Writing is Always the Most Excruciating Part of the Process, It’s Never Good Enough by Josh Folan of Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue

Josh Folan (far left) co-writer/director of Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue standing opposite Phil Burke

 

Film Courage: Where did you grow up?

Josh Folan: Mostly in the outskirts of Oberlin, OH, a tiny Midwestern college town. Very blue collar, somewhere in the range of an upper lower-class to lower middle-class upbringing – not entirely sure what the constraints are on those labels? haha Not a ton of money, but we were never worried about having food on the table or clothes on our backs. As far as life at home goes, I saw quite a bit of sh*t going on around me as a kid that most wouldn’t classify as positive – domestic abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, a messy divorce, mother dying of an overdose when I was fairly young – so I have no doubt that has an influence on my tendencies to tell darker stories like catch 22.

Film Courage: Did you go to film school?

Josh: I did not. Graduated from THE Ohio State University with a degree in finance.

Josh Folan as a child

Film Courage: What were your plans after high school?

Josh: Didn’t really have any until the guidance counselor in my high school suggested I go take the SAT and ACT tests, which I did alright on. When the scores came in, he pushed me to apply to a couple schools, Cincinnati and Ohio State. I happened to graduate a semester early because of a rather wild story I concocted about wanting to take college classes at the local community college, writing a letter to and interviewing with the superintendent about the matter, but it was really just so I could move out of my father’s house at 17 and in with an aunt and uncle who are very much like parents/mentors to me. I pulled that little scheme off, and a few months later while living with them I got into both schools, chose OSU and ended up the first college-bound Folan boy.

Film Courage: What is your biggest strength? What is your biggest weakness?

Josh: Strength is without a doubt work ethic. Will Smith says it better, and with fewer expletives, than I would (watch the video here on Youtube).

Weakness is probably pride and my apprehensions with asking for help. I have all these projects where I’m a multi-hyphenate many times over – writer, director, producer, editor, colortist, actor, crafty table coffee nazi…the list goes on an on. Most of the taking on all of those roles has been born out of an unwillingness to find more money (because asking for money is the worst) to pay someone else to do these things, or an unwillingness to ask for favors from people I could delegate those responsibilities to when there is not enough money. I’d rather take the time to teach myself how to do something than ask for help, luckily there are countless youtube tutorials on EVERYthing these days, and I’d have to think wearing all those hats has at least some adverse effect on the quality of the overall product.

 

“I also think writing, or the enjoyable kind anyhow, has an element of exploration of the thoughts in your own head…a way of understanding what you’ve experienced in other ways, or from different perspectives (often only your own) than you’ve thought of them from prior to.”

 

Josh Folan co-writer/director of Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue

 

Film Courage: Do you notice an East Coast versus West Coast mentality or approach to filmmaking?

Josh: There are the cookie-cutter stereotypes of East vs. West mentalities, which I (surely biased-ly) don’t entirely disagree with, of New Yorkers being more hustle-oriented in their approach to getting sh*t done in general. I don’t know if I subscribe to there being a difference in approach to the actual process of filmmaking though; we all have to have a story and point a camera at subjects telling that story just the same. I would say I think there’s a difference in approach to putting together the resources with which to tell our stories. Likely due in large part to there just being flat-out more money thrown around for content creation in general in LA, I feel as though I see more people looking for a “real” budget to shoot their film/series/whatever and letting that potentially endless hunt get in the way of just going out and making their thing in less than ideal conditions. I can make ANYthing for any amount of money. Obviously the correlation of diminishing quality and lack of money is strong, but I can figure out a way to back just about any script into any budget…but that is only because I’m willing to sacrifice just about any luxury to get a project done. As already mentioned, asking for money sucks so I do everything within my power to limit time spent doing it.

Film Courage: You’ve been involved in many independent film projects and have written the book ‘Filmmaking The Hard Way.’ Before each project, what do you mentally tell yourself? How much do you sweat the small stuff or is no detail too small when it comes to making a film?

Josh: “I’m can’t believe I’m doing this sh*t to myself yet again.” haha

It’s said in a comedic, cynical artist context every time, as I really do enjoy what I do, but without a doubt say that countless times over the course of making every film I make.

