Monday, July 30, 2012

"Hell's Bells" Night Shoot

This Wednesday night we will shoot in the studio facility outdoor set -- and a very important couple of scenes! I'll have all five of my lead actors on hand for the most terrifying moments of the film. These will be the most complicated scenes of the entire movie but the payoff will be most enjoyable. I'm looking forward to getting Suzi and Michelle in full makeup and doing a few other things I have planned. For the next two days, I'll be building props and pulling together elements for effects and such.

I'm very excited to be at this stage of production on this film. It's really going to come together once I'm editing and I can't wait to release an official trailer. The teasers have been just that, experimental glimpses at what we've been doing. But once I have all the movie footage to draw from, and now that I have the music for the film secured, I'll be able to produce the proper trailer.

So, I will let you know when we've completed principal photography and I'll also post updates and stuff during the coming month, as I complete B roll and process the film through the post production phase.

Also, look for announcements relating to the next film -- a full length feature!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

"Hell's Bells" Wraps Location Scenes!

Just watched today's footage -- and it looks great! We have officially finished location shooting with today's Yucca Valley scenes. Today's cast was Joshua Einertson, Suzi Shields and Michele McClelland. I had them all out there in the desert environs of Giant Rock in their costumes and makeup and we had a blast. What we shot today finishes a scene with Jesse, whose shots were done a few months ago in the same location. We also shot the opening scene of the movie with Josh. Everything went well, the ladies were perfect, and we didn't see any snakes! On the way home, there were frozen knock-off slurpee drinks for all!

The remainder of principal photography will be local settings (what I call the 'back lot') and my home exterior stage.In the meantime, enjoy the latest lobby card stills...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"Hell's Bells" In The Home Stretch!

I just went through the script notes and screenplay on the film...We have only three set-ups after tomorrow's shoot in Yucca Valley. That means two shooting days remain on principal, as two set-ups are likely in the same location. After that, I have some B roll, and one insert shot with a cast member, and it's a wrap! I proceed into post for a couple of weeks or so and emerge with the first cut which will be screened for my cast at the screening/cast party!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hell's Bells Production Report

Saturday we are shooting a scene in an old house. It will double for an old Spanish Mission interior, complete with authentic furnishings and costumes. I'm really excited about shooting there. It will lend even more to the authenticity of the picture's era, I think. The sequence at the old house includes the Kruizenga Boys in their No Buget debut, along with Bobby Harkins Jr who you may remember from the Bad Dream trailer, and even a brief appearance by my favorite character actor Ray Howard. What is also cool is that the site manager, Tony Webb, is an actor and has agreed to appear in one bit. We have our earliest cast call yet, and a two-hour window to get almost 30 shots, but I know we can do it!

Just to give an outlook for what remains on principal: After the mission sequence at the adobe, we have two big campground scenes, a fantasy flashback, some limited re-do on desert stuff, and then the final shot of the film. After that's done, I have to re-do the train shot, go get a vintage airplane shot, and maybe an old time car shot (maybe). After that, all that remains is a first cut on visuals, inserting title cards and credits, reaching a final cut, then adding the music. That's when I'll gather my cast and crew and we'll have a little wrap/screening party so they can see it -- as envisioned -- for the first time.

What follows the wrap/screening party is a test screening at the theater. If all goes well with that, we are ready for exhibition! By that point, I'll be setting up screenings, entering festivals, designing the DVD packaging for 2013 home video release. I'll also be starting pre-production on a new feature around mid-August. I hope to start shooting that picture by no later than Oct 1 if not earlier in September.

It has been a long haul! I started Hell's Bells in February. What I learned on this half-hour short feature will help me shoot a 90-minute feature in about six weeks, give or take (hopefully).

Look for stills from today's shoot...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Wrap On House Set!

Just shot the last scene on the 'Josef's House' set!  Jesse and I did this scene without a shot list, just went off the script. Looks good! Now I can take the set down for the final time and check that off the list. All that remains are a couple of insert shots, one of a newspaper page.

It's nice to move forward... I'm looking forward to the editing phase...

Another Poster

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Meet The Cast and Crew Of "Hell's Bells"

As we draw near to completing the picture, it's time I formally introduced our cast and crew!

