Sunday, September 18, 2016

2016 Updates for Pine Heart Productions

This year has been a year of growth and promotions. Our short film "Hut Hut" has made it's rounds at some festivals and will soon be appearing on Season 36 of the PBS show THE TERRITORY. For folks in the Houston Public Media broadcast region, the air date will be October 7th.  When we hear new dates, we will try to post them to the Facebook page quickly (which, honestly, is the best way to keep up with Pine Heart Productions!)

Producer/Co-Director Courtney Sandifer and actor Jeffrey Baker were able to attend the screening of "Hut Hut"at HollyShorts in Los Angeles, at the famous Chinese Theatre. It was a wonderful festival experience, and a really cool venue, to say the least! 

In June we shot our 6th short film, a 5-minute drama called "Pulling Away". This one stars Gary Smith and Grace Powell. We are polishing it and submitting it to festivals currently, but you can view a quick trailer below. 

Last but certainly not least, feature film GETTING SCHOOLED has now been sent of to the distributor after about 10 festival screenings (with more still coming in). We are very happy with the way the score, audio and color work polished the finished cut. Hopefully, we will be able to share many places where you can view it by the beginning of January 2017. 

The next place you can see Getting Schooled is in Greensboro, NC at the Wreak Havoc Film Festival. Saturday, October 1st, 2016 - 5:15 pm (Tickets here)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Film Prize & The Zombies

This year is shaping up to be a very successful one for Pine Heart Productions. We have had some pretty cool screenings, met some awesome new people and kicked off the next big project.

Our short film "Hut Hut", written and directed by Michael Allmon, with Courtney Sandifer as producer and co-director, officially made the TOP 5 at the Louisiana Film Prize Festival. The top 20 films were judged by super-uber-highly-qualified judges AND over 2000 festival attendees. We were VERY happy to be ranked among the best. Read more about the LaFilmPrize in the Shreveport Times HERE.

"Hut Hut" is now set to screen at the Pontchartrain Film Festival in Slidell, Louisiana on November 7th, and the Southern Screen Film Festival November 22 in Lafayette, Louisiana. See the trailer for "Hut Hut" HERE.

Feature horror/thriller/80's throwback film "Getting Schooled" has reached picture lock and recently screened to a private group of filmmakers near Houston - the Spring Film Group. We got some great feedback, and the polishing is in progress. Be on the lookout for more info in coming months!

Last, but not even remotely least, we are now raising funds for our FAMILY film "Kids vs. Zombies"! This is a very unique project, with lots of potential, and we are trying to get all our zombie ducks in a row just right before starting production. You can help us and become a part of the project by going to or checking out SAVE THE ZOMBIES! ON INDIEGOGO.


Logline: A young brother and sister work together to outwit a barrage of peculiar zombies, rescue their mom and save the town.

KIDS VS. ZOMBIES is a fun, full-length family movie written for kids, but with their parents in mind, too! Zombies are a big part of pop culture these days, especially with shows like “The Walking Dead”, movies like “Zombieland” and “World War Z”, and video games like “Plants vs. Zombies”. Courtney Sandifer wrote this story to reflect her own kids’ fascination with zombies, but in a way that her kids (ages 8 and 10) could actually WATCH the movie. Action will be full of wacky, slap-stick sort of “Home Alone”- type traps and defense techniques.

Before you go, watch our latest reel of short film productions!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Catching up!

A lot has been happening with our short films in the past few months. Here's the scoop!

A short but sweet, 3-minute-movie we produced called "My Eyes" has made its mark at a couple of events - on two separate continents! This short film is based on a poem by Andy Smith, who beautifully and descriptively shares his perspective as a man with Asperger Syndrome (an Autism Spectrum disorder). 

First, it screened in England, at Artsbridge - the Sowery Bridge Arts Festival. It was part of a selection of films in a film festival event. Read more about this festival at 

Second, at the Make it Rain For Autism Awareness event in Katy, Texas. The event description reads: "Both filmmakers, Chris Spisak and Courtney Blake Sandifer have children who have been diagnosed with autism. Families with children in the autism spectrum are well aware of the difficulties associated with teaching their children how to overcome their difficulties and integrate into a "normal" environment both in and out of school. Both of the organizations that we have chosen to highlight for our event, The Parish School and Dionysus Theatre, provide education, support, and numerous extracurricular activities to young people in a safe and supportive environment that embraces their differences and helps them grow. We sincerely hope that those who attend and support our event will take note of the amazing work being done on a daily basis at these institutions and have a better understanding of autism, the children who have it, and how they can be supported."

