Monday, October 15, 2018
I'm not sure what the difference is. Why did that movie blow up massive, but this one isn't? I mean, we're still top 100 in horror--we haven't fallen out of that in the 15 days. But we're staying on page 5-7, not moving up.
The stats are growing REAL slightly every day. But no blowups, and we still haven't topped 100,000 minutes on any day.
I've spread the news as far and wide as I can. Weirdly, a lot of web sites haven't responded to me about the exclusive pics I had for them. I don't get that at all. I see them posting articles about movies that don't have any distribution, don't have anybody you've ever heard of...are they not getting my emails?
At a certain point it feels like a conspiracy, ya know?
So I'm about 99% sure I won't be doing a Ttory movie again. I'm about 95% sure I won't be doing ANY movie again.
If I had simply taken all the money I'd put into T2, I could have taken 3 vacations to Cancun or the Bahamas. As it stands now, I'm going to lose money, and that's for spending TWO YEARS of my life on something. So I PAID money to work for two years.
What kind of fucking idiot does that?
Not this idiot. Not anymore.
Been watching a lot of horror-related movie and TV. Trying to get into that Halloween mood, but it's tough with all this T2 stuff hanging over me, and the weather being so warm and rainy that the trees aren't even changing colors yet.
Almost done the Haunting on Hill House. Good stuff, man.
Friday, October 05, 2018
So they published it pretty fast after that last post. I've been spreading the word like crazy.
Went to the convention. It was the busiest I've ever seen it, yet didn't make much money. Spread a lot of flyers. Got to see my convention buds Pennie, Dave and Rob. Met another funny guy who helps run a video restoration and blu ray distributor, plus he has a video store
He told me multiple times that I was a horrible person, but I'm pretty sure he likes me.
Day one a lot of friends spread the news. Not a lot of actors though. It's funny as shit how desperate they are to seem busy, but they never seem too interested in spreading info on a movie they're in that an audience can see.
I scrolled through pages and pages of Amazon's Prime Video list--they're ranked in popularity, and T2 wasn't in the first 300 after the first night.
I checked on day two and it's on page 3. That's top 40. In a day and a half.
So I'm waiting for numbers. They show up, and day one looks like I did almost exactly what the first one did. Huh?
Then day two numbers show up(they might not be final yet) and they appear to have gone up a little, and are nearly identical to T1's day two. It's really strange. I don't know what to make of it.
You can read some more details at the indy filmmaker blog
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
I submitted the flick on Tuesday night, the 18th. It's now the 26th and A-zon has neither published it nor denied it. It's still "PUBLISHING".
Their web site claims it's 2-4 business days to publish. So we're past that. I sent them a message to see what they say. Because it's now less than 4 business days until I want this to premiere, so if they deny it then I may be fucked on the premiere date.
I'm trying to get out as much press stuff as possible, but it's strange how many sites don't get back to me about exclusive pics. I'm wondering if my stuff gets thrown in spam folders...
This weekend I'm going to a convention to spread flyers and sell stuff. I ended up getting a table, so that was lucky.
Haven't even begun to get ready for it. I'm not taking a ton. I always take too much stuff, so why not take too little? I mean, since I'm not spending the night at the hotel, I can always restock if I happen to sell out of something.
The book revenue continues to out-perform the video revenue. September is picking up, as it usually does for Halloween books.
Sunday, September 16, 2018
And I just, not an hour ago, got the last piece of music I needed. So today I'll be putting in, mixing it, and then attempting a final render that I'll have to watch to make sure there's no errors, then export the .wav of it so I can get it subtitled.
Then I upload all that stuff to A-zon and see if they approve it. If so, it's set and ready to go on October 1st. If not, we do it again and I resubmit it. At this point I'd have an easy three, maybe four tries. I think two is the most I've been rejected.
Saw The Predator. It's got a messy pieces, which is weird for Shane Black. But I'm rooting for him and Fred Dekker, who's done some movies I love. Any way you look at it, The Predator is a lot of fun though.
Has some very funny moments to it, and Thomas Jane is freakin' amazing. If they took out some more of his jokier moments(which I enjoyed), his performance as someone with Tourette's is spot on.
There's something that gets revealed at the end that I won't tell you about, but I will give you this so you are not disappointed: Dutch is NOT in this movie. Part of me wanted some sort of cameo, but I can see why they don't want to do it.
Been wanting to go to some super cool Halloween place for years. Kept thinking about maybe Salem, but it's a long way away.
Recently I saw something about Sleep Hollow. Turns out that's only about 3.5 hours from me. Looks like it has some cool events and things to take pics of. If I had money, I would be making plans on it right now.
Wondering if I can pull it off somehow anyway...
The convention I was going to do at the end of the month doesn't have any tables left. I'm on a waiting list. Either way, I'll show up to pass out flyers and stuff, and hang out with people that night.
Ain't getting a room this year though. Nobody stayed up drinking last year, so it was basically a waste of money, and this year they even increased the room rates to $200 a night. Fuck. That.
Thursday, September 06, 2018
Man, the Scooby Doo cosplay is off the hook now, isn't it?
Here's where we stand. The theater we had the premiere at is claiming they sold a total of 76 tickets.
Even though the day before the screening they told me they'd sold 91, and I know a bunch of people bought tickets the day of. (the theater says 26 were sold the day of the premiere)
They apologized and now claim that the 45 reserve spots I told them not to sell(for cast/crew) were IN those totals they gave me, even those those totals always said "X amount of tickets sold".
As I just pointed out to them, if all this is true, then a grand total of 116 people were at the theater. (only 40 of my comps showed up). This means there was 100 empty seats in that theater that night.
Nearly half empty. Anybody reading this who was there? Did the theater look half empty? (it didn't to me)
I took a pic about 5 minutes before the screening, but it doesn't encompass the whole auditorium(couldn't get back far enough for my iphone lens). Even that doesn't look like there's that many empty seats besides the front two rows, and at least 15 people came in after the movie started.
