Monday, October 31, 2016

"October Sketches" short film


"October Sketches", primarily a visual piece, tells a story about a young artist with an overactive imagination. 

The film, inspired by Ashley Sant's Icari Hollow event concept, was produced to serve as B-roll within a presentation video regarding Sant's goals for the festival.  "Icari Hollow:  an idea", the presentation video, is discussed HERE.  Sant's vision for this event is explored HERE.

"October Sketches", on its own, is a charmingly surreal short film about fantasy, fear, and creation.  Watch it on Youtube right HERE.




"Icari Hollow: an idea" presentation video


Author Ashley Sant came up with a concept for a Chicagoland autumnal fantasy faire called Icari Hollow.  "Icari Hollow:  an idea" discusses her goals and inspirations for this event.

Watch the presentation video HERE and read about Icari Hollow HERE.

"Icari Hollow:  an idea" incorporates footage from the short film "October Sketches" which is featured HERE.

Featured Project


Our featured project at the moment is really two cuts of film relating to one project overall.


There's "October Sketches", a short film about a young artist with an overactive imagination.  You can watch it HERE.  It's really a bunch of cotton candy visual fluff nonsense with a very loose narrative--hey, that's what it was supposed to be and that's exactly how it ended up--that was created as B-role for......


......."Icari Hollow:  an idea", a short video presentation written by Ashley Sant regarding her concept for Icari Hollow, a Chicagoland fantasy faire aimed to take place in October 2017.  That video can be viewed right HERE.

See stills and read about Icari Hollow HERE and HERE

claiming land for Icari Hollow



A friend of mine who's an author, Ashley Sant, asked me if I wanted to collaborate with her on launching a festival that's going to be an October convergence of vampires, werekin (werewolves, weredeer, weredragons, you get it, part-human/part-animal beings), fairies, and witches in the Chicago area.  These magical supernaturals come from all corners of the known world and some come from dimensions that we've never even heard of!  There will be Victorian insect-people,  medieval warlocks, art deco elves, and some glamorous undead who just can't seem to let go of their 18th century finery (hey, everyone can be sentimental sometimes).  These spooks originate from a full spectrum of time periods so why should they hide it?

Here are the essentials:

Outside.  Costumes.  Vendors and artisans selling amazing gear, products, and original works.  Food.  Performances.  Contests.  Characters interacting with guests.  Different factions of freaky entities mingling with each other.  Fun for the whole family.  An interesting place to take friends, boyfriends, girlfriends.  Or go solo and soak it all in.  All ages.  Autumnal fantasy, not horror.






I think that it sounds like an incredible idea so I'm going to be teaming up with Ashley to embark on this new festival journey.  It will be a big undertaking--no doubt about it--but any kind of project of this size, with this kind of scope, will be quite a handful.  But it is doable.

The truth of the matter is that I love Ashley Sant's concepts.  She's a great storyteller with a great creative mind, and a wonderful person, so I'm happy to be included in the process of building this faire.

I'll be one of the people, in our small team of just a few, who will be tossing ideas into the ring and bringing them to fruition.  I'll be a part of the backstage process, working with actors and performers, presenting additional plans and pieces, and doing my best to help jolt Icari Hollow to life.

Yes, the name of Ms. Sant's festival is Icari Hollow.  "Hollow" rubs beautifully with "Halloween" and it's a nod to haunt-ridden, classic places like Sleepy Hollow.  "Icari" is a word relating to the universe of her characters, serving as a reference to the legend of Icarus.  Icari are what the legion of animal-people are called.  The werecats, werebirds, werelizards, etc. are the Icari and, according to Sant's narrative, they're the ones running the festival, inviting humans to celebrate the season alongside the supernaturals.  Pre-written dramas will ensue, spectacles will take place, delicious food will be eaten, costumes will be worn, and goods will be exchanging hands.  I'm 100% for it.





Ashley and I created a couple of videos to present a sort of visual and tonal taste of what the Icari Festival is about and to give a sample of what kinds of characters guests will be encountering.

