December 17, 2007 - Heh, this prop came in the mail today... Yes, we're definitely on our way...
December 14, 2007 - Alright, so, what news? Well, to begin with, the latest Producer's newsletter was completed two nights ago, with, among other things, a cast/character comparison, a link to a short clip from Avrill MacCuliash's audition (for Marla). So, to our producers, enjoy!
So, those who've been keeping track of the credits page may have noticed that we have indeed cast Marla, in the most difficult casting decision thus far. Our congratulations go to Gina Montrone, and our thanks go to all of the Marla candidates. With that, we've now cast all 21 roles. Christie Bialowas is returning (from HRP) for alterations, costume design for Pinhead and Chatterer, and makeup design for Pinhead. Fortunately, we've got Matthew Bialowas returning (from HRP) to play Spike, and I've still got his costume and makeup, though the makeup needs a tad of patching up. All in all, we're in reasonably good shape.
As for shooting schedule, we've finalized our third weekend out of four. The last weekend of shooting will be the weekend of March 1st, 2008, at a rehearsal studio in Manhattan. (I had originally scheduled us for Mar 22/23, which would have been ideal. Thankfully, Christie Bialowas warned me, within 12 hours of emailing out the dates, that March 23, 2008 is Easter. (A bit early, no?) So, the only other suitable dates are the weekend of March 1/2.
Also, a restaurant scene featuring Natasha (from HRP, now played by Brittany Mosher) will be shot on Monday, Feb 11 at a restaurant called Mama Cucina's in Lake Ronkonkoma. Many thanks to Katie, one of the two owners, for being incredibly generous and flexible!
Three weekends scheduled. One left to go...
Costumes are about 40% done, props as well... It's all coming together. :)
In other news, I apologize for not mentioning an extremely artistic Hellraiser fan film named Lemarchand Scrolls. Please give your support and encouragement to Hellraiser artist Lich, the filmmaker. Wonderfully done...
November 20, 2007 - Marla, Marla, Marla...
Difficult choice, Marla. I met with our final Marla candidate this afternoon, and with that being the last of the auditions, I have to say that the decision on Marla is going to take a few more days... We've narrowed it down to three very, very talented actresses, each of whom would make an excellent Marla for different reasons... The difficult decision now will rest upon which reason will ultimately be the most appropriate for the scenes... This is probably the most difficult casting decision I've faced so far, and I'm not looking forward to having to choose. A few days reflection and some input from the D.P. will probably help nudge me in any given direction...
On the other hand, I'd like to introduce Hermann Eppert (left, who hails from Austria!) as our Ivan, and Drummond Doroski (right) as Pinhead. The funny thing is that Drummond actually came in to read for Ivan, but upon the merest bit of reflection it was very clear that his presence (both theatrical and physical) would make him an excellent foil for Pete Mizzo's Winter. It will be a clash of the titans, indeed, but we all already know who wins that particular battle.
I'll say this... Having chosen to go the path of auditioning trained actors for the lead roles, I never expected how difficult both the process and the decisions would be. Still, I'm grateful for my friends in the cast who have agreed to be a part of this film (especially to Monica Dus, Matthew Bialowas and Meagan Moir who are returning from HELLRAISER: PROPHECY) and am even more grateful for the new friends and colleagues that I've made in casting the lead roles in this film... I cannot thoroughly enough express how excited I am to be working with everyone...
A quick shout-out to my trans-Atlantic friend Mark Adams (director of the forthcoming THE HELLRAISER CHRONICLES: LIFEBRINGER) over at The Hellbound Web for keeping its members so well abreast of the latest news...
Also worth mentioning are a few videos out there that I'll link to later (when I'm not doing this on a dial-up connection). HELLBENT: A HELLRAISER CHRONICLE, one of the earliest Hellraiser fan films, has surfaced on YouTube. A fan film based on the Hellraiser comic "Wordsworth," with the same title was made just this past summer and is definitely worth perusing. Internationally renowned (and I daresay infamous) Hellraiser aficionado Jose Leitao (of The Hellraiser Gallery) has posted a negative of Clive Barker's original THE FORBIDDEN for study, also on YouTube. (I'll post links later. I'm doing this from memory, so if I've missed anyone, my apologies.)
