Archive for the Production Category

More screenings! More awesome reactions and more adventures!

Posted in Director's Log, Production with tags , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2015 by forbiddensecretsmovie

Greetings!  Had an amazing time in Orlando FL at the Spooky Empire Mayhem show.  Had a pretty damned good turnout for the film.  I was surprised!  There was a VIP party, a Q&A with the cast of American Horror Story: Freakshow and even a Haunted House tour going on at the same exact time and we still brought in a good crowd.  Really excited that I finally met my old friend Scott Gabbey in person.  Scott does Ultra Violent magazine and we have been friends for ages!  Also met Stephen Biro from Unearthed Films and the awesome effects master Marcus Koch.  The staff at the Spooky Empire show really made us feel welcome and treated us like royalty.  Truly a good group of people.  One of the highlights for me was also meeting Mike, the owner of Grindhouse Video.  They are gonna be our official South Florida connection!!!  Antwoine had a smile a mile wide as he signed autographs.  Hooked up with Damon Pro, Jason Fetters (my old school friend) and got to finally meet Alberto Giovannelli!  Made some great contacts and looks like we may be doing more business in Florida soon.

Drop in and catch us in Decatur!!!

Drop in and catch us in Decatur!!!

Coming up next is June 12-13 the Dead In Decatur Filmfest, followed by the great Double Feature at the Drive In June 17 at the Skyline Drive In – Shelbyville, IN –  An awesome double feature with Circus of the Dead! Part of the Indie SINsations series of films! All proceeds go to support the historic Skyline Drive In Theater! Drop in and have some fun and you’ll be helping keep this awesome theater alive!!!!!!!

DRIVE-IN-DOUBLE-1I am so happy with the love and support we continue to receive from Horror fans all over the world!  It has been a wild ride.  Screenings are slowing down a bit now, getting the extras finished and everything ready for the upcoming DVD/BluRay releases.  Really looking forward to that!!!

On a side note, I had mentioned a while back in this blog that there were a few rough spots in the Post Production process, and I am STILL working on the sound mix.  Many people who have seen it in a theater never notice any issues, but I am a perfectionist.  When we took it to a third party for the sound mix / Dolby 5.1 processing, it was scary as hell and even though the place where we took the film does great work and really worked hard, I have never been happy with the mix.  When we went from a Dolby Stereo to the 5.1… it just lost something.  Many of my old favorites when they put them on BluRay I notice similar issues with the new 5.1 mixes – I usually listen to the Stereo tracks.  Unless you have a proper 5.1 decoder, I feel the sound is a bit thin and “trebly” and that it takes some of the meat from the mix.  So for months I have regretted allowing any third party to touch the film.  I always said I would never allow it, and I caved in… not really by choice… I was kind of pushed into it.  And I regret it.  So I have been spending day and night remastering the sound the best I can without going WAY back to the original tracks – that was about 2 years ago and several versions of the film.  If I have to, I will do that, but so far it looks like I am going to be able to use these newer tracks and I will be able to fix them with the tools I have here.  Just goes to show that even now the film is not complete the way I heard it in my head, so I want to make sure to do the best I can to bring that version of the sound, to the DVD/BluRay.  Most theaters have the good 5.1 encoders so it plays fine…. but many home systems do not.  So I think this version is a MUST.  I want to make sure that everyone loves this film when it gets the home video release.  The documentary is finished and it is actually as long as the feature!!!!  I was surprised!!! For me, this has been a real adventure and through the ups and downs, the good and bad, the stress and anxiety and the great times, this has been my call to the world that I AM STILL ALIVE!!!!!!!!  And the Documentary really shows that.  Andrew did a great job capturing that side of things.  At first I was unsure about it, I am just seriously a NO EGO type of person… I hate it.  No delusions, no ego, no BS.  But as I saw the documentary come together, I bent a little… I realized it is an important story to tell, and my near death experience and rebirth from that was a major part of the story.  All of the extras will have impact and they will bring the viewer along on the adventure.  Also, for the BluRay, I want to include the full first uncut raw version of the film… a bit rough around the edges, it is the first draft edit, with pretty much every scene in the film.  Fans of the flick will be able to watch all of the deleted scenes in their proper place in the film, and see the changes we made.  There may even be a special commentary that I will do for that version to explain things.  We will see….

Our growing list of Film Festivals!!!

Our growing list of Film Festivals!!!

That’s all for this one…. we’ll catch up again soon…. and until then, hope to meet you at one of the screenings!!!!

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Still Haunting America – the Theatrical Tour and more Festivals!

