Monday, December 24, 2007

My friend Logan and I hope y'all have an excellent holiday season. One filled with lots of presents and food and joy, and little in the way of adamantium clawed berzerker rage. Snikt!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ottawa Actors is a new site / message-boards set up by Brett Kelly that should be of great use to local talent in film and stage. If you're interested in such happenings here in Ottawa, go check it out.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Went to see 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' today. Thanks to the Mayfair Theatre here in Ottawa having screenings of movies from the 30's to the 90's in celebration of their 75th anniversary. The repertory theatre (or revival house) is a dieing form of motion picture entertainment. Which is a sad thing. Seeing a movie like 'Raiders' up on the big screen just cannot be beat (even in this magical high-tech day of HDTV, big-screen TV's and home entertainment centre's with THX surround-sound). It's unfortunate that the majority of people are seemingly disinterested in leaving the house to enjoy movies. People had such a good time this afternoon that they even clapped when the movie came to an end...which is pretty much a non-existent happening in the average first-run movie theatre viewing experience. On the plus side, there was a very good sized crowd there...hope that the theatre pays attention to that and schedules more such screenings.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Check it out! Killer63 won an 'Honourable Mention' in the 'Best of Ottawa 07' year-end poll in the X-Press. We're listed I think that's like a Bronze...2nd runner up...whatever. I didn't think that we actually had a shot at making the cut since we're just a wee little one day fest for horror enthusiasts. So very big thanks go out to everyone who took the time to vote for us. Wheels are already in motion for another K63 next year, to premiere sometime pre-Halloween 2008.

Monday, October 29, 2007

working the box office at the Mayfair for the K63

Another year of the Killer63 has come and gone. Meant to come and post an update over the weekend, but I'm fairly worn out and exhausted. Even getting up the ambition and will-power to do a lil' blog update is quite a feat for me at the moment. Anyhow, everything went really well. Been getting lots of ego boosting praise over the last couple days. Extra special thanks to all the filmmakers, cast and crew involved in making up the shorts that screened this year. And to the staff of the Mayfair, and to everyone who came out to our late late show premiere.

Despite wanting to take a bit of a break...wheels are already in motion for next year. Folks asking how to submit a film for consideration to be of maybe expanding to more days...maybe include some features. Lots of ideas. There will be a part 3 for Killer63 for sure. Halloween still a bit of time to get things organized again.

Oh...and for those who haven't heard yet, the Ottawa X-Press has nominated the K63 for the 'Best Film Festival' of 2007 in it's Best of Ottawa Reader's Poll. It only takes a couple minutes to vote if you head over to their site and do so, I'll be your best friend. Thanks.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Killer63 preview trailer is up on YouTube. Brett (pictured above, acting in my short for the fest) did a fine job at putting it together. Go check it out.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Did an interview yesterday for CHUO in regards to the Killer63 fest. The interviewer (John Sekerka from a program called 'Tornado Warning') e-mailed me this morning to let me know that he's going to hold of on playing the segment until next week. For a Halloween themed night. If you're outside of Ottawa you can give it a listen on on Thursday the 25th, sometime between 10 - 11PM.

In related news, we finished shooting 'Cassandra' on the Saturday. Everything went well. After doing lots of dialog sitting around a table, got to do some fun action and fake blood and gun-play. I went in for some editing a couple days ago and will finish up on the weekend. Horribly behind schedule, but still in time for the screening. Putting together the master tape for the premiere on Monday (waiting for three more submissions...then we're all good).

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

This past Saturday we shot day 1 of my Killer63 project. And as per usual, the indie filmmaking gods were out to smite us. There was a message flashing on MSN, that was sent towards me at 5:20AM. It was from my assistant director, who is also the person getting us into the location (an office building that she used to work in that is now empty for a couple months). She was up all night due to her fiance (one of my actors) and his state of immense sickness. So at that point I pretty much figured the day was a write-off.

She was kind enough to still come out though. After the other actors and crew arrived on location, we discussed and decided to shoot everything we could do without our fallen to illness actor being present. Managed to get a good chunk of the dialog shot, and a couple other things. Including a cool lil' fx shot for our actress. I was very pleased with the performances, and all went well. We're returning on Saturday to finish up.

