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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

April 2007 Various

Jacky Reres at her place in L.A. that looked like the set of Melrose Place

April 3, 2007: Grindhouse With John Waters

Saw a preview of Grindhouse tonight--John Waters was there, which was funny. I figured he would have been able to catch an earlier preview, but I guess not.

The flick is like this: Rodriguez part was good, better than I expected, but does go way over the top at the end. The Tarantino part was horrible. A half-hour movie extended to 90 minutes. The first 40 minutes are excruciatingly slow.

It's like the guy's in love with his own dialogue, and it just goes on and on, and it's just some of the most drab and uninteresting conversation you will ever hear, absent of any of the clever Tarantino-ism's you've come to expect.

Maybe it was his joke, like "Hey--check out how bad the 70's movies' dialogue was!". If so, the joke goes on WAAAAAAY too long. I almost fell asleep.

There is a way cool car chase scene with shots of "How'd they do that?" moments with the stuntwoman hanging on to the car--shots that are wide enough you can see the cars are really ramming each other, and the stunt woman is sliding all over the place on the hood of the car.

So unless she was composited onto the hood(which would have been VERY well done) or they digitally took out the safety wires, I'm not sure how they did it.

The previews for coming attractions were great. But when did the whole "beheaded while getting a blowjob" shot come back into style? When I wrote one into FOC2 I hadn't seen one in a LOOOOONG time, and now in the span of three weeks have seen two(Grindhouse, BTM: Rise of Leslie Vernon).

When FOC2 comes out it's gonna look like I'm trying to ride the bandwagon. I'm glad I showed the scene at Fango, so some people will know I'm not.

Anyway, if you go see the flick, stay through the previews between, then I advise taking off. Watch Tarantino's half when it comes out on DVD.

April 6, 2007: Plans for L.A.

Well, I've been trying to get the lead actress in FOC2 back here to do her looping, but it's not working out.

My last resort is flying out there myself to supervise the looping, so that's what I'm going to do. I've never been to California, and frankly I would have liked to go simply as a vacation, but it looks like I'm finally gonna see the west coast for myself.

Hopefully the looping will only take the one day, and I'll have Sunday and Monday day to look around and meet up with some of my LA buds that I haven't seen in a while.

Unless the plane crashes. Then, all of my problems are solved.

April 27, 2007: Heading To L.A.

I'm leaving for L.A. today--will be there until Tuesday morning. Not sure what my blogging situation will be, but maybe I'll post some pics. If not, I'll do it when I get back.

Assuming the plane doesn't crash and solve all of my problems... (insert smiley emoticon)

More pics/details coming...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

November 12th, 2006: Quick Hits

New Note: I ended up putting together a pretty strong Making Of for FOC2, and a few other supplements. We actually did a couple of commentaries...details on those will be coming up.
FOC2(I will no longer ever refer to it in name--it will now be known as FOC2, which sort of sounds like Fuck You) is picture locked. An hour forty-two minutes is the final run time. The composer has it now--he'll be working on it while they're taking a break from "Lost".

I'm splitting my time between working on foley and working on the dvd supplements.

I've discovered that I don't have the...interest...that I used to have in doing them. I think a large part is how I recently discovered(see: FOC1) that the distributor doesn't give a shit about them. Sure, they WANT them--so they can show them on the back of the box.

But they don't actually give a shit about the quality of the supplements. Or how many you have. Really, they just want these: Making Of, Out-takes, and director's commentary. That's it. Deleted scenes are nice if they're short, but if not--they're gone.

For the first FOC I spent nearly as much time on the supplements as I did the movie. I had a Making Of, Out-takes, commentary, easter eggs, almost 45 minutes of deleted scenes with original ending, a 12 minute "Project Redlight" feature that was the best thing I gave them.

And they only used three of the ones I listed above.

So now I'm just trying to overcome my lack of enthusiasm by remembering: The supplements are for the fans. I'll try not to half-ass it too much.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

October 1st, 2006: Fango Weekend of Horror Wrap Up

Sunday was spent throwing up and then trying to recover from the hangover. Wow, to be young again...

We wandered around some more, but really there wasn't much more to see.

So we said later to Tom and Adam and Brandon, and bolted. Made it back in under 3.5 hours, counting the stop at my home-away-from-home Burger King.

Had a good time, all in all, but given that the big show Chiller Theatre takes place at the same hotel about a month later, I think I can see why the attendance wasn't as high as I expected.

Here's a couple of other links to people who were there!

