Tuesday, October 31, 2017

You Must Like Reading Depressive Stuff


Or maybe you read this and are like, "Thank CROM I'm not him!"

Either way, glad I could be here for you.

Am back from the Arizona trip. We were on a skeleton crew, but it turns out the auction wasn't too bad. Not that many lots, so we finished reasonably both days. The worst parts were this HORRENDOUS woman who brought her dog--claiming it's a service dog, when she clearly didn't need it.

What's so bad about that? Well, she was like 4 doors down from me apparently, as I could hear her dog barking at night when it heard someone walking in the hallway.

The other bad thing was seeing all my friends posting the pics of the fun Halloween times they were having, and I'm stuck in a fucking hotel room in Arizona with 90 degree weather. It's hard to know whether THAT'S what has me in such a shitty, un-Halloween mood, or this:

I'm desperately trying to get the details done for this shoot we're supposed to do on Saturday. So Zig's helping me out trying to organize the actors, and this fucking model is THE WORST.

Her communication skills are nil. We ask questions, she gives vague, weird answers. I want to know what bus station she'd be leaving from in New York(so I can price tickets).  She says:
"prob taking greyhound the night before. idk where the shoot is.  "
Notice how that doesn't help me AT ALL? So we explain to her that we're trying to figure what bus will work best, because no bus goes to the shoot location. She comes back with this:
i already mentioned i was in nyc area.... so port authority. i can get it myself.   plus this isnt my legal name..what town is the shoot in. i could greyhound or amtrak.

Now, Port Authority isn't the only bus station in New York--I booked an actress from New York for the wrap on Ttory 1, and there was a couple places to choose. But more on that!

Zig finds some different bus schedules, and I figure she can come in at 3:20pm--we'll drive her to set so she'll work from like 5pm until about 1am, then back to the bus station by 2:30am and on her way home.

She hits me up in a FB message to say that's too much to do in one day. She says she's an hour from New York, then 3 hours to us, then work for 8 hours, then that drive back. First off, I get it's sort of a long time but you're on a BUS for like 7 of those hours. You can sleep if you want.

But second--you're AN HOUR from NY? Above you say you're IN New York. Which is it?

Now I'm gonna have to put her up somewhere. All of a sudden this girl went from being $400 a day to $400 a day plus a round-trip bus ticket, plus a motel plus an uber back to the bus station.

Honestly man, this segment is so fucking demoralizing at this point that I'm PRAYING for rain so I can cancel it. I'll gladly eat the cost of the camera rental that's already on its way.

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Have watched 30 Halloween/horror movies as of today. One more and I've done the "challenge". Hasn't helped me keep the mood though, I can tell you that.

Maybe another picture?




Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Be (Very) Careful What You Wish For


On Monday I called the country store. They said, "Sure, come on out and shoot whatever you want when we're closed." Check.

I called Bill and said, "Hey, you mind if we shoot on your property again? We'll be bringing a naked girl this time around." He said, "Sure, come on out."

One of the models said she couldn't do it, but she wasn't my first choice anyway. I also talked to the guy who wrote the segment and he said he'd reach out to some people.

So I postponed the decision to Tuesday.

This evening, my #1 choice said she was in. All the big hurdles are gone. Good thing last night I started working on the actual "fountain" in question. Painted it with the first coat. Worked on the statue, adding some weird tentacle things, and painting it.

Now I have to paint it with some stuff that will make the paint crack and look old. Am working on some other props("Missing" flyers, plus some newspaper stuff.

I wasn't going to rent a camera for this one. I was going to use my GH4, but fuck it--now that I've got my #1 choice, I'm gonna get the same camera we've shot all the other segments with. It's much better in low light, and the scene with the naked girl is outside at night, and this time I can't pretend shit is lit with flashlights(none of the actors will have a flashlight).

I'm gonna get back into town Monday night, and need to be ready to shoot on Saturday morning. I'm trying to figure out how I want to shoot the first scene, which is another exciting "two people in a car talking" scene.

It's not a long scene, but I don't REALLY want to shoot it the same way I did Smiling Jack(which was over the shoulder from the back seat). It looked okay, and is SUPER easy to do but...I don't like repeating myself.

But hooking up the car mount to shoot in through the windows takes serious prep time, and if the road is bumpy then you get a ton of vibration anyway. I even thought about maybe driving alongside the actors(on the wrong side of the road) to get the shot, but that sounds dangerous, right?

We'll see. I still haven't so much as opened the Halloween script I've been working on for like 10 years. REALLY want to. I'm taking it to Arizona with me, but it's really hard to get into the writing groove when I'm away on a job.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Big Day Today. Suck Week Ahead.



Today I decide whether the Fountain segment gets put on indefinite hold, or whether we move forward.

If I can't get BOTH of the following done today, I'm calling it:
Have a committed actress for the naked role. I'm talking to 3 of them right now. The one I really want in the pic is turning out to be really high maintenance.

I sent her a FB message saying I was looking to hire her and could she email me at my email address(which I gave her).

