Dan Levy Dagerman

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CONTENT: Great stuff I've seen this week

I just keep finding all this amazing new content... You've gotta see some of this stuff!


dir. Spike Jonze, starring Kanye West

I just found this on Twitter this morning and thought it was amazing, to watch it in it's entirety click here instead ENJOY!

Starring my friend Michelle Maurad

Thank you the MAURADER for that amazing parody! To be honest I had beef with this movie already... Don't get me wrong I commend them for making it happen on such a low budget and for their interesting release strategy using Eventful. But I take issue with their website.... I know it's intended to look cheap but it doesn't take much to design one nicely and c'mon you've got Dreamworks and Paramount behind you now....

Theatrical trailer for the no budget crime epic directed by Ranju & Sanjit Majumdar

MAKING IT HAPPEN: Shout out to Ranju & Sanjit! I met them at the IFP conference last month while they were finishing up DETERMINISM. Now they're doing a great job spreading the word while the waiting to hear back from the festivals: They set-up a great website and have almost 18K followers on their Twitter account. It looks like they're on the right track, I wish them the best of luck!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mission at MoMa

Spike Jonze: The First 80 Years

Spike Jonze is from Bethesda, MD and is a co-owner of Girl Skateboards. My feature film LUNCHIN' tells the story of Will, a teen skateboarder who moves from Bethesda to Potomac, an extremely wealthy suburb of DC, and unwittingly becomes the biggest pot-dealer in his new high school. Will struggles to stay true to himself as he is sucked into the lifestyle of over-privileged teens infatuated with mainstream MTV-style hip-hop gangster culture.

Needless to say, I'm dying to talk to Spike! Last Thursday I waited on stand by for an hour and a half and was turned away, it was very disappointing, I paid to become a member specifically for this series! The Roy Andersson screenings were such a great experience in contrast its so frustrating how this has panned out so far. Next Thursday there is a huge event showing his skate videos and a concert that I would kill to go to, but it's already sold out. Fortunately there are more opportunities.... like today, and being a member does have it's perks... I'm going to a prescreening of Where the Wild Things Are on Tuesday!!!!

Since the IFP Conference I've become much more involved online; updating my website, blogging here, and using Twitter. Yesterday, I overcame my fear of Dreamweaver and updated my website, it wasn't too hard and very satisfying to see changes work (simple stuff like linking to this blog, but it feels great)! I downloaded Tweetdeck two weeks ago and it helped me get active on Twitter, which really is a great tool: I'm building a worldwide community of filmmakers, I get up to the minute news, and last Friday I won a ticket to Digital Hollywood, a really interesting conference in Santa Monica next week: Get ready Tweeters, I will be providing up to the minute information from the conference!

Check out the conference here

Monday, October 5, 2009


I was watching Napoleon Dynamite last week and I bought the Blueprint 3 a couple days ago and this happened.......

YOUTUBE: Copyright infringement made this video banned from the US like Polanski. *Sorry! When I learn how to use Dreamweaver and update my site I plan to include a more content section and this one will definitely be there!

Once in awhile I feel inspired and decide to create and post a random video like this online in a day, its fun. After spending a year working with the guys who made My New Haircut,a YouTube phenomenon with over 23 million hits, I've become pretty interested in the viral video world. Around this time of year in '07 I made this video a week after Andrew Meyer was tazered at a John Kerry convention and OJ Simpson was locked up in Vegas.... It's not 20M+ but I'm excited to have broken 100K on that one!

Friday, October 2, 2009


Afterschool written and directed by Antonio Campos was an amazing new take on telling a high school school story. I went to the first showing tonight at Cinema East, this is definitely one of the most interesting films I've seen this year!

Sunday, September 27, 2009


My first filmmaking event since being stuck down in DC…. It was a revelation for me, I LOVE THE NY INDIE SCENE, it’s an amazing diverse crowd of passionate filmmakers determined to make interesting cinema. This weekend was also the catalyst when I really started using Twitter and developing this blog. I met so many people, I will be back next year I love this event! Shout out to Ranju & Sanjit Majumdar who made the 'no-budget crime epic' Determinism the trailer looks good!

Tomorrow's Another Day

They also had the world premiere of Tomorrow's Another Day, an amazing documentary about Roy’s process following him making Du Levande, it is definitely of my favorite movies of the past few years.

It was so much fun to meet all of them and I can’t wait to check out Studio 24 next time I’m in Sweden!

Meeting Roy Andersson & the crew

Roy Andersson’s work is amazing. He had a retrospective at MoMa Sept. 10-15 and I got to hang out with him and his crew while they were here. Here is a trailer of his new film Du Levande:

This is That Internship

Once summer ended I could no longer work for free….. at least in MD, I needed to get plugged back into the industry. The no-budget feature is still only 2/3rd’s complete to this day, I wish them the best, I think it could be a great film!

After hearing Ted Hope speak on a panel last year I began following his blog religiously. It really is one of the best blogs for indie film around today, FOLLOW TED! I managed to secure an internship for his company This is That. It’s really great, I’m learning so much and I love finally having an internship for a company who makes films that people actually see and I love!

