Sunday, May 27, 2012

Vampire Script Done!



2:40am on Monday morning.  

First draft at least. But like I said, my first drafts are like fifth or sixth drafts for other people. I'm always going through revising during, and since it's taken me some time to finish this, I have done a lot of revising.

Got it in at 89 pages, which is perfect. There's about 25 on-screen vampire deaths, a lot of gunfire from shotguns, some explosions, a lot of complicated FX.

In other words, I have no idea how to do this on pretty much no budget.

But I like it a lot. Got some good characters, some funny stuff.

Now I can resume my movies!

'Nother Awesome-Movie Weekend


Wife took the kid to the beach. You know what that means? Another awesome-movie weekend. You might remember the last one 'cause it wasn't that long ago. Like, weeks ago.

I'm writing, but in between I'm getting time to view some flicks I haven't seen in a while:
TMNT(1990): Man, this movie was a ton of fun when I first saw it. Hard to believe I was 20 years old. It's still fun, but the dvd transfer isn't great.
What Lies Beneath: Still a great movie with a great score. And did you know who wrote it? Bet you didn't. It's Agent Coulson from the Avengers. Yeah, for real. He's written a couple of movies, but now he's an actor.
Tremors 2: Still an above-average direct-to-dvd movie. The dvd transfer is pretty crappy though. I should note all of these are dvd watches, unlike the Blu Rays of before. I don't even know if most of these HAVE a blu-ray.
Wargames: Another movie I haven't watched in like 20 years. Am watching it now, so may update it soon.
  **Wow, it's the dude from West Wing with Michael Madsen!
  ** Arcades! I miss arcades...man, Broderick and Sheedy are so young...forgot how cute Sheedy was.
  ** Saw this when I was big time into programming. Made my own games on my Atari 800XL. Spent so many HOURS writing code, designing graphics...sometimes I think about hooking my old Atari back up to see if it still works(Yeah, still have it).
  ** Man, I miss the sound of those old keyboards.
  ** Wow...scene where they see Professor Falken. Broderick says "He's dead." Sheedy says "He didn't look that old." He says "He was 41." She thinks it over, says "Oh yeah, that's old." I don't remember finding that funny at all, 'cause when I saw that all those years ago I thought the same thing. Now that I am 41, I still agree. It's just funny now. (in a sad, sad way)
On tap to watch next: Arachnophobia

Also, GOH was accepted to a film festival in Kentucky based on the trailer and my resume alone. I don't know whether to view it as positive(about the trailer and me) or a negative(how bad can this festival be?). They'd make me a guest and give me a table if I show up. Thinking about it.


If nothing else, I WILL finish the vamp script this weekend. Even if I have to force myself to turn off the TV until I do it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Weird Happenstances


Well...got some weird idea in the shower yesterday about a new angle on distribution. I'd tell you more about it, but it's still percolating and also you'll try to steal it. So not yet, ya goddamn thieves.

Then I get a call from the most dangerous man on earth. I won't name his name or it might summon him. Anyway, you might remember that I did a script for him.

Basically he brought an idea with the first 17 pages set in Mexico and said it should be a fight movie with the rest set in Cambodia. Had some chat sessions with he and his wife, and then I went off and wrote about 78 pages of stuff. We went back and forth on it, I finally passed it back when they wanted to make a few changes I didn't really agree with.

Not angry or anything. I was very happy with where it was, and not so happy with where they'd take it, but it's their thing. I did it as a favor for Tom, who came out and busted his ass for me for free on Bounty.

I pays my debts.

Anyway, hadn't heard much about it so I figured they couldn't get funding. Tom's been busy on a CRAPLOAD of stuff, from Tarantino's new flick to a couple of movies with Jeffrey Dean Morgan to the new GI Joe(that just got pushed back) and more.

Also, crazy health problems I won't go into, but suffice it to say that I learned tonight that he has actually been clinically dead at least two times. A doctor claimed recently that he died again on the operating table, but Tom told me that's bullshit "Because I died twice before, and this one didn't feel like those."

You see, even God can't kill this guy.

Sometime in the past two years Tom met a fairly well-known producer who needed a favor from Tom, so Tom passed her the script. Apparently she's interested enough that they hired a REAL screenwriter to come in and touch up that script.

NOW it may be moving forward so Tom called me to find out how much money would be acceptable for him to agree to since we three would be splitting the dough(me, Tom and his wife--the screenwriter was already paid VERY well to do his touch up).

So if it goes forward, could be a decent paycheck and Tom says our names WILL stay on the screenplay.

