Thursday, December 11, 2008


I told Rick months ago, I would dance a jig when this thing was over. Well, I’m not dancing the jig quite yet, but I’ve begun polishing my dancing shoes. My job as Producer, Director, Editor is now over. I packaged the movie up and shipped it to LA for our Composer, Michael Dobbins, to build the last piece of the story onto a year and half worth of work. Is the film like I envisioned it....? No.... Maybe... I haven’t gotten to that point yet but I’m sure I will when I’m watching the last frame flash by after seeing all the elements together for the first time since shooting in September. For me.... The next two weeks, it’s on to preparations for the feature, “Invasion” AKA “The Red Plague,” and moving the family to the Pacific Ocean. Then it will be back for 3 days mastering and finishing the DVD Extras for the film and then.... YES, I will dance a jig. I may do it before that. It all depends on how I feel.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Debauchery - Six Years Later

For a small stint, I would say a year and a half of my life, (maybe two,) I was a very angry person. Not so much, if I saw you in public and you gave me a look, I'd try and rip your head off, but more an angry brewing deep in side. An anger towards myself kind of thing... Anyway, I was watching the news and some young man was arrested for attacking a rapist on trial in the court room. This rapist had raped and impregnated his girlfriend in their home while he was working third shift at a local factory. He had been sitting in the court just brewing at this guy as the rapist spewed lies on the stand. A source had said that he had maintained his composer for over twenty minutes before rising from his seat, jumping over the railing and slugging this rapist. He not only clocked him in the eye, but it took two bailiffs and three security guards to pull this man's hands from the rapist's neck. I started thinking... Here you are with a great simple life. A house, a dog, marriage on the way, a great life ahead of you. You go to work like any normal day, trying to make some money, and by the time you reach your lunch break, your whole life has been turned upside down. How a man's fear of not being able to protect his home becomes reality and a man's dignity and pride is taken away and that just being one little element in a complete mental breakdown he would experience in a situation like this.... I don't know how I would react. How would you react? I felt this to be an interesting take on a story so I began writing notes and really thinking hard about it.

I have always been a huge fan of the "payback is a bitch" genre of action/drama movies. So I thought: What if a man's wife was raped and this man walked in on the act and nearly killed the rapist. The only problem was this rapist was a very important person in the small town they lived in and because of other technicalities, the rapist got off and the man was tried and convicted of attempted murder and aggravated assault and was thrown in jail for four years.....Four years... To sit around and think about that guy.... Four years to let it seep in... Four years knowing he is walking the street a free man while your life will never be the same. Would you ever even be able to forget it or forget it long enough to be OK?
So here's the pitch: Parker West was convicted for attempted murder and assault. He walked in on an assailant raping his girlfriend in her house. Because the assailant was who he was, nobody including his girlfriend wanted to testify. Parker was sentenced to four years in Alexander County Correctional Facility. It would have been more, but the judge was lenient on him due to the fact he had tried this assailant with no conviction two times before as a prosecutor. After doing ninety five percent of his sentence, Parker West was released a free man. For four years, he's waited for this moment. For four years, he's planned his revenge. Four years in prison was enough to trade his life for his assailants. Parker will not be denied. He's gonna finish what he started....
Sounds like a run of the meal "payback" movie, right? Well, almost... I have a little twist at the end of it that throws you for a loop. I would love to share it with you, but that would spoil the surprise.
This story was conceived five years ago. With a pencil and notebook I scripted a rough draft that reached about ninety one pages. A friend in LA and myself thought it was too long and drawn out and needed to be tightened up. I thought about it for months and couldn't come up with a way to tighten it up without losing character build and also not giving away the secret before the finale. Ninety pages is about the minimum to make it a feature. You get much shorter than that these days, it feels like you are cheating the audience out of their ten bucks admission. I moved on to new jobs, new towns and ultimately lost the notebook with my original written script in it. I moved back into North Carolina and that aura of the story came back as I was driving by the small hole in the wall bars and as I talked to some of the more simple, but troubled folk I had always encountered during my stays here. The story started brewing again. New ideas started popping up.

