Okay… So we have re upped for another year. This weekend – March 1st - marks the 6th year of the website! So we have a little bit going on.
Dr. Les Bradley of our staff has some cool things to bring to indie filmmakers. First up is a link he found on Robert Redford‘s take on the 30 years of the Sundance Independent Filmmaking Festival. The link to this article can be found HERE.
Next up is a tip that Dr. Bradley found out about video camera memory cards. Here is what he found out: “Write-Protect your SDHC card prior to loading into a card reader for your computer! Your Mac will see the SDHC card as a No Name Drive and immediately try to index the card. In indexing the card, it will try to write data to it. If you have not write protected the card, you could lose some of your footage as the Mac does this indexing.”
Article from Robert Long II: Next up is a wonderful 1989 Batman fan film done by Mike Johnson and Tim Tokarz. They did an incredible job making a love letter to the 1960s Batman television series. Now while this was well done, admittedly they only had late 80s video and editing equipment to work with. What I did was download this fan film and re-edit it using the tools available today. I used Adobe Premiere 5.5, and I made new PNG stills to insert into the revamped fan film in Adobe Photoshop.
Besides fine tuning the audio and color correcting the old video (as this was downloaded from Youtube there is only so much that can be done) I tightened the space between the scenes to make them go a little faster. The biggest thing I added was the the fight action words that pop out during the action sequences, as well as the digital matte paintings that help create Gotham City and the Batcave – both inside and out. These were all created by by PNG files that were imported into Premiere, and were animated on the various layers within that program.
I hope you enjoy what these creative teenagers did 25 years ago, and hope that the enhancements I put into the films add to the fun.
Some time this year – sooner than later – Smash or Trash will stop doing indie movie reviews. The overall quality of the majority of films I get sent is shit, and it is depressing to watch and review. I can’t get my guest reviewers to even look at them – they are that bad. People are capable of doing better than that but they are just lazy. I’ve seen amateur films and fan films that put this schlocky dreck released to DVDs to shame. For the favorable reviews I do of the good films, one – possibly two – filmmakers have used quotes from the reviews for their webpage or DVD cover art. I have been doing reviews for six years, and it is a lot of work, and I figure why do it if no one is going to use good praise to their advantage? So don’t send me any screeners – they will just end up in the trash. I have a backlog of interviews and articles I need to get up on the site – so it will be running at least another year until all that content is put up. After that – that’s it.
Happy new years from Smash or Trash! To kick off the new year I have a few updates in hand, the biggest being that I have edited the first ten minutes of my interview with filmmaker Kevin Kangas. In this clip he is introduced and we get to talking about his first movie, a thriller called HUNTING HUMANS. Kevin is very honest and candid about the hurdles he faces making movies and it is always interesting getting his take on the good and the bad of this industry. More to come but give this a good watch!
It was sad news to learn that Mike Vraney – the creator of Something Weird Video – has died from cancer this January 2nd, 2014. Vraney became a custodian of obscure, strange wonderful movies and getting them back out to the paying public in video and DVD form. Thanks to him and his company, many independent filmmakers are getting another chance for people to discover their art. Mike, we appreciate your noble efforts, and the Smash or Trash crew send our condolences to your family, friends, and fans during this time.
I have a couple of new movie reviews up as well, the first being ALL AMERICAN ZOMBIE DRUG. It’s about a couple of stoner drug dealers that create a new drug that has – well – some bad effects. It stars one of the cast from THE BIG BANG THEORY. You can get to the review HERE.
Next up Ben Schyan co-wrote, produced and directed a movie called R & B No Contest: A Karaoke Saga. Schyan is a comedic actor that has appeared in such movies as DEAD HUNT and LIMITS TO AMBITION. The movie is about two young rappers that have to overcome the hurdles of gang members and nympho-maniacs in their quest to win the city-wide karaoke contest. You can read the review HERE.
Tennessee filmmakers Joseph Henson and Nathan Johnson took a break during the holidays, but are now back to finishing up the principle photography on their latest movie. The film is called THE NIGHT BEFORE EASTER, and is a throwback to 1980s slashers. A maniac dressed in a bunny suit is terrorizing a bunch of teenagers in an indoor storage complex. Look for it later this year out on DVD!
Welcome to another year’s end of Smash or Trash. It’s been an interesting 12 months to say the least. Sorry that there have not been more in-depth updates, but the reason for that is two-fold: the first being that I was in the hospital for a while – which slowed me down. The second is that I decided to put my movie project on the front burner.
I am busy with the pre-production prep to my first movie in years. It is called MADHOUSE MANOR. The plot is a story of revenge set in a monster wax museum. The script is going through some revisions and I am doing some of the storyboards and props to show potential investors when I set up my kickstarter campaign.
