parker, 6
  • Jack Pinto, 6
  • Noah Pozner, 6
  • Caroline Previdi, 6
  • Jessica Rekos, 6
  • Avielle Richman, 6
  • Benjamin Wheeler, 6
  • Allison N. Wyatt, 6
  • Rachel Davino, 29, Teacher
  • Dawn Hochsprung, 47, School principal
  • Nancy Lanza, 52, Mother of gunman
  • Anne Marie Murphy, 52, Teacher
  • Lauren Rousseau, 30, Teacher
  • Mary Sherlach, 56, School psychologist
  • Victoria Soto, 27, Teacher

Gun control, yes, better security, yes, but what about all the violence shown 24/7/365 on TV, in film, video games, and etc. You’re angry at someone or something? Is the only option to just get your guns and start shooting people, as you’ve seen over and over in the entertainment industry, and as on 9/11, as well as too many other horrific incidents of this kind, in the US and around the world? Never a mention or depiction of viable alternatives to violence as a means to solve conflicts.

Moondance, after the Columbine High-school massacre, annually presents the coveted Moondance Columbine Award to those filmmakers and writers who have offered alternatives to killings and wars, and who show this senseless violence as being counterproductive. ~ Elizabeth English

Please read:

MOONDANCE FILM FESTIVAL STATEMENT ON NON-VIOLENCE

Newtown, CT is 20 miles from here and we have many friends there with children, but, thank God, they are all safe. Our 10 year-old grandson was supposed to wrestle at that same school last night – how blessed we are. Everyone in the country is devastated, as we all are. This day will forever be remembered along with Columbine, Virginia Tech and every other senseless murder of innocents. Twenty children gone from their parents, grandparents and friends by a man whose mother, a teacher, signed for his gun permit. What are intelligent people thinking, or not thinking?” ~ J. C., award-winning documentary filmmaker, Ridgefield, CT

“If we are to achieve any measure of success in creating a more peaceful, just, sustainable, and healthy planet, it will require more than the participation of governments and businesses. We’ll need a critical mass of consciousness. I feel that the only solution is the creation of networks of creativity and “love in action.” New ideas would be offered, and as people backed them with time, effort, and funds, the solutions would become self-organizing – they would grow along natural lines of enthusiasm and support, bypassing blocks imposed by special interests and nationalism. A critical mass of people need to be engaged in the process while also undergoing personal transformation through spiritual practices of every kind.” ~ DEEPAK CHOPRA, excerpted from a comment on Linkedin.com

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THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY:

Cottage, Normandy, photo by Michele Agniel

“The time will come when, with elation, you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror, and each will smile at the other’s welcome, And say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was yourself. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.” ~DEREK WALCOTT

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“Real sharing includes consciousness as well as action. When we start to share more unconditionally with the right consciousness, doors open where we didn’t know there were doors, and the more we become beings of true sharing.” ~ YEHUDA BERG, The Kabbalah Centre (excerpted from his Daily Tune Up blog) http://www.kabbalah.com/

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“Charlie”, photo by Chris Anastasiadis

“Happiness unshared can scarcely be called happiness.” ~ CHARLOTTE BRONTË

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“The greatest wisdom is in simplicity: love, respect, tolerance, sharing, gratitude, beauty, and forgiveness. It’s not complex or elaborate. The real knowledge is free. All you need is within you. Great teachers have said that from the beginning. Find your heart, and you will find your way.” ~ CARLOS BARRIOS, Mayan Elder

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Humpback whales, photo courtesy of NOAA

“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by every kindness, we birth our future.” ~ Cloud Atlas

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Sacred Bodhi tree leaf

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” ~ THE DALAI LAMA

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Japanese moss garden & pond

“Our task must be to free ourselves…by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” ~ ALBERT EINSTEIN

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“The lotus is a most beautiful flower, whose petals open only one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud — the obstacles of life. The mud speaks of the common ground that all of us share.” ~ GOLDIE HAWN

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"Hollow Man", by Bruno Catalano, France

“Apathy can only be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal which takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice.” ~ Arnold Toynbee

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A Joyous Musical Thought For the day:

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=GBaHPND2QJg&feature=youtu.be

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~~ Thanks for reading the Moondance news blog!  ~~

NOTE: Replying? Have a question? Change the email subject line! Please don’t just click on REPLY, if you want to comment or ask a question about this blog, because your email to me will stack up in Gmail, and I have to scroll through the entire blog to find your email, along with the many others who just click REPLY to the blog email. Changing even a word, or adding a /, in the subject line of the email to me will make it arrive as an individual email. Thanks for the email courtesy!

Please forward on this news blog to your friends and colleagues!

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MOONDANCE 2013 OFFICIAL CALL-FOR-ENTRIES ANNOUNCEMENT & NEWS

2013 MOONDANCE CALL-FOR-ENTRIES

~~~ Let’s Make a Splash! ~~~

http://www.clarklittlephotography.com/

The 2013 Moondance

OFFICIAL CALL-FOR-ENTRIES

is now open for submissions!

Get your entry in NOW for this great opportunity

to showcase your talents and for a good chance to

win the Moondance!

www.moondancefilmfestival.com

SUBMISSION CATEGORIES: Feature Films, Short Films, Documentary Films, Animation Films, Music Videos, Feature Screenplays, Short Screenplays, Original Music & Film Scores, Stageplays, TV Pilot Scripts, Filmed TV Pilots, TV Episodics, Short Stories, Libretti, Radio Plays, & More…

3 EASY WAYS TO SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY:

1. MIFF ENTRY FORM

2. ACTEVA ONLINE ENTRY

(save $5 on entry fee @ Acteva)

3. WITHOUTABOX SUBMISSION SERVICE

• FILMMAKERS: Moondance International Film Festival is now an IMDb Qualifying Festival, granting all eligible film submissions (via Withoutabox),  a fast-tracked title page on IMDb.com!

• WRITERS: Moondance requires hard-copies of screenplays, stageplays, TV pilots, short stories & radio scripts to be mailed to the competition for judging. Writers may request feedback & a professional critique on your work submitted to Moondance 2013,  for a nominal fee.

• COMPOSERS: Moondance requires CDs of film scores & original music to be mailed to the competition for judging.

SCROLL ON DOWN for more news, info, recommendations, insider tips on THE POWER OF MUSIC IN FILM, photos & thoughts for the day:

Are you undecided about which film festival competitions to enter this season?  You can’t go wrong by choosing Moondance first, because our finalists & winners, writers, composers and filmmakers, are very happy to discover that doors are finally opened to them, after being a part of the Moondance! Please check out our SUCCESSES page, to see what great new opportunities Moondancers can access.

• MOVIEBYTES.COM lists Moondance as one of the top ten film festival competitions worth the entry fee!

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MOONDANCE:

  • Every single submission received is quickly acknowledged by a personal email to the entrant.
  • As Moondance’s artistic director, I have had the rare pleasure of personally previewing and judging every single film, reading all screenplays and other written works, and listening to all music and film scores submitted to the annual competition.
  • I have selected all the films to be screened and all the winners in every category, and have done so, successfully, from the very first Moondance, in 2000, and continue to do so.
  • I do not travel to other film festivals looking for films to invite. In the rare event that a very special film is invited to be screened at Moondance, it is clearly labeled as “invited”, and it can have no chance of winning an award. Only submitted films have that opportunity.
  • All entrants to the annual competition are notified of the status of their submission, whether winner, finalist or semi-finalist, by the news blog and on the website. All selected filmmakers are notified in advance as to when and where their film will be screened.
  • When submitting your work to the Moondance annual competition, you can be 100% assured that it will be carefully previewed and judged fairly, and that you will be kept informed during the process.

~ Elizabeth English

A MOONDANCER WRITES US:

Good news! The General Manager of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra  got to hear my music, and he loved it! He flew to Florida to play my music for the Pops music conductor there, and he wants to see if they will use it for the Pop Music series, next year. It’s not definite, yet, but they love my work!” ~ STEVE WILHELM, Moondance film score winner, for “I Fell in Love With You”, which was played at the official wedding reception for Kate Middleton & Prince William, at their request.

MOONDANCE RECOMMENDS:

Help bring peace to families around the world with your Heifer gift.

HEIFER INTERNATIONAL’S mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth. By giving families a hand-up, not just a handout, we empower them to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity, but our approach is more than that. By bringing communities together and linking them with markets in their area, we help bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty.

Our animals don’t just provide project partners with a reliable source of food, but also a reliable source of income. Extra agricultural products, such as milk from cows or goats, honey from bees or eggs from chickens, can be both shared within the community and sold at market. This new income, coupled with the training in sustainable practices that our partners receive, allows partners to clothe their families, provide them with medical care and send their children to school.

And when not just one but many families gain this new sustainable produce and income, it brings new opportunities for building schools, creating agricultural co-ops, and forming community savings and loan groups to help fund entrepreneurial start-ups. Newly formed women’s groups help increase the communities’ full potential, as neighbors who may have never interacted now come together to help the community prosper.

It’s a lofty goal, but it’s happening! In communities around the world, our 12 Cornerstones model is helping people lift themselves from hunger and poverty.

Give a goat, a flock of geese, a hive of bees, seeds of corn, or even a buffalo, as holiday gifts to friends & family!

http://www.heifer.org/give-landingpage/campaign/peace

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photo by Virginia Blaisdell

“SHE’S BEAUTIFUL WHEN SHE’S ANGRY” This feature documentary film, directed by Mary Dore & Nancy Kennedy, resurrects the buried history of the outrageous, often brilliant women who founded the modern women’s movement from 1966 to 1972. SHE’S BEAUTIFUL will take us from the founding of NOW, with ladies in hats and gloves, to the emergence of more radical factions of women’s liberation; from intellectuals like Kate Millett to the street theatrics of WITCH (“Women’s International Conspiracy from Hell!”). Artfully combining dramatizations, performance, and archival imagery, the film will recount the stories of women who fought for their own equality, and in the process created a world-wide revolution. Remarkably, there has never been a feature film on the early days of women’s liberation.

Please consider making an individual donation to the SHE’S BEAUTIFUL Film Project! All donations are fully tax-deductible, through our non-profit sponsor, City Lore, or through our Kickstarter site. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SLOW FOOD, INTERNATIONAL

http://www.slowfood.com/

Slow Food stands at the crossroads of ecology and gastronomy, ethics and pleasure. It opposes the standardization of taste and culture, and the unrestrained power of the food industry multinationals and industrial agriculture.

Our Philosophy: We believe that everyone has a fundamental right to the pleasure of good food and consequently the responsibility to protect the heritage of food, tradition and culture that make this pleasure possible. Our association believes in the concept of neo-gastronomy – recognition of the strong connections between plate, planet, people and culture.

Our Vision: We envision a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet.

Our Mission: Slow Food is an international grassroots membership organization promoting good, clean and fair food for all.

Slow Food is working to help communities around the world to rebuild their local food systems in order to eat better, protect the environment and maintain cultural diversity. Together, we defend the right to access food that tastes good…
a fresh and flavorsome daily diet which is part of our local culture. is clean…
production methods than don’t harm the environment or human health. And fair…
accessible prices for consumers and fair compensation for producers.

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INSIDER TIPS FOR FILMMAKERS & COMPOSERS:

The Power of Music in Film!

By Elizabeth English

A film’s production and post-production phases include: editing, sound, foley, dubbing, special effects, background ambience, music, lab work, color, title, trailers, director, assistant directors or ADs, cinematographer or DP, focus-pullers, gaffers, best boy, key grips, script supervisor, body doubles, sound and light, still photographer, videographer, production assistants or PAs, studio execs, wranglers, extras, location manager, foley, prop master, special effects, extras, stunt coordinator, tech advisors, book-keeper/accountant, fire marshall, production designer, art director, storyboard artists, line producer, editor…all those elements that make the world of the film believable to the audience: story, set design, lighting, sound, special FX, continuity, locations, props, extras, stunts, costumes, hair and makeup, musical score composer & arranger, music…

Music! Ah, yes. The power of music in film. A feature film needs 30 to 40 minutes of music, which is one of the most important elements in a film.

A film score can be artfully used:

  • to arouse
  • to manipulate
  • to frighten
  • to soothe & calm
  • to aid in transitions from scene to scene
  • to punctuate
  • to comment
  • to move the plot along
  • to focus attention
  • to add sense of continuity
  • to add information
  • to heighten tempo
  • to add dramatic tension
  • to change mood
  • to add character
  • to define
  • to add dimension
  • …and to give the film a new or different meaning

The major categories of a film score are:

THEME, such as the musical theme from the James Bond films.


SOURCE, as from a radio, TV, iPod, or a band shown on screen.

MOVIE SONG: like the music from “Titanic”

UNDERSCORING: such as soft, “seen but not heard” music.


DEVELOPMENTAL or NARRATIVE music. adds to the story as it unfolds, weaving in and out, through the entire film

COUNTERPOINT music and FORESHADOWING themes.

OVERTURE: the central core. Sets mood, sets time, sets location.


LEITMOTIF: identifies the character or repeated action on screen., such as the famous tune from the film, “Jaws”.

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THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY:

Angelina & Alison

“What’s the best measurement for success? Happiness! How happy are you? Success and money can contribute to happiness, but happiness itself is another thing altogether. Words like ‘family’, ‘friends’, ‘love’ and ‘laughter’ have a lot more to do with happiness than words like ‘gross’, ‘capital’ and ‘revenue’.

Money is a by-product of bigger, more meaningful goals such as passion, fun and wisdom. As I’ve said before, have fun, do good, and the money will come.” ~SIR RICHARD BRANSON (excerpt from a LinkedIn text)

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Guatemalan girl & tourist

“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” ~ MAYA ANGELOU

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Fig Tree in Greece, photo by Chris Anastasiadis

“The key is to keep watering the tree, not just picking the fruit.” ~ CHINESE PROVERB

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Rock Formations in the Sea, Thailand, photo by Alan James

“Never, ever give up! No matter what.” ~~EE’S PERSONAL MOTTO

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“There is applause which is superior to that of the multitudes: one’s own.” ~ ELIZABETH ELTON SMITH

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“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.” ~ ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

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“Follow your inner moonlight, don’t hide the madness.” ~ ALAN GINSBERG

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NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR: Thanks for the many nice LinkedIn.com endorsements for my screenwriting, filmmaking, directing & etc., everybody! I’d also love to see some heartfelt endorsements for my 15 years of work as founder, executive director, artistic director, programmer, festival event director, & blogger at the Moondance International Film Festival, too! ~ Elizabeth English & Moondance Film Festival

~~ Thanks for reading the Moondance news blog!

~~ NOTE: Replying? Have a question? Change the email subject line! Please don’t just click on REPLY, if you want to comment or ask a question about this blog, because your email to me will stack up in Gmail, and I have to scroll through the entire blog to find your email, along with the many others who just click REPLY to the blog. Changing even a word, or adding a /, in the subject line of the email to me will make it arrive as an individual email. Thanks for the email courtesy!

~~ Please forward on this news blog to your friends and colleagues!

Winter view from the Moondance office, Boulder, Colorado

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LAST CHANCE: MOONDANCE 2013 EARLY ENTRIES!

