And we’re not talking “Chiller” Fest.
We spent last weekend in a spooky church basement shooting scenes of terror and mayhem, mixed in with blood and also nurnies and charcoal powder–in other words, it was a horror fan’s dream. This was days five and six of shooting for our new feature film Demon Nun.
Okay, so it’s not really “new,” and it’s not my body, though as an aside, it would be cool if we could have alternate bodies/”sleeves” to port into like on Altered Carbon. (Who would you port into? Me, anyone awesome like Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Florence Welch, Freddy Mercury.) But the body in question–the one shown below–is new to the blog and to the film it’s being used in: Demon Nun, our new horror film!
I call him Gory George, though if it was a girl I’d call it Greta Gangrene or something. I don’t know what they called him in his previous life. Maybe I should get his dental records checked out?
He’s got a few friends moldering around in the apartment somewhere. Also, my
familiar, um, cat Tabitha likes him, as you can see from the pictures. They hit it off right away.
I can’t believe all the crap I fit into this place and neither can my wife. I dunno how she can sleep at night with George and his friends in here. Sometimes you can hear them whispering (or playing cards).
Anyway, he will make his second film premiere in Demon Nun this weekend! Can’t wait to shoot the bastard. I had to open the lens way up just to get a detailed shot of him. He tends to soak up the light. (Also souls, but I digress!)
Above is an encapsulated silicone prosthetic we made of a melting, burning face. Amazing how squishy it is with the addition of Smooth-On’s “Slacker” product. It’s extremely flexible. Slacker is the way to go for facial prosthetics if you ask me.
Below are some clay sculpts of gross pustules, blisters and sores we are working on for another scene with a drug addict. Can’t wait to cast these in silicone, paint ’em, add syringes and glue ’em to our actor Matthew’s arms…
On March 24th, we had the pleasure of shooting in a lovely little church in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn. If you ever need a church location for a photo or video shoot, this is definitely a place you will want to check out. Call Andrew Samaha for more info at 917-796-0574.
You can see more pictures of St. Philips here.
So I have a dolly for my camera. It’s one of those “Glide Gear” systems they sell on ebay. It’s pretty nice for the relatively inexpensive price. The only problem is, I don’t have any track to go with it.
They have a track system on ebay as well, but I didn’t feel like dropping the $150+ for it. So I went down to the Home Depo and bought a 2 X 4 and some plastic pipe (one inch in diameter). Oh, some screws too. Cost me about $18 bucks. I went with one inch because it lifts the glide wheels off the ground a little more, in case you’re shooting somewhere outside and there’s gravel around that could obstruct the wheels.
Unfortunately, I had to do the construction in my tiny NYC apartment, not much room to maneuver around, esp. with curious cats like Madame Sylvia here…,
I had to cut down the pipe to around five feet because I don’t think it would fit in the company SUV if it was much longer. I would’ve liked it longer to provide for more tracking shot time, but at least we got this muich. Maybe I can devise some kind of interlocking pipe system to make it longer…! Mwahahaha! Oh and I only stripped one screw!
It’s crucial to get as much camera movement into your project as you can and not just the handheld stuff. (I’ve had distributors tell me that overseas audiences don’t like the handheld stuff that much.) Getting smooth camera motion into your film is key to making it look professional. Also, it’ll set your film apart from all the other low-budget crap a distributor has to weed through. That and using a boom mic instead of a camera mic! Ditch the camera mic you guys/gals/gender fluid types/whomever is reading this. (Ol’ Max is open to everyone!)
Now, the only thing is, if I want to use this thing for a scene where two people are talking as they walk down the street, I’m gonna have to move it like twenty times to cover the whole scene.
So, if you see some strange guy moving his homemade dolly track down the sidewalk, again and again, don’t make fun of him, he’s just trying to save a few bucks!
We’re just in the beginning phase of shooting our new picture, codenamed “Demon Nun!’
We had a shoot at St. Phillips Episcopal Church in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn last week and it was glorious! We actually made our day! Plus we got to work with a bunch of great extras and our wonderful crew, without whom we’d probably still be out there shooting. (Much thanks Tuesday, Ash, Paul and of course Drew!) Everyone was stupendously talented!
Here’s some shots. We’re doing 4K on the Canon 5D Mark IV and I have to say, I love this camera! Most of these shots are from some protest scenes we shot in front of the church. You can also see one of the church’s beautiful stained glass windows in one of the shots….
Everybody had a blast. Thanks to all for making it a great time!
Christina Prostano as our news reporter…
Matthew Edell is James
April Love is Sarah…
Tuesday Shirk and Maria de Jesus Castellon on set
Rebekah and Allison in action…
Rachel with Rebekah and Ash…
Nick and Rebekah acting…
Nick and Ken acting…
Window at St. Phillips…
All our wonderful extras at the “protest.’ (At least they weren’t protesting the craft services table!)
Gary as Dean
Alla as Alice…
Allegra playing Diane…
Please, if you haven’t already, check out the site. You can also sign up in order to stay informed about where to view the film when we finally navigate the crazy world of film distribution and hopefully don’t get taken for all we own in the process of said navigation! (Have I said too much?) Thanks ahead of time for signing up!!!
At any rate, I think we’ll share with you while we make this journey, for your edification and our own. To whit: for those who want to learn how to get their film distributed, read on…
The first thing we did was set up the official web site so that potential distributors would have a location they could check out to learn a little about the film, have the opportunity to see the trailer and learn how to contact our company so they could see a screener of the film. A screener is basically a copy of the film that is set up with some type of “copyright protection” on it so that they can watch it and see if they’d be interested in (hopefully) purchasing the film, or (probably) representing it to actual distributors in the U.S. and territories outside the U.S. The copyright protection is basically the words “Property of Strangewerks Films” popping up on the screen every few minutes, so that if some lunkhead in Bangladesh manages to somehow download the film (it’s password protected) he’ll have the annoying words mucking it up. Used to be, you would send actual DVDS out all over the world to try and get people to look at it. Thank God I don’t have to do that anymore, was that a pain!
After this was done, I began the very long process of researching companies on the web to see who might be my target audience–companies that might like to distribute indie horror films–and who in that company, usually someone in “acquisitions”, would be my intended contact person.
You can do a search on “horror films,” terms like that and it may lead you to a blog where somebody has posted a list of horror film distributors. This has proved fruitful. So has iMDB Pro. It’s a great tool for getting email addresses and contact people. However, many times it’s not up to date. Don’t be afraid to extrapolate an address, based on the email info on iMDB. Try adding “acquisitions” @blah blah company.com–sometimes it will work.
I think it’s just a matter of emailing as many of these companies as you possibly can. Don’t be afraid to hit them all really. You never know who has a subdivision that does lower profile films. (They might not want to post them on iMDB Pro, only their big studio pictures–the cowards!)
You’ll definitely get acquisitions people contacting you for the link to your screener. I’ve received quite a number of requests so far and I’ll let you know how it goes. Later!