Archive for the ‘film’ Category

It’s 2017.

Resolutions are here again. We all make them. Then we spend months, days, hours on them. Hell sometimes people stick to them for mere minutes. The promise of self-reflection and self improvement. I know I was among the masses who did so. I had a few goals laid out on Jan. 1 2016. Some of them I succeeded in. Some of them, a lot of them, I am big enough to admit, I did not. So it’s time to restock and try again.

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Getting my director on during a 2016 48hr Christmas Horror Film Shoot.

On the job front, that was a big goal of mine in 2016 and that is one I feel I succeeded in. I spent eight years at the Denton Record-Chronicle and while I loved the life of a journalist, I felt I needed more and a job that catered to my interests and goals more, so I looked for another job. I spent a year and a half actively looking for a new 9 to 5 gig and finally landed one. It caters more to what I like and is a bit of a bump in the wallet so it works out. The next goal spun out of that, which has turned into a resolution, is to dig myself out of the financial hole I have been in the past few years making only pennies before. It’s slow going and I will admit, I expected instant turn around with my first new paycheck, but reality set in and has shown me it will take time, patience and work to get to my goal.

Production wise, I said I wanted to grow my brand and make sure more people know who I am and what I can do. In that area, there is still work to be done. So I will restock that resolution and give it another whirl. Over the course of the  year I have heard friends, people I worked with come up with ideas for things, films, series, music videos and all manner of production related things. They have worked on mine and seen what I can do, yet some of them look over me when it comes time to do other productions. Now I know I shouldn’t take that personally, I know that I can’t work with everyone and there are more people out there that do what I do, but I feel I need to do a better job of showing people, those I know and those I don’t, just what I can do and how good I can do it. Then perhaps I won’t get looked over. Also need to expand the circle of people I work with as well. Restocking and reloading that resolution.

On the project front, I have my list of things to do.

Cheerleader Karate School

Of course this is at the top of my list. The screening event is in a few weeks and ideally it will be successful and we will manage to get people interested in the show and into backing it so we can produce the second episode. From the second episode we hope to raise money for the first season.

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We’re also working out a crossover adventure with the flagship character from David Doub’s Dusk Comics. That should be fun.

Speaking of Dusk, that is a big project as well as I will help in the production of a pilot episode of a Dusk live action series.

DadBodies

DadBodies is a comedy that actually should have been written by now. The plan was to have a draft done late last year, but those involved with it were not as interested as I am in working on it, so I have chosen to move on with a friend of mine, Billy Mau, in the script writing. Mau is great at comedy in ways I certainly am not and while I will pen the initial draft, I am counting on him to help me punch up the draft and make it as funny as I think it could be.

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Annie Cruz as HTB's Vanessa Bachman

HTB is going to happen this year. Has to. Too good of a story to not happen. It’s the first big project my brother and I are producing together. It has Annie Cruz attached to it and will foster a graphic novel and film.

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Wrapped after a long but fun HTB teaser shoot.

20 Minutes or Less Trilogy

The first one is in the books. I wrote it as a trilogy with a fun ending, at least I think. Now it’s just a matter of getting the other two done.  Gabby’s plate has filled up in recent months and looks to stay stocked going forth so it’s a matter of seeing if she is up for another go.

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Thinking of doing them for the next round of Rack Focus, to go ahead and get them done and get those and every thing else I have done on Amazon video. Good way to get more eyeballs on what I do and thus, getting more people to know what I do.

 

 

 

 

So those and a few other things are the goals in the new year. I have some goals for my kids and family as well of course. It’s going to take work, grinding day in and day out to make it happen. I’m not saying I will succeed in it all. I am sure I will take my lumps here and there, but I will give it a very good try.

 

A weekend or so ago, we jumped into the film race put on by the Texas Horror Cult. It was a 48hr Christmas Horror Film Race. Things kicked off when we drew our genre options at random. While a name calling snafu had Bj Lewis and Patrick Southerland picking towards the end. With baited breath Bj opened the envelope and peeked at the genre.

Now mind you for many a year now, Bj has vowed to never make a zombie movie. No disrespect to anyone who does or anyone who loves the genre, Bj just had not interest in it himself. So it was a mix of emotions when Bj laid eyes on ‘zombie’ scrawled on the inside of the card. Bj and Patrick were mentally preparing for possible genre choices and crossing their fingers that they would not get a few specific ones because of lack of time, resources and money to make them happen. Zombie was one of those.