~~~ LAST CHANCE! ~~~

MOONDANCE FAST-FORWARD EARLY-BIRD

CALL-FOR-ENTRIES!

Fall, Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, photo by Medford Taylor

SCROLL ON DOWN

for more news, info, recommendations, insider tips

photos & thoughts for the day

SPECIAL EARLY-BIRD CONTEST OFFER!

THE “FAST-FORWARD WITH MOONDANCE”

EARLY-BIRD CONTEST!

Can’t wait until the Moondance 2013 call-for-entries in December?

NOW, through November 30, 2012, Moondance is offering you the opportunity to get your submission in right now for this special Early-bird competition! Here’s the deal: Submit your screenplays, short stories, TV pilots, films, music & etc. (see all competition categories) for the lowest discounted entry fee of the year, only $25, during October & November 2012. Postmark deadline November 30, only for the “FAST-FORWARD EARLY-BIRD” contest. Regular entry fees start December 1, 2012.

ALL SUBMISSIONS WILL BE AN OFFICIAL ENTRY INTO THE

2013 MOONDANCE COMPETITION!

Here’s what you can win:

  • All “FAST-FORWARD EARLY-BIRD” winners, finalists & semi-finalists will receive an official certificate of your project’s award status!
  • All “FAST-FORWARD EARLY-BIRD” winners, finalists & semi-finalists will be listed on the December 2012 blog & website!
  • All “FAST-FORWARD EARLY-BIRD” winners, finalists & semi-finalists can get 2 free 2013 Moondance film festival movie tickets (a $30 value)!

ENTRY FORM

http://moondancefilmfestival.com/pdfs/MIFF_ENTRY_FORM.pdf

For submission info, go to:

http://moondancefilmfestival.com/Sub_submissions.html

EARLY-BIRD Application not available via withoutabox.com

TO PAY THE ENTRY FEE, SEND A CHECK OR MONEY ORDER IN US $ TO THE ADDRESS ON THE ENTRY FORM, OR TO PAY BY CREDIT CARD, GO TO: www.acteva.com/go/miff

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A SPECIAL NOTE TO 2012 MOONDANCE WINNERS*

WHO COULD NOT ATTEND THE AWARDS CEREMONY:

If you would like to have your award star & official winner certificate mailed to you, please go to www.acteva.com/go/miff to pay the postage. $10 for US addresses & $20 for foreign addresses. Remember to also EMAIL moondancefestival@gmail.com your mailing address & the title of your winning 2012 project. This offer expires December 31, 2012. *Award stars & certificates are sent to 2012 winners only, not finalists & semi-finalists.

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2012 MOONDANCE LAUREL WREATHS http://moondancefilmfestival.com/06_other.laurels.html

If your submitted project was chosen as a Moondance 2012 Winner, Finalist or Semi-finalist, please feel free to download the Moondance laurel graphic to use in your publicity. This offer expires December 31, 2012.

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THE 2012 MOONDANCE POSTER NOW AVAILABLE!

If you’d like to order a full-sized, full-color original Moondance NYC 2012 poster, co-designed by Joe Gilpin, Jr. and Elizabeth English, please go to www.acteva.com/go/miff to place your order. The cost is $25 each, plus US or foreign postage. This offer expires December 31, 2012.

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MOONDANCE RECOMMENDS:

The Michael Weise publication, “FILMMAKING FOR CHANGE, How to Make Films That Transform the World”, by Jon Fitzgerald, is a marvel, a revelation, and a must-read, for film buffs, indie filmmakers, film festival programmers, studio heads, film distributors, and screenwriters! This important book entertains, informs, inspires, encourages and educates the reader. Filmmakers, writers and composers are vocal and active participants in the social forces that can shape our culture. Films, scripts and music can all greatly contribute to a healthier society, and these creative works should encourage the active involvement of audiences to connect and act collectively to address social and environmental challenges. http://www.mwp.com/ Sign up now for the MWP newsletter and get your complimentary e-book: ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MOVIE MAKING MASTERCLASS. You can also check out our free filmmaker resources. There you’ll find sample budgets & forms, course outlines, and more…

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MOONDANCERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD!

In our continuing efforts to promote top-quality original filmmaking, writing and music composition by talented artists from around the world, the Moondance International Film Festival is very pleased to announce that our festival competitions have brought in great submissions, in all categories, from: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Curaçao, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Lithuania, Malta, Marshall Islands, Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Serbia/Montenegro, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tasmania, Turkey, United Arab Republic, the UK, the USA, Venezuela, Zambia, and more!

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A MOONDANCER WRITES US:

The November 5th Moondance blog is really a masterpiece…. and I don’t say that lightly.  The insider tips article on how to get an agent is the best help I’ve ever seen for screenwriters – new or old-timers.  It is brilliant piece of work.  This alone is well worth the price of the 2013 competition entry fee.” ~ LORNA KANTER

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INSIDER TIPS FOR FILMMAKERS:

LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION !

Adventures in Judging
Film Entries in a Film Festival

(Ways to Better Your Chances of Winning)

By Elizabeth English

~~~ Make sure your entire submission package is festival- friendly! ~~~

PREPARATION TO SUBMIT TO A FILM FESTIVAL: Send in your entry as soon as possible, rather than waiting for the last day of the entry deadline.
 Send your film in the format required by the festival. If they ask for a preview DVD in NTSC format, don’t send a PAL format. Do not attach a paper label directly to the face of the DVD! Paper labels very often cause the DVD to stop, stick, and/or pixilate. Have the title and other info printed onto the DVD, or handwrite it with a marker pen. Most film festivals will not accept or preview DVDs with paper labels. Don’t make the festival wait while you try to get back your lone screener from another festival!

FOR MAILING: Package your screener safely, and send it, and with your WAB tracking number, if you have one,  on the DVD or the box (or entry form, release form, & entry fee, if not via WAB) in one envelope or box, if using WAB’s submission service. Do not use those padded envelopes filled with grey shredded kapok, as it can damage DVD. It also makes a big mess when opened. Use correct postage.

Do not send the submission as registered mail. This often requires the person at the festival who gets the notice of registered mail to go to the post office & stand in line to sign for it. Usually, the mail carrier will not leave the package if no-one is available to sign for it, and it may be sent back to you.

US post offices have a good option: Delivery Confirmation notice. It’s a lot less expensive than registered mail & you can track the package online, to see when it was delivered, and even get a print-out that it was delivered properly, for your records. If you want a confirmation that your submission was received, please send (with your submission package) an attached post card with US postage (if entering a US competition). Write on the postcard: your name and address in the mail-to area, and on the back or in the message area, write: (name of festival) has received the film (title of your entry) on this date_________. Or request email confirmation.

Do not send an SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope) with your submission for return of your preview video or DVD, if the festival or competition announces that they will not return preview submissions. You’ll be wasting the postage. If you are sending your film to the US from another country, note on the customs declaration that the film has no (or $1) commercial value, or is a commercial sample, so the film festival is not charged a customs fee, in which case, the festival will probably refuse to accept your entry at all, and it will be discarded by the post office or returned to you. Please remember to write the WAB tracking number on the DVD and the box, not just on the mailing envelope, , if using WAB’s submission service.

ENTRY FEES: Attach the check or money-order with a paper-clip (don’t staple it in) to the front of the official entry form, if you have not paid via WAB. If it’s for a US festival or competition, make sure the funds are in US dollars. Don’t just toss the entry fee into the bottom of the envelope, as it may be missed. When sending a money-order, write your name on it, so we know who it’s from. When sending a check from someone else or a production company, write your name and the title of the submission on it, for the same reason.

balisha-neverenoughtime.blogspot.com

CONTACT INFO: Be sure to add your current email address to your submission form. If you have a spam filter, add the festival’s email address to your white list, so you can receive emails from them. If you change your address, phone number or e-mail address, please let the festival know this right away, so they can contact you if your film is selected for screening. Send e-mail addresses for all others who may want to be notified of the film’s status in the contest.
 If the festival has a news blog, subscribe to it, and read the blog when it arrives in your in-box.

MEDIA PACKAGES: If required for previews, send several publicity stills via e-mail, or a CD Rom with titled stills of your film in the submission package. If not required for previews, don’t send publicity materials. If your film is selected for screening, the festival will ask you for stills for their print program and media promo. The film stills need to sell your film to an audience, and make them want to see it. Use the best quality photos you have, and label them.

LABELING YOUR FILM: Please label the jewel-box or sleeve the DVD or film comes in, as well as printing the info directly on the DVD. The festival needs the following information on all film labels: Title of film, name of filmmaker, format, running time of film & genre (narrative feature or short, documentary, animation, etc.).

BUDGET FOR ENTRY FEES: Plan your film production budget to include film festival entry fees as the main method of marketing your film and your work.

Don’t ask the film festival to waive or reduce the entry fee for you. If the festival has a scholarship program available, it will be announced, and you can apply for it. Most film festivals are made possible by the entry fees collected.

BE PATIENT: Do not call, write or email the film festival to see if they’ve watched your film and if they liked it. Do not ask for comments or critiques unless the festival has announced they will give them. If you want a written or oral critique on your film and the festival charges a fee for that, add that amount to your entry fee.

Most film festivals will email you about your submission status, and will announce the winners, finalists and semi-finalists on their website and/or blog.

threeofakind-themovie.com

ATTEND THE FILM FESTIVAL: If your film should be a finalist or winner, and is selected for screening at the film festival, plan to attend the screening and participate in the festival by watching others’ films, too, as a courtesy to both the film festival that is promoting your film and to the other filmmakers.

Attending a film festival, and actively participating, is the best way to network.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILMS: If your film is not in English (for a US festival), do not have it dubbed into English. Use English subtitles, instead, written by a native English-speaker. Most festivals will not preview nor screen a dubbed film.

HAVE A GREAT, EYE-CATCHING TITLE & GRAPHICS FOR YOUR FILM! The title & graphic images should be memorable and unique, whether it’s a narrative fiction feature, a short, a documentary or animation.

HAVE A GREAT LOGLINE &/OR MINI-SYNOPSIS FOR YOUR FILM! This should also be memorable and unique, and sells the film to the festival programmer, and the audience, making them want to see your film, whether it’s a narrative fiction feature, a short, music video, a documentary or animation.

“Stangeface”, short film by Lynne Vincent McCarthy, Australia

OPENING SCENE: Have a great opening scene and a compelling first 5 or 10 minutes. Don’t start your film with long minutes of credits on a blank screen. Or with these two all-too-common openings: Shot of a bedroom, guy or woman in bed asleep, alarm clock rings, hand reaches out to shut off alarm, clock falls to floor, anonymous feet pad to the bathroom. OR: camera pans across a mantle or table or wall filled with family photos, showing viewer who the story is about. Been done a million times. Be creative! Do something unique!

Catch the festival programmer’s and the audience’s attention!

STORY: Make sure your film has a story. Even if it’s a documentary, it must have a story to follow and keep the viewer’s interest. Select a really good screenplay or story that will be of interest to festival programmer, festival director AND the potential festival audience, who will be glad to have paid for tickets to see your film!

FILM SCORE: Have a fantastic, memorable, original film score. The film score is one of the most important elements of your film.

PRODUCTION VALUES: Be sure to utilize good cinematography, lighting, sound, costumes, hair, makeup, locations, music, sets and props. Make sure the film’s lighting and sound is the same value throughout each scene. Production values count as much as the story, directing, editing and acting. Block out blue outside light, so your film’s colors are natural.

DIRECTING YOUR ACTORS: The actors shouldn’t be perceived as reading their lines and hitting their marks. They should not even be acting, but should BE the character, thinking and feeling and reacting, as the character.

Acting is re-acting, to dialog, situations, action, emotions. For documentary films, avoid all those “talking heads”. Use voice-over visuals to tell your story in a cinematic manner as much as possible.

EDITING: Edit “invisibly”, so that the film segues seamlessly and always flows forward. Edit out all but the gem of the story.

CREDITS: Consider adding the credits to the end of the film, rather than at the opening. Make them interesting, visually, maybe with stills from the film, bloopers, or out-takes, and with music from the film. Film credits shouldn’t be longer than the film! Please keep them short and sweet, and moving quickly.

RUNNING TIME: Make your film as short as possible. Consider ruthlessly cutting that 60-minute film to 30, 45 or 50 minutes!

Be aware that film festivals often want to screen films in one-hour segments, and need time between screenings for each audience to get seated, and then to exit the theater, between each screening.

Let’s fill ALL those seats!!

SPECIAL TIPS FOR DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKERS:

1. STORY, STORY, STORY! Doc films absolutely need a story, to be of interest to the general audience. A unique story, well-told.

2. And a unique protagonist for viewers to relate to. The protagonist can even be the filmmaker or narrator.

“Alaska Women Mariners” documentary TV pilot, directed by Anna Young

3. LOCATIONS, LOCATIONS, LOCATIONS! Film at interesting, cinematic, unique locations, and let the audience know where the film takes place.

4. Do a lot of voice-overs while showing visuals, scenes…try to eliminate all those boring talking heads!

5. Add in natural, ambient sounds to the sound track.

6. Keep color, lighting & sound even, in all shots, where possible.

7. Have an Act I, II, III (beginning, middle & end), with a good, memorable climax or resolution.

“Afghan Nightmare” feature doc, directed by Klaus Erik Okstad, Norway

8. Imagine you’re doing a fictional, narrative film, and try to end on a positive note.

“Blue velvet in Sinai” feature doc directed by Gulrukh Khan, UK

9. Select a subject or theme for your film project that is of great interest to a film festival programmer and a wide audience, and which will make them enthusiastic about your film’s subject.

10. Edit and cut relentlessly. Keep it as short as possible.

Considering a consultation?

Contact Elizabeth English at: mermaid7seas@gmail.com.

Visit her blog-site for more info and affordable rates!

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EE & Obama, @ 2012 Election Night Victory Party

An Australian Moondance winner commented, on seeing this pic, “I hear that he’s been showing this picture to everybody on Capitol Hill. They all stare incredulously and ask him: Is that really Elizabeth English?“ ;o)

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THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY:

metal sculpture by Charlotte Zink

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you. ~THOMAS JEFFERSON

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Mahatma Gandhi

Be as great in act, as you have been in thought.” ~ WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

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To forget one’s purpose is the commonest form of stupidity.” ~ FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE

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picture-insights.blogspot.com

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” ~ ANATOLE FRANCE

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The Brooklyn Bridge

