Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Meet Justin Henry of Silver Moon Films

I had a long meeting with local film producer Justin Henry this morning at the Jackson Coffee Company. We spoke about our various projects and got to know each other a little after Amanda Trudell suggested that we meet.

I was very impressed by what a wonderful, creative mind Justin has. He has enough projects to fill up a production company's slate. Justin has several shorts, webisodes, web series and feature film ideas in various genres that are compelling and thought-provoking. Justin spoke with obvious passion about his film projects, and his enthusiasm was infectious as he described several in different stages of development.

Justin and his associates at Silver Moon Films, Mike Gifford and Ben Curtis, are one of Jackson's precious natural resources that we cannot afford to lose. Meeting him just reinforced my belief that there is plenty of creative talent in Jackson, and that we have the makings of an independent filmmaking Mecca right here. It is my firm hope that Justin and people like him don't leave due to the lack of local filmmaking opportunities.

http://www.silvermoonfilms.com/who/

Justin and I talked about the possibility of working on some projects together in the future, including a web series. Collaboration is the key. Without the built-in framework that Hollywood and other major film production hubs have, the only way a city like Jackson can evolve into a filmmaking center is by mutual cooperation from the various talented artists residing here.

An executive producer with some money who wants to get involved with a local feature film would do well to consider backing a project by Justin and his team, or by backing a collaborative film effort by both our teams.

We are at ground zero of an exciting turning point for filmmaking in Jackson, Michigan. We even have a mayor who is a talented filmmaker in his own right, Jason C. Smith. The stars are definitely aligned.

Local filmmaker Justin Henry on the 2nd floor of the Jackson Coffee Company on Mechanic Street in Jackson, Michigan.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Waiting Game

We finished shooting on Sunday, September 29, 2013, and have been slowly moving towards the release of our first trailer. We expect to release at least three trailers for “Walking Apocalypse,” revealing a little more each time up to beginning principal photography on the feature film, which is tentatively scheduled to begin on Monday, May 5, 2013, and to last through the end of the month at least.

The script for the movie trailer which was just filmed was comprised of excerpts from the first draft of the feature screenplay. The filming of the trailer itself triggered ideas and possibilities with regard to writing the second draft.

It has been said that “writing is re-writing,” and never is this truer than with regard to screenwriting.

Inevitably after finishing the first draft of a feature-length screenplay, there is the feeling of accomplishment, of satisfaction. But after a little time has passed, you begin to conceive improvements. And when a trailer has been filmed, it changes some of your ideas and spawns new one's. There is always room for some improvement, but that must be balanced by the realities of budget.

With a large budget, the sky's the limit regarding special effects, locations, equipment, cast and crew. With no budget, you must work within tight constraints. Fortunately, we've been blessed with good people who helped make the trailer shoot a success.

The reality of writing a screenplay that you will film yourself is that there are certain things you cannot do. While doing this rewrite, I have to work with the locations available. The original outline and treatment for this script took place in Greenland, with Nick Candelaria becoming infected there before fleeing to the United States in search of the one person who could help him.

As we continue to make new movies, we should be able to do more. We are taking the production of “Walking Apocalypse” slowly for many reasons, including the lack of budget and staff as well being very careful with doing the very best we can within our restrictions.

The first trailer will be released soon, with expanded versions to follow. We are excited to have filmed in Jackson, Napoleon and Parma and are anxious to expand our local operation for this film and several more to follow. We hope you will agree that the trailer was worth the wait.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

US Supreme Court bans patenting of “naturally occuring genes”

In the United States, at least, human genes as they naturally occur in cells in human beings are not patentable. However, synthetic DNA remains subject to patenting.

So-called cDNA, or complementary DNA, as altered genes not found in nature are commonly referred to, are a lucrative business for biotech companies. Worth billions of dollars, these processes are vital to the improvement of the human condition. As they are not naturally-occurring, it seems only fair that the companies that created them should be allowed to patent their own proprietary process.

This landmark ruling should usher in an era of reduced cost to consumers for such medical treatments, as well as providing for more innovation as access to the entire human genome will be universal for biotech companies desiring to break into this market.

But more importantly, this is a statement of ethics. We all want medical technology to improve, but this technology should be within reach of every human being who requires it. To treat life and death as a commercial commodity shows the highest form of cynicism and contempt for human life.

The medical biotech industry did not invent the human genome, therefore, they should not be allowed to patent it peicemeal. Their industrious innovation should not come at the expense of the human beings whose genomes provided the raw material for their manipulation.

For now, we can all breathe a little easier knowing that the very substance at the molecular level that makes us who we are cannot be ruthlessly exploited for profit and kept from us by corporate greed. At least until the next breakthrough challenges our ethics.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

He wants children -- she doesn't

That's the predicament Nick Candelaria, the protagonist of “Walking Apocalypse,” finds himself in at the beginning of the movie. He and his girlfriend didn't plan to have a child, but now that she is pregnant, he realizes it's time to grow up. Nick's not getting any younger, and this might be his last best chance to start a family. His vacation is up and he's decided the time is right to settle down with the woman he loves. Unfortunately, none of their conversations regarding children ever went beyond hypothetical, and he is unprepared for her response.

And that's just the beginning of his day. When he gets to work, he finds out that something has gone terribly wrong with an important and expensive project, the very project that was expected to lift his employer, a small genetic tech lab with a genius scientist, to affluence in the genetic technologies market.

Things snowball from there, but he can't stop thinking about the woman he loves. Was she lying when she said she loved him? Has she decided that he's not the man she wants to father her children?

Those questions become moot because he soon finds himself on the run, not only fighting for his life, but for the existence of the entire human race – because the project has gone terribly wrong. Nick has become infected with a revolutionary process that has been sabotaged. He's got just 72 hours to find a cure or the human race as we know it will face a modern, genetically-engineered extinction event – and Nick will be the executioner.

Nick Candelaria has become a walking apocalypse.

Germs-virus, but not the source of Nick's infection.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Trailer edit in progress...

Our film editor in California, Lance Price, is hard at work on the first trailer, which we hope to release soon. We have been communicating regarding the proper music score for the initial release, and have decided to alter our initial approach to something we both feel will set the mood appropriate to the tone of the film.

Keep watching this space for the announcement of the release of the first “Walking Apocalypse” trailer, coming soon.

The "Walking Apocalypse" trailer is moving towards release.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Election Day in the City of Jackson, Michigan

With my brother's death Saturday, I have been in a temporary funk, unable to concentrate on the things I normally do. I had decided not to vote because of my depression, but after perusing MLive.com stories regarding the election, I changed my mind and went out to vote early this afternoon.

When I arrived at my designated voting location, I found Jackson Mayoral candidates Jason C. Smith and John Wilson outside, across the parking lot, doing their own campaigning.

I spoke with Jason briefly, who I had met previously, and with John, who I was meeting for the first time. It was good to see these gentleman out doing the legwork for their own campaigns. Both men were approachable, knowledgeable and very personable.

Life does go on, and the mayoral election is very important to the City of Jackson. I encourage everyone to get out and vote in your local elections. No matter who you favor, don't fail to exercise the power you have with that vote you're holding. Let your voice be heard where it counts most. At the ballot box.

Mayoral candidates Jason C. Smith and John Wilson.

For more information regarding each candidates views, please visit http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2013/10/three_candidates_hope_to_garne.html

Monday, November 4, 2013

"Some day" never comes

I lost a brother on Saturday.

