Saturday, July 30, 2005


Holy hell. We did our auditions today from 2 pm until 7 pm, and pretty much ran people through that whole time. I'm pretty wiped out, both mentally and physically. I was actually surprised at the overall quality and talent level today. 95% of the people were good (about 75% were great), and I wish I had enough roles to cast everyone. But, that's not the case, so I pretty much have my picks for the cast after today. My crew was rockin' like Dokken as well - I probably would have committed mass murder/suicide if it wasn't for them. Learning to delegate more. Slowly but surely. Next weekend I head up to the Windy City to run the clips by the other producers. After that we should start locking in the cast and drawing up all the proposals, contracts, riders, etc.

Russell did some rough preliminary "witchcraft" effect test footage. It looks pretty impressive, even at the draft stage. I think it will look pretty cool when all is said and done.

Next, I have to get up at 4 AM tomorrow morning and drive to Boerne to check out the cave location. I'm dedicated to my art, I guess. Either that or I'm totally insane. I'm pining for insanity. At least then I can get a check from the government.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

And the winner is...Witchcraft 13

I've been given the go ahead to make the official announcement of what my next project actually is. Now I can tell everyone that I'm directing the 13th entry in the popular direct-to-video 'Witchcraft' series. I've only told a few people outside of my crew so far, and the question that I get the most is:

"Is that that movie with Fairuza Balk/Neve Cambpell/The Girl With The Big Forehead?"

No. No, it's not.

Anyway, we shot some test footage last night, along with effects plates for tests of all the digital "witchcraftiness" that's going to take place. Beams of light, balls of energy, lightning, etc.

The test scenes were pure dramatic talking head stuff, but they got me pretty pumped about the movie. I actually have a talented pool of individuals to use, and it's a luxury that I'm not used to. It's nice to let go and delegate - be it with camera placement, script assistance, or slate-clacking. I can concentrate on the performances, finally. I hope the other producers agree with my choices for Will, Laura, and Dolores.

My comic book guys returned their screener copy of 'Drawing Blood' to me this weekend. They kind of bagged on it without coming right out and saying so. Didn't bother me too much on a conscious level...but subconsciously, in that really dark recess of my mind, right next to where I store all the Nightmare On Elm Street movie release dates, I felt a bit indignant. I guess it's the same attitude that I have with movie reviewers - let's see you do better, asshole. The naysaying is nothing new to me though - the first time I showed Drawing Blood to one of my best friends, all they did was complain the whole time about how "stupid" or "gay" the movie was, and that "it wasn't really horror".

I guess it's a good thing that stupid, gay, non-horror movie got me a stupid, gay, non-horror movie deal, huh?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Hell is a 72-Hour Turnkey Project

This past weekend, I helped my future DP create a movie in 72 hours for the Filmerica challenge. It was pretty rough at times, culminating in my being so tired after the first two days that I took a bath in my hallway NOT REALIZING THAT I WASNT IN THE BATHROOM. Weird. Things did turn out okay, though, and the resultant movie isn't half bad. Along with all the behind the scenes stuff that I did that actually transcends my 'Director of Photography' credit, I also played the role of the bad guy in the cloak. Hopefully Robert Englund won't try to sue me - it's hard to do a movie like that and not channel The Springwood Slasher in some form or another. Consider it an homage, Mr. Englund. Either that, or a bid to direct the next Nightmare movie. Anyway, I look forward to seeing what happens with the movie in the competition. We have already begun talking about fleshing out the concept to feature length. Perhaps this will be my post-TRISKADEKAPHOBIA (not the real title) project. Which means that I'm going to have to push back 'Walking Distance' yet again. It will eventually get made though.

In other news, the IMDb has finally added Electric Purgatory to the database, which is cool. Unfortunately, I'm the only name linked so far. Hopefully they'll take care of that - there are lots of people involved with EP that deserve the recognition, especially the bands.

Triskadeka-Update: Still looking forward to auditions. Still getting submissions. Still having to tell everybody that there's nudity. I've had a couple of aspiring scream queens send me headshots, so that's good. They have no problems with the 'requirements' of the movie. I also think I found someone for a major role this weekend as a result of the 72 hour film shoot. As they say, things happen for a reason. I finally read the two leads last night, and they seem to have a pretty solid chemistry going, so that will make things easier for sure. We're also scouting locations now - I've brought on a Location Manager (who just happens to be a guy that I've known for 23 years), and I think I found a Production Manager this evening. It will be nice not having to wear all these hats this time around. Now I just have to learn to let go and delegate, despite my total lack of faith in humanity. Labor Day Weekend looks to be our go date, and we'll probably start off with the raunchy stuff first. Ahh...indie filmmaking.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


In the last few days, I've met up with several potential crew members for the movie. Talking to a couple SFX artists - both good, with nice portfolios. Now it's a bidding war, which is nice. I didn't think I'd have that luxury. I also think I have my DP and sound staff set. I'm finished watching the "resource material" as well. Talked to a few more actors/actresses. The official audition/readings are going down on Saturday, July 30 from 2 to 6 pm at The Houston School Of Film And Theatre (5250 Gulfton Dr., Suite 4A, 77081). Just in case there are any actors in the area that stumble upon this, feel free to email me to RSVP for a spot...remember that the ladies need to be willing to show some skin.

Friday, July 01, 2005

The Fate of The Black Filmmaker

Last night's screening of Electric Purgatory was a pretty smashing success. The movie played to a plus-capacity crowd, and got a great response. Doug Pinnick from King's X (one of the most underrated bands on the planet) showed up to lend some support. It was great to see people wig out witnessing the power and prowess of Fishbone (THE most underrated band on the planet) for the first time. And no one bitched about my camerawork. It was funny noticing my cinematographic growth over the course of the movie (we worked on it for 3+ years). Hopefully things will start happening with the documentary - there are screenings being set up in NY and LA right now. Big ups to my nigga Raymond for seeing this through to the end - as a black rocker, it's especially salient to me.

So what else is happening? I've been getting in submissions for the "secret project" aka TRISKADEKAPHOBIA by the truckload. Lots of actor/actress interest, and a surprising number of competent crew in the area. I've been doing pre-interviews with everyone, and will probably start the casting in earnest in a couple of weeks. Meeting with one special effects person tonight - her credits include Aliens VS. Predator and Scary Movie 3, so hopefully she can bring the gore old-school style. This month and next are all about the pre-production.

There's a new battle going on involving public access here in Houston (again). This happens every 2 or 3 years. They're trying to rally the troops to support them, but I'm indifferent right now. My grudges invariably trump my ideals. Petty? Probably. But I could give a fuck what you think.