Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Why so serious?

Yes I completed my list of things to do. With the exception of about 3 things. But I got what I really needed to get done out of the way. And I even found time to workout. And also we've got another screening for TMS.

Just when I thought we were all done with screenings, here comes another one. Yay!!!

FILM: "Midnight Special"
WHEN: Friday, February 01 10:00 AM
WHERE: Norhtern Lights Theatre Pub
3893 Commercial St. SE
Salem, Oregon 97302
HOSTED BY: Mid-Valley Video Festival
TICKET PRICE: $3

RSVP via the following link:
http://monstercops.bravenewtheaters.com/screening/show/10167

As part of there Horror Comedy screenings on Friday Nights. Should be fun. Wish I could be there. I've flown over Oregon once, but I've never actually been there. I did contemplate moving there once a while back.

I can stop drooling over The Dark Knight trailer. Check out (and download) the high quality trailer here. http://atasteforthetheatrical.com/deathtrap/default.htm

Here's the youtube embed:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

You have to see with better eyes.

Well I think I have successfully cast at least two people for the next Monster Cops short. Although I feel I'm behind in my goal as far as meetings with people are concerned for this week, I think I've still gotten a lot more done then I really expected. And if all turns out well, then it seems I've achieved at least half of what I was looking for to help express my proper vision for Monster Cops. Can't wait to get this stuff on camera.

I've got a bunch of stuff I need to do before the week is over and even more before the year is up. Let's do the list and see if I get any of this done before I post again.

1. Email potential cast members and send out pages.
2. Email even more potential cast members and get them on board.
3. Touch base with everyone, cast and crew before January.
4. Meet with FX guy and begin Special fx and Make up tests.
5. Finish the rest of my video segments for Expotv.
6. Finish Christmas shopping (I know I suck.)
7. Cast the Werewolf.
8. Find your interior location.
9. Workout.
10. Solidify all your props, costume, and gear.
11. And you still don't have a sound person.
12. Clean the house.
13. Hello, Groceries!!!
14. Registration!!!
15. Website(s).
16. Don't forget about the screening in Oregon in February.

I am now going to attempt to mark things off the list. See you next post.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

By Any Means Necessary

Funding a no budget production is really about spending your day job paycheck here and there. More memory for the computer, maybe you need a new camera, more tape stock, a piece of costuming, etc. It's 50 bucks here, 100 bucks there. And it really does eat up the paycheck especially after the normal bills, groceries, and lately because of gas prices. If only there was that little extra bit of cash to throw at the production monster. Some little side dough to help fund your no-budget vision.

The next Monster Cops feature is budgeted at $275,000.00. Suffice it to say I'll be doing some major fundraising for that one. But before that I'll be making at least one monster cops short film for no money, which really means out of my paycheck. Total Budget is about $1,000.00. I've got most of the equipment and props, but for what I need to accomplish I need much more, and I need to do some upgrading hardware and software wise. Which means a few chunks out of the paycheck week after week. Luckily I've found a great source of extra income to cover some of that needed funding.

I've posted about metacafe before, which has helped pay the occasional bill. If you're a video maker and you haven't heard of Metacafe's Producer Rewards, then you need to learn more about it. Especially if you have any tips or tricks or hacks about almost anything, make a video about it and you could start earning some bucks on Producer Rewards. Here's the one that's made me the most.


Paper Rose - These bloopers are hilarious

ExpoTV.com has been the real deal for me. With Metacafe you really have to have something clever, or something with a hot chick in it. With ExpoTV you just have to review something on video. Anything from house hold items, electronics, DVD's etc. I've been doing quite a few DVD reviews. I have an extensive collection so I've been going through stacks of DVD's and recording myself talking about it. ExpoTV is really trying to become the one place you can come to get decent feedback about any product, food, travel, excercise gear, you name it. They pay a certain amount for each video review you post depending on the product. You can make between $2 to $10 a video. And then you get 1 cent per view on top of that. They send you your payments monthly to your paypal account (if you don't have one get one.)

For each DVD review I do I make 5 bucks a video. You don't even have to do any fancy editing, but you do have to show a sample of the movie to give it a full review. Most people just talk to their webcams about the product and then they point their cameras at a nearby TV and show a clip of the movie. For me I have to edit. I enjoy making videos too much, and I always try to keep it close to professional looking and decent quality as possible. Always good practice to keep up with the moviemaking skills. I shoot mine on a high quality camera, I record sound with a lapel mic, I set up the lights, I edit the video including actual snippets of the movie or trailer, I use graphics, and occasionally my own original music. Here's an example below.

Beverly Hills Cop DVD Review



There's usually a cap on videos you can post. Right now it's at 75. So if you can clear 75 video reviews at about 5 bucks a piece, then thats an extra 375 bucks in your pocket. And I have a blast making these vids and it's helped fund this short film. Here's one of my favs.

300 DVD Review



And expoTV actually sent me an ExpoTV T-Shirt for my efforts on my Shaun Of The Dead DVD review. Thanks ExpoTV. Although the sound seems to be a bit off on this one. Oh well.

Shaun Of The Dead DVD Review



Do me a fav and check out my other DVD reviews on ExpoTV here. The more you watch them on site the more views and money I can make, and the more you can help me fund these indie movie projects. And give it a try yourself.



Friday, December 7, 2007

Motion Tracking Research

One thing I know I need to work on in doing much of the effects for Monster Cops is the Motion Tracking.

What is motion tracking?Motion tracking is also known as Match moving. Here's Wikipedia's Definition.

In cinematography, match moving is a special effects technology to allow the insertion of virtual objects into real footage with the correct position, scale, orientation and motion in relation to the photographed objects in the scene. The term is used loosely to refer to several different ways of extracting motion information from a motion picture, particularly camera movement. Match moving is related to rotoscoping and photogrammetry. It is sometimes referred to as motion tracking.

Some of the more popular programs being used for Motion Tracking are:
3DEqualizer
Voodoo Camera Tracker
Maya
RealViz MatchMover
Icarus (I hear it's discontinued, but still floating around out there)
After Effects

After Effects seems to be fairly popular, and is what I will be using the most for specific effects. Here are just a few videos from YouTube on the subject of Motion Tracking mainly with After Effects.

EDIT: Instead of posting every video, I've compiled them into one vodpod. Click on a thumbnail to view a vid. So much more convenient.


get your vodpod

I'll update more info as I come across it.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Live for something rather than die for nothing.

Many many things to juggle and sort through, doesn't help that I'm battling a sinus infection, not to mention the day jobs. But at least I like these problems. In the end it helps to look positively at the fact that it's often not about what you don't have, but about what it is you should be happy you don't have. I'm quite happy I'm getting so much response to the casting and crew call. I just hope I can use all of these resources to the best of my ability, and that I can keep on this streak of being contacted by people who want to help.

Knowing that there is support in this area is comforting. Keeps me sane, along with looking at catalogues and listening to Def Leppard. There's alot of downtime at work, which is sometimes excruciating, and since I don't have a working computer at the moment at the day job, I've been looking at gift catalogues, sharper image catalogues, ikea catalogues, etc. Not that I can afford much of the stuff I keep looking at. I just like seeing what's new in the world of technology and consumerism. And since I'm gearing up for a bit of a fight in continuing to make Monster Cops, I've been brushing up on my Miyamoto Musashi. The Book Of Five Rings.

It's amazing how much of what can be learned about Martial Arts, Military Science, Strategy, and Combat can be applied to not only business and life, but to making a movie as well. Particularily from The Earth Scroll where Musashi lists his rules to learning his art. This is from a translation by Thomas Cleary.

