Monday, June 26, 2017

BE SERIOUS ABOUT YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS...SERIOUSLY SERIOUS!

Too, too many times I have been approached on the web by local Indie filmmakers via email concerning my  "failure" to add my films on IMDB for IMDB credit. I've been told that if my films are not on IMDB, then it never happened. I've also been told that not having a page on IMDB will not get me noticed in the "real film world" and that all of my actors work will never be identified or taken seriously. I've always and often chuckled at those remarks made to me by "keyboard commandos" [thanks, Bobby] and I always retort to those people, "You do things your way and I'll do things my own way." Then I leave it to time to handle; why? because short films have a way of disappearing really fast and never being seen by the clique groups who created them.

Sure, I've filmed a little over 120 short films for web series and some film shorts, shot at at least seven feature films and have worked on some network shows as a Directors Assistant or "DA" if you need to hear the movie term. But knowing all of the movie terms in the world is NOT going to make you a legitimate filmmaker....getting the job done, is! And I'm proud to say that all of my work is uploaded somewhere on the Internet where anyone can search my name, the titles of my work, and actually see EVERY film I've ever directed and produced.
The smell of success isn't easy to emulate, but there is some self-satisfaction to your film career when you prove to be somewhere to work on a film, where no other people in your film scene have ever been to or could dream of going to when working on a real project or two. This is the way I see it, "There are people who wish they could be in the dream, making real movies and working hard to get to it through short 'local' indie films"....or, "There's the sort who have truly worked hard to get to the BIG GAME, worked in REAL feature films and network shows, know the ropes and the REAL contacts to get to it, but still have the mind to know that the ride is short and there's always another project to work on."

I know a lot of people who have worked hard on REAL Hollywood movies and won parts in REAL films and wound up on IMDB because the movie had a world wide release and those 'small town' actors had parts in them. Those people are proud of their work and their accomplishments, some work with me on my 'no budget' Indie films and we have fun putting it all together. Fun is what it's all about and I've never dabbled on the notion that 'this' project will land us a contract deal with a network or 'that' project has the right gusto to get us a full feature film deal with a studio out of Los Angeles [or LA].

Being real about the outcome of a short film...a nine to twelve minute gem...isn't anything to hold your breath about or claim that there's some BIG WIG in LA just waiting to see what your team is putting together for a pitch [or a 'trailer' as it's often wrongfully identified as] to present before a board of film studios just waiting for YOUR idea to come across their table. Quite honestly, I can't name a nine to twelve minute short that has EVER won an Oscar, even with a big name heading the lineup of the film....can you?

I think it's best to leave IMDB to the professionals and let them have their glory. Just because you have a few films as a director in the arena of "extremely short films" doesn't mean that anyone has to bow to you; the same goes for local actors in the local Indie film scene arena. Because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter if the film your in won a local Indie film award; like Worlds Fair, Horror World, or Houston's coveted Remi Award circuit...because in REAL Hollywood and in the real world of things, no one gives a fuck!

So, if you're preaching about having an IMDB credit for a film you presented to a small crowd at a pub, then you have a LOT of issues to deal with on your own. I am NOT the authority on films and I don't need to hear the grief of how your actors performances demand an IMDB credit if you're not willing to allow the open world to see your nine to twelve minute film. Put up or shut up and go away, that's my saying.

Ride Easy, My Friends!

D. R. Quintana
QSE Editor in Chief
 

Monday, June 19, 2017

STUDIO DELIVERS DRAMATICALLY WITH "PRAYING MANTIS"

The studio released news of the completion of it's newest Independent low budget film production, PRAYING MANTIS this past May. The film stars veteran actors, Bobby Osborn and Michael Ettnie, plus new comers Brandy Wilson, Brett Wilson Sr., and San Antonio's own, Emilce Ferreria, in this dark drama concerning a killer who takes on the psychological mentality of a insect to commit their crimes. The film has a run time of 71 minutes and is Rated R for strong language and mature situations.

Produced during the course of six weekends entirely in Somerset, Texas which is located a few miles south of San Antonio, the film is loosely considered a "San Antonio Independent Film" solely because it's the closest city with an identified Independent film industry and the majority of the cast is from San Antonio. Casting Director Laura Carretero brought in some San Antonio talent when the film needed them the most and Diana Wilson worked brilliantly as the Location Manager, providing some great set locations to keep things refreshing and dusty for the film. Makeup was provided by Cilla Rovito and Diana Wilson as required on the set.

The film show's great contrast being shot during some blistering hot days in the spring and some starkly dark nights that leave a lot to the imagination of dealing with "what's out there hiding in the dark?" The production team created some intense moments in the film, presenting what could be a paranormal female monster that has invaded the city of San Antonio which is creating strife by killing men, and presenting some horror filled moments with very little to no green screen CGI. The effects used in the film seemed real and delivered with a solid punch when it had to.


Even though a lot of the film presents some fantastic acting between Osborn and new comer, Wilson, a lot of the powerful moments came from Ferreria [pictured on right] who delivered brilliantly in her role as the County Coroner and showed a dark, psychopathic edge that keeps the movie churning in the right direction at the right time. The heavy original sound track by Mao Lora is sensational and projects the right feel for the scenes as required. The cinematography is crisp and clear throughout the production, presenting brilliant colors, crisp 1080 dpi, but the sound quality is low at times during dialog with Wilson; which is easily hinted on when the film jumps to the next scene. The pacing is outstanding and the camera work sells the film when it has to provide the best angels to tell the plots tale.

The films director, D. R. Quintana, took a little criticism during the production for not spending more time promoting the film locally nor presenting himself for interviews on the local media circuit in San Antonio.

"The film is great!" said Quintana. "It's an actor driven production, lead by an outstanding veteran team who deserve the credit for putting it all together. Their performances in the film made the entire project come to life and is a testament to their skills at putting a film together the right way, with the right drive and focus, and not waste anyone's effort with 13 hour days on the set."

When asked about his lack of self promotion after the film was completed, Quintana replied, "This film is not the usual run-around-the-mill, nine minute Indie film with four minutes of opening and closing credits. The actors put a lot of heart, sweat and tears into every minute of this film. And sure, we didn't get it all done the way we wanted, but there are some brilliant scenes in it that defy what local films claim can't be done on limited budgets. So, for anyone to think that I don't desire attention for this film, doesn't know the way I work. The way I see it, the moment an Independent film shifts focus from who acted in the film to who directed it, the film just lost it's biggest stars...the actors!"


PRAYING MANTIS was released on DVD this past weekend [actually on June 17, 2017] and the first shipments were mailed out after the studio posted a 'reserved sale' on Facebook. You can order your copy of the movie through the movies Facebook page this Wednesday, June 21, 2017.

The studio is now shifting production for two summer movies. The first is called "CALL TO ASCENSION" which starts filming in July and then the horror thriller, "THE CAR - A TRIBUTE SEQUEL" begins production in August.






M. Morris
[Contributing Film Critic]