That puts me way past the deadline which I myself set for the fest. Sometimes these things happen though (and this Saturday is the only day where the trio of actors are all free). My editor did drop by today to pick up the stuff we got so far. Get a bit of a head start on that post-production work.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Y''s when the lil' dreams that come true that you have to stop, take a moment, and appreciate them. For the second year in a row the Killer63 presents a batch of short horror films, all making their premiere at the Mayfair. I love the Mayfair theatre. In high school my friends and I practically lived there. Memorizing Monty Python, shooting cap guns at the screen for John Woo films, spending full days avoiding sunshine by instead watching Star Trek marathons. And now I get to go see something I directed and the work of a bunch of my friends up on that same screen. Friday October 26th, 11PM (on the same night as a Pixar movie...that is also geekily cool!), spread the word, bring your friends.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Spent the weekend on the crew of my friend (who is also my film editor and co-producer on various fledgling projects) Bonnie's K63 short 'Infinity'. This pictured scene involves a bedroom, some insomnia, some nightmares and some excellent horror movie calibre screaming. She's underway on editing it now, then I shoot my K63 entry next weekend. Followed by doing post-production with her after that. Everything should be done at the eleventh hour, just in time for the extended deadline.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Got all three actors officially cast in my Killer63 short as of this week. Jerome Bourgault and Brett Kelly will be playing a pair of cops interrogating a strange young woman played by Emily Shanley. I worked on the crew of a film that Jerome had a small part in, and Brett recommended him after checking out the script. Brett, I've worked with on a million things or so (only a slight exaggeration). I put Emily's picture up there, because upon seeing it on her Facebook page, I immediately sent her a message to tell her that that's pretty much exactly what I want her to look like for the part. We shoot on Saturday the 6th at an abandoned office.

In other Killer63 news, I crewed on two other productions this week. Did sound stuff for director Anne-Marie Frigon on 'Scare Bears', and director Bonnie Robinson on ' Infinity'.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Worst clapper board EVER! This poor thing is missing a good portion of it's numbers and letters, is all beat up, and doesn't even have the actual stick that makes the thing a 'clapper' board. So it's kindah' just a board I guess then. Luckily we don't actually need such fancy technology on set since we're shooting on a digital synch-sound format.

Anyhow, this brave lil' piece of equipment served it's purpose again this previous weekend for some more 'Leeches' shooting. Much more pleasant then the last batch of work. Moved indoors, shooting some hospital and office scenes. So much easier than dealing with swamps, bad weather, planes flying over and real actual swarming leeches.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Moments later, I was killed by the Blair Witch., that's not what happened at all. This is me standing around on location of the film 'Attack of the Giant Leeches' last weekend. Way out in the middle of nowhere, far away from the safety of the city, in the horrible great outdoors. I've either slipped into an exhaustion laced up-right coma here, or I'm playing stand-in for a moment so that the camera guy could see what the shot looked like with a person in there. I forget. It's all a blur.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Y'know...sometimes behind the scenes pictures just aren't all that action packed. Especially when it's outside during the day, and hence you don't have a whole bunch of lights and other such equipment mucking up the area. Here we are working on re-make of the 1959 Roger Corman produced classic, 'Attack of the Giant Leeches'. This photo was taken behind Ray Besharah (sound), Jodi Pittman (camera), Brett Kelly (directin') and myself (hiding in the background looking through the script, probably moments away from yelling for folks to be quiet on set).

The original was also watched by the crew of the Satellite of Love on MST3K back in '92:

Dr. Forrester:
Oh sorry, Frank, I left the leech on too long! Well, Frank... Frank?
[to the leech]
Well, now that you've sucked all the blood out of Frank, what are you gonna do now?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Just found out that Mike Wieringo, one of my most favorite of comic book artists of the past 15 years or so, died on Sunday. He was the awfully young age of 44, and passed away thanks to a heart attack. Which is extra depressing 'cause seemingly all of the writings online from his still in shock friends mention how incredibly healthy he was.

I became an instant fan during his Flash / Impulse stuff. Then he went over to Robin and then became in my humble opinion the best of the modern era Spider-man artists. You can look him up on Wiki or just type his name into Google to check out his bio and his art. Won't bother repeating all that info here.

Despite having attended geek fests as nearby as in my home town to all the way to California for the glories of the San Diego Comic Con, I never did get a chance to meet him. Never got a chance to chat with him and get a sketch. His career and life have been cut tragically short. And that makes me sad. I haven't yet read the latest issue of 'Spider-man and the Fantastic Four' that he drew, going to go do that now.

