Sunday, September 29, 2013

Convention Weekend

Went to a convention this past weekend. It's the local one I always go to near my birthday. I treat myself to a room, head up and get wasted with people I don't see that often.

Didn't really care about any of the celebs, but I had some weird encounters. One of my fans has begun managing celebrities, and he brought two to this show. An older gentleman and a fortyish actress who's still SUPER HOT.

I'm not naming them because I don't want them to hit this shit in a search.

 Anyway, I got there and stopped by Dom's table. Said hey, he introduced me to the two celebrities. The woman heard about my flicks and wanted to see the trailers, so Dom booted them up on his laptop and showed her. She was really interested, especially the whole real-serial-killer with my movie story.

Later I checked in to my room and they gave me a free breakfast card. I don't eat breakfast so I gave it to Dom and said to give it to one of his celeb people. He gave it to the woman, and she's like "What's this?" Dom said "Kevin gave it to you."

She smiled, got up and came around the table to me and as she pulled me into a really intimate hug she whispers the following: "I don't need your free breakfast Kevin. I'm rich. And you know why I'm rich?" The whole time she's still squeezing me tightly, and man does she have a body. I shake my head, smiling.

"Cuz I'm happy and I have 3 great kids and a loving husband. But thanks." And she may have kissed me on the cheek. I feel like she did, but I'll admit I was a bit thrown by the whole thing. It was weird.

Here's what she looks like--don't know how long ago this was, but she still looks just like that.

I ran into a bunch of people I know. The dealer's room was pretty unimpressive, but there was a bigger crowd than last year. There was a rumor this would be the last year they would do it, but hopefully that's wrong.

Went out to dinner with O'brocki, one of the actors I know who's been in a couple of my films. Came back and started the drinking. Grabbed a giant cup of vodka cranberry and went to the bar, and shit got weird.

This dude is a guy I've known for years, but only through the shows. I've partied with him a couple of times. He was WASTED when we got to the bar at like 8pm. His name's Rob.

He forced us to do shots of Yukon Jack. It was called a Canadian liqueur but I'm pretty sure it's just whiskey. Wasn't a fan. We kept meeting new people. A fun girl named Pennie who Rob kept saying had double D's. She said they were actually F's, and then eventually opened her shirt so we could see some cleavage. Nice.

Coincidentally Pennie was a huge fan of FOC. She showed me a pic of her as Shivers--even had the sclera contacts and all. What was weird is how many people would come by, find out who I was, and then turn out to be fans of the film.

Then some dude showed up looking like the New Jersey version of Eminem. And somehow he ended up following me and O'brocki back to the room, where he demanded we find him some blow. Then he proceeded to rap for us, and say crazy crazy shit. Luckily, Rob took a pic of him earlier. Look at that chain...

It was way bizarre. We led him away from the room back to the bar(after refilling my drink), and then Rob started singing. Here's some video. There are more under that Youtube account.

Here's my favorite pic from the night. I don't even know who the dude was. They wanted a pic, and I was like sure. Took my glasses off and gave 'em the face.
It started winding down at like 3am. People leaving. At some point O'brocki went back to the room(I told him he could crash on my floor, since he's let me do it at other cons).

I went back to the room and he was OUT on the floor. Didn't move a fucking muscle. I checked my computer and then saw myself in the hotel mirror in this classic 1-point lighting. Figured, must be time for a self portrait.

You can't tell how wasted I am there, but it's pretty bad.

Next morning I woke up and O'Brocki was gone. I felt like shit, still buzzed, so didn't even go back into the con to say bye to Dom and friends.

Fun times though. Rob's just started posting more pics, so if I see any more crazy ones I'll add 'em.

Monday, September 23, 2013


So, the birthday is past. Watched Bloody Birthday on Netflix. Man, if you're old enough to remember who Julie Brown is(not to be confused with Downtown Julie Brown), you will enjoy a part of this movie where she gets naked, and looks phenomenal.

Anyway, my brother let me borrow his Mark II and some lenses, plus gave me my lenses back. I threw some lights up in the backyard and did some tests.

Wow. The whole thing you hear about with "you can almost shoot in the dark" is a bunch of horseshit.

