Yesterday was amazing. Yesterday I directed my first zombie scene and it was everything I ever dreamed it could be. I woke up yesterday at around 7 am and sprung from my bed. Fueled by adrenaline and anticipation I loaded up my car with all of my equipment and headed off to the cemetery where filming was to take place. I had my shot list written out and I kept replaying the entire scene over and over in my head during my hour long drive. I was ready. I arrived at the cemetery around 10 am, walked to the spot in the cemetery where I would be filming and began acting out the entire scene…by myself. I played all four zombies and the hapless caretaker. I can only imagine what passerby’s were thinking as they saw a man in all his geeky glory pantomiming a zombie attack. The day was off to a wonderful start. But of course, we are talking about a Grindhouse Pictures shoot…nothing ever goes off without a hitch. Luckily they were small hiccups but ones that cause a small level of anxiety.
First, one of our zombies had to cancel due to a family emergency. Now her canceling didn’t cause anxiety, our concern for our actor’s loved one did and we continue to pray for our actor and their family. Everyone here at Grindhouse Pictures is here for you. Then my make up guru Miranda had a rough day…someone stole her cell phone and she ended up running a little late. Miranda is one of the people who make Grindhouse Pictures go so I was a little concerned when I hadn’t heard from her…now I know why. Luckily Miranda made it to the set before we started filming and added some amazing, gruesome finishing touches to our zombies. The last little bump we encountered was when I went to my storage locker to retrieve a ladder that I needed to get a high point of view shot. Unfortunately when I got to my locker there wasn’t a ladder to be found. So I quickly called a new addition to the Grindhouse family Doug Cogit. I told Doug my dilemma and he told me not to worry…he would bring me a ladder. That was huge because those shots were very important to the scene. Doug also worked hard all day on Saturday. Not only did he help set up the shots, he was my boom operator and was a great sounding board when I had an idea. I have a great feeling that I am going to work a lot with Doug. Doug also has experience as a cinematographer and is going to help with the For Love of Zombies shoot. All I can say is welcome to Grindhouse Doug…it’s gonna be a blast.
We were still one zombie short so I called one of our zombies Corey Branigan. He was able to muster up another zombie, Rachel Sweider and they both did amazing jobs. It was my first time working with Rachel and I must say it was a joy. Very professional and talented. I have worked with Corey several other times and he never disappoints. You will never find a more willing and hard working individual. My other two zombies were Ryan DiBiase and Ron Crowell. This was my first time working with them and I wasn’t sure what to expect…needless to say I was not disappointed. They both brought the scary. I don’t want to give anything away but when Ron makes his first appearance on screen it is frightening. Ryan’s performance was pitch perfect. He followed direction perfectly and delivered a very convincing zombie performance…I will be using all four of these zombies in the future…no doubt. The other actor I had the pleasure of working with yesterday was one of my oldest/dearest friends George Scully. George played the cemetery caretaker that is besieged by the zombies. George was extremely convincing when it came to showing fear when surrounded by the zombie horde. And his screams of pain and agony are still echoing in my head. He also brought his daughter Amanda who lent a helping hand whenever she was asked. Thanks Amanda! I can’t believe you are graduating high school…I really feel old. Anyhow I would just like to say to all of my actors from yesterday…you humble me.
I also had a lot of help from three charter members of Grindhouse Pictures. My daughter Emily, Sarah Albertson, and Heather Felmey. Sarah drove all over the place picking up supplies and Emily was once again the best slate girl in the business. And Heather, as always, did whatever we asked of her…that’s why she is called set mom.
Last but certainly not least I have to give a huge thank you to the Goregod himself…Eric Welsch. I emailed Eric on Friday asking if he could lend a hand with the make up on Saturday. I knew Miranda wouldn’t be available to a little later and I knew I’d be chasing daylight and avoiding an approaching storm so I needed to get Miranda a helping hand. Little did I know what I had in store. Eric was amazing. He showed up prepared and with a vision and he started making up my four zombies in a manner I never imagined…and I loved it. The zombies were frightening, gruesome, and convincing. We decided to make them all “fresh” zombies because of time constraints and all I can say is WOW. Eric was extremely professional and extraordinarily talented. I know he and Miranda are going to make a great team and For Love of Zombies is going to be a success because of their efforts. There will be a ton of pictures posted later today on the For Love of Zombies Facebook page. I look forward to working with Eric again. His creativity and imagination are off the charts.
The footage we shot is going to be part of the last webisode leading up the the For Love of Zombies movie. Those webisodes are going to premiere May 8th at our Brains and Beer Fundraiser. You are not going to want to miss all the zombie goodness. Lots of giveaways and great food. Click HERE for all the details.
