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Confessions of a Working Director - 3/3/2008

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Since September 2007, independent genre film studio Wicked Pixel Cinema?s owner/writer/director/producer/actor Eric Stanze has been giving us the latest insights on the life of a working director. See what Stanze is up to in March or backtrack to some of his previous entries to see what he's been doing!

The big news here at Wicked Pixel Cinema is that our next feature is officially in pre-production. It is called SEIZURE, and it's already kicked the Wicked Pixel team into high gear.

My producing partner, Jeremy Wallace, and I are negotiating with actors' agents and we're working towards building a cast that I am very pleased with. Most of the locations we need are already secured. And over the next few days, I'll be meeting with the art department and special effects department heads to map out our strategies for the production. Having spent all of 2007 promoting our movies and traveling around the country from horror convention to horror convention, I'm excited to be back in movie-making mode!

Major fuel for my enthusiasm is the SEIZURE script I wrote with Jason Christ. I am very happy with how it turned out. We are riding some great momentum that DEADWOOD PARK created for us, and we've spent the last year exclaiming to the world how great that movie is. However, on the inside, I was picking DEADWOOD PARK apart, scrutinizing its flaws, and educating myself with it. Even in the early screenplay phase of the SEIZURE project, it quickly became evident that SEIZURE will benefit from all my past movie-making experiences, including DEADWOOD PARK.

My writing partner on SEIZURE, Mr. Jason Christ, is an amazing talent. I was very impressed with his script for SAVAGE HARVEST 2: OCTOBER BLOOD, but with SEIZURE, I could tell that he'd likewise learned a thing or two from his past writing experience. His already-impressive talents are even more fine-tuned now. Writing SEIZURE with him was a great experience. My collaboration with Jason will yield a better movie than if I had written it solo.

Also exciting to me is how different SEIZURE is compared to our last movie, DEADWOOD PARK. I intended DEADWOOD PARK as an atmosphere-driven, visually poetic ghost story, written and paced more like a '70's film than a modern-day horror flick. DEADWOOD PARK was heavy on plot, environment, and character, while being somewhat light on action and gore.

SEIZURE is shaping up to be a very different movie. This one is very fast paced, shockingly violent, and more like a very dark fairy tale in its story and visual style. It is a cautionary tale that centers around morals and how seemingly small decisions can impact you for the rest of your life. In this way, SEIZURE almost functions as a hyper-violent Twilight Zone episode.

We started working up some early buzz for SEIZURE at the last horror convention we attended, the Texas Frightmare Weekend in Dallas, February 22nd through the 24th.

This convention was fun and successful for us, and I got to hang out with some awesome people, including Andy from Destroy The Brain podcast, Jayson Champion from EvilDread.com, the lovely Sarah Swofford and her friend Andrea, Tim and Kerry of Unique Ink, Jay Reel of DeadPit Radio, and the excellent human beings who were there representing this very website, FEARnet.com. Director George Romero and effects artist Greg Nicotero spent some quality time with members of the Wicked Pixel Cinema team, talking shop and showing support.

Many long-time fans of mine came up to the Wicked Pixel Cinema table and offered very touching words of encouragement and appreciation. I know that part of our job is to promote these movies and make as many people aware of them as possible, but it is still a very pleasant surprise when an individual shakes my hand and thanks me for making a film or tells me they're a fan. It does mean a lot to me.

In the middle of a fun, productive, noisy, and hectic convention, I had one of those "moments" that was extremely clear, calm, and significant:

It was Saturday night and a big group of us went out for drinks and tex-mex. The table included all of us Wicked Pixel Cinema folks, the FEARnet.com employees, and Tim and Kerry, owners of the graphic design company Unique Ink. Every person in attendance was in their 20's or 30's, successful in their life goals, and either heavily involved in, or earning their living in, a field they absolutely love. This struck me as very rare and impressive. I then felt incredibly lucky to be seated at this table, enjoying a meal with creative, like-minded folks who had all worked hard and survived hardships to be where they were in life. In this industry, you get thrown some real shit sometimes, but when a moment like that strikes you, it makes you feel like one of the luckiest humans alive.

More SEIZURE details to come.

Thanks for reading!
Eric Stanze

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