Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Interview Today on X-Zone

Go to this link to hear my interview today on X-Zone Radio: Walter Bosley Interview

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Comic Book!

It has been decided! LCL will release a new graphic version of Secret of the Amazon Queen. We tried this before a few years ago with another company, but I honestly wasn't crazy about the style. With the movie developing along, I decided it is time to present the novel in a visual form once again, to whet your appetites. The Secret of the Amazon Queen comic will feature the art of Yanis Mario Zambeis and the writing of E.A.Guest. It will be a six-issue presentation and follow the plot of the novel, with some revisions inspired by the screenplay. That means fans of the original story will finally see it faithfully visualized while also having some unexpected little touches to keep it fresh. We are just starting this project so I'm going to tentatively choose Thanksgiving as the release date for the first issue. More to follow...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

More Festival Images

I've been busy catching up on things after the Lovecraft Festival, like finishing the third chapter of the new Julius Corbin novel and setting up the plan for a new comic book I'll be announcing soon and other publishing business. Here are some photos from the festival last weekend. Three related to The Whisperer In Darkness: A miniature of the cave, then Andrew Leman (screenwriter who also portrays Charles Fort in the film) demonstrates a prop; followed by director Sean Branney's image in the prop used for his cameo, and the crowd around a vendor in between screenings...
The DVD and BluRay of Whisperer is due for release this fall, but if you can catch a screening of it in a theater, it's worth it. As soon as I know the next con or festival we are attending, I'll let you know...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Lovecraft Film Festival

