Archive for the ‘web series’ Category

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Mike Loud as Dr. Ronsenthal in Shrinking Things.

Rack Focus Round 5 came and went with some laughs and thrills and some great projects. Among them of course was Shrinking Things starring Mike Loud, Allan Thomas and Telisa Kyle. All three are talented actors and brought the fun to the short film.  Mike in fact scored himself a Best Actor Nomination from the judges. As well he should have. Mike, or as I like to call him ‘Capt. Clutch”, is a kick ass talent who has come through on each and every occasion we have asked him to for a Taurian Films project. Mike has been A-1 from Day One and is one of those people who we hope and plan to have along on set when we finally score that big blockbuster kinda project. The awards ceremony is Saturday evening, and we will be curious to see if Mike can pull out the win against some very capable competition.

 

The Party Girl Series continues on Sparkk TV. We of course see any new site and means of exposure to the work we do be it Party Girl, CKS or anything else as a good thing. As the days tick down to auditions for the Rave short film, we are growing more anxious to revisit the world of Rachel Buchanan, transition from the amazing job that Cait Pool did for season two and continue her story.

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Cait Pool, Party Girl for season two!!

We have a few interesting candidates for future Rachel as well as other parts, at least from e-mails. But we have learned that people who say they are interested and people who actually show up for auditions are two very different things. We will see what happens in this case. We are optimistic.

Writing on Cheerleader Karate School‘s reboot continues. It was actually through an audition e-mail for Rave that we thought about adding another tweak to the story and the re-inclusion (if that is a word) of a character that was removed from the script when we did the series. The part called for a 5’11 to 6’ actress and finding one who looks about 18 or 19 and has a physical/athletic background isn’t easy, but a submission for Rave renewed our faith that we could perhaps find what would have been Josey Rae in the story. CKS can be seen on YouTube, Amazon and Sparkk TV as well.

Work on 20 Minutes or Less continues. Schedules are proving challenging as they always do, but we know it will be well worth it to have the short film series done and done as it was intended.

Other than that, just continuing to write, work with others on their sets and projects and just making magic happen where it can.

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Legacy cast on set Sunday.

It’s another Taurian Tuesday coming off of a busy Sunday helping Fred Tee out with his short, Legacy, that features fairy tale characters as demon hunters. It was a fun shoot and fun getting to work on other people’s sets to see how they run things and handle themselves and their actors to pick up any pointers for mine.

Tiffany Hoa on set

Some cast members were people I have worked with before like the always amazing Mike Loud, and others I have seen a lot of but haven’t worked with yet like John Charles Dickson. It was a good time though that saw me in a tree to get a shot. Whatever it takes to get the job done I say. Ideally everything works out in post. We got in a bit of a time crunch a couple places being backed up against call times for some actors on other sets and dying camera batteries toward the end of the day, but things worked out. Definitely dig the concept of what Fred is doing and hopefully it can take off.

Perky Chicks and Roundhouse Kicks!

Cheeerleader Karate School
On the subject of demon hunting, which is one thing CKS is about it was good to get a chance to talk to Tiffany Hoa, who played a witch in Fred’s short film. Tiffany is also slated to play a role in CKS. In our original plan for the series, she was going to play one of the past cheer team members who comes back for reasons. In the feature she will play the same role and in the same capacity but we will see her before she comes back in the last battle that is the reason the team is disbanded at the start of the film. CKS is still on Amazon, Youtube and now on Sparkk TV for people to check out and see what the concept is about as we work to retool it a bit.

20 Minutes or Less
We’re casting for 20 Minutes or Less as we retool that series. The first of the trilogy is set to shoot May 21 at what we have affectionately come to know as Mabrey Studios. It’s the home of the Mabrey family. Jenni Mabrey of course known to us as Evelyn Buchanan in the Party Girl series. Jenni opened up her home to us last time for the shoot and is willing to do so again which is awesome. But she is an awesome individual and talented actress, so it’s natural for her.

Cait Pool as Season 2’s Party Girl.

Party Girl / Rave
Speaking of Evelyn Buchanan, Jenni will be dusting her off for a short film that will time jump Party Girl from where she is in the season two finale to a handful of years later. We’re looking for the older Rachel now. It will be a nice and tidy short that will set us up for anything we may way to do storywise as in live action form, I wouldn’t want to do high school PG without Cait Pool involved. I suppose I guess unless we got a lot of money to produce more. Folks who have not seen Party Girl can catch it on youtube (of course) as well as Sparkk TV, a site that aggregates web series for people to discover and view. Also the first season of PG is on BlackFlag.TV with episodes playing daily. Working on getting the second season on there. For more info on Rave folks can email or give a like to www.facebook.com/PartyGirlWebSeries.

In the Hopper
Plenty of projects are in the hopper. A few of them, HTB and Get In will star Annie Cruz in lead roles. We are determined to do and finish Insourcing. We had contemplated a gender swap just to be different since it had not worked in three incarnations with the roles as guys so we wanted to change it up and see what would happen, but things fell through with the actress we planned to take the lead with it. So we retool and we move on. Too many ideas to do and no desire to let the action or more importantly the inaction of others deter from our goals. It’s a grind and that’s OK we will continue to do so, learn, get better and will get to the top.

OK, well not really but we did turn in our entry into this round of Rack Focus, Shrinking Things. Now there’s a couple things with it. Bj edited the Rack Focus cut of the short in place of his brother Jermaine who had some things come up to where he would not be able to. Now Jermaine will cut the final cut of the film which will actually be 2.5. minutes longer than the Rack Focus cut which had to be 10 minutes or less.

Telisa Kyle and Allan Thomas of Shrinking Things.