Jesse James Cowser plays 'Josef', our questing fool of the story. Jesse has been a few things (and called many more) but is best known locally as one of Crafton Hills College Theater's finest actors. He has appeared in a past No Budget Cinema production in progress, Greenspot Road, and is also soon to be a published children's book author. Jesse is on the staff of the historic Fox Theater in Redlands, California.

Eloisa Alaniz-Gomez is one of three returning actors from the original version of the film, previously titled 'The Treasure of Kukulcana' in which she plays the same character, 'Jacklyn', the somewhat errant sister of 'Josef'. She is Brazilian and Jaliscoan, bringing an international flavor to our picture, much like glamorous Latin American actresses of the Hollywood golden era. Eloisa has experience in Latin American TV, music and is also a photographer.

Joshua Einertson is new to No Budget Cinema and a welcome addition. He portrays the mysterious dark 'Fausto' who lures Josef and Jacklyn on the adventure of their lives. Joshua is a talented dancer and has appeared in stage productions at Crafton Hills College and in Inland Empire area drag extravaganzas and is a hair stylist for performers at The Menagerie. This is his first motion picture acting gig.

Raymond Howard is a familiar face to No Budget Cinema fans, as he has appeared in all productions so far. Ray is our go-to character actor for his extraordinarily 'realistic' look and his colorful presence. Ray is the drily hilarious psychic swami in Greenspot Road and he portrayed the original dark mysterious figure of the story in Treasure of Kukulcana, the role that evolved into 'Fausto'. In this film, Ray plays 'Donkey Shit Pete'.

Suzi Shields joins the cast as half of a pair of strange ladies who haunt our hero. She has appeared in a dance production at Crafton Hills and likely figured a movie was a good next step. Hopefully this movie counts!

 Michele McClelland is our newbie virgin! She hasn't done theater since playing Piggy #1 in a first grade production of "Three Little Pigs" -- Good thing for her she's in this movie! Michele plays one of our mysterious ladies in black and you will be impressed.

O'Donagh Haymes is a gem of a find for No Budget Cinema as she's so distractingly photogenic, which helps us endure everything else. We won't reveal her screen roles here because that might give away some of the story.

 Jeremy Kruizenga's reputation is widely known around Redlands, and in spite of that he is respected for his performances in various Lifehouse Theater productions including a rollicking turn as Captain Hook in Peter Pan. Jeremy is also a free-lance journalist for a local history publication. Hell's Bells marks Jeremy's first No Budget Cinema appearance, though he can be seen in an early pitch trailer for Lost Amazon Motion Pictures' Secret of the Amazon Queen.

Justin Kruizenga was originally to play the character that became 'Jackie' in Treasure of Kukulcana, with Jeremy as 'Joe'. Scheduling difficulties prevented that, but Justin's pretty face inspired us to just go ahead and make the character a girl in that film. Justin is otherwise a serious professional employed in the real world with a lovely and sensible dentist wife, a fine house and a wonderful dog. What a freak!

Bobby Harkins Jr is the third returning participant from the original version of this film. Bobby appears as a ghost in Treasure of Kukulcana. His other No Budget Cinema credits include the trailer Bad Dream being developed as a feature in which he will co-star with Ray Howard. His disturbing looks and weirdly large misshapen head earn him the cameo role of 'Quasimodo' in Hell's Bells.

Elizabeth Danciu is our main Production Assistant and Lighting Techie, always on hand to be an extra hand or two. She also serves as the main provider of photo stills from the set, proving invaluable as a production archive contributor!
Ry Bouttavong stars in the No Budget Cinema production in progress Greenspot Road and is the star of a show he created titled The Tranny Life on YouTube. Ry is a model with extraordinarily adaptable looks and helped develop some of the make-up designs in Hell's Bells. Ry appears briefly onscreen.
Maleina Malinskii also returns to No Budget Cinema after a supporting role in Greenspot Road. Maleina co-stars with Ry Bouttavong in The Tranny Life and will be seen in No Budget Cinema's upcoming never-before-announced (you read it here first!) feature length horror film, House of Ka. Maleina appears onscreen briefly in Hell's Bells.

