Monday, November 17, 2008

Today, Dread Central put up a few pictures from our recent 2nd Unit FX shoot for the infamous "Doll Scene" in Walking Distance. Before anyone asks, no, the movie is not about killer dolls. They are but a tiny part of the twisted tapestry. The scene is definitely the moment in the script where the train crests the lift hill, though.

Thanks go out to everyone that showed up for the doll scene shoot...the footage looks totally out there. I'm excited to cut it together.

ZombieFriends also was cool enough to set up a Walking Distance profile for us over there, and also to put together a couple of video interview clips with Reggie Bannister (which you can check out at the Dread Central link above, or you can view them right here).

Check out this video: Walking Distance (BTS) Reggie Bannister


Check out this video: Reggie Bannister Talks Mel House


Like the article says, I hope to have a trailer soon. We're still shooting 2nd Unit FX stuff through early next week, but I'm a good deal through the rough cut of the movie.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Lagniappe of the Dead

It's been awhile, and I've been primarily blogging on my MySpace page, but I'm going to try and keep this one updated as well.

Well, we’ve returned from our 3rd-anniversary-commemorating Louisiana ghost tour without getting sucked over to "the other side". It was a blast. Check out the "Anniversary Ghost Tour" album in my pictures section for photo accompaniment to the following rundown. It should entertain you while you either decide to laud the democratic process, or contemplate a move to Canada (or Australia, depending on your party I.D.. Actually, Australia has compulsory voting, which is kind of cool. At any rate...) First up, we stayed a night at the Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana (about an hour north of Baton Rouge). The Myrtles is semi-notorious for being one of the most haunted places in America. We arrived after nightfall, and the place definitely gave off a hell of a creepy vibe...even with quite a few people milling about the grounds (all the rooms were booked, and workers were busy renovating the on-site restaurant). After we ate dinner at a surprisingly good pizza joint in the Louisiana sticks, we made our way around the property in the dark, hoping to find some crack in the veil of reality. Well, I was hoping. I think Melanie was more "dreading". She was pretty freaked out (but in a fun, "amusement park" way). A few other folks were trudging around with flashlights in the dark (including a couple of drunkies). Melanie and I noticed the distinct aroma of strong cigar smoke near our room. After some pretty thorough investigation, we discovered that no one we could see was smoking. Strange. 

The night was...interesting. Melanie claims she was poked, prodded, and pushed all night, and her covers were constantly being tugged. I couldn't sleep because my bearlike frame was a bit much for the bed (and my terrified wife curled up in the small of my back). I fell into fitful bits of sleep I think, and the things I saw/experienced were during those periods. Unreliable...but very intriguing. Anyway, my alarm on my phone goes off at 7 AM, and Melanie exclaims "THANK GOD!". We get up, stroll around in the daylight, and head to the completely delicious (and all-inclusive) home-cooked breakfast in the Myrtles Gift Shop. After ingesting some of the best biscuits I have ever had in my life, and talking to a few of the other guests (who saw nothing...but most of whom are regulars), we took the guided tour of the main house. The place is beautiful, but has a very distinct vibe that's a bit off putting. And we learned that apparently the cigar smoke thing is one of the manifestations of the spirit of William Winter, who was murdered in the house. Sweet. 

After the tour, we headed down to New Orleans to take in some of the Halloween craziness down there. We got there a bit early, so we had lunch at Mandina's (mmmm, Turtle Soup and Po-Boys), and drove around a bit. We stumbled upon the still-thrashed 9th Ward, which was interesting. We then headed to the Garden District and walked around for a bit, seeing a bunch of bad ass houses, including Anne Rice's old place. We also discovered a sweet (pun intended) dessert bar called Sucre that I just HAD to get gelato at. After finally checking in to our luxury hotel in the French Quarter (right between Bourbon and Royal Street) we commenced to walking around the Vieux Carre by starting down Bourbon Street a.k.a. The Dirtiest Place on Earth. I loved every minute of it. Of course, once you get off of Bourbon, the rest of the Quarter is beautifully awesome, and with the combination of the Garden District, very Walking Distance-y. It definitely gave me inspiration that I'm going go put in the new script, and I'm most definitely going to try and shoot that script on location there. Anyway, we walked around a bit as the Halloween craziness began to wind up, ate dinner, then headed out to start our Haunted History Tour, which was a LOT cooler than I thought it would be. I guess I had primed myself for Anne Rice-y Metrosexual Vampire Cheesiness (TM). Instead, we had a blast...seeing Jean Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop (where he pushed a few guys into the forge for skimming off the top), the Provincial and Andrew Jackson hotels (both haunted as hell, apparently), and then the icing on the cake for me was seeing the LaLaurie Mansion. The place radiates evil. It's back on the market, and if I had the money (3.5 million at the moment), I'd totally buy it. Hell, no one else will, apparently. Wish we had photos of that place, but they were kind of sketchy about taking pictures there because of the current owner's celebrity status: it's Nicolas Cage. 

About 2 minutes into this clip from Letterman, Cage talks about the LaLaurie Mansion: After the tour, we headed over to Cafe Du Monde for some truly awesome beignets. A nice, powdery end to an awesome trip.

 Anyway, now we're back in the "real world". Marcus has returned, and we're ramping up to shoot the last FX bits for WD over the next few weeks. It should be fun/nerve wracking.

And seriously, if anyone wants to go in on that LaLaurie thing, let me know.