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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sept. 2nd, 2005

Wow, how deceptive this was. We got an offer directly from Gargoyle Video in Italy, and it was a great offer(paid almost half the budget of the film).

I figured--man, we're gonna score some foreign sales. It was the only foreign sale we ever did.

My rep doesn't deal with foreign(but they helped broker this deal after it was brought to them), and the foreign market has just collapsed as far as American films go...

Sept. 2nd, 2005

La Paura Di Pagliacci

We just got a great offer from an Italian production company for FOC. The offer was five times what we got for the Italian rights to HH. My producer's rep made a counteroffer, which they approved so we're getting six times what we got for HH.

We get 30% at signing and the rest by February of next year.

Sweet! This also bodes well for FOC2--we can presell rights and get money up front. Apparently clowns are big in Italy.

I dunno. I just love their Italian Ice.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

FOC2 Goes Amazon VOD

Not FOC1 related, but as you can tell from the links to the right, FOC2 has gone Amazon VOD live. It took them roughly 2 months to set the title up.

Upside--doesn't cost you anything and you can tell them to stop selling/renting your flick and it will happen within a week.

Downside--they take 55%, they set the rental price and purchase price(though you can suggest a purchase price, and in my case they listened).

So I don't know how many people use Amazon VOD, but I guess we'll find out.

And for those wondering, this is the final version of FOC2--the shorter, different-ending version than the limited edition FOC2 dvd.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Scrapbook Post

For the writer-folk. When I start a screenplay I like to write a couple of pages about each character from the first-person so I have an idea of who they are. I sometimes give them to the actor before we shoot, the way I gave this to Frank Lama before FOC2...(mildly spoilerish if you haven't seen FOC2)

My name is Dan Wickerman(pronounced Wih-KER-Min) Peters. I’m a grade one police detective in Maryland.

I grew up in Dallas, Texas. I was an only child. I had a happy childhood, or maybe it just seems that way when I look back through eyes warped by nostalgia.

My dad was a postal worker, but he was a big guy. Played college football so he was pretty imposing. Mom was the homemaker. Keep the house clean, do the laundry, and fix dinner. Old fashioned.

I was eleven the night we were mugged. We were in the city shopping but it got late fast. On our way back to the car some guy—he seemed old to me, but anyone over twenty is ancient to a kid—stuck a gun in our face and demanded our money.

My dad cursed at the guy. It was the first and only time I ever heard him curse. He said, and I remember it like he’s in front of me saying it right now: “You get the fuck away from us.”

The guy got agitated, starting waving the gun around. My dad tried to grab it. The guy clubbed him in the head. The sound of the metal barrel thunking dully into my dad’s skull was sickening.
My dad went down and didn’t move. I thought he was dead. The guy must have thought the same thing. He panicked, grabbed my mom’s purse, and ran off.

My dad was never the same after that. The gun cracked his skull so he needed eighteen stitches and two surgeries. But worse than that, it broke his will. I don’t know exactly what it was. The feeling of being helpless, of not being able to protect his family. Maybe of realizing you’re not as strong or unstoppable as you think you are.

Either way he was a beaten man after that. Mom and me, we tried to get him back to himself. We thought time would heal him, like it does everything else, but it never did. We did activities he could win, we encouraged him to enter contests, to play sports.

It was almost like he lost the will to live. The doctors said it was nothing physical. They recommended taking him to a psychiatrist. He recommended they shove it. One thing the mugger didn’t take away from him was his bull-headedness.

He remained oddly detached from us until he died of a heart attack when he was sixty-two.

I’ve always been interested in puzzles and mysteries. I read Agatha Christie novels incessantly in high school, always trying to figure out before the end who the killer was. I excelled in math—every problem was a mystery for me to solve.

I don’t know if losing myself in the mysteries was my way of dealing with my father’s detachment. Who can understand how a child’s mind works? I only know that when I think fondly of my childhood it’s because I remember all those stories and puzzles and mysteries I spent so much time solving.

