Thanksgiving Vlog 2017

 

PLOT: Found footage thriller about a Thanksgiving dinner that goes into a dark corner….

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TO THE SLAUGHTER

 

PLOT: A cow wrecks vengeance on slaughterhouse workers in this horror / dark comedy. Inspired by Grindhouse Cinema from the 70s and 80s and low budget horror movies such as “ThanksKilling” and Troma Entertainment.

 

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A few years ago, I tried making this movie at my old place with a different mask. I got as far as filming scenes for it-but I didn’t have the right locations and I soon lost interest. The movie always sort of stuck in my mind thoguh as a movie I’ve always wanted to do and sat in the back of my brain for a couple years.

Once I moved to my new home, I knew I wanted to do a project since I had taken a long hiatus. I went through all different types of stories, but nothing stuck (however, I have a lot of future ideas now!)

I then watched a revenge movie entitled “Daddy’s Little Girl”, a dark and grusome movie about a father getting revenge on his daughter’s killer. It sparked an idea I had stored away…the story of a cow escaping a slaughterhouse and getting vengeance. However, I can’t take full credit for the idea. A few years ago, I had watched an animated short film entitled “Killgore”, and I was very much intiruged, but my movie I knew would be live action and not animated. So already, that created a world of difference in presentation. As awesome as that short is, I didn’t want to go with the same style. Killgore I feel is an 80’s action movie type deal, and something I didn’t want to just duplicate.

So, I went for 70’s grindhouse / cheesy horror. It worked for movies like “ThanksKilling” amazingly, so I felt I should do something in a similar light. I love animal centered stories and I love grusome horror plots.

In my new home, for the first time I had access to a large basement, and it proved to be excellent. As far as the script, it went through a few changes before being finalized. My next hurtle was victims. I knew Colin (the cow) couldn’t just kill the one slaughterhouse worker, then it would become to boring. Every year, we go to a huge hallween party, so with the help of my dad and his friend, John-the two agreed to help out and I got his two kids to preform as well. They had all been in a short film I made entitled “Trespassers”. Filming inside a new home is always a bit akward at first, but the folks running the party were awesome and let me use anything I needed.

As far as the female lead, the script had said “Lance’s wife”, but my dad (playing Lance) came up with the brilliant idea of the girl being his daughter. I totally went for it and I got one of his co-workers to be in the movie, it was her first time working on one of my films-but we ended up having a blast from start to finish.

With two new actors on this movie, a few new locations and a story I’m extrmely fond and proud of, I hope you enjoy this movie. It’s certainly one I am very proud of.

DOLPHIN QUEST (Short Film)

 

PLOT: In a world, full of fantasy and wonder, where animals and humans are separated-one dolphin named Daiquiri goes on a quest to kill a mighty and terrifying dragon who keeps an iron grip over the land of Animalia.

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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

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!