Friday, December 30, 2011


It’s December 30. One more day of 2011 remains.

This year saw my first full year as an former projectionist for Regal Cinemas, the creation of my companies, my first trip ever to L.A., and the creation of a new music video and two short films. I co-presented the west coast premiere of a film made by and featuring one of the people I admire the most in the whole world and got to work with another person whom I also admire just as much. I spent some quality time with my family and friends (though it never feels like enough, does it?) I've tried harder than ever this year to work past my intense introversion and plan on doing even more next year to get past it. Be Nancy! ;D

Next year will see more short films, more music videos, and my first feature. I'll be heading to Vancouver, Canada, in a couple of weeks because aftershock is playing at Curio Presents Viscera Film Festival. Curio is headed by a friend I made this year, Karen, who is like my horror soul-sistah. February sees me back in L.A. and July sees me in San Diego. And who knows where else I'll get to go and what else I'll get to see and do this coming year!

Please be safe on this, our last weekend of 2011, and continue to be safe well into 2012.

See you on the flip side!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Been some crazy busy times here at Kimyoo Aitch-Queue...

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! You have no idea how grateful I am for pretty much everything, especially this past year and a half or so. So many things to be thankful for...

My silence of late was more because I had lots to talk about, but didn't want to say too much. I still have a lot of stuff going on that I can't talk about yet, but I can say this: it's official, Kimyoo Films is now Kimyoo Films, Inc.! Yep, I've taken a giant step forward. two of them, actually, because I've made a sister company for it: Nightbird Studios, Inc.!

Here's the distinction: Kimyoo Films is my baby. It's been with me since 1995 when I decided to name my company after the Japanese word for strange. But, by calling it "Films" I limit its scope, in a sense. Nightbird Studios is for everything else that I have interest in: podcasts / radio shows (I'm talking horror shows here, not awesome podcasts like what my friends Noel (his blog which lists every podcasts he's doing, zomg, Jaye and Tony (who have Zombie vs. Shark), and Miguel (who has Monster Island Resort) do,) comic books, novels, video games...stuff like that. The film festival, when I start it up again, will be under Nightbird Studios and not Kimyoo Films. Hallowscreen isn't about me, it's about the films so I don't even want it to look like it's going to be the "Kimyoo Films Show starring Kimyoo Films!"

I have lots and lots of plans and lots and lots of ideas, but filmmaking comes first and first up is the short film I promised to the Fies sisters for I Hate L.A., Too. This film is slightly more complicated than my past stuff in that I want to film in a business that no one I know owns or even works there. Do to that safely for all parties requires insurance. Well, if I'm going to go through all that, I should be able to get a permit...and if I'm going to get a permit, I might as well go ahead and make Kimyoo Films a corporate reality. It took a lot longer than I had anticipated because I wanted to have the film done a couple of months ago. Ah well, you live and learn. After that film is shot, cut, and on the circuit, I plan on shooting at least one or two more shorts as I prepare for my first feature. I'm hoping to spend half of December and all of January writing another draft of the feature in order to shoot it late next year.

On a side note, it's always easier to ask for funding if you have a fully legal, operating corporation! :D

As I move forward on these projects, I'll be posting more when I CAN post.

And now, to round off this post, some great news! JustUs was accepted to the Little Terrors Film Festival in Toronto for their December edition (date and time to follow) and aftershock has been accepted to Bad Granny's Bazaar's Free Film Night in Oklahoma City on January 26, 2012 as part of Viscera!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

JustUs WON at Creative Loafing's Reel Terror Film Festival! :D

Last night, my film JustUs won Best Faux Radio Broadcast at Creative Loafing's Reel Terror Film Festival in Tampa! A near-the-hometown award at a near-the-hometown screening!!

In my inimitable way, I'm sure I looked like a complete prat on stage when I went up to get the award...I hope I said the right words and they came out making some semblance of sense. I'm sure I forgot to thank people so... Huge thanks go out to the Creative Loafing group for liking my flick and giving it an award, my cast and Janine for helping me make it, Kristin Mellian and Aaron Pushkar for giving me incredible radio sweepers, and, of course, the wonderful Brinke Stevens for lending her voice and talents for the DJ, Sheryl Black!

I'll keep checking to see if they have a piece up soon about the festival.

Also...I just discovered that JustUs was REVIEWED on Ain't It Cool News! (click the link and scroll down until you see my trailer. :D )

"Director Lori Bowen shows restraint and patience in this pretty straightforward revenge snippet involving a rapist/murderer released on a technicality, a woman in white, and a room filled with plastic. The tone is pretty heavy and the camera work is done with a talented hand. Definitely a good and terrifying treat that only takes six minutes to unfold." -- Mark L. Miller (AmbushBug), Ain't It Cool News

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Thing

I haven’t written a review for a while, but tonight I watched The Thing and wanted to get this out. It's 3:17 in the morning so please pardon any overt typos... :D

My main issue with remakes is that they’re written by people who don’t understand or have the same motivation for writing or making the new film as the originators. Rarely is a remake undertaken with true passion for the subject and in horror, it seems that most remakes are written by fans who want nothing more than to leave their mark on their favourite franchise (witness how lovingly the Elm Street remake writers poured over Freddy’s backstory and left the rest of the characters, especially Nancy Holbrook, whose model, Nancy Thompson, was written for a specific reason and with purpose, out to dry...but I digress.)

I know The Thing in theatres right now is purported to be a prequel and not a remake. I call it a premake. It’s taking the bare bones of the first remake (yes, it’s a remake, I’ll get to that later, I’m sure), adding a few new characters, and follows through to the end, but it has a higher budget and what some people believe are “better effects.”

Let’s be honest here, even the title gives itself away; it’s not called The Thing Begins or Before the Thing or Again with the Thing. It’s The Thing. It’s as though The Thing took John Carpenter’s The Thing and assimilated it like the characters it’s about, but there’s just something intrinsically Not Right about it. To put it in the parlance of the film, it’s imitating and it can’t help it when a big mouth bursts through its chest when the viewer starts to think: “Hey, wait a minute...”

To sum up The New Thing’s story: a team of Norwegian explorers discover a massive alien craft well below the surface of Antarctica (100,000 years down, geologically speaking) and they call in American paleontologist Kate (the wonderful Mary Elizabeth Winstead) to help dig out the craft’s pilot (which was found near the surface, by the way. 100,000 years down is a loooooong way to go, ya dig?)

Anyway, she brings it up and the head of the expedition wants to take a tissue sample before she’s cleared the block of ice as being okay to drill into. It doesn’t matter since it’s warmer in the storeroom than outside and the ice starts melting. Dun dun dun....

Chaos ensues when The Thing inevitably bursts out of the ice very dramatically and eats everyone one by one.

That right there is a huge problem. Nothing The Thing does in this film is subtle. There’s no tension, no questioning who is what is who. Once The Thing is freed, the film turns into a sort of sci-fi action slasher.

Kate figures things out way too fast, almost faster than Blair (Wilford Brimley in Carpenter’s flick). It got to the point where I thought the character had read the script and was picking the right times to tell everyone what was going on.

Would it be a spoiler to say that it had a happy ending? “But Lori,” I hear you say in my head because I’m awesome like that, “the Norwegians were all counted as dead five or ten minutes into Carpenter’s flick.” I know. The NORWEGIANS were dead.


They dealt with the Norwegians and tying it into Carpenter’s The Thing as an afterthought; the scenes that tie them together are cut into the credits, accompanied by the only instance of Ennio Morricone’s brilliant theme (Marco Beltrami scored The New Thing and while I liked his work on Scream, his style is way too bombastic and in your face.)

The effects...they brought in two brilliant practical effects creature guys, Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr., who were Stan Winston acolytes and have done some amazing work (The Terminator, Aliens, Death Becomes Her among so many others. Go look them up on the IMDb, seriously.) Then, the majority of their work was covered in CGI. The ubiquitous They also decided to show way too much of The Thing, probably to distract the viewer from wondering about the inconsistencies.

It’s a good cast dealing with what they’ve been given to the best of their abilities, but, honestly, the American angle was only added so they wouldn’t have to film the whole thing in Norwegian thereby alienating all those who don’t want to read the movie. They might’ve had a tighter film if they’d kept the Americans out of it because, other than to propel the movie forward, they add nothing to the story. As much as I like Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the film, any other character could’ve taken on that mantle.

John Carpenter’s The Thing was taut, though breezy, playing up the “Who Goes There?” (if you’ll pardon the reference) aspect far better than even its predecessor, Howard Hawks’ The Thing From Another World. The New Thing isn’t a prequel to a Cold War science fiction flick, though, it’s a prequel to Carpenter’s The Thing. If you can’t uphold the quality and tension of the flick you’re premaking then just don’t bother.

It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good either. At least its predecessor is called John Carpenter’s The Thing, but that won’t eliminate confusion when the DVD is released. Maybe that’s a tactic Universal is banking on, all those Blu-ray units moved because some people think that it’s JC’s The Thing.

I’d say avoid.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A couple of quick notes!

It's been crazy over here at Kimyoo Haitch-Queue! I got back yesterday from Spooky Empire where I was on two filmmaker panels and I attended a screening of JustUs at the Enzian's October FilmSlam (I'd found out about it on October 1 and was busy getting ready for Spooky so I neglected to post about it here) so expect a write up of that as soon as I emerge more fully from my introvert's coma. :D I wanted to share some very cool stuff before I retreat!

First of all, JustUs has been accepted to Creative Loafing's Reel Terror Film Festival in Ybor City, Florida, which takes place on October 22. The festival runs noon to midnight, but I was told that my film will be programmed in the third shorts block which is 10:20 pm-11:10pm.

Secondly, Char Hardin has bestowed JustUs with our very first review! Read it here! Thank you, Char!

Thirdly (and finally), if you're in Worchester, Massachusetts, for Rock and Shock or Canton, Ohio, for the Canton Film Festival, don't forget that JustUs is playing both of these events! I know, right? Anyway, Rock and Shock is a horror convention with a film festival of the same name. Heather Langenkamp's film I Am Nancy plays a couple of hours after my film (teehee!) and Robert Englund's new film Inkubus plays a few hours after that! (teeheehee!)

