KEVIN VANHOOK RETURNS TO COMICS! Writing BATMAN and SUPERMAN!!
I was being interviewed about this a few days ago and the first question, was, "After 13 years, what made you come back to comics?" My first thought was that the gentleman had his facts mixed up. Why, I just wrote....I mean, I had that issue of... wow. It had been 13 years. Maybe 12, if you picked nits. And if you count a brief flirtation with Wildstorm in 2000, only 8 years. But still and all. It's been awhile.
In the interim, I had written and directed 5 films, produced a few others and was Supervising Producer on a highly rated animated Christmas cartoon "Harry Connick, Jr.'s The Happy Elf" and done visual effects on major tv shows and movies....
I came back to visit because I miss the medium. I enjoy telling stories with words and pictures. Moving pictures, still pictures, mental pictures...I'm a storyteller and this was my first love.
And when this incredible opportunity was put in front of me, I had to go for it. How often do you get to write the Man of Steel and The Dark Knight Detective? Let alone pit them against Creatures of the Night? Will the heroes prevail or will the monsters Seize the Knight?
SUPERMAN AND BATMAN VS. VAMPIRES AND WEREWOLVES!
The title says it all. Let's let the world know what this thing's about right off the bat!! When it comes to the comic book stuff, I'm one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Not only have I gotten to work with great folks like Dan Didio, Jann Jones and Michael Siglain, I get to play with the biggest heroes in the DC Universe! AND bring my own horror vibe to the table collaborating with one of my favorite artists-- Tom Mandrake. Tom's pulled out the stops on this one and I love his take on the creatures that fill this world.
Six issues, shipping two issues a month for three months.
Here's the solicitation info:
Written by Kevin VanHook, art and cover by Tom Mandrake.
A man is killed by a mysterious creature -- his body drained of blood. A woman is savagely attacked by a ferocious beast -- her jugular ripped out. Bat wings flutter across the moon and the howl of a wolf echoes through the streets, for the creatures of the night have risen from the grave, and humanity's only salvation is the combined might of The Last Son of Krypton and The Dark Knight Detective. Blood will run red when Superman and Batman face off against vampires and werewolves for the fate of the entire DCU!
32 pages, $2.99, in stores on Oct. 15 and Oct. 29.
And if that's not enough of a sales pitch-- It's in Diamond Previews now. Check it out! Go to your local comic shop and ask--no, DEMAND that they let you give them the $2.99 plus tax to get your copy of SUPERMAN AND BATMAN VS. VAMPIRES AND WEREWOLVES 1!
First appearance of three brand new characters!
Cameron graduated from L.A. Film School a few weeks back-- check out his thesis film here. Great to see how much he learned and grew in the last year. He's got a great eye. Corwin's well into his second year at Westwood, studying videogame programming and design. It's really cool to watch him learn and love the process. He's a sponge when it comes to the stuff.
Carol's doing great-- just built an incredibly photo-real earth for an upcoming project. Got to see her sister Lynn last month and I think they had a great time.
I'm moving along on a few of the movie fronts-- Hopefully, I'll be able to mention some of them soon.
I will be attending a con in NYC with Carol next week. They're having a Valiant reunion and I look forward to seeing a bunch of the old gang. Sadly, Steve Massarsky, our Publisher passed away recently. It would have been good to see him again. May he rest in peace.
Also found out that the con is the same weekend as Wizard's Texas show, so I won't get to hook up with any of those fine folks. Too bad, I'm rarely on the East Coast and Carol hasn't been there in years.
Checked out the RED camera at HD Expo-- it's really, really cool. I do believe it'll revolutionize the way a lot of folks shoot films.
Quick update. Sands of Oblivion premiered Saturday night and did well in the ratings. Thanks to all of you who watched! It re-runs again tonight at 7:00 PM. I think the film's a lot of fun. Director David Flores did a great job with the story that Jeff Coatney and I wrote and I think Forum Visual Effects did an outstanding job on the effects. The cast was great and it was fun to watch my old friends Charles Lister and Jeff Manzanares on the tube.
An interesting irony was that the movie premiered during the Saturday night of San Diego Comic-Con-- so a huge chunk of our natural audience wasn't home to watch it! I talked to a lot of folks at the convention that had plans to record the movie and watch it when they got back.
Just completed shooting and editing a new prologue to Sands of Oblivion-- adding a 5 minute opening set in Ancient Egypt. Really cool sequence. Tons of FX. Really looking forward to completing it.
