June 5.11
The Munich Film Festival is having a retrospective of all my films starting on June 24.

Feb. 16.11
When You’re Strange won the Grammy for Best Music Documentary.

Aug. 1. 10
I did a radio interview last week with Today Is Boring, hosted by Adam and Tree Carr, film and music enthusiasts based in the UK. The broadcast is archived and listenable here. The interview conducted by Adam and Tree covered several of my films with special focus on When You’re Strange. Both Adam and Tree are well-versed in independent film and many kinds of music and are well worth checking out.

Tree and Adam are currently directing / writing / producing on a comprehensive documentary with / about British artists Tim Noble and Sue Websterwhich will be premiered at the Gagosian Gallery with a show by Noble and Webster themselves in 2011. Tree and Adam also do ‘film events’, such as their LIVE, FROM DYSTOPIA series, which features the screening of a film, minus the original audio, accompanied by a live score, usually improvised … as well as their regular club night SWITCHBLADE, which features the screening of a obscure but infamous film you need to see before you die, and outré DJs for heroes and zeroes. Tree is a musician, and currently working on a whole bunch of varied music projects you want to know about.

May 24. 10
I created a new Page called FILMS. It consolidates all my films, including When You’re Strange, providing some details and information for the curious. It also lists related blog posts.

May 19.10.
A new banner. The photo was taken and graciously provided by David Miezal. Check out his work at

I will still be discussing When You’re Strange but the time has come the walrus said to talk of other things. I don’t have any information on DVD release dates, or when the film is opening in other countries. I’m only the writer and director.

For detailed information on that (and anything else related to the Doors) I would highly suggest checking out Ida’s detailed, informative and refreshingly candid

Jan. 7.10.
When You’re Strange will have its American television premiere in May on PBS. The US theatrical release is still pending. Keep the faith.

The Black & Blue Orkestre has recorded another track; “St. James Infirmary.” The intent was to snap the dust off this old chestnut. I believe we succeeded. Once again, Will Crewdson and DiCillo arranging, Will on guitars, drums & synth, Grog writing and performing on bass and DiCillo on vocals.


St. James Infirmary

Nov. 18.09.
I am pleased to announce that a sale has just been made to Germany for a theatrical release of When You’re Strange. As of this writing the major territories that have bought the film are France, Britain, Australia, Canada, Japan and Germany with a few more I can’t remember. This is really good news and extremely encouraging.

There is progress on a US distribution deal and as soon as something definite is definite I will definitely post it here.

Oct. 27.09.
Will Crewdson, Grog and I have recorded a song I wrote called Will Been Done.

Will Been Song audio link

We recorded with The Black & Blue Orkestre which is normally just the two of us but in this instance we invited Grog to join us. She wrote and performed the bass part. She’s the lead singer, writer and bassist in her own band called Die So Fluid. Their music is strong, beautifully structured and Grog’s voice is as clear, sharp and soaring as a well-thrown knife.

Will Crewdson is an extremely gifted musician and composer living in the UK. His guitar-playing is astonishing and his talents with arrangement are massive. He’s always up to something. He was in LA and NYC a few weeks ago playing in another band. We met for the first time when he came over and laid down 8 guitar takes in a row for the whole song.

Meeting of the minds

WILL BEEN DONE. Written by Tom DiCillo. Guitar, percussion, synths and arrangement by Will Crewdson. Bass by Grog. Vocals, Tom DiCillo

Oct. 18.09.
When You’re Strange has been sold to the UK for theatrical distribution.  A company called The Works has bought it and I’m extremely impressed with their passion for the film. They’ve been tracking the film since Sundance. Here is the press announcement.

There is strong forward momentum on sales to Australia, the Benelux countries, Japan, Germany and all the other major territories including the US. As you can see these deals take months to finalize so keep in mind nothing is definite from this 2nd list until you hear it from me. But, things are happening. Patience.

Sept. 16.09.
Looks like the dates have been set for the London Film Festival: Friday, Oct. 16 and Sunday, Oct. 18. Here’s the direct link to the Festival site: When You’re Strange London Film Festival.

Sept 9.09.
Back from Deauville today. Working on a post. Screening dates for San Sebastian have been set: Sept. 24, 25 and 26–all at 4:30 pm.

August 28, 09.
When You’re Strange has just secured an official theatrical distribution deal for France. The company is MK2, a well-respected French distributor with experience in both documentary and narrative features. MK2 will be assisting at the premiere of the film at the upcoming Deauville Film Festival Sept. 6, in France.

I know it seems to have taken months for this development. It has. But this development is huge. Others are looming.

August 10.09.
As I stated in Dog Daze When You’re Strange has been accepted into the Documentary Section of the Deauville Film Festival in France. A tentative screening date is Sept. 6 but that could change. We are all looking forward to screening the film before French audiences.

In addition, we just found out this morning that the film has been selected for a series of Special Screenings at the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain toward the end of September. San Sebastian, like Deauville is a wonderful, highly respected festival. Their inclusion of When You’re Strange is a strong vote of confidence. My last film was very well received there, winning Best Director and Best Screenplay awards.

Plus, San Sebastian is right on the north coast of Spain and has an established surf scene with some truly spectacular waves.