1. Think of what is right and true.
2. Practice and cultivate the science.
3. Become acquainted with the arts.
4. Know the principals of the crafts.
5. Understand the harm and benefit in everything.
6. Learn to see everything accurately.
7. Become aware of what is not obvious.
8. Be careful even in small matters.
9. Do not do aything useless.

It's good to look to the past to have advice for the future. But you don't live by advice, you take it with a grain of salt, you let it help you, guide you to make your own decision rather than have it make the decision for you. That's definitely something that needed to be said this week, this year, this life. I feel like I'm in a fight right now, and when I battle I make strategies, I plan, I research, then I strike.

I hope to strike soon. I hope to have something to show for it all. It's a heck of a thing to have this vision in your head you want to show people. It does no good to tell people about it. We're moviemakers dammit! We're made to show you. And I shall, we shall. I'm fighting to get there again.

"A Roman general in the time of Caesar had a motto - "If it is possible, it is done. If it is impossible... it will be done." And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I live by."

That was from a movie called EVEL KNIEVEL (1971). Not exactly a great movie, but certainly about a great man, and certainly a great quote.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to do my best to get over this distracting sickness, get back to sorting through details, and continue my quest to improve upon Musashi's rules specifically 2,4, and 9.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Not much to say...

but very much to ponder.

There was going to be a post about casting, crewing, and eating fudge brownies, but alas, that's going to have to wait. Can't call the play while I'm in it.

Alot going on, going down, going forward. I knew I'd get some response to the casting and crew call, but it's starting to get very overwhelming. Wouldn't be so hard if I didn't have to juggle the day job. And on that front that may be changing. May be spending less time on that. Also been doing some video projects to help fund this short film.

And just for the record, here's how it's going down. I'll be doing 1 eight to ten minute short/episode for Monster Cops. Then I'm going to jump right into doing the next Monster Cops feature. Full steam, with the original script and story I had in mind years ago. This means major moves toward fundraising. The fundable page didn't work out, but I've found the funding elsewhere (the video jobs), and it's looking like I'll be able to get a hold of some free resources for everything else I can't pay for. I'm going to keep on the fundable page though, I'll just start it back up every 26 days. The holidays may very well be to blame for the lack in pledges. But I do thank those that have contributed, especially you Brit ;).

I have a feeling it'll be easier to fundraise a movie than a series, but the movie was always kind of the plan anyhow. One thing at a time. The agenda for an independent series will have to way about 3 years. I feel very confident in this fundraising plan, just a small hitch in it though, which I think I can rememdy. Won't say what it is, don't wanna jinx it. It's going to be fun and interesting.

Hoepfully I can get back on track with updating the website(s). This is dependent upon other people, but really no big rush, cuz I still have no idea what I want as a redesign. But it will come to me, and will be crucial in the funding/marketing.

Right now I've got some waiting, some pondering, some planning, and major editing to do on these video projects. I also need to gather some people together and start to form my crew.

I swear it would be helpful if I had an office. I think I have a lead on getting one, I just don't like what I might have to do to get it. No, no, I won't be sleeping with anyone, although that would be easier.

Wait! What the hell is that over there? Oh shit, is that Christmas coming this way. Well dammit.


I'm a bit anxious in juggling all this, but these are the problems I like having, my main goal now is to move into problems I like even better, that would be dandy.

Monday, November 19, 2007

SWAT Research

Yeah, yeah, it's research for Monster Cops. Next up, a real post about casting, crewing, fundraising, and the subtle art of eating a fudge brownie. For now, enjoy these SWAT related vids.

Indiana State Police ERT Breach


SWAT open fire on fleeing drug dealer


Swat Sniper Training


Mind Body & Kickass Moves - Taiwan SWAT Team



FBI SWAT


Socom Swat SF Tactical Training


swat training video

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Cast And Crew Call

Winston Salem/Triad Area, NC.

Local Indie Short Film Series MONSTER COPS
Seeking Cast and Crew.

Monster Cops is a short series based off the Cult Comedy Horror Flick MONSTER COPS: THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL, currently on DVD. http://imdb.com/title/tt1031258/

It's a mockumentary look into a secret government agency dedicated to hunting down monsters. It's Reno 911 meets Blair Witch. The Office meets Ghostbusters.

Looking for anyone interested in helping out as part of the cast or crew. Shooting in and around the Winston Salem, NC area. Experience is favorable but not required. Your first time out? No prob. We need as many people as we can get. We'll show you what needs to be done.

CAST:

Major Roles that still need to be filled are as follows:

GREENLY - Female. 20-30 years of age. Talkative psychic, very naive, yet suprisingly intuitive.
WEIR - Male. 20-30 years of age. Rookie Officer. Young but very much a soldier. Comedic Role.
JONES - Male 20-30 years of age. Detective. Wise Guy. Eats alot of donuts.
MILLER - MALE 20-30 years of age. Soldier type. Gets to fire off alot of bullets.
MACREADY - Male 20-30 years of age. Tough guy, Cop, Always handy with the one liners.
WEREWOLF - Male. Need a fairly tall, agile, well built, individual who won't mind running around, in a fur suit, snarling at people.

Also need any males or females interested in playing Police Officers, Military, SWAT, and Soldier type roles. Must be familiar with firearms or at least know how to hold a gun. Military or Police experience a plus. If you're a Paintballer, great.

Also looking to fill monster roles. Anyone interested in playing Vampires or Zombies, we're going to need a bunch of them. May require you to get a little messy, crawl on the ground, get blood or guts on you, and or fall over onto a mattress after your head has been blown off. Moaning, screaming, or hissing, may be required of you as well.

CREW:
We're looking for gaffers, grips, people to help pull cords, hold lights, as well as assist in some of the special fx sequences. No previous experience required. We'll tell you where to stand and what string to pull.

Make up artists. There will be much zombie and vampire make up to apply. Some previous experience in basic stage make up would be great.

Sound person. We need someone to help record sound on set.

No pay, as yet. Full credit and copy of final work, and we'll feed you. I swear you won't regret being a part of this production.

Contact Patrick at pumpkinking13@msn.com
If you've got a headshot and resume, feel free to email it to me.

Find out more about Monster Cops at http://MONSTERCOPS.COM

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Way Of The Squib

It's the one subject all no-budget indies have in common. Well, besides being broke. I'm talking about bullet hits, squibs, that nice little blood explosion from a persons body when someone gets shot in the movies. Since my first jump into this game it's always been a question asked by many and answered by so few. Well, that is until the last decade. Once again the internet pulls through, and more and more people are showing innovation as well as sharing it online.

The obvious method, and the method used by the big boys is the small explosive charge inserted into a blood filled condom, and then detonated by a remote control. The first time I really understood how this worked was when I was a wee child watching Fangoria's Scream Greats Video Magazine on Tom Savini. As a matter of fact I think it was one of only two video magazines they did. I actually found the opening to that video on YouTube. God this brings back memories.


I watched this so many times when I was a kid. Had every special effect memorized, went out and copied everything I saw Savini do from this video. As a matter of fact I still have my crappy VHS copy somewhere. But it was this video that really got me started on trying to figure out how to do my own bullet hits. And back then safety was a side thought. I did what so many of us did. Got a ziplock bag (cuz I couldn't get condoms at such a young age), made my own fake blood (out of cough medicine, pretty expensive blood actually), filled the bag, wired a battery to a firecracker, and shoved the firecracker in the bag.

I heard so many stories about people blowing themselves up, so I was pretty frightened as I stuck the wired bag to the fence in my backyard/testing area. I touched the other end of the wire to the battery. I thought for sure it was going to explode, but nothing happened. Turned out that the ziplock bag was too thick, the blood was too much, and the firecracker exploded with no effect because of it all. But I was convinced that this was the way to go.

