Sophia Cacciola

Launch Over: Cacciola/Epstein Productions

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Sophia and Michael are Somerville, MA based filmmakers, musicians, and writers

Films: Blood of the Tribades, TEN, Magnetic

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
Night Kisses, Darling Pet Munkee, Space Balloons, The Motion Sick

Michael J. Epstein

Opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sophia and Michael video interviews by Fallon's Daily Toast, SaGaTalk, and Indie Rising!

We've recently had the great chance to do a string of interviews about our film and music endeavors. If you want to know more about what makes us tick and what we're ticking about, here you go!

And check out: Fallon's Daily Toast, SaGa Talk, and Indie Rising!

SaGaTalk - S1.Ep3 - Cacciola Epstein Productions from Sari Gagnon on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein for Joint Overlord of Planet Earth as we battle Vermin Supreme and Captain Titus!

Our enemy, the clown
There are a lot of small minds fighting for the tiny, meaningless position of President of the United States. Witchworks Films has been documented a much more important battle - the battle for Overlord of Planet Earth.

You can learn more about all of the candidates:

And here is our campaign:

We battle:

The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library's "Amylee" on CBS's Player Style Files with Bronson Arroyo

The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library song "Amylee" appears in the background of CBS's Player Style Files with Bronson Arroyo at 3:42.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Sophia and Michael's 2015 in Review!

poster created by kristilyn-zombie romance

Blood of the Tribades

2015 was the year of vampires! We spent much of the second half of the year shooting and doing pre-and-post production on our third feature film, Blood of the Tribades. Shot over 10 days, it tells the story of a future-past vampire society at a precipice. The film stars over 30 amazing (mostly) New England based artists and weirdos (cast bios). Blood of the Tribades production blogs (many photos!)

photo on set of Tribades by Rachel Leah Blumenthal


2015 was also a very good year for Magnetic, which had a great festival run (and even won some awards) and got a write-up in SCI FI Magazine!

Boston Underground Film Festival 2015 (Boston, MA) - World Premiere
Motor City Nightmares Film Festival 2015 (Novi, MI) - Winner Best Sci-Fi Feature
Sanford International Film Festival 2015 (Sanford, ME) - Winner Best Music and Score (Also Nominated for Best Feature, Best Editing, and Exceptional Acting)
Horror Hotel 2015 (Cleveland, OH) - Winner Runner-up Best Sci-Fi
GEN-CON 2015 (Indianapolis, IN) - hear a female filmmakers panel Sophia was on at GEN-CON!
Fantasmagorical 2015 (Louisville, KY) - Winner Best Soundtrack and Honorable Mention: Sci-Fi Feature
From the Beyond 2015 (Chicago, IL) - Winner Best Feature
Indie Gathering International Film Fest 2015 (Hudson, OH) - Winner 2nd Place Sci-Fi Feature
Galactic Film Festival 2015 (Los Angeles, CA) - Nominated Best Screenplay
Imaginarium 2015 (Louisville, KY) - Winner Best Direction, Runner-up Best Genre Feature, Runner-up Best Plot Development, Runner-up Best Character Development
Terror Film Festival 2015 / Claw Awards 2015 - Winner Best Special Effects, Nominated Best Feature, Nominated Best Director
Another Hole in the Head 2015 (San Francisco, CA)

Magnetic has also been picked up for distribution! Devolver Digital Films will be handling Video-on-Demand (VOD) and Wild Eye Releasing will be handling DVDs and cable television. No dates yet, but we are guessing that the digital release will roll out to most platforms over the next few months with DVDs arriving around Summer!


TEN, our first feature, was widely-released this year via BrinkVision (you can even get a combo book-DVD deal here!). It's available on many platforms (including AmazonPrime, GooglePlay, Vimeo and more!). We also released a behind-the-scenes feature on the making of TEN - which might be interesting to those of you who like insanity and/or low-budget filmmaking! We did some interviews with the cast of TEN to find out where they all were three years later!

Talking About Ourselves

We talked to (re)search my trash about making TEN, and we revealed many secrets to All Things Horror's Film Thrills podcast and Michael did a panel at Somerville Cable Access Television with Jonathan Case about indie filmmaking.

Short Films

The MFA commissioned us to do a short film about love for a special show in February - we came up with "For the Love of Metamorphosis" - a 'would you love me if...' question and answer film. It definitely goes some places!

