The feature length documentary VHS Massacre has been officially handed off to musician and audio technician Timothy Kulig. He is going to create some great music for the doc and really tie the whole film together. Beyond some minor color correction, grain reduction and possible some minor B-role adjustments the picture is for the most part locked. The running time is just under 78 minutes. I’m proud of what we’ve done. It will probably be a good six months before the film is completely finished but we are making progress.
Recently I stared taking two classes at the same time through CUNY to finish off another degree. It is kicking my ass, but I’m not giving up. I’m stubborn like that. I’m loosing a bit of sleep over it. I can direct a feature film in 9 days for under 6 grand and get it distributed but make me take two college level classes at the same time and that’s when I’m truly challenged. Wish me luck for I shall need it. I have a new project in the works involving a film anthology. It would be a feature film involving three short films, think Creep Show or Tales from the Crypt. It’s gonna be great! More details down the road!
I have an 84 minute cut of the feature length documentary VHS Massacre: Cult films and the rise and fall of physical media. It’s is a film that I directed with Ken Powell of New York Cine Radio. Last month I had a 95 minute version. It has temp score and no sound design but I think I’m on the right track. After taking feed back from various filmmakers, friends and film critics perhaps about a dozen people I feel I had a reasonable idea what needed to be changed. I added in a scene in and cut out about 11 minutes off the running time. So the film is I hope, “getting there”. When I showed pieces of it to some of my student they seemed to be fascinated, it is my hope that, that continues to be the case. I feel good about it in the sense that however the doc is perceived, it is what it is. What I mean is that the doc is about a cult movie podcast that explores the rise an fall of physical media. We are by no means at all the first VHS doc, there are probably half a dozen that I know about.
I didn’t watch them intentionally because I felt that if I did, that I would probably just give up making mine and fall into a depression. From what I understand many of those doc feature mostly on VHS where as we go through the history of Home Movies from Super 8 to streaming. So it’s my hope that this will be something fresh to offer up to the public. It has been a challenging but fulfilling process to make this doc, if the response is even halfway decent I can see trying to make another one down the line. Below is a list of folks featured in the documentary. We have all stars from cult films such as Toxic Avenger,The Room,Birdemic, Troll2,Bikini Bloodbath,Samurai Cop and the show Monster Vision. Hopefully it will be some good fun to watch. My greatest hope is that the film will go big and be seen everywhere but at the very least in doing a feature length documentary (unlike the other 8 narrative films I’ve directed) I hope that it brings me to a different place in my career. I was very thankful to win this year (with co-director Jon Gorman) at the 47th annual Houston International Film Festival for my last feature film Mark of the Beast. It was the first time we directed a dramatic horror film so trying something new can be a good thing. Only time will tell with The VHS Massacre.
Can you make an experience on youtube feel like a video game? I don’t know but I did try an experiment. Using several annotations and links to other videos I tried to create a video game within Youtube it’s self. I put the backgrounds and characters together in Photoshop and used Premiere and After Effects to make the “animations” if you want t call them that. This may have been done before I’m not sure. I only know of the “You are in a dark room video” which is awesome but it does make me wonder if someone tries hard enough, could they make a game just using youtube? No programming, no computer languages, no flash? Well I’m not sure but this was fun to try in any case. Navigate King Arthur through the dangerous pathways to get to the Red Knight! Make sure your annotation are turned on or the game won’t work. Mobile users may have to use a desktop version on your browser. Enjoy.
It has been very challenging at my job the last few months. I used to like that fact that I didn’t take too much home with me, mental baggage I mean. I could leave work and not think about it but it’s wearing on me lately very heavy. In any case I’m able to take a few days off and in that time I’ll be shooting some close-ups of some VHS tapes that my friend and fellow artist Bruce Brooks gave to me to have more B-role for my documentary VHS Massacre that I’m working on with Ken Powell and Dave Leute. Cool titles like Satan’s Cheerleaders and Vampire Hookers. I always knew the doc would be a heavy commitment. Shooting the doc was simple, easy, it’s the editing that has taken up the most time. I just have to push through and finish this thing. Eh, New York has been getting to me lately, my rent keeps going up, work has been difficult and there is never quite enough money. Some days I wake up and wonder what the hell I’m doing here in NYC but then I visit CT (where I’m from) and it’s fun for a day or two but pretty much after that I want to get back to New York. The podcast New York Cine Radio is going strong with over 40,000 listens a month.