I know that when he was younger, my older brother Richard believed he could do some great things, but he never got around to actually doing them. I don't know why. I don't know if it was because of a practical upbringing or if it was due to lack of opportunity, or something else. There were many years between us, almost a generation, and we were virtual opposites in temperament. But the unspoken belief that we were capable of doing something more was something we shared.

I wasn't there when the end came. Many times in the past he said he had no regrets, but I don't think that was true. Like all of us, I think he had some, but because there were things he couldn't change, he didn't want to address them. Not being in control was something he couldn't tolerate.

The inability to change something leaves us feeling weak, powerless. But there are so many things we can't change, so many things that can't be undone.

Death is the most sobering, final reminder of opportunities squandered, roads not taken. It reminds you with cruel finality that if you don't pursue your passion now, you probably never will. Failure is a scary thing, and something we are all accustomed to. We know how bad it tastes and how difficult it is to swallow. Our lives are full of failure, with the ultimate loss waiting for us at the end of the journey.

Life is a short, quick stumble to a long, unending freefall.

It's safer not to try something difficult, something others tell us we aren't capable of. Self-doubt is debilitating. Then one day you realize that your life is slipping away. You know that all of the things you've put off, those dreams you've stored in the attic recesses of your mind, are never going to be realized. You will go to your grave pining for what might have been. Telling yourself you will get to it "some day" is a lie, because "some day" doesn't come to pass unless you make it happen. This is the epiphany I experienced just three short years ago. The clock was approaching midnight, and I had done little to achieve my dream.

My life was a failure for the worst possible reason: I had not really tried.

That is when I decided that the dream would no longer be deferred. I would make it happen and I would begin right now. What I didn't know, I would learn. What I couldn't do, I would find a way around. What was beyond my capability and skill, I would look for in others with similar aspirations. But what I would not do is delay the dream any longer. I would make movies.

It was a “call to arms” moment. A realization that failure wasn't a death sentence or judgment of incompetence. Failure is the road that must be traveled, the gauntlet that must be run, before achieving success. You should not be afraid of failure. Failure teaches harsh lessons, but it toughens you and challenges you to use what you've learned. You must build on failure, not let it defeat you.

You can do what you dream, as entrepreneur Elon Musk has proven. We need more people like Elon Musk, a man whose innovative thinking and pioneering spirit inspires daring, creative invention in the quest to reinvent the way we live. http://elonmusk.com/

In screenwriting, I teach that adversity reveals the character of the protagonist. And this holds true for all of us as human beings. It's easy to stay the course when the road has no potholes, but if you're bouncing along on one of Michigan's cratered highways, it's not so easy to resist the urge to take an off-ramp. It's how we respond to challenges and failures that measures our spirit.

That singular moment near the close of 2010 when I realized I would pursue a filmmaking career was both frightening and liberating. Though it was a definite leap from my comfort zone, it was also reassuring to know that if I did not carve out a successful career it would not be for lack of trying. No more half-hearted attempts for me. Standing on the edge of a cliff, there is no margin for error.

The human life span is far too short. On a planet billions of years old, even a hundred years is inconsequential. Take stock of your life. Are you doing what you always dreamed you'd do? Have you succumbed to that supposed “real life” and let your aspirations fade? Dig deep, and you'll find that your dreams still live deep inside you. Buried perhaps, but still alive. Alive and ready to be reactivated. If you fail, you can still be proud of the fact that you tried – really tried. There won't be any regrets for what might have been. Because it's better to take that final trip knowing that even if you failed, you pursued your passion with everything you've got.

I have known failure, crushing failure with things very important to me. Failure can embarrass and humiliate, but I don't regret those failures because they were pursued with honest intentions.

I try real hard to forget that I'm going to die some day. It's easier not to think about dying. Moments like this bring that cold, unforgiving truth home with sobering clarity. I do have some regrets. There are some things I will never be able to make right. There have been many missteps, many things left unsaid and undone, and some things I wish I hadn't said and done. But now I know the one regret I won't have is that I didn't pursue my passion. Win or lose, I will go down fighting for what I really want to do, the only thing that makes me feel worthwhile.

Life is not the only thing worth living. Your dreams are worth living, too.

The setting sun from the roof of Midbrook Products in Jackson, Michigan on Sunday, September 29, 2013.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween of the Apocalypse

Happy Halloween to everyone from the cast & crew of "Walking Apocalypse."

Actor Jimi Bommarito is the test subject whose mutation triggers an unstoppable chain of events that leads to Nick Candelaria's run for his life.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

72 hours left to live...

This is the situation Nick Candelaria faces in “Walking Apocalypse.” What would you do if you were in Nick's shoes?

Turn yourself into a hospital? Not when you know that whatever it is you were injected with is a secret and proprietary experimental process that was smuggled out of the lab you work for by a geneticist trying to defect. A process you have been told is a “biological super-weapon.”

Turn yourself into your employer? Of course, what other choice do you have? They invented it, and with a 72 hour deadline, who else can save your life? But if you learn that your employer intends to cover up its illegal human genome manipulation by eliminating all evidence, including you?

You run for your life.

But where can you turn? The CDC? The FBI? Homeland Security? None of them, not even the CDC, has any experience with this revolutionary process. And you have just 72 hours to live.

Nick is on the run, and the clock is ticking. What will he do?

Jackson, Michigan City Hall on West Michigan Avenue.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Location scouts

I was performing some location scouting last week, and will again in the weeks to come. As the locations in the script become finalized with the outline for the rewrite (even though the actual 2nd draft rewrite has yet to begin) actual physical locations in & around Jackson, Michigan will be needed to shoot these scenes at.

While I'm scouting, I also keep in mind the other four completed feature-length screenplays I have written and several others in various stages of development that I intend to film in the future. I might run across a location that won't work for this film, but that would be perfect for the film we plan to shoot within a year of completing “Walking Apocalypse.”

I welcome and appreciate the many locations that have allowed me to shoot gratis to produce the trailer and for my previous film work. For the feature film, we will need additional locations that were not utilized in the trailer, and I will be on the lookout from now until we begin principal photography next spring.

Downtown Jackson, Michigan, from outside the Carnegie Library at 244 W. Michigan Ave.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Film editing

Saturday morning I sent all of the footage we shot for the trailer off to our film editor in California.

Brian Greenway and I went over the footage to decide what takes we preferred for each shot before sending it off along with some specific instructions regarding the editing. I don't expect the first edit ready for a little while yet.

We're hoping to have a short trailer ready for release before Thanksgiving. Please keep checking back with this blog regarding that announcement.

The footage of the trailer is en-route to California on a portable drive via USPS.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The character arc

I met with lead actor Todd Lutz today for coffee and “shop talk” at Jackson Cuppa on Mechanic Street.

We discussed the lead character's motivation, his background and the choices he is forced to make during the script.

I'm fortunate to have an actor who is very motivated to learn everything he can about the character he is portraying. Todd made several good suggestions, some of which I will definitely attempt to incorporate into the revised draft of the feature screenplay.

One problem we writers face is exposition. It's not always easy to get information across to the audience without having it revealed through dialogue, but it's always preferable to avoid that and to convey information through visuals, if at all possible.

I'm still in the “aerial view” phase of the rewrite, making a pass over the script, enacting any changes that seem obvious without making significant alterations yet. The next step will be an in-depth, thorough analysis of the script, which will be followed by a new outline, then the rewrite. It's a long process, but a necessary one.

Jackson Cuppa, 634 N. Mechanic St, Jackson, MI 49202.

Monday, October 21, 2013

It takes a lot of people to make a movie...