I'll be updating the blog in the next week while I wait for paperwork things to move through. You know how it is...the world runs on paperwork! But keep an eye out for some interesting and exciting things to happen in the Kimyoo-niverse! (I JUST TOTALLY MADE THAT UP! And the fact that I'm kind of excited by that tells you just how freaking exhausted I am right now...)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

JustUs heading to Rock and Shock, Sine heading to Europe!

Sometimes, you don't get emails from festivals that your work got in. I think it's because they depend on Withoutabox to notify when "Accepted" is clicked next to your name, but the fact of the fact of the matter is that Withoutabox, for all of its convenience, doesn't work like that apparently. Twice now, I've discovered that Sine has been accepted to a film festival because I logged into my account and saw the lovely green "ACCEPTED" under the festival name. The obverse is also true: I've been notified that it HASN'T been accepted only because I logged in.

Anyway, I'm happy to announce that "Sine" has been accepted to the European Film Festival which tours Europe from October 14 - November 17, 2011!

Also, I'm happy to announce that JustUs has been accepted to the Rock and Shock Film Festival which takes place October 14-16, 2011, in Boston, MA! The film festival is part of the Rock and Shock horror convention to which I WISH I was going not the least of which because Heather Langenkamp is going to be there! (And Robert Englund...but HEATHER! ;D ) Plus, I bet it's going to be a LOT of fun, but I'd already committed to filming my brother's side project, Didges Christ Superdrum at Zombicon in Ft. Myers that weekend. Plus, JustUs and Sine are playing Canton that weekend...and my friend and JustUs lead actress Sage Hall is getting MARRIED that weekend.

Neither of those festivals have posted their schedules yet, but I'll come back and post when they have. Plus, I have to update my laurels!

Whew! What a month!

Friday, September 23, 2011

JustUs screening dates and more!

I always have the intention of keeping up on my blog. It's not that I don't love this place, but I get tired of sitting in front of the computer so I end up only posting when I have good news to share, like now. I can't promise that I'll be better in the future, only that I'll try.

Firstly, while I won't be making anymore out-of-state trips for at least the rest of this year (plans always change, but I don't see it happening), I will be going to Spooky Empire in Orlando again this year, but as a filmmaker! I've been asked to be on two separate filmmaker panels during the convention! I don't have anything playing in the concurrent film festival, but it'll be fun to do those panels; thank you to Tim Anderson and Jesse Kozel for asking me!

Secondly, JustUs has gotten it's first two festival acceptances! Miguel Rodriguez of the Monster Island Resort podcast (and one of the nicest people I've met!) accepted my film to his event which is called Horrible Imaginings. It takes place on the weekend of November 4 in San Diego and last night, the Canton Film Festival in my birthplace of Canton, Ohio, accepted JustUs AND the music video Sine to their festival! And "Sine" just played the Black Rock Film Festival in Nevada over Labor Day weekend! That city doesn't exist outside of Burning Man!

You see that, Sarasota Film Festival? I haven't lived there for almost 23 years and they accepted two of my works the first time I submitted. I've lived here for almost 23 years and have been rejected every time I enter.


Anyway, I'm also in the middle of prepping a new flick. I'm hoping for a mid-October shoot date for this short, but paper work and all that need to be sorted out first. It shouldn't take too long, it's a six or seven page script with two locations. One location is slightly more complicated than the other, but locations are usually sticky wickets.

If you're in Orlando over the first weekend in October, come to Spooky Empire and say hi! I'll be the one wearing a horror themed t-shirt. Oh, wait...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Washington, D.C. Day Two: And the winner is...

This was the second year of the World Music and Independent Film Festival and the second time Shawn and I were here with a music video; last year, "Essenger" was up for Best Alternative Rock Video and Best Cinematography, this year "Sine" was up for Best Alternative Rock and Most Creative video. We didn't win which, believe it or not, is okay. Don't get me wrong, it's always disappointing on some level to not win when you're up for something, but as long as the work that won deserved it, it's all good.

Last year was fairly disorganized, but I figured that it was the first year. It happens. I love Laura Hartman and Master June Daiguso, they're really great and they're trying hard, but this year was almost as disorganized as last, if not more so in some respects.

Last night, I counted 58 award categories, but they'd forgotten to put one in the program so there were actually 59 categories to announce yesterday, most with at least seven nominees. Plus, musical acts, I think there were six? And all of this was to take place in the space of four hours. Everything started late, too.

The filmmakers and special guests were asked to arrive at 10 am for the red carpet and interviews. That didn't get started until 10:30. Lunch was supposed to start at noon and that would've been the time to catch up and get back on schedule. Instead, lunch started at maybe 12:30 or 1:00.

At 3:30, they were maybe a third of the way through the awards and realized that they had the space until five. They cut one musical act and a few categories and were able to finish the show around 5:45. Now, I know the Oscars are God-awfully long and they have a special day for all of the awards that no one cares about, but this seemed excessive. And, you have to consider that the Oscars are that long because of commercial breaks, witty reparte, and their face-melting opening number (which should only be done by Billy Crystal.)

I can't vouch for the festival part of this event. Last year, I had no idea until the day of the gala that they even showed the films they accepted (which I did find strange) because the schedule wasn't posted on the website until too late. This year, we just couldn't afford to come for longer than a couple of days. I do know how hard it is to put on an event like this, but some mistakes shouldn't have been repeated and some mistakes shouldn't have happened. Maybe the third year will be the charm for them.

I'll enter again...I'm just not sure I'll come for the gala. It's entirely too long and most of the winners, at least in the music video category, didn't show. At least the afterparty was fun! The band Dirty Bath Water played and I quite liked them, I'll have to check out their music when I get home which will be tomorrow. While I don't necessarily have to hit the ground running, I do have a lot of projects that need my attention.

Either tomorrow or the next day, I'll post about our day at the zoo. :D

Friday, August 19, 2011

Washington, D.C. Day One: Our Arrival.

My brother and I are in Washington, D.C. for the second World Music and Independent Film Festival. The music video I made for World Collision, "Sine," has been nominated for Best Alternative Rock Video and Most Creative and we placed fifth in the People's Choice this year (they had some website issues, too, so I'm really happy with our placement.) We're also presenting an award at this year's festival. I'm nervous, but I'm trying to focus on the positive: this is a great way to work on my sliver of stage fright.

Anyway, none of that is until tomorrow. Today, we arrived in D.C. The flight was okay. No screaming children, no women sitting next to me with purses smelling of decomposition (yeah, that totally happened on the way back from Indiana...) Check in was a breeze; they offer free lemonade in the lobby. I think they used an entire bag of sugar plus the entire thing of Country Time. Holy crap, was it sweet!

Luckily, most things in D.C. are within walking distance so we head out for Chinatown. At the first stop light, this older man approaches me and says, "Listen, bitch, if you mess with my family, there's gonna be trouble," then walks away. My expression: o_o because I was like, "Kay?" but I saw he was clearly nuts so I made a joke like, "How'd he know I'm a bitch?"

Two blocks later, a random bicyclist started yelling toward my brother, wondering what kind of chopper he rode. A block after that (or maybe it was before) some dude wouldn't lay off his horn at the person in front of him. The dude in front of him rolled down his window and reached behind his seat and I thought, "Oh, yay, I get to see a shooting." But dude didn't do anything except keep his arm behind his seatback. Weird.

On the corner of H Street and 7th, which is Chinatown, there was a Black Power protest. I didn't catch the name of the organization, though. Something about Islam, but they weren't the Brotherhood. I don't know why they were doing their anti-white thing in Chinatown, but it gets a little more strange because we were walking by them again and I heard this snippet: "From Chocolate City to Sodom and Gomorrah..."

Finally, after dinner (and after passing a few more crazy shouting people,) we find out that the American Idol tour was playing the Verizon Center tonight...and suddenly things made sense...

We wandered around downtown D.C. a bit and then a storm suddenly whipped up so we came back to our hotel and called it an early night.

D.C. wasn't this nutty last time we were here. Yeah, there were a lot of sirens and horns and some shouting, but it seems the crazy is amplified this year. Or we were just really lucky / unlucky. Of course, the political and social climates are a lot different than they were even last year. Is the crazy a reflection of our politicians or are our politicians reflecting the crazy? I think it's the former.

More to come tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Days of the Dead; or Thank God This is About a Convention Because I’m Droppin’ Names!

While most people were getting ready to fire up their bar-be-ques, drink copious amounts of alcohol, and set fire to colourful explosives in celebration of America’s freedom from the tyranny of British rule, I and thousands of others descended on the Wyndham Indianapolis West in Indiana for the very first Days of the Dead convention which boasted one of the most impressive guest lists this side of a Weekend of Horrors with genre luminaries such as Reggie Bannister and his wife Gigi, FX guru John Carl Buechler, P.J. Soles, Linnea Quigley, and Heather Langenkamp.

I was there to see I Am Nancy with the fans for whom it was made. I’ve seen it by myself. I had the honour of co-presenting the West Coast premiere at BleedFest so I got to see it at a film festival, and I showed it to friends of mine who weren’t fans before (and they loved it), but there’s just nothing like the energy of watching it with other fans. I’m getting slightly ahead of myself, however.

I arrived in Indianapolis on Thursday, the day before the festival. The hotel is within walking distance of five other hotels...and nothing else. Well, almost nothing else. I was given a room on the first floor which I didn’t think anything of because I did a quick walkthrough and discovered that it was far enough away from the majority of the action to not be a bother. So then I realize that I hadn’t eaten since a granola bar that morning so I order room service. No answer. Huh. Okay, so I go to the restaurant. No one’s there. Apparently, one needs to be a semaphore to get food in this joint. I go back to my room and try to call room service one more time. No dice.

