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short film Archives - Filmstigator

Michael Curtis


September 1, 2015

ReelWriters Announce Winners

September 1, 2015 | By | No Comments

Recently I’ve been preparing to cast and direct a table read of “Gravel Heart” for the upcoming DC Shorts competition (September 18th). I’m also working on a feature-length screenplay in every spare moment I can find. So it was nice this morning to get a surprise break by finding this in my in-box:


Congratulations to the other winning screenwriters and thanks to the dedicated readers and organizers at ReelWriters for the opportunity to be a part of this year’s competition. The prize money we receive will go towards eventual production of “Gravel Heart.”

Fingers crossed for the fast-approaching DC Shorts Festival where “Gravel Heart” is one of six Finalists competing for fame and glory (and more importantly, prize money that could go toward production!)

Michael Curtis


March 15, 2015

‘GIFT’ Screens at NewFilmmakers LA

March 15, 2015 | By | No Comments



We are pleased to announce that ‘GIFT’ has been invited to screen as part of the NewFilmmakers Los Angeles Festival on April 27th & AT&T Center in downtown Los Angeles.  Our film will screen in the first short program beginning at 6:15 pm.  However, a reception and red carpet open to the public begins around 5:30.

NewFilmmakers LA Logo_white


AT&T Center
1139 S. Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Parking Available At:
1133 S. Olive Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Admittance to the NFMLA event is only $5 pre-sale or $7 at the door per program. We also provide all-night access passes which include admission to all programs and open bar throughout the evening for only $15.

The screenings are open to the public and there is no need to RSVP. They recommend that tickets are pre-purchased at as the event normally sells out.


5:30pm – Press / Red Carpet check-in

5:45pm – Pre-reception

6:15pm – Short Film Program #1
• Esperáme – dir. Jeffrey DeChausse
• The Girlfriend Game – dir. Armen Antranikian
• The Passenger – dir. Eduardo Cantarino
• Gift – dir. Michael Curtis

7:30pm – Audience Q&A with the Short Film Program #1 Filmmakers. Following the Q&A will be a bar reception during the Short Film Program #2.

8:00pm – Short Film Program #2 – Celebrating Brit Week
• I’m in the Corner with the Bluebells – dir. Ako Mitchell
• Across Time I Cry – dir. Robertino Fonseca; prod. Julia Clancy
• Madeleine Makes a Man – dir. Michelle Boley
• Anemone – dir. Maureen Zalloum

9:10pm – Audience Q&A with the Short Film Program #2 Filmmakers. Following the Q&A will be a bar reception during the Feature Film Program.

9:45pm – Short Film Program #3 – Celebrating Brit Week
• Roadside – dir. Tim Wildgoose
• Stalemate – dir. Ben Kay-Coles
• Perfect State – dir. Tim Mackenzie-Smith
• The Trouble Downstairs – dir. Casey Nimmer
• Anita’s Birthday Wish – dir. Talisa Oberoi

10:55pm – Audience Q&A with the Short Film Program #3 Filmmaker. Following the Q&A will be a bar reception.









Michael Curtis


March 7, 2015

Filmstigator Selects New Film Project

March 7, 2015 | By | No Comments

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 11.04.13 AM

GIFT, the inaugural Filmstigator project, has been successful – screening at almost a dozen film festivals in the US & Europe as of this writing.  The film has been invited to screen next month in Los Angeles as part of NewFilmmakers LA.

While we’re pleased with how our first film has done thus far, we want to keep moving forward with new films that challenge our collective.  That’s why we’re excited to announce the next Filmstigator project:  a short called Gravel Heart.

We encourage anyone interested in working in independent film to contact us and get involved. Some of the GIFT  team will undoubtedly return to work on Gravel Heart, but we also expect many new faces on this production.

We are looking for producers, production assistants, members of the sound and camera teams, lighting crew, fight choreographers, animal trainers (canines), crowdfunding gurus, location scouts, props masters, caterers, and a number of other positions.  So if you want to get involved in independent filmmaking in Georgia, this is your chance.

We will be workshopping the Gravel Heart script with actors in Milledgeville this month to make final screenplay tweaks before moving directly into pre-production.

Principal photography is loosely slated to begin in October 2015.  A crowdfunding campaign is planned for this summer.  There are many ways to engage and take ownership of various parts of this film, so we encourage you to step up and take on this new project with us.

A few things about the Gravel Heart story…

Logline:   A 14-year-old puts his life in jeopardy when he confronts a neighbor for killing his dog.


Based on actual events, Gravel Heart is a gritty coming of age story exploring loss and the limits of retribution.  We plan to film in rural and semi-rural locations as close to Atlanta as possible.

Tentative plan is to shoot the film in 4K on a Canon C500.

The film requires a 4-person cast and extras.  Actors interested in auditioning should contact us immediately.  We will also put out a general casting call online.

Are you interested in being a part of this project?  Contact us today for more information.  And please sign up here on the site so you’ll get email blasts when we crew up in late summer for filming.  So much needs to be done prior to that, however. So don’t hesitate to contact us if you have a passion for indie filmmaking.


Michael Curtis


January 18, 2014

Progress Update & Poster Mock-up

January 18, 2014 | By | No Comments

A brief update on our progress on the film…

Sound design has been completed, and I’m quite pleased with the results.  We’ll proceed with the final mix once the music score has been finished and recorded.  Our composer, Ben Goldberg, is making great progress on the music.  Almost daily we’ve been on the phone or trading emails as he posts new music cues for the film.  It’s been a pleasure collaborating with him on the tone and feel of so many key moments in the movie.  The hardest part now is remaining patient while the music is finalized, copied out for the musicians, recorded, and ultimately mixed.  We’re getting very close to final completion now, and it’s exciting!

Picture has been locked on the film for several weeks, the visual effects work is done, and next week “GIFT” will be color-graded.  That will be the last touch we make to picture before submitting the film for festival consideration.  Once the film has been graded, we’ll be editing a trailer that will be posted here and on IMDB.  We can’t wait to hear the response to the trailer!

We’re also making good progress on the electronic press kit, and the Union Recorder newspaper published a story recently on us here.  We’ve been playing around with several potential poster designs that will accompany “GIFT” at film festivals.  We wanted to share one of those designs here and get some feedback from you all.  Any thoughts you’d like to share on the poster mockup?

"GIFT" poster 1

Stay tuned for more updates on progress over the next few days.  We’re on track to wrap up the film by the end of February if not a little sooner.  We will post some images from the final color correction session when we can.  Thanks for supporting Filmstigator and “GIFT!”