Monday, March 23, 2015

On Being A Programmer

Last night, I spent the evening as a different kind of programmer. While all of our other screeners spent the night watching shorts, I tweaked our Filemaker Pro program to track who is watching what feature film regardless of format, and unsuccessfully tried to calculate a sum using three separate WHERE parameters. I have an SQL equation that works for two of them, but the third is a problem for a self-taught hacker like myself. No worries, though, I think I figured out a work around while walking my dog this morning.

Times have changed for film festivals. When I started screening in 2001, all submissions where on VHS. Sure, they didn't look anything like what the actual film did – especially if it was shot on 35mm – but we knew that. Today, we have at least six different ways to see your movies, and; thanks to bad transcodes and the idiosyncrasies of file-based media, they still don't look anything like what the finished film might look like, but we have no way of knowing that for sure.

Where we used to use a pen and paper to write down who has taken home what VHS, now we have to have a database to keep up with who is supposed to watch which movie to make sure they are all viewed in a timely fashion. Two years ago we had a handful of streaming submissions. Last year, it was about 50-50. This year, nearly 100% of the submissions have a streaming screener. I for one, am very grateful to all of filmmakers who also provide a DVD and/or Blu-Ray. Bad transcodes give me migraines.

Times have also changed for what's in front of the camera, namely, stars. When I submitted my film in 2000, I'm told that the subject of one of my cast members, Meshach Taylor, started a heated discussion about who is and is not a star. Mannequin and Designing Women were well in Meshach's rearview mirror by then. Thankfully, DWF stuck to their guns about differentiating between working actors and stars who can get a movie funded on nothing but their name. My film was allowed into the festival, and they've been trying to get rid of me ever since.

Today, funding is difficult for everyone. There are no business models for feature films anymore. Streaming, DVD, and POD income data is a closely guarded secret, so it's impossible for an indie filmmaker to turn to investors and say, "Movies with this big star consistently earn X-amount." Without that, funding is hard to come by regardless of who stars in your film.

On the flip side, production costs have come down so much, and SAG-AFTRA rules have changed, such that uber-indie filmmakers can afford to hire top-level working actors. For DWF, this means we've gone from a star-or-not discussion for one-or-two films per year, to one-or-two films per week.

Deciding who is and is not a star by DWF standards is not a perfect science. In fact, there's nothing scientific about it at all.

Obviously, if the name in question is Julia Roberts or Johnny Depp, that's easy. The movie would not be allowed in competition. It could still be in the festival, just not in competition.

For actors, writers, directors, etc. who are on the cusp of stardom, it's not so simple. In that case, we evaluate not only individual cast members, but also the ensemble. A film full of recognizable non-stars might be more of an issue than a movie with a single recognizable face. We'll also look at the overall production team. We're not going to punish a first-time director or production company for getting the best talent they could. Stardom is also a function of time. A name that could once get a movie funded, might not be so hot now. Conversely, a name that couldn't get a film funded when we programmed the festival might turn red hot by the time the movie premieres.

Eventually, it comes down to the DWF powers-that-be sending e-mails to each other saying, "What do you think about so-&-so?" We kick it around and come up with a completely subjective decision.

And, something else that's new since 18-years-ago, are haters on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Every year we get one or two people screaming at us about how we've broken the "No Stars" rule. I just take that as a sign of success. I would advise the haters that they should stop bad-mouthing people in the business. Instead, send the filmmakers a nice, honest, e-mail congratulating them on getting into the festival. If you're jealous, tell them that. It's always my highest compliment.

Thanks for reading. More about movies next week.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Why A World Premiere?

Last night I was digging through the bin of unseen short films looking for which ones we'd screen in the room that I'm in charge of, when I realized that you, the filmmakers who submitted these movies – as well as the filmmakers who might want to learn more about how film festivals work – might benefit from knowing what I was looking for.

The answer is easy. World Premieres.

Let me clarify. All the movies that have been submitted will be screened, but here's a kick in the head: Not all of the films have an equal chance of being in the festival.

Oh, shock! Oh, controversy! Quick, run to Twitter and say how unfair film festivals are!

Or… keep reading and see what I mean.

