Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I have been fairly hard at work directing Alison in Wonderland and so haven't been updating this blog much. Been kind of out of the swing of things plus Facebook has put me in closer touch with many of this blog's readers anyways. But of course I will hardly abandon this blog and I will be updating it again more regularly once things settle down.
Derek (Dharmik Patel) and Alison (Kendahl Light)
Some difficult, disappointing but probably for the better news is that the shooting of the Wonderland scenes in Alison in Wonderland is now off until next May. I think it is a good decision in the long term, it will be a better film with more time poured into it. I am disappointed and depressed since last year I had to scrap various plans and I don't know when I'll finally have a year where I fulfill my goals again, it has been very difficult and trying for me since my disappointments with Black Sunshine: Conversations with T.F. Mou were repeated again, in even more quantity, this year. I think I should have split the filming up over more time from day one. I could have actually fulfilled my goal if I hadn't been let down by some people whom I made the mistake of trusting. I am especially disheartened because the White Rabbit scene which I was especially looking forward to shooting needs to be put off until next year because of the season change. The actress who I had hired for the part just decided she didn't want to come to shooting that day and then I attempted to hire someone else for money to get that scene quickly filmed but that fell through as well. But I wouldn't have what I do have now if enough things didn't go right and I have collaborated with many wonderful people. I am very happy with the quality of the footage.
Molly (Rebecca Howland) explains a Tarot spread to Alison (Kendahl Light).
As disappointed as I am since I love reaching my own goals, I think it is a good decision in the long run. The film has been a logistic nightmare and the difficulty of the real world scenes have really taken me aback. I got a strong sense and feeling of "resistance" from day one but I hoped that with enough hard work and perseverance I would prevail. Now I think it very well could have been too much work in too little time for one person. The delays and logistical problems just piled on and forced me into temporary retreat. The Wonderland scenes, which have more special effects, actors, will need a bigger crew, etc, have an even higher "Murphy's Law" quota so I think it's in my best interest and a few actors need recasting anyways. I have three more days of shooting to go and then I'll be done with the "real world" scenes, about 30 minutes of the script overall. The quality of the footage will be even better next summer with more time and more time will make for smoother logistics, plus I'll be feel much less pressured with only 40 minutes of script to get next summer instead of 75. The film's completion will only be delayed for six months.
Mr. Good (Ray Boutin) gives his class a very strange lecture on how the human genepool has been contaminated by goat genes.
In the meantime, I have plans for the winter once the last few "real world scenes" are filmed. I am going to finish Black Sunshine: Conversations with T.F. Mou and rerecord the narration and also make the new pressing of Two Short Films and maybe even make good on my DVD-R release of Black Sunshine now that I'll be finally happy with it.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

We're three days into shooting of principal photography and have shot a little over five minutes of the script. There have been some setbacks including an actor just deciding he didn't want to show up the first day, but I'm quite happy with what I have footage-wise so far, I can say with as little ego as possible that it's the best looking stuff I've shot to date.

Some high-res publicity stills:

Monday, July 25, 2011

William Bloomfield as the George W. Bush inspired President of the United States.

Filming has officially begun on Alison in Wonderland. On Friday the 15th I filmed the President scene with actor William Bloomfield playing the role that will show up on Alison's TV. Sadly I had to postpone principal photography proper for two weeks due to some scheduling problems, shooting will resume on August 5th and I have the first several days scheduled for shooting most of the 'real world' scenes. I am pretty pleased with the President footage and am almost done with preparing the version that will be in the movie. The film will be shooting into October now, which is maybe not so bad since the Wonderland scenes having more of an autumnal flavor might be kind of cool aesthetically, also the movie's heavy, elaborate costuming won't cause my actors quite so much suffering which I was rather worried about.
Costume tests for Aria David as The March Hare. 