When I was older I had thoughts of entering the FBI, but instead I entered the police academy right after college. I put my time in on the street, and the second I could I went for my shield. I made detective fast, and I’m one of the best in the division.

My clearance rate is an unheard-of seventy four percent. I live the job, which is one of the reasons I do so well. Even when I’m off I’m still thinking about the cases, moving the pieces of the puzzle around in my head until they start to fit.

I figured eventually I’d have a life, like a regular one. Find a wife, make a family, live happily ever after.

My doctor tells me I have less than a year to live now. And suddenly it seems like eventually isn’t going to happen. All that time I thought I’d have—gone in the time it took to get the test results back.

I can’t stop the regret. I try to push it back because it angers me, and anger clouds the mind. I’ve got nothing to regret really. I have the highest case clearance rate in the history of the state. I have more money than I’ll ever need.

But I can’t help thinking that I just never stopped playing cops and robbers. I never grew up. Always thought I had time—

And to make it worse…the year I have to live isn’t going to be a good year. My mind is going to begin to…deteriorate. The doctor made it sound a lot like Alzheimer’s. Least that’s what it sounded like to me.

My mind is what I’m most proud of. It sounds strange, I know. But I’ve worked very hard to become as intelligent as I could. I’m like a body builder who has spent years and years in the gym to perfect his physique, only in my case it’s my mind.

And now some bullshit arbitrary disease is going to take that away from me? Slowly and painfully I’m going to lose who I am, lose what I can do, and I’m not even going to realize it’s happening.

Not if I can help it.

Her name is Lynn Blodgett, and I felt something the first time I saw her. She was living in someone else’s house when a murder was committed two doors up. It turned out to be linked to her and a big nutcase named Doug Richardson, who liked to dress up like a clown and axe people.

I caught him and he was put away in a mental institution. He’s been there now for over two years. He tried to escape twice. The doctor reports say he’s still obsessed with Lynn. It appears her ex-husband convinced Doug that if he killed Lynn then all his mental problems would go away.

I can’t blame him, really. Would I kill to stop this disease from taking my intelligence? Who you got in mind?

Really, though. I had thoughts of asking Lynn out a long time ago, but she was in a relationship then, and so it all passed. Now it’s too late. Much too late.

But there’s something I can do. My last hurrah, so to speak. I can put that psycho in the ground where he’ll never bother Lynn again. I just have to figure out how to do it when he’s locked up in an asylum and I’m out here in the real world.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

August 25th, 2005

Interesting to note that we did indeed hit the chart, but missed the top 10 because of direct-2-dvd sequels. I mean, Stuart Little 3? Bambi 2? American Pie Band Camp?

Damn you, sequels. Damn you to hell...

August 25, 2005

While I'm still waiting to hear the big YES from LG I figured I'd mention why I chose them. You see, we also had an offer from Sony.

I was told by my Producer's Rep that Sony typically sells more units. This is the list of "Top Specialized Renters" from Video Business Weekly:

Title(Label/Distributions) Revenue($ in Millions)
1. 7 Seconds(Sony) $0.51
2. Redneck Comedy Roundoup(LG) $0.47
3. Urban Legends: Bloody Mary(Sony) $0.42
4. Blast(First Look) $0.38
5. Vampire Assassins(LG) $0.26
6. Elvis Has Left The Building(LG) $0.25
7. Zodiac Killer(LG) $0.24
8. Tarzan II(BV) $0.23

I've watched the list for a couple of months, and sure enough, Sony does often have the top spot.

But LG pretty much specializes in horror. They are THE horror distributor in the US. So that's a family I want to join. If FOC does well there and I let them pick up the sequel(and THAT does well), then I'm hoping I can maybe pitch a film to them that they'll fund for something more than the peanuts I've been working with.

So that's my rationale. We'll see how it works out.

