Well Round Three of Rack Focus 3 happened last night. I think it might be still happening. Despite some technical snafu’s for a lot of the night, things were relatively good for the screening of the third round of the film competition. Thankfully 20 Minutes or Less came off without a glitch in the presentation. There were some technical hiccups regarding audio. Isn’t it always audio?

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With the incomparable star in the making, Gabby.

But people still seemed to enjoy it. The judges gave good criticism, they seemed to dig the concept of it as well as everyone had rave reviews about Gabriella Corvina in the lead role and the validity, the presence that she brought to the role. We of course knew she had that and that’s why we wanted her involved. Kerry McCormick, (who was in a few films last night, differing roles and bringing great stuff to them all), brought more of that realness to the project. It was just moves to them, they knew what they were doing and it showed.

 

A lot of what the judges were saying we had already been thinking in hindsight about the project. As Bj Lewis stated on the mic last night it was a learning project for us to do more action as we endeavor to do it the best we can. Thanks to a kick as cast/crew 20 Minutes or Less turned out great. And turned out to be a good blue print as we intend to go back to the well of that film after finding a truly huge home to film it in as it was intended. More on that to come.

It was a good time though. Lessons were learned and the bar was set and set higher and higher last night as more films were shown later in the evening. Some really talented people are in the DFW and we see we at Taurian Films really need to step up our game to show that we belong in the same conversation as some of the other films.

Hopefully the technical problems did not mar the show too much. We were all hoping at this point they would have been ironed out. This is from the outside looking in as of course we don’t not have the knowledge or experience of what it’s like to put on a film festival. We can only hope lessons were learned there and future events can be smoother. It’s a great opportunity for area filmmakers, actors, etc. and we want to see it be the best it can be. 13254411_10101074705673508_4401587139637705291_n

In other film news, we started work on the pilot for Cheerleader Karate School, shooting a great scene with Summer Dobozy and Deborah Kay Hooker as Keegan Fox and her mother, Sara Fox. Great stuff from those two. Consummate professionals who I we think work well as mother and daughter. We look forward to more of their scenes together.

There is of course lots more to come over the next few months as we develop Cheerleader Karate School.

Big ups to Ellen Hedger, host of the Chatterbox with Ellen Hedger as she welcomed Bj Lewis, Gabriella Corvina and Summer Dobozy to the studio to talk Cheerleader Karate School.

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Summer Dobozy (l) and Gabriella Corvina on the Chatterbox.

Ellen was a great host who asked good questions and seemed to be genuinely interested in what the guest trio was talking about.

Gabby and Summer were insightful and engaging and Bj provided some of the info on Cheerleader Karate School that people needed to know. It’s nice to see and hear their excitement for the show. Of course we at Taurian Films and Bj Lewis are always excited about the projects we are working on and CKS is no exception. But it is nice to know that the people working on the project feel the same way and makes us believe they will truly bring their A game when it gets time to get in front of the camera.

Of course there is lots more than can and will be said about the show. Bj is hopeful that Taurian Films can secure another appearance around the time the pilot is done and ready for viewing and when the crowdfunding campaign is ready to go as well.

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Gabriella Corvina, Bj Lewis, Ellen Hedger, Summer Dobozy pose for a few pix after the show.

We’re looking at other opportunities for media appearances to promote the show. Of course it may be slower sledding right now since we do not have much to show in the way of footage from the project, but we want to get the ball rolling, if nothing else to give our cast/crew ample practice in interviews, radio/podcast appearances.

Many of them have not experienced that before and that is something they will do a lot, not just for CKS but in their acting careers, so if we can help them along, we are happy to do so.

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Gabby chatting it up with a caller on the Chatterbox.

It’s all about grassroots support for the show and building it as early as we can. And we will continue to take every opportunity on each and every podcast/vlog/radio show to do that.

Catching up with Taurian Films this week…

A few things are happening. We turned in our cut of 20 Minutes or Less for the Rack Focus Round 3 competition by the Saturday deadline. Will be interesting to see people’s reactions to it come screening time. It will be screened on Day 2 of the event at the Texas Theater in Dallas. We are contemplating if we want to jump into Round 4, but that will depend upon an idea we really like and time seeings how we will be in high gear on CKS by then if all works out.

