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][Press][Blog][Facebook][Twitter][Youtube] bass/drum duo based on The Prisoner
The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library [Music][Press][Blog][Facebook][Twitter][Youtube] Indie ensemble
Darling Pet Munkee [Music][Press][Blog][Facebook][Youtube] garage/surf songs about items sold in comics
Space Balloons [Music][Press][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
[Press][Facebook][Blog][Twitter][Youtube] Uke based Neutral Milk Hotel sing-a-long


Friday, April 18, 2014

Sophia & Michael on The Rob Potylo Entertainment System on WEMF today 4:30PM!



We're super-excited to join Rob Potylo on his new radio show, The Rob Potylo Entertainment System on the brand-new radio station WEMFRadio today 4/18/14 at 5PM! It's an internet station so power up your laptop! We're going to play a couple of songs and chat with Rob about all of our insanity.

CLICK THIS LINK TO LISTEN!

http://wemfradio.com

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

FAT the Film at Independent Film Festival Boston 4/25/14

FAT is an independent, locally produced film with a rocking soundtrack that also boasts all Boston-local bands. FAT premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and it makes its Boston premiere at Independent Film Festival Boston!

"Powered by an utterly fearless, tour-de-force performance by Mel Rodriguez, FAT is a bracingly personal inventory of the indignities of battling obesity. Making his feature directorial debut, comedian Mark Phinney has adapted a series of autobiographical essays into an unflinching portrait of a life consumed by a compulsive and tragically self-destructive relationship with food. Often deeply discomfiting, FAT is also darkly funny, and above all, a film of remarkable emotional honesty.

Given modern-day society’s obsession with body image, the rapidly growing prevalence of obesity is ironic and telling. Yet it’s all too rare to see authentic cinematic portrayals of “living large.” Employing a raw, pseudo-documentary aesthetic and the soul-baring performance from Rodriguez, Phinney has tapped into his own painful experiences to redress that deficiency. FAT relates its protagonist’s struggle with resonant candor by offering insight into the workings of one’s man’s wounded heart." - TIFF

Support Boston independent cinema and buy your tickets now:

April 25th, 9:45PM
The Brattle Theatre, Cambridge MA
Tickets



behind the scenes photo
from the set!

Sophia appears in the film as Gina in a small speaking role in the film appearing opposite Mel Rodriguez as Ken.

Ken is a man that won't change his ways. Addicted to food, and bad health in general, he is headed on a one way path to an early grave. Despite help from his friends, he does what he wants, until a chance encounter that might just give him the motivation he needs. Fat is a funny, and dramatic look at food addiction. It is an unflinching story based on Mark Phinney's own experiences and writings on the subject.







TRAILER:


FAT Trailer from Michael Gill on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Bubbles in the Think Tank radio show - 7" and Other Delights record for Record Store Day! #RSD14 Pre-orders available now!

Bubbles in the Think Tank is an awesome radio show that happens Saturday nights at 11pm on WMFO 91.5FM. This is year three of Bubbles in the Think Tank presenting a record about records for Record Store Day. The previous two years can be found here! Darling Pet Munkee is very excited to have been asked to write a song about the Mighty Tiny Record Player for this year's release! 





Get your hands on the real thing - a record about records made especially for Record Store Day. Seven inches of beautiful vinyl with a little hole in the center. Play it at 33 & 1/3 RPM so it doesn't sound too high or fast, unless you like that kind of thing.

Limited edition of 300. Order by April 10 so the record should ship in time to get to you by Record Store Day 2014 (April 19th).

