Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New idea


No names on this to spell wrong. Just check out the art and tell me what you think. Possible poster idea.


Thoughts?


-Justin

Friday, September 4, 2009

Thank you!


I've been so busy that I not only haven't blogged in forever, I haven't even had the time to thank everyone involved. So here goes - THANK YOU! The footage looks really great and I can't wait to have a cut to show everyone who worked on it. At the end of this month I would like to show some of you that worked on the movie a few scenes cut together. Until then, send out the good vibes to me in the editing room.


-Justin

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Photo Gallery: Jeremy Sumpter










Photo's by Monica Lee. MonicaLeePhoto@live.com

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

D&C's BRAD DOURIF




Proprietor of Stan's Funeral Home and Crematorium, Stan doesn't care so much about running his business, but when he meets Jarod, a special bond develops and we see a warmer side of Stan.

Brad first gained wide acclaim for his role as Billy Bibbit in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest in 1976, earning him a Golden Globe Award for Best Acting Debut, a British Academy Film Award for Best Supporting Actor, and an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
Brad is known today for the role Grima Wormtongue in The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers and is the voice Chucky the killer doll in the Child's Play film series. Brad also co-starred with Gene Hackmen in 1988's Mississippi Burning and was a series regular on Deadwood.

A few quotes from Brad (though maybe not heard on the set):
I am good when there is something central about the character. There is always a human theme I attach myself to. I am really looking for something that is moving or enlightening or something with depth as an actor. I look for these kinds of roles.

There is nothing wrong with horror films. Their existence has definitely had an impact on me. It is important to have scary demons in our world on film. We have them in the world. That is why we are afraid, it is nice to have a visual and to have a confrontation with it.


Photo’s by Monica Lee. MonicaLeePhoto@live.com

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cinematographer - Akis Konstantakopoulos & RED ONE


The RED ONE was used to shoot D&C. You can learn more about the camera at http://www.red.com/cameras/

Shown is one of the two RED's D&C had for filming. Akis shot for the A unit and Simon Baechler was the B unit cinematographer.
If you are wondering what is so revolutionary about RED, there's a fairly simple reason for that: this is the first digital video camera that has a resolution comparable to 35 mm film, with great color range. At its core, the camera uses a Mysterium CMOS sensor: The physical resolution of this monster is 4900 x 2580 pixels, for a total of 12.64 million pixels.




Photo by Monica Lee. MonicaLeePhoto@live.com

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The INTERVIEW



Bill & Shelly Weaver, are interviewed by Detective Matt Fairchild regarding their missing high school daughter, Lindsey. Shelly is played by Staci Keenan and Bill is played by Daniel Baldwin.

Photo by Monica Lee. MonicaLeePhoto@live.com

Friday, July 31, 2009

Martha's & Jarod's Trailer, about to shoot week 1

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, well here's a bunch of pictures squeezed really really close together and looked at really really fast, with sound too, kinda like a movie.

Everyone's in a little trailer in Montebello, it's the 2nd week of July, 1st week of shooting, it's very hot, the lights are on and no air conditioning. Jeremy Sumpter, Jarod, and Debbon Ayer, his mom, Martha, are going over their paces.
video

Monday, July 20, 2009

Round Table














Wednesday July 15, Winnetka.
Some crew members taking a break between scenes talking with one of the main cast member's about past films. From left, Brad Dourif, Gabriel Villanueva, James Cooney, Tiago Mesquita, Justin Wragg, Simon Baechler, Eshwin Dhir, Ken hedrick, Anthony Ngyuen, Elle Favorule, Seth Laird, and Katie Bowman.

They're all very busy, but once in a while you have to lounge around a bit.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

No Rest For The Weary


Wednesday, July 15, in Winnetka, the day after Malibu. Justin is wrapping up location for David's house, taking a moment out of his grueling schedule to perform yet another directorial duty, a photo op. On his left, Daniel Aldema, Exec Producer and actor, who hosted this day of shooting at his home. And on the right, Exec Producer Ken Hedrick. That night, everyone headed to a commercial alleyway a few minutes down the road to lens the next scene, Lindsey at Hot Dog on a Stick. More on that, but much later.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

D&C Suffers First Fatality, Production to Resume



Thanks to everyone for being so patient during this difficult time as we move to recover from the tragedy that took place on set the other week. As most of you know, we suffered a fatality. The coroner's office has ruled the incident an accident and everyone has been cleared of any wrongdoing. While Rick will be sorely missed by all, the production will carry on. We dedicate this film to his loving memory. Rest In Peace, Rick!