Filmmaker Kevin Kangas’ FEAR OF CLOWNS 2 is getting a deluxe Blu-ray release! Shivers the clown has escaped from the insane asylum and is after artist Lynn Blodgett again. It is up to Detective Dan Peters to protect her from the homicidal reject from the circus. Frank Lama, Jacky Reres and Mark Lassise return in the amped up sequel to the LionsGate Film release. So this baby is loaded for bear with extras – including four commentaries and several making of features. This is a must have for anyone that loves a good horror movie. The Blu-ray drops December 20th, 2013 and is offered at a fantastic price. You can pick it up HERE.
While we are on the topic of Kangas Kahn Films, there is also news that their film noir thriller GARDEN OF HEDON will get it’s Blu-ray release in February of 2014. Starring Richard Cutting, John C. Bailey, Beau Nikolas Peregino and Andrew Ely, this murder mystery takes place in a castle where a hedonistic society dwells. The movie sports vibrant color and incredible picture quality (it was shot with a RED camera) and comes overflowing with extras – including commentary, making of documentary, and Easter eggs. This is definitely the “must buy” movie of 2014, so make sure to pick it up. As an added incentive, Kangas Kahn Films has posted the first 14 minutes of the movie online (this includes the prelude). You can check that out HERE.
Independent filmmaker Donald F. Glut is trying to raise additional funds for his erotic-themed werewolf movie. Glut, a prolific writer (Empire Strikes Back, Transformers) and dinosaur expert has been making cult underground movies since the 1960s. For the man that inspired John Carpenter (Halloween) with his movies, these additional funds will help to make the special effects better, as well as being able to afford higher production values, locations and props. For more information on how to help and where to make a donation for this production – and the cool incentives offered – the link can be found HERE.
The New York Dohlerites at the After Movie Diner podcast are covering the two final public-released Timewarp Films movies produced by Don Dohler and Joe Ripple. Jon and Dori Cross, Nick Consol and Phil Rowan review 2004’s VAMPIRE SISTERS and 2007’s DEAD HUNT. Both films receive a lot of love and laughs from the folks at the Diner, and go into detail about why Dohler’s films are well worth seeking out. Besides the reviews there is a hilarious Alien Factor-themed skit at the beginning, a kick ass song about Don Dohler and his team, and as a bonus there is a little interview with me too.
So, plenty of stuff to check out here at the end of the year for Smash or Trash, as we go into another exciting year of independent filmmaking in 2014! Happy Holidays and see you all next year!
Independent filmmakers Jimmy George and Chris LaMartina wrapped their movie CALL GIRL OF CTHULU towards the end of Summer of 2013. Pictured above is director LaMartina giving direction to actor Leanna Chamish on the final shooting day.The horror/comedy will no doubt be premiere sometime in 2014. We here at Smash or Trash wish these talented gents continued success. While you wait for the movie, you really should do yourself a favor and check out their found footage film WNUF HALLOWEEN SPECIAL. It has gotten rave reviews everywhere – including the New York Times and MTV!
Also, the missing DRUNK ON VHS podcast has been found! Podcaster Moe Porne talks with AMD podcaster Jon Cross about the gore-drenched cult movie – Don Dohler‘s BLOOD MASSACRE. The movie stars the legendary George Stover and is arguably considered the best of Dohler’s early work.
Wayne Shipley is a very talented filmmaker with a passion for the Old West. He is premiering a new Western called DAY OF THE GUN in Frederick, MD on November 14, 2013. The movie screens at 8pm and tickets are $15 and stars Eric Roberts, Sam Lukowski, and Brian St. August. For more information you can go directly to the Day of the Gun website HERE.
Joe Ripple is a prolific filmmaker who is well known for his incredible charity organization SCARES THAT CARE. He is premiering a new film JEBEDIAH on November 16, 2013. It stars Brian Greenwell and is a slasher set in Amish country. Tickets are $8 at the door and the premiere takes place at Gateway Movies – 20 Presidential Circle, Gettysburg, PA. Part of the proceeds of the evening will go to charity. You can find out more about the premiere HERE.
AWARD WINNING BROOKLYN BASED PRODUCTION COMPANY WILL HAVE EUROPEAN PREMIERE OF ITS LATEST FILM
The FilmGym, an independent film production company based in Brooklyn, New York, will have its European premiere this month of the award winning film Chance of Rain, at The Aesthetica Short Film Festival in York, England. The film debuted and took home the award for Best Short Film at the prestigious Sonoma International Film Festival in California in April, and has been racking up awards and positive reviews since.
