Filming Without a Film Office

In 2012, after 4 years of raising funds, Sidecar Productions set out to shoot their first feature, Eternity: The Movie.  Unfortunately, earlier that year, funding had been cut to the San Diego Film Commission and the remaining staff was moved into the Tourism Authority Board.  Later that year the office officially folded and the four years of prepping to shoot in San Diego came to a head.

“We had no idea how crucial a central film office was to making a film until we tried to make Eternity without the San Diego Film Commission.” said Eternity’s producer Eric Staley.  

“A Film Commission facilitates all film productions in a given area. It helps communicate between the police, the city, event staff and mass transit.  It assists in coordinating locations and proper documentation for rights, permits and public safety.  Without a film commission you could have very large groups of people executing their projects with out concern for the surrounding area.  No paper trail to cease productions that damage parks waterways or city streets and no governing board over productions filming with unsafe practices or against union guidelines.” added the local producer.

Staley went on to point out an even bigger issue, “Without a local film office there is no liaison bringing in larger productions from outside San Diego.  This liaison helps productions work comfortably in our area bringing million-dollar budgets and hundreds of jobs to the city.”

Sidecar and their team spend a full year after filming to assemble footage, tracking down colorists, renting studio space to record the final soundtrack and finding professional post-houses to complete the film.  ”Most of this could have easily been accomplished with a film commission.” explained the film’s director, Ian Thorpe.

“With a film commission comes a large network experienced in creating and finishing films.  When we wrote Eternity we had our network of grips, directors of photography, colorists, and composers but sadly, without a county-wide film commission, these professionals have started to leave the area,” said the director.

Against all odds Eternity: The Movie opened in theaters across the U.S. and Canada in 9 cites in October of 2014.  ”It was a great experience filming in San Diego” said writer Joey Abi-Loutfi.  ”Great weather, beautiful people, and no traffic” boasted the LA native.  ”To have this playground only 70 miles from some of the largest blockbusters and to not utilize it would be a shame.”

Jon Gries answeres his phone on the set of Eternity: The Movie

Actor Jon Gries, of Napoleon Dynamite, answers his phone in his penthouse office. (Department of Transportation old building

Eric Staley and Francine Filsinger on Fox 5 News in San Diego

With 9 Cities to Open This Fall, Eternity Could Last Forever

Eternity Wide

NYC Opening – AMC Empire 25 Theater – October 17th

Eternity: The Movie, “The greatest 80′s movie to never have been made in the the 80s” Derek McCaw, Fanboy Planet.  A film captured by a team of 30, forged by a collaboration of post-production artists and delivered via independent networks will begin screening in New York City October 17th.  This 80′s comedy is set for their North American openings with musically charged scenes and ridiculous 80′s fashion.

Below the reviews of best electric knife is a list of events they have planned in the near future to kick off the release of Eternity: The Movie in North America.  Please join Sidecar Productions for pre-parties, question and answer sessions, and after parties all of which you can get invited via our Facebook events pages.  Add yourself and get invited to the Jam of the Fall, Eternity: The Movie, The North American Openings. Pages are updated daily. 

New York Opening – Oct 17th – AMC Empire 25 – Facebook Event

Los Angeles Opening – Oct 24th - Laemmle Music Hall – Facebook Event

Toronto Opening – Oct 24th - Carlton Cinema – Facebook Event

San Diego Opening – Oct 31st - AMC Mission Valley – Facebook Event

Portland Opening – Nov 1st - Clinton St. Theater – Facebook Event

Detroit Opening – Nov 7th - Cinema Detriot – Facebook Event

New Orleans Opening – Nov 7th - Zeitgeist Center – Facebook Event

Regina Opening – Nov 7th - Golden Mile – Facebook Event

Saskatoon Opening – Nov 7th - Roxy Theater – Facebook Event

* City’s Premiere of Eternity: The Movie

Kickstarter’s $50k to NYC’s AMC: Just a Dream in 2006

Eternity: The Movie showing at the AMC Empire 25 10.17.14


Here’s how it happened…roughly:

October 2006 – Sidecar Productions finished post production work on a second feature as editors and effects artists.  In a meeting the owners decided to seek out a writer to create a fun, energetic comedy for their next feature production.