While I am very detail oriented, and plan and replan every variable on a project down to the most minute of details, I have fortunately gotten to a place where freaking out about any of the endless possible (and inevitable) dumpster fires that crop up while you’re making a movie is just not going to happen. I’m relatively level-headed about everything in life…freaking out helps no one and accomplishes nothing. And it sure as hell does not inspire confidence in the troops if the fearless leader everyone is looking to for guidance on a shoot is flipping out.

 

Josh and Seanie (bottom right)

Film Courage: How did you meet Seanie Sugrue?

Josh: I was assigned to train him when he was hired at a bar we bartended at for a couple of years together back in 2008-09. We drank an entire bottle of Jameson while this “training” took place.

Film Courage: What inspired the story for Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue?

Josh: Disclaimer – this a mildly rearranged cut and paste from our press kit:

My phone buzzed with an incoming text from Seanie on a day like any other in the summer of `13, which is not an uncommon occurrence. The message followed that run-of-the-mill suit, asking if I was not busy enough to go catch a movie together. I was, and we did…Fruitvale Station. We share an affinity for gritty, dark, real drama. Walking out of the Kips Bay AMC in New York afterwards, we were bullsh*tting about our take on the film (four thumbs up) and, as conversations between good friends do, that led to a number of other things. One of those things was a writing project I had on my plate at the time, which sparked Seanie flippantly mentioning having gave writing a try once a few years prior, but that he never really got past the title page in the process. Not knowing him to be a writer, my interest was piqued – “uhhh, ok Seanie…what’s the f*cking story? Pitch me.” What he rattled off was the foundation for what is now catch. During our long filmmaking walk, I would come to find out that the day my phone buzzed about going to see that movie, Seanie had ulterior motives that went far beyond scratching his cinephilia itch. He was six months sober at the time, having a weathered a decent alcohol and drug ride not unlike some of the antiheroes of our film, and what he actually needed was a distraction from an urge and a friend that wasn’t sitting in a bar at the time. Looking at the long process in retrospect now, I can see that catch 22 was born from the same thing it’s about – friendship. Gritty and dark, but also real, friendship. And having worked on a lot of projects in the past that didn’t have that caliber of fuel beneath them, I’ve learned over the course of this one what it means to really be proud of what you’ve created.

Film Courage: Seanie says he’s a self-taught writer and worked on other plays while making this movie with you. Can you share how this was to work together during this time?

Josh: We were friends for years before we even pondered a professional collaboration, so our working relationship is inherently stronger and more fun than your average coworkers’ usually would be. Other than arguing about how much I think the Jets suck, and how much he thinks the Bills suck, we can get through things and get sh*t done much faster, and be much more to the point, than you would with someone you only casually know from work settings. That’s particularly beneficial when writing together…being able to tell someone something sucks isn’t the easiest thing, but we have zero qualms with telling the other something they wrote isn’t up to snuff.

Film Courage: What draws you and Seanie to such dark material?

Josh: The simplest answer is I think we’re both a little f*cked up. haha   A more refined one might be that I think we’ve both seen a decent amount of dark things in our lives, and neither of us know another way of writing than to write about things we know and have experienced. That’s not to say waking up with dead bodies in the apartment is something we’ve been through, but the world these characters live in is without a doubt one we know a thing or two about. I also think writing, or the enjoyable kind anyhow, has an element of exploration of the thoughts in your own head…a way of understanding what you’ve experienced in other ways, or from different perspectives (often only your own) than you’ve thought of them from prior to.

Film Courage: What were your writing sessions like with Seanie?

Josh: We didn’t do collaborative writing sessions in that sense. I did all the physical writing of the screenplay, but only after Seanie and I would meet and bounce ideas back and forth. Initially in the form of an outline for the full narrative, then I started in on the screenplay and, as inevitably does, things changed and morphed as I wrote, we’d meet periodically and talk about where the story was and new ideas that came out of talking about what we had so far. And then once the first draft was finished around Christmas time of `13, we started doing readings and tinkering here and there to (hopefully) improve it. That carried right up through a week or two before shooting started in May of `15, as our lead actor Jayce Bartok contributed a massively influential idea that both Seanie and I loved, and quickly implemented.

Film Courage: How long did it take you to write the first draft?

Josh: Kind of touched on above, but the process started in August of `13, had that first draft done around Christmas, and then rewrote the sh*t out of it for another 16-17 months before we were on set for day one of the shoot.

Film Courage: How many people did you share the script with during the writing process?

