Archive for Brad Westmar

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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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!

To Hell and Back Again – the final weeks of actual production

Posted in Director's Log with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2013 by forbiddensecretsmovie

It’s been a few weeks since I have written, but things have been crazy hectic! We had a major weather related issue, and it really hit the production hard. We had one final series of scenes to film, 3 of them to be exact. And they were a big deal because not only do they help in moving the story forward, but they had a very special guest star in then… Lloyd Kaufman!!! Lloyd is a huge inspiration for many of us involve din House of Forbidden Secrets. He is the main man at Troma Films, an actor in many genre titles and even Rocky, and most importantly, he has produced or directed many of our favorite movies, like Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke Em High and Terror Firmer! Lloyd was set to come in on FEB 24, 25 and 26…. But we got his with a crazy snowstorm, not once, but twice. Causing us to get over 22 inches of snow here. While Lloyd was in town, we had set up an awesome deal with the Alamo Drafthouse to do a huge screening with a Q and A and Lloyd would be signing autographs and posing for pics with his fans. Advance tickets had been sold. Not only did we have to move filming, we also had to move the Alamo Drafthouse event. The AD staff is incredible really – very helpful and open to working through issues like this. Thankfully!!! So everything ha dto be moved to March 4. 5 and 6. The day Lloyd was set to come, it snowed again… and his flight was delayed until almost 4 AM!!!!! We picked him up at our airport, while there I noticed a mural on the wall about Kansas City and how much help Tom Pendfergast had given the city…. My how history has changed! More on that later! Lloyd was in good spirits but very tired, so we got him to his hotel – the Drury Suites near the airport.

The Drury was a whole new adventure! The girl behind the counter when we went earlier to ensure his room was ready told us we could not check him in early because she was running her reports and her computer was busy. It was a shock to me, because I always thought that this kind of thing was done at end of shift…. So here we were, back with Lloyd this time. It took us an hour to check in. Pretty simple reason – employess error. My credit card was charged 3 times until finally it began to decline her. She swore she had not charged a thing, and I reminded her the card swiped fine 3 times and now was saying declined, meaning all my funds were gone. So she took Lloyd’s credit card. I gave Lloyd cash for the room and he in turn charged it since they wanted a credit card. She double charged Lloyd. This was becoming the most expensive room ever in Kansas City. Of course, Lloyd didn’t know he was double charged until a few days after the shoot. We got it all resolved finally. Damned mess!

So Lloyd finally got upstairs around 5:15 AM and went to bed. He was cracking jokes right up until we said goodnight and we made fun of the situation a bit. The next day was an early start as we had to be on set by 12:30 PM to ensure we could shoot all we needed in time to rush down to the Alamo Drafthouse… with Lloyd arriving so late, we had to move things around and shoot on the same day as the Alamo event. Tim Mclaws took his daughter Aria out of school for us and even helped get us a new location at his in-laws house. It ended up being perfect! Lloyd, being the professional he is, was stunning in his part and these 3 small scenes burst to life in a way that I can’t even describe. It was surreal and amazing to be standing in that kitchen with one of my idols… and directing him to boot! After the shoot, Lloyd gave me some great words of encouragement and some much needed praise for my style as a director and off we went to the Alamo Drafthouse… we were behind by 15 minutes.

Traffic was actually in our favor as we hit downtown… usually a terrible experience and a traffic jam from hell, our side was going AGAINST that traffic and we made it downtown in record time. We got inside, introduced Lloyd to ur Drafthouse friends and they got his table all set for him and we actually got everything set up and ready right on time. People started arriving. I was worried that since we had to move it, some people who had tickets could not make it. We did end up losing a few to the date change, maybe 20 people…. Not too terrible. We ended up selling out almost ¾ of the large theater on a Tuesday night. Troma Tuesday we called it! Of course this also meant we had to cancel our radio shows we normally produce for the night, including my own show Nightwatch. Sideshow Radio had a guest that had to be moved and it was all quite a mess. And Movies Hate You, a show that is on before Sideshow Radio was really messed up due to technology failing and communication not getting through, resulting in the guys thinking they were still going to be live, yet I was at the Drafthouse with Lloyd and not in studio to produce. This resulted in my apologizing from me, and about a 20 minute phone call trying to patch it up…  I had to explain that there was a huge investment riding on this event and that we had no choice, we didn’t choose the new dates, and the snow had forced us into this situation.  Keep in mind that I feel Sideshow and Movies Hate You were fully justified in being upset at the situation… the snow and everything had caused issues with their shows, thus letting down THEIR fans.  All around, it was not a perfect situation – but Lloyd and the event went perfect and everyone seems happy in the end.

Lloyd Kaufman on set of House of Forbidden Secrets with director Todd Sheets

Lloyd Kaufman on set of House of Forbidden Secrets with director Todd Sheets

I also felt a bit upset… no one really knew what kind of hell we had all been through, so I didn’t feel upset toward the show hosts, I just felt like in some cases, I had been catching some hell from people in my life for doing this film. The movie had been going full steam since DEC 21st. We had two weeks off in there, so things realy didn’t get crazy for me until mid January. It had been about 10 weeks of crazy, and it was surprising how many people that I had been so helpful to, that I had helped and that I always, even while I was in the hospital last year after my heart attack, I always took care of their shows and their archives and things for the radio station. And yet now, when I truly needed some understanding, they were all so self absorbed and selfish. This was a major opportunity for me, and after that surgery I decided right then and there that if I lived through quadruple bypass that I was going to get back into making films. It is truly the only time I feel so alive and comfortable. And not only was a making a film again, I had a good budget and I was bringing major actors and actresses into Kansas City to help make this movie a success. Making a movie is not just something you can do for 4 hours and then go and do other stuff. It’s not like a part time job! You have to immerse yourself in it… you live, eat and breathe it! In addition to filming I was still doing my radio duties, handling my graphic clients for my day job and still finding time to be with my family once in a while!

