Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Years Salute
Happy New Year to fans, readers and compatriots. As we welcome 2010 and close the book on both the year and decade, let's reflect on both.

2009, for me, was quite the year. It was probably the most productive year of my life, in the midst of 2009, I:
-Recut Little Red Riding Hood and Dream House and finally made good on the promise of making a DVD.
-Permanently escaped from the basement of my childhood house.
-Tracked down T.F. Mou, the director of Men Behind the Sun, again. Got to hang with and interview him for much longer. Found out such cool tidbits of information such as that Men was made for $200 grand, the frostbite victim was his niece and at one point an old Chinese lady flipped when she saw the Japanese flag at the old 731 site where the film was actually shot and screamed "I knew they'd be back but I didn't think it would be THIS SOON!".
-Started work on Conversations with T.F. Mou, a feature documentary.
-Was invited to the Myrtle Beach International Film Fest and screened Little Red Riding Hood there. While at the fest, I secured the oppurtunity to make Alison in Wonderland.

None of this was easy. I had to work really, really hard to do all this and pretty much did all this as a one man show, only enlisting help when I absolutely needed. I struggled uphill through loads of depression and frustration. I saw a lot of things fall apart. 2010 will be an even more productive year but I think it'll be one that I'll live with more ease. I spent the entire last year hauling ass, being patient and setting up circumstances that will see their payoff this year.

The DVD for Conversations with T.F. Mou will be released on August 15th, 2010, yes, the 65th anniversary of Japan's surrender to the Allied Forces. Yes, it's kind of a sick joke and I've always loved gimmicky release dates. I thought it was going to be done by Halloween of 2009, initially, how wrong I was proven, heh. The special features will be forthcoming, most likely including deleted scenes, an introduction by me, the old 2008 short and the Aquatic Observations films. And, as I keep saying, a new pressing of Two Short Films will be put out that day too with menus and an Easter egg. Probably gonna get them manufactured professionally since I don't think I'll have time by then to burn and ship DVDs if there's more exposure and orders and such.

It's funny that the 2000s is over now too. Not an entirely pleasant decade for even most fortunate, I think. I'll remember the Culture of Fear, the amped up to the max consumerist hedonism that would make Karl Marx hysterically scream, the economic mess, the Bush Administration and everything else as long as I lived. 9/11, Nick Berg, Abu Graib, etc, those images will never leave my head. Honestly, though, as a student of history and left wing activist I feel like this was all bound to happen anyways. It just happened sooner than we thought. The 90s under Clinton was a more fun and fruitful decade, but that's because it was just the decade of collectively sticking our heads under the sand and pretending that nothing's wrong since it's not effecting us. I hope the world is headed for better times now, but we can't get there unless we first look at ourselves and perhaps enough people suffered hardships and misery this decade that we'll be more compelled to do so. Another 10 years of staying out of trouble and keeping the status quo would have meant a longer haul of badness, I think.

For me, personally, it was also a tough decade, full of depression, familial issues and conflict. But in my case, suffering forced me to look at myself. When it began, I was 13 and still a complete and utter child frustrated with how he was treated in the world. I'm now 23, a man and still somewhat frustrated at the former at times, but at least now I am smarter for it and know the good eggs from the bad. I matured immensely and honed my craft.

For more immediate and sexy news, as I break from Conversations with T.F. Mou in anticipation of my new computer, I'm cutting together a series of videos I made for YouTube. It's a mix between a vlog, a documentary interview and a promotional tape. It's sort of a late Christmas gift, you could say. Included will be:
-Details on how I got started as a filmmaker with lots of never before seen clips of my really early films such as the surreally fucked up Plastic Man: Face of Evil made in 2000.
-The "lost puppet blowjob scene" from Agony and the Ecstasy of the Puppets. Think of it like the spider pit scene in the original King Kong, but with more puppet fellatio and ejaculations.
-Very detailed dissections of Little Red Riding Hood and Dream House.
-Mucho information on Conversations with T.F. Mou, including a bit of footage of what I've got so far.
-Significant info on Alison in Wonderland, with many a concept sketch to show you what everything will look like and the poster unvieled.

So Happy New Years to all!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Some news, will elaborate more come New Years'.

First, I am taking a two month break from Conversations with T.F. Mou. The project has been my most technical difficulty riddled project to date, which is not surprising, given the size, scope and level of detail involved. Honestly, the biggest mistake I made was not the level of ambition, but was thinking I could "probably pull through" with only a 150 GB hard drive Toshiba laptop computer and an external hard drive. The last hard drive failure I think was a strong clue that I needed a new set-up. Thus I'm getting a new, more state-of-the-art computer to cut it all on. The problem now is that the editing file has apparently corrupted. Or the computer just can't take the memory strain of rendering anymore. I spent almost a month and a half trying to iron it all out and it just keeps "erroring". It's getting so frustrating and just plain counter productive.

I will probably breeze through it with a lot of memory and more disc space, so it very well could still be finished by June.

As said, Alison in Wonderland has found enthusiastic backers. It will be shot in 2010. More on that in the New Years' post. An opportunity beyond opportunities.

I will be releasing a 30 minute (three part) interview segment to YouTube in January where I'm going to talk about various things including fairly detailed retrospectives on Little Red Riding Hood and Dream House and lots of juicy details on Conversations with T.F. Mou and Alison in Wonderland. The teaser poster for Alison in Wonderland will be unveiled.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Adventures in Myrtle Beach
The cannibal people of Myrtle Beach are a group known for their Southern hospitality.

So, my dear readers and followers, I’ve spent upwards of the last 10 days in travel to and then staying in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. As of now I’m finally back in Boston.

As previously reported, Little Red Riding Hood was selected to screen at the Myrtle Beach International Film Festival. I was honestly not that excited to be screening it mostly because to me it’s so, well, 2006. I really am almost tired of the film, but it did look cool projected on a 30 foot screen.

Florence, SC, aka "the armpit of the Southeast".
Taken on the train; three-quarters of the place is probably devoted to the meaning behind each of Max Cady's tattoos.

My stay in the Deep Southern USA was an interesting experience full of dives, tourist traps and heaping plates of fried food. It's so different from New England its almost like being in another country, in fact, the times I've been to Canada felt much less 'foreign' than this place. I stayed in an inn in Florence, SC, one of the most dangerous cities in the entire country as I waited for the (atrociously managed) Greyhound bus to the beach. The motel was basically a crack house and I could hear what sounded like gangstah pimps sassin’ their hos and vice-versa in the next room. I simply bolted my door and hoped to escape in one piece. Miraculously, not one thing was stolen from me when I left.
Visions of Myrtle Beach, aka "America's putt-putt capital".Godzilla after a jaunt in the Calabash Seafood Buffet.

