Friday, July 30, 2010
Richard Olak has accomplished something most would say is impossible. Writing, directing and acting in an epic fantasy film. The Battle of Burgledorf. The film was made on a budget that probability wouldn't cover the catering cost on most Hollywood fantasy films. But watch the teaser trailer and you'd be hard pressed to not think that the budget was quite a bit more then is usually spent on a low budget film. I recently was afforded the opportunity to ask Richard some questions about his epic fantasy film and it's creation.
How did you get started in the industry?
Richard: My film industry relationship started when I was about 19. I enjoyed performing so I started doing auditions for film and TV. Throughout this 4 year venture I was also doing some camera and production assisting. I decided to go to film school and learn some basics so I could make my own films and since have found a lot more enjoyment in telling stories that way.
Can you fill in our readers on your new film The Battle of Burgledorf?
Richard: The Battle of Burgledorf is the greatest epic of OUR time. It's a really funny modern day fantasy adventure about a guy who works at a gas station who discovers a hidden war disguised as Live Action Role Playing and realizes that he is the ONE who has to put an end to the war and save the world from evil.
It's a completely independent production with a shooting budget of about 10K Canadian.
You just wrapped filming. How many days was the shoot? And how did it go?
Richard: The shoot was absolutely amazing! I've never worked so hard in my life and have never had so much fun! It was like summer camp with all my friends dressing up and hanging out and making a movie.
It was really neat to get my feet wet and just make a feature film and I definitely learned a lot. Our main shoot was about 30 days in total with another 20+ partial days for pick up shots and B-Roll. To give you a hint of production, the script was only 84 pages, but with 123 scenes at 50 locations (from coastal sand dunes to the rocky mountains), 40 characters and, 3 battle scenes. Epic.
What was the production schedule like?
Richard: A cluster bomb, but somehow it worked out really well! Over the course of 3 months we essentially shot every other weekend for 2-4 days.
Everyone was a volunteer so we tried to make the days relatively short (10 hours) and easy but when it came to some large battle days things went into 16 + hour, at least for me :). When my co-producer Rachelle Jones went back to school in the fall we were finished about 95% of the shooting, but while she was gone it took about a year to pick those shots up due to scheduling difficulties.
What sort of equipment do you use to shoot the film?
Richard: We shot it on a Canon XHA1 with some B CAM work on an HVX200. We shot this before DSLR's were taking over so the Canon was an economic choice and the footage looks amazing.
What was the genesis of the ideas behind the film?
Richard: I was walking through the woods near my house one day and was thinking "If I came across a village of dwarves right now, what would it be called?" Burgledorf. (remember Burglecut from Willow?) This was about 10 years ago right after highschool. From there I kept building on this neat story and it evolved from a highschool oriented story to a mid-twenties gas station employee based on my experience working at one. And since I started out as an actor I always wanted to play the role of this guy who goes on this crazy fantastic adventure but I knew that the chances of someone making this movie, let alone casting me in it, were nil, so I decided to take matter into my own hands. And here we are....many years later with the greatest Epic of our time.
What influence did Sam Raimi and the Evil Dead trilogy have on you?
Richard: When I was a kid my friend Matt Kirby and I would rent Army of Darkness and eat like $15 worth of penny candies. We had no idea it was a trilogy until we watched Evil Dead 2 and thought it was a ripoff of the character. We were wrong. I think the juxtaposition of a modern day hero in a fantasy world really stuck on me and after getting into how they started out it made me think practically of what I wanted to do and how I may be able to do it.
Before The Battle of Burgledorf you wrote and directed It Haunts Me. Can you tell us a little the film and what it was like making it?
Richard: It Haunts Me was the first short film I made and was my final project in my 14 week film course. It's based loosely on a poem I wrote about a man trying to find the answers as to why his girlfriend ended her own life. Its kind of dark but hopeful. The film contains no dialogue so I really mapped out the story in images which I think is why it did so well on the student film circuit. It was also a project where I essentially did everything myself, all the way to scoring it.
