Our quest to reach Ellen continues in 2014

Hello Ancient Lighters!!

Our first post of the year! We should have done it a few weeks ago, but there were some things we need it to take care first!

So, the tittle of our post for today says it all. We continue in our quest to reach Ellen Degeneres. We think that now that we’re getting close to complete post-production (over the next 2 – 3 months) and we start submitting to Film Festivals, we have more chances of actually achieve one of out biggest goals: be invited to talk about the movie with Ellen!

But why is so important for us that Ellen takes interest in our project? Well, first of all, she was a big inspiration to our Director and Producer Sandra when she decided to pursue a career in the Entertainment Industry. Secondly, our project has a strong message about accepting and loving yourself and being kind to one another,  things that Ellen encourages. Plus, we’re an anti-bullying and pro LGBT project. We know that if….scratch that, we know that WHEN we’re featured in her show, we’ll have more chances to reach people and spread our message!!

The story is very close to Sandra (having struggled with some of the topics featured in the movie) and the whole cast and crew did an amazing job to complete and bring the project to live.

We want to let people (specially teens) who’re struggling with bullying and/or self-harm, that they’re not alone and that things eventually improve…. and get better!

During the past months, some of our actors and crew got together to record a message for her, message that you can watch here:

And if you want to show us some love and support, help us by watching, sharing and spreading word about our message to Ellen and our project.

Thank you so much fro reading our little blog, for supporting our project and for being with us during our journey!!



Being so busy… we forget the days!

Hello Ancient Lighters,

Well.. we really don’t have excuses for missing our Monday blog spot, rather than we have been so busy, we kind of forget the days of the week.

But, being busy is good right? There’s so many things we have to do and the amount of time we have to complete it…well, yeah busy is good.

So what it is we’re doing that suddenly we’re so busy?! Well, a lot of things like:

  • Official Poster Design – we’re detailing little things here and there so we can have it ready for you soon!
  • Submitting the Project to IMdB – we have lots of names to submit, along with the teaser, the posters and some character pictures. After that, IMdB will review our project and accept it or recommend some changes for us to do before accepting it.
  • Ellen’s Promotion – we keep submitting our promotional video for Ellen to different sites, bloggers and sharing through our Social Media Sites.
  • Closing credits – as we finally closed down our idea for them, we’re producing it this coming days. So we need to have all things need it at ready.
  • Updating content to our Social Media sites – so we can keep providing things for the project and you 🙂

And since we’re a very small team and the day only has 24 hours, sometimes the time is not enough for our gazillion things to do…. plus the fact that we’re working with people from around the world and we have to have in consideration the time difference.

So, all in all….. we like to be busy… and do we sorry when we miss a post or a content on the page. We truly sorry, but we’re working hard for the project to be done and you can enjoy it!!



Behind the Mythology

Hello Ancient Lighters!

How’s everybody doing? We hope your week is filled with amazing things! For us it’s definitely going to be a very busy week. With a big To-Do list that includes budgeting, plans (distribution and marketing), strategies, story-boarding, designing… just to name a few! But we like to be busy!

Today we thought it would be cool if we talk about the mythology that inspired the world of Ancient Lights.

We decided to use part of the Celtic, Greek and German Mythology and then we started shaping some parts of our stories. For example, the meaning behind Lorelei’s name (as we posted month ago in our Facebook page) comes from a part of the German Opera “The Nibelung’s Ring” add a little of creepy and evil roots, combine it with some sirens legends and there you go!

Of course it wasn’t that easy… first we had to check tons of facts, do research and understand the mythology. Then, we need it to check that the information that we were using for inspiration was in Public Domain, so as to not deal with getting rights of it (Public Domain allows you to create without hurting anyone’s job!) and once we did that, we started creating and making our own universe and story. We created back-stories to have a better understanding of our own characters.

Reading and researching mythology is always fun. It lets you know more about different cultures, people from the past and it’s always good for your imagination!

What are some of your favourite tales or your favourite mythology?!

Lot of love


What’s in a poster?

Hello Ancient Lighters,

We feel we’ve been away for too long! But with all the thing we have going and the few of us working full time, sometimes managing the time gets tricky!

But fear no more, since we have today a new blog post. This day we’re going to talk a little about our official posters!

We have been working with different designers in order to get the best idea for our movie. Some of the ideas we got from our brainstorming sessions were really good and we’re happy to let you know that we have selected at least 3 ideas to try and decide.

But, what’s the big deal of creating a poster? Well, first of all (besides the trailer) this is the face of your movie, the cover of your book. People will feel either attracted to know more about the movie or reject it depending on the poster. You can intrigue and let people wondering based on a simple design, so you need to be really careful when design it.

posterDepending on what your designer creates will depend on what you want to transmit… but you need to be really clear what are you looking for and let the designers do their job. As a “general rule” the posters normally have:

  • The Title
  • Actors names
  • Log line (what’s the movie about in one phrase)
  • Director / Producer (principal)

And some of the following:

  • Coming Soon (Or release date)
  • Festivals (if it was selected) and awards (if you have any prize)
  • Director of Photography, Music/Composer, Production Designer

So in words, designing a poster it’s just more than putting some elements (typography and images) together; it’s trying to sell your movie, catching the essence of ti and hoping it would persuade people to go and watch it!!