Here's a clip, from back in the day, of Savini on Late Night with David Letterman.


I actually remember watching that when it first aired.

The explosive charge is all well and good if you've got everything prepared properly and had all your safety measures in hand, but when your a kid or an amateur moviemaker with no money, using any type of explosive is a risk not worth taking. I could have very easily blown an eye out handling a battery attached to a firecracker, any type of explosive is a risk.

Here's a video displaying one of the more riskier methods. I don't think I would risk doing it this way. Explosives, no matter how small the amount, are always a safety concern. I mean honestly, in this video, does this guy really want to put his life in the hands of a chopping board?


So doing the firecracker bit was a big turn off, on top of the fact that sometimes it just didn't work properly. There had to be a better way for no-budget indies. Once again, the internet comes through. In the late 90's the popular method became compressed gas, or compressed air. Genius. And one of the first places to put up a detailed tutorial on the matter is still up today, EXPOSURE.

The Complete EEFIT'S Guide To Filmmaking shows in detail how to accomplish a bullet hit with am pump-up sprayer and a garden hose. Check out EXPOSURE's Tutorial on Blood Hits here.

This method is the one widely used by many indies today. Here's Indy Mogul's Backyard FX spin on the same idea.


A few years back I did some test shots using the same method. Except I used an actual air compressor, which came in quite handy. I rigged up a small tube of blood to an old shirt that my wife was wearing, and then rolled camera as I preceeded to show my wife/zombie getting shot in the stomach. Why you'd shoot a Zombie getting shot in the stomach, I do not know. It came out quite well. Unfortunately she doesn't want anyone ever to see this footage do to her unfortunate hair style. LOL.

Nowadays I have my trusty pump garden sprayer (thank you Tabije.) The only real pain is having to pump the sprayer up, which is actually a nice little workout for your arms. Thankfully there are new and bloodier ways to create this effect sans air.

Here's RawrFilms/GageFX version of the pull string method first documented by Stu Maschwitz's The Guide.


I have yet to try this method, but certainly will on Monster Cops.

But that's not the only method out there. Found this video on YouTube, and I think it's the simplest and not too uneffective method out there. Embedding is disabled, sorry.

Ah yes Egg Shells. I think it's a great idea. I'll certainly be using all of the above, literally and can't wait to get started. Combined with some of my own ideas on creating bullet hits to the head, and some (not too much) CG work. I plan on making all of the Monster Cops bullet hits effective within the confines of the plot. After all, the effects are just one of the tools in storytelling, as it should be. The effects should never be the star of the movie, if it is then that's the first sign your watching a movie with no plot and all style. Which I think people have had enough of.

Still nothing like a good blood explosion. Remember though, safety first, plot first. Don't get killed for style's sake. Stay alive and tell a story.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

26 days to go

Ok so something in me just said "screw it! go live already!". So I did. The fundable page is now active. Let's see what happens over the next 26 days. Hopefully I'll have $2,500 by November 23rd. If not, I'll probably just keep trying, while I go ahead and shoot what I can without the money.

And there is plenty I can get done before I need the money. As a matter of fact I've already got quite a bit accomplished. Much more than I expected. Already got some actors lined up, although I need more. Got the music ready to go. I wrote most of it as I was writing the script(s). The crew in Texas is aware and ready to do any shots that need to be done in Texas. I'm getting to know the local police and how I can work with them. I'm ready to build monsters. Ready to shoot what I need, and I've already been collecting stock shots that I might be able to use. I've got the budget run down ready. I've got everything DIY and no-budget in the works.

But it's that little bit of extra money that'll help put this over the top. I was nervous about getting the fundable page started. I actually had it done days ago, but I've just been saying "Wait til after Halloween." But the thing is, wait for what? Heck, it's now or never. So here it is:
http://www.fundable.com/groupactions/groupaction.2007-10-17.0793977063

And soon I'll be telling everyone and their grand ma's dog about this. So let's see if we can make this thing happen.



Saturday, October 27, 2007

Building a Lycan

Thank God for the internet, Thank God for Halloween, and Thank God for INSTRUCTABLES. I'm constantly looking online for someone else out there interested in building a Werewolf costume, just to see if there are any tips and techniques I can pick up for my own Lycanthropic Endeavor (Yeah I said it.)

Not only have I found gryphern's tutorial on YouTube, but thankfully someone on Instructables.com has posted their how to on their Lycan. Thank you so much for this missmonster.

http://www.instructables.com/id/realistic-werewolf-costume/

This is a whole lot closer to the look I'm going for. Love the teeth and the claws for sure. The lessons here have really put me in the right direction. Saves me alot of experimentation (too late.)

Just in time too. I'm going through the budget and I've just hit the cost of Werewolf FX. Looks like I'll be saving some money.

Now if you'll excuse me I now go to look at this tutorial on making an infrared digital camera.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fundable

First off I wanna say that I'm thinking of you California. My heart goes out to all the families, lost homes, and lost lives, as well as the men and women working to take care of the victims, and all the fire fighters out there.

I don't exactly remember the first time I had heard about fundable.com. But I had quickly learned that it was a great way to raise a small amount of funds, especially if you're attempting a short film. So I always planned on using it at some point. That time has come.

You set up a page, you set what amount you need, what it's for, and then you tell people about it. People can decide if they want to support you, make a pledge ($20 or more) via credit, debit, or paypal. You have up to 26 days to reach your target amount. If the target amount is reached then all pledges will be cashed in and money is collected. If the target amount is not reached, then all pledges disappear, and no one has to pay anything. Sounds like a great idea, and more than one short film has been made utilizing fundable.com.

I can't get this monster cops episode done without a bit of a budget. That was my problem last time. Too many no budget flaws getting in the way, too many compromises to the script. I cannot make that same mistake this time. I really need to display the kind of vision I have for Monster Cops, which means I'm gonna need some money. My target amount is $2,500.00. I've got the very basics to start with, and this money would actually help get the rest of the necessities to make this happen. Computer ram, hard drive space, props, FX, extra camera batteries, power supply, festival fees, and marketing, etc. I'll be utilizing much of my own money as well, as a matter of fact I already have, but this will definitely ensure things get done, and get done right.

I haven't gone live with the page yet. I'm actually quite nervous about getting it going. Once it's active, I have 26 days to raise the money. And I'll be telling everyone everywhere about the page, hoping to get all the pledges. So here's a sneak peek at the page.

Either way, this shoot has to happen, so I do have a contingency plan. And being the pessimistic optimist that I am, I'm hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. I'm preparing to go this alone completely if I have to, completely no-budget. I'll be somewhat alone with the money anyhow, so it's only fitting if this doesn't workout, but hey, I have to try.

Maybe I'll grow some balls next week and go live with it right after Halloween.

Yeah right. Or maybe I'll win the 5 grand from Our Stage this time around. It would be somewhat fitting if we won the finals, seeing as the final round is on Halloween.
Monster Cops: The Midnight Special TRAILER, by onespartan on OurStage

But I seriously doubt it.

I gotta remember first though ... "Creativity First, Money Last." I know, I know, it's my own rule. I should really stick to it. Heck if Fundable doesn't workout, I won't have a choice.

And now for a quote I post about often, and most definitely in my situation (and perhaps someday I'll post what's really going on) this quote certainly applies.

You know in guerilla warfare, you try to use your weaknesses as strengths. If they're big and you're small, you're mobile and they're slow. You're hidden and they're exposed. Only fight battles you know you can win. You capture their weapons and you use them against them the next time. That way they're supplying you. You grow stronger as they grow weaker.