Our short film "Easy as Pie" screened on January 30th, alongside some other lovely local short films at the Spring Film Group Clearing the Slate event at Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park. The Spring Film Group is a non-profit organization "committed to creating an opportunity for education, experience and exposure in film." Spring is an area on the North side of Houston, TX. It's a very active area for filmmakers!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

New Releases - July/August '14 Edition

There's always something going on around these piney woods. The past month has been no different.

The Houston Press Arts Blog has again mentioned one of Pine Heart's projects in an article on the 10 Best Houston Indie Film Posters. Not too long ago, Courtney was named one of the 100 Creatives for Houston in 2014, now writer Jef Withonef says about his #2 poster pick, KIDS VS. ZOMBIES,  
"Going with green instead of gore, it's like one of those old, cheesy Nickelodeon Halloween flicks, and frankly there just isn't enough of that sort of thing in the world any more. Since zombies have gone thoroughly mainstream, it's nice to see a local filmmaker relegating them to cheap bogeymen to be fought off by preteens. Man, I can't wait for this film." 
See the entire poster list here, and note that our KIDS VS. ZOMBIES' own Grace Powell is also featured as an actress on the #1 poster - Jacob (on which Courtney also was an assistant director).

Big purchasing news for us lately has been the release (finally!) of Haunted Trailer on DVD. This wacky, trailer-trashy comedy is now available to purchase at several online retail outlets. Pine Heart's Courtney Sandifer served as Producer and Production Designer on this movie, which was Directed by Chuck Norfolk. It's toilet humor at its grossest! If you enjoy that kind of flick, then please, check it out. If away fast! (More info on our Horror/Comedy tab.)

AMAZON.COM   Best Buy   -  Target   -  Fry's

The final bit of news for this month comes in a tiny 3-minute package. You can now view our latest short film, MY EYES, on Youtube and Vimeo. This short film is based on a poem by Andy Smith, who beautifully and descriptively shares his perspective as a man with Asperger Syndrome (an Autism Spectrum disorder). Check out more of Andy's work on his blog:

This was submitted slightly shorter to Project Greenlight. I ran across the poem on the Artists and Autism Facebook page a few weeks ago, and I decided to turn it into a VISUAL arts piece. Michael Allmon came on board as the cinematographer. I cast Dave Maldonado and Shaun Linsey from Dionysus Theatre Houston Texas (Thanks to Deborah Emmy Nowinski!) and then my intern Caroline helped me produce it. 

Thanks to my other crew members Nikki Calhoun and Henry A. Bliley, plus Ruthie Ames, Nick Greer, my mom Michele Sandifer and all of the "audience members". And, The Corkscrew!

Please enjoy and have a wonderful 2nd half of August!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

New Music Video "Trouble"

Check out this new video for "Trouble" by Nick Greer & The G's - a Houston based soul/jazzy/rock/awesome band. Pine Heart's Courtney Sandifer was responsible for the sets and props - which you should particularly enjoy toward the end of the video! 

Remember to contact us for any custom art needs - props, set design or custom wall art with full releases to appear in your film or video. Email for requests.

Directed by Andres Quintero
Nick Greer
Jessica Greer

In Association with GiddyJ Productions

Executive Producer Nick Greer
Production Manager Jennifer Gidel
Associate Producers: Stacy Zane, Judy Garlow
Supervising Producer Daniel Sanders
Director of Photography Samuel Sanchez Jr.
Editors: Alex Hall, Andres Quintero


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

New Intern & Houston Press 100 Creatives List

June starts with a BANG at Pine Heart Productions! The kids are out of school, the pools are open and summertime is in full swing. To get things started right, we've brought on a new intern!

Courtney and Caroline
Meet Caroline! 

She's still in high school, but already has a couple of short films and videos under her belt and plans to be certified in Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects this summer. She is also a highly-skilled gymnast and tumbler and has competed in World Championships as a level 5 Cheerleader.

This talented young woman will be a wonderful asset to our current productions and all future ones as well! She's already taking to it like a duck to water.

Art Attack! - Houston Press Arts Blog

Another exciting tid-bit this month is the release of the Houston Press Art blog's latest addition to the 2014 "100 Creatives" list. Pine Heart Productions' Courtney Sandifer is featured as one of Houston's top creative people! How cool is that?

Courtney surrounded by zombies - behind the scenes.
Author Jef Withonef writes: "It might actually be easier to list what Courtney Sandifer doesn't do. The short answer is that she makes films, but the long answer is that she has been involved in damn near every aspect of filmmaking you could possibly imagine. Houston horror fans will probably know her best as the producer of The Haunted Trailer, but her IMDB page reads like she never sleeps. She's been a producer, a writer, a director, an actress, worked make-up, managed locations, props... see what I mean?"

Courtney says in the article, "I am a storyteller. It's cathartic, and a way to connect with the world around me. When someone reads or watches something I wrote, and they tear up or laugh (in the appropriate places), it's the best feeling in the world. It's darn near a spiritual experience watching your movie with an audience."

Read the full article here: 

Don't forget to "like" us on Facebook, too! 

Thanks for all of the support! - Courtney

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fango, Frightmare and all things Super & Scary!

It's been a whirlwind few months! There are so many things in motion for us right now, it's hard to put it all into words. We've finished up two short films, started into post-production on Getting Schooled, started pre-selling Haunted Trailer DVDs on, and many other super cool things that will be listed below!

Let's start with Getting Schooled. First, the fantastic and much-followed magazine Fangoria featured the exclusive release of Getting Schooled's official trailer on their website! For horror fans, this is VERY COOL. They called us "the Breakfast Club of Horror" - and that's accurate! Check it out HERE.

Then, we kicked off our campaign for finishing funds for Getting Schooled. The elusive financing monster can be a pain in the butt sometimes, and we found ourselves UNDER budget but still needing to round up some cash to finish the movie. Please, please show us some support by clicking the link and either contributing (as little as one dollar helps!) or sharing it with your friends and family! We REALLY need you! UPDATE (6/10/14): We made our goal for Getting Schooled. 

In May we also took our movies on the road to Dallas, Texas - to spend the weekend at Texas Frightmare Weekend.  At the Lucky Chucky Productions booth, we sold out of the batch of pre-sales Haunted Trailer DVD's that we brought, and saw successful screenings of three "sister" films! Pine Heart's Courtney Sandifer was the Production Manager (and a corpse) on short horror film I AM MONSTER, which screened on Friday night. Then a much-anticipated film, The Pickaxe Murders Part 3, on which Courtney served as Production Designer, screened to a capacity crowd on Saturday night of the event. On Sunday at TFW, Starship Films/Lucky Chucky Productions screened Conjoined, a horror comedy on which Courtney was a set dresser. Meanwhile, throughout the weekend, Courtney talked up and promoted her upcoming film KIDS VS. ZOMBIES - and it was met with overwhelming enthusiasm!
As a horror fan nerd at TFW, Courtney also got to take a break and meet with THE ZOMBIE GURU GEORGE ROMERO and THE WALKING DEAD'S Scott Wilson (Hershel!). Carl Grimes himself, Chandler Riggs was also present, but we never got a chance to meet him! She also networked with fans, filmmakers, distributors, and horror media folk. One of the media outlets, Horror Movies Uncut, interviewed her about recent work, and the whole interview can be heard in the Youtube clip below.

You can also catch a NEW interview on Thursday, 5/29/14 with the guys from "Talking Terror". They will chat with Courtney from 9pm Eastern/ 8pm Central for about two hours! UPDATE: You can go to this link to listen to the recording.

We also have been getting two short films ready for the festival circuit. Courtney directed "Restorative Justice" for Loesch Productions last year, and it's now ready for screenings. This one is a drama starring Getting Schooled's Tom Long and lovely Houston actress Michelle Elaine. We've also almost finished post-production on "Easy as Pie" - a short drama that Courtney wrote, directed, produced and edited that features an Autism awareness theme. This one stars Sara Gaston, Joe Grisaffi, Katelyn Merricks and Sophia Eden. A clip was released in April as an awareness piece, but the entire film is a touching product and worth the wait to see it in its entirety! The clip here is has an added educational element.

Last, but not least, development for KIDS VS. ZOMBIES is chugging along, and about to kick into high gear! Be on the lookout for a chance to support us this summer in our funding campaign. We have some cool fundraisers planned, and not typical ones! We are ALWAYS interested in talking to anyone willing to help us in these endeavors, so if you would like to be a part of bringing Kids vs. Zombies to life, as an artist, contributor, actor or producer of some kind, please email ASAP! 

Word is spreading, and our concept is very well recieved - even as far away as France! Check out this article about Kids vs. Zombies from My Zombie Culture. I'd say the world is ready, wouldn't you agree?!