Friday, December 31, 2010

Robert Kim Reviews Rough Cut of Film

Robert Kim Reviews THE HUMAN WAR from Pirooz Kalayeh on Vimeo.

I spent New Year's night talking to my friend Robert Kim about what he thought of a screening of THE HUMAN WAR. I recorded him right after we finished watching a rough cut of the film on a video chat.

For the rest of you who would like to get a copy or see it at a festival near you, stay tuned! We will be making announcements here on this blog, via e-mail announcements, and on the Sangha Films website.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Brad Warner: The Enlightenizer - NYC Shoot

We continued our shoot of Brad Warner: The Enlightenizer this past weekend in New York City. It was a really pleasant shoot. We talked about snake oil charmer spiritual salesmen, artistry and Zen, and favorite places to get french fries.

Our second day of shooting took place in Washington Square Park. Well, at least it started there. I wanted a backdrop of the city and Washington Square has always been one of my favorite places to sit alone when I've visited. I also like the "Arch de Triumphe" action. For me, the "Arch" immediately lets me know I'm in the city and that McDonald's golden arches would be much cooler if they looked like this.

Mark Parsia was our producer and camera operator this time around. We used a Panasonic HVX200 and a couple Senheiser wireless lavaliers. Theset-up was simple and easy. No lights were used since we were shooting outside. And, aside from lugging the equipment around the city and how cold it was, everything moved along effortlessly.

Grace Jung came out to help on both days. She even guested as an interviewer and drove Brad and I around as we listened to her John Lennon box set. That was a nice way to spend an afternoon. She only almost crashed twice.

Lancelot Bourne was visiting from South Korea for an art gallery show he had created. He called me the night before to see if he could come and help out. He needed some rest time between takes, but, of course, he was a rock star and made a very early morning shoot after being up all night on a flight.

On the second day, we walked around the city. It was bitter cold. We took a break at midday and went to a diner. Brad found this sign interesting.

"The 134 is painted," he said.

I like these kinds of signs, so I figured I'd take a picture. Maybe it could be a painting in the future.

We went to the East Village on the last day to mimic the Bob Dylan record on Jones Street. I took a pic. I don't know if I got the angle right. Hopefully, there a better pic out there.

Hmmm...I would say the documentary is turning out really good. We shoot in Akron in a month. I'm excited to rock it.

(The picture above is the new thinking man - Sohee in drag!)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Film Updates!


We are weeks away from a final cut of the film. We have submitted works in progress to several film festivals already, including Sundance, Slamdance, and Ashland Film Festival. We will be submitting to dozens of other festivals in the coming months.

A theatrical trailer and updated Sangha Films website with relevant content will be up by the end of December. We will have two premieres for the film in Ohio and NYC in March/April. We will have exact dates as the months come closer.

Chat more after Thanksgiving!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Film Festivals Here We Come!

We just finished a 24-hour session - well, more like three-week marathon and a 24-hour session - to get our still work-in-progress film of THE HUMAN WAR passable for a Sundance and Slamdance submission.

Tom and I were chatting on SKYPE and iChat until about 4 a.m. my time. I am not sure what happened after that. I remember putting together a rough press kit and dragging the Adobe Illustrator file to an e-mail. The rest is a bit of a mystery.

I am now here on my living room floor. It is 6:41 a.m.. I feel a sense of elation. I am excited to see what will come of the final edits (including a new ending!) in the coming month as we prepare to go to color correction and an audio mix - the final stages for a feature film.

At this point, I would like to give a special shout out to Gabriel Cassia, our Editor, who sat with me for 11 hours straight yesterday, and did the same a day before with Tom. We truly appreciate your hard work, willingness to sing songs with your three-word Persian vocabulary (in an Italian accent), and bring such a strong ending ("Goodbye Mickey Mouse!") and moody pacing to a film that would only come from such a unique and talented human being.

I would also like to thank Daniel Brothers, our Post Production Supervisor, who not only helped edit when we had no editor, and then helped again while Gabriel was working Fashion Week, but also for all the hard work downloading the huge files, setting up an FTP site and all the other 1,001 roles besides his own during the pre-production, production, and post-production of this film. (Tom only told me how fantastic you were before I met you two years ago. Now as our work on this first feature is coming to a close, I can truly say I am glad to see the brilliance Tom spoke of, and bear witness as you embark on your first feature.) Thank you for your hard work, generosity, and creative spirit.

Another expression of gratitude goes out to Sonny Mishra, our Composer, who was willing to put up with Tom and I as we jumped back and forth between different song choices. You were able to point us towards a possibility, and guide us gently. That gift, along with all the amazing material you have given this film, has made working with you a true joy. Thank you for the encouragement, patience, and hard work. We look forward to the sonic palette you will create on the next film.

