Monday, September 24, 2007

Timewarp's Dead Hunt now available


From director Joe Ripple:

Timewarp Films is proud to present its latest two-disc Horror DVD release, entitled "Dead Hunt."

Synopsis;

Ten movie reviewers are invited to a party by the host of a website devoted to horror films. The party is in full swing when the power - and the lights - abruptly go out. A mysterious, black-hooded figure has cut the main wiring.

The party's over.

After the host goes to check the circuit breakers, the guests are shocked when they find one of their fellow reviewers dispatched in a grisly fashion. Panic sets in after another reviewer is found killed in a bizarre manner. Cryptic notes left with the bodies hold the only clue to the reason for the psychopath's rampage.

The terrified group try to evacuate the building, only to find that they can't - all the doors have been electrified. Realizing they are trapped in a dark, foreboding warehouse with a madman, the survivors look for another way out. Their search leads them to the creepy older section of the building, where danger and death lurk in every shadow.

Can they find another way out? Can the y hide from the demented killer? Or are they all destined to become targets of the DEAD HUNT?

This two-disc special edition DVD set contains the movie, a "Behind the Scenes" featurette, deleted scenes, two alternate endings, Bloopers, a stills gallery, and the audio commentary with co-directors Joe Ripple and Don Dohler. Sadly, this was Don Dohler's last film, as he passed away from lung and brain cancer in December, 2006. (I miss you, my friend!)

DJ Benz, a reviewer for www.Horrortalk.com writes -

"...a fun ride and one I genuinely enjoyed. I have no hesitation in recommending Dead Hunt."

This film Premiered to a standing-room only crowd during Horrorfind Weekend, 2005.

You can purchase your copy today, by going to: http://www.createspace.com/Store/ShowEStore.jsp?id=228629

Friday, September 21, 2007

Don Dohler Halloween Gore Fest!



Don Dohler's legacy is going strong. Here's the latest news, including showings of Blood Massacre and John Kinhart's documentary, Blood, Boobs & Beast, about the cult filmmaker's trials and tribulations in low-budget filmmaking.

From John Kinhart's Newsletter:

There's a lot of really great news this month and more to come soon!

++7 New Film Festivals!++
- Coney Island Film Festival (screens Sunday, September 30th at 5PM) http://www.coneyislandfilmfestival.com
- Atlanta Horror Film Festival (screens Friday, October 5th) http://www.atlantahorrorfest.com
- Secret City Film Festival (screens Friday, October 5th 11:30AM) http://www.secretcityfilmfestival.com
- Freakshow Horror Film Festival (screens Friday, October 20th 6PM) http://www.freakshowfilmfest.com
- B-Movie Film Festival (screens Saturday, October 27 11:30AM) http://www.bmoviefest.com
- Thriller! Chiller! Film Festival (schedule not yet released) http://www.thrillerchiller.com
- Asheville Film Festival (schedule not yet released) http://www.ashevillefilmfest.com

++2007 Fantastic Fest++
The wonderful staff at the Fantastic Fest and The Alamo Drafthouse are flying Director John Kinhart down to Austin, Texas to be in attendance. He'll be flying down there tomorrow and staying with BB&B composer Christian Brown. BB&B will screen on Sunday, September 23rd (6:30PM) & Monday, September 24th (1:30PM) Tickets can be acquired at http://www.fantasticfest.com. Stay tuned to http://www.bbbmovie.com for UPDATES, PHOTOS AND VIDEO OF AUSTIN as it happens!!

++Don Dohler Halloween Gore Fest!!!++
This October 26th at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore get ready for a special double feature: Blood, Boobs & Beast and Don Dohler's Blood Massacre. In the style of Grindhouse we're showing Baltimore-made trailers between the two features AND we're even having a BLOOD MASSACRE DRINKING GAME!!! Tickets can be acquired by following the link on this page: http://www.creativealliance.org/events/eventItem1207.html

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

More Great Blogs for Writers

Here are a few blogs I failed to mention in my previous post, Great Blogs for Writers.

Scriptwriting - Oscar-nominated Roger S. H. Schulman shares knowledge from his experiences writing for TV and film.

The Artful Writer - Craig Mazin, who wrote Scary Movie 3, talks about screenwriting, with a focus on the WGA.

Seriocity - TeeVee writer Kay Reindl (Haunted, Millennium, The Dead Zone) shares witticisms on genre writing for the boob tube. Block some time for these posts; they tend to be long.

The Rejecter
- A literary agent's advice to aspiring writers who want to get published. The bad news is about 95% of you won't.

So long, and thanks for all the Goju

Last week my friend Rakesh (back center of the picture), a fellow FX artist and Goju karate instructor left for the west coast. Even with free long distance, e-mail, and occasional visits, I'll still miss him.

We met through a Lightwave user group several years ago, and became fast friends. The group sort of fizzled out, but we had so much in common, we continued working on and discussing CGI on our own. In fact, I recruited him to work on Timewarp's CGI-heavy feature Crawler. Work has been slow-going, but he's made progress--and he insists he wants to keep working in spite of the distance. I'm holding you to that, bud.

One day about 4 years ago, we discovered that we were both long-time martial artists, and he was an instructor. The timing couldn't have been better for me, because I was in between schools and looking for a place to train. His school, a Kodokan flavor of Goju Ryu located in D.C., was run out of a small activity room in an apartment complex. It was a little bit of a trek from Rockville, but worth it. At that time, there were only 3 regulars, including the two of us, so the small space suited us. And it was great training again.

