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Making Music and Friends

Making Music and Friends

Monday Night Music at Epiphany Space Written by Kara Christensen A pitcher of fresh lemonade is on the table. I pour myself a refreshing glass. I also snag a couple of still-warm freshly baked ginger snaps made by Cortney Matz herself. A few regulars are […]

Good News for Your Closet!

Good News for Your Closet!

*|MC_PREVIEW_TEXT|* Events coming up: SATURDAY 9/16 | 10:30am Exploring Our Creative Calling with Korey Pollard, 1st AD Nurture your soul with this creative cohort led by Creativity Catalyst. SUNDAY 9/17 | 7pm Film Appreciation Night (FAN) with Bren Smith It’s Billy Wilder month at Bren’s […]

Spotlight on Short Films at the Inaugural Salute Your Shorts Fest

Spotlight on Short Films at the Inaugural Salute Your Shorts Fest

The First-Ever Salute Your Shorts Film Festival
Written by Jake Thomas

The first annual Salute Your Shorts Film Festival took place here in LA during the last weekend of August, and one of my favorite events was the opening night mixer on Friday night at Epiphany Space. Not only was it the first opportunity for several of the filmmakers to meet our festival programmers (who had become huge fans of their work!), but it was also an opportunity for them to encourage up-and-coming film students from the Los Angeles Film Studies Center, which hosted the festival screenings. The venue was packed and the food was delicious. A number of filmmakers and actors made the journey from far away to attend.

As an event volunteer, I got to do a little of everything. Facility prep. Photography. Projectionist. Even air conditioning repairman. Being part of a festival is very much like being part of a production crew — do what needs done, and ask questions later! Fortunately, everything sailed smoothly under the command of Erin Brown Thomas (Artistic Director) and Becky Murdoch (Festival Director).

The screenings followed on Saturday. Some of my favorite films were the genre movies. One called Just, Go! is an action movie under ten minutes that’s more riveting than a Hollywood blockbuster, and the behind-the-scenes story of its star is even more incredible. Find it online when available and watch for yourself — no spoilers from me! Another great category was the experimental film category. The Ten Meter Tower is a non-traditional fly-on-the-wall movie about multiple swimmers standing at the top of a giant diving platform as each of them musters the courage to jump into the pool that lies so far, far below. Few do. Many don’t. It’s so suspenseful! Everyone is afraid of heights, so everyone can relate to these true life characters. The audience laughed with sympathy for those who retreated and cheered loudly for those who took the dive.

Not only do the shorts deserve a salute, but the programmers, the judges, the volunteers, and the audience as well. Repeatedly between screening blocks, everyone involved praised the quality of the films. The individual judges who selected the runners-up and winners in each category had a difficult job on their hands choosing winners. Each expressed as much. Emmy-winner Tony Hale (Veep, Arrested Development) deliberated long and hard before naming Derin Seale’s The Eleven O’Clock the Best Comedy. Likewise, producer Dan Lin (The LEGO Batman Movie) had fantastic animated films to judge before he named the tear-jerker Pearl as Best Animated Short.

It didn’t matter that the second day of screenings took place in an intimate theater on one of the hottest days of the year. Audience members bought all-day tickets and stayed throughout the evening into the awards ceremony. Two of the evening’s big winners were Laura Moss, writer-director of Fry Day, and Dustin Hahn, writer of the single-shot shorts Parent Teacher and The Robbery, along with writer-director Jim Cummings. Fry Day is an exceptional drama that won not only the Student Visionary Award at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this spring, but also walked away Sunday night with awards in five categories, including Best of the Fest. Parent Teacher won Best of the Web , and The Robbery walked away with the Audience Award.

I’m very excited for next year’s festival! Mark your calendars for August, 2018.
Stay tuned to the Salute Your Shorts website and Facebook page for submission information.


Jake Thomas screenwriter and show host in Los Angeles When a runaway teenager encounters a persistent newspaper reporter in the city of Metropolis, her anger towards superheroes and Superman himself explodes in full force. If he is so great and so powerful, why is the world such a horrible place? Jake Thomas wrote and directed One on One, an award-winning short film featured on dozens of blogs around the world. Jake currently works on the Warner Brothers lot while finishing his feature film and writing screenplays.


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Film Appreciation Night: September Is Billy Wilder Month

Film Appreciation Night: September Is Billy Wilder Month

Film Appreciation Night (FAN) at Epiphany Space is a time to relax, review and discuss a movie we love. As our resident script analyst, I do some research, bring insights (potentially) to the discussion, and at the very least, everyone enjoys an evening talking about […]

Film Appreciation Nights (FAN) with Bren Smith

Film Appreciation Nights (FAN) with Bren Smith

FAN Thriller/Comedy Nights in Summer Written by Bren Smith Film Appreciation Night (FAN) at Epiphany Space is a time to relax, review and discuss a movie we love. As our resident script analyst, I do some research, bring insights (potentially) to the discussion, and at […]

Note to Self: Celebrate Your Successes!

Note to Self: Celebrate Your Successes!

This may seem like a, “Well, duh” sentiment, but be honest with yourself and think about when was the last time you allowed yourself to be impressed with something you accomplished. Here’s a clue: if you mention it to other people and they say something like, “Wow, that’s incredible!” you probably should be celebrating somehow.

