Archive for the Cast Category

Kansas City Alamo Drafthouse Invasion was a SUCCESS!!!!

Posted in Cast, Crew, Director's Log with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2013 by forbiddensecretsmovie

We had our big red carpet Kansas City premiere at the Alamo Drafthouse on Dec 6th… I was as nervous as a person could be, but it went better than I ever dreamed.  First of all, the event SOLD OUT!!!  I was blown away – but more than that, the Alamo Drafthouse really bent over backwards to make this event special for everyone.  Zack and Erica from Atomic Cotton were on hand to celebrate with some T-Shirts and huge smiles, George Hardy flew in from Alabama and the whole cast and crew pretty much joined us for an incredible night!  The Kansas City audience has not always been kind to me in the past, since I am from this town they tend to be pretty hard on their own.  Admittedly my early movies were pretty damned awful, and many of them I have disowned over the years… but a kid has to start someplace.  I was still in my teens when some of those films were done.  Still, to see the reaction from the audience was pretty darn astounding!  It really seems as if everyone loved the film!  Most who I spoke with after the event said it exceeded their expectations. A  huge weight was lifted from my shoulders!!!  For me, the cast and crew who worked so hard loving the film is the best gift I could ask for.  This film may have been my brainchild, and it may have my name on it in many areas, but without the cast and crew, it would not be anything but an idea and a script.  They helped me bring it to life.  Each person put their stamp on this film, their hearts and souls, their passion and hard work.

Alamo Drafthouse Kansas City Red Carpet Event

Alamo Drafthouse Kansas City Red Carpet Event

As I stood at the back of the theater and watched the crowd and the film with Johnnie Reed, my good friend and gaffer on the film, I could not keep the smile from my face.  Everyone jumped at the right spots, laughed in the right places and seemed to really get into the film.  George Hardy told me that the film pulled him in and he felt like he was truly part of the group experiencing the horrors as they unfolded onscreen.  He said that he forgot it was a film he was actually IN as a star, and just fell in love with the story, getting shocked by the twists and turns and just really enjoying the ride.  It blew me away.  George Hardy is such a great guy and someone I truly looked up to and enjoyed in not only Troll 2, but Best Worst Movie as well.  Adding that to the comments I got from Dyanne Thorne and Howard Maurer in Las Vegas when we won 6 awards at the PollyGrind Film Festival and I truly am on cloud 9 when it comes to the reactions the film is getting.  This film is a true homage to the films I grew up loving as a kid, only with a modern spin.  Inspired by Italian Horror like Lucio Fulci, Ricardo Freda, Dario Argento, Joe D’Amato and American directors like John Carpenter and HG Lewis… It won’t win the 2013 Academy Award… and it was never meant to.  I get bored by most so called “Oscar-worthy” films… with a few exceptions of course!  If they gave out Oscars for heard work, passion and love – and a damned good ride at the movies, we’d win!  This film is part of my heart and soul.  It is exactly what I wanted it to be, a fun movie – it’s heart dripping with Drive In Theater / Grindhouse ambiance and it is 100% authentic.  No BS.  No trends.  No fakes.  This one is for real – A modern day Grindhouse style Horror film made by fans FOR fans, made by people who truly LOVE the genre.  No ego either – I detest ego… we have all been victim to it at one time or another… what you read here is never about ego – but I will say this:  It is about being VERY proud of this film and everyone involved.

Alamo Drafthouse - House of Forbidden Secrets

Alamo Drafthouse Seating Chart! Sold Out, even had to bring in chairs in the back!  Thanks to everyone for a great event!

The cast Q&A went pretty well, considering it was cut short due to the incredible amount of people we had on the red carpet.  Pics were taken by Anna Perry, our gifted company photographer… and she did an outstanding job, but there were so many people who wanted to get pics with our amazing cast and crew that it went a bit longer than expected.  Of course, no complaints at all, but I was hoping for some more time for audience questions and such.  The Q&A was hosted by my buddy Tim Sweeten for his awesome TV show Drive In Movie Maniacs – and he did a fantastic job, he also interviewed the cast and crew on the red carpet for his show and for the documentary about the film and my return to Horror…LOL.

Just an incredible night for us all.  Thanks to Ryan and Chance, to Anna and Tim and to the whole cast and crew of House of Forbidden Secrets.  It was an honor and a perfect night for all!  Thanks to every single person who came and watched the film as well!  I was at the door saying Thank You to every person I could as they left the theater after the event and all I saw were smiles and I got a ton of hugs, handshakes and happy reviews.  Thank you for giving a damn about our little film and for selling it out.  Alamo was proud!!!

