Tuesday, November 29, 2016
In a week or two I'm going to present my plan to Mark. Either I go forward with my stand alone T-tory, and he can begin planning his and Dan's, or I move forward with my own anthology not related to it.
I've already finished the wrap for T-tory 2(and sent it to Zig for notes), and am finishing up the first segment's script. The good news is that this segment isn't T-tory specific, so I can simply use it if I go do my own anthology.
Once I'm done the first draft of that segment, will start looking at some other segments I can write. Like I said, I have some ideas that I have to flesh out into scripts. I figure 80 pages of stuff and I'm good to go.
I mean, other than the fact that some of this shit is pretty ambitious. The segment I'm finishing up is really gonna stress my brain on how to make it not look super shitty.
Friday, November 25, 2016
Then Home For the Holidays. It's sobering to think that movie came out in 1995, which was the last time I watched it. Actually saw it at the Senator Theater premiere when Jodie Foster came to town for it(it was shot in Baltimore).
If you'd told 25 year old me that I would have not just one movie, but three, premiering at that exact same theater I'd have told you that you were nuts. At that point I hadn't even considered directing. I was writing screenplays then, and had maybe taken a few film classes.
Here's a pic of me and my girlfriend at the time(now wife) when we went to it. Jesus, look at how young and dumb I was. With a terrible suit to boot.
Anyway, I think my opinion of the movie's still about the same. It's not bad. Weird title breaks.
Had a chance to watch a screener of In The Deep. I have no fucking idea what the studio is thinking burying this flick. Especially after seeing The Shallows make big dough. This movie's as good as that movie. My wife actually screamed at one shot in the flick. And if those sharks are CGI, they are freaking great.
Now watching The Truman Show. Haven't seen it since it came out. It's on Am-zon Prime. It's actually a really well-done flick. Great idea, smart script, with some good acting.
Speaking of watching, maybe I addressed this before. I've had thoughts about maybe doing webisodes of HH. My buddy Luke had even suggested basically every episode shows Aric(I'd have to recast him) killing someone in a new and clever way. Basically a how-to kill people show.
Under-30 me wouldn't have hesitated.
But I gotta tell you, 46 year old me does. For instance...I came up with a pretty incredible way to kill a lot of people, and in a way that would CHANGE THE WORLD. I'm not exaggerating. If someone actually did this--and it's fairly easy to do, and get away with--then every single one of us in this country would find certain things in their life changing in an effort to stop this from ever happening again.
Do I put that in a webisode? Where some dickhead could pick it up and do it?
You may be like..."But hey...what about those serial killers who had your movie? Don't you feel bad about that?"
I do not, because they weren't aping my movie in their killings. They just gravitated toward my movie because it obviously feels authentic, and they could identify with it.
But if someone, for instance, goes out and kills people in a movie theater the way my guy does...well, it wouldn't make me feel great. Unless he killed them all because they were texting in a movie. Then I'd feel great.
So if I did this webisode series, and somebody DID kill people with a method I devised...while I might not feel TERRIBLE about it like most people, I wouldn't exactly feel good.
Censoring myself, though, feels pretty shitty too. As an "artist"--a title I have a hard time using on myself, but still do begrudgingly--should we worry about stuff like this?
Dunno. I miss my sociopathic under-30-year-old self. He didn't give a shit about ANYTHING.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
See, I feel like there may definitely be a window on Am-zon for getting your flicks up there and making some cash. Their deal could change, or more probably, there will just be so much competition on there that it will be ten times as hard to get it up the charts.
And to have any shot at making your money back, you NEED it to get up those charts.
Now the easiest thing to do, as I said before, is T-tory 2. Problem is, the more I think about it, the less I want to do it with other people's stuff in it.
The reasons are multiple, but let's start here:
1) Even if I only do the wrap and one or two segments, I'll end up editing the whole thing, having to do all the post work, get it captioned, get it up on Am-zon, work the socials and other tricks to get it up the charts. And at our current split I'd only be getting about half the profits. Doing 95% of the work to get 50% of the money doesn't sound like something I want to do.
2) It dilutes my product. On the one hand, it is interesting to see different styles in an anthology. On the other hand, I feel like I've now taken their basic concept and really applied some mythology and rules to the whole thing. The wraparound for the sequel that I wrote really fleshes some stuff out.
I don't feel like other people will play in my sandbox as well as I would. Just like I wouldn't play in their sandbox as well as they would.
3) Convenience. Let's face it--working with other people isn't that convenient. They're not on my timeline. I was getting bits and pieces of the last segment right up to within weeks of the premiere. I know I'm reliable, and I know I get shit done. Other things in my life suffer, but I will get the movie done, you can count on that.
4) I have the feeling that if we get other people to do segments, I'm going to have a repeat of the first film. Meaning, I'm gonna have to go out and shoot them all, shot list them all, and in general make sure they don't suck too bad. Then someone else's name gets put on the Director card for that segment. I did it on the first film, and I'm fine with it, but that doesn't mean I want to do it again.