Had a great time at the con. We made our big announcement about the Ray Harryhausen Presents project we're doing as my next film. It's called ARES: God of War and is a new Jason and the Argonauts adventure. In a room designed to hold 2000 people, we had all seats filled and an additional 50 or so people standing in the back! Star Wars and Slayer's Ray Park also joined Karen Bailey and I on the panel with Ray Harryhausen and his manager Arnold Kunert. Lots of fun.
Also got to hang out with my new friends over at DC Comics-- Hey, Dan, Jann and Mike! Wonderful folks and I'm looking forward to doing some cool stuff with them-- more on that down the road.
And I got to spend a little time with my pal John Nee and meet a bunch of his friends. Same with the Avatar folks' party.
Checked out the movie, "Shoot 'Em Up!" Didn't exactly work for me, but lots of fun stuff in the film.
Met Frank Cho--one of my favorite artists (nobody draws babes quite like him!) and see so many old friends like Brandon Peterson, Trevor Goring, Dave Campiti and David Lawrence and my old Valiant gang.
Speaking of which, I spent an hour on a Valiant panel finding out the latest in that soap opera-- "who has the rights?" continues to be a debated topic.
I'm on target for updating this thing every three months or so. I'm trying for a more frequent update, but at least I'm consistent!
We finished shooting Sands of Oblivion on the evening of the 22nd of February. Got some great stuff. Director David Flores did an excellent job and told an entertaining story. I'm anxious to see the final edit in the weeks to come. I directed Second Unit and was able to shoot many of the scenes that drew me to the concept in the first place-- especially the 1923 sequence with Cecil B. DeMille.
Some fun stuff: Got to work with Dan Castellaneta (the voice of Homer Simpson) who turned in a wonderful performance as DeMille. Dan's old friend Richard Kind (Spin City) joined us for a time as well. Also got to work with George Kennedy, who officially is one of the nicest guys in the world. Still a heck of an actor. It was truly a privilege.
Our usual core group of department heads and their teams stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park. Had some hiccups in other areas, but that's part of learning and growing as we refine our network.
Another neat thing was getting to work with Jeff Manzanares and Charles Lister-- two old friends who were the stars of my first feature film, "Frost: Portrait of a Vampire." They were kind enough to take time out of their schedules to come out and play for a week or two and both brought a lot to the film.
Part of our film was shot in the Dumont Dunes, near Baker, California. We ended up staying in Pahrump, NV (cathouses and casinos), which is also the home of radio personality, Art Bell. Having just been talking about manifesting things in the universe (as is my want), I had mentioned that I'd love to meet Art Bell and despite the fact he lived in the town, the odds were astronimically against my just running into him. Of course, that's all the universe needed to hear and he came into the hotel restaurant the next day and I was able to chat for a few minutes. Nice guy and of course into all the weird, paranormal stuff I'm into.
This was similar to an experience I had when my nephew Larry was writing a time travel story where the guy goes back and meets Abraham Lincoln. I explained that just because someone lived in the same time period as a celebrity, the odds are still good that they'll never cross paths. I've lived in the greater L.A. area for almost ten years and have yet to see Tom Cruse Brad Pitt. Too coincidental. I compared this with seeing someone like Stephen Hawkings, the smartest man in the world just out on the street somewhere.
The next weekend, I walked beside Stephen Hawkings on the streets of Santa Barbara.
Death Row came out on DVD this last Tuesday! Sold out at a couple of the local Wal-Marts. Nicely showcased at Target. Good to see it out. Really like the packaging.
Sat as a fan watching 300 the movie at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood with the bulk of Forum Visual Effects' crew. Lots of fun.
Starting to edit in HD. That's a new experience, but one I'm looking forward to. I've got a 4.5 terabyte raid on the floor next to my Mac Tower. So far, it's screaming fast and doing what I need it to. The test will be pumping a feature length film through it.
This has been the month of concerts for my family. Carol and Corwin went to AFI in Bakersfield and My Chemical Romance in Anaheim. Both concerts were very cool.
Well, as I sit here now, a few days before Christmas and with 2006 drawing to a close, I can only say how thankful I am for so many things.
On the career front, I've never had as many opportunities in front of me. Karen and I continue to produce films for Anchor Bay and SCI FI. All based on my concepts and I'm writing or co-writing many of them. Directing a few as well. There's talk of projects on the other side of this country and even the potential for one on the other side of the world. All interesting things.
