Thursday, December 3, 2009

Awesome interview on IndyMogul's REEL GOOD SHOW!

Matt and I did a really fun interview with IndyMogul last week and they've posted it online. One of the things we love about IndyMogul is they empower filmmakers around the world to execute their vision on realistic budgets. Awesome people, awesome show. Check it out!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hysterical movie:

Technology is leveling the playing field. Watch the hysterical, award-winning movie The Graduates right here, for free, forever:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New music video, directed by my bro...

Singer-songwriter Sonia Montez's first music video from her new EP Of Tears and Honey. Performed by Sonia Montez and Kiernan McMullan.

Directed by Matthew Gielen. Starring Nick Vergara, Cassandra Starr, Katy Wright-Mead, Ross Chestnut, Lacey Jo Anderson and of course Sonia Montez and Kiernan McMullan.

Support this artist! Buy her music from iTunes:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hulu hearts The Graduates...

@hulu thanks for the continued love...3rd or 4th time The Graduates featured on Movies front page...we heart Hulu...

Friday, October 16, 2009

More Good News for Indies

More Good News for Indies
The sniping rages on between bloggers and print critics. The biggest winner: indie filmmakers.

Eugene Hernandez wrote a post this week for IndieWire titled Critcs (Still) Matter, breaking down the sniping between bloggers and traditional print critics.

The Basics
It's identical to the sniping between politcal bloggers and traditional print reporters. In fact, every subset of Media is having this exact same argument:

The traditional media (inaccurately) label the online guys 'amateurs' and accuse them of lacking intelligent criticism. The bloggers (accurately) label the traditional media 'dinosaurs,' and point to their diminishing audience as proof of their outdated approach to gatekeeping.

Where should Indies stand on this?
Traditional media- just like traditional distribution models- has been a giant iron roadblock to anything indie reaching an audience.
Every single indie filmmaker in the world should rejoice at the crumbling of traditional media. Period.
This explosion of online criticism is FANTASTIC for independent artists. The more divided the gatekeepers are, the more your film can pass through the gates. Think about it: Would you rather rely on one major review, or dozens of small reviews read and passed around by loyal readers?

Or, another version: Why would you, as an indie filmmaker, hand over the success of your film to a small handful of reviewers who have been entrenched in the studio releasing system for decades?

Everybody still wants a NY Times review, and it looks great on your poster or in your media book, but there is no correlation for a true indie film between a major review and generating an audience. This myopic view is similar to how indies view major festivals. But as powerful as those festivals are, why should they make or break your film?

And think about how many indies have found success without those fests, without the NY Times reviews, without "traditional" exposure? To go after traditional reviews exclusively, or to continue to treat them as the gatekeeper, is to give them too much power and to ignore your own.

Bottom Line
The game has changed. Indies can and must build their own audience. And the the explosion of online critics and film bloggers is a huge advantage to indies in this pursuit.
Like I wrote last week, the internet is the single greatest tool indies have ever had, and the more bloggers build their own audience, the more you can, too.

How can YOU take advantage of this?
1. Read film blogs: become a part of the audience. Bloggers are the future of film criticism. If you want to participate in the future of film, you need to know your contemporaries

2. Watch the films: bloggers' power will increase in proportion to the audience they can drive to a film, so go see the films they champion, and let people know why you went.

3. Reach out: ask if you can send your links, trailers and press releases. Every blog wants to receive material in different ways, so ask them how/if they want to receive your stuff. They may not always be interested, but I guarantee they will write you back sooner then the dinosaur at the NY Times ;)

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Little Film That Could!

The Graduates is still in the Top 10 of all comedies on Hulu! Not bad for a tiny little indie made for 95K.

Watch it right here, for free:

Buy it right here on iTunes...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Watch The Graduates for FREE, here:

Download for iPod:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Become a Fan on Facebook with TWO CLICKS!

The Graduates on Facebook

Become a Fan on Facebook in TWO CLICKS!!

The Graduates on Facebook

We're in the Urban Dictionary

A word I coined is in The Urban Dictionary. My life is complete. It's from a very R-rated short film I did, Tony & Cal, which is available on The Graduates Two Disc DVD.


Here's the link to Tony & Cal if you're interested (R-rated):

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cut Your Own Trailer

Indie Film Fans and Filmmakers: we love making The Graduates more and more interactive.

If you want to play with some cool footage and interact with the movie on a new level, just go to our homepage: and click on "Cut Your Own Trailer" at the bottom:

Cut your own Trailer

Tons of footage and music from the movie will download, along with some basic concepts on cutting trailers.

When you're done, just upload your trailer anywhere on the net and we'll link to it all over the place.

Tons of people will see your work, and we'll even send you a free Graduates DVD!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Super Awesome Film Show interview online NOW!

Super Awesome Film Show interview about The Graduates ... ... talked financing, production, indie film marketing...

"Super Awesome Film Show" Interview Online NOW

Super Awesome Film Show interview about The Graduates ... ... talked financing, production, indie film marketing...

#plushgun ryan gielen the graduates the graduates dustin hoffman comedy funny movie film funny video beach spring break summer

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Two of our soundtrack artists have new EPs, and they are truly awesome: Sonia Montez: and Seth Freeman: Give them a listen, awesome stuff...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

steak on the grill... 85 degrees... life is good...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Larry Keel Beautiful Thing (Part 1)

I'll be posting the entire film here in pieces... Enjoy!