The Shooting Schedule for the CKS has been sent out and now we are waiting for folks to peruse it and deal with the inevitable conflicts that make the shooting sched go through three or four iterations before we find the one that works. It’s one of the things that comes along with indie film. We aspire to rise above that sooner or later of course. Until then, we deal with what we get, how we need to.

We dropped another BTS video with the amazing actress who will be playing The Next alongside Maddy Cerda’s The First. One day someone will jump on those names and realize where they come from. We are just waiting on it to happen.


Thursday, Bj Lewis will be making an appearance on the Chatterbox with Ellen Hedger, a streaming radio show that is produced out of an Arlington studio. Bj will be alongside Gabriella Corvina, Summer Dobozy and Maddy Cerda to talk CKS and other film related topics. And later that evening, Bj will be one of the presenters for the second Nerd Nite Denton event.  He was approached to talk about his endeavors in film and how he manages it alongside a family and a full time job. Should make for a great conversation.  And if it doesn’t…well..there’s beer.

We’re finally jumping in with a Dallas band, DeFacto, and looking into how we can work with them on video projects that can showcase the band and the music they produce. Initial conversations have been good and promising, and we’re looking to sit down with the band members in person to further hash out the details. Not to mention allowing us all to see that everyone involved is serious about working together. Ideally that is the start of many working relationships with artists, bands and more.


 

Party Girl needs more love and more views as always. It’s Denton’s only indie made super hero series and features the amazingly talented Cait Pool!

And fill the cast we did thanks to work put in Sunday.

It was a busy day as we were busy in a few areas. We held auditions for more roles in CKS and the other thing we did was film a short episode of CKS. Micro-chapter, micro episode, mini episode, whatever your preferred description of it, that is what we filmed. We conceived it to accomplish a few things. To give us something relatively quick and easy we could do. To give us some content to put out there involving CKS. To give those involved a chance to get an early start on playing their character on camera. We think we succeeded in that and that the ladies involved got to learn a bit about what it takes to do the fight scenes. Being skilled in their various martial arts is one thing, but bringing it in front of the camera is something else and we wanted them to get a feel for that before we film the pilot.

Speaking of the pilot, we are tweaking the script again. In addition to general edits to tighten up dialogue, we are changing the town the story takes place. While the high school will remain Dakota High School we are changing the story to take place in actual Denton, TX. The goal is to use the sights and sounds of Denton as well as some of the haunts in the show. Hopefully we can garner some support from local businesses and local people that way as well.

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Wen-chieh Chi – The Next

 

 

We cast a few roles out of the auditions Sunday, big and small roles. One of the highlights being the role of THE NEXT. The First and The Next are two former cheer members who had a falling out with Mark and left the school (or were kicked out if you ask them) they are a very important part of the first season and we wanted to have a couple kick ass actresses to play them. We already had Maddy Cerda on board for The First and now we have Wen-chieh Chi and her  taekwondo black belt for The Next. She is an aspiring actress and action star and is eager to take on CKS and we could not be happier to have her.

We found a few more side characters in Barron Hodges, his best friend, Trip Stephens, a few of the other players at the school, and more. We did OK I believe. And of course,  for more information on casting, feel free to check out www.facebook.com/CheerleaderKarateSchool.

We’re excited for what the series can be, we just have to get to filming and make it happen.

 

A few BTS videos to show what exactly we were up to Sunday in addition to auditions.

 

Lots more BTS content to come as more join the cast, as the girls train as we hold table reads and actually get to filming.

Hopefully people enjoy what they see and will check out the show when it is released later this year!

There was good times with kick ass people this past weekend as we filmed Taurian Films entry into the Rack Focus film competition. We were welcomed in at Zini’s Pizza in Deep Ellum on Saturday and filming continued Sunday afternoon at Mabrey Studios (AKA the House of Jenni Mabrey that we used for filming lots of Party Girl: The Series).

It was a long as day and I am very appreciative of everyone’s hard work, dedication, patience and skills to help make the short.

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On set and filming 20 Minutes Or Less.

