Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween 2016. Wrapped.

Don't know what exactly was with this year, but as much as I tried it was very hard to get INTO the spirit. Maybe just life in general getting in the way.

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...


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

How is it 5 days til Halloween?


Man, she's coming fast. Okay, that sounded wrong.

Trying to get into the spirit. Last week went to a pumpkin trail, which you can read about and see pics at my other blog:
http://halloween-tghoa.blogspot.com/

Came back and watched the new blu of Waxwork. Still a fun movie--new blu looks pretty great.

Been watching a lot of my favorite Halloween tv shows. Got my wife to watch all the Brooklyn 99's.  Got the pumpkin party this Friday, and the wife wants to go out Saturday night.

On the one hand, I sorta wanna go out too. On the other hand, I have no money and no costume, and most of our friends don't go out any more. So I'm torn.

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On the T-tory front, news I haven't even posted anywhere yet. We just passed 3 million minutes. I mean, that's only one blog post and we've jumped a million minutes. It's insane. We're #7 on the Top Horror list, pushing Interview With A Vampire out of the way.

Still concerned with the reports of "looks like it was shot on a shitty iphone" and "terrible audio", but the mystery's starting to clear up. Sounds like quite a few people watched the movie on a phone or an ipad/kindle.

If the connection speed is bad then the movie DOES in fact look like shit. Audio wise it's definitely tinny coming out of those devices, but the kindle I tried it on still sounded okay. Certainly not studio quality, but acceptable in all the cases but Prowler.

So I don't wanna discourage people from watching(cuz we get paid the same no matter what they stream on), but feel like I wanna add to the description: "It's in your best interest to watch not just this movie, but all movies on something other than a phone or an ipad. If you're on a plane, then it's okay to do."

You know, a disclaimer.

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Halloween book's been picking up quite a bit. Would be nice if I made more than $5 a copy(and I'm only making that because I upped the price)...think about it: If they sell 10 copies at $32.95, that's $329.50 in cash spent. I see about $50 of that. Doesn't seem like an equitable split, right?

But can't complain on the quality of the book. Printing is very high quality.

Just gotta remind myself...passive money. I've already done the work, so it's all just collecting now.



Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Holy...crap...

So...it's a little surreal to process. The quick rundown.

It took GOH 18 days to get to 1 million minutes streamed on Am Zon. Got to like 1.5 million and it's petered out now.

It took Bounty about the same time, and that also is about the same place, and petering out.

The metrics just got updated on Ttory and this is where we are after 16 days.
Like...I don't know. It's what I had hoped for but never really believed. I had said I thought we needed at least 3 million minutes to have a shot at the bonus money, but was never sure we'd get anywhere near there.

But now...man, if this keeps up then 3 million seems likely. Heck, 4 million seems possible since the first week we'd only done about 100,000 minutes. In the last 6 days we've done 1.2 million minutes. We did a 250,000 on Sunday alone.

I'm pretty happy about that. Less happy about the reviews. It's one thing if someone doesn't like it but then you get these people who are like "suspect camerawork", "bad writing", and the inexplicable "Some creepy concepts, terrible prop and angle quality. The first story was a great concept though." What the fuck is a prop and angle quality?

Then you have this: "Someone made this movie in their living room with a 1990s camcorder." As someone who has seen MANY crappy movies filmed in the 1990's with camcorders I can tell you that this movie looks NOTHING like that. 

Also: "Poor acting not a well written movie." Well, let me see. All this guy had to do was write one sentence with proper punctuation but instead gives me a run-on sentence, so I'm supposed to trust that he/she knows what a well-written movie is?

It's hard not to get irritated that a lot of people don't like it. It's currently at like 2.7 out of 5 stars.

But that 2 million helps the attitude, I'll tell ya that.

Monday, October 17, 2016

'Nother Day, 'Nother Not Dollar

Am-Z still hasn't updated. At this point I'm getting a bit worried...like, did their system collapse? Can we count on their numbers being right? It's a bit worrisome.

We're up to #11 on the top horror. #102 on Popular, which is pretty big.

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On the movie front I tried watching two terrible indie Halloween movies. Gave up fast.

Moved on to some other movies on my watchlist. Deadly Blessing. An early Wes Craven flick.
Pretty goofy. And some oddities I noted.

First--he stole from himself with the shot of the woman in the bathtub--shooting up between her legs, and a snake slithers toward the girl. Later used it in Nightmare on Elm Street.