- Gene Hackman as Brill in ENEMY OF THE STATE

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Online No-Budget FX School part 1

Goddamn this has been a bit of a rough week. Tuesday would make it 1 year ago. Quite a weird day. Didn't know what to expect, what would happen, or what I would be doing to make sure Juli was ok. Thankfully we've survived without a scratch, well, no visible ones anyways.

Since all seems well on that front, I can go back to worrying about this current project. Thankfully as I budget this Monster Cops episode, I find a few resources online that help narrow down my budget. In this episode there will be some fx work that I thought I would have to pay an arm and a leg for. Now I've got my own bag of no budget tricks, but it's so nice to see others sharing online. Here are a few vids I find very helpful, and will certainly be taking note of when working on my monster fx.

Indy Mogul's Backyard FX is pioneering some really great no budget techniques. I posted their previous tutorial on builging a BIG FRICKIN GUN. Now here are two vids on some low budget zombie make up tips. These are steps I've actually used in the past. I did monster makeup back in high school and in college utilizing spirit gum and cotton balls with some black make-up and fake blood. Here, Backyard FX takes those techniques even further.


Here's part two of their Zombie FX, this time with guts and an exposed brain.


In the next Monster Cops episode there will be a large Grim Reaper like character. I've decided on this because of my past experience building a Grim Reaper like character for my previous series, The Living Dead Girls. You can somewhat catch a glimpse of it towards the end of this old Living Dead Girls Promo.


I'll be doing a similar version, but I found this video that comes a little closer to what I'd like to do. This is somewhat similar to mine except this ones jaws move. Very impressive. Find out more about this at villagehaunt.com


I'm going to aim to make the eyes move as well. Also I'd like to make the extended hands move using this technique I found on Metacafe. This is something I've fiddled with in the past as well, but this guy really nailed it.

Simple Animatronics - The funniest videos are a click away

Finally I'd been fiddling with Werewolf costuming for a long time. I actually built a Werewolf for The Midnight Special, but most of those scenes just didn't turn out the way I wanted them to, so they were cut. But building from those old concepts and lessons I've learned since then, I'll be attempting werewolf fx again. These videos have taught me alot about which direction I'll be going in for much of the mask and digigrade silts. Thanks gryphern!

Digigrade Stilts


Articulated Mask


These new techniques combined with some old tried and true indie lessons o mine has definitely put me in the right direction, and definitely cuts down on my budget costs. Next up, news on fundraising.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

What the ....

Monster Cops: The Midnight Special TRAILER, by onespartan on OurStage

I know the banner changes when our position changes, but from what I read right now, we're in 4th place in the Comedy category. So when I don't try to get people to vote, is when we start winning. So I'm just gonna let this one go and see what happens. Winning another 100 dollar Amex Card and another Our Stage T-shirt is just fine with me. So I won't even tell anyone about this, no Myspace campaign, no Livejournal, nothing. Unless we get to number one on finals day, then I'll tell everyone and their dog.

it's just dust


I'd been watching the show Ghost Hunters on Sci-Fi since it first aired, but it was really in a "I'll watch it when I catch it flipping channels" kind of fashion. It wasn't til the past few months that I really started keeping up with it. Juli's gotten into it as well, and for the past month it's been Ghost Hunter's marathon around the house, what with it being on every so often on Sci-Fi and then us having purchased some of the DVD's.

Of course the fascination with the show is the paranormal investigations, but part of the appeal is that they don't go blindly looking for Ghosts. They go in very skeptical, and trying to debunk the findings. If someone claims they saw a shadow following them in their bedroom, they go into trying to find a real physical explanation for it first before just assuming that it was paranormal activity. It's more logical that a shadowy figure is created by car's headlights coming off the hill and shining in through the window at an odd angle. But if they find no explanation to debunk it, then they can start looking at a paranormal aspect.

The people themselves are very charming. The two lead investigators, Grant and Jason, are fun to watch. The back story of them being plumbers for Roto-Rooter by day and being paranormal investigators at night is interesting, as are the other members of TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society.) And the more you watch these guys in action, the more you realize how funny these guys are. I think that's part of the larger appeal of the show. This is real, these people are real down to earth people, and they're intelligent folks with a real passion for the paranormal and wanting to help people understand what they know about the paranormal.

It's at times scary, but it's also fascinating and even more still when they have a case where they don't find any paranormal activity at all. It's just entertaining and interesting to see how they come to their conclusions regardless of them finding a ghost.

So of course when we learned Jason and Grant would be making an appearance at Greensboro College, we had to go. I didn't know anything about what they would be talking about, I mean of course they would be talking about ghosts and the paranormal, but we didn't know if we'd actually get to meet them, if they'd be able to sign anything, or really what all would be going on. We just wanted to see them.


Box office wouldn't be selling tickets til 7:30. The show didn't start til 9. By the time we got there at 6:00 there was already a crowd. By 7:00 there was a line down the street for about a block. I didn't really realize how popular this show was until this night. We got into the theatre at 8:00 and the house was packed in no time. The auditorium sat about 800 people (so I was told) and there wasn't an empty seat in there by 8:30.

We met some very interesting people. Even a couple who came all the way down from Tenessee and a group of ladies who we were more than happy to help adjust their camera flashes for. I loved hearing the people around us. I get a kick out of how there were people scattered throughout the audience who were all of sudden some sort of expert on the paranormal. People all around us showing eachother pictures saying stuff like "this shadow here behind my head is obviously paranormal because it was bent weird and that edge right there is obviously a ghost's nose and my nose shadow doesn't look anything like that nose shadow."

The guys finally came out. Heard they came straight from the airport directly to the show. The crowd went wild. Seriously. These guys have got some major fans. And they don't disappoint. They came out and they were immediately everything from the show and more. They were smart, charming, and extremely funny. That's Grant, pictured just above.
And here's Jason. They did a powerpoint presentation on exactly what it was they did, and showed us some of the finer points of paranormal investigation, including pics, video, and many very interesting and funny stories about some of the other TAPS members. They really broke down their philosophies, their approach on investigation, and what they believe and do not believe.
I was pleased when they covered the topic of Orbs. I remember when I was much younger being fascinated by photos of orbs, wondering if any of it was paranormal or not. For Jason and Grant they believe that Orbs don't really have a place in paranormal investigation. If you watch the show then you're familiar with how the TAPS members easily dismiss most "Orbs" they may catch on video as "Dust". Because the truth is most orbs photos can be easily explained as something else, a refraction of light, incidental illusions, or ... well .. dust. In an investigation it doesn't hold much weight if there is any doubt in what you are seeing, and most Orbs are doubtful. They did say that they do put faith in the existence of plasma lights, but excuse it as just proof of natural energy.

They also spoke of some their scarier encounters. The video from the St. Augustine Lighthouse Investigation (creepy) as well as other video. And they showed off a few EVP's (even creepier). If you don't know what an EVP is, watch the show, Grant will explain it.

We did get to meet them afterward. They signed our DVD. These guys were really cool. I felt bad for them cuz I could tell they were tired, but I have to say it was really nice to meet them. And for Juli's sake too, I'm glad she got to meet them, I know she really wanted to.

In hearing them talk and really getting a feel for the crowd around me, it became apparent to me that there is somewhat of a paranormal revolution going on. Before it was always just curious fascination or even a novelty when it came to shows like this, or just paranormal shows altogether, but because of these guys, and because of their approach and belief in what they do, I'm beginning to understand that there is an understanding occuring between those who believe and those who want to believe and also between skeptics and unskeptics (YOU pick a better word!).