Some days I just don’t feel like I’m making progress. I watched Rocky I-V over the last week or so and I hope one day I’ll get some kind of great opportunity like Rocky did in the first film when he got the chance to fight Apollo. I’ve never really believed in luck and I don’t feel like I’ve had an abundance of it per say however lately as I look at things, some kind of huge thing would have to happen for me get to the success that I dream of and I’m not getting any younger. My biggest fear is that I’ll be like Richard Dreyfuss in Mr. Holland Opus. I’ve always tried to work hard and push through and finish things. VHS Massacre is my 9th feature film. I’ll try my best to make some magic happen with it. I don’t know why I’m so cynical, almost every song I hear I dislike, almost every TV show or commercial wears on me. Facebook has become this thing that I do as a ritual without out any joy in it. I heard a tune by a band called The Information and I was amazed that I actually felt something emotionally when I heard the song “I Lose Control” and then I realized the song was 9 years old and I honestly wondered if a song that has come out in the last ten years has really effected my life. Maybe the time off will clear my mind. Maybe that should be my mission this week, to find new music that I actually connect with. Grand National is one the only bands I’m not sick of but lately I’m even getting tired of them. But really in general things are good. I just really felt the need to write something today even though I don’t have any real news. Onward and upward. Thanks for listening to my rants.
So I just now I plunked the last scene into what is a completed rough-cut of the Documentary VHS Massacre. I need to add a lot of B-role and some movie clips but the film is there at a running time of 98 minutes without credits. My hope is to map out the doc, scene by scene and see what can be boiled down, chopped off or reduced in order to get it to 90 minutes and to have a clearer story. I already have a feeling I’m going to be combining some scenes as well. In general I think the doc will be very much of interest to lovers of cult films. We have folks from Troll 2, The Room, Birdemic, Toxic Avenger, Samurai Cop, Monstervision, Galactic Gigolo, Bikini Bloodbath and many others. There is so much work to do to bring a film from rough-cut to a “fine cut” but I think it’s safe to say this should be a fun watch. It will probably be about 6 months before I have a fine cut but I’m happy in the sense that I believe the doc is fun to watch, relevant and has a good story to tell. Below is a list of folks featured in the doc. Thanks to those involved!
Joe Bob Briggs (Monster Vision)
Greg Sestero (The Room)
Deborah Reed (Troll2)
Mark Frazer (Samurai Cop)
Alan Bagh and Whitney Moore (Birdemic)
Lloyd Kaufman (Film Legend)
Nick Prueher (Found Footage Film Festival) Debbie Rochon (Film Legend) James Nguyen (Director of Birdemic) Juliette Danielle (Lisa from The Room) Ron Bonk (Owner of SRS Video) Carmine Capobiano (Psychos in Love, Galactic Gigolo) Jason West (Vultra entertainment) Phil Hall (Writer/Film Critic) Jon Gorman (director of Bikini Bloodbath 1-3) Josh Schafer (VHS Lunchmeat Magazine) Dr. James Richardson (New Media Technology Expert) Bruce Seymour (Owner of the Fun Stuff Video Store Chain) Ken Powell (filmmaker) Thomas Edward Seymour (Filmmaker) Greg Kissner (Filmmaker) Aaron Syler (Filmmaker) Dave Leute (Owner of Mamas Place studio, producer of New York Cine Radio) Chris Ferry (Credits include Story Pirates on Sirius Radio and Salvage a selection at Sundance FF)
My film Rudyard Kipling’s Mark of the Beast will screen at the Massachusetts Tattoo and Art Festival in Sturbridge, MA. from March 28th-30th. Details on exact time and date to be announced! Looks like a pretty great event Check it out!