“The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” ~ THOMAS A. EDISON

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~~ Thanks for reading the Moondance news blog! ~~

NOTE: Replying? Have a question? Change the email subject line! Please don’t just click on REPLY, if you want to comment or ask a question about this blog, because your email to me will stack up in Gmail, and I have to scroll through the entire blog to find your email, along with the many others who just click REPLY to the blog. Changing even a word, or adding a /, in the subject line of the email to me will make it arrive as an individual email. Thanks for the email courtesy!

Please forward this news blog to your friends and colleagues!

Mermaid sculpture by Charlotte Zink, www.ZinkMetalArt.com

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FAST-FORWARD WITH MOONDANCE!

www.alphabetphotography.com

www.moondancefilmfestival.com

SPECIAL QUICK CONTEST OFFER!

THE “FAST-FORWARD WITH MOONDANCE” CONTEST!

Can’t wait until the official Moondance 2013 call-for-entries in December?

Starting NOW, through November 30, 2012, Moondance is offering you the opportunity to get your submission in right now for this special short competition! Here’s the deal: Submit your screenplays, short stories, TV pilots, films, music & etc. (see all competition categories) for the lowest entry fee of the year, only $25, during October & November 2012. Postmark deadline November 30, only for the “FAST-FORWARD” contest.

Here’s what you can win:

  • All “FAST-FORWARD” winners, finalists & semi-finalists will receive an official certificate of your project’s award status!

  • All “FAST-FORWARD” winners, finalists & semi-finalists will be listed on the December 2012 blog & website!

  • All “FAST-FORWARD” winners, finalists & semi-finalists can get 2 free 2013 Moondance film festival movie tickets (a $30 value)!

“FAST-FORWARD” CONTEST APPLICATION FORM*

*Application not available via withoutabox.com

TO PAY THE ENTRY FEE, SEND A CHECK OR MONEY ORDER, OR TO PAY BY CREDIT CARD, <— CLICK HERE

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INKTIP.COM annually sponsors the Moondance with a generous offer to post the feature screenplay winners’ projects on their website for free, where producers and directors visit often to preview and select scripts for a read, an option and/or a sale! Watch for an email from InkTip, coming to your inbox soon. These are the 2012 winners of this very special prize:

FEATURE SCREENPLAY WINNERS
A Certain Charm Betty Ellington-Smith
Coach Rob Bruce Leaf &  Denny Dressman
Count Roller Skates Todd Gordon
Fixing Jack Jennifer Ussi & Adam Couper
Hockey Night in Cromdale Penny Frazier
It Never Rains in California Timothy Earl Burger
Jason’s House Murray Spitzer
Nekropolis Kevin Walker & Jason Beever
Roughnecks! Michael L. Edwards
Separate > Equal Thomas Lidd
Song of the Lost Sister Brian MacEvilly
Vlad, the Inhaler Mark Lysgaard
FEATURE SCREENPLAY FOR KIDS WINNER
The Huggisons: a Furry Sensation Rebecca Kavanaugh
TELEVISION PILOT SCRIPT WINNERS
Annabelle Mary MacDonald Rival & Allan Wylie
Men of Leisure Nicole L. Siddiqi
The Tweeters Wendy Brache
Wheels -The June Bug Donna Lisa

Nicole Siddiqi

Tom Lidd

Donna Lisa

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Sign up now for the MOVIEBYTES.COM newsletter! MOVIEBYTES.COM lists Moondance’s writing winners each contest season, to promote winning screenwriters to buyers! A list of all 2012 Moondance writing winners has been sent to them, and that special listing is online at www.moviebytes.com now!

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A SPECIAL NOTE TO 2012 MOONDANCE WINNERS* WHO COULD NOT ATTEND THE AWARDS CEREMONY:

If you would like to have your award star & official winner certificate mailed to you, please go to www.acteva.com/go/miff to pay the postage. $10 for US addresses & $20 for foreign addresses. Remember to also EMAIL moondancefestival@gmail.com your mailing address & the title of your winning 2012 project. This offer expires December 1, 2012. *Award stars & certificates are sent to 2012 winners only, not finalists & semi-finalists.

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READ WHAT MOONDANCERS WRITE US!

EE & son, Chris, official festival photographer

Dear 2012 Moondancers, It was really great to meet you all at last, and I’m very happy to know you were pleased with the 2012 Moondance in New York City. Thanks a million for being there with us, and for making this event a great one. I look forward to seeing your Moondance 2013 projects! ~~ Cheers, Elizabeth

  • “The festival was incredible and the connections were so helpful.  Bottom line, it was vital for me at this point in my process to be around and talk to other aspiring writers/filmmakers, as much as it is nice to hear from people who have experienced success.  It gave me back some sanity that had begun to flee as I was so alone for a long time writing without anyone to relate.  I hope to stay in touch with everyone’s process and progress.  Thank you again for the opportunity and especially thank you for putting a festival up that promotes alternative views from the norm.  Such is the very kind of film I intend to live my life pursuing.  And offer social change, unheard perspectives, and unlock the endless possibilities of this art.  Thanks again.” ~ CONNOR McLEAN, feature screenplay, “All the Day Nowhere”
  • “It was such a pleasure to be at the Moondance festival and be awarded a prize for best documentary feature. There was a great buzz to being in New York and meeting Elizabeth, a women of great integrity, innovation and tons of fun to be with. My film series ‘Blue Velvet In Sinai’ with (Oscar winner Ric O’Barry) fitted the ethos of the festival, and I am honoured to have met so many like-minded, inspirational fellow film-makers. The award ceremony on the yacht added to the fun…especially as we could see the Statue of Liberty during the awards. As so many of the films were about liberation from the confines of negative things in life – it was a perfect setting. Thank you, Elizabeth, for making my trip from the UK, specially to be at the awards, so wonderful.” ~ GULRUKH KHAN – Director / Producer www.bluevelvetinsinai.com

EE & Gulrukh Khan

  • Thank you so much for Moondance!! The whole concept of it and your total commitment to every aspect of it truly brings out the best in everyone and is inspiring. It was wonderful to see thought-provoking films of such substance, artistry, to meet and share the passion of the filmmakers and people involved, and be part of a very special film festival. The awards cruise was the best yet, as Tom Lidd says, “A blast”! Your description of the GAIA award I won is “The award is presented to the person who seeks to elucidate and improve the spiritual quality of all life on the planet, and contributes to the betterment of the world spirit.” This particular recognition means so much to me and the Indian NRITYAGRAM dancers — I feel this is the goal of us all in some way! Brava to you and all participants at Moondance!” ~ NAN MELVILLE, director

Nan Melville

  • My son and I had a great time in NY, it was very special for us as he has only just arrived in the US to attend high school.  This was his first trip to NY.  I felt it important to bring him because it was his comment 5 years ago about there being no Marshallese-language films that got me on this filmmaking roller coaster ride. The opportunity to screen our film in NY was huge for not just me, but the Marshall Islands as a whole.  I was so surprised and pleased to see that people who had been connected with the Marshall Islands for decades wound up coming to watch the film.  Some of those people had done some great things for the Marshall Islands, so it was heartwarming to see them again.  My college roommate was there, who I hadn’t seen for 30 years; my cousin was there, who I hadn’t seen for over 20 years.  My daughter’s friends were there.  There were even people who had adopted Marshallese children who came to show their kids a little slice of what their birthplace looked like.  It was a great experience for all of them, and I really enjoyed the Q & A afterwards. The awards ceremony on the ship was so unusual.  Boats are not new to those of us who live on islands, but boats cruising by the Statue of Liberty as we were receiving an award for our film, was!  My son felt so proud of that day, as did I.  I have attached the picture of us with our Atlantis Award.  I know that putting on that festival is an awesome task, but from those of us who benefited tremendously from it, PLEASE keep the Moondance going!  Let me know if I can be of any help to you.  I’ll keep you posted on Cricket’s journey into the festival world; it certainly had a grand start!” ~ JACK & MAX NIEDENTHAL

Jack & Max Niedenthal

  • I wanted to take a brief moment to thank you for your efforts at making the Moondance International Film Festival a positive experience for all who attended…you managed to maintain the spirit of the Moondance festival even when it wasn’t so easy to do…and used your determination to ensure the film makers had a platform for their work to be seen and to be heard. We all owe you a personal thank you for bringing this to life for all who attended and all who enjoyed the recognition of having been part of the Moondance Film Festival. So from my team, I want to recognize you…for your long-standing efforts in this but more importantly, for your efforts in helping to raise awareness, via the film format, to issues which affect women and their lives from around the globe. “Black Inside-Three Women’s Voices” wasn’t in competition of course, however we were honored with your invitation to make the work created for the UNF-GACC, the voices of three women who equally invited us into their lives, available to those interested in the issues which prematurely lead to the deaths of millions of people, predominately women and children, while breathing the toxin-laced smoke from cooking over an open wood fire to feed their families. As director of this series of short films for the UNF-GACC, I’ve been inspired to take the cookstove story to a wider audience, so I’m pleased to announce that we are in pre-production for two independent feature-length films. “When Sparrows Fall” is a slice-of-life story with locations from the Pyrenees of northern Spain to the Western Isles off the coast of Scotland, where cooking over open fires is cultural and loving, yet often deadly for women who simply want to serve their families. We want to bring this serious issue to a world stage, and now you and Moondance, with us, are part of this effort. Moondance will always be where we enjoyed our US Premiere, giving credit where credit is due. In this spirit, I want to extend our heartfelt thanks to you, from our US/London based production team, and know that we wish you the best of all things good in your efforts for others..in the days to come.” RODNEY RASCONA, Director, “Black Inside – Three Women’s Voices”


Rodney Rascona (at right)

  • “Thank you for honoring “Coach Rob” with the Seahorse Award. Both Denny Dressman and I were thrilled when we learned we had been named winners at the Moondance Film Festival, an indication that our script, about former Grambling State University Coach Eddie Robinson, resonated with people who likely didn’t know about his achievements. We were fortunate to have good material to work with. I enjoyed meeting you at the awards ceremony onboard the yacht and look forward to seeing you again. I offer my best wishes to you and to the continued success of the film festival.” ~ BRUCE LEAF

Bruce Leaf, EE & Bermet

  • I just wanted to thank you for recognizing my script and for hosting the awards ceremony.  It was a most remarkable group of filmmakers and other people in the arts.  My wife and I had long conversations with several people whom we will not soon forget.” ~ TODD GORDON, feature screenplay, “Count Roller Skates”

  • “Spirited by your empathetic intelligence and infused with a buoyant grace, Moondance is a joyous festival that enacts a world view reminding us that, though connection is elusive, we are all noble and bound by our perseverance in envisioning resolution.  I am honored to have been included and to have had two stories awarded. Thank you.” ~  ROBIN MARTIN, 2 short stories, “Bob & Hope” & “On the Ocean Boulevard”

