Author: Ben Peirce

Born 1979 in Philadelphia, PA. Currently living in Manchester, NH with wife, Jen. Musician; visual artist; video & live event producer. Lifelong fan of comic books, movies, music and the Philadelphia Flyers.

Pilotgroove Pictures to defend “Best Short Comedy” title at DRAFT Fest ’19

DRAFT-Fest-2019-Laurals---Selected

With just a few short weeks before production begins on our next film, Pilotgroove Pictures will return to DRAFT Fest 2019 to defend the title of “Best Short Comedy.” DRAFT Fest is a week-long festival that pairs independent films with craft beer tastings for a truly unique experience. Pilotgroove Pictures directors, P.J. Huot and Ben Peirce took home honors at last year’s festival for their film, Don is the New Death. 

The 2018 film, Casual Causality – which, like Don, also appeared at the SNOB Film Festival – was selected for DRAFT Fest 2019 and will be screened on Monday, April 1, 7PM at To Share Brewing Company in Manchester, NH… No fooling! Directors and stars of the film will be on hand for a Q&A session after the screening

Screening’s at DRAFT Fest are a multi-sensory film experience! Each event is held at a different NH brewery. Six short films are shown, each with a specialty beer pairing selected by the host brewery. Attendees are treated to a flight of beer samples, paired thematically with the evening’s films. 32 short films will be on display throughout the week, with closing ceremonies held at Great North Ale Works on Saturday, April 6 at 7PM. Ticket’s for all screening events are on sale now, at draftfestnh.com. Seating is limited and expected to sell out.

We hope to see you there!

“Casual Causality” headed to SNOB Film Festival

Pilotgroove Pictures will return to the SNOB Film Festival in November with Casual Causality. The 48-hour short comedy was selected for the 2018 festival and will have two screenings – Friday, November 9 at 6pm and Saturday, Nov. 10 at 9:30pm – at Red River Theatres in Concord, NH.

The SNOB (Somewhat North of Boston) Film Festival marks its 17th season in 2018. The annual showcase brings nearly 50 independent films, both short and feature-length in a variety of genres. The festival also features a full slate of live music as well as craft beer tasting from SIX New Hampshire breweries.

Casual Causality is the 4th SNOB selection for Pilotgroove Pictures, having previously appeared with Just Remember that They’re Dead (2011), A Bloodless Crime (2014) and Don is the New Death (2017). The latter won “Best Short Comedy” at last year’s festival and at SNOB’s sister-festival, DRAFT Fest. Writer/directors, Ben Peirce and P.J. Huot took “Best Regional Filmmaker” honors at SNOB in 2011.

For more event information and links to purchase tickets, follow SNOB Film Festival and Pilotgroove Pictures on Facebook.

“Casual Causality” – Now Playing!

Fresh off it’s premiere screening in Boston, Pilotgroove Pictures is proud to present our latest short film – Casual Causality!

“Casual Causality”
48 Hour Film Project Boston, 2018
 (Genre: Time Travel)

This short comedy, follows the misadventures of time-travel trainee, Theodore Taylor (C.J. Dudek). During a training run to the early 21st century, Taylor’s cover is blown by Christopher “Ch” Providence (Jay Galinauskas), a jaded time-hopper from a distant future. Aaron Compagna (Don is the New Death) returns as Ch’s uncle Lou, a patsy to his nephew’s penchant for practical jokes, which threatens to derail Taylor’s time-travel mission.

“Casual Causality” is the 9th short film by Pilotgroove Pictures, and the 5th from the award-winning writer/director duo of P.J. Huot and Ben Peirce. The film was written, shot, edited and scored between May 4 and May 6, 2018, as part of the Boston 48 Hour Film Project. It was screened theatrically at The Somerville Theater on May 15, 2018.

Copyright © 2018, Pilotgroove Pictures

Want to see more?
Check out the Pilotgroove Pictures Facebook Page to see production stills, posters, behind the scenes photos and more.

“Casual Causality” set to premiere in Boston

Returning to the Boston 48 Hour Film Project, Pilotgroove Pictures will debut our ninth film – Casual Causality – on Tuesday night, 9:30pm at the Somerville Theater.

Casual Causality is a comedic time travel short, written and directed by P.J. Huot and Ben Peirce (Don is the New Death). C.J. Dudek (who made a cameo in last year’s Don is the New Death) stars as Theodore Taylor – a timid first-time time traveler who is unwittingly spotted by Ch – a jaded, time-hopper from a distant future played by Pilotgroove newcomer, Jay Galinauskas.

Aaron Compagna (Don is the New Death) returns as Ch’s Uncle Lou, a victim of his nephew’s spree of practical jokes, which threatens to derail Theodore’s time travel mission.

