Entandem Productions

Entandem Productions
Original, astonishingly good, socially conscious

Monday, February 4, 2008

Ooooh... Pose for me.

Fresno was seeing rain, fog followed by gray skies, frost covered leaves and roofs, and more rain. Actors were being asked to "dress for summer" for a photo shoot outdoors on December 22nd! On top of everything else, there was less than one week's notice!

So, Saturday morning, the clouds parted, the frost melted quickly, and people arrived at 9am for publicity photos. The weather Gods were on our side.

We had Lisa V. for make-up and hair, Debora for wardrobe (her Sheriff's uniform was stunning), and Ron as our beloved photographer. Kate, Heather, Renee, Matt, Greg and Dave trickled in and did a lot of sitting around waiting for their turn with Lisa. Our kids' bedrooms became the blue and pink dressing rooms, the dining room became the make-up trailer and the living room was the green room - even though it's orange!

Finally, we were off to Woodward Park. It's amazing how versatile it is, standing in for summer in Northern California on a wintry day. Everyone pitched in, carrying our gear, blankets for rests between posings, boots for the mud and duck poo, with all of us in tow primping and arranging, and shifting things and people around.

WE HAVE AMAZING TROOPERS. It was cold - definitely cold, but there were no complaints - a few jokes, maybe, but no complaints. Through blue lips and an amazing array of goosebumps, the shoot turned out fantastically!

I thank you all for your amazing dedication and patience. I think it was well worth the work. It's amazing how well the chemistry worked and how it pops out in the pictures. (Look at some of the take-outs on the pics page.)

Stay tuned for more adventures in film financing!


Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I haven’t updated you in ages! Forgive me? Good… Let’s begin. (Get ready - it's long!)

Check out new pictures from the Forum on the myspace page taken by our wonderful photographer, Ron Blackwell (S.B.G. on the friends list)!

Also, if you have any question, don’t hesitate to contact me here or at (559) 307.8299, as so many already have! Thank you for the support.

Let’s talk about the Forum first, then the Entandem agenda.

Fresno Filmmakers Forum

The Fresno Filmmakers Forum was a great success. We had nearly 100people attend the two-leveled Soho and Star Palace at the Warnors Performing Arts Center in downtown Fresno. Through the fabulously tall arched windows at the Star Palace, we were witness to the unusually dramatic skyline of gray thickets above the high rises – no need for mood lighting here.

The idea evolved from my belief in networking as a tool for a creating a better product – whatever it may be. I kept meeting other filmmakers who asked if I know so-and-so but I knew another group that this person didn’t know, and together we discovered that there was a great number of us out there searching one another and relieved that we were not the only ones struggling. So, from this, with a wonderful group of organizers – Christine Autrand Mitchell (me), Jaguar Bennett, Ray Arthur (Fresno City Film and Entertainment Commissioner) and Suzanne Bertz-Rosa (Chair of Creative Fresno) – we created a place for people like us to meet… and then it grew.

[Networking defined by me: not the pretentious hell of dress-up and eat tiny finger foods while carrying our wine glasses around and acting hoity-toity as we casually trade business cards and pitch our company waiting for the raffle of the surprise gift before we head home in a grumbling mood because we “had” to go to this thing.]

We could not have succeeded in this event if it weren’t for the incredible Sponsors (see the website for the extensive list) and our awesome volunteers, and those who contributed time and equipment, some of whom are listed here: Teresa Flores, Cindy Wathen, Amber Strid, Amber Valett, Ron Blackwell, Shana Kaspian, Kellie Benton, Tara Beal, Julie Griffiths, Vince Warner for supplying the sound.

So, they attendants spanned from “just curious” to amateurs to professionals (i.e. making a living at their craft). Everyone was excited to have an event at which they could meet with other people interest in film and video production. The overall response was “great” and “let’s do it again”. Our first quarterly meeting will be held in January!

See the final breakdown of the four topics to address on the forum website at

The morning session opened with introductions (and plugs!). Then the Ashley Swearengin began the process of creating an industry cluster – she was fantastic. Ideas flowed quicker than coffee at Starbucks and lists were created, then breakout groups formed based on these topics to return with their wonderful list of actions. It was intense! One group could not decide because of a heated discussion.

On this topic, if you’re interested in film or video production and making it a stronger industry here in the Valley, then please contact me and let’s work on strengthening our weaknesses, adding to resources, and building a true working industry here! We’re well on our way with the amount of production I hear about in the Valley now!

