Green’s Blog

15 Years of Halloween Shorts

Today our 15th annual Halloween Short Film launched here on ArieScope.com.  ”HALLOWEEN HUGS” may just be the most ridiculous Halloween short that we’ve done in the decade and a half that we’ve been making these shorts but it certainly was the most fun we’ve had shooting one yet.  With the self-imposed rule of “one night, no budget, and just for fun”, these annual Halloween short films have become not only a pivotal fan-favorite aspect of ArieScope but also a key component to our longevity and success as a feature film and television production company.  A common question I get in interviews and at appearances is “Why do you still make short films now that you have a career making feature films and television shows?”  To be honest there certainly have been years where I’ve asked myself that same question.  Like when we’ve been in the middle of a “real” production and taken our one day off to shoot the annual Halloween short film or dedicated the 3 or 4 hours a night that we’re allotted for sleep during a shoot to use editing and finishing post-production on one of these shorts each night around our shooting schedule.  No one is getting paid to work on them, they aren’t used for financial gain of any kind, and everyone is already run ragged working on whatever the “real” project is that we are in production on.  So why still do it?  Why not skip a year every now and then?

Happy Halloween

The obvious answer is that there is now an expectation from our fans where, come October each year, they look forward to seeing what kind of Halloween treat we’ll cook up.  The Halloween shorts have been a great way to give something back to those that support our film and television work and a very fun way to stay connected with fans while they’re patiently waiting for the next movie or season of a show to come out.  But as easy as it would be to say “we do it for the fans” and leave it at that, the truth is that we do these shorts for ourselves just as much as we do them for the fans.  There is no obligation behind doing these annual short films.  In fact, in many ways we kind of NEED to do these Halloween shorts because they serve as a reset button for us each year.  The toll that working in this industry takes on you is massive.  The highs may be really high, but the lows are far more abundant and really, really low.  For every major success, every victory, and every premiere night spent celebrating an achievement, there are years of extremely hard work that go into making each project a reality, loads of dreams that don’t come true, plus countless amounts of hurdles, set-backs, disappointments, politics, and struggles that are collectively known as “the bullshit” in Hollywood.  But when you get to gather up your friends, go back in time to when you didn’t have any kind of budget or executives to answer to, and make something that has absolutely no consequences whatsoever… you remember exactly why you fell in love with doing this in the first place.  More importantly, you re-ignite that fire inside to want to keep doing it no matter what it takes.  To anyone out there finding themselves disenchanted or beaten down by the machine, I highly recommend you take a page out of our book and do something that’s just for you.  Give yourself major limitations, make something just like you would have made when you were first starting out- warts and all.    Re-live the beginning again once a year and don’t care what anyone else thinks.  I promise that you will be happy you did it.

ArieScope Halloween

A great example of just what lengths we’ve gone to keep these Halloween shorts our own and to protect the sanctity of what they mean for us is 2010′s “JUST TAKE ONE”.  We were coming off of ”JACK CHOP” the year before.  A short that, like always, we made just for us because WE thought it was funny.  Little did we know that “JACK CHOP” would become an internet phenomenon and explode on Youtube, be used as sound bytes on major Boston radio stations for years to come, spawn parodies galore on-line, and have people dressing up as the short’s main character “Nicolo” for Halloween that year.  Our friend Joe Lynch recently shot his new film EVERLY in Belgrade, Serbia and discovered that one of the local crew members on his set was a “JACK CHOP” fan.  I’ve done appearances in London and Munich and had fans wait in line for an autograph wearing a “JACK CHOP” T-shirt.  Originally “JACK CHOP” had a fake phone number at the end of the short that had too many digits to possibly be a real phone number.  But by the end of the short film’s first week on-line and after 900,000+ hits in just 6 days, people were actually calling the first 10 digits of the number, reaching a small family owned window treatment company in Minnesota, and literally shutting down their business as they could no longer use their phone for anything other than taking calls demanding the “free fahkin’ glow stick, kid”.  Needless to say we were contacted by the FCC with a demand to take the short down immediately.  So the short was removed from the internet, the fake phone number was changed, and we had to put it back up and start over again back at zero hits.  ”JACK CHOP” was so popular that there were people on Youtube that would flag ours as “inappropriate” (making it so that unless a user is logged in to an account proving they are over 18 years old, the short won’t even come up in searches), copy and paste it on to their own page (even going so far as to CHANGE THE END CREDITS to add their own names as the people who made it) and then re-post it as their own just to steal hits and make a few bucks by adding advertisements to their page.  Yes, that really happened.  A few people actually did that and are totally OK with it, going to sleep each night with no remorse whatsoever.  Our legal team has been mostly successful in getting those taken down as soon as they pop up, but the point is, “JACK CHOP” was huge.  So when the following year rolled around, the obvious thing to do would have been a sequel to “JACK CHOP”.  Fans were demanding it and if we even remotely cared about hits/views whatsoever, making another “JACK CHOP” would have been a no-brainer.  So what did we do?  We made a short that (while it may have had a nod to “JACK CHOP” with a cameo of “Nicolo” in the end) was completely different and all but guaranteed to NOT become a huge hit.  ”JUST TAKE ONE” was a short exploring the concept of the “honor bowl” – a Trick Or Treating faux-paus where a household not wanting to actually participate in the time honored tradition of tricks or treats places a bowl of candy on their doorstep as a way of saying “we don’t care”.  The only thing worse than “honor bowl” houses are the houses that simply shut off all of their lights in the hopes that kids won’t even approach them.  For someone who loves Halloween more than anything (Rileah and I always give out full-size candy bars to our Trick Or Treaters and had a record 127 children come to our doorstep last year alone), I find the “honor bowl” to be completely un-American and a Halloween crime.  But at the end of the day, “JUST TAKE ONE” was “cute” at best.  It was never going to blow up and become an internet phenomenon.  But it set us free from “JACK CHOP”.  It set us free of having to cave to pressure or having to start caring about competing with hits/views each year.  Had we let ourselves get caught up in all of that we not only would have betrayed the idea that each year’s short needs to be completely unique, but we would have turned our sacred yearly event into an obligation and a production that was no longer for us.  In reality, whether a Halloween short gets 7 million hits or 700 hits, we don’t care.  It’s just not about that.  So while we got plenty of feedback from people that were angry that they didn’t get another “JACK CHOP”, we couldn’t have been happier.  The Halloween Shorts were still ours and we retained our freedom to do whatever we felt like doing each year.

So how did this tradition get started?  The short story is that way back in 1998, Will Barratt and I made a short film called “COLUMBUS DAY WEEKEND” for an upcoming Hallloween party.  It was never meant to be seen professionally anywhere (if you’ve ever watched it, that much is obvious) and it was just something we were going to show a small group of friends.  Keep in mind this was before streaming video on-line or sites like Youtube even existed. The short could only be passed around and shared on VHS tapes.  The opening credits of “COLUMBUS DAY WEEKEND” were spoofing a FRIDAY THE 13TH movie so we needed a production company name to stick in.  Somehow we came up with the word “ArieScope” because both Will and I are Aries (Adam- March 31st, Will – April 2nd) and the word “scope” sounded “film-y”.  I wish there was a better story but that was it.  Perhaps if we had known that it would stick as the name of our company and maybe if we known what was to eventually come we would have toiled over a name for a few more minutes, but in a matter of seconds we came up with a word that would forever be synonymous with what we do professionally.  If you’ve watched the early shorts, you may have noticed that our original logo was incredibly similar to the Dodge logo… because it was the Dodge logo.  Classy, right?  But here we are, 15 years later, and wow- what a trip it has been.  Even better… today (October 14, 2013) is Columbus Day.  ”HALLOWEEN HUGS” is launching exactly 15 years after we started all of this.  I wish I could say I planned that, but it’s just coincidence.  How long will we continue this tradition?  We’ve discussed ending the Halloween shorts when we hit #20 and we’ve talked about going all the way to #31 in honor of Hallloween, but the truth is… we don’t know.  Just like the short films themselves, we’ll keep making it up as we go.  The only thing we know for sure is that as long as they don’t feel like an obligation, we’ll keep enjoying making them.

productionWill Barratt, “Punim”, Laura Ortiz, Sarah Elbert, & Adam Green on “HALLOWEEN HUGS”.

In closing, to answer the original question of “why make short films with no budget even though we’re already established and working on bigger things?”  ”Why take the risk of putting something out each year that could be perceived as amateur due to the self-imposed budget and time restrictions we put on ourselves?”  Because we love it, that’s why.  To quote Will Barratt who shot all night long this year only to go directly to a “real” gig (i.e. a paid, professional shoot) and work another 12 hour day on a television show on absolutely no sleep; “I needed that.”  Doing these shorts re-infuses all of us with that original spark that started it all off.  It doesn’t matter how many hits/views they get or if everyone who watches them thinks that each year is “our best one yet”.  All that matters is that we’re having fun, we’re enjoying what we do, and after all of these years working together, we still haven’t had to grow up.  And at the end of the day, isn’t that exactly why we chose this profession in the first place?  To quote Linus in IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN, “Look around.  Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see!”

We hope you enjoy “HALLOWEEN HUGS” and on behalf of all of us who have been part of this family and who have ever worked on something brandishing the ArieScope logo… have a safe and happy Halloween!  Let’s hug!

- AG

Punim

 

 

“20 Behind The Scenes Photos” – SPIRAL

As you’ve probably noticed with the amount of vintage posters we’ve recently added to the “BUY STUFF” section of this website, we’ve been re-organizing and sifting through the many storage units and production vaults here at ArieScope.  It’s been a great walk down memory lane as we uncover boxes and boxes of wardrobe, props, shot-lists, storyboards and drives full of set photography from the various features, TV shows, and short films that we’ve made over the past 15 years.  Whenever I can, I hope to try and share “20 Behind The Scenes Photos” that you’ve likely never seen from some of our past projects.  (Some of these photos even I had never seen until uncovering these drives!)  Each of the below photos tells a bit of the story of the production of SPIRAL, which we shot in November and December of 2005 in dreary Portland, OR.  I was still in post-production on HATCHET when we shot this film, though the story of SPIRAL really begins about two weeks into principal photography of HATCHET.

After shooting the scene in HATCHET where Joel David Moore throws up on-camera, he approached me about potentially co-directing a film that he and Jeremy Danial Boring wrote together called SPIRAL.  (I guess you just can’t abuse some actors enough on some sets as they keep coming back for more!)  Though I was flattered to be asked, my initial plan was to give the script a courtesy read and then politely decline as “co-directing” is a sure fire recipe for disaster.  As exciting as the prospect was of making another film so quickly with essentially the same crew from HATCHET and keeping the party going (not to mention having another opportunity to work with Joel whom I absolutely adore), there was just no way in hell I was going to “co-direct” anything.  Ever.

Then I read their script.

What was that I said about “co-directing”?  It’s not such a bad idea, right?  I love “co-directing”!   Point is, I just couldn’t say no even though I so badly wanted to.  Only a fool wouldn’t jump at the chance to make a movie like this as movies like this just don’t get made often enough and scripts this great don’t fall into your lap too many times in your lifetime.  SPIRAL was completely different from HATCHET in every single possible way and I felt like it was a great opportunity career-wise to come out of the gate swinging with two completely different sides of myself artistically.  With the hype and excitement that HATCHET already had going behind it, I didn’t want to be pigeonholed as the “comedic gore-fest guy” and SPIRAL was the script that could help me accomplish that.  Joel and Jeremy had crafted a fantastically understated psychological thriller built on a deeply emotional core filled with incredibly interesting characters and the style of the film was just dripping off the pages in my mind.  I just had to say yes.

So, how did I survive co-directing?  Two ways.  First was that Joel and I did our homework and took every precaution we could to not hit the typical pitfalls that come from having two captains on a set.  Every shot, every nuance, every character beat, and every step of our battle plan was tirelessly plotted out months before we ever got up to Portland.  This way Joel could remain completely part of the vision of the film and have every bit of artistic say as I would have, and most importantly, we wouldn’t have to lose precious time battling it out on set while everyone stood around and waited for the directors to actually, you know…direct.  Secondly, since Joel was almost in every shot of the movie, he could trust that the plan was being executed as discussed and immerse himself in his acting duties without having to constantly watch playback to make sure that the movie was coming together the right way.  Of course we still had our moments on set, though the only “show stopping” debate came from a difference of opinion between co-writer Jeremy Boring and myself when it came time to shoot the final scene between “Mason” and “Amber”.  The “you can’t leave now” scene.  I won’t get in to the particulars here since chances are strong many of you have not yet seen the film, but we wound up having to shoot the scene on another day so that we had time to properly flush out our debate and discuss how the beats would play out at length.  In the end, the scene turned out brilliantly (and not just because I got my way, I swear) and there was no love lost.  In fact, our heated debate only made the scene better,  The fact that Joel and I have continued to work together on a regular basis (we’ve worked together in one way or another on 9 projects over the past 8 years and I think that some of my best work comes from the projects I do with Joel) proves that we indeed survived the dreaded “co-directing” curse, and the finished movie speaks for itself.  If you haven’t seen SPIRAL yet I implore you- no, fuck that, I BEG you to check it out as soon as humanly possible.  ”Proud” isn’t a strong enough word and I will always look back at the making of this film as one of the biggest honors of my career. I’m so lucky that Joel and his producing partners invited me and my family at ArieScope (which has since grown to include everyone that was part of SPIRAL) to take part in this extremely special movie- as it’s not every day that you get to try and channel Hitchcock and make an art-house film exactly how you want to make it… and with an analog live jazz score to boot.

