Sophia Cacciola
[sophia@sophiacacciola.com]
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Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein

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Sophia and Michael are Somerville, MA based musicians and filmmakers
TEN the movie! MAGNETIC the movie!

Michael J. Epstein
[mje@michaeljepstein.com]
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This is a personal weblog.
Opinions expressed here
represent my own and
not those of my employer.

Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling [Music][Blog][Facebook][Twitter][Youtube] bass/drum duo based on The Prisoner
The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library [Music][Blog][Facebook][Twitter][Youtube] Indie ensemble
Darling Pet Munkee [Music][Blog][Facebook][Youtube] garage/surf songs about items sold in comics
Space Balloons [Music][Blog][Facebook][Twitter][Youtube] Children's space-traveler music
The Motion Sick [Music][Press][Blog][Facebook][Twitter][Youtube] Indie rock with emphasis on song

Neutral Uke Hotel
[Facebook][Blog][Twitter][Youtube] Uke based Neutral Milk Hotel sing-a-long


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Evil Stew's "Planchette" won "Outstanding Original Song" and "Outstanding Sound Design" at the Boston Indie Mafia Wicked Film Challenge

"Planchette" still
Sophia and Michael took part in Evil Stew's Wicked Film Challenge entry, "Planchette"

The world premiere was at:
Wicked Film Challenge Premiere, by Boston Indie Mafia
Arts at the Armory
Saturday, June 27, 2015 from 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM (EDT)
Somerville, MA

Facebook | Twitter | WWW | IMDB

"Planchette" won "Outstanding Original Song" for The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library's "The Procession" and "Outstanding Sound Design"



Check out Boston Indie Mafia's profile on our team and a review on (re)Search My Trash! Also, check out an interview with Pete on (re)Search My Trash!

"Planchette" was written and directed by Pete Yagmin. The film stars Sophia Cacciola, Tiffany Howcroft, Michael Oberther, and Stephen Wu. Behind the camera, the crew consisted of Pete, Cinematographers Frank Hegyi and Michael J. Epstein, Camera Operator/PA Leilani Roser and Production Assistant Michelle McElroy.

Behind the scenes of "Planchette"

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

MJEML at Harlow's in Peterborough, NH 6/26 with Hug the Dog recap!

The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library had a great time playing Harlow's Pub in Peterborough, NH. Friday, June 26th with NH's finest rock band, Hug the Dog!












We also celebrated our good friend, Seth Chatfield's birthday, you can see him in this awesome music video from Hug the Dog!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Girls in the Garage music festival June 18-20 at Lizard Lounge and Keep Safe Boston compilation

Girls in the Garage Boston Festival Three days of female fury! 
Three glorious nights celebrating the women of Boston Rock 'n' Roll!
June 18, 19 and 20 at The Lizard Lounge Cambridge - Facebook event


Ticket LINKS:
June 18: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1635407
June 19: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1635427
June 20: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1635519 
Bundle Link: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1635399 
Prices: $12 advance, $15 DOS, $30 for all three nights

June 18
8:00 Reindeer (feat. members of Scarce and The Swirlies)
8:45 Corolla Deville
9:30 Thrust Club
 10:15 The Other Bettys (feat. members of Apple Betty)
11:00 The Knock Ups
11:45 Band Without Hands

June 19
8:00 Stars Like Ours (feat. Michelle Paulhus and Kristen Edmonston)
8:45 The Black Souls
9:30 The Charms
10:15 Petty Morals
11:00 The Evil Streaks
11:45 The Dents

June 20
8:00 Cujo (feat. Jen Trynin)
8:45 Drab 
9:30 Axemunkee
10:15 Andrea Gillis Band
11:00 The Downbeat 5
11:45 The Other Girls

Saturday, drab has some new songs and Sophia will be singing some Bring Us Your Women songs with Axemunkee!!!

We're also celebrating the second installment of Keep Safe Boston!
Keep Safe Boston 2015 digital compilation for Respond Inc.- Working to End Domestic Violence. 55 songs from Boston and New England artists. Donate and download at http://keepsafeboston.bandcamp.com.

Los Locos Dientes: our 48-Hour Film Project 2015 Boston wins the Retro 48 Award!

We enjoyed being part of the Best of the 48HFP Boston this year and getting a few nominations and an award! We were nominated for Best Music, Best Ensemble Cast, and Best Ending (didn't get a photo of that screen) and we won the Retro 48 award!