First, life isn't fair. It isn't a game of scoreless soccer. There are no level playing fields. If you are looking for anything remotely close to fairness, then the film industry is the LAST place you'll find it. Given all of that, Dances With Films bends the rules in favor of the indie filmmaker. What is a big advantage in the rest of the world – namely, names – is a disadvantage when it comes to competition at DWF. That leaves thousands of films a year fighting for the few screening slots we have. We try to make that fight as fair as possible – but that doesn't mean all films have an equal chance.

Why not?

Let's say there are two filmmakers. From the moment they each get an idea to make a movie, the inequality begins. One filmmaker has a story that he or she feel needs telling, and has a passion for that story. The other filmmaker has a passion for making movies, but no particular story to tell.

Advantage storyteller.

Given two filmmakers who both have a passion for a story, where one knows how to get a good performance out of actors, and the other knows lenses and camera moves – advantage actors – unless the other filmmaker gets lucky with casting.

And that goes on right up to the point of submitting to festivals.

Dances With Films has always been very clear that World Premieres are preferred. We also understand that you've submitted to more than one fest and it is extraordinarily hard keep your World Premiere status. So, given a film that has a world premiere status vs. one that doesn't, we're going to watch the premiere first. If it's good, we're going to reach out ASAP to let the filmmakers know we're interested and that they should keep in touch with us about the other festivals they've submitted to. We can't program these movies yet – we have to watch all submissions before we start programming – we can't make promises, but we can start the conversation with the filmmaker.

We went through a stack of world premieres last night, and have more to go, so obviously the conversation will start with the premieres before it does the others. Advantage world premieres. Then advantage North American premieres. Then advantage West Coast premieres. Then advantage LA premieres. 

Why are we so obsessed with premieres?

There are lots of different kinds of festivals. In my hometown, the Riverrun Film Festival does a great job of getting the community out to see movies that normally don't make it to North Carolina. Some of these already have distribution and have already been seen in New York, Los Angeles, etc. That's great. Good for Riverrun! They get support from local businesses who benefit from all of those people who have come downtown to watch movies, and indie filmmakers have a venue to build an audience.

Every year the Los Angeles Film Festival takes some heat for showing big budget studio movies. I say, good for them. Would you ask Detroit to do a car show and exclude Chrysler, Ford, etc.? If you're going to call yourself THE Los Angeles Film Festival, you'd better have some industry movies, because this is an industry town. A festival is a celebration, so I say go for it! Celebrate this industry that is as old and as American as the automobile industry. Good for LAFF.

Dances With Films is also in Los Angeles. I would bet that every day of the year there is a film festival happening somewhere in LA. Most of them no one has ever heard of. For the first 3-to-5 years Dances With Films was just another one of those. (Sorry, Michael and Leslee, but it's true). By being a premiere festival, by sticking to the No Stars rule, and by showcasing indie films at the beginning of their festival run instead of the end, DWF has not only survived for 18 years – it has thrived. We are on the radar of indie distributors and that industry that LAFF celebrates.

As the business model of film distribution begins to favor uber-indie, ultra-low budget movies, DWF stands by the mark that it spent 18 years carving into Hollywood. When the industry wants to see a good indie movie that no one has ever seen before… when they want to see actors that can carry a 90 minute story, but don't have recognizable faces… when they want to find a new DP with a clear vision… they don't play fair. They come to Dances With Films.

Thanks for reading. More about submissions next week.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Screenings Continue

As of today, we are tracking to have more submissions this year than any other year of the festival.

Last year, getting all of the films screened and programmed nearly killed us. It will be interesting to see how it goes when push comes to shove this year.

With that in mind, I'm going to start now saying the two things I say every year over and over again.

First, I don't care what Without A Box says about when we will announce our slate. That's just a date we have to give them so they'll leave us alone about it. Every year when that date passes and we still haven't announced our slate, some filmmakers start saying how stupid we are and how can a festival be any good if they can't make their deadlines. Just a word of advice… if your film is in contention for a festival, don't say bad things about the festival directors. At DWF, the squeaking wheel gets replaced.

I have to start the second thing I say over and over again with an apology to a few filmmakers from last year. For one of the few times in our 18-year history, we didn't get a few of our pass letters out. That was our bad, and we've taken steps to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Having said that, please remember – until you get a pass letter from us, your film is still in the running.

At some point we do have to announce our "final" slate in order to make press deadlines. I don't think this has ever been the actual final slate. Some years there are one or two slots not filled. Sometimes a filmmaker drops out for whatever reason (we usually hear back from them with regrets the next year). We've had film prints not show up in time for the festival and had to make last minute replacements. The point being, if you want to bad mouth us about not picking your movie, best to wait until the festival is over.