You had an acting role in Sleepover Nightmare. How did you come to be in the film? And what did you learned from being in it?
Richard: Sleepover nightmare was my first acting job ever. It was being shot on Vancouver Island where I lived and they were looking for relatively local actors. I auditioned and did a good job and boom! I'm in a horror film. As it was my first time in a film I learned about the long hours, how various stunts work and the importance of making sure you treat it as a job and be professional no matter how much fun it is.
I also inadvertently learned how important networking is as Guy Judge and Mike Antonakos, both of whom worked on Sleepover Nightmare, are now Associate Producers on Burgledorf.
What lessons did you learn from making a low budget epic film?
Richard: There are two things that stick out in my mind that I think would be of some value to people reading. One is to be prepared to do everything yourself. I was lucky to have a lot of good people helping me out, but it's really easy to rely on people who may not be as enthusiastic as you are about getting the project finished and you need to make sure you aren't waiting for other people to make your film happen. You may be director, but you may also have to pick up all the crews garbage after dinner as no one else is there to help you, but it NEEDS to be done.
The other thing is that it's much more important to have a film, than not have one. I say this because early on in the process I realized due to budget and crew restrictions that there was going to be no way that I could do what I first envisioned and if I kept trying to make things "perfect" that I would perhaps only make 20% of my film and run out of money, steam, and help. So I needed to be flexible with my vision which actually ended up working to my benefit because I was more open to what other talented people on my production had to say. This is especially true with a film like Burgledorf because it is so ambitious with the amount of content and locations. As an example, instead of a huge fantasy battle to open the film, we will start with some simple but evocative images to draw people in. It's not what I wanted, but I have it, it exists, and I know for certain if I had tried to shoot that fantasy sequence I would still be talking about it, still finding money for it and still sitting on an unfinished film.
There is one more lesson that I learned before Burgledorf: There is a difference between volunteering and subsidizing. After volunteering on a number of sets I realized that I was paying all my expenses, travel etc. Its not a huge deal but after a week or two you realize you are out a couple hundred bucks and it sucks, so essentially you are subsidizing that project not only with your time and labor but with your money as well. On Burgledorf I paid everyone's expenses, made sure everyone was extra fed and taken care of to the best of my ability. This did cost production some money, but it was a small price to pay as I believe those people didn't have to worry about spending their own money and will help me again on the next project. Also, a couple hundred bucks worth of Beer and a couple bottles of Vodka can go a long way into showing people how much you appreciate their help.
I think if it wasn't for these three lessons I couldn't have pulled off an epic fantasy adventure for the cost of a small, decently equipped Toyota.
What's next after The Battle of Burgledorf?
Richard: Right now we are finishing Post which will be followed by marketing and distribution and getting Burgledorf out to as many people as possible which I'm expecting to be a long process. While this is happening though I have about 10 feature scripts in draft or treatment form (another 4-6 with friends as well), and am working on alternate ways of financing these projects in spite of traditional opportunities.
I'm really excited to see where Burgledorf goes though, and to see how it's received. But the time is coming where I'll have to put down the broad sword, take off the armor and do something different. Zombie film? War drama? We will see.
Join the battle here, here and here. And check out another trailer here.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Over the weekend I stopped by the local FYE and found a few surprises. Lately there has been a whole lot of interesting things out there. But the bargain and used bins contained a few choice picks.
Featuring Sandra Bullock? Sure. Why not. Anyway it sounds fairly cheesy (fun), plus it's only 2.99 so I'll bite.
It's been ages since I sat down and watched this 1989 phenomena. When I got the VHS way back when I think I watched this sucker nearly everyday for a month.
And winging it's way to me from Amazon is this '80's cornball slasher film.
Featuring Sandra Bullock? Sure. Why not. Anyway it sounds fairly cheesy (fun), plus it's only 2.99 so I'll bite.
It's been ages since I sat down and watched this 1989 phenomena. When I got the VHS way back when I think I watched this sucker nearly everyday for a month.
Oh, this is gonna hurt.
