Sunday, March 17, 2013

I'm no Carpenter or Romero...yet!

While I like to consider myself a horror writer, I always had secretly harbored making creepy short films too. But, until recently, this all seemed like a pipe dream and I never really pursued it. But then a chance event occurred, almost like karma I suppose, having an opportunity to speak with Joops Fragale, the director of the critically acclaimed short film The Guy Knows Everything from 386films. Suddenly, everything changed and inspiration reared its head. Of course, don’t get me wrong, I still write every single day and suspect always will, but I now have this crazy notion of somehow also being able to fit in the time to make my own short film. That single conversation motivated me so much that, after a small bit of researching, I went out and bought a camera more than suitable for this project. However, I didn’t stop there…no, no, no, but also got a tripod, a zoom lens, and a few other miscellaneous items too.

Well, I then dove, head first, into camera angles and filmmaking in general. This brought on the realization that, since the film I intend to create is primarily dark; needing filmed at night, lighting will be crucial. So, there I go again, purchasing, cheaply of course, various lights. By now, I’m starting to think that I pretty much have everything I need in order to get this film underway. But then, besides reading a few associated books, I started seeking and watching various YouTube videos that also explained some of the finer nuances of creating a movie. And, I did learn quite a bit. However, I also happened upon a few other videos that caught my attention. The videos were how to make a camera jib (the kind that allows the high, overheard sweeping shots), various sliding mechanisms and basically little tidbits about all sorts of fantastic tricks and shots that will make any film stand out. But, probably the most valuable piece of information I gathered was what they refer to as one of Hollywood’s dirty little secrets…the wonderful DfN filter. This is a filter that cost about $50 and allows and overcast filmed day scene to appear as a night scene. And, considering my potential night filming dilemma, this was quite a revelation. Of course I bought one. Now I’m ready!

So, what else happened this week? Well, the Frankenstein episode of my Interview with a Monster series in Suspense Magazine began this month. It’s a bit of an odd little fictional series that has me sitting down and chatting with some of horror’s finest, as if they were actually living, breathing folks.
Coincidently, Shannon, the editor at SM, now possesses the next two pieces, Dracula and Wolfman. Not quite sure who’s up next, but I will tell you that it may take a coin toss to select from either of the two.

And, as always, my Land of Shadow and Substance column, this week featuring “Time Enough At Last,” is up at Horror News Net. For those unfamiliar, this is a weekly column of Twilight Zone episode reviews, along with a bit of trivia tossed in and should offer me not shortage of writing material throughout the rest of the year and probably beyond. Let’s see, one hundred and fifty odd total episodes divided by fifty-two weeks in a year equals…

And, this week I also revamped Staying Scared dot com, making it one single page, a launching portal if you will, that includes links to both my works, as well as Willie’s too. Considering all the websites we tend to traipse around to, leaving this and posting that, Staying Scared dot com is a one stop location for finding them. And besides, it’s considerably easier to remember Staying Scared dot com rather than Staying Scared dot BlogSpot dot com.

And, as far as my novel A Lawnly Existence is concerned, I haven’t written on it all that much recently and am considering placing it on the back burner for a bit, and instead, writing on Future Past. Of course, I don’t intend to leave A Lawnly Existence simmer for all that long, but it will make for a nice refreshing change. Future Past is a tale about a government agency that can show you what could have happened had you taken different routes in life. But, you can’t change it and this causes repercussions, both good and bad, for the characters. With Roswell, NM and the Bermuda Triangle tied in together, it’s a believable tale that may have some conspiracy theorists drooling. While it’s a bit of a deviation from horror and mostly science fiction, it’s a tale that I’ve had bouncing around in my head for years and I’m finally going to commit it to paper. As a matter of fact, I have quite a bit of it there already, included the fleshed out characters. But, as any writer knows, along the way things have a tendency to change and therefore, these characters and scenarios are subject to subtle changes. Nonetheless, since I’ll be in Orlando next week for ongoing training, I plan to take the James Caan writer character from Misery’s lead and fully utilize the time at the hotel.

Now here's a flick that I'm terribly excited about

Here's a few more!

And, since Easter is fast approaching, I thought I'd share one of my favorite bunny pics.

And ghouls, so goes another week filled with words. Have a gruesome time, whatever you do, and remember…Stay Scared


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