Something I've learned from shooting the trailer for “Walking Apocalypse” and from the unfinished film, “The Devil of the Desert Sands,” is just how much of a collaborative effort filmmaking is.

The script never, ever gets translated perfectly to the screen. And this isn't a bad thing, because actors and crew often have ideas that improve the scene, whether it's dialogue, action, framing or something else. As a director, you have to learn to listen and decide objectively. I have told many people that my screenplays are not Commandants. They are not chiseled-in-stone and immutable. If someone has an idea or suggestion, I might not always agree with it or use it, but I will always listen.

Paul Broussard made suggestions that improved a scene he wasn't even acting in, which shows Paul's professionalism and interest in the film being the best it can be. Brian Greenway was coming up with better ways of doing things every day we shot. Amanda Trudell kept us on track and on target. Jon Rowland made sound and lighting suggestions that enhanced scenes or avoided problems.

The actors were great, too. They took direction very well and asked questions to make sure they understood the scene that was being shot, and they were never satisfied until it was just right.

It takes many creative talents to make a movie a reality. Egos need to be kept in check, because the film product is not enhanced by having one person run roughshod over everyone else and refusing to consider other opinions and options. I worked with a great cast and crew and I'm looking forward to working with them again when we shoot the feature in the Spring of 2014.

David Higgins & Brian G. Walsh in a scene from "The Devil of the Desert Sands."

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Screenwriters & Directors

I've been reading “Directing Actors” by Judith Weston, which was recommended to me by executive producer & screenwriter of “Keepers” Sharma Krauskopf. There is a lot of good advice and instruction in the book, but I'm disappointed that the author, despite protestations to the contrary, shows a striking lack of respect for writers.

To quote Ms. Weston, “It is exactly the job of the director and actors to create the sub-world. Heeding shortcuts to the characters' emotional life will make the director's and actors' job more, not less, difficult.”

As taught by screenwriting guru Hal Croasmun, the best in the business, creating sub-text is the province of the screenwriter so that depth is added to the characters and story. The screenwriter's use of subtext raises an average script significantly. A screenwriter hands the director a complete story world with people and places already created. The job of the director and actor is to interpret and portray this, not to recreate the characters and story by deciding upon subtext for themselves.

On page 167, the author goes on to state that “it is especially important to cross out (or at least approach with serious skepticism) the parentheticals: “pause,” “beat,” and “she takes a moment.” All these kinds of stage directions are adjectives, adverbs, indications of transitions or psychological explanations, or emotional maps (“He cannot look away”; “She makes a decision”). They are not playable. What the writer has done by putting in these abbreviated emotional guideposts is to take a stab at providing the characters' subtext.

The writer “takes a stab” at providing subtext? This is a preposterous statement and an insult to the screenwriter. This is like you saying something to me, and I then tell you that you don't know what you really meant by what you said, but I do know what you really meant, even though you said it and would obviously know what hidden meaning was behind your own words.

The screenwriter creates the story and characters, therefore the screenwriter knows the subtext of the character and dialogue. Without accurately interpreting the characters, the director and/or actors could add a subtext that is inappropriate. It is arrogant and egotistical for anyone to dismiss the writer as unable to provide the subtext for the very characters he or she created. And I disagree that “He cannot look away” and “she makes a decision” are not playable. These are very playable by talented actors and directors who correctly interpret the intent.

As I've stated many times in the past, the screenwriter gets very little respect, pay or acknowledgment for motion pictures. This is usually because the director deliberately makes changes to put his or her own “stamp” on the film. In this way, we can never know whether or not the film would have been better if it had more closely resembled the written blueprint (the screenplay) that was provided. All we can judge is the final result that has been altered, for better or worse, by the director.

Filmmaking is a collaborative effort, but it all starts with the screenplay. Without this blueprint there is no story, no characters and no film. Good directors and good actors can significantly improve a script, but it's important to remember that it's far easier to improve and embellish a finished product than it is to create that product out of nothing at all. Hollywood does not recognize this, as the lion's share of the credit for films is divided between the director and the actors. Most people don't know the name of a single professional screenwriter, not even an A-List screenwriter.

Judith Weston's "Directing Actors" is available on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Directing-Actors-Memorable-Performances-Television/dp/0941188248/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1382320924&sr=1-1&keywords=directing+actors

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Planning

While reviewing the 1st draft of the feature screenplay, I've also been working on the planning side of the film production business regarding which will be the next movie we will shoot. Since I have several completed feature-length scripts, a determination regarding feasability is most important.

Some of my scripts are of the blockbuster variety, which are actually out of our league right now with regard to production costs. Those movies will have to wait until we have established ourselves as a viable filmmaking entity with “Walking Apocalypse” and our follow-up film, which won't be a sequel but another original film.

Some of the cast and crew enjoy a moment of rest in the cafeteria at Midbrook Products in Jackson, Michigan on Sunday, September 22, 2013.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Biological Weapon Apocalypse

A major storyline in “Walking Apocalypse” involves a genetic process originally designed to cure all hereditary diseases being perverted into a biological super-weapon.

The danger of biological weapons cannot be understated. Those who resort to them usually have a limited objective in mind involving an immediate threat. The problem lies not just in that once you resort to bio-weapons, you invite retaliation, but that as such weapons become more advanced they become more unpredictable and less subject to control.

When genetics is added to the equation, the problem increases astronomically. The mapping of the human genome was touted as the single greatest advance in human medicine and as a boon to the health of all human beings. In reality, many people behind-the-scenes had far more dubious intentions.

When governments become involved, people should be wary. By definition, a government's first priority is to ensure survival by any and all means. Anything that can be used as a weapon will be considered. Genetics is potentially the most powerful weapon we will ever possess. The ability to kill on a level invisible to the naked eye is a great advantage, and advances being made can make such acts difficult to trace.

We are entering an era when a genetic weapon could potentially wipe out the human species. “Walking Apocalypse” is a cautionary tale of just such a threat.

Image copyright Armin K├╝belbeck (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Syringe_Glove_01.jpg)

Monday, October 14, 2013

“Evolution is painful”

The tagline of “Walking Apocalypse” refers to the cold, hard truth of “survival of the fittest.” If a new species develops to compete with an exising one, that competition may result in the extinction of the species less able to thrive. When the two species competing for the same limited resources clash, the only options will be cooperation or destruction. The history of humanity is riddled with wars of conquest and extermination.

This is the dilemma facing those pursuing protagonist Nick Candelaria after he is injected with a revolutionary genetic process that has been sabotaged by its creator. The process he has been injected with has incalculable value to the future of the human race, but the sabotage to that process has rendered his continued existence too dangerous to chance. If he is not captured before he infects someone else, a chain reaction will start that won't stop until the entire human species is infected. Nick is on the run somewhere in and around Jackson, Michigan, and the doomsday clock is ticking.

Nick's infected DNA undergoing radical transformation.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Work in progress

We're still working on the trailer, and hope to have something we can send to our film editor in Los Angeles this coming week. It's a painstaking process going through every take for every scene shot over the three weeks of filming.

Once we get the trailer ready for “prime time,” we'll have a powerful promotional tool to help generate interest for our marketing campaign.

John Lennox, Brian Greenway and Jon Rowland on the roof of Midbrook Products, Sunday, September 29, 2013.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The “Walking Apocalypse” feature film

Tentatively, we have decided upon a May 2014 shooting schedule, probably beginning Monday, May 5. A lot of work still needs to be done until then. We have to recruit crew members who will commit to working on the feature for the length of the shoot, which is still undetermined.

The 1st draft screenplay was 100 pages long. When the revised draft is completed, we'll have to do a breakdown and stripboard to determine how many pages of the script we can shoot per day.

