Posts Tagged ‘Bj Lewis’

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

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

The race is on!

The campaign is live!

Bj Lewis and the rest of the cast and crew of Cheerleader Karate School are out to raise the funds to make the first nine episode season of the supernatural martial arts web series! Viewers, critics, fans, everyone is clamoring for new stories from new, diverse voices and there is no better an opportunity for that to happen than with Taurian Films’ latest series.

Created by Bj, Cheerleader Karate School is the story of five young girls who are drawn together to user magic and martial arts to fight an evil that threatens their home city of Denton, TX and the world at large. Along the way this power team will tackle issues with family, equality, responsibility, identity and more as they strive to find their place in the world they are trying to protect.

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The leading ladies of Cheerleader Karate School.

The current crowdfunding campaign which runs now through Oct. 14 is part of Seed & Spark’s New Voice Rally. The Rally is a way for creators to get an opportunity to tell their stories. Creators have to raise at least $10,000 through their crowdfunding efforts and then use that money towards a pilot episode of their show. Top prizes include a developmental deal and more funding toward the production of the show.

Bj and his cast and crew have begun work on the Cheerleader Karate School pilot and hope to use the funds from the campaign to pay for the work that has been done as well as fund a second episode to give people another look at the show and opportunity to get behind it.

So much work has gone into the show, so much heart is behind it. Bj and the crew just need that last push, that last seed to help spark the amazing project that is Cheerleader Karate School.

For more information on the campaign, check out the Campaign Page

 

The title says it all about what we are doing.

Sept. 12 through Oct. 14 is the first crowdfunding endeavor for Cheerleader Karate School. It’s been mentioned here on this blog and on Facebook and Twitter. We’re participating in Seed & Spark’s New Voice Rally. They are out to find the next great program and it could be anyone’s. You just have to crowdfund $10k to film your pilot, impress the judges and then see what happens. Now of course we have been shooting (and in some cases reshooting) scenes from the CKS pilot but we checked and we can still be in consideration for the New Voice Rally. But we don’t need the whole 10 to shoot an episode of CKS and our plan is to use the funds for two if not three episodes of the show to really give people a good sample of the show and hope they can get behind it. 13934610_1064008977024207_5594595618268369175_n

Crowdfunding seems like a good option but it’s not called a campaign for nothing. You have to work it like one and pour every ounce of yourself into it to make the goal. That’s what the plan is with CKS. We believe we have a cast and crew that is willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen and make the goal. We will just see how it all shakes down a month and a few days from now.

 

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Perky Chicks and Roundhouse Kicks!

More shooting was done on the pilot episode for Cheerleader Karate School this weekend. Boyd High School in Boyd, TX was nice enough to open their doors to us as they have done over and over again every time Bj has needed a school setting to shoot in. The school was an option many times for Party Girl: The Series and for A Typical Tuesday in the past and the school was an option again for CKS.

Pilot Pic 2

Keegan (Summer Dobozy) relays her surprise at the girls fighting to Brice (Christine Rejcek).

A lot was put on the filming plate for Bj and the cast and crew. Boyd is a haul for some so he was hoping to get everything done in that one day so no one would have to be asked back. One the scenes are edited together, we will see if Bj managed to accomplish that goal. Everyone brought their A game as they always do, particularly in a fight between a couple of the main actors, Gabriella Corvina who plays Fi Espinoza and Timylle Adams who plays Tyesha Banks. The two of them have a lot of animosity between them. (Their characters, of course. The actors get along fine) The two of them have played them very well and you can feel that tension between them on screen we believe.

It’s just on Bj to make sure everyone looks their best and he hopes he succeeded. That is one thing that is important to Bj, that people look their best and that they are able to be proud of their participation in any project of his. The stakes get no higher for CKS because Bj is hoping to be able to raise funds for the show and be able to make it bigger and better than he ever could on his own and of course, increase the compensation for those involved.

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Make up testing for an upcoming shoot.

Earlier on Sunday Bj met with Maddy Cerda (The First) and special effects make up artist for a handful of season one episodes. On hand was Jo Lorio, an actress and martial artist as well. Jo is going to help with fight choreography for a number of season one episodes and she is playing the monster the team is pursuing in the opening moments of the teaser portion of the pilot. Maddy is in school for make up and alongside being a kick ass actress who is all in on her role, Maddy is a great SFX MUA on the rise and the entire production team is happy she is lending her talents to CKS behind the camera as well as in front of it.

Pilot Pic

Mark (Fabian XIV) tries his best but there is a lot of rage in Tyesha (Timylle Adams).

We have been dutifully telling people to tell their friends, family and others who may be interested to mark those calendars as the crowdfunding campaign for CKS will kick run Sept, 12 – Oct. 14, 2016 through www.Seedandspark.com and their New Voices Crowdfunding Rally.

As noted in previous blog entries, the New Voices Rally is part crowdfunding, part competition as we would have to raise at least $10,000 and gather an audience of at least 500 on Seed&Spark to move to the next part. That next part will potentially be able to help us finish the first season, outside of us raising the funds ourselves. $10K would cover the first 3 episodes of the show. 

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The look on the face of Fi (Gabriella Corvina) says things are about to get rowdy.

 

Bj continues to work on lining up indie/geek media outlets on their social media pages to line up Bj and the cast/crew for interviews and such to help get the word out. That will be the big thing. The more people that know about CKS the better chance we have of hooking more fans and making our goals happen. Likes have been slowly creeping up on the Facebook page. Hopefully we can increase that in the coming weeks with T-shirts and promotional flyers, posters and cards. Boots on the ground, grassroots effort is going to win the day. We know there are people out there who will be interested in the show, just a matter of reaching them.


 


 

Three shooting days are in the books for Cheerleader Karate School, the supernatural, martial arts drama series from creator Bj Lewis. After talking about CKS for days, weeks and months it was great to finally get the actors in front of the camera and into their various roles. 13240607_1019089401516165_2030442161112642330_n

We tried to cover a lot of ground as we were going on an extended break between the third shooting day and the next as a few actors are going on summer vacations. But looking to get right back into it strong in mid-July.

As we have said and will continue to say many many many times, the cast assembled is great. They are super talented, hard working and have great chemistry together behind the camera. It will be up to us to get that chemistry to continue to be on display when they are in front of the camera and to make the final product look the best it can be.

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Wen-chieh Chi (The Next) and Maddy Cerda (The First).

 

 

This past Sunday, Bj appeared on The Cutting Room Floor podcast to talk to Casey Ryan about the project. If you missed it, you can catch it here.

In the meantime the plan and the goal continues to get as many people to check out the info page on the show and hope they will dig it and stick with us as we develop the show and be there in a few months when the pilot drops.