Sunday, March 31, 2013

Updates on a Delicate Question

Joe McKay (Garett Maggart) wakes from a Nightmare
The last blog raised an interesting question about whether there will be nudity in the Demonspawn web series. I can't say (spoiler) for certain. There are many opportunities and we do have a very cute cast. I can tell you that there will be none seen on Youtube. If there is any, it will only be seen by the donors on the exclusive DVD for a while. We are in talks to get it distributed on some webtv channels where a bit skin and gore isn't an issue. Not that we have a lot of either (keeping it tasteful), but there is blood(vampires). After the initial run on Youtube is over, the full cut version of the webseries will be available to everyone.

Oh, and many thanks who have written me about my cancer tests. I am feeling fine and fully expect that all of the tests will reflect that. However, no matter what happens, we'll be shooting the webseries. The cast has been remarkably supportive of me during this. I could probably do without the serenading, but I do appreciate it. I and I really admire their commitment to this project. We've become a film family of sorts over the years. that's why we try to share how much fun this process is, so you can enjoy it as well. The whole family thing goes a long way on those 17 hour shoots. But that is for another day.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Wacky Questions with Wackier Responses

It takes a lot for a film related question to make me blink. Last week, I was asked if I knew anyone that could give them a price on a cow milking machine rental. I barely raised an eyebrow. All I wanted to know was whether there were insurance issues (that would be who and/or what they planned on hooking to the machine). I never got any specifics on that question. Someone else found the answer. When these Q&A exchanges occur ringside on social media, I can almost feel the questions coming from family and friends back east. There is much in the way of incredulity and confusion. It's not the questions in and of themselves that cause those states. The lack of reaction confused them.

Filmmaking is full of questions. Three quarters of them are mundane – maybe even 80 percent. But much of filmmaking is telling stories of the out of the ordinary. That sort of task is bound to produce some really strange questions.

“Do current model cars have releases inside the trunk?” Jon asked me over dinner a couple of weeks ago. My life has been really dull of late. My kidnappings had dwindled down to nothing, so I had no idea. I was also puzzled about why Simon would need an escape latch to get out of the trunk. If Joe couldn't open it for him, something had gone terribly awry that would course Simon to burst from the trunk, sending it high in the air. He had something else in mind, it turned out. I asked one of our more mechanically inclined friends and occasional set elf, Randy. I was informed that recent makes of cars do have a release latch built inside the trunk. That caused me to wonder just how many kidnappings and/or really goofy accidents had been happening worldwide to cause such feature to be built into autos.

While Jon adjusted the script for the physically realities of current car trunks, I had questions I need to ask our insurance company and members of the cast. No matter how safe the car companies believe the release mechanisms are, insurance companies may still not like the idea of closing an actor in side a real trunk without a big premium to cover any problems. There weren't any. Next, I had to ask the actors if they minded us locking them in a car trunk. I ask actors lots of questions in the run up to a shoot. Those questions generally focus on the logistics of traveling to the location or whether or not they have food allergies or strongly held food preferences. There is nothing that will ruin morale on the set than getting the food wrong! Strangely, the question of whether an actor will go for nudity is decided long before any of these kinds of questions. I nudity is a problem that is not something a production needs to learn once pre-production or production has begun. Have we asked the nudity question in regard to Demonspawn? That would be a big spoiler, wouldn't it?

At any rate, I realized that I needed to ask that question of our current actors and for any ones we cast in major speaking roles. It was one fun email to write as I had to include assurances that none of this was for our own personal entertainment. It has been implied that some directors and producers enjoy doing things like hanging actors upside down and putting their heads in casts just because they can. We never do anything that isn't for the film. Fun is purely a coincidence.

The next set of questions I had to research was could we build a camera rigging that could move it through the car past the back seat back into the trunk. The rigging would have to be sturdy enough to keep the camera safe, have smooth movement and still be cheap. A few questions on the frugal filmmakers network of websites and youtube channels soon gave me a few PVC pipe related options. Those guys are awesome. Naturally, we will document the rig as we build it.

If you have any questions that you want to ask us, let us know!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Recreating the Past and Casting Update

Read Carefully!
First, this is something one of our fans sent to me. A little vampire joke, if you will. This was because of one of the funnier images from the original film – Simon getting an eye exam. Jon and I always liked the dentist scene more. This was partly because we adored the actor playing the dentist (David Wiesenberg) and partly because he acted like a dentist It brings up one of the questions we've had a lot of recently. I wrote earlier about the possibility of flashbacks of scenes from the original film to establish Owen Szabo as Simon Molinar. There were plans to reconstruct the 'demon box' and other plans that meant reconstructing the isolation tank in CG. We still want to do that, but it will have to wait until the next season of the web series. Meanwhile, we will do images from the montage of medical tests. The eye chart will be one of the images. We'll also do the dentist and maybe the burn tests to balance out the humor. We don't want to try to recreate the entire film. We were happy with the final result and see no need for improvement. However, we do have firmly establish Owen as Simon in fans' minds. The best way would be some duplication mixed with some scenes we would have liked to have had in the original film. This way, we don't have to worry about finding a large number of the original actors. We can pretend that those characters were on break during these scenes. We'll also plan to do some casual shots of Simon and Joe of their time on the run together. There will be natural places in the narrative that call for flashbacks. I want to have all of the cast have their own flashbacks over time. It's something actors like doing – their character but from a different time in that character's life.


We've had some solid suggestions from our cast about who to cast for the open parts. I am told that there will be more once they've read the character breakdown and the script. This is good news. We hate doing casting sessions. Also, our cast is talented. They would not pick people to work with who weren't as talented. That makes for a very, very long day. Our cast is also really mellow. They are most likely to suggest actors who are of similar temperament. That suits us just fine as well. This will not be an easy shoot. We would rather have laid back and funny actors during those long hours. We're hoping to set a date for table reads of the script in a couple of weeks. We really appreciate the continuing interest and patience everyone has been showing.

To see some of the scenes that we plan on recreating, just click on this link: