Sunday, April 30, 2006


The first cast reading of the Closet Space script went pretty well. Everyone seemed to really hit the correct beats at the right times, even bringing some shading to the characterizations that I hadn't thought of. Jason (the writer) and I definitely have some things to run with as far as dialogue and character tweaking go, so now were back on the computers, typing away with newfound aplomb. Our cast definitely makes me feel at ease this time around.

Before the reading yesterday, a few of us went out to the farmhouse location to purchase the materials for our set build-out up there. We start actual construction next week - it should be an interesting (and sweaty) experience. Hopefully I won't nail-gun my hand to the wall again.

I just resubmitted the Closet Space info to the IMDb, so hopefully it will go through this time. I'll also begin fleshing out the website with bios and such soon.

It's a veritable whirlwind of activity at the Upstart Filmworks home offices, and we have our crew meeting this evening to discuss the game plan with them. And so it begins....again.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Three and a half...

Production on Closet Space begins in three weeks. The writer is flying in this weekend to sit in with me on the actors table reading so we can get some final dialogue ideas and character tweaks. Over the last week or so I've been talking with Stacy (Necrophobia) Davidson about helping me out with Closet Space, and it has resulted in his coming on the production in a lighting and Visual FX Supervisory capacity. Will (the Closet Space DP) and I spent most of Sunday with Stacy hashing out FX shots and execution, and I think we'll be able to pull a lot off with our combined efforts.

The first crew meeting is this weekend as well, and then next weekend a few of us are headed out to the house to begin construction on the first practical set.

So far I've only had one actor, and one crew member back out - hopefully there won't be any more.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Three To Get Ready

I finally spent some time this weekend getting the Closet Space website up and running. I'll probably have more to put up there when we actually start shooting.

As per usual, I've been plagued by some cast and crew backing out when we're almost a month away from rolling camera, but things have a way of working themselves out, so all the positions have already been recast/refilled. This actually might lead to some interesting collaborations that I hadn't really thought of initially, so I guess it's not all bad.

Tomorrow night I'm meeting our digital FX guy to get some test footage that he's been working on for me. Of course, I can't wait to get a look at it to see how the stuff translates from script to screen, even in this "rough draft" format.

Over the next couple of weeks we are going to start the build-out of our first major set, so that should be interesting.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Lounge Act

I was fully prepared to spend today in musical mourning (as I do every year at this time), for one of my greatest influences (musical and otherwise). But lo and behold, my omnipresent contract labor benefactor called me up and asked me to shoot video at the KB Home Homeowner Appreciation Day at Minute Maid Park. It's weird - it's almost as if they know just when to call me to get me out of the financial doldrums.

I've been breaking down the Closet Space script into manageable pieces, while doing some rought thumbnail storyboards and character designs. To help me get into the groove, over the last couple of days I've watched Raging Bull, Nang Nak, The Deadly Spawn, The Innocents, and one of my favorite movies of all time (which is one of the 5 movies responsible for turning me on to the art of cinema) - Streets Of Fire. Walter Hill's actions setpieces kick the living shit out of anything that passes for a "fight scene" in this day and age. Two words. Sledgehammer. Fight.

Come to think of it, Walter Hill is also one of the Alien producers....

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A Jack With One Eye

We've started the "conceptual" phase for the Closet Space monsters and make-ups in earnest. It's getting me jazzed, that's for sure. We've also gotten almost all of our locations squared away for the shoot - I think only two remain to lock down for sure. I may have put this down already, but we start principal photography on May 20th. It's fun actually budgeting things out with a bona-fide budget to speak of.

I did my "directorial pass" on the script, which didn't amount to much other than adding more wanton violence and brutality (my wife Melanie is going to be our Bruce Campbell for sure), but I think now the project is about where I want it, logistically and creatively. I'm down to casting the final few roles, and I'm going to start breaking up the shots and hopefully doing some storyboards by the weekend. We'll probably be having a crew meeting in the next few weeks as well to get everyone on the same page and to do the contracts.

I'm also wrapping up Witchcraft 13 for it's DVD debut. There's a chance that there will be some extras on there, which is cool. This week I've actually watched a few DTV low-budget horror movies, and by and large I have to admit that they all pretty much sucked. WC13 is no Battleship Potemkin, but some of these flicks had absolutely no sense of pacing, shot composition, editing, etc. Notice that nothing I said had anything to do with the budget. These cats all probably had more money than we did, but I would easily put WC13 up against any and all of them. Honestly, I think it would (and will) fare pretty well in the marketplace. It's nice to have that feeling - towards the end of the editing process, I started to get a bit worried about how the movie would turn out. Now that I'm seeing more and more of the "competition", my fears are slowly starting to subside.

I've been reading that John (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer) McNaughton currently has the Nightmare On Elm Street prequel gig. While I think this is an awesome choice, I guess I'll have to set my sights on some other equally unattainable movie directing chalice for myself now. Hello, Alien 5.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

In A Jar

Dinosaur Jr. was awesome, as I figured it would be. Saw a lot of old-school music scenesters there (before the Houston music scene became too "hip and ironic" for it's own good), as well as a bunch of people that I knew from all levels of public schooling. Small world.

I think I'm in the planning stages of my first "promo tour" as a bona-fide horror moviemaker. In October, the wife and I are planning to hit the Fangoria Weekend of Horrors in Jersey/NYC, and then go straight to the Eerie Horror Film Festival in Erie, PA (with a slight detour to Cedar Point to celebrate our 1 year anniversary a bit early). We are planning to have tables at both events, and we might be appearing in conjunction with other horror biz people. I'm starting to put the details together right now. More on that as it develops, along with updates on the Burbank edition of the Weekend of Horrors (in June).

Today (Sunday) I'm going to possibly begin meandering back into the world of public-access television by helping my friend (The Reverend Bart Stewart) produce a show intended to air on the channel. While I'm not really excited about the prospect of returning to that facility/situation, Bart really wants to make incisive television so I can dig it. Plus, the man performed the wedding rites for us (pretty much verbatim as my sick ass had written them), so how could I say no?

Tonight, a few of the producers and I are having another budgetary meeting regarding Closet Space, and hopefully this will be the final pre-production hurdle. One thing that I've noticed in dealing with people on this movie is that I'm a lot more cut-throat than before. I just don't is it my "people" would say this?

I don't want no triflin' ass bitches to be killin' my game.

Sometimes a nigga has to be ghetto to survive.