He sent me the new version. Dunno. Still think my version is much better. A lot of the great lines have been taken out, which is fine because I'll just put them in a future script. But honestly I don't think anyone's moving forward with this script.

I guess we'll see.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

BOB Convention Part 3


Forgot to mention that Tiffany has a friend come down from New York. The guy's sister used to babysit Tiffany. He's friendly, but pretty round and chatty. And the problem is, Tiffany's gonna go to bed at like 10pm, and we're gonna be stuck with him.

So anyway, we all hit this restaurant. They don't have a table for 6 available right then, so we just split in booths that are across from each other. Vernon, Tiff and her friend in one booth, me, Zig and Anne in the other.


The waitress comes over and Vernon makes a joke, and Tiffany acts embarrassed and says, "DAD!", then turns to the waitress and says apologetically, "He tries to be funny, and young." It was HYSTERICAL...I wish it had been videotaped.

She was always fucking with Vernon, but he was a great sport. Tiffany went to the bathroom, and came back a few minutes later. The waitress came back with drinks and then stopped, looked at Vernon. "Hey...were you in Mad Max?"

He smiles and says "Road Warrior". She nods, then says "I thought you were dead." His face fell again and we all burst out laughing. Apparently Tiffany had made a pit stop on the way to the bathroom and had promised the waitress a good tip if she did it.

During the dinner Vernon got some bad news. His 9 pound dog had been pepper-sprayed in the face by the mailman. Vernon was pissed and worried. The dog couldn't open its eyes.

We all thought it was pretty crazy that you'd pepper-spray a 9 pound dog...like, as if it could hurt you.

Meal over, I got the waitress to bring both checks to me, so I bought dinner for everybody. Hell, it was only like $130 for all six of us. More than worth it for the good time I was having over the weekend.

We got back to the hotel, thinking that there was supposed to be a Scares That Care party/auction. Apparently something happened, they couldn't get into the room, so it was called off.

We sort of hung around in the bar area, drinking some more massively-large vodka cranberries I'd made in my room. We tried to go back into the room with the band, but for some reason they wouldn't let us bring our drinks in tonight. Weird.

Back at the bar Vernon has showed up after going to the business center to do something. Jake Busey came by and chatted with us for a while. Seemed like a decent guy, pretty grounded. I mean, I guess it doesn't take much to seem grounded next to your dad, Gary Busey...

Met up with another local film guy from DC--we're Facebook friends, but I've never met him. We're all pretty drunk, and it sort of turns into a bash local filmmaker-hacks kind of thing. Fun, but we'll see if he tells people about it. Personally, I don't give a shit.

Noah Hathaway comes by and we have a laugh at the fit he pitched in the restaurant. I repeated, you had to ruin it for all of us, didn't you? He laughed, seemed much cooler than the previous night.

The next day I got up around 11am, hung around and got some pics with Shepis(which Vernon photobombed me on--pretty funny), and then took off.

The ride home seemed to take forever, and I almost had to have Zig stop the car so I could puke. It rained, I slept, we hit a BK on the way home that had a weird looking soda machine with every flavor known to man.

Got home, beat, slept a while. Great weekend though. Well worth it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

You'll Never Guess What I'm Doing


Fixing FOC2.

It's...very weird, this revisiting of a movie I shot about 10 years ago. I see tons of stuff I'd do differently, but on the whole I still think we did a pretty good job. Not sure why some people like the first one better, 'cause this movie's 50 times better.

It's more work to fix than I thought though. For some reason, Premiere CS5 really doesn't like Premiere 5.1 project files. I guess I should be happy it imports them at all(looking at you, FCP).

But for some reason it opens the projects and all the clips inside are set to Blend Mode Color. They also have the wrong pixel aspect ratio, so I have to individually click on clips and make them Uniform Scale.

Also, because I've condensed all the FOC2 footage drives onto one drive, I have to relink the files for Premiere after the first load.

Luckily I don't need to redo every scene on an individual level. Most of them I'm just gonna color correct the exported version of the scene, which doesn't require anything other than adding the effect and tweaking it throughout each scene.

The most work is this: I'm gonna fix the crappy audio in a couple of scenes, and then on the basement scenes--which are too dark--I'm gonna export clean copies and then give them a new color treatment.

Then I'll decide whether to up-res to hi-def, or just put it up on Itunes as is. (putting the hi-def up costs about $300 more than SD footage)

And then in my dreams, I'll actually start making REAL money from it! Like, dozens of dollars!

Anyway, for a comparison, check these(1st Pic in each is the uncorrected frame):

Note how muddy the original version is because I more or less
didn't have much idea of what I was doing back then.


