I say in pretty well all of my posts that I am working with good people on my sets. It’s never been an untruth, it’s never been an exaggeration. There are plenty of talented actors in the DFW area, those that are known already and plenty of up and coming talent. Well some of that talent has lent themselves to one of my latest projects: Wildcat.IMG_9616

We have filmed a bit the last couple weekends since the last entry. Things have been a bit choppy since we are filming multiple scenes from different episodes in the locations we find ourselves in to get as much out of the way as we can. It’s the same approach we used doing Party Girl years ago. It’s hard to get some people out multiple times since they are usually working on a set of some kind, movie, commercials, web series, whatever the case may be. Or some of them may just be working that 9 to 6 grind. So we try to do all we can when we can.

Of course when you can finally string things together and you have enough for rough cuts of the episodes and you can see it all flow, well that’s just nice. IMG_9860

Still working through some technical kinks as we make use of the Atomos Ninja Flame when filming. Proper exposure has always been something I have had to try extra hard to wrapped my head around. I’ve had some scenes that have been lit great over the years (mostly by accident) and some that have, well, not been lit as well. I just need someone on set with far greater knowledge of it than I, so I can focus on just directing. Of course that is the same story as it’s always been over the years. Probably have read it on the blog numerous times, finding people who are about the stuff they talk about, it’s hard to do. So you are forced to be a one-man band much of the time. But hey, anything to get the project done and the story out there. My goal is to make sure people look good though, to reflect the good work they are putting into the project.

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We were back in the hot box Sunday, one of our warehouse kinda sets. Hot is not the word for how it is in there, but we did some good things. Fabian continued to be great in his role. Originally he was playing another character, but thanks to someone flaking out on us, Fabian switched roles and we both agree he is better suited and having more fun in the new role.

Thankfully Devin Mobley, who was on hand for Party Girl Season 2 as Kayin, was able to fill the role Fabian vacated and has been great at it. The only possibly knock is I was looking at Devin to play a lead character in the series we do following Wildcat. Hell, might still have him do it, we shall see, since the series all flow together continuing the same overall narrative in a very Defender-ish fashion.

If all goes well with Wildcat, and thus far it has, Hourman will follow, then Sandman and then they all come together in the single JSA short film alongside Mr. Terrific and The Atom.

But of course Wildcat needs a small amount of more scenes filmed, some TLC and it will be good to go. Those involved (Larry Johnson, AD Scott, Christa Allen, Devontae Hogan and more) have pretty good followings and supporters from other projects they have worked on so ideally they will check out Wildcat when it drops. I was thinking of just dropping it straight on the interwebs, but I may end up doing a screening for it. Make it a big deal. Of course all the eps together will be about ….40 minutes or so, so I am wondering ahead to what else could I show. Maybe screen another short of mine or someone else’s before the main event of the Wildcat series….we shall see.

For the latest information throw a like on the Facebook page –> http://www.facebook.com/JSAFanSeries and follow me on Instagram/Twitter @SebastionEnvi

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Strong Style Stories

I was a newspaper reporter for a little over ten years.

First for the Victoria Advocate in Victoria Texas from 2006 to 2008. And the Denton Record-Chronicle from 2008 to 20016.

I reported on a lot of things, elections, bridge club meetings, church services, funerals, 6-man football games, drownings, shootings, sex abuse allegations, heck, even a first person story on Pokemon Go when it first dropped and everyone was obsessed with it. I never thought for a moment that my life would be in danger. me in the newsroomI mean sure, any moment of every day anything could happen to us to end our time here on this earth. But you don’t consciously think about it. You don’t let it command and control your day, you just do what you are supposed to do. For the reporters of The Capital Gazette Thursday was just another day to do their job, to tell stories…

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Campaigns have victory speeches when they are successful and concession speeches when they are not. Unfortunately, this is the latter of the two. Despite the best efforts of the 37 backers on our campaign for HTB, we did not reach the goal. We opted for an all or nothing endeavor to raise $5,000, that would have gone to the artist and a part of the first print run of the books for sale and for perk fulfillment for backers. Since we did not hit the goal, we get nothing. failed

I am assuming in the next couple days, folks will see their bank cards and debit card reflect refunds on their contributions. This is the second time we have crashed and burned on trying to raise funds for HTB. It happens. I mean right now, it’s a handful of comic pages and characters sketches, and our boasts that it will be an amazing book when put together. It’s hard to get people to thrown in with their hard earned dollars without more than that. We may have just not done enough to spread the word about it. Any number of things can lead to falling short when it comes to the crowdfunding arena. Sure it’s easy and fun to do the math, if such and such people just gave $10…$5…$1….etc. But you gotta bring people along, get them hooked, interested and then invested.

We understand that.

We are not going to stop working on the book though, of that you can be sure. Already we have spent enough years on it, we won’t let the time spent be in vain.

We may try the crowdfunding angle again, and just worry about paying the artist for the book to get it done and just pay for the print costs ourselves.

We have some people interested in HTB, we just need to get them pages so they can see how the script plays out and ideally, be moved to publish it. Meantime, we’re are handling the pages one at a time with the hope of being able to stash some extra change together to do some groupings of pages. If nothing else, we would like to see the first 10 pages done as that will give us two nice action sequences and introduce Annie’s character in a kick ass way. Maybe we go back to the well with that.

We will brainstorm and come up with something.

To those who backed the book, myself, Jermaine, Annie, Demarco and David are very grateful and we plan on doing all we can to make it happen for us all enjoy.

Felt good to get back behind the camera this past weekend for some filming. It was the best kind of weekend really, one that involved both wrestling and film for me. Saturday was a Christian Wrestling Federation show at Hope Irving church and Sunday was filming on the current project, Wildcat. Wildcat is a fan film (lord knows I love them) based on the JSA character of the same name. Our’s is a more grounded take on him. (I really hate that word, grounded, such an overused buzzword). We’re looking at the Arrowverse as a sorta template for what we would like to do for Wildcat. I have done a few fan films in the past a Suicide Squad one a few years back and a Super Sentai/Power Rangers one many many years back. While the Squad one had some things I liked and some things I truly hated, the sentai one had sooooooooo many things in hindsight I don’t like. But it’s something I can reference for mistakes I don’t care to make. Gotta keep moving and keep producing to keep learning right? Wildcat Shoot 2

Wildcat was something we were supposed to film back in January, but my lead actor dropped out right before filming was set to start. That was kind of annoying to say the least seeing’s how I had worked with this person several times before and felt that if things had changed, if their desire to participate had changed, well they could have simply told me beforehand and I would have adjusted. But they chose the path that leaves me with little respect for them now. But that’s the path they chose, I’m not getting too bent outta shape about it. I recast the role with AD Scott in the lead role. He stepped in like a champ with enthusiasm and acting chops to do the job.

Fabian XIV, a guy you have seen in many many many of my projects jumped on board last minute to help me fill an important role. He is one of my go to champs as he always helps me out of a jam and he has been as real with me today as he was years ago when we met. I need more people like him. Aquetta Stiger is kicking ass in her role as well, glad to have her on this and hopefully I will have her talents on a few other emotionally charged scripts I have written to come. Marqui Leanno and Davonate Hogan were late additions to play a pair of thugs who get dealt some hurt in the short and I was glad to have them and hope to have them on other projects in the future where their acting and their physical talents are needed again. Wildcat.00_00_10_10.Still001Lakesha Felton played AD’s sister in a couple scenes filmed early Saturday. It was one of those instances where she knocked it out of the park and I wish she had more to do. But that can change in the future. Wildcat shoot

 

 

We have a few more shooting days to go on this. The plan is five chapters, five to 10 minutes apiece. There’s more after that but it will all depend on how people feel following the five chapters, if they want to do more or not. Obviously I hope they will want to do more.

Gear of choice is of course the Sony FS5 I endeavor to continue to learn and get better filming with it. Also put my Atomos Shogun Flame into action for the first real shoot. Of course with that comes trial and error. I have already noticed some things I need to tweak and get better with for the next shoot. Some scenes were a bit underexposed for my liking, so that will have to be studied and improved. I am happy overall with the roughs so far and look forward to the shoots to come.

