Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vampire Mob - Staking a Claim on Season Two!


VAMPIRE MOB UPDATE - 04/21/11


It's Springtime! Vampire Mob has started shooting Season Two because of all of you and that is exciting. But they could still use some more funds to ensure the completion of the new season! I am still offering the bonus music reward for all financial backers of Vampire Mob, a dowloadable 70 minute CD DJ mix of original music created by TAO X Productions studio, from cinematic horror music to electronica fit for danceclub vampires. They also have the AWESOME Vampire Mob logo and "we are all famous to a few people" T-shirts available to help support the cause!


The new season has added even more cast members you are sure to enjoy. So check out the new trailer for Season Two and whether you are new to the "VMob" or a previous supporter, please think about donating to keep making this excellent Web TV possible!
Go to their site to find out more and check out the great swag you can get for becoming a supporting producer! Read the original article below and head on over to WWW.VAMPIREMOB.COM
Q: What did the Fonz say when he met Vampire Mob? A: "Heeyyyyy!

THANK YOU!
Indie Film & TV Supporters
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE - Halloween 10/31/10
This Halloween I wanted to share a GREAT web series with a dedicated cast and crew working hard to bring you a quality show well worth your time. What happens when you put writer/director Joe Wilson behind the reigns of a labor of love Vampire Comedy featuring TOP NOTCH actors and quality writing?
Vampire Mob happens! 
If you haven't seen it yet, you are missing out!
The premise is stunningly simple and a great vehicle for this talented cast and crew! "Vampire Mob" revolves around the life (afterlife?) of John Colella's character, the Mobster turned Vampire, Don Grigioni...and his Family!
"He’s a hitman and a vampire, and he just found out 
his mother-in-law is moving in for eternity."

Check out Episode 1
You can catch the rest of Season One at VampireMob.com


The series, produced by Joe Wilson & John Colella, has completed its six episode run of Season One which has featured cast members from “The Simpsons,” “Boardwalk Empire” and “Criminal Minds,” and includes John Colella, Reamy Hall, Marcia Wallace, Kirsten Vangness, Chris Mulkey, Elizabeth Beckwith, Andrea Cansler, Jim Roof and Cris DAnnunzio. Members of the VMob cast have also appeared in: The Bob Newhart Show, Twin Peaks, Friday Night Lights, CSI: NY, The West Wing, General Hospital, Bowfinger and others. Season One, I came to discover, was the entirely self-financed labor of love of Joe Wilson. Now its time for Season Two! Vampire Mob could use any help they can get financing Season Two and they would love it if their Fans themselves could directly effect the outcome by pitching in what they can! They are offering many delicious rewards for contributing to the creation of this high caliber, new media monster madness. You can contribute directly at the Vampire Mob site! 

To give the VMob a hand, I have donated to help make Season Two, AND I am offering a FREE music download of wonderfully horrific Halloween appropriate music I had just put together for a Flyway Film Festival Special Backer Event - A screening of Gary King's "The Death of the Dead".
Some of this music will never be released anywhere else except for these downloads available only to the Flyway Film Fest Kickstarter backers, and now YOU, VMob supporters who donate to the Vampire Mob Season Two campaign! I even provided some sassy CD art and a track list for this Halloween DJ Mix of original music from TAO X Productions !
A little or a lot, give what you've got, if you like quality entertainment...and Vampire Mobsters, 
Help keep this show Undead!!!
Contribute to Season Two and get a Vampire Mob Backer Reward that consists of a 70 minute mix of some BADASS cinematic horror and dark electronic club thumping vibes by 'your's truly' Composer T. Reed of TAO X Productions created right here in my Nightmare Sound Laboratory!  
Go DONATE at the Vampire Mob Website and get your access code for this FREE DOWNLOAD. Click on the CD image below to get to download site and enter your code to access your reward!
 And please, spread the word...before the sun comes up!
Please feel free to follow the Nightmare Sound Lab Blog 
          and let me know what you think of Vampire Mob in the comments below!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Race With the Devil

The Story of my Race to the “Mortuary” with Horror Director - Tobe Hooper
First let me clear a couple things up –
This was not a metaphorical race to the grave, nor an actual footrace to the gates of the cemetery.
This was a race to finish a film.
But before I go on…a second point:
Tobe Hooper is NOT the Devil! (I just thought that was a snazzy title;)
   But he might as well have been, to the people who wanted his horror masterpiece banned, often based on the name alone! “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” will go down as one of the most groundbreaking films in the Horror genre. 
The greatest irony is that, for a film with such a gruesome reputation, there was very little gore (at least by today’s standards) and precious little stage blood used, and yet it still resonates as terrifying to this day!  