Josh: So many people. I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I’ll let anyone read it that offers and is willing to give feedback, nothing I write is sacred. I believe Seanie is the same way, even in the case of the adaption of one of his plays we are aiming to shoot the film version of later this year. The words we wrote are just guidelines, for the most part, and if someone throws an idea at us that’s better than what we came up with, we have zero shame in taking it and running with it. One of the tougher jobs a writer has, in my opinion, is being skilled at knowing the difference between hearing a good idea from an outside source and one that sends the story/scene/whatever in the wrong direction if it were implemented.

 

Watch CATCH 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue – coming soon on January 17, 2017

Film Courage: Once you raised money on Kickstarter, how long did it take to finish Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue?

Josh: Which Kickstarter? haha The first one was in April of 2014, a $50k campaign that failed at about the halfway mark. As crushing as that was, and we actually filmed ourselves watching the last twenty minutes of the campaign careen into failure (watch a condensed version here on Vimeo), it was an integral step in getting the film financed. Not only did that failure generate a phenomenal piece of video content that could later be refitted into a campaign video for a second crowdfund in October later that year, but it made the project real in the eyes of our friends, family, work associates, and most importantly in the eyes of the individuals who would eventually become our financiers. When the first campaign failed we received dozens of messages/emails/faceshit posts/etc from those that had contributed and saw the impossible amount of outreach and work we put into the campaign, most of which basically said the money was there whenever we wanted to come back and ask for it again. That, theoretically, gave us our first money in, even though we didn’t physically have it yet. We conservatively estimated that committed amount at $15k, and started talking to investors from an infinitely more advantageous position than one where you are a penniless filmmaker – anyone who has raised money for anything in the past knows the hardest dollar is that first one. In our scramble to reach the goal in the final days of that first campaign, we also had a lot of conversations with people with expendable income that went something like “I’m not giving you a bunch of money as a total donation, but I see you guys are serious about this and once the campaign is over let’s talk about investing in a more traditional way.” We were able to raise the equity over the next year or so, and in addition to that second Kickstarter campaign where we collected that “money on the table” from the first failed one, we had our financing in place.

We shot the film in May `15, post-production lasted through the end of the year, and we made our initial festival premiere in April of last year at the Palm Beach Int’l festival. More festivals followed, and we signed on with 108 Media to distribute the film in early fall. The film hits digital store “shelves” on the 17th of January. So overall it was about a three and a half year process, from the start of writing to the film being “out.”

 

Charmane Star in Catch 22

Film Courage: How did you meet Charmane Star?

Josh: I didn’t meet Charmane until the day she flew into New York from France. But she came on board the project via rather boring means. I just emailed her agent and asked if she’d read the script and send over an audition video for the role. Many a skype conversation would follow, and some interesting negotiation conversations with her rep, but with her living in France there wasn’t any opportunity for physically meeting prior to the shoot. She absolutely crushed the role though, and has been incredibly enthusiastic about the project throughout the entire process. She’s probably tweeting about the film right now, because she’s amazing.

Film Courage: You had so many strong actors in the film like Jayce Bartok, Brock Harris, Donall O’Healai, Michael Rabe, Al Thompson, Charmane Star, Phil Burke and yourself! How did you pitch the script to your actors?

Josh: As with everything in indie film production, the cast was brought together in a range of patchwork ways. Phil Burke and Al Thompson have been good friends of mine for a very long time, and we’ve worked together on numerous things in the past. This script was written with them in mind for roles, because I know they feel at least some inclination to take my calls whether they really want to or not. I just called them and said “hey, I got this really crazy, f*cked up feature I’m shooting. Can you please give me a few days of your life for borderline no money?” To this day, I’m not entirely sure either one of them read the script in full before they showed up on set. Phil was originally slated for one of the leads in the film, but due to scheduling conflicts with a project infinitely more important than mine was unable to do as many days as were necessary, so we literally rewrote the hardware store clerk to give it more meat and let him go to town with it. Donall was a good friend of Seanie’s that came on board by way of doing a reading of the script for us and I thought he’d be great with Mikey, so we offered it to him with no audition. Charmane I already covered. Jayce, Brock, Michael Rabe, Gerald W. Jones all came to us via our amazing casting director, Eve Battaglia. Donald Paul, who played the Haitian luggage salesman, and Olivia Howell, who plays the young girl in an awful situation, both were self submissions on Actors Access. The younger versions of the five leads – Malik Uhuru, Charles Kennedy, Zach Clarence, Gerard Assante, Cameron McIntosh – were all cast the same way, via picture and a quick skype interview based a lot of on appearance and the need to match the actors we already had. And Owen Chan Hetherington played the baby, who was kindly permitted to make a cameo by his parents who were friends of our EP Amanda Martin, and I’ll go to my grave insistent that Owen should have been the first baby to win an academy award for best baby in a motion picture.

