Archive for box

The Big Screen

Posted in Filmmaking, promotion with tags , , , , , , , on April 12, 2010 by Richard Diaz

The Distortion trailer plays on the big screen at The Music Box theatre.

For years I have been going to The Music Box theatre. They show many foreign and independent films. What I tend to love watching are the midnight shows. They show all kinds of films at midnight on Friday and Saturdays. Whether it’s cult hits like ‘The Room’ or even childhood favorites like ‘The Dark Crystal’ and ‘The Muppet Movie’. They also help put on these events put on by Movieside Film Festival which includes a 24 hour marathon of horror films done every October called the Music Box Massacre. In the spring time they do the Sci-Fi Spectacular which is a mix of science fiction and horror science fiction films which they just had this past weekend. This year’s line up included such classics as ‘Them!’ and even more recent cult favorites like John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’.

One big addition was the showing of ‘Q The Winged Serpent’ with writer, producer, director Larry Cohen in person. I have wanted to meet him for years because his way of making movies was a huge inspiration on me. He would write the script the way he wanted and then just go out and make the picture. Sometimes literally just showing up somewhere and start shooting without a permit or anything. That gung ho attitude was something I tried to emulate while making ‘Distortion’.In fact, it was a big reason why I think the film got made because I knew I needed to just plunge ahead and make it. As an added bonus a great store called Horrorbles had a discussion group the next day with Larry Cohen. It was a small affair of only about 20 people so I was excited to be among them. To hear him talk about his writing process and different anecdotes was just so great. I tried hard when I talked to him to not be overly fan boyish but how could I not be? The guy inspired me in so many ways.

Getting back to the Sci-Fi Spectacular – one last bit happened. The week before I was at a special screening at The Music Box of ‘North By Northwest’ which was part of the Turner Classic Movies film festival featuring Robert Osbourne and Eva Marie Saint in person(!). Such a great night. Afterwards as I was coming out I ran into the guy that puts on the Sci-Fi Spectacular as well as the Music Box Massacre. He asked me if I wanted the new ‘Distortion’ trailer shown. I was about to jump out of my socks I was so excited. The theatre that I go to all the time to watch all kinds of movies new and old was going to have the trailer for my film showing on that same screen. So after I meet Larry Cohen after the ‘Q The Winged Serpent’ screening they played my trailer (a double whammy if there ever was one) in front of what had to be at least 400 people.

The picture above is a bad one because it doesn’t show how big that screen really is. Nor does it show how big the theatre is. Nor how big the audience was. Trust me, the answer to all is big. I was both nervous and excited. Luckily I had a few friends there cheering it on. It didn’t exactly get an introduction so it played like any other trailer would have. While I couldn’t garner the reaction since I was in a surreal state at that moment I did notice one girl screamed out at the very last shot of the trailer when William’s face changes as he roars. The title pops on and there was applause. Some of it may have been just people being polite since I’m not sure they knew what to think. But for me it was a big moment. So many times have I sat there wondering what one of my films would look like playing on that very screen. Kind of funny how two of the big influences on me and the film were part of that evening. John Carpenter was a big influence on me and to see ‘They Live’ two hours later in the exact same spot my trailer showed was amazing. And to meet the man himself Larry Cohen right beforehand and the next day was just incredible.

As I said the whole thing was surreal but then again so is making a movie. In one day I shared the screen with two filmmakers I greatly admire at my favorite theatre. I’d say this is one of those moments when that little kid who dreamed of making movies one day would be proud.

Larry Cohen and I after the discussion at Horribles.


Hey lady! You call him Dr. Jones.

Posted in misc, Post Production, promotion with tags , , , , , , on July 19, 2009 by Richard Diaz

Things have been busy lately. I co-directed, shot, and am editing a short film called ‘Interrogation’ written by Steve Bastien. It’s a dark humored short about two cops interrogating a suspect. One of the cops is none other than Mike Pusateri who plays Sam in ‘Distortion’. He knew Mike and mentioned me to him when he said he wanted to turn ‘Interrogation’ from a one act play into a short film. We shot it in one day at the old police station where I shot part of ‘Distortion’ and part of Michael Mann’s ‘Public Enemies’  used it as well. I have the first cut done so far. More info on that soon.

A still from the short film Interrogation.

A still from the short film 'Interrogation'.

Another still from the short film Interrogation.

Another still from the short film 'Interrogation'.

I’ve been trying to get things lined up for the additional shooting on ‘Distotion’ plus planning out some of the details on the ending. I went back and watched the film again and outside of a few editing tweaks I think everything is set. Although I may end up moving two scenes. I will be recutting the ending as well to help incorporate the new stuff. Right now it just flies by so I’m going to try and extend it. I also think that’s why it feels a little anti-climactic.

A nice side note, I haven’t been overly enthusiastic about this summer’s movies. Usually I love summer entertainment. Outside of ‘Star Trek’ I have been pretty let down. However, The Music Box was showing over the course of three weeks at their weekend midnight shows the Indiana Jones films (‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, ‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’, ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Cursade’) which has been an absolute blast. Granted I’ve seen them a million times before but haven’t seen them in a theatre in forever plus with an audience of fans. A lot of fun. In a few weeks they’re showing John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ which I have never seen on the big screen so I am really looking forward to that.

The biggest surprise of the week was receiving an e-mail from the editor of the website Cinema Fantastique, a French horror movie website. He was writing an article on ‘Distortion’ and wanted to use some of the stills from the website. I was so thrilled that I offered to help in any way. He sent me back a question and in my usual way I rambled on. To his credit he only used a snippet. I really need to learn to do small sound bytes. The piece went up on Friday evening (before I saw ‘Dead Snow’ and ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’) but in French. I was looking at it with my iPhone so I wasn’t able to do the translation. I was worried because I saw towards the end the word “retard”. I came to find out that it means “late” in French as opposed to what it means in English. But I was worried for a little bit. Here is the link to the article:

There are many websites online that do translate things for you. I was able to find one. Not sure if the link will work for you but here it is: <;oe=UTF&amp;;sl=fr&amp;tl=en>

It’s a really great article. I was so happy with it. It also reminds me as to why I am putting as much effort into the film. I want people to enjoy the film and when I see someone whom I have never met talk about the film this way it makes me want to make sure he is not disappointed. Thank you Damien. It was definitely the highlight of my week.

No One Likes A Thankless Job

Posted in misc with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2009 by Richard Diaz

A little side thing today.

90 Day Delinquents is doing the very first shadowcast of REPO! THE GENETIC OPERA on April 10 at The Music Box Theatre here in Chicago at midnight. Being a huge fan of REPO! I offered my help in promoting so I did a video for them to use. Unfortunately work and a few other things made me take a lot longer to do it but I was able to get it done in time with two weeks to spare. Here it is:

Be there if you can. It’ll be a lot of fun.

As far as the film goes I will be having some more updates soon. Just had some other things to do but I will be back in full DISTORTION mode soon.

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.