More Podcasting Is More Better


Hello everyone,

 

Sorry it’s been a few days since I posted anything. It’s been a busy time. I have been working like crazy. As some may or may not know I’m a cab driver and you can hear a story about that on the latest episode of The Gorram Nerd Hour. Besides working I have been trying to find time to sleep. That hasn’t been happening so instead I’m just throwing myself head first into more podcasts. Besides The Gorram Nerd Hour I have been doing a limited series under the Gorram banner called Holodeck Malfunction with my good friend Isaac Hulke. It’s a show about Star Trek if you couldn’t guess that from the title. 

In each episode of Holodeck Malfunction we pick a series or movie and talk about it for an hour, sometimes two topics. It just depends. We have recorded eight episodes so far and just started putting them up. So, you will be able to hear me twice a week on the Gorram page. You can also hear me and some free music on a new show I’ve started with my friend Ryan Ford. It’s called From The Underground and it will focus on indie bands of all genres. You can read more about it by following the hyperlink above. 

Lastly, I want to talk about the Abnormal Entertainment crew as a whole. These folks are awesome. I love each and every one of them…even Taylor Made from Bank On Action. He may not realize it since I do nothing but make fun of him all the time but I do appreciate him. David Hayes, one of the hosts of Cinema Head Cheese has a new book out. Follow the link on the other pages I’ve already hyperlinked and you’ll find it. It’s called American Guiginol. 

Thanks to everyone at Abnormal Entertainment. I’ve had a blast working with you all and can’t wait to see nearly everyone in one place for Phoenix Comicon.

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The Bloody Hero International Film Festival


Hello out there. I’m coming to you live from The Bloody Hero International Film Festival. It started this morning. I have to say that I’m already exhausted. That’s not the fault of the fest. That’s my fault for working until 5am then coming here just 5 hours later.

Being on the jury I have already seen many of the movies showing over the weekend. Bit I didn’t see them all. I just sat through a documentary called American Courtesans about sex workers in the United States. I will hopefully be interviewing the woman behind the documentary for The Gorram Nerd Hour this weekend as she made a special trip to Phoenix just to be here. She seems like a fascinating woman.

Several of the movies have multiple screenings this weekend. If you’re in the area we would love for you to come and support the fest in its first year. There are some great movies being shown and we are very happy with the winners in each category.

I will be reporting back later this weekend with a recap. Tonight there is an industry mixer for all the local talent, guests and filmmakers that made the time come. I’m sure we will really he enjoying our time here for the rest of the weekend. And I can’t wait to unleash our little surprise of what’s to come for our podcast this weekend. We have something really crazy planned. If you can’t see it live make sure you check out the podcast on Wednesday.

Lepus And Terrestrial Updates


ImageI know, I know. I spend a lot of time on here talking about Lepus. Cut me some slack. This is the first time I have officially directed something. It’s like when someone has a baby. Even if the baby is a hideous chud they still want to share pictures on Facebook all the time. Now, I’m not calling Lepus hideous. I’m simply stating that, for all intents and purposes, this is my baby and I want to share it with the world. Is that so wrong? I’m proud of what I created. 

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Last night Brian and I met with David Sabal for a few mintues before he was a guest on The Gorram Nerd Hour. During that time he filled us in on what was happening with distribution. It’s been decided that we are going to be distributed by Worldwide MultiMedia. The other five distributors that were looking to pick us up wanted to wait too long to release the DVD. Worldwide can have it out by June (more details on the exact release date as they come in). They will also have copies available before hand for us to autograph and sell at Phoenix Comicon in May. If you’re gonna be there then come get your copy. You won’t be disappointed…well, I can vouch for Lepus at least, not the other shorts in the Scream Machine DVD. Maybe I should “You hopefully won’t be disappointed as I haven’t seen the other shorts”. Anyway, we will also be selling copies through our Facebook page.

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Last night we did a little foley work on the project and then talked about our next short film, Terrestrial, that we will hopefully be shooting next month. We just have to wait and see when our lead actor is available. He is going to be busy shooting a movie through part of February. Our second largest role, the character of Travis, has a similar issue with the actor. We wanted to shoot a certain week in February and he will be out of town. These are the people we absolutely want for the short and we will wait if that is what it takes. We loved these actors and really want to see what they do with the roles. You can hear the official casting announcements on The Gorram Nerd Hour later tonight when it goes up. Otherwise you can wait a week for us to post it on our Facebook page and Twitter.

1st Round Of Auditions Are Done For Terrestrial


Another day of auditions completed. We found most of our core cast and they were amazing. The tone for this one is much different and darker than what we did with “Lepus” and the people auditioning just got it. How we’ve been so blessed with the people we’ve had the chance to work with is beyond me. We got really lucky with the “Lepus” cast and many of them came in for the audition tonight and proved they can go beyond playing the broad goofiness to playing darker comedy. 

