“Fateful Findings is the best film of the year….and more epic than Noah!” – New York Cine Radio
So some interesting things have happened in the last few weeks. With Ellen Muth’s big success on the new show Hannibal (NBC network) it’s really boosted the popularity of my film Mark of the Beast that was put out in 2012 and stars Ellen Muth among others like Debbie Rochon and Dick boland. If you know anything about the IMDBpro ratings systems it allows you to see if your film has increased in popularity at least on that website. It’s good news, we’re nearly sold out of our first run of DVD’s and although the streaming deals for that film have so far been in foreign territories, it should be hitting Amazon on Demand at some point. Mark of the Beast did fairly well in the festival circuit. Some of the highlights were getting nominated as best director along with my co-director Jon Gorman at Maverick Movie Awards, Leigh Radziwon picked up a win for Best Makeup there as well. We screened at the New England Undergound FF, Syracuse Horror FF, NY New Filmmakers, Bare Bones International and a few others but I wasn’t quite content so I entered Worldfest Houston which is the oldest film festival in the U.S. In the next few weeks I’ll find out if MOTB made the cut.
I’m still editing my new feature length documentary that I’m teaming up with Ken Powell of New York Cine Radio to do. It’s running about 90 minutes with about 90 percent of the footage in place. It’s going to need some major tweaking. This is my 9th feature film but it is my first feature length documentary so I just need to make sure that it is not boring of all things. We were six months into shooting the documentary when the first of a slew of VHS documentaries came out but I think our doc VHS Massacre definitely has something to offer. It’s more about the decline of physical media and seen through cult films. I’m hoping it will do well. It’s been a rough year so far, works been tough, winter won’t seem to throwing in the towel and in some ways I feel like I might be stagnating a bit but recently I’ve gone back to college to finish off another degree at CUNY. It will take forever but I think it’s just something I need to do for myself.
The New York Cine Radio Show is going strong, we’re still getting about 11,000 feed hits a months and The New York Cine Drive-in (our new YouTube channel) is starting to pick up pace. We hit a snag recently. I posted It’s a Wonderful Life on our channel, a film that most people have seen specifically because it is in the public domain or least it had been for about 30 years. A few years back Paramount through their disgusting copyright trolls have some how pulled it back out of public domain. So a film that belonged to the public and only got popular because of it’s public domain status is now somehow not public domain. There is no way I can really fight back against this. So we now have a strike on our YouTube account which makes things a bit more difficult to maintain. We can’t use Google Hangouts for six months, so it affects the live element of our show. Over the past few years we’ve had some amazing guests, from Joe Bob Briggs to Greg Sestero and Juliette Danielle (The Room), to Lloyd Kaufman and Debbie Rochon of Troma fame. The progress on the podcast has been steady but it never really seems fast enough for my taste. We recently started a little spin off podcast called Bit Rot Radio in which and review Google Play and Droid Market games on the Ouya game system (which I really like actually) We’ve also now offered the podcast in both Radio and Video formats. So Tuesday on iTunes you’ll see New York Cine Radio episode #111 and then on Friday you’ll see New York Cine Video episode #111. It’s the same thing with Bit Rot Radio/Video. This week on the show we checked out some of the random VHS tapes that we found around the city, one of my favorites was a religious dieting video and the “classic” Munchie Strikes Back. See the show here, hear the show here or check it out at any of the other places below.
To all of my fellow podcasters out there. If we don’t get behind this thing, we all might be in trouble. A group of lawyers out of Texas are buying up old patents and trying to force podcasters into paying for the use of technology. Listen to Adam Carolla here! https://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/patenttroll
I haven’t blogged in a little while. I’ve been content to just post new episodes of the New York Cine Radio show. A few interesting things have happened. Rudyard Kipling’s Mark of the Beast, a film that I directed with Jon Gorman continues to sell well in the U.S and Canada with less than two hundred DVD’s in it’s first run. I was speaking with Jon the other day and he had some interesting news. Beast was sold to the South Korean territory and in result it is streaming throughout the country. My first response was “well that’s better than North Korea”. In all seriousness, one of my favorite films Castaway on the Moon is South Korean and if you looks at films like Old Boy or the trailer for Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter…and Spring, you can see that some of the best films in the world come out of South Korea. I know several filmmakers and I deal with a lot of personalities in my life. I know many directors who really wouldn’t care that they sold their film to a territory but I was never in this for the money so if someone somewhere in the film industry in South Korea likes Mark of the Beast enough acquire it for streaming I will take it as a huge compliment that my work is making an impact somewhere. So I say thank you to the powers that be.
For those of you who don’t know me. I’ve been making feature films since I was 20 years old. I’m now 37, I still feel 20 but just fatter. I’ve been entering film festivals since the beginning and I’ve screened in some large ones but there have been many top tier festivals that have eluded me. I’ve never gotten into Toronto, Sundance, Slam Dance, Raindance, Cannes, Tribecca, New York Horror and many others, though I have gotten into California Indie Fest, New York International, Boston Underground, Hoboken Intentional, New England Underground and and a dozen or so others. I’ve even collected about 15 wins for my films last time I counted. On a side note there is no way to know how much money I poured into festival entree fees over the years but it’s several thousands for sure. So why am I telling you all of this? Well the weirdest thing happened. The Raindance film festival (one of Europe’s largest Independent film festival) made a list of horrors films to watch on Christmas a few months back and at the end of the list they mention Bikini Bloodbath Christmas, a B-movie horror-comedy feature I directed with Jon Gorman five years ago. I think most people would brush that off as a minor thing to be mentioned in passing, to be at the end of a top 12 list. It’s a strange thing, for the most part in my career I’ve struggled to be respected or taken seriously and I’ve entered so many top film festivals to no avail (with films like Everything Moves Alone, Land of College Prophets, London Betty, Rudyard Kipling’s Mark of the Beast). So when a five year old wacky horror flick I did (the third in the series mind you) manages to not only get coverage but a recommendation by The Raindance Film Festival, I have to scratch my head. I worked with Jon to make the BBB film series because we both grew up watching Troma films and B-movies and we love the genre. So we made them because we wanted to and the last thing we expected was to be respected in regard to these films.
So what have I learned from all of this? Is there a larger lesson in all of this? Well I do know that you will probably never get success in the way that you imagined, it will never come at the right time for your liking, it will never feel like you thought it would feel, it won’t satisfy you in the way you felt it should, but you should take a minute to stop, take it all in and appreciate it. Try to imagine the 20 year old “you” and how they would feel. Try to imagine if you knew 17 years ago that you would accomplish this thing. You have to decide what’s important to you and what it means to you. I truly feel that to make films and to create art is a selfish endeavor and you do not deserve anything at all for your vanity. So be happy when things come your way. You perhaps should be disappointed and angry and strive violently to accomplish more but in addition to that, you must appreciate your little wins. For me I strive to get people to watch my films in the hope that that might have a connection to the work and be inspired in the way that I was inspired with the films that I watched growing up. Thanks to anyone who ever supported my projects or treated me kindly. That’s my two cents.
The week the gang talks about Batman Arkham Knight, Captain Phillips and The Teacher. With hosts Ken Powell, Thomas Edward Seymour and Dave Leute.
Tune in for our VHS Massacre Saturday at 1pm LIVE on our youtube channel! it will be a contest for the ages. Who gathered the worst VHS videos from around New York City, Ken Powell or Tom Seymour? Only our B-movie celebrity judges have the answer! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCodoAvf6pZBnFulBNqvsQNg