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Confessions Of A Working Director - 9/1/2008

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Wicked Pixel Cinema traveled to Louisville, Kentucky last month for the Fright Night Film Festival and Horror Movie Convention where I was honored to be a featured guest. Our movie SCRAPBOOK screened, but not in competition. SCRAPBOOK won Best Feature at the 2007 Fright Night Film Fest and we were invited back to screen SCRAPBOOK as an encore presentation of last year's big winner...

Before the screening, Emily Haack (the star of SCRAPBOOK) and I gave a quick intro to the audience. I have a bad habit of working myself to exhaustion and not stopping until I just finally collapse. By the time Em and I gave our intro before SCRAPBOOK, I was about two minutes from one of those collapses, so I was in no shape to be doing any public speaking. After I stumbled and staggered through my introduction of the movie, Em stepped in to actually speak coherently for both of us, and then the movie screened.

This was only the second time SCRAPBOOK has screened in public. If you've seen it, you know why.

At our nice, sprawling booth in the dealer's room, a record number of Wicked Pixel Cinema personalities were on hand to scribble their names on the various DVDs purchased. I autographed some DVDs and met with some very cool fans, as did Emily, Jason Christ (actor in DEADWOOD PARK and director of SAVAGE HARVEST 2: OCTOBER BLOOD), and DJ Vivona (ICE FROM THE SUN) who was making his first convention appearance ever.

Scott Muck, who is usually in charge of running our convention shenanigans, was not present for the first time since we started our convention tours back at the beginning of 2007. Muck's absence was one reason why we were very understaffed at this particular convention. Emily, Jason, and DJ were all very busy looking pretty, so Jim Wayer did all the real work by himself. Jim ran the merch table, shot stills of the convention for a slideshow (soon to appear at wickedpixel.com), shot video of the convention for a vlog (also to appear at wickedpixel.com), networked, kept things organized, and essentially commanded the whole ship single-handedly. Oh yeah, Bob Nealon and Jim also videotaped the filmmakers Q 'n' A that I was on - because Jim didn't have enough to do already.

George Bonilla and I shared the floor for a Q 'n' A about indie filmmaking. George Bonilla won the "Kentucky Filmmaker of the Year? award at the Fright Night Film Fest awards ceremony, and he directed the boisterous b-movie THE EDISON DEATH MACHINE, a flick that has received generous praise from George A. Romero. Mr. Bonilla is currently shooting a movie called HELL-EPHONE starring Daniel Emery Taylor, Ari Lehman, and Alex Del Monacco.

A major focus of our Q 'n' A was indie film distribution, so we really needed ten times the one hour we were given to talk. I had gotten some sleep the night before, so I was able to speak intelligently this time.

The audience was great. George was, as always, a blast to hang out with. And a good time was had by all? except for a middle-aged videographer hired by the convention to shoot this Q 'n' A. He was rather rude and mouthy, constantly butting in to explain his point of view to our audience that was trying hard to ignore him. I stayed chill and simply tuned him out. George, however, came close to leaping over the table and punching the man. (Yes, this videographer really was that irritating.)

There were lots of cool people at this convention in addition to George. I met new folks and hung out with old friends like Alex Del Monacco, the ZP International team, and the awesome Deadpit Radio guys. DJ Vivona and Charles Cyphers (HALLOWEEN, THE FOG) spent a lot of quality time together discussing "actor stuff" and Emily Haack did her best to stalk pro-wrestler Mick Foley.

By the time we tore it all down Sunday night, packed it all in the Wicked Pixel Cinema church van, and said good-bye to the Fright Night Film Festival, we were exhausted. It was, however, an exciting and eventful convention full of very cool horror film fans.

Thanks for reading.

Eric Stanze

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