Friday, May 29, 2009

First Look: With Director Jonathan Glatzer

Last night, Jonathan Glatzer, director, and Robert Lawson, co-writer, enjoyed a tremendously successful VIP Premiere at the Pacific Design Center with several hundred people in attendance, including Aubrey Mozino (Blythe), Max Hoffman (Fenster), and other cast members.

There, and at the after party that immediately followed, scores of fans and filmmaker guests greeted their first glimpse of the film with an extended applause. This initial success proved especially worthwhile as the film opened today with 16 screens across the nation, including Buffalo; Chicago; Las Vegas; New York City; and Moorpark, California. (You can also find listing by visiting the Facebook Group page, which includes event listings and links for each city.)

In the clip below, complete with never before interview with Molly Shannon, Glatzer provides his personal insights into the film as well as the cast and crew who made it possible. This First Look is longer than any other, with a run time of more than seven minutes. Enjoy!

First Look: Director Jonathan Glatzer with What Goes Up

"The VIP Premiere provided us a high note that we don't intend to let go of. We are already looking to add two more cities in addition to the one night showing for our Hometown Hoopla contest winner so that more people can see the film as intended — on the big screen," said James Hoke, executive producer. "While the reviews have been mixed, we have been met with nothing but great feedback from fans, indie film lovers, and people who are looking for something different than the most typical movie formulas."

In truth, the reviews have not been all critical as mistakenly reported by some. And, even among the harshest critics, several reviewers have given the movie high marks for select performers and memorable moments throughout the film.

What Goes Up Reviews That Deserve More Attention

"It’s wonderful because it’s so true to life because most funerals are (or should be) filled with equal parts tears and laughter. It’s exactly what WHAT GOES UP strives to be — a funny movie about death, a sad movie about life. Most of the time, it works." — Kate Erbland,

"Yet despite the contrivances and frustrations (and there are more than a few), there's also something endearing -- and, occasionally, achingly poignant -- about "What Goes Up" and its gallery of valiant misfits." — Carol Cling, Las Vegas Review-Journal

"There's some nice filmmaking tucked inside "What Goes Up," a muddle of moods and intentions." — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

"I'm happy to say that despite faux-dark comedies like Juno, the rumors of the "quirky" movie's demise have been greatly exaggerated. What Goes Up starring Steve Coogan and Hillary Duff, brings back the uncomfortably dark comedy with a vengeance." — Alex Dorn,

"I think you’ll enjoy the movie - Hilary Duff has shown a whole new side to us in this film, which is always her goal as an actress. I hope you get a chance to see it in the theater - but if not, I’ll let you know when it officially comes out on DVD!" — Arieanna Schweber,

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Behind The Film 'What Goes Up'

For Jonathan Glatzer, winning the best film award for 'Prix Fixe,' a 28-minute short released in 1997, must seem a lifetime ago on the day before his full length feature film What Goes Up is shown at the Pacific Design Center before opening in six major cities.

Back then, he had directed Oscar nominee Douglas McGrath and Tim Blake Nelson. This time around, he directed a cast of brilliant performers including: Steve Coogan, Hilary Duff, Olivia Thirlby, Josh Peck, Molly Shannon, and a dozen other young and talented actors.

"Being around this young cast, I felt younger and much older at the same time," recalls Glatzer. "Younger because they brought an energy and commitment that has not been dampened by cynicism; older because sometimes I had to act like the mature one on the set. But only when I absolutely had to."

According to Glatzer, the script, which he originally worked on with Robert Lawson as a stage play, had a long history of what some might call moments of maturity. While it attracted champions, the number of characters and locations called for a bigger budget than many producers and studios would have considered from a first-time director.

And then, even after the financing was locked, it became even more challenging than Glatzer expected. The result, two weeks before principal photography, was a tight budget and fewer shooting days. It took some additional tenancy for the first-time executive producers at Three Kings Productions. And, of course, the cast.

"It all came down to having a truly great cast, talented and deeply cool, to make it possible for us to accomplish this film," says Glatzer. "When your budget has you by the edge of a knife, your cast makes the difference. Their performances were all wonderful."

The cast originally came together in a few short months, with Coogan being among the first to meet with Glatzer after reading the script. Duff, who was recommended by John Cusack, came on after noting a personal connection between herself and Lucy. And Shannon joined after hearing how she had enamored Glatzer during a screening of Mike White’s “Year of the Dog.” He still insists she should have been nominated for an Oscar.

