SF Comic Con and Super Gabby
Take Five got into another film festival and we're still crowdfunding for Super Gabby!
Take Five at SF Comic Con
I'm happy to announce that our short film Take Five was selected to screen at the 2016 San Francisco Comic Con Film Festival. I'm very proud of this film because of how it was made: I wrote it in a very short amount of time–just a matter of hours–before submitting it to our school's film club for consideration. Another script had previously been chosen for that semester's club film but when plans on that project fell through, club members were asked to write and submit a shorter film script that would be simpler to shoot in a very short amount of time. The goal was to have the film done just in time to screen at the student film festival the club organizes every semester. The previous script I had submitted–the very first ten page draft of Super Gabby–was not selected so I took this opportunity to try again with a new script.
I wrote Take Five the same day we had to submit it to the group. I ended up being the only one who submitted a script and the group liked it enough to start pre-production; we had one week to cast and prep the shoot! We ended up shooting the film on campus in one day on a weekend and we were able to deliver on time. It screened out of competition and received a good reaction from the crowd. Since then, it has screened at a few film festivals around the Bay Area and won an Emerging Filmmaker Award.
Anti-Hero, another film that we co-produced with Mind.Erase.Media and written/directed by Bo Campbell, was also selected and will screen during the same block.
Friday, September 2, 2016
Funny Business – Block 1
8:00pm – 9:00pm | Foothill B
There are 21 days left to contribute to our Super Gabby Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign! Please help us finish the project (check out the teaser below) and make an awesome film! Check out our perks for contributors! If you can't contribute, you can help us out just by sharing our campaign with others.
Super Gabby is a family adventure feature film about Gabriela Espinoza, a teenage girl who grew up dreaming of being a super heroine like her favorite comic book hero, Scorpion Girl. After tragedy strikes, she no longer wants anything to do with the hopes and dreams of a child as she copes with her loss. A few years later, after an incident involving her friends and family, she reluctantly decides to stand up to a pair of bullies terrorizing the kids in her neighborhood but first she must discover where true power comes from and discover the hero within.
That's all the news for now. Thanks for reading and keeping up with us!
Until the next one,
Aztek Studio News
Our producing partner Veronica Salas has stepped down from her role to take care of personal matters but has offered her help if we ever need it. We wish her the best.
We recently welcomed a new member to the team, Joel Tejada. Veronica, Sandra and I met Joel while we were all making student films at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, CA and we've been friends and collaborators ever since.
I stopped doing videography a few years ago to focus on making narratives but we made an exception for our friends Shasha and Dennis and shot their wedding this past weekend.
Congratulations to the newlyweds! Thank you for having us, it was an honor!
It has been nearly a year since principal photography started on Super Gabby. For those who don't know, we were unable to complete the short due to unforeseen circumstances we ran into on set but we managed to shoot enough footage for a teaser trailer and some proof of concept scenes to relaunch our fundraising efforts to finish the project. However, this time around we're aiming for a feature length film version of the story after the production team and I deemed the story too ambitious for a short film.
I am currently in the process of writing and extending the screenplay and we intend to bring back the original cast.
We are happy to announce that the teaser trailer is complete and will officially premiere at Pictoclik's Latinas in Cinema Film Festival on July 23rd, 2016 (info below).
Our illustrator, Chris Shannon Jr, who illustrated some posters used in the film and Gabby's favorite comic book heroine, Scorpion Girl, is currently working on new designs for our promotional materials.
Pictoclik Presents Latinas in Cinema Film Festival
Join us as we celebrate Latinas in Cinema July 23rd at Delancey Street Theater. Showcase includes short films from around the world featuring a strong Latina on screen or behind the scenes in a key position.
“Parable” Diana Rodriguez | Sci-Fi Thriller
“Stranger Danger” Annique Arredondo | Comedy
“Mercedes: Portrait of Street Sweeper” Amie Williams | Documentary
“Couch Potato Chronicles” Lainnie Felan | Sci-Fi Comedy
“Otto” Sinhué Benavides | Mystery Suspense
“Vici” Johnny Kirk | Drama
A portion of all of our showcase ticket sales go towards a local feature project in development and to foster growth in the film community. Our featured filmmaker/producer Sandra Lopez will be using the funds raised for her feature Super Gabby.
Doors open at 6pm for the pre-party
General Admission Tickets includes one drink ticket at the pre-party, keepsake program book.
Click to buy: Pre-sale $25 | Early Bird $30 | Reg Price $40
VIP Ticket includes two drink tickets at the pre-party, RSVP seating, keepsake program book and official poster.
Click to buy: Pre-sale $35 | Early Bird $40 | Reg Price $50
And that's all for now, thanks for checking us out!
Until next time,
LOW BUDGET GHOSTBUSTERS
What initially began as a physical activity with an added scare factor turned into a paranormal night walk from one end of Empire Mine Road to the other in the outskirts of Antioch, CA. This road is known for its haunted spots (info below) and both entrances have been blocked off to cars leaving the road open to pedestrians and cyclists only.
The first successful paranormal night walk took place on Saturday, March 5 at 2 AM. Team B (home base) consisted of ASF producer Sandra Lopez and Team A (low budget ghostbusters) consisted of our friends April and Bo Campbell, Lance Gegner, Joel Tejada and myself.
We walked from beginning to end – around the witching hour, 3AM, prime time for paranormal and demonic activity – stopping at each haunted location to explore. Keep in mind, there are no lights out there whatsoever.
Although all went well from the time we were dropped off to the time we were picked up, April, Bo and I heard the distant, blood curdling wailing of a young woman twice – we were exploring a huge, open barn behind the slaughterhouse at the time.
At the time of writing this, I'm also editing the audio from the second night walk for another podcast – yes, we went back recently. Look out for that one. I don't know if this is going to become a thing. What do you guys think?
Check out the photos, read more about Empire Mine Road, and listen to the podcast below.
EMPIRE MINE ROAD
Empire Mine Road in Antioch holds about three haunted places and this is the first on this road. An old slaughterhouse stands in the corner of the road after the first bend. It is haunted by an old man who walks the grounds and makes sure that everything is ok, and that no one gets hurt while there. Strange noises are heard inside the first building where they chopped up the meat. Clanking inside of the circle figured tubes towards the back of the property. Chains clank all around and you can hear footsteps behind you like someone is watching over you. Just remember to watch your step!
In the 1950's a school bus was driving kids home from a field trip. It skidded into a wash and all the kids drowned. If you go there, put your car in neutral around the turn, you get pushed up the hill. It's supposedly haunted by the kids who died in the bus crash and they want to keep you from the same fate.
The Gates of Hell
In the middle of Empire Mine road, there is a stucco wall with a bunch of spray paint on it. If you like to take hikes, this is the place to go. There is an old Insane Asylum at the very end of this road. You will come to another gate then behind their lies this old decrepit Structure of a hospital. Many people were killed brutally in this place, and it is VERY haunted by not so nice spirits. Things have been thrown at people, they have been pushed and screams have been heard from the people being tortured by themselves or another.
***Not sure about the asylum story, but I've been told that the "Gates of Hell" were actually gates to a planned, upscale, gated community in the 1950's. It was supposedly scrubbed due to the bus crash and the loss of the children's lives.
Rail Road Mine
At the end of Empire mine road, there is an old railroad track tunnel that is pretty spooky inside. There are bats inside it and you can hear voices at the end of the tunnel.
Aztek Studio News
We returned to Wilson's Dance Studio in Pittsburg, CA this past weekend to shoot an interview with owner Hannah Wilson. We were joined by our friend and fellow filmmaker Joel Tejada as a camera operator and lights were again provided by FloLight representative Kyle Black. Everything went smooth and we couldn't have asked for a better shoot.
• Actress Noemi Lopez, who was cast as "Tía," stopped by recently to record voiceovers for the teaser trailer.
• Trailer premiere announcement coming soon!
• We will be relaunching fundraising efforts in the near future to finish the film.
• I wrote Super Gabby as a short but the production team and I agreed that the story works better for a feature length film instead. I am currently outlining the feature film screenplay version.
Pictoclik Showcase: Latinas in Cinema – San Francisco
I am a major proponent of women in front and behind the camera – especially women of color – so I am very excited about this event.
Event date: Sunday, July 10, 2016
Mark your calendar and/or submit your film(s)!
• Accepting submissions from January 1st, 2015-May 15th, 2016.
• Film should have a minimum length of 4 minutes; not to exceed 30 minutes.
• Film can be any genre.
• Must have one Latina in a leading role on screen or one Latina behind the scenes in a key role to be accepted.
• Must be 18 years of age.
• Hard copies can also be mailed to: Pictoclik, Attention: Rebekah Renne 77 Van Ness Ave #101-1913 San Francisco, CA 94102
• Cost to submit is $5
Awards & Prizes (If Selected)
• The top six to eight films (decided by team of industry professionals) will be screened at a theater in San Francisco during a one day event.
• If film is selected to screen at the Pictoclik Film Festival, the filmmaker that submitted the film will receive two complimentary tickets to the screening.*
*Does not include airfare, lodging or transportation. Two tickets to the event only.
Hope to see you there!
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Thanks for checking us out and keeping up with us!
Hasta la próxima,
Thank you for keeping up with our blog or checking it out for the first time. Let's get to it!
We are now on Instagram!
We recently shot a dance video directed by Aztek Studio producer Veronica Salas at Wilson's Dance Studio in Pittsburg, California starring the studio's owner, Hannah Wilson.
The video was shot on a Blackmagic URSA Mini and we had a FloLight representative on site who provided the lighting equipment.
The fog machine we borrowed did not work and I made a joke of using the FloLight rep's electric cigarette vaporizer, well that's exactly what we ended up using along with Hannah's husband's vaporizer to "smoke" up the scene. They had the entire room smelling like Skittles. Hey, sometimes you have to improvise on set to solve problems. Fun times.
We wrapped the shoot with an interview with Hannah and called it a day.
In the last post, I shared news that Sandra and I had become Pictoclik board members.
We invite filmmakers, actors and film lovers to visit pictoclik.com to learn more about workshops and events in the Bay Area geared toward both actors and filmmakers for learning and networking opportunities.
Have a short film idea? Pictoclik wants to be an Executive Producer this year and award one lucky filmmaker $1500 to create a short film:
PITCH TANK: FILMMAKER EDITION
You can also submit your film(s) to the following:
PICTOCLIK SHOWCASE: LATINAS IN CINEMA
PICTOCLIK SHOWCASE: BATTLE OF THE FILM SCHOOLS
4TH ANNUAL PICTOCLIK FILM FESTIVAL
The Rage Short Film Kickstarter
The Rage crew is quite close to meeting their budget goal for their psychological thriller short film! The screenplay is written by our talented friend and Super Gabby actor L. Jeffrey Moore who will also be producing and acting in the film. Check out their Kickstarter campaign and please consider donating and/or sharing!
At the time of writing this, they announced a new stretch goal and new rewards for contributors.
Your Film Recommendations
Have you seen any really good, bad or so-bad-it's-good films recently? Mainstream, indie, obscure, whatever, comment below and share. I'd love to hear your suggestions.
Alright, that's it for this one, folks. Thanks!
Viva el arte,
Happy New Year, everyone!
We had our first meeting of the year recently and Super Gabby is going to keep us busy for quite awhile but we also have various new projects planned which I will share news about in upcoming posts.
Rebekah Renne, the President and Founder of Pictoclik in San Francisco, reached out to local filmmakers, including Aztek Studio producer Sandra and myself, with an awesome pitch to become board members.
What is Pictoclik? It's a film festival but it's also more than that. From the Pictoclik website: Pictoclik is a collective for filmmakers, talent and movie lovers alike. Founded in 2012, our goal is to unite emerging and established industry professionals through fun and engaging events, workshops, screenings and our annual film festival.
How could we pass up the opportunity to be part of such a great organization that truly represents the core values of what we love to do? I am proud to announce that Sandra and I are now Pictoclik board members and we invite all to visit pictoclik.com to learn more about workshops and events in the Bay Area geared toward both actors and filmmakers for learning and networking opportunities.
YOU CAN SUBMIT YOUR FILM(S) TO THESE PICTOCLIK EVENTS NOW:
Our friend and Super Gabby actor L. Jeffrey Moore is currently seeking crowdfunding on Kickstarter for a short film he wrote titled The Rage.
"The Rage is a psychological thriller about relationships and the choices we make when we are angry."
Please click here or the image to visit their Kickstarter page and check out their campaign. Browse the rewards and consider donating!
That's it for now, keeping this one short. Thank you for your continued interest in our projects and for all your support. Look out for the next post!
Until next time,
P.S. Planning to revamp the website soon!