Part 1 of 9 from the documentary.

Buy the entire DVD here:
Larry Keel on Amazon

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Announcement: 5-Year Anniversary ReRelease

Thanks to fans old and new for supporting me and my film, Beautiful Thing, and thanks for supporting Larry Keel!

I made Larry Keel Beautiful Thing because I was entranced by the man and the music. I set out to make an honest documentary about Larry- the music, the road, the struggle and the beauty that emerged every time he plays.

I followed Larry from 2002 through 2003, from Virginia to Asheville to New Orleans to San Francisco, all through Georgia and the Carolinas. At the time he was consistently filling good venues on the east coast and through the south, but as the film shows, having a difficult time taking his precise acoustic performances and non-traditional style outside of known venues.

The film documents a transitional period in Larry's career, and I came to believe the transition was a result of the struggle I was able to capture a piece of. While I followed him, Larry grew out of an acoustic-only philosophy and as we wrapped filming on the year-in-the-life, he was just beginning to embrace "plugging-in."

The film was released in 2004 at Merlefest. We are still the first and (I think) only film to play Merlefest, which is a huge honor. That was five years ago, which is hard to believe. But the film was meant to be a window into Larry's life and career, something that would serve as a document as much as a film.

Imagine if someone could have followed John Hartford around for a year early in his career. It's not a direct parallel, but I think the point is that as Larry's music evolves, so will the meaning of the film, I hope. As younger generations discover Larry- through his albums or downloaded live shows- I hope the film will serve as a reference point. It's fascinating to me to see the roots of legend, not just the legend.

Over the next few months I'll be uploading all kinds of unused performance footage and hopefully some behind the scenes stuff. Check my Beautiful Thing blog for updates.

I feel truly lucky to have been able to witness Larry's life on the road, behind the scenes, at home and at every great venue along the way. The struggle was profound, but most importantly, the music was always beautiful.

You can buy the film on DVD and for digital download here: on and of course here:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Exclusive Clips

Going through some footage for the big rerelease and came across one of my favorite moments from making the film. I got to follow Larry into the recording studio when he was thinking about a solo album. Here are some never before seen clips of him playing original songs:

"Thank You Ange"

Support indie film: buy the DVD!

"Is It About The Music/Just Having Fun"

I just call this one:"Big Ol Bear"
Pretty sure Larry plays this one now, right?

Larry Keel Beautiful Thing

Larry Keel Beautiful Thing is the ultimate bluegrass DVD, following the life and times of a true bluegrass road warrior around the country, on tour, behind the scenes at home, and in the recording studio.

The film was featured as the first and only film ever to play Merlefest, and has sold thousands of copies to date. Release in 2004, the film has only gained relevance as Larry and his music have grown. Watch as Larry battles on night after night, playing for sold out fest crowds and empty bar rooms alike.

"Might just become essential as Keel's music continues to grow an innovate... Keel's remarkable talent is on full display..."
-Bryan Rodgers,

Get your copy today:
DVD: Amazon
For your iPod: CreateSpace E-Store

OFFICIAL LAUNCH: The Graduates Free Soundtrack Songs!

The Graduates represents a revolutionary partnership between indie bands and indie filmmakers. For a limited time you can sign up to receive a free soundtrack song EVERY WEEK between February 14th and May 1st, 2009. That's half the soundtrack, FREE.
To sign up, just send a blank email to
You'll be automatically registered!

What's the catch?
There is no catch. We believe in our soundtrack, we believe in the bands and the music, and we believe in our film. We want you to have this music because we know it's good and we know it represents our film perfectly!

Soundtrack Case FREE Bwalk

Are these bands any good?
These bands are phenomenal. They tour all over the country, some are signed with small labels, some represent themselves. But every band on The Graduates soundtrack adds a beautiful little piece of the entire puzzle of growing up- the beauty, the sadness, the drunkness, the ridiculousness and of course, the laughter.

Can I check them out before I sign up?
Of course! Our online music store allows you to sample every song, any time you want, just like iTunes. So check it out for yourself!

Will you send me spam?
Never. We will only send you the weekly reminder to download your free song, and a reminder when the film comes out.

Why are you giving away music and video from the film? Don't you want people to pay for every little thing?
The short answer is no. Eventually it would be nice if you go buy a ticket or put the movie in your Netflix Queue, but whatever, we know our movie isn't for everyone, no movie is! Hopefully you'll love the music and the movie. If not, no worries. We'll be happy knowing we gained incredible exposure for the film and for a bunch of bands we truly believe in.

Everything we're doing to promote The Graduates is grassroots. Studios don't give away songs because they don't trust the audience- they think they have to trick the audience to show up in the theater. Well, that's true, if you make shitty movies.

We made a good movie, and we think if you get a taste of it, you'll agree! So sign up, get some free music from incredible, emerging indie bands every week, and come see the film in May.

Don't forget: To sign up, just send a blank email to You'll be automatically registered!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Soundtrack now available on iTunes

The Graduates Soundtrack is available now on iTunes! Give it a listen, if you don't like it, you might know someone who does!

Click here to listen:
itunes-logo GRADUATES

Also available on:
Amie Street
E Music

"Last night I went to see the premiere of a new indie movie, The Graduates... The music really was a great fit with the movie and one of my favorite scenes (shows the boys riding bumper cars and playing skeeball) was greatly enhanced by the music..."
- Devorah Klein, Big Apple Music Scene

Soundtrack Case iTunes 1