About last night's screenings.

We started screenings last night with one of the best short films I've ever seen. Why? The filmmakers made bold, but invisible choices. They left the camera on sticks for long static shots. They did long tracking shots, but moved the camera with majesty. It wasn't shaky cam, with the implied, "look how real we're being because we're letting the camera shake around." Instead, the effect made us feel what we were watching was real because we didn't notice the camera. The audio mix kept the city – which is as much of a character as the two young cast members – at an equal level with the dialogue. This made the kids a little hard to understand, but that was definitely a choice. We sat on the edge of our seats following what was being said, and that was a good thing. The story was so simple and clear: a single objective with many obstacles. The true motivation revealed itself nicely. The cast, most of whom couldn't possibly be professional actors, were fantastic.

The only downside for this film is that it's nearly forty minutes long. That's not a criticism of the movie, it just means it will be hard to program. We could include 2-3 more films in that time, so it's going to come down to a fight. On the plus side, it's a world premiere. If that holds up, it will weigh heavily in favor of programming it. Whether it gets in or not, these filmmakers should be proud of their work. Nice job! At some point, you'll have to tell us what the title means.

This film was followed by a beautiful animated piece. After that, was a movie that was just so-so. That's the luck of the draw, folks. Ultimately, the scores for all the movies balance out, but we felt bad that this one, which was almost up to par, had to follow two fantastic works. The solution to that, of course, is to always make great movies.

We had more than one first person P.O.V. film last night, and for the past couple of years we've had two or three submissions in this style. I say this because, if you're thinking about doing something hip, cool, and different by making an entire movie from one person's P.O.V. … someone beat you to it. As far back as the 1940's, someone beat you to it. One of the shorts last night came as close as I've ever seen of making it work, but still movies work best in 3rd person, and gimmicks don't replace a good story.

For the record, the POV movies last night had pretty good stories and I think I scored one of them fairly well, so don't draw any conclusions from this observation about 1st person movies. I might not be talking about yours.

Some of the bad trends we're still seeing…

Last night was the night of the too-close close-up. If you're going to put us so close to a person's face that we can see their pores, make sure you have a damn good reason for it. The jump cuts continue. Again, nothing wrong with them in a single movie, but you should know that they have become a cliché.

We watched a lot of movies last night, so I can't possibly write about them all. I know that the waiting gets worse the closer we get to the festival, so try to relax. Read a good book. Maybe one about a kid who uses quantum physics to make a magic wand. ... just sayin'.

Monday, March 2, 2015

It's All About The Connection

Before I get into the films, I want to talk about walking my dog.

Wait – don't run. I have a point.

When I walk my dog around the neighborhood, I see tons of people out and about for whatever reason. Most of them are wearing headphones, listening to God knows what. For non-Artists, that's fine. Sherman Oaks is hardly NYC, Detroit or Moscow. We probably have more than fair our share of burglars, but very few muggers. Wearing headphones is safe, as long as the volume isn't too high.

But if you're an artist – a writer, filmmaker, actor, painter, etc. – then tuning out your surroundings is a missed opportunity. It is our job as artists to reflect the human condition. To do that, we need to be hyper-aware of the humanity around us.

As filmmakers, you should have a mental long lens that can peer into the everyday details of your immediate surroundings. You should have an empathy filter that allows you to understand the feelings and motivations of everyone you see.

Because if you don't see it, you can't recreate it.

On to the shorts.

We saw enough bra-sex to fill a Victoria Secrets catalog. For those who haven't read about this in past posts, a bra-sex scene is a sex scene where characters who would, under normal circumstances, be completely naked are for some reason wearing their underwear. The effect to the viewer is to stop following the story and think, "Why are they wearing clothes? … Oh, yeah, they are actors and none of this is real."

This is no slight on the actors. It's a tough world out there and decisions on nudity are hard to make. Directors, on the other hand, have a choice of how to shoot a scene. Writers have a choice of where to set a scene. If the sex scene is vital to the plot, and the actors are dubious of the nudity, then shoot around it. Use the magic of filmmaking to keep us from ever thinking, "Oh, yeah, they're actors."

