Thursday, November 29, 2012

Photos From "Hell's Bells" Premier Night!

Eloisa Alaniz-Gomez

Jesse James Cowser and daughter

Michele McClelland, Josh Einertson, Suzi Shields

Justin and Jeremy Kruizenga

O'Donagh Haymes

Raymond Howard


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

First Photo From "Hell's Bells" Premier!

Here I am with the cast on Sunday night!

Left to right:   Walter Bosley, O'Donagh Haymes, Ray Howard, Eloisa Alaniz-Gomez, Justin and Jeremy Kruizenga, Suzi Shields, Bobby Harkins Jr, Jesse Cowser, Michele McClelland, Joshua Einertson

Preview the DVD Case For "Hell's Bells"

Take a look...

Monday, November 26, 2012

"Hell's Bells" Premier & New Movie Trailer

The premier was a success and a lot of fun! We had a photographer there and I'll be receiving the photos on Wednesday, some of which I'll post here. People turned out, the film was well received and we had a fun gathering afterward. More to follow when I get the photos, but in the meantime enjoy the Chthonic trailer which I debuted last night...


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Premier Day!

Well, I've had a busy weekend and it's still not over. Naturally, I can't sleep. Tonight is the theatrical screening of Hell's Bells. We reviewed the seating arrangement, added another poster to the lobby, and I returned home to prep the files for the projectionist. All the insomnia and occasional aggravations have certainly made this experience memorable. Depending upon how the evening is received, I'll have to think about doing this again. I'll probably sleep a lot after tonight! I hope so, anyway...

I'll be back here with a report on how it all went...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

No Budget Cinema Theatrical Premier in 4 Days!

I know it's been a while since I posted, but I've been very busy. This Sunday is the premier event for Hell's Bells at the Fox Theater in Redlands, California, and we're all very excited! I've been polishing the film cut while shooting stuff and editing it for the Chthonic trailer that will be shown before the film. I've also been distributing promotional material for the event, as well as talking it up on podcasts and radio shows -- and I have designed a DVD case cover graphic, too. That's not all. I've also been preparing my commentary notes as I'm the emcee for the event. It's going to be a big night for us, to celebrate our accomplishment and as an introduction to our local community for future events. You'll get to see stills from Sunday night as we are shooting the event for inclusion of highlights in the 'making of' video.

Check out the latest lobby one sheet:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Cool Web Series

Check out this microbudget series by these talented guys!

Survival of the Dumbest

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Hey all,

I have been quite busy this past week, between preparing for the premier of Hell's Bells later this month and shooting the trailer for the new film, Chthonic.

Chthonic: As time dwindled, and schedules were tweaked by unexpected administrivia, I decided to shoot only what I can use for a good trailer to debut at the HB premier event. I got some stuff done with our lead, Maleina, a couple of weeks ago. Since then, I created some title graphics and a few stills and such. I also fine tuned some scenes in the script. Some vital costuming and makeup issues were taken care of, as well. This week, I shot some imagery with one of our supporting actresses, Eloisa Alaniz-Gomez. It turned out better than expected, as a visual problem led to an unanticipated effect that I'm very pleased with. In the coming week, I'll be doing some more shooting for the trailer.

Eloisa Alaniz-Gomez in Chthonic
Hell's Bells: Only 15 days remain from this date until the premier event at the Fox Theater in Redlands! In the past couple of weeks I've printed several flyers and distributed them around town. I have been getting an enthusiastic response from people around town so hopefully that means a great turnout. We have already sold 100 tickets! The lobby poster at the theater has been drawing attention, too. I've also been fine tuning the film itself and it's about 95% where I want it. I'll also likely be submitting it to the first of a few festivals in the next couple of weeks, so wish me luck.