  • I wanted to thank you for the wonderful time we had at the Moondance International Film Festival! The producers, Rosemary and Sabrina, and Tom and I had so much fun! The award ceremony and reception was pitch-perfect – what a beautiful day on the water! All of our family and friends loved the screening of “Surreal Estate” – we’re thrilled we were able to share the film at such a great festival! Thank you.” ~ LORI ROMERO

Lori Romero & her film’s leading character

  • It was so wonderful meeting you this weekend at the Moondance International Film Festival.  I had such a great time, and am very grateful for the opportunity to meet so many impassioned individuals. The festival provided me with many networking opportunities, which were invaluable experiences. I am eager to get back to work, especially after helping with Moondance. Thank you again for the opportunity to be part of the Moondance International Film Festival, and I hope our paths cross again in the future!” ~ SAMANTHA WALSH
  • “We’re very excited to have our first screening in New York City and where the idea for Mission of Mermaids all began. After two years of work and dedication to this project and the cause behind it, we’ve come full circle. the NYC screening at the Moondance International Film Festival. M.O.M. had its NYC premiere at this lovely festival, perfect for our topic. Aside from having a Mermaid as their logo, their mission is right in tune with our own. ~ SUSAN ROCKEFELLER, director

Nan Melville & Susan Rockefeller

  • Elizabeth, I want to thank you for your great encouragement and the enormous positivity you showed me, and to say how proud I am to be recognised in a festival whose ethos I so respect. It means a great deal to me. Although attending the festival would have battered me financially, I’d have been there in a heartbeat. I’ve no doubt that I’d have met some fantastic people, and, who knows, perhaps even done business, too. You’re doing a terrific — and, more significantly, important — job. (My friend Eilis Mernagh, a former Moondance winner/attendee, refers to you as a legend.) I’ve had a number of successes this year, but this win is particularly special to me. I promise to keep producing accountable, life-affirmative work. And I look forward to competing in Moondance again in the future. As my old school motto used to say, ‘Certa bonum certamen’ (‘Fight the good fight’). ~ BRIAN MAC EVILLY, screenwriter, “ Song of the Lost Sister”, Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland www.writerscut.net

Brian Mac Evilly

  • In searching for appropriate film festivals to submit to, yours in particular struck me not only because the spirit and vibe seem so positive, but because you make a point to emphasize film scores, something that seems pretty rare in the independent film world, but something that is so important to us and our film (it being a musical and what not).” ~ MARK BLACKMAN
  • On behalf of Rich West and myself, I want to thank you so very much for honoring our film “The Last Paperboy” by selecting it for your film festival.   Its screening in NYC, and especially at the Tribeca Cinemas, was beyond words. I was thrilled to be there and was especially happy to meet you and to network with all the wonderful people who attended Moondance. I think I may have made some new friends for life. Especially exciting was the cruise around NY. Your thoughtfulness in stopping the awards presentation so we could step outside and see the Statue of Liberty was a kindness that I will never forget. The emotions I felt in seeing the Statue surprised me and will be with me for a long time. It was extremely kind of you. Regarding the awards, the star is lovely. I plan to mount the Star and certificate in a frame and proudly hang it on the wall. Thank you again for a very special weekend.” ~ SHERI RATICK STROUD itsme-sheri.com Wonder Pictures

Sheri Ratick Stroud

  • My short story, “Another Way to Die”, was a 2012 Moondance International Film Festival Semi-Finalist. The award has led to my newest book, Gladiator, cracking Amazon’s top 100, twice. I have now received an invitation from Southern Writers Magazine to guest-post on their blog, and my first print book, Bounty Hunter, will have a full-on launch at Joseph Beth Booksellers, one of the largest independent book chains in the United States. Thank you, Elizabeth at Moondance; you and your festival make all artists dreams come true.” ~ AMY MCCORKLE http://amylmccorklekentuckyauthor.webs.com

  • I want to take a moment to thank you for giving me the award for “The Huggisons” (feature screenplay for kids). I got the good news on the very day I was moving into a new apartment here in Chicago to spend a year in the States pushing my screenplays (I am American but normally live over in Marrakech, Morocco and yes…with my seven cats). It is surely a “going into the unknown” time in the US for a year is a bit intimidating and so receiving the award that day confirmed perhaps I’m on the right track :). I’ve got “The Huggisons” with a friend of a friend who is an animator at Disney, and Zero Gravity Management has requested to see a different script I wrote (an embarrassingly raunchy romantic comedy). …So I threw in The Huggisons into the Zero Gravity package, as well, and was very proud to mention in the pitch that I was a winner of YOUR contest. ~ REBECCA KAVANAUGH, Morocco/US

  • Thank you so much for including my short film “Death, Inc.” at Moondance 2012. I had an amazing experience at the festival in NYC, culminating with that glorious awards cruise to the Statue of Liberty and back. It is an honor to be able to be a Moondance winner. The experience is fuel for pursuing my dream to write and direct a feature film. Thank you! ~ SANDRA PAYNE

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Please send .jpeg photos from Moondance, for the online 2012 festival photo album, to: moondancefestival@gmail.com, with MOONDANCE PHOTOS in the subject line of your email.

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MOONDANCE RECOMMENDS:

BLUE VELVET IN SINAI

Directed by Gulrukh Khan

This Moondance Award-winning 4-part series (for Best documentary feature) has been made with Ric O’Barry (Oscar winner for ‘The Cove’ in 2010). It is the very beautiful story of a solitary dolphin who turns up on the coast of a fishing village in the Sinai desert, Egypt. The Bedouin there are ‘challenged’ in speech and hearing. The dolphin, whom they name Olin, changes their lives and village life forever. She has a baby and that further develops this powerful story of love, interspecies connection and humankind’s involvement with its natural world. Ric O’Barry and other dolphin specialists share profound scientific and other knowledge about dolphin healing and why it is important to keep these precious creatures out of captivity. The story in the Sinai is the microcosm of a greater global picture that unfolds throughout the series. You can support this important environmental issue by watching the series online at www.bluevelvetinsinai.com

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Beluga family, photo by www.fish-journal.com

Action Alert! SeaWorld Imports 18 Belugas Largest Import of Belugas Ever! We Must Stop this NOW or More Dolphins and Whales Will Suffer the Same Fate. This odious transaction would support the capture and international trade of this highly intelligent and social species. It is not acceptable to subject these animals to being ripped from their pod-mates and home waters and flown half way around the world in extremely noisy Russian planes. The highly stressful flight from Russia will be nothing less than inhumane, and thus violates the marine mammal protection act. There have been no captures of wild dolphins in US waters since 1993, mainly because of public pressure and opposition. 

We are counting on each and every one of you to help us block this import and return these captured belugas to the wild or permanent sanctuary. Please take a few minutes to help these wonderful whales and let the U.S. know that we won’t tolerate the cruelty of importing dolphins and whales for captivity. Go to: www. bluevoice.org for more info.

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READ THE MOONDANCE E-ZINE ARTICLES HERE!

Don’t miss reading all the great filmmaking & writing articles written by the pros exclusively for Moondance.

Read all about: how to win a screenplay competition; how to win a film festival competition; winning titles & loglines for films & scripts; screenplay submissions; movie script writing; writing character, dialog & action; how to get an agent; what Hollywood wants to see; directing indie films, documentaries, short films, animation; film scores; stage plays; short stories; TV MOW; TV pilots; kids films; music videos; radio plays, and more!

The editor is always open to suggestions & submissions for the Moondance E-ZINE, too! E-mail suggestions & articles to: moondancefestival@gmail.com,
with MOONDANCE E-ZINE in the subject line.

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MERMAID7SEAS PRODUCTIONS. Focusing on the elements crucial to creating a compelling and readable script, or a winning, marketable film, our helpful comments, suggestions & edits will allow you to concentrate on solving the problems that will make your material move toward receiving a CONSIDER or a RECOMMENDED from a studio or prodco reader, and will assist in advancing your script or film up toward WINNER in screenwriting competitions & film festivals. An advantage of this low-cost professional critique & editing service by the founder, executive director & artistic director of Moondance, and her professional team, is that we will help you prepare your screenplay or film before sending it to producers, agents, managers and others who may have requested it. EMAIL: mermaid7seas@gmail.com

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At the request of a winning Moondancer from Australia, please watch this amazing, musical 3-KITE BALLET by master kite-flyer, Ray Bethell, a resident of Vancouver, B.C.. He is the most famous and the best multiple kiteflyer in the world.! http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=nr9KrqN_lIg

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MOONDANCE IN THE NEWS:

“ALASKAN WOMEN MARINERS” FILM WINS AT MOONDANCE

Alaska Women Mariners onboard at the 2012 Moondance Awards ceremony

Frontiersman Newspaper, NEW YORK — Adding to her list of accolades, Capt. Anna Young has won the coveted Moondance Film Festival’s Filmed Television Pilot Spirit Award on Sept. 17 in New York City. Young arrived in Alaska 50 years ago and is a mother, grandmother, great grandmother, third generation Alaskan, as well as a 100 Ton Captain and fishing boat owner. Her 29-minute film, “Alaskan Women Mariners gives the world a bird’s eye perspective of Alaska’s fishing world. Included in the film are fishing all-stars like Alaska’s youngest 100 Ton Captain, Capt. Lilly Lane of Homer, Chelsea Bollinger of Kodiak, Capt. Sarah Brooks of Ninilchik, Sydney-Jane Armstrong of Homer and Capt. Lindsey Johnson of Ketchikan. The win includes bragging rights for the Mat-Su Valley, too, since Capt. Brooks lives here, but fishes on the Kenai Peninsula. Young was a salmon drift gillnetter in Prince William Sound in 1989, when the Exxon “Valdez” oil spill occurred, and was the first responder out of west Prince William Sound in Whittier, to assist on her boat F/V “The Sugar.” Most recently she lent her expertise and services to remove debris from Alaska coastal waters because of the Japanese tsunami disaster. ~ Heather Resz, Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, Managing editor

ALASKA BUSINESS MONTHLY Alaska’s Premiere Business Site. “This award is a wonderful testament to the world of fishing and maritime industry in Alaska and how integral women have been for its success,” said Anna Young. “I’m not only honored to receive the award for our film, but also very proud of Alaskan women who dedicate their lives to this growing market despite abundant risks and harsh environments in a historically male-dominated industry,” added Young. Captain Young is now in the process of promoting her film for interest by U.S. and international producers in television and big screen for larger audiences in a multiple-episode T.V. series and cinematic format.