If you would have asked me a year ago where we’d be right now I would not have expected this. Brian and I were sitting around wondering if our feature script for “Welcome To Deadsville” could even get sold. We didn’t have connections. We had no experience. So we wrote a couple of shorts for me to direct. “Lepus” was picked up for distribution before it was even shot and now we’re making “Terrestrial”. This will show a different style in writing for the both of us and directing for me. 

We had three people who worked on “Lepus” come in to audition for us tonight. Each one of them brought their own special magic to what we wrote. We also had some others whom we want to work with but couldn’t find a good fit for last time around come in. Then there were the new guys. All of them did wonderfully. They are going to make my job very hard. We had about eight people come out for three roles. We didn’t ask too many people as we didn’t want to feel as though we were rejecting very many. I think we found exactly what we need from certain people. I need to review the audition tapes before final decisions are made but I am very happy with everyone I think we may cast. 

Now we get down to real fun – finding locations, working out actor’s schedules, props and transportation. 

A Quick Terrestrial Update


Later tonight we will be holding an open casting call for our next short film entitled Terrestrial. We are really looking forward to it. Several of our actors for Lepus have asked to audition for us again. I guess they enjoyed their time working with us the last time around.

The story is about a man who has lost everything in his life – how wife and kids have left, he’s been fired from his job. He doesn’t even have any furniture left. This is all due to the belief that there is an alien living in his closet. He attends a support group for alien abductees and they laugh him out of the room. It is then that the alien in the closet begins to tell him to kill.

Everyone that has read the script says that it is unique and darkly funny. I just hope we can find the right people to do the script justice. We will find out tonight.

Thoughts Of Past And Future


Here we are, just a few short months after I started this blog, and we have one short film nearly ready to show, another starting next month and The Gorram Nerd Hour has recorded nearly 20 episodes. All of that in just a few short months. When I started this blog I was talking about the features Brian Smith and I have been writing. We got detoured…but for good reason. We needed something to showcase our talent. We were a little arrogant to think that two writers with no credits to their names could get someone to give them money to produce and direct a movie of their own. Now we’ll have two things to show.

Since I was a boy I have loved movies. I would sit and watch an action movie like any little would. I loved Commando, Lethal Weapon and Die Hard. I also had an affection for every other type of film. I didn’t care. If someone made I wanted to see it. Science Fiction, Horror, Romantic Comedy, Sappy Melodrama, Musicals. I just loved movies. What I took away from all of that was that it was what I wanted to do. I wanted to make movies of my own. At first I thought I wanted to be an actor until I took a drama class in High School and my teacher had me direct something for the first time. That’s when my passion made itself crystal clear. I loved the behind the scenes aspect of things. 

I always enjoyed writing. It has been a passion of mine for as long as I remember. What I wrote was always weird. I would go off and write a sequel to Romeo & Juliet in iambic pentameter or a western about aliens hiding among the townsfolk and planning on destroying the town with radioactive lima beans. So when Brian and I sat down to write Lepus I suggested we write the whole thing in Klingon save for the killer’s one line which would be in German. 

Sometimes I need to be reigned in.

We decided not to go with Klingon. But we kept Brian’s line in German. There is not one good reason for it other than it made us laugh. Lepus is a comedy, after all. We started off goofy with our next short film and decided to go darker once we started writing. Terrestrial will be a different side of our writing. It’s tone is more serious while still being quirky. 

As I write this we are only a couple days away from the open casting call for Terrestrial. I couldn’t be more excited about who we have coming in to read. a couple of our Lepus cast members are coming in for it – Jai Yunae and Randy Robinson. I loved working with them on Lepus. I can’t wait to see what they bring to this audition. We also have some other really talented people we didn’t cast for Lepus coming in for another go. Wilman Vergara II was someone I was really impressed with and just couldn’t find a good place to put him last time. This time he’s coming in to read for the lead in Terrestrial and I think he’s got a great shot at it. Adam Boggs is another up and comer I really liked and he’s coming in to read for us again. I was impressed with both of them so much. I’m glad they want to come in and try for this one. 

We’re still not at a point where we’ve been able to pay anyone for their work. It’s all just copy and credit basically. I’m amazed by the talent that has been willing to work with us for nothing. Hopefully by the time we get started on the next two parts of Lepus we have a budget…something to pay these amazing people for their time. 

Back to Lepus for a moment – The rough cut I saw a while back is good. I was really happy with how it turned out. It was a very rough cut with no score, no effects, no foley. But it was great, great enough for Walter Reuther (aka Scarlet Fry) to tell me it was his favorite in the anthology horror DVD we will be included on. And he directed all the other shorts. 

David Sabal, our wonderful renaissance man (DP, producer, editor) just got the score back from the composer. I asked for something similar to a score from the 80’s scifi and horror movies I loved so much. I wanted something like an old John Carpenter score. From what I hear the composer delivered. Hopefully I will hear it in the next few days. 

