Posts Tagged ‘Bj Lewis’

I say in pretty well all of my posts that I am working with good people on my sets. It’s never been an untruth, it’s never been an exaggeration. There are plenty of talented actors in the DFW area, those that are known already and plenty of up and coming talent. Well some of that talent has lent themselves to one of my latest projects: Wildcat.IMG_9616

We have filmed a bit the last couple weekends since the last entry. Things have been a bit choppy since we are filming multiple scenes from different episodes in the locations we find ourselves in to get as much out of the way as we can. It’s the same approach we used doing Party Girl years ago. It’s hard to get some people out multiple times since they are usually working on a set of some kind, movie, commercials, web series, whatever the case may be. Or some of them may just be working that 9 to 6 grind. So we try to do all we can when we can.

Of course when you can finally string things together and you have enough for rough cuts of the episodes and you can see it all flow, well that’s just nice. IMG_9860

Still working through some technical kinks as we make use of the Atomos Ninja Flame when filming. Proper exposure has always been something I have had to try extra hard to wrapped my head around. I’ve had some scenes that have been lit great over the years (mostly by accident) and some that have, well, not been lit as well. I just need someone on set with far greater knowledge of it than I, so I can focus on just directing. Of course that is the same story as it’s always been over the years. Probably have read it on the blog numerous times, finding people who are about the stuff they talk about, it’s hard to do. So you are forced to be a one-man band much of the time. But hey, anything to get the project done and the story out there. My goal is to make sure people look good though, to reflect the good work they are putting into the project.

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We were back in the hot box Sunday, one of our warehouse kinda sets. Hot is not the word for how it is in there, but we did some good things. Fabian continued to be great in his role. Originally he was playing another character, but thanks to someone flaking out on us, Fabian switched roles and we both agree he is better suited and having more fun in the new role.

Thankfully Devin Mobley, who was on hand for Party Girl Season 2 as Kayin, was able to fill the role Fabian vacated and has been great at it. The only possibly knock is I was looking at Devin to play a lead character in the series we do following Wildcat. Hell, might still have him do it, we shall see, since the series all flow together continuing the same overall narrative in a very Defender-ish fashion.

If all goes well with Wildcat, and thus far it has, Hourman will follow, then Sandman and then they all come together in the single JSA short film alongside Mr. Terrific and The Atom.

But of course Wildcat needs a small amount of more scenes filmed, some TLC and it will be good to go. Those involved (Larry Johnson, AD Scott, Christa Allen, Devontae Hogan and more) have pretty good followings and supporters from other projects they have worked on so ideally they will check out Wildcat when it drops. I was thinking of just dropping it straight on the interwebs, but I may end up doing a screening for it. Make it a big deal. Of course all the eps together will be about ….40 minutes or so, so I am wondering ahead to what else could I show. Maybe screen another short of mine or someone else’s before the main event of the Wildcat series….we shall see.

For the latest information throw a like on the Facebook page –> http://www.facebook.com/JSAFanSeries and follow me on Instagram/Twitter @SebastionEnvi

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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.

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…..

2018 is nearly upon us. It seemed like just yesterday, we were looking back at 2016 and plotting and planning goals for 2017. cheerleaders colorsb.jpg

We had made goals regarding a few long gestating projects, among them, Cheerleader Karate School. This past year saw us putting it together and ending up with mixed results. We very much wanted to continue with it, but after some reflection (some of which we blogged about) you realize you sometimes have to make changes to your plans. CKS is going back to its comic book roots and recently we have landed the artist who is going to help make that happen.

Brian Brinlee. 

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Brian Brinlee, artist

Brinlee has been working as a freelance illustrator since 2001. Fun fact: Brinlee spent time living in Denton, TX and attending the University of North Texas. Given the fact that CKS takes place in Denton, it’s cool of the artist to have a connection to the city. While living here he pursued a degree in graphic art but soon realized his heart was in illustration. He found that creating a visual story was much more interesting than tooling around with graphic shapes and lines. Brinlee started out working in comics but eventually expanded into other fields such as game art and book covers.

He’s a talented artist on the rise and we can’t wait to let people see some of the designs he is coming up with for the characters in the book. We’re shooting for a mid-2018 release of the first issue. It won’t just be a comic adaptation of the pilot episode either. We retooled the story, the team, dialed up the action and over the top fun and have a great story in store for readers.

IMG_4331We have a couple leads on artists for HTB to get that very very long gestating graphic novel project going. It’s lead, Annie Cruz, is and always has been game to get the book done and play the main character in the film as well.

There’s a couple comedy projects on the docket as well as RAVE, which is a continuation of the Party Girl Series. There’s plenty of things to keep us busy all year. It’s a matter of making it all happen. We are still talking about things from 2016 and 2017 in the planning stages still. It’s kind of annoying actually. But it just shows us that we have to work harder at our goals to get them accomplished.

2018 is nearly here tho, and we are ready to get going.

“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away And know when to run
You never count your money When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for counting When the dealin’s done…”

As the lyrics go right?

Not everything you do creatively remains in the same medium you created for it, right?

