GADZOOK FILMS Producing independent film in Seattle, Los Angeles and beyond.

14Nov/07Off

Are you crazy?

Yes. When you opt to cut your own hair you have to be a little bit insane. That's me. All my training as an actor has prepared me for those times when people say, "Dude, you're far from crazy." How do YOU know? Right? Case in point: moving to LA.

1) I decide to move when LA county is engulfed in flames. A fire season that's been getting progressively worse every year. Good call.
2) I decide to move at the peak of the holiday season on a holiday weekend, no less. Sure no one will be on the roads after Thanksgiving, right? Crazy.
3) I'm moving with no savings, no money in the bank, no job and (currently) no place to live. Luckily I have wonderful friends and family who'll put me up should I need it. Still...
4) I finalize my plans to move just after a writer's strike takes hold of the industry and effectively shuts down filming of almost every major project in the city. Woohoo!
5) With The Off Hours and (fingers-crossed) Zombies of Mass Destruction grabbing some headlines production in this town seems to be shaping 2008 to be one of the best years yet to be an independent filmmaker in Seattle. I blame me leaving for causing this upswing.

Have I been following the WGA strikes closely? You bet. Rather than look at them as prohibitive I've found some reasons why moving down now may be the best decision I ever make. To whit:

1) EVERYONE IS OUT OF WORK. With the writers, producers, IATSE crews, etc. all out of work, there's more chances than ever to make friends and meet for coffee.
2) NETWORKING. Going hand in hand with #1 above, picketing presents a prime opportunity to hob-nob with powerful executives while also supporting a cause I believe in: Making more money.*
3) MORE APARTMENTS. Sadly, with many folks now out of work, they aren't able to afford their cushy Sherman Oaks 2-bedroom/2-bathroom apartments with parking spots and AC. Bye bye old tenant, hello unemployed movie producer!!

As you can see, I'm able to turn that frown upside down with this situation. For further thoughts on my move, why don't you join me this Friday, November 16th, at 8pm at the Rendezvous in Belltown? I'll be happy to answer questions or cash checks. I'm shameless. Upstairs balcony, you're welcome to bring a friend you blog-readers. You know who you are.

When next I update, I'll be in LA and will be, for the time being, your self-appointed Los Angeles correspondent for Seattle Film News. Cheers and good filming...

*Sorry, that's a flip answer, I really do support the WGA in this issue.

26Sep/07Off

‘Old Tricks’ at Local Sightings

x-posted to Myspace and Facebook (natch)

A movie I made will be playing at the NW Film Forum's Local Sightings film festival on Friday, October 5th, at 9:15pm. It's part of the first ever Spletz-O-Rama Invitational film challenge. We made a movie based on the theme of "fairy tales". Come check out what we put together. Featuring the talents of Lori Lee Haener, Jaime Mastromonica, David S. Hogan and Gary Crawford. Written by Faye Hoerauf.

Hope to see you there! Location is the NWFF at 1515 12th Ave. in Capitol Hill.

Pester the film forum for ticket info which they have not released yet. And buy your tickets EARLY. The theater is small and I'd love to have a strong showing here. Thanks!

Some points of interest to you fellow filmmakers:
- I directed this thing. I produced it, too, but the main thing is I directed something. First time since 2005's 'Hook Her'.
- We shot on the HV20 using the Cinevate Brevis 35mm lens adapter.

The goals for me on this shoot was to see how far we could go with as minimal a crew as possible. The answer? pretty far. I wouldn't want to do it again just for the sake of maintaining everyone's sanity. But we pushed through a lot and pretty well considering. I'm proud of what we did. The perfectionist in me sees room for constant improvement, of course, but I'm happy with the outcome.

While using the adapter introduced new problems in the traditional digital technique, it produced some amazing images. I'm not a fan of the HDV codec, however, and would like to test the system on an HVX-200 with a lot more pre-production planning to get shots nailed down. Shooting on the fly with these lenses is not easy! My hats off to the camera crew for slogging through the technical difficulties and my hesitancy.