Our company IDT Entertainment was bought by Starz, so we're part of a HUGE entertainment umbrella. Exciting stuff.
January 2007 will see us filming, "Sands of Oblivion," a film we're producing for SCI FI. I wrote the script with Jeff Coatney, who took on more than the lion's share of the work. David Flores is Directing with Karen and I Producing.
Voodoo Moon and Slayer came out on DVD. They also had their TV premieres this year, along with Haunted Prison-- which will be released on DVD under the title, "Death Row" on March 6th, 2007. The connectivity geek in me wants to point out that that's the same week Frank Miller's 300 comes out in theaters, which looks awesome. Apple Computer helped promote Haunted Prison when it premiered on SCI FI. Thanks, guys!
My family's healthy and genuinely happy. Carol's been shedding weight since we got back from Europe in August. She's doing wonderfully and looks and feels fantastic. Corwin and Cameron are going to college full time. Film School for Cam and Video Game Programming for Corwin. They turned 18 October 24th. Both are driving and doing great.
The Visual Effects company (Forum Visual Effects, a division of Film Roman) that Chadd Cole and I started nine years ago (with its roots older than that) has grown three or four hundred percent in the last few years. Work on Pepsi's commercials, TV's Law and Order, as well as FX work on animated DVDs and TV shows keep quite a bit of the crew busy, leaving it tough to get them onto my own projects with regularity. As my friend Fred Pierce used to say, "These are the problems we should have." Problems like paying more in taxes than you used to. Having too many people with demands on your time. Those kind of problems. I still have my hand in Forum and I get the inside scoop daily because my wife Carol's one of the artists!
We were able to travel this year, seeing Europe for the first time. For this Indiana boy, it was an amazing journey. To see London, Paris, Rome, Florence, Venice (man...Venice!) and to climb into Hitler's Eagle's Nest-- a beautiful place with such a horrid connection. We went to Leonardo's birth house. And Mozart's. By comparison, I was born some 450 years after Lenny (we're close and he let's me call him that) and the house I was born in no longer stands. No comparison between myself and Leonardo other than birthdates intended.
We made friends on the trip-- (Hi, Colin and Maria from Australia!) and in general had a wonderful time. We were lucky to be able to take the boys with us and enjoy this as a family.
We've taken a first tentative step into real estate-- yes, I'm a Landlord. Wish me luck on that one.
Karen, Carol and I went to a Tony Robbins Conference up in San Jose. Intense and informative. I've listened and read to so much of his stuff that a lot was repetition, but it's a different story being in the room with the guy. Incredible energy. Don't think the man stops to go to the bathroom.
I've gotten to work with or meet some incredible people-- Ray Park, Stacy Keach, Jake Busey, Ray Bradbury, Forry Ackerman and others. I've managed to stay in touch with Geoffrey Lewis and Jeff Combs. Casper Van Dien, Ray Park and Scott Whyte. One of the great joys of what I do is getting to meet and possibly work with people whose work I've enjoyed over the years.
So many of our actors from the last few films have gone onto tv series in the last year. Congrats go out to them-- a few are: Eric Mabius (Ugly Betty), Tony Plana (Ugly Betty), Kyle Schmid (Blood Ties), Alexis Cruz (Shark). Check out Charisma Carpenter on Veronica Mars and Jeffrey Combs on Masters of Horror (another Starz production), playing Edgar Allen Poe.
I had some downtime and threw myself into building a miniature jungle/canyon landscape ala King Kong 2005. Turned out very cool. Definitely a technique I'll be using in future films.
On the geek front, 2006 saw my discovery of YouTube, MySpace and the rapid expansion of my digital film reference library. I now have a bunch of podcasts I listen to when I can as well. Most of which can be found on www.twit.tv
Thanks to everyone who helped make 2006 such a special year for me and mine.
And here's to a fantastic 2007,
In the vein of being a little stream of consciousness--And since I don't really keep a public blog, this is my turn at being a 15 year old goth kid with a MySpace Page.
Here's quick list of things I think are cool. No particular order and probably not even the most cool.