The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library also participated in the Boston 48-Hr Film Project (for the third time) this year, and even made it to the best-of screening with a harrowing film about a visit to the vampire dentist! MJEML was also named Best Alternative Rock Band in Boston by Itcher and once again served as the house band for The Encyclopedia Show Somerville!

Bring Us Your Women

We were very heavily involved in organizing (an produced several music videos for) Catherine Capozzi's large-scale multimedia project that explored the roles of women throughout history and mythology called Bring Us Your Women. The project included a DVD of videos by a dozen directors and an insane live show.  Michael and Sophia each sang on a number of songs as well. We helped produce the movie, which is now also available for purchase! More info here.

Bring Us Your Women from Launch Over - Cacciola / Epstein on Vimeo.

Work on Other People's Films

FAT and It's Not Funny Anymore

FAT was released! Sophia had a small role opposite Mel Rodriguez a few years ago and the film is finally available! Hulu used her scene as a teaser for the film!
 We also spent a bunch of days this year doing sound on Mark Phinney's follow-up to FAT, It's Not Funny Anymore!


Sophia had a role in and Michael did camera/sound on Pete Yagmin's film, Planchette!

Innsmouth and Invisible Friend

Innsmouth dead body
Sophia played a dead body and Michael did sound on Izzy Lee's Innsmouth starring Tristan Risk and Diana Porter.

Innsmouth Teaser from Izzy Lee on Vimeo.
We also did sound and camera on Izzy's film, Invisible Friend - watch here.

Invisible Friend from Izzy Lee on Vimeo.

We did some crew work on Izzy's film, A Favor as well.
A FAVOR - Teaser from Izzy Lee on Vimeo.


We did camera/sound/editing on Porcelain Dalya's directorial debut, ONE.

"One" from Launch Over - Cacciola / Epstein on Vimeo.


Sophia spent all of October working as Assistant Camera 2 on Hedgehog, starring Madeline Brewer (Orange is the New Black, Hemlock Grove) and Ann Dowd (The Leftovers).

Michael and Sophia also worked on a few projects with Ungovernable Films (The Ungovernable Force and Gay Jesus) and Sleight of Hand Films (Are You Coming or What?).

The Women of Rock Oral History Project for the Smith College Archives

Sophia with Donita Sparks

Sophia, Jason, Tanya and Alice Bag 
Sophia got to go to Los Angeles to do sound/camera on two interviews (Alice Bag of The Bags and Donita Sparks of L7!) for Tanya Pearson's Women of Rock Oral History Project.


Sophia starred in Aloud's music video for "A Little Bit Low"


Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling 

DNFMOMD with Lydia Lunch
DNFMOMD had a bunch of awesome gigs this year which included opening for Lydia Lunch's Retrovirus and opening a string of East Coast Alice Bag shows!


Drab got to be Alice Bag's backing band (including Sophia on bass!) for three shows (one of which we were joined by June from Fanny!!)

Alice Bag, Tanya, Hason, June Millington, Mora Precarious, Sophia

We also had the honor of playing the Boston-rite-of-passage tradition, the Rock 'n' Roll Rumble!

Other Stuff

We continued to occasionally host On the Town with Mikey Dee, to help out on the Steve Katsos Show (Sophia on camera and Michael as Film/Actor Producer and IMDB master), and we continued stealing energy from the sun. Michael was also interviewed by Boston magazine about the science of film scoring.

Looking to 2016...
We are excited about bringing Blood of the Tribades to festivals, seeing Magnetic released, and starting work on our fourth film, Albatross. We also plan to finally finish some in-progress recordings for several music projects! We both continue to be excited about working on films in numerous capacities and look forward to doing more acting work this year (so hit us up for that if you'd like!).

2015's Happy New Year card!

Past reviews

2014 Review
2013 Review
2012 Review
2011 Review

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

FAT movie released!

FAT movie, starring Mel Rodriguez (Better Call Saul, Getting On, The Last Man on Earth, etcetera) is released today on iTunes, Hulu, and Amazon!

Directed by Mark Phinney, FAT tells the story of Ken won't change his ways. Addicted to food, Ken is in bad health, and is headed to an early grave. Despite getting help and advice from his friends and doctors, he does what he wants, when he wants, until a chance encounter with love that might just give him the motivation he needs to save himself.

The movie also features a goldmine of local Boston music and score by the awesome Mel Lederman.