 

On the set of Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue

Film Courage: Did you do a table read? How did it help shape the characters and impact you making this movie?

Josh: We did. I’d say it was in between the two Kickstarters, as far as time-frame goes, but it wasn’t with any of the actors in the actual film. Because important people have busy schedules and we couldn’t afford to pay them for rehearsal or anything, the five lead actors were never together until the first day of shooting. I scheduled the first day with a lot of “easy” shots, just stuff of them moving around in the city so they could get to know each other a bit before we really got into the meat of the script where chemistry was so important. To their credit, being the professionals that they are, you’d never know it watching the film. They look every bit as comfortable as dudes who’ve known each other thirty years should look with each other.

Film Courage: Where did you shoot the film?

Josh: We shot most of the film in Brooklyn. Carroll Gardens, to be exact. The script was written with budget in mind, so something like 53 of the 84 pages were in the one interior apartment location. A lot of the street stuff, the baseball field, the empty lot – all that was within a very close proximity to the apartment. There were a few bars in Manhattan we lumped all into one day of shooting, all owned by friends of Seanie’s, a second apartment that was owned by a buddy of mine acted a as few different locations for various flashback scenes. We shot on a train in an “undisclosed location” for a night. That goddamn Carroll Gardens apartment was without a doubt the toughest to secure. We needed it for an entire month, despite having not enough money for a New York apartment for a month, and it needed to be big enough to both act as our primary shooting location and a small production office. Securing it is one of the magical accomplishments that is mostly a credit to Seanie, and too long a story for this setting.

Film Courage: What camera(s) did you use?

Josh: We shot the film on DP Mark Sanders’ owned RED Dragon. We rented some anamorphic lenses we ended up not using nearly enough to warrant the expenditure, because the small apartment didn’t really jive with them, but they did generate some great exterior footage we used in the film that I love.

 

“I would sit alone in my bedroom, real hermit-like, for weeks at a time and then emerge with a new cut that I would force onto people, Seanie included, and hound them for feedback that I, probably defensively at best, took down and tried to implement into future cuts. I worked in Premiere. The number of different edits, if I really sat down and sorted the number out, would likely make me cry.”

 

Josh Folan co-writer/director of Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue

 

Film Courage: You had many roles behind the scenes in addition to being an actor in the film. You also co-wrote it, you directed the film, you were the editor, colorist, etc. Which role was the most challenging?

Josh: I didn’t really act in it. There were two semi-glorified extra roles in the film – a vagrant passed out on the train, and a father walking his daughter across the street while one of the main characters smokes outside the apartment. Seanie and I decided rather than paying, or at least calling in favors, for others to play these parts that we would do so ourselves. We both wanted the vagrant more, so we entered into a self-judged competition starting a couple months out from production where whoever could grow their hair out and look the most homeless-ey by the shoot got the role. He won, played the vagrant, and turned in a damn fine subtle performance I might add. I in turn got the young father role, so you can barely tell it’s me walking a little girl across the street for a few second of the film. It wasn’t nearly as good of a performance as Seanie’s, in my opinion.

As for things of actual substance I contributed to the film, writing is always the most excruciating part of the process. It’s never right, it’s never good enough, and you’re never sure it’s actually done. And that blinking cursor, man…f*ck that blinking cursor on a blank page.

Directing and working with actors is always a blast, and this group was absolutely phenomenal. Sitting inches away from them behind camera while they turned in some of the really tense parts of this film, and then turned to me after we cut to ask whether they “got it”, was very plainly an honor. My answer 99% of the time was “of course we did, how the hell could it be better than that?” I also enjoy the nuts and bolts of off-set problem solving and planning that comes along with the producing role, my business background kind of predisposes me to acumen with that nonsense. And this was the first feature I’ve had the pleasure of wearing that cap on, but I loved editing. Sitting in a room alone with ALL the legos you need to build your spaceship right there in front of you, and not having to rely on anyone else or deal with any of the whirlwind that makes up the rest of the production process, is very satisfying.