Posted in Director's Log, Production on November 15, 2014 by forbiddensecretsmovie

Been ages since I was able to sit down and write on the blog.  Since last I wrote, House of Forbidden Secrets has been playing all over the US in Theaters as well as Film Festivals.  So many awesome festivals!  19 to be exact!

house has been playing all over!

We will be having our British premiere at the Horror On Sea Film Festival 23rd JANUARY TO 1st FEBRUARY 2015, In October and November, we just finished the Omaha premiere at the awesome SCREAM IN THE DARK Festival and we invaded Phoenix at the Fearcon!  September was insane as we screened in Los Angeles, CA and the Scare-A-Con Film Fest in Syracuse, New York!  In August we were part of the Crypticon Film Festival as well as the Bloody North Canadian Film Festival.  We have had such an amazing time… reviews are flowing in about the film as well!  Check em out here – http://www.zombiebloodbath.com/house-reviews.html – So much awesome has been going on for the film – getting closer to the DVD/BluRay and VHS releases as well.  And don’t forget that the film plays next in IOWA CITY on DEC 3 – Please join our Facebook page for faster updates http://www.facebook.com/houseofforbiddensecrets

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One of the things I learned was to watch audiences close… it helps to relate to what works on screen and what doesn’t.  I am happy to say that with HOUSE, 93% of what was there worked just as I hoped, but there were some spots that I, as  Writer/Director/Producer felt were off a bit – maybe it was flow or timing, maybe it was just the vibe of a scene and what I had intended… so after a few screenings, I went in and made a “Theatrical Version” of the film.  That is the one I feel is strongest for a live screening -I will also keep the full version as well, for use on the DVD / BluRay as an extra WITH the Theatrical cut.  The VHS will just be the Theatrical version.  There is also that wonderful Documentary that Andrew shot and that will be on the DVD/BluRay as well – I am honored by it… he decided to do the documentary as basically my return to film after the long break and the heart attack and such… it was humbling and amazing to watch all that footage.  I never promote myself really and I feel funny about it and I felt a bit embarrassed too. I just didn’t want it to seem like some Vanity project thing – it was all dictated by Andrew, so I thank him. But I have been told by the few people I have shown it to that it is a good documentary and that they like what it is about and that there is no shame or harm in allowing him to tell my story.  SO I guess I will embrace it a bit more, and not feel self-conscious….



OK, gonna go for now – I’ll get back here sooner, I promise.

 

REMEMBER THE ALAMO!!!!!! Here we come Kansas City!!!!!!

Posted in Director's Log, Production with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2013 by forbiddensecretsmovie

After our award winning turn at the PollyGrind Film Festival, we came back to Kansas and had a screening at the awesome Boulevard Drive In Theater.  It went great and everyone truly seemed to enjoy the film.  It does me good to watch it with an audience who “gets it.”  After that screening I went back to the editing studio and made a few minor tweaks I had been wanting to make.  Things I had on my final tweak list.  Each time I would finish an edit, I would go back and watch the film a few times, making notes about things I needed to adjust to get as close as possible to my vision.  As I went along, the lists would get shorter and shorter.  My final tweak list was based on what kind of emotion or reaction I wanted from both myself and an audience while we watched the film together.  There weren’t many things, so I got it done pretty fast.

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Now things are really rolling, with another awesome screening scheduled for DEC 6th, 2013 at 7 PM at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Kansas City.  I truly want this event to be a success so we can also do a similar screening in Austin, TX.  If we show them that people will come and see the film, and the buzz gets big enough, they will certainly let us unleash the movie in Texas!  Chase and Ryan have been great and very supportive about the film.  They gave us a prime slot on a busy day, proving they believe in the movie.  We will be showing a couple of special surprises before the actual film, a couple of short subjects, and then it’s on to the HOUSE OF FORBIDDEN SECRETS.  There will be a Q&A with the cast, including George Hardy and Allan Kayser – autographed prizes will be given away and much more!  This is going to be a great time for sure!  The film is finally ready to live on it’s own – everything is done except I am STILL waiting for visual effects from this company that Bryan David has hired – they had an OCT 1st deadline and here it is NOV 1st and still nothing.  It is ridiculous and very unprofessional.  Guess I have nothing better to do but wait for the effects.  I don’t want or need to do a final render or anything.  LOL.  Other than that setback, and a few loose ends that are causing me some undue stress, all is great.  The buzz is starting to build again.  It seems like it took so long to get the edit done, people were moving one…. not losing hope, but getting into other projects and such.  Most big budget films and many low budget ones may take a year or two, sometimes even three to see release… so in that regard, I think we are not too far off of target.

