Thursday, October 31, 2013


Sorry it's been so long since I've written, but I figure you guys would get tired of me if I plastered something on here every day!

I'm in the middle of trying to put together a trailer and poster for my next movie entitled, WOODROW CRAVEN.  With the script I've written, the trailer and a poster I can launch a Kickstarter campaign to try and raise money to shoot the movie.  I'm looking at around $54,000 for the shoot.  Remember, I'm an ultra-low budget movie-maker!

Woodrow Craven is a "found footage" horror about students who break into their creepy teacher's house to plant spy cams in an attempt to catch him doing something evil, but find him dead instead.  So there's only one thing to do - they throw a party!  They party at his house with all their friends and take pictures of themselves with the "dead guy".  Later, so into their partying, they forget about Woodrow Craven and that's when he 'rises from the dead' and kills them all.

"Found footage" means that only video recordings (or digital) is all that is left of an event (because everyone is dead) and what the authorities use to piece together the crime.  BLAIR WITCH and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY are this type of genre.

Woodrow Craven is a story I came up with back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, but I didn't "feel" it yet.  I knew what I wanted to do, but it just didn't feel like the time to create it was at hand.  In fact, my kids were kids when I came up with the concept.  My youngest son Josh LOVED the idea and every year would ask, "You doing Craven yet?"

"When are you going to do Craven?"

"Why haven't you done Craven yet?"

"I want Craven."


So, time marched on; the earth turned; other scripts got written; other movies got made, but still, I just wasn't feeling the time was at hand for my cannibal - zombie - vampire - killer teacher.

Then, last month (yes, only last month), my son - who now has sons of his own(!) - called me up and said, "Mom, regarding Woodrow Craven, I have two words for you."

I'm thinking to myself: "Go to hell?  No, that's three words.  Screw you?  Maybe.  Up yours?  F - off?"  I waited with baited breath.

"Found footage," Josh offered.

BINGO!  The music rose.  The lights dimmed.  The stage was set.  The brain kicked into gear and I suddenly knew every nuance, every detail of what I needed to bring my killer teacher alive for me.  No pun intended!

So I did some research on "found footage" because a good screen writer-book writer-producer-director-whomever had better learn the lay of the land before wandering through the quicksand.

I found out that these movies are VERY popular at the box office.  People can't seem to get enough of them.  Distributors are clamoring for them because the cost to make them is low and the pay day is huge (for the Distributors!).  But "found footage" also has it's critics.  Doesn't everything?

Besides my personal peeve of the camera shaking all over the place so that the movie audience loses their popcorn in a nauseating burst down the back of the guy sitting in front of them; another is the point of combining regular footage along with the 'found footage' makes the critics wonder: "who's holding the camera while these murders are going on?  And if you are recording your buddy getting killed by the monster - or whatever the villain of the piece is - why are you not helping him?  And why are you just sitting there letting the villain - ghost - killer - whatever come after you, but you are not running your butt off to get away, but instead - zooming in?

One of the latest crazes in sports is to record your adventures by wearing a head cam or a camera mounted on your bike, surf board, car, skis - whatever your adventure vehicle is - and recording your awesome ride OR your agony of defeat should you fail.  And a lot of those epic fails can now be seen on YouTube.  People today seem hellbent on recording themselves doing EVERYTHING.  No longer a secret sex video thing, they even have to record what they are eating for dinner and splashing it across every social media known to man.  So I came up with the idea that my two leads we're techno geeks who were into spy cams and using head cams for all their adventures.

My two heroes - victims - decide not only to break into their classroom and plant spy cams to catch their teacher doing weird things between classes, but they also decide (after hearing he's going out of town for two weeks) to break into his home and plant spy cams there to catch him doing his voodoo-witchcraft-sorceror antics there.  They also hope to find dungeons and torture chambers while they're at it.  So them planting the cams and breaking into his house are recorded on the head cams they are wearing at the time.

But to answer the critics about the regular footage mixed in with the "found footage" I tell the entire story through not just the kids' cameras, but the police interrogation room footage as the cops watch the story being played out on a computer in the room.  Not one scene in the movie takes place in regular footage.  It's all through "found footage" because even the police wind up as part of this story within a story.

And, if you're intrigued enough to go see this pic when it comes out, stay through the credits because there's more 'found footage' at the very end as a little easter egg bennie!

The whole thing - if it gets financed - should take a week to do.  Set build, 3 days of shooting, tear down.  Editing it will be the hardest part and probably take the longest (if I have to do it - hoping to hire a "real" editor!)  And then it will be off to my attorney for contact with the Distributors.  Hopefully the money I earn will finance my next pic!

So if you are intrigued, I hope you will support us on Kickstarter.  I will be letting everyone know when we finally launch our campaign.  I have to finish putting the trailer - coming attractions trailer that you see at the show before the main movie starts - together to wet everyone's appetite so they will throw money at us on Kickstarter.  Plus the poster will give people an idea of the 'look' of the movie we will be trying to make.