And, oh yeah, I want to see FOC on that list.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Guest Post #2 - Mark Lassise

Finally the clown speaks! Mark Lassise himself sent in his thoughts regarding his first memories of the project. Here they are, straight from Brazil(where Mark lives now).

I received a call from Carlyn Davis, a casting agent in Northern Virginia. I had never been called by her before and didn't know she even had me on her radar. After talking with Kevin I realized she didn't. He had called her...
(Kevin note: In my opinion, her agency sucks--it has in my dealings with it)

On the journey to the out-of-the-way hotel being used as an audition location, I remember thinking, “This is it, the one that vaults me into the limelight, the upper echelon of actors, 100's of different characters, Entertainment Tonight, David Letterman and everything else that come with it. All I have to do is go in there and knock it out!"

I was able to jump the line after giving my name. When I entered, Kevin and Rick greeted me and Kevin said, “I hope you can act because you are exactly what I pictured when writing the clown.”

Well, I landed the gig and began crafting Shivers.

When the shoot date arrived I was very excited to jump into this BIG production. Little did I know my idea of BIG was a little BIGGER than reality. The first day started off what is now normal for a first day on a Kangas Production....very frustrating.

My make-up took twice as long, my eyes burnt all day from the contacts and I don't think we shot anything. I also realized our DP, David Munn only had four fingers, Jacky Reres was not afraid of clowns and that this was a total “guerrilla” shoot....
(Kevin Note: Frustrating, sure. But we never spent a day without shooting SOMETHING)

I distinctly remember Rick Ganz started to ruin the movie from day one as well. BUT! Leaving us only us only one way to go...UP!
(Kevin Note: He's kidding. I used to joke with Rick about how he was always ruining my movie)

Paul Kangas began to do my make-up at his house which kept us on schedule. It made driving to
different locations interesting. The two week shoot went as well as low low budget Independent will allow.
(Kevin Note: It was three weeks.)

Kevin was able to put together a decent B horror movie that Lionsgate found and knew they had
a product that would translate into big dollars just with the name and front cover.

I realized half way through that I was killing everyone during the day due to the fact we had very few lights. Strange, a killer clown can stalk through neighborhoods in broad daylight without trouble. In the Kangas world anything is possible and probable.
(Kevin Note: Uh...he only killed 1 person in the day, though he stalked Jacky/Rick once. I think Mark's delirious from the Brazillian heat)

Then came the theater...our best location. We would arrive after the box office closed and all the employees left except for James, Kevin's friend and projectionist. He allowed us access to the theater in exchange for Shivers killing him on screen. My second favorite killing after the decapitation, of course.

Chasing the always desirable Jacky Reres through a dark theater...good times!

The production ended and I moved to New York to continue my acting journey. Two years later Kevin sent me the script for FOC2... to be continued

Below is the picture that drew me to Mark originally, which he HATES. But that is the mental picture of Doug Richardson that was in my head LONG before I ever saw it...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

July 2nd, 2005

Jacky and Rick has this in common;
their favorite parts to act were when they were lying in bed.
So, the point of the last couple of posts is this:

When you're writing spec scripts, the sky's the limit.

When you're in low-budget land you have to write to the level you can afford to shoot. And as I just showed, we haven't even glanced at story considerations and we've already spent almost $25,000.

It's hard to write a great screenplay, as is demonstrated by countless films every week. It's even harder to write a great screenplay that you can afford to shoot.

Which is where I am now. I'm writing the sequel to my second film(that's about to get picked up--the company wants a sequel) and I'm scouting locations before I've written the scene in question. I need a place to set the final scene, so we went looking at places we can get access to. Places that are visually interesting and/or add to our production value by using them.

And I'd be lying if I didn't tell you it's a bitch. It's restrictive. It's more difficult than just following the story where it leads you.

But if you're a low-budget filmmaker then you do what you have to do to continue making films.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Really? No followers?

I'm gearing up to get back to updating these blogs but it keeps showing me that these blogs have no followers...

Wouldn't you like to be notified when the blog gets updated? Start following! :)