Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Invasion on Bunktown Asylum

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have a winner! First thank you all for submitting your ideas and outlines, but Ryan's pitch won over the investors so our first feature will be a horror/sci-fi film. (Doesn't mean we won't shoot yours too. We're just shooting this one first.) The film will probably be shot in North carolina AND the Mohave Desert and we're looking to try and get it rolling in February/March if everything goes well.

The plan now is: I will head to LA on Friday and cut Jeopardy. I honestly probably won't get it completely finished during my stay but hopefully get it to the point where all that's needed is the score.

Ryan and I will be hashing out the details and outline for the script in between cutting. We'll meet with the investors the Saturday before i come back to NC with an almost rough cut or film using licensed music and a heavy outline or hell 50 pages of a script. (I've secretly written 40 pages of it already.) Get them to sign off, so I can really get started.

I return from LA on November 1st and am jobless if you keep up with this stuff. I'll take a couple weeks off to complete a rough draft of the script, cut the Extras for the Jeopardy DVD, (documentary, etc..) have a premiere for Jeopardy and start submitting it to the big festivals while we finalize the horror script and begin pre production on the feature. That is the plan from here.

The working title is: "The Invasion on Bunktown Asylum." That will change I am sure but for now, I've titled that since I'm set to scribe it.

Menacing flesh eating aliens land for a human gorge fest while the local asylum's sickos escape!!!! It is up to the Sheriff, his deputies and his family to save the small town from fatal terror even if it means joining one of the gruesome bunch of baddies.

Gore, Action, Suspense and Humor kinetically merge in this over the top tribute to the 1980's action and horror films.

It's gonna' be awesome: "Think Planet Terror meets slasher film[insert any of the normal] meets Aliens."

Here are 2 pages of my script. Go easy on me. I have not proof read nor looked back at what I have written yet.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Strapped and Strained - Four Days on the Crazy Train

Many great decisions were made in the three days of principle photography of Jeopardy. Some more highlighted than others, but one that may be Top 4 on the list is when I grabbed my Panasonic 3 Chip and handed it to Skip Myers during the first hour of PP on the movie and said,"You wanna' run BTS camera?"

I had 7 tapes alotted to shoot the behind the scenes but was going to be happy with 2 hours worth when the smoke cleared. Skip, I think rarely took the camera away from his eyeball and the times that he did, was when he was playing an extra or when everybody was sleeping. He filled 8 hours of tape, (and that's having to tape over an old junk wedding tape I just so happened luckily to have in my car.) Anyway, what he captured was every argument, victory, blown take, insightful, and educating moment of our 3 day shoot and because he didn't listen to me when I said, "just shoot some stuff here and there," and shot everything instead, he'll/we'll/everybody will have a feature length documentary that will go along AND separate with the film we were actually there to shoot. I was thinking about cutting it just cause documentary editing is my forte', but may not get to do it by myself due to the strain of the deadline of Jeopardy for the big film festival deadlines, the script for the feature, and an official website for Jeopardy that I have to do cause we've run out of money to delegate anything else but before I pass it on to him and Phil to piece together, I'm logging and capturing all the footage and have access to the raw clips of the magic Mr. Myers performed and will be adding them to my You Tube Channel, Myspace, Facebook and Official site as I get them completed and encoded.

By the way, great job SKIP--- you want to edit it too??? I should probably ask you before I start tossing your name around, shouldn't I?

Check these clips out. The only bad thing I will say is there are a lot of meaty conversations and good stuff that I can't post until after the film is out. Reasoning is if people pay attention and remember stuff, we give the twist ending away which will deteriorate the films marketability.

Here are some of the early finds:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

John Harvey's 'Suicide Jack'

John Harvey's phenomenal short film 'Suicide Jack' played at the Indie Memphis Film Festival this past Friday. We are sending out our congrats to John and hope the film has great success down the festival highway. If anybody hasn't seen it, get in touch with him. He may be nice and send you one. Other wise you may have to pay. I don't know. Just get in touch with him and find out how you can see it. If he tells you to F off. Contact me. I have one copy I may lend out to somebody if they catch me in a good mood. It's a must see.

The Festival

The Film

The Man

Friday, October 10, 2008

BTW - The Inspiration for the Last Entry

By the way, the inspiration for the reason I chose to put it all out on the line was some inspirational words from one of the best crew guys we had on the Jeopardy set. The Great John Harvey who pushed us all by out performing us all.