Todd Lutz and Mahalia Greenway prepare to shoot the first shot of the last scene of the trailer script, Scene #24, Take 1.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The "Walking Apocalypse" feature screenplay

Yesterday I began a “1st pass” read and rewrite of the feature screenplay, making minor changes. Following that, I will begin a page-by-page analysis of the script, then begin the rewrite.

While working on the trailer, I was rewriting scenes “in my head,” so to speak. There will be some changes to characters and storyline from the 1st draft of the feature screenplay.

Jon Rowland preps sound as Director of Photography Brian Greenway and lead actress Mahalia Greenway prepare to film fight director-actor John Lennox's roof hunt-and-chase scene at Midbrook Products on Sunday, September 29, 2103.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Working on the trailer edit

We had a production meeting Friday to take a look at a rough cut of the trailer that I put together in order to have a visual starting point for how we want it edited.  From this we'll decide if there are better takes to use for selected scenes, what scenes need to be deleted or trimmed, and so on.

The next step is to send the rough cut along with all applicable takes to our film editor, who will edit the trailer.  Then we'll view that, and decide if we like it “as is” or if more changes need to be made.  When we're satisfied, the trailer clips will have to be graded and color-corrected before we put the trailer out to the public.

"I see dead people..." Brian Greenway prepares to film the tragic victims of a process gone awry.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Thinking Big

We had an abbreviated production meeting this morning, followed by a quick location scout for a possible place for Walsh Brothers Productions, LLC and partners Brian & Mahalia Greenway to utilize as a studio set for our slate of future films. I don't think small, so many of my film ideas are big, some on the blockbuster scale. It's early days yet, but I want to make my intentions clear: I intend to shoot these movies, all of them, in and around Jackson, Michigan. This is home and I want to make it a better place, and Brian & Mahalia Greenway are in complete agreement with me.

Although I can't include details, future films include a supernatural thriller, an action-drama, a horror, a sci-fi horror and a trio of science fiction films. And those are just the films that have completed screenplays. There are television ideas in the development pipeline, too, including a camp comedy, an action-horror and an epic science fiction series.

There are big things coming from Walsh Brothers and Brian & Mahalia Greenway -- and they're coming to Jackson, Michigan and its surrounding communities.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Today's Jackson Citizen-Patriot Entertainment Section, Page C2

The story about our film and my plans to change Jackson, Michigan and its surrounding communities into an independent filmmaking Mecca is in today's print edition of the Jackson Citizen-Patriot newspaper.

It's going to take some help, but we've got the talent and dedication to make this work. We welcome all those who would like to help make this dream a reality.

A local film is a community effort

Two of the most important things this production has going for it are the people and community involvement.

The screenplay is the blueprint for the film, but no matter how well-written, it all goes for naught without help. The talented skill people behind the scenes such as Brian Greenway, Amanda Trudell, Jon Rowland, Megan Tipton and John Lennox took the printed words from the page and transformed them into something special. And invaluable behind-the-scenes assistance was also rendered by Camera Assistant Jeff Makarauskas and Production Assistant Jacquelyn Marks.

And the actors, such as Todd Lutz, Mahalia Greenway, Paul Broussard, John Lennox, Amanda Trudell, Phil Foster, Toney Delgado, Lisa Douglass, Karen Kidder-Barrett, Mike Lantis, Cheryl Marks, Jimi Bommarito, Nicki McDonald, Tahachi Hardrick, Paul Current, & stunt driver Johnathan Hutchins helped bring the scenes to life.

And then there are the locations and the people who graciously allowed us to film on their property: TransPharm Pre-Clinical Solutions in Napoleon, Midbrook Products in Jackson, Cheryl Marks' residence in Parma, and Bucky Harris Park in downtown Jackson.

Men in motion: John Lennox and Brian Greenway move back to their starting point for another take of trailer scene number 24.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Post-production of the presentation trailer

We begin the post-production phase for the trailer, when each of the 24 scenes scripted for the trailer will be indexed long with each shot for each scene and each take of each shot. It can be tedious, but to me it's still fun. You get to see mistakes, dialogue flubs, and amusing moments that won't make the final cut.

Jon Rowland and Brian Greenway share a laugh on the roof of Midbrook Products on Sunday, September 29, 2013.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Welcome to Hollywood, Michigan!

Without a good local media, you might as well be living in a vacuum. Fortunately, Zeke Jennings, Arts & Entertainment reporter for the Jackson Citizen-Patriot and Mlive.com, has published a story about our film and my plans for moviemaking in Jackson.

To read the story, please point your browser to: http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/jackson/index.ssf/2013/10/filmmaker_brian_g_walsh_hoping.html

This story will also be appearing in the print edition of the Jackson Citizen-Patriot newspaper, probably this Sunday, October 6, 2013.

It took a lot of good people to make this trailer a reality, and it will take many more to produce the feature film. And we have plans for many more feature films.

Let's rock Jackson, Michigan!

Lead actor Todd Lutz takes a ride to the roof for his confrontation scene.

Now the real work begins!

We have completed all of the filming, with only some promotional photos remaining to be shot. We've set up a production meeting for the end of the week, where Amanda Trudell, Brian Greenway, Mahalia Greenway and I will discuss the trailer, plan for the upcoming feature film shoot in the Spring of 2014, and devise strategy for the marketing and promotion of the film.

I'm also going to begin an in-depth analysis of the 1st draft of the completed feature film script, utilizing a process I created for the screenwriting workshop I taught last year. It's an excellent method for determining what is missing and what can be improved in a feature film screenplay.

Lead actress Mahalia Greenway stands by to assist while lead actor Todd Lutz prepares for his scene.

Monday, September 30, 2013

TransPharm Pre-Clinical Solutions in Napoleon, Michigan: The doctor is in!

What a fantastic venue TransPharm Pre-Clinical Solutions is!

Dan Ross and his team have made TransPharm into one of the true gems of Napoleon, Michigan. The lab contains several areas that were perfect for shooting this trailer, and Dan and Samantha Ross were not only gracious hosts, but professional, cautious and safety-conscious to make sure that nothing could go wrong. Dan oversaw everything carefully to prevent accidental exposure and his steady professionalism, engaging personality and quick wit helped disarm any fears. (Why are my hands still shaking?)

We had a chase and fight scene outside the facility where lead actor Todd Lutz gets injected with a revolutionary process designed to rewrite the human genome. Inside, we had a wonderful hand-to-hand combat scene between Todd Lutz and John Lennox that was choreographed beautifully by John and his team.

TransPharm's Dan Ross and Samantha Ross don the gloves prior to their scene, while Brian Greenway, Jon Rowland and Brian G. Walsh discuss the shot sequence.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The filming of the trailer is complete

Cut and print that!

After arriving at TransPharm shortly before 8:00 AM, Brian Greenway, Amanda Trudell, Jon Rowland and I walked the grounds to the area we would shoot the scene where Todd Lutz's character chases the renegade scientist which leads to a desperate confrontation. This is the scene where Todd's character becomes injected with a revolutionary process that threatens the future of the human species.

Then we moved out of the rain and shot inside the lab. This included a brutal fight scene between Todd Lutz and John Lennox filmed along the breezeway of the lab. We concluded filming at the lab with a scene involving TransPharm's own Dan & Samantha Ross, who discover an act of horrific treachery.

