Or welcome to my awesome personal Hell! Locked away in an editing room on HOTH.
Sorry it has been a while since my last post. As I have said here, I really wanted more people to be involved in the online blog so it could act as a online diary of sorts for the film. People are so busy it has been tough to get many participants. It was a good idea at least. I have been working on the edit for House of Forbidden Secrets night and day for a few weeks now and the rough cut edit is done. One word: Incredible! Even without the final effects and music mix, it is just entertaining as hell. They say if a film plays this well with no final mixes, it is going to blow away audiences when it is finally finished! No music yet, as we are still working with Fabio Frizzi, Italian Maestro who worked with so many amazing directors including Maestro Fulci – and with the pride of the Horror underground Toshiyuki Hiraoka. There will be an official soundtrack by BEAT Records from Italy, executive produced by BD Productions, that will see release worldwide with both Mastro Frizzi AND Toshi’s music included! But as I was writing, the rough cut is finished. I then took a break from editing for a few days to film and edit our new short film “The Request.” It is part of the Horror Anthology “HI-8” and I was blessed by the producers Brad Sykes and Tim Ritter, both amazing Horror icons in their own right, to be asked to be part of the project. Of course I jumped at this opportunity as it really shows brotherhood and support among those of us in the Horror underground. Just finished the full edit on that film and it’s around 10 or 11 minutes long. Came out great and there are many connections to House of Forbidden Secrets in it, including Shadowview Manor itself! And of course Brad Westmar, Nicole Santorella and Antwoine Steel all were in it. Same crew as well. It was a pretty great experience. Now back to work on the fantastic “House of Forbidden Secrets” – doing my final edits, tightening it up and making the “polish” edit complete!!!!
The weekend we shot the short was also a busy weekend for my radio show NIGHTWATCH. The crew of the show were at Planet Comicon as Nightwatch is a sponsor each year for Chris Jackson and he once again put on a great show. But it was also in a bigger new venue and we had a lot of work to do for the con. Got to meet and connect with Adam Baldwin too!!!! We hit it off pretty good and we have some plans to do a few things together so watch for that! In addition to that we released our first two official teasers for “House of Forbidden Secrets.” It’s about a minute long and I decided to do it in the old “Grindhouse” style of film trailers. I am not jumping on any trend here. I truly love that genre. It’s pretty much the same as Drive In Movies, only it was indoors. I used to call the old Empire Theater the “indoor Drive In” when I was a kid… only when I got older did I truly learn about 42nd Street and the Grindhouses that peppered this country in every city in the 60’s 70s and 80’s. Thanks to 42nd Street Pete for that info… I was a regular Grindhouse patron and never knew it! So I do embrace the genre, the style and the world. And this film is truly, in it’s dark heart, a Grindhouse style film. The cast includes such Drive In Icons as Dyanne Thorne and Howard Maurer, George Hardy, Allan Kayser, Ari Lehman, Lloyd Kaufman and Lew Temple, who is a star of more modern Drive In fare. The way the film was written was in direct homage to the films I grew up loving from such directors as Lucio Fulci, David DeCoteau, Fred Olen Ray, Jim Wynorski, Roger Corman, Dario Argento, a bit of HG Lewis and Troma. This is meant to be a fun and entertaining film, not one that is pretentious, “arthouse” and highbrow. Those movies are boring! So in regards to all of that, I wanted the first teaser to reflect that underground connection. To show where my heart and alliances are. I think it works perfectly. I was so happy! I was on cloud 9! I was having a huge party in my heart! We also have a 2nd version of the teaser that was cut for a more “General Audience” tone, supervised by Executive Producer Bryan David – you can find both of them below.
Of course this is not the only teaser/trailer I plan on releasing. I have always had the plan to maybe do 4 trailers, maybe 5, for theatrical and TV ads and such, and each one would have it’s own “look” and feel. There would be no real watered down or dumbed down version though. I know that some audiences just will not understand this film, and I am OK with that. You cannot please everyone they say – and I feel that this is true. But I truly want to please myself, the cast and crew and fans of these types of movies. My goal as the director and producer is to first and foremost match, to the best of my ability within my resources, what was in my head while writing the film. I had the whole film done in my mind. Every shot, every edit, the music, the look and the characters – all in my head – I had seen this film already in there. It had screened nonstop in the Drive In of my mind. The hard part is to work hard on set to try and match what was in there. Most of the time I was able to make it happen. Sometimes a location’s logistics may have changed it a little, or maybe an actor who was helping me bring a character to life had an idea or two. I was fine with that and welcome it, as long as it doesn’t go too far and change the character or who I wanted them to be. After all I had been through this year, it really was important for me to not waste another minute of my life doing things I don’t want to do, or working on anything I do not 100% believe in. So you know for sure that I believe in this film 100%! Our whole cast and crew are exactly the same! We have all poured our 100% into this project!!!
As I mentioned earlier, this film was already done and screened in my head. I sat down to my computer with a blank screen and when I was done, something new was brought into this world. It was my job as director and producer to now sit down and try and put together a team of talented people to bring the words to life. It took me almost a year after the hospital and all that went down, things finally fell into place! My friend Lew Temple, an amazing actor and super nice human being, introduced me to a guy he knew named Bryan David. Bryan was a Green Engineer who was also involved in entertainment and he had done a short film called The Price and was really looking to get into Executive Production more. I met with Bryan about the radio show and some other business and told him about my film. We hit it off and decided to move forward with the project. I am eternally grateful and thankful to Bryan David and his company BD Productions for stepping in and helping to make the film a reality, moving into production very quickly. VERY quickly. I had already contacted A/V Concepts, my old investors / Executive Producers and they were interested in the project as well. I was finishing the final draft of the script at the time and Vinnie was out of town on business for 6 weeks, so we had not made a final agreement. BD Productions came in, based on the treatment and story outline and we made our first agreement. I am truly excited and pleased with the results! This film kicks ass! This has been a wild and crazy ride! I had decided to get back into what I loved the most after the heart attack and I really missed making movies. My early films were troubled, but even then, as a kid, I loved it. And I had gotten pretty good at it right when I stopped. I had learned much and I was winning some awards at film festivals and such. Now it was time to take those parts of me back – laying there with the thought that I was never going to leave that hospital…. I knew then and there that if I was able to leave that place, I would bring back those parts of me that I had given up – parts of me that I missed very much.
The thing that really strikes me about the film is that from how it starts, there is no way a person could predict where it is going to end. It’s a wild ride, and one I am so proud of. And I love this ride! I love it with every bit of my heart and soul. Thanks to every single person who helped me bring those words real life. Before we all got together, this film never existed. We truly brought new life into the world together. Truly. It stands as proof that people can share a vision and a passion and create something from nothing in this world. All I want is to be 100% true and honest to myself and the people who worked so hard to make it – and to every single person who will watch the film. They will know it is all real, all honest and all from the heart. Friendships were formed, family created and a brotherhood was forged. I just cannot wait to bring this baby to the world!
House of Forbidden Secrets