Archive for February, 2013

The Torment – Full Length

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Read the commentary about the making of the movie here (opens in new screen).

Commentary About The Filming of The Torment – All In One Day

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Guest post from our own Bryan Reklis. (Editor Note: If I could sync this piece to the film as a sort of commentary, I would).

Hello person. I’m glad that you are looking at these words right now. I’m going to write more words about the filming process of The Torment (a short horror film that I co-directed, DPed, edited, and scored as a part of Dead Red Eyes). If that is something you are interested in, keep reading these words. If not then I’m honestly surprised you’ve made it this far. Seriously, if you aren’t interested, why aren’t you doing something that you are interested in? This is the internet; no one will see you leave. If you aren’t interested, may I suggest the Kid President pep talk video? I know you’ve probably seen it already, but it’s still super adorable and inspirational. OK, I’ll shut up and talk about the filming process.

The Torment was filmed in one day (one long 14 hour film session) in a shitty apartment building on Rosemary St. in Chapel Hill, NC. I used to live in the apartment building and had been forced out because they were going to tear the building down and make it into not-shitty apartments. Luckily, my landlady let us use the entire building for filming before it was demolished. It was a micro-budget filmmaker’s dream. Speaking of micro-budget, our budget was so small that we couldn’t afford to pay any crew members. So, to make up for that, we just asked the actors to be crew members. There were a total of four people who participated in the production process from a non-acting stand point (and three of them also acted, me being the only exception). I was the only one with production experience, so I ran the camera (a Canon 60D with a Sigma 17-55 2.8 lens) and lighting (A basic Arri lighting kit with additional soft box setups from Cowboy Studio). I trained Justin Mejia (the co-director), Brooke Hamrick (actress and production assistant), and Rob Priester (lead actor) how to run audio when they weren’t in front of the camera. Audio was recorded with a Sennheiser shotgun mic into a Tascam DR-100. It was a true team effort that was fantastic to be a part of.

Filming a 30 minute film in one 14 hour session is absurd. When I think about it, I still can’t believe we pulled it off. Everyone worked so hard and had such great attitudes that it was one of the greatest filming experiences of my life.

After filming, we had an extremely tight turnaround for post production because we were submitting the film to a local horror film festival. The only thing that is more astounding to me than filming a 30 minute film in one day is editing it in 7 days. I edited the film on Final Cut Pro 7, and did color correction with a Magic Bullet Looks filter.

Filming occurred on a Sunday, and the film was finished the following Sunday. At some point on Wednesday, I realized that 30 minute films need a lot of music. I knew exactly where I needed music and exactly what I wanted, but when you have no budget, you can’t afford music. So, I did the only thing that I thought I could do in such short time. I recorded the score myself (Editors note: one song late in the film and at the end is courtesy of one of Niall’s bands). Necessity is one hell of an inspiration. Using the equipment that I had available (from Atlantic Creative, thank you to them), I recorded the score with my Fender P-Bass on a Peavey practice amp by clipping a Shure Lav mic to the front of the amp and praying for good results. Necessity is one hell of a creator. I would have never made it through that crazy editing week (of which I had to still work my full time job) had Justin Mejia (director, producer, actor, Dead Red Eyes co-founder) not been super supportive and encouraging. Also, he brought me dinner basically every night, which was amazing.

So that’s it; that is the rough story of how The Torment was made. We used the same equipment and software for Alphabet Soup give or take a lens or so. If you have more questions about it, I’d be happy to answer them. If you are thoroughly bored by this, go watch that Kid President pep talk video? Seriously, isn’t that video so good? Anyways, thanks for reading all these words. If you just skimmed this and are now reading these words, but you didn’t read all of the words. Thanks anyways, but not as much.

And remember, the Lord can touch you anywhere, Bryan Reklis

How To Make a Pop Tart

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

I’m surprised there isn’t an ehow page about this. Oh, wait, turns out there is. But they’ve got it all wrong.

Let Beatmaster Flash sort out that problem on a hangover during presidents day weekend, or a midnight snack craving. Or breakfast, when toast just isn’t enough. Here is the official “How To Make a Pop Tart”.

Get cooking tips, DIY, home repair, lifestyle and philosophical advice from Beatmaster Flash himself.

Presidents Day Weekend – Faux President Movies

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

It’s Presidents Day Weekend. Great news for those with a day off because of it, which in this case actually includes me. And like we did for election day movies its time for a top 5 or 10 list.

But who cares about the actual presidents, no this list is about “Faux presidents”. So no JFK, Nixon, etc. And forget about Rutherford B. Hayes, Chester Arthur, Franklin Pierce, Millard Fillmore (though they’ve never even been acted out in movies) – these are previous “actual” US presidents who have had movies in which they were represented. And certainly forget about Daniel Day Lewis, playing the role of Lincoln, also an actual US president. Here are 5 that never existed, in no special order.

1) President Thomas “Tug” Benson
: the late Lloyd Bridges in Hot Shots (president role was in part two). Dumb comedy, the way a faux president should be.

2) President Tom Beck – Deep Impact was a 1998 movie and Morgan Freeman played the role of Pres Tom Beck. I remember when this movie came out, the whole controversy in the US about the role of president being played by an African American actor (let alone naming his character Tom Beck!!!!). And the whole wave of “world ending” movies circa late 90’s. I didn’t like this movie, but still remember it for some reason.

3) President James Dale – Jack Nicholson in Mars Attacks. Also in the 90’s (when my movie watching and influential days were at its finest). Its a Tim Burton film before it got too Tim Burton-y. Watchable if you’re in the mood to watch a movie that is “that” bad (which does happen at times). Which leads to…..

4) President Thomas J. Whitmore – Independence Day. This was on TV a few years ago. I recalled how it was a big money blockbuster back in the days, yet all I could think of was that the visuals were pretty poorly made, and movies in the 80’s were more discreet about doing imagery in a way one could still believe. This was big budget once?! However now, I’m more “glass half full”. And avid about “no budget / low budget” movies, like lo-fi music had won me over for a while…. and it helps me cue up a good choice for #5.

5) Unnamed President
– Fail Safe (the 1963 version directed by Lumet, featuring Henry Fonda as the president, who I don’t even think had a name) was so lofi yet it totally captivated me when I saw it (you guessed it, some point in the 90’s). However, it was tacky in the right way. It didn’t look like anything recent, but you still watched it.

The one problem with this, is that I think a fair few movies with fictional presidents didn’t have names at all on them. As for all time “actual” president representation – here’s a score card of how many movies were about each “real” president.

Alphabet Soup – Short Film by Dead Red Eyes

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

Alphabet Soup – by Dead Red Eyes films.

This was the first of the two shorts we made in the last couple months and premiered on Feb 2nd in North Carolina. It’s a light hearted comedy about a day in the local Cafe where everything goes…. well, like a regular day at the local cafe.

Thanks To Everyone That Made It

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Much thanks to everyone that was able to make it to our premiere of both short films (and various even shorter skits) at Nightlight in Chapel Hill last Saturday, and made the night a hit. And while Bryan and Justin did an awesome job hosting the night, their picture taking was limited. So if anyone else has photos, send them this way!

And last but not least, we can finally put the clips on the site later in the week so stay tuned…..