We took a break a little after 2:00 PM. Brian Greenway, Amanda Trudell, Jon Rowland, Todd Lutz and I met at Midbrook Products at 5:30 PM to perform a walkthrough of the important rooftop confrontation scene. For a change, the weather and our sun cooperated to enhance the shoot. We parted with handshakes and hugs, weary but satisfied with all that we've accomplished over but three days of filming.

Todd Lutz waves a bloody hand from the roof at some of the cast and crew below after filming was complete.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The last day of shooting is upon us...

The shooting of the presentation trailer for the feature film, "Walking Apocalypse," officially concludes tomorrow, Sunday, September 29, 2013.

With an early start in Napoleon that begins with exterior action scenes and concludes with interior lab scenes, we have a full day of shooting ahead. After finishing the lab scenes, we'll take a short break and reconvene in Jackson for two exterior night scenes, including one of the most important in both the trailer and the feature film.

There's always the possibility that we may have to reshoot a scene or two, but for the most part, this will conclude the filming. After that, we'll prepare the film for editing before we get down to the business of putting the presentation trailer together.

Left to right: Jon Rowland on sound, Paul Broussard, Director of Photography Brian Greenway, Producer-Actor Amanda Trudell, Director Brian G. Walsh, actor Jimi Bommarito.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Looking for a Hummer, SUV or similar vehicle for Sunday shoot in Napoleon, Michigan...

HUMMER or black, newer model SUV or similar vehicle wanted for Sunday's shoot in Napoleon. Owner can drive and will be credited for participation during action scene. Will need the vehicle from 8:00 AM to approximately 12 Noon at the latest.

It's not absolutely vital to the shoot, but would add production value and make for some nice visuals if we could get a Hummer or similar vehicle. If you or someone you know has such a vehicle and would like to participate in the last day of shooting for our feature film trailer, please comment on this blog or on the similar post on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WalkingApocalypseMovie?skip_nax_wizard=true

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Night Shooting with a corpse in Parma, Michigan

Shooting the the night scene was challenging last Sunday, September 22, 2013 in Parma, Michigan. If you're not familiar with Parma, it gets very dark in this quaint village. Although there was ambient light from the MACI plant in the distance, when darkness falls in Parma, it absolutely envelops you.

Brian Greenway was able to rig sufficient lighting, with help from Amanda Trudell, to get the shots we needed. Not only did we have to film Todd Lutz approaching with his gun drawn, but we had a nice little scene involving a fresh corpse with a bullet wound to the head. We had to get the shot completed before the blood oozed out of proper position.

Left to right: Amanda Trudell, Brian G. Walsh, Brian Greenway, Jon Rowland, Phil Foster.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013 was a very productive day. We filmed two important scenes which required special makeup work, one an interior day scene and the other an exterior night scene. We shot both multiple times until we were satisfied, while actors Jimi Bommarito and Lisa Douglas, the “victims” of the makup jobs, practiced their craft with skill and good humor.

We began the day in Jackson, and concentrated on interior scenes only from 10:00 AM to about 6:20 PM, then took a short break before resuming in Parma after 7:00 PM. The Parma shoot consisted of only one scene, but we required angles on actors that began the scene a good distance from each other spatially. In the trailer these scenes will probably take up a few seconds, but we didn't finish in Parma until after 10:00 PM.

Left to right: Brian G. Walsh studies the position of the actors while Brian Greenway adjusts the tripod and actor Lisa Douglas prepares for the scene.

The cast and crew were great, as usual, and were primarily concerned with getting the shots right and making sure everyone was safe before proceeding. Only one more full day of filming for the trailer remains, Sunday, September 29, scheduled to shoot in Napoleon. Then it's on to the process of editing.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day & Night Shooting

We start the day in Jackson, Michigan, for five or six scenes, all interiors, along with recording some filtered audio for an exterior scene that was filmed Sunday, September 15 in downtown Jackson.

After the sun sets, we reconvene in Parma, Michigan, for a night scene which should have considerable impact. It's an important moment in the feature script for the protagonist, a moment that causes him to distrust everyone.

I worked on the camera angles last night and this morning in order to give Director of Photography Brian Greenway my vision for today's shoot. Brian is excellent at offering several options, including new shot angles, that enhance the visuals.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Parma, Michigan: 10 miles west of the Apocalypse

We shot three interior scenes for the trailer today in Parma, Michigan. In these scenes, the lead character, Nick (Todd Lutz), got some very disturbing news regarding his personal and professional lives from actors Amanda Trudell and Mahalia Greenway.

Again, the weather wasn't cooperative. We were hoping for the sun (sun, what sun?) to enhance the natural lighting, but it remained aloof. But we were still able to get some very good shots we can use in the trailer.

We've got a real big day coming Sunday, with both day and night shooting on tap, and some scenes with great impact scheduled to be shot.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Welcome to Parma, Michigan...

We'll be filming in the Village of Parma, Michigan tomorrow, Friday, September 20, at a private residence.

We don't need any extras this weekend, but again I want to thank all of you who helped us film that important crowd scene with Todd Lutz and Paul Broussard in downtown Jackson on Sunday, September 15, 2013

My friend and fellow screenwriter and filmmaker Sharma Krauskopf is a local celebrity in Parma. I assisted Sharma with two of her three independent filmmaking workshops at libraries in Parma and Jackson. I am working for Sharma as a Co-Producer and Screenplay Consultant for her independent feature film, "Keepers," a Michigan production.

Sharma and Dominick Oliverio, also Co-Producer and Screenplay Consultant for "Keepers," provided invaluable feedback on the 1st draft of the "Walking Apocalypse" screenplay.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Production Assistant Jacquelyn Marks

Jacquelyn Marks kept a tight rein on the administration of our extras, and she did an excellent job. Jacquelyn has been with us since a little before the first shoot, so she's one of our first crew members. Without her tireless help and support, the downtown crowd shoot would not have been possible.

Jacquelyn relaxes after preparing a set for the "Walking Apocalypse" team in Parma, Michigan.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Jeff Makarauskas – Camera Assistant

Jeff Makarauskas was another indispensable asset at yesterday's shoot. Jeff assisted Director of Photography Brian Greenway and helped him set up some very challenging shots that enhanced the feel of this film. We couldn't have done it without you, Jeff, and we hope you'll return for the rest of the shoots.

Left to right: Director of Photography Brian Greenway, Director Brian G. Walsh, Actor Phil Foster, and Camera Assistant Jeff Makarauskas.

Megan Tipton – Makeup Artist

Megan Tipton is our makeup artist. She will be the one applying the artistic touch to the nasty infection that protagonist Nick Candelaria suffers, and Megan will also be creating some more difficult makeup that greatly impacts the trailer. We are pleased and proud to have Megan on our team.

Makeup Artist Megan Tipton examines her work on Star Todd Lutz' arm.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Extra needed -- must be willing to have extensive facial makeup done

We need someone to volunteer to play a man who has been mutated by the sabotage of the revolutionary genetic process in the film. As with all roles and positions on our first film, we cannot offer pay, only film credit.

We need someone who is not allergic to latex and has no allergies regarding makeup, as there may be partial facial prosthetics and makeup combined for this role.

Those interested must be available on Sunday, September 22 and Sunday, September 29. We will only need you one of those days, but we are juggling the shooting schedule as of this writing, so we need someone available either day to make sure we can slot this scene where it maximizes our time.

To apply, you may comment on this post, or comment on our Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/WalkingApocalypseMovie?skip_nax_wizard=true

Or simply send me an email at: brian@walshbrothersproductions.com

Jon Rowland – Sound & Lighting

Jon Rowland provided expert sound & lighting work in helping make the day a winner. Sound is so important that Jon's contributions to this project cannot be understated. Sound problems made much of the footage of my former film, “The Devil of the Desert Sands,” useless. That film was never completed, but I'll probably take another crack at it in the future.

