Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Pull

Loot what I gots fer Decemberween:

A glow in the dark Slashers t-shirt -- Evy and V.
A brain shaped jelly mold -- Evy and V.
A small piece of moldavite -- my bro.
A large hand embossed, hand bound leather journal -- my bro.
An Algiers labyrinth (for both mom and I) -- my bro.
Various healthy food stuffs -- my bro's girl.
The Dark Tower books (minus three and four since I have those) -- my mom.
And cash.

And what do I plan to do with said cash? Well, I'm glad I asked. I plan on making a couple of purchases, to be sure, but the majority is going toward the new short, which I hope to shoot in May of next year. April is the Sarasota Film Festival -- whether or not I'm in it doesn't matter, I'm gonna be busy with it -- and any earlier than that would be pushing it.'s gonna be a zombie movie!! WOO! I know, I one's really surprised that it's gonna be zombies, but I have heard "Well, it's about time..." All I can say in response to that is that Without/Within was important to me and it was important that I get it done. Now, I can do some horror stuff. :D

After this next short, I hope to do a feature. Which one? I dunno. I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (thar be spoilers below!)

AvP:R (the R isn't really for Requiem, it's to make sure you suckers know that it's rated R) was directed by the Brothers Strause (in their feature debut) and written by Shane Salerno (Armageddon, Shaft).
I love the Alien movies, though I'm far from being an expert. I love them, love them, love them. All of them, even Alien3 (so long as it's David Fincher's work print version, not the Fox executives' version) and while there may be a few issues with Alien: Resurrection, I love it, too. Predator...well...I found them to be interesting, but not "omigod PREDATORS R SEW COOL!" interesting. The Alien aliens win for me.
I hated the first Alien versus Predator movie. Hated it. Paul W.S. Anderson's shoddy treatment of both properties, and essential transplant of the two species into the Resident Evil script, really frustrated me, though the Predalien hybrid introduced at the end of the flick was really interesting.
AvP:R makes the first one look like a masterpiece of Shakespearian proportions.
The film starts out with the biggest mistake EVER which was carried over from the first flick. Can you tell me, honestly tell me, that the Predators would actually carry their impregnated homie back onto the ship without any sort of protection? They have a super-special Alien tracking sight thingie in their masks, for the love of Pete. They'd KNOW that their fellow Predator was carrying a really nasty hybrid and would DISPOSE OF HIM / HER IMMEDIATELY. And by really nasty, I mean to say that the Predalien was a Queen / Uber-Facehugger unless forcefeeding multiple embryos down their host's throat is how the Predators procreate...
AND WHERE DID THEY GET THE FACEHUGGERS THAT ARE ON THE SHIP IN THE BEGINNING?! They couldn't have rescued them from the temple, there wasn't enough time to bottle the six (or whatever) of them up so nicely before the building went bye-byes.
The Predator knives (the ones that come out of their little gauntlet things): are they some special acid-resistant metal or something? Even their armour isn't acid blood resistant, but their weapons are, by golly...
There were very few, very VERY few, things in the script that were surprising and even fewer things that weren't slightly misogynistic or racist. Only white people live, only the menfolk (and the half-assed Ripley stand-in) get to shoot the guns, and only men get to be impregnated by facehuggers while already pregnant women get to be impregnated by the Predalien Queen. This is one terribly written movie. And, may I mention how much I hate that the lead male character is named Dallas?
Shots and even whole moments were stolen (even repeated once or twice) from the various Alien films (maybe Predator, too...I don't know,) but usually Aliens and Alien3. It was nice the first couple of times, but when conservatively 66 of your 86 minute runtime consists of stolen shots and moments, it gets boring fast especially when it doesn't feel as though the shots were understood by the filmmakers beyond "Oh, yeah! That was an awesome moment...let's do that!"
There are two really good things about this film, though: Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr. came back for the effects (their Alien work is phenomenal) and the score by Brian Tyler took all kinds of cues from the Alien and Aliens scores (again, probably the Predator stuff, too, I don't know) and melded them into something that really worked for this film, though it did feel a little uneven, going more for the military feel of Aliens and I imagine the bombastic Predator.
My biggest problem with these movies is ALIENS ON EARTH BEFORE RIPLEY LEAVES IT?! WHAT?!?! Maybe it's explained in the comic books or one of the games or something, but you can't tell me that none of the characters in the first Alien film had ever heard of the complete nuclear annihilation of even a small town because of alien infestation ESPECIALLY when there were four survivours. If Weyland-Yutani were so gung-ho about finding these things (including the Predators?) separately or together, they would have LONG before the Nostromo was even drawn on paper.
The new breed of "versus" movies have the same problems: the crew aren't paying attention. If explanations to any of my concerns are in the comic books, they really need to be in the movies for them to make sense IN THE MOVIE.
Frustrating and disappointing.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Unconditional Love and Jodie Foster

Unconditional Love is a film from 2002 directed by P.J. Hogan and starring Kathy Bates, Jonathan Pryce, and Rupert Everett. It's about a middle aged housewife whose husband decides that he wants to get a divorce because he feels dead inside meanwhile her favourite singer ever, Victor Fox, was murdered by a serial killer. It's Victor Fox's death that puts her over the edge and sends her on a trip to England to attend his funeral where she finds herself trying to help Victor's boyfriend come out of both the closet and the house. And Julie Andrews tells someone to bugger off whilst singing "Getting To Know You." That alone is worth the price of admission.

The movie is freakin' hilarious. It's well written, well directed, well performed, and wonderful. I was, admittedly, dubious at first. Then my mom had me watch the trailer and I saw Jonathan Pryce and knew I had to watch it. I was rewarded with one heck of a quirky flick. I highly recommend it.

This was in today's IMDb news section:
Rupert Everett has dismissed Jodie Foster's "coming out" as insignificant - insisting she is too old for it to have an impact on Hollywood. Foster appeared to confirm rumors about her sexuality earlier this month when she thanked producer Cydney Bernard during her acceptance speech at an awards ceremony in Los Angeles. She said, "(Thank you to) my beautiful Cydney who sticks with me through all the rotten and the bliss." But openly out star Everett insists Foster has done little to encourage secretly gay stars to be more open. He says, "She is 45 and just couldn't be bothered anymore. After a certain age you can be gay in Hollywood. Before that, it's not only not good, it's impossible."