It has been a tough haul, just as much of a challenge as last summer's rush to get Black Sunshine: Conversations with T.F. Mou done if not more so, but I've handled it somewhat better I think. I've especially hit a lot of resistance in the past month or so but I've gotten through most of it, a real all time low came when my apartment complex threatened to evict me after some carelessness with spray painting the props resulting in paint stains on the porch. Now they have adopted a completely non-negotiable stance even after I offered to use plastic padding and I have to sneak off to a nearby park at night to do it now. I really got flack for that, but the stains are removable with chemical cleaners over a period of time which I was planning on doing anyways. Thankfully the prop and wardrobe work was almost complete when they slammed the gavel on me anyways. The college I wanted to film at also denied my request so I have to look elsewhere to shoot the school scenes.
Costume test with Jacob Schwartz as the Mad Hatter as he brews some twisted tea with milk, sugar and Roofie.

On the plus side, I am very happy with how the movie is shaping up to look and its design for the most part, I did costume tests with Jake Schwartz for the Mad Hatter and Aria David for the Hare and they seriously look like they jumped right out of my drawings, in fact the look of both characters has exceeded my original mental images I'd say. The whole film's sense of design and macabre fantasy world is shaping up to look very "J.L. Carrozza" with the best attributes of Little Red Riding Hood's aesthetic but with larger scope and sophistication just as I had intended. My almost painterly attention to detail during pre-production is paying off I think, but the paradigm is shifting. One of the harsher realities of making films, one that breaks many a weaker willed upstart, is that your vision will inevitably be compromised somewhere along the way as moviemaking is a very earthy, unglamorous and logistical difficulty-riddled process, especially with no budget. I feel now that I must let go of my perfectionism and single minded pursuit of artistic excellence to some degree in favor of the struggle just to get a finished film out of the deal.

The Mad Hatter welcomes you to J.L. Carrozza's own personal vision of Hell.

In that spirit, as shooting commences, here is my official statement:
The thing about Little Red Riding Hood is that it was just the starting point: an inception and point of invention. It was me jogging past the starting line of more authentically making films. I want to complete the first lap or two with Alison in Wonderland! It will hopefully be a superior product because I’ve already invented the whole concept of a trashy, twisted post-modern fairy tale film on a micro budget, so now I can have fun with it and fool around with it even more. My intent is to streamline the concept, perfect it and build it even bigger and stronger using everything I’ve learned since.
The latest production diary, for your viewing pleasure:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I will be shooting Alison in Wonderland with three cameras for both cost-saving strategy and a unique aesthetic, it will be the first of my films where depth of field will have heavy attention paid to it, I barely knew what it was in my early years and didn't think much of it even during Red Riding Hood and Dream House, I didn't really start experimenting with it until The Magic Forest and the results were mixed. For Alison I will be using my longtime companion the trusty Canon GL2 , the low budget yet impressive Canon EOS Rebel T2i and the high quality HDV Sony HDR-FX7. I just did a shooting test comparing the cameras' quality and depth of field. The subject is a prop made for the Hatter scene, Michelangelo's 'Gayvid'.
The first camera is the Canon GL2 which I've been using for years. It used to belong to Neil and has been used to shoot such varied projects as Dream House, the famous Potter Puppet Pals: The Mysterious Ticking Noise, No Place Like Home, The Magic Forest and both interviews with T.F. Mou. Depth of field is difficult to do with DV but not impossible. WIth the GL2, you can get shallow depth of field with a low f-stop/open iris, long lens and a camera positioned at just the right distance, it's pretty darn spiffy for a DV camera. It will used here to shoot behind the scenes B-roll footage mainly but also a variety "point of view shots" with a very wide lens for the movie proper. It's lower depth of field capability and resolution make it good for a somewhat jarring, low-fi effect like you are suddenly switching to the literal visual perspective of a character under a lot of stress.

Now next up is the Sony HDR-FX7, a nice Sony HDV camera I was able to score second hand for only $1500. It is by the far the most detailed and crystal clear visually of the cameras and its color reproduction beats the GL2 (this shot isn't the best example, the white balance is a little off). However, the depth of field disappoints, it's no better than the GL2's really, though the focus got much shallow as we got more zoomed in. This will be used for the film's moving shots and also some coverage shots.