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At the 2012 Guam International Film Festival, close to 200 films were entered from 27 countries, only 53 were chosen to be shown at the festival, hundreds upon hundreds of actors from all over the world were in these films: Tonight, Salome Fakatou, a little ten year-old Bikinian girl from the Marshall Islands has won the Grand Jury Award for Achievement in Acting (the only award given for acting) for her role in Ainikien Jidjid ilo Boñ (The Sound of Crickets at Night)!  It’s really what we have been trying to promote with these films; self-esteem for the children of the RMI. The crowd went crazy when she was chosen.” ~ JACK NIEDENTHAL, director

Salome Fakatou, at left & sister

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THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY

Imagination is more important than knowledge…” ~ ALBERT EINSTEIN

The happiest excitement in life is to be convinced that one is fighting for all one is worth on behalf of some clearly seen and deeply felt good ~ RUTH BENEDICT

“Usefulness, whatever form it may take, is the price we should pay for the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the privilege of being alive.” ~ ELEANOR ROOSEVELT

Eighty percent of success is showing up.” ~ WOODY ALLEN

Act as if it were impossible to fail.” ~ DOROTHEA BRANDE

“I, alone, cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ~ MOTHER TERESA

“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore.” ~ ANDRE GIDE

“All of a sudden, I’m back to knitting. I’m not sure what possessed me; perhaps it was the need to ravel what feels like something coming unraveled. As I knitted, I thought things over, row by row. Whenever my thoughts got in a rut, I told myself: You did that row already. Next. Knitting relaxed and soothed my mind. I understood, suddenly, why it was so important for women to knit for their sons and husbands overseas during war, in the old days. (Do they still?) How knitting kept in play the sense of being able to control the outcome, the sense of staying in touch, the sense of being able to protect and cherish a loved one, knowing that what your fingers touched will soon caress one who holds your heart. Knitting kept me from skidding out in anxiety. Will the moon rise over another meadow? Of course. Will the stars shine over other trees? Of course. I don’t yet see the pattern. But the next adventure is stitches away. Everything is, in the grand scheme of things.” ~ DOMINIQUE BROWNING, www.slowlove.com

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NOTE: Replying? Have a question? Change the email subject line! Please don’t just click on REPLY, if you want to comment or ask a question about this blog, because your email to me will stack up in Gmail, and I have to scroll through the entire blog to find your email, along with the many others who just click REPLY to the blog. Changing even a word, or adding a /, in the subject line of the email to me will make it arrive as an individual email. Thanks for the email courtesy!

Please forward this news blog to your friends and colleagues!

Charlotte Zink, www.ZinkMetalArt.com

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YOUR MOONDANCE JUNE NEWS


MOONDANCE JUNE DEADLINE + LATEST NEWS & INFO:

You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, “Why not?” ~ George Bernard Shaw

SCROLL ON DOWN FOR MORE NEWS, INFO & ARTICLES OF INTEREST!

The 2012 Moondance submission deadline is coming up!

Get your entry in NOW for this great opportunity

to showcase your talents and win the Moondance!

POSTMARK DEADLINE: JUNE 30, 2012

3 EASY WAYS TO SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY:

1. MIFF ENTRY FORM

http://moondancefilmfestival.com/pdfs/MIFF_FESTENTRYFORM.pdf

2. ACTEVA ONLINE ENTRY

http://www.acteva.com/go/miff

3. WITHOUTABOX.COM

https://www.withoutabox.com/login/1240

CHECK OUT THE MOONDANCE WEBSITE FOR MORE INFO!

http://www.moondancefilmfestival.com

Thanks a million for all the many fine entries we’ve received so far!

MOVIEBYTES.COM lists Moondance as one of the top ten international  film festival competitions worth the entry fee!

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MOONDANCE:

  • As Moondance’s founder, executive director & artistic director, I have had the rare pleasure of personally previewing and judging every single film, reading all screenplays and other written works, and listening to all music and film scores submitted to the annual competition.
  • I have selected all the films to be screened and all the winners in every category, and have done so, successfully, from the very first Moondance, in 2000.
  • I do not travel to other film festivals looking for films to invite. In the rare event that a very special film is invited to be screened at Moondance, it is clearly labeled as “invited”, and it can have no chance of winning an award. Only submitted films have that opportunity.
  • When submitting your work to the Moondance annual competition, you can be 100% assured that it will be carefully previewed and judged fairly.

~~Elizabeth English

Founder, Executive Director, Artistic Director: Moondance International Film Festival

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PROFESSIONAL CRITIQUES:

"Gromit", Aardman Animation, UK

Cynthia Butler, Moondance’s very popular reader will write a critique and assessment of your submitted Moondance screenplay, stageplay, teleplay or up to 3 short stories. Check off the box for critiques on the Moondance entry form. The fee is a nominal $50 for each critique requested!

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BE SURE YOU’RE SUBSCRIBED TO OUR POPULAR NEWS BLOG in order to be kept up-to-date about all of the Moondance deadlines, news, announcements, vital articles and insider tips! The Open Rate for the folks who receive this blog is incredible! We are averaging at least 50%, which is way above the industry standard for open rates for email marketing. MIFF’s blog ranges up to 80% for some broadcasts – which is tremendous, and almost unheard of! So do join up now to get in on one of the best-read blogs around!

Sign up for it now, at: www.moondancefilmfestival.com/blog

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VERY SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS!

The Moondance International Film Festival has the great honor to announce that the 2012 festival event will be produced and presented by Winsome Sinclair & Associates (WSA), our premiere sponsor! WSA is located in New York, and is committed to creating extraordinary results for its clients, artists and business partners through an unwavering commitment to success. WSA engages in three distinct, yet interrelated businesses: Casting, Artist Management and Development, and Production. The WSA mission is virtually the same as the Moondance mission, and we gratefully welcome their valued participation and support!

http://www.wsaentertainment.com/

WSA PRESENTS THE

2012

MOONDANCE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

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JUNE ENTRY PRIZES:

Three lucky people, selected from the June Moondance submissions, who submit their project to Moondance during the month of June will receive either a Moondance logo T-shirt or logo tote-bag (your choice)! Your T-shirt or tote-bag will be at the festival reception desk, where you can pick it up.

All submissions entered during Moondance’s March Madness Days, selected from the 2012 competition, will receive 5 free movie tickets at the 2012 film festival! The official list of all March entrants will be at the festival box office, where you can each pick up your 5 free movie tickets.

Three (3) lucky April entrants, selected from the 2012 competition, will each receive one V.I.P. All-films pass to the 2012 Moondance Film Festival event! Your V.I.P. All-films pass will be at the festival box office, where you can pick it up.

APRIL WINNERS:

  • Sable Jak
  • Mohammad Alkazemi
  • Margie Walker

One lucky winner, selected from the 2012 competition, who submitted during May, receives a free V.I.P. All-festival pass to the 2012 Moondance Film Festival event! Your V.I.P. All-festival pass will be at the festival box office, where you can pick it up.

MAY WINNER:

  • Vicki Bartholomew

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A MOONDANCER WRITES US!

“Thanks much, Elizabeth, for the acknowledgement (of receipt of my film submission). I wish all the (festival) administration departments (would) communicate with such speed. Life will be so cool for all…I guess most of them are busy chasing the so-called BIG names, under the umbrella of promoting so-called new talents. I am very impressed and excited to see your presentation, including the website, the look and feel, attitude, and style; that is what enticed me to enter (my) film in your festival.” ~ Rohit Gupta (India)

Symbol for the “OM” mantra (Believed to be the "Sound of the Universe") & for Ganesha, the elephant-headed God http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganesha

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FILMMAKERS & COMPOSERS: DID YOU KNOW?

MUSIC IN FILM!

By Elizabeth English

Music! Ah, yes. The power of music in film. A feature film needs at least 30 to 40 minutes of music, which is one of the most important elements in a successful film.

A film score can be artfully used to:

  • AROUSE
  • MANIPULATE
  • FRIGHTEN
  • SOOTHE & CALM
  • AID IN TRANSITIONS
  • PUNCTUATE A MOMENT OR SCENE
  • COMMENT
  • MOVE THE PLOT ALONG
  • FOCUS & ARTICULATE
  • ADD A SENSE OF CONTINUITY
  • ADD INFORMATION
  • HEIGHTEN THE TEMPO
  • ADD DRAMATIC TENSION
  • ADD TO COMEDIC ELEMENTS
  • CHANGE THE MOOD
  • ADD CHARACTER
  • DEFINE A SCENE OR CHARACTER
  • ADD DIMENSION
  • GIVE THE FILM NEW OR DIFFERENT MEANING

And you thought only the film director, DP, editor, and the actors did all that?!

The major categories of a film score are:

  • THEME, such as the musical theme from James Bond films
  • SOURCE, as from a radio or a band shown on screen.
  • MOVIE SONG, as the music from “Titanic”.
  • UNDERSCORING, soft, “seen but not heard” music
  • DEVELOPMENTAL or NARRATIVE music, which adds to story as it unfolds, weaving in and out, through the film.
  • COUNTERPOINT MUSIC, adds to contrast, adds conflict
  • FORESHADOWING, sets up for the next scene
  • OVERTURE, the central core. Sets mood, sets time, sets location.
  • LEITMOTIF, which identifies a character or repeated action on screen, such as the scary tune in “Jaws”, when the shark is about to appear.

"Jaws", Universal Pictures, Steven Spielberg, director

Along with a good screenplay, directing, editing, camera-work, and great dialog, music is what really makes a film memorable! Composing film scores, arranging and selecting music are vital crafts and elements that contribute to making the “Dream Factory” world of the film believable to movie audiences!

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THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY:

“Ambition is just a dream with a V-8 engine.” ~
Elvis Presley (1935 – 1977)

“Lioness” photo by Nick Brandt

“I’ve always felt that the only way to survive was with dignity, pride and courage.” ~ Eric Clapton

Mahatma Gandhi’s glasses

“The people who shape our lives and our cultures have the ability to communicate a vision, or a quest, or a joy, or a mission.”
~ Anthony Robbins

photo by Adrian Davis

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
~ Albert Camus

"Staircase", photo by Ralph Gibson

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.”
–Louis L’Amour

“Belief in oneself is one of the most important bricks in building any successful venture.” ~ Lydia M. Child

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THE GREAT MOONDANCE ROADSHOW COMING TO YOUR TOWN SOON?