ImageI have to say that in so many ways, this has been one of the most wonderful experiences of my life.  Sure, there were things that really didn’t need to happen – some stressful politics going on and some ridiculous arguments, things that threw a dark cloud over things at times – but now, being at this point and looking back, those few dark spots are washed over by the good things.  I really want to say how the main cast, the “up and coming” stars of tomorrow – Nicole, Brad, Millie, Paxton and of course Antwoine (but he and I go back 18 years of working together) – all brought these characters to life that lived inside my head for so damned long.  You all exceeded my expectations and really deserve the recognition here.  It is your passion that really jumps at people and brings them into the film.  It is you whom the audience has to identify with in order to make our story real, and you do that.  And our supporting team of genre icons, the great support from our extras and cameos in the brothel… everyone brought their “A Game” and I really appreciate it!!!

We formed a family together to make this movie happen – to make my words on paper jump to life… but the adventure is just beginning – now we gotta get it into theaters and on video and TV so the world can join us in celebrating this movie!  Anyone who can help us get the word out – street team stuff, online promotion, anything you can do to help – please contact us through our official website at http://www.HouseOfForbiddenSecrets.com – you can also contact and join us on Facebook and take 2 minutes and give us a “LIKE” at http://www.facebook.com/houseofforbiddensecrets.  We all worked so hard and spent so much of our lives on this – I know for me – almost every single day for a year I have been working on it – please help us by giving a few minutes to the film!  Thank you!

The Long and Winding Road – That leads to SUCCESS!

Posted in Director's Log, Production with tags , , , , , , , on August 21, 2013 by forbiddensecretsmovie

Finally finished all of my editing on the film around August 2nd.  Then I had to begin looking around for a third party to help us on our final Dolby 5.1 sound mix.  After some false starts and dead ends, I decided to go with my old friends at Chapman Recording.  I have known Chuck for years and I trust him and his company to treat my baby the way I would treat it…. Got Evan the files right before I left town last week for some film related business in Florida.  I got back Saturday morning, did the always awesome Crypticon Horror Convention all weekend and then got together today with Evan and he showed me what he had so far…. blew my mind.  It its really coming along.  Seems like an eternity in some ways, but also seems like it was only yesterday that I was just starting the editing process.

The Crypticon was a major success for Chazz and the gang as well as for Extreme Entertainment.  Every year it seems we get more solid connections, plus we were able to hang with old friend like Lew Temple and Allan Kayser who starred in House of Forbidden Secrets, but also with some old friends like BIll Moseley, Sid Haig, Doug Jones and others,  We had a blast and I look forward to next year!!!  A big thanks goes out to the whole Extreme core crew who really stepped up and held things together while I was in Florida.

Looks like we will be moving forward soon on a new feature, Dreaming Purple Neon – so it is very important to make sure that “House” is finished to the best of our ability – film festivals are knocking on our door and I am very excited about the film finally being unleashed this Fall.  Our first film festival looks like it may be in Las Vegas – we have been accepted to the PollyGrind Film Fest and it should be a blast!  With Dyanne Thorne and Howard Maurer being so close to Vegas, my hope is to bring them to the fest for a Q&A before or after the screening.

Stay tuned, I’ll be posting more updates soon – as well as a “Look Back” retrospective on the entire shoot… I am so excited that this creation is about to fly into the world!

Todd Sheets

Director/Producer

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

Editing Hell continues in the House of Forbidden Secrets

Posted in Director's Log, Production with tags , , , , , , on June 26, 2013 by forbiddensecretsmovie

It has honestly never taken me as long to edit a film – usually I shot for 4-8 weeks, and it takes 6-8 weeks to edit, and then I do final mix that takes a few days…. but this is my big comeback film… it has a talented cast, a wonderful story and some genuine original ideas – I want to make sure I do it right.  It is beginning to take it’s toll on my life a bit, but I am very proud of the film and of all the people who worked so hard to make my vsion become a reality.  We pulled together and created something truly special from out of the air – hehe.  It was hard work, cold nights, long hours, and longer hours in editing – the sound design has been tougher than I thought.  ON set we had a few tech issues with sound that took me forever to isolate and fix – and it about made me crazy – but I am getting SO darn close now – it has taken me a while to update the blog here, but I’ll be back more often now…. updating everyone on screenings and releases and such.  Soon everyone will be able to see my baby – cannot wait!

Todd Sheets

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