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 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.