Marla casting will follow by the beginning of next week, once a decision has
November 18, 2007 - So, a lot can happen in a few days. First off, John Hudak (D.P.) and I had an extremely productive meeting earlier this week, where several issues were discussed, including camera and lighting equipment that's available to us, the possibilities of securing a soundstage for two days to film both Marla's interlude segments as well as the Pandora Estate re-creation. These possibilities are very exciting and are in the works. The good news is that even if a particular soundstage falls through, there's another soundstage that I might be able to secure, and, failing that, Studio A or Studio B and Center Stage NY (which is very affordable!) may also be an alternative. In short, we WILL have a location to film the Pandora Estate scenes.
The bad news is that the re-creation will be somewhat minimalist. This isn't exactly "bad" news, but it's more disappointing than saying, "Yes, we will be re-creating the set replete with gothic stone architecture and columns." But, with a slightly modified, minimalist set, we'll be relying upon the actors, the set pieces and the lighting to establish for the discerning audience exactly where and, more importantly, when we are. Still, the possibilities are exciting, nonetheless.
Also, regarding filming, we have additional dates secured. To summarize:
The other big news is that the John and I both agree that the remainder of the film can be shot in two additional weekends, rather than three. That will cut down tremendously on cost. Those two weekends will be in March. Once we've scheduled the soundstage weekend (at whichever soundstage we're able to secure) I'll then turn my attention to finalizing the time/location of the non-Pandora Estate scenes.
And, yes, we did indeed have auditions today at Center Stage NY in Manhattan for the roles of Marla and Ivan. I'd like to thank the actors who trudged out to Chelsea for the auditions. (edited)
Producers: Thanks for your patience. I'm afraid that the Producer Newsletter #2 has been delayed and delayed due to other pressing issues (including casting). Once we've finalized the Marla role, I'll finalize the newsletter... there will be a news announcement when that Newsletter goes out...
thanks go out to renowned fan film director Chris Notarile, for his sage
advice, experience and wisdom...
November 5, 2007 - Though slightly late in announcing, I wanted to welcome aboard Oleg Volinsky (pictured at right) for the role of Darren. I very much look forward to working with him! Thanks to all who made it out to Flushing for auditions... The remaining auditions (for Ivan and Marla) will be on November 18... Brittany Mosher is tentatively aboard to step into the Natasha role. And I bid a warm welcome to our newest contributor, Charles Hall of Canada!
confirmed that we will be filming Act 2 (of 6) in Port Jefferson Station, NY,
on February 10, with a backup date of February 24. More news to follow soon,
October 29, 2007 - So, our first round of auditions was this weekend, in Flushing, NY. I'm very, very pleased to inform you that we've cast Pete Mizzo in the role of Winter, Avrill MacCuliash as Bobbi Merchant and young Spencer Hall as Jack Merchant, and Nadia Suen in the new role of Yolanda. (I also had the opportunity to meet face to face with Irina, who was cast as Katia a few weeks ago, and I'm very delighted for the opportunity to work with her as well.) The auditions were both challenging and exciting, and I thank the many actors who came all the way out to Flushing. That's a great sign out commitment and dedication, and I look forward to working with each of them in the coming months.
accomodate the schedules of the actors cast, we may shift from our original
plan, which was three weekends in Feb, two in March, to a new plan of two in
Feb and three in March. We should have the two February dates narrowed down
by the end of the week...
October 7, 2007 - Rest assured that the silence of late is not due to inactivity, but rather to its opposite. Many things have been moving forward; I just haven't had the time to report on them.
First off, the script is now registered with the WGA East. Good times.
Second, the cast notices did indeed go up on Craigslist and Mandy.com at the end of September, as planned. The responses we've had have been quite significant. There's been a paucity of applicants for the Archangel Simon role... Any Eric Stolz lookalikes in the vicinity?