Myrtle Beach is a neat place. It’s full of trashy and garish tourist dives, miniature golf courses and restaurants with buffets that serve you more food than you need to eat in a week. Sadly I didn't play any miniature golf, but one jaunt in a seafood buffet made me believe that I’d solidified my place in the 3rd level of Dante’s Inferno. Godzilla would leave a typical buffet in Myrtle Beach with a full stomach. The beach itself is pretty and walking around it was a lot of fun. They had a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum that I popped in, I’ve always loved those tacky shrines to the grotesque; Dave Luce should seriously focus on getting an exhibit devoted to him erected in one of those. Took pictures of their collection of torture devices and shrunken heads for cinematic inspiration.

The excellent My Sweet Misery.

The festival itself was fun stuff and I liked the majority of the other films I saw shown there. One of my favorite films shown there was My Sweet Misery. That film concerns a depressed, suicidal young man with a chaotically bizarre existence involving a lovingly sociopathic freak for a brother and an equally psychotic ex-wife who emotionally wounded him so heinously that he vomits at the mere mention of her name. He falls in love with the beautiful, sweet-natured cleaning lady of the hotel he’s staying at who falls vice-versa for him after reading his suicide note scrawled on a roll of toilet paper. Also involved is a God-like therapist character whom the man frequently subconsciously consults. It was a poignant film with a ghoulish, twisted sense of morbid humor but a strangely beautiful message of something like hope, some of the most authentic emotions I’ve seen in a film in a while and some realistically quirky characters akin to those of P.T. Anderson or Martin Scorsese. It’s almost like a J.D. Salinger novel put to film. The director, Matthew Jordan, who I got to talk to afterwards, paints a funny, biting and satirical portrait of the more bizarre side of life in America and the kind of chaotic social world many people inhabit.

Also of fine quality was the German short Daruber Hinaus and the extremely well made Zatoichi-inspired Western Carter. The film Route 30, which played right after Little Red Riding Hood, was also highly amusing if marred a bit by its very digital-looking cinematography. Hotel Chelsea, a low budget US/Japanese co-production, was a little bit convoluted but still highly interesting, I haven’t been mind fucked by a horror film in this manner since Brian DePalma stopped making decent quality films. It was almost like Raising Cain directed by Takashi Miike. Thankfully, just about all the films I saw were extremely character and narrative-driven works, which is just the direction I really think cinema needs to swing back toward.

For more personal news, Little Red Riding Hood won an award for “Best Anything Goes” film. I suppose I can start building my award shelf now. And for the best news of all, Jerry Dalton, the producer who runs the Myrtle Beach Film Festival, loved Little Red Riding Hood and seems extremely enthusiastic on getting Alison in Wonderland produced. I am extremely excited and as of now am aiming on getting the film shooting by August to September of 2010. Be talking a lot more on that matter I’m sure. Also planning on making a teaser poster soon.

Myrtle Beach oddities: sharks, heinous medieval torture devices and under-21 nightclubs with amusing names.

Now back to work on Conversations with T.F. Mou. Purged a lot of stuff from my computer to give it a nice speed-up.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Conversations with T.F. Mou continues as usual. The weekly updates are going to be hiatused for a while. Not abandoned, oh no, just put up on a "when I feel like it" basis.

I am pleased to announce that the new cut of Little Red Riding Hood will be screening at the Myrtle Beach International Film Festival after about 10 rejections. I will be there and am stoked.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Update a day late, work continues, of course. At the 16 minute point of the edit, right now. The usual. It's an exhaustive job, particularly with only myself at work here, but it's an ultimately very rewarding one that takes time, work and focus.

It seems unlikely as of right now that the DVD will be available even in March. I want as much time as humanly possible to finish this film and then after that I'm probably gonna move again which will make pressing DVDs very stressful, so June or July 2010 is likely. The reprinted version of Two Short Films has also been post-poned until around that time. Probably going to think of a new special feature or two before that time and most certainly an Easter egg. Also want to give a special belated thanks to King Wei-chu. His family used to own a Shaw Brothers theater and so he has a lot of memorabilia left over from those days that he has kindly donated to this production.

Alison in Wonderland will most likely not be shooting by next summer, I've decided to devote all of 2010 to getting Conversations with T.F. Mou out and about and securing the money for Alison. If I rushed it and made it for very cheap I could get it out, but this film deserves more time and effort put toward it than that. You know, instead of trying to make it happen just so I can have the film done to just show everybody, I'm going to let it happen when the time's right. It will be shooting by summer of 2011 and you'll probably be seeing it on movie screens by early 2012. Witch's Castle will hopefully happen much quicker after that. My website will be updated again in a few more days.
Our gift this week is a lovely still from T.F. Mou's rare kiddie-delight Young Heroes made in 1982. Yes, it's a martial-arts based kids film from the director of Men Behind the Sun! It's a surprisingly good film lushly lensed in beautiful areas of Mainland China. It's hard to find and rough sledding in raw, unsubtitled Mandarin but it's got a nice Brothers Grimm ghoulish fairytale-like quality. The original film Mou delivered was much gorier but the Mainland film authorities had it censored. Apparently it was an absolute box office smash, equaling if not surpassing E.T., made around the same time, in viewership and popularity.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Conversations with T.F. Mou continues, working on the segment about his early film career now. Hunting around for old Taiwanese martial arts films to use as archive footage as to what was mostly produced back then. In one of his most famous interviews, he mentions a film called Give Us Back Our Country. I weirdly pictured it as being some kind of propaganda film on the horrors of communist China and asked Mou about it back in July, it's actually an epic period piece based on a very beloved Chinese legend. The reason the Taiwanese government supported it very vigorously was because the story, set during China's ancient Warring States period, concerns countryment of a peaceful state who lose their homeland to a hostile one and must fight to get it back, something the Chinese population of Taiwan empathized heavily with. In the West it was retitled Fire Bulls and is a 1966 production and actually pretty easy to find on region 1 DVD. Bizarrely enough, I already hunted down Fire Bulls as the film I was going to show because it's directed by Pai Ching-jui and Lee Chia who were two of Mou's mentors in the 60s Taiwan film industry, not knowing that it actually was the aforementioned Give Us Back Our Country just under a different title.For this week's gift, here's a cool, rare Hong Kong lobby card for Men Behind the Sun. It shows one visually lush scene, of the 731 Youth Corp marching by a seashore, that was cut. The lobby cards, stills and behind the scenes photo albums Mou shared with me show a couple scenes here and there that were obviously cut from the film. I'm sure how much gore was cut from the movie, Mou hinted that he had shot some footage of the boy's face being dissected in the autopsy scene (picture the "face pull off" scene in Ebola Syndrome, but with a real child's corpse) but cut that because he thought it was just too shocking. Most of the cuts to the film appear to be character scenes for pacing purposes, there's also a scene where the young soldiers are given a lesson in bacteria with microscopes in a classroom.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Work on Conversations with T.F. Mou continues. I'm where I was before, more or less, when I left off but the result is even nicer. I used more appropriate archive footage and did a bit of recutting to make you "feel it" more. I'm also doing the sound a little differently, using both the lav mics and in-camera mics tracks at once to make it "richer" and more natural.