Further on that point, one of these scenes appeared in a film that was, up until the bra-sex, a family movie. Every screener in the room simultaneously said, "Whoa! Where did that come from?" This happens a lot, but usually with language. Sudden F-bombs throw judges for a loop. Here we are watching a movie that could be programmed with a slate of kid films, when all of sudden one character decides they are in a Mamet play. That's an indication that the filmmakers don't know what kind of story they want to tell. These films almost always fall apart due to a lack of a good foundation.

We had a couple of shorts that had good scripts, good cast, but not-so-hot filmmaking skills. One screener said, "I'll forgive them that."

This sums up an important point. In a perfect world, a film would be good in all departments, but the world isn't perfect. If you have the choice between a great actor or a great lens package – go with the actor. If you have a choice between shooting a so-so script, or not shooting anything, don't shoot. Fix the script or find a better one.

Human beings, those people all artists should be observing, do not respond to a brilliant lens choice, or a perfect camera move, if they don't care about the story or the characters. Conversely, if we care about the story and the characters, then we'll forgive a deep depth of field or static shots.

Filmmaking is about connecting to your audience, not a textbook.

Thanks for reading. We are still accepting submissions – so if you haven't gotten your film in yet, hustle up!

Monday, February 23, 2015

While Waiting for the Godot Festival

I was away from the shorts screenings this week, so I'll have some catching up to do. I did see good feature submissions, so thanks to those filmmakers for that. I know other screeners will appreciate them as well. We all want your movies to be great!

We had a production meeting this past week, and got to the topic of distributors coming to the festival. This turned into a discussion of what filmmakers can do while waiting to hear from, not only Dances With Films, but any film festival. It all boiled down to filmmakers knowing their movie.

What does that mean?

In order to know your film, you have to know where it fits in an industry that is in constant flux. As artists, we all hate to think that our work is like anyone else's, but distributors hate to have a project that has no comps. As much as it pains you, you have to have a list of movies that are similar to yours – preferably ones that made money.

A good comp is a movie in the same style as yours with a similar level cast. You need at least 3 comps – a large, medium and small. That is to say, a big hit (with an unknown cast), an average hit with a similar cast, and a movie that just broke even.

Your short list of comps is for conversation and pitching purposes. For your research, you're going to want a long list of movies that are in your same genre with a similar level cast. You then need to do some digging to find out who distributed them and how. By how, I mean did they get an actual theatrical release, just a four wall rental to score reviews to lure in VOD, iTunes, Amazon, Hulu, etc.

These are the distributors you want to target. You could spend as much time tracking down an e-mail address and insider info on a Fox Searchlight executive as you will finding 10 e-mails for smaller companies, but Fox is probably not going to come to your screening. Chances are, 9 out of 10 of the others aren't either – but they will take screeners, they will watch them, and there is a good chance they'll make you an offer. Fox Searchlight probably won't. It's not that they are bad people or don't know what they are doing. They just play in a different league.

Once you get into a festival, you have another level of homework to do. Find out what movies in past years have gotten distribution and from which distributor. Last year, I one company took three DWF films. That's huge. If you get into this year's festival, your invitation to them should begin with, "Last year your took three movies from Dances With Films, this year I hope you'll consider mine," or some such reminder.

Go onto a festival's Facebook page and see who has posted about getting distribution. If they don't say who picked them up, IMDB will. In this information age, there is no excuse for not doing your homework.

One last note on all of this.

There are filmmakers who think they know what the next big hit is going to be, and try to make that movie. There are distributors who would buy that movie. I'd like to report that it never works, but sadly, some people make a pretty good living that way.

But they rarely have a break out blockbuster and they are never called great.

If you're a screenwriter facing the blank page, then you have to put souls into each and every one of your characters. You can't borrow someone else's. You have to put your passion for the story on the page, then on the screen. If you do that, you'll find an audience – but you'll have to do the rest of this hoop-jumping to find a distributor.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 16, 2015

All About The Talent

Before we get to the shorts, I'd like to talk about features for a second.

Last week I saw three films in a row featuring an early scene of a single character, usually mumbling to him/herself, with about a million jump cuts thrown in to look cool. It's not.

For my non-filmmaking readers, a jump cut is any edit that cuts from a shot of one person to another shot of the same person. Most often, and most jarringly, the cut is from the same camera angle.

