Lady Belladonna’s Night Shades is quickly becoming a reality. After an extensive month-long search, involving some of the most talented actresses from all across the state, our dark lady has been cast in the form of local performer and provocateur Tawnya Bass. Our supporting roles have also been cast in the form of trusted and proven local actors, Jack Lutz and my own partner Donny Prosise.
This is all very exciting considering this is the first project of this scope I have ever attempted. With only three short films under my belt, I am now launched on a journey to create a feature length anthology for PRC Productions. A full-scale production utilizing the skills of some of the most outstanding and multi-talented people southern New Mexico has to offer. It’s like the realization of a dream I never allowed myself to acknowledge until now. Obviously none of this would be possible without the continued support and encouragement of my business partners, Troy Scoughton Sr. and Troy Scoughton Jr. at Borderlands Media.
It should come as no surprise by now, to any who have been following this blog, that I am a huge advocate for promotion and advancement of local talent. I truly believe in the creative spirit I have witnessed in Las Cruces and El Paso, since relocating here eight years ago next month. This admiration runs the gamut, from fine artists, writers and musicians to actors, filmmakers, set and costume designers and more. Creating a project that can put so many of these creative individuals to work has been a dream ever since I co-founded Film Las Cruces in 2011.
And so we now have a project that not only incorporates local filmmakers and actors (if I haven’t yet mentioned it, none of this would be possible without the short films we will be showcasing by the likes of Sheridan O’Donnell, Keagan Karnes, Kent Harkey, Jesse Walden and so many more), but others as well. Just last week, we laid down tracks for the opening theme of the feature, written by our producer Troy Scoughton Sr. and sung by brilliant singer/songwriters Tom Foster Morris and Colby Crain. Today I am meeting with costume designer Autumn Gieb and stylist Sabine Green to begin work on clothing our dark lady for the production.
Probably the most exciting development of all, however, would have to be the partnerships we have forged with Green, who owns a local marketing and design company called Local Eyes With Green, and Frank Villasana, owner of Back In Black Creative Services, a four-time Telly Award-winning production studio based in El Paso, Texas. Through them, we now have access to Nequim Studios in El Paso, where we will be filming Lady Belladonna’s Night Shades and the services of Hell Paso Alt Wear, which will be providing some of the kinky clothing and a wide variety of sinful accessories to make Lady Belladonna the most stylish succubus in the Abyss!
Can it get much better than this? Well, if the fantastic design work Troy Scoughton Jr. is orchestrating for the opening credits – which I think are brilliantly conceived and will perfectly set the stage for the film itself – and the sensational music mix his father, Troy Scoughton Sr. is doing on the opening theme are any indication, the answer is yes. It can and will just keep getting better!
There are still hair and makeup stylists, set designers and background actors to meet with. There are schedules to work out, rehearsals to plan, fittings to arrange, shot sheets and storyboards to create. All before mid-August when we are scheduled to shoot this thing.
And somehow, throughout this process, we still have several episodes of Platicas to produce before we can present season two to the PBS affiliates, like KRWG-TV, which will be broadcasting it. Not to mention the marketing strategies in development for those local filmmakers who are soliciting us for distribution of their own works. It’s a very busy time for us here at Borderlands Media. I can’t recall ever being so overwhelmed by anything matching the sheer magnitude of projects we are currently juggling.
But you know what? I wouldn’t give it up for all the promises of fame, fortune and big-budget productions the “studio” folks have been promulgating for the last couple of years. I am fully in my element, creatively speaking, and with plans already underway to market this baby via appearances at comic conventions (we’re already booked for the Las Cruces Comic Con in September), social media and the blogosphere, traditional print advertisements in publications like Variety and the Hollywood Reporter and more, I can’t help but believe we’re going to blow the roof off preconceptions about filmmaking in southern New Mexico.
That, above all else, is an accomplishment I hope everybody associated with this production can and will be proud of. Only time, and the ungodly hours necessary to pull it all off, will tell…