"When I saw Olivia Thirlby’s audition tape, I was completely blown away; I still am," he said. "And Josh Peck, who was originally cast as the character Fenster, is one of the best, if not the best, actors of his generation."

Nearly everyone agrees. Many reviewers, even those who have been hard on the film, have given props to the performers. Even more so than reviewers, the film's first outing at the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival won the "Audience Award."

"I think they walked away with what I wanted them to ... love for the characters, but the kind of love you might give begrudgingly because they are not without flaws," he said. "Just like this film, there is no ‘wrapped with a ribbon’ resolution or perfect plans or moments of unadulterated triumph."

Glatzer says that if there is any message, then it must be exactly that. There is pain, he says, not only in loss, but in every interaction between us all. He believes that is one of the reasons we look for heroes; each of us is trying to find ideas that are larger than ourselves, even if that sometimes means disposing of inconvenient truths.

It happens in everyday life, he says, and on the grand scale. It happens with groups of young people, in their teens, just like those brought to life in the film. Sometimes, kids have one adult in their lives who shines. But if they die, it leaves a crater in their lives that needs to be filled with whatever seems within easy reach and most convenient.

Glatzer began his career in theater as a director, staging productions at such venues as the Oxford Playhouse in England, Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C., and The Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York. He then moved on to work as a writer for Touchstone Television, Fox Television, Warner Brothers, Good Machine, and Industry Entertainment.

In addition to film, there is another interesting footnote on Glatzer's resume. He was an alternate for the U.S. men's fencing team for the 2000 Summer Olympics that was held in Sydney, Australia.

Glatzer will also be featured this Friday in an extended First Look video.

Monday, May 25, 2009

BlogCatalog Contest Winners Announced

A few weeks ago, the producers of What Goes Up held an exclusive contest on BlogCatalog, which is leading social network for bloggers on the Internet. BlogCatalog members did not disappoint in developing several unique and creative promotional materials using a variety of media. See for yourself.

BlogCatalog/What Goes Up Contest Winners

First Place — "Countdown" by The Polybore Press

While the first place entry submitted by The Polybore Press was titled "What Goes Up Movie HD," the producers have been affectionately referring to it as the "Countdown" video since they first saw it (and thus, the name change). In addition to combining several elements from the film and BlogCatalog, the promotional video is driven by a portion of “Blue Straggler” by Electrelane, which is featured on the What Goes Up soundtrack.

The video first appeared on YouTube and then on the Polybore Press blog. It will be shown as a lead in to the film at the VIP premiere in Los Angeles.

Second Place — "What Goes Up Campaign" by Joren M.

The bus stop shelter is only the the beginning of this campaign. Joren has been busy introducing Holland to What Goes Up with promotional material ranging from small posters to bus stop shelter signage for the better part of a month.

In addition to promoting the movie across The Netherlands, his original treatments of signage, posters, single CD covers, and T-shirts have been shared across the Internet. You can see most of this campaign material featured here. Or, anywhere in Holland. Seriously!

Third Place — "Obi-Wan Kenobi" by Omar M.

Omar M., the 22-year-old who authors Random Nothingness, found himself entertaining a lifelong dream to create movie posters as he worked on his submission. And, according to his post, his submission was called "Obi-Wan Kenobi" because this is his "only hope. (ha!)" The producers appreciated how he adapted the title treatment arrows into the poster design.

Fourth Place — "Imaginary Book" by Meki.

Meki (also known as WagerWitch on BlogCatalog) has a hobby that includes creating fictional book covers for family and friends, and designed a future book cover for an adaption of the screenplay written by Jonathan Glatzer and Robert Lawson. Considering Meki had never seen the film, the producers thought it was intuitive to include the coffin about the title. You can see the work on the new The Choice Movie Reviewer too.

Fifth Place — "Joy is What Goes Up" by Footiam.

Footiam wrote a comparative contrast post that expressed his displeasure for price increases but hope for a future theatrical release of What Goes Up in Malaysia. "It is not simply a joy for Americans who will get to see the movie first but I do think it would be a joy for just anyone who gets the opportunity to watch the movie," he wrote.

Honorable Mention — "Flying Girls And Talking Dogs" by Tony H.

