Archive for February, 2008
The last couple of days have been exhausting. We’ve auditioned a few more candidates for the role of Lazerus, our lead villain, and we have spent quite a few hours going over the tapes. Casting has to this point been the most draining aspect of this process. We hope to make a decision by this weekend, that way we can move forward and deal with the task of kicking butt at the GSFF. The role of Lazerus is crucial and that is why we have spent so much time going over the audition tapes and spent many hours debating the pros and cons of each would be actor. I have flip flopped at least a half dozen times. Dennis Hopper if you reading this call me…in all fairness though the actors who have tried out for Lazerus each bring something strong to the table it’s just making the final decision has to be perfect and in the end I know we’ll make the right call.
Tonight I am meeting with the cast and going over the trailer shoot that occurs next weekend. We will go over some preliminary blocking as well as reading through the script a couple of times. From this point forward I plan on taping everything we do so I can post some production video diaries. There are a few creative things Scott and I are kicking around to add some spice to the web site it’s just a matter of finding time to do everything we want.
Hope to see all of you this Saturday.
Wow, I can’t believe March 1st is this Saturday. It’s going to be great seeing all of you at the production kick-off party. The amount of support this small independent horror movie has received is quite humbling. It inspires me to make a movie that I can be proud of and that you my many supporters will be proud of as well. Don’t forget, the party begins at 7pm, admission is free and we will be giving away a Nintendo Wii and a 32″ LCD HDTV. The drawing for those prizes will be at 10PM and you have to buy a prize ticket to qualify…still only $10.00 and all the proceeds go to our movie. The party is at the MVP Sports Lounge in Vineland if you need directions hit me up and I’ll pass them on. We will also be holding smaller drawings throughout the night which will include assorted horror dvd’s, Grindhouse Pictures T-Shirts and Sorrow Hill movie posters signed by the entire cast. It’s going to be a lot of fun and probably the last bit of fun I will be having until next January when festival season begins…so I plan on letting my hair down.
This past weekend I did some field tests at our shooting location with the camera we plan to shoot with and I must admit I was blown away by the results. Our film is going to have a unique look and the camera I used is going to really help me achieve that. Also, I have to take a moment and welcome a new member to the Grindhouse Family, our Sound Engineer Tim Somers. His knowledge and abilities are going to help give our film that professional sound we will need to compete with the big boys and their big budgets. Thanks Tim.
The film festival is right around the corner and I have completed the shot selection and storyboards for the trailer and if I shoot it right the trailer is going to help us make a big splash at the Garden State Film Festival.
That’s all for now…hope to see all of you Saturday.
E-mailing me constantly isn’t the way to get my attention. I have a list of people interested in being extras and I will contact them when we are preparing to shoot the extras scenes. I know I said I would contact extras in February but the reality of our schedule isn’t going to allow me to do that. So, be patient and I will let everyone know when the extra shoots will be. I appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm and hope you bring it to the set when we shoot the scenes requiring extras.
Now on to other news, our trailer, will open the horror block at this years Garden State Film Festival. We couldn’t be more excited. This is a huge opportunity for our film and making a great trailer is priority number one right now. For those of you interested in coming out to support Grindhouse Pictures our trailer will be shown Saturday April 5th at 7:30 pm at the Stephen Crane House in Asbury Park NJ. We will also have a booth at the Grand Arcade the entire weekend of the festival so come check us out. The Grand Arcade is the boardwalk that connects the Paramount Theater and the Convention Center.
Also anyone interested in helping out the Garden State Film Festival should contact Diane Raver. She needs volunteers for various tasks that entire weekend so check out their site and contact Diane.
March 1st is right around the corner…so be sure to come to our production kick-off party. Hope to see all of you soon.
I must admit I have been overwhelmed by the response to my last blog. Just so I am clear I am simply relaying how others act towards me upon hearing about the movie, believe me when I tell you it doesn’t make me doubt what I am trying to accomplish, I don’t let people like that bring me down. So don’t worry, I am not giving up, Sorrow Hill is going to happen and it’ s gone be great. Thanks to all of you who have commented on the blog and e-mailed me personally, you guys are the greatest. Full steam ahead.