Host the very best of Moondance films, professional workshops & popular networking parties in your community, anywhere in the US and in the world! You really can bring the Moondance Roadshow to your town. Contact Elizabeth English now at: moondancefestival@gmail.com to discuss the details and fabulous benefits of this unique opportunity.

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Thanks a million to all of you Moondancers who have contributed this season and in the past! Without your support, we wouldn’t be here. And as our progressive, independent, pro-active voice reaches more people – via the art of film, writing and music, and providing encouragement, reliable information, critical thought and creative ideas — more audiences, artists and activists are entertained, informed and inspired.

The films, written works and music we receive reinforce our belief that for those artists, and for many of you, Moondance International Film Festival, with our mandate for integrity, the highest quality, and our mission, is an essential part of a progressive future.

Send in your entry now, and/or sponsor us, or donate whatever amount you can afford. Let other colleagues and friends know about Moondance, via your FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media accounts.

SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY, AND/OR DONATE HERE:

http://www.acteva.com/go/miff

READ MOONDANCE SPONSOR INFO HERE:

http://moondancefilmfestival.com/04_sponsors.info.html

AND DON’T FORGET:

The 2012 Moondance submission deadline is coming up!

Get your entry in NOW for this great opportunity

to showcase your talents and win the Moondance!

POSTMARK DEADLINE: JUNE 30, 2012

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Thanks a million for reading & subscribing to the Moondance news blog!

Please pass this news blog along to your friends & colleagues.

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HAPPY MAY DAY FROM MOONDANCE!

Welcome to the early May edition of the Moondance news blog!

SCROLL ON DOWN FOR MORE NEWS, INFO & ARTICLES OF INTEREST!

Tulips, Central Park, NYC, photo by Dominique Browning, www.slowlovelife.com/

“By plucking its petals, you do not gather the beauty of the flower.” ~ Rabindrath Tagore

MOONDANCE ENTRY FEE DISCOUNT DAYS EXTENDED!

~ May 1 – 31, 2012 ~

By popular demand, Moondance is extending our very popular Springtime Special opportunity! All films, scripts, written works and music submitted to Moondance and postmarked during the month of May can send in:

TWO ENTRIES FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!*

*Pay the full, higher entry fee for the first one, and send the second one (of an equal or lesser entry fee) for free. Spring Special discounted two-for-one entry fees are available only via the Moondance official entry form and Acteva. All submissions postmarked during the month of May, are eligible!

AND! One lucky winner, selected from the 2012 competition, who submits during May, will receive a free V.I.P. All-festival pass to the 2012 Moondance Film Festival event! April V.I.P. All-festival pass winners will be announced in the next news blog!

3 EASY WAYS TO SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY or ENTRIES:

1. MIFF Entry Form

<http://moondancefilmfestival.com/pdfs/MIFF_FESTENTRYFORM.pdf>

2. Acteva Online Entry

http://www.acteva.com/go/miff

If using Acteva, please remember to go to the MIFF entry form, print it out, fill it in, and send it along with your submission!

3. Withoutabox.com

<https://www.withoutabox.com/login/1240>

(no discount, no two-fers)

If using WAB, please write your WAB tracking number on your submission!

Check out the Moondance website for more info!

http://www.moondancefilmfestival.com

Thanks a million for all the fine entries we’ve received so far!

MOVIEBYTES.COM

lists Moondance as one of the top ten film festival competitions worth the entry fee!

PROFESSIONAL CRITIQUES:

Cynthia Butler, Moondance’s very popular reader will write a one-page critique and assessment of your submitted screenplay, stageplay, teleplay or up to 3 short stories. Check off the box for critiques on the Moondance entry form. The fee is a nominal $50 for each critique requested during the Moondance Springtime Special days!

BE SURE YOU ARE SUBSCRIBED TO OUR NEWS BLOG in order to be kept up-to-date about all of the Moondance deadlines, news, specials and happenings! Sign up for it now, at: www.moondancefilmfestival.com/blog

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ADVICE FROM A TREE

By Ilan Shamir

  • Stand tall and proud
  • Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
  • Reflect the light of a greater source
  • Think long-term , go out on a limb
  • Remember your place among all living beings
  • Embrace with joy the changing seasons
  • For each yields its own abundance:
  • The energy and birth of spring
  • The growth and contentment of summer
  • Give of your fruits and shade to others
  • The wisdom to let go of leaves in the fall
  • The rest and quiet renewal of winter
  • Feel the wind and the sun 
, and delight in their presence
  • Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
  • Learn from the mystery of the stars at night.
  • Seek nourishment from the good things in life
  • Simple pleasures: Earth, fresh air, rainfall, snows, moonlight
  • Be content with your own natural beauty
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
  • Be flexible
  • Remember your roots
  • Enjoy the view!

Sweet Chestnut tree, Wikipedia photo

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8 Tips on How to Write a Great Story!

Author photo: pitch.com

WRITING ADVICE FROM KURT VONNEGUT:

1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.

2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.

3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.

4. Every sentence must do one of two things-reveal character or advance the action.

5. Start as close to the end as possible.

6. Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they are made of.

7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.

8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

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MOONDANCERS WRITE US:

“I’m so pleased you’re still Moondancing. You are so passionate about it, and so committed. You are really an inspiration. What you do is so much grander and so much a festival. I have to send you massive congratulations on what you have achieved.” Jennifer Ussi, Australia, Moondance winner, “The Unique Oneness of Christian Savage” short film

“This is such a good deal. Moondance is a great place for screenwriters because they have several opportunities to network with filmmakers in local restaurants.” ~ Vicki Bartholomew

“I’ve attended a few Moondance Film Festivals over the past 7 years. It’s a great, intimate Film Festival with Elizabeth English at the helm. I love the idea that it’s a smaller festival, and that we have unlimited access to the speakers and VIP’s, but not regimented by the event!!!” ~ Vera Holman

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DID YOU KNOW…?

The Pulitzer Prize board did not name a winner in the editorial writing category and, more notably, declined to name a winner in the coveted fiction category, for the first time in 35 years. “The message from the committee to any author who published a novel or short story collection in 2011 seems to be: Sorry, you’re just not good enough.” ~ Stephan Lee, EW.com

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MOONDANCE RECOMMENDS:

Saving Dolphins & Whales – Protecting the Oceans

BlueVoice.org is an ocean conservation organization founded in 2000 by Hardy Jones and Ted Danson. Its mission is to protect dolphins, whales, and other marine mammals and to raise popular awareness about the plight of the oceans. BlueVoice has fought to end the slaughter of dolphins in Japan and to expose the harmful levels of toxins in the marine environment, including mercury, PCBs, and persistent organic pollutants, and their impact on both marine mammals and humans. In an effort to leverage the power of the Internet in the cause of preserving and restoring the oceans and its creatures, film and television star Ted Danson, a highly respected ocean activist, has joined film producers, environmentalists and digital technology partners to launch BlueVoice.org.

READ MORE: http://www.bluevoice.org/

Watch a short dolphin video: http://bluevoice.org/webfilms_dolphinobserve.php

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~~~~~ MAP OF THE WIND! ~~~~~

http://hint.fm/wind/

Remember lying on your back in the grass or on the sand at the beach, watching the clouds roll by overhead? You’ll be simply mesmerized by this gorgeous US map of the wind! It would make a great, moving, minute-by-minute real-time, and ever-changing screensaver or desktop wallpaper, too. Move your cursor to any area on the map to see what the wind-speed is at the moment.

And do read the lovely article about this incredible wind map in Time.com, by Dominique Browning, at: http://ideas.time.com/2012/04/26/what-the-wind-tells-us/?iid=op-main-lede. The Wind Map is about as graphic as it gets in making a simple point: Wind connects us. It is such a huge force, moving in such enormous sweeps across our land, that it overwhelms all the boundaries we have thrown up…It’s a lesson easy enough for a child to understand: We share the air. That sense of interconnectedness is what we should be sharing.”

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Moss gardens in Kyoto, Japan

The famed moss gardens of the Saiho-ji Zen Buddhist Temple in Kyoto, Japan, constructed during the Nara Period (AD 710 to 794) by Gyōki, feature more than 120 types of moss which blanket the ground surrounding Saiho-ji’s Golden Pond. To protect the delicate moss, the temple’s caretakers now require visitors to request entry to the garden no less than a week in advance. Once at the temple, which was originally built in 1339 and is a UNESCO World Heritage site, visitors must chant or copy on paper a Zen sutra before gaining access to the garden. The monks keep all the sutras in the pagoda and continue to pray for all.

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THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY:

Waterfall, Ithaca, NY

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese-born Buddhist monk, teacher, author, and peace and social justice activist http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/9074.Thich_Nhat_Hanh

“Success is ten percent opportunity and ninety percent intelligent hustle.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

Navajo weaver

“The artist is nothing without the gift. But the gift is nothing without the work.” ~ Emile Zola

“Movies are to our civilization what dreams and ideals are to individual lives: they express the mystery and help define the nature of who we are and what we are becoming. Go and tell stories that illuminate our times and our souls, that awaken the sleeping angel inside the beast.” ~ Frank Pierson, former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and of the Writers Guild of America

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THE GREAT MOONDANCE ROADSHOW!

Host the very best of Moondance films, professional workshops & popular networking parties in your community, anywhere in the US and in the world! You really can bring Moondance to your area.

Contact Elizabeth English now at director@moondancefilmfestival.com to discuss the details and fabulous benefits of this unique opportunity.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks a million for reading & subscribing to the Moondance news blog!

Please pass this along to your friends & colleagues.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



MOONDANCE FILM FESTIVAL SPRING SPECIALS!

2012 MID-APRIL BLOG

SCROLL ON DOWN FOR MORE NEWS, INFO & ARTICLES OF INTEREST!

"Narcissus", by John Waterhouse

MOONDANCE SPRINGTIME SPECIAL DISCOUNT DAYS!

~ April 1-30, 2012 ~

In celebration of spring, all films, written works and music submitted to Moondance and postmarked during the month of April can send in:

TWO ENTRIES FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!*