Although Tony didn't make the submission deadline, The Insider Team gave him an opportunity to finish his work on an animated Flash file. While quirky, it successfully presents a series of unexpected events. See for yourself.

Congratulations to everyone who participated!

These submissions will be permanently featured here and included along with art from other fans and promotions as a part of a production notebook being compiled by The Insider Team. Thank you for your continued support of the film that Pete Hammon rightly calls "darkly funny" and a "2009 sleeper."

Friday, May 22, 2009

What Goes Up Ads Go Up Next Week

In the weeks ahead, What Goes Up marketing efforts will become apparent in select cities as the film nears its May 29 opening. Cities include: Buffalo; Chicago; Moorpark, Calif.; New York; Las Vegas; and at the Laemmle Theaters and Culver Plaza Theaters in Los Angeles.

"The television spots are very targeted so we could maximize our budget," says James Hoke, executive producer. "Some of the film fans and cast fans will never see the commercial or the print advertisements because a national buy just doesn't make sense for a movie with a limited opening. That might change in the weeks ahead ... you never know."

Hoke said there will be some national exposure however. Many of the reviewers who have seen the film at screenings are waiting until opening day before publishing their reviews. There are a number of brilliant and positive reviews for What Goes Up waiting in the wings, he said.

Pete Hammond,, who is the same reviewer being exclusively featured on Angels & Demons movie advertisements, gave the producers an early quote from his review. He calls What Goes Up a "2009 Sleeper".

"When we look at the number of conversations about this limited release vs. any national release opening the same weekend, we are either on par or beat them outright," says Hoke. "We also have a broader appeal among certain demographics going into our opening week, easily ahead of any other film remotely close to our genre. Given the budget, we accomplished more in seven weeks than most films accomplish in a year. And, through it all, we steadily increased our international exposure so we can look at other countries toward the end of June, thanks to the most supportive fans ever."

Hoke adds that while it is anyone's guess what will happen on May 29, he remains confident given that What Goes Up had to add a second sold out screen during the festival opening before it went on to win the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival "Audience Award." Recently, a last minute promotional screening from Campus Circle also sold out so fast that the producers didn't even have to promote it. The advanced screening had just as much interest as a heavily promoted horror film opening that weekend.

"When you are working on any film, it's easy to get caught up in these numbers and those numbers," says Hoke. "But at some point, as Rich Becker likes to remind me, it's not about us. It's about the fans. Whether your favorite is Hilary Duff or Steve Coogan, Olivia Thirlby or Josh Peck, Molly Shannon or newcomer Max Hoffman, their performances will not disappoint. Neither do the people we've come to know online."

Next Monday, the production blog will feature the work of BlogCatalog members. Several entries will also be shown at the upcoming invitation only VIP Premiere.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

VIP Premiere Contest Winners Announced

Earlier this morning, executive producers James Hoke and Anthony Miranda personally called a fan to deliver the news. Khizer P., a 19-year-old from Ottawa, Ontario, had won round trip airfare for two to Los Angeles, hotel accommodations for two nights, and tickets to attend the private VIP premiere of What Goes Up and an after party.

"Anthony was writing about memorable moments yesterday," says Hoke. "Well, we both agree that this was one of those. After speaking to Khizer on the phone, it was immediately clear that we selected the right person to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience."

Khizer, along with about 250 other entrants submitted 100-word (or less) letters deliverable by May 18. They were then narrowed to 17 and reviewed a second time by the filmmakers. Here is the winning entry, which was 100 words, exact.

Hilary Duff is more than a celebrity; she’s a role model who has helped me get through the deepest struggles in life. In 2007, I went to give my grandma breakfast when I heard her take her last breath. Having no one to lean on, Duff's self titled album became my companion through this struggle. Attending this premiere will not only give me the opportunity to thank my role model for greatly influencing my life, but will allow me to see a movie that emphasizes how one event that occurs on a day like “any other” can change life forever.

Today is any other day, and for all the right reasons. Congratulations!

Complete Winners List

First Place

Khizer P. (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)

Second Place

Matt M. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

Third Place – Tenth Place

Justin M. (Cambridge, Mass.)

Kayla N. (San Diego, Calif.)

