Choose Your Own Blog

Friday, April 30, 2010

More Scouting Pics Redux

The stairwell in Frank's house where Peters and Lynn try to make their escape.

Yeah, Frank's trademark look. We never used the back of his house for anything other than parking a LOT of cars. 
(and cheating the one scene the cops shut down our production out front one day)

You know what this sidewalk needs? A clown, and a severed head lying in front of him.

 You know what the amazing thing about this photo is?
I missed a shot the day we shot here--a POV shot. Later on I just figured I was screwed.
Then I saw this pic. I clipped the murder van from another still, put it in this picture,
created a shadow, then added camera shake and VOILA!
I had a POV shot without renting a van and driving back out to
the eastern shore(like an hour away).

Yeah, nothing creepy about this place...

Friday, April 23, 2010

More Scouting Pics

And you'll recognize these locations if you've seen FOC2, and if you haven't, what are you waiting for? :)
The barn where the naked girl(Savannah) is chopped in two!

Lynn Blodgett's house was actually Frank Lama's house at the time

Do you know how hard it is to find actual phone booths now? Man...

The basement of Frank's house has this exit, which I incorporated into the script

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

March 31st, 2006

Some more location scouting at Tuckahoe with one of FOC2's lead actors, Frank Lama.

March 31

The weather's changing. I can smell the approaching summer.

It feels like moviemaking weather. I'm starting to get excited.

See, when you start putting a movie together it's a lot of worry. I have a hard time sleeping. The sheer of amount of work to be done is staggering. And it's all you can think about.

Then the pieces start falling into place(hopefully). You get what you want, or you change what you want to what you can get. You watch your movie in your mind 100 times to figure out the best way to shoot each scene for maximum impact.

And then, very soon, you shoot a movie.

Hurdles completed: Most of casting, located a new makeup artist(when your movie's about clowns and you have no one to paint the clowns...I was in a bad place for a while), have completed 3(of 5) headcasts

Hurdles to be completed(the short list): Figure out how to burn a car safely and--more importantly--controllably so that we can keep continuity okay--it wouldn't do to have the fire large in one scene, then small, then large again.

Also gotta get plane tickets for everybody. There's some equipment to be gotten, some lighting tests, have to get insurance so we can get clearance for some of the locations, then have to scout a few small locations.

Doing some of it today. Check the KKF forum for pics later if you care.

Friday, April 16, 2010

March 17th, 2006: Preparing For Shooting

I'll start posting some of the location scouting pics I took--most of them of Tuckahoe, the place where we shot the last half of FOC2. 

March 17th

..where do I start?

We're entering the MASSIVE part of preproduction where you pretty much plan for EVERYTHING. A lot of people don't realize it, but making a movie is 95% preproduction.

We're casting, we're nailing down locations, we're figuring out how to do everything I've written in the script(and the funny part is how many of the people read the script ask me "How you gonna do that?"--yeah, I'm aiming high again)

I was once told it's better to aim high and miss than aim low and hit. I don't know. The feeling of disappointment I got when I was done FOC and it wasn't as good as I had imagined...kinda sent me into a funk.

But here I go once again, and maybe this time I'll get closer to what I was going for. Already though I'm making compromises; there have been a couple of roles I simply couldn't find what I was looking for, so I had to either take a decent actor who looked nothing like the role, or an unknown quantity that has a good pedigree(meaning, they've been in some "name" movies and having their name in my picture can boost my visibility).

Pretty soon we'll have the casting announcements on the KKF message boards.

Friday, April 9, 2010

March 8th, 2006

So it's weird to think back on this. What happened was that I was having a hard time casting the part of "Rego", the older mercenary who helps out Detective Peters.

And I had received interest from a guy who had a role in "Halloween 6". Since he was from Arizona I told him he could do an audition tape.

He sent me a dvd which, if I can find, maybe I'll post a piece. Just so you can see the difference in Tom Proctor then versus now.

My mindset at the time was--"Man, if he's good, I can't possibly afford him."

The dvd came in and he WAS pretty good. Heavier than I expected. Turns out he was a stuntman turned actor. He told me he had gained some weight as a result of a stunt gone wrong.

Apparently his foot had been all but blown off on a stunt. The doctor had thought he wouldn't run again. Well, Tom assured me he'd lose some weight before we shot the movie and that he'd run--maybe with a little limp.

There was a second I thought--I can't cast him. I can't possibly afford him. To offer him the meager salary I could would offend him.

So I thought "Just send him an email saying we didn't think he'd fit the part."

One of the best decisions I made was to NOT send that email. I called him. I figured, what the fuck?

I talked to him on the phone, apologized profusely for what I was about to offer him, and gave him my spiel. And at the end of it he said, "Listen man: I love making movies. You feed me two cheeseburges a day and find me a floor to sleep on, and I'm there."

Turned out to be a great decision.  He's exactly the kind of guy you want on a low-budget movie where stuff gets done mostly out of sheer will and the desire to make a movie.

I ended up writing a script for him, which he starred in and helped me produce("Bounty").

And would work with him again in a second. If you want to see what he looks like today(he's lost a TON of weight):

March 08, 2006

In the news dept., it appears we're about to cast a pretty meaty role in the film with a guy who was actually IN a Halloween movie! (though it was Halloween 6--but still!)

And I'm not talking as an extra, though the role WAS small. He played a guy who gets killed by Michael Myers!(he has a couple of lines before old Mike does him in)

So that's where I'm at.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

February 24th, 2006: Networking & Showing FOC Part 2

I promise the next post will begin to go closer to FOC2 stuff.

