Friday, November 18, 2011

DVD for sale!

Twenty-two minutes of Mt. Washington Road Race glory. Find out how the race began, hear from running legends and get exclusive access to bonus features-- including an extended John J. Kelley interview. Please e-mail to obtain a copy for your own cinematic library or purchase online via google checkout!

RUNNING THE ROCKPILE dvd, $10 +$3.50 s/h

Please e-mail for any special shipping instructions, I'd be happy to try to accommodate!

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Maine Event!

Announcing RUNNING THE ROCKPILE's inclusion into the Portland Maine Film Festival!!

Screening: Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 4pm!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

SNOB Film Fest - High Honors!

Ahoy from a New England whirlwind weekend+ (the best/only kinds of weekends, I think sometimes)!
Here I would like to publicly thank the Somewhat North Of Boston Film Festival for opting to screen RUNNING THE ROCKPILE to a film-hungry New Hampshire audience in Concord this past weekend. And thank all of you who were a part of that audience :)
Very proud to announce RUNNING THE ROCKPILE won the top prize for Best Short Documentary!
And this particular filmmaker was truly surprised to receive a nod as Best New Director.

So, in summation:

Best New Director, Kate Avery for RUNNING THE ROCKPILE
Best Short Documentary, RUNNING THE ROCKPILE

So, let's hope this is just the beautiful and exciting beginning! More fests to come (is there an emoticon for "fingers crossed"?)

Will keep you in the loop.
Hope to see you in a town near you with a 30'x70' screen handy!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Concord, NH Sept 15-18, 2011

The long awaited film festival schedule for the SNOB (Somewhat North Of Boston) Festival in Concord, New Hampshire has finally been released... Should be a promising weekend of somewhat under-the-radar films. You can catch RUNNING THE ROCKPILE either Friday or Saturday of the festival! Because I know you're all runners (?) the film is scheduled to screen in the early afternoon on Friday and right after your long run on Saturday (!)...

Friday Sept 16, 2011 @1:30pm (along with Stepping into the Stream & Mt. Washington Valley)
Saturday Sept 17, 2011 @10am (along with Challenging Impossibility)

Hope to see you all in Concord!!!

PS- if you're coming from Boston: here's a map!

View Larger Map

Monday, August 22, 2011

John J. Kelley (Dec 24, 1930 - Aug 21, 2011)

John J. Kelley, Kelley's Pace, Mystic CT - June 2010.

I only spent a few hours with this running legend, but by the time I left him--busily greeting customers and taking down inventories--I knew I had found the direction of my film... I knew I had met a man greater than his reputation as a world-class runner and humbler than his public school cross country coaching paycheck.

My heart sinks with the knowledge that we no longer have this wonderful man here for us on earth. But it soars to know he's seen his honest journey through to the final finish line and is no doubt in my mind still coaching us all from above. In truth, Amby Burfoot really says it best.

Thank you so much, John, for guiding me in my pursuit and being the voice of RUNNING THE ROCKPILE.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Concord, NH Sept 15-18, 2011

 "Please let me congratulate you on your inclusion in the 2011 SNOB film festival."

Thanks for your patience with regards to updates! Mark your calendars for the third weekend in September and experience the first public showing of RUNNING THE ROCKPILE in New Hampshire's capitol!

Monday, July 11, 2011

and now we wait

Well, friends and followers, we now find ourselves in something of a holding pattern. Thank you all for your support and continued interest in RUNNING THE ROCKPILE.

To all those interested in seeing the film or obtaining a copy of the film, I must ask that you wait a bit longer... I've submitted it as a long-shot entry to a few film festivals around New England with the hopes that the subject matter will outshine any technical faux pas and RUNNING THE ROCKPILE may see a greater audience than I can provide privately. Hope to find out an updated status starting in Don't you forget about me!

(sorry was that too melodramatic?)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

annnnd ACTION!

Open on a meadow. Backdrop: a heap of boulders ambling up to the drifting haze of stratus cloud. It's sunny to be sure, but showers could break at any moment. And they do-- a little spit --but in the middle of that meadow is a tent! A big white tent!

Under the tent, a group of tech-wick clad adventurers; runners bent on conquering the tallest peak in New England. Also under the tent: a projector and screen, poised to present a screening of RUNNING THE ROCKPILE-- the film we've been anxiously anticipating for a year now!

While your beloved filmmaker seems to have been under a rock for the past couple months, the film has been getting the last minute final touches. The special treatment. The "if you don't work the way I want I will throw this computer out the window!!!" treatment, at times. But alas, all export/compression issues aside, the film is out onto a convenient DVD and in the player now. After a brief introduction, your beloved filmmaker allows the Play button's click and...we're off!

