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.

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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. 

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.

 

Latest News And Updates


Hey everyone. Yesterday I talked to one of the folks running the Bloody Hero film festival in Phoenix this February by the name of Chris Martin. I wanted to make sure we were still set to record our podcast live from the event as well as serve on the jury of the fest. We are all set to go. Brian and I will be there all weekend. They have a good slate of movies scheduled for the weekend. If you plan to attend stop by and say hello. If you want more info please check out their website. It will be held at the Phoenix Center For The Arts on February 8th-10th.

We also have a special event planned for January 10th where many of the Abnormal Entertainment crew will be getting together for a big round table podcast. It’ll be the first time since Brian and I have joined the network that we will all be together. Make sure to stay tuned for that one.

We also recently recorded our first ever drunken commentary for a movie we hate. Brian and I were joined by my childhood friend, Steve Mayo, as we drunkenly watched Twilight. It was a blast. We had a lot of fun doing it. That should be up soon. Keep checking back on our webpage for it to he posted.

On to our movie news. Lepus has become a sort of favorite of the few people who have watched it so far. The composer loves it. Walter Reuther aka Scarlet Fry thinks it is the best short in the collection that will be on the DVD for Scream Machine. The surviving cast is itching to come back as soon as possible for the sequel. Before Lepus we were told there were three distributors vying for the project. After Lepus the number has doubled to six. Walter wants to keep working with us on future projects. It’s very exciting.

Lepus Shoots In Three Days


I have to admit that I am dreaming out a little about shooting my first short film. Around the beginning of September I went through a brief bout of anxiety but it passed quickly. Then I was completely zen about the whole thing. Well that fear has reared its ugly head once again now that there’s only a couple days to go before we start.

I’ve been doing my prep work. I have been making shot lists and storyboards. We had the table read a few days ago that was a lot of fun. Overall, I am very excited. This is what I wanted after all. I suppose even the big directors get nervous before a shoot on a major motion picture. I can’t imagine that anyone feels comfortable with the prospect of shooting a $200 million feature and having it lose money. I guess if I put it like that and remember this isn’t costing us one red cent then I should just be calm and enjoy the ride.

The problem is that I am putting pressure on myself. I don’t want this to look like crap. I want a short that I can he proud of, something that is funny and weird and that people will enjoy…even if they don’t get it. If this looks like some of the shorts I have seen then what is the point in doing this at all? That’s what I’m freaking out about. It’s not the performances, it isn’t the costumes, it isn’t the gore factor. No, it’s me. I am freaking out about me. Do I really have what it takes to do this?

I know deep down that I have the knowledge. I know that my whole life has been leading to this moment. I know somewhere inside of me that I won’t fail. Bit I still have that fear. Oh well. I’ll get over it. Lepus is gonna be fun and weird and bloody, all the things it is meant to be. If it isn’t then I will blame Brian (just kidding, Brian).

LucasFilm Is Now Disney Owned?!


Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve heard the news. Disney purchased LucasFilm for a whopping $4.05 Billion. That is Billion with a B. This is a crazy bit of news. Nobody even knew it was on the market.

Disney wasted no time talking about their plans for LucasFilm. They intend on having Star Wars Episode 7 in theaters by 2015, the same time as Avengers 2, with 8 and 9 to follow shortly after. This is great news for Disney, but what does it mean for fans?

First off, Disney owns Marvel Studios and their comic book line. That means Dark Horse Comics will lose the rights as soon as their contract is up. There’s no way Disney is going to re-up that contract now. Marvel was the first company to release Star Wars comics back in the late 70’s and they will have it back again in just a couple short years.

Second, we must address what this means for the fans of the movies. Star Wars and Indiana Jones are both owned by LucasFilm. Fox and Paramount only had distribution rights. Now that Disney owns them that means we won’t have Lucas making poor decisions on how to handle these two properties. Instead we’ll have Disney making those poor decisions…maybe. The good thing is Kathleen Kennedy is staying on as the head of LucasFilm. This could go the same way as Marvel or Pixar for Disney where they are able to make their own decisions while having access to giant bags of money.

People that know me know that I hated the Star Wars prequel trilogy and didn’t really like Indiana Jones 4. With Lucas out of the picture we finally get to see other people step up to the creative plate and give us a new vision of the worlds Lucas created. We may also finally see a Star Wars television series.

After so many years of Lucas slowly losing his touch with what fans want we now get to see what may be a bold and creative new playground set in his sandbox. Overall I am excited. I still have reservations about it but that comes with the territory.

Lucas is also keeping ILM. That’s his baby, something he seems to care about more than screwing his fans with inferior product. One of my biggest complaints with the prequel trilogy was that Lucas seemed more in love with his technology than with his stories or actors. I say let him have the tech and give the other stuff to people who care about the stories.

Brian and I talked about this subject in detail on our podcast we just recorded. It will be available on Monday. And when my friend Dave and I record our Midichlorian Mayhem podcast (coming soon) we will be touching on it even more.

Don’t forget to go “like” our facebook page. There is always new stuff to talk about and we want your feedback. We also do weekly polls where you get to tell us what we review on the show. Go check it out. And while you’re there go “like” our other pages too. You can find them here and here.

The Gorram Nerd Hour News


It seems things are moving in the right direction with The Gorram Nerd Hour. Brian and I have been putting a lot of effort into promoting the show. If you haven’t listened yet you really should. After the success we had at The Rapture Horror Expo recently we decided that we would like to keep doing more podcasts from festivals and interview guests.

Up next, unless something else pops up, us the Bloody Hero film festival in February. Chris Martin, one of the festival head honchos, asked me at Rapture if we would like to be involved. I said yes, of course. We also know for sure we will be podcasting live from Phoenix Comicon in May. I am trying to work out a deal to work the International Horror and SciFi show in April as well as seeing if we can get into The Amazing Arizona Comic Con in January. I haven’t heard back from the last two yet. Fingers crossed.