 Last but by no means least, is the Canon DSLR Rebel. It is by far the most visually pleasing of any of the cameras and its color reproduction is to die for. The colors are accurate and vivid and the focus is soft and lovely. It is a little bit less visually detailed than an HD camcorder, but that isn't entirely bad, it makes the image all the more "film-like". The camera is not good with movement and especially hates zooming, so that's why I bought the HDV camcorder to largely supplant it. It will be used for static close-ups mainly where shallow depth of field is most important and also for some very detailed and picturesque wide shots, you know, any shots I want a "35mm film" look to. Sadly it is also the most expensive of the cameras to shoot on, it records onto SD cards which are fairly costly and don't hold much video. It also needs a "higher class" card to run smoothly which all the more expensive.

And here is the second and newest of my production diaries. I promised one sooner but I have been madly busy. I am even busy than I was during Black Sunshine's post! See things down to the wire, see more of lurid props being hammered out and meet the Cheshire Cat in the magic of HD! This is looking like it could be shaping up into something worthwhile I'd say, It seems poised to follow in Little Red Riding Hood's foot steps but then run an extra lap ahead of it.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

A pig's heart and kidney I've been keeping in my refrigerator pickled in hard liquor as a grotesque detail for the Hatter scene.
Long time no update, that's mostly because I have been so busy getting this puppy together. First the casting, it's been an at times frustrating process but I have about half the movie cast and the rest of the actors needed to be cast for the most part are just smaller roles. The toughest part was having several actors who I liked and thought were right for the part basically refuse to commit due sometimes to the film's content and other times to lack of time or whatever. It's been much harder than I anticipated, but I'm still going strong, finding people is easy, finding the right people is a challenge. I'm not going to name names since nothing is finalized yet, but I've found my Alison. In addition to Jake Schwartz as the Hatter, I've cast, as of right now, the roles of Derek, Alison's Father, The March Hare, The Red Queen, a few card guards, Sid the Executioner and the Bush-like President.
The Hatter's collection of dirty, pretty things.
Also, former Gen-Y Films "collaborator" and after that long time nuisance, bitter enemy and beer extortionist Thomas Riggs Hinchey is now in jail. He and Dave Luce love to paint themselves as victims of "my tyranny" but I think it was largely the other way around and their puerile videos speak that for themselves I think. What goes around really does come around.
Meet the Cheshire Cat!
Got the money in May and since then I've been furiously hammering out stuff in the prop department as well to meet July's filming deadline. I've been ordering on Amazon and Ebay and heading to the Goodwill store constantly. I think it's a really good idea for a low budget filmmaker to hit the Goodwill a lot, not only is it dirt cheap, but it all has a nice "lived in" look that is better for realism. Making a new production diary soon to show some off this off, but some of it includes a new piked head in President Obama's likeness (a reference to how despised he is, really), the Cheshire Cat puppet and a myriad of perversions for the Mad Hatter's house including soiled women's undergarments, real pickled organs, severed limbs and a Buchenwald-style human skin lamp shade.
Been using a lot of spray paint lately!
Wardrobe aside as I have to coordinate that with the actors more, the film is about half of the way ready to go prop wise. The "real world" scenes are literally just about all set, I even have most of the posters that will decorate Alison, Derek and Molly's bedroom walls. The Hatter scene is about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way all set to go. I even have the entire tea set all ready to go. Building the Mad Hatter's hellish M.C. Esher-like hatrack right now, which is taking a real long time to build, mount and get nice and sturdy. Did a recent revision of the script that cuts out the Mock Turtle/Myrtle the Turtle character and replaces it with a shorter scene with a unicorn.
Recent sketch of the waking up in the Hatter's house scene.
Also, Alison in Wonderland now has a Tumblr account dedicated entirely to it. Follow me for pictures and more frequent updates.

Monday, April 25, 2011

I proudly present the first of the Alison in Wonderland production diaries, an eyeopening glance into the world of Gen-Y Films with the film's pre-production process. As you can see, I've been working hard on the props, blocking the shots and getting things ready in time for shooting. I just posted casting calls for the movie last week and am rooting through applicants, though I seem to getting some cold feet here and there after reading the script. I did a few auditions on Saturday after a jaunt to the Brattle to see Monster Zero and the rare AIP print of Destroy All Monsters on the big screen.

