Vodka, Vibrance, and VIPs – The San Diego Film Awards

For months you have been hearing about the San Diego Film Awards 3rd annual award show this Sunday, April 3rd. Now, with the event just a week away, we’d like to share some simple tips and scheduled events happening in tandem with the show.

From the VIP reception party to the Hollywood-style Blue Carpet sponsored by Blue Ice Vodka, this night is set to be an incredible event of black ties and accolades. Please join the San Diego Film Consortium, Music BoxSidecar Productions, and the many volunteers that help create this star-studded evening. The Music Box opens at 5 pm, and the celebration will extend well beyond the show’s finale.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer

Mayor Kevin Faulconer interviewed at the San Diego Film Awards

Last year’s event was completely sold-out and this year looks to be no different. Nominees from all over San Diego County will be gathering to celebrate and network. Specialty cocktails will be on hand to toast the evening with press and media covering the night. This year also promises an exciting surprise: the taped broadcast of the award show will be aired on Channel 4 in San Diego on April 23rd. Be sure to check local listings for more information..

Arrival at the Red Carpet

“Holding the third annual San Diego Film Awards at this beautiful venue is going to be an incredible experience for all involved,” said Jodi Cilley, Founder of the Film Consortium San Diego. “To have it televised is even more exciting and shows all the progress we’ve made as our community continues to grow.”

Cilley is thrilled to have Fale Luis join this year’s event as his unique style and creative approach will shift the show in a positive direction. “I’m honored to be the director for the San Diego Film Awards,” Luis said, “I’m very excited to produce an awards show that brings together talented actors, comedians, musicians and filmmakers to make this the best show ever. #sdfilmawards.”

Blue Ice Carpet

The San Diego Film Awards Schedule

4:50 PM   Front door check-in begins for the Blue Carpet Interviews in the Blue Carpet Corner taking place in the VIP lounge on the third floor of The Music Box in San Diego.

5:00 PM   Doors open and registered VIPs and nominees are welcome to walk the Blue Ice Handcrafted American Vodka Blue Carpet for photographs and to be interviewed by press and media.

5:00 PM   VIP reception begins on the third floor. Get your tickets now by following this link: (VIP reception paired with VIP floor seats start at $115) Be sure to purchase VIP tickets to gain access to this exclusive third floor event.

5:00 PM  The Blue Ice Handcrafted American Vodka – Blue Carpet Corner hosted by Erika De La Cruz and Sam Diego opens our star-studded evening live on 5 flat-screen TVs throughout the venue and on the main stage’s incredible jumbo-tron. Nominees and VIP guests, please fill out the following survey of you would like to be interviewed by our hosts - *

6:30 PM Ushers will begin seating our guests, VIPs, and presenters. This is a great time to grab one of our Blue Ice Vodka signature cocktails at the bar before the show starts.

7:00 PM The 3rd Annual San Diego Film Awards begins, directed by Fale Luis, director of Tonight in San Diego.

SDFA ticket promo parody – Return of the Killer Tomatoes


Tickets -

Event Page


VIP Booth

contact for press/media inquiries

* Be sure to send in your filmmakers information if you would like to be considered for a live interview. Presenters and nominees will have first pick of interview time slots.

Sandollar’s New Music Video: Beach-Rock-Guns?

Sandollar, a local San Diego band, and Sidecar Productions, a local production company, recently created an eye-catching and provocative video titled “Pouring Down” after the band’s recently released song off their 2014 album, Roller Coaster Ride.  The video showcases a boy’s hard life in a middle-class, white, single-family home.  The boy is picked on by his father, his sister and classmates, and when given the chance to act out in violence, the young man decides to go in a different direction. “We wanted to give both Sandollar’s fan group and a new audience something to think about,” said the video’s Director, Eric Staley.  ”The video is not saying whether gun control is right or wrong, but hopefully it can start a dialogue in this country about the violence and the hate being spread by those with access to guns.  People won’t change their deeply-rooted beliefs based on one video or film, but it is important to talk openly.”

Sandollar, Dylan and Eric of Sidecar



Sandollar’s “Pouring Down” is in their wheel house of beach-rock, but this catchy, ear-worm of a song further develops the band’s feel for crunching guitar solos and making the audience move.  Dave, the band lead guitarist, admitted, “We’re all excited about the release of the video, and while our band has different opinions, we all believe that kids should be kids and focus on doing what they do best–play.”  The other members in the band all agreed that their music is not about government issues, or political discourse, but they acknowledge that their songs aren’t performed in a bubble. “We create music to give people a chance to get away, a chance to turn up the radio and forget about their troubles.  Yes, their are themes of acceptance, and overcoming adversity but that is what music should be, a positive energy”  added lead-singer and keyboardist Baron Lunbeck. “We want to entertain, but at the same time, we aren’t just another pretty face,” laughed Henry Ortiz, the band’s drummer.