That no matter how hard you try in the end you will be the a-hole. The casting process has been an incredible learning experience and I have learned from the mistakes I made this time around. I thought I would break the mold and hold a different type of casting call where everyone got a fair opportunity to show their stuff. 106 people showed up to the casting call which were then whittled down to 32 call backs. From those 32 call backs we had 15 roles. That meant 17 people would be disappointed. The decisions were excruciating and in the end I believe we picked a solid, talented cast…with the exception of Lazerus but I’ll get to that shortly. Anyway the lesson I learned is this, do not try and be the nice guy when casting a movie. Simply watch the audition, thank them for coming and simply say we may be in touch. In my quest to break the mold I inadvertently hurt a lot of people’s feelings. I wanted to give feedback and encouragement, something that is never done at your everyday run of the mill auditions…I will not make that mistake again. Which brings us to our Lazerus dilemma. We had some talented people read for Lazerus, one we are still considering and probably would have cast him already if he didn’t look too young. I realize make-up can make him look older but there are other logistical things that are holding up our decision at this point. That is why we have decided to put out a call to actors that are 45+ to come audition for the role of Lazerus. Any one interested or if you know someone who may be can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a pivotal role for our movie that is why we are being so particular, this character is in 70% of the movie.
Another thing I have learned is how negative people are. The amount of eye rolls and tongue clucks I get daily when people hear I am making a movie is staggering. I am not motivated by negativity, never have been. I am just amazed at how quickly people want to rain on your parade and mock your dreams…it’s sad. I believe in the power of positive thinking and the will and determination to achieve one’s dreams. I will never stomp on someone’s dreams or mock them, it’s just not me I guess that’s why I will never understand those who seem to take glee out of doing that.
A couple of personal notes, hey Goregod I haven’t forgotten your shirt I will mail it out this week. I would also be remiss if I didn’t thank Rick Cahall for having us on his radio show. We had a blast and hope to do it again real soon. Rick is a very talented talk show host and an excellent character actor…that’s why we cast him. Anyway thanks Rick your show is incredible. The next couple of weeks are crazy for me, my daughter’s birthday is coming up, she is going to be 8…someone had the audacity to remind me that’s half way to 16…that was the last thing I wanted to think about. Anyway because of the custodial situation that means she has several birthday parties headed her way…Happy Birthday Emily, you are my world and my inspiration and I love you more than anything.
A quick little story about Emily before I go, a couple of weeks ago I was going through a crisis of confidence, another investor bailed and things were looking a little bleak. I had just been cursed out by a couple of people who didn’t get cast in the movie so I wasn’t having the best of days. Emily noticed I wasn’t myself and she crawled onto my lap and asked me what was wrong. I told her “Daddy’s just having a bad day.” She responded, “Is it the movie stuff?” I nodded. She looked up at me with her amazing blue eyes and smiled…which of course always seems to make all the badness melt away but then she proceeded to say something that meant the world to me she said, “Daddy, don’t worry if things don’t work out, you can always work at McDonalds.” I guess when your her age McDonalds seems like a great place to work…oh my little girl has a way of putting things in perspective.
Here I go, the shameless self-promoter that I am, here to tell you that I will be on the radio this Friday night from 11pm to midnight on the Rick Cahall show. The station is our local station 92.1 wvlt but it’s signal can be picked up down the shore and in Philly so check it out. That’s this Friday February 8th at 11pm.
Never did I imagine how incredibly difficult it would be to choose a cast. That is a testament to all of those who auditioned, we were blown away by the amount of talent that walked through our doors…so hard were the decisions I sought outside help from an old friend who is a casting director. Even he was impressed with the amount of talent we have in our little corner of the world. We have made our final decisions and have notified everyone…except for our lead villain. We had some truly talented actors read for our villain but none of them seemed quite right. And the one we are still considering might be too young but he is still in the mix because of his incredible ability. I would love to announce the entire cast but for now here is our cast minus the main villain. I will be uploading a cast page as soon as we get all the headshots and bio information for our actors/actresses. I know the cast we selected is going to make this movie great. So here is our cast so far…
Lindsey Axelsson will play our female lead also named Lindsey.