Pre-order includes immediate download of 1 track in the high-quality format of your choice (MP3, FLAC, and more), plus unlimited mobile access using the free Bandcamp listening app. You'll also get the complete album the moment it’s released.
shipping out on or around 19 April 2014
edition of 300


Here's the list of who is involved: 

"Jake Jacobs of the Magicians, Bunky & Jake and Jake & the Family Jewels
Travis & Shook of Club Wow and Incredible Casuals fame
Darling Pet Munkee Garage/Surf Punk Supergroup 
Chris Ligon Clang! recording artist and Chicago songwriter
Ed “Moose” Savage the Boston legend!
and one more surprise artist that we’ll spring on you later! 
And the package…you know how we love a good package… This time around we have the fabulous Jad Fair of Half Japanese working on the cover and the virally popularDeane Arnold taking the label. "
Bubbles in the Think Tank are making an actual 7" record for this and need 50 backers and $2200 in order to make it possible to press the vinyl. Please take a look at their kickstarter and see if being a part of this fun project is for you! 

We are stealing energy from the sun! Our first 219 days of solar data... (updated 4/3/14)

(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 ) 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 lease costs $2.40 per day
NStar average price over this time: $0.191 per kWh (current rate $0.21 as of 4/2014 - varies monthly)
Our average generation for the first 219 days: 10.91 kWh / day
Solar value / day: $2.09
Current net: -$0.31 / day




Analysis: It's hard to predict what this will look like across the whole year, but some things to keep in mind. 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. Most of our time with panels has been during the worst sunlight of the year. We have seen a huge increase recently and March (see graph below) was the first month where we generated well over what we paid (generated about $100 on the $73 lease).




Sungevity also currently has a generous referral program. If we get people to sign up, we get money. So far, we've already earned $2500 ($2000 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.





One of the interesting things about how the finances work is that it's pretty complicated to figure out exactly how much you're saving/making until the utility reconciles it. If you use the energy at the time it's generated, you are going to be saving more than if you are getting paid the rate the utility must pay to have it go to the grid. It's kind of a puzzling adventure. So, I don't think I'll really know much of anything about how the finances work out until a year passes, but in the Summer, we're using about 20 kWhs of electricity (air conditioning and a dehumidifier). We use significantly less in the Winter, averaging less than 10 kWhs per day. I imagine we will produce much less during the Winter though, so perhaps it balances out. My hopes with this, regardless of how much it benefits us financially, is that we generate 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)!



MAGNETIC recap: Day 5 of shooting!

Last weekend we shuffled into the Sound Museum in Allston for a full day of shooting. And, if you're wondering, yes, drummers are playing paradiddles at 9AM on Sunday morning. ALL IS RIGHT IN MUSIC. Luckily, we weren't trying to record dialogue! We also learned that if you leave something out in the hallways it will disappear, but then if you post a sign where you left it, a very nice gentleman will return it to you. And, also if this happens, you'll end up accidentally texting him to join you for lunch at Root! Whoops! We had some amazing help on this shoot, in the form of our production assistants, Zach Pidgeon, Maggie Maraschino, and Catherine Capozzi. We shot a lot of hallway scenes and "Alice" at her job! We are super thankful to Desmond for letting us shoot at Sound Museum and KC "The Management" Hoye for letting us take over her office with our shenanigans!

just look at this hallway!

more hallway!

stairs! escape!


Kelly Davidson photo of her camera! jazz hands!

we ran out of time to shoot our wall of monitors (which were tested out on FABIO)
so that will have to live another day!

And bonus! Sophia went to visit her home planet...okay, no for real, this is a prop being built for us for a future shoot day by Ktron!

also, in case you missed it, we also shot this sweet lip-sync:


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

TEN's world premiere weekend! recap from Brooklyn Girl Film Festival and Boston Underground Film Festival!

this is serious business.
here I am pre-gaming with
a vegan donut!
This past weekend was a total whirlwind and we had the most amazing time premiering TEN at both the Brooklyn Girl Film Fest and the Boston Underground Film Festival.


Brooklyn Girl Film Fest was such an amazing experience! It was so awesome to get to see the work of so many young female film directors all in one place in an awesome and welcoming environment.



our poster in a bodega!

our poster on a pole!

our poster at Launchpad!


