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.