Posts Tagged ‘Bunny Killer Entertainment’

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.

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See the picture? That is Taurian Films name on the schedule in the 6 p.m. block for FenCon X this Saturday! Yep and we are excited, beyond excited at the opportunity to share Party Girl with anyone and everyone who comes to the presentation and the debut of the brand new trailer and who comes by the table before or after the screening. Hoping for a good turnout. A little nervous…scratch that a lot nervous, but we feel strongly that we have a good project on our hands and one that the people will like.

Taurian Films listed on the program schedule for FenCon X Saturday in Dallas.

Taurian Films listed on the program schedule for FenCon X Saturday in Dallas.

While the program listing only have three panelist, apparently that was the limit, Samantha Rieff will be on hand as well as Jacob Drum, Normita Joven and a handful of other cast and crew.

We’re busy this week finalizing the new trailer. Due to some shooting complications some of the footage that was planned for the trailer did not get filmed in time, but we did not fret as we had a plan B up our sleeves to knock out a good trailer that will show off what the story is about.

It’s going to be a rocking good time and I hope many many people out there will attend.

For those needing to know ticket information…

FenCon X will be held October 4-6, 2013, at the Crowne Plaza Dallas Near the Galleria. (That’s at 14315 Midway Road in the Dallas suburb of Addison.)

Adults over 21
Weekend – $45
Friday $20
Saturday $25
Sunday $20

Young Adults between 13-21
Weekend – $25
Friday $10
Saturday $15
Sunday $10

Children between 6-12
Weekend – $20
Friday $10
Saturday $15
Sunday $10

Kids between 0 – 5 –> FREE

On-Site Registration Hours:
Friday: opens at 11:00am, closes at 9:00pm
Saturday: opens at 9:00am, closes at 6:00pm
Sunday: opens at 10:00am, closes at 3:00pm

 

 

Checking the last take as folks get ready to go for another.

Checking the last take as folks get ready to go for another. (Photo by Conner Hocking)

Saturday was a long but productive day. Once again Boyd ISD opened the doors of the high school to us to shoot more scenes from Party Girl. We rolled in about 12:30 p.m. and began shooting in earnest around 1:30 p.m. Before then I was getting things in order with Conner Hocking, who bounces between being an extra and a production assistant for me. I haven’t had nearly as much behind the scenes footage shot as we have been knocking off scenes in the past, but hoping going forward to produce lots more, as I have some ideas for a few BTS specials that will take a look at the characters and the actors playing them up close and personal. Those will hit the interwebs closer to the premiere of the first episode.

Between takes. Connie's (Ada Perez) about to deal with some bullying. (Photo by Conner Hocking)

Between takes. Connie’s (Ada Perez) about to deal with some bullying. (Photo by Conner Hocking)

The classroom turned greenroom was abuzz with activity as we have several actors on hand to shoot the scenes. It has been great having extras on hand to play other students so the school doesn’t look like a ghost town and it has some sense of realism, if even just a small one. While I ran around planning things and adjusting a few shots giving the layout of the school, I did take stock of the folks in the green room laughing, joking together, running lines and more. It’s cool to see all the work coming together and to have a cast that gets along. They are all great at what they do and continue to highlight the blessing this production has had in the realm of talent.

We shot scenes from episodes 8, 9 and the pilot. We had a couple other things on the docket, but those are better served for the next time we hit up the school. I was particularly interested in seeing more exchanges between Jeanne Lampley, Jacob Drum, Ada Perez and Kyler Hodson. Ada’s scenes as Connie dealing with bullies at the school and running into Benton (Drum) in the hallway, great scenes. Another heated exchange between Rachel (Lampley) and Benton and a fun scene from the pilot that saw Benton face some harassment from J.R. (Hodson), part of the reason he descends to the dark side.

Hale High School's douche crew. (Photo by Conner Hocking)

Hale High School’s douche crew. (Photo by Conner Hocking)

I continue to be amazed by the performances I am capturing. The only time it’s a bummer is when it is from folks who have smaller roles, so we won’t see them as much, but even in that small space of time they are rocking things.

Some have asked about season 2 and their characters place in it, and I do have plans for people but I am trying to keep eyes on the season 1 prize at the moment. Though it does feel good to know people are invested and ready for more.

On the FenCon X (http://www.fencon.org/)  front, the table is officially bought and paid for, so that is done. We’re currently looking at t-shirt companies who will give us the best deal. Plan is to have Party Girl shirts for cast and crew with them saying “cast” and “crew” on the backs to ID those people. The trailer premiere is shaping up to be the most saturated with people as set to appear are Lampley, Samantha Rieff (Michelle Buchanan), DJ Economou (Ed Buchanan), Jenni Mabrey (Evelyn Buchanan), Alan Chow (Greg Hix/Grasshopper), Hodson, Normita Joven (Delilah), Nicole Holt (Sen. Chambers) and Greg Vestal (Dr. Eathers). So we should have no problem getting the word out and some attention on the show.

