Wednesday, April 28, 2010

SantaBoy was a success and onward to announcements...

The week has been a whirlwind so far, as it usually is after coming off a very busy weekend. We shot SantaBoy, the new comedy from writer/director Scott Sullivan, this past Saturday and Sunday. I was involved as a producer, first assistant director, and as part of the cast in a very special guest appearance!

The shoot went great. We wrapped ahead of schedule each day, and Aaron Champion did a fantastic job as the Director of Photography. He was using his new Canon 5D, with a set of 3 primes and one variable lense. Great shallow depth of field, film-like sheen, etc. The stuff really looks great, and I can't wait until the trailer is ready.

The Cineline guys were also on hand for the adventure, both Matt Perry and Sven Granlund. They did their usual wonderful job, and we had some excellent participation from Adam Miles, who worked as a camera assistant and wore several other hats over the weekend.

Dana Sullivan, who was also a producer on the project, really kept the environment nice...there was good food and drinks available for cast and crew, including a few Monster Energy drinks, for which she gets several gold stars from me (as those of you who know me are aware, Monster is the best of all energy drinks in the market, bar none!)

Major props to the cast as well, which included Scott Sullivan, Karen Boles, and Ashley-Rose Sullivan. There was not a weak link in the cast, and the performances were solid all the way through. Nick, the 12 year old star of the show, was very pleasant to work with and showed a real maturity in how he handled direction and the long shooting day on Saturday.

I'll post updates here on SantaBoy, as we hope to have a local showing before Scott heads out to immerse in the MFA in Screenwriting program at UCLA.

I've been scrambling to catch up since I got back, but suffice it to say that there will be several Seventh Star Press related announcements over the next week or so:

1. Will be for a new fantasy author coming aboard, a guy who is first-class and whose writing I think very highly of. He and I are really going to be able to team up at conventions and other activities to promote our work, and I am looking forward to joining forces with him. Can't wait for this announcement, which will be coming next week.

2. An announcement will be made on Amanda DeBord's new anthology for Seventh Star Press. This will be the first anthology for Seventh Star Press, and I'm personally excited as Amanda has been a great editor to work with.

3. The title and some release information on my new book, the 2nd book in the Rising Dawn Saga, will also be released.

We will try to space the announcements apart by at least a couple of days, but the flurry will mark a very exciting time.

That's it for the moment, but stay tuned, as things are moving forward!

Friday, April 23, 2010

SantaBoy Weekend Production!

Had a good week, which included a very wonderful trip to Franklin Kentucky, to the campus there for Bowling Green Technical College where I was invited to give an independent film seminar by Dr. Sandra Wales. The students there gave a warm welcome and we had a great two hour discussion with lots of questions asked. We ran the gamut from the screenplay to distribution, and about everything in between. I will be uploading a pic from this visit when I get some time early next week. I hope to have some of the students gain some experience as production assistants when we shoot "Swordbearer" around mid-August.

As of today, I just wrapped up the dates at Keeneland for the live racing meet. Had a very good experience once again with the Keeneland broadcast gang, but then again, they are all so very good and work so well as a team. This is why they have won two straight international simulcast awards for best simulcast production, leading into this year.

Though I always miss many of the people at Keeneland, I am rarin' to go for the SantaBoy shoot this weekend. Some of you may know a little about this project from my earlier posts, but this is a short comedy from writer/director Scott Sullivan, who just got accepted into UCLA's MFA in Screenwriting Program. Not easy to do that! And Scott's last film, Bottle Rockets, did wonderfully at a slew of film fests.

I am going to be wearing a few different hats this weekend. I've served as a producer, and will be donning an A.D. hat and even an actor's hat this weekend. I'll hold the surprise for the role I'm doing until later, but everyone who knows me will get a kick out of it for sure.

We have a small team working on this one, but it is a great one, in my estimation. I tapped the Cineline Productions guys again, and Matt Perry and Sven Granlund are heading down to anchor the production side. I tapped Aaron Champion to DP it. Aaron is meticulous and extremely talented, and I can't wait to see what Scott thinks of his work when this is all done. Adam Miles, who works with me at Keeneland, is also another production guy I'm very confident in who is heading down with me in the morning. A few more will be meeting us there, and all in all it will be a small production team, but it is going to be one that works very well together and produces results. In indie film, that's what counts.

