Well, THAT was a jump!
It's been a while since my last Blog - in fact, as I look at my most recent Blog announcement about my interview on The Other 50%, I have a hard time believing that that was still this year: 2018.
I'm currently sitting and writing these words from the temporary apartment in Hamburg, Germany. Yep. I've packed up everything - literally, everything in a 40-foot-container, and moved abroad to Germany.
"Why?" you ask.
A variety of reasons, really. For one thing, I've been brought on for my Solo Directorial Debut of a German-Austrian indie co-production feature film called, "Maria Sucht Josef" - or, in English, "Mary Seeks Joe."
I'll go more into the film's synopsis and details at another time, but suffice it to say that when an opportunity to take on such an amazing project comes knocking on your door, if you are me, you answer and go!
In any case, there have been so many things that I really should post to catch you all up on the last - what? FIVE months - since the March 2018 blog, and I promise, now that I'm more or less in one spot, to do so over the next several weeks.
As a teaser... just so you know... I've enjoyed many a film fest for "Darcy," gone to the Cannes Film Fest in May, climbed mountains in Tirol, Austria on a location scout for "Maria Sucht Josef," finished the first year of my MBA program at Eastern Michigan University, and have had the blessed fortune to be featured in several press pieces, interviews, film reviews and the like.
What's up next?
Well, just signed up for UCLA's Advanced Screenwriting so that I can fine-tune my two feature films, starting my second year of my MBA in Management at Eastern Michigan University, am currently producing a short film called "FutureHealth" for a writer/director in Copenhagen, Denmark, and am about to start development for another indie feature film (which I won't name yet, because it's a surprise!)
Life in Hamburg, Germany has been one amazing change for me -- and I have to say that it's a refreshing one, full of new trials and tribulations. But that is the adventure of life, isn't it. Don't shy away from new challenges, just because they mean you have to jump.
Not all jumping off of a bridge is fatal. Sometimes, you learn to spread your wings and fly.
Until the next Blog -- Auf Wiedersehen!
Hot off the Podcast Press:
Mid-March interview with Julie Walker Harris of The Other 50% - Herstory of Hollywood - Podcast. Click on the icon below to go to the link and interview!
Debut Feature Film From Co-Directors Heidi Philipsen-Meissner and Jon Russell Cring
‘Darcy’ Starring Gus Birney and Johnathan Tchaikovsky Will Make its New York Debut at 2018 Socially Relevant Film Festival New York
NYC Screening Held March 22nd Followed by Q&A with Filmmakers
PRESS OPP: Gus Birney, Johnathan Tchaikovsky, Paula Singer, David Thornton and additional cast members to attend closing night
Official Trailer: https://youtu.be/e8l7d1Vr7h0
NEW YORK (February 27, 2018) – Personae Entertainment’s first feature film, the coming-of-age drama, DARCY has been made an Official Selection at the 2018 Socially Relevant Film Festival (SRFF) taking place March 16 – 22nd at the Cinema Village, NYC. SRFF 2018 showcases exceptional independent cinema and international films dedicated to social issues and the filmmakers telling these stories. DARCY is slated for closing night on March 22, 2018 at the Cinema Village theater at 8:00pm ET. A special Q&A will follow the screening with both filmmakers, Heidi Philipsen-Meissner and Jon Russell Cring.
Reviewed by Amy Biancolli for the Times Union as “a small, intense ensemble drama set in the Catskills, [DARCY] isn't your run-of-the-mill coming-of-age film. It isn't your run-of-the-mill debut feature, either. Come to think of it, it isn't your run-of-the-mill anything.”
This marks the feature film debut for Gus Birney of TV’s "The Mist” as the starring role of DARCY, which centers around a teenage girl living and working in a seedy motel run by her parents taking in former prisoners as part of an arrangement. Surrounded by delinquents, Darcy’s eyes get a little bit wider and things begin to change after Luke, the alluring ex-con checks into the motel.