There are some technical things I could nitpick on my end as I do my retrospective thinking, and probably will. Some things I am seeing as I edit the rough cut that’s annoying me. Stuff I have caught before, but didn’t this time. Constantly learning. That’s what I have to chalk it up to. Of course everyone else was top notch. Gabriella and Kerry were amazing, and it only reinforced my joy at meeting Gabriella and learning of her skillset and being able to use that for 20 Minutes or Less and the upcoming Cheerleader Karate School. 20MinutesOrLess.Still002

Everyone was great on set in front of the camera and behind it, helping out setting up and tearing things down.

Hopefully they all feel the end product is worth their time and talent.

Waiting on a buddy of mine to work up an original musical score for it and we have some ADR work to do. Other than that and tooling away on the cut of the film, just waiting now for the information on the screening date so we can plan to attend that. 20MinutesOrLess.Still001

Be on the look out for that because when we know, you will know.

And then there were five.

After another round of auditions, the requisite amount of last second cancellations and no shows, we have emerged with what we think is going to be a great core group of young actresses for our Cheerleader Karate School project.

As we have stated, we wanted a few things with this project. We wanted talented eager actresses ready to put in work and help us build a strong franchise type of product and we wanted legit ass kickers. And we believe that what is what we have.

The first to join our squad, with 12 years of MMA, boxing, kickboxing, Kenpo-Karate and Jiu-Jitsu in her background was the incomparable Gabriella Corvina as FIORELLA “FI” ESPINOZA. Gabriella came to us as we looked for actors for the SHIFT series.

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Gabriella Corvina

We have since had to put that plan on the shelf after losing our lead a few days before the first shooting day. Gabriella listed her martial arts background on her resume and after confirming it was legit we became interested in going forward with CKS, one of a zillion projects swimming around in Bj’s head at any given time. We wanted a certain look and feel to the show and especially the action scenes when they happen. We wanted a certain legitimacy to them and wanted martial artists to give us that. People will be able to get an early look at what Gabriella can do in May when she appears in the short film, 20 Minutes or Less, that Taurian Films is producing for the Rack Focus Dallas film competition.

The second to join our squad, with a black belt in Taekwondo was Christine Rejcek as the spunky trouble maker BRICE VACARRO. Like Gabriella, Christine came to us through SHIFT.

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Christine Rejcek

Just talking in general with her about future ideas, Christine let it be known about her blackbelt and the wheels were spinning in Bj’s head. Without specifically looking for it, he had landed two of the five girls he needed for CKS!

 

Fast forward a few weeks later and now all of them have been locked in.

Jumping on board CKS as the fiery TYESHA BANKS and bringing along some boxing and kickboxing skills with her is Maya DeBruce. After talking to her at the audition we felt she would bring enthusiasm, positive energy and dedication to the project and that is what we need to make it all happen.

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Maya DeBruce

Summer Dobozy has some fight choreography training, hip hop dance training experience with her alongside an eagerness to soak up some more martial arts knowledge. Couple that with her acting chops and she is going to make a great KEEGAN FOX. Summer has read for us a few times in the past and we felt she could be what we needed for the role in CKS.

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Summer Dobozy

Rounding out the butt kicking cheer team… Kalei Lozano. With her comes eight years of dance, three years of competition cheer and four years or karate (so far, she’s looking to bolster that), along with some musical talents. Kalei read for Josey Rae and while she read great with Christine and seemed eager and ready to jump on the project, we didn’t know if she would fit the specs of what we set for Josey Rae.

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Kalei Lozano

BUT by the same token, we didn’t want to not come away with Kalei on the project particularly with her martial arts background. So we retooled a bit of the background and personality for Josey Rae (not by too too much) and she will now be HEATHER ARRINGTON in CKS.

So we are locked and loaded and ready to go.

The page on facebook is www.facebook.com/CheerleaderKarateSchool.

The Hashtags of choice are #CheerleaderKarateSchool and #CKS on twitter, instagram, facebook, etc.

The plan is to film the teaser and act one portion of the pilot. That will be two days, one evening here in Denton and one day in Boyd, TX at the high school there. After that we try and raise some capital to finish the pilot as well as the rest of the first season.