And finally posted is some exclusive footage from the Black Sunshine: Conversations with T.F. Mou premiere including my pre-film speech and some footage of T.F. Mou in attendance. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

So a few little updates to the pre-production of Alison in Wonderland. The shooting script is a third of the way through and I've been doing a little prop work before I can really get crackin' once the money comes in. Getting the piked head to stand on their own through wooden support bases on the bottom was agonizing and took me a whole month to get right involving all three pikes having to be redone but is now down to a science. I'm also back on a second, harder round of the liver cleanse diet and mostly living on soy milk, hummus and rice while loading up on silymarin. I have the real severed head of a rabbit in my freezer. I randomly found the thing on the sidewalk while walking in a nearby cemetery and was compelled to bring it home to use it as a prop for Alison.

Some casting news: I have found a Mad Hatter in the form of one Jacob Schwartz, who impressed me with his understanding of the role and resemblance to my mental image of the character. Like Dave Luce before him, I think he'll take this where it needs to go. I am going to post casting callls for the other roles in the film in about a week.
 I am also working on that long promised new pressing of the Two Short Films DVD. This disc will have nice convenient menus and some of the special features will be tweaked a little, the commentaries will be slightly amended as I've remembered a few things I forgot to throw in there. Sadly the master files were lost in the Great Hard Drive Failure of '09. The biggest thing will be a totally redone version of Little Red Riding Hood's Making of. While I was moving last year, I rediscovered the master digital 8 tape for Red's behind the scenes shenanigans I thought I had lost, so it will be longer and funnier and also will have much better picture and sound. I think the Behind the Scenes stuff for Red Riding Hood and Dream House is certainly just as bizarre and almost as entertaining as the films themselves, Neil has told me this as well. They are fascinating time capsules of where I was in '06 and '07 and also provide very earnest and fascinating portraits of the variously eccentric and unusual personalities involved making these movies. I will also be including the infamous Agony and the Ecstasy of the Puppets opening and a few very amusing Easter eggs. This will be the first official release from Metacomet Video.

And as for Black Sunshine: Conversations with T.F Mou's future, I am at work on a website update with a nice DivX copy of the uncut version available for download. For the final edit, I am strongly considering aiming the film somewhat at the Chinese market as well and recording or having someone record Mandarin and maybe Cantonese versions of the narration track as well as having the whole interview translated into Chinese subtitles. I will be ironing out the loose ends of this probably after I finish the rough edit of Alison.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Beginning this post on a somber and serious note, I am really quite disturbed with what is going on in Japan. It really was kind of inevitable, they've been predicting another big earthquake on the scale of the 1923 Kanto quake for 30 years now. It looks just like a Toho film, except it's real. The chilling footage looks right out of Shinji Higuchi's Sinking of Japan. The whole nuclear power plant business was hauntingly predicated by Tetsuro Tamba's Dr. Nishiyama in a sequence in Prophecies of Nostradamus and the city of Sendai, which is thrashed by Legion in Gamera 2, was hit hardest it seems. It was pretty haunting to see the same airfield that Gamera and Legion duked it out on awash in tsunami waves. Thankfully, unlike in Deathquake/Magnitude 7.9, Tokyo was quite well prepared and the damage to the city and loss of life in general has been surprisingly minimal. Yet it is quite disheartening to see this country whose artists and culture has given me so much inspiration over the years (I sometimes jokingly call myself "Japanese trained" as a filmmaker) in Katrina-like shambles, with millions without power and food starting to dwindle until the rescue parties reach everybody. My prayers are with the people of Japan and I will be donating when I can. It's gotten to the point where I'm just so sick of all the world's violence and chaos I've just been meditating and praying for peace every single night. Here's a good fundraiser via the Japan Society of New York.