We are definitely going back next year.
I just spent Friday and Saturday night at the H.P.Lovecraft Film Festival & Cthulhu Con held in the Warner Grand Theater of San Pedro, California. The Warner was built in 1931 and still retains its original beautiful art deco styling, the perfect venue for this event. This was a most refreshing experience to follow the Comic Con, as it was much smaller and pretty much stays on topic. If you're a Lovecraft fan, you will enjoy the gathering of like-minded others.
The first night was spot-on with three screenings that fit the theme like a glove. There was a 1968 BBC production of M.R.James' "Whistle And I'll Come To You". Though not a Lovecraft tale, the elements are very much in our featured writer's meme, with a desolate and olde landscape, an ancient eeriness, and a curious folklorist haunted by it all. It was the execution of this production that pleased the crowd most, letting the drama unfold at its own pace. The lead actor was marvelous, too. This was followed by a film I happen to have in my personal collection: The Haunted Palace starring Vincent Price and Debra Paget. It was fun to see the Roger Corman interview in which he revealed how a film based on a Lovecraft story is attributed to Poe in the title. Seems the studio geniuses thought it would sell better if Corman was doing another Poe film. In spite of that, fans of the Charles Dexter Ward tale by Lovecraft will recognize it even before Price appears as Ward. I am a fan of Debra Paget and she delivers here, holding her own with Price and a few other familiar faces. Finally, we were treated to a rare gem in the Lovecraft universe, a screening of Berkeley Square, starring Leslie Howard in the time travel story ahead of its time which Lovecraft was obsessed with during the last years of his life. The author saw this film four times after its release in 1933 and his own novella, The Shadow Out of Time, was inspired by it.
Exceedingly rare and just about impossible to find in any home viewing format, the motion picture Academy (that's right, of Oscar fame) provided the copy at the festival. If you are a fan of all time travel stories since 1933, you'll be amazed at how this movie did it first, (except perhaps The Time Machine) especially Somewhere In Time and just about every comedy on the theme in recent years. The humor is surprisingly relevant, making the modern audience laugh at every joke. Everyone particularly enjoyed when one character tells a female character that women are "all alike in the dark". Berkeley Square is a must see, if you can find it, and was the perfect film to close the night. After the screenings, everyone wandered down to the Whale & Ale Pub for a few drinks and chat and then retired for the evening.
The second evening was a bit hit and miss. First up was Cast A Deadly Spell, a 1991 comic noir film from HBO that honestly bore little resemblance to anything Lovecraft, save for the hard-boiled detective main character being named after the writer. If you like Big Trouble In Little China, watch that instead. This film is actually in a genre I'm not terribly fond of personally, i.e. comic fantasy. This stuff rose up in the 1980s and became more prevalent after the success of Douglas Adams' works (though not as successfully). However, a lot of people like smirky cute send-ups of fantastic literature, it irritates me too much to watch it. That's why I stepped out and perused the vendor areas for the remaining 45 minutes after reaching my saturation point. Too bad because there are elements to this film that could have carried it without all the schtick that drove me out of my seat. This was followed by a Spanish production, La Sombra Prohibida (The Forbidden Shadow), a SyFy quality melodrama inspired by Lovecraft. This one was subtitled, which is fine. Its problems are in deciding what it wants to be. At times it was telenovela, then edgy horror, then fantasy. The first half literally made me doze off, though the second half indeed became Lovecraftian with a subterranean realm of ancient mystery, robed cultists and the eldritch god Cthulhu emerging from the depths. However this was quickly ho-hum again with more endings than movies should have. Still, this one was Lovecraftian, even featuring the author himself as a character in an early scene. This was followed by the short film entries, often the reason for going to any film festival. There were the usual moody, atmospheric offerings, some good and some better. There was humor and there was thespian angst. Most notably, the thespian gymnastics were presented in typical 'actor' fashion in a dragging adaptation of Curse of the Yig and the more entertaining (but curiously present) adaptation of The Raven. I was willing to accept the M R James film the first night, because it is indeed evocative of the star of the show, but I draw the line where shorts entered in competition are concerned. At a Lovecraft festival, a Poe film should not even be considered. But there it was and, much to the surprise of more than just me, guest judge director Guillermo Del Toro gives it the tying win with Strange Aeons, a moody prose short, sorta kinda Lovecraftian. Really? OK. My vote went to Shadow of the Unnamable, a truly Lovecraftian tale featuring one of his greatest characters, Randolph Carter. If you can find it, check it out. Finally, we were on to the big event...
The Whisperer in Darkness is the second film from the H.P.Lovecraft Historical Society. Based upon the story of the same title, this film was worth the wait. The group's first cinematic outing was a silent version of Call of Cthulhu, which any Lovecraft fan must have in their collection. Whisperer shows everything they learned from that effort and then some. Once again a science fiction classic shows its roots in a story that predates it by decades. This story is an earlier Invasion of the Body Snatchers told here in a most entertaining early 1940s style. The cast is recognizable from their first film but they're even more colorful and enriched, very fun to watch. Matt Foyer in the lead is very good and needs to be in more movies (take note Hollywood), and his supporting cast is up to his challenge.
The visual style of the film I adore: LIMITED CGI and mostly practical effects with miniatures, thank the gods. You will love the classic science fiction touches in execution as well as the noirish cinematography. What you will notice is how engaged you become in the action and drama which rivals any of the crap from Hollywood of the past several years. One crowd-pleasing moment I won't reveal, but it doesn't follow typical Hollywood convention and we loved it. In the end, I wanted to see it again that night. Hats off to director Sean Branney and the crew at HPLHS for delivering one of the best indie films I've seen. This film was really a great cap to a most enjoyable festival. Festival emcee and organizer, film director Aaron Vanek deserves kudos for putting on a great show. My entourage already plans to attend next year and I recommend it to all Lovecraft fans. Go to their website here. As mentioned before, I'm attending events in the coming twelve months since Comic Con to replace the disappointing San Diego event. This festival was a great start to that quest, delivering a truly satisfying experience. Look for a future report on the next...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cthulhu Con, Fri-Sat

OK, kiddies! I will be at the Lovecraft Festival in San Pedro for the next couple of nights. We will likely have some photos to share, so hopefully the hotel wi-fi is satisfactory for me to upload them. Otherwise, you'll have to wait for Sunday's full report... More to follow...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Movie and Beer

