Withdrawals are to be expected

So, its been four days since we wrapped, and as always, I’m already missing production… especially directing. I miss hanging with my DP, Hammster, and actors, Marty and Rifey. It’s to be expected since we’ve spent at least three days a week together since the beginning of last October. I talked with Marty today and it was like…”where the heck have you been!” Oh well, that is how it goes in the life of a filmmaker, you bust your behind and stress yourself out moving an moving, making day after day for three weeks to a month, and then… IT’S OVER! And you’re left with silence and your thoughts, memories and thankfully, behind the scenes footage. Yes, I’ll admit it, I watched several videos last night of the crew in the desert. Too funny, and too fun. From the outside looking in, we had a really good time, and the five of us, Hamm, Nouf, Rifey, myself and Hartman rigging the Jeep with the front windshield down, strapping Hamm to the hood with me standing on the front bumper holding him while moving 20 MPH and trying to direct my actors is well….PRICELESS! I miss the grind.

On another note, a very big Academy Award Nominated Actor responded to a script I wrote called “Size of Society” today. I’m set to meet with him in mid April. Usually I wouldn’t get excited (because these things have a way of falling through), but, since he only had the script for five days, and he already read it, and got back with very kind words and wanting to meet, then I’m going to allow myself a little bit of excitement. Those of you who don’t know Hollywood, that never happens! Usually it is “yeah, send it, I’ll check it out,” and then you wait 6 weeks (which, if you hear back in 6 weeks, that is actually fast) for them to say… not quite what I was looking for (which means, they really didn’t even read it). So, the quality of this actor, and how respected he is, and what he could possibly bring to this script coming to life and getting produced is very… VERY promising. So, with that said, please pray that the meeting goes well and the script gets produced, because it has a fine message with really great characters.

In the coming days, Koshiyama, Hamm, Jo and I, will be getting on a call to create a post production schedule and set some loose deadlines for BROKEN. I can’t wait to put BROKEN together with Hamm and get a cut out. More to come…

Kevin

The Beach and no Sunscreen don’t mix

Okay, it’s official. After seven days in the desert, the entire crew managed to escape without ONE single sunburn. We were on top of it, constantly applying, reapplying, etc., etc., just like our mother’s taught us. Hmmmm, so, come the last day of shooting on a beautiful and clear sunny day at the beach, how is it the same exact crew that did so well in the desert managed to show up without a single tube of sunblock? Interesting, and (for those of you who have been through production) understandable, due to the stress of wearing several hats, yet painful and a bit itchy:). Seriously, you could cook an egg on my forehead and a couple strips of bacon would fit perfectly atop each one of my feet. Trust me, they’d sizzle to perfection. Furthermore, after talking with several crew members this morning, it appears that this pale-skinned director’s complexion isn’t the only one sporting a burnt and soon-to-be useless carcass of cells, nope. Our DP, his son, both actors, sound…yep, they’re all in the same boat. I’m pretty sure, from here on out, sunscreen will be included on every craft service table.

On another note, I wanted to take a quick second and recognize my crew and their efforts:

Richard Liu (EP):

Richard is not only the person that believed in all of us, but the man who flipped a considerable portion of the production budget. He’s a good friend and part of my family, and his confidence in my vision and the ability of my crew is something I’ll never forget. Both Hamm and I hope to make him proud with the edit. And from all of the producers (Jo, myself, Hamm and Alan)… THANK YOU SO MUCH, Richard!

Marty Noufer (actor, EP)

Marty not only delivered a stellar performance, both he and Brian Rife took direction unlike anyone I’ve ever directed. Marty not only gave massive amounts of his time to this production, he stepped in when we needed additional funds and without his involvement, we wouldn’t have been able to finish. UNBELIEVABLE! I love this man, and I have no problem admitting it. And it’s also amazing to see that both Michelle and Marty have passed on their talent to their twin girls, Mia and Millie… I guess it is simply in the blood.