Marta M. (Madrid, Spain)

Alexandra C. (Manchester, New Hampshire)

Songkran C. (Chongnonsee Yannawa Bangkok, Thailand)

Victor G. (Maceió, Brazil)

Chris T. (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada)

Mark F. (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia)

Like the first place winner, Matt M. will receive a prize pack to include a DVD, CD, and poster, all signed by various members of the cast and crew. All other winners will receive a poster signed by the producers. In the event they do not respond to their notification, other winners will be selected.

Today also marks the last day of the BlogCatalog Exclusive. For all promotions, click here. Several are still open, and the Insider Team has been asked to keep a look out for What Goes Up fans who live in the Los Angeles area. (We wonder why?)

A special thank you to everyone who entered! Your letters will be forward along to the cast or crew you wrote about. So, in many ways, everyone is winner today.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Anthony Miranda Talks What Goes Up

Probably the most common question I've been asked since our first public showing at The Buffalo Niagara Film Festival was "if you could do anything over again, what would you do?" I never have an answer, because I do not believe in doing anything over.

We learn from every event in our life and everything happens for a reason. To do over any one thing would change the series of events that have occurred and would affect this wonderful journey we are traveling.

I mean, why would I want to miss out on the amazing experience at The Buffalo Niagara Film Festival? It far exceeded my expectations to say the least. I never expected a proclamation from Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown that declared May 8 as Anthony Miranda Day. But he did. And it was overwhelming.

The best way I can describe it is to say “you really had to be there." Yeah, I know it's cliche, but because of all the support from Buffalo we not only sold out one screen — but two screens!!! When that happened, all of the local news channels covered the event. We had a VIP list that ran up well into the hundreds. The positive energy in the lobby was evident to everyone. And what was really hours, felt like mere minutes. I will remember it for the rest of my life and that's not easily said.

I've been a professional musician my entire life and taught percussion on the college level since 1980. I was 22 years old when I first taught college, and taught privately before that. I've had many unforgettable moments in my life, performing with Gladys Knight, Johnny Mathis, Robert Goulet, Milton Berle, Natalie Cole, and Madonna. Add to that several hundreds of recordings for television and film over the past 25 years.

The difference between being an executive producer and a musician or composer is tremendous. When in the recording studio working on music for film, you are one component in the entire movie.

The music in any film is clearly very important but is just one piece in this complex movie structure. As executive producer, you have to deal with every component from beginning to end. We’re lucky to have had James Hoke on board. He made it easy!

Of course, I had the opportunity to enjoy the best of both worlds. The music selection was mainly chosen by Jonathan Glatzer. However, when composing, for example, the rooftop cue, I had some ideas in mind. So I recorded them in the studio and sent the wav files over to Jonathan.

We fine tuned the tracks based on what he was looking for and then repeated this process with the marching drum cadences as well. Of course, composer Roddy Bottum did the underscore for the film. Working with him was amazing. He is such a great talent and a wonderful person. Things just flowed and happened.

One of my other favorite moments, working on the film, was the feeling of the final wrap of the production. It happened on a Saturday morning, after a very long, cold night of shooting.

I was able to enjoy the moment with my partners James Hoke and Joe Nahas; my daughter Lindsay Maureen was there too. For the soundtrack, there was another one.

It was when “I heard the news” (pun intended) that Hilary Duff made the commitment to record “Any Other Day” for the film and soundtrack. David Parker and Lenny Silver of Amherst Records worked so hard in making the entire soundtrack a successful reality. I am very grateful for them believing so strongly in What Goes Up.

I am also grateful for those talks I enjoyed with Molly Shannon on set and that warm smile Hilary always seems to carry around with her. And, I’m also grateful that I had an opportunity to use my Fingerstix invention for the soundtrack. They really create a whole new dimension in sound and creative expression, which was important for a film like this. I included a link to an old clip in this post to give you an idea of what can be done with them. Enjoy it!

All in all, the entire event has been like riding one of the highest, fastest roller coasters around. There are some amazingly fast ups and downs, thrusts left and right. You really cannot predict any of it, but you always want to get back in line and do it again!

We’re lucky, I suppose, because even though it felt like a down a couple days ago, we’re racing back up again. For that, I credit the genius of James Hoke. He keeps the challenges to the minimum and solutions to the maximum. On any independent film, you really need that to keep it together. He keeps it together. Him, and the fans.

I’m grateful to be able be able to share a little slice of my experience with the film and soundtrack with all the people who visit the production. Thank you all for jumping on the roller coaster with us. To me, you are the best!

