Thursday, December 9, 2010

Finished site


Well after weeks being a slave to Adobe and a few days of crazy frustration, my site is finally finished. Thanks to Lindsay and Dave for all the help. I definitely have a better grasp of Dreamweaver now and should have a much easier time on the next site... which should be in just a few weeks since I'm getting ready to start making a site for Ronay and her dolls. We have quite a bit of photos that still need to be taken, but the idea and framework are already finished. Exciting stuff! Please stop by, have a look, and let me know what you think! here it is

Monday, December 6, 2010

New Inspiration!

Ok, so no video update this week but I do have new inspiration to talk about. Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing Darren Aronofsky's newest masterpiece, Black Swan. I won't go too much into the plot, but it's essentially a remake of Swan Lake, only done Aronofsky-style. He's been my favorite director ever since I saw Requiem for a Dream. I know alot of people hadn't really heard of what he's done until they saw The Wrestler, but I've been a fan for alot longer.


Anyways, the film is hands-down Natalie Portman's best performance. At no point in this film does it feel like she's acting, but rather that she's actually doing exactly what it is she's doing on screen. It's truly amazing to see, especially since you don't see that very often anymore. The film also featured a good performance by Mila Kuniz, an actress I've never been fond of but now am changing my opinion. Unfortunately it did feature another crap performance from Winona Ryder, but eh that's to be expected.




The movie was incredibly epic, made only better by Clint Mansell's score... another individual that I've been a fan of for years. I've been a fan of Mansell's for longer than Aronofsky simply because he used to be in a band I really liked, Pop Will Eat Itself... who were really one of the first industrial bands I kinda got in to. I discovered them after they were signed to Reznor's Nothing label back in the mid-1990s.


So yeah... all in all, it's a must-see for fans of Aronofsky or fans of cinema in general. It has some ultra-sexy scenes in it, but has some crazy memorable disturbing sequences as well... but really, what else would you expect from Aronofsky? It's really kicked up my motivation to get things rolling again with this feature length film we're sitting on, regardless of the casting set-backs. Time to get moving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Not-quite as flashy

Not much to report in terms of the upcoming film. I did hear back from our writer Bob a few days ago, he's still trying to find the right children for the few roles we need filled for the flashback scene. Other than that, not much going on... definitely a long process but we'll get there.


In other news, I'm working to get this new website up and running. My current portfolio site is all done in flash, and while it looks pretty slick, it can't be viewed on portable devices (not until they make a plug-in anyways). When I designed the site I actually didn't think anything about that, but it does make alot of sense since we're in this new, crazy technical world now and nearly everyone (except Baena) has a smart phone. If I'm an employer and I have two possible candidates apply for the same job and wanna check their work out while I'm on the train, I'm already going to have a slight preference for the one I'm able to view on my phone.


So yeah, the new site will be up and operational sometime in December... especially since it's for my portfolio class, which wraps in the middle of next month, kinda have no choice but to finish it, but that's cool with me. I'd rather have a deadline to push me to get it done. I already have the basic layout in mind and have started on it, but it is gonna take a bit to get it all working how I want it to.


One of the sites that really inspired me for my new portfolio site was this one, by an artist/photographer named Francisco Aveledo. I really like the grid system he used for this so I'm going to apply that same technique to my own site. I'm also using the same rotated layout so it's going to look pretty slick when it's finished.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More Source Material...

Not much new to report in terms of the film production. The storyboards are still being finished, which really needs to be done before we take any more steps forward. One of the storyboard artists is coming by this weekend for Halloween so I'm sure we'll talk about the progress, though I'm not exceptionally worried about it at this moment. In a perfect world we would get everything filmed before it gets cold enough to snow, because once it starts you always have that threat of Mother Nature deciding to blanket you and then you're stuck filming only interior shots until the ground outside resembles what it did when you began shooting. I've seen way too many films with continuity problems to do something like that myself, I don't think I could forgive myself for that. There is already one small mistake in my film RUNNING OUT OF TIME that still bothers me to this day, but I'm not telling if you've not noticed... shhh...


Ronay and I did make it to the movies over the weekend though. We watched PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2, which was a decent enough film, though it broke no new ground what so ever. If not for the extremely clever tie-in to the first movie I wouldn't be recommending it to people, but the way the explained the first movie with this one was really quite brilliant and wasn't anything I saw coming. Ronay and I both kinda looked at each other in the theater with our jaws dropped and had that "ooooooh, man..." moment. It was quite nice. One thing I will say though, is for a movie like this, ESPECIALLY one that has an infant/toddler in the movie and so much depends on the child's reaction, it is IMPERATIVE that no dumbass parent decides it a good idea to bring along their own 4 year old. Yeah, not cool.


