Tuesday, August 29, 2006


A few months ago I came across The Daily Reel, a website created to, in their words: "...showcase the best in online video. TDR’s mission is to sift through the [crap], find the good stuff, and show you what you need to watch. We devote all of our time and resources to finding the quality content among the hundreds of thousands, even millions of videos that are out there. TDR believes that a handful of these creators represent the future of the medium; we don’t want tomorrow’s filmmakers to go unnoticed today."

"We have assembled a team of film and television critics, pop culture commentators and online mavens from traditional and online media to find the best broadband videos out there. Our contributors come from The New York Times, Variety, The Village Voice, Filmmaker Magazine, The Austin Chronicle, and more."

I loved their website and thought about submitting something to them, but after re-reading the paragraphs above I ultimately chickened out.

But Fate has a way of bringing things full circle. On Tuesday I got an email from an assistant editor at TDR saying that she'd seen A WINTER'S TALE online and asked me to submit it for consideration. I did so, and a few hours later got an email from the managing editor praising the film and telling me that it had been scheduled for immediate inclusion as one of TDR's Top Ten! I can barely describe my joy at getting some vindication for A WINTER'S TALE, a little film I truly love that has yet to be accepted to a single film festival.

So if you're reading this post on Thursday, August 31st, 2006, pleeeeeeaaase go over to THE DAILY REEL, watch A WINTER'S TALE, leave some comments, and click on the ad at the end of the film to help support my little operation here! And to everyone over at TDR (especially Felicia and Alex), THANK YOOOUUU!!!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Dragon*Con schedule update

Looks like I didn't read the Dragon*Con schedule closely enough. FROM BEYOND is scheduled to play TWICE during the festival; once during the 10PM Friday horror block and again in the weeeee hours of Monday morning in the 1:30AM H.P. Lovecraft Celebration block!
This is probably too late for most non-vampires to attend, but for any con-goers who are out late Sunday night the HPL block looks like it's got some GREAT films lined up. Thanks to my good friend Michael Brady (no, not THAT Michael Brady) for pointing out this additional screening!
In other news, the "Punding" video is coming along nicely. I've finished all of the boy's scenes which take place in my cool alley set (pictured here) so it's time to put together the second major location, an apartment belonging to the girl character. I've completely filled up my 293GB hard drive, and I can't delete anything, so my director is bringing over an external hard drive tomorrow.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Dragon*Con Film Fest announces schedule...

The Dragon*Con Film Festival has posted its schedule for film screenings and it looks like FROM BEYOND will be showing in the 10:00 PM Horror Shorts Block on Friday, September 1st. It's a 2.5 hour block of short films, and FB is listed near the end, so it probably won't go on 'til close to midnight. This may be a bit late for some, but to the typical Dragon*Con attendee this is when things are just getting started.

I'm excited by this placement as I think my films play better late at night, preferably after the consumption of much alcohol. My first film, VALLEY OF GWOMBI, had its premiere here in Hollywood on a Friday pretty close to midnight (at the fabulous Arclight Cinema), and the response was pretty rowdy (and fueled by much alcohol)...

Check out the Dragon*Con Film Festival Schedule HERE, and let me know if you plan to attend...I'd love to hear how it goes!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

"FROM BEYOND" accepted to the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival!

A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders: FROM BEYOND has been accepted to the H.P.Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, OR, this coming October! Why is this such a big deal, you ask? Ordinarily it wouldn't be; acceptance to film festivals is such a subjective procedure it's really not worth getting worked up about. In this case, however, it was the very existence of the festival that inspired me to create the film, so the fact that it WAS accepted sort of completes the creative cycle. So it looks like I'll be heading to Portland this coming October, to get my scare on with the other Lovecraft enthusiasts!

More to come...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sights you don't want to wake up to...

I first met my good friend and technical guru, Behn Fannin, last year at the L.A. International Short Film Festival when he came up and introduced himself after seeing VALLEY OF GWOMBI. He was wearing a jacket with a miniature spatula safety-pinned to his lapel, and his business card had a picture of a bottle of mouthwash on it. I knew instantly that he was a kindred spirit, and we struck up a great friendship. He invited me to create some animated bumpers for a show that he was working on called "Refused TV," which was unfortunately canned before my work ever got on the air.

Recently, Behn asked me to do some animation for his latest film, a sardonic little satire called RELIGIOUS CANDIDATES. Despite my already full plate with the music video, Behn wasn't really asking for much: just a couple of giant monsters to represent various Beasts of the Apocalypse. I told him I was all over it, and started throwing together some puppets.

The picture above is a still from an animation test, which you can check out by clicking HERE.

More to come!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"FROM BEYOND" Teaser Trailer is online!

I took a break from set-building for the "Punding" video this evening to put together a trailer for FROM BEYOND. Since the film's being submitted to festivals at the moment I can't put the whole thing online...well, maybe I can, but it seems a little tacky to me...but like any proud parent I really want my baby to get out in front of an audience... :)

Click HERE to watch the FROM BEYOND teaser trailer, and please click on the sponsor's ad at the end to help support Red Hatchet Films!

To HD or not HD...

Upon returning from a weeklong vacation to the Carribean with Gary and his family, I found out the director of the "Punding" video, Michael Wormser, and the band, boxViolet, really wanted to go with HD video for this project. My first response was, of course, great apprehension as I haven't worked in HDV and haven't a clue as to what it entails. Having done a little research and calling upon animator extraordinnaire Tennessee Reid Norton for some advice I think I may be able to swing it, but I'm still nervous. After all, it's not MY money that's being spent, and I don't want to let anybody down. However, both Mike W. and the band seem really happy with the work I've done so far, so I'm still on the boat as far as they're concerned. And I have to admit, the opportunity to step up my production quality and technical skills is really appealling.

I'm still building sets and props, and finalizing storyboards for a meeting with the band this Friday. I'm looking forward to meeting them as I've become quite a fan of their music!

In other news, my film A WINTER'S TALE was not selected for this year's Shriekfest Film Festival here in Los Angeles. That's 0 for 2 for AWT, which happens to be one of my favorite films to date. It started out as a simple project to try my hand at digital effects...a ramp up to FROM BEYOND.
The whole thing was finished in two weeks (not counting the week I spent constructing the house out of an old shoebox) and turned out much better than I ever expected it to. I've gotten great feedback on it from lots of folks, which is very nice considering its humble origins.

Friday, August 04, 2006

More video work!

I'm happy to report that the music video project I mentioned a few days ago has been greenlit, and while the computer's been down this last week I've been creating the puppets, props, and sets for it. The song is called "Punding" by a great indie-rock group called boxViolet, who have a cd coming out in September. My director friend, Michael Wormser, and I have developed what we think is a good treatment, and I'm looking forward to animating it.

The puppets are my basic aluminum wire armature skeletons with Super-Sculpey used for bones. I'm shooting this video in black and white--that is to say, I'll be shooting it normally and changing the footage to black and white in post--which I've always wanted to try, and the song and the story seem to support it.

I'm leaving town for a weeklong trip and when I get back I'll have to hit the ground running on this project...deadlines wait for no man! More to come...