Monday, January 26, 2009

Film Slam Congrats

Kudos to all of Cinevic's final Film Slam event participants. It was nice to see a few of the faces up on the screen who are interested in "Nighthawks". Too bad about the techno difficulties but that might have been a VEC ploy to increase liquor sales. Sorry about not introducing myself to those who have yet had the pleasure but everybody seemed pretty content with the usual milling and shmoozing that I felt it best to leave that for a later date. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Casting Dates Update

My apologies people but the Jan. 24th date I hoped for conflicts with Cinevic's Film Slam shooting and screening. I will keep everybody up to date as best I can for a new time to do the casting. Please keep checking the blog as things can be extremely fluid at this stage and probably will be for a time as schedules are worked out. I hope you'll bear with me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

John Emmet Tracy

A special thanks goes out to John for putting me in touch with so many fine and talented young actors. I've worked with John on a couple of projects in town and the one thing I've always come away with is the level of professionalism he brings on set and if there's a nicer guy in the biz, I've yet to meet him. John stars in Bryan Skinner's (another nice guy) "Tumbling After" which is doing really well on the festival circuit right now. I think it's 7 festivals and counting. I've provided a link so check it out.

Corner Booth Entertainment

Once I file the incorporation papers the production company's name will be Corner Booth Entertainment. The project will still be "Nighthawks" but I have a myriad of other scripts I'd like to develop so it seemed like the right thing at the time. When I have the chance the website I planned to put together will be based on the company's projects which will be used to promote this particular story and the others I already envision. Lot's of stuff for the future.   

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Casting Dates

I know everybody's been interested as to when auditions may begin. I'd first like to address those from Vancouver, and further afield, that are interested in the project. I was hoping that Saturday, Jan. 24th might be a convenient time for you. If this is a problem please let me know. I'll be more specific with times but the location will probably be at Cinevic, 2022 Douglas St.. For local Victorians I'd like to try for the same date but obviously we're a little more flexible as we live here. I'll keep everybody up to date as to how this develops.  

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Our Cinematographer

Lucky for us Dan Carruthers has agreed to be the DOP for "Nighthawks". I've known Dan for a few years now and have worked with him on a few projects. It's been a real pleasure to watch him get better and better with every project. His work on Michael Farrell's "Lions, Tigers, Bears", which will be screened at the upcoming Victoria Film Festival, is brilliant. Go see it. Dan has an instinctive ability to make people look good when they need to look good and bad when... well you get the picture. I know he does. Check out the link to his website.

Cinevic's 2009 Film Slam

Would just like to wish all cast and crew participating in Cinevic's upcoming Film Slam good luck. I understand it's to be their last one. Having talked to a few who are entered I promise to keep my online chatter to a dull roar till after the event is over. I appreciate the need to be psyched and focused. Again, good luck to all.  

Production Dates

Production dates are contingent on what gets tackled first. If the first priority is the short film then I foresee a shoot date for some time in late March/ early April. If I somehow get the funding for the feature length pilot before the need to shoot the short ( a recent conversation has led me to believe this is a possibility) then I would guesstimate pushing things back at least another month. There would be a much bigger script to deal with as well as more locations and cast.  2nd unit shooting has already started with more to come when the weather starts to be a little more reasonable. If there are potential cast members reading this please e-mail me with dates and times that might be a problem for you especially those living in Vancouver.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Story Lines

The project is intended to be an episodic drama and as of this date there are 12 different scripts plus a feature length pilot episode at various stages of completion. I won't post the synopses of any of them on this blog but will, instead, e-mail them out when the time's appropriate. In the meantime I thought I could throw out a couple of the more colourful titles I've tentatively come up with for some of the episodes: ""Dylan, Doris & a Doobie", "Poor Chaquita", "Death of Freddie", "Mitzi a L'orange", "George the John and Young Margaret" amongst others. As strange as the titles may appear many of the stories are based on true events. There's one or two thrown in that are pure fiction. Maybe we could do a poll once I release the scripts to see which is which. The important thing for now is the completion of the aforementioned short which was, regrettably, an idea that has come a little later than it should have.  

Musical Sidebar

To all potential cast and crew. I'll give you all a shiny new looney if you'll go to your nearest iTunes and download a song called "Heartache People" by Big Brother and the Holding Company. This song, I feel, truly captures the spirit of what "Nighthawks" is about. I'm presently in discussions with the rights holder for the song to be used in the project. Unfortunately the writer and performer, Nick Gravenites, is recovering from surgery at the moment. Let's all wish him a speedy recovery.  A Blues Hall of Fame inductee Nick can be seen on YouTube still cranking out great blues riffs and bellowing out the lyrics with his gravel on gravel voice.
With "Nighthawks" I plan to use music much in the way "The Sopranos" did. The trick is to find obscure masterpieces that work for the project. I've got a small but growing list already. It's so eclectic and strange that if it were turned into a soundtrack album I would expect to see a lot of 'WTF's in user comments. Many of the songs perfectly match some of the stories in development while some are just for the fun of it. Stay tuned. Ha.

Intentions for "Nighthawks"

I'm sure there must be many questions as to where the project will be heading if everything goes as planned.
Initially the idea was to produce episodes for webcasting which would generate revenues on an ongoing basis but the prospect of at least one private investor being interested has lead me to rethink the marketing aspect. If the funds could be made available through this investor then a budget might be put in place to truly plow ahead with a thorough and well conceived feature length pilot. To pique the investor's interest my contact recommends that a short film based on the "Nighthawks" premise be shot. From a marketing sense it seems like a good idea. There will be the short itself which can be screened at film festivals in front of would-be broadcasters and distributors. From that footage we can put together a kick-ass trailer/promo piece and there'd be plenty of material for web based marketing. However there are a few things about short films I'm not keen on. First is shorts give no time for subtle character development which is crucial for the stories I've envisioned. By necessity most shorts tend to club you over the head with blatant character traits to establish 'who they are'. Second, I always pictured this project as an ensemble piece and a short film is going to relegate important characters and good actors to cameos and bit players.. Third, there is little to no dough in the kitty for this at this stage( now's your chance to run. I'll understand). For those still interested it's quite likely that the short, at least, will have to be on a differed basis. I have no intention to ask for volunteer help on this but a deferred payment for the short is the best I can think of. If it makes money we all make money.
There's still the prospect of approaching a production company to be involved but there's a real chance that they'd want to use in house crew and talent which would mean we could all be out on our ear, including myself, after investing a good portion of time on the project.

Is it worth it? The scripts will tell. I'll address that issue in the next posting.   

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Inspiration for Nighthawks

As this is just a blog and not something more formal, i.e. a website I thought I'd start with where the idea of "Nighthawks" springs from. 

After a couple of years of strange trials and tribulations I was able to get a few bucks together to open, what would now be considered, an alternate or underground art gallery. It was 2500 sq. ft. of wood floors and brick walls above a pawn shop downtown. Large enough to hold almost any oddball artistic event you could think of it soon became home and haven to some of the most eclectic and bizarre group of artist types you could imagine. As most events were at night and the after events were even later many of us soon considered the night the only time to live and, like vampires, soon started avoiding the daylight as if our lives depended on it. It was even stronger for me as I actually lived in the gallery and living downtown 24/7 can be a real eye opening experience. A lot of harsh and brutal things can take place when the lights turn low and, yet, there were moments of true beauty and inspiration that move me to this very day. It's this world I'm striving to recreate. It was a world of beauty and hypocrisy, of violence and compassion, a world capable of representing the best and worse in all of us. There were deaths; some tragic, some violent. There was needless suffering either by hate or, worse, indifference but there were also stories of strange sex, love, happiness and, above all, fun. It's these contrasts that I feel are worth exploring. I hope you'll feel the same way. 

The beginning.

Welcome to my "Nighthawks" blog. Hopefully I can keep everybody interested in the project up to date while the website is being constructed. Stay tuned as I attempt to put things together in a somewhat coherent fashion.