His email read like this:

That's great that Ryan is going to put this thing on the front burner and get it out the door. That should help you to keep your momentum moving forward and your passion high, which can only lead to good things. Congratulations. I haven't seen any of the footage, but it sounds like you guys are really pleased with it and I'm glad that I was able to be a small part of something successful. You and Ryan are both consummate professionals and your patience in the face of adversity (even when someone unplugs the hard drive with all your footage on it) speaks volumes about you both. I read on your myspace about some potential future projects that you may be doing; I know that your group is tight, but if there is a way for me to be involved with any of those things, I would love the opportunity. Even though I'm in school, my passion is still with film (working on your set reminded me of that), and I'm going to fight tooth and nail to make sure that I stay involved, some way, some how. So, please don't hesitate to ask if something comes up to which you think I may be able to contribute.

Thanks again for the great experience and I wish you the best with getting Jeopardy finished. I can't wait to see it.

Keep in touch. Oh by the way, this is a great article that my brother sent to me CLICK HERE . If you have ever doubted taking the plunge, this will remind you why you push so hard to be successful.

John Harvey

By the way, John, Law School or no law school, I'd pay your tuition if it meant always having you around on my sets. Thank you.... And yes, that article along with your words made my decision easy and anybody who has ever doubted their place in life, read it. It's worth the ten minutes.

The Fog Clears and a Decision is Made

About the time I was able to relax and enjoy the victory of putting Jeopardy in the can, I came down with pseumonia and was bed riddened for nearly a week. I have/had never been that sick in my lifetime and I mean that. I mean just the smallest things like thinking, moving a mouse, reading a book to my daughter were not done without discomfort or stress. There were two days where I nearly slept all day without even a sign of the bug letting up. I missed valuable time logging and preparing Jeopardy for editing on top of dug a hole on actually talking my boss into giving me another a week out of the office to finish my opus. (I don't think he was going to allow to take another week off anyway, but since I ended up missing 4 days due to the pseumonia, I was now DAMN SURE, he wasn't going to.) So let's rewind to three days ago... It was at the heart of sickness. I was rundown, grouchy, strung out and could do nothing but lay on the bed and think about it all.
All that kept running through my head was money to feed the kids, giving up my movie, what life would be like if I were unemployed until Christmas. Just everything... It was just another day in Garrick's life, only with this time it seemed the worst of all worlds because not only had I been battling with all these same problems since Hickory's economy had faltered nearly a year and a half ago, but I had also said, "as soon as I finished shooting Jeopardy, I would fix all this other shit." Well, that time had come and gone. When I had planned on handling that I had not planned on being put on a tight schedule to have Jeopardy complete because I had never been on a deadline with any of my films in the past. Basically, Ryan did what he wanted to do and that is put me in a situation where I would be forced to make a decision and risk it all. His favorite saying used to be my favorite saying,"Shit or get off the pot." Where I had idolized Ryan in the way he lived his life, and how he had accomplished so much and continued honing his craft through it all, he had idolized me for my love and passion for what I did and how nothing got in my way when it came to making films. He was worried that had all changed with my bitter years of being holed up in North Carolina. This was his chance to break me out and get the old Garrick back.So back to the situation:

What was more important? The Movie and my future in them or My shit job and the money that comes along with it that keeps my wife off my back? There were two choices: "You are etither coming or not?" He knew I would come. He knew I would not sacrifice his money nor my hard work by working on this movie a little at a time over the next 5 months, (in between feeding bottles and giving the wife assistance in mopping the floor.) Or even worse, just hand the movie over so he could have one of his guys cut it together off of my notes. He knew even if I thought it to be a bad idea, I would wrap that external up and throw caution to the wind and go cut the thing myself. This movie was huge and we had a huge opportunity in the worst of economical times and I would be stupid to play it safe and not take a chance at it all.

Well, since my daughter was born my days of taking chances have grown very scarce and I can truly say, money wise, I have not made a mistake since April 11th, 2006. Throwing caution to the wind now and putting myself in a situation where there may be a couple of months of no income, (close to Christmas,) may end up screwing that perfect track record if I would make the wrong decision.

This is all I kept thinking about. Thinking how I can't win either way I go. If I were to walk away from the movie, send the external to Ryan and have him and his guys cut it, number one, Ryan would lose faith in me as a partner and a huge piece of me would discentagrate because like Ryan said, "The old Garrick wouldn't even make this an issue." Well, as the sickness began to leave me last night so did the doubts. My wife who knew I had been extremely miserable with my current place and employment in life maybe sort of got on board. With our relationship challenged lately due to alot of things, maybe she realized that no matter what Garrick would be doing in two months he would be away from that job and that would make him more happy than anything else in the world at the present time and maybe he deserved that much. No matter what it was, the plan had been set to begin looking for another job, (even if I didn't need it after the Los Angeles trip,) and if one weren't found by October 25th then I would go anyway and not look back. The thought is scary considering Christmas being right around the corner, but there are just some things you have to risk in life. My kids will understand one day if Santa Claus is a little slimmer this year. Who knows? It may be the best Christmas of all.

But as the fog from the sickness fades I can't help but be excited and not worried about the time after October 25th. I'm getting on a plane and I'm flying out to finish my movie. What happens from there is yet to be written. The only thing I can foreshadow is a happier Garrick who will finally put his "bread and butter only" job away. He can walk away from the job where he could have been so great yet spent two years on the bench as a whipping boy waiting to get fired. And now, he gets to keep his dignity, by laying it all out to them on paper and leaving them instead of trying to come up with more ways to get fired.
And when the narcisstic owner/boss asks me, "Well, Garrick, what do you plan on doing when you got back? Haven't you even thought about that you idiot?" I'm going to finally get to say what I've dreamt of saying for a year and a half: "I was thinking about Burger King. The pay's not so good but they promote you pretty fast if you a hard worker. I want have any problems getting noticed there."

The most exciting part of all this... We're starting the next one already.

Ryan, Greg and I began writing our "Horror Film" over the weekend. I'm looking forward to having a first draft packed with the Jeopardy external drive. My life has just begun.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Out of the Wreckage

My first correspondence since completing shooting of Jeopardy Tuesday Morning.

OK, so I'm finally awake. Sorry for the pause in this email, but the 39 hour purge without sleep for the last two days really kind of did me in and I needed some time to recuperate before getting my thoughts back together. I've told you all plenty and I'll tell you one more time: Thank you. I might have been hard on you, but this to me was the make or break film for my career personally and I had to protect Ryan's investment in me by assuring closure. Everyone of you threw caution to the wind and trusted Ryan and I to assure your hard and strained work did not go in vain and it did not. I know a lot of you may be still pissy with Adam-- Don't be. If Adam seemed like an ass or bossy it was only cause I pushed him to be that and trust me, nobody was harder on Adam than myself but you know what, that was just one element of many on this set that made it the well oiled machine that it was and it showed Monday night when we went into the toughest and biggest night of the shoot on 4 and less hours of sleep and with the exception of a frustrating smoke machine performed flawlessly.

Ryan and Phil stayed up all morning and watched our footage while I ran the kids to daycare and Ryan hit me with the news that the 16 hour shoots had produced exactly if not better than what we had envisioned and he didn't think waiting for little ole me to cut the whole picture, sound, efx, etc... would be in our best interest so the plan changed dramatically for the out come of the film. He's shutting down his post house out in LA and putting everybody on this for a week. I will be flying out on October 24th and Ryan and I will be cutting the film within the course of a week WHICH MEANS it will be much earlier than projected that our little opus, (or sunuvabitch,) will hit the public and the investors hands.

I'll keep everybody posted, but we just decided why wait when we have so much momentum. Again thank you all for your contributions and being willing to go down with the ship no matter what. It's truly inspiring to have seen so many people stand behind me despite their doubts at times and no matter what give their 100%. I am extremely in debt to you all and I can only hope seeing this project through in swift fashion will allot us all to begin again a little bigger and healthier than before.

Ryan and I will do everything in our power from here to do just that. For now all I can say is "get the golf shoes out of the hallway," "stop fucking with that suitcase," "keep Adam's snoring ass out of your room if you wanna' sleep," and always, always give the camera man the bird. I'll talk to you all really soon and keep you all up to date during the grueling post production period. As corny as it may sound, I miss everyone already and would love just one more day to shoot with you all.

Yours truly,

Shooting 24/7

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