Look at this! We sold out advance tickets!!!

the crowd at Brooklyn Girl for TEN!

program
 Maria Aparo was the official host of Brooklyn Girl and she asked a lot of fun questions!
the Q&A with Maria Aparo

We've been going to the Boston Underground Film Festival the past few years (often showing a music video during the music video program!) but coming here to premiere our first feature was a total honor. We had an awesome time basically moving into The Brattle Theatre to enjoy the programming of the other, very weird and awesome shorts/features and we had just the most amazing experience watching our film with their audience.

yummy director's badge!

this is serious

woo!

TEN posters up in The Brattle lobby

TEN in the BUFF booklet

BUFF Q&A hosted by Kevin Monahan

a tweet showing the crowd filling in!

TEN preview up on the screen all week long!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

TEN World Premiere Weekend! 3/28 Brooklyn Girl Film Fest, 3/30 Boston Underground Film Festival




Imagine Scream crossed with The Usual Suspects...The art comes with meticulously framed shots full of color, the enjoyment with puzzling out the crazy plot twists.” - Boston Herald


“...a Clue-esque, genre-mixing murder-mystery at a haunted mansion...with enough themes and tropes to start a marching band.” - DigBoston



Premiere Screenings:
Friday, March 28, 9:30 PM - Brooklyn Girl Film Festival,  LaunchPad, 721 Franklin Ave, Brooklyn, NY - Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/brooklyn-girl-film-festival-tickets-3130319871
BGFF Boston love: check out The Audience on 3/27!
Facebook Event


Sunday, March 30, 12:30 PM - Boston Underground Film Festival, The Brattle Theatre , 40 Brattle St., Cambridge MA -  TICKETS: http://tenthemovie.com/bufftix

Our companion short at BUFF is Izzy Lee's phenomenal LEGITIMATE  (which also stars TEN's Karin Webb!) A group of women take revenge on a shady politician with gruesome results. 
BUFF Boston love: check out My Name is Jonah on 3/27!
Facebook Event


BRAND-NEW TRAILER!




More about TEN:
TEN is a post-exploitation exploration of identity starring ten women.
Ten women find themselves in a vacant mansion on Spektor Island in December, 1972. Each believes she's traveled to the house on business, but they all agree that something seems strange. For one thing, the entire house is full of pictures and statues of pigs.


poster now with laurels!
The women all come from drastically different walks of life. None of them would have chosen to spend the night together in such an eerie place, but the last ferry for the mainland has just left, and a terrible storm is rolling in. Trying to make the best of an unpleasant situation, they raid the mansion's wine cellar and throw a party. As the night creeps on, however, it becomes clear that someone--or something--has arranged to get them in the house. It's not long before someone mentions that Spektor Island is supposed to be haunted. Of course, no one in the house believes in ghosts.


At least, not until the first murder.


What do an actress, a religious zealot, a renegade, a coed, a model, a singer, a medium, a real-estate investor, a historian, and a doctor have in common? None of them is who they seem. Yet, the fate of the entire world may rest in their hands.


The all-female cast film is a response to exploitation, slasher, and thriller films, with particular focus on the kind of storytelling prominent in b-movies and genre films from the 1950s to the 1980s. It explores the meaning and fluidity of identity and takes a number of surprising turns, paying homage to filmmakers and producers such as Alfred Hitchcock, Roger Corman, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Jim Wynorski, Jean Rollin, Lloyd Kaufman, and Andy Sidaris.



The animated titles ( http://youtu.be/jJuaXkgWkfE ) were created by Dan St. Germain with music by score composer, Catherine Capozzi


Current press summary and images: http://tenthemovie.com/press.html#press

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

MAGNETIC Lip-Synching: "All the Young Dudes" by Mott the Hoople

MAGNETIC's Allix Mortis lip-syncs to Mott the Hoople's "All the Young Dudes" with a little help from Production Assistants: Maggie Maraschino, Zach Pigeon, Catherine Capozzi and co-Producer/Director, Sophia Cacciola. This song is dedicated to MAGNETIC Kickstarter supporter, James Groshon Parker



Lip-sync was shot by Kelly Davidson on the set of MAGNETIC. Find out more about MAGNETIC!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Sophia's Rock Beat: 3/22 D-Tension’s Secret Project, Parlour Bells, Streight Angular, & Sophia plays bass with DRAB




D-Tension’s Secret Project CD release party featuring The Secret Project Band.