I'm pleased to announce that the narration of the film will be performed by Charli Henley or Little Red Riding Hood herself. It's very appropriate that Red narrate a film about the director of the Wolf's favorite movie for watching on the lonely nights.

Our gift this week is a picture of T.F. Mou and his current wife around the time of their wedding circa the late 70s.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I seem to have almost forgotten to post this.

Agony and the Ecstasy of the Puppets is a hilarious early film of mine. I never completed it because I felt kind of bad about it, but now I think it's hysterically funny and wish I had. I just didn't have the discipline, naturally, at 15 that I had now to finish a movie like this. I feel much more sorry about The Magic Forest which had more anger and less humor in it and tries too hard to shock though the Dave Luce clown stuff I have pride in. I posted the above to YouTube mostly as an experiment in shock value and how that can garner hits. My YouTube channel, though it's content is far superior, is still far below it's former glory in viewership. Perhaps I should be happy because a. despite what the internet has taught people, life is not a popularity contest and is not judged by your video's YouTube views and b. if an audience stops viewing my channel because I won't give the new cuts away in their entirety, these viewers are not the audience I need, deserve or otherwise.

Interestingly, some elements from Agony and the Ecstasy of the Puppets became "cinememes" of mine that were later recycled in future films even if the film itself was never completed and released. The film was basically to be a puppet version of the Sada Abe story, like if Peter Jackson in full Meet the Feebles mode directed In the Realm of the Senses. The film was to climax (no pun intended) with the main puppet character (played by that old man monkey that Ryan Murphy would depressingly run into the ground years later in at least two dozen of his videos) having his penis severed and screaming/dying as ketchup gushes from his groin. The penis was to then be thrown out the window of a car ala Lorena Bobbitt and then eaten by a stray dog. I kept the sick idea of a castrated member being eaten by animals in my mind and put it into the climax of Little Red Riding Hood for the Wolf's punishment. The Wolf didn't die, by the way, I've finally decided. He was left alive but minus his arm and penis, which will make masturbation and child molestation a little tough for him from here henceforth. I have contemplated a sequel where he returns for revenge with a rebuilt Tetsuo-style machine dick, but I can't think of a strong enough story around that, it's beating a dead horse and Dave and I aren't speaking to each and there's no Wolf without Dave.

Another idea from Agony and the Ecstasy of the Puppets that I later used more legitimately is the sequence in the new cut of Dream House where The Beast is masturbating outside as the Thomsons have sex. I wanted to do that scene in the original shoot but I wanted Dave to be physically seen and he was unavailable that day and Ryan advised me not to go so far. But I remembered it when recutting the film and redid that scene with that motif instead of sort of half spoofing a bad softcore porno to make it disturbing instead of corny. The visual motif of semen splashing on something is taken from Agony and the Ecstasy of the Puppets, there was a (mostly unfilmed) scene I had in mind where Wheezy, the old man monkey puppet, watches a porno on TV while his hooker girlfriend (the same puppet later used as Miranda the Monkey in The Magic Forest) is out and about. His semen was to hit the TV screen in the same way.

Then, there's a fully filmed scene in Puppets where Wheezy goes to see "The Wizard" for help just like Barry in Magic Forest. And the whorehouse was pimped by a clown behind the scenes, something I had forgotten about until just now. How weird is that? It's like these weird, fetishistic "cinememes" like to stay in my subconscious and end up in my movies just through near-manifestation. In all of the above examples, I wasn't really thinking "How can I put a homage to Agony and the Ecstasy of the Puppets in here?", I just thought of it more coincidentally almost.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Work proceeds smashingly on Conversations with T.F. Mou, have recut the opening montage completely and am working on the early interview segments once more. Much happier with it than the first pre-hard drive failure version. The narration (most likely with Deirdre) will probably be recorded soon, which is good, I was going to do the rough cut with my own voice but I'll probably just get to cut the narration right into the film, which means less work.

Our gift this week is an incredibly rare photo from Mou's very first film, I Didn't Dare Tell You, made in Taiwan in 1969. It's a black and white work about a father and son living in impoverished Taipei that shows a very strong Vittorio DeSica influence. It still exists in print form I believe, so a DVD release is possible, if not terribly likely due to the film's obscure status (it isn't even on IMDb, which for years credited Mou's first work as being A Deadly Secret).

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

As far as our weekly report for Conversations with T.F. Mou goes, things are on the move again. The footage and materials have largely been recompiled once more and I'm going to start chopping away at it and recreating the first 8 minutes today in fact.

One particularly cool artifact I snagged in the midst of my research at the Boston Public Library was a still from, oh yes, T.F. Mou's first 1969 outing I Didn't Dare Tell You.

For your viewing pleasure (or otherwise) this week, here's a still that pretty much proves that the cat scene is fake showing a technician, with Mou looking over his shoulder, painting the sedated kitty with fake blood, which was apparently a honey mixture that they rats simply licked off the animal.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I'm afraid I skimped yesterday so here's your weekly update a day late.

The recompilation of materials for Conversations with T.F. Mou is coming together nicely. Scanning some pictures of the Chiangs today from some library books to use in the early scenes about Taiwan. Most of the movie files have been recreated, will do more today. The interview footage is all recaptured. I'm editing the narration and doing a slug track using my voice to use in the rough cut.

