All posts by cinema

Same Spot Next Year

Our aloof little movie that only the coasts have made eye contact with (so far) is finally set to fool around with some Twin Cities folk.

Tape Eleven

The gritty, grown-up video experiment Tape Eleven will premiere this December on TPT Channel 2 as part of the MNTV program.


Now six-time participants in the MNTV series, we Candy Eye kids capped off our pre-taped studio interview about our moody mini-flick with a traditional photo shoot of Jo posing it up on a St. Paul light post.

Through The Years

She’s just so skilled at super-modeling that, no matter the outfit, that light post never, ever upstages her.

Strike a Pose

When in between film productions, the Candy Eye kids like to keep their creative juices flowing by mounting faux fashion-mag shoots.


The Factory’s costume closet is filled with bin after bin of belts and beads and boots that have never yet made it into one of our films – it’s only right to rescue them from the shadows of storage and allow them to shine.


Previous pre-Candy Eye photo shoot themes include 70’s Stone-eyed Mannequins a la Prada, Trailer Trash Tarts on a Romantic Roadtrip, and Paparazzi-pursued Pretend Superstars of 60s Italian Cinema. Our most recent shoot followed a Folky Foothills vibe, with anything embroidered or braided being highly coveted.


Half a dozen cameras were used to capture our fashion adventure through the arctic plains of Minnesota.


Our most successful images resulted from shooting on slide-film and then having the images cross-processed into bleakly beautiful almost patina-ed seeming prints.


Hypothermia aside, it was a hot & haute afternoon of friends & fashion – the crucial cornerstones of Candy Eye creativity.

Sippin’ on Success

You never forget your first public screening and for Candy Eye, it was at IFP’s Cinema Lounge, five Januarys ago. We’ve since screened our work on British sea vessels, and for Hollywood heartthrobs, and at world-class museums, but we can’t resist returning to the arms of Cinema Lounge, year after year, for fun and unfussy film-screening trysts.

The ever-seductive C. Lounge turned 20 this year and to celebrate this momentous milestone IFP rounded up the top 40-ish films to have ever played at The Lounge and ordered the movie-going public to pick their top three picks of the past two decades.

A Show 20 Years In The Making

The unstoppable Betsy Benson & The Bow Tie Boy(s) was the public’s top pick, gosh golly, and this and the other “Best Of” films were screened at the Minnesota History Center the night of October 23rd. It was just like a typical Bryant Lake Bowl Cinema Lounge screening but with slightly better views of the screen, and way less quesadillas and domestic beer.

Q's with some A's.

Man-about-town Lounge-host Dan Orozco has conducted countless interviews with the Factory founders over the years, but always manages to find something untouched and unexpected to bring to our and the audience’s attention during the post-film Q+As. Someone get that man a raise or maybe a Sirius Satellite talk show.

Shaken, Not Stirred

Tasteful trophies were given out to the trio of top vote-getters, so since JoEllen was granted custody of our Sparky-dog statuette from Slamdance, William will be displaying The Factory’s elegant new IFP-tini Award in his Irving Ave. edit suite.

Betsy and the missing Boy.

The trophy stands as both an intoxicating inspiration that the smallest film, the smallest idea can go on to live a large, long life and a sobering reminder as well that those especially magical ideas don’t really come from you – – if you’re lucky, once in a blue moon, those ideas just get to come through you.

J+W on PBS

Couch potatoes statewide should be pleased to know that The Factory’s 10th film, The Epicene, will be airing on TPT channel 2 this holiday season as part of the MNTV series, an annual showcase of Minnesota’s best short films!

The Epicene is Candy Eye’s fifth film to be invited into MNTV (we can’t believe it!) and it’s always a blast heading to the TPT studios in St. Paul to shoot the pre-taped interview packages that air prior to our selected films. Stringing the lapel microphones up under our shirts always makes us feel so Ashton and Demi-like.

Wiring up.

Way back since our 2004 visit it’s been a Factory tradition to plop JoEllen on the lamp post outside the TPT studios and snap digi-pics of her MNTV-induced glee, right before or after our interviews. Here’s the proof:

Through the years...

Her golden mane has gone through some transformations perhaps, but Lady J hasn’t aged but a day in all these years, has she? Local, low-level fame keeps one looking youthful, they say.

So flip open your datebooks now, friends! The Epicene is set to air during program 2 of MNTV this year.

Bruno + Filippa

December 21 at 10 pm – channel 2.
Again on December 27 at 10pm – channel 17.

Consider it an early (or then late) stocking stuffer from the Candy Eye elves!

Some Perspective on Our Retrospective

Candy Eye is never really sure where it fits into the larger cinema world with our work. We’re a bit acerbic ‘n adventurous for traditionalists, yet too neat in our narratives for experimentalists.


Initially during our much anticipated Retrospective screening we felt a little unsure of ourselves – playing to a noticeably non-mainstream crowd. But by the time our dramedy Brite lit up the screen and each of Shari and Danielle’s mounting humiliations in the film were met with deeper and darker laughter, we realized something…

Breakfast Revelations

Laying out our short films side by side at the Bedlam Theatre, our work was at last no longer burdened with having to veer closer toward the mainstream or farther away from it. After six years of Factory output, our offbeat voice could simply play out long enough and strong enough that, after a few short minutes, it was clear to most everyone present just what we’d had to say through our many years of atypical filmmaking.