Jon was everywhere and always on top of his game. This project is lucky to have him and I am grateful that he believes in "Walking Apocalypse" and our plans to establish an independent filmmaking hub right here in little old Jackson, Michigan.

Left to Right: Jeff Makarauskas leaves for equipment as Actor Toney Delgado, Director Brian G. Walsh, Sound & Lighting Jon Rowland & Director of Photography Brian Greenway prepare for the next shot.

A Great (Rainy) Day in Downtown Jackson, Michigan...

The downtown crowd scene was a smashing success, thanks to Producer Amanda Trudell, Production Assistant Jacquelyn Marks, and all of the wonderful local Jackson residents who imbued the scene with the necessary authenticity. Actors Todd Lutz and Paul Broussard were a hit with the crowd, and both did a great job with this scene.

To access a larger version of this image, please visit out Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/WalkingApocalypseMovie?skip_nax_wizard=true

The only element that refused cooperation was Michigan's infamous and temperamental weather. It sprinkled off an on, but we're grateful we eluded one of the region's notorious downpours.

I arrived early to walk through the scene alone, just to have a fresh perspective on how the scene should play out. Then Director of Photography Brian Greenway and I conferred on options. Brian had outstanding ideas, as usual, on additional approches regarding how to frame several shots. We wrapped this portion of Sunday's shoot before 3:00 PM, and then broke for a brief bite to eat.

From here we moved on to Midbrook Medical, which offers several outstanding interior locations perfectly suited for this film. A huge “Thank You” to Midbrook Medical for the use of their fine facilities.

The shoot at Midbrook went beautifully. DP Brian Greenway framed some beautiful and very creative shots, including a marvelous innovation for a windshield scene of a moving vehicle. We had some great local actors involved at the Midbrook shoot, including Amanda Trudell, Toney Delgado, John Lennox and Phil Foster.

We also connected with a couple of local actors who will be auditioning for us this week. Even though our focus is almost entirely on “Walking Apocalypse,” there are many other films to follow, and actors who do not get cast in this film may be cast in another. We're here to stay.

Thank you to everyone who made this shoot a success.

Brian G. Walsh Director, “Walking Apocalypse”

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Notice to Extras for Sunday, September 15 Downtown Jackson Crowd Scene

Location: Bucky Harris Park, corner of W. Michigan Ave. & S. Jackson St., across from City Hall. Reporting Time: 12:00 Noon

Please try to avoid wearing anything white or with stripes. And absolutely no logos, pictures, text, brand names of anything, including sports teams, is allowed to be in the shoot.

You must first either turn in your signed actor agreement or sign one at the location. You must then provide us with contact information so we can return a copy to you later.

This should be a fun shoot as we utilize our first chance to showcase Jackson, Michigan and its people. I think we've got a lot of talent in this area, but we've been lacking opportunities. If we are successful, all that is going to change.

It is my oft-stated goal to transform Jackson and the surrounding areas into an independent filmmaking Mecca. Many say we can't do it. But I say we can!

If you get a chance, please visit our Facebook page and show your support by liking "Walking Apocalypse."

https://www.facebook.com/WalkingApocalypseMovie?skip_nax_wizard=true

Thank you to everyone who has responded to this project and helped spread the word.

Brian G. Walsh Director, "Walking Apocalypse"

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Thank you to the Ann Arbor Screenwriting Group

I want to thank the members of the Ann Arbor Screenwriters Group who read, reviewed and provided feedback for the 1st draft screenplay of my feature film "Walking Apocalypse."

Specifically, but in no particular order since I am grateful to all for taking the time to share their opinion, I want to thank:

Local screenwriters: Sharma Krauskopf, Dominick Oliverio, Dianna L. Zimmerman, Bradley M. Jost, David Liu, Patricia McLaughlin, Judy Hatfield & Matt Pinard.

The group met on Tuesday, June 25 to "workshop" this script during a roundtable discussion and offered suggestions for improvement and other assistance during the question and answer portion of the meeting.

Obtaining critical, objective feedback from screenwriters is an invaluable part of the process. There's no such thing as a 1st draft script that is good enough to shoot, and without the generous help of fine people and writers such as these, projects like this would be far more difficult.

Friday, September 13, 2013

1st Day of Shooting the Trailer is upon us...

It begins!

Day One of the filming of the trailer for “Walking Apocalypse.” We're shooting in the village of Parma, Michigan, a quaint village less than a 20 minute drive from the west side of Jackson, Michigan.

At the conclusion of filming, we will have a production meeting at a local restaurant or bar & grill in Parma to assess the shoot and discuss Sunday's shoot in downtown Jackson.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

All extras who wish to appear in the downtown Jackson scene on Sunday, September 15, please make sure you arrive by 12 noon and bring your signed actor agreement. If you don't have one, we will provide one for you there. Please also make sure you leave your name and email or other contact information with us so we can send a copy of the actor agreement to you after the shoot.

The scene takes place at and around Bucky Harris Park, directly across the street from City Hall in downtown Jackson, at the corner of W. Michigan Ave and N. Jackson St.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Walking Apocalypse Press Release & Casting Call

Local Film Explores Peril of Speeding Up Human Evolution

Casting Call for Extras Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hollywood is full of cautionary tales warning against the perils of unbridled leaps of progress. Now revolutionary technologies and genetic advances have put the human race on the verge of taking control of its own evolution. An awesome and potentially dangerous responsibility, but it's not the science or genetic engineering that is the problem. Ironically, it's the human element that poses the biggest threat to annihilation of the human race.

“Walking Apocalypse” tells the story of a man infected with a revolutionary new genetic process originally designed to cure all hereditary disease -- but the process has been sabotaged. In 72 hours, the infection will spread to contaminate everyone this man encounters. And the process has been reprogrammed to rewrite the DNA of everyone it infects to change their genome. Unless he can find a cure, it's the end of the human species as we know it.

We are seeking extras for a scene this Sunday, September 15 in downtown Jackson, Michigan, for a crowd scene at Bucky Harris Park at the intersection of W. Michigan Ave and N. Jackson St. Extras should report to this location at 12:00 PM and be prepared to sign an actor agreement before the shoot.

This trailer for an independent feature film being shot in and around Jackson, Michigan, is the first step forward from a new local film production company that intends to shoot at least one independent feature-length motion picture every year.

Director-Screenwriter Brian G. Walsh, Producer Amanda Trudell, Director of Photography Brian Greenway, and lead actors Todd Lutz and Mahalia Greenway are all local residents dedicated to making this film a successful first entry towards building an independent filmmaking Mecca in Jackson, Michigan.

Brian G. Walsh and Gary R. Walsh of Walsh Brothers Productions, LLC, plan to recruit as much of their cast and crew as possible from in and around the Jackson, Michigan area.

Brian G. Walsh has been a judge of three international screenwriting competitions, taught screenwriting at the Ann Arbor Senior Center in 2012, and was a Semi-Finalist in Francis Ford Coppola's 2006 Zoetrope International Screenwriting Contest. Walsh is also a two-time Finalist for the Writer's Arc Screenwriting Fellowship, has placed in several other international screenwriting competitions, and authored an article on independent filmmaking in Michigan for Metromode Media in 2007. http://www.metromodemedia.com/features/MIFilmmaking0045.aspx

# # #

For more information, or to schedule an interview with Brian G. Walsh, please email brian@walshbrothersproductions.com

Brian G. Walsh Director, "Walking Apocalypse" http://walkingapocalypsemovie.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Amanda Trudell named producer of "Walking Apocalypse" trailer

Local filmmaker Amanda Trudell has been chosen to produce the trailer for "Walking Apocalypse.