Friday, August 03, 2007

The second Killer63 fest is underway. Thirteen filmmakers are all in the midst of production on their projects, with the looming deadline upcoming in early October. In my case, having a production underway means that I have not a letter of script typed and no idea what I'm going to do just at the moment. I'm thinking something around ten minutes long and horror themed.

Ralph Gethings (one of the thirteen) has been kind enough to set up a website. So I'm going to halt the K63 blog, just to try and encourage participants and interested parties to go to that site instead (check out the link over to your right).

Monday, July 23, 2007

In a few short hours, at the horrendously early hour of 4:30 in the AM, I'm off to the airport to begin my journey down to California for the glory that is the San Diego Comic Con. Not going to bother sleeping, I'm usually up 'till about 4AM anyhow. So I'm just going to multi-task and catch some sleep while in transit. Spent the day doing about a million procrastanated pre-travel chores...well, maybe not an actual million...but there were at least a dozen different things. Got my keys to the condo, got my sketchbook, got a PSP that a friend was kind enough to let me to steal, dug through my archives to find some books to get autographed. All ready for a packed week of geeking and networking. And in all likelyhood, networking with fellow geeks.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Along with the help of one of my frequent collaborators, went and shot the opening night of Jesse Buck's new show 'Bubkus'. Nothing fancy in the shooting department, I think the final product will be used for grant applications and media stuff...that sort of thing. The show was great. If you're local, or in Ottawa during it's run, you'd be doing yourself a favour by going to check it out (for all the pertinent info, check out Jesse's website).

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Blast from the Past part Two

Where did the name Batturtle Productions come from? Folks actually seem to ask me that often enough, especially when I hand over a business card. Well, like many a name for companies or bands or things, the name is much more interesting than it's origins. I like Batman...I like the Ninja Turtles (the Mirage originals of course). Then came a drawing from my friend James, back when we were in the trenches of Canterbury High School (well...not really trenches, they were nice enough times). About the same time, a doodle was sketched of a Batman logo wearing a TMNT style headband around it's head. Plus, I used to use the initials BAT when I got high scores on video games. Anyhow, somewhere amidst all that, the word Batturtle was born. Mystery revealed!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Final version of a Villains storyboard for the pitch. Crime King scheming and talking to himself moments before undertaking a Christmas themed robbery. The deed is almost complete, the looming deadline is to have the thing done and all printed up before I'm off to San Diego on Monday.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Run for your lives! Crime King has a gun! Save yourself! Oh wait. Never-mind. That's not really Crime King, it's just a drawing of him. Or more specifically, another storyboard rough from the in development animated series pitch. Sorry about that. Call back the police. False alarm.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Now for an actual Batturtle Productions related update: Here's a storyboard rough by Barry Bradfield for the Villains Animated series pitch. A drawing of a disgusted Ghost Man standing by as his room-mate Crime King counts out his thieved earnings from a Salvation Army Santa robbery.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Thirty feet or so up in the air, high above the crowd at the Canadian Opera Company performance at Lebreton Flats last weekend. That's me in the middle.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Happy Canada Day! I hope you have a good one at least, I'll be working two-fold like a chump. In the midst of much business. This week I've been crewing for a big outdoor show of the Canadian Opera Company (it's going to be on Bravo idea when). Working the last day related to that on July 1st, then off to tear down a Canada Day stage in the evening. Next on the calender, I'll be follow-spotting for Blues Fest, then some Sound and Light Show stuff on Parliament Hill. If I make it through all that, then I have my San Diego vacation to look forward to.

In more Batturtle Productions centric news: The assemblage of the Villains pitch is going well. Storyboards are being drawn. Scripts are being written. Want to have it done before the end of the month. Also working on a second round of interviews for the Comic Book Connection. Re-interviewing some of the same folks, but getting some more updated info. That too will be done (not the final product, but at least some interviews) before I flee for California as well.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Amanda Leigh as Victoria Albee in 'Pirates of Snake Island'