The first workshop was John Kelly’s “Beyond 3 Point Lighting”. This session was so packed, we were standing all around. This session was great not only because it was taught by a genius of lighting, but because he was personable, he SHOWED us HOW to do it – performing the tasks right in front of us, as if we we’d snuck in to an actual set. THEN, he added inside stories of different productions he’d been on, he gave away valuable hints he’s collected over the years, stories of being on set, named the equipment (don’t ever go on set and say “Where’s the extension cord?” – you’d know what to call it if you’d been there), told us WHY and HOW to use it, how to fake fire, and the list just goes on. It was an amazing experience – even for the pro’s!

A lunch break followed. The theme was openness where we had the chance to network – everyone was amenable to talking and exchanging contact information. It’s amazing how many local productions are rolling or are about to begin!

Jeff Hall’s technical workshop on sound was brought to us in full Dolby® surround sound. It was impressive. He showed us what a difference a good soundtrack makes by revealing the layers – breaking them down. He added his personal experiences on those jobs as well. It was a great workshop for those techie-sound aficionados.

After a break with lots of candy and fun snacks, the Star Palace had been reconfigured for a Creative Panel with professionals: Jon Carroll, Cherie Franklin, Jeff Hall, John Kelly, Jerry Lee, Robert Thissen and Kerry Yo Nakagawa. The questions were incredibly varied but answered wonderfully by our fantastic panel – I can’t possibly begin to cover the range here or the emotion into some these questions and answers. I thank you all again for your participation in this event!

The day was capped off with the showing of the motion picture “American Pastime”, produced by our local Kerry Yo Nakagawa, who shared with us his passion about the film and its topics.

I would like the extend an extra thanks to Kerry for helping us on the road to making this Forum a possibility – he truly extended himself for us and I am particularly grateful.

Thanks to all who attended! We’ll see you in January if not before.

Entandem Productions

DOCUMENTARY: We are in post-production for our full length feature documentary on Fresno! As we peruse the interviews I’m still gobsmacked at the wonderful footage we have caught by such amazing people – right here in FRESNO! (Any Prius would be proud to live here!)

We’re planning to premiere the film in late Spring/Early Summer at the Tower Theatre. Keep checking in with us and we’ll have an email sign-up soon for updates.

We’re still looking for local music to be contributed to the soundtrack! Contact me if you’re interested!

LILY ON SATURDAY: We’re already in the extensive period of pre-production for our first feature-length film. We have a wonderful cast in place and a core crew enlisted. We’re chasing the rest of our funding and have a wonderful partner for the film – to be announced soon!

THAT’S ALL for now. Thanks for reading to the end! Leave me your comments, please.


Saturday, October 20, 2007


7 Days until the Fresno Filmmakers Forum on Saturday, October 27th, 2007!

We've added speakers to our creative panel:

Jon Carroll, Director of DevelopmentJon Carroll currently serves as the Director of Development for the Fresno Metropolitan Museum and is directly responsible for marketing, public relations, membership, development and legislative advocacy for the museum. He moved from Los Angeles to Fresno in 2000 to begin work for the Fresno Metropolitan Museum after a 16 year career within the performing and visual arts.

Cherrie Franklin, Acting Coach & ActressCherrie Franklin has been a professional actress for thirty years appearing in numerous films, television series and commercials. But Ms. Franklin is not just an actress. She’s also a highly respected on-set dialogue coach.

Jeff Hall-Jeff Hall founded Maximus Recording Studios in 1985 with a personal goal of having his work heard around the world within five years. Today, his company’s work is broadcast to every continent every day of the week. Maximus is the largest world-class recording studio between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

John Kelly, Director of Photograph! A graduate of Montana State University with a B.S. degree in Cinema, John Kelly has twenty-five years of experience as a writer, director, and cinematographer of commercials, feature films, short films, music videos, documentaries, and corporate and information films — working extensively in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Central California.

Jerry Lee, Vice President of Programming & PartnershipsJerry Lee is a 38-year veteran of radio and television in markets large and small from Omaha to San Diego to San Francisco and Fresno. Currently Jerry is Vice President of Programming and Partnerships at Valley Public Television.

Robert Thissen, Writer/DirectorDirector Robert J. Thissen was recently featured on the Sci-Fi Channel Television Show "Exposure" as a national finalist in a film contest in collaboration with Sundance.

Kerry Yo Nakagawa, Author, Historian, Producer, Filmmaker, and EducatorKerry Yo Nakagawa can be considered a "5 Tool" talent in some very lofty artistic and educational pursuits. He’s currently a standout as an author, historian, producer, filmmaker, and educator.