And winging it's way to me from Amazon is this '80's cornball slasher film.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Author Alan Draven published his first novel Bitternest in 2007. It was praised by critics for it's scary and timely story and intriguing plot. He edited the horror anthology Sinister Landscapes featuring some of today's best independent horror writers. In 2009, his Jack the Ripper novella titled Vengeance Is Mine was featured in the Creeping Shadows novella collection and his short story “Breaking & Entering” has been adapted into a short film earlier this year. I recently was afforded the opportunity to ask Alan some questions about his written work and creative process.
What writers, horror or otherwise, inspired you to become a writer yourself?
Alan: There are quite a few but mainly H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Stephen King, David Morrell, Neil Gaiman, Robert Bloch, Richard Laymon, Philip K. Dick, Lewis Carroll, Jack Kerouac, Emile Nelligan, Dean Koontz and the list goes on. I grew up on comic books more than novels so writers like Frank Miller, John Byrne, Peter David, Stan Lee, and Chris Claremeont have been a great influence as well. I’d have to say though, that my biggest influence for writing horror comes from the movies. Anything from the classic Universal monsters to the Roger Corman directed Poe adaptations starring Vincent Price to Hammer’s horror films with Chris Lee and Peter Cushing to the slasher flicks of the ‘70s and ‘80s.
The Bitternest Chronicles is a collection of some of your short stories and novellas. What can you tell us about the stories it contains?
Alan: It consists of five previously published short stories and two brand new novellas. There are stories for every taste in this book. Supernatural, non-supernatural, a time traveling romance, dark suspense, horror, gothic, old school, and modern. It really sums up my diversified tastes in terms of what I like reading and writing. Every story takes place in Bitternest, needless to say, and I think they’ll give first-time readers a pretty good idea of the kind of place it is, who lives there, and what goes on in that city.
Which of one of your stories or novels would you recommend for someone that wanted start reading your work?
Alan: I’d say my first novel, Bitternest, is a good place to start as it establishes a lot of important locations and characters who have appeared and will surface again in other stories from time to time. It’s also where everything began. But The Bitternest Chronicles is also a good place to start as it paints a good picture of what my world is like and the kind of fiction I like writing.
The city of Bitternest in Louisiana attracts a lot of bizarre activity and it's the setting for many of your stories. What are some of the challenges you face in creating and maintaining a fictional city such as Bitternest?
Alan: I have to take notes for continuity. I’ve sort of established two timelines at this point and it can get a little tricky sometimes. What happens and when it happens and to whom it happens to. There’s something really big brewing and it will have a major impact on everything in this city and affect a lot of its characters. I have to keep track of the status of every character and who lives and who dies and who gets to come back and who doesn’t. It’s literally like writing a history book; this city has an ever growing history and I have to take everything that has happened in the past into consideration before making decisions about the future of everything whether it is locations, myths or characters.
Your Jack the Ripper novella titled Vengeance Is Mine was featured in the Creeping Shadows novella collection. What made you want to take on the legend of Jack the Ripper?
Alan: I find it is one of the most fascinating topics from history. Jack the Ripper has been elevated to an almost myth-like status over the years to the point where he’s become practically inhuman. He was also one of the most ruthless monsters that ever walked the face of the earth. And he was certainly one of the very first serial killers and one of the cases that contributed to giving birth to profiling and crime scene investigation.
What can you tell us about your short story “Breaking & Entering” and how the short film adaptation of it came about?
Alan: “Breaking & Entering” is a cautionary tale about a guy who’s basically a voyeur and who enters people’s homes for kicks, not to steal anything. Something happens to him at one point and it will change his life forever. The project for the short film began at the book launch for the Sinister Landscapes anthology back in the summer of 2008. A local film director/actor was attending. “Breaking & Entering” was amongst the stories I read that night. At the end of my reading, he said, “That would make a wicked short film!” I thought so too. We spent about a year and a half without ever having a chance to discuss it and then this spring, we got in touch and everything started happening really fast. We had the same vision for the kind of film we wanted to make. I wrote the screenplay and a month later, shooting began. The film has been submitted to some festivals and we will continue to submit it until it premieres somewhere on a big screen. A DVD release will follow sometime in the future.