The radio station has been growing in large increments for some time now, and so we had moved servers in December, I had talked with MochaHost about moving there, getting a better rate, a dedicated server and I told them everything – we talked in depth about my needs, the amount of traffic and how many shows we had. 2 weeks into shooting MochaHost shut us down, after taking over $600.00 from me, saying we had too much bandwidth and traffic for them. They had made a deal with me, they knew our numbers, yet they did this without even calling me. I had to find out from a show host. No e-mails, nothing. So right in the middle of film production the radio station website had to be moved. On top of that, half of my files that were on their server were deleted. Gone. I had to basically get ANOTHER server, rebuild our website and get us back online. Many archives were lost, so in addition I have been going back and doing my best to re-edit the old shows and get the archives put back together. With so many shows it is taking some time, but I am almost done with that finally and our Archive Vault is almost ready to upload again. During this time, I became so upset with some hosts that I basically fired them from the station or told them it was best to part ways. I pay for most of this station myself, out of pocket. I make sure the archives are right, I handle all the business. I have some help from Amanda producing, but I myself produce 50% of our content. Also for free. I refuse to allow someone to trash me or be an asshole to me on my dime. If they can’t support my dream after all I have been through, there’s the door. Now that all the major scenes have been filmed, and most of our pick up shots are done, I have been able to do some of that work as well. But of course, I also have been editing now.

I started editing the film about a week before Lloyd was set to arrive the first time. We have been in negotiations with a major Horror film composer that will be revealed soon – and he needed a rough cut to help him with the theme music… the final score for the film will be split between this amazing composer and our favorite long time soundtrack master Toshi. And this is in no way a reflection on Toshi… he does amazing atmospheric music, but we simply could not pass up the opportunity to also work with this composer from Italy…. And it will also help bring more attention to the film and to Toshi’s work as well. In addition, we have had several film festivals ask about the film and their deadlines are coming up too… and they require at least a rough cut to be done to enter the film – we can actually show the finished film in the fest, most of them are late Summer or Fall – but we have to get the film entered and paid for now. So I have a huge deadline on me and I refuse to compromise quality. It has to be the best it can be… and even though I am pushing hard, I still am taking the time to do it right… I am just not sleeping – LOL. Nothing will be sacrificed in film quality, but the same cannot be said of my life… I will make sacrifices to ensure the film is done right and on time. That is what making a movie is all about. Sacrifice, hard work and a very amazing end result.

I don’t want it to sound like I was being a complainer or a bitcher, I’m not. Just giving am account of the last few weeks and why it has taken me a while to get an update done. In the end, the public is pretty smart, but also a bit unforgiving. If the film has issues, they don’t care why. They don’t care if an actor was tired, or if a camera got broken, or an effect didn’t work right… they don’t care if there was a blizzard or a flood, if a location was flooded, if a light blew out… all they care about is if they were entertained… so it is my duty and my true responsibility to every cast and crew person to make sure this turns out the best I can possibly make it. And if some things must be sacrificed for a short amount of time, so be it. I learned a long time ago that film is timeless. Movies last forever… and even some of my old films that I have disowned and would like to see buried keep coming back to haunt me. Once this film is done and out there it will be forever. It will outlast all of us. And so it has been an honor to be able to bring my vision to life with the help of all of the talented people involved – you have brought my imagination to life! Thanks to every person who helped in any way – and thanks to every person who watches it and gets it and has as much fun as we did making it.

Todd Sheets

Director

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.

We laughed, we cried… and it was good. Weekend 3 is history!

Posted in Director's Log with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2013 by forbiddensecretsmovie

Had an amazing time this weekend. It was our longest shooting time so far, no sleep at all – tons of blocking and effects, huge dialogue scenes, massive areas to light – and I loved it all! In 3 days I got around 7 hours of sleep. The cast and crew were simply incredible. At one point the actors and I had a meeting so I could explain the evening and how long it was taking. We played a song and did some Zen / Chi work for about 5 minutes. The actors all told me that they wanted me to take my time, that they understood and they would be there no matter what. They trusted my vision, and they wanted to make sure I was able to get what I wanted for the film. Even if it took till Noon the next day, they were there for me. That felt great.

This weekend was also incredibly hard for the actors due to the amount of emotion they had to portray.  Everyone stepped up to the challenge and did such a wonderful job.  Nicole really got lost in her character of Cassie, pushing herself to the edge on many occasions, to the point where I was actually a bit worried about her.  I asked her about it and she said she was doing OK… but she and many others in the cast had to visit some dark places and to see their dedication made me proud and warmed my heart.  Thanks to the cast for taking my words into their hearts and giving them life and passion!!!

Saturday night was a rough one, but I can honestly say we did the best we could to move as fast as possible. Some things are out of our control, but in every way that I could control, we made sure things were rolling ahead. We had two major characters that did gore scenes and there was a ton of Special Makeup Effects work to do. The effects crew did a great job!!! One of the most disturbing things I have even shot.

All in all, a major amount of scenes are in the can, looking great and sounding even better!!!! This is going to be an amazing film.

Todd Sheets

Director / Producer

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!