See Casual Causality (and 16 other 48 hour films) at the Boston 48 Hour Film Project (Group D) screening – Tuesday, June 8 at 9:30pm at the Somerville Theater. Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office for $11.


Don is the New Death  wins at DRAFT Fest

Pilotgroove Pictures’ 2017 short, Don is the New Death won it’s second award for Best Short Comedy, this time at Derry NH’s DRAFT Festival. The annual festival, now entering its 3rd year, pairs short films with craft beers for a unique viewing and drinking experience. Don is the New Death was also named Best Short Comedy in November’s SNOB Film Festival.

More Awards, More Screenings, More BEER!

Continuing an almost full-year theatrical run, Don is the New Death, was an official selection in this year’s DRAFT FestivalDon is the New Death will show on Thursday, April 12 at 7pm at From the Barrel in Londonderry, NH. Space is extremely limited, but tickets can still be purchased online at: draftfestnh.com/2018-tickets.

DRAFT Festival (Derry Regional Ales & Films Together) is a celebration of Indie Films and Local Craft Beer. The festival will showcase over 30 films, paired with craft beers at screenings held throughout the Derry, NH area.

The selection for DRAFT Fest comes on the heels of another award-winning festival appearance for Pilotgroove Pictures. Don is the New Death won Best Short Comedy at the 2017 SNOB Film Festival in November. This marks the 4th festival award for the film, which also won for Best Writing, Best Actor (Ben Peirce) and Best use of Genre at the Boston 48 Hour Film Project awards.

Don is the New Death selected for SNOB Film Festival

The latest Pilotgroove Pictures short, Don is the New Death, will get 2 more theatrical showings next month when it appears at the 2017 SNOB Film Festival. Screenings are scheduled for Friday, November 10 at 7pm and Saturday, November 11 at 11am as part of the “Twisted Tales” block of shorts. Both screenings will take place at Red River Theatres in Concord, NH.

Now in it’s 16th season, the SNOB (Somewhat North of Boston) Film Festival is a grassroots effort to showcase and support independent filmmaking. Along with over 50 films, the festival also features live music and craft beer tasting as part of New England Indie Fest.

Don is the New Death joins Just Remember That They’re Dead (2011) and A Bloodless Crime (2014), which also appeared at SNOB. Directors, P.J. Huot and Ben Peirce took the prize for “Best Regional Filmmaker” in 2011. Awards for this year’s festival will be handed out at the “Highlighted Films & Awards” screening on Sunday, November 12 at 3pm.

Pilotgroove Wins 3 at 48 Hr. Film Project “Best of Boston” Awards.

SOMERVILLE, MA – Pilotgroove Pictures had a fine showing at the “Best of Boston 48 Hour Film Project ” awards show. Sixteen of the best films from Boston’s 58-team filmmaking competition got an encore screening at the Somerville Theater last night. Among them, Pilotgroove’s Don is the New Death was nominated for 4 judged awards and took home 3, including Best Use of Genre, Best Actor (Ben Peirce) and Best Writing.

The 48 Hour Film Project tasks filmmakers with producing a short film in just 48 hours, while incorporating certain prescribed elements and adhering to a randomly-selected genre. Don is the New Death won the award for Best Use of Genre, for its use of the “Fish out of Water” theme. In the film, Don Foreman is reluctantly cast into the role of Death, when the position is unexpectedly vacated. The Cornhole Kid (Sports Film), The War of Two Sides (War/Anti-War FIlm) and Expiration Date (Horror) were also nominated for Best Use of Genre

In a surprising turn, Ben Peirce took home the award for Best Actor for his whimsical performance as Don’s mentor and “Interim Death”, Lawrence Soto. Peirce was nominated alongside Raif Johnson-Kennedy (The War of Two Sides), James LeBlanc (Probation) and Dave Connors (Lost In Time). P.J. Huot who co-directed alongside Peirce, told him after the awards show, “I didn’t know what you were doing at first. Then after we shot the first scene I was like, I get it. I get it and I like it!”

Soto, a mentor, was the prescribed character for 48 Hr. Film Project Boston. The portrayal also earned Pilotgroove Pictures a nomination for Best Use of Character – but the award went to Extra Medium’s Fists of Clay, which also took home the award for Best Film and will represent Boston at Filmapalooza. The Cornhole Kid (Charles River Swimming & Diving) and The Evel Bracelet (MadCat Productions) were also nominated.

