Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Script Development Honeymoon

Pirooz and his partner, Sohee, spent a week in New York City seeing the sites, developing the script, and celebrating their recent marriage with friends. Around mid-week, we filmed a table-read of the script to look at the dialogue and timing, and hosted another reading on Friday to hear the results of our tweaks and changes. The scene rhythm is really coming together after many months of research and adaptation. Many thanks to the talented actors who read for their nuanced take on THW characters.

Pirooz and I also met with Frank Ewing of Downtown Harvest to brainstorm about the film's score and musical voice. Frank is from my home state of Pennsylvania, near Philly, and we hit it off instantly. My partner, Dayana, and I have a vintage Yamaha Electone C-55 organ that we picked up for free from a church in Jersey, and Frank just started rocking out to the Beatles, playing bass with the foot pedals and jamming on the double-decker keyboard. Later, he started playing with musical themes based our mood descriptions of the film, and the results were amazing. He and Pirooz have a great rapport, and we hope to trade score ideas and themes over video chat as we push toward production.

We got Pirooz and Sohee to the airport just before the biggest snowstorm of the year blew onto the Eastern Seaboard. The gods are truly with us!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Private Donations for The Human War

Thomas and I are now in the process of raising personal funds for our film adaptation of Noah Cicero's novel, The Human War.

The donation button below is for those of you who want to help with as little as $1-100+.
For those of you who are interested in becoming investors in the film, a prospectus is being prepared and share offerings will commence shortly. If interested, please e-mail Thomas Henwood or myself.

Thank you to those of you who have already offered your words of encouragement to help us with this film's journey. We are grateful and look forward to the new friends and larger community of artists and professionals who will make this project possible.

To a growing community!

Pirooz Kalayeh & Thomas Henwood
Producers, Sangha Films


About Sangha Films

Sangha Films is a motion picture production company whose aim is to develop and produce edgy and contemporary independent films with a global perspective.


About the Human War

Two hours till war.
It's six o'clock. Bush said at eight, people must die.

On the eve of the Iraq War, teenager Mark Swift dreams of escape from the realities of his lower class existence in economically-depressed Youngstown, Ohio, and the fear and bewilderment of a society at war.


Co-writer/Co-director's bios

Pirooz M. Kalayeh is a writer and painter originally from Iran. A graduate of The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, he has been published in the anthology, "Looking Back" (New Brighton Books, 2003); was granted a Zora Neale Hurston Award (Naropa University, 2002); and has recently published work in Wigleaf, Horseless Press,, and No Tell Motel. His comic book Golden Ashtray recounts the author's adventures living in Los Angeles. He is the founding member and proprietor behind musical group, The Slipshod Swingers, and their releases, Orange Lamborghini (Phipps, 2006) and Transistor Radio (Phipps, 2008) He has worked as a producer and post-production coordinator for Weller Grossman Productions and Screen Door Productions in Hollywood, CA. Some programs he has worked on include: Look What I Did (HGTV), Craftlab (DIY), and Strictly Sex with Dr. Drew (DISC). He lives with his wife in Los Angeles, New York, and South Korea. He interviews various entertainers and artists on his blog, Shikow.

Thomas Henwood is a writer/director/producer based in New York. Recently, he produced the short films “The Big Fat Lazy Sun” and “Happy Birthday, I’m Dead” with Director Daniel J. Brothers. Filmed on location in Colorado, "The Big Fat Lazy Sun" was captured on the new Sony EX-1 1080p HD Camera using Zeiss Super Speed prime lenses, a post workflow with Final Cut Pro HD, and finished at Nice Shoes with FilmLight's Baselight 1 and Baselight 8 non-linear color correction system. "BFLS" was pre-screened in November at the HD AT WORKS Conference at Studio Babelsburg, Berlin, and has been entered in over 50 film festivals in 2009. The film most recently won the Silver Lei Award from the Honolulu International Film Festival.

During the summers of 2005 and 2006, Henwood collaborated with poet Anne Waldman and writer/director Ed Bowes on two feature length experimental films shot in Colorado, most recently as line producer on Against the Slope of Social Speech (April 2007). Henwood is co-founder and president of SixDay Productions, LLC, a full-service film and video production company with clients such as LX Network, EMI Music, Icon Music Entertainment, Island Def Jam, Pepsi, Kraft Foods, Crayola, Ascics , Nike, Courtyard by Mariott, Safari Sundays Interactive, McGarry Bowen, and Continuity.

Praise for the critically acclaimed novella, The Human War

Some novelists gently chisel their thoughts and ideas into refined, disciplined works of art, taking care to respect tradition and leave nary a flake of rock where unneeded. By contrast, ulcerous Ohioan Noah Cicero uses the language like a baseball bat, pounding his mind and soul and channeling his rage and suffering through the simplest form imaginable, a style he calls "existential minimalism." ...Fans of Beckett and Bukowski are hereby placed on notice.

--Emerson Dameron, Zine World

The Human War gives us the world of the powerless. Some of the characters are for the war, others are against it, but none of it matters. Their opinions are irrelevant; nothing they say will make any difference. The Human War doesn’t come to any neat conclusions: it is a novel about confusion mixed with revulsion... I think it is a beautifully crafted work but there is no flashy, artful striving for literary effect of the sort you find in prize-winning fiction. The prose is a brutal vernacular. This is how a huge American underclass talks. Reading The Human War I was reminded of the kind of world Kurt Cobain came from – marginalized, poor, dysfunctional. An American world far removed from Hollywood or John Updike’s fiction.... The Human War is also, it must be said, a very funny book. It satires America, and I kept hooting with laughter at its deadpan wit. But it doesn’t disrespect or patronize its characters....So what is The Human War in the end? A satirical anti-war masterpiece. A study of the condition of a contemporary underclass. A working class classic.

--Ellis Sharp, The Sharp Side

About the Author

Noah Cicero lives in Ohio. His short stories have appeared in many magazines and webzines, including Reflections, The Surface, New Horizon, Brittle Star, Poindexter, AnotheRealm, Ygdrasil, Grundle Ink, Retort, Crimson Feet Connected, Jacob's Ladder, One Forty Two, Nth Position, Identity Theory, Newtopia, Subterranean Quarterly, Black Ice, and others. He also writes social commentary in collaboration with Oma Mullins.