So I'm in a shitty, shitty position. I have to reach out to see if I can find more than 76 people who bought tickets. If I can, I can prove Landmark's lying. Then I can pressure them to come up with real numbers.
As it stands, though, I lost about $400 on the premiere.
I will never have another movie premiere, PERIOD. Not a fucking chance in hell.
Odds are about 99% that I'm done making movies. There's just no upside. It's grueling, unfulfilling in general, and just sucks money with very little possibility any more of making that money back.
As I've said before, unless we hit the bonus--which seems unlikely--I'm going to lose money on the flick. And I'll be forced to face a choice that's basically the equivalent of gambling double-or-nothing.
Let's say I make $5K from A-zon on the movie, which seems possible on just views. That's 5 million minutes. We did that in 2 months on the first flick. I will have lost, at that point, about $5K.
Do I stop there, take the $5K and start paying some bills? Or do I take that $5K and use an aggregator to get the movie out on other platforms in an attempt to generate more money? Knowing that I could just lose that money on top of the money I've already lost?
See why I don't get much sleep?
It's crazy to think that I'm viewed as a reasonably successful filmmaker whose movies have been viewed by over 5 million people, but for all intents and purposes I'm broke, with zero savings. Christ, I may go work in Trader Joe's with that Cosby actor, at this point.
I've always taken the money I've made from movies and put them into the next movie. I don't like gambling with other people's money, and I always thought that sooner or later the market would come around--there are more eyeballs watching more movies on more devices than any time in history.
Yet we creatives are going bankrupt trying to make art(or just entertain, in my case).
I know, this is the most upbeat blog EVER, isn't it?
(I seriously wish I'd never taken that first film class...I'd be a computer science major making good money. I'd be unhappy creatively, but I'd have money. Hell, I'm fairly unhappy creatively anyway, so I'd just as soon have money.)
I'm starting to wonder if it's too late to change careers.
Sunday, September 02, 2018
There's some pics from the premiere. It was a bit hectic, as usual. Took nearly an hour to get to the theater because of traffic. Had to double check the settings on the projector with the projectionist, then head back down and make sure everybody had their free pass if they were cast/crew.
Of course TONS of people are late. I start the screening 5 minutes late, trying to let the late stragglers get in. It's a decent crowd, but there's a lot of empty seats up front. I'm wondering how many seats sold(and still don't know).
The movie starts, and man does it seem slow to me in the first 10 minutes. And people are still coming in to the theater nearly 20 minutes into the movie. I'm thinking..."No way are you gonna understand what's going on..."
It plays okay. There are a few sound issues, as expected. I'm not even positive what to do about them, because they sound find on my headphones and TV.
The movie ends, and people clap and seem excited. It's always hard to figure whether people REALLY like the movie, or are just congratulating you because it's a premiere.
But many came up to me when they could have slipped out, and wanted to talk about the film. I heard "That's your best movie" from a lot of people, which isn't something you hear that often. I don't know that I agree with them, but it's nice to hear.
We went across the street and had some drinks. A lot of people went over to drink, but not many stayed until the end. It was just me and the wife, Malfi and the wife, and Cutting, plus my buddy filmmaker Eric. We closed the bar down.
Now I'm back working on the movie. I was going to take a couple of days off, but my brain doesn't work that way. I have a lot of work to finish in 3 weeks. September is going to be a brutal month...
Monday, August 27, 2018
Had a minor procedure done. They knocked me out for it. The kind of procedure where you have to starve yourself for 24 hours and drink stuff that makes you shit EVERYTHING out of you in liquid streams. I know, TMI.
Just another thing on my list of things.
Here were are, one day away from me having to take a screener to the theater. The good news is, I went through the entire movie and mixed the audio to an okay degree, and exported the whole movie. Then authored the blu ray, and it popped out of the computer about ten minutes ago.
I have to watch it to make sure it doesn't have any weird glitches on it, but I can't stand to right now. I'm tired of seeing it--I literally just watched it all while I was mixing it today.
So that's on the agenda today once I wake up.
The Proctor called me today. Hadn't talked to him in a while, so that was a cool surprise. He's going on a show and wants to promote the movies of mine that he's been in, especially Bounty.
He needs clips, but I'm not sure I can get him any in time. He also told me about some top secret stuff he's going in to audition for. Can't say what, but it's pretty awesome. This is your hint--he'd be on a couple of different shows that I watch if he gets the part.
I hate actors. Did I mention that?
In general, they're just dumb as fuck. I've sent pretty easy, yet detailed instructions about the ticket they get for the premiere. Yet they don't click on the link I provided--they ask questions that would be answered on the fucking link.
They also ask for extra tickets, which they ain't getting. I refuse to lose money on this premiere. I simply don't have it to lose at this point.
They also don't spread ANY links about the premiere, or hell, any news for that matter. There's one actress in the movie who has a relatively small role. But she ended up being on the poster for Ttory 2. I sent her the link and she's like "Cool!"
AND DIDN'T SPREAD THE LINK ON HER FB EVEN ONCE.
Can you explain that? I can't.
But I mean, it's not all of them. Just the majority.
Some of the actors have spread the link--the ones I like, in general.
Monday, August 20, 2018
Less than two weeks away from the premiere.
Saturday I took some time and assembled the full movie, even though I'm missing music. See, all the segments of the movie are in separate timelines. I don't want to stress Premiere out by trying to do it all together.
Then Sunday I went over Zig's house(after 3.5 hours of sleep) and we watched it, making notes. It still has quite a few tweaks it needs.
I am sweating this. The stress is clearly impacting me, as I woke up in pain. The dull ache through my body that signals it a bad day for the Kango. I'm also having that weird sciatic pain that I occasionally get.
I really gotta get this thing DONE.