You will see all of them returning again when we do the David Blalock "Swordbearer" short film in August (based from David's Ascendant novel). Things are moving on that front as well, as the gears are in motion and "recruiting" is underway involving the cast. I'll leave you with three words as a hint... MMA ;) More to come on this shortly.

When I get back I will be sure to report how the weekend went!

time to get to narrative filmmaking!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Big crowds at Keeneland, and more book and movie notes!

Work is the key word for the week. Crowds have been enormous down at Keeneland, including nearly 34,000 yesterday. The crew has been doing a great job, and while there are always small glitches here and there, things have been running smoothly overall. Had a 40-1 horse win the Blue Grass Stakes, which is a big pre-Derby event. I liked that, as I'm partial to the underdog!

Don't worry, I've been working hard on book and movie stuff too! ;)

This week I will be meeting with Amanda regarding the final touches on the new installment in the Rising Dawn Saga. We have a title selected and anchored down, which will be announced very soon. Matt is well underway on the illustrations and cover art, and I hope to have some reports on that very shortly as well.

And speaking of Amanda, there's going to be a new anthology announcement at Seventh Star Press soon, which also has its title decided and anchored down.

On the movie front, we have a production meeting for Santa Boy, the new short comedy from award-winning director/writer Scott Sullivan. We go into production at the end of April, with Aaron Champion as the cinematographer, and the Cineline Production camp in full force on the production side. I know it's going to look good, and there's a real positive vibe in the air around this one as Scott recently got accepted into the UCLA MFA in Screenwriting program.

The next 2 t-shirts will also be unveiled probably next week, bringing the total to 4 designs, 2 from each novel (The Exodus Gate and Crown of Vengeance). I hope to have some individuals modeling them very shortly.

I did have one fun excursion last week, going to see my friend, actor David Haney, do stand-up comedy at the very respected Comedy Off Broadway venue here in Lexington. David had a great debut and I'm hoping that he'll be encouraged to move forward. (and I was honored to have him wear one of the new t-shirts during his routine!)

That's about it for now...time to get back to work!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Progress towards the horizon....

Has been quite a work week...

on the literary front, I am working hard on the final polishes of the 2nd Book in the Rising Dawn Saga. I think readers are going to be very happy with how this builds and expands on the events and characters in The Exodus Gate. I can assure everyone that this book explodes with action, and the plot deepens, with all of the things regarding the Convergence, and what is transpiring in the Middle Lands. Some of these things are foreshadowed towards the end of The Exodus Gate, so readers might already have some ideas about what's coming, but I feel strongly that they are in for a wild ride in this one!

The third and fourth t-shirt designs, featuring Erishkegal and Kur from The Exodus Gate and Aethelstan from Crown of Vengeance, will arrive soon. I may also have an individual or two modeling them shortly, which I am happy about, as they will be exhibited properly for all of you to see. They are just 10 bucks, so I hope a few readers consider picking them up to show off some of Matt's illustrations from the book!

As small press author, I have to "cover my spread" working in freelance broadcast and video. One of the jobs I do is at Keeneland here in Lexington, one of the best horse racing tracks in the nation and one of the elite centers in the world for thoroughbred sales. It really is an amazing place, when I step back and look at it. Further, I work with a fantastic group (we've won two national simulcast awards, two years in a row), and we kicked off things wonderfully yesterday as a spring opening record of nearly 25,000 attended day one of the spring meet.

I run a broadcast graphics system that puts out all the graphics over the live video, which entails all the horse information, odds, tags, and other information regarding the races. It is run with a customized software system that interfaces with an Avid DekoCast. Live television is always an adventure, with all of the unexpected occuring (weather, cameras or other equipment malfunctioning, computer glitches, etc.) but it is definitely a good experience, and one that I hope to make use of in a creative capacity at some point in the future.

For the next three weeks, i'll be holding down the fort, while writing away, and then in May we'll launch another flurry of road treks!