I was inspired to start this blog because I'm a reader of all things that interest me. I love reading blogs from my favorite filmmakers. Their writing is so real and speaks to the people out there who are trying to be like them (myself included).
Recently I've been getting e-mails and messages on Facebook from people who are fans of the film and want to know where it's at, or what we're doing with it, or what films are in the future. So I've decided to start this blog in the hopes that maybe this blog will help someone the way some of my favorite blogs have helped/inspired me.
Some I'm a fan of:
Adam Gierasch & Jace Anderson's blog
Todd Farmer's Blog
Darren Lynn Bousman's Blog
Adam Green's Blog
..and many more that I'm forgetting. But if you're a fan of filmmaker's blogs like I am, those should get you started. Read them carefully and soak in everything they have to say. There are tons of little nuggets with industry goodness that inspire me daily.
First off, I ask that you please forgive the blandness of my blog. I'm sure it will become more polished over time with more updates. Since this first blog is an "end of the year" type of entry, I'll give the cliff notes to some highlights of my year.
- At the very beginning of the year, I finished my seventh feature script. It's still unproduced, so I don't really wanna say too much about it, but it's a great script and one that I hope to get behind the camera for in the near future. Here's a picture I took the night I typed the final line of the script:
-Feb 12, my great friend and amazing filmmaker James Cotten had a birthday party for his 36th birthday. I asked one of my best buds Daniel Dunn to come along and join me in celebrating. That night, at a bar in Burbank, we decided to move forward with making a film (thank you alcohol and your drunken topics that lead to life changes!). That film would become MADISON COUNTY!
-On Feb 23, I turned 22 years old:
-May was a great month. We (Ace Marrero, Daniel Dunn, and myself) began turning the wheels for Madison county. We signed on our good friend Kevin Ryan to design the first teaser poster for the film:
On top of the teaser poster, we also came up with the idea to shoot a promotional teaser trailer, with the lovely and talented Katie Stegeman (who plays Kristen in the film), for the film that would help secure the financing and help us build some buzz around the movie:
Here's the finished product:
After the teaser poster and the trailer were shot, we were off to the races. Several of the top horror sites began to show us some love and, for me as a horror fan, it was a dream come true! The sites I had been reading since I was in high school were now talking about my very own movie! And not just any movie, but a movie I had been dreaming of making ever since I was just a kiddo.
Dozens of sites began talking about our movie-- and no one could believe it more than me! Why would they want to know about a movie I wrote? A movie I thought of when I was just a young'n. Who were we? We were news?
See, Madison County wasn't just an ordinary movie-- it was inspired by things that happened to me when I was around 11 years old. By the time I was 13-14, I had accumulated enough stories from my explorations in Madison County to structure some scenarios. When I graduated high school, I knew I wanted to move to LA and become a movie director (at the time, I had no ambition to be a writer). When I graduated film school, I began to write Madison County.
I planned to make Madison with my own money and it was to be my "El Mariachi". In fact, as fate would have it, the first person I ever sent the script to was my star/co-producer Ace Marrero. After sending Madison around to a few people, I got a positive response from several friends/producers that all wanted to make the film. Many attached themselves to the film and promised they'd get the financing, but as is the case most of the time in Hollywood-- we came up empty handed. BUT, at the end of 2009, after numerous broken promises, and several failed attempts to go into production, I decided to take the initiative and make my own damn movie.
I wrote another script entitled HOSTILE ENCOUNTER.
Hostile Encounter was written in roughly 2 weeks and we went into production mid Novemeber. We shot the film in 5 1/2 days. 4 days in Arkansas, and the rest in California. I paid for it out of my own pocket and I brought Daniel on board to DP the film.
This little movie became the catalyst for making Madison. Daniel was really impressed with what we did for literally NO money. He loved Ace in the movie, thought I did a good job directing and decided HE wanted to finance Madison County. HE wanted to take a chance on Madison.. on me.. on US!
-Okay, so as I normally do, I've gone off on a tangent. Forgive me. I talk a lot. To give an update on Hostile Encounter, the film is stalled in post-production. Since I was financing it out of my own personal account, I had to halt it to make room in my life for Madison. It became my "Coffee and Donuts" if you're an Adam Green fan.
So during the summer, we began pre-production. This summer was literally the best of my life, personally and professionally. I was constantly in contact and surrounded by the people I loved most, working on the movie I was most passionate about, and not only that-- but it was my first "REAL" feature. One that people outside of my friends and family were excited to see!
Ace and I began casting-- which was one of the greatest experiences of my life, and we secured a great cast with amazing talent! Shortly after that, I was off to Arkansas to begin prepping.
-Sept 1 Daniel and I were already in Arkansas and had scouted locations. That night we picked up production designer Elizbeth Bell and Ace from the airport. That's when it hit me-- this was a REAL MOVIE. We were actually going to make this!
The rest of September went by in a blur. Shooting was the greatest experience of my life. I wish I could remember more, and I wish it never ended. I met some great people. We had some great experiences. And I can't wait to do it again!
-By October we had finished shooting and were knee deep in editing. Lots of long hours behind computer sceens with my editor Levi Blue. Lots of Mike and Ikes and Diet Coke were consumed.
-So I guess that brings me up to the present. To update you on the film: the talented team of Black Box Entertainment currently has the film, along with our super amazing composer Igor Nemirovsky hard at work on the music! The film is scheduled to be finished around mid-February and screenings should follow soon after that!
The official teaser poster and trailer will be dropping online in the VERY near future! I'm excited to unleash the works of some VERY talented people soon. I can't tell you how proud I am of this movie and the people involved. I look forward to working with everyone again in the near future. Speaking of...
A lot of people ask me.. "What's next?". Good question. Daniel, Ace, and I already have the wheels spinning for what we're doing next and even what we'd like to do after that. I just finished writing the script for the film I'd like to do next. It's a little too early to start talking about yet, but it's completely different from Madison and something I can't wait to spill the beans on!
We also have a slate of films that I've written and films we're developing as a team. Lots of great things to come!
In addition to that, a passion project for Ace and I is the feature adaptation of my thesis film (which Ace and I met on)-- Clown Town!
Here's the trailer for the short film:
-As the New Year approaches, I can only hope that 2011 holds as many miracles, laughs, emotions, and great times that 2010 has. I can't wait to get back behind the camera next year. I REALLY can't wait to sit in a theater and watch MADISON COUNTY on the big screen and I definitely can't wait to see what the future holds. It's going to be a wild ride. See you on the other side!