Work's getting weird. It may come to me having to take a full-time job elsewhere soon. I've eyed them up, but it's insane what these people expect when they're looking for a "editor". They want you to also know how to shoot a camera, how to do VFX, how to use Powerpoint, etc.
Much of that I KNOW how to do. But they're not paying enough to be hiring someone who does all that. An editor shouldn't be expected to do 3D compositing in Cinema 4D. That's an entire separate thing.
They shouldn't be expected to shoot footage. Again, not what an editor does.
And the other big thing is...the commute. Man, do I not want a commute. Most of the jobs are either in Baltimore or Silver Spring. Both have sucky commutes.
Did I tell you I'm writing a novel? Why the fuck not? You can't stop my brain unless you put a bullet in it, and you've clearly been lax about that, haven't you?
It was that idea I had for a script, but the more I thought about it, the more it feels too big for that. Coupled with the fact that a lot of studios are looking for IP(Intellectual Property), a book makes more sense. Even self-published, as a lot of those are getting optioned.
So if I do a novel, publish it, and then write the screenplay then I've got a nice package to offer.
The good news is that the whole prose-writing thing is coming back to me pretty fast. I haven't written prose in probably ten years. I had tried not that long ago and kept hitting a wall.
All of this shit means that I'm very, very busy. I just gotta make it to October. There will be breathing room there. All I'll be doing then is pimping the movie constantly. But the work will be done(until I start working on the blu ray and/or dvd...)
Monday, August 13, 2018
I'm averaging 3.5 hours a night now.
I mentioned one of my neighbors moved out, right? Well, workers are completely destroying and rebuilding sections of his house. This starts EVERY day at 7am, including Sunday.
If you know my schedule, you know that's about when I go to sleep.
So I got buzzsaws and hammers going about 30 feet from my bed. It's a nightmare. I can't sleep through it.
There's about a 50% chance I'm going to shoot them all some time in the next week. Just FYI.
Still not done the movie. Got some big pieces of music in, but they're not quite there. At a certain point I may just go with what they've given me for the premiere, and then just make sure it's all done just like I want when it's released.
Fucking thing is stressful as shit though, which I don't need right now. I've been feeling very weird lately...fatigue and light headed. Not sure what that's about.
Fuck Moviepass. Not JUST because of their new policies. A while back I tried to see a movie only to find that the Moviepass app needed updating or it wouldn't work. Well, I was already at the theater when I found out, and the app store wouldn't update unless I was connected to the internet.
So I had to pay for a movie, even though I had this service.
Well, with all their dicking around and policy changes, I'd been leaning on canceling it. Today I went to see a movie, and the app gave me errors every time I tried to Check In. I ended up having to buy my ticket again.
I'd like to say it was good while it lasted, but it was just adequate. It saved me a little money in the end, but not so much that I'm sad it's gone.
Watching The Sinner on Netflix. It's okay, but if it turns out that my suspicions about the plot are true, it's gonna be a big thumbs down. I'll put my suspicion here in invisible ink, so don't click unless you've watched it.
If Cora turns out to NOT be Cora, but to instead be her sister(the one expected to die), then this show sucks. You simply can't do that gag any more, as it's too predictable.Or the other thing is if her sister ended up dying way earlier, so all the flashbacks are Cora talking to her dead sister...again, you can't Sixth Sense us any more.
UPDATE: Didn't happen, so that's cool. It was a decent show. Why is Bill Pullman so damn likeable in everything he does?
Also started watching Castle Rock. It's pretty decent so far, but it's suffering from the all-mystery, no-antagonist syndrome. Right now it's all just this unfolding mystery, but is pretty slow. There's a lot of Stephen King easter eggs, which are cool, but if it doesn't sink some hooks very soon, it's gonna be a quit.
ALSO...sure, it's early, but as of right now--the halfway point of the month--my dollars earned from book sales are out-pacing my dollars from movie revenue on A-zon. This is the first month that would ever happen, if it finishes the same way.
So if you're wondering, apparently August is the month people start thinking about Halloween again...
Lastly, I stumbled across this frame from ttory 2. Yes, it's in the movie. Yes, Virginia, that's what spiking the camera looks like.
Thursday, August 02, 2018
The premiere is now scheduled for ttory 2. August 30th. That means in about 3 weeks I have to have a blu ray to take up to the theater to test. I don't wanna just hand them a thumb drive, as it's super easy to copy that file to a laptop if the projectionist is a dickhead.
It's slightly more complicated to rip a blu, and takes longer(in general).
I have got a lot of shit to do. It would be a lot to do if I already HAD all the music, but I don't even have that. Still waiting for much of it. In two weeks, if I don't have it all, I'll start putting temp music in to parts of it that doesn't have music, just for the premiere.
Man, not going to get a lot of sleep this month, I can tell you that.
Looks like this weekend I'm gonna slip away to a horror con I haven't been to in a few years. The drive back has always been MISERABLE, but this time they have two guests in particular I'm interested in seeing, plus my writer buddy's gonna be there so it'll be fun drinking, and I'll probably meet some new people.
My aunt died yesterday(well, technically Tuesday the 31st). She'd been in very bad shape, but honestly, even before she got sick she'd been getting nearly intolerable. How bad? Well, my uncle--her brother--literally didn't go visit her in the last six months of her life. Yeah, he knew she was dying, but he'd had enough of her.
If my mom wasn't so nice, she probably would have done the same.
So I'm not particularly sad, even though she was my godmother. Hell, she's probably part of the reason my dad had a stroke.
Introduced my kid to Karate Kid 1 and 2. He liked them a lot.
The wife and I finally finished Cobra Kai. Not that it was bad, but I had to wait to watch it with her. Turns out it's really good. Very well written, and with just the right amount of nostalgia.
I really want to show the kid Lost Boys, but I'm not sure he's ready for real horror yet, even though it's fairly mild other than the scene where they vamp out and eat the bikers. If he was a normal fifteen year old, I'd show it to him in a heartbeat...
Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Jesus is that meme on point. EVERY. FUCKING. TIME.
Been working as hard as I can to finish ttory 2. I am SICK of working on this fucking movie. Sick to death of it. And that's a dangerous place to be for any filmmaker, as there's probably ways to make it better even now, but I'm at a point where I'm just like...ENOUGH.
Then last week was the infamous Joe Bob Briggs marathon. I'd been waiting for it for a while, ever since I'd done an actual video testimonial that Shudder should bring Joe Bob on--Joe Bob had sent me a request for it, so I wasn't gonna turn him down. (the man gave me 4 out of 4 stars on my first film)
Anyway, the night of the premiere--I was psyched. I was going to get a slurpee, pop some actual popcorn in my full-sized popcorn stand(which I don't do too often any more), and stay up for as long as I could to watch some great TV.
Shit started going wrong when I realized that I didn't have any popcorn to pop. I was 30 minutes away from showtime, and I didn't want to miss the start.
I booked out to the store, breaking speed laws all over. Ran in, grabbed popcorn. Had 10 minutes--stopped at the 7-11 and grabbed slurpees. Got home in time to turn on Shudder, hit the Joe Bob stream and--
--STREAM NOT FOUND. PLEASE TRY AGAIN LATER.
What. The Fuck.
For the next three, yes THREE, hours, I tried to access the stream. On occasion it would show me about 5 minutes of show, then cut off again.
Twitter was blowing up with everybody pissed they couldn't watch it. It was fucking crazy.
I gave up a while after that. I had seen a few minutes of a couple of movies, and it was great seeing Joe Bob in between. But I was pissed.
Woke up the next day and started watching. Was able to get much of them, but when one ended, the stream ended and I had to re-start it. It wouldn't work for a good 15 minutes, so I missed at least that much of every movie.
But man, couldn't keep the smile off my face when Joe Bob came on. Really flashed me back, man. And he was just as good as he used to be. No matter how long the marathon went on, which actually leaves me suspicious that maybe they pre-taped some of it.
Don't care either way, and I hope they give him a regular slot. They ought to, since clearly they can see he's got the fans to back them. Shudder clearly never saw this coming, or they'd have been more prepared...
Went to Arizona on Sunday. Back on Tuesday.
Not fun. Very long. The plane on the way back got delayed due to the storms here. Nothing better than sitting around in a fucking airport when you've averaged 4 hours of sleep a night for three days.
Got some music for the main story of ttory 2 when I came back. It's decent but still a little off. I'm not sure why he's not getting this one as well as he did the first one.
Would really love to wrap this all up and be done by mid-August so I can get ready for the premiere and the publicity push I'm going to do.
Saturday, July 07, 2018
Man, this has been a BAD last year for the K clan. We cannot catch a break. At this rate, I fully expect Ttory 2 to not only lose money, but to somehow make me lose more money than I even spent. I'm not sure how it's possible, but I think the year will figure out how to do it.
First we lost our 18 year old nephew. Then my dad had a massive stroke, and now he's a shadow of his former self, going to rehab three times a week to try to get back what he lost.
On July 4th I get a text from my mom, because THIS happened.
That's the house next to my brothers, and also his house. His fucking idiot neighbor decided to grill on his back porch. Started it, then went inside to ignore it for a while. He left a bag of charcoal right next to it, which apparently caught on fire.
He also had a can of gasoline not far away, which ALSO caught on fire. Then, to make matters worse, when he saw his deck was on fire, what did he do? He did NOT call 911--he went to some other neighbors to find out whether they had a fire extinguisher.
None of his neighbors did, and they all asked, "Did you call 911?" and he said "No, I just need a fire extinguisher."
He is a GIGANTIC dickhead. The fire was massive--they had FIVE different fire departments involved to try to stop it, one from the eastern shore.
My brother's house was TOTALED. The insurance person actually came out on July 4th--which shocked me--and went in. Fire came in through his roof and burned a ton of stuff, but then the fire department completely hosed the entire apartment down. The carpet was soaking wet when I walked through with him, debris everywhere. Smelled like ash and smoke. Insulation all over.
He and his girl weren't even home when the fire started, so they have NOTHING but what they were wearing. They also couldn't find their cat, which was a HUGE deal to his girl. She literally stayed out front of their house every night from dusk til dawn in a lawn chair in case the cat came back.
Only good news out of this is that today they found the cat. Crazy part is that it was INSIDE the house. They'd checked every day on the off chance it somehow got back in, or WAS inside, but it's a big meow cat, so they doubted it was in there since it didn't meow when they called it.
But hey, at least it's safe and sound, so that's nice.
Now they have to find a house to stay in for 7-9 months while their house is fixed, but my brother says they're moving out once it's done anyway. No more townhouses for them.
I don't blame him.
Here is the definitive list of what I need in order to have Ttory 2 done.
--Need most of the score to the main section. Only have about 17 minutes of music out of the 50 minute length. Not sure how much music will end up being in the movie, but I'd guess nearly 40.
--Need the final Pump Trail music. Ben sent me the full score but it was one minor tweak I want, and we're good to go.
--Need Fountain music. I just sent him the timecode version of this segment. I told him to hold off on the end of it, as I'm waiting to see if my brother can do this FX shot we want there.
--Need The Mad Gathering music.
--Have to finish the final piece of the wrap to be done. The FX segment is giving me some problems. At a certain point I am just going to have to say "That's as good as I can do..." and move on.
--Need to tweak all the color correction I've done to make sure I'm happy with it. This involves watching it on a couple of different screens, as the picture seems to look different on everything.
--Once all the music is to me, will need to mix it all. I fucking HATE that part of it. I'm not great at it, but I certainly don't have the money to pay someone else to do it.