...and thanks to the casting notices and the submissions we've received, the roles of Katia and Shanta have been cast. We're excited to have Irina Belkovskaya (right) in the role of Katia. (You may remember Katia as the Deader who resurrected in the early scenes of HR: DEADER.) We're also excited to have aboard Veronica Carr (left) in the role of Shanta.
The nonspeaking roles of Joey, Yolanda and Anna are less clear-cut and will take a bit more consideration. Auditions (by invitation) for the roles of Winter, Marla, Jack Merchant, Bobbi Merchant, Ivan and Darren will be held on October 27 and 28, in Flushing, NY. Organizing the script excerpts and reference video clips for the candidates as we speak...
The shooting dates are getting very much narrowed down. We are on track for a February start. I'm aiming to have all costumes and props ready by Christmas, or thereabouts.
In other news, we're switching from Little Sister cenobite to Chatterer cenobite, for a number of reasons, most of them easily assumed. Christie Bialowas will work on the Chatterer costume, while Anthony Rockey continues on the Pinhead one.
Sadly, we may also be cutting out the Natasha flashback scene from the film... Would've been a nice touch for continuity, but I haven't been able to secure Lori's return...
Welcome to our newest producers, Paul Forrest from the UK. All contributors should be expecting a more detailed newsletter later this month.
of progress squeak forward along their inexorable way.
September 4, 2007 - I'm extremely pleased to announce that John Hudak, Jr., has joined the crew as Director of Photography. John comes to us as a candidate for Master of Arts from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA, and brings with him a great deal of training and experience as a D.P. on several commercials, short films and independent feature films. He already has had excellent advice to impart on pre-production, and I feel confident that I will make his job as easy as possible, as he helps elevate the realization of this script to a higher level of quality. I very much look forward to working with him.
One of the
changes that we'll be making is to schedule the shoot for five weekends
rather than the initial three that I had initially planned for. Upon
discussing the possibilities with John, we've decided to move the shoot
forward a few weeks, and shoot in February and March, 2008, rather than March
and April. My immediate goals are to resume storyboarding, and begin the
casting process in two weeks time.
August 11, 2007 - Well, I guess it's been a while since I've updated... Many thanks to our #1 fan for reminding me to put up a bit more info. :)
First off, the search for a Director of Photography has begun. The ad itself is pending approval on Mandy.com, and I'll be placing an ad on NYCastings.com on Sunday. If I don't hear back from too many applicants, I'll follow up with a Craigslist ad, and flyers at local film schools later this month.
I've spoken with the head of a fraternal organization about renting out their Meeting Hall for a weekend in either March or April as a location for the Pandora Estate scenes. (It's a fraternal organization, like Veterans of Foreign Wars or Knights of Columbus, that sort of thing. They haven't approved yet, so I don't want to specify which one.) In either case, I have to present myself in front of their board in early September and describe eXACTly what I'm intending to do, and then they'll let me know. No word yet on rates, but we'll see.
The casting notice is ready, but I'm not going to post that up until September. I think that finding a D.P. at this point in pre-production is probably more important right now. On the other hand, I've managed to secure Spencer Teplin to play the corpse of Colonel Arnold Hawthorn (a character you may recall from THE PROPHECY (1995).)
In Producer news, our thanks go out to our newest contributors, Joey Gowdy and Streetball Canada. And, btw, the first Producer Newsletter, though delayed, will be out to donators on Tuesday.
I'll have a
bit more to report soon...
June 21, 2007 - Plans are still moving forward, still looking for a Pandora Estate location. In preparation for the search for a Director of Photography, I've been storyboarding some of the trickier scenes using an old program called FrameForge 3D.
Just to give you an idea of the locales we'll be dealing with, some of the locations you'll see (though not necessarily in chronological order) will include:
In Producer news, our thanks go out to our new contributors, Joseph Pozo, Hirokazu Arai (Japan) and Shawn Peach (Australia), and to our contributors who have upgraded: James Magnum Cook (Associate Producer) and Larry Gevirtz (Executive Producer).