I know for myself I've never really had a Ghostly encounter, but I've had strange occurences, none I consider scary, but many I've always found inspiring and enilghtening. And for many others out there they are beginning to see the paranormal as something not to fear, but something to accept and behold. It's comforting to hear Jason and Grant talk, and realize what I've believed in for a while about this stuff, is what they believe in, and it's what many other people are starting to belive in as well.

I know none of that made any sense what so ever. Let's just say, I believe there is nothing to fear.

Well, as usual, I've got work to do. I think I've found a web designer I can work with, and someone who can keep up with all of the updating and what not, which takes a huge load off my back. This way I can just concentrate on making these episodes and not have to worry about all the website details.

Also I think I've very well found a camera person, as well as a few potential cast members. So let's pray I find no more flake outs. I don't have time for it.

If you'll excuse me, off I go to fundraise, and make a giant monster.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

For Research Purposes

This video is amazing. Really the kind of feel I'd like to achieve for a few MC scenes.


Halo The Movie - Funny blooper videos are here

Monday, October 15, 2007

But if the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don't eat the tourists.

First off lemme apologize to the many many people who I have not replied to, texted back, called back, or emailed back. I also apologize to the folks I said I would call or write to and have not yet. I've been a bit busy. But I sincerely do apologize.

Happy Birthday to Andrew. I know your birthday is Tuesday, but I'm saying it now in case I forget to later, and also as a note to call you.

So what have I been up to other than torturing myself with writing a script and posting random videos on my Myspace blog? A whole lot actually. On top of the usual trying not to think about the events of last year, while at the same time trying to stay positive about it all. We are all doing fine. Me and Juli that is. Although we have yet to come up on October 23rd, but she's been so strong.

Oh! I FINALLY got to see Dinosaurs. Walking With Dinosaurs The Live Experience that is. I saw the workshop videos months ago showing how they built these huge animatronic life like Dinos, and thought I would NEVER get to see this show. Thankfully the tour came to Winston and I bought tickets months ago. Finally saw this amazing show Saturday night. Here are some pics.








The show is an educational endeavor, targeting kids and families. But the FX were amazing. One of the main reasons for me wanting to go. I really wanted to see these creations perform live first hand. Especially the Raptors. I wanted to see how they would function and how life like it would be. Mainly because it's the same caliber of work I'm looking for in my own FX work for Monster Cops, if I had the money of course. To have a functioning Werewolf the same style of animatronics and performance as some of these Dinos.

It's not without it's flaws. In some of the Dinosaur "battles" they couldn't actually battle, because they didn't want to bang up millions of dollars of work, so the dinosaurs just kind of danced violently around each other. I was suprised at the few hits they actually made. Two Stegosaurases rammed eachother and I wasn't expecting it, nor the loud crash that would come with it, very cool. Also, the show panders a bit more to the center of the audience. We sat to the side, and we noticed that much of the spectacular pieces weren't as great from our position.

Still, it was most definitely more good than bad. Just watching these creatures move and react, were astonishing. The Baby T-rex was cute, the comic relief of the show. Lemme tell ya, that fuckin T-Rex was amazing. When it came stomping in, I was thrilled. And that roar. Damn!!! I've got video of it that doesn't do it justice. I'll try to post it soon. For now, here's the nerdiest picture of me ever.


Superman hat, Warriors shirt, standing quite happily next to a Dinosaur head. NERD!!!!

Another reason for wanting to go to see the Dinosaurs was also because I figured it would be good for Juli. I never really told her this, but I just figured it would be something else for her to experience that could reaffirm that there is a bigger world out there with varying possibilities. Since her mom's cancer and death, she's felt her world fall apart, and in piecing it back together without her mom, it just sometimes feels so small and lonely and without color or possibility. I just want to keep bringing her to experiences that are filled with fun, laughter, wonder, and possibility, cuz she deserves it. I hope seeing this show has added to her experience and sense of wonder. I know it has for me.

Gotta get back to work on Monster Cops. Soooo much work to do, but more on that later.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Seasons Change

I feel the need to update, but I don't really want to elaborate on what has happened. No, nothing bad. Just something I know I need to keep to myself. Something that was at first a shock to hear, but is now motivating me to take the necessary actions. In all it's a good thing and has helped me focus more on what I need to be getting done, since I've just been so scatter brained about it since summer ended.

It's good to know what direction I'm going in, and as it turns out, it's the direction I originally planned on going in the beginning. And because of it I'm getting excited about something, albeit scared, but excited still. Just in time too. The season, the weather, all of it changing, and it use to spell out my favorite time of year, but now just brings back haunting memories of last year. But I have to say, those old Hallowed feelings are returning. It's getting better, but we still have yet to pass the coming days. But we're ready. And I'm ready to do whatever it takes to help get Juli through it all.

I am excited to report that I'll be working on the Monster Cops project through Halloween. It'll be fun to be in horror movie mode through the season, and very well into Christmas and possibly into next year. I plan on doing at least 3 Monster Cops shorts between 5 to 15 minutes. I'd like to get 5 to 6 done before spring, but in all honesty I'll be happy to get this first one finished. This is my chance to really bring this vision to light. The Midnight Special was very much the essence, really displaying the comedy and drama, but not really displaying the horror or action. I did like what action we did have, but it is what it is because of not having the money.

This time around I'll be doing every no-budget trick in the book, but as I had stated before I cannot possibly do this without somewhat of a budget. So a fundraising I will go. Got some good ideas on how to get the money, along with some traditional strategies (Ebay). If I can get $3,000.00 that will cover the basics and I can get at least 3 Monster Cops episodes done. I may be able to stretch that into 6 episodes. I've already got the camera, but I need some accessories (batteries, tape). Need to cover sound (wireless mics, boom). Got to upgrade the computer (need ram and hard drive space, additional software). And I need to spend some money on special effects (make up fx, monster fx), and props and costumes (guns, tactical gear.) Should have enough money leftover for festival fees. marketing, and distribution.

I plan on releasing most of these episodes online, showing them at screenings, fests, and cons, and then package them up on a nice DVD possibly with a re-release of The Midnight Special. I'll be documenting all the behind the scenes to be sure to have plenty of special features.

I was hesitant to do Monster Cops because right now I'm in North Carolina, and Monster Cops was based in Texas. But the intention was always to shoot throughout much of the south with the homebase being in Dallas. Well I can still do that. I'll be utilizing North Carolina locations, but the episodes will take place in a nonspecific location. I'll set these episodes in fictional locations not really specifying which state we are in, and I may also actually set some episodes in North Carolina, as well as Texas, and other states, just to display the reach of the Monster Cops.

I'll be shooting all new scenes as well as utilizing footage not used in The Midnight Special, as well as getting the boys down in Texas to shoot some new stuff, if scheduling permits. This way I can still include many of the characters from The Midnight Special.

I'm very excited to be able to combine the horror, scifi, action, comedy, and drama, the way I see it in my head. The Midnight Special only partially got that job done, and these episodes will complete the full feel of this project. I can't wait for everyone to see it.

More details coming soon on fundraising. I'll be calling in every favor on the planet, and using every resource I possibly can to get the budget, and get it all done the right way. I've already been doing research, doing fx tests, camera tests, and logging footage.

If you're in NC in the Triad area and you think you can contribute to Monster Cops, would like to be a Monster Cop, a Monster, or just wanna help out in some way, feel free to leave a comment or contact me through the MONSTER COPS MYSPACE.



Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Matt Hawkins

As if their wasn't enough to be pissed about this week (especially on your behalf Crystal), I just foud out that Matt Hawkins has decided to close down his amazing website. http://www.matthawkins.co.uk/ and his no budget filmmaking resources were an invaluable tool to many no budget indies like myself for the past 7 years. This site is even credited on Monster Cops: The Midnight Special.