The Wi-Fi in my room was brilliant, though, so I was able to find a restaurant near by that received some pretty good reviews on Yelp. After some troubles with GPS, I found the proper directions to get to the restaurant, a car race-themed greasy spoon that I don’t want to name. The food was...okay. Very greasy, surprisingly enough (or not at all if you could hear the sarcastic voice in my head), and the chocolate shake wasn’t nearly chocolatey enough.

After an unsatisfying dinner, I went across the street to the gas station and bought some water and went back to my room where I almost promptly passed out and slept solidly until 8 the next morning.

Friday, the first day of the con. Doors didn’t open until 6, 5 o’clock for VIP pass holders (of which I was one of 100) and eventually, I discovered that you could pick up your VIP badge at 3 pm. I went to the restaurant for breakfast where I ordered Belgian waffles and orange juice. There was a buffet, but I’m not a big fan of communal food. The orange juice was so tart I thought my face was going to fall off (and I love tart / sour stuff!)

With HOURS of time to kill, I went back to my room and watched some Death Proof (but actually stopped before the best parts because I have this habit of picking up accents and didn’t want to pick up Zoe Bell’s accent in advance of meeting her...)

Finally, three o’clock rolled around and I got my VIP badge and swag bag, took them back to my room, and went into the lounge / bar thingie for lunch. I grabbed a corner seat and order fish and chips which, on the face of it, doesn’t sound like a great idea considering Indiana is, for all intents and purposes, landlocked, but whatever. I live on the edge.

I was joined soon thereafter by a nice, talkative gentleman named Jewell. It turns out I hijacked his spot, but we got on well and decided to hang out during the con. After a surprisingly delicious lunch and great conversation, I went back to my room to retrieve my bookbag and a surprise to show Heather Langenkamp and I met back up with Jewell and we headed into the convention.

Our first order of business was to walk around to see who all had arrived. Some folks were late due to weather or buggered up flights and the vendors were still setting up. Once the reconnaissance was done, I got ready to see Heather, but the line was a bit strange. For whatever reason, it was in front of Amanda Wyss and Thommy Hutson. I actually stood back because I didn’t get that that was where the line was, but I was able to help a few fellow fans out by taking photos of them with Heather.

Then, it was my turn! I got an I Am Nancy poster which I asked her to sign with her line, “I’m into survival!” and took out the surprise to show her: my St. Auggies’ sweater. Her face seeing it was priceless! She asked me if I wanted her to sign it, but I demurred because I actually wear it! I’m afraid of losing her signature in the wash! I know, I know...that’s supremely geeky of me. I embrace it. It’s a really comfy sweater!

After Jewell got to meet Heather, we went and got into line to see Reggie Bannister. I wanted to meet him because I got to see / ran a film he was in at my festival called Walking Distance (the film has since been picked up by Lionsgate and is now known as Psychic Experiment) and wanted to tell him how much I enjoyed his performance. We met a few more people like the lovely P.J. Soles and Ginger Lynn and then, when Jewell got into like for Roddy Piper, I went over and met the amazing Zoe Bell, a Kiwi stunt performer who doubled Lucy Lawless in Xena, Uma Thurman in the Kill Bill flicks, and herself in Death Proof among others.

I admire stunt people intensely. They’re willing to do the crazy things I and other writers dream up that most Stars are unwilling (or unable) to do. Stunties do NOT get paid enough and absolutely do not get enough recognition for their efforts (think I’m joking?)

/ soapbox

We had a nice, but quick, conversation and then I met up with Jewell again. He decided to get out of the Roddy Piper line because the other VIPs kept using their line cutting perk. He was a VIP, too, but neither he nor I took advantage of that particular perk during the weekend (actually, I think he did for Ace Frehley, but I can’t blame him for that...)

That night was the midwest premiere of I Am Nancy so we went in early (now that's a VIP perk I can get behind!) and grabbed seats in the second row from the front on the aisle. Superfan and Nancy cosplayer Diandra introduced the film and Heather, who sat in the chair in front of me to watch it with the rest of us.

It was so fantastic to see the film with the fans, with the people who understand. The energy was wonderful! At the end, we gave her a standing ovation, then she thanked us all for coming and headed out pretty quickly so she could personally thank everyone as they walked out.

If I didn’t already adore her before that, I certainly did after.

After the movie, Jewell and I headed over to Quincy’s (it’s a bar inside the hotel) for An Evening with Roddy Piper which was billed as a stand up act, but was really more like a stream-of-consciousness recitation of his early years in wrestling. Think of An Evening with Kevin Smith, but less scripted and well-rehearsed. You can’t fit all that on a poster so stand up act it is. I’m not a fan of wrestling, but when I was a kid, I did watch the show every once in a while. Plus, They Live is one of my favourite John Carpenter flicks.

It was HILARIOUS. I’m so glad I didn’t miss that! He was refreshingly up front in the stories he told and I think there were quite a few minds blown wide open by the stories he was telling. There were a few rude people in the audience who kept shouting names out to him, hoping for stories about these people and other than veering off the story he was currently telling, he handled that pretty well. If he were to release an autobiography, I’d most likely pick it up. Considering I have no interest in wrestling, I think that says a lot.

The party was over at that point so I went back to my room and went to sleep. Well, tried to, anyway. It turns out that Quincy’s backdoor was across the hall from my room. Yeah, I didn’t sleep very well that night. People kept running up and down the hall and shouting and all that great stuff. The next morning, Heather was kind enough to ask me how I slept and promptly admonished me for not getting a room higher up... I’ve learned my lesson, Heather!

The next day was the Big Day, the one most people show up for. Saturday. I got in line for Heather first, of course, adding a Just the Ten of Us photo to my increasingly excessive collection of autographs. My current count is now ten (two of which were not attained in person) including one I got from her on the last day of the con. But, but, but...Just the Ten of Us!

Anyway, I roamed a lot on Saturday and got more autographs than I normally have any interest in...says the girl with ten autographs from one person (but two don’t count!) I also walked the vendor room and thought about what I wanted to get, if anything. I had to keep in mind that I was flying home. Of course, I didn’t think about that when I bought the I Am Nancy poster. Thankfully, I was able to carry it onto the plane and home without damaging it, but it was dicy for a while as I thought about actually *gasp* folding it.

Saturday featured the panel I was super excited for: Scream Queens! With P.J. Soles, Linnea Quigley, Heather Langenkamp, and Mark Patton. I can hear the cliche record screech now. Mark Patton played Jesse in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, a role which would be, stereotypically, played by a girl. There are so many good ideas in Freddy’s Revenge that, for me, simply didn’t work in execution, not to mention how it simply doesn’t fit in the canon. The make-up and score, in particular, are fantastic. And the actors are better than the material they’re given. The film just didn’t work.

Anyway, the scream queen panel was fantastic! There were thoughtful questions asked and some really insightful answers from the panelists. YouTube has some video of the panel. (Just so you know, I’m the one who asked about the panelists’ favourite/least favourite practical effects.)

At the end of the panel, the participants were good sports and screamed for the crowd, even in spite of having just said to everyone that you really need to prepare your voice before doing the scream queen thing. By the time they did that, I was already on the way out. I had my VIP pass and was able to sit up front (and without a camera other than the one on my phone), it was time for those who didn’t have one to come up and get photos and stuff.

After an incredible lunch with a surprise guest, it was time for photo ops. Originally, I’d planned on using my VIP voucher for a free photo op with Tom Savini. I mean, he’s Tom Savini for crying out loud! My point n’ shoot had crapped out before I went to the con and I’ve since replaced it with a camera that has a viewfinder on the front as well so I didn’t get any photos with anyone at the tables. My next con or event, whenever that will be, I can take photos and not worry that most people really don’t know how to take pictures (not to mention that I’m pretty picky.) I found out for sure that Savini had to cancel due to car troubles which was a bummer...maybe the third time our paths cross will be a charm.

I used my photo voucher to get a picture with Heather Langenkamp. She’s one of the very few people I get really geeky over so it’s hard to walk that line between fan and filmmaker. However, I recently heard a quote from Guillermo del Toro from when he was at the San Diego Comic Con that makes me feel a little better about loving this genre and the people in it: “I don’t know how many years I’ll direct or be able to produce but I know one thing. The one thing I can finance is I’ll be a fan my whole fucking life.”

I love him.

The photo op line ran a bit long (which makes me incredibly happy for Heather! Her lines all weekend were really long which means a lot of work for her, but at the same time, how awesome is that?!) so I thought I’d missed the Return of the Living Dead announcement that was supposed to happen before a short film package that I wanted to see. Luckily, they hadn’t started yet and while I had guessed what the announcement was going to be about thanks to a few clues that were dropped, I was still incredibly excited to see the trailer.

Thommy Hutson and some of the crew behind the incredible Never Sleep Again documentary are putting together a retrospective on The Return of the Living Dead 1-3! The trailer they showed was amazing and I can’t WAIT to see it! The trailer’s been pulled from the official website, but definitely keep your eye on it for more information.

I stayed for the short film package and then roamed some more before heading back to my room to put my stuff down and then head to the VIP party. Luckily for me, I found a seat with Jewell and two awesome people he met that day, Nikki and Randall. There were a hundred VIP passes sold for the weekend and the majority of them were, for lack of a better term, camped out by the door. Plus, there were mountains of muscle men standing at the table behind me so I couldn’t see a bloody thing.

The VIP party seemlessly transitioned into the Girls and Corpses Beauty Pageant which was totally not my thing so I headed out of there around ten thirty or eleven to try and get some sleep.

Sunday was the most chill day. In fact, most of the guests arrived late or had left early and the vendors were packing up by four. I saw Heather Langenkamp again (big shock) and asked her to sign the photo op picture of us with "Be Nancy," the slogan from I Am Nancy. I'm a fairly introverted person and I've been working really hard on that because you can't be introverted and make movies, especially when you're the one doing everything and you have to prove yourself worthy the trust required to work with actors. I haven't had to pursue funds yet, it'll be fun when I go to get money for the feature. I always have to remind myself that if someone says no to a question or request, I'm no worse off than before I asked so I just have to jump in with both feet and hope I land without spraining something.