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Days of Future Past…. Remembering the long cold Winter

Posted in Cast, Crew, Director's Log, Production with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2013 by forbiddensecretsmovie

It seems like yesterday in some ways, while at other times it seems like years ago that we were on set filming House of Forbidden Secrets.  We crammed so many hours into those long weekends…. cast and crew gave their all in the insane temperatures to make this film a reality.  It was the best of times,  and sometimes it was the most frustrating of times… but mostly, it was an amazing experience.  For me, after the quadruple bypass, being on set again was a vindication.  Not sure everyone quite understood it…. but this was like being alive again for me – standing there on set, I felt like I was back home.  In my element.  With great friends surrounding me, and awesome talent all working toward the goal of creating something new….

Creation by its very nature is to create something from nothing. That is to bring into existence something not seen and not previously experienced. Where nothing existed before something is created. Whether we realize it or not we routinely create something from nothing. However most are unaware they do it let alone how they do it.  But we were not only aware, we were pouring our hearts and souls into it.  This was a labor of love for me – a dream come true – and even now, with the insane amount of hours I have in this project, including the super long hours editing, it still feels fresh and vital and alive.

Before we all came together and stepped onto that set, there was the script I wrote – coming from ideas and thoughts and images in my head.  I had started it in 2011.  We even began to shoot some scenes of the film – test shots – to try out some new lighting techniques and ideas I had, and to check sound and video on some new gear.  The resulting scene was pretty darn good for a few hours of shooting.  At that point the script had been started, but rested mostly in my head and on a few scraps of paper where I had started an outline of events and ideas.  IN the hospital, I honestly thought I was going to die.  That I would never make it out of there.  I had two surgeries.  Laying in that place for over a month wears you down.  You try and stay positive.  I had my awesome friends bring my computer and I started writing again on the script.  Revising and throwing away things.  Many of my original ideas had been in other movies by this point – great minds thinking alike I suppose.  SO those parts were trashed.  Soon I had finished another draft.

When I got out of that hospital finally, it to0ok me a while to get my life back on track.  Having a tragedy like this befall you without planning is really devastating to your life.  Everything was on hold.  The whole world felt like the Twilight Zone.  I had so much to do – and in the middle of this, there were some business shake ups going on at the radio station and our studio.  SO all of that had to be dealt with.  And then I got back to working on what would become the final draft of the script.  This was phase one of creation….

Phase two began when I started putting together a crew and some gear and actually talking to locations.  I met Bryan David through a mutual friend and he agreed to Executive Produce the film as he had wanted to learn more and gain more credit himself in the film industry.  Once we had a budget in place, we started getting casting together, holding two auditions to find just the right people.  During this time, some of my industry friends heard about the film and asked to be involved.  We had Lew Temple on Nightwatch and Lew asked where hi part was – I thought he was just joking as Lew and I had become friends over the last few years.  But Lew was serious, he wanted a part and I had the perfect one for him.  George Hardy was a dear friend, and after loving him in Troll 2, I knew he had to be part – and Dyanne Thorne and Howard Maurer were heroes to me – icons of the best in cinema – the Drive In era!!!!  Stars of the infamous ILSA films!!!  I asked them to be involved, and thanks to our friendship, they agreed.  I had one major part left and I had written in with one guy in mind – Allan Keyser.  Allan had played Brad in the NIGHT OF THE CREEPS…. And I basically had imagined what had become of Brad – where did he end up?  So this is where he ended up – of course if he hadn’t become a zombie whose head splits open and leeches burst out…LOL.  Allan and I have also become friends – I admire him and think the world of him – and he said YES!!!!  The rest of the cast was rounded out by amazing local Kansas City area actors, some whom I knew and some who were new to me.  No one could ask for a better cast!  I have written much about them here – so I won’t retread – but they blew my mind every day we shot.

So with everything in place, we began phase three – gathering last minute gear, scheduling and then finally starting the shoot.  Actual production time! But even as we worked our butts off all night every weekend from dark until the Sun came up…  It was still nothing more than a concept. But every minute we worked on it brought it to life, pouring energy from ourselves into it…. creating new energy from seemingly out of nothingness.  We have created ways to explain it and use it but we cannot hold energy in our hands. It is something well beyond our range to fully understand. Yet we are energy manifested and energy animates our life. We are energy beings who can create new energy and new creations. 

“A Great Relationship Happens When People Who Truly Understand Each Other and Love Each Other for Who They Are Come Together and Create Something Stronger Than Any of Them Could Ever Create on Their Own.”

We set a goal to make a film that will entertain people, that will give back a little of what we have all received from movies all our lives.  When I had a crappy day, or when my parents split up, or when my friend died at age 9 – movies helped to make things better – if only for 90 minutes or 2 hours at a time… movies changed my life, maybe even saved my life…. my film is richer thanks to my film heroes – the Universal Monsters, the Hammer years, Chris Lee, Peter Cushing, Vincent Price, Lon Cahney Jr, Boris Karloss, Bela Lugosi, the Creature when he rose from that Black Lagoon.  All my childhood friends.  And as I grew up with my superheroes and monsters, I learned of the others – Lucio Fulci, Joe Dante, John Landis, HG Lewis, Dario Argento, Jess Franco, Roger Corman, The Shaw Brothers, Japanese Samurai Cinema, Mario and Lamberto Bava, Joe D’Amato, Alfred Hitchcock, George Lucas, Jack Hill, Rudy Ray Moore, Pam Grier, Russ Meyer, Jackie Chan, Stallone, Seagal, Eastwood – the greats – movies like Phantasm, Humanoids From The Deep and Slithis filled my Friday nights and Saturday afternoons.  My first crushes were Linda Blair, Sybil Danning and Dyanne Thorne!!!  And I know for me – making movies is my way of trying to give back – just a little….

