Sunday, April 22, 2018

NETFLIX SERIES REVIEW - LOST IN SPACE FAILS MISERABLY LOST IN BAD STORYTELLING AND PLOTLINE

The QUANTUM STORM Studio Review - LOST IN SPACE - Netflix [PG] - I'm a big fan of the original television series, not a big fan of the movie, but this new Netflix series was a HUGE disappointment! 

Another series falls prey to the idea that spending large amounts of money on useless and baseless CGI is the way to go. Especially when some dumb-ass director tries to bring in J.J. Abrams-type lens flares to make things look more spectacular, well...you know that the whole production team was hoping something in the presentation of the show would make fans cry out for more.

But plain and simple, the plot and story is transparent, the acting is dry and filled with tons and tons of useless monologue that just stretched out each episode and left very little room to get to the point of the overall picture. The flow of the series bounces up and down after each new scene that was poorly constructed to tell three different stories at the same time; sometimes, you are even left to wonder "what happened to that other character when all of this was happening?"


The only light in the tunnel for this series was the cast which was rounded up for the show. I have to admit that there are blips and flashes of promises when the actors finally got into their roles...if you want to call them "roles." Again to put it plainly, "...having a career U.S. Marine play a useless father and husband because he was deployed most of his career and his wife resented it because she was the scientist of the family"...? Hello, who wrote this shit!? Sure, we live in a generation now where the woman is the strong anchor in the family and men are looked down as 'non-leaders' for this new generation of snowflake who are being brought up in our now soft society. But everyone knows [or should know] that military moms are bad ass, they kick ass, and always stand by their husbands when the tough gets going. This part of the series was written from looking at the "outside of what could be", instead of looking into a real military family and seeing what truly is!

One of the worst aspects of the series is showing that there is "token black actress" who's in the show as a main character in the family which was never explained...but was obviously added to prevent a white-washing of the show. The teens in this show are talented and cute, but none have the acting chops to pull off their roles in moments where they have to believe what they see in the CGI world. The scripted dialog produced for them seems to simple to employ and you're supposed to believe that if they shoot off some techno-babble, that these kids are smarter than your average bear. I sure as hell didn't fall for it and neither will the future followers.

But the absolute worst parts of the series has to be the tremendously bad editing, bad sequencing, non-tempo and the really horrible "J.J. Abrams-type" CGI that just left this pile of dogshit streaming for over nine episodes. I gave it a chance to prove me wrong, but the whole thing just puttered off and left the whole shit-smack open for a season two which would be an adventure-less idea to bring into next year. To say the least, the writers of this show had no idea how to create a solid SciFi show with enough drama and intrigue to keep the viewer entertained. I pray there won't be another season, but the Lost In Space trolls are already out claiming how good the first season was solely due to the robot, who was obviously a guy in a suit...and looked like a guy in a suit. 

☆ [Generous Star][1 of 5 Stars]

Saturday, April 14, 2018

NEW SPECTRE ZERO TRAILER RECEIVING EXCELLENT REVIEWS!


Quantum Storm Pictures isn’t wasting any time spreading the news that the newest trailer installment for the planned 15 episode, Season One series of SPECTRE ZERO, was release on Facebook and Weibo on Thursday [4.12.2008].

The trailer presents some segments of dark humor as two characters in the show [played by Daniel Erik and Bishop Asher] discuss the addition of a new member to the team [played by Sara Mao].

The series began production in mid January with a planned release for the series on Facebook in April of 2018. The potential for the series was elevated after it was suggested that the first season to the series be submitted to Amazon for possible selection as a new independent series to stream on its movie/video services. The studio admits that it’s a long shot, but it feels confident that the series will be given strong consideration for acceptance.

Series creator/writer/producer, D. R. Quintana, brought development to the series in December of 2017 after working on several scripts for a sequel to 2017’s PRAYING MANTIS. He claims to have added dark humor and an intense dramatic feel to the series by keeping the cast young, which will help draw in a younger audience through this ultimately scary production which includes many documented [and real] Urban Legends found on the internet and located in vast cities in the U.S.

After only three months of production, the studio claims that the series has reached the territory of nine completed episodes, with enough video content to present 45 to 50 minute episodes in the first season of the series. There will be several story plots that require two-part episodes, but all of the episodes have been designed to present one long story arc to it’s future fans.

It is the intention of the studio that if the series is accepted for streaming by Amazon and asked to produce a second season, the team of actors and the studio are more than willing to commit to starting production of season two in September. Worst case scenario is to present episodes for the series on Facebook in 20-minute segment videos to each episode.