As far as business goes, preparations for Alison in Wonderland have continued as usual for the last few days. I'm kind of exhausted and haven't slept much keeping up with the Japan earthquake, but I've been trying to distract myself with work and a little alcohol. Undertaking the slow and tedious but very necessary process of making a shooting script and shot list for it and also building a new piked head as well as mounting the existing ones so they can stand up right. Four months till it shoots, it's getting down to the wire now.

I also have just finished work on a new draft of The Witch's Castle, my gritty crime drama pet project based on the Shanda Sharer murder, that runs about 118 pages. I'm pretty happy with it though I have my uncertainties about it as well. I worry it may not be cohesive enough in its current form but it is certainly the best version yet. I hope to get if off the ground the moment Alison in Wonderland is lock stock and barrel. This new script has more exposition and focuses on why it happened as opposed to just how. It's more of a drama now, a character study on those with dysfunctional lives. The influences that I've tapped are many from trashy stuff like John Waters and Harmony Korine's Gummo (a movie I really like) to gritty horror movies like DePalma's work, Last House on the Left, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and I Spit on Your Grave to Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures and The Lovely Bones to Stanley Kubrick and the documentary quality of Kinji Fukasaku's yakuza movies to that nice slice of life Americana quality the old educational shorts have. I tried to stay pretty true to the crime itself while also maintaining my own sensibility and interpretation. I want to film it in a style sort of like "American neorealism", there will some long takes in the film, the tone will be starker, there will be my first split-screen sequence since Little Red Riding Hood and the musical score will be more minimalistic with a heavy use of ambient noise and sampled and distorted public domain library music. The color scheme of the cinematography will be muted and muddy, I have considered shooting the movie in black and white in fact. I'll probably film most of it in New England, but I'd love to shoot a few scenes actually in Madison, Indiana, where it all happened, especially at the real Witches Castle, but I wonder if I'll be allowed to?

I have taken some liberties with the story like I've said. The names have all been changed so to avoid litigation (Toni Lawrence and Hope Rippey are both of out prison and it won't be too long before Loveless and Tackett are out too), I have tried to really delve into the psychology of the Melinda Loveless and Laurie Tackett characters (called Christina McKinney and Lauren Hardt here) and probe their unbalanced minds like Peter Jackson did with the young murderesses in Heavenly Creatures. Christina McKinney is a character a lot like Clockwork Orange's Alex. She's an utterly despicable sociopath, but she is bizarrely likable, you can see how seductive she is and she has her reasons for being the way she is. Lauren Hardt is obsessed with the macabre, very emotionally disturbed and desperate to rebel against her domineering, fundamentalist Christian mother who is losing her control over her and her part in Sharon's murder is really just an unleashing of years of pent up rage. In one of the biggest and more controversial changes, I have chosen to combine Hope Rippey and Toni Lawrence into one character, Karen Shepherd, though a lot of the old Hope Rippey character's actions have been given to Christina. In real life, Toni Lawrence was date raped about a year before Shanda's murder and I think had that not happened she wouldn't have been there. For Karen, that is fleshed out considerably. She is a prime example of the pack mentality and how, when the chips are down and people are at their worst, "the best", as W.B. Yeats would say, "lack all conviction". Sort of like how Kinji Fukasaku treated the yakuza thugs in his movies, I have an odd degree of sympathy for the murderers of Shanda Sharer which is kind of manifest here. They all had their own unchanneled rage at the world and sadly it was allowed to grow until a poor young girl had to bear the brunt of it. I have written the script fairly objectively and tried to show it from all sides. The Shanda Sharer character, called Sharon Summer here, has been given more of an emphasis and her dysfunctional family life is given some airtime to give it all more of a tragic air. The story of The Witch's Castle is about the tragic side of human existence. I think people will like Alison in Wonderland, not so sure how this one will go over.