Photo taken by LACSD Coroner's Office.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dark and Foreboding? Mmmh...what lies ahead? I wonder (evil laugh).


It's been nine days since a blog, that's how busy our production crew is. I'd like to introduce myself to everyone and say thanks for joining the blog and I'm sorry so much time has passed without any updates. We'll try to stay on top of things for you. I'm Ken, Exec. Producer and partner of AJI Productions. Justin is working hard everyday, running rehearsals, taking meetings with various departments, (Art, Special FX, etc.) and scheduling to name just a few. His wife Karen, doing everything she can to assist him and help keep him sane and on task.
There are many facets to the business end of creating a feature, there's certainly enough work to go around.
I pitch in every chance I get to help lighten the load, from location scouting (Stan's home, the secluded forest dirt road above, Stan's station wagon), script revisions, acquiring extras, catering services/equipment, and providing investment opportunities that go to help meet the needs of last minute expenses.
We're looking forward to welcoming Tiago in from Belgium, Davide in from Italy, Simon in from Switzerland, and Eshwin in from Canada, later this month for their important contributions. I want to thank in advance, everyone attached to the project for their commitment to making a difference and look forward to meeting and spending some time with all of you.

~Ken

Monday, June 15, 2009

They want fx

Here is a photo of our special fx supervisor (Dean Jones) in action. He's worked on everything from Star Trek the Next Generation (as you can see in the photo) to Pirates of the Carribean. Check out more of his stuff at amefx.com...he even has two Emmys, but who's bragging.

-Justin

Friday, June 12, 2009

Location, Location, Location


Checking out this place tomorrow for a potential home for Stan. I love the color and cluttered feel it has. Wondering what anyone else thinks...leave a comment and let me know. If you haven't read the script...just check out the earlier posts related to Stan. He's a one of a kind guy.


Got a ton of stuff going on now...much more to come soon.


-Justin

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Page one...again


Well, here is page one again for everyone to see...except now live and in color! We are busy working on every aspect of the film now...but I wanted to post this for all to see. Great work from Dave, Saida, and of course Eshwin...really impressive stuff guys.

-Justin

Thursday, June 4, 2009

It's getting there


The art department is cracking away, and there are urns and other things being fabricated as we speak. They are a talented group, Isabelle, Briton, Anthony, Andrew, and Tracey, and we know that before they finish they have a ton of loose ends that they'll tie up. It's great knowing they're on it. Here now, tonight, what's going on is there's a lot of work that still needs to go out before bed, and there are meetings from 11 to 3, meaning there's not going to be quite as much sleep as I'd like, but then I guess I wouldn't have it any other way. Okay, it's 3:24. Coffee or sleep.. that's the big call.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I'm Ross, and I'm working on the film too, helping to put together the right parts so we're ready to go in a month from now. This is my turn on the blogozone.

Prepping a film is not that hard. You just have to be organized and ready for whatever comes your way, taking into account what the budget is and how the schedule will be a factor in all decisions that you make between now and the end of prep as well as the end of the shoot by estimating the key elements at work including cast, crew, locations, bank fees, rehearsals, special effects, hard drive space, foreign sales and the current state of the marketplace, on set supervision, shot lists, artwork and art department personnel, computer applications, and all of the other elements that can influence a shoot like changing minds, unanswered emails, interest rates, health concerns, pet allergies, business cards and expense sheets.

True, there are other factors that could be added to the list, but there are none that will convince me that there is anything less than pure relaxation that comes from a nice two months of prep.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Crematorium


A lot of people have asked and want to know what the Cremation Home will look like...well wonder no more. The attached photo is a shot of the place. I like the overall grandeur it gives Stan...almost like a palace of sorts.

Anyway, just wanted to show off...as usual, more to come soon.

-Justin

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stan's Car

When I pulled up to this thing I jumped... then chuckled. If this isn't Stan's car, I don't know what is. I have to give a ton of credit to our Executive Producer (Ken Hedrick) for scouring the earth to find this thing...even our Art Department gave it the thumbs up!