SPIRAL premiered at the 2007 Santa Barbara Film Festival (where we took home Kodak’s coveted “Gold Vision Award”) and then opened in US theaters (to great critical reception but no advertising or fanfare) in February of 2008, just 5 months after HATCHET opened in US theaters.  Though many critics and fans cite SPIRAL as one of our best made films, sadly it is probably the least known out of all of our work.  Though largely due to the fact that SPIRAL is a slow burn art-house psychodrama (audiences today would rather watch a flashy remake or a giant tentpole blockbuster with fighting toys as the box office proves again and again), part of the reason I think SPIRAL didn’t break out was that it was released so closely behind HATCHET.  At some festivals, both films would play on separate nights and the moment the Q&A for SPIRAL would begin or the moment I would sit down with a journalist to discuss the film, all anyone wanted to talk about was “Victor Crowley”.   A high-class problem to have, of course, but at the end of the day SPIRAL and HATCHET are not just worlds but full-on universes apart and there is just no comparing the two films on any level.  With an incredible cast including Joel David Moore (HATCHET, AVATAR), Amber Tamblyn (SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS, THE RING), Zachary Levi (CHUCK, THOR 2), and Tricia Helfer (BATTLESTAR GALLACTICA), as well as stunning cinematography by Will Barratt, brilliant camera work by BJ McDonnell (who would go on to be promoted as director of HATCHET III), and a GORGEOUS all-jazz score by Todd Caldwell and Michael Herring… it has been such a joy to watch this film be discovered by more and more fans over the past few years.

Here are 20 behind the scenes stills that you’ve likely never seen before.  I only included descriptions where I felt I had to explain as the point of this is to let the pictures tell the story.  For one reason or another, these were the 20 images that jumped out at me as I sifted through folders and folders of set photography by David Muller.  Enjoy, and remember… “it’s all about contrast.”

F5DT3026 F5DT3130Zachary Levi remains the best Executive Producer I’ve ever worked with.  Not only did he do an exceptional job acting in SPIRAL (“Berkeley” is my favorite character of his to date), but he also worked tirelessly to keep the crew happy (keeping spirits up), well fed (driving around Portland at all hours of the night to get specific food requests whenever called upon), and extremely entertained (he became somewhat of a karaoke legend at the bar across from our hotel).  He has since gone on to sing in Disney’s TANGLED, to perform at the Oscars, and is currently starring in FIRST DATE on Broadway.  I like to think that it all started here.  This cat nap that David Muller’s camera caught him taking was so well deserved.

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Green

DSC_0045 DSC_0097 DSC_0145 DSC_0204Originally, I had a scene with Joel (“Mason”) right after his first “freak out” in the office bathroom.  We ultimately cut the scene from the film for timing/pacing purposes.

F5DT1128 F5DT1664 F5DT1703 F5DT1850 F5DT1880 F5DT1921 F5DT2044Celebrating the 100th roll of film used on the production with champagne.  

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More Behind The Scenes Photos from other films coming to this blog soon!  In the meantime, buy SPIRAL here if you don’t already own it!

-AG

2007 Fantastic Fest Laurels Fantasia 07 Laurels Fright Fest 07 Laurels Hollywood07Laurels Santa Barbara 07 Laurels

“THAT’S ANOTHER WRAP!” Wait…what?!

I just wrapped production on my next movie.  No, seriously.  Seems like 24 hours ago I was on the promotional tour campaign for HOLLISTON and HATCHET 3 and somehow photography is already wrapped on DIGGING UP THE MARROW.  Don’t worry, I’m just as confused as you are.  This is where it gets frustrating as I know people want to know details.  What is it?  What is it about?  Who’s in it?  When will it be ready?  We’re not revealing much about DIGGING UP THE MARROW yet, mainly because it’s constantly still unfolding and we’re still constantly creating.  The project started “officially” almost 3 years ago and a very small group of us have been chipping away at this very unique movie ever since.   In fact, right after CHILLERAMA was finished shooting in 2010 we were going to drop everything and dive head first into THE MARROW, but then HOLLISTON was green-lit and we had to put off the “main shoot” while we went into production on our TV show.  (We were still shooting and working on some stuff for THE MARROW even back then.)  When Season 1 was finished it was right into the swamp again for HATCHET III and then right back to HOLLISTON for Season 2.  (Again, we were still working on THE MARROW all the while and I was on draft number “I lost count” of KILLER PIZZA – which there is still no start date I have heard of yet, sorry.)  However, this past July we really buckled down and spent almost the entire month getting all of the big stuff shot and now I’m already about a week deep into post-production with a long way still to go.  Here’s what I CAN say… it’s completely different from any other feature I’ve done.  It all started with a crazy package of fan mail I was sent by a fan who was creatively/crazily claiming that “Victor Crowley” was actually indeed real, that I had messed up Crowley’s true story in the HATCHET series, and that he/she could prove his existence.   (Reminder, I invented “Victor Crowley” when I was 8 years old and before you ask, no, THE MARROW has nothing to do with “Victor Crowley” or HATCHET.)   While those in the office on the day that the package arrived joked around about calling the fan out and showing up with our cameras to follow him/her around and have them “prove it”, obviously we were never about to actually waste our time doing that and chances were good enough that this person may have killed all of us if we actually took the bait.  However, the general notion really started to turn into a viable story idea when I met and joined forces with artist Alex Pardee and saw his paintings for an exhibit he did called “Digging Up The Marrow” where the whole concept behind it was that he had painted “real monsters” as discovered by a former police detective.  You take those general ideas, stick two creative people together, add in an unhealthy amount of mutual respect and fandom for each other, mix in an even more unhealthy amount of love for all things “monsters” and you wind up on a very long and creatively stimulating ride.  We began interviewing artists: painters, filmmakers, actors, you name it… and we started seeking out the magic behind where “monsters” come from.  And by “monsters” I don’t mean real life dictators, serial killers, child abusers, etc.  I’m talking about the things that go bump in the night, that lurk in the woods, that have slimy tentacles, horns, tails, lots of eyes… you know, the kind of “monsters” that people like me (and so very many of you) have always wished were real.  Then our imaginations really took over and the project itself started leading the way.  Close friends and family would ask what my next movie was exactly, what I was doing in the woods with a shovel and a camera all night long, or what I was smiling about…and I would answer in all honesty, “I don’t know”.  So is it a documentary?  Sorta kinda I guess but not entirely.  Is it a found-footage movie?  No, but there is “footage” presented within it, I guess.  Is it 100% real or is it 100% fictional narrative?  Well.. that’s up to the viewer.  I can’t define the line anymore.  DIGGING UP THE MARROW is imagination running wild.  It’s us doing something that WE felt like doing which was taking art and bringing it to life.   When it’s ready to be shown I’ll have so much more to say, but for now just don’t think too much about it or read too far into any of it and wait and see for yourself.  We’re just having fun and we’ll share it with you (for better or worse) when it’s ready. Promise.

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The Marrow is real…

In the meantime, it’s been a huge last two weeks.  HOLLISTON’s Season 2 finale aired and the response was just astounding.  Not just the response to the actual season finale episode but to the entire second season and the full series so far.  Some of the letters and postings we’ve received are so passionate that they’re actually downright moving.  (Those who joined in on our final “live cast chat” of the season on the Holliston Nation U-Stream Channel witnessed me get so emotional that I had to abruptly sign off at the end because I was so overwhelmed.) FEARnet and HOLLISTON’s Facebook pages have essentially become “shrines” for a Season 3.  The show has touched more people than anything else I’ve ever created and the reactions are so far beyond what I ever expected or hoped for.  I guess I still don’t want to put it all into mere words in a blog because it’s more special to keep it all inside for now.  But to answer the common questions… the second season is going to be on iTunes and Amazon streaming literally any day now.  As soon as it is up we’ll obviously announce that it is there, but just know it’s coming very, very soon.  We have not heard the DVD/BLU-RAY release date yet but if I had to guess I’d say Thanksgiving/Christmas.  It’s probably a safe bet that the second season will hit Hulu right around or soon after the DVD/BLU-RAY is released, but again I haven’t heard any details just yet.  As far as a Season 3 goes, don’t expect to hear anything until much closer to the end of the year.  Maybe even early next year.  I know that sucks (believe me, if ANYONE is anxious to hear the plan it is US) but that’s just the way the TV business works.  It all comes down to budgets and internal business affairs that have nothing to do with us or the show itself and those meetings and decisions won’t happen or have concrete outcomes until the end of the fiscal year.  However, the fans rallying behind the show and making so much noise on-line, posting non-stop on FEARnet’s Facebook page, tweeting about “#Holliston”, checking in to the show on GetGlue (our season finale hit the #7 Top Trending show on TV the night that it aired!), buying the series on iTunes and Amazon, pre-ordering the DVD/BLU-RAY when it becomes available… IT ALL MAKES A DIFFERENCE.  No network wants to not bring back a show that their audience won’t shut up about and the more noise you make the more it pushes the people behind the-behind the scenes to make something work no matter what. Will we return?  What will happen of Adam, Corri, Joe, Laura, Lance, Oderus, and Axl?  We shall see.  I have faith that the show will go on.  And that’s because I have faith in all of you.

Anthony Rubio

“HOLLISTON” fan tattoo sent in by Anthony Rubio.

HATCHET III hits DVD/BLU-RAY this week!  It’s incredibly exciting as these next few weeks will be when the film really hits its audience.  Some got to see it in theaters and many saw it on Video On-Demand, but it is always the DVD/BLU-RAY release when the majority of fans see a movie.  I’ve already posted my look back on the decade I put into HATCHET and what a long, hard, but insanely amazing journey it has been (see the blog a few below this one) but HATCHET III’s director BJ McDonnell (who doesn’t have his own blog going at this time) wanted to share a message to you all and asked that I post it here.  As I’ve said countless times, we’re all incredibly proud of the movie and when all is said and done, BJ proved that we chose wisely in giving him this opportunity as HATCHET III finished up my story in a huge, epic way and the HATCHET ARMY is thrilled with it.  I hope that the HATCHET fans debate which of the three films is their favorite of the series for years to come and we’re all so proud of what we accomplished together with this slasher trilogy.  Here’s what BJ wrote in:

—- Well wrapping up everything HATCHET III with the release of Blu Ray and DVD August 13th, I have to say what a ride it has been. Was it a blast at times, Yes, and was it painful at times, most certainly yes. I want to thank Adam again for the 3 films not only 1&2 as the operator, but the chance to direct part 3 and collaborate on everything that this movie became. I want to clear up any misconceptions of involvement in the process of Adam during filming that may have come across in interviews. Was he there every day in New Orleans at the location, yes he was. Was he on set behind the monitor watching every single shot we did, no. The fact that Adam trusted me and did not have to watch over every single frame was actually a great thing. It was great to know that Adam trusted me with the third installment and did not feel as though he had to hold my hand through the process of filming. Of course he did have producer duties and dealt with a lot of behind the scenes things, as well as writing the second season of Holliston while we were there. So thank you again Adam for this great opportunity and I’m proud of what we created together as the final product. 

Will Barratt I thank you . Will, you really were under the gun with this one and I’m proud of what we got in such a insane schedule. Short nights and short shooting schedule along with elements and heat. The film came out looking dark and gritty as well as bigger than it really was. Thank you Adrienne Lynn for helping me with all support and locations, etc…. The list is too huge to even ramble on. You went above and beyond.  Dark Sky films thank you 1 million times over. Without your support and love of the HATCHET films none of this could have happened so thank you everyone from Dark Sky. Greg Newman thank you and Todd Wieneke, and Malik Ali thank you too!!! Ed Marx you are a editing genius.  Also a huge thank you to the producers and the whole cast and crew of H3. It was honestly a insane brutal shoot and you guys coulda bailed on it but you didn’t. Thank you!!!!! I know I’m forgetting a ton of people but to all who were involved with this picture- thank you. And lastly, thank you Hatchet Army and the fans of these films. Horror would never be the same without all of you keeping it alive. 