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Theatrical Update From James Hoke

The first time I wrote a post for the What Goes Up Insider blog, we had high hopes. We still do.

Yet, as I mentioned then, independent releases face schedule changes all the time. And while we’ve been careful not to release information unless we are at least 90 percent certain, we’ve met some unexpected obstacles. Many of the cities that we included in our original plans did not have theaters available for a May 29 opening.

As a result, we’ve had to change the initial opening from 10 to six cities. And, one of those cities is different than those we included in our original plan. Here are the updates for today...

Chicago — Opening May 29
Wilmette Theater
1122 Central Street
Wilmette, Illinois 60091
Wilmette Theater

Moorpark, Calif. — Opening May 29
Moorpark Cinemas 3
543 West Los Angeles
Moorpark, California 93021
Moorpark Cinemas 3

We are still opening in Buffalo, New York, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles as planned. And, we’re hosting our Hometown Hoopla contest to win a one night showing in the winner’s city.

While there is a chance we will be opening in other cities after May 29, we don’t want to release any possibilities and have them fall through. After all, we were the ones who pushed for a theatrical opening for fans; the last thing we want to do is create any disappointment.

I know some of you had hoped What Goes Up would be coming to your cities on May 29. I am sorry. Please keep in mind, the release is a long way from over.

To end on an exciting note, we received approximately 250 entries for the VIP Premiere Contest. We’ll be announcing the winners as soon as we are able to contact them tomorrow. Good luck!

Friday, May 15, 2009

First Look: Josh Peck In What Goes Up

Nobody expected that Josh Peck, a stay-indoors kid born in the Hell's Kitchen area of New York City and raised alone by his single mother and maternal grandmother, would be so inspired by sitcoms that he would pursue stand-up comedy at age eight and engage in children's musical theater by the time he was nine. He did, and at age 14, Peck was offered a role on Nickelodeon's The Amanda Show.

In What Goes Up, Peck plays Jim, a troubled teenager who comes across as a repressed voyeur who eventually reveals himself as a deeply wounded boy looking for affection while struggling to find his place in life. In this clip, complete with two scenes, Peck talks about the frailty of people and how his character is trying to prove himself as a young man. At the end of the clip, Peck embarrasses writer Bob Lawson, who can be heard laughing on camera.

First Look: Josh Peck in What Goes Up

Peck has appeared in dozens of television shows, most notably Josh & Drake, and movies that include Drillbit Taylor with Owen Wilson, Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh, and The Wackness, which received critical attention after winning the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. He also received a special distinction award as part of the ensemble in the 2004 film Mean Creek.

Peck most recently completed voice work as Eddie for the third installment of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. He has also been very outspoken about "Darfur Now," speaking out against abuses to human rights.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Win A One Night Screening In Your Hometown

The producers of What Goes Up are pleased to announce the opening of the What Goes Up "Home Hoopla Contest" to win a screening of What Goes Up in your hometown. The first place prize includes a one night showing in your hometown (U.S. only) with complimentary admission for the winner and up to ten friends in June. The remaining seats will be open to the public for regular admission.

Write a letter, record some audio, or make a video that shares something about you, your hometown, and any compelling reason to host a one night screening in your hometown. The winner will also receive a prize pack that includes a DVD, CD, and poster, all signed by various members of the cast and crew. (Receivable when made commercially available to the public.)

Hometown Hoopla Contest

The Contest. Write a letter, record some audio, or make a video that shares something about you, your hometown, and any other compelling reason to host a one night screening in your hometown.

How To Enter. E-mail the letter or submit a link to your audio or video submission to before May 25 and include "Hometown Hoopla Contest" in the subject header of the e-mail.


First Place. A one night public screening in your town or city, with up to ten free tickets for you and your friends and other prizes as noted above.

Second Place. Prize pack to include a DVD, CD, and poster, all signed by various members of the cast and crew. (Receivable when made commercially available to the public.)

Third – Fifth Place. A theatrical movie poster signed by the producers of the film.

Promotion Period. The Promotion begins at 7 a.m. EST on May 13, 2009 and ends at 12:01 AM EST on May 26, 2009, when all entries must be received.