We can’t wait to show you our official posters!!



Building a Fandom

Hello AL’ers

How are you?! Getting ready for Halloween?! We certainly are more than ready, we might share some pictures of our evening… if we survive the night!!

Today we want to talk about a topic that is growing “Fandoms”. See, fandoms are, according to Wikipedia: a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of sympathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest. Fans typically are interested in even minor details of the object(s) of their fandom and spend a significant portion of their time and energy involved with their interest, often as a part of a social network with particular practices (a fandom); this is what differentiates “fannish” (fandom-affiliated) fans from those with only a casual interest.

For us, the AL Team, it’s not only creating a social media presence and get “likes and followers”, it’s about sending a message and creating a Fandom, ’cause after all, the fans become your family, the fuel that makes you keep working to give them the content, love and appreciation they deserve.

So we work really hard creating things and content they might find useful, sharing all the process of our project. We’re trying to share this experience with them as much as we can, hence we like to share info about every pat of the project (and we know for example, that some of that info might be a little old – like casting!) but we do want to share it and make our fans be part of the journey.

And sometimes, it get’s really hard (specially when there’s only 1 or 2 people creating all the content and managing all the sites) but we do what we do for love: to the film industry, to the project, the story and the love to our fans!! We know we sometimes get desperate and once in a while a little frustrated when we have gazillions things to do and close to 0 time to do it, we get sad when we see one of our fans leave our little family and get us wonder what we did or didn’t do that made him/her leave… But, see… that’s the thing with fandoms… some stay with you forever and some other stay with you the necessary time.

So, we’re working hard to create our fandom, creating a compelling and attractive story for people to join our journey… and for the ones who joined us, working harder to give them more content and things from the already known characters!

We love fandoms, and we’ll love for you to keep being an “ANCIENT LIGHTER or AL’er!”

Lots of Love


Film Festivals

Hello, hello Ancient Lighters

How’s everybody doing? We hope your week and your weekend was super amazing. it’s the last Monday of October…. just another re minder that time flies and flies and flies…. and it definitely doesn’t wait for no one!

As we get closer to have a finished product we continue working with all the things that we need to have ready and in consideration. One of them (and a really important for us) is the Festival Circuit.

The Festival Circuit it’s when you send your film project to all the different Film Festivals around the world, hoping to get selected and to win something… and to get a good distribution deal out of it. The better your project does in the Circuit the better the chances to have buyers and get the Academy to notice you. Although, as an independent filmmaker, getting your work noticed it’s already a big winning!

But we’re talking about the Circuit we’re planning with Ancient Lights. At the moment our plan is still in the development stage but so far this are the categories we plan to submit, ’cause that’s the beauty of the project: we have a big genre of festivals to submit!!

  • Big & Famous Festivals – Sundance, Cannes, London Film Festival, Raindance, Berlin Film Festival, Madrid Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festivla (to name a few)
  • Big Festivals – Vancouver Film Festival, Morelia Film Festival, São Paulo Film Festival, Venice, Austin (to name a few)
  • LGBT Festivals – the bigger ones being held in Toronto, Australia, Vancouver and San Francisco (to name a few)
  • Women in Film Festivals – Women in Film – Vancouver, LunaFest, Women in Film – Los Angeles.
  • Human Rights Festivals
  • Fantasy/Sci-Fi Festivals
  • Latin American Festivals
  • Small Festivals

So we know we have a very big list there and we want to submit to all the festivals we can. This, of course requires budget, since most of the big festivals require a fee entrance (the amount depending when you submit your film, the earlier the better) plus shipping costs (DVD’s if they accept your film) press kits, etc. But we’re dreamers and we know we can do it!!!!

Once we start submitting to Festivals we’ll let you know!!

Thanks for all your support and love Ancient Lighters!



Casting is hard to do… part III

Hello Ancient Lighters,

We continue with our re-tell about our casting.

This time, we want to share the moments we had before the casting, meaning the process before the actors and actress arrive.

As you know, we’re an indie project and being indie means getting the best out of the resources we have. So, our casting process was (or might have been) a little different from the conventional process.

So here’s sort of less what we did: First of all we went looking for a Casting Director, someone who could help us with the a breakdown of our characters, create the add of the casting and sending it to agencies, replying to the actors and scheduling the casting.

Once we had our casting director secured and a date, she managed to post the adds in the different platforms we had access at the time (this included sites very friendly to indie projects like Craiglist, Kijiji and Vancouver actors guide), we sent it also to casting agencies and our producer Sandra wrote to some actress she knew were at the level the project required and we sent sides (We had 14 different sides!)