I don't have a ton of lights--one kit with 4 lights in it, plus a 500watt DP. But we also have two spotlights in the back yard that do a decent job of putting light out. I figured I'd use the DP to light up some of the yard behind the swing set, and then take some of the other lights to fill whatever I needed.

On closeup we'd use a china ball, which has always saved my life going back to my first film HH. It's the indy filmmaker's best lighting tool. (cheap, and casts a nice even light)

So on my first shot, where I decided to see what 1250iso looked like, it was DARK. I was shooting with an L lens, 17-40mm as wide as it would go. I was shooting at a shutter speed of 1/50th, since your best shot at looking like a movie is always to shoot at twice the shutter speed of your frames per second.

Here's what it looked like with just the two spotlights plus the DP in the background.

Sooooo dark! So I figure, let's see what my 35mm, 1.4 lens will look like.

Ok, so now we're starting to talk. Sure, it looks 900% unmotivated. Would be nice if I could get me neighbor to turn on his back light to get me something in that big black mess.

I can fix some of this by hooking up the dimmer to that back light and bringing it down some. I can color correct(or actually shoot at the correct color temp, which I didn't do because I was in a hurry). But clearly I needed another light to hit some of that swing set, so I could stop down. At 1.4 the depth of field is TINY, and I need more.

So I took a 250watt VP and shot it from the spotlight toward the swing set, and put the camera on the mini-crane.

Now it's getting there, but it's all looking way too DIRECT. Probably because it is. So I'm gonna have to diffuse those lights a bit, but I can't really afford to lose much of the light.
Then our dinner came, so I had to put all the shit away, but I figured I better see what a normal medium close up might look like under this lighting.

Not bad, but still super unmotivated. If I take some of the tungsten color out and make it a bit whitish, it may sell as moonlight. I'll be taking it over to the edit computer to check it out.

So here's some quick looks I applied to see what it would look like. It's okay but I'm not thrilled. The light still looks unmotivated--gotta work on that. There's a lot of grain on these, even in the ones I shot at 640iso. I do have a 1K soft box I can bring out, but I have to see if the lights still work.

But we're getting to a point where I may be blowing breakers in my house to use all these lights.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Friday the 13th Marathon Plus Tests

With the Friday the 13th here I decided to try to watch every one of the movies, back to back. The only ones I've seen in the past five years are #1 and #2.

So I blazed through the first three.  A lot of them coming back to me.

Started part four, and I quickly realized I had never seen it before. Not sure how that happened. It was pretty good, as was part five. Also would like to apologize for every saying, when the remake was coming out, that "Jason doesn't run", because fuck if he doesn't in part #2 and #3.

Went over Zig's and watched the next two the following night. Came home and was beat, so it wasn't until Saturday that I got around to the worst of the bunch--the barely watchable Jason Takes Manhattan and Jason Goes To Hell. Jason X is okay--it's got some cool kills.

Thought about moving on to Freddy Vs. Jason, but just couldn't do it.

Anyway, got some stuff to fix the mini-crane to where I need it and did some tests. They're boring, but feel free to watch:

That's my kid in the shots. It's all uncolor-corrected and with my shittiest lenses. (My brother has my good lenses right now)

I put the remote-pan head on the crane so I could pan/tilt. I think it'll work pretty good for what I need it for. Assuming I do this short. Getting older sucks, because man, shooting anything seems like a massive undertaking.

Gonna have to psych myself into it, I think.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Secret Life Of My Dad

My dad retired a few years back. Now he pretty much looks for any excuse to do stuff.

Sure, he plays golf a lot. But any time I mention that there's any problem around my house, next day he's there to fix it.

So I mentioned that I was going to shoot this short, and was thinking about building a lightweight crane for a DSLR. I have an 8 foot cobracrane, but the damn thing is like 60 pounds and not collapsible without a ton of work.

I found this video, and it looked promising:

I sent him the link. Next day he calls me, says "You want me to bring this thing over, or what?" And I'm like, you built it? In one day? Sure enough, he brings it over. We hook it up.

It works pretty good. Only things I gotta iron out are the weights shift on the bar because the bolt holding them is thinner than the hole inside, and the base where it meets the tripod could really use some reinforcements.

The thing without weights weighs like 5 pounds, but it's sturdy as hell. Also, he decided to make it 5 feet long, so I get a pretty good distance.