Where to go from here? Well the sky is the limit. I hope I  get to direct more films in the near future and I hope everyone liked how HATCHET III came out. All in all at the end of the day I am happy to have been a part of this ride with the HATCHET series. Thank you everyone for the warm open arms and acceptance of me taking on the responsibility of directing part 3. Is Victor Crowley dead? Who knows.  My advice …….Stay out of the swamp. – BJ MCDonnell ——

Crowley by Chuck Ramos

“Victor Crowley” fan art by Chuck Ramos.

Now, what are you waiting for?  Go pick up HATCHET III on DVD or BLU-RAY today and watch the whole trilogy back to back with your friends, loved ones, and gas powered belt sanders.  Every victory we’ve experienced is sweeter and every hard time we have struggled through is worth it for all of us each time you enjoy these three truly special films that we’ve created.  Thank you for all that YOU have given back to all of us.

OK, back to editing!  Enjoy HATCHET III, Season 2 of HOLLISTON, THE MOVIE CRYPT PODCAST, and everything else I’ve put out there so far this year.  More is on the way…

-AG

LOOKING BACK ON MY 3-DAY BOSTON STRONG FUNDRAISER…

On May 28th-30th 2013, I held a 3-Day fundraiser to help raise money for the One Fund to benefit the victims of the tragic April 15th Boston Marathon bombing.  Events included:

A free HOLLISTON poster signing at Fiske’s General Store in Holliston, MA.

The “HOLLISTON Comes Home to Holliston” 3-episode preview screening at the Holliston High School with myself, Joe Lynch, Laura Ortiz, and Derek Mears – hosted by Kevin Barbare and including an after-party at Casey’s Public House (known as “Casey’s Crossing” on HOLLISTON).

The “Boston Strong” celebrity auction and fundraiser in Worcester with special guests including myself, Joe Lynch, Laura Ortiz, Joel David Moore, Kane Hodder, Zach Galligan, Derek Mears, Kip Weeks, and Mick Garris.

A HATCHET MARATHON of all three HATCHET films (including the first ever public screening of HATCHET III) at the Revere Hotel’s Theater One in Boston with myself, Joel David Moore, Kane Hodder, Zach Galligan, and Derek Mears.

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Joking around between photos: Mears, Galligan, Lynch, Moore, Weeks, Ortiz, Green, Hodder

The outpouring of love and support (from both fans and Hollywood alike) was absolutely astounding.   I was so grateful to have friends donate rare one-of-a-kind items for the auction including Chris Columbus, Wes Craven, John Carpenter, Eli Roth, Rob Zombie, Dee Snider, Sid Haig, Oderus Urungus, Alex Pardee, Dark Sky Films, Anchor Bay Entertainment, Tyler Mane, Joe Knetter, Marcus Dunstan, Patrick Melton, Zakk Wylde, Darren Lynn Bousman, Joe Hill, Metal Blade Records, and many, many, many more.  Too many to possibly name them all.  Together we raised $15,000.00 for the victims of the tragedy (after all expenses for holding the event were paid out).  It was nothing short of amazing.

I’ve put off writing a full on blog about this event for a variety of reasons.  For starters, I did this for charity and to help my hometown simply because I believe that anyone in my position would do the same.  Therefore, I tried as hard as I could to promote the event but not to let the event itself become a publicity event for the opening of HATCHET III, the season premiere of HOLLISTON, or for myself.  So I wanted to wait to fully comment on the event until long after those release dates had passed.  But most of all, there were moments throughout the three days that were so touching that I could never put them into cohesive words.  From the “thank you’s”, to the sincere hugs and hand shakes, to watching my fellow Bostonians dig deep and give money to help, to witnessing fans travel in for this from far and wide, to the two minute standing ovation that the crowd gave me at the end of the final night… this just isn’t the type of thing I can easily “recap”.

Thankfully, others did that for me.

So rather than write all about what happened I thought it would be more fitting to present you with a video and an article that sum it all up from the perspectives of the volunteers who generously donated their time to help pull all of this off and from a fan who traveled in from Texas just to be there.  It’s so important to note that Gina Migliozzi from ROCK N SHOCK and Stacy Buchanan from WICKED BIRD MEDIA worked tirelessly on this event for a solid month, helping organize everything and giving their all to promote the events and get the word out.  I am so proud and so lucky to be able to call these two amazing women my friends.

First up is a video that was created as a gift to me by the volunteers who worked their asses off for these three days (and more).  For all of the charity work I have done throughout the course of my career so far, no one has ever done something like this to thank me and these four and a half minutes truly mean the world to me.  You can watch it here.

Secondly is an article written by Amanda Rebholz, a fan who took it upon herself to share her experience at this three day event with the rest of the world.  You can read Amanda’s article here.  It’s beautifully written and I urge you all to take the time to read the whole piece.

To everyone who donated their time, their money, and their spirit- thank you.  As I said on stage each night, the one upside to every tragedy like this is that it results in people coming together to show what they are actually made of and who they really are.  The individuals who plotted and performed this attack (sorry, but I just can’t refer to them as “men”) FAILED.  They took lives and injured many… but they did not accomplish their mission to change us, to scare us, or to prove whatever point they thought they were making in their twisted, evil minds.  We rallied and came together not just to mourn the tragedy or to make donations, but to show that we are untouchable as both a society and as a culture.  As human beings we are resilient in our kindness.  As souls our spirits are unbreakable.  As the horror genre community we are more caring and generous than any other.  And as Boston… we are truly strong.

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Standing strong with Mick Garris.

To the families that this money is going towards helping, I know the support that we raised is but a mere dent in the help that you need and that the biggest losses are things that no amount of money can ever fix.  But I also know how much this meant to you and I know how much this meant to the rest of the people of Boston touched by this tragedy.

Some may not be able to ever look back on this tragedy and see more than the terror, the tears, and the loss.  But I choose to look back on this and see the helping hands, the smiles, the cheers, the laughter, and the applause that were louder and more meaningful than any amount of hatred could ever amount to.

Most sincerely,

AG

Rest In Piece Victor Crowley…?

Tonight at midnight, HATCHET III will hit select theaters and VOD for all to see.  As you’ve surely heard by now in the many interviews that we’ve all done or in the reviews starting to post, HATCHET III is the conclusion to the story of “Marybeth” and “Victor Crowley” that I set out to make a long, long, long time ago now.  It was 30 years ago this summer when I invented the character of “Victor Crowley” to scare the other kids at summer camp- simply because I found the counselor’s tale of a man called “Hatchet-Face” to be lacking and needing a little “umph”.  All they had to offer us was a name.  ”Hatchet-Face”.  By now you’ve hopefully watched the extensive Behind The Scenes on your HATCHET DVD or BLU-RAY and heard the whole story, so I won’t bother to write it all out yet again here.  But it was 10 years ago when my script for HATCHET had been passed on by every major studio (for the reason that “it’s not a remake, it’s not a sequel, and it’s not based on a Japanese one” – an actual rejection that I made the tagline for HATCHET’s 2006/2007 festival tour posters) and was literally sitting in my closet in a pile of “broken dreams”… something EVERY writer has somewhere in their home.  Thankfully, I had friends who didn’t want to accept that as the end and together we (Will Barratt, Sarah Elbert, and Cory Neal who have remained the figureheads of this amazing franchise through LOTS of thick and LOTS of thin) set out to make the film ourselves and… well, the rest is now history.  Tonight our journey comes to an end.  And I’m… just kind of numb.

HATCHET III / Director BJ McDonnell

Victor Crowley.

Perhaps it’s not knowing how to say goodbye to an old friend who not only means the world to me but who also launched my career and (for a worldwide group of horror fans known as the “Hatchet Army”, renewed their own personal faith in slasher films).  Perhaps it’s that it’s too hard to believe that Victor Crowley is really in his grave and reunited with his “Daaaaaddy” like he always wanted.  Or maybe it’s just the fact that I haven’t slept in so very long that the circus of insanity that I’m living through with making and promoting both HATCHET III and HOLLISTON Season 2 at the same time has just left me so exhausted that I can’t really feel any of it.  Point is, it’s a very surreal time filled with a huge mixed bag of emotions.

While this past week’s red carpet premiere in Hollywood was supposed to be a full-on celebration of the past ten years of work, unfortunately my body started to give out on me about halfway through the screening and by the end of the (lengthy) Q&A I was pouring buckets of sweat and doing everything I could to race home before throwing up in front of the audience or on an autograph seeking fan.  While I hoped I’d still somehow make it back for the after party, instead I spent a good portion of the rest of the night on the floor of my bathroom getting sick.  (Hey, I almost made it across the finish line, right?)  Not how I expected the final moments to play out, but also something that I should have seen coming as it very well should have happened to me much earlier on in the past few months.  However, I tell this story not to bum anyone out- but to draw a weird circular parallel in this journey.  (And no, I’m not referring to the copious amounts of vomit in the HATCHET films themselves.)

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The HATCHET ARMY logo worn by the HATCHET fans.

When HATCHET premiered at the Tribeca film festival in the Spring of 2006, the movie was already on fire.  Early reviews and buzz saw the movie getting hype in Variety, the LA Times, and the NY Times.  It seemed like it was THE movie to watch out for that year and when I saw the crowds of horror fans lined up outside the theater on the night of our first screening I couldn’t believe it was real.  Even more nerve wracking was watching some of the industry’s top acquisitions executives saunter into the theater with check books in hand.  Of course this was also the very same night when my childhood idol (Dee Snider from TWISTED SISTER) showed up and graciously walked me down the red carpet when I was too nervous to even take a step on my own.  (Again, if you’ve watched the Behind The Scenes on HATCHET- you know the now legendary “Twisted Tale” about how Dee and I slowly became such close friends over a 20 year period all culminating in that very night.)  My cast, my crew, my producers… we just KNEW that good things were destined to come HATCHET’s way.

I gave my very first introduction speech that night, totally honest and from the heart, and I got my very first standing ovation as a filmmaker (before the movie even started).  The movie started, and our sales rep stood in the back- just waiting for that first offer for distribution.  But five minutes into the screening, we watched a leading distributor’s acquisitions team stand up and walk out.  (Though I’d later learn that this is a strategy used to “turn down the heat” and thus the price of a film’s acquisition – at the time, all I knew was that people were leaving and the opening credits weren’t even finished yet.)  You could feel the energy in the room shift.  While the general audience cheered, screamed, laughed, and applauded like crazy… all I could focus on was “what the fuck just happened?”  Afterwords, we did the standard Q&A, greeted fans, and exited the theater where our sales rep promptly told me “It’s not looking good.  I don’t know how we sell this film.” I wanted to crawl back to my hotel room and die.  All of those years of work, all of the excitement, the reviews, the reactions… and just like THAT… I’m being told “it’s over”.  But sadly, I couldn’t run back to my hotel.  I still had to make an appearance at the after party where I was expected to make some sort of speech.  The cast (who at this point still had no clue that the movie was “dead”, only that the audience went out of their minds for it) sat with me in the corner as we slowly realized that we didn’t know a single person at the HATCHET after party.  In fact, it’s safe to say that 90% of the over-crowded club had not even seen the movie, nor did they even know what HATCHET was. They just wanted to come to the party.  (A lesson I’d learn again and again with this stuff as I’ve seen countless “faces” come to premieres to be seen and photographed on the carpet for publicity exposure and then bolt before the movie actually starts.)  I said some sort of a speech though to this day I can’t remember a single word I said.  And then I grabbed Rileah and we made a fast exit.

I spent the next few hours huddled up in a ball on the hotel room floor, clutching my stomach which hurt like I had been kicked in it by a 900 pound foot and… well… I cried.  I cried like I had never cried before (and have never cried since.)  Rileah sat by my side trying to console me, but there was nothing she could say or do that was gonna help and she knew it.  Eventually she just sat with me and listened to me say over and over again that “I let everyone down.”  How was I going to break it to the cast and the crew who had given me so much- that the movie was dead before it even started?  How was this possible?  What the fuck happened?

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Joel David Moore and I at the opening night Tribeca premiere Q&A – 2006.

What followed were four more nights of screenings.  Each night the audience was even rowdier than the last.  Every show was sold out.  Even more important to note, was that some fans were coming back MULTIPLE times to see the movie again and again and lining up outside of the theater many hours in advance.  The reviews kept coming in and they were glowing.  One notable critic called Victor Crowley “the next icon of horror”.  But I couldn’t enjoy any of it as deep down I knew we were dead in the water already and I just couldn’t figure out why.