I also got to meet Mark Patton. I may not like Freddy’s Revenge, but I started to really admire him after seeing Never Sleep Again and I like him even more after the Scream Queen panel. I didn’t meet Amanda Wyss...she’d had shoulder surgery fairly recently and I didn’t want to bother her or make her sign anything. I thought it was incredibly awesome (and brave) of her to come anyway, but I just couldn’t put her in any more pain than a weekend of signing and photos and accidental brushings had already. I will meet her at some point! Besides, I have to tell her how awesome she was in CSI (as Donna Marks AND as Tina Vincent!)

Afterward, I went to the Fango Film Festival to see the film Dead Genesis. This was a flick that I’ve been waiting patiently for since I saw a clip which turned out to be the first five minutes of the film. The first five minutes were the best of the entire run. It was pretty good, not the game changer a lot of people seem to be touting it as, and it’s very clear that the director doesn’t understand found-footage or mockumentary-style filmmaking.

After the film, I went to the vendor room and was disappointed to see that the vendors were packing up so early, but I was able to buy a couple of prints from Chris Kuchta - a beautiful print of his painting of Bub from Romero’s Day of the Dead, a print of Hellraiser’s cenobites for my friend Rickey, and this amazing print of this Night of the Living Dead painting which I then had signed by John Russo (producer), Russell Streiner (he plays Johnny in the original film), and George Kosana (who plays the Sheriff in the original.)

With the convention winding down, I went to say good-bye to Heather, but she was already gone, and then I went to my room to relax for the rest of the night and came home the next day! A weekend later, I shot my short film JustUs, the trailer for which you can see here. The weekend after that was Viscera (which is two entries before this one...) Just trying to put everything in context since this post is so bloody late.

This was an amazing festival and, unless you knew beforehand that it was their first time out, you wouldn’t have been able to tell. They did a fantastic job and I hope that maybe I can return someday! The hotel was a little too isolated, I suppose, but if I do get to go back, I'll know that ahead of time!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

L.A. Trip Four

While Viscera was the reason I was in L.A., it wasn't my only plan. I stayed a few extra days because the wonderful Mr. Eddie Izzard was going to be playing the Hollywood Bowl and being the huge Monty Python nerd that I am (does that surprise you?), I knew I had to go! He's practically a Python anyway! But that wasn't until yesterday. I still have two and a half days to talk about.

I made plans this day to hang out with Brenda and Lis Fies, the directors of BleedFest. We had lunch at Buddha's Belly in West Hollywood (I can say that's where I was staying since I'm not there anymore) and then we decided to check out the Tim Burton exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, colloquially known as LACMA. It's amazing; the collection of work spans pretty much his entire creative career. If you're in L.A. before the exhibit is over (which is Halloween), I highly recommend going!

The only thing that made me sad was that we couldn't take pictures of the exhibits. I understand why, but these things are far too cool...I really wanted an image of the small collection of Jack Skellington heads. I'm not as into The Nightmare Before Christmas as my fellow Goths, but I do love it. And some of his Polaroid series images are heartstoppingly gorgeous. But there are no prints or anything available in the gift least, not from anything I really liked. Even the exhibit poster, which features an image from the fantastic short Vincent, was kind of lackluster. I got a couple of magnets that happen to be two of my favourite pieces, at least, and an Alice in Wonderland sticker book.

Lis and Brenda had to leave early to do some errands so when I was finished gawking at the products of Burton's wonderful mind, I decided to do something far out and I grabbed the bus to the Santa Monica Pier. I thought it was where're they filmed The Lost Boys, but I have since discovered that I was wrong, they filmed at the Santa Cruz amusement park. While it's small, the Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park do have a Lost Boys flavor to it. Should I ever make it to the San Francisco area, I'll have to go!

There was at least one notable thing about the Santa Monica pier: it marks the end point of the famed Route 66, where one could apparently get their kicks.

After I got back to West Hollywood, I got something to eat and called it an early night.


I had made plans to meet up with an actress for coffee around one. I spent most of the morning looking at things to do and writing down directions to take the bus to Disneyland the next day, if I decided to do that, so most of the day slipped away from me while I waited for her. And she was running late. Hours late.

While it was fairly irksome to have spent most of the day waiting, I understand that things happen.

I decided that since most of the day was gone, that I would do something at night. My choice? A movie at the famous Graumann's Chinese theatre. It was a half hour bus ride away from my hotel. Not a big deal at all! And, the bus let out right in front of where I was staying, too, so I felt a little more confident in riding the bus at night.

I hopped on the bus and then discovered that Hollywood Boulevard was blocked off. What? Why? Once I navigated the detour and got to Hollywood and highland, I saw why: the Captain America premiere was at the El Capitan which is right across from Graumann's. They'd roped off a block to accommodate all of the limos for the stars.

Lis Fies was kind enough to join me, but we said we'd meet there. I let her know right away about the traffic issues and told her that one of the side streets was open. Then I went and bought our tickets.

Traffic was a nightmare, of course, and I had to switch our time to a later show, but we got in and I was so excited! It wasn't the main theatre, that was reserved for another screening of Captain America for all of those who weren't important enough for the El Capitan.

The seats are nice and comfy and I like the way they let you into the theatre. I wish there had been more leg room, but it's all good. It was also my first time seeing a masking system that goes up and down! Alright, it's show time! The lights go down! The film starts!

What the hell?

Let me preface the following by informing you, dear reader, that I was a projectionist for a big theatre chain, one that prides itself on their presentation. And my former direct boss was very careful about our own presentation.

This was one of the worst digital presentations I've ever seen. The sound was phenomenal, but the visual aspect...oh my God. I would be embarrassed if I were a projectionist here. The screen was filthy. The digital bulb flickered. And the image was badly distorted by the worst keystoning I've ever seen on a digital system that had been there for a long time. If I hadn't liked their staff so much, I would've complained right then and there. I decided to wait until I was home and on a real computer to write them a letter.

It was so bad that I texted both my former boss and the boss of the theatre proper to snicker at the lack of care taken in the presentation of a movie in HOLLYWOOD. They're making the idea of direct-to-video look better and better if that's the kind of quality I can expect from movie houses in L.A.


I'd made tentative plans with some transplants to L.A. and decided to not have a repeat of the day before so we talked, they said they'd call back, and I went about my business. I decided to not go to Disneyland, but I decided that the Warner Bros. Tour sounded like fun so I hopped a couple of buses and headed to Burbank. I hadn't heard from my friends until it was almost time to go on my tour (we first talked around 11 in the morning and my tour started at 2:20), but they lived in Burbank so it was all good.

I have mixed feelings about Warner Brothers. They have the best short format cartoons (Looney Tunes, baby!) and a lot of my favourite movies, but they dissolved New Line as an independent studio and cancelled Just the Ten of Us to appease Miller-Boyette and their terrible shows.

The tour was pretty cool, somewhat typical of what you'd think a studio tour would be like during the summer hiatus. They took photos of everyone in the car museum (I'll share mine when I get home) and during the tour, the guide asked young girl and one other person to "volunteer" to explain how a one hour drama is made. Guess who he picked.

Me. The filmmaker.

He said they only did three set ups per scene and then proceeded to say that they shot a close two shot, medium two shot, and long two shot. I made a face and he looked at me like, "What?"

"Umm...they do the master and then close-ups." Blank look. "I'm a filmmaker."

Then he said that he wasn't done and then clarified that they do nine set-ups, three per shot. Seems like a huge waste of money to me. Isn't that what pre-viz is for? During the rest of the tour of the set of Pretty Little Liars (damn kids, get off my lawn), he kept checking with me to see if he was right.

I didn't mean to hijack your tour, dude, but I didn't want you to give people what I thought was bad information either.

Also on the tour was a tour of the costume museum which had a section dedicated to Harry Potter. Other than a crystal ball, there was nothing Emma Thompson related, but the sorting hat put me in Slytherin! I'm not ruthless. I have ruth. I think I'm more Ravenclaw than the rest, but I LOVE the Slytherin house colours... :D

At the end of the tour, I asked the guide if he knew which soundstage housed Just the Ten of Us. I got that blank look again. Poor guy. He said it may have been shot at the Ranch since he'd never heard it referenced around the studio.

After that, I. Met up with my friends and hung out for a little while, but I had a ticket to see Eddie Izzard. My friend kindly braved the Highland Avenue traffic to take me to the Hollywood Bowl. If I'd had to park, I would've been late, but in reality, I was right on time and the show started about fifteen minutes after I arrived.

He killed it! He was all about the Pythons having played there (and later said that Eric Idle was there! ZOMG!) and referenced them a couple of times. The majority of the act seemed different from when I saw him in Tampa a few years ago. A little tighter, in that Izzard kind of way, even though the topics were the same. Great, great show and more than worth the price of admission. And, I got to replace my Izzard shirt which I bought a hundred pounds ago! Yay!

After that, I rode the bus back to the hotel and got some sleep!


I know it's Comic Con weekend up in San Diego, but I'm heading home with plans to come to next year's event (I can't talk about that yet, you know how things go, but I can tease it!) but I leave with memories of another fantastic trip to L.A. There were a few things that didn't happen or that I didn't get to do, but that just means I'll have to come back!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Viscera Film Festival 2011 (L.A. Trip Four)

I remember hearing about Viscera at my very first festival back in 2008. After winning the Director's Choice award at ShockerFest for Without/Within a woman asked me if I was going to submit it to the Chainsaw Mafia event and I grabbed a flyer with the full intention of submitting, but ended up not doing it because I was rather disappointed in how poorly Without/Within did on the festival circuit.

Viscera popped up on my radar again last year, but by that time, I was honestly a little intimidated by the prospect. It's so...freakin' cool!

Finally, this year, I just decided to go for broke and I sent those poor judges all of my short narratives. Luckily for me, they liked one and they chose aftershock, my three minute zombie movie with no zombies. I made it right after Without/Within to vent some frustrations I had with that last project and because my work could've potentially gone in front of George A. Romero's eyeballs. I talk a lot about how Heather Langenkamp and her work have influenced me and mine, but the second part of my trifecta of main influences is Romero's Dead Cycle. The third part would be Lucio Fulci, surprisingly enough.

aftershock didn't do all that well either. It's three minutes and submission fees to a lot of these festivals are exorbitant so I didn't submit it to very many venues. And, it didn't do very well in the contest, partly because it was a MySpace likes contest and I don't have that kind of network and also because I managed to stick my foot in my mouth, angering a few of the members of the community. Sometimes, I don't phrase things properly and that just happened to be one of those times...