"Imagine that...he was 55 years of age and he finally screwed up enough courage to come out." -- me paraphrasing something Rupert Everett's character said to Kathy Bates in Unconditional Love.

"I thought she came out ages ago..." -- my mom upon reading the above IMDb news item.

I know the world's reaction to Jodie's sort of coming out is more like "Duh." than "HOLY CRAP, REALLY?!", but come on, Rupert. Give the girl a break, yeah? She is Jodie freakin' Foster and it's because she doesn't make it a big deal that it's a big deal. She treats her life, her personal life, as normal whereas if she'd come out a labrys wearing, flag flying lesbian, (or even if not...just look at Rosie O'Donnell, I've never seen her swing a labris or tote a flag, but she's having a hell of a time. Ellen's bounced back, but she STILL has troubles) it would put her on show as a freak and then there would be nothing for her regardless of how talented she is.

Regardless, she's handled her life in the best way for her. She can't live for the rest of us...

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

So, I watched Sweeney Todd last night. It was directed by Tim Burton
 from the apparently classic stage musical with lots of blood. The source of the stage musical was a folk tale about a barber looking for revenge.

Okay, lemme cut to the chase: I'm not a big fan of musicals. There has to 
be something really special about them to make me like them. I can't stand older musicals and Sweeney Todd, in spite of the horror aspects, harkens back to shows like Oklahoma! and West Side Story. To put it quite frankly, I WAS BLOODY BORED. My only previous experience with Sweeney Todd comes from an episode of Just the Ten of Us when one of the daughters (Connie, played by JoAnn Willette) sings the title song in the pizza parlour. Since the title song isn't used in the movie, but makes up the main theme, I was thinking of that episode all through the movie.

Don't get me wrong: the performances were good. Johnny Depp has a serviceable voice (not bad, not great), but it's his performance that makes his Sweeney Todd work. Helena Bonham-Carter was good. Alan Rickman should not sing again, but his performance was fantastic. Timothy Spall really shouldn't sing again, but he was fantastic. Sacha Baron Cohen was...Adam Sandler, basically. Why was Anthony Stewart Head shown so prominently after Pirelli's disgrace when he doesn't show up again?

When put against the constantly bleak London backdrop that Burton created, even the livliest of the songs was lost. Everything was flat, the locations, I mean...even the parts that should have been poppy and bright were flat.

For a two hour movie, it felt strangely truncated and severely unsatisfying. 

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I've wiped the files? I've wiped all the files? I've wiped the INTERNET?!

That Eddie Izzard quote seemed appropriate in light of recent events in CBS's online world.

This comes via LiveJournal's WGA_supporters and to there via

Sadly, we must report that CBS Interactive organization is being restructured, and the production team that brings you the STARTREK.COM site has been eliminated. Effective immediately.

We don't know the ultimate fate of this site, which has served millions of Star Trek fans for the last thirteen years.

If you have comments, please send them to editor @ - we hope someone at CBS will read them.

Thank you for your loyal fandom over the years. It has been a pleasure to serve you.

I'm no Trekkie...or Trekker...or even a casual fan, but it seems to me that the timing of this "restructuring" is suspect, especially with the new movie in production. It also seems to me that it's studio retaliation against the fans who support the Writer's Guild strike.

There is no greater, more powerful fanbase in ANY fandom than the Trekkies (sorry Star Wars, but you have to give it to them...) They've been going strong for a bazillion years. And CBS / Paramount has swept them aside like so much garbage...all because they support the people who have given them the worlds they love so dearly.

The AMPTP would kill to be able to control the internet and weed out the undesireables -- the fans, who are the ones who make them rich in the first place. It's that pesky internet that's allowed millions of dollar signs, I mean people, to band together with the writers, to give them strength and encouragement in their most desperate hour. I mean, if people could band together like this for writers...what would happen if everyone banded together for other such positive things, like stopping wars and impeaching those who weren't really elected in the first place? The people in Louisiana who are still homeless and suffering might actually get a place to live if the rest of the United States felt as though they COULD play David to the corporate Goliath and THEN where would the 10% be, eh?

film festival updates

Okay, so the first notify deadline of the fifteen festival submissions has passed -- this past Friday as a matter of fact, for Show Off Your Shorts in L.A. -- and I didn't hear back. Unfortunately, my submission to this particular festival arrived too late and was subsequently disqualified.

I thought it would get there on time, but I didn't factor in how slow the US postal gets around the holidays so I just barely missed it. My first film festival disappointment, but honestly, I have no one to blame except myself as I thought I was able to get it in on time. That one was rushed. Ah well, there's always next year!

I did, hwowever, receive word from two festivals, Seattle True Independent Film Festival and Eerie Horror Film Festival, that they received my film and it's in consideration. That was awfully kind of them, to send along a note. Very cool. Even if I don't get in, I wouldn't think twice about sending them the next one.

The next film festival I should hear from is FirstGlance in Hollywood by January 2. From that point on, I'll either get in or NOT get in to the remaining thirteen festivals based on the strengths and weaknesses of the film itself (okay, and maybe some mistakes I made with my very first submission, but that part I'll never know because I don't think they tell you what you did wrong), not because it arrived too late.

As far as the next short is concerned: the script is done and it's been handed off to TrAilz and SpoogE for them to read whenever they have time to do so. I haven't bothered thinking about cast yet as this one is half as long, but twice as complicated as WITHOUT/WITHIN

I was originally going to go for an April start date for the new one, but the Sarasota Film Festival is April 4-13 and even if I'm not in it, I'll still be busy with it / because of it as I work in the theatre where it's hosted. I find out about that one on St. Patrick's Day. 

As for any other reason that I may not be accepted to film festivals (and I did think about this, but I know what's right)...such as my support of the writer's strike, let me say this: as a future member of the WGA, why wouldn't I support the people fighting for my future as well as the futures of hundreds, even thousands, of writers and their families? Not only that, but the WGA supports other unions, both industry and non-industry. Supporting them supports everyone. So, any festival that won't accept me not because they think my short film sucks, but because I support the strike isn't a festival I want to be a part of anyway.

Plums deify!