Where do you start with a story? Writing down some ideas and characters or with an outline?
Alan: I always have a beginning, a hook, and I try to have an ending before I start writing as it saves me a lot of grief. I always jot down characteristics and a brief history of every major character in the story. I then proceed to write an outline for six or seven chapters then I start writing. When I’m done writing those chapters, I go back to adjust my outline and I plan my next six or seven chapters, and so on and so forth. I’d never be able to write a full outline for an entire novel in one shot because a lot of unexpected things happen along the way; characters take a life of their own, events change the course of things, and there’s always room for surprises this way. It keeps a story fresh and unpredictable.
How many drafts do you write before you feel what you've written is done?
Alan: I go through three drafts then I send it to an editor. Afterwards, when I get the manuscript back, I go over it one more time and then I proofread it; so five drafts in all before I feel it is fit to print.
Can you tell us a little about what you working on next?
Alan: I was working on a revenge thriller about a twin who sets out to avenge her sister who’s been brutally raped and murdered on her wedding day. At one point in the story, there is a 180 degree turn and the hunter becomes the hunted. But now I’ve decided to go back to a sci-fi thriller I began about a year and half ago. It’s a story set in the future and has to do with memories and deception; very much Philip K. Dick inspired, but all me in terms of style and voice.
And one last thing...any advice for new/unpublished writers?
Alan: It’s a lonely road to the top, but keep at it no matter what. I felt like throwing in the towel countless times but at this point I can’t; I’m a writer and it is what defines me. So if you consider yourself a writer, don’t let anyone discourage you, don’t let the statistics damper your spirits; just write what you are passionate about. Passion comes through in a writer’s writings. Submit your stuff anywhere you can; it doesn’t matter if it’s a tiny magazine at first; being published in any way, shape or form will get you feedback from strangers and that as a writer, is priceless and a great motivator to keep going.
Vist him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/alan.draven and on MySpace at www.myspace.com/alandraven or at his publisher’s website at http://pixiedustpress.weebly.com
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Bitternest: A foggy city in the heart of Louisiana where unnatural things happen on a daily basis. The Bitternest Chronicles collects five previously published short stories and two brand new novellas of dark suspense set in the eerie city of Bitternest.
Alan Draven lives in Montreal, Canada with his Greyhound. His stories have been published in many magazines, e-zines, and anthologies. His short story “Breaking & Entering” has been adapted into a short film earlier this year. His first novel, Bitternest, was published in 2007. In 2008, he edited the gothic anthology Sinister Landscapes featuring the best of today's independent horror writers. In 2009, his Jack the Ripper novella titled Vengeance Is Mine was featured in the Creeping Shadowsnovella collection alongside two other authors.
Check out Alan Draven's Facebook and his publisher here.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Doug Sakmann is a true Renaissance man in the horror industry. From directing to producing to special effects, Doug has done it all! Now with his production company, Backseat Conceptions, Doug is bringing us a myriad of ghoulish entertainment!
Hey Doug, first I’d just like to say thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Let’s get started! How did you get started in the industry?
Doug: I started in the industry as an actor, having always wanted to act and be in front of the camera. When I got involved with Troma in 1999, while I got to be in front of the camera, there was also a lot more going on behind the camera that I could get involved with. I had worked on all these bigger productions like ‘Strangers With Candy’ and the ‘Upright Citizens Brigade’ as an actor. I did ‘Oz’ and ‘The Yards’ with Mark Wahlberg as an extra. But as I worked on more productions I wanted to get more involved with what’s going on. As an actor you do a lot of sitting in the holding area and wait. But with Troma, if you’re sitting on the set as an actor, you’ll hear “Move that light!”, and if you show the initiative, you’ll get more involved. When I was on the bigger productions, I’d try to get more involved and get shot down by the Union guys. With Troma it would be “You can move that light? Move that light!”, “Get that fake blood and bring it over here!” So I learned a lot from Troma and more specifically working with Lloyd Kaufman. He taught me a lot of the ins and outs of the business in general.