DARCY is the feature film debut by co-directors Heidi Philipsen-Meissner and Jon Russell Cring, which brought together Executive producers Niko Meissner, Stephanie Dillon (“Stay, Then Go”), Kathryn McDermott (“Spiderman”); and Director of Photography Tracy Nicole Cring (“The Night We Met”).
The ensemble cast includes: Johnathan Tchaikovsky (“Keep The Change”); Paulina Singer (“The Intern”); David Thornton (“The Notebook”), and Bernadette Quigley (TV’s “Mr. Robot”); and Heidi Philipsen (“Her Telling Heart”). DARCY also features original music from Gus Birney as well composers Brian Gallio, Connor Noetzel and Shane Noetzel.
Early bird festival ticket sales are available now for purchase to the general public.
Film critics and members of the press are invited to the screening of DARCY on Thursday, March 24 at 8:00pm at the Cinema Village theater located at 22 E. 12 St, New York City. Co-directors and cast are available for interviews; please contact MSophia PR for further information.
Official Trailer: https://youtu.be/e8l7d1Vr7h0
The official website for DARCY is at www.DarcyMovie.com.
Press kit available upon request
Follow along on social media: TW @DarcyMovie; FB @DarcyMovie; IG @DarcyMovie
Behind-the-scenes short videos available on @DarcyMovie YouTube channel: DarcyMovie
Darcy – Synopsis:
Darcy is an idealistic fifteen-year-old, living on the edge of town in her family's motel where the justice system dumps its trash. The prostitutes, the addicts, the malcontents inside each room have their own stories and secrets and her fate is interwoven with theirs. When an alluring stranger enters her world, Darcy finds herself with a choice to make: Remain in the world she knows, or move forward into an unknown future.
DARCY is a Personae Entertainment production; Co-Directors: Heidi Philipsen-Meissner and Jon Russell Cring; Co-screenwriters: Jon Russel Cring and Tracy Nicole Cring; Producer: Heidi Philipsen-Meissner (p.g.a.); Executive Producers: Stephanie Dillon, Niko Meissner, Kathryn McDermott; Associate Producer/Co-Writer/Director of Photography Tracy Nicole Cring; Associate Producer/Casting Director Caroline Sinclair; Associate Producers: Michael H. Back, Heidi Eklund, Nicole Joens; Composer: The Afternoon Edition; Storyboard Artist: Robert Castillo.
Cast: Gus Birney, Johnathan Tchaikovsky, Paulina Singer, Bernadette Quigley, David Thornton, Jon David Casey, Heidi Philipsen, Lawton Denis, Joe McKenna, Denny Dale Bess, Ray Faiola, Cameron Mitchell Williams, Nando Del Castillo and Wayne Pyle.
Run Time: 91 min; Genre: Drama; Rating NR; Year: 2017; Language: English; Country of Origin: United States; Format: Red 4k; Sound: Dolby.
ABOUT PERSONAE ENTERTAINMENT
Personae Entertainment is a development-to-production company that takes scripts to film production via producing both creatively and financially, working closely with sales, marketing and distribution companies to keep in touch with the desired film and its audience along the way.
# # #
Contact us for press inquiries
Has it really been three months since my last Blog on this site? Wow.
Time flies when you're having fun.
No - seriously. I did mean "literally."
I've been writing up a storm of late... just not on this Blog, unfortunately... two feature length scripts during the last academic year (10 months), while enrolled in UCLA's Online Professional Screenwriting Program: A comedy and a tragedy.
C'est La Vie!
And I've been writing an article - or two - every month for my favorite Ann Arbor alternative monthly arts and entertainment scene zine, Current.
In fact, after flying out to Los Angeles and graduating with my certificate in professional screenwriting from UCLA's School of Film & Theater, last Friday, this is truly the first moment I've had in several months to just sit and breeaaaatthhhh.
Yes, there will be rewrites.
Yes, there will be more articles.
And hopefully, one day, a book.
And a poetry book.
And more screenplays.
(Heidi - remember to breeeaaaattthhhhh!!!!)