The answer we had the first days was amazing and we received a lot of submissions and what it would be only a 2 days audition session, became 3 days. Our PA’s were amazing, letting actors in, telling them to fill the proper paperwork and basically keeping in us in schedule.

The day arrived and our PA’s were at the ready, the helped us setting the rooms, setting the food out (Sandra was very specific and good producer about it – to have food and drinks for the actors!) we had our readers (the persons helping the actors reading lines) in places, there was nothing left but to anxiously wait for the first actors to arrive! Once we had the first appointment, we went into the room and the action began.

After this 3 days, we continue receiving submissions (some of them out of Canada!) so we decided to open 2 extra days. In overall we saw more than 100 faces (which was good) but made a little harder our selection process…. but once we selected the best candidates we went to the next stage: Call – Backs, which required a new schedule, new dates, new sides plus pairing actors here and there… but that…that’s another story.



Talking About Closing Credits

Hello, hello dear Ancient Lighters:

We hope your weekend was really, really good!! For us, it was pretty much travelling and spending a bunch of time waiting at the airports…. but we’re not going to bore you with that!

Today, we’re going to talk about another important part of the movie: Closing Credits.

end+titlesThe closing credits are those letter and phrases that roll out, precisely at the end of the movie and that 85% of the people won’t even see (unless there are extra/scenes during or after the credits, in which case all of them will stay)

There are a different ways of doing them and normally it depend of the editors, producers and director to decide…and obviously “the budget”.

Here in Ancient Lights, we have discussed pretty cool ideas about how our Credits will look like and we have pretty much summed things up to 3 basic ideas:

  •  Stop Motion Animation
  • Illustrations/Drawings from the characters
  • A comic style

We do really like the 3 concepts and we have been talking with different designers to quote our ideas. Hopefully we’ll secure one soon and start working!!

It’s important for u to have “a little extra” with the credits, after all, this is where all the people that helped us, get to see their names in the big screen. It is also where we take the time to thank all of them all the companies that helped us and what a better way to do it than in a  “Writing Form” in the Big Screen!!

So, we do hope that, once we have our closing credits.. and you get to watch our movie, you stay as well to watch them! Maybe we should include a surprise scene at the end… or a trivia to win amazing prices!!

Until Thursday AL’ers!!



Of Cuts, Lock Down Cuts and Final Cuts

Hello, hello AL’ers!

How are you?! We’re extremely happy with the progress of the project so far. It’s been a little slower than we wanted but the results we’re getting make all the wait worth it.

So today we’re going to talk about what is a “Cut”, a “Lock Down Cut” and the “Final Cut”. If you’re not too familiar with “Movie Making Lingo”… we’re here to try and help as much as we can 🙂 Just remember that this is not 100% standard way, we’re an indie project with a tight budget, so…sometimes we have to create or make thing possible when there’s no money, time or both!! Just like the phrase “If nothing goes right….go left”

Cut: it’s the assemble of all the scenes in a single sequence. Basically the skeleton of the whole movie.

Rough Cut: this comes after the cut. It’s basically how the film would look like. In this cut, you get all the small details you know you’ll need more work than others. You start making notes about changing certain order of scenes, removing scenes, adding transitions….it will Rough Cutaslo let you know if you need to do ADR and that. This means that if you have a scene with VFX, in the rough cut you’ll see the raw footage (green/blue screen kinda thing) the sound is also raw. Basically you just get to see just the footage in order.

Lock Down Cut: once all the scenes or footage is in order and the Editor, Director and Producer are happy with it and there’s no more changes to do, you get a “Lock Down Copy” (no more inserts, transitions, shorting scenes or making them longer, etc.) This also help the other departments, it makes their work a little more easily. Lock Down means NO CHANGES!!!

Final Cut: the cut it’s done and ready to be shown. Basically once you have a “Lock Down” Cut and the other departments finish their work, the editor assembles everything again (final sound mix, any VFX scenes, opening titles, credits, colour correction, etc.)

cutAncient Lights it’s close to have the Lock Down Cut, which makes us really, really happy!! We can’t wait to show you the finished project!!

So there you go guys!! Now when you see us talking about cuts and lock down cuts you’ll know what we actually mean!!!

Until next time!!!



A kind message to Ellen Degeneres!!

Hello Ancient Lighters:

it’s so good to be back! The past weeks have been an intense, chaotic and mega full of work kin of weeks…. but we couldn’t be happier.

Last week, we released a very special video for all of you and specially to the person we targeted: Ellen Degeneres.

She has been a big inspiration to us and specially to our director Sandra and it would be an amazing chance and a dream come true, if she could have “Ancient Lights” in her show

We have many reasons why we would like to be guests of her show, but our most important one: to reach more people with our anti-bullying film and our message of self-love and empowerment.

We invite you to watch the video and, if you wish to help us get to Ellen Degeneres, please share our video and tag her. Every little view, share and like get us closer to Ellen.

Lots and lot of love!!