I've pretty much gotten everything lined up for the shoot already, from the Victorian home Woodrow Craven occupies, to the sound stage, to the SFX crew, some actors, make-up artist, set builders, etc.  Trust me, when I'm motivated, I can pull everything together quickly.  It's always about the money! lol!  Isn't everything?

I'm just saying...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Say "goodbye" to your rights!

Posted: 03/21/2012 7:25 pm

President Obama's National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order of March 16 does to the country as a whole what the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act did to the Constitution in particular -- completely eviscerates any due process or judicial oversight for any action by the Government deemed in the interest of "national security." Like the NDAA, the new Executive Order puts the government completely above the law, which, in a democracy, is never supposed to happen. The United States is essentially now under martial law without the exigencies of a national emergency.

Even as the 2012 NDAA was rooted in the Patriot Act and the various executive orders and Congressional bills that ensued to broaden executive power in the "war on terror," so the new Executive Order is rooted in the Defense Production Act of 1950 which gave the Government powers to mobilize national resources in the event of national emergencies, except now virtually every aspect of American life falls under ultimate unchallengeable government control, to be exercised by the president and his secretaries at their discretion.
The 2012 NDAA deemed the United States a "battlefield," as Senator Lindsey Graham put it, and gave the president and his agents the right to seize and arrest any U.S. citizen, detain them indefinitely without charge or trial, and do so only on suspicion, without any judicial oversight or due process. The new Executive Order states that the president and his secretaries have the authority to commandeer all U.S. domestic resources, including food and water, as well as seize all energy and transportation infrastructure inside the borders of the United States. The Government can also forcibly draft U.S. citizens into the military and force U.S. citizens to fulfill "labor requirements" for the purposes of "national defense." There is not even any Congressional oversight allowed, only briefings.

In the NDAA, only the president had the authority to abrogate legitimate freedoms of U.S. citizens. What is extraordinary in the new Executive Order is that this supreme power is designated through the president to the secretaries that run the Government itself:
• The Secretary of Defense has power over all water resources;
• The Secretary of Commerce has power over all material services and facilities, including construction materials;
• The Secretary of Transportation has power over all forms of civilian transportation;
• The Secretary of Agriculture has power over food resources and facilities, livestock plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment;
• The Secretary of Health and Human Services has power over all health resources;
• The Secretary of Energy has power over all forms of energy.

The Executive Order even stipulates that in the event of conflict between the secretaries in using these powers, the president will determine the resolution through his national security team.

The 2012 NDAA gave the Government the right to abrogate any due process against a U.S. citizen. The new Executive Order gives the government, through the Secretary of Labor, the right to proactively mobilize U.S. citizens for "labor" as the government deems necessary and to coordinate with the Secretary of Defense to maintain data to coordinate the nation's work needs in relation to national defense.

What is extraordinary about the Executive Order is that, like the NDAA, this can all be done in peacetime without any national emergency to justify it. The language of the Order does not state that all these extraordinary measures will be done in the event of "national security" or a "national emergency." They can simply be done for "purposes of national defense," clearly a broader remit that allows the government to do what it wants, when it wants, how it wants, to whomever it wants, all without any judicial restraint or due process. As Orwell famously said in 1984, "War is peace. Peace is war." This is now the reality on the ground in America.

Finally, the 2012 NDAA was hurried through the House and Senate almost like a covert op with minimal public attention or debate. It was then signed by the president at 9:00 PM on New Year's Eve while virtually nobody was paying attention to much other than the approaching new year. This new Executive Order was written and signed in complete secret and then quietly released by the White House on its website without comment. All this was done under a president who studied constitutional law at Harvard.

It is hard to know what to say in the face of such egregious disregard for the integrity of what America has stood and fought for since its founding. It is hard in part because none of us thought such encroachments would ever happen here, certainly not under the watch of a "progressive" like Obama.

At one level, the prospect for war with Iran is probably an immediate justification. But the comprehensiveness of the Executive Order, like that of the 2012 NDAA, speaks to something much deeper, more sinister. I would suggest that this Order, like the NDAA, has been in the works for some time and is simply the next step in the logic of the "global war on terror." Our political elites have come to consider democracy an impediment to effective governance and they are slowly and painstakingly creating all the democratic legalities necessary to abridge our democratic rights with impunity, all to ensure our "security." Of such measures do republics fall and by such measures tyrants emerge.

The only thing that really remains is the occasion to test the new rules of the game. Perhaps that will be war with Iran, perhaps some contrived emergency, or perhaps, as long as the public and media remain asleep, no occasion will be necessary at all. It will just slowly happen of its own accord and we, like the frog in the pot of slowly boiling water, will just sit there and be consumed by our own turpitude.