July 15.09.
Hard  to believe almost a month has passed since the last news update. I went to Koln, Germany for a week to teach a class on Film Acting to a group of wonderful actors. The subtitle of the class was, How to be your own Director. When I get a chance I will recount some of what happened in the class. It was extremely rewarding to me.

I’ve also been putting the finishing touches on the 1st draft of a new screenplay. That does take time.

There has been great response to the new version of When You’re Strange, from both US and foreign distributors. I am reluctant to say anthing else until things are more definite but the news is good. I will share it aspca.

Also, it is summer. And I must say the cold beer goes down nice.

June 23.09.
Apparently the Sunday night screening at the LA Film Festival went very well. Several people who were there have written comments detailing the event and their reactions to the film. There is another screening Wednesday afternoon, followed by a buyer’s screening on June 30th here in NYC. Once things start to settle down and some of the new information has been processed I’ll write a specific update post.

I am pleased to announce though that Johnny Depp saw the film over the weekend and was extremely complimentary.

New post added, GIFT HORSE. Beware.

June 16.09.
The mix is almost done. It sounds amazing. The best news of the week though is that Frank Lisciandro, editor for Morrison’s film HWY, has located the original 35 mm negative. These shots have now been cut into the film and they look breathtaking–as if they were shot yesterday. The only thing dampening my excitement is my fear that this incredible footage will now serve as only more fuel for the morons who keep blindly assuming we used a double for Morrison. Doors historians out there; spread the word. Morrison wrote and acted in his own film, shot in 1969. This is what we use in the film. THERE ARE NO FUCKING RE-ENACTMENTS.

June 7.09.
New post added, LIFE ON SET. This one gets deeper into the tricky waters of the Director’s role on set. When, and when not to use a crowbar.

Added 16 Tons, to SOUNDS. Joint effort of Will Crewdson and meself. Independent filmmaker’s theme song.

June 4.09.
Well, the picture is just about locked. Johnny Depp’s voice is completely cut in. It’s pretty amazing, I must say. He had been my first choice. My sense was always that the film needed a real actor to perform the narration, someone who could genuinely relate to the Doors and tell the story as if it really meant something to him. He has succeeded. The final mix is set to start on Monday. The first screening at the LA Film Festival is Sunday, June 21. Several of you have already bought tickets. Here we go again.

Added some stills from my first film Johnny Suede in the Photo section above.

May 27.09.
Still workin’ away. Little trims and adjustments to go with Johnny’s different timings and inflections. We’ve been accepted to the LA Film Festival which is coming up fast–mid-June. Looks like we’re going.

New post, number two in the Whacked But Fact series. This one’s called CHRONIC. See why.

May 20, 2009.
Johnny Depp has recorded his narration. It sounds fantastic. He brings something very personal to the film. We are in the process now of cutting it into the picture. At least a week’s worth of work before it is all put together.

A new page was added, SOUNDS, which I’m guessing will have to do with stuff you can listen to. First up is a radio interview I did recently that covers many things including details about the making of my films, working with actors, casting Brad Pitt, working with Steve Buscemi, writing, music, The Doors and the joys of distribution.

May 16, 2009.
New blog post ROLL MODEL, about how to keep from killing someone when you’re directing your film.

May 10, 2009.
“Sabotage”–1st in a new series called WHACKED BUT FACT. The posts will come as I remember them. They are all true except for the stuff I made up and even that is true. Of course names have been changed because as we all know people are very sensitive and a lot of lawyers are looking for work these days.


2 thoughts on “NEWZ”

  1. Hi Tom

    I just wanted to say, as a cinefile for 45 years + it’s always a joy to discover things you missed along the way. Such a gem was ‘Living in Oblivion’ after I’d read it was a favourite of Brian de Palma (whose work I love). I’ve also been a fan of Jim Jarmusch for some time. Your movie really blew me away and is very special. I will be seeking out your other stuff forthwith! Oh… and fantastic commentary, by the way. Love the good ones (you’ve got Brian beaten there 😉

    Noticing you’re concentrating on TV these days. By choice? What do you feel about that?

    All the best with future projects and thanks for the experience!

    kind regards

    Andy Dickenson (UK)

    1. Hey Andy,
      Thanks for writing. I’m glad you discovered Living In Oblivion. What took you so long?! Just kidding. The film is well-known but not a household name. I’m glad you enjoyed it and I was flattered to hear that it was Mr. dePalma’s suggestion that steered you my way.
      I put a lot of work into the commentaries that I do for my films. I figured if someone is going to listen to it then I might as well take it seriously and try to provide some information that could be interesting and informative.

      No, I am not concentrating on TV. I’ve got three feature scripts all written that I’m still trying to raise the money for. As you know the whole film business is in a very strange state of flux right now and no one really knows where it is going. It is especially difficult for filmmakers like myself who had carved out a little niche for films that could be made for 1-3 million dollars. That niche has completely disappeared and my sense is that it is never coming back. The economics of distribution in theaters make it impossible. The new niche is films that can be made for 1-3 hundred thousand dollars.

      Which I have done. Which I can do. It just requires a much more specific film idea–one written to be made for that kind of money.

      The TV directing I’m doing is a temporary solution for paying the rent. I still believe without question in the power and necessity of independent film. I also believe without question that TV is NOT the new independent film. Even the best TV still (for me) carries the imprint of collective, communal thought of a committee. It does not carry the thrill of a singular, unpredictable vision.

      I’ll be making a film as soon as I can.

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