“Pouring Down” the single and Sandollar’s latest album on Pacific Records titled Roller Coaster Ride is available here, on iTunes.

Director talks with Kids




Sandollar the BandSandollar (from left to right)



Vocals, Keys: Baron Lunbeck
Lead Guitar: David Basham
Bass: Ian Thayer

Special thanks to the video’s sponsor:

Pouring Down Team







uNu – Ultrapack: Content for The San Francisco Tech Startup


In May of 2014, uNu (a San Francisco based company) hired Sidecar Productions to create, write, and produce a 30 second low-budget commercial to be aired at a Live 105 Bay Area concert event.  The commercial had to be written, filmed, and edited within two weeks of signing the agreement. Screen replacements needed to be added when the product arrived and it was not camera-ready but our in-house staff was able to solve the problem with After Effects and Mocha.  Within a week we had our script and began the pre-production process.  Actors, equipment, locations, crew, and catering had to be quickly assembled with a delivery date only a week away.

Production designer, Bryan Decker, was able to use a majority of the furniture found at the location.  By adding plants, a slider and some great soft lighting by DP Donnie Eastman, the shoot was dynamic and colorful. Here is the result:

After completing the 30 second commercial spot, the client asked us to create a 60 second overview.  This video was created to inform customers about the UltraPak when they visited the product’s website.  Sidecar wrote, directed and produced the following 60 second and 30 second spots.

The 30 second cut from the 60 second overview.


Please contact Eric Staley at Sidecar Productions to learn how we can help your product reach market.

(858) 384-9937


How Much Does a Video Cost? Part II – Crew

How Much Does a Video Cost

I was on set last week and didn’t get a change to blog.  However, In our last installment we talked about camera package and how different levels of production have different levels of camera requirements.  In this article, I will discuss the people that are necessary to have a productive and professional production.

It’s that home-improvement time of year and you want to paint your house.  There are tools that make it easier, ladders to make you taller, and sprayers that get it done faster…but nothing is better then having someone like the Epcon home building franchise do it, but labor costs money.  Or, if you have children, get that brush in their hand so you and your wife can lay back in your hammocks.

Child Paint

“It’s not easy painting green.”

When hiring a crew you need professionals and people are taught to value themselves hourly.  Typically, people don’t think of their “daily price-tag”.  However that is exactly the way video crews work, either on a 10 or 12 hour day and generally freelance. (Freelance Work will be covered later this year.)

Getting back to painting your house, how much would you pay someone to paint your house hourly?  10/hr? 20/hr?  If you are going with a professional company, not the help found on the Home Depot street corner, you are in the area of 30 – 50 per hour of labor.  The same as a mechanic, the same as a plumber, the same as a camera operator on a 10 hour day.

Knowing how much people cost can help you decide who is necessary and who is expendable.  The Director of Photography is your lighting foreman and he will be setting lights, building camera, working with the director to compose the shot, and making sure the image is properly recorded onto the media.  If he has no help he will have to work slower, and less footage will be recorded.  There lies the budgeting balance.

Waste Time

“When are we getting to my close up?”

As the producer it is your job to know what will help the speed of production and what the budget calls for.  If you have too few people the timetable will suffer, too many and the cost quickly elevates.

Using our last example from “How Much Does a Video Cost?” we know we have a DSLR camera package.  To save on time we will have two people assist the Director of Photography (one to set up lights and one to build the camera), one person recording the sound, a make up artist to make the client beautiful, and a production assistant (PA) to be available to run errands, pick up lunch, or lend a hand wherever needed.  This is a minimum of 6 people not including the creative team.

Depending on the script,  you may need an Art Director to gather props, visual effects, create posters and paint walls.  A head of wardrobe may be needed to decide what suit the talent should wear, pin back any loose fitting clothing, and oversee any rented costumes or jewelry.

As you can see, it takes a team, a well orchestrated team to ensure every moment on set isn’t being wasted.  In some cases the help outside the Home Depot takes more to manage then hiring a professional.  In the next installment of “How Much Does a Video Cost?” I will be talking about creative, and how little modifications to the script can add project value without increasing budget, and in some cases ‘simple gags’ can cost more then the client is willing to spend.