Cut away to: this coming Wednesday evening. Another screening is scheduled. Your beloved filmmaker thinks of these as test audiences and will survey these audiences as to what they thought of the blatant product placement, special effects, fight scenes, and alternate endings. If we don't have a blockbuster on our hands now, we will when this process is all over!! Hackjob!

In all seriousness, this past weekend's screening was really great. My family drove half way across the country to support its release. My little cousin gave me the feedback I needed when I admitted there were no cartoons in it: "Umm, I think it's going to be boring." And some friends arrived to the Auto Road in a sweet Jetta-- for some added eye candy.

Thank you to all who came out this past Friday to gear up for the wild trek up that old beast of a mountain road. Thank you for being who you are. Thank you for allowing me to do this thing, of which before I'd only dreamed.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Alright folks, it's official. A screening of RUNNING THE ROCKPILE will be Friday night, June 17, 2011. The event will take place in the shadow of Mt. Washington itself, at the base of the Auto Road, as a part of the pep rally for our racers.

I had always intended for this running community to be my main audience as they have been so supportive of this project over the past few years. I feel very blessed to be able to screen this for all of you who have trained so hard (and were so lucky on March 16!).

More details to follow. I still need to lay in the music. Wish me luck that takes less than a month! Ah!


Friday, April 1, 2011


This week has brought me to the caboose of the film. Crafting the ending is probably going to be a lot harder than I first envisioned. It's already gone through several on-paper-drafts, so I can only imagine what my imagination is going to settle on in the editing bay. Here's hoping for something cool!

I continually am trying to immerse myself in the flow of the film, which means lining up all the little segments and watching them in a row-- the way you will, if I ever finish this thing. Inevitably I watch the sequence chanting "big picture, big picture, big picture," but I keep getting hung up on the details. Try as I might to persuade myself otherwise, I more-often-than-not talk myself into just "adjusting" one or two things here and there...and then half a day goes by. Oops.

Today has gone well so far though! Yahoo! A little like the runners, I'm finding myself emmulating the Little Engine That Could...

I think I can.
I think I can.
I think I can.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Dusty shelves?
Antiquated media formats?
Creepy silence because you're in the bowels of the basement of a library that no one visits anyway?
Sign me up! Very Indiana Jones, no?

OK, things aren't getting that extreme in my chase for archival photos and newsreels regarding the Mt Washington Road Race... In fact, I'm just getting to chat with some really nice folks on the phone and coming up with treasure troves of information. Stay tuned, I've got visuals...more tonight.

Saturday Update (visuals)

postcard courtesy of the Mt. Washington Auto Road
Check out that incline!! Check out how many people they loaded on that carriage! Geesh!

photo courtesy of the Mt. Washington Auto Road
Going up, anyone? See this adventurer, he'll take care of you!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Other hills

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy Evacuation Day!

Here in Boston, we celebrate both...sort of. Everyone's running around in green themed attire, drinking copious amounts of alcohol, and reveling in boiled dinners (mmm!). Public offices observe March 17 by taking the day off from work. School's out. It's a grand day. The reason? We don't revere March 17 just because our basketball team is the Celtics and we're soooo Irish centric out here. It's actually a day of remembrance for the great day in American history when General George Washington loosened the lobsterback stranglehold on Boston and repelled the British from the city in 1776.

The colonists rebel uprising managed to show some impressive toughness in the previous June across the channel at Bunker Hill. (We celebrate June 17). Evacuation Day celebrates feats from atop Dorchester Heights. This is the tallest point in the surrounding Boston area, currently located in the South Boston neighborhood.

Coincidence that this area is also traditionally heavily Irish and therefore bangs out a MASSIVE party complete with road race and parade? Hmmm

But back in the 1770s, no one was really settled out here. Just a thin strip of land, unconnected directly to the Boston of Old North Church etc. But when surveying the area, Washington and his advisers recognized the Heights as a strategic gem. So the plan? Fortify the hill with the newly acquired cannons (which had been ransacked from British Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York). After a long 183 (ish) mile haul through the snowy Berkshires that winter, one would think the good General Washington might give Colonel Knox a break. But no, Washington ordered Knox to push past "the wall" and finish the climb: perch those cannons on the top of Dorchester Heights. And so they did.

So I call to you my loyal readers/runners: push past the wall. Reach the lower parking lot, reach the upper parking lot, stare down that obscene climb to the tip top house and drag your guns to the top of our beloved other hill: Mt Washington.