I love aftershock, if I may be allowed to love my own work. It's so simple and speaks to me on a primal level. I'm so glad that it's finding an audience, having played BleedFest (and won!) in February and now playing Viscera (where it also won! I should note that if your film is accepted to Viscera, it's an award-winning film. :D)

I flew into L.A. on the first day of the famous Carmageddon of 2011 (this being L.A., there will be a sequel in 2012, but let's hope it's not plagued by the same problems that plague other part twos in this business.) I hadn't gotten much sleep the night before, I was up until 2:30 in the morning trying to tweak the sound mix on my new short like I know what I'm doing so I could keep my word to Brinke about hand delivering her a copy. When I land, I decide to take the FlyAway to Union Station, just like the transportation authority suggested, and refill my TAP card while I was there. I figure out that I can take the Metro and grab one bus to get to where I'm staying. That's no big deal!

Honestly, though it was going to take forever, everything was going smoothly until I realize that I got on the right bus on the wrong side of the street. I didn't realize this until I was about half an hour out of the way. Once I got off the bus, I crossed the street to wait for the return, but it never came. Time was getting short, I had a Mistresses of Horror dinner to get to, dammit (Janet!), so I called a cab.

I made it to my hotel and checked in with enough time to wash my face and walk down to where we were meeting for dinner! And I was only a little late! Not L.A. fashionably late, though. That will take far more practice than I have patience.

The dinner was fantastic! The table was full of amazing and inspiring women and wonderful conversation! I loved every second of it, and to be included in this group of women is mind-blowingly surreal and awesome! I was exhausted, but I could've stayed up a little longer just to talk to everyone some more! Alas, the evening had to come to an end. A few of the directors were also helping Heidi and Shannon Lark put on the event and they had a long day ahead of them so we all called it a night.

The next day, I woke up (zomg early...6:30, which is 9:30 for me, but still) and wished my brother about fifty happy birthdays and Heather Langenkamp about forty nine happy birthdays (You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. I like to cover my bases: Shawn got a text and four Facebook messages, semaphore and a telegram, two Tweets he'll never see and smoke signals to be on the safe side.)

Then, I decided to go on an unguided walkabout. Thanks to my Wilderness Explorer GPS, otherwise known as my phone, I can find my way back to where I started! I eventually found myself at an outdoor maul called The Grove. I'd heard of it before, but nothing can prepare you for the reality.

It reminded me of Universal Studios in Florida. There's loud music piped into outdoor speakers that surround the mall (there it's the Jurassic Park theme, here it was jazz), it's preternaturally clean and strangely off-scale, and the merchandise is horrifyingly expensive.

From there, I walked through the Farmer's Market. That was pretty awesome. I didn't look at the prices, though.

From there, I went back to my room to get ready because I was going to have lunch with Miguel from Monster Island Resort podcast, which you can download from iTunes. As usual, I was early, but then again, so was he! He came down from San Diego and it took him an hour and forty five minutes because traffic was so clear!

After lunch, we went to the venue (pictures will be coming, once I get home and get them off of my camera) and he interviewed me for his podcast! Teehee! It's still a little weird to me, being interviewed. Hopefully, I don't sound like a complete idiot (work your editing magic, Miguel!)

This is my first time getting a swag bag from a festival as a filmmaker. And what a swag bag it was! There was a Night of the Living Dead tanktop (which I already know will look a horrorshow on me so I'm not even going to attempt it which makes me sad...), and some awesome jewelry, a keychain I can't take on the airplane, and a DVD! Guess what the DVD was! NEVER SLEEP AGAIN! Hahahahaha! I find this to be HILARIOUS (and awesome, of course!) It would only have been funnier if it was I Am Nancy! I wonder if the bonus interviews are keyed or if they're the initial printing's green ones...

Miguel and I head out to the back patio and people were just starting to trickle in. They'd separated the patio into two areas: the Commoners and the VIP. I was hanging in the Commoners section, as I tend to do, but it started to get really crowded. Y'all know I don't do well with an oppressive press of people. So I headed over to the, at that time, not so crowded VIP section and saw how the other half lives. Yeah, not that much of a change.

I've been working on my shyness lately and while I tend to feel really goofy trying to be more extroverted, I've gotten better. I had the honor and the pleasure of meeting some really incredible people yesterday in addition to all of the fabulous women at the Mistresses of Horror dinner the night before!

The always lovely Brinke Stevens was there and she introduced me to David DeCoteau (director of Sorority Babes at the Slimeball Bowl-a-Rama among so many others), Bill Moseley (an incredible actor whose most notable roles are Chop Top in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and Otis in The Devil's Rejects), Danielle Harris (Halloweens 4 and 5 and reduxes 1 and 2) and Ken Hall (who created the Puppet Master series and does practical special effects.)

I also got to hang out with fabulous filmmakers Dave Reda (director of the great short Horror of Our Love) and Kevin Tenney (director of Witchboard and Night of the Demons. The originals, people,) and, of course, the lovely Miss Tara Cardinal.

I always miss the red carpet at BleedFest. It's not by's just luck. This time, as stupid as I felt, I was going after the red carpet! I got in there, got my picture taken, and did four quick interviews. Not bad for someone who feels uncomfortable doing that stuff!

One of my interviews was highjacked by another filmmaker. That was kinda funny, in a way. It's all good because later on, Bill Moseley and Susanna Lo (the writer and producer of the upcoming Manson Girls) and asked me to take a picture with them on the red carpet! What an honour!

Finally, the show was beginning so they ushered us into the beautiful, intimate theatre. They had really comfy couches reserved up front for the filmmakers and guests and I sat with Tara Cardinal and Kevin Tenney on my right and Bill Moseley and Susanna Lo on my left!

To say that I am blown away by the films I saw last night would be an understatement! And to say that I'm blown away by the response to my film would be an even larger understatement! To be included in this group of women is a huge honour and I hope to live up to that honour!

The films ended and the Q&A began! Normally, that's my least favourite part of the whole thing. I get so nervous and I kind of...word vomit. It's not pretty, but luckily there were a bunch of us up there and there was a lovely, supportive vibe!

Then, we were all presented with our rewards! It's beautiful! There's a picture buried in my Twitter, but I'll post a better one when I get home.

After the Q&A was done, it was after party time! The crush of bodies was so oppressive, I ended up hanging out with the smokers out the back. Quite a few non-smokers joined us and so I got some quality hang out time with filmmakers Nikki Wall, her husband Creep Creepersin, Rachael Deakon, Dave Reda, Miguel Rodriguez, and Kevin Tenney.

After they kicked us out of the Silent Movie Theatre, the party moved down to the Rosewood Tavern where I sat with actress Devanny Pinn, her friends Eric and Brandon (I gathered they're actors, but I didn't catch their last names so forgive me that I'm not being more specific), and Hart Fisher. I heard a lot about the seedier side of the business and while it's not the way I would've wanted to end the night, the perspective is good.

All in all, it was an incredible night! I'm so honoured and so thankful for the opportunity! Thank you Shannon Lark, Heidi Honeycutt, and everyone at Viscera for such an amazing time! You're all so amazing! A special shout out must go to the Viscera volunteer staff. I don't want to miss or mangle names so I'm not going to list you all, but my love and gratitude go out to you!

The statistics of women in film suck. It's well beyond time to change it! We can do everything a man can do and men can do everything a woman can do. Let's work together to bring incredible stories to the screen!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Long-overdue review: I Am Nancy

For those who don’t know, I Am Nancy is a documentary about the place of the hero/ine in horror from Heather Langenkamp’s unique perspective as the actress who plays one of the genre’s strongest female characters, Nancy Thompson, in the film series A Nightmare on Elm Street. In the original Elm Street, Nancy was just a regular teenaged girl-next-door thrust into a life or death battle with a paedopheliac child murderer who had been lynched by her parents and the other adults of Elm Street an unnumbered amount of years prior and had come back in the dreams of their children to avenge himself. She defeated this dream demon, the infamous Freddy Krueger, by herself and without the aid of special powers or high calibre machine guns. She only had her wits and the strength to face her fears.

Heather begins the documentary with her tongue planted firmly in her cheek as she establishes who Nancy is for the non-fans who might be watching, then asks the question “Why Freddy and not Nancy?” Through the course of her journey, she discovers that Nancy means a lot more to people than even she previously knew.

By the end of the film, the viewer sees the original Elm Street in a whole new light and with a whole new appreciation, especially after hearing her conversations with actor Robert Englund (Freddy himself) and Elm Street writer/director Wes Craven, and Nancy herself is seen in a different light after hearing the handful of stories that could fit into the slim 70-minute runtime from fans about how she inspires them in their daily lives.

The fact that the film is made by Heather and her sister-in-law, director Arlene Marechal, makes the film so much better and so much more honest than if some random fan, such as myself, had made it. There’s an integrity and humour in the film about the Freddy phenomenon and the relative lack of a Nancypalooza (if you will) that can only come from someone who’s lived with it since its inception.

Heather is an engaging and refreshingly honest host. Even though she has lived with the shadow of Freddy looming over her for a long while, there are times during the film where it’s as if she’s discovering the loveliness, and occasional insanity, of fandom for the first time. It’s a breath of fresh air to be honest, because while I love how informative Never Sleep Again is, it's also a bit stale. I Am Nancy never gets stale. The majority of its vibrancy comes from the fans who know and love this film and this character so much.

The film is available on or on the website at I Am Nancy. They’re also selling posters (I have one!) and photos (I have the original poster of the Freddy and Nancy go to the prom one, but I actually don’t have any of the others she’s offering! I’m not a complete nerd after all! Okay, nevermind, I am...) and you can have personalized autographs! (Details are on the site.)