Rob G - Icons of Fright


Crowgrrrl's Perch

Monday, May 30, 2011

Saturday, September 30th 2006: Fango 2.5

As a small aside, this is the show I met both Marcus Koch and Rob G. Marcus is a talented FX guy and also the director of 100 Tears(among others), a very cool clown horror movie with a much higher body count than FOC.  

Rob G is the man behind the Icons Of Fright web site, a very cool site dedicated to horror. I got to meet him again at the Texas Frightmare where he introduced me to Tom Holland...


After the panel we wandered around a bit. Checked out the dealer's room. We went back to my hotel room and I had Adam loop his audio. Didn't take too long. It was only a few lines that I needed, and some of them you couldn't see his lips so it wasn't hard to match.

I found out that Adam's an early drinker. I did a shot with him, but really needed something to eat before I started drinking. We got a sub and ate it real quick. Hit the liquor store for some more vodka.

That night they were planning on broadcasting the Sirius satellite Fango show live from the ballroom, so we figured we'd attend. We started drinking first though. Fast forward to 10pm.

Show starts. It's interesting. John Saxon gets up and answers some questions, and my first thought is: Damn, he looks old. It makes me feel bad. This guy is an old-time badass. One of my first memories of him is as a barbarian in a really cheesy TV movie called "Prisoners of the Lost Universe"--I own it on VHS 'cause it ain't out on dvd.

Then he played a cop in stuff like Nightmare on Elm Street, Black Christmas, and about 100 others. But now he just looks old. He's got that old-man shuffle when he walks in the room. Time is truly a bitch.

Next up is Kane Hodder, Jason himself. He still looks good. Talks about the new movie Hatchet. Adam Green, the director, answers some questions later.

All of it's a bit blurry. I kept making runs up to the room to make vodka/cranberries or vodka lemonades, and somewhere in there they started catching up to me.

One of those times I came back and my crew has left with the exception of Ziegler. He's there, and there's a cute chick sitting next to him. In my seat.

So I sit on the other side of her. She's chatting with Ziegler, so I figure they know each other. Turns out they don't; she's one of the finalists in the Scream Queen contest, and is there to compete live on-air for the winner, who gets to be in some future movie for Fango.

She tells me she's from Maryland. I look at her a little incredulous. I say: You know, I've shot three movies in Maryland, and have never so much as received a headshot from her. She seems surprised to hear who I am, and is then impressed when we point out Shivers on the banner up behind Dee.

Anyway, the contest starts. Her name is Erin, and she's up against a girl who's method-acting as a zombie nurse, and another girl who's a little chunky. To me it seems a no-brainer.

She wins. Watch her winning audition here:

She seems pretty good. Natural in front of the six cameras that were videotaping for the Fango television show.

After the show I'm walking out and some guy walks up to me: "Hey, you're {my name}, director of FOC right?". I say yeah. He gushes how much he liked it, and asks if I want to come up--him and some friends are watching a screener of "Feast"(the project greenlight movie). I've already seen it, but tell him maybe we'll stop by.

Later on we figure we'll swing by and see what's going on. About fifteen people are there in this guy's little hotel room watching it. One of them is Adam Green, the director of Hatchet. Pretty funny.

We head back to the room around 4am and crash.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Friday, Sept 29th, 2006: Fango Continued

Got up crazy early(for me) at about noon. We went downstairs to look for the rest of the crew and ran into Adam and his manager Brandon. Adam plays Hot Rod in FOC2, and did a great job.

No word from Mark(the clown), Johnny or Tom. Hey, at least I know Tom's already there.

Then Mark calls--he's like a mile away. It then took him about 45 minutes to get to us. That's Jersey for you.

The guy up on stage before us has an okay crowd, but it's still pretty sparse by big-con standards. We're fifteen minutes away from our panel, and everybody's finally showed except Johnny. I call and leave him a message.

 From left to right,
Adam Ciesielski, Mark Lassise, Tom Proctor, Pre-Starvation Kevin Kangas, and Rob Ziegler

The panel(and yes, the pic with the date has the wrong date...)

Finally it's our turn. They give us microphones and introduce us. I'm surprised to find that there's a good-sized crowd now. It also surprises me that once I get up there, I'm not nervous at all.

I'm a guy who used to literally shake when I had to get up in front of a classroom to do a report. I was one of those people who was more afraid of public speaking than going to the dentist.

But once I'm up in front of the people I relax. I introduce my cast and crew(minus Johnny) and then the lights go down, and they show the new trailer and clips I brought to debut.

And people cheer. People clapped during the brutal kills. It was very cool.

Then the lights came back up and I asked: "Any questions?"