After all this, I have to begin prepping for a premiere. (pick date, pay for venue, make blu ray they can play from)
Then prep for the Amazon delivery. Create all the weird aspect ratio artwork they want from the poster. Get subtitles. Then make a definitive plan with dates on who/where I'll be sending various exclusive pics, plus a few web sites will get exclusive video from the movie.
SO much to do. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.
That script idea I had that sort of excited me continues to percolate. Ideas are coming. Some interesting stuff. And it's starting to move outside of what I could do if I wanted to shoot it.
The eternal question of--write to what I can shoot, or let the story go where the story wants to go.
Friday, June 29, 2018
I have a pretty close to done version of The Fountain segment for ttory2. Sent a link to the composer so he can start getting ideas.
I had showed it a couple of times to Zig, and to a couple of other people, looking to see if they noticed any of the glaring(to me) continuity errors. For the most part they didn't. But there's a background that Stewie noticed that I noticed for sure, and feel like people might catch it.
So I spent, no shit, eight hours on what amounts to 9 seconds of screen time to remove and replace that background.
Normally it might not take that long, but it's a medium close-up. Hell, I was going to just describe it but I'll upload a video in just a second to show you.
But here's the problem:
So here's what I did:
The reason it took so long is because he's moving. So I have to mask his head and move the mask frame by frame. And because his head is turning too, the shape is changing constantly. So I have about 50 nodes, and I have to move each of them to follow him.
I tend to keyframe every 3 frames or so, then go back in between and adjust the points that aren't following close enough. It's VERY time consuming.
But I think it came out nicely. It helps that the background behind him is bright and so is the scene I used, so it matched well.
So here's my current idea that I'm contemplating. I don't know whether it's a good idea financially, but it appeals to the creator in me.
After we debut the movie, the question always moves to am I going to make physical copies? People do still like them, and I still do also.
Problem is, dvd still outsells blu ray. It boggles my mind. It's like after dvds came out, if you heard someone say "I still like VHS better." No, it looks like shit compared to dvd, and dvd looks like shit compared to blu ray.
But I was thinking...I could add some extra bonus to a blu ray. What if I put ttory 1 AND 2 on a blu ray with the making ofs and commentaries?
BUT THERE'S MORE!
What if, just for fun, I put "VHS" versions of the movies on there also? I can degrade them in a way that makes them look like real VHS--not with those shitty filters, I've found some proper techniques that really look amazing. So you can watch these movies and pretend you're back in high school and you just rented some crappy B-movie horror flicks like we used to love to do.
BUT THERE'S MORE!
What if I put 3D versions of both films on the blu also? Yeah, I can fit it all. It'll be tight, but I can get them on there. It will be the red/blue 3D, not the other one. This would obviously be more of a novelty, and I won't be able to put glasses in with them--the buyer would have to have them.
But that's a lot of shit to have on a blu ray, so maybe I'd get more sales. I probably would print 300-500 copies. I wouldn't be giving them free to any cast/crew, I can tell u that. I would sell them for cost to them if they want.
These are things I'm mulling over. I'm still mulling over doing a GOH dvd. Hell, I made it already. If I had an extra $500 I'd just print some up now, but I won't have that money 'til I start getting some Ttory 2 recouped...
And that's scaring the shit out of me, honestly. A-zon's new pay scheme is going to kill me. If we don't hit the bonus, I AM going to lose money. I jammed some numbers, and if we did the same exact numbers we did on ttory1(roughly 5 million minutes) and we didn't get the bonus, I'd earn $5K. That's half of what I spent on ttory2.
That would hurt, and I can assure you that it would be the last movie I made unless someone came and gave me money to shoot something else, with at least SOME crew.
These are the things that try to keep me up at night.
ALSO: Realized I forgot to include two actors in the credits. Their parts are minor, but still, I never forget people...so I had to add them to the front and back credits in After Effects. Then I reopened Premiere and told it to re-render the sequence, and it keeps crashing. Unknown Error.
Fucking Premiere, man. I have to do a workaround to make it render that section. Fuckin' A, man.
Thursday, June 21, 2018
The day I shot the last pickups was HOT. I went across the bridge to the fountain spot. Bugs galore in the heat. I flew the drone a couple of times, but not sure if I can really use the shots because when I arrived at the location, the fountain had tilted a bit.
Then I set about getting the fountain out. It HAD three strings tied to it, with the main one being on our side of the pool it was in. But when I got there, that string and the stick it was tied to were gone.
The string on the other side had shifted so it would be even harder to get to. I thought, "Hey, I'll use this side string and just pull--that other string will either break or the sticks I loosely tied it to will break."
I pulled the side string and IT broke. The fountain--and my tripod underneath it--were now being held by one string. On the other side of this nasty pool.
I jumped the side spot, then had to creep over thorns and bee-infested flowers to get to the string. I cut it off the tree and clambered back around to the good side of the pool. Pulled the whole thing over and out. It's slimy and covered with green shit.
Anyway. Headed back across the bridge to a spot in the Ttory woods. I needed to foley the big final scene of the movie. By myself. The location I need to use is either down a 70 degree hill, or you can walk quite a ways down the path, push your way through trees and stuff--takes a good 15 minutes of walking.
I elect to go down the hill--took 10 seconds but is not un-dangerous.
Foley'd the scene. Whatever I got, I'm using.
Head to snag the camera at my parents' house. Tried to set up the window suction mount with the camera, but it won't fit on the window because of the weird slope and minimal room between the dash.
Great. I grab Ali and figure--fuck it, I'll hold the camera on my leg with a mini-tripod, watching the monitor and try to drive. Perfectly safe.
Except, the monitor cable is on the side of the steering wheel, and keeps going off anytime I move.
So I end up driving, but tilting my head over to the left so I could see the LCD on the back of the camera(it's not foldout). It's an ugly shot, but oh well--you can definitely tell she's in the front seat.
We grab pizza and go to my parents. Eat, talk. Get some audio looped. (just two lines) Wait for dark.