We won a special retro award for using all of the previous
characters, props, and lines









This was year four of The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library participating in the 48 Hour Film Project! The latest addition to our Los Locos trilogy is Los Locos Dientes! You can read our recaps and watch our films from 2012 - Los Locos Manos and 2013 - El Loco Ojo - and 2014 - La Loca Boca!

We got a late start this year since several bandmembers had other engagements on Friday evening so we basically ended up doing the 32-hr film project. Lisa Battiston went to kick-off Friday night to pick up our genre and we ended up with Dark Comedy. The required elements were Shawn Middleton, ice, and the line, "It's the Future."


We met up earlyish on Saturday morning with no ideas, no location, and down a few people from previous years (Susannah, notably, was at her bachelorette party; Catherine was unable to participate, and Jane's husband, John had to stay home with a sick baby - who definitely would have been a vampire baby if she were feeling better!) We came up with a few ideas (pictured) and quickly broke for brunch. Ha.

list of ideas photo by Lisa Battiston
getting brunch totally counts as script-writing!
For whatever reason, Sophia kept mentioning vampires with toothaches and Dan St. Germain (his second year on team MJEML) offered to call his father to see if we could use his dental practice as our set for the day. This was an amazing development! In all previous years, we had shot at our home, often constructing insane sets out of tinfoil and duct tape, so it was pretty exciting to have a real location that already looked how it needed to look! The only downside was that it was an hour away, but it was so worth it!

instagram by Rachel Leah Blumenthal...in the chair!

instagram by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

We got to the location around 4 PM and shooting moved pretty quickly once we were there. We spent a lot of time on the waiting room scenes, making the experience of accidentally visiting a dentistry for vampires as awkward as possible for our Shawn Middleton (played by Dan.) We also, as has become our way, included all of the previous years' props/lines/characters. We shot until 11:30 PM and made our way back to Somerville to edit and write songs!

recurring themes...the painting strikes again


Once we got back, we had to quickly shoot some bedroom scenes with Dan and then ordered 2 AM desperation Dominos pizzas, which we all agreed were marginally better than we expected them to be. Dan set into editing the film (and only lost his entire session once when Premiere crashed) and Michael, Lisa, Rachel, and Sophia set about to write the perfect vampire dentist waiting room AM radio adult contemporary soft-rock song, "Undying Undead Love." Rachel wrote/performed the main music piano part, while we all collaborated on the ridiculous lyrics.

writing "Undying Undead Love"
Rachel and Lisa departed around 4 AM, while Dan stayed until 5:30 AM editing. Michael and Sophia got a quick few hours of sleep and then got up the next day to do the sound design and coloring. 

Sound design included some foley work (scraping dental tools together, writing on paper), some use of stock sounds of drilling, and a little ADR (fixing up one of Sophia's lines, and adding the phone computer voice). By 6 PM, Michael was off to turn in the finished film! 



Screencaps:



A Playlist of a bunch of the Boston films this year.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Magnetic at Gen Con Film Festival - 8/1/15 - Sophia and Michael on several film panels



Magnetic at Gen Con!

Saturday, August 1st, 1:00PM
Westin Grand Ballroom IV
 Gen Con Film Festival
Indianapolis, IN

Sophia and Michael are also participating in some filmmaking panels while at Gen Con!

Sophia:
Film Pre-Production - Panel Thurs 11AM
Female Filmmakers - Panel Sat Noon

Michael:
Scriptwriting - Panel Thurs 2PM


Our film, "For the love of metamorphosis..." will be included as part of the SCATV Community Vault Screening June 20th 3 PM Davis Square Theatre

Local videos, including our, "For the love of metamorphosis..." celebrated at Community Vault!

Tickets: http://communityvault.weebly.com/tickets.html

Somerville Neighborhood News Story


With media production technologies changing rapidly, our community is overdue for a retrospective of the productions and visions created and expressed locally over the years. Get your Community Vault Tickets today!

Community Vault will showcase archived programs alongside contemporary media work and will create a dialogue between the past and the present, asking “What has changed?” and “What has stayed the same?”. We envision surprising and revealing juxtapositions in screening the past beside the present.

Participating Community Media Centers that have submitted to both the ARCHIVE and CONTEMPORARY categories include Northampton Community Television, Cambridge Community Television, Somerville Community Access Television, Ashland Community Television, Easton Community Television, Stoughton Community Television as well as submissions from local filmmakers. Works may be screened either in full or in excerpt depending on length.

This event has been organized by the Community Vault Program Committee which includes Somerville Community Access Television staff member, Erica Jones, and filmmakers (and SCATV members) Emily Falcigno, Bryan Mckeon and Amanda Wild.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

We are stealing energy from the sun! Updated: 643 days of data from our solar-panel system.

