“Whew, I’m tired, but you know, it’s a GOOD tired.” That’s been my mantra over the last 48 hours or so. And with good reason, too. The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity, most of it film related, which is just exactly the way I want it, right now.
In that time, I have prepared for and acted in the student-produced short film “Bone Spur” and produced and directed my own short film “Perfect,” all with the inclusion of some very gracious and talented creative people. Those were just the highlights. There were a lot of other developments that made the experiences that much richer. I may be tired, but I am very, very grateful and more than a little excited for what the future will bring.
To begin with, though acting may not be my strongest suit – and, thus, is not something I pursue regularly – anytime I’m asked to create a character reminiscent of my gothic faves like Vincent Price or Peter Cushing, I am beyond thrilled. Professor Alucard (yes, Dracula spelled backwards) didn’t have much to do in Bone Spur beyond grouse and intimidate, but the director allowed me the opportunity to imbue him with an inner light that I hope will transcend the 12 minute run time of the finished product.
I also got to put together a fun little costume that, I’m sure, no modern day college professor would be caught dead in (well… maybe dead…), but it was all part of the fun. I even whipped my hair and beard up into a moussed and waxed confection, the likes of which hasn’t been fashionable for over 50 years. A week to prepare, two days to shoot and my part was done. As of this moment, I have seen a rough cut of the film and I have to say, I really like it. Looking forward to the finished version.
As soon as that exercise was completed, I jumped full-steam ahead into pre-production for my latest short, “Perfect.” That included two evening rehearsals with the actors, a costume fitting and photo shoot and, finally, cleaning and dressing a set very graciously offered up by fellow filmmakers. There were a lot of other things that had to get done during the week, too, of course. Several trips for props and costume accessories, shot sheets to plan, fake blood to make, product logos to design, special effects to create – it was pretty non-stop all week.
Saturday we were up early and on set by 10am, despite a very gloomy beginning and rain throughout the day. Having prepared for the day with the attention to detail only an anally retentive taskmaster can muster, then surrounded myself with professionals both before and behind the camera, we were completely wrapped by 4pm. The entire shoot took six hours, including lunch break and a couple of breaks for clean-up. Now that’s a shoot!
Then there were the moments completely unrelated to either project. You know, the things that happen even when we’re bogged down in the minutia of the moment. The events that will have far-reaching effects on everything we are trying to build here in the beautiful borderlands of southern New Mexico.
To begin with, I found out early on that “Truth,” the first of our official releases under the Borderlands Media umbrella, is being picked up by Redbox, which itself is great news. It was made even more so by the discovery that the film is also being picked up by Netflix. It doesn’t even release until February and we’re already getting bites. That sort of launches the news into the fantastic realm.
Early Thursday, Donny drove me to El Paso for an interview by film advocate and local luminary Charles Horak for his “On Film” radio show. Charles and I have crossed paths in the past, and always promised each other that one day I would make the 40 mile trek to the UTEP campus for a proper interview. The time finally presented itself. We talked up Borderlands Media and the Sins Of Man contest, which was great fun and I actually sounded like I knew what I was talking about.
The interview ran on the airwaves at KTEP 88.5 FM, Saturday morning, while we were shooting “Perfect,” but it’s been posted online, so I got to listen in after the dust had settled. With luck, some enterprising filmmakers will have heard the broadcast and realized they have nothing to lose by getting their work out for people to see. It’s really all about that, after all.
Friday night was the poster release party for the Las Cruces Film Festival, which presented great opportunities to introduce my Borderlands Media partners to some of the local players, including members of the newly formed Las Cruces Film Commission. It also gave me the opportunity to crow about “Truth” being picked up by two of the largest film distribution points in the country, which I hope whetted the appetites of some of the filmmakers present who have finished projects in need of representation. Fingers crossed…
Finally, Saturday night, after the shoot, I found out that Mollie Kellogg’s “selfie” painting of me – the creation of which was detailed right here in a couple of posts from the beginning of the year – won first place in a juried art exhibition in Escondido, California. Doesn’t really impact my world here in New Mexico, but the fact that my ugly old mug helped one of my favorite artists snatch a prize tickles me to no end. It was a really nice way to end a very eventful two weeks.
It’s only the beginning, however. There is still a short film to edit, marketing to do for “Truth” and Borderlands Media, pre-production to begin on the anthology series we’ve got planned for the beginning of 2016 and let us not forget the holiday season is upon us, with all the manic energy of a Krampus let loose in a school for wayward children. So much to do. No time like the present to start.