Nicole DelRosso as Jessica.
Michael Polisano as Jeff.
Sarah Albertson as Alexis.
Rebeccah Long as Sara.
John Heist as Doug.
Michael Roberts as Lester.
Bill Allen as Bubba.
Michelle Tomko as Mama Jean.
Rick Cahall and Michael Black as Mama’s Boys.
Ryan Burnett as Stewart.
Jon Bershad as Charles.
Rob Burnett as Dirty, Creepy guy…we will name him but for now that’s what he is known as.
Lazerus is still to be determined. We are auditioning a few more actors next week.
OK, there is our cast and they are incredible. We will start shooting the teaser trailer in the next couple of weeks for the Garden State Film Festival so stay tuned for all the news surrounding Sorrow Hill. Things are going to really start picking up now.
Hope to see all of you March 1st at our Production Kick off party, you can meet the cast and crew of Sorrow Hill.
Talk to all of you soon.
When making this list I tried to steer clear of sequels and remakes but some were just too awful to ignore, so without further delay here are my top 10 stinkers:
A better title would have been Friday the 13th part whatever, Jason in the Bayou. This movie was ridiculous, from the horrible dialog to the awful jokes to a monster that looked like Sloth from the Goonies on steroids. Granted the gore was descent and the kills were OK but all in all just a bad homage to Old School Horror that missed the mark for me.
9. Halloween 3
A sequel that has absolutely nothing to do with the previous movies. This movie was so bad that it could have killed the brilliance that was the original Halloween. Luckily that movie will never be tarnished no matter what Rob Zombie does to it.
8. House of the Dead
Uwe Bol is the worst director in the history of cinema. I have seen family home movies of their Disney vacation that were better directed. This movie was so bad I actually started to wonder if they really were trying to make a comedy. Whatever you do, don’t watch this movie.
This was horrible. I watched this movie and thought to myself, someone actually read this script, greenlit it and then put 12 million into to fund it…wow I wish I could talk to that guy. Anyway, a mind numbing movie about a woman trapped in a parking garage on Christmas eve. She is stalked by a crazed security guard…wait I can’t do this…just trust me on this one…stay away.
6. Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
Wow, talk about destroying a legend. This movie was God Awful. From the ridiculousness of Leatherface’s birth on the floor of a Slaughterhouse to the nonsensical sequence where one of the victims escapes, after his brother and friends are butchered mind you and proceeds to only beat up one of the people responsible for their deaths, he leaves R. Lee Ermy’s character alive…WTF. This movie tried to explain everything that transpires in TCM…it just missed horribly, oh and the direction was uninspired and hokey.
5. Jason X
Jason in space…need I say anymore?
4. The Ring
I know I will take heat for this one but I just don’t get what’s so damn scary about this movie…Samara doesn’t scare me. All they say about her is that she doesn’t sleep. This movie was one of the many attempts at remaking a Japanese classic and the American version just completely misses the mark. See also the Grudge.
3. The Messengers
Boring, boring, boring. From the horrible acting to the predictable plot twists to the anti-climatic ending this movie is just God awful. I would rather watch grass grow then watch this steaming pile of…let’s just say this movie sucks.
Jon Voight as a Jamaican Captain Crunch…a really bad CGI snake, horrible plot and Eric Stoltz awakening from a coma just in time to save the day…then falling back into a coma. Not even Jennifer Lopez in a wet t-shirt could save this horrible movie.
No not the Hitchcock classic…the Gus Van Sant remake that had me cringing from beginning to end. Horrible acting and Vince Vaughn can act, horrible directing and Van Sant can direct. This movie was literally a shot for shot remake…and it was horrible. I will never figure out why they did it…all I know is I would rather watch Godmonster of Indian Flats…never heard of it…probably the worst movie ever made but it was so horrible it was good. I will write a complete review of that movie at a later day.
So there you have it…there are so many more I would love to put on this list but these 10 probably pissed me off the most.