More to come – Thank you for reading and we’ll catch up again soon – back to editing!

Todd Sheets

Director / Writer / Producer

A Villain you will LOVE to HATE!

Posted in Cast, Director's Log, Production on April 20, 2013 by forbiddensecretsmovie

They say a movie like ours is only as good as the villain… Star Wars of course had Darth Vader, probably the 2nd best screen villain ever, right after the many faces of The Joker we have seen…. Batman has an incredible rogues gallery full of amazing villains…. and all the better!  We all love to watch a great villain chew scenery and trash the good guys!  Freddy Kruger, Jason Voorhees, Michael Meyers, the sadistic and powerful Pinhead – all superb villains – and NOW… add to that list FATHER ELIAS SOLOMON!  As portrayed by the multi-talented actor Lew Temple, Father Elias is both charming and evil – a lethal combination, and one that works very well for the film.  As Russel Crowe said:  “I like villains because there’s something so attractive about a committed person – they have a plan, an ideology, no matter how twisted. They’re motivated.”

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I truly strive, as the writer and director, to make my villain in House of Forbidden Secrets a real, yet still fictitious, person, based on a real time in history and connected to actual events and people,  that you can truly relate to. When you find out who he is, even when he grows dark and shows his true evil inside, I think you almost like the person, which is not easy to do.  But Lew makes that happen.  He brought the words on those pages to life and truly BECAME the character.  It is a shining moment for me – and one I will cherish my whole life.  Thanks Lew!  His performance is simply stunning – and wait until you hear about Dyanne Thorne and Howard Maurer – I’ll be writing about them in the next few days!  Stay Tuned!  Both Extreme Entertainment and BD Productions are very honored to have worked with EVERYONE involved on House of Forbidden Secrets!  Thank you!

Catch you all soon!

Todd

Director

The never ending Blog post from beyond time and space…

Posted in Cast, Crew, Director's Log, Production with tags , , , , on April 13, 2013 by forbiddensecretsmovie

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!

Sincerely,
Todd Sheets
Director/Producer/Writer/Editor
House of Forbidden Secrets

Amazing weekend

Posted in Cast with tags , , , , , on January 22, 2013 by milan026

Had a amazing weekened with castmates Antwoine Steele, Brad Westmar, Nicole Santorella, Paxton, Director Todd Sheets, George Hardy from Troll 2 and Allan Kayser from Night of The Creeps on the set of House of Forbidden Secrets.

My House Of Forbidden Secrets Cast Mates

Posted in Cast with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 11, 2013 by bwestmar

Hello, all. Brad Westmar here. Words cannot express how special it is to be a part of this fantastic movie. It has been more than 15 years since I last acted…and I had completely forgotten how much fun it is to be a part of a cast and crew that gets along as well as this. By the end of our first night of filming, we were already becoming extremely comfortable with each other. On night number two we all fed off the energy from the night before. We were drained by the end of the weekend, but already looking forward to getting back together after the holidays.

To help bring the viewers and readers up to speed, I thought I’d take this time to tell you a few tidbits I’ve learned about my beautiful (have you seen the pictures?) fellow cast members.

Antwoine can fall asleep at the drop of a hat and balance a coffee in his hand at the same time. He’s also notorious for making us laugh our asses off when he bungles his lines. Usually it’s because he’s sleepwalking on set.

Nicole pays attention to details and is a good listener. How do I know this? She remembered my boring reason as to why I say the word “sorry” as “sore-ee”. She also wanted to be “real friends” with me early on, so that’s kinda special. Finally, she has a kitty on her foot and she wants to touch it.

Paxton wears the most awesome Gene Simmons/Paul Stanley-like boots in this film. The face she makes when holding back laughter during filming is contagious and impossible for me to ignore.

Bryan is always thinking of new ways to deliver lines or implement something special into a scene. His script is chalk-full of notes. He’s got a ton of energy and is also a big fan of Chicken McNuggets.

Millie loves her coffee! She’s the most active cast member on Twitter (besides me) and, also like me, is a huge fan of the movie “Tombstone”. So much so that we recite lines from it to each other between takes on the set of HOFS.

Iris is full of all-natural reaction in her role as Dorothy Fremont. This is for a variety of reasons. We’ll let the outtakes and the movie itself do the talking.

More thoughts down the road, folk!