 Aaron Perrino of The Sheila Divine:


 Ad Frank

 Jason Dunn of The Luxury

 Liz Enthusiasm of Freezepop

 Kerri Ann Richard of Apple Betty


Friday, March 14, 2014

Friends of TEN: our food sponsors on set!

TEN was very fortunate to have some help during shooting with feeding our 17 cast and crew on location for eight days!.

on the road to the set of TEN!
Snack Factory sent us huge boxes of  Pretzel Crisps - truly the best parts of the pretzel just squished together. Transporting them to set was an adventure!
Director Michael J. Epstein getting his snack on!
And, what perfect thing to combine Pretzel Crisps with but Cedar's hummus, salads, and dips!?!
Cedar's sent us these amazing coupons!

Karin Webb enjoying Pretzel Crisps
Cheeseboy sent a mid-week infusion of grilled cheese gift certificates straight to our set's door! 


And, last but certainly not least, John Doherty/Whole Foods Providence provided us with lunch two days in a row! Wraps, apples, and chips that kept us going! 
Porcelain Dalya

Leah Principe!
  
Susannah P.!

Photos by Rachel Leah Blumenthal who also arranged most of these food sponsorships. Thanks Rachel!

TEN is premiering at festivals at the end of the month! Brooklyn Girl Film Fest on 3/28 and the Boston Underground Film Festival on 3/30 - more info is linked!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sophia and Michael's 2013 in Review!

Sophia & Michael hard at work
2013 was a weird and wonderful year of many projects of the film and music variety.

Here is the past: 2012 Review - 2011 Review

Before we get started, we made a few year-End Lists/Summaries:
http://wzlx.cbslocal.com/2013/12/30/bostonemissions-favoritesoftheyear2013/

http://trainwreckdsociety.com/2014/01/

and Sophia told Trainwreckd Society what her favorite albums of 2013 were: http://trainwreckdsociety.com/2014/02/04/with-friends-like-these-or-our-favorite-albums-of-2013-exclusive/
http://bostonherald.com/entertainment/music/music_news/2013/12/make_our_best_of_2013_your_party_soundtrack


FILM
TEN - http://tenthemovie.com
Sophia and Michael with Lloyd and Toxie
TEN is just about ready to debut on the festival circuit. Early 2013 saw us finish production on TEN with a day of pickup shooting, and a visit to Troma to record Lloyd Kaufman's voice cameo for TEN

We posted many of our kickstarter rewards, including these very rewarding lipsyncs!

We also released the novelization of TEN written by Jade Sylvan!

and the TEN Soundtrack and Score by Catherine Capozzi, you can learn all about Catherine in Curve magazine!

TEN article in The Dig!
and one of our TEN stars, Molly Devon made a splash on the MTV reality show, Generation Cryo!


MAGNETIC http://magneticthemovie.com

We couldn't help ourselves and immediately began work on our second feature film, MAGNETIC! We began shooting at the very end of December - first four days shoot recap!

MUSIC

Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling had an awesome year. We released new music - our 2-song By Hook or By Crook EP was premiered by the Boston Herald.
We were very excited that USA Today premiered our "Episide 10 - Living in Harmony" music video.

And in a turn to the extremely weird, we somehow managed to convinc Sarah Rabdau to perform a cover of the song and video of Shakespears Sister's "Stay" with us (in advance of an awesome double release party at TTs!).

Sophia terrorizing Sarah


Sophia performed as part of TT's 40th anniversary and we got to play the Daykamp 10th Anniversary show!

The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library
Photo by Tony Sahadeo

Early in the year we were very pleased to welcome Johnny Blazes and Catherine Capozzi as new librarians!