But I came up with an idea that appeals to me greatly, that solves my issue. I think I'm gonna hit the boys up with it soon and see what they say. They may get offended, but life's tough.
My idea is this: Let's do TWO T-Tory movies, shot nearly back to back. (or as close as they can to mine) One will be all me, with the exception of a segment that's already been written and I'm going to help shoot. The other will be the other two T-tory guys and whoever they wanna bring on. I will help in whatever way I can other than directing or shooting the segments.
Basically, I'd be doing T-Tory 2 and they'd be doing T-tory 3.
I fully expect them to not like this idea, because I believe they understand that they may not be up to the task. Their problem is that I can do this without them(and have 5 times). Granted, T-tory is their baby, but I'm fully able to go shoot my own anthology. The segment I'm working on right now for T-tory 2 can easily NOT be set in the T-tory. Frankly, it's not even mentioned in the dialogue.
So we'll see what happens. I'm also seriously thinking about trying to kickstart the vampire script. Shoot the opening scene for the video presentation.
Am probably going to order this drone before the end of the year, so I can include it in this year's tax write offs.
All the reviews I've seen are very positive, and it'll only cost me about $1100 total for the drone and an extra battery. Then, say goodbye to ever carrying crane counter-weights around ever again.
Wait list is over a month long though.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Last Man On Earth
You're The Worst
Ash Vs Army of Darkness
American Horror Story
This is just some of them. I've fallen quite a bit behind in many of them. This doesn't count any of the funny shows I watch, like Colbert, Last Week Tonight, @midnight, etc.
So one more black mark on it--as I'm trying to catch up on TV, I really can't concentrate on writing. I gotta shut the TV off, dive back into some of these scripts I've been working on for years, and get them done.
BUT...so much TV to catch up on, and you know which of those two choices is easier? Yep, TV.
On the Just-When-You-Think-You-Understand-Selling-On-Amazon front: Sold probably 25 copies of the book through October. I think I had the price at like $32.95. Probably made about $125.
(they could have bought a copy on eBay that I sell for $27.99)
On November 2nd I figured--Halloween's over, why not jack the price up to $39.95 and see if someone buys the eBay one.
You know what? They did. Then I checked my Amazon, and they had sold TWO copies at the outrageous price of $39.95
Couple days later I check back and we've now sold SIX copies at that price. In November. I've probably made over $60 at that price point.
So why, every time I raise my price on Amazon, do I tend to sell books? It's kind of weird. If it's as simple as changing the price gets us put into some "new" column, then why don't we get sales like this when we LOWER the price?
On the Whose-An-Idiot front, I climbed up on my roof on Monday to try to get some cool time-lapse of the supermoon. Turns out it was all cloudy, and you couldn't even see the moon.
Then I'm driving home from dinner tonight and see the moon, and it's BIG. I get home and climb back up, shoot some shots. But it's so low the trees are in the way, and the higher it gets, the smaller and brighter it gets.
So didn't get any great stuff. Was pretty cold though.
You can see the bunch here(note--no super moon in the 1st two because clouds):
Monday, November 07, 2016
Just a note though, in addition to the couple of scripts I mentioned, there's also:
--Wounded Creature. Could I do it for 20K? Maybe. It's not that complicated, but involves some CGI that I'd want to be very cool. On the bad front, it's a very strange, surreal movie open to various interpretations.
Given my low opinion of a lot of Am-Zon viewers, I'd expect more "Terrible--doesn't make sense to my pea-brain" reviews.
--There's also the "Trailer Park" horror script that's sort of like Stand By Me, but with a supernatural horror slant. I've only done about 25 pages of it--been working on it here and there for almost 10 years now.
I feel like I keep having this problem where I'm now so used to writing scripts I plan on directing that I may be writing "down" in terms of things that could happen. Meaning, I'm always like "What might I actually be able to get the resources/locations for in order to shoot this?"
Which leads to scenes and scripts that aren't as good as they could be. I mean, yeah, maybe I want a big car chases with a spectacular crash at the end, but...never gonna happen on the budgets I'm working on. For fuck's sake, you couldn't get an okay new car with the entire budget of T-tory...
On the H-ween anthology front, I was mulling it over. Maybe I do whatever I want. Like a Kentucky Fried Movie, but not comedy. So, no wraparound or through story. No set number of segments or lengths.
I have some very short script ideas, like two minute long ones, for instance. Maybe I call it Tales For Halloween Night or something(might be too close to the Tales of Halloween title), and just make some of them set on Halloween, which frees me to work on the others whenever I want.
Just spitballing to myself, and putting it here so I remember it.
Note: Maybe make it "Terrors For Halloween Night". Dunno.
Sunday, November 06, 2016
Otherwise, why bother?
This is gonna get rambley. You've been warned.
Starting to think about what's next on the movie thing. My choices are:
1) Give up. This appeals to me. I'm not as young as I used to be. Doing all this stuff isn't easy.