(This is not my main reason for writing this, but first of all, if you're interested in looking at the possibility of adding leased solar panels to your home and wish to check out Sungevity, the company we went with, please use this referral link, as it gets both of us some money: http://www.sungevity.com/get-your-iquote?referral-code=387839 (June is a double discount of $1000 for referred customers - i.e., anyone who signs up gets $1000 off the installation) - There are also other great companies, so definitely look around!)

My reason for writing this is to encourage people to look into getting solar-panel installations to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and increase our use of renewable energy, which is just waiting to be taken!


The numbers:
Our no-money-down lease costs $2.40 per day
NStar average price over this time: $0.2006 per kWh 
Our average generation: 13.81181493 kWh / day
Solar value / day: $2.765
Current net: +$0.36 / day
Total Generation: 8880.997 kWh (very close to 75% of our total energy use) = $1781.52 worth of energy


Analysis: Our plan with leasing was that we would likely lose small amounts of money on the lease for up to 5 years. The lease stays fixed, but energy costs are guaranteed (I would argue anyway) to go up. Inflation alone is guaranteed to raise costs. Our generation efficiency is also expected to decline a little, but not as much as costs are projected to go up. This is really surprising that we've done this well already.

Example of a normal "pretty good" month (March 2014)
[Our record month was May 2015 at 727.49kWh]





Solar System Details*
System Size (STC-DC)4.9 kW
System Size (CEC-AC)4.168 kW
Number of Solar Panels20 modules
Panel Dimensions39.1" x 65.0"
Estimated First Year Production4,724 kWh
Roof Details
Roof Pitch42°
Roof Azimuth149°
Annual Shading74%
Sungevity also currently has a generous referral program. If we get people to sign up, we get money. So far, we've already earned $3500 ($3000 cash + $500 Lowes gift card) via this program. By those numbers, if we continue to generate exactly as above, we've already ended up in the positive on the lease (and as I said, I expect we will do much better as years go on - this is actually much better than I would have originally projected). I'm not going door-to-door asking people to sign up or anything, but it's frankly a good, very-low-risk deal I think - why we signed up! So, I certainly would encourage people to check it out. Our link: http://www.sungevity.com/get-your-iquote?referral-code=387839


WHY SOLAR?

In 6th grade, we had a class project that required us to make solar collectors that could store as much heat as possible. We would measure the temperature inside our collectors before and after they spent an hour outside in the sun. We all devised various crazy schemes ranging from painting the cases black to building giant tinfoil reflector dishes to filling our collectors with water or other high-specific-heat materials. It got me really interested in the whole science of using the energy that already surrounds us instead of burning fossil fuels. I waited patiently for 20+ years before home solar collection started to really become financially viable. With state rebates and federal rebates, I got excited to make it happen at our house and we started saving money. Just when we had about enough money to get panels installed, we hit an artistic crossroads. We decided we wanted to make our first feature film, TEN, and we needed to use the money we had saved to make it possible. So, we gave up our solar dream (TEMPORARILY!) and spent all our money making a movie.

A few months pass and I hear about a wave of opportunities to lease solar panels instead of buying them. It turns out that it does reduce your savings/earnings from solar significantly, but it allows the installtion of solar panels with no money down and a fixed-cost monthly lease. We talked to Sungevity, and I worked through the numbers and they looked pretty good for us. We probably wouldn't make a financial killing on the whole thing, but we looked to make a little bit of money over the course of the 20-year lease and their minimum-production guarantees were good enough that even if we somehow never produced any energy, we wouldn't lose very much money.

Here's the timeline of the whole installation, which was a relatively painless process:

I put in for a quote on May 9th. I had a phone consultation on May 15th. After speaking with some people and exploring some other numbers, I signed on May 17th. On May 29th, Boston Solar (contracted by Sungevity) made a first home visit to take photos of our roof, the interior, the electric system, etc. On June 17th, the design plan was complete and ready to submit for permitting. July 9th, I was notified that the City of Somerville provided a permit for the installation. July 15th, the workers came and spent all day installing all the panels (I think it was about 95 degrees that day - ouch!). July 30th, the first inspector came (I think maybe a building inspector?) and then the installers returned to finish something related to electric sometime in there (I can't recall the date). August 5th, the electrical inspector came. I was notified that the installation passed inspection on August 7th. The utility came and upgraded their meters to fit with the system sometime in the next few weeks. They didn't tell us, they just did it. On August 24th, I was given permission to flip the system on, which I did myself. It was kind of fun to get to actually turn the thing on, even if it was just moving two clearly labeled switches from off to on.

