Sunday, December 30, 2012

That Time of Year

Well, there's a new Alison in Wonderland trailer out. Some people complained about the length of the last one so I cut it down as well as added some new footage I filmed back in September and October. I also released two new production diaries relatively recently.

And of course, another year is behind us again. Instead of write an essay, I'm just gonna fill out this survey since that's more fun.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
I shot more footage, around two hours worth from two cameras for the Mad Tea Party scene in Alison, in one day than I ever did before. I also ate sea urchin for the first time.

 2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I was unable to complete or even finish shooting Alison in Wonderland, so no. But I have a slew of new resolutions planned for next year, including staying off cigarettes, losing weight and finishing the movie by August of 2013.

3. How will you be spending New Years Eve?
Some people like to get drunk on St. Patrick's Day, personally, New Years Eve is the biggest "get drunk" night for me. Last year I consumed 12 or 13 servings of alcohol. This year, out of concern for my health, I think I'll be keeping it down to six.

4. Did anyone close to you die? 
Thankfully no.

5. What countries did you visit?
Too busy working on Alison to go on vacation I'm afraid.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
A significant other, a finished film and maybe a little more money.

 7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The whole year was hard to forget with the slew of mass shootings and craziness. Aurora, Sandy Hook, half the Midwest in almost biblical drought, Hurricane Sandy (which, like Irene before it, disrupted Alison's shoot), those weird "zombie" attacks and so forth. Election Day was very memorable as well, I was pretty terrified Romney would win. And of course December 21st, the date the world was supposed to end but didn't.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting a considerable portion of Alison in Wonderland shot. I also finished the scripts for Coup D'Etat and Horror Colony.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not being able to finish shooting Alison. I also was very disappointed after I went on a great date but the girl got cold feet afterward. I also gained a significant amount of weight and took up smoking again, both out of stress.

 10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
None aside from the usual allergies, colds and a flu, though I just had a bout of insomnia so bad I thought I had developed sleep apnea. And the weight gain as well, that could count as illness.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Bought next to nothing new that wasn't for the movie.

12. Where did most of your money go?
The movie and assorted living expenses.

13. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Gangnam Style.

14. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Working hard and focusing on the positives.

15. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Dicking around the internet, especially on Facebook.

16. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Not really, hate is a very strong word. I was screwed over by an actor though and there was this one person who viciously insulted me over something rather trivial and really hurt my feelings, but fuck it.

17. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I really loved Hikaru Utada's song Sakura Nagashi from the new Evangelion movie.

. What was your favorite TV program?
South Park always wets my whistle.

 19. What was the best book you read?
Embarrassed to admit it, but I didn't do enough reading this year. I actually don't read many books for pleasure.

20. What was your favorite film of this year?
Argo was probably objectively the best, though Dark Knight Rises was my personal favorite. I also loved God Bless America.

21. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you? 
I was 26 and I don't think I did anything because I was filming the next day. I went out for dinner with my mother and then with my grandparents at some point though.

22. What kept you sane?
The support of my friends and family, Japanese movies, laughter, alcohol and the motto "This, too, shall pass".

23. What major life lesson did you learn this year?
Nothing really unique to this year, but I very much continued to learn the lessons of previous years. Don't give up hope and faith in something greater than yourself. If you want something, it will not be just given to you, you have to work and fight for it. Do not put much value in the opinions of others.

24. What hopes do you have for 2013?
I hope to finish Alison in Wonderland and get my film career ahead a little bit by shopping it around to festivals. I would also like to lose at least 60 pounds. Finding some love would be very nice too.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Alison in Wonderland trailer!

I proudly present Alison in Wonderland's second trailer! There will be two more in the next several months.

Also, a relatively recent production diary:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Filming the Good Stuff on Alison in Wonderland

So shooting on Alison in Wonderland continues. We've now got well over half the script filmed and are filming the juicier bits including much of the Mad Hatter stuff. We will be around 2/3 of the way done by the end of next month. It has been very challenging and stressful but always rewarding. I will be posting a new extra special production diary soon with an interview about the movie's progress soon. For fans of Dave Luce, the good news is that he will be involved with the movie after all, providing the voice of the Caterpillar and hopefully playing Pippyn the Hunchbacked Chef! I have shot about 20 hours of footage for this movie, more than 10 times the amount I filmed for Little Red Riding Hood.

Some publicity stills for your viewing pleasure:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Filming continues, Official website and Facebook page

Alison's mother (Brina Healy) bears bad news to her daughter (Kendahl Light)
So filming continues in earnest. There will be a new production diary in  May. Filmed some of the last of the "real world" scenes on April 12th, leaving only the cafeteria scene and a few hours worth of Derek reshoots left to do. I now have 25 minutes of the script filmed straight through in complete form more or less. It is exciting to see the film finally coming together into something resembling a complete product.