The film may be more than 70 minutes long like originally planned. I did a rough estimate of runtime keeping everything within a certain, more liberal cap and got 85 minutes. But I'll probably do a fair share of tightening to the final cut.And here is a rare still from Mou's unreleased by IVL Shaw Brothers crime epc Bank Busters. I regret that I can't use any footage from it as Mou says it's easily his favorite of his Shaw Brothers works. Of his Shaw work, only this film and Lost Souls would he speak much of.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Well, as of today I've begun recompiling the film's materials, right now I'm recapturing all the footage.

The hard drive is completely deadsville. I haven't even gotten it back yet.

Should be a few weeks until it's back to where it was. Luckily I have the first eight minutes on my laptop's native hard drive to sort of "reconstruct" from.

I have also gotten a membership at the Boston Public Library. Been scouring their materials, books and archives for useable T.F. Mou stuff. Gotten some Nanking material and scathing reviews of Lost Souls and Men Behind the Sun from Variety. Both reviews, though by different reviewers, accuse the films of the exact same thing: using historical tragedy as an excuse for exploitation. For your weekly gift, nothing last week as I was very busy, here comes a tid bit of a reprinted article written in the 1970s from Jay Leyda's Dianying about Mou's early work in Taiwan. The whole thing will be in the film.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

As my hard drive was having (most likely useless) repair attempted upon it, I've been hard at work on polishing up some scripts. Alison in Wonderland was revised a bit yet again and The Witch's Castle is undergoing revisions. As I read and revise it, I'm thinking more about how I'm gonna do it visually and I'll probably shoot select scenes in Super 16mm (the one's that need a more "organic" and gritty look) and the rest on the Red. Alison, like Little Red Riding Hood, will be in "simulated" 2.35:1 scope, and Witch's Castle will be 1.85:1.

Also doing Coup D'Etat and Horror Colony as screenplays right now, pretty happy with what I'm doing with those right now. Coup D'Etat is a much more meaningful story now, in the old days, it was a total Quentin Tarantino ripoff script (the most cloyingly awful kind of script) but now, while still having some of the same elements and such, has more meaning and drive. There are still some fetishistic in-jokes, like itching powder getting rubbed on sex toys and an awful street called Police Street lined entirely with whorehouses, drugs and other urban chaos, but it all exists to serve and spice up the plot. Nothing is truly gratuitous if it serves a purpose on your work. The main character, Ellen, now has an angry drive as her father was a left-wing anarchist who tried to blow up Congress. She resents her father for uprooting her life through his rash actions but also idolizes him and follows in his footsteps. The script is heavily critical of Bush Administration-era America. I will never let anyone forget how far America fell. The ending is one thing I've never really talked about much, but it's going to look like a mixture between Battle Royale, The Wild Bunch. If... with Malcolm McDowell, the DePalma/Stone/Pacino Scarface and Michael Mann's Heat with Ellen and her newly anarchistic schoolmates fighting the swat team in a blazing gun battle.

Horror Colony is another kettle of rotting fish all together. The original concept I conceived of was a very anarchic, fantasy-based Little Red Riding Hood/Troma film kind of trashfest with an incredibly racist depicting of the Native Americans, zero historical relevance and very low production values. I wanted to do it as a feature film with the Ryan and Neil crowd helping out but I then mentally abandoned the idea for a time. Recently, however, I saw the PBS miniseries We Shall Remain which very vividly depicts the true story of King Phillip's War, the terrible conflict that broke out between the English colonists and the Wampanoag Indians in the 1670s. I suddenly realized that if anything, Horror Colony would work better done with decent production values. So, in perhaps an idea simultaneously more and less controversial, I have mixed the idea of flesh eating zombies rising from the dead in Plymouth Colony with the real history of King Phillip's War and some of the real life people like Governor Josiah Winslow and Chief Metacomet (King Phillip). There's still some the anarchic humor (like a scene where a zombie, actually called a ghoul here, is killed by being beaten to death with a chamber pot) but the whole script is a strange but fulfilling mixture of horror, history and myth, like a mixture between Werner Herzog's Heart of Glass, Peter Jackson's Dead Alive and a Hammer flick. It's an effect like Tarantino's vision of World War II in Inglorious Basterds.

I am also, for bigger news considering filming a sequence from Alison in Wonderland as sort of a "screen test" to show investors (and put on YouTube to stir enthusiasm). This sequence, in all likelihood the Mad Hatter scene, will be shot sometime next spring and probably released to YouTube as a standalone short entitled A Mad Tea Party. It will be altered slightly so it can work as a standalone short film and will be refilmed with higher production values in the principal photography. It's looking unlikely at this point that the full movie will be funded and shot by the end of next summer, probably will not be happening until summer of 2011, with all honesty. It's a huge undertaking and will need more time to get together, especially with just myself as the real driving force, but at least we'll have Conversations with T.F. Mou for 2010.

I also turn 23 tomorrow. 23 years of joy, love, hate, despair, madness, etc. I finally feel like more or less an adult, as I now live completely on my own and am working on my first feature film and all. It's been a strange ride there, though.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Some awful news and some better news for this week's update.

The awful news is that the hard drive which I was editing Conversations with T.F. Mou on and also contained all the materials for my Two Shorts Films DVD project is gonzo. Yes, it just died almost spontaneously. The last three weeks of work on the cut, along with a great many things are now gone if I can't get it all retrieved today.

The better news is that, in the long winded scheme of things this changes little to nothing. All the materials are on other computers and/or physical form and just need to be recompiled. The interview's still on tape, the DVDs can all be reconverted and the picture materials were saved on my other computer as well, etc. So I'll just have to start again. Thankfully, as well, I transferred all of my stuff for the Two Short Films to my desktop to be encoded to MPEG-2 form, so that's all still intact.

Honestly, I was going to postpone the film anyways as it was taking longer than I thought it would, but Conversations with T.F. Mou will not be hitting DVD until March of 2010 instead. There will still be a second pressing of Two Short Films by J.L. Carrozza by Christmas, however. I'm going to do a slight redesign of the cover, add a few special features (including an Easter egg, probably the infamous Kojiro Abe-era Agony and the Ecstasy of the Puppets trailer) and of course create menus in the motif of the footage in the promo and on the current disc of the spooling 8mm film reels.