A SLIGHTLY MORE PERSONAL REVIEW and a FULL DISCLOSURE (for those who don’t already know):
This film expresses everything I’ve known and felt about Nancy for years. I love that now I can tell people to go watch this movie if they want to understand my love for Elm Street and Nancy or for Heather herself. No matter how disparate my characters are, I always try to put a little Nancy in them.

I tried to get this film for my own festival last year, but things just didn't work out. I hope that I run a festival again sometime, even if it's a couple of years down the road, and maybe Arlene and Heather will let me run it then!

I am a huge fan of Heather Langenkamp. I had the honour of meeting her at Spooky Empire (which was my very first horror convention) and I had the honour of co-presenting the West Coast Premiere of I Am Nancy at the BleedFest Film Festival in L.A. last month. I also had the honour of attending the MidWest Premiere of I Am Nancy when it played at the inaugural weekend of Days of the Dead (my post about that is forthcoming, I promise.) Surprisingly, I’ve seen I Am Nancy only four times so far, but every time I’ve been home, I’ve made a music video, I’ve been sick, or I’ve made a short film. After Viscera, I hope to sit down and watch it again! Or...maybe I’ll put it on my iPad for the trip to L.A.

I can go on and on about how much Heather meant to me as a young girl in search of a role model in the midst of chaos and how much she and her work means to me now and how she continues to inspire me as a grown woman and a filmmaker. And all I can say to her is thank you, which seems so paltry...which is why I’m writing this review even though it’s been a while since I got my DVD. I realized today that, for a while, I was Twittering incessantly about the DVD and telling people to get it, but I never wrote a review for my website!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New short film!

I've been so busy that I haven't been able to post about anything, much less the fact that I was making a new short film! Those posts will be coming before I head back out to L.A. this weekend for the Viscera Film Festival where my short film aftershock will be playing alongside some of the best female directors in the genre!


So here's the teaser, I hope y'all enjoy!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

L.A. trip the Third (Day Seven: Voice-overs and Re-Agent.)

My last day in L.A. was just as mind glowingly amazing as the previous six. I had arranged to record a voice-over for my new short film in the home studio of my friend Kristin Mellian, who was in my first film Without/Within and I was to meet my voice talent there so I walked from my hotel to Kristin's home (it was only a mile away and I made it in record time.) shortly after I got there, the talent arrived...the legendary Ms. Brinke Stevens!

Yes, THE Brinke Stevens, one of the most famous Scream Queens in cinema history, said yes to providing a voice for my short film! To say that I was (am) excited is an understatement.

Actress Brinke Stevens doing a voice over for my new short film.

Kristin's equipment is fantastic and the voice over sounds amazing! I can't wait to shoot this flick and cut everything together!

After we recorded the voice-over, Brinke, my friend Evy, and I all went to lunch at a strip mall sushi place called 4 for 6 on Ventura. Now, I know. Strip mall sushi just doesn't sound good, but this place was amazing. Yelp reviewers gave it great reviews and they weren't wrong! The sushi was super fresh, even as close to closing time as we got there, and the bento box lunch special was, to quote a friend, AMAZEBALLS.

After lunch with Brinke, Evy and I went to Citywalk and hung around for a while to spend time until the end of the night when I decided that we were going to go see Re-Animator, the Musical. Yes, you read that correctly, a stage musical based on Stuart Gordon's classic film. In fact, the stage musical was directed by Stuart Gordon and was adapted by Gordon and Dennis Paoli, who wrote the original.

I'd read that Gordon, a Master of Horror, would be in Europe for a film festival or to accept an award or something so I knew he wouldn't be there which I was disappointed about, but at the same time, it wasn't as if I'd get to meet him anyway.

The Steve Allen Theatre where the show is being put on is small, but cute, with surprisingly good seating. We did not sit in the front which is the splatter zone - I did that with Evil Dead and it was fun, but not something I'd want to do again - but we sat in the fifth row, center, and it was brilliant.

Just a quick recap, Re-Animator is a loose adaptation of the H.P. Lovecraft story Herbert West, ReAnimator (Lovecraft's least favorite of his own works, by the way) about a young medical student who has been experimenting with a serum that reanimates the dead. It's also the first written story about zombies as we know and love them today, as brainless, violent walking corpses revived via scientific means.

The stage show has been held over for months, now. In fact, the day after Evy and I saw Re-Animator, the show had been held over once more so if you're reading this, you're in L.A., you love or even just like the movie, and you haven't seen it yet go see it now! It's absolutely fantastic!

Just before the show started, I saw someone who looked like Stuart Gordon sitting down by the sound/light board. Evy said that I should go say something to him, but I just wasn't sure enough, not to mention that the show was about to start. And at intermission, I didn't want to bother him.

The show ends and the audience pours out. I finally said, "Mr. Gordon!" but he didn't turn so I thought that it wasn't actually him. Then, just as we stepped out of the auditorium, he turned toward me.

It was him! It was him! It was him!

I was a cool customer as I shook his hand and said, "Mr. Gordon, my name is Lori. I'm a big fan and I just wanted to say congratulations, it's a great show, and thank you."

He thanked me in return and looked kind of surprised that I didn't ask for an autograph or a photo or anything. I didn't want to bother him. I was just lucky enough to catch him in the wild. Just as Evy and I turned away, a dude ran up to him, screaming his name to get his photo and autograph.

I sighed and left, quite satisfied with my encounter with one of the Masters of Horror.

Afterward, we went back to the hotel to get a little bit of sleep before our early-ass flight to PDX.

This was one of the best weeks of my life. I got to see Heather Langenkamp again, I got to meet Arlene Marechal, hang out with the Fies sisters, meet a bunch of ace people (especially Miguel with Monster Island Resort podcast and Jaye and Tony with the Zombie vs. shark podcast), got to have lunch with Brinke Stevens again and she did a voice-over for one of my movies (!), to hang out with one of my bestest friends, play with video games that are still months out from being released, and I met two Masters of Horror.

And I still had a vacation ahead of me that, as of this writing, is almost over.

I still have Days of the Dead in Indianapolis (I'm attending as a fan and to see Heather again) and another trip to L.A. for the main Viscera Film Festival event! After that, (and in between, too) I have a lot of filming to do. A lot. And I'm so excited!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Film festival news!

I'll post about L.A. Day Seven tomorrow. :)

I've been so busy that I've neglected some important announcements! First of all: four of my films have been accepted to the Movieville Film Festival back home in Sarasota! Funny thing is that I'm not going to be there...after LA, I made plans to go to Washington state, where I am now, for a vacation and I won't be back until Tuesday morning. I only found out about this while I was in L.A.

Here is the schedule of events. A Hammer Fell in Jerusalem: Anathema shows at 2 pm and Without/Within at 4 pm on Saturday while aftershock and A Hammer Fell in Jerusalem: and be at rest play at noon on Sunday.

A Hammer Fell in Jerusalem: Anathema was nominated for Best Editing at Movieville, too! I have to admit that surprises me, but I'm very critical of my own work.

Funnily enough, aftershock will also be playing at A Nightmare to Remember in San Francisco on Sunday! And, I've gotten word from Shannon Lark at the Viscera Film Festival (where aftershock will be playing in the July 17th event and on the tour) that two of the Viscera tour stops are the Underground Film Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a Viscera event in Vegas! I don't have the dates for those on hand because I'm traveling with my iPad and, as some of you know, Apple won't allow Flash on its mobile devices and Viscera is a Flash based site. I might have to travel with my laptop from now on...a bummer since the iPad is otherwise amazing.

That's all the news that's currently fit to print! I'll post about my vacation once I'm home, before I head out to Days of the Dead in Indianapolis! I'm not playing there, that I know of anyway. It'll be my second ever horror convention! :D

Sunday, June 12, 2011

L.A. Trip the Third (Days Four, Five, and Six: Of stripcheese and E3)

E3 is the Electronics Entertainment Expo and is one of the most important trade events for video games in the United States if not the world. And I was there.

I love video games. They're a great stress reliever and have helped me break through some sticky creative binds. I play all kinds of games, from the adorable Mario games which captured my heart as a kid to hardcore action titles like God of War to FPS like Left4Dead and Borderlands (one of my top favorite games).

I had been asked to write a video game for a friend of mine who is a programmer. Since I was going to be in LA anyway, I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn more about my hobby so I registered and, a day after BleedFest, I found myself on the L.A. subway at the unGodly hour of seven in the morning to get there in time for the opening of the Expo.

I get to the L.A. Convention Center and find my way in and discover that they're not letting people in yet. That's strange, the email and the website said 8 am. I check the website again. Yep, it opens at 8 am...for badge holder pick-up. The event itself didn't open until noon.


I manage to occupy myself for four hours, eventually getting in the line two hours early just to have easier access to the other people who were using Street Pass on their 3DS. As I tweeted that day, my Mii knows more Mii-ps than I know peeps. I think I gathered 230 unique street passes over the course of the expo and accidentally 3DS dissed one dude because I wasn't paying attention. Dude, I'm sorry!

Eventually, the doors open and people are pushing and shoving to get in. So much for this being a professional event. I made my way right over to Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City and started playing. I LOVE it. The level load time is a bit long, but I understand why...most game load times these days are painfully long (I'm looking at you, Dead Rising), but they have to be in order to give a longer level experience, so it doesn't have to break every so often to load a new section of the same area.

I'm not explaining it very well, but it's a long-run good thing.

Anyway, from there, I played Silent Hill: Downpour in 3D. I'm not a fan of the Silent Hill games, but I love the plot (I love the movie, too). I like to go all Leeroy Jenkins in my games so careful planning and a flashlight aren't my cup of tea. It's a game I think will make SH devotees happy and could bring in new players...just not me. Also, the 3D sucked.

After leaving the Capcom section, I toured the hall a little, then made my way to the Nintendo area. I love me some Nintendo. I love my Wii, but there haven't been too many good games for it outside of Super Mario Galaxy, Zelda, and the RE4 port. I got into line for the new Zelda game, Skyward Sword. If you liked Zelda: Twilight Princess, you'll like Skyward Sword. I loved Twilight Princess so yay!