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We’ve got some swag coming along including some great T-shirts that will be produced by Denton’s ND TShirt Company. We have some pre-orders on deck for those and we’re excited to get them out into the world and start to build up support for the show. Also planning on some convention appearances and other moves to get people to notice us. Grassroots is the way to go.

It won’t be easy of course. We have lessons learned from Party Girl: The Series that we are looking to apply to CKS and improve our results and get more people watching us and what we are producing.

We have a fun story, a diverse cast with women at the forefront of things and plenty of other reasons for people to check out Cheerleader Karate School.

Now to just see what happens.


 

Submitting season two of Party Girl to the Fort Worth Indie Film Showcase. They have a category for Web Series over 11 minutes which fits the show. We have entered Party Girl in a couple fests thus far and haven’t found success. Here’s hoping fortune changes for us with this latest one.

 

In the meantime you can check out the show and see some great performances by a host of talented up and coming actors led by Cait Pool, who is going to become a household name sooner than later.


 

And of course, check out our Suicide Squad fanfilm, A Typical Tuesday, coming very very soon.

Saturday was another great day as anticipated when Kerry McCormick was added to the project. Kerry is an accomplished actor, martial artist and all around great person. Of the small number of folks met thus far that years later is still as real as they were from Day 1.

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Making notes on the scene. Planning the magic.

Coupled with the talented Gabriella Corvina and you have the makings of a dynamite scene and from what the ladies put together already, everyone is going to be talk about their scene. Of course we wish it could have gone on longer but Rack Focus films are only to be 10 minutes long so we needed an intense two minute throw down from them. Gabriella will be throwing down with other people along the way, so will she make it out alive? Who knows. You will just have to check things out when the screening happens.

 

We wanted to produce 20 Minutes or Less for Rack Focus Round 2 but things happened with our planned lead at that point. Of course things happen for a reason they say. And who knows if we would have come in contact with Gabriella or the other talented people connected to this project had it not been delayed?


 

We are a week away from auditions to fill out the rest of the team for the upcoming project Cheerleader Karate School. We already have two of the main five ladies cast, one of which is of course Gabriella, the other is Christine Rejcek, a budding actress and trained martial artist. Looking forward to those auditions that, barring any last minute issues, will have Gabriella and Christine onhand to participate and read with the actresses so we can get an early feel on chemistry for the group. CKS is something we are proud of and think in this day and age of franchises for TV shows and movies, we think it could become a successful one.

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Gabriella working out fight stuff with Kerry for 20 Minutes or Less. She’s going to bring that same enthusiam to CKS.

 

 

The first couple episodes have been written and will be broken down in order to gauge an average budget per episode to add to our business plan as we seek funding to make it happen.

We are working on marketing/promotional ideas as well. We are planning a web comic tie in that will take place a bit before the timeline of the show.  Trying to think of swag that we can offer to people in support of the project beyond the obvious t-shirts. Speaking of those we are going through the ND T-Shirt Company, a local Denton business, for our shirts. We have seen the proofs for CKS shirts and we are definitely looking forward to getting them produced and out to the masses. We hope to have everyone in place cast wise so we get get promo pics done in time to do some grassroots promotion at a few local comic book conventions. Of course everything comes down to money, at first anyway and what we can afford to start with.


 

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A past pin up sketch for HTB. Annie has lent her likeness to the main character for the book and plans to star in the film adaption.

Work is ongoing on the HTB teaser for our graphic novel/film project with Annie Cruz. Jermaine is out in Cali putting the final touches on that. In the meantime people can and should be liking the facebook page or following on twitter @HTBMovie to stay up to date with the latest information on the project.


 

Party Girl: The Series is still gaining attention from people who have not seen it before. Which, by viewcounts, is a lot. Hopefully this trend will continue and more people will check out the show as it’s as good today as it was last year when we produced it.

 


Our Suicide Squad fanfilm, A Typical Tuesday is still in post. Probably a month or two longer before it drops. We are still contemplating a screening for it, or if we just drop it online. Hopefully people will enjoy the short which was just made by fans for fellow fans of the soon to be box office record breaking Suicide Squad.