Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Mac Daddy

So you now know from my last entry how I came up with the idea for The Hunter's Anthology, and why this was a good, flexible, low-budget script I could use to show off my directing skills quickly.  Armed with this, my team met up and decided a good way to try and launch this web series/movie was to give potential investors a taste of what we can do and what this script was about.
Everyone who's read the script has really responded well to the demon hunter I created named "Mac."  I get why: he's cool, powerful, scary, and in control.  He's also a mystery.  Where did he come from?  When did he come from?  How did he get involved with this demon hunting business anyway?  I was amazed at how many people wanted to know his story.  This character was proving to be enough to keep people invested in this series, because I know in every season/movie I’ve planned to reveal just enough about Mac to keep us interested.  Juuust enough.
It was suggested to me to shoot a short film about Mac.  I went back to the drawing board and had to write something outside the script, maybe a day in the life of Mac.  Something where he can explain who he is and what he does through voiceover.  That's how The Hunter's Anthology: Prologue was born.  We decided to do a one-night shoot following Mac around New York City, just before he arrives to the first scene of the script: the subway.  I had a good, dark, film noir mood in mind.  I could dress Mac in his very distinct outfit, and bring the poster boy to the whole series to life to help raise interest.  Even though he stars in really only one of the six stories, he's the glue that holds everything together and the constant from season to season.  He's who we’re rooting for.  He’s our hero.  He's our demon hunter.  When we “join the hunt,” we join Mac.
So, with that settled, it was time to gather some dough and plan the shoot.  It would be simple: one night, limited crew, one actor.  But who would play Mac?  How would we find someone who was not only accessible but would fill the role perfectly?  The 'ol catch-22... how do we get a cast without money?  Great question.  The answer?  People we know.  Our producer, Nicky, had just finished a movie with an actor named David Lee McInnis.  She suggested him, I checked out his stuff, and he struck a chord that vibrated, “Maaaaaaaac.”  He's a wonderfully cool actor, in a way that's just perfect for Mac.  As I like to say to him, "He’s soooo Mac."  He’s got the look, the attitude, the sarcasm, the grit.
We were both so excited about him coming on board.  We got along great and he understood the role well.  In no time, he was in, and we had our lead.  We had our Mac.
Next time I can discuss the one night shoot, starting with how FREAKIN' cold it was that one January day in New York City, during the coldest winter in decades...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Long and Short of It

So how did this whole The Hunter’s Anthology thing start?  I thought you were working on Trust Us.  Did you ditch that idea?  These are the questions that must be burning in your mind right now.  Okay, maybe not, but I’ll answer them anyway.  Yes, I am working on both.  Always better to have two things cooking than one, so I’m trying to better my odds.  You know the kind of people us filmmakers have to be.  We’re not quitters, remember?!

So anyway, here’s the story.  Even while working on Trust Us, I’m always writing and jotting down ideas.  Sometimes these ideas work best as short stories, and these short stories tend to work best as short films, and these short films turn out to be great for showcasing my directing skills.  So, how can I cover both options?  Easy, by writing a feature made up of a collection of short stories.  That way, I can do one, I can do two, or I can do the entire thing!  It all depends on how much money I can raise.

I love supernatural thriller anthologies like The Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt, and Amazing Stories. They’re fun.  It’s such good Saturday night movie marathon material.  You know, sitting on the couch eating popcorn until 3 in the morning type of stuff.  Thriller anthologies are made up of short, cautionary tales, and I find the best ones have clever twist endings.  Turns out a bunch of the ideas I jotted down fit this criteria.

So if I’m going to make some short films and put them together as a feature, I also figured they should be connected in some way.  What if a small group of people are trapped together somewhere, each starring in their own personal tale?  That’s how The Hunter’s Anthology really started.  I took popular supernatural plot devices and put my own unexpected twist on them.  For example, there’s one about a fortune teller, but it’s called The Fortune Maker.  Ah-ha… you see what I’m doing there?  I have one about making wishes, another about a love potion... you get the idea.  So many people like these common plots and so many people like to hear it a million different ways.  Without giving away my endings, I certainly did my best to break the archetype stereotypes of the genre.  (“archetype-stereotypes!” Can I do that? I just did!)

Finally, I just needed something to hold all these tales together.  What if one of these characters was evil?  Say one of them was a demon and the rest were in danger?  Well, there you go, now we’ve got ourselves a mystery for the main story wrapped around the others to keep everyone invested throughout.   Who is the demon?

As we know from various anthology movies and TV shows, our “wraparound” story is almost always run by a “storyteller.”  So why not make our storyteller a friggin’ badass demon hunter who goes around like a detective, sniffing out demons?  Well, that’s exactly how I came up with Mac, the main character of this story and the only character featured in The Hunter’s Anthology: Prologue we shot almost two months back.  Perfect way to set up a link to our trailer.  Please help support us by checking it out and following these links:

If you missed the teaser:
Official Facebook page:
Twitter: @HunterAnthology

Tell the world… JOIN THE HUNT!!!

Next time: how The Hunter’s Anthology: Prologue was conceived…

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Another Road, Another Hunt

Talk about a hiatus, right?  Still, the good news?  A lot has happened!  There's been some ups and downs for Trust Us.  That's OK; that's how it goes.  We were close, we weren't so close, up down, left right, front, back, side, side, diagonal...
So as that continues down the yellow brick road, I have come up with a new, parallel road and a new plan with one of the Trust Us producers, Nicky Akmal.  The plan is to try something smaller, something more attainable with a smaller budget.  A way to just get stuff out there and to further help Trust Us get made.  Maybe it's a web series.  Maybe it's a feature.  We're not sure yet.  My new script is called The Hunter's Anthology, and a lot of work on it has already been done this year as I patiently wait for Trust Us to grow legs.  Well, maybe it's grown legs, but I mean to start sprinting one day.  The one way to do that for a first time feature director?  Easy, by not being a first time feature director anymore.  A web series that could turn to a feature counts, even if it never becomes a feature exactly.  Hey, I'll give them whatever they want.
The Hunter's Anthology is something between the Twilight Zone and Tales from the Crypt, not just in scare level, but also in concept.  Here's the synopsis on from its official Facebook page:

Six strangers find themselves trapped in a New York City subway by Mac, a mysterious man who claims to be a demon hunter. Insisting one of them is evil, he peeks into their souls discovering five eerie, supernatural tales: a desperate woman goes to a fortune teller, newlyweds discover a creature lurking outside their apartment, a young man visits an insane asylum, bullied twins discover a wish-granting coin, and a man lusting after a co-worker discovers a magic potion shop. It’s then up to Mac to solve the mystery and destroy the demon amongst them.
Sound cool?  Good!  It is, I swear.  Just a really fun mystery/thriller filled with some very different short stories that make up for a nice twist ending.  You know... if I do say so myself.  Did you expect me to say I hate it?  Exactly, so don't judge!

Anyway, a script has been written, a Facebook page has been made, and a very short, very tease-y teaser has been released on youtube.  There's a lot more to come.  The 60 second trailer is coming real, real soon.
Click on everything, read everything, watch everything, and please JOIN THE HUNT!
Info on Facebook page: (please like and share and tell the world):
Teaser Trailer on Youtube:
Watch it, then watch it again, tell your friends, then watch it again... again!
Twitter: @HunterAnthology ("HuntersAnthology" was taken?  Really?!)

If you want to talk about it anywhere, anytime, #jointhehunt and/or #huntersanthology

There's so much more to say, so please follow me once again, round two, on The Road to Wrap! 

Next time... how this new idea began...