Tonight was a joy for me. I love films about travel. I also enjoy trying new beers from around the world. Throw in my popcorn-and-crumbled-Doritos snack (served in a red-striped cardboard popcorn box) and I'm pretty much satisfied.
I selected a film I've seen before, but the beer was new. The Darjeeling Limited is one of my favorite Wes Anderson films and I think it's appropriate to the adventure theme here. Let's face it, for many people in our times the closest thing they have to adventure is travel. I'm not talking about the tourism brand of an itinerary planned down to every fifteen minutes, get the tee shirt, visit all the postcard spots and race home. Travel in my lexicon of experiences means getting yourself somewhere and just going with your personal flow once there. Nothing wrong with having an objective or even a shopping list of things to see, but when I travel I prefer to have plenty of time off the beaten path or to just kick back and soak it all in. I like to think while I'm there. This is why I enjoy travel movies, especially this one by Wes Anderson.
Essentially, you have three brothers who've agreed to meet in India on some quest undisclosed by the brother who planned it all. Turns out they are on this journey to get closer and find their estranged mother. Their father has died not long before the trip so they're still dealing with that between themselves. For me, it's what's between themselves that often has me laughing out loud. As they ride the train, we are introduced to their individual quirks and conflicts. The oldest brother plans incessantly, dictates actions and orders the food for all. The next oldest seems to have an existential problem regarding fatherhood, reflected in his fetish for their father's personal effects (which keep turning up to the ire of the others) and in his self doubt as a husband and potential father. The youngest is the romantic, looking for validation as an author of a story about down-to-earth love even as his passions lead him into a tryst certainly exemplary of his romantic less-than-down-to-earth nature. Interestingly, it is all this that actually points to their living mother as the ghost who haunts them more than their dead father. The oldest is just like her, the next oldest's self-doubts may reflect his fear of not being adequate to his wife, a la reflective of inadequacy in the eyes of his mother (which may be yet another reflection, this one of the father who was likely inadequate to his wife, their mother); and the youngest seeking to replace the absence of his mother's nurturing love with physical trysts in which he hopes to bury his feelings of inadequacy. You're asking yourself, 'And this movie is funny?' Hell yes, I laugh out loud through much of it. Such layers are adventures within themselves. Ultimately, the brothers find their mother and she sets them straight. They achieve what they set out to, and they are really brothers again, shedding the baggage of their father. Literally.
The humor in this film is dry, my favorite. The locations are where they're supposed to be. The first friggin' place I ever wanted to travel to and have yet to get to is India. I have spent time in Pakistan, but it ain't the same, folks. At least, not in my experienced-traveler-yet-idealized vision. I envy everyone who worked on this film who got to travel. It's the sort of film during which I don't keep track of the time. I just roll with it and enjoy the experience. Having seen a fair chunk of the world, I watch a movie like this and it takes my mind to places I've seen, from trains or windows or airplanes. Little quaint things please me, like Adrien Brody talking about how nice one place smells, or the girl on the train bringing sweet lime drinks. I love lime drinks. The soup served in one scene makes me think of some good Indian food I once had in Khartoum. Anyway, travel films take me to exotic locales and inspire me. New destinations and new stories come to mind and I forget whatever might have been annoying me before it started. The Darjeeling Limited is one of these films. Not classic in setting, but it is an adventure of three souls who go off to a far land alien to them and find a treasure. That's adventure.
If you've never seen this film, I recommend it with popcorn and crushed Doritos, along with a Lhasa beer. It's actually brewed in Tibet and exported, so the label says. I really enjoyed this brew. No skunky after taste, actually goes down good and smooth. I had two during the movie and am tempted to have a third, but I'll likely save them for hot afternoons.
I'm not sure if I'll make another significant posting before the Lovecraft Festival this weekend, but I will report on it afterward (maybe during), along with photos.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Lovecraft Film Festival This Weekend!

I will be attending the H.P.Lovecraft Film Festival & Cthulhu Con in San Pedro this weekend.
The event is being held at the Warner Grand Theater, originally opened in 1931. Several films will be screened, including the new indie production from the H.P.Lovecraft Historical Society, The Whisperer In Darkness. I will be attending with my son, a lifelong cinema nut (thanks to me) and a recent appreciator of Lovecraft (also thanks to me); along with my nephew and his father. I'm really looking forward to this festival and will report at greater length after we have returned. On hand will be legend Roger Corman, director Guillermo Del Toro, and others. There will be short films, as well as screenings of features. Check out this trailer and if you're going, let me know so we can meet up!

Monday, September 12, 2011

LCL Magazine Returns!

If anyone here remembers the e-magazine I published a few years ago, I am presently gathering together the issues to select pieces for a 'Best of Lost Continent Library Magazine' issue that will be available at Kindle and in a print-on-demand edition. If the interest is strong enough, I may start doing new issues... Here's a look at the cover for the very first issue, January 2008...
More to follow...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Revisit 'Wonder of the Worlds' Promo Vid

I just watched the linked vid and I still think it holds up... Click HERE

'Amazon Queen' Samples

This afternoon I worked with Yanis Zambeis, my storyboard artist for the film. We did several plates, two of which are displayed here... Here's a shot from early in the film...
This is a sketch of one of the main characters...
Here's Yanis in action...(I tried bringing the art image up but it was too light)
As you can see, the storyboard plates are in a spiral bound book. This will be easier for me to carry to and around the stage and locations. Of course, I'll have all the plates scanned so I can print them for a traditional board for the studio office wall during pre-production and production. Also, the data will be added at the bottom of each plate, re shot number, dialogue range, etc... Working on the storyboard has been very exciting. It's like I'm already directing the film, in a way. I spoke with our visual effects director on Friday evening. He's energized, loves the script and can't wait to get started! More to follow...