So it goes with the current live iteration of Cheerleader Karate School. The pilot/short we film was cool and it allowed me to see my vision for it come to life, but there are limits to what can be done with it now. At least with current time, resources, money of course. So we’re looking back to the four color treatment for the CKS ladies and their fight against evil.

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A page from the upcoming Cheerleader Karate School / Dusk crossover comic book from David Doub’s Dusk Publications.

 

As mentioned a few times we’re working with David Doub and his kick ass Dusk Publications for a crossover comic with his flagship title, Dusk. On the heels of that we will be looking to have either a series or graphic novel of CKS, using the first season scripts as the base of the story, pretty will doing each episode as an issue of the comic book. That will allow us to really ratchet up the action, the antics, the danger and the over the top threats the girls face. It will also allow for me to get back to some of the original intentions I had for some of the characters.

Heather was initially Josey Rae, a six foot tall, country strong mother hen of the group. Brice Vicarro will still be her same motor mouth kinda character but she was originally intended to be and will be in the comic, a transgender character. So going back to my original intended vision is something we look forward to doing.

Ideally the comics will be a success and allow us to work on new fans and add to the fanbase CKS has. Hopefully our UK friends who latched on to the show and keep asking about more content are comic book readers and can follow the girls adventures that way and that hey, someone may see it and think, I want to adapt CKS, throw us some funds and we circle back to a live action CKS world.

Either way there are stories to be told with Keegan, Brice, Josey Rae, Tyesha, Mari and the Copeland siblings and we will work on making that happen.

We’re in a partying mood at Taurian Films, I suppose as we shall soon continue on the story of Party Girl.

But she can’t stay a little girl forever and Party Girl is growing up and growing in RAVE. Rave is a short film coming soon, that will transition from high school years to college years and beyond for our hero.

Party Girl, of course, is the story of Rachel Buchanan, a high schooler who in order to get out from under her mother’s thumb, she becomes a vigilante, protecting the streets of Pyramid City. Along the way she learns that being a hero is more than just putting on a mask and jumping out into the night.

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Jeanne Lampley, season one Party Girl.

She was a character that began as Marvel Comics fan fiction when I was 15 when they did the Heroes Reborn comics and rebooted Bucky as a female character. The more I wrote stories on her the more I liked her and wanted to make her my own so I started detaching the elements that tied it to the Marvel universe and filling them in with my own and making her into a wholly original entity, thus becoming Party Girl.

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Cait Pool kicking ass in season two.

I tried to bring her to life in college and managed to film one scene of it before things went off the rails. A handful of years ago I managed to produce the first season with Jeanne Lampley in the lead role She did a great job though she had to leave us after the first season was complete. Taking up the mantle for the second season was Cait Pool. A very talented actress who brought spunk, attitude and physical skills to the part. She was not afraid to mix it up when the time came for physical stunts and we appreciate her for her enthusiasm and commitment to the role. After the second season Cait left to venture to LA where she is an amazing actress, hustling, working hard and still as humble as they come.

So what to do with a third season was the question. The season has been written and though filming will not occur it may be revisited in the form of audio dramas. I am a HUGE fan of the work Big Finish does with Doctor Who and other various titles and I would like to dip my toes into that and see what kind of work I can produce by doing it. And it’s a way to still tell the story and not leave it unfinished as we have had more than one person asking us in the years since season two, if there will be any more Party Girl.

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Alicia Underwood

With Rave, there will be. The plan right now is just the short film, but depending on the response, we could see more adventures from an older Rachel Buchanan. I have already come up with a handful of ideas for those adventures. Stepping into Rachel’s shoes is Alicia Underwood, a talented Texas actress I first saw in the Rack Focus short, Birthday Girl. Alicia is amazing in that and through other projects and her audition for Rave, we have seen her acting chops on display and we think she will be great as Rachel. She seems game for the short and the character and had positive things to say after watching both seasons of the show to prep for her audition and participation in the series. We have already begun to look at the costume and how it can be updated for an older Rachel and over the next few months we will work on assembling that. Updates, info, costume tests and such will of course be posted so be watching for that.

Catch season one (and soon season two) episodes streaming daily on www.BlackFlag.TV

Check www.facebook.com/PartyGirlWebSeries to catch up on news and past episodes.

Shrinking Things

Great Cast

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

Shrinking Things is undergoing a slight tweak before it is submitted to a handful of film festivals we have checked off. This will be the first short we have really thought was good enough to submit to festival. It’s gotten great reaction and laughter from the two screenings it has had so we feel good about our chances. The cast was exceptional and while there are a couple technical snafus, we feel its still good enough to garner some positive attention from various fests. We will see what happens.

 

Cheerleader Karate School

CKS on Amazon
The pilot episode is of course on Amazon Prime and we want people to check it out. Work is ongoing on the feature script. We have landed our new Keegan Fox in Cassidy Gatlin. She’s a Dallas based actress taking classes where Cait Pool used to, so we know she’s coming from good stock.

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Cassidy Gatlin

 

A few of our UK fans have been asking about more CKS content and we’re working on bringing it to them and others. Pages are continually being completed on the CKS / DUSK crossover comic. Definitely can’t wait for people to see that.
Keep eyes peeled to www.facebook.com/CheerleaderKarateSchool for more information on that and the latest updates.

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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.