So what influenced you to focus on becoming a director of genre material?
Doug: Troma was a huge influence on me and my career in general. Troma films, Friday the 13th and Hellraiser, were all big influences. It came down to my parents were really over protective, so when a horror film like Halloween came on TV, totally edited for television, everything cut out, my parents would still not let me watch it. I didn’t even know there was other stuff out there. I would hang out with my friends, and my friend’s parents were more liberal and they would let us watch horror movies, so that’s really how I got into the whole genre. So I wanted to seek this stuff out. I’d go over to my friend’s house and watch the entire Faces of Death series, every VHS horror movie, pretty much every weird movie you could find at these little, eccentric mom and pop video stores. You’d go to the horror section and just watch every single movie that’s there, and that’s what we did. Then we made our own little cheesy horror movies.
Has the horror film community embraced your work?
As a filmmaker working in a variety of exploitation genres, you often mix the themes of sex and death together. How did you decide to put an emphasis on the blending of these themes?
Doug: Well, they’ve always kind of been together in a sense. Every good horror movie has elements of sex in it, and certainly most successful horror movies has sex in it in one way or another. Being largely influenced by old school slasher and splatter flicks it kind of seemed natural for me to want to blend sex and death. And it shows in my work.
One of the only real compromises in my career I had to make in terms of the blend of sex and death was In the Warped Tour slasher movie, ‘Punk Rock Holocaust’ that I directed. There were originally sex scenes written in to it but we ended up cutting them out. Punk Rock Holocaust started not so much as a music themed movie with horror elements, but more as a traditional horror movie with sex and death. When we started showing the concepts to the Warped Tour and founder Kevin Lyman, they were ok with the violence, but the sex would have to be written out. I grew up with the Warped Tour and it was an honor to work with them so I was happy to make the compromise. If you’ve seen the movie, the sex basically got replaced with musical performances. But I think I made up for the compromise with some of my other more over the top work.
Do you feel that’s because there target audience skews a bit younger due to the emo scene and it’s popularity with the Hot Topic crowd?
Doug: Well to appeal to all ages and keep sponsors and parents happy they couldn’t have that sexual content. I understand it. It’s business. The movie that came out of it certainly pokes fun at Warped’s commercialism mixed with the punk rock ethic but it’s in good fun. People have to understand, the Warped Tour started as a punk rock tour and maintains the ethics and to a certain extent the music but it’s going on 15 years now and is much bigger than that. You need to have a certain amount of commercial involvement to maintain one of the biggest rock tours in the world. I don’t consider it selling out; it’s survival of the fittest. And FYI, I don’t get paid to plug the Warped Tour, I just truly admire and respect what it is and stands for.
Have you had any direct feedback from directors like Stuart Gordon, whose work you reference in your own?
Doug: Actually, I met Stuart Gordon at the Chiller Convention in NJ. They were doing a photo shoot with Stuart and we were invited over because he’d heard of Re-Penetrator. I was drunk, and he was really drunk, and also John Landis was with him! They’d both heard of Re-Penetrator, and they were talking to me about it, and I was like “This is awesome!” I signed autographs for them! [Gordon] said he really appreciated [Re-Penetrator] it and knew he had made it as a director because a movie of his was turned into a porno! On the flip side of that, I also met Jeffrey Combs, and while we didn’t talk about Re-Penetrator, I heard he was disgusted by the idea of it!
What would you say is your favorite and least favorite filmmaking discipline?
Doug: Special effects is my favorite, because I can get my hands “bloody”, especially when it’s not my own production. Then I don’t have to worry about the logistics of other elements, I just have to just get in there and kill things and make them bloody. Also I like directing, just getting your vision out there and being in total control. Acting, I only do acting when I have to. I started out in the industry acting…and of course if someone wants me to do it, I’m open to the idea but at this point I think I’m better off behind the camera. In general, I just love the whole process of creating unusual and fun images!