Instead, she replies "Where are you based at?"

So I reply to her. She says "Ok."

That's it. I wait. Later on that night she sends me another FB message that says "So what's the gig?"

I describe it in detail.  She then says, "How much dialogue is there? If there's a lot, I'm not interested."

I'm like...holy shit. That is the OPPOSITE of most actors.

I send her the script and say, "It's not a lot, but take a look and see. Let me know." That was two days ago.

Another model/actress has stuff scheduled for that weekend in PA. She says she still may be able to make it work, but she responds, "When exactly would I have to be on set?", and LITERALLY in my email that's quoted below her response is the exact times I'd need her.

Reading comprehension. A lost art.

The other thing I have to secure is a country store I can shoot the exterior of. I have ONE candidate left. I'm going to call them and see if they care if we shoot outside their store. If they say we can't, then I'm done.

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Suck week ahead. I have to go to Arizona for work. The flight leaves at 7am on Friday, so I gotta be at the airport at like 5:30am. We're going to land at 9am Arizona time, so we get to sit around for at least 3 hours before we can get into our rooms.

Then on the flight back we make a stop in Buffalo. We don't have to get off the plane, but still--it's going to add time on to the 5 hour flight.

So I'll be stuck in the hotel room on HALLOWEEN WEEKEND. Won't get back until Monday night. I don't know what we'll do on Halloween(Tuesday night), but if the Fountain IS a go, I'll have plenty to do in prep.

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So far I'm at 22 movies in 23 days(and we're on day 23, so if I watch a horror movie today then I'm right on track).

I really wanna show my kid the Lost Boys, but even though he's physically 14 years old, he's not really mentally there.



Did I mention that I sold 22 books last month, and I'm up to 35 this month? Don't get crazy though--that 35 books(a mix of mostly paperback but a few kindle) has only netted me about $120.

Am-zon really takes a ton of your dough. No wonder the head of it is one of the richest men in America...

Still don't understand people, or maybe it's Am-zon's search engine. I lowered the book to $29.95 and got no order in a week. Then I raised it to $49.95, which is really outgrageous--and sold one that day.

It ought to be the opposite, right? You lower the price, and maybe Am-zon puts it on a couple of lists as "Save X amount of money!" But instead, you raise the price and somehow it gets thrown into searches better?

The price hike also let me sell one on eBay(at the regular price of $29.95--someone prolly saw it on Am-zon, then searched on eBay to see if it was cheaper, and voila! Sale.

Friday, October 20, 2017

October Flies By Again


As always, this month just flies by. Never enough time to just do the fun things for Halloween. And I still have that one Halloween screenplay I've been working on for like 10 years that I'd love to complete. Just. No. Time.

My brother and I went out last Sunday and shot the pickups and the foley. It was super humid--in October no less. We got what we could. For better or worse, it's all I'm doing for this. I will now work with what I have to make it the least-embarrassing I can make it, but I'm not going back out there for any more Pumpkin Trail hijinks.

Then this week I had an auction to work, and then a video to shoot/edit/upload(which I just finished)

Next week I go away to Arizona on Halloween weekend, which bums me out, but bums my wife out even more. At this point in our life we really only go out drinking and dancing on two occasions a year--Halloween and New Year's, and New Year's is never a lock.

So she's pissed.

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I had an idea that I'm not sure is good or not. See, October has been INCREDIBLY slow for my flicks this month for some reason. I figured October is usually good for horror flicks, and we put the first Ttory up again for free so I expected to see a bump.

Just the opposite. It's weird. (and hey, if you haven't posted a review for Ttory, how about it? It would help me out. One sentence is fine.)

So I was thinking...I need more movies up there. But I haven't made any more movies. Then I thought...wait a minute, most of my Making Ofs for the flicks are like mini-documentaries. The Making of for the original FOC1 is nearly an hour long.

Maybe I put some new footage in(not for length, but rather to interest people who may have already seen it) and upload it in the documentary category? I could do it with most of my Making Ofs. Would only cost me the Closed Captioning cost, and maybe not even that because the Y tube has free closed captioning.

(I say maybe not because I tried it today and it's pretty spotty--I'm gonna have to spend some time fixing it, and the question is--how much time is worth it when I could just pay $60 and get it done right the first time)

Anyway, am actively looking into it now. One more thing to do!

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Trying to get this last Ttory 2 segment shot is a fucking nightmare. I need a desolate county store exterior that's not 3 hours away. It's impossible to find. I drove across the bridge to look at two of them that were suggested to me, but both are on main roads with lots of traffic, and both are open on Sunday.

I need the place to be closed when we shoot so I don't have to constantly stop to wait for customers to leave so we can shoot.

I've found one that's about 90 minutes away that is closed on Sunday. I'm going to call and see if they care if we come out and shoot there. If they don't, we're good there and then we just have:

The NAKED ACTRESS PROBLEM

Why is it so hard to find them nowadays? It used to not be a big deal. And fuck, I'm paying between $250-$400(depending on how perfect for the role they are) for just ONE DAY(and not even that long a day--like 8 hours).