I actually came from a completely different style, Shorinji-Ryu, a Japanese style (Goju is Okinawan.) Boy did I have a lot to learn... or, rather, unlearn. But Rakesh was up to the challenge of dealing with an old warhorse that was a little set in his ways. And with the help of the other instructors, Josh (bottom right), Jay (back, second from the left) and Vu (back, second from the right), I was able to make the transition.

Thursdays became a night-long ritual of training for 2 hours, then dinner (where we'd talk about movies, computer geekery, and Goju, of course), and then more chatting by one of our cars. There were several nights that I didn't get home until 1 or 2AM. That made for an unproductive Friday at work.

It's about 4 years since I joined, and our school has really grown. Among the regulars are Sampak (bottom, second from the left), Johann (back left), John-Joseph (back right), and James (bottom left). We also have several part-time students and two more black belts. And we added two more weekly classes on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Sometimes we train outside on Saturdays if the weather is nice.

Of course, the activity room has started to show its size, or lack thereof. As I said, it's small and we share the room with 2 couches, a treadmill, and 3 tables. It's not so bad when we're all doing the same thing, but we often get in each other's way when we branch off. And don't get me started on the parking. But that doesn't stop us. After all, we're Samurai. Inconvenience matters, not.

But the absence of a friend does matter. I'm sure we'll feel the effect, at least for a while. It's certainly the greatest challenge to our Samurai persistence. But I think I speak for all of us in wishing Rakesh Sensei well, and we look forward to his occasional return for a class.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Great Blogs for Writers

I frequent quite a few blogs, many of them posted by professional screenwriters, literary agents, and editors. While some are listed in my blogroll (left), I thought I'd post them and some others, along with commentary on why I read them regularly.

Screenwriters

John August
- He's written many successful films, including Big Fish, Charlie's Angels, Corpse Bride and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He also wrote one of my favorite dark comedies, Go. His blog is filled with useful, and very practical, information for screenwriters. Lately he's been documenting his experiences as the director of The Nines, a film he also wrote. At the time of this writing, The Nines is in limited release.

Ken Levine - He was a head writer for M*A*S*H (one of my favorite shows), and has written for The Simpsons, Cheers, Frasier, and many more shows. While he mostly posts reviews (including a comprehensive recap of American Idol, which appears to be his favorite show), favorite clips of famous comedy shows, and personal anecdotes, he also occasionally shares script samples and great tips for screenwriters, particularly TV writers.

Alex Epstein (Complications Ensue) - A Canadian screenwriter and former development executive. He also wrote Crafty Screenwriting (which I read and found very informative) and Crafty TV Writing. He posts regularly, and often answers reader questions.

Jane Espenson (Jane In Progress) - A TV screenwriter/producer with credits like Buffy (she worked with Joss, how cool is that?), Battlestar Galactica, Tru Calling, and Eureka. She answers reader questions often, and offers a lot of great advice for aspiring TV writers.

Literary Agents

Pub Rants - One of the better blogging agents (the best, Miss Snark, is gone; more on that in a sec.) She answers publishing, querying, and writing questions, and offers insider advice on the publishing industry.

Miss Snark, the literary agent - Though she retired, her informative, witty, blunt, and, well... snarky blog remains available. This is a must read for any aspiring writer.

Editors

Evil Editor, why you don't get published - A humorous look at the slush pile. With staples like New Beginning, which allows blog readers (minions) to finish someone's opening page, and Face Lift, an amusing critique of submitted queries, this blog illustrates why most writing is unpublishable. But you definitely learn a lot as you laugh, and cry.

Flogging the quill - Home of the Flogometer. Ray Rhamey takes a more serious look at how hard it is to get published. He evaluates the first page of your novel, and explains in great detail why he would or wouldn't turn the page. His editing comments are well worth the exercise.

Just Plain Funny

101 Reasons to Stop Writing - You might as well give up right now; it's just not worth it. That's the message of this site. This blog is a humorous look at how bad most writing is, and why you wouldn't even want to be a writer in the first place. Not everyone finds it funny, as you will see in the comments, but the posts are often hilarious--and sometimes informative. And don't forget to check out the worst cliche' poll.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Not My Big Break

I checked Final Draft's Web site this week and they had posted the semi-finalists for the Big Break screenwriting competition. I wasn't on the list. :(

I quickly went through the stages of grief. Denial - I checked the list three times to make sure my name wasn't on it; Anger - Don't they know a great script when they see one?; Depression - I suck and will never write again (that only lasted a nanosecond :lol:); and Acceptance - What's my next idea?

I'm not too disappointed, really. First, the script was an update to my first, which was written in 2003. I figured it would be awesome if it placed, but since a screenwriter doesn't hit his or her stride until about the 5th script (so I've heard), placing would just be gravy -- albeit good gravy, and maybe a little bread :D.

Second, judging is extremely subjective, and not everyone likes supernatural thrillers. That's why I've already entered a second contest, Red Inkworks, which offers feedback to every contestant (it doesn't hurt to get more feedback). And I'm considering the Gotham Screen competition, which caters to lower budget ($2-12 million) films. With the results of three contests, I'll have a better feel for where this script fits in the screenwriting world. Maybe nowhere. But that's okay; I've learned a lot since writing that script, and have many, many more ideas.