Random rantings and updates…and also Vampire Hookers.

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     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.  

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VHS Massacre Documentary hits rough cut phase!

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!

 

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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)

Jon Gorman and Thomas Edward Seymour (Me!) win The Platinum Remi Award ( the highest honor) at Worldfest Houston!

THIS IS SO COOL! A feature film that I directed with Jonathan Gorman “Rudyard Kipling’s Mark of the Beast” won the Platinum Remi Award, the festivals highest honor for “Best Independent Video”. Worldfest Houston is one of the largest and oldest film festivals in the world! I’m so excited about this. Below is a picture of when Ang Lee won his first Remi Award. Here’s a link to an article about when Steven Spielberg first won a Remi and Worldfest for “Amblin”. This is so cool!
http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2010/04/worldfest_discovered_steven_sp.php

 

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It has truly been an honor to be included in the Worldfest Houston Legacy. To have won a Platinum award and to be named as a winner alongside giants like Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg and the Coen Brothers has been a highlight in my career and I will be forever thankful. Thanks very much to Hunter Todd and the Worldfest Crew! I will work even harder in my film career to live up to this honor.

Mark of the Beast Wins at Worldfest Houston!

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After he received the WorldFest Remi Award, Ridley Scott commented “WorldFest is in the business of validating excellence!”

This Saturday Worldfest Houston will make the announcement that Rudyard Kipling’s Mark of the Beast, a  feature film that I directed with Jon Gorman will receive a Remi award from Worldfest Houston. For me personally this is a sea change for me as a filmmaker. Many of you may feel like I’m being dramatic but you have to understand where I’m coming from. After years of entering film festivals like Sundance, Slamdance, Tribeca, Worldfest, New York Horror and other large festivals, I finally have cracked it. Don’t get me wrong over the past 15 years I’ve  I accrued 16 film festivals wins, from places like Silk City, Bare Bones International, Connecticut Screening Room, New York B-movie FF, New Haven Underground and other places and I’ve been an official selection at California Indie Fest, New York International, Boston Underground, Hoboken International FF and probably 20 others festivals. However the Remi is important to me mainly because Worldfest Houston is one of the oldest film festivals in the world and it’s alumni is incredible. For instance Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, The Coen Brothers, Ridley Scott, Robert Rodriguez, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, Ang Lee and David Lynch all won there first awards at Worldfest Houston.

The festival has been around since the 1960’s and I would call it the Roger Corman of film festivals. It’s not Sundance but they can spot talent like no other festival out there. Now I realize just because I won a Remi doesn’t mean that suddenly I’m a big deal or something but to be a part of this legacy means so much to me at this point in my career. Most of those famous filmmakers were probably ten years younger than I am now when they won their awards at Worldfest, but to be honest I don’t care. I realize I’ll never be Ridley Scott but I know now that I am good enough at what I do to be celebrated by one of the longest running film festivals in history that has a tremendous ability for spotting talent.

This win allows me to say fare well to Mark of Beast and lay it to rest knowing that I did everything in my power to push the film. I submitted the film in Blu-ray format and it occurred to me that the folks at Worldfest Houston are the only ones that ever saw my film at the resolution and quality that it was meant to be seen in. Thanks to everyone involved in the making of Mark of the Beast, for anyone who has ever edited and released a film they probably know that the film shoot is the easiest part and it’s not easy at all. It’s good to know it was worth it at least for me.

New York Cine Radio Religious Edition: Fateful Findings and Noah

New York Cine Radio Religious Edition: Fateful Findings and Noah

“Fateful Findings is the best film of the year….and more epic than Noah!” – New York Cine Radio

This week Tom Seymour reviews Fateful Findings after attending the NYC Premiere. Also let’s talk about weird stuff that’s in Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. We’ll be back next week with Ken Powell, Dave Leute and Gary Alvarez!
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Hannibal, Mark of the Beast and New York Cine Radio

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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.

 

Mark of the Beast Screening at The Freaky Film Screening Room

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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!

matattoofestival.com