Film Courage: With all the roles you had both in front of and behind the camera, would the movie have been finished if you hadn’t done them yourself? Will you ever take on that many roles ever again?

Josh: Good question. You’d have to ask Seanie, because if I had died at any point prior to now he’d have been stuck with sorting it out. haha And going by the trend, I add another major role that I had previously on every narrative feature I do. All God’s Creatures was just writing and producing, What Would Bear Do? was writing/directing/producing, catch was writing/directing/producing/editing. Pretty soon I’ll just do it all myself in my apartment, maybe. That would be really inexpensive, so my financiers would be thrilled.

Film Courage: Josh you did a brilliant job editing Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue. The beginning montage was excellent at drawing the viewer into this glamorous “fast” world of booze, drugs and sex. Did Seanie sit in and edit with you? How many cuts of the film did you make? What editing software do you use?

Josh: Thank you, I appreciate the kind words. No, I would sit alone in my bedroom, real hermit-like, for weeks at a time and then emerge with a new cut that I would force onto people, Seanie included, and hound them for feedback that I, probably defensively at best, took down and tried to implement into future cuts. I worked in Premiere. The number of different edits, if I really sat down and sorted the number out, would likely make me cry. I’ve been watching all the award screeners the past couple weeks, so I’ve done enough crying. Suffice it to say a f*ck-ton.

Film Courage: How many hard drives do you own? Do you back your footage up to the cloud?

Josh: Hahahaha…great question. A lot. My closet looks a lot like what a storage closet at Skynet might look like. I do not back up my footage to the cloud. It’s my footage, the cloud isn’t allowed to have it.

Film Courage: Upon each character introduction in the movie you have interesting short bios on each person. Can you share your desire to include this?

Josh: Not ashamed to say I blatantly stole that from an Australian horror film called Wolf Creek. They did something very similar in introducing the characters that way. I love it. It’s so no-bullshit. Here’s who these guys are, we’re not going to spend fifteen minutes showing some childhood nonsense explaining who they are and why they’re that way. Here’s who they are, let’s get on with it.

Film Courage: The music in Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue is fantastic. How did you find the artists?

Josh: The instrumental tracks are all by a Canadian composer, Medhat Hanbali, that also scored What Would Bear Do? And yes, he did indeed crush it. He walked a perfect line between accenting the tenuous moments without being too invasive with the music. The needle drops are three different bands that came to us in, citing previous verbiage, patchwork ways. Reserved for Rondee is a Brooklyn-based band that Phil Burke took me to see, being good buddies with one of the band members, right before we started shooting. Being that the whole story takes place in Brooklyn, their track To Brooklyn was seemingly written for the film. Addicted to Fire is the flashback “partying” song that repeatedly rips in and carries us through the guys’ bender of a day, and that was written and performed by one of Seanie’s good friends. The end titles song, Countryside, is written by the leader of a band my little brother (he plays bass) recorded an album with. Very cool to be using music my brother helped create in one of my films, to say the least.

Film Courage: “Friends Don’t F*ck Each Other Over”….even in the sordid world of drugs and sex workers, why do they have loyalty toward one another?

Josh: That’s kind of what the film is about – friendship. Can these guys, after all they’ve been through, continue to put the group and their love for each other first through even this, their most trying predicament. That internal conflict is what every relationship is about, continually setting oneself’s own wants/needs aside in favor of doing right by those you love. And whether there is a just breaking point for that love.

Film Courage: Can you explain the powerful use of black and white versus color shots?

Josh: I wish I had some really deep, artistic answer to this, but it was more of a practical decision. There are three different timelines in the film – present moment, the day of partying preceding them waking up in the beginning, and various moments in their distant past that play a large role in the group dynamic. The three different color schemes in the film each match one of those timelines; color for present moment, black and white for earlier in the day, sepia tone for stuff in their past. It was a way, along with different transition methods, to quickly cut from one timeline to the next, throughout the whole movie, and not leave the audience completely clueless as to what the hell is going on. Hope it worked? haha

Film Courage: Why Hurricane Sandy as a backdrop to the chaos in the film?