Tammy Cardona is our make-up artist who created the looks of two essential characters in Hell's Bells. Tammy is well known in the indie film community of the greater Palm Springs desert communities and always a joy to work with!
Carina 'Cookie' Castro is our stand-in slate girl and production assistant, and a tasty pastry she is, indeed. Cookie braved Yucca Valley with us the day we saw the snake! A trooper!
Walter Bosley is the mastermind auteur founder of No Budget Cinema and Lost Amazon Motion Pictures. Walter writes and directs all No Budget Cinema and LAMP productions and is the executive producer. He has been a production assistant, including Vamp and Diet Coke; appeared in City Heat (blink twice and you'll miss it); was involved in various community and school theatrical productions from 1974 to 1981; placed in a screenwriting competition in Monterey in 1998; founded Lost Continent Library Publishing in 2002; is in development on Secret of the Amazon Queen for Barron Entertainment, based upon his novel; writes on alternative archeological topics, for which he has been published twice in World Explorer Magazine; often sits in as an informal 'co-host' with Greg Bishop of Radio Misterioso and has been interviewed on numerous other podcast radio shows -- and all this outside of his global travel and surviving brushes with danger in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now that you know the cast and director, stay tuned for future updates on Hell's Bells as it nears completion of principal photography by the end of this month...

"Hell's Bells" Production Update

Tonight I'm working on title cards. Didn't get to shoot today, actress unavailable. We will be shooting later this week. I may post some graphics before then. Met with one of my actors earlier this evening and discussed possible locations for his scene. I need a Spanish mission. Working on that. It also looks like we may finish by the end of the month. I'm hoping to. Certainly no later than first week of August. Gotta get this picture shot and get on to the next step. I have all the music now except the climactic stuff, which will be composed and recorded next month. But I do have enough to to put together another teaser before the official trailer. I may actually just go right to the first official trailer, once I have everything shot.

More to follow...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

More "Hell's Bells" Location Photos!

Here are some extra photos from our day in the Mojave...For the first set, scroll down to the previous posting...

Going into Hades -- That's dedication!

Eloisa Alaniz watches in awe at my directorial glory
Oh, how it looks in the camera!

Jesse sees how it's done

Doing the dirty work


Friday, July 6, 2012

Biggest Day Yet On Location!

Yesterday, I dragged my lead actor and two crew hands -- Liz Danciu and our leading lady Eloisa Alaniz -- way out into the Mojave Desert, this time twenty miles south of Baker into the natural preserve and down into an ancient hole in the ground. We shot a major scene in the Lava Tube and it was quite a lengthy day. It took us about three hours just to get there, then we spent a couple hours down below. At least it was about twenty degrees cooler!

Posted here are some photos from yesterday's movie expedition...

After a drive up I-15, we cross the desert...
Our destination...

Down we go...
Into the subterranean world...


Jesse Cowser
Liz sets up a production still
Liz works the light
We emerge!
Back to the car for the long trek home...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Shooting Day!

I trust all of my American readers had a nice holiday for the Fourth of July. Now it's time to get back to work...

Back to the work of movies, that is! Today, my star Jesse Cowser and I will be heading out to our farthest location yet with a two-hand crew to shoot one of the two most thrilling scenes of the film. The location is visually exciting, has a few small potential challenges, and the weather looks good. Yesterday I acquired a vital piece of field equipment for location shoots: a spot beam, handheld and rechargeable in the car. Be sure to watch for the special features on the DVD release of Hell's Bells early next year to see why this equipment was important today!

As soon as Jesse arrives at the house, we'll load up the gear and props and costume, and be ready to go!

More to follow...

Monday, July 2, 2012

Prop Building & This Week's Shoot

Well, tonight I constructed an important prop for Hell's Bells. We'll be needing it for the scene on Thursday which we're shooting out in the Mojave Desert. In July!

Things are really moving now, since we got the replacements for two supporting characters. They're closer and more available, so the budget and the schedule are served nicely. Also, we're past the halfway point on principal photography. We'll be knocking out multiple scenes on shooting days now, so that will hopefully see the shoot wrapping by the end of this month. Naturally, once I sit down to edit the first cut, if I find anything not quite there I will throw those actors into costume and get whatever pickup I need in August.

This week, we'll be shooting one of the two most exciting scenes in the film! I'm really looking forward to it, as is Jesse. It's a fun scene that is also a bit complicated, but will provide a few money shots. It will be well worth the effort. We have a two hour drive to reach the location, then we'll need about a two hour window to get the scene right, and then the return drive. I think it'll be the longest day yet on the picture -- and for a scene with only one actor (well, sorta two...). I love going on location and this one I think will prove to make the movie look even better. My production assistants will be taking on the set photos, of course, and a few will be posted here.

Now onto other things...