Received an e-mail of thanks (as did the rest of the cast and crew) from the producer of 'Pirates of Snake Island'. Which reminded me that I hadn't posted an update that the movie had wrapped production as of last Sunday. I don't know when exactly it's set for release on DVD, though I do remember a rumor that the plan was to get it out around the same time as that other pirate movie starring that Johnny Depp guy hits stores.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Surprisingly enough I had another letter published in Buffy (#4). Extra surprising due to the fact that I didn't write the thing. I double checked my outgoing gmail just to make sure that I wasn't losing my mind. Evidently I was not. Some kind of editorial mix-up I guess. So, I get credit for someone else's letter and my name in the book two months in a row. Boring news for you, but kind of kewl for me (though it's kind of a dull little bit of correspondence). There's probably some angry geek out there, fuming that proper credit was taken away from them and is currently in the midst of plotting revenge against me.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, I starred in a Star Wars comic. Okay...I wasn't the star per-say, but I did play a very vital role in the story. I was the first person ever to be seen killed by the intergalactic bounty hunter Jango Fett.

You see, a friend of mine is a comic book artist. He found out the he got a gig drawing a
-Episode II comic, that would serve as a prologue to the character showing up in 'Attack of the Clones'. My immediate question was if I could be drawn into the thing. I have no shame. And it's very likely the closest I'll ever get to being in a Star Wars movie. He wasn't sure at first, as he didn't have the script yet. It could have been a story about a bunch of Droids and Jawa's for all he knew.

A little while later, he phoned and asked if I would like to be killed by Boba's dad. Yes. Yes I would. And that is how I got myself into real actual Star Wars continuity (those who don't count comics as canon can go straight to hell). Currently, the story has been re-released as part of Dark Horse Comics celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Star Wars. So now I have another shot for the character to be noticed and turned into an action figure. Star Wars always gets toys made based on character's who were on screen for a third of a second, so why not one from a comic?

Friday, June 01, 2007

Mega Villains Light Explosion! Sounds like the title of a new Saturday morning, Pokemon-esque, Japanese cartoon. Actually, it was just the title of this picture when it was e-mailed over to me. A more finished version of a sketch that can be seen a few images below this here update. Think I might use it as the cover-page for the pitch for the show.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Another pair of logo / title card rough designs from Basement 24. Both Crime King themed. You might recognize that bottom one as a homage towards the Bruce Timm styled Batman animated series that we all know and love (rip-off is such a harsh word).

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I had mentioned to Barry from Basement 24 that I was in need of a logo design for Villains. And that if he had any ideas to keep me posted. Well, within a day or so he sent me over a whole bunch of sketches. If he keeps this up he's going to ruin the reputation that artists are lazy.

The one at the top I think would work very well on the title page of a pitch. And I can picture the one on the bottom looking nice on a TV screen as the opening logo for the show. If this whole concept does manage to come to fruition, I'd like to make use of a title-card in front of each episode (like they did in the good ole' days on cartoons, and as has been seen in recent years on Batman and currently on stuff like Fairly Odd Parents). So there'd be plenty of opportunity for designs like these ones I hope.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My favorite character in the Villains U is Mary Mime. A kick-ass backstabbing evil mastermind with pale white skin, spades tattooed over her eyes and a penchant for brutal violence. She may or may not show up in some of the scripts that we're compiling for the initial pitch. She doesn't appear in the one that I've completed. That would be a Christmas episode starring the central three loser characters of Crime King, Ghostman and Ric (changed from Rick for comedic spelling reasons). I'm sure she'll show up sooner or later though.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Some years back, I had the crazy idea to do a trio of short films that stood on their own but could then be packaged together as a feature length anthology. Hence three Villains shorts were produced, and then they appropriately enough became an anthology titled 'The Villains Anthology'. They were fun shoots, lots of my friends worked on the things, and I was very pleased with the final product. They were screened here in Ottawa and at a number of fests around North America ( the top of my head I remember that they were shown in New York, Toronto, Utah, Vancouver and elsewhere). They were featured on a couple of online film places, and got me listed on IMDb for the first time. Alas, as happens with most indie films, the effort did not grant us riches, fame and fortune.

I've always had in the back of my head that I want to take another shot at the concept though. I really love the characters and the world. So currently, with the help of some alike mind friends, we are whipping up some scripts and storyboards and stuff and slapping together a pitch for an animated 'Villains'. I'd like to do a comic too. Especially with all the nifty Internet options available for publishing nowadays.