Josh: It was an addition that came into the story very late in the writing process. Because the film was so contained, being in that apartment a great deal of the time, I thought rooting the story in a more global context that people could quickly recall and relate to was a good thing. Whenever I watch a movie and some historically significant real-life event is cited, I immediately track back to what I was doing when that was happening. I like the idea of an audience member being able to look at these guys’ situation and think to themselves EXACTLY what they were doing at the very same time. If what happens in this film really happened, of course. 🙂

Film Courage: When showing nudity or partial nudity, did you have to re-cut or re-shoot anything in order to make sure it was in line with ratings?

Josh: Down with the man! The MPAA can talk a long walk off a short pier.

We knew the realistic hopes of theatrical play for this film were rather slim, and there wasn’t money in the budget for an MPAA rating anyhow. So we made the movie we wanted to make, precisely as gritty and real as we wanted to make it. There is no censorship. The film is unrated, but I’d think an R rating would be very difficult to secure with the cut we are distributing – NC-17 is much more likely.

 

Film Courage: What is NYEH Entertainment? When did you start it?

Josh: Nothing to do with New York, which is everyone’s guess. It’s not an abbreviation, it’s just a word. More of a sound, really. It’s something a buddy of mine turned into a short-term catchphrase on a spring break trip back in college, and it basically was synonymous with “f*ck it.” So NYEH Entertainment is my politically correct way of calling my production shingle “F*Ck It Entertainment.” When I was thinking of what I wanted my “brand” of content to be back in the early stages of creating my first film, All God’s Creatures, in 2008, “f*ck it entertainment” seemed to embody my mindset towards life in general. It’s stuck. haha

Film Courage: What did you learn from the first Kickstarter campaign that helped you do better on the second campaign?

Josh: It was interesting the second time around because we were, for the most part, just going back to people who had already said yes. It allowed us to be a little more flippant than you would normally be when pleading for free money, because we already had their ear for this. But outside of that, neither of these campaigns were anywhere near my first, so I already knew the absolutely exhausting amount of work that crowdfunding is, if you’re doing it right anyhow.

Film Courage: For people who’ve never dealt with substance abuse, how scary do you think some of the viewers will perceive the drug use in the film?

Josh: I hope it scares the hell out of them, and prevents them from ever even considering the most casual of opportunities to involve themselves with it. I’m fascinated by drug addiction. I’ve seen enough of others losing control of their lives to them that I absolutely refuse to even consider their use, I won’t even take aspirin unless I’m in bad, bad shape. So the idea of prioritizing putting a substance in your body over your safety, or anyone else’s, is baffling to me. I can’t get enough of stories with elements of people doing so because I want to understand it.

Film Courage: How does filmmaking or writing plays offer an alternative to partying with friends as a healthier way of connecting with others?

Josh: I’m going to use an excerpt of the note I sent our kickstarter backers after the second successful campaign to answer this question:

I’ve been doing this movie stuff for a while now, and it takes a stupid amount of hard work on a very delicate assortment of ones and zeroes, by an unrealistic number of overworked and under-compensated people, to finish a feature film. In the 40+ projects I’ve been lucky enough to be part of over the last eight-plus years, I’ve worked alongside artists from every possible walk of life. Each and every time, I’m astonished that such a jumble-f*ck of human beings with different priorities, viewpoints, beliefs, and artistic sensibilities are capable of banding together and collectively accomplishing something that is so damn difficult. There’s only one commonality I’m positive I’ve seen in every single one of those people, and it’s not an incredibly profound moral fiber or some wildly burning artistic fire…they’ve just wanted to make a f*cking movie. They wanted to do so because, I believe, movies are amazing in that they are an escape to all the things our lives are not.

I’ve been chasing the opportunity to create these escapes, and occasionally getting the opportunity to actually do so, for the last eight years because there’s only one thing I’ve ever experienced that is better than watching a film that creates a completely immersive and enjoyable escape, and that’s having a chance to be part of creating one myself. It’s probably idealistic, but I like to think that each of the people I’ve worked with was chasing that same satisfaction, knowing someone took a 90-minute (or a little less, if the producer was as mindful of their budget as I am) ride outside of their daily grind on a story I helped tell.

When you watch this film many moons from now – or even better, when you watch someone else watch it – I hope you get at least a little of that awesome feeling, because every last one of you is part of this little escape we are making for the rest of your lives. And that’s really f*cking cool, I think.

I’ve never woken up after a party and felt that way. 🙂

Film Courage: Where is Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue it currently available to watch?