Tell us all about your recent involvement with the New York Zombie Crawl?
Doug: The NYC Zombie Crawl is something we started in 2007, and it came from working in the horror biz for over ten years, working on various zombie projects and just a general love of all things undead. We had worked with the Philly Zombie Crawl and noticed there was nothing going on like that in New York. There are a few different zombie events, but nothing organized on a regular basis. I’m from New York (but have lived in Philly for the last eight years)so I figured it would be a good chance to get back into the mix in New York, and connect with like- minded individuals, and that’s kind of how it started. We did the first one in May 2007 in Manhattan and it’s doubled in size every single event since. We do a main event in springtime in Brooklyn (usually the last Sunday of the month). We just did the spring one on May 30th and had about 500 zombies, and we have more events on the way (check out the new website at http://www.nyczombiecrawl.com for full details). In October we’ll do one the last Sunday before Halloween. Spring and Fall seem to be the seasons for zombies, we’ve already done three or four zombie events this season and we’re not even up to our main event yet! Last October, we had at least one zombie event every single weekend. We’ll provide zombie makeup for the masses and then take the onslaught to the streets. I have an awesome team of SPFX effects artists that I’ve worked with over the years who all come and help out. If anything, it gives us an excuse to practice our make-up skills. At this point, I’ve developed a network of twenty five to thirty make-up artists that will not only help out with the Zombie Crawl but we’ll hire when we can to work with us on set as well.
Do you find it challenging dealing with large crowds in a situation like the Zombie Crawl?
Doug: We’ve been involved with live events, stage shows and concerts for years so we do have a lot of experience in this field. When we started the NYC Zombie Crawl we had worked with the Philly Zombie Crawl already so we knew what went into this type of event and it kind of just worked itself out. It’s not as hard as you may think. Part of it is because we have experience in this sort of thing already, but we’ve never really had any problems at all.
Another project of yours that will be of interest to zombie fans is Play Dead. What can you tell us about it?
Doug: Well, Play Dead is another project that’s come from the NYC Zombie Crawl. We were contacted by Simon and Schuster, the book publishing company. They just released a book, called Play Dead by Ryan Brown (http://books.simonandschuster.com/Play-Dead/Ryan-Brown/9781439171301), and they contacted us to create a viral marketing campaign for the project. We decided to come up with a movie trailer and shoot some select scenes to look as though the project is a movie. We shot twelve scenes containing the key elements of the book. We basically took the book and transcribed a lot of it into scripts. The author let us take what he wrote and have full creative control, so we were able to rewrite the things we needed, and cut things out and add things to it. We definitely stayed true to the novel as much as possible, but there were certain things we weren’t able to do because of budgetary reasons. But right now online you can see a full trailer of what looks like a feature movie called Play Dead. We also have videos on the website at www.playdeadmovie.com with auditions, rehearsals, behind the scenes, special effects, things like that.
Did you get to read the full novel before you started, or were you just given excerpts to work from?
Doug: Oh yeah, I read the full book before I started, they sent me an advanced copy. This whole process happened pretty quickly. They contacted us about four weeks prior to the book's release, and asked us to do some promotions through the NYC Zombie Crawl. Then they saw that we had a production company (Backseat Conceptions), and that I have experience directing horror movies, and they said “Can you create little viral videos for this?”, and I just kind of ran with it. I took it to its fullest extent possible. The author actually came to the set with his son! I’ve had constant conversations with him about the tone of the thing, and I’m actually rewriting some scenes for a PG type trailer for Barnes and Noble.com and those types of websites. There’s also going to be a red band trailer with more violence and cursing and stuff like that, that will premiere at the NYC Zombie Crawl event on May 30th along with select full scenes from the trailer.
On the subject of dead things, what are your Post Mortem Pin-ups?