Very sad to hear about this Matt, and I hope you will reconsider. Your no budget antics have been an inspiration and your tips and tricks have been a huge help to us all. I hope all is well with you.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Holy Shit!


Crave Online: Funny Videos, Sexy Videos, Music Videos, Movie Trailers, and More!

I'm excited about The Dark Knight sure, but Iron Man? I think I need a cigarette, and I don't even smoke.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Nessun Dorma






With all my heart, thank you so much.



Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I'm alive

We went through alot last year, and in some ways we're still going through it. I didn't make the top 10 on Our Stage, and I can bitch and moan about production work and having to start from scratch, or how I don't have this or that, or whatever.

The truth is my home and city was not taken away from me by a Hurricane. The truth is I am not living in poverty. The truth is my loved ones are safe and for the most part happy. The truth is I don't have to spend everyday worrying about stepping on a land mine on my way to school, or worry about a car bomb going off in my neighborhood. I am not trapped in a mine nor do I have loved ones who are trapped in mines. I didn't lose anyone to a school shooting. I didn't lose anyone to a bridge collapse. I haven't lost my job (yet) and I'm not in danger of losing my job, and I don't have to spend every waking moment worrying about how to provide for my family, at least not in that way. I'm not stuck in a desert fighting a war. I don't have cancer or diabetes (that I know of.)

My wife, myself and my family can mourn the loss of a loved one to Cancer. It kills me to see my wife in pain when she cries about how much she misses her mother. But the truth is, as sad as it all is, Brenda has moved on, she is free from her pain. There are many out there who are in the middle of the process still. They're loved ones still in pain, the family still suffering watching a parent or child suffer from a disease or medical emergency. There are some people who don't get to mourn. Just as sad, there are families out there who are missing loved ones, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, not knowing where they are. The thousands of people, children that go missing without a trace, and the families nowhere near to closure.

For the most part I am alive, breathing, healthy. I have a roof over my head and although I can very easily (and often do) complain about what I don't have and what I might need, I do have all my limbs. I have a head on my shoulders and a brain in my head and I have all that I need to achieve the things that I don't. I have friends who care, a family that loves me, and a wife I can come home to. I have a car that may not have air conditioning that works very well, but at least I can drive it to a job I may not like, but at least I have. All my family and friends are accounted for. And life in general is not as bad as it may seem sometimes.

I can complain about whatever, but there are so many more people on this earth that have it way worse than me. I thank God for where I'm at now and what I have achieved, and although I have my problems to worry about, at least I can say that I like the problems that I have. I'd rather be worrying about how to make my next movie, than how I'm going to survive a dreaded disease, or if I'm even going to survive the next day. I have so many chances and opportunities that others do not, and I am thankful for all of it.

To the men and women serving for our freedom overseas and everywhere. To the Cops, the officers, the paramedics, the firemen. To the victims of Katrina in Louisiana and Mississippi and all those affected by it even two years after. To all those suffering due to disaster or weather throughout the south, the midwest, and everywhere else. To the vicims and victim's families in Utah, Virginia, and Minneapolis. To all those suffering from tragic events, murder, suicide, rape, crime. To all those fighting for their lives and the lives of others. To all those working to make a difference in the face of disaster and suffering. To my country, to the world all over, and all of us now existing, trying, living, and overcoming disease, opression, racism, corruption, and the pain that comes with just being a humanbeing. My heart and my prayers and every bit of positivity I can muster I send to you all everywhere no matter where you are.

And to the powers that be and the Universe in general, I thank you for my life and my problems. And although I do complain at times, I am also grateful just for the fact that I am alive to do so. Thank you for it all and bring help and support to those who need it so much more than I.


BARTLET
Give me numbers.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
I don't know numbers. You give them to me.

BARTLET
How about a child born this minute has one in five chance of being born into
poverty?

MRS. LANDINGHAM
How many Americans don't have health insurance?

BARTLET
44 million.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
What's the number one cause of death for black men under 35?

BARTLET
Homicide.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
How many Americans are behind bars?

BARTLET
Three million.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
How many Americans are drug addicts?

BARTLET
Five million.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
And one of five kids in poverty?

BARTLET
That's 13 million American children. 3.5 million kids go to schools that are literally falling apart. We need 127 billion in school construction, and we need it today!

MRS. LANDINGHAM
To say nothing of the 53 people trapped in the embassy.

BARTLET
Yes.

MRS. LANDINGHAM
You know, if you don't want to run again, I respect that. [stands up] But if you don't run 'cause you think it's gonna be too hard or you think you're gonna lose - well, God, Jed, I don't even want to know you.

Mrs. Landingham walks out and gently closes the Oval Office door behind her.

THE WEST WING
Season 2, Episode 22 "TWO CATHEDRALS"
WRITTEN BY AARON SORKIN
DIRECTED BY THOMAS SCHLAMME

The BFG9000

Ya gotta love the boys over at Backyard FX and Indy Mogul. They've got some great ideas. Most of this stuff we've all tried, but their vids are great. This is one of my favs.

BUILD A LASER GUN



Tuesday, August 28, 2007

As of posting this banner. We are in 10th place. Wow!

Monster Cops: The Midnight Special TRAILER, by onespartan on OurStage

It's been a roller coaster ride. We were in 9th when the quarter finals started. Then for the past few days we've fluctuated from 9th to 2nd to 6th to 1st and now 10th. Which is scary because we need to stay in the top 10 to make it to Wednesday (Tuesday at midnight).

It's a great time killer. Just log in and judge videos.

So if you please, help us out and judge. Tell everyone else to judge. Just click on the banner and click judge. Keep us in the top 10.

I'm serisouly too concerned about this. But being that it seems like such a possibility that we might win and how we actually got to number one last time, I can't help but wanna TRY to win this. Just TRY to get the word out and get people to register and judge. I really feel like I'd be missing out on an opportunity if I didn't try.

So please spread the word and help us get up there.

EDIT: I just looked again and now it says 9th. I actually said outloud, "Thank God!" As if I were falling towards hell and Satan was snapping at my heels, and now an angel has pulled me up to 9th place. LMFAO!!! I'm too into this.

Some one asked me the other day if I thought $5,000.00 would really be any help to me.

YES IT WOULD! Are you crazy? Of course $5,000.00 would be a help to me. It would be a huge help. What idiot would look at $5,000.00 and go "Pff, whatever!" and then walk away?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Trying

You ever want something so bad that it hurts? And you ache so painfully over the fact that it's just beyond your reach? That's how it feels. That's how this feels. Knowing what I see in my head, and what I feel in my heart, knowing that I need to set it free. To bring that vision to fruition. To finally create the way you know you were born to. But you can't right now. Because all you have is you and nothing else.

It's been a rough week. It's just been bad all over. But at least I'm back to understanding where I stand creatively. The old adage still applies. No one can help you but you. Not saying I have no help at all. I've got plenty of support from many different people. This has definitely been proven with the recent Our Stage contest. But as far as moviemaking is concerned right now and where I'm at, until I have the full budget to do what I know I can do, I have to settle for going it alone and doing what I can with very little. Sort of fitting for one spartan.

Also it really doesn't help that both Juli and I have been thinking about her mom and about the events of last year around this time and in the coming months. We've gotta keep our minds off of it somehow. Try to think about the positive things. Try to remember the good memories. It's so easy to plunge into that darkness again.

I was going to write about it, but I can't. I have to stay up towards the light. For mine and Juli's sake. I need to make something truely great happen. I need to create something incredible, fun, inspiring, and joyous. A movie, a memory. Something amazing.

Please God help me make something great happen.