For our picture gift this week, here's a photo from the Nanking Massacre. If I didn't know it was from a historical atrocity I'd say it could be a rather hauntingly beautiful image, which, objectively, it kind of is. The cross-shaped telephone in the center-right of the image, looking like a crucifix, combined with the bodies littered around it, gives this image a Grunwald-like, plains of Golgotha look. It really looks like a vintage painting of tragedy. Someday people will think of World War II like how we view the Crusades, Black Death and Inquisition today.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Been doodling a bit, making some illustrations I'm gonna throw up on my website today, here are some visions of future films I'd like to make.
A fetishistic mental image I have for Horror Colony, my planned balls-to-wall zombie period epic. A young female denizen of Plymouth Colony in the midst of a zombie attack.
Ellen, the protagonist of Coup D'Etat, rebelling hardcore against her Christian school's establishment.A strong mental image I have for the Godzilla film I'd like to do, Godzilla: Retribution. Godzilla triumphantly roars into the smoky night sky as Tokyo burns in his wake. Very 9/11, you know.My personal vision for Roald Dahl's The BFG. I don't know why nobody's ever done this as a live action film. Dahl is hard to adapt, since his ghoulishness, wittiness and childishness, like Dickens meets the Brothers Grimm, is difficult to translate to screen. I have plans to do my film a fair share more seriously than the book. My approach will be like Spike Jonez' upcoming Where the Wild Things Are.
Two of favorite images of Neon Genesis Evangelion, pilot Asuka Langley and what the Eva units look like stripped of their armour. I like the concept that under the Megazord-like armor lies a living creature that looks like a fearsome demon straight from the deepest pits of hell.

Doing some revisions for Alison in Wonderland and will have another T.F. Mou update next Tuesday, until then, adios.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

This week's update on Conversations with T.F. Mou goes like this:

Been cutting, hard. About eight minutes into the edit, no idea how long it will be. The final cut, however, will NOT exceed 70 minutes. What I may do is have a lot of deleted/extended scenes on DVD as a special feature since some cool tidbits may have to be omitted for time constraints. Speaking of special features, I may very well put The Magic Forest on the DVD as a special feature but dubbed into Japanese under the title Maho no Mori. I actually think the movie would play far better in Japanese, it would almost seem like a Miyazaki film on some bad PCP. Rush's Tom Sawyer, even if that song embodies drug use to me (I used to listen to it while high, honestly, that's how it got into the film), will also, of course, be deleted since Geddy Lee didn't see any royalty check at any time. It will be probably be an Easter egg, actually and could go on the second pressing of Two Shorts Films instead. I want to put an Easter egg on the new menus of the next pressing of that disc.

As far as more specifics on the progress, been digging up archive footage on like crazy particularly regarding Taiwan (or Formosa as it was called) in the early days.

As for our present today, here we have a picture from one of T.F. Mou's Men Behind the Sun photo albums. He had five and I only borrowed two, he had pictures showing how he did the autospy scene that I really wish I had borrowed too (he dissected a sedated live pig for the shots of the kid's heart being removed).

One of the more harrowing scenes in the film, the frostbite scene, was done not with prosthetics but with real cadaver arms. That scene has always creeped the fuck out of me. Sometimes plays in my "mind's eye" while I try go to sleep on bad nights. The camerawork is very subtle, the woman's facial expressions are so anguished and the depiction is so cold and matter of fact it has a visceral power simply through its visuals almost ala a silent director like Eisenstein or Murnau. I have pictures of the two female stage hands wrangling the mutilated corpse arms but you're going to have to wait until the actual movie comes out to see those. The frostbite victim was played by Mou's own niece because he had trouble finding a girl who would do a scene like that.
Here she is being put into makeup before she is filmed cinematically no hands at the hands of the 731 staff.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A passage from The Good Man of Nanking, the diary of John Rabe, a German businessman who saved a lot of Chinese in Nanking. I had the book because I was considering doing a Nanking script, but its pictures ended up coming in handy for Conversations with T.F. Mou. And then I found this:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

So, the cutting of Conversations with T.F. Mou has begun. Every week I will update a little bit and tell you what I'm doing with a weekly, T.F. Mou related archive picture "gift". I have done a bit of preliminary prologue cutting and have recorded the beginning of my slug narration. I'm doing a faux British accent BBC-style for fun. I am also converting more DVDs and video files to editable archive footage. I scanned loads of morbid Rape of Nanking photos today. Those pictures could be even more slaughtering of one's good mood than holocaust photos.
And here we have a rare lobby card of Black Sun: The Nanking Massacre which Mou lent to me.

Monday, August 17, 2009

So, I've been so insanely busy relocating and then assembling my "studio apartment playset" that I haven't been able to start cutting a frame of Conversations with T.F. Mou. But lord knows, as I unpack boxes and spray down around 500 books and 1200 DVDs to get rid of the mold spores that migrated an hour across the state, I've been thinking about it a lot.

The last documentary, though it's biggest problem was shitty audio, was not totally up to my liking either way. It's a little too much like a glorified cinemaphile vlog, like those old vlogs I did about Kinji Fukasaku except with T.F. Mou himself involved. It was too vague and not focused on its goal enough.

This new documentary, which will be around 60-70 minutes long, technically my feature film debut (Alison in Wonderland will now "just" be my dramatic feature debut) will be much clearer in its aims. The whole point is to tell the story of T.F. Mou, not just some piece praising his films to kingdom come.

The attention to detail, facts and authenticity will be absolutely key here and the aesthetic will surpass even the new cuts of my short films. The film will dive into the backstory of making films in Greater China, which in Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Mainland was equally tough for different reasons. In Taiwan because the Kuomintang (Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist government that was driven from the mainland) was very conservative and communist paranoid; picture 50s-70s Taiwan as being like an Asian equivalent to if Sen. Joe McCarthy had become president of the US. It was tough in Hong Kong because anarcho-capitalism and financial corruption reigned supreme there and the film bosses (especially the Shaws) cared far more about the financial grosses of their movies than the quality and in China because the corrupt, bureaucratic and self serving government called and still calls all the shots in film production. Every environment Mou went to he struggled with getting his vision across. Why was this?

The film will ultimately delve into the real reason, which is not entirely his content, as people have always loved grotesque violence as entertainment since the Gladiatorial Arenas in Rome to reality TV today, but the politics that he serves his content with. T.F. Mou's films are actually fiercely humanist in their aim and point the finger at many a party for their hypocrisy without even a hint of subtlety. We will delve into the political contexts that Mou grew up into (nationalist Taiwan) and show you a lot of historical context of Japan's war crimes in China. The final lap of the film will delve into the modern, post 9/11 "culture of fear" era and how Mou' work and message is still all too relevant today. Take a look at the Abu Ghraib photos and tell me you're not reminded of similar photos of Japanese soldiers posing with their victims at Nanking or sequences from Mou's own Lost Souls?