Friday, March 11, 2011


So...Southie doesn't have the most conducive, what I call, "idea coffee shops" (wait, do I really call them that??). You know, the kind that have wonderful seating and wonderful coffee, subtle background music (it's usually indie), nooks with books and magazines, warm lighting, a bottomless cup of coffee… the place you'd want to play scrabble at all evening. And I mean evening-- 7p-12a. High school hours. The kinds of places that either wonderful ideas are being tossed around between intelligent community citizens or also, we'll allow, for tweeners to gather and gossip about boys or a teacher or a test-- and not be out at on a scary pier in the middle of the dark. Anyway, I've digressed a bit. The point is, I wish Southie had such a place. It's where I've always done my best work. And I'm craving a cup of dark roasted coffee, especially when all Southie seems to make is light brown sugar water (with 32 flavors!).


Alas, that is how I've been spending my time: weak coffee, but wildly productive on the film front. Thank goodness for morning work ethics. And thank you for reading my small diatribe on South Boston Coffee.

PS- American Provisions on E Broadway & I will brew you a cup of amazing coffee, only trouble is they've only got folding chairs and it's sill 40 degrees outside. :( soon enough!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Busy week

more later...

update: Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Mt. Washington Road Race open lottery has been accepting applications since March 1! CLICK HERE! The lottery closes March 15 and the drawing is the 16th. Get Pumped!

Sorry to have missed my Friday morning post last week. I was away from a computer for most of the last six days-- so no blog posts and no movie editing. Six days doesn't sound like much, but I have a feeling a lot of progress could be made in the next six days.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Maybe only 28 people read this blog (or used to, I admit, the blog went on hiatus for a bit). And maybe none of my loyal readers have school aged children (or maybe they do?) but the film I am about to draw your attention to is bigger than just children (!) because it is about the whole of America's Future….please read on.

WAITING FOR SUPERMAN (2010) is at once horrifying, heartbreaking and… hopeful. I urge EVERYONE to see this film. Kids are our future. We've heard it said plenty of times. It's the truest of true, and yet we've heard it so many times, we often take it for granted. Or at least, I do.

But this film isn't just about kids, it's about a whole lot more. And Davis Guggenheim does a fantastic job of showing how interconnected we all are in the struggle to change the system. Anyone who's paying taxes has a stake in the outcomes. Please find this film in theatres, netflix, OnDemand, etc and TALK ABOUT IT.

On another note, this film was passed over for an Academy Award nomination. This "snub" is revolting to me. Not because I think it is the greatest documentary film ever produced, or even of 2010; but it sure is a wildly important film of at least the last 10 years.

Here's my gripe: publicity. Being nominated for an Oscar draws a certain cache of publicity to a film. Purely because it is nominated will that pique the interest of the common man. Purely because it is nominated will it rest on lists built around award shows: historically preserved with a link on wikipedia and referenced with bullet points in the New York Times AND E!. That's a wide audience. People will talk. People might even be inclined to engage with the topic of the film…if, let's say, the film is calling people to action.

Gosh, what a dereliction of duty. What a missed opportunity for greatness. The Academy could have brought this conversation to the table of millions of people. Not just parents with school-aged children in the house. Not just teachers and union organizers and policy makers. People with CASH. People with PASSION. People that VOTE. Heck, people that just want a band wagon to jump onto. Why not nominate something that matters. Or…was it political all along?

Gosh darn it.



Friday, February 18, 2011

The Journey Motif

Last week I saw the encore presentation of HOOD TO COAST (2011), a journeyman's film akin to SPIRIT OF THE MARATHON (2007) at the Fenway 13. Following four teams through the drama of the race (198 mile relay race from Mt. Hood down to the beach, hence the name) the filmmakers were then able to magnify each teams' own personal drama with universal topics ranging from aging, mortality, health, adventure, coping mechanisms, to competitive edge and joy of sport.

As much of a fan as I am of H2C and SPIRIT, I knew going into the Mt Washington project that I would not be doing a journeyman's film. I would not be shadowing a runner. It's been done. The challenge has been to find a new way to show the race and its drama. A new way of linking the story from one mile marker to another. Admittedly, I'm on the proverbial edge of my seat wondering if Suzy Smoker is going to make it through mile 1, let alone 26.2 miles of the marathon. Will Old Man Joe crush his already arthritic knees on that downhill? Can College Boy Wonder break the record? The finish line is always the end, isn't it?

Or is it?

Friday, February 11, 2011

...And we're back!