DOLPHIN QUEST (Short Film)

 

The inception of this fantasy short film was done after I watched the classic film from the 80’s entitled “The Dark Crystal”. A film starring puppets actually seemed like something I could do, on a much smaller scale of course.  I wanted to do a fantasy simply because I rarely get to do grand stories, so I thought with puppets and with the holidays coming up and traveling, I knew it would be a good chance to try something a bit more ambitious.

Filming at the very cool furry con in Springfield was a blast, everyone seemed to be interested in what I was doing and I was glad to answer questions. I actually shot that footage before I had a SCRIPT written out, but I spent the next few days tweaking a plot and I knew what kind of story I wanted to tell. I recorded all the audio I needed before filming a whole lot, I did film little things here and there-but in the editing it was much easier to have all the puzzle pieces and just put everything together.

Filming in Lake George was also a blast, but it proved to be very tiring. Having to pack for myself AND for the movie AND make sure I remembered batteries and the puppets and had a place to store everything was a bit of a hard deal, but once I got there things fell into place-for the most part. The weather was quite bad, an overcast looks pretty on camera, but the rain was off and on and that made the shooting schedule tight since we were only there for two days, but it rained 90% of the time. With my mom’s help, I was able to get everything in though.

For the final scene at the party, that was just pure craziness. My aunt holds a 4th of July party, and I LOVE going and thought it would be fun to film there, it was a fun time but carrying around a camera and two puppets for half the time made walking about hard, plus I wanted to make sure to talk to my aunts and cousins who I sometimes don’t get to see a lot, but everyone loved being on camera and I think I juggled everything well. I am proud of this short, for its locations and story. The waiting to get the locations was VERY tough on my ADHD, but it was so worth it.

Along with this new film, came AMAZING movie poster art by the talented Carrie Lindstrom! She was awesome to work with, I met with her and she knew exactly what I was looking for, her work added a whole new dimension to the project for sure. 🙂

dolphin

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DOG ON IT (Furry Movie) {Leonard #3}

 

PLOT: After finding the murdered body of a husky, Leonard is sent to find the killer with deadly consequences….

 


CONTAINS SPOILERS: 

I wanted to make my Leonard movies a trilogy once I made “Tracking Rabid” last year. The week I knew I was going to Anthro New England, I started writing a script-no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to film at another great furry con and I feel like IF this is the last Leonard movie, I wanted to make it as epic as possible, so all that stuff at the hotel area were the first scenes filmed. That stuff was a lot of fun and I got amazing footage of all the cool stuff that went on, the hotel room fight was quite hard-being that my dad and I were the only two filming the entire scene, but we pulled it off. There’s a great hotel fight scene I was trying to pay homage to, it’s in the underrated action movie called “Haywire”, that’s why there’s no music and the scene is moved by sound effects and the immediate action on screen.

The rest of the story wasn’t really inspired by any movie, I used plot devices that I had come up with while writing the Leonard short stories, the issue with filming Leo inside my house is that it is SO hot, but other than that-those scenes are rather simple. I was able to get Katherine Martin to film a scene of Leo smoking, the entire movie was rather tedious since I had to over dub all of Leonard’s dialogue pretty much, adding gunshots to takes a while. I hope you enjoy this movie, I had a blast making another Leonard movie, I feel like it’s a good send off if it’s the finale.

 

 

 

EXPERT SYSTEM (Short Film)

 

PLOT: Julie gets more than she bargained for when she underestimates the dark and disturbing mind of an Artificial intelligence system…


This movie really came about when I was in middle school and saw the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” the first time. I was so fascinated with HAL9000, really that character stole the show for me and was the element of the story that stuck with me. I thought ‘what would that be like in a house?’ I wanted to do something like HAL, but on a much smaller scale. I simply didn’t have the editing technique at the time to pull it off, and I forgot about the idea. That is until, I started reading a book entitled “Demon Seed” by Dean Koontz, and the idea slowly came back to me.

While reading the book, my mom was putting together props for a large cosplay my dad is involved with (I can’t say much here) but let’s just say-without my mom putting together this cosplay, this movie probably would not have happened. When I saw the IBM camera painted black (which was Isaac9000 himself) and his robotic arm, I knew exactly how to do this movie.

Once I had the props, I got my veteran actress, Katherine involved-who really found the project interesting, and I was also able to my uncle to play a small cameo in the movie, someone who I’ve been in touch with creatively for a long time.

My next predicament was editing, this movie ended up being such a bigger project than I intended. First off, Isaac’s voice was a hassle. I knew I wanted a robotic sounding voice, but everything online was just stupid and generic-until I paid some money for a voice on a text-to-speech program my mom had and ‘bought’ the British voice, needless to say-it was awesome.

The editing went like this: I would say the lines in front of camera to Katherine, then when finalizing the movie, went back, wrote down every line of dialogue Issac spoke, put the lines into the reader, used a screen capture program to get the audio itself, then cut and splice until the audio synched perfectly, then muted my audio.  It was a true challenge and it proved to be super tedious, not to mention all the robotic sound effects for when Isacc’s ‘arm’ moved, that was also a pain-the movie editing program began to even get buggy on me and the render time for the movie was quite long.

However, I am proud to say that this movie is so different from my other works, that I can’t help but look back on all the tough editing fondly. I hope science fiction fans enjoy this, thanks for reading.

LOST DOG (Short Film)

 

Plot: This is the story of a lost Labrador attempting to fend for herself and find a new home. Meanwhile, a distant human suffers from depression.
Inspired by the novel “A Dog’s Purpose”, this drama is a tale of inspiration and discovery and how life can always change.

