Greetings everyone! As I look back over 2008, I'm happy to have such a great group of friends and fellow moviemakers in my life. It was a busy year, but then again, what else is new?
I started the year off coming off of the PLATOON OF THE DEAD shoot for my good friend John Bowker. I spent the first part of 2008 editing together behind-the-scenes footage and bloopers as well as shooting a featurette for the movie. This zombie action flick is set for release from Tempe Video in the second quarter of 2009. Tempe also released a loaded double feature DVD of THE EVILMAKER/ABOMINATION: EVILMAKER II at the end of 2007. Sweet.
In January I began writing a screenplay based on an outline by an actor/director. The project, BAD ILLUSION, was designed to be one for him to travel to Oregon to star in while I directed. Scheduling difficulties got in the way of a late Spring shoot, so we decided the best thing was for him to take my script and try to shoot it up where he is at.
I screened my horror comedy TRAILER PARK DOUBLE WIDE TRILOGY OF TERROR at the Northern Lights Theater Pub in Salem, Oregon on January 11 - a whole mess of people showed up and we all had a swell time!
I finally finished editing my DEADLY PREMONITIONS feature plus the behind-the-scenes and photo gallery featurettes at the end of January. I handed everything off to my BLOODSUCKING REDNECK VAMPIRES buddy Mike Hegg and he is currently wrapping up post-production tweaking and DVD authoring.
Actor in many of my movies over the years and a writer/director himself, Tom Shaffer finally shot the "Treespirit" segment of TRULY DREADFUL TALES for me and I edited and scored it in January/February. Then I edited and scored the "Death Nurse" segment that W.A.V.E. Video favorite Laura Giglio and her husband shot for it a couple of years back. Later in the year, I finished up the bugman mask for the next segment, which will shot by up in Canada in 2009.
I shot the last remaining shots for EATER over the Spring/Summer/Fall.
On the first of February, a BLOODSUCKING REDNECK VAMPIRES screening was held up at the Northern Lights Theater Pub with special guest Troma's Lloyd Kaufman! A last minute scheduling change on Lloyd's part had the organizers asking me to do Lloyd's "How to Smash a Head" bit, so I picked up a melon on the way to the theater, slapped a wig on it and smashed it to pieces! Lloyd was running late so instead of waiting for his movie (which he had with him) they showed my erotic thriller UNDERBELLY! Lloyd showed up and after a bunch of Q&A, posed for photos and was a really nice guy. The Salem Statesman Journal did a swell cover story on BLOODSUCKING REDNECK VAMPIRES in their entertainment section.
In March, I shot scenes for COLD AS SOUL for Luc Bernier and SLEEPWALKER STRANGLER for W.A.V.E. with Toni Draggon.
Also in March, I shot scenes with Darla Doom and Joe Scott for Phil Herman's INTO THE WOODS. Phil also used music I'd composed throughout the whole movie. Sweet! The movie was released in November to good reviews and we held a little screening party for it.
I shot "It Haunts" in May and June with Darla Doom, Joe Scott, Michelle 'Ame' Mahoney, John Bowker, Morgan Mayhem and Amanda Bounds. Originally intended as a stand-alone project, I later decided to swap it out for the "VideoDrone" segment in my Anthology TWISTED FATES. I got Ariauna Albright to be in a couple of phone call scenes, brining one more PLATOON OF THE DEAD cast member in to the project! Thanks to Eric Spudic who shot the footage for me down in California. I am finishing up editing and working on music for this segment.
Despite saying I'd never do it again, in July I squeezed into the orange jumpsuit to play Frank the Astronaut in Tom Shaffer's dinosaur planet movie PREHISTORICUS. One of these days he'll get that stop-motion animation and I can see the dinosaurs I've been pretending to run from for years! Also in July, I shot a friend's wedding.
Made a couple of goofy videos over the summer with my son and his friends for YouTube and then my camera broke in July. I was able to buy pretty much the same model from Amazon and keep on plugging away at everything. Whew!
August saw the 10th anniversary of me shooting and acting in John Bowker's DREAMWALKERS, the first of countless features and shorts we've done since then.
In October, I participated in a blog thing called Halloween Countdown. It was a lot of work but a lot of fun! Idea was to post a Halloween-related post every single day for the whole month. I ended up going through all of the photos and photo albums I had at the house plus going through all of the ones my parents had and scanning old Halloween Costume photos. I was a lot of fun and you can check all of the posts out at http://fandcproductions.blogspot.com/2008_10_01_archive.html
October 17 saw a double feature screening at Northern Lights of two movies I shot for John Bowker: HOUSEBOUND and THE SEEKERS. I play a 'Man In Black' in HOUSEBOUND and it was a lot of fun to see the movies on a big screen with a theater full of people.
After trying to get it scheduled for a couple of years, the shoot for the "Welcome Sister" segment of TWISTED FATES finally came together in late October. I'd hired Robert J. Olin to cast and direct and he did a great job and found a terrific bunch of troopers! We had to recast at the last minute and actually cast our replacement from the audience at the HOUSEBOUND/THE SEEKERS screening! Another actress called in sick the day of the shoot, but with some quick rewriting, the shoot came off very well. I'm currently about halfway through editing this segment.
This all lead to a dual showing of HOUSEBOUND in one theater and BLOODSUCKING REDNECK VAMPIRES in another on Halloween! Since they didn't start until 10:45, I was able to go up and attend the BRV show.
Actually did some video projects for work this year - a couple of short youtube-type goofy videos for our student activities department and then a 5-part series of shorts parodying American Idol with the staff for a Foundation project. It was a lot of fun and how cool to be doing what I do for fun at my day job! Our Halloween theme for office decoration this year was the Clue game. We all played characters, had different rooms set up with different weapons and a masking tape game board path zig-zagging through the office. I was Professor Plum in the kitchen with a knife...and I did it!
I worked on various scripts here and there over the year, and made a couple of nifty DVD-r presents for Christmas. One was of STARCHASERS, the first video movie project I made with John Bowker and Rob Merickel back in 1986 - and we're still working on things together today!
The other was of a tape I made compiling video footage from the first year of my son's life. Really reminds you of what is important in life. We got a puppy in June and my son did well this year in school, taekwondo and boy scouts. Life is busy, but rewarding. Spent New Year's Eve with good friends, good steaks and wine, games and guitar hero world tour. Good times.
What's in store for 2009? I've got a couple of potential projects I might be working on - waiting to hear back from folks, as always. I'm planning on finishing up TWISTED FATES and TRULY DREADFUL TALES anthologies, plus probably continuing to do some goofy video shorts with my son.
I wish you all the best in the coming year. Tell the people you love that you love them - even thought they know it, it's good to hear it often.