Archive for Italian Horror

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!

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.