Will finish the BOB report next.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

BOB Convention Part 2

Woke up at 9:30am because the sun was screaming in through my window, and it turned out you can't shut these curtains...

Felt like shit, so I walked to the nearby Denny's for breakfast. Then back to the show that was supposed to open at 11am, but they ended up opening at like 11:15am...seemed pretty strange.

The biggest problem at the show is that the Boondock Saints crew had a giant line that blocked the room, the hall, everywhere. They really needed to put them in a separate room so they wouldn't be a traffic jam.


At the Shepis table, I hung around next to Tiff for a while, trying to get rid of my hangover while rehearsing what I'd say to Nathan Baesel. Did I mention that he was literally right behind Shepis and Vernon? So at least I wouldn't have to approach him from the front of the table like the other peons. I know he saw Tiff and I cracking up a few times loudly, so he would think I was either a celebrity also or at least friends with her.

All my speeches sounded pretty lame. "Hey, we're writing a script with you in mind for a part"--I'm sure he's never heard that. I kept revising it, and hoping I felt better soon. I also didn't want to say anything to him in front of Vernon--it's like, "No Vernon, I don't have a part in this for you, but hey Nathan I'm writing a part for you!"

Funny part is, though, that Vernon is like Tom Proctor's Aussie brother. If Tom couldn't commit, we could probably get Vernon for about the same. Frankly, Vernon probably brings more fans but I'm loyal to my man Tom.

Sierra showed up(we had briefly talked to her the night before, pretty drunk but I don't remember much, but she remembers me)--all her pictures and shit got thrown out the night before. They opened the room for the band, so the hotel just chucked her shit. She pitched a hissy fit, like real diva. The con people tried to comfort her.

Funny aside--she billed herself as being in the "upcoming Pirahna 3DD"--look her up on imdb, and she's an "uncredited bather"...

You prolly don't recognize this guy without his mustache...

Zig and Anne showed up around noon. Anne looked pretty bored. She decided to go out and drive around VA beach, see what restaurants were around for dinner later. Zig and I went to the Plan 9 thing--another local guy has done a remake of Plan 9 from Outer Space, and I'd told him we'd come by to check it out.

I dunno. He's done quite a few more movies than me, and does shorts, but his sound was terrible. There was some weird framing issues--2 people looking at each other but both are frame right looking left. Dunno what to tell you.

Then I ran up to the room for a second, but Felissa Rose spotted me at the elevator. Shouted at me. Then some guy stops her as we're chatting, and he wants a picture. She grabs her, says "He's a famous director"(yeah right, I'm thinking), and the guy has no choice but to shoot both of us in the pic. So now some random dude has a pic of me and Felissa, but I don't.

She has a Q&A starting in a couple of minutes, and says "Please come!" I say sure. As I'm walking away she says "We're doing shots tonight!" I say cool.

Couple minutes and a quick bag of potato chips later, I find where they're doing it. Zig shows up shortly later.

The Q&A is okay, but the dude with Felissa--he's from Sleepaway Camp also--is annoying. He's like Jason Mewes mixed with Corey Haim.

Feeling pretty tired, so I'm hoping the vodka will wake me up later. The rest of the day's show is pretty boring.

Hang out with Shepis, talk with Vernon. It's really pretty surreal to be sitting at the table of the guy who I must have watched 100 times when I was in my teens(just counting Road Warrior and Commando, not to mention Weird Science)...and hear some great stories.

On Mel Gibson: Thinks he's getting a raw deal. He was brought in to be interviewed about him, and he told the producers up front he wasn't interested in coming in and talking shit about Gibson. He'd answer questions honestly, but he wasn't there for a hatchet job. Once there, they got him talking, and Vernon said he told a story about how boring the set of Road Warrior was, that there was pretty much nothing to do in the middle of nowhere Australia where they were shooting. This town they were near was nothing but bar after bar.

So one night after filming he and Mel and some other cast/crew went to each bar, did a shot and a beer, moved on to the next bar, and just kept going as long as they could stand. So the interviewer then says to Vernon: "Ah, so he was an alcoholic even then!" Vernon says he took off his mic and said "Interview's over", left. A producer ran out and begged him to come back in, so he did, and then said on camera, "We ALL went drinking. Did you miss the part where I said I was doing a shot and a beer also?"

Vernon clearly still likes Mel, thinks he's insanely talented as an actor and a director. Personally, I agree with that, but I think he's got some major issues. It's not JUST that people are out to get him. Vernon also stops to tell me that Joe Eszterhaus, the screenwriter who just released a Gibson audio tape, is a total asshole. Says he's just pissed that the studio(and Mel) thought his screenplay was shit, and wouldn't do it.