A very special thanks to the Our Stage team. I received my prize package from them the other day for making #1 in the Trailers category for July. I got a $100.00 American Express Gift Card, and an Our Stage T-Shirt, and a DVD copy of Four Eyed Monsters, which I've been wanting. So thank you so much to Our Stage. Got some other nifty little perks with it as well.

Hopefully this month we can make #1 again. Looks like our best shot is in the comedy category.

Monster Cops: The Midnight Special TRAILER, by onespartan on OurStage

They've done away with Text Voting, as I think I may have mentioned before. This time around it's all about judging the best videos online. Hopefully that's us. But I must say, there are some very good entries on there.

Juli and I had a nice little dinner to celebrate the prizes I had won. She was so proud of me that it made her tear up. I told her it wasn't like I had won the grand prize, but she was proud of me anyways. Proud that I was able to make something and that it's been able to achieve something. It was a good night. And I'm just so happy that she could tear up over something good happening instead of something horrible.

So now it's like my movie making has two goals. One because I have these amazing stories inside my head and heart just dying to get out, and two because if I can make something amazing and something that can do well, it will help Juli see the light beyond the darkness. I like making her proud and I'm so very anxious to show her and the world what else I'm capable of. And I'm so very ready to do that.

Started work on the many other Video Projects and just found out about a few other opportunities I'd like to take a shot at. So much work to be done. At the same time still putting together all the details of the feature I'm going to do. Looks like I'll be working on that in the spring, alone and with no money, unless a miracle occurs. So pretty much the norm, lol.

Gotta get to work on more Expotv vids. Here's another one just recently added to my Expotv account. NIGHT OF THE COMET on DVD.



As you can see this freeze frame isn't as bad as the previous ones. Sadly I was hoping for a trend here. I could've sold myself as the awkward looking Filipino Indie Vidmaker.

Well let's hope we can do well in the Quarter Finals. Right now it's just about staying in the Top Ten til Wednesday. Then it's about going for #1. Damn. I'm getting too caught up in this competition. I've gotta focus on other things. Don't put all your creative eggs in one basket.

Ok, back to figuring out how to make something amazing with no money, cast, or crew, as per usual.

Friday, August 17, 2007

It's Called Death Bed, The Bed That Eats People.

The title is taken from Patton Oswalt's current comedy CD.

Patton Oswalt


It's hilarious. And I really mean that. No really. You should get you a copy. Click the pic to get your own.

Werewolves and Lollipops


It's actually the first comedy CD I've listened to in a while that isn't Eddie Izzard, and I've been listenting to everything Izzard non-stop for the past 6 months.

Eddie The Izzard!


Right now Glorious is in the rotation and is probably my fav. However I have noticed that the DVD performance is different from the CD performance. Same act different performances. They each have different little nuances that make them funny, but I think I prefer the DVD performance. It's the way he says "covered in bees." It cracks me up.

Buy Eddie Izzard's GLORIOUS!


If you love Eddie Izzard and Tetris, then you should definitely check out his official site. It's pretty awesome with everything a website should have, plenty of things to waste your time. http://www.eddieizzard.com/home.izz


New ExpoTV video. This time I'm talking about HELL NIGHT on DVD. As you can see by the freeze frame below they are obviously trying their best to make me look like a big doofus. This freeze frame is by far my fav.




The audio seems to be a bit out of synch and the video lets a digital fart at the end. Other than that, another ExpoTV review DONE.



Looks like we're winning again on OUR STAGE. The other trailer is currently in 6th place in the COMEDY category. Check out the nifty banner they now provide to help promote ya. Feel free to click and vote for us.

Monster Cops: The Midnight Special TRAILER, by onespartan on OurStage



And as you can see below, it is, once again, The Paper Rose video. I'm pimping it out again seeing as it's reaching enough views to pay out more money. I've already been able to pay some bills with this video. God bless making money through online video. So watch it a whole bunch a times will ya. And tell your friends.



Paper Rose - The top video clips of the week are here



As far as the production front. Many many projects in the works. Many are work related. And a few career related. But always for fun. Still pimpin the Monster Cops. Still gearing up for that next feature. Much more later.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

recognize the moment

It's a good feeling to hear a crowd singing in unison together a song they all love so much. It's even better when you're a part of that crowd.

It's a good feeling to laugh all night long with someone you're madly in love with.

It's a good feeling to see something live for the first time that you'd only seen in pictures, read in a book, seen on TV, or even just told about.

It's a good feeling to say that you can make a living doing something you love.

It's a good feeling solving that puzzle, finding the answer, and resolving that mystery.

It's a good feeling to be able to really recognize those moments when you are truely alive.

I'm not quite at all my goals just yet, but I can say that I've felt these good feelings, these amazing feelings, and it's been overwhelming. As rough as it's been, this adventure has been an amazing one, and I'm fairly certain that it's far from over. I just wanted to post this here and now as a bookmark to remind me of this night and the many other nights of revelation that make me appreciate those amazing moments that have passed, and the ones that are sure to come.


Dana: I-I went to a show.

Casey: Please tell me you have Milk Duds in your purse.

Dana: Don't you want to hear what happened to me?

Casey: Not unless you held up a deli during intermission.

Dana: I believe in the power of the theatre.

Casey: Well, that's good. I believe in the power of a roast beef sandwich, so I really don't have time to talk. (starts to walk off)

Dana: Casey. (he turns back) It was really quite something. The music began and I just started to cry. I don't know where it came from. It was like... church. I didn't know we could do that. Did you know we could do that?

Casey: (with a gentle smile) Well, when I forget, something usually reminds me.

Dana: (as he walks away) I didn't know we could do that.

SPORTS NIGHT
Season 1 Episode 9 "The Quality Of Mercy at 29k"
Dana recognizes a moment. As does Dan. Great episode.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

UFO

Just saw this online. I love this stuff and I'm pretty good at spotting fakes having attempted much of the same effects. But Jesus Christ. This one's pretty damn good.



The motion blur, the motion tracking, the sound. Really it's that motion tracking that I find impressive. When the camera moves it's completely natural. Something I only got right at the tail end of my "glowing orb" video here.



Working on this type of stuff on no budget, is really kicking me in the ass. But fun.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Contest Round Up #453

What better way to hone your skills than submitting to a contest. get some practice in while giving yourself a chance to win cash and prizes. Some of these are kinda cutting it close on the deadline, as usual. I've put them in order of deadline, as usual. If you know of anymore then by all means comment and let us know.


Ourstage (of course)
Deadline: On going
http://www.ourstage.com/go/video?gclid=CIHF35nw540CFSgRGgodYHnf0Q


Psoriasis Cure Now Video Contest
Early Bird Deadline: 8/15/07
http://www.psoriasis-cure-now.org/contest/


Best Buy Youtube Tech-U-out Contest
8/18/07
http://www.youtube.com/contest/TechUOut

IFC's Assassins Creed Short Film Contest
Deadline: 8/20/07
http://medialab.ifc.com/content.jsp?pg=assassin_s_creed.html


Jumpcut and Butterfinger's “Battle of the Balls” Video Contest
Deadline 8/21/07
http://www.jumpcut.com/groups/detail?g_id=30A18AA624F511DC8AB3000423CF385C&fudd=


Project 86 Make Your Own Video Contest!
Deadline: 8/24/07
http://www.youtube.com/group/project86contest


Mobile Video Rockstar
Deadline: 8/31/07
http://www.namethatmusicvideo.com/?pg=contest


SuperMediaStore Video Contest
Deadline: 9/14/07
http://www.youtube.com/group/SuperMediaStore


XLNT ADS PARTICIPATING BRANDS CONTEST
Deadline: 9/15/07
This is actually about 8 different contests. Go to their site and click on anyone of the "participating brands" to the left.
http://www.xlntads.com/


FairVote Democracy Video Contest
Deadline: 9/28/07
http://www.fairvote.org/upgradedemocracy/enter.php


10 Day Take 2
Deadline: 10/4/07
http://www.ziddio.com/contest.zd?dispatch=landing&contest=25


Psoriasis Cure Now Video Contest
Regular Deadline: 10/10/07
http://www.psoriasis-cure-now.org/contest/


Videomaker Short Video Contest
Deadline: 10/31/07
http://www.videomaker.com/blog/2007/07/318-videomaker-short-video-contest-is-under-way


I'll repost as I find out about them. Always got my ear to the ground.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Reanimator on DVD

Doing more review videos on Expotv.com

Here's one I did for the Reanimator DVD. I think I'll be sticking with horror and cult DVD's for a while. Gives me an excuse to edit something since I love to edit so.