Torrey Loomis (EP)

Torrey has always been a big supporter of KeJo Productions. We cherish our relationship with him and Silverado, and thank God for his EPIC. He’s been a part of all of our feature productions, and we hope to continue on with him in the future. We wish him well in his new location in Old Town Folsom and ask for blessings on his future endeavors, BROKEN still one of them. 🙂

Brian Rife (actor)

Ahhhh, “Rifey.” What an amazing young dude this cat is. Outside of being our own resident walking Encyclopedia (for instance, I found out yesterday that the Albatross doesn’t die of natural causes, it dies of hunger caused by blindness, i.e., loses sight, can’t find prey, thus starves to death…weird knowledge, yet very interesting:). If you ever get a chance to visit with Brian, I suggest you pull up a chair and open your ears, you’ll hear some amazing things and learn a whole lot! Aside from these awesome and interesting tidbits of info, he gave an incredible performance as well. The chemistry between Marty and Brian was/is a lot like older/younger brothers, and they used this greatly in their performance. On top of all this, Brian will be leaving for DePaul University this summer to complete a 3-year Master’s Degree in Theatre/Drama – AMAZING! And we wish him love and luck.

Brian Hamm (DP)

Anyone who knows Hamm knows how gifted he is, not only as a cinematographer, but as a person. I truly believe he’s a favored soul, and if you know him, you’ll understand why one might feel this way. He’s a DP that always has your back, always working towards the same exact goal. His support is a confidence builder. He did EVERYTHING in his power and resources to get the shots I asked for and everything in between. He does it with professionalism and love, and it comes through in the photography. Thanks Hammster, thanks for being there for me, because I wouldn’t have shot without you.

Jo Haskin (Prod)

What can I say here? Jo is my wife first, and she has always been there for me. We’re coming up on 17 years of marriage in July, and she has always supported my filmmaking, and I’m so happy that she is the person she is. On the flip side of that, Jo as a producer is the most talented producer I’ve come across. She isn’t just physically producing and doing the things that most of us hate, she’s doing so much more! She kept this ship going, even on days when she couldn’t be physically on set (which I think was only one). Even then, before we left, we had everything we needed for that day. Her organization and crazy, crazy work ethic, as well as flawless demeanor, is an amazing gift. I thank God everyday that he chose me for her, and her for me. She’s my number one passion and the love of my life.

Alan Koshiyama (prod/composer/sound design)

Alan was a huge support during production. He helped out on the first block and even offered to come all the way out to the desert to help with the second block, even while in the middle of composing the entire program for the Easter Celebration at Adventure Church. Alan’s main contribution will come in the months ahead where he’ll be composing the score for BROKEN and designing the sound and mixing once we have the final edit. We’re blessed to have his involvement and can’t wait to dive into the score. It’s going to be amazing, and I can’t wait for this process. Alan has been a complete champion for my vision on BROKEN from its inception. He’s helped with story and has been a great sounding block for me as a writer. His faith is strong and his love for all of us working on BROKEN is a huge ego-booster.

Michelle Noufer (actor)

M-Town as I sometimes call her came out in one night, without hardly any rehearsal and delivered! She’s such a talented actress and so easy to direct. She has unbelievable instincts and its such a joy to sit back and watch her perform. She never complains, even when it’s cold out and I can see her petite body shivering and shivering (in fact, none of the actors on this production complained… again, anyone who’s been through a feature production will understand how UNHEARD OF THIS STATEMENT IS)… man, could I tell you a story or two. Thanks Michelle, your involvement was a gift!

Michael Stevenson (actor)

Michael is a wonderful working theater actor in Sacramento. He came out in a moments notice to help out in a crunch. We were lucky to have him and what a nice guy. He gave a great performance and I can’t wait to see it all cut together.

Jamie Jones (actor)

Ahhhhh, Jamie, another working theater actor… I feel so bad for her. Her night of shooting on BROKEN, was probably the coldest of the first block. I mean it was COLD-cold! We didn’t really have a place to shelter her and had little time to rehearse her collision scene (she didn’t say a word either). She got thrown to the wolves and did everything that was asked of her. I’m so thankful to her for that. Again, what a nice lady and talented performer.

Kevin Hartman / Mario Garcia (location sound)

Mario worked hard for us on the first block of shooting. He was professional and recorded some great stuff for our Roseville shoot. He worked long hours and was a delight on set.

Hartman joined us on the second block, and his involvement saved the show as well when Mario’s schedule took him away from the production. And so it goes, God provided what was needed. And he provided excellence of both sound and character in Kevin. What a class act this gentlemen is. And not only that, he’s the only person I’ve ever met that  dips french fries in their chocolate shake. (He’s already one of my best friends for that!:)

Michelle Holmen-Guerrero (PA)

Michelle joined on the second block as well, and stepped in to provide not just another set of hands on set, but valuable assistance to both Jo and I as we prepared for the desert block of principle. We were lucky she gave of herself and took time away from work and family to join us for a week in Big Bear City and Lucerne Valley. She’s a very intelligent person, and has so much potential. Can’t wait to work with her again.