I will be doing a rough cut of the film first (probably with my own voice doing the narration as a placeholder) and then watching it, seeing how long it, figuring out what works and recutting a bit and adding someone else's (probably Deirdre's) voice. Expect the DVD, as said, by Christmas. The special features are tentative, but I can confirm that it will feature an introduction to the film by me, the first 2008 Conversations with T.F. Mou and probably a thing or two from the archives, most likely the opening of Agony and the Ecstasy of the Puppets to give the disk a bit of levity to keep audiences from going nuts since this documentary is going to be heavy stuff. I may put the Aquatic Observations films, which I'm sort of proud of from the wild days of Kojiro Abe, on the disc as well on in place of those for something more upbeat, though they may have to be touched up a bit since the classical performances are all copywritten and such. What I'll probably do is cut them into one work and then rescore with .midi files. There may also be deleted scenes or portions of scenes since I've written the narration and am not even done and already have 45 minutes of material, plus the interview is six hours of footage but I'm insistent on keeping the runtime under 70 minutes.

I also plan on doing a few more documentaries even though I don't like doing them nearly as much as dramatic works. These will be much more sparsely made than my "dramatic movies" but I am toying with the idea of doing a "films about unique filmmakers" trilogy. I still entertain the concept of making a two hour documentary about Kinji Fukasaku called Kinji Fukasaku: Rebel Filmmaker. I want do it probably after Witch's Castle is done and plan on hunting down and interviewing (my Nihongo will be superior by then) most of his still-living collaborators, like Kenta Fukasaku (his son), Sonny Chiba, Bunta Sugawara, Meiko Kaji, Henry Sanada, etc. If filmmaker fans and friends like Quentin Tarantino and journalists like Patrick Macias want to be interviewed too, they will be. Also want to make a documentary about Joseph Goebbels and the Third Reich's obsessive propaganda film production.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Hot off the presses trailer for Conversations with T.F. Mou.

Going to start writing the narration track about now.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Conversations with T.F. Mou's page on my website has been updated with some cool stuffs.

I'm not moving for another week so I'll probably start cutting a trailer tomorrow.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Got Dream House on IMDb too.

More will come, of course.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

With much excitement, the interview segments with T.F. Mou for the next Gen-Y Films production, Conversations with T.F. Mou, have been shot and the film goes into post-production today. With special kudos to Kevin James and my uncle John for filming for long hours, Dan Rodriguez and PACTV for providing most of the fine equipment we used and T.F. Mou himself for providing the time, material and information necessary to finish it.
The interview footage we got (two angles and six hours in total) is good stuff and the interview is very dynamic, we talked about his early career in Taiwanese cinema, his Shaw work like Gun and Lost Souls, Men Behind the Sun, film censorship, world politics and filmmaking as I ran a show reel of his films in the background. Mr. Mou, meeting me for the second time, was humble and friendly. He also very kindly let me borrow a couple albums of never before seen behind the scenes photos that show you nearly every detail of shooting Men Behind the Sun.
In terms of when to expect all this, will probably have it finished and out to fests by Halloween but the DVD won't be until the Christmas season. Not going to start editing until I move to Cambridge. Expect a trailer in two weeks. The film will be a short feature/hour TV timeslot length work, probably about 45-70 minutes.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Here we have a couple more clips from Little Red Riding Hood and Dream House I decided to post showing you more of the recut versions.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Haven't posted in a few weeks. Getting the T.F. Mou thing ready and moving out of my house into an apartment in Cambridge. But here are such tidbits of the DVD special features for your viewing pleasure:

Saturday, July 11, 2009

For those of you in Plymouth and Kingston, MA who didn't get a DVD (few of you), Little Red Riding Hood and Dream House are airing in regular rotation on PACTV on July 17th, July 24th, July 31st and August 6th.

Monday, July 06, 2009

The official Two Short Films by J.L. Carrozza DVD is now available to buy on my official website.

I can safely say, as parting words on this project, (though, as said, I will make a new pressing by Christmas at the latest with menus) that I am very proud of it. It was virtually a "one-man" operation that took me almost six months of hard work. With the exception of Kevin's relooping and Deirdre's dub for Dream House (which I recorded) and the scores I had commissioned, everything was done by me. The color correction, the editing, the more "film-like" look, the majority of the sound mixing and sound effects, all of the special features and if you order, the DVDs you will hold in my hand had inserts and discs printed by me and then all put together by my hands.

The films are, with all the objective certainty I can possibly throw on my own work, far superior editions of the films. They were both overlong and work better/are more shocking "quicker" and Dream House is like a different film entirely. The special features are as detailed as I could get, I wanted to throw in an interview where I discuss some of the films that inspired Little Red Riding Hood and Dream House but the shakey "movie clips rights" concept made me decide not to, but everything else is very extensive. The commentaries have as much information jam-packed into them that I could fit and was relevant for the films' onscreen happenings, the behind the scenes footage shows you just what really went on behind the scenes of these films and for those who couldn't bare the loss of some of the sequences in Dream House, there are the recut and much slicker versions of the scenes I axed from it. All of that, plus my first real foray into visceral horror, The Big Toe from the summers of 2002 and 2003!

I've been saying that I'm gonna make a DVD for years, I even had one made of all my old films but I didn't have the focus and will to sell it. Now it's finally here. I hope, if you decide to buy, that you enjoy seeing all of my hard work in digital versatile disc form.

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Epson replacement's here, so I'm assembling it right now. The orders for the discs will start on July 6th as previously announced.

My website has been given an update with a mention to the new version of Conversations with T.F. Mou and the layout of the films section has been made more concise and user friendly.

Conversations with T.F. Mou is falling into place nicely. Deirdre Yee (Kate's voice in Dream House) is doing the narration, Dan Rodriguez from PACTV and Kevin James are doing the camera/sound work for the interview.

I'm gonna do another retrospective of Mou's films for this blog.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Well, I decided to go back to more cinematic unfinished business and asked to interview T.F. Mou again, this time with good equipment, sound and a bit of a crew. He agreed and I'll be seeing him at the end of July.

What will hopefully result is the documentary that everybody deserves. I'm shooting for an hour runtime and am going in much more depth about Mou himself. And the sound will be good.

The very tentative, pulling dates out of my rear idea is that Conversations with T.F. Mou (this time for real) be on DVD by Halloween or Christmas depending on the completion and how easy/hard production is. Like the new Little Red Riding Hood and Dream House it'll also go to the fests.