On Commando: He had auditioned but they didn't call him back. Then the night before Commando was to be filmed he got a call from Joel Silver who said, "You've got 24 hours to get back here, you're Bennett". And the rest is history.

Anyway, we break for a second and tell Vernon we're not gonna ditch him tonight. Anne has located some decent restaurants, so we pick one and head out.

The Rest of the Story next!
Ya can't have too many pics with the man!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

BOB Convention Part 1


Arriving at VA Beach...
there's a helicopter over the water doing who knows what?
------------------------

Made last-minute plans to go to the Blood on the Beach horror convention in Va. Beach. The Shep was coming, but more important, another actor I was interested in would be there. I wanted to meet him, maybe try to get contact info so I could pass him the script and an offer when we were ready.

Wednesday(to days before the con), I checked online and it said the hosting hotel was sold out. I made a reservation at a hotel nearby, but then thought I'd call anyway. I called the hotel, and asked if they had rooms for the weekend.

Yes, the lady told me, they had a room. It was $150 a night. I was about to say okay then thought, what the hell? I asked if there were any rooms available for the convention rate. She checked...yes. I booked it.

But in my mind I'm thinking...this con is gonna suck. How do they not sell out of rooms two days before the
show?

Zig and his girl Anne drove. Trip down seemed to go pretty fast.  It's about 4.5 hours away.

Checked into the hotel. Had them funky wave-your-key-card-at-the-door-to-unlock things. I iced down the vodka--the most important thing to do, you know--and went downstairs.

I got a weekend pass and made my way in, and came to the first problem: There was a line to get into the celebrity area. The room was small, so they were only letting a limited amount of people in at a time. Yeah, just to get IN the room, not get shit signed. There was a second line to get stuff signed by the Boondock Saints guys, and that line was even longer.

I took a quick look at the dealer's rooms, which had no line. Same stuff I've seen at every horror con over the years.

Zig shows up, so we bite the bullet and wait in line, getting into the celebrity room. Did I mention it was small? We go over and say hi to Ripple, who's manning the Scares That Care Table. Then over to Shepis' table to shoot the shit. She's sitting next to Vernon Wells, who was Bennett(the bad guy) in Commando, and he was the mohawked bad guy in Road Warrior(and pretty much reprised the role for Weird Science). More on him soon.

The show was pretty packed. A lot of people coming around.

Forgot--as I walked in, they were more or less carrying Sierra Holmes from Scream Queens out because she was so wasted/drugged up. Her table was directly behind Shepis', so we sort of just sat there the whole night. Sierra left all her shit at the table when she got carried out...this would come back later.

Tiff begging me to take a pic with the freaky-costume girl
(with Gizmo on her back for no discernible reason)...

Show ended about nine, and Shepis was starving so we made our way to the hotel's restaurant. Shepis and I got there first, but they were only serving from a really nasty-looking buffet. She talked to the waitress, who said she could order a cheeseburger from the menu. Tiff did.

We sat down, soon joined by Zig and Anne, and then Felissa Rose, star of the cult horror hit Sleepaway Camp. She was a trip...sort of crazy fun, loud and extroverted.

The waitress brought us all menus and said we could order from them. Noah Hathaway, the kid from
Neverending Story, was seated across from us. Tiffany yelled to him, and he saw we had menus and he went
BALLISTIC. Said they told him he couldn't order from the menu, and he had to order the buffet shit.

Meanwhile, another table had gotten menus also. Noah kept raising shit, and soon our waitress came out and took our menus away, and said Sorry, it was buffet only. Noah ruined it for everybody. (And Tiffany shouted that to him--it was pretty funny)

Also, Vernon Wells walked into the restaurant and Tiffany was like, "Oh shit, I forgot Vernon!" She had told
him she'd meet him in the lobby and to wait. He waited 15 minutes. He came over and gave her light-hearted shit for ditching him.

Tiff pipes up, pointing at me, "He's a director!", and Vernon came up behind me, put his hands on my shoulder and said "How come you've never put me on your movies?" And I said, partially joking, "I thought you were dead."

I couldn't see his face but Zig said it fell a little--then everybody cracked up laughing, and he laughed too. And that phrase became a running joke over the weekend.

He's producing something for Felissa and Tiffany, a reality TV show about them--or something. It was hard to figure out what it was in between Felissa yelling "I have a big penis!" If you don't know why she's yelling that, you should go check out Sleepaway Camp.

After dinner I got Zig and I some vodka cranberries and we started drinking. I didn't really plan on drinking too much, but you know how that goes out the window.

Shepis bailed early(and bummed me out) for personal reasons. Bit of a bummer, because I've heard nothing bu the legendary stories of drinking with Shepis, but it wasn't to be.