Those pictures up above are concept designs for a couple of the central characters from the Villains Universe. As illustrated by James Lagowski. More to come.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Peter Laird does a segment on the TMNT website every once and a while called Blast from the Past. Wherein he posts random things from the Mirage / Ninja Turtles archives. In that tradition, here's a lil' blast from the Batturtle vault. A page of conceptual art done up while trying to figure out the logo design for Batturtle Productions. The Batty in the lower centre of the page won. Which if I remember correctly was actually the artists least favorite drawing. I like that Batty the best though 'cause I could picture him as an action figure.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Worked on of all things, believe it or not, a pirate movie a couple of days ago. Served as A.D. (that's assistant director for those of you who have better things to do with your time than to familiarize yourselves with film crew terms). Sometimes one can have the strangest things to talk about whilst travelling in film-making circles. The movie is titled 'Pirates of Snake Island' and will continue to shoot on and off for the next few weeks. I'm crewing again for the project on Saturday...with the stipulation that we'll be done shooting before game two of the Senators / Sabres series.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Today is Free Comic Book Day eve. Which means that tomorrow is my favorite holiday of the year. Well, maybe it hasn't been recognized as an official holiday just quite yet. It's not on calender's and you can't buy over-priced greeting cards to swap with your friends and loved ones. What you can do though is go to your local comic book store and get yourself some free comic books. Free! No tricks. No catch. No foolin'. They have all kinds of different genres up for grabs. There's western, horror, sci-fi, comedic, kids-stuff... there's mainstream and independent. You can try something new, or pick up something familiar like Spidey, Simpsons, Family Guy, Archie or Mickey Mouse. Anyhow, go check out their website. And tomorrow go out and visit a comic store and get yourself some comics.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Sam Raimi is a frackin' genius. Bruce Campbell is hilarious. Sandman and Venom are cool. Betty Brant is hot. I have seen 'Spider-man 3'. I loved 'Spider-man 3'. I will go see it again very soon.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

In possibly one of the greatest 'new comic book day' Wednesday's ever in the history of new comic book days, no less than three books written by Joss Whedon came out: Runaways #26, Astonishing X-Men #21 and Buffy: Season 8 #3. And to make things even more exciting, within Buffy #3, I got a letter published. Not quite as cool as say writing an issue of Buffy...but I'll take my geek points where I can get them. My name and Joss' name are in the same comic, so we're like peers or friends or something right? C'mon...allow me my delusions.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Lent a hand and got behind the camera last Friday night for a quick lil' music video shoot for the Bella Bombs. Directed by Brett Kelly, and shot on location at the Birdman Sound record store. Brett's put up his first run at editing the project together onto the video section of his MySpace page.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

This upcoming Saturday (April 14th) at 11:30PM, the Mayfair theatre (here in Ottawa) will host a screening of Brett Kelly's new directorial effort, 'Kingdom of the Vampire'. KotH marks the millionth or so project that I've worked on with Brett in various capacity. Alright, not quite a million. But I think that we may be up to around twenty or so long or short movies ranging from a special thanks I got on one film he directed, throw in some sound stuff, gripping, and A.D.-ing, all the way up to me directing him in a feature.

Anyhow, if you're free late Saturday night, grab some friends, make your way to the Mayfair and check out the big world premiere. An (approximately) midnight madness horror show at a good ole' fashioned single big-screen theatre. No better way to see a scary vampire movie.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Got a call yesterday from area code 510. 'Where's 510?' I thought to myself as I picked up. Evidently it's in California. There's a new channel starting up called The Volt down in San Francisco and they needed my updated contact info to send me over a broadcast contract. So sooner or later some of the Batturtle shorts will be on TV down in the States. They said they'd keep me posted as to when stuff starts to actually hit the airwaves so I'd be able to spread the word. Their website is still in the midst of construction, but you can check it out here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Over the weekend I helped out on the last couple days of shooting for 'Dead of Winter'. Which was well timed...because I think that the weekend may have been the last couple days of the season seeing how the weather is going and that the snow may soon disappear. 'DoW' is the latest project from director Jodi Pittman, who also contributed the short 'Daycamp Massacre' to the Killer63 fest late last year. Right above here is a shot of Jodi going all Rodriguez and pulling double duty as director / camera operator, as I stand by on boom patrol. There was thought that the movie would be a medium length short (45 minutes or so) and put onto a DVD with another horror film of similar running time. Now it may end up being a full length feature all on its own though. For further info on the project, feel free to link over to the Dudez Productions site.