Note: Eventually I would learn that the group who walked out 5 minutes into HATCHET’s first screening actually went right up to the sales rep to request their OWN screening or their own copy but said that they wouldn’t be forced into a competitive bidding situation.  Eventually they even made an offer on HATCHET- but not one we would accept.

The day of our final Tribeca screening I was invited to a lunch with the sales rep, one of our producers (Cory), and our main investor (Andrew).  I felt like I was walking to my death.  I thought Andrew was going to have me killed.  After all, while my feelings may have been torn out and eaten for breakfast… his bank account was feeling even worse at that point.  How the hell was I ever going to get him his 1.5 MILLION dollars back?  The sales rep was very direct in saying that the movie was dead but that we did have some offers on the table though they were offering pennies, they were companies we had never heard of, and the releases being offered were dreadful to say the least.  ”But what about these reviews?”  ”What about the reactions?”  ”What other movie playing here is getting this kind of reaction?”  It didn’t matter… HATCHET and my childhood dream of Victor Crowley were dead.  It just wasn’t “the type of movie that was in style right now” because “only remakes are performing, sorry.”  They began to discuss which of the abysmal offers they should accept in an effort to cut their loses and at that point I took off.  Sounds dramatic (and while I’ll never argue that I’m not a dramatic person) it’s true. I ran out into the street to hail a cab.  Andrew followed me out into the street and told me to come back in.  He assured me he wasn’t mad at me.  That he knew the risk when he took it.  And it was THAT moment when the fire in me raged ten fold and I said “Don’t take these offers.  I’m going to do this. Please just trust me.”

And you know what?  HE DID.  Not many investors would- but Andrew DID.  He believed and he stuck with me.  He turned down the offers.  The next stop with HATCHET was FrightFest in London.  My first time ever even being on a plane for that long, let alone leaving the country.  I was there by myself, continually going into debt on my credit cards, and hoping to make SOMEONE in Hollywood see that there were fans out there who didn’t only want torture films and remakes.  I was scared and alone, but I was confident.  The movie played (right after PAN’S LABYRINTH of all movies- imagine how nerve wracking THAT was??) and then… BOOM.  It blew up.  Within days HATCHET had been accepted EVERYWHERE.  Festivals were begging for it.   8 cities in Germany, followed by two cities in Canada, followed by Barcelona, Austin, LA, and more.  I stayed on the road for well over a year.  Offers got better, but still… they were not what we wanted.  I was in debt.  SUCH debt.  But I kept going.

Ultimately, my producers and I pooled what little money we had left to rent the Arclight Theater in Hollywood and show HATCHET for free one night.  It was our last stand.  We put it out there on-line that a FREE screening would be held, just praying that distributors who had now seen the reviews, the awards, and the reactions, would come and give it just ONE more shot.  The theater held 400 seats.  By the time the screening started there were 735 people lined up down Sunset Blvd.  We had to add a second screening.  And it was within those next 24 hours that the first two theatrical offers came in.  The next day I was on the sound mixing stage for SPIRAL when a guy named Mark Ward from Anchor Bay called me to discuss acquiring the movie.  What was interesting about this was… A) I knew Anchor Bay very well as half the horror movies in my collection had their logo on it and B) Mark was the ONLY acquisitions exec who called ME and not just the sales rep.  He sold me on the fact that though Anchor Bay had never done a real theatrical release, he would TRY with all of his might to make it happen with HATCHET because he “got it”.  Most of all, he said that it was movies like HATCHET that made him want to get into the business in the first place and that he NEEDED it.  He was just a real guy.  He was a real horror fan.  (He’s since become a very, very dear friend.)  Now I don’t know about you, but personally I would always rather go with the person who CARES than the bigger name place that could kind of care less.  I spoke with the team, made the case for why I trusted in Mark, and they all agreed.  Best of all- Mark stuck to his word and that following September 7, 2007 – HATCHET opened on 80 screens across the United States.  The rest is of course… history.

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HATCHET opened in US theaters on September 7, 2007.

So getting back to the present, there I was at the premiere of HATCHET III and once again, on the floor sick. Only this time it wasn’t from tears- it was from sheer exhaustion on what this journey has been like- not just for me, but for EVERYONE who has played a part of this franchise.  It certainly hasn’t been all fun and games or wonderful experiences for ANY of us.  We’ve lost a few along the way, I’ve been stabbed in the back by the most unexpected of people, I’ve watched some people crack under the pressure and quit, I’ve been stalked by over zealous fans, I’ve been personally attacked in cyber space by people, I’ve been lied about, I’ve been lied to, I’ve been screwed out of money (left and right), I’ve had people who’s careers I made try and extort money out of me just because they thought they might be able to make a quick buck and get away with it, I’ve watched “critics” get fed up with my popularity and success and viciously try and tear me down personally, I’ve watched foreign distributors make money hand over fist and hide their numbers from us while begging for sequels, I’ve been made a pariah by the MPAA and been forced to defend my work, my fans, and my character at a full-on TRIAL, I’ve stood by as internet pirates stole my work and mass distributed it to hundreds of thousands (if not MILLIONS) of thieves who then came after me and called me “greedy’ when I begged them to stop, and I’ve watched people I loved and gave opportunities to (simply out of wanting to help someone else out in ways that I never had help with) take what they could get out of me, turn on me, and leave me hanging.  All for a small little slasher comedy that was made out of love, by love, and for love.  Sounds horrible right?  But I assure you… it ISN’T.  It’s just Hollywood.  You can choose to focus only on those bad times or look back and think of all of the AMAZING people I was fortunate enough to have with me on this trip.  The people that gave all they had (and then some) to help keep this dream moving forward,  People who made this their OWN dream, who literally became family, and who stood through until the very end without ever breaking in character no matter how hard it got.  The enormous amount of good people FAR outweigh the few let downs and I love that when you watch these three films, not only do you see so many crucial people returning again and again, but even stepping up in rank and position.  That part has just been awesome to watch happen.

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HATCHET III opens in select theaters and on VOD June 14th, 2013.

And more so than anything… are the fans worldwide.  The fans who made this into a franchise, who gave me a shot at a career, and who have supported not just the HATCHET series- but EVERYTHING I’ve done in between.  My loyal crew.  My various casts.  The above paragraphs may sound rather bleak- but it’s merely the honest truth.  And the positive doesn’t just outweigh the negative… it BLOWS it away to the point that the negative really has no baring.  But in being completely honest- yes, it is a mixed bag of emotions.  There are a lot of scars from this process, but holy shit are there a lot of victories, there are a lot of people I would hate to exist without, and there is more love behind this series of movies than most marriages are lucky enough to have.  Whether you made it to the end, whether you had to get off the train early, whether you screwed me over, whether you stabbed me in the back, or whether you were just cheering from your seat as a fan… I love you all.  Every single one of you.  YOU made this happen.  You made ME.  And when I wake up from the week-long coma I’m about to go into.. I will truly celebrate.

But for now… enjoy HATCHET III!  I hope you love how this particular story comes to a conclusion, what a great job BJ McDonnell did taking over my seat on set, what an amazing job the team did in making this movie, and what we accomplished together- both filmmakers and audiences alike.  This one is for YOU.  And while it may have all started with an 8 year old’s dream and while that dream may have been down for the count many times (from crying on a hotel floor in New York City, to watching the MPAA come after us time and time again, to watching the second film get yanked from screens to… whatever will happen next…) I’d do it all again.  To my crew/family… it was an honor to serve in Crowley’s swamp with you all… and to my fans, I owe you everything.  Thank you for giving Victor Crowley life.

Is this really the end for HATCHET?  I guess you never REALLY know.  But for now… it appears to be so.  My story with “Victor Crowley” and “Marybeth” is complete and I’ve finished what I set out to do.  Guess we’ll just have to see what happens next…

Never say never.  But let’s just say never… for now.

Love, love, love-

AG

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HATCHET III Cast and Crew – Hollywood, CA June 11, 2013

Welcome to the NEW ArieScope.com!

By now you’ve probably noticed our fancy new website. Not bad, right?? Best of all is the all new BUY STUFF page where we’ve not only answered your requests for HOLLISTON and HATCHET ARMY shirts but also provided you with a shot at getting your hands on some of the very rare (and very cool) over-stock that we found in the ArieScope vault- like CREW shirts that were made as gifts to the cast and crew of various projects. Sometimes crew shirts go unclaimed or extras are printed up to fulfill a minimum quality requirement by the printer and they go into storage when the production is finished. After careful consideration we decided that these rare shirts would really look a lot better on our fans than in our storage unit- so here’s your chance. Quantities and sizes are extremely limited and what you see is what we’ve got- so act fast if you want to get your horror loving hands on one of these things! Once they’re gone… they’re gone.

More stuff will be added soon (some really, really GREAT stuff!) but we’re… you know… kind of busy these days. HOLLISTON Season 2 launched tonight, HATCHET III opens next week, I’ve been touring my ass off since March doing conventions and appearances, I launched a new weekly podcast with Lynch, I put on a 3-day fundraiser back in my hometown of Boston to help out the victims of April’s horrific marathon bombings (we raised $15,000.00, you guys!!), and each day brings endless hours of press to promote all of these things. Point is, I’m busy – but I couldn’t be happier and I’m so very lucky to be so busy and in demand. I’m overdue for a massive blog update, I know. Soon! Promise.

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On stage, getting ready for “HOLLISTON Comes Home to Holliston, MA” to begin. May 28th.

But for now I hope you’re enjoying Season 2 of HOLLISTON, I hope to see ALL of you in the various LIVE FAN CHATS the cast and I do each week, I hope you’re as excited as I am for HATCHET III to come out (select theaters and VOD next Friday June 14th!), and I hope you enjoy checking out our new website. It was designed by John and Nicole Anguish (remember that name… “John Anguish” … HOLLISTON’s upcoming episode 2.4!) who have taken care of all things WEB for ArieScope for a solid 15 years now and we love them dearly.

Be back with a new blog as soon as things calm down a bit. Two more weeks of crazy to get through and then I’m gonna drop off the face of the earth for a week or two while I recover, heal from the damage I’ve inflicted upon myself, and spend much needed time with family.

See you on the LIVE CHATS! Love, Holliston, and Hatchets to you all!
“In Market Basket We Shop.”
-AG

THE MOVIE CRYPT comes to life!

With both HOLLISTON Season 2 and HATCHET III about to come out in June (within just 10 days of each other) there is certainly a blog on its way about those projects.  We’re even launching a brand spanking new ArieScope.com in a few weeks with a merchandise store- hopefully on-line and ready to go by June 1st if all goes as planned.  In the meantime, in the middle of all of the press, touring, appearances, conventions, and premiere screenings- what better time than now to launch a PODCAST?

I know, I know.  ”A podcast”, you say?  If you’re like me you probably feel like podcasts have become the new Facebook pages.  Everyone seems to have one and the internet has become cluttered with so many different options to listen to people ramble on and on about one thing or another.  But having guested on quite a few now and having heard some truly terrific ones, when Geek Nation mentioned they’d love to have me do a podcast for them it didn’t take a hell of a lot of convincing.  In fact, within 24 hours- we had it set up and our first recording scheduled.  Given that HOLLISTON has a storyline about “Adam” and “Joe” hosting a late night cable access horror show called THE MOVIE CRYPT, it only made sense to bring that idea to life.  So today, Episode 1 of THE MOVIE CRYPT with Adam Green and Joe Lynch will launch on Geek Nation’s website.

So what makes our podcast unique?  After all, there are already some terrific genre related podcasts out there- even on Geek Nation’s roster alone.  THE BLOOD CAST, WEINBERG’S HOUSE OF HORRORS, and KILLER POV (both hosted by dear friends of ours and both terrific podcasts) not only already exist on Geek Nation but Joe and I will both be guesting on KILLER POV very soon.  Where our podcast is different is that despite its title,  THE MOVIE CRYPT is actually not going to always be about the horror genre.  Of course we’ll be heavy on the horror since that is what we know, love, and are best known for, but overall this podcast is meant to serve as an open diary of the lives of two real working filmmakers.  Not only will the podcast focus on the specific projects that we have both in release and in production (while HOLLISTON is airing a good portion of each podcast will be dedicated to discussing the most current episode), but also our personal tales from the trenches and stories of how these projects actually get made and what happens with them afterwords.  Think of it as a weekly Q&A from a film festival screening or a press junket- only without the press.  Completely casual and off the cuff, often times with notable special guests (actors, filmmakers, producers, composers, agents, cinematographers) all bringing their own personal perspective to this crazy business we live and work in.  We’ll also have episodes dedicated to music and the bands that we love.  Toys, comics, conventions, artwork… if we’re into it, we’ll talk about it.  For something REALLY special, from time to time Joe and I are even going to offer full-length feature fan-commentary tracks to films we did not make or have anything to do with.  Here’s where that idea came from…

In 2009, Joe and I were both asked to participate in a documentary about the FRIDAY THE 13TH franchise and legacy called HIS NAME WAS JASON.  While I was slightly apprehensive given that I personally have nothing to do with the FRIDAY franchise, it made sense given that the filmmakers were interviewing not only those involved with the actual FRIDAY films but also those influenced by FRIDAY and those who also work in the beloved slasher genre who could (somewhat) intelligently comment on it.  Really, it was quite an honor to even be asked.  The interviews each lasted an hour and were an absolute blast, but both Joe and I assumed we’d be reduced to a quick sound byte or two in the actual documentary.  If you’ve seen HIS NAME WAS JASON you’d know that was not the case in the finished product and for one reason or another we were featured quite heavily with our comical quips and enthusiastic fandom for FRIDAY THE 13TH and Jason Voorhees.  Flattering? Absolutely.  But I’d be lying if I said that we both didn’t quickly call each other after viewing the documentary for the first time and say “Oh no.”  I mean, think about that documentary from a fan’s perspective.  When you purchased it, did you really want to hear the guys who (at the time) had only made HATCHET, SPIRAL and WRONG TURN 2 go on and on about the franchise?  Probably not. We were very concerned that WE would be blamed for our overexposure in it somehow even though we were merely interview subjects for it and had no say in the finished product or what was used in it.  Thankfully, given the light hearted nature of HIS NAME WAS JASON, we didn’t receive the backlash we feared.  In fact, we heard from so many FRIDAY fans that they enjoyed our comments because they felt the same way that we did about the films.  You can only imagine our relief.  But out of that experience (and before we ever saw HIS NAME WAS JASON completed), producer/director Dan Farrands approached us about doing a “fan commentary” for Paramount’s FRIDAY THE 13tTH PART IV: THE FINAL CHAPTER re-issue on DVD that he was producing for the studio.  Given that the commentary would be titled just that- a “fan commentary”- we jumped at the chance.  I think we even started it off by saying something to the effect of  ”we have no business being here but how could we not pay our respects to a film we both love so dearly when asked to?”  Low and behold that commentary became a huge hit with FRIDAY THE 13TH fans around the world and we constantly hear from fans asking if we will ever do another.  So…. 4 years later we figured… why not?

The inaugural episode of THE MOVIE CRYPT features a full-length fan commentary of FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2.  A movie that is easily tied for “favorite of the franchise” in my book and also the very first horror movie that I can remember seeing (at the tender age of 7).  To say I love it would be an understatement.  I’m kind of MADLY in love with it.  If I could make-out with a movie- FRIDAY 2 would be on my list.  Hey, if you’re gonna launch a new podcast in a sea of podcasts, why not start off with a bang and give our fans something they have been asking for?

Now, I know the next two questions are: “Will every podcast include a commentary?”  And… “Will you guys do the entire FRIDAY THE 13TH series eventually?”  The answer is- no, we will not always be doing a commentary track with every episode.  And as far as the second question goes – maybe.  Perhaps by the time we hang up our microphones and end this new endeavor we’ll have hit all of the FRIDAY movies- but we have a TON of other movies that we love and respect and that we’d love to do fan commentary tracks for.  Also to be honest, neither Joe or I feel comfortable pulling a MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER on a movie we did not make.  (For that very reason THE MOVIE CRYPT will never feature “reviews” of other filmmaker’s work.  Who are WE to say anything negative or critical about someone else’s work?)  And as every FRIDAY fan knows… some of the entries were certainly more “miss” than “hit” if we want to put it in Battleship terms.  So we’ll see what happens.  If we think we have enough praise (and fanboy information) to bestow upon a movie like JASON GOES TO HELL- then maybe someday we’ll do it.  But right now we’re honestly more excited about doing commentary tracks for movies like STAND BY ME, E.T. THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL (my favorite movie of all time), LOVE ACTUALLY (a movie that Joe and I once got busted verbally sexually assaulting in the pit at a Metallica show when we realized the other Metallica fans standing around us were not only listening in to our conversation- but also knew exactly who we were and were MASSIVELY let down to hear us discussing a romantic comedy together), and even BATTLESHIP (a movie that is absolutely criminally underrated and that unfairly received heaps of negativity thrown its way last year by people that I can only imagine never gave it a chance).  But the fan-commentary tracks will be surprises and it could wind up being a while before we do another one.  I have no idea what we’ll be in the mood for on a particular week.

I hope you enjoy THE MOVIE CRYPT.  Whether you’re a filmmaker, an aspiring filmmaker, or maybe just a fan of what we do and a fan of our chemistry together as enthusiastic geeks ourselves- this is meant to entertain.  Who knows how long it will last?  As you know, I like to keep changing it up and trying different things.  However long it remains fun to do- we’ll be doing it.  How will Joe and I continue to do it when we’re both in production on our various projects?  Not entirely sure.  For now let’s just roll with it and see what happens.

Listen to Episode 1 here.

Oh, and next week’s guest is the lovely Danielle Harris.  You’re welcome.

-AG

Dee Snider and I Discuss… EVERYTHING.

Dee Snider and I recently sat down with MOVIE MELTDOWN in Cincinnati to discuss HOLLISTON but wound up discussing… everything.  Normally I’d never post an interview as a blog post, but this may be one of the most comprehensive and candid interviews I’ve ever done and together Dee and I cover so much that this one interview is better than anything I could possibly write.  From our twisted road to becoming close friends, to how we actually make HOLLISTON, to our opinions on the horror genre, to family, to HATCHET, to HATCHET III, to STRANGELAND, to PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE, to my stance on rape and animal violence in horror movies… this podcast covers it all.

Our interview is about a half-hour long and begins around 24 minutes into the podcast.  Click here, enjoy, and hopefully be inspired.

-AG

ASK GREEN – Ten Questions Answered

I get a lot of the same questions on my Twitter account so in an effort to answer them properly (and to not have to answer in the shortened  140 character bursts that Twitter allows for), I’m trying this out.  Every so often I’ll put together a version of the most common (or the most interesting) questions I get and then post in-depth answers to them on this blog so that I can easily point people to a place where their questions are answered thoroughly.  As the new year begins and time begins to slip away from me quickly this may become a failed experiment, but hey… it’s worth a shot, right?

1. I’M AN ASPIRING WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/ACTOR AND WANT TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE LOOKING TO GET THEIR START.  The best advice I can possibly give can be found on the commentary tracks and behind the scenes features for my various films/TV series DVDs and BLU-RAYS as well as in interviews I’ve done (which you can find loads of FREE to read on-line just by doing a search).  There is no specific answer here as everyone’s journey is different so all I can do is share my personal stories of how I did it.  I certainly don’t have all the answers as this career path is not like any other.  There is no corporate ladder to climb or “writer/director/actor” job to apply for with a resume and then work your way up to “artist”.  It’s on YOU to show what you can do and get people interested in you and wanting to know more.  This could be accomplished in writing a fantastic screenplay, making a short film that garners attention both on-line and critically at film festivals, and by working on other projects as an intern/PA/assistant and truly networking.  It’s important to note that “networking” is not writing to someone famous on twitter and saying you’d like to work with them nor is it meeting someone at an event and handing them a business card.  True networking is creating your own very real relationships with other people in the business.  (See the above part about PA’ing or assisting.  Many filmmakers get their start in the mail room or on an agency or management company desk as by the time you graduate from that gig you’ll know most everything and everyone.)  For every story you’ll hear about someone making a Youtube short that suddenly became viral, got 10 million views, and landed them meetings and development deals with Hollywood studios… there are 5 million stories where that didn’t happen.  If it’s taking you awhile to get noticed… that’s NORMAL.  Don’t be discouraged, just keep doing your thing, keep getting better, and keep putting yourself out there in the most professional way possible.  I highly advise aspiring filmmakers to avoid blowing up a working filmmaker’s fan mail, Facebook page, or other social networking site by posting their work repeatedly or begging and pleading to work with them.  The last thing you want is to have your name recognized as “that annoying guy/girl”.  Submit your work or yourself properly (see below for my advice on how to do that.)  As much as it may appear to you that it happened for me quickly and at a young age or that there must be a secret to my success, truth be told I started writing and making films in my teens and I am now (at the time of this posting) 37 years old. I struggled, I was rejected, I was promised things that fell apart (I still am on a daily basis), I failed, I failed again, and I watched other people around me have a much easier road to success.  Everyone has a different path and you only need to be concerned with your own.  Don’t let the world’s negativity or the frustrations of this incomprehensible business disenchant you.  If anything, look at me and understand that if I can do it so can you.  Does that mean you WILL “make it”?  God, I hope so… but it’s a tough and VERY unfair business.  As a lower middle-class kid from Holliston, Massachusetts with absolutely no connections or understanding of how Hollywood worked, I found a way.  My parents were both teachers and my father killed himself working THREE jobs 7-days a week for my entire youth.  He would work every day as a gym teacher in a neighboring town only to go to work each night running his own karate school (that he sacrificed his time and passion for much more for the love of it then for any notable financial gain) and then sell shoes at flea markets for my uncle on weekends.  And you know what?  THAT’S where I learned everything I needed to learn to get where I am today.  I learned how to work and how to do whatever it takes to make ends meet.  In Los Angeles I have many friends and associates who will say to me “man, you’re so lucky that you have a world-wide franchise with HATCHET, your own successful television series, your own production company, and constant work coming in” but the fact of the matter is, “luck” had nothing to do with it.  I knew how to work for it and boy did I.  Maybe someday, someone will wave their magic wand for me but it hasn’t happened yet and I don’t expect it to.  So you can sit and be miserable or get frustrated and jealous over other’s success, or let it inspire you to do the same.  I’m fortunate that my parents raised me not to be competitive with anyone other than myself and that they lead by example that no one is going to do it for you.  So if you want the secret to my success, it’s really Richard the gym teacher/karate instructor/shoe salesman and Dale the Hebrew school teacher.  Not something I read in a book, not something I learned in film school, and certainly not something I earned by relentlessly writing to someone I admire on a website.  Develop a solid work ethic, stay focused, and work your ass off.  The beauty of writing is that all you need is your own mind and motivation to see it through.  Can’t afford Final Draft or another professional screenwriting program?  Shakespeare wrote with ink by candlelight.  What’s your excuse?