Josh: It’s being released in North America on January 17th on most major VOD platforms – iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, Vudu, Xbox – and is already available for preorder on some of those. We are also doing a “Midnight Grindhouse Showing” of the film at the historic Apollo Theatre in the little town I grew up in, Oberlin, OH, on January 27th as part of the release. We’re doing a “Corpse Reviver Cocktail Soiree” beforehand at a nearby watering hole, The Feve, after which I’ll be leading the pilgrimage across the street to the theater to watch the film. Tickets for that are on sale now here and you can get all the pertinent info about the party and everything else via the event page here.

Film Courage: Are you also submitting it to festivals? Are there any other plans for distribution?

Josh: We’ve already made a long festival run, starting back in April with the Palm Beach Int’l fest. Highlights of that were playing the Film Festival of Columbus in June, just blocks from where I lived in college at Ohio State, and the SOHO Int’l fest here in NYC in July. We will be playing at the Queens World fest, also in New York, in March as our last day in the festival sun with the film.

Film Courage: What do you want audiences to gain from watching Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue?

I already touched on this, but it’s about friendship and what it means to care about someone. If people think a little bit about what the important people in their lives mean to them, and maybe how far they’d be willing to go to demonstrate that, as the credits are rolling on the film, we might’ve accomplished something with this thing. And of course to be entertained for a short time, for the film to be that aforementioned escape from all that they have to deal with in their lives every day.

Film Courage: What’s next for you creatively?

Josh: Amongst a bunch of projects I’m developing/involved in, I have an ongoing documentary series on Amazon called Batteries Not Included, that’s centered around nostalgia and what that means to people, where I interview some of the more prolific toy, game, and content creators from the 80’s about their craft. Larry Hama, who created the G.I. Joe universe as we know it today, and Bob Budiansky, who did the same with the Transformers, are just a couple of the geniuses that I’ve interviewed for the project. On the film front, Seanie and I are putting together an adaption of one of his plays, Love Is Dead!, to shoot later this year. It is also a little f*cked up. 🙂

 

BIO:

Josh Folan has professional credits dating back to 2005, prior to which he studied finance at The Ohio State University. Filmmaking highlights since founding NYEH Entertainment in 2008 include BODY (2015 Slamdance premiere), The Lives of Hamilton Fish (2015 Raindance selection), catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue (2016 SOHO Int’l premiere), and All God’s Creatures (2011 Hoboken Int’l premiere, best screenplay and actress nominations). Also an author and contributor to the independent filmmaking blog community, he penned the low-budget indie case study Filmmaking, the Hard Way.

108 Media, the Toronto-based global distribution company, announces the January 17 release of Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue, a feature-length psychological thriller that will simultaneously engross you and make you squirm in your seat. This film is represented via its 108 Madcap label. The exponential growth of this speciality arm, reflects 108 Media’s commitment to offering a truly diverse portfolio of universal content.

With Hurricane Sandy looming on the horizon, five hard-lived friends come to from a send-off celebration alongside an unexplained dead girl. Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue stems from the minds of director/ producer Josh Folan of NYEH Entertainment and rising star playwright Seanie Sugrue.

Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue’s talented ensemble cast includes Jayce Bartok (Spider Man, The Station Agent, SubUrbia), Brock Harris (TNT’s Major Crimes, CBS’s Blue Bloods, Sam), Dónall Ó Héalai (Traders, Pursuit, Impossible Monsters), Michael Rabe (HBO’s The Leftovers), Al Thompson (A Walk to Remember, The Royal Tenenbaums, Love Don’t Cost a Thing), Phil Burke (AMC’s Hell On Wheels, This Is Forty, Dirty Weekend), and adult film star Charmane Star.

The film was an official selection at the Palm Beach International Film Festival, the Film Festival of Columbus and the SOHO International Film Festival in 2016.

Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue will be available on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu and Microsoft Xbox this January.