 

No small part of this was probably due to the unique score created by Tobe Hooper himself, using unconventional instruments to create the discomforting sound that was so important to creating that horrific environment. But as we know - as directors become more “in demand”, having the time to score as well as direct becomes a much less viable option (yes, even if you are John Carpenter;) So this was a rare point in his career where passion and skill had the perfect environment to converge!
Oh and synchronicity…did I mention synchronicity? (I’ll come back to that – so pay attention!) But let's just start with the fact that Tobe Hooper's "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" was inspired by Wisconsin's (and perhaps one of the World's) most notorious serial killers, (and human taxidermists) Ed Gein!
In any event, the art, hunger, dedication (and suffering) which usually only comes from that kind of an independent film making experience, came through in the film in an artful, earnest and terrifying way.                      The New York Museum of Modern Art agrees apparently, and has a copy of the film amongst their permanent collection.
But you didn’t come here to listen to me wax poetic on the virtues of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (even though I gladly could, and would) you came for a race! Ah, but first, Synchronicity! (Told you there’d be a quiz!)
Long after the original TCM struck terror in the hearts of British censorship boards (and others), long after “Poltergeist”, Tobe made a movie adapted from a short story Stephan King called “The Mangler”. The film featured Nightmare on Elm Street’s Robert Englund and Ted Levine as well as, yes, you guessed it, a demon possessed laundry mangling machine.




And here is where strange synchronicities (and your’s truly) come into the story.
Flash forward about 9 more years! (2004) I fly to San Francisco to meet with the Director of a film called Mortuary to sign contracts and have a look at the roughs on an actual telecine machine. In fact, the entire film was being edited on the very machine that was used to edit Terry Zwigoff’s Robert Crumb documentary, {“Crumb” 1994} or so I was told. It was entirely believable.
Just an aside: Terry Zwigoff (by the way) is also a Wisconsin Native and a musician/filmmaker. I hadn’t even considered that coincidence (and that his name is also Terry) until writing this article now! 
10 years later the machine he used to cut “Crumb” wheezed and cranked like it had a devil in it, the kind of thing that could only happen to a machine after having born witness to the surreal expression of countless filmmaker’s projects! As Director Sean Hazelaar showed me reel one, we carried forward with the conversation we started on the phone before I arrived at his studio. He had mentioned one particular scene involving a mortician’s furnace in which all the set sound was destroyed by a bad hum generated by nearby machines. I would be expected to really make something sweet here, because it was a very important SFX scene.
When he asked me about this, I hadn’t seen the film yet. It just so happens that I have an extensive background in horror and a huge collection of horror/scifi and Asian films (on good ol’ hard copy DVD;)
I thought about the furnace scene and off the top of my head I said something to the effect that I could hear music/sound there sort of similar to that in the scenes of the evil machine in Tobe Hooper’s “The Mangler”. The Director’s jaw dropped. He informed me that the guy they hired to do that special FX scene was someone who had worked on “The Mangler”.
 That in itself was wild! But there’s more…
As my team had taken the reigns of much of the post production, music and sound and were well into getting the color corrections, score and sound design under way, we discovered that Tobe Hooper, by some utterly ‘Bizzaro World’ coincidence, was in production on a movie also called “Mortuary”!
Van Hazelaar Productions “Mortuary” was nearer completion at the time, but Hooper’s “Mortuary” had a larger budget and the capacity to roll a little faster. From here the race was on!
Tobe Hooper's "Mortuary" Trailer 2005
  
Now we all know it didn’t really matter, as two movies can have the same title in many cases (There was already a Howard Avedis film called “Mortuary” done in the eighties.) 