In other news, Alison in Wonderland now has an official website, Alison in! Enjoy the pictures and detailed information on the project! Gen-Y Films also now has an official Facebook page. Show your support and give me a like!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Derek (Jacob Schwartz) and Alison (Kendahl Light)
So after a winter hibernation, shooting has once more recommenced on Alison in Wonderland. After deciding Dharmik Patel was miscast I am refilming the Derek scenes with Jacob Schwartz along with shooting the remainder of the "real world scenes". I think having Jake play both Derek and the Mad Hatter is a good, Oz like touch. The first Wonderland sequences that will be filmed are the Mad Hatter stuff in May. I have also  finally found a Red Queen in Holly Schaff and done a costume test. We are going to be shooting through spring, summer and fall this year and I am very confident that we will finally finish the movie now.
Holly Schaff as the Red Queen
And finally a new production diary for your viewing pleasure, opening with a recap by me about the film's production difficulties and current status:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Some HD stills from Alison in Wonderland's teaser trailer, enjoy:
 We will be doing some pick ups and reshoots in February and March and will be shooting the remainder of the real world scenes and the first of the Wonderland scenes (mainly the Mad Hatter) in April and May. As I wait for shooting to recommence on Alison, I have begun work on a new version of Black Sunshine: Conversations with T.F. Mou. It will feature, among other things:
-New narration by Rebecca Howland (Molly in Alison in Wonderland)
-Improved color timing for the interview segments.
-A tidier, slimmer pace with some sequences trimmed and condensed, I hope to make this version 5 minutes shorter in total. The Shaw Brothers sequences in particular will be trimmed a little bit since T.F. does not look back upon his Shaw years with much pride. I also want to take the footage costs down a tad.
-The current events finale which hardly minces words in its negative portrayal of the politics of recent years will be toned down a bit, it is simply too polarizing and radical for some tastes and I suspect I have lost interested film sellers because of it, as much as I believe in the importance of speaking the truth. Perhaps such things are better depicted in a subtle fashion anyways, even Michael Moore wouldn't dare compare the Bush Administration with Hitler.

Current plans are unknown, but I may make good on my two disc DVD-R set once Alison is finished and I have more dough to toss around.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

As we enter the new year, I have a nice little surprise:
Alison in Wonderland's official teaser trailer. Watch (preferably in 1080p HD), enjoy, upvote and share. Hopefully this gives you a good idea of what to expect in December 2012. I have worked and fought very hard for what you see there and am happy with the footage I have gotten for this film, though, of course, disappointed that I couldn't move forward with it as quickly as I wanted to. I am particularly pleased with Kendahl Light and Jacob Schwartz, both of whom were excellent finds and have done a great job following in Charli Henley and Dave Luce's footsteps and very much have captured the essence of my own vision of the characters. I was disappointed that I didn't get around to shooting the Mad Hatter stuff this summer and fall and in fact, had I known how much trouble I'd be running into trying to make the film I'd have put more focus on getting that stuff shot, since the Mad Hatter, as a character, is one of the film's biggest selling points. The Hatter and Hare footage you see in the teaser is footage filmed solely for the trailer and will not be used in the movie proper, at least per the plans right now, it's kind of a short film in of itself. I filmed it in early December of 2011.
At the end of the year on this blog I often do reflections of the past year and year ahead, since a year, even though an entirely human made concept and measure, is a very poetic thing to me. A good year brings goals completed and personal growth. 2006 brought both good and bad. 2007 more bad than good. 2008 was one of the worst years of my life but ended up what seemed to be redemption. 2009 was very productive year but marred by health problems and personal trouble. 2010 was more of the same which got me so frustrated I injured myself. This year hasn't been any better, though I have withstood its challenges in a more mature fashion. I really have little to say. My mission is still not complete which is very frustrating to me since I was counting on it being finished but I have taken it more like a man I think. I have realized the true scope of how immature I've been. I am not to say I'm not sometimes very angry and depressed about what's happened, I am, I sadly, am not the type of person who responds well to his plans not working out, setbacks really get me down. I am just as angry, at times, as I was back in 2008, but back then I didn't process it properly. However it has become obvious that there is nothing I can do about it except continue to press on and simply continue to adapt to the continually changing plans and eventually I'll win. I had a plan, I was going to make Alison in Wonderland last year and have a film by the end of it. I intended to see that plan through no matter what. Yet somehow it didn't happen, I don't know where to begin on what went wrong and whether it was my fault or not. At least I got good footage and the groundwork for next year has largely been laid so it will be easier next year. By all means I will likely succeed and for all that I am grateful.
And here we have an additional treat, the "clean version" of the President's speech which appears on Alison's TV during one scene that can be briefly glimpsed in the trailer. As documented, we had to shoot this about three weeks before principal photography. I worked pretty hard to make it look like real news footage and this shows off the movie's attention to detail nicely. I am the proudest of the movie's attention to detail and the amount of work I spent on the film's environments and sets, the character's wardrobes and other such details. This has been a double edged sword since obsessing about those things draws shooting out  but heavy attention to detail makes for a very impressive product and among my inspiration was Stanley Kubrick's style of making movies along with Star Wars and the Lord of the Rings movies. There's stuff I put thought into so minute that you don't even see in the finished film or glimpse only very briefly if your eyes are peeled and that, to me, really brings a movie's world "to life" and with Alison in Wonderland that is something I've striven for, something of a visionary and more transcendent quality to the movie's low budget mayhem.

I have been, as said, neglected this blog because of how busy I've been but I should get back in the habit of updating it more often. Facebook, Blogger, Tumblr, YouTube, plus my own website, etc, it's tricky and kind of time consuming to keep it all up to date at once plus direct a feature film and keep my apartment clean. I recently thoroughly updated my website, I will be giving it another slight update given the Alison teaser's now out soon. Alison in Wonderland's page in particular has been updated with more details on its production status.