I'll try and keep this in relative order, but I'm awfully lazy.
HAPPY CLOUD PICTURES:
Razor Days - In production now! Debbie Rochon and Amy Lynn Best star in the grim story about three women who have survived violent experiences and attempt to put their lives back together. (Click title for production photos and more information.)(Or click HERE for the write-up on Dread Central.)
Demon Divas and the Lanes of Damnation - 80's style horror with Brinke Stevens, Debbie Rochon, Amy Lynn Best, Lilith Stabs and Robyn Griggs as the titular characters (Pun 100% intended).
RANDOM ACTS articles about said movie * The Movies Made Me Do It Review of Advanced Screener
Splatter Movie: The Director's Cut - a horror mockumetary that also dissects the low budget horror genre.
A Feast of Flesh - "Vampire Hookers vs. the IRA". Also known as Abattoir. Picked up by Camp Motion Pictures / Bloody Earth Films. Available on the Happy Cloud Pictures Website.
IMDb Page * RANDOM ACTS articles * The Movies Made Me Do It Review
Retreat - This is a little short we did for the as-yet unreleased Countess Bathoria's Graveyard Tales. It's a zombie thing. We can't get away from zombies, try as we might.
High Stakes - this short film was originally conceived as a wrap-around for a whole other project that never came about (I think that one was called Fatal Fables). When our late buddy Joe Casey asked us to contribute to his new anthology, Brinke's Tales of Terror, I pulled this idea out of moth balls and wrote it for Amy, Nic Pesante, Charlie Fleming and Bill Homan. It's about the world's most uncomfortable poker game. When we shot it, we zipped through fifteen pages in six hours. And my spine collapsed because I'm old.
Severe Injuries. If you haven't figured it out by now, we here at Happy Cloud Pictures are hardcore horror fans. During the production of The Resurrection Game, Amy, Bill and I were overdosing on silly slasher movies. Out of one of these marathons, we were all pretty punchy and we started riffing on the ultimate slasher parody, telling the story of the least-successful killer ever to stalk a sorority house. Most of the silliness made it onto the page as Severe Injuries, which I'd originally written for a fledgling movie studio. When that company collapsed, we decided to take another pass at the script and do it ourselves. Amy made her feature directorial-debut and starred as "Lauren", the only intelligent character in the film. Just before we began production, we pitched it to Ron Bonk at Sub Rosa Studios and he dug it enough to agree to release it when it was finished. And he was true to his word. Severe Injuries was released on DVD in 2003. There are plans in the works to get it a wider release. Stay tuned for more details. IMDb Page * Currently only available on Netflix * KillingBoxx Review * Movies Made Me Do It Review
Were-Grrl. This was Amy's idea. Around the time she came up with this, there was a market glut of "lesbian" horror parodies-mostly models slobbering over each other with phony fangs. She was getting a little annoyed by all of these and we spit-balled this idea on the way home from a trip to New York. It's about a woman who becomes a lesbian during the full moon. Amy's twist: every time you think you're going to get some girl/girl action, she cuts away to a candle burning, ala the classic films of old. She wanted this to drive manly men crazy-and it worked! I wrote the script with rapid-fire dialogue, ala His Girl Friday, which proved to be a little much for our talented cast seeing as how we had almost no rehearsal. Were-Grrl (originally Were-Dyke) won the "Deadly B Award" at the Festival Macabre and was included as an extra on the Severe Injuries DVD.
The Resurrection Game. Our legendary magnum opus. Written in 1997, production begun in 1998, finished in 2000. We shot on 16mm film because that's what I knew how to do-digital video was still a few years away from being affordable! We crafted a "zombie-noir"-more mystery than zombie-and we thought sure that people would love it. Most people do, actually, but distributors are finding it too "quirky" and can't figure out what box to put it in to market it. *Sigh*. Within a week of finally finishing it (I cut the negative, transferred it to digital, transferred all the sound .wav by .wav and resynched it by sight in Premiere (after teaching myself Premiere), then recut everything a third time!) we won "Best Feature" at the Pittsburgh Film Workers Film Festival in 2005. RANDOM ACTS articles * The Movies Made Me Do It Review
Tenants. I made this film to graduate from Pittsburgh Filmmakers. Right before we'd started, I'd almost given up making my own movies. I didn't think I had what it took. But Amy and my DP, Bill Fuller, were in my corner and we made this 18 minute little rip-off of Robert Wise's The Haunting (back when everyone else was making rip-offs of Clerks. We shot black and white-both because it was cheaper than color and because it was a haunted house movie-it needed to be in black and white! It came out well-enough that I was allowed to graduate. Within six months, Ron Bonk had picked it up for an anthology called The Cutting Edge, where it accompanied a movie made by Michael (Fangoria managing editor) Gingold. Two years later, it was a featured extra on Paul Talbot's Campfire Tales DVD.
The Screening. - aka 24 Frames per Slaughter. I wrote the original screenplay for this film, which marked the directorial debut for George A. (Dawn of the Dead) Romero's oldest son, G. Cameron Romero. It's about an underground film rave, where the films of a serial killer are being screened for the first time since his execution, and the effects of the movies on the audience. (I'm working on turning this script into a novel as we speak.) It's slated to be released in 2007.
Dead Men Walking. In 2005 I pitched a story to David Michael Latt at The Asylum about an outbreak of a zombie virus in a maximum-security prison. Latt and his partners liked the idea and hired me to write the script. Director Peter Mervis did some necessary rewriting on the set during the hectic production and it was pretty well-received by audiences. Which proves I'm not getting away from zombies any time soon. I started a blog for the film during production as news would trickle in to me. This was my first official (and finished) work-for-hire screenplay.
Under the Scares. Documentary about the independent film industry by the DiggerFilm guys. Amy and I were both interviewed for this very impressive doc, though they didn't use enough of me.
Flesh Wounds: Seven Stories of the Saw. Directed by Michael Felsher, this awesome documentary appears on the anniversary DVD of Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
My Demon Nights. This 12-minute short documentary is available on the Night of the Demons DVD through Anchor Bay. I served as the director of photography (because I happened to have some gels with me) as my buddy Michael Felsher (the "Ultimate Film Fanatic") interviewed another buddy, Linnea Quigley.
Cannibal Aneurysm. Charlie Fleming conceived of this hilarious one-minute self-explanatory movie. It proves that Bill Homan is funny in a room by himself. I did the grip/gaffer work on this one, and fought with Charlie over shot selection. He won. (After all, he was directing!)
Dr. Horror's Erotic House of Idiots. Sometimes, people hire me to act. It's ill-advised and doesn't happen that often. For this amazingly-fun movie, my friend Paul Scrabo recruited Amy, Charlie Fleming and me to play astronauts in a parody of Fred Olen Ray's Hybrid (with Amy playing Brinke Stevens). Charlie and I play the entire scene fighting. And yes, the suits we're wearing are all the same size. That's why Charlie looks like an aging Gil Gerard and I look like I'm a kid wearing his father's space suit.
Campfire Tales. When I worked for Ron Bonk at Sub Rosa, one of the little surprises was that Tenants was chosen to accompany the main feature and I was recruited to do the audio commentary-for Campfire Tales! Paul Talbot, the director, was unavailable to do his own commentary, and since I was pretty familiar with his work and this movie, I dove in. Commentaries are tough, I'm not ashamed to say. At one point in the middle, I'd run out of things to say and started humming to myself.
Fifth City. Eric Thornett didn't learn from Paul Scrabo's mistakes. He asked me to play a tiny role in his action/sf/comedy. I play someone who says "It's the end of the world!" and shoots himself. I'm sure the scene will gather much applause because of that.
Vicious. Matt Green is a friend of mine. He's a director I met through Tom Savini and Bill Moseley-with whom he'd directed on this film. As fate would have it, Matt moved to Pittsburgh to teach at Tom Savini's School of Make-Up and needed to shoot some inserts for his "Jaws on land" monster movie. So Amy and I spent a day doing so puppeteering of the neat monster. Unfortunately, the final version has very little of the puppet, thanks to an over-anxious producer who sold the film before it was complete.
American Nightmare. Amy and I worked as PAs (among other things) on this feature shot in Texas. The director, Jon Keeyes, was my editor on GC Magazine--my first regular publishing gig. It starred Debbie Rochon, who was quickly becoming our best friend in the industry. I also covered the movie for Femme Fatales and it garnered me my first cover story.