Combining Miniature sets with full scale partial sets and blue-screen
David Allen Coe's Music (got to see him live with my buddies)
Final Cut Pro
Vue5 or Vue6 Environment software
Having intelligent, thought-provoking conversations with my sons about stuff that they (shudder) know more about than I do
Watching Carol do so well with her diet
That a friend said the title of my autobiography should be: "They All Thought I Was Bullshittin'"
Having a massive music server in my house
Having a projector and a screening room at the house
Learning how to do stuff I'm impressed with
Illusion-- that's why I like FX work
My partner Karen
Having old friends email me after seeing my movies on TV and tracking me down
Bluetooth in my car so I'm handsfree and the audio comes over the car radio
I'm never bored
Leonardo Da Vinci
The Ultimates from Marvel. Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch rock.
Having and being a Mentor
Things I need to work on:
I need a little more patience.
Exercise more. Eat better foods.
Enjoying the journey
Self-Discipline in my work
Being more tolerant of (some) incompetancy
Allow myself to enjoy more films and books, i.e.; be able to turn off more often
Spend less time on unimportant things
More on priorities, including just chilling out.
Continue to raise my own bar on my work
The Rest are things that I'll keep in my head
Big stuff brewing. Death Row will premiere under the name HAUNTED PRISON on SCI FI October 14th at 9:00 PM. Just in time for Halloween! One reviewer called it a, "Haunted House Ride film!" Check it out!
Voodoo Moon comes out on DVD on October 3rd from Anchor Bay Entertainment and Slayer releases on DVD the 21st of November.
Doing lots of interviews, primarily with the independent film and horror community. Interviews can be arranged through firstname.lastname@example.org
Gearing up for Sands of Oblivion. Should be a lot of fun! Jeff Coatney and I have completed the script and I have to say that I'm pretty pleased with it.
Death Row's principal photography is completed. We shot the miniature prison created by IMAGIVATIONS based on an idea by my pal Jeff Coatney last week. Good stuff.
So, pray tell, what is Death Row?
Take a half-dozen good-looking college-kids who plan to stay at an abandoned prison while shooting a documentary on the place, throw them in with a desperate gang of jewel thieves hiding out, add the little fact that the prison resonates with evil and just happens to be haunted...and you take it from there.
In the vein of 13 Ghosts and House and House on Haunted Hill, Death Row features some outstanding makeup effects from Autonomous EFX--spearheaded by Jason Collins and Elvis Jones.
Starring Jake Busey and Stacy Keach, the ensemble cast is rounded out by Kyle Schmid, Claire Coffee, Scott Whyte, Shanna Collins, Danny Arroyo, Jamie Mann, Rey Gallegos, Russell Richardson, James Leo Ryan and Marco Rodriguez.
This show marks my first time teaming up with Director of Photography Keith Duggan, who had been our Gaffer on Voodoo Moon. Beautiful work. We really captured the pervasive atmosphere of the real prisons we shot in.
What happened to Matt Steinauer, who'd been my DP on everything back to my first short film? He's busy writing a script based on a springboard idea of mine. We're trying to get him slotted in to direct it as well. He's also been able to take the first pass at editing Death Row, giving me a huge jump on completing the film.
The cast was a warm and friendly bunch. God bless 'em all. They made it a pleasure.
Here's to Rattlesnake Jake's chilli, some of the best chilli I've ever had!
Jeff Coatney stepped up as Assistant Director, knowing that I didn't want or need a traditional AD. I tend to run the set myself and need to have the control and ability to do that without conflicting with someone trying to do the same thing. He was able to grow into the role, let me do my thing and never annoy me. It takes some getting used to from the crew who are used to being barked at, but I definitely prefer the more laid-back set.
Jeff's second was Joe Suarez, who kept his side of things running like a top. A great find.
Benjamin Sachs joined us Line Producer, coming in just four days before photography began after the previous fellow had to leave. On top of things and even-keeled, we'll work together again.
My producing partner Karen Bailey did her usual outstanding job, keeping us a teensy bit under budget and working with me to keep us ahead of schedule.
Now we're off to explore the sands of Egypt in Central California...and the fascinating story of a Hollywood legend.
Up next: SANDS OF OBLIVION
Whirlwind Film-making and the Art of Making Friends For a Living
by Kevin VanHook
We completed filming on, "Slayer" on the morning of December 21st.
Alexis Cruz, playing the part of Alex Juarez in the film, had been front and center in the first shot filmed nearly a month earlier and he was back in front of the lens for the final shot, as well. he'd told me how he was in the first and last shots of Stargate (one of my favorite films) and I kinda liked the symmetry.
