You oughta be in pictures

Blame it on the rise of inexpensive digital technology or the fact that most Americans born after 1970 were raised by syndicated TV reruns, MTV and HBO. Social anthropologists can sort it out later, but right now there are tons of opportunities for local filmmakers, actors, set designers and musicians to get onto that silver screen.

Last year, 31 local bands paired with filmmakers to create music videos for the Sacramento Film and Music Festival’s first Sac Music Seen screening. The three-hour video showcase included acts as diverse as Low Flying Owls, the Needs, Akimbo and the Bluez Catz. Granted, there was plenty of footage of musicians in rock-star poses viewed from quirky camera angles, but many truly outstanding shorts were created as well. Marina and Alex Zangeneh-Azam’s brilliant black-and-white video of Th’ Losin Streaks’ “Fine Line” looked like lost footage from an episode of The Monkees. Brett Sublett’s interpretation of Amityville Horror’s “Die Bitch Die” was scarier than most mainstream horror films, with an unhinged anti-hero plotting to murder his ex-girlfriend. When all was played and rewound, the bands and filmmakers had the thrill of seeing their work stretched across the Crest Theatre screen, and everyone took home an original video for their respective résumés.

This year’s Sac Music Seen is scheduled for August 13. Interested local bands can submit songs for the project by visiting and clicking on “music” for a registration form. Filmmakers should contact festival organizer Laurie Pederson at (916) 600-6477. The deadline for submissions is March 31.

In freakier cinematic news, the Trash Film Orgy—Sacramento’s annual summertime B-movie festival—is producing an original, feature-length exploitation film. At an open casting call in February, dozens of local actors auditioned by practicing Kung Fu moves, doing monkey impressions and pretending to battle zombie hookers. After a lengthy review process, a nearly 50-person cast has been chosen. Miles Miniaci will reprise his role as the diminutive Mexican wrestler El Tigre Diablo, transitioning from the duties of festival emcee to movie star. Miniaci will battle Nick Roberts, who has been cast as his nemesis, the Evil Warlord Zang. Shooting begins April 26, but the project still needs volunteers for props, costumes and set building. Visit

Lastly, the Sacramento Film Festival is fast approaching. The event formerly known as the Sacramento Festival of Cinema will screen films at six local venues from March 30 through April 3. (See the complete schedule at However, A Place Called Sacramento, the annual scriptwriting contest that usually accompanies the event, has been postponed. A Place Called Sacramento currently is seeking original screenplays for 10-minute films that involve the Sacramento area. The deadline is May 15. For submission guidelines, visit Now go get famous!