Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wow, I guess I really let the dust gather over here, huh? I think the issue is not entirely my fault - Facebook and Twitter have evolved in such a way as to allow us to dole out "blogstuff" in small slices now, so it generally feels like there's no need to ramble on for an extended period of e-time. I can get my pissing, moaning, and rancor out in small bursts - not entirely unlike "suppressing fire".

Sometimes, though, you need to empty the clip and lob a couple of grenades. Maybe even attach some explosive to a computer monitor and hurl it down an elevator shaft.

Which is to say...today deserves a full frontal blogging of the highest order. Let's see if I can try and hit the major points without forgetting anything.

I guess first off, and of most "immediate importance" - as of today,
Closet Space has finally been released in the U.S. Big thanks to our new compatriots at R-Squared Films for helping us get it out there. Head over to the website, and click on the News page to get ordering links - it's currently available online at Best Buy, F.Y.E./Suncoast, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and a few others that I'm probably forgetting. We're looking at putting up some "special packages" on the website in the next few days that will include more than just the movie. We also have a few theatrical/special event screenings set up, starting this weekend with the Week Of Terror event in Cupertino, CA. After that, Space will be screening at the Sacramento Sci-Fi and Horror Show the weekend of 9/25-26, then the Week of Terror hits the CAP Theatre in Los Angeles the first week of October. And beyond that, we know that we have a screening at the Killer Film Fest in Foxboro (Boston) Massachusetts in November. There are a couple more dates on the horizon, after that... so yeah...after laying dormant for a bit, Closet Space is picking up steam and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Think we have some more foreign territories to snag as well as some VOD opportunities. Who knew?

Next up is obviously Walking Distance. To back up a little bit, we red-carpet premiered Distance at the 2010 Dallas International Film Festival. It was...surreal. Surreal, but great. Pretty awesome when "Agent Aaron Pierce" tells the press that you're warped and sick in the head. And Adrienne "I Killed Jason's Mom" King experienced her first red carpet walk. One of the coolest days of my life, to be sure. Soon afterward, we did a private screening in Houston to another packed house that went apeshit, intellectually speaking, of course. Debbie Rochon and Kathy Lamkin were able to join us at that one, so that was awesome. As of now those are the two times we've screened so far - but we just found out that WD is an official selection of Blood Bath 2: The Film Festival, and Reggie Bannister and Debbie Rochon are coming out for it. Excited - Reggie has yet to see the film. Response has been pretty much exactly what I hoped it would be - those that love it see that I'm trying to do something different and weird, and even those that don't entirely "get it"....still see that I'm trying to do something different and weird. No review can really ever touch, change, or compare to the words that came out of Debbie's mouth when she first saw the film in Houston: "Fucking....AWESOME." The look on her face was priceless, too. It's all gravy for me from there on out, folks. Distribution-wise we have a few options we're looking at, so hopefully we'll have some definitive news on that front soon. It's not as easy as some might think (see the above paragraph), but I assure you that we're working as hard as we can - I don't exactly want to just throw money down a hole, you feel me?

Imago is up after that - I'm pretty damn proud of what we were able to pull off with that one. It was designed to kind of bridge the gap between a project like Space and one like Distance...and I think we hit that mark. I tapped Chris Warren (my "protege", for lack of a better word) to direct that one, and I helped him write the script as well. We were able to bring Debbie back, and also got to work with the amazing, Freddy-slaying Lisa Wilcox from Nightmare On Elm Street 4 and 5. My mind = blown. We knocked out the shoot in 14 days, with a few pickups here and there, and while there were a few hardships, the cut we have now is lean, mean, and weird in that "Upstart Filmworks" way. We are now deep in post (sound design, VFX, score, color timing, etc), so the film should be done shortly. The Walking Distance and Imago shoots really hammered home some things that had been I'd been noticing/needing to address for quite a while in a number of areas, so look for our next feature to really "bump up" (similar to the jump between Closet Space and Distance). Still learning things from both experiences, of course. What doesn't kill you...

Rather unexpectedly, I found a new cinematic ally in Bryan Ryan (who's name is indeed the inspiration for the Glee character, I'm told). We met through serendipitous means - several people I know (independently of one another, including my wife) knew Bryan, and he and I finally met around the 2009 holiday season. I quickly began to like the guy, and we shared similar cinematic/musical tastes. A good sign. He gave me a script he had written, titled Hurricane Country. I dug it, and came on as producer. To get ready, we decided to do a short film, titled The Guest. Shot that bad boy in the O.C. over a weekend in August 2010 with Will "I Shot Both Hatchets, Frozen, and Grace, Among Others" Barratt as the Director of Photography. The project allowed me to make lots of other L.A. connections as well - cast and crew. Definitely going to try and fold some or all of them into the next thing I do. Just saw the final product not long ago, and I'm extremely proud to have my name on it. Everyone did a killer job (always a concern when you're working with total strangers) and it even connects with Closet Space and Walking Distance. How? You'll have to see it to find out. You'll get your chance to catch the World Premiere of The Guest at Shriekfest 2010. There may be another screening announcement right around the corner, just wait and see :).

Beyond that, I'm slowly mounting my next project, Soon, A Light On a.k.a. Untitled Mel House Ghost Project and trying the "crowdfunding" angle to get things going. Feel free to help out if you can - if we can pull this one off the way I'd like to....wow. That's pretty much all I can really say about that one other than if you think Distance was a swing for the fences, well...you ain't seen nothin' yet. We're also putting together the aforementioned Hurricane Country for production in 2011. And I was asked recently to teach a workshop - details tentative, but I'll let everyone know when they solidify. And I think Melanie and I may be looking at making a pretty big change by this time next year (not a baby, so I'll stop you right there).

All told - it's crazy time up in here. Wouldn't have it any other way, since it finally feels like we're "breaking through". Even through all the cynicism, distrust, cautiousness, and general "mental callousing" that's built up over the decade or so I've been seriously doing this - I'd be hard-pressed not to admit that.