Slayer teamed me back up with Casper Van Dien, who had starred in, "The Fallen Ones." Casper's become a good friend and from the time I came up with the skeleton of the idea for the screenplay, he was who I had in mind to play, Captain Tom, "Hawk" Hawkins. Not only would I get a strong performance and a likable character, I knew I would have a, "friendly" on the set, someone who would work through the long hours, keep the morale of the crew up and would keep the project fun.
A couple of years back, my Producing Partner Karen Bailey had introduced me to her friend Kevin Grievioux (pronounced, 'Gree-vee-us") at the San Diego Comic Con. Kevin had written the story for Underworld and acted in it as well as the massive werewolf, Raz. As the story for Slayer brewed in my mind, I needed a best friend for Hawk. I reached for extremes. Casper's an all-american, good-looking white guy with a square jaw and a quick smile. The character of Grieves was a head taller, twice as broad and with an intellect that ran counter to the big-football player image. Kevin's voice is somewhere below freakin' deep and Damn. One friend swears that a man would have to have four testicles to have a voice that deep. Another, overhearing a conversation in my office commented, "I just figured Kevin and Karen were making another deal with the devil."
Don't think the word, "another" was lost on me.
Those are the actors I envisioned as I wrote the script. Phone calls were made, some schedules were cleared and they were in. It's never quite THAT easy, but it really wasn't much more than that.
The other roles, Alex, Laurie (Hawk's ex-wife), Colonel Weaver, Javier, his daughter Estrella, and a pair of mysterious acrobatic twins started writing themselves into my script. I was thankful to get to know these characters and ultimately the actors who played them.
Alex--played by Alexis Cruz, would serve as a comic relief as well as a kick-ass fighter in the film. Alex became the character fully.
Laurie--played by Jennifer O'Dell was partly the reason for the adventure kicking into high-gear. Her work in the South American Jungle put her in danger from the indigenous tribe of natural vampires. No damsel in distress, Laurie holds her own. Jennifer's work on, "The Lost World" tv series gave her an excellent background for the fighting and gruelling pace of location film.
Colonel Weaver was originally designed for actor Lee Majors, but it was a producer's decision to make the character female that led us to Lynda Carter. Best known (and I mean KNOWN throughout the world) as TV's Wonder Woman, Lynda is radiantly beautiful with a natural sweetness about her that made her a joy to work with. Afterall, if I couldn't work with the man I wanted to be when I was a kid, I'd take the opportunity to work with the woman I wanted to meet.
The role of Javier required villainy with a heart. After reading a number of very talented and well-known actors and not getting exactly what I wanted, Tony Plana walked in and just blew me away. He understood the tone I was going for. There was a sophistication to the character that came alive through Tony's performance. A younger Ricardo Montalban. At one moment a caring Latin gentlemen, at another, a vile creature.
Javier's daughter Estrella was designed as a beautiful siren--a succubus as much as a vampire, Estrella needed to be drop-dead beautiful. And Joyce Giraud is that and more. Apparently, I used the word, "stunning" to describe her to the point that the crew teased me for weeks. Until Joyce arrived. Then it was simply, "You were right. Stunning." A former Miss Puerto Rico, relished the role and hours of vampire makeup, as well as hanging out in a cave surrounded by bats. Did I mention she's not a fan of the little flying rodents? She did a great job.
The acrobatic twins. Who do you cast as an incredible fighter/gymnast who could have a flare for the fantastic? What if you rolled Star Wars' Darth Maul, The Headless Horseman from Sleepy Hollow and Toad from the X-Men together into one actor? Thankfully someone else already did that in the form of Ray Park. And a helluva nice guy to boot. Ray was kind enough to come by my office and chat and we hit it off instantly. A delight to work with on set, Ray would elevate any scene he was in (fight scene or otherwise). I've never met anyone who takes as much joy in doing what he does well and wants to please as much as he does. I'm proud to consider him a friend and someone who I think we'll all see more of in films.
There are other roles that flesh out a movie. Often, these parts go to lesser known or frankly, less expensive actors. But Karen and I view the casting process as crucial to the final film. If it's possible to flesh out a character by bringing in an established face who brings along his or her history, we try to do just that. Danny Trejo filled that bill on Slayer. As the boat captain who knows more than he lets on as he leads our troops upriver, Danny brings a sense of, "I know that guy" to his films. Again, a helluva nice guy.
