Sunday, February 26, 2006

Vitruvian Man

We did our first set of auditions/readings for Closet Space yesterday. They went very, very well (thanks to the LeBlancs for letting us use their place AGAIN for movie stuff). The luxury I have this time around is that we have so many good people and no real nudity or sex scenes to worry about, so I pretty much have my pick for the cast. Plus, I'm actually at the top of the food chain on this movie, thus making me the sole casting decision maker - which is the way I like it, of course. I think I have all the roles decided on by this point - there are just a few x-factors floating around out there before I can finalize the cast. I was most worried about the male lead, though....turns out the filling of that role fell into place quite well yesterday.

Now we can start setting up cast readings and crew meetings, in addition to getting the remainder of the financing and legal stuff squared away (aka the "Movie Business" part).

Friday, February 24, 2006

The doer alone learneth. - Freidrich Nietzsche

Preach on, brother Freddie.

It does feel kind of strange wrapping up the Witchcraft stuff - as much as it drives/drove/has driven me crazy, it has been a large part of my life for the last 6 months or so. I guess in a way, I have Closet Space ramping up quickly to quell my cinematic separation anxiety. That, and I don't want to waste another 4 to 5 years between movies.

In hindsight, Witchcraft has paid off in a lot of ways (and it hasn't even hit the market yet) - our Closet Space budget is in large part due to those who were impressed by what we did on WC13. And the enthusiasm seems to be the days surrounding the release our CS budget effectively doubled as we gained more interested (and impressed) parties. I always read about things like that happening to producers/directors, but now it's actually happening to me....and it's kind of weird, but also exciting at the same time, of course.

I'm hoping to make some more inroads at the Fango convention next week - I made a shit-ton of connections at the Texas Frightmare Weekend, and Fango is probably the largest convention of that ilk. Plus, the fanboy side of me is looking forward to it as well, especially since we are "vendors" and have heightened access. Witchcraft and Drawing Blood are set to have a table, and Robert Z'Dar (Drawing Blood, Maniac Cop, Tango and Cash), and Zoe Hunter (Witchcraft 13) will be with us to sign autographs and take pictures.

In other news - my other musical identity took over and we had our first full-band practice for the Jonah Matranga shows next month. Things went pretty well - I'm actually a better bassist than I thought I would be, what with not really playing at all the last few months, and only then playing guitar while I was rendering an edit or something. Plus, I only really play bass guitar on our Grey Party demos and recordings (and on the Electric Purgatory teaser trailer theme). At least I won't be the center of attention, so I can creep into a dark corner and rock out at the shows.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The best and the worst of the same time.

So the Witchcraft 13 premiere was tonight. I had a feeling that it was going to kick ass early on, when we had to move everyone from the smallest theatre in the Drafthouse to one of the largest. The original theatre seated 80, and the second, larger one held 150 (supposedly). The evenings head total was 170. 170 people there to see the movie that I went through all 7 levels of hell for. It was a pretty cool feeling...but what would they think of it?

More importantly, would I care?

Fortunately, everyone seemed to like the flick. The refrain for the evening was "Better than I thought it would be" ...which leads me to wonder what it was exactly they expected.

All of the people whose opinions I actually would take to heart dug the fuck out of WC13 - these are the working actors, musicians, film/movie makers, and general industry people that have gone through the trenches as well. Actually, the only thinly-veiled shitty comments I recieved were courtesy of the biggest reprobates that I know. "Talking loud and saying nothing", to quote the Godfather of Soul. Sad, really...but some people are just curmudgeons for life, I guess.

I hung out with some of the local filmmakers afterwards, and it actually seemed like I inspired a few of them to get their things off the ground. I couldn't ask for a better reward. Just make sure you put that 'Made In Texas' tag on there.

Now the final cut gets turned in and the video release date gets set, and I'm off to start pre-production on Closet Space...well, I guess actually I'll start that AFTER the Jonah shows, so I have to put on the musical hat before doffing the movie one again. Closet Space auditions are this weekend, though, so that should be fun.

Next weekend we are in Chicago to promote WC13 and Drawing Blood at the Fangoria Weekend Of Horrors. That should be fun as well, especially since the guest list kicks ass.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I never wanna say my best days are behind me.

We went on our first location visit to one of the locales for Closet Space today. The place is awesome, and offers lots of opportunities. We are doing a small audition on Saturday the 25th, mainly so that we can start the FX casting process (molds, etc.) There's some weird stuff going on right now in regards to some of the roles, but hopefully I'll be able to iron that out in a week or so. One luxury we have with Closet Space is that of time.

I have two screenings at the Alamo this week: Electric Purgatory tomorrow night, and the Witchcraft 13 premiere on Wednesday. It's Mel House week at the Drafthouse, apparently.

I'm also practicing for the upcoming mini-tour with Jonah Matranga. So basically...I'm finishing post on one movie, prepping another to shoot, and learning music in any downtime that I have after that (plus my 8 -5 job, of course). It makes for an interesting sleeping schedule.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Rockin' in the free world...

Okay, so here's the news. A lot of you probably already know who Jonah Matranga is. If you don't - well, he was in a bunch of really good bands like Far, Gratitude, New End Original, and Onelinedrawing. He also sings on the new Fort Minor record. Those of you that came to my wedding heard me play one of Jonah's songs.

Anyway, Jonah is coming to Texas to play the SXSW showcase for Equal Vision Records (on March 17 at Emo's if you're interested in coming down for that), but we are trying to book a couple of Texas shows around that for him. So far we have the Houston one locked down: the show will be Wednesday, March 15 at The Proletariat (903 Richmond). Actual show time and cover are forthcoming, but I would guess we will start about 7-ish.

