I Am The Door – a short film

When I made The Last Halloween the plan had been one film and done. I would have scratched that particular itch and would feel good about it.

One and done.

My filmmaking days were really in my youth. When I was a carefree kid improv-ing movies with friends. The older you get the more serious it tends to get and trying to overcome the fact that I haven’t really made movies that weren’t for a goof, and that movies require a great amount of patience and time, I just wasn’t up to it.

And that’s fine.

I have my writing, and other stuff I do, so there’s no real reason to force something that wasn’t natural.

Only, that itch wasn’t completely scratched.

I like LAST HALLOWEEN and, considering it’s from a guy that was figuring everything out still, it’s pretty fun. But the thing is that I am a storyteller at heart and as such some stories aren’t best told with words but with images. And the fact is that I do love to take photographs and filming isn’t a far throw from that. So in the late spring I wrote a screenplay for something I was going to call I AM THE DOOR. It was very simple, very small, and intended to be very short. Sorta how I should have done things the first time. I would need, at most, three actors, and could roll with a small crew and two locations.

I sat on it for a couple months then realized that, hey, if you are going to do something with this then you should probably do something with it. I posted online what I was planning and that I needed an actor, the intention being that I’d play one role and use another filmmaking friend for the other one. I was shocked at how many people wanted to be involved. Not wanting to take away from what I wanted to do, or to waste people’s time, I went with the first person who offered to act in it and another friend who offered to do effects.

Yikes.

It was for real all over again.

I made a plan of attack and we figured out a day to shoot and a place to shoot at. The film called for one special effect that I needed to pull off so I figured the smartest thing to do would be to try to get that shot before getting people together to shoot the film. I put together a plan with how I wanted to do it and set about getting what I needed. The effect worked in theory but not in practice, and trying to shoot it on my own proved unsuccessful. Take two and I had a friends shooting but again it just wasn’t working. I knew what I wanted but getting the angles and the effect to work well was the trouble. We found a modicum of success on a third day and had something I felt I could work with.

Phew.

Next came the shooting day.

When I do this stuff the last thing I want to do is to make people feel as if they are wasting their time. I hate that. We had a slow start on filming day but once we got to the blood the heat and bugs we had been contending with didn’t seem to bother us as much and we really moved fast. It was really a short shoot and it went well, all considered.

Since then I have put together a rough cut of the film and am still tinkering with it to try to make it work. I like where I am going but it still needs some work. I am using some of the unused music we made for the last film in it, so that feels good. Some of that stuff was so good, I am glad it’s being heard.

The story is one of getting what you asked for and the consequences therein.

I never know how to look at something I created but I like it.

I think.

I am really lucky to have some amazing and supporting friends though, I tell you that.

Hmm.

Marilyn and the Werewolf – a book

MARILYN AND THE WEREWOLF

It was my mom that got me into horror movies and all things scary. Whether she knew it or not, her interest in the macabre and the dark drew me to it and set me on the path that lead me to where I am and who I am. My mom was a voracious reader and loved reading the likes of STEPHEN KING, JOHN SAUL, and DEAN KOONTZ to name a few. I think it’s safe to say that she inspired my love of similarly dark fiction. The same can be said for my love of horror films. I still remember watching John Carpenter’s THE THING for the first time and having to sleep on the floor of my parent’s room that night, scared to death of what I had watched. So scared that I woke in the middle of the night to look up at my mother and see her transform into something horrible. I have loved that movie ever since.

Mom was a shy artist. She drew beautifully, could paint, could sew, could decorate, and the last art she had fallen in love with and really pursued was carving fruits and vegetables into shapes. Why she stopped pursuing art I’ll never know. It makes me sad that she did though, because it seemed to give her joy. We tried to encourage her and towards the end of her life she started to try drawing again but wasn’t happy with the results and didn’t pursue it further.

I said it before, in another post, but it’s worth repeating that I am the child of two parents and as such I have both of them in me in different ways. If I step back I can see what I got from both though people don’t usually work that way. We’re a mix of our parents and everyone that has an impact on us. A mix of the good and the bad and there’s places where it’s hard to know which is which and what came from where.

I can see in myself the eyes of my mother.

In my chest I can feel the heart of my mother.

In my ears I can hear the voice of my mother.

But she is still gone.

And there’s no changing that.

At the end I could offer no comfort she could hear. Could offer no solace she could feel. And could not ease the pain that she had to go through to find her peace.

Knowing all of that I didn’t know what to do with this chest of sorrow that I was suddenly saddled with. I had no idea where to put it or what to do with it. This book is the best I could come up with. My small way to say goodbye to boy my mother and to the dog my wife and I had adopted just four months before she died. This book is my way to honor mom and Banshee and a lot of other people who touched my life or the life of someone else I love. This is a book of ghosts, but these are ghosts that just want to tell you a story, not to scare you. And I suppose that is what life is, full of ghosts, speaking to us, whispering into our ears as we sleep and telling us their stories in the hopes that we won’t forget them.

This is my way of keeping mom, and Banshee, and some other people that mean a lot to me.

It’s my hope that in some small way I captured a bit of the light of mom and Banshee and I can pass on something of the magic that made them who they were. This is my way to whisper their names into the ears of everyone who will lend them and I hope that the story finds the people that need it.

MARILYN AND THE WEREWOLF

(Kindle available now, physical book available in a few days)

https://tinyurl.com/y9qkyd24

Marilyn and the Werewolf