Gosh, I love creating.
But for now, there is just you. My readers.
Thank you for taking the time to catch up with me. It makes my words come to life.
Until the next time - carpe diem!
One of the things I love about being a parent, a writer and a film geek is that I get to write about all things film from a variety of perspectives, for a plethora of different publications.
Check out this piece which includes an interview I had with Ann Arbor Film Festival Executive Director Leslie Raymond by clicking HERE.
I received the wonderful opportunity to speak with Ann Arbor Film Festival Executive Director Leslie Raymond this past month for Current Magazine. Check out my piece and if you are in the Ann Arbor Area this March, make sure to put the A2FF festivities on your calendar - it's going to be an amazing year! http://www.ecurrent.com/film/a-reel-take-on-ann-arbor-film-fest/
January 1, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER HEIDI PHILIPSEN JOINS VALIANT FILMS “SOLOMON” TEAM
Contact: Heidi Philipsen at Heidi@personaeentertainmentpictures.com
Heidi Philipsen-Meissner Signs on to Executive Produce Detroit-set Indie ‘Solomon’
Royal Oak, MI (January 1, 2017) – Heidi Philipsen-Meissner of Personae Entertainment has come on board Michigan-based Valiant Films’ feature film debut Solomon as Executive Producer.
“When we were looking for an executive producer to help us bring our film to life, we knew we needed someone with experience and a willingness to share their wealth of knowledge with two newcomers, like ourselves. Heidi’s passion for making strong and meaningful films was evident right off the bat. We knew we had met someone special after the very first conversation and are excited to have her on our team,” said producer David Hines, Jr. Produced by Hines, Jr. and JB Armstrong’s Royal Oak-based Valiant Films, the film centers on the unlikely friendship of a young white writer and an elderly black psychiatrist in present day Detroit.
Bill Cobbs, known for The Color of Money & The Night at the Museum movies, is set to star in the titular role.
Armstrong will direct the film from the screenplay he wrote with fellow Metro Detroiter, Michael Alberstadt.
"I am grateful and excited to be working on team Solomon, an extremely timely film by two burgeoning filmmakers with a great future. I can't imagine a better picture to add to the development and production coproduction slate for my company Personae Entertainment Pictures, working together with Valiant Films, to bring to the screen," said Philipsen-Meissner.
Philipsen-Meissner will be producing and advising from development through distribution of the film and will also serve as the line producer during production, which is scheduled for October 2018, as the team is optimist about finding funding for this timely story.
More information on Solomon can be found at www.solomonfilmdetroit.com.
About Valiant Films
Founded in 2014, VALIANT FILMS is a production company focused on developing and producing detailed and realistic stories that deal with the power of human connectivity, and creating emotional experiences through cinema and television. Created and operated by two reformed band geeks turned filmmakers, David Hines, Jr. and JB Armstrong, VALIANT FILMS aims to impact the television and film industry by creating content that is both thought-provoking and genuine. @valiantfilms13 www.facebook.com/wearevaliantfilms
About Personae Entertainment Pictures
Independent development and production company PERSONAE ENTERTAINMENT PICTURES was established in 2000 by director/producer/actress Heidi Elizabeth Philipsen-Meissner and co-producer Niko Meissner, when they made their first joint cinematic endeavor, the 16mm short film, ANGEL INSIDE. Since then, PERSONAE ENTERTAINMENT PICTURES has evolved to short films, music videos, commercials and, most recently, feature films. PERSONAE ENTERTAINMENT PICTURES is dedicated to working with innovative filmmakers and has its sights set on international co-productions with a crossover potential. www.personaeentertainmentpictures.com
My daughter, Sophie, who is a 7th-grader in middle school, had a bit of a challenge last year in the 6th grade - her first year in a new school.
She joined the new "Newspaper Club," which was run by mostly eight-graders and could not wait to be a part of their writing team.