Carolyn Bianchi (my mother-in-law)

She not only supports Jo and I lovingly as a parent, but when she’s not in Maui, provides us with top notch craft services and an unbelievable work ethic. Jo is cut from the same cloth, and I’m lucky to have the love and support of my mother-in-law. I adore her! (how many husbands/son-in-laws can truthfully say that?:)

Sandy Gilmore (my mother)

Nothing is nothing without the person who gave you physical life on this earth. My mom has supported everything and anything I’ve ever done in my life. She’s never judged me and always provided me with a strong message and sound advice. She didn’t even blink when I told her I was quitting HP to follow a dream, she said “that is exactly what you SHOULD do!” She an amazingly strong and independent woman, mother, grandmother, aunt, business owner, mother-in-law and friend. I’d be nothing without her amazing parenting. She’s a role model for me and I owe her everything.

Darrell Haskin (my dad)

I love him greatly. Not only is he a positive person, he’s taught me one of the most important lessons there is: don’t sweat the small stuff! He’s generous and loving and even when I came home and had to tell him I jacked up his Jeep a bit, he let it slip right off his shoulders, making it about the movie and my dreams over his Jeep. What an unselfish and loving man. It will be very cool when he can see “short bread” come alive in the movie!

Last but not least… Mia and Millie Noufer, Parker Lee Hodge and all of the spouses of the crew that allowed their loved ones to go away from their families, for long periods of time, to help the movie and all of the producers along to get our vision out. You guys are the unsung heroes here. THANK YOU!

Love and blessings,

Your director, Kevin

Darn kevin beat me!!’

I was hoping to get something up tonight. Wow. It’s a wrap!!!
Thinking back years ago coming up with the first idea of this film and actually shooting the last frame to make it complete… Is amazing. I cherished every moment cause I know I’ll look back and say “remember how amazing shooting Broken was?”
From the first shot to the last the cast and crew was amazing. The 7 of us.
So now the real fun begins. The EDIT!
That’s where we make it really work and see the fruits of our labor.
Praise God we got though an amazing film. I trust He will see it through.
Thanks

Brian.

THAT’S A WRAP!

Yep, finally… After 16 days (one block of 7 days, the second block 9 days) we’ve finally wrapped principle photography on BROKEN. That last shot went off about 40 minutes ago behind The Nugget in Davis off Mace St. Yep, we got all guerilla up in Davis, stole a shot to match a shot we filmed in old Roseville during the first block. We started this morning, late morning at beautiful Moss Beach about 20 mins outside of S.F. towards Half Moon Bay. The weather was beautiful and the beach mostly vacant. After twin 4 year-old girls (Millie and Mia Noufer) yesterday at the gas station scene, today we had my 4 year-old Nephew Parker Lee Hodge at the beach. At the end of the day, I told him how awesome he was in the movie, and he replied, “when did we shoot a movie?” Now that is good camera work right there! Actor didn’t even know he was being filmed. Jo, (our producer and my lovely, lovely wife) was also in the mix, and together we  filmed a very touching moment that is sure to create an emotional response. Needless to say, we had a great day with the Hamm Family (Noah and Sara), as well as Kevin Hartman, Brian Rife and Marty Noufer. We got everything we needed and then some.

I have to say, this has been truly one of the greatest experiences of my life. It was challenging, rewarding, and most of all fun. A true testament to the solid peeps we surrounded ourselves with. What a blessing to have worked on this with the people we had aboard. Can’t wait for the wrap party where we can sit and enjoy, and socialize without have to worry about shooting the next shot!

Much love and blessings to all,

Kevin

PS – Too tired to proofread, so deal with any typos 🙂

As I sit in my hotel room

I’m (Brian Hamm, DP) in Paducah Kentucky, ya never heard of it either, I am done with my 13 hour day job shooting another crime show for Discovery ID. I’m blessed to had a lot of work. I can’t complain, but when I was in my “heaven” (shooting an amazing feature drama film) it’s hard to get back to reality, let alone across the country from my family. I took all the footage with me to transcode to “pro-res” for me to edit with. It’s been a week of that hoping i can even watch a full take. 

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The silver package is the infamous “brian beef jerky” Gotta have my protein.