The first place winner must agree to identify the theater of their choice in their hometown (or nearby town) and work with the producers to help find a venue if that theater is not available. The official rules follow in the comment section of this post. Entering this contest does not preclude an individual from entering any other promotion.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Win A Trip To The Theatrical Premiere

The producers of What Goes Up are pleased to announce the opening of the What Goes Up “VIP Premiere Contest” to win two tickets to the theatrical premiere in Los Angeles on May 28.

Write a letter that shares why you are a fan of any cast member and what attending the premiere would mean to you in 100 words or less for your chance to win round trip airfare for two people from anywhere in the world, hotel accommodations for up to two nights in Los Angeles, transportation to and from the hotel to the Pacific Design Center, and an exclusive invitation to join the after party. The winner will also receive a prize pack that includes a DVD, CD, and poster, all signed by various members of the cast and crew. (Receivable when made commercially available to the public.)

VIP Premiere Contest

The Contest. Write a letter that shares why you are a fan of any What Goes Up cast member and what attending the premiere would mean to you. Your letter must be limited to no more than 100 words.

How To Enter. E-mail your letter to before May 18 and include " VIP Premiere Contest " in the subject header of the e-mail.


First Place. Trip for two to Los Angeles to attend the theatrical premiere and other prizes as noted above.

Second Place. Prize pack to include a DVD, CD, and poster, all signed by various members of the cast and crew. (Receivable when made commercially available to the public.)

Third – Tenth Place. A theatrical movie poster signed by the producers of the film.

Promotion Period The Promotion begins at 7 a.m. EST on May 11, 2009 and ends at 12:01 AM EST on May 18, 2009, when all entries must be received.

The official rules follow in the comment section of this post. Entering this contest does not preclude an individual from entering any other promotion.

Friday, May 8, 2009

First Look: Hilary Duff in What Goes Up

After working in local theater plays and television commercials, Hilary Duff gained fame for playing Lizzie McGuire, which quickly became the flagship for the Disney Channel. After the hit show fulfilled 65 episodes, Duff went on to a successful movie career in Cheaper by the Dozen with Steve Martin and A Cinderella Story with Chad Michael Murray; and launched a successful pop music career with three platinum albums. She has also topped the Billboard 200 numerous times, and recent hits that include "With Love,” "Stranger," and "Reach Out."

In What Goes Up, Duff plays Lucy, a teenager who comes across as a narcissistic seductress attempting to win over the much older character of Campbell Babbitt (Steve Coogan) but eventually reveals much more depth than the way people perceive her. She also recorded the hit song “Any Other Day,” which Robert Lawson wrote with her and Jonathan Glatzer, for the film.

In this clip, complete with two scenes with Steve Coogan, Duff talks about how challenging it can be to be perceived one way by others while being a different and deeper person inside. It’s a quality she says she shares with Lucy despite being completely different people with very different backgrounds.

First Look: Hilary Duff in What Goes Up

Duff was originally encouraged to take up acting classes alongside her older sister, Haylie, who is also an actress and singer. Today, she leads a successful multifaceted career and has made guest star appearances on several television shows, including Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She has recently completed several independent films that include War, Inc., Greta, and Stay Cool.

Duff, who has always been a strong philanthropist, is currently busy supporting AIDS Walk New York on May 17. She is also cast as Bonnie Parker in the upcoming The Story of Bonnie and Clyde (2010) and recently accepted a starring role in Provinces of Night (2010) with Val Kilmer and Faye Dunaway.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What Goes Up — Theater Listings For First Four

At 7:15 p.m. on Friday, May 8, What Goes Up will have its festival premiere at the Market Arcade Film & Arts Centre at the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival. It will be shown on Screen 2.

Kicking off the day early, Executive Producer Anthony Miranda (also co-producer and artist on the soundtrack) will be interviewed at 8 a.m. by Janet & Nick with Kiss 98.5. There will be several cast members to look out for throughout the day.

The festival premiere is 20 days before the theatrical premiere in Los Angeles and 21 days before opening in select cities around the country. Today, the producers of What Goes Up released specific theater locations for four of those cities.