I considered working on Coup D'Etat and Horror Colony as well, but I'll save those for when Alison is in post-production. All my time and resources need to go toward that if I want it in the can by fall.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Alison in Wonderland continues to move forward. I am literally going to start posting casting calls in a week. I am building props a plenty and am getting ready to start more serious preparations. I have decided not to post pictures of the construction anymore or at least as much for two reasons. The first is that it's a little too much of a time waster taking all those pictures considering that the main emphasis needs to be on getting them ready so they can dress the film I'm about to shoot, not showing them off on the internet. Speaking of such, that leads me to reason two: I think showing off too many of the props beforehand might be spoiling the film too much.
A recently made prop for the Mad Hatter scene called simply "Baby Pincushion".
 Most of the heavy and dull paperwork for Alison is done. For some good, encouraging news, I just finished budgeting the film yesterday and the film looks like it will be coming in a little under its 10k budget. I will be buying a lot of second hand stuff for the props to keep the cost down and the total of everything the script calls for only came to about 9k!  That gives me a nice 1k cushion that can go toward post-production if it is not spent during the shoot, I have been putting a lot of my own financial resources toward this film and as such will probably be able to milk the budget even more so. The Red Queen sequences, as I predicted, are more costly than the entire rest of the film put together, which is kind of funny I think. Right now, I am in the midst of compiling the massive shooting script from all my notes.

As for other projects, I'll have a digital copy of the uncut Black Sunshine on my website probably next month. Adding a digital download section to the site is a huge pain in the ass because the menu has to be changed which involves repasting it onto every page and with all the drawings that makes it quite a nightmare, but I need to update my website anyways since the Kickstarter for Alison was a no-go and all. Those of you who donated will still get special thankses in the credits. I will also be working a little on the little 'Snow' short before Alison shoots and that long promised new pressing of Two Short Films. I am also almost done with a new draft of The Witch's Castle which I like much better.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Darth Vader wishes you a morose and overly sentimental Valentine's Day as he sits alone in darkness, consumed with regret over his terrible mistakes. This video has been in my mind for several years now.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Black Sunshine: Conversations with T.F. Mou is now on YouTube in its entirety, baybay, albeit in the censored TV edition that I made so I can show the movie a little wider, the censoring consists of ironically Japanese style optical blurring to the nudity and some freeze framing with the worst of the violence. I am adding a digital download section to my website which the fully uncut version will be available on. I may still have problems with YouTube either with copyright or content, so I uploaded it to a different channel originally created for my short version back in '08 so my main account would not be penalized in-case they decided to take it down per its content. The old version, which has no censorship of the nudity, has been up for two and a half years now and has flown under the radar so I'm not too worried, but you never know.

Like I keep saying, this is not the final version and I am not quite happy with the film as yet. The narration will be re-recorded. I will be tightening up the film especially in the case of Mou's less important director for hire films, I think compressing those segments a little more is probably a good idea. I will be adding in footage from Mou's early films in Taiwan once I can get it and the color balance between the two camera streams is a little off, so the color correction for the interview segments will be overhauled. This will be undertaken during the post-production of Alison in Wonderland, most likely.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Some news and developments: Alison continues to proceed. The Kickstarter seems like a no go, was it naive of me to think I could raise 20k on the internet with a pretty minuscule fanbase? Probably. I may repost the Kickstarter page for less money if I can, but I have another funding source secured, I am making the movie on familial inheritance, on 10k. I am honestly largely more comfortable with that, I don't have to ruthlessly promote myself online to get it and I don't owe anybody anything when I do get it. I also applied for a 10k grant from the Mass Cultural Council. I can get the film shot on 10k if I absolutely have to. Not counting the $500 camera it was shot on, Little Red Riding Hood cost $200-300. I will be buying props and costumes from the goodwill, building props from items found in hardware stores, toy stores and pharmacies, I'd like to give my cast and crew some money to keep things more cemented and professional, but I've done it before without paying anybody a dime and god knows I can do it again even if it's not ideal. Since the artistic drive and vision in the project is almost entirely mine and all the matters is what shows up on screen, I can even rotate crew people around.