Still not done reading Stephen King's On Writing, but I was able to knock a good chunk out last night while icing my knee at work after the shows were started for the tens and the midnights. The Big Boss will just have to forgive me for not doing actual work during that time, but I wanted to, you know, stop the pain. (I twisted my knee a week or so ago and it's not happy. I'd go so far as to say that it was actually furious with me, but you'd have to ask it yourself. It's not speaking to me.)

Even though I'm not even close to done, I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants to be a writer, already is a writer, or thinks they are a writer. I've discovered that, at least as far as King's concerned, a lot of the things I do as a writer that I think are silly, he does, too, and even goes so far as to recommend doing. I do use adverbs when I'm attributing dialogue (sometimes, I just can't help myself, but I think this comes from the way I write screenplays), but I'm pretty good about not using cliches or too many metaphors (thank you, Mrs. Feasley.)

Anyway, I highly, HIGHLY recommend the book.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Am Legend

The short: Apparently, it's impossible for Hollywood to do justice to Richard Matheson's wonderful book by the same name. This is just a fancy rehash of The Omega Man with speechless "Infected."

Also, Emma Thompson destroyed the world...but I can't be mad at her...she's Emma Thompson, for the love of Pete. I screamed when she appeared on screen for her little cameo. Too bad the movie wasn't worth her presence.

This film, the third in a series of increasingly bad adaptations of a brilliant novella, tells the story of soldier/scientist Robert Neville as he struggles to survive while searching for a cure to a virus that was intended as a cure for cancer. Of course, as such things do, it went horribly awry. Those who were injected with 'KV' mutated into sunlight sensitive cannibals with big rubbery mouths and no social structure (according to Neville.)

I already said that this is just a flashy remake of The Omega Man starring Charleton Heston. There's a considerable amound of tension and it's well directed, produced, and performed. The problem is that IT'S NOT I AM LEGEND.

Below this sentense, I'm going to spoil everything. You have been warned.

In the novella, Neville doesn't die a martyr...he doesn't save the human race. The vampires are the new world order and he's the monster murdering them in their sleep...that's the WHOLE POINT OF THE BOOK! That's the main thing every single adaptation of the novel has failed to grasp. The only version that has come close to the desperate isolation of the book is the first one: The Last Man on Earth starring Vincent Price.

Basically, if you've never read the book or seen the other films, you'll like it. If you have, you'll most likely find yourself very disappointed.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Masters of Horror: Pro-Life, Valerie on the Stairs, The Screwfly Solution, Pick Me Up

I've had these episodes of Masters of Horror since late September, but for some reason I haven't watched 
them until now. Tonight, as a matter of fact.
 All four of them, one right after the other.

directed by John Carpenter from a script by Drew McWeeny & Scott Swan.

A pregnant teenager miraculously winds up at a Women's Health Center when she desires an abortion for a baby she's only had for a week, but looks, at first, to be six months along. Her father, a die-hard religious nut who has threatened the clinic's staff before, has been told by God to protect the all costs.

This episode starts out kind of rocky, but eventually finds its rhythm and goes at it full tilt boogie. Some of the effects leave a lot to be desired (too much arterial spray in some scenes, too little in others...not normal for the KNB crew to be so uneven, but CGI is also to be blamed here), but it was a good, effective episode. Carpenter's first season entry, "Cigarette Burns," was far better, though both give me hope that if he's making dark films again then he's back to making dark films.

Biggest issues with the plot: Cell phones and the remote location of this clinic. You mean to tell me that NONE of the people in that building have a cell phone with which to call the cops? And do you mean to tell me that a clinic that offers abortions would be so remote AND be without a substation or a small unit of police officers? Yeah, no...but hey, I really like the basic idea so I'll overlook that.

Valerie on the Stairs
directed by Mick Garris from his adaptation of the Clive Barker story of the same name.

An unpublished writer moves into a writer's hostel, of sorts, where he can work uninterrupted without worrying about rent and food. Of course, uninterrupted means interrupted by a beautiful apparition and the demon who possesses and worships her.

Clive Barker's a hard one to adapt. His words paint the picture in the reader's mind and it's a difficult job to get those images on screen, especially for Garris, who is one of Stephen King's most frequent screenwriters. I love Stephen King, don't get me wrong, but when Mick Garris adapts, you can feel the television all over it. Even his previous Masters of Horror entry which was adapted from his own short story, felt like teevee. Garris gave it his all for this one, though, he really did...but he didn't quite get there, though it's better than his first season entry "Chocolate."

I still liked it, however, because the idea is so wonderfully complex and so wonderfully Clive Barker.

The Screwfly Solution
directed by Joe Dante from a script by Sam Hamm who adapted James Tiptree, Jr.'s short story.

When a strange illness turns all the men in the world into murderous psychopaths at the merest hint of sex, two women try to escape by going north, but there's no where to hide.

This was one of the worst entries to the Masters of Horror series that I've seen. I haven't read the original short story, but it has to be loads more interesting than what was filmed and offered. Very disappointing.

Pick Me Up
directed by Larry Cohen from a script by David J. Schow which was adapted from his own short story.

A bitter young woman is caught in the cross-fire between two highway psychopaths. I'm oversimplifying it a bit, but that'll do. The less you know going into the episode, the better.

I wasn't expecting to like it, but I did. Schow managed to take two staples of the Urban Legend / slasher genre and pit them against each other in a way that was strange and believeable at the same time. I would have arranged it a little differently...the set-up took up most of the episode leaving very little time for the actual pissing contest, but I wasn't expecting the ending so that made up for it. Good flick.

Dear Frankie

To see my other movie reviews, please go to my LiveJournal. Through that link they're posted with the most recent review first.

Dear Frankie stars Emily Mortimer, Gerard Butler, and Jack McElhone in a story about a nine year old boy who wants to meet his dad more than anything else in the world, and the mother who has been protecting him from the awful truth by saying that his father's out at sea, on a ship called the Accra (or A.C.C.R.A., not entirely sure about that one.) When her good intentioned lie starts to fall apart, she hires a man to pretend to be Frankie's father for one day and he ends up changing both of their lives.

I'm not really sure why this ended up on my queue, to be honest. I mean, mom and I saw a trailer for it on some DVD recently, but I'm not sure as to why we went ahead and added it. That's not to say that it was a bad flick...far from it. It's a tad boring in the beginning, but if you can make it through the first twenty to thirty minutes, you'll find yourself quite enjoying this cute, though sad, little film.