Teaming up with Billy Mau

There are plans to collaborate with Billy Mau on a script he has adapted from a short story he wrote. The first draft is a good read and we can already pencil in talent for some of the roles. Though at least one round of auditions will be had to see what other talent can be pulled in, perhaps some that we have not worked with before. Billy has a talent for comedy and has written two scripts for short series that we have wanted to film, Insourcing and Sand in My Cubicle, the former has been attempted four times already and seems to be cursed, but it is funny as hell and something I am bound and determined to see through to a successful finish.

HTB Comic Book

HTB Graphic NovelOn the HTB front, we have seven days to go on the crowdfunding campaign. It has not progressed as we would liked it to have gone. But there is still a week to go. Of course there is $3,000 to go. And it’s fixed funding. So if we do not make the goal, we get none of the contributions and they go back to the contributors. Where will that leave us, well the amount we set was supposed to go to the artist and a limited print run for sell and to cover the perks that offered contributors print copies of the book. The plan may be to go for a smaller amount, in the neighborhood of $2,000 to $3,000 to cover the artist and I will just pay for the print cost myself. The big thing is just getting the book done. We have a few publishing folks who are interested in the book, we just need to them the product. We will keep plugging away and see what will happen in the end. If nothing else the campaign (and the short teaser we shot a while back, which can be seen online now) can be used as a promotional means and when we try again, the people who contributed so far can just repeat the contribution and others may jump on board as well.

The Campaign can be found here

 

We shall see. We believe in the project, just gotta keep plugging away at it.

Me, Jermaine and Annie

A throwback look at when the creative parties for HTB first met and got the ball rolling on the development of the book.

At first you don’t succeed you try and you try again is how the saying goes right? Particularly with something you believe in strongly. That’s the view we are taking as we again launch into developing the HTB comic book. We launched a crowdfunding page on Indiegogo on April 25th and it will continue until June 14th of this year.

The page has the requisite information, the who, what, where, when and why we are doing what we are doing in creating the book. We’re looking to hit $5,000 which will pay for the artist ($3,500) and the rest will go toward the initial print run of the book for perk fulfillment and initial sales.

 

HTB Graphic Novel

The artist in question is the Chicago based, David Jaxon. He’s been penciling for 17 years.

Some of his most recent work ranging from 2017-2018 includes: “Red Talon” issue 1 for Flatworld Comics, “Armed n Danger’Russ” issues 1-4 and “Wandering Monkey” issues 1-5 for 15 Year Comics, “Crossfire” issue 2 for Splotch Comics, “Xob” issue 1 for Taurus Comics, issue 1 of “The Teddy Bear Legion”, and dozens of others some to be announced.

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We think he will do wonders with the book. One of the issues we will acknowledge with the campaign and the reason we did the one time extension Indiegogo allows is for Jaxon to be able to work up a handful of pages from the book. Our intent is to have the first 10 pages for all to see so would be contributors can see what they will be getting with the book. We wanted to have them at launch but a last minute exit of the previous artist. We had already launched and could not go back on it, so we are doing what we can to make the most of the situation and get pages done as soon as possible.

We can totally crash and burn again and even if we do we will try again. This book has to happen, the story has to be told, Bj has spent enough of his adult years pondering it.

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Filming a teaser short for HTB.

Comic book….movie…comic book…both at once, the path to production has jumped around but by going back to and settling on a comic book, we think it will the best means. Ideally folks with investor kind of funding will see potential in adaptation once they see the book. We have had a publisher note that the book premise is ‘interesting’ but they will need to see pages and how the story flows to give them that publishing push.

We have to get it done, that’s the hard part. Again, doing the crowdfunding math is easy. Oh, if only X-number of people will give $10…$5….$1, we can do it. But we have to put the work in across social media and other promotional means.

At first you don’t succeed…..