Also during this scene, the main girl is clearly shown in the bathtub wearing a bathing suit bottom AND a towel over her breasts. Which is weird, because we see her breasts pretty clearly earlier in the movie. But it's hard to figure out why they didn't fix the bathing suit bottom thing--a couple of shots cover it by using bubbles. Why'd they use the non-bubbles shots?

Also funny to see Jeff East. I always confuse him with Lance Guest from Last Starfighter, but he's really the guy who played young Clark Kent in the first Superman movie.

Not sure what else is on the list for tonight.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Quest To Get In The Halloween Spirit

Having a hard time getting into it. That goddamn melancholy S.A.D. seems to be hitting. Fucking hate it.

Started watching some horror movies.

Watched Final Destination 1. Still entertaining, and you have to admit the concept is pretty great. I think we've seen people "see" their future deaths and avoid them in other things, but have we ever seen Death go after them? Nope.

Most Likely To Die: It's on Netflix so I figured screw it. It's okay. Not as bad as Netflix thought I'd say(1 star!), but nothing to phone home about. Does seem very reminiscent of 90's horror flicks but without the fun. The killer is pretty cool looking, and Gary J. Tunnicliffe provides some cool gore effects.

On the not-horror, started watching Goliath--the Am-zon series starring Billy Bob Thornton. First episode's not great, but it gets pretty good after that. Billy Bob is, as always, awesome.

Also watched Sky High with my kid. Still a fun movie. Wish it was just starring Kurt and Bruce though...THAT would be a movie...

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On the T-tory front, we're up to #12. But Am-zon statistics are stuck on Tuesday. Pretty sure when it puts up Wednesday's stats we'll be at 1 million minutes. That's twelve days to a mil, which is 30% faster than GOH did it.

We need to continue that. I honestly am not even sure 3 million will put us on that bonus list at this point. And that's what we're gunning for.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Hoo Boy

So I bit the bullet and said, "Hey, let's take a look at this FOC thing, see what it would take to put it together".

I have each scene as its own .avi(yeah, like, remember .avi's?) with the dialogue and MnE track as separate audio files. Then I have the complete audio track of music.

There's the problem.

First couple of scenes are fine. Drag the video in, bring the two tracks of audio in and it's all lined up. Try to remember whether I dissolved or cut between the scenes. Try to line up the music where it should go.

Then I get to the scene where Shivers kills Amanda. The music doesn't line up AT ALL. Ends a good 30 seconds before the scene does. That's when I remember what I did...

I had the whole movie on a timeline with each scene as its own rendered file. But the movie was still too long, so rather than edit the scene and re-export the file, I just started cutting at the .avi file.

It's going to be very hard to piece this back together without ripping the video from the dvd and laying it in, and trying to match the edit. That's fun.

Also...man, this movie's bad. At this point I think I'm going to finish doing this, get the whole thing together, and then I may try to to edit the movie from scratch.

That's right...clearly I'm a sadomasochist. The fact that I'd consider trying to re-edit from scratch...but the editor in me feels like he's a lot better than he used to be, so maybe there's a way to make the movie better. Maybe.

I'm not making any promises.

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Trying to watch some horror flicks. Won't mention the couple I started and turned off cuz they were bad. Finally settled on Sleepaway Camp 3 because it's on Amazon Prime and is rated nearly 4 stars.

And it's certainly ridiculous 80's fun. The fact that a 50-year old Michael Pollard is making out with a SMOKING HOT 20 year old...man, I'm guessing he took this role for free.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Notes To Self

I thought about this last month and promptly forgot:
PUT FOC on Amazon Prime. You may be thinking, if you're aware of this, "Hey, doesn't LGF have the rights to that?" Yes--in the US.

So technically I can put it up on Amazon Prime in the other territories though. It won't mean near as much money because the US is the bulk of rentals, but it's something--and will save time for me once I do get the rights back in 2020--I can just click the US button and republish.

The thing standing in my way is not having an HD master of FOC...but I do have all the elements, so I guess I could put it all together and color correct it. I imagine it'll have the same weird issue on the export though(the weird stuttering effect on pans) that FOC2 has, since they were essentially shot with the same kind of camera. (FOC1 was the DVX100A and FOC2 was the DVX100B)

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Some movies I want to watch before Halloween:
Scream 1&2 - been years since I watched them
13 Ghosts remake
Nightmare on Elm Street 1 and 4(gonna give 4 a 2nd try--never liked it and Matt gave me the dvd)
Poltergeist original
Idle Hands
Frighteners
Final Destination 1-3
Dead Zone

Just wanted to make sure I had that there so I don't forget.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

So, like, Halloween...wanna get into the mood

Here's an article about an Elvira book coming out featuring a lot of great pictures of her.
http://www.laweekly.com/slideshow/35-years-of-elvira-mistress-of-the-dark-in-pictures-7363590

Anyway, have been doing just about nothing the past few days. No writing. Very little work.