Check out how it will look on film after we paint and clean it up.

-Justin

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Page One

Well...here it is!

It's a black and white of our page one (thanks to Dave for layout and lettering...fantastic) and I love it! Click on in it to check it out in detail.

The full black and white version of book one should be done by the end of this month and colored version by the end of next month. We're going to ComicCon and passing out a limted amount of book one, so if anyone's going look for us there.

Much more to come soon!

-Justin

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Ball Is In Motion!

Well...I'm sworn to secrecy by my Producer as to who we've cast, but we officially paid and signed contracts with them today. Our project is beginning to feel a lot like the photo attached. It's a good feeling...I gotta say.

-Justin

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Comic Book time


Ok...we are making a comic book and I'm excited.

Today we met with Dave Lanphear (overseeing production on our D & C comic) who happens to work with every major comic book company (he even worked on The Long Halloween for anyone cool enough to know) and is officially on board with us. You have to check out his stuff at - coroflot.com/Artmonkeys now...no right now. The logo attached is from his company...check out some of the books he's worked on when you see the site.

I admit, I'm a nerd...but this is pretty cool. As soon as I get the first page layout, I'm blogging it...so look for it soon.

-Justin

Friday, May 15, 2009

Alecc B. on "Death & Cremation" - Part 2


Living in L.A. can be tough when you want to break into the film industry. To make ends meet, most of us work in reality television. While less fulfilling creatively, for some of us anyway, it pays the bills. Most of the work that has been done on Death & Cremation happened while I was working elsewhere, so past co-writing the screenplay, I missed a lot of the prep work on it. 

However, there were times that Justin and Ross held auditions on the weekend, which was lovely because I was able to go and help out. I read with the actors/actresses and it was actually quite draining, but a very good time. 

I have to say, when women come to audition, they come to audition. A lot of the guys come in and are always hit with this same question from us: Do you have any questions? 80% of them respond with, "No, I think I got it" or "Nope, it's pretty straightforward". Needless to say, the ones who said that weren't that great. Women, on the other hand, mean business. They have questions, multiple interpretations of the character they're auditioning for, etc. It was great! I'm not saying all of the guys weren't good, just that the women stood out during this particular casting process.

You get your method actors, like the guy who read a scene for us that takes place in bed and literally went through his entire audition while laying his head on the table. You also get your seasoned talent that have been doing this for a long time and knock it out of the park. Sometimes, you get that fresh, raw actress that blows you away in the audition and even more so when watching the playback. 

Yeah, casting was plenty-o-fun!

More to come....

- Alecc B.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Alecc B. on "Death & Cremation" - Part 1


Where to begin? This whole process has been pretty crazy. Justin called me in 2007 during the fall to ask me if I had any script ideas for a low budget horror movie that we can write and sell. I had an idea for a dark horror/comedy that I told him about and he liked it quite a bit. So we began writing.

Now, I lived in Florida at the time, so all of the development and writing for Death & Cremation was done via phone conversations and e-mails. After we discussed the original premise, Justin ran with it. The story is completely different now and it's for the better. What was once a comedy has now become a dark drama, and I dig that shit.

Justin wrote the bigger chunk of the script and would send it to me from time to time when he would get stuck and I would take over for a little bit. That was our dynamic, and it worked out very well. We have received nothing but positive feedback from those who have read D & C.  I don't know about you guys, but when people praise something I've worked on, the confidence raises a notch. It makes me better at what I do. It feels like Justin and I are on the right track. 

After we had completed the script, Justin informed me that we weren't just going to pawn off D & C and that he was going to direct it. The journey truly began then. 

More to come....

- Alecc B. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Unsung hero


Just like Matt, the detective in our story depicted in the art attached, Alecc Bracero (my co-writer and very good friend since 7th grade...it's true) has been the unsung hero for Death and Cremation. The original premise for the story was his, plus he made sense of a lot of my crazy ideas in the beginning stages. Anyway, I would like to have him blog once a week or so on what it's been like working on the project until now and what is yet to come.

Look for him to blog soon...it'll be a fresh perspective.

