Friday, March 31, 2006

I feel it...

The weather's changing. I can smell the approaching summer.

It feels like moviemaking weather. I'm starting to get excited.

See, when you start putting a movie together it's a lot of worry. I have a hard time sleeping. The sheer of amount of work to be done is staggering. And it's all you can think about.

Then the pieces start falling into place(hopefully). You get what you want, or you change what you want to what you can get. You watch your movie in your mind 100 times to figure out the best way to shoot each scene for maximum impact.

And then, very soon, you shoot a movie.

Hurdles completed: Most of casting, located a new makeup artist(when your movie's about clowns and you have no one to paint the clowns...I was in a bad place for a while), have completed 3(of 5) headcasts

Hurdles to be completed(the short list): Figure out how to burn a car safely and--more importantly--controllably so that we can keep continuity okay--it wouldn't do to have the fire large in one scene, then small, then large again.

Also gotta get plane tickets for everybody. There's some equipment to be gotten, some lighting tests, have to get insurance so we can get clearance for some of the locations, then have to scout a few small locations.

Doing some of it today. Check the KKF forum for pics later if you care.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

You know what I'd LOVE to see?

A script by Rod Serling directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Sometimes I fantasize that there's an alternate world where they both lived a little longer...long enough to collaborate on that movie.

Man, THAT would be a movie, wouldn't it?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Mainstream. Unapologetic.

Some people think because I'm a low-budget director that I'm a totally indy guy. That when a blockbuster movie's coming down the pike, well, I should get in line to rant about how much money Hollywood is throwing at the wall.

Many think that perhaps I'm striving to create the next "new" thing, the "new" look, the "new" genre, something that will be so DIFFERENT in its newness that I will be lauded as the freshest new writer/director since Steven Soderbergh.

Sorry to disappoint you, but I really just want to make mainstream movies.

Maybe that surprises you. Maybe it doesn't. But what I really want is Steven Spielberg's career.

Spielberg's not particularly ground-breaking. His movies, for the most part, are mainstream and always have been.

But what makes him so great(and yeah, I'm simplifying a LOT) is he's very good at picking scripts(and reworking them in many cases), and then he directing them so that the shots never gets in the way of the movie.

Like, have you ever seen a shot in a Spielberg movie that made you stop and go "Woah, cool shot!"? Probably not. That's not to say his movies aren't good looking(thank you , Janusz), but there are no "flashy" camera shots. His camera moves in the best interests of the story.

Think Fincher, who does it a lot now--the shots where the camera cranes very fast through the floors of a building or rockets into a pipe and comes out the other end. Any of those shots that pull you out of the movie because of the technical brilliance of the shot.

Spielberg doesn't do those. He makes entertaining movies.

That's what I want to do. Horror. Suspense. Fantasy. Western. My interests are broad. But I'm not one of those people who feels the need to push the boundaries. To do something different just because it's different.

Mainstream doesn't have to mean dumb, you know.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Court Summons

Yeah, I got one. As far as I know they still haven't found the bodies, so I didn't know what it was for.

It's the dreaded...jury duty. Fuuuuuuuuck.

Got one of these about 10 years ago and claimed "Hardship". They let me off. I heard you could only do it once.

So on this one I figured I'd try it again. Most of you probably don't know that they've diagnosed my kid as autistic. You can hold the "Aw, so sorry", etc stuff. If you saw the kid you really wouldn't believe it.

His entire diagnosis rests on the fact that he's not talking and he's almost 3 years old. (Except, now he's starting to say stuff) He doesn't act slow. If you tell him to go get his shoes he will bring them back. If you say NO he'll usually stop what he's doing.

Anyway, I figured the autistic card had to be good for something. So I typed up an excuse about having to take care of my autistic son while my wife works.

We'll see if it works. If it doesn't, I'll simply state my overly prejudiced opinions when I get to the courthouse. The prosecutor would love me("Dunno, but he sure looks guilty."), but I can't imagine any defender would want me on the panel.

The date's not 'til April 18th--I'll let you know if I get out.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

In Search Of

I consider myself something of a Tweener. Back in the old days(70's and older) there was a sense of mystery about everything.

We thought there might be life on other planets in our solar system(Mars--many weird aliens came from there!). We thought radiation could mutate things(and people) into different things. We thought Bigfoot and UFOs and the Abominable Snowman were all possibilities.

Somewhere in the 80's and 90's that all changed. The attitude today is a bit more cynical. We know there's no real life on any other planets in our solar system. We've pretty much explored the earth and no one believes we're really going to find Bigfoot. We know radiation kills and doesn't mutate ants into giant versions of themselves.