A short film, called "October Sketches", is inspired by Ashley's concept.  The film toys with the idea of creativity/fantasy/phantoms of the collective imagination--the vampires, witches, fairies, and werebeasts lurking in all of our heads.  "October Sketches" is a series of drawings (and a loose narrative) via film as much as marker on paper.  Sketching can be done in all kinds of ways, whether it's poetry, songwriting, or--yes--filmmaking.  The "October Sketches" short film, which is right HERE, was created to present visual samples and for the sake of B-role for another video.




This other video, "Icari Hollow:  an idea", is a quick explanation of what Ashley aims to do with her festival concept.  The "Icari Hollow:  an idea" video is HERE

Spooky, enchanting, and intriguing:  Yes

Terror and splattering brains:  No




Autumnal fantasy, not horror.

Could things get a bit.....unnerving?  Chilling?  Thrilling?  Definitely!

But, no, there won't be any chainsaws and dripping viscera.  Ashley and I do love that kind of stuff when it comes to slasher films and other people's Halloween events........but gore is off the menu at Icari Hollow.  We'll be keeping our shows family-friendly in general and we don't want to give your uncle a heart attack.

Ashley's slogan, that she whipped up the other day, for the festival is:

"Let Us Enchant You...."

Sounds good to me.

Everyone can dive into the world of Icari Hollow.  It's for faire goers, event attendees, adults, kids, moms, dads, teens, grandmas, grandpas, punks, goths, artists, autumn fanatics, anyone who's ever said "Halloween is my favorite day of the year!", serious cosplayers, casual cosplayers, non-cosplayers who'd rather look around in amazement while disappearing into the crowd (disclosure: that's me, so I understand), theater fans, mythology readers, creators, consumers, shoppers, foodies, and anyone with a craving for the extraordinary.  Personally, I'm very much looking forward to Icari Hollow and I have a feeling that plenty of other people will be anxiously waiting along with me.....





The goal is to make the Icari Hollow Festival happen for October 2017.

I'll keep you updated as things progress.

The official blog/website for Icari Hollow is HERE

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Reshuffling The Deck



There's always new stuff going on.  Things get reshuffled.  Not in a bad way--in a logistical way.  Here's the plan for now and I'm pretty sure that this plan will stay as is.  Hopefully no more push-back's!
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We're beginning shooting a new music video for Chicago rock band, Deep Space Pilots tomorrow morning.  Lots of bits and pieces to it.  A different kind of tone and narrative for this project but I want to try something a bit off-range from what I typically do.....but, that being said, it's still very much in my wheelhouse.  Looking forward to it.  Very cool band, terrific song.

I'm not going to blab-blab-blab about what it is and what it's about but, ergh........

"Beauty and the Beast" upside-down inside-out in reverse, "Easy Rider", "The Man Who Fell To Earth".  That's enough hinting.  This project should be done this fall and online around Halloween.
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Bonkers fairy tale short film "Midnight Recipe" is a lot of fun to watch, quite an elaborate headache to make, and will be up online and in fests for Valentine's Day 2017.  Yes, this shit's been delayed but, hey, it's coming along.  So Valentine's Day.  Hugs, hearts, kisses, chubby baby angels.
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There may be 2 more music videos (?) in 2017 but, I'm not sure, we'll talk about it later.
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There is definitely a different......thing........that we'll be working on with collaborators that I'm not allowed to talk about right now so......we'll talk about that later too (sorry).  But it's very interesting and you girls and guys will be into it.  Either 2017 or 2018 because it's quite an elaborate and exciting beast that's going to take all kinds of reachable (thankfully!) bells and whistles but some bells and whistles nonetheless.  I want to tell you about it but I can't.  What I can say is that it's a legit, old-fashioned partnership and that feels really nice right now.
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And, yes, there certainly will be a feature film--a horror-comedy to be precise--that we'll be working on beginning next year and that will be available for viewing in 2018.
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People make fun of me for always drinking those trashy energy drinks that you get at convenience stores but now you know why I need to be constantly zippy.  Lots to do.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

I'm Here! I'm Here!


I ain't dead yet, kids!

Yeah, so, it's 2016 now.  I've decided that this year is the year of blinding (painful? relentless?) clarity so let's cut right to the chase.....

