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 not...run 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: http://andyqby19.com

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 courtney@pineheartproductions.com 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: http://blogs.houstonpress.com/artattack/2014/06/courtney_sandifer.php 

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 Amazon.com, 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 courtney@pineheartproductions.com 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?!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Autism Awareness Short Films in Production

As the weather warms up and development on "Kids vs. Zombies" continues to move forward, we pushed a short film project forward to production  - one that is very close to my heart. "Easy as Pie"  is a narrative dramatic short film about a day in the life of "Karen" and her family. It is meant to show just a peek into one family's experience with this great, mysterious epidemic we call the Autism Spectrum.

"Easy as Pie" shows one mother's struggle to deal with the normal stresses of life alongside the routinely erratic (yes, routinely erratic) happenings of a household dealing with the Autism spectrum. This short film stars Sara Gaston, Joe Grisaffi, Katelyn Merricks and young Sophia Eden (pictured below). The cinematography is by Orlando Briones of OC Films. Check back here or our Facebook page for updates.

As a complimentary piece to "Easy as Pie", Pine Heart Productions is compiling home made videos from other families affected by Autism to create a mini-documentary, just in time for "Autism Awareness Month" in April. We are accepting videos from anyone willing to submit! Please see the instructions below to participate.

In the mean time, enjoy this sweet video starring my daughter and her friends! And take their advice, with the help of Sara Bareilles: Be brave - say what needs to be said!

Thanks for reading and supporting our work.

Record yourself (or borrow someone else's fingers to hit record!) discussing what Autism/Asperger's means to YOU, choosing 5 WORDS that most describe your experience with it.

This can be done a parent, teacher, service provider, friend or anyone on the spectrum themselves. All ages welcome. Videos can be made on your phone, webcam or a fancy camera. Please make your video between 30 seconds - 3 minutes long & FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS:

 1. Start by introducing yourself. Example: "Hi, my name is ________, and I am a __________ of/with Autism (or Asperger's Syndrome)".
2. Then describe your 5 words that most explain Autism to you. Example: "My 5 words are "She's different but not less." or "Not grief, hope and determination." (Be creative - they don't have to make a full sentence!)
3. Explain your experience with Autism.
4. Either email me the file (.mp4 or .mov) or send through Dropbox.com to:
-----> courtney@pineheartproductions.com <-----
5. I will email you back a release form and then let you know when the movie is edited together! You can share it with everyone in time for Autism awareness month (April)!