It's night. We go over, set up lights. My brother Mike comes out and helps. We get the few shots I need, then head into the woods a bit to loop her scream and grunts. We're done by 10:30pm.
I inserted the footage and audio into the segment. It works.
I have only one more shot to do, something for the FX. It's literally 4 seconds long, but is going to be REAL tough to get.
I got some score from Terry. It's good. He'd sent me a first draft that was REAL off, like scary off. But I temp scored that scene for him so he'd get a better idea of what I wanted, and this time he's back on.
Hopefully he'll start getting more to me. I also expect the Pumpkin Trail complete thing soon. That means I gotta get the Fountain to him ASAP.
Coming down to the nitty gritty.
Sunday, June 17, 2018
Forever? Let's hope...
Got the pickup to do tomorrow. It's not a lot, and it's a good thing because I'm literally the entire crew. Nobody else was around. My brother's gonna try to step out and help me for the night stuff.
Here's how it's blocked out:
- Go across the bridge. Shoot some drone footage of the Fountain. Will I use it? Who knows. Then I take the fountain down, pull my tripod out of the water, and head back to:
- The woods. Foley the entire last scene by myself. This will be fun.
- Then will meet Ali and reshoot her car scene. I have to drive and shoot at the same time. Nothing dangerous about that. I'm gonna try to mount the cam to the windshield--I have the mount, but not positive I can get a matching shot to the other side we shot like that.
- Ali and I will take a dinner break to wait for dark.
- At dark, we head back over for the two night shots I need of her.
- Then we have to go into the woods in the pitch black until we can't hear cars any more, and she has to scream and grunt. Go ahead, joke away.
Then. I. Am. Done.
Debuted the Ttory poster to a few sites. Here's the one I gave them:
I have one without the lettering, plus one that says more words.
But this is probably the poster I'll put on A-zon:
This is the one I talked about, the one the designer first gave to me. I was like..."Bad. Ass."
But worried because that's NOT the head that Jack sports in the movie. Then again, it looks cooler than our plastic mask, so more people are prone to watch the movie. And I'm all about that.
I'm also going to get a second poster made that features some of the other segments.
Still waiting on some more score. Am starting to get a little worried--the guy scoring the longest piece(plus another) has gone slightly M.I.A.-- I mean, he's responding, but isn't turning me in anything. He's only sent me one 7 minute opening piece of a 50 minute section. Then he has another 18 minute segment to do.
Stuff has to start coming in. I'm going to set a deadline of July 12st soon.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Ben sent me a 90% done score for all of Pumpkin Trail. It's REALLY good. I'm so glad, because it's the segment I'm a little embarrassed about. Now it's not so bad.
I had some minor tweaks for Ben to do, but I can't wait to get it back and finished.
I finalized the front and end credits since I have all the names and everything's shot. Rendered them out. Exported a new version of my end logo.
Began the final pass on the trailer, inserting Fountain footage. I'm kind of digging it, even if the music is basically the BWAAAAAM Batman trailer music.
Monday's weather's looking decent for the pickups. All goes right, that'll be the last footage and last foley that I do for Ttory 2.
Monday, June 04, 2018
Have an assembly edit of 95% of the Fountain. Here's my main problems right now:
There are some rough cuts--the lead actor, as good as he was, was not very consistent. For instance, in one scene he hands the girl a penny. In the wide, he used his left hand. In the close up he used his right hand. There are other takes where he stands different during certain lines so it's near impossible to make it line up, especially if I didn't do any separate one-shots of the other person.
He also fucked up in that after I put the lav mic on him, I buttoned one more button on his shirt to hide the mic. For some reason--probably he was hot--he unbuttoned it. That means I can see the fucking mic on some shots. This pisses me off--he SAW me button it up. Did he think I was doing that for fun?
Some night shots have things in the background we couldn't frame out. In one shot there are blinking lights way in the distance. You wouldn't see them during the day, but at night...they're there. Those are pretty easy to take out.
Other shots there's a house and a tractor that need to come out. A little tougher, but still doable.
On the actual FX stuff...the story features a person coming out of another person, and we just couldn't get the actual moment of emerging. So I have the before, part of during, and we'll have to sell it with the audio as one person watches in horror. It's not too bad, but I have some audio work to do.
Speaking of, there's something that happens in the movie that needs an audio effect, but I have no idea WHAT audio effect to create. Like, I don't know what noise you'd hear, so how can I create it?
I need a sunset shot over the trees. I shot one last fall when we thought we were going to shoot this segment, but it doesn't fit now. All the trees are green in the footage, then we cut to a sunset over nothing but orange trees. Doesn't work. Too bad too, cuz it was a nice shot.
My lead actress' mic apparently cut out during one entire scene. It's one of the only scenes I didn't use my shotgun mic as a backup, because the camera was on a tripod and the mic is attached to my rig, which doesn't go on the tripod very well.
So I either use the lead actor's mic, which picked it up so so, or I loop her. I don't want to loop her.
That's all I remember now. More later, I'm sure.
Here's a pic of the special FX guy who filled in for Mark--his name's TJ, and he's super cool to work with.
I haven't mentioned, but the weight has been coming off, slowly but surely. I'm back under 200. I actually hard-core cheated for a week, and figured I'd have gone back up to 203. Turns out I'd lost another pound somehow, and am at 198.
At this point, I figure I'll keep at it and see if I can make it into the 180's.
Watched Pacific Rim 2 with my kid. It was decent. Better than it looked from the trailers.
Saw Solo also, by myself. It was also okay, if a little long and unnecessary. Considering it was written by Kasdan, it's a little disappointing.
Snuck out today and saw Upgrade by myself also. Jesus, I'm seeing a lot of movies by myself. It was very cool. Upgrade and Deadpool 2 are my favorites of the past few months, maybe of the year so far.
Sunday, May 27, 2018
So, finally I set a date for Fountain and was going to shoot it no matter what.