Now when the eff am I going to have time to pick this one back up with all that’s going on?? Maybe 2014....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I’ve had a lot of bullshit sarcasm and speculations as of late that I somewhat don’t appreciate the importance of finishing the film. I do not feel like I have to justify my actions when it comes to MY film, I’m in the process of finishing. Let me, let you know that, (with the exception of Rick, who wrote it,) I’ve been there since day one on this thing and I WILL BE THE ONLY ONE there at the end as well. BUT if you must know “what’s taken so long,” I will lay it out to you.

September 30th - We shot it.

October 1- 21 - Was spent working on the proposal and script for the horror feature we were pitching to some big wigs out west SINCE it had already been decided that I was going to LA to cut the film. (We weren’t going to mess things up by starting on one computer and then getting to LA and realizing this computer doesn’t have this or this or this, so we left it alone.) I did capture the Documentary footage if you must know.

October 22- November 2 - LOS ANGELES - 18 hours a day editing, flying in planes to get shots, syncing ADR, adding sound efx, cleaning up sound and even trying to score the thing ourselves. The last day I worked on the film for 22 hours.... 22 hours straight.

November 2 - Upon looking at the film a couple of times, I realized it needed a lot of work.

November 3 -4 - Ryan did a cut without me. I flew back to Hickory.

November 6 - I figure out what the film is lacking with a few days away from it. Ryan uses his cut to get what he needs from some connections and a plan is set forth to make a documentary and then make the alien invasion film.

November 7th - Ryan washes his hands of Jeopardy and sends me the external drive.

November 8 - 17 - Absolutely nothing.... I cut two trailers and begin work on Strapped and Strained because I couldn’t work on the film because I needed a $700 upgrade in order to open the fucking file and oh yeah, I quit my job to go out to LA and cut the film so guess what.... I have no fucking money to float a $700 Upgrade so I’m fucked........

November 18 - The upgrade and a HD Monitor miraculously show up on my doorstep with a note reading “Finish the Fucking Movie” on it. The deliverer still unknown. (I’m gonna’ say it was my father or Ryan.... I don’t know.) I get right to work.

November 19 - 26 - Recut the film, redoing all transitions, flashback sequences and even adding some footage unused in the first cut. Three things that took the longest: 1) Redesigning the Transition from present to flashback and back-- made everyone of them unique this time around 2) Learning the program Color and building some extensive effects for imaging composites 3) I fucked up and cut the 2nd cut on a timeline which frame rate was 29.97.... (It was suppose to be 23.97) ---- That took a day to fix the amateur screw up of mine.

November 27 - December 3 - After breaking up the timeline by at least a minute and half and because of rushing through the process in LA’s cut and being very unorganized in the Sound Department section of the film, I opted to start the Workflow of the Sound Design and Editing completely over, using nearly 34 additional effects than the first cut and laying it all on a new timeline instead of using the first cut time line and trying to re sync up all the ear candy individually. (It will make it easier for transfers, surround packages etc....)

Tomorrow - I will fine tune every burp, fart and tweep’s levels/pans on the timeline, making sure foley like footsteps match and assuring DONGS hit when the DONGS should.

Then I ship it off to the composer.... While the composer is scoring the film, I’ll clean up the god awful sound we have in a couple of the key scenes. When I get the score back, I’ll master the sound effects, score, dialogue together, tweak any last minute color issues and render out the final movie.

How much longer? Depends on Greg, the composer. As of Friday..... I’ll be idle waiting for the final master.

You ask about a finished movie/premiere..... Let’s say by Christmas, no later, I’ll have a finished piece.... Getting a place to have a premiere, probably won’t happen until after the New Year considering the Holidays are terrible for movie premieres unless you are George Clooney or Tom Cruise.... Sorry, but going back to the first couple of sentences in this glorified timeline, “I’ve been working on this movie for a year and half.” With the pressure of the money men off my back, I would just assume, if it takes me until April put out the absolute BEST film I could possibly put out and not let everybody’s hard work go to the shitter because I am being told “Finish the fucking movie” by people who aren’t doing crap to help my cause. My career is waiting... Yours can too. Did I forget to tell you also that during all this I’m raising two kids, prepping to new projects, trying to save my marriage, and having to move back to Los Angeles by the third week in January. LAY OFF, I’m doing the best I can......

Here is a couple screenshots of the bullshit I’m having to methodically and precisely lay down.

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