We were selected as one of CBS's "best local rock bands" 

Boston Does Boston - MJEML covered Gene Dante and the Future Starlets' "A Madness to his Method" and I, Pistol covered MJEML's "Amylee"
"Amylee" also became available for play on the Rock Band Network and Double Hex did an 8-bit cover of "Amylee"

Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys covered MJEML's "Saint of Glass Worms" (inspired by the art of Walter Sickert)

We wrote a song for Kissing Oscar Wilde (recording coming 2014) the memoir by Jade Sylvan.


"The Taming of the Spy Who Loved Me" was recorded as part of the James Bond/Hamlet sendup play, "From Denmark with Love" - it is exactly as it sounds, a Bond-style song with Shakespeare influences!

We continued our run as the house band for the Encyclopedia Show Somerville - soundtrack coming in 2014!

We started a music video for "The Violinist" and we still need your help to finish it!

We got to play awesome shows, including the Fluff FestivalJP Music FestPorchfest, and opening for the play Icarus.

We made our 2nd 48 Hour Film Project film, El Loco Ojo:
48hr Film Fest - El Loco Ojo!


Space Balloons
Our very first video, "Hovercraft Full of Eels" has been released as a preview for our full TV pilot, coming in 2014

Darling Pet Munkee
DPM on the Steve Katsos Show!

DPM played on the Steve Katsos Show and we contributed a new song to the TEN soundtrack,"Hush Little Piggies!"

The Motion Sick
The Motion Sick played a reunion show!

Selected Press
11/26/13USAToday's POPCANDY premieres Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling music video for "Episode 10: Living in Harmony"
11/12/13Boston Herald premiere of Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling EP "By Hook or By Crook"
11/08/13Vanyaland premieres Sophia Cacciola/Sarah Rabdau video cover of Shakespears Sister's "Stay"
9/10/2013Trainwreck'd Society review of the TEN soundtrack
8/21/2013Dig in-depth feature on TEN - TEN-acity of Purpose
8/13/2013Boston Herald Feature on TEN
8/8/2013Tinsel Townies Feature in the Dig - Profile on co-director Michael J. Epstein
7/1/2013TEN Composer Catherine Capozzi featured in CURVE Magazine (with TEN mentions)
5/6/2013IndieWire Project of the Month Finalist
4/8/2013IndieWire Project of the Week
4/5/2013IndieWire Project of the Week Running
4/3/2013Life After Arcosanti
4/1/2013IndieWire Project of the Day
4/26/2013Cambridge Day mention
4/27/2013Interview with Comics Bulletin
3/15/2013The Athletic Nerd (mention)
3/15/2013Cambridge Day mention
3/12/2013Bloodsprayer Bloodlines
3/8/2013B-Movie Vault
3/8/2013Horror Movies and Stuff
3/5/2013That Figures
3/3/2013Scout Cambridge
3/3/2013Daily Dead Indie Spotlight
3/4/2013Cambridge Day
2/27/2013Train Wreck'd Society
2/8/2013Citywide Blackout Radio Interview




Other Projects
Wake No More puppets

Sophia and Michael helped create Porcelain's short film Wake No More, which premiered at Oberon and will soon be online.

still from "Staab"
Sophia and Michael directed and produced Endation's "Staab" music video

Sophia and Michael helped produce The Anchorite's _Not Unlike A Cage_ album

Fat - Sophia played the character Gena in the film, FAT which has just begun it's festival run!

Sophia and Michael participated in Catherine Capozzi's Bring Us Your Women!

We released an early, incomplete version of Sophia and Michael Celebrate the Holidays!

Parlour Bells video

Sophia and Michael cameoed in Parlour Bells' "Bachelor Hours" music video

Sophia as Lucy Moran

Sophia starred as Twin Peaks' Lucy in a Hallelujah the Hills music video

Sophia as a robot for Army of Toys video

Sophia cameoed in Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys' "Pornival" music video

Sophia and Michael are twins in Izzy Lee trailer, John Smith

Sophia and Michael cameoed in Izzy Lee's trailer for the fake _John Smith_

Michael wrote about Kickstarter for Performer Magazine

We got solar panels installed!

Sophia's Rock Beat for 2013 - videos of local shows!