Couple of days early, my brother and I went over to the outside location and set up the fountain. It wasn't as easy as I'd hoped it was, but we got it set up.
The next night my kid had a concert. I packed up everything and double checked the prop list. The gear list.
Last minute stuff.
On Sunday we shot from about 11am to 4:30am. Yeah. Long day. I'll talk more about it later.
The weather was going to be sweet on Thursday(the next day we could all do it), so I told everybody that we'd do the final day then. I had to extend the camera rental also.
Thursday we met up at 11am and finished shooting by 7pm. We met Malfi at a local restaurant and I treated everybody to dinner, since craft services was basically non-existent.
The bottom line is, it's all shot. I'm cutting the audio now, and will immediately start editing it when I do.
But by Crom, it's done. I wasn't sure it was going to happen.
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
So in case you were keeping track, here's some of the setbacks I've encountered in trying to shoot a little 12 page segment for Ttory 2:
Tried to shoot in the fall. The weather kept screwing us. The naked actress I had in mind for one of the roles kept being unavailable after I pushed the shoot dates due to the weather.
Then when we were finally ready to for-sure shoot, the lead actress stopped talking to us. A week ahead of the shoot. No response to calls or emails.
So I had to cancel the shoot at the last minute. Which caused me to lose my lead actor--I guess he had enough, and I don't blame him.
Pushed the shoot to Spring. Have been trying to shoot it for over a month now. Weather not cooperating. Recast all roles.
The store we were going to use for the interiors was completely MOVED to a new location. It doesn't work out as well as the other location. Had to go back over and figure out a new shot list.
Everybody's vegan. So that makes meal times tougher.
Today I found out that the store we were using for exterior shots--the store I'd talked to back in September about shooting there, and they were cool with it--it's now permanently closed. I found out by looking on FB. I don't know if it LOOKS permanently closed, or if some of the signs are still up.
It's like 2 hours away from me, so I can't exactly go check it out. I still was able to contact the owners, and they still don't care if I come out and shoot there, but they didn't answer any of my questions about whether it still looks like it could be open.
Thunderstorms are like EVERY DAY this week. It doesn't matter, I've now moved stuff and we're shooting on Sunday regardless of what happens. If I can at least get the parts with the NY actress done, the rest will be easier.
But we'll be shooting way out of order, and it slipped my mind that the actress is going to need two different outfits because the one gets wrecked. The actress responds that nobody talked to her about wardrobe(pretty sure that's wrong), and she's having car issues and may have to get a new car this week, so she can't go out and get doubles(even though we'd pay for it).
I am so done with all of this.
Sunday, May 13, 2018
I don't really have nightmares any more. It's probably been 15 years since I last had one(that I can remember).
The other day I only got three hours of sleep for some reason. Then went out and did stuff, came home. The wife and kid weren't home. So I laid down to try to catch an hour nap.
Had a hard time getting to sleep but when I did--
--my family had rented some sort of house in NJ. (Yeah, it figures the nightmare would involve the worst state in the nation). It was a vacation for all of us--a very big house.
For some reason my wife and I were given the biggest bedroom. At some point my dad even showed me a pic of when we came here to NJ as kids to go camping, and I swear to God I can still see that pic in my mind and it feels like it really happened. I asked my mom about it later that day, and she says we never went camping in NJ...
Anyway, in the dream, my brother and his family were packing up a day early to leave, so my parents were like, "You can go stay in that bedroom cuz we're taking the big bedroom", so the wife and I moved into this bedroom, which immediately felt weird to me. It didn't feel right.
So we're sleeping(in the dream) and I wake up and my wife is lying down, face away from me. There are two people in bed on either side of her not moving, covered in some sort of shroud. I'm confused. I lean over to the wife, but she's not actually sleeping.
She's staring wide eyed at the figure lying next to her, and I whisper, "What's going on?" and she shakes her head violently, whispering, "Don't say anything!"
But then the figures next to her start to move, and I don't exactly know why but I am terrified--which is an emotion I just do have EVER. I'm so terrified I actually start hyperventilating, like almost whimpering.
That's how I woke up--to the sound of me sort of whimpering, trying to scream. It was SUPER freaky. I've only ever had one nightmare that bad, which I think I mentioned at one point--it was back in my 20's, and my girlfriend at the time woke me up because the nightmare was so bad.
Dunno. I guess what I'm saying is, stay out of NJ. It's just bad, for even more reasons than I previously thought.
Friday, May 11, 2018
Started a new screenplay. WHY? I have no idea. I can't shut the brain off when it gets excited about an idea. Sure, I have like 6 incomplete screenplays that I'd love to get around to finishing.
But this was an idea I had a while back but hadn't done anything with it. Then I saw A Quiet Place and realized that simple movies CAN work. This script is VERY simple--so simple I could probably shoot it(but I mean, I only have the general idea, so it may go places that I couldn't afford to shoot).
So I'll keep working on it whenever. It's funny that it shares some big similarities to my other script Wounded Creature, at least visually. The two don't have any relation though other than that.
Saw Bad Samaritan for the hell of it. It was okay. Harkens back to the 90's movies where they put big talent in mediocre but fun movies, like Sleeping With The Enemy, Single White Female, Pacific Heights and more.
It's not like you have to rush out and see it, but if it's on Netflix or Red box, definitely worth a look. (and Don't Breathe could learn a thing or two about how you make your protagonist likeable from this flick)
Wednesday, May 09, 2018
So I'm prepping the final segment for Ttory 2. Hoping to shoot the 19th, FINALLY.
Of course, the weather keeps telling me there's a possibility of thunderstorms. Why not? I've only been trying to shoot this segment for 6 months.
Will this be the last thing I shoot? Who knows. It certainly feels like it might unless we get some real money for this book I'm adapting.