I really don't have any problems with it that weren't addressed at some point in the movie and I didn't notice any technical problems. All was well and it was a good flick. I recommend it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's a shame about Cage...

Obviously, I like movies. I like to talk about movies that interest me, I like to watch movies, and I like to make them. Occasionally, when I find a bit of movie news that sparks my interest, I'll talk about it and this is one of those times.

Alex Proyas (Dark City, The Crow...I, Robot) has a new movie coming out called Knowing. You can find some information here, courtesy Unfortunately, it stars Nicholas Cage, who has gotten increasingly cheesy since Leaving Las Vegas. However, the power of Proyas will compel me to watch the movie anyway.

I don't know what most writers do when they have a sit down to do what they do, but I tend to put Ferris Bueller's Day Off on in the background. I look up every once in a while, of course, and catch some of my favouritest bits, but
it really does help me write. I transcribed eight typed 12 pt courier pages tonight in an hour and a half. Don't know what that's all about because I LOVE Ferris Bueller and look up often even though I can recite some parts from memory. Guess I'm some sort of super fast typist or something.

If you're wondering where this is coming from, I'm currently reading Stephen King's On Writing and it's got me thinking about my processes and such. He and I already have quite a few things in common as far as how I approach writing my stories, but I think I should wait until I'm finished before I delve into all of that TOO much further.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Teaser poster revealed for new Indiana Jones flick.

Courtesy, the world gets to see the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull poster with art by the amazing Drew Struzan.

The more I see stuff for Indiana Jones the more excited I get, which is the point, of course. Except Shia LaBeouf's hair. There was one promo shot of him and his hair was really distracting.

I can remember seeing Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in the theatre. Picture it: Canton, Ohio. 1989. There was an Oscar Meyer wiener truck idling outside of a one screen movie theatre whose name has since been lost to the ravages of time (and probably to a demolition crew's wrecking ball as well), but whose interiour is reminiscent of a castle. I still have at least one of the Oscar Meyer wiener pins around here whistles, though. They weren't handing any of those out, that I saw anyway. We must have gone on opening day because why else would the Oscar Meyer wiener truck be there?

Anyway, I don't know how she managed it with a broken leg, but mom took myself and my best 
childhood friend, Jennifer, to the movies and that was what we saw. A month or so later, we moved to Florida. My family and I, that is, not Jennifer and my family.

I liked Last Crusade, but Temple of Doom was still my even to this day. When I saw the movie, I was only a few years younger than Ke Huy Quan, the kid who played Short Round. That were was a smart, 
capable kid in a grown up movie enthralled me at a critical point 
in my life. 

I still love it for that...and it's a good flick.

I hope Kingdom of the Crystal Skull still holds that Indy magic...guess we'll find out in May.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

First post in a new house...

Well, I was a LiveJournal user.  My journal can be found here. I intend to use this blog much as I used my LJ, but with their sale to pro-Kremlin company SUP, I find myself wishing to move away from LJ. I hope that this journal will serve me as well as LJ did.

It's going to take a while for me to customize this new house, to make it a place my words can call home, so bear with me as I work with it.

edited to add: I just finished moving all the relevent Without/Within posts from my LiveJournal to this blog so you can go back and peruse the production process from the beginning through to the end and beyond.

Monday, November 26, 2007

More festival submissions.

(moved from LiveJournal to Blogger December 8, 2007.)

I have four additions to the festival submission list: FirstGlance, Women's Independent Cinema (and it was FREE!), Show Off Your Shorts, and Eerie Film Festival (thanks Rory! Forgot all about this one! Most of the rest on your list have closed for the season, but they're good to keep in mind.)

I'm sending these, and more friends discs, out tomorrow.

SpoogE and TrAilz: I've had your discs set aside from the beginning, don't worry. It's just a matter of getting them to youse guys. :D

Friday, November 23, 2007

Batch One Sent

(moved from LiveJournal to December 8, 2007.)

Well, after finally fixing the problems with the burn and getting everything repackaged, I sent out the first wave of DVDs today. The second wave will go out probably Monday since I have all of Sunday to submit and package. I'll be going to Best Buy tomorrow to get DVD cases (I hate Christmas crowds...they're all impatient and mean normally, so add in the pressures of holiday shopping and you have Teh Hayt.)

I've added three more film festivals to the six already listed: the Baltimore Women's Film Festival, Nashville Film Festival, and the Indie Gathering.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


(moved from LiveJournal to December 8, 2007.)

I'm still having problems with the burn. Jon called me last night and said that his copy stopped at 19 minutes, 29 seconds and sure as heck, it does. I'm working on solutions right now and have contacted Sony Customer Support (at 7 this morning, thank you very much.) I've got a couple of ideas, though.

If nothing works, I have a DVD burner on my laptop and will try there and will get only the essential DVDs out (sorry guys) because I need to get this resolved before I can go any further. If nothing else works, if I can't fix it and Sony can't either, I guess I'll prep a master and take that to a duping house. I don't like it being out of my hands, though.

edited to add: I've fixed it. I don't know what the issue was, but I fixed it. The only thing I can imagine is that the editing computer burner didn't like the rest of the Sony discs after the 19:29 mark because it likes Verbatim just fine. Also, I installed DVD Architect on my laptop and burned a Sony disc there and it played fine, too, so now I have TWO burners working to get these discs out!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


(moved from LiveJournal to December 8, 2007.)

I went to sleep at 7 this morning, after pushing and shoving my way through the DVD burning process whilst simultaneously submitting the movie to festivals through Withoutabox. During that process, I ran out of my beloved Sony discs and cracked open a brand new Memorex spindle (no, I'm not getting compensated for all my plugging...), finished up Batch One to be mailed out and went to bed. When I woke up this morning, however, mom informed me that the discs don't work. None of them work...except the Sony ones.

Pardon my American here, but FUCK.

