Blake with fellow nominee Phillipa Soo, backstage before one of the final performances of Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. Click image to visit photo gallery at Playbill.com.

Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 has been honored with a record-setting 11 nominations by the Off Broadway League, Actors Equity, and the Voting Committee. The awards will take place in Manhattan on May 4th, 2014. Click here to visit Variety.com for a full rundown of the nominees.

Blake DeLong as Jack Hand in Thank You A Lot, coming this summer from Gravitas Ventures.

Blake DeLong as Jack Hand in Thank You A Lot, coming this summer from Gravitas Ventures. Click image to visit Indiewire.

 

From Indiewire:

Gravitas Ventures has acquired former Indiewire Project of the Day “Thank You A Lot,” writer-director Matt Muir’s film set in the Austin music scene (sorry, Terrence Malick, some people just work more quickly). The film, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival, will see a Video On Demand release in June 2014.

“Thank You A Lot” concerns a small-time music manager (Blake DeLong) on the verge of losing his job. His last ditch-effort: sign a reclusive country music singer – his father (real life country music singer James Hand playing a fictional version of himself).

James Hand and Blake DeLong on stage for Q&A following the world premiere of Thank You A Lot at SXSW film festival. Click the photo to visit Slackerwood.

THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE

“Starring the inimitable James Hand and spot-on Blake DeLong, this is a story of regret, pride, and love that will stick with you long after the house lights have come back up… Jack Hand [is] played with antihero, underdog perfection by Blake DeLong.”

SLACKERWOOD

“Thank You A Lot exceeded my expectations — brilliant dialogue and direction by [Matt] Muir, with outstanding performances by stage and screen actor Blake DeLong and Texas country singer James Hand.”

“This poignant and perceptive film by Austin filmmaker Matt Muir explores many forms of failure: in parenthood, family relationships, and artistic fulfillment. But it’s also a hopeful film about redemption.”

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“A story involving enough to earn respect on the festival circuit.”

SMELLS LIKE SCREEN SPIRIT

“Beautifully shot… the film blends the crackling energy of Austin’s night-life with the subdued beauty of the Texas hill country that surrounds it… it’s a moving, beautiful thing and has the feel of well-crafted documentary as much as fictional narrative.”

THE IRISH TIMES

“The film captures the endless drudgery of band management and promotion– a great scene involves an indie band doing a painful radio interview– and has poignant scenes between Hand, as himself, and Blake DeLong as his son and would-be manager.”

THE MACGUFFIN 

“James Hand is a presence in his scenes… and Blake DeLong is interesting to watch as he attempts sly persuasions and a knowledge confidence beyond his years. There’s a strong filmmaking confidence from director Matt Muir, and there’s a lot here to enjoy.”

Click here to visit TOH! on indiewire.com and watch the clip. TOH! has scored an exclusive clip to SXSW premiere "Thank You A Lot," centering on a struggling Austin music manager who is facing the possibility of losing his job unless he signs with his reclusive country music father (played by real-life underground country star James Hand). Check it out, below. The film has its world premiere in the narrative spotlight section at South By on March 7, the opening day of the fest. It's written and directed by Austin filmmaker Matt Muir, and produced by Chris Ohlson ("Kumiko the Treasure Hunter").

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Thank You A Lot, Matt Muir’s feature film debut, will premiere on Friday March 7th in the Narrative Spotlight section of the SXSW Film Festival, with additional screenings March 9th and 14th. Blake plays struggling music manager Jack Hand, whose livelihood– and that of his clients and only friends– depends on his signing a certain reclusive Texas music legend, who also happens to be his estranged father, to his company’s roster of talent.

More information is available via the film’s schedule page. Click here to visit.

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Blake DeLong, Phillipa Soo, and Lucas Steele. Click image to read about the Great Comet film in Entertainment Weekly.

Producers of the acclaimed electro-pop opera Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 are planning a feature film adaptation of the Off Broadway spectacle to the big screen.

Independent film director Abe Sylvia (Dirty Girl, Showtime’s Nurse Jackie) is attached to capture the immersive experience of The Great Comet. It’s a wholly theatrical environment, and Sylvia and co. are hoping to bring that experience into a film context that’s part HD live recording, part concert film, part feature film, and part music video.

The team—led by Sylvia but including the show’s creator and original star Dave Malloy, director Rachel Chavkin, and Tony-winning producers Howard and Janet Kagan—is eyeing most or all of the current cast to reprise their roles.

 

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