Well here it is two weeks into 2010, so I figured I'd do my little 09 re-cap piece before it got too late.
2009. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, as some crotchety old novelist once wrote ...
For many people, 2009 was a year of economic struggle. Luckily, I've got an extremely talented, hard-working (and long-suffering) wife who has always been gainfully employed all these years as I continue to dog-paddle along, barely keeping my head above water. Nevertheless, even though I didn't have to worry about food on the table thanks to Lynh, it was damned bleak for me for the first seven months of the year. I spent a lot of time trying to get meetings and writing pitches that went nowhere and starting but never finishing several spec script ideas. Meh. I'm not gonna lie to you, it was damn depressing.
Eventually, though, after pounding the pavement, things began to look up in August. Not too far up, but up at least. I landed my first paid gig of the year in Las Vegas, where I worked in 114 degree weather doing production on the Beyonce concert film. Just last week, I walked by TWO store windows here in LA that were showing the very film in question, so I guess that means that it's out in stores now. I gotta confess, it was dog-work. Hot and sweaty dog-work. But I was so thankful to be getting a check that it wasn't bad at all. I should also confess that I know nothing about Beyonce and could really care less, but she did put on a pretty damn good show and I can see why she's such an international superstar. She really does have that je ne sais quoi that the French talk about.
Things seemed to really take off after that point. My next order of business after the Beyonce gig, was to hop on a plane and fly to Slovenia (former Yugoslavia) as a guest of the Grossman Film Festival. I've really shied away from international film festivals after the disastrous Spain trip to the Sitges Film Festival in 2003. Well Grossman flipped that. The people of Slovenia were great, Deadgirl was very well received, and I was well taken care of. Not only that, but I got to hang out with, and befriend, one of my cinematic heroes, Jorg Buttgereit. Maybe international travel to film festivals ain't so bad after all.
I came home from Slovenia and less than two weeks later I was on a plane for my first excursion to China. I got back under the makeup and shot KILLJOY 3 in a studio in Guangzhou, China. I hear that it's supposed to come out in the first quarter of 2010, but have yet to see a single frame of footage. The cast and crew were awesome and it was really great to get a trip to China not only on someone else's dime, but to get paid to do it, as well.
The greatest outcome of my China trip, however, was hooking up with a friend there who took me to Beijing for a few days. I got to visit the Forbidden City and The Great Wall among other things and my friend Pan agreed to Executive Produce my directorial debut!
After spending a day and a night in Hong Kong - which was awesome, by the way - I headed back to Los Angeles and went right into pre-production on CHOP. We shot the film in 12 days in November, wrapping right before Thanksgiving. It was a great experience and I had an amazing cast and crew. I've spent the last few months since the shoot in post-production. And it's there that I remain now. I'm working on the first teaser trailer this week (yeah, I'm learning Final Cut Pro as I do this) and hoping that I can debut it right here next week sometime.
DEADGIRL came out on DVD in September to great critical and financial success. We even got a very small theatrical run in 12 cities, which was amazing and unexpected for everyone involved. After a year-long festival run, DEADGIRL's legs continued to stretch. We became available on Netflix instant view the day it came out and we had been rated over 60,000 times in the first month of release. I can safely say that it is the most successful film that I've even been involved in to date. I keep waiting for Dark Sky or someone to demand a sequel because I've got a heck of a concept ... and I've got what's called "first right of refusal," which means I have to get first crack if a sequel is warranted. Anybody else out there curious about a DEADGIRL 2?
The film made it on to an amazing number of 2009 Top Ten lists, but I'll refer you to the Deadgirl Blog if you wanna read all about that.
Alas, there are still a whole grip of projects out there, in the can, finished, that are in limbo right now. It's time for my annual "whatever happened to?" breakdown:
SUTURES - Watched a screening of this movie months ago, so it's finished. Beyond that, I have no idea what's gonna happen with this one.
KILLJOY 3 - Like I said, I hear that there will be a DVD sometime in 2010.
JESSICKA RABID - One day I hear there are DVDs, one day I hear nothing. I have a feeling that some sort of self-distribution is going to happen. It could be tomorrow or it could be in 2011, who knows?
BONNIE AND CLYDE VS. DRACULA - Over two years since this was shot, but no idea if it'll ever be available on DVD.
SOMEONE'S KNOCKING AT THE DOOR - Chad just signed a deal. I think that it comes out on DVD in May, but you didn't hear it from me.
PSYCHO HOLOCAUST - Hello? Anybody out there? I don't hear anything but chirping crickets.
KILLER BIKER CHICKS - I found out that this came out on DVD yesterday. I've yet to see it and barely remember making it. Looks like it's only available on Amazon.com, too. Here's the new trailer, if you're interested:
So now it's on to 2010. In know that I declare that every year is gonna be "my year." I mean it this time. Already, I've got a ton of projects on the horizon ... CHOP being the only one that I can talk about freely right now. I've got to finish that one and try to get another film off the ground. I've got an acting gig locked in for the first two weeks of March, but more on that later.
Oh, man, and they're shooting FETCH right now in Kansas City!! Dread Central just ran another story about it and included a bunch of photos, so here you go:
Dread Central FETCH Story
FETCH Photo Gallery
And there's gonna be even more huge news in the summer.
So thanks for checking the site, watching my stuff, and in general just supporting me. I'll try to be more diligent about the site and will probably have to since I'll soon have a lot more to write about very soon ...
Happy New Year, everybody.