I wanted to try the new Kirby game, but the line was a bit long so I went to the next level and played with the new 3DS games like Super Mario (ace) and Zelda: Ocarina of Time (eh). Later on in the expo, I also tried Luigi's Mansion (I loved it!).

I realized that I'd spent a lot of time in Nintendo and while I wanted to play with the Wii U (or the PS Vita), I wasn't about to spend three hours waiting so I headed over to the other hall and walked around some more. Here, I waited in line for a while to check out Aliens: Colonial Marines, the new game from Sega and those wonderful folks at Gearbox. It looks amazing! And, it's an official sequel to the films, taking place around the time of Aliens3 when the cavalry comes to LV426 to investigate what happened to the Sulaco and her crew. I'm looking forward to investigating the derelict!

My basic plan of attack for the first day was to get the flow of the place, see what all was there, play with what I could and then come back the next day with a more comprehensive plan of activities. Like eating. I didn't eat all day. I got back to my hotel room and had room service because I was just too tired to go out again.

The next day, I ended up being my friend's minion, taking photos and stuff for her as she flitted from appointment to appointment as press. That was fun because I got to see a little bit of the other side of E3, the impress the press side. The whole thing is geared toward industry people and not the common folk (even though there were plenty of people there who weren't supposed to be), but it's cool to see all these sides of an event of this magnitude.

I got to see some gameplay from The Darkness 2. Mark Patton from Faith No More is back as the voice of the Darkness, so that's pretty cool. The graphics are pretty and the game looks smooth. I couldn't get into the first game, I don't know why.

About halfway through the day, my friend and I parted ways and I toured the booths again. The second hall had so much more that was interesting, like Disney and SquareEnix and Namco Bandai as well as merch merchants and tech stuff like a teeny tiny projector that you could hook to your iPhone/iPad/iTouch. Only 480 resolution, though. For $400 msrp? Please.

I found time to eat this day, grabbing some grub from an overpriced vendor in the back. It may have been because I was so hungry, but it may have been the best sandwich of my life.

One of my favourite demos of the day was Dead Island. I got to play a few minutes from the beginning and it's awesome! I love zombie games and this one is pretty epic. Another one I liked was a re-imagining of Centipede. I liked that one a lot more than I thought I would.

Later that day, I met up with my friend and her co-workers because they'd gotten me an invitation to the Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary party. It was...interesting. I like Sonic, but it was one of those sides rollers that always irritated me because I couldn't go backward to pick up the rings I missed and it was too fast going forward that I couldn't enjoy the work put into the graphics.

The final day was fun. I went around with my friend for a little bit, then I became sort of a tour guide / handler for scream queen Tara Cardinal who wanted to check out E3 for inspiration on one of her many projects. It was nice to have a goal on the day, you know? I didn't get to play with the Wii U or the PS Vita, but I know the stores will have demo versions next year so I'm not too terribly broken up about that.

Afterwards, I went to dinner at ESPN Zone with Tara, my friend, and my friend's co-workers. Good food, but it's best to avoid that restaurant like the plague on game day. They charge you through the nose AND ass for the privilege of placing your buttocks upon their gilded chairs. Whatevs.

Afterward, my friend came back to my hotel because I was going back to her place on Saturday morning. But we still had Friday to tear up the town!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

L.A. Trip the Third (Day Four Part Deux)

When we last spoke of my intrepid adventures, I'd just found authentic Just the Ten of Us wardrobe and I became thirteen years old again (which is at least a little more grown up than my usual 8.)

I absolutely bought it and I absolutely, absolutely wore it! It fits me surprisingly well! I keep getting strange looks, though, as I wear it at E3. Not that I think people are remembering the show (the damn whippersnappers these days need to get the hell off my lawn...), but I think it just puzzles them.

After we all made our purchases, we went down to Johnny Rockets. I don't know if it was because we were all so hungry or if it's really that good, but damn that was a tasty burger (turkey of course.)

Lis was kind enough to give me a lift to the Hollywood and Highland station so I could grab the train back to the hotel. We made a quick detour on the way: she took me to Miracle Mile! I told her about how I saw the movie Miracle Mile just before I left this most recent trip so she took me to the main area where they filmed. Even the restaurant is still in there, though it's no longer 24 hours, and we passed by the tar pits. Holy crap!

I said my good-byes and hopped on the subway which took me to the bus which drops me off right in front of my hotel...not enough, perhaps, to warrant a whole post, but that last part really was awesome. :D

L.A. Trip the Third (Day Four: Totes Shopping OMG)

My main goal for yesterday, after waking up at 4:30 in the flipping morning, was to get my badge holder for E3. A side quest was to get a hoodie because I neglected to bring one with me and it's a touch cold here and in Washington state where I'll be heading next. So, I toss aside my apprehension and get on the subway and head to downtown L.A. and the convention center where E3 is going to be held.

The convention center area is rather huge taking up a whole square block. My brother, Shawn, and I walked around it several times in February trying to find something to do. I found myself wandering around it as well, trying to figure out where the hell I was supposed to go to get my badge holder. Eventually, I found a booth and got one. I didn't make an announcement that I was going to E3 because you can't get in without the badge holder and things can happen, you know?

Anyway, after that, I wandered around downtown L.A. for a little bit because the was nothing going on yesterday that I, with an exhibits only badge, could get into. Then I called BleedFest co-director Brenda Fies because we'd discussed getting together. We worked out that I would hop on the subway and meet them at Hollywood and Highland, it's only one station away from my area anyway.

I don't know the streets of L.A. too well, obviously, but I have to admit that I was surprised to find that I was right at Graumann's Chinese theatre and the Kodak theatre. While I waited for them to show up, I walked up and down Hollywood Boulevard and kept an eye out for a decent hoodie. I wound up getting one from the Hard Rock because I wanted something that was a tourist item, but didn't have Los Angeles emblazoned across my chest all tacky-like.

We meet up, we being Brenda, their second cousins, and their friend, and we walked around for a bit and they shopped while Brenda and I chatted. Eventually, the five of us met up with Lis and Melanie (who plays the Runner in the I Hate L.A. interstitials) and we hung out a little more. Eventually, Melanie had to leave for an appointment and the ladies were nice enough to invite me to go shopping with them, in the swank, hip section of Melrose.

I'm not swank and I'm not hip, but eh, what the hell, right? I'd not been there before, might as well. So we start hitting these vintage boutique stores. One "vintage" shop charged $38 freakin' bucks for already well-loved t-shirts. And then there are the typical stores that don't stock anything that would fit on a normal person.

Eventually, we made our way to yet another "vintage" clothing store. All the shoes were already worn (I'm hard on my clothes, I don't want to buy something for a bazillion dollars that won't be able to withstand more than two days of me) and I'm thinking that I could totally come out to L.A. and start my own store and fund my films that way.

So as I aimlessly shuffle through the hoodie section (even though I already had one), There's this bright, pretty blue that catches my eye. I push the surrounding clothes aside to see what it is and am confronted by something...astounding.

This is a St. Augustines Hippos track jacket, Great, you say in that tone of voice where you think I'm crazy. Don't worry, I get it all the time. Thing is, St. Auggies doesn't exist...except in the television show Just the Ten of Us.

This jacket, on sale for $18, is an authentic costume piece from my favorite television show starring one of my favorite actresses.

I about died.

Yes, I bought it, and it fits perfectly.

The rest of my day will have to be told later as I have to go catch the bus to grab the train to head to downtown. I just really needed to share the awesomeness of that find.

*nerdiest gigglesnort beating all previous gigglesnorts*

Monday, June 6, 2011

L.A. Trip the Third (Day Three: Be Nancy)

Fair warning: this is a long post filled with nerdery and geekiness. you may explode from Teh Fangurl. You've been warned.

Yesterday was the day: BleedFest. The reason I've been to L.A. three times now. I was there for the world premiere of my newest short film, A Hammer Fell in Jerusalem: and be at rest, but also because I was co-presenting the west coast premiere of I Am Nancy which is a documentary about the place of the horror heroine in today's society as told through the eyes of the actress who plays one of the genre's strongest female leads, Heather Langenkamp.

It would not be an overstatement to say that she's one of my top favorite actresses and that I'm a huge fan. The six year old in me was doing a wonderful, soul-felt Marie Lubbock-style dance (is there any other?), while I tried my damnedest to not act a fool on the outside. I think I did a fairly good job in not getting any fan on her.

As per usual, I woke up at six in the morning (Ed. Note: today was 4:30. This has got to stop...) I wrote yesterday's blog posts (note to self: proofread when you get home!) and eventually got ready (physically and mentally) and headed over to the venue. Alisha Rayne from grabbed me for an interview right when I got there. I'm not sure I'll ever get over how strange for me it is to be interviewed, even though Alisha's really good at it.

From there, I went in and greeted Lis and Brenda, who gave me a new badge. I'd actually brought the one from April with me so they wouldn't have to keep making new ones, but this time they printed one with my name on it. I then said hi to Jaye and Tony from the Zombie vs. Shark podcast, really great guys, y'all, and wandered around a bit. As I was headed back outside, I passed a petite woman with short cropped black hair who I hadn't seen before and she said, "Lori! I'm Arlene Marechal!"


Arlene is the director of I Am Nancy and was the one I'd contacted last year about playing I Am Nancy at Hallowscreen. The stars didn't align for that, obviously, but they did for BleedFest which makes me just as happy! We talked for a bit as I took her to get her badge (I know, not my job, but having run my own festival, combined with an innate desire to be helpful, I couldn't resist) and she mentioned that Heather was running a little bit late.

Zomg. But I kept it all inside.

Impact Personal Safety is this month's charity for BleedFest and director Heidi Hornbacher is the executive director of the program. She came in with some of her students and one of her male instructors, fully kitted out in protective padding, to put on a demonstration of their techniques. It was fantastic to watch and during the first break, I asked Heidi about the program and if they have any classes in Florida. They don't yet, but they get a lot of inquiries. This is a class every woman and child should take.