Future fans should expect at least two more promotional trailers before the entire first season is submitted to Amazon for review. Promotional trailers are allowed during the submission process to help build a fan following prior to releasing the series to streaming services. Amazon highly recommends that individual studios do their best to promote their own projects for selection of purchasing a "second season" to their shows.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

STUDIO RELEASES AWESOMETACULAR APRIL EDITION OF THE QSE!

The Quantum Storm E-Magazine [QSE] proudly presents the spring edition issue with tons and tons of news and information [over 45 pages] concerning studio productions throughout the state of Texas. Some of the most creative and epic Indie film projects are currently in production with many showing solid promise of accomplishing their goal in being distributed through streaming services on Amazon, Zulu, Hulu or Netflix.
 
Last month, the studio began pre-production on a planned series entitled SOUL SEEKER with lead actress Stephanie Greenfield who appeared in 2017’s studio feature film, PRAYING MANTIS. The studio plans to start producing twelve episodes in San Antonio, Texas this September and submit the series to Amazon in December for a possible early 2019 release. The production to SEEKER will begin shortly after studio work on SPECTRE ZERO wraps for the second season and will take a break when the studio plans to produce another feature film sometime in October.


Stephanie Greenfield is a relatively new actress taking an action leading role in a series with Quantum Storm Pictures, shortly after she began collaborating on several projects with the studio to help hone down stronger scripts for future productions. Greenfield is said to be excited about the part of the Soul Seeker in the newest installment by the studio, is currently in training for the part, and recently conducted a costume test and production survey for future episodes in Marfa, Texas, which will be critical during the production of the series.

Working with Stephanie during the early development of Soul Seeker has been quite an adventure” says David Quintana, director and creator of the scripts to the series. “We definitely have a mutual respect for the project, to get it launched in the right direction the first time we plan to start shooting this monster to film.”


Quintana also mentioned that their efforts in producing costumes and effects for the series were put to the test in Marfa, Texas, where they plan to return at a later time to continue filming scenes there for effect. Many of the scenes will require the cast members to work in the dangerous climate and locations in West Texas.


Seeing Stephanie all dressed up and viewing the potential for her playing the part was a big insight of what to expect when the cameras begin to roll in September” adds Quintana. “There’s a new energy in the studio production we are bringing to the future fans of our project. It’s exciting to see the potential of each new script come to life and I feel confident that Stephanie will perform brilliantly in this action role.”

The QSE will present updates for the series as they arise, including the training methods required by Stephanie to play her role and a photo layout of the actress with a full interview. 

Saturday, March 31, 2018

ARE YOU WORTH THE PRICE YOU ASK FOR AS AN INDIE ACTOR?

Let us take a look at your ‘acting credentials’ and see if you truly are worth the cash you claim with the talents that you can present to the production. Is it time that someone who has been in the Indie film scene to give you a real life review of your talents, evaluate where you started to where you are now and see if it will be worth the risk to give you a cash incentive to be part of this new project, which in all reality could just wind up crashing down on itself and wind up in “File 13” with all of the countless other projects that did the same?

I’m sure that there are Indie actors who have crossed over to network projects and some parts as an extra in big films, but seriously where is the individual scene that required your attention and gave you real national exposure? It is common knowledge that any free loading amateur can be selected as an extra, even many with no acting experience can be selected to play an extra as a zombie in some well known television series without ever having to take an acting class in their life. There’s no bones about it, coming to a project with a resume filled with bunch of parts as an extra is nothing seriously to brag about.

Just because some new Indie film project has a budget of $5000 doesn’t mean you will require a check for having a two minute part in the film or series. Most of all indie film scene projects work on a basis of trying to create a feature film with as little spending as possible, due to the sole fact that most of the budget will be used for production requirement; filming licenses & permits, cost of producing & using new music, copyrights on scripts & titles, costs of renting, etc-etc-etc. What one should do is accept that their assistance in producing the film will prove their commitment to work under the restraints of the project, up through the end. Money should be the last thing on one’s mind until the project premieres and there is proof that good revenue is flowing back in to the production.

Meeting an actor with no real experience except maybe a few parts of as an extra, no demo reel, no resume, and no experience in theater is a detriment to the thespians who have worked for years to perfect the craft of acting. Demo reels are a top notch requirement by any acting agency. A strong resume which presents your roles in films [with links to show your work], plus a list of acting schools with the mentors contact information goes a long way too. But having parts in theater goes a long, long way for proven that an actor/actress has cut their teeth committing to a live project where one cannot easily hide their mistakes on a stage.

Sure, I’ve done my share of auditioning actors who have had extensive gigs working on local commercials and some models who have made several shoots for magazines and promotional ads, and a large majority of these individuals have not been able to pass a simple audition. It’s nothing personal, but with so many projects that did not lend any support to helping them win a part of a film or a fill as a model, has held them back from the countless other actors who have taken the harder direction to work on projects that require one’s long term commitment to helping the project reach the next level of success.

This is what you should be thinking about on a constant basis before you approach the production team about earning a paycheck on a real Indie film project. Many long term Indie film teams can see through your bullshit [or B.S.] and will often choose a lesser trained person for a role due to your neglect in over promoting yourself just to try and win a paycheck. 

Remember that you’ve been warned again about trying to make a quick buck as an extra on a Independent film project. Being an extra on a national commercial or a recognized film project on a professional film set is a completely different set of circumstances; but you still have to audition to win a part in the Indie film scene arena. Don’t drown yourself in your small film career where no one really cares.

And I often don’t care about what commercial you played an extra in. I find it funny how no one has shown me a resume that lists them as an extra in Green Lantern; as half of the local acting film scene in Houston once boasted about how excited they were having a part in the next block buster.


D. R. Quintana
QSE Editor

[This post is the opinion of D. R. Quintana and is not the opinion of his crew and actors within Quantum Storm Pictures.]

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

CAN A BAD TRAILER RUIN YOUR INDIE FILMS PREMEIRE?


The honest answer to a question about the potential of having a solid Indie film trailer is “Yes, a projects success depends on what it takes to bring attention to your Indie film!” and it makes a HUGE difference to the success of your films potential for having a premiere – but don’t actually believe that people outside of your little circle really care. Indie films come and go all the time, and most of the time, the only people that truly care about your film project are the actors, the production team, their families, and friends that know about the Indie film and what it’s all about from the team. So, what should you do to get the best attention for your film?


First, get someone outside of your circle to promote your film to all of the news outlets and through all of the local Internet news circuits that they can; having someone that isn’t biased to your pride helps out a lot. Local Indie film directors try to produce fancy websites and Facebook pages to help quick-start the promotion process, but directors have BIGGER things to worry about than try to promote their own Indie film. Sure, every actor in the film claims to have ‘this contact’ and/or ‘that agent’ that can help to get the word out about your film, but a true promotions director knows the real contacts to get the word out about your film. Let them do the hard work and give them the best material to advertise your project without remorse or recourse for under promoting it.


A solid promotional director will cost you money, but to trust an accomplished advertiser to push your work to the right people outside of your circle is the best investment you’ll have when the premier date comes dancing around in the local community. A proven promo-director has to out-smart the previous ‘big Indie hit’ that came before you, so it’s always a contest to get the best person at the helm of pushing your new Indie film. 

With that, you’re going to need a solid trailer. So, where do you begin with your first trailer? What source material do you need? Should you use real material from your film?


Well, trailers are a tricky thing. Some production teams use ‘trailer ideas’ to bring investors and producers in to help their projects with money or locations; the proper term is ‘pitch film’ or ‘sizzle reel’, so if you decide to work with a team who say, “It’s called a trailer”, I highly recommend you bail out from that team right away. These types of people find out the hard way about movie making, so as a growing actor, it’s always a good thing to know when it’s time to bail when you’re working with stubborn people.


If your team has an Independent film idea you’d like to ‘pitch’ to an investor or potential producer, you want to produce a ‘pitch film’ [or sizzle reel] which is usually a seven or eight minute look into your project idea. But, we’re talking about a ‘trailer’ for your Indie film, right? So, let’s go over what you need to present to people outside of your project to get them excited to see your potentially exciting film.


I will begin by telling you that having a ‘clique of friends’ to help support your film is a good thing, but you need sheer honesty to see if your film is worth bragging about. Remember if you’re an Indie filmmaker/director, people outside of your friends circle [or clique] always expect local Indie films to be crappy and lack material worth watching, so your trailer has to prove those people wrong. Always show them that you have class within the production, and that yeah, it’s actually going to be a fun film to watch. I know what you’re dying to ask; “How do I do all of that?”


As I stated earlier, it’s all about honesty. First time local Indie directors are always looking for someone to hand out accolades for every small scene they complete; but how good are those scenes really? How did everything tie in together? Was the mood you wanted to present in retrospect all there? These questions cannot be answered and evaluated by the production team. I hate to say it, but if you clearly have a scene between two people sitting on a couch, passing out what you think is a key point or important information within the films storyline, you should truly consider not showing that in your trailer. “Couch scenes” are considered amateurish, strong signs of a low budget production, and will give the audience an ill fated glimpse into the quality of your film.