The really weird/creepy/hopefully amazing fairy tale short film that we've been working on (and continue to work on)--it's called "Midnight Recipe"--is absolutely chugging along and we're still filming it.  It's elaborate to the point of being self-destructive and, yes, I've bitten off more than I can chew with it.  So, there, I said it.  There's some honesty for you.  It's coming along well, it's pretty damn expensive for an indie short, and it's a huge hassle to wrangle.  I feel like that sums it up.  Because "Midnight Recipe" is a big weirdo, I have to promote it the right way, carefully.  I originally planned for it to be up for viewing on Valentine's Day--meaning that I would push the film as something of a twisted Valentine's Day love story--of this year but I realized around New Year's that there was no way that we could pull that off.

My other option that I thought of in the middle of the night in early February was that I could push "Midnight Recipe" as a bizarro Christmastime fairy tale--because the Yultide Season is the season of magic and folk stories--and do it that way instead.  So that's how we're going to do it.

"Midnight Recipe" will be up for viewing in December 2016 which means that your Christmas is going to be more queasy, surreal, and uncomfortable (all adjectives that could describe "Midnight Recipe"!) than it usually is.

And this also means that I can edit and fuss with this short film to my heart's desire from now until Thanksgiving which, as a filmmaker, is always a luxury.
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It's possible that I might do another music video with The Baby Magic this year but we've gotta figure it out.
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And, after this year is over, I'll be starting on our first Independent Feature Film (tah-dah!) that we'll be shooting in '17.  It's a horror-comedy.  It's scary, not only because of blood and butchery, but because it's going to be a challenging project to tackle and, yes, I'm already losing sleep over it.  I'm kind of terrified to do it but hopefully it will come out the way that we're aiming for.  I hope that people will enjoy it.  The characters are extremely mean, salty (but hilarious) motherfuckers.  It's one of those films in which you have to choose which bad guy you want to root for because everyone in it is trouble and they all have legitimate reasons for being horrible to each other.  It's going to be trashy, glamorous, silly, unnerving, and a whole lot of fun; the film is centered around quantum physics, privilege, creatures from other dimensions, the undead, and extremely reckless people.  I'm currently obsessed with "Little Shop of Horrors", "Poltergeist", "Valley of the Dolls", "Clueless", "The Great Gatsby", "Weird Science", "Leprechaun", and all things John Waters.  There will be (clearly) fake documentaries, American history, shady companies, and gross relationships.

If everything goes according to plan, this indie horror film (I can't tell you the title yet because it gives away too too much) will turn out to be the enjoyable hot mess/guilty pleasure that we want it to be.  But I'm already revealing more than I should.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Spooky Nice


We had the pleasure, earlier this year, of being featured on some of the web's very best paranormal studies and folklore sites for our "Spirits of Detroit" short documentary.  Here at Addovolt we want to send some very Special Thank You!'s to Mysterious Heartland, The Moonlit Road, Timothy Yohe at Paranormal Insights, and Unearthly News.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Silent Smile


I don't want to talk too much about our upcoming film "Midnight Recipe" which is a postmodern "Disco-Medieval" short film based on an old European fairy tale.  But I'll share a few things about it and where we're at right now:

*Everyone has gone above and beyond with their performances (Lauren Hearter, Michael Marius Massett, and Michael Moody are hilarious and brilliant and I'm a very lucky director).

*Everyone involved has been extremely patient with me (yikes!).  We've been shooting this film in fits and starts for well over a year and I'm not proud of that fact.  It's gotten significantly more pricey as it's gone along--even though it's a bare-bones indie--because it's taken on a Winchester Mystery House aspect in the sense that I keeping gutting certain parts of it, reshooting other stuff, and adding more and more nonsense and set pieces to it.  Because I keep getting more "ideas" for it and it's one of those projects that, I'll admit, has gone a bit off the rails.....but not to the point of doom.

*That being said, it should (as long as nothing implodes/explodes) be online by Valentine's Day 2016.

*I watched "The Wiz", "Fellini Satyricon", "The Warriors", "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory", "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "H.R. Pufnstuf", Hanna-Barbera cartoons, "Welcome To The Dollhouse",  Molly Ringwald-era John Hughes movies, "Xanadu", and vintage Disney documentaries before and while we were shooting this project.  Those are the influences.  How they all mix together....?.....well.....we'll see, won't we?

*The music will be great.

*It was nice doing a film where I didn't really have to worry about diagetic sound while shooting it.