2. I HAVE WRITTEN THE GREATEST SCREENPLAY EVER AND I WANT TO SEND IT TO YOU FOR CONSIDERATION DIRECTING, FOR ARIESCOPE TO CONSIDER PRODUCING, OR JUST TO SEE WHAT YOU THINK… BUT I DON’T KNOW HOW TO.  First things first, I encourage you to read “The Writer’s Guide to Hollywood Producers, Directors, and Screenwriter’s Agents” by Skip Press.  The last edition that I know of was published in 2005, but the information within that book is all still 100% relevant and crucial to master.  The book explains how to properly and professionally submit your material and even more importantly- how NOT to.  Then, register for an IMDBpro account which only costs a few bucks a month.  With an IMDBpro account you’ll have immediate access to the names, addresses, and phone numbers of every working filmmaker, producer, production company, studio, distributor, and actor in Hollywood (or their representation’s info).  Be professional and go through the appropriate channels so that your work is looked at seriously and not just tossed out.  On a personal note, I am not looking for scripts to direct or produce.  I’m a writer just like you and I have dozens of my own scripts and stories that I want to make and that I believe in just as much as you believe in yours.  In short, my priority is to get MY scripts made into films or TV shows, not yours as amazing as your scripts may be.  Do I want to see yours get made, too?  ABSOLUTELY!  But you’ll have to forgive me that I need to give my time and attention to my work and that I’m not the one to make yours.  Your best bet is to submit to producers, agents, and managers who are actively looking for material to produce or represent.  Want to try and attach a director first?  That’s certainly not an easy thing to accomplish without first having funding for your project and a legitimate offer to make, but at the very least, submit your work (through the appropriate channels)  to directors who do not write their own material.  BUT ARIESCOPE IS A PRODUCTION COMPANY AND YOU GUYS ARE PRODUCERS.  YOU MADE GRACE FOR PAUL SOLET AND YOU DIDN’T WRITE OR DIRECT IT.  Very true.  But GRACE was a very unique situation for us.  Adam Barnick’s amazing documentary on the GRACE DVD and BLU RAY details what Paul did to get GRACE made and I can’t recommend watching it enough.  ArieScope is really a boutique production company that primarily exists to make our own projects.  We don’t have the time, money, or personnel to actively produce multiple projects in addition to our own all at the same time.  We’ve also been burned in the past by filmmakers we’ve tried to help and at the end of the day, life is just too short.  A writing/directing team made a fantastic feature that we loved even though it didn’t quite become the success that we felt it should have become.  We developed an idea with them and then spent two years trying to get their script financed in a scenario with their director still able to direct it.  (Note: Because their first film had no financial gain or mainstream recognition to speak of, getting the project set-up with this individual still directing it was not easy.)  We found scenarios where interested financiers would only pull the trigger if we could attach some sort of name actor who could help them pre-sell the foreign rights and take less of a risk on their investment.  Again, with no track record to speak of for this director, that was an impossible task.  Finally, we created a scenario where the film could be made at a smaller budget then we would have liked, but where a big name actor was not crucial to funding being released and the director could still direct his movie.  We convinced the financing entity to release money and pay for casting.  The director sat through weeks of casting with our casting director and we made several offers to actors that everyone liked for the parts… but no luck.  Ultimately we were able to convince the financing entity that the cast would work better if there were no recognizable faces in it and that it was all about the effects (very true).  We started meeting with special effects houses, trying to find a great place that believed in the project.  When we finally found one we found out that this filmmaking team that we had just spent two years working for, that we had developed the idea with, that we had already spent our financiers money on for casting… had sold the script to a different production company.  How did we find out?  By reading about it in the trades.  They didn’t even tell us.  And for a deal to be far enough along to be announced publicly, it HAD to have been going on for some time.  In fact, by our calculations- they had to have been negotiating this deal while we were still paying for casting and speaking with FX houses.  And these were FRIENDS.  Even worse, they hid behind their agent and claimed they didn’t know that we had done all that we had done or raised and started spending the money.  (Somehow the director forgot about the weeks of casting he went through and that someone had to pay for that.) Then, in typical fashion, they blamed each other and threw each other under the bus claiming that the other had never told them that we were moving forward.  So in the end, an idea that we helped create and a project that we financially stood to make next to nothing on and that we were doing because we believed in these guys and considered them friends… cost us not only very valuable time and money but also a relationship with a financier.  And as for their movie?  It’s still in “development” a year later.  Oh… and the director was told he could no longer direct his movie by the place that optioned it.  Now does that mean EVERYONE is going to burn us like that?  Of course not.  Does that mean we’ll never try again?  Certainly not- although we did learn a valuable lesson that “friends or not” you can’t trust anyone and must always serve them with a contract before you spend a single second of your time on the project.  (Really, WE’RE the fools here for being too nice.)   But with all of the projects we already have going, perhaps this story can help illustrate why we’re not actively looking to find new, outside projects to spend our lives on getting made.  Another good comparison, let’s say you’re a writer and you’re trying to get a script made into a movie.  Would you stop writing your own stuff and lose anywhere from 3 months to a year in order to write someone else’s idea for them?  Of course not.  Why should producing be any different?  For us to walk away from our own projects and focus all of our efforts on making an outside project, it’s gotta be a seriously amazing scenario.  So should our representation ever come to us with a script that they feel is worth us dropping everything to work on, sure… perhaps we’d decide that it’s a project we can’t pass up.  But that project isn’t going to come through a stranger on Twitter or Facebook or in our fanmail.  Could a great project EXIST that’s being solicited to us through the wrong ways?  I would almost bet it does.  But with so, so many people trying that route we can’t possibly read them all.  Not to mention the legal ramifications that would come with reading them all.  Let’s say you send me a script and it’s about a killer lamp, for instance.  Well, what if I’m already working on or have written a script with a killer lamp in it?  Now I’ve opened myself up to a frivolous law suit by someone who is going to claim that I “ripped them off”.  Would they win in court?  Probably not.  But it would still cost me money to fight their accusation or (as I’ve seen happen many times to others) cost me money to settle out of court in an effort to avoid my reputation being damaged by the false accusation.  Now, I know YOU would never do that- but there is someone out there who would.  There are people out there that do that to make their living!   (I once worked for a very famous producer who constantly had gold diggers trying to come after him with this scam.)  So unless it comes through my representation, no- I won’t read it.  I won’t even accept it or look at it.  Sorry.  And for those who merely want an opinion on their work, even if it WEREN’T for the legal issues I could be opening myself up for… even if it WEREN’T for the fact that we’re not looking for outside projects… I just don’t have the time to read every script and give a reaction to it.  There’s a stack of scripts on my desktop at all times filled with legitimate submissions from my reps and scripts from dear trusted friends- and I have to fight for time to try and read those (which 9 out of 10 times, I never do).   Figuring that it takes about 2 hours to properly read a feature screenplay and formulate a reaction or put together notes… right now there is about 2 weeks of reading to do on my desk.  I’m just not the right guy and hopefully this epic answer filled with everything from advice, to stories, to a completely blunt and rational explanation helps you understand why.  But don’t steal my killer lamp story, Dicks!  ;)

3.  I WANT TO AUDITION FOR YOU OR BE AN EXTRA IN ONE OF YOUR MOVIES OR ON HOLLISTON.  HOW CAN I DO THAT?  If we ever have roles that we are holding open casting for, we post for them in breakdown services and with local casting outlets where we are shooting.  Don’t know what that means?  Look it up on-line and learn how to submit yourself.  It’s easy to do but most of all, it’s the professional way to go about it and you’ll have better chances.  Rarely have we had roles that we held open casting for as I typically write with specific actors in mind.  (The HATCHET sequels and HOLLISTON especially, those roles were cast before I ever wrote them.)  BUT I’M JUST A FAN WHO WANTS TO BE AN EXTRA SO I CAN COME TO THE SET AND WATCH.  Sorry, it’s a work environment and not a place for spectators.  In the past we have put it out there for fans to come participate (CHILLERAMA’s “Zom-B-Movie” is a great example as 90% of the drive-in patrons and “Xombies” you see in that film are fans who responded to our postings and came down to be in the movie) and if we ever have another opportunity like that, we’ll post about it here on this website and I’ll tweet and Facebook about the opportunity.  But 9 out of 10 times union rules dictate that we use professional SAG-AFTRA background performers.  Rules are rules and there’s nothing we can do about them.  However, if you are interested in doing extra work or volunteering to be in a film or TV show, contact your state’s local film commission and ask them if they know of any productions coming through town.  Chances are good that they’ll be able to point you in the direction of someone hiring those roles if there is a production near you that’s looking.  BUT I’LL PAY TO FLY MYSELF TO WHEREVER YOU ARE SHOOTING!  I’LL PAY TO BE IN IT!  PLEEEEASE!  I appreciate the enthusiasm, but it just doesn’t work like that on a union film or show, sorry.  In the rare scenario that we CAN squeeze in a few people, those roles usually go to the crew or friends of the cast and crew.

4. I SENT YOU A LETTER THROUGH YOUR FAN MAIL, A DVD OR OTHER ITEM TO BE SIGNED, OR A REQUEST FOR A FREE SIGNED PHOTO AND I NEVER GOT IT.  WHAT GIVES?  You didn’t follow the directions and include a self-addressed return stamped envelope.  We’ve NEVER received an autograph request here (that included the appropriate return materials) and NOT fulfilled it.  Ever.  So either your request never arrived or you didn’t follow the instructions.  To be VERY clear… if you want something mailed back to you, you need to include the envelope or other packing materials that the object is to be sent back to you in.  It needs to be addressed and STAMPED (the postage must be paid for already) for us to send it back to you.  If you want a free picture of me autographed to you- you need to include an 8X10 return stamped envelope so that the photograph doesn’t need to be folded up and ruined.  It’s all very clear in the instructions on the OPERATIONS page of this website and it’s 100% the industry standard for fan mail.  The autograph is free, the picture is free- but given the high volume of requests, that’s as generous as we can be.  We don’t have the time or personnel to keep running to the post office or to pay for all of the return shipping materials.  Even the picture and autograph being free- most celebrities charge for that stuff.  I do not.  I do as much as I can to generously thank my fans for being fans.  I only ask that you follow the instructions and take care of your own shipping so that I merely have to sign it and then drop it right back in the mail to you.  Deal?  Deal.

5. WHO ARE YOUR TOP THREE FAVORITE BANDS?  Impossible to pick only three, unfortunately.  But if I had to pick 5… TWISTED SISTER - If you’re a big enough fan of mine to read my blogs then you undoubtedly know the real life story between Dee Snider and I.  If not, you can hear it right from our mouths in the TV & MORE section of the SHORTS on this website.  I’m sure most of you are familiar with STAY HUNGRY as it’s an incredible album with WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT, I WANNA ROCK, and my personal favorites S.M.F., THE PRICE, and BURN IN HELL on it, but I highly recommend getting your metal loving hands on UNDER THE BLADE and YOU CAN’T STOP ROCK N ROLL if you don’t already own them.  AEROSMITH – I’ve seen them 31 times as my twitter feed can attest to and two of my cats are named “Tyler” and “Perry”.  With 40 years of music to choose from, the song KINGS & QUEENS is still my favorite and I’ve been chasing it for 31 shows now to no avail.  Not much compares to Steven Tyler singing WHAT IT TAKES live and if you haven’t bared witness to the incredible performances these guys give on stage- do so the next time they tour.  You won’t regret it and keep your eyes on Brad Whitford as he’s the unsung hero of the group.  METALLICA – Right up there with Aerosmith, I’m at show number 30 and rising.  I once saw James Hetfield summon rain (Woodstock ’99) and I was there at the BIG 4 show in Southern California when they played ORION all the way through (typically they only do the intro) and dedicated it to Cliff Burton.  There’s a B-Side recording of FADE TO BLACK (LIVE) on the import single for WHEREVER I MAY ROAM that I think is the greatest recording of that song ever captured and I think DEATH MAGNETIC ranks among their top 3 albums.  If you’ve still never been able to appreciate this band, listen to their …AND JUSTICE FOR ALL record on vinyl, bang your head to Kirk Hammet’s guitars in ALL NIGHTMARE LONG, or see them play THE FOUR HORSEMEN live and try and tell me you’re not a believer.  LOVE/HATE – a somewhat unknown band that fell victim to bad timing and a record label that dropped them upon hearing the opening chord to SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT (shame on you, CBS), these guys could have been the next GUNS N ROSES in my opinion and having now had the chance to see them live 5 times over the past 6 years, I get highly emotional every time a show ends.  Never before have I known of a band who deserved so much more than they received and Skid is right up there with Flea in terms of skill and entertainment value on the bass.  Don’t bother downloading or buying their “greatest hits” record GREATEST & LATEST as it’s all re-records of their “hits” that don’t compare to the originals.  Instead, dig further and find BLACKOUT IN THE RED ROOM and WASTED IN AMERICA (again, on vinyl if you can find it).  The songs SHE’S AN ANGEL and TRANQUILLIZER will kick the shit out of you and if you see them play live just once you will thank me profusely.  I will drop everything and travel to see them most anywhere and anytime, though I am sadly missing their 1/5 show in Vegas due to being in Tahiti at that time and I won’t be able to hit any dates during their upcoming UK tour due to my production schedule– which pains me to no end.  #5 is a tie between GUNS N ROSES and GWAR but hear me out first.  GNR’s APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION may be the greatest recording of all time, but sales figures show that and most everyone would be able to at least understand that point of view.  While there are songs on the USE YOUR ILLUSION albums that are just insane (COMA, ESTRANGED, CIVIL WAR, SO FINE) there is also a lot of filler on those records that foreshadowed a band in inner turmoil that was becoming too bloated to continue existing as we saw.  All of the bullshit that has gone down aside, Axl Rose is still an enigma and one of the greatest lead singers of all time and no matter how ridiculous the antics may have been over the years, nothing can take away the raw power of that band in it’s prime.  For me, GWAR is the epitome of creativity and originality and there is something about them that is just so fucking awesome that you can’t help but acknowledge what a unique spot they have in the metal genre.  While they’re known for their live shows and the stage antics designed to make people laugh or be offended, songs like I HATE LOVE SONGS, SALAMINIZER, BRING BACK THE BOMB, and MEAT SANDWICH are just too good to ignore.  Through my friendship with Dave Brockie (“Oderus”) I’ve been lucky enough to meet and get to know the band’s inner workings (band mates and crew) and if people only knew just what these guys put into their craft and saw behind the curtain of foam latex swords and fake blood, they’d see a band with more heart than gimmicks which is why they have my eternal respect.  There are too many more to list but other favorites include MARILYN MANSON (MECHANICAL ANIMALS, ANTI-CHRIST SUPERSTAR, and THE GOLDEN AGE OF GROTESQUE take everything that was amazing about PORTRAIT OF AN AMERICAN FAMILY and evolve/perfect the style to a T.  Note: The song SPEED OF PAIN is up there with the greater moments of DARK SIDE OF THE MOON), JOHN MELLENCAMP (not metal, sure- but pure Americana and the music I long for when traveling over seas.  RAIN ON THE SCARECROW, SMALL TOWN, PINK HOUSES, and the classic JACK AND DIANE are some of the purest American music in existence.), MINISTRY (few bands can scare the shit out of me live like they- or rather AL himself – can and I have yet to come home from a show without injuries, bruises, and missing clothing), MEGADETH (HOLY WARS may be some of the greatest guitar work ever recorded), and on the “newer” side MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE (WELCOME TO THE BLACK PARADE plays like a modern day heavy metal QUEEN).  The lists changes often and my tastes are too eclectic to make reason of (I often write while listening to BING CROSBY and DANGEROUS TOYS was my first concert ever) but if proposed the question- this is the best answer I can give.  Today.