I love these freeze frames they choose to use. I look constipated in all of them.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Monster Squad DVD

I'm really getting a kick out of doing reviews on Expotv.com

Here's one for the Monster Squad DVD.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Minneapolis

I've been out all day and just found out a little while ago. Minneapolis my thoughts and prayers are with you.

I am truely dumbfounded by this.

Thank You

Thank you to everyone that texted and voted. We did not win the grand prize, but more importantly we helped spread the word about our little indie movie. Thanks to everyone who showed there support for the flick. It means alot to me. I'm very happy to have found so many people that support this project. I appreciate all of you.

Feel free to continue to tell people about our movie. Visit our official site at
MONSTERCOPS.COM

You can get the DVD as well as download the movie for rent or to own at
AMAZON.COM

You can even find out more about hosting your own screening at
BRAVE NEW THEATERS

Thank you so much for helping us in our quest to make movies independently and raise money for cancer charities.

- Patrick

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

WE MADE NUMBER 1 !!!!

So thank you to everyone who received that last email and voted in. Apparently it worked because WE MADE #1 IN THE TRAILERS CATEGORY. Now for the next 24 hours the TEXT VOTING begins and the text votes will decide what category wins. In this case we're hoping the trailers category wins. If we win that's $5,000.00 for our indie making efforts.

See the full list of number ones in video here: http://www.ourstage.com/judge?genre=video

So don't stop now. Help us out and text: trailer01 to 78243

Again text trailer01 to 78243.

Fair warning, it's 50 cents per text, so if ya aint got it, I won't be mad at ya. But if you can, then by all means please do so, and tell everyone you know who might care to do so.

Again thank you all for helping out and showing support. Let's see if we can win this thing. THANK YOU!

- Patrick

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

HELP US WIN!!!!

HELP US WIN!!!!

Watch this video to find out how.



or just read below

OURSTAGE.com is an online contest for music and videos where people watch or listen to music or videos and then select which one is "best". The trailer for Monster Cops: The Midnight Special is in 4th place. We could very well win $5,000.00 and much needed exposure for our movie, if we can make it to #1, but we need people to vote. Help us out!

Click here: ourstage.com/judge?channel=27-trailers

Please help us out and tell everyone you know who might be so inclined to vote.

Voting ends August 1st. The number 1 video will be chosen in each category (ours is in TRAILERS, of course)

That's when people can text in their votes to choose which category will win.

We need all the help we can get.

Please pass this on. :D

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Breast Cancer Hospitalization Bill - Important legislation for all women.


There's a bill called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act which will require insurance companies to cover a mini mum 48-hour hospital stay for patients undergoing a mastectomy. It's about eliminating the 'drive-through mastectomy' where women are forced to go home just a few hours after surgery, against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still
attached. Lifetime Television has put this bill on their web page with a petition drive to show your support. Last year over half the House signed on.

PLEASE!! Sign the petition by clicking on the web site below. You need not give more than your name and zip code number. Opens in a new window.

http://www.lifetimetv.com/health/breast_mastectomy_pledge.html

This takes about 2 seconds. PLEASE PASS THIS ON to your friends and family, and on behalf of all women, THANKS.

Thanks to Sara for bringing this to my attention.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT LIFTIME IS DOING TO STOP BREAST CANCER

To The Bone

and that's how I'm playin it.

Been working, both at the day job as well as on the indie movie front. Right now deciding exactly what needs to be worked on next. Working on the feature script, the one I hope to shoot soon. But still seeing how I can workout doing a Monster Cops episode. Many factors are involved, not making any of this easy. But hey, these are the problems I like having. And for further annoyance I keep getting emails from distributors I have already told no to, several times. And their deals don't get any better either. The more they persist, the more I feel going full DIY is the right direction.

Still marketing Monster Cops: TMS. Still trying to get the word out about the DVD. But I get the feeling we'll have more of a response towards Ocotber. I am so very anxious to produce something else. That feeling of really wanting to show what I can do, is really getting to me. I just can't wait to have the budget to unleash my full potential, or even my half potential.

Today Monster Squad hits DVD and I will be getting my copy. And I just found out that The Dark Knight teaser will be on The Simpsons movie, so double excitement. Also the Walking With Dinosaurs Live Show is headed this way, even more excitement. Jeez, Monsters, Batman, Simpsons, and Dinoaurs. Jesus I am a nerd.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Don't Stop Believin



Today was one of those days where you remember something that you never really forgot in the first place. The movie never ends. ;)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Our Stage

OurStage

If you haven't been over to OURSTAGE, feel free to check it out and see what all the hubbub is about. The trailer for MONSTER COPS: THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL is in the contest loop and you can vote for us to help us win some much needed exposure as well cash. Go there and find out how.

Monster Cops is one of their featured trailers in their recent online video. Check it out here:
http://ejblog.ourstage.com/2007/07/10/the-daily-spam-w-julie-pham-new-channels/

Thanks to Julie Pham for getting us more exposure.


To Reach The Future You Have To Let Go Of The Past

Lord knows I've done that, and such advice has been helpful, but now I find myself coming round full circle. It's the past that has reinspired me. In working on preproduction for this current feature I find myself stuck. Not exactly writer's block, just having the basic essence of the idea of the movie slip away a bit, usually due to, ya know, life.

But I find myself going through old VHS tapes I forgot I had. One of them a tape from my very very first feature, VAMPIRE KILLER, aka Dark Angel: Vampire Killer. It actually had a few other titles but I won't go into that. This tape had rehearsal footage, screen tests, and test shots. What really got me excited was watching how some of us including myself were so into rehearsing. Specifically me and two other people, Billy and the star of the movie Bree, were working on the choreography of a fight scene that never actually made into the final film.

So inspired at the time, so passionate, it all came rushing back to me. The way some of us worked, how dedicated and just how frickin into it we were. Running test shots while going over kicks and punches. Billy really had some solid acrobatic skill which really paid off in some of these fight scenes and Bree being a dancer really added alot of flow to the fight. And I was coming up with some great stuff including this gag with a broken tennis racket that I'm definitely going to put into this current movie. The feedback I was getting from the two fighters was just great, it seemed to all come together, and all of this occuring on my parents front yard about 13 years ago. Perhaps one of these days I'll put the damned movie on DVD with special features and behind the scenes stuff.

It got me going through other tapes of projects I had done. Old shorts, videos and projects I had edited, really seeing how I've evolved as a moviemaker and how my passion for it all has never really gone away. It got me out of the rut I find myself in now with this current movie. I have certainly let go of the past to reach for my future, but in reflecting on the past I find myself steps closer to the future.

So far things are going as planned for this project. All snags and difficulties that I was expecting are occuring, but since I was expecting them, no biggie. This whole moviemaking journey is a heck of a trip.

.