Friday, September 9, 2011

New Sesh Heri Interview!

Author of the Wonder of the Worlds Trilogy, Sesh Heri, was interviewed today. You can listen here

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The New Richard Senate Book Now Available!

Richard Senate, author of Flight of the Hercules (LCL 2010), has a new book of fiction released today at Amazon. For only 99 cents you can enjoy the latest thrilling adventures in the age of steam!

Just click HERE and get yours now!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New 'Amazon Queen' Promo Art -- Again!

We just can't stop! Here's another one featuring Miriam Rivera...

As always, more to follow...

Monday, September 5, 2011

More 'Secret of the Amazon Queen' Promo Art

We are playing around with different concepts for one sheets, aka lobby posters. This one features actor Ry Bouttavong who will appear in the movie as a temple dancer in the Amazon city...

More to follow...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

'Secret of the Amazon Queen' Storyboard Images, Etc

Today I had another session with artist Yanis Zambeis and we moved the storyboard along further. With this afternoon's work, we brought the opening of the movie to the point where the main characters are introduced and the drama starts...

These are not necessarily in order...

As we progress, the storyboard images will take on a more simplistic style as the action increases, especially in scenes with several shots (the exciting stuff!). I decided that the first shot of each new scene will be in the current style you've seen thus far, but the following shots will be simpler. Remember, a storyboard is a tool for me and my camera operator and the editor. As long as we understand it, no one else needs to...

Hopefully we'll be progressing with production design soon and I'll be able to start posting those images. Production and costume design art are supposed to be detailed and look nice and 'arty'. As a director, I'm very involved with the look of my film, so it will be a true collaboration between my production designer and me...

I made some decisions early on regarding the visual style of the film. My philosophy is to make budget limitations serve style. That is why we're actually not using much CGI at all. Low budget CGI looks crappy, like a bad SyFy movie. Our use of this MUCH overused tool will be limited to mere enhancement of physical visuals, i.e. we'll put slight digital touches to the actual location to make the jungle thicker; we'll sprinkle some digital glitz to certain establishing shots of the Amazon city; basically only use it to make the physical better instead of using it to substitute for something physical. What this means is that some other decisions have also been made that I think you will enjoy and be impressed with when you see the final film. Believe it or not, we are actually able to afford our chosen style over CGI on our low budget...

Also, as soon as I'm finished with a documentary project for our producer and we start meeting with and signing talent, I will post images of them in costume and 'scenes'. One actress we are already moving toward a photo shoot for promo graphics fairly soon...

It has been slow getting to this point but we are moving now!

More to follow...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Classic Popeye

I figured since there's a new Popeye movie slated for 2013, it would be a good time to visit this classic again...

Click here for POPEYE

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Quickie Movie Review

The other night I watched a western that got better as it went.

The Hunting Party (1971) starring Gene Hackman, Oliver Reed and Candice Bergen. Without giving away the details, because I think you should watch this

film, I'll just say that it's one of the more interesting versions of The Most Dangerous Game in the long cinematic history of reboots of that tale, with an interestingly prescient glimpse into a 1975 movie Candice Bergen would again star as a wealthy kidnapped woman who ends up liking her captor.

The things I liked were the cast: Simon Oakland, Mitchell Ryan, L.Q.Jones, and G.D Spradlin are the great standouts in the supporting roles. That didn't surprise me because every one of those guys are great at what they do. But in this film they're extra good, especially Jones and Ryan. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen Ryan given so much room and material in his earlier work. Kind of makes me wish he'd been given a few good leading roles (which I recall I also said about Jack Palance in my last review). Bergen is good, but naturally this is a film for Hackman villain fans. He's a real asshole in this one and spot on, as always. I think I was quite impressed with Oliver Reed. He played it with a subdued lethality touched with tough vulnerability.

The Hunting Party is typical in many regards to the 1970s point of view on westerns, i.e. the outlaws are the sympathetic characters and the establishment boys are the no-good sonsabitches, but it's atypical in that it is actually a good movie in spite of the common wrapping of its time. Reminds me of how Walter Hill can spin B material into gold. I recommend this film for those who don't need John Wayne or Clint Eastwood all the time.