It’s amazing to look back and see how God had his hand on us during the last 2nd block of shooting. From the Jeep (main prop) radiator freezing and being repaired within 2 hours is amazing, The wind deadened the 2nd day for most of the dialog, let alone the rest of the week. And for production I’d rather have rain then wind. And we were blessed. 

The next day we found a family that were local missionaries that were willing to help store the jeep on their property for 5 days for free as they also prayed for the shoot and protection for us. Which was amazing because we needed it.

 

Nearing the end of the shoot we had one last sequence of shots as we realized the 4wheel drive didnt work any more for the shot. Which was necessary for the loose sand in the desert. We figured out how to shoot around that scene. (hopefully worked) 

Let alone the flat tire and the microphone that died after we just wrapped everything. man………

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One thing after another. But God was always on our side. And I know that cause we as a team never gave up on each other.

That’s just the beginning of what happened. we are so thankful no one is hurt and is well and wants to keep working together. I love what we have and never want to have it different.

 

 

Seemingly bitter… no, definitely bitter…

One of the things I dislike most in this world is the fact that money is a necessity to live. It doesn’t matter what occupation/vocation you’re working in, nor does it matter if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, or if you’re simply passing the time collecting a check and living solely for the weekends (to each his/her own, truly). But, at the end of the day, we’re all the same in that… a green back is a green back and a huge necessity to every day life.

Over the last four years, Jo and I have produced 3 movies (BROKEN, the third feature and two days of shooting away from officially being “in the can”), and one of our movies is being distributed domestically by Lionsgate on June 5th of this year. Normally, that would be cause for celebration, especially since working on that movie cost us money in the long run! But that’s okay, right? I mean we had the honor and blessing to make a movie, and what’s more, it’s getting distributed? Right? Wrong! Lionsgate or not, Tombstone or not, the movie is available already, especially if you live internationally… I mean, my cousin is currently serving in Afghanistan and he just saw a bootleg copy of the movie at a Bazaar yesterday. It boggles my mind how creative people can be when they’re putting their minds to breaking the law and working around the system instead of with it. But for the filmmaker, this piracy cuts us off at the knees… I mean it’s hard enough to get a distributor to cut a check much less bootleggers saturating the market taking prospective buyers right out of the game.  And as much effort that goes into making a film, it’s a killer to know that the underground worlds of bootleggers do little more than rip a copy from the internet, put a DVD in a jacket, and they’re making a better living than the people who’s blood sweat and tears went into producing it. It’s a sad world we live in at times.

Now I know this message sounds a little bitter, and if you’re feeling that, you’re spot on and you’re taking it as intended. I’d love to always post uplifting and upbeat messages about making films and the processes that go along with doing so, but if I’m to be honest and loyal to this blog and to whomever it is that may be reading this, I must simply ask you to please accept the good with the bad. Make no mistake, filmmaking is HARD, HARD work, and the business of filmmaking is enough to make one’s stomach turn, and if that’s not enough, making that almighty buck in this industry… well lets just say, having God on your side is a MUST!

Kevin

I Heart Film Mixer!

Due to being rained out on Friday night for our film, I was able to attend the El Dorado County Film Mixer at the fairgrounds. It was great walking around the event, talking with all the folks that have inspired me, recommend me for jobs, have brought their talents to our projects and have believed in me. A few special mentions… First, Laurie Pederson. I answered an ad years ago to work on an indie film she was producing. Kevin and I volunteered, me as a P.A. and Kevin held the boom. When we decided to try our hand at making a short film, Laurie produced it and introduced us to Brian Hamm. Brian has been our friend, partner and Director of Photography on every project since. Laurie continues to be one of our biggest supporters and miss seeing her on set. Next, Gary Davis… I met Gary in 2007 when we were getting ready to embark on our first feature, Sensored. Even though he has worked in Hollywood since the 70’s, is one of the most incredible Stunt Coordinators/2nd Unit Directors and just Coordinated on the Academy Award winning film, The Artist, he was willing to help some local folks with no budget with their first film. He continues to give his time, expertise to other filmmakers in the area and I was so happy that he was the first inductee into the California Film Foundation’s Hall of Fame for his contribution to the film community as an artist, a teacher and a role model. I couldn’t agree more! Last, but not least, Kathleen Dodge… she has been a huge supporter of ours, helping us find the perfect locations, recommending our services and is one of the biggest cheerleaders for all cast and crew in this area. She put on another amazing event and gave all of us a chance to network and hopefully make new, long term relationships.