Speaking of which there is of course the Film Break page to find information on

http://www.filmbreak.com/projects/party-girl

We are hoping more people hype the project and share the page, which has links to both teasers.

Or check the teasers at

and

Check them out and keep it locked here for more on Party Girl.

The Buchanans

Meet the Buchanans: Edward (DJ Economou), Evelyn (Jenni Mabrey), Rachel (Jeanne Lampley) and Michelle (Samantha Rieff)

Production is of course still ongoing for the Party Girl web series. We shot some scenes last night and Chez Buchanan, with my actors braving the heat (no A/C downstairs) and bugs to knock out a couple scenes and absolutely kill them as they always do.

In looking ahead to the promotional marketing push for Party Girl we are looking ahead to conventions that we can attend and get in front of people with the show. One such convention is FenCon,  http://www.fencon.org. We reached out and are happy to say they have responded and Party Girl will have a presence at FenCon X, Oct. 4-6!! Taurian Films will have a table set up with Party Girl swag, cast member appearances and goodies from other Taurian Films series, Insourcing & Dial-a-Ranger. The Party Girl Street Team will also be on hand giving out swag.

The super fun part comes Saturday night when we get a block to show off the series. We plan on debuting a brand new trailer and select scenes from a couple different episodes. Myself (Bj Lewis) and other cast members will be on hand and part of the presentation to meet and greet with those in attendance. I am beginning to line up who will be appearing on which day so I can spread some of the cast wealth around over the three-day event. Folks can expect to see at the very least the Buchanans appearing for the screening event Saturday.

Now I have never done something like this or screened my content in this way. Granted I did have a 48hr film contest entry played at the Texas Theater a while back, but it was one of a bunch of entries. For this moment the spotlight will be on us and on Party Girl. It’s exciting and scary at the same time. But I feel quite strongly about the show and the quality of it and my actors and I know others will feel the same.

Not sure what the response will be, but hey if it can get us even one more set of eyeballs than we had before, I will consider it a success.

Everything is better with sound FX.

Jacob Drum (Benton Alridge/Bookworm) & Normita Joven (Delilah) on set.

That’s what I have found as I have edited the handful of action scenes we have shot so far for Party Girl. Now this is my first foray into action and I am learning as I go. I don’t expect my scenes to be Raid Redemption quality. Not yet. But I have people willing to try things they have not before and they are learning as much as I am. And that’s the thing, learning. Leaving every day of work on this web series, or hell any project…a little smarter and better than before and able to do better job the next day.

I think we are succeeding.

Last night’s fisticuffs were brief, but they look quite cool in the scene I cut together. It involved Jacob Drum (Benton Alridge/Bookworm) and Normita Joven (Delilah). Now Normita has like 60 black belts and has worked on scenes like this for years now on many big time shows, so I am glad we have her on this project lending her talents and expertise.

Directing the action on set in Benton’s Lab.

I  first encountered here when I was looking for a suit actress for an Ameri-toku short film I was going to do as an entry to a short film contest. It didn’t pan out as I never got the costume work started, but her friendship since then  and the contacts she has have been invaluable since.

It was a fun scene with Delilah stealing some stuff from Benton and the brief bit of dialogue between the two of them was good. Jacob continues to shine as Benton and I am really looking forward to people seeing his performance in the episodes.

When it came time for the physical stuff, we tweaked the scene a bit just due to where we were. It was a simple couple of moves we shot several times from different angles. Credit to Jacob again for being a champ and taking the floor bumps he did. It looks great. And with the added sound FX. So awesome. Cannot wait for people to see it.

Other action stuff that has been shot has been the Hell Sisters and Party Girl, shot in Denton and Boyd a few weeks ago as noted. Good stuff and I am learning what to do, what not to do and more importantly how exactly to shoot the scenes so blows aren’t whiffing and breaking the visual illusion of them connecting to people’s faces.

A bruised Sirena Bingham (Christy Felmore) and Party Girl (Jeanne Lampley)

A bruised Sirena Bingham (Christy Felmore) and Party Girl (Jeanne Lampley)

I’m learning, but it’s coming along.

Speaking of coming along, the teaser has come along to 700+ views in 11 days. I am not completely well versed in metrics and such of youtube to know if this is good or bad, lol. But for me, it’s good. I am happy with it. Would I like a million hits, yep. And we will get there by God…but for just blasting it on twitter and facebook, I am good with what we have. As long as people are seeing it. We will start up a more aggressive promotional push once we have wrapped up production in October.