Vernon hung around and chatted, but he doesn't drink anymore either. Felissa came by the bar and grabbed us, got us into the VIP room where the band was playing, and then proceeded to crack everybody up. Alice Creeper, an Alice Cooper tribute band was playing. They were okay.
Felissa, having fun at the VIP party...
where we learned that she is a munchkin
when she takes off her heels...

Ended up getting pretty drunk. Zig and I got into the elevator to head up for another drink, and Michael Rooker steps in. He's pretty drunk too. I say, "Heeeeeey, Michael Rooker!" He smiles at being recognized.

The elevator gets to my floor and we all get out. Zig says, "Hey, Michael Rooker is on your floor!" and I say,
"And I didn't even have to pay extra!" Rooker laughed pretty hard and came back and high fived me. That's a highlight.

Anyway, end up going to sleep at like 4am.


The view from Tiff's table of Vernon as he chats with a fan. Front views in the next blog!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Awesome Movie Weekend


Wife took the kid to the beach for a couple of days. So I decided to watch some of my favorite movies of all time, all packed together.

Last night I watched Aliens followed by Big Trouble In Little China--we watched them at Luke's house. Then I came home and watched Tremors.

Today, Seven went in the player. Been a while since I saw that...man, what an fuckin' great movie.

Trying to decide what goes in next. Starship Troopers? Total Recall? I'm going through the Blu's I haven't watched yet and trying to decide...I don't have Back to the Future on Blu yet or I might watch those.

Should be writing. I think I'm gonna try very hard to finish the Vamp script this weekend. Am on page 76, and honestly, if it ends up at like 85 pages I'm fine with that.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Premiere, Done

Well, it's over.

The premiere went pretty well. The limo came by and got us--big stretch bad boy, and I only had 6 of us in it. Honestly, I didn't want to invite most of the actors, because let's face: Fuck them.

I wanted to stretch out and relax a little. So I only invited the lead actor, Luke and his wife, and another actor who lives near me and has only a small part in the flick. I invited Zig and his woman, but they turned us down(citing various bullshit reasons).

Got to the theater and mingled with everybody out front. Looked like a decent crowd. I got interviewed by Click on This, an internet show that's local. I was actually pretty nervous when they turned on the light and started, so I hope I don't come off as a total tool. When they post it, I'll post the link.

Then the snafu...the theater manager comes up and says, "You're going to be starting soon?" I'm like, yeah, we'll start between 7:15-7:30. He says, "We have Hunger Games playing at 9:30pm, so I really need you to start soon."

I'm like...dude, I told the corporate guy we'd start by 7:30pm. It was in the contract. He's apologetic, feels bad, but will need to do shit. I tell him fine, I'll get it up on the screen at 7:15pm.

So I start trying to get everybody in the theater. It's nearly sold out, so the theater is crowded. I get up at 7:13pm and say a few words. Thanks for coming, put your cell phones off, drinks across the way afterward.

The movie starts. People are still coming in as it plays...I don't get people who show up at premieres late. You KNOW there's gonna be traffic; it's Baltimore, for fuck's sake.

Movie plays. People clap at the gore(as always), laugh at most of the jokes. I still feel like the movie's 10 minutes too long, but I'm not gonna take a look again for a couple of weeks.

Afterward we got the obligatory congrats from everybody. Scrambled to the bar. Got a shot of vodka from a buddy, and downed it as I waited for my two drinks to come. I two-fisted it all night, and got pretty drunk by the end of the night. Lied my way to a smaller tab too--told them I had a deal with the girl that if I brought a bunch of people they'd cut me a break, so they cut my tab in half.

Limo took us home, I got some crazy sex action from the wife. Good times. And here's the first review of the flick that came in tonight:
http://smashortrashindiefilmmaking.com/?page_id=1437

Also of note, one of the actors in the movie posted this the next day, which even touched my blackened heart a little:
Yesterday night I watched myself perform in a great movie called Garden of Hedon. I was the big tough Mexican character Oscar who seemed to be to comic relief for this intense wild horror film. Almost everything I did or said got the crowd to laugh. I was amazed by this but nothing could prepare me for what I felt after the movie ended. People in the movie theater liked my character so much that they kept walking up to me and telling me how much they liked my character and smiles where on their faces and they kept hugging me and shaking my hand. They did not want to stop talking to me and they acted like they knew me for years. This also kept happening in the after party and even until I left to go home. I been on a lot of films and TV shows and yesterday was the first time I experienced something special. This touched my soul and heart as an actor and will cherish this moment for the rest of my life.