Sunday, January 27, 2013

Questions Answered and Updates

I promise that this will not have spoilers. I will mention a number of things that we have in mind, but there is no way that anyone could see into the twisted minds of the writers and actors and figure out exactly where this story will go. So, read on with confidence and enjoy the ride.

Q & A

First, let me get to the questions from fans.
Yes, you can still donate to the production. It can be done one of two ways. You can donate directly to the production company or to one of the vendors supplying goods and services for the web series. For instance, you could help pay for extra prosthetic make-up directly with the vendor. That could free up our committed resources for something else that would be nice to have. You could help pay for a location or for catering. The level of contribution will be awarded the same kind of perks we did on the Indiegogo campaign. Just email me privately, and I can set it up anyway you like. My email address is We are keeping copious records of everything and are willing to open the books to any contributor at the end of the production.

No, thankfully, the lower budget will not mean that the series will lose its sense of humor. I believe that the series has gotten even funnier in a macabre kind of way or in the 'that's so wrong' kind of humor that came from our actors. But there won't be silliness. The characters take what's happening in their lives very seriously. It's just that some of the things happening are seriously screwed up. It's like if Buffy the Vampire Slayer met film noir. As I've said, I don't there is a way to stop Garett Maggart from being funny. We've just found some really different ways for that humor to show itself while keeping the tension and sometimes the horror.

Yes, this script does have elements from the second half of the novel, Demon Under Glass. But it also has themes from stories that appeared in the Demonspawn: On the Run anthologies. Once the script has been finalized, we'll notify the authors whose works are represented. I'm sure they'll be jazzed about getting credits on Half of the script, however, is completely original. The discussions we had during the Nosferatu TVpodcast really did open our minds to some possibilities we had not considered. We've spent the last couple of weeks fleshing out the arc with what we have for resources. We'll have a draft to put in front of the actors by next weekend. I hope to finalize the remaining cast shortly after that. I will be sharing the character breakdowns on the blog. We're always looking for casting ideas.

Frugal Film Making

I posted this link on the Demonspawn Facebook Page. I found this Youtube Channel, the Frugal Filmmaker  and blog while looking for options to solve audio recording issues we were having with the teaser, my documentary other shoots we were doing out of pocket. I realized that it was the same site we used to find plans and instructions to make a stabilizing rig for the camera with PVC pipe. You can kind of see it in this photo. This fabulous man puts up a video almost every week that has something useful for a filmmaker with no money. In fact, his motto is basically that poverty is no excuse to not make a film. We did find a few options to solve our sound problems. I even tried them when I recorded a cooking video this week. Jon also decided to wear a wire for most of a day. They are very clear mics with their own digital recorders that are also thumb drives. We have enough for our leads and some spares while spending far less than we would to rent the same equipment. We really don't want to rent any equipment. It was inexpensive enough for us to invest in the equipment on our own like the stabilizing rig. Well, he has dozens of ideas for Demonspawn's equipment needs. He even does a video on craft services that was quite helpful. Most important of all is that he will answer questions on matters not covered in the videos in a very timely manner. That is very refreshing in a city where everyone has a hand out for any little bit of information.

That's it for now. I'll have more next week. Keep the questions coming. And we really appreciate the words of support.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Campaign and Beyond - Away We Go!

The Indiegogo fundraiser for Demonspawn fell well short of our most best case scenario for filming. However, we did do well enough to shoot what we planned to shoot and do it well. How can this be? Bowfinger. That film was a watershed for us as filmmakers. After arriving in Los Angeles, we had been in an endless litany of meetings and negotiations for various projects that got us no where. For four years, Jon and I and later joined by Ralph and Marguerite Lliteras had gone into a meeting with high hopes and big promises only to be ground down with endless new demands and delays. We've had more than one company raise money for their own projects based on the strength of our pitches. We were beyond frustrated. Then, Jon and I saw Bowfinger. We had Ralph and Marguerite see it. At that same time, we saw an ultra low budget short Joss Whedon shot for Buffy, The VampireSlayer series . That gave us the crazy notion to shoot our own proof of concept. They are now called 'sizzle reels.' The Bowfinger philosophy was that all movies only really cost $2,184 dollars. Fortunately, we raised more than that. When we decided to make The Privateers, Jon and I had absolutely no money beyond our paychecks. It got done. With actual bucks in hand, watch out.

There is a lot of elements on our side. Equipment is much cheaper and actually better. We own a lot of our own rig. We have resources from the city, county and state that are fee-free and we have some really cool and varied locations that are willing to give us a day here or there. The only thing that the money changes is shooting in one straight shot (5 to 7 days). We'll have to do this over a couple of months now. And I will most certainly be doing all the craft services, but the cast actually wants that (especially the baked goods). And then, we have a committed and enthusiastic cast. The work we did in the run up to the teaser shoot and the discussion we had during the podcast shoot produced some amazing insights from our leads. These insights prompted us to re-write the script that emphasizes the interplay between Simon and Joe and Ethan in the present and Bassett in the flashbacks over a lot of action. We've been challenged to find our inner Ron Moore and Jane Espenson and use our FX sparingly. That is a big groovy exercise for a writer and an actor.

So, Jon and I are re-working the treatment. We'll be meeting with the cast and key crew between now and next week to coordinate resources and schedules. I have to find out what we need for permits, insurance and SAG clearance. Then, we will set a shooting schedule. It's going to be a buttload of work. Could it have been easier? Hells yes! We would have loved to have all the bells and whistles and luxuries. I don't think it will be as rough as our first shoot purely because it isn't our first shoot. We know how to do a lot now, including foresee difficulties and fix them on the fly.

Look for a progress report next week. Thanks very much for all of your support. Me, Jon, Garett, Owen, Donal and Jack and our crew really appreciate it! We hope you enjoy the ride.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Winding Down the Campaign

We'll be waiting until we know what's happening with the campaign before posting a new blog. There are still plans to shoot the web series and no real plans to scale it back, but the shoot days would be expanded over far more time. Everyone involved remains committed which has been really amazing. It's like the whole process ignited something incredible. But what we will be doing will depend on what the final tally is, so we think it would be silly to do a blog when we don't really know anything.

So, after the campaign ends and we have a meeting with our cast, we'll resume the blogs. It'll be worth the wait as there are some amazing things coming.

Meanwhile, there is still time to contribute:

And don't forget to share!