Posts Tagged ‘Annie Cruz’

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.

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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…..

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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.

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.