March 2007 – Writer Joey Abi-Loutfi was hired to produce 5 treatments. One of these was a comedic look at the music industry in 1985.  The idea of a loner in the Los Angeles Valley creating heartfelt music about women who don’t like him struck a ‘cord’ with Sidecar and Joey began work on Eternity.

The first drafts were completed in 2008 by Joey.  Sidecar knew for this production to work the estimated budget needed to be reflected in the script. The development process had no funding so the team would meet on weekends to table read and compare notes.

April 1st 2012 - Sidecar Productions kicked off their Kickstarter campaign on April Fools day to raise over $50,000 to start pre-production of Eternity: The Movie. (then called Todd Lucas: Singer/Songwriter) With the help of producer Kevin Tostado and Kickstarter, the first of Eternity’s finances were in place. *

July 2nd 2012 – With additional funding made possible by private investors production began July 2nd starring Barrett CrakeMyko OlivierEric RobertsMartin Kove, and Jon Gries.

December 31st 2012 – The world got it’s first look at Todd Lucas in Eternity: The Movie.  The teaser released on YouTube pictured the loser Todd moving into Reseda from the mid-west and meeting the lovely Gina Marie.  He meets BJ and chaos ensues with the added cast members Tamzin Brown and Donna Ruko.

An old school look at Director Thorpe’s old school look at 1985.

March of 2013 – Eternity’s featured six songs were completed by Nick Faiella and Sean Walsh at Pulse Recordings under the supervision of TLMP in late March of 2013 allowing editors Eric Staley and Ian Thorpe to put the finishing touches on the first theatrical edit.

June 2013 – Focus groups set up by Craig Bentley of Imageworks and  American Dream Cinema had great results according to producer Eric Staley.  ”We learned what we could do and what didn’t work with the audience and the characters of Eternity.  It’s a shame, we lost a good amount of over the top drama we’d like to see, dead bodies, abs flexing from crying…you try and find that balance in a music-comedy” said Eric.

July 2013 - After the second rough assembly Sidecar recorded additional footage to complete the circle in Eternity: The Movie.  Some of the cast and crew were brought back to the Reseda Complex, filmed in University Heights, where the Director’s daughter got to make a cameo. The Ruby Room (now The Merrow) was again called upon for the production.

August of 2013 – Eternity: The Movie started as a block of marble.  All the footage, all the music, all the story line had to be condensed to hit the audience with the cocaine driven spirit of the mid-80s.  Director Ian Thorpe, producer Eric Staley and writer Joey Abi-Loutfi had the opportunity to do the final sculpting of their film 7 years in the making.

September 2013 – Enter Kevin Brough to take on the creating the sounds of 1985 as the film’s musical composer. Get Kevin’s songs on iTunes here, on Eternity: The Soundtrack. The film’s sound effect tracks were created by Sean Walsh and Will Hagan of Privet.

October 2013 – Colorist professionals Fancy Film Post Services got out their neon shades and gave the film it’s final polished-retro look.

December 2013 – The film’s first festival entries were sent out.  Cinequest in San Jose was the first to accept the film. “Bill and Ted’s Journey of Hall and Oates” remarked Robert Emmett of KJFC in an on-air interview with writer Joey and producer Eric during the festival.

March 2014 – September 2014: “It truly is flattering to be selected to these festivals after so many years of hard work.” said writer Joey Abi-loutfi when asked about their upcoming screenings at Outfest Los Angeles and AGLIFF in Austin on September 11th.

July 2014 – Director Ian Thorpe and  Barrett Crake gave audiences what they wanted (over 13,000 views) with Make Love, not Just Sex the music video.

Download “Make Love Not Just Sex” the mp3 for FREE here.

October 17th 2014Sidecar Productions and Vagrant Films Releasing and Publicity will premiere the film in New York City. “Releasing the movie theatrically has always been the goal, but to do it in New York at a great theater is truly special.  I am very thankful to everyone who has helped get us this far through their hard work and dedication.  Hopefully New York (followed by the rest of North America) is ready for this candy-colored ode to cheesy 80s R&B music.” commented Ian Thorpe Director of Eternity.

