The race is on!

The campaign is live!

Bj Lewis and the rest of the cast and crew of Cheerleader Karate School are out to raise the funds to make the first nine episode season of the supernatural martial arts web series! Viewers, critics, fans, everyone is clamoring for new stories from new, diverse voices and there is no better an opportunity for that to happen than with Taurian Films’ latest series.

Created by Bj, Cheerleader Karate School is the story of five young girls who are drawn together to user magic and martial arts to fight an evil that threatens their home city of Denton, TX and the world at large. Along the way this power team will tackle issues with family, equality, responsibility, identity and more as they strive to find their place in the world they are trying to protect.

14310360_1096755857082852_6286462194455825938_o

The leading ladies of Cheerleader Karate School.

The current crowdfunding campaign which runs now through Oct. 14 is part of Seed & Spark’s New Voice Rally. The Rally is a way for creators to get an opportunity to tell their stories. Creators have to raise at least $10,000 through their crowdfunding efforts and then use that money towards a pilot episode of their show. Top prizes include a developmental deal and more funding toward the production of the show.

Bj and his cast and crew have begun work on the Cheerleader Karate School pilot and hope to use the funds from the campaign to pay for the work that has been done as well as fund a second episode to give people another look at the show and opportunity to get behind it.

So much work has gone into the show, so much heart is behind it. Bj and the crew just need that last push, that last seed to help spark the amazing project that is Cheerleader Karate School.

For more information on the campaign, check out the Campaign Page

 

The title says it all about what we are doing.

Sept. 12 through Oct. 14 is the first crowdfunding endeavor for Cheerleader Karate School. It’s been mentioned here on this blog and on Facebook and Twitter. We’re participating in Seed & Spark’s New Voice Rally. They are out to find the next great program and it could be anyone’s. You just have to crowdfund $10k to film your pilot, impress the judges and then see what happens. Now of course we have been shooting (and in some cases reshooting) scenes from the CKS pilot but we checked and we can still be in consideration for the New Voice Rally. But we don’t need the whole 10 to shoot an episode of CKS and our plan is to use the funds for two if not three episodes of the show to really give people a good sample of the show and hope they can get behind it. 13934610_1064008977024207_5594595618268369175_n

Crowdfunding seems like a good option but it’s not called a campaign for nothing. You have to work it like one and pour every ounce of yourself into it to make the goal. That’s what the plan is with CKS. We believe we have a cast and crew that is willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen and make the goal. We will just see how it all shakes down a month and a few days from now.

 

13934610_1064008977024207_5594595618268369175_n

Perky Chicks and Roundhouse Kicks!

More shooting was done on the pilot episode for Cheerleader Karate School this weekend. Boyd High School in Boyd, TX was nice enough to open their doors to us as they have done over and over again every time Bj has needed a school setting to shoot in. The school was an option many times for Party Girl: The Series and for A Typical Tuesday in the past and the school was an option again for CKS.

Pilot Pic 2

Keegan (Summer Dobozy) relays her surprise at the girls fighting to Brice (Christine Rejcek).

A lot was put on the filming plate for Bj and the cast and crew. Boyd is a haul for some so he was hoping to get everything done in that one day so no one would have to be asked back. One the scenes are edited together, we will see if Bj managed to accomplish that goal. Everyone brought their A game as they always do, particularly in a fight between a couple of the main actors, Gabriella Corvina who plays Fi Espinoza and Timylle Adams who plays Tyesha Banks. The two of them have a lot of animosity between them. (Their characters, of course. The actors get along fine) The two of them have played them very well and you can feel that tension between them on screen we believe.

It’s just on Bj to make sure everyone looks their best and he hopes he succeeded. That is one thing that is important to Bj, that people look their best and that they are able to be proud of their participation in any project of his. The stakes get no higher for CKS because Bj is hoping to be able to raise funds for the show and be able to make it bigger and better than he ever could on his own and of course, increase the compensation for those involved.

13923297_1072605672831204_6556923894888351915_o

Make up testing for an upcoming shoot.

Earlier on Sunday Bj met with Maddy Cerda (The First) and special effects make up artist for a handful of season one episodes. On hand was Jo Lorio, an actress and martial artist as well. Jo is going to help with fight choreography for a number of season one episodes and she is playing the monster the team is pursuing in the opening moments of the teaser portion of the pilot. Maddy is in school for make up and alongside being a kick ass actress who is all in on her role, Maddy is a great SFX MUA on the rise and the entire production team is happy she is lending her talents to CKS behind the camera as well as in front of it.

Pilot Pic

Mark (Fabian XIV) tries his best but there is a lot of rage in Tyesha (Timylle Adams).

We have been dutifully telling people to tell their friends, family and others who may be interested to mark those calendars as the crowdfunding campaign for CKS will kick run Sept, 12 – Oct. 14, 2016 through www.Seedandspark.com and their New Voices Crowdfunding Rally.

As noted in previous blog entries, the New Voices Rally is part crowdfunding, part competition as we would have to raise at least $10,000 and gather an audience of at least 500 on Seed&Spark to move to the next part. That next part will potentially be able to help us finish the first season, outside of us raising the funds ourselves. $10K would cover the first 3 episodes of the show. 

PP4

The look on the face of Fi (Gabriella Corvina) says things are about to get rowdy.