Buffalo, New York — Opening May 29

North Park Theatre
1428 Hertel Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14216

Amherst Theatre
3500 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14226

Eastern Hills Cinema
4525 Transit Road
Williamsville, NY 14221

McKinley 6 Theatres
3701 McKinley Parkway
Buffalo, NY 14219

Market Arcade Film & Arts Center
639 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14203

Dipson Theaters

New York, New York — Opening May 29

The Quad Cinema
34 West 13th Street
New York, NY 10011

The Quad Cinema

Las Vegas, Nevada — Opening May 29

Regal Colonnade 14 Theater
8880 S Eastern Ave
Las Vegas, NV 89123

Boulder Station Stadium 11
4111 Boulder Highway
Las Vegas NV 89121

Texas Station Stadium 18
2101 N Texas Star Lane
Las Vegas NV 89030

Village Square Stadium 18
9400 W Sahara Ave
Las Vegas NV 89117

Regal Entertainment

Los Angeles, California — Opening May 29

Laemmle Sunset 5
8000 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90046

Laemmle Pasadena Playhouse Cinemas
673 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91101

Laemmle Town Center 5 Cinemas
17200 Ventura Blvd.
Encino, CA 91316

Laemmle Theaters

Culver Plaza Theaters
9919 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232, USA

Culver Plaza Theaters

All theaters are subject to change without notice. A full listing with complete dates and all cities will be made available in the days ahead. T-minus 21.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Behind The Music Of "Any Other Day"

"On a day like any other day -- a chill wind, the promise of Autumn… the sky was so blue you could almost taste it." — from the theatrical piece, "but the rain is full of ghosts," by Robert Lawson.

"In 2002, I wrote [those opening lines for a] theater piece in reaction to 9/11," says Robert Lawson. "So flash forward to Jonathan [Glatzer] and I. We had been talking about a credit sequence song, and the idea was to model it after the ‘Countdown’ song in the movie. I had this feeling that it shouldn’t be quite so peppy … after all, the Challenger explosion was pretty grim. But who wants grim music for the last taste of a movie like this?"

And so began the task of finding the right balance for "Any Other Day." The basic elements were written in the course of a single afternoon, with the hope it would be performed. Yet, like so many elements of so many movies, Lawson, a Renaissance veteran in arts and entertainment, had no expectations.

"My work has been done in scattered locations, mostly on the East Coast, periodically off B’way in New York, and one at the Kennedy Center," Lawson said. "A number of my scripts are published by Playscripts, Inc. and I also spend as much time as I can abroad. I teach regularly in and around Vienna (where my performance text Kuhfangfederblech premiered), tackling such esoteric topics as narrative strategies, framing and abstraction, and using digital media. As for songs, I’ve written well over a hundred, mostly for theater pieces you’ve never heard of, but I did receive a 'Meet the Composer Grant' for my efforts. "

"Any Other Day"
as originally written by Robert Lawson

On a day like any other day,
Sky so blue it could take your breath away.
And what could ever fall apart?
On a day like it is today --

Kind of day you could climb to the top of the world,
And see your life unfurl
Before your very eyes.
But when it falls apart, then you realize --

This is all a countdown,
To a higher place,
Countdown into some outer space.

Maybe it's a day when the angels will come to sing
Or maybe it's a day when the devil comes to bring a fate
You couldn't imagine in your wildest dreams.

To a higher place,
Countdown into some outer space.

Never mind the smoke and mirrors left behind you.
Don't you go - there's nothing there to really bind you.
Just let go and know your destiny will find you,
Wherever you are...

wherever you are... wherever you are...

To a higher place,
Countdown into some outer space.

On a day like any other day,
Sky so blue it could take your --
Take your breath away.

'Cause I remember where I was when I heard the news.
I remember where I was when I heard the news.
I remember where I was --

Sky so blue, like any other day.

We decided to share the original after Lawson noticed a fan discussion after the song. Specifically, "Jayrock" gave his take on the song. He was so clear in his definition that Lawson offered an extended explanation, saying that "I've always been fascinated by the chance occurrences in life, how we try to control our lives, plan things down to the smallest detail. The only catch is that we only control our tiny corner of the universe, and barely that."

"The day the Challenger launched was a lot like September 11 -- a gorgeous, clear, cold day," says Lawson. "Who would have guessed what would happen that day?"

And that is also where Jayrock got it right, says Lawson, when he wrote ... "Also out of context to the movie you can take the song to a more personal level for yourself."

"There's a kind of Zen in the song - you go along, you do what you need to do, care about doing ... just don't get caught up trying to control it all. You don't. But that's okay ... Whatever your destiny is, don't worry, it'll find you," Lawson wrote in reply. Later, he added for the Insider team: "Articulating things like this tend to come out goofy, even though you might actually believe in them."

