Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Rough cut. This will likely be the film's prologue. We decided to release this as a short film now to help promote the feature.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Scenes in progress w/trivia

I thought it'd be cool to show some our scenes "in progress." Most still need sound work; all need re-editing.

Here's our nightclub scene featuring Int'l pop sensation Ozzie Aziz, Hard Rockin' Trash, and S. FL celebrity fashion designer Jimmy Star. Jerry Carter is the devilish bouncer with "Charon" seared on his face. Mennette Colon is the lady in red - our seductive femme fatale! This was actually a strip club, and we had to tape up the poles so it wouldn't be too obvious! The scene represents our hero's darkest time. Lots of references to Greek Myth if you can find them! Very funny - someone forgot to replace the tequila with water, so during the first take, which called for numerous shots, Derek actually put three shots down before yelling "cut"! Needless to say, he was rather loose for the rest of the takes! Ozzie did one hell of a performance. As for the pair... Meatloaf, eat your heart out!

This scene immediately follows the intense nightclub scene. It's low key, no music, slow cuts... so our hero and the viewer can take a breather from the intensity of previous scenes. Note the ticking clock... time is running out for our guy. BTW, that was no sun shining through the window; it was 2,000 watts of blue light! And I could swear that Lorenzo was channeling DeNiro when he uterred his last line! Love the attitude!

This sentencing scene was shot in the council chambers of the City of North Lauderdale. Yours truly has a non-speaking cameo of the prosecuting attorney in the background. And some folks may recognize the judge, competently played by real life Mayor Jack Brady. I thought our lead, Derek Latta did an outstanding performance w/not one line of dialogue.

Derek and I drove deep into The Redlands one morning looking for cinematic shots. We ran into roadkill on the highway surrounded by a dozen buzzards. As I set up, all the birds flew away; I started filming a lone flying bird and was pleasantly surprised when he did exactly what I would've wanted! And with Derek driving at the precise moment! This scene's externals with the buzzard was done in just one lucky shot! After he munched on the carcass a bit, he took off for the day. Music, as with most of these scenes, are temp. This one is a bit too dramatic.

Interrogation! We had an absolute blast casting the role of b_ll busting Sheila. The gals auditioning really got into tormenting our poor lead Derek, who was at the casting that day. It was a pretty tough decision, but we went with the calm intensity of Eli Reig who played off Derek eloquently. One of the cops standing outside is Robert Younis, who I asked if he could pick up a Middle Eastern accent as I wanted one in the film and he looked it. He subsequently used that accent to land a featured role in a Burn Notice episode! The other cop standing with Robert is Lorenzo Toledo, a real life undercover detective. If you've seen Michael Mann's Miami Vice, you'll recognize him as one of the heavies in the Haiti scene. Our scene is rounded out with Nick Simmons on the inside, who also appeared in Miami Vice.

Pretty cool "flatlining" scene starring the great Jennifer Dawson as the Head Nurse who's now doing great stuff in Hollywood. We filmed this in an OBGYN center. You should've seen Derek's face when he eyed those stirrups!

We had a blast at this Central FL ranch owned by Juan Ulacia. We were there two days. I spent the first night around an open campfire, with a billion stars overhead, writing this scene in order to get the gracious Juan in the film. Talk about exceeding my expectations! The guy's performance blew me away! He even picked up a pretty good Argentine accent for it. (The scene is still very rough with little ambient sound and too many closeup.)

Beautiful scenery at the ranch! Dig the "Bonanza like" tune towards the end. I just couldn't resist! Of course, it'll likely go. There was so much noise on set that we ADR'd everything. Still needs ambiance. "Ranch Owners" are the energetic Will Barnes and Megan Forrest! Awesome!

Slap That Bull - a behind the scenes shot. The bull looked kinda bored so I asked Derek to just slap him! (We filmed this before Wild Hogs.) Now is that dedication on Derek's part or what?

It was great working with all the little ballerinas at this real live dance studio. Some tender moments here. Featured actors here include the great British Claudia Winfield, playing the "soon to be deceased" wife of our hero. And Emily Rae, who you've surely seen recently playing Little Kate in Lost. Also, check out up and coming young Danny Karpel towards the end. This kid is underaged and performs in comedy clubs! Very funny guy and a good actor. The dance studio instructor was played by the real live dance studio instructor/owner, Mark Dampolo. Not bad at all for his first time. "TV Dad" is our very own prop master Joe Fernandez. The TV voice came from our AD John McGilvary.

Pilot Down - behind the scenes! Great times filming in an actual storm! RIO Will couldn't make it, so our prop master had to stand in for him. We were actually praying for stronger wind and rain! We did have safety divers.