Now the film turned in can be viewed just fine and viewers will be none the wiser that is it missing about two jokes from it, but indeed it is. Before submitting it to wider places, the full cut will be done and done by Jermaine. It’s still a funny short as Allan, Telisa and Mike did an amazing job and kept the dialogue flowing in the script which called for a lot of dialogue in one location. Will be curious to see the response to it from the audience.

Cheerleader Karate School

On the CKS front we’re still trying to get people to see the pilot and see the potential in the concept. The episode is available on Amazon Prime, Youtube and will soon be available on Sparkk TV, a web series gathering site as well as any other site we can put it on to get eyeballs on it and hopefully the eyeballs of people who see what CKS could be with some funds through at us.

Perky Chicks and Roundhouse Kicks!

Work continues on the feature script, with season one of the series being retooled a bit as the film script takes one of the concepts and villains from the first season to be the threat in the film.

For more information check out the FB page: www.facebook.com/CheerleaderKarateSchool

20 Minutes or Less

Nearly ready to roll on that and excited for what the trilogy can be when it is filmed in its entirety. Wen-cheih Chi is ready and raring to go in the lead role of the series and Bj is ready to take lessons learned from shooting the Rack Focus Round 3 entry and other shoots since then to make this one the best it can be and get some results we were not able to get before in the previous shoot.

For more information check the FB page: www.facebook.com/20MinutesOfLess

Party Girl

Party Girl The Series will get some more eyeballs on it we assume as just like with CKS, Sparkk TV will be showing both seasons of the series. Of course we wished it could have continued but we did not want to do anything without Cait Pool in the lead role and we weren’t going to be able to get her back in the saddle unless there was some actual money and status behind it. Though we have found an idea, a way to carry on past Party Girl. More details of that to come in the next few months.

For more information check the FB page: www.facebook.com/PartyGirlWebSeries

Various Projects

There are a number of projects being worked on, scripted and such chief among them DadBodies, a comedy, Sand in My Cubicle, a comedy series, HTB, an action drama starring Annie Cruz and Get In, an action short also set to feature Cruz.

Lots to do and hopefully the right people at the right time will see what’s going on and want to jump in.

A looking from the view of the trusty, Atomos Ninja Blade courtesy of Chance Carroll.

…Sunday a handful of us descended upon an office in Denton, TX to film ‘Shrinking Things’ a short comedy that will be my entry into Round 5 of the Rack Focus film competition. I had wanted to continue 20 Minutes or Less, the short action film I did a few rounds ago, but after some casting issues and then some location issues I decided to back burner that and do it outside of Rack Focus. We’re rebooting that series to ensure it is closer along the lines of what I envision for it. More on that to come in the future though.

Mike Loud getting ready to rock it.

So, I needed a script that I could manage to do in a weekend or two, pretty low maintenance, so I thought about doing something more comedic to be different. Shrinking Things is about a couple who have a free session with a counselor and come out a lot worse than they went in. After all, you never realize how bad your life is until someone else points it out for you right? I called in the incomparable Capt. Clutch himself, Mike Loud to play the shrink as I knew he would kill the roll. Telisa Kyle was going to be great in the wife roll and Allan Thomas, who I worked with in a video for my 9 to 5, he was brought in for the husband.

Ready to run another great take.

Isadora Viana and Chance Carroll helped out on set as with a number of things, among them script super and photographer. Had some bumps when it came to the location as some folks who looked they were going to help out the production, didn’t. It’s OK, that happens. It would be easy to let that frustrate you, you want people to stick to what they say they are going to do, but it happens. Improvise, adapt, overcome, that is indy filmmaking. I called in a few favors and we were able to secure the law office of County Commissioner Hugh Coleman. Hugh and I go back a little over nine years now to when I started working at the Denton Record-Chronicle and he was a newly elected county commissioner. He was always a good interview and helpful source and fun to talk to about sports and movies. And best of all he supported Taurian Films. So when called upon, he let us into the office to film.

Great cast/crew, just great people to be around.

The shoot went OK. There are of course any number of things looking back on it, that I would change a bit. Nothing the cast did, but just organizational things, technical things that I need to iron out and fix in my own work flow and will endeavor to do next time. I brought in new gear to shoot with so that provided new challenges and new lessons on how I need to fix my work flow. But I will learn and grow.

Usually I would have a rough cut done by now, but I am not cutting the film. I am not touching it in any way shape or form.My brother, Jermaine Spencer, out in Cali with his new baby boy, he will be editing it. J is great at it and has done work for BET, Playboy Channel and a number of reality TV productions. This will be the first time I have had someone else edit my footage so it will be interesting. A little nerve-wracking I suppose, even if it is my brother, lol.

We shall see how it turns out.

Perky Chicks and Roundhouse Kicks!

On the CKS front, Cheerleader Karate School should be on Amazon Video soon. As I have stated before, I want people to see it and hopefully some people like it and see potential in it and will help us do a second episode. There are a multitude of things I want to do different in another episode, casting I want to change and other things to improve the quality of the show. The first is a good first try but I want another crack at it.

Work on the crossover between CKS  and Denton comic creator David Doub’s Dusk comic is ongoing. I have seen a few sketches and pages and it looks awesome. Can’t wait for people to see that.

Previous work on HTB with Annie Cruz

More CKS is coming, 20 Minutes or Less will be retooled, remolded and redone and a short film with the incomparable Annie Cruz will be filmed in late September. In addition Jermaine will be jumping down to Texas to co-direct that project under he and I’s Jigsaw Entertainment banner. Looking forward to that.

 

Lots to do, lots to come. Just trying to get better, get seen and have some success at following this big dream of mine.

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.

HTB

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