I'm in between on those attitudes; hence, the Tweener.

I used to love the show "In Search Of". My brother and I couldn't get enough of the Bigfoot and Loch Ness Monster stories. We didn't know if it was for real, but it was great to think that it might be possible. The ...wonder of those possibilities was childhood magic. Pure imagination food.

Nowadays the wonder is harder to find. And as a moviemaker you have to know that your audience is far less forgiving than in the old days. Just look at what the scriptwriter of The Hulk felt he had to do to justify Bruce Banner's mutation into the green goliath. ("Nobody believes gamma radiation will do it anymore...so let's say he had a bunch of reptile genes spliced into him as a child, and that PLUS the radiation. That's far more believeable!")

But regardless of that, part of me from the old days still exists. I still TIVO all of the Discovery Channel specials about the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot. I'm still hoping maybe they find Nessie--wouldn't that put a big crimp in today's cynicism!

Friday, March 17, 2006

I dunno...

...where do I start?

We're entering the MASSIVE part of preproduction where you pretty much plan for EVERYTHING. A lot of people don't realize it, but making a movie is 95% preproduction.

We're casting, we're nailing down locations, we're figuring out how to do everything I've written in the script(and the funny part is how many of the people read the script ask me "How you gonna do that?"--yeah, I'm aiming high again)

I was once told it's better to aim high and miss than aim low and hit. I don't know. The feeling of disappointment I got when I was done FOC and it wasn't as good as I had imagined...kinda sent me into a funk.

But here I go once again, and maybe this time I'll get closer to what I was going for. Already though I'm making compromises; there have been a couple of roles I simply couldn't find what I was looking for, so I had to either take a decent actor who looked nothing like the role, or an unknown quantity that has a good pedigree(meaning, they've been in some "name" movies and having their name in my picture can boost my visibility).

Pretty soon we'll have the casting announcements on the KKF message boards.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Fuck


Pardon the language. I ain't happy.

Here's the thing: I've been watching the top 10 direct-2-dvd charts for months now. The rentals have been fairly non-impressive, so I had high hopes that FOC could crack the top 10.

Well, I just got the top 10 and FOC ain't there. You know why? Because every effin' sequel in the world(including some Disneys) came out in the past month and who can compete with that?

Stuart Little 3. Bambi 2(are you kidding me? Who needs a sequel to that?) The Prince and Me 2. American Pie Presents Band Camp. (essentially American Pie 3.5) Dungeons & Dragons 2.

I had assumed there would be a couple on the list, but not that many. I shouldn't be TOO unhappy. FOC was number 11, so it only JUST missed the list. But still.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Ok, I gotta warn ya...

I'm about 10 weeks away from shooting FOC2, so if you used to check this blog like every day, you might wanna check it every week from now on. I'm not going to get as much time for it as I have had.

In other news, it appears we're about to cast a pretty meaty role in the film with a guy who was actually IN a Halloween movie! (though it was Halloween 6--but still!)

And I'm not talking as an extra, though the role WAS small. He played a guy who gets killed by Michael Myers!(he has a couple of lines before old Mike does him in)

So that's where I'm at.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Lycanthrope

Some people ask me whether I would ever direct anything I hadn't written. The answer is, mostly, no.

But you know what? If the right script came along I'd probably do it.

You know what sub-genre I LOVE? There was a great slate of 80's horror movies out in heavy cable rotation when I was growing up. I couldn't get enough of them. (This was back when cable consisted of only HBO and Showtime)

Wolfen. The Howling. American Werewolf in London.

Maybe it was my love of the original "Wolfman". I still have fond memories of "I Was A Teenage Werewolf." I even enjoyed "Teen Wolf". I couldn't get enough of the werewolf.

I still love him to an extent. "Wolf" almost buried it. "American Werewolf in Paris" didn't help.

The werewolf hasn't gotten great treatment in the past ten years. "Dog Soldiers" and "Ginger Snaps" were exceptions, especially D.S., which did to werewolves what "Aliens" did to...well, aliens.

So I'd love to do a good werewolf movie. But "Ginger Snaps" shows why it's so hard to do a good one. It was decent, but the actual werewolf was horrible--it looked big-time fake.

If you can't come up with an excellent werewolf costume/effects then you're screwed no matter how good your story is. And that kind of costume/effect typically takes more than a low-budget movie has to offer.

What I'm getting at though, is that if a good enough werewolf script came across my desk, I'd think about directing it. I'd have to find the money to get a great costume, but I'd seriously think about.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Wow, Part Deus

Ok, I know you all are sick of congratulating me so you can hold those. But I couldn't resist posting about this.