In my mind I pictured nobody raising their hand. We'd all sit there for 25 minutes, crickets chirping in the background.

But people raised their hand. I answered some questions, let some of the cast answer some questions, let Tom blow some of the movie's surprise by telling everyone that his character dies--oops, blew it for you too, didn't I?

There ended up being more questions than time--they finally had to cut us off. They gave us pens to sign the banners, and led us around behind the stage where they had set up a table for us to sign stuff.

And then the biggest surprise: The line for us to sign stuff went out the door. We were signing for a solid twenty five minutes--and that was simply signing, not much talking to each person.
Ziegler thought it was funny to sign things "Shivers Has A Secret...Ask Him". 
So people would ask Mark, and Mark would ask me.

As we were walking out, Tony Timpone(Fango head honcho) stopped me to congratulate me. Said "Wow, you guys were the hit of the show today."

That was very cool, and gratifying. I'll tell you about the rest of day 2 coming up...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Thursday, September 28th, 2006 Weekend At Fango Pt 1

Sept 28th

Today(Thursday)--I'm going up early and meeting Tom Proctor, one of the actors. We're going to try to loop his dialogue in the hotel room. Should be interesting to see if it works.

Anyway, the panel is Friday at 2:00pm.

I fully expect a two-person audience. Crickets chirping in the background also. 2:00pm on the first day is not exactly a great time.

But hey, you know about beggars and choosers, right?

I'll get ya some pictures maybe. Something interesting hopefully.


Ok, gonna give you the cliff notes version.

Set off to leave for Fango on Thursday afternoon. My car--which I have not had one single problem with since I bought it four years ago--doesn't start. Can't even jumpstart it.

I ignore the omen. Me and Zig(that's Ziegler) head to Enterprise and get a car, and bolt. We get to the hotel without incident. Then, as I'm turning around because I was at the wrong parking lot, I back into a metal pole set into the road. Yep, in my rental car. Scratch it up pretty nice.

Zig is amazed that the convention is being held in the exact same hotel as Chiller a few years back.

We get the room and I start setting up so I can loop my actors that are coming into town. A quick problem: The television is not set up to accept any input other than coaxial. My dvd player(that I need so I can play the video that my actors will loop to) won't work.

So we head out to Wal-mart. Only--in Jersey--that takes about an hour. The Wal-mart is about two miles away.

Adam Green(of Hatchet 1&2, Frozen)--
we ended up watching a flick in a hotel room with him that weekend...

Anyway, to make a long story short(too late)--we get a doodad(that's the scientific name) to make the dvd player work with the TV. We get Tom Proctor to loop his dialogue. (which is funny--he's screaming at the top of his lungs during the fight scene he's looping; it's like midnight; we're on what's been designated "The Quiet Floor"; I keep waiting for security to show up)

We then head down to see what the main auditorium looks like--it's big. And like I said--seeing Shivers on the banner, as one of the largest icons up there, was very cool.

Had some vodka, tried to get to sleep, but what really happened was I watched the remake of The Blob, then The Dead Zone, and fell asleep somewhere around 5am.

Adam Ciesielski, one of the actors from FOC2, who would also be on the panel

Day 2 to come.

Meanwhile, here's that highlight of the weekend: The banner they had on the showroom stage--that's right, Shivers is right below Bruce(the shark in Jaws). Very cool.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

September 7th, 2006: Fango Invite

Pics and report to follow in the next post...

Very cool! I've just been invited to be a guest at Fango's Weekend of Horrors at the end of the month. I guess my picture will be up there sometime next week.

The very cool thing is that my 2nd wife(I'm on my 1st right now) will be there--Charisma Carpenter(of "Buffy", "Angle", "Veronica Mars", and oh yeah, Playboy). So this will be my first chance to charm her.

But seriously. There will be a special FOC2 panel with some of the cast/crew including Mark Lassise, Tom Proctor, Adam Ciesielski and Robert Ziegler. I'll premiere footage from FOC2 with a slideshow of pictures, and I think we'll even give out an actual prop head used in the film.

It's in NJ, so if you're in the area...check it out!

Friday, March 4, 2011

August 19, 2006: Director's Concern

Ok, I'll name drop. The friend noted in this post is Academy-Award nominated screenwriter Josh Olson("A History of Violence"). I've known him for something like fifteen years. That's a story in itself. (and there's a pic of us coming up in this log)

I typically send him my flicks to watch before anybody else. He gives me good feedback, which I then integrate before showing more people. 