I didn't know this at the time, obviously, but Memorex's DVD+R apparently won't work with my Samsung burner. I was understandably distraught, especially after being up until 7 in the bloody morning, but I went online, went to, got a 100 pack of Sony DVD+Rs and am burning off the replacement copies now (yay for in-store pick-up!) So...I will be mailing them out tomorrow and I will be adding the DVD requests from you loverly people into that first batch. :D

My brain is on the toasty side of Sears and tonight is like a Thursday thanks to tomorrow's Thanksgiving openings, but you know what that means? I get to finally watch Enchanted!!!

edited to add: The final runtime is 28 minutes and 8 seconds.

edited again to add:
I've submitted to the following festivals (this is obviously more for me than you good people, but hey...)
Sarasota Film Festival (of course)
Almost Famous Film Festival (Phoenix, Arizona)
Indie Spirit Fest (Colorado Springs, CO)
New Filmmakers (NY/LA)
Seattle True Independent Film Festival (Seattle, WA)
New York Underground Film Festival (I think I'm overreaching here, but hey, gotta try.)

It is done...

(moved from LiveJournal to December 8, 2007.)

I finished the movie half an hour ago -- I let mom watch it to have a fresh pair of eyes before rendering. I needed some time away from it so I could come back and see that, yes, this needs to be trimmed, this needs to be moved, this needs to be smoothed...etc, etc, etc. I started rendering before I saw ow long it was finally, but it can't be more than 28 minutes and 10 seconds. Of course, I want to watch it on my teevee to make sure it looks and sounds okay (because it looks very pretty on my monitor) before I put my final stamp of approval on it, but it is, for all intents and purposes, done.

Rory and CJ: I need your addresses, please. Send them to so I can send your copies off to you.

After I do some research and some graphics for the menu screen, I'll be sending out the first batch of festival entries tomorrow (and family/friends/cast discs :D).

To be honest, I'm still a little too close to it to say if I love it. I can say with all honesty that I'm happy with it and I think that means more, y'know? Any other blemishes couldn't be fixed...I tried.

I'm already thinking about the next short film I want to make. Yes, I'm thinking about doing a short again because I want to work out my mistakes on shorts before I try my hand at a feature. I'm compiliing a bunch of short stories into a book and one of the stories is, of course, about zombies. Don't worry, it's also very small scale.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Final Cut: Round One

(moved from LiveJournal to December 8, 2007.)

Colour correction: looks pretty good. Not entirely satisfied yet, but I may be too close to it to be able to judge properly.
VOs and Foley: Sounds good. :D
Current runtime: 28 minutes, 11 seconds.

TrAilz came over today and we got her VOs and the foley of her truck done and that was the last of the "stuff from other people" that I needed for the flick. Then, I sat down and pounded away at it, getting other sound effects and applying effects and now my head is spinning with numbers and angles and track motions, but it looks good. I've figured out an effect for a certain scene (the eyes thing I talked about before) that I'm satisfied with. I just need to sleep on the edits and then dive back in for round two: making sure the fades and cuts flow. I think the sound is as good as I can make it without hearing it through my system. I had problems with a gunshot sound effect, but was able to beef it up a bit.

I'm so very happy with how it's turning out, though. After I had TrAilz watch the rough cut, and saw that she was genuinely surprised with how well it's coming out, I did make sure to mention that for not having been able to do ANYthing beyond writing and doing camera for other people's projects for the longest time, I'd say it's pretty damn good.

I'm off to sleepy-byes now...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Without/Within postproduction update

(moved from LiveJournal to December 8, 2007.)

I've been pecking at it all day and have emerged from the cocoon of my noise-reduction headphones to report that the rough cut (minus a couple of VOs) is done -- I'll hopefully be getting the VOs next week. With credits and everything, it clocks in at just over 28 and a half minutes, but that will change, of course, as I find things I need to trim or lengthen, foley I need to capture or find (psst! Hey Rory! This is a great website for free foley:, and all that jazz.

I've got only two major things to do: somehow deaden my lead actress's eyes (I sat here for about an hour colouring nearly 180 frames by hand...then saw that it looked strange when I played it back, with this dancing near-black dot in her eye, AND it won't work -- yeah, not thrilled) or settle for an effect over that scene and then colour correct stuff.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

editing update

(moved from LiveJournal to December 8, 2007.)

After some concerted effort last night and today (and the fact that TrAilz and I couldn't meet up for her VO), I'm up to twelve minutes, thirty eight seconds done on the rough cut of the film. I went ahead and did the radio announcer VO myself (seven takes, thank you very much) and got some foley of my alarm clock, the most dreaded sound in the world. I've also altered the order of the film a tad. I hope it flows better this way, but we'll see when I'm done with the rough cut.

Editing with Vegas is deceptively easy. It looked daunting at first, but I just dove right in with my movie (didn't even make a music video first, like I normally do) and I think I've got the hang of it, though "auto-ripple" trips me up sometimes.

I hope that maybe I'll be able to watch the completed rough cut by Monday when I go to work, but that may be a tall order. :D

Thursday, November 1, 2007

First Five Minutes

(moved from LiveJournal to December 8, 2007.)

So, after a small start yesterday, I knocked out a chunk of the rough cut of the film today: the first five minutes. Doesn't sound like much, but when it comes to the beginning of something, it's huge.

I ended up filming the door knob cutaway last night and when I asked mom today if she could tell which of the door knob shots was done on location, she had no idea so YAY for that!

I decided to stop there because we have Day Watch here to be watched and it's my last day of vacation. Plus, I have to go to bed early tonight -- I'm working day shift alone of my co-workers is sick and has been for the past four days or so.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Without/Within: Day Three

(moved from Livejournal to December 8, 2007.)

Yesterday was day three, the last day, of principle photography for my movie. Everything started out really awesomely: TrAilz called around 12:15 and said that there was a schedule change and that she could be there for the entire shoot.


So I started to make the calls to try and get an early start because I scheduled us to start at three. I was trying to be kind scheduling the shoot so late because I knew Jon had gone to a party the night before, but I was also hoping that he didn't overdo it and I could get him up for the shoot. Finally got him on the phone, sounding like Tom Waits, at 2:30. Well, at least he was awake.

So we pick him up (after stopping off at Sweetbay for some more Karo syrup and food colouring -- the first blood batch was really weird -- and more caramel and apple slices) and head back to SpoogE's house so we can get to setting up and as SpoogE and TrAilz set about blocking out light, I start setting up for the first shot. I wanted a high intensity look, but because of how we had to block out light, it just became really well lit. We had to close the blinds and, for continuity, they had to remain closed. Since they were white blinds, a lot of light was reflected back into the room.