Hoping that month to get a booth/table set up at a convention in Addison to help promote the show. I have already had a few cast members tell me they are up for doing the promo work as well as some actors who have smaller roles in the show willing to put boots on the ground and help promote the show. That means a ton to me to see so many people involved in this really believing in the show and the story and willing to help me get it out there to people.

It’s going to be great.

Apologies for following behind on the blogging and updates to what is going on with the handful of projects we have going. We are making some moves here. Schedule type moves. I am realizing the original time table I set for season one of Party Girl is likely not going to happen. Mitigating people’s time and schedules and such considering the size of the cast. I have had a handful of instances in recent weeks that has had me hit the pause button on filming larger chunks so things have been progressing on a smaller scale.

Most recently we shot a scene from the pilot with Ebony Daughtry and Jacob Drum. It’s continues to be a joy to see Jacob as Benton Alridge and I am looking forward to finally getting him and Emma Weatherford (Rachel Buchanan) across from each other on camera. Ebony was great too in her role as the Hale High School Counselor who tries to get through to Benton after the latest round of bullying he experiences.

I had said initially I wanted to finish by August for a November release. But looking at things now it will probably be the first of October when we wrap season one shooting. I am moving things down to accommodate that schedule and will continue to keep people abreast of things in case any of their availability changes with that with other projects they may become attached to or other personal things. I am putting a three week break in late August to mid-September to give my students high school and college some time to get acclimated to their schedules for the new year especially those who may be entering totally new schools.

I will get the new ultimate shooting schedule to folks tonight.
I of course want things to happen now, as I see grand things once it all comes together, but the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, isn’t that how the quote goes?

Shot a scene with Kevin Green for Insourcing to finally get that back on track. We have episodes 6 – 11 in the can and ready to go, I just got held up on some things on episode 4 and finally got that handled. Will be able to tie things off once I track down one of my more elusive cast members.

Just have to keep trucking forward and stay positive, and I am and I will.

Giovannie Cruz as Red Rose laying down the law at her safe house so her men know she means business.

Twas a Party Girl filled weekend and all through the sets, characters came to life with vigor and zest. Benton was scheming, Red Rose was shooting, Mrs. Buchanan was dreaming and Mr. Buchanan was brooding, Connie was hurting, Rachel was scheming, Chris was flirting and the director, he is just beaming. Work was done, with a lot more to come, but things are looking good, progressing as they should.

OK so that wasn’t what I wanted it to be, but oh well, lol. As stated though, we did have a Party Girl filled weekend with another bit of block shooting, featuring Giovannie Cruz’s first outing as Red Rose. We shot a number of her scenes for different episodes and as I knew she would, she killed the part. Literal on the killing in one case for a scene we did. I was dying to get her and Jacob opposite each other for their scenes and it was as good as I hoped it would be. Can’t wait to see her hit it again as White Rose for the upcoming shoot this weekend.

A big thanks to those who came out for the shoot, Michael Williams, Sammie Scott and his sister, who’s name I did not catch, but that filled an on camera role for me that was desperately needed, big thanks for that. Jared Evans, Fabian Lopez, Seth Jones, Jason Terry…Kevin MF’n Green!

Big ups to Nite Davis and the Denton Zombie Hookah Lounge for letting us shoot there and some good idea contributions Nite made to the shoot to help things look a little better. I am always open to a suggestion from someone with more experience than myself in an area.

Sunday we got out first dose of Ada Perez as Connie, DJ Economou as Edward Buchanan, Jenni Mabrey as Evelyn Buchanan, Tyrone Freeman as Chris, and of course Emma Weatherford as Rachel Buchanan. Again block shooting several scenes from the pilot. They day went longer than anticipated, due to having to wait until the sun was more agreeable to what I needed to do outside.

Emma Weatherford as Rachel Buchanan

That is the downside of not having ND filters that fit my nifty new lenses. We did not get to finish a couple scenes, so we’re actually going back and doing them this evening. One is a pretty big emotional scene between father and daughter so we didn’t want to rush through that. A couple small solo scenes after that and then all going to plan, we will get Emma dressed up in full on Party Girl attire. For a few candid shots of her in the entire version one ensemble. I am excited to see that.

Things are going well overall. There are some things to shore up on the technical side with some of the workflow on shooting day, but that is on me to fix, the talent I have assembled are all doing a bang up job and I could not be happier with everyone involved in this project. It does my heart good to see so much continued dedication put forth on this project.