Brainstorming Session: Creating a Film Industry in the Valley

If our collective goal is to grow the local film and video production industry, then we need to provide access to people and resources. We need to find out what people and businesses want out of others and resources. We also need to figure out what people have to offer.

The morning session is focused on getting people’s juices flowing to brainstorm and come to a conclusion on needed activities before talking about next steps.

-What are the opportunities?-What are the obstacles/bottlenecks? Let’s collaborate and work together to make the entire industry stronger.

Facilitated by Ashley Swearengin Director of Community and Economic Development at California State University, FresnoAs the Director of Community and Economic Development at California State University, Fresno, Ms. Swearengin works with industry, economic development officials, and elected and community leaders in an eight-county area on efforts to improve the economy and quality of life in the region.

Film Screening: American PastimeFollowed with Q&A with Producer Kerry Yo Nakagawa. A powerful story about the dramatic impact WWII had in the home-front as Japanese American families were uprooted from their every day lives and placed into internment camps in Western US in the early 1940s. Faced with a country that now doubted their loyalty and struggling with their new situation, they turn to baseball as a way to handle their plight and find the strength to stand up for themselves becoming a true symbol of honor and pride.

Register & get your tickets now >>

Includes continental breakfast, lunch, and refreshments.

Advanced tickets: $10 At the Door: $15 Film Screening Only: $5

But wait... there's more...Learn all about the Fresno Filmmakers Forum at www.FresnoFilmmakersForum.com.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Entandem on Dorktown Podcast

Every so often, when you're interviewing people, the tables get turned on you. While we were interviewing Mike Seay, the mastermind behind the Fresno-based blog empire Dorktown, for our upcoming Fresno documentary, Mike suddenly whipped out his voice recorder and asked if he could interview Jaguar for the Dorktown Podcast.

You can check out the result here: http://www.mikeseay.blogspot.com/


We have officially begun editing. It’s akin to walking into meadow after being in the forest for a long time; your eyes adjust to the light and the new scenery, the new smells, the open sky with no limits. We can see farther than before. We can go anywhere without giant impediments. Everything here is new.

With well over 40 hours of footage, this is no small task. It would be easy to turn this into an endless miniseries about Fresno, and keep filming more interviews with the innumerable interesting folks here, and address the important issues we were unable to touch upon. But, alas, someone must yell “Cut”, probably the creature named Budget called it out the loudest! Did you hear it? He’s got a piercing cry which makes you stop dead in your tracks.

But, as I said before, everything looks new from here. We see the footage differently with so many impressions upon us which have broadened our views. I never thought I could have seen so many labyrinthine corridors as in City Hall or listened to such diverse voices, or visited as many places in Fresno most people never have the honor of seeing.

Without Cindy Wathen and Paul Worthington this production would never have gotten off the ground! Thank you for your amazing contribution of patience and equipment.

I am so proud to have experienced all this with Jaguar and our fantastic core crew: Jeremy Owen, Teresa Flores and Ron Blackwell, who were at nearly every single hour of taping! We also had lots of help from Robin Bodey and Shana Kaspian enters the picture (no pun intended) with post-production. Jeremy and Teresa continue into this phase as well. A special thanks for help from Jo Anne Yada, Brad Polzin and Brian James Walker, and others who shall remain nameless (for now, upon request!).

Now, you must be jealous – but I’ll share all of this with you! Just give us some time. We’ll try to satisfy your curiosity with a few little clips here and there. But join us in the Spring of 2008 to premier the yet untitled Fresno – The Documentary with us.

Here’s still an opportunity to help: we are looking to complete our soundtrack of Fresno – we need local acts with local music! If you’re interested, please contact us here!Thanks for your support for the last nearly six months! Dang, has it been that long?! We’ll keep you posted…

Sunday, September 2, 2007


A big thank you for those who were able to make it to the Wrap Party last night! There was enough food to feed the neighborhood and enough wine to drunken, well, the neighborhood, or at least a large group of friends. Mitch’s BBQ was awesome, the desserts delectable, the company unrivaled, the blancria was quite tasty, and the kids enjoyed the water play! Let’s do it again soon!

We showed some dailies but didn’t get to do half of the stuff we planned. Somehow, William Shatner in “Incubus” – in Jaguar’s favorite language of Esperanto – got a showing on the main screen, perhaps the first one in 20 years! But the commentary from the audience made the torture well worthwhile. I’ll only say this: licking goats! (Cynthia, I hope you’ve recovered.)