Have started the search for a kid actor. Have some friends volunteering their kids, saying they've done school plays and whatnot. Not sure whether I should chance it.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Another decision?

Man, it's like life is just a big fuckload of decision all the time, right? I didn't sign up for all this work.

I wanted to shoot a short for Halloween--it's probably like 12 pages and involves multiple locations, one of which is a pumpkin field. It's hard to find the shit I'd need to shoot it, so I had a thought about another one.

A pretty simple one. Creepy with not too much gore. Wrote it in two nights. I think it might be fun, and it's one location.

Now the only real hurdle is finding a kid actor who's decent. And can act into the wee hours of the morning. (we'll start shooting at dark, perhaps earlier for the interior scenes, then move outside and try to get it done in one night)

I was only going to do it for fun, upload it to the web for Halloween, but now there's that ABC2 competition(the horror movie of anthologies) where they'll put you in the movie if you win. I'd have to chop this down to 3 minutes, but I can probably do it.

Then I'll just upload the full one to Youtube or something.

Why am I going to do this? I dunno. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Decision Made

Okay, so what I'm going to do is get 300-500 of the FOC2 Blu's printed up. Wanna see a neato feature of using the company I'm using? (I'd name them, but they're not paying me, and also I don't want search engines to hit it)

They generate a 3D mockup as well as the digital proofs. They won't send them to me until I order, so I taped it on my phone, but you get the idea.

I'll put up the actual proofs so you can see them later. They're not bad considering I did them myself without my graphic guy. I know he'd do it for free, but I hate asking pro's to do shit for me for no money.

But that's his poster on the front.

Anyway, I'll get them up on Amazon soon after and then probably take down the SD version from the streaming and put up the HD. I'll also put it on some of the other non-exclusive streaming sites for pay.

I can probably get some play on some of the horror web sites, since this is not only the first time it's available in HD but also complete with extras.

What I have to do first is watch the entire Blu Ray master I burned to make sure there are no errors. But I'm all burned out right now. Soon though. I got time, since I'm not going to do it until probably the end of this month.

Sunday, September 01, 2013


I would pay to see this movie right now

Couple of us got together tonight before the UFC fights and watched the new Bounty blu I threw together. In a perfect world it would have played flawless and I'd be done with it. Ready to press if we get the contract back.


About a 3 minute segment goes out of sync. I was thinking--easy enough fix. I only have to fix it and export a new audio track and replace the one in Encore.

A ways in I notice a tiny flicker at the top of the screen in one of the "carcam" shots. Nobody else notices. I figure, fuck it.

Then partway in there's a double image on the screen in some shots. I know exactly what it is, because I fixed it wherever I saw it while I was putting the movie back together, but apparently I missed like three shots.

For some reason any rendered .avis are being displayed at the wrong pixel aspect ratio. Sometimes I'd fix a clip, and just render it out, then bring it into Premiere so the program didn't have to work so hard. (this was CS3, so it's much easier now--the programs are all linked and you can also pre-render stuff)

So this is going to call for an entire new render of the movie. After that I notice a few more carcam shots where there seems to be a gap in the top of the image. So I have to go in and magnify them by like 1 percent.

I come home after the fights and do that. I put on The Dictator while I work. It's not as bad as I heard. Mildly amusing.

Follow that up with 13 Going On 30, which I'd never seen. It's cute, and I liked the 80's music, but completely forgettable. But it put me in the mood for more 80's. Started Back To School. Forgot Robert Downey Jr. is in movie, just like I remembered otherwise.

Finally ended with The Woman In Red. Gene Wilder, who I sort of thought was dead. But he's not. Here's a recent interview to prove it, and he tells the reason he's not worked on a movie in like 20 years.

I'm going to admit something I'm a little embarrassed of. I have never seen Blazing Saddles. Might have to rectify that.

Anyway, TWIR: Man, Kelly Le Brock was hot. And you get some of her boobage in this movie, which I was unaware of.

Now for some reason, as I start this 20 hour render, I feel like I'm in the mood for Silver Streak. I don't own it though. I see the barebones Blu Ray is $15, so I'm not buying that. The review say it doesn't look great.

Oh well.