6. WHEN IS HATCHET 3 COMING OUT?  WHEN DO WE GET A TRAILER?  WHY HAVE YOU BEEN SO NOTICEABLY QUIET ABOUT IT?  ARE YOU HAPPY WITH IT?  I’m hearing from Dark Sky that it looks like a Spring release.  I have to admit I don’t understand why so many fans are annoyed about that.  I get that you’re excited to see it, but we didn’t even finish shooting it until August and that’s a quicker than normal turn around for a movie.  It will be completely done by the end of January (meaning all of post production will be complete by then and there will be a finished movie on our hands) but Dark Sky needed to pick a date that made sense for them and their resources in terms of not just rushing it out and doing what they can to market the tim correctly.  I’m told a teaser trailer will be released in just a matter of weeks.  I’ve been quiet simply because there’s nothing to say right now.  Whereas with HOLLISTON, Season 1 just hit DVD/BLU-RAY and then hit HULU and then the Christmas Special launched, with HATCHET 3 all I could say is “Hey guys!  Nope!  Nothing new to say yet!  Still finishing it!”  When there is something to say, stills to put out, clips, posters, trailers… you can bet I’ll be talking about it.  Am I happy with it?  Yes.  Very.  It may be my favorite of my three scripts for the series only because it’s so “climactic” by design and it’s an action film compared to the other two which will make it even more fun for some.  I think fans of the series will certainly enjoy it and as the writer and the producer of it I did everything I reasonably could (and then some) in the most crucial phases of production (such as casting, the actual shoot, and in editing) to keep a close eye on it.  The process has not been the most enjoyable (it was an ambitious project and the conditions both physically on set and behind the scenes were very tough on everybody) but that type of stuff quickly fades away  the moment you get to watch the movie with the audience it was made for and I’m looking forward to that day more than anyone.  IS THIS THE LAST HATCHET FILM?  I don’t know the answer to that.  We all have various opinions on that aspect but before you can make up your mind about it, you have to SEE it.  Soon, my friends. Soon.

7. WHY DON’T YOU DO MORE CONVENTIONS?  Scheduling is really, really hard.  I’m fortunate that I am so busy with so many projects happening, but with that comes the fact that it’s nearly impossible to do all of the conventions that ask me to appear.  I typically only do them if they line-up with the promotional campaign and release of one of my projects and there’s a few reasons for that.  1. Though it doesn’t always work out, usually each project has some time set aside for promotional duties.  Sometimes that doesn’t happen because of overlap.  For instance, I was absent from all CHILLERAMA promotional events outside of Southern California because I was in production on Season 1 of HOLLISTON when that was happening and I just can’t be in two states at once.  2. I don’t get paid to do conventions- nor do I make any money on doing them whatsoever.  Despite popular belief, we are not paid to appear which is why celebrities charge for their autographs and pictures at these things.  Now, as most of you know by now, I don’t believe in charging for my picture or autograph.  This is in no way a slam against those who do as I understand why they need to, it’s just a personal thing with me and me alone.  Whenever I do an appearance, my time, my signature, and/or a photograph with me is free as I feel like it’s the least I can do to say thank you to my fans.  I can’t have someone walk up to me with a stack of DVDs of my films and then charge them $25 a whack to sign each one.  I just can’t.  So when I get invited to a convention and it’s in the middle of a production, the loss I would take in time off from work (the whole project would fall behind and there are employees on the clock whether it be pre-production, the shoot, or post-production), the time I lose writing (without time to write, I have no projects or income to make), the precious time away from my family and real life (that I get so little of anyway) the cost of getting there (usually the convention will pay to fly you there and/or for a hotel room- but food, cabs, parking, a dog/cat sitter if need be, etc – it all adds up), the cost of printing enough photographs to give away, and the toll it takes on me physically (between the travel, the thousands of hands shaken each year (that’s a lot of germs!), and how exhausted I am afterwords from giving each person 100% of me and being “on” all weekend long)- I just can’t do it as often as I’m asked to.  I’m always traveling in this career, so adding another trip to an already packed schedule is hard to do.  Still, whenever promotion time comes- I do every convention I can.  I know it sucks that I haven’t been to the convention of your choice yet, believe me, I want to meet YOU, too!  But that’s why I offer a way to send in for a free photograph and autograph on my website and make myself so accessible on Twitter and Facebook.  I know it’s not the same as getting to meet in person, but it’s the next best thing if I can’t physically get there.  My goal is to hit all of them at least once someday, but looking ahead to 2013, my year is already booked up and slammed which is both fortunate and unfortunate.  ArieScope has been tossing around holding our own convention somewhere one day.  A full weekend of screening our films, workshops, cast signings, a live HOLLISTON performance like we did at Rock and Shock, and more- but it’s very hard to put together and pull off right now.  Perhaps some day if it makes financial sense.

8. WHERE’S THE MERCHANDISE?  I WANT TO BUY HOLLISTON STUFF BUT THERE ISN’T ANY!  WHEN WILL THERE BE MORE HATCHET STUFF TO BUY?  ACTION FIGURES?  STATUES?  There is some stuff in the works and even now, Fright-Rags has the rights to sell HATCHET ARMY, FROZEN, JACK CHOP, ADAM GREEN, and ANNE FRANKENSTEIN shirts- but we’re a production company first and foremost and our focus is the films, not the schwag that comes along with it.  As a fan myself, I get it and that stuff is important for both die hard collectors and passive fans alike.  One of our focuses as a company is to try and get that stuff in order this year, but just to give you an example… right now we’re in post on HATCHET 3, post on HOLLISTON Season 2, shooting DIGGING UP THE MARROW, and I’m still working on KILLER PIZZA and more.  We’re all spread so, so thin and to do merchandise correctly (some of you may remember, we used to sell stuff through this website but we couldn’t keep up with the orders and all of the drama that came with it such as fans giving us the wrong shipping address and then demanding a new product be sent to them even though it was their fault that they didn’t get the first one) takes a serious commitment.  There is talk on bringing someone on to specifically handle that (and I’m sure that’s what we’ll do when the time is right) but for now we’re just trying to get these projects under control and finished.  Hopefully there is a lot of stuff coming your way- especially for HOLLISTON as we get more requests for that than anything.

9. IF SEASON 2 OF HOLLISTON IS DONE, WHY DO WE HAVE TO WAIT SO LONG FOR IT?  First of all, we finished shooting- yes.  But so far only three of the Season 2 episodes even have first cuts done on them.  It’s safe to say it will be February or March before the entire season is 100% finished and delivered.  Last season, FEARnet released us in April which proved very hard to get coverage about because we were in no man’s land.  Winter programming had launched and Summer programming doesn’t begin until May or June- so in a lot of ways it hurt us in terms of awareness.  The show wasn’t included in the major outlets “wrap ups” of what was coming out and it was just a weird release date all around.  Now, due to being on a new and smaller network, it’s possible that we STILL don’t get included in all of those various press opportunities but I definitely agree with the network’s marketing decision that it’s worth a shot.  I know you’re anxious to see it.  I LOVE that you’re anxious to see it.  No one is more anxious for you to see it than I am.  But they’re literally only talking about a matter of weeks difference between last year’s launch time and this year’s.  I guarantee it will be worth the wait as Season 2 trumps Season 1 in every way.  Part of the reason I self-financed the Christmas Special and worked so hard to get it done and out in time for the holidays was so that fans of the show could get something new in the interim, so hopefully that extra hour of HOLLISTON can help tide you over during our hiatus from your television and/or computer screen.  Keep in mind we’ve got everything from rock stars to working filmmakers in this cast so it’s a very tough series to pull off and timing is very hard to coordinate.  But we’re making it happen and I know you’re going to love Season 2.  HOW MANY EPISODES?  Ten new episodes are coming, but if you include the Christmas Special it’s really 11.  WHEN WILL THE SHOW COME TO MY COUNTRY?  Soon, we hope.  There’s a lot of factors in why the foreign sales team is holding off on making any deals- mainly because Season 1 was only 6 episodes and that’s just not enough to sell.  Once Season 2 is done- now we’re talking about a legit number of episodes to sell and a reason for other countries to air and distribute it.  I hope that we have some news by the time Season 2 airs but it’s so out of my control.  It IS coming though.

10.  WITH ALL OF THE PHYSICAL COMEDY AND ROMANCE IN HOLLISTON (THE HITTING, THE KISSING, THE SEX SCENES, BEING NAKED IN FRONT OF THE REST OF THE CAST) DO YOU EVER GET FREAKED OUT OR UNCOMFORTABLE?  I KNOW IT’S BASED ON YOUR REAL LIFE, SO WHAT DOES THE REAL-LIFE CORRI THINK ABOUT IT?  WHAT WAS HER REAL NAME?  Thankfully, I get to work with three of my closest friends (seriously it would be hard to find three other people on this planet that I love as much as Joe, Laura, and Corri) so no, it never gets uncomfortable.  The physical comedy (stage punches, slaps, falls, etc) is all fun to do, and we don’t HAVE to really hit each other or take the punches (in fact, we technically SHOULDN’T) but we’re just having fun.  No one has ever gotten hurt (for more than a few seconds) and the really big stuff (like when Kane punches Joe in the face in last season’s finale) is 100% faked.  As far as the sexual stuff goes, I know no one wants to have the curtain pulled back or to hear it- but there’s really nothing sexual or romantic about it when you’re doing it.  You’re thinking about keeping your head in the right light, hitting your blocking, getting the lines right, and pulling it off.  Sure, you’re in the moment as an actor but it makes the whole thing so much easier to do when it’s your friend that you’re doing it with.  You don’t need to be self conscious or get distracted about what you’re doing- you just sort of do it.  Admittedly, there’s worse things to have to do for a career than to shoot a half day of make-out scenes with your ridiculously hot friend but the bottom line is that they’re just that… “scenes”.  I save the actual feelings and romance until I get home to my wife, who as an actor herself, completely appreciates and understands the commitment to making the show as awesome as we can and is not the least bit threatened by any of it.  (I mean….have you seen her??)  To pull the curtain back further, what’s hard about it is that since HOLLISTON is based on my real life I have to emotionally drudge up stuff or go to places that I think are funny when I write them but then suffer through all over again when shooting them.  A great example from the Christmas Special (which was intentionally a much more sentimental and emotional episode than we would ever normally do on the show) was when “Corri” is walking out on “Adam” the next morning.  When I said my line “Corri, at least let me drive you home.  That way I’ll know you got home alright and I’d love to see your parents-” and she bitingly cuts me off with “-My parents don’t need to see you, Adam.” …. that one hurt for awhile and I was having a hard time in between takes.  I’d stand off stage in my bedroom set waiting for my cue and reliving what that situation felt like (a situation that I honestly thought I had made up for the episode but that once we started performing it for real I remembered something very similar had actually happened in real life and she had actually said those words to me) and I only wanted the day to be over so that I could go back to my current life and not have to live in that space any more.  (I adored my first girlfriend’s family in ways that I can’t possibly put into words and when a moment like that happened in real life it was just devastating.)  Should you ever watch that moment again- look at my face and you’ll see me look at the floor and completely break character because my mind is somewhere else.  Thankfully it WORKS for the scene, but in rehearsal I stared her down with bravado and got angry rather than retreating into myself.  We have takes where I did stare her down but that first take where I crumbled into my own head was the one I went with in the final cut because it was the most honest.  Not exactly sit-com 101, but that’s also why the episode has resonated so heavily with the fans of the show.  Then, when we shot the confrontation in the hallway (a scene that was sadly cut out for the TV version)- that was all improv.  I didn’t want Corri (Corri English- the actress) to be prepared or used to what I was going to say and I didn’t want it to sound rehearsed- so I made it up on the spot.  Improv isn’t always the right way to go when shooting a scene (especially with something as formulaic as a sit-com) but it does force you to truly be in the moment and for that one moment it was the right way to go.  When scenes like that are shot and all is said and done, we (the real Adam and Corri- the actors) hug and say “I’m sorry” and laugh it off and then keep going.  But I’d be lying if I said feeling like that wasn’t hard to shake off.  So- more so than the sexual stuff, it’s that emotional stuff that gets uncomfortable and confusing.  As far as the real life “Corri” goes- her name wasn’t “Corri”.  I keep her real name out of it as a way to protect her privacy (last thing she needs is fans trying to find her on-line or whatever) and also because the show is now its own thing, separate from all of that.  In fact, aside from the love story, the “Corri” character is much more based on Corri English than it is on my real childhood love.   I honestly don’t know if she’s seen the show or not.  I’d think she’d be proud that she’s portrayed as such an awesome character (even if it’s from a time in our lives when she was breaking my heart no matter what she did or how hard she tried not to) but I honestly have no idea or way of knowing.