Houston's own Radio
Pioneer will be opening the show, but here's the "big personal musical announcement": myself and members of Radio Pioneer will also be performing as Jonah's backing band. I'll probably be playing bass, maybe regular guitar as well. I'm pretty stoked about that - it should be a really fun time. Some of you may remember me going up in flames the last time I played with Jonah (in 1999 I think)....hopefully that won't happen this time. I was mainly freaked out about being on stage with one of my musical idols (I would liken it to playing onstage with Kurt Cobain for me, seriously), but I think I've gotten over being squirrely about fame in the last few years.

Anyway, I hope to see all the Houstonian readers there. Dallas/Ft. Worth area people - do not fret, as we are working on getting a show set up there the following night.

For more info, you can check out Jonah's website or the Equal Vision Records

Monday, February 13, 2006

The long in the works "musical announcement" is about a day or two away. It's not necessarily a huge deal, but it's pretty exciting for me (and who knows, it might excite one or two of you as well). Check back in a couple of days for more info.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

In The Valley Of Dying Stars

Got back from my whirlwind excursion to L.A. today - it was a very productive trip, and I also managed to enjoy myself a little bit as well.

Friday afternoon I arrived, went through the usual "pick up the rental car and fight LA traffic" BS, and I met up with Andras Jones in Hollywood (oddly enough, he was staying at Andy Dick's house), and we proceeded to talk a little more in depth about Closet Space. Andras has lots of great ideas about the script and character dynamics, and it gets me really excited about the possiblility of us collaborating on this project.

Plus, he was in A Nightmare On Elm Street 4. So this is still a little surreal to me.

Friday night I met up with Cesar (from Witchcraft 13's opening scene) and Pam B. (who trained me at the Cheesecake Factory back in my table-waiting days...she was also the object of my first and last Chasing Amy-style crush back then) and we had a great time eating chicken and waffles and then selling our souls to the mighty Amoeba.

Saturday, Jason (writer of Closet Space) and I went out and killed some time in the lovely O.C. weather (which of course included my consuming a 4x4 "Animal Style") until we could meet up with Andras again - mainly so that we could pow-wow on the script ideas with Jason present. We sat and talked about things for a while, and generally all got amped up about the project. Andras is also helping us make some connections that have the potential to greatly increase the quality of the movie.

The trip went so well that I didn't once mind waking up at 3 AM to drive into LAX and catch my early Sunday-morning flight. Of course, I slept the whole plane ride home (with the help of the iPod and The Soft Bulletin).

This week will see me trying to get all the ducks in a row to make this project happen the way that I want it to.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Walk Among Us

So this weekend I will find myself in Los Angeles once again, mainly trying to make some things fall into place for Closet Space. I guess you could say that I'm "taking meetings"...which is strange, to say the least. Unfortunately I'll miss a Fishbone performance by a scant few hours. I guess this is technically a business trip, anyway, although I still plan on hangin' with my other LA homies if I can.

Before I take off, I'll be meeting with several key crew and cast to try and get the ball rolling on CS. I'm also trying to put the next (and hopefully final) edit of Witchcraft 13 to bed in the next few days.

I know I still have yet to make that "musical announcement" - that's still coming together as well, but hopefully I'll have something solid by the beginning of next week.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Just got back from the Texas Frightmare Weekend. Lots of cool stuff went down, but I guess most importantly... Witchcraft 13's Anjanette Clewis was on a "Scream Queen" panel (along with Brinke Stevens, Debbie Rochon, Caroline Williams, Ashlie Rhey and Heidi Martinuzzi) moderated by Joe Bob Briggs. She told the story about going blind. We also set up a monitor at Anjanette's table and played the WC13 trailer on a continuous loop. She posed for photos and did a few signings, and even I got to autograph a few of the WC13 postcards that we printed up. Nice. People did seem to have a morbid curiosity towards the movie, which I guess is positive.

I also made a few valuable connections that may come into play for Closet Space...we'll see how those pan out. Look for a Horror Channel interview with myself in the coming days coverage of the TFW. Also, good show kudos go out to the Necrophobia gang as well as the guys from The Quick and the Undead. Keep an eye out for these flicks in the coming year.

In closing, original Jason Ari Lehman is one cool mofo.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Radio Ga Ga

To expand further on the radio8ball stuff - On a lark, I decided to ask one of the Nightmare On Elm Street 4 cast if he would be interested in being in Closet Space. This guy actually delivered one of my favorite horror-movie performances in his role in that film, even though he doesn't go crazy and kill anyone, or have a massive death scene. The character just seemed real, and I responded to that.

Anyway, I contacted Andras Jones (aka Rick in NOES4), and he seemed up for at least reading the script. He seemed to like it, and asked me to call ino the radio show last night. To explain:

"KAOS 89.3 FM in Olympia, Washington from 6 to 8PM (PST) on Tuesday nights. ----- People call in with questions. We answer these questions by picking a CD at random, placing it in the CD player and pushing shuffle function. The song which is randomly chosen is the answer to the question. Like drawing a tarot card, throwing the I-Ching or shaking a Magic 8 Ball."

Andras' idea was for me to call in and propose the filmic collaboration to the Radio 8 Ball.

First, Andras asked the Radio8Ball himself (probably thinking that I wussed out):

But little did he know - I was the next in queue.

(FYI - The above files are kind of large and long, because they play the whole song through).

It was a fun way to initiate things, and even if it doesn't work out this time around, I can definitely see us working together in the future. Check out Andras' show on Tuesday if you can (they stream live)...I found it pretty entertaining (and at times, eerily accurate).

Andras, I hope you don't mind me posting about this. I figured we blew our cover last night.