But that’s part of the challenge. Bj and Patrick put their heads together and came up with a script, called on stalwarts of Taurian Films projects including Mike Loud, James Larabee, Gilbert Hiracheta and Cloyse Caruthers. Also playing a part was newcomer (to working with Bj) Iryna Spitzer and Jarl Moto.

Kalei Lozano (Heather Arrington in Cheerleader Karate School) had a fun part in it as well. Always good to work with her.

We filmed at the home of Dean Morgan, Chief Douglas in both seasons of Party Girl:The Series. Thankfully we did not put any holes in the walls this time.

It was a good time though. Everyone rocked the roles they played. And everyone at the screening tonight seemed to enjoy it, which is what counts.

Lots of good films were made for the film race. The bar is constantly being raised and Bj knows he has to up his game and better his output to set himself apart and standout from the rest.

Onward and upward. Check it out.

 

 

It’s Perky Chicks and Roundhouse Kicks when the girls of Cheerleader Karate School burst on to the scene to save us from any and all evil.

See how the story begins Jan. 2017 from this Denton, TX produced series created by Bj Lewis and Taurian Films!

For more information check out http://www.facebook.com/CheerleaderKarateSchool or follow us on Twitter/Instagram @taurianfilms @CheerleaderKarateSchool

…more to do of course. But first, Rack Focus, Round 4.

The always epic Gabriella Corvina was nominated for best actress for A.kO. The judges and other people, from what I heard, enjoyed the short and really bought Gabby in the ass kicking role as they did with 20 Minutes or Less last round. 15002523_10101235674570548_2675640111358219789_o There are a handful of brief B-Roll type of scenes that need to be added to the short to make it festival ready. Also need to muck with the sound. It sounded good in Bj’s headphones in final edits, but played on the screen, there were issues. Same thing as 20 Minutes or Less. Sound is a pain in the ass for indie filmmakers. Just one of those things you have to keep working at. There were a few instances where Gabby was a talking head for a while in the short and Bj knew the judges would ding him for that. Hence the B-Roll scenes. 14907015_10101234917073578_9219480496827156196_nThey are going to show some of the things Gabby’s character is talking about. There was simply no time as the short was put together last minute and dealt with a few people flaking out on the shoot last minute. Not that Bj would make excuses. There were a few other action shorts during Rack Focus and one of them even garnered a best film nomination. We will get there. No disrespect to the other filmmakers who do action in the DFW but Bj’s goal is to be THE guy to know for it. Just gotta keep at it. And keep at it he shall.

There will be more action to come as the plan is still on the books for 20 Minutes or Less 2 AND 3 to complete the trilogy. Currently looking at festivals to send A.kO to as well as crafting the script for the full short film. img_2500

There’s another day of shooting for Cheerleader Karate School, the last pilot shooting day. It’s been a long ass time coming and as it has been stated before the plan is to definitely not take the same amount of time to work on subsequent episodes. We are shooting a few more scenes at the school for the monster’s first appearance as well as adding some extras to the school to give it a more organic feel.

It will be good when it’s all together. Have enjoyed seeing Gabby, Kalei, Timylle, Summer and Christine kicking ass in the production of the show. Words cannot express our gratitude for their dedication to it.

Screening and further fundraising dates to come for that. For further information on Cheerleader Karate School, check out www.facebook.com/CheerleaderKarateSchool

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Almost done, yet so much to do with Cheerleader Karate School.

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Last weekend saw us engage in the dreaded R word.

Reshoots.

Thankfully the cast and crew were willing to make it happen to make the final product better from a technical standpoint. We have finally got a handle on the environment of the dojo and the lighting needs to make sure everyone and everything is properly exposed. A common problem from previous shoots. Not to mention everyone in the cast is so much better in every way than they were during the first shoots. They are more comfortable with each other and with their characters.

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We have a few more weekends of filming on the pilot and then the work begins to get the word out to get people to watch it and to become fans of it and thus join the team to help us make the rest of season one happen.

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It’s gotta be all hands on deck going forth and many of the cast and crew are and it’s great to see everyone get invested and get involved in what we are trying to bring forth.