 


Frankly, I was getting tired of making psychological thrillers and horror movies and thought I should try something totally different, I made an inspirational drama about a horse entitled “A Horse’s Love” and I seemed to get a lot of positive attention for it.

I read a book entitled “A Dog’s Purpose“, soon to be a movie which is actually how I discovered it even existed. I feel in love with the book and right now, it is my favorite book of all time-so I thought making a sort of ‘spinoff’ of that story would be awesome. Xena has been my animal companion for four years, and she has had cameos in a few of my movies-but now I would get to see what sort of shots and angles I could get with her and really experiment with lighting and mood. Needless to say, I ended up getting probably a good hour and a half of footage, I also had shot some video at a dog park (where the ‘other dog’ had a cameo’)

For the ‘voice’ of Xena, I wasn’t sure if I should pay someone to do it or what-but I ended up going with a now veteran actress in my group, Katherine Martin, well she was perfect and fit the personality of the character I think amazingly well.

Overall, not only did I enjoy filming this-but my dog KNEW she was the center of attention and I think milked it all the scenery, filming Xena was a joy and I think this movie might be a perfect representation of my true optimism in life-hopefully this movie rubs off on you in a similar way. 🙂

 

Restoring Emma

 

PLOT:  In this twisted psychological horror film, a brother tries to help his deformed sister-even if it means going to the darkest lengths…


This Portion of The Blog Has Spoilers

This movie came about when I sort of wanted to do something more ‘twisted’. A part from the two witch movies I made, “Coven Nextdoor” and “Hex” and the “Alien” fan film-horror is a genre that I’ve stayed away from-I feel like I’m more of a psychological thriller guy, they’re both different genres for sure. So, I knew I wanted to do something edgier, something with more scares and more weirdness.

I had seen a movie entitled “Eyes Without A Face”, a French film made in the 1960s. I wanted to use that kind of plot structure, and I’ll willingly admit that if I hadn’t seen that, this movie would not have been made, I guess you could almost consider this a ‘remake’…but I also simplified everything and changed the ending, so maybe not.

This is J. Pao’s first movie, she had seen a few of my short films and said they were great, and it took me a bit to muster up the courage to ask her to be in one. She was very open minded, soft spoken and really great to bounce ideas off of, she asks a lot of questions about the film making process and the script-which I was thrilled to answer.

Adding to the creepiness, I bought a new type of blood makeup online, and it really did the job, poor Katherine (who now has been in three of my shorts) had to lie on the floor as my awesome mom applied the effect (along with blood made by the grandmother, which had been in the fridge and cold!) We had a blast to say the least, and when I showed everyone the final product, a lot of cringing during a ‘certain scene’ happened-which as a storyteller and film maker, was a huge compliment!

This movie was shot in about four days, with all types of new filming techniques and lightning, I really wanted to set a cool mood with this movie and not just point the camera at stuff I liked, I hope horror movie people enjoy!

ENCOUNTER (Alien Abduction Short Film)

 

Plot: Adam is taken by an Extraterrestrial, only to discover that maybe it is time to hear there side of life…

 


 

I love alien abduction movies-I had made a sort of ‘X Files’ type movie entitled “Outpost X” a while a go-but now I was ready to revisit the idea of a science fiction movie. I took notes from directors like Neill Blomkamp (District 9 and Chappie) and Christopher Nolan (Interstellar) and went with something that maybe has not been done much before.

I filmed the entire movie on my own (lighting, acting, editing etc…) I’m proud of how this came out, it’s a bit more ‘talkly’ than my other movies, it’s a ‘science fiction drama’ I guess. On a side note, this movie took me the longest to render / save out of all my shorts, I kept finding little mistakes and being picky. Being that half the movie was filtered, it took my editing program (PowerDirector 14) about 40 min to save. I had to watch all four or five times it saved…ugh. Anyway! Enjoy.

TRACKING RABID (Furry Short Film)

 

Leonard Keaton begins to investigate the brutal death of a human-stabbed and more bizarrely- missing a limb. What Leo uncovers becomes one of the most bizarre and brutal crimes in the furry community….

 

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I wanted to put Leonard in a horror movie. Paw and Order to me, is an epic investigative thriller. Sure, a few dashes of horror are in there, but it’s more of a drama for sure. “Paw and Order” and “Tracking Rabid” are not connected, I made sure to make them both stand alone movies-you can go into this one not knowing anything about Leo and still ‘get it.’

While Cindy, my mom did film a good chunk of this movie-really this movie was made by my dad and I, we both switched off filming for the entire climax of the film, we both had no help when it came to shooting 90% of this, which adds to its uniqueness I feel. It’s not ‘polished’ like the first one-I’m going for a much more ‘handheld’ look with this. Lower budget, lower lighting….perhaps it helps evoking the fear?

For those of you who saw Leonard’s first adventure, while the scale on this movie is much smaller-I wanted it to be much darker. I love the 70’s horror movies the best-in fact the movie that inspired this was “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” by Tobe Hooper. A horror movie that still freaks me out to this day-hardly any gore, but the feeling of dread and madness are so effective. It really is a must watch for anyone who likes independent movies.

I really wanted to work on effectiveness using score, lighting and just ‘saying’ ideas and not showing them. Like the 70’s horror movies-this is not very bloody, there isn’t a whole lot of on-screen violence even, but I did work on editing techniques and I hope furries enjoy it because it is not the typical furry stuff at all-therefore, I hope it inspires interest and enjoyment…especially if you like horror movies.