Monday, October 12, 2009

MITO-KIDS: DOCUMENTING LIFE and TWEET to have home town premieres at the New Hampshire Film Festival

[From our friends at Hatchling Studios in Portsmouth.]

This week’s New Hampshire film festival will feature 6 films created with the support of Hatchling Studios. The documentary Mito-Kids: Documenting Life and the award winning short Tweet were directed by Marc Dole founder of Hatchling, which celebrated its tenth year in business in September.

“After ten years in business and offering many different services, we were very happy this year to be involved in so many great films that brought us back to our core skills as storytellers.” said Dole.

Mito-Kids: Documenting Life Produced by Marc & Wanda Dole and Karlina Lyons, Mito-Kids is about the struggles, triumphs and everyday life of a New Hampshire family in which four teenage sisters have grown up with disabilities that stem from mitochondrial disease, a chronic, genetic disorder that occurs when the mitochondria of the cell fail to function properly. The girls face challenges that include seizures, deafness, diabetes, immune disorders and severe learning and developmental disabilities. Yet despite these many challenges, Mito-Kids is an inspirational and relatable film about perseverance and family.

"I have always loved making and watching documentary films, I just never knew I was in the middle of my own documentary. But now that I am I hope we can bring awareness to the world about this disease." said director and father Marc Dole.

The Dole family has shot close to 100 hours of home video, beginning with the birth of their first daughter 20 years ago. The story starts before mitochondrial conditions were even a mention at medical conferences, let alone an area of genetic study. Mito-Kids follows the family through holidays and family vacations, seizures and hospital stays. Interviews with medical experts explain the role of mitochondria in producing cellular energy and reveal what happens to the human body when these cellular powerhouses fail. The incidence of mitochondrial disease is estimated at 1:3000-4000 individuals in the US and yet the disease is relatively unheard of in the public sector and poorly understood in the medical community. Mito-Kids aims to increase the understanding of mitochondrial disease and its connection to epilepsy, diabetes, ALS, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Heart Disease and many other neurological disorders.

The premiere screening of Mito-Kids will take place October 15th at 4:45 PM at The Music Hall along with the short films Cinema 93, No Good Reason and Finding Someplace Like America. A second screening is scheduled for October 18th at 2:30 PM at the Moffett Ladd House along with Ear Whacks, Cinema 93, Happy Hunting and Finding Someplace Like America.

Tweet puts a social networking spin on the classic cop genre. Tweet won best director and best film at the 2009 NH 48 hour project. Starring fellow director, Chase Bailey (Crooked Lane) as officer J.P Jones, Tweet is a short comedy about a police officer who uses social media websites like Twitter, YourTube and Facebook to catch criminals. This 48 hour test of endurance and filmmaking skill included a 15 person team who worked non-stop one weekend to make the film. Producers Wanda Dole and Karlina Lyons were joined by other Hatchlings of past and present including writer J. Zachary Pike, and graphic designers Brian Meanley and Jeremy Clough.

Tweet, winner of Best Director at the NH 48 Hour Film Project, will premiere on Thursday, October 15. The festival is open to the general public.

Four other NH films
From Producing to Editing and Visual Effects the Hatchling team has also taken part in Crooked Lane, Killing Dinner, Ear Whacks, and Drawing from Life.

“Whether it's a television commercial, or a corporate video, our daily work at Hatchling is to be storytellers.” said Dole “Working on independent films is just an extension of what we do day to day. The great thing about working on indie films is that it allows us to flex our creative muscles, and try new techniques.”

On Tweet Dole encouraged director of photography Jonathan Millman to use his Nikon D-90 digital still camera to shoot the video. “Using a DSLR camera allowed us to use prime lenses like Hollywood features to create a rich cinematic depth of field.” said Dole. It also created many other challenges because the camera was not built for shooting a movie.

On Crooked Lane the Hatchling team created a digital workflow based on the ground breaking RED One camera. The RED is a full size, high end camera used by many cutting edge filmmakers like Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings) and is quickly becoming the predominant digital camera for indie film makers. Hatchling was there on set with laptops in hand transferring the files off the camera and starting visual effects and editing hours as soon as the first scene was shot.

“The RED allowed us a completely digital workflow along with a four thousand pixel wide image so we had a lot of data to work with to create the 15 visual effects we did” said Brian Meanley who was the Visual Effects supervisor for the film.

Looking forward to 2010 and the production of the feature length documentary Mito-Kids Hatchling also has an animated short called Super Service directed by Brian Meanley in production along with supporting 4 other live action short films made by our friends in the New Hampshire Film Community.

About Hatchling

Hatchling is an award-winning interactive, animation, and content creation company located in the scenic heart of Portsmouth, NH. With clients like MTV, NBC and ESPN to brands like Reebok, Charmin, Timberland and PC Connection. Hatchling's short films include The Toll, Endurance Challenge: Mordred's Isle and Tweet

About the New Hampshire Film Festival

The New Hampshire Film Festival (NHFF) presents the best in recent independent cinema from throughout the United States and around the world to New Hampshire and New England audiences. Since its debut in 2001 as the New Hampshire Film Expo, the New Hampshire Film Festival has grown in leaps and bounds. These days, heavy hitters such as Avid and Regal Cinemas lend their sponsorship, while industry experts participate on panels and in workshops.