For Love of Zombies is off to a flying start. I am surrounded by talented, dedicated people that are going to make this movie amazing. I am truly a lucky director. Now as is my custom…I celebrate any accomplishment by viewing my favorite movie…Shaun of the Dead. Until next time…You Got Red on You.
Go to www.grindhouse-radio.com and check out the latest podcast or you can go the old fashioned route and just click the player below. Lots of For Love of Zombie updates and a whole bunch of geeky observations and ramblings.
Received good news today. Heard back from the cemetery we scouted earlier this month that we have permission to shoot there. This cemetery is perfect for what we want to shoot. It is creepy, old, and rundown…just like Evans City. That means that this Saturday we are a go. I will be shooting my first zombie action scene and i cannot wait. I have written up my shot selection and have gone over it several times. I have played the scene over in my head since I finished writing it and know that it’s gonna be well received.
Also, our raffle tickets are selling nicely. Be sure to get yours before they are gone. You could win an iPod Touch. It’s an incredible gadget and a lot of fun. You don’t have to be present to win and the proceeds go to funding For Love of Zombies. So order your tickets now, only $5 each or 5 for $20. Click HERE to order. The drawing will be held May 8th during our Brains and Beer fundraiser.
May 8th is also the day you can come sign up to be a zombie in For Love of Zombies. Come out May 8th beginning at 4PM and give us your best zombie walk, moan, groan, and yell. It’s gonna be a lot of fun and while you’re at it enjoy a great buffet and one beer for only $10.
Teddy and I will be recording and posting a new Random Ass Podcast Wednesday. Be sure to check back Wednesday and find out everything that is happening with the production of For Love of Zombies and the Sorrow Hill DVD release. Which is a little over a month away. Sorrow Hill will be released May 31st and you can pre order by going to www.sorrowhillmovie.com.
I am only a week away from filming some zombie goodness. I am a huge fan of the zombie genre and I have waited my entire life to get to this point. Granted it’s only a short scene that I am filming for a webisode but it is still zombie footage nonetheless. This will be a great test for our zombie make up and some of our gore effects, because oh yes…there will be gore. Miranda has been working hard cooking up some incredible make up effects. I love working with Miranda because of her dedication to her craft and her creativity. But above all else, her ability to come up with things on the fly is amazing. She truly is the MacGyver of special effects make-up. I have a great actor, George Scully, playing the cemetery caretaker. He is a fellow geek and is truly psyched and amped up to do this. I know he is gonna be great.
The scene I am filming next Saturday requires 5 zombies and I put out a call on the For Love of Zombies Facebook page as well as my personal Facebook page and got 113 emails. Wow. I never knew so many people were so eager to be zombies. I hope that many people turnout to our zombie casting call May 8th at The Rail Bar in Richland NJ. That is when we will be casting all of our zombies for the actual For Love of Zombies film. This is your one and only chance to be cast in the film. Unless you have already invested through IndieGoGo or ebay. Then your spot is secure and not to mention the truckload of For Love of Zombie swag you will receive for investing in our little project.
Our Brains and Beer event is right around the corner. Tickets are only 10 bucks and that gets you a buffet dinner and one beer. The even will be held at the Rail Bar in Richland NJ on May 8th. We will also be raffling off an iPod touch that night. Tickets are only $5 or 5 for $20. Click HERE to order.
If you haven’t done so already check out our IndieGoGo page. You can see all the investment opportunities that exist. We have a goal of 5,000 dollars to raise and every dollar helps. IndieGoGo is running a promotion where they will match up to 5% if our goal is reached but we only have 60 days to raise the money. So if you are so inclined, click on the IndieGoGo link and help out. The $50 dollar investment package we are offering on ebay and IndieGoGo is a great value and it includes the following:
A For Love of Zombies T-Shirt.
A For Love of Zombies DVD.
A Signed Limited edition For Love of Zombies movie poster.
Your name in the end credits.
VIP treatment on the set of For Love of Zombies.
The opportunity to be a zombie in For Love of Zombies, this includes full Zombie Make-Up.
The Random Ass Podcast will be returning this week. Be sure to check us out at www.grindhouse-radio.com. There you can listen to some past editions of The Random Ass Podcast.
And last and but certainly not least…SORROW HILL DVD will be available May 31st. Pre-order yours now if you haven’t done so already. Click HERE to pre-order…only $15.00.
Sorrow Hill goes on sale May 31st. I have decided to self-distribute because quite honestly having a distributor is not worth the headaches…not for a movie that cost me a little over 4,000 to make so it won’t be too difficult to break even and make a little profit perhaps. Anyhow, all of you who pre-ordered before your DVD will ship May 31st. Those of you who haven’t pre-ordered you can now pre-order by going to www.sorrowhillmovie.com.