I recommend for first time directors to set up a private screening for different genres of people after your films first run at post editing who are not part of any clique or production circle. They should be split up in several groups to best evaluate a rating system, evaluate flow, and gage interest for maturity purposes if your film declares a film rating of PG or higher. These groups can be split up in age groups, like this:


- First group 8-16 years of age.
- Second group 16-24 year of age.
- Third group 25 or older.


Keep the numbers of each group small to less than three per age group. These groups should be allowed to take notes and openly review your film. If you feel that the younger audiences[8 to 16 y/o] won’t understand your film or be too afraid of the projects content, remove them from the first group and add another age group who will help you get the right type of review that’s good for your project. Ask this audience of reviewers to be brutally honest as their review will help you establish a movie rating for your film; whether the film will be PG, PG13, or R. Don’t ever just assume the rating of your film because you ‘feel’ it should be a certain rating for future audiences.

So from here, let’s pretend you have your review and now you’re considering on producing a ‘trailer’ because the initial reviews from your unbiased group gave you good marks. Keep in mind that most professional trailers to a finished film should run under two minutes in length. If you’ve produced a comedy, make sure the trailer is funny; if you’ve produced a dramatic film, make the trailer dramatic; if you made a horror film, make damn sure it’s scary; if it’s a sexy film, make the trailer sexy. The best advice I can give is, don’t tell the viewer the whole story and plot about your film. A trailer is preview of things inside the project that best represents the whole meaning of your film. Push the envelope where you need to and if you have a film format that separates you from other Indie films, toss that in for good measure.


Some of the best trailers we’ve ever previewed have been those trailers that have presented the unexpected without giving away too much. Most of those trailers were produced by persons not related to the production team; meaning that the director put the production of his films trailer into the hands of an experienced editor who has actually seen the film and knows what will make the trailer tick to audiences. A good sound track is also key to delivering a punch [or dramatic peak] that fits the mood of the trailer. The prowess of your actors will be evaluated by the audiences when they watch your film, so don’t worry so much about trying to present the total acting quality in your trailer.


People love to see flowing scenes from one scene to another, so be sure to make your trailer flow constantly with scenes you now will set the mood for the trailer. If your trailer can bring in only one person outside of your friends circle to see your project, then the trailer has done its job. The list for bad film trailers is long and distinguished, but if your current trailer design has the following bad practices in trailers, you should consider cutting a new trailer.


- Trying to show the entire cast of your Indie film in the trailer; because you feel like you owe it to the entire team.

- Making up scenes in the trailer that are not in your film.

- Showing a plot twist in the film that gives away your film’s best avenue for stunning your future audience.

- Presenting the names of all of the actors and production team in a trailer “credit scroll” just to satisfy your crew’s vanity.

- Presenting a release date or venue location on your trailer; as you will wind up making updates to every change of venue; always present only one trailer for your film to use in all promotional venues.


If you’re an Indie filmmaker who has several successful films in your resume, the lists and the information shared may not mean much to you. But if you have yet to successfully break away from your local Indie clique and get impressive ‘outside’ numbers for your films premiere, it might be due to not bringing in the newer crowds through your previous trailer. Try a change in your post production habits, put your faith in an experienced Marketing or Promotions Manager, and try some of things we’ve presented to help you on your way to improve the attendance in your new films premieres.

D. R. Quintana
CEO and Editor of the QSE
Submitted as Liner Notes - His opinion is not the opinion of all of the QSE Staff or the actors who work with him on film projects.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

STUDIO RELEASES MARCH ISSUE OF THE QSE!

In this months issue of the Quantum Storm E-Magazine [QSE], the cover depicts a one of a kind artist from Katy, Texas, whose music is helping the local Indie film market find new life through original music. She's making a name for herself by developing original, high quality music for Independent film projects in Texas, also through several other states and countries located around the world, selling her music to a large venue which is proving to be a trademark for this lone writer and creator. Lora Mao has quickly become the definitive expert to go to when you're in a crunch and need a real musical track to bring your emotional scene to life.

Recently, Mao has been producing mind altering music for Indie films in quantities and pristine qualities that she is sought out by film makers to help to create perfect mood music for their projects. She is known for her quick turn around on producing music required by each studio who hires her. And even though now she makes her music look easy to produce, it didn't start off that way.

She's worked in the Houston Indie film scene since 2012, honing her skills with her music and also dabbing as an extra on some of the films she has helped. Many of the films she has worked on have disappeared in the Indie film glut that has been swelling for years in Texas, but in 2017, her music hit pay dirt when she produced tracks for Quantum Storm Pictures, PRAYING MANTIS. working around the clock for two weeks and created one of the best original opening soundtracks the studio has ever used in their films.

