Posts Tagged ‘Annie Cruz’

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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.

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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.

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.

 

Well it was also exhausting as hell but well worth it as my bro, Jermaine, and I filmed footage for two teasers we are working on.

The first was Crapshoot.

On set at the Hickory Street Lounge for Crapshoot.

On set at the Hickory Street Lounge for Crapshoot.

It’s the story of a woman who gets her hands on a strange device that revives her when she dies, each time with a random superhuman ability. She struggles for answers and normalcy while dodging crazed scientists, religious zealots and mercenaries bent on recovering the device from her.

Crapshoot is one of a handful of projects we will be submitting to script contests, for grants and every other thing under the sun that could possibly be a source of funding for us to make it happen.

As I have mentioned before, Jermaine and I have been friends since we were kids and we spent many days of our youth planning stories, creating characters for comics, movies and TV.

We go back like 8track and Crackerjacks

We go back like 8track and Crackerjacks

The web really wasn’t a thing back then, but if it was we would have been thinking of that too. Jermaine has helped me from afar with feedback and advice filming my web series like Party Girl under my Taurian Films banner. But he and I had yet to work on something HANDS ON together under the Jigsaw Entertainment banner.

Crapshoot was the first one. It was cool. While casting gave us some hiccups in the week leading up to filming, things got worked out eventually. We filmed a few scenes at the Hickory Street Lounge. Ken is a kick ass owner and we owe him a ton for letting us in the place for as long as we were there. From there we moved to Fort Worth to the home of Stan Baker, who plays Big Bear in Crapshoot. Stan’s an amazing guy and an asset to any shoot both in front of and behind the camera.

Jermaine, working and planning shots.

Jermaine, working and planning shots.

I have tried to work with others on shoots before in the capacity that Jermaine and I were for these shoots and it has had…mixed results I will admit. But not so with my brother and I, perhaps because we were more in line with each other as far as the vision of the project or perhaps I simply trusted him more than others with what I wrote. He was primary on the camera and I stepped in on the shoots when I needed to as did he. Often we dovetailed what the other was saying or going to say, so it was cool to see we were in such lock step with each other. Made for a smooth shoot and we needed that seeing how we went from early Saturday morning into the Sunday morning hours. We called in Tony Dotson, Cloyse Caruthers, Brandon Henry, Derrick Andrews and Kerry McCormick for on camera rolls in the teaser as well as Nathan Hartley to help us behind the scenes getting still photos, something we never do enough of on shoots.

At least I don’t.

Long hours, but a lot accomplished. Did we get everything, no. I have some small pick ups to obtain in the next week or so. But I will get those in and all will be good.

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Filming a take from the HTB teaser.

Sunday brought us Annie Cruz and filming HTB (Hard Target B*tch). This was monumental as well. We were finally filming the project we have been talking about the longest. Annie was in town attending Exxxotica with her fiancé promoting their new business venture and while she was tied up Friday and Saturday, we marked off Sunday to make the shoot happen. I whipped up a small, short teaser to film with her. We had our first planned lead have a schedule conflict, so again I called on Derrick Andrews, who was available and great to work with.

Wrapped after a long but fun HTB teaser shoot.

Wrapped after a long but fun HTB teaser shoot.

We filmed in Recycled Books on the Denton Square. That store has an amazing look and feel to it. We filmed video for our next stab at fundraising for the HTB graphic novel. Possibly the film too, but we will see where things go, but the first priority is the graphic novel and the money it will take to make that happen.

Making Derrick a little messy for the next take.

Making Derrick a little messy for the next take.

After that we filmed the teaser footage. We got a lot in, and we have some small B-roll pickups to knock out in the next couple weeks. We were filming as the Sun dipped so time was short to get what we needed in the light we needed to have for it.

Jermaine and Annie talking through the next take.

Jermaine and Annie talking through the next take.

Again, it was a good shoot to work on together and be in sync regarding what we set out of to accomplish. I think it was good for Annie too, as much as we have talked about it to finally be here in the moment, in the character…that will go a long way towards feeding that fire to get out in front of the people and show them that this is a great project to get behind. We tried and failed before as far as fundraising for the book, but having this experience and having her be the character, it will just make us all work that much hard when we launch that campaign again (because we will and soon) and try to get the project going.

It was a long brutal weekend yes, but very well worth it.