I think it’s hilarious that I start interning for Ted and suddenly I’m all about Twitter and starting this blog. Truth is I’ve been wanting to do it for a while now and I’m finally activating and making it happen, and you know what? It’s FUN!

Then I worked on a NO BUDGET FEATURE in MD all of AUGUST

Blow My Whistle Bitch - Dj Alligator

This song was on repeat shooting a party scene with fifty extras and a strobe light as the only light source from 3am-7am after working 14 hour day…. After taking stock of my fundraising mission for LUNCHIN,’ I Gaff’d/AC’d (I believe GAY-C’d is the preferred nomenclature) an undisclosed no budget feature shooting in MD with about half the budget of what I had already raised for Lunchin’ ….. It was a great case study to see if how we can do our film in the microbudget arena, here is what I learned:

-PEOPLE ARE DOWN FOR THE CAUSE: On this film we had 150 extras each weekend (at least until a reasonable hour!), the entire crew worked for free, and everyone even paid for their own food. Ok, so this is pushing your luck a little bit in my mind, I believe you have to feed everybody. This worked because it was the summertime outside of NY/LA, people love working on movies!
- SHOOT IN THE SUMMER: You have a great window where people are more inclined to work for free between June-August. Anticipate delays, schedule accordingly with plenty of buffer room and you’ll still have a crew

- PLANNING IS EVERYTHING: You are always a day late and a dollar short as they say. Create detailed shot lists and plan each scene so you are not shooting the entire thing over and over again,
- DON’T OVERWORK your basically free crew try to stick to 12 hrs, but you have to make your days. Planning is everything, a great AD helps too!
- DO THE BIG STUFF FIRST: You should be the most organized you’ll ever be during prep, starting things off with a bang you will get everybody excited…. Ok maybe your first two days should be somewhat easy to get momentum going….
- START SOFT PREP 6 Months out – It was amazing they made their movie inevitable: They had their cast more or less in place at least six months before, and had many of the locations locked already. Like I said in the last post and where I was this summer, if you’re in theoretical land you’re not making a movie, you’re developing one, make it REAL
- YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE A SCHEDULE ANY LONGER THAN A MONTH – there is only so much free people can handle…..

I’m sure there is more…… let me know if you’ve got any ideas….

This was one Lunchin’ summer, but not the summer of LUNCHIN’

Lunchin (adj.) – Potomac Slang – When things just aren’t right

LUNCHIN is a feature film I have been developing since I was 20 yrs old…I’m 24 now and its not over yet, but this movie is getting made! LUNCHIN’ is about Will a skateboarder who moves to Potomac, an extremely affluent suburb of Washington DC, and unintentionally becomes the biggest POT DEALER at the local high school. Will loses sight of what is important to him and struggles to stay true to himself in a youth culture infatuated with the mainstream hip-hop gangster lifestyle.

The moment after I graduated, (Not a moment too soon! I’ve been bouncing between school and working in production forever!) I poured everything I had into getting Lunchin’ financed. I worked my industry connections, reached out to family and friends, and blindly distributed the business outline for Lunchin’ and my short THE GAMES OF NIGHT to the top dogs in the DC area. I went all out, it was a crazy experience; I literally threw some HAIL MARY passes, I dropped one in Dan Snyder (owner of the Redskins) mailbox for example….

Amazingly some of these long shots actually led to phone calls and meetings to discuss the project. I came out of this experience with a 1/4 of our target budget (we were trying to raise 225K), now my goal is to make Lunchin’ inevitable for ’10.

Making ultra low budget feature films is going to be the primary topic of this blog, I'm not saying I know anything perse but I'm in the trenches and will spread the word from people who really know what's up. What I learned from my fundraising experience and the following post is that if you’re going to make a really low budget movie you have to seriously start prepping the film months and months in advance, this gets you out of development and you start making the film real.

In the next few months I plan to start getting the ball rolling for Lunchin', getting as much of the cast and locations locked, I will regularly update on our status here. Obviously in order to pull this off we need an army behind us, contact me if you want to get involved with this project and I’ll see you next summer!


Lunchin - Tabi Bonney

The Games of Night is finally online!

The Games of Night from dan levy dagerman on Vimeo.

I made short film The Games of Night in 2007, the story is about a young boy imagining ways to save his alcoholic father from a bar while he waits for him to come home at night. In January 2008 we premiered at the Göteborg International Film Festival in Sweden, we went on to show ‘Games’at LIIFE, LA Shorts, the Mill Valley Film Festival, and ended our festival run in March 2009 at the Aubagne International Film Festival in France.


My Swedish family is amazing and the inspiration of my film career, and probably why my parents are so supportive of it as well! My grandfather, STIG DAGERMAN, is a renowned Swedish author who wrote amazing stories, poetry, and articles. The Games of Night is an adaptation of his short story Natten's Lekar. We are working to bring his writing to an American audience and I’m currently developing another project around his work.

My grandmother, ANITA BJÖRK has been an actress at DRAMATEN – the Swedish Royal Theater for most of her life. In 1950 she played the title role in the film adapation of the Strindberg play Miss Julie (dir. Alf Sjöberg, Cannes - Palm D’or). Later in her career she starred in Ingmar Bergman’s stage productions, Marquis de Sade and The Imagemakers, it’s an amazing legacy I can only dream of being able to carry on.