Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Layover: Official Trailer

For those of you who have been following LAYOVER's progress here on HBAD, I am very pleased to premiere the Official Trailer for the film. 

We have a lot of exciting things coming up, including a festival announcement and the debut of our fantastic poster, designed by artist Adam Maida, so keep checking back for more updates, OR, better yet, 'Like' our Layover Facebook Page.

Love the song in the trailer? Then check out artist Melody Riffs' YouTube Page.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you think of the trailer.

Friday, March 21, 2014


Some of you may have seen my latest short film RESIGNATION floating around. If you haven't (which is much more likely) I wanted to take the opportunity to present it to you here on Hollywood Bound & Down.

Here's the simple YouTube version:

Or you can watch the immersive version through the Multi-pop player. If you do, I would highly recommend that you expand to the full screen experience or watch the film on the main website The width of the blog just doesn't allow for the full experience and at the least, throw in some good headphones.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Joshua Caldwell 2014 Director's Reel

For those of you who might be discovering this site via Twitter or because of the launch of my latest short film RESIGNATION I thought I'd provide you with a quick tease of my work as a director.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Dig: HollyShorts Monthly Screening Series

I'm proud to announce that from short film Dig has been selected to screen at the HollyShorts Monthly Screening series. The film will be shown on November 6th, 2013 @ 9:30pm with a Q&A to follow. 

You can purchase tickets here

This may be the last time to see Dig on the big screen. Having played at the Chinese 6 theaters twice before (HollyShorts 2011 and Dances with Films 2011) I can say that it's an awesome experience. 

For those of you new to my blog or the podcast, I welcome you to join us for a night of short films.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Layover: The Editing Process - Part 2

I would love to be debuting a trailer for Layover to you right now but alas -- it cannot be. However, in the image above you'll see the Final Cut Pro timeline for the full film, all 88 minutes of it. (Yes, I'm still using Final Cut Pro 7.) I got the assembly cut at the end of July, watched it, posted about it, and then set to work fine tuning and doing the next pass. Due to development on other projects and the fact that Will is not being paid, it's taken us a while to get to that second cut. We probably could have gotten it done sooner if we had treated it as a true second cut and just gotten scenes close to good rather than really going over them again and again. But I don't work that way. Probably why I tend to not do a lot of passes. Three to four at the end of the day, mostly because by the time I get to a full second cut, I've gone over all these scenes several times, making changes as I do.

Which is also why it took us a little longer to get to the second cut than it might normally. For the most part, the editing went smoothly but there are definitely some monster dialogue scenes that took some finessing to get them into place. As I mentioned in my previous post, my films tend to be like puzzles, with only one to three ways scenes can be put together. I don't shoot A LOT of coverage and it takes some trial and error to figure out how these things can be cut together.

One of the more interesting aspects of diving in was the French language. I often had to consult my script to find out what exactly was being said and make sure I didn't miss any lines (I won't know for sure until I have some French speaking friends give it a look). But ultimately, as I thought I would, I found myself paying much more attention to the performance, to the nuances, to how this reading of a line changes the tone of the scene. This happens anyway but I got to remove the text portion of the experience. My goal was to find a way to sell this without having subtitles. That someone might get it even if they didn't get exactly what was being said.

After much tinkering, I finally put all the sequences together in order to show Travis, my producing partner. I wanted his thoughts before anyone else's. At first, he tried to read the script along with the film since I hadn't added subtitles yet (by the way, anyone know a better and not-expensive way other than manually doing it myself?) but eventually gave up. I was incredibly nervous about showing him. After all, it was through him we got the investor to fund the film and I know he had a big stake in it as well. The last thing in the world I'd want to do is let him down. But at the end of the day, he really liked it (sans subtitles) and mostly felt it needed some tightening in scenes. He thought all the performances were great and right on and that the film felt far larger than it's meager budget.

Even though I feel pretty confident about this cut there's still a lot of work to do. There are some sections of the film that require music, and specifically require cutting to music (non-score) before I can lock. So, we're working with a music supervisor as well as a singer/songwriter to find and develop songs for the film. I'll need some semblance of that before I can fully lock.

Right now thought, my job is to go back through and do another pass, tighten and fine tune so that I can start showing people. I need to have a French screening first (saving time on doing subtitles) and then clean up what I can before possibly showing distributors or sales agents. Plenty to keep me busy. My hope is that we've locked picture by the end of October and I can then send it off to sound and scoring.