Maleina Malinskii

I'll be back here more regularly after the HB premier and throughout the Chthonic shoot. More to follow...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

New Film Report

As announced, the next movie will be Chthonic, a sound horror film with a contemporary setting. We've already started shooting and will continue this coming week. This one is the result of five attempts to come up with a script I could shoot on my limited resources. Back in August I wrote a script which I loved but it was swiftly apparent to me to be too ambitious at the moment. I shelved it and decided to novelize the story for publication through my label, LCL. Then I wrote another entire screenplay within the following two weeks -- a very Hammeresque story which I also really liked -- and again decided it, too, was beyond my present means both materially and logistically. So there I was with two freshly completed screenplays in a period of four weeks but still no script I could shoot, as pleased as I was with my prolific month as a writer. Over the next few weeks, I developed two additional treatments, during which it was obvious I was trying to bring out a particular story. Ultimately, what became Chthonic has direct elements from the second script and the treatments. The story I crafted is finally something I can do, though not without a couple of relative challenges which I look forward to.

I don't want to say too much regarding plot specifics until a trailer has been released. I plan to release a short trailer at the Hell's Bells premier event, so we're focusing on certain scenes in the next couple of weeks of shooting. Haunting is the main theme; personal haunting. The two main characters are haunted by their pasts, each in different ways.

It also happens that ghosts and such are the easiest scary things to pull off on a microbudget. Fortunately also, the concept of the super-store helps in that department. When I was a kid there was no such thing as a year-round Halloween shop where all sorts of great costume, make-up and set dressings can be purchased by the enterprising filmmaker. Chthonic is not a gory movie (I don't do that) so if you like spooky atmospheric style, it's a movie you'll really want to see. I must say that some of the things I did visually with Hell's Bells will likely find their way into Chthonic, where visual style is concerned. The new film will be in black and white, for starters. There will be more scenes requiring set up visuals as I'm working on a Val Lewton/Jacques Tourneur-meet-Herk Harvey vibe, at the moment. As always, one cannot exactly predict what will come from the filmmaking process, so I can't tell you what to expect beyond these style allusions. What I like about the process is what is created as I shoot and I've just started, so all I can honestly say is that it's going to be an attempt at a stylish horror movie about ghosts.

Well, there's my insomniac's report on Chthonic for today. I'll bet you're glad to read about anything but the Hell's Bells premier event!.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Update On Final Progress of Movie Post Production

You guys have been seeing so many posts here promoting Hell's Bells, I thought I'd share some actual comments about how post production is going.

I finished getting all the necessary elements included into the visual story. Taking a month off from doing anything -- not even looking at it! -- did wonders for me and the film. Where I'm at presently is cutting and pacing, specifically I'm doing the fun stuff. Because this is a silent film set in the late 1920s, I'm adding some touches typical of the experience of films of that decade. Remember, this film is homage rather than pastiche. I'm taking the liberty of using authentic touches where I see fit. The fun touches will actually serve to bring the film in around 50 minutes, which is ideal for the premier audience. Once I get the pacing the way I want it, then I'll be doing things like playing with the contrast and adding scratches and diffusion.

Tonight I'm burning the latest cut onto DVD with the actual Joseph Farrell scores because I want to watch it as I would any other movie. I haven't seen anything but the first rough cut of 67 minutes on anything other than a computer monitor and in sections, so I look forward to a straight through viewing.

I'm looking at the premier as a test screening. There are several people attending who will give me their honest comments, as well as attendees who I'll lean an ear toward after the show. From this I can tweak whatever I need to before committing to a final cut for distribution. I am anxious to get the film submitted to the Lovecraft festival in Portland, though, but I don't want to rush that either. Above all else, I want the film to be entertaining and people who have seen even the lengthy 67 minute cut without any touches but the B&W say it is. I'll be viewing it with three members of the cast this coming week -- the three who haven't seen it yet -- so it'll be interesting to see their reactions.

Well, I gotta back to the editing station. I wanted to post something other than a promo tonight. More to follow...

Thursday, November 1, 2012