2) Shoot another anthology. Either T-tory2 or perhaps an anthology based around Halloween stories. That actually appeals to me more than T-tory 2, because of how much I love Halloween. The bigger issue will be how to do you shoot 5 stories set during Halloween without shooting it all in October? I have no idea.
T-tory2 would probably be the easier option, seeing that I have the wrap-around already written and a decent idea for one of the other stories. We'd go the same way as before--we need three, maybe four other filmmakers. (One is already lined up--I'd be shooting it to ensure less suckitude)
Downside to this is that I'd be doing 90% of the work for far less money. On T-tory 1, we will split the profits evenly--6 stories means 100% divided by 6, with each director getting 16.66% of whatever we make once the budget is paid back.
Since I did four stories, I get 16.66 X 4...66.64% of all profits come my way. It's decent, but given that, again, I did 90% of the work on this thing and am dealing with distribution side of the whole thing.
Do I want to do this again for less? I can already tell you that I'm not signing up for this unless I get at least 50% of the profits for part 2, and that's assuming I only do the wrap and one other story. (the wrap is actually going to be around 35 minutes long this time--probably 30% of the movie)
Man, this is a lot to read. How about another picture of boobs?
Okay, those are the first two choices.
#3) Do a feature. This is probably the hardest option. Okay, probably the second-hardest option after #1--who am I kidding, I'll quit when I'm dead.
Feature-wise I don't have anything right now I can do for $10K, which is about the max I think I'll have from my Amazon earnings after I get raped by the tax man. (and frankly it'll probably be less than that, because I'm seeing the total earnings but I have to pay back John and Tom from Bounty, and Dan and Mark from T-tory)
Which means I try to raise MORE money for a feature, but even then...what? Even if I could get to $20K, do I have something I could do?
--There's the vampire flick. Not sure I could do this for $20K unless I can figure out a way to build cheap "sewer" sets. Cheap, but not cheap-looking, and fairly long too.
--There's the flick I was calling "Backyard", that's sort of a weird, personal ghost story. I kidded a while back about calling it "Autasm". It's not completely finished, but I could probably do this for $20K. I'd have to kick my family out of the house for the shoot since it's set here. That would be problematic, but doable. This doesn't have the mass-appeal that the vampire flick would have.
--There's a Halloween horror flick I've been working on for a couple of years. I've written about 45 pages of it. Could finish a draft pretty quick if I thought this was happening. $20K is tight on this one. Needs a lot of locations(houses/neighborhoods) and an abandoned asylum that a guy jumps out the window of.
That's really just about it. I'd feel pretty confident of the vampire one in terms of popularity and getting a lot of views on Am-zon. It's a fun, scary return to the days of Lost Boys and Fright Night. Has some characters I really grew to love...
Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts.
Any way I look at it, I gotta start getting my ducks in a row. Especially if it ends up being a Halloween thing. That means I gotta be ready to shoot it in October--all of it that involves major Halloween backgrounds or decorations.
Watched Scout's Guide to the Apocalypse. Thought it was a fun horror movie. Even my wife liked it. I thought it would make a good double-feature with Cooties, so I went ahead and played that for my wife.
She liked that too. I find myself gravitating toward the more fun horror flicks lately. The long, drawn-out bleak ones...just don't hold my interest right now.
Monday, October 31, 2016
Took the kid out trick or treating, and once again I don't know what's WITH people, but tons of people coming out before it's even close to dark.
Then actual houses turning off their lights at like 7:45, out of candy I guess.
Seriously...do you remember trick or treating? Fuck man, we were out until at least 9:30pm, sometimes 10pm. NOBODY went out before dark.
Kid dressed as a DJ this year. Wife helped him make a cardboard turn table and taped on some strobe lights, that were actually pretty obnoxious. Annoyed kids who were that height who would get blinded, or people sitting on steps out front giving out candy whose faces were level with the lights as he came up.
All in all, pretty funny.
Watched Halloween 4, second year in a row. It's not a bad movie, not a great one, but it's just one that's on my computer. Lazy lazy. Don't wanna go have to put the blu rays in.
The wife and I watched The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown--neither of us has seen it in about 20 years. It seems super bizarre now. Funny in a lot of places. But we didn't remember it being so disjointed...or Charlie Brown getting rocks...why would people give him rocks? I dunno, made us laugh though.
Sorta wanna make a horror anthology set on Halloween, but how do you do that? Either you get people to decorate their houses(your sets) with Halloween stuff on the off season, or you try to film the whole thing in October...
I guess both are possible, but both present their own challenges. And I don't necessarily have stories for them yet. Vague ideas, but nothing concrete. One of the segments I had planned for Ttory 2 could be a segment, because it's sorta of Halloween based.
OR, I could finish the feature I've been writing that's set during the holiday, but I'm just not sure I can do a feature like that for under 10K, which is basically what we need to stay at to ensure we're profitable on A-zon.
Don't know. I really wish I was back in my 20's again, because I could really get some shit done. But fuck am I starting to feel my age...