"I have been working with this studio for a few years now" said Mao. "I will always say yes to their upcoming projects because the end results are good. Their ability to work my music into the scenes is amazing."

And Mao is right, her work has made such a mark on the studios first film of 2017, that the Quantum Storm Pictures studio has nominated her for "Adaptive Music Coordinator/Writer of the Year" honors for 2017 for her work on MANTIS, a film that has received strong reviews for it's overall production and even now has created a brilliant sound tracks for other local Indie films set for release in 2018.

In this issue of the QSE, Mao talks about her life with music, living out of state and working with Indie films, networking with several Indie organizations in Houston, plus the materials and software she used to help create her masterful musical tracks. She does more work outside of working with the Quantum Storm Pictures crew and that show's that she is malleable enough to work through groups who may not want to extend their business to people who choose to work outside of certain cliques in the film scene.

"Lora Mao is an exceptional artist who is cheerful to work with." says Spectre Zero Director, David Quintana. "I send her ideas via email and text, she winds up sending me back plenty of files to listen to. If I find something that I like but need adjustments, I request changes and she returns the files with perfect clarity with a quick turn around."
Quintana added that Mao's work will be pushed to the test during the production of Spectre Zero, as all of the musical tracks are in the firm hands of Mao to produce new work for every scene to every episode in the series. Readers of the blog who are not privy to the QSE will get a few more chances to listen to Mao's work in series trailers which will be released on the projects Facebook page though April.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

CHINESE/KOREAN AUDIENCE KEEPING CLOSE TABS ON SPECTRE ZERO


Thanks to some smartly prepared promotions through various internet sites, the studios supper-thriller SciFi series, SPECTRE ZERO, is taking strong roots with many Oriental fans due to the reason of the show including a talented and heavy Oriental cast who portray lead characters who delve into a career of searching for spiritual phenomena.

One of the series leading characters, Wynn Mi, is played by the talented and beautiful Sara Mao of Katy, Texas who has made a name for herself on the internet with cosplay modeling she has produced online for the last few years.  Her character is gifted with the psychic ability to step through a doorway of the "minds eye" and communicate with evil spirits that live inside a sub-space world that has parallels with our own world. Her clairvoyant abilities are pretty impressive as all she has to do is see and sense the area around her to fully engage with spirits and try to communicate with them. In many cases, the trips into the "minds eye" are simple and a bit scary, but at other times her trips into the nether world are quite horrifying and seem to send a warning about seeing things in the dark that people shouldn't.


Wynn's team members are the creators and inventors of the band name company, Spectre Zero. Markus McCain, is played by Daniel Erik, and Lewis Denmark, is played by Bishop Asher [both of Conroe, Texas] who run a website which lists only the proven "active" places in Texas that have ghostly phenomena and also have an Urban Legend tied to them. In the series, the trio trek through the Texas landscape verifying or debunking ghost sites and make a good living off of them. In some cases, the phenomena is so extreme, that Wynn Mi is put in peril over some evil forces that are up to no good.

The series director and creator, D. R. Quintana, said that the studio project was seriously only intended to be another web series, which was being produced solely for fun.

"I never want to over-emphasize or over-hype any of the projects I produce through our small enterprise, but the Chinese audience is watching, listening, and reading every article and trailer we release on the web" says Quintana. "The numbers are real and there is no exaggeration about the expectation for this low budget series, that doesn't look so low budget in final production."

Quintana says that the high quality video production has everything to do with thinking about how to produce the best material possible before actually rolling their cameras. The series must maintain a high quality video production and at least a 7.2 Dolby surround sound production format with original music score and full scripts to have a chance for approval to Amazon's film and series acceptance program for streaming services.

"In years passed, it was all about filming this scene and that without thinking of the quality of the production" added Quintana. "Where I wanted quantity of material to spill out onto the internet, racing the remaining time of a young cast of actors, in Spectre all of the actors are adults and there's no racing required to keep the look of the cast in check." 

The studio continues to produce episodes for the series, aiming for a goal of 13 to 15 episodes for final delivery to Amazon for streaming and distribution. The studio is hoping to wrap up season one by April and commence production of season two by the end of July. With a young cast and  a plethora of stories to tell, the studio is sure that the series will find it's way to fans across all corners of the globe, just like previous project releases produced by the studio.

The studio is planning to release a new series trailer in the first week of March.

J. Jazz
[Contributing Writer]