It is so much fun following along with all the awesome events at Fantastic Fest on social media. I can only imagine what it would be like to be a part of that crowd, that event, that atmosphere. Next year. That is my goal. To have Carver play at Fantastic Fest. Here I come Austin...ready or not.
The last two weeks have been some of the most frantic and rewarding weeks of my life. My trailer and story have been written about in articles all over the world. I have been on national TV. I have done countless interviews with a couple more still on the horizon. CARVER has gained a lot of momentum since the release of our first teaser trailer and we are trying hard to keep that momentum going. We have had a lot of inquiries from potential distributors but we aren't ready to have that discussion. We need to finish our edit and make the movie the best it can be. We have hired Spirit Animal, an amazing post production house located in Philadelphia to do our color grade. We recently were given a tour of their amazing new studios and had a discussion with one of their colorists and suffice it to say Carver is in good hands.
Our amazing composer, Matt Norcross, has been diligently working on the soundtrack and music beds for the movie. There is a lot of wonderful royalty free music available on the internet but we wanted something we could call our own. Matt has delivered some amazing music so far. The Carver theme is brilliant and I can't wait to debut it once Matt has it exactly the way he wants it.
I am really excited for today because today we are working on all the foley sound for CARVER. Nothing ties a scene together more than a good music bed and well placed sound effect of a sickle slashing through the air.
We are filming a new scene for CARVER this Tuesday. I am so stoked to get behind the camera again. I can't discuss the details of the scene because I don't like giving anything away but I promise you it's going to add to the narrative big time.
As of this blog the CARVER trailer is nearing 65,000 views on YouTube. I can't thank Bad Ass Digest enough for debuting the trailer 2 weeks ago. They have been so good to me since the launch of the Kickstarter one year ago and it flatters me because I love their site! It has created so many opportunities for me and I am very grateful.
These last 2 weeks have been humbling. I have had opportunities that I never imagined would come my way. I have received messages of encouragement from industry professionals that were flattering and unexpected. None of this would have been possible without those amazing 500+ people on Kickstarter. Thank you for helping me make my dream come true and hopefully launching my career.
I can't believe the reception the Carver trailer has received so far. As I write this post we are nearing 30,000 views on YouTube and the trailer has been watched over 1700 times on my website. I hoped we would get a lot of views but I truly did not expect this. Since debuting the trailer on www.badassdigest.com every major horror website has posted a story about the trailer's release. All pretty positive. We have also garnered some mainstream attention from MTV, Cosmpolitan, The Huffington Post, and The Nerdist! It has been a whirlwind, one that I will never forget. I hope we continue to build on this momentum and deliver a film everyone will be eager to see.
I want to take this opportunity to address an issue that continually pops up in the comment section of the articles written about me and Carver. The issue I speak of is the continue notion that I didn't direct this film. That I am merely a publicity stunt, a shill, a prop, that my dad dreamed up to market his movie. This is extremely insulting. Not only to me but my father as well. Yes, we wrote the screenplay together. Yes, he was my AD on the film. But I was the director. This is my vision, my hard work, my dream. I am lucky enough to have a father who supports me and worked his butt off for me to make sure the movie was completed on time. Actually, we finished one day ahead of schedule but that is besides the point. The point is people making these wild assumptions based purely in conjecture are not doing anything but being hurtful. I'm not going to sit here and call them names or belittle them because I don't know them. I just want to put this issue to bed. Hopefully this will be the last time I have to talk about it. Somehow, I don't think it will be the last time.
My dad always says don't feed the trolls. That's what they want. However, when someone questions my integrity I am not going to sit idly by and let them hurl anonymous arrows at me or my dad.
I want to end on a positive note. We are busy with post production and have some killer music composed. We are busy tightening the edit so we can deliver it to our sound mixer. We are really excited with how everything looks and sounds and can't wait to unleash Carver on the world.
I know it's been a long time since my last blog. Believe me when I tell you it isn't because I haven't wanted to write one. It has been non-stop Carver since my last blog with hardly a minute devoted to anything else. Since my last blog we wrapped filming, completed a rough timeline edit of the film, hired an amazing composer, unwrapped the film and shot two additional scenes, and started to plan the wrap party. It's been a crazy month and a half to say the least.