And of course thanks to everyone who worked on this. Full crew thusly:

Written by Faye Hoerauf

Morag - Lori Lee Haener
Laura - Jaime Mastromonica
Percy - David S. Hogan
Terry - Gary Crawford
Wolf Minion - Lily

Camera & Lights - Travis Phelps, John Scrapper, Matt Selby
Assistant Director - Spencer Fornaciari
Editor - Slavka Kolbel
Script Supervisor - Faye Hoerauf
Sound - Dusty Edwards
Opening Titles - Lee at Digital Kitchen

dom

P.S. This movie and this summer's 'Sausage Fest' will be appearing on the GadZook website in the next couple of weeks. In addition, 'Old Tricks' should be hitting YouTube.

5Sep/06Off

GadZook Films Preview Party

Hello Dear Readers!

What are you doing on Saturday, September 16th? Cancel it! You and a guest are cordially invited to attend the GadZook Films Preview Party at the Rendezvous' Jewel Box Theatre and Grotto at 2322 2nd Avenue in Belltown.

At 10pm, in the Jewel Box, you can catch trailers for exciting upcoming GadZook Films Features "Fetch" and "Plight of the Living Dead" which will both be shot in Seattle! We will also be screening classic GadZook Films shorts like "Snow Day, Bloody Snow Day" and films from The Six Short Films Project. We will re-run the program all night so you if you miss them the
first time, or if you just want to see them again and again, you're in luck!

After you check out the films, join the party in the Grotto. Have a drink and get your groove on to the sounds of our DJ. Party with the GadZookies till last call. This invitation gets you and a guest in to the event free of charge, so don't forget to print it out. Admission is $5 without an invitation.

Hope to see you there!

-Dom Zook and the GadZook Films Crew

P.S. Yes, Eric, I will be there. 🙂

4Aug/06Off

Shout outs!

Okay, you hear me ragging on a lot of Seattle filmmakers in these cyber-pages - why not promote some of the folks I enjoy? Easy peasy, here's a short and certainly not all-inclusive list of filmmakers who know what the Hell they're doing. In no particular order:

1. Clint Berquist (Swamper: The Movie)
2. Bao Tran and the folks at POV Films (Bookie, Carmen's Virtue, Perfections)
3. Jon & Holly Houser - Bonfire Productions
4. Elisa Haradon (Waiting for Nesara)
5. Brian Barnett, krk Nordenstrom, Eric Stalzer - From Nimble Productions and Storypipe and all worth tons more than the sum of their IMDb credits.
6. Amy Lillard - buncha credits, great person to know!
7. Of course, Faye Hoerauf and Jessica Baxter of Tangent Productions - without whom I wouldn't be nearly as prolific!

These are mainly people I've worked with or know fairly personally. Work ethics are good and they make good quality product. Working with any of these people on a project in the future would be well worth your while.

19May/06Off

Support your local sheriff

Last night I attended the screening of "Horrors of War" (say that quickly!) and was impressed and empowered by what they were able to accomplish. The movie was pretty good considering the budget and shooting schedule (3 weeks for a WWII-era, zombie/werewolf monster flick!). It was meant to be a B-movie but ya know, I actually thought it hit some pretty dramatic levels. It's not Band of Brothers meets American Werewolf in London, but it is pretty well done. I'd imagine some editing to get the pacing up a bit would help out the tongue-in-cheek humor in there. But the film does tackle some heavy issues that could all fall under the term "horror" - not just monsters.

Anyway, the director was on hand to answer questions and it was great to hear his experiences. He was pretty candid about things, what worked and what didn't, etc. What was great to hear was the methodology behind the picture and the fact that the business end of things meant as much as the artistic end. He had a business plan, a sales agent, had secured some presales and had some private investors. They made the movie work for the budget they had and it's pretty astounding what they were able to put together. Oh yeah, they also shot on film! S16! I will say the transfer I saw looked pretty video - enough that I didn't think it was shot on film and until he told us what it was shot on I would've said it was DV with a "film-look" applied. So I'd love to see a higher-res version.

Anyway, it was great to hear that following your business plan and sticking to it resulted in some sales and a possible DVD distribution deal - which is what they were hoping for. Our movie is a tad more ambitious in terms of fundraising goals and theatrical aspirations but the logic behind the thing is pretty much the same.

June 8th is our investor presentation. It's expensive but hopefully will be very much worth it. Right smack dab during SIFF! Ha! Go team!