AMC Empire 25 will host the grand event with 80′s rockers, the film’s stars and special guests.  Join the mailing list here for updated information. More dates to follow.

Eternity: The Movie

facebook page - imdb page - Twitter page - YouTube page

Eternity: The Soundtrack on iTunes

Ryan Levey of VFRPR handles all North American bookings and releasing.  

Please contact Eric Staley for all international inquiries.

* Kickstarter rewards are scheduled for delivery late 2014.

Jason Kisvarday, Art Director on “Turn Down for What” DJ Snake and Lil Jon’s music video is up for a VMA.

Best Art Direction Nominees

Jason Kisvarday has wowed directors, talent and music video sets for years and is finally getting some of the recognition he deserves.  DJ Snake’s video “Turn Down for What” featuring Lil Jon has been nominated for a MTV Video Music Award for best art direction and Jason looks to be in the lead.  Utilizing puppetry, explosives and camera tricks DJ Snake’s “Turn Down for What” has the potential to really clean up at this years awards.  With other videos in this category relying on pop culture references such as Clueless (starring Alicia Silverstone) and Max Headroom, Snake’s video conjures up images of living in an over populated area with the blue collar working class cutting loose to the newest song featuring the hip-hop mogul.

The song is driven by the breaks, building energy and releasing it on the unsuspecting high-rise featured in this video.  The outcome is a crazed, crotch thrusting young man who convinces the other tenants to join him in his sexual dance.  The talent’s bodies are taken over by the bass from the song and their minds soon follow.  Jason’s use of everyday items to dress the sets (and many of my houses growing up) is mind blowing.  From the wood paneled walls of a single female’s home, to a family having a dinner together over a bowl of french fries, to a house party complete with red solo cups the viewer feels right at home.

This video isn’t the glitz and glamour that we are used to seeing in the hip-hop world, and this is probably why the video works so well.  Everyone from college students to mother’s with children can associate with the scenes.  Neighbors refusing to turn down music, parties down stairs that no one invited us too and using your living room to hang wet clothes.  This video is a drastic turn from other Lil Jon hits such as “Get Low” and “Snap Yo Fingers” that feature scenes with lap dances at the barber shop and groups of models dancing in their bikinis.  This video goes right to the source of a rapper’s fame, the working class. People who just want to turn up the music, dance, and forget the real world for 3 minutes.

Jason Kisvarday has a great chance to pick up some hardware this August 24th at the MTV VMAs.  Although this isn’t a voting category, my vote is for “Turned Down for What” featuring Lil Jon for best Art Direction.

Want to see the other nominees?

Music Video from Eternity: The Movie – October 2014

Barrett Crake ready for another take

Sidecar Productions, in association with Collaboration Factory, has created a candy coated, wayfarer-wearing, look at 1985 with the real-fake song “Make Love, Not Just Sex“. The song is a tribute to the overproduced, synth-sounding era that most would like to forget and features the sultry sounds of of the sax.

Nick Faiella, the song’s producer, and owner of Pop. Control has found the soul of Hall and Oates, combined it with the heartbreak of Richard Marx, and brought it to 2014 with a modern-rock sound and comedic delivery.

Barrett Crake, Todd Lucas in Eternity: The Movie, sings on all of the band’s tracks taking us back to 1980-something with names like “Don’t Let Go (I’m Begging You Please)” and “Double Crossed”.  His performance in the video is over-the-top and dramatic adding to the comedy about a song for making love…not just sex. Myko Olivier, from the hit show Castle, plays B.J. Fairchild in the film and is a constant yin to Todd’s…well, yang. He and his mustache pair perfectly with Crake as the bad-boy sax player from Reseda, California.

Outfest Los Angeles has the city’s first look at the hysterical film attached to this music video this Friday at 9:30 pm. Tickets are currently on standby only at the Harmony Gold Theater on Sunset, more information available here: Outfest Tickets