Archive for Grindhouse

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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Unleashed At Last!!!!

Posted in Director's Log with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2013 by forbiddensecretsmovie

Finally getting to the end of the production road.  We actually have screened the film twice now, once at the amazing PollyGrind Film Festival in Las Vegas, NV and also at the Boulevard Drive In Theater in Kansas City, KS.  I was blown away by the reception at both events, and Dyanne Thorne and I both won awards in Vegas!!!!  She won for her amazing acting talent and I won for my directing / producing!!!  It was unreal!  There are still a couple of small visual effects shots that we are waiting on from a company that executive producer Bryan David has working… he gave them an OCT 1st deadline, so I truly have no idea what is taking so long, but after that, the film will be 100% complete.  Of course, this film can survive just fine without them, but they will enhance one or two spots that are already awesome.

Chad Freeman, yours truly, Dyanne Thorne, Antwoine Steele, Howard Maurer

Chad Freeman, yours truly, Dyanne Thorne, Antwoine Steele, Howard Maurer

I really have to say that Chad Freeman, the man who created PollyGrind, held an amazing event.  We were really pleased how all the film creators in attendance really treated each other with so much respect and gave each other true support!!!  It was a dream come true!

Speaking of a dream coming true…. this film, as you know, allowed me to work with many actors and actresses I absolutely love… starting with Dyanne Thorne and Howard Maurer.  Dyanne is such an icon of the film world, and very loved by everyone.  And the dream of working with her is now a reality for me, but also, she and Howard have become like family to me.  An Aunt and Uncle I never knew I had…. we shared so much on this film, and we have truly become family.  I love them dearly…. and I respect them so much.  Antwoine Steele, who plays the male lead in the film, Jacob Hunt was there and it truly was a shining moment for him.  It did me so much good to watch his face light up.  Antwoine has worked hard over the years to end up where he is now – we have been brothers for 18 years… making numerous films together… but this one was special.  For him as well as for me.  And he delivered.  Every member of this cast and crew delivered.  And it shows.  SO much passion and heart and soul went into this film… it truly has a life of it’s own.

And seeing it with an audience is the best…. I truly wanted this film to have meaning, to have a solid story and some cool twists and turns.  This film was not made for the MTV generation of 2 second edits and shaky camera crap.  This film was made in honor of the classics that I love.  The Italian Horror of the 70s and 80s… the films of Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento, Joe D’Amato, Mario and Lamberto Bava, Luigi Cozzi, Umberto Lenzi, Ruggero Deodato… and so many more.  The music reflects this fact with Fabio Frizzi being involved, creating an amazing musical soundscape for the film.  This is not for people with a short attention span… it requires an audience to meet these characters, become invested in them, and take this journey WITH them.  Chad said it best when he described the film as “Super Ambitious” with many twists and turns – it begins as one type of genre film and ends up being 4 at once.  And that is one of the strengths – the film has real characters.  Not just cardboard targets for a slasher.  It has a storyline that is refreshing, original and complex…. if you want flashy, shakycam fluff with no lasting value… better move along.  One other comment that really makes me feel great is that the more times you see it, the more little things you learn… the more you see and the more the details emerge.  Plus, there are a ton of genre “in-jokes” in the film that you may not catch the first time… but you’ll start seeing them as you watch it again.

The music again, continues to amaze me…. so many people have come to me after the screenings and raved about the music from Fabio Frizzi, with assistance from our favorite Japanese Horror composer Toshiyuki Hiraoka.  They have truly created masterworks here… some of the best of their careers thus far.  Our soundtrack will be released in November via BEAT Records in Rome.  It will be all over Europe and Asia, and soon in America, but you can still buy it as an import and I’ll post that info when I get it.

A civilization is as great as its dreams, and its dreams are dreamt by artists.  Keep your heart open to dreams. For as long as there’s a dream, there is hope, and as long as there is hope, there is joy in living.  Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.  Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall at last unveil.  My dreams have come true, for the most part, on this film…. along with dreams comes the danger of nightmares, and I have had a few of those creep in as well… but I fought to push through the shadows and the dark times… and now the dream is a reality that I am able to share with everyone on earth.

Until next time….

Todd Sheets

Director / writer / producer / editor – and tired bastard.

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