Unfortunately, however, after submitting article idea after article idea, only to get one approved, one day, and then yanked from the paper, another, to not receiving a response at all, it became all too clear to Sophie that she did not fit in to their idea of a solid group.
As her mother, I could see it for the discrimination on a mild form that it was. The did not want a sixth-grader in the group.
Sophie, however, felt the rejection in terms of her writing so terrifically that she wondered if she would ever be a successful -- or, worse, good -- writer at all.
These are the childhood experiences that shape our confidence and give us a sense of purpose in our evolving lives. And so, after careful consideration, I eventually, sensitively, contacted the school principal to ask about the group and if this might not be a "teachable moment" on how to manage a newspaper in a manner that the writers know how to proceed when their pitches are not spot on, or their writing is not making the mark.
Not a whole lot happened as a result of my reaching out, I am sorry to say. I can only assume that the administration was too busy to handle the challenge efficiently and properly.
I told Sophie that there are more than one publications out in the world and that she should take her writing elsewhere.
I'm proud to say that she did -- and announce her latest PUBLISHED article -- as in real, newspaper published in the monthly, Ann Arbor Family.
Take a read: "Tips for the Modern Day Middle Schooler: Keep the Drama on the Stage"
And remember, when at first you don't succeed, try, try, again -- somewhere else!
15 Years Ago, I was in NYC, a grad student at Columbia | SIPA, when the Towers were hit and so many innocent people died, tragically. It altered the course of history.There was so much darkness.
But there was also hope.
I still marvel, being a NYC transplant at the time, at how New Yorkers came together to rise above and help each other out. It changed my life.
Our son Maximilian Amadeus was conceived 15 years ago -- "The Greatest Love of God" is what his name means and being pregnant with him literally gave me a life to look forward to in a time of incredible uncertainty, shock and sadness.
Five Years Later...
The storyteller in me, needing release, five years later, having moved back to Ann Arbor, MI to support my husband in his grad studies, I reached out to the play "The Guys," by Anne Nelson in remembrance on the fifth anniversary of 9/11, and produced and directed it in to a packed crowd, which included the mayor.
And, again, on the 10th anniversary in Albany, NY, at The Linda - WAMC's Performing Arts Studio to a much smaller, but appreciative crowd, none-the-less (we had moved to upstate NY for his new job at G.E.)
Looking back, both projects were my way of coping through performance and creativity -- and being part of them helped me to process so many complicated and dark feelings, while also letting go of tears.
15 Years Later -- Today
Now a freshman in high school, our son, Max, knows only of this day and the follow days from the stories his father, Niko Meissner, and I tell him. Being the son of a storyteller, he has been well-versed in the history and significance of 9/11.
And he has, as we tell him, been given a special task to never give in to fear or hate, but to stand up for what is good and just and right -- like so many of the selfless firefighters and active civilians who gave their lives and livelihoods to help so many others.
I, my self, went down to Ground Zero to help in the trenches back then -- only to be told by my doctor, after becoming ill, that I was pregnant and should not go down there with all the debris in the air.
Only to learn, later, how many civilians who had went down there to help, like me, ended up with chronic illnesses from the atmosphere around them (asbestos, what-not in the air).
Being pregnant with Max saved my life in more than one way...15 years ago, today.
I will never forget.
And I ask my fellow mothers and fathers to pass down the tradition of sharing this moment in history so that we all remember what it is like to stand together against hate and violence, rather than giving into our darkest demons.
The terrorism has not ceased.
And we are a more complex culture than we were back then. But if we are alive today, we must carry the legacy and task of creating a better life for our fellow humans and not being afraid to look back -- or look forward with hope.
It is the rising above our inner demons that brings us closer to the divine.
Moving Forward panelist during the first Saratoga Springs International Film Festival at 4:15pm on September 17th! Tickets are on pre-sale now $8 General $5 Student. www.SaratogaSIFF.com #SaratogaSIFF
An actress, director, producer and writer, Heidi welcomes you to her Blog. Learn about her latest endeavors and garner a glimpse into her recent accomplishments, both professional and personal.