Howard Avedis' "Mortuary" Trailer 1983
~
In the end we had to differentiate the name for foreign and US sales anyhow, so the name of Van Hazelaar’s “Mortuary” became “Final Remains” (which, I am proud to say, was one of my suggestions).
It really wouldn’t matter at all, but factually, the statistically unlikely event had occurred. Two movies called “Mortuary” would both appear on IMDB as having been released in 2005. It was just a matter of whose film would get finished first! In truth, Tobe Hooper was probably entirely oblivious to our 85,000 dollar picture, as he was likely quite busy directing, but somewhere an assistant whose job it was to pay attention to just those sort of things must certainly have noticed the site. It would have been hard to miss our use of the Mortuary Movie domain at the time (Now located at VanHazelaar Productions website).
Clip from Mortuary aka final Remains 
In the end I believe we technically finished our film first, but with the clout and machinations already in place for Tobe Hooper’s film to enter a marketing and distribution stream, it would obviously be Hooper’s “Mortuary” that would make it to market first. VanHazelaar’s “Mortuary” aka “Final Remains” did however get distribution a little later,  in 2006,  and is currently available as a rental from: Blockbuster and for sale via Amazon.



"Mortuary" aka "Final Remains" Trailer
video
In the end, it didn’t matter who won in this race with the Devil. The only thing that mattered, is that for a brief time in 2005 we got to run that race right alongside horror film legend, Tobe Hooper, tiptoeing on the edge of synchronicity with one degree of separation between us and a Master of Horror! Rod Serling could have had a field day introducing this story. It certainly added zest to the project before we got to the truly terrifying (and far less glamorous) part of filmmaking – the hard work;)

Speaking of work I suppose I need to finish mastering the 
Mortuary aka Final Remains - Soundtrack/Score CD 
that has been sitting on my drive for 5 years now! 


Happy Halloween Everyone and to All 
A Dark Night!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"Death of the Dead" at Flyway Film Fest 2010

Halloween is almost at hand and the Flyway Film Festival located in Pepin & Stockholm Wisconsin has already begun! Big ups to my fellow Wisconsinites on their successful Kickstarter campaign which helped fund this years awesome films and events including the Special Kickstarter Backer Screening/Party for Gary King's "Death of the Dead" Friday October 22nd at 10:00 PM at the Lake Pepin Art & Design Center Director Gary King will be in attendance!
I like to help and encourage other Wisconsin film and music makers to step up to the craft however and whenever possible. Unfortunately, I am booked in the studio for the next month and will not be able to attend this years event! I did however do my part by pitching in to the Flyway Film Festival Kickstarter Campaign AND I have been asked to provide a CD of music for the DOTD After Party. And this I have done, (and if snail mail cooperates it will be arriving before Friday Night's Event!;)

In fact, I thought I would volunteer to add a bonus to the rewards offered by the Flyway Film Fest! For anyone who was a Kickstarter Backer for  this years festival, I am going to offer a FREE DOWNLOAD!

Are YOU one of the 65 backers of The Flyway Film Festival Kickstarter Campaign? Would you like to receive a FREE DOWNLOAD of the 'Death of the Dead Party -TAO X MIX'?


All you have to do is comment on this article (in the comments section below) including the phrase:
"I supported the Flyway Film Festival on Kickstarter".


OFFICIAL INSTRUCTIONS UPDATE - As posted on Flyway Film Festival Kickstarter Backer site:
TAO X Productions is offering a Halloween Bonus Reward for anyone who supported the Flyway Film Festival Kickstarter Campaign:
I gotta make you work for it a little bit, so leave a comment that includes the phrase "I supported the Flyway Film Festival on Kickstarter" under this Blog Post: http://nightmaresoundlab.blogspot.com/2010/10/death-of-dead-at-flyway-filmfest-2010.html
And send me an email to taoxproductions@gmail.com or follow & tweet me @TAOXproductions letting me know, so I can email or DM you a link & code to retrieve a FREE download of the DJ mix I created for The Flyway Film Festival "Death of the Dead" Special Kickstarter Backer Screening After Party!
Scary good music all from my studio for the scary holiday:)
I would also love it if anyone would choose to follow my Nightmare Sound Lab Blog!
Feel free if you like, but I won't make you do that to get your reward.
Thanks,
T. Reed - Composer/Producer
TAOX {The Art of X} Productions
http://www.taoxproductions.com
http://nightmaresoundlab.blogspot.com