I was pretty happy with the ease of the experience. I know there are now multiple companies doing this same thing and I certainly can't give you comparison info, but I encourage everyone to look into solar leasing. It would be great to get our energy generation up and with no-money-down options, it's definitely worth exploring, even if you don't have any money to invest into such a project!

Below is the report from our first week (a little more than a week for the non-graph reports). It's quite interesting to see how big the difference is between a sunny day and a bleak, cloud-covered rainy day.





My hopes with this, regardless of how much it benefits us financially, is that we can work toward generating as much electricity as we use. This also means thinking of ways to cut usage!

We've already switched all of our household lights to ThetaLux LED lights and I hope we take opportunities to further reduce our consumption. Now, if only we could find a way to make our own natural gas (not like that)!



Wednesday, June 3, 2015

DNFMOMD at Glitterotica 2 on June 5th at Oberon!

Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling is very excited to be opening up Glitterotica 2: Revenge of the Glitter at Oberon in Harvard Square on June 5th. Doors at 7:30PM we play promptly at 8PM. We'll be joined on drums by Tamora Gooding! Tickets!



In a glitter infused cornucopia of awesomeness, Kristy McGarr presents Glitterotica 2. Come join us for one night only at the sparkliest variety show spectacular around! We will be celebrating a multitude of local performing artists all encompassed into a giant ball of fantastic glitter explosions!

Performers include some of the finest in their respective artistries and hosted by the one and only naughty comedienne;

Niki Luparelli

Burlesque, Dance, and Drag

Honey Pie
Jane Doe
Maggie Maraschino
Allix Mortis
Fem Bones
Porcelain Dalya
Butch Sassidy
Dinah Deville
Femme Brulée
Lotta Sassafrass
Brandy Wine
Lilith Beest

Live Music

-Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling
-Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys

Spoken Word

-Jade Sylvan
-Kristen Schaer

Live Drawings

Zombie Romance

Fantasmicly delicious custom cocktails designed by Ryan Jones will also be available to buy at the bar for shiny happy 21+ people

Glitterwear is highly recommended! Even if you’re not planning on wearing any to the show, please plan on wearing it home… “Glitter is inevitable!”

SPARKLE CONTEST: Come wearing your sparkliest attire and you could win tickets of your very own to the one and only OLD SCHOOL GAME SHOW!!

Vending By: Holy Crow
Leather Pixie
- Various permformers
merch also available
for sale

Stage Mgmt: Kay Coughlin
Videography: Joe Sherry
Photography: Jon Beckley


Tix
Standing $15
Stool $20
Table $25
VIP $30

Get your tix here before they sell out!!

http://americanrepertorytheater.org/events/show/glitterotica-2-revenge-glitter

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

TEN is a staff pick at Big Star movies and is now available for streaming to Big Star subscribers

TEN is now available for streaming by Big Star Movies Subscribers! (Also available on other platforms: http://tenthemovie.com/seeten.html )

Their review ( http://www.bigstar.tv/blog/2015/05/29/todays-new-release-ten/ ):
"...If you are a die-hard, grindhouse, blood and gore fanatic, this film will be right up your dark alley, trust me! The women begin dropping off one by one in true haunted house style. There is an unforgettable creepiness that may haunt me for weeks to come as everything is centered around the symbolic pig, Yes viewers, I am talking about pig heads, pig charms, porcelain pigs and even pig songs! Sound freaky enough for some of you? Well then, “Ten” is the Friday horror for tonight!"



Sophia and Michael were interviewed extensively about the approach to writing and producing TEN at (re)Search My Trash


We really like doing long interviews that allow us the space to talk about our ideas and goals in creative pursuits. This interview with (re)Search My Trash is a really nice full discussion of the ideas in TEN. Check it out if you'd like to know more about how we jump right off the conceptual cliff...


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The cast of TEN - Where are they now? Molly Devon as the real-estate investor

Molly Devon
Now that TEN is out in the world, we wanted to check in with our cast and crew to see what they've been doing since we finished shooting TEN

1. Looking back, what was your favorite part about making TEN?

Literally going to an old mansion with a group of artists I had never met was spectacularly exciting. We all believed in this lil’ old crazy horror movie from the start. I feel like this experience was an artistic cocoon for each of us, or at least for myself. During this experience, I was able to discover myself as an actor (what works, what doesn’t, go past my limits, learn from the others, etc.) and felt like I emerged as a butterfly - a blood-covered, scream-queen-in-training, actor butterfly.