After that, we watched a new short by Brenda and Lis called College Girls Road Trip which features their second cousins Casey and Sarah as two college girls on a road trip. It was good fun and the girls were great! It was their first time seeing themselves on screen, too, which adds a little something extra to the proceedings.

After that, we took a break for mixing and I went outside for some air. I think I missed Candice Rankin's one woman show because I was being interviewed by the Zombie vs. Shark guys. But, then again, I missed getting my photo taken on the red carpet...again! I have a talent for that sort of thing. I was inside watching the shorts in competition, though, so at least I had a good reason.

However, while I was inside watching the other shorts, I missed Heather's arrival. And she and Arlene were outside until the last short played...which was not mine. Ah, well.

At the end of the break, before the shorts-in-competition package, I saw this tall, lanky dude wearing a Cujo shirt. I had to compliment him on it, after all it is the movie that started this whole mess for me. And wouldn't you know it, it was Lucky McKee! He's a fabulous director (May, Sick Girl, The Woods, The Woman) and, thankfully, unpretentious. I like him even more after meeting him!

I loved every short in the package, but I do have to say that my favorite was an FSU short called Teppan Dead about a chef at a hibachi restaurant with delusions of samurai who, not unlike Shaun in Shaun of the Dead, comes into his own in the face of the zompocalypse.

My short played second to last. I loved hearing the audience reactions to things like the fact that the guy is a priest and such. I didn't bother bringing up that I made it to test some new equipment because, even though that's the reason why I made it, it's still a full fledged story on its own. I got to plug my aftershock screenings, too, (A Nightmare to Remember on June 18 and Viscera on July 17! I just realized that I switched the dates in my interviews and everything! Geez Louise, I need a keeper... I should've remembered since Viscera's on my brother's birthday! I think. ;) ) And, guess what! Lucky was one of the judges for Viscera!

My short won Best Ongoing Vampire Saga! The only problem? It's not a vampire saga...and Lis could tell from my expression as I went up for the Q&A. I didn't say anything, it was still amazing to receive an award, but she mentioned it before dinner. I understand where she's coming from with the mistake; the first film was accepted to the Vampire Film Festival, but in the Gothic category.

Just before the break, Lucky was presented with the Inanna Partnership award for his work, all of which features strong female protagonists and he took some questions from the audience and talked a little about his new flick The Woman.

After the shorts, there was another break during which Arlene grabbed me so she could take a photo of Heather and I. Oh gosh...twist my arm, why doncha? We took an epically awesome photo in front of the BleedFest banners which I'll post when I get home (you can find it in my Twitter feed, though, if you're not on my Facebook) and then Heather and I talked about my work for a little while as Arlene took some photos of the outside of the venue. And Heather remembered that I gave her a DVD of my work when I first met her. This made the harsh realist / voice of doubt in me shut up for a minute.

*nerdy gigglesnort*

After the break, we were given a special treat: Jamie Coon came in and performed a special version of her song "I Am Nancy" for us, and Brenda and Lis presented the audience and Film Radar awards (the audience award went to Zeke and the Film Radar award went to Cindy Baer's Slashdance.) Lis and Brenda also played a short film Lucky made called Blue Like You. I loved it!

Then it was time to get my co-presenter on as I stepped on stage next to Brenda and Lis for the I Am Nancy introduction...which Lis asked me to do. On the spot. I babbled on about how I first heard about the project and joked about how I needed to see it right then and there ("why were they still filming?!") and how I tried to get it for my festival and while the timing just wasn't right for me, it worked out for BleedFest and I couldn't be happier!

Pretty smooth for someone as socially awkward as myself...

The movie played (it was my second time seeing it. I watch lots of movies over and over because I tend to catch things, even in A Nightmare on Elm Street, that I never caught before) and everyone loved it! Then it was time for the Q&A and the presentation of the Inanna to Heather and Arlene. I did not go up on stage for that. I honestly didn't know if I should or not so I erred on the side of caution, and my shyness, and stayed in my seat.

No one had any questions for Heather and Arlene so Lis, wonderful Lis, says, "Lori! Don't you have any questions?"

"" was my eloquent and thought-provoking reply. I'm the kind of person who'd rather sit down with my favorite people and drink coffee (or water for me) or have lunch and talk. I say this even though I now have seven autographs from Heather (even I think that's a bit excessive, to be honest, but two of them came with DVDs and according to Evy that means they don't count.)

Afterward, we all went outside because they were selling, and signing DVDs of I Am Nancy. I wanted to get the new DVD because I love the new cover that Heather designed. She offered me a free photo, but I asked instead for her to sign my BleedFest program. It's a nice memento of the festival and of the amazing time that I had. And I asked Arlene to sign it, too! And they gave me the new DVD, signed by Heather. And Arlene gave me a shirt emblazoned with the legend "Be Nancy" on it! Unfortunately, when the label read medium, they really meant California small. I may have lost 100 pounds over the past year or so, but not enough to comfortably wear it! Makes me a sad panda! I'll just have to see if they'll let me design my own...

And here's where I point out that she said I could call her Heather. In private conversations like with my mom or with friends about Elm Street or Ten of Us or whatever, I refer to her as Heather. When speaking to her, I remind myself to call her Ms. Langenkamp. I slipped yesterday and accidentally called her Heather, then apologized. She was nice enough to say, "Oh, call me Heather, please!"

Yay for social awkwardness!

We wrapped up outside and I gave Arlene a good-bye hug as she and Heather left. Finally, just the ten of us remained *ultimate nerdy gigglesnort* as we all headed to Midori for sushi (yes, I tried some. It was actually quite tasty!) The ten of us consisted of Jaye and Tony, Ray from Film Radar, Lis and Brenda and their two second cousins and their friend, Miguel from Monster Island Resort, and myself. Dinner was fabulous, the company was fabulous, the whole freaking day was fabulous!

Today, I go pick up my badge holder for E3 and proceed as if I didn't just have one of the most fantastic weekends ever. I got to celebrate one of my favorite actresses of all time as well as one of my favorite characters of all time. I feel honored and blessed (and only slightly embarrassed ;D) by the whole experience! Thank you, Lis and Brenda, for yet another amazing BleedFest!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Los Angeles, Trip the Third (Day Two: Staying Occupied)

I woke up yesterday morning (at six, thank you for that time zones), and began to plot my day. I need to go get a hoodie because I neglected to pack one and It's kinda cold here right now and it's definitely cooler in Portland, Oregon, which is where I'll be heading after L.A.

But my surprise annual pass to Universal is calling me and they have hoodies there. But hoodies might be cheaper at the mall. Well, yeah, but THEME PARK. And what if I don't like any of Universal's hoodies? Well, strangely, the mall will still be there tomorrow and the next day and the day after that.

Universal won.

It was actually a wise move because I'll be doing the public transport thing while I'm here fairly exclusively and the bus stops at Universal City Station, the subway stop for this area. (Yeah, they have subways in L.A. I seriously thought that was a plot convenience in Earthquake.)

Where there's a subway stop, there's a way to buy tokens or cards or whatever so I trek into the subway station and buy myself a week-long transit card for $22.00. So far so good! I used it twice yesterday, for the return trip to the hotel and for the trip to the meet and greet.

After I get my card, I trek back up the steps and head over to Universal Studios, making sure to note where the shuttles pick up and drop off for my return. I walk through Citywalk to see what was available that might have hoodies that I wouldn't mind wearing. Noting. But it's not a problem, there's still a whole park to go through! I head in and the first place I go is the Special Effects Stage show. I figured that it would be just like the Horror Make-Up Effects show in Orlando, just with a bigger budget. And I was right. They did blue screen and green screen alongside some matte painting and rear projection demonstrations. It made me dislike CGI even more, to be honest. So inorganic... Anyway, the show was good so I was happy with that. Then, I decided to go check out their Terminator 2 3D attraction. Last time I went to the one in Orlando, it was looking a bit rough.

Yeah, Hollywood's is no better.

There are three screens they use for the attraction: one center, one left and one right. The left and right ones aren't used until later in the show. All eyes are on the center one. The screen was dirty and possibly scratched, the left eye projector was slightly dimmer than the right and, most infuriatingly, the right eye was out of focus. Out of focus?! Really, Universal?!

I asked one person where I could lodge a technological complaint and she was confused. I decided to not bother after that.

Next up, I wanted to see the Revenge of the Mummy ride so I take the eighty or whatever feet worth of stairs down to the lower lot to check out the Mummy ride. I hate water rides or I would've done the Jurassic Park ride. The wait time for the Mummy here was only ten minutes! A good start!
The beginning of the ride is great and I'm thinking, "Alright! This is awesome!" The part where the car goes backwards is longer here, too. And then you're back at the station. What?! That's it? Oh my God, Universal, you have got to be kidding me. The ride is almost literally 15 seconds. No wonder the wait time was 10 minutes.

After that, I'd pretty much seen everything I wanted to see so I hopped on the bus with my shiny TAP card and came back to the hotel to start getting ready for the meet and greet at the Casting Office in Culver City. The area designations here are rather like the boroughs of New York. Culver City is literally right around the corner from Universal City which is next to Studio City which is right by one or two more boroughs which are by Sherman Oaks, where I am. All of this is on a 45 minute bus ride...

So, when I get off the bus and start making my way to Cahuenga Boulevard, I'm given the choice of a creepy ass, dark ass pedestrian tunnel or the sidewalk alongside Hollywood Boulevard. Even the big dude in front of me didn't take the creepy ass, dark ass pedestrian tunnel. Of the two, the sidewalk next to a bustling highway sounded safer. I am, after all, a horror writer. I know what goes on in creepy ass, dark ass pedestrian tunnels.

I make it to the meeting place about 15 minutes early and stake out some large tables because I figured that our group would be pretty large. And it was! Lis and Brenda brought their nieces and their friend and the crew of one short all showed up from the Bay area. The podcasters for Zombie vs. Shark showed up, too, and were kind enough to give me a lift back to the hotel at the end of the night! It was great night and a great way to kick off the festival!