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Confessions of a Working Director - 4/8/2009

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A few days ago, I had a very productive meeting with Gus Stevenson, the top dog in charge of RATLINE's music score.  I am excited about the progress Gus is making in this early phase of producing the score.

Gus has been heavily involved in RATLINE since day one of pre-production.  In addition to helming the music score, he functioned as an associate producer on the shoot.  Because this is a very low budget movie, everyone wears a lot of hats, and Gus is no exception to this.  His involvement in this movie also spills over to art department and camera department.  Gus even plays a small acting part in RATLINE.

One of the biggest pains-in-the-ass I had shooting this movie was that - due to the super-fast pre-production time - we never had time to bring on an AD.  Having an assistant director really lifts a lot of stress off me, as much of the organization and communication becomes his or her responsibility, leaving me to better focus on decisions that more directly impact the quality of the movie.

Unfortunately, RATLINE had no official AD.  But fortunately, Bob Nealon and Gus Stevenson shared AD duties (in addition to the many other responsibilities they had on the production).  I was the cinematographer on this shoot, and Gus was my right-hand-man in that department as well.  As you can see, Gus Stevenson was (and still is) a hard-working and often-overwhelmed member of this team.

I remember one night, near the end of the production schedule, we were finishing up three, long, back-to back, dusk-to-dawn shoots in the Hermann City Park.  It was freezing out, everyone was exhausted, and poor Gus Stevenson was literally falling asleep on his feet right next to me.  He'd nod off every once in a while, then jerk back to consciousness, regain his focus, and continue working.

Side note:  A big-time, extra-fancy Hollywood movie is shooting in town right now as well: UP IN THE AIR, starring George Clooney, and directed by Jason Reitman.  As if Gus wasn't busy enough already, he got himself involved in that movie as an actor.  He landed a bit-part as a businessman in a conference room with ten or so other executives, and in his scene he got to act with Mr. Clooney himself.  No dialog (Gus only had to "nod" and "chuckle" at various points in the scene) but still, it was a scene with George Clooney!  Not too shabby!

Now that Gus is done being pampered and spoiled by that glittery Hollywood movie, it's back to toiling on RATLINE!

In less than a month, Wicked Pixel Cinema will be attending Texas Frightmare Weekend in Dallas.  This excellent horror convention runs May 1st through the 3rd.  Wicked Pixel Cinema is a sponsor of the event, we will have a booth there, and I was invited to be a featured guest.  The full guest lineup is extremely impressive, so to be included is a huge thrill for me!

And if that ain't exciting enough for ya, get this:  The first 200 visitors to the Wicked Pixel Cinema booth at Texas Frightmare Weekend will receive a free, limited-edition RATLINE "Coming Soon" poster!  Only 200 of these posters will be printed and they'll ONLY be given out at this convention!  Just walk up to the booth and ask for yours!

Rumor has it that actors Jason Christ (DEADWOOD PARK) and Emily Haack (SCRAPBOOK) will also be at the Wicked Pixel Cinema booth - so you may be able to get your limited-edition RATLINE poster signed by all three of us... if you ask nicely.

Get more info and buy tickets here.

One more thing before I wrap this blog up.  If you want to gain raw, startling, voyeuristic insight into my daily activities, follow me on Twitter.

In addition to answering that burning question: "What is Eric Stanze doing right now?" you'll also receive "special treatment" by following me on Twitter.  Before new news is announced on our website or MySpace pages, I'll announce it on Twitter.  I'll give my Twitter followers advance sneak peeks at videos, preview trailers, and other surprises before we make 'em available to the public.  Eventually, we'll even be holding contests and prize giveaways for my Twitter followers only.

So Twitter is now your ticket to Wicked Pixel Cinema "inside information"!  If you're a fan of Wicked Pixel Cinema movies, definitely take advantage of this opportunity - or, you can lay awake at night, tossing and turning, pondering why you've settled for a life without my Twitter tweets.

Thanks for reading.

Eric Stanze

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