Archive for October, 2008

Another Mention At Fangoria

Posted in promotion with tags , , , , , on October 30, 2008 by Richard Diaz

I attended the Music Box Massacre IV over the weekend of the 25th. A 24 hour horror movie marathon which included ‘May’, ‘Friday the 13th The Final Chapter’, ‘Dead Alive’, ‘The Exorcist’, to name but a few. I managed to talk briefly with Chicago filmmaker James Zahn whom I got to talk to at last August’s Terror In The Aisles movie marathon. In his recap of the the Massacre at the Fangoria blog he mentioned me and ‘Distortion’ much to my surprise and delight.

http://www.fangoriaonline.com/gore/blogs/zeitgeist/345-event-report-music-box-massacre-4.html

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Days Fourteen Through Nineteen

Posted in Production with tags , , , on October 30, 2008 by Richard Diaz

The gear is here.

The gear is here.

For six days we shot at the apartment location which was actually a condo that worked out perfectly. While on a technical sense the lead character probably couldn’t afford such a place it helped a lot on many levels. The size of it made it easy to move lights and equipment around. It was furnished so it was comfortable. Plus it was quiet so recording dialogue most of the time was not an issue. Although the occasional passing train created a slight screech as it passed the tracks. Not something noticeable until you hear it through the microphone so I had to be on top of that.

Plenty of room.

Plenty of room.

There was a lot to shoot. I could only get in there after 5pm so all of the shooting was in the evening. Three of the six nights went late with one of the three nights going all night. The night of the finale (the final fight) did go until 5am. And that was a long day anyway as we did shoot in a cemetery, did a confrontation scene in a parking garage, and then the entire ending at the apartment.

Rehearsing the ending ... without the pain.

Rehearsing the ending ... without the pain.

With the exception of Shon all of the lead actors were rapped as this was basically the last parts to shoot. Brenden and Kimberly and Mike all finished on the last day. It was exhaustive but it was nice having such a great location. All of the scenes at the apartment are key as the glue of the film took place there. So until I got these shot I didn’t have a movie despite everything that was shot before it.

Me trying to give Jeff some direction but not succeeding.

Me trying to give Jeff some direction but not succeeding.

It was both sad and relieving to finish wih everyone. Always sad as you know the journey has come to an end. But relieved in knowing that you survived the journey. Although post production is now on. There is still some small stuff to shoot but the main parts of the film are in the can.

Mike came back to shoot one more scene at the apartment.

Mike came back to shoot one more scene at the apartment.

Day Thirteen – A Day At The Office

Posted in Production with tags , , on October 27, 2008 by Richard Diaz

From here on out these won’t technically be in order but almost.

Day thirteen was at the office where we shot the police station scenes with Mike. As opposed to what we shot at the actual police station. It was a long day for sure as a lot needed to be done. I think for me it was a 16 hour day or so. But we got everything which is what counts.

Getting ready in the conference room.

Getting ready in the conference room.

This day I was using the location as an actual office. So I didn’t need to fake anything. But there were a lot of scenes. Brenden and Jeff were the two leads for these scenes and we were joined by Alan and Jennifer in two supporting roles. The hardest thing for me was making sure everything was fitting the timeframe within the film. Earlier scenes are meant to be brighter and more laid back. While later scenes need to be darker which I think was pulled off.

Alan going over his lines.

Alan going over his lines.

Remember that scene in Scanners when the guys head exploded? Well, watch this.

"Remember that scene in Scanners when the guy's head exploded? Well, watch this."

Towards the end of the day I tempted to do something tricky. I lit an entire scene through blinds and with a reddish light. Not sure if that was smart or not. I wanted a real different look for the scene but I didn’t want it to be too distracting either. That is my main concern.

Jennifer getting ready for her scenes.

Jennifer getting ready for her scenes.

This was also Jeff’s last day playing Jay. It’s kind of weird getting to that point when you start rapping people on the film. It was great seeing Jay come to life and he did a great job.

Jeff shooting one of his last scenes.

Jeff shooting one of his last scenes.

More Posts Coming

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 25, 2008 by Richard Diaz

With the amount of shooting done in the last week it was hard to post so I will be doing a post for everything from the last week. I’m off to a 24 hour movie marathon so it’ll have to be Monday.

