Category Archives: Showbusiness

Working the scene from the inside out.

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.

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 Mallorys on DVD has chosen our limited edition The Mallorys Go Black Market DVD from out of thousands of submissions to be offered in their Next Big Thing line of products for 2007. If you’ve never browsed FredFlare it’s just about the happiest online store there is – jam packed with Factory faves like over-sized sunglasses, pastel jelly shoes, and now our delicious DVD!

The Mallorys hit Fred Flare

Embrace your inner-fashionista – check out all the awesome Next Big offerings right here!

Life on the Festival Circuit

Once your movie hits “blockbuster” status like The Mallorys basically has, the constant screenings eventually blur together. The main highlights of our latest showing at The Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival were-

A. The audience laughed sooner and more often than at any other screening, including the awkward moment when Meg whines, “I wish I could’ve been on the cake and stuff then.”

M-SPIFF Time Again!

And then…

B. A giant Man-Turkey came to the show.

A Man-Turkey at The Mallorys screening

It’s cool when Justine Bateman and Wes Bentley like your movie but what we’ve really longed for was the approval of a good Man-Turkey or two. Obviously.

Butter City Bound

Obviously this blog is a delicious dose of enlightening insight – but if you’re dying to really get inside the minds of The Factory founders, then may we suggest a juicy 30 minute, live-to tape television interview, broadcast without commercial interruption?

Cause we got one of them, kids – coming up soon!

Realizing the energy of the Minneapolis film scene, Twin Cities writer/producer Myron Berdahl recently launched a new talk show devoted entirely to Minnesota filmmakers and their work. Cryptically titled Butter City, Myron kindly invited the Candy Eye crew to appear on the 2nd episode of his nifty new series.

We ran through the opportunity extensively with our agents, managers, and our two cutest lawyers for days on end, and then finally agreed to Mr. Berdahl’s request. Provided that Factory femme fatale Tina T and rising starlet Allison True could appear on the program as well; and that the show shuttle all four of us to and from the studio in a light pink limousine with gray leather seats.

Butter City caved to our demands instantly, and we soon found ourselves in the literally green GreenRoom of Butter City’s St. Paul studio one dreary March morning. We killed the time before our episode’s taping listening to Tina T’s take on the Dark Shadows DVDs she’d been devouring, after which Allison asked the P.A.s to fetch us some colder caviar, please.

The green GreenRoom

We were then ushered into the studio and introduced to the technical staff of the program, who all stared at us without smiling for a hundred million awkward silent moments. We assumed they were just star-struck like the swarms of strangers who come across our paths when we’re at the gas station or the mall, but apparently the crew was just gage-ing our skin tones.

We’re pale. Strangely pale, they sighed.

After adjusting their lighting set-up for our albino-like complexions, and primping and preening our hair and jacket-hoods, we were then met on stage by Butter City’s esteemed host Dan Orozco, the Oprah/James Lipton of the Minneapolis film industry.

Meetin' 'n Greetin'

Together, we sailed through the taping of the perky yet probing episode in the blink of an eye! Though the reclusive Tina T. had never granted a formal interview before, she charmed the (non-existent) studio audience with her candid quips. And cell-phone photos of Allison’s much anticipated first interview were circulating on internet forums before the studio lights were even cold.

On Set

The Butter City series will be premiering locally and (hopefully) state-wide later this spring. We’ll forward you the air dates and times once our agents or cute lawyers get us the specifics. They’re super busy lately, so be a ‘lil patient!

Do check it out though. The Butter City team are awesome and they’ve whipped up a polished, poised, playful series you’ll totally have to Tivo.

Lounging Around

With the applause still ringing in our ears from our weekend screening at The Walker, we unleashed The Mallorys movie on the boozed-up bunch at The Bryant Lake Bowl a mere four days later. We aim to be officially-over-exposed by early April at the absolute latest. So far, so good, right?

Lounge Line-up

All the Mallory girls showed up for the screening, even the blondest one, since IFP’s monthly Cinema Lounge series is always a bawdy blast. You’re just not gonna see films titled Beerwolf or Urine Trouble anywhere else. Probably.

It’d be lame to say our movie was the best of the night, but it was saved for last, so make your own call, kids. The super-cool Paul Clark, programmer for Cinema Lounge, filled in as moderator this month for the filmmaker Q+A sessions. And although his Q’s for us were honestly just as amazing as the A’s we served him back…sometimes JoEllen couldn’t help taking secret little naps during our session, while William kept wishing he hadn’t grown up in such a sad, sad orphanage. It’s all true! Photos don’t lie:

Q + A time.

All that aside, it was truly a fun, frisky Q+A and Paul and the whole IFP posse are always so great to us.

The evening ended quite cinematically when, outside the Brant Lake Bowl, a fellow filmmaker from the audience approached the hilarious teenage Mallory, Allison True, and asked if she’d be interested in appearing in a comedy feature he’s revving up to shoot later this year.

A starlet is born.

And just like that, a Factory-bred starlet is born!