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

9Dec/11Off

Producing is Creating

Inspired by an old post I found over at SOLO: The Series I decided I'd give you an update on our own webseries and just why it's taken almost a year to get to this point from the initial conception of the idea to a finished script.

So just what the hell have we been doing? When last I wrote about the show I had the über-idealistic goal to have a webseries screening on your computer by... uh... now. Whoops! The time has not been wasted, however, as we've been hard at work making these characters live and breathe.

Tasked with taking my initial concept and making sense of it all has been my good friend and frequent GadZook Films collaborator Faye Hoerauf. Let me just go a little more into this enigmatic dynamo behind a lot of what we do here. If you're a GadZook fan you know Faye's work as the award-winning co-writer/co-director of Snow Day, Bloody Snow Day and as an award-winning co-writer of Hook Her as well as the sole writer of Old Tricks among quite a few others.

I turn to Faye so often because she's not simply a good writer, she's a good storyteller. She asks questions and is able go well beyond the scope to make sure the story is holistic and not self-serving. Over the last year she's woodshedded a lot of the story I had initially come up with and turned it from a wispy scotch pine to a full blown working canoe. Terrible analogy. Bottom line: Faye's great and the series is in excellent hands with her writing.

Conceptualizing. Reading. Writing. Brainstorming. Designing. The world of this show has taken shape. All the little things we do as we (the producers) prepare a project to release into the wilds. Reading Lovecraft is not like reading, well, there's almost no comparison appropriate. You read one story (say, "The Dunwich Horror")  and that effectively eff's you up for a few weeks. It's a strength and a curse of his writing. So good. Anyway, I've been going through his stories for inspiration (of which there is plenty). So for the last year we've been trading back and forth: I'll come up with an idea, Faye will write; Faye will come up with an idea, I'll give feedback and she'll write some more. Around February this year we sent the first draft to some friends we trusted. The feedback was invaluable. And we went back and started cropping, re-arranging and tightening.

Last Tuesday I put together a small read-through with some friends of mine to see how the whole thing sounded. Using the most recent version of the script finished literally hours before the readthrough. Frequent readers of this blog may notice that this is - OMG - precisely what I think ALL creators should do. Get it read and get feedback. As this was the 2nd round of feedback we were anxious to see if all the work had been for naught.

I'm happy to say the readthrough was a big boost of confidence! Everyone seemed to really dig the premise and the characters, the pacing and length. Is it perfect? No, of course not. But it's grown from this crazy idea I had over a year ago (another OMG moment!) to a living, breathing show.

I just wanted to share my excitement with you, dear reader. And I hope to share more as we inch our way closer to pre-production! Stay tuned!

30Mar/11Off

Making a Cthulhu-based web-series is not all shoggoths and rainbows

DespairI've been working on this web-series since November 2010. What is it? Who's in it? Where can I watch it? What's it... uh... called? All excellent questions. Hold your horses...

Let me tell you how this whole thing came about. I wanted to make something based in the Cthulhu mythos ever since I played my first round of the Call of Cthulhu RPG about 20 years ago. Thoroughly creeped out after each adventure, I'd track down any Lovecraft story I could find to remind myself that they were just stories. Amorphous blobs of floating jelly with dozens of eyes and a haunting wail didn't really exist! Right? Didn't help. I loved it.

I sort of lost track of Cthulhu and those wacky Elder Gods once I left college. It made for nice icebreakers with friends but I hadn't read any of the stories since high school. Then late last year I started working on an idea for a web-series about a down on his luck guy who hunted monsters. Rolling the idea around in my head - and yeah, that does sound like a fun premise - I couldn't figure out how to make it work. I remembered Lovecraft and his twisted imaginary abominations and suddenly things started to gel.

The bulk of the writing on the series is being handled by the esteemed Faye Hoerauf. Many of you (6?) blog followers know Faye as part of the writing/directing team of our short zombie-comedy "Snow Day, Bloody Snow Day" which is STILL playing in festivals around the world. She's taken my initial idea and expanded and informed the world allowing it to become something personal and convincing. To be sure, our Cthulhu series is a distinct departure from the comedy bits we've produced in the past (and will continue to produce in the future). This is also a project that I'm already extremely proud of and can't wait to share with you!

Over the next few weeks I'll be dropping tidbits about the production, ways you can help and when it'll be available for all to see. We're aiming for September, keep your fingers crossed! There's a lot going on here and I just wanna say thanks for your continued support and I think you're gonna love this show.