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Meantime it’s more planning for promotional ideas as well as an upcoming crossover comic appearance with Dusk Comics. That shoot be fun and interesting to see the characters from CKS interact with a totally different world. And if it gets us more eyeballs, and it should, then so much the better. It also helps that the Dusk Comics creator is a local Denton guy and we’re trying to keep everything connected to the production of CKS as local to Denton or the DFW area if at all possible.

Lots to do.

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img_2513So we had a grand plan for Rack Focus that was going to be a sequel to 20 Minutes or Less, the Rack Focus Round 3 entry produced by us here at Taurian Films. As with that film, one particular location was going to be a key piece of the film and while we moved things to an alternate location for the first one, that was something we did not wish to do for the second and decided to put off filming it. img_2433

That left Bj wondering what, if anything he could do for this round. What could he piece together that would not be a waste of time, effort and energy of the people involved. Not getting an idea, Bj thought he would have to eat the entry fee, but while at the gym, Bj worked out a short single location shoot that would take advantage of two powerful resources Bj has discovered in the past several months. Gabriella Corvina and Jo Lorio. They are two talented, driven actors as well as two women who can legitimately kick ass. After a few hours at the keyboard, Bj had a script, a prologue to a longer story he hopes to film with Gabby in the future. It was something small and easy in theory.

Filming was done last weekend and nearly didn’t happen. One of the things Bj has tried to do over the years as he wades through the indie waters attempting to reach the ocean of bigger, funded projects, is find a core group of people who are about getting work done. People like Fabian Lopez and Kerry McCormick who are as real with Bj today as they were years ago when he met them.

img_2500It’s hard though because so many people are all talk, such as the handful of people who were supposed to be on set Saturday to film the short. Now, not everyone is going to work with everyone on everything, but you would hope people could be up front about that fact. Buuuuuuut, while the actions of some threatened to curtail the shoot, Gabby came through in the clutch, calling on guys from the dojo her family own to be actors in the short. They didn’t have to but at the last minute, they were willing to jump and help out and help us get things done. Props to them as well as the fighter Jo brought with her. Will definitely be using those guys again in the future. Same thing with Gabby and Jo, they are talented hungry individuals and Bj expects them to blow up and make it big sooner than later and he intends to work with them as much as he can until then, and hopefully break out right alongside them.

Due date is Sunday at midnight for the short film. It’s clocking in around seven minutes at the moment. Hopefully people will enjoy it when they see it.

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On the Cheerleader Karate School front, the Seed and Spark campaign timetable is winding down, with CKS a ways away from the goal. There were some fine print details that served to derail things. $10k was always going to be a hard number to reach for a show that has next to no following currently due to the fact it is in production and not many people outside of our circle of friends and family have seen it. The money donated thus far will go back into the coffers of the people who donated it and hopefully they will again support us when we launch the new campaign.

But undaunted Bj and the crew have plans to reboot the crowdfunding campaign with a lower more attainable goal that will fund the second episode and pay the cast a bit for the work they did on the pilot episode. Bj continues to send out press releases to media outlets both online and offline, and continues to refine those press releases to hopefully work in that key word or phrase that hooks an editor, reporter, columnist, podcast host, radio show host to want to talk about CKS. Bj has netted a few local Denton businesses who are willing to work with him in promoting the show so ideally that can be worked out when the next campaign is run to be able to get more attention on it and ideally smash the goals.kkm_8267Whether that occurs when the pilot is screened at the Texas Theatre or beforehand is up for discussion. Either way, Bj will continue to champion Cheerleader Karate School online and in person and at cons and events. It’s going to take Herculian efforts to get people to see CKS, not just a tweet or Facebook post and Bj understands that and will step up his efforts to expose more people to the show.

More information can be seen at http://www.facebook.com/CheerleaderKarateSchool and we encourage folks to check out the page, like it and share it with anyone who they feel may be interested in the show.


Recent Radio Appearances:

Cutting Room Floor (bj)

http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/audioPop.jsp?episodeId=1085382&cmd=apop.

Cutting Room Floor (bj n Gabby)

www.talkshoe.com/tc/81947

Chatterbox w/ Ellen Hedger

https://soundcloud.com/ellen-smith-hedger/the-chatterbox-with-ellen-hedgerbj-lewis-with-taurianfilmscks