Genre: Crime

Cast: Jayce Bartok; Brock Harris; Donall O’Healai; Michael Rabe; Al Thompson; Charmane Star; Phil Burke

Crew: Josh Folan; Seanie Sugrue

Year of production: 2016

Running time: 91 Minutes

Festivals and Awards:

Official Selection – Palm Beach International Film Festival, 2016

Official Selection – Film Festival of Colombus, 2016

Official Selection – Great Lakes International Film Festival, 2016

Official Selection – SOHO International Film Festival, 2016

Official Selection – Queens World Film Festival , 2016

 

 

Watch the video with Josh Folan of Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue’s here on Youtube

“I’m Josh Folan. I’ve been a filmmaker in New York for about 9 years now. I recently finished up my third written/produced, second directed feature film, Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue, which I am shamelessly plugging here by having said key art as my desktop wallpaper. A few years ago I wrote a book called ‘Filmmaking The Hard Way,’ which is a case study on the making of my first feature film ‘All God’s Creatures.’ For some reason or another Film Courage thinks that this qualifies me to talk to you about 5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Made a Feature Film ….(watch the full video with Josh on Youtube here).”

 

BUY ‘FILMMAKING THE HARD WAY by Josh Folan’
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MORE INFO ON ‘FILMMAKING THE HARD WAY by Josh Folan’
Nyehentertainment.com

CONNECT WITH JOSH FOLAN
Nyehentertainment.com
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Watch Problemski Hotel on Vimeo here

PROBLEMSKI HOTEL: For the inmates of the multinational residential center somewhere in Europe, the circular, black comedy that is the cross-frontier migrant’s life ‘within the system’ becomes even blacker in December. For we are in the European ‘season of gladness and joy.’ Bipul doesn’t want to admit it to himself, but the Russian girl’s arrival makes a difference: Lidia. Hope? Surely not! A future? Get real! December is also the ninth month of Martina’s pregnancy. Pregnancies don’t go round in circles; they end in eruptions. Because when the situation is hopeless, rescue is near.

 

 

Watch Surviving Skokie on Vimeo here

SURVIVING SKOKIE: They survived the horrors of the Holocaust and came to America to put the past behind. For decades they kept their awful memories secret, even from their children. But their silence ended when a band of neo-Nazi thugs threatened to march in their quiet village of Skokie, Illinois “because that is where the Jews are.”

Surviving Skokie is an intensely personal documentary by former Skokie resident Eli Adler about the provocative events of the 1970s, their aftermath, his family’s horrific experience of the Shoah, and a journey with his father to confront long-suppressed memories.

 

 

 

Hi, Mom!” Zooppa has partnered up with T-Mobile on a brand new project! T-Mobile gives its customers unlimited data and texting in over 140 countries and destinations—at no extra cost. T-Mobile wants to inspire those customers to travel and get off-the-beaten path—to be explorers, not tourists—and unlock adventures they can share when they take their phones. The ‘Hi, Mom’ project focuses on sharing the most extreme moments of adventure outside of the United States with family and friends back at home.

The project is open for submissions until February 21st, 2017 at 4:00 PM PST. There are $40,000 in total cash awards available that will be assigned to the top eight videos chosen by T-Mobile. In addition to the cash awards, all winning videos will also be featured on T-Mobile’s social and web platforms or as a part of a compilation celebrating adventurous moments from around the world.

 

 

 

Watch THE WEEKEND SAILOR on VOD January 10, 2017

THE WEEKEND SAILOR is a new feature documentary about the unexpected victory of the Mexican yacht Sayula II in the first crewed sailing race around the world in 1974. The most demanding sailing quest in history.

Sailor, Ramon Carlín visits his rebellious son, Enrique in the United Kingdom and comes across a magazine advertising a sailing race around the world. Although he had been sailing casually for two years, Ramon embarks on this race and brings his son along as an opportunity to not only teach him discipline but real life experiences as well.

 

 

 

Watch CATCH 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue – coming soon on January 17, 2017

Catch 22: based on the unwritten story by seanie sugrue: With Hurricane Sandy looming on the horizon, five hard-lived friends come to from a send-off celebration alongside an unexplained dead girl. What are friends for?

 

 

 

 

 

Find out more here!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT): Zooppa and Nickelodeon are inviting filmmakers and motion graphic artists from around the world to reimagine TMNT on a global scale through depicting what they are up to in various home towns or cities. The goal is to show how the Turtles would come to life in any given location, using local city or pop culture influences to help tell the story. Zooppa and Nickelodeon are looking for imagination and creativity, the videos made should be a fun way to share Turtle stories from across the globe––authenticity is key!

The project is open for submissions until February 23rd, 2017 at 4:00PM PST. There are $25,000 in cash awards available to the top 10 videos that will be chosen by Nickelodeon.