Much to post about.

Distortion Written About At Fangoria

Posted in promotion with tags , , on October 17, 2008 by Richard Diaz

Some really great news today. Fangoria has written about ‘Distortion’! Samuel Zimmerman wrote a great piece on the film. Big thanks to Tony Timpone for making this happen.

Click here to read it.

Day Twelve and The Beginning Of The End

Posted in Production with tags , , , , , , on October 15, 2008 by Richard Diaz

I have entered the last few days of filming on ‘Distortion’. All prinicpal photography will end on the 24th. There will be some minor things I will be shooting on my own after that but all of the main scenes will be completed.

Last night we shot Jay’s death scene. I couldn’t decide how I wanted to shoot the darkness. There are many ways to do it. Have limited light. Light the whole thing and pull back on the exposure. Or just fill it with blue. The blue is so overused so … I went with the blue.

The blue of darkness.

The blue of darkness.

My friend Nicki let me use her apartment for the scene which helped a lot. It was nice to be in a familiar location. Both Jeff and Shon brought their a-game. So it was an easy night of shooting. I think we have a good scene too.It was my homage to a death scene in George Romero’s ‘Creepshow’. Hopefully it plays like an homage and not as a ripoff.

There are some major scenes left to shoot including all of the scenes that take place at George’s apartment which are basically the glue of the film. Those will be shot over the course of the next eight days in the evenings. Plus one long day doing all of the office scenes which is where the two characters George and Jay work.

The end is near but a lot is left to be done. If the rest goes as well as last night then it will be good. Let’s hope.

Shon as William scaring me into finishing production.

Day Eleven

Posted in Production with tags , , , , , , on October 7, 2008 by Richard Diaz
I know I overuse this angle but I love it too much.

I know I overuse this angle but I love it too much.

Day eleven was last Friday and it was a long day. With travel for myself it was about a 15 hour day and a draining one. I’m definitely getting older. It is taking me days to recover. I think from a physical and mental standpoint it was a little too draining. But, it’s all part of the process.

Friday was Mike’s last day so I needed to make sure all of his remaining scenes were shot. We also did the infamous Stuart scene which is basically the one scene that explains everything. It’s my version of the Gypsy woman explaning to Lon Chaney Jr. that he’s a werewolf type of scene. It was complicated in several ways. Not only did it need to be performed in such a way but it involved all of the lead characters. If the scene doesn’t work then the film in a way doesn’t work. If you get to the point in a movie where everything going on is more or less explained and it’s awkward then it can really affect the film in a bad way. Not only that but I need to cover it from several different ways because of everyone involved. I was a wreck behind closed doors but didn’t let anyone notice it. At least, I hope they didn’t. Luckily the scene went well and I will find out this week when I edit the scene how it turned out. But John Chase who played the role of Stuart did an amazing job so I feel I’m off to a good start.

John Chase getting ready to play the role of Stuart.

John Chase getting ready to play the role of Stuart.

Being Mike’s last day I wanted to make sure we got everything with him. I was drained when we got to his scenes. We shot all of the scenes at the old police station again. The lower level worked for the Stuart scene. Then upstairs we used an old holding room for the two scenes with Mike. I was actually able to light it with only one light which helped. The only problem was the echo. I hope it’s not too distracting as it was a room with a high ceiling. If it’s not one thing it’s six others.

Luckily Mike brought his A game as he always does and made it a lot easier for me. It was really great to work with him and see how well he brought that character to life. It is unfortunate that there aren’t anymore scenes with him.He brought so much to the film and is one of the reasons why I think the film will be higher in quality than other films made in this way.

There are two weeks left until I lose Brenden and Shon. The two are moving out to LA so no matter what I need to finish by the 24th. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried. I am extremely worried. There is about a third of the film left to shoot. Without it I don’t have a film. Most of what is left is centralized in a few locations which does help. I only hope everything comes together. I always try and be optimistic about things because I feel it does help keep your mind clear. The weekend of the 25th I will be attending the Music Box Massacre, a 24 hour horror movie marathon. That weekend I will either be celebrating with friends (and the likes of Clive Barker and filmmakers Joseph Zito and Lucky McKee) on finishing shooting my film or crying because I don’t have one. We’ll see what happens in the next three weeks.