We have some great titles to play with, folks. One of them hit us hard (the “brick”) and one of them snuck up on us (the “Why?”), but we’re still playing with them. Thanks for participating. The winner gets… well, good question!

Who left their sunglasses?

So, here’s the boring stuff: thank you for the support! There’s a lot of talk about funding artistic endeavors, which I won’t touch here (I heard the clapping just now), but it is the support in spirit that helps us the most. Somehow, that bolsters all else. So, we thank you again for your support and your participation, because it makes this all possible! Viva Fresno Arts!

We hope to see those who couldn’t make it soon, we’ll see you at the next one! Thank you again for your encouragement and support!


Friday, July 27, 2007


We have one month left of shooting – can you believe it?! We wrap on August 31st!

Thank you to everyone who has participated so far. It’s been such an incredible experience for us all. We are grateful and touched that you have let us into your homes and hearts. We are humbled by you all.

As we cram in our last topics, it’s not too late to share your thoughts on Fresno – any aspect at all! If you know of a subject that’s important to Fresno NOW or a person you think should be interviewed, please contact us at here or at query@EntandemProd.com

We’ve touched upon these topics, among others: political, social, arts, ethnic, youth, civic, environmental, technology, education, etc.

Come to our site to get a peek at one of the interviews and leave your comments!

Monday, July 2, 2007


Aaaaah!!! (Interpret as you will.)

Between the amazing interview with Eric Field for the documentary and the first reading of the draft script for next year’s production over the weekend, I am… overwhelmed - in a good way!

What is it about a creative endeavor that sparks such intense humanity, creativity, heartbreak, confusion, elation, energy, hatred, memories, empathy, detachment, forgiveness, call to action, apathy, and every other emotion – sometimes within seconds of one another…?

It feeds on itself and then feeds others, it moves ahead of one’s stride to catch up with those in front to ensnare them, and pulls on those behind. It strokes the skin never before touched for a sensation that makes one explode out of one’s soul to rain down on everything in search of more…

I am not the only one feeling this way, which makes it nearly like an orgy rather than masturbation… Sorry for the graphic, but there you are.

Thank you for the fun!


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The If's of Writing

If the catalyst for the story never speaks one word, will you know him as deeply as I do –left only to the actor’s prowess on the screen?

Is it really something HE would say?

It’s such a strange reaction, how would it be perceived?

Are HER attempts at proving her flesh and blood state coming through?

If I switch the order, would the effect be the same or more dramatic?

Can I cut that scene out entirely without losing the gem?

If SHE says nothing, how would the other person react – forced to fill in the gap or respect it?

These are a sampling of questions I ask myself as I work my way through Draft 2 of the screenplay for next year’s production. The story was simple and came as if from nowhere, inspired by actual events (some and not others – you can decide that when you see it), plopped on the page in a fury of writing over only a few weeks.

It’s been a year since the story began! I can’t believe how far we’ve all come since then.

I now no longer see the original characters that made up the novel. I am not sad. After adapting it to screenplay, I see the wonderful local actors I want to have in the production – I hear their voices, I see their faces, I see them as the characters. They move the way I know the characters do, the little nuances that make a person who they are, habits and fears, grins and concerns, incorporating amazing surprises I will not have thought of as they flesh out their characters. I hope not to intimidate anyone with this statement – but it was a simple transition of the talent available to us.

I can’t wait for the read-through’s. I’m anxious to hear familiar voices speak words I expect them to say and can’t wait to hear feedback on that which doesn’t ring true. It’s like a sour note, a key gone flat on the piano, when something just isn’t right. Sometimes I notice it. Sometimes I don’t and someone else will.

I love the collaboration of pulling out fully formed characters from my imagination, ironing them flat to fit on the page with hopefully just enough embellishment to be pulled off the page once again, like a sticker, and puffed up with the actor’s breath into a real, living, moving, breathing, speaking person!

See you soon!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

“Fresno” on TV!

Be one of the first to see a clip from Entandem Productions’ upcoming documentary, “Fresno!” Christine and Jaguar are scheduled to appear on Channel 26’s morning show, “Great Day,” this Tuesday, June 19, at way too early in the morning. We’ll be showing a clip from “Fresno”—the first time anyone in the world, anywhere, will get a chance to see a portion of the film.

Want to see a little bit of what we’ve been doing, get up early (or stay up late, depending on your habits) and catch us on Great Day! Tell all your friends!