August 19, 2006

Let me state at the beginning that this is not meant to be a dig at my actors. (But because I'm stating this you can probably assume it's going to sound like it)

One of the things I'm mulling over as I consider my next project is how much emotion to instill in the story. You see, a story where not much happens between characters is unbearable to watch unless you've got great actors who can live and breathe your characters, so the audience can't help but identify with them.

One of the problems with my original cut of FOC was that it seemed boring. Yet, no one who read the script seemed to be bored. So after I sent the film to one of my buddies out in LA he said, "Dude, you gotta cut all this talking between the characters."

I said, "But it's character development."

He said, "Well...yeah, it would be if you had better actors. But what you got now is just boring dialogue."

So I considered what he said and maybe he's right. Again, I'm not blaming my actors--many of them are very talented. And the onus is 100% on them. Amateur directing can be unnoticeable if the actors on screen are great; the reverse is not true: Shoddy acting will be noticed regardless of how nice it's shot.

The project I'm considering is cheaper than my last couple of films--and with cheaper comes a deeper story. But the problem is, if I can't get an actor who can really sink his teeth into this main character then all I'm doing is wasting my(and my audience's) time.

Anyway, FOC2 cut is down to 1:54, but now I'm about to go through the tough-love cut. Where I trim the fat regardless of how much I like it. I expect the final cut of FOC2 to be about 1:40(100 minutes) with credits(front and end credits typically add about 6 minutes--that's right, you people with brains or calculators can figure out that the actual movie will run about 94 minutes)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

August 7th, 2006

August 7th

Three words for you.

Rough. Cut. Done.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

July 20th--Missed Post

Whoops, somehow skipped this one. Reading it now cracks me up, because actors and their forgetting-their-wardrobe is something that plagued me big time on my new flick "Garden of Hedon"...

July 20th
The Tuckahoe pickup. I grab some Slim Jims for Bullet, then Ziegler and Stull help me load up the car and the truck. We head to the eastern shore again.

It’s weird coming back. But I get that good memory feeling.

Frank forgets his shoes. All he has to bring is his outfit for the day. Me, I have to bring my script, all the equipment, various props for doing foley sounds, and more—no problem.

We shoot the pickup. It goes easy. We get some foley—still have that damn lumber mill making a racket but we added a line of dialogue rather than try to loop everyone’s dialogue during the day shots.

I take the guys to dinner while we wait for O’brocki to show up. Burger King. Oh yeah, craft services has nothing on me...

We go back. Frank leaves, and the rest of us go to the barn to get a couple pickup shots there. We toss O’brocki’s Pez head around for a while, then shoot a shot of him running into the barn. Only problem is that the corn, which was about 1 foot high when we shot it before is now about 6 feet high.

It’s not going to match too well. We’ll see what happens. It’s a pretty dark shot.

Then we go back to Tuckahoe and Ziegler and Stull help me do some foley. We can’t get it all done—we run out of time and the train car is locked.

But we get some good stuff. We shoot some guns which is always fun.

At this point I have 43 consecutive minutes of the film rough cut. Almost halfway there. There’s good stuff and there’s bad stuff. Will be interesting to take a look at it in the whole.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

July 2006

July 23rd, 2006

Not Much To Report...

...except that it's only been about 6 weeks since we finished principle photography on FOC2, and I have 49 minutes rough-edited together. That's right, you can sit and watch 49 consecutive minutes of FOC2 already.

My rough cut should come in around 2 hours long--I'll cut that to between 90-98 minutes long. So by that account I'm around halfway finished.

But the reality is that I've edited 95% of the tough scenes. There's only two big scenes left to edit--Attack at Lynn's House and the Finale.

Sound issues are going to be huge though. There are some big problems I'm working on right now.

But when I say I'm living at my editing machine, I'm not exaggerating...

 July 9th, 2006

If you weren't on set during the shooting of FOC2 this won't make you laugh, but I think the rest of you will.

There was a scene in the film where one of the clowns, played by Clarence McNatt, shouts "WHYYYYY?"--and it became this running joke among everybody. Clarence shouts it so dramatically and his voice is so deep that it was like some booming Shakespearean query.

After that, a day or night didn't go by without someone in the cast or crew mimicking the shout of WHYYYYY--and everyone would start laughing.

Tonight I'm logging footage from the B-camera. The scene with Clarence comes on, so I'm typing the timecode and what's happening on screen. There's Clarence's face, and he suddenly yells "WHYYYYY?"

Behind me, my three year old(just turned it today) mimics in his mousy voice: "whyyyyy?"

I couldn't stop laughing--which made him do it a couple more times.