I'm guessing that there's some popular indie film that did this recently – either a film I didn't see or have long sense forgotten. I don't know for sure, but I'd bet the first film to use this did so in a desperate attempt to fix a scene that wasn't working. Now people seem to think it's a good idea to plan on doing it. All I can say is that, if you plan to use what is normally a last ditch attempt to save otherwise unusable footage as a first choice, everything else about the movie had better be perfect.

One of the three movies to use this style had horrible shutter-flutter. Again, for none filmmakers, shutter-flutter has a specific meaning for directors of photography, and a general one for films that have been cut together. In the latter case, the problem can have any number of sources, but the effect is the same – a jumpy, jerky, unsmooth motion. It's the kind of thing that will give the audience a bad migraine. Add to that jarring jump cuts, and you have a recipe for a quick pass.

On to the shorts.

Our first film had a whole lot of walking in it. At first, this was clearly a style choice. Not a particularly good one, but I give any filmmaker points for establishing a style and sticking with it. The trouble was, he (or she, I don't remember and don't care one way or the other) didn't stick with it. When the style changed, what was a bold choice, became a bore. PASS

Next Film.

This film had several non-actors in it – at least, I hope they are non-actors, 'cause they aren't very good. I was fine with that since it's set in a world I know little about. The filmmaking skills (camera, sound, interesting shots, editing, etc.) were also rough, but again, because the setting is interesting I cut them some slack. In the end, the story could have been better. I would have liked to have seen some actors in roles that didn't need special skills. SECOND LOOK.


This film was a bundle of clichés and bad dialogue. The filmmaking skills were top notch, but bad writing cannot be overcome. PASS.

Side note: We got in a very brief discussion of "things couples only do in movies." For the past few years it has been playing the "this or that" game. "Star Trek, or Star Wars?" Stop that. Stop it now. In fact, I think someone should make a satire about things couples only do in movies. Start with a shot looking down a couple laying on their backs, ear-to-ear, staring at the stars.

Next film.

We get a lot of documentaries about someone's family member. I'm sure we might have programmed one before, but I couldn't say which. Unless you're related to JFK or Beyoncé, chances are the story of your crazy uncle isn't going to work for an audience full of strangers. This one was close to getting to a universal point, but ultimately, I passed – as much for a lack of filmmaking skills as for it being a family doc.

All I wrote down for the next film in my blog notes was the title, which I now can't read, and "cute movie." That means I liked it, but for the life of me, I don't know which movie it is. My judging sheet will have the title and submission number, so when it comes time to making a final decision, we'll probably say, "which one was that again?" No one will know, so we'll watch the first few minutes and say, "Oh, yeah, I remember. Cute movie." MUST SEE.

Next Movie.

Holy cow! Absolutely nothing happened in this film. It was so boring that halfway through one of our screeners said, "At any point in time you want to tell us a story that would be great." Thank God she said that, because the laugh made those 20 minutes not a complete waste of time. PASS.

Side Note: There's an internal clock we all have when watching shorts. The art form is about efficiency. If you have any screen time that is not put to good use, then we feel it and feel it fast. Make every moment count.

The next film had a Twilight Zone thing happening on a subject that has been well covered by filmmakers. This one did a great job. MUST SEE.

The film after that was hilarious. The trouble is, we're not sure if we're laughing WITH the film or AT the film. The risk of screening someone's serious movie in front of an audience that howls with laughter is too great of a burden for us to take on. PASS.

We often see movies that seem to be made by men whose only motivation is to meet hot chick actresses. Yes, there is a high yuck factor in these movies, and the one we saw last night was no different. PASS.

Our final movie was also full of hot chicks, or more to the style of the film, lovely talented young women. This poetic movie was actually about something, displayed multiple talents behind and in front of the camera and was a delight to watch. MUST SEE.

That's it. Thanks for reading. If you want something to do while you're waiting to hear from us, check out the blog/review tour for my book. There's a giveaway, so who knows, you might win something!

Monday, February 9, 2015


At least once a year, I do a live-ish blog. That is, I share my thoughts about each short film as they are screened. I say live-ish because I'm not writing this during the movies, that wouldn't be fair to the filmmaker. Instead, I'll go through my notes as I wrote them.
Keep in mind, I'm not the only judge. I think we had five or six people in our room last night, so this is just a fraction of the audience reaction, and final decisions are not made until all of the movies have been screened.  

Here we go. First film.

Good Logo. Regular readers will know that generally means, bad film. When resources are limited, spending a great deal of time, money and energy on a logo often indicates the filmmakers aren't focused on the right thing.