It is a little early for Tom and I to thank everyone in the world. We still have a couple months to go before we're officially done. In two months time, we anticipate a unique film that will reflect the wit, terror, melancholy, and bewilderment at play on the day of March 20, 2003 when the Iraq War was declared and Noah Cicero's fantastic novella began. We are under no illusions about the competitive nature of the film festival circuit, and we understand that chances our slim to major festivals, but we are both happy to have had this opportunity to work with so many talented people, succeed and fail at bringing our visions forward, and watch as our ideas become reality.

Now I will try and sleep a bit. Who knows? I might just watch the 20th version of our movie.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fake Radio Show for Film

Arranging a fake radio show for THE HUMAN WAR. Anyone want to be a fake radio caller to the program and give your opinion on the impending war on March 23, 2003. You'd have to be time sensitive. Just email me at piroozkalayeh[at]

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Latest Human War Update!

(James Roehl walks across deserted street in Manhattan)

Some people have been asking for an update, so here's the nitty-gritty. As it stands now, we're rushing to finish a final edit for Sundance submissions in September. If luck will have it, we'll be premiering at the festival this January. Keep your fingers crossed!

In other news, we're hard at work finalizing a final movie poster with comic book artist Jeffrey Brown. Once we have a final version, I'll be sure to give you the first sneak peak.

Stay tuned for photos from New York.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Noah Cicero's Interview on Bookslut

Noah Cicero has an interview on Bookslut. He mentions being weirded out by the movie process and getting lost in New York. His new book, The Insurgent, is out now.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Final Shots Completed for Second Unit

For those of you who didn't know, Sangha Films did come through Youngstown to get some additional shots for THE HUMAN WAR. Thomas Henwood, who manned a small crew consisting of himself, Josh Silfen (2nd Unit Director of Photography), and Steven Andrew (MVP All Star), captured the final images to complete the film at the end of March, 2010 in Youngstown.

Bringing back the two stars of the film, Henwood re-shot several dialogue sequences between Keith McAleer (JIMMY) and James Roehl (MARK). The first took place in an abandoned alley downtown. Henwood couldn't resist the location once he saw the tag, "Dumpster Diver for Fun!"

Not to be confused with a one-man-band, we here at Sangha Films like to consider this pic, the old man and the audio sea, if you will.

James Roehl (MARK) and Keith McAleer (JIMMY) did more walking than skating in this sequence, so we could capture this gorgeous shot of them making their way down the train tracks close to town. This is probably one of our favorite scenes in the film. It's a special moment when we get to have characters walk and talk about crossroads at the same time.

After a few days in Youngstown, it was off to New York City for our final shots in Manhattan. It was difficult to get James Roehl (MARK) all alone so close to Ground Zero, but we did manage to get a few key shots for the film.

Is it even possible to have no people downtown? Sometimes we at Sangha Films think there are unknown forces helping bring some of our cinematic moments to life. You might call it the Flying Spaghetti Monster. We call it prepping to say action, running a small crew, and getting help blocking the on-rush of people who are waiting around the corner.

Sangha Films will be posting a new website in the coming months to get ready for our eventual release of THE HUMAN WAR. As it stands now, there is still a lot of editing and sound mixing to do. If you're hoping for a teaser trailer, then keep your fingers crossed for the middle of summer. Who knows? We just might keep ahead of schedule.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Funding & Latest News

(Tom Henwood previews assembly footage via video chat of a scene from The Human War, featuring Gil Mantera's Party Dream)

Latest Update: The film is being edited as we speak. Tom and I are doing meetings and watching assembly footage, while I'm here trying to raise funds and tie loose ends in South Korea.

Youngstown Visit: Tom will be arriving on March 18th with a small crew to get the last couple shots of the film. If you are willing to offer help or intern for the day, please e-mail

20K More To Go: I am busy trying to come up with inventive ways to raise finishing funds for our enterprise. We are so close now, but we've got to come up with money quickly. If you're interested in helping us raise the final 20k we need to complete the film, please make a donation however small to the donation button below.

$100 from 100 Friends: My hope is to get $100 from 100 friends. That would be the easiest way to indie film paradise at the moment. If you've got a bit of cash, please pay it forward. Please also be sure to save your paypal confirmation, as you can write off this donation on your taxes.

Other News: Sangha Films is proud to announce that the next feature slated for filming in 2012 will be Tao Lin's "Shoplifting from American Apparel." Of course, we will chat more about the second film shortly. Now we're busy with getting THE HUMAN WAR ready for next year's premiere.

Please help our movie come into being.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Geoffrey Hauschild Photos

Geoffrey Hauschild sent some more photos of the shoot. He is such a talented photographer. I'll just let his photos speak for themselves.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Last Day's Photographs

Gaoffery Hauschild was kind enough to take and send some pics from the last day of shooting. Here are some of his gorgeous photographs.

Update: The film is currently being synced for editing. It looks like March will be the official month for shooting B-Roll.