I'm getting a little worried about being able to make my July 6th deadline for the DVD, though, since my Epson replacement still isn't here yet.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Why I Make Violent Movies

A great Japanese cinematic philosopher who understood man's duality.

One of the very most common criticisms I receive from criticists is "Your movies are morally perverse and too violent". Many of these people are young women who I insulted in the past because I was a troubled young man who modeled his relationships with ladies off Streetfighter-era Sonny Chiba's, but it is an interesting question I thought deserves a through look and an earnest answer.

Deep down, I do not wish or desire to will violence upon any human being, though at some moments of strong emotion I entertain the concept of beating up a few people whose neurosis gets on my nerves or taking a baseball bat to the head of a callous sociopath here and there, but all human beings have moments where they feel like this. Need proof? Read a history book or watch Fox News tonight. I detest human violence thoroughly but am fascinated by it and am repulsed by death but also acknowledge it as a necessary part of our existence. All species must inherently destroy to continue their existence, humans are no exception to this rule even though we are the first to notice and question it. As my cat tears the head off a cute mouse or rabbit, I don't think he questions the morality of what he's done afterward. If you want to get really technical, even vegans are inherent "murderers". The world is balance. Life begets death and death begets life. Just as when all creatures die, they fertilize the soil that allows plants to grow.

A great American philosopher who dared see through society's inherent ridiculousness.

However, humans have taken violence, callousness and selfishness to the next level. We are a walking duality and hypocrisy, a species caught toward the end of a millennial-long adolescence, just as teen-hood for many consists of heart wrenching moments and incredible emotional highs, no species has created so much wondrous culture or thought so deeply of the universe they live in, but no species has also inflicted so much horror, death and destruction upon itself, other species and its environment. We, as a species, are essentially committing mass suicide like Lemmings off a cliff if we keep up behavior like this. We will all die but we can choose to save ourselves and live in peace with ourselves and our environment. It is NOT impossible. This is the human condition and our great duality, we have a choice to make: either choose harmony or destruction.

When I made Little Red Riding Hood and Dream House (and yes, especially The Magic Forest), I was in a particularly troubled time in my life, a quarter-life crisis of sorts, but even then I understood the human duality even if I didn't believe in "the good" enough. Is it really surprising that they are "dark films" anyways with what was going on? Even films that are "violent and nihilistic" even if they don't offer solutions, are at least helpful in pointing out society's problems, they are cinematic "wake up calls" and some are subtle cautions like Dog Day Afternoon whereas others are blunt, stern warnings like Cannibal Holocaust. A bleak PG-13 or R-rated Hollywood film versus an outrageously cruel and nihilistic video nasty is like "your work needs much improvement" versus "your work fucking blows". In most cases, both mean the exact same thing, but one is simply a more polite and socially acceptable way of saying it. Many directors and screenwriters are actually philosophers, even many horror directors. I find George Romero's films, if not exactly upbeat, to be some of the most brilliant philosophy I've ever seen, on par with anything Voltaire, Nietzsche or Sartre ever penned. Perhaps, he'll be looked upon like that in a century or two.

Long before Hostel and Saw, there was Perseus and Medusa.

Dream House
, in particular, was a horror film about something I care about and am frightened by: the subjugation of women to men in society. Perhaps, it was a bit of harsh warning, but it was not a porn flick for people with a bondage and rape fetish. All humans have the capacity for good and bad. If someone came into your house and did heinous things to your family but you survived and had a chance to meet them face to face a short time later, would you not hurt or kill them even though all moral teachings for most of man's history forbids killing other human beings under any circumstances? People, particularly the "religious" justify war and atrocities very easily, but even the Ten Commandments says "Thou Shall Not Kill" and doesn't throw in "under certain circumstances outlined in article A through C, parts 6-8". However, even the kindest people would often strike back at someone shortly after the murder of their child or support an armed conflict if their leaders sweet talk them into it in just the right ways. While many refuse to admit it, some people loathe themselves when they realize that they have a Vader-like "dark side" to their Anakin Skywalker, myself included, but don't. You are not human if you don't have it.

So I don't make violent films because I want to run around on a raping and killing spree like a few have accused me of. I make them because I understand the human duality and am fascinated by it. In real life, some humans are cruel to other humans. Go to the library and read a holocaust book and you'll find things mentioned that cinema could never depict, even in these alleged "violent and Godless" days. Even many of the great myths, particularly the Greek ones like Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, are violent as fuck. If someone filmed the stories in the Old Testament completely "uncensored" the resulting 60 hour film would get an NC-17 without question if the board was even awake by the end of it. If death is inherently a part of life on Earth and violence is still a large part of our history and current state, why the hell SHOULDN'T we be upfront about it and makes films that explore and criticize it? My next film, Alison in Wonderland, will have many moments of violence and nastiness, but also tender moments of joy and sincere sorrow. That is the human condition and depicting that is what storytelling should be about.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Little Red Riding Hood now has an IMDb page.

I and some of the other people involved who aren't already on IMDb haven't been added yet, but soon I will be, as will Dream House sooner or later.

Friday, June 19, 2009

So the Epson came, but it was defective. I'm getting a replacement, but no DVDs until the replacement arrives.

Anyways, the day I will start taking orders is July 6th. That will give me time and leeway to produce some of them while at the same time ironing out the technical difficulties.

I'm in the midst of submitting both films to a bunch of film festivals. Dream House is in consideration at the Terror Film Festival and they have an entry for it on their submitted films page. This will mean both films will soon also have IMDb pages, as will yours truly.

And here are some Alison in Wonderland concept pieces I did recently that give a good idea of what the film will look like visually.

