Archive for June, 2011

A Garden State of Mind

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Another weekend, more footage; that’s the short of it. The long version is we embarked on yet another breed of adventure in our journey toward finé. So far, we’ve gone from live convention, to windy beach, to intimate enclosure, to busy motorway (that’s computer-generated motorway for all you insurance companies and film commissioners out there). And again, we lucked out on the weather. Our skies and surroundings remain consistent from March, which for New Jersey is somewhat lucky. That said, New Jersey is known to be pretty schizophrenic, so short of snowfall we might always be able to get away with a few raindrops here and there as long as they don’t ruin our exterior props. Here’s hoping that kind of luck holds up come August when we’re shooting at an outside pool and in a hotel parking lot.

Next up are a few leftover beach scenes – including a particularly striking special effect surprise – and a couple of driving pickups. If all goes well (and it better), we’re back to the hotel for some intense, dramatic sequences. There, we’ll be learning the best angles of a medium-sized hotel room, and how to best tell our story within them. Then we break into the hallways for an impromptu dance number complete with acrobatics. That may or may not be true, but you’ll have to wait and see.

The next shoot dates are as follows:

Beach/Driving Pickups – July 12th and 13th, or 13th and 14th.

First Set of Hotel Scenes – July 21st and 22nd, 22nd and 23rd, or 23rd and 24th

I’ll be updating as I receive final confirmations from cast and crew. Then it’s look out August, here we come. ‘Til then, here are a few more stills for you to look at.

Not all indie-horror films…

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

…can be tarred with the same brush. I think that goes doubly for HorrorCon. This past weekend only went further to prove to me that we may doing something unique, here. That’s not to say it’s an “art film” or “experimental cinema” or even “groundbreaking”, but it is starting to reveal itself in ways that feel wholly uncalculated. Pardon me if that sounds facile, but as it often happens, the film is taking on a life of its own and in this case I think I know why.

The novella was inspired by sources quite distant to the genre in which we’re attempting to tread and adapted with as tight a script as I could write, yet one that invited creative collaboration by design. I wanted an improvisational, exploratory vibe, which meant my hiring and casting had to be spot on. If it was, I could let the players – both in front and behind the camera – run a little off the leash and still stay well within our strict, budget constraints. Up to the point of this shoot, it was hard to tell exactly what was happening. I was pleased with what we were getting, but where earlier shoots required wrangling with crowds and ever-shifting conditions, this one occurred completely inside a closed, indoor set. This allowed for a far more relaxed group, and within an hour we had transformed a small, seaside cottage into one character’s gut-wrenching, domestic hell. Luckily for us, we were able to add to an already entropic environ with touches that revealed character while piercing the heart. From there, we moved at our own pace with only the subtly shifting, slightly fading, always filtering light acting as our stopwatch. Even in that context, we had back-up if need be. Reminiscent of imaginative childhood games, we were free to play until our internal batteries ran dry.

The results were startlingly real, and often sublime. Another baby step in a long walk to glory, but one well worth taking. The dates of our next step are still being decided, but I’ll be savoring this one until then. I think we all learned how much of the story will be grounded, and where our core energy will sit. And for damn sure we learned the role of the slider dolly in our filmmaking future. Thankfully, we learned how to set it up and break it down quickly, because I have a feeling we’ll be using it quite a bit in the next round and beyond. The key is to not let it dictate our perspective, but keep it ready in our quiver for when its services best convey our vision.

Lastly but not leastly, congratulations go to our prolific Roma Gypsy, Evgeniya Radilova, for her outstanding performance in Natalia Pelevine‘s stunning two-woman show, I Plead Guilty. The run ended May 29th, but the word is they’ll be taking the show into Washington, D.C. Great stuff, and good luck. Erik “Dane Harding” Audé also continues to throw his weight around on the tube, including work in a few episodes of TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles. We wish him luck with that pending HBO dealie, too.

That’s all for now! You can check out the HorrorCon Facebook Page for some stills from the shoot, if you like. Of course, stay tuned for new shoot dates, and please: stay out of the sun.