I have filmmaker friends(not around here) that get girls to get naked on scree for NOTHING. Why is this area so much trouble?

It's gotten to the point that if I don't fix both these problems by Sunday, I'm probably just going to call the whole thing off. It'll be a bummer, because it's a good story, but technically Ttory 2 is feature length already(about 83 minutes after credits would be my guess)


Bonus pic, cuz, long post.

My brother seems to have thrown himself into his work to distract himself from the tragedy. He still says he's going to do the work for the flick.

I've been messing with some of the other effects. I've gotten one of them to a point where it's ok, but not as good as I'd like. But I'm not sure how to make it any more realistic.

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Am trying to do the 31 movies of Halloween thing. I'm a couple behind right now, but catching up. I'll post the list the first week of November so you can see what I watched.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Pumpkin Trail Rough Cut Done



Took me some serious time at the edit computer, but the rough cut's done. It's missing a few shots, and some sounds, but it's basically done.

It's got good and bad. I think the atmosphere and build-up to the thing at the end is pretty good for the most part. The "new" actor that I hadn't worked with is kinda iffy on the acting part in a couple of places.

I'm trying to look on the bright side--those people who love my flicks because of the camp factor are gonna REALLY enjoy this one.

The rough cut clocks in at a little over 20 minutes. I'll probably knock it down to around 18, which is what the page count was. I'm also doing a little creative editing in parts on this. Mostly, like on HH way back in the day, because of not having all the shots I wanted.

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So that was what I've been doing most of my days. Editing it, marking down things I need to go out and shoot or record to finish it.

Then doing pre-pro on the final segment of the flick. Finishing the shot list. Trying to break down the schedule so it makes sense. It's a logistical nightmare, and on day one we're going to be shooting at least 13 hours for sure.

I also have to go make the main prop. Go location scouting across the bridge. Find a decent actress who doesn't mind getting nude for one scene.

Also have to go out and shoot these missing pieces of pumpkin before the leaves change. Was gonna try this past weekend, but it rained on the day I wanted. So now I'm eyeing up this coming weekend.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Bad, bad, BAD couple of weeks...

At a certain point, I get that this has gotta be the most negative blog in the history of blogs.

Thing is, just when I think things can't get worse, they DO.

Not gonna go into the pumpkin trail shoot any more than I already am over on the other blog, which is here:
http://indyfilmmakeradvs.blogspot.com/

It was really miserable. And I'm not very confident that what I shot was very good, so there's a chance...and I hesitate to voice these words...that there will be a segment in an anthology that's entirely mine...that will suck.

See, problem is that the pumpkin thing in it really didn't work well. It sure seemed very campy when I shot it, so the whole time I was shooting, I was thinking, "Well, I guess I may take my older brother up on his offer to make it CGI..."

And then we got news that is still hard to process.

His 18 old son--my nephew--died. My brother found him on the sofa unconscious, called 911, and tried to give him CPR, but it didn't help and they couldn't revive him.

My mom called to tell me the news--the second I heard her voice, I could tell she'd been crying so I knew it was serious. I thought maybe her sister, who has cancer, might have died.

The shock of this whole thing is something I wasn't prepared for. We've never really had a serious death in the family other than our grandparents, but I guess we were prepared for that. They were old, so I guess it's always in the back of your mind that you're going to lose them.

I'm not sure how my brother's going to deal with this. I'm literally the worst fucking person in the world at consoling people.

Meanwhile, I got a horror convention coming up over the weekend and I'm not sure whether I'm going or not. If I don't go, I stand to lose around $400 at a time I really can't afford to eat it. Worse yet from an objective standpoint is that I now have to figure how to complete the stuff my brother was working on for Ttory 2, because I don't wanna bother him about it.

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They're not going to have a service until the end of October(my nephew's being cremated), so I end up going to the show.

Last year we did well, and got to pass out a lot of flyers for Ttory. I had hopes that this year would be good too.

DID. NOT. HAPPEN.

It was slow as fuck. First night we did $45. I came home that night to check my online shit and I'd almost done that in Amazon sales that day. (in other news, I sold 21 books in September, which is pretty high. Made like $76, so you can see Amazon takes a fuckton percentage)

Day 2, Saturday, is normally the good  day. It picked up, but not by much. We still hadn't covered the table, much less the hotel room, by the time we bolted out to grab a quick, cheap bite to eat with a buddy writer who came up to hang for the day. He sold a couple books at my table, which was cool.

I do this con for one of two reasons--to either make money or to see friends I only see once a year, and party with them into the night.

Neither one happened.

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Now I'm back, and I've been trying to sync all the audio for day 2 of the trail, because I have to do a quick cut of it to figure out what I missed on the shoot so I can go out and get it before the leaves change any more.

Also have to really put the pedal to the metal on the final segment. It has a naked woman outside, and it's only getting colder.

And after Ttory 2, I pretty much feel like maybe I'm done making films.