Feb 24th

Okay, I'm back from a day of horrible open auditions. If you haven't read part 1, scroll down and read it, then come back. I'll wait.

So, the movie finally starts. The screen is too dark, I can tell pretty fast. There are slight roll bars also, so the picture isn't as near as good as it could be. The sound's nothing to write home about either.

I take a table in the far back so I can gauge audience reaction. Frank sits with me. We're alone there, which is the way I like it.

Then some big guy comes over, takes off his coat and sits right next to me.

Introduces himself. And I'm thinking: "You gotta be shitting me." He's invited himself to my table and he proceeds to try to talk to me during the whole flick. Trying to sell me on how he's also a writer/director/songwriter/composer/900 other thing--which means he's not good at ANY of them.

My wife shows up somewhere in there, and this dick has her seat. So she sits at the table behind me, and then I wait a couple minutes and get up and go sit next to her. I'm sure it must have seemed rude to the guy, and I'd just like to take this moment to tell the guy: "Too fuckin' bad."

Okay, so back to the movie. The lights from the tall buildings outside are casting shadows on the movie screen, further obscuring the image. And then I guess the John's Hopkins people showed up, 'cause all of a sudden you can hear music pounding from downstairs.

I just tried to ignore it all.

The movie ended. People clapped and came over and congratulated me. You can never tell who actually likes your movie and who just says they do because they're hoping you'll do something for them.

Later I did hear that at most of these dinner movies people pretty much talk non-stop and network, and that this was the first flick they had there where people stopped talking and started watching the movie.

So upstairs we all go--they have a bar and karaoke up there. Pretty funny to watch. But honestly, I'm tired and don't like to network. I want to leave. But since the club has said they're going to give us some money, I hang out. I talk with a hottie Asian chick who does casting(and may even appear in a small role in FOC2).

Fast forward to 1am. I'm REALLY ready to leave. Frank's trying to find the manager who's supposed to give us money. She's nowhere. I wait at the front door as Frank goes from floor to floor, getting the runaround.

I shit you not. Fast forward to 2am. I'm STILL waiting at the front door. I'm VERY irritated. Franks FINALLY found the manager lady who has sent him to someone else, and they're counting out the money.

It ends up being like $200. This may sound a bit arrogant, but $200 doesn't do much for me. If you asked me would I show up and show my movie, talk to people, then stand around for over an hour, all for $200--I would be walking the other way before you even finished talking.

When they first floated the idea to me they mentioned half the ticket price, and part of the bar because we were going to be keeping people there drinking(and if Coke's cost $3, what do you think actual drinks cost?)

I know--I'm getting verbose. I'll finish it quick.

I make my escape at about 2:30am--Frank and I are quickly hit up by a beggar(who Frank gives his change to. Frank: "Do not ENCOURAGE them!") I get to the parking garage and notice something frightening.

It's closed.

Yeah, it's 2:30am and I'm stuck in Baltimore. I call Frank real fast and beg him to turn around and come get me. Nice guy that he is, he does. He takes me home and crashes on my couch for the night.

I wait until 5:30am and call a cab, take it back to Baltimore, grab my car(though they didn't open at 6am like they said they did) and hightail it back to my house before Frank gets up.

Taxi: $19 Parking Garage: $15

So now my take is even smaller. There you have it. The lowlights of being a low-budget filmmaker. I can personally guarantee that's the last public showing of FOC for a LONG time.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

February 24th, 2006: Networking & Showing FOC

Not sure which blog to put this on, so I'm gonna stick this one here.

Feb 24th

Last night there was a showing of FOC at a local cinema-grille thing. The venue was very nice, a huge upscale place. They had asked me whether they could do it, and asked me to attend. Since they didn't ask me to promote it or do anything else, I said sure.

A couple of days beforehand I was hearing that they expected a lot of people. Great. They had mentioned they would give me half of all the ticket sales--even better.

They said it was also kind of a networking thing--people could drop off headshots and talk to other people about the projects they were trying to get off the ground. Less great. I'm not a big schmoozer or networker.

The odd paradox is that I'm really not a people person, though most people who don't know me well will tell you how nice and friendly I am.

So I get there. There's no parking so I park two VERY long blocks away in an all-night parking garage that looks to cost me $20 for the duration. I walk to the restaurant and go inside.

I'm fashionably late, and there really isn't anybody there. I'm already thinking: Waste of time. Frank Lama's there, his usual chipper self. He loves networking.

I meet the people putting on the show. They tell me the screening is going to take place on the second floor, but after the showing we need to take the party to the third floor because some other Johns Hopkins graduation party is coming in. Getting better and better.

Fast forward to we're-about-to-start. They have two okay-sized screens. I could probably get a free Coke, but I figure why bother the manager? What's a dollar? The little cup of Coke was $3. I only pay $3 for a Coke if women are taking off their clothes on stage.

They call me up to say a couple of words. I'm not prepared, so I just stutter a few words and back off. They start the flick. The picture stutters and shuts down after the opening credits. They can't make it work. Their dvd player is a piece of shit.

Lucky for them I'm prepared. I brought a dvd player just in case. So I walk the LONG two blocks back to the parking garage and get the player from my car. Then the long walk back. The movie is now going to start almost a half hour late.

There's maybe 50 or 60 people, tops. It gets better(and by better, I mean worse) after that. In part 2.