Posts Tagged ‘comics’

Pretty sure I almost died last Wednesday.

Well maybe not, but I could have come pretty close.

I was traveling back from Oshkosh, WI for the 9 to 5 job. I was dispatched to get photo and video of an event going on up there. I was there Saturday to Wednesday and it was a good experience, good food to be had and seeing the planes and helicopters at the air show is always fun. The trip up there involved flying from Dallas to Chicago and Chicago to Oshkosh. Going up there the flight was delayed due to a plane maintenance issue, which hey, if the plane is having issues I definitely want to be on a different one. My bag was checked at the gate, which annoyed the hell out of me. Sure enough when I got to Oshkosh, my bag was still in Chicago and coming on a later flight. My hotel was trash and my bag didn’t get to me until the next morning. Annoying to say the least. But the show had to go on, and of course it did. As I said earlier, fun airshow, good food.

Then comes the trip back. A storm moved through Oshkosh Wednesday morning. It was pouring at the airport when I got there. I waited in the rental car in the parking lot for about 40 minutes for it to clear up a bit before I went to drop the car back off and head into the tiny airport. Not sure why it’s called an international airport when it was tiny as hell and can only take you to larger airports to connect to another flight.

It’s a little ass plane. There is a single row of seats on the left side. Row of two seats on the right side. Small planes like that already make me nervous. Mind you I have been flying since before I could walk so I am fine with flying in general. Love it. Not as much as I did as a child because I am more cognizant of the fact planes can come down. But I still enjoy smooth flights.

I am looking over this little plane, a ‘puddle jumper’ as a co-worker called them, and I see duct tape on one seat handle. I get to my seat and even though it is in the upright position, it is still leaning back a bit. There’s scuffing on the sides of the interior and the emergency exit door handles were not flush against the plane interior.

Not.

Flush.

This plane done already been through some shit.

The flight attendant had a worrying tone when she was asking the people in the exit row if they were willing and able to perform their duties should there be an emergency. Like she was so hell bent on getting a clear answer from them. It was like she had the foresight to know that some shit was about to go down here.

I’m seeing and processing all this and it’s just adding to my general feeling of ‘oh shit.’

Plane takes off. There is some normal bumps here and there as the plane climbs to the cruising altitude of 19,000 feet. Well…we get up there. All is good. Until the plane starts trembling again. Turbulence. OK, no biggie.

Buuuuuuuut it keeps going and intensifies. The plane starts bucking and dipping all over the air, bringing audible gasps from my fellow passengers. Me I don’t vocalize. I went all internal with my feelings, saying a few silent prayers, a few Lords’ Prayers, a few Hail Mary’s and then onto practically every other prayer I heard in Catholic school at St. Phillips and Bishop McNamara and beyond. Shaking is still going. I’m gripping the arm rest with white knuckle ferocity and pushing myself against my seat, as if that is really going to help.

One woman sacrificed her purse to puke in since there were no bags on the plane. Her boyfriend dutifully held onto the contents of her purse with one hand and patted her on the back with the other. Myself and a few other people looked around at other passengers in the cabin to see how they were taking it in and well, to see all their faces because at certain points in time you got the feeling this might be the day and these might be the people you are going to go down in flames with. For a good 10 minute stretch during that ruckus I did not think we were going to make it. Damn near pulled out my phone and went to texting people last thoughts and shit. Yes. It was that bad.

Worst part about it was the silence from the cockpit. Like dudes said nothing. Usually the pilot will come on and talk about the turbulence, warn us, tell us there could be more and that they are doing XYZ to mitigate it, you know whatever. Anything. Anything at all to make the panicking passengers feel at ease. Even if you don’t feel it, even if you don’t know what the fuck is going on and how you are going to solve it, bullshit for us so we feel better. But nope. Silence until we landed.

It was about 25 minutes of terror on the flight. Something I haven’t experienced in over a decade. The last time was flying through a hellacious storm when my mother and I were on our way back from burying my grandmother. I was afraid then but nothing like I was last week and flying that first leg home.