Chance of Rain is directed by Philipp Wolter and stars Wolter and his wife, Michelle Glick, who are the driving force behind FilmGym. As succinctly described by Roger Ebert writer Anath White, “they possess the sort of beauty which could easily inspire envy in others, yet they’re also down-to-earth and instantly likable. Their moody, atmospheric film takes us into a world we’d willingly spend more time exploring with its intriguing characters. When it wins Best Narrative Short (at Sonoma), the applause is heartfelt.”
Chance of Rain is a dramatic love story, beautifully shot by cinematographer Eun-ah Lee.
“I saw this piece as a play several years ago,” says Wolter, “and the story always stayed with me. So I contacted the writer, Chisa Hutchinson, and we collaborated on a screenplay version of her story.”
Chance of Rain is FilmGym’s follow up to The Bridge, another film created by the duo that garnered awards on the national and international level and later went on to qualify for an Oscar.
Since 2004 FilmGym has grown from an arena for actors and filmmakers to collaborate and work on their craft into a production house boasting films and commercials that have won awards at both the local and international level. In addition to building an impressive portfolio of work, the duo hosts International short film screenings, a monthly screenplay reading series and have become accomplished actors in their own right. Wolter will be seen later this year in Blood Ties, starring Clive Owen, Marion Cotillard and Mila Kunis; and Glick continues to tour with her autobiographical one woman show, Asian Belle.
“We are really excited to bring Chance of Rain to Europe,” says Glick. “Especially to The Aesthetica Festival – it’s very much an established and dynamic player on the UK film festival circuit and the level of work is really high. We’re in good company!”
Chris LaMartina and Jimmy George – Baltimore filmmakers – are presenting the found footage movie WNUF HALLOWEEN SPECIAL. The movie takes place in October 1987 and follows a reporter as he and his team investigate a haunted house. The movie stars Paul Fahrenkopf, Richard Cutting, Leanna Chamish, Helenmary Ball, Brian St. August, and Robert Long II. It has been getting great reviews. Hope to see you there at the world premiere!
Hello all you independent film enthusiasts!
This will be the last BIG Smash or Trash update for a while because I am MAKING A MOVIE! That’s right, I have been in the business 30 years and to celebrate I’m going into production on a movie for the first time in DECADES! Madhouse Manor! Smash or Trash will be reporting on is as it happens – so keep looking at this space! Now what has been happening?
Jim Wood – a huge Don Dohler fan – is having his own documentary done on his career as a front man for a band. A big part of this doc includes him meeting his indie film hero – Don Dohler! They are so close to meeting their kickstarter effort. So help independent filmmaker Paul Devlin make his goal! Check it out here!
Also, did you know that the incredible movie ROULETTE – by filmmaker Erik Kristopher Myers – is coming out on Blu-ray on October 22 and on DVD on November 19th? Well it is peeps! This is the movie that rocked the independent film world. Make sure you pick it up HERE.
I am extending the contest date on the Rise and Fall… in Love DVD/poster contest. Why? Because the BIG WORLD PREMIERE is coming for this movie! Lee Doll’s independent musical “Rise and Fall… in Love” premieres on Sunday October 13, 2013 at 3:00 pm at the Carroll Arts Center in Westminster, Maryland. Tickets are selling quicker than anticipated so please tell your friends, family, and Significant Others to purchase their tickets soon HERE – be there! And the drawing for the free DVD and poster will be done THAT DAY!!!
ALSO! Lee Doll Film Productions and JBH Video present: ”READY FOR ACTION” Now in Pre-Production!
Other cast members include: Alexandra Hewett • Sam Lukowski • Alfred Guy • Kim Hoang • Wayne Shipley • Karl Hopf • Brendan Biondi • Avery Guy • Julius Bennett, Jr. • Gene Vincentt - We are still searching for a 10 year old girl for one day of filming. Contact Kate@leedoll.com for more info.
Filmmaker Joe Sherlock is on the mend from his car accident and had this to tell us: I am just about finished with my latest, DRIFTER. Some music and sound work and a few visual FX and it’ll be done. Here is the latest TRAILER and the Facebook page with lots of pics is HERE.
I really am dismayed that the MALICE webseries is having trouble raising money for the 3rd season of MALICE starring Brittany Martz. I mean, filmmaker Philip Cooke has put together a really professional horror show the features great acting, creepy gothic atmosphere, hot women, tentacle horror, and the walking zombie dead. What’s not to like? Unfortunately the production needs some more funding before it can get started, and as of this writing, there is less than a week to do it! So please, follow the Kickstarter link, watch some of the past episodes (very good!) and give what you can to the campaign. I know their cast and crew will appreciate it! http://www.kickstarter.com/