Ah well, so I'm not happy with that, but at least we got started (an hour or so later than I'd hoped) and were able to get one whole, complete scene in the can before breaking for dinner, after which we came back and hammered through the rest of the script. As it got later and later, I cut the angles, the amount of retakes, and even whole shots so we could get out on time according to my schedule and still have the shots I wanted.

I scheduled us until 3 in the morning and we were finally done around 2:30.

Over all, as far as the filming goes, since I haven't been able to direct anything in a long time, I think that other than being a little rusty it was a smooth shoot. There were a few bumps here and there, but we adapted and we had some great ideas from my crew and from Kristin's fiancee Aaron who had come down early to pick her up and hung around the set waiting for her. He's a very patient guy.

After striking the set, I got home around 3:30 or so with most of my equipment (I left some screws that go to my Glidecam at SpoogE's house, but I think I have everything else.)

Today, I start the Great Footage Dump and tomorrow I watch it all, looking for the best takes and angles and start to try and fit it all together. Tomorrow night / Wednesday and Thursday, I'm going to start editing, but since I go back to work Friday, I'll have to pick at it here and there.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Without/Within: Day Two

(moved from LiveJournal to December 8, 2007.)

Today SpoogE picked myself and Kristin up around two thirty and we went over to Sweetbay for "Craft Service." I'm not the healthiest eater, but I made sure to get some good stuff. We had sliced green apples (caramel provided by Kristin), a veg plate (I put it in the fridge and promptly forgot about it, but it'll be good for today), mah birfday cake (which we also forgot about), a fruit cup (we ate all of the grapes and left the melon bits...), tortilla chips and salsa (all gone by the end of the day), Barq's root beer, bottled water, and diet Sunkist.

We then headed over to SpoogE's house and set up for the first scene of the day: Kristin's character waking up at the crack of dawn. It was a simple scene, but it was really hard to light so SpoogE and I work on how to diffuse the light and bounce it into the room. We've been using parchment paper (the baking kind) clothespinned to the lights for diffusion (works very, very well), used the dimmer to bring down the intensity a little, then we set up my reflector and bounced the light into the room. It looked fantastic. Don't pay attention to the time on the clock -- it's not correct at ALL, not even to the time of day.

That shot didn't take very long, though, and we were left with a lot of time on our hands until Jon and Janine were due to show up (both got out of work around sixish) so I decided that since we had a really complicated Glidecam shot later on that we would go ahead and get SpoogE rigged up for it and practice.

He'd never used the Glidecam before and though he had a spring-arm Steadycam-style rig a few years ago, my rig's a little more difficult to use, IMO.

Basically, Kristin's character wakes up when she hears something strange, goes to her door, then retreats to her closet. Once she feels that the coast is clear, she sneaks out of the closet, goes through the bathroom and then makes a run for the front door where upon she gets thrown into the wall by the Intruder. I wanted to get most of it in one take, though I was going to cut within the scene. Since I don't have a wireless monitor, either, I had to just trust SpoogE that it was all coming out well. In fact, I couldn't be in the room for most of the shoot last night and I couldn't see about 98% of what was shot. I probably should have watched the footage last night, but I was just too tired to pay adequate attention. I think I'll watch it before I'm picked up today.

Anyway, we practiced that for the next hour and a half -- pacing and blocking that scene so SpoogE got as few reflections and equipment bits as possible and they both felt comfortable, then started to set up the lighting for that scene as Kristin went back and practiced her lines for tonight.

Other than some general chatter as TrAilz and Jon came in, we got right into it, deciding to not film one scene last night and add it to the list tonight and just get right into the really complicated stuff.

Once that particular angle was captured, we moved in for a static low-angle shot of the same action, then a low angle close-up of Jon, then, the last and most complicated shot of the night, the David Fincher-esque closet shot. Don't get me wrong, the first shot of Kristin waking up was Fincher-esque, too, but this one REALLY was, and it was a dream of SpoogE's, then mine once he told me about it, from the day he moved into that house. We did it like six times and SpoogE was extremely happy with it so we moved on to the easiest shots of the night: the darkroom and the close-up of the doorknob.

The darkroom looked fantastic. We just strung up some twine in SpoogE's bathroom and TrAilz decorated the set (she did an absolutely fantastic job), then we screwed in the red lights and it really, really looked like a darkroom and not a bathroom, something SpoogE wasn't so sure about at first. My photos in the darkroom set are from the reverse angle, not the angle from which we shot.

I'm already thinking about how to reshoot the door knob close up to get the shot I want. Since I own the camera and I happen to have some doors in my house, I'm thinking about shooting it myself here because, like the initial bedroom scene, I have some specific shots that I don't feel we could have gotten at SpoogE's. We'll see how the angles taken last night look when I'm editing and reviewing footage.

On the docket tonight: the hardest scenes for the actor and actress. Lots of dialogue and lots of tension. We're really going to have to stay on the ball tonight...

Overall, still incredibly happy! I should take photos of my fireant bites. Man, they started to really hurt last night toward the end of the night. Just imagine an almost paper white surface (my legs as I don't wear shorts or skirts) with eleven really angry looking red splotches (the bites.) Ouchies.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Without/Within: Day One

(moved from LiveJournal to December 8, 2007.)

Yesterday started very early for me, 7:30 am. We weren't scheduled to meet until ten in the morning, and Janine wasn't going to come pick me up until 9:30, but I just could not get back to sleep. At all. And I'd only fallen asleep at three or three thirty the night before...not on purpose, either. I just couldn't sleep.

So, I got up and got ready for the day, which was also my birthday (I'm 29 now, can you believe it?!) and it was a good thing as I decided to paint my nails green. It's my favourite colour and I wanted as much positivity to the day as I could get. I also wore one of my Fleetwood Mac shirts. :D

So, TrAilz showed up and we loaded up the truck and went to the Hollywood 20 where we met my lead actress, Kristin Mellian, and her fiance, Aaron, who was dropping her off and heading to Orlando for an audition.

We were slightly worried because the forecast for the day was to be a day full of rain, but when we took off to do the Ringling Causeway shot, it's a fantastic bridge that gives a really nice view of the Sarasota "skyline," it was beautiful and only slightly overcast. We got that shot in the can pretty easily, then headed over to Whitaker Gateway Park, a small, but beautiful, public area off 14th and Fruitville where we met up with the supporting actress, Sabrina Carmichael.

