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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

News from KWerky Productions: New projects, making a statement with the feature film, and the ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK "update" edit

Time for a lil' update on what's going on with KWerky Productions, the filmmaking outfit founded by "Weird" Ed and myself.

As more time goes by I'm starting to think that it was for the better that we weren't able to make The Charles Schulz Code, because there were problems inherent to it that just weren't going to make it work. And the Da Vinci Code craze is now in such terminal condition that to press ahead with a parody of it... just doesn't have the "coolness" factor to it anymore. So far as short pieces go, Ed and I have an idea for a music video: we'll think about it some more and see if we can pull it off.

Meanwhile, KWerky Productions is entering the political realm, as it's producting at least one and maybe two TV commercials for my school board campaign. One of the commercials is pretty straightforward serious and the other... has something in it that some people are telling me is going to be very controversial. Or very funny. When they're done I'll post them to the campaign's website.

Those are the only projects of our own we are doing right now, but we've started being contacted by a few others who want our help in shooting productions. I've more or less agreed to be cinematographer of one production with a pretty ambitious goal ahead of it. One guy is doing an action-packed martial arts thriller that we're looking to help him with come November and a few weeks ago we were in talks about helping to make a historical documentary... which I am very much looking foward to doing with the people involved in this.

As for the full-length feature that I've been developing since this past spring: I'm still planning to go forward with it, but running for school board has really taken priority over most everything else I've been working on. The general story is there, but no real script yet. When this campaign is over (and Lord willing I'll be elected :-) I'll set to work in earnest on it, and possibly become the world's first independent filmmaker school board member :-)

On a related note: after a lot of thinking about it, and after being offered some VERY nice cameras (we're talking high-definition 3-CCD variety shooting at actual 23.97 fps) I've decided that we're going to make this movie with the same Sony Digital 8 Handycam that we made Forcery with. Why? Because after some of the nonsense I went thorugh last year I'm determined to take the biggest swipe that I can at some people's snooty elitism. By setting out to make the point that anyone... anyone... can be a good filmmaker, no matter what tools they have handy. Guess you could say I'm out to become a populist filmmaker, or maybe an Amish one since I'm so determined to go backwards on the high-tech stuff. But if there's going to come the real entertainment revolution by allowing each person the opportunity to make a great film, it's going to have to fly in the face of what certain "gatekeepers and lords" have decreed upon the rest of us. There's no reason why somebody with an average consumer-grade camcorder can not make a film that is on par with what is coming out of the biggest studios in Hollywood. And hopefully by the time this film is finished and released, I will have demonstrated that point completely.

Finally, the last time I did one of these updates I mentioned something that might be a little "controversial". Well, I tried... honest folks, I did... to use what skills and tools are in my possession to create a "fan-edited special edition" of John Carpenter's Escape From New York. This was not something I ever planned to distribute in any way shape or form: it existed solely as an experiment for sake of my own curiosity. What I tried to do is take the original 1982 movie and with some careful edits of scenery, spoken words, etc. instead of having it portray a 1997 that never happened, it would instead depict a vaguely defined possible future reflecting a New York City minus the World Trade Center towers (in the "update" Snake lands atop one of Donald Trump's skyscrapers) and an America where the PATRIOT Act finally went too far. There's so much material in the original film that I think foreshadows the things we've seen happen to this country in the past five years and I just wanted to run away with all that. Well, the furthest I successfully got was an adaptation of the original screenplay that took into effect all of these present-day factors, from which was extrapolated the grim world we saw in Escape From New York. Maybe I'll post the script someday, if I can be absolutely 100% sure that doing so wouldn't violate any copyright.

And that's basically your KWerky Productions update for this quarter :-)