Again, I'll start looking for a D.P. in August/September, and then start auditioning actors and casting extras in September/October. Also, I'm also trying to put together a small info packet that will provide quite a few more specifics regarding the story and the film that will go out to Producers in the next month or so.
In the meantime, I'd like to give a shout-out and moral support to director Mark Adams over in the U.K., who's in post-production on his fan film THE HELLRAISER CHRONICLES: LIFE-BRINGER (200?). He's working damn hard to bring to screen a completely original Hellraiser story, and the early shots of it look absolutely first-rate. Hell, I WISH that I could write an independent HR story, but so far all of my passion has sprung forth from a revisionist union of ideas, rather than synthesis. (Hey, if it's good enough for Gregory Maguire...)
thanks and apologies to screenwriter Jose Leitao for my decision to delay the
filming of his adaptation of Peter Atkins' Hellraiser story, SONGS OF METAL
AND FLESH, until after WINTER'S LAMENT. I decided that if I were to split my
attention between two projects while filming, I'd be doing a disservice to
both. So, Jose, thanks for your patience, old friend.
June 05, 2007 - Seema Ramji is definitely aboard to play the Puzzle Guardian, marking an interesting departure from the style of Puzzle Guardians that we've traditionally seen. Outstanding.
Shing Chan is tentatively aboard to help out with set design for the big prelude/finale. Recreating the Pandora Estate state is going to be a big challenge, but again, the main challenge lies not the construction, but in securing a location where we can actually construct a set of that size. Brainstorming for ideas right now, and am going to start contacting rental halls, warehouses and school auditoriums...
list is slowly growing. Many thanks to our newest contributors, Executive
Producers Michael Waskelis (our #1 fan), and Sveinung Svea (from Norway);
Associate Producer Larry Gevirtz, and contributors Thomas James Scott (from
Ireland) and James Magnum Cook!
May 21, 2007 - We've secured a few more locations for the film. Many thanks to the Huntington Antiques Center and 105 Harbor Restaurant, both in Cold Spring Harbor, NY, as well as the Coughlin Family of Port Jefferson, NY, for tentatively granting us permission to film at those locations in March.
Producer info is now online, for those who'd like to a part of this project.
short one or two locations, but if I can those hammered out, the next step is
to find a Director of Photography who I'll work closely with...
May 11, 2007 - So, this is the first entry for the news on the HR7 fan film prequel. It was originally entitled "HELLRAISER: DEADER - ASCENSION", and now has been changed to "HELLRAISER: DEADER - THE DEAD OF WINTER." I'm still toying with the idea of changing it again to "HELLRAISER: DEADER - WINTER'S LAMENT." We'll see...
Anyhow, the shooting script is done, although minor revisions are still added periodically. There are seven acts which span several years from 1996 through 2005. The story structure is atypical, and was influenced by Christoper Nolan's MEMENTO.
It was originally set to start shooting in summer, 2008, but for practical reasons, we're taking steps to move it back to March, 2008. In taking advice from feedback on HELLRAISER: PROPHECY, I'm going to use Craigslist and New York Casting to find actors who would be interested in the lead roles. I'll also try to secure a Director of Photography as well as some lighting crew, if I can...
We've already secured a shooting location for Winter's house, an office building and a street, and we're hoping to use the same library that we did in HELLRAISER: PROPHECY for a flashback scene. I'm going to try to go location scouting in Huntington, NY again in a week or so; we still need a restaurant, a warehouse and an antique store...
I'll shortly begin using eBay to secure a budget for this film, using an up and coming method: placing film credits up for auction. Before production commences, we'll be offering Special Thanks credits for $20, Associate producer credits for $40 and Executive Producer credits for $75. The credits will appear in the film credits, and will be submitted to IMDB upon release. These preproduction donations will be used to secure filming equipment, lighting equipment and makeup.
So, check back regularly for more news and info...
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