Entertainment Weekly #867(the one with the Sopranos on the cover) actually mentions FOC in their "Also In Stores" section.

They only mention 3 movies, and FOC is one of them.

Holy shit. EW's readership averages 1.7 million a week. I couldn't pay for that kind of press. You can see the blurb if you go to the KKF website and click on Press.

I'm genuinely excited. On the "Making Of" Mark even jokes as he reads a copy of EW that "He's reading about FOC in this week's EW". Never thought it would really happen.

For a brief moment, inside my head I am no longer killing people. I'm jumping up and down with excitement.

Whoops, the moment's gone. Now I'm killing people again.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Supernatural

Anyone watching this show?

I watch it because...well, I'm a horror guy. I'll watch anything horror if it's well done. And Supernatural is always pretty slick. Many of the stories are knock offs of other movies, but the bottom-line story is this:

The mother of two young sons is killed by a demon--a demon that levitated her to the ceiling and then set her on fire. Fast forward like 15 years into the future. The husband of the woman is hunting the demon that killed his wife, and his sons have also taken up the fight against all things supernatural.

The show focuses on the sons--one reluctant(Jared Padelecki) and the other gung-ho tough but hunky(Jensen Ackles)--as they tour the country hunting down mystical baddies, all the while keeping an eye out for their father who's kind of missing.

Now, the show has had some crappy episodes. At times it lacks a driving force. But the standout has to be Jensen Ackles--his character at first seemed to be a one-note guy: Hi, I'm good looking and badass, and I love hunting supernatural beasties.

But recently they've given him a heart, and he's played incredibly well by an actor I thought had no range. One episode had him and his brother figuratively against the wall--seemingly helpless. Jensen tells his brother he's gotta go take a piss and instead he goes around the corner and dials his father's voicemail. The pleading message he leaves for his father, claiming that he doesn't know what to do and he needs help was in stark contrast to how the character acts.

The fact that he did it behind his brother's back really struck a note of realism; you can't show how vulnerable you are to your younger brother. Stay tough.

And this week's episode really stood out. Producer and writer Eric Kripke clearly has a firm grip on the characters. The banter between brothers was finally beginning to kick in, with more than a few laugh-out-loud moments, and they've finally begun a broad arc about the demons who are now out to kill their father before he can hunt THEM down. There are some geniunely surprising moments in this episode.

If you haven't been checking it out, or had left because it took some time going, I'd say come back and take a look. Watch this past week's episode. It's been the best yet.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Yeah, another FOC post


I mentioned that FOC hit 192 on the imdbpro list--that may not sound impressive. I mean, 192 isn't exactly #1 now is it?

So I checked to see what else is on the list near my flick. If you want to see if for yourself, click HERE

The image capture of the list is above, I don't know if you'll be able to read it. I'll give you the highlights though.

FOC is higher on the list than Rumor Has It(a $43 million dollar picture) and Derailed(a $36 million dollar picture starring Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston). Within 15 places of FOC is Steven Spielberg's War of The Worlds, starring the little-known Tom Cruise. The Fog and A History Of Violence(the film my buddy is nominated for an Oscar for) are all near FOC.

So it's amazing that FOC is near movies of that caliber(and when I say caliber, I mean, movies that cost roughly 1000 times the cost of FOC).

A little FYI. Sorry for the mass of FOC posts, but this is the week for it. I swear, next week we'll be back to lurid stories from my past...

My thoughts on FOC(in no particular order)

Please take note that any complaints I make here are totally overshadowed by the fact that my movie was released by Lionsgate.

$22.99 for a dvd at Best Buy that doesn't have recognizable stars is a bit much.

For that matter it appears that all of the Best Buys WAY underordered(about 3 copies per store)

The menus on the disc kind of blow, and there's a TON of extras they didn't include. But the movie is VERY high quality, and so are the extras they included. The "Making Of" is every bit as sharp as the film itself.

Blockbuster also apparently didn't go as heavy as I expected. Most of the ones in this area are carrying between 6-10 copies. My wife informed me of this when I woke up--she'd gone EVERYWHERE looking to see how many each store had.

In the cool news department, Hollywood Video seems to be the best outlet for FOC. The two stores near me had 32 copies and 20 copies. Yeah, you read that right. 32 FREAKIN' COPIES of my movie!

Very sweet. I'm holding my breath that the flick makes it on the top 10 direct-2-dvd movies of the week. If it does, you can bet I'll post it here.