Posts Tagged ‘movie’

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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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

Boom!

Greetings all,

Jeanne Lampley as Party Girl

Jeanne Lampley as Party Girl

We have been busy on the Party Girl front.

In one of the last blogs, we noted that we were undergoing a cast change for the lead, and we have done so. After a round of auditions, Jeanne Lampley was selected to take up the mantel of Rachel Buchanan/Party Girl, a role she is ready and eager to get into.

She has already as we shot some scenes Saturday from episode 1.6 “Grappling” featuring David Eaton (Dr. Eathers) Alexis Johnson (Remy McConnell), Bobby T (Mr. McConnell), Natalie Williams (Det. Brenson) and of course Jeanne. We had Whiney Bangerter (Brooklyn) but we did not have enough time to get to her scene or all the way through the scenes that day as it involved an action scene.

We got started late so we just ran out of time, but we will come back to it. It was getting good with some physicality between Remy and Party Girl. Alexis really got into the action and brought some attitude and anger to it that is needed for Remy. Jeanne was a bit nervous about the action bits and how she came across in them, but once we do more, I think she will get more comfortable and confident with things. Much like the transition for Party Girl from timid to confident over the course of season one.

Jeanne Lampley (Party Girl) apologizes to Alexis Johnson (Remy McConnell) after (really) punching her in the face while shooting a scene Saturday.

Jeanne Lampley (Party Girl) apologizes to Alexis Johnson (Remy McConnell) after (really) punching her in the face while shooting a scene Saturday.

We are set to have a busy weekend with shooting at Boyd H.S. Saturday morning and then reshooting Buchanan home scenes on Sunday. Also hoping to reshoot a scene from before between Ebony Daughtry and Jacob Drum, while they did it fantastically the first time around, that was before we had our hands on school and I’d like to have that scene take place at the actual school rather than how we did it before.

Recently Bj Lewis ventured to the school to speak to a handful of classes to try and get some help from the students as extras and crew help as well if they wanted it. Didn’t have too too many bites, but hey anything is more than what there was before, right?

Anxious to see the dynamic between the Buchanan’s Sunday. Also get a chance to re-shoot things that we didn’t really like the first time around whether it be because of sound, lighting and the like. So I am looking forward to that.

Onward and upward, that’s how we’re rolling on this project.

 

Yep, there is a new episode of Dial-A-Ranger. I have had it cut together for over a week now, and had to wait to put it up on the regular Sunday release schedule for the show. It was a combined effort of myself and members of the Mighty Morphin Texas Rangers Facebook group. It was through that group that I met Seth Jones (Stan Gerbil).

Once I started doing Dial-A-Ranger I wanted to figure a way to use the gathering of other people in Ranger costumes in an episode and crafted the story for the Mid-Season Premiere Return Event episode. It turned out well I think. Peter and Kevin brought the thunder of comedy to their parts, and Kevin and Carlos were essential in pulling this off with the footage they provided. It was a collaboration I hope to see more of from this group.

Spent a few hours Sunday shooting footage for the second half of the first season featuring Alonzo Hunter as another costumed Ranger and Bunny Killer Ent.’s Jason Matthew Terry helping out on screen as well. Took longer than expected, but I like how things turned out. We have another day of shooting and we will be wrapped up for that and then I can relax and put them out to the interwebs and then once we go into hiatus we can start working on Season 2.

Hoping to get another Insourcing shoot in the books this weekend and I can start releasing those in the new year, bringing 15 straight weeks of funny stuff from Taurian Films.

And then on into Party Girl filming, which I of course can’t wait for. A full cast update will hit this blog in the coming weeks, trying to tie up a few loose ends this week.

So we here at Taurian Films have started putting out some material online in the form of teasers for our upcoming Web series, Insourcing and a few episodes of our weekly mock reality TV show, Dial-A-Ranger. And while it goes against conventional wisdom and logic, part of me was thinking I could just post it, put a couple tags on it, well more than a couple and the hits and views would roll in.

Not so much.

So after a few weeks and a small number of views on all the content I started looking at what you can do to increase that. Turns out after some Googling, there are lots of articles on it full of tips and strategies and such to get more eyeballs on your product. You have to hustle just as hard as you did making the thing, to get it out there in front of people. It’s the interwebs. It is infinite and given that, you have a huge amount of stuff you are competing against. Some of it directly against you because they are putting out the same thing, others not so much, but they still remain competition because they are online. Quick lesson to learn.

That’s something we will be kicking around in an upcoming Bulls Deep podcast. Curious to see what Mau has to say on the subject and to see if we can come up with some ways to get people looking, some interesting contests or other incentive laced efforts.

We shall see.