 

Bj continues to work on lining up indie/geek media outlets on their social media pages to line up Bj and the cast/crew for interviews and such to help get the word out. That will be the big thing. The more people that know about CKS the better chance we have of hooking more fans and making our goals happen. Likes have been slowly creeping up on the Facebook page. Hopefully we can increase that in the coming weeks with T-shirts and promotional flyers, posters and cards. Boots on the ground, grassroots effort is going to win the day. We know there are people out there who will be interested in the show, just a matter of reaching them.


 


 

Tales of Bj Lewis, Mostly Intrepid Reporter

Five days.

Well five working days until I am done at the Denton Record-Chronicle.

Surreal to say that in some ways. The DRC has been my 9 to 5 home for the past eight years as I put my Louisiana Tech University journalism degree to use as a reporter. In my time I covered the county before being moved to police/fire. Of course as it was needed I covered education, city, entertainment and so many other things that could be categorized in any number of beats.

But I’m about to be done.

Not because a city or county official was miffed at me for a story I wrote and used their influence to get me axed. Though a few tried over the years.

It wasn’t because some dude was stalking my twitter page and sent a trio of tweets and a super long email to my current bosses in some…

View original post 875 more words

Tales of Bj Lewis, Mostly Intrepid Reporter

I’m a writer. I love to write, create stories, characters.

The last few nights I have wanted to catch up on writing but have only myself staring at the computer screen. Not because I have writer’s block or anything but looking at news, at social media in regards to recent police shootings. Police shooting at people and getting shot at. First was Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, a man on the street. There was anger, hurt, heartbreak over that death and the circumstances of it. There were questions and promises of a through investigation. Then not even 24 hours later I am looking at twitter and I see Forest Heights Shooting trending. I click on it and again I am thrown back into the hurt, fear and countless other reactions seeing Philando Castile shot in Minnesota. His girlfriend live streaming as he was gunned down, according to her, complying with…

View original post 689 more words

Rounding up a few things going on with Taurian Films at the moment…

Party Girl:The Series, starring the immensely talented Cait Pool and a host of other talented Texans, received a nomination from the 2016 Fort Worth Indie Film Showcase: Best Domestic Drama – MicroShort. The nomination alone is nice. Of course Bj Lewis hopes for a win, but still it shows that the work of everyone, the time, energy, sacrifice and talent from everyone went into making a product that was worth while.

An episode of the show will screen at the showcase in a few weeks. Details to come.13458615_1224474317565612_1010919644760187953_o.png

The crew is waiting out a few summer vacations for cast and crew members to get back in the saddle of filming the pilot. Creator Bj Lewis is also bringing in a DP that is experienced with the Canon C100 that Bj has long wanted to begin filming his productions on. It will give him a chance to get out from behind the camera and focus soley on directing the action going on, which he has also wanted for a while now. So things are going to work out there.

20MinutesOrLess.Still002

Gabby in 20 Minutes or Less.

 

 

Rack Focus Round 4 is nearly upon North Texas and Bj has an idea already for his entry. Well, he had a number of ideas, but the most recent one, a sequel to his Round 3 entry, 20 Minutes or Less. Bj has written a third part as well to complete the 20 Minutes or Less trilogy. The idea of course is to keep doing more action shorts to up his game in that area, which will only serve to improve things going forward particularly for Cheerleader Karate School.

Speaking on CKS, while the majority of the cast members have martial arts experience, the newest edition to the cast, Timylle Adams, does not have all that much. Timylle is playing Tyesha Banks. That roles has gone through a few changes in recent weeks but Bj is confident Timylle is the one who will take the role to the next level. Now to help her with her fight prowess, Gabriella Corvina (Fi Espinoza) has volunteered her time to give Timylle private lessons to help her get up to speed. This will be especially important since Fi and Tyesha’s conflict and fight scenes are a high point of the series.

13495169_1040061252752313_8216134928684276139_n

Timylle training.

It’s looking like the crowdfunding campaign for the first season will kick off in September to coincide with Bj’s efforts to have CKS a part of the Seed & Spark New Voice Rally. Prizes for it include finishing funds for web series. Who knows what can happen there. The main thing is looking high and low for sources of funding that can help make the show happen.

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

Three shooting days are in the books for Cheerleader Karate School, the supernatural, martial arts drama series from creator Bj Lewis. After talking about CKS for days, weeks and months it was great to finally get the actors in front of the camera and into their various roles. 13240607_1019089401516165_2030442161112642330_n

We tried to cover a lot of ground as we were going on an extended break between the third shooting day and the next as a few actors are going on summer vacations. But looking to get right back into it strong in mid-July.

As we have said and will continue to say many many many times, the cast assembled is great. They are super talented, hard working and have great chemistry together behind the camera. It will be up to us to get that chemistry to continue to be on display when they are in front of the camera and to make the final product look the best it can be.

13312693_1023589057732866_5549996510529250578_n

Wen-chieh Chi (The Next) and Maddy Cerda (The First).

 

 

This past Sunday, Bj appeared on The Cutting Room Floor podcast to talk to Casey Ryan about the project. If you missed it, you can catch it here.

In the meantime the plan and the goal continues to get as many people to check out the info page on the show and hope they will dig it and stick with us as we develop the show and be there in a few months when the pilot drops.