As we set up for the shot, the clouds parted and the actresses went over their lines. That scene flowed so well, and we got it done so quickly, that we were an hour ahead of schedule by the time Sabrina left to go run some errands before the night shoot and we went to lunch at the Main Sandwich Bar right across from the theatre.

By now, y'all are pretty familiar with my feelings about hearing Stevie Nicks / Fleetwood Mac in random public places where I don't control the music. As we were eating lunch "The Chain" started on the bar's radio. The day could only get better.

From there, we met SpoogE at his house, then headed over to my brother's band's warehouse for the studio location. The bands who share the space were cool with us coming in and filming and no one was going to be there the time we wanted to film anyway so we moved some stuff around and set up the shot whilst I was chewed on by fire ants. When I got home last night, I counted eleven bites on my right leg and two on my left.

The moving and set-up took a little longer than I had anticipated, but we got the shots we needed and were only twenty minutes late for meeting Sabrina and Jon Wagner at the theatre. Jon, who is one of my coworkers in the booth, is the lead actor of the movie and was kind enough to talk to his roommates so we could use the foyer of his house as Sabrina's character's home.

Since it was still light out, I decided to put off the filing enough to go get some refreshments for the cast and crew at Jolly's Cafe. That took about 45 minutes so we got started at the house location about an hour late, and just started to shoot our first shot of the scene as Jon's roommates were coming home, but we finished by around 10:15 anyway, which is a little bit after when I figured we'd be finished, especially with the changes made.

I did kind of rush the house shoot a bit, but it wasn't a dialogue scene so I didn't feel bad about it and I don't have that sinking, fearful feeling that I've forgotten some key shot.

They were kind enough to not only let us destroy their area rug with fake blood, but let five complete strangers into their home and move their stuff around. It wasn't much, but I gave them money for beer to thank them for their kindness.

All said and done, we were finished with the day's work, and I was home, by eleven at night. I finally went to bed around two or three in the morning.

I don't have many photos from the first day's shoot because I was too busy concentrating on the work and we didn't have enough hands on deck to take pictures. I'm glad we had enough time to take one of Sabrina in the puddle of blood. :D

It's now the day after my birthday and the second day of the three day shoot. SpoogE will be here in about an hour to pick me up, then we'll head over to get Kristin, some "craft service" foods from Sweetbay, and then start on the next four scenes.

Tomorrow will be the hardest stuff. That's ALL dialogue, pretty much. Today and tomorrow are all taking place in SpoogE's house so we can relax a bit as far as Other People's Things.

I'm so happy with everything I can't even express it properly, other than to say it over and over.

I've opened up all the photos over on my Flickr account so go check out the preproduction stuff and stay tuned for some more production photos. WOO!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Up Before God.

(moved from LiveJournal to December 8, 2007.)

I woke up at 8:30 this morning. I went to bed at, like, 2 or 2:30 so at least I've had SOME sleep, but I hope this no sleep thing doesn't continue. I do have a lot to do today. I need to pack up the small props, get groceries, print out a couple more releases, get an extra long cable to go from the camera to the monitor (if they make extra long minijack to video RCA cables to be sold at Best Buy...), whip up some fake blood, and tear my brain apart to make sure I have everything.

Other than 11x14 frames, and one 6x8, I'm good as far as props are concerned. I'm already thinking of ways to shoot around whatever I may have forgotten.

My brother is checking with his bandmate to see if I can use their rehearsal space as the main character's art studio (it's perfect, actually, the fact that it's not well lit aside.)

I'm so excited! And, surprisingly, not that nervous...yet. I'm meeting both of my actresses for the first time tomorrow, the day we film, but that'll be okay. I'm really confident in them and my crew and myself...this kind of confidence feels...well...GOOD!

Also, I just realized that it's Thursday and I don't have to work.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Without/Within preproduction update: four days 'til shoot.

(moved from LiveJournal to December 8, 2007.)

After a few nearly heart-stopping issues in pre-production...all of which happened this past weekend, I think we're just about as ready as we're going to be to film over my birthday.

Janine and Matthew are coming over right now for lunch / cold rehearsal with my lead actor and then we're going to finish off the shopping list. Goodwill, here we come!!

Over the past twelve hours, I have become even MORE excited about making this film than I was even twenty four hours ago. I'll share more once filming has started, but whereas I was feeling a little
depressed, I'm now feeling pretty positive and full of energy.

Being on vacation at the same time helps, too. I can't imagine trying to deal with the stuff I've had to deal with over the past three days whilst at work. Yes, my friends, that would've sucked.

By the way...I've been up since eight thirty with very little sleep before that. So much stuff on my mind.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Things are starting to come in...

(moved from LiveJournal to December 8, 2007.)

Equipment-wise, things are coming together. I haven't had enough brain power for some of the stuff I have to do -- I've had a lot to process lately -- but the first piece of equipment to arrive was the shock mount for my boom mic and when I woke up today, Vegas 7 (with Magic Bullet, BorisFX, and DVD Architect) was sitting on my couch.

I've just installed it and I'm going to need to practice with it as I've been using something else for the past couple of years now and everything's so jammed on the screen in Vegas that I have to readjust. First cool thing? I can make Neurotica sound like the Chipmunks just to amuse myself. :D

Anyhoo, I think that my mind is back in alignment and I'll be able to get more done for the preproduction. We've already decided on the park we're going to use and I've already cast the male actor. Next up: casting the rest of the roles, of course, and getting those photos from those who volunteered so I can get them to my digital guy. I also need to see what other props I need to get and what concessions I'll have to make, stuff that I just plain ol' can't get.

In other news, I've heard through the grapevine that one of my friends is "disappointed" that I'm making a short first and not just jumping in with a feature. Well, my response is that when he makes his own feature, then maybe he can talk. This backbiting attitude from some of the folks in this area is a major factor in why there is no united, concerted effort to do anything, much less make either feature or short movies. I've been trying to get this short made for several years. It's gone through various incarnations at the request of one of my friends who was going to produce it and yet I still couldn't get it off the ground, especially when another friend brought up his apparently more interesting (for a while anyway) vampire short. Now, I'll have my own equipment with which to film anything I can afford from my vast collection of scripts. If they're on board, great. If not, fine. I've got other friends who will help, too.