Amanda's focus has been on documentaries, but she has experience working on narrative fiction films.

Amanda brings skill, organization, dedication, and a commitment to excellence that will greatly enhance this project. We are pleased and proud to have Amanda as our producer.

For a sample of some of Amanda's work, please point your browser to:

www.behance.net/amandatrudell

Monday, September 9, 2013

Production Meeting tomorrow

Mahalia Greenway and I will be hosting a production meeting tomorrow morning with potential new additions to our team.

We are excited at the prospect of two new talented individuals we will be meeting tomorrow whose skill and creativity would greatly enhance our film trailer.

We're also going to be joined briefly by our star, local actor Todd Lutz, for a brief discussion regarding recent developments for the upcoming shoot.

Following the production meeting, I will be meeting a local gentleman with a video production background regarding the use of a vehicle in our trailer shoot scheduled for Sunday, September 15 in downtown Jackson.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Walking Apocalypse Facebook Page

Please visit and like our film's Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/WalkingApocalypseMovie?skip_nax_wizard=true

We're finalizing the shot list, the call sheets and coordinating schedules for the upcoming trailer shoot.

Meanwhile, we are still hosting auditions seeking actors and still looking for additional crew. This is just the beginning of what promises to be a great adventure.

There are roles to fill in this movie that are not going to appear in the trailer, but we're looking even now to fill them, so you are encouraged to contact us if you wish to be involved with this film and with our future films, all expected to be filmed in and around Jackson, Michigan.

To apply, visit the Walsh Brothers Productions site, click "enter" and then "contact:"

http://www.walshbrothersproductions.com/,/p>

Friday, September 6, 2013

Another location scout & more auditions today

The day starts with another location scout.

Director of Photography Brian Greenway and I will be doing a location scout in Parma, Michigan, this morning. We're checking lighting, acoustics and anything else that will impact filming. We'll have the preliminary shot list with us to guide us regarding the scenes shot inside. There are also extensive, beautiful grounds that might be utilized in the feature film if we aren't able to use them in the trailer.

After we're finished with the location scout, it's back to Jackson, where Mahalia Greenway and I will be hosting another round of auditions. It's going to be a very busy day.

Brian G. Walsh -- Director, "Walking Apocalypse"

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Rewriting the human genome, is it possible?

The plot of “Walking Apocalypse” has to do with one scientist's blanket approach to rewriting the human genome in order to cure all hereditary disease. A noble endeavor, to be sure, but what follows is all-too-typical of the pattern of real life. Something goes terribly wrong.

With protagonist Nick Candelaria infected by the genome-rewriting process and on the run, he finds that his options are severely limited. This is not something you can check into the local hospital for, and if he notifies the authorities they would quarantine him, cutting off any chance of finding a cure to save his life in time.

But is such a thing as rewriting the human genome possible in real life?

The answer is yes, and it's being done. Europe has approved medicines that will rewrite your DNA to cure genetic disorders. This is different from treating symptoms to alleviate suffering, this is an outright cure – and some of these treatments are becoming available now.

It's exciting to think of a time when the human species will be freed from all genetic disorders, but the danger is in outside interference with this noble effort. In the wrong hands, such a process could be used to cause great harm.

For more, please point your browser to:

http://www.dvice.com/archives/2012/11/europe_approves_1.php

Image courtesy of:

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=31530&picture=structure-of-dna

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Brooklyn Exponent Newspaper Front Page Story

We made the front page of the Brooklyn, Michigan Exponent Weekly Newspaper.

This is the link to the Exponent's Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Brooklyn-Exponent/309085142482833?group_id=0

Paul Broussard chosen for important role in “Walking Apocalypse”

Actor, Entertainer Paul Broussard has been chosen to play the role of Skeet Wilson, the protagonist's partner and best friend.

Paul is a multi-talented creative professional who wears many hats, with experience that includes entertainment sales, promotion, acting, radio advertising production, voice over artist, event hosting, musician, vocalist, music production, restaurant and bar management. We are pleased and proud to have him as a member of our cast.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Todd Lutz chosen as lead actor for "Walking Apocalypse"

After due deliberation, Todd Lutz has been chosen to play the lead role of Nick Candelaria in "Walking Apocalypse."

Todd auditioned last week and made an immediate, pronounced impact reading the lines of our protagonist. Todd has the physical presence, skill and acting ability to make this a truly memorable role.

Todd was previously the lead in a local Jackson, Michigan production of "The King And I," but we don't want him shaving his head for this role. As is, his hair color, length and style is perfect for the lead role in this film. So no head shaving for those of you who enjoyed Todd's turn as the King of Siam.

http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/jackson/index.ssf/2012/10/todd_lutz_shaving_his_head_for.html

This is exciting news for our production as we had some good auditions for the role, but nobody quite

nailed it in every single way like Todd did.

Keep checking back for more exciting news as we get closer to shooting.

More auditions, locations & vehicles sought

More auditions are scheduled for today, along with an afternoon meeting with potential stunt & fight scene coordinators for the trailer and possibly the feature film.

There may also be a special announcement later today. Please check back with this blog later today for the news.

We're also still setting up location scouts as we approach the tentative shooting dates. We still are in need of a local bar, a warehouse, an apartment living room, and a basement lab.

As for vehicles, we're looking for the use of a Hummer or black Suburban-type SUV, along with a pickup truck and a black van. The owner's of said vehicles may appear as an extra and receive credit in the film for the use of their vehicles.

Regarding auditions: Mahalia Greenway is our expert on auditions and she runs this process while I assist and film the actor to get an impression of them in the role they are reading for.

We like to have people come in without having seen the material they are going to read. The actor has to understand that this is our first film, and we are at ground level as a production entity. All we can offer is credit for now, but we do intend to shoot a feature-length film every year. As we grow, the opportunities will increase and we would love to assemble a core group to work with us on every film.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Productive Day

We had a productive day on Friday, August 30. Mahalia Greenway and I hosted auditions for the trailer for the film. We had some really good auditions, and met with a fine young lady who we hope will be working with us as part of our crew and as an extra for our crowd scene.

After the auditions were completed, Mahalia and I discussed the actors and which roles we felt they were best suited for. The auditions continue, with two days next week reserved for filling out the remainder of the cast.

We also have skilled individuals who have contacted me regarding stunts and fight choreography, which we are grateful for. As Friday was utilized for auditions followed by locations scouts, I was unable to contact one of those individuals, but I intend to contact the gentleman again after the Labor Day Weekend.

There have been more interested parties willing to allow us to film at their location, and we are trying to work out a day and time in our schedules to see those properties.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Auditions for “Walking Apocalypse” begin

This morning we will be holding auditions for the “Walking Apocalypse” trailer to be shot in September. The morning is full, but there are still afternoon slots available for any actors who wish to apply for roles.

With all but one role open, including the lead, the auditions should be an exciting process. We have some very interesting and talented actors scheduled for visits this morning.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tour of TransPharm with Director of Photography & Lead Actress

We had a very productive day. I visited TransPharm Pre-Clinical Solutions with my Director of Photography, Brian Greenway, and lead actress Mahalia Greenway for a location tour for the "Walking Apocalypse" trailer we're shooting in September.

President & CEO Daniel Ross conducted us on a thorough tour of the interior and exterior of the facility and grounds. We brought our shot list for this location, and Brian Greenway and I were able to discuss shot selection and location while on site.