The biggest excitement came when Don is the New Death was announced as the winner for Best Writing. Huot, Peirce and Jay Syrene are credited with the script, but the list of contributing writers is long and includes Dominique Del Prete, Greg Giorgio, Jennifer Peirce, Chris Shannis and Mike Testa – deserves special mention for introducing the idea of the 5 stages of Grief as a way to frame the film. Testa, also composed and performed the film’s score. Other nominees for Best Writing were Carlos Greaves, Loi Huynh, Suzanne Lehman and Jordan Waterworth for Menstruation. Art Sesnovich and Andrew Justin Smith were nominated for Bad Memories. Slaaka Obnots was also nominated for The War of Two Sides.

The Boston 48 Hr. Film Project awards were judged by Ty Burr, reporter and film critic at the Boston Globe; Joyce Kulhawik, President of the Boston Theater Critics Association and Film Critic for JoycesChoices.com; and Tom Meek, President of the Boston Society of Film Critics.

With 4 nominations and 3 awards, Don is the New Death moves past A Bloodless Crime (which was an Audience Coice winner in 2014 and was also nominated for Best Actor and Best Writing) as the most critically-successful Pilotgroove Pictures film to date. Our thanks and congratulations go out to the entire cast and crew, to Boston Producers, Ben and Rachel Guaraldi and everyone else who helped make the film possible. THAT’S a wrap!

Don is the New Death gets an encore at the “Best of Boston” screening.

Those who may have missed the premiere screening in June will get one more chance to see Don is the New Death on the big screen. The film was just announced as one of 16 to be shown at the “Best of the Boston 48 Hr. Film Project” screening – July 11, 7:30pm at the Somerville Theater.

It will be an honor to stand alongside some of the best filmmakers in the area and to see our film play again in front of a live audience. Following the screening, winners of all judges’ awards will be announced, including Best Film, which will go on to represent Boston at Filmapalooza and vie for Best 48 HrFP Film of 2017. Members of the Cast and crew will be on hand and an afterparty is being held at Redbones following the show.

Pilotgroove Pictures was one of 59 Boston teams to write, shoot, edit and complete a short film in just 48 hours. Don is the New Death was written and directed by P.J. Huot and Ben Peirce, who stars alongside Aaron Compagna.

To see the full lineup of films and purchase tickets to the Best Of screening, visit: 48hourfilm.com/boston.

“Don is the New Death” – Now Playing!

With the Boston 48 Hour Film Project premiere just hours behind us, Pilotgroove Pictures is proud to present – Don is the New Death!

“Don is the New Death”
48 Hour Film Project Boston, 2017
 (Genre: Fish out of Water)
This dark comedy, written and directed by P.J. Huot and Ben Peirce, with Jay Syrene (Just Remember That They’re Dead) is the eighth film by Pilotgroove Pictures and our second 48 Hour Film Project outside of New Hampshire. Don is the new Death stars Pilotgroove newcomer, Aaron Compagna as Don Foreman – a suburban husband who unwittingly inherits the role of Death. Compagna stars alongside director, Ben Peirce as Lawrence Soto, Don’s transition mentor and “Interim Death”.

This film was written, shot, edited and scored between June 2 and June 4, 2017, as part of the Boston 48 Hour Film Project. It was screened theatrically at The Somerville Theater on June 9, 2017.  Copyright © 2017, Pilotgroove Pictures

Want to see more?
Check out the Pilotgroove Pictures Facebook Page to see production stills, posters, behind the scenes photos and more.

“Don is the New Death” premieres tonight (7pm) in Boston

It’s been three years since Pilotgroove Pictures debuted a new film. Since the 2014 release of A Bloodless Crime, our team has not assembled to make another film. Tonight, thanks to the Boston 48 Hour Film Project, the wait is over. Last weekend, Pilotgroove Pictures was one of 59 Boston teams to write, shoot, edit and complete a short film in just 48 hours. Tonight, at 7:00pm at the Somerville Theater, our latest short – Don is the New Deathwill  make its big screen debut.

Don is the New Death is the eighth 48 hour film from Pilotgroove Pictures, and the second outside of New Hampshire. It was written and directed by P.J. Huot and Ben Peirce (Just Remember That They’re Dead, A Bloodless Crime) along with Jay Syrene and other contributors. The film is a fish out of water tale, starring Pilotgroove newcomer, Aaron Compagna as Don Foreman – a suburban husband who unwittingly inherits the role of Death. Compagna stars alongside Ben Peirce as Lawrence Soto, Don’s transition mentor and interim Death. With, sharp dialogue and Pilotgroove Picture’s signature flare for the morbidly absurd, this dark comedy is sure to have audiences gasping for air.

See Don is the New Death (and 14 other 48 hour films) at the Boston 48 Hour Film Project (Group C) screening – Thursday, June 8 at 7:00pm at the Somerville Theater in Boston. Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office for $11.

Yours, while supplies last – the “Don is the New Death” Lego® set.
by Parker Peirce