At a certain point in the film, Javier transforms himself into a hulking creature that looks like a cross between a human being and a bat. It's a wonderful makeup job by Autonomous Efx from a design by Jeff Rebner. The young man inside the suit is my son, Cameron VanHook. Sure I'm biased, but Cam is damn good at what he does in suit work. He understands the physical acting and his unique build (long and lanky) allows him to get into suits that can have musculature built on top of his form and not look like a linebacker. Slayer also marks Cameron's second time out fighting Casper Van Dien. He played the mummy in, "The Fallen Ones." As 2006 approaches, he's being offered suit-work on other films. Not bad for a 17 year old with three films under his belt.
Brian Duffy led an incredible stunt team, creating fight scenes and action equal to that found in films many times our budget. Wire work, with vampires leaping to and from trees and buildings, ratchet gags and a descender-rig style stunt with a female stunt person swan-diving nearly 50 feet through the atrium of a hotel all added to the power and impact of the imagery we captured on film. These guys were there for Brian, me and the film and I literally never heard a complaint.
Autumn Butler ran a tight makeup team that moved back and forth between beauty makeup and FX makeup, assisting Jason Collins' team from Autonomous EFX. Often first in and last out, makeup can be a thankless task. Not this time. Thanks, Autumn.
Katie Boucher became a shining star, heading up the wardrobe department. I had known her work in the past on smaller independent films done within our circle of film-makers (she's a director herself), but this was a different animal. Slayer would require dozens of costumes, many to be individually designed and hand-sewn. Soldiers, vampires, tribal vampires, locals, advanced costumes with a nod toward Incan culture, the list goes on even now. And she did it all, wonderfully.
Matt Steinauer returned as my Director of Photography bringing a huge amount of motion to the film, from jib shots and dollies to steadicam and handheld work.
The film can't be discussed without mentioning the people and places of Puerto Rico. The crew was wonderful. They were a hard-working group who bonded with us quickly. Any concerns I had as to the crew being divided between the group from the States and the Locals were unfounded. On the first day, we were a team, moving swiftly and enjoying each other's company.The locations were what initially drew me to shooting on the island. Back in mid-July, Karen and I travelled to Puerto Rico to scout the island and see how practical it was to consider shooting there. The local Film Commission's Lou DeMoura showed us around with his side-kick and knowledgeable driver Melvin and we were hooked. We found Rio Camuy Cueva, a massive underground cavern that was breathtakingly beautiful. Tortuguerro Lagoon, an area with dense jungle and the remains of a large old house standing in its midst, frozen in the act of being reclaimed by the jungle for some 50 years. It was near here that they shot the Viet Nam portions of "Jacob's Ladder."
In August, we met with SCI-FI channel to discuss a number of potential film projects and the germ of the idea Slayer was born. I utilized the locations we had found. Another trip in September had us meeting with the Film Commission, a local law firm and others we knew we would have to work with in the process of making a film nearly 5,000 miles from home. A few more locations were discovered to match the script I was developing.
The screenplay was written and a hectic pre-production period was started immediately after Halloween with filming ultimately starting on November 26th.
For many of us, it has been the most difficult thing we've ever undertaken. Shooting on location means less time to shoot actors in a normal work-day if there's any distance from the hotel. There always was. Travel and accommodations are a large portion of the budget. I wrote a big, ambitious script (nothing new there), and it was a constant battle to capture it on film within the time and money allotted. Our CEO John Hyde, our Financial Executive Sam Abraham and the wonderful folks at our sister company, IDT Puerto Rico worked hard to make sure that the funding rabbits Karen was pulling out of a hat were delivered alive and kicking.
It gave me insight into what I want in the future, both personally in terms of growth and enjoying the process and professionally in terms of a working environment and scheduling. This is my fourth film and I've got a decent handle on the mechanics of what we do. I intend to push some of the boundaries of how it's usually done on the next one, reaching back to some things I did on my first film when there were only a handful of people on the set. Friends getting together to help me make a movie. If schedules and dollars allow, I'm going to try for a longer schedule and smaller crew, to help capture that intimacy of the process.
All in all, an incredible journey.
The next few months will be a fervent post session; editing, sound designing and scoring the film. I intend to reteam with Composer Ludek Drizhal and the sound team of Mission Post. When something works, I try not to mess with it.
I can't wait to see what you think.