In the meantime I have an old friend from high school stopping by for our next show where he will try and convince Brian and me that the Star Wars prequel trilogy didn’t suck. Then we will be doing our Halloween show where I intend to talk about John Carpenter at length.

We also were talking about trying to get press passes to and a possible interview with the lovely and talented Danielle Harris when she’s in town next month screening her directorial debut. We are certainly doing our best to put on the best show possible for you all. I hope you’re tuning in. If you haven’t seen or heard the show yet go to http://gorramnerdhour.blogspot.com and check it out. We are also available on Stitcher, iTunes, and have video stuff available on YouTube. Just type in Gorram Nerd Hour and you’ll find us. Also, please go “like” our Facebook pages http://facebook.com/TheGorramNerdHour, http://facebook.com/TheCristosSaga, and http://facebook.com/RobotVampireProductions. There’s a lot of great stuff coming. We promise not to disappoint.

Paranormal Entity


There are a lot of movies out there that capitalize on the names of others. There’s Snakes On A Train, Transmorphers, Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies, and a multitude of others that do it with the art on the cover box or poster. Last night I watched Paranormal Entity. It took several aspects of what people responded to in Paranormal Activity and gave them a new twist…or attempted to anyway.

The movie begins with a family who just lost their husband/father. The mom was still an emotional wreck and began talking to him as if he was still alive inviting a presence into the house. The movie was shot as a found footage film complete with hand held video cameras, cameras stationed in the bedroom, and a camera in the living room. Weird stuff begins to happen in the house.

The movie was directed by Shane Van Dyke, a man who is no stranger to making features similar to bigger ones. He directed Titanic II and A Haunting In Salem, as well as writing others like The Day The Earth Stopped and Transmorphers: Fall Of Man. It’s not that the movie was bad it just didn’t have the same eerie feel as Paranormal Activity.

When making a found footage movie it is very hit and miss. Chronicle did a great job. So did The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity. Even The Last Exorcism was passable. But there are too many that rely on that idea too heavily and others that just don’t know how to use it. This felt like Van Dyke just wasn’t sure enough of what he was doing. I place no fault on him as a writer. The script wasn’t bad. The acting was far above what I expected. Erin Marie Hogan and Fia Perera were good as the sister and mother. And Van Dyke was good as the brother whom we rarely see on camera as he’s the one holding it. All in all I would say it was a worthy effort but not executed to its full potential.

I’m gonna have to give 2 out of 5 stars. I’m reluctant to go so low but I don’t feel justified to go higher.

Now go follow what Brian Smith and I are doing by checking out and “liking” our Facebook pages.

http://facebook.com/RobotVampireProductions, http://facebook.com/TheCristosSaga, http://facebook.com/TheGorramNerdHour or go over to http://gorramnerdhour.blogspot.com and listen to our podcast, visit our sponsors, give feedback, or just tell us you love us. Also, don’t forget about Rapture Horror Expo next weekend at the Mesa Convention Center in downtown Mesa. We will be there along with some really big horror icons, scream queens, zombies, bands, up and comers, and many others including Paranormal Entity star Erin Marie Hogan. http://www.rapturehorrorexpo.com October 5-7.

Rapture Horror Expo


Well, we are only two episodes in to The Gorram Nerd Hour but things are heating up fast. If you haven’t listened please go to http://gorramnerdhour.blogspot.com and give it a try.

I just got off the phone with the man behind the first ever Rapture Horror Expo happening in Mesa, AZ in just a couple weeks. He was able to pull in some pretty heavy hitters in the horror genre like Jake Busey and Tony Todd. There are also going to be screenings of The Frighteners and Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies with the man who played Honest Abe in the film.

We talked about the chance to do a podcast from the Expo and he agreed. He wants local support as much as possible. This is great news for everyone. It gives us a chance to really get our names out there for The Gorram Nerd Hour and Robot Vampire Productions. It gives us a chance to support indie horror cinema, something I have always tried to support and encourage people to watch.

For more details on The Rapture Horror Expo, guests, dates, events, and ticket prices go to http://www.rapturehorrorexpo.com. And don’t forget to “like” our Facebook pages http://facebook.com/RobotVampireProductions and http://facebook.com/TheCristosSaga.

The Gorram Nerd Hour


Ladies and gentlemen,

Brian Smith and I have been picked up by Abnormal Entertainment to do a weekly podcast called The Gorram Nerd Hour. Each week we will be reviewing a B grade genre film from past or present. This weeks episode we reviewed the 80’s classic Night Of The Creeps starring Tom Atkins and Jason Lively. We also talk about movie and television news, comic books and whatever else comes up.

We are very happy to have been included in the Abnormal Entertainment family. They have been putting on The Atomic Fallout Society for some time now with our friends Tony and David Sabal who later added Brian into the mix. Kevin Moyers and Camm Harston have said some very kind things about our first show we did independently and decided to pick us up after that. We are very grateful.

Very soon we are starting production on our short film, Lepus, and we plan to do a show from the wrap party and have some of the cast and crew on. In the meantime Brian and I are compiling a list of B movies to watch and review. So far we know we will be reviewing Jessicka Rabid, They Live, C.H.U.D., and a few others with our own brand of snark and appreciation for the art of making enjoyable bad movies. Those who have followed this blog know I love these types of films and I am so glad we have an outlet to share it with the rest of you.

Head on over tohttp://gorramnerdhour.blogspot.com and give it a listen. Also make sure to go “like” our Facebook pages http://facebook.com/RobotVampireProductions, http://facebook.com/TheCristosSaga, and http://facebook.com/TheGorramNerdHour. We’d love to hear your feedback.