I am very excited with how everything is turning out so far. I never realized how much work went in to post production. What I mean by that is the list of deliverable's necessary to obtain a distribution deal is extensive. Luckily I have some great people on top of that which frees me up to work on the edit with my dad.
The editing process has been quite daunting at times. I have learned so much. It truly is amazing how the simplest sample of music or the perfect sound effect can completely sell a visual. I saw this first hand when my father and I edited our first kill scene. When it was pieced together visually it looked off to me. Almost clunky. I was worried. I told my dad my worries and he simply said, "trust me." He put in a generic knife slashing the air sound effect and a sudden quick music cue, that he called a stab and suddenly the kill looked smooth and polished. I was very excited to move on to all the other kills in our movie after that. I can not wait for everyone to see what we have done. The kills are bloody and intense coupled with our awesome score I firmly believe we have a movie that everyone is going to enjoy.
My dad and I are currently working on a trailer that we can debut shortly. Putting together a trailer is a lot tougher than I thought. I want to show so much but at the same time not give anything away. We hope to have the trailer ready in time for September 4th which would be the year anniversary of our Kickstarter launch.
I would like to end this blog by answering a few of the questions we have continually received. It is important to me to keep everyone updated with Carver's progress and it makes me very happy to see that so many people are following the progress and continually engage with us. I guess this could be considered an FAQ. As always if you have any questions you can post them in the comments section.
1. When will the movie be completed?
This is the toughest question to answer. I can assure you we are doing all we can to deliver the movie in a timely manner. I want everything to be perfect from the audio mix, to the sound effects, to the score, to the colorization, everything. I don't want to give an exact date and then not be able to follow through. I can guarantee you this, that when the movie is completed it will be as perfect as I can make it.
2. Will there be a premiere?
Yes. Date to be determined but we are planning to hold a west coast and east coast premiere.
3. How long will the movie be?
We are still in the process of putting together the film but a good estimate right now is around 80 minutes.
4. Will the movie have a theatrical release?
Of course this is the dream of every independent film maker. Realistically however we are probably looking at a DVD and VOD release.
We will continue to update all of you with Carver's progress through post production and eventual release.
Yesterday we wrapped our principal adult cast and we have two days off before we film some pick up scenes and then we bring our child actors. I can not wait to work with our kids. They are such a talented bunch.
The first 12 days of filming have been quite a learning experience. The thing I am most proud of at this point is that we are still on schedule. We have made every single one of our days, some of them with time to spare. I can not say enough wonderful things about my crew. They have all worked their collective butts off. Each day we work together the more cohesive of a unit we become. It is so much fun watching a well oiled machine operate and that is what we are at this point. An unstoppable machine.
The cast has really knocked it out of the park as well. They have all come prepared and they all knew their characters very well. It was a joy watching them bring my story to life. I don't like singling one actor out but it is imperative I give our lead the notoriety she deserves. Lea Falcione joined this project 3 days before filming began and delivered a performance that left me speechless. We parted ways with our original lead amicably when a scheduling conflict arose. We wish Sarah Robertson all the best and hope we can work with her some day. Any how, my dad and I had recently recorded a production of Fiddler on the Roof for GAMP a performing arts high school in Philadelphia. One of our producers, Christina Blankenship, is a teacher there and she also directed Fiddler. The production was fantastic but there was one girl who captured our attention. I remember the car ride home, my dad and I spoke about this girl and how it was a shame we didn't know here while we were casting Carver. Funny how the universe works because 2 weeks later there we were meeting with Lea and offering her the lead role in Carver. She had 3 days to familiarize herself with the character and the story. 3 days to learn her lines. 3 days to become Sophie. Believe me when I tell you, she was utterly fantastic.
We have filmed the majority of the kills and the team of my dad and John Rattacasa have made them a gory, gruesome spectacle. With the Red Viper, (what my dad calls the fire extinguisher he has rigged into a blood pump) they have rained blood all over our sets. My dad and John have worked relentlessly to ensure that my promise of NO CGI gore will be kept.
The first 12 days have been a roller coaster. Ups and downs. Twists and turns. Exhilarating highs and cavernous lows. But at the end of these 12 days I can say I have grown not only as a director but as a person. I have learned how to deal with a variety of personalities and not let the bumps in the road get me down. Our entire production team has rolled with the punches and navigated the some times choppy waters of production and when all is said and done and I yell that's a wrap for the last time I know that we will have an awesome movie to share with the world.
