Thursday, January 27, 2011

Good and some (to a few) awful news. The good news: I have just finished several more props for Alison in Wonderland and the film, whether the Kickstarter works or not, will be funded in some capacity and is on the fast track to being made. I have several people on board and interested already. More info and pictures of the props to come soon.

Now the bad news, the Black Sunshine: Conversations with T.F. Mou DVD has been cancelled. I was getting closer to being done with it, it's kind of a spur of the moment decision. I am sorry to those of you whom I let down. To compromise, I am going to make a torrent out of the film and upload it online in the meantime (see if I can get it on Cinemageddon) and I may host a DivX .avi off my webspace of the uncut version and put the censored TV version on YouTube.

There are several reasons I decided not to; just today I realized that if the reasons not to do it outweigh the reasons about 5:1, why am I doing it?
1. The Two Short Films DVD was a pretty dismal failure and has sold four copies. This could easily be a repeat of that. Well, it'll probably do better, probably sell a dozen or two dozen copies. I can barely afford food with the price of food rising and I am starting to think this would be me just pissing away hundreds of dollars for no good reason to sell about 25 units at absolute most.
2. This DVD will be even more work than Two Short Films and time is just as valuable as money and I need time to get Alison, always my real baby, going. This would bite into that. I already have had to post-pone the film last year because of this film.
3. I've always been very uneasy about the rights issues surrounding this project and could easily get sued doing this. I'll probably just get a "cease and desist" but I want to be in good standing with the copyright holders so I can pay them off and officially release this film and pissing them off, even if I don't get sued, will most definitely put a damper in that. I also have made my enemies over the last few years and I wouldn't put it past one of them blowing the whistle to Celestial to "get me back".
4. I was never totally happy with Deirdre's narration track. She did her best but I don't think she wanted to do it and I suspect she was uncomfortable with the material. I am uneasy with the film because of that and am not comfortable releasing the film on DVD until the narration track is re-recorded.
5. I do not have the technical facilities quite necessary to make the DVD I want right now, also I am behind schedule on the special features.
In the meantime, here's the DVD cover, which I quite like. If you want to burn the digital copy I upload of my film to a DVD and like sexy covers (I just keep my burned DVDs in envelops or in a "wallet"), by all means use this as the cover. I may well upload the special features in Divx form too.

In the ironic words of Shiro Ishii at the end of Man Behind the Sun: "This is not a defeat." Black Sunshine has been a very difficult project for me. It and Dream House have their similarities but also differences. With Dream House, aside from the Eyeball Neck/Guinness fever dream that continues to haunt me to this day, it was over pretty quickly and what is wrong with the film was completely my fault and out of my own laziness. With Black Sunshine: Conversations with T.F. Mou things went nearly as badly (with one main, significant difference, what I got is quite salvageable) but this time it was in spite of my best efforts to the contrary. It's like every stage of it has been plagued with gridlock, frustrations and resistance, one of the main reasons I decided to can the DVD is because of its Murphy's Law like streak of luck. But I still intend to finish the film and get it released, don't worry. I am going to get T.F. Mou's early films in the movie and the film will be officially distributed and get a real DVD release. We just don't know when that will happen.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

The Alison in Wonderland fundraiser promo is donesville. Once again, watch and donate and I hope you can see the same promise in this as I can. I talk about the movie's history, its aesthetics, its themes and its guerrilla production plans. I recorded a much longer video but I ended up editing it to a shorter one after the footage came out all blurry thanks to bad autofocus. I'm kind of glad since a 10 minute presentation was overkill. I shot this and Black Sunshine's DVD promo in the same go. And upvote the video please, Dave Luce and "The Fangless Vampire" are still all mad at me.

My website is updated with some slight design changes and a few new sketches, corrections, etc. The biggest change is that the site has been "monetized" with Google ads and Amazon widgets. I know, I'm kinda selling out, but I am a starving artist. The movie-related pages mainly have Amazon widgets with mainly DVDs and a few books, all of which have some relation to the topic at hand. If you see anything you want to purchase, try to do it through my website since I get a small cut of every sale made via the widgets. Thanks!

And Happy New Year from Gen-Y Films and yours truly. May 2011 hold gifts and discoveries for all of us. 2010 was a very challenging, frustrating year. I remember last year I expected to see some serious payoff, unfortunately some of that was not to be. Black Sunshine: Conversations with T.F. Mou was much harder to complete than I thought, Alison had to be post-poned and Black Sunshine cannot be officially released and sadly T.F. Mou does not have the power of attorney I thought he did with getting clearance for the film footage of his Shaw Brothers films. Also tough was the recording of the narration track and despite Deirdre Yee's best efforts I'm going to scrap the next one too as its sound quality is a little too rough per the recommendation of Ted Newsom (Hammer Heritage of Horror, Ed Wood: Look Back in Angora). Sadly my anxiety, depression and severe allergies did not let up either and I felt quite alienated some of the time. The word passion is rooted in the sufferings of Christ. People often feel envy for passionate people, but passion truly is a blessing and curse in equal parts and is comprised of beauty and joy but also pain and suffering, as beautifully illustrated in Cantopop supergroup Beyond's Under a Vast Sky.

But perhaps I expected too much or for some of what I desired it just wasn't the right time. I think I was somewhat naive to think I could make and finish Alison in Wonderland and Black Sunshine in the same year, especially as a one man operation. I was blessed with many things this year. T.F. Mou and his wife loved my movie and Ted Newsom, whose films I used to watch as a kid was quite impressed as well, which meant a lot. I also have a few movie sales companies look interested in Black Sunshine. I was quite productive in the last year. I finished my first feature and drew a lot as well. I suppose all my struggles definitely matured me consderably. My expectations are less specific I guess with this year. I want to learn to enjoy life more. Alison in Wonderland will be made, I have a few backup options in case the online route doesn't work out. I am not as much closer to my dream as I had hoped a year ago after I got back from Myrtle Beach, but I am not any further from it either. In fact, even though some of the setbacks took me back a few steps, I'm probably still a step or two ahead. And never will I abandon my dream.