Thursday, December 29, 2016

Deepspacepilots "Nebulizer" music video

The music video for "Nebulizer" from Deepspacepilots Point of No Return album (2016) is right HERE

An unfortunate cosmonaut from another planet gets "rescued" by a group of extremely sketchy scientists.  Basically, don't rely on the kindness of strangers especially when some of them are addicts, opportunists, bureaucrats, and/or religiously delusional.  That's a universal message, I think.

Get more of Deepspacepilots by visiting their Bandcamp page.

Stills from this project are below.

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.

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!

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.

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.

There may be 2 more music videos (?) in 2017 but, I'm not sure, we'll talk about it later.

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.

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.

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.

It's possible that I might do another music video with The Baby Magic this year but we've gotta figure it out.

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.