Now on to The Gorram Nerd Hour. We have been having a lot of fun recording our show every week. Brian and I love working on it. We are talking about re-tooling the show a little. The first twenty or so weeks have been about finding out what works and what doesn’t. We’re gonna be trying a few new things in upcoming episodes that could prove to be a lot of fun. We are also going to be spending the weekend of February 8-10th at the Bloody Hero International Film Festival at the Phoenix Convention Center. We will be recording our podcast, conducting interviews and serving on the jury. This is a big deal for us. I know I’m really excited about it. We may have another fun surprise for our listeners that weekend too. This will be a part of the re-tool of the show. Let us know what you think.

One last thing before I wrap this up. We had a friend from our Abnormal Entertainment family in town last weekend. Camm Harston, co-host of Raise Your Spirits with Camm and Kevin. While he was here Brian and I both guested on their show. We had a lot of fun and everyone should go listen.

Here;s hoping 2013 proves even better for Robot Vampire Productions than 2012. We’re already off to a great start.

 

Let’s Get Drunk And Watch Twilight!


Recently Brian and I invited my friend Steve over for a little experiment. We wanted to record a commentary track to a movie we all hate. We just couldn’t sit through it sober. So we decided to watch Twilight and record the whole thing for the listening audience. 

Steve arrived at my house sometime around 8pm and brought me some rum he had left over from a while back. He brought himself some Seagram’s Seven. Then Brian arrived with the Vodka. By the time Brian showed up I was already three drinks in. It seems to take more for me to get drunk so I wanted to get a head start. 

We had some pizza and sat down for two hours of yelling drunken stupidity. It was a blast. I don’t remember a lot of what was said. I did have some videos on my phone which I posted on our Facebook page as well as Youtube. The commentary is not up on our official page yet as Brian is still editing. In the meantime check out the videos. We had a lot of fun that night.

 

Next Up – Terrestrial


Now that Lepus is nearly finished Brian and I have settled on our next project. We want to make our short called Terrestrial.

We wrote it directly after Lepus. I started wondering what Elliot would be like if E.T. never came back to him like he promised. Would the adult Elliot be messed up by this? Our answer was yes. He believes he has an alien living in his closet whom he shares a psychic bond with. This alien is telling him to do bad things. It caused his wife and children to leave and got him laughed out of his Alien Abductees Anonymous group. The alien forces him to take his revenge.

This short film, while still funny, is much darker in tone than the over the top weirdness that was Lepus. Now it is just a matter of putting together a cast and crew for the short. We would like to use some of the people we used in Lepus. I also plan to play a small role this time. Brian, who has apparently been bitten by the acting bug, has asked to play a role again.

When we were casting Lepus we saw some very talented people that we just couldn’t find a good fit for in that short. I would like to bring them in for this one. The script is more dialogue heavy than Lepus was and we need good people for it. I’m hoping we can get this put together by the end of February.

Fingers crossed.

Low Budget Doesn’t Have To Mean “Crap”


First off, I have been a bad blogger. I haven’t posted on here in a while. For that I am truly sorry. I could blame the holidays or just life getting in the way…whatever it is I promise to get better about posting in the near future.

Now, on to the subject at hand. Seeing that I review movies on a regular basis, both on here (well, not lately) and on The Gorram Nerd Hour, I see a lot of crap. But does low budget/straight to video/shot on video mean we have to settle for crap? No. Brian and I spend a lot of time on what we write. It’s the only way to be sure our stuff is actually good enough to shoot. Sure, we want to include blood and gore. That’s gonna sell your straight to DVD movie faster than anything else…well, except for boobs. The trick is to do it in a way that works. 

Recently we had to watch some movies for The Gorram Nerd Hour that were amateur efforts. I’m not going to say they were bad. I didn’t think so anyway. What I will say is that had they taken just a little more time on the script the movies would have turned out a lot better. 

Recently we finished our first short film, Lepus, and we have heard nothing but good things from everyone involved in the post-production process. It’s going to be included on a DVD of shorts directed by Walter Reuther aka Scarlet Fry. He told me that he thinks Lepus is the best short on the DVD. Why? Because we didn’t just rest on idea of blood and guts. We wrote a fifteen page script with a three act structure, interesting characters, cool gags, odd humor and lots of blood and guts. I also wanted to make the short look good. We took our time to get the camera angles needed to make it look more dynamic. We tried to find actors we knew would fit the parts. Even the actors who were friends and family were only chosen if we knew they could do it. We had a lot of really talented people we didn’t cast after the open casting session, people I want to work with in the future. They just weren’t right for the roles. That’s why we got great performances. We chose right. 

Enough about my project. Back to my point. If you choose well, write well, shoot coverage, and don’t rest the camera in one spot a la Kevin Smith you can make a movie that looks good…even on video. And for the love of God don’t include the tickle monster as your killer!