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Confessions Of A Working Director - 6/8/2008

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Wicked Pixel Cinema is not currently engaged in any big single task. Instead, we are under an avalanche of small tasks. I'll rattle off a few of 'em here, train-of-thought style...

We are still in pre-production for our next feature, SEIZURE, which has yet to find financing. Today, I am auditioning two actors. (The 5,300 actors who submitted headshots and resumes for SEIZURE have been narrowed down to about 40.) Set-building, special effects prep, and wardrobe design are all advancing forward, despite the lack of funds. Producers Jeremy Wallace and Jason Christ are making great contacts with potential financing people, who are all showing enthusiasm for the project and are helping us move things forward inch by inch. However, none of these inches have resulted in any of the budget coming our way.

Scott Muck is spearheading a new burst of promotion for DEADWOOD PARK and my older movies, SAVAGE HARVEST, ICE FROM THE SUN, and SCRAPBOOK which are now all available for digital download. We've never promoted downloads before. In fact, I have never downloaded a movie myself. So, I'm something of a fish out of water when it comes to advertising our downloadable movies. Thankfully, Scott Muck has taken on most of that responsibility.

Apparently the internet has these things called "video logs" ...or "vlogs" (as the kids these days call 'em). Never having actually seen a vlog in my life, I was hesitant to let Wicked Pixel Cinema launch a line of them. I certainly did not relish the idea of appearing in them, yip-yappin' about what I'm working on as if anyone in the world cares.

However, my dedicated team (who know much better than I do how to promote our movies) insisted that we start making vlogs. Also, my dedicated team (who know much better than I do how to promote my name and advance my career) badgered me into appearing in these vlogs. This is a new experience for me, and it is not one I enjoy. However, I understand that my dedicated team is absolutely right; vlogs are an ultra-cheap way to keep old fans connected, attract new fans, and keep our current and past movies alive in the publicity machine known as word-of-mouth. So now I'm doing the dang vlogs. Witness my discomfort at wickedpixel.com. (Big thanks to Jim Wayer and Scott Muck, who are producing and editing the vlogs, and to Trevor Williams and Justin Tucker, who are shooting the vlogs.)

We are now taking DEADWOOD PARK down the foreign distribution path. The great people at The Film Source Company now represent DEADWOOD PARK world-wide in all territories except North America. Now that I've signed on the dotted line for that deal, I have to step away from my SEIZURE responsibilities for a bit and prep the overseas DEADWOOD PARK delivery materials. While I?m doing this, Scott Muck is doing his best to stoke the overseas publicity machine and create some demand in advance of the supply. We have no idea which foreign territory will pick up DEADWOOD PARK first, so for now, Muck is just trying to generate as much publicity as he can on as many continents as he can.

There is an exciting opportunity available to the overseas DVD companies. When DEADWOOD PARK's U.S. DVD release was in the works, we were producing a two-disc set, which included a feature-length documentary called WELCOME TO EIDOLON CROSSING: THE MAKING OF DEADWOOD PARK, directed by Jessie Seitz. Due to "communication problems" between our sales agent and our distributor, we had to scale back the DVD release at the last minute. Instead of two discs, DEADWOOD PARK became a single disc release. (In my commentary on the DVD, you can hear me make reference to bonus features that are no longer there). This little "communication problem" between sales agent and distributor cost me two months of work and, shall we say, elevated my blood pressure significantly.

We had to eliminate the documentary, as well as several smaller bonus features, for the single-disc DEADWOOD PARK DVD that was released in the U.S. and Canada. There is no plan for a two-disc re-release of DEADWOOD PARK in North America. However, Jessie's documentary is now available to overseas DVD distributors. She did a great job on the doc, and I am happy it may now see the light of day. Plus, I've been told that the documentary on the making of DEADWOOD PARK is absolutely riveting to viewers interested in true independent filmmaking, as well as to those who thought movies only get made with tens of millions of Hollywood dollars.

Who would have thought that my "average day at the office" would make for such engaging documentary material?

Thanks for reading.

Eric Stanze

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