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15 May 2013 @ 12:55 pm
It's not hard to believe that there's only one third left to shoot on Dry Bones, it's just hard to believe we'll be wrapping two weeks from today.  That's one weekend shoot followed by a five-day stretch with Debbie Rochon.  So far, everything has been extremely smooth, my best filmmaking experience since Slime City Massacre back in 2009, and a reminder of what I love about this medium and how I like a set to operate.  I have a lot of details to take care of for this weekend' shoot, but thought I'd acknowledge the people who have made this such a rewarding experience.

There would be no Dry Bones if Michael O'Hear hadn't been bitten by the desire to make a feature.  I wrote the screenplay for hire when I needed money, and melded a basic idea he had to combine a "monster under the bed" story with a succubus tale, which I stirred in a pot with some of my own concepts and fleshed out.  Michael is the star of the film and is credited as co-director and co-producer.  He appeared in Slime City Massacre and Snow Shark: Ancient Snow Beast and wanted a lead role, so I created one for him and he's doing his best work on this film - he'll be on screen for 75% of the finished work, and his most outrageous scenes are coming up.  From my point of view, this film features my strongest direction, so I'm glad I took it on.

Speaking of producers, you can't make a movie - even a micro-budget one - without financial support.  John Maclay, one of our executive producers, committed immediately.  This will be our third film together.  Marc J. Makowski has been a co-producer on every film I've written or directed dating back to Slime City. Debra Lamb jumped on board without even knowing me, brought into the fold by Melantha Blackthorne.  Paul McGinnis and Daniel Arrisjid believed in the project.  Tim O'Hearn and Tim Walton - Cro-Nan Productions - are co-producing.  Chris Rados is investing his equipment and time. Tommy Sweeney, a longtime friend who starred in Undying Love and Naked Fear, is on the team.  Nicholas John Morgan Anderson, who played a mercenary in SCM is helping.  Michael Faust, returns from Snow Shark.  Chris Wroblewski was an extra in SCM and stepped up to the plate.  Atom Fellows, a face from my past (who contributed songs to Naked Fear).  And then there are all of our IndieGoGo backers.  Thanks to them all.

It's imperative to have a good production team on a project like this, and ours is doing excellent work: Sam Qualiana, cinematographer; Chris Rados, Kash Costner, Scotty Franklin, and Chris Santucci, lighting; Paul McGinnis, boom; Rod Durick, special make-up effects and production design; Arick Szymecki, special make-up effects and visual effects; Stacey Book, additional SFX; Shannon Kramp, costume designer.  Note that both Sam and Kash received the "Filmmaker to Watch" award in the first edition of Buffalo Screams Horror Film Festival, Durick has won Best Western New York Special Make-Up Effects Artist and won the Best WNY Genre Film Award with McGinnis, who himself won our Local Hero, Best Original Screenplay, and Local Hero awards.  I'm really happy with how the film looks.

McGiinis also plays a key role in the film, the "slob best friend" of our protagonist.  Other supporting actors include John Renna, Kim Piazza, Kevin VanHentenryck from Basket Case, Kathy Murphy, Jessica Zwolak, Amelie McKendry, Tia Maurice, Tammy Reger (making her horror return after Slugs!), O'Hearn (hilarious!), Walton, Daniel Arrajid, and youngins Mark Goodfellow and Kaelin Lamberson. Still to come our Alex McBryde ("Pimp Bless" in SCM), Bob Bozek (SCM and Snow Shark), Matt Reese, Sweeney, Jason Tannis and Debbie Rochon, who will be playing three roies.  I've reached into my regular stable, the Buffalo stable, and Michael has brought in some great talent from his theatre experiences.  I firmly believe Dry Bones has the best acting of any local genre film since SCM, and at least as good as Battledogs (I won't throw Model Hunger in there, though - that one's going to set the bar for acting in any film shot in Buffalo regardless of genre).

Special thanks to MonsterMatt and Wroblewski for loaning us period toys, Phil Czubinsky for making repairs to my house so it would be ready for filming (you'll be needed again when the shoot is over, Phil...), Durick for loaning us his PVC dolly, which we've used extensively; Szymecki for loaning us his camera when Michael's suffered an injury; Franklin for loaning us lights and providing a location; the Medina Theatre for letting us film in their bar, Teddy Haynes for donating a lunch, David Goodfellow for shooting a second unit sequence and, with his wife Trudi, bringing Mark to another country to make a horror film.  Finally, my wife Tamar - it isn't easy to turn your house upside down weekend after weekend and play host to cast and crew while watching a seven year old. It takes a village.  She's worn the succubus gloves three times now, too.  I won't thank my cats, who are thrilled to have so many people in the house but don't understand the concept of "quiet on the set."

After we wrap I'll discuss our post production team - editor, composer, musicians, V effects, etc.  It takes a village.