Attention everyone whoever dreamed of being a zombie in a horror movie. This is your chance. Saturday May 8th beginning at 4PM at the Rail Bar in Richland NJ we will be holding Zombie Auditions and Sign ups. This will be your only chance to get signed up to be a zombie in our upcoming production For Love of Zombies. Come out May 8th and show us your best zombie groan, walk, and shuffle. Appear as a zombie with a former NFL All-Pro and current TNA talent. This will be our one and only open casting call so don’t miss it.
I was recently interviewed by the Horror Guy and the Horror Gal on the number one horror podcast The Horror Movie Show. The interview will posted Friday April 16th. They really enjoyed Sorrow Hill so that meant a lot to me. I will post the link to the show on Friday. I can’t wait for all of you to hear it.
For Love of Zombies is going strong. The teaser trailer is up on youtube and so far everyone has really enjoyed it. Teddy Wycheck and Ryan Burnett did an incredible job and are both very funny. Teddy did an awesome job on the Arnold Schwarzenegger voice over. If you haven’t seen the teaser trailer well you’re in luck…it’s embedded below.
We’ve been busy promoting For Love of Zombies and it has paid off. We have snagged TNA Wrestling as a corporate sponsor so be sure to look for some TNA talent appearing as zombies in FLoZ. Also, catch us on www.zombiezonenews.com. And last but not least catch a great interview on www.zombiehoard.com with Teddy Wycheck. Also, our For Love of Zombies Facebook page is close to 1,200 fans so if you haven’t joined yet look us up and become a fan. We are currently doing our own version of the field of 64 only with Zombie Movies. So log in and cast your vote.
We have a great fundraiser happening May 8th at the Rail Bar. It’s our inaugural Brains and Beer. For only $10 you get a great buffet, one beer, and a night of great music. There will be tons of giveaways and we will be raffling off an iPod touch. It’s a going to be a great night so come on out and party with us and help us make For Love of Zombies a reality. If you can’t make it out that night you can still help fund our movie. Simply go to www.indiegogo.com and you can donate as little as $5 and with that $5 donation you will get your name in the credits.
For Love of Zombie pre-production is in high gear. I have filmed a couple of webisodes and a new teaser trailer. Been working on the edits for all three and hope to have them ready to go when we launch the For Love of Zombies web site. Everyone is working hard to raise the money needed to film the movie and as always we are trying to come up with unique ways to do so. May 8th we will be holding a Brains and Beer. Which is simply a spin off of the traditional Beef and Beer. It will be held at The Rail Bar on the corner of Route 40 and Cedar Rd in Richland. Entertainment provided by Eddie’s Garage and tickets are only $10 for a buffet dinner and one beer. If you aren’t interested in the buffet still come out for a night of partying and giveaways. We are raffling off an iPod touch and we are going to have several gift baskets to give away and raffle off. It’s gonna be a fun night as we debut clips from For Love of Zombies and you can meet the entire cast. Come on out and support independent film making and have a great time while you’re at it.
Sorrow Hill DVD is still in the works. I am finishing up the bonus material, Tom from Thomas Design Studios is finishing up the menus and we hope to have the DVD available beginning the night of the Brains and Beer. That may be a tall order but we are pushing for it. If not the DVD will be out by the end of May.
Since Sorrow Hill wrapped and since it premiered I have really found out who my true friends are and who truly supports me. And to those who have stuck by me and offered support and encouragement I want to say thank you. It means a lot because making movies requires a lot of support and sacrifice and it’s impossible to do alone. What I find amazing is how many people from Sorrow Hill don’t even bother with me or Grindhouse Pictures anymore. They were up my ass the year following Sorrow Hill during the editing process always asking when will the movie be done. I finally finish editing the film and I put together a pretty kick ass premiere at the historic Broadway Theater in Pitman NJ. Over 500 people attended. And for the first time ever for every one of the people involved with Sorrow Hill they saw their work on a big screen in an incredible venue. I can count on one hand how many of them thanked me. So I’ve learned a lesson from the entire Sorrow Hill experience from beginning to end…people only care about themselves and what you can do for them. Once they have received what they were out for…they will be gone. All I can say at this point is good riddance.
While I am venting, I might as well vent about everything. Actually it’s kind of a rhetorical question…Why do people think they can say horrible hurtful things behind your back and to your face and then apologize later and think that solves everything? And then they get mad at you because you no longer want to be associated with them. I will never understand people. I can forgive but I never forget. So if a person shows a history of being two faced, petty, and selfish why would I then want to still work with or be friends with that person? Can someone answer that? Oh wait I said these were rhetorical questions…never mind.