So anyway, this actually has me inspired to put together another short film, only this time one of the "paranormal" kind. I've had the idea for quite awhile... actually I think I first had it when we saw the first PA in theaters last year but apparently procrastinated it long enough for the sequel to come out. Its a simple idea and will be another like RUNNING OUT OF TIME, where I'll shoot and edit alone and will only have me in it. Exciting stuff, I know. Stay tuned for that!


Other than that, not a lot to report really. The TorC Halloween Horror Film Festival is this weekend and my entry BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY is showing at 3pm on Saturday. I was told originally that the winners would be announced on Halloween Sunday but the actual schedule shows that the winning films will be awarded at 8pm on Saturday. I'm hoping that this means that they'll post the winner to their Facebook page if nothing else... so wish me luck and rest assured that as soon as I hear something I'll post all about it... unless of course I don't even place in which you'll probably get about four words out of me.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Little Seasonal Inspiration

What better time of year to film a horror movie than Halloween? I can't think of any. Okay, so SUBMISSION isn't technically a horror film, but it's a close relative. If I wasn't so obsessed with making sure all of my DVDs at home were in alphabetical order and instead were arranged by genre, I would have THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE in close proximity to my super-mega-ultra-platinum edition of OLDBOY (one the best Korean drama/suspense/dark films of all time).


So anyways, this is my first Halloween season having Netflix, so as you can imagine my queue is flooded with movies full of blood, guts, and gore (as opposed to what??). Recently we've watched THE CRAZIES, the original STEPFATHER, the remake of TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, and the film DEADLINE. I can't say that all of these were inspiring for me, but I did like elements of each and will be drawing on some of that when we start shooting. Growing up, the original STEPFATHER film was one of my favorites, and really to this day I still think it was way better than a good majority of the dark suspenseful films of that decade. It really shows that with a little more attention put on the acting rather than the special effects, you can get a far creepier environment. When it comes to horror you can't go wrong with massive amounts of blood and gore, but what your brain comes up with is by far worse than anything that Tom Savini can throw together with some tubes and liquid latex... no offense Tom.


I dropped THE STEPFATHER back in the mailbox today and will be getting STIR OF ECHOES next, which I'm pretty excited about. I've not seen it since it probably came out, but I think that it'll be a good refresher to some more modern-day dark suspense... which I guess is really what SUBMISSION is all about. My queue has drifted away from the slasher films I typically watch during this time of year and is now (probably subconsciously for the most part) leaning more toward the "make you actually think" movies that I've either heard so much about or know that I liked in the past and am brave enough to give another viewing after ten or twenty years... something that isn't always a good idea (the DARK CRYSTAL, for example).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

More accomplished...

It's been awhile since the last update, but progress has actually been made. It seems now that there are just a few roles that still need to be filled, but the majority are spoken for. The main two roles, Sam and "Beauty", have been filled. Montford is going to be playing the role of Sam, and adult webmistress Tara of TaraTaintonXXX.com will be playing the role of "Beauty." We may have the role of Father Fenton filled as well, and I'm please to announce that two previous actors I've worked with will be reprising their roles as detectives for this film. Dave Sorrell and Jazz Burks, who both played detectives in my my first short film ("By Any Means Necessary", which is competing at the Halloween Horror Film Festival in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico this year. See below), are returning to play detectives in "Submission." I couldn't be happier about this. Additionally, Christopher Martinez is now storyboarding some of our scenes, so definitely taking steps forward.


Other bit parts have been spoken for, a few cameos, etc... but really we're still looking for our main police officer that spends the film looking for Sam. If anyone is interested in this role, send me an email at evlved@gmail.com and let me know. We're planning to shoot on weekends but we can definitely accommodate any schedule and am definitely willing to do so.


That's where we are now, so stay tuned! With any luck we should be shooting in another month or so.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Up Next...

So last night Monte and I met with Burrow for the first time. We chose to meet at the always classy establishment known as Denny's to look over our contract and sort out all the last details. Everything was in order and Burrow as actually nothing like I expected. All we had to go by up until now was his writing, which was very well written and intelligent, so of course I'm half expecting him to be some fairly arrogant intellectual. I sat down and asked him how it was going, to which he replied: "eh, same shit, different pile." I was instantly no longer worried.


So yeah, everything went extremely well. I actually learned that it's equally as difficult in the writer-world, because Monte and I meeting him last night was the farthest he's ever actually came to having something he's written produced. He said that he has a really hard time convincing anyone to even read what he writes, which is absolutely insane because the guy can write. He sent us samples of his older work, which were all brilliant but not the style we were looking for so he offered to write something completely original and new that would fit with what we had in mind so he cranked out this psychological/dark script that blew Monte and I both away. It's sad/reassuring to learn that it's really the same across the board, whether you're a musician or videographer or writer, getting anyone to take you seriously can be a real challenge.