*People have been extremely kind and accommodating to us while we've been shooting it (sometimes in places that we probably shouldn't have been but.....oh well).

*"Midnight Recipe" takes place in a mishmash parallel world in which it's the 1480's, 1980's, and 2180's at the same time.  Just go along with it, kids.  "Disco-Medieval".

*It's a creepy film.....

*....but it has a lot of heart to it as well.

*It's a coming-of-age film about an extremely frustrated princess, paranoia, addiction, goblins, and enchanted baked goods.

The images in this posting are stills of what we've shot so far (but we have some more to do yet).






What we're going for is, basically,:  "glittery, jittery, literate stoner extravaganza film".  

So far, so good.

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Baby Magic's "Huts" music video press release

Information and images in this posting may be used freely by any news outlet, reporter, blogger, publicist, website, etc. for the purpose of featuring or mentioning the music video for "Huts" by The Baby Magic.


No Wave rock band, The Baby Magic, has released their new music video for "Huts", a single from their most recent album, Rent a Place in Hell (2014).  Shot in Chicago through the summer of 2015, the satirical "Huts" video features the band wondering if it would be better to just go back to the land instead of clawing their way through different American identities.

Hear more from The Baby Magic on Bandcamp and Facebook.

"Huts" was shot and edited by Derek Quint, Addovolt Productions, 2015.



Oh, The Things That People Say....


.....or the things that they write, rather.

I'm cleaning up this blog over the next couple of weeks.

Cleaning it up!

I'll be deleting some old (....dumb, regrettable....) posts that I've written on here and revising the main pages of certain Addovolt films.

Do you ever look back on some of the old things that you've written way back when and think to yourself:  "Good Lord!!  What was I thinking!?  Why would I ever write and share something like this!?"

Well, I sure have.  A lot lately.

Yikes.
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We've got some interesting new projects coming up within the next couple of years (that we need to promote) and we really need to be putting our best foot forward in a lot of ways....

You know what I mean?

Basically, we need to polish our shoes and tuck in our shirts around here.  Not to be a pain in the ass or anything (Addovolt is pretty punk rock, it always will be, let's face it, who are we kidding?) but.....we need to make a more determined effort to be a bit more held-together.

Well, as much as we can stomach.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Baby Magic "Huts" music video



The American Dream gets a bit murky in "Huts", a new music video from The Baby Magic.

The video is right HERE on Youtube.

The press release for this project is HERE.



Get more of The Baby Magic on their Bandcamp page (which links to their Facebook, Twitter, etc., etc.).

All the collaborations between Addovolt Productions and The Baby Magic are collected HERE.



The "Huts" music video was shot and edited by Derek Quint.  This project premiered online August 24th, 2015 and has been featured on Punk Globe, Radio One Chicago, Deli Magazine, After Ellen, and Diamond Deposits among other journals.

Most of the concepts/narrative crumbs were thought up by Mary Beth, the lead singer, since she wanted to explore differences in personal identity and intent through the video for this song.



I see "Huts" as being a giddy (and devilishly catchy) song about modern American anxiety--a sharp, self-contained rock contradiction that clocks in under 3 minutes.  It was a pleasure working with the band to create a hilarious/disturbing visual collage illustrating contemporary neurosis with dashes of 1950's idealism gone off the rails.

The Baby Magic lets me get away with being ridiculous in my own ways (which is one of the reasons I adore them).  I actually prefer pre-worn, slightly aged visuals for a lot of my projects--to remove them from specific time and location--and I spend a lot of effort making sure that my projects aren't too pretty too look at, not too crystal clear, or hi-HD.  I've always loved the 16 mm film aesthetic, a sort of retro Canadian Public Access Channel kind of look.  Rather than create immediacy and "bring you into the screen", for a lot of my projects, I want there to be a dream-like haze, a scrim, that subtly disconnects the viewer from what's happening in front of them.  I don't want viewers to get too comfortable and I like to create a bit of distance.  Sometimes people don't understand why I do this to some projects but oh well, oh well.

With the "Huts" video, we were asking:  How does a person today spend their waking hours?  What worries them, what turns them on, what wears them down?  What do they fantasize about and how do they toy with self-destruction?

The Baby Magic--brilliant, original, gutsy, talented--know that humor and candor are perfect lenses through which to view these themes.