It really helped to visualize the places the trailer scenes would be shot at. This was a big step forward as we got a pretty firm grip on the various interior and exterior scenes that will be shot at TransPharm.

Mr. Ross and his staff were kind and generous hosts, once again. The Jackson-Brooklyn area is proud to have such consummate professionals and genuinely good people to represent them.

Matt Schepeler, owner & publisher of the Brooklyn Exponent newspaper interviewed Brian & Mahalia Greenway and myself and then accompanied us on the tour.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Additions to casting call

We are seeking to fill two additional roles:

Supporting Character: Female (Age: Approximately 20-30): Girlfriend of lead character.

Supporting Character: Female (Age: Approximately 40-50): Mother of girlfriend of lead.

Unless otherwise indicated, roles are open to any and all ethnicities.

To view our Craigslist casting call ad:

http://jxn.craigslist.org/tlg/4013532173.html

To view our Craigslist "Locations Wanted" ad:

http://jxn.craigslist.org/sbw/4014731500.html

Designer babies, chimera & the end of the human species?

Who draws the line with genetic engineering?

Is it ethically and/or morally wrong to design your own children to be free of disease, deformity, etc.?

Most would agree that this is desirable, but what happens when parents seek total control of the design of their children?

Should it be legal for parents to literally order a blueprint for the makeup of their children?

Eye color, hair color, height, etc. Should parents be able to choose these, or not?

Of more concern than the above is the idea of "cherry-picking" desirable traits and abilities from other species and blending them with humans, creating a chimera, or human-animal hybrid, which is the plot of another script I've written for future development.

And when someone does cross that line, it could be the beginning of the end of the human species as we know it.

For more on designer babies and the future of genetic manipulation, point your browser to:

http://madeinbrunel.com/blog/article/designer-babies-the-next-stage-of-evolution

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Human Evolution Has Stopped...

According to British geneticist Steve Jones, human evolution has stopped.

This is the driving force behind "Walking Apocalypse." One brilliant geneticist's remarkable process designed to enhance and perfect the human species is perverted by those with a more parochial, cynical view of its value.

One man gets caught in the middle of the age-old tug-of-war between military and scientific application, and the race is on to find a cure before the process activates and spreads to every human being on the face of the earth.

A process that was first created to cure has been reprogrammed to kill, and the sabotage by the reluctant scientist forced to retool his process for military application has placed the entire human race at risk.

To read the article regarding Dr. Jones' lecture, point your browser to:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200810/why-human-evolution-pretty-much-stopped-about-10000-years-

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tour of TransPharm Pre-Clinical Solutions Bio-Safety Level-II lab for "Walking Apocalypse"

I will be touring a Bio-Safety Level-II lab next week along with Director Of Photography Brian Greenway and lead actress Mahalia Greenway for the critical lab scenes in "Walking Apocalypse."

Daniel Ross, President & CEO of TransPharm Pre-Clinical Solutions in Napoleon Township, has graciously offered us the use of his outstanding, state-of-the-art facility for our film.

The right location is vital to the success of a film. TransPharm's facilities are an excellent fit as the fictitious lab "Gen-Tech" in "Walking Apocalypse."

Daniel Ross and his staff were outstanding hosts for my first tour of the facility a few months ago, when I initiated my first location scout.

Several of the most important scenes in the film will be shot at TransPharm, including the discovery of the unique problem that has turned a potentially wonderful process into a doomsday weapon that threatens the entire human species.

TransPharm Preclinical Solutions is a reliable single source provider of a complete array of studies in infectious disease animal models for the antibiotic discovery industry.

TransPharm's outstanding staff includes Director of Research Dr. Santiago R. Lopez, Ph.D., Operations Manager Samantha Ross, CHRS, Contract/Protocol Specialist Marci Peek, MT (ASCP), and Associate Scientist Lisa Lazaroff, AAS, LAT, LVT.

For more about TransPharm, visit:

http://transpharmsite.com/

Brian G. Walsh, Director, Walking Apocalypse

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Independent Filmmaking Workshop in Parma, Michigan

Parma's own Sharma Krauskopf hosted an indie filmmaking workshop this evening at the Parma Library on Church Street from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Sharma is an international lighthouse expert, author and executive producer and screenwriter of "Keepers," an independent film tentatively scheduled to begin principal photography in September 2014 at Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse.

Dominick Oliverio and I, Co-Producers and Screenplay Consultants for "Keepers," assisted Sharma with the workshop. We met some fine, talented and ambitious people who have creative dreams that they wish to fulfill right here in Michigan. I might have found two of my locations for "Walking Apocalypse" tonight as one of the attendees was gracious enough to allow me to visit her home and do a location scout of it for the film. It is a beautiful home, inside and out, and has an impressive driveway to the house along with beautiful grounds.

Networking is the key to independent filmmaking. There are a lot of talented people out there with no outlet for their ambition, but a group of talented people can get together, pool their respective skills, and form an unofficial production company. The Hollywood way is fine if you have loads of cash, but for those of us without a budget to speak of, networking and trading skills to work on each other's projects is the way to go.

Sharma will be hosting another Independent Filmmaking Workshop that details her experiences with "Keepers" Thursday, August 22 froom 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM at the Eastern Branch of the Jackson District Library.

Details are:

Eastern Branch - 3125 East Michigan Ave. Jackson, MI 49202 - Phone: (517) 788-4074

Walking Apocalypse is now casting in Jackson, Michigan!

Casting lead and supporting roles and for extras for a 2 minute promotional trailer for a feature-length, high-concept action thriller.

Auditions will be held late August to early September in Jackson, Michigan.

Shooting schedule has not been finalized. All interested cast and crew must be available for any dates. Shooting is tentatively scheduled for two to four days in September, 2013.

Sundays are probable. Exact locations still to be determined, but will be in or near Jackson, Michigan.

The beginning date for principal photography for the feature film has not been finalized, but please let us know about any dates you already have commitments for.

Available Roles:

Male Lead (Age: Approximately 30): Former soldier and cop, heads up security for a bio-safety lab.

Supporting Character #1: Male (Age: Approximately 30): African-American, 2nd-in-command of security at the lab.

Supporting Character #2: Female (Age: Approximately 35): Lab administrative boss.

Supporting Character #3: Male or Female (Age: Approximately 50): Former military and in charge of special projects for the lab.

Supporting Character #4: Male (Age: Approximately 50): Office V.P. type.

Supporting Character #5: Male (Age: Approximately 60): Influential & wealthy businessman with political aspirations.

Supporting Character #6: Male (Age: Approximately 30): Businessman's Field Team Leader and rival of lead.

Supporting Character #7: Male (Age: Approximately 45): Genetic research scientist.

Supporting Character #8: Female (Age: Approximately 40): Genetic research scientist.

Supporting Character #9: Male (Age: Approximately 50): Chief research scientist.

Supporting Character #10: Male (Age: Approximately 55): Genius geneticist.

Compensation:

These are for credit only, no pay or expense reimbursement. You will have the potential to be part of the cast and crew of the feature film (may not be in the same capacity). One meal per shooting day provided, but lodging and transportation will not be provided.

How to Apply:

If you are interested in applying, please email your headshot, resume and any demo reel link to briansgate@gmail.com

Additional Requirements:

Signed: Actor Agreement, Crew independent or freelance contract agreements, non-disclosure agreement, etc.

NOTE: Please include the role or position you are applying for in the subject line of your email.

Location: Jackson, Michigan

Compensation: no pay -- credit only