 

 

 

Calling “ACTION” on 2013…

Another year gone, another year to look forward to, and so, so much to be grateful for.  Where to begin?  2012 saw the television premiere of HOLLISTON “Season 1″ which was an enormous success far beyond our expectations. The promotional tour leading up to the TV premiere last April and the many events surrounding the DVD/BLU-RAY release this past October were all a phenomenal good time. In the Fall we filmed both the 1-Hour Christmas Special and all of Season 2 which was probably the most creatively rewarding experience I’ve ever had. When you take into account the fact that this TV show was 13 long, hard years in the making and that in making it I get to work with only my closest of friends both in front of and behind the cameras, there is no doubt that 2012 really goes to HOLLISTON.  The making of Season 2 was made slightly easier on me thanks to director Sean Becker who directed 8 of the 11 episodes we shot (including the Christmas Special) and who really helped bring the show to the next level and into it’s own.  Though being the creator, the sole writer, the show runner, a director, and the star of a sit-com would already be more than enough for any sane person to handle, HOLLISTON was of course not the only focus for me this past year.

The 1-Hour HOLLISTON Christmas Special has its television premiere on December 18, 2012.  It will also be available on FEARnet On-Demand and HULU for those that still don’t get FEARnet where they live.

Around all of my HOLLISTON duties, I also wrote and produced HATCHET 3 which, like HOLLISTON, is another one of my dearest of children and something I have vested a huge chunk of my heart and soul into ever since creating “Victor Crowley” at the tender age of 8. As explained in previous blogs, I was under a lot of pressure and stress with HATCHET 3 having made the decision to pass the directing torch and the making of the movie was no walk in the park like you’d think it should have been with it being our third go around and with someone else taking on the massive responsibilities of directing and leading the way. But it was an incredibly ambitious script and as I promised the Hatchet Army from the get go, I was going to remain intensely involved and make sure that the fans got the movie they deserved. I’m confident that we delivered the goods and I know that when the movie is released next year that HATCHET fans are going to have a blast with it. So where is the first trailer? Where’s the poster? Where’s the release date? All coming soon, my gore-loving friends. Dark Sky is getting closer and closer to nailing down their release date and once they do, the trailer, clips, stills, and other promotional pieces will follow suit in the appropriate time line.  In an effort to try and combat the bit torrenting and illegal pirating of movies that are slaughtering the indie film industry, distributors worldwide are now trying to combine their efforts and release films as close to each other (date wise) as possible.  So even though HATCHET 3 will be completely done in just a few short weeks, don’t be too surprised if Dark Sky holds until late Spring/early summer so that other countries have time to also gear up, prepare, market and release the film together at the same time.  Hopefully we hear the specific release date soon but I’m told that a first trailer is not far away at all.

Make-Up FX Supervisor Robert Pendergraft prepares “Victor Crowley”.   Photo by Dustin Pearlman.

While all of this was going on I was still hard at work on the script for KILLER PIZZA.  (Remember that one?)  KILLER PIZZA is a project I am doing for 1492 Pictures and some of Hollywood’s greatest producers including among them one of my biggest screenwriting and directing idols Chris Columbus (HARRY POTTER, GREMLINS, GOONIES, HOME ALONE), producer Michael Barnathan (THE HELP, HARRY POTTER, RENT, FANTASTIC FOUR) and producer Raffaella De Laurentiis (CONAN THE BARBARIAN, DUNE, BACKDRAFT, DRAGONHEART).  Unfortunately, this is one of those projects that falls under the “can’t spill any details just yet” category and I know that’s frustrating for many of you as the project has been in that category for about 2 years now, however if things keep moving like they have been lately I just may be able to start sharing some information early in 2013.  It’s been a long road (as is to be expected with a bigger film like this) but the people I am working with have been so incredibly supportive and wonderful to work with.  I can’t tell you what an amazing opportunity it has been to go through this process.  Normally in this business, projects are shaped by “suits” and you find yourself getting notes from people who got into their position based on who’s phones they answered coming up the ranks rather than any actual filmmaking experience or abilities.  So with KILLER PIZZA, getting notes from actual filmmakers (who also happen to have made some of my favorite movies) it makes for a world of difference and this script has just gotten better and better and better with each step in its evolution.  The project started as a work-for-hire adaptation of Greg Taylor’s children’s book, but through the development process it has become something deeply personal and exciting for me.  Not just in the work itself but in the demonstrations of character and integrity I’ve witnessed by the people who gave me this chance.   Again, hopefully I’ll be able to say more about it in the coming months, but for now I’ll sum it up with the words “grateful” and “wicked excited”.  For those who keep asking who is directing the film and when it is being made, I just don’t know those answers yet and (as is always the case with these things) it could all come to a screeching halt or fall apart at a moment’s notice.  But I’m praying that it WON’T go away and I expect to hear some concrete news to share early in the new year.

“Killer Pizza” by Greg Taylor.  Original cover – 2009.

There was more to 2012 including further progress on ArieScope’s monster documentary with artist Alex Pardee DIGGING UP THE MARROW (file under “more info coming soon” but know that we’re actively working on the movie) and the production and release of our 14th annual Halloween short film DRIVING LESSONS which was probably one of our biggest hits since JACK CHOP.  On a more personal note, 2012 also brought more changes and accomplishments for “Adam Green the real person” (as opposed to “Adam Green the filmmaker/public figure guy”).  Acting and being on-camera as part of an ensemble cast that carries a sit-com required me to get into prime physical shape, something I had never had to worry too much about when I was mainly behind the camera.  For season 1 of HOLLISTON I was able to drop over 20 pounds and 4 pants sizes to prepare for shooting.  As anyone who has attempted physically changing their own bodies can attest, rigorous dieting and working out is not easy which is why so many quit or fail at it.  But there’s probably no greater motivation than to know you’ll not only be on-camera and eventually seen by a million people or so but that you’ll also be having to shed your clothes in a scene or two and even be featured stark naked on giant billboards and the sides of buses in major cities.  At least in my case I have the help of an incredibly talented make-up artist (Desiree Falcon) and a genius costumer (Autumn Steed) who are the secret weapons behind the looks all of us in the core HOLLISTON ensemble.  But they need a decent pallet to work with and while the girls on the show (Laura and Corri) are already naturally as camera-friendly and beautiful as they come, once Joe and I made the commitment to acting in the show we took it dead seriously and worked as hard as we could on ourselves.  Dee as well.  While he’s already in better shape than all of us combined, even he put the work in to himself as “Lance Rockett” wears some pretty hilarious and revealing clothes on the show.  The main four of us made working out together part of our regular rehearsal regiment (lead by my personal assistant for pre-production, Terrence) and director Sean Becker even joined the training and worked out right along side us so that it would truly be “one for all”.  By the time cameras rolled on Season 2 I was down to 153 lean pounds which was 25 pounds less than I weighed during the making of FROZEN (2009) and 7 pounds less than I weighed when I graduated High School (1993).  The healthy eating, the training, the workouts, it all paid off.  But it was not easy so you can be damn sure that I’m listing my physical transformation as one of my unlocked achievements for the year.

DIGGING UP THE MARROW teaser poster.  Now filming.

So what’s to come?  Looking ahead, 2013 will surely be my greatest and most active year yet if that’s even possible.  HATCHET 3 will be released and with that comes all of the press and (hopefully, depending on my schedule) appearances in support of the film.  Season 2 of HOLLISTON will premiere in the late spring/early summer and that too will require tireless promotion, travel, and press.  Season 2 is my proudest moment yet and it’s absolutely killing me to have to wait for you all to see it.  We’re also diving right in to a ton of filming for DIGGING UP THE MARROW as we hope to finish that project in 2013 and, if things keep moving like they are with KILLER PIZZA, I’ll see my biggest script and largest production yet take place in 2013.  It also just so happens to be the 15th anniversary of ArieScope Pictures which is kind of a big deal.  It’s surreal just how much we’ve accomplished as a company (a worldwide franchise with the HATCHET series, a successful TV series, two Sundance hits, eight successful and critically acclaimed feature films- six of which are now in regular rotation on cable television almost nightly) and come Halloween time of 2013 we will have so very much to celebrate.  For the past 14 years we’ve always approached the annual Halloween Short as something we do with the rule of no money, one night. and just for fun- but if time allots for it, this time out we are hoping to tackle something much larger and much more serious for the 15th annual Halloween short.  Of course there’s a few other projects brewing but nothing I dare speak of publicly yet.  How I could possibly fit anything else into this already jam-packed year, I don’t know, but I’m sure I’ll find a third end to burn my candle at if given the chance.

…Or will I?

Among my “personal accomplishments” I’ve also started putting much more effort into my own health and happiness and I hope that continues into the new year.  I pushed myself beyond what is physically safe this past year and after so many sleepless stretches, marathon work days, and a ton of stress, it took my friends, family, doctors, and my extremely understanding and supportive wife to make me realize that all of this will be worth nothing if I don’t live long enough to actually enjoy it.  They say to always remember to “stop and smell the roses” but the first step is being able to see that there are roses there in the first place.  (Besides, I can’t afford to die too young as I have WAY too much work on my plate and I’m not a quitter!)  Between my hands uncontrollably shaking,  my mental health deteriorating, and the day that I nodded off on my feet in the middle of a take during the filming of Season 2 of HOLLISTON… it was time for a wake-up call and it’s a call I’m taking very seriously.  Through the work I’ve been doing on myself I’m learning how to get my real life back and put things into perspective in a more healthy way.  I’d be full of shit if I said I have the balance between work and real life all figured out (I’m still far from having things in check) but I’m making a serious effort to put things in their appropriate place, cut out a lot of the negativity and unhealthy people and methods I have accrued in my life over the past 8 or so years of success, and I’m learning how to not loose sight of what really matters at the end of the day.  I’m proud to say that my very FIRST order of business in 2013 involves a real vacation and time to celebrate all of these accomplishments as far away from work as possible.  I could pontificate on all of this and share anecdotes on what I’ve learned in the personal work I’ve been doing for my mental health, but who cares?  All I’ll say is that if I can give ANY advice worth taking, it’s to put yourself and your real life first (more than just every now and then) and that every so often you need to assess your surroundings and “sweep the deck” of the negativity.  All of us accrue flawed ways of handling things, unhealthy habits, and negative people around us as we progress in life, ESPECIALLY those of us who work in the entertainment industry or have any level of success, however big or small.  Don’t let the barnacles stick around and suck the joy out of you on your journey and certainly don’t avoid cutting them loose simply because you fear they’ll be disappointed in you or not like you anymore.  Try it some time.  You’ll see it feels amazing to be happy instead of obligated, used, or taken for granted.

For Rileah and I, 2013 is starting off here

Heaven.

…and we can’t wait!

There’s still one more blog of frequently asked questions and answers coming before the New Year, but in signing off on this “year-end-blog” I just want to say I LOVE YOU.  To the extremely talented and loyal people that I am so lucky to work with each and every day and who make every difficult step forward worth it- I love you.  To my crew and especially to my cast mates/brothers and sisters on HOLLISTON – I love you.  To my friends both old and new who are with me for all of the right reasons and who pay back what I give to them ten fold- I love you.  To my family who has stood behind me for my entire life – I love you.  To every fan around the world who unconditionally supports what I do and who has given me the amazing opportunities and eclectic career that I have, to the Hatchet Army and the Holliston Nation- I love you.   And to Rileah who stands WITH me all the way through, who believes in me more than anyone, and who carries me when I need the help – I love you, I love you, I love you.  I hope that during this next year ALL of you get to feel even just a fraction of the happiness that I have in my heart.

So let’s do this, 2013.  Picture is up!   Let’s roll camera, roll sound, and… “ACTION!”

-AG