-Justin

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's a new day

Even though we are still waiting for some answers from actors, a few other things are opening up.
A mobile home we've been wanting to shoot at is starting to cooperate with us. We began generating some interest in potential product placement (for anyone who's read the script, imagine anyone from the drawing attached promoting Trojan condoms or something...ha!) and possible donations. We even began talking to potential colorist/page layout people for our comic.
We're rolling with the punches.
-Justin


Monday, May 11, 2009

One of those days...


If the storyboard doesn't tell you what kind of day it was for me...I don't know what will. After a long day of back and forth with casting, I just felt like posting this shot. They say making a film is 75% casting...I'd love to know what the other 25% is!

The drawing is pretty sweet though, isn't it?
-Justin

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Concept Art


This is an idea for one of Death and Cremation's character movie posters...big thank you to Eshwin Dhir for conceptualizing it for us.

The real thing will be a photo with our lead actor (some of you already know who, but I can't say...sworn to secrecy by my Producer) and the word finder in his glasses will actually be a crossword puzzle. Don't be surprised if you soon see a few of the actual posters around Los Angeles...I have a feeling someone might put them up when no one is looking.

-Justin

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Getting it made


I wanted to use this blog to credit my Producer (Ross Otterman - aka Mr. Otterman or as my investors call him, the Otterman Weekend) for the hardwork he has put into the project. His creative producing got the script into a lot of great casting agencies hands (who we are working with now on casting) and his savy is the reason we're going to make this thing on a such a low budget.


The poster attached is from an animated IMAX film he is working on right now. Check out the website for it at http://www.qqthemovie.com/ and check out the IMDB page for it at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0312305/ when you have a chance.


-Justin

Friday, May 8, 2009

Storyboards


By far the most exciting part of visualizing this film was seeing our artist (Saida Temofonte, yes I'm plugging you) illustrate it for the first time. Here is one of my favorite storyboards she did for a scene in the film. The scene number, camera direction, and other basic notes are also off to the side...just click on the drawng if you want to see it enlarged.

As I said in the previous blog, we are using these storyboards as is for the graphic novel we are putting together now. When the page layout for the comic gets farther along, I'll preview that in a future blog too.
- Justin






Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Graphic Novel


Pretty much everyone who has scene our storyboards for the film has said "That's sweet. You guys should turn that into a comic book or something." So, we are creating four graphic novels adapted from our screenplay and storyboards. Our storyboard artist actually is a letterer for DC comics (she should be drawing her own book if you ask me) and will be blogging on our website in the future...so look for that.


Anyway, here is a potential cover for the first of four Death and Cremation books. The artist for this cover lives in Canada (Eshwin Dhir...he's the man) and I hope will be doing all four covers. He has incredible stuff to check out on http://eshwin.blogspot.com/2009/04/sequence.html
and http://www.eshwin.com/ too. I'll be putting up our storyboard art (different artist then above) with camera direction and all in upcoming blogs too.


-Justin

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Urns

One of the biggest props needed in a film about a killer who runs a funeral home (aside all the dead bodies of course) is cremation urns. We have gone to just about every funeral home in the greater Los Angeles area trying to get an idea of what would be good and what would be affordable. In the end, we went to Ross and shopped for less.

Anyway, this is a photo of every "urn" sitting in my living room (from vases to soap dispensers). Check out what we have and look for how we trasform them into urn replicas in the coming film. It should be memorable...one way or another.


-Justin

Monday, May 4, 2009

Blogging on Blogging

Well, here it is...I'm blogging.

Throughout the coming months I'm going to put out a few blogs on the process of making a low budget Indie entitled Death and Cremation. It's a dark comedy/thriller that most people describe as Dexter (on Showtime) meets Karate Kid (yes, Daniel son). If that intrigues you, check out the synopsis below.

The screenplay takes place in a typical American suburb where a lonely 59-year-old (Stan) pretends to contribute to society by offering cremation services from his basement, when in fact he is murdering neighbors he thinks are morally unfit. When a bullied 16-year-old high school outcast (Jarod) lands an after school job in Stan’s Cremation House, the two develop an unusual working relationship. As a middle-aged detective (Matt) in search of an exciting case puts the clues of their murders together, Stan discovers protecting Jarod is a new cause worth killing for.

It'll be the feel good film of the year...sort of. Casting now. More to come in future blogs.

-Justin