Don’t forget to check the Taurian Films productions…

Party Girl: The Series Season 2

Suicide Squad: A Typical Tuesday Fanfilm

Let’s try this again shall we, this whole regular blogging thing.

Hump day.

Blog day.

Let’s make it that simple.

First up…

New Party Girl. The downside of being a one man band, when you get thrown off by anything, well, you get thrown off. So my release schedule for Party Girl has been shat upon quite honestly, so I am admittedly playing catch up with that. The eighth chapter is out and it finds a wounded, trapped Party Girl trying to outwit the police, a newly minted supervillain and a hit squad all out for her head.

It is among my favorite episodes. Of course there are technical things that I am kicking myself about months later, framing chief among them. I need to get an aspect ratio template on my camera, that would help tons. Flirted with Magic Lantern, but so skittish about bricking my camera that I have not done it yet. I may bite the bullet sometime soon.

There are still five more episodes to go for season two. I have written season three and will make the decisions on filming it in the coming months.

Outside of that, my brother, Jermaine, is flying in this weekend and we are working on a few things.

A short note about my brother, he and I grew up talking about movies, TV, comic books, things creatively that we wanted to do when we got older. He lives in LA and while we are both pursing those creative ends, we haven’t done much directly, hands on together. He does things out there under his name and things I do locally here under my own name are done under Taurian Films, projects we work on directly together are done under Jigsaw Entertainment. The company name we thought of in our early 20s.

We are planning two shoots this weekend. One is for Crapshoot, a sci-fi/fantasy/drama about a former adult film star turned children’s author who stumbles onto a device that gives her special abilities at random whenever she dies. We’re filming a teaser trailer for it and putting that together to go along with other materials and pitching it around to see if we can get some kind, any kind of traction on it to be able to make the series. We shall see what ultimately becomes of it.

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.

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.

That is Saturday. On Sunday the plan is to hook up with actress/model/radio personality Annie Cruz for work on HTB (Hard Target B*tch), a long gestating feature/graphic novel project. Again the plan is a photoshoot and filming a teaser to get some visuals and a tangible idea to convey to potential backers on what we have cooking with the story both the feature and the graphic novel. Hopefully we can stir up some interest and support.

It’s going to be busy weekend, but it should be a fruitful weekend. Of course we have had some small hiccups, but indie film is nothing if not having things go wrong, adapting, improvising and overcoming whatever those issues are. So that is what we will do, if indeed we need to.

Stay tuned.

A shot of some of the cast for our Suicide Squad fanfilm, "A Typical Tuesday" coming this winter.

A shot of some of the cast for our Suicide Squad fanfilm, “A Typical Tuesday” coming this winter.

And tune in to another project of ours, a fanfilm, for the Suicide Squad. It’s not the big screen multi-million dollar version but it is made by a ton of fans of the comic and the characters who felt this would be a fun way to spend our time while we wait on the big screen movie to drop next year.

We have a great assortment of talented Texans attached to this and trust and believe you will love our Harley Quinn.

So, we’re working on a few projects with the incomparable Annie Cruz.

One we have mentioned before on this blog, online and in person, it is HTB, an action drama starring Annie as an assassin for hire.

We are continuing work on that, breaking down the feature script and developing the budget and business plan for it so we can make it easy to digest for potential investors.

The second project is CRAPSHOOT.

Crapshoot centers on a struggling children’s book author who stumbles onto a techno-mystical device that bonds itself to her wrist. She soon learns that the device grants her a new ability…whenever she dies. Now she struggles for normalcy and answers about the origins of the device while dodging very dangerous people who want it back.

Our plan is to film a sizzle reel/trailer when Annie is in Texas at the beginning of August. We’ve got some stalwarts I have called upon to help on the shoot and be involved including Kerry McCormick, Stan Baker, Cloyse Caruthers, Tony Dotson, Brandon Henry, Corrie, Jorns, Harry Johns and my brother, Jermaine Spencer, who will be flying in that weekend for the shoot. So we are putting a lot into it and working to make it awesome.

In addition we have set up a promo shoot for both HTB and Crapshoot.

We have a campaign on Indiegogo hoping to raise some capital to sweeten the shoot and what we are able to do on it.

It’s slow going at the moment. We are hoping that changes. We realize we’re at a slight disadvantage as most media campaigns have video or pix or artwork to go with what they are trying to raise money for. We have nothing but out word that we will produce. That may not work for some. We will see if things changes, ideally they do.