The cast in the opening scene are below par, as is the dialogue. I can hear the typewriter clacking – meaning the dialogue isn't natural in a bad way.

As the movie goes on, the cast and dialogue get better.

There are multiple flashbacks that are hard to follow and not the best use of the short film format. This feels like a cut down feature – meaning the filmmaker wanted to make a feature, but for whatever reason could only make a short. That's always a bad idea. Short stories aren't little features any more than stage plays are stepping stones to the movie. Respect the format you're working in.

The end of the movie gets ridiculous. Beats that are supposed to be serious are so out of context that they get laughs. Ouch! PASS

Next Film.

No Logo. (I don't always make note of logos, but we got to talking about it in the room between movies).

This film has a nice use of silence and pace – meaning the dialogue flows naturally and the director isn't afraid to let the action pause when warranted. Not to be confused with a bad use of silence and pace, aka, slow.
Good in all departments.  MUST SEE.

I can always tell when I really like a movie because I don't take a lot of notes.

Next Film.

Good Logo.

Nice compression of time. This film spans many months/years and they do a good job of showing that without slowing the film down or hitting us over the head with it.

At the beginning of the film I wanted to hate this movie because the two leads were giggly and sickening in that cute couple sort of way. By the end of it, I loved them both. Nice character arcs by the cast and director. Subtly works wonders.

This movie ended nicely, too, which is rare. MUST SEE. (Yes, I'm aware that it was a good logo).


The opening scene lays flat. There is no clear objective/obstacle for the characters. The middle scene is funny and nicely done, if a hair over-the-top. It will make a nice bit for the cast's reel.

After that, the movie falls apart. The characters become unlikeable; the dialogue, unbelievable. If this were written by a 10-year-old, I'd say it was a great film. Otherwise, no. The cast should be commended for committing fully to the writer/director's vision. Too bad they couldn't buy him glasses. PASS


This film has a good cast and good, natural, dialogue for the most part. There are very clear objectives and obstacles for both of the characters, so that makes the scenes pop. I didn't like the end given how crisp and clear the rest of the movie is. SECOND LOOK.

Side note: In real life, how many women keep their bra on during sex? I don't mean, keep everything on for a quick one in the storage closet. I mean, grown up, romantic, all night long – naked in every way except for the-bra sex. We see this constantly independent films, and it gets in the way. I can understand that an actress might not want to bare it all in a project she's not sure about (or any project at all). That's fine, so directors, shoot around it. Make us believe these are real people, not two actors in a showcase theatre production.

Next movie.

Another film with a good use of silence and pace. The cast deliver their lines quickly with tight cues, so when it's quiet, we pay attention. This dialogue is hilarious and the cast are a perfect fit. The filmmaking skills are also good. The end is predictable, but who cares? This is a fun ride – if a little cramped and dark. (That's a hint about the movie, not a dis on the art and camera departments). MUST SEE.


This is an incitement movie – meaning, it looks like they filmed the first ten pages of a feature film. I'm on the record as preferring this over a short that tries to squeeze in every beat of a feature script, and it's certainly a good way to raise money to make the feature, but it's also tricky. To make it a short, the ending has to be satisfying. In the feature, it doesn't end, so it's fine to leave the audience hanging. Tricky stuff. This particular movie had a great start, but didn't hold onto the campy style promised in the beginning. It faltered in the middle as the style changed, so when the ending wasn't satisfying, most of the audience felt cheated. Still, there was some good filmmaking here. SECOND LOOK.

Next Film.

This film suffered from something I've seen a lot of in the digital world, and that's darks that are way too dark. We could not see faces when we should have been able to, nor could we see silhouettes when that is what it looked like the director was going for. This film had a strange dynamic in that the cast appeared to be skilled, but they weren't directed well. I got the feeling the director might have said, "Show me," or "We need to see what you're feeling."  Those two phrases are a sure way to make for over acting. The dialogue sounded typed as well. PASS.

Side Note: How many times in your life have you said, "My dear"? I'll bet none. How many times have you heard it in a bad movie?

The last movie.

This was an animated piece. The story didn't make a ton of sense, but I didn't care. It was so beautiful, and I felt like a kid trying to guess what the characters were thinking or doing. It was a nice way to end the night. MUST SEE.

That's it. Thanks for reading. See you here next week.