Los Angeles, Ca
The Fallen Ones DVD is out and it looks fantastic. The picture and sound transfer is really topnotch and the folks at Anchor Bay and Crest that handled the Behind the scenes did a wonderful job. My hats off to Bo Altherr, Jay Marks and their crews!
In Voodoo Moon news, the FX are nearly done, Ludek Drizhal has joined the team as composer and we will be doing the final sound mix in a couple of weeks. There are some truly amazing FX shots in this, courtesy of Chadd B. Cole and the gang at Forum Visual Effects.
Here are some NEW pics from Voodoo Moon!
For those who pay attention to the numbers game in Hollywood, both Charisma Carpenter and Eric Mabius' star-meter rankings have jumped considerably in the last few months and Voodoo Moon is being called a, "hot new Indy Horror film." Eric will be appearing at the Fangoria Weekend of Horrors on the East Coast September 24th--He's a great guy, go say howdy and ask him just how cold it go in Mid-April in Southern California in the middle of the night...
On a serious note, my heart goes out to the heroes and victims of Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans was a wonderful host to Voodoo Moon's production in May and it's a tragedy that won't soon be forgotten. If you can give anything to the Red Cross or other charities, this is one of those times where it'll definitely be put to good use. I wish everyone in the path of Hurrican Rita to be safe from harm.
Work is completed on, "Harry Connick, Jr.'s The Happy Elf!" It's a beautifully animated Christmas special that will be premiering on December 2nd on NBC and on DVD from Anchor Bay in time for the Holidays. The show features music and voice acting by Harry himself and a host of talent from Carol Kane to Lewis Black. Karen Bailey and Bill Arance produced along with Scott Greenberg and Sidney Clifton of Film Roman. IDT's DKP Animation outdid themselves with some wonderful work directed by John Rice and Mike Fabris. Just a nod to the gang. It's a fun show and has every chance of being a Christmas staple for years to come.
Film Roman's work on the upcoming Animated Spawn project is looking awesome. Frank Paur and Chuck Patton are producing a great looking show that utilizes a wonderful blend of traditional animation and CG. Harry Eisenstein and Andrew Yomtob are bringing their talents to the CG side and it's looking fantastic. You know you're doing something right when Todd McFarlane gets excited about your work on his baby...
Voodoo Moon (see pics) is in post production. Music, Sound and Visual Effects are all being worked on simultaneously as we move toward completion in early September.
Twenty years ago, the little town of Merrifield was the sight of a deadly massacre, when a demonic force manipulated half the town to murder the rest. Cole and Heather (Eric Mabius and Charisma Carpenter) were orphaned, watching their parents butchered before their very eyes. Cole has spent the last two decades synthesizing tools from the world's religions to battle the evil entity and has fought him several times. His sister Heather, an artist with the ability to foresee the future in her drawings, has managed to lead a relatively normal life. That's all changed as the two journey back to Merrifield for a final conflict with the demon known as Daniel (Rik Young.)
Voodoo Moon's cast reads as a virtual who's who of cool. Eric Mabius (The Crow: Salvation, The O.C.), Charisma Carpenter (Buffy, The Vampire Slayer, Angel and Veronica Mars), Rik Young (Children of Dune), Jeffrey Combs (The Re-Animator, The Frighteners) Jayne Heitmeyer (Earth: Final Conflict, The Snake King), Dee Wallace (E.T., The Howling, The Frighteners), Rey Gallegos (Bad Boys II), Kim Hawthorne (Along Came a Spider, The Chronicles of Riddick) and John Amos (Beastmaster, West Wing)
The film was made by the Producing team of Kevin VanHook and Karen Bailey for IDT Entertainment.
The Fallen Ones
The Fallen Ones will be released on DVD by Anchor Bay on September 20th, 2005. They've done a wonderful job with the packaging and it's a great disc, full of features:
"Giants In The Earth: The Making of THE FALLEN ONES"
"Creating Aramis the Mummy"
"Animatics: Pre-Visualization By Forum Visual Effects"
Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Kevin VanHook, Producer Karen Bailey, Cinematographer Matt Steinauer and Visual Effects Supervisor Chadd B. Cole
Also On DVD
Cross-Promo Trailers: Dead & Breakfast, All Souls Day, Man With The Screaming Brain, It Waits
Release Date: 9/20/2005
Original Release: 2005
Length: 89 mins
Audio: Dolby Surround 2.0, Dolby Surround 5.1