The head lady at the place I work freelance has suggested pretty strongly that they'd love me to come work for them full time. I don't know what they'd pay, and it would certainly tie up much of my free time, but there WOULD be a regular paycheck...
Dunno. Haven't had a regular job in so long that I'm just not sure whether I could hack it unless the pay was GREAT.
Can't remember if I mentioned it--and don't see it in the recent posts--but some dude bought literally every movie I sell from me on Amazon. All copies of them.
I only keep a couple in general in stock because people are far more likely to buy if they see there's "Only 2 Copies Left" than if it says "10 Copies Left".
So this guy in Utah buys two GOH blu, four FOC2 Blu, 2 FOC2 DVD, 3 Ttory DVD, and pays the full shipping. Then I freak out when I can only find one GOH blu--I knew I was running out. I find one other copy with a price tag on it--it's the display copy at the cons, but it's unopened, so I pull off the sticker and send that.
I just can't figure out WHY this guy wanted them all and paid full price plus shipping. If he's a dealer, he overpaid. Only way I can see it working to his advantage is if he owns a video rental place. More power to him if he does.
I threw in a couple of freebies and a note saying if he needs more to contact me directly and I can hook him up wholesale. (but the GOH's are GONE)
Which leads me to wonder...should I do a GOH DVD? I never intended to, but over the years people keep asking. And as I've mentioned before, the FOC2 DVDs have still FAR oustold the blu's...
So I took a couple of days and made a dvd fairly fast. Then I think..."Man, with the new color correction tools, I could probably make this flick look better..."
What do you think? I won't tell you which is which, but tell me which frame looks better to you.
It's subtle in most places, but when I play it on the screen it definitely looks better. You like the first version or the 2nd version better? Make sure you blow them up to see the diff.
I didn't think I could fit anything other than the movie on the dvd, but with some work I managed to get the Making Of and the commentary on there. So when I get some time/money, I'll probably do a run of 100 just to see how fast it sells. It's pretty cheap nowadays, so worth a try.
That actress/model who's going to be in Ttory 2 has now gone from like 40K followers on Instag to a quarter million. I feel like she'll be quite a catch to be in the flick, which is one more reason why I really can't afford to NOT do it.
Did I mention that my brother and I have been trying to watch the Star Trek Discovery show with my dad? It's been less than interesting. So much so that I told them that if the mid-season finale(episode 9) wasn't better than we could just give up on it.
They were all cool with it. Episode 9 was pretty mediocre, but at the end they get thrown off course by a wormhole, and don't know where they are.
Whatever. I told them we were done, that I'd watch the rest in the background while I worked and let them know if it got interesting.
Well, episode 10 finally did. (which is a pretty shitty track record...)
Turns out they got thrown into the mirror universe, and a semi-main character gets killed. We get to see some alternate versions of the characters. Still not endorsing the series, but at least it's gotten a little better.
Finished Counterpart, a Starz series. Very good, and worth watching if you like realistic sci-fi. A more grounded Fringe, really.
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Man, I swear to Christ that if I could go back in time and kill either Hitler or Steve Jobs as a baby, it would be Steve Jobs. Sure, a lot of people died because of Hitler, but the world ended up changing in a better way because of it.
Can't say the same for Jobs, can you? People are more anti-social. They can't put the fucking phones down, whether it's while they're watching a movie in a theater or even driving, for fuck's sake.
And now, on top of it all, I have to design my web site so it looks fine no matter if their phone is an old iphone(small) or a new Samsung(large). It's fucking insane.
After looking into a while, I figure I'm going to do the "easier" thing, which is to simply check what the person hitting my site is using, and if it's a mobile device, I'll direct them to a SUPER simple version of my site that will work on any mobile device. It's gonna basically suck, but I don't have time to fuck with this.
(and yeah, Stewie, I looked into Wordpress, and I guess the biggest problem with it is that they want to charge me a monthly fee to use it--$18 a month. I'm not paying a monthly fee--I already do that for my domain space)
I would love to just, you know, make movies. Write/direct. But instead I gotta be a web designer, a dvd/blu ray designer, a social media guru, a gigolo(okay, that's on me), a graphic designer, and more.
It's tiring. I am literally too old for this shit.
My wife's aunt died a couple of days ago, and because there are so few of them left in decent shape, I not only had to go to the funeral but I had to be a pall bearer also.
I don't do funerals. I don't do churches, period. The insanity of people all pretending that their made-up deity is real, while scoffing at the absurdity of the other people's deities...man, the hypocritical nature of it all gets to me.
The people that wrote their holy book would have shit their pants and bowed down to me if I showed them a stun gun. Hell, maybe even just a cigarette lighter.
So I'm there amidst a bunch of religious people as they do their prayers--responsive prayers, which just feels cult-like. You know, the pastor's like "The Lord Keep You" and all of a sudden the rest of the people in church are like "AND ALSO YOU". It's hard to keep a straight face.
I liked the lady(her aunt). She was a bit talky, like most of that family, but she was nice enough. But hey, she was 98 years old. Even her son was ready for her to go--she was in rough shape the last year.
I dunno. Can you tell my mood is just not fucking good?
Not helping--tonight I drink my last Coke Zero. Yes, the 100+ two-liters are now gone. I'm not gonna drink that new shit they put out; it tastes like ass. I'm also not going to buy any Coke products any more(except the Slurpee, but that can't be helped)
Gotta find a replacement. I drink so much water that I just NEED something different around 2am at night. Something fizzy.
Was going to continue work on the 2nd Halloween book, but then I'm like, "Why bother?" I make so little money on them that I'm not sure it's worth it. The first one I did because I wanted to, and it was fun to immerse myself in Halloween all year long.
But now that I've been working on the new one a bit, I remember just HOW MUCH work it was. And I can do all that work while Amazon collects 80% of the money that comes in? Fuck, man.
I gotta go out and blow off some steam somehow. At this point it's not going to take much to finally push me over the edge.