The Big Night

Event organizers noted our screening was the best attended and best received of the Minneapolis Bearded Child fest. Apparently if you spend enough years almost fitting into both the mainstream and the underground like The Factory has…then eventually the mainstream and underground start trying to fit in with you!

It’s nice.

Retrospective Line-Up

The program for our August 16th Retrospective Show presented by The Bearded Child Film Festival has now been finalized!

Curating the program was left completely up to us and we wanted to be sure the show appealed not only to hardcore Candy Eye addicts, but the virgin sampler as well. All our 12 films were considered, not just the blockbusters beloved by Justine Bateman or BUST magazine. The Mallorys movie was instantly deemed too omni-present for the retrospective, Santa Susanna too long, on and on we went until just 4 films remained, woven perfectly into a diverse and delicious program.

The Films of our Very First Retrospective are…

Betsy Benson

Betsy Benson & The Bowtie Boy(s)
A punky teenager adapts her favorite children’s book about wicked chocolate Easter bunnies into a lo-fi, feel-good film warning against the dangers of self doubt.


A mockumentary/music-video hybrid, Digits tracks the rise and fall of two finger-giving Euro terrorists and their soda-pop sucking foe.


Two foolish suburban girls stumble into a suspicious scheme to become Bollywood stuntwomen in this blackest of comedies.


The Epicene
Famed lovers Bruno and Filippa vanish for 300 nights to conceive the most alluring creation the world had ever known in this Greek-chic movie myth.

– – – – –

So there they are, friends! Our 1st, 5th, 3rd and 10th Factory films presented as an amazing ensemble for your late summer enjoyment.

Prove to your friends once and for all how awesome you are by attending the show.

Candy Eye Retrospective
presented by The Bearded Child Film Festival

Saturday August 16th – 7:30 pm
Bedlam Theatre
1501 S 6th St
Minneapolis, MN 55454

In Good Company…

What do JoEllen and William suddenly have in common with David Lynch, Martin Scorsese and Milos Forman?

Basically we’ve amassed a deep and dazzling enough oeuvre of cinematic gems to have garnered our very own retrospective!

The bold and brilliant Bearded Child Film Festival is heading to Minneapolis this August to offer its cinematic vision to ever larger crowds, and has honored The Candy Eye Factory with a request to host a retrospective of our work in semi-experimental film!

Retrospective Poster 2

We’re flattered and excited by this opportunity, and with our 12th Factory film just recently completed, we feel it’s the perfect moment to look back at our movie-making journey and examine how our individual small films weave together into a larger aesthetic statement.

We’re narrowing the line-up for our retrospective into an hour long show, including a post screening Q+A. We’ll announce the program on our blog shortly.

Since the show will be 100% Candy Eye and thereby free of any cinematic-filler, we invite all our friends and part-time fans to partake in this special and scrumptious screening.

Check back as the details unfold…

The Results Are In!

Polls for The Name Game 08 are closed. The record-breaking amount of votes have been carefully tallied by the trusted officials at the accounting firm of Wilson, Phillips & Associates out of New York City.

And here, people, are your official results…

The Schiller Girls

The Feisty Model: The name Penny was a popular choice but in the end Jessi was the name the public thought sounded the spiciest for Allison True’s saucy character.

The Secretive Model: Votes were spread generously amongst many of the five contenders with Chelsea and Sandra eventually tying for first place. The Candy Eye crew broke the tie themselves, thinking the name Chelsea would sound too much like the name Jessi, (which Allison had already been dubbed as). Plus our high school choir teacher was named Sandra – so Sandra it shall be for JoEllen’s mysterious model!

The Dull Model: William was secretly hoping the name Colleen would win, but Pam was far and away the most popular pick for Tina Testa’s goony girl model. Have it your way, America.

The Foxy Model: Lydia was the clear front runner and eventual winner, but as Lizzie’s lovely character had already tentatively been dubbed Brenda during filming of the project, it was up to Lizzie herself whether to officially switch to Lydia or stick with Brenda. Trembling at the monumental choice before her, Lizzie just couldn’t deny the fervor of her voting public. So Brenda is now history and Lydia is Lizzie’s future, for which she graciously thanks you.

Fellow Americans, click below to meet The 4 Schiller Girls, as named by you!

Continue reading

Name Game 08 – Poll no. 4

We’re all about collaboration and gettin’ goofy at The Factory, so with both those factors in mind, we officially invite you to work with us on our 12th movie by naming its 4 Leading Ladies.

The winning names you help to elect for the girls will be used in our final film, so rock the vote hardcore, friends.

Though Lizzie Martinson’s curvaceous character had previously been dubbed Brenda during the shooting of our film, this isn’t set in stone. Perhaps one of the names in the poll below would be a better fit. Cast your vote, and America’s top pick will later go head to head with the name Brenda – with Lizzie herself making the final call this time!

Lizzie Needs a Name

Lizzie’s model character is the most beautiful of the bunch, a blessing/curse she wears with an icy aloofness – – A princess like this would probably be named: