Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Terrortory 2

So...what next?

That's the question after finishing Terrortory.  The movie got as high as #6 on Amazon's horror chart, stayed in the top 10 for three weeks, and was an Amazon Star--meaning it's one of the top 100 movies on Amazon, PERIOD for the month of October.

Wanna see the movies we were beating?

It also means we got a monetary bonus from Amazon. All in all, in just one month we earned nearly double our production budget from just Amazon.

Sounds great, right? But when you count the taxes that get taken out, nobody's going home rich. And personally I spent nearly two years on the movie, so if you break it down in years...

We can still pursue a distributor and other options, and we may, but it's a time consuming thing and I'm a creator, and that's my first interest. Sending out 100 screeners and/or engaging an aggregator who will cost us up-front money seems like a lot of wasted time.

Back to my original question...what next?

During the making of Terrortory I had an idea for the wraparound for part two. Not because I necessarily was going to do it. Hell, I've written two sequels for "Hunting Humans", and have started the sequel to "Bounty", but not because I'm planning on doing them. I'm a writer, and I go where the story takes me.

And if the story interests me enough, I will write it because all I lose is time. Besides, the more you write, the better you get, so in the end it's a win/win.

The wraparound would expand the mythology of Terrortory, and reveal a few notions I had in the back of my head as I wrote my segments. The original pitch for Terrortory from Mark was basically a Bermuda Triangle/Twilight Zone type place in Maryland, where weird things happen. It was wide open enough that we could basically do anything there. Like Buffy's hellmouth.

But now I want to hone in on the WHY a little bit. Why does it exist? What's the deal with those creatures? Like, are they all the same creature taking different forms, or are they different creatures? And if different, do they interact at all? What happens if Smiling Jack runs into the Midnight Clown?

I had finished the wrap and was pretty happy about it, so I sent it to my main brain-trust, Zig and Luke. Both seemed to like it. Had a few notes that I integrated, and a couple I ignored.

Thing is, though, I didn't want to work with other filmmakers on this one. I know it sounds dickish, but you have to understand how much work I end up putting in on the finished product, and at a certain point it simply makes more sense that if I'm going to do THAT amount of work, I might as well have directed the whole thing in the first place. It also will end up being a much more cohesive, consistent movie.

The final reason is that if I'm doing everything then there's less time with me waiting on other people to find out if they're going to actually finish their segment and/or turn in something good enough to put in the flick. I usually hit my deadlines when I make them, but a lot of others don't.

But that lead me to think...I KNOW there are other people who want to work in the Terrortory arena, because I've talked to them. I know Mark wants to do another segment. Dan probably does. My brain said...hey, why not do a Terrortory 2 and 3 nearly back to back?

I could do part two, and the other guys could do part three. If they need me to do a wraparound, I could do that...especially because I can explain just WHY Carly has a psychic nightmare about going to the Terrortory in part 1. (and it ties in to the wrap in part two)

I talked to Mark, who talked to Dan, and they seem to dig the idea. Mark will be taking the reins on part three though, which is a huge responsibility, so hopefully he understands how much weight is going to be on him.

That's why it appears that Terrortory 2 is my next gig. I always pursue the story, and that's where the story is taking me. As a filmmaker who invests at least two years of time in every film I do, I HAVE to be excited enough about an idea that I will stick with it for that long, and right now, Terrortory 2 is it.

Not that I don't have other scripts I'm just as excited to do. But when you're working in the micro-budget realm you have to take what you can do, and some of those scripts simply can't be done for peanuts.

Terrortory 2 is going to be much more ambitious than the first movie, I can tell you that. It will see the return of Smiling Jack and the Midnight Clown, plus a host of new baddies, some that were on the map, and some that will be added this time.

So if you haven't seen the first Terrortory, go check it out. We'll probably be doing a very limited dvd run soon, or you can rent it cheaply on Amazon still.

Hope you come along for the ride.


I actually wrote this a month ago. I hesitated to post it because I've still been waffling about how hard it is to do. Like, maybe I should just forget it. I have other things I could probably do that would be easier.

Then this past weekend I was out of town for business, and heard that a snow storm was coming.

See, I have a quick scene in Terrortory 2 in the snow. Technically it was set during the day. And I figured I just wouldn't get to do it because there was no snow this year.

So I'm in Florida hearing about this snow coming. Sounds like there will be too much by Tuesday to get anybody but me to go out, so I think...maybe I can do it Monday night.

It's going to be brutal, I know. After a hard, sleep-deprived work weekend, to fly home Monday afternoon and get all the equipment ready, and line up actors(I only needed two)...would be tough.

But  we did it.

We went out at about 9pm. The snow had just started. I needed a nice coating on the ground, so we went into the woods and shot some tests as the snow fell.

Met a friendly guy named Patrick who was nice enough to come out and help us with some creature FX.

It took about 2.5 hours of waiting to get an okay layer of snow/ice on the ground. Wasn't as white as I wanted, but we were all freezing.

Shooting in sleet/ice is not fun. The equipment was getting wet. I couldn't see the viewscreen well, and when you have to focus in the dark...

I think we got it, but won't know until I sit down to edit.

But we're not going to launch into the heavy shooting until it gets warmer.