 I am very excited that I got to be featured in a scene with Mel - Hulu chose it as a preview clip!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Friday Night Films' Idioms Origins Volume 1 Trailer - MJE cameo

I had the pleasure of making a small appearance in this Friday Night Films (YouTube channel) project as the manager of The Store and the guy in the ads for "Get Abs in 30 days" (and others)! The workout regimen to prepare for the film was very difficult, but you can see, from my brief appearance in this trailer, that it paid off!

Check out Friday Night Films' previous hit, "Manicorn" as well!!!

Evil Stew's "Planchette" Teaser / Poster / T-Shirt [short film won "Outstanding Original Song" and "Outstanding Sound Design" at the Boston Indie Mafia Wicked Film Challenge]

About the production:

"Planchette" still
The world premiere was at:
Saturday, June 27, 2015 from 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM (EDT)

Facebook | Twitter | WWW | IMDB

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

Here we discuss the film:

"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"

Friday, October 30, 2015

Bring Us Your Women: Kali (content advisory: implied assault)

In February, Catherine Capozzi and friends (including us) presented a live performance, album, and film anthology called Bring Us Your Women. Once a month, for 14 months, we will be releasing a film from the anthology each month. If you'd like to see the film in its entirety and support the project, you can stream it or buy VOD on Vimeo, Amazon, or buy it on DVD. You can also purchase the album digitally or on CD.
Filmmaker: Céline Fernbach
Song written by:  Catherine Capozzi, Christine Zufferey

Bring Us Your Women
from Launch Over - Cacciola / Epstein on Vimeo.

See all of the currently released Bring Us Your Women films!

Michael J. Epstein interviewed by Boston Magazine on the science of scary sounds!

 “You could probably write software that lets you pick the level of tension for a certain scene, and it would score it for you,” he says. “In a purely functional way, I’m not even convinced humans could do it better.”

I talk with Boston Magazine about the science of scary sounds!

This story was picked up after I gave a talk to NUSound, the Northeastern University chapter of the Acoustical Society of America on October 19th.

There is no recording of the talk, but you can take a look at some of the examples from it. I focused a bit on musical intervals and then some other psychological elements. Without the talk part, there is little context for these examples, but...

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Watch Video of SCATV's Potluck & Lecture Series presents: How To Survive As An Independent Filmmaker with Michael J. Epstein and Jonathan Case 10/15/15

I am quite excited to have been invited to talk at SCATV's potluck series! I'll talk a bit about how we've navigated indie filmmaking for the past few years. I am very pleased to be joined by the excellent Jonathan Case. He's one of my favorite Boston-area filmmakers and I've included some his work below to check out.

SCATV's Potluck and Lecture Series presents: How To Survive As An Independent Filmmaker with guests Michael J. Epstein and Jonathan Case. **SPACE IS LIMITED to 50 people, RSVP to Erica Jones at to secure your spot!**

In the spirit of collaboration and community, please join us for our next Potluck and Lecture Series on Thursday, October 15th at 7 PM. It is free and open to the general public.

We will meet and hear from local filmmakers, Michael J. Epstein and Jonathan Case about the importance of networking, collaborations and social media in the filmmaking business.

Bring a dish to share if you can. Come on by for the food and filmmaker fellowship. We hope you can make it and please spread the event information to your network!

Some of Jonathan Case's work:

Phaneron from jrgcase on Vimeo.

Bleak Moments from jrgcase on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

What is it like making a low-budget film? We'll show you! A Trip to Spektor Island: Behind-the-Scenes of TEN

We are regularly asked what it's like to be on the set of one of our movies. Well, if that's the sort of thing you want to know, you're in luck! We took 60+ hours of behind-the-scenes footage from the making of TEN and butchered it down to a 2-hour tale of suffering and magic...or something! It's a pretty honest portrayal of the challenges of filmmaking, and it pretty plainly reveals us grappling with the hurdles of getting through our first feature. We had learned a lot by watching these sorts of behind-the-scenes docs and interviews and wanted, for the benefit of other headed down this path, to make something that really shared an honest look at our experience.You can also read our production blog.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Principal Photography on Blood of the Tribades is wrapped!

photo by Céline Fernbach
We're excited to announce that we have wrapped principal photography! All of our main shooting days with the cast are complete. We've sorted and logged all of the footage and we're very excited about how it all is turning out so far.

We had a small cast on the last day of shooting, but here's how they reacted to the wrap!

More behind-the-scenes video to come!

Check out our production diary for more on the fun we had making this thing