2. What was the most difficult part about making TEN?


It was my 1st film, so I’d have to say everything! But that’s what made it so exciting. I got to learn the ropes with a cast of super talented artists in the same boat as me. Getting all the fake blood off was pretty difficult. Honestly...maybe the lack of sleep was the hardest part. By the interrogation scene, I felt like the line between reality and the TEN universe started to blur. The cast was having sleep-deprived breakdowns on a regular basis! It furthered the bonding experience because we were all there to support each other during those moments. Mike and Sophia were great at wrangling together a sleep deprived cast for each take, I must say.

3. Did you expect the movie to turn out like it did?

I had no idea what to expect, and I must say that this has surpassed my expectation. Despite the specific audience TEN appeals to, it seems to have reached an unexpected, wider demographic. It was so kick ass to see everyone’s performance and finally hear Catherine’s amazing score. The fan base was spectacular. Besides actually seeing the movie at its premiere, meeting all the supporters and fans of TEN was the cherry on top of this all.


Molly Devon as the real-estate investor
4. What is your favorite scene?

Karin and Molly’s [Carlisle] scenes were always a blast to watch. Karin’s such a skilled actor and a wildcard; I never knew where she would take her character. Molly (the other Molly ;) ) had me in stitches. I’m glad we didn’t have a lot of scenes together because I don’t think I could have kept a straight face. My favorite scene to act in was anything with Jade. I learned so much from Jade during our scenes together and they really pushed me as an actor.  I think we had this unexpected, great acting chemistry. We had met for tea on a roof in Boston before shooting to see how we vibed and the dynamic couldn’t have worked out more perfectly!


5. What do you think about TEN receiving national distribution?

TEN RECEIVED NATIONAL DISTRIBUTION?! *faints*

I am SO proud of everyone. I’ve been posting non stop on Twitter and Facebook about it.

6. Tell us about what you've been doing since we shot TEN back in December 2012.

I’ll be studying at Stella Adler’s Acting Conservatory this summer in Manhattan while I look for acting representation. I just graduated college as well and can’t wait to devote all my time to acting now. I’ve continued doing films...horrors of course - been killed 3 times! I’ve also done background work on Woody Allen’s An Irrational Man and Johnny Depp’s Black Mass. It’s been a neverending quest to receive my SAG card and have gotten frustratingly close a number of times. I was also on a documentary series called Generation Cryo for Viacom on MTV. It was a great experience. I got to bond with my half siblings, some of whom I probably wouldn’t have been able to meet otherwise, and met a lot of wonderful people. I hope it did some good in exposing the lack of laws/regulation in the growing donor industry. I also run my own photorealistic portrait/illustration business that helps bring in some income on the side for acting. I’m taking commissions all summer!

7. Where can we keep up with what you're doing?
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mollydactress
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mollydactress
Instragram: https://instagram.com/mollydactress/ - For art: https://instagram.com/mollyc_art
Backstage: https://www.backstage.com/mollydevon/
IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5438376/

Websites for acting and the art business are in the works. I’ll keep you updated!

Thanks to all the supporters and fans of TEN! You all have been wonderful :)


We'll have more TEN interviews coming up over the next few days. Until then, you can see TEN!

Magnetic at Sanford International Film Festival 5/29, Maine - won Best Music and Score!

We're excited to be heading back to the Sanford International Film Festival with Magnetic! TEN played there last year and we had such a lovely time at this community-driven fest. Sophia plans to be in attendance at the screening!

Magnetic won Best Music and Score!

It was also nominated for: Best Feature, Best Editing, and Exceptional Acting!


Friday, May 29th  - Smitty's Cinema


Friday Schedule

Monday, May 18, 2015

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library played Somerville Porchfest 2015!

The Michael J Epstein Memorial Library. #somerville #porchfest

Photo of Porcfhest 2012 by Ryan Evans 
The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library played at Somerville Porchfest 2015!

Later in the evening (we're on around 10:45 PM), we'll be playing the Porchfest afterparty at Cuisine en Locale. They've got music all day there with the afterparty starting at 6 PM.

We were also one of ten bands to check out at Porchfest via WBUR's Artery and got a mention in Boston Magazine's coverage of the event!


We also raised $200 for Nepal through donations and CD sales!



Check out these rad photos by Johnny Anguish / Daykamp Music of our 2013 Porchfest performance!



We also participated in 2012, performing during the middle of our 48 Hour Film Project shoot weekend. (Some video by Bob Colby - 1, 2)