My vision of the character of Alison, a smart but very confused young woman as she spaces out in the park after around 56 hours of no sleep.
Even when I had designs on making the film as the more straightforward but vague Alice in Wonderland last year, I wanted the White Rabbit that leads Alice/Alison to Wonderland to be a girl in a Playboy bunny costume as a tip of the hat to the anime Miyuki-chan in Wonderland. Now, however, it's as much a homage to that as a jab at corporate America (a big theme here), since the White Rabbit will look just like something that Hugh Hefner would happily play with on his deathbed. The roller skates, however, are a bit of a perhaps even subconscious nod to the depiction of the character in that Disney kids' show they used to make of Alice back in the 90s that Neil probably remembers far better than I do. I think the Red Queen was a black lady and the slightest hint of pompous self-involvement was the full extent of her brutality.
The Cheshire Cat in all his psychotronic glory. The puppet will have a design based off a silver tabby American Shorthair and will be double-exposed so as to appear transparent. The only trade-off is that it will be nearly impossible to move the camera. His voice will be very "David Bowie".The Mad Hatter and the March Hare, his repressed homosexual lover. For portrayal, think Heath Ledger's Joker and Alex from A Clockwork Orange gone bisexual on a shoestring budget with some Willy Wonka thrown in there. The inside of the character's house will look like if Pee Wee Herman and Dave Luce's Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood were roommates. Though I seem to have drawn him subconsciously to look a little like Dave, Dave will not be playing the role due to a recent "war on stupidity" he has decided to declare upon me.And here we have the Red Queen, which will be the part where the movie will really return to that much-loved Little Red Riding Hood territory. She's absolutely going to be viciously brutal, like a mix between Vlad Dracul and Elizabeth Bathory. Like how Vlad would dine among his impaled, piked former subjects (a detail that I read as a child and will never forget as a mental image), she keeps her victims' impaled, rotting heads in her throne room as decorations among lots of Mario Bava and Roger Corman Poe film candles and vases filled with her beloved red roses. Her scenes will almost invoke John Boorman's Excalibur on a shoe-string. I've added a few little bits to the script showing her torture chambers which contain little jabs at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. Her "Card Guard" who I originally envisioned as wearing silly full card costume outfits, will have a design very akin to the Knights Templar with a white tunic under chain-mail but their "card number" instead of a red cross.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Unfortunately, the DVDs will have to delayed for a few weeks. Look for them at the beginning of July now instead.

I have encountered a bit of a technical difficulty due to lack of foresight. Before I designed the DVD discs themselves today, I didn't do enough homework on adhesive DVD labels and have found out just how badly they damage DVDs and sometimes their respective players. Just about every DVD-R with a sticky label I've ever purchased has suffered massive disc rot in the span of six months. Thus, I have to invest a hundred bucks in an Epson printer, which prints directly onto "printable" DVDs and are said to be a far superior method. I need a better photo printer anyways since I'm not happy with how the DVD covers are looking printed.
The audio commentaries are done now too and I burned the first test copy. Now all I need to do is to physically produce the DVDs.

They will be, of course, DVD-Rs, but burned slowly on Verbatim media for maximum compatibility.

Again, there are no menus, but I plan on making a second pressing that has them by Christmas, I've encoded everything on different tracks due to the differing video and audio bitrates, which may make things a little tricky to navigate on certain players.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hopefully this promo will give you an idea of what to expect from the DVD.

The DVD's special features are just about done.

I went to PACTV and recorded the audio commentary for both films as well as some voice overs. I was going to just "talk through the movies" but I had such detailed notes from months ago that I couldn't keep up with the fast paced films, so I have done it in sound bytes which will be edited together in sync with the two films.

The DVDs will be rolled out sooner rather than later. After the commentaries are done being edited I'll just be waiting on the materials now.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

YouTube clips of the two new cuts. Hope these entice you, the viewer, to see more.

From these clips you can see how things have changed, Little Red Riding Hood has been slicked up and Dream House has pretty much been completely overhauled.

Little Red Riding Hood features music by Herman Witkam. My thanks goes out to him for doing an absolutely ace job with the music.

You can see how I've used ambient noise to amp up the creepiness factor of the ghost scenes in Dream House, I was very inspired by Toru Takemitsu's Kwaidan and Woman in the Dunes scores, David Lynch's sound FX, Han Zimmer's Joker motif in The Dark Knight and The Exorcist's sound mix, as I said.

Interestingly enough, both these clips are the few bits of the movie that include music not written by Herman or Sergio, for Neil's appearence in Little Red Riding Hood, I used music actually written by Neil for Harold. I figured that a. it would be fitting for Neil to do the music for himself and b. I always liked the score for Harold but have as much pride for the actual film as a puddle of my own vomit. It sounds very "geriatric". I also used a brief non-original piece by Riz Ortolani in Dream House, "Girolimoni", it was used in the old cut too and I like its effect very much. I figured nobody would take offense at the use of about a minute of a very obscure piece of film music, but if they do I can always go back and remove it later.
Little Red Riding Hood's donesville now too!

Woo hoo!

Now to work on submitting to festivals, finishing all the special features and getting the DVD in good working order. The DVDs will literally be available to buy the day that happens, anywhere from the end of this month to the middle of July.

Friday, June 05, 2009

As I receive humorous YouTube threats on my life courtesy of Dave Luce and Tom "Eyeball Neck" Hinchey due to changes made to both films and their removal from YouTube, the new cut of Dream House is done. Yes, it's done. Took me two months longer than I thought it would, but it is now finished and I can forget about haunted houses and perverted rapists for a while.

Composer Sergio Pena did a fine job with the music and I'm happy with the film overall. It's a much lower key film than Little Red Riding Hood and much more a work of pure horror, though there's a slight element of political satire in the film (wacko townies and depressed goth kids). The new cut is much more serious, its aim is more obvious with all the crap trimmed out and the finale is way, way scarier and more disturbing made shorter.

All Little Red Riding Hood needs is a minor touch up and the rest of the music and I'll be set with that too.

There will be clips on YouTube of both new cuts as soon as that happens.

I can't say exactly when the DVD will be available (probably mid July), but most of the special features are donesville too or I at least have all the neccessary material to complete them. The commentaries need to be recorded and that's about it.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I finished the DVD's cover today. Here's the front.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Well, it's back, in a new director's cut, by popular demand: The Magic Forest, the 2008 summer project I'd rather not remember, but I finally felt man enough to revisit it.

The changes to the movie are more extensive than I originally planned, a whole three minutes of runtime has been deleted and the film has been tightened up from 10 to 7 minutes. Most of the runtime is from the self indulgent end credits being turned into a faster crawl and the "greeting the puppet friends" scene being tightened up heavily. I used the zoom and reframe feature in Premiere Pro to get rid of most of the visible puppet handage which was a huge problem in the old cut caused by rushed shooting and the fact that the viewfinder and LCD screen on the GL2 crops off some of the visual information on the sides, tops and bottoms. I also chose to delete the 9th Symphony (I will not degrade Beethoven's music with puppets killing and fucking each other) and leave that scene with no music. I like it better without any music and actually find it funnier. It now plays like a spoof of a Last House on the Left/I Spit on Your Grave kind of film.

I've also jokingly taken the names of myself and 9/10 of everybody else involved out of the film with the exception of Dave Luce, who seems very proud of the movie.