Regardless, names were signed, hands were shook, and breakfast slamwiches were eaten... and now we move forward yet again. Now it's time to cast SUBMISSION.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First Meeting

I know it's been awhile since the last update, but hasn't been much to report. Not the case today, however, because this evening Monte and I will be meeting with screenwriter Burrow for the first time to discuss some details. I'm not entirely sure what will go down, other than discuss the story or any edits that we might have for him, which I personally have none. The story is one that hasn't been told a billion times already and the ending I did not see coming so I'm really excited about this. I'll be sure and post another update in a day or two with all the low-down on how it went. From here I believe we're going to move on to casting, exciting stuff ladies and gents!


On a different note, I'm please to announce that Against the Grain Design are now working with TaraTainton.com. We're now working together and editing a good chunk of the special request fetish videos that they receive. This is great for a number of reasons... of course it's adult material, what better way to sharpen editing skills than by editing porn? This also allows Tara to do more filming on her end because she's not dedicating three days a week to edit them all down and export to the different formats that she needs. It's also showing me just how much time will need to be dedicated to post-production. Good stuff!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Step 1: Complete

I received the finished copy of our script for this film this morning. It clocks in at 82 pages, so it's a beast for sure. I've yet to finish it so I can't offer my opinion, but from what I have read it's going to be quite an interesting piece of work. I've been assured that it lends itself to some stylistic opportunities, so I am anxious to see what Burrow was able to put together. I'll be posting again in a day or two after I've had a chance to finish reading.


Once we finish reading this, we'll have to start thinking about casting. I know I've had some interest from some people, so if you've gotten ahold of me and are still interested, keep in mind that we're getting close to looking for people to play these roles. We're also going to be scheduling a meeting with Burrow in the next few weeks to discuss this, so it'd be nice to be able to run some casting/location ideas past him at that time.


The whole process is exciting, and it's really great to finally be adding some video work to my list of projects. I'm pretty well stocked on print and web work, this will be a really great chance for me to expand that on the screen again... and even better, once this is shot we get to think about the score and soundtrack!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Little Bit Closer...

So not alot to report just yet, but I did get an update from Burrow this morning that he's at the 30 page mark of the script. He's anticipating nearing page 60 by Tuesday, barring any unforseen circumstances. We'll be on our way very soon!


In other news, I contacted Byron Miller and got some very useful advice for filmmaking. Byron is a former member of the electronic/EBM/industrial band God Module, which he left about a week ago in order to devote his full attention to filmmaking. I actually contacted Miller probably about a year ago for advice on some electronic music questions I had. When I heard he had quit God Module I decided to try and see what he was up to, only to learn that he's in pre-production as well for his next film which is also a horror production.


I asked Miller if he had any advice he could give another independent filmmaker who is just starting out, and he wrote be back this afternoon with some very good pointers that I probably wouldn't have thought about. The most notable being to get some good behind the scenes footage, including some cast interviews. This can be a very good thing to have for DVD extras or "special editions". Also advice on photography and of course feeding your cast, as a fed cast is a happy cast... especially if they're working for free. Don't worry guys, I'll throw some cheeseburgers your way.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Only the Beginning...

So we're finally getting started with this whole thing. Monte and I finally have found a screenwriter that is able to not only write to our style, but is nothing short of a creativity machine. After I placed an ad on Craigslist for probably the sixth time, I finally got a response from someone interested in what we're doing. Since we're just starting at this, I found that alot of "writers" that responded had a hard time taking us seriously... not the case with Mr. Burrow.


So anyways, yeah. Burrow sent us some samples of stories he's written in the past and although they were all quite brilliant, none fit with our style. I know we can't afford to be picky (quite literally, actually) but it wouldn't be fair for anyone involve if we'd gone with an idea that we weren't all 100% interested in doing. After some consideration, Burrow decided it best to just write an all original idea for us, which is what he's doing now.


Monte and I received the first 18 pages of the script today and we're nothing short of impressed, I have to say. We were warned that it's pretty dark, but I don't think either of us were shocked at what we read. Maybe I'm desensitized from so many brutal Asian films, maybe from combat, maybe from working in a morgue... whatever the case, we're in agreement that it's something we're all interested in getting to work on right away.


My goal is to post on here the updates as we get the script and then as we progress through the shooting. Since this will be my first feature film (Mr. Montford has previous film experience) I thought it would be interesting to document the process. I'll also be sure to post pictures, behind the scenes footage, etc. Good times!