It is hard to put into words exactly how I feel after the first day of Carver. So I will keep it simple; it was amazing. I expected there to be a lot more bumps on the first day. But there wasn't. Except for the heat and unfortunately that is something that is out of our control. We had an ambitious first day but we were able to make the day with an hour to spare. That is in large part to our amazing DP Troy Bakewell and 1st AC Heather Bakewell. They have a wealth of experience were extremely helpful to me since this was my first time directing. The entire crew yesterday worked their collective butts off and I am so proud of all of them. They didn't complain once and they made sure everything was exactly as it needed to be. I can't thank them enough and if the first day is any indication of how the rest of the shoot is going to go then we are in great shape.
My cast performed admirably through the heat. I know the elements were not easy on anyone but they plowed through and gave consistently great performances. It was especially tough on our new lead Lea Falcione. Our previous lead had to bow out of production 5 days before filming and that left us scrambling for a replacement. Lea stepped up and did an amazing job. We knew it was a daunting task considering she only had the script for 3 days but she did a fantastic job in spite of that. And here's the kicker, Lea is only 16. I can only imagine how much better she is going to get moving forward since I know yesterday had to be a bit overwhelming.
There is no way I can thank our gracious hosts yesterday. Ed and his staff from The Rail were amazing and so helpful. They bent over backwards to assure we had everything we needed to make our shoot successful.
Another big thank you goes out to Douglas Arthur Studios in Vineland. They donated their time and talent to making our cast look amazing. We are so lucky to have so many people supporting us and helping us.
We captured a lot of great footage yesterday and I can't wait to post some production stills. Hopefully a little later today before our next call time today.
I know the people who come here to read my blog are looking for Carver news and rightfully so. This has definitely been the best avenue to keep everyone updated on the films progress through pre-production. Today, however, I want to take this opportunity to talk about someone I lost yesterday. My grandfather John DiPrimio.
It's hard to put into words exactly how much my grandfather meant to me. He was a pretty typical grandparent. He came to my softball games, always took my side against my dad, was always there with a gift on special occasions. Just the normal stuff that most grandparents do when it comes to their grandchildren. But the thing I will remember most is the support he has shown me the past year during Carver pre-production. Even though he was very sick he always made a point to ask me about the film and if I needed anything. His constant encouragement meant the world to me. He took a genuine interest in what I was trying to accomplish and never offered advice. I asked him for advice once and all he said was, "Do I ask you for advice on how to clean my dentures?" When I said no, he replied, "Well I'm an expert at cleaning them so I wouldn't ask for someone's help who doesn't know anything about it." That made me smile. Towards the end it got harder for him to hold conversations but I saw the spark in his eye when I came to visit so I knew he was still there rooting for me. The last couple days of his life he mostly slept. I got to say good bye to him which helped. After I said good bye he opened his eyes and smiled at me for the last time. He fell back to sleep and he never woke again. I hope he continues to smile at me from a better place. Rest easy Pop-Pop, I love you.
It is mind blowing how fast these last few days before principal photography are flying by. Yesterday we built the support structure for one of our sets. A big thank you to our set/production designer Doug Cogit and to my uncle Steven for assisting. Sarah and I worked all day on the van that will be used in the film. I will post pictures later, it is looking pretty cool. Where was my dad during all this? He bounced back and forth between projects. I think he has ADD.
Today I am pleased to announce that Buddy Blankenship has been cast in the role of Coach Manson.
A little over 2 weeks away from the start of principal photography. I can't believe it is almost here. We are busy with all the last minute details. Yesterday we want shopping and knocked off the majority of props we still needed. Thank you Dollar Tree. Don't worry, the props we bought from dollar tree will be used to help add the final detail to a scene or to finish off a set.
Today I am excited to announce that Tyler Hentz has been cast as Young Dustin in Carver!
Be sure to check out our cast page to find out more about Tyler and the rest of the Carver cast.
The countdown to principal photography continues and I am excited to announce another Carver cast member. The amazingly talented Sarah DiPrimio will be playing the role of Janine!
Stay tuned for more news and cast announcements through out the day!