We got to the airport with me having 15 minutes to make my connection, which of course I did not, but then again that was good as I was not in a rush to get right back on another plane after that experience. The next flight had some mild turbulence as we climbed to cruising altitude, but as soon as it happened, the captain got on the comm with the voice of a reassuring grandfather to tell us what was happening, why it was happening and what they were doing to mitigate it. It was what the guys in the first flight should have done.

Needless to say I wanted to kiss the ground when we landed, ending a hugely stressful travel day for me. And I know there are good days and bad days with any mode of transportation you take, just this one was very very bad. Glad it is over with and I am hoping the next one will be smoother. Might have to travel for work in September, we shall see if I need to and want to.

In other recent business…I continue my goal to make movies and kick faces as a filmmaker and professional wrestler.

A recent match at a Christian kids camp…

On the film front I am still working on the feature script retooling of Cheerleader Karate School. I am 50 pages in and I can already see some things I am going to correct in as I edit that draft. I am working on a couple character tweeks as well. Things that I took out when we did the pilot, that I compromised a bit on from my original vision as I did not think I would be able to find certain actors for certain roles. CKS on Amazon I am going with what I originally wanted and just going to search high and low for those who match up with it.  I had seen pages on the DUSK / CKS team up comic and they are looking great. Hopefully it will be well received as we continue to try and spread CKS to the masses and to those who have not seen it.

Of course people can see it on Amazon Prime and we encourage them to do so and if they have seen it to watch it again and to share it with those who they think may enjoy it. People seem to dig it once they have seen it, it’s just a matter of getting them to see it in the first place. So work on that goes on.

 

Finishing the edits on the full cut of Shrinking Things. It will be the first project of mine I really want to push out to film festivals as I think it has some great performances from those involved in it, highlighted by Mike Loud’s turn as the shrink in it.

Mike Loud on Set

So hopefully as we look over the lists of fest and start submitting, we start to hear some good news from them.

 

 

aliciaRave planning continues. The big thing now is getting the costume materials. My vehicle took a crap on me a few weeks ago which forced a shift in financial planning toward necessities, like working transportation, so it put things off. But we are very confident in it happening and we have a great actress in Alicia Underwood that will play our future version Rachel Buchanan. Really geeked to see her on camera and in what we have started to zero in on what the costume will look like.

This round of Rack Focus will see me team with Iryna Spitzer (Jamie from ZEE MOVIE, which you can see on Amazon Prime as well as CKS) on a short film she wrote. Should be a fun experience as I have yet to work on a script that was not written by me. So we shall see how it goes once casting and filming commences.

 

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.

PartyGirl3

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.

PartyGirl

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.

alicia

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.

Cassidy Gatlin - Headshot 6

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.

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.

PG web comic test page

Web comics. I have mentioned them before. I like them. I like reading them and I would like to create them. I of course lack talent with a pencil. And as mentioned before I have seen photo web comics across the interwebs and thought to myself, yep, I can do that. I had done some tests months ago on a photoweb comic, using stills I made from a past failed project that was for a sci-fi short contest. I had done a lot of looking on the interwebs for a way to use Photoshop to turn a photo into a more comic book-y (for lack of a better word).  The test page came out OK, it wasn’t knocking my socks off, but if it was the best I found I would make it work.

The I was fiddling around with my Galaxy Note 2 one day and found an app on there that could be of some use. Paper Artist. At first I thought it was stupid as all you were able to do was draw on top of pics in your phone and add a bunch of different filters. Then I found a couple of them that looked like stylized comic book panels like some of the photo web comics I have seen.

Boom. Ideas.

So I did up a test page of an issue of the upcoming Party Girl web comic. I have a plan for about 13 issues that will take place in between episodes of Party Girl. I got the idea from the Heroes of the North web series. It’s a good way to provide different content and continue the story in ways I can’t through the actual web show. Plus it’s way to give people some shine and fill in some holes for characters like Brooklyn, Det. Brenson, JR and even Party Girl herself, showing some other fun adventures she gets involved in outside of the stuff we see on the show.

Including the test page here. Stephney, my other half, is taking on the lettering duties for the comic, she is still working out the dialogue bubble size and placement or I would have included that page, but for the moment, here is the test page, featuring an encounter between Red Rose and Benton.