Epiphany Space regular Cortney Matz wrote an article for the Film Independent blog on this topic, and here are some further thoughts on the concept of success and celebration. Specifically, how – how do you celebrate a win for your creative goals? Chime in on Facebook or send us an email.

When it comes to embracing the creative journey and the process of fulfilling your life’s work, there is a certain amount of discipline involved in celebration.

First, recognize your successes.
What’s the point of achieving anything if you don’t let up for a minute and enjoy the accomplishment? When you complete the first draft of your screenplay, your project is now in a totally different place than it was before. When your principal photography is finished, you are no longer in the production phase—you’re in post. When a famous name is attached to your script, your attractiveness as an investment catapults. These are significant achievements along the way of your grand plan that must needs be recognized and honored. Do it with time, do it with money, do it with friends, do it alone. But do it on purpose.

Second, choose a celebration that is fun for YOU.
Not into big wrap parties? Have your own private Frasier marathon with a best friend and a pizza. Rather poke your eyes than go shopping? Get some friends together to play laser tag and make it rain with arcade tokens. For her last birthday, Cortney treated herself to two hours in a private practice room, playing piano and singing at the top of her lungs. We’re all different, and no two parties will be alike.

Third, don’t overdo it.
Maybe you feel you are already pretty great at this stopping-to-smell-the-roses stuff—so great, in fact, that your day is too full of celebration to have much time for anything else. I would suggest that if your play is getting in the way of work, it’s not really a celebration. In fact, you may not even be truly enjoying those distractions but rather going with a flow you’ve already allowed to take over your life. It’s the path of least resistance.

True celebration makes you want to work for it. It’s something that will only be enjoyable after a task is completed. It is inextricably tied to the thing being celebrated. And it is vital to a life well lived.

So what are we celebrating with you today? What goals are you hoping to achieve this month? Is there space in your life to celebrate when you reach them?

Enjoy this song from songwriter Ronnie Steadman, who articulates the creative dilemma of achievement:

I took the road less traveled that led me to here
And I’m not sure that it’s anywhere
Now I’m reaching, I’m grabbing – still I have this fear
That I won’t know it when I get there

Music Under the Moon 5/1

Music Under the Moon 5/1

Join us tonight for live music in our outdoor coffee shop atmosphere! Relax with a drink, a friend, and some fresh tunes from our community of singer-songwriter collaborations. Grab an instrument and join in, or simply listen and enjoy. It’s a beautiful night in Hollywood! […]

Announcing: Epiphany Space Artist Residency

Announcing: Epiphany Space Artist Residency

Writer Havilah Giannetta and visual artist Lauretta Coumarbatch, M.D., have been selected as the 2017 Artists in Residence at Epiphany Space to complete development on two projects: The Gospel According to Hobbs, Havilah’s memoir, and the Norah series exhibition of paintings depicting Lauretta’s mother. Havilah […]

When Plans Fail

When Plans Fail

Sometime between dropping by for a chat with Melissa and running the first Write-A-Thon, Cortney Matz has become a regular part of the daily rhythm of Epiphany Space. As a creative coach, Cortney is frequently connecting with our members about their projects, goals and dreams, encouraging their vision and suggesting ideas for success.

We’re not the only ones who appreciate the scope of Cortney’s practical wisdom. Film Independent – the LA-based champions of independent filmmakers around the world – hosts a monthly column Cortney writes called This is How We Do it, all about the practicalities of working in a creative industry. As a counterpoint to David Allen’s Getting Things Done, Cortney is about getting things MADE.

Check out all of Cortney’s work on the FInd blog, but especially this latest one on Planning, in which she explores the common conundrum that we all make plans, but things never seem to go according to plan:

In times like these, we do have to wonder: is it even worthwhile to make these plans? How many of us had hoped to launch that crowdfunding campaign, or picture lock that film or stamp “FINAL DRAFT” on that screenplay by now? How many times have we looked at our schedules and bank accounts and drafted up an aggressive plan of attack, only to be blindsided by emergencies of indiscriminate nature and proportion? Fill in the blank—sickness, family drama, car trouble, surprise visits from treasured out-of-towners, equipment malfunction… these “interruptions” are much more the rule than the exception.

Life doesn’t stop just because we’re making a film. So let’s plan, but leave room in our plans for the inevitable surprise. How?

Read the full story here: How to Keep Your Creativity On-Track When Life Gets in the Way

Speaking of Life and how it doesn’t stop…

Epiphany Space is expanding!

coworking in hollywood new space

In April, we will throw open the doors of this new space (right next door to our current space on Gower Street) for coworking, dedicated desk space, a conference room, rehearsal space, classroom space, studio space, and an editing suite/recording studio. Not to mentioned our continued tradition of free parking.

Look out Hollywood, we have big plans for you.

Meanwhile, we have a ton of work to do! Come see us on Facebook to get a tour of the space as it is “before” – and if you can wield a screwdriver or a paintbrush, come help!

We’re making memories, y’all. See you soon.

“Moonlight” Hiatus

“Moonlight” Hiatus

Monday night, November 7, we celebrated music and collaborative creativity in the Epiphany Space courtyard – under the moon. Hosted by Cortney Matz and featuring special guest Ricky Berger, the night was delicious… and just the teensiest bit too cold. What began as an experimental […]