For me, it's not about making it, but doing it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

standard definition vs. high definition as far as my wallet's concerned.

(moved from LiveJournal to December 8, 2007.)

Holy crapamoly.

I just finished doing some basic, preliminary number crunching and if I were to invest in a semi-professional HD set-up with the Panasonic HVX200 and my current computer, I'd have to shell out almost $8000 (that includes the camera, of course) to get everything up to snuff. Funny thing is that, right now, my computer's pretty much there -- this is one hell of a powerful PC and would only need a couple of things to make it HD ready. Most of that money is to RECORD the HD footage and get it onto my computer. Screw the P2 card thingie (a 4 GB P2 card holds 20 minutes of footage...) I'd go for a FireStore hard drive and the 4.5 hour model that I used in my number crunching is $1295. I'm not even including a boom mic in this initial assessment, just the camera and such.

As far as SD is concerned, getting different editing software (the same as in the HD configuration -- Vegas+DVD) to replace my really buggy SD software, the camera, and an external hard drive (because I really don't want to be rooting around in my computer, adding things again...I'm a writer-director, not a computer tech) is only slightly more than my budget allows.

Now, a friend called me a couple of days ago and said he could find a really nice HD set-up that would work within my budget...but because from what I've seen of consumer level HD camcorders, and I can't find any information on the model his beloved Steve Jobs was touting at MacWorld last week, while they might take beautiful footage, they're consumer level, not even semi-professional, and would still require a crap-load more money. Plus, how would I record audio with a boom mic? No consumer level HD camcorder is going to have XLR or whatever the HD equivalent I'd have to record on DAT? That's a whole 'nother headache.

To be honest, this whole HD thing is a headache for me -- when it comes to computers, though I'm pretty savvy, I prefer plug & play, y'know? I just want to make movies, but out of necessity, I have to be able to do it all myself. Thank goodness that, most of the time, writing is a solo affair because if I had to depend on others to write the same way that I've had to depend on others to make movies, I would have been locked up in an asylum long ago...

I need to get some sleep...but standard definition, though it's "behind the times," is looking better all the time.

Monday, August 13, 2007

August 13, 2007 -- the two months until shoot update

(moved from LiveJournal to December 8, 2007.)

Well, the unexpected, but most probable thing, has happened: Someone broke the HD camera so the shoot in Washington is off.


The good thing? I'm taking all of the money I've saved from the film festival , etc., money that would have been spent getting us out there and feeding the cast and crew and such, and putting that toward my own camera. Yeah, I know that sounds like a no-brainer, but I really wanted to go and shoot in Washington with this High Definition camera. Professional / Prosumer HD is right out of my personal price range because if I could afford it, I'd get this camera, the Panasonic AG-HVX200. But, at US$6000 (or even US$4950, which is the lowest, possibly reputable price I've seen) it's WAY out of my price range. /heartattack

So sexy, though.

As it is, nothing in my house is HD or HD ready other than maybe my editing computer if I were to shell out a poo-load more dollars, which I can't. I work at a movie theatre and earn okay money, but the biggest plus to that job is the fact that I get time to write and I don't have to take my work home with me. That is what I like to call a slice of fried gold.

So, I'm thinking about getting this Standard Definition camera, the Panasonic DVX100b, which is also a sexy beast. Yeah, yeah, SD is going the way of the dinosaurs, but not as quickly as one might think. Regardless, film festivals will accept anything so long as they can play it: film, SD, HD, DVD, ABCD...whatever.

That's the story as far as equipment goes. We're still mostly on schedule for the mid-October shoot. I just have to rearrange my thinking and start getting actors and locations together here. I have most of the props and everything so we're still on GO! which is terribly exciting.

And that, as they say, is that.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

(moved from LiveJournal to December 8, 2007)

Okay, I haven't outright posted about this, though I've really wanted to. I'm going into production on one of my short films, titled Without/Within. I wish I could call it horror, but I think it's more of a mystery-thriller. Ah well, there's always next time. ;) it's actually a cut-down version of a slightly-longer short script of the same title which is the short version of a proposed feature. Confusing, sure, but that's how I roll.

Anyway, as I chronicle the progress over the next few months, updates in the pre-production stage will be slow in coming at first as we're not shooting until mid-October, but I'm just so excited and need to talk about stuff to work things out in my head. Eventually, I'm hoping that I can post updates to a Kimyoo Films website (designed and built by Matthew Nunnery, more details to come) and here.

So, I had my first meeting on Saturday with three-fourths of my production crew and have spoken to a few friends who are artists for the first round of art gathering for studio set props and inspiration. God, that sounds so callous in a way, but these are all people whom I love and respect and their work really will add that certain flavour for the background, especially to those paying attention to the film. In contacting these people, I'm asking them to help me build the feel for the film, which is another reason I've pushed the filming from September/October to mid-October. By that point, the leaves on location should be changed to the beautiful autumn palette with dead leaves littering the ground...absolutely perfect.

What I said to them is that I'm going to make the film with or without them...but I want to work with them or else I wouldn't have asked them to the meeting. Them being SpoogE, TrAilz, and TrAilz' boyfriend Matthew. The fourth is miss Evy, but she couldn't make it due to the continuing nuisance of the entire country between us and no fuel for her private jet.

I make it sound like a big thing, trying to take into account what the season is for a specific feel, but all films look at these sorts of things when they're putting together their productions. I just have the benefit of not being rushed into things at this point.

My shot list is done and most of the script breakdown is done. I'm using Filmmaker software for the breakdown and was having a hell of a time getting it to work, but I finally figured it out and all's well thus far. I might be a little screwed, though. My free trial of Excel is over, I can't find a way to buy only Excel, and I can't get Filmmaker to work with the Novell version of OpenOffice.

Once I know the layout of the locations, I can do a couple of storyboards for the more complicated shots and do any shotlist edits I need to.

Slowly, I'll be assembling a better make-up kit, too, cosmetic and basic FX. I wish I could find the kit that my high school teacher bought...that thing was perfect.

Well, I think that's it so far...I have a lot of stuff to do and just over four and a half months to do it. It's gonna be GREAT!!!