P.S. If you are already a blog follower but did not support the Flyway Film Fest campaign and want a copy, please comment on this article with some damn fine fancy talkin' on what you do to help and uplift the state of independent artists, musicians, filmmakers and the craft in general. I can be persuaded to give out a few more codes for a free download:)

Thanks for all of you who are dedicated to the craft and culture!

T. Reed - TAO X Productions - Nightmare Sound Laboratory



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Multi-Crastination" The Dark Side of a Busy Creative Mind!

Let me preface this article with a little background. I am a 'Type A', multi-media multi-taskin' creative madman who is entirely unsatisfied sticking to one discipline. I do believe I could be very happy with a set of octopus arms to achieve all that I would like to. So far, knowing of no living mad doctors who can achieve this operation successfully, I have had to settle for less sleep to create more time.
I started as a graphic artist only to become a musician. I employed all of my artistic and sculptural skills for supporting my musical projects including creating posters, promo art, packaging, props, and set/stage design. For two decades I have been pouring creativity out of one vessel or another. I became involved in video production in the late 80;s and since that time have added several other skills and projects to my already full schedule of mad scientist, rock and roll
'comic bookery'                 (To use a term Tyler Weaver, (creator of "Whiz Bam Pow") likes to say.)
The other day I visited Tyler Weaver's Blog News at: The Tyler Weaver Daily and there was a mysterious audio file the emerged from out of nowhere! I couldn't even be sure that is where it came from! I was frantically closing windows to see if some strange pop up had hit me...nothing; Maybe it was only my subconscious speaking to me? In any event, I am not normally keen on auto-play files on websites wherever they come from, but this one was tastefully mixed, haunting, humorous, and the source of an epiphany in my life as a crazy multi-media artist!
It was a lecture from a soft compelling voice with gentle British accent describing the nature of procrastination.

"Procrastination is..." - It listed through a number of obvious definitions. We've all been there and can relate. But then...it got a little deeper.

Now, I know I procrastinate, but I'm also so busy most of the time that it is hard to picture myself as a "procrastinator" per se'. I mean, how can one be procrastinating if they are always busy, right?
And that is where the revelation kicked in...
I laughed when the voice said "Doing the dishes is procrastination." Because yes, I had coincidentally stepped into the kitchen to do a few dishes when I heard it;)
"Making lists is procrastinating" ...
BUT WAIT! I have to make lists to keep all these projects and their (ever-extending) schedules in order!...And on and on the list went...etc., etc.

And then it said something I can only paraphrase (as the ghostly voice has since vanished from whence it came.) It regarded starting new projects to ensure you could never finish any of the old ones still lost in the loop. FLASH! A light went on in my head. I know I DO THAT! It's not on purpose, and I definitely DO finish lots of things, but still, there is an element of truth inside the statement uttered by that disembodied voice!

There is a certain thrill to the chase when it comes to ideas. The pragmatics and logistics of starting a marketing campaign for an idea in motion, is generally not as alluring as the next "BIG THING" idea that pops into one's head. Carried to it's logical conclusion, without discipline, this can lead to creative projects left on the back burners (of a stove stored in the garage.)

Keep loving what you do and doing what you love!

What do you love to do creatively? Have you fallen into the trap of 'multi-crastinating'? When you've finished adding your comments, you can always procrastinate some more by visiting fellow 'multi-crastinator' Tyler Weaver's latest project at: http://tyler-weaver.com/WhizBamPow!.html
Let me know what you think in the comments!

And don't forget to TWEET if you are a #multicrastinator as well!
~