Oh, and cut a trailer so I can finally show you guys something from it.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Podcast: Hollywood Bound & Down

Well, here we are. A couple of months after I first mentioned it, I'm finally launching my podcast for Hollywood Bound and Down and I couldn't be more excited. The podcast is very much an extension of the blog and aimed at young and aspiring filmmakers, actors, executives, representatives and below the line crew members. My goal is to interview those people working at all levels of the industry from assistants to directors and at various levels of success, from those who just caught their first break to veterans bearing war wounds. 

From the beginning of this blog, I've always tried to present a first person account of breaking in to Hollywood. That said, I've obviously fallen a little short on content since its ambitious beginnings. I hope that the podcast, which will have a new episode every Sunday, will help fill in some of those gaps in between posts. 

I've also realized that while I think a first person perspective can be valuable there are so many other people working in this industry that are 1) much smarter than I am and 2) much more successful. And I want to highlight that. Without shortchanging you on writers and directors and actors, I want to present you with stories from executives, assistants, costume designers, cinematographers, editors, managers, agents and more. 

These are in depth conversations, some of them running over an hour and a half, but I hope you'll subscribe to the show and join me on this journey.

I was incredibly fortunate to sit down with Rookie Blue's Missy Peregrym and talk about her career and even more lucky that this gets to be the first episode. I hope you guys enjoy it and please provide any feedback in the comments section. 

And if you like the show, be sure to leave a rating and a comment on the iTunes page. And many thanks to my wife, Danielle Caldwell, for designing our awesome logo and thumbnail.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Layover: The Editing Process - Part 1

An interesting fact for anyone who wants to upload it to the Layover page on, this is the first film I've directed where I wasn't also the editor. It's been a long time coming. I've often said that the reason I've never worked with an editor before is that I haven't found one as good as me who also works for my price: free. That is, until now. The time has come (thankfully) to promote from within and Will Torbett, a longtime assistant editor of mine, got the job. 

As happy as I'm sure he was, little did he know the world of pain he would be soon entering. That said, he sucked it up like a man, doubled down on his French language and set to work. And last Monday he delivered the first assembly of Layover in to my waiting hands.

As I sat down to watch I was reminded of the text from an LA Times Roundtable I read a few years back. Several nominated directors were sharing their experiences and they came to the topic of an assembly cut:

Tom Hooper: I think it's an extraordinary thing when you watch your first assembly [of the roughly edited movie], the film always has become something slightly different from what you thought…

Aronofsky: The worst day of my life, every time.

Affleck: Way worst.

LATimes: In what way?

Aronofsky: When you watch an assemblage, you just know you're getting drunk that night. It's just a miserable experience. Because you realize you have so much work [to do on it].

Lisa Cholodenko: And you have no idea if it'll ever be there.

Aronofsky: And you really thought you did better work. You thought you did better stuff. And it has nothing to do with the editor. It just takes time and time to refine, because you're so far away from that final mix where you're really putting on that final sanding, the final shellac.

Coen: It's always funny because we cut our own movies and I feel exactly the same way.

I always try to remind myself of this as I'm working on projects, that it's really no different an experience for me than it is for the best directors working in the business. It's a tough thing to watch because you're not watching the version in the movie that you've had in your head this whole time...or even the version you think you shot. You're looking at A version and that's it.

Now, I was really expecting the worse (not because of anything having to do with Will, this feeling isn't because of the editor) but at the end of the day, I saw a lot of potential in it. It was really nice to have been able to step away from that assembly process where I probably would have been maddeningly pulling my hair out. Especially because the way we shot this just did not allow for a lot of careful consideration of each shot. We really just locked and loaded and got what we got.

The other thing I've kept in mind is that I've noticed, as I myself have gone through assembly and editing my own films, is that they are a puzzle. Despite all the coverage  for some reason, there's only 1-3 ways my films can be cut together. They're really meant to be seen as a puzzle in the editing stage and it's about finding the right cut, the right take, the right piece of music to make it all come together. So, it's just about getting to that point.

Besides all the mistakes I made as a director, all the cuts that aren't quite there, the scenes that appear to be a disaster, what I saw in there was a pretty good overall story, a journey, a character arc (I was all in French without subtitles, so I could be making this up). I saw something really interesting and I saw a lot of stuff to work with. Now it's time to do just that.

I'm thankful to have found a partner at this stage of the game.

We've managed to generate a lot of interest in our little film, from managers, agents, producers, actors, sales agents and more in the last couple weeks, based on nothing more than a four minute showreel I cut together (which I will not debut publicly since it's pretty much the plot of the film in four minutes). Now we just want to make sure we live up to those expectations. I think we can get there.

In the next couple weeks, you're going to see a lot more news about Layover and a few other projects coming your way -- including the official trailer for Layover sometime in the next couple weeks. So stay tuned and keep checking back.

In the meantime, here are a few of the first official images from Layover. Let me know what you think of the stills!