Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Panel & Screening Schedule at World Horror Convention

I'm stoked about guesting at the World Horror Convention 2009 in Winnipeg, MB. Looking forward to meeting some great local filmmakers & horror fans. The WHC runs from April 30 to May 3. I'll be there May 1-3.

In addition to wall to wall screenings of cool horror shorts & features - including past winners of the Tabloid Witch Awards - there will be a daily Filmmaker's Bloc.

The Filmmaker's Bloc will feature 3 horror films (1 feature plus 2 shorts) followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers. Topics will include horror, filmmaking, distribution, and the festival circuit.

Expect a different discussion each time, as well as a vigorous Q&A session during each bloc. Winnipeg is, after all, a top filmmaking town in Canada. So bring it on!

See you there in the dark...

PANEL: Thomas M. Sipos, Los Angeles-based director of the Tabloid
Witch Awards horror film contest & festival, and actor in "The Ancient Law"; Kelly L. Young, Seattle-based writer of "H.P. Lovecraft's Strange Aeons"; and Miguel Gallego, Toronto-based writer/director of "The Crypt Club".

"H.P. LOVECRAFT'S STRANGE AEONS" A Miskatonic University professor combats an evil sorcerer trying to bring back the demonic "Old Ones"to Earth. Based on H.P. Lovecraft's "The Thing on the Doorstep." Directed by Eric Morgret. Written by K.L. Young. Cast: J.D. Lloyd, Erick J. Robertson, Angela M. Grillo, Jerry Lloyd, Peter Anthony Holden. (USA, 78 minutes)

"THE ANCIENT LAW" A magical, evil king kidnaps a young man's bride and child. Thus begins the man's quest. Dark fantasy. Directed/written by Erasmo Romero III. Cast: Jesus Guevara, Anthony Scavone, Jennifer Apon, Thomas M. Sipos, James Rollyson. (USA, 23 minutes)

"THE CRYPT CLUB" Three Goth girls desecrate a cemetery on a snowy night. An old-fashioned spook tale. Directed/written by: Miguel Gallego. Cast: Alison Pill ("Milk", "Pieces of April"), Jessica Greco ("Earth: Final Conflict", "Goosebumps"), Michele Duquet ("Earth: Final Conflict", "Kaw"), Kerry Segal. (Canada, 23 minutes)

The Filmmaker's Blocs are currently scheduled:
Fri. May 1 from 8 pm to 11 pm
Sat. May 2 from 4 pm to 7 pm
Sun. May 3 from 10 am to 1 pm

Marlborough Hotel
331 Smith Street (downtown)
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

World Horror Convention 2009
Tabloid Witch Awards
The Crypt Club


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Video Piracy - Good or Bad for Indies?

I'm an anti-piracy kinda guy. I believe that creators have the right to benefit from their work and that copyright infringement is theft.

But for indie filmmakers is piracy bad for your career?

Basic copyright laws were agreed on by many nations to protect a creator's ability to earn a living from his creations so that he can keep on creating. Without that protection creators can't earn a living, stop creating and civilization goes down the dumper. So copyright (literally the right to make a copy of a work or derivatives of the work) is a good thing, in my humble opinion.

The other night I heard an interesting alternate point of view about copyright and video piracy. A filmmaker said he'd be happy to have his work pirated in China because they can't afford to pay for the films anyway - so there's no perceived revenue loss - and it means that his work gets seen by a huge audience.

Ultimately, in this filmmakers' view, he sees a Chinese immigrant coming to North America and, flush with cash, recognizes the filmmaker's name on a film and decides to buy it because he's already familiar with the filmmaker's work.

I had to marvel at this perspective. My first thought was that this is like condoning gang rape because it may lead to love & marriage.

My self-righteous self bristled at the idea that a creator would allow - or even encourage - his work to be pirated for the sake of improving his career.

I know that some artists plan for free and viral distribution of their work to build a profile or lead to potentially greater returns. But that is a planned rather than involuntary release.

What's your take on this?

Can piracy be a form of viral marketing strategy?

And what are the ramifications to the public's perception of copyright and the creators' rights to earn a living from their creations?

Is this a slippery slope for creators?

United States Copyright Office
Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)
Wikipedia entry on 'Copyright'

Monday, April 20, 2009

Guess Who's Guesting at the World Horror Convention 2009?

Sure, the World Horror Convention was founded as a mostly literary event. Once a year the scribes who create horrifying works of literature gather together to celebrate with each other and with the fans. But, over the past couple of years, the cinematic contingent of the horror universe has slowly been creeping into the party.

Since last year in Salt Lake City, Thomas Sipos, of the Hollywood Investigator and the Tabloid Witch Awards, hosts the convention's screening room where he presents the best horror films from the Tabloid Witch awards, along with a few surprises. He's lined up more than a dozen hours of scary feature and short film programming for the 4 day event.

This year, since the WHC takes place in Winnipeg there's a special Canuck bias to Thomas' screaming screen's offerings. And justifiably so. Canadian's have been shocking the world since Fay Wray went on that blind date with that tall, hairy, royal guy.

Among the films featured will be my own film, "The Crypt Club", fresh from a fantastic sold out screening at NYC's Latin Horrorphiles 2 night.

Yep. Thomas invited me to attend the Convention as his guest, and I'm thrilled to say that I'll be attending the WHC from Friday May 1 to Sunday May 3. Between screenings we'll hold panel discussions and Q&As on horror films, our own films, and filmmaking. Should be some creepy good fun and (dare I say it?) informative.

I'll be traveling light, but I will have as much Crypt Club and "AAAAAH!! Indie Horror Hits" swag with me as my pack mule can haul. The tough part is getting the mule a coach seat on an Air Canada flight.

So there you have it. Come for the chills, stay for the thrills. Looking forward to meeting & greeting horror fans and filmmakers alike.

The World Horror Convention is an annual gathering of professionals in the horror industry; publishers, authors, artists, musicians, filmmakers, dealers and, of course, horror fans. WHC serves as both an industry insider's networking event and a chance for fans of the genre to get together, meet some of the creative talents in the field, and generally spend a weekend celebrating All Things Scary.

World Horror Convention 2009 site
World Horror Convention main site
Tabloid Witch Awards site


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New Film Festival Launches

There's a new film festival launching in Toronto, with a call for entries to indie filmmakers from around the world.

The mandate of the Toronto/GTA Night of the Living Film Festival is to showcase edgy new indie moviemakers in a chain of small independent screening spaces in our beautiful city of Toronto (and area), so their work can be seen in an arena other than the web.

You know, as much as I love watching movies in the privacy of my dark, quiet crypt, there's something about the communal experience of watching a film with a crowd in a darkened cinema that can't be replicated by a giant home theatre set up. If only the kid behind the concession stand would quit snickering at my dead bunny slippers.

For information on submission details, festival dates, venues, etc. you can send an e-mail to Chad.

I'm curious to see what will grow from this seed. Beast of luck. And keep watering it guys!

Night of the Living Film Festival - Toronto
Night of the Living Film Festival - Yahoo Group