2018 is nearly upon us. It seemed like just yesterday, we were looking back at 2016 and plotting and planning goals for 2017. cheerleaders colorsb.jpg

We had made goals regarding a few long gestating projects, among them, Cheerleader Karate School. This past year saw us putting it together and ending up with mixed results. We very much wanted to continue with it, but after some reflection (some of which we blogged about) you realize you sometimes have to make changes to your plans. CKS is going back to its comic book roots and recently we have landed the artist who is going to help make that happen.

Brian Brinlee. 

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Brian Brinlee, artist

Brinlee has been working as a freelance illustrator since 2001. Fun fact: Brinlee spent time living in Denton, TX and attending the University of North Texas. Given the fact that CKS takes place in Denton, it’s cool of the artist to have a connection to the city. While living here he pursued a degree in graphic art but soon realized his heart was in illustration. He found that creating a visual story was much more interesting than tooling around with graphic shapes and lines. Brinlee started out working in comics but eventually expanded into other fields such as game art and book covers.

He’s a talented artist on the rise and we can’t wait to let people see some of the designs he is coming up with for the characters in the book. We’re shooting for a mid-2018 release of the first issue. It won’t just be a comic adaptation of the pilot episode either. We retooled the story, the team, dialed up the action and over the top fun and have a great story in store for readers.

IMG_4331We have a couple leads on artists for HTB to get that very very long gestating graphic novel project going. It’s lead, Annie Cruz, is and always has been game to get the book done and play the main character in the film as well.

There’s a couple comedy projects on the docket as well as RAVE, which is a continuation of the Party Girl Series. There’s plenty of things to keep us busy all year. It’s a matter of making it all happen. We are still talking about things from 2016 and 2017 in the planning stages still. It’s kind of annoying actually. But it just shows us that we have to work harder at our goals to get them accomplished.

2018 is nearly here tho, and we are ready to get going.

Met some folks this past weekend.

MTF on setThose folks were the cast members of Fred Tee’s newest project, Meeting the Folks, it’s a no frills boyfriend meets family type of film. The cast is a talented bunch who are bringing unique takes to their roles and bringing some hard work. There have some been a technical hiccup or two, as with any sort of production. As we continue I will be looking at what I can do to better my contribution to the filming.

Production should be done by November. A goal Fred has to have a trailer ready by the time of the premiere of another film of his, Stolen Virginity. The distributor for that film will be in attendance so ideally the work we are doing on Meeting the Folks will dazzle him enough to want to pick up that film as well.

MTF On Set 4Work will continue, more info, stills, BTS video to come. Fred has been active on his IG and FB posting about his projects so give him a follow and you will see it and keep a look out for Meeting the Folks.

On a couple other fronts, we have a potential office spot for a comedy we will be filming with Mike Loud, Allan Thomas and Glenn Franklin. I have railed against any attempt to do another web series at this point in time, but this comedy would be a series. Of course, there is no action, SFX or any of that. It’s three guys and an office space. Meant to be simple. Of course, I have tried to accomplish this simple task four times before and each time has crashed and burned. But fifth time is the charm right? I believe in the script, the comedy, written by Billy Mau, it’s going to be great especially with the talent involved.

We continue to submit Shrinking Things to festivals, hoping it can be accepted to a few of them and get exposure for the talent involved as they are amazing actors and they should be seen far and wide.

Mike Loud on Set

Mike Loud getting ready to rock it.

Slowly but surely gathering people and resources for the slasher spoof short film we are doing. More details on that to come once we have the title registered.

Rave is still coming. It’s pretty much either the slasher film of Rave in the month of

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Alicia Underwood cast as future Rachel Buchanan.

November, we will see with people schedules for those involved, which is the best to proceed with. Of course Rave is a continuation of the Party Girl Series story that will find Rachel Buchanan five years older with thoughts of returning to a mask she has not worn since her sister was killed in season two and the events of season three. Of course the events of season three have not been seen yet, but will take place in an audio drama that will be produced in a handful of months. Currently cast as Rachel is the incomparable Alicia Underwood, and we are excited to work with her.