Posts Tagged ‘drama’

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.

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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.

Met some folks this past weekend.

MTF on setThose folks were the cast members of Fred Tee’s newest project, Meeting the Folks, it’s a no frills boyfriend meets family type of film. The cast is a talented bunch who are bringing unique takes to their roles and bringing some hard work. There have some been a technical hiccup or two, as with any sort of production. As we continue I will be looking at what I can do to better my contribution to the filming.

Production should be done by November. A goal Fred has to have a trailer ready by the time of the premiere of another film of his, Stolen Virginity. The distributor for that film will be in attendance so ideally the work we are doing on Meeting the Folks will dazzle him enough to want to pick up that film as well.

MTF On Set 4Work will continue, more info, stills, BTS video to come. Fred has been active on his IG and FB posting about his projects so give him a follow and you will see it and keep a look out for Meeting the Folks.

On a couple other fronts, we have a potential office spot for a comedy we will be filming with Mike Loud, Allan Thomas and Glenn Franklin. I have railed against any attempt to do another web series at this point in time, but this comedy would be a series. Of course, there is no action, SFX or any of that. It’s three guys and an office space. Meant to be simple. Of course, I have tried to accomplish this simple task four times before and each time has crashed and burned. But fifth time is the charm right? I believe in the script, the comedy, written by Billy Mau, it’s going to be great especially with the talent involved.

We continue to submit Shrinking Things to festivals, hoping it can be accepted to a few of them and get exposure for the talent involved as they are amazing actors and they should be seen far and wide.

Mike Loud on Set

Mike Loud getting ready to rock it.

Slowly but surely gathering people and resources for the slasher spoof short film we are doing. More details on that to come once we have the title registered.

Rave is still coming. It’s pretty much either the slasher film of Rave in the month of

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Alicia Underwood cast as future Rachel Buchanan.

November, we will see with people schedules for those involved, which is the best to proceed with. Of course Rave is a continuation of the Party Girl Series story that will find Rachel Buchanan five years older with thoughts of returning to a mask she has not worn since her sister was killed in season two and the events of season three. Of course the events of season three have not been seen yet, but will take place in an audio drama that will be produced in a handful of months. Currently cast as Rachel is the incomparable Alicia Underwood, and we are excited to work with her.

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.

 

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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.

…more to do of course. But first, Rack Focus, Round 4.

The always epic Gabriella Corvina was nominated for best actress for A.kO. The judges and other people, from what I heard, enjoyed the short and really bought Gabby in the ass kicking role as they did with 20 Minutes or Less last round. 15002523_10101235674570548_2675640111358219789_o There are a handful of brief B-Roll type of scenes that need to be added to the short to make it festival ready. Also need to muck with the sound. It sounded good in Bj’s headphones in final edits, but played on the screen, there were issues. Same thing as 20 Minutes or Less. Sound is a pain in the ass for indie filmmakers. Just one of those things you have to keep working at. There were a few instances where Gabby was a talking head for a while in the short and Bj knew the judges would ding him for that. Hence the B-Roll scenes. 14907015_10101234917073578_9219480496827156196_nThey are going to show some of the things Gabby’s character is talking about. There was simply no time as the short was put together last minute and dealt with a few people flaking out on the shoot last minute. Not that Bj would make excuses. There were a few other action shorts during Rack Focus and one of them even garnered a best film nomination. We will get there. No disrespect to the other filmmakers who do action in the DFW but Bj’s goal is to be THE guy to know for it. Just gotta keep at it. And keep at it he shall.

There will be more action to come as the plan is still on the books for 20 Minutes or Less 2 AND 3 to complete the trilogy. Currently looking at festivals to send A.kO to as well as crafting the script for the full short film. img_2500

There’s another day of shooting for Cheerleader Karate School, the last pilot shooting day. It’s been a long ass time coming and as it has been stated before the plan is to definitely not take the same amount of time to work on subsequent episodes. We are shooting a few more scenes at the school for the monster’s first appearance as well as adding some extras to the school to give it a more organic feel.

It will be good when it’s all together. Have enjoyed seeing Gabby, Kalei, Timylle, Summer and Christine kicking ass in the production of the show. Words cannot express our gratitude for their dedication to it.

Screening and further fundraising dates to come for that. For further information on Cheerleader Karate School, check out www.facebook.com/CheerleaderKarateSchool

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