 I have finished the annotated, blocked out version of the script and am now breaking down the costumes and props on paper so I can prepare a proper budget and detailed checklist for each scene. Just the non-Wonderland "wraparound" third of the movie is about the scale of Dream House, considerably bigger in fact. Casting begins next month (March). I will be playing three roles for certain, the role of Alison's mother as a sort of reprisal of Mama, the voice of the Caterpillar and the Queen's hunchbacked mongoloid Chef. I may also play a card guard if necessary. I'd love get Charli back as the Red Queen but her days of being in movies are well behind her it seems. I have already lost around 15 lbs (after losing around 40-50 in 2009) on a liver cleanse diet I've been on and am going back on it again before the movie shoots. Been watching a lot of John Waters movies lately, so I suppose they could be what has given me the transgressive urge to crossdress once more. Desperate Living, in particular, almost feels like Waters' Alice in Wonderland with Edith Massey (the greatest actress in film history) playing a character very akin to the Red Queen.

I have once again deleted and reuploaded Little Red Riding Hood and Dream House to YouTube now that YouTube's video length limit is 15 minutes as opposed to 10. I'd rather the movies be available to watch in one part, a lot of viewers generally only watch the first part. I know must be really starting to seem like George Lucas with his 15 VHS releases, 10 laserdiscs, 5 DVD editions, numerous theatrical reissues and now Bluray and theatrical 3-D conversion of the Star Wars films and indeed, Lucas and I both have similarly bad cases of OCD. If Alison gets into theaters you bet your ass Red will be attached to its beginning. I am working on getting the censored Black Sunshine: Conversations with T.F. Mou on YouTube as promised, it will probably be up Friday.

Now, some more Alison in Wonderland prop-building escapades as promised:
Making a new pike around Christmas, as I wrap gifts for contrast. Only here at Gen-Y Films can the sacred and profane, the festive and morbid, co-exist with such ease.

The new, third pike all done and painted and ready for a new head, something it wouldn't get until a month later. This is indeed the best constructed and most state of the art pike I've yet made. Practice really does make perfect.
A pair of online bought plastic shrunken heads, pre-modification. These are to hang on the blood-splattered wall of the Mad Hatter's house.
The heads came ear less, which is quite unrealistic, I added on ears with Sculpey and smoothed it over while eliminating the neck with papier-mache.
The heads were then painted white so the clay with ears would blend better and so I could control the hue more.
Painting the first shrunken head and giving it a more realistic "lived-in" look while the second one dries after scupeying and papier-mache.
 The first shrunken heads hangs as it will in the Hatter's house, all done.
And the second one, which I like it a little better and thinks looks a little more realistic.
The severed head that will become the decapitated, piked head of the Red King, whom the Queen had executed because he failed to please her in more ways than one. It is a truly impressive work already courtesy of Death Studios in Indiana, ironically Shanda Sharer's home state. I was going to modify it more heavily, cut its eye out and have one of the eyes dangling out of the socket by the optic nerve, but I was so awed when it took it out of the box I decided to do much more minimal modification to it. He looks kind of like a young Dario Argento on a really bad night.
Ironically, in something that really made me think of John Waters, they shipped it to me is a box that looks like it's used for freshly killed chickens or chicken meat.
The head, crown (a very cheap, costume shop grade one) and more bones ready to be modded.
Painting the King's crown brownish to simulate rust and make it look a little less like plastic.
The King, post impalement. The edges of the King's head stump are too jagged, looking too "ripped off" as opposed to sliced off with an axe; the first order of business was to smooth it over a little with Sculpey.
Putting papier-mache over the putty to smooth it over.
Painting, painting, painting...
The King, almost done after being repainted for a bit more of a rotted and lived in look.
The completed Red King with a little red food coloring smudged on for more realism hangs out outdoors.
The Red King has been executed and what a death it was!
Now onto the bones, which were made around the same time as the piked King. First papier-macheing as usual, these are going to go into the Red Queen's dungeon in the scene where Alison is chained up there. Then they were painted with two layers and then covered in baby powder for more of a "bleached look". They are far better made than the first batch of Hatter bones, but I sort of wish I had used to brown instead of green and am going to repaint them soon.

Anyways, that's all folks for a while. I need to get to work harder on this obviously. I am also working on a new draft of Witch's Castle which will be done relatively soon. I may also the finish the first drafts of Coup D'Etat and Horror Colony before Alison shoots and during post-production.