Since September 2007, Eric Stanze, writer/director/producer/owner of independent film company Wicked Pixel Cinema has been given us the scoop on what it?s like to be a working director in the independent film scene. After the success of their recent feature Deadwood Park, Stanze and the Wicked Pixel crew have been gearing up for their latest feature entitled Seizure. In his latest entry, Stanze tells us about attracting a few familiar faces in casting Seizure from two renowned genre titles, Poltergeist and Friday the 13th. Though Stanze says it?s too early to name names, read on for more details about the casting of Seizure or go back to his previous entries to learn more about Wicked Pixel Cinema and their films!
Momentum is gaining for our upcoming feature, SEIZURE, which is slated to begin shooting this fall. We already have most of the shooting locations locked, department heads are kicking into high gear, and we are in the thick of casting actors.
Here's the status on casting. We are not holding traditional auditions like we did for DEADWOOD PARK. That was a much bigger movie and it had a huge cast. SEIZURE has only ten speaking parts, plus a smattering of featured non-speaking bit parts.
Two leading parts have been cast by actors familiar to you if you've seen my past movies. Jason Christ of ICE FROM THE SUN and Emily Haack of SCRAPBOOK are set to play leads. Both were great playing their small parts in DEADWOOD PARK, but I'm very excited about getting to direct them in leading roles again.
Also in casting news, we are now negotiating with some true icons of horror cinema. Actors who have been in some of the most impactful horror movies in film history are likely to be in SEIZURE. I have never worked with "name actors" before, and I'm quite happy that my first time will likely be with some truly legendary performers.
It is too early to name names just yet, but a prominent actress in POLTERGEIST and a leading lady from FRIDAY THE 13TH have already officially joined the SEIZURE cast.
There are a couple of other "name actors" who have expressed interest in the SEIZURE project, but who have not yet joined on officially. We're negotiating with them now and we'll (hopefully) have them signed on by the end of this month.
How did I attract all this celebrity talent? It certainly isn't the budget! SEIZURE (though it's by far my biggest-budgeted movie yet) is shaping up to be another low-budget independent flick, born of hard work, dedication, passion, sacrifice, and love of the craft. So why would such notable actors join on? Two words: DEADWOOD PARK.
The DVD market is terrible right now, thanks to rapidly changing technologies, an over-saturated market (mostly inundated with crap), and a downwardly spiraling U.S. economy. We've been working our asses off to counter all this and generate some sales of our last movie, DEADWOOD PARK. However, DEADWOOD PARK's distributor has done little to support our momentum. Half of our marketing efforts have amounted to throwing money, time, and energy out the window, because of the poor condition of the market, and because our distributor seems to have slipped into a coma. The end result of all this is a movie that has won awards, received great reviews, and sold very, very poorly.
But one (unexpected) positive thing has resulted from DEADWOOD PARK. The quality of the movie has been such that notable name actors are suddenly eager to work with me. Interesting how a project that is causing me to starve is simultaneously advancing my career to the next level.
At this time, SEIZURE's cast is only about half filled. So we're broadening our search to top off the cast.
If you are interested in auditioning for this movie, keep an eye on our website, wickedpixel.com. Soon, we'll post information about how you can submit headshots and demo reels, as well as information about the characters still left to be cast. We'll be shooting SEIZURE in the St. Louis, Missouri area, so living within a reasonable driving distance of St. Louis is a plus, but not a requirement. Also, we're interested in actors and actresses with any level of experience, from beginners to those with lengthy resumes.
There is so much progress and momentum right now, including some exciting casting possibilities, yet there is still one dark cloud of uncertainty looming over this production. The money people may not come through for us. The SEIZURE plug may still get pulled. But in this industry, that's one of many disappointing scenarios that can pop up.
Sometimes it is difficult to absorb the sucker punches thrown by the industry and still stay enthusiastic about filmmaking as an artist. But whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And scars (both physical and emotional) build character. So whatever happens, there is only one direction to go in: Forward.
Thanks for reading.