*Pay the full entry fee for the first one, and send the second one (of an equal or lesser entry fee) for free. Spring Special discounted two-for-one entry fees are available only via the Moondance official entry form and Acteva. All submissions postmarked during the month of April, are eligible!

AND! Three (3) lucky selected April entrants will each receive one V.I.P. All-festival pass to the 2012 Moondance Film Festival event!

3 EASY WAYS TO SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY:

1. MIFF Entry Form

<http://moondancefilmfestival.com/pdfs/MIFF_FESTENTRYFORM.pdf>

2. Acteva Online Entry

http://www.acteva.com/go/miff

3. Withoutabox.com

<https://www.withoutabox.com/login/1240>

(no discount, no two-fers)

Check out the Moondance website for more info!

http://www.moondancefilmfestival.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MOVIEBYTES.COM

lists Moondance as one of the top ten film festival competitions

worth the entry fee!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PROFESSIONAL CRITIQUES:

Cynthia Butler, Moondance’s very popular reader will write a one-page critique and assessment of your submitted screenplay, stageplay, teleplay or up to 3 short stories. Check off the box for critiques on the Moondance entry form. The fee is a nominal $50 for each critique requested during the Moondance Springtime Special days!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BE SURE YOU ARE SUBSCRIBED TO OUR NEWS BLOG in order to be kept up-to-date about all of the Moondance deadlines, news, specials and happenings! Sign up for it now, at: www.moondancefilmfestival.com/blog

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Please check out our MIFF listings on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boulder,_Colorado#Film

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moondance_International_Film_Festival

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SCREENWRITERS, YOU NEED TO READ THESE

MOONDANCE E-ZINE ARTICLES!

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MOONDANCERS WRITE US:

“I was a Moondance screenplay finalist, around the year 2000. It looks like the festival has really grown and is going strong. Congratulations! Just wanted to let you know that somewhere along the way since Moondance I switched from writing screenplays to writing novels, and something great happened; my novel Grace Grows is being published by St. Martin’s Press. It will be out next October. I wanted to let you know that I appreciated your encouragement about my writing, and I persevered.” ~ Shelle Sumners www.shellesumners.com

“I have been searching for a female-centered venue to send my MOW teleplay, and your site keeps coming back hard – as the only one that has such a strong focus on the use of female positive, and non violent conflict resolution – so fitting. I often say – name me one war started by a woman.” ~ Gregory Terlecki, Toronto, Canada

“As a Screenwriter I feel it’s very important to support film fests! Moondance is one to watch and participate in. It’s events like this that allow true talent to shine through.” ~ Stacy Shawtee Arcangel, Intuitive Edge Consulting

“Moondance! 
It is a remarkable blog. 
It is chance to reach coast of your dream.” ~ Marina Albert, Freelance screenwriter, Melbourne, Australia

“Elizabeth English is Executive Director for one of the best film festivals around, the Moondance Film Festival. Since she’s been at the helm, the festival has grown tremendously. She makes herself readily accessible and disseminates information thoroughly and in a timely fashion. She’s great at coordinating and a team leader.” ~ Kvachenyuk-Boretsky Alexander hired Elizabeth as a Writer/Editor in 2010

I worked directly with Elizabeth at Moondance International Film Festival. She is a detail-oriented person. Personable, On Time, Creative. ~ Sonya Alexander, Journalist/Editor/Proofreader/Screenwriter/Producer

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DID YOU KNOW…?

photo by Dominique Browning, "Slow Love"

Many people around the world feel strongly that their particular place—home, neighborhood, area, village, town, city, state, province or country—is superior to any other place, and that as residents of this place, they have a unique history, customs, accents, lifestyles, beliefs, traditions, or concerns that are different from, and better than, those of other places and people.

The Moondance film programs are always well rounded, entertaining, and enlightening, highlighting diverse cultures, opinions, and stories. We welcome individual expression and are committed to presenting diverse points of view. Moondance aims to entertain, increase awareness, provide multiple viewpoints, address complex social issues, provide forums for deliberation, and strengthen ties between a large variety of international audiences.

The long-term vision of the Moondance International Film Festival is to preserve and revitalize our intangible heritage, cultivate creative diversity, develop an intercultural dialogue, and stimulate this creative resource. Our mission is to present a vibrant and growing collection of films, writings, and music, which is an ideal means for communication across perceived boundaries of place, culture, race, age and gender.

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WIRELESS INTERFERENCE: THE HEALTH RISKS OF RF-EMFS

By Christopher Ketcham, excerpt from “Earth Island Journal”, May/June 2012

The health risks of RF-EMFs, the radiation from cell phone towers and other media technology, are not entirely known, though early signs are troubling. We all live in range of cell towers now, and we are all wireless operators. As of October 2010 there were 5.2 billion cell phones operating on the planet. We now live in a wireless-saturated normality that has never existed in the history of the human race, and the effects of EMFs on human beings are largely untested. Read more: http://www.utne.com/environment/rf-emfs-zm0z12mjzros.aspx#ixzz1rviVTWzZ

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THE MOONDANCE ROADSHOW!

Host the very best of Moondance films, professional workshops & popular networking parties in your community, anywhere in the US and in the world! You really can bring Moondance to your area. Contact Elizabeth English now at director@moondancefilmfestival.com to discuss the details and fabulous benefits of this special opportunity!

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~~~ MERMAID7SEAS PRODUCTIONS ~~~

www.mermaid7seas.com

Mermaid7seas Productions, an enthusiastic Moondance International Film Festival sponsor, annually, now offers reading services, critiques, coverage and edits to all Moondance writers & filmmakers, composers and to production companies and agencies, at a special discount price!

Focusing on the elements crucial to creating a compelling and readable script, or a winning, marketable film or film score, our helpful comments will allow you to concentrate on solving the problems that will make your material move toward receiving a CONSIDER or a RECOMMENDED from a studio or prodco reader, and will assist in advancing your script or film up toward WINNER in competitions & film festivals. An advantage of this low-cost critique service is that we will help you prepare your project before sending it to producers, agents, managers and others who may have requested it.

COVERAGE & CONSULTATION WILL ADDRESS THE
 FOLLOWING ELEMENTS:
 Theme, Premise, Genre, Concept, Story, Plot, Subplots, Subtext, Principal Characters, Cast-ability, Relationships, Depth of Characterizations, Dialogue, Exposition, Syntax, Conflict, Action, Scene, Humor, Tone, Attitudes, Pace, Flow, POV, Marketability, Audience Appeal, Interest, Visualization, Transitions, Balance, Titles and Loglines, Screenplay Evaluation or Film Evaluation!

Visit the Mermaid7seas website and contact Elizabeth English now, to get your script or film ready to win any competitions and/or enthusiastic attention from buyers! Mermaid7seas@gmail.com

MERMAID7SEAS CLIENT TESTIMONIALS:

I have just finished my second screenplay, using the methods and the writing secrets you exposed me to on my first screenplay. Your critique of my work was dead-on. Your common sense, no-nonsense approach brought out the details and cut out the fluff, added deeper characterization, improved the dialogue, added to the action sequences, and made the story move forward. I’m very proud of both scripts, neither of which could have been so well-written without your insight, suggestions, professional coverage and massive edits. I am confident that I have achieved a higher plane of writing quality since your evaluation and help with the necessary re-writes. My first screenplay, which we worked on together, is already being considered by a major production company. Thank you so very much! ~ Mike L. Edwards

“Quality, Productivity and Creativity! You’re in good hands when you work with Elizabeth.” Sam Archer, Samali Music Publishing

“I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Elizabeth – she is a consummate professional, whose passion and unique vision inspires others to excel.” ~ Mike Arsuaga, author with five books under contract

www.mermaid7seas.com

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MOONDANCE RECOMMENDS:

http://backtotheroots.com/our-story

Mushrooms Offer Solutions for Environment and Economy

Utne Reader article excerpt by Suzanne Lindgren 04/09/12

It turns out the fungi kingdom is capable of fixing some of our species’ biggest environmental gaffes, and boosting the economy while it’s at it. Paired with a little human ingenuity, mushrooms could be our ticket to a viable future. Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez instead opted to invest in closing the food-to-soil loop. During their final semester, the young men began growing mushrooms in a bucket of used coffee grounds. With a little legwork and a $5,000 grant from UC Berkeley, they soon had a deal to collect grounds from a west coast chain, Peet’s Coffee, in which they would grow mushrooms for northern California Whole Foods stores. Soon their company, Back to the Roots, was making money for both grounds collection and mushroom sales. Read more: http://www.utne.com/environment/mushrooms-offer-solutions-for-environment-and-economy.aspx#ixzz1rZZ9pMf9

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~~~ LATE JULY ORGANIC SNACKS ~~~

Barnstable, Massachusetts

A bag of Late July organic chips, on the beach at Cape Cod

Late July Organic Snacks is a family-owned and operated company that cares deeply about family and the integrity of our products. Not only are all our products certified USDA organic, and proudly wear the organic seal, but on any given day, you can find three generations at work, including eight year-old Stephen and four year-old Benjamin. We all hope you enjoy our snacks! As a small, independent, organic brand we truly appreciate it every time you choose to purchase one of our products. Visit us at: http://www.latejuly.com/ and http://www.shoplatejuly.com/

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THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY:

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.~ Havelock Ellis

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Here is the test to find out whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t. ~ Richard Bach ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

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Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you will have ceased to live.  ~ Mark Twain

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Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness and love never decrease by being shared. ~ Buddha

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Photo by Marion Post Wolcott, 1940

“Pilgrim, do not spend too much time planning your journey, for you may learn of so many hazards that you might decide not to go.” ~ Source Unknown

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Thanks a million for reading & subscribing to the Moondance news blog!

Please pass this along to your friends & colleagues.

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