There seems to have been a kind of Zen in the making of the song too. According to Lawson, the original rough is very metered and insistent. The early draft also had several transformations that included a loose jazz version, reggae version, a cappella version, and even a version with bagpipes and harmonium before settling down into what it is now with Duff. And then add in how many people touched the song along the way.

It was written by Lawson with Glatzer and Duff. It was produced by Richard Vission and Chico Bennett. It was mixed by Dave Aude. It was placed on a soundtrack produced by David Parker and Anthony Miranda. And there are many more involved. The list goes on and on. Much like the song suggests, we never really know what might happen next.

The same can be said for Lawson. Right now, he and Glatzer are already busy working on a new film project that they hope to shoot in 2010, called Emmett Bull’s Peerless Arcadium, which is set in the 1930s. He also has a number of theater projects on the horizon and is considering an opportunity to direct Richard Wagner's opera "Fliegender Holländer" next spring as well.

But of it all, he says, time will tell. Considering What Goes Up originally began as a play co-written by Lawson and Glatzer in 1996, he seems to be exactly right.

Monday, May 4, 2009

What Goes Up - Promotional Round-Up

Just as Campbell Babbitt (Steve Coogan) learns something from a group of high school students, the producers of What Goes Up are hoping to learn something from fans! And to do it, they are pleased to announce several upcoming and running promotions around the Web. All of them are designed to learn from and reward fans for their personal contributions to the theatrical release of What Goes Up.

What Goes Up: Facebook Group Contest

Recruit five friends to the What Goes Up Facebook Group and you could win a movie poster, signed by the executive producers. As the group grows, we'll be adding more prizes. For details, visit our Facebook event page. You must be a member of Facebook to participate.

What Goes Up: BlogCatalog Exclusive

Create your own promotional material — video, music, poster, shirt, banner, poem, craft, re-enactment, or whatever you can think of — for the film What Goes Up and post it on your blog. You could win DVDs, soundtrack CDs, and posters, all signed by various artists and members of the cast. For details, visit BlogCatalog. Must be a member of BlogCatalog to participate.

What Goes Up: Exclusive

Make something or do something that demonstrates you are an ultimate Hilary Duff fan and then share it on the forum and/or elsewhere on the Internet. You can do anything so use your imagination. For details, visit Must be a member of (and anyone under age 18 must ask for the permission of their parent or guardian).

Upcoming Promotions On The Horizon

The producers have two more promotions that will be announced later this week. One includes a grand prize to win two tickets plus airfare/hotel to attend the theatrical premiere in Los Angeles on May 28 (open to participants anywhere in the world). The second will be to win a one night public theatrical screening for your hometown plus ten tickets for friends (open to participants in the U.S. only). Stay tuned for details.

In addition to these promotions, there may be more surprises in the days ahead, including — Insider Team rewards for fans that range from signed movie posters to more tickets to attend the Los Angeles premiere (for those who live in the Los Angeles area). Several members of the cast will be at the Los Angeles premiere as well as the festival premiere this Friday.

Friday, May 1, 2009

First Look: Steve Coogan in What Goes Up

When most people think of Steve Coogan, they think of one of the best known characters in the United Kingdom, Alan Partridge. However, Coogan is surprisingly diverse, recently playing Damien Cockburn in Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder and Octavius in the upcoming Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, which opens the week before What Goes Up.

In What Goes Up, Coogan takes the lead as Campbell Babbitt, the morally challenged New York reporter who learns life lessons from a group of dysfunctional students (Hilary Duff, Josh Peck, Olivia Thirlby) after being sent to cover the story about a local hometown hero.

In this clip, complete with one scene with Molly Shannon and another with Thirlby, Coogan talks about what attracted him to the film, the depth of the characters, and how it relates to people searching for meaning in their lives. (Content warning: adult language).

First Look: Steve Coogan in What Goes Up.

Coogan, one of nine children, was born and raised in Middleton, Greater Manchester. He has won numerous awards for his work in television, including several British Comedy Awards, BAFTAs, and The South Bank Show award for comedy. In 2003, he was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy. He is also an accomplished writer, producer, director composer, and co-owner of Baby Cow Productions with Henry Normal.

Since March 2008, Coogan has been on tour doing stand-up comedy. He has also been cast in movies that include Eddie the Eagle (2009) and Murder in Samarkand (2011), both of which are currently in pre-production.