Doug: Post Mortem Pin-ups is something I’ve been slowly developing since 2001. The cameras I had then aren’t as advanced as the cameras I have now, so some of the photos probably won’t see the light of day, but the concept has been around since 2001. It’s basically femme fatales, different starlets, girls I know that I find attractive, that I also find make attractive corpses. It’s a hobby of mine, I have prints for sale on the website and I’m working towards getting a calendar and a book together. I started doing it more seriously and came up with the website (http://www.postmortempinups.com/) in 2007, around the same time I started doing the NYC Zombie Crawl. We've got nine deceased models so far including Joanna Angel, Gia Paloma, Melodie Gore, Riley Mason, Morgan Mae, Page Morgan, Draven Star, Chapel Waste and Stacia Eve Paul with more victims on the way!
You mentioned your production company, Backseat Conceptions. Tell us a bit more about the company.
Doug: Backseat Conceptions is our main production company, founded by myself and two other producers and dear friends of mine that I’ve known for over ten years, Nick Esposito and Zafer Ulkucu. We started in 2002, and it came out of us working for other production companies, and them owning what we were producing for them. We decided to take our skills and make our own stuff.
We are three producers and a network of fifteen to twenty different professionals that do all different kinds of production work. We basically have our own crew that we use for our projects and hire out to other productions. It’s a way for us to get together and create something that we have complete creative control of. If you go to the Backseat Conceptions website (http://backseatconceptions.com/09/index.php), you can see what we are working on right now. Last summer we did two features, and this year we’ve done at least fifteen music videos, either producing or directing them ourselves, or working in different aspects of production. In the last month we've been doing a lot of Reality TV and in August we'll be producing another horror-thriller with my friend, director Adam Ahlbrandt (Lionsgate's 'Sight' and the upcoming 'The Burnt House') for which I'll also be providing SPFX.
Are there unique challenges in directing music videos in comparison to feature films?
Doug: The biggest challenge we've had in terms of music videos so far was my pet project, The A.K.A.s music video “Get It Together” (http://www.vimeo.com/9896536), which we shot in one day. It was a very long day of shooting, but between post production work on that, and the other projects we had going on it took about ten months to get it all together! That video was all green screen compositing and after effects, each frame was between 10-15 individual shots composited together. Production can go many different ways depending on the vision of the band. It’s tough to say what the biggest challenge is because it changes per video. We produced two music videos that Bam Margera directed (for CKY and 69 EYES respectively), both pretty technical, that we handled all the after effects and compositing for. We were under much quicker deadline for those projects. We had about ten people working on five computers for two weeks non-stop!
That’s an insane number of projects! Do you have anything else you are working on?
Doug: A lot of zombie stuff lately....I recently did a book signing for the Zombie Combat Manual from Penguin Putnam, they hired us to do zombies for them at the book signing. We just had the NYC Zombie Crawl on May 30th, and a show at the Knitting Factory, and that tied in to promotion for Play Dead. We're getting ready to zombify the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4th, one of the competitors, Tim "Gravy" Brown is competing as a zombie so we're all going out to show support.
As I mentioned, I am gearing up for SPFX and co-producing Adam Ahlbrandt's new movie 'The Cemetary' in August, and the last movie I did with him, 'The Burnt House' comes out on DVD July 6th and Blu-Ray July 27th. You can see the trailer and get more info at the diustributor's website at www.invinciblepictures.com.
Outside of production, we also do a lot of live events...we're setting up a tour with Strip for Pain: America's Most Dangerous Gameshow which is a show we created for Burning Angel and I co-host it with Joanna Angel...the name is pretty self explanatory. We're doing some shows in Chicago July 15-18th and then going out to different markets after that, you can find out much more at www.stripforpain.com
Do you have a final message for our readers?
Doug: Journey said it best...'Don't Stop Believin'...anything you want to do, if you put your mind to it and believe you can, it will happen. It may take years and a lot of hard work and you may be broke through it all but the light will eventually come at the end of the tunnel. Just stay focused.
Also, stay up to date on all my various projects at my personal website at www.iamanevilcarrot.com!