Last night I had a dream--a good one for once--that Ttory was released to theaters, and imdb put out the box office totals--and it came in #3 with seven million. I was fucking elated. I was thinking...man, we can get some actual name actors in the sequel, some real FX.

I woke up and I was like...fuuuuuuck. I almost prefer the bad dreams, cuz when I wake up it's with a feeling of relief.

The numbers have started moving. We're over a quarter million minutes in 7 days. That would certainly put us at the million in a month plan, but we need more than that to hit the bonus that we really need to pay for the budget. (I can testify to this because we did more than a million minutes on two separate movies, and neither hit the bonus)

We're at #51 in the horror category. REALLY wanna break into the top 10. It's full of bigger budget, well-known movies, and would really make a statement if we got there.

Kinda kicking myself for not putting the movies up that first month like Chance did.

Have gotten some good reviews, some bad reviews. I'm actually considering changing the order of the segments to the movie and resubmitting. The second segment in the movie is bad--it's not my segment at all--and I put it there to sort of get it over with, after a first strong segment.

But now I'm wondering if that's a mistake. Like, maybe people will stop at that point, thinking the rest of the movie's gonna get worse. Maybe I should put the strongest stuff all first, and figure the people will keep watching as long as they're entertained...

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So it's October. Hard to believe we're already more than a week in. Haven't started heavy-duty watching horror flicks yet. I oddly don't feel into it yet.

We went over Zig's and watched a local indie horror movie. I feel bad for the guy, cuz he's young and working even smaller budget than I do, but his newer movie is actually worse than some of his other ones. More eyeline problems, worse script.

Dunno. The more you work, the better you should be getting. His first and biggest problem is script. If you don't have a good script then you have about a zero percent chance of making an okay movie.

And there are some inexplicable choices in this script.

After that we watched Vamp, an 80's flick I had never seen. It was on cable back in the day all the time, but for some reason I never caught it. It's fun. Goofy, comedy fun. Not the scary kind of vampire movie though.

Stars the kid from Meatballs and My Bodyguard. Worst part was seeing what he looks like today...looks REAL old.

Not sure what it's gonna take to get me into the holiday spirit.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Ttory Epilogue

I don't care if it is fake--it's magnificent.

Anyway, premiere is over. Could have gone better in terms of attendance, but we had the misfortune of pouring rain and horrible traffic. I got a lot of texts, email, and FB messages from people who would have been there but apologized that they weren't coming.

We still had a decent crowd--probably like 250. The movie played fine, people seemed to like it. Afterparty was a little weak, but whatever. I had to get ready for the convention the next day anyway.

I'm not gonna recount all of that cuz I'm doing it here:
http://indyfilmmakeradvs.blogspot.com/

Am also talking about other Ttory stuff.

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Am-zon has been WAY behind in their metrics. Like 5 days behind. The lists online haven't been updating either. Was waiting to see what day 1 looked like, because we got a shit ton of press and handed out hundreds of fliers at the show.

Which is why I'm a little surprised that today Am showed that Ttory did like 7400 minutes on day 1. That's only like 90 views.

Now, I'm not sure it's done adding up, but it's working on the 2nd day so it may be. But I am HIGHLY skeptical of that number. Between friends and family alone I think we should have beaten that, so...I'm unsure what to do.

I'm thinking...what if their numbers aren't right? Is there any oversight on them? Who's auditing the numbers to make sure they're correct?

I'll wait and see I guess. If that number hasn't changed by next week, I may send a message to them with some questions. I don't want to piss them off, but this is weird. Also, T-tory hasn't shown up on the top 1000 list at all. All my other movies started with less numbers than that, and they were all in the top 1000.

Don't know. I'm still tired, and I really should get on the whole Halloween book signing thing.